The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

social media marketing

“I’m trying to be nice. But it’s not working.” – 3-year-old

Kids have a disarming innocence that’s their own form of wisdom. Because they’ve yet to be tainted by life, they look at the world with fresh eyes.

Let’s look at how you can bring this childlike approach to marketing.

1. Be Playful

When I asked my 3-year-old what he thought heaven was like, he said, “Everyone drives a monster truck all the time.”

Kids do things just because they’re fun. When did you last do something simply for the sheer joy of it?

When you’re interacting on social media, it shows if you’re having fun. You’ll have a natural charisma that attracts people to you.

Play also means trying new things. And because you’re playing, there’s no such thing as failure. So get creative, don’t be afraid to dream big, and start treating Facebook like it’s a box of Lego bricks.

2. Ask for What You Want

Kids Ice Cream Marketing

“Jesus, please let me have some more ice cream. Amen.”

Kids are humble by nature because they depend on other people for everything. They don’t have the means to feed themselves, clothe themselves, or house themselves. And if they want something, the only way to get it is to ask.

As we move into adulthood, we become more independent. That’s an important part of growing up, and it’s a great step to take.

But independence doesn’t mean you can do everything yourself. The truth is, we are inter-dependent. We all need help from other people.

If you need help and support of others to rock your business, don’t be shy. Social media lets you connect with almost anyone in the world, so you’ve no excuse for not trying. Drop your pride and reach out. Most people you ask will be happy to help.

3. Take Risks

I tell my 2-year-old that his ears must be tired because they’re not listening, and he responds, “Umm, no, they’re not tired. I think their batteries died.”

Kids learn by taking risks. They see if one approach works, and if it fails, they try something else.

Of course, every risk means something could go wrong. But it also means something could go right. The road to success is paved with the flagstones of failure.

For some reason, as we get older, we become more risk averse.

Yet not taking risks could be the biggest mistake of all.

You can’t be perfect all the time. You never will be. So don’t beat up on yourself when things go wrong. And be willing to try new things. You and your business will only grow if you’re willing to risk being imperfect.

4. Remember to Say Sorry if You Mess Up

Kid Mess

“I made a big mess, Mommy. I sorry!”

Taking risks will mean that things go wrong sometimes. It’s part of life.

As they explore the world, kids make all kinds of messes. They might unravel a full roll of toilet paper around your lounge, sprinkle baby powder on your bedroom carpet, or drop their toy cars down the toilet.

But when they find out this isn’t the best idea, they know how to make things right. They say “sorry.”

There’s no shame in admitting you messed up and apologizing. Your customers will respect your honesty and appreciate that you’re upfront with them. Just look at what happened when Buffer said sorry after it was hacked. Talking of being honest…

5. Let Your Natural Charm Shine Through

I was at the bank with my 2-year-old, and the teller asked her how she was doing. She said, “I need some monies.”

Upfront, simple honesty is a rare thing in today’s world. As such, it can be charming and disarming.

The trouble is, we’re scared of being vulnerable and opening up to others.

Learn to let go of your fears and allow your whole personality to shine on social media. The internet isn’t the place to hide behind formal stuffiness. It’s time to get real, to be authentic.

Drop the act and start being yourself. And don’t be afraid to crack a joke or two, either!

6. Get Your Priorities Straight

Kid Candy

At the market, my kid said, “Why are you buying beer, Dad? Do you know how much candy we could get with that money?!”

Kids instinctively know what’s important in life. They’re able to follow their inner wisdom and listen to the passion within. In other words, they know what makes them happy, and they’re willing to seek that out.

If they think a ham and jelly sandwich tastes good, that’s what they’ll eat for lunch.

When you’re talking and sharing on social media, don’t just do so out of a desire to get ahead. Listen to your inner wisdom. Share and connect because it matters to you.

As you learn to follow your heart, you’ll find amazing things will grow.

7. Ask Great Questions

At the pool, my little sister asked, “How does that rope stop the deep water from going in the shallow water?”

We recently wrote about why marketers need a beginner’s mind:

Adopting a beginner’s mind means setting aside assumptions and adopting an attitude of openness. The person with beginner’s mind is always willing to learn new things.

As Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki says: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”

One way to find your beginner’s mind is to start asking really obvious questions. Challenge all your assumptions. As you do, you’ll begin to see the world in a new way – which will re-energize everything you do.

Sources of Kid Quotes

  • Buzzfeed – 19 of the Funniest Things Kids Have Ever Said
  • The Stir – Kids Say the Darndest Things…
  • Babble – The Funniest Things Our Kids Have Said
  • Mama’s Boy – 7 Cute Things Toddlers Say

This is a guest post by Anna Crowe of iiWorks.

Hey Girl“Hey girl, you check-in here often?”

“Do you use LinkedIn? Because I think we just connected.”

Not gonna lie: these sort of pick up lines aren’t effective – or even acceptable – to say without an awkward moment of humiliation in the real world. So why do brands think they can jump from the attraction stage to the engagement stage?

Let’s cut the small talk. In a competitive marketplace, brands are in an ongoing search for the perfect mate and are looking to develop long-lasting, meaningful relationships. We all know that we need to be on Google+ to feed the beast of SEO, but how do we develop a relationship in this rapid-fire, overwhelming space of Google+?

Here are 7 ways to slow your roll and show some good, sweet lovin’ to your Google+ community that just may be the game changer.

1. The First Date

Part of being in a relationship is having that anything-is-possible-when-I’m-with-you feeling. Meet your new BFF: Google+ Chrome Extension. When this buddy system is installed, this extension allows you to share Google+ content on Twitter and Facebook (which we all know the Google+ algorithm loves!), bookmark Google+ posts to read later, and receive desktop notifications.

CircleCount is like online dating, it allows you to view Google+ data behind the scenes of any article that you’ve read without being creepy. With CircleCount, you can see a list of all the influencers who have shown your article some love on Google+. So how do you make this work for your brand?

There’s nothing wrong with responding with a +1, but would you take your first date to the mall to shop at Hot Topic? No, we’re not fourteen. Do something that will make the experience memorable and unexpected, go beyond the +1. Try thanking each of those users for sharing your content or strike up a casual conversation. Better yet? Share a piece of their content. All you need is a little human interaction, and you’ll have your audience (and Google) falling in love with you all over again.

2. The Butterflies

Writing a Google+ post is like writing a love letter. We aim for the “awww” or LOL moments, but when there is a lot more competition in the feed it can be difficult to be extraordinary. Your brand message isn’t being heard. So here are our favorite tricks to tailor your copy:

  1. Treat the first line of your post like the meta title tag and pop in a keyword (ONLY if it’s relevant).
  2. Take advantage of Google+ short codes to change your font size.
  3. To bold, try using asterisks “*insert word*”
  4. To italicize, add an underscore with a plus sign “_insert word+”
  5. To underline, add a dash before and after the word “-insert word-“

3. The Ripple Effect

You’re attracted to each other and went for it – and you actually ending up caring about each other. Your original relationship with an influencer is what can cause one action to lead to many actions. This is the ripple effect.
With Google Ripples, size does matter. The visually dynamic, interactive map displays how a Google+ post is shared, and how followers spread that content.

Once you’ve established who your top influencers are, you can now find out who their influencers are and start building long-term relationships. No more walks of shame, no more friend-zone, you’ve finally met your match.

4. Meet In Person

A great +1’er doesn’t necessarily equal a Circle follower till death do us part. Commenting, sharing, and +1s require less effort, which means the stakes are lower. Hosting a Hangout allows for a more intimate face-to-face setting for up to 10 people. By showing your facial expressions, you can communicate so much deeper than what words can convey. With your eyes, your body language, you can inspire trust, positive emotions, and build relationships that give you that competitive edge.

If you want to go public with your relationship, you can broadcast with Hangouts On Air to a larger audience.

5. Let’s Go Back To My Place

Yup, we’ve all heard this same excuse “I like you but not in a “let’s hang out offline” kind of way.” For local businesses, you’ve got to literally put yourself on the map. With Google Maps, you can target your audience where they already exist, increase your reach to potential consumers, and boost your rankings. It’s like picking of a woman at a painting class, you have to understand where they are and how to connect with them.

6. Meeting Her Friends For The First Time

Searching for the perfect brand advocate? Start looking in the Google+ Communities.

When you join a Google+ Community, it’s like meeting your girlfriend’s friends for the first time…awkward and desperate to be cool. With your first post in the Community, you’re starting a conversation. Make it matter. Use an image, comment back, and don’t get in the habit of link dropping. Showing gratitude and paying attention will only make your relationship stronger.

7. Judgment Day

It’s not you. It’s your profile. No relationship is perfect. With a few tweaks to the “About” section and maybe even a new content strategy, your Google+ page can begin to see improvements in its relationship with Google search. Using a free tool such as Steady Demand to conduct a brand page audit, you can enter your Google Plus page’s URL and receive an overview of your page’s strengths and weaknesses.

We use human behavior (e.g. conversations, +1s) to determine how to make brands more relatable and closer to consumers. Browsing an average of three minutes more than Facebook users, Google+ fans can, and will, be wooed by high quality, relevant content and engaging experiences. By nurturing your relationships on Google+, you can cultivate a community of followers to influencers.

With over 4 years of social media experience, Anna Crowe has honed her digital marketing expertise to help develop stellar campaigns at iiWorks in Sydney, Australia. With a wealth of client experience, working on big brands like McDonalds, staySky Hotels & Resorts, ibis World Square Sydney, and Hearst Magazine, Anna’s passion for social continues to grow with every new grumpy cat picture. When we’re not talking social, Anna is a mom to Norman, the Basset Hound, and enjoys dancing to 80’s music (yes, she wants to dance with somebody!). Chat with her on Google+.

Twitter Appealing CompaniesWhy would a business use Twitter? What’s so appealing about Twitter to companies?

Rather than tell you what we think (we’re biased – this is a social media blog, after all), we’ve put together a collection of facts and figures to show you just what’s so special about Twitter.

Once you’ve finished, you’ll know exactly why Twitter is appealing to companies.

Ready for the ride? Then let’s get started!

1. Tweets Mean Sales

When people follow your business on Twitter, the chances of them buying from you immediately increases. Research shows that two thirds (67%) of Twitter users are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on the network.

On the other side of the coin, 34% of marketers say they’ve generated leads from Twitter, and 50% of technology companies have acquired at least one customer through Twitter.

2. Your Customers Are Waiting to Follow You

Almost a third (30%) of Twitter’s half-a-billion users follow a brand on the network. That’s a lot of people your business could be talking to.

3. People Go on Twitter for Help Making Purchases

Over the past two years, the number of Twitter users asking for product recommendations has increased 663%. If you have a Twitter account, it makes it easier for people to recommend you – they can just link to your Twitter profile in a Tweet.

4. Your Competitors Are Already on Twitter

Seven in ten small businesses are already using Twitter. And 77% of the Fortune 100 have at least one representative on Twitter. If that’s not enough for you, consider that 93% of marketers use social media in their businesses. Stay away from Twitter for much longer, and you’ll fall behind.

5. You Don’t Need to Be Young to Be Social

Feel like you’re too old to learn? The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is 55-64-year-olds. The number of users in this age bracket has increased by 79% since 2012. If they can do it, you can, too.

6. Twitter Is Still Growing Fast

Want to go where things are hot? Head to Twitter. As of January 2014, over half (53%) of Twitter uses have been members for less than a year. On Facebook, this figure is just 19%.

7. Most Twitter Users Are Active

Want to talk to your customers and find out what they think? Then Twitter is the place to go. Three quarters (76%) of Twitter users actually send out tweets. This is up from 47% in 2010.

8. Twitter Is the Most Popular B2B Platform

Some 85% of marketers say they use Twitter to make B2B connections. There’s a good reason for that. Twitter is the networker’s social network. If you want to meet new people online, especially people with influence, there’s no better place to go than Twitter.

9. Twitter Means Customer Service

Consumers are increasingly turning to social media when they need help with a purchase they’ve made. And they expect to hear back quickly. Eight in ten (81%) of Twitter users expect companies to respond the same day to questions and complaints. You can’t respond if you’re not using Twitter.

10. You’ll Create Glowing Feelings Around Your Brand

Research shows that 85% of your Twitter followers will feel more connected to your brand after following you.

So what’s not to love? Head over to Twitter and sign up today. Don’t forget to follow Social Caffeine!

* Social Media Stats You Need to Know for 2014
* Twitter for Small Business: Facts, Stats & Tips (INFOGRAPHIC)
* 103 Crazy Social Media Statistics to Kick off 2014
* 116 Amazing Twitter Statistics