Social Media Wellness: Managing the Addiction to Engaging and Sharing

Social Media Wellness: Managing the Addiction to Engaging and Sharing

For some people, social media is more annoying than problematic. Still, over the past decade, the number of those engaging in excessive, compulsive, and sometimes toxic sharing on social networking sites has risen.

This behavioral addiction, recognized by mental health professionals as a very real affliction in need of monitoring, is at the heart of most issues currently impacting the effectiveness of online marketing.

  • Saturation
  • Privacy risks
  • Lack of truth
  • Lack of quality
  • Lack of value
  • Negative influence

All of these seem to be behind the movement by consumers toward smaller, more relevant (and personal) communities where they feel they can safely engage while satisfying their social media addiction.

Is Your Social Media Use Helping or Harming?

I get that we’re angry and want change, but where is our anger taking us? I see a society that is angrier, more anxious, more depressed, and more combative than I’ve seen in my lifetime. We are building walls. We are isolating others. We are killing each other. Even those of us who seek justice in the name of equality have this little conundrum about humanity. ~Brad Waters, MSW  

The truth is this: We live in an age of technology. Whether we like it or not, technology has impacted every area of our lives and will continue to do so.

How we allow technology to impact our lives is our responsibility. We are responsible for how we use technology in our daily lives and within our professional organizations.

As an entrepreneur, small business owner, community leader or professional at any level, you cannot afford to ignore your personal responsibility when using social media.

Your brand isn’t what you say you are – it’s what your community thinks you are.” ~Dr. Julia Bramble

Managing Advantages and Disadvantages

The good news is that you can choose to enjoy the advantages of social media networking without participating in the disadvantages.

The bad news is that there will always be risks involved because human beings are capable of making a mess of things, even with the best of intentions.

While social media addiction may seem a relatively new phenomenon, an Addiction Center article compares it to other substance disorders, listing the following recognizable traits:

  1. Mood modification (i.e., engagement in social media leads to a favorable change in emotional states)
  2. Salience (i.e., behavioral, cognitive, and emotional preoccupation with social media)
  3. Tolerance (i.e., ever-increasing use of social media over time)
  4. Withdrawal symptoms (i.e., experiencing unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms when social media use is restricted or stopped)
  5. Conflict (i.e., interpersonal problems ensue because of social media usage)
  6. Relapse (i.e., addicted individuals quickly revert back to their excessive social media usage after an abstinence period)

Using Social Media to Influence Social Wellness

Responsibly managing your personal social media content is a good first step in influencing social media wellness. Your posts can have a positive impact on the world’s growing addiction to sharing and engaging online.

Be acutely aware of your ability to control:

  • What you offer on social media
  • How you offer it on social media
  • When you offer it on social media
  • Why you offer it on social media

Likewise, be aware that you cannot control:

  • What others choose to do with it
  • How others choose to perceive it
  • When they choose to engage or ignore and Why

Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” ~C.S. Lewis

Your Message Matters

If you want to help, don’t make your social media posts all about yourself or even your business. Your content needs to be relevant to those consuming it.

Believe that you can make a difference and work toward that end goal when posting on social media.

Authentic content that encourages and inspires others is the kind of content that builds relationships. In turn, building relationships builds trust – the one thing most threatened by toxic social media posts – and most necessary for making anything you do truly successful.

Social media is not going away any time soon – but we can work together to influence the direction it takes.

How to Save a Dying Business: Revive Your Struggling Marketing Strategy

How to Save a Dying Business: Revive Your Struggling Marketing Strategy

A while back, as I was busily typing away at my computer, the front doorbell rang. My young neighbor boy was anxious to tell me that our dog had chased a baby robin into our backyard pond.

He thought I would want to know.

I was busy, and I admit that I really didn’t want to know because now I felt obligated to deal with the situation. I had better things to do. But, I figured the neighbor boy would probably be watching to see if I would act on his news.

I hate to disappoint anyone.

When I found the baby bird, it was floating atop the chilly water, looking right at me with huge, terrified eyes. I could not ignore its dilemma and impending doom. Scooping it up, I could only hope that I was not too late, as it appeared to be fading fast.

I  began gently rubbing its tiny breast.

I imagined that I was doing some type of bird CPR. Its little beak opened wide, as though it was trying to take in air and I wondered if its tiny lungs were already too full of water. I really had no idea what to do for this bird!

In only a minute or two, the beak ceased to open and the little eyes closed.

Right then and there, I had to make a choice.

I could accept defeat based on what was before my eyes, or believe that if I refused to give up, I could make a difference in the outcome.

I chose to pursue a different outcome.

After continuing to gently massage the baby bird’s breast for several minutes, it moved a leg. Though its eyes were still closed, I was encouraged.

While whispering encouragement (and praying under my breath) it jerked its neck forward, giving me hope.

Suddenly, I had a memory of hearing about the affects of cold on the ‘core temperature’ of a body, or Hypothermia. I realized that this tiny, warm-blooded animal needed to get warm again, and fast. I continued the massaging action and moved into the direct sunlight.

It seemed like forever (and actually was nearly 25 minutes) but finally, the baby robin tried to clench its claw around my finger. Once again, it pulled its head forward and then, miraculously, opened its eyes. After several more minutes, it began to spread its wings and the sunshine and gentle breeze stirred its feathers, still dappled with lingering down.

When I finally felt the baby robin was strong enough, I placed the bird on the warm earth and backed away toward my patio. Almost immediately, the parents came to encourage their young one. They tirelessly cheered it on as I went back inside the house.

Hours later, the baby had made it across the small yard, one of the adult robins by its side, and was hidden safely away under the wide leaves of a large Hosta.

No doubt about it – it is EMPOWERING to help bring something back to life!

The baby robin’s story and your dying business

If your business begins to flounder, or experiences a sudden change in climate – if it seems to be dying, taking its last breath – DON’T GIVE UP ON IT!

It’s your baby!

If you have any reason to want to see it survive, make the decision to do whatever you can to bring it back to life.

How to Revive Your Marketing Strategy

Look past the present circumstances – Believing in what you can see is easy. You have to believe for more than what is presently before you and decide, right now, that you will not accept what is currently before you as the ONLY available outcome to your situation. Find the courage and faith to be persistent.

Do what you know to do – You may be wondering what can be done to change your present circumstances, but you should always begin with what you know. If you hesitate, precious time is lost. Start with what you know to do and keep your mind open to more solutions. You’ll likely be amazed to discover how much you actually know! Keep your ears open to new ideas. Keep your eyes open to see new opportunities. Stay aware – and you stay alive in business.

Maintain the effort with determination – The minute you give up on your business in your mind, it begins to die in your mind, and your ability to envision it alive and well is all the more difficult. Those who work with you, and for you, will be watching. Don’t disappoint yourself or them. Instead, lead with confidence in a new and positive direction and they will likely follow.

Do a little CPR – If you have a team, or employees, breathe some new life into them. Invest in their well-being. When they are thriving within their positions, you’ll benefit from better customer service, more sales, better communication between team members, and more – all of which can promote and maintain a healthy environment for regaining strength and getting the business “back on its feet”.

Overcome self-imposed limitations – What you think is long enough, may require more time. Continually re-evaluate what you are doing and why you are doing it. Don’t assume that everyone else is right and you are wrong. Don’t assume that you are right and everyone else is wrong. Don’t wait for someone else to give you permission to do what you know is right and necessary.

The Bottom Line: When you’ve done all you know to do, it’s not too late to enlist the skills and experience of a content marketing expert to help revive your marketing strategy…and bring your business back to life!

Why Unexpected Content Can Be More Than Offensive

Why Unexpected Content Can Be More Than Offensive

Finding a human tooth in your hamburger is disgusting! There is really no other way to say it, and there is no pretty way to describe the unexpected horror of finding another human-being’s incisor in your mouth while chewing up what remains of your dinner.

 Unexpected content can be more than offensive.

It causes the stomach to flip and the mind to begin full-scale cartwheels when thinking about all of the possible consequences of having someone else’s biological matter in my mouth – not to mention the thoughts about what horrible event could have been the cause of such results!

It appears to be a child’s tooth.

A former dental hygienist says that it is one of 4 bottom incisors.

What on earth would a child be doing inside a meat processing plant?

Yes, I’ve contacted the company. They sent me a $20 gift card for my “inconvenience”. Little consolation there…

I am reminded of how unappealing unexpected content is – no matter where it is discovered – and how personally offensive it can be to potential customers.

Sometimes it’s just an oversight that permits wrong or unwanted information to end up in your inbox. But, frankly, it’s often part of the plan.

If you’ve ever seen an email subject line that reads, “OOPS!” or “Our Apologies for Sending the Wrong Link”, etc., it’s likely a part of the marketing process used by some entrepreneurs to get you to open an email from them that you might otherwise choose to ignore.

It may not exactly qualify as SPAM and there’s nothing illegal with the practice, but it can definitely offend because it assumes the recipient is (at the very least) gullible. And, when employed too often, it becomes annoying, defeating the intended purpose.

Such ploys are not necessary to successfully market your services and products.

If you know your audience, understand what they want and need – and you’re able to actually supply what they want and need – there will be no reason to try to ‘trick’ them into opening an email from you.

With the right processes in place, you’ll know when to communicate with your audience and they will be looking forward to hearing from you. There will be nothing unexpected or offensive to them about your content. It will be what they want, need, and appreciate.

True mistakes are just that. Own them and do what you can to make them right.

On the other hand…

There should be no means, no possible course of action, no conditions or path that would make it remotely possible for a child’s tooth to end up in a package of professionally processed, organic, ground beef.

NONE.

Preventative measures and processes should be in place to ensure that nothing like this could ever occur. I can only hope and pray that there is no tragic “OOPS!” behind it all.

The One Thing Your Marketing Content Should Never Do

The One Thing Your Marketing Content Should Never Do

If there is one thing your content should never do it is this: Promise, then fail to deliver.

You’ve likely experienced this for yourself and didn’t enjoy it much:

You open an email from an entity that you’ve had communication with in the past, and may even trust, to read of their offer that sounds so valuable that you can hardly wait to give up a little personal information to be able to download the promised, full-of-helpful tools and reliable data guide to success and happy-ever-after living…

Only to find that it’s nothing more than a stale, unappetizing buffet of regurgitated copy and annoying content that you’ve already been offered before.

You were hoping for, and expecting, so much more.

You were relying on them to actually provide what they had so convincingly promised.

Obviously, the company whose subject line screamed, “Exactly What You’ve Been Waiting For” wasn’t actually considering YOU (at all).

Unfortunately, the practice of ‘misleading in an effort to capture leads’ among online marketers has given content marketing a bad reputation. People with something of legitimate value to offer tend to shy away from online marketing because:

  • They are concerned about maintaining integrity.
  • They don’t want to risk their reputation or that of their message.
  • They aren’t totally convinced that the benefits outweigh these risks.

Overcoming the less than stellar reputation of online marketing is what Hanna Marketing Manna is about. We want to help you market to those in need of what you offer sincerely, confidently, and with complete integrity.

HMM offers you professional skills acquired through training, certification, and consistent practice, backed by over 10 years of online marketing experience in:

  • Copywriting and Editing
  • Content Design
  • Branding
  • SEO
  • Research
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing

Don’t let the misguided, even dishonest, practices of others keep you from successfully communicating what you do with those who deserve to know – and want to know – about your message and the services you provide.

CONSIDER: When someone is truly in need of what you offer – when others are seeking answers that you know you can provide – no gimmicks are necessary.

Instead, use any (or all) of the skills listed above to make clear:

  • What you do or offer
  • How you can help or assist others
  • The action others need to take to get that help
  • Why others can trust you to deliver what you promise

We’d love to have the opportunity to chat with you in person about how HMM can help you to share your message, products, and services successfully, with confidence and integrity.

 

 

Testing Content: Taste Before Serving

Testing Content: Taste Before Serving

Taste-testing a new recipe just makes sense. You cannot know how good – or bad – a dish is until you taste it.

It’s always best to:

  • prepare in advance
  • use the best ingredients
  • season carefully to enhance the flavor
  • pay attention to time
  • taste before serving
  • serve it attractively

But, first things first!

The most important thing – the thing you can’t afford to overlook – is to first consider those who are going to consume what you’ve created.

You wouldn’t want to serve something to the people you are hoping to impress if it’s  something they do not like or want, would you?

If a person hates vegetables, the fact that you grew and hand-picked the produce yourself will not be enough to cause them to change their minds and give it a try.

When creating content online, make sure that what you are planning to offer suits the intended consumer.

Knowing who that is will help you know what should be on the menu, when to serve it and where…and how it should be seasoned.

If you could use a little help to develop your ‘recipe for success’ in marketing your message, products, and services CLICK HERE and let’s chat soon!

 

How Effective Is Gated Content?

How Effective Is Gated Content?

Two-thirds of people say they’re often disappointed by gated content.

SiteMonkey

David Meerman Scott, blogging about his research, suggests that between 20 and 50 times more people download free content.

Sounds effective. But, he points out that it provides you zero traditional “leads”.

What do you think of when you think of gated content?

Do you envision a barrier – something that stands in your way of getting what you want? Or do you see it as little more than an annoyance – nothing a little ‘give and take’ can’t overcome?

Gates have long been used to hamper the entry of those who may not be welcome. If a gate is not solid; if one can still enjoy the view beyond the gate, it usually creates little offense.

But, when a gate is blocking the view of what is on the other side, it tends to peak curiousity. The gate may scream, “Stay out!”, but it can also stimulate interest about what is on the other side. And for some, not knowing what is on the other side of a gate can be torture – even to the point of prompting one to do whatever is necessary to get beyond the gate and experience whatever it is hiding.

If you can’t see the value of gated content, you may not fully understand its purpose.

Show Them The Value

  • Something that is valuable, is rarely free.
  • The higher the value of an item, the more it is protected.
  • The more effort to protect an item, the higher its perceived level of value.

When creating content, measure its actual value before putting up a gate to access it.

Ask yourself: Is it something that people would find helpful or enlightening? If so, they will likely be willing to give up their name and email address for it.

On the other hand, if it’s truly something that they want and need, something so helpful to them that they would do almost anything for a chance to get their hands on it, put an actual (and honest) price on it. They won’t feel ‘taken’ and neither will you.

A Gate Can Swing Both Ways

Gated Content isn’t about keeping people from getting in – it’s about controlling who comes in – and when – and why.

It should be about creating interest in a way that doesn’t annoy or offend, so that you can collect the specific data needed to help you fine-tune your message and provide better services and products.

Remember: If what you are offering is of real value, you won’t lose anything by providing an opportunity to view what’s on the other side of the gate.

When people are permitted to look around for free, it’s called ‘shopping’ – the process of getting to know what you offer – which leads to forming a relationship, the much needed first-step in building trust.

Amazon does this online when they let you “look inside” and preview parts of a book for sale.

The reality is, if no one knows you or trusts you they won’t be hanging around your gate.

For valuable ideas about creating content truly worthy of a gate, contact Hanna Marketing Manna today.