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About Tiffiney Baumgarden

As the owner of Three Social, Tiffiney's mission is to help others achieve their goals through branding and digital marketing strategies. She believes in hometown pride, entrepreneurship, and endless possibilities.

7 Super Simple Social Tips for Small Businesses

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Social media is essential for almost all businesses in our digital society. There are countless reasons that I could give you but to boil it down: people want to know who you are as a company. What do you do? How do you speak to your clients? What can you do for them? What do you believe in? With a wide range of options in almost every industry, people can afford to be picky. Also, when working with small businesses, checking their social media is a key way to ensure they are still in business.

The downfall is that a lot of people don’t have a general knowledge of social. They also don’t have time. So, I’ve put together 7 Super Simple Social Media Tips to help you get started. If you’re interested in my social media 101 guide, please visit the Contact Us page and request one in the comments. Don’t want to handle the details? Visit our Digital Marketing page for my package options or contact me for custom options.

#1: 15 Second Rule

The most important thing for you to remember is the 15-second rule. You have, at max, 15 seconds to capture someone’s attention. Make sure what you’re saying is engaging and precise. Use images and videos whenever possible to help capture that attention. Remember, on Facebook, unless you’ve truly captured their attention, they’re not going to click read more.

#2: Size It

While we’re on the topic of images, size is everything. Each platform has a particular size that fits best in their feed. Nothing is worst than an image that is pixelated, hard to read or awkwardly shaped in your news feed. When in doubt, go with a square. Make sure it’s at least 500 x 500. Below are a few more sizes for reference. (Note: All sizes are in pixels.)

  • Facebook: 1200 x 630
  • Instagram: 1080 x 1080
  • Twitter: 1024 x 512
  • Pinterest: 238 wide
  • Google+: 994 x 558

If you don’t have PhotoShop, you can use free tools such as Canva or PicMonkey to create or resize graphics.

#3: Delete Links

This one little sign lets me know if someone knows what they’re doing or not. On Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn a drop-down occurs when you enter a valid link. Once this happens you no longer need the link in the post so you can delete it and keep the coordinating text. This doesn’t work on Twitter.

#4: Plan It

Content calendars (also known as marketing calendars) are lifesavers. It is often difficult to consistently create content for your blog and social media platforms. By creating a content calendar you’re giving yourself a direction. Decide what platforms you’re going to post to and how often. Then, take a couple hours every month to create the content. Keep in mind any upcoming events you have at your business and national holidays. If you’re posting at least 3 times a week then come up with a couple things you can repeat such as #FridayFreebies or #WednesdayWisdom. These are a little overdone but it’s a good place to start.

#5: Schedule It

Scheduling is daunting. I mean, how do you remember to sit down and post at the best times for your clients? You don’t. Once you’ve planned out your content, schedule it! I personally use Hootsuite. For all of you just starting out, you can add up to three social media accounts for free. Once you’ve planned your month’s work of content, copy and paste it into the platform and schedule it for the date and time you want it to post. Then, make sure to check your notifications so that you can respond to questions, comments, and reviews.

#6: Brand It

There is a lot of content in our everyday lives. We have our phones, computers, tablets, billboards, TV, etc. No matter where we go, we are constantly bombarded. You want your business to be instantly recognized amongst all the chaos. Below are a few ways to accomplish this.

  • Add your logo to your images. Remember, to use sites such as Canva and PicMonkey if you don’t have Photoshop.
  • Use your company colors and fonts consistently on images and in videos
  • Use the same filters on your photos. If you’re advertising clothing or decor, avoid filters so that they know the exact color they’re buying.

#7: The Rule of Four

This rule has made an appearance in a few of my blog entries because I can’t stress the importance enough. While social media has evolved into a key marketing platform, you have to remember that people are on it for entertainment. Which means, in order for you to be successful you have to show value. Constantly asking for sales will not get you anywhere. The rule of four is that you only post one sales request out of four. This doesn’t mean that you’re not consistently promoting your brand, you’re just varying how you do it.
EXAMPLE: If I’m working with an HVAC specialist, my posts might follow the pattern below.

  • (Sales) Current Promotion
  • (Expert Advice) Ways to save on a heating bill
  • (Industry Information) General homeowner tip such as a life hack
  • (Insight into the business) Post about one of our employees or the charity we work with

Let me break this down. With these four posts, I’m promoting the current $100 off promotion, positioning myself as an expert by showing them how to be more efficient, giving them a tip to benefit their everyday life, and giving them insight into our business.

Exception: Retail stores and restaurants can often get away with not following this rule. However, if you’re constantly posting about new items, etc. remember to still give insight into your business, make your images visually stunning, and be creative with your wording.

 

Of course, there are always exceptions and as you progress there are more intricate marketing strategies to follow. However, for the newbie, this guide will get you well on your way! Questons? Don’t be afraid to leave them in the comments or reach out to me on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

 

By |December 16th, 2016|Entreprenuer, Mompreneur, Small Business, Uncategorized|2 Comments

6 Social Tips for the Mompreneur

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Since the dawn of time women have been asking themselves if they can have it all. It’s a topic that highly successful women such as Sheryl Sanderberg have explored in recent years. For many women, the solution has come in the form of network marketing companies such as Mary Kay, Lu La Roe, Jamberry, and Beachbody- just to name a few. This has led to a new business term, mompreneur.

MOMPRENEUR: New name created to describe a multi-tasking mother who can balance both the stresses of running a home-based business as an entrepreneur, and the time-consuming duties of motherhood at the same time.

These companies can offer a great solution for working moms, such as the ability to work on their schedule and boost their income. However, as most working moms will tell you, actually getting everything done is another story. My amazing friends who juggle a full-time job, a network marketing business, and being a mom, have asked for marketing advice. So, in their honor, I’m writing a series of posts for the mompreneur. First up, social media tips to making life easier.

#1: Make a Plan

When life gets hectic we have a tendency to get in a rush. This usually spirals into more stress, mistakes, etc. The key to being successful on social media is to come up with a plan. So, grab your planner, start an Excel doc, or print off this monthly calendar.  This will become your starter marketing calendar.

Now, think about what you love and hate to see on social media. Consider which of your personal posts gets the most engagements from your friends and family. Break posts into categories such as: family pictures, music, inspiration, life hacks, local events, recipes, humorous memes, etc. Write down 3-4 categories that you personally enjoy.

Now think about what your business is. Do you sell Mary Kay? Write down make-up tutorials, pampering, etc. Do you sell nutritional products? Add healthy recipes, workout tips, etc. Use your industry and come up with posts that relate to it but aren’t directly related to selling. These are your industry posts.

Final step? Build your plan, working in 4s. So 2 personal posts (first paragraph), 1 industry post (workout, tutorial, etc.), 1 promotional post. Start with posting 4 times a week at a minimum. If you do more, keep to the ratio. The ratio is setup for a few different reasons. 1) Your friends are connected with you because they’re interested in your life so we want to make sure you still post about your life. 2) You want to look like an expert in your field. 3) To build your business.

#2: Schedule, Schedule, Schedule

Social media scheduling platform, Hootsuite, allows you to connect up to 3 social media platforms for free. I recommend Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Once you connect your accounts you can schedule your posts. This means that you can sit down one day a week, plan out all of your posts, schedule them, and get back to your life. Make sure to watch for interactions so that you can follow-up. Feel free to share personal posts as normal, just keep the sales centered posts in the ratio.

#3: Tell Your Story

Your voice, your personality quirks, your opinions, they’re all a key part of helping you stand out from the crowd. So make sure your posts sound like you. Don’t go super positive and sugary sweet if you’re typically sarcastic. Find a way to represent your business well, but without sounding like someone else.

Think about the industry centered posts we referenced earlier. These types of posts are great for all of your social media accounts, including Pinterest. This content is also perfect for starting a blog. To easily create a site use SquareSpace. Their templates are simple to setup and will give you the professional look you need. When writing your posts, use the same tips as above. Your blog can feature crafts, recipes, tutorials, tips and tricks, personal information, and more. Just remember to use balance so that people look forward to your posts. (Tip- this can also be a great tool for building a team with consultants under you.)

#4: Brand It

Branding your business is all about giving things a consistent feel. If you take pictures of yourself working out, sharing testimonials, etc. you want people to instantly recognize that it’s from you. The first key is to make sure that things are sized appropriately for the platform. Use this guide to help.

Then, give your posts a professional look using the graphic design program, Canva. Canva has a variety of free and inexpensive templates that allow you to overlay text on your photos, create collages, cover photos and more. Using a consistent color pallet, repeating fonts, and photo filters will also help to brand your business. If you’re really strapped for time then try picking out 3-4 templates that you can use repeatedly.

#5: Pay to Play

While social media is a great way to market your business, it is becoming pretty saturated. This means that to increase your reach you might have to pay to play. This can take form in a few different ways. The first is using tools such as advertising. Boosting your posts with just $5 can drastically increase the amount of people who see what you have to say. If this is the case, you will have to set up a Facebook business page. Once you connect that page to your Instagram account you can use Facebook advertising to promote posts on both platforms. For more information on setting up business pages, dos and don’ts for social media, and advertising instructions request my FREE Social Media Guide PDF! Just fill out my Contact Form and check both the box to join my mailing list and to receive the PDF.  (See what I did there? I followed my own rule.)

#6: Be Sincere

NEVER message all of your friends to ask them to buy. Especially people you haven’t talked to in years. It is inevitable that you can reconnect with people you haven’t seen in years organically. Let them come to you because of your super awesome compelling content. Reaching out just because you need something from them is never a good idea.

Social media is SOCIAL, it’s entertainment. Use it in the way its intended and you’ll have greater success than turning into the new version of a door-to-door salesperson. Be you, be quirky, and have fun.

By |October 29th, 2016|Mompreneur, Personal Branding, Working Mom|0 Comments

Personal Branding 101

personal Branding 101 page

Your personal brand is the key to achieving your goals. It impacts your chances of being recruited for a position or receiving a promotion. It can make or break your chances of landing your dream job or finding an ideal partner for your start-up. In your personal and professional life, your brand is everything.

Personal branding isn’t about pretending you’re something you’re not. It’s about being in control of YOUR story and putting yourself in a position to achieve your goals.

Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.

While building a strong brand can take years, there are steps you can take today. So, grab a piece of paper and a pen to get started. (Note: I did say a piece of paper and a pen- not start a note in  your phone or open a Word document. This is because I believe there is power in writing stuff down.)

Step 1: Get Clear

Before being able to build your brand, you need to determine a direction. Ask yourself these questions, be as specific as possible.

  • Who are you?
    • What are your strongest skills?
    • What topics are you the most knowledgeable about?
    • What are you most passionate about? What makes you feel the most alive?
    • What are your hobbies?
    • What are your biggest personality quirks?
  • How do you want to be perceived?
    • Who’s public persona do you admire and why?
    • What three words do you want your friends and family to use to describe you?
    • What three words do you want your coworkers to use to describe you?
    • What do you want your Wikipedia to say?

Step 2: Set Goals

Before you can reach your goals, you need to determine what they are. Start setting goals by writing out exactly what you want. Not sure where to start? Use the questions below to get your creative juices flowing. Remember, this part is supposed to be fun, so don’t be afraid to dream big.

  • What are your goals?
    • What is your dream job?
    • Where do you want to be in 6 months? Two years? Ten years?
    • What do you want your day to day life to look like?
    • Where do you want to live?
    • Where do you want to travel?
    • Who do you want to spend your time with?

The key to following through with your goals is your why. Are you striving to make a better life for your family? Do you want to make an impact on your community? Whenever you start to get discouraged or start to lose your temper, think back to your why.

Step 3: Create a Social Media Strategy

For the foreseeable future, social media is here to stay, so why not use it to your advantage? Strong social media page can be a huge asset or a huge liability. As someone who has spent years helping businesses and business owners with their reputation management and social media accounts, here is my advice.

  • Show your personality! When people start cleaning up their social media accounts, they automatically scrub it clean. However, if there are no hints of your personality then there’s nothing to help you stand out from the crowd. Today, it’s acceptable to have a glass of wine or a beer in a picture, just remove the pictures of you playing beer pong and try to keep them to a minimum.
    Refer back to your list of hobbies and personality quirks and make sure people see them. Are you a Star Wars fan? Do you love board games or cheesy 90’s pop songs? Share it with pride! Just don’t go overboard and keep the next point in mind at all times.
  • Don’t be a bully. I cannot stress this point enough. It has become common on social media to draw lines in the sand on a number of topics ranging from politics to social issues to religion. It’s important to stand up for what you believe in. Just be careful to never mock, put down, or make someone sound unintelligent because they disagree with you. This also extends to degrading posts. It’s never a good idea to put down a group of people based on gender, sexuality, race, or ethnicity. You never know what a potential recruiter, employer, or funding partner believes.
    Be the expert. Think back to your dream job and what you’re the most knowledgeable about. Share thoughts and content centered on these topics. Just keep it interesting and post about it 1-3 times a week.
  • Be consistent. While it may seem like work, social media can be a key to achieving your goals. Join Facebook and LinkedIn groups in your industry. It’s an opportunity to ask questions, network and get valuable insights. If you’re a retailer or in the beauty industry, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Facebook help you reach a new audience. Social media is an inexpensive way to market yourself and your brand, so use it to your advantage.

Step 4: Use Professional Tools to Your Advantage

You’re creating a brand. It just happens to be John Doe instead of say, Atlas Careers. From this standpoint, it’s important to use many of the tools professionals use to market yourself. Here are just a few ideas.

  • Business Cards: Many people only have business cards for their job. But what happens if you leave that position? The contact you made now has no way of getting ahold of you to follow up. Use a site such as Vistaprint or Moo to create a personal business card with your name, phone number, email address and website.
  • Website: A personal website is a great way to expand your visibility. If you work in a visual field, such as graphic design, create a portfolio site. If a portfolio isn’t for you, start a blog that’s centered on one of the topics you’re most knowledgeable about. If neither of these options will work for you, then create a basic site with your resume information. Websites such as Wix and Squarespace make it easy to set this up.
  • Email: I feel like it shouldn’t have to be said but… make sure you have a professional email address. ILoveAaron25@gmail.com doesn’t quite send the right message.

Step 5: Make it Personal

We put so much emphasis into digital communications that we forget that face-to-face interactions still have the biggest impact. Attend networking events. Go to dinner parties with new people. Check out local meetups. Living the personal brand you’ve created will get people interested in what else you have to offer. Keep in mind that you never know who you’re meeting or who they know, so whether you’re at a bar or your local One Million Cups meeting, keep your brand in mind.

By |October 17th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

5 Ways Social Media can Benefit your Job Search

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Whether you love it or hate it, social media has become a large part of our society. However, far too few people realize how big a role it can play in your professional life. Most people jump to the assumption that social media hurts you during a job search or career change. While this can definitely be the case, it can also be a HUGE asset.

The question is— Where’s the line?

Don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’ve put together five ways that you can use social media to boost your personal brand and start on the path to your dream job.

Be a Brand Ambassador

Do you have a specific company that you want to work for? Show that you believe in them! As social media becomes more and more crowded, businesses are relying on their employees to be brand ambassadors. After all, if your employees don’t believe in you, why should the general public?
Set yourself apart, and put your money where your mouth is. Start by following the company on social media. If they have key employees that are in the public eye, follow them, as well. Write reviews, respond to questions and share their content. Just be sure to do so thoughtfully and when it makes sense. Show that you are interested and engaged, not obsessed!

Position Yourself as an expert

Anyone can write a good resume or cover letter (or a personal statement if you’re on Atlas). It’s time to step up your game. Use social media to show that you’re an expert. On Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, share articles that relate to your field. Make sure to add your thoughts and opinions to show you really know what you’re talking about. Also, follow thought leaders and businesses in your field and join the conversation when they post about current events.
When companies look into your social media accounts — and they will — you want them to recognize that you’re not just interested in a job, but that you have a passion for your industry. This is key because passion is a trait that can’t be trained.

Show Some Personality

Scrubbing your social media of all your personality quirks is actually frowned upon. Are you a huge hair band fan? Do you love b-rated horror flicks? Are you a football fan? Post about these things! These traits are what make you stand out from other candidates.
Now, what about alcohol? The first thing many people do is remove all pictures of anything having to do with nights out or alcohol. This isn’t necessary. An occasional picture of you with a drink or out with friends is perfectly normal. On that same note, use your judgment. Whereas an occasional happy hour or night with friends is fine, you don’t want to post pictures where excessive partying is involved.

Network Network Network

There are endless opportunities to network through social media. On Facebook and LinkedIn, there are tons of professional groups. Join these immediately. This is a great opportunity to learn about current trends in your industry, network with thought leaders, hear about new job postings, etc. While you’re gathering information, make sure you join the conversation so they know who you are, as well. This is key for building your personal brand.

Get the Inside Scoop

While platforms such as Twitter and Instagram don’t have professional groups like Facebook or LinkedIn, they do have their perks. On these platforms, people frequently post about their interests as well as their professional life. Following them and finding out what they’re interested in is a great way to build a relationship outside of work. Read a book they recommend, respond to their tweets about fantasy football, etc. However, as I said above, don’t become a stalker.

By |October 12th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments