Tips, tricks and interesting info - all regarding how to make your business' social media and website the best it can be!

4 Tips For Improving The Social Media Of Your Business

The last post I talked about why great websites don't get traffic and I gave some easy SEO tips on what you can do as a website owner, to get more people onto your site. This time, I want to build on that idea and discuss my first love, Social Media.

 There is a really great picture by webcomic, Rock, Paper Cynic which sums up what it's like working in Social Media

`Funny right? but also very, very accurate. I get SO many people asking me to make their social media have magical results. I've even had one business owner scared to get over 100 likes on facebook because they thought each one would result in one conversion. Social Media marketing is similar to any other marketing format in that you're looking at between 5 - 10% conversion. And that's if it's done well! Social Media can be a fantastic medium to promote a business on because it gives business owners of every creed and size the opportunity to reach thousands, even millions more potential customers than with traditional advertising. And it's a fraction of the price. So without pause; 4 Tips For Improving The Social Media Of Your Business. 1. STICK WITH IT.  I cannot emphasise this enough. Think of Social Media like the gym: doing it once in a blue moon might make your guilt subside but it's basically useless. I've found that it helps a lot of people to put a few hours aside once a week and do everything at once and then schedule it to trickle out over the next seven days. Facebook has a great inbuilt schedule system, but for other platforms, there are an array of third party programs. I find HootSuite the best. Sticking with Social Media will slowly but surely get you a following.  2. DO NOT PUSH STRAIGHT ADVERTISING. So many companies do this, big and small. People don't want to log onto their newsfeed and see advertising spam. They get that enough in their day- to- day life. People want content that interests them. Try to build a community around your brand or company. What are your ideologies? What content would you want to engage with yourself? What makes you smile? Post content that's worth posting, that will brighten up someone's day or make them laugh. If your page clearly shows what your company does and sells then clients and or/sales will come organically without having to push what you're selling into people's faces. Get people to want to check out what your page is about. 3. PICK YOUR PLATFORMS. There are SO Many platforms popping up all the time it's hard to keep up. So get to know your audience. If you want to sell expensive homes to retired people, something like Snapchat is not for you. If however, your market is teenagers then Snapchat and Instagram are perfect. Research who your ideal customer is, when they are online and what platforms they favor.  4. ENGAGE AND BE PERSONAL. This is similar to #2 in that still advertising is a big no-no. Here is an example of what I mean: The Wendy's Twitter account is absolutely amazing:  

`Funny right? but also very, very accurate. I get SO many people asking me to make their social media have magical results. I've even had one business owner scared to get over 100 likes on facebook because they thought each one would result in one conversion. Social Media marketing is similar to any other marketing format in that you're looking at between 5 - 10% conversion. And that's if it's done well!

Social Media can be a fantastic medium to promote a business on because it gives business owners of every creed and size the opportunity to reach thousands, even millions more potential customers than with traditional advertising. And it's a fraction of the price.

So without pause;

4 Tips For Improving The Social Media Of Your Business.

1. STICK WITH IT.  I cannot emphasise this enough. Think of Social Media like the gym: doing it once in a blue moon might make your guilt subside but it's basically useless. I've found that it helps a lot of people to put a few hours aside once a week and do everything at once and then schedule it to trickle out over the next seven days. Facebook has a great inbuilt schedule system, but for other platforms, there are an array of third party programs. I find HootSuite the best. Sticking with Social Media will slowly but surely get you a following. 

2. DO NOT PUSH STRAIGHT ADVERTISING. So many companies do this, big and small. People don't want to log onto their newsfeed and see advertising spam. They get that enough in their day- to- day life. People want content that interests them. Try to build a community around your brand or company. What are your ideologies? What content would you want to engage with yourself? What makes you smile? Post content that's worth posting, that will brighten up someone's day or make them laugh. If your page clearly shows what your company does and sells then clients and or/sales will come organically without having to push what you're selling into people's faces. Get people to want to check out what your page is about.

3. PICK YOUR PLATFORMS. There are SO Many platforms popping up all the time it's hard to keep up. So get to know your audience. If you want to sell expensive homes to retired people, something like Snapchat is not for you. If however, your market is teenagers then Snapchat and Instagram are perfect. Research who your ideal customer is, when they are online and what platforms they favor. 

4. ENGAGE AND BE PERSONAL. This is similar to #2 in that still advertising is a big no-no. Here is an example of what I mean: The Wendy's Twitter account is absolutely amazing:

 

They are funny, engaging, playful and people are loving it! Everything Social Media should be. If there is anywhere your business can afford to be relaxed and approachable it's on Social Media.  There you have it, now go implement my tips and get your company some great social media happening! 

They are funny, engaging, playful and people are loving it! Everything Social Media should be. If there is anywhere your business can afford to be relaxed and approachable it's on Social Media. 

There you have it, now go implement my tips and get your company some great social media happening! 

Why Your Website Isn't Getting Traffic

I go to a networking group every fortnight. This week, as a group of small business owners went around and turn by turn, said the things that they found most difficult in their business - people kept mentioning this: "I spent thousands of dollars with an agency on my website, and I have no business from it". This is a statement I hear time and time again. 

The reason this is happening is because people are not made to understand that having a fabulous website (although important) does not get traffic. Think of it this way, you can open the most amazing shop in the entire world, but if you have told no one about it, no one will know about it and no one will go to it. This shop you've opened up isn't even in a mall or a busy shopping district. It's down a side street that gets few people walking by. Now you wouldn't expect that shop to do amazing, would you? And the first thing you would say to the owner if they asked for advice, would be "why haven't you advertised?".                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 This is where the three most important things come in, that you MUST do if you want sales from your website. 1. SEO. 2. AdWords. 3. Social Media. 

You must do all three of these, consistently, to get a solid amount of traffic. Because people seem to find SEO the hardest I'm going to give you 5 easy to do yourself tips to raise the SEO of your website. 

1. First things first. You're on a budget, and you want to get people looking at your site. Go to networking sites like Neighbourly, Localist etc (do a Google search) and register your site, you and your business. Heaps are free and it's a fantastic way to network online, as well as get people over to your site. (As well as getting google to notice that your site link is popping up lots on respected sites).

2. Make sure you've got a blog on your site and you are adding to it!! This I cannot emphasise enough. from a pure SEO point of view, blogging keeps your website being contributed to, meaning Google will see that the site has been updated as recently as yesterday and rank you higher than a site that was updated a year ago. So say it with me: EVERY SITE NEEDS A BLOG.

3. Get a reputable site to link back to you. If you are, say, a Financial Advisor, and you hit up the Herald or another juggernaut website - if they publish you and link back to your site - that is worth its weight in gold! Offer to write something for free. The benefits it will do to your site ranking far outweighs the $150 you will get for the article. 

4. Make sure your Meta Tags look good. You know when you search something in Google, and a list of sites come up and you read the snippet of writing underneath the headline to see if you're going to click on that link? Well, that's the Meta tag. You can always tell someone has polished SEO when their's is a snappy sentence that doesn't end in '.......' if you're a total newbie with websites, you might need to get someone to install it for you, but it will take them about 10 minutes. Make sure you write it yourself (you know your company best) and keep it under 140 characters (like twitter). Remember: snappy and informative. 

5. Keywords are your FRIEND. keywords are like the theme of your website, again, a Financial Advisor might want the keyword phrase "Financial Advisor Auckland". MENTION this on your site but make sure it's organic. Google is clever and writing "Financial Advisor Auckland" 20 times will anger the best and they will possibly penalize you. Plus, reading that will make possible clients get the hell off your site and never come back. Try adding it near the top of the page (Google reads your site from top to bottom and stuff at the top is deemed more important) and just make sure it's on several pages of the site.

There! Try those and see how you go - remember SEO is organic, and doesn't change overnight. You need to keep at it - but do keep at it. It's worth it.  

 

The Goldfish Conundrum: How to Create Content for Short Attention Spans

 I came across this this great blog post on Hubspot.com which is a great read. Check it out of you do your own marketing emails.

If you do them yourself and are unhappy with them - then talk to me I can help. Robecca@sanspareilonline.com

 

 

January 27, 2017

The Goldfish Conundrum: How to Create Content for Short Attention Spans

Written by Sophia Bernazzani | @soph_bern

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The creation of mobile devices has made multitasking close to ubiquitous in the modern world. Between social media, live streaming, and digital news, it’s hard to imagine a time of day when we aren’t tempted to look at a screen while we’re doing something else at the same time.

Because of this phenomenon, it should come to no surprise that the average human attention span has fallen to just eight seconds -- shorter than that of a goldfish.

 

What’s more, 59% of people share articles on Twitter without even reading them, and more than half of all pageviews are under a minute in length. It’s clear that people aren’t reading as much as they used to, and content creators need to adapt their strategy to that reality.

In this post, we’ll discuss strategies and resources marketers can use to create content that will generate clicks, shares, and most importantly, more readers.

The Current State of Content Marketing

Back in September, Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs released their annual B2B content marketing survey results, revealing that 70% of respondents plan to produce more content in 2017 than in 2016. However, while content production continues to rise year over year, content engagement saw a 17% drop in 2016, according to TrackMaven.

This dip could be a reflection of decreased content quality, as proper planning and research tend to fall by the wayside when marketers ramp up their output. But it could also be attributed to that attention span shrinkage we mentioned earlier. After all, today's readers are more likely to skim blogs, long-form written content, and podcasts rather than thoroughly consume them, according to data from HubSpot Research.

What's a marketer to do? Let's dive into our strategies for defying the goldfish attention span, without sacrificing the quality of your content.

How to Create Content That Gets Consumed

You already know that content creation is an integral part of the inbound marketing methodology. It attracts visitors to your blog, cultivates brand awareness, and helps you generate leads for your organization. But what about page views? Here are our strategies for making sure you’re not just creating into the void, but are actually producing content that gets consumed and shared.

Write quality content

We know, this one seems like a no brainer. But with 30% of marketers reporting that they don't have clarity around what content marketing success looks like, it's an important issue to stress.

It’s estimated that bad writing costs businesses close to $400 billion per year in inefficiency and productivity loss. And it could also be costing your organization if you’re generating content that isn’t driving any results. So before you start putting fingers to keyboard, implement a few processes to make sure you’re writing quality content that’s also useful to your audience.

Here are a few ideas:

One of the easiest ways to create content that your audience will read? Ask your audience what they want to read about. Conduct social media polls and surveys to find out what topics and content types your subscribers are interested in, and brainstorm ideas based on their feedback.

For example, The Muse publishes content for job seekers about career growth, and they ran a poll asking their Twitter followers what would improve their workday.

January 27, 2017

The Goldfish Conundrum: How to Create Content for Short Attention Spans

Written by Sophia Bernazzani

The creation of mobile devices has made multitasking close to ubiquitous in the modern world. Between social media, live streaming, and digital news, it’s hard to imagine a time of day when we aren’t tempted to look at a screen while we’re doing something else at the same time.

Because of this phenomenon, it should come to no surprise that the average human attention span has fallen to just eight seconds -- shorter than that of a goldfish.

 

What’s more, 59% of people share articles on Twitter without even reading them, and more than half of all pageviews are under a minute in length. It’s clear that people aren’t reading as much as they used to, and content creators need to adapt their strategy to that reality.

In this post, we’ll discuss strategies and resources marketers can use to create content that will generate clicks, shares, and most importantly, more readers.

The Current State of Content Marketing

Back in September, Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs released their annual B2B content marketing survey results, revealing that 70% of respondents plan to produce more content in 2017 than in 2016. However, while content production continues to rise year over year, content engagement saw a 17% drop in 2016, according to TrackMaven.

This dip could be a reflection of decreased content quality, as proper planning and research tend to fall by the wayside when marketers ramp up their output. But it could also be attributed to that attention span shrinkage we mentioned earlier. After all, today's readers are more likely to skim blogs, long-form written content, and podcasts rather than thoroughly consume them, according to data from HubSpot Research.

What's a marketer to do? Let's dive into our strategies for defying the goldfish attention span, without sacrificing the quality of your content.

How to Create Content That Gets Consumed

You already know that content creation is an integral part of the inbound marketing methodology. It attracts visitors to your blog, cultivates brand awareness, and helps you generate leads for your organization. But what about page views? Here are our strategies for making sure you’re not just creating into the void, but are actually producing content that gets consumed and shared.

Write quality content

We know, this one seems like a no brainer. But with 30% of marketers reporting that they don't have clarity around what content marketing success looks like, it's an important issue to stress.

It’s estimated that bad writing costs businesses close to $400 billion per year in inefficiency and productivity loss. And it could also be costing your organization if you’re generating content that isn’t driving any results. So before you start putting fingers to keyboard, implement a few processes to make sure you’re writing quality content that’s also useful to your audience.

Here are a few ideas:

One of the easiest ways to create content that your audience will read? Ask your audience what they want to read about. Conduct social media polls and surveys to find out what topics and content types your subscribers are interested in, and brainstorm ideas based on their feedback.

For example, The Muse publishes content for job seekers about career growth, and they ran a poll asking their Twitter followers what would improve their workday.

 Follow

The Muse @dailymuse

We're curious: What would make your workday a whole lot better? #career #poll

6:52 AM - 5 Oct 2016

35%A Better Boss

14%Fewer Emails

31%A Private Office

20%Free Snacks

234 votes•Final results

Sure enough, shortly after the poll closed on Twitter, they published this article based on the results:

 

Clever, right? Experiment with social media polls and ask for engagement from your followers. Encourage your audience to engage with the poll to generate content ideas and more participation on social media, and see what ideas you come up with based on the results.

Invest in thought leadership

When setting your blog editorial calendar for the months ahead, ask yourself: Are there any topics that someone in the organization, such as a founder or executive, is uniquely qualified to write about?

That’s thought leadership -- and it's not as difficult to incorporate into your strategy as you might think it is. In fact, there are a lot of small steps you can take to incorporate more thought leadership into your current editorial.

Here are a few ideas:

At HubSpot, we frequently partner with influential organizations -- like Trello -- to create content that reflects our combined expertise. By collaborating with the folks behind Trello to put together a comprehensive guide for using the project management tool in your marketing campaigns, we demonstrated our ability to provide credible, helpful tips -- straight from the source:

 

Brainstorm other organizations in your industry and determine a mutually beneficial way you could collaborate. Whether that’s guest posting, cross-promotion, or working together as in the example above, keep bringing new ideas to the table that your audience can’t help but read.

Create visual content

Your audience wants to see more visual content, and it performs better, too: readers spend more time looking at images than words on a web page, and images promote greater memory recall than text alone.

There are a variety of different types of visual content that you can create to draw attention and promote greater readership, and our blog has a number of step-by-step guides to creating eye-catching infographicsvideos, and more.

Vox does a great job of providing written and visual content for its readers. On any given day, it might publish a data visualization, a long-form article, and a video featuring different angles on the same topic -- in this case, the Women’s March on Washington -- to match different people’s content preferences and to keep things fresh for its audience.

 

The lesson? Don’t automatically default to writing a blog post simply because it’s a medium you’re comfortable with. Experiment with creating visual content to tell data-driven stories your audience will click, and hopefully share, too.

Meet the reader halfway

Follow the Golden Rule: Treat your reader as you’d like to be treated. Most of us are busy people, and busy people on the internet like to skim-read content. Luckily, you can make it easier for readers to consume your content all the way through with different formatting, layout, and coding choices.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Use headers and bolded text to break up sections and paragraphs so readers can maintain focus.
  • Use bullet points and numbered lists to draw the eye to a new format and pay closer attention. (See what we did there?)
  • Include summary and takeaway sections in your written content to help readers remember what they’ve been reading about and maintain their interest.

Even better, help the reader understand how quickly they’ll be able to read a piece before they get started. Check out how Medium does this in an example from ThinkGrowth.org, HubSpot’s Medium publication:

 

(For more examples of publications that produce easily consumable content, try reading this blog post for inspiration.)

Publish on a variety of channels

Another challenge to getting people to thoroughly consume your content is they just may not have found it yet, and that’s where off-site content can come in handy. Audiences vary across different platforms, and it’s easier for your content to get discovered, and then read, if it’s published in more places than just your blog.

Medium is one example of where you can publish different content to attract a broader audience. You could create original content for a Medium publication, or repurpose old content by turning text into an infographic or video. As HubSpot Vice President of Marketing Meghan Keaney Anderson notes:

On the open web, people are searching, but on Medium, people come to spend time reading. This leads to much higher engagement on Medium and it’s this engagement, not search behavior, that fuels further discovery.”

Social media platforms also offer a variety of features for publishing original content. For example, you can publish live video on Facebook, ephemeral messages on Snapchat, photos on Instagram, and blog posts on LinkedIn. To ensure you're publishing on these channels at the most optimal time, check out this guide from ClearVoice on when to publish content on social media for different industries.

 

Here's Why You Should Be Getting Your Friends And Family To Share You Business Page

Facebook changed its News Feed algorithm to prioritize organic content from users' Facebook Friends over content from Pages and other publishers. This move represents an effort on Facebook's part to maintain user interest and engagement by showing them more of the content they want from the people they know, but it represents a potentially big blow to content creators who rely on Facebook for referral traffic.

For an idea of how influential Facebook is for publishers, consider this: Parse.ly found that Facebook makes up 41% of all referral traffic, which is more than Google properties. With this algorithm change in mind, content creators should ramp up their other traffic strategies, such as organic search engine optimization and email marketing to make up for traffic that may take a dip from Facebook. Marketers should also invest in quality Facebook content creation and post photos, videos, and links that followers will want to share with their circles to drive social media engagement that way.

What this all means is that Facebook is now prioritising content from friends and family in newsfeeds over pages. Obviously, users can change this, depending on what they want to see but this will be the organic setting.

When you share your pages content it means you're sharing it as someone's friend/family and will appear in more newsfeeds without having to pay for it. Of course, it is still better to boost important content that you want to be seen by everyone but don't underestimate the value of sharing via your personal page - and hassling your friends and family too :)  

The Psychology of Social Sharing: How to Shape Your Content According to What People Want to Share

A fantastic article from the Canva blog  I can across, discussing the art of going viral. 

 

There is no magic formula to going viral.

Even if some blogs make getting shared big-time look effortless there simply is no 100% foolproof method to ensure that your content will reach huge audiences and inspire them to pass it on.

And that’s a good thing because it means those strategies cannot be abused.

However, going viral isn’t just a matter of throwing content at the wall and seeing what sticks. You can help yourself succeed by shaping your content to encourage social sharing on your social network of choice.

Keep reading to learn what drives people to share, and how to present your content to succeed on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Why Do People Share?

There is a lot that goes into a decision to pass along a piece of content. Sometimes all it comes down to is a fleeting thought: “Susan would like this, I should send it to her.” But there are a lot of other factors that motivate us to share certain types of content.

 

Aled Lewis

01. Timeliness

Did you know the half-life of a tweet is 16 minutes? While other social networks do not lose their engagement potential quite as rapidly as Twitter, typically the same principle applies.

Perhaps, the best illustration of this is the outpouring of emotion that spreads across social networks when a famous person dies. News articles confirming the death get thousands and thousands of shares. The death of someone whose work you admire can feel achingly personal, and afterwards it seems like everyone has to say their piece. Prince’s death in April of this year generated almost 13 million tweets in just 24 hours. The surge of social activity following Michael Jackson’s death broke Twitter.

These examples show just how explosive timely news, especially shocking news, is on social networks, especially Twitter.

02. Emotion

Emotion is a really strong motivator for sharing content online, but it’s not just any old feeling. A lot of this is driven by positive emotions. In an analysis of the most viral content of 2015, Steve Rayson from Buzzsumo identified the following seven emotions as the strongest for driving social sharing:

  •      Amusing
  •      Surprising
  •      Heartwarming
  •      Beautiful
  •      Inspiring
  •      Warning
  •      Shocking

As you can see, just two out of seven types of emotion listed above have a negative connotation, and all can trigger a very strong response from the viewer.

An earlier study by Buzzsumo and OkDork went so far as to break it down by what percentage of the top 10,000 most shared articles fit a particular emotion:

The most stand-out emotions here are Amusement/Laughter, which combine to consume nearly a third of the pie, and Awe, which takes up a perfect quarter.

03. Visual Impact

One of the most commonly shared types of content are list posts full of pictures, or slideshows of incredible images. We share these for many of the emotional reasons I just mentioned – humor, awe, surprise, beauty – and these are the same emotions that draw us into this kind of content when we see it in our newsfeeds.

The Guardian’s second most-shared post of 2014 was a photo post containing incredibly high-quality, mostly aerial photos of extreme over-development in action:

This piece garnered over 700,000 shares. We share this kind of content because it shocks us, amazes us, scares us, and inspires feelings within us that makes us want to share it with others.

 

Kelsey Heinrichs

04. Community

As humans, we crave being a part of things. Enterprising content marketers have capitalized on this, crafting articles that celebrate a sense of community.

This isn’t a new idea; I remember receiving email forwards (back when those were actually a thing) that did this. You know the ones – “You know you are from New York when…” The more recent reincarnation of this sort of thing are, of course, in listicle format, with a headline that invites you to learn more.

Some take the idea of “community” very generally. Here’s an example with 41,000 shares from the blog Wait But Why: 10 Types of Odd Friendships You’re Probably Part Of

Most of us can probably identify with something in that post, which is part of why it has been shared so many times. It’s also been shared so much because it is amusing, and because of the great visuals (crudely drawn as they are).

Other posts break us into smaller groups, but not too small – there still needs to be a base of people to share the content, after all. Here’s an example from BuzzFeed that garnered half a million shares: 27 Problems Only Introverts Will Understand

And you can break it down even further – because even a subset of introverts earned this piece over 230,000 shares: 10 Everyday Things Only Extroverted Introverts Will Understand

The point is, each of these target communities of people – broad or narrow – who can relate to the content and pass on to their followers. They share out of a sense of affinity – yes, as an extroverted introvert I totally get that! – but also as an almost unconscious way of defining which communities they belong to.

05. Idealization

Finally, we curate what we share out of a desire to present an idealized version of ourselves to the world.

Anyone who has ever scrolled through their Facebook feed and experienced FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) knows exactly what I mean. Between picture-perfect wedding photos, picturesque beach Instagrams, and iPhone shots of girls’ night, it sometimes seems like everyone has a perfect life – except for you. So we carefully shape our own social media activity to match, sharing content that makes us seem funny, clever, or always well put-together.

This manifests itself differently on every social network, but it is universal. One survey of 2,500 social media users found that 68% share content in order to “define themselves,” but I’m willing to bet that the true percentage is even higher. On Facebook and Instagram, we share our picture-perfect lives and social gatherings. On Pinterest, we carefully catalog our inspirations and aspirations. On Twitter and LinkedIn, we position ourselves as experts, retweeting industry news, interesting facts, and other career-oriented content.

Preparing Your Content for Social Sharing

With the reasons that people share in mind, there are a lot of ways you can shape your content according to what people want to share.

You don’t need to make your content perfect for every social network – in fact, that might be impossible. Plus, there is probably a key network or two that your audience tends to frequent. Don’t stretch yourself too thin; focus where it counts and you will see the benefits.

First, there are some steps you can take to prepare your content for any kind of social sharing. Then, I will go into some quick and detailed ways to prepare your content for social sharing on a social network of your choice.

Shaping Your Content for Social Sharing

There are certain steps you can take to make your content more shareable in general:

 

Justas Galaburda

  1.     Make social sharing buttons readily available. If you want people to share, you need to give them a means of doing so! Add social sharing buttons at the top and bottom of your post, or like here at Design School, you could add sharing buttons that follow the reader as they scroll. Don’t forget to make sure your social sharing works on mobile.
  1.     Write a share-worthy headline. If it doesn’t grip a potential reader, they won’t read on – in fact, 80% of people never make it past the headline. The co-founder of Upworthy, Peter Koechley, has said that in their A/B tests of headlines, they saw variation in traffic of up to 500%. That’s a simply massive amount of influence the headline has on the success of your content, so the title of your post needs to be more than a passing thought.
  1.     Invite social sharing with a CTA at the end of the article. Don’t underestimate the value of just asking for it. In one study of over 10,000 tweets, the phrase “please retweet” garnered over four times the number of retweets than those that didn’t ask for shares.
  1.     Use open graph meta tags to add default images to your page for social media. These snippets of code tell social networks to include a default image when users share something from your website. Facebook posts that include images, for example, are shared over twice as much as those without. If you are running WordPress, Elegant Themes has a great guide to adding these tags manually or with a plugin.

Shaping Your Content for Facebook Sharing

What are Facebook users looking for? Facebook is a very personal social network; we use Facebook to connect with friends and family. Users are looking for content that helps them define themselves. It’s also where we go to waste time. Facebook use accounts for 20% of the time the average internet user spends online, and 2/3 of Facebook’s users consume at least some of their news through the platform.

 

Catharsis

  1.     Create a “curiosity gap” with your headline. As Joanna Wiebe from Copy Hackers puts it, “the curiosity gap is the space between what we know and what we want or even need to know.” Have you ever read a headline that evoked more questions than it answered? Copy Hackers used this technique to increase clicks to one of their pages by over 900%.
  1.     Invite engagement. Engagement is practically the currency of Facebook in these days of limited organic reach. The more people interact with your Facebook posts, the more impressions those posts will earn. Use your headline and image to try and inspire users to click through or like, and you can use your description to try and inspire users to comment; all of these actions will increase your engagement.
  1.     Double-check your open graph tags. You can use theFacebook debugger tool to test your URLs and ensure they are pulling the image, headline, and description as you intended.

Shaping Your Content for Pinterest Sharing

What are Pinterest users looking for? More than any other social network, the emphasis on Pinterest is on incredible image quality. Pinterest users collect images (which link back to their source site) onto boards they create around their interests. A lot of what users save is inspirational in nature; they are planning their next meal or DIY project, and a lot of pins invite users to “pin now, read later.” The most popular categories on Pinterest are Food & Drink, DIY, Home Décor, and Holidays & Events.

 

Rachel Ignotofsky

  1.     Create visuals with Pinterest in mind. Tall images take up more screen real estate on Pinterest than wide images, so if you are shaping your content for Pinterest you should always include at least one tall, attractive image for users to pin. According to social analytics agency Curalate, the sweet spot is an aspect ratio between 2:3 and 4:5.
  1.     Enable rich pins for your website. If you’ve added meta tags to your website, you can apply with Pinterest to enable rich pins. This means that more information is displayed on pins that come from your website, such as a headline and post description, in addition to the normal description. That’s great, because it means your pins will be longer and occupy more space on the screen. You can test your pages to see if meta tags are working usingPinterest’s validator, and when they are, apply for rich pins here.
  1.     Invite readers to share to Pinterest with an image hover. Design School, for example, provides three options for social sharing anytime you hover over an image: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can use a plugin like this one to add this functionality if your site is running WordPress.

Shaping Your Content for Twitter Sharing

What are Twitter users looking for? Twitter users are news junkies, looking for breaking information in real time. Beyond a desire for fresh content, they are looking for useful or insightful information about their industry to pass onto their own followers. Specifically, bite-sized statistics or quotes do very well, and headlines are also very important.

 

Alander Wong

  1.     Add tweetable pull-quotes to your articles. You can emphasize your key takeaways or surprising statistics by off-setting them from the main body of your article and adding an option to tweet the quote. This is a great technique for several reasons. “Click to tweet” links are less easy to overlook than regular social sharing buttons because they literally interrupt the flow of the post with a CTA to share. They also make crafting a clever tweet super easy for your visitors and will help them look smart to their followers, which they are sure to appreciate you for. If you are running WordPress, there is a great free plugin to add these.
  1.     Tweet your content out multiple times in different ways. Reframing your content will help it appeal to a variety of different audiences, and sharing at different times of day will catch people who weren’t online the first (or second, or third) time.
  1.     Use Twitter to test-run your headlines. Amanda DiSilvestro shared this technique for A/B testing blog post titles with Twitter several years ago, but it can still be taken advantage of to this day.

Shaping Your Content for LinkedIn Sharing

What are LinkedIn users looking for? LinkedIn users want to be seen as experts in their field. They are on LinkedIn for their own personal and professional development, so they are looking for content they can curate to look like a thought-leader in their field. Power users on LinkedIn heavily use the “groups” portion of the site, where users can create industry-specific communities with discussions.

 

Finlay Hogg

  1.     Emphasize powerful statements in your articles. Even if you don’t make them “click to tweet” ready (though you totally should), emphasizing the key takeaways of your article will make it easier for LinkedIn users to quote them when they share to LinkedIn or one of their groups.
  1.     Repurpose your blog posts into SlideShares. Recycle your best content into a slideshow format that summarizes the main points of your article with more visuals – you can do this quite easily using Canva’s presentation designer tool. Then, embed the SlideShare into your original post, and link back to your blog post from the presentation and description on SlideShare. SlideShare is owned by LinkedIn and presentations shared from the site can embed directly into the LinkedIn feed, making them more engaging than the average share.

Wrapping Up

There are many reasons that people share what they choose to share. A lot of those reasons, however, boil down to a few key motivators – we like to share content that is timely, evokes strong emotions, is highly visual, makes us feel connected with the world, and allows us to put our best foot forward.

Quick And Easy Email Marketing Tips

Here are some helpful tips I have accumulated over time that will help you when you start writing your email-outs to clients. I was recently asked if having a blog can replace emails, which I thought was a very good question to answer. If you're feeling a bit swamped with all of the social media you're on (even I feel like there are a million platforms to engage with) and are struggling to keep up with it - condensing the two isn't an awful idea. Though do remember that they are separate things and have separate functions. 

Mailouts to your clients work well because it's a type of newsletter - if you get the content right and it is engaging - then it's a great way to remind past and present customers about your services, and anything new. After all, we all check our inbox. 

Blogs are a modern-day must on any business website - people want to see behind the scenes, as well as you add credit to your expertise by writing about what you're an expert in. AND you get a better SEO ranking (more likely to appear when people search for your topic) because google likes copy. And copy is usually filled with key words. Read more about this on my last blog entry. Because of this ,you'll get a lot more new visitors to your site. Which is always what you want. 

So in short, yes, you can combine the two - but only if you REALLY, REALLY cannot manage the both. They add different things to your brand awareness and marketing strategy, so I would suggest going back and forth between the two. 

On that note, have a look at these great tips I (lovingly) created for your email marketing strategy. 

- 75 percent of personalized follow-up emails yield higher transaction rates than traditional emails. So be as personalised as possible! 

- Use preference to give your customers control. Make sure you're listening to your client, and they feel heard and in control of the situation. 

- Re-engage with customers. If someone nearly commits to your service or product but drops off, simply touching base with them and seeing where they are at can make a world of difference and get them to commit. 

- Expand your email marketing practices. 93% of contextual marketers stated they were “very satisfied” with the effectiveness of their programs. Only 43 percent of classic marketers said the same (study via adobe). Try new things. Be creative, see what works and what doesn't. Ask people if they likes the content. 

- Integrate a clear email strategy into your overall marketing plan. email that isn’t incorporated into the overall marketing mix is limited in its efficacy. Planning and strategy is your friend. 

- For the love of God, make sure it reads well on a mobile device. Fact: more people are opening emails and reading them on their phones than on their computer. Make sure they know what they are looking at. 

 

 

Why Your Business Site Needs A Blog

 Every business needs a blog because you need relevant text content and backlinks in order to rank long-term on Google organic search results. in layman's terms: think about it, your website, as new and/or beautiful as it may look, is basically stagnant once you upload your services, prices etc. The blog is the only thing that is showing google how active your website is and thus making it rank higher in search engines based on sheer relevance. PLUS by adding more content to your site, your adding more searchable content, thus more people searching for your content. If you have an eCommerce based site, and are constantly adding content - you're not let off the blogging hook - there are SO many benefits to it, you can't afford not too. Look at big online shops like Nasty Gal (if you're not familiar with the online shop, Founder Sophia Amoruso is why you have been seeing #girlboss everywhere for the last several years), Amoruso herself became a celebrity with her flawless marketing and behind-the-scenes marketing (blogging and social). People are interested in the behind the scenes. If you're not at least showing a portion of that to your audience - they and you - are missing out. 

There are news and innovations in every industry. A blog will help you to position yourself as an expert in your niche. It further helps show your clients and potential clients, the background of your company, your employees and of course, you. In this day and age of nameless and faceless corporations it pays to add a little bit of the personal touch to your company. 

These are just a few of the reasons you need to be Blogging - there are at least a dozen more. Even half a page or link to an exciting article you read all helps. 

So no more excuses - get blogging!