Tag Archives: KVSC

10 steps to get the most out of Foursquare for your business

Foursquare check in decal

Foursquare is definitely one of the most underutilized social media platforms. Sure brands such as the History Channel and Starbucks are completely killing it on Foursquare, but the location-based app is fantastic for businesses of all sizes. Small businesses in particular have a great opportunity to gain exposure, reward patrons with deals and earn customer loyalty. Chances are, your business already has a spot on Foursquare. Wouldn’t it make sense to claim your venue so you have control of it?

There are plenty of articles about Foursquare success stories and you can skim through a few case studies on the app’s website. Probably the best reason to get your business on Foursquare is for the check-in specials–those are deals users can unlock after a certain number of check-ins or for becoming the ‘mayor.’ Check-in specials are only the beginning though. The following is a quick how-to on getting the most out of Foursquare–without spending any money.

Setting up a ‘personal’ account:
  1. Create a new account for your business. To make this happen, go to foursquare.com and download the free mobile app.
  2. Fill out profile completely. This includes a good profile photo/logo, location, phone number, Twitter handle, and your company’s bio (160 characters).
  3. Add people you know & people in the area.
  4. Create lists & add tips. This is why setting up a personal business profile is important. Maybe you’re a restaurant owner who also serves pizza by the slice at local sporting events … might as well add a tip to those venues for fans to grab a slice during intermission. As the social media manager at KVSC-FM, I created a list of “KVSC’s Favorite Eateries.” The restaurants on the list are all underwriters for the station and the tips include special discounts for members of KVSC (a public radio station). Being a college radio station, I also created a list of tips for venues around campus such as “If you’re walking through campus or driving around town, tune to KVSC 88.1FM for college radio awesomeness! You can listen on mobile devices too. Just go to http://www.kvsc.org/listen.php” and “Make sure you get to hockey games in time for the pre-game intro. It. Is. AWESOME! Read more.” What’s really great about adding tips and lists is that you can link to websites and you can easily check the stats (e.g. “10 people have done this tip”).
  5. Connect other apps, check privacy settings. Foursquare has a number of apps you can connect such as Foodspotting, Instagram and The Weather Channel. If your business is on Instagram for example, you can sync Foursquare to automatically check-in at a venue when you share a photo (by the way, if your business is on Instagram, go ahead an connect your Tumblr and Twitter accounts too). Since you’re a business and not an actual person, be sure to make your privacy settings as loose as possible–make it easy for customers to get in touch.
Setting up your business page:
  1. Create/claim your venue. Unfortunately, this can be quite a drag–taking up to a week or more. This is good though because Foursquare is doing its best to make sure only real venues get claimed by the rightful manager. To get started, head to foursquare.com and sign in using the business account you just created or your personal account–doesn’t matter which. Search for your business and look for the “Do you manage this business?” and hit the “Click here” button. After that, just follow the steps. You will need to verify using the phone number of the business.
  2. Fill out profile completely: Profile photo/logo, Address, phone number, Twitter handle, website, hours and keyword tags. Restaurants also have the ability to add menus and prices.
  3. Create a special. Now that you’re managing your venue, go ahead and create your first check-in special. Foursquare offers a variety of specials to attract new customers or reward existing customers. Choosing a special for users who check-in to the venue for their first time might be a great way to get started. You can create multiple campaigns and test which ones work best.
  4. Add employees and managers. If you’re a busy manager or owner of your business, it might be a good idea to delegate the responsibilities of general venue upkeep to another employee. Also, you can add employees to your venue so they can’t become the ‘mayor’ and reap the rewards that your actual customers should be getting.
  5. Promote. You should get a window cling from Foursquare when you secure your venue … put it somewhere visible. Create fliers, Tweet it, include it in your eNewsletter, put it on your business card, train your employees to tell customers about it, add links to your website and anything else you can think of. Just be sure to follow the Foursquare brand guidelines.
Further reading:
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Social Media: Personal and Visual, Pt. 1 – Know Your Audience

The importance of knowing your audience.

Is your target audience a crowd of conservative men or does it have a greater variance to allow for more flexibility?

I recently spoke at a St. Cloud State Mass Communications alumni event regarding trends in social media–especially in the Public Relations industry. As an intern at Kohnstamm Communications and only a couple years as a social media manager at KVSC-FM under my belt, I’m hardly an expert on the subject, but I do feel I came out with some good points and generated an interesting discussion. I rarely write out word-for-word what I plan to say at these things, but for some reason that’s what happened. I ended up making an outline of speaking points for a more natural impromptu delivery and my original ‘script’ for my presentation “Social Media: Personal and Visual” is below.

I learned a lot as the Director of PR & Social Media at KVSC and a lot of what I learned along the way is directly transferable to the PR industry—whether the B2B clients I work with at Kohnstamm care about social media or not. I learned two main things while building KVSC’s social media presence: 1.) It is important to know your audience and 2.) People are very visually minded.

For the former, I learned early on that no one really cares about basic station updates that can easily be found at kvsc.org, people want to be entertained and involved in the conversation. In other words, people want to be reached at a personal level. I found that posting opinionated articles relating to the station’s music format or pop culture in general would garner a greater response than simply announcing what was coming up in the programming lineup.

It’s definitely important to know your audience and have a good understanding of what types of posts will get their attention without offending anyone too much. A great example of this is with a new recruitment firm I’ve been working with. At KVSC, it seemed I could get away with just about anything. Making fun of Nickelback, posting popular memes and silly YouTube videos are all commonplace on the KVSC Facebook wall. For example, one of the more popular posts on the KVSC wall consisted of a black and white photo of a little boy smoking a cigarette next to a chicken and the caption “Could someone please explain this picture?” (side note: the little boy happens to be a young István Ládai). With Grapevine – Targeted Sales Recruiting, I posted a picture of an Easter bunny portrait gone slightly wrong and wished everyone a happy Easter. It was all in good nature and was meant to be funny. However, someone didn’t like it and contacted the owner of the business and we took it down.

Lesson learned. Monitor and know your audience before you really test the waters. As with any good PR campaign, knowing your audience will help in crafting a news release, pitching a reporter or otherwise getting a client’s news out. Knowing your audience allows you to create much more targeted and personal messages. Maintaining personal messaging in any communication strategy allows for better conversation, but can only be achieved if you know what your audience is interested in talking about.

Further reading on the subject of knowing your audience:

Image via juicebag.blogspot.com.


Leading up to my First Solo Photography Exhibit

Art show invitation for "Visions of Minnesota," a photography exhibit by Eric D Wheeler.

"Visions of Minnesota" takes place Jan. 27 from 4-8 p.m.

Tomorrow (Jan. 27 from 4-8 p.m.), I will present “Visions of Minnesota” at Iris Vision Care–my first solo photography exhibit. “Visions of Minnesota” will mainly feature black and white photographs from around Minnesota and will also have a few color images. I have also been experimenting with photography on my iPhone (or iPhoneography as some may call it).

For the past 45 days, I have stepped out of my apartment to snap a picture using my iPhone 4 of a road leading down to the Mississippi River here in St. Cloud, Minn. The road was recently put in along with a new park and is enclosed on both sides with tall trees. The project started after going on a photo walk one exceptionally foggy morning and has continued since. Besides the natural beauty of looking downhill on a road engulfed in ominous trees, the project has gained traction as I have pushed both my curiosity and creativity through the use of iPhone photo applications. Each photo is snapped from the same position and, although I use many different iPhone apps to create various effects in post-edit, each image ends up on Instagram and can be viewed by searching the hashtag #wheelers_road.

wheelers_road is an example of iPhoneography.

The first 16 days of my photo-a-day project utilizing multiple iPhone apps to capture a tree covered road.

The bulk of my show, however, takes a largely traditional approach to photography and includes many black and white landscapes and a few landmarks from central Minnesota, the Iron Range and Duluth. I will have a few color photographs on display including images from depicting nature and landscapes. The event is free and open to the public and all pieces are available for purchase.

I should probably fully disclose that this is technically a public relations event for Iris Vision Care. My girlfriend, Dr. Sally Jackula is the owner and I have been doing some light PR, photography and social media marketing for her for the past year or so. The main motive for holding the event at her office is to build awareness, get foot traffic and hopefully help her gain a few new clients. That being said, I am very much excited about showing off my work for the first time without any public backing or organizational support such as being part of an art crawl or photography contest.

The Androy Hotel in Hibbing, Minnesota.

This photo of the Androy Hotel in Hibbing, Minn. will be one of my larger framed photos for sale.

From a public relations perspective this has definitely been a success so far. One of my photos taken at Quarry Park last year is currently featured on the cover of Minnesota Moments magazine, which hit newsstands earlier this month. I ordered 100 postcard-size invitations to hand  out (pictured above). I secured an interview with an arts reporter who ended up writing a story, which ran in the Jan. 19 edition of Up Next. I submitted my event to several area events websites including the sctimes.com, kvsc.org and aroundthecloud.org and even got a live-read community service announcement on KVSC-FM.

Of course, I put forth the standard social media effort as well–creating a Facebook event and cross-promoting on my photography page, personal page and on the Iris Vision Care page. I spread the news using Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn as well. I even changed my cover photo on Facebook. To top it all off, Ryan Ott featured my photography exhibit in his “Five things to do in Minnesota” for this weekend on iammnnice.com. That was a bonus I didn’t even see coming. Thanks, Ryan!

With that, I hope to see you at Iris Vision Care to check out my work as a budding photographer. Please help me spread the word during these final hours leading up to the event by sharing this post. Thanks!


Setting up a Google+ Brand Page: A few tips

Google Plus LogoA few weeks ago, I set up a Google+ Brand Page for KVSC-FM. The basics of setting up a Google+ Brand Page is pretty self-explanatory. However, you should be warned that Google+ currently requires Brand Pages to be linked to a single gmail account. I was unaware of this and now have the KVSC page linked to my personal gmail account. This is nice because it’s easy to switch back and forth between accounts without having to sign out/in, but this is actually very bad news. Now I am the only person who can make any changes to the KVSC Brand Page–there’s no way to add admins. I’m refraining from going on a rant here, but just beware of this Google+ flaw. In hindsight, I should have created a gmail account for the station first (such as kvsc.gplus@gmail.com). I should also note this is the second time I have had a bad experience with creating accounts using Google’s services. The KVSC YouTube channel is also linked to my personal gmail account and I have not been able to fix it in nearly two years. Moving on…

KVSC 88.1FM Google+ Brand Page example of a profile banner.

Using the Google+ Scrapbook to create a profile banner can be a fun branding opportunity.

Once the basics are completed in setting up your Brand Page (basic info, links, profile photo, etc.) you should make a nice banner at the top of you profile using scrapbook photos. This is definitely a cool feature and should be used to showcase your business–either through creative branding or by using the photos to highlight an upcoming promotion or event.

KVSC Google+ Brand Page profile banner for Trivia Weekend.For KVSC, I used the scrapbook photos to showcase the station’s tagline “Your Sound Alternative.” I recently changed it to feature the annual Trivia Weekend contest coming up in February. Be aware of another flaw though: you currently cannot rearrange photos in scrapbook. Without the ability to rearrange photos, you will need to delete the old photos and replace them with your new images in order to get a new banner. This also means you will need to upload the photos in the correct order to make the banner image. A bit of a pain, but I still think this is some cool branding real estate. Also, remember to save your old photos before replacing them.

The hard part with setting up a Brand Page will probably be to actually build a following. All I can suggest here is to post frequently and cross-promote on other social networking sites–namely Facebook and Twitter. With posts, I suggest using lots of visuals. Intriguing images and video coupled with headlines that inspire comments are key. All posts do not necessarily need to relate directly to your business or industry. Find images that are funny, inspiring or otherwise interesting. There are many other suggestions on what to post and how to get the most of your Google+ Brand Page. Here’s a good article I found on HubSpot that may help.

I believe Google+ is one of the easiest social networking sites to use. It is not as personal as Facebook and a little slower in pace compared to Twitter. Google+ has found a happy medium and just needs to get past the initial early adopter phase–once users start posting more frequently it will become more popular. I haven’t quite wrapped my head around how to use Google+ Hangouts from a marketing perspective (especially for a small business or non-profit), but I have heard of many organizations using it for some pretty cool things such as free conference calling, a virtual press conference, celebrity chats or a behind-the-scenes look.


Approaching Lawrence Hall at St. Cloud State University

Lawrence Hall at St. Cloud State University

Lawrence Hall at St. Cloud State University

I know I know, it’s not even fall yet and I’m posting a photo from the dead of winter. However, I saw a photo of Lawrence Hall on the St. Cloud State University Facebook page in the summertime and I wanted to share this photo I took in February of 2009. The photo at the Facebook page is a completely different angle and the trees are green instead of leafless and covered in snow. However, seeing the photo stirred all kinds of emotions and memories related to a building I walked by everyday, but never set foot inside.

For two years, I walked from the Acacia House, crossed campus and approached this beautiful building. One of my favorite moments each day was walking under the trees and looking up as the tree limbs revealed the white bell tower perched atop the oldest building on campus. Many may complain about the lack of architectural continuity on campus (myself included), but St. Cloud State definitely has a few buildings I appreciate for different reasons and I couldn’t be more lucky than to passby Lawrence Hall on my way to KVSC.


Example of a Daily #SocialMedia Content Calendar

In social media, content is king,

Generating fresh, engaging content several times a day can be difficult. A daily content calendar can help prevent you from getting social media ‘writers block’ and keep your followers engaged. After all, content is king!

In my previous post, I discussed the importance of putting together a daily content calendar to help with generating ideas for engaging posts. While long-term strategy is always important, it is equally important to have short-term strategy in place. With short-term strategy, we are generally talking about smaller marketing campaigns within the larger campaign such as online contests, event/sales promotions, etc. However, with any social media campaign, there is bound to be times when there is simply not any pertinent messages to post.

As I mentioned in my previous article however, it is important to continually have fresh, engaging content posted on your main social media sites (typically Facebook and Twitter). This can especially be a challenge for the small business owner who may not always have company news or upcoming events to promote. Also, it is important to maintain a lighthearted stream across all social media platforms and to constantly have fresh content that people will want to share and comment on. It’s all about keeping the conversation going!

For anyone looking for ideas on keeping up fresh content across various social networking sites, read my blog post “30 Ideas for Providing Fresh Content in #SocialMedia.” The image below contains my daily content calendar at KVSC-FM. I do not follow it religously, for I usually have several different promotions going on with the station each week, but I do pretty much stick with some of the regular postings our listeners look forward to. Those include Music Monday, From the KVSC Archives (Tuesdays) and Trivia Thursday. The rest on the calendar is just filler and can easily be substituted for other content. Also included in the document are more content ideas and tips for running a successful Facebook page I retrieved from an article on PR Daily by Kamila Hankiewicz titled “14 Tips for a Successful Facebook Page.”

Daily Content Calendar for Social Media used at KVSC-FM

Daily Content Calendar for Social Media used at KVSC-FM

Click image to view the full PDF or click here: Social Media Daily Content Calendar

As you can see, the calendar is not too detailed–just enough to help you generate fresh content and hopefully not bore your followers. I included the additional tips and resources as a reminder to myself and also to ensure an easy transition for my successor. Thanks for reading. If you have any suggestions for my daily content calendar or have an example of your own, please share in the comment section below or send me an email at ericdylanwheeler@gmail.com.


Short-term Strategy: The Daily #SocialMedia Content Calendar

Social Media Content CalandarWhether looking to increase website traffic, increase sales or build a stronger brand, strategy is what drives the communications vehicle. If you are a PR or marketing communications professional, chances are you have a long-term communications strategy for your brand, business or client. It is important to understand how social media fit into the long-term communications strategy. One area that should never be overlooked is providing fresh content for each of your chosen social media platforms (generally Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and, coming soon, Google+).

As I have mentioned before, providing fresh content can sometimes be a challenge. The smaller the business or brand, the more difficult it may become to think of new and engaging content to post on each respective social network. In particular, Facebook can be a challenge because of the algorithm it uses in its news feed.

Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank to keep your news feed from getting out of control. Without getting into great detail, EdgeRank basically has three pillars: 1.) An affinity score (users who interact with you more are more likely to see your posts); 2.) Likes and comments have high importance; and 3.) Timing (newer posts take precedence). You can read more about EdgeRank here.

Knowing that Facebook uses EdgeRank as an automated “gate-keeper,” providing fresh, engaging content at the right time of day is very important. The same concept of posting fresh, engaging content can be applied on other social media platforms as well. On Twitter especially, Tweeting thought-provoking content, enticing (clickable) links and adding a little humor or anything that might encourage re-tweets becomes important. With Twitter though, there is no algorithm to maintain a more manageable news feed, and therefore, sending out more tweets at the right times become important. Again, without getting too detailed, the best times to Tweet are generally noon and 6 p.m. and at a rate of 1-4 tweets per hour. For more on timing, view an infographic from KISSmetrics.

Understanding the importance of frequency and timing of engaging posts on social networking sites, I have a daily content calendar I maintain for KVSC-FM. I have been the Director of PR & Social Media for two years at KVSC-FM and have done a number of social media marketing campaigns in promoting upcoming events/programming and have performed a lot of social media contests along the way. However, even if a long-term social media strategy is set, coming up with 2-4 posts for Facebook per day and 1-4 Tweets per hour can be a bit of a challenge. For this reason, I have developed a daily content calendar to help in generating ideas.

Some of the daily post ideas have become something listeners of the station look forward to each week. For example, Music Monday, where I simply post a music-related article or Trivia Thursday, where I ask a random trivia question (this is also a chance to be sneaky and relate the question to a current promotion). Again, the idea is to generate conversation and, ultimately, build a positive relationship with your followers. Building a daily content calendar is not difficult, you just need to sit down and think of a few ideas you can share on each social networking site each day. For more ideas on providing daily content, read my article “30 Ideas for Providing Fresh Content in #SocialMedia.”

Image: Ray Kowatch’s Blog.


What I’ve Learned from Using QR Codes Part II

QR code in a print advertisement.

An example from an ad I created containing a QR code. I feel it is effective because it is intriguing, instructional and easy to scan.

A while back, I wrote an article about my experience in using QR codes at KVSC-FM and how I have used them personally on my business cards. Now almost two months later, I have a few more suggestions for the successful use of QR codes in marketing. QR codes are still quite the craze and I am seeing more and more show up on event flyers, print advertisements and even as profile pictures on Twitter. Many of these examples were flawed in some way and this article is meant to help prevent others from making the same mistakes.

The first advice I might give is to not include a QR code on something just to have a QR code on it. I admit, I have fallen victim to this. In creating a few print advertisements for an upcoming concert sponsored by KVSC, I really wanted to include a QR code to fill some blank space in the ad. However, both kvsc.org and the online ticket site were not easy to use on a mobile device and the only thing I could think of was to have the QR code link to the box office phone number to purchase tickets. We decided to remove the QR code. Why? Although the QR code likely would have raised curiosity, the destination would most likely serve as a disappointment to anyone who scanned it. We were better off just posting the phone number (old fashioned, I know).

Another thing we can learn from the above example is that it’s usually best to link to a mobile site. If the ticket service we were using was a site such as stubhub.com, then the QR code would have been a great addition to the print ad because the user would probably be discovering something new and would be excited about using the mobile site to purchase tickets. Along these same lines, linking to my ePortfolio from my business cards was probably not the best idea as I implied in my previous post on QR codes. Although my ePortfolio looks fine on a mobile device, the text is small and navigation is difficult. When I print new personal business cards, I will link to this blog because WordPress automatically directs users to a mobile version.

Lastly, I would highly recommend using a URL shortener service such as bit.ly to create your QR code. One problem I have seen with some QR codes is that they are too dense and thus, difficult to scan quickly (if at all). I do not completely understand the science behind QR codes, but I do know that dense QR codes are not only more difficult to scan, but are also less attractive. By using a URL shortener (namely bit.ly), you will not only avoid this problem, but you will also be able to track basic analytics of the QR code. With bit.ly, you can track the number of scans, location of the referrer, if the link is being shared on social sites, when the code was scanned and whether the referral came from the QR code or from the link posted elsewhere.

For those of you who watch CSI, here’s a simple definition of a QR code:

I hope these additional tips help you in creating more effective marketing campaigns through the use of QR codes. As always, if you have any tips or questions, please comment below or send me a message on Twitter: @eric_wheeler. And remember, sharing gets you more friends!


Do Something Profound: Attend Grad School

In full academic regalia...

In full Master of Science academic regalia...

This past weekend saw the close of yet another chapter in my life: I have completed graduate school. Yes, I am now the proud recipient of a Master of Science degree with emphasis in PR & Advertising from St. Cloud State University. It was not long ago when I walked across stage at Northwestern Oklahoma State University after completing a bachelor’s degree in the same field.

As an undergrad, I had little desire to pursue post-graduate education and only got the notion shortly before graduating in December 2007. However, I remember hearing inspiring words a few months prior from the (then) president of the Oklahoma Student Government Association that I just never shook out of my mind. While attending an OSGA conference, several of us were talking about our plans after graduation when John Stephen Bobb-Semple looked at me and said “Eric, why don’t you do something profound and attend graduate school?” I’m not sure how profound it is to attend graduate school, but his words did play a huge role in my decision to pursue a higher degree.

The story of how I got to Minnesota is a little longer and I have had many ask me how I got here and why I chose St. Cloud State University. Allow me to expand. During my final semester at NWOSU, I had a wonderful girlfriend and a job at a radio station that I thought would keep me in Northwest Oklahoma for a long time, and I was happy about that. However, once that relationship ended and I decided the radio station I was working at was not the best place for me, things changed.

St. Cloud State University logo

The great mass communications program and an assistantship made St. Cloud State hard to turn down.

As I was turning in my senior portfolio, I noticed a poster on the wall for a SCSU’s Master of Science in Mass Communications program. Triggering John’s words of wisdom, I became curious and tore off the reply card and mailed in my info. At this point I was already set to begin working for Acacia Fraternity headquarters in Indianapolis and thought it would be a great opportuinity to study for the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) and hopefully check out a few programs while traveling around North America as a leadership consultant. As it would turn out, I had the opportunity to visit St. Cloud State in the fall of 2008 and found the campus to be rather quaint and the mass communications department quite impressive. I applied.

I ended up applying to several other schools, but it all came down money. Though it would have been great to attend grad school in Hawaii, spending $50,000 a year to make it happen wasn’t really feasible. Indeed, it came down to SCSU, and a couple affordable schools in Kentucky and Oklahoma. Choosing SCSU, however, was contingent upon obtaining a graduate assistantship. After applying for several positions, I had no such luck. In May of 2009, I would embark on my lifetime dream of traveling through Europe by myself with no idea what the future had in store when I returned. I would most likely wind up at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla. as it was the most affordable, quality program I could find close to home.

KVSC 88.1FM St Cloud, MN

I learned a lot through my assistantship at KVSC.

I was stranded in Munich after losing my passport and rail pass when I finally secured a position at KVSC-FM, the campus radio station at SCSU. Apparently Loren Boone, director of university communications liked me enough during my interview for a position in his department that he thought of me when Station Manager Jo McMullen was still looking for someone at KVSC. In the end, it all worked out and my position as Director of PR & Social Media at KVSC has proved to be the most valuable experience I could possibly ask for.  I have learned so much at KVSC and in the classroom, I’m not even sure where to begin. That’s really what I wanted this blog to be about, but I couldn’t seem to sort through all the knowledge learned. I hope this story gives you inspiration as you look to further your education or your career. For me, it all comes down to one mantra: Do something profound.


30 Ideas for Providing Fresh Content in #SocialMedia

Providing content for social media can be a challenge.

Providing content for social media can be a challenge.

A while back, I discussed how I thought providing fresh content is the biggest challenge in social media. The post was geared more towards special practices such as a dentist or optometrist and how easy it can be to have ‘writer’s block’ in keeping up a Facebook page or Twitter account. After hearing responses from my readers both in person and on Twitter, I thought it might be of interest to revisit that post and provide a list of ideas for providing fresh content.

Listed below are 30 ideas I have brainstormed from my own thoughts and from other blog posts I have since come across. My goal in compiling this list was to take a marketing angle and focus on content that will improve interaction, build community and increase sales or foot traffic for a small business. When reading these tips, keep in mind that you should have a sense of humor and always respond to comments from your customers. Also, it is best to provide links and images whenever possible.

  1. Post trends or news in your industry
  2. Have guest posts from other professionals in your area or from other staff members or customers
  3. Video response to frequently asked questions
  4. Announcement of open appointments (use sparingly…)
  5. Trivia questions (I ask a #TriviaThursday question each week on KVSC 88.1FM’s Facebook and Twitter accounts)
  6. Name the movie quote (movie, actor, character) or song lyric (name and artist); when a user gets 25 right, they get a gift certificate for $25 (courtesy Iris Vision Care)
  7.  Special offers/discounts to customers or patients who follow you on Facebook or Twitter
  8. Hold a social media contest (this will help you increase the number of followers and keep people coming back)
  9. Video response to customer feedback (positive or negative)
  10. Post customer stories or testimonials
  11. Post video testimonials (YouTube integration)
  12. Stories from your staff (work/life experience–keep them positive and don’t get too personal)
  13. Highlight any community involvement or announce upcoming community events
  14. Highlight news from non-profits your business supports
  15. Add pictures from around the office, supplements to testimonials, products, staff, community events, anything that’s photo-worthy–people love pictures!
  16. Create polls: Why have you changed services in the past? Think of open-ended or simple yes/no questions. Use the new Facebook Questions feature (via Emily Bratkovich)
  17. Post upcoming specials
  18. Comment on positive news in the community
  19. Post new online listings of your business (Yelp, YellowPages, Yahoo! Listings, CitySearch, etc.) and ask users to comment or rate your business
  20. Post your other social media listings (don’t forget Foursquare!)
  21. Ask for shout outs and how you can find them on other social media channels
  22. Mention the businesses of some of your patients (don’t mention names)
  23. For optometrists: Ask patients to post photos of them in their very first pair of glasses (courtesy Iris Vision Care)
  24. Facebook 50: Iris Vision Care also posts a picture of a random frame each week–the first person to come in gets the frame at 50% off
  25. Quotes related to your industry (quotes with “vision” or “eye(s)” for an optometrist; quotes with “smile” in them for a dentist
  26. Post a how-to video or blog (Facebook note)
  27. Feature a customer or client of the week–tell your fans how great they are and maybe give them offer a discount
  28. Mention any TV shows, news articles or blogs in your industry
  29. Post a list of Do’s and Don’ts related to your business/product
  30. Ask questions about anything you can think of–easiest way to get a response
It is best to post something on Facebook at least once or twice per day–Fifty percent of Facebook “likes” occur within one hour and 20 minutes of being posted. Posting in the early morning or right before lunch is usually best. If you have any fun ideas for providing content that keeps the conversation going, builds your following or drives traffic to your business, let me know! Please comment below or send me an @mention on Twitter: @eric_wheeler. And remember, sharing is social!

Sources and additional resources:

Image from http://www.someforbusiness.com/


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