Lukas Partners’ Best Blogging Practices

The word weblog in the 1990’s has today turned into a phrase with new meaning for organizations because these days, to increase success on the web, “we blog.”

Once known as a source for information that could not be deemed credible, blogs have come a long way, as many organizations continue to board the blog train and share their knowledge track with the world.

As an account executive at Lukas Partners, I write our weekly blog, in addition to helping clients with social media, live video and other aspects of the online world. I have watched blogging become more mainstream and I know bloggers that have gone so far as to make a career out of posting must-see content.

Also gaining steam is the cousin of the blog, the vlog (video blog) and the distant relative, the podcast. These three forms of communication allow organizations to drill down on topics, leaving everything out on the table. Blogs, vlogs and podcasts are known to increase web traffic by providing valuable “current” content to websites.

Instead of daily content, organizations are leaning more toward posting well-polished weekly updates. The key to writing a successful blog can boil down to making sure you are spending the time to create a plan to unveil it on social media. Social media is the stage and the blog is the star. While the star is important, if there’s nowhere for the star to be seen, then, Houston, we have a problem.

Blogging takes patience and relentless consistency. To get optimal results from your blog, I believe you have to put into it what you want to get out of it. It takes time to write a blog, usually around three hours. Vlogging and podcasts also take considerable planning to determine visual elements, as well as talking points. It also takes time to post to social media with the right content and finally, it takes time for a regular blogger to gain followers and engagement on posts.

Here are some recommendations for your organization to get on the fast track to engaging your audiences through a blog:

Strive for blog posts to be approximately 1,000 words in length.

Post towards the end of the work-week, when more people are on social media.

Set up email subscriptions for your audience to receive your blog through email.

Mention your twitter handle and link to allow readers or viewers to subscribe to emails will set up a natural line of communication to keep them coming back for more and build your audience.

Focus on your audience. I believe people read blogs to learn something unique or to hear an interesting story. Key in on who your audience is and try to tailor your posts to keep them interested and engaged.

About the blogger:
LeAnne Morman is an account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with businesses on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

To hear more from Lukas Partners, follow us on Twitter @LukasPartners or subscribe to our newsletter.

 

Take Your Employee Search to Facebook with New Jobs Feature

One of the newest changes on Facebook has employers looking for help and Human Resources departments leaning in a little closer to hear more details. Facebook has a new feature that gives organizations an opportunity to post open job positions.

At Lukas Partners, we are always staying on top of the latest developments in technology and social media to help our clients in the best way possible.

The new jobs bookmark on Facebook allows job seekers to browse open positions in their area and beyond. Organizations can now post for open full time, part time, contract, volunteer and internship positions.

When potential candidates click apply now, it takes them to a form that is then sent to your page as a message. After that, just like any application process, it’s up to the organization to connect from there.

There are two places to post open job positions on Facebook. They both reach the same destination, so it doesn’t matter which you choose. The first is on your page through the jobs section on the left hand side of the screen. The second is directly through the jobs bookmark. Once to the point of posting, you can upload a photo and describe the position. We recommend posting from a desktop or laptop computer.

Job seekers are then able to see your open positions when browsing through the jobs bookmark, or by going directly to your page’s job section.

“This new experience will help businesses find qualified people where they’re already spending their time—on Facebook and on mobile,” a Facebook blog on the topic reads.

It’s no secret, Facebook continues to outrank all other social media platforms when it comes to popularity. This could be a good opportunity for organizations to add another tool to the toolbox when they are seeking out quality candidates to fill open positions. It also gives job seekers another avenue to seek out new positions.

About the blogger:
LeAnne Morman is an account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with businesses on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

To hear more from Lukas Partners, follow us on Twitter @LukasPartners or subscribe to our newsletter.

From Pets to Pancakes, Lukas Partners’ Clients are On the Move

From pets to pancakes, here’s a sample of happenings with some of our clients. These organizations continually make a difference in people’s lives.

Gordmans Plans Love Your Pet Day February 18th

In celebration of National Love Your Pet Day, guests are invited to bring their pets to Gordmans stores on Saturday, Feb. 18, for a tail-wagging good time of shopping, free treats and chances to win terrific prizes.

The first 50 guests at each store will receive a free bag of dog treats. Guests also will have the opportunity to win exciting prizes by registering in-store to win a free pet bed or cat condo, or by snapping a photo with their pets at Gordmans and post the photo on social media with the hashtag #GordmansLovesPets for a chance to win a $150 Gordmans gift card.

Additionally, starting February 15, shoppers will be invited to donate at checkout to Paws With A Cause, and Gordmans will match up to $10,000 in donations. Gordmans also carries a collection of pet merchandise from ASPCA, Dog for Dog, Humane Society of the United States and MuttNation, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this merchandise is donated to these organizations.

Smartphones Simplify Dating Experience

Do you LOVE Valentine’s Day? The majority of Americans do. According to fundivo.com, 55 percent of Americans celebrated Valentine’s Day last year. They spent an estimated $19.7 billion – an average of $147 per person.

If you are struggling to come up with a heart-felt Feb. 14 plan, smartphones have become essential when you build and maintain relationships. According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, smartphone owners use their devices in multiple ways as it relates to dating, especially texting. In fact, 61 percent of people have texted with a potential love interest within a few weeks after a first date.

Lukas Partners’ client U.S. Cellular recommends free apps – such as OpenTable, Bouqs, Vivino, Poynt and Date Night by Care.com – to make the most of your dating venture. These lovely apps can book dinner reservations, buy flowers and have them delivered or help you locate a nearby sitter for your kids.

Pass the Syrup! Pancakes with a Purpose Support Children’s Hospital & Medical Center

On March 7th from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., IHOP locations will serve up free pancakes, in exchange for a free-will donation. Donations will benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which includes Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha. Since National Pancake Day® began in 2006, more than $24 million has been raised for charity. IHOP has set a goal to raise $3.5 million this year to help children battling critical illnesses.

Outlook Nebraska Offers More Immersive Theater Experience for Blind & Visually Impaired

Outlook Nebraska, employer of the blind and visually impaired, is offering a wonderful opportunity for people with vision loss to enjoy the thrills of live theater through live audio description. Audio description allows the blind and visually impaired to more fully enjoy the theater through a verbal description of the stage production during gaps in dialogue. A complete list of all audio-described performances is available at www.outlooknebraska.org/theater. To use the audio description service, please call the theater at least two weeks in advance of the performance.  The audio description is provided at no additional cost. Audio description pre-show will start 30 minutes before the start time.

Nonprofit Association of the Midlands Offers Board Bootcamp

The Nonprofit Association of the Midlands is offering its board member training across Nebraska this spring. NAM partnered with the University of Nebraska Extension to bring Nonprofit Board Boot Camp to seven Nebraska cities. Nonprofit Board Boot Camp began Feb. 8 in Auburn. Sessions will be held in Hastings, North Platte, Chadron, Albion, Laurel and Scottsbluff in the coming weeks.

 

TechHire Kick-Off Boasts Large Crowd

AIM, a not-for-profit dedicated to growing, connecting and inspiring tech talent, is a key partner in Omaha’s TechHire initiative. Omaha was recently chosen as one of 71 communities in the United States by Opportunity@work, a nonprofit leading the charge to expand Americans’ access to career opportunities. In partnership with the Greater Omaha Chamber and Omaha Code School, AIM and its Interface Web School will help train, educate and connect job seekers to employer partners in the tech industry, creating a more diverse tech workforce in the Silicon Prairie. Through education and career development, AIM reaches thousands of people each year.

 

Transforming Trends in Social Media

Social media is evolving every day with new ways for organizations to reach their audience. In 2016 we saw the rise of Snapchat and Instagram stories and live video, among other things. As technology advances, social media has been along for the ride. We’ve come a long way from brick cell phones and giant, heavy PCs.

At Lukas Partners, we are constantly staying up on the latest trends in social media to make sure clients are reaching the right audience with the right content. With the beginning of a new year comes new opportunities for growth in social media.

In a recent article, we highlighted Facebook Workplace, and how it helps keep employees talking to one another. This is an internal social media trend we could see to continue to flourish, according to a recent infographic by MDG Advertising.

Another trend to be mindful of is organizations using employees as social ambassadors. You are only as good as your employees. Encouraging employees to get involved in your social media by sharing, liking and engaging in your events can help your organization gain credibility and raise awareness and engagement on posts, especially on Facebook and LinkedIn.

The last point of the infographic is that organizations will scale down the amount of  social media platforms they use. We have always recommended staying with the platforms that work best for your organization. Sometimes any more than two or three begin to get hard to manage effectively. Not every organization has to be on every platform. It really depends on the topics you plan to post about and the audience you are trying to reach. We can help you narrow down in our blog about digital strategy.

 

About the blogger:
LeAnne Morman is an account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with businesses on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

Creative Ways to Engage Your Audience through Facebook Live, Images and Video

Facebook Live can be an effective way to grow an online following for organizations. As with anything new, it is beginning to morph as people make it their own.

As an account executive at Lukas Partners, I monitor social media to keep an eye out for trends that could benefit clients.

The latest buzz has been around the use of Facebook Live as a poll where the reactions buttons, the like, heart, haha, sad and angry faces, are your way to vote. These live video polls have taken little known organizations into a viral spotlight on Facebook. This same outcome also can be achieved with a static graphic or recorded video. For example, on one side of the screen could have a dog, the other, a cat; Facebook users vote for their favorite animal using the reaction you choose to signify a vote for each. If you were to choose heart for cat and like for dog, users would click the like or heart button to cast their vote.

The best Facebook Live poll is going to be one that still contains a live video element. Facebook has recently been cracking down on static images or pre-recorded video put up as live.

You may have noticed that Facebook has moved its live notifications into their own tab on mobile, but the change hasn’t stopped the interest in watching live video.

People love seeing behind-the-scenes content, events, do-it-yourself (DIY) tips or advice, or any sort of update or insight from their favorite people or organizations that they follow on Facebook. Generally, you should strive to entertain, teach or reach people through this medium, and you will find success.

If you’re ever stuck for an idea of a topic for live video, you could go to Facebook and look at what people are doing live right now.

Another new aspect added to live video is as a page admin, you can now deem someone as a “live contributor” on your page. This can work well for organizations who have multiple people at different locations. It allows them to stream a live video on their mobile device as the page.

Ultimately if live video isn’t your cup of tea, I still recommend posting videos on a regular basis. According to a video company named Brightcove, social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.

About the blogger:
LeAnne Morman is an account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with businesses on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

 

Find Your Prime Time for Social Media

Timing can be everything on social media. You want your posts to get engagement, so therefore, you are on a quest to find the best time that has the most potential people paying attention.  A few factors can help to find your prime time when posts could be seen by the most people. Because every organization, person or entity is different, audiences and best times to post vary.

As an account executive at Lukas Partners, I am always helping clients find the best timing for social media posts on various platforms.

Finding the right time to post depends on three factors. Analytics, trends and previous posts.
First, look at what the analytics tell you. When are the majority of your followers online? When are they liking and commenting on your posts? Different platforms may mean different prime times.

Second, what are the trends you see with other organizations like yours? Pay attention to when they post, engagement on the posts and how often they are putting content on social media. This isn’t a fool proof method, but it does provide insight for your own use.

Finally, take a look at your previous posts and tweets. Figure out what worked and what did not. It’s somewhat of a guess-and-check method. You could always repurpose content that did not do so well for a different timeframe to test your theory.

For general guidance, Sprout Social has recently crunched the numbers and identified times and days of the week that are ideal to post. These times and days change based on audience habits and trends, they also are not based on your own, specific audiences.

About the blogger:
LeAnne Morman is an account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with businesses on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

To hear more from Lukas Partners, follow us on Twitter @LukasPartners or subscribe to our newsletter.

 

Facebook Workplace App Helps Companies Break Down Silos

It can sometimes be a struggle to get employees from different departments or locations involved, engaged and communicating to one another.  Facebook has come in with its Workplace application and flipped the script. The Facebook Workplace app is an internal and secure social media communication platform, and it has larger companies like Starbucks and Booking.com singing its praises.

The app is similar to Facebook. You can post status updates, scroll your newsfeed, create an event and then some. One difference, it’s just for people within your organization. No outsiders allowed, although Facebook has opened Workplace up for organizations that work together.facebook image

A benefit cited by many companies is that it can be used anywhere, from your desktop computer or laptop to your smartphone, allowing employees who are on the go the same opportunity to communicate.

Another benefit could be the ability for leaders to reach their employees easily to share news, bulletins, videos and other content.

The Workplace version of Facebook is not linked to your personal profile, so if you’re not into your boss seeing your personal posts, it is still kept separate. Also, you won’t see any advertisements come up on the Workplace version.

After a beta test by a selected group of organizations, it’s now open to whomever wants to sign up. The starting cost for an organization is $3 per employee per month for the first 1,000 employees. After 1,000 employees, the cost per employee per month goes down. Facebook does not require a contract and offers a free 90 day trial period to give you a chance to see if it would mesh well within your organization.

About the blogger:

LeAnne Morman is an account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with organizations on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

 

Grow with Instagram to Increase Engagement

Instagram has been around since 2010, and we’ve seen it grow within the social media landscape to become a household name alongside Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and LinkedIn.

As an account executive at Lukas Partners, I monitor social media trends constantly to ensure clients don’t have to pull over with a flat tire on the social media super-highway.

Over the past year, many organizations have experienced positive engagement with their audience using the Instagram stories feature. It allows users to collect a group of pictures and videos in a story format, giving followers a more in-depth experience beyond a single image or video. The stories show up at the top of the app, and are a great way to get noticed. Snapchat and Twitter have created similar options.

To grow an Instagram following without breaking the bank, the recommendation remains to continue to take advantage of new features and create unique, rich and compelling content that will turn heads in your direction. And of course, continue to use those hashtags!

I’ve noticed a couple of new features added to Instagram that can enhance your posts. The first is layouts. It’s an add-on that allows you to post a photo collage of pictures to your Instagram page. The second is called Boomerang, and it will loop your video over and over in a post.

Instagram LayoutsLukas Partner Boomerang

And, without getting too doom and gloom, it’s important to remember what’s hot one minute might not work the next. According to data from TrackMaven, brands saw 10 times more engagement on Instagram than Facebook in 2016, which is a trend expected to be short-lived as Instagram adjusts it’s algorithm to generate more selectivity, building more of a pay-to-play mentality that other sites like Facebook and Twitter have established.

About the blogger:

LeAnne Morman is an account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with organizations on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

Ideas to Get Creativity Flowing for Social Posting

We’ve all been there. The moment where you stare blankly at a word document or status window, thinking about what to write. You are not alone in feeling the pressure to stand out amongst the crowd with a stellar update or blog post.

As an account executive at Lukas Partners, I am always working with clients to seek out the most compelling stories to share.

ideas for social postingFirst, try to change your surroundings to get a different viewpoint. It could be attending a meeting outside of your department at your organization or going to lunch with a coworker you don’t interact with on a regular basis. This new scenery could spark idea flow.

Put yourself into the shoes of your audience. What would they find interesting? What are others talking about in your circles of family, friends and colleagues?

Try tapping into the personal stories in your workplace to help connect your organization with your audience. The stories that stick with us are those that are relatable. One way to do this is to ask for help from others within your organization. Request ideas either from their own lives or the lives of their fellow coworkers. Have them email you their ideas and follow up to get more details.

Another tactic I’d recommend is jotting down a few thoughts or ideas at the end of each day to keep a running dialogue with yourself that you can come back to and fill in more as you go.

If you’re still stuck and under a deadline, take a look back over content you have already written. It’s possible a previous post could create a new or spin-off idea or update.

About the blogger:

LeAnne Morman is an account executive at Lukas Partners. As a former journalist, LeAnne has a great deal of experience with all types of media, including social and digital formats. She works with organizations on a regular basis to help them use digital and social media to their advantage.

To hear more from Lukas Partners, follow us on Twitter @LukasPartners or subscribe to our newsletter.

Lukas Partners Honored at Nebraska PRSA Paper Anvil Awards

Thursday night was an exciting night for Lukas Partners! We were honored to receive four Nebraska Public Relations Society of America Paper Anvil Awards at the annual PRSA awards dinner. We thank our client partners, pictured here with us, for the opportunity to execute the award-winning programs recognized by 2016 PRSA Paper Anvils.

Lukas Partners PRSA

Public Service Partnerships Award of Merit – Healthy Kohl’s Kids, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center

Integrated Communications Award of Merit—Healthy Kohl’s Kids, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center

Internal Communications Award of Merit – Imagine the Possibilities, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center

Integrated Communications Award of Merit—Outlook Nebraska’s Phin the Guide Dog Reporter, Outlook Nebraska

Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you to the Nebraska PRSA chapter for another great gala.

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