Day 15: Review Your Site

Today's SYS Challenge: Review Your Site #socialtranslator
Today’s SYS Challenge: Review Your Site #socialtranslator

Imagine this, if you will…

You’ve done it: achieved the pinnacle of social media success.

Your insightful commentary, careful curation and witty repartee has finally convinced your dream client that you’re The One!

They beat a hasty path to your front door website. They’re enthused and excited, eager to work with you, clutching a credit card in one sweaty hand…

Then they stop dead in their tracks.

This website… where’s the…? But how do I…? What the…? AARRGGHH!!!

Hear that? That’s the sound of your dream client clicking away to another website.

/imaginary time over.

Sigh. So close.

Bounce rate, and why it matters

In real life, this probably happens more often than you think.

In fact, you can get an idea of just how often by checking your bounce rate in your website’s analytics.

This represents the number of people who arrive at your site but then leave it again fairly quickly.

In other words, someone may have entered a question into a search box and your site was selected by the search engine gods as a likely candidate to answer their question (yes!! that thing we’re always trying to achieve with SEO!! It’s happened!!!). That someone then selected your site above all the other results that appeared, and when they got to your site…

… Nope. They left again.

Or, intrigued by your magnetic social presence, they clicked through to your website to check you out some more. Only…

… Nope. You’ve lost them again.

Now, there are many valid reasons why your site may not be what a searcher is looking for. (And you may need to consider your messaging if your site consistently attracts the wrong kind of visitors).

But there are many more reasons why your site COULD and SHOULD have been exactly that, with just a little tweaking.

All the social success in the world means nothing if your site sucks (and I’m not even talking about design).

How can we make sure this doesn’t (continue to) happen to you?

We’ve come a long way from the idea of your website being akin to an online shopfront.

These days, people equate their experience of a website as a seamless extension of their interactions with YOU.

We’re talking shop front, entrance, front desk, waiting area, consultation room, back office AND exit here.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need a fancy website. It doesn’t even mean your site has to be the prettiest on the block.

What it does mean – for our purposes today, at least – is that your site content and basic structure needs to meet the expectations of your ideal potential client, regardless of which stage they are at in their buyer journey.

Think of it like this:

If your social media activities are tasty little bread crumbs you leave for your ideal clients, you need to make sure those bread crumbs lead up to, in to and right through your front door.

So how do you achieve this without a billion-dollar budget?

Here’s what I suggest (even with a billion-dollar budget):

  • Make a list of all the questions your ideal potential client might have in mind when they visit your website. Draw on your own experience of online shopping or browsing for service providers to help you.

Is this person in my price range? How do I know she’s any good? How do I know she’s not just going to fleece me? Do I even really want to hire a translator? I like what I see but I don’t want to contact him until I’m ready to go ahead – how can I find out more without having to email him? – that sort of thing.

  • Next, make a list of all the potential actions your  ideal buyer might take while engaging with your website.

For example, checking your About page to get a sense of who you are, finding your social media profiles to get more of a sense of who you are, signing up to your email newsletter to learn even more about who you are, and finally, maybe, eventually, sending you an email.

  • Now, put yourself in your buyer’s shoes and see what you can do to make the process as simple, clear and streamlined as possible.

How easy is it to find answers to those questions, to take those key actions? How much text do they have to trawl through to get to what they need? How many clicks does it take to get to the most important (for them) information on your site? How can you streamline, polish or otherwise simplify their journey as buyers? What information can you add, remove, or otherwise improve?

  • Make changes, edits, tweaks. Measure, finetune, watch your bounce rate go down.

There you have it. Imaginary tales, breadcrumb trails and brick-and-mortar analogies, all in one sweet, sweet blog post. Only here, my friends. Only here 🙂

—–

A Social Media Challenge!

Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to do one thing each day in October that will have an impact on your social presence in the longer term.

Each weekday in October, I’m going to suggest a task to work on for whatever pocket of time you can carve out that day. You can choose to follow my suggestion, adjust it to suit your circumstances, or come up with an alternative – whatever makes most sense for you. Or just dip in and out as it suits.

Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the blog. Let me know how you’re getting on by using the hashtag #socialtranslator (so I can find you!). If you find it helpful, please give me a thumbs up, a like or a share – that’s how I’ll know you’re finding it useful, and it’ll help other translators join in too.

 

Day 14: Translators – Social Is The New SEO!

Today's SYS Challenge: Simplify Your SEO #socialtranslator
Today’s SYS Challenge: Simplify Your SEO #socialtranslator

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the term used to describe the things you can do to make it more likely that your website will be found in response to a query made by a someone in a search engine.

SEO, Social Media… What’s The Connection?

It used to be that when we spoke about SEO, really, we were speaking about Google. (Sorry, Bing, but it’s true).

But SEO also includes the searches that happen on social media. And these days, that’s where a significant volume of search takes place, a whole world apart from Google.

Consider:

  • YouTube is the second largest search-engine in the world, after Google. 1.
  • Facebook sees thousands of searches a day – searches that are highly targeted to the formation of human relationships (i.e. one of the building blocks of business). 2.
  • Twitter had over 2.1. billion search queries a day, as of January 2014. That’s a lot of potential traffic. 3.

Marketing pundits been claiming for some time now that social is the new SEO.

In other words, potential buyers may be just as likely to search for you on Facebook or Twitter as they are on on Google.

Seems like the icing atop all this social media malarkey, don’t you think? 🙂

Maximising Your Social Activities for SEO

The great thing about this is, you may not have to worry about the SEO aspect of social.

If you are clear on your goals, know your buyer, and are using your chosen platform in a focussed way, chances are you’re already fully optimised for that platform’s search engine.

Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. Who knew SEO could be so simple, right?!

But if you’re hankering for some more pointers in the area of SEO in general, here’s my round-up of SEO-friendly things to bear in mind when publishing on social media (or anywhere online, for that matter).

Simple But Effective Pointers for SEO-Friendly Content

  • ALWAYS keep your buyer in mind. Write in the language they use and understand. Anticipate and answer their questions.
  • Remember you’re optimising for two very different parties when it comes to SEO: the search engine, and the person scanning the returned search. The key is cover what matters to both parties without forsaking one for the other.
  • Each social platform has its own method of categorising the information contained within it, and this will generally play into their search engine. They may call these categories hashtags, pages, boards, or collections – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you understand what your chosen platform values, and how you can best offer that. When your ideal buyer searches for something in your sphere of interest, you want the platform AND the client to understand that YOU are the best answer.
  • Business listings on Google: If you work with a local audience, a local business listing on Google+ and Google Maps is a no-brainer, if you can get verified. The requirements for these change all the time, but at the time of writing (Oct 2015), if you work with an international audience as many translators do, you may be better served by a Google Brand Page… Look, I’m not convinced that simply signing up for a thousand different platforms is the best use of your time. But Google is Google, so in this case, I say go for it.
  • Make sure you link to your website on every single platform you’re on. This directs traffic (when people click though) and is a form of link building – both of which count towards SEO.
  • If you use Facebook for professional purposes, consider adjusting your Privacy Settings so your public posts are searchable in search engines. (Settings > Privacy > Who can look me up? > Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline? > Yes).
  • Become familiar with the keywords used by your potential buyers on your platform. The ideas under “So what can we do?” in this post are a good starting point for this. Make a point of using those precise words and phrases. This sends a signal to the person AND to the search engine that you’re a good match. Remember those sociolinguistic lectures (or Marie Claire dating advice columns), where they said that reflecting your partner’s body language builds rapport? It’s exactly like that 🙂

And there you go. Sorting your social really can help with your SEO, too.

—–

A Social Media Challenge!

Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to do one thing each day in October that will have an impact on your social presence in the longer term.

Each weekday in October, I’m going to suggest a task to work on for whatever pocket of time you can carve out that day. You can choose to follow my suggestion, adjust it to suit your circumstances, or come up with an alternative – whatever makes most sense for you. Or just dip in and out as it suits.

Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the blog. Let me know how you’re getting on by using the hashtag #socialtranslator (so I can find you!). If you find it helpful, please give me a thumbs up, a like or a share – that’s how I’ll know you’re finding it useful, and it’ll help other translators join in too.

Day 13: Words to Images: Visual Marketing for Translators

Today's SYS Challenge: Add lovely images! #socialtranslator
Today’s SYS Challenge: Add lovely images! #socialtranslator

Why Pictures Matter to Translators

As wordsmiths, images are not necessarily the first thing we think of when it comes to showcasing our expertise.

Yet consider this:

  • Photos are liked twice as much as text updates on Facebook 1 and account for 87% of all interactions on brand pages 2.
  • Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favourites and 150% more retweets than solely text-based ones. 2
  • 60% of buyers are more likely to consider or contact a business whose images appear in search results. 3

Visual content is eminently “snackable”, which is – like it or not – how we consume content online these days.

People are drawn to images, especially of other people, and social media platforms have become increasingly image centric to reflect this.

Best of all, images are a great way to communicate to multiple language groups as they can transcend language barriers.

The fact is, if translators want to get noticed online, we need to use visual marketing more effectively.

Using Images to Market Translation Services

The first thing I think of when it comes to using visuals in my social media is my branding: a customised Twitter background, prettified Facebook page, and so on.

This is like the low-hanging fruit to this aspect of the challenge. It’s a once-off task, and relatively quick, easy and even fun to do, with platforms like Canva making templates available for free online.

But to be truly effective, consider incorporating images across all aspects of your social media – it’s not nearly as easy, but it’s certainly a way to see real progress towards your goals.

Visual marketing covers a range of content types. For example:

  • video
  • graphics
  • slide decks
  • text-based images, quotes, etc.
  • infographics
  • photos

A great option for service professionals to build their reputation and demonstrate their expertise is to share slides on a platform geared to professional development, such as SlideShare or even LinkedIn.

The key is to think laterally about ourselves, but even more so about our clients and the kind of things they are looking to learn.

There are plenty of ways you can DIY the creation of your images. Platforms like Canva, PicMonkey or PiktoChart provide a cornucopia of templates which make it easy to pull together something attractive.

But remember: if your visuals are going to work, you need to distill one idea down to its most basic form in as few a words as possible. You need to present it in a way that tells a story or answers a buyer question.

The goal – as always – is to do what works, not just what looks pretty.

Translate Words To Images

Translating words and ideas to image-form is a skill in and of itself.

And I’ll be honest – as one of the least visually artistic people I know, I have little to offer by way of advice on how best to do it.

But I do know that, like all languages, are there rules and guidelines and conventions you can follow that make it more likely you’ll achieve the kind of outcomes you want.

So even if you hire someone to help you with this aspect of your marketing, it’s still worth learning the basics of how to communicate in visual form.

Think of it as a microskill, with applications in lots of different areas aside from just your social media.

So, what you can you do today to step your visual game up a notch?

Further reading

—-

A Social Media Challenge!

Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to do one thing each day in October that will have an impact on your social presence in the longer term.

Each weekday in October, I’m going to suggest a task to work on for whatever pocket of time you can carve out that day. You can choose to follow my suggestion, adjust it to suit your circumstances, or come up with an alternative – whatever makes most sense for you. Or just dip in and out as it suits.

Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the blog. Let me know how you’re getting on by using the hashtag #socialtranslator (so I can find you!). If you find it helpful, please give me a thumbs up, a like or a share – that’s how I’ll know you’re finding it useful, and it’ll help other translators join in too.

Day 12: Join Me for a Live Chat

Today's SYS Challenge: Join me for a live chat! #socialtranslator
Today’s SYS Challenge: Join me for a live chat! #socialtranslator

Come Blab With Me

On Friday, I’m going to attempt another live chat on video streaming platform, Blab.im. I’d love if you could join me. (Details below)

There’ll be no presentation, just a casual, informal chat.

Assuming all goes well and we do, in fact, go live (!), I’d love to hear from you: 

How are you going on social media? What’s working for you? What’s not? What are your plans for the weekend??

So grab a cuppa, get your earphones plugged in and your webcam* face on, and let’s figure out Blab together!

(*optional – both the webcam AND the webcam-ready face :))

Details

Friday 23th October 

4am PST / 7am EDT / 11am UTC / 12pm BST / 1pm CEST / 7pm AWST / 9pm AEST / 10pm AEDT / 12am NZDT 

(Note this is an hour later than our last Blab)

I’ll probably hang out for about 20 – 30 mins. I’m happy to take comments and questions via the chat box or webcam.

I plan to make the recording available for 24 hours afterwards.

To join us click this link and subscribe. If there are any issues on the day, I’ll keep you posted via Twitter.

If you click through before the Blab is due to begin (go on, give it a try now!), you’ll be able to subscribe to the event and get a notification when it’s about to start.

A bit about Blab.im

You can download the iPhone app or log in online at Blab.im, either on your PC or via Chrome on your Android smartphone.

You’ll need a Twitter account to sign in, or I believe you can lurk anonymously without a Twitter account. (But don’t do that. We’d miss you!)

Hope to see you there!

Further Reading

  • Nothing at all! Blab was designed to have a super low barrier to entry. So why not just dive straight in?!
  • The Ultimate Guide to Blab by Jocelyn Gonzalez on Marc Levy’s blog.

—–

A Social Media Challenge!

Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to do one thing each day in October that will have an impact on your social presence in the longer term.

Each weekday in October, I’m going to suggest a task to work on for whatever pocket of time you can carve out that day. You can choose to follow my suggestion, adjust it to suit your circumstances, or come up with an alternative – whatever makes most sense for you. Or just dip in and out as it suits.

Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the blog. Let me know how you’re getting on by using the hashtag #socialtranslator (so I can find you!). If you find it helpful, please give me a thumbs up, a like or a share – that’s how I’ll know you’re finding it useful, and it’ll help other translators join in too.

Day 11: Write Good Headlines

Today's SYS Challenge: Write Your Headlines #socialtranslator
Today’s SYS Challenge: Re-write Your Headlines #socialtranslator

Why headlines matter on social

No matter your goals for social media, chances are they start with someone reading a headline you’ve written.

Headline writing is a subset of copywriting, but it’s a subset that matters more than any other. More people will see your headlines than will ever see the rest of your content.

These are the words that get your article, website, email, or online profile read. They’re include your email subject lines and status updates, among other things.

Without them, you have no eyeballs, no clicks, no action, and ultimately, no sales, so they’re definitely worth some TLC.

How can I improve my headline writing skills?

It’s easy to evaluate your abilities in this area, and it’s easy to measure your progress too. This makes it an area ripe for investment of your valuable time and energy.

Here’s how to see where you stand:

Log in to your social platform of choice, and check your analytics for the number of impressions or views your tweets or updates are getting. Now compare this to the number of actual click throughs to your website, article or other item you’ve shared. This is a metric you can improve with better headline-writing skills.

There are a multitude of formulas you can follow to improve your click-through rate. (See further reading, below).

But before getting too carried away, remember: there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

The words that work for you in a headline will vary based on your platform, audience and field. It’s a process of tweak, observe, then tweak again.

Saying that, here are some words I’ve seen mentioned that might be worth including to start with.

Five kinds of words you can start using to craft more effective headlines:

  1. You, your: make it about your reader.
  2. This: introduces a level of specificity and immediacy that draws the reader in.
  3. What, which, when: questions drastically increase average click-through rates.
  4. Why: another question, but can also be used to create a curiosity gap, e.g. why x did y, etc. This piques curiosity.
  5. Best, worst, biggest, and so on: superlatives imply a level of authority, and can trigger an argumentative impulse in the reader (remember: people get sick of sensationalism and obvious baiting pretty quickly – you want just enough interest to encourage them to click through.)

Above all, remember to write like a human, even when that means breaking the “rules” of grammar!

I appreciate how hard this can be for translators. But ultimately, what matters here standing out just a little, drawing the eye for a fraction of a second longer than anything else.

In a crowded inbox, stream or feed, full of the robotic, stilted or plain weird, what stands out is humanity in all its messy, imperfect glory.

And sometimes humanity comes with a slightly more informal tone than is appropriate, or lower case where a caps should be. So don’t be afraid to play around a bit.

Sample workflow

I still have much to learn about the practice of writing effective headlines. It’s a satisfying area to work on though, because the results can be so instant, impactful and easily measurable.

As it is such a niche skill, I find it easier to write and/or polish my headlines, updates and email subject lines in batches – several at a time in one sitting, completely separate from any other kind of writing task.

(This can also mean it’s a task that can easily get overlooked or pushed to the side… but that’s why we have this challenge, right?! :))

Finally, it’s also an interesting area to consider getting outside help on, for example by hiring a skilled copywriter to revise your headlines in light of your analytics and to talk you through their thought processes.

So what do you think? Are you ready to (re)write your headlines?

Further reading

—–

A Social Media Challenge!

Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to do one thing each day in October that will have an impact on your social presence in the longer term.

Each weekday in October, I’m going to suggest a task to work on for whatever pocket of time you can carve out that day. You can choose to follow my suggestion, adjust it to suit your circumstances, or come up with an alternative – whatever makes most sense for you. Or just dip in and out as it suits.

Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the blog. Let me know how you’re getting on by using the hashtag #socialtranslator (so I can find you!). If you find it helpful, please give me a thumbs up, a like or a share – that’s how I’ll know you’re finding it useful, and it’ll help other translators join in too.

Day 10: Grow Influence, Not Followers

Today's SYS Challenge: Grow Your Influence #socialtranslator
Today’s SYS Challenge: Grow Your Influence #socialtranslator

Grow your influence, not just your followers

Influence has currency, both online and in the wider business world. It’s what opens doors, makes things happen and ultimately helps you reach your personal and professional goals.

One way you can build influence online is to use social media to build meaningful professional relationships with people who can help you reach your target buyer.

These people are known as influencers and may not themselves be your target buyers. 

The idea behind this is that it’s a lot easier to build professional relationships with a smaller number of people who, in turn, have the ability to influence their followers, than it is to try to build meaningful relationships with all those end followers directly.

Of course this approach can be used in a sleazy or inappropriate way. But it can also be used to build mutually satisfying business and maybe even eventually, personal relationships.

How do I find influencers?

The influencers in your sphere will become apparent the more you research your target buyer. Who do your buyers follow? Regularly read? Share, comment or otherwise engage with? 

A lot of the techniques I outlined in this post will also help you learn more about your key influencers.

It pays to keep an open mind here: your influencers may be several steps removed from the translation or localisation world.

For example, when I’m looking for information on the latest SEO strategies, I head straight to the horse’s mouth – Moz, Hubspot, or QuickSprout are my main ports of call.

But when it comes to information about tax, regulations, or other country-specific information relating to small business, my main sources of information tend to be the general press, and maybe, my accountant (they’re not terribly proactive, to be honest).

So someone looking to influence my buying decisions relating to SEO training, software, or even SEO-friendly web design or copywriting, for example, would do well to feature in a guest post on Moz.

A seller of bookkeeping, legal or other professional services, however, would be guaranteed my attention if they were referred to me by my accountant, or quoted in an article on small business in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The point here is, you need to think upstream, downstream and sideways from the interests, needs and desires of your target buyers to find the influencers that are likely to magnify your marketing efforts.

That’s what’s going to see you get the best return on the resources you invest in your online marketing.

Then what?

Once you’ve found your key influencers, you can work out where your interests and goals overlap. Use this to build an appropriate outreach campaign.

Social media is always a great place to start, but make sure you move to a mode of communication that can facilitate a deeper connection over time, such as email, calls, face-to-face meet ups, and so on.

Again, the ultimate goal here – as it is with all networking – is to build a mutually satisfying and meaningful relationship. (And that just doesn’t happen on social media alone.)

Now, doesn’t that sound a lot more interesting than chasing random and meaningless “followers” on your social media accounts?!

Go for it!

Further Reading

  • Episode #28 of The High Income Business Writing Podcast, hosted by Ed Gandia: John Corcoran is the go-to guy on networking these days, and in this podcast interview he summarises his approach. There’s lots of actionable tips on identifying influencers and networking in general – check it out, especially if you dislike networking 🙂
  • Chapter 7: Outreach of The Complete Guide to Building Your Blog Audience, by Neil Patel: OK, this is targeted at bloggers. But honestly, it’s like a super-dooper primer for everything you’d ever need to know about reaching out to influencers, including email scripts and spreadsheets (oooooh, spreadsheets!). Read it.
  • How to Find Influencers Who Already Want to Share and Link to Your Content, by Mark Trueman on the Kissmetrics Blog: This very detailed post does just what it says on the tin, but forget about the content aspect – use the same techniques to research exactly who is sharing content on translation in your field, and you’ve got yourself an incredible list of influencers right there. Awesome stuff.

—–

A Social Media Challenge!

Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to do one thing each day in October that will have an impact on your social presence in the longer term.

Each weekday in October, I’m going to suggest a task to work on for whatever pocket of time you can carve out that day. You can choose to follow my suggestion, adjust it to suit your circumstances, or come up with an alternative – whatever makes most sense for you. Or just dip in and out as it suits.

Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the blog. Let me know how you’re getting on by using the hashtag #socialtranslator (so I can find you!). If you find it helpful, please give me a thumbs up, a like or a share – that’s how I’ll know you’re finding it useful, and it’ll help other translators join in too.

Day 9: Plan Your Content

Today's SYS Challenge: Plan Your Content #socialtranslator
Today’s SYS Challenge: Plan Your Content #socialtranslator

Why share content in the first place?

Sharing content on social media is a fantastic way to take the temperature of your potential buyers.

With some forethought, you can use your content to move people through your sales funnel.

Checking in with your metrics on a regular basis and adjusting your content accordingly allows you to educate yourself about your clients and their needs.

Some parts of this are easy, some parts not so much…

Let’s face it – in an era of information overload, it’s not hard to find content to share online.

What’s harder is sharing content in a way that’s quick, easy and feels “natural”.

The way to do that, is to integrate sharing with your normal content production and/or consumption habits.

(I know the term “content consumption” can sound gross to delicate linguist ears. But it so neatly summarises the multitude of ways we can interact with and draw meaning from a range of media… So, until a better term comes along, I’m afraid I’m going to have to stick with it. But for good reason, I promise, so stay with me!).

Thankfully, with all the content sharing tools available, it’s not hard to do that either.

Which means we can easily have access to a ready pipeline of shared content across our social media platforms.

What’s harder is sharing the right content.

And this is where being clear on your audience and your goals can save the day.

Here are three quick tips on how to handle some of the harder aspects of planning your content on social media.

1. Get really effective

If you want to take things up a notch, you could overlay your sales funnel, your client’s buying cycle and your existing content to see where the gaps are.

This way, you’re clear on the content your audience is looking for AND on what you want readers to do when they find it, which is a magical sweet spot.

(Remember, we’re looking for action, not just eyeballs here).

Planning my editorial calendar in my local library this week

A photo posted by Sarah Dillon (@sarahmdillon) on

(Image above) The not-very-high-tech way I planned a year’s worth of content for a blog, social media channels and newsletter once.

Plug all of this into a calendar of some sort, and you’ve got yourself a potentially potent starting point for your online marketing.

2. Recycle your updates

Remember: good content can and should be shared multiple times across multiple platforms.

Here’s why:

Unlike email, social media is a constant stream of noise that people dip in and out of, as they choose.

There’s not the same sense of having to keep up, not miss anything or catch every single post and update. So the chances of everyone seeing your update the one time you share it? Nil.

For this reason, share your updates multiple times, at different times of different days, to catch different sets of people each time.

3. Maintain a content library

Create and keep a library of evergreen resources that you know resonate well with your audience. That way, you have a constant stash of updates you can recycle and share across your platforms.

This also makes it easier to review what’s working well, and where your gaps are.

Example workflow

In general, when it comes to social media, I keep my sharing activities and my interacting activities completely separate. I find this helps me to be more effective with my time, and I just enjoy it more.

Here’s how I find useful content to share, in a way that’s quick, easy and in line with my goals:

  • I use Feedly to keep up with my favourite websites, and I check in there every couple of days.
  • If I find an article I like, and I know is likely to resonate with one of my personas, I add it to Buffer with one click either from Feedly or (my preferred route), from the article itself in Chrome.
  • I can also choose which platform I’d like to share it to at this point. I use different social media accounts to appeal to different audience profiles, but at the moment, I’m focussing on my Twitter account @sarahdillon so that’s where I’ll generally send it.
  • I’ve set up my Buffer to share a steady stream of content on specific days at specific times, to cover the multiple time zones I know my audience are located in. So when I add something to my library, it automatically queues it up to be shared at the next most appropriate time.
  • For time-specific things like event reminders, regular recycling of my own content (e.g. 10, 30, and 90 days after publishing, etc), or content related to particular cultural holidays or events, I’ll generally use either Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule updates 2 – 3 months in advance. This just depends on whichever platform is easiest for me to access when I think about it.

For more engaging, real-time interactions, I do the following:

  • I’m currently checking in to Hootsuite every day or so to interact with people and see what’s happening in “real time”. This is unusually frequent for me.
  • When I log in (almost always on my phone), I’ll check and respond to replies, mentions, and so on, and chat with a couple of people for about 10 – 15 mins.
  • If I find something shareworthy during this time, I’ll either add it to my Buffer to be “dripped” out over time, or I may share it straight away.

And that’s pretty much it.

The thing to remember here is there is no award for spending the most, or least, amount of time on social media.

What matters are your goals and your personal communication style.

So get planning!

—–

A Social Media Challenge!

Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to do one thing each day in October that will have an impact on your social presence in the longer term.

Each weekday in October, I’m going to suggest a task to work on for whatever pocket of time you can carve out that day. You can choose to follow my suggestion, adjust it to suit your circumstances, or come up with an alternative – whatever makes most sense for you. Or just dip in and out as it suits.

Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the blog. Let me know how you’re getting on by using the hashtag #socialtranslator (so I can find you!). If you find it helpful, please give me a thumbs up, a like or a share – that’s how I’ll know you’re finding it useful, and it’ll help other translators join in too.

Week 2 Update: Where did I go?!

Post a challenge every day in October, she said! So what happened this week?!

A quick update: what happened, why it doesn’t matter, and the three things I’m doing to fix it.

Roll on next week… 🙂

—–

A Social Media Challenge!

Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to do one thing each day in October that will have an impact on your social presence in the longer term.

Each weekday in October, I’m going to suggest a task to work on for whatever pocket of time you can carve out that day. You can choose to follow my suggestion, adjust it to suit your circumstances, or come up with an alternative – whatever makes most sense for you. Or just dip in and out as it suits.

Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the blog. Let me know how you’re getting on by using the hashtag #socialtranslator (so I can find you!). If you find it helpful, please give me a thumbs up, a like or a share – that’s how I’ll know you’re finding it useful, and it’ll help other translators join in too.

Day 8: Develop Your Unique Voice

Today's SYS Challenge: Develop Your Voice #socialtranslator
Today’s SYS Challenge: Develop Your Voice #socialtranslator

As translators, we’re also writers. This gives us a huge advantage when it comes to communicating our message online.

It doesn’t matter if we work with patents, advertising copy, or subtitles in our day-to-day: there’s so much we already understand about communication that – combined with just a little forethought, direction and imagination – we can apply this to our online interactions with great success.

One such aspect is voice.

The Value Of Voice

Translators do more than merely understand the value of voice: we also know how to detect, decipher, and replicate it in an entirely different language, and sometimes for an entirely different audience too.

We also understand that so many of the decisions we make in creating a voice come down to understanding what needs to be achieved when our text reaches its intended audience.

Well, the same applies to voice in our online marketing – except it’s even easier, because it’s our voice, and it’s just ONE language 🙂

This is great! What an ace to have up our collective sleeve!! Translators should be totally dominating the online world right now!!! Amiright??

Except, in case you haven’t noticed, we’re not. Now, why is that?

You Need To Develop Your Voice

It seems that when it comes to establishing a voice of our own, genii that we are, us translators are not so quick to apply our superpowers for our own good.

Let’s change that, shall we?

Because if you communicate across social channels with peers, colleagues or clients, you can benefit from the increased engagement that a clear voice can bring.

Let me be clear here: you don’t need a blog to develop a voice.

But if you do have a blog, it can help to think of it this way:

As many men and no doubt unrecorded women far wiser than I have said, there’s nothing new in the world.

No topic you can cover, no point you can make, no conclusion you can draw that hasn’t already been aired.

What sets you and what you have to say apart from everyone else, is not what you say, but the way in which you say it.

This is your voice, and it’s what makes you unique.

Your worldview, your experiences, and yes, even your personality (albeit, perhaps, a more watered-down version of some of your less-than-desirable traits…? Just a thought ;)).

It’s your voice that enables your audience to know, like and trust you, and it’s what keeps people reading, clicking, and acting on what you have to say.

Which is kind of the point of what we’re all doing here, no?

Two Final Points To Consider

If you’re finding it hard to develop your voice, or if you have your voice down but don’t seem to be gaining traction online, Michael Hyatt has an excellent tip on positioning: clarify your role in relation to your clients.

Know where you stand in your field: recognised expert, trusted guide, or fellow traveller? – via @MichaelHyatt http://bit.ly/1e4q55N

Sometimes it can feel like we have to take the “expert” route, even when it may not ring true to ourselves or our audience.

But not every client wants or needs a well-seasoned expert – there are plenty of clients keen to find partners who are willing to grow and learn alongside or just a couple of steps ahead of them.

And finally, regardless of how technical your field is, remember that when it comes to writing for the web, the (very) general rule of thumb is: if you wouldn’t say it, don’t write it.

Writing for the web is not like writing for other media. If you want your readers to stick around, it requires a light hand and deft touch. Think of it as plain English, plus.

Note that this isn’t the same as dumbed down, fluffy or inconsequential, though, just as being personable isn’t the same as being personal.

If you’re still in any doubt, check out the website for this law firm for an interesting example of how you can convey a professional tone in a serious field with an informal voice.

Now, if these guys can do it, why can’t we? Enjoy! 🙂

Further Reading

  • 10 Steps To Finding Your Writing Voice, by Jeff Goins (you’ll need to scroll down for the article). A nice overview of why your blog needs a voice, with some excellent exercises to help you determine it.
  • Find Your Voice: Blog Like You’re In A Closet, by Brian Lund at Problogger. All the personality tests in the world are no good if you can’t sit down and pull something together. This post closely reflects the mindset that I need to take to (re-)connect with my voice.
  • How To Talk Happy (SlideShare), by Emma Snider on Hubspot Blogs. Practical examples of how to write in a way that doesn’t make you sound like you’re glaring down your nose at your customers. (Hint: If the title of this resource makes you roll your eyes, tut disapprovingly, or gnash your teeth, you need to learn this. Don’t argue. JUST. READ. IT. You’re welcome.)
  • Everybody Writes, by Ann Handley. The single best resource I’ve ever found on writing for the web – scratch that, on writing in general. Compulsory reading for any and all translators of English.

—–

A Social Media Challenge!

Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to do one thing each day in October that will have an impact on your social presence in the longer term.

Each weekday in October, I’m going to suggest a task to work on for whatever pocket of time you can carve out that day. You can choose to follow my suggestion, adjust it to suit your circumstances, or come up with an alternative – whatever makes most sense for you. Or just dip in and out as it suits.

Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the blog. Let me know how you’re getting on by using the hashtag #socialtranslator (so I can find you!). If you find it helpful, please give me a thumbs up, a like or a share – that’s how I’ll know you’re finding it useful, and it’ll help other translators join in too.

Day 7: Join Me for a Live Chat

Today's SYS Challenge: Join me for a live chat! #socialtranslator
Today’s SYS Challenge: Join me for a live chat! #socialtranslator

Come Blab With Me

On Friday, I’m going to attempt my first live chat on video streaming platform, Blab.im. I’d love if you could join me. (Details below)

There’ll be no presentation, just a casual, informal chat.

Assuming all goes well and we do, in fact, go live (!), I’d love to hear from you: How are you going on social media? What’s working for you? What’s not? What are your plans for the weekend??

So grab a cuppa, get your earphones plugged in and your webcam* face on, and let’s figure out Blab together!

(*optional – both the webcam AND the webcam-ready face :))

Details

Friday 9th October 

3am PST / 6am EDT / 10am UTC / 11am BST / 12pm CEST / 6pm AWST / 8pm AEST / 9pm AEDT / 11pm NZDT 

I’ll probably hang out for about 20 – 30 mins. I plan to make the recording available for 24 hours afterwards.

To join us click this link, either now or approaching the scheduled time. 

If you click through before the Blab is due to begin (go on, give it a try now!), you’ll be able to subscribe to the event and get a notification when it’s about to start.

A bit about Blab.im

You can download the iPhone app or log in online at Blab.im, either on your PC or via Chrome on your Android smartphone.

You’ll need a Twitter account to sign in, or I believe you can lurk anonymously without a Twitter account. (But don’t do that. We’d miss you!)

Hope to see you there!

Further Reading

  • Nothing at all! Blab was designed to have a super low barrier to entry. So why not just dive straight in?!
  • The Ultimate Guide to Blab by Jocelyn Gonzalez on Marc Levy’s blog.

—–

A Social Media Challenge!

Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to do one thing each day in October that will have an impact on your social presence in the longer term.

Each weekday in October, I’m going to suggest a task to work on for whatever pocket of time you can carve out that day. You can choose to follow my suggestion, adjust it to suit your circumstances, or come up with an alternative – whatever makes most sense for you. Or just dip in and out as it suits.

Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the blog. Let me know how you’re getting on by using the hashtag #socialtranslator (so I can find you!). If you find it helpful, please give me a thumbs up, a like or a share – that’s how I’ll know you’re finding it useful, and it’ll help other translators join in too.