Twitter

Benefits for Benefits Brokers: Social Media for Open Enrollment

In the first installment of our Benefits for Benefits Brokers blog series, we talked about the importance of integrating social media into your healthcare marketing strategy. This time, the social media experts here at Little Egg are tackling one of the most underrated – and important – benefits of social media for brokers and your clients: open enrollment. Social media can be used to distribute information to employees and other potential clients about benefits and enrollment, communicate deadlines and eligibility requirements, resolve questions and concerns, and even start the enrollment process. Many healthcare brokers and their clients overlook this cost-effective and easy-to-implement strategy, and they’re missing out.

Via  Blogtrepreneur  | Flickr

Via Blogtrepreneur | Flickr

Communication

Do you still use paper pamphlets and printed flyers to disseminate information about open enrollment? What if there was a way to keep your marketing materials in a place that your entire target audience could see it, save it for when they have more time, come back to it when they can, and never lose it or toss it away? A blog, Twitter, and Facebook are all fantastic ways to get your content in front of the eyes of people who need to see it. You can engage with your target audience directly and communicate important dates, eligibility information, benefits and plan options, and the enrollment process in a manner that they already use.

Customer Service

Social media is also an excellent customer service solution. You can host Q&A sessions, provide an FAQ and give  personal service through email and instant messaging. Most social platforms allow commentary on content, and potential clients can provide feedback as well as ask questions. Engagement broadens your reach to their network as well, allowing you to attract more clients beyond your original target audience.

Digital Enrollment

For digital enrollment, social media is an excellent tool, both for initiating the process and for marketing links. Your reach is expanded, and you can quickly and easily distribute materials to both your target and their network. With social media use becoming more universal and integrated into society every day, they’ll be exposed to your content more often, reminding them and providing a convenient solution for employees and entities alike.

Instead of relying on wasteful paper communications, go digital with your open-enrollment strategy in 2018. The people you’re trying to reach are online already; why not reach them where they are with a post, a blog, or a Q&A session that won’t get lost or accidentally thrown away? Little Egg Solutions is staffed by experts in digital communications and engaging your audience; we can help you get started with a winning strategy and quality content. Contact us today to learn more!

Event Marketing on Social Media 101

Events, workshops, conventions, and webinars: what do they all have in common? They’re social gatherings of like-minded leads. What better way to promote a social gathering than by harnessing the power of social media marketing in your approach – from hashtags to event pages to sneak peeks and exclusive content? At Little Egg Solutions, we understand how integral social media marketing is to a successful event marketing campaign in the modern world. Here are our top three tips for leveraging your social presence to bring more people to your event door.

Via Techndu | Flickr

Via Techndu | Flickr

Twitter

Hashtags are the most direct benefit of promoting an event on Twitter. The hashtag allows for instant unification of your event-related posts, and it gives you a way to track the success of your marketing strategy so far – you can tell who is talking about your event and what they’re saying with a simple search. Start here, and start early; you want to have an idea for your hashtag before your promotion kicks off.

Short, simple tags are best. The fewer characters you need for the tag, the more you can use to promote your event with superb content. If your event is annual, like a convention, include the year in your tag to avoid confusion. Check to make sure the tag is unique (it should produce no results in search) and use it in everything related to your event – even your mailing list content and printed promotion materials. This hashtag can be used on other social media sites to tie the campaign together, and – unless you’re running a contest or promotion for extra engagement – there should only be one tag for your event to avoid confusion.

Facebook

Promoting an event on Facebook is even easier with the native Event feature. Create an event, complete with helpful information, guides for registration (lead-capture, anyone?), and stunning photos. Then invite everyone and their brother to attend. As your followers’ friends notice they’re attending, they’ll be more inclined to take a look for themselves, and your list will grow organically.

Alternately, you can create a separate page dedicated to your event. This approach is more in-depth – with more detailed information and the opportunity to use the built-in lead-capture tab, but the expanded capabilities will allow for more discussion, engagement, and promotion than simply creating an event on your main page. Regular posting to the event page with relevant, engaging content will help build anticipation and get people talking about your workshop, seminar, or convention. Be sure to use your Twitter hashtags on posts to tie everything together, and don’t forget to link back to your business page from the event page.

Instagram

People love sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes exclusives, so use your Instagram to give those attending your event – or even those who are just interested – a look behind the curtain. Use your already-established hashtags to tie all of your photos and videos together, and invite people to share their own. Engage your followers (and call for more) by prompting them to respond, or to follow for more exclusive content.

You can also create a separate hashtag just for follower engagement. For example, encourage followers who are interested in your event to participate with a photo contest or collection. Having a workshop on marketing success? Ask for photos that represent success for your followers and unite them with a hashtag (#mysuccessstory, for example).

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

As important as each individual strategy is, they work best when integrated into a comprehensive social media marketing campaign that goes beyond the event and connects with your target audience. If you already have hundreds of followers, word-of-mouth spreads that much faster when an event rolls around that people can get excited about. That’s where content marketing and a strong social media presence becomes your biggest online asset – but it’s tough. Little Egg Solutions is here to help, and our team of expert content creators, marketing specialists, and consultants can put together the right plan for growing and promoting your small or medium business. Contact us today to find out how!

#LikeAPro: The Small Business Guide to Using Hashtags

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Hashtags are an integral part of effective social media marketing, from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter. But how do they work, and, most importantly, how can you make them work for you? If you’re just starting out on your #SMM journey, our social media experts at Little Egg Solutions want to help. We’ve put together this handy guide to finding and using the right hashtags for your business. Let’s start with the #basics.

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Hashtags are relatively new in the marketing world, so you may have some questions about these little blue links with a pound sign that seem to be everywhere. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

What are hashtags and how do they work?

Hashtags are short, searchable links that are used to tie together related content from multiple sources. They can include numerals or letters, but generally no spaces, and it doesn’t matter if they are capitalized or not. Hashtags can be anything as long as it fits the character restrictions of the platform you’re using (Twitter has a limit of 140 characters per post, but you can “hashtag” an entire blog post on Tumblr).

Think of them as keyword shortcuts. When users click on the hashtag, they can see every use of that tag in real time to easily find related material. A “trending” hashtag is one that shows up repeatedly across the platform.

What are the different types of hashtags?

For the purposes of social media marketing, there are three kinds of hashtags that matter: industry, local, and branded. Other types, like content-specific (#art, #gardening) and humorous (#TGIF, #whydidyoudothat) can be added for variety and flavor, but those three are the main ones you’ll be using.

Industry tags, like #SMM or #massagetherapy tie your content to the rest of your industry. Be careful, though. These can quickly become overused, and your posts can get lost in a sea of industry-related content. Local tags, like #BoiseRealEstate or #SoCalTechnology can generate local search results, but they may trend less often than industry tags. Branded hashtags are entirely new hashtags created by you specifically for your business. Successful branded hashtags often make use of slogans and other brand recognition tools. They can be a great way to gage response to a new campaign and to encourage engagement.

Why is it important to use the “right” hashtag?

Hashtags are a tool that allows businesses to organize their content and reach the eyes of people already looking for it. However, if you use an ineffective or inaccurate tag, it can be as bad, if not worse, than using no tags at all.

If you use a tag with too little traffic (unless it’s a brand new branded tag), you may not get enough engagement. Too much, and you get lost in the background noise. Too few, and you may not reach your audience; too many and you may turn your audience away. If your tags don’t relate to your content, you may disappoint your followers, and if they don’t relate to your industry, you may confuse potential leads. Using hashtags successfully is about finding a balance; for that, you need a plan.

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Here’s our simple formula for finding the best hashtags for your business. Follow the plan, and you can #MakeItCount for every post!

1. Brainstorm

Sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of hashtags you think might work for your business in general, and repeat the process when you write a post. Make sure you come up with a few of each type of hashtag, so you have some go-to options if you’re ever stuck. Remember: they’re like keywords.

2. Seek-and-Find

Search for trending keywords in your industry with online tools. You can even search specifically for relevant keywords with tools like Hashtagify.Me. It’s also a good idea to look at the hashtags that leaders in your industry are using, and try to incorporate them into your list.

3. Test it Out

Before you add hashtags to your post, search for them on the platform you’re using. If you’re overwhelmed by the results, it’s probably used too often. If nothing comes up, you may need a trendier tag. After you publish your posts, keep track of which hashtags do best and file them away as your “contingency tags” for when you have no relevant, accurate tags. Research how many tags you should use for each platform (it varies) and find a balance that works for your content.

Coming up with creative tags that set you apart while also finding existing tags that tie you to others is hard work. It’s like adding a two-fronted battle to an already full schedule of entrepreneurship and customer service. We get it, and we’re here to take it off your hands. Our social media marketing experts at Little Egg Solutions know how to hashtag #LikeAPro, and we want to help you grow your business. Contact us today to find out how we can #MakeItCount for you!

Social Agency: Three Key Benefits of Twitter for Real Estate

A strong social media presence and content marketing strategy is important in this Digital Age, no matter what industry you’re in. For real estate professionals, though, it can be difficult to leverage these online marketing tools to their fullest potential; but, as we mentioned in our first installment of this Social Agency series, it is no less important. Twitter, the widely-recognizable, but often frustrating, microblogging platform, can be especially challenging. But the social media marketing experts at Little Egg Solutions are here to help you navigate this unfamiliar territory; it is our backyard, after all. Below, you’ll find the three biggest benefits of Twitter for real estate professionals and our tips on how to make them work for you!

Local Authority: Establish Yourself as a Guru

Twitter, which is often full of breaking news on both a local and national scale, is an ideal platform for establishing yourself as an authority in your area. As a real estate professional, this gives you an important edge over competitors who are underutilizing the platform. If your followers believe that you know all the ins and outs of your working area, then it follows, naturally, that you would know exactly where their ideal home, meeting their specifications, would be hiding in the maze of for sale signs and online listings that potential home-buyers have to sift through.

Pro-Tip: Tweet about local news, charity events, and even other local businesses. Reliable recommendations for local moving companies, professional cleaners, and even rental trucks can show your followers that you’ve got the lay of the land and can help them find what they need!

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Brand Trust: People Like Putting Faces to Names

One of the primary benefits of any social media marketing strategy is humanization. People prefer to buy things from other people, not giant, faceless corporations. They also do a lot of shopping around online. Real estate is one of the most interactive industries there is, and it requires a huge amount of trust. A professional-yet-personal Twitter can be the bridge between you and the potential client surfing the web for the best realtor in town.

Pro-Tip: People love to feel special, so make that a priority in your approach. This can include behind-the-scenes office photos, celebratory posts, contests, group offers, retweeting your clients’ or industry partners’ posts – anything that adds a personal touch to your Twitter marketing.

Just Like Real Life: Play to Your Strengths

Realtors are often fantastic offline marketers. Of course you are; being personable and persuasive is the name of the game in sales, and sales don’t get much bigger than real estate. But translating those in-person skills to online marketing can be both intimidating and frustrating. Twitter, for all its complexity, can actually make that transition easier, if you know how to leverage it. By tweeting with the same tone, style, and enthusiasm that you would put into a face-to-face interaction, you can bring your personality across in your posts – and personality is your bread and butter.

Pro-Tip: Master the 80/20 rule. Post 80% helpful or interesting information like how-to articles, business recommendations, news, and tips, and 20% sales information like listings and special offers. Think of it like soft-selling versus hard-selling: you’ll always get a better response if your message isn’t just: “Buy from me! Sell with me!”

 

Studies show a clear benefit to social media marketing in all industries, including real estate. There is always value in going to where your audience already is, rather than trying to draw them out or track them down. At Little Egg Solutions, we help you put down roots on the platforms your potential clients are frequenting, and our expert guidance can become the strong foundation on which the rest of your content marketing strategy can be built. Contact us today to find out more!

#Twistory: The Evolution of Twitter

Via Creative Commons Stock Photos | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Via Creative Commons Stock Photos | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Here we are, months after Twitter’s 11th birthday, and how the social media landscape has changed in that time. Twitter is now one of the “big four” social media platforms, and a household name in 2017. But, unlike Facebook, whose origin story has been well documented and dramatized, few people know how the micro-blogging platform got its start, or how its rise to popularity began.

At Little Egg Solutions, we know the importance of social media to business success, and part of that is understanding the platform at a deeper level than the average user. So, please, join us as we take a stroll down memory lane with a lesson in #Twistory (the history of Twitter).

When did Twitter get its start?

Twitter is primarily the brainchild of the board and employees of Odeo, a then-struggling podcasting company. The goal was to create an SMS service that let people communicate remotely, publicly, and in real-time. In March of 2006, the first tweet was published on the platform by Jack Dorsey (one of the founding forces of Twitter). It read, “just setting up my twttr.” Later, in the 38th tweet, another co-creator Dom Sagolla predicted, accurately, “oh this is going to be addictive.”

The well-known 140-character limit started as a practical matter. Twitter was originally SMS-based, and 140 characters was all the space that could be allowed while still leaving room for a username. When the platform became web-based, the 140-character limit stuck as a signature of the brand. It encouraged both social interaction and information sharing in bite-sized, real-time communications, changing the face of blogging.

How did a micro-blogging platform get so big?

Addictive, as it turns out, was exactly the right word to describe Twitter’s micro-status update platform. There is some controversy about how popular the platform was in the early days before Odeo co-founder Evan Williams bought back all Odeo assets from investors, including Twitter. At the time, there were only 5,000 registered users on the platform, but whether or not Williams knew it, Twitter was about to blow up.

One year after launch, Twitter boasted 60,000 tweets a day at the South by Southwest Interactive conference. With a steadily increasing user-base, Twitter grew to more than 105 million registered users by April 2010 and 200 million registered users by September 2011. In 2013, Twitter filed a successful IPO, and now, the latest data reports 700 million Twitter users (and 500 million tweets per day). But why? The secret to Twitter’s popularity seems to be a combination of user-driven innovation, convenience, and our desire to connect with others and make our voices heard.

When did Twitter become a business tool?

Twitter has changed the way that consumers interact with brands on a cultural and individual level, and it has changed their expectations from companies that want their patronage in a couple of ways. When the “promoted tweet” was first introduced as an advertising medium, it addressed a pain point for both consumers and for companies. For businesses, it presented a new way to integrate advertising into the mobile experience, by inserting it into the streaming feed of consumers (a common practice in many platforms today).

For consumers, marketing on Twitter, which was nearly indistinguishable from other tweets (and later trends) prevented the interruption of their experience by pop-up ads and bulky banners. This catering to user experience is part of what built the expectation of personal interaction from brands, and it created a whole new way to interact with consumers and reach them where they already were: on their phones, and on social media.

The rest, you could say, is #Twistory.

What can we learn from #Twistory? We know now that Twitter is a powerful marketing tool, but it’s also an example of entrepreneurial success that small and medium business owners can aspire to. Twitter is “the next big thing” personified, and they kept that momentum turning over to become one of the biggest platforms on the web and an invaluable asset for businesses. At Little Egg Solutions, our job is to help you use social media to get your “next big thing” rolling, and to maintain that momentum in a perfect storm of marketing success. Contact us today to find out how!

5 Ways to Make the Most of Twitter for Business

1 via Creative Commons Stock Photos | Dreamstime Stock Photos

1 via Creative Commons Stock Photos | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Social media is essential to the health of your business, so much so that outsourcing social media management to firms like Little Egg Solutions is becoming more commonplace. But for those going it alone, learning to maximize your impact on social media platforms can be the difference between healthy growth and dangerous stagnation. Twitter for Business is one of the most important tools at your disposal, with a massive user base and features that are ideal for business use built into the platform.

But how can you harness the power of social media in 140 characters or less? To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of five ways to make the most of your company’s Twitter for Business account.

1. Native Features Are a Natural Advantage

Twitter offers a number of features that you can use to your advantage right off the bat. You can create a feature box by making a Lead Generation Card with a special offer and pinning it to your account. You can make sure your Tweet button for your site recommends that people follow you whenever they tweet an article. You can even create a custom graphic with important information and use it as your background image. These simple tricks will give your Twitter account the personal touch that customers have come to expect.

 

2 via Janpietruszka | Dreamstime Stock Photos

2 via Janpietruszka | Dreamstime Stock Photos

2. Links, Links, Links!

Links are an important part of a successful social media marketing campaign, and Twitter is no exception. Now that any link, no matter the length, is read as 22 characters, URL shortening is no longer necessary to fit the 140-character limit. Tweeting links to industry-related news, entertaining articles, or useful information is a great way to engage your followers – and to gain new ones. And don’t forget to use the link feature on your account to backlink to your site so customers can find you easily!

3. Picture Perfect Posts

Adding pictures to posts, especially within the platform (as opposed to tweeting from Instagram or another third-party site) is a great way to get your followers’ attention and give them a look into the world in and around your business. Customers want to know the people behind the business, so introduce them to your team with a group photo, or snap a shot of your workspace to give them a glance at what you see every day. It builds trust by building a personal connection.

4. Find Your Voice

Developing your brand’s unique voice on twitter is every bit as important as uploading a quality profile picture, or linking your website. Twitter for Business gives you the opportunity to connect with your customers on a personal, individual basis, but on a greater scale than in-person interaction. Keep your tone in line with what your business represents, your company and community values, and use that flair to engage your audience and keep them coming back for regular updates.

 

3 via Peter Klagyivik | Dreamstime Stock Photos

3 via Peter Klagyivik | Dreamstime Stock Photos

5. Take a Multi-Faceted Approach

The first business-minded purpose that companies associate with Twitter is to drive traffic: to your blog, to your site, or to your brick-and-mortar location. But it is so much more. Twitter is the crossroads of customer service, human resources, public relations, and marketing. Address the concerns of your customers with quick, personal responses. Find candidates and contractors for your growing workforce, and help them communicate efficiently. There are countless opportunities to harness the power of Twitter to enhance your business.


With these five techniques, you can turn your Twitter for Business account into the powerful brand-building and marketing tool you’ve always dreamed of. The world of social media is becoming more and more business-friendly, with major platforms adding features to enhance your online marketing strategy with every new update, and it can be hard to stay ahead of the curve. Little Egg Solutions is here to help you navigate the waters. Contact us for a free consultation today, and see how we can help you build your business with the power of social media management.