Isaac Kiehl

isaac.kiehl@gmail.com

Social media, digital marketing, health & fitness, travel, life

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Born Digital Marketing Consultant with great results in social media management + marketing + communications + events + website/blogs + graphic design in both nonprofit/for-profit organizations. Love for fitness, coffee, photography, travel, and craft beer.

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You Don’t Belong On EVERY Social Media Platform (Very Rarely)

The problem I come across regularly is that people and businesses think they should belong on every popular social media platform. Although personally I feel it’s beneficial for me as someone who works directly in the digital marketing field to be involved with many platforms at once, your business should not necessarily follow that rule. Here are a few reasons to pick the social media platforms wisely and not plentifully:

  • Drowning Your Message - As you join more and more social media channels, your message cannot be exactly the same 10 times. You need to have a strategy and that strategy is most likely NOT going to include social media channels up the wazoo. Pick the most effective for your brand which will most likely include Facebook and Twitter. If all your content remains professional and doesn’t get casual, LinkedIn maybe the perfect network to solely focus on.
  • Who’s Time Are You Wasting? The more social media involvement, the heavier load on your social media/digital marketing employee. Not only do you need a strategy and targeted audience for each network, you also need to execute it. I’m not saying it’s not worth it if there’s a large return 360 degrees, but likely some of those platforms are not producing the time being put into them. 
  • More Testing Opportunities And Analytics - When you have focused networks (and I’m not going to name a clear number of networks, sorry) you also have the time for the TLC needed to grow and increase engagement. If you’re worried about posting to x # of platforms instead of the quality and optimal timing, then you’re not really focused on truly utilizing social media.

Sometimes the largest brands excel on all platforms, but compare their resources compared to yours. Remember that it’s okay to try and fail at a platform. You might not get Google+ and lack in building that community as opposed to Facebook where you’re thriving. Just remember to close your account and don’t leave it stagnant, leaving a poor view on your brand. 

The Challenge of Understanding Twitter’s Purpose In Life

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Sometimes in life we encounter a challenge. One that seems we just can’t overcome. So I present to you Twitter. Millions use it, millions don’t understand it. There are so many definitions about what it’s purpose is, but directly from Twitter.com comes this explanation:

"Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news about what you find interesting. Simply find the accounts you find most compelling and follow the conversations.

At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters long, but don’t let the small size fool you—you can discover a lot in a little space. You can see photos, videos and conversations directly in Tweets to get the whole story at a glance, and all in one place.”

So as a user, or even a social media marketer, how does Twitter benefit us? Is it just a place for people to share that they are eating a Cronut or share that daft idea that just popped in their head?! Here are some of the successful ways Twitter is being used, and received:

Experts of Industries - The most well-respected people in their industries have great insight, knowledge and information to share. If you can follow your industry it’s a great way to get a lot of great information in a little bit of time and space. Even people who are semi-experts can share industry-relevant articles that are worth taking the time to sift through.

News/Media Stories Unfolding - When there’s a news story unfolding, many people now turn to Twitter to report live. Everyone can be a reporter in a sense and Tweet about what’s happening live. Many news stations now rely on Twitter users at times to know what’s unfolding with a story. 

Celebrities - Who doesn’t love following their favorite comedian or actor/actress? Of course you want to know when they’re vacationing in Belize while you’re at home in your underwear eating Cheetos. Honestly, comedians are a great follow though because it’s a new channel for them to try comedy routines in 140 characters or less.

Brands - Many brands relay great information about their products/services but Twitter provides a way for them to see what people are saying about the brand and engage the user about the problem to help fix it. Some like McDonald's and LivingSocial have customer service during the day that you can tweet issues to and help get resolved. It’s forming to be a new type of customer service in itself. Brands & businesses (especially small businesses/nonprofits) can also share news and updates quickly, so that’s why it’s good to have a Twitter account for your organization and use it frequently with updates and articles. The more active you are, the more people will find you. 

Everyday Joe & Jane - What are you friends up to? Wonder no more as they will let you know what they are eating, where they are checking in at and how they are feeling. On second thought, maybe pick and choose these people to follow.

Twitter has many more purposes, but these are just a few of the basics. I didn’t even TOUCH on hashtags (#CONFUSION) this time around, but we’ll save that ball of confusion for a future post…

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Free Nonprofit Email Marketing & eNewsletter Solution Revealed!

I’ve been composing eNewsletters for a few years now. When I met with a new nonprofit social media/digital marketing client recently I was surprised to find that they were unaware of the free eNewsletter & email marketing opportunity Vertical Response offers to nonprofits. If you are a nonprofit with a 501(c)3 status and have a list under 10,000 recipients, you can qualify for Vertical Response’s Nonprofit Program that grants you 10,000 email credits monthly for no cost!

It’s great to see an email marketing giant like Vertical Response really focus on the nonprofits and help them, especially many smaller organizations that might not have a big or event a budget at all. I recommend that if you aren’t utilizing them with your nonprofit, click here immediately to get started!

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Take Control Of Foursquare For Business Display Photos

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An new feature has been added to Foursquare for Businesses…you can now choose/upload the photos you want displayed on your business profile. Now you can show off the best parts of your business! 

Show your facility, products, and services in action…make a great initial impact with this new feature! If you don’t have control of your business on Foursquare, you’re missing out on engagement opportunities with your customers.

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Facebook Ads for Nonprofits: Should You Do It?

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Many have a love/hate relationship with Facebook Ads. We get annoyed by them on a personal level, but when it comes to business, it can return on your investment. If your goal revolves around vanity social media and amount of likes for your Facebook page , Facebook Ads is definitely for you (vanity social media goals are not the most effective tracking, FYI)As for conversion, Facebook makes it easy to track outside pages with an offsite pixel option to track whether you ad has led to conversion. Forget offsite pixels, I’m going to present a simple, quick overview of a nonprofit case study to help you understand how Facebook Ads can help your nonprofit Facebook page.

The case study is a nonprofit with a budget of $50 for an ad focused on volunteer opportunities, targeting is geographically focused within a specific city, including cities within 10 miles and not already connected to the Facebook page. The ad targeted approximately 220,000 Facebook users and after a month and a half (yes $50 did last that long), ended up with over 250 extra likes and conversion was unknown. There was no conversion tracking because they were sent directly to the Facebook page and would have had to take the initiative to contact the nonprofit themselves. All that came of it was the increased ‘likes’ and potential exposure to them. 

I highly recommend leading your ad somewhere you can have tangible conversion, such as a specific landing page, form, etc. Many nonprofits might not have resources to setup. Facebook Ads WILL increase your Facebook exposure and likes, and could increase conversion depending on your end result and goals. Spending something small like $50 is worth it, but if you’re looking to do an all-out large budget campaign, do more research to target your ad and overall see if Facebook Ads is the right digital marketing for you.

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Don’t Let Anyone Forget Your Event: An Awesome Add To Calendar Widget

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Recently I was searching for an ‘add to calendar’ widget that i could add to a Wordpress site I manage. It had been a struggle for a while as there was no budget to purchase a premium plugin and the free ones didn’t quite do what I needed. My need revolved around Outlook and Google Calendar users having the ability to add an event in one simple click. All without me having to take the labor-intensive time to go through 2 separate motions to make it possible. 

After spending a ridiculous amount of time searching with various keywords that eventually didn’t make much sense (try searching ‘calendar addition tool’), I discovered AddThisEvent.com and in that moment, life became easier. It was almost like heaven created a website for this specific need and overachieved by adding more mail clients than I needed. Not to mention how compatible it is with basically all websites. 

Now I pass the knowledge on to you. A simple installation of coding that I’m happy to help you with if you are unable to figure it out by yourself. Bravo Michael Nilsson for creating this amazing, simple tool to bless the world wide web with.

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Are You Guilty of Neglecting Your Website On Social Media?

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There are a variety of websites out there, including some that thousands are spent on to ones built on a zero budget. What do these two types have in common? Many websites of both calibers are neglected on their respective social media channels. Most likely your website is where people end up to discover you, learn more, and potentially receive regular updates. Too often I cringe because I see the website and social media disconnected. 

I have good news…this problem can be fixed very easily, and you don’t even have to send me 3 easy payments of $19.99! When your social media has a potential for a call for action to your followers, lead them back to your website when it makes sense. Lead them to a page of detailed information about your service or product, lead them to a landing page to register for a webinar or volunteer opportunities, forward them to your calendar of events.

You’ve most likely put in time and money to your website and it’s time to make sure that you are making it work for you. Not only will this help increase traffic to your website, it increases return visitors and if it leads to creating more webpages can help your search engine optimization (SEO) if worked properly. There are plenty of guides available online from websites like HubSpot that will help you better understand how to make this happen.

Stop ignoring your website and start using it to your advantage.

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Free Friday: What Flight of the Conchords Taught Me

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Free Friday is my day to rant about any topic beyond social media, digital marketing, and technology. Enjoy the nonsense! 

If there’s one show that I can’t stop watching lately, it’s Flight of the Conchords. Recently introduced to me almost 5 year too late, the comedy styling of Bret and Jermaine are right up my alley. The show revolves around Bret and Jermaine who perform as the band Flight of the Conchords from New Zealand trying to make it   big in New York. The fact that I’m a latecomer to Flight of the Conchords aside, the short lived series has some great lessons that you can extract when the laughing has died down:

Stay dedicated to your passion
Bret and Jermaine never gave up their dream to be musicians. Although there were obstacles like relationships and financial struggles, they were overall pretty confident in what they wanted to be and who they were. If we were all like that, the world would be a more harmonious, happy place.

Honest feedback only makes you stronger
The Conchords manager Murray Hewitt, although off the wall and blind at times, had to dish out some harsh feedback to Bret and Jermaine. Whether it was a missing instrument or playing an odd song, there was always room for improvement. In the end the Conchords always came back together as a team and ready for their next adventure.

Don’t discriminate against New Zealanders
They’re just like us. Period.

The show is absolutely hilarious and I encourage anyone who hasn’t, to watch and see if it tickles your fancy. Here’s just a sample for you to enjoy:

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Social media’s positive infiltration of society

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Even though it’s natural for most of us to have social media ingrained into our every day routine, it’s quite insane to think of how far we’ve come in just 15 years. I’m not exactly talking about the days of Morse code, but I remember only seeing top news stories in minor detail on the evening news. Today we are getting constant information from regular people (like you and me!) through Twitter and Facebook as events happen, such as the recent Asiana plane crash and all the civil unrest in Egypt. This constant, largely available access does some great things for our society:

We know what’s happening across the world without ever leaving the house. Sure, there’s probably more stories than you need to know, but having that access to stories that would have never been on your radar is pretty cool.

We can share news as it happens and inform others, potentially saving lives. As the Boston bombings were happening, information was constantly being relayed through social media that saved lives.

Youth are exposed to a global perspective, rather than just their neighborhood. This helps broaden the mind and in theory, should create many future geniuses. 

Social media has it’s flaws, of course. There’s reality detachment, addiction, and content not suitable for, well, anyone. Most people are smart enough to use it for good and as a plethora of ongoing knowledge, and the occasional Harlem Shake video

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