March content calendar: ideas for social media and PR

Who can believe it's almost March already? While you're gearing up for spring, don't overlook this important month, chock full of great events that can serve as an inspirational source for blogging. These ideas are also applicable to your social media and media relations pitches. To get you started, here are just a few opportunities this month to align your brand or business with some already note-worthy happenings online.

March is...

  • Women's History Month

  • National Nutrition Month

  • National Peanut Month

  • National Craft Month

  • Music in Our Schools Month

Daily opportunities include...

March 1: Peanut Butter Lover's Day
March 3: National Day of Unplugging
March 7: National Cereal Day
March 8: International Women's Day
March 11: Daylight Savings Time Begins
March 13: National Napping Day
March 17: St. Patrick's Day
March 20: First Day of Spring
March 21: National French Bread Day
March 23: National Puppy Day
March 23: National Chia Day
March 26: National Spinach Day
March 28: Singer Lady Gaga's birthday (had to throw that one in!)

Want more content ideas for the year? We have developed four editorial content calendars specifically for the food & drink, arts & hobbies, health & wellness, and lifestyle industries. You can find them under the Downloads tab here on the FACTEUR website (and showcased below). We've pulled together social media, blogging, and PR opportunities based on monthly and daily holidays, hashtags, and high profile events that are related to each of those industries. Also included is a list of story ideas to get you started with developing your editorial plan, as well as space to brainstorm your own ideas. We're offering each calendar for less than $10, and if you buy all four with our Blogger Bundle, you basically get one free! Plus, every time we update the calendars, we'll make sure you'll get the newest iteration (at no extra charge, of course). Happy creating!


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Social media and content ideas for the month of March

Who can believe it's almost March already? While you're gearing up for spring, don't overlook this important month, chock full of great events that can serve as an inspirational source for blogging. These ideas are also applicable to your social media and media relations pitches. To get you started, here are just a few opportunities this month to align your brand or business with some already note-worthy happenings online.

March is...

  • Women's History Month

  • National Nutrition Month

  • National Peanut Month

  • National Craft Month

  • Music in Our Schools Month

Daily opportunities include...

March 1: Peanut Butter Lover's Day
March 3: National Day of Unplugging
March 7: National Cereal Day
March 8: International Women's Day
March 11: Daylight Savings Time Begins
March 13: National Napping Day
March 17: St. Patrick's Day
March 20: First Day of Spring
March 21: National French Bread Day
March 23: National Puppy Day
March 23: National Chia Day
March 26: National Spinach Day
March 28: Singer Lady Gaga's birthday (had to throw that one in!)

Want more content ideas for the year? We have developed four editorial content calendars specifically for the food & drink, arts & hobbies, health & wellness, and lifestyle industries. You can find them under the Downloads tab here on the FACTEUR website (and showcased below). We've pulled together social media, blogging, and PR opportunities based on monthly and daily holidays, hashtags, and high profile events that are related to each of those industries. Also included is a list of story ideas to get you started with developing your editorial plan, as well as space to brainstorm your own ideas. We're offering each calendar for less than $10, and if you buy all four with our Blogger Bundle, you basically get one free! Plus, every time we update the calendars, we'll make sure you'll get the newest iteration (at no extra charge, of course). Happy creating!


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How to post on Instagram from your desktop

Guide to posting on Instagram from your desktop computer

Instagram has always been a mobile-only social media platform, and certainly still is. And while many social media management programs such as Hootsuite have boasted the ability to post on Instagram through your desktop, it still has never been fully possible. However, just recently, a workaround on the Chrome browser has come to light. We just tested these five steps to posting photos from your desktop computer directly to Instagram, and it totally worked. Give it a try! 

1. Open the Google Chrome browser on your desktop, and head to Instagram.com.
2. Right-click anywhere on the webpage.
3. From the drop-down menu, select "Inspect."
4. You will see a window like the one pictured below. Above the Instagram feed on the lefthand side, select the size of the mobile device you would like to preview.
5. To upload a photo, click the camera icon on the preview window as you would on Instagram through your mobile device. You'll be able to add a caption and hashtags as normal, too! 

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 3.27.41 PM.png

There you have it! A quick and easy way to upload photos directly to Instagram from your desktop! Did you try it? What do you think? 

FACTEUR PR Digital Workshop: Fresh & Profesh PR Strategies for Startups Coming to FearlessCon

FACTEUR PR is proud to be part of FearlessCon, a digital conference event for creative entrepreneurs who are looking to learn real-world strategies to take their business to the next level. Now in its third year, FearlessCon's goal is to empower women around the world to create a life around their passions and turn their ideas into impact and income.  

Brought to you by the team at Femme & Fortune, FearlessCon will take place from the comfort of your own computers on Friday, May 12 and will be available to watch at any time after the live broadcast! Six women from around the world will be teaching topics on branding, public speaking, public relations, social media and more, including Reena Goodwin, founder of FACTEUR, who will present a workshop titled Fresh & Profesh PR Strategies for Startups. (See the line-up here.)

Tickets are $69 and on sale now! Just for our clients and community, take $10 off each ticket with the promo code FearlessReena. See you on screen!

Digital content and story ideas for the month of March

Who can believe it's March already? While you're gearing up for spring, don't overlook this important month, chock full of great events that can serve as an inspirational source for blogging. These ideas are also applicable to your social media and media relations pitches. To get you started, here are just a few opportunities this month to align your brand or business with some already note-worthy happenings online.

March is...

  • Women's History Month
  • National Nutrition Month
  • National Peanut Month
  • National Craft Month
  • Music in Our Schools Month

Daily opportunities include...

March 1: Peanut Butter Lover's Day
March 3: National Day of Unplugging
March 7: National Cereal Day
March 8: International Women's Day
March 12: Daylight Savings Time Begins
March 13: National Napping Day
March 17: St. Patrick's Day
March 20: First Day of Spring
March 21: National French Bread Day
March 23: National Puppy Day
March 23: National Chia Day
March 26: National Spinach Day
March 28: Singer Lady Gaga's birthday (had to throw that one in!)

Want more content ideas for the year? We have developed four editorial content calendars specifically for the food & drink, arts & hobbies, health & wellness, and lifestyle industries. You can find them under the Downloads tab here on the FACTEUR website (and showcased below). We've pulled together social media, blogging, and PR opportunities based on monthly and daily holidays, hashtags, and high profile events that are related to each of those industries. Also included is a list of story ideas to get you started with developing your editorial plan, as well as space to brainstorm your own ideas. We're offering each calendar for $10, and if you buy all four with our Blogger Bundle, you basically get one free! Plus, every time we update the calendars, we'll make sure you'll get the newest iteration (at no extra charge, of course). Happy creating!


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"I know I need PR, but I don't know where to start:" Try a 30-minute discovery discussion

We're excited to share that we are now offering complimentary 30 minute phone calls to learn about your brand and tell you more about how FACTEUR PR can help with public relations, social media, content marketing, and digital creative for your business. If you've ever thought, "I know I need PR/marketing/social media/blogging/email help but I'm not not sure where to begin," this is the perfect starting place to help you answer that question. We're taking only five calls this month, so sign up, and we'll be in touch! 

Establish your brand: build a good website to make a good impression on your customers

Nobody can ignore the importance of social media and the influence it can have over your audience and potential audiences when you’re running a brand or business. However, the recurrent saying of “the web is dead” when it comes to the significance of having a website is not only shortsighted but potentially detrimental. I like to consider social media to be like the front door to your digital home, your website. Social media is often the first impression, so make it feel open and welcoming. And once people are inside, that’s when you can show off your fantastic hosting skills in your home that is well decorated and reflective of your business and vision. 

I could make flowery analogies all day, though, so let’s get to some actual reasons why your brand needs a professional website and URL (no dot wordpresses, please)!

1.) For those actively seeking out your business or ones like it online, a website is likely their first point of entry.

Search is critically important for most businesses. Your website appearing in search results will be of the utmost importance when it comes to clients or customers finding you. Building and launching your site and making sure to consistently update it using keywords and appropriate metadata (I know, this is a lot of SEO speak) will be worthwhile in helping people find you. You can also chip in a few dollars with Google AdWords to help with your search result ranking, too.

2.) And speaking of first impressions, a good website is a prime opportunity to make a great one. 

Therefore, make sure you spend the time and resources to be sure that your website accurately reflects your business mission and vision through its design and content, which help your consumers build trust. With content you own, like your website and the stories and imagery that appears on it, you have some control over that first impression. If you have a physical business location, you probably spent some energy and resources on making it look and feel good for you and for your consumers. With the possibility of reaching and influencing infinitely more people online than through your doors, it’s imperative to make your online experience feel good for you and your consumers, too. It may be the one impression they get. Make it a good one (and mobile-friendly!).

3.) Your website is yours: own it!

We’ve talked about the importance of e-mail marketing, mainly because you can “own” the e-mail subscriber list. With social media, everyone is just renting space. In addition to owning email, pointing your subscribers to your website, and offering educational and inspirational content on your website, you control what your audience sees and reads. You can’t quite do that with social media. Our Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest and Twitter feeds are a battle for attention, and as such, increasingly becoming a pay-to-play space. 

4.) Websites can always be open for business.

Unlike a physical business, your website is always open. So why not use it to sell 24/7? Whether it’s products or services, your website is sacred sales ground. Make sure your contact information is easily accessible, your inventory is accurate, your sales copy is on-point, and your information is up-to-date. Frequent updates helps with SEO, too. 

5.) Get to know your audience: your visitors, consumers, and clients

How often do you check your Google Analytics? Do you have Google Analytics? If not, I can’t stress the importance enough of installing and reviewing your analytics on at least a weekly basis. You can dig into how people are finding your website, what pages they are most visiting, how much time they are spending on your site, where they’re coming from, what other interests appeal to them, and so much more. It’s an inside-look into your audience behaviors and interests that can help drive your social media strategy, content marketing plan, direct-mail strategy, and more. And if you’re selling or intending to sell advertising on your website if you’re a blogger, that data is a must-include for your media kit. 

We truly believe and have found in our work and our client's work that building and maintaining a website is so important when marketing and growing your brand or business. We hope this information is helpful! Sign up for our monthly email below to get more tips and ideas delivered straight to your inbox. And as always, please feel free to get in touch if you'd like to discuss how FACTEUR can help you and your business with creating a beautiful, informational, and easily maintainable website. We'd love to work with you.

Like this post? Please share it!

Like this post? Please share it!

Photo courtesy of BluChic.

E-mail is not dead: why you need to build a list to build your brand or business

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It was a hot and muggy spring day in New York City, and I was sitting in a conference room at Columbia Records during a marketing meeting. Our VP of digital marketing was talking about social media -- then in its early days -- acknowledging its significance to the online marketing scene. Thinking the meeting was going to stress the importance of utilizing Facebook and MySpace (yeah, it was that back in that day), I was surprised to hear a different message: "I want e-mail addresses," she said. "Nothing is more important than those e-mail addresses. Not Facebook fans, not MySpace fans." 

It's been 10 years since that meeting, and her words have stayed with me since. As a more experienced marketer now, I too believe that building an e-mail list is one of the most valuable assets you can have as a business. While undoubtedly social media can help you reach audiences, having a customer or potential customer's e-mail address gives you an opportunity to truly connect with people. You can go straight to them instead of asking them to come to you.

Five more reasons why you need to build an e-mail list as a brand or business:

1.) Not everyone uses social media, but almost everyone that has access uses e-mail.

There are roughly two billion social media accounts in the world. There are more than double that number of e-mail accounts. To even sign up for a social media account, you need to have an e-mail address. Get that e-mail address (and ideally, that social media follower, too!) and you have more opportunity to reach your target audience so long as they stay subscribes!

2.) Directly connect with your audience.

I'll be real with you. You probably don't need an e-mail list if you are not monetizing your website or blog. But if you have something to offer, e-mail can be immensely effective with reaching and converting consumers. It's more personal than social media, and it helps tell your story consistently and directly with your audience. Social media is increasingly becoming more pay-to-play in terms of your reaching your audiences with your content. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Pinterest have altered their algorithms in an effort to force brands and businesses to pay for impressions that once were free. According to a study shared by Business Insider, more than 98% of people with e-mail check it at least once a day. Get in their inbox and get noticed.

3.) Educate your customers.

E-mail lists are not all about selling to your subscribers. It's also about educating them. As part of your marketing strategy, I hope that you're producing owned content and shared content that is valuable to your audiences and your consumers. Maybe that looks like blogging, podcasting, captioning, photographing, e-booking, or something completely different to you. You can keep your most tuned-in audience up-to-date and informed about your product or service, sharing your expertise with them along the way, via e-newsletters. This helps to build trust, which is vital to conversions. It also helps keep your subscribers subscribed if you're sharing valuable information with them regularly. 

4.) Your e-mail list is just that...yours.

It hit me at a conference workshop a few years back. Twitter was not working, and everyone started to panic. "How am I supposed to live-tweet this session?!" Sound familiar? Social media is communication, but it uses technology to operate. Most significantly, this technology does not belong to you. Facebook could be hacked and crash tomorrow. Instagram can freak out and delete all of your followers. Twitter can be down for hours during your scheduled Periscope broadcast. And remember MySpace? Nothing is forever, and you can't back up your social media accounts to a cloud or to a hard drive. At the end of the day, our control over our precious social media channels is not owned by us. Your e-mail list, however, is in fact yours - just remember to consistently back it up! 

5.) The analytics are valuable.

If you're using an e-mail client like MailChimp or Constant Contact, you'll have access to not only analytics regarding your own e-mail communications, but comparisons to similar market e-mail trends, as well. Insights are extremely valuable to fueling your strategy moving forward, and a great way to experiment, as well. Why not do a little A/B testing with your subject lines, like comparing a couple to see which has the best open-rate? If one message works significantly better than another, or one content type was clicked on more than a different content type, use that data to help drive your decisions about communications and marketing in other areas of your business.

"So, wait, is social media not that important?" you may be wondering.
No way! Social media is critical to almost every business' marketing strategy, but we can't forget the importance of integrating e-mail and content marketing, as well. Together, you'll have greater impact.

We hope you found this post helpful, and if you'd like to learn more about how to build an e-mail list, get your e-mail newsletter set-up, or develop a documented content marketing strategy, get in touch!

Pinterest: five new features you may have missed

One of the many great things about Pinterest is their ever-evolving platform and improvements made in response to customer problems. A few days ago, Pinterest rolled out a number of new features - inspired by their Pinners - that we're sharing here in case you missed them! Whether you're a business owner, brand, blogger, or dreamer, these new features are worth taking note of. Knowing about these new features will help you better understand how your followers and potential customers are using the platform and ultimately influence some of the ways you might promote your brand or business as a result.

1.) Better Messaging Functionality

Previously on Pinterest, users could send a Pin to friend as long as they were a fellow Pinner. Now, you can actually send a Pin to someone that you don't necessarily follow (or who follows you) on Pinterest. You can even share a Pin with multiple people and have a group conversation (kind of like you do on Facebook messenger). Perfect for planning a baby or bridal shower, office party, and more. {TIP: Think about this in terms of contesting for your business!}

2.) Better Sharing Functionality

Until recently, the only way you could send pins, profiles, or boards from the Pinterest app was via Pinterest and email. Now, you can share instantly through text message, Facebook messenger, and WhatsApp, as well.

3.) Improved Search Engine

Pinterest has acknowledged the difficulty its users had been experiencing when searching for friends, and has taken steps to improve the searchability of not just pins, but pinners, too! 

Pinterest advertising

4.) Promote Your Pins Post-by-Post

If you have a business account on Pinterest, you can now hover over any of your pins and instantly promote them, rather than diving into the advertising manager to set up your campaign. You'll see a red button appear like the one on the right. 

5.) Curate Your Home Feed (Again)

Remember when your Pinterest feed only included pins from the boards and people you followed? For the past couple years, you probably noticed that your feed now includes "Picked for You" pins, a slew of recommended content based on your search history, current boards you follow, and interests you selected when first creating your account. It's been hugely successful for Pinterest ("Picked for You" pins actually get saved 600 million times each month), but some users have complained that content isn't relevant or just isn't what they want to see. So, now you can click on the settings tab after you've logged in and turn off the "Picked for You" functionality if you wish to fine-tune your home feed! 

If you're interested in instant or committed support with your social media channels, definitely check out our Social Media services page, and sign up below for the FACTEUR e-newsletter for more tips and tricks!

Knowing about these new features will help you better understand how your followers and potential customers are using the platform and ultimately influence some of the ways you might promote your brand or business as a result.

Get "expirational:" five ways to use Instagram Stories for your brand or business

(Photo: Instagram)

(Photo: Instagram)

Last week, Instagram rolled out its newest feature, Stories, a very Snapchat-inspired offering that allows users to upload quick videos and photos that disappear in 24 hours. It was a bold step for the social network, now opening its doors for more user generated content, not just beautiful user generated content. While Snapchat has had the upper-hand when it comes to reaching and engaging teenage audiences across the world, many ‘grammers are already seeing the Stories feature as a way to deliver content to their Instagram following without having to worry about building an audience on another platform like Snapchat. If Instagram's parent company, Facebook, didn’t feel like it was taking over the world before, it certainly feels more like it now. 

Brooklyn jewelry brand, Catbird, is using Instagram Stories to share a look at products coming soon. (Photo: @Catbird)

Brooklyn jewelry brand, Catbird, is using Instagram Stories to share a look at products coming soon. (Photo: @Catbird)

Recently, too, Instagram also unveiled its new business profile feature: a way for user accounts to transition into a business-minded account that offers analytics, easy-to-access contact information for its followers, and promotional and paid opportunities to reach new audiences. 

Hand-in-hand, these latest Insta-velopments are likely going to be a big boost for brands and businesses, a market that the social network is increasingly trying to monetize from. 

Here are five ways you can start using Instagram Stories for your brand or business. 

1.) Introduce you and your team.

Go beyond the bio and headshot on your website. Introduce a member of your team with a quick series of videos that shares some insights on that person: their name, what they do at work, their hobbies outside of work, projects they are working on, etc. It’s both authentic and transparent, and your followers will appreciate getting you to know a little more. (Disclaimer: This doesn’t replace the a bio and headshot on your website. You still need some kind of visual and story on your website!)

2.) Share a behind-the-scenes look at a product or launch.

This is not only beneficial to your audiences in offering them a sneak peek of what you’re producing, but an important learning opportunity for you and your brand, as well. Want to know if the public will respond more enthusiastically to your new mint green shade of custom planters or the orange ones? Ask them! 

3.) Schedule live Q&A sessions.

On the flip-side, schedule time for your audiences to tune in and ask you questions. Through the direct messaging features on Stories, Instagrammers can send in questions and comments, and you can respond via video. Can't make time to dedicate to a live Q&A? Post a photo on Instagram asking for questions, and let folks know to check their Stories feed at a certain time to see the answers.

4.) Offer special incentives like coupons and discounts

Like Snapchat, the great thing about Stories is that engaging with content suddenly becomes an urgent matter. How can you use that urgency to get your audiences to take action, or make your content “expirational,” as I like to call it (That’s expiration + inspirational!) You could post a photo of a coupon with a code, announce a contest, and more. Either the offer could be good for only that 24 hour period, or folks can screen shot to present it at your business during a limited time period if you have a physical business location.

5.) Partner with influencers.

Just like with Instagram takeovers on your feed, why not offer an influencer, special customer, or blogger into your business or special event to take over your Stories feed? This is a great way to share a brand perspective other than your own and highlight different voices. And best of all, if you’re very particular about the overall aesthetic of your Instagram feed and profile, you won’t have to worry about breaking your cohesive look and feel with dozens of photos on your feed that may become too overwhelming for your followers anyways.

These are just a handful of the ways I see using the new Stories feature on Instagram to the advantage of just about any brand or business, and I hope you found them helpful! If you're interested in instant or committed support with your social media channels, definitely check out our Social Media services page, and sign up below for the FACTEUR e-newsletter for more tips and tricks!

(Photo: Mallory + Justin)