Turn Your Brand into a Social Media Superstar

There are billions and billions of social media users all over the world, so it is pretty safe to say that social media is a game changer when it comes to marketing your brand. In this day and age, companies need to have a social media presence to increase more brand awareness, connect with a larger audience, and expand their market into a more global scale. If you want your business to grow and to keep growing, social media is your top marketing go-to.  There are brands who use social media; but there are brands who become the superstars of social media. How do they do it?

Plan Ahead

Before you plunge into the world of social media, you should first examine what will be your goals are. What is it that you are trying to achieve with social media?

Do not be too vague about it, using blanket statements like “grow my followers” and whatnot. Be specific and as much as you can, use quantifiers or numbers (for example, to gain 10,000 likes on Facebook; or, to increase audience engagement to 80% on your website). A great is example is Dallas Hood Cleaning who set a goal to acquire 100 grease trap customers through advertising, and they achieved it because the goal was specific. A realistic, concrete target is much easier to achieve than a pie-in-the-sky number.

Research and learn more about your competition (a.k.a. stalk their social media profiles) and set a benchmark. Do not be too hard on yourself and set an unrealistic goal. Work on goals that may not be too easy but you know is something you are capable of achieving.

Setting a deadline for these goals may also help you be more motivated. And to make it less overwhelming for you, you may use the ‘level mode’ of achieving your goals, that is, setting deadlines for smaller goals until you reach the bigger goals (for example, if you want to gain 10k likes by six months, perhaps you need to achieve more or less 2k likes each month).

Capture your Market

It’s time to do more social media stalking – er, researching – about your target market. Study your audience’s demographics, their lifestyle, their industries, their hobbies, and even their routines (such as what time are they most active on social media because that is the most perfect time to post, etc.). You should first understand your audience before being able to choose your platform and tailor your social media content to their fit.

Choose your Platform

Social media isn’t clumped into this one big thing, there are a lot of nooks and crannies to navigate to.

Now that you know who your target market or your audience is, you may have a pretty good idea which social media sites they frequent to. Also, observe which sites your competition is most active on and gets the most audience engagement. Some of the sites to consider:

Facebook – users on this site are widely varied because almost everyone has an account. Entertaining videos are mostly shared among friends. Aside from creating a page for your brand, you may also create a group to really capture your niche market.

Instagram – fit for younger audience and is visually-driven. Pleasing and coherent aesthetics is the key to this site. Best for brands that rely heavily on the looks (e.i. fashion, home decor, cosmetics, architecture, and the like).

Twitter – tweets have a 280-character limit. Best for short, quick updates and for engaging with your audience at real time. Wit and humor usually gets the most exposure among users.

LinkedIn – this site is best for brands with a more professional image and audience.

Pinterest –  a visual search engine and is similar to Instagram. Most studies suggest that Pinterest is best in driving traffic back to your main website. Most popular for do-it-yourself projects, arts and crafts, or home/garden improvements. But the range of topics/subjects on the site can be very diverse.

Focusing on a few social media platforms is also better than not paying enough attention to any of your twenty or so social media profiles. Having less platforms means having more time to create good content and engage your audience. Do not spread yourself too thin.

Check out and test some advertising tools for each social media platform to figure out which will give you the most exposure and drive the most audience to your social media profiles.

Create Your Content

To drive your audience to your social media profiles, you should offer them quality content that speaks to them and that they can share among family and friends.

Determine your social media persona that ties up well with your brand. Create a ‘voice’ that your audience can most relate to while still flaunting your brand’s unique identity.

Incorporate your brand into your content with such subtlety and avoid making it too in the face. Your audience will find it annoying if they think you are trying to sell them something all the time.

Curate your content well and post only what is relevant and coherent to your voice. You do not want to have a confused social media profile which in turn may also confuse your audience.

To make things more efficient, create a social media calendar: plan out a schedule to create and post your own content, to share related content made by other users, to post updates, etc.

Aim to make your content as original and creative as possible for better chances of making it go trending and viral.

Interact with your Audience

Maintain your social media presence and make sure to not miss any opportunity to interact with your audience. Your audience must walk into a party and not a ghost town when they visit your social media profile so that they will be compelled to follow and get more engaged.

Team up with Influencers.

Another way to drive traffic to your social media sites is to team up with like-minded people who already got the following. Build a good working relationship with these social media influencers and make sure that their content also resonates with yours.

Analyze your Stats and Keep Improving. Your social media stats are good indicators of how well (or how bad) you are doing.

With sophisticated social media analytical tools available nowadays, you may identify which areas you need to improve the most (e.i. a particular post may not do well as much as the other posts in terms of comments/likes and so you may stop posting something similar in the future).

Listen to the valid concerns and suggestions of your audience.

Keep updated of the trends and take calculated risks in trying these out. It may just be what you need to boost your social media presence even more.

Marketing Is More Important Than You Think

One of the things I’ve learned being a blogger is that people don’t care about you and what you want; they care about themselves, and you can’t fault them for that.  You have to adapt, which means writing about topics they care about. One of the tools I use to do that is called Keywords Everywhere. It’s a cool download that you can get directly from the Chrome Store.  It’s easy to install and super simple to use.  You simple install it, restart Chrome, and do some internet searches in your browser.  The tool pulls in other related searches and also shows you the volume of queries for each phrase.  If you think about it from the blogger’s perspective, you’ve just been given the answers. You have exactly what people are looking for, so you just write content to match it.

However, even with the best content, things don’t go viral on their own.  It’s important to improve the visibility of your articles by focusing on search engine optimization.  This is a way of promoting your content online to other people.  When you write great stuff, there are always people who want to read it. But, if they don’t heard about it or know you, you’ll never be found in the search results. That’s one of the reasons we’re looking for a NYC SEO company to work with.  If they can improve visibility for businesses in the largest city on Earth, they should be able to help me get more traffic to my website.  At least, that’s my thought anyways.  I hope I’m right. All I want is a few thousand visitors a month to the site and I’ll never have to work a job again.  It will allow me to pursue my passion of writing and helping other mother’s with their kid struggles.  It may also allow me to share some tips on what I learn about search engine optimization and internet marketing from the New York City agency we end up partnering with.

Nesting Ritual for New Mommies

Congratulations, your first baby is on the way! And right now, you are a melting pot of emotions – you feel happy, nervous, elated, scared, excited, and yes, even annoyed. Do you feel annoyed at how your house seems too cluttered and unorganized? Or annoyed at how the pantry seems to lack enough supplies? Or annoyed at how the furniture is not yet baby-safe? Or annoyed at the endless list of things you need to do before you feel ready to give birth? It’s okay, you’re just ‘nesting.’

What exactly is ‘nesting’?

Most birds create nests before they lay their eggs. Nests are made up of materials mostly found in nature, such as dried leaves, grass, or twigs, and sometimes, may also include man-made stuff like plastic straws, paper, or strings. Nests provide a comfortable and safe haven for the eggs and eventually, for the young birds. Pregnant women also have that urge to create that haven for their babies. And that urge is commonly termed as ‘nesting.’ According to old wives’ tales, once a pregnant woman starts nesting, she may be nearing her labor.

What do mommies do during nesting?

Basically, what pregnant women do while nesting is making sure that everything is prepared and in tip-top condition before the baby arrives. This may mean cleaning, repairing or fixing things, organizing, stocking up, and baby-proofing.

Although nesting is perfectly okay and normal among mommies, this may also make pregnant women more vulnerable to certain risks such as falling off a ladder, exhaustion, or exposure to harmful chemicals in cleaning products or house paints. Nesting may also cause additional stress not just for the soon-to-be mommy but also to those around her.

How to create the perfect nesting ritual?

Nesting can be fun and can be a mommy’s way of expressing enthusiasm towards her pregnancy. Here are some easy steps that you may want to incorporate in creating a nesting ritual that is just perfect for you:

1. Create a list of everything you need/want to do.

You may want to organize your list according to sections, such as the rooms in your house (e.g. baby room, kitchen, etc.), or the months before your due date (e.g. things to do 8 months before due, 7 months before, 6 months before, so on), or general areas that you need to consider (e.g. house needs, hospital needs, car needs, etc).

2. Prioritize only a few items on your list and understand that you may not tick off everything.

You need to relax and be careful in your delicate condition now more than ever. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

3. Write a letter to your future mommy self.

It is great to get everything in your surrounding ready, but also prepare yourself for what is ahead of you. Reflect about what kind of a mother you will want to be for your child. Think about the possible challenges but also be grateful for this amazing opportunity. Be positive and be supportive to your future self.

4. Write a love letter to your baby.

It will be something nice to give to him/her someday.

Visit Showrooms Prior to a Remodel

I know most of our advice revolves around our children and how to manage little ones, but I have a story to share and a word of advice from my experience these past couple months.  As my children have gotten older, I’ve been feeling the need to make some changes to our home.  I was considering a couple renovations to expand our kitchen and potentially remodel our downstairs bathroom as well.  I spoke to a few of our neighbors to see if they had any recommendations on companies and I heard some wild stories.  My neighbor to the left, Mike, had called 3 or 4 different Portland-based contractors for estimates on his bathroom remodel and every single one provided a drastically different price.  Mike chose one of the companies that gave mid-range estimates and called some of the previous clients as part of his due diligence.  He then proceeded to begin the project, but did not review the paperwork and contract very carefully.  The bathroom contractor he chose used low quality materials and cheap labor, which resulted in some really shoddy work.  It was so poor that he stopped the contract half way through with the help of his attorney and ended up hiring a different company from further out in Oregon. My neighbor on the other side, Jane, had a similar experience – although her issue was mostly involving poor quality materials that were used to redo her bathroom.

After listening to their experiences, I knew I needed to actually visit the company showrooms in person to see what kind of work they do and to get a feel for each contractor instead of basing my decisions almost entirely on price like my neighbors (and probably most people).  So as part of my research, I visited a few kitchen and bathroom showrooms to see the different woods, tiling, stones and materials offered and to speak to the owners to get an idea of how they are.  I ended up choosing one of the contractors I spoke with, and I have to say that I am very pleased with the results of the bathroom remodel.

Before and After Bathroom Remodel

So, all in all, what I learned is that it’s best to base your decision of which contractor to hire on factors other than just price.  Although price can sometimes be cost prohibitive, it can make a world of difference in your experience.  Yes, I paid a few thousand dollars more than what I would have with the cheapest of quotes I received, but it was worth it.  Why?  Because I was kept in the loop throughout the process, selected the items I wanted from the showroom displays, and knew exactly what I was getting (because it was all detailed in the contract).

I hope you enjoyed the story today.  Have you had any experiences with home remodeling?  If you’d like to share, please send us a message!

Time Management Tips for Working Moms

Do you often feel that as a working mom you are doing so much and yet you are unable to accomplish much? Do you constantly find yourself short of time as you juggle with a demanding job, household responsibilities, and your kid’s activities? If your answer to these questions is a yes then you need to know how to manage your time more effectively. Time management is an important skill for working moms. We have a few tips for you that will come in handy if you are looking forward to manage your time more effectively.

Prepare a Schedule for the Week

You can plan a family calendar for the week and share it with your spouse, babysitter, and other people who help you manage the household. Prepare a detailed list of everything that needs to be done for the week. For instance, grocery shopping, laundry, doctor’s appointment, meetings, and the weekend brunch with friends. This way you will not get stressed over missing anything that’s important.

time management tips for moms

Set Realistic Goals

Setting up unrealistic goals bring a lot of disappointment and frustration. So, it is important to set attainable goals that will help you save time. Very often we plan to do so much in the limited time we have and this is a recipe for disaster. As a working mom you might be under constant stress to get things done but you should set goals based on priority. Be flexible and if something can be moved to the next week then it is good not to overburden yourself with a lot of tasks.

mommy reading to child

Delegate Household Chores

As much as you would want to, it is good to not try doing everything on your own. You should make an effort to get your spouse and kids involved in household activities so that it eases the burden. Rather than having a list of chores, just tell the kids what needs to be done at the moment. Start with simple tasks such as wiping down the TV, putting the toys in a basket or any other task that they can take up.

Minimize your Phone Time

Mobile phone addiction is becoming a common problem that is affecting societies around the world. Very often we tend to waste our precious time on social media as a couple of minutes may turn into a few hours. Use Apps such as Screen Time, Net Nanny, and UnGlue that help you track, manage, and limit your screen time thereby leaving you with more time to do other tasks.

Don’t Chase Perfection in Everything you Do

In a constant effort to balance work and home, happiness takes a backseat. Moreover, many of us are obsessed with constant improvement that can lead to perfection. People chasing perfectionism are often hard on themselves as they feel bogged down with the desire to be flawless at everything they do.

Having a relaxed approach in life works wonders. Understand that we all have many responsibilities in life but nobody is perfect in every role. Rather than being plagued with thoughts that you could have done something better, it is important to let go.  When we know that short term disappointments cannot prevent us from achieving our long-term goals, life becomes easy.

Don’t Ignore Yourself

Amidst all the day-to-day roles and responsibilities, do not forget to take some time out for yourself. Reserve a couple of hours a week to do something that you like and pamper yourself with a relaxing massage or go out for a dinner with friends.  It is important to refresh and rejuvenate yourself so that you are able to manage your time better. Remember that taking good care of yourself will make you a better parent and spouse. It would also make you more focused on the tasks at hand leaving you more time to do other things.

 

The Best Mommy Advice Newborns

Tennis star Serena Williams admitted to seeking mommy advice on social media as she sometimes finds it stressful to raise her daughter. Parenting can be a tough job for new parents no matter how much you prepare for it. Newborns can express themselves only through crying and so they might go on for hours making you panic. Read on to know what all you can do to make this new journey easier.

new born child

Understand the Needs of the Baby

Every baby is different so it is good to observe the baby’s routine for the first few days. The baby tells you how she likes to be held, whether she prefers to be rocked to sleep, and if she is hungry. As time goes by newborns become more predictable and exhibit patterns. Once you start understanding the baby it becomes easier for you to respond to her needs.

Be Prepared when you Leave the House

Things can get chaotic if you are not prepared when you are leaving the house with the baby. So, whenever you are taking the baby outside make sure that you carry an extra pair of clothes, diaper, socks, towel, wipes, and also the formula just in case the baby feels hungry.

Don’t Shy away from Taking Help

Raising a baby is tough job and it is good to have your friends and family around. Constant sleep deprivation is not only tiring but also affects your mood, so having a support system works wonders. Be vocal about what you want from them whether it is to hold the baby as you take a shower, or to grab a cup of coffee for you.

Don’t Feel Guilty

As a new mom you might constantly be in self-doubt or face other people’s disapproval on how you are raising your baby.  As parents you might not be doing something that your parents did, but you know what works out best for your baby. So, one should ward off the feeling of guilt and inadequacy.  It is only when you feel happy and energetic that you can take better care of the baby. Go out for a coffee with friend, take time out for things that keep you energized, and avoid being self-critical.

Understand that Nursing can be Hard

Though it looks so easy and natural, breastfeeding can be difficult for new moms as well for the babies. You may find it tough to latch the baby so it is good to get in touch with a lactation consultant. You can also take advice from friends who have kids.

Take Care of Your Health

Postpartum period starts right after the pregnancy and continues till about four to six weeks. During this period a mother requires lot of care for her mental and physical health. As you are the baby’s constant beck and call, you may feel a lack of energy.  So, it becomes important to focus on good nutrition and exercise.

Also, mothers are in a rush to lose baby weight and sometimes they may go for extreme dieting and instant weight loss practices that can be harmful for health. Proper diet and exercise make you lose weight in a healthy way.

Connect with Your Partner

As life becomes haywire with all the sleep deprivation and potty training, you barely get time for each other. But it becomes all the more important to take time out to be with your partner; this is one of the most critical pieces of mommy advice for keeping your relationship intact while the newborn is growing. Reserve this time to communicate about your needs and to discuss how to make things work. Go out for a date and even if you are spending time at home it is good to get together, just the two of you.

A Mommy’s Guide to Planning a Fun Birthday Bash for your Kid

A birthday is one of the most awaited events in a kid’s life.  Whether you planning to go for a big party or prefer a small get-together with just family and few friends, it is important to make it entertaining. Read on to know the secrets of planning an easy and fun birthday bash for kids.

Plan the Budget

Have you thought about how much are you going to spend on the party? If not then think about it as it will help you in deciding the available options.  Once you zero in on the budget try your best to stick to it. Remember that there are ample of things that can be done to plan a fun birthday party even if you don’t want to shell out a lot.

birthday cake

Pick a Theme

It is good to involve the birthday child in the planning the theme as children are sure to have ideas about the sort of party they want. Kids sometimes prefer character birthday parties, however general themes such as unicorns, princesses, fairies, and cowboys work too.  Once you decide a theme it becomes easy to work on invitations, decorations and food. It’s always fun to involve children in small or big decisions as so many times they might come up with brilliant ideas!

Send out the Invites

Make a guests list and if you choose to make your own invitations, take your child’s help to paint or draw. Many people prefer sending out e-invites as they are easy to make and also save time.  Any birthday bash for kids need attendees!

Ensure that your invites are sent across at least two weeks before the party and don’t forget to make follow-up phone calls. This will help you in deciding how many people are coming to the party and accordingly you can plan the location, food, and the giveaways.

Birthday Cup Cakes

Timing is Important

A birthday party that goes on for too long isn’t fun as small kids tend to get cranky. So, plan for a two to two-and-a-half-hour bash. Afternoons are a good time, as you can prepare in the morning. Also, it is good to celebrate the actual day with the family and have a weekend bash as you have more time and it makes things less stressful.

Enjoy Decorating

To find some budget friendly props related to your theme, visit the nearby dollar store. You can also get some amazing deals online for everything from tablecloths, confetti, banners, and even the costumes. Get everything delivered to your home at least a week in advance as online orders may sometimes take more time.

Ditch the Birthday Cake

It is a good idea to have frosted cupcakes rather than a big cake as you can serve them all at once.  To make them look beautiful and dramatic, put a candle on each cupcake.

Arrange Simple Snacks

Usually kids are more excited about the games than the food so plan something simple and easy to eat. For instance, kids like eating cookies, chips, sandwiches, pizzas, and they are easy to grab as the kids rush to play. You can make food presentation a fun by adding a creative garnish, using a bright table cloth, and serving in colorful plates.

Go for Games that are Suitable for the Kids’ Age

Usually the classic party games such as the musical chair are easy and fun to execute. However, if you are planning on having crafts, make sure that the kids can understand them. Opt for games and crafts that require minimal supervision, otherwise the kids might lose interest and things can get chaotic.

Arrange Goody Bags to Make the Guests Feel Special

Put healthy snacks, small books, and stickers in the bag. Kids also love candies, goodies, bracelets, hairclips, and DIY crafts. Rather than packing these goods in a cellophane you can use small baskets, paper bags, flower pots, and put ribbons on top.

Follow these simple tips to arrange a fun birthday party for your kid.

Kid’s Birthday Party Planning Tips

Kid’s Birthday Party Planning Tips are not always easy to find.

Are you planning out the birthday party of your child? While a birthday party seems immense fun to the kids, it is an equally overwhelming task for the parents out there. Planning a birthday party for your kids can be a daunting task –especially if you are not ready with a foolproof plan.

Kids’ birthday parties are a great boost to the overall self-esteem of the children. When you make them feel like kings & queens for the entire day, it brings them immense pleasure and gives them the notion that they are special. Moreover, the birthday presents are something that every child out there looks out for during a birthday party. If you are looking forward to organizing an awesome birthday party for your kid(s), here are some creative ideas:

  • Set Up a Proper Theme: Themed birthday parties are gaining impetus in recent times. Moreover, as a parent, you will feel at ease to organize the overall look of the birthday party when it is centered around a particular theme. When you have set a particular theme for the birthday party, you can move forward with organizing the decorations, invitations, foods, games, crafts, and so more. For instance, if it is a girl’s birthday, a fairy-like theme can be a perfect way to kickstart the party planning.

 

  • Look Upon the Guest Lists & Invitations: You must aim at preparing a proper guest list for the party. Once your child has reached the age of 3-4 years, you can also prefer taking his or her suggestions over the guest list & invitations. You can go for creating the invitations –either custom-build as a DIY project or store-bought readymade invitation pamphlet.

 

  • Choose the Right Location: The location of the birthday party for your kid(s) plays an important role in deciding its overall success. For instance, if you are planning to invite over a large group of kids of all ages, it is vital that you must look out for selecting the location that has ample free space. This allows the fun-loving kids to roam around freely and enjoy the party completely. For a small extra fee, you can consider booking kid-friendly places like an amusement park, local park, or a community recreation center.

 

  • Decorations: When it comes to a kid’s birthday party, the decoration covers it all up. As per the theme of the party, ensure that the decorations are kid-friendly and attract maximum attention from the kids.

 

Organize the best-ever kid’s birthday party!