Did you ever stop to realize March Madness is about more than basketball? Oh sure, the games take center stage and can put your life on hold, especially in the early rounds when Cinderella stories unfold. However, March Madness also equates to a make or break time of year for marketing and sales.

Come the end of March you are already a quarter of the way through 2016, and you better have a strategy in place for rocking your digital efforts. If not, the madness sets in as you grapple with how to keep pace with your more digital savvy competitors—you know, the folks who connect with clients and prospects on LinkedIn, and share their smarts and nurture followers with blogs, email tips and newsletters, and webcasts. Even more maddening, they have awesome websites and they know how to promote their content using LinkedIn and Twitter.

How do they do this? Who has the band-width, not to mention the time? It’s enough to make you go stark raving mad.

However, before you totally lose it, let me help you. In my upcoming ShoeFitts Digital Institute broadcast, Can Social Media Marketing Work for You?, I address and coach listeners through many of the key issues that keep people on the bench. I diagram examples, plus provide tips, sample schedules, and time-saving rituals.

My broadcast also includes guidance on when and how to seek outside assistance, and digital tools that can help make your life easier. Believe me, I couldn’t do half of the social media marketing we do at ShoeFitts if it wasn’t for some spiffy tools that make our lives much easier.

So let me be your point guard, and toss you my top five favorite tools (if you want my full list, check out my Ultimate Digital Gear Guide) This five-page tip sheet is filled with creative, smart ways to help you elevate your game.

 

  1. Feedly – My favorite content curation tool, Feedly lets me customize my own digital newspaper. You pick the topics and/or sources and Feedly provides you with just the news you want to read. When I find something worth sharing with my tribe, I pass it along using social media and include a sentence or two letting them know why I think the article is relevant. Be sure to include that personalization step so your value-add is clear.
  2. Buffer – This wonderful scheduler can take all those article gems you want to share and post them on the days and hours you designate. This way you can find several good articles at one time, but then spread out your shares so you don’t bombard people with them all at once, and you post at the times that will give you the best visibility.
  3. Evernote – So what do you do with those articles you want to keep for future reference? Print them out? Download them and stick them in a folder on your computer? Nah. With Evernote, you can keep all those articles, plus create to-do lists, in a virtual file. Now you don’t waste paper (or wonder where the heck you put the article) and you don’t clog up your computer memory. Even better, when you do a Google search, your saved Evernote articles can show up in the sidebar so you know whether or not you already have similar material.
  4. Visual Thesaurus – For a small fee this great mapping tool takes a ho-hum word and visually blows it out to show a variety of options. Find one you like better? Don’t stop there, click on it and you get another slew of word choices.
  5. LeadPages – In my Throwing Down a Website Drawbridge blog I discussed the importance of creating lead magnets; those content gems that bring people to your site and help you build a permission-based contact list. LeadPages helps you design the content you want to share and it can help you capture and convert your website visitors to get them onto your mailing list.

 

Digital marketing is here to stay. It impacts your entire marketing effort, more importantly, your bottom line. So, run with the ball and start executing your social media marketing game plan today.

 

ABOUT SHERI:
With 25 years in the financial services industry, Sheri is a recognized influencer, popular social media speaker, and a creative marketing force. As president of ShoeFitts Marketing, she collaborates with broker/dealers, financial advisors, third-party administrators, and financial professionals to help them leverage marketing tools and social media strategies to make meaningful connections that build business and grow sales.

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