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Google Tag Manager: What Marketers Need to Know

Google Tag Manager: What Marketers Need to Know

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you use tracking codes on your website? Have you heard of Google Tag Manager? To discover what Google Tag Manager is and how to use it, I interview Christopher Penn. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Christopher Penn, the VP of Marketing Technology at Shift Communications. His book is titled Marketing Blue Belt and he's also a Google Analytics expert. His brand-new course is the 2016 Marketing Plan Framework: How to Build a Data-Driven Customer Journey. Chris is also co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee podcast. Christopher will explore Google Tag Manager and the future of analytics. You'll discover how to set up and use Google Tag Manager. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Google Tag Manager What is Tag Manager Christopher says Tag Manager is a digital bucket that makes it easier to manage website tags such as a Facebook or Twitter remarketing tag, a pixel from an ad tracking system or a piece of java script. He explains that when a website has a lot of pages, or if you use a marketing automation system, such as as Marketo or Pardot to manage multiple websites, things can easily get lost. He says you put the code for Tag Manager on every page of your site only one time then, instead of modifying the tags of individual pages, you simply put new tags in and out of the bucket. Chris adds that it's a lot more reliable than manually managing tags for each page. Listen to the show to discover how Tag Manager can speed up your site. The importance of Tag Manager In addition to speed, Chris believes reliability is a big reason to use Tag Manager. If you have a lot of different webpages, websites or use marketing automation services that have their own landing pages, forgetting to put tags on all those pages will ruin your analytics, Christopher says. As long as you use the bucket on every page, you're covered. The flexibility of Google Tag Manager, is really important. It allows you specify that you want some tags on some pages, other tags on all pages and certain conditions to be met for still others. Chris shares an example. Say you are promoting an event, like Social Media Marketing World, and you want to put a tag on the event page for people who have visited the page, but haven't yet purchased a ticket. If you've haphazardly put tags everywhere, you could lose track of what page your tag needs to be on. With Tag Manager, you can specify it to fire the tag if the url has "smmw16" in it. Tag Manager is also important for social media marketers who don't have control over website updates. If you're with a big company and constantly have to go through the IT department to add new tags or if you have a small website and use an outside consultant for website maintenance, it becomes difficult to update tags in a timely manner. With the bucket on every page, you can add and subtract tags through Tag Manager and no one needs to update the website. Chris illustrates another benefit of using Tag Manager by sharing the example of someone hard coding a Google Analytics tag into their WordPress theme. When the theme is updated, their analytics tags go away. Use Tag Manager with Google Tag Manager for WordPress plugin, and WordPress will automatically put the bucket on every page so you can update the theme as much as you want without losing those tags. Listen to the show to learn about assigning roles within Tag Manager. How to set up Tag Manager Chris says if you already have a Google Analytics account, you can go to TagManager.Google.

Live Video: Tips and Techniques for Creating Great Content

Live Video: Tips and Techniques for Creating Great Content

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you broadcast live video? Want to learn how to create an engaged following? To discover what he's learned from broadcasting over 1,000 live streams over the last two years, I interview Alex Khan. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Alex Khan, the founder of Attractive Media, a German social media agency that helps businesses with live video. You can find him online at alexkhan.tv. Alex shares his formula for beginning and ending live video. You'll discover how Alex makes his live videos look more professional. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Live Video Alex's Story Alex started his first website in the late 1990s, back when email open rates were incredibly high. In 2005, he became managing director of Attractive People, a social network. In that role, Alex discovered what builds trust and how people behave on social networks. In 2012, Alex founded Germany's first mobile marketplace for fashion, which another company later acquired. Alex continued working behind the scenes in social media until 2015, when Twitter acquired Periscope for $100 million. After a company acquired his own app, Alex says he was curious about what a $100 million app could do. In March 2015 on the first day Periscope became available, Alex downloaded it and it immediately blew him away. Alex knew that driving engagement builds trust and increased visibility; however, creating engaging content was (and is) a challenge. Periscope helped Alex solve the engagement challenge because he could start a one-to-many conversation from anywhere at any time. Alex says it's still fascinating that you can reach so many people for free. In the beginning, Alex directed his live videos with his employee as the Periscope star. They created fun content such as jumping in a pool, which had nothing to do with Alex's area of expertise. After a few weeks, Alex's business partners shared their concern that this fun content wasn't professional, especially because Alex was COO of the company. Alex agreed that their point was valid, so he decided to change his subject matter. With 10 years of experience in social media, Alex knew people would have questions about how to use this new platform. He decided to use his expertise to help people understand how to build their audience with live video. I ask Alex to share a snapshot of his audience today. Alex says that in only two years, he's built his audience from nothing to 230,000 followers and 55 million hearts on Periscope. Through cross-promotion, Alex has attracted a total of 400,000 followers on social media. To build that audience, Alex says his experience working in social media, building companies, and training people gave him the necessary expertise, but live video technology was also a critical gateway. Listen to the show to learn about Alex's first live broadcast on Periscope. Advice for Going Live Alex says that even after doing more than 1,000 Periscope broadcasts, he still gets nervous. For Alex, three questions spin around in his head when he thinks about going live: "Who are the people watching me? Will they like me? What will I tell them?" Alex has found that his viewers are regular people who are early live video adopters and curious about what he has to say. When you provide something that's valuable, Alex believes people will like you. He says the key is to educate, inspire, or entertain viewers. As far as what to tell viewers, Alex believes people watching live video are always interested in five topics:

Rules for Great Website Design

by Kyle Henderson @ JellyFlea Creative

Earn your degree in PhilosoFlea! JellyFlea Creative follows these web design principles for every website design we create! Get a Website Whether or not you have a website says alot about your business. Having a website to tell your customers to go to immediatly tells things like, “My business is established”, “We plan on being […]

The post Rules for Great Website Design appeared first on JellyFlea Creative.

Growing With Content: How to Start a Respectable Platform Others Will Love

Growing With Content: How to Start a Respectable Platform Others Will Love

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you want to build a respectable platform? Are you wondering how to use content to grow your business? To learn more about how to start a platform that others will love, this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast gives you insight into the subject. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, you'll learn 5 tips to help you grow your business with content and the story behind Social Media Examiner's success. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Growing With Content #1: Experiment on someone else's platform Back in 2008, I sent a LinkedIn request to Ann Handley, who was, and still is, the chief content officer at MarketingProfs. At the time, I had spoken at Ann's conferences and written for MarketingProfs on white papers and white paper marketing. The response I received back from Ann in hindsight was very important to me. You'll hear the question Ann asked me and how I responded. I also noticed that Brian Clark at Copyblogger had started to get excited about Twitter. I'd also written for Copyblogger since they were my target audience. So I decided to take Twitter on and approached Brian to see if I could write an article about it. The article was titled "How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Business." A few months later I reached out to Ann Handley and she agreed for me to write an article called "The Dark Side of Twitter: What Businesses Need to Know." Although I knew nothing about either subject, you'll hear how I developed these articles and hopefully you'll see that you can do it too. These articles were published when the market was ready for them and part of the success was because of the people who shared it. Take-home lessons: Experimenting on someone else's platform allows you to make sure that your content will be popular before you decide to either build a new platform with this type of content or start to introduce that content into your existing platform. Almost anyone is approachable for a journalistic opportunity. When you write for a known platform that is large in your industry, you can leverage your visibility to connect with people. It's an incredible opportunity for you to get some great content. You can set the stage for something big. The success of these articles is what justified starting Social Media Examiner. Listen to the show to find out the other great benefits of when you publish content on someone else's platform. #2: Do a reverse Trojan horse In the tale of the Trojan horse where the warriors are released, I want you to reverse it and instead think about gathering data while other people march you around. In January 2009, I conducted the Social Media Marketing Industry Survey, where hundreds of marketers were asked to complete a very simple survey. In exchange for that information, they received the completed report. This data converted into a rich 26-page PDF file, known as the Social Media Marketing Industry Report. You'll find out the type of questions I asked and what the real goal was behind the survey. Within weeks of this report's publication, over 40,000 people downloaded it and made more than 400 comments. One of the unintended benefits for me was to become the first person to "claim an industry" in this space. Take-home lessons: Make sure there is value or a benefit to everyone who participates. Let your reverse Trojan horse work for you. Start to develop some content you know people want as a result of the data you put together.

LinkedIn Publishing Platform: What Marketers Need to Know

LinkedIn Publishing Platform: What Marketers Need to Know

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you publish long-form content? Are you wondering if the new LinkedIn publishing platform can help your business? To learn about the LinkedIn publishing platform and why you may want to consider it, I interview Stephanie Sammons for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Stephanie Sammons, who is a LinkedIn marketing expert and CEO of Wired Advisor, a digital marketing platform that helps financial advisors create and publish content. She blogs at Build Online Influence. Stephanie shares how marketers can make the most out of the LinkedIn publishing platform. You'll discover what type of content works best, when to schedule posts and how you can use the platform to grow a following. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: LinkedIn Publishing Platform What is the LinkedIn publishing platform? Stephanie explains that the LinkedIn publishing platform was first made available to around 500 LinkedIn influencers. These individuals were chosen by LinkedIn to be a part of the initial rollout. More recently LinkedIn has opened up the publishing platform to all 277 million+ members. It will be rolled out over time, allowing every single person the opportunity to publish his or her own content on the LinkedIn platform. Listen to the show to find out why this new addition is great for publishing long-form content. Does the LinkedIn platform support images and multimedia? Stephanie says that you can embed content from SlideShare, which is owned by LinkedIn. It's a network where you can publish PowerPoint presentations, Keynote presentations, PDFs, white papers, infographics and embed videos from YouTube. In addition, you can embed images in the posts that you publish to LinkedIn. The formatting capabilities are very similar to a basic blogging platform. It's a little bit easier to use than WordPress, although you don't have the ability within the editor to categorize or tag your posts. You can use headers, bullets, numbered lists, bold, italics and hyperlink text as well. Listen to the show to find out why it's really important to double-check your post before you hit Publish. Marketers and business owners should consider posting content on LinkedIn You have to remember that LinkedIn is your professional identity online and this not only gives you an opportunity to demonstrate and illustrate your expertise, but also to get in front of a very active and engaged audience. You'll discover why you now have the ability to grow a following on LinkedIn—even with people who aren't in your LinkedIn network—and how this can be a huge benefit to your business. It's still important to have your own platform that's away from all of the other social networks. One of the real advantages of when you use the LinkedIn publishing platform is that you can grow an audience very fast. My friend Dave Kerpen, the founder of Likeable Media, is a great example. Although he has mostly written for traditional print and didn't really have a huge platform online, he was able join the original LinkedIn influencer network. Since then, he has seen amazing growth as a result of the articles he has published on the platform. You'll hear about an article that Dave wrote on the LinkedIn publishing platform about 10 Marketing Podcasts That You Ought to Listen to and how this affected the podcasts mentioned in a phenomenal way. When you put your content together,

How Does Google Work?

by WebsitesForAnything @ Websites For Anything

It’s important for all small business owners in Fredericksburg to understand how Google works because it can drastically affect the amount of traffic your website receives.  What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? What determines your ranking on Google? In the next few paragraphs I’ll try to clear up the confusion on these topics so you can get your website attracting ...

The post How Does Google Work? appeared first on Websites For Anything.

Purpose: How Facebook Built an Empire

Purpose: How Facebook Built an Empire

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Does your business have a purpose? Are you wondering how having a purpose can help drive the success of your business? To learn how Mark Zuckerburg has grown his empire, I interview Ekaterina Walter for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Ekaterina Walter, a global social innovation strategist at Intel and member of the board of directors for Word of Mouth Marketing Association. She is also the author of the new book, Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook's Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerburg. Ekaterina shares her knowledge about Facebook's purpose and how it helped them build an empire. You'll learn why Facebook has been so successful and what it means to have a purpose. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: The Facebook Empire Ekaterina's Facebook story. Ekaterina shares her story of when she started using Facebook for personal reasons and found what it could do for her. She discovered connections she was able to make with people who have shared interests, whether she knew them or not. She talks about how she uncovered interesting stories that she may not have found through other channels. Facebook helped her understand her connections better and by following them, she could see what was important to them. From a business perspective, about 4 years ago, Intel looked at engaging with its customers on Facebook. They first started with a Facebook Page and shared messages there like other brands, without thinking about creating a two-way dialogue. They quickly realized this wasn't the right way to approach relationships with customers. But they also understood that this was a goldmine: the ability to build relationships right there on the digital platform. Twenty to thirty years ago, Intel used to go into computer clubs to find tech-savvy people and trendsetters in user technology, because these people would then go on to tell the mainstream audience and their friends or relatives. Back then, if you talked to 50 people at a time, either face-to-face or over the phone, you were lucky. Today the Facebook platform allows Intel to connect with almost 15 million fans on their global Page and over 2o million across multinational Pages on a daily basis. It's a place where they can truly engage with their fans and understand them. Before Facebook, this would never have happened. This is the biggest community Intel was ever able to build globally. Over the past 4 years, Intel has been building their communities and engaging in the conversations. Listen to the show to find out why Facebook is exciting for a brand person or marketer. Ekaterina's role within Intel. Ekaterina's role within Intel is to figure out what social means to Intel. She felt lucky that she was able to paint a blank canvas for a number of years and help lead Intel in the right direction. Back then, they tried to figure out the basics: Should they do it internally or outsource, what should they do, how should they build the strategies and what networks should they use? Back in 2009, her role was about looking at the community Intel had built. Since then, it's been about trying to dig deeper and engage in conversations. Ekaterina was managing Intel's community and engaging with fans. She spent a lot of time having conversations with fans, finding out who they were and what kind of content they wanted from Intel as a company. Over a number of years,

How to Encourage Employees to Share Your Content on LinkedIn

How to Encourage Employees to Share Your Content on LinkedIn

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are your employees on LinkedIn? Do they share your company's content with their networks? Asking your employees to promote your company content on LinkedIn is a great way to reach more prospects and increase visibility. In this article I'll explain how to help your employees share your content on LinkedIn. #1: Promote the Program The first step to starting a LinkedIn employee engagement program is to find and appoint a leader. Look for someone from marketing who's enthusiastic about LinkedIn and excited about this program. You'll want to choose a passionate leader who can motivate your employees and get them excited to participate. Listen to this article: Once you've established a leader, get a couple of employees on board before rolling out the program to the rest of your staff. Later on, after you work out the bugs and streamline the processes, these employees can promote the program and encourage others to participate. Now you're ready to launch the program to everyone. #2: Communicate the Goal First, explain and outline your company's current digital marketing efforts and what it takes to get followers for your social media channels. Then, make it clear that the program's overarching goal is for all employees to attract new followers and customers by representing the company as a cohesive team. Finally, create a short but powerful mission statement that will engage employees in helping you to achieve the goal of your LinkedIn Employee Engagement Program. #3: Highlight Participant Benefits To get your employees' buy-in, share why their participation can benefit them personally and professionally. For example, the program can increase exposure to potential customers, drive more leads and increase sales, possibly resulting in higher bonuses or profit-sharing. Additionally, participating in the program can enhance your employees' personal profiles, activities and visibility on LinkedIn, and they'll be seen as industry professionals. And it may even improve their reputation within the industry your company serves. #4: Outline Profile and Engagement Expectations Spend some time going over what you expect from employees who take part in the program. Keep in mind that you don't want to overload them with too much extra work. Here are some tasks you might want to ask them to do: Optimize Personal Profiles It's important that employees have a complete and professional-looking LinkedIn profile. Ask them to update their profile with a company and job description (which may come from marketing). You'll probably need to walk employees through how to optimize their LinkedIn profiles. Show them how to: Claim a vanity URL. Add or change their profile picture. A professional-looking profile image goes a long way toward making the right first impression on LinkedIn. Set the correct industry description. Update the Summary section and add rich media (especially if your company produces high-quality videos and other rich media). Update the Experience section. Link their current position to the LinkedIn company page (thus increasing your company's LinkedIn page rank in organic searches on Google). Update and optimize their contact information. Expand Personal Networks Share how together as a team you'll be able to reach hundreds or thousands of people who may be interested in reading and engaging with the company's content. The larger their personal networks, the better. Provide instructions on how and why your staff should connect with fellow employees, customers, partners, prospects and so on. Explain how this will help expand the reach of your company's content on LinkedIn. You might share an example like the following: "Say that 20 employees in the program have 200 connections. This means that potentially 4,000 people could see and engage with our content if we shared and promoted it. Even if only a small percentage of these 4,

14+ Tools for Bloggers

14+ Tools for Bloggers

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you a busy blogger? Looking for new, unique tools to help you work smarter? The right tools will help streamline and improve your blogging. In this article, you'll discover more than 14 tools to help bloggers quickly, efficiently perform common tasks. Listen to this article: #1: Source Free, Quality Images A picture is worth a thousand words. You want them to be the right ones. Unsplash and Foter help tell your story. With Unsplash you get access to a bank of 50,000+ free-to-use photos. No attribution is required. If there's nothing suitable on Unsplash, Foter allows you to choose from a whopping 229 million images. Here's how: type in the search term and click Commercial Use. Next, click on your image. Then download whatever size image you want. Finally, cut and paste the picture attribution into your post. #2: Compress Images to Improve Page Load Speed The load speed of a page is a key ranking factor. Images are usually to blame for lengthy page loading times. That's where Compressor.io comes in. It will reduce image sizes by up to 90%, with no loss of quality. Here's how: just drag and drop your image, watch it compress before your eyes, and then download it. #3: Do More With Screenshots If you write a lot of blog posts you'll need a reliable screenshot grabber to gather illustrative images. To save time, install Save to Google Drive and Awesome Screenshot. Save to Google Drive is a super-speedy browser extension that helps you save web pages. Click the Google Drive icon in your browser extensions bar and it saves the entire web page to your Google Drive in seconds. Alternatively, use Awesome Screenshot if you want to crop the page or annotate it. Click on the Awesome Screenshot extension and you'll get a drop-down where you can choose your options. When you're done, save and store your screenshots in Awesome Screenshot and you can access them from anywhere. #4: Research Competitor Web Traffic When you're competing for a target audience, it's helpful to find out where a competitor's traffic comes from, what their referral sources are, or what their top organic and paid keywords are. SimilarWeb is an unbelievable resource that can help you find this information. The browser extension works best, but you can get the same stats from the SimilarWeb website, too. #5: Run an SEO Audit Want to do a basic SEO audit on your blog, but don't know where to start? Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool, a small desktop program that acts as a website crawler, will check your blog for broken links, title tags, duplicate pages, redirects, the length of all your meta descriptions, and more. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOzOffh9HIE #6: Monitor Keyword Rankings What's My SERP is a free tool that will track up to 25 keyword phrases across 20 domains for you and up to three competitors. You can even export the data after each report. Just sign up, input your keyword phrases, and click Check All Keywords. If you want enhanced features, try the multi-functional Monitor Backlinks. Its keyword ranking tool monitors up to 500 keywords, as well as those of your competitors. #7: Optimize Posts and Pages for Search Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that makes it easier for bloggers to optimize blog posts to rank on Google. Simply fill in the fields and tweak your entries until you get a green traffic light. A useful feature for bloggers who use social media is the ability to set the title, description, and featured image for shares to top social networks. #8: Search for Email Addresses by Domain Are you doing influencer outreach? Do you pitch to journalists? This tool will find anyone's email address. Email Hunter offers 150 searches with the free plan. For most people, that's plenty. Type in the domain name of the company the person you want to contact works for. If a specific email address isn't located,

How to Map Behavioral Metrics Into Your Key Business Drivers

by Today's Industry Insider @ The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

Digital marketing is a blessing to marketers because of the wealth of data it provides. Online marketers can analyze and dissect innumerable elements to gain a deeper understanding of the habits and preferences of their customers. As a result, they can effectively put themselves in their customers’ shoes and optimize the entire experience. This allows […]

Smartphone Video Excellence: How to Film Like a Pro

Smartphone Video Excellence: How to Film Like a Pro

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you record videos with your smartphone? Want to make them look really professional? To talk about how to do video like a pro from your smartphone, I interview Justin Brown. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Justin Brown, a video professional who specializes in helping marketers look great on camera. He's been a coach, producer, and cameraman for 25 years, specializing in extreme sports. You can find him at PrimalVideo.com. Justin explores how to use your smartphone to create excellent recorded and live video. You'll discover what tools you need to make your videos look professional. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Smartphone Video Excellence Justin's story When Justin was little, he recalls, his dad was always filming the family. As kids, they would grab the camera, make up mock TV shows, and watch them. His interest progressed and Justin eventually started editing video with the early versions of Windows Movie Maker and with Adobe Premiere. Later in life, while Justin was a lifeguard at his local beach, he became heavily interested in motorboat racing. He began to create highlight videos from the footage of boats flipping, people falling out, and other exciting occurrences, and found that he enjoyed editing high-paced action video. From there, Justin pivoted into doing underground mine training videos. Justin broke into extreme sports through an interview with professional big wave surfer Mark Visser. Justin ended up working closely with Mark and producing his documentary TV series: Justin filmed Mark surfing JAWS in Hawaii at 2 AM, solo skydiving, and throwing jet skis out of a plane to surf remote locations. It was full-on action sports video. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jfM1Vsl70k Somewhere along the line, Justin found that he was more interested in teaching people to create their own video content, rather than shooting the video for them. The goal at Primal Video, which launched last year, is to help people get up to speed with video, allowing them to magnify their results by removing any barriers or excuses they have around creating videos for themselves. Listen to the show to hear more about Justin's career transition. Lighting Justin says there are a few simple elements that will help you create a professional-looking video using your smartphone. Proper lighting, he says, will dramatically increase the quality and professionalism of your video, no matter the situation. There are a couple options for lighting when capturing videos with your smartphone. One is to to use a rig mount with a light on it to illuminate your subject in the same way you would with a DSLR camera. Another option is to use a desk lamp or the lighting in your office or studio. The key is to use whatever you have to light up the person presenting the content (maybe that's you); make sure that person is lit well, and if you have the time and the ability, you can also light up the background. The goal is to have an even light across your entire face, so people can connect with you. Some shadow is good, because it creates depth on the face and you can see some details, but harsh shadows aren't ideal. If bright light is coming in through a window that's in your shot, do your best to reduce it by closing the curtains, shutting the doors, or lighting up the other side of your face to balance that light. When you film with a smartphone, you typically have three scenarios: selfie-style with you holding the phone yourself, someone using their phone to film you,

How To Use Link Bait To Attract New Leads

by Jonathon Ohayon @ Monitor Backlinks Blog

Link bait is content you have on your site that naturally attracts inbound links. Key word: NATURALLY. Everyone knows the importance of links for organic rankings. And everyone knows that BUILDING links can land you with a whopping penalty. So what’s left? Link Bait. Google’s own Matt Cutts thinks of link bait as “something interesting ...

The post How To Use Link Bait To Attract New Leads appeared first on Monitor Backlinks Blog.

LinkedIn Marketing: New Features to Enhance Your LinkedIn Results

LinkedIn Marketing: New Features to Enhance Your LinkedIn Results

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you use LinkedIn for your business? Are you wondering how LinkedIn can help your online marketing? To learn more about the new capabilities of LinkedIn and what they mean for marketers, I interview Viveka von Rosen for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Viveka von Rosen, founder of Linked Into Business and author of the new book, LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day. Viveka shares insights into what's new with LinkedIn and how marketers can cash in on all that LinkedIn is doing. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: LinkedIn Marketing How LinkedIn Company Pages Are Evolving Viveka shares how LinkedIn is becoming more autonomous with their Company Pages. Although functionality has not changed much on LinkedIn Company Pages and they still need to build a more dynamic social destination, the look and design have changed recently. Company Pages are more vibrant. There's a new banner photo across the top, which adds to the branding possibilities and the attractiveness of Company Pages. Want to create a banner? Make your photo 646 x 220 pixels in size. This new design means that people will go beyond one-on-one connections and follow Company Pages. Listen to the show to hear how the new Company Page allows you to build a business following that could lead to a personal following. How Targeted Updates Work Viveka explains how LinkedIn has focused more on Targeted Updates. When sharing updates on your Company Page, you can now target the audience you want to reach. For example, you can choose to share specific updates with everyone who is following you or choose a specific industry or location. And LinkedIn also provides companies with statistics on their results when sharing these updates. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NqapW7FE6I Listen to the show to find out more about the statistics in your company updates. How to Drive Followers With Your Company Page You can put a Company Follow widget on your website to drive people directly to your company profile. Of course, you can also put the link to your Company Page in your email signature. Viveka recommends letting people know why they should follow your Company Page. You need to tell people what they are going to get out of it. You'll discover how content on an active LinkedIn Company Page has a greater propensity to show up in the LinkedIn Today section of the website. Listen to the show to hear how LinkedIn Today can work for you. What Is the Influencer Program? At present on LinkedIn, there are about 152 influencers whom you can follow on LinkedIn. These thought leaders include President Barack Obama, Governor Mitt Romney, Jeff Weiner (CEO of LinkedIn), Guy Kawasaki and Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post). Viveka explains how you get a sense of interaction with these individuals, as the articles they are sharing are more than just updates. One of the advantages of being an influencer is you are able to write longer blog-style articles that get shared. Viveka says that right now, LinkedIn is choosing who gets to be an influencer. It's uncertain when this is going to be available to everyone else. It's LinkedIn's way of trying to create a more content-rich platform (people tend to think of LinkedIn as a "Rolodex on steroids"). It's a great opportunity to get some inside information from these influencers. Listen to the show to find out how you can share this content across other social networks.

Developing a Social Media Strategy

by Kyle Henderson @ JellyFlea Creative

Most businesses don’t realize that simply having Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages aren’t enough to effectively increase their social media presence or search engine optimization efforts. A strategy tailored to your business is necessary to fully utilize these tools and build a strong social media presence. Develop your Topics One of the biggest initial mistakes […]

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9 Time-Saving Tools for Social Media Marketers

9 Time-Saving Tools for Social Media Marketers

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you need to spend less time on repetitive social media tasks? Are you looking for tools that let you balance automation with a personal touch? In this article, you'll discover nine tools to help marketers save time while maintaining a human presence on social media. Listen to this article: Relationship-building Tools Just like any relationship, connecting on social media starts with finding the right people and reaching out in a human way. Here are some automation tools to help you do that. #1: Notifier Linking to other people's amazing content not only helps establish your own authority, but is also one of the best ways to make meaningful connections. If you're smart about leveraging those connections, you'll reach out directly every time you include someone else in your own work. With Notifier, simply enter the URL into an article you've published (whether on your own site or as a guest contributor) and the tool will pull out all of the people mentioned in the post, tag them based on their Twitter handles, and queue up those shares via Buffer. Here's what a recent article pulled in. Notifier then lets you select how many mentions you want to include in each share and will schedule them to drip out over a chosen time frame. #2: Leadfeeder Visitors pass through your digital presence every day by browsing on your website, looking at your product or services pages, or maybe even consuming your content, all without submitting their information. This means that most of the time you have no digital record that those visitors even exist (outside of raw Google Analytics traffic counts). Leadfeeder is especially valuable to B2B organizations, because it will connect your onsite Google Analytics with your visitors' off-site social profiles so you can see who's coming to your site, which company they're from, and what they're interested in. Once you've identified your visitors, you can easily assign visitors to a campaign, customize your automated responses based on what they've shown interest in, and then measure the results. #3: Socedo Many marketers overlook the bottom-line benefits of lead generation on social media because they haven't found the right tool to automate prospecting and report key metrics like testing. Similar to Leadfeeder, Socedo is another great tool that helps you zero in on your ideal prospects via Twitter and LinkedIn, so you can collect their profile information and add them to your sales pipeline and CRM. Most notably, Socedo's analytics provide robust reporting that links directly to platforms like HubSpot. This allows you to see exactly how specific campaigns have paid off, both on engagement and ultimate conversions. Having a system in place that treats social leads differently from more heavy-handed email campaigns is vital, especially if you want to stay human. Commerce Tools When it comes to advertising, selling, and customer service on social, things get even more inhuman than merely connecting with new leads. Here are three tools that strike an excellent balance among making the sale, supporting current customers, and being genuinely social. #4: Yotpo User-generated marketing in the form of reviews and recommendations is one of the most powerful purchase drivers online. While many websites feature reviews and testimonials, they drop the ball when it comes to sharing those same golden nuggets natively on social media. Enter Yotpo. Yotpo will incentivize reviews by offering bonuses or coupons to your existing customers. It will collect your reviews in a centralized database for easy access and allow you to instantly "push" your reviews both to your website and your social streams. Take Nest Bedding, for instance. Using Yotpo, Nest Bedding was able to integrate user-generated content into a host of their social selling platforms, most notably Facebook. Why this relentless "customer-centric" focus? Easy. Because,

4 Tips for More SlideShare Leads

4 Tips for More SlideShare Leads

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you use SlideShare? Wondering how to generate leads from SlideShare? With the right design and content, your SlideShare presentation can become a powerful lead-generating marketing tool. In this article, you'll discover four simple steps for creating a SlideShare presentation that people can't resist. Listen to this article: Why SlideShare for Lead Generation? The great thing about SlideShare is that the platform generates over 70 million visitors a month, and 5 times more traffic from business owners than Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. This means there is a ton of potential for you to redirect some of those valuable visitors back to your site. #1: Look to Others for Guidance It's important to understand what's already working for others on SlideShare before you spend too much time putting together a deck that no one wants to look at. To begin, search SlideShare to see what some of the most popular slide decks look like, and understand which elements you should replicate in your own decks. For example, if you're trying to get people to participate in an Instagram class you're promoting, you can search the social media category in SlideShare. Flip through some of the slide decks you see and make notes on the following to guide your own SlideShare deck: Cover slide elements Number of slides in each deck Font size and the number of words per slide Color scheme Title Types of content in each deck (slide deck, infographic, document, etc.) How and when images are used Tone of the language #2: Craft Your Content Before you start copying and pasting chunks of text into a PowerPoint template, take a minute to think about what pieces of information are absolutely crucial to your audience's interests. Carefully consider the angle you're going to use to engage people. How will you encourage people to click through your presentation to the end? In addition to text and images on your slides, consider uploading infographics or other documents that might be interesting to your audience, as in this example from Jay Baer's deck How Fast Is Fast Enough? Here are some points to keep in mind when designing your presentation: Start With an Outline An initial outline should quickly break down the text you want to include in your SlideShare. Keep it brief. Most SlideShare presentations have between 30 and 60 slides. If each of your slides has a 100-word paragraph on it, you no longer have a slide deck, you have a novela. Instead, aim to limit the text on each slide to the length of a tweet. Story is important. If you want your presentation to succeed, it has to present an intriguing angle. Want to do a presentation about how to use Facebook Live? Try positioning it as, "The Worst Ways to Use Facebook Live." Inject Personality Have a conversation. Talking directly to your readers is a great way to build trust and hold their attention. Ask questions they're likely to ponder, then continue to answer those questions. Use humor. For some reason we've been conditioned to act serious and professional all the time. But the honest truth is, people get bored easily. Humor is a very powerful tool and can boost people's opinions of you. It makes you likeable. When people like you, they're more likely to listen to and trust you. If your readers trust you, you can tell them what to buy. See what I'm getting at? Teach Your Audience The primary purpose of a SlideShare should be to teach your audience something they don't know. Showcase your expert knowledge on SlideShare and you'll get leads and traffic. Offer immediate value. Include points that offer actionable and useful tips for the reader, as in the example below from Peg Fitzpatrick's The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users. People should leave the SlideShare having learned something. You'll want to avoid general takeaways and focus on sharing valuable tools,

How to Create Facebook Video Ads: A Step by Step Guide

How to Create Facebook Video Ads: A Step by Step Guide

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Interested in creating Facebook video ads? Looking for an easy-to-follow guide? Facebook video ads don't require a lot of time or money. All you need is a script and some basic gear. In this article you'll discover how to design and record your own Facebook video ads. Listen to this article: Why Create Facebook Video Ads? According to data from comScore, 64% of consumers are more likely to buy products after watching videos about them. You can use the power of video ads to get more leads and sales for your business. Here are some ways to use video ads: Introduce your brand. This can be the type of video you would normally have on your home page, in which you share your company mission and story. Give value upfront. Use a how-to or tutorial video as an ad. Or simply share great content and get people to click through to your website. Build your email list. Create a quick video introducing your free ebook or upcoming webinar. Share testimonials. If your customers record a video testimonial for you, ask them if you can use it in a video ad. This is a great way to retarget people who have visited your sales page. For these videos, use animated text and images, a recording of yourself (or other people) or a combination of both. All of these options can work well, depending on your business and the goals for your campaign. This article focuses on how to create your own video ad, with the goal of building your email list. Here's an example of what this video ad might look like in a fan's Facebook news feed. The goal of this video ad is to entice people to sign up for a free report, which is similar to the strategy that this article focuses on. Here's how to get started creating your own Facebook video ads. #1: Set Up the Equipment You don't need a lot of fancy equipment to create a great-looking video. The most important thing is to be authentic and relatable in your video. For the background, you can use a white wall or backdrop, or a nicely decorated room in your house, as long as it doesn't distract too much. The example below uses a brick wall backdrop. You can use your smartphone to record the video. If your phone isn't older than three years, you probably have some great HD video recording options. If you want to turn the quality up a notch (and have the money to invest), the Logitech C930e webcam is a great alternative. Good audio quality is essential for a great video. Consider using a Blue Yeti or Rode Podcaster USB mic. Lighting is also important; however, you don't need professional lighting equipment. Simply use lamps from your living room or home office to light the area. Or record your video in a room where steady sunlight is coming through the windows. Avoid direct sunlight though, as this can overexpose your video and result in unwanted shadow effects. #2: Practice the Script Next, you need to practice your script. If you haven't created one yet, follow the five steps to create the perfect script: grab attention, build interest, cultivate desire, create persuasion and end with a strong call to action. Here's a basic script example: Struggling to eat healthy? There's a new method that makes it easy. This free guide shows you exactly how. 79,894 people have already tried it. Click Download to get your free recipes. This script is a great starting point for a talking-head video ad, but you'll likely feel like a robot when you say these words on camera. To make it flow better, say the script out loud a few times, and add some words that make it feel more natural to you. Also, consider introducing yourself to add a personal touch, especially if you're targeting a new audience. After some tweaking, the basic script above looks like this: Hi, do you ever struggle with eating healthy? My name is …. and I'm the founder of …. I've created a new method that makes eating healthy very easy, and I'm offering a free guide that shows you ex...

Facebook Growth: How to Create Huge Facebook Communities Without Advertising

Facebook Growth: How to Create Huge Facebook Communities Without Advertising

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Wondering how to grow your Facebook following without resorting to paid advertising? Want to discover the secrets to getting more fans and driving them to your blog? To learn how one marketer has built several massive Facebook communities, all through organic growth, I interview Collin Cottrell. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Collin Cottrell, the founder of WhitetailOverload.com, a website dedicated to deer hunting. He's quickly built a massive following of more than 800,000 fans on his Facebook page, all without advertising. Collin also founded OutdoorOverload.com. In this episode Collin will explore how he built his Facebook pages rapidly, without using paid advertising. You’ll discover how to cross-promote your Facebook pages to grow your following and what types of posts get the most attention. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. How to subscribe/review on iPhone. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Facebook Growth Collin's background Collin, who grew up in the Midwest, started hunting with his dad at an early age. He would go to hunting camps with his father and uncles, and they would sit around the campfire, tell stories about hunting and talk about life. Collin found he had a passion for hunting, and wanted to figure out how to make a living from it. In high school Collin started building websites, doing graphic design and using social media (at the time it was MySpace and the beginning of Twitter) to build his way into the hunting outdoor industry. For example, he worked on Bowhunting.net (which was on AOL in 1994 and then launched fully in 1996). Collin also attended hunting and outdoor trade shows, such as the Archery Trade Show, where he would interview the different dealers and put the videos on their websites. The hunting industry needed a new way to market to their growing customer base with social media, Collin says, and that’s how he found his niche. At the same time Collin was going to trade shows, he was building his own marketing company on the side. Developing relationships with major players in the hunting industry was a huge boost to his business. Listen to the show to discover the similarity between how Collin and I got started, even though we're in very different niches. Collin's start on Facebook Around 2007, Collin launched a graphics/web design/marketing agency with a focus on the hunting and outdoor industry. Facebook pages were just being introduced, so Collin decided to create hunting-related pages to build communities. In addition to the bowhunting page, he started pages for shed hunting, turkey hunting and more. Facebook was different at the time, Collin recalls. If you put out good content, and you had a good following, you could reach a lot of people. He put interesting, informative, value-driven content on the page, such as questions, pictures and videos. A short time later, Collin decided to create a whitetail deer hunting page, since it’s the top tier in the hunting industry in America. He did crossovers from the other pages to get fans to the new one. This Facebook page grew organically very quickly through contests, content and posting several times a day. A year and a half ago, when they were at 500,000 fans, they were able to reach 25 to 50 million people a month. Whitetail Overload launched August 1, 2014. Since Collin is a web and graphic designer, he was able to build landing pages and apps for his giveaways right in Facebook, which drove people to his pages, as well as other large hunting-related niche pages. Giveaways, Collin shares,

Influencer Marketing: What You Need to Know to Get Started

Influencer Marketing: What You Need to Know to Get Started

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Does your company work with influencers? Want to incorporate influencers into your marketing? To discover what you need to know about influencer marketing, I interview Lee Odden. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Lee Odden, an influencer marketing expert. He's the author of Optimize, the CEO of TopRank Marketing, and his company produces TopRankBlog.com. Lee explores influencer marketing and what you need to know to do it well. You'll discover how to work with influencers. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Influencer Marketing What is influencer marketing? Lee says the roots of influencer marketing are in advocacy and public relations organizations. You're essentially working with people who are really famous in an industry. The idea is to create an affinity for the brand for however that celebrity is known, and to reach the audience that celebrity has been able to attract. Lee adds that people still have the idea that if they convince famous people to talk about their company, then they'll be famous too. The reality is that, today, especially in the world of social media, people are empowered to follow their passions to create, curate, connect with others, and attract a following. This allows people to create their own influence. Everyone is influential about something, Lee says. Not just famous people can be part of your influencer marketing program. An influencer can be an employee like "Ted in engineering," who has a blog with 5,000 subscribers. Or, it could be that person with a million followers. It could even be customers who are advocating for you every chance they get. When you work with people who have subject matter expertise and an active network, you can advance your brand goals in some really powerful ways. On platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat, there's a whole category of people called creators. They have various levels of celebrity, influence, or network size, and have anointed themselves as experts. There are marketplaces where brands can go and literally shop for a tweet, an Instagram image, product placement in a YouTube video, etc. For companies in the business of paying to play, it's a good fit. There are also brands that want to develop relationships with people who are truly thought leaders in their industry, or up-and-comers. They want to develop relationships, because they have an affinity for each other and have things their common audiences care about. There's no right or wrong, but it's important when setting expectations to know what you're going to get out of it. What is the distinction between a celebrity and a thought leader? Lee brought up an expression he borrowed from Scott Monty, "brandividual." This is someone truly invested in developing his or her own brand, except they're an individual. These professional influencers write books, give keynotes, and do all sorts of amazing things. Lee adds it's an important distinction to make between someone who is exclusively focused on being well-known and someone who is a true thought leader. He's not saying a brandividual can't be a thought leader. A thought leader is someone expressing original thought. They're creating content based on intelligence, experimentation, and observations. Brian Solis is a great example of a thought leader, Lee says. In addition to being really good at promoting himself, Brian is constantly experimenting. He does research. He interviews. And then collects, analyzes, and interprets the data. His experiments and experiences help form the thought leader con...

Measuring Social Media: What Marketers Need to Know

Measuring Social Media: What Marketers Need to Know

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you understand how to measure social media activities? Do you know how to gather the right data to help you achieve your business goals? To explore how you can measure social media activities, I interview Lutz Finger for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Lutz Finger, who is the director of data analytics at LinkedIn and co-author of the new book, Ask, Measure, Learn: Using Social Media Analytics to Understand and Influence Customer Behavior. Lutz shares why he's so interested in social analytics. You'll discover why Lutz believes social media analytics will have a bigger impact than the onset of the Internet did. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Measuring Social Media Why do so many businesses struggle with measuring social media activities? Lutz talks about the trial-and-error phase of social media measurement and how we've moved beyond that phase in some areas but are still learning in others. He says the promise of social media analytics has a lot of misconceptions around it. With easy access to data on trending content, followers, Klout scores, etc., businesses are trying to find a way to use the data. Lutz explains why this approach often leads to a negative outcome and why businesses should approach using data with a goal or question first. Lutz shares why it's important to understand how a metric is built and points to the Influencer metric as an example. He says that while there are at least 10 different Influencer metrics that have to do with reach, not every influencer can help fulfill every goal. He explains why he would consider Social Media Examiner an influencer if he wanted to put a new social tool in front of people who work with social media, but not if he wanted to sell clothing. Listen to the show to learn what influencer reach must be combined with to move people from awareness to intention. The difference between viral and contagious content Lutz says the term viral, when used to describe social media content, is wrong because something that's viral is equally infectious at every stage. For example, a story that is liked by 1 in 10 people the first time it's seen will be liked by 1 in 10 people in the future. He explains that when something is contagious, it gains weight as long as it travels. The more people who believe in it, the more trustworthy the story becomes, regardless of whether it's true. Listen to the show to find out how people convince an algorithm that something is contagious and how that's affected things like the New York Times Bestseller List. How social media data can empower a business Lutz states there isn't good or bad data, there's just useful and useless data. He explains that data is only useful when a business has the right question. He shares that many organizations start by asking what data they have and how they can measure it. Then they try to find something in the data to help their business. Lutz says you need to start with a question or goal, and then figure out how to capture the data that will help answer that question instead of using data to come up with a question you didn't have in the first place. He illustrates how a sales department can use data to answer the question, "How can we find new clients?" Listen to the show to discover why sentiment is an especially difficult metric to measure. How marketers can start measuring social media activities Once you have the question,

16 Writing Tools for Social Media Marketers

16 Writing Tools for Social Media Marketers

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you create copy for social media posts? Do you want some tools to help you improve the quality of your posts? Whether you work on your own or with a team, there are tools that make it more likely your social media posts will publish without errors and with correct word counts. In this article you'll discover 16 writing tools for social media marketers. Listen to this article: #1: WriteRack Do you frequently post tweets that are longer than the maximum 140 characters? If so, you'll need to send a "tweetstorm," or a series of tweets one right after the next. Doing this manually can be time-consuming. Instead of writing out each tweet, sign up for WriteRack and put your entire long tweet into the tool. It then divides it up, numbers it, and posts all of your tweets at once. Done and done! #2: Slick Write Slick Write is a user-friendly website that lets you copy and paste your social content directly into an analysis window. Slick Write analyzes your writing to find grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. Depending on the level of editing you want, settings can even be adjusted to catch mistakes like biased language and gender-specific pronouns. #3: Help.PlagTracker Originality is one of the most important components of any social media post. If you have a lot of competitors active on social media, you'll want to stand out as a unique brand. Run all of your posts through the Help.PlagTracker website before you publish them. This helps you to ensure originality and avoid the pitfalls of plagiarism. #4: Polish My Writing Polish My Writing (also known as After the Deadline) is a user-friendly grammar correction website that goes a step further. You can use it to get style suggestions for your content. The words to be corrected are simply underlined in red, blue, or green (depending on the correction), so the writing isn't cluttered or crowded as you edit. #5: Ulysses Ulysses is an app for anyone who does a lot of writing. The app lets you write no matter where you are, and will organize all of your writing in one place (including texts, new content, email, and writing projects). If you're in charge of managing a social media account, it can save you a lot of time by allowing you to access and organize your content at any time. The app costs $24.99. #6: Writefull Have you ever toggled back and forth between your word processor and Google trying to figure out if the phrases you want to use are correct or accurate? This works, but it's also intrusive and leads to distraction. Writefull is an app that integrates with your word processor to take over the role of Google. You can find out on the spot whether your phrases make sense. #7: Word Counter If you're planning to send out a lot of tweets about an upcoming product launch or a new promotion, you'll need to word them perfectly to make the most use of Twitter's 140-character limit. You can achieve this easily by using Word Counter. #8: Grammar Monster Grammar Monster won't correct your writing, but it will help prevent mistakes in the first place. Grammar Monster is an educational site where you'll find grammar and writing lessons, quizzes, grammar tips of the day, and a huge selection of grammar rules divided into categories. #9: Spellchecker Pretty much as you would expect, Spellchecker is a website that will quickly and accurately check your writing for spelling errors. #10: Grammar Check Grammar Check lets you copy and paste your content into its editing software. The site will then correct everything from dangling modifiers to unnecessary ellipses. #11: Papers Gear Editor Papers Gear is a professional custom writing service. You can hire an editing team to proofread and check grammar on your blog, articles, website copy, social media content, and any other important documents for your business. You can also get assistance with formatting your content. #12: Hemingway App

How to Build Raving Fans in Unconventional Ways

How to Build Raving Fans in Unconventional Ways

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you want enthusiastic fans? Looking for unique ways to engage your audience? To discover how he grew a large and thriving fan base, I interview Pat Flynn. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Pat Flynn, the founder of SmartPassiveIncome.com, a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. He's also host of the Smart Passive Income podcast and author of Will It Fly? Pat explores unconventional ways to build loyalty with your fans. You'll discover which forms of content are better than others for creating raving fans. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: How to Build Raving Fans in Unconventional Ways The Beginning of Smart Passive Income Pat built the Smart Passive Income blog in the latter half of 2008 as a way to showcase how he was finding success with Green Exam Academy, a website with resources to help people pass the architecture exam. On the blog, Pat shared how he'd built his business, things he wished he would have done, and mistakes he made. In October 2008, he started including income reports (how many products he sold and how much money he made), not to show off but to provide inspiration. Pat believes that by keeping people in the loop of his activities and leading by example, others benefit from his knowledge. Over time, the Smart Passive Income blog became more about experimenting with new tactics, documenting, and sharing what Pat learned along the way. Pat says that's how he became known as the crash test dummy of online business. Back in 2008, if you had told Pat that he would be a leader in this space, he says he would have laughed. He didn't think that was what he wanted. Now Pat is owning the role, trying to lead by example and starting a movement of authentic entrepreneurship. Listen to the show to hear Pat explain more about crash test dummies. Nurturing Fans in the Early Days While Pat got a lot of encouragement via the comments on his blog for the first couple of years, he never thought of those commenters as fans. Then in July 2010, he started his podcast. Later that year, strangers came up to him at a conference and chatted like they were old friends. Nobody at the conference mentioned his blog. Pat thinks his fans connected more through the podcast rather than his blog because they viewed the podcast as more real. He explains that the written word gives you a feel for who a person is, but a podcast puts you in the ears of your listeners. For listeners, the feeling is similar to being part of a conversation. Pat says he's very much himself on air, and shares personal tidbits in each episode to help his audience relate to and connect with him. For example, at the beginning of every show, Pat's voiceover guy John Melley (who does our intros in a different accent) reads a random fun fact about Pat. For example, "Here's your host. He's a Sagittarius who loves long walks on the beach: Pat Flynn." or "Here's your host. He was an 11-pound, 12-ounce baby." Pat says he once met a woman at a conference who told him she loved his show and randomly added, "When I had my baby, he was also a giant." That small fact immediately connected them, because she could relate. When you share fun little facts about yourself, Pat notes, people can find something they have in common with you and decide to follow you. This isn't true only for podcasts; the same thing can happen on your blog or your video channel. Listen to the show to discover Pat's thoughts on using video versus a podcast to connect with people. Being Yourself

How to Create Quality Facebook Canvas Ads

How to Create Quality Facebook Canvas Ads

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you want to reach more mobile Facebook users? Wondering how Canvas ads might help? Facebook Canvas lets you create full-page, interactive mobile ads that work like landing pages for tablet and smartphone users. In this article you'll discover how to create quality Facebook Canvas ads. Listen to this article: Why Facebook Canvas? Facebook Canvas is a new tool for advertisers, built specifically for the mobile platform. Facebook users can scroll through Canvas ads to view photos, watch videos, and discover your company's story. Canvas is free to use beyond the standard Facebook advertising costs, and its drag-and-drop interface requires no coding knowledge. The ads are fully immersive, so there's nothing else on the page vying for users' attention when they're scrolling through or clicking on the content in your ads. And while interactive media is normally a concern because of loading times (long loading times drive people away in every corner of the web), Canvas ads load almost as soon as they're selected. This is because they're hosted on Facebook rather than redirected to an outside page. In fact, they can download up to 10 times faster than general mobile web pages. Here are some ways you can use Facebook Canvas to maximize the impact of video ads for your business. #1: Complement Videos With Text and Images To use Canvas effectively, you need to take advantage of everything it has to offer. The tool allows you to share much of the same content you can post on your website, such as articles, photographs, videos, and even products. You have the option to display photos in carousel format, which Facebook introduced last year. You can add up to five images with optional links in one Canvas ad. Facebook is slowly rolling out the ability to create a carousel of videos as well. While there may be an emphasis on video in Canvas ads, you should also consider using other content options to better tell your company's story, highlight your products, and pique consumer interest. A genuinely compelling multimedia Canvas ad will capture attention and engage your audience, which can translate to increased web traffic, more conversions, and more sales. You can also use your video content in a variety of ways. For example, you might create a video that highlights the core principles of your brand and then include a carousel of products. Alternatively, you might include a series of customer testimonials or behind-the-scenes highlights of your company. Tailor your video to your marketing goals, whether that's greater brand awareness or increased sales, to get the best results. Kit and Ace used this video in a Canvas ad to bring awareness to their brand and get their line of all-day technical performance apparel in front of their target market. . #2: Tell a Story With a Series of Video Clips Facebook allows a maximum of 2 minutes of video for your canvas, but you can split up the video content however you want. One tactic is to use a series of 15- or 20-second clips, as in this social media campaign for Evan Williams' Bourbon. . Not only are shorter clips more likely to hold your audience's attention than longer videos, but they also give you the freedom to explore different facets of your business or highlight individual customer experiences. This greater flexibility in storytelling allows you to truly guide your audience through the experience and direct them toward what you want them to see. #3: Draw the Viewer in With Immersive Content Videos let you harness the power of both visuals and words to tell your company's story. It's important, therefore, that you come across as genuine and sincere. Design your videos (and your entire canvas) to elicit some sort of emotion, whether it's funny, heartfelt, or exciting, and then tailor your words to that goal. Keep your language simple, but emotional. Never use business jargon or buzzwords in your video ads.

How to Sell on Instagram

How to Sell on Instagram

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Is your business on Instagram? Do you want to use Instagram as a revenue stream? To find out how to use Instagram for sales, I interview Jasmine Star. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Jasmine Star, a professional photographer who specializes in Instagram marketing. Her story starts with law school, transitions over to photography, and ultimately goes to Instagram. Jasmine is sure to inspire you with ways to sell with Instagram. Jasmine shares how to sell your products and services via Instagram. You'll discover the advantages of using Instagram for selling. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: How to Sell on Instagram Jasmine's Story In 2005, Jasmine was in her first year of law school at UCLA when she got the news that her mother's brain cancer was in the final stages. She left school and moved home. Jasmine knew she didn't want to go back to law school and decided to give photography a try. For Christmas, her husband gave her her first digital camera and she started her wedding photography business. When her business exploded that first year, it helped her identify as an entrepreneur. Jasmine joined Instagram six years ago but says she used it haphazardly until just a few years ago. When she learned how to use Instagram strategically as a marketing vehicle for her business, it was a game-changer. Since then, she's been named one of the top 10 wedding photographers and one of the most influential photographers, which she believes is due to her varied and intentional use of Instagram and other social media platforms. Listen to the show to discover more of Jasmine's backstory and why she believes she was called to live a passionate life. Why Instagram Works for Selling Jasmine shares one of her favorite quotes from author Simon Sinek, "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." In her opinion, there's no better platform than Instagram to showcase why you do something. She believes Instagram's powerful storytelling components give you the ability to make customers loyal before a purchase has been made. If you can tell a powerful story in fewer than 87 characters (the caption limit), along with a photo that matches and elevates the storytelling component, you'll win at Instagram. Listen to the show to learn what Jasmine says makes Instagram different from other platforms. How to Get Seen on Instagram It's no secret that people are seeing the effects of the Instagram algorithm on their visibility in the news feed, and that's why Jasmine says it's more important to build an audience of the right kind of followers than to collect followers just to increase your numbers. Visibility in the news feed comes from having engaged followers who care about your business, leave comments and likes, tag their friends, and share your posts. An account with a lot of followers who aren't engaged won't be indexed high by the algorithm. This results in fewer people seeing that account's posts, which then results in fewer people liking and commenting. So, all things being equal, if one account has 200 followers and another has 2,000 followers, and each account routinely gets 20 likes and two comments, the account with fewer followers is more likely to be seen, because it's perceived as more relevant. To build an audience of the right followers, Jasmine suggests creating an ideal client profile. Figure out where your ideal client is on Instagram and why, she says. Then figure out how to serve the people who follow you. Creating value will nurture and grow your audience,...

Show Social: A simple way to collect leads

by WebsitesForAnything @ Websites For Anything

It should come as no surprise that connecting your website to social media can help you capture leads in Fredericksburg or around the world!  Using social media on your website will help connect with thousands of customers that are more & more inclined to respond positively towards social media marketing!  Getting your social media feed onto your website can quickly ...

The post Show Social: A simple way to collect leads appeared first on Websites For Anything.

Theft: 9 Ways to Protect Yourself From Losing Your Data

Theft: 9 Ways to Protect Yourself From Losing Your Data

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you rely on your computer for business? Is your computer and data secure? To learn more about ways to protect yourself and your business, this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast gives you insight into the subject. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, you'll learn different ways to protect your data and make sure your business is back up and running very quickly if you were ever to lose it. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Computer Security Why secure your computer? There are two main reasons to secure your computer. Peace of mind. If your hard drive was to crash or you had your computer stolen, you need to know that it doesn't spell the end of your business. It allows you to sleep at night. Theft and a hard drive crash are almost the same outcomes. Peace of mind is a big deal. Business continuity. You don't want the loss of your computer to be the end to their business. This is why it's essential to implement security measures. The good news about a lot of this stuff is, it's set and forget. It only takes a small amount of your time, and in certain cases some financial investment, to know that you will be able to continue to operate no matter what happens to your computer. Recently I received a phone call from my office informing me that my two iMacs had been stolen. When the police arrived we were informed that another office within the same building had also been targeted. The alarm system was set, it hadn't been disarmed and even the motion sensors hadn't been triggered. They broke through the office window, taking the computers with them. You'll hear the reason why my office was vulnerable. In total I lost about a day and a half of my time and you'll discover how I got back online within 5 hours. I thought I would share my story with you and hopefully you'll be able to take some notes from it. Here are 9 tips to protect yourself from losing your data. #1: Set-up a remote backup I highly recommend that you have a remote back-up plan in place. I use CrashPlan and for approximately $60 a year have unlimited back-up capabilities. Listen to the show to hear how CrashPlan works and the different account levels they offer. #2: Back-up to an external hard drive You have to make sure that your hard drive is external from your computer. If you put yourself in the minds of the thief, they want to make a quick buck. They don't really care about your hard drive, just your computer. An external hard drive is critical. In my case they left the hard drive behind and I was able to plug it into my new computer. It was the key to everything. For the iMac they have got a really cool thing called Time Machine. Make sure you store your external hard drive somewhere out of sight. Remember the thieves unplug all the cables and just take the computer. Listen to the show to hear how Time Machine works similar to CrashPlan, and how it can get you back up and running very quickly. #3: Secure your browser passwords You should make sure you have a password to log onto your computer. A password can be a deterrent, although when someone does steal your computer, they are likely to reformat the hard drive, rather than try to figure out the password. Make sure you also password protect your web browser. This is really important because we access our banking accounts, merchant systems, blogging tools, email etc from within a web browser. Everything seems to live out in the cloud these days.

Mobilizing Your Website: What You Need to Know

Mobilizing Your Website: What You Need to Know

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Is your website or blog mobile-ready? Are you wondering how to optimize it for mobile users? To learn about the opportunities available in the mobile marketing world, I interview Greg Hickman for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Greg Hickman, the founder of Mobile Mixed, a website that specializes in training marketers in mobile marketing. He also hosts The Mobile Mixed Podcast. Greg advises big brands on mobile marketing, including AT&T, Electronic Arts, Cabelas and Sony Pictures. Greg shares what businesses should do to make their mobile experience more user-friendly. You'll learn about the best tools available to build your own mobile site and how to discover the kind of devices people are using to visit your site. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Mobilizing Your Website Why it's important for businesses to think about the unique needs of mobile users Greg shares why you have to think where your customer or audience is coming from. The way we consume content today—whether it be email, social, using search or listening to podcasts—is mainly through a mobile device. The first entry point to you, your business or brand is more likely to be a mobile phone. You want the customers' experience to be very friendly and optimized to whatever device they are on. Around 53% of the US population has a smartphone. You'll discover why Greg believes email is overlooked when it comes to mobile. Listen to the show to find out why Greg believes mobile email is an opportunity for marketers. How to find out if mobile users are coming to your website Greg recommends that the first thing you should do is look at analysis software such as Google Analytics. It will show you how many people in your current audience are coming to your site from a mobile device. It will also break out the numbers by specific device. You'll probably discover that 20-50% of the overall visits to your site are coming from a mobile device. Secondly, depending on your email service provider, some will offer insights into how many of the email opens are coming from mobile. You'll find out why this is a good indicator if you're a big emailer. Greg shares how you can look to see from a social perspective if people engage with you from a mobile device on Twitter or Facebook. You'll hear how many people visited Social Media Examiner over the last 30 days via a mobile device. Listen to the show to find out why MillerCoors launched Android-specific solutions for their audience. Why we need to think differently about tablet users versus mobile phone users There's a lot of misconception about how people use their smartphones. Greg recently read a study where 68% of smartphone usage is from home. Mobile doesn't necessarily mean on the go. You have to look at your own customers and brand and see where they are interacting with you to help determine how much it's going to affect you. Greg believes with the tablet experience, you will start to see more usage in the evening hours. People use them as a second screen experience while sitting on the couch in front of the TV. Google Analytics helps you see the time of day people are hitting your site with their specific devices. You might then correlate that to the likelihood of people sitting on the couch. Listen to the show to find out how the older generation is adopting tablet devices. Where marketers should start when it comes to making a site ...

SearchCap: SEO content audits, a search marketer’s view of Facebook & a link study

by Amy Gesenhues @ SearchCap: Daily Search Engine News Recap

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: SEO content audits, a search marketer’s view of Facebook & a link study appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Tips to Make Your SEO Campaign a Success

by SearchEngineOptimization @ Simply Design

It’s no secret – whether you’re a large company or a small business, you want to grow your business online.  The lack of knowledge involving how to get started is not common among small business owners only, in fact, many executives running medium-sized companies do not understand how SEO can impact their business. Whether you […]

The post Tips to Make Your SEO Campaign a Success appeared first on Simply Design.

Pinterest Marketing: What Marketers Need to Know to Succeed

Pinterest Marketing: What Marketers Need to Know to Succeed

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Are you wondering if Pinterest can help your business? Do you want to get more traffic from your Pinterest account? To learn more about the power of Pinterest for marketers, I interview Beth Hayden for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Beth Hayden, author of the new book Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business on Pinterest.  Beth shares her insights into how Pinterest can drive more traffic to your website or blog. You'll learn tips and techniques on what images work best on Pinterest and why content behind the image matters. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Pinterest for Marketers Beth talks about the demographics of Pinterest users. The latest number of Pinterest users is about 11 million. Up to 80% of Pinterest users are women between the ages of 25 and 55. Beth says that the demographic is shifting and there are more men joining. Pinterest users are fairly affluent, with a salary of $50,000+. Discover Beth's theory behind the success of Pinterest and why there's something addictive about it. Listen to the show to find out more about Pinterest and how it draws you in. What Pinterest offers marketers. Beth shares how Pinterest is a great source of referral traffic for websites and blogs, even when compared to other social media sites.  At present, Pinterest is driving more referral traffic than LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube combined. And the only social media site driving more traffic than Pinterest is Facebook. You'll learn how Pinterest can drive referral traffic back to your blog or website as Beth goes through all of the steps involved. You'll discover what makes Pinterest different from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The secret is in Pinterest's simple model of videos and images on boards that are linked back elsewhere. Listen to the show to understand how this visual billboard platform can work for you. What social actions happen on Pinterest. On Pinterest there are three action buttons: Repin, Like and Comment. Beth explains the importance of repinning—how every time something is repinned, it's shared with the person's followers—and how this becomes exponential. You'll also discover what works best on Pinterest between liking, repinning and commenting on pins and the reasons why they are different. Beth shares why she believes that people should take more advantage of commenting on pins. It's an opportunity for marketers to create more engagement. Listen to the show to learn how to get more out of your Pinterest marketing. How pinboards work. Beth explains how pinboards are collections of images and videos. Beth describes the process as creating a collage out of images that you cut from magazines. Beth suggests making your boards as specific as you can. For example, instead of having a generic recipe board, you need to be more specific and maybe break it out into entrée recipes or dessert recipes. The more specific you are, the easier it is for people to see your interests. Listen to the show to hear why the pinboard is the heart of Pinterest and what the two key pieces are. How to build a following.  Beth believes that a following on Pinterest is as important as a following on any other social media site. Building a following on Pinterest can take more time than on other social media sites, even if you are fairly active. You should consider quality over quantity because you want to have an engaged audien...

5 Instagram Changes: What Marketers Need to Know

5 Instagram Changes: What Marketers Need to Know

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you up to date with the latest Instagram changes? Want to know what the changes mean for marketers? In addition to a brand-new logo, Instagram has rolled out updates to its ad products, video features, and news feed algorithm. In this article, you'll discover how the most recent Instagram changes can affect your marketing. Listen to this article: #1: Video Length Increased Ready to share longer videos on Instagram? In case you haven't heard, Instagram rolled out an increased time limit for videos from 15 to 60 seconds in April. Most users should have this capability with the latest version of the app. You can shoot video directly from the Instagram app or use your photo library. Features allow you to add filters, turn off the sound, and choose the cover photo. With these changes, you can share more video content, especially if you like to repurpose content from other networks, such as downloading your Snapchat story video to Instagram. #2: Videos Show Views and Viewers Now you can find out how many people are viewing your videos on Instagram. Simply look at the view count below each of your videos. When you click on your number of views, you'll get to see the number of likes, along with the option to follow those who liked your video. This may give you an idea of the amount of reach you're getting versus engagement. So if you see that hundreds of people viewed a video, but only a handful liked it, you can assume that it didn't resonate well with your audience. If you have hundreds of views and hundreds of likes, however, you have a winning video. #3: A Tap on Photo Ads Reveals the Call to Action When someone taps once on your ad photo, it brings up your call to action. You can let users click through to your website or app, depending on what you configured when setting up your Instagram ad. Note that this isn't the case with ad videos on Instagram. If you do a single tap on an ad video, it will turn on the sound. A second single tap will turn off the sound. Do a double tap to like the video, just as doing a double tap on an ad image will like the image. This is something worth noting when choosing between image and video. #4: Profile Click-throughs From Ads Include the Call to Action If you link your Instagram profile to your Instagram ad, when someone taps on your Instagram profile, it will place your ad's call to action at the top of your profile. Note that this only happens if users go to your profile by tapping on it above your ad. If they were to access it anywhere else, the call to action would no longer be there. Linking is something to keep in mind when choosing your call-to-action button text. When someone taps through to your Instagram profile from your ad, you'll want to display a call to action and profile bio text that align with your campaign. Would you want Apply Now, Book Now, Contact Us, Donate Now, Download, Learn More, Shop Now, Sign Up, or Watch More at the top of your profile? And what bio text and link would you want below that? Keep this in mind for every Instagram ad campaign. #5: News Feed Visibility Shifts With Algorithm While most people are focused on the logo change, the biggest change is the rollout of the enhanced Instagram algorithm. If you take a close look at your own Instagram news feed, you may notice that it's no longer in chronological order of newest posts first. Instead, you'll see posts in the order that Instagram deems the most important to you. It's not overall engagement or recency that wins the news feed, but rather how much Instagram thinks you care about that particular Instagram user. For example, a photo with 9 likes and no comments from three hours ago from someone you occasionally engage with is several posts ahead of a photo with 180k likes and 640 comments from an hour ago from a celebrity with a verified profile whom you rarely engage with. As an individual,

How to Republish, Repurpose and Reinvent Your Content Using LinkedIn Publisher

How to Republish, Repurpose and Reinvent Your Content Using LinkedIn Publisher

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Want to give existing content new life and greater visibility? Looking for a way to publish more often without much extra work? Use LinkedIn Publisher to consistently provide useful content for your audience, gain visibility and build your professional identity without writing anything new! In this article you’ll discover three ways to give existing content new life using LinkedIn Publisher. Listen to this article: #1: Republish Blog Posts One of the fastest ways to get started on LinkedIn is to copy and paste your complete content posts from other blogs. If you decide to go this route, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. It's important to understand how Google views duplicate content. You should wait at least two weeks after the post publishes before you republish it to LinkedIn. That gives the bots from search engines enough time to index and understand which post is the original, and rank it higher than republished content. Barry Feldman posted an article on LinkedIn a month after it originally appeared on his blog. To let readers know where to find the original post, include a sentence at the beginning or end that directs readers to the original version. This is especially important when you republish your guest post from another company's blog and it's a nice rule of thumb to adopt when you republish your own content. Readers will know where they can find more of your articles. Plus, they'll see you're honest about republishing your post. Take the time to craft a headline that's a little different and specific to the LinkedIn platform. For example, when Guillaume Decugis republishes content on LinkedIn, Medium and other syndication sites, he changes the title of each post to distinguish and optimize it. Then readers who search for the keyword will see multiple versions of the headline on the first page of search engine results. Remember, treat LinkedIn Publisher as a distribution channel, where the goal is to increase visibility and grow your audience. Send people back to your blog, so they can get to know more about you and your business. #2: Repurpose Long-Form Content Do you have robust ebooks, case studies and speeches that are too long for LinkedIn? No worries. It's easy to optimize your existing long-form blog content for LinkedIn Publisher. Take your long-form blog posts or ebooks and break them down into multiple individual posts. Include additional images and subheads too. You can even take old speeches and write them as LinkedIn posts. For example, Ann Handley (who does an excellent job of mixing new content and repurposed content into her LinkedIn Publisher posts) recently reimagined a speech published on her blog in 2013 for a LinkedIn Publisher post in 2015. #3: Use Previous Content to Inspire New Posts If you don't want to republish the same content (or even parts of it) from your blog, there are a few other options to avoid starting completely from scratch. Take a look at the analytics from your published content to see which articles performed best. Look at traffic, social media shares and any other metrics you monitor for performance. Then try to figure out what made that content so successful. One way to do this is to ask yourself questions about each post. Once you determine the source of that success, write a new article for LinkedIn that's similar. You can also go through your blog and find articles with similar themes. Then pick the big ideas from each post and turn it into a list post on LinkedIn. Include a summary paragraph or two from each post, as well as a link back to the original. Tips for LinkedIn Publisher Engagement and Visibility Whether you republish existing content verbatim or revise it, there are a few things to do to optimize it for LinkedIn. OkDork analyzed 3,000 of the most successful LinkedIn Publishing posts to come up with these helpful takeaways:

How to Add Pictures and a Site Logo to Your Website with BlueGriffon 2.x

by @ thesitewizard.com

Find out how to insert pictures (including a logo) into your website using the free BlueGriffon web editor. This is chapter 2 of the BlueGriffon 2.x tutorial series.

How to Use Your Social Media Team for More Than Just Marketing

How to Use Your Social Media Team for More Than Just Marketing

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you fully leveraging the power of your social team? Have you considered using social for more than just marketing? Your social team can do more than manage your online community. Your team can also support the goals and functions of other departments in your business. In this article you'll discover four ways your social media team can contribute to the success of your business. Listen to this article: #1: Inform Planning Decisions Whether your business is working on annual or seasonal campaigns across traditional or digital channels, your social team can offer useful data and information on: Positioning and the opportunity to meet gaps in the marketplace Data and information that can fuel new ideas or positioning Ask for a briefing well in advance, so you can give your team time to get a firm grasp on the information that will be beneficial at the planning meeting. For example, if your business is planning a holiday campaign, have members of your team use social monitoring tools to conduct research that sheds light on successes and challenges with past holiday campaigns, the competitive landscape, and overall sentiment for a specific category or campaign. Or if a new brand position is being discussed, your community manager can reach out to key influencers who are active and loyal to test their perception of and receptiveness to proposed approaches. Additionally, your team can design a social media survey and target a larger pool of relevant audiences to test whether new ideas and messaging are on track and positively perceived. #2: Support New Initiatives When integrated with other distribution methods such as programmatic media and search engine marketing, social media can drive awareness for new initiatives, such as a product launch. Your social team can create visibility for the launch through paid social media ads to hyper-target potential customers, as well as through partnerships with influencers and brand advocates. To make working with brand advocates easier, you can use tools such as Crowdly to identify individuals who have previously engaged with your content beyond a "like," so you can leverage them to reach additional audiences. Regardless of which methods you combine, remember to align your messaging and timing to drive impact. #3: Extend the Life of Key Content Assets Brands spend tremendous resources building content, and often don't prioritize distribution. Your social team is ideally placed to ensure this content is seen and shared by the right people at the right time. Make it a priority to break long-form content or creative into short-form content snippets and shareable photos that will stay in circulation long after the initial publication release. #4: Develop Thought Leadership Positioning Many brands have an opportunity to leverage social to build thought leadership, by way of brand-owned channels or through key internal leaders who can serve as industry and brand advocates. Authenticity can be tricky though. It starts by taking a non-branded approach where content is positioned around challenges and solutions, instead of around promotion. Social media team leaders can oversee thought leadership training and governance internally to ensure that when executives develop a social presence, it is properly managed and set up for long-term success. Collaborating with the communications team is instrumental to ensure there is a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities. Share the Strategic View Brands continue to look for the best ways to connect with their customers across all digital channels, meeting them where they already live online. With an overwhelming number of platforms and marketing vehicles to choose from, the challenge remains: How do brands tell cohesive stories across digital channels that create a seamless experience for the consumer, while maximizing each channel's potential?

The Social Media Examiner Show: This Week in Social Media

The Social Media Examiner Show: This Week in Social Media

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Welcome to our weekly edition of what's hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What's New This Week? We've got exciting news this week! The Social Media Examiner Show: Subscribe now (for free) and discover quick tips for marketing your business in our 10-minute daily podcast. Consume snack-sized social media content each day. The result: this daily dose of marketing know-how will equip you to take your social media to an entirely new level. Watch this quick video from our founder AND to discover how to subscribe via an iPhone. Subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher or RSS. Click here to help us spread the word about this new show. Other News Worth Noting Facebook Unveils Facebook at Work: Facebook at Work is "only available to people who have set up a work account through their employer" and is currently in beta only on iOS. Google Lets You Specify Your Social Profiles: Are you a website developer? This new feature allows you to "use markup on your official website to add your social profile information to the Google Knowledge panel in some searches. Knowledge panels can prominently display your social profile information."   Weekly Video Tip // Post by Social Media Examiner. . Studies Worth Examining Q4 Social Login Report: Facebook Losing Ground to Google: Janrain's Q4 2014 social login report shows that while Facebook is still the dominant way people log into websites, Google is closing the gap among music and consumer brand sites. Facebook lost 3% of its social login market share while Google gained 6% in 2014, going from 34% in Q3 to 40% in Q4. REPORT: Messenger Cuts Into Facebook App's Reach: According to November 2014 data from comScore, the Facebook Messenger app is boosting its share of overall reach among U.S. users, at the expense of the social network's flagship app. Messenger rose to fifth place in rankings of reach among smartphone apps at 43.1%. The main Facebook app still overwhelmingly topped the list at 69%. Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network, Instagram, took ninth-place position on the list at 30.7%. Social Media Update 2014: A September 2014 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center finds that Facebook has the highest concentration of users, capturing 71% of American adult Internet users and 58% of the entire adult population. However, its overall growth has slowed, while other sites continue to see increases in users. The study also broke down key demographic trends and frequency of use for each of the five major social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Data Driven and Digitally Savvy: The Rise of the New Marketing Organization: Forbes Insights and advertising technology company, Turn, surveyed 331 senior executives from a range of industries. Of those executives surveyed, 7 in 10 believe their reliance on data analytics for decision-making will either increase significantly (24%) or somewhat (47%) over the next 3 years. Data-driven marketing is credited with creating competitive advantages in customer loyalty (47%), gaining new customers (43%) and customer satisfaction (42%). Sixty-one percent note a measurable increase in ROI from data-driven marketing campaigns. Instagram 2015 Study: The Most Valuable Instagram Study for Your Business: Iconosquare released the largest Instagram study ever conducted, surveying 16,000 Instagram users, tracking 250 million media, and analyzing 39 billion interactions. The published results include 200+ pages of exclusive analyses, case studies and best practices. Their goal is to help marketers better promote their brand, understand best practices, analyze user engagement and recruit and retain users. How Long Does It Take to Plan Facebook, Twitter Content?: Research by Percolate reveals how long companies plan ahead for their content distribution on Twitter and Facebook...

Google+ Success: What Your Business Needs to Know About Google+

Google+ Success: What Your Business Needs to Know About Google+

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you use Google+ for your business? Are you wondering how you can be more successful generating traffic and growing a community with Google+? To learn what your business needs to know about Google+, I interview Martin Shervington for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Martin Shervington, who is a Google+ marketing expert, consultant and executive coach. He manages two Google+ communities, Plus Your Life! and Plus Your Business! and has authored numerous books including Developmental Coaching. Martin shares why he values Google+ and the benefits you can get from it. You'll learn what Google+ can offer your business and the best ways to get started. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Google+ Success Why Google+ and what has it done for your business? Martin explains how he started with Google+ on March 6, 2012, when his book, Developmental Coaching, was out and he was looking for ways to promote it. He considered Twitter, but decided to go with Google+ instead. After a few days of learning everything he could about the platform, he realized how useful it was and started to make notes. People then started to relate to his notes and shared them. You'll find out what type of content he shared and why it gave people a better social experience. Over the last 20 months, Martin has built two communities. Plus Your Life! is very inspirational and about development on the personal side of things, and Plus Your Business! is all about how to use Google+ in business. Martin says that Google+ not only helped with his book, it also allowed him to start blogging too. You'll discover how Google+ helped him  find an audience and why it gave him the ability to express himself more in his writing. Eventually Martin started to blog on his own site because he could move the attention over. He now has 36,000 people a month visit his blog. Martin explains that there are two mechanisms of Google+ that make it unlike other platforms—social and search. When it comes to Google+, the connection between search and social is unique. No other platform has it. Martin says that the punchline to this is that Google+ is Google. Listen to the show to find out why the search engine becomes a personalized content-surfacer based on whom you are connected with, and what you have interacted with in the past. Google+ statistics The latest statistics state that there are 1 billion Google accounts. This number includes accounts for YouTube, Google+ and Gmail. There are 540 million active users, of which 300 million are active in the stream. You'll hear Martin explain in more detail why Google+ is more than just a social site. Listen to the show to find out why Martin believes that in a year, everyone will see that Google has done something amazing with Google+. The difference between Google+ users and other social networks Martin says that whenever a change happens with Google+, people in the Google+ community are wowed by the new features. Everybody gets very excited. There are some great communities that have formed around different niches. It's a positive environment, where everyone is supportive of one another and there is very high engagement. Martin believes that people are excited to spend time there, because they feel part of a community. You'll discover some big news that Google+ has in beta testing right now. Listen to the show to learn how Google has integrated the Goo...

Monetize Your Platform: How to Grow Sales With Your Online Platform

Monetize Your Platform: How to Grow Sales With Your Online Platform

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Have you built your own platform? Are you wondering how to monetize it? To learn how you can use your platform to generate real revenue for your business, I interview David Siteman Garland for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview David Siteman Garland, who is the host of The Rise To The Top podcast. His video and audio podcasts are focused on equipping bloggers, podcasters and YouTubers to grow a sustainable business with their platforms. He also wrote the book Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business. David shares how he grew his platform and the various ways he has monetized it. You'll learn how to get started generating revenue and the price points you need to look at. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Platform Monetization Why people struggle to make money with their platform David says it's a classic problem for most people. The platform space falls into two different categories. The first one is when it's a hobby. Here people have great content but don't know what to do with it. The second one is where you have the classic "Internet marketers" who have figured out how to make money but their content isn't great. David's advice to those who have great content but struggle to make money is you have to remember that you're positioned extremely well. If you have great content that's a side hobby, you can turn it into a legitimate six-figure–plus business. David started out the exact same way. What he and his friends have achieved shows that it's very attainable. You'll discover why it's a good position to be in if you're a blogger, podcaster or YouTuber. A lot of the time, people lack strategy on how to generate revenue. In David's eyes, the hard part is building your audience, community and trust. Once you have all this in place, the monetization angle can be brought in pretty easily. The hardest challenge is to start with no platform and no product. If you already have the platform, then you are 50% of the way there. Listen to the show to find out how you can use technology to accomplish what traditionally businesses had to pay a lot of money for. What is the platform you have built?  David started his platform The Rise To The Top in 2008, when it was a simple interview show for entrepreneurs. His show now focuses primarily on what he calls mediapreneurs, who are people with a platform. He currently has over 7 million community members. When David was on the journey of building his platform, he realized he was pretty good at creating content, building his audience and getting out there. The main struggle for him was how to turn it into a sustainable, long-term business. There are many ways to monetize a platform. It doesn't come down to which one will be best, it's more about which one you are really excited about and want to do. You have to feel comfortable with it. You'll discover the many ways you can monetize your platform. From a content perspective, David publishes two brand-new shows every week on his platform. One is an interview and the other is a video for his The Rise To The Top and DSG TV YouTube channel. You'll discover what both of these involve and the areas he focuses on and why. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDv4DsRy_ys Listen to the show to find out how David discovered the options he went with. What you should do before you monetize your platform

Google AMP: What Bloggers Need to Know

Google AMP: What Bloggers Need to Know

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Have you heard of Google AMP? Want to know how it will impact your blog? To discover more about Google AMP and the future of blogging, I interview Leslie Samuel. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Leslie Samuel, who runs BecomeABlogger.com, where he teaches people how to blog with purpose. He's also host of the Learning With Leslie podcast and head of training for Social Media Examiner's Social Media Marketing Society. Leslie will explore Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project and what it means for bloggers. You'll discover how to install Google AMP and related plugins on your WordPress blog. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Google AMP What is Google AMP Google AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, and is a collaboration with a number of tech companies. Its goal is to improve the performance of websites on mobile devices, which in turn improves user experience. Kissmetrics did a study, which found that 40% of mobile users leave a page if it doesn't load in three seconds. When that happens, these users don't see the publisher's ads, products, services, or events. AMP pages load 10 times faster and use 10 times less data. Plus, when people view a website on a mobile device, pop ups (such as ads and opt-in boxes) take up the entire page. There's such a small amount of real estate on a smartphone, the pop-ups really inhibit the user experience. Google has already started placing Google AMP pages above non-Google AMP pages to mobile users in search. If you do a search for any popular topic, like politics, on your smartphone, only sites that have accelerated mobile pages enabled will show up in the top stories section. This is just the beginning. In the future AMP will be even more wide-spread. Listen to the show to learn how the Facebook Instant Articles feature is similar to Google AMP. Pros and cons of AMP In addition to the benefit of preferential treatment in search, AMP's faster load times should decrease website abandonment and increase content consumption. Before discussing the cons, Leslie noted one thing in terms of how AMP is set up. When someone clicks on an AMP enabled article on their mobile device, "/amp" is added to the URL, essentially creating a second link. (For example, a Social Media Examiner article with AMP would have the URL socialmediaexaminer.com/ARTICLE-TITLE/amp.) There are now two links: the original link from the desktop article and the second from mobile (with /amp at the end), which is what Google will show above the initial version. The AMP project is able to speed up websites because it strips away a lot of the unique elements, such as style sheets and JavaScript, that make a website look and function in a specific way. AMP sites have specific standard dimensions, and elements such as sidebars, headers and comments are gone. However, there is still a lot you can do with design, Leslie explains. For instance, you can change fonts and colors, add a logo, and more. It just will not be as extensive as what you have on your website. Articles with AMP show a single column that holds both text and images, so people won't see anything you promote in the masthead and sidebar on your regular, desktop website. Leslie says while the AP version of some sites may not be as advanced as the desktop experience, they still look pretty nice. For example, The Washington Post has a simple top with their logo. Then, when you scroll down, you see other posts, social media links, and so on.

How to Create Instagram Ads

How to Create Instagram Ads

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you use Instagram for business? Interested in running ads? Instagram advertising gives businesses and brands an effective way to increase visibility and connect with customer and prospects. In this article you'll discover how to create Instagram ads for your business. Listen to this article: #1: Connect Your Instagram Account to Facebook Before you can start advertising on Instagram, you need to connect your Instagram account to your Facebook page. This will allow you to create your ads in Facebook Power Editor. To get started, go to your Facebook page and click Settings in the top-right corner. In the left column, click Instagram Ads and then click the Add an Account button on the right. If you have an existing Instagram account, select Add an Existing Account, enter your Instagram username and password and click Confirm. If you don't have an Instagram account, you can create one from within Facebook. Select Create a New Account, enter a username for the Instagram account and type in your email address. When you're finished, click Confirm. Look for an email about your new Instagram account. Then follow the directions to set a password for it. Once you've finished these steps, your Instagram account will be connected to your Facebook page. Now when you use your Facebook page to create ads that will run on Facebook, you can show those same ads on Instagram. If you don't have the ability to edit and create ads yet, you will soon, as Facebook and Instagram are still rolling out this feature. #2: Select an Ad Type For Instagram ads, you can choose from three ad objectives: clicks to your website, mobile app installs and video views (up to 30 seconds in length). Within these objectives, there are three key ad units that you can capitalize on: image, video and carousel ads. Image ads are standard photos with a button driving users to click. Video ads are the same as image ads but with video. Carousel ads are a series of images that users can browse. All of these ad options can drive results depending on what you want to accomplish. #3: Target the Right Audience Most Facebook ad targeting options are also available for Instagram ads. These include location, demographics, interests, actions and more. With Instagram ads, you set your target audience preferences in the same way as you do for Facebook ads. Keep in mind you don't have to use all of the targeting options. The only options that are required are location, age and gender. Use the other targeting options if you want more control over who sees your ads so you can ensure you're delivering a message that will resonate with them. This Instagram ad from Shomi Canada showcases the importance of good targeting. The ad resonated with the younger audience on Instagram which responded with more than 5,700 likes and 41 comments. If you create an ad for a specific audience, you need to make sure that it will be seen by only that audience. For example, if you create an ad geared toward working moms, you don't want it to be shown to high school students. Leverage the targeting features and focus on delivering Instagram content that is both relevant and engaging. #4: Use Attention-Grabbing Visuals Instagram is known for its rich and attractive visuals. If want to create ads that drive results, take the time to create compelling visuals to catch people's attention. The Instagram audience is savvy enough to sniff out stock photos and is less likely to engage with that type of content. Capture photos yourself or invest in a photographer/illustrator to create great content. #5: Include a Call to Action With Instagram ads, currently there are no stipulations about the amount of text you can have in a photo. This gives you the opportunity to create ads that are text-heavy and communicate complex stories. You can also include calls to action directly in your photos or video.

Content for Business: How to Build Your Business on a Solid Content Foundation

Content for Business: How to Build Your Business on a Solid Content Foundation

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you have a great idea for a business? Wondering if content marketing will help move the needle? To discover what it takes to build a content-driven business, I interview Joe Pulizzi. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, author of the book Epic Content Marketing and the founder of Content Marketing World, the leading conference for content marketers. Joe's latest book is Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses. Joe will explore how you can build a sustainable small business with smart content marketing. You'll discover the six steps to take to create a content business in any niche. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. How to subscribe on iPhone. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Content for Business When and why Joe started the Content Marketing Institute Joe shares how he got into the content marketing industry. He was vice president of custom media (also known as content marketing) at business publishing company Penton Media until 2007. At Penton, Joe and his team helped advertisers who wanted to do something unique tell their stories. For example, if a company like Microsoft wanted to tell a story to an executive audience, Joe and his team would help them create an ongoing newsletter, a magazine, blog series or webinar series. Joe did that for seven years. Joe left Penton at the end of March 2007 and wrote his first blog post titled "Why Content Marketing?" on April 26, 2007. That led up to Joe launching Junta42, which he says was basically the eHarmony for content marketing. The idea was to match brand sites that wanted to outsource some portion of the content process (creation or distribution) with agencies that would pay for the service to get the leads. Joe explains how in 2008, with no money, no paid distribution and about 2,000 subscribers, he decided it was time to build relationships with influencers. He started a research project called The Top 100 Content Marketing Blogs. (I was on the list first for White Papers and then Social Media Examiner.) He notified everybody who was on the list, and it just took off. Fast-forward to 2009, Joe shares, the model was working and they matched up about 1,000 projects. However, they were still having trouble getting companies to pay for a subscription to the service, even though they were driving leads to them. After his best case study (they sent a $1 million+ customer to an agency, and the agency decided not to renew their subscription), it finally hit Joe that this business was not going to work. Although Joe was "in love with his product," he finally figured out the key was to fall in love with your audience and focus on their needs and pain points. His audience was asking for training, education, consulting and speaking. They weren't even ready for a matching service, because they didn't even know how to create a content marketing strategy. Joe pivoted to the education and training concept and launched Content Marketing Institute six months later. That was May 2010. "At that moment we said we were going to create the leading online destination for content marketing, the leading magazine and the leading event," Joe recalls. "And within two years we were able to do that." Listen to the show to hear how Joe and I first connected, as well as the similarities between our projects. Why now is the time to get into a content-driven business Content Inc. is Joe's fourth book. The other three are content marketing–related and f...

Blog Monetization: How You Can Make More Money With Your Blog

Blog Monetization: How You Can Make More Money With Your Blog

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Are you looking for ways to make money with your professional blog? Do you want to know how to leverage your content to monetize your site? To learn how to make more money with your blog, I interview Leslie Samuel. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. Listen to Leslie Samuel explain how you can make more money with your blog. In this episode I interview Leslie Samuel, whose Interactive Biology blog makes biology fun for students and teachers. He's also the man behind Become A Blogger, a large site dedicated to the craft of professional blogging. Leslie shares how to make more money with your blog. You'll discover the many ways you can leverage content on your blog to make money, the benefits and pitfalls of display ads and affiliate marketing and the strategy behind selling your own products and services through your site. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Blog Monetization How blogging has changed Leslie's life To say that blogging has changed Leslie's life is an understatement. It has done so much and opened so many doors for him, which is why he is so passionate about it. Blogging changed the way Leslie attracted customers to his business. In the past, he had to consciously, constantly and actively find customers. With blogging you can build a platform and if you do it right, people will actually find you. Leslie says this was a game-changer for him. The other big way blogging changed Leslie's life is that it allowed him to start making money online exclusively. Leslie started blogging 6 years ago while teaching at a Christian boarding academy. He launched the site, Interactive Biology, which explains biology concepts, one at a time, with short 3- to 5-minute videos. Leslie has since left teaching and now focuses entirely on his blogging business. Listen to the show to find out how Leslie first discovered blogging and came up with a completely unique approach to it.  The right point to begin a monetization strategy for your blog Leslie's philosophy on blog monetization has evolved over time. Where he once advised people to just start a blog and worry about making money later, he now insists that you must start to think about the monetization before you even build your blog. If you are looking to launch a professional blog, start putting things into place from the very beginning. People think of selling as a bad thing, but it's actually a way to provide more value to your audience. There's no reason to hold back from the very beginning. Listen to the show to hear how selling on your blog can be a way to provide more value to your customers and readers. Some of the most common ways bloggers make money from their sites  When it comes to making money with your blog, there's a bunch of options. The top four blog monetization strategies that you'll hear about in the show are display ads, affiliate marketing, selling your own products and providing a service. Of these monetization options, Leslie considers display ads from networks such as Google AdSense to be the simplest way to make money on your site. It requires very little work on your part, but you have to make sure you have a decent amount of traffic for this monetization strategy. Listen to the show to discover the pros and cons of display ads, as well as affiliate marketing and selling your own product or service as methods to generate more money from your blog. Best practices for display ads Relevance is the key to making money through display ads on your site. According to Leslie, there are people making as much as $10,

History of American Small Business

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

America has always been the land of opportunity. For centuries, people have come to America with the hopes of starting a new life and seizing all of the opportunities that the country presented them with. Every business that we know of today began as a dream, which then turned into a small business. As Calvin Coolidge once said, “The chief business of the American people is business.” These small businesses were the backbone of the country, and that continues to hold true today. Millions of people have started and developed a small business in America.

People who fought to get to America, whether as an immigrant, a refugee, or an explorer, have often had an entrepreneurial spirit. Entrepreneurship in America was seen throughout the country’s development. Great American entrepreneurs like Benjamin Franklin, P.T. Barnum, and Henry Ford had brilliant ideas that they took and used to begin their own small businesses. These Americans took their passion, drive, and capital and turned their ideas into functioning, profit-turning companies. These pioneers in small business set the example for what owning a small business in America would become and proved to many disbelievers that it was possible to follow one’s dreams.

Small business development dates as far back as the 1600s, when Americans would trade crops, supplies, and services. As the nation itself was developing, all businesses were small at that time. Machines were not yet available, and automation was unheard of. Transportation was extremely slow, and banks had not yet been established. America was still working out the groundwork for such things, including taxes. In the 1800s, after the nation become independent, small businesses really began to boom. The monetary system grew along with the burgeoning economy. As businesses started up and offered an increasing number and variety of products, more and more people began to show interest in what was being offered. Sometimes, these people did not have goods or services to barter with. Thus started the development of establishing credit with a small business owner. Credit coins and charge plates began being used in place of cash or the exchange of goods. These credit coins signified that a payment was due at a later date. Soon, credit card processing would be completely modernized and computerized. The credit card processing world began with the first bank card, called “Charg-It,” introduced in Brooklyn in 1946, and evolved with the expansion of a restaurant credit card, called the Diners Club card, to become a universal card accepted by a vast range of retailers.

As America grew, so did its small businesses. With the development of small businesses in the 1970s and 1980s, America was able to prove their stability. Many of the larger corporations at that time could not stand strong in the face of growing foreign competition, but small businesses rose to the challenge. Because small businesses began doing so well, people in the 1980s expressed great interest in entrepreneurship and thus, start-up companies expanded. Around that time, Silicon Valley became the center of the start-up world in California. Venture capital financing became very popular, and many people who had an idea wanted to turn it into a business.

Hundreds of schools across the nation have fostered Americans’ desire to start their own businesses and have since dedicated majors to entrepreneurship and small business ownership. In addition, interest in starting small businesses has inspired organizations like the U.S. Small Business Administration and Small Business Development Centers. Such organizations guide small businesses in the right direction so that they can grow and make a profit, and they have branches all over the United States. Organizations that help small businesses began with the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), started by Hoover in the times of the Great Depression. The RFC provided loans for businesses that were hurt by the Depression and inspired future organizations that would help small businesses in America. Since their inception, these organizations have guided countless small businesses across the country and supported them in the development of their companies. This support can come in the form of loans and counseling sessions and continues to be offered to the small businesses in America today.

One simply cannot ignore the effect that small businesses have had on America: After all, every major corporation in the country today had to start small. Small businesses have forever changed the business landscape of the country. In fact, they are so important that one week of each year is National Small Business Week. Entrepreneurs and small-business owners across the nation continue to expand and develop new ideas each and every day, and with the ever-changing business model, America is sure to continue fostering unique, profit-turning businesses in the years to come.

Mobile Marketing: Are You Ready for the Revolution?

Mobile Marketing: Are You Ready for the Revolution?

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you have a mobile strategy for your business? Are you interested in discovering what the future of mobile marketing has in store? To learn how to market your business with mobile, I interview Tom Webster. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Tom Webster, the Vice President of Strategy and Marketing at Edison Research. He's authored studies such as The Social Habit and Twitter Users in America. He's co-authored a new book with Tim Hayden called The Mobile Commerce Revolution: Business Success in a Wireless World. Tom explores how mobile marketing impacts your business. You'll discover why successfully mobile marketing goes beyond technology, how consumer behavior is already being shaped by mobile, and how to respond to the mobile commerce revolution. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Mobile Marketing Why Tom wrote his new book  Working in consumer behavior and market research, Tom has tracked human behavior for decades. He helps brands figure out why humans do what they do. His particular area of interest is to capture the opinions and study the behavior of people out of their homes and on the go. For Tom, understanding mobile marketing goes beyond the technology. It's about being able to understand people's needs, wants, and desires while they are in transition, out and about, and away from home. This idea was the impetus behind his new book, The Mobile Commerce Revolution: Business Success in a Wireless World Listen to the show to learn how it's been possible for Tom's company, Edison Research, to study mobile behavior for decades.  What is the mobile commerce revolution Every year, experts in various trades are asked if this is going to be the year of mobile when, in fact, the year of mobile has already happened. According to Tom, the mobile commerce revolution is already upon us. You'll hear Tom describe the Starbucks mobile app as an example of how much consumer behavior has already been shaped by mobile. There's no special technology to the Starbucks mobile app. It's nothing more than a bar code on your phone that's tied to a method of payment. Yet it's eliminated the need for a wallet and made it simpler to purchase items using something Starbucks customers already have in hand: their smartphones. The use of this smartphone app has become such default behavior that it’s prompted customers to make a purchase at Starbucks when they otherwise might not have. If you base your mobile strategy on the technology, then you will not make it. Mobile isn't about technology. It's about being able to understand and enable human behavior. Listen to the show to hear what companies with successful mobile strategies are doing that others aren't. How marketers should respond to the mobile explosion  It's easy to be lulled into thinking that big data and clickstream analytics will give you everything you need to know to develop your mobile strategy. However, the first step when you develop a successful mobile strategy is to examine human behavior. Tom describes the mobile web as having three distinct eras. We've moved past the first two eras of optimizing for mobile and responsive design. We are now moving towards a new era of contextually relevant experiences based on a customer's unique needs and wants in the context of their specific location. Mobility enables this capability to happen. There is a serious measurement gap between the online and the offline interactions because our focus has either been on search or on purely technology solutions.

AddThis Browser Extensions No Longer Supported

by Christian Brink @ AddThis Academy

As of September 2017, the AddThis browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari are no longer supported.

The post AddThis Browser Extensions No Longer Supported appeared first on AddThis Academy.

How to Do Customer Engagement If You’re In a Unique Niche

by Today's Industry Insider @ The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

I once worked with a business that specialized in making custom squirrel horror dioramas. If you’re wondering what in the world a custom squirrel horror diorama is, then you’ve proved an underlying point of this article. Unique niches are really tough for marketing. If there are 37 people on the planet that are in your […]

Content Creation Hacks: How to Quickly Produce Valuable Content

Content Creation Hacks: How to Quickly Produce Valuable Content

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you create content for your business? Looking for an easier way to make your content work for you? Discover easy ways to create and repurpose your content, courtesy of Nick Westergaard. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Nick Westergaard, host of the On Brand Podcast and chief brand strategist at social and content agency Brand Driven Digital. Nick is also the author of Get Scrappy: Smart Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. Nick explores easy ways to create quality content. You'll also discover how to repurpose recent and historical material. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Content Creation Hacks Nick's story Westergaard Advertising began 35 years ago in Iowa when Nick's father and now business partner started what was a small, general, traditional advertising agency. Nick had worked with brands in the early days of online marketing, specifically for educational publishing companies when digital really started to grow. About 10 years ago, Nick started moonlighting as a freelancer for the family business. Eventually he would come in as a partner. In addition to changing the kind of work Westergaard Advertising specialized in, they morphed into brand-driven digital to help organizations build better brands online through social media and content marketing. Nick's book, Get Scrappy, came from a phrase he found himself saying often. Nick does a lot of public speaking, and says it was one of those experiences where he quickly dashed off a title for a new speech. Then when it came time to write it, the topic took root and excited him. Plus, he was able to draw on work he did with clients of all shapes and sizes. "Get Scrappy" was a common thread. Whether it's an entrepreneurial startup, solo small business, medium-sized business, or a larger marketing team, everybody's looking to get scrappy – to do more with less. For instance, Nick talks about working with nostalgic brand Schwinn Bikes, and how it's easy to think of them as a big brand, but they're really a small, scrappy team at the headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin. Nick talked with them about this idea of getting scrappy. Schwinn's social media manager Samantha Hersil summed it up best. "We could all use a few people and a few dollars more," Hersil said. That's really at the heart of the book. Listen to the show to discover how Nick's business has changed over the last 10 years. Why marketers object to creating content Content is a tricky animal, Nick explains, so it takes a content marketing mindset. Some of the obstacles marketers encounter are from lack of a sound content strategy. The Content Marketing Institute reports that many people fly blind when it comes to content strategy. It's both an obstacle and an internal objection, because companies are just jumping on the content marketing bandwagon. Both in terms of social channels and content, Nick thinks it's easy to fall into the trap of what he calls "checklist marketing." Marketers do everything they hear about: they have a presence on every network, create every form of content, and so forth. Nick thinks if people instead develop a strategy with a business objective, their content will be better aligned with their business. Content used to be driven by the written word, Nick explains. As people scoot up to that podcasting microphone and hit the Record button with video, they get scared. There's a ripple effect, as well. Subject matter experts may feel like they're not interesting enough, or else they believe they have interesting stor...

Pinterest Tactics: How to Grow Your Pinterest Following and Your Traffic

Pinterest Tactics: How to Grow Your Pinterest Following and Your Traffic

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you post on Pinterest? Want to shake up your strategy? To discover what, how, and when to post on Pinterest, I interview Jeff Sieh. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Jeff Sieh, founder of ManlyPinterestTips.com and host of the Manly Pinterest Tips podcast. Jeff also oversees Social Media Examiner's Pinterest account. Jeff will explore proven tactics to grow your following and your website traffic with Pinterest. You'll discover what's new with Pinterest, including promoted pins. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Pinterest Tactics What's new with Pinterest After about a year and a half of testing, the do-it-yourself option for promoted pins (Pinterest's ad product) is now available to all small businesses in the United States. Features include a bulk editor, so you can add a lot of pins at once, and more forms of targeting. For example, there were only 30 possible interests to target when promoting a pin, and now there are 420; instead of targeting someone interested in men's clothing, you can be as specific as men's shoes. Pinterest also added keyword targeting, so you can combine interest and keyword targeting. It's a great way to find a specific audience when you promote a product or blog post. Promoted pins are just like regular pins, only you pay to have them seen by more people. They perform just as well as, if not better than, organic pins. The promoted pins in your feed are based on your interests and activity on Pinterest. They also take some off-site data, collected for Pinterest's ad partners. In your home feed, you will see suggested for you or sponsored by pins. If you don't want to see something, tap the X beside it and click on Hide this Pin. Pinterest uses that feedback to make sure you see relevant, promoted pins in the future. More people see your promoted pins. Plus, you get an extra 20% boost, because you only pay for the first click. For instance, let's say Jeff promotes a pin that points back to his website, and you click on it and repin it. Then, someone else pins it from your board to their account. Jeff does not pay for the secondary repins. He only pays for that first one. When I asked Jeff about entry level price points, he says he thinks you have to start with at least $1 a day. Jeff has seen results by spending $5 a day, and believes it's worth testing, especially with the new targeting features, to see how much traffic you can get to your website. Pinterest also has customer targeting, which allows you to upload your email addresses. This is called matching, and is currently only available to Pinterest's Developer Partners. If you have a store with a newsletter that's already driving traffic, you'll be able to upload that list to Pinterest and send promoted pins to that specific audience. They are rolling it out, along with the promoted pins, now. Listen to the show to learn when they opened up promoted pins for everyone in the United States. Social Media Examiner's Pinterest plan for third-party content Jeff explains how on Social Media Examiner he starts by finding good, third-party content (posts that we don't publish on our website) on marketing and social media to share with our audience. He uses Feedly to gather articles on Facebook's breaking news and other top websites, and goes there once a day to review the posts. When Jeff finds an interesting article, he clicks the link to make sure it's quality content and a fit for our audience. He then checks for a good, pinnable image; one that is engaging and also has a text overl...

How Snapchat and Periscope Can Grow a Business

How Snapchat and Periscope Can Grow a Business

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you want to use Snapchat for business? Wondering how to incorporate your brand into live stories? To explore how to use Periscope and Snapchat for business, I interview John Kapos. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview John Kapos, part of a long family line of chocolatiers who have run Perfection Chocolates in Australia since 1939. Online he's known as Chocolate Johnny. He's very active on Snapchat, Instagram, and Periscope. John shares how marketing on Snapchat has affected his business. You'll discover creative ideas to help your own business succeed with Periscope, Snapchat, and Instagram Stories. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: How Snapchat and Periscope Can Grow a Business How John Got Started With Snapchat John shares that his store in Sydney, Australia gets bombarded with kids at the end of the school day, and he had begun to notice his sons and their friends using Snapchat. Even though he was told he's "too old" for Snapchat, he decided to take a chance. John, a self-described early adopter, started on Facebook and then got involved with Instagram. While he felt Instagram was cleaner, nicer, and crisper, he loved the functionality of Snapchat. For example, it let him do a video and include titles, add music, and so on. In the beginning, John posted photos of customers and chocolate, as well as videos of him introducing himself and making treats. In one of those early promos, he posted a picture and told his followers to screenshot it and then come in for a free hot chocolate. Two people did just that, and John shares that he's had as many as 60 people come to the store in response to a similar promotion. Now, John explains, his Snapchat stories all have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and all have a tie to chocolate. Each story also has a call to action such as Come to Perfection Chocolates, Come to the website, Come to meet me, or Be part of the party. For example, a Snapchat promotion of his Star Wars chocolate products began with an image of Han Solo and the text, "I'm in a dilemma. Help Me." The middle was an explanation of what John was making. The story ended with a call to action: "Please screenshot and tell me which one is better: milk chocolate or dark chocolate." A total of 63 people responded. Listen to the show to discover how using Snapchat has turned John's store into a global brand. Working Your Brand Into Snapchat Stories Everyone has a story, John believes, and he says it's all about getting out of your comfort zone and telling your story. People tell John he's got an advantage because he's promoting chocolate, and everybody loves chocolate. However, John doesn't think that should make a difference, and shares that he's helped a dentist create funny stories that make children want to come and see him, and a mechanic in New Zealand build a story around how to change a tire. John reiterates that anyone can create stories with any product, they just have to step out of the box. For example, he explains, spotting a large chocolate Easter egg in his store inspired a Snapchat video about two chocolate rabbits that mated to produce a 10-pound chocolate egg, out of which came a white chocolate elephant. John also creates stories about his characters, Johnny Chocolate, a chocolate 'dealer'; Johnny's bodyguard, Frankie; and Johnny's drag-queen girlfriend, Vanilla Chocolate. Listen to the show to hear what happened when John set out to prove he could go a week without using chocolate in his snaps.

How to Retarget With Instagram Ads

How to Retarget With Instagram Ads

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you retargeting people with Facebook ads? Want to know how to retarget Instagram users? Serving relevant Instagram ads to people who've visited your website helps increase sales and conversions. In this article you'll discover how to retarget your website visitors using Instagram ads. Listen to this article: #1: Install the Facebook Pixel on Your Website Before you can start using Instagram ads to retarget website visitors, you need to set up the Facebook pixel on your website. You can do this with Facebook Power Editor. First, open Google Chrome and then log into Power Editor. If you manage multiple accounts, make sure that you're logged into the Facebook ads account that corresponds with the website for which you want to implement Instagram ads retargeting. You can double-check which ads account you're logged into in the top-left corner of Power Editor. Next, click Tools and choose Pixels from the drop-down menu. If you haven't done so already, create your Facebook pixel by clicking the green Create a Pixel button. In the Create a Facebook Pixel dialog box, type in a name for the pixel and click Create Pixel. Next, you see a message that your Facebook pixel is ready. Click Install Pixel Now to see the pixel code. If you already have an active Facebook pixel, you can access it by clicking Actions and choosing View Pixel Code from the drop-down menu. Next, copy your Facebook pixel code and paste it between the head tags of your website code. For more detailed instructions for installing your pixel, check out this page. Now you need to make sure that your Facebook pixel is working. You can do that with the Facebook Pixel Helper, which is a free plugin for Google Chrome. Once you've successfully installed the Facebook pixel on your website, Facebook will automatically start tracking every person who visits your website. #2: Create a Custom Audience to Retarget Next, you need to create a custom website audience. To do this, go to the Facebook Pixel tab and click the Create Audience button. Now, create the custom audience you'd like to retarget. Select Website Traffic for the audience type. Then in the Create Audience dialog box, enter the details for your custom audience. The custom audience in the example below will retarget anyone who has visited my website in the last 30 days. Note that the domain option appears only if your Facebook pixel is installed on multiple domains. Keep in mind that it's a good idea to create audiences based on the action you want users to take when they see your ad, rather than broadly target every website visitor (as in this example). When you're finished creating the audience you want to retarget, click Create Audience. #3: Set Up Your Ad Campaign Now you're ready to create your ad campaign to retarget past website visitors. To do this, open Power Editor and click Create Campaign. Then enter a name for your new campaign and choose one of these objectives: Clicks to Website, Website Conversions, Mobile App Installs or Video Views. When you're finished filling in all of the details for your campaign, click Create. #4: Build Your Retargeting Ad Set Now you need to edit your ad set. First, set your budget and schedule. Then edit your audience so you're only targeting people who have previously visited your website. To do this, click the Edit Audience button. Then select the custom audience you created. Once you've done this, click Save. Next, select Instagram as your placement. Finally, confirm that the custom audience you selected and refined for Instagram actually has people in it. To do this, check that your potential audience (in the top-right corner of the Ad Set panel) has more than 20 people in it. If it doesn't, you may need to broaden your other targeting parameters. Alternatively, you can wait until your Facebook pixel has captured...

Networking on LinkedIn: How to Build a Powerful Network Using LinkedIn

Networking on LinkedIn: How to Build a Powerful Network Using LinkedIn

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Are you active on LinkedIn? Want to use it to connect with potential partners and prospects? To discover how to network on LinkedIn, I interview Stephanie Sammons. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Stephanie Sammons, a social media strategist who specializes in LinkedIn. She's written extensively for Social Media Examiner about LinkedIn. She's also author of the new book, Linked to Influence. Stephanie will explore how to build a network and prospect using LinkedIn. You'll discover how to curate and share content on LinkedIn. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Networking on LinkedIn Stephanie's background Stephanie spent 15 years as a wealth manager at big financial firms. After the financial meltdown in 2008-2009, she ended up taking a package and starting over. Stephanie decided to launch her own business. Initially, she stayed within the financial industry, but then went into the digital marketing space, doing web development and design. For the last five years or so, Stephanie has been writing and speaking about LinkedIn. When she couldn't find a comprehensive resource on LinkedIn, she decided to write one. There were books about your LinkedIn profile and about how to network on LinkedIn, but she wanted one that covered all the bases. Stephanie's book, Linked to Influence, provides a framework for building your own personal brand on LinkedIn, and includes networking and other opportunities as well. Listen to the show to hear why Stephanie says LinkedIn saved her life. Why people use LinkedIn There are almost 400 million members on LinkedIn, 30% are from the United States and 70% are international. Over 60% of LinkedIn members make more than $75,000 a year and 40% of LinkedIn members make $100,000 or more. The users are affluent, well-educated and come to LinkedIn to really connect with others. They want to find or share information, news and knowledge, but also want to build a network, connect with others and make things happen for their businesses. Stephanie likes how LinkedIn does content aggregation. LinkedIn's Pulse app curates news, based on your network. The smarter your network, the more relevant the content and information you see on Pulse. It includes articles from major media outlets, as well as stories from people you're connected to who are publishing content on LinkedIn's platform. The interface on the Pulse app is fantastic, Stephanie says. You can zip through it, save articles, share them and comment. Listen to the show to learn most people's perception of LinkedIn. Benefits of a good network Stephanie refers to cultivating the right LinkedIn community as building a smart network. The smarter your network, the more relevant people and opportunities you attract. Have a valid reason for bringing someone into your network. A smart network has market opportunities unique to you. Everyone's situation is different, Stephanie explains. Look at people in your home and work locations, current and previous industries, your organizations and associations, referral sources, potential business partners, suppliers in your industry, journalists and more. Take a 360-degree view of the people you know and decide who are the most important. Connect with high-quality people and get to know them better. Listen to the show to discover the myth of a large network. How to build your network Stephanie is very strategic about who is in her network. She does not connect with every journalist or every person she meets at an event. However, she says,

6 Ways to Use Periscope for Your Business

6 Ways to Use Periscope for Your Business

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Want to use mobile live-streaming to market your business? Have you tried Periscope? Periscope is already proving to be an incredibly powerful social tool, and savvy marketers are using it in innovative ways to grow their businesses. In this article you'll discover six ways to use Periscope for your business. Listen to this article: #1: Show Live Product Demos If you're launching a new product, share the details with your audience on Periscope. You can do an interactive product demonstration by answering pertinent questions from viewers. Showcase cool product features, packaging and more. In this example Instagram coach and retailer Sue Zimmerman shows viewers how to apply Flash Tattoos (gold temporary tattoos) to their skin. #2: Share Industry News Periscope is a way to break news to your online community before anyone has a chance to write about it. Publishing a half-decent blog post on an industry innovation could take hours. On Periscope, you can simply talk about marketplace trends and then use your conversation with viewers to write a blog post or produce a training video. Sharing relevant news is a great way to position yourself as a go-to person in your industry, which sets you apart from your competition and gives you perceived authority. #3: Connect With Influencers Periscope is a great way to connect with influencers in your industry. To get noticed, show up regularly to their broadcasts, make insightful comments, ask intelligent questions and share their broadcasts on your social channels. If you want to develop a deeper relationship with an influencer you've met in person, Periscope can help with that, too. To remember to tune into specific broadcasts, turn on your push notifications and then mute everyone except the people you want to connect with. If you know certain influencers will broadcast at the same time every day, add a reminder to your calendar to tune in. #4: Take Viewers Behind the Scenes To connect with viewers on a personal level, use Periscope to give them a glimpse into your life or take them behind the scenes of your business. You can start a conversation by answering questions from your audience during the broadcast. As a preview to his podcast, Lewis Howes did a Periscope broadcast from the home of fitness guru Gabrielle Reese and surfer Laird Hamilton. People were able to chime in with questions they wanted Lewis to ask the couple in his podcast interview. If you're an author, share an update about your upcoming book or ask your audience for feedback on the title or a chapter you're working on. If you own a retail shop, give people a sneak peek at new items that have arrived. #5: Build Your Mailing List Periscope broadcasts can be an opportunity to build your mailing list. During your broadcast, ask viewers to leave their email addresses in the comments to sign up. Then you can enter the addresses into your database later. While this may create a little extra work for you, the signup process removes a barrier for viewers to join your mailing list. A note of caution: Because you'll be entering the email addresses manually, you may want to turn on opt-in confirmation emails to be certain you're complying with international email marketing regulations. #6: Provide Content for Other Channels You can repurpose your Periscope broadcasts to provide content for your other social channels. Although Periscope videos can only be broadcast vertically, some users have come up with innovative ways to work creatively with the vertical layout. You can also hack the layout to crop videos for YouTube or other social channels. Here’s a SlideShare presentation showing how to hack the vertical layout by using a tripod with iPhone and iPad mounts. To repurpose your content for other networks, look for creative ways to hack Periscope's vertical layout. Be sure to turn on Autosave Broadcasts in your Periscope settings so you...

5 Free Ways to Build Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn

5 Free Ways to Build Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you want to build your visibility on LinkedIn? Wondering which LinkedIn features can help? LinkedIn can help you build a professional presence that showcases your work to the people you most want to connect with. In this article, you'll discover five free ways to help you build a personal brand on LinkedIn. Listen to this article: #1: Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Your profile is the key component of your experience on LinkedIn. A complete profile shows you're actively participating in the LinkedIn ecosystem. Did you know that you can make your profile seven times more likely to be found in searches by adding a profile photo? Or that you can make your profile twelve times more likely to be found by showing your two most recent employment positions? The following tips will make a difference and help your LinkedIn profile pop: To start, add a professional profile picture. Your picture is your virtual handshake, so pick a friendly profile picture that aligns with your role. Choose a square profile picture, recommended at 400 x 400 pixels, and stay under 10 MB in file size. If either width or height exceeds 20,000 pixels, your photo will not upload. Next, create a distinctive LinkedIn profile headline. By default, the headline is your current employment position; however, you can customize it to demonstrate your expertise or vision for your role. Think of your headline as your brand's tagline. It's the first description many people will see, so make it count! Headlines should call upon the words and phrases your friends and colleagues use to uniquely describe you. For example, "trusted Mac expert" or "experienced admin assistant who never misses a deadline." In addition, use your LinkedIn background to communicate more about who you are and what you do. Think about blank billboards along the highway. Those are missed opportunities. The same could be said for your LinkedIn background photo (the photo that displays above your name and headline). Many LinkedIn members use stock photos, nature snapshots, or city skylines for the background image. However, you can use that space to do much more than show off your hometown. Use the background space for content stream promotions, miniature portfolios, credibility-building, publications, photos of you influencing others, and more. Identify your personal brand by using a photo to express an interest secondary to your résumé, but which points to your personal life or work ethic. Next, customize your LinkedIn URL and share it everywhere. For personal branding, attach everything on the web to your full name, and climb as high as you can in the search rankings. LinkedIn's vanity URLs can help you do just that. As a major website, LinkedIn has a high Google PageRank. Using a URL like this, linkedin.com/in/yourfullname, means you'll likely see your name rank pretty high, too. Tip: Add your personalized link to all other social streams, like your blog, email signature, online résumé, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn SlideShare. Finally, tell your story using the Summary and Experience sections. Your LinkedIn profile should be more than a quick copy-and-paste of your résumé. The Summary is where you can share a bit more about your vision for your role or company. You can also include personal anecdotes about activities you enjoy outside work. Your Experience section should include a tidy list of the key positions you've held, and briefly explain your roles. You can also detail your educational background. Uploading rich media (videos, images, and presentations) and content you've created or produced as part of a team is a great way to bring your description to life. Tips: Use a keyword-rich approach that makes your profile easier to find. Take out overused words like motivated, passionate, responsible, creative, and driven. And add multimedia content to your profile from written posts on LinkedIn Publisher...

How to Extend the Life of Your Social Media Content

How to Extend the Life of Your Social Media Content

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Wish you didn't have to keep creating new content? Do you need a better return on the content you create? Having a plan in place for posting, and repurposing your best content will give your content a longer life and make the most of the time you spend creating it. In this article you'll discover how to get more value out of your social media content. #1: Tailor Your Content Posts to Each Network Here's the dilemma. Some of your customers and prospects spend their social networking time on Facebook, while others favor LinkedIn. However, you have a blog post you want both groups to see. Listen to this article: The first idea that comes to mind is to post the same piece to both networks. But you're not sure that's the right thing to do, and you don't want to appear lazy or insincere to those who follow you on multiple networks. The solution is simple: Tailor that one content piece to each network you're posting it on. Posting across social channels in a way that respects the quirks and qualities of each individual network is a win-win: You'll make your audience happy and increase your marketing ROI. Here are a few things to consider when tailoring your content: Understand each platform. Each social network serves a different purpose. Facebook is very flexible in allowing you to post a mix of text, images and video content, but stiff competition might encourage you to think outside of the box. On Twitter, your goal is to engage quickly and concisely. On LinkedIn, people are primed to learn about industry trends and data that are relevant to them, be it in the form of a long blog post or short status updates. Also, extract important points from your content pieces, and use them accordingly. If you have an attention-getting one-liner from your blog, consider linking to that blog post on Facebook or Twitter. A data point that raises concerns or inspires your followers to take action might perform well as a tweet or LinkedIn status update. Finally, make sure you don't overdo it. While cross-posting content to social networks can maximize your social media marketing efficiency, it's also important to produce some original content for each network. This reduces the chances you'll be identified as a spammy marketer, thus triggering people to unfollow you and algorithms to decrease your SEO rankings. #2: Schedule Multiple Shares of New Content Links shared via social media tend to have a short half-life (that is, the amount of time it takes for links to receive half of the clicks they'll ever get) of just a few hours. An easy way to get more out of shared links is to repost them again in the days, weeks and months that follow. Why Repost Content? There are two main reasons you should consider reposting older content. First, posting content again can help you gain new followers and more engagement. When you post a link just once, only a small segment of people will ever see it. This is due to such variables as people not being online at the time you post and quirks of social network algorithms. For example, Facebook’s news feed algorithm, along with growing competition, ensure that only a small segment of your business page followers will see one of your status updates show up organically in their individual feeds. To capture more engagement, it's essential to schedule repeated postings. Second, reposting content also reminds existing followers of what's important. Here's where you might run a small risk of spamming, at least in the eyes of people who happen to see a piece more than once. But if you remind your followers why you're special through slightly varied iterations of the same content, you'll enhance your brand visibility and build thought leadership over time. Repeated contact with qualified leads is essential to moving them through the sales cycle. Simply sharing your content more than once guarantees clicks that you otherwise wouldn...

The US Financial System and Alexander Hamilton

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Alexander Hamilton was the United States’ first secretary of the Treasury, serving during George Washington’s administration. Hamilton was never president, but he made significant contributions to the financial system of this country. These contributions gave Hamilton a prominent position in history. He also has the distinction of being featured on United States currency even though he was not a president. Many of the business solutions that exist today, including modern credit card processing, are in place as a result of the contributions of Hamilton.

Hamilton was born in the West Indies in the mid-1750s, although his precise birth date is not known. Hamilton grew up in the Virgin Islands. As a young man, he wrote an essay that garnered attention from local community leaders. The leaders worked together to raise funds to send Hamilton to the Colonies to attend school. Hamilton served in the Revolutionary War under General George Washington. When Washington later became president, he chose Hamilton to become the first secretary of the Treasury. As secretary, Hamilton was involved in the institution of the National Bank and a national currency.

Hamilton had inventive financial ideas. After the end of the Revolutionary War, many states carried debts that they were not repaying. The value of these public securities was nil, but Hamilton had a solution. He proposed that the federal government repay all of the state debts at their full value. This repayment would be an effective way to legitimize the federal government. The means of financing the repayment involved issuing new security bonds to investors. These investors were excited about making significant profits. Hamilton was also instrumental in the creation of a national bank and a centralized currency.

Hamilton’s plan for the new country’s financial system had three major parts. Assuming the states’ debts by issuing interest-bearing bonds was the first part of the plan. Hamilton also instituted tariffs for imported goods as a way of raising federal revenue and helping domestic businesses. With the establishment of a new national bank, Hamilton created a way for the United States to hold funds and use securities as capital to encourage future growth.

The Hamiltonian Economic Program consisted of Hamilton’s proposals set forth during his time serving as secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton created three different reports that outlined his program and proposals. The reports were the First Report on Public Credit, the Second Report on Public Credit, and the Report on Manufactures. Congress implemented Hamilton’s economic program.

The First Report on Public Credit included analysis of the financial standing of the United States. This report made recommendations about reorganizing the national debt and establishing public credit. The report contained 40,000 words, with a focus on assumption of state debt from the war and redemption of government securities. Congress debated the proposal, eventually reaching a compromise in 1790.

The Second Report on Public Credit is sometimes called the Report on a National Bank. In this report, Hamilton proposed the creation of a central bank for the United States. By issuing federal bank notes, the country could increase the money supply. Hamilton’s vision of the bank involved creating a stable financial system for the new country.

The third report was the Report on Manufactures. This report focused on encouraging manufacturing with subsidies to various industries and by regulating trade with tariffs. The purpose of the tariffs was to raise revenue for the new government. These tariffs would also help encourage domestic manufacturing, which would help the country’s economy grow internally. The subsidies would also support manufacturing without affecting supplies or causing prices to increase.

Other Financial Information During Alexander Hamilton’s Time as Secretary of the Treasury

Timeline

Follow a useful chronological timeline of the major events in Alexander Hamilton’s life.

Biography

Learn more about Hamilton’s life, childhood, and how he came to be the first secretary of the treasury of the United States.

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8 LinkedIn Marketing Tips From the Experts

8 LinkedIn Marketing Tips From the Experts

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Want to improve your LinkedIn marketing? Are you interested in the latest tips and tools? LinkedIn is one of the most effective platforms for expanding your reach and improving your business results. We asked social media experts for their hottest LinkedIn tips. Here’s what they had to say. Listen to this article: #1: Learn Valuable Info From LinkedIn Publisher Stats The new LinkedIn Publisher stats offer amazing insight into not only how many people are viewing each post, but the length of life of each post, reader demographics and the people who engage with your posts. To see your stats, go to the Who’s Viewed Your Posts tab, which is located under Profile in the main navigation under Who’s Viewed Your Profile. Click on any post to see a graph that shows the number of views by the last 7 days, 15 days, 30 days, 6 months or 1 year. This gives you incredible perspective to see the shelf life of each post. Review these numbers, as well as the elements of the posts themselves, to see patterns that will tell you what topics, format and length your readers are most interested in. LinkedIn also provides you with the demographics of the readers for each post. View the top four industries, job titles, locations and traffic sources that showed interest in your posts. Based on this information, you can see if your content is reaching your intended audience. You can also determine if there is a need for your products or services with a niche market you had not previously considered. Finally, see who engaged with your posts by liking or commenting on them. Since this includes people you are not directly connected to, it makes it an excellent opportunity to find potential prospects or partners. This only scratches the surface of what you can learn and how you can use LinkedIn’s new invaluable feature Who’s Viewed Your Posts. Melonie Dodaro is author of The LinkedIn Code and founder of Top Dog Social Media. #2: Invest in LinkedIn Sales Navigator LinkedIn is steadily restricting functionality from the free version that business owners and sales and marketing leaders need, which includes a limited view of prospects inside targeted companies. It’s time to consider investing in Sales Navigator. (This is something I didn’t advise in the past.) Sales Navigator assists with buyer identification and prospect research. Plus, it helps you engage with decision-makers more effectively, as it provides real insights into what your prospects care about. This is important because reach without engagement means nothing. You even get news about the company, so you can create messaging around trigger events. For example, for one of our clients, we took advantage of a major airliner’s IT outage. We engaged in sales conversation with tech leaders who wanted to learn about a new approach and a rising technology that would keep it from happening again. Even though LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a great platform that’s worth the investment, it’s still just one piece of the puzzle. All the lead suggestions and insights won’t help if you don’t have the right messages, content and approach to enable sales using LinkedIn. You also need a strategy your tools can support. Kristina Jaramillo is founder of GetLinkedInHelp.com. #3: Network On The Go Instead of surfing Facebook during downtime between appointments, increase brand exposure by using LinkedIn on your mobile device. Use LinkedIn itself or companion apps. If you only spend 10 minutes per day sharing great content with your connections on LinkedIn, it will keep your brand on their radar. Plus, it’s simple to do on the go. Be strategic about connecting with new folks or start conversations with recent contacts. When making a connection request, always personalize your message by clicking Customize Invite. A generic message is bad connecting etiquette. Plus, it’s not something you would ever do in person.

How to Create a Website [Updated]

by @ thesitewizard.com

Are you thinking of starting your own website? Check out How to Create a Website. It takes you through all the steps of making a website, including designing it, putting it on the Internet, collecting credit card payments and inserting advertisements. The article has just been updated with the latest information on the web editors to use, as well as the browsers to test your site with.

5 Ways to Use Storytelling in Your Social Media Marketing

5 Ways to Use Storytelling in Your Social Media Marketing

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you want to use storytelling in your social media marketing? Are you looking for inspiration? Building your social media campaigns around stories helps you stand out from other brands, and grab the attention of consumers. In this article you'll discover five ways to use storytelling in your social media marketing. Listen to this article: #1: Pay Attention to Story Structure Freytag's pyramid is a powerful storytelling framework used in a variety of creative works from Aesop's Fables to Shakespeare's plays. This structure splits the story into five narrative arcs, evoking various emotional reactions from your audience. These arcs include the inciting moment, the complication or rising action, the climax (or turning point), the reversal or falling action and the moment of release. In your storytelling you can follow the steps in Freytag's pyramid or use them in parts, but the approach helps you make an emotional connection with your consumers. In 2014 Jaguar launched a high-suspense campaign with David Beckham in China, targeting local social networks WeChat and Weibo. Before revealing Beckham as the brand ambassador, the campaign asked consumers to guess Mr. Jaguar's identity. Jaguar released street interviews and videos to build suspense. They also dropped hints throughout the campaign to get consumer traction. The exercise was highly successful and drew 50,000 reposts when it started. An additional 30,000 reposts came in after David Beckham was introduced as the ambassador. #2: Sequence Your Ads to Create Stories According to the recently published The Power of Storytelling from Facebook IQ, online storytelling on social media can have a direct impact on in-store purchases. As an experiment, Refinery29 tested Facebook ads that were sequenced like stories. Overall, the experiment yielded a 56% conversion lift and an 87% rise in view-throughs. Refinery29 also saw a 7% increase in in-store purchases and a 10% increase in online purchases. Deliver sequenced Facebook ads that combine quality content with a strong call to create a social media-led storytelling campaign like this one. #3: Align Your Story with Audience Values A belief ecosystem allows you to move away from product-oriented branding to a more lifestyle or customer value-oriented branding. This is a natural fit for social media where businesses need to define a niche target group (the first believers), develop a brand communication strategy (giving consumers a simple and clear reason to believe) and create online and offline spaces for brand reach and to share stories. This approach is effective because it allows you to sharpen your brand identity, creating strong competitive differentiation and higher price flexibility. This, in turn, has a direct impact on your bottom line. In 2014 Daimler's smart division launched a campaign for the FOR lifestyle brand. As Daimler explains, "'FOR' stands for a constructive, positive and optimistic outlook that can change the world." The company set up a special portal to aggregate social content for the #WhatAreYouFOR campaign hashtag. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB_0vRnkeOk Another component was an offline campaign centered on pedestrian safety. A key element was the Dancing Traffic Light Manikin, which entertained and asked customers, "What are you for?" This approach helped solidify smart's positioning as a consumer lifestyle choice: a green city car that cares about the world. The customer experience was the central pull for smart's campaign. This was in stark contrast to the pre-2013 online positioning of smart cars that talked more about product features than value. The FOR brand campaign also clearly differentiated smart cars from Daimler's performance-oriented cars. #4: Tell Local Stories With powerful social media reach (1 in 7 people in the world are on Facebook) and democratization of the narrative,

SearchCap: AdWords AMP landing pages, Google & Apple tracking & SEO mistakes

by Barry Schwartz @ SearchCap: Daily Search Engine News Recap

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: AdWords AMP landing pages, Google & Apple tracking & SEO mistakes appeared first on Search Engine Land.

How to Grow Your Facebook Fans Without a Budget

How to Grow Your Facebook Fans Without a Budget

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Want to increase the size of your Facebook community? Want to avoid costly Facebook ads? When you develop relationships with others in your niche and experts, your Facebook page can easily grow without advertising. In this article you'll discover three ways to grow your Facebook fan base without ads. Listen to this article: #1: Guest Curate for Other Pages Curating content for other pages is a great way to network with other people in your industry, while increasing your own visibility and reach. Choose 5 to 10 successful Facebook pages run by companies offering services complementary to yours, since they share your target audience. Your expertise will offer real value to their fans. Then offer to curate content for them once a week in return for credit on their page. For example, the CEO of a company was a speaker at a marketing and advertising course, which spent a lot of money promoting its own Facebook page. Every week on "Mobile Wednesday," this CEO would be the guest curator on the course's page, and share interesting articles on the topic. At the end of each update there was a shout-out: "Posts today are curated by OnTheMob." They also included a link to the company's Facebook page. The result of this simple technique was a few thousand new Facebook likes a month. To get started, simply send each of your targeted Facebook pages a message offering to curate content under a specific category for them once a week. You can even do this once or twice a month. However, the more exposure, the quicker the results. The pages you approach should appreciate the opportunity to mix up their content and take some of the pressure off from posting. Remember, the pages you reach out to need to be complementary, not competition. Any direct competitors likely won't allow you to use their Facebook page to promote yourself. #2: Seek Out Promotional Swaps Search for and list about 30 to 40 Facebook pages for products, services or communities that are complementary to yours. As above, these complementary pages likely share your target audience and have roughly the same number of fans. Here's the Excel spreadsheet template I use to track partnerships. Once you have a good list, send each page a message, explaining a bit about yourself and your Facebook status (such as page likes and engagement). Offer to mention their Facebook page to your fans on a Facebook update if they mention yours in return. Here is a sample intro message to adapt for your promotional outreach. Hi (Name of page admin), How are you? My name is (your name) and I'm (name of brand)'s Facebook page manager. I'd love for you to consider a promotional partnership with our page. I think we can both benefit. Our company's Facebook page targets mostly (target audience including: gender, age, occupation, interest), and we post mostly content about (type of content you post). We have (number of fans) with decent engagement rates. You can check our page out here (URL of your Facebook page). It looks like we target a similar audience with different products. Would you consider doing a promo swap between our pages? You would mention us to your fans and we'll mention you. That way we can both get some fresh likes from real people in our target audience. Please let me know if this seems interesting to you. Send me a message so we can clarify the rest of the details. Thanks for your consideration. Best, (Your Name) Once you reach an agreement, share your cross-promotional posts. Track results so you know which partners are good to work with in the future. I first heard about this technique from Neil Patel on a content hackathon. He praised this technique as the one he used to grow his Facebook page for his new experiment, Nutritious Living. Using this concept, pages have received great initial results: 1,200 new likes in less than two weeks. Note: For this concept to work,

SearchCap: Amp links at large, Google AdWords demographic targeting & more

by Amy Gesenhues @ SearchCap: Daily Search Engine News Recap

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Amp links at large, Google AdWords demographic targeting & more appeared first on Search Engine Land.

6 Ways to Use Advanced Twitter Search for Increased Influence

6 Ways to Use Advanced Twitter Search for Increased Influence

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you want to be a recognized expert in your industry? Looking for relevant conversations to weigh in on? Using Twitter's Advanced Search to monitor keywords and conversations can help you connect with influencers and uncover opportunities for thought leadership. In this article you'll discover six ways to use Twitter's Advanced Search to increase your influence in your industry. Listen to this article: #1: Find Conversations to Participate In Doing a keyword search on Twitter is a quick and easy way to find out what people in your industry are talking about, identify accounts to follow, and discover new business opportunities. With Twitter's Advanced Search, you can create complex searches with keywords that are relevant to your industry. To start, choose three or four keywords that are relevant to your industry and use the Boolean search operator "OR" to create a single search for all of your terms. For example, search for "digital marketing" OR "digital marketing advice." Look at the search results to find conversations in your niche. Then join relevant discussions to offer expert advice and build meaningful connections with people in your industry. Use the OR operator to ensure that every key phrase or search term is relevant to your mission. Keep this list updated and weed out the keywords that aren't helping you find the best results. Soon you'll have a filtered list of conversations to review on a daily basis. You can also add keywords like "recommend" to find prospects looking for services you offer. You can also use a keyword search to optimize your own Twitter profile. Add keywords to your bio to help other users find you. Including key phrases (such as "public speaker" and "charity worker") may help you uncover new opportunities. #2: Monitor Hashtags for Media Opportunities You can follow specific hashtags and keywords to discover people who are looking for thoughtful comments or quotes. For example, the hashtag #journorequest is popular among journalists and industry writers. You can create an advanced search that pairs both #journorequest and your key industry terms ("skincare expert" or "facial expert," for example) to find opportunities for free coverage in print and online. Once you've uncovered opportunities through hashtag monitoring, reach out to users to share your expert insights. This helps you get media coverage for your business and create meaningful connections. #3: Connect and Converse With Industry Peers Your influence is often measured by the network you keep. Use Twitter's Advanced Search filters to find key contacts and people to follow in your industry. Filter Results by Account In Twitter's search box, search for a keyword (or group of keywords). Then to filter your results, click More Options and select Accounts to see only those accounts that contain your keywords. Once you create a tailored list of key industry contacts, follow those users, add them to a list, or use a monitoring tool like TweetDeck to track what they're saying. Filter Results by People You Follow You can also limit your search to only the users you follow. To do this, enter your search term (for example, "social media data"). Then filter your results by clicking More Options and selecting From People I Follow. Your search results will only include tweets that match your search query and are from the accounts you follow. Filter Results by Date You can add a date range to find conversations relevant to your topics of interest and occurring within the last few weeks from users you follow. This gives you the opportunity to add comments, share your insights, and show thought leadership within your online peer group. Filter Results by People You can also use Twitter search to find previous conversations you've had with your contacts. This is a great way to revive relationships and build camaraderie.

E-Commerce 101: Sell Big with Weebly and Square [VIDEO]

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Having a strong online presence and utilizing an omnichannel commerce strategy is increasingly important. So whether your business has been around for five months or 50 years, a website can be a key contributor to your success.

To help you get started, Christina Dam, product marketing lead at Square, recently sat down with Vitaly Odemchuk, head of design at Weebly, and Kim Chappell, Weebly’s head of communications, at General Assembly SF to discuss web design and omnichannel best practices.

They were joined by business owners Paige and Chris Curtis of Alibi Interiors and Jeff and Justin Wiguna of Kiju Coffee, who spoke with the crowd about their e-commerce experiences.

During the event they discussed:

  • Best practices for designing a great website, including creating a catchy headline and selecting key visuals for your site
  • How to build a seamless omnichannel strategy
  • How to optimize your marketing practice to save time and stay creative

How to Pin Your Facebook Carousel Ad as a Page Post

How to Pin Your Facebook Carousel Ad as a Page Post

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you want more organic traffic from Facebook? Have you considered pinning your ads as Facebook page posts? In this article you'll discover how to drive organic traffic and conversions by pinning a Facebook carousel ad to your page as a post. Listen to this article: #1: Set Up Your Facebook Carousel Ad First, you need to create your Facebook carousel ad. Click the green Create Ad button and select Send People to Your Website as the objective. Next, enter a URL. This is the final URL visitors click through to at the end of your carousel, so you may want to choose your main website for this one, depending on the point of your carousel. Now, name your campaign something that you can easily recognize later so you can refer back to the carousels you’ve created. Then click the Set Audience & Budget button. Next, choose your ad audience. Note that if you want to run this as an ad, you’ll want to get specific about your ad targeting. If you don’t want to run this as an ad, you don’t have to; thus, you don’t need to do anything at this point. Now set your ad budget. In case you forget, set the lifetime budget as low as $25 so that even if your ad does run, you won’t spend that much. Then click Choose Ad Creative. #2: Design Your Carousel Ad Now, you’ll design your carousel ad. First, select Multiple Images in One Ad. Next, connect your page so the ad will be shown in the desktop news feed. This is extremely important. Remove all other placements except the Desktop News Feed, as they’re unnecessary. Configure one to five images, links, and calls to action for your carousel ad using the following specifications. Note that for each carousel image, you can have different website URLs (even from different domains) and different call-to-action buttons. Once you’re finished, your preview should look like this. Be sure to click through your carousel images one more time to ensure that the images, ad copy, and URLs are correct. You can click the Review Order button to get a quick glance at all of your settings. Then click the Place Order button to place the ad into Facebook’s review queue. #3: Pin Your Carousel Ad to Your Facebook Page as a Post At this point, you will be taken to your Ads Manager dashboard. In the box to the right, you’ll see a See Post link. Click on the See Post link to go to your carousel ad post. Click on the Share link to share the post and use the drop-down menu to choose the Share on a Page You Manage option. Select your page and remove the via tag that appears in the Say Something About This area. Then add your own descriptive comment. Now post it to your page. You should see a confirmation of success. Now use the arrow at the top right to pin it to the top of your page wall. At this point, you can either let your ad campaign run or go back to your Ads Manager dashboard and toggle the ad and the campaign off. The choice is yours and won’t affect your pinned post. 8 Ways to Use Pinned Carousel Ad Posts to Drive Traffic Now that you know how to create carousel ads and share them to your Facebook page, how should you use them? In my example, I chose to feature five random blog posts at the top of my Facebook page wall. Here are some other ways you can choose to use yours: Feature your top three to five products or services. Be sure to link each to its corresponding landing page. Use the Download or Shop Now call-to-action button for products and the Book Now, Contact Us, or Sign Up call-to-action buttons for services, as applicable. Showcase the top three to five features or benefits of your products or services. Be sure to link each to its corresponding landing page. Use the Learn More or Watch More call-to-action buttons, as applicable. Display the top three to five lead magnets you have to offer to capture new subscribers to your email list.

4 Ways to Improve Engagement With Hashtags

4 Ways to Improve Engagement With Hashtags

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you include hashtags in your social media posts? Want more traction from your hashtag campaigns? Adding hashtags to your campaigns can drive engagement with fans and followers, as well as attract new and prospective customers. In this article I'll share four ways to improve reach and engagement with hashtags. Why Hashtags Matter Since social media is social, it's important to participate in conversations on a variety of topics. Listen to this article: However, the virtual world does not give us body language cues, and it may be difficult to keep track of everything that's going on. This is especially important when it comes to interacting with hundreds or even thousands of people on social media. Instead of pleasant and engaging conversation, all you hear is noise. Hashtags help cut through all the noise. They connect your business with your audience and put it at the heart of conversations on social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Facebook. #1: Align Hashtags With Your Brand Use a hashtag that aligns with your brand to reinforce the message your social, digital and traditional marketing send to your customers. Kit-Kat, the company behind the popular chocolate snack, does this particularly well. They use the hashtag #mybreak, which is in concert with their wider branding message, "Have a break, have a Kit-Kat." Kit-Kat's social media team reinforces the use of #mybreak. They favorite and retweet the social media posts of customers who use the hashtag. This engagement not only helps develop the relationship between Kit-Kat and their customers, but also more broadly extends the reach of the hashtag and Kit-Kat's branding. #2: Choose Hashtags Carefully In social media and in life, there's always the chance things won't work out exactly as planned. Your hashtag could possibly be hijacked, either by another brand or by activists with an axe to grind. Kit-Kat's #mybreak hashtag is unlikely to get hijacked. It's on-brand, and there's not a lot of online activism aimed at chocolate-wrapped wafers. When airline Qantas launched the hashtag #QantasLuxury, they hoped their business and first-class flyers would post about their dream luxury experience. Instead, the hashtag was hijacked by the far larger group of disgruntled Qantas passengers who fly economy class. Give each hashtag strong consideration before deploying it in a tweet or a post. Reflect with your team and colleagues, and ask advice from friends active on social networks about potential hashtags. While you can consider best-case scenarios (like Qantas envisioned), also be sure to consider potential worst-case situations. Choose a hashtag with the least risk of hijacking, so you can avoid a potential social media crisis. #3: Take Your Hashtag Offline Don't limit your business hashtags to only social media. It's important to use them as part of a wider branding strategy that includes offline and traditional media. For Coca-Cola’s 2015 Super Bowl campaign, the company launched the related hashtag #MakeItHappy. The hashtag populated the company's social media feeds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Plus, it appeared in television and print advertising, as well as in earned media online. Increase traction for your hashtag by using it away from your social networks. Small businesses can make it easy for their customers to share positive reviews and social comments about their experiences by encouraging the use of a hashtag. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, make sure your hashtag is displayed prominently near the point of sale, on your promotional flyers, print ads and every receipt. Online businesses should create clickable hashtags, encourage visitors to 'click to tweet' text including the hashtag and prominently display the hashtag on the company home page. Whether it's a physical or a digital business, the advice is the same.

Hiring for Growing Businesses [Webinar]

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

One of the most important decisions you can make as a business owner is who you hire to support your business’s growth. After all, the person you bring on as a server at your restaurant or as an office manager for your law firm can have a big impact on how your business runs.

Whether this is your first employee or your 30th, a lot needs to happen before you extend an offer to that perfect hire.

You need to consider the expected (what the role entails, what salary and benefits cost, etc.) and the unexpected (the time it takes to train and manage a new hire, the cost of new technology to support things like payroll, etc.)

To help you through that process, Square’s talent acquisition lead, Andrew Trout, teamed up with ZipRecruiter’s senior director of inside sales, Jason Blais, for a webinar about hiring. During the webinar they discuss:

  • How to know it’s the right time to hire
  • How to determine what a new employee actually costs
  • How to optimize your recruitment process to get the right candidates

Blogger Outreach: How to Build Relationships With Bloggers

Blogger Outreach: How to Build Relationships With Bloggers

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you want to attract more attention to your business? Are you wondering how you can build relationships with the influencers in your market? To learn why it's important to reach out to bloggers, I interview Scott Monty for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Scott Monty, the former head of social media for Ford Motor Company. He blogs at ScottMonty.com and his podcast is I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere. Scott shares how to build relationships with bloggers to raise your visibility. You'll discover the types of influencers you need to reach out to and how to engage them in a positive and productive way. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Blogger Outreach Scott's definition of rented In a recent AdWeek interview where Scott discussed paid, earned and owned media, he referred to rented. He said, "Sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, we don't own those. We are using other people's property." Scott explains the reason for that comment was to address the concern marketers have in the drop in organic reach with their posts on Facebook. The challenge now is you can't ignore Facebook because there are over 1.2 billion people who use it, and you have to find a way to live with it. Scott says the reason why he calls these sites rented is because they are ultimately in control. If you look at Facebook, they can change the algorithm any time they like, and marketers have to suffer the consequences, unless they are willing to pay. You need to look at your owned sites, where you do have control. Scott thinks it's best to centralize your content in a hub, then have digital outposts of rented spaces and good relationships with influencers. Then use paid media around all of that to strategically amplify your earned, owned and rented spots. Listen to the show to find out why it's not just about using paid for promoting your ads. Blogger outreach and why it's important  Scott says that blogger outreach isn't that different from media relations. You need to look at who the influencers with an audience are, and figure out if you can either invite them to special events, give them an experience with your products or let them meet with the executives of your company. Then they can go and tell a story to their audience. Any brand has a story to tell and you have to think of ways you can inspire others to tell your story. Once you have figured out who the main industry influencers and bloggers are in your industry, then you can start to reach out to them. It's important to take note of how they interact with other brands too. You'll discover the parallels and distinctions between public relations and blogger relations, and how to treat each type of influencer differently. When Scott was at Ford, they mixed the bloggers in with journalists. Some of the true journalists weren't happy about that, and didn't give bloggers full credit for what they were able to do. Listen to the show to find out how Scott and his team handled the bloggers and journalists together. The power of bloggers compared to traditional media Scott explains that most bloggers don't have the same reach or potential reach as a traditional journalist. Although there are many bloggers who have been brought under a network approach. For example, if you look at the Gawker family of sites, they each started out as a hobby. Jalopnik for automotive, Gizmodo for tech,

Nurturing Leads With Social: How to Warm Up Your Following

Nurturing Leads With Social: How to Warm Up Your Following

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you engage with your customers and prospects on social media? Want tactics to warm up your leads? To discover how to move people from fans to customers, I interview Kim Walsh-Phillips. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Kim Walsh-Phillips, CEO of Elite Digital Group, a direct response social agency. She's also a columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine. Her brand-new book, co-authored with Dan Kennedy, is the No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing. Kim will explore how to use social media to turn cold prospects into warmer opportunities that lead to sales. You'll discover which types of content will engage your audience. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Nurturing Leads With Social Kim's backstory Kim says she has been doing public relations since before MySpace. Although she would get clients into the newspaper and throw great events, she was unable to show a return on investment. So when it came time for clients to renew, they would cancel. Kim spent much of her time going to networking events, meeting people, and trying to sign new clients. She knew she had to do something differently. In 2010, a friend gave her Dan Kennedy's original book, the No B.S. Guide to Direct Marketing. Because social is a channel just like direct mail, television, and radio, applying Dan's principles to social media worked. She could show clients how much money came from every dollar they spent, and was able to keep their accounts,which is something she was unable to do before. Listen to the show to learn what Kim had to do one time to make payroll. Direct response social media Kim explains that people use social media to have conversations, not to read a brochure. Direct response is a marketing tactic used to get a click-through, an opt-in, or drive a purchase. She shares that before social media, direct response tactics were used in direct mail, infomercials, print advertising, and even email. Kim says that when you tie social media and direct response together, you have conversations with people to create a direct result that is measured. Listen to the show to discover why Kim believes email and social media marketing don't carry a lot of direct response messaging. How marketers can tap into social Facebook is a cocktail party, Kim explains, whereas Google is a shopping mall (people are there searching for products, programs, and services). If you're going to interrupt their cocktail party with an "excuse me," you have to offer enough value that someone is willing to turn away from their best friend to pay attention to you. To engage fans in this non-disruptive way, Kim suggests you make a list of the 10 questions prospects ask you most often. For example, if you're an orthodontist, you would use the questions parents ask when they're considering braces for their child. If you're just getting started in business, she suggests using Quora to find questions people ask about your industry. Kim also shares that you can give services such as Textbroker.com a list of questions and their experts will answer them for you, creating copyright-free content really inexpensively. Simply answering those questions makes for great blog content and social media posts. Each day in your social media content, post a link to one of those great blog posts. Alternatively, use it for the post itself. For example: "A lot of people are curious as to how much braces cost. Costs generally range between X and Y." Those types of posts, Kim adds,

Is it Time to Change What We Put in Our Website Menus?

by Ramsay @ Blog Tyrant: Start a Successful Blog

Your menu is still one of the primary ways that traffic navigates around your site. Deciding what to put in it, however, may be a little more complicated than first thought. In the old days, a website would have four main links: About, Blog, Contact, and a Home button. But as technology improves and changes,...

Interactive & Engaging: Step two for gathering website leads

by WebsitesForAnything @ Websites For Anything

There are several things a good website will do to help you capture leads.  Last week we talked about the importance of clarity to lead conversion.  Another way your website can help you to capture leads is by being interactive and engaging. This doesn’t mean that you have to be noisy or flashy, but it is a good idea to ...

The post Interactive & Engaging: Step two for gathering website leads appeared first on Websites For Anything.

Instagram Marketing: How to Get Started With Instagram

Instagram Marketing: How to Get Started With Instagram

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you use Instagram for your business? Are you wondering how Instagram can help with your marketing? To learn how to get started with Instagram marketing, I interview Sue B. Zimmerman for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Sue B. Zimmerman, who is known as the Instagram Gal. Sue helps businesses use Instagram to find their ideal customers. She's used Instagram herself to increase traffic to her Cape Cod retail boutique by 40% in only 12 months. Sue shares the strategy behind her Instagram success. You'll learn how to take advantage of using photos and short videos and how to make the most of hashtags. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Instagram Marketing Why marketers should consider Instagram Sue states that she didn't know what Instagram was until a little over a year ago. She became curious when her twin daughters were using it. Sue shares that one of the reasons why marketers should consider Instagram is because it's mobile. It's a great way for your business to communicate directly with people with whom you want to build trust and credibility. There's no better way for people to see what you are up to. Instagram is a free mobile app, which you can download onto your iPhone or Android phone. It allows you to share photos or videos with your target market. It's very quick, easy and fun to use. There are 20 filters that you can have a lot of fun with. You'll discover why hashtags and @mentions are most important for marketers and businesses. Listen to the show to find out what type of image gets the most likes and comments for Sue. Who is Instagram ideally for and how does it differ from Pinterest? Sue believes they are similar but have slightly different approaches. Sue has a very active Pinterest account, which is also very successful for her boutique. Both Pinterest and Instagram have grown into their own thriving communities. With Instagram, you can tell a story with both photos and videos. As soon as you upload an Instagram image, you can see within seconds that someone has liked it. With Pinterest however, you tell people what you like. You curate your boards and highlight what you like from things that are already online. Sue gives an example of how she is able to seize opportunities presented to her with customers in her boutique. It's a great way to create a fun mood. The hashtags that you use to describe the image or the video are how people follow you or find you. You'll hear what hashtags Sue uses at an event and why it helps create more interaction. You have to remember that people look for certain hashtags for their industry to stay top of mind. From a business perspective, when an image grabs your attention, you can choose to click into the account and see if you want to follow the person. Once you start to follow an account, it will show up in your feed. You can also unfollow accounts at any time. Sue believes that she can put a visual strategy together for any kind of business. You'll hear the different types of businesses she has worked with. In the B2B world, it's not necessarily about the products you sell, it's about visual feelings. Images of sunsets, nature and oceans get a lot of likes because they are visually pleasing. It's not just about business. Listen to the show to find out what the benefits are when you share your passions visually as an individual. Examples of businesses that use Instagram well

How to Use LinkedIn Showcase Pages for Business

How to Use LinkedIn Showcase Pages for Business

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you looking for more ways to use LinkedIn for your business? Have you considered showcase pages? LinkedIn showcase pages enable you to promote certain products or services to specific customer segments. In this article you'll discover how to use LinkedIn showcase pages for your business. Listen to this article: What Are Showcase Pages? Showcase pages are an extension of your LinkedIn company page and allow you to highlight a particular product line or brand. Although you need to have a company page to create showcase pages, they're somewhat of a standalone feature. Each showcase page has its own followers, status updates and functionality, sort of like a mini LinkedIn company page. Any showcase pages you've created for your business are listed in the right column of your company page. For example, IBM has a number of showcase pages, including IBM Cloud, IBM Analytics, IBM Security, IBM with MSPs, IBM Social Business and IBM Watson. Here's how to set up showcase pages for your business's products and services. #1: Choose a Page Name First, you need to choose a page name. To take advantage of showcase pages for SEO, include your target SEO keywords as part of the page-naming process. For example, because I provide search engine optimization training, I claimed, created and optimized the showcase page with the same name: Search Engine Optimization Training. The URL for the showcase page I claimed is http://www.linkedin.com/company/search-engine-optimization-training. As you can see from the URL, showcase pages are not directly linked to your LinkedIn company page. The URL just says .../company/..., and only the name of the showcase page is included in the URL. This means no one else can claim a LinkedIn showcase page with that same name. It's sort of like registering and claiming a really cool .com URL and making it yours. #2: Create a Showcase Page To create a showcase page, log into your LinkedIn company page, hover or click on the down-pointing arrow next to Edit and select Create a Showcase Page from the drop-down menu. You can claim up to 10 showcase pages for your company. If you need additional pages, reach out to LinkedIn’s support team and request them. #3: Optimize the Page for Search Without a doubt, Google loves LinkedIn company pages, and frequently ranks them high in search results if they're properly optimized. The same principle applies to showcase pages. The more followers you have and the more actively those followers engage with your showcase page, the better. There are a number of ways you can optimize your showcase pages for search. You get more SEO juice by including target SEO keywords in the showcase page name (as described earlier) and in the description. You can use up to 200 characters to draft an engaging and compelling product or service description, so make good use of this real estate. In the Website area of your page, make sure you include a link to the corresponding service or product page on your website. Also add your logo and a header image to your showcase page. For the header image, you can upload an image in the PNG, JPEG or GIF format. The maximum file size for the image is 2MB, and it must be 974 x 330 pixels or larger. Be sure to invite people to follow your showcase page and encourage them to engage with your posts. When you post status updates on the page, keep them focused and include your target SEO keywords. Companies Using Showcase Pages Here's a look at how three well-known companies use showcase pages to promote their products and services. Adobe Creative Cloud The Adobe Creative Cloud showcase page has more than 15,700 followers and features an excellent and relevant header image. The Adobe company page encourages visitors to follow all of their LinkedIn showcase pages. Intel IT Center The Intel IT Center showcase page, which has more than 47,200 followers,

How to Win With Pinterest Contests

How to Win With Pinterest Contests

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Have you considered running a Pinterest contest? Looking for tools to help? Pinterest contests can increase your followers, boost engagement, and promote your brand and products. In this article, you'll discover how to easily host and manage a winning contest on Pinterest. Listen to this article: #1: Choose a Contest Management Tool Pinterest contests can be challenging to run, simply because they're hard to keep up with. Fortunately, Pinterest contest apps can make the process significantly easier. Some apps will even create landing pages to capture valuable lead information (like email addresses and phone numbers) that users otherwise wouldn't likely submit on a social media platform. If you're going to host a Pinterest contest, here are three apps you may want to try. Wishpond Wishpond has a user-friendly interface and features a lot of great tools for customizing your contest to fit your needs. Wishpond's contest app allows you to create "entry galleries" where other users can vote on their favorite pins or boards that have been entered into the contest. Users can do this by submitting their email addresses, providing an additional way to capture lead information. Other features allow you to choose customizable landing page templates, add a countdown to your landing page to increase urgency (and entries), and access analytics to see views, conversions, and conversion rates. You can also share entry forms on Facebook and Twitter. The landing page is designed to be both desktop- and mobile-friendly. You can preview the landing page and entry forms while creating them. The Wishpond contest app features the ability to have two different periods (or sections) of the contest: one period allows entries and another only allows voting on the entries. Wishpond offers a free trial, so you can see if the software is right for you. The basic plan, which includes social promotions, starts at $45 per month. PromoJam PromoJam's Pin-It-to-Win-It promotions app makes it easy to run a Pinterest contest. It can take as little as 10 minutes to get your contest up and running. With PromoJam's Pinterest contest app, you can create an SEO-optimized URL for your landing page. Choose from a variety of stunning and fully customizable landing page templates. This landing page converts into a confirmation page once users have submitted their entry. Other PromoJam features include the ability to share customized QR codes for your contest, view analytics and user entries as the contest progresses, add social plugin buttons (like a Facebook like option) to your campaign, and use a random winner selection tool. To use PromoJam's Pinterest contest app, you need to upgrade to the pro plan, which costs $249.99 a month, and allows you to collect up to 10,000 user submissions. Woobox Woobox is another amazing contest app that's used by brands like Fisher-Price, Crayola, and Shopify. Woobox's Pinterest contest features let you collect email addresses, allow unlimited entries or only one per user, create tabs for Facebook pages, create HTML entry forms, add an age restriction, and require users to follow you to enter (users must follow you on Pinterest for contest eligibility). Woobox has a free plan and trial, so you can get a feel for the interface before you purchase. To access all of the social promotion apps continually, including the Pin to Win app, you'll need to upgrade to a paid plan. The basic plan starts at $30 per month. #2: Pick a Contest Type At a first glance, it seems like the easiest way to host a Pinterest contest would be to ask users to repin a specific pin. That would be easy to track and easy for users to participate. However, it's not a valid option. You're not allowed to ask users to pin one specific pin. Here are some other options to consider. Require Pinners to Use a Specific Hashtag

Why Your Business Needs Content Marketing

by SearchEngineOptimization @ Simply Design

What is content marketing? Content marketing refers to the creation or curation of useful content that is relevant to your target audience in order to acquire and retain customers. Content marketing can take place in a wide range of media, including blogs, eBooks, videos, podcasts, and images. The key point about content marketing is that […]

The post Why Your Business Needs Content Marketing appeared first on Simply Design.

3 Social Media Engagement Techniques That Work

3 Social Media Engagement Techniques That Work

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Need some new social media marketing ideas? Looking for ways to jumpstart your engagement? Whether your goal is to spread awareness or grow your audience, better engagement is your key to success. In this article you'll discover three ways to improve engagement for your social media accounts. Listen to this article: #1: Personalize Your Approach Your audience is the greatest asset for your campaign. To run a successful social campaign with plenty of engagement, you have to know your audience and what they're likely to respond to and enjoy. To gain these insights, you'll need to do some research. Find out which social media channels the people you want to reach spend the most time on. Discover what topics they care about and what hashtags they use. Don't just listen to your audience, but communicate with them. When you show your fans that you're interested and you care, and they'll show you what makes them happy. Once you know what they're looking for, you can launch a social media campaign that they'll embrace. Many brands have leveraged Pinterest to run successful social campaigns, including Kotex's Woman's Inspiration Day. The company looked at the Pinterest boards for 50 inspiring women to see what interested them. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVCoM4ao2Tw Kotex then brought their inspirations to life by creating handmade gifts and sending them to the women as virtual gifts. If the women then posted something about their virtual gift, they received a real gift from the company in the mail. Almost all of the 50 women responded, generating 2,284 interactions and 694,853 impressions on Pinterest. The campaign was a huge hit because Kotex was able to hyper-target a specific audience and what they want. This is just one of many examples of how you can use Pinterest to launch a successful social campaign. #2: Put the Product in Your Fan's Hands Remember the core goal of social media is to be social, so it's important to cultivate relationships with your fans and followers. This is an essential step to launching a successful social media campaign. Yes, your ultimate goal is to sell your product and your brand, but for the purposes of your social media campaign, take a step back on the selling and simply share. Don't force your product or your brand on your audience or they'll stop listening to you. Opt for subtlety instead. Give people a way to share your product in a fun and unique way and let your audience come to it. Ford's Fiestagram Instagram campaign created buzz for the release of their new Fiesta model by asking fans to post pictures that related to different campaign hashtags. Each hashtag was a buzzword describing one of the features of the new Fiesta car, such as #music, #entry, #hidden, etc. Ford then chose the best pictures for each hashtag and displayed them on digital billboards. They also awarded weekly prizes to fans who submitted photos for the campaign. More than 16,000 photos were submitted to the Fiestagram campaign and Ford gained 120,000 new fans on their social media pages. Lay's launched the clever Do Us a Flavor campaign on Facebook that asked fans and consumers to come up with a new flavor of potato chip for the company to create and sell. That year, nearly 4 million people submitted their flavor ideas via Facebook or text message. Once the finalists were chosen, Lay's asked fans to vote for the winning flavor on Facebook, receiving over 1 million votes. The prize for the winning flavor was $1 million (or 1% of sales for the chip flavor). The first campaign increased Lay's sales by 12% and was so successful at generating engagement for the brand that they continue to run it each year. If you offer your fans a chance to showcase their creativity and connect it to one of your products, you can establish a respectful relationship with your audience, linking their personal creations to your company. #3: Play the Tag Game

How to Use Snapchat for Business

How to Use Snapchat for Business

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you interested in using Snapchat for your business? Wondering how to integrate it into your marketing? Snapchat presents a unique opportunity to reach a new audience that is receptive to clever, creative marketing. In this article you'll discover how to use Snapchat in your social media marketing. Listen to this article: Why Use Snapchat? Snapchat is the fastest-growing social network with more than 100 million daily active users. Of the businesses that market on social media, most use Facebook, but only 2% use Snapchat. The lack of competition on Snapchat means that your business has a great opportunity to stand out and shine on the platform. Unlike other social networks, it doesn't matter when you post content on Snapchat. Your snaps will never be buried in a busy timeline; they stay unopened until your followers have time to view them. After snaps are opened, they're available for only 1 to 10 seconds. Snaps disappear so quickly, so you may be wondering if Snapchat is worth the effort. If you think about it, most social content is viewed right after it's posted. Content tends to last longer on platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr, but it's far more common for social posts to have a short shelf life. Snapchat makes this short shelf life an explicit part of the platform. Because snaps vanish after one viewing, you have users' undivided attention. In this way, disappearing content is actually a boon for marketers. Here's how to get started integrating Snapchat into your social media marketing. #1: Develop Content First, you'll need to develop content for Snapchat. Here are some ideas that you may want to try: Create valuable tutorials about something in your area of expertise. For example, show people how to easily thread a needle or explain how to choose a secure password. Give users a glimpse behind the scenes at your company. Show them how your product is made, share the inspiration and ethos behind your company or chat with artists. Show your product in action. For example, show a person wearing your dress or reading your book. Ask users for pictures or videos of them using your product, and send out snaps featuring them. Those fans will feel valued, and your audience will discover different ways they can use your product. Repurpose content from other social networks, but make sure it's tailored to Snapchat. The tone should be casual and funny, similar to Vine and Tumblr. No social feed should be 100% self-promotion, so tell interesting stories that relate to your industry. Share a cool tip from an industry leader or give an opinion on a recent event. #2: Invite Participation Social media should be social, not a one-way megaphone for promotions. Replying to every snap isn't practical or scalable, but you can certainly do it every now and again. Imagine how great it would feel if your favorite guitar brand replied to your snap of a song. You can give your followers that feeling, too. Ask people to reply to your snap or post a reply on another social network. Sephora has used this tactic with sweepstakes. They asked users to take pictures of themselves with makeup doodles and post them to other social networks. Consider following people back on Snapchat. When they send you snaps, read them and reply if appropriate. This goes a long way towards letting users know you're a real person or a real social team behind a brand. #3: Get Creative After deciding what content you'll develop, think about how you can present it in a creative way. Here are some ways to do that: Draw or write on pictures to add humor or emphasis. Dove uses Snapchat to inspire viewers to celebrate their own beauty. In this snap the company drew on the image with bold colors to emphasize their message. Find clever ways to get people to sit up and pay attention. GrubHub used a series of images showing a pizza being eaten slice by slice to create suspense before revealing ...

How to Drive Traffic to Your Website With Pinterest

How to Drive Traffic to Your Website With Pinterest

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Looking for ways to improve your Pinterest marketing? Do you want to make your pins more clickable? To generate leads, conversions, and sales from Pinterest, your pins need to do more than move people to like and repin. In this article you'll discover how to create pins that encourage people to click through to your site. Listen to this article: #1: Combine Cropped Images to Hint at a Story Stories evoke a combined sense of emotion in us: curiosity, arousal, intrigue, and so on. Images help convey those stories which is why advertising professional David Ogilvy advocated for the use of photographs, and why you should use them in the pins you create to promote your content. The right images can make the viewer ask, "What's going on in this picture?" Once you've captured their attention, you've likely induced them to click through to your site and learn the rest of the story. All pins use images but many include stock photography and overlaid text; these elements are so common that it's become easy for viewers to skim over them. To stand out, you will want to choose images that are much more than mere graphic representations or photos of products; you want to use images that support the thread of the story you're telling. For example, in the pin below your attention is drawn to the various tiles and, because they share a common feeling and share similar colors, your brain begins to establish a connection among them. There's a connected story going on and you're wondering what that story is. A pin that tells the viewer there's a story being told makes people stop and look at it. The longer they view, the greater the chance of a click-through. #2: Support Calls to Action With Visual Design Websites with clickable buttons that contain calls to action (or CTAs) have been around for a few decades now. As we've become regular users of websites to buy products, our brains are now wired to expect CTA buttons on websites as well as in social media content. Pins are no exception. In the pin below, you can see the phrase "Go For It" stands out clearly despite the other elements in this pin. To incorporate this approach in your own Pinterest marketing, create a pinnable image that combines a clear text-based call to action with an element that resembles a button. The urge to click on the button translates to a click on your pin. #3: Pique Curiosity With the Promise to Reveal More One thing that makes people click through from a pin to a website is something popularly known as a curiosity gap. There are a few ways to introduce the curiosity gap into your pins; you can use the title, the description, or a text overlay on your pin image. Whether you use one or all three of the options available, use them to deliver a promise of vital information that will improve the lives of people who view your pin. People will click on your pin with the expectation that you'll provide that information on the page your pin links to. In the pin below, Brilliant Business Moms promises to help people get more done in a day, but doesn't tell them how. The curiosity gap is born. Creating a curiosity gap between the information you promise through the pin and the information you deliver on your website helps your followers decide to click more quickly. #4: Capitalize on the Fear of Missing Out People are driven to check out offers that create a sense of urgency; offers that expire in a short time, products that are limited-edition or about to go out of stock, or information that the rest of the world knows about. The sense of urgency creates FOMO, or the fear of missing out. FOMO is what makes people grab the opportunity to use a discount, knowing that the offer will be gone in 24 hours. FOMO is why you click and buy something immediately because it's almost out of stock. The pin below makes viewers nervous that they'll miss out on a product that will no longer be available to them if they...

Facebook Live: Fuel All of Your Content With Live Video

Facebook Live: Fuel All of Your Content With Live Video

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you broadcast on Facebook Live? Want to discover how to use your videos to create more content? To explore why Facebook Live is a path to success for creators, I interview Chalene Johnson. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Chalene Johnson, a lifestyle expert, author of Push, and host of two top podcasts: Build Your Tribe and The Chalene Show. She's also active on Facebook with 1 million fans and regularly uses Facebook Live. Chalene shares how she uses Facebook Live. You'll discover what she does to leverage the content she captures. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Facebook Live Chalene's Background With Video While Chalene has developed a number of businesses, most people associate her with fitness and a program called Turbo Kick that she created for fitness instructors to teach in health clubs. Instructional videos were part of the program and when a cast member fell ill, Chalene was forced to be on camera. Since that time, she's done many videos and discovered the more she relaxed, the better she could connect with her audience, whether it was for fitness or business. Chalene first broadcast live on Periscope in the summer of 2015. She remembers it well because it was also the day she was hacked. Chalene stresses there's no correlation between the two events. You can listen to Episode 158 of this podcast for the backstory. When she got early access to Facebook Live, Chalene went live and applied what she'd learned on Periscope. Her first Live reached a half-million people within 20 minutes and she knew it was a game-changer. Listen to the show to discover Chalene's philosophy on the importance of doing things that are scary. What Facebook Live Is All About Chalene believes Facebook Live is like TV, meaning you can use it to spread your message, become famous, or have a reality TV show. Mike and Chalene discuss the connection between bloggers becoming paid authors, musicians on YouTube becoming paid recording artists, and the likelihood that a future show host will be discovered through Live video. Listen to the show to hear why podcasters should consider live-streaming video. How Chalene Goes Live Chalene and her team have an organic plan in place for her Live videos. The calendar is set around the promotion of the Virtual Business Academy, the Marketing Impact Academy, and Smart Success. Eighty percent of the content for each Live broadcast relates to the upcoming promotion, so it attracts the people interested in the related product. Currently, she's promoting Smart Success. Chalene aims to go live a couple of times each week. She's noticed that the longer she broadcasts, the better the video does in terms of reach and live viewers. Often, she plans to go live for 15 minutes but ends up broadcasting for an hour. Chalene's Live prep starts when she wakes up at 5:45 AM. She spends the first hour of her day in learning mode focusing on a certain topic. She then finds a way to relate what she's studying to the product she's promoting. For example, since she's studying the neuroscience behind behavior, discipline, and habits, she'll do a Live broadcast about developing good habits, which ties into her promotion of Smart Success. To prepare, Chalene writes down a proposed title, five bulleted discussion points, and any research or stats she wants to reference. She describes how to start a broadcast and in which order to share information. In the first 10 seconds, tell people what you're talking about and why they need to stay tuned.

Social Media Science: How Behavior Impacts Social Media Marketing

Social Media Science: How Behavior Impacts Social Media Marketing

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Want to understand the psychology behind why people interact via social networks? During this fascinating interview I explore these very concepts. To learn about the science and psychology of social media marketing, I interview Ric Dragon for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Ric Dragon, author of Social Marketology and CEO of DragonSearch. Ric shares tips on how businesses can build relationships on social media. You'll learn how relationships develop and why the concepts of gamification and gifting are important. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Social Media Science How to develop relationships via social networks People look for other people like themselves, which is called group affinity. People want to find like-minded souls. It is much easier in this age of social media than ever before. Ric shares insights into the importance of small-talk in building relationships. You'll learn how small-talk is an extension of social grooming and how sharing a little about yourself humanizes you and makes it easier to grow your social networks. Ric talks about how people bring common salad to social media. Listen to the show to learn more about building relationships on social media. What gamification and gifting bring to social media Ric explains what gamification and gifting are and the different types of elements within social media. Learn why the most powerful rewards are the unexpected ones. You'll hear about different ways you can gift someone. Ric explains why it's important to measure the depth of engagement and also how to measure the effectiveness of your company's social media activities. Listen to the show to learn why the need to reciprocate is very powerful and relevant to your social activities. How communities develop via social media  Strong communities can form very quickly on social media and sometimes there are micro-communities.  Ric talks about how strong communities can form spontaneously on social media. He also talks about how these communities form around hashtags. You'll learn why listening is important for both pre-existing communities and when communities are forming. Ric talks about online ethnography—the studying of people in an in-depth way online. Listen to the show to learn about how communities develop. How to craft the right brand voice on social media People project personality onto brands and Ric explains why this is important to remember when you shape your brand voice. Ric shares how brands can create the right voice. For example, you need to make sure that even though you want individuals to have their own voice when they speak for your company, you also want this voice to be consistent. Listen to the show to find out why it's important to be consistent. The different subcategories of social media marketing  As social media evolves, the word community is thought of in different ways by different people. The expression social media also has different definitions for different people. Ric explains how there are at least five different types of social media projects. You'll learn why Ric believes brand management will experience the biggest area of growth. He says people are thinking most about brand management and when the brand has a really strong sense of purpose, it becomes a valued member of the community. Listen to the show to discover more about brands using social media well.

More Marketing Time: How to Procrastinate Your Way to Success

More Marketing Time: How to Procrastinate Your Way to Success

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you spend too much time on insignificant tasks? Want to have more time to do what you do best? To learn how to multiply your time as a marketer by procrastinating, I interview Rory Vaden. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Rory Vaden, the co-founder of Southwestern Consulting, an organization designed to empower sales pros. He's the author of Take the Stairs. His newest book is Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time. In this episode Rory will explore how busy marketers and business owners can get ahead by procrastinating. You'll discover how the principles of time management have changed over the years, as well as why and how to embrace the focus funnel. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. How to subscribe/review on iPhone. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: More Marketing Time Rory's backstory Raised by a single mother who sold Mary Kay cosmetics, Rory grew up around women who taught him the principles of success. Rory says it also means he knows more about makeup than cars. During college at the University of Denver, Rory was recruited to work in a program called Southwestern Advantage, where he sold educational children's reference books door-to-door and eventually managed salespeople. He says that's where he developed a passion for sales. In 2006, Rory and three others started Southwestern Consulting, with the mission to help salespeople achieve their goals in life. They now have 115 team members and are working with more than 1,000 people. Rory's first book, Take the Stairs, is all about the psychology of overcoming procrastination, improving self-discipline and getting yourself to do things you know you should do that you don't feel like doing. It answers the question, "How do the most disciplined people in the world get themselves to be disciplined?" Rory's second book, Procrastinating on Purpose, addresses the question, "How do the most successful people today think about time and do they believe the same clichés we often hear about time management?" Rory says a lot of them don't. Listen to the show to discover what launched Rory's speaking career. Why people struggle with time management Rory says there is no such thing as time management, only self management. In the world we live in today, time management isn't just logical, it's emotional. Our feelings of guilt, fear, worry and anxiety, as well as our desire for success and our need to feel valued dictate how we spend our time—as much as our inbox, our to-do list and our calendar do. There's also a new type of thinker that has emerged: the multiplier. Rory shares the history of time management. Era one time-management thinking is one-dimensional. It was developed in the 1950s and 1960s, and was all about efficiency. All things being equal, doing things faster is better. However, there is a point of diminishing returns with efficiency. Era two time-management thinking is two-dimensional. This was ushered in by Dr. Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, in the late 80s. Dr. Covey gave us the time-management matrix. The Y axis was importance (how much something matters) and the X axis was urgency (how soon it matters), so it was a way to score tasks and prioritize based on their score. While prioritizing is a relevant skill today, there is a massive limitation—nothing about prioritizing creates more time. Rory believes you cannot solve today's time-management problems with yesterday's time-management solutions. People who are multipliers, Rory says,

Medium for Business: The Complete Guide for Marketers

Medium for Business: The Complete Guide for Marketers

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Have you considered publishing your content on Medium? Are you looking for a way to distribute your ideas to a larger audience? In this post you'll discover what marketers think about Medium, along with a step-by-step guide to using Medium. Listen to this article: Why Medium? Jay Baer, a New York Times bestselling author and well-known keynote speaker, has been posting on Medium for over a year. He uses Medium for "...posts (sometimes original, sometimes repurposed) that are more opinion-based or take a stronger stand." He defines Medium as "...LinkedIn's cool younger brother who wears concert T-shirts all the time, but also checks the Dow Jones average on his iPhone." Who can be successful on Medium? Baer explains, "I think businesses can have success on Medium, but perhaps more so as individuals rather than as businesses per se. In essence, what I do there is on behalf of Convince & Convert, through me. The same can work for other companies who have 'thought leaders' willing and able to take the time to post content on Medium that solicits a response." Mitch Joel, president of Mirum Agency, also adds, "It's not just a place to publish, but an impressive platform for content distribution. As an infovore, it's also an amazing place to discover new voices and content -- probably more powerful than just picking up a link from Facebook or Twitter." He plans to add Medium to his publishing schedule soon. With those things in mind, here are some of the benefits of using Medium as your platform for publishing insightful content: Medium received an estimated 35 million visitors in November 2015, with 36.78% from the United States, according to SimilarWeb. When new users join, they automatically follow Medium's account. Their current number of followers is 726K, so there are at least 726K users on Medium. Medium allows you and your readers to focus on one thing: the content you create. When you join Medium with your Twitter or Facebook account, you get a built-in audience because all of your Twitter followers and Facebook friends who use Medium will automatically become followers of your Medium account. As your Twitter followers and Facebook friends join Medium, they will automatically follow you as well. Why It Might Be Time to Completely Change Your #SocialMedia #Strategy on @Medium https://t.co/P6AZ8MoD44 #smm — Jay Baer (@jaybaer) November 24, 2015 Medium users receive an email digest with the latest stories (posts) by the people and publications they follow delivered to their inbox. Thus, all of your followers from Twitter on Medium will get notified of your latest stories (based on their settings). If your stories are recommended by Medium users who have large followings, your stories will be shown to their followers on the Medium homepage as well as in their followers' email digest (based on their settings). If your stories become popular, they have the chance of being featured as a Top Story to the entire Medium community or as a Medium Staff Pick sent in the email digest. Those are some pretty exciting stats and benefits for marketers looking to reach new audiences through content. What results can you expect? Kiki Schirr, co-founder of Fittr, posts to her Medium regularly. She has found that "The great thing about using Medium is also its biggest downside: Medium comes with an automatic audience that is easily tapped, but difficult to transfer. If you're writing a post that needs 10,000 views, Medium is by far the best tool for capturing them. However, if your goal is to build an audience or brand, you should at the very least be cross-posting your content to a private domain. By posting a small piece each day I was able to reach 10,000 subscribers to my publication in 66 days. I think that's an exciting prospect for marketers." Now, let's look at how to use Medium. #1: Sign Up for Your Medium Account To get started,

5 Creative Ways to Grow Your Email List

5 Creative Ways to Grow Your Email List

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Want to grow your email list? Got a blog? New tools and placement options have made it easier than ever to create an offer that compels blog visitors to share their email address with you. In this article you'll discover five unique ways to grow your email list from your blog readers. Listen to this article: #1: Put Your Best Offer on Your Homepage To encourage email signups, show the value of being an email subscriber on the homepage of your blog. The main focus should be on your opt-in box. Place the links to other areas of your site below the fold, so readers won't see them unless they scroll down the page. Bluewire Media collects email addresses directly from their main page. Below, they offer visitors free marketing templates in addition to news and updates delivered to their inbox. #2: Use a Feature Box to Present Lead Magnets If you don't have a custom homepage or don't have the resources to redesign your current homepage, a feature box might be a good option for you. A well-designed feature box exchanges your lead magnet for new email addresses. You typically place the feature box above the fold of your page so it's immediately visible to users. Unlike entry pop-ups, feature boxes don't interrupt visitors from scrolling down the page and browsing your blog content. They can either take your bonus or scroll down the page. The feature box at DIYthemes increased the blog's subscription rate by 51.7%. Feature boxes convert well even if they're subscription-only and don't offer a lead magnet. Choose a good opt-in offer, such as a free email course. The Enchanting Marketing blog offers readers a free writing course in their feature box. If you're looking for a tool to create opt-in feature boxes, try the WordPress plugins PlugMatter Optin Feature Box or Thrive Leads. Don't forget that your homepage is one of the most visited pages on your blog, so it deserves special treatment. Think about changing your homepage design to include an engaging sign-up box as the next step after a feature box. #3: Add Content Upgrades to Blog Posts Content upgrades are another way to grow your email list. The principle behind them is the same as for any opt-in form: You give away free material (a lead magnet) and get your visitors' email addresses in return. Place a link to your bonus content with a call to action in your article and wrap it with an eye-catching box. When readers click the link, a pop-up box appears, asking for their email address to get the bonus material. Michael Hyatt offers readers a list of literary agents as a bonus in the following article, which is valuable material for his readers and relevant to the topic of the article. When readers click your download link, open a pop-up box asking for their email address. After readers complete the form, redirect them to a page with the bonus. You can use a variety of different materials in your content upgrades. Here are a few examples: A PDF version of your article A checklist An instructional video A template A list of tools or resources An infographic Remember that you need to choose bonus content that is highly relevant to the topic of your article. That's why content upgrades are often called "content-specific bonuses." To implement content upgrades on your blog, try a tool like LeadBoxes or the Content Upgrades PRO plugin for WordPress. #4: Display a Scroll-Triggered Box Another effective and unobtrusive way to turn readers into email subscribers is to use scroll-triggered opt-in boxes. Unlike pop-ups, scroll-triggered boxes don't interrupt the visitor's reading and don't cover up any content. Place a scroll-triggered box at the corner of the page when readers scroll down to a certain part of your article. By the time the box appears in front of readers, they've already read most or all of your article. They've formed an impression of you,

Engagement: How to Create a Loyal Audience That Loves You

Engagement: How to Create a Loyal Audience That Loves You

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Is audience loyalty important to your business? Are you wondering how you can increase your audience loyalty through engagement? To learn the importance of engagement, I interview Danny Iny for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Danny Iny, author of Engagement from Scratch! He is also the founder of Firepole Marketing (now Mirasee) and host of the Connect, Engage, Inspire podcast (now the Business Reimagined podcast) . Danny shares his techniques for increasing engagement, which engenders loyalty in his audience. You'll find out how to define engagement in your business, the benefits of it and how to get started. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Engagement From a writer to someone who specializes in engaging audiences Danny shares that he has been writing since childhood, and started a copywriting business when he was young. In 2006, he wrote his first book, Ordinary Miracles: Harness the Power of Writing to Get Your Point Across! In the book, he discusses his ideas about writing and how to write well. Although it's a great book, Danny didn't get the response he was looking for. The lesson he learned is that when you write copy, it's not actually about the words. You need to understand the people you want to connect with, and understand what matters to them. Danny's copywriting practice evolved over time into a marketing and strategy consultancy. You'll hear what happened when he attended local networking sessions that made him want to create a training program. Danny soon discovered that people who didn't have an audience wanted to know more about engagement; and therefore, he wanted to help them. He started to reach out to all of the experts who had built an engaged audience from nothing. With their input and perspectives, his new book, Engagement from Scratch! was created. Listen to the show to find out why it's important to be sensitive to other people's needs. Definition of engagement Since his latest book was published, Danny says that he has developed the insight that engagement is about the deep emotional investment that people have in what you are doing. If you think about Apple's customers, they are members of the Apple tribe. The fact that they use Apple's products actually says something about who that person is. It's a piece of their identity. Not only are these customers incredibly engaged, they are also invested in what Apple does. If the company were to betray the values they stand for, the response would be dramatic. They would feel like a friend had betrayed them. Danny says that the best model for conceptualizing engagement is by increasing the feeling of commitment through rewards over time. When someone discovers you for the first time, there is no connection, relationship or engagement. You have to give them something to keep them coming back. Make sure you give people an opportunity to provide you with their name and email address. Once they commit, you can reward them. You'll find out another great way to get people to invest some of their time and attention, which will help you build a relationship with them. It's important to stand out from the competition, and one way to do this is to answer emails personally. This puts you in a whole different category. To be a good email marketer, you need to have a double opt-in, a one-click Unsubscribe button and a high content-to-pitch ratio.

Facebook Ads: Creative Application to Help Your Marketing

Facebook Ads: Creative Application to Help Your Marketing

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Have you been pondering using Facebook ads to promote your business? Did you know you can target your website visitors with Facebook ads? To learn how you can use Facebook ads to market your business, I interview Rick Mulready for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Rick Mulready, who is the host of the Inside Social Media Podcast—a show where he interviews successful social media marketers. Rick also teaches courses on Facebook ads. Rick shares creative and inexpensive ways to use Facebook ads to market your business. You'll discover useful ways to use remarketing, how to add the remarketing pixel to your website and tools to help manage your Facebook ads. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Facebook Ads Creative ways businesses can use Facebook ads Rick shares that the common assumption that businesses have to spend a lot of money to run successful Facebook ad campaigns is a myth. He says businesses can be successful even if they spend as little as $5 or $10 a day. As examples, Rick mentions using Facebook ads to guide people into a giveaway to build your email list, or to geographically target people to let locals know about a discount, offer or promotion. You'll hear why Rick personally likes to use Facebook ads to promote his webinars. As marketers, we have to be aware that people aren't on Facebook to be sold to. Listen to the show to discover what type of freebie you should include in your offer. How remarketing works on Facebook Facebook came out this year with Website Custom Audiences, which are another form of retargeting or remarketing. Rick explains that you use these audiences by placing a Website Custom Audience (or remarketing) pixel on your website. The pixel tracks website visitors who are also Facebook users and builds an audience from them, so you can serve ads to them on Facebook. This is great. It lets you serve ads to warmer leads because they're already familiar with your business. Listen to the show to hear Rick's thoughts on using Facebook ads to grow page likes. About boosted posts If you boost a post, you're stuck with the preset levels for the ad spend and limited targeting. Rick says if you want more people to see a specific post, you're better off turning the post into a page post ad. To do that, you have to use the Ads Creator or Power Editor, but you'll have better control of your ad spend budget and deeper targeting options. Listen to the show to hear why Rick recommends that you don't boost posts. Exciting things businesses can do with Facebook ad targeting When most people think of targeting on Facebook, they think of interest targeting—for example, targeting people who like pages similar to your business page. Rick believes the really exciting stuff is Website Custom Audiences or uploading your email list to Facebook to create a custom audience that lets you target those people with your Facebook ads. You can take it a step further and create a lookalike audience of Facebook users from your own custom audience. These types of audiences are made up of Facebook users who share attributes similar to those in a custom audience you designate. Listen to the show to learn how including custom elements in your ad copy leads to a higher conversion rate.  Why pay Facebook to reach your email subscribers Rick explains this concept is the same as remarketing to your website visitors on Facebook.

How to Develop a Social Media Reporting System

How to Develop a Social Media Reporting System

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you responsible for reporting your social media results? Do you need to develop a reporting system? Knowing who you report to and what metrics they need will help you streamline the process and ensure you're delivering reports on time. In this article you'll discover how to develop a social media reporting system for your business. Listen to this article: #1: Identify Stakeholders and Goals The first step is to do a quick audit of your current reporting process and find out which stakeholders receive your reports. If you know whom you're reporting to and why, you can ensure your reports will be useful to everyone involved. Find out who receives the social media data in your organization. You may send reports to one person, but that person may then forward them on to others. Also, different teams have different needs. For example, a PR team may have different expectations than a community management team. Next, discover what actions your reports support so you don't waste time reporting on metrics no one uses. Talk to the people you report to, find out their needs (and wants) and see what you can learn about the current state of your social media reporting. You'll likely find some overlapping goals and be able to identify areas of commonality. If you're the sole owner and consumer of social media reporting in your company, identify what you need to know about your performance and what you'll do with this information. Try to distill it to a few clear goals, which will make everything easier in later steps. #2: Decide What Metrics to Track When deciding what to include in your reports, find metrics you can use in multiple situations and have some business benefit for your stakeholders. Just because you can report on something doesn't mean you should. And the more metrics you include in your reports now, the more metrics you'll have to keep supporting in the future. Here's an overview of the metrics that really matter: Reach or exposure: Measure the size of your potential audience. Volume: Track the conversation size and number of brand mentions. Engagement: Analyze the quantity and type of engagement your accounts and posts get. Audience: Learn who participates in a conversation, along with the most active users and influencers. Content: Monitor your top-performing (and worst-performing) posts. The metrics you use will depend on your needs and the social networks you're measuring, but these core concepts are a great start. In addition to the general metrics above, you'll probably have a few specific needs or requests from stakeholders you need to support. That's great, because the more relevant and targeted your reports, the more useful they'll be for your business. However, avoid creating custom metrics or anything you'll need to calculate manually, unless they're really important. You'll likely regret this later. It can take a long time to handcraft special calculations, especially if you're not entirely sure how you did it the last time. Above all, be consistent. Make sure you're reporting the same metrics in the same way each time. Add in percentage changes and other benchmarks to make it easy for your audience to interpret the results. #3: Choose the Right Tools There are many social media measurement and analytics tools you can choose from. However, only a few tools will help you get the precise information you need. Keep in mind that no tool is going to be exactly what you're looking for. There are so many ways to analyze social media that every tool has a different perspective. Plus, social data is far from perfect and the kind of information that you can pull from a particular social media channel will vary depending on the channel. However, there is a product out there for you. Ask these questions when you're researching a new tool: Where does it get its social data? What kind of relationship does it have with the social ne...

How to Optimize Facebook Custom Tabs for More Conversions

How to Optimize Facebook Custom Tabs for More Conversions

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you want to boost conversions from your Facebook app? Have you thought about promoting it with Facebook ads? Supporting your Facebook custom tab with complementary Facebook ads will drive more views and deliver more conversions. In this article you'll discover how to combine Facebook custom tabs with Facebook ads to boost conversions. Listen to this article: #1: Focus on the Benefits You may have heard this saying before: Benefits sell, features don't. Focusing on the benefits for your target audience can make a big impact on conversions from your ads. Whether your Facebook custom tab app is a promotion, contest or newsletter sign-up form, your goal should be to get the people who come to the page to take the action you want them to. How do you do this? You focus your messaging on how filling out the form will benefit your customer. To figure out your most important benefits to promote, create a features and benefits chart and spend some time brainstorming. Start by filling in the features column of your chart. Next, think critically about each feature you've listed and the value that it provides to the audience you're targeting with your ads. Once you've filled in both sides of your features and benefits chart, pick the top two to three benefits. Promote these two or three benefits with your ads and emphasize them in your app copy. The bottom line is, to make a greater impact with your app's copy and drive up conversion rates, focus your copy on the solution that your product or service provides. In other words, focus on the incentive your brand is offering. If you keep your copy about your visitors' wants and needs, you'll see more success with your ads. #2: Define Your Goal After you've identified the key benefits you want to promote, the next step is to determine the most important goal of your Facebook ads and design a custom tab app to reflect it. Here are some goals you might have: Capture the email addresses of users who are interested in your product or service. Drive downloads of a lead-generating resource. Get people to take advantage of a special offer by downloading a coupon. Get sign-ups for an online marketing event you're hosting, like a webinar. Drive engagement (for example, voting and/or an image submission on a photo contest) on a marketing campaign you've built. Your Facebook ads should always direct people to an app that has a clear focus, rather than to your website. Why? Your website is full of distractions. The fewer distractions your ads' destination has, the more likely you'll accomplish your Facebook advertising goals. To optimize conversions from your ads, design your Facebook custom tab app without any of these design elements: a navigation bar; social icons; unnecessary links, tabs and buttons; and drop-down menus. Remove any information or clickable link or button that doesn't support the goal of your landing page. #3: Take Design Cues From Top-Performing Ads Split testing different versions of a Facebook custom tab app is tough for two reasons. First, if you don't have a large Facebook advertising budget, you may not get enough traffic to your app to make any valid assumptions. Second, there are too many variables. You could end up going in circles testing a million little things, everything from the color of your call-to-action button to the copy of your secondary headline. Instead of split testing your app, it's better to split test the three main components of your Facebook ads: the headline, body copy and image. Discover your best-performing Facebook ad, and then update your landing page's design to incorporate that ad's headline, copy and image. After a few days of running your Facebook ads, you'll be able to determine which ad is performing best. Based on what you discover, update your app's headline and primary image to match your highest-performing ad.

4 Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Ads

4 Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Ads

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you want to spend less time creating Facebook ads? Looking for ways to get more out of the ads that are working for you? When you've created a Facebook ad that converts, there are a number of ways to maximize your success. In this article you'll discover four ways you can build on the success of Facebook ads that are already performing well. Listen to this article: Know Which Ads Perform Best To find out which Facebook ads are successful, you should install the Facebook pixel on your website. This snippet of code allows you to see what happens on your website after Facebook users click on your Facebook ad. When you can track whether people do things like view a certain web page, add an item to their cart, buy a product or fill out a registration form, you'll know which ads convert best. For example, while two ads may be particularly successful at inspiring people to click through to your site, only one might drive them to purchase from you. Armed with the knowledge that pixels provide, you can focus your budget and the following scaling efforts on the ads that are actually helping you reach your business goals. #1: Build Out Lookalike Audiences It makes sense that Facebook users who are similar to your best customers are likely to be interested in your business. If you've found success targeting ads towards a particular group of people, you can expand your advertising to reach more people who are similar. Facebook allows you to reach these related groups by building out lookalike audiences. You can create lookalike audiences in Facebook's Ads Manager or Power Editor. Regardless of which of these options you use, you'll need an original audience source to base your lookalike audience on. Consider starting with an audience of people who clicked an ad to install your app, people who clicked through to become fans of your Facebook page or people who clicked an ad and completed a certain action on your site. When you build lookalike audiences from groups of people who have already clicked on your ads, you can reach similar people who may also be interested in what you offer. This tactic allows you to expand your audience in a smart way and obtain more opportunities to grow your revenue. #2: Refresh Your Images and Copy No matter how successful your Facebook ads, your audience will tire of seeing the same ones over and over and they'll stop converting. To avoid this, use ads that have historically performed well as inspiration for new ads that incorporate similar images or copy. For example, this ad offers Facebook users 10% off their next purchase and uses an image that highlights a varied selection of card designs. The ad below offers the same discount, but uses a different call to action and an image that shows a single card style. Run each component in an individual ad to pinpoint what made your ad a success in the first place. Maybe a particular color, background or model drew people in, or maybe a specific call to action was especially effective. Split test your ads to find the secret and use the information to create future ads that build on that success. #3: Combine and Conquer With Carousel Ads If your audience responded well to a series of particular product images, try combining all those images into a single carousel ad. This newer ad type allows you to showcase several images at once in a single ad unit. Ecommerce businesses can take this a step further with dynamic product ads. These innovative ads are especially great to cross-sell complementary products or retarget customers who clicked through to your website but didn't complete a purchase. #4: Duplicate Your Ads on Instagram Did you know that the same targeting options for Facebook are also available on Instagram? This means that you can easily expand your successful Facebook ad campaigns to reach an entirely new set of potential customers on Instagram.

How to Publish (Upload) Your Website with BlueGriffon 2

by @ thesitewizard.com

This article deals with how you can transfer your website to the Internet. It is chapter 8 of the BlueGriffon 2 tutorial. (Note: for those who don't actually use BlueGriffon, but want to upload your pages or other files, please read my more general tutorial How to Upload a File to Your Website.)

Why Every Side Hustle Needs a Website

by Casey Kelly-Barton @ HostGator Blog

The post Why Every Side Hustle Needs a Website appeared first on HostGator Blog.

Your Side Hustle Deserves a Website. Here’s Why. Picking up extra work on the side is the American way these days. A new Bankrate survey found that 44 million of us have a side hustle, whether it’s selling things online, dog walking or something else. A quarter of Millennials with side jobs bring in more […]

Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How to Boost Your Facebook Ad Visibility

How to Boost Your Facebook Ad Visibility

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you use Facebook ads to promote your business? Are you struggling to connect with your audience? By fine-tuning your Facebook ads, you can capture the attention of both customers and prospects. In this article you'll discover how to boost the visibility of your Facebook ads. Listen to this article: #1: Use a Clutter-Free Image With Minimal Text The image you choose for your ad depends on what business you're in and whom you're targeting. If you're a personal brand, you may want to choose a picture of yourself, because a friendly face can improve the performance of your ad. It's also possible to get good results with images that show a product or something else that's relevant to what you're advertising. When choosing an image, make sure that it isn't too busy or cluttered. And avoid using an image that has Facebook's shade of blue because people may dismiss your ad, thinking it has something to do with Facebook. It's also helpful to add a border around your image. Keep images text-free, or use a very small amount of text. Facebook has implemented a 20% rule for text in an ad image, which means text can cover no more than 20% of the image. In a tiny ad on the sidebar of a page, a lot of text on an image wouldn't be legible anyway. #2: Write Short, Attention-Grabbing Copy Your ad copy should be short and enticing and grab the user's attention immediately. Spend some time coming up with your ad copy. Facebook suggests you include a timeframe and a price (when appropriate) and stick to one call to action. You can create multiple ads with different text. Then test them to see which gets the most engagement. There are two distinct components to the ad copy: the headline and the text. In the news feed, the ad's headline (which is clickable) appears under the picture, and in the sidebar, it appears before the text copy. Try to keep the headline to a single line in the ad. The text copy sits above the image in the news feed or under the headline in the sidebar. Keep the text short enough that the person viewing the ad won't have to click the See More button. #3: Explore Audience Targeting When you're targeting an audience for your ad, don't just type in male/female, 30 to 40 years old, in a certain city and hope for the best. It's important to know who your customers are so you can drill down and segment accordingly. Target the people you want to be connected to you and your brand. For example, if you're advertising something that people can buy, you might want to target those who have bought from you before or expressed an interest in buying at some time. When creating your ad, always choose the location, age, gender and interests you're targeting. Most people won't list their job title or very personal details on their Facebook profile, so you can leave these details out. Target interests by specifying the pages that your ideal customer likes. You can target your direct competitors' pages. For example, if you're a photographer in Toronto, target the followers of the page of a competing photographer in the area. You might also want to target the pages of businesses whose products and services are complementary to yours. These people likely have the same customers as you. For example, if you're a web designer, target people who like the pages of a particular copywriter. Look at the profiles of people who like your page and see what other pages they like. You'll probably find common likes among your fans. Make sure that you target the actual pages, which show up in Interests, rather than the interests themselves. Note that there seems to be no real rhyme or reason to the pages that Facebook pulls up in the Interests section. You may enter the name of a page that has over 20,000 likes, and Facebook won't find it, but one with 2,000 likes may show up if you search for it. This is something you'll have to test for yourself when choosing page...

SEO Albuquerque Website Design | Search Engine Optimization Firm

SEO Albuquerque Website Design | Search Engine Optimization Firm


Simply Design

As an Albuquerque SEO company, we believe that Website Design is only the beginning! Click to learn how we can help your business reach its full potential!

Facebook Organic Growth: How to Defy the Odds and Grow a Huge Facebook Community

Facebook Organic Growth: How to Defy the Odds and Grow a Huge Facebook Community

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you want to grow a massive Facebook following? Are you wondering how an organic Facebook strategy can be successful? To learn how to grow a huge organic following on Facebook using techniques you have likely never heard of, I interview Holly Homer for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Holly Homer of KidsActivitiesBlog.com to find out how her Facebook page fan base grew from 7,000 fans to more than 530,000 fans in only 8 months without using Facebook advertising or crazy gimmicks. Holly shares how beginners can develop their own Facebook strategy. You'll discover the unfortunate circumstance that jumpstarted Holly's success. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Customer Service Where the Quirky Momma Facebook page started Holly shares that she and her blogging partner Rachel had started the Quirky Momma Facebook page several years ago. While the page was mildly successful, it wasn't driving any traffic. Even though the page had shown prior growth, it had been sitting at 10K-13K fans for 18 months. In early October 2013, Rachel set a goal of getting to 50K fans by Christmas to support the spring launch of their book, 101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever!, and started to post to the page more frequently. She says they noticed that a competing Facebook page with a huge audience was posting content from the Kids Activities Blog without providing a link back or attribution—the page was even cropping the watermarks from Holly's images and posting them with the updates. When she looked closer, Holly found that the updates from this page posting her stolen content were getting up to 9,000 shares each. Listen to the show to hear why this was a turning point for their Facebook content strategy. How they changed the approach to managing the Quirky Momma Facebook page Holly says seeing the viral impact of their stolen images made them go back and find the top 50 posts on their blog. They concentrated on only sharing posts that were already doing well on other social media sites like Pinterest—posts that had viral potential. She says that they were only sharing a few times a day and sharing mostly their own stuff because that's what they knew best. As the page grew, they realized they could help other people and started to find other really cool content to fit in with their own Facebook posts. Listen to the show to find out how Holly and Rachel used Facebook Insights to develop a successful content formatting strategy. What directs Quirky Momma's high-level strategy Holly explains that there are two things in Facebook Insights that are really important to a Facebook strategy: the People Talking About This number and reach. She laughingly says that to get a good People Talking About This number, you need people to talk about you. She explains that this means you need engagement like people commenting on, liking and sharing your updates. Listen to the show to find out why Holly believes understanding reach is at the root of success on Facebook. What makes up Quirky Momma's content mix With their main goal being to drive traffic to the Kids Activities Blog, Holly and Rachel focus on sharing amazing things to do with your kids. Holly explains that she and Rachel post to the page 26 times a day as part of a 24-hour posting strategy. Each day, they work from a posting framework and try to keep the posting ratio at 1/3 owned content to 2/3 conten...

How to Manage a Podcast: Tools and a Checklist for Marketers

How to Manage a Podcast: Tools and a Checklist for Marketers

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you interested in starting a podcast? Want tips to manage and promote your podcast effectively? Creating a successful podcast doesn't have to be a time-consuming process. Today, tools can help streamline activities such as finding guests, publishing audio, and promoting episodes. In this article you'll discover how to manage your podcast from start to finish. Listen to this article: Why a Podcast? The key to generating a goldmine of compelling and engaging content is to leverage the expertise of others and interview them on your own podcast. A podcast is a win-win platform for your content strategy, because it provides an opportunity for both you and your guest to share your knowledge, feature your respective companies, and build a quality relationship with listeners. Inviting people with knowledge and experience in your industry to share their insights frees you from relying solely on your own knowledge. It also allows you to build a collection of quality content from a network of experts. Here's how to get started with your own podcast. #1: Find Potential Guests The first step is finding potential guests for your podcast. Are you groaning at the thought? Never fear, use a tool like LeadFuze to do the work for you. It's traditionally used by sales teams for B2B lead generation, but it also works well for identifying podcast guests. LeadFuze finds prospective guests by searching LinkedIn for categories such as industry, title, role, and location. It then aggregates all of the prospects' contact information, social media accounts, and domains into a list for you. By automating the prospecting process, LeadFuze saves you the hours of research typically needed to find good guests. #2: Send Out Email Invites Once you have the names and email addresses for guests you want to feature on your show, it's time to send out cold emails. In these emails you make your initial request asking the recipient to be a guest on your podcast. Send the Initial Email There are a number of mass emailing tools out there (such as MailChimp, Infusionsoft, and AWeber), but that's not what you need at this stage in the game. You'll want to send a more personal request with a tool like QuickMail.io. QuickMail.io is unique because it lets you automatically send one-to-one emails at scale through your Gmail account. It sends emails so that they arrive in the recipient's inbox as a personal email. This increases the chances of your emails being opened and not being filtered into a spam folder. QuickMail.io also lets you set up unlimited follow-up emails, which will automatically shut off once the recipient responds. Follow Up With Interested Guests Use FollowUpThen to stay in touch with prospective guests who responded to your initial emails, but haven't yet booked a day/time for your podcast interview. With this tool, you can add a simple email address to the BCC field on any email to remind you to follow up at a later date. You include your desired time frame within the FollowUpThen email address, and the email will then boomerang back into your inbox at that date and time. Once it's back to your inbox, it's up to you to decide if you need to follow up again. #3: Plan the Podcast Once you've lined up guests for your podcast, the next step is to choose a topic and set up a time for the interview. The secret to never running out of creative and compelling content ideas is to allow your guests to choose the topic for their episode. When guests ask you about the topic, say something like this: "We encourage guests to choose the topic for their episode based on their background and experience. Is there a certain topic you'd like to discuss on the show?" Next you need to work out a time for your interview. Unfortunately, we've all experienced the email scheduling dance: "Hi, are you free on Wednesday at 1pm?" "I can't do Wednesday. How does Thursday between 2 and 5pm?"

How to Build a Photography Portfolio Website

by Gurpreet Singh @ Photography Spark

A strong portfolio is an integral part of you photography brand. Learn more about the key points of building a photography portfolio website.

We Love Local Businesses! Shop Local Buy Local.

by Stephen Bryant @ Checkpoint Graphics, Inc.

The state of the local economy can have a major impact on many aspects of daily life. This is why you may choose to search for sign companies watertown ny instead of driving to the next town over to get your signs, banners and vehicle wraps and graphics we are number one. We love local businesses […]

The post We Love Local Businesses! Shop Local Buy Local. appeared first on Checkpoint Graphics, Inc..

Twitter Traffic: How to Double Your Traffic to Your Content

Twitter Traffic: How to Double Your Traffic to Your Content

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you use Twitter for business? Are you wondering how to use Twitter to increase traffic to your blog? To learn how to use Twitter to grow your business, I interview Kim Garst for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Kim Garst, CEO of Boom Social, a company and blog that specializes in social media marketing. One of Kim's areas of topical expertise is Twitter marketing. Kim shares how she uses Twitter to promote her content and offers. You'll learn about what type of content works best and how frequently you should share it. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Twitter for Business How do you use Twitter to help your business? Kim describes many ways to leverage Twitter to help grow your business. One way is to use news updates. Kim refers to Twitter as the "info superhighway." A lot of people don't use Twitter search in the same context as they would with Google. In many cases, the news hits Twitter before it hits the major news channels. There are real people out there who share real information in real time. With Twitter, you can leverage the search function as a way to keep track of your competition. You can search for keywords and find conversations in real time. It's a great way to pay attention to trending topics. You'll hear an example of a news story where 85% of the people polled said they found out about an incident on Twitter before the traditional news got the information. One of the biggest values that Kim has found for Twitter is to drive traffic. It's the most responsive targeted traffic source that you can have at your fingertips. Listen to the show to find out how Kim uses Twitter to drive traffic to her Facebook Page. How Twitter can drive more traffic to a website Kim describes the free offers on built-in tabs on her Facebook Page and why she tests them first on Facebook. Twitter is unique in that you can share your free offer 2-3 times a day; whereas on your Facebook Page it would be considered overkill. A tweet has a lifespan of about 30 seconds, so you can share your free offers multiple times a day and it's seen as acceptable. Different viewers see them as they come through their news feeds. Kim explains the strategy behind sharing the same link multiple times a day and why you shouldn't use the same tweet throughout the day. You'll want to switch them up and test different wording to see what people respond to the most. Kim uses HootSuite to schedule her tweets. You'll find out why it's the number-one opt-in source for leveraging her Twitter traffic to her Facebook Page. Kim shares how she monitors and keeps track of each tweet's performance and why you should only run 2 or 3 at a time, otherwise it's overwhelming. You'll hear what type of content Kim shares from her own articles and how frequently she schedules them. Twitter is Kim's number-one traffic source. She has leveraged the same concept for her clients and increased their traffic by 100-400%. Kim highly recommends that you share content that is still relevant and holds value. You'll hear an example of how to use a hashtag when promoting a blog article and why hashtag content has more relevance. Listen to the show to find out what is one of Kim's top converters. Common mistakes businesses make on Twitter Kim says the mistake people make with their Twitter account is to remain inactive. You need to be consistent regardless of which platform you use,

Elements of an Optimized Webpage

by admin @ Redding Website Design, Hosting, SEO, Marketing, Advertising

The perfect Search Engine “Optimized”  Webpage by Andy Main, November 2011  Do you ever wonder “How do I build the perfect SEO Page?”  I get asked that question from time to time and I often think about it when I’m...

3 Instagram Analytics Tools for Marketers

3 Instagram Analytics Tools for Marketers

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Is your business ready for Instagram's algorithm? Looking for tools to analyze your Instagram engagement? Tracking engagement will help you serve quality content that keeps you at the top of the Instagram feed. In this article you'll discover three tools to track and evaluate how people respond to your content on Instagram. Listen to this article: Instagram's Feed Algorithm Last week, Instagram announced that they'll be releasing an algorithm that will prioritize what's shown in users' feeds. This algorithm will determine what content Instagram believes people will be most interested in and then show the most relevant posts at the top of the feed, regardless of how many accounts users follow or what time zone they're in. If you do content marketing on Facebook, you know how important it is to make sure you're ranked highly within a social media platform's algorithm. Algorithms that prioritize content in a user's feed can (and will) inevitably affect your business on those platforms. When the Instagram algorithm kicks in, maintaining high levels of engagement will help keep your content on top, whether you're a small company or a large one. Why You Need Instagram Analytics Tools As the algorithm launch approaches, it's important to use analytics tools to see which portion of your Instagram audience is interacting with what content, what content is performing best, and which audience segments you may be missing. As you learn from these analytics, you can create stronger and more relevant content that your audience will be more receptive to. Though Instagram shares the same ad platform as Facebook, the platform does not yet have an analytics tool like Facebook's Insights and Audience Insights. Fortunately, there are a number of third-party Instagram analytics tools available for businesses and marketers to measure their marketing efforts. The following three tools will help you to track and evaluate the success of your content and overall marketing efforts on Instagram. #1: Simply Measured Simply Measured advertises its analytics tool as being the "end-to-end analysis of all your social media networks," and this includes Instagram. It can be a great tool for marketers. Simply Measured offers a variety of reports and analyses, some of which are free and some are available only with a paid plan. When you first visit the site, you can get a free user report on any Instagram account (with up to 25,000 followers) in exchange for following the company on Twitter. This user report provides an in-depth analysis of the past two months, including your top post, best days and hours for engagement, top photo tags, top filters, and the amount and types of engagement you've received on your posts. Additional analytics tools come with pricing plans starting at $500 a month, and include features like cross-platform analysis, social brand and hashtag monitoring, and the ability to add unlimited users to the account at no additional charge. #2: Iconosquare Iconosquare is a go-to tool for anything Instagram, including contests, management tools, and so on. It's also true for analytics. Iconosquare's analytics allow you to track important metrics like follower growth and losses, best times to post for maximum engagement, engagement rates, and engagement growth. It also shows your best performing content, both in terms of likes and comments. Iconosquare offers a 7-day free trial, during which you can access the analytics information to see if the tool is right for you and for your business's needs. The plus plan is currently $28.80 a year and includes features like daily email reports, comment trackers, and analytics on the key Instagram metrics discussed above. #3: Sprout Social Sprout Social is a popular tool that many businesses already use, and it offers detailed reporting on a profile's Instagram activity. You can find analytics under the Reports section.

Influence and Persuasion: New Insights From Robert Cialdini

Influence and Persuasion: New Insights From Robert Cialdini

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you want to persuade more people to become customers? Wondering what the latest science on influence and persuasion has to say? To discover new ways to prepare people for a sale, I interview Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of Influence and Pre-Suasion. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Robert Cialdini, author of Influence and CEO of Influence at Work, a company that provides speakers and training on behavioral psychology and influence in business. Having sold more than 3 million books, he helped coin marketing phrases such as "social proof" and "scarcity." His latest book is called Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade. Robert explores the science behind influence and persuasion. You'll discover how to put these concepts into action to benefit your business. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Influence and Persuasion Robert's First Book Influence, written in the mid-1980s, shares the most successful strategies that professional influencers use to get people to say yes. It was written for consumers so they could recognize and resist these strategies when used in an unwelcome way. The initial response to the book was so mild that the publisher called back the promotional and publicity funds for promoting the book, Robert recalls. They told him it would be like "throwing money down a pit." What happened to change things? Robert explains that times changed. The idea of evidence-based decision-making began to dominate the business world, and Influence provided a compendium of evidence on what factors influence people. About three or four years after publication, the book skyrocketed to bestseller levels, where it's stayed ever since. There were two sources of information for the book. To see what was especially successful in moving people toward a sale, he looked at research literature from the behavioral sciences, marketing, psychology, communication, management, and other fields. He also looked beyond the research literature and began infiltrating all of the training programs he could get access to in the areas of sales, marketing, recruiting, fundraising, etc. This let him see what the professionals were using to train and he gleaned information from those experiences. While he expected consumers to be the audience for Influence, it was actually embraced by the business community first. They wanted to know, scientifically, which factors incline people toward yes, and how to include those factors in messages, marketing campaigns, and more. The interest in harnessing the most powerful practices and procedures for creating change led Robert to write his new book, Pre-Suasion. It's designed for people who want to become more influential. Listen to the show to discover how I was introduced to Robert's work. Pre-Suasion Robert thinks the ideal audience for Pre-Suasion is people who want to increase the extent to which their messages successfully move people in their direction. While this includes salespeople and marketers, it's also for people who want to be more influential inside their families, network of friends, charity boards, etc. Robert says that while Influence covers what to build into a message to get agreement, Pre-Suasion describes the process of gaining agreement with a message before it's sent. The process may seem like some sort of magic, but it's not. It's established science. The key is to create a state of mind in the recipient's head that's consistent with the forthcoming message.

Search and Social: What Marketers Need to Know About the Changing Landscape

Search and Social: What Marketers Need to Know About the Changing Landscape

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you use social media and search to promote your business? Are you wondering how the landscape of search and social is changing, and how to benefit from it? To learn about the key changes in search and social, and how they impact your marketing, I interview Lee Odden for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Lee Odden, author of the book Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing. He's the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing and the editor of Marketing Blog. Plus there is a killer SlideShare tip you'll want to pay attention to. Lee shares his insights into the world of SEO and content marketing, and the elements of his strategy that have contributed to his success. You'll learn about the four categories of content that you must create for your sites, and tips for getting the most out of them. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Search and Social Graph Search and what Facebook is doing Lee believes that Facebook is always going to progress towards having a more robust search engine. Right now they are collecting a lot of data, and as Graph Search continues to roll out to more people, they will refine and optimize how it works. It's not just about providing a better user experience, there is ad play too. Lee feels that this is the driver. Lee believes that Facebook will move towards providing marketers opportunities to get in front of people and offer contextual advertising in the way that Google does. Before implementation of Graph Search, when you did a search on Facebook, the results would come from Facebook's own data set such as Fan Pages, Profiles, Groups, etc. If Facebook couldn't find what you were looking for, they would provide search results from Bing. Facebook is still working with Bing, but the search result set they offer is a lot different. The filtering options are more robust. However, today when we want to find something specific, we still use Google. As a marketer, Lee feels that it's important to understand the customer's journey and experiences. Often an idea surfaces on Facebook, and to validate the idea, people go over to Google expecting to find something that they can act on. Listen to the show to find out how the Facebook search capability is similar to what they have allowed to advertisers. How Google is using Google+ to impact the results consumers see Marketers need to consider the public social content crawled by Google Bot, the integration of Google+ and authorship, and the association between Google+ profiles and associated content in search results. Lee believes that it's virtually impossible to employ a successful organic search optimization effort without robust social content or social presence. These social signals have eclipsed signals like links. When you look at simplifying SEO best practices, we are not just talking about content, keywords and links. We have to equally include the importance of social content and social signals. Marketers really need to understand the search results landscape for their key search terms, and to what degree social content competes with you. Lee gives an example of how social is impacting search results. Every search experience result could be unique because of geography, and whether you are logged in or not. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z9TTBxarbs As marketers, we still have to execute standard SEO best practices.

Snapchat Just Replaced At least 7 Apps On My Smartphone

by OLWM @ St George SEO | SEO Company St George

The post Snapchat Just Replaced At least 7 Apps On My Smartphone appeared first on St George SEO | SEO Company St George.

Facebook Groups: How to Nurture a Community on Facebook

Facebook Groups: How to Nurture a Community on Facebook

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you have a Facebook group for your community? Are you considering starting a Facebook group? To learn how to use a Facebook group to build a loyal community that helps your business, I interview Jared Easley. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Jared Easley, host of the Starve the Doubts podcast and co-author of Podcasting Good to Great. He's also co-founder of the Podcast Movement, the industry-leading conference for podcasters. In this episode Jared will explore how he uses Facebook groups to cultivate an active community of podcasters. You'll discover the benefits of building a Facebook group, as well as tips for getting started. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. How to subscribe/review on iPhone. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Facebook Groups How Jared's podcasting conference got started In January 2014 Jared and co-founders Dan Franks, Gary Leland and Mitch Todd were at New Media Expo when they overheard several attendees asking why there wasn't a podcast conference. The group realized if they didn't take a step to create something, someone else would. They decided to move forward, even though there were plenty of things that could have prevented them from even getting started. Jared explains how they reached out to a few people who had put on large events, and asked for their perspective and advice. One person who gave them a lot of feedback was Phillip Taylor, who does a conference for financial bloggers. Armed with information, they turned to Kickstarter to crowdfund the conference. They just needed a small amount ($11,000) to validate the idea, and they weren't sure if it would take 30 days to raise the money or if they'd even get it at all. They asked the podcast community if they would support the conference, speak at it and share it with their network. A lot of people said yes, Jared shares, "but it's one thing to say yes and it's another thing to vote with your wallet." When the campaign was published, they hit that $11,000 within 9 hours. At the end of the 30 days, they had over three times the amount needed, which was more than enough validation to sell tickets, pursue sponsors and follow through. Six hundred people came to the first Podcast Movement Conference. Listen to the show to hear more about the Podcast Movement Kickstarter campaign. Why Jared started a Facebook group The Podcast Movement created a Facebook page so they could do ads and other promotions leading up to the conference, but they didn't initially have a Facebook group. Although they went to other podcast-focused Facebook groups to spread the word, they had to be careful, because some of the groups had a smart but strict policy on self-promotion. As soon as the first event was over, there was so much excitement that they realized they needed to create a way for the attendees to continue conversations. That's when Jared and his co-founders started the Facebook group. Not even a year later, the group has 1,600 members and is growing every month. The group is called Podcast Movement - Past, Present, and Future Attendees, so it's open to all past and potential attendees. This way, anyone who is interested in podcasting can be involved in the community and the conversations. Listen to the show to learn the original intent of the group. How the two Facebook communities have helped Jared's business The Podcast Movement group and page have served two different purposes. The Facebook page has been essential for Facebook ads and for getting the word out to people who might not already know about the conference.

5 Twitter Tools to Boost Your Productivity

5 Twitter Tools to Boost Your Productivity

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you struggle to keep up with your Twitter activities? Interested in tools to improve productivity? Managing your Twitter account doesn't have to consume all your time. There are tools that can make the work easier. In this article you'll discover five Twitter tools to boost your productivity. Listen to this article: #1: Schedule Content via Tweet Jukebox Tweet Jukebox is a free scheduling tool that allows you to load a "jukebox" with content, schedule when you want tweets to go out and then sit back and let it do the job for you. You can create more than one jukebox, load it with thousands of tweets and then send out as many as 100 tweets per day. Your account comes preloaded with two jukeboxes, one with photo content and one with quotes, to get you started. You have the option to tweet jukebox content once, regularly or until a specific date. Tweet Jukebox allows you to set schedules for different times on different days of the week. When it runs out of content, it automatically starts tweeting again from the beginning. The scheduling engine is very flexible. Set a scheduled tweet once a year on a specific date (think holidays and annual events), or choose to tweet by frequency. You can also set a time for each tweet to go out, depending on user engagement. Tweet Jukebox also lets you track who has mentioned you. This can be visualized by the tweets themselves, or shown in a graph format. Choose from mentions in the last 7 days, 30 days, month or previous month. The Jukebox Store allows you to download preloaded jukeboxes with content from other high-profile users. Another handy feature is the ability to thank up to 50 users every Friday. #2: Create Text Overlay for Images Using Spruce Spruce is a free, easy-to-use tool that allows you to quickly create images with custom text for Twitter (and Facebook). Choose an image from the library, add your text, preview your post and publish it. It's as simple as that. Spruce allows you to upload your own images and download completed images for later use. You can check the post and add text before publishing it. Keep in mind that you don't have to tweet using the service, so you can create and add them to your scheduler, too. #3: Manage Followers With ManageFlitter ManageFlitter is a highly useful tool for managing your followers and posts. The functionality of the free account is pretty good. Or you can choose from two levels of paid accounts to get more features, including analytics. In the left column of the main dashboard, find out more about your followers by exploring different views, such as Not Following Back, No Profile Image, Inactive, Fake (Spam), Influence and Muted Users. This allows you to easily unfollow accounts that don't offer any benefit, identify spam followers and more. For example, suppose you want to find people you're following but who aren't following you back. Choose the Not Following Back option to see a list of users to check out and unfollow if necessary. Hover over a user's name to bring up details about that person, including his or her bio, location, language and average number of tweets per day. You can use ManageFlitter to post using the PowerPost feature, which tells you the best times to post based on users' activity. Additionally, you can post suggested content that's based on your niche, add an RSS feed to find further content (although you can't post it directly to Twitter) and view your queued content so you know what's scheduled. You can also connect your Google+ account so that it posts straight to Twitter for you. #4: Manage Relationships Using Commun.it Commun.it is a Twitter relationship management tool. There are three paid plans to choose from, depending on the features you need. You can also access and use the free account, with limited functionality. The dashboard is full of useful information.

How to Launch Your Product Using Facebook

How to Launch Your Product Using Facebook

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you launching a new product or service? Want to create buzz and get the word out to the right people? Facebook is a great way to promote the launch of a product or service and generate excitement. To be successful, you need to plan your content, write your posts and make good use of the tools Facebook has to offer. In this article you'll discover how to launch a product or service using Facebook. #1: Before Pre-launch: Start Planning Early You'll want to map out your launch strategy at least two months ahead, and most likely even earlier than that. Plan what types of launch material you'll have available to share on social media to get the buzz going. You may also need to start designing some of these materials. Listen to this article: If you have an online product, you can use some great freebies to help get people onto your list. Some examples of great freebies or launch materials include: Images and infographics: Think about designing several versions of your images so they're size-optimized for each social site. Also, if you'll be using them in a Facebook ad, make sure the images are 1200 x 628 pixels and comply with the 20% text rule. Free ebooks, reports or white papers: These freebies could be part of your final product or something valuable that will promote the final product. Free webinar or other educational content: If you're launching an online product, you may want to host a webinar, telesummit or some other type of live event. Plan when that event will occur and when you'll start promoting it. Sale or discount period: If you're offering an introductory price, figure out how long that will last and how many posts you might have around that promotion. Facebook contests: If you're having a contest to promote the launch or new product, plan the timing and determine what type of contest will work best for you. When launching a course, for example, you might plan all of the content and decide when you'll communicate about it to people on your email list and in your social media posts. If affiliates or promotion partners will be helping you get the word out about your product or service, start assembling that team and putting together resources for the team to use. Be sure to make it easy for affiliates to build buzz on Facebook and other social media channels. Write a variety of Facebook posts and tweets so they can either cut and paste them or have a great starting place to add their own wording. Social Media Examiner provided a variety of images to their affiliates to help promote Social Media Marketing World. Some of the images were appropriate for Facebook ads, while others were useful for tweets or blog posts. They also provided a variety of tweets and Facebook updates that were ready to use, and people just had to add their affiliate link. #2: Pre-launch: Build Buzz To start building buzz and generating excitement around your product or service, post teasers about it. If appropriate, use both your Facebook page and profile to let your Facebook fans and personal friends know that something is coming. Using video on Facebook to promote your launch will go further in the news feed. Make sure you're creating a variety of content. You can see that this video post reached nearly 39,000 people and had over 8,000 views. You can also give people a sneak peek into your process. Bathers Beach House in Australia started posting about their restaurant months before it opened. They shared the building process, gained the interest of potential diners and grew to over 4,000 fans before they even opened their doors. This led to a successful opening of their restaurant, and they continue to have high engagement and interaction. If you have affiliates or promotional partners, consider co-creating material to launch the product, such as a webinar or live Q&A session. Gena Shingle Jaffe launched a legal course for entrepreneurs,

Why Things Catch On: The Science of Why People Share

Why Things Catch On: The Science of Why People Share

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you want to understand the science behind why people share? During this fascinating interview I explore these very concepts. To learn the reasons why people widely share content, I interview Jonah Berger for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Jonah Berger, author of The New York Times bestseller, Contagious: Why Things Catch On. He's also a marketing professor at the Wharton School and columnist for BusinessWeek. Jonah shares the reasons behind why people engage with word of mouth and why marketers should pay attention to this. You'll learn about the 6 principles that drive people to share. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Why People Share How Jonah become fascinated by the reasons people engage in word of mouth As a scientist, Jonah thought it would be interesting to study why things go viral or why certain stories circulate around the water cooler. He grew up studying math, chemistry, computer science and material science and thought it would be interesting to apply these hard science tools to social science problems. It was after reading the book The Tipping Point that he was inspired to think about these things and soon realized there hadn't been a lot of research done on the subject. Listen to the show to find out why he spent his academic career trying to study these things and bottle the phenomena. Why social media marketers should pay attention Jonah starts with how a lot can be done with social media and that there are tons of content out there already from many brands and organizations. Some content does better, but it's not about luck and it's not random. Jonah and his team spent a decade doing research to try to understand why people share word of mouth. With the 6 principles they discovered, you can make it more likely for your own posts to be contagious. People will share them and pass them onto others. You'll find out what the research entailed and how it led to the discovery of the psychological drivers behind sharing. Word of mouth can be over 10 times as effective as traditional advertising. People trust word of mouth more. It's also more targeted than traditional advertising. Plus it's cost-effective, if you can get it to work. It doesn't cost you anything to get people to talk about your brand. However, it requires you to understand why they are talking about some things rather than others. Following the rigorous academic research, Jonah decided to write the book Contagious to help people apply the insights, so their products and ideas could take off. Jonah explains how when the science was applied to a number of different companies to increase word of mouth in a given campaign, there was an increase of 20-50%. You can definitely guarantee more views and more shares when you follow the 6 principles. Listen to the show to find out what you need to do to help activate your existing customers and get them to spread that message to more potential new customers. The 6 principles in Contagious Jonah gives the high-level of each principle, which is called the STEPPS framework. These 6 principles drive people to talk and share. Social currency Triggers Emotion Public Practical value Stories These steps are based on psychology. It's about being able to understand the motivation or the drivers that cause us to pass things on. Some people wonder if you need all 6 principles for it to work.

Snapchat Content Strategy: How Marketers Can Win With Snapchat

Snapchat Content Strategy: How Marketers Can Win With Snapchat

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Are you on Snapchat? Want to know how to use it for marketing? To discover how to create a content strategy on Snapchat, I interview Carlos Gil. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Carlos Gil, the head of social media marketing at BMC Software and co-host of the Social 545 podcast. He's also an avid Snapchat user. Carlos will explore Snapchat, and specifically, how marketers can benefit from it. You'll discover why Snapchat isn't just for Millennials. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Snapchat Content Strategy How Carlos got started on Snapchat In 2013, Carlos had been working in social media for about eight years and was leading social media for a supermarket chain, when a teenager told him Facebook was essentially for older people. He decided as a marketer, he needed to get on Snapchat, because the Millennials who were using it would soon be adults. He says he spent most of 2014 getting to know the platform and creating content. Over the course of a solid year, Snapchat became his go-to social network. Carlos began seeing more of his friends within the social media marketing community on the platform. What sold him on Snapchat over other networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, was the engagement. Snapchat essentially forces your audience to come back and watch your content within a 24-hour period, because if they don't see it, it goes away. Listen to the show to learn about Snapchat's previous reputation. Why marketers and entrepreneurs should be on Snapchat Last February, we had Gary Vaynerchuk and Shaun McBride (aka Shonduras) on the podcast to discuss Snapchat. A year later, it looks like Snapchat is about to explode. Snapchat has more than 200 million monthly active users and its audience continues to grow and mature. Snapchat is very transparent when it comes to their demographics, and reports that 77% of their user base is above the age of 18. Carlos thinks people are consuming so much content on Snapchat because it puts what you love about Twitter (the micro-content aspect) and what you love about YouTube (pressing a Play button to sit back and watch content) into a single app. You can go in and press a button to see what anyone you're following has done in the last day. He explains that when you publish content on Snapchat, it's available for 24 hours, which forces your network to come back and watch it. The messaging feature on Snapchat, which works almost like a text message, allows you to send content directly to your friends. Then, you can specify how long you want that content to be seen, and see when someone views your content . Listen to the show to discover why Snapchat is amazing at getting their users' attention. Types of Snapchat content Carlos shares that there are two different kinds of snaps: one is a photo and the other is a video of up to 10 seconds. For images, he says there are a couple of different filters you can use to change the contrast and color of your photo. There are also geofilters, which are graphic overlays for your photos, based on your location. For example there are geofilters exclusive to cities and other locations such as Disneyland. Videos have the same geofilters, but also have features like fast-forward, rewind, and slow motion. There are a couple of additional tricks to spruce up your snaps so they look better than average video content on your smartphone. Listen to the show to hear what else you can add to your Snapchat photos. Snapchat Content Strategy

How to create an effective email marketing campaign [INFOGRAPHIC]

by John Habib @ Vertical Response Blog

Use our checklist to create a great email campaign in eight easy steps

The post How to create an effective email marketing campaign [INFOGRAPHIC] appeared first on Vertical Response Blog.

What's the Difference Between a Content Management System (CMS), a Blog, a Web Editor and an Online Site Builder?

by @ thesitewizard.com

Are you wondering whether to use a CMS, a blogging program, a web editor or a site builder to create your own website? Or perhaps you're confused about the difference between all these things. If so, this article may be just what you're looking for.

Content Marketing: How Businesses Can Grow With Content

Content Marketing: How Businesses Can Grow With Content

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you have a content marketing strategy for your business? Would you like to discover how to create and distribute content that will drive sales for your company? To learn how to grow your business with content marketing, native advertising and more, I interview Robert Rose. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Robert Rose, the co-author of the book, Managing Content Marketing: The Real-World Guide for Creating Passionate Subscribers to Your Brand. He's the chief strategist at the Content Marketing Institute. He's also the co-host of the podcast, This Old Marketing. Robert explores content marketing, native advertising and what all of it means for your business. You'll discover how to develop a content marketing strategy that grows your business, take advantage of the marketing opportunities offered through native advertising and learn new ways to distribute your content to the right influencers. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Content Marketing What is content marketing?  The Content Marketing Institute views content marketing as the approach businesses use to create, curate, distribute and promote the types of content their customers will find valuable. The goal of content marketing is to drive sales and move your business forward. Done well, content marketing offers a value that's separate and discrete from the products or services you sell. It's about providing content-driven experiences that are educational, entertaining or useful to your audience, but ultimately drive engagement, awareness and sales for your brand. Social media gives you the power to aggregate your own audiences and be your own media company. The tools needed to publish the type of content that establishes you as a thought leader in your industry and draws customers to your brand are readily available and easy to use. Listen to the show to discover how content marketing can go beyond written articles and encompass things like videos, app development, games and more. Examples of businesses that do content marketing well You'll hear Robert explore how big companies like Chipotle Mexican Grill, LEGO and Coca-Cola leverage content marketing in creative and innovative ways such as movies, TV series and magazines. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBhTiyQU1kA Compared to what large companies might spend on traditional mass media or big sponsorships, their content marketing expenditures are just a drop in the bucket, according to Robert—yet it has such a big impact from a branding standpoint. Even if your small business doesn't have the budget for national TV spots and large print campaigns, you can get a lot of bang for your buck through content marketing. It's easy and inexpensive to publish, distribute and promote your own content through blogging, social media and podcasting. Robert uses Marcus Sheridan's business blog to illustrate this point. He used his site to answer every question asked about pools and became an expert in the very small niche he was already passionate about. This propelled his business, River Pools and Spas, to huge success and top Google rankings. Listen to the show to find out how the Content Marketing Institute leverages its blog, workshops, classes and podcast to drive attendance to their annual show, Content Marketing World.  Research on the effectiveness of content marketing Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs recently released two new studies: B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America and B2C Content Marketing 2015: Be...

5 Tips to Improve Your Social Media Ad Campaigns

5 Tips to Improve Your Social Media Ad Campaigns

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you want more from your social media efforts? Are you ready to try ad targeting? Using the right tactics to deliver and follow up on social media ad campaigns generates better quality leads. In this article you'll discover five tips to improve your social media ad campaigns. Listen to this article: #1: Use Keywords in Ads Before you write the copy for your ads, it's important to know what people are searching for in your industry or area of expertise. To learn more about how your target audience searches for your products, do a keyword analysis (Google has a great one). To get started, go to Google AdWords and sign in. Next, hover over Tools and select Keyword Planner from the drop-down menu. Click the Search for Keywords button on the right. To search for keywords, enter a phrase or website or select a category. Once you click Get Ideas, you'll watch a list of topics populate. Now you can create an ad campaign around your keywords. #2: Serve Ads to Current Customers Many marketers focus heavily on acquiring new customers. But what if all of your current customers bought your product one more time? What if they bought a more expensive service? Think about what that would do for your sales. Radian6/Salesforce estimates that it costs 5 to 10 times more to bring in a new customer than it does to retain a past customer. That eye-opening number is the reason you want to take steps to retain customers. An effective way to do that is to create a custom audience by uploading your current list of customer email addresses for use in ads on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. To get started on Facebook, open Power Editor and click the Audiences tab at the top of the page. At the top right, click Create Audience and select Custom Audience from the drop-down menu. Select the type of audience you want to create. Next, upload a CSV or TXT file with your current customers' email addresses. When you're finished, click Create Audience. Facebook then matches your email addresses to user login information. When the process is complete, you'll see the following confirmation message. Click Done to save your audience. You can now select your custom list for your Facebook ads to market directly to people who already know and love your brand. This is a great way to get previous customers to come back more often. #3: Reach More Prospects With Lookalike Audiences Similar to custom audiences, lookalike audiences leverage your current customer list to find people who are similar to your current customers. When you create a lookalike audience in Facebook, the platform sources the top 1% of Facebook users who most closely match your established customers' behavior. This is a little-known way to reach your target market at a lower cost. A lower CPC (cost per click) means your budget will stretch farther. To create a lookalike audience, go to Power Editor and click the Audiences tab at the top of the page. At the top right, click Create Audience and select Lookalike Audience from the drop-down menu. From the Source drop-down list, select a custom audience, conversion pixel or Facebook page. Then select the country where you'd like to find a similar set of people. Finally, use the slider to set your desired audience size. When you're finished, click Create Audience to create your lookalike audience. #4: Qualify Leads by Connecting on LinkedIn One of the quickest ways to open doors on social media is to reach out to prospects on LinkedIn. Send messages to their inbox and start building relationships that will help you qualify them as a genuine lead. Most personal profiles will list an email address and phone number you can use to reach out and make introductions. If you upgrade your LinkedIn account, you can filter your searches by industry, years of experience, location, current company, seniority level and more.

5 Ways to Use LinkedIn Publisher for Business

5 Ways to Use LinkedIn Publisher for Business

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Looking for a way to promote your business to a professional audience? Have you considered LinkedIn Publisher? Using a few simple tactics, LinkedIn Publisher can support business owners in their efforts to get more referrals, leads, and sales. In this article you'll discover five ways LinkedIn Publisher can help you grow your business. Listen to this article: #1: Create Conversions With Calls to Action Make sure you include a call to action in each LinkedIn Publisher post, whether it's to get more information from another link, contact you, or sign up for a free ebook or white paper. A call to action that speaks directly to your potential, ideal, or current clients will engage your audience and direct them to your funnel. Fabrizio Poli, who brokers private jets, offers downloadable white papers to his audience. People who are successful at generating leads with LinkedIn Publisher do a combination of their own content and sharing links to external resources that both inform and build their credibility. They also include a phone number, email address, or calendar link at the end of the post, so prospects can easily contact them. Fabrizio makes himself available in his posts by sharing his contact information and including a shortcut to booking a 15-minute call. Sharing a calendar link can be more effective for conversions than just your contact info alone. People may not be ready to talk to you now, but might be open to scheduling a time to speak with you in the future. #2: Establish Top of Mind Recognition Visuals can make or break whether people click on your LinkedIn Publisher articles. Cohesive, colorful, well-branded images will draw people to your article and drive them to open it. Human-resources professional Liz Ryan creates original images for every LinkedIn Publisher post for her company Human Workplace. The images are reflective of the brand, and users know by the visual that it's a Liz Ryan post. She uses humor and color to tell the story of her posts, which generates positive sentiment. Plus, readers get a sense of what the article is about just by looking at the image. Liz's approach to HR is unique in and of itself, and she uses consistently branded visuals (in her background image, within the post, on her website, in her media, and more) to get noticed. For your LinkedIn Publisher articles, you can use your own photos or stock photos, or create custom graphics with Canva or PicMonkey. If you're able to, consider hiring a graphic artist to create something special just for your brand. To add an image to the top of your LinkedIn Publisher post, click the camera icon in the header and upload your image. LinkedIn recommends a 700 x 400 image for the header. Be sure to add images throughout your post, as well. #3: Support Expert Positioning If you're already creating valuable content in the form of blog posts, newsletters, and other articles, you can repurpose content for LinkedIn Publisher. But you'll also want to create original content for your LinkedIn readers. One reason to publish original, unique content on LinkedIn audience is to use it as a testing platform. After you publish original content to LinkedIn Publisher, use the feedback to refine the article before you share it on your blog, as an ebook, or on a different platform. John White, Chief Marketing Officer of Social Marketing Solutions, offers a nice blend of existing content that he has repurposed for LinkedIn Publisher, as well as original content specifically for his LinkedIn audience. John's most-viewed post, with more than 600,000 views, 600 likes, and 1,900 comments, was repurposed from his master's thesis. Unlike what you hear about blogging, on LinkedIn Publisher the more words the better. The magic number seems to be 900-1,400 words. If you're repurposing a blog post that only has 300 or 400 words, consider expanding your content with more examples and case studie...

SlideShare: How to Market Your Business With This Growing Platform

SlideShare: How to Market Your Business With This Growing Platform

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you use SlideShare? Are you looking for more leads? To learn how SlideShare can help marketers, I interview Todd Wheatland for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Todd Wheatland, author of The Marketer's Guide to SlideShare. He's also head of Thought Leadership at Kelly Services. Todd shares his insights into how SlideShare can be used to generate more exposure and leads for your business. You'll learn the tactics to use and the mistakes to avoid to ensure you get the most out of this platform. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: SlideShare for Business Why marketers should take a closer look at SlideShare Todd believes there are three reasons why marketers should take a closer look at SlideShare. 1. Pure traffic. SlideShare is one of the highest-traffic sites on the Internet, receiving over 60 million unique visitors every month. It gives sheer exposure to your potential audience and SlideShare credibility for search engines. You'll discover amazing things that can happen when you use the same content from your website on SlideShare. The inter-play between content and distribution in one place is very unique in terms of what SlideShare delivers. 2. Business audience. It's a platform that's about business. You'll find out the six words that are the most used tags on content in SlideShare. 3. Leads. The lead-capturing model that SlideShare has been using for the last couple of years is a very simple tool. It's easy for the visitor. You'll hear about how flexible the lead form is for the marketer and the control it gives when you ask for lead generation. A quick overview of SlideShare Todd explains how SlideShare began as a place for people to upload the PowerPoints they were presenting at a conference or an event. Since then, it has evolved into a content marketing platform for any form of digital content. With SlideShare, you can take any sort of presentation and insert videos and record an audio track and lay it over the top. You can then even use it as an audiovisual presentation. It's a platform for you to share any type of digital content including Word documents, infographics, webcasts and HD video. It has moved far beyond the original premise. If you're a blogger with great content on your blog and you choose to house it on SlideShare, you could decide to use your content on SlideShare specifically to capture leads. There are certain ways to handle lead capture on SlideShare versus your own site. Todd states that if you have content that has a complex design, when you host that document on SlideShare, it enables you to embed it very neatly. You'll learn why you should think of it as an enhanced YouTube embed, rather than seeing it as something competing with your website. It supports and drives traffic to your own platform. Listen to the show to find out why the average use on SlideShare is probably far less sophisticated than what the average marketer or professional is using and trying to achieve out of it. How Kelly Services uses SlideShare Todd shares how Kelly Services started to get deep on SlideShare about 2-3 years ago. At present, they have an off-brand on SlideShare called The Talent Project. It's where all their major content items including research reports, ebooks, infographics and videos are stored. You'll hear why they have a platinum network account and how it works for them. The "network" part means that their most prolific con...

Animated Visuals: How to Bring Still Images to Life

Animated Visuals: How to Bring Still Images to Life

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you use visuals on your blog and social media? Have you considered animating them? To explore how to use animated visuals in your content, I interview Donna Moritz. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview visual marketing expert Donna Moritz. Her blog Socially Sorted was recognized as one of Social Media Examiner's Top 10 Social Media Blogs in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Donna explores three popular types of animated images. You'll discover tools to easily animate your own images. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Animated Visuals Why Animate As people scan their social media feeds, they're making lightning-fast decisions about what content they'll pay attention to. In this context, animated visuals add a little bit of movement that can attract the eye and add value in a short, snappy way. Donna explains that short animations can be less intimidating to create than video. Animation is simply combining drawings, photographs, text, or computer graphics to make them move. You don't need to talk in front of a camera. Short animations can also be a way to develop your audience. Donna says if you can make a strong first impression with a short animation, that animation can encourage viewers to watch longer videos and further engage with your content. Listen to the show to hear Donna discuss the findings of a small MIT study that investigated how quickly people interpret images. Popular Formats Donna says that quick animations aren't divided into formal types, but you do tend to see a few common approaches. In a one- to three-second animated image, the background is typically fixed and only text is animated. For example, she points out, Social Media Examiner does these on Instagram. She says you might also see a mini slideshow. "Video is your window of opportunity to get seen the Facebook news feed." - @mari_smith #SMMW17 #marketing #socialmedia #business #entrepreneuer #socialmediamarketing #smm #socialmediatips #smallbusiness #new #socialmediaexaminer #professionaldevelopment #smb #socialmediastrategy #businesstraining #quote #quoteoftheday A post shared by Social Media Examiner (@smexaminer) on Feb 8, 2017 at 4:58pm PST A GIF is a silent animated loop often used to convey a feeling. GIFs have become hugely popular on social media. GIFs started appearing in blog posts and emails but have spread to messaging apps like Slack and Facebook Messenger. For example, in a blog post about social media strategies that drive her crazy, Donna says the only way she could express her frustration was with a Muppet GIF from Giphy. Another type is a 3- to 10-second video, which you could create with something like the Ripl app. (More on that below.) Finally, Instagram and Snapchat stories enable you to blend and share quick successions of images or videos. All of these types of content are easy to create because so many tools are available. Listen to the show to hear about audio in short video. The Pros and Cons of GIFs In blog posts and in email, GIFs are a great way to highlight particular emotions, add humor, or simply break up the content. Donna says she once sent out the wrong email to her subscribers, so she used a GIF to apologize. However, you need to be careful about how you use GIFs. Donna recommends using GIFs sparingly. In a blog post, use no more than two GIFs, and in email one is enough. Donna says too many GIFs are like strobe lights going off at a nightclub. When you insert a GIF in an email, Donna suggests checking the file size and compressing the GIF bef...

How to Hide Content or Data from the Search Engines

by @ thesitewizard.com

In response to a query from a visitor, this article deals with how you can prevent Google and Bing from indexing certain content on your website and displaying it in their results.

LinkedIn Ads: What Marketers Need to Know

LinkedIn Ads: What Marketers Need to Know

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you advertise on LinkedIn? Have you considered LinkedIn advertising and want to learn more? To discover everything there is to know about LinkedIn ads, I interview AJ Wilcox. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview AJ Wilcox, a LinkedIn ad expert. His agency, B2Linked, specializes in business-to-business advertising and lead generation on LinkedIn. In addition to managing accounts, AJ also specializes in LinkedIn ads training. AJ explores the different types of ads available on LinkedIn. You'll discover what B2B marketers need to know about advertising on LinkedIn. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: How AJ Got Into LinkedIn Ads AJ is a long-time digital marketer who started out doing search engine optimization (SEO) and Google AdWords. About four years ago, a company in Utah recruited AJ. On his first day, he laid out his plans for SEO, pay per click, and social media to the CMO. She gave him the go-ahead and also informed him that the company had started a pilot program with LinkedIn ads. "See what you can do with it," she said. AJ replied, "absolutely," and then turned around and started laughing to himself. He felt like a veteran at digital marketing, yet had never heard of LinkedIn ads. He jumped into the platform to learn about it to try to keep the egg off his face. Within about two weeks, one of the salespeople approached AJ, telling him how much they loved the leads they'd been getting. When AJ discovered through Salesforce that the leads were all sourced from LinkedIn, he realized there was something to it. Listen to the show to hear how AJ started his business, B2Linked. Why Consider LinkedIn Ads? AJ explains that while Facebook's and LinkedIn's ad platforms are very different, they share the same principles. That means that if you have something nailed on Facebook, it will probably work well on LinkedIn and vice versa. While AJ doesn't run Facebook ads for his clients, when he's compared similar campaigns from Facebook to LinkedIn, he's found his conversion rate on LinkedIn to be about double that of Facebook. Plus, the sales teams have told him the LinkedIn leads are much higher quality than the ones from Facebook. LinkedIn is by far the best for B2B targeting, he continues. You can target by job title, seniority, company, skills, specific group membership, geography, and years in business; information people aren't putting on Facebook. AJ shares what he believes are the two best uses of LinkedIn ads. Number one is recruitment and the other is promoting B2B products and services such as an SaaS company (software as a service). Those businesses charge a substantial ongoing rate ($6,000 to $7,000 per month) for access to their software and have a lifetime value of more than $15,000. If you have a lifetime value of under $15,000, AJ cautions, make sure your funnel and your processes are really ironed out on Facebook first, because LinkedIn's cost per click (CPC) is much higher than Facebook's. Listen to the show to discover how to calculate lifetime value. The Ad Types When you go to LinkedIn.com/ads and start a self-service account, you'll have access to two different ad units. AJ explains the first type is text ads. These ads appear in the right sidebar of the LinkedIn homepage (on desktop) and you'll often see three ads there. According to AJ, text ads have a low click-through rate because most people are banner-blind to them. If four people click on them out of every 10,000 times they're viewed, you're doing great, he says.

Connecting With People: How to Be Human With Your Social Marketing

Connecting With People: How to Be Human With Your Social Marketing

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you struggle to connect with people on social media? Are you wondering how to be human with your social marketing? To learn why so many marketers struggle connecting with people via social media and what you can do to fix it, I interview Bryan Kramer for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Bryan Kramer, a social business strategist, CEO of PureMatter and host of the From the Author's Point of View podcast. His new book is called Human to Human. Bryan shares what it takes for marketers to connect on a human level online. You'll discover the techniques that work best and examples you can use in your social marketing. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Connecting With People Why so many marketers struggle to connect with people via social media Bryan explains that marketers have always learned how to communicate, but never how to be social. Brands used to be able to push out one-way communication to their audience, and it was seen as acceptable. However, since social came about, human-to-human interaction has changed. Marketers now struggle to connect with people via social media because of fear. With the mass adoption of social media, it has enabled global and public conversations. Brands are now under a magnifying glass and are struggling to find their voice. Bryan expresses that there's still a lot of fear in the business community because of social. In his new book, Human to Human, he has divided the fears into three distinct categories. You'll hear an example for each category. Fear of not being on social media. Fear of saying the wrong thing. Fear of what engaging means for your company. Lady Gaga is a great example of someone who engages with fans in a more intimate setting, which is away from Facebook and Twitter. It's within this network that fans help her create content. This idea is perfect for brands that are afraid to dialogue with millions of people. They can instead measure it down to a group of people with whom they want to actually engage. For businesses to overcome their fears, they need to educate their audience and their employees. You need to help these people understand how to conduct a dialogue and how to be human online. Bryan explains that part of it is to understand the different senses, in the way you can interact with people and then teach it to them. With the sensory marketing that is available right now, there is something for everyone. Listen to the show to find out why it's important to start with one sense at a time. Explain what you mean by "In social, content is important, but context is HUGE." Bryan says that with the convergence of social, mobile and digital technology, it has changed the way we communicate with each other. It's become a floodgate of communication without context. This is where the problem lies. Over 90% of human communication is conveyed through video language queues. This means that if 90% of what you talk about in person has to be visual communication, then it leaves only 10% non-visual communication online. You'll hear what Matt Clark at Tweet Pages creates for prospects, and why it's a great example of human-to-human communication. This has led Matt to become a speaker for Social Media Marketing World 2014. It shows you how powerful the use of context is. Bryan shares why it's going the way it is now because of all of the social tools that are available to us.

Following Your Passion: How Content Can Help You Grow

Following Your Passion: How Content Can Help You Grow

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you follow your passion? Are you wondering if there might be a link between content and living your dreams? To learn how publishing content can get you to where you want to be, I interview C.C. Chapman for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview C.C. Chapman, co-author of Content Rules. He's also a blogger at Digital Dads, a photographer, a long time podcaster and founder of the Cleon Foundation (an agency focused on causes). His newest book is Amazing Things Will Happen. C.C. shares his story of how creating content about his passions has helped him gain the success and audience he has today. You'll learn how to follow your passions, while achieving your goals. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Content With Passion The role of content and success C.C. shares his story from when he first started blogging 10 years ago and how content played a gigantic role in his success. When he first started blogging, it was about sharing his thoughts, photos and things around him, which eventually led to audio and video. This is how people started to connect with him. He then went on to evolve more into a marketing person and started an agency called The Advance Guard. He believes that if he wasn't sharing and creating content on a regular basis, he wouldn't have the success he has today. Listen to the show to find out why photography plays a huge role in C.C.'s life. The turning point C.C. says computers have always played a major role in his life. In college he used to send out a weekly newsletter and noticed that people reacted, loved it and shared it. Back then the process was very manual, but that was when he had a light bulb moment—realizing that if he created something, people would enjoy it. This started to grow and then he went on to do independent film for a while. He's always wanted to share everything he did. As the content he shared started to resonate with people, he began to receive comments from people around the world who shared it. C.C. was one of the very first professional podcasters. In 2005, when the first sponsor lined up for his podcast and offered to pay him to advertise, he realized that brands were interested. He then launched an agency and worked with larger brands and bigger projects. Listen to the show to find out how one brand in particular worked in partnership with C.C. Before blogging and podcasting One of C.C.'s first jobs was building intranets and doing usability studies for large internal web systems. But he says that he doesn't think like a programmer and quickly moved from the building of intranets to more managerial roles. Although he started with blogging, it was quickly followed by a podcast in late 2004. He discovered podcasting when he bought his first iPod.  All he had to do was hit Record on the microphone and he never looked back. C.C. considers his podcast the most important element of his success—his blog was always secondary. Today he still writes on his blog, but because it isn't a niche blog, people come and go. With his podcast, which at the time was about music, it was so very focused that people gravitated toward it. When he signed a contract with a big podcasting company and was paid to travel the world, his success soared in a way that he was not ready for or expecting. Transitioning from a music podcast C.C. became the digital marketing manager at the college where he worked. At the time,

8 Ways to Use Google+ Hangouts for Your Business

8 Ways to Use Google+ Hangouts for Your Business

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you use Google+ Hangouts? Interested in ways to use them for your business? Google+ Hangouts are a great way to hold group meetings, interact with customers, interview people and share your expertise. In this article you'll discover eight ways to use Google+ Hangouts for your business. Listen to this article: A Quick Introduction to Google+ Hangouts Before getting into ways to use Google+ Hangouts, here's a quick look at the types available. For public Google+ Hangouts, you'll want to choose Google+ Hangouts on Air. Google+ Hangouts on Air allow you to have up to 10 hosts in a live hangout that is publicly accessible on Google+, your YouTube channel and your website. You can record hangouts directly to your YouTube channel for future use. For private Google+ Hangouts, choose Google+ Video Hangouts, which allow you to have up to 10 participants in a video chat that is accessible only to the people invited. You can run Google+ Hangouts from your desktop browser or by using the recommended Google apps. Try running a private Google+ Hangout with yourself and a select group of people to start with, so you can install the proper browser software and test out the controls before you go live with a hangout. Google+ Hangout Controls & Apps At the top of a Google+ Hangout, you see controls that (from left to right) allow you to invite people to the hangout, mute your microphone, turn off your webcam, adjust your bandwidth settings, configure your video and sound settings and end the hangout. In the left sidebar you'll find apps that allow you to do specific things during the hangout, some of which are available only in hangouts on air, not in the video hangouts. These apps may also be ordered differently depending on which ones you choose to use or have used in the past. Starting at the top in the above image, you find the Group Chat app icon, which opens a chat box on the right side of your hangout. This is a great way to invite a person to interact during the hangout, even if he or she isn't one of the 10 people in the video with you. Next, you have the Screen Share app icon. This allows you to share your screen to show slides, live software demos and other information on your desktop. The Tag icon allows you to showcase links from websites of your choosing on the right side of the hangout. These can be links to your website, social profiles, landing pages and other items that your hangout attendees and viewers would need. The Q & A icon allows you to specifically start a Q&A in the hangout. The Camera icon enables you to take a screenshot of the hangout while it's live. You can use this feature at a specific point during the hangout to create a thumbnail image to use for your YouTube video preview. You can also use it anywhere you're planning to promote the hangout replay. The Video Camera icon allows you to control who is being shown during the hangout and how guests will appear when they join the hangout. Use the UberConference app icon to create a conference call number that people can use to call in to the hangout if they're unable to access the live video stream. The Control Room app icon allows you to quickly control which participants in the hangout are seen and heard. You can also use it to kick people out of the hangout if needed. The Hangout Toolbox app icon triggers a box of features you can use to further enhance your hangout. In the example below, you can see how to add a lower-third banner with your name tagline or a custom overlay image so every person on the hangout is identified when they're on video. The Effects app icon toggles special effects you can use on your video during the hangout. These are more for personal use than business use. Finally, there's a YouTube app icon that allows you to choose a YouTube video to stream live during your hangout.

How to Curate Your Social Content With Reddit

How to Curate Your Social Content With Reddit

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you looking for new content to share to your fans and followers? Have you considered Reddit as a source for valuable content? Using Reddit will reveal unique and interesting content that helps you stand out from the crowd. In this post you'll discover how to use Reddit for content curation and inspiration. Listen to this article: #1: Find Subreddits in Your Niche Many marketers already know Reddit is useful for discovering content, but browsing its individual communities, called subreddits, can be time-consuming. Fortunately, you can make that task easier if you create a multireddit, which is a custom dashboard of content around a particular topic. First, you need to find subreddits you want to include in your multireddit, and compile a master list of subreddit names, organized by topic. Discover Relevant Subreddits There are thousands of active subreddits, so it's important to find those that share the best content in your niche. Here are some easy ways to search for relevant subreddits: The subreddit search box lets you search for all subreddits related to a keyword (for example, fitness). Use the Reddit site search to find site-wide mentions of your keyword, plus a list of subreddits where the term appears most frequently. You can use advanced search operators to focus your search. You can also combine advanced operators. For example, I did a search for posts with "paleo" in the title on the r/xxfitness subreddit. I then sorted the results by New to see the most recent posts. To perform granular searches, use the Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT (or the minus symbol). You can also group keywords with parentheses. Along with search features on Reddit, you can use metareddit to find subreddits. This third-party directory allows you to filter results by number of subscribers and last post, as in the example here. The results are displayed in a word cloud, where the size of the words correlates to the number of subscribers. Make a List of Subreddits To keep track of the subreddits you find, create a spreadsheet of subreddit names organized by topic. As you find subreddits you want to add to your multireddit, note the subreddit's name after the r/ in its URL (for example, http://www.reddit.com/r/HealthyFood). Here's a list you might create for health and fitness subreddits. #2: Create a Multireddit Once you've found a group of relevant subreddits, organize them as a multireddit. You can include all of the subreddits you found in one big multireddit or create a handful of more specific multireddits. After you log into the site, go to the Reddit front page, and click on the dotted line on the left side. Click the Create button, and type in a name for your multireddit. (Note that you can't use spaces or symbols in the multireddit name.) When you're finished, click Create again. Now that you've created your multireddit, you can begin adding subreddits to it in the upper-right corner of the screen. Type a subreddit name into the Add Subreddit box and click the plus sign (or press Enter) to add it to your multireddit. You can also add a description for the multireddit and choose whether it's public (other redditors can find it) or private (only you can view it). Open the sidebar from the front page to access any multireddits you've created. You can filter the content in your multireddit using the tabs at the top of the page: Hot: Posts that receive the highest engagement (upvotes/comments) New: The most recent posts Rising: Posts that are gaining popularity Controversial: Posts that receive an equal mix of upvotes and downvotes Top: The most popular posts of all time Gilded: Posts that received reddit gold Promoted: Sponsored content You can also search for keywords within your multireddit. For example, if you're looking for healthy recipes to share on your social channels,

6 Ways to Increase Twitter Engagement

6 Ways to Increase Twitter Engagement

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you want to encourage more interaction with your Twitter followers? Looking for ways to engage your Twitter community? In this article you'll discover six ways to increase engagement on Twitter. #1: Offer Personalized Encouragement The best engagement is sometimes a simple response. Customers are thrilled when you devote time to interact with them. It's a sign of respect and appreciation. Listen to this article: Nike encourages customers to #JustDoIt. To align with the brand's value of inspiration, Nike tweets words of encouragement to their followers. So if you're anxious about your next run, the company could be your #1 fan. To do something similar with your brand, thoroughly read the timelines of 20 to 40 of your followers. Identify tweets that announce major milestones (such as a new baby, running a marathon, getting married or a first car purchase). Then craft a short message (aim for three to six words) of encouragement. You can make the message more personal if you don't use any hashtags or add it to your timeline feed. Make sure you stay away from disingenuous comments. If your business isn't known for encouragement, your customers may be confused by the message. People desire human connections, and a great way to do that is to motivate people to reach their potential. #2: Share Their Tweets It's human nature to want to be validated, so retweet your followers to show you recognize the value of their content. Let them know that what they're saying or posting online matters. ProFlowers retweets their fans often. The retweets usually reflect the beauty of flowers, so popular shares include floral arrangements, mantel ideas and centerpieces. If your business is an extension of your personal brand, you may want to retweet content on your personal account. When retweeting your followers, choose tweets that align with your brand's values. Check the user's profile to be sure it's a real person. Also consider adding a comment to the retweet to contribute something to the conversation. Some experts recommend that you retweet only 20% of your tweets, while others prefer a 50/50 split. Find out what works best for your industry and your audience and go from there. #3: Include a Relevant Hashtag Create and promote a hashtag campaign to reinvigorate your community and spark conversation around your brand. Subway is redefining their image with the #SaveLunchBreak hashtag. The fast-food chain encourages people not to give up their lunch breaks and to eat healthy. The campaign also asks customers to show how they're enjoying their lunch breaks. To start a hashtag campaign, decide on the goal of your campaign and how it will relate to your customers. Then research what your audience is talking about to come up with a hashtag that they'll identify with. #4: Link to Problem-Solving Content One way to grab your followers' attention is to provide content that will help improve their lives. This is a great way to integrate your brand into their lifestyles and strengthen the bond between you and your customers. Whole Foods gives their followers tips on how to prepare and cook food. The supermarket chain regularly tweets seasonal recipes, healthy eating advice and cookbook recommendations. To identify what content might be valuable to your audience, read through your followers' profiles to discover their likes, dislikes and current influences. Select a common issue that they're dealing with (for example, finding concert tickets or locating a logo designer for their business). Then create content that presents a solution to their problem and promote it on Twitter. Avoid creating content that is merely disguised selling tactics, though. Customers will quickly notice your deception and may decide to take their business elsewhere. Rather than sell to them, educate your followers by posting information that they'll find valuable.

Twitter Marketing: Does it Still Matter?

Twitter Marketing: Does it Still Matter?

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Is Twitter still a good marketing channel? With so much focus on Facebook and Pinterest, has this network lost its value? I explore these questions with Brian Solis in this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, Brian Solis, author of The End of Business as Usual and Engage and principal analyst at Altimeter Group gives us the scoop on Twitter for business today. Brian shares insights into how Twitter has changed and what works on Twitter today. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Twitter for Marketing Today Why is Twitter still important to businesses and what's different? You'll discover why Brian suggests you consider Twitter as an information network instead of a social network. As a "human seismograph," Twitter is both an inbound and outbound tool that can give you the information you need to execute successful business strategies. Listen to the show to hear what this means for your business. What can marketers learn from the statistics available on Twitter? Twitter provides access to its own API so that people can get statistics they need for incredible analysis. Here are some current Twitter stats: 175 million tweets daily 20% of Americans who use the web also use Twitter 8% are active every day on Twitter Brian explains how these statistics show that Twitter is becoming an extension of public conversation and how people are finding value in this conversation. Listen to the show to learn why the people who don't tweet are getting as much value as the people who are tweeting. How is Twitter impacting today's pop culture and what does this mean? In America, pop culture is strong. For example, television actively encourages people to tweet during live events such as America's Got Talent and American Idol. Twitter branding is omnipresent when it comes to television media. This is because Twitter is a platform for shared experiences and it's a very human network. Listen to the show to discover why Brian thinks Twitter's role in popular culture will increase even further.  How does the integration of multimedia on Twitter impact users? Twitter has historically been about text, but they recently added images and integrated video capabilities into the Twitter.com interface. As Twitter is a platform for shared experiences, when you tweet, you now take on the role of producer and publisher of a media outlet in your own right. Listen to the show to learn how multimedia increases the power of Twitter. Are there any businesses out there that are creative on Twitter? Brian shares how to approach this question. You'll learn about his experience with one company he really admires for their approach to Twitter. And you'll discover how Brian is personally using Twitter to listen and inspire his content development strategy. Listen to the show to find out how you should consider structuring your Twitter marketing plan. How do you get the best results on Twitter? Brian has learned over the years that one of the most powerful things that marketers need to start thinking about in terms of Twitter is the idea of resonance. Find out why it's important to look at how long a tweet stays alive in the Twitter stream and why you should start designing with resonance in mind to have a greater impact. Listen to the show to find out more about this critical element to get the results you want from Twitter. Survival Tip: Content Marketing In the business of creating content, first impressions are essential.

This Week’s Must-Read Small Business Articles

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Welcome to our weekly series of must-read small business articles. Every Friday, we’ll be doing just what it sounds like—sharing the articles we think will be the most interesting to Square sellers. (Also, just some fun stuff). Here’s what we’ve got this week:

Here’s how to tell if your website needs a revamp. Hint: You can’t read it on your phone.

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know Apple’s unveiling a new iPhone next Tuesday. Gizmodo rounds up everything we think we know about the iPhone 6.

Americans spent $55.7 billion on pets last year. So maybe it’s not so surprising that there’s now a food truck for dog treats, complete with a canine selfie station. At least duck face isn’t possible.

Just like you should never ask someone if they’re pregnant, you should never assume somebody’s getting married. Words to the wise to Pinterest this week.

Soon, you’ll never get the question “paper or plastic?” again in California.

Here’s what it looks like when an entire small town is converted into a Bud Light beer ad (it’s not so cool).

Yelp dodged a bullet. (Its reputation is not so lucky).

Starbucks is getting fancy. They announced plans to open a new upscale location in Seattle, along with an express mini store in New York.

5 Marketing Tips to Help Your Photography Business Stand Out

by Chamira Young @ Photography Spark

Attract the perfect client and help your photography business stand out and with these 5 tips

Revamp Your SEO Strategy with Schema Markup and Structured Data

by Ruchi Pardal @ Monitor Backlinks Blog

Schema markup is one of the most crucial yet least used optimization techniques in SEO. As reported on Search Engine Land, around 80 percent of websites haven’t yet implemented schema markup. However, it is something that can boost your website in the search engine result pages (SERPs), if you grasp its concept and method. According ...

The post Revamp Your SEO Strategy with Schema Markup and Structured Data appeared first on Monitor Backlinks Blog.

How to Install AddThis Using Cloudflare Apps

by Christian Brink @ AddThis Academy

Learn how to add AddThis share buttons to your Cloudflare website.

The post How to Install AddThis Using Cloudflare Apps appeared first on AddThis Academy.

Becoming a Blogger: Do You Have What it Takes?

Becoming a Blogger: Do You Have What it Takes?

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Are you thinking of starting a blog or restarting your blog? Do you wonder if you have what it takes to attract a strong blog audience? To learn about what it takes to become a successful blogger, I interview Stanford Smith for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Stanford Smith, co-author of Born to Blog. He is also the founder of the Pushing Social blog and host of the Pushing Social podcast. Stan shares how he started out with blogging and how Pushing Social became a blog-based business. You'll learn how to recognize your personal traits and how they can be built upon to grow a successful blog. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Starting a Blog How Stan's blog has helped his business Stan explains that his business is about offering content marketing strategies for small- to medium-sized businesses. He helps people understand how social media can work for them. His blog has been the sole reason why he was able to leave his 9-5 job and work full-time on Pushing Social. The blog is the main way Stan attracts leads, talks to prospects and educates people about his services. Stan's advice for people in a 9-5 job right now is to build up your audience and understand where your next step is going to be. If you want to market yourself in a really effective, cost-efficient way, then blogging is a great place to start. He talks about how he knew he was ready to go out on his own and why he should have done it earlier. Listen to the show to find out how all of Stan's business comes from his blog without any advertising. Common traits for becoming a successful blogger Stan starts with the notion that there are five traits people have that are necessary for blogging, and the good news is that everyone has at least one. You'll learn in detail about each trait. The five traits are: Dreamer Good storyteller Teacher Persuader Curator The idea is to take that trait or role that you play, recognize it, build upon it and then use it to create a successful blog. Stan talks about his two traits and how he can weave them into a blog post. Some of the most popular bloggers have 3 or 4 traits. Listen to the show to find out how to discover which trait you have. Do you need to be a great writer to be a good blogger? Stan believes that you don't have to be a great writer to be a good blogger, in the classic sense. When people think of the word writer, they think of poets or prize-winners. However, this does not have to be the case for blogging. You'll hear what it takes to be a great conversational writer and what this means. You need to be able to communicate in a way that builds rapport and relationships. Stan explains the difference between a blog writer and an article writer. Blogging is not just about text. For example, take a look at Gary Vaynerchuk's story about his video blog. Blogging is the platform. If you feel you are better at speaking and doing audio, then put that out there and use the podcast platform. Video is also another platform. Remember, writing is just one way of expressing yourself on a blog. Listen to the show to hear the benefits of how you can talk it out, record it and then transcribe it back.  Do you have what it takes to become a blogger? Stan explains that there are three steps to becoming a successful blogger. Have a borderline obsession with a topic. To stop yourself from getting burnt out,

Twitter Ads: How to Advertise With Twitter

Twitter Ads: How to Advertise With Twitter

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Are you curious about Twitter ads? Want to discover the benefits of Twitter advertising? To explore what you need to know to get started with Twitter ads, I interview Neal Schaffer. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Neal Schaffer, author of Maximize Your Social and co-founder of the Social Tools Summit. Neal also runs PDCA Social, a social media agency. Neal explores Twitter ads and what marketers need to know. You'll discover some of the differences between Twitter and Facebook ads. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Twitter Ads Why You Should Consider Twitter Ads Neal says that like many social media marketers, he's advertised on a number of different social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. When creating a social media strategy, Neal explains that marketers generally look to a consumer-facing platform. Most often this means Facebook, but could also include Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat. However, Twitter can go either way. It has a community of a few hundred million passionate people and is the place to connect with the media. Neal explains how he did A/B testing for a client with Facebook and Twitter ads that revealed it's more difficult to grow organically on Facebook than on Twitter. A majority of the budget was spent growing their Facebook community, while a smaller portion was dedicated to building a smaller Twitter community. After a few months, the Twitter audience had grown 30% to 40% (with no additional budget), but the Facebook audience wasn't growing because of the way EdgeRank works. Neal discusses the two different types of social networks for businesses: networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn where you can't engage with others as your business, and networks like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat that let you engage as your business. On the latter type, your company can do a lot more organically than it can from your Facebook or LinkedIn company page. If you've been putting all of your advertising eggs into one social media platform basket, Neal suggests doing A/B testing to explore other possibilities. Twitter has a lot of benefits, one of which is connecting with mass media and journalists since it's where people go to find news. Neal says that after three and a half months of primarily advertising and marketing on Twitter, The Dr. Oz Show reached out to feature his client. Listen to the show to hear more about the power of Twitter for live events. The Difference Between Twitter and Facebook Ads With both Twitter and Facebook, you advertise on the networks' real estate. On Facebook, ads appear in the news feed, and on desktop in the right-hand frame. Based on his and other Facebook marketers' experience, Neal thinks placing ads in the timeline is best. Comparatively, ads on the right-hand side don't seem as effective. On Twitter, ads only appear in the timeline, just like on Facebook mobile, and "Promoted" appears in the tweet box. Neal shares two things he finds interesting about Twitter advertising. First, since advertising space on Facebook and the newer networks is in high demand, there's less supply. That means it's more expensive to advertise on these networks. Because Twitter has a lot more ad inventory available to promote products and services, Neal believes it's a little more cost-effective. Second, Neal finds Facebook ads are always changing, and the interface can be very complex. In comparison, the Twitter dashboard and ad interface make it easy to create ads. There's one screen and you know where you are at a...

Dealing With Unhappy Customers: What Social Marketers Need to Know

Dealing With Unhappy Customers: What Social Marketers Need to Know

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Does your business respond to customers via social media? Are you prepared to deal with upset customers? To discover how to turn unhappy customers into happy fans, I interview Jay Baer. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Jay Baer, the author of Youtility, co-host of the Social Pros Podcast and founder of Convince & Convert, an agency and blog focused on digital marketing. His newest book is Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers. Jay will explore how to convert social media haters into raving fans. You'll discover why it's important to hug your haters. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Dealing With Unhappy Customers The backstory of Hug Your Haters The idea of customer service and customer experience has been at the front of Jay's mind for a long time, he explains. His company Convince & Convert helps major brands with their social media and content marketing, and they increasingly get involved in issues with customers. It's not just about being proactive and doing marketing, Jay says. You have to be just as good, if not better, at reactive customer service. Jay found even organizations with a lot of resources were befuddled by everything related to digital customer service and experience in the modern world. Jay shares how conducting a tremendous amount of research with Tom Webster from Edison Research changed the focus of his book. Last year at Social Media Marketing World, Jay did his "Hug Your Haters" presentation for the first time. Although he has taken the Youtility concept all over the world, Jay says the Hug Your Haters book is the best thing he's ever done and the speech is the best speech he has ever given. Listen to the show to learn what Tom Webster said he liked about Hug Your Haters in the forward to the book. What are haters and why do people hate Jay refers to anybody who complains about a business either off stage or on stage as a hater. An off-stage hater is somebody who complains in private: on telephone and email. An on-stage hater is somebody who complains in public: social media, review sites, discussion boards and forums. He shares that historically and even currently, the majority of people complain off stage but that the pendulum is swinging the other way because it's much easier to reach out to a brand on Facebook, Twitter or beyond than it is to send an email or wait on hold. When people complain off stage, they almost always want an answer. They have a problem they want to be fixed, and 90% of the time they expect companies to respond. When people complain on stage, they don't necessarily want an answer; they want an audience. They want people to empathize and engage with them around their experience. If they actually hear back from the company, it's a bonus. Even though only 47% of the people who complain in public actually expect companies to get back to them, Jay says their research proved that if you actually answer the person who had a bad experience and left a review online, it has a meaningful and significant impact on your customer advocacy. Listen to the show to discover how content shock also applies to disgruntled customers. Why engage haters Jay says haters are not the problem, ignoring them is. He believes there are multiple benefits to answering every complaint in every channel every time, instead of what most businesses do today, which is answer some people some of the time in the channels they prefer. First, if you answer somebody, you at least have a chance to turn them around.

Facebook Community Development: How to Cultivate Loyal Fans

Facebook Community Development: How to Cultivate Loyal Fans

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Are you creating a fan base on Facebook? Want to discover how to engage your audience via pages and groups? To explore how to nurture a community on Facebook, I interview Holly Homer. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Holly Homer, a professional blogger whose Kids Activities Blog helps parents discover fun things to do with their kids. Her Facebook page (Quirky Momma) has more than 3 million fans. Holly shares how she's cultivated a thriving community using Facebook. You'll discover how Holly uses Facebook Insights to develop her content. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Facebook Community Development The Importance of Community Community is the key to performing well in the algorithm-driven world of Facebook. To serve the community of Kids Activities Blog and the Quirky Momma Facebook page, all of the content focuses on the people who make up that community. Those people are mostly moms (plus the occasional dad, grandparent, or teacher) who are looking for something to do with their small children and survive the day. Whether that content is a video, picture, or saying, it needs to help the community and bring people closer together. When Holly began blogging 10 years ago, the community developed via comments on her personal blog, June Cleaver Nirvana, as well as comments she made on her friends' blogs. A popular blog post might attract 300 visitors and 150 comments. Holly recalls that commenting made this community visible and close-knit. When social networks came along, Holly says she had to relearn how to establish community, so she steered the conversation from comments onto Facebook because that's where comments and engagement were happening. She had to tell her community where she would be engaging and eventually turned off the comments on her blog. Facebook Live changed Holly's community again. She says she can now talk directly to her fans, but Facebook Live allows her to have more of a two-way conversation and be a participant rather than the center of her community. Listen to the show to hear Holly's advice for maintaining a community as social media changes. Facebook Insights Holly is a bit of an analytics geek and uses Facebook Insights learn about her community and what they like. With Facebook Insights, Holly can learn what common traits her community shares (they're typically moms with small children), where they live (mostly the United States and Australia), when they're online, and what they do online. Holly says she can also see what types of content her community likes (such as photos, links, or videos) and even what kinds of links or videos attract the most engagement. What Holly learns in Facebook Insights helps her decide what type of content brings her community together. In Facebook Insights, Holly says she mostly focuses on the magical orange bar. This bar shows each post's reach in comparison to other content for that day or other content on the page. (You find the orange bar by clicking More under the list of posts to get a whole page of posts and then looking in the fifth column.) Holly says her team knows that if the orange bar is short, don't repeat that content. If the orange bar is long, try to figure out how to repeat the performance of that successful content. For Holly, a short orange bar doesn't mean that the proverbial algorithms didn't like some content. It means her fans didn't like the content. She says every single interaction on your page is a vote for more of that content.

How to Create Facebook Ads With Emails: 5 Creative Ideas

How to Create Facebook Ads With Emails: 5 Creative Ideas

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you have an email list? Are you looking for creative ways to use Facebook ads? With Facebook custom audiences, you can reach your email subscribers with relevant Facebook ads. In this article I'll share five ways to target your email subscribers with Facebook ads. Listen to this article: #1: Serve Ads to All Email Subscribers Since it requires no email list segmentation, the best way to get started is to target all your email subscribers. Simply upload your entire email list right into Facebook as a custom audience. The key is to create a unified message across different channels: email to Facebook to website. Target this audience if you're looking to reach your entire list to get the news out about a big event or a storewide sale, where the message is the same for everyone. Make sure your Facebook ad has a similar look and message or offer as your emails. Amazon uses this tactic to remind customers about their Deal of the Day. The idea is to share engaging content, so your email audience will help spread your message by interacting with your ads, acting as brand ambassadors. Since this audience is already familiar with your brand, analyze engagement metrics (likes, shares, comments) to measure the effectiveness of these ads. Their interaction validates how well the ad resonates with them, which results in a higher relevancy score, more social proof and free organic reach. #2: Target Ad Delivery by Opens and Unopens To employ these next few tactics, it's important you are able to segment your email subscriber list into audiences for remarketing. First, divide your email list into people who have opened your email and those who have not. Then, further segment the open list into those who did and did not take action. Target Subscribers Who Opened Your Email Create a Facebook ad that looks similar to the email you sent for those who only read your email. You want to get this audience to take action, so change up the messages with the ad. For instance, if the goal of the email was to get white paper downloads, then offer the same white paper in your Facebook ad, but write a message or ad copy that differs from your email. If you're an ecommerce store trying to get your customers to take advantage of a weekly 20%-off deal, show subscribers an ad that highlights the promotion and encourages them to take action. Sierra Trading Post created a Facebook offer with the same deal as their email. With this custom audience, exclude people who have already purchased or downloaded an offer. Target Subscribers Who Didn't Open Your Email For the subscribers who didn't even open your email, wait a few days and then target them with a Facebook ad. Since they haven't read the email, show them the same message. This helps your company stay in front of your audience. #3: Segment Subscribers by Purchase If you have an ecommerce website, a great way to increase the lifetime value of a customer is to cross-promote and/or upsell related products. Amazon does this brilliantly. The website is always showing their shoppers similar products, bundled products or other products previous customers bought. Their goal is to get people to buy more products that are relevant to what they are viewing. Utilize Facebook carousel ads to highlight multiple products that provide additional value for previous customers. Show products that fit with items they've already purchased. So if they bought dog treats, then show them dog food or dog toys. Look for creative ways to divide your audience for the purpose of upselling or cross-promoting other products they would find useful. Depending on your business goals, consider segmenting your customers by type of products, purchase amount, purchase date and frequency of purchases. Then target a carousel ad to each audience. #4: Reach Out to Disengaged Audiences Do you have a list of people who haven't opened your emails in quit...

How To Create a Brand Ambassador Program for Employees Using Social Media

How To Create a Brand Ambassador Program for Employees Using Social Media

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you looking for brand ambassadors? Have you considered recruiting your employees to help? When you empower your employees to talk about your company on social media, they’ll share a human perspective people naturally gravitate to. In this article you’ll discover how to set up a successful employee brand ambassador program to enhance your social media marketing. #1: Assign a Community Leader The first step is to designate a captain, someone who is able to take the reins. However, don't think of this person as someone who will bark orders. Instead, choose a person who can guide a group of people who already know the ropes. Listen to this article: Your community leader will: Provide a common voice and/or vision for the team Coach employees on responsible social media strategies Oversee and approve social media content Collaborate with co-workers to come up with new methods, stories and ideas for campaigns Lead the measurement and analysis of social media efforts You'll want to be sure your community leader is also capable of handling crisis situations. Your company will undoubtedly stumble into a social media mistake at some point, and you'll need a leader who can think fast on his or her feet. We're all aware how small things become magnified online – no matter how silly they seem to be. Starbucks' latest controversy about their holiday cups is a great example. The coffee chain didn't withdraw their original design. Rather, they made a statement in their official blog and stuck by it. #2: Communicate Your Vision The second step is to impart a single vision to everyone based on your company's mission – why your business exists. Starbucks' vision is to "inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time." The coffee chain embodies this concept in everything they do, including how they encourage employees to showcase inspiring ideas through social media. Thanks to their official pages on Facebook and Instagram, which are open to public view, Starbucks employees can quickly exchange ideas even if they're oceans apart. Adapting the tactic for your business will make your employees feel empowered, and at the same time encourage them to promote your company in their own circles. #3: Share Your Expectations No campaign can be successful without guidelines. Although you encourage active participation and uniqueness, your employees still need a set of rules so content remains consistent. Adobe does a great job of educating employees to act as brand ambassadors through their Social Shift program. Here's an image from a short presentation, which shows how they divide their strategy into different courses. During their training, employees are made aware of certain rules of engagement and protocols so their social media posts are consistent with the company's vision. To get a good example of how these guidelines work, take a look at the Adobe stream on Twitter. You can make your rules as detailed or as simple as you want, but you should ensure everyone agrees to them before they post. Here's a glimpse of how #AdobeLife tweets reflect a productive, fun and enriching work experience. https://twitter.com/bossjones/status/675107939921887232 According to Talent Cove, 78% of workers who feel recognized are more motivated to perform their tasks. Head of Adobe Employment Branding Natalie Kessler and her team like to reward employees with the best social media posts using #AdobeLife. Every week, they choose from compiled photos and messages online and then highlight them in Adobe offices. This shows employees how important their efforts are to the company. If you want to boost productivity and amp up your social media presence, make sure you're providing the right rewards for your brand ambassadors. You can arrange a small party or even offer giveaways or exclusive items.

Facebook for Local Business: Creative Ways to Grow

Facebook for Local Business: Creative Ways to Grow

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Is your local business on Facebook? Wondering how to market your business more effectively? To explore how to use Facebook in creative ways, I interview Anissa Holmes. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Dr. Anissa Holmes, the author of Delivering WOW: How Dentists Can Build a Fascinating Brand and Achieve More, While Working Less! Her podcast is the Delivering WOW Dental podcast. She's a practicing dentist and teaches Facebook marketing courses for dentists. Anissa explores how local businesses can grow using Facebook. You'll discover why Facebook is more valuable for local businesses than review websites. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Facebook Marketing for Local Businesses Anissa's Story After practicing dentistry in the U.S. for several years, Anissa moved to her husband's home country of Jamaica in 2010 and started a new dental practice from scratch. She knew most dentists typically get 10 to 15 new patients per month through referrals, but with a startup practice in a totally different country, she decided to try promoting her new practice on Facebook. In early 2010, Anissa set up a Facebook business page and began sharing what happened in the practice each day, including behind-the-scenes snapshots and stories about how the practice's dental services were changing people's lives. Anissa's strategy worked. Her practice began getting 5 to 10 new patients a month. Anissa figured she was onto something and began buying Facebook ads. As the Facebook algorithm changed, she made adjustments. Her practice now spends about $500 a month on Facebook and those marketing efforts attract about 50 new patients every month. With such outstanding growth, the practice's revenue tripled, and Anissa's practice was able to pay for a new office with three times the space totally out of profits. The practice is debt-free and so is Anissa. She shares that this financial success and security is a result of the business growth she achieved through Facebook marketing. After dentists started asking Anissa how her practice was achieving those crazy results, last year Anissa created a Facebook course and began lecturing to dentists all over the world about Facebook. The journey has been interesting, Anissa says, and she attributes the success to Facebook. When new customers come in, they already know the practice and how it can solve their problems. They're already connected and ready to make a purchase. Listen to the show to learn more about Anissa's background. Why Local Businesses Need to Go Beyond Review Sites If your new customers hang out on Facebook, Anissa says, that's where you need to be. People aren't hanging out on Yelp or Google. Most people (including Anissa) check Facebook first thing in the morning, between daily tasks, and in the evening. That's why Facebook marketing needs to be your focus. Anissa says creating the right content is important. A lot of businesses post information about how great they are and share a lot of stock content, but Anissa says that really doesn't work. She stresses that local businesses need to share their story and what makes their business unique. For example, if you have a plumbing company, what are you offering that's different from everyone else? To compete with photos of kids, community happenings, and articles, Anissa creates engaging posts that connect with people and make them want to click, including content about community impact and what her practice does to change patients' lives. Anissa also shares testimonials.

Why Loyalty and Punch Card Programs Are a No-Brainer

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square


Basic psychology: People are more likely to frequent businesses where they can get some free stuff. The data backs this up. A recent study by 3Cinteractive found that 62 percent of U.S. shoppers make more store visits or purchases as a direct result of interaction with mobile loyalty programs.

So what’s the holdup for small businesses?

Well, traditional carry-in-your-wallet punch cards are a pain to manage and track. For one, you print out all those cards only to have your customers lose or forget about them. And secondly, it’s pretty impossible to evaluate whether or not your program is actually helping to bolster your bottom line. So with all of these inefficiencies, the payoff isn’t exactly there.

But digital loyalty programs get rid of all these pain points. Square Loyalty, a completely customizable punch card program, is baked right into your Dashboard and your customers’ digital receipts.

The tool automatically tracks and rewards your customers for repeat purchases and visits. What’s more, you can tailor the program by selecting how often you want to reward customers (number of punches), what customers get as a reward (by percentage or dollar amount off), and how much they need to spend in order to get a punch.

But if you’re still on the fence about whether a loyalty program makes sense for your business, here are a few things to consider:

Get Started with Square Loyalty

Keep customers coming back.

Try it free for 30 days
It’ll get you more sales.

Returning customers are much more valuable than repeat customers. They tend to spend a lot more than first-timers when they come back in. So targeting them is worth the investment — and a loyalty program is one of the most direct ways to do that.

It’s low cost.

The only investment you have to make here is that free tenth cup of coffee. Which is not a lot when you think about those nine other coffees that you might not have sold if it weren’t for your loyalty program. What’s more, customers are likely to spend a bit more each time they come in. As Square seller Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery in South Carolina reports, “Some customers are actively trying to earn punches by spending the minimum amount per punch ($5) to get the five-percent-off reward. They’re both spending more and coming back more often.”

It’s quick to set up.

The beauty of Square Loyalty is that it takes just minutes out of your day. You can “set it and forget it” right within the Customers tab of your Dashboard. Simply customize the punches and rewards to fit your business, and Square takes care of the rest, automatically tracking everything for you. And after each purchase, your customers automatically see how many more punches they need — it’s right there in their Square digital receipt.

It gives you valuable insights.

Square Loyalty helps you track the program’s impact on your bottom line and spot trends in your customers’ behavior. You can track the number of customers enrolled, the total punches, and the total redemptions. This is all super-valuable data to help you make informed decisions about where to allocate more time and effort.

It separates you from the pack.

This one is pretty simple. Say there are three specialty coffee shops on your block. Where are people more likely to head? The one that offers them a free cup for their repeat business.

It builds your customer lists.

Loyalty programs can offer an incentive for your customers to provide their email address when they sign up for your Loyalty program. This helps build up your customer lists, which you can then target with marketing email — alerting them to things like sales, events, or announcements (which you can do right from Square Marketing).

It helps with customer relationships.

You establish deeper relationships with your customers if they come in more often. And your customers are more likely to come in a lot — and talk up your business to their friends — if you make them feel appreciated with a loyalty program.

In short, a digital loyalty program like Square Loyalty is worth the very little time, effort, and money needed to get it up and running.

Learn more about how Square Loyalty can help you grow your business.

Live Video and Marketing: Where the Industry Is Heading

Live Video and Marketing: Where the Industry Is Heading

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Interested in using live video for business? Have you considered creating a live video show? To find out what live video can do for your business, I interview Brian Fanzo. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Brian Fanzo, a tech evangelist who specializes in live video. He's the founder of iSocialFanz and host of the FOMOFanz podcast. Brian explores live video, where it's headed, and how it can help your business. You'll discover whether to use Facebook Live or Periscope if you're just getting started. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Live Video and Marketing What Live Video Means for Business Whether yours is a small business, a brick-and-mortar store, or an ecommerce company, you need to shrink the distance between yourself and your customer, Brian explains. Live video is much more than a marketing play because it shrinks that distance by humanizing your brand and business. Live video is also the gateway to technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), which Brian believes will be huge by 2020. To embrace AR and VR, he says, companies and brands will need to have a live video strategy already in place. He says today's consumers want you to convince them that you can be trusted, that you're a resource, are invested in them, and can understand them. They don't want to be marketed or sold to; they want to engage and have a conversation with you. Businesses need to spend time building rapport, a relationship, and trust with their audience, and live video is a great vehicle for that. With regard to building trust, Brian believes the most valuable statement anyone can make on live video is, "I don't know." If a brand admits they don't know something on live video, it adds validity to what they do know. (When you're stumped, you can also ask audience members to send you a message on Twitter or Facebook, and say you'll have your product manager get back to them.) Listen to the show to hear more about the strategy behind using live video to break down barriers with your audience. Getting Started With Live Video Brian says that according to Cisco, 79% of Internet traffic in 2020 will be video. Nowhere did anyone say that's going to be great video, good video, or live video, Brian continues. However, he believes most brands are thinking about video. Many people think live video is scary because they picture themselves on the video. Brian has to remind them that the best live videos are often made when you're celebrating customers and employees. And if your live video brings people access they can't get anywhere else, the camera doesn't even need to be on you. For example, say you use live video to interview a client, a customer, or a celebrity while they're in the office. As the person behind the camera, you can watch the comments for questions and decide which are important enough to ask the guest. With these kinds of live videos, all of the scary elements of being on air are taken away. Listen to the show to discover my process for doing live videos. Innovative Examples of Live Video Brian says Cisco has done an amazing job with their We Are Cisco campaign. Employees in different offices are trusted to take over the company's social media accounts, including Snapchat and Instagram, to share their point of view. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMjEzVH1d0k Not only does the campaign celebrate Cisco's employees, it's also a great recruiting tool. The company doesn't have to convince job applicants that they trust their employees; the proof is v...

Leading Your Team

by WebsitesForAnything @ Websites For Anything

When you’re in a leadership position, sometimes it’s hard to find a good balance in the workplace. Employer-employee relationships is a tough topic to tackle because it’s such a sensitive one. For my fellow small business owners in Fredericksburg, here are some great tips that I find helpful. I think they could help you lead your team better, in the ...

The post Leading Your Team appeared first on Websites For Anything.

Google SEO Tutorial for Beginners | How To SEO A Website Step By Step (2017)

Google SEO Tutorial for Beginners | How To SEO A Website Step By Step (2017)


Hobo

Updated: SEO for Beginners 2016. A guide to search engine optimisation for Google in the UK and aimed at beginners.

Pinterest Success: Creative Ways to Use Pinterest for Your Business

Pinterest Success: Creative Ways to Use Pinterest for Your Business

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you use Pinterest for business? Are you wondering how your business can benefit from Pinterest? To learn some creative ways to use Pinterest to help your business, I interview Cynthia Sanchez for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Cynthia Sanchez, host of the Oh So Pinteresting Podcast. She freely admits that she's addicted to Pinterest. It's changed her life in a major way and now she helps other businesses figure out how to tap into this growing network. Cynthia shares how you can use Pinterest for market research and how to get your content seen by more people. You'll learn about some of the most popular trends on Pinterest and how to create attention-grabbing images. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Pinterest for Business How did Pinterest grab you? When Cynthia was practicing as an oncology nurse, part of her work was to develop a program called Navigation. The role involved a lot of teaching and reaching out. At the end of 2011, she joined Pinterest to find information not only for herself, but also her patients. It started to take over her life unlike any other social media platform. She had the entrepreneurial spirit, but in the medical world, the opportunities are very limited. In February 2012, Cynthia launched her blog Oh So Pinteresting. It evolved from personal use to more business use. A local company noticed she knew a lot about Pinterest and approached her for help. The business grew from there and she said goodbye to the nursing world. The reason Cynthia started with a blog first was because it seemed less technologically daunting. She used WordPress for her self-hosted site. The podcast started a year later when the time seemed right. You'll discover what type of people Cynthia interviews for her podcast and the areas discussed, with Pinterest being such a visual platform. Listen to the show to find out the reaction to Cynthia's blog at the New Media Expo. How people use Pinterest for market research Cynthia says there are a lot of ways you can use Pinterest for market research. If you already have a presence on Pinterest, take a look at the people who follow your account. You can click on the number of followers you have to see a list pop up with all of the people who follow you. From this, you'll see if you have a predominant age group or gender following you. You have to remember that Pinterest is an international type of service. When you click through your followers, you can see the other boards they're following. You'll find out what you can learn when you click through and how this can help you with some ideas for your business. There are a few other things to look out for within a Pinterest account, which include people's location and if they link up to their other social networks. You'll learn what benefits there are to people having their Twitter account linked to their Pinterest account. Cynthia shares the benefits of a free analytic service called PinLeague. The difference with PinLeague and Pinterest's own analytics service is that you can see who your most influential followers are. You'll learn what you can gain when you dig deep into their accounts. Listen to the show to find out other ways you can check out your competitors and how it can help guide your Pinterest activity. Some of the more popular trends on Pinterest Cynthia believes that the most important thing overall,

How to Speed Up Your Social Media Content Production

How to Speed Up Your Social Media Content Production

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you spending too much time posting content to social media and not enough time engaging? Do you want an effective strategy for creating social media content quickly? By creating and scheduling content in batches, you'll be able to make more efficient use of your time on social media. In this article you'll discover an easy way to create social media updates in batches so you have more time for live engagement. Why Create Content in Batches? Say you decided to start having a cookie after dinner every day. You probably wouldn't whisk together a few drops of egg, a few pinches of sugar, a sliver of butter and a couple of chocolate chips so that you can bake one lonely little cookie at a time. You'd make a whole batch of cookies at the start of the week. Listen to this article: Creating one status update at a time doesn't make any more sense than baking the lonely cookie over and over. It gets in the way of your schedule, because every time you want to share something, you have to set aside the time to write it and post it. You end up constantly task-switching, which can wreak havoc on your productivity without you even noticing. That's where social batching comes in. When it really comes down to it, pretty much everything you do on social fits into one of two categories: posting original updates (status updates, photos/videos and links to your own content or someone else's website), and live interaction (replies, retweets, shares and so on). Here's how to prep everything you need for social media ahead of time, so you aren't starting from scratch every single day. #1: Make a List of Categories for Updates You're going to need a variety of different update types. Here are a few examples of the types of updates to share on a regular basis: Links to Your Own Content - This one seems obvious, but its importance can't be overstated. Link to your own blog posts, videos or podcasts. Brand Mentions - Whenever someone mentions you in original content, make sure people know about it! This helps drive traffic to your podcast, interviews or product reviews, which is always appreciated. Seasonal Promotions - If you cringe at the thought of running your seasonal promos, you’re probably doing them wrong. Take the pain out of these promos by preparing them in batches, considering each promo to be a separate category. Save your work in a library you can revisit each year to maximize the return on your effort. Other People's Content - This is an important part of a successful social strategy. Simply put, there's so much great content out there on the web that you shouldn't feel pressured to create everything from scratch yourself. Single Use - In general, repeating content on social is a very good thing. But sometimes you might want to say something only once. This can be an easy batch to create and can include everything from topical, time-sensitive questions to short-term promotions. Words of Wisdom - This is actually broken down into two categories. First, use your own tips and advice. Then add quotes from other people. Lumping them together in one category is helpful if you're just starting to build your content library. Now it's time to turn these categories into something that will save you time. #2: Create a Batch of Social Updates Say you end up with six types of updates that you routinely share. Let's keep it simple and assume that you're going to post from each category with the same frequency. If you're posting three updates a day, five days a week, that's a pretty respectable number when you're starting out. That makes 15 updates a week or 60 a month. Sixty updates a month comes down to 10 updates per category per month. Not so bad, right? Once a month, sit down and write 10 updates per category. That's it! Ten links to blog posts you think are interesting. (Shouldn't be too hard to find, right?) Ten tips or quotes. Ten links to your own blog posts,

How Gary Vaynerchuk Turned a Video Series Into a Popular Book

How Gary Vaynerchuk Turned a Video Series Into a Popular Book

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you use videos to enhance your brand? Want to find ways to grow your business? To discover how he created a video series that exploded his personal brand and his business, I interview Gary Vaynerchuk. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, host of the #AskGaryVee Show and author of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. His brand-new book is called #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur's Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness. Gary will explore how he created a video show that became an audio podcast and a book. You'll discover Gary's thoughts on what's hot in social. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: How Gary Vaynerchuk Turned a Video Series Into a Popular Book Gary's big dreams Gary recalls that from a business and entrepreneurial standpoint, he's always dreamed big. At 14 years old, he started working for his dad bagging ice for $2 an hour and by his third day on the job was plotting how to open 4,000 wine stores. Although a lot of people think Wine Library TV grew his business, Gary clarifies that he'd been in business for over a decade and built a $50 million+ operation before he started Wine Library TV and talking about marketing. Gary launched Wine Library TV on February 1, 2006, which was less than a year after YouTube had been created. He says that while the show didn't really pop until the summer of 2007, he felt there were enough comments to make it worthwhile. He notes that Ze Frank and Rocketboom were also making some noise around the same time. Gary's patience paid off and when he ended up on the Conan O'Brien Show, Lifehacker, TechCrunch, and Diggnation, everything exploded. Listen to the show to discover how and when Gary discovered he was good at being a personality. The start of #AskGaryVee During the summer of 2014, D Rock (David Rock) emailed Gary, asking to make a film about him. Gary agreed and before the film even aired, Gary asked David to work for him full time doing video content. Then on a random day a year and a half ago, Gary invited David and Steve Unwin from his editorial team into his office to shoot the first episode of #AskGaryVee, in which Gary answered random questions people asked him on Twitter. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76d0lQiCqNI When asked how the format for the show came about, Gary shares that he felt his keynotes were stagnating because he was telling the same story over and over. To get out of that rut, he started pushing event organizers to let him add a Q&A component to his presentations. For example, during a 45-minute keynote, he would do 30 minutes of speech and 15 minutes of Q&A. Gary believes his ability to answer any question about business, social media, technology, or branding off the cuff is what separates him from other speakers. Gary realized he didn't need to travel to answer questions and he could use the video show to deliver something he was really good at. Then, he made the decision to use it to get to the point where his keynote speeches were solely Q&A sessions. Gary explains that the format for #AskGaryVee is simple. They go into an all-glass conference room at VaynerMedia, Gary sits down in front of the camera, and India asks him five questions that come from social media (Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook), which Gary answers in one take. Any edited spots, which are rare, go to black and white so they're clearly recognizable. In addition to #AskGaryVee, Gary recently started #DailyVee, which is a day-in-the-life vlog that gets edited into episodes to help entrep...

Understanding the Online Advertising Needs of Local Business

by SearchEngineOptimization @ Simply Design

Advertising and marketing have been around for much longer than you might think! This means, generally, the average person – and certainly the average business owner – is familiar with the basic process of advertising their goods, services, and labor. What has changed since marketing’s year one, however, are the forms of media that potential […]

The post Understanding the Online Advertising Needs of Local Business appeared first on Simply Design.

The Art of Story: How to Captivate an Audience

The Art of Story: How to Captivate an Audience

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you give presentations or speak to clients? Want to illustrate your knowledge with better stories? To discover how to improve your stories, and your storytelling, I interview Michael Port. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Michael Port, the author of NYT best seller: Book Yourself Solid. He also teaches workshops called Heroic Public Speaking, where he applies the craft of acting to public speaking. His latest book is Steal the Show: From Speeches to Job Interviews to Deal-Closing Pitches. Michael will explore how to find, use and create stories in your marketing. You'll discover tips to improve the delivery of your stories. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: The Art of Story Michael's story Michael shares how he started his career as an actor. He has a master from the graduate acting program at New York University. Michael worked professionally on the shows Sex and the City, Third Watch, All My Children, Law & Order and 100 Center Street, as well as in the films The Pelican Brief, Down to Earth and The Believer. He earned a living doing commercial voice overs for companies including AT&T, Pizza Hut, Braun, Coors Beer, MTV and others. After he left acting, Michael says he decided to talk his way into a job for which he was completely unqualified. He pitched himself, got the job and worked his way up in the fitness industry on the business side. He credits his post-acting success to being an actor, as he was able to perform during life's high-stakes situations. When the spotlight and eyes are on you, the way you perform will determine the quality of your life, Michael says. After Michael left the fitness industry, he went into consulting for businesses and started writing books, and he saw it more and more. Over the last 13 years, Michael realized he had to meld his experience and training as an actor, his experience as a professional keynoter and what he knows about the business world. That's what Steal the Show is about, Michael says. Half the book is on the techniques associated with being a great public speaker and the other half is focused on performing during life's everyday situations. Listen to the show to learn more about how Michael coaches speakers, as well as why he originally resisted helping people with their public speaking. Why people love stories People love narrative, wonder and imagination, Michael says. Stories can get us out of our own head and into another world. We turn everything into a story, he continues. Politics, religion, love, our success or our failures become stories. Sometimes the stories we tell actually get in our way and sometimes they can change the world. Michael talks about a researcher named Jonathan Gottschall, who studies the neuroscience behind stories. Jonathan says the constant firing of our neurons in response to fictional stimuli strengthens and refines the neural pathways that lead to skillful navigation of life's problems. Listen to the show to discover in what way projects are stories. How to find your stories People sometimes draw a blank when they start to work on a presentation or prepare for an upcoming meeting, because so many things have happened over the years. Those experiences and stories are not top of mind, since you are more likely thinking about today and tomorrow. There are four different prompters for the discovery part of the process. Take a piece of paper and write out four columns, one for each of these categories. Then, when you go to craft a speech or presentation for a sales pitch,

Facebook Freebooting: What Marketers Need to Know

Facebook Freebooting: What Marketers Need to Know

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you use video in your marketing? Want to make sure your copyright is protected? There are simple steps you can take to brand your videos so you're protected if people upload them to Facebook as their own. In this article you'll discover how to protect your video content from freebooting on Facebook. Listen to this article: What Is Freebooting? Freebooting (also known as video piracy) is the act of downloading someone else's copyrighted video (usually from YouTube) and uploading it to Facebook as your own. You need to protect your content and make sure you don't unknowingly propagate the work of pirates. Joe Hanson of It’s Okay to Be Smart explains that freebooting "is not the same as sharing or linking or embedding [online media] from its original source. Freebooting means downloading it without permission from the creator or copyright holder and redistributing it for your own use, often for your own monetary gain. When it comes to video piracy in 2015, Facebook is ground zero." http://i.imgur.com/oqvxxMB.jpg Of the videos on Facebook, 72.5% are pirated. "According to a recent report from Ogilvy and Tubular Labs, of the 1,000 most popular Facebook videos of Q1 2015, 725 were stolen reuploads," says Hank Green. "Just these 725 'freebooted' videos were responsible for around 17 BILLION views last quarter." A recent trend I'm seeing on Facebook is scraped YouTube videos that have been lightly edited and compiled into a montage with large captions or subtitles on the video itself. Given that Facebook has the Autoplay feature on both desktop and mobile, users are more likely to feel drawn in to watch a video and click/tap for the audio if they read the caption. Freebooting hurts people who work hard to create their video identity. For instance, if you're monetizing your YouTube channel, you'll miss out on ad revenues if someone is scraping and reusing your videos. Facebook is just starting to dig into revenue sharing for their ads, but it's only available to a select few advertisers so far. Granted, if there's a call to action or watermark on an illegally uploaded video, it could potentially help increase the visibility of the original creator. But still… Here's how to protect your content, deal with piracy when it happens and avoid sharing pirated videos. #1: Understand Facebook and YouTube Video Piracy Policies YouTube is stringent with their copyright links, so they'll take infringed content down immediately if a complaint is filed. Unlike YouTube, Facebook won't automatically take down pirated content. Facebook is clearly on a mission to ramp up their own video consumption. Native Facebook video posts have the most organic reach, which is probably what has spawned this trend among users. Under pressure to do something about freebooting, Facebook came up with video matching technology to make life a lot harder for pirates. It lets the creator know when a duplicate video is being shared on Facebook. "Videos uploaded to Facebook are run through the Audible Magic system, which uses audio fingerprinting technology to help identify and prevent unauthorized videos from making their way onto the platform," Facebook states. #2: Report Freebooted Videos Destin Sandlin of Smarter Every Day created the following video (which you can share on Facebook) to simplify what freebooting is and the impact it has for content creators. He talks about a German DJ who created a YouTube video that got over 5 million views in four years. A verified Facebook page then downloaded the video from YouTube, uploaded it as a native Facebook video and got 5 million views in four days. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6A1Lt0kvMA Destin shares three tips for what to do when you come across freebooted videos anywhere on the Internet. He says to capture the freebooted content (with a screenshot or video screen capture), comment (state that it's stolen and direct people back to the original vid...

How to Create a Facebook Video Ad That Moves People to Action

How to Create a Facebook Video Ad That Moves People to Action

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you using Facebook video ads for your business? Want to improve your conversions? Well-structured video ads command viewers' attention and prompt them to take action. In this article you'll discover five steps to crafting the perfect Facebook video ad. Listen to this article: Why Facebook Video Ads? Facebook's head of ad product Ted Zagat recently said that a year or two from now, Facebook will be mostly video. This is likely the reason why we're seeing so many great new features for video advertisers. When you create a new ad campaign in Power Editor, you can choose from a number of objectives for your video ads: Clicks to Website, Page Post Engagement, Video Views and Website Conversions. Facebook is continuously adding new options as well. For example, Facebook automatically creates custom audience lists of people who've viewed your video ad. Until recently, these lists would be created only if you chose Video Views as the campaign objective. But now, if you use another objective (Website Conversions, for example), these video engagement lists will also be created automatically. This means you can easily retarget these groups of people later, similarly to retargeting your website visitors. Writing a Video Ad Script To create a video ad, you have a lot of different options. Of course, you can use a recording of yourself (or hire someone to do it for you), but you don't have to. Using videos with animated text, images and music can be equally (if not more) effective. To create strong ads, it's important to get your targeting right, and communicate a powerful message. This article walks you through a framework you can use to create the perfect Facebook video ad script with only five lines of text. For each line, you have a specific goal: grab attention, build interest, elicit desire, create conviction or add a call to action. To guide you through this method, you'll follow the creation of an example video ad for a free recipe guide, with the goal of growing your email list. #1: Grab Attention How do you grab attention in today's attention-deficit world? Start with a question. You want to immediately focus on the main pain point or desire that your target audience is experiencing right now. What are your customers' biggest problems or struggles? What are they frustrated about? What are their biggest wishes? For this step, it's important to focus not only on the problem or desire, but also on how that makes people feel. When you do this correctly, you have what's called an audience-to-problem match. You want people to instantly recognize themselves and say, "Hey, that's me!" If they do, they'll likely be curious about what else you have to say. The ad above tackles a typical frustration that a lot of people can relate to: struggling to eat healthy. #2: Build Interest Once you've successfully captured your viewers' attention, you need a way to keep it so they'll watch the rest of your ad. In this second phase of the script, hint at your solution by creating an open loop. You want to paint a picture for viewers that it is indeed possible to get rid of that problem or struggle. At the same time, you don't want to reveal what the actual solution is. Only hint at it for now. This ad creates interest by using the words "new" and "easy." Can you see how this approach is creating an open loop in your viewers' minds? If they're still watching at this point, they'll likely want to know what that new and easy method is. #3: Cultivate Desire For this line of the script, create desire for your product or service. Describe your offer in a way that makes it sound amazing and like something viewers must have. To do this, focus on a specific benefit of your product, or how it's different from the alternatives out there. How-to and step-by-step guides are always popular because they help people solve specific issues.

4 Free Tools to Analyze Your Social Media Competitors

4 Free Tools to Analyze Your Social Media Competitors

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you want to improve your social media marketing? Have you looked at how your competitors are using social? There are tools to help you determine what's working for you and your competitors, what isn't working and why. In this article you'll discover four free tools to compare your social media presence with your competitors'. Listen to this article: #1: Do a Side-by-Side Comparison Fanpage Karma will analyze your and your competitors' accounts across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest. However, its most robust and useful features fall within the Facebook realm. The free plan offers a detailed, 90-day analysis for one page and a comparative dashboard for any number of competitors. The free plan will also send you weekly reports and alerts if you so choose. The free comparative analytics cover engagement, growth, most-used content sources and keywords, top posts, frequency, engagement by day and time, post type and supporters, among other metrics. The detailed analytics tack on keyword and content source engagement (via a color-coded word cloud), post length, success by post type, influencers, post history and more. You have to use the premium version to access analytics for other social networks, or for more robust analytics and exportable Excel and PowerPoint reports. These plans start at around $75 per month. The interface is unique in that it instantly displays comparative charts and graphs, allowing you to quickly and visually assess your page's strengths and weaknesses. Then dig deeper into the content types, timing and keyword tools to understand the why behind the data, and adjust your strategy accordingly. #2: Assess Facebook Page Performance LikeAlyzer will do a quick health check of any Facebook page. The tool is commonly used for competitive research because it doesn't require access to Facebook Insights to do its magic, and the features are uniform across pages. Though it doesn't present a side-by-side comparison like Fanpage Karma, the data is presented in a friendly enough way that you can easily take screenshots and import multiple analyses into a document for a competitive comparison. LikeAlyzer uses its own scoring system to assign each page an overall rank between 1 and 100, as well as averages within industry and similar brands. It will also give you metrics including likes, growth, engagement rate and PTAT (People Talking About This). Each of these metrics is accompanied by a green check mark or a red X, indicating whether the metric is strong or subpar. Additionally, the tool will check on different elements of your page by measuring responsiveness, timing, post type and page information (using the same check mark and X system). It also provides suggestions to improve the health of your page, such as what types of content you should focus on and when to post to get the strongest engagement. LikeAlyzer is excellent when you want to perform a quick check on your page, but you'll get the most benefit from it if you use it to analyze multiple competitors. Pay close attention to suggestions the tool spits out for other pages to determine where your brand can step up and take the lead. #3: Identify Influencers Klear, formerly Twtrland, serves as both an influencer-identification platform and an analytics dashboard. Search for influencers by skill and/or location and Klear will generate 10 influencers in multiple categories (celebrities, power users, casual, etc.). Upgrade to a pro account to see more results, starting at $249/month. You can view anyone's analytics profile by searching for his or her name or visiting http://klear.com/profile/USERNAME. This powerful dashboard will generate the account's top content on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (if you manually add it). You can also see activity and responsiveness levels as well as a list of people the account most frequently interacts with.

How to Move Your Website to SSL (ie, Convert from HTTP to HTTPS)

by @ thesitewizard.com

This article deals with the issue of moving a website from HTTP to HTTPS. Besides discussing the pros and cons of the conversion, it gives a checklist of things that you need to remember to do. You can also read the guide if you are planning to start a website, and want a better understanding of what this is all about.

Weebly Search Engine Optimization - SEO - Just for Websites

Weebly Search Engine Optimization - SEO - Just for Websites


Just for Websites

Weebly search engine optimization (SEO) is no different than any other website builder. There are a few tips and tricks that can help you ensure

Search Engine Optimization

by chris @ St George SEO | SEO Company St George

ONLINE SUCCESS BEGINS WHEN VISITORS FIND YOUR WEBSITE First and foremost, in order for your business to be successful online your website has to be found. People lose sight on that fact. They usually hire a designer and tell them to get to work. That beautiful website will probably cost thousands of dollars and it […]

The post Search Engine Optimization appeared first on St George SEO | SEO Company St George.

How to Successfully Target a Niche Facebook Audience

How to Successfully Target a Niche Facebook Audience

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you want to reach new audiences on Facebook? Have you considered targeting niche audiences? Targeting niche groups of people on Facebook, in addition to your primary audience, will help you create new channels of traffic and revenue. In this article, you'll discover how to find and reach niche audiences on Facebook. Listen to this article: Uncover Your Niche Audience Sometimes, all it takes is a little brainstorming to yield an immediate option for a secondary audience. Think of your product or service as if you initially created it for people other than your primary audience to identify new shades of its features that will interest additional customer segments. For example if Dollar Shave Club's primary audience is men who use razors, it's easy to see how they would choose women who use razors as a great secondary target. Alternatively, you can go deep into Facebook's Audience Insights to learn more about your primary audience's quirks. Use any shared similarities you find to identify secondary groups of people who might qualify as a viable audience for you. Target Your Niche Audience When you've decided which audience group you want to target on Facebook, you can take advantage of Audience Optimization to ensure your post will be seen by users who are most likely to engage with it. Now that you know how to find and reach your niche audience, here are three tips to help you make the most of that exposure and visibility. #1: Speak Their Language Many niche groups use specific words, slang, or non-typical word expressions that differentiate them from others. Whether you're trying to connect with introverts, hipsters, or healthy lifestyle fans, it's important to speak the same language they do. To examine the specific language of a group, you can use Google to query phrases such as 'hipster slang.' A large gym that wants to attract a niche audience of CrossFit enthusiasts can search Google for slang that audience might use. You can also use Online Slang Dictionary or Urban Dictionary to learn the meaning of words that are unfamiliar to you. Make a list of the words used by the group you want to target and use them to construct Facebook posts that reflect a particular mood and style that will appeal to the social group you're targeting. After you publish your posts, you can increase the rate of engagement and conversion by responding to comments and questions with the same words your visitors use. #2: Reinforce Their Mood and Interests Posting pictures and quotes that appeal to the unique mindset of your niche audience can be especially effective because they're attractive and shareable. To mitigate the risk of alienating your primary audience with this tactic, make sure the images and quotes you use are relevant to your existing audience as well. Otherwise, you may not get any engagement at all. For example, this post by Nike could easily attract the notice of people interested in philology but stays faithful to the interests of their primary audience of athletes and healthy lifestyle fans. Even if you don't directly address a Facebook post to a specific niche audience, you can appeal to their interests indirectly. For example, this Walt Disney World post is equally interesting for three distinct and possibly overlapping audiences: those who are interested in Disney, in Star Wars or in food. You can take this a step further by including a question that helps your niche audience understand their opinion is important to you, thereby increasing your chances of engaging members of that audience in a conversation. #3: Support Their Social Stance If your business openly aligns with a niche audience on an issue or controversial subject, you can publish posts that make a clear statement to signify your support. For example, this post could be shared to appeal to and attract people who are interested in and support strong female role m...

How to Get More Backlinks and Rank Higher on Google

by Ramsay @ Blog Tyrant: Start a Successful Blog

Backlinks are still the major indicator Google uses to determine the authority of a blog. The better your backlinks, the better you’ll rank in search results. But they sure aren’t easy to get. Building backlinks is a tricky business because many of the “easy” ways go against Google’s terms of service. What’s more, if you...

3 Ways to Analyze Facebook Video Performance

3 Ways to Analyze Facebook Video Performance

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Is video part of your Facebook marketing strategy? Wondering how video is working for you on Facebook? To make informed decisions about using video on Facebook, you need to have a good understanding of how your fans consume it. In this article you’ll discover three ways to analyze video posts on Facebook. Listen to this article: #1: Compare Native Facebook Video Posts to YouTube Video Posts Let's start by comparing how videos posted natively to Facebook compare with YouTube videos shared on Facebook. You want to see if you get a performance boost by posting natively to Facebook, and if so, how much. To do this analysis, look at sample data provided by the Santa Fe tourism office for posts from October 1, 2015 through January 3, 2016. They posted a total of 23 videos on their Facebook page during that time. Eight of the videos were uploaded to Facebook natively, and 15 were shared from YouTube. You'll want to compare Post Stories, Post Consumptions, Post Reach, and % of Fans Reached. You can download these metrics from Facebook Insights, and you'll look at the averages of the Facebook and YouTube video posts. In the chart below, you can see the performance metrics for both the Facebook and YouTube videos. There's a clear, sizable difference in performance between the two video formats. Native Facebook videos performed much better than videos shared from YouTube. While there was some variance in the data for each platform, the Facebook posts beat the average about 50% of the time, while the YouTube posts beat the average only 10% of the time. There are several possible explanations for performance difference: Facebook videos autoplay by default, so they grab viewers' attention in the news feed and result in better performance. The videos may rank higher in the Facebook algorithm, and therefore get more impressions and better reach. Facebook gives preference to its own videos in the news feed algorithm. Indeed, Facebook videos include view data while YouTube videos don't. If views are a key metric in Facebook's news feed algorithm, it would be an obvious advantage for the platform. Facebook shows the view count for its native videos, which may motivate users to view the video. Video plays are a big indicator on YouTube, and have always been a big part of the user experience. Facebook native videos have larger and more impactful thumbnail images than YouTube videos. That can make a big difference in grabbing viewers' attention and convincing them to play the video. Note the high number of Consumptions (video plays, primarily) for Facebook native videos, which suggests more eye-catching images encourage more people to play the videos. From these metrics, you can conclude that sharing a YouTube video rather than uploading native video to Facebook would cost the organization some engagement and reach. To see if your business should upload videos natively to Facebook instead of YouTube to maximize their performance, compare your own numbers. #2: Look at Video Posts vs. Photo Posts Videos are generally more time-consuming and expensive to produce than photos, so are they worth the investment? To find out, look at the same video posts you used in the analysis above. Along with those video posts, I also included data for 71 photos posted during the same time period (excluding photos posted to galleries, because the engagement metrics are heavily skewed on those). This comparison analyzes the performance of video versus photo content. You'll evaluate the same performance metrics you looked at previously: Stories, Reach, and Fan Reach. These metrics are as relevant for photos as they are for video content. Again, the rows represent the averages for each post type. If you look at the Post Stories engagement metric, photos performed similarly to Facebook native videos. However, when you get to the reach metrics,

6 Publishing Tools From Facebook for Marketers

6 Publishing Tools From Facebook for Marketers

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Have you explored the Publishing Tools section of your Facebook page lately? Wondering how the new features make marketing easier? Your page's Publishing Tools section contains a lot of important features including video management, lead generation, and product sales. In this article, you'll discover how to better manage your Facebook marketing with six Facebook publishing tools. Listen to this article: Note: Your page's Publishing Tools may or may not include all six of these features based on what features your page has access to at this time. #1: Collect and Download Leads Do you want to collect leads directly from Facebook using the Facebook Ads Lead Generation marketing objective? If so, you'll need a lead form. You can design lead forms within Publishing Tools. When you first get access to this feature, you'll find a sample lead form to test. You can preview the sample lead form and submit your own information. You can then download the information to see what your leads would look like. To create your own lead form, click the Create button. You'll get the option to create a new form from scratch or duplicate an existing form. Once you click Next, add a name to your form and select the advanced options applicable to you. You can learn more about whether you need to edit your field IDs in this Facebook help document, which has specific instructions for users of Driftrock, InfusionSoft, Marketo, Maropost, Sailthru, and Sparkroom. You can also retrieve leads via the API or use third-party tools like LeadsBridge, which connects to most email marketing and marketing automation platforms. Next, choose what to ask for on your lead form. Note that the more information you ask for, the longer your form will be. Next, add a link to your website's policies and disclaimers, or add a custom disclaimer for your form. Then you'll add a link to your website where you would like your visitors to go after they complete your form. This may be a custom thank-you page, an offer page, or your home page. Note: If you're tracking lead conversions in Google Analytics, you might want to have a custom thank-you page that lets you know that this was a lead conversion from a Facebook lead form to separate it from a lead conversion on your website or other source. Next, you have the option to encourage people to give you their information. For example, add information and custom graphics if you're offering a free ebook or report. Next you'll get to preview your form. If you want to add questions, click the Edit button at the top. You can also click the Next button to see how long your form will be, based on the number of questions you chose to ask your potential lead. You can go back and edit different aspects of your form, or if you're satisfied, click the Create Form button. Note: Any questions you ask will be prefilled if potential leads have entered that information into their Facebook profile. If not, they'll have to enter it into the form manually. Also note that once you've created a form, you can't edit it. You can, however, create a new form based on an existing form and modify the parts you want to change. When you're ready to collect leads, go to your Facebook Ads Manager and choose the Collect Leads for Your Business objective. Once you configure your audience, budget, placements, and ad creative, select the form you created at the very end of the process. Next go back to your Publishing Tools to download your leads, or follow the directions provided based on your CRM or LeadsBridge. #2: Manage Recorded and Live Video Do you post a lot of video to your Facebook page? You can manage all of your videos easily using your Publishing Tools Video Library section. Here you'll find a listing of your current videos, with indicators of whether they were live videos (noted by the person icon) or recorded videos uploaded to your pa...

Google Analytics: How to Make Smart Marketing Decisions

Google Analytics: How to Make Smart Marketing Decisions

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you want to know if your content and social activities are supporting your business? Are you wondering how you can use Google Analytics to track your progress? To learn how to use Google Analytics to help make smart marketing decisions, I interview Andy Crestodina for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Andy Crestodina, author of Content Chemistry and co-founder of Orbit Media (a Chicago-based web design agency). Andy has also written for Social Media Examiner and he's a Google Analytics expert. Andy shares how to use Google Analytics to help you make informed marketing choices. You'll discover why analytics are so important to your business success and step-by-step instructions on how to get started. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Google Analytics Why go beyond the basic metrics of blog comments, social share numbers and page views? Andy explains that these basic metrics will not give you return on investment (ROI) information. The formula he uses is traffic × your conversion rate = success, which can be leads, subscribers or ecommerce customers. The more you're aware of how things are connected and the deeper you look down the funnel, the more equipped you'll be to make better decisions. It's just like the dashboard of a car. You'll hear what happened when I looked a lot deeper into the analytics of a Social Media Examiner article that ranks number one in Google search, and why it made me realize that it wasn't doing as well as I thought. As a marketer, you need to reprogram your mind to what really matters, and it's not what immediately meets the eye. Listen to the show to find out why it's so important to pay attention to the conversion rate. Do you need to be a data nerd to benefit from all of this? Andy says that you don't have to be a data nerd. The only math you need to know is that anything times zero equals zero. Andy relates it to a Magic 8 Ball. You can ask a question, shake up the analytics and find the answer. As a marketer, you need to know how to look at these numbers. It gets easier over time. For every action you take, you can measure it and see if it works, and then make improvements. Listen to the show to find out why Google Analytics is similar to using Photoshop. Common mistakes marketers make with Google Analytics According to Andy, it always comes down to the setup of Google Analytics. There are two or three basic steps you need to take in the Admin section of Google Analytics that make your data much more meaningful. One of the first things you need to do is filter out the traffic from your own IP address. Until you do this, your analytics will be polluted by your own activity. Within the Admin section, you can create an IP address filter. To find out what your IP address is, just type "What is my IP?" into Google search, and it will give you the number. You'll discover what to do with this number in the dashboard to ensure your results are more meaningful. The next step (which is important) is goals. Until you set up your goals, you'll only have half of the picture. Listen to the show to find out what's important if you are a relatively low-traffic site or you're into content or social media marketing. The definitions of goals and conversions A conversion is when a visitor takes an action on a website. There are different types of conversions and analytics that you can set up,

Online Publishing: Lessons From Five Years at Social Media Examiner

Online Publishing: Lessons From Five Years at Social Media Examiner

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Have you ever wondered how Social Media Examiner started? Do you want to know the strategy behind this large online publishing platform? For this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast I'll share how we built Social Media Examiner into what it is today. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode you'll discover the business strategy behind Social Media Examiner, how we built a larger following and how it has been monetized over the years. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things I'll share with you in this show: Online Publishing Social Media Examiner back in 2009 In the beginning, I gave it 3 years. First of all, it was a great experiment. I didn't even know if someone like me, who knew absolutely nothing about social media, could even start a blog and become a leader in this space. I actually call Social Media Examiner an online magazine. In 2008/2009, when I was exploring this idea, I did notice that not a lot of people were talking about the "how" of social media. It was more about "What's wrong with social media?" or "Why should I consider social media?" It was the "how" stuff that was really popular. One of the first things I noticed was that the articles detailing the how-to stuff were going crazy-viral on social. You'll hear two examples of articles that I wrote for Copyblogger and Marketing Profs. Those articles turned out to be two of the most popular articles written on those sites. It was the response to those two articles that drove me to start Social Media Examiner almost 5 years ago to the day. Little did I know then that a million+ people a month would consume our content today. It's hard to believe that it's been 5 years. Listen to the show to find out the type of approach I took when it came to writing the articles for Copyblogger and Marketing Profs. Where the idea for Social Media Examiner came from It all started when I contacted Ann Handley, chief content officer at Marketing Profs, to ask if she wanted to connect on LinkedIn. Her response was, "Are you on Facebook?" At that time I thought Facebook was just for college students. This was probably in 2008 or early 2009. So I opened a Facebook account, and started to notice that there was a whole new community of people, not just students, who were having a great time on there. This opened my eyes to what could possibly happen. It was where it all started, I guess. Every idea has a genesis point, if you will, and that genesis moment was when Ann said, "How about Facebook?" Listen to the show to discover how the name Social Media Examiner came about. The business strategy behind growing Social Media Examiner Before the launch of Social Media Examiner, I put together an online event under my White Paper Source brand. I called the event Social Media Success Summit. This was to see if a segment of my White Paper Source audience would be interested in social. This month is actually our 6th annual Social Media Success Summit. The success of this first summit made me decide to run the idea of Social Media Examiner by several of the presenters. The first summit included Mari Smith, Denise Wakeman and Chris Garrett, who all helped me put on this online conference. The idea behind Social Media Examiner was for me to write one article a week. Then I would recruit the others mentioned above to write one article a week. So the plan was to have a spread and hopefully be able to publish on the site three times a week. This group originally did not think it was a good idea.

6 Social Media WordPress Plugins for Bloggers

6 Social Media WordPress Plugins for Bloggers

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Is your blog taking full advantage of social media plugins? Looking for tools to help grow your following and encourage sharing? The right WordPress plugins make it easy to grow your social media following and increase social shares. In this article you'll discover six WordPress plugins that’ll make your blog more social. Listen to this article: #1: Showcase Your Instagram Photos Pictures are worth a thousand words, and Instagram is all about the pictures. Feature Instagram images and posts in a widget on your blog to help send new users to your Instagram profile, as well as to provide vibrant, alluring images for your blog. The plugin that best lives up to this task is the appropriately titled Instagram Feed. It's another free tool that's easy to use and offers a lot of value. Use it to increase social engagement by automatically sharing your Instagram images with your blog readers. Instagram Feed also offers these handy features: Display images from multiple Instagram accounts. Choose the size of the images. Provide a Load More option that allows people to load more of your Instagram images. Because users often still flock to platforms like Facebook and Twitter first, having an Instagram feed on your blog is a great way to send your audience to your Instagram in hopes they'll become new followers. #2: Feature Your Twitter Feed Twitter is a powerful social networking platform and being able to showcase some of your Twitter activity on your blog can be very effective. WP Twitter Feeds is a free widget that simplifies the process, saving you from having to copy and paste code from Twitter. You just install the plugin and choose where you want to place the widget. The plugin gives you the option to exclude replies to your tweets and show or hide Twitter intents. It connects through the API, so it never has access to or requires your password. Feature your latest tweets to give your blog social credibility and make it seem more alive and active to new visitors. It also helps connect your Twitter and your blog, making them seem like two parts of a whole. #3: Make Pinning Effortless If you actively use Pinterest as part of your social media marketing and want to keep your plugins both free and simple, the Pin It button is a good tool to use. The button will let people pin your content without ever leaving your blog. This is especially helpful if you're a small business that doesn't use Facebook or Twitter, and you want to focus on making the posts, products and images on your blog more pinnable. Use this tool to help users not only share your content on Pinterest, but also save it to their own boards. The Pin It Button plugin comes in two different versions: the lite version, which is free, and the pro version, which comes with pricing plans starting at $29. The lite version offers these options: Let the pinner choose an image. Use a default pre-selected image for the pin being the first pin of the post. Hide the Pin It button on certain posts. Pick an official Pin It button in different sizes and colors. In addition to these options, the pro version offers other features, including: Add a Pin It button when a user hovers over an image. Provide Twitter, Facebook and Google+ sharing buttons. Add a Pin It button under each image. #4: Distribute New Content Automatically Jetpack is a great tool for anyone who has a WordPress blog. It offers features like enhanced security, optimized image performance and centralized management of other plugins, post scheduling and more. But the social media integration features alone would make it worth using. This tool will share your blog posts to your social channels automatically, right after you publish them. You can also create custom messages to share along with the posts. People typically set up Jetpack to share new posts to Facebook and Twitter automatically,

Overcoming Fear: How to Break Through and Get Stuff Done

Overcoming Fear: How to Break Through and Get Stuff Done

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Is fear holding you back in your business? Are you wondering what you can do to face your fears? To learn about the kinds of fears we deal with as marketers, I interview two small businesses owners for this 52nd episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, it's a panel discussion with Pat Flynn, founder of Smart Passive Income, and John Lee Dumas, the host of Entrepreneur on Fire. Both Pat and John share the fears that could have held them back in their businesses. You'll learn about the common fears marketers face and practical steps you need to implement. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Overcoming Fear John, what were some of your doubts when you had the idea of starting a podcast? John says that he had many doubts and fears when he had the idea for his Entrepreneur on Fire podcast. The idea for the podcast came about when he was on a commute to work as a commercial real estate agent. He liked to listen to podcasts and soon ran out of content to listen to. At the time, Pat Flynn had his Smart Passive Income podcast, for which he released one episode every two weeks. John soon realized that if he was running out of content, then so were others. He had the idea to start Entrepreneur on Fire as a 7-day-a-week podcast featuring interviews with today's most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs. In the beginning, John approached Jamie Tardy, The Eventual Millionaire, for mentoring. She agreed but thought he was crazy to commit to 7 days a week. Jamie thought it would be too much for his listeners to consume. John also joined Cliff Ravencraft's Podcast Mastermind and was told the exact same thing. You'll hear what John did with the advice from mentors and people already in that space. Listen to the show to hear the fears and doubts John had, and still has today. Pat, in the early days what were some of your fears? Pat shares the fears he faced when he first started out. One of the them was that the work wouldn't be appreciated or seen and whether it was the right thing to do. One of the biggest was the fear of failure and looking bad. When he was first let go from his job, he had the fear of not being able to provide for his family. He wanted to go down the path that was good for his and his family's future. You'll discover the kind of support Pat received from his wife, family and mentors. It helped him face the fear, doubt and resistance he encountered and got him to take action. When he wrote his first ebook in 2008, which was aimed at the architecture industry, he feared that nobody would buy it. This is one of the things that could have easily stopped him from writing the ebook. The take-home message is that you may not know John, Pat or me, but one thing is certain: We have all dealt with significant fear. We have all overcome it and gone on to do some pretty exciting things. Listen to the show to hear my story of when I put my idea for a social media blog out to some extremely influential people. My idea became Social Media Examiner. What about the fear of missing out? John believes the fear of missing out is prevalent. As entrepreneurs, it's the bright, shiny object syndrome. You see all these amazing platforms that you want to try. With all this going on around him, John always tries to remain focused. His passion is for podcasting and interviewing entrepreneurs. So his focus is to follow one course until he succeeds and it has stood him well.

Accomplishing Goals: A Guide to Getting Stuff Done

Accomplishing Goals: A Guide to Getting Stuff Done

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Did you set goals for the new year? Want to be more successful setting and achieving your goals? To discover how to accomplish goals, and to hear about the Kickstarter campaign for his new book, I interview John Lee Dumas. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview John Lee Dumas, the host of Entrepreneur on Fire, a daily podcast where he interviews entrepreneurs. John has published over 1000 podcast interviews and discovered a lot along the way. He's about to publish The Freedom Journal: Accomplish Your Goal in 100 Days. John will discuss goal setting and how you can gear up for your best year ever. You'll discover why it's important to set SMART goals. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Getting Goals Accomplished John's plan for promoting his book John talks about putting together The Freedom Journal throughout 2015 and shares that he will be launching it on January 4, 2016, via Kickstarter. Although he was inspired by what Seth Godin did on Kickstarter with The Icarus Deception, he's decided to use Kickstarter in a very non-traditional way. He says he wanted The Freedom Journal to have a significant impact beyond the people who purchase the book and shares how he decided to partner with Adam Braun of Pencils of Promise, which is a great organization that builds schools in developing countries. John explains what's unique about how he's using Kickstarter; he's not using it as a way to raise funds to produce the books. He's using Kickstarter as a platform for marketing and exposure, while allowing people to contribute to a cause. Each time the project hits one of four different funding goals, John will personally donate $25,000 to Pencils of Promise on behalf of Fire Nation. He recognizes that not everyone can donate $25,000 to help build a school, but says they can buy a journal, knowing part of those proceeds will go toward building a school in a developing country. John talks about why he's going to keep his publishing in house and shares other plans for the rest of his 33-day launch campaign. Someone else who has traveled around the country doing launch parties is Lewis Howes. Listen to the show to learn about some of the Kickstarter rewards for people who purchase The Freedom Journal. Why John wrote a book on goal setting After doing many interviews on EOFire, John says the question he's most asked about his guests is, "What's the magical recipe to success?" He shares that in addition to hard work for a long period of time the major commonality is that his guests know how to set and accomplish goals. After polling his audience, John discovered his listeners struggle with setting and accomplishing goals. He knew this was something he could solve and explains why he chose to create a leather bound journal instead of a PDF or an online app. Listen to the show to learn how many interviews John has done for EOFire. What's a goal John defines a goal as SMART, an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound. If something doesn't have those five qualities, he says, it's not a goal. The Freedom Journal starts by teaching you exactly how to set a SMART goal. Once you set the SMART goal, you can go forward to accomplish it. Listen to the show to discover what John thinks keeps people from succeeding when they set a goal. John's military training John talks about his military service and shares how his military training helped with his goal setting. He says he quickly learned the value of Parkinson's law (tasks will expand ...

Facebook and Twitter User Behavior Changes: New Research

Facebook and Twitter User Behavior Changes: New Research

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Is your business on Facebook and Twitter? Have you considered sharing news with your audience? Research indicates that people are using Facebook and Twitter for more than connecting with friends and brands. They're now looking to these platforms for updates on current events. In this article you'll discover how the way people use Facebook and Twitter is shifting, and how brands can respond. Listen to this article: #1: More People Get Their News From Facebook and Twitter A July 2015 study from Pew Research Center reveals that increasing numbers of Twitter and Facebook users visit the platforms to get news. Of the over 2,000 study participants, 63% now depend on both channels for updates on national events and political issues, big leaps from 2013 numbers. Twitter, which was more news-oriented from the beginning, didn't have as dramatic a leap: 52% to 63% during the two-year period. Those reporting they use Facebook for news, on the other hand, grew from 47% in 2013 to 63% in 2015, or 16%. While the opportunity to stay abreast of friends and family events gets users on Facebook initially, it's news (sports, science, technology, business and entertainment) that keeps them there. As the chart below shows, Facebook's user numbers didn't budge from 2013 to 2014. Despite the inevitable slowdown, today 71% of Internet users have a Facebook account, and 70% of those go to the site daily. Forty-five percent go there several times a day. By following friends, brands, organizations and news outlets, Facebook (and Twitter) users have created their own customized newspapers. They seem to like their new handiwork. While Twitter's audience numbers made an impressive 28% leap from 2013 to 2014, the platform's failure to gain the ubiquity of Facebook has disappointed many. Twitter remains hard at work creating a niche for live-tweeting events, television shows and sports, but it hasn't shown much promise for the retailers who pay for ads. Key takeaway: As Facebook and Twitter mature, their audience growth rates are leveling off. Younger audiences abandoned Facebook for Instagram, but baby boomers, Gen Xers and mature holdouts finally claimed their profiles. Brands should align their marketing content with current events to engage users. #2: Twitter Is the Go-to Platform for Breaking News The Pew Research Center image at the beginning of this article reveals another interesting fact: Even though most Twitter users tweet just once or a few times a week (far less often than Facebook users engage), if there is a nationwide crisis, exciting sports game, gaffe by a politician or a celebrity scandal, they flock to Twitter. Numbers for those who report they follow breaking news on Twitter (59%) are nearly double those who say they do so on Facebook (31%). Twitter is the go-to destination for up-to-the-minute news and comments on that news. Twitter is also the channel where sports fans and news junkies engage by sharing their opinions. Users do more than just read the headlines, they engage. As the graphic above shows, more than half of users tweet at least once about news each week. Also, while the majority of accounts that Twitter users follow are friends and family, the majority of tweets in their news feeds come from news outlets and journalists. In the image below, you can see that while just 14% of the accounts Twitter users follow are news outlets, 33% of the tweets in their Twitter feed are from these outlets. Breaking it down further, the most popular news outlets are sports (with 35% of Twitter news followers receiving sports tweets), business/science/technology (14% getting news on these topics) and civic and political (12%). Keep in mind that in this study, the final sample providing Twitter data was small. Pew drew from its original group of 3,212 respondents only those who self-identified as Twitter users, provided their Twitter handles for analysis and had valid publi...

7 Ways to Use Video to Drive Traffic and Conversions

7 Ways to Use Video to Drive Traffic and Conversions

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you using video effectively to market your business? Want to discover the best kinds of videos to make and the best times to present them? Different types of video should be used at different times to help your audience connect with your products and services. A new prospect has much different needs than an established customer. In this article I’ll share seven ways to use the right type of video at the right time to increase traffic and conversions throughout the sales cycle. Listen to this article: #1: Increase Conversions With Product Videos Since website visitors are anywhere from 64% to 85% more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it, create short promotional videos that show off the main benefits and features of your products and put them on your website. For example, if you have an apparel store, instead of just posting photos, add a video of a model wearing your clothes. If you offer a service, use video to explain what problem your service solves and how it goes about doing so. PadMapper created an animated video that explains the service well, and with a light and humorous tone. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN8nDVGfdZM Produce the video yourself, go with an agency or use tools such as Wideo or PowToon to create an animated video. Don't be afraid to be creative and take some risks. Video doesn't necessarily mean setting up a shoot and filming. A lot of great videos are just repurposed product images. Just insert photos into a cool template with nice transitions and text, and add some background music or other audio. #2: Drive Traffic With How-to Videos How-to videos catch viewers with prime buyer intent. They have a problem they want to solve or something they want to learn. It is up to you to show them how to do it. In fact, nearly 1 in 3 Millennials say they purchased a product as a direct result of watching a tutorial or how-to video about it. Come up with and share uses of your product. For example, explain to consumers how to tie a tie or show home cooks how to make certain recipes for your ingredient. Don't try to sell your product in this type of video, just focus on instructing your audience. The Home Depot creates how-to videos for projects. Of course, after the video piques customers' interest, a shopping trip to get the supplies is in order. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emCG1cb0n3I Videos appear in 52% of Google keyword searches and 82% of them are from YouTube, so remember to optimize your video with keywords for SEO. Write detailed meta descriptions about your video and add transcripts of your voiceover. Just like with written works, produce great content that inspires people to engage with your videos. #3: Onboard Users With Product Walkthroughs Ensure your users have a smooth, easy and fun onboarding process, and they are likely to stick with you long-term. Before you get started, put yourself in the shoes of your first-time users. Choose the most common use cases of your product and do a screen recording. If you're on a Mac, you can easily do it in QuickTime. Windows users can download something like Screenrecorder. BuzzSumo created a fantastic walkthrough video for new users to get acquainted with their product. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpY2mMLbnq8 Go through the use case slowly and clearly, and narrate the process. Send out the link to your onboarding video in your welcome email or direct a new user to it from the sign-up page. Onboarding is one of the most critical parts of your relationship with your users, so make the most of it. #4: Cut Down on Customer Service Cases With Screencasts Just as screencasts can help onboard your users, they may also be used to reduce the number of customer service calls you receive. Rather than use text for FAQs, create videos with answers to your customers' most common questions. It's a way to establish trust and credibility. Plus,

How to Research and Locate Your Audience Using Social Media

How to Research and Locate Your Audience Using Social Media

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you struggling to connect with your customers on social networks? Do you know where they hang out online? To optimize your social media marketing efforts, it's important to know who your customers are and which social networks they spend their time on. In this article you'll discover how to connect with your target audience on social media. Listen to this article: #1: Identify Your Ideal Customer One of the first questions I ask is, "Who is your ideal customer?" Some of the answers I've received include women, people who have to eat to survive, bosses, employees and people looking for work. While these answers may be true for you, too, they won't help you find your audience because they don't help you prioritize where to spend your time. John Lee Dumas has famously talked about identifying your business avatar. This means you'll want to create a fictional persona of your ideal customer, to the point of naming it, knowing how many kids it has or what it does on the weekends. The clearer your avatar is, the easier it is to find people on social media who resemble the persona. #2: Determine Your Audience Size Once you have a good sense of what your audience looks like, you can use Facebook Ads Manager to estimate the size of your audience. For example, if you want to reach women in Maine who are interested in nutrition, you can find out that 62,000 people on Facebook match that audience. This is also good business information, because if your audience is too small, you may need to change your offering to expand your audience. On the flipside, if your audience is too large, you might want to target a narrower niche to start. Of course, not everyone is on Facebook. According to recent research, almost 60% of Americans are on Facebook. That number may be more (or less) depending on where your audience lives, their age, gender and household income, but it's a good starting point. #3: Survey Your Customers If you've been in business for any length of time, you have customers you can survey. For the purposes of optimizing your social media campaigns, wisely spending your ad dollars and targeting guest blogging opportunities, you need to know where your audience hangs out online. As part of your survey, ask your current customers the following questions: What social media sites do you regularly use? What websites do you visit for information on _______ (for example, remodeling ideas, pricing strategies or whatever is appropriate for your business)? Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones? Do you regularly read blogs? If so, which ones? What people do you follow or pay attention to online? You can also use free tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to collect your answers. In this video, Steve Dotto walks you through how to create your own forms with Google Forms. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwf72lwPLVY Google Forms is a great way to collect feedback on live events, for example, because it graphically displays your audience's feedback. Go to your form results and select Form > Show Summary of Responses from the drop-down menu. #4: Research Online Behavior What do you do if you're just starting out, your customer base is too small for meaningful results or you're expanding into a new category? In cases like these, or simply to supplement your surveys, you can research online behavior. The Pew Research Center has an excellent breakdown of where your audience spends their time online. It's not difficult to find studies and infographics that provide information on specific platforms or other countries. For example, check out this chart from MarketingCharts to see a makeup of the top social media channels based on gender, age, education and more. #5: Find and Connect With Your Customer Once you get the results from your survey and have reviewed the demographics of the available research, it's time to put that knowledge to work across different so...

5 Interview Tips for Small Business Owners

by WebsitesForAnything @ Websites For Anything

Once you have figured out exactly what you are looking for in your ideal employee then you can begin working on finishing the rest of the process.  Here are four tips on making the rest of the hiring process as efficient as possible. Create a good job post. Now that you know what you want and have that physical list of ...

The post 5 Interview Tips for Small Business Owners appeared first on Websites For Anything.

How Top Brands Improve Customer Retention on Facebook

How Top Brands Improve Customer Retention on Facebook

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you nurture relationships with customers on social media? Want to decrease customer acquisition costs? When you cultivate relationships with social media, you improve customer retention and ultimately boost your bottom line. In this article I'll share how top brands use Facebook to improve customer retention, and how you can apply their tactics to your social media marketing. Listen to this article: The Value of Customer Retention It's easier to keep a customer than to acquire a new one. Gartner, Inc. statistics show that 80% of a company's future revenue will come from just 20% of its existing customers. Furthermore, according to Bain & Company (working with Earl Sasser of Harvard Business School), a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company's profitability by 75%. With social media, the door is wide open for companies to build relationships 24/7 with the customers who influence referral rates and keep their businesses alive and thriving. #1: Embrace Your Brand Advocates Give your customers a place to share their voice and their stories, and you'll develop a kinship that will lead to brand loyalty. The Walt Disney Company, which has been the go-to source for brand and relationship marketing inspiration for more than 50 years, has truly embraced social media. The Father's Day post below personifies that commitment to fans. Disney took a story that applies to a substantial segment of its audience, and put it into video form using recognizable characters. This Facebook post does three things: promotes Disney's core values, celebrates its brand advocates and invites participation. Through brand experience storytelling, among other campaigns, Disney celebrates the fan experience and endears itself to customers in the process. #2: Provide Exceptional Customer Service Fans who turn to Facebook for answers can quickly become loyal customers, especially if you respond to them immediately and with accurate information. JetBlue has perfected the art of customer service with their remarkable ability to respond to their more than one million Facebook fans within mere minutes of a comment or post to the page. JetBlue sees each social media conversation as an opportunity to cultivate an enduring relationship with specific individuals. They empowered their team members to do what it takes to improve the customer experience and repair potentially broken relationships. Although most businesses may not have the resources to monitor their social media accounts 24/7, they can provide the tools and encourage their team to do whatever is necessary to enhance their customers' experiences online, as well as in-store. #3: Show Additional Uses for Your Product If there are other uses for your products, let your customers know. If there aren't, see what you can come up with and share those uses with your fans. Oreo, which has been very active with social media marketing, has taken relationship building to an entirely new level by sharing recipes via video to promote their product. These 10- to 30-second videos directly resonate with existing customers, who also happen to be their target audience. Through these videos, Oreo gives customers (who ideally have a package of Oreos sitting in their pantry) additional uses for their product. The result is customers keep eating and purchasing their cookies. Brainstorm to determine how your business can provide additional value to the products or services your existing customers already have. When you consider how your product can be utilized creatively and share those uses, you encourage additional purchases, while you cultivate customer relationships. #4: Address Customer Concerns Publicly Business owners and marketers aim to develop strategies with precision and avoid mistakes. However, no brand is immune to mishandled incidents, mismanaged campaigns or a full-blown social media crisis.

How to Repurpose Your Content to Drive New Website Traffic

by Christian Brink @ AddThis Academy

Learn how to repurpose the content you create to drive new website traffic.

The post How to Repurpose Your Content to Drive New Website Traffic appeared first on AddThis Academy.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Your Site Designer Website

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Your Site Designer Website


Houzz Support

What is SEO?SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is the art and science of making your website visible to search engines. SEO is used to improve “search ranking,” or how high up your we...

5 Creative Ways to Use Snapchat Geofilters for Business

5 Creative Ways to Use Snapchat Geofilters for Business

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Looking for new ways to increase your Snapchat visibility? Have you thought about using Snapchat geofilters? When applied creatively, Snapchat geofilters can help you increase brand awareness, engage your community, and reach new audiences. In this article, you'll discover five unique ways to use Snapchat geofilters for business. Listen to this article: Why Geofilters? Snapchat's rise has been meteoric. Over 100 million users watch 10 billion video clips daily. The platform has transformed video storytelling, and its native tools have incredible social media marketing value. Now, you can create your own specific geofilters and use them to advertise to your audience. Snapchat geofilters are the perfect way to harness your audience's attention, because they're already digesting your content. Geofilters make it easier for your audience to engage and promote your product or brand organically. Here are some ways to use Snapchat geofilters for your business. #1: Announce New Product Launches When launching a new product, you want to encourage your community to find out more about it and ultimately make a purchase. By using a Snapchat geofilter, you're showing your audience that your products are important and worthy of branded filters. You're also adding a marketing element that connects the audience emotionally to the brand. Everlane's Elevate Summer used branded geofilters for its summer collection. The company also partnered with magazine editors for Snapchat takeovers. On the Everlane Snapchat account, the editors gave their opinions on collection favorites. With this approach, you can showcase the importance of a new product line and give real-time insights to your community on what products to check out. When you want to catch the eye of your audience for new products, create a Snapchat geofilter. #2: Share Company Culture To promote company culture and your business offerings, you can create a Snapchat geofilter for your office. Employees could become your biggest digital advocates as they use the geofilter to share with their communities. You can encourage employees to share behind-the-scenes events at your company or interview colleagues about their favorite parts of their job. This one-to-many sharing can impact your company in a positive way and your reach will be exponential. Sharing your company's strengths to a larger audience will encourage top talent to want to join the team. For Partner Day, HubSpot created a special geofilter using their signature orange hue. Employees and partners used the geofilter to highlight the best moments of the day. To encourage sharing, design a geofilter as a digital name tag that will allow users to insert text about who they are and what they do. Empower your employees to engage on Snapchat with a branded geofilter. It will help boost company morale and audience reach. #3: Promote Charity Events Using geofilters for live events creates an inclusive element that bonds the community. For charity events, they can help build awareness for a cause. Creating Snapchat geofilters for events will add an element of surprise and delight for your guests and will allow people to share the event in real time. They can also increase visibility and messaging in a fun and effective way. Imprint.City, a non-profit focusing on cultivating community through art, hosted a masquerade charity event to raise awareness. Because the attendees were already going to use social media at the event, organizers created a Snapchat filter to make the event more digitally accessible. Many community influencers used the filter, which helped spread the word about the organization and its cause. You can also use the snaps taken by your guests for future marketing materials. Promote them on other social networks or in pamphlets for fundraising efforts. #4: Support Your Presence at Trade Shows Getting prospects to your booth at trade shows can be a str...

Instagram Strategy: How to Grow a Loyal Following With Instagram

Instagram Strategy: How to Grow a Loyal Following With Instagram

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Is your business on Instagram? Want to develop an engaged following? To discover how to create an Instagram strategy for your business, I interview Nathan Chan. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Nathan Chan, the publisher of Foundr magazine, a digital publication designed to help entrepreneurs succeed. He's also host of the Foundr podcast. Nathan is also crushing it on Instagram with nearly 400,000 followers. Nathan will explore how he built a massive following on Instagram. You'll discover techniques you can employ right now for your Instagram strategy. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Instagram Strategy Why Nathan started Foundr Nathan launched Foundr on March 5, 2013, because he wanted to become an entrepreneur and didn't know where to start. He realized there weren't any magazines targeting aspiring or novice entrepreneurs, only magazines aimed at established businesses. Foundr is a monthly publication, available on iOS and Android mobile devices. Download the app and explore the interactive magazine, which is subscription-based. Once you get inside, Nathan says, it's like a flipbook, where you click and explore. Nathan explains why Foundr differs from a traditional print magazine. Because some people prefer to read and others like to listen, Nathan added a Foundr podcast to the mix after he left his day job. He wanted to share several amazing interviews he'd recorded on Skype. For example, the issue with Tony Robbins on the cover includes a feature article with exclusive material, as well as the audio interview embedded inside the magazine. Listen to the show to hear how long it took Nathan to leave his job and what he was doing when he started Foundr. Foundr and Instagram Foundr has been on Instagram since November 2014, and has more than 400,000 followers. A year and a half ago, Nathan tried Instagram and was having no success. He shares how a reader from Melbourne who had an entrepreneur page on Instagram with 20,000 followers contacted him. The reader thought if he posted Foundr's Richard Branson cover, he would get Foundr more readers. Nathan shares why the tactic didn't work and what he learned he should have done instead. Last November, Nathan revisited Instagram. He'd already got about 500 followers organically, since Foundr had 20 or 30 images posted. When Nathan did a couple of posts on the Foundr Instagram page, he saw their magazine sales spike on Google Analytics. By this time, the guy from Melbourne was up to 80,000 followers, so Nathan reconnected with him and they started battle-testing different combinations on Instagram to see what would get more followers, encourage people to click on his bio and build his email list. Foundr's email list has since grown considerably, due to traffic from Instagram. Last November, it was around 2,000. Now it's just about to hit 100,000. Nathan explains how to use lead magnets on Instagram to get people on your email newsletter list. Listen to the show to discover why Nathan gave Instagram another try. Nathan's Instagram strategy Nathan says his strategy is to create viral-type content that resonates with Foundr's target audience and provide it on a consistent basis. The goal of the Instagram account is to build community, raise awareness of the brand and build the email newsletter database. To get more email subscribers, Foundr currently links to an ebook as a lead magnet in the bio. The link pushes people to a landing page where they can get the "How to Get Your First 10,

Blogs, Books and Social: How the World Has Changed

Blogs, Books and Social: How the World Has Changed

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you think the world of publishing is evolving? Have you ever thought of self-publishing? To learn more about how blogs, books and social content have evolved, I interview Guy Kawasaki for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist for Apple and author of many books including Enchantment and What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us. Guy shares his experience of publishing his first book in 1987 and how publishing has changed since then. You'll also learn tips and techniques to use on Google+. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Changes in Publication How the process of publishing books has changed Guy talks about what the book publishing process was like back in 1987 when he published The Macintosh Way and how it has changed since then. He explains the difference between a traditional publishing and self-publishing. With a traditional publisher, there's a lot of going back and forth and not a lot of control for the author. The timeline from finishing a book to it being on a shelf is around 6-9 months. Self-publishing today is a completely different world. You'll discover  how Guy's last book What the Plus was on sale on Kindle six days after he finished writing it.  Guy also shares the story of going from an electronic book to a print book. Listen to the show to hear the story of how What the Plus made it to paperback. How the publishing world is changing Guy explains why publishing is an industry in transition, where he feels this industry will go and the opportunities for publishers today. Guy shares how times have changed with desktop publishing and how anybody with InDesign or an Apple Mac and a laser printer can become a publisher. In addition, people with blogs and websites are publishers. With the variety of tablet computers available today, anyone with Microsoft Word can become a publisher. You'll find out why Guy believes in the theory of "infinite monkeys working on keyboards are going to produce a lot of masterpieces." Listen to the show to find out why now is a great time to self-publish. How Guy's publishing journey has changed and why Guy shares his story of how he ran out of ideas to publish on his own blog, which led him to guest writing for the American Express Open Forum, and how he ran out of ideas for that too. You'll learn why Guy considers his biggest challenges in blogging are to have enough topics to write about over time and to have the time to write. Now with Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, he finds himself more of a curator than a blogger. It's one thing to generate content; it's another to curate and find content. Guy says he has evolved from a blogger to a curator, and when he does write, he writes books. Social networks allow him to express himself spontaneously and the deeper ideas go into book format. He explains why a blog is the logical place to start and why he considers blogging good practice before writing a book. You'll discover the benefits of writing a blog-type post on Google+, compared to a stand-alone blog. Listen to the show to find out why Guy would use Google+ or a Facebook Fan Page today as a platform. How Twitter fits into the social ecosystem today Guy explains why his personal approach to Twitter now is unusual. You'll find out how Guy uses Twitter to curate great content from his website Alltop and a section there called Holy Kaw!

A History of America's Credit Cards

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

The fast-paced financial world of plastic credit cards and their interest rates is relatively new in the grander, larger history of the U.S. Only since the late 1950s have Americans started to use credit, and the craze has resulted in a multimillion-dollar, powerful industry that affects millions of Americans every year. Both merchants and consumers would be completely stuck without the little plastic cards, with slowed transactions and virtually no online purchases. When did we really start using credit cards, and when did this change in monetary systems really start to affect not only our economy but the global economy?

The First "Credit Cards": Tally Sticks

It's very difficult to say when the first credit card existed, as credit exchanges as a concept were around as early as the Middle Ages. They were called tally sticks and were a system of financial record-keeping used when currency, which was heavy, expensive coinage, was not available. These sticks featured notches for the amount of debt owed and were split neatly down the middle, making them very difficult to counterfeit as each one's grain and split was completely unique. Tally sticks were an essential part of tax collection in England for more than 700 years.

The Forgotten Wallet and the Diners' Club Credit Card

The first credit card as we understand it in the modern sense was created as late as 1950. It was called the Diners' Club card. A man named Frank McNamara came up with the idea in 1949 while having dinner in a New York City restaurant. He was caught without his wallet. Urban legend has it that he offered to sign for his dinner, promising to pay for it later, then called his wife to bring over the cash. It is a fact, though, that he created the first consumer-facing credit card company, called Diners' Club.

The Move to Plastic

While most merchants weren't happy with these cards initially, the credit card started a craze that began to take shape in the 1950s and early 1960s. The Diners' Club card was technically a charge card; it required members to pay in full each month. It had been historically made from either cardboard or celluloid. American Express issued the first plastic card in 1959. As a competitor to Diners' Club, the company did very well. Plastic soon became a mainstay. Also in 1959, a new concept was introduced: the concept of the rolling balance, which was revolutionized by MasterCard. Cardholders didn't have to pay in full each month, but allowing rollover would increase fees.

The Development of Money, Metrics, and Convenient Billing

While credit cards started to become common, not everyone could have one in the 1960s. Credit cards began to really take off later on, starting in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, when conventional loans became too highly regulated. In the 1980s, Citibank moved to South Dakota because of its looser laws in combination with what became known as the Marquette decision, which freed up regulations on how much banks could charge their cardholders in interest. This deregulation allowed more people to get credit cards, and the industry expanded a great deal (for better and for worse).

Future Advancements and the "Smart Card"

While the technology for the so-called "smart card," which has an embedded chip, was developed as early as the mid-1970s, it's only now starting to become mainstream. This technology became widespread in Europe in the form of payphone cards as early as the 1980s. The EMV system, which stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, has started to be included in cards as of October 1, 2015. This is considered to be a more secure method of transaction, as these cards are more difficult to counterfeit.

9 Productivity Tools for Social Media Marketers

9 Productivity Tools for Social Media Marketers

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you a busy social media marketer? Looking for tools that will save you time? Using the right tools to stay focused and work more efficiently will help you get more done in a day. In this article you'll discover nine productivity tools for busy marketers. Listen to this article: #1: Save Content Inspiration for Later Use Evernote to create a journal of content ideas and inspiration sources. With text, audio and image options, you can type, dictate or snap an image of whatever has caught your eye. Evernote syncs with all of your devices, so you'll have access to it wherever you are. Reach for it when you're feeling stuck for content ideas. #2: Block Distracting Websites Throughout the course of a day, we have distractions coming at us from a variety of directions. If you intend to spend just a few minutes on Pinterest, only to end up spending half a day looking at recipes, you need Cold Turkey. Use Cold Turkey to group distracting sites, such as social and news sites, and then block them off for certain time periods. Remember, if you're a social media manager who uses native websites to schedule your messages, this probably isn't the app for you. The app works great when you're putting off real work, like drafting your next blog post or newsletter or creating a report for your boss. Set it up for an hour or two and allow yourself some time to write distraction-free. #3: Create Canned Email Responses Do you get a lot of similar emails from customers, such as questions about your return policy or other support-related questions? Save yourself some time and effort with the Canned Responses add-on in Gmail. Rather than write a new response every time, you can save an email as a canned response and use it over and over again. What's great about this feature is that it's not a simple auto-responder that feels robotic and soulless. You can edit canned responses to personalize them for a particular recipient or tailor your answer to a question. To access it, go to your Gmail Inbox and click on the gear icon and select Settings. Then click on the Labs tab to find Canned Responses and select Enable. Now you can save or access your canned responses in the lower-right corner of the New Message window. #4: Secure Account Log In Credentials Do you keep a list of all of your passwords for emails, websites, social media platforms and third-party apps and tools? Is that document really safe? What if you're on the go and can't remember your password for a site? 1Password is the solution for protecting your passwords and giving you quick access to them. The app will store your passwords securely, and autofill them whenever you need them. It's available for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android and as a browser extension. #5: Automate Recurring Tasks Think about all of the repetitive and mechanical tasks you do in the course of a day. Then delegate those tasks to IFTTT and free up your time to focus on bigger things. You can choose from a huge list of social media recipes or create your own. Maybe you want to build a Twitter list for a specific hashtag or get an email notification when someone mentions your business in a tweet. #6: Find and Attribute Images Do you spend a lot of time looking for images online? Have you ever tried to hunt down one specific image? Whether you followed a dead end link or are looking for attribution information to credit an original source, TinEye can help. Use the TinEye browser extension to do a reverse image search and find the original source of any image. #7: Create Tasks From Emails We're all bombarded with emails asking us to do things and complete tasks. You're likely overwhelmed with the sheer volume of email you receive and the challenge of trying to stay on top of requests. If you're using Gmail, you can create to-do items right from your email messages. After you open a message,

3 Reasons Your AdWords Traffic Is Not Qualified

by Today's Industry Insider @ The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

AdWords is one of the most predictable paid media channels. By using it, you’re focusing on people who show their intent in advertising platforms. Search traffic is growing by a lot. In 2014, marketers spent $23.44 billion in the search channel. That same figure for this year is already $32.32 billion, and it’s expected to […]

How to Make Sure Your LinkedIn Account Is Secure

How to Make Sure Your LinkedIn Account Is Secure

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you on LinkedIn? Have you reviewed your security and privacy settings recently? While LinkedIn is valuable for building your professional presence, it's important to be conscious of your individual privacy and security when using the network. In this article you'll discover what you need to know to manage your security on LinkedIn. Listen to this article: How to Access Your Privacy and Security Settings It's essential to manage your LinkedIn privacy and security settings so your personal profile is secure, yet still visible on the network. By default, LinkedIn shares certain things you might want to keep private and keeps other things private that should be public. If you haven't edited your settings before, here's how to access them. Hover over your profile image at the top right of the screen. Then click Manage beside Privacy & Settings. LinkedIn has more than 40 security settings. Here are the ones that have the greatest impact on marketers. #1: Decide Whether to Share News Mentions LinkedIn's Mentioned in the News feature automatically finds and shares with your network news items that mention you. (LinkedIn purchased the Newsle app to curate more relevant content for members.) The default is to share your news mentions. To change this setting, go to Privacy Controls and click Turn On/Off Your News Mention Broadcasts. In the window that appears, uncheck the Yes! Let Them Know box and click Save Changes. Mentioned in the News is a fantastic feature for people who have a positive presence online. However, you'll want to turn this feature off if you or one of your clients is dealing with reputation management issues (for example, you're working with a client who is experiencing a personal social media crisis or getting negative press). Remember, there is no way to manage what gets shared with the Mentioned in the News feature. Your only option is to turn news mentions on or off. #2: Turn Off Share Profile Edits This privacy setting has less to do with your personal security and more to do with how your contacts view you and your activity. Since you don't necessarily want to alert your network of every minor change you make to your profile, I recommend that you turn off profile edits (previously called activity broadcasts). To do so, click Choose Whether or Not to Share Your Profile Edits. In the window that appears, uncheck the box and click Save Changes. You can also make this change from your profile. On the right side of your profile under Notify Your Network?, select No to turn off this feature. Turn these notifications back on for a short time when you have big news (you started a new job, signed a new client, got promoted or added something significant to your profile). Then turn them off again. #3: Decide Who Sees Your Activity Feed Your LinkedIn activity feed used to be your updates. Now it only refers to actions taken, such as following influencers, joining groups and so on. Your activity feed is visible to your network by default. As with profile edits, you probably don't want your minor activities to clutter your connections' feeds, so you can make your activity feed private. To change the setting to be more private, click Select Who Can See Your Activity Feed. In the window that appears, choose the Only You option and click Save Changes. Remember, public updates are visible to everyone, regardless of your activity feed setting. #4: Select What Others See on Your Profile In most cases, you want people to know when you've viewed their LinkedIn profile. It helps keep you top of mind and increases the know-like-trust factor. However, there may be times when you want to make your profile anonymous. For instance, if you're doing research on LinkedIn, and you don't want people to see you, make yourself completely private. Use this tactic when you check out competitors or view potential employers, employees or partners.

Six free SEO tools to boost your search engine rankings | VerticalResponse

Six free SEO tools to boost your search engine rankings | VerticalResponse


Vertical Response Blog

Being found by the search engines is as important as being found by the right customer. Discover a list of free SEO tools to improve your search visibility.

Integrate Google Search Console With Unamo SEO

by Adam Coombs @ Unamo Blog

Now you can integrate your Google Search Console properties with your Unamo SEO Campaign with GSC data storage for up to 2 years! ​​ You’ll have all of your relevant SEO data on one platform to expedite your analytics and decision making processes. ​ The integration will pull all of your data from GSC into […]

How Voice Search is Changing the SEO Game

by Ruth Eschenheimer @ Official Wix Blog | Web Design & Small Business Tips to Promote Your Site

"Ok Wix, what's voice search?"

The post How Voice Search is Changing the SEO Game appeared first on Official Wix Blog | Web Design & Small Business Tips to Promote Your Site.

How to Help Your Staff to Curate Content

How to Help Your Staff to Curate Content

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Is third-party content part of your social media marketing mix? Do you have multiple people in your company who discover content? With the right process, a team can become a content-curation powerhouse. In this article, you'll discover how to set up a collaborative workflow for content curation. Listen to this article: #1: Establish Team Structure Collaboration starts with structure. It's vital to establish clear roles and communicate exactly who's responsible for what. Two roles are needed: a coordinator and a group of contributors. Coordinator The coordinator's job is to identify major topics that your target audience cares about, and to make a master list of how all of these topics can be grouped together. For example: Leadership Social media marketing Online marketing Email marketing Landing pages Conversion rate optimization Product development Pricing strategies Industry news Fun stuff Next, match these topics to the contributors in your company so that they collect and submit content they naturally run into. Contributors Contributors help you generate a diverse flow of all things sharable. As you assemble contributors, remember to look beyond your social media or marketing team. Accessing more cross-discipline sources means you'll have more content to choose from. What matters is quantity, creating what Andy Crestodina calls a "content cannon." Ask specific people for specific amounts of content on designated topics within set timeframes. Hi Tim, The last optimization report you researched turned out great. In fact, I'd love to share many of the helpful resources you found while putting it together on our social channels. The next time you come across something like [article], please send it to me on [collection tool]. Even better, since I know you work on projects like that regularly, please provide me with three posts and an infographic along those same lines by next Friday. Thanks, Aaron This specificity is crucial in the next step. #2: Choose a Content Collection Tool The content your contributors suggest will come in all shapes and sizes: long-form blog posts, short-form posts, quotes, infographics, charts, stats, case studies, slide decks, videos, white papers, and more. For collaborative social media, it's essential to find a tool that allows you to gather and schedule content. Here are some tools to consider for collecting content. Slack Slack allows you to create topic-specific channels such as #leadership, #product-dev, #customer-service, etc. As you create each channel, invite specific contributors based on the types of content they naturally come across. With Slack, you can even create custom emoji reactions to note which channels you plan to share the content on. Trello Use Trello to build a social media collaboration board. You can organize your contributors' suggestions based on the type of content. Or organize your contributors' suggestions based on topics. Memit Memit brings together the clipping and collecting abilities of tools like Evernote and Pocket and will allow multiple users to contribute directly to topical collections. In addition to saving links, you can save contributions directly to your preferred cloud platform. This represents a great two-for-one feature. It allows you to maximize not only social content curation, but also internal curation of useful resources. As the coordinator, you can select and share content directly to platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Metrics are also tracked. Regardless of the tool you select, be sure you can create multiple, manageable collections for each topic and invite contributors to the specific collections. #3: Evaluate Content for Fit It's important that the content you share on social media stands out. For this, your selection process needs some criteria.

How to Optimize Your Mobile Social Media Ads

How to Optimize Your Mobile Social Media Ads

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you trying to reach an on-the-go social media audience? Are your ads optimized for mobile users? More people are using social on their smartphones. If you want to reach them, you might need to rethink your ads. In this article you'll discover three ways to make your social media ads mobile-friendly. Listen to this article: #1: Use Simple Copy and Bold Imagery Advertising on mobile means that people will view your ads on a much smaller screen than a desktop monitor. Because of this, you need to make sure your ads are still visible and carry the same impact when viewed on mobile devices. Ads for desktop have the screen space to contain text-heavy copy and detailed images. Mobile ads don't have that advantage, so your mobile ad creative needs to be bold, simple, and beautiful to attract your audience's attention. Take a look at two Facebook ads for the shoe company Tieks. The desktop ad features an intricate and interesting image along with a good amount of text to drive engagement. The image in Tieks's mobile ad is much simpler and the perspective puts the viewer right in the ad. The copy consists of a short sentence driving users to click the ad. This ad works for mobile because people can easily read and understand it on a small smartphone screen. While these two ads look very different, they're both unmistakably from the same company. Including the same visual elements, such as Tieks's bold red flats, in each image ties them together and keeps the ads on-brand, regardless of which device they're viewed on. When migrating desktop ads to mobile, it's important to create campaigns that are easy to understand and compelling to users. Simple copy and bold creative are the best ways to boost engagement on mobile. #2: Create Mobile-Friendly Landing Pages The creative in your ads isn't the only thing you need to adjust for mobile. Make sure that once people click on your ad, they're taken to a website that they can view and navigate properly on their mobile device. A website designed for desktop won't do; viewers will quickly get frustrated by the non-intuitive layout and navigate away from your site. This mobile Twitter ad from Home Depot encourages users to apply for job openings at its stores. Rather than direct users to the company's home page, the ad sends users to a mobile-friendly page that's specifically dedicated to careers at Home Depot. This way, users who are interested in applying for a job don't need to search through the site to complete that objective. The ad's landing page is bright, friendly, and on-theme. It's designed to be visually appealing and easy to navigate for mobile users. These two elements mean that there's a better chance of users viewing the page and eventually doing exactly what Home Depot wants: applying for a job. Mobile ads require landing pages that are designed with mobile in mind. To ensure that people follow through on your desired action, make sure they're driven to a web page that is relevant to your ad and is easy for them to view and navigate on their mobile device. #3: Explore Mobile-Friendly Video Ads When it comes to mobile advertising, video is leading the pack. According to eMarketer, U.S. mobile video ad spend jumped over 80% in 2015, and is expected to see double-digit growth through 2019. Many marketers say that video ads have helped them drive brand awareness and engagement, in addition to achieving higher click-through rates. Why? Mobile video ads are perfectly suited to mobile consumption behaviors. There are several ways you can start including mobile video in your advertising campaigns on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. In fact, you may already have the resources on hand to craft video ads with very little money or effort. Website Videos Have a video on your website that introduces your product or service? Then you have a video that's ready to run as a mobile ad! In the video below,

20+ Social Media Hacks and Tips From the Pros

20+ Social Media Hacks and Tips From the Pros

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you looking for the newest social media tips and techniques? Want to know how the experts are staying ahead of the social media marketing curve? We asked top social media pros to share their favorite tips for getting the most out of social media. In this article you'll discover 25 ways to improve your marketing and save time. Listen to this article: #1: Get Around the 140-Character Limit on Twitter Yes, there are tools that save long-winded tweeters, but they really just add a link that takes the reader to a website, out of the stream. Here's a hack that lets you run long, while keeping your readers right there on Twitter. I learned this one from SMMW speaker Amy Schmittauer. First, send a tweet as you normally would ... but end it with an ellipsis or a cliffhanger of some kind. Next, reply to your own tweet! You can do this from your own stream. There's no need to leave the @mention of yourself in there. Remove it so you don't look like you're talking to yourself. Now, visitors who see the first tweet (or either of them) in your stream can see the full length of the super-long tweet by clicking the View Conversation link. Here's what it will look like: Voila! You've broken out of the 140-character jail. It's definitely a hack in the truest sense, but it works! Andy Crestodina is co-founder of Orbit Media. #2: See Restricted LinkedIn Profile Search Results Ever look for people on LinkedIn, but the search results you see are restricted based on your membership level? Because the majority of profiles are indexed on Google, you can use the search engine to do a more comprehensive search. For example, if you find that you can't access the full profile information of someone on LinkedIn, go to Google and type: site:linkedin.com "name of person" If you're looking for marketing managers who mention Dublin in their profile, you can type the following into Google: site:linkedin.com//pub "marketing manager" Dublin Now you can see much of the information LinkedIn's barriers hide from you. Ian Cleary is the founder of RazorSocial. #3: Accelerate Social Media Follower Growth S4S (also known as Share for Share or Shoutout for Shoutout) is a tactic in which you form mutually beneficial partnerships with other influencers in your niche/market. Basically you post each other's content with a reference or tag to each person on an agreed-upon social media platform. We used this social media hack and have gone from 0 to 400,000+ followers on Instagram in under a year. It's great because the hack works on any social media platform: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope, you name it! Nathan Chan is the publisher and editor of Foundr Magazine. #4: Reduce Inflammatory Facebook Fan Posts and Comments Because our Facebook page community can be rowdy, I add words commonly used to attack another fan or our Facebook page to a list of words in the Page Moderation section of Page Settings. When a banned word is used in a comment, the comment is hidden from the general public, but appears to the person who left it and their friends. I ban words like "unlike," "unliking," and "clickbait" as well as things like "!!," "!!!," and "!!!!" because I've found that no one ever uses multiple exclamation points to tell you how much they love you. Holly Homer runs Kids Activities Blog and Quirky Momma Facebook page, and is the founder of Business 2 Blogger. #5: Verify the Effectiveness of an Influencer This is a very difficult time to be in marketing. Ad blockers are diminishing returns and overwhelming information density makes it hard for our message to be heard on Facebook, Twitter, and other channels. This is one reason influence marketing is so important today. Even small companies and agencies need to tune into people who can effectively carry a message online to an engaged audience. But how do you know if an influencer is influen...

The Power of Social Media Marketing Strategy

by Mauldin Team @ The Mauldin Group SEO, Social Media, Google Ads, Web Design | Atlanta

Everyone knows social media has a crucial impact on digital marketing. However, are you really sure you know the extent of the power of social media? We discuss how social networking can make your brand soar - or hit rock bottom.

The post The Power of Social Media Marketing Strategy appeared first on The Mauldin Group SEO, Social Media, Google Ads, Web Design | Atlanta.

How to Properly Structure Website Content

by Kyle Henderson @ JellyFlea Creative

Audience This article is intended for people who use a content management system like WordPress to blog or create & maintain your website, but the overall concepts apply to all web design, regardless of what platform you use to create/manage your website. Goals Create an ideal webpage structure for easy reading Maintain style consistency throughout entire […]

The post How to Properly Structure Website Content appeared first on JellyFlea Creative.

How to Make Text and Images into Clickable Links with BlueGriffon 2.x

by @ thesitewizard.com

This article shows you how to make the words and pictures on your website into links using the free BlueGriffon web editor. It is chapter 5 of the BlueGriffon 2.x tutorial.

How to Set Up an Art Exhibition

How to Set Up an Art Exhibition

by @ How to of the Day

Whether you’re displaying your own work or that of other artists, holding an art exhibition is a uniquely enriching experience. However, it can be a real challenge to bring together so many different elements in a cohesive and meaningful way. That’s why when you’re staging an art exhibition of your own, it’s essential to have a plan. Once you’ve chosen a theme for your exhibition, you can begin taking submissions from interested artists, select an appropriate venue for the event and build marketing buzz that will allow your collection to be seen and appreciated by as many people as possible.

13 Instagram Marketing Tips From the Experts

13 Instagram Marketing Tips From the Experts

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Want to improve your Instagram marketing? Are you interested in the latest tips and tools for Instagram? Instagram is a fast-growing platform and businesses are eager to establish a presence and encourage engagement on the network. We asked social media experts to share their hottest Instagram tips. Here’s what they had to say. Listen to this article: #1: Shoot Square Your Instagram feed is only as good as your photographs, so starting with high-quality photos makes your Instagram marketing more effective. One of the best ways to save time and compose better photos for Instagram is to shoot square photos. Many digital cameras and smartphones have this in their settings so it’s really easy to do. This lets you save time on cropping and ensures that the essential elements in the photo won't be cropped out later. Because shooting photos inside the Instagram app can be limiting, I like to use Camera Awesome by the SmugMug team on my iPhone (also available for Android users). Using this app, you can take fantastic photos using the grid to follow the rule of thirds. Peg Fitzpatrick is a speaker, social media strategist and co-author of The Art of Social Media. #2: Use a Customized Link Shortener to Track Traffic One of the most important things marketers need to know is how well their Instagram account is driving traffic and leads back to their website. Unfortunately, Google Analytics can’t accurately track this traffic when users visit your website from your mobile Instagram account. To monitor accurate click rates, I recommend businesses use a customized bit.ly link (or a link from another shortener) exclusively for the URL in their Instagram bio. Then you can check your bit.ly data to document how many clicks your Instagram account is actually sending to your website. Create a different bit.ly link each time you change the link for a new landing page, campaign or default page to continuously track successful traffic leads. Jenn Herman is a social media trainer, blogger and Instagram advocate. #3: Be Strategic With Your Bio Link For personal use, Instagram is fun and spontaneous. But if you want to use it as a marketing tool, you have to be a little more calculating with it. I suspect the businesses that are really killing it on Instagram (like Nordstrom, Starbucks, Nike and others) plan their posts well in advance. If you’re a smaller brand or a one-man show, you can still develop a great presence on Instagram. Use the link in your bio to connect to a landing page that holds the same posts you put on Instagram, and allows you to collect leads, promote your ecommerce site, gain subscribers to your blog, collect entries for a giveaway, etc. Jim Belosic is the CEO of ShortStack. #4: Cross-Promote Your Partners Cross-promote whenever you can! The trend on Instagram now is to share the love, so to speak, by tagging others or even by outright promoting other companies, products and services. Locally we have restaurants that serve beer from the many craft brewers in the area. Both the brewers and the restaurants take full advantage of Instagram by tagging each other. The brewers also support one another with tap takeovers, which are rich grounds for Instagram photos and tags. The results are threefold: higher recognition for everyone involved, increased followers (who in turn tag the businesses during visits) and increased traffic and sales for the local businesses. Lisa Karl is a partner and founder at Savvy Digital Business. #5: Take Advantage of Trending Hashtags Users can now use Instagram's Explore feature to find posts related to trending hashtags such as #LoveWins, #CanadaDay and #FullMoon. If these trending tags are relevant to your brand, include them in timely posts to aid discovery. On the topic of search, Instagram also introduced the ability to search by emoji.

Vine: Short Videos and What Marketers Need to Know

Vine: Short Videos and What Marketers Need to Know

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you want to know more about Vine video? Are you wondering how brands and businesses can successfully market with Vine video? To explore how to use Vine short video on Twitter, I interview Zach King for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Twitter Vine personality and host of KingFilmSchool.com Zach King. Known as FinalCutKing on YouTube and Twitter, Zach has more than 1.6 million followers on Vine and creates short special effects videos that have been watched millions of times. Zach shares how he got started with film and online video. You'll discover tips for shooting your own Vine video. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Success on Vine How Zach got started with Vine Zach's curiosity was piqued in September 2013 when friends started showing him Vines. He shares that he decided to try the platform for 30 days. During that time, he made a Vine a day based around silly ideas he and his roommate came up with. Each 7-second Vine featured a special effect and in 30 days, Zach says he accumulated 200,000 followers. He was hooked by the growth rate. Zach talks about why the challenge of using Vine to tell stories excites him. Listen to the show to find out how Vine works. What Zach's most popular Vines have in common Zach believes his Vines are successful because they include circumstances everyone can relate to. For example, almost everyone has locked the keys in the car or wanted a special souvenir from a vacation. Listen to the show to hear about more of Zach's successful videos. How making Vine videos has changed things for Zach Zach shares that as he was working his way through film school by teaching FinalCut, he was introduced to posting on YouTube. As he added Vine and Instagram to the mix, his exposure grew. Zach says that Vine exposure has brought him bigger clients, like Coca-Cola and McDonald's, with bigger budgets. Listen to the show to discover why Zach believes platforms like Vine are changing the commercial branding world. Vine's culture Zach states that Vine is very secretive about their analytics. The only metrics available are likes, ReVines and the released loops. He shares that he estimates the average Vine user to be between 13 and 25 years of age—otherwise known as Millennials. He explains that Vine has a diverse collection of categories including a DIY category where you learn how to do a project in 7 seconds and a Comedy category, which Zach believes is the number-one reason people are on Vine. Zach says you don't need any film experience to be successful on Vine. He points out that a lot of Viners who have 7 or 8 million followers simply grabbed a camera and started recording. Listen to the show to hear how personality and style lead to follower growth. How Vines can be viewed or shared Zach shares you need the Vine app to view videos on Vine, but that they can also be embedded on websites. He says embedding is what led to Vine's increased popularity and that Vines perform best outside of the app. Listen to the show to find out how a third-party YouTube compilation of Zach's Vines contributed to his success. How bigger businesses are using Vine While it attracts bigger brands like Coca-Cola and Virgin Mobile, Zach explains that marketing on Vine is different than on platforms like Facebook because Vine hasn't monetized. He says that because brands can't pay to have their Vines put in front of someone,

How to Nurture Leads Using Medium Letters

How to Nurture Leads Using Medium Letters

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Wondering how to use Medium for business? Want to use Medium to engage with prospects? Medium’s Letters feature lets you communicate directly with prospects so you can build meaningful relationships with them. In this article you’ll discover how to use Letters on Medium to nurture leads. Why Medium Letters? More than just a place to publish long-form content, Medium is a social network with built-in content distribution benefits. When you connect your Medium account with your Facebook and Twitter profiles, all of your followers and friends who are on Medium automatically become your Medium followers, so you'll gain an instant audience for your content. Listen to this article: A key difference between Medium and other publishing platforms is a feature called Letters. Letters are the same as stories, except they're emailed to your followers. Depending on your followers' preferences, they may receive a daily or weekly email digest that includes the latest content from the publications and people they follow. Letters takes this one step further, allowing you to send content directly to your followers' inboxes as stand-alone items. Getting access to people's inboxes is a big deal, so Letters represents a major opportunity for marketers. As Seth Godin puts it, "Permission Marketing lets you turn strangers, folks that might otherwise ignore your unsolicited offer, into people willing to pay attention when your message arrives in an expected, appreciated way." Here's how you can use Medium's Letters feature to nurture sales leads with useful, compelling content. #1: Develop a Content Strategy When you think about your Letters content strategy, consider the relationship that this content will have with your other Medium assets. Ideally, your Letters should be more conversational, engaging, and shorter than your other stories on Medium. This type of content is most likely to perform well as a stand-alone email. You could syndicate an existing long-form post as a letter, but remember that your publications followers may have already seen this content if they follow your hosted blog or other social channels. It's best to think of Letters as something different, offering useful content beyond what people can access elsewhere. Letters unlocks your audience' inboxes, so you need to handle this privilege with care. Follow the same guidelines you always do and provide real value to your readers. Remember that with Letters, your followers can unsubscribe whenever they want, just like with traditional email marketing channels. #2: Compose and Send a Letter If you don't have a Medium account, here's a great guide for getting started on the platform. Once you're logged in, navigate to your publication's homepage. (You won't be able to access Letters from your author account because only publications can send letters.) Click the down arrow next to Following and select Letters from the menu. Now you can write the content that will go out to your followers as an email. You can use all of the same layout and media-embedding features that are available for any other type of story on Medium. Once you've completed your draft, click Email Preview, which allows you to see what the letter will look like in your followers' inboxes. If you need to make any changes to your letter, you can go back to the editor and make them. Once the letter is ready for dispatch, simply click Send, and it will go out to all of your subscribers. After you send the letter, it will also be visible in your publication's feed. #3: Engage With Your Prospects Because your letter has the same features as a regular Medium story, users can interact with it just like anything else on the site. They can discuss, mark up, and recommend your letter to other users, so keep an eye on the activity. Reply and interact with your readers to learn more about them and what they like.

Marketing Trends: How to Think Differently and Predict the Future

Marketing Trends: How to Think Differently and Predict the Future

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you want to stay on top of the latest marketing trends? Looking to tap into the next big trend? To explore marketing trends, I interview Rohit Bhargava. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Rohit Bhargava, the author of Personality Not Included and Likeonomics. He's also the founder and CEO of the Influential Marketing Group. His latest book is Non-Obvious: How to Think Different, Curate Ideas and Predict the Future. In this episode Rohit explores why trends matter to marketers and reveals a few trends. You'll discover what makes something a trend. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. How to subscribe/review on iPhone. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Marketing Trends How Rohit became interested in trends Rohit spent many years working at marketing agencies and frequently crossed industries. For example, he'd work for a toothbrush brand in the morning and an enterprise data client in the afternoon. This is how he started making connections among industries and began thinking about trends. Rohit started writing trend reports in 2011. Rohit's experience includes working with Leo Burnett in Australia and Ogilvy in the United States. He did digital strategy and even worked on Intel's first social media guidelines. One of the biggest problems, Rohit explains, is a lot of trends are self-serving. "Imagine I have a company that sells hammers, and then I declare 2015 the year of hammers," he laughs. "How convenient is that?" People declare trends based on whatever they sell so it helps them, but what they point to isn't actually a trend. Rohit considers a trend to be an observation about the accelerating present. That means there are signs of something already happening that will become more important. A trend will either change the way consumers make decisions or change the way companies structure their business models or how they do business. Listen to the show to discover one of the biggest mistakes many trend writers make. Why marketers should care about trends The biggest benefit to knowing about trends, Rohit explains, is to know when to pivot. The term pivot is frequently used improperly. For example, if someone sells bicycles and then becomes a coffee shop, it's not a pivot, it's a completely new business. An actual pivot was seen when BMW, in addition to making cars, decided to start a program called DriveNow in which they rent electric cars. They're tapping into the trend of the sharing and collaborative economy, and experimenting with their business model. BMW is saying we still make super high-quality cars, but we now distribute them in different ways: we sell, lease and rent them. That's smart, Rohit says. It's the way to look at something that's happening in the marketplace and see how it affects your business. Marketers need to be on the lookout for trends and pivot accordingly, but also understand trends that are already happening. Listen to the show to learn about Rohit's haystack method and the difference between trend curating and trendspotting. Glanceable content The trend of glanceable content is a reaction to our shrinking attention spans, Rohit explains. There's material out there, like BuzzFeed headlines, that tantalize us so much we can't help clicking on them. But that alone doesn't make it a trend. This idea of the shrinking attention span leads to innovation in unexpected places. There's a team of MIT researchers working on studies of glance behavior: how fast can we read something in a situation when we need to consume it quickly? For example,

How to Optimize Your Social Media Schedule for Maximum Impact

How to Optimize Your Social Media Schedule for Maximum Impact

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you schedule social media updates? Want to know the best days and times to share? Creating a social media calendar helps you deliver a steady flow of content to your followers. In this article you'll discover how to create an effective posting schedule for your social media updates. Listen to this article: #1: Determine a Daily Posting Frequency Just like you plan a blog schedule, consistent social sharing can help you stay top of mind. A calendar of when you plan to post to each platform helps you see when you have gaps in your sharing schedule or when you have too much going on at once. Take these informal guidelines into account when deciding how many times you'll post on each social network. Socialbakers reports you should post to Facebook once a day for the best engagement. For Twitter, Salesforce recommends you start with one to four tweets a day. Data directly from LinkedIn and compiled by Buffer suggests you'll reach 60% of your connections if you post on LinkedIn 20 times a month. SumAll recommends you pin five times a day. Brands can safely post to Instagram up to 15 times per day. One glance at your social media calendar and you'll know where to fill in gaps and remove extra messages from the overcrowded days and times. #2: Post at the Right Time of Day Once you know which days you'll be posting to each network, you'll need to find the best times to share your content on each platform. Don't just pick a few times to regularly share content. Try different times each day to give your social media schedule some flexibility for best results. Use trial and error, and check engagement stats to find the best times to share from your own accounts. Analyzing data from QuickSprout, Buffer, Fast Company and others to find the best times for social media posts, revealed the following insights: Try posting to Facebook on Wednesdays at 3 pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 4 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 1 pm. Tweet from 12 to 3 pm, and at 5 pm during the workweek. Post to LinkedIn just outside of working hours (7:30 to 8:30 am, and 5 to 6 pm) and on lunch breaks at 12 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Pin from 2 to 4 am and 2 to 4 pm. Avoid posting to Instagram from 3 to 4 pm on Mondays and Thursdays. Note: Most of those studies analyzed data in the United States. With 80% of the U.S. population in the Eastern and Central time zones, those time zones may be your best bet for optimal reach. #3: Share Your Content More Than Once Some people create great content, and then lose out on a ton of traffic because they only share it right after it's published, and only one time per social network. Sharing your content more than once can get you 3,150% more traffic all within your first day of publishing. Imagine what could happen if you spread out your social media sharing to publish links to your content throughout the week, month and year after the original publish date. Here's a schedule for sharing your content multiple times on social media: Schedule social messages to announce new content right when it publishes. Share your post again a few hours later on the same day. A tweet’s average lifespan is 18 minutes, so sharing it again, even on the same day, increases your visibility. Schedule a few more social messages for the following day to get the word out, while the content is still fresh. Drip a few more social messages the following week to reach people who missed it the first time around. Scatter at least one message per week, over the course of the next month, on all of your networks. #4: Vary Your Message Mix up your social messages to keep your updates fresh on different sites. This is especially important when you share your content more than once. Here are some ideas for crafting different messages for a single piece of content: Reference quotes from people in your posts.

How to Use Facebook Lead Ads

How to Use Facebook Lead Ads

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you run lead generation campaigns? Are you familiar with Facebook Lead Ads? By autofilling lead generation forms with user details, Facebook's lead ads make it easier for people to sign up and receive your offer. In this article you'll discover how to create lead ads on Facebook. Listen to this article: Why Lead Ads? Facebook has made the process of generating leads on the platform much easier. With the new Lead Generation objective, you can ask customers and prospects for their information, and they can provide it without ever having to leave Facebook. Here's how lead ads work. Show your ad to users, and if they're interested, they'll click the call to action to bring up a form prefilled with their personal information that they've shared with the network. They can then review the information, edit it if needed and click Submit. The autofill forms make the signup process as easy as possible. And the less people have to do, the higher the probability they'll convert. If you need more information from users than Facebook can provide, you can ask for it by customizing the form. Keep in mind that Facebook has only released the Lead Generation objective to some advertisers. If you don't have it yet, don't fret. You should get it soon. #1: Create a Lead Ad Right now, you can only create and edit lead ads within Power Editor. If you haven't used Power Editor before, it's a great tool for creating and managing Facebook ads. Once you download your ads account to Power Editor, click the Create Campaign button in the top left. From there, type in a name for your ad and click the Objective drop-down menu. If you have access to the Lead Generation objective, you'll see menu options similar to the following image. Select the Lead Generation objective and then continue the ad creation process as you normally would. When you get down to the ad level, you'll see the following Lead Form section. Click Create New Form to create your first lead generation form (and every form for that matter). Next, type a name for your form in the text box and click Next. Now choose the details that you want to collect from customers and prospects. You can also add custom questions that you want to ask, such as "Are you a customer?" When you're finished adding your questions, click Next. Add a link to your privacy policy (yes, you do need one) and click Next. Now enter your website address. Customers will have the option to click through to it after they submit the form. Then click Next. Review your form, and if everything looks okay, click Create Form. After you've created all of your ads, give them a final check for typos and errors, and then upload your ad account via Power Editor. #2: Download Your Leads Accessing your leads is a manual process for now. Facebook does not yet provide an option to import your leads automatically to a tool like MailChimp or AWeber. (Hopefully this functionality will come soon.) To get your leads, go to the Facebook page that's connected to your ads and click the Publishing Tools tab at the top. From there, click Forms Library on the left side of the screen. Keep in mind that you need to have admin access to view forms. On the right, you'll see all of the forms that you've created. Click the Download link next to your form to download your leads in CSV format. The column fields are pretty self-explanatory. Columns A through F give you details about the ad, campaign, when the lead was captured and which form it was. After that, you'll see the information that you requested from users. You can upload this data to your client management tool or pass it along to your sales team to contact the leads. Lead Ad Tips Here are a few tips for creating lead ads: Tell Users What You Want Them to Do When it comes to advertising, sometimes you have to tell people what to do. "Go here." "Click this.

SearchCap: Google local business edits, AMP powered featured snippets & Bing Ads bid adjustments

by Barry Schwartz @ SearchCap: Daily Search Engine News Recap

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Google local business edits, AMP powered featured snippets & Bing Ads bid adjustments appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Pinterest: How to Drive More Traffic to Your Site With Pinterest

Pinterest: How to Drive More Traffic to Your Site With Pinterest

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you use Pinterest for business? Are you wondering how Pinterest can help your business drive more traffic to your website or blog? To learn about Pinterest marketing, I interview Melanie Duncan for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Melanie Duncan, owner of Luxury Monograms and CustomGreekThreads. She also does online training for business owners and spends a lot of time focusing on Pinterest marketing. Melanie shares how Pinterest is a different social media platform and why marketers should use it. You'll learn how to create clickable images and calls to action that will lead to increased visibility and sales. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Pinterest Marketing How has Pinterest helped your business? Melanie describes how she stumbled across Pinterest marketing in January of this year, when she started to receive a high volume of traffic and orders to her site. It wasn't until she logged into Google Analytics that she realized Pinterest's potential in terms of bringing new customers and traffic to her site. You'll discover how Melanie formed a Pinterest strategy and how it helped her business get more exposure and sales. Melanie explains how she first saw Pinterest traffic come from Luxury Monograms. People were pinning things from her site, even before she had a Pin It button. You'll learn how people can pin from your blog or website. Melanie explains that it wasn't just the high-quality product photography that was being repinned, but also the basic product photos. You'll discover why it's not all about the quality of the photos and why calls to action are so important. Listen to the show to find out what calls to action work best and how they can increase engagement by 80%. Some of the biggest mistakes marketers make on Pinterest Melanie explains how Pinterest is a very different type of social media platform and that many marketers or small business owners don't really understand how to use it for their business. A lot of us start with a personal Pinterest profile. Research shows that 80% of pins on Pinterest are repins. People log onto Pinterest, they look at their newsfeed and repin. They don't really go out across the Internet and try to find new forms of information to put on the platform. One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is that they don't create enough original content. You'll hear what you need to do to make a real difference and get the results you want. Listen to the show to find out where the opportunity is for marketers. How to determine if Pinterest is worth focusing on Melanie shares how a lot of service business owners believe that they can't be on Pinterest, as it's only for physical products. You'll learn why this isn't true. Pinterest has a free analytics tool that is available to all business pages now. You'll discover 3 steps you need to take to have access. Once you have access, Pinterest hooks up the analytics to your sites. You can now track your pin activity, such as: How many people are pinning from your website Whether your pins are being repinned and how often How much traffic is being sent to your site What your impressions are like It's a very easy tool to help track how quickly people respond and engage with your content. You'll discover the only way to get traffic from Pinterest to your blog or website and why it doesn't have to be something pretty.

6 Tips to Improve Your Facebook Posts

6 Tips to Improve Your Facebook Posts

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you marketing on Facebook? Do you want better reach for your Facebook posts? Using the right posting tactics will give you better results from your Facebook marketing. In this article you'll discover six tips for more effective Facebook posts. Listen to this article: #1: Create a Posting Road Map Many businesses start posting on Facebook without a plan. As a result, their posts often don't address the needs of their audience. Consider creating a road map for your posts covering various topics. For example, if you're in the fitness industry, your content could cover fitness tips, blog marketing, healthy recipes and so on. The more topics you add to your content bucket, the more variety you can offer to your audience. After you choose the topics you'll cover, create a calendar. A content calendar maps out what to post each day. Having a schedule also helps you build in enough time to create your social media images. If you're not sure how far out to schedule your posts, creating a content calendar for one week in advance is a good rule of thumb. This gives you the flexibility to keep up with timely topics. #2: Write Your Text for Skim Readers Rather than debate the length of Facebook posts, consider the decreasing attention span of users. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that people have an attention span of 8 seconds, which is 1 second less than that of a goldfish. If you apply that to Facebook, the first three to four words of your update are crucial to grabbing your audience's attention. For help creating a compelling Facebook update, try a tool like CoSchedule's Headline Analyzer. Enter your post copy in the text box, and the tool will provide recommendations to improve your update. #3: Analyze Your Written and Visual Content, Then Optimize On Facebook, there are four types of content you can post: links, images, videos and text updates. According to a Socialbakers study (which analyzed 4,445 business pages between October 2014 and February 2015), video is the most important engagement driver, followed by text updates, links and photos. However, before choosing content types for your posts, take time to analyze your business and audience. For example, if you want to drive traffic to your blog, the link format likely would work well for you. On the other hand, if brand awareness is your main goal, images and videos are a better bet. Suppose that you want to drive attention to a link in the description. So in the post, you include an image along with the link. When you analyze the clicks for that post, you find that out of 51 post clicks, there was only 1 link click. The takeaway is that the content type you chose did not effectively drive attention to the link. Make sure that you check your analytics to see if you're choosing the right content types. #4: Consider Using Brand Hashtags Do you use hashtags while posting on Facebook? A recent Buffer study revealed that posts without hashtags outperform posts with hashtags on Facebook. However, before you dismiss the idea of hashtags altogether, test them for yourself. Is there a particular hashtag you use for your branding? Using hashtags on Facebook can make sense if they contribute to your brand positioning. Adidas frequently uses the hashtag #teamadidas in their posts because it's synonymous with their brand. Hashtags also may be effective if you're posting about a trending topic. #5: Customize Your Facebook Post Descriptions When you post a link on Facebook, it fetches the metadata automatically. This can be edited. For example, suppose that you want to republish a post. All you need to do is change the description metadata to fit the post description and suit the current context. Remember that Facebook posts are now searchable, so this is an excellent opportunity to add your keywords, too. #6: Experiment With Your Publishing Times

Facebook Ad Changes: What Marketers Need to Know

Facebook Ad Changes: What Marketers Need to Know

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you run Facebook ads? Are you familiar with the latest changes? To explore a number of recent changes to Facebook that will impact all advertisers, I interview Jon Loomer. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Jon Loomer, a marketing expert who specializes in Facebook advertising. Jon is host of the Social Media Pubcast and blogs at JonLoomer.com. Jon explores Facebook ad changes and what you need to know. You'll discover updates to the 20% text rule, custom audiences, and more. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Facebook Ad Changes The 20% text rule change Jon explains why the 20% rule was created and says that until recently, any Facebook ad image with more than 20% text would be rejected. The text ratio was measured by placing a grid over the image and if there was text in more than 5 out of the 25 boxes, it was considered over the 20% text limit. Since Facebook has abandoned the rule, advertisers can have as much text as they want in their image. However, the more text in the image, the less reach it will receive and the more it will cost to run such an ad. Now, when you upload an image to the Text Overlay tool, Facebook will rate the image as: OK, Low, Medium, and High. Facebook is general about the guidelines, Jon explains, but there is no longer a grid. Basically, zero text means it's OK, and 20% text is considered Low. However, if you compare Facebook's example for 20% to the actual 20% rule, it's actually a little bit more than 20%. Facebook says if you have been following the 20% rule until now, you probably won't see any changes. However, Jon thinks the system for detecting the text is a little buggy, although it's still early on. For instance, he talks about an image of nature that was flagged for having text. Jon says the best approach is to test it. Experiment with little or no text in your images, and compare the results. You'll need to determine what text you absolutely need. The logo is another potential issue since not all logos are created equal. Jon's logo has never been flagged. However, sometimes they detect it and sometimes they don't. Many advertisers and users love memes and big call-to-action text, and now they can boost them. Jon says you probably need to do a manual bid and bid really high to get that ad seen, but you never know. It may be extremely effective. Listen to the show to discover whether the text scale is at play on organic posts. Facebook custom audiences Jon is a big fan of Facebook custom audiences, which is creating audiences of people who have visited your website. It's powerful since these people already know who you are. However, Jon explains, there is a weakness in those audiences. All audiences aren't created equal. In an audience of people who have visited your site over the last 180 days, some visited once, others visited 50 times. Some people bounced after three seconds and don't even remember being there, while others have spent hours on your site. Until recently, you couldn't differentiate the two. With the new website custom audiences' advanced feature, you can create an audience based on frequency. For instance, base it on how many times someone has visited your website or performed one specific action, such as a purchase or a registration. Now, when Jon promotes his blog posts, instead of targeting all of his website visitors from the last 180 days, he focuses only on those who visited at least three times. The quality and the cost per website click have been much better.

How long does it take for my SEO to increase my page ranking?

by Stephen Bryant @ Checkpoint Graphics, Inc.

If you’re a business owner, chances are, you’ve been recommended link building as a SEO tactic. And, unless you work for a very trusting firm, you’ve probably been met with the question, “When will we see a return on our investment, and how much will we see?” Let me jump directly to the answer and you […]

The post How long does it take for my SEO to increase my page ranking? appeared first on Checkpoint Graphics, Inc..

Our New Podcast: Social Media Marketing Talk Show

Our New Podcast: Social Media Marketing Talk Show

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Have you noticed that social networks seem to change every week? How can anyone possibly keep up, right? We have a great new (and free) solution for you--the busy marketer. I'm excited to announce the new Social Media Marketing Talk Show audio podcast. Each week your friends at Social Media Examiner bring you: #1 News: Our news team breaks down the critical social updates of the week. #2 Commentary: We bring on industry experts to talk about what the news means. #3 Tips: You'll discover actionable insight that could give you an advantage. Social Media Marketing Talk Show In each episode, we cover the top 10 to 20 major announcements from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat for the last week. On this week's Social Media Marketing Talk Show with Michael Stelzner, we explore Facebook's latest growth with Mari Smith; Amazon's social network, Spark, with Jeff Sieh; LinkedIn's new Web Demographics tool with Viveka von Rosen; and other breaking social media marketing news of the week! Your Action Plan Step 1: Click here now to SUBSCRIBE in iTunes/Apple Podcasts app (scroll down for other options). Step 2: Click the Subscribe button. Step 3: Download the episodes. Step 4: Sit back and enjoy the content, knowing you'll never miss important social media marketing news. Step 5: If you like Social Media Examiner, we'd love a review. Confused? Watch this video to discover how to subscribe on your iPhone. Here are some quick links to the new show on all major platforms: iTunes/Apple Podcast | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS Hear More About the New Show To learn more about this new show, listen to this special episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast below...

Blogging Tools: Apps to Better Manage Your Blog

Blogging Tools: Apps to Better Manage Your Blog

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you have a blog? Want to improve the content development, publishing and promotion processes? To discover how to streamline your blogging with the best tools, I interview Ian Cleary. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Ian Cleary, the social tools guy. His blog, RazorSocial.com has placed in our Top 10 Social Media Blogs 3 years in a row. He's also the founder of the Digital Influencer Club. Ian will explore marketing tools for bloggers. You'll discover tools for your editorial calendar, search engine optimization, social media, email marketing and more. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Blogging Tools How Ian got into blogging Ian talks about the social media training company he had in Ireland. He says his blog failed because he wasn't particularly passionate about it; he was blogging because people said he should. Ian thinks that's the trap a lot of people fall into. Ian shares how reading Launch helped him realize what he'd done wrong with his blog, so he decided to focus on the tools and tech side of social media. Listen to the show to hear about Ian's first encounter with Mike. Editorial tools and plugins Ian says it doesn't matter if you have a team of one or ten, you still need to plan your blogging. He explains how he and his team use the Status feature of a WordPress plugin called Edit Flow to move posts from Ian to his image person, and then to the editor. Once the editor is finished, the post is ready to publish. Ian also keeps rough ideas for future blog posts in EditFlow under the Pitch status, so he has post ideas ready to write anytime he goes to the blog. CoSchedule is another excellent calendar tool Ian is excited to try. Regardless of the tool you choose, you need a good editorial process, Ian says, even if you use Microsoft Excel to track things in the short-term. Listen to the show to discover some of the limitations of Edit Flow. SEO and research tools Even if you don't know a lot about SEO, Ian explains how the Yoast SEO plugin helps you optimize your content for search in an easy way. If you're creating a piece of content and want to see if there's a way to improve it, Ian suggests using BuzzSumo or Uprise. Both are research tools that let you view lists of content from across the web based on a keyword you search for. The lists show which posts received the most shares, and Ian tell listeners how to review them to make their own content better. Ian explains the process of using Ahrefs to find links to high-ranking articles that are similar to yours but are out of date. He shares how bloggers can reach out to these authors or websites to link to their newly published content instead. Ian also mentions a predictive content analytics tool called InboundWriter. The tool lets you put in the keywords you want to rank for, then gives you a green or a red status to show your chance of getting organic traffic to your content based on those keywords. Finally, Ian shares how bloggers can use SEMrush to see which keywords their competitors rank for in Google search results. He says that when you see what words your competitors are ranking for, you can pull traffic from them by writing better articles based on those keywords. Listen to the show to hear more about InboundWriter. Social promotion tools When you include influential people who are relevant to your niche in your content, there's a good chance they will share that content, which will drive shares and traffic. Ian says Topsy is a great way to find relevant,

8 Ways to Customize Slack for Social Media Marketers

8 Ways to Customize Slack for Social Media Marketers

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you use Slack? Want to streamline communication with team members and clients? There are a number of third-party apps and add-ons to help you customize Slack to fit your marketing team's needs. In this article, you'll discover eight apps for social media marketers using Slack. Listen to this article: #1: Monitor Your Twitter Feed With the Twitter integration, you can send all of the updates from your Twitter feed directly to a Slack channel. This includes direct messages, mentions, replies, and retweets. You can also monitor outgoing tweets from your Twitter account. Social media marketers can use this integration as a Twitter dashboard. #2: Collaborate With Team Members With Hootsuite Hootsuite has more than 150 app integrations, including Slack. Installing the Hootsuite Slack app lets you send a social post from your Hootsuite dashboard directly to a Slack channel. Note that the app doesn't allow you to send posts from your dashboard directly to a Slack user. However, through a Slack channel, the app lets you collaborate with your team and get the right response for particular social posts. #3: Monitor Subscribers' Social Details With Drift Drift is a live chat service that can be hosted on your website. It lets you chat directly with website users. While the stand-alone product is not particularly helpful for social media marketers, its Slack app is a handy tool. Drift's Slack integration can be connected to your MailChimp account. Once you set this up, you'll receive a notification on your Slack channel every time somebody subscribes. The notifications contain details about subscribers' social media accounts, which is handy if you want to reach out to them that way. You can then use this integration to initiate conversations with them. #4: Find Trending Stories With Nuzzel Nuzzel lets you see the most shared content from your friends' feeds and your friends' friends' feeds. This makes the content that you read very personal and reflective of the topics you're interested in. Think of it as a newspaper service that curates content based on your interests. Nuzzel lets you connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Once you do that, it shows you the most popular content in your timeline. With the Nuzzel Slack integration, you can get notifications of popular content in your niche through a Slack channel. This is helpful when you're curating content that you want to share across your social profiles. #5: Integrate RSS Feeds As a social media marketer, you need to follow multiple blogs, influencers, and official news from social platforms to stay on top of industry news, and subscribing to RSS feeds will help you do that. Every time new content pops up on the blogs or sites that you follow, the RSS feeds will give you an update. You can integrate RSS feeds into Slack to ensure that you receive new updates. Once you subscribe to an RSS feed, Slack will automatically update the feed and post new content in a Slack channel. #6: Send Short Video With Giphy GIFs are a great way to convey your thoughts or appreciation to people on social media, as they combine two crucial things: your message and a pop-culture reference, which shows a human side to your business. By installing Giphy on Slack, you won't have to switch platforms to search for the right GIF when you're communicating with people on Slack. For example, if you type in "/giphy im busy," you might get a GIF like this one. #7: Run Polls With Open Agora Slack is known for team collaboration. But how many times do you see all of the communication happening in a channel? It's easy for people to start ignoring stuff unless it's directed toward them. If you need your team's help, polls are a great way to share opinions. It could be anything from deciding whether to run a social campaign or providing an extra six months of onsite warranty to a user.

Facebook Reactions: What Marketers Need to Know

Facebook Reactions: What Marketers Need to Know

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Have you seen the new Facebook reactions? Wondering how they'll affect your Facebook page? Facebook reactions let Facebook users go beyond liking a post by allowing them to choose from six emojis that show different emotions. In this article I'll explore how Facebook reactions work, and how your Facebook page can get the most from them. Listen to this article: Facebook Reactions for Fans The new Facebook reactions work pretty easily for users. When users hover over a post's Like button in the Facebook news feed, a personal profile timeline, or a Facebook page timeline, they will be able to choose from one of the new six Facebook reactions. Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief that Facebook reactions do not include a Dislike button. Hence, people cannot dislike your latest post (product, service, content, etc.). These reactions will simply allow expressions of like, love, laugh, wowed, saddened, or angered by your post. The feature will work similarly for mobile users, but users will hold down the Like button instead of hovering over it. Some mobile app users have noted that you must restart or update your app to get the new feature to work. Others have had to log out of their account and log back in again. Facebook Reactions for Pages From a Facebook page admin perspective, a few things will change. For starters, you'll see in your notifications that people are reacting to your posts instead of just liking them. On the posts themselves, you'll see an array of icons representing the different reactions that people have left on the post. On older posts, you'll see the new icon that represents likes, and on newer posts, you'll see all of the newer icons representing the different reactions that people have. People can also go back to older posts and add new reactions. You can click on the link to see the breakdown of which fans had specific reactions so you can see who likes, loves, and has other feelings about your post. Since page posts are public, it's important to understand that everyone can see the breakdowns of Facebook reactions, including people who are not admins and not even fans of the page. This means that you can go to other pages and see the breakdowns of reactions on their posts as well. This can be useful for competitor research as you can get a good feel for how people will react to specific types of content, status updates, and announcements – especially since you can get a quick summary of the reactions right at the top without having to scroll through the entire list. Note that only Facebook page admins will see the Liked / Invite buttons. If you are not a page admin, you only see Add Friend / Follow buttons next to people's names. So far, Facebook reactions only work on the Like button for the main posts themselves, but not on comments. So don't expect to react to comments anytime soon. In terms of your Facebook page's Insights, you can see the full breakdown of reactions for each of your posts by finding the post and clicking on it. There, you can see the full post details, including the new Facebook reactions counts. From an Insights perspective, Facebook reactions do not count as negative feedback. In other words, an angry reaction isn't categorized in the same area as a Hide Post, Report as Spam, Hide All Post, or Unlike Page. Hence, any reaction can be considered a good one. Now that you know how Facebook reactions work for your fans and for your page, here are some ways to get the most from them. #1: Encourage Fans to Use Reactions People love trying new things. Simply invite your fans to test out the new reactions on your page today. Not only will it teach your fans how to use this feature, but it will also boost your page's overall engagement and organic reach. For example, I initially planned to boost my post to test Facebook reactions, but I ended up canceling the promotion.

Google Destinations | How it can help Tourism Marketing

by OLWM @ St George SEO | SEO Company St George

Recently, Google announced they were changing their algorithm – again. Again. This isn’t considered a major algorithm change for Google and as a matter of fact only appears on mobile. Note that. So what is this new change? It’s a product called Google Destinations, and it’s a game changer for the travel and tourism industry. […]

The post Google Destinations | How it can help Tourism Marketing appeared first on St George SEO | SEO Company St George.

Weebly Review

by Dan Kaufenberg @ Just for Websites

They say “web creation made easy” and this Weebly review is going to give you the full run down of the not difficult to use website builder. Weebly is a site we personally review on a daily basis, and simply put, it is a great website builder for any beginner to utilize in order to construct their […]

The post Weebly Review appeared first on Just for Websites.

Experiences: How to Stand Out in a New Age of Marketing

Experiences: How to Stand Out in a New Age of Marketing

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Are you looking for a competitive advantage? Have you thought about creating experiences for your audience? To learn how to create experiences and why they are essential to stand out in this noisy world, I interview Robert Rose. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Robert Rose, chief strategy officer at the Content Marketing Institute. He's co-author of Managing Content Marketing and co-host of the This Old Marketing podcast. His latest book is called Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing. In this episode Robert will explore how creating experiences can help you stand out in a noisy world. You'll discover businesses doing experiences right, as well as how to get started creating experiences for your audience. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. How to subscribe/review on iPhone. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Experiences The book's premise Robert says he and co-author Carla Johnson believe we're moving into a new era of marketing. Marketing school textbooks (which stop around the mid-1990s) teach the five eras of marketing. All eras last about 20 years. According to Robert, we are now in the 6th era, which is relationship marketing. The Relationship Era was kicked off in the early 1990s with The One to One Future by Dr. Martha Rogers and Don Peppers, which gave birth to the CRM movement. As we move into 2015, Robert explains, we are evolving into a new era. "Developing delightful, informative, useful experiences from marketing's lens is really the new way to formulate a marketing strategy going forward," he says. Robert shares more about the evolution of the eras and how they inform this new one. From the early 1990s and into the Internet era (the late 1990s and early 2000s) the goal was to figure out how to develop a database or a relationship with our consumer and deepen it through the use of data, as well as how to assemble richer data sets around the consumer to be able to deliver a better product or service to that consumer, using that relationship. This is what gave birth to the CRM movement as we know it today. As this era progressed, and social media within it, relationship development between a brand and its consumers became more complex. These days, digital more broadly disrupts how we relate to consumers, since we now have to establish a relationship from that first meeting and beyond. That expansion of marketing's responsibility for the full life cycle of the consumer, and the complexity brought on by all of the different channels, are creating a real evolution of marketing. We need to develop more compelling experiences to be able to delight those customers at various stages of their journey. Listen to the show to discover more about the book. What Robert means when he talks about experiences  When a business creates a website or something with a physical dimension, such as a conference or a print magazine, it's creating an experience for its audience. The hope is to deliver value that's separate and discrete from the company's product or service. Robert shares a few examples. Kraft makes macaroni and cheese, as well as other products. However, Kraft's Food & Family magazine and Kraft's online recipes are experiences. They are value delivered to a consumer that's separate from the company's products. Another example would be a home cookware shop that teaches cooking classes as a means of providing a physical experience. The shop is trying to align its brand or a need or want, and is doing so by creating an experience for its customers.

How to Enhance Customer Experience With Social Media

How to Enhance Customer Experience With Social Media

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you have happy customers? Want to use social media to help keep them that way? Giving people an awesome experience on social media increases customer satisfaction and builds long-term loyalty. In this article you'll find five ways to improve your customers' experience with social media. Listen to this article: #1: Show Your Gratitude To keep your customers happy and gain a true edge over the competition, be sure your customers know they're seen and appreciated. Proactively reach out to fans and followers on a regular basis. Make your message truly resonate by keeping it personal. Innocent Drinks has more than 200,000 Twitter followers, and they take time to reply to and retweet fans who mention them. A treat is a great method to show your customers gratitude. Do customers regularly order from your web shop? Send them a thank-you note on social media. You can even offer them a small incentive, such as a personalized discount on their favorite items. While this will boost traffic to your website, your customers' happiness level will get an even greater lift. #2: Ask for Your Fans' Opinions Since the rise of social media, it's become a lot easier to reach out to customers and incorporate their preferences into your products and services. Your fans, especially your brand advocates, love to share their thoughts on their beloved products. So give them something to chime in about. #SamsoniteXLiberty - B-Lite or Cosmolite? pic.twitter.com/QV9CWTiMuW — Samsonite (@MySamsonite) June 26, 2015 One of the easiest, most straightforward means of asking for fan feedback is to create a short poll. While asking these kinds of questions on your website might be distracting for fans, social networks are the perfect arena for them. #3: Integrate Feedback When you stay in touch with your customers on social media, it's easy to see what does and doesn't resonate with them. General Mills learned through listening to their customers online and monitoring the right keywords on social media that families weren't just cooking with Pillsbury Dough. They also use it to make shapes and designs for fun as a family activity. By studying these insights, General Mills revitalized their brand and started focusing on the product's family activity value. This Pillsbury Dough holiday commercial is true to the brand. Gathering feedback is key, but it's meaningless if you don't do anything with it. Create a document or spreadsheet with all customer feedback, and then separate suggestions and complaints. Integrate the suggestions, deal with complaints (see #3), but also add them to your document so you can keep track of successful ways to handle them in the future. Review customer feedback regularly and integrate it into your brand activities. #4: Solve Issues Promptly Another way to keep customers happy and show them you care is to solve any issues promptly, whether it's a question or complaint. That means constantly monitoring social media accounts so you can see comments and reply as soon as possible. Set up a unique company policy with a step-by-step program to showcase how you want to handle complaints. Also, depending on the type of business you're in, decide how to rectify certain situations. For example, if someone is unhappy with your service, do you give a refund or a discount? Take it a step further and try to understand why your customer had an issue or question to begin with, and keep track of how frequently he or she contacts your business. When you make an unhappy customer into a happy one, you typically get a brand advocate as a result. Also, if your business finds itself in a social media crisis, no matter what the type or source, own up to it and address it immediately. Your customers' patience, and the customer experience in general, gets challenged the most during problem times. Identify keywords and set up alerts to stay on top of the situation.

Mobile Marketing: How to Get Started

Mobile Marketing: How to Get Started

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you use mobile marketing for business? Are you wondering how to get started? To learn how mobile marketing and social connect, I interview Jamie Turner for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Jamie Turner, co-author of the book Go Mobile. His blog, the 60 Second Marketer is ranked as one of the top 10 marketing blogs by Social Media Examiner. He also runs a social media and mobile marketing agency called 60 Second Communications. Jamie shares how to start with mobile marketing and why you should pay more attention to mobile customers. You'll learn what tools to use and the difference between mobile websites and mobile apps. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Mobile Marketing Why marketers should pay more attention to mobile customers Jamie states that 15-50% of the people who visit your website come in from a mobile device and this number will continue to grow. When consumers visit your website from a mobile device, you need to be there to meet them, understand mobile marketing and know how to connect with customers on mobile. You'll have to learn how to use mobile, as it's a way to build a bridge between you and your customer. You'll discover how more people check prices on their mobile devices while shopping and what you need to provide them to make sure they buy from you. And you'll hear that when people buy a product on mobile devices, particularly tablet computers, their total ticket price is typically higher than it is via a desktop computer. It's important to be mobile-ready—not only for B2C but for B2B too. Listen to the show to find out how many people bought a virtual ticket on a smartphone while attending Social Media Marketing World. Is there a social media connection when it comes to mobile marketing? Jamie sees email as a social media tool. Sixty-seven percent of all "C-level" executives check their emails from their mobile devices. The better-known tools being LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We all need mobile websites. Remember when consumers visit your site, one of the prominent things you want to do is give them the ability to connect with you on social media platforms from their mobile device. You'll hear Jamie give a great example of how you can use LinkedIn on a mobile device in a business environment. Photography is easy on a smartphone. Look at how well Twitter and Facebook have integrated photos into their mobile apps. It's a great opportunity to grab customers. You'll find out how Ramon De Leon, a regional Domino's pizza guy in Chicago, evangelizes his business with the use of Twitter. Jamie explains what mobile websites mean and the difference between a mobile website and a mobile app. You'll discover what you need to do to make your website mobile and why the WPtouch plugin for WordPress is an awesome tool to have. Listen to the show to find out why social is mobile. The most common types of marketing when dealing with mobile users Jamie lists 7 things businesses have to think about when it comes to mobile marketing. Mobile websites SMS Mobile display ads/banner ads Mobile paid search Location-based marketing Apps QR codes These are the primary tools out there. Jamie's advice is to make sure you always start with a mobile website and then move into paid search or QR codes. You'll hear Jamie give an example of how a restaurant can use SMS to drive more foot traffic to their business.

Twitter Cards for Blogs: How to Set Them Up

Twitter Cards for Blogs: How to Set Them Up

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Have you heard of Twitter cards? Are you wondering how you can use them for your business? To learn about how Twitter cards can be beneficial to your blog, this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast goes deep on the subject. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode you'll discover the different types of Twitter cards available, how to set them up and what to tweak in order to have more customization. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Twitter Cards for Blogs What is a Twitter card? A Twitter card is a way for you to add more text and images to your tweets. Twitter cards give you a lot more options than you get with an ordinary tweet. With a normal tweet, you can upload an image that has to be rectangular. If it isn't, Twitter crops the top and bottom for it to fit. When you create a tweet with an image, the default is displayed on Twitter.com and on mobile apps. Tweets with images do not support Twitter cards. They are completely separate. Twitter cards work similarly to how Facebook pulls in default information from a post when you paste a URL into Facebook. It pulls in an image, a headline and some text. Listen to the show to hear why I believe Twitter cards only work on Twitter.com and their own mobile app right now. How a Twitter card works If you go to Twitter.com and go to a Twitter account that has Twitter cards enabled, you'll see the option to View Summary in the bottom right of the tweet. With Twitter's mobile app, you have to click on the tweet to see the Summary card. You'll hear the advantages and disadvantages of this one-click process. One of the benefits you get with a Twitter card is the amount of content you can add. You get 70 additional characters for the title, and 200 additional characters for your description. When you click on View Summary in a tweet, you'll notice that below the tweet is where your additional content appears. There's also the ability to include images. You can even include tall images. For example, I was able to display an image that was 480 x 580 pixels within a Twitter card. Listen to the show to find out what information you can include and what is powerful if you have a multi-author blog. Twitter card benefits for bloggers There are three types of Twitter cards that work well for bloggers. These are the Summary card, the Summary card with large image and the Photo card. 1. The Summary card is the default that most bloggers will likely choose. It shows a small image that's offset to the right, and all text is below it. This is very similar to how Facebook works. 2. The Summary card with large image is a better option if you have nice big images on your blog. The difference here is that the large image is above the content. When someone hits View Summary, they will see the large image before the additional information you have included. 3. The Photo card is essentially the same as the Summary card with large image, except it doesn't have the summary. Instead you just see the photo with a headline. To see a Photo card in use, you can check out Mashable on Twitter. At Social Media Examiner, we use the Summary card and we use the Summary card with large image for My Kids' Adventures. Listen to the show to discover how the images you create for Facebook Open Graph on your blog can also be used for Summary cards. How to set up a WordPress blog to work with Summary cards First of all, you need to install the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.

YouTube Ads: What Marketers Need to Know About YouTube Advertising

YouTube Ads: What Marketers Need to Know About YouTube Advertising

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you post videos on YouTube? Want to know what makes a video ad successful? To discover how YouTube video ads work, I interview Derral Eves. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Derral Eves, an expert in YouTube and video marketing. He's YouTube-certified in Audience Growth, AdWords, Google Analytics and Video Advertising. He's helped big and small businesses bring in more than 1 billion views collectively. Derral will explore YouTube ads and what marketers need to know. You'll discover the formula for creating great video ads. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: YouTube Ads How Derral got into YouTube In 2006, Derral was doing a lot of search engine optimization work with local businesses when he found their videos ranked easily on Google (this is back when Google had Google Video). Late in 2006, Google purchased YouTube and it became a lot easier to find something on YouTube through Google. Derral realized it was a great way for small shops to share their message and get easy ranking and visibility. Derral shares how a video that cost $99 to make in 2006 received over 385,000 views on YouTube and has sold more couches for a furniture store than any of their other advertising. A couple of years ago, Derral started doing his own videos to help clients get answers to common questions. He created a plan of execution, tried to figure out the best trending videos to make and so on. His goal was to get 10,000 subscribers and a million views in that first year. He reached his goal in three months. In six months, he was number-one for training on how to use YouTube on YouTube. Today, Derral consults with and helps businesses, brands and YouTube channels get exposure, develop an audience and monetize. Listen to the show to discover what originally led Derral to YouTube. Why create video ads? Because video ads convert at a very high level, Derral believes video marketing is a great way to deliver, engage and excite. He says video is powerful if it's done right, but can be negative if it's done wrong. Derral talks about working on the video ad for the Squatty Potty, which appeared on Shark Tank. As of this recording, the video has 43 million combined video views from Facebook, YouTube and some freebooted video. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbYWhdLO43Q Although Derral found that Facebook video is good for branding and engagement, he says the video got better conversions with YouTube. Listen to the show to discover the benefit of Facebook video versus YouTube. The process for making video ads Derral says you need to start by determining what you want to accomplish with your video ad. He cautions that if you have 80, 10 or even 3 things you want to accomplish, then it's never going to work. You need narrow it down to one reason to make the ad. Then everything else will benefit from it. When you know what success looks like, you work backwards to get someone to take the desired action at the end of your video. Derral says you have a short amount of time to accomplish this and walks listeners through the steps he uses to build YouTube video ads: capture attention, talk about the problem and offer a solution. He believes that if you do this correctly, you can repeat it several times throughout the video and you can keep your audience engaged throughout the process. For example, even though the Squatty Potty video is long (2:54 minutes), the audience retention was high and over 80% of the people who click on it watch the whole ad.

6 Location-based Social Media Monitoring Tools

6 Location-based Social Media Monitoring Tools

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you want to reach local customers on social media? Are you monitoring the online conversations near your business? Geo-specific social media monitoring tools help businesses engage with customers who are close to their brick-and-mortar stores. In this article I'll share six location-based monitoring tools to use for local social media marketing. Why Use Location-Based Monitoring Tools? Geo-specific social media monitoring tools are different from the conventional keyword-based monitoring tools in many respects. For one thing, these tools offer a clear picture of what's happening at a particular location, which helps you reach out to local audiences. Plus, they allow you to connect better with your community by engaging with local social media influencers and leveraging local hashtags. Listen to this article: If you do social media for a company with multiple locations, here are some excellent tools to explore. #1: Search Real-time Feeds With Geofeedia Geofeedia allows you to search real-time social feeds by location to discover geolocation social media posts from anywhere worldwide. You also have the ability to monitor multiple locations to archive, curate and share your content. Simply draw a custom perimeter or enter an address on Geofeedia's digital map. It will then display all social content posted by users in that particular area. While the tool searches by location first, you also have the ability to filter your search by keywords, date, time, users and more, across various social media channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Discover what's trending in an area. Then leverage those trends by including the right keywords and hashtags into your social conversations. Geofeedia offers custom social media monitoring solutions for different industries. The pricing depends on the features you require, as well as the number of locations you want to monitor. #2: Engage and Target Customers With WeLink If you're looking for a cutting-edge social monitoring tool for geo-specificity, WeLink is an excellent option. It lets you engage your potential customers with targeted ads and instant offers on their preferred social media channels. This easy-to-use tool combines keyword-based monitoring with geo-specific listening to offer enterprise-grade location-based social monitoring solutions. The result is a hybrid solution, which uses cellular data mining and WiFi to help you discover and collect all social chatter within your selected area. Gather feeds from all popular social channels using this tool. Use WeLink across various verticals including event management, retail, malls, airlines, hospitality, sports teams and stadiums, schools, security and law enforcement, etc. WeLink offers custom pricing, depending on the features you require. #3: Listen to Trends With Sysomos Sysomos enables you to listen to what's trending locally and understand what your customers are talking about. Use this location-based tool to discover and dig into social content posted by local influencers. Sysomos will gather digital content from popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, as well as posts on blogs and forums. It then collects and displays insightful actionable data in a single platform. Filter digital conversations by both keywords and demographic information. This makes Sysomos particularly beneficial if you're targeting customers within a specific age group or gender, for instance. Discover which topics, trends and brands particularly interest your target audience, and then create marketing campaigns based around these areas. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2DpsHXh5rY Sysomos differs from other location-based social media tools in many ways. For one thing, it collects both real-time and previously posted content on any topic across social networks. Plus, you have the ability to capture the conversations most r...

Instagram Ads: What Marketers Need to Know

Instagram Ads: What Marketers Need to Know

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Are you active on Instagram? Have you considered experimenting with ads? To find out how Instagram ads work, I interview Jenn Herman. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Jenn Herman, a social media consultant and Instagram expert. Her blog, JennsTrends.com, has placed in our top social media blogs three years in a row. She also wrote an ebook called, How to Run a Successful Instagram Ad. Jenn explores the differences and similarities between Facebook and Instagram ads. You'll discover how you can succeed with Instagram ads. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Instagram Ads How Jenn Got Into Instagram Jenn admits she was a late adopter of Instagram and started on the platform just a few years ago. She held off because, like many people, she felt she didn't have time for another social media platform. Eventually, Jenn decided she needed to understand Instagram marketing for her blog, so she set up an account, tried it out, and fell in love with the community engagement on Instagram. People are active on it and you can instantly create relationships. That's when she decided to make Instagram a focus. Jenn uses Instagram primarily to build the brand around her blog. Every time she has a new blog post, she shares it on Instagram. People who follow her see a new blog post, and then click through to read it. You can find her on Instagram under @Jenns_Trends. Listen to the show to discover the other reason why Jenn loves Instagram. Facebook Ads Versus Instagram Ads Facebook ads and Instagram ads are very similar, Jenn explains. In fact, Instagram ads are run through Facebook's Business Manager. Therefore, you can't run an ad on Instagram unless you're connected to your Facebook Ads account. It's easy to get started with Instagram ads if you've done Facebook ads because both ad types use the same dashboard. There are some differences, however. For example, Instagram doesn't feature the total number of targeting options that Facebook offers. There are also differences in terms of ad image design. For instance, while graphic-type images with bright colors, contrast, and certain text features perform well on Facebook, people on Instagram prefer natural, organic-looking photos. For that reason, Jenn cautions against running identical ads on Facebook and Instagram. She says that a properly designed and targeted Instagram ad blends in with organic posts, and shouldn't stand out as an ad. Because the average Instagram user likes photos that place him or her into an environment, Jenn cautions against creating an ad that features your product on a shelf, in a box, or on a flat white background. Instead, place your product in the hands of a model or in a scenario that's relevant to the brand or your target audience. Do you offer a service? Don't say, "Here, get this today." Instead, create something relatable to the person who would purchase it. Although there's no limit to text on Instagram (like the 20% rule on Facebook, which is going away), it doesn't mean you want to include a lot of big, bright text. You want your ad to be very photo-centric. You want to promote a high-quality, well-lit, properly focused and formatted image that stands out and represents your brand. Listen to the show to hear what will happen if you run the same ad on both Facebook and Instagram. Instagram Ad Features Instagram ads are distinguished from organic posts with text that says "Sponsored" in the top-right corner. In the top-left corner of the ad,

Beginners Guide to Coin History

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

Before paper bills, credit card processing, complex taxation, and electronic money, there was the beautiful, simple, artistically crafted coin. Its history aligns uniquely with the evolution of civilization. Today, its use is widespread in most major regions and countries of the world. While the way that they're made has evolved, the basic concept of exchanging bits of metal for goods has lasted through the ages and become an essential part of the human experience.

Early Coins

The first move away from the barter system may have been the exchange of cowrie shells, which eventually evolved into metal nuggets and pieces. Metal money exchanges started in the form of small knives and tools in China. In the 5th century BC, Chinese hollow spade money was commonly used. While not using "coins" per se, these were some of the first exchanges of valuable, standardized metal materials. This eventually evolved into the recognizable, rounded Chinese coins. In the west, the first official, minted currency was possibly the famous Lydia coin, which was created in modern Turkey and featured an image of a lion. It was made of gold. These were pounded out with a hammer and were create for King Croesus. In the greater history of money, this was a very important next step to opening up the Mediterranean to trade and an exchange of goods and ideas. In the next centuries, coins began to be exchanged and accepted on a global scale.

Types of Coins

While paper money started to become the dominant currency in China as early as the 13th century at the behest of Emperor Kublai Khan, coins were absolutely essential to several empires, which all had their own mints. In the Persian Empire, the coin of choice was the daric. In Greece, the ancient currency was the drachma, which is still used in its modern form today. In Rome, on the other hand, the currency was based around the silver denarius. During and after the fall of Rome, in the Byzantine Empire, the major coin was the golden solidus, which was also known as the nomisma. In China, the coin design stayed by and large the same, in the form of a circle with a square hole, which was called the ban liang coin. In the Renaissance, the florin was quite common, and the pound was used in England.

How Coins Are Made

Throughout history, coins have traditionally been struck using blanks and a set of dies. Many types of dies have been used throughout history. The Romans made popular a hinged set of dies that joined together like tongs. The dies were made out of a harder metal than the softer coin materials, which were often made from alloys of gold, silver, copper, or bronze. The blanks were cut to consistent, uniform thickness. Then, the material was placed inside the die and struck with a large hammer or a set of machinery that involved pulleys. Eventually, the fly press made this method much faster and easier. Modern American coin production is a little bit different. It closely resembles a manufacturing process. Large sculptures are made for the dies in clay and plaster, then created as epoxy models, which, using digital machinery, are used to create the metal dies. Rather than being formed by cutting ropes of metal, coins are punched out of long metal sheets. Production then moves at a lightning pace (with the press stamping about 1,750 coins per minute). In other countries, like the U.K., the coin-making process is treated with a high level of respect and combines hard science and art to create consistent, flawless pieces. While we may no longer feature the gods and goddesses that so often frequented ancient coins on our money, the basic methods of coin minting have mostly stayed the same.

Collecting Coins

Coin collecting has become a popular hobby in the U.S. and many other areas of the world, possibly because coins have been made for thousands of years and seem timeless. Modern coin collectors especially love lesser-known, rare coins, which are specific to a time and place in history. Collectors are often fascinated not only by the age nor necessarily how much a coin is worth but by the beauty of the dies and the uniqueness of every piece. Some collectors treasure the imperfect, ancient coins that were just barely folded out of lumps of flawed alloy, whereas others want the rare U.S. pieces that were examples of exquisite craftsmanship but just never became popular. If you're thinking about getting started collecting coins and joining numismatic groups, always keep in mind the story of each piece. Successful coin collecting should inherently be about education and understanding both how these coins were made and their place in the history of civilization.

Facebook Marketing Declines: How Business Should React

Facebook Marketing Declines: How Business Should React

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you use Facebook to promote your business? Are you wondering how the recent Facebook algorithm changes will affect your marketing? To learn what the future of Facebook means for your brand or business, I interview Mari Smith and Jay Baer for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Mari Smith and Jay Baer. Mari is the co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day and considered to be the world's leading expert on Facebook marketing and Jay is the author of Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype. He's also host of the Social Pros podcast. Mari and Jay share how to be successful with Facebook's new algorithm and what these changes mean for your Facebook strategy. You'll learn how to monitor your reach and engagement, and how to navigate paid versus earned media in your content strategy. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Facebook Marketing Declines Recently, an article by AdAge referenced an official Facebook document that said, "We expect organic distribution of an individual page's posts to gradually decline over time, as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site." In other words, Facebook says that they are going to show less of your Facebook updates to your fans and followers. If you want to get seen, you will have to pay to play. This news has raised a lot of concern among marketers. Previous changes to the Facebook news feed Mari explains how up until a few months ago, the algorithm that governs what content goes into the news feed was called EdgeRank. The term used now is the Facebook news feed ranking algorithm. The formula changed dramatically, with Facebook telling everyone that on any given day, a user can potentially see 1,500 possible stories. A story includes likes, comments, shares, videos and photos. Once you click Like, Comment or Share, Facebook knows what type of content to show you. Most users are aware that the majority of content shown comes from friends. This means that business pages struggle to get organic visibility. On December 2, 2013, Facebook announced they will start to decline or diminish organic reach for pages because users predominantly want to see content from friends and brands that they enjoy interacting with. According to Inside Facebook, studies show more than 40% decreased organic reach on Facebook. Listen to the show to find out what type of content Facebook will give less weight to. Is Facebook trying to protect its fans from marketers?  I recently heard Gary Vaynerchuk say that Facebook is trying to protect its fans from marketers. It seems that Facebook has realized that they need to provide a quality user experience, otherwise people won't click on the ads. Jay explains why Facebook doesn't want to devolve into MySpace. They are now a public company, which needs to continue to generate tons of advertising money. One of the ways to do this is to squeeze the algorithm. Listen to the show to find out how Facebook has used one of the oldest business playbooks in history to get you hooked. Marketers see a decline in organic reach In December, an article by Ignite Social Media showed that brands saw massive declines in organic reach that month. Jay says that a large number of brands on Facebook have seen a decline in organic reach, but there are other brands that have not been impacted by the change at all. There are some exceptions to the rule.

3 Ways to Use Live Video for Small Businesses

3 Ways to Use Live Video for Small Businesses

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you want to generate more interest for your business? Wondering if live video can help? Every day, businesses are using live video to connect with their customers in a uniquely personal way. In this article, you'll discover three ways small business owners are using live video to market their products and services. Listen to this article: Why Live Video? Fans and customers are hungry for more live video content. Take for example the Chewbacca Mask Mom, so far the biggest viral hit of 2016. That was a Facebook Live video. In the first year of Twitter-owned Periscope, people worldwide watched an average of 110 years of content every day. On Facebook, people comment 10 times more on a Live video than an uploaded one. With these organic tips, you can form a live video marketing plan that'll keep your customers coming back for more. #1: Show How Your Product Is Made Social networks are giving you more tools to show off what makes your business unique, so why would you still use the same techniques from years past? John Kapos, better known as Chocolate Johnny, owns Perfection Chocolates in Australia. He uses Periscope to broadcast the chocolate-making process, answering questions as he goes. He regularly has viewers asking to buy his delicious wares. Rather than keep social at arm's length, Kapos embraces live video. You can invite people from all over the world into your business every day. Tools such as live video let you integrate social marketing directly into your day-to-day business. If you're trying to generate buzz about your bakery, for example, you can follow the old adage of "Show, don't tell." Bakers can use Facebook Live and Periscope to broadcast themselves decorating an elaborate wedding cake. Realtors can use these tools to take an intimate tour of an exciting new property. Golf courses can broadcast a video of a pro giving a useful tip. The possibilities go on and on. Doing this can humanize your business. If you don't, you can run the risk of just being a faceless brand, ignored on a platform where people are more than willing to chat. Today's socially savvy consumer wants to go deeper and know the business beyond your name and phone number. If you don't want to show the human side of your business, your competitors will happily talk to those customers. Through live video, you can foster a deeper connection with your customers, who can get to know the background of your products. Give it a shot! #2: Launch New Products and Contests Images are a great way to announce a hot new product. Video is even better. Live video can be the ace up your sleeve, if you're trying to generate buzz around a launch. Brands big and small have used Facebook Live and Periscope to get people excited about a product, new service, or contest. Doritos took to Periscope to get people excited about a new flavor of tortilla chips called Roulette. Fans were randomly chosen to try the new product on Periscope and share their reactions with the world, generating tremendous word-of-mouth about the new offering. Pufferbellies Toys & Books, a children's bookstore in Staunton, Virginia, uses Facebook Live to showcase books and new products. For instance, the "unboxing" video below, which was posted around Easter, generated nearly 2,500 views and had commenters asking about availability. These are the kinds of leads small businesses usually pay to get. Pufferbellies co-owner Erin Blanton said that live videos help the store reach more customers. She added that she has "definitely" earned sales as a direct result of Facebook Live broadcasts. "Years ago, we would get lots of sales just from posting photos or regular videos, but it's just harder to reach people with that type of content these days," Blanton said. "So I was really excited to see that the live videos seem to be reaching more of our customers. It's nice to get our content seen!"

4 Ways Visual Content Improves Social Media Results

4 Ways Visual Content Improves Social Media Results

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Want better engagement for your social media campaigns? Wondering how visual content can help? Using visual content to support your messaging makes it easier to grab your audience's attention. In this article, you'll discover how visual content can support your social media marketing. Listen to this article: #1: Drive Interest and Clicks With Simple Imagery Your social media followers are looking for you to provide relatable, easy-to-understand content. The Travel Channel demonstrates this concept in their Daily Escape series on Facebook. To draw fans in, they'll post a stunning destination photo and a brief description. Notice that the Travel Channel doesn't post a full URL to their blog post. Instead, they post a bit.ly link so it doesn't draw the reader's eye away from the short description. Why use a ton of words when you can let your image do the work for you? It's easy to create your own simple, stunning images that speak to your followers. #2: Sustain Viewer Interest With a Variety of Visuals The goal of any social media marketer is to use messaging that amplifies the brand. A goal that's just as important, however, is to create content that sparks a conversation with fans and followers. To do that, you need to post different types of visual content. Target does a great job of this in their social media marketing. On their Facebook page, you'll see a good mix of recipes, videos, partnership announcements, sales alerts, and more. Target has a strong Pinterest presence, too. Their well-designed and well-organized pin boards provide a wealth of ideas for everyone from wedding planners to interior designers and more. The visual product presentation is more effective than simple links or photos of the store. Target's visual marketing is consistent in its branding, and the company obviously has several templates they're using to create content. So how do you achieve consistency in your visual content? Once you've established your visual content style, use different templates across your social media platforms to reach as many users as possible. If you're a small business, you may not have an army of graphic designers at your fingertips. In that case, consider using an online design tool to create your own simple, beautiful images. To provide a variety of types of visual content, use memes, screenshots, how-to's, tutorials, tips, quotes, mood images, statistics, discounts, puzzles, and polls. #3: Spark Engagement With Fan Photos Once you’ve created visual content for your social channels, how do you get people to pay attention to it? The most successful brands know their audience and market well. Take Harley-Davidson, for example. While Harley-Davidson is a brand that's globally known, it's a particular favorite among the Baby Boomer and Generation X audiences. The company will encourage fans to share photos of their Harleys on social media and then post them on the company's Facebook page. To find out more about your target audience, look at your Facebook Insights to get an idea of the gender, age, and location of your followers. Instagram has also started to roll out tools for business accounts. The data provided by your social media accounts will help you target the right audience to help your business grow. Once you know your audience, find out where and when they're most likely to consume your content. #4: Create Relevancy With Trends, Events, and Holidays Content is king, but if you want your posts to be noticed, start paying attention to trends. Think about holidays, special days, newsbreaks, movie premieres, and more. Tie your message to something that's relevant now, make it visual, and soon you'll start to see positive results. Consider using a tool to help you keep track of holidays and trends. Find one that gives you templates you can customize to deliver your message. Support Your Message With Visual Design

SearchCap: Google Search Console beta invites, Google attribution & question and answers in maps

by Barry Schwartz @ SearchCap: Daily Search Engine News Recap

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Google Search Console beta invites, Google attribution & question and answers in maps appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Facebook Live: Why Live Video Matters for Marketers

Facebook Live: Why Live Video Matters for Marketers

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Have you tried Facebook Live video broadcasting? Want to know what it means for your business? To discover how to use Facebook Live, I interview Mari Smith. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Mari Smith, the world's leading Facebook marketing expert. She co-authored Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day and is author of The New Relationship Marketing. Mari has also teamed up with Facebook to assist in educational events. Mari will explore Facebook Live, how it works, what it means for marketers, and much more. You'll discover tips to set up your Facebook Live broadcast. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Facebook Live What Is Facebook Live? Facebook Live is like Periscope, Meerkat, MeVee, and a few other apps that let you stream live video from your mobile device. Mari loves Facebook Live because whether you use the live-streaming feature with your personal profile or your page, you have a built-in audience. When you go live, the video goes out in the notifications and in the news feed and gets great organic reach. Mari believes Facebook Live video is great for marketers because it gives the ability to create a intimate, authentic connection with your audience. It humanizes and personalizes your brand. She clarifies that you don't need to download anything extra to stream with Facebook Live on your profile; it's part of the Facebook iOS app. Mari points out that Live is different from Facebook Mentions, which is only available to verified Facebook users. At the time this episode was recorded, all iPhone users had Facebook Live on their personal profiles in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand, Japan, and most English-speaking countries. On February 26, 2016, Facebook announced they'd opened Live to more countries, as well as Android users. Listen to the show to hear about Mike's first experience with using Facebook Live. Facebook Live for business Mari says when you use Facebook Live through your personal profile, you get to choose the audience. You can broadcast to the public, friends only, a specific friends list, or just a few friends. Since one of the keys from a business perspective is to broadcast live and then share it to your page, you want to go with a public broadcast. Then once it's been shared to your page, you can boost the post to reach a wider audience. When asked for examples of people using Live, Mari shares that Guy Kawasaki uses Live regularly from his page to show equipment or where he is and what he's doing. She also points to Robert Scoble, who uses Live regularly from his profile to do tech updates. Mari says she really enjoys what Carol Tuttle is doing. Carol does a Blog Talk Radio show that she simultaneously broadcasts on Facebook Live, and then hosts on iTunes as a podcast. From her Facebook Live post on her page, she shares the iTunes subscription link and the show's call-in number. Mari shares that she watched fitness expert Christine Dwyer live-stream her turbo kickbox jam class. Christine set up the camera on a tripod and pointed it into the mirror, so viewers were able to see the scope of the room and Christine teaching the class. She had a very nice, engaged audience. Mari is quick to remind listeners that while she's sharing great examples, the idea is to focus more on the application of Live and how people can use it within their industry. For example, Doreen Virtue, one of the top experts on angels, uses Facebook Live broadcasts on a regular basis to give people special messages....

Online Security for Business: What Marketers Need to Know

Online Security for Business: What Marketers Need to Know

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Is your online identity secure? Are you concerned about hackers? To discover how to secure your social profiles, your online accounts and your identity from hackers, I interview Chalene Johnson and Darren Natoni. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Chalene Johnson and Darren Natoni. Chalene is a fitness celebrity, author of the book Push and has large followings on Instagram and Facebook. She's also someone whose online identity was hijacked and sold to the highest bidder. Darren is a former special agent with the DEA who specializes in online security. He's also the chief technology officer for Shaun T, a fitness celebrity with millions of followers. Chalene and Darren will explore what marketers and entrepreneurs need to know when it comes to securing their online accounts and more. You'll discover how to be safe online and protect your identity from hackers. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. How to subscribe on iPhone. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Online Security for Business When Chalene got hacked Chalene explains how she was enjoying a perfect day (a fact that she even tweeted out), when she got hacked. Someone changed her bio and had been tweeting at the same time she was tweeting. So Chalene changed her password to something out of the ordinary, logged back in and changed her bio. Then, it happened again. The hackers were sending out porn and tweeting other people at the same time Chalene was on Twitter. Her other accounts were hacked as well. She felt like she wasn't safe in her own home. Even though it was an Internet attack and there wasn't a physical threat, Chalene recalls that it felt like it. Darren shares where he was on the night of Chalene's cyberattack. He and his wife just got home from dinner and were flipping through Instagram when they noticed that Chalene's account had content she normally wouldn't post. So he texted her and said he thought she'd been hacked. She wrote back that she knew and was freaking out. He said to call him so they could get it under control and get the hackers out of her system. By the time Chalene called Darren, her Twitter, Instagram and Facebook had been taken over. And, though she didn't realize it yet, the hackers were also in her inbox. Chalene and Darren spent eight hours, working through the night, trying to patch everything up. People assume it's personal, Chalene says, but that's not the case. It hit her especially hard because social media is her livelihood. The hackers deleted everything she posted on Instagram over the last four and a half years, and they started posting videos of animal cruelty and violent porn. Chalene felt helpless and responsible. The cost of the hack, which included security experts, loss of wages and rebuilding her security, was in excess of $200,000. Darren says hacking is a sport for some people and a hobby for others. They are experts in their field. Since they don't have legal ways to demonstrate their expertise, this is how they do it. Don't worry about hackers, Darren suggests. Focus on what you need to do to protect yourself. Situations like this expose holes that we knew existed, and that we should have patched, but kept putting it off. It's like waiting until a health condition pops up and then deciding to get in shape. Sometimes it takes an unfortunate disaster to get someone to appreciate the value of simple preventive measures. Listen to the show to hear how engaging with the hackers made things worse for Chalene. What defenses to put in place Darren says to protect yourself,

10 Ways to Use the New LinkedIn Mobile App

10 Ways to Use the New LinkedIn Mobile App

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Have you tried out the new LinkedIn app? Do you want to make the most of its features? The new LinkedIn app makes it easy for marketers on the go to do nearly everything they'd do on a desktop from a mobile device. In this article, I’ll share 10 ways to use the new LinkedIn mobile app to stay in touch with your professional contacts. Listen to this article: #1: Write Updates The LinkedIn mobile app makes it easy to create and share updates, especially if you want to use images. To get started, go to the Home tab and click the Share button or Photo button at the top of the screen. If you click the Share button, you can create an update that includes text, links and mentions of other LinkedIn members. You can even upload a photo. Click the Photo button to take a picture or share an image from your gallery. Go this route if you know you want to share a pic. When you select Take a Photo or click the camera icon, it will go right to your camera. After you shoot the picture, you have the option to save or discard it. Then write your update and click to share the image. As an added bonus, you can now easily choose to share to your whole LinkedIn network, to LinkedIn and your Twitter account or to only your first-degree connections. Previously, you could only upload photos from your gallery. Now, if you're at an event, you can take a live pic and post it to LinkedIn as an update in seconds. Customized Graphics The ease of posting visuals on LinkedIn's mobile app is a powerful feature for visual marketers. Use a program like Word Swag (iOS) or Textgram (Android or iOS) to create a beautiful quote graphic. Then share it as an update on LinkedIn. As long as the quote graphic is relevant to your audience, anything business-related that you would normally share on a photo-centric social network can be shared with your LinkedIn network, as well. #2: Share LinkedIn Publisher Posts The LinkedIn mobile app doesn't offer the functionality to create a post on LinkedIn Publisher, but you're able to share existing LinkedIn Publisher posts with your network. To share a post, click the Me tab, swipe to the left and select your post. (If you're an Android user, you can get to your posts by selecting your profile from the Me tab.) Once you open the post, click on the little share icon in the top right. That will take you to a new screen with the options to Share or Message. To send your post as a private message, click the Message icon. In the To field, type the name of the person to whom you want to send it, write your message and then click Send. To share the post to your network as an update, click Share, write a message about the post and click on the Share button at the bottom. Remember, if you want to increase the visibility of your LinkedIn Publisher posts, you need to share them as updates several times. #3: Engage With Your Connections' Updates The redesigned LinkedIn app interface makes it easy to find, share and otherwise engage with your connections' updates. This is a great way to stay top of mind with your network. If you find an update that you want to share, click the Share button in the lower right of the post. In the pop-up menu that appears, select Share. Then write a short message about the update and click the Share button in the lower right. Since the new LinkedIn app launched, I seem to be getting more relevant updates in my news feed. It's much easier to like, comment and share when I have downtime, because the content I really want to interact with is right at my fingertips. #4: Check Out Who's Viewed Your Profile or Content On the Me tab, you can see people who have viewed your content or engaged with you, whether you're connected on LinkedIn or not. Then you can easily interact with them. Check out who viewed, liked or commented on your last post or share, and click on the post to respond.

3 Social Image Tools That Increase Exposure and Engagement

3 Social Image Tools That Increase Exposure and Engagement

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Wondering how to improve the impact of your social media images? Looking for tools to optimize your visual content? In this article you'll discover three little-known tools to analyze the effectiveness of your visuals before you use them in your social media marketing. Listen to this article: #1: Optimize for Conversion Bannersnack is an online app that makes it easy to create banner ads. You can adapt its behavior-based analytics feature to optimize the images you use on your social channels. First, you'll want to create a banner image using the tool's handy online editor. Then grab the embed code and add the image to your blog. After some time has passed, look at the heat map in Bannersnack to see where people clicked when engaging with that image. Tweak your image until the heat map registers a high amount of activity. When you're happy with the engagement your image is receiving, download it and use it on all of your social media channels. #2: Optimize for Visual Impression VAS (Visual Attention Software) uses its science-based algorithm to simulate which parts of the image will likely draw people's attention during the first 3-5 seconds of viewing. It also will predict the path that viewers' eyes are likely to travel when looking at the image. With the insights from VAS, you can enhance visual properties (such as edge and color contrast, brightness contrast, and faces) to draw attention to important areas of your image. Again, when you're happy with the predicted results, you can use your optimized image in your social media marketing. Tip: It's a good idea to use VAS in tandem with Bannersnack until you identify industry-specific patterns to apply to your own visuals. #3: Optimize for Accessibility The Color Contrast Analyzer extension for Google Chrome not only will analyze color contrast on your web pages, but will also assess text within images and report on how well your text overlay can be seen. This is especially important for people with poor eyesight. To use this tool to optimize your social media images, load your visuals to your blog so you can view them in a Chrome tab. Then use the Color Contrast Analyzer extension to adjust the design until you're happy with the results and add the final versions of the images to your visual marketing library. Where to Find Engagement Metrics for Visual Content Now that you have some tools to help you optimize the design of your images, it's time to put them to the test. After you use visuals in your social media marketing, you'll need to measure the results to be sure you're hitting the mark. Use the platform-specific metrics below to identify images that trigger engagement. Twitter Media Engagements On Twitter, media engagement is the metric that shows you the number of clicks to your image. It's hidden behind the Tweet Activity link, so you won't see it on the main Tweets section of your Twitter analytics dashboard. To access it, open your Twitter Analytics and click on the Tweets tab at the top of the page. Then click on View Tweet Activity under the tweet you want to review. You'll see all of the tweet activity metrics, including media engagements. Facebook Photo Views After you attach a visual to a Facebook post, you can click on that post in Facebook Insights to see the number of views that image attracted. Pinterest Clicks, Impressions, Repins, and Likes All of the data from Pinterest is image-specific because there's not much there to analyze beyond images. You can see which images have generated the most clicks, impressions, repins, and likes with Pinterest analytics. Use what you learn to identify which types of images work best for you on the platform. Instagram Likes and Comments Instagram analytics is on the rise with many tools being launched. However, there's not much to analyze beyond likes and comments. There are no clicks here and I don't think Instagram r...

BlueGriffon Tutorial: How to Design a Website with BlueGriffon 2.x

by @ thesitewizard.com

If you are thinking of creating a website, this BlueGriffon tutorial shows you how you can design a mobile-friendly, multi-page website with the current version (2.x series) of the free BlueGriffon web editor.

3 Psychology Principles That Boost Social Media Engagement

3 Psychology Principles That Boost Social Media Engagement

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are your social media posts getting enough engagement? Do you want tips for connecting with your audience? Social media engagement is largely determined by how well your social posts trigger action from your target audience. In this article you'll discover how to boost social media engagement by incorporating psychological triggers in your posts. Listen to this article: #1: Focus on a Desire In Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman's book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, he shared this idea: "A general 'law of least effort' applies to cognitive as well as physical exertion. The law asserts that if there are several ways of achieving the same goal, people will eventually gravitate to the least demanding course of action." To apply this principle to your social content, you should keep it simple. In the GetResponse post below, they show that they recognize social media marketers want their email subscribers to feel as if they're having a real conversation with the brand. To do that, GetResponse suggests that marketers need to "use these strategies." The post also incorporates the word "want" ("if you want your subscribers to feel as if they're talking to a real person"). This word triggers a desire in readers' brains that convinces them that, yes, they can do this. Additionally, GetResponse captured the idea of simplicity in the article linked to in the post: 7 Strategies to Give Your Email Campaign a Human Touch. By presenting content in a simple, straightforward way, readers begin to believe that it's not as hard to connect with their audience through email as they might think and that they've found a solution to their problem. Key takeaway: You'll get more engagement with your content if you make your audience believe that they can do something. Walk readers through the hard stuff and break it down in easy-to-digest chunks of information so they can take action quickly and easily. #2: Appeal to Knowledge Seekers There is nothing people love more than an explanation. In fact, in the well-known Xerox study, Ellen Langer and her colleagues conducted a simple experiment to see how people reacted when someone tried to cut in line at the Xerox machine. Ellen discovered that she was allowed to cut the line more frequently when she explained to people why she needed to. The word "why" is one of the trigger words you can use in your own social media marketing. Use "why" to ignite readers’ brains to want to search for the answer to a question. Eric Enge from Stone Temple Consulting used this strategy to create the Here's Why video series for his target audience. In the Here's Why post below, Eric poses a question to reader: Why Is SEO So Hard? If you weren't thinking about that question before, you likely are now. Why is SEO so hard, anyway? Eric provides just enough information to grab the audience's attention. He tells them what they can expect and how they will benefit from watching the 5-minute video. Key takeaway: Communicate to your audience why they need something and how they're going to get it by reading your content, watching your video or using your product. #3: Tap Into the Fear of Missing Out It's human nature to be apprehensive about being left out. We want to be in the know and be where the action is happening. We want to be included. If we say no to an opportunity, we fear we'll miss out on something that could be of great benefit to us. For example, if there's an important conference in your industry, you may be compelled to attend because you fear you'll miss out on great opportunities that other people in your industry will be afforded. With a good industry conference, you can build your brand and business by networking with new and long-time colleagues. You can also attend sessions that help you improve your craft. The opportunity is so compelling that you're afraid if you don't attend, you'll read lots of enthusiastic posts about it in your ...

13 Awesome Prototyping Tools for Designers

by Usability Tools @ Unamo Blog

My friend told me a joke once: “If I were to be a father, I’d want to see the prototype first.” I laughed at his remark and realized that this is true. Creating mockups is a crucial part of giving life to a new project, after all. Some of them prefer to go vanilla and create prototypes […]

How to Track the ROI of Your Video Marketing

How to Track the ROI of Your Video Marketing

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you struggling to measure the ROI of your marketing videos? Looking for tools to help track sales from your videos? A simple framework and a few tools can reveal if your video campaigns are working for you. In this article you'll discover how to track and measure the ROI for your video marketing efforts. Listen to this article: #1: Outline Your Campaign Costs Take the time to do a complete breakdown of all of the projected costs of your video marketing campaign, including the marketing hours you'll spend promoting it. Include a buffer of at least 20% of your projected expenses if you manage the campaign on your own. This buffer will be used for unexpected costs, such as having to reshoot footage or invest more in editing. Keep in mind that there are video marketing companies that offer all-inclusive video marketing packages, and this can make doing a cost outline much easier and more effective. #2: Determine the Financial Tipping Point Think about how many sales you need to make from your video marketing campaign to break even. After you reach your break-even amount, everything else will be pure profit. But first you need to determine that amount. You can make this a very simple process. For example, if your video marketing campaign has a budget of $5,000 per month, you should expect to see your monthly sales go up by more than $5,000. If your average sale is $100, you already know that you'll need to make at least 50 sales to compensate for the cost of the video. You should track your sales (and other metrics) year-over-year in addition to month-by-month to make sure that you've adjusted for any seasonal changes. #3: Track Sales From Your Video Campaign That's all easy enough, but now you need to differentiate income from your video campaign from income from other marketing factors. To distinguish your video campaign from other marketing factors, you can always track people who flow from your video and go on to make a purchase. Do this by using web tools to embed links that are specific to your videos. Keep in mind that these won't track all of your sales. There will always be people who see your video and make a purchase later on or in a non-traditional way, so you'll need to inflate your sales slightly to get a true ROI. The benefit, naturally, is that you'll know that your video made you at least that amount of money. Use any one of these tools separately or combine them for more complete video marketing campaign analysis. Brandwatch makes it easy to quantify your company's brand awareness. Through this tool, you can identify brand sentiments to see if your campaign is working and whether you're building brand awareness in a positive, meaningful way. Clicky allows you to break down website visitors into marketing demographics and track their activity live. If you're hosting your own videos (rather than uploading them through a service), this is an ideal way to get a better picture of your audience. Audience demographics can be critical in determining not only your ROI and awareness, but also why a particular strategy may not be working (you're targeting the wrong demographic entirely, for example). Wistia offers one of the most advanced video analysis suites available. Not only does this tool provide demographic information, but it can also directly track engagement. You can see how long visitors watched and what actions they took when they finished watching. This includes any purchases that they may have made. Wistia can integrate into your sales funnel and give you critical information about optimizing your video marketing results. YouTube offers analytics such as YouTube Insights that will break down your viewership by demographic and track outgoing clicks. You can embed marketing prompts directly into your YouTube videos so you can funnel your viewers directly into a sales channel. #4: Improve Your Video Marketing Campaigns

Expression Web Tutorial: How to Design a Website with Microsoft Expression Web

by @ thesitewizard.com

Microsoft's free web editor is a sophisticated WYSIWYG web editor with many features usually only found in commercial offerings (and no wonder, since it was previously something you had to buy). This tutorial series takes you through the process of designing a fully functional multi-page website with Expression Web.

12 Social Media Marketing Trends for Small Business

12 Social Media Marketing Trends for Small Business

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Curious about how other small businesses are using social media to get more sales? Wondering which platforms work best for small businesses? Social Media Examiner's seventh annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report, a survey of 3,720 marketers, business owners and solopreneurs from the U.S. and overseas, reveals some trends gaining momentum, as well as some surprising stalls. Listen to this article: The majority of the study's participants were either small business owners or marketers working for small businesses. Specifically: Thirty-seven percent of the survey's respondents were involved with businesses involving 2 to 10 people Twenty-three percent were solopreneurs Eighty-two percent were involved with businesses having 100 employees or fewer Get ideas from their experiences and future plans to help you shape your social marketing strategy when you download the report. Social media beginners and experienced users both will find helpful information here about: Whether social media is working for small businesses How much time other small businesses spend on social media marketing What types of content small businesses use Where small business owners and their marketing staff buy the most ads #1: Social Media Critical for Small Business First, 96% of survey participants use social media marketing, and 92% of those agree or strongly agree with the phrase, "Social media marketing is important for my business." Keep in mind that participants self-selected from a pool of over 300,000, and therefore are probably more interested in social media marketing than people who did not respond. #2: Facebook Dominates Small Business Social Media Marketing The majority of respondents carry out social media marketing on Facebook. The chart below shows that 93% use Facebook, ahead of Twitter at 79%. In the coming year, 62% of respondents plan to increase their use of Facebook for marketing purposes. Sixty-six percent will increase Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn activity. Twitter is gaining on Facebook, however, and with its new advertising opportunities, will be an interesting property to watch over the next year or so. It's much the same story for Instagram and Pinterest, both of which doubled their traffic from 2014 to 2015. YouTube is more commonly used by larger businesses. Specifically, 71% of businesses with 100+ employees use YouTube, compared to 38% of the self-employed. #3: B2B Small Businesses Use Social Differently Than B2C Breaking down Social Media Marketing Industry Report averages is useful. B2B respondents for this survey report that LinkedIn is their number-one choice for social networking. B2C companies, on the other hand, go to Facebook first and in larger numbers. This makes sense because B2B businesses are looking for the marketing people, facilities managers, buyers and others who rely on LinkedIn for industry connections and news. Facebook is comprised of nearly every consumer on the planet. Seventy-one percent of B2B marketers want to learn more about LinkedIn this year. This said, just 18% of B2B marketers are using LinkedIn ads. These same marketers are using Facebook ads at a rate of 75%. #4: Most Small Business Marketers Don't Know if Facebook Efforts Are Working Despite the fact that 92% of small businesses agree that social media is important for their business AND that the majority use Facebook for their social media marketing, most also report that they don't know whether their Facebook outreach is "working." "Working" may mean building brand awareness and relationships with customers. It could also mean bringing in more leads and sales. The bottom line is that the majority of small businesses either don't know if Facebook achieves the goals they've set or it does NOT achieve those goals. It could also mean they have no goals or they haven't bothered to measure their progress toward goals. Shockingly,

Becoming a Media Company: How to Turn Your Business Into a Platform

Becoming a Media Company: How to Turn Your Business Into a Platform

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you use content to capture the attention of consumers? Are you wondering how to reach out to a larger audience? To learn about how any business can become a media outlet, I interview Michael Brito for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Michael Brito, author of Smart Business, Social Business and his latest book, Your Brand: The Next Media Company. Michael shares the reasons why your business should become a media outlet. You'll learn the five characteristics behind a successful media company and how to get started. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Becoming a Media Company Why you should become "the media" Historically the media has always captured the attention of consumers. Successful media companies produce great content and Michael says that brands need to think the same way. If you think about traditional media companies such as Condé Nast, it has a very diverse story and narrative. No matter what the subject is, a consistent story is shared across paid, earned and owned media. When you start to dissect what they do at Condé Nast, they are actually storytellers. As a brand, you need to figure out what story you want to tell and then figure out how to tell it. It's not just for social platforms, but across every form of the customer experience. This can include paid advertising. You have to think of every customer touch point for your business. Media companies are very good at having a consistent story across each touch point. You'll hear how brands have a lot of power within their own companies to tell a story. You just need to figure out the right operational framework to make it come to life. Listen to the show to find out what Forbes did that started to grab Michael's attention 3-4 years ago. Businesses that have become media via their content and platform Michael gives an example of a brand in the consumer space, B2B space and small business space. A company that's in the consumer space is Red Bull. Red Bull is definitely a media company that has a very diverse narrative, and it's not about energy drinks. It's more to do with epic events and empowerment. It's another brand that is consistent across all channels. Red Bull has its own in-house media agency that creates compelling content day in and day out, with the consistent message, "Red Bull Gives You Wings." When Red Bull helped Felix Baumgartner do a space dive, the brand was mentioned for months after the event. The story was told through visual content and long-form content, both paid and owned media. You'll hear why Michael believes that brands should capitalize on long-form content. Intel, a company in the B2B space, capitalized on its employees' passion for Intel's products. Today it's referred to as brand journalism. Consumers trust employees of a company, which especially helps when it comes to purchases. The small business example is a company based in San Francisco called Visage that does enterprise mobility software. Its Chief Mobility Officer blog talks about enterprise mobility and not about the company. Some of the writers are on staff and others are outside contributors. The story affects the way consumers view the brand. It's all value-added content to help non-consumers solve their problems. Michael says this is how brands need to think. Listen to the show to find out why long form is so powerful for any brand or company.

6 Tips to Increase Your Social Media Shares

6 Tips to Increase Your Social Media Shares

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you want more people to share your content? Looking for more reach via social shares? By making a few adjustments to how you create, publish, and post your content, you can increase the likelihood that others will share it more often. In this article, you'll discover six tips to help you maximize your social shares. Listen to this article: #1: Research Trending Topics It pays to do your research ahead of time. Having a better understanding of what successful content looks like in your industry increases the likelihood of it being shared. Use a tool like BuzzSumo to help identify top shared content. You can search for top shared content pertaining to a topic or keyword, results sorted by overall shares. Alternatively, you can search by domain to view top shared content specific to a website. You get a comprehensive breakdown of shares per social network, which helps you decide where to focus your efforts. PostReach is another great tool to measure content performance across each social network. Simply enter an article's URL in PostReach and run a free report. In addition, you can also run a total share breakdown report. For further exploration, you can view detailed Twitter share activity. You can plot Twitter activity across a share timeline. You can also see which users most retweeted the article and view your overall reach through sharer audience sizes. Finally, you can zero in on specific sharers and potential influencers with a detailed inventory of sharers provided at the bottom of the report. Keep in mind, the purpose of this research is not to duplicate existing content, but rather to identify popular topics in your niche and add something new to the conversation. Make it your goal to go above and beyond top shared content. #2: Make Sharing Easy for Blog Visitors Your audience is more likely to share content when it takes minimal effort. If your website already receives regular traffic, take advantage of the potential social shares by designing your most popular content for easy sharing. An effective approach is to implement social buttons on your website. If you operate a WordPress site, there's plenty of useful plugins for one-click sharing buttons, including Social Pug. The way your content reads can also encourage social engagement. Have a great tip to share in an article? Post a share button directly below your article, as demonstrated by Brian Dean of Backlinko. You can create a unique call to action using ClickToTweet. To start, enter your desired text in the text box and click Generate New Link. Make sure it includes a link back to your post. You can embed the code in the appropriate part of your content. #3: Provide Context in Headlines There's a strong chance your content is being snubbed if your headline fails to grab people. It becomes increasingly important to hook your audience with a headline, as online attention spans continue to dwindle. Social audiences tend to favor snackable content; bite-sized pieces that quickly convey their intent. BuzzFeed articles are essentially engineered to take advantage of this trend: easily consumed and shared. They further entice the audience to read the content by addressing them individually. For example, you'll encounter dozens of instances of "you" and "your" throughout. What else goes into a headline worth clicking? Conductor analyzed user preferences and found that users tend to gravitate towards numbers, personalization, educational resources, and questions. When shared, a well-crafted headline functions like a status update, in that it will summarize the user's opinion or awareness of a subject. Want your best content to receive more shares across social networks? Start thinking about your headlines in a social context. #4: Capitalize on Visual Interest Attach images to your posts to help them stand out and benefit your ...

How to Submit Content to Your Web Designer

by Kyle Henderson @ JellyFlea Creative

Submitting your content in an organized fashion is one of the most essential tasks when working with a website designer. Since the content and menu items can greatly influence the design, we need at least rough draft content and images to get started on your website design. Our Website Content Starter Kit includes sample Word templates to use to help structure your menu and web pages as well as organize your images in preparation for submitting to us.

The post How to Submit Content to Your Web Designer appeared first on JellyFlea Creative.

More than Keywords: SEO and Website Maintenance

More than Keywords: SEO and Website Maintenance


Cheeky Monkey Media

Discover what SEO really is, how it's related to website maintenance, and why you can't afford to ignore it!

Search Engine Optimization (workshop)

Search Engine Optimization (workshop)


Squarespace5

What can I do to make my site appear on the first page of search results? How will switching to Squarespace affect the SEO of my current site? There are several contributing factors when it comes t...

9 Instagram Tips and Tools for Marketers

9 Instagram Tips and Tools for Marketers

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you using Instagram for your business? Want to get more from your marketing efforts? Improving your Instagram content and boosting engagement can be as simple as adding a few tactics and tools to your marketing routine. In this article you'll discover nine tips and tools to improve your Instagram marketing. Listen to this article: #1: Tailor Images to Your Audience On your Instagram account, post the kinds of photos that your audience is already sharing and liking. For example, take a picture that shows the inside of your office, the team heading out to lunch or you holding up your favorite afternoon snack. MaybellineAU took a cue from the fashion bloggers dominating Instagram with their facial close-ups and instructional pictures. In this post the brand shows one aspect of a woman's makeup routine: defining the eyebrows. The style and focus on the eyebrow in this photo contributed to a 2.4x increase in sales of Maybelline's Brow Drama mascara. #2: Enhance Your Photos You'll get the most out of every photo you share if they are the best they can be. Here are some quick and easy ways to improve even the most basic photo. Make use of an app like VSCO Cam (available for iOS and Android) to brighten and enhance your photos. The app offers editing tools and preset filters to make your photos more visually appealing and interesting. Although Instagram now supports non-square photos, the square shape still performs best. When you use the tool InstaSize (available for iOS and Android), you can choose a photo and scale it exactly how you want within the square shape. The app adds a white or colored border around the edges of your photo so that it keeps its original shape in the square box. #3: Use Text Overlays on Images Sharing generic content that doesn't connect to your brand is a missed opportunity on Instagram. Many marketers opt for generic content because their product or service isn't inherently visual. How many photos can you really share of your team sitting around a conference table? Not many. Instead, create messages, graphics and designs that tell users something valuable. This could be a quote connected to your brand, or an announcement about a new product, contest or sale. For example, the Huffington Post Instagram account uses graphics to share a quote from a story or to start a conversation. In this example, the graphic asks an engaging question and promotes a hashtag. The question started a long conversation in the comments and led to broader use of the hashtag. There's no need to reinvent the wheel with every graphic either. Consistency wins on Instagram. Keep your template and change the text or background to share a new graphic each week. #4: Tell a Story With the Caption Yes, Instagram is a photo-sharing app, but writing is also a key component to your success. The most engaging brands on Instagram use microblogging to tell a story in the caption. As a result, they see stronger engagement and create deeper connections with their audience. This leads to more sharing, commenting and loyalty. Hey, Sweet Pea writes long stories that are like personal letters to their audience. In fact, they use them to tease what users can expect from attending their classes. Then they plug the classes in the caption and with a link in their profile. Use an app like Hemingway to help you improve your caption writing. This tool marks adverbs, passive voice, overly long sentences and more. Paste your text in the editor to make sure that your writing is active and easy to read before you hit publish. #5: Leverage Trending Hashtags Make your brand known and your voice heard in the top (and relevant) Instagram conversations of the day. With the right hashtag and location tags, you can extend the reach of your content and brand. Instagram's Search and Explore feature shows you the trending hashtags of the day.

Publishing eBooks: How Marketers Can Get Started

Publishing eBooks: How Marketers Can Get Started

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Have you ever considered publishing your own eBook? Are you wondering what the advantages are for marketers? To learn more about publishing your own eBook, I interview Jim Kukral for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Jim Kukral, founder of Digital Book Launch and Author Marketing Club, and author of the book Attention! This Book Will Make You Money and many eBooks including Book Marketing for Kindle Authors. Jim shares his experiences with publishing in print and digital form. You'll learn about the various book publishing options and what it could mean for your business. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: The World of Publishing Jim explains why marketers should care about what's happening in book publishing. You'll learn how books can increase your credibility and help you close business deals. You have to give people enough information to incite them to give you their business and publishing a book can help you do this. A book is the best business card you will ever have. It's a game-changer. Listen to the show to discover why now it's easier than ever to publish a book in print or digital form. The benefits of an eBook Before Content Management Systems (CMS) existed, the only people who could put content online were those who could write HTML. Today anyone can put their thoughts and expertise out there. Jim explains that to publish a book today, you don't need to have a publisher and you don't need to print books that sit in a warehouse. Publishers are in the business of paper and the world is changing to digital. Of course you can still do print and print-on-demand. But why print 10,000 to 20,000 copies of a book to sit in a warehouse, when publishing an eBook is so much easier? According to Jeff Bezos, there are currently more digital books than print books. Listen to the show to find out why nonfiction is still outselling fiction. Where consumers find eBooks Jim talks about how consumers find eBooks on Amazon and other websites like Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and Apple. There is also a growing number of websites that recommend their favorite Kindle books. And if you already like an eBook, you can recommend it or loan it to someone through your Kindle device. Amazon has the Kindle Direct Publishing Select Program. On this program, authors give Amazon a 90-day exclusive right to sell the eBook. In return, Amazon allows you to give your eBook away for free for up to 5 days during this 90-day period. Jim shares how to discover the top 100 free eBooks on Amazon. Listen to the show to find out the benefits of giving away your eBook. How your book can be a lead-generator You'll learn how to use your book to bring in business. Giving your book away for free is a great lead-generation tool. As a marketer, Jim has calls to action in his books. You'll learn how he uses this tactic to leverage lead generation with his free books. When someone reads your book and reaches out to you, they are usually "warm leads."  They are more likely to do business with you. Another benefit is that people feel they know you after reading your book. This makes it easier for you to connect with them. Listen to the show to find out how books are lead-generators. How the financials work from the author's perspective You'll learn about the money you can earn with your book, depending on how you publish it. For printed books,

What is MySQL? What is a Database? What is SQL?

by @ thesitewizard.com

If you're trying to set up your own website, and are puzzled by the terms "MySQL" and "database" that seem to appear everywhere on webmaster sites, read this article to find out what they mean.

How to Use 360-Degree Video in Your Social Media Marketing

How to Use 360-Degree Video in Your Social Media Marketing

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you using video on your social channels? Have you thought about 360-degree videos? 360 videos produce more engagement and message retention than normal videos. In this article you'll discover how to create a 360 video and use it for your business. What Is 360-Degree Video? 360 videos (also known as VR or virtual reality) are clips displaying a spherical scenario where the camera has recorded all possible angles of the environment. Listen to this article: When watching 360 videos, you can interact and choose the content you're viewing. On a computer, you can view 360 videos with Chrome, Opera or Firefox. Click and drag the mouse on the video to see different angles. You get an even better viewing experience on mobile. Simply move your smartphone around to see different angles. You can enhance the mobile experience by watching the video in a Cardboard viewer, which allows a 3D-interactive experience of the video. 360 videos are not new to social media, as YouTube introduced them in March 2015 and made them available for video ads a few months later. Since then, a few companies have embraced the new technology, producing videos that leave viewers amazed. More recently, Facebook has also made this technology available, which is likely to contribute to starting a new social media trend. How to Create 360 Videos Creating a 360 video is easier than you may think. The software provided with your camera and the social network where you host the video manage most of the process. You don't need any advanced knowledge of editing software. To create a 360 video, follow these steps: Get a 360 Camera Creating 360 videos requires a special camera with lenses that cover all of the angles around the camera. It's also possible to create these videos by using six cameras recording simultaneously in a cube configuration. However, this process is usually more complex and requires advanced editing. Some of the camera models currently on the market are Ricoh Theta, IC Real Tech, 360Cam, Nokia Ozo and Bublcam. Record in 360 Mode To record a 360 video, you need to change your mindset for a whole new technology, remembering that you'll be recording everything around the camera. With traditional video, you might have props hidden outside of the frame to help you with your video, such as a teleprompter, other people, etc. All of this would be seen in a 360 video. Preview the Video A 360 video uses the same file format as any other video, and can't be visualized in spherical mode without using specific software (or a social media network). All of the cameras provide their own apps to preview your videos, which gives you an idea of the final result. However, remember these applications are just viewers. The video file is not converted into any special format. Edit the Video Before publishing 360 videos online, you can edit them with most editing software to include titles and buttons, adjust color, merge clips, add background music, and so on. When editing, you'll be working with a strange image format that is just a flat-stretched representation of a spherical recording, as shown here. This view can make the editing process a bit challenging in the beginning. But in reality, editing a 360 video is no more complex than editing any other video. Upload the Video Finally, the most important and easy step of all is to upload your video. The process is as simple as uploading any other video. Both Facebook and YouTube will automatically recognize the clip as a 360 video, and prepare it to be viewed. Nothing else is needed. Creating 360 videos is a relatively simple process. If you're ready to get started with 360 videos for your business, here are some ways to use the ideas below to boost your social media engagement. #1: Showcase Your Products Nescafé is one of the first companies to see the potential of this technology.

The 4 elements every event landing page needs

by Amber Humphrey @ Vertical Response Blog

Preparing to host a big event? A landing page may be just what you need to spread the word to your customers. Follow these optimization tips to create a landing page that encourages visitors to take action

The post The 4 elements every event landing page needs appeared first on Vertical Response Blog.

5 Best WordPress Plugins for Creating Contact Forms

by Just for Websites @ Just for Websites

A contact form is one of the most significant aspects of a WordPress site to help you set up a robust communication system with your potential visitors. It allows readers and customers to contact you via your site. In fact, a site without contact page looks very unprofessional and unethical. Instead of displaying an email […]

The post 5 Best WordPress Plugins for Creating Contact Forms appeared first on Just for Websites.

Sharing: The Art and Science of Social Sharing

Sharing: The Art and Science of Social Sharing

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you create content for your business? Want to encourage people to share it? To explore the art and science of social sharing, I interview Bryan Kramer. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Bryan Kramer, a social strategist and founder of PureMatter, a social media agency. His first book is Human to Human and his newest book is Shareology: How Sharing is Powering the Human Economy. Bryan will explore social sharing and what marketers need to know. You'll discover the different types of people who share, as well as mistakes people make when sharing. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. How to subscribe/review on iPhone. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Sharing Why Bryan wrote Shareology Bryan explains that he started working on Shareology before he wrote Human to Human. "H2H was a surprise baby," Bryan says. He set Shareology aside and continued with the other, because the Human to Human philosophy seemed to resonate more. Plus, he says, Human to Human provides the best platform used for sharing and not the other way around. Shareology, which is two years in the making, is the study of how, what, where, when and why people and brands share. As a self-proclaimed anthropologist, Bryan has a lot of interest in the subject. Bryan says he always asks his audience what class they took on sharing. In kindergarten, kids learn how to share their toys, but that's about it. It's a skill people learn on top of school, and is part of some classes, like communications, but is not a focus. Social sharing comes in many different flavors, he explains. Meerkat and Periscope are new flavors, but there are so many more. Shareology focuses on the evolution of sharing: the past, present and future. Listen to the show to learn how people shared articles before social media. Why people share For the book Bryan did more than 250 interviews with executives, marketers and social media people, as well as professors of linguistics, psychology, sociology and so on, with the question "why people share" in mind. The answer came down to one thing: connection. People all have the desire to reach out and connect with other people, whether it's through sharing content and having someone reply back or by sharing other people's content and helping them out. These are the six types of people who share: Altruist: Someone who shares something specific about one topic all the time. Careerist: Someone who wants to become a thought leader in their own industry, so they can see their career grow. Hipster: Someone who likes to try things for the first time and share it faster than everyone else. Boomerang: Someone who asks a question so they can receive a comment only to reply. (This can be a troll, but not necessarily. It can be a positive or a negative situation.) Connector: Someone who likes to connect one or more persons to each other. Selective: This is the observer, which some people call a lurker. The majority of the internet observes and then selectively picks pieces to direct or private message other people. Bryan says, while people ebb and flow between different types, we all tend to lean toward one. For example, tech evangelist Robert Scoble is primarily a Hipster, but it doesn't mean he isn't a Careerist or a Selective too. Bryan also touches on the future of sharing. Bryan interviewed the chief scientist of Watson Analytics and learned the computer system Watson (the computer that defeated the other players in Jeopardy!) will be able to tweet in such a way that you'll never know if it's a person or a computer.

8 Instagram Tools to Create, Manage, and Analyze Your Marketing Results

8 Instagram Tools to Create, Manage, and Analyze Your Marketing Results

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you ready to improve your Instagram marketing? Wondering which tools can help you? To build a successful Instagram marketing presence, you need to have the right tools for the job. In this article, you'll discover eight tools to create, manage, and analyze your Instagram marketing. Listen to this article: #1: Content Creation Instagram is a visual platform, so when it comes to content creation you want to make sure that you always publish high-quality images that grab people's attention. However, this can be tricky if you're not a graphic designer. The good thing is that you don't have to be a graphic designer to understand good design, and there are some amazing services out there to help amateurs. Try one of these two tools to help you bring more spark to your design. Typorama If you want to build an account using motivational quotes and images, a popular and beloved approach to Instagram content, Typorama can help you do it. A mobile app, Typorama gives you the ability to do text overlays on images. You can choose from a variety of text and font styles, along with other design options like filters and overlays so you always have a consistent theme. Plus, you also can access the image database Pixabay, which is packed with a ton of royalty-free and attribution-free images that you can use immediately. At the moment, Typorama is available only for Apple devices and costs $1.99 to access all of its features. A Beautiful Mess A Beautiful Mess is another solid mobile app that you can use to create great-looking content. What sets A Beautiful Mess apart from other apps is that you get access to hand-drawn features and designs from its creators and it's constantly being updated. So you can give your content more of an authentic and personalized feel. Having that extra bit of authenticity is key when it comes to marketing. Potential customers appreciate it when it feels like they're talking to a person, not a brand. #2: Link Managers If you're looking to create a sales funnel over Instagram, you're probably looking to drive traffic to your website or landing page. One of Instagram's drawbacks is that it doesn't have a native tracking feature. To make up for that, try one of the following tools. Bitly Bitly is one of the most popular URL shorteners out there. With Bitly, you're able to shorten any distractingly long URL into a much shorter and more manageable form. For example, with Bitly you have a built-in platform to track everything from the number of clicks you get to where in the world these clicks came from. By analyzing this data, you can check how well your landing page is doing and whether your sales funnel is producing the results you want. After all, there's no point in producing great content for Instagram if you can't get people to click your link. Pretty Link If your website is hosted by WordPress, Pretty Link is a good choice. Messy links prevent people from clicking. If your URL is a jumble of numbers and letters, you're less likely to get clicks than if it were just a simple word. With Pretty Link, you can create your own custom URL for any one of your pages and track how many hits and unique visitors you're getting. #3: Analytics As mentioned earlier, Instagram doesn't offer any native features to track performance. There's no way to track important data like engagement, follower count, or growth using Instagram alone. Without access to this type of data, you're unable to gain insight into how your content strategy is going and if you need to make any changes. With analytics, you'll be able to further refine your Instagram marketing strategy. Luckily, there are a few third-party tools out there that can provide all the data you need. Iconosquare Iconosquare is the go-to web application that most marketers turn to when looking for help managing and tracking their Instagram accounts.

Google Wants You To Go Mobile Friendly.

by Paul Jewkes @ St George SEO | SEO Company St George

This past week, Google announced they were changing their algorithm – again.   But this time it’s a bit expected, and it’s also interesting to note they are actually warning us ahead of time. This rarely happens, which leads me to believe one thing. The change is going to be significant. So what’s the fuss […]

The post Google Wants You To Go Mobile Friendly. appeared first on St George SEO | SEO Company St George.

Facebook Mobile for Business: What You Need to Know

Facebook Mobile for Business: What You Need to Know

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you take Facebook with you on your mobile device? Turns out 543 million people access Facebook while out and about! To explore the marketing implications of mobile Facebook users, I interview Mari Smith for our new Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This New Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a brand-new show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this premier episode, I interview Mari Smith, author of The New Relationship Marketing and co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day. Mari shares insights into Facebook mobile and the opportunities this new mobile environment gives businesses today. You'll learn about how to get your Facebook content seen by the large mobile audience and you'll also discover the best Facebook advertising options. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Facebook Mobile for Business What are the mobile marketing opportunities? Businesses need to understand why mobile users are important on Facebook. 543 million people use Facebook mobile each month 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook each month Mobile is critical on Facebook because of the number of users and also because mobile users are twice as active on Facebook. Listen to the show to learn about the opportunities Facebook mobile users offer businesses and discover how mobile marketing has become an integral part of their social experience. How can Instagram and the Camera app on Facebook give you more options? Mari shares how Facebook is now positioned to take advantage of this mobile opportunity after acquiring the solely mobile app Instagram. She also brings up the possibility of Facebook rolling out Instagram.com profiles and the rumors of Facebook entering the hardware market and coming out with a phone. Mari also gives you a quick review of mobile apps and how they work. Listen to the show to learn more about what to expect in the future mobile environment. How should you adapt your marketing for mobile Facebook users? Mobile users consume content mainly through their Facebook news feed. With this in mind, here are some marketing tips for businesses to ensure visibility in these mobile news feeds: Post succinct content of 160 characters or fewer Make use of photos Ask short-and-sweet questions Be humorous and entertaining if appropriate Add calls to action Facebook Offers are popular with local businesses from a mobile standpoint. But if you don't use Offers, take advantage of your updates and post something like: "Are you on a mobile phone? Come in and get a free coffee." Listen to the show to understand how to adapt your marketing to reach mobile Facebook users.  What are the best paid advertising options on Facebook? Since going public, Facebook has made changes in the reach of content posted on Facebook and their advertising options. Many businesses are frustrated with Facebook now asking them to pay to get higher visibility for their content. Some businesses are finding value with Promoted Posts. Mari advises businesses to take the time to test Promoted Posts when their page has a low number of fans or has plateaued with a low engagement rate. Also, given the nature of the Facebook mobile app, Promoted Posts will get more visibility on mobile Facebook apps. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1f7G4bVVqO0 Listen to the show to discover other tactics to get your content in front of a larger portion of your audience. Survival Tip: Critical Blog Plugin A while ago, I experienced a nightmare blogging scenario. This is why I use the two WordPress security plugins Secure WP and WSD Security.

Blogging Success: How to Create Content People Love

Blogging Success: How to Create Content People Love

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? Would you like to create content that people would go crazy for? To learn the secrets of attention-grabbing blog posts that generate traffic, I interview Michael Hyatt for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Michael Hyatt, author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, and the host of the This Is Your Life podcast. Michael shares his experiences as a successful blogger and content creator. You'll learn why headlines and photos are the most attention-grabbing aspects of your articles. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Content Creation Michael tells the story of when he first started blogging in 2004. He was the CEO at Thomas Nelson and saw blogging as a means to communicate with his own employees. It was a way to be innovative, rather than sending out standard email newsletters. It wasn't until someone suggested opening it up to the public that he thought it was a cool idea and maybe could become an archive for his best thinking. Listen to the show to hear about Michael's blogging schedule when he first started. What evergreen content brings to your website Michael's blog today averages around 300-400 blog comments a day. Michael explains that about half of his traffic comes from older posts. These include posts that he wrote 2-3 years ago that still get a huge amount of comments today. Michael shares how he promotes his older posts. One of the tactics he uses is to bulk upload and schedule tweets in SocialOomph for older articles such as this one: Our words carry enormous weight. More than we sometimes think. "How Our Words Impact Others." mhyatt.us/gIC8Vn — Michael Hyatt (@MichaelHyatt) November 18, 2012   Michael had the idea from when he was working in the book publishing world. Publishers have two types of books: new books (newly published or yet to be released) and a backlist (an archive of content). For large publishing companies such as Thomas Nelson, 50-60% of their revenue can come from their backlist. Most bloggers don't have a strategy for this. They write it, it disappears and then it's gone forever. Listen to the show to find out Michael's secret for keeping his older blog posts up to date and continuing to drive more traffic. How to write killer blog posts Over time Michael has written about 1,400 posts. You'll learn how he tries to start from the reader's perspective and frame everything in terms of his or her needs. Somebody once said, "People are tuned into WIIFM (Whats In It For Me)." You have to write from this particular viewpoint if you're going to be successful. Look at what other people's hopes, fears, frustrations and obstacles are. And don't assume that everybody knows what you know. Michael talks about how a lot of his how-to articles stem from what he needs to find out and then he documents the process for his readers. These articles bring him a ton of traffic every day. Listen to the show to learn why the how-to articles have been the most successful for Michael. Topics to write about Michael explains how he uses "intentional leadership" as a filter for content on his website. He shares how he might look at a current event and reframe it into a leadership lesson. You'll also learn how to decide what to publish on your site and how to stay focused on being good at what you do. Listen to the show to find out why giving away you...

StumbleUpon Marketing: How to Drive More Traffic to Your Content

StumbleUpon Marketing: How to Drive More Traffic to Your Content

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you use StumbleUpon for your business? Are you wondering how you can use StumbleUpon to drive more traffic to your content? To learn how your business can benefit from StumbleUpon, I interview Nick Robinson for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Nick Robinson, co-author of StumbleUpon for Dummies. He's also the social media channel manager for SAP Americas. Nick shares how StumbleUpon works and why it's different from other platforms. You'll learn how to use StumbleUpon to discover shareable content and the type of content that works best. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: StumbleUpon Marketing  What makes StumbleUpon different from other social networks Nick explains how StumbleUpon is a content discovery engine. It's a search engine and bookmarking site all in one. It's great if you want to bring exposure to your online content, which can include your website, blog post, video or infographic. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8DtI9e4xZ8 Nick believes that the key differentiator with StumbleUpon is the Stumble button. It takes you directly to a piece of content on another website that you are interested in. You can tell StumbleUpon what your interests are in several ways. When you set up your profile, you can specify your interests, the interests of people you follow and what pieces of content you have given a thumbs-up to on that particular website. When you click the Thumbs-Up or Thumbs-Down button, it tells StumbleUpon's algorithm if it should or shouldn't serve that type of content to you in the future. Each person's StumbleUpon experience is personalized. It allows you to curate content, promote your content and connect with communities with all types of interests. Listen to the show to find out how you can create content that's relevant to an audience within an Interest category. StumbleUpon for B2B and B2C Nick believes that any business in B2B or B2C can use the platform. It all depends on the type of content you produce. The content needs to entertain, be informative and connect with your audience. To be successful, you need to test and measure, based on the changes you learn. StumbleUpon launched their new design and a new mobile app, which has increased its mobile stumbles by 25% over a one-year period. However, the majority of StumbleUpon activity is still primarily desktop, at over 60%. Since these changes were made, around 40% of their activity comes from mobile. In the next couple of years, Nick thinks it will easily overtake desktop. You'll discover as a marketer what you need to consider with these figures in mind. According to Alexa, StumbleUpon is one of the top 149 websites in the world and Quantcast estimated that 23.4 million people in the last month in the U.S. alone have used it. As of June 2013, when the StumbleUpon for Dummies book was published, StumbleUpon had 25 million registered users. They have indexed over 100 million–plus web pages. Listen to the show to find out how much the average user "stumbles" per month and the time spent on the platform. Companies who use StumbleUpon well  Nick says that two companies come to mind, which are both primarily content publishers. The first is Forbes. They do a great job, which is primarily attributable to their company page. They use it to acquire followers and as a content feed. Unfortunately StumbleUpon has closed off access to these pages to the general ...

Branding War, Game of Thrones Tips for Take No Prisoners Marketing

by Jinna Marbry @ The Mauldin Group SEO, Social Media, Google Ads, Web Design | Atlanta

A Branding War Has Arrived, Are you Prepared? Your kingdom is in place. After years of blood, sweat and tears battling the forces of a lagging economy and brutal operations costs, you have built a business that is strong and successful. Unfortunately, your enemies abound. You are now facing a branding war. It is time…

The post Branding War, Game of Thrones Tips for Take No Prisoners Marketing appeared first on The Mauldin Group SEO, Social Media, Google Ads, Web Design | Atlanta.

Tools Every Photographer Needs to Succeed Online

by Casey Kelly-Barton @ HostGator Blog

The post Tools Every Photographer Needs to Succeed Online appeared first on HostGator Blog.

The Photographer’s Online Toolkit Whether you’re launching a brand-new photography business or adding an online presence to reach more clients, there are a few tools you’ll need to bring your website and digital marketing into focus. The process of registering a domain name and setting up your website isn’t complicated or time-consuming, but just as […]

Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How To Brand Your Company

by Bonnie Mauldin @ The Mauldin Group SEO, Social Media, Google Ads, Web Design | Atlanta

Definition of Branding Assign a brand name to. “branded goods at low prices”  the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design. noun: branding   How To Brand Your Company Branding is the very essence of your business and how you convey your unique services to the world. Your…

The post How To Brand Your Company appeared first on The Mauldin Group SEO, Social Media, Google Ads, Web Design | Atlanta.

How to Maximize Your Content Exposure on LinkedIn

How to Maximize Your Content Exposure on LinkedIn

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you taking advantage of all of LinkedIn's content marketing features? Do you know what types of content work best on LinkedIn? With a few tweaks to what you post on LinkedIn, you can build brand awareness, generate leads, and drive more revenue. In this article you'll discover how to maximize your LinkedIn content exposure. Listen to this article: #1: Share From Your Company Page Your LinkedIn company page is where you can catch the eye of prospects and build relationships with customers. Share content that is valuable to your audience, answer questions, and solve problems. This allows you to nurture genuine relationships with your followers and build brand awareness with your ideal prospects. This Symantec update drives registrations for an upcoming webinar. Company updates that contain links can have up to 45% higher follower engagement than updates without links. Suggested time commitment for success: 1 hour daily/4 hours weekly/10 hours monthly. Use this list of suggestions for what to share on your LinkedIn company page: Links to your latest and best white papers Ebooks Case studies Industry articles Helpful how-to content Bright visuals (visual is the new headline!) Post three to four times a day and engage with and respond to followers' comments. Be sure to change your header image every six months to avoid creative fatigue. Intel's company page celebrates a company milestone in this update. This Volvo update announces a product enhancement that will appeal to their target audience. #2: Post to SlideShare LinkedIn SlideShare has more than 70 million monthly unique visitors, and nearly 4 million visitors (on desktop alone) on an average day. With 13,000 new pieces of content added daily, SlideShare is a platform you can't afford to overlook. Barry Feldman of FeldmanCreative shares a nicely designed, helpful social media basics ebook on SlideShare. Suggested time commitment for success: 30 minutes daily/2 hours weekly/6 hours monthly. Use this list of suggestions for what to share on LinkedIn SlideShare: Company videos Webinar and conference recordings Influencer videos Product how-tos and tips Company presentations Webinar decks Infographics Well-designed short and informative content HubSpot shares slides from Dharmesh Shah's talk at the 2016 SaaStr Conference. The slide deck features lessons on SaaS, pricing, culture, MBAs, and customer happiness. To ensure you succeed with SlideShare, upload new content weekly, highlight decks on profile pages, group content into playlists, and add lead forms to help achieve lead-generation goals. You can also link your SlideShare presentation to your website to gain a quality inbound link. In this special video presentation, authors Mark Schaefer and Brian Solis explore the new idea of engineering customer experiences and a new marketing trend. Tip: Use the SlideShare Clipping tool to highlight and share valuable content you've produced with your networks. Ultimately, you can build authority by developing LinkedIn SlideShares that present a unique point of view on industry news, insights, or your company culture. #3: Publish on Publisher More than 1 million people have published more than 3 million posts on LinkedIn's publishing platform. About 45% of readers are in the upper ranks of their industries, including managers, VPs, and CEOs. Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group, shared his personal takeaways, aspirations, and highlights from SXSW with a creatively perceptive cartoon ebook. Suggested time commitment for success: 1 hour weekly/3 hours monthly. Use this list of suggestions for what to publish on LinkedIn Publisher: Professional expertise and experiences Industry trends Lessons learned To ensure you succeed with LinkedIn Publisher, publish whenever you feel passionate or on a monthly basis.

GET A FREE SEO WEBSITE AUDIT AND COMPETITION ANALYSIS

by Stephen Bryant @ Checkpoint Graphics, Inc.

Ever wonder what your website score is? Does your website generate you leads and ultimately customers or just cost you money? What is your competition doing that is driving sales to them and away from you?   A website is not a glorified business brochure. Your business website should be a lead generating machine that makes […]

The post GET A FREE SEO WEBSITE AUDIT AND COMPETITION ANALYSIS appeared first on Checkpoint Graphics, Inc..

5 Ways to Improve Your Snapchat Marketing

5 Ways to Improve Your Snapchat Marketing

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Wondering how you can stand out on Snapchat? Want to know what's working for others? Taking a cue from businesses that are successfully using Snapchat can help you strengthen your own brand's presence on the platform. In this article you'll discover how to improve your marketing on Snapchat. Listen to this article: #1: Provide Specialized Content Many brands use Snapchat because of its authenticity. You can use this attribute to strengthen your community ties by publishing content that shows a similar but different side to your brand. For example, you can make your fans feel like insiders by providing content that's not available on your other social channels. This will excite users because they'll feel they're in the know and will develop an emotional connection to you and your content. Music producer DJ Khaled has created one of the most engaging Snapchat communities with over 2 million followers, a quarter of which watch his snaps within the first 5 minutes. With his 24-hour Snapchat stories, he provides daily insights, otherwise known as “keys to success,” through inspirational advice and commentary on his life's adventures. By providing exclusive content to your Snapchat community, you create a sense of trust and inclusivity. #2: Surprise Fans With Promotions and Perks Social media giveaways and contests are some of the best ways to build customer loyalty, and Snapchat users love them. Use snaps to offer insider access, promo codes or discounts with a Snapchat scavenger hunt. Build anticipation when you announce the giveaway or promotional offer on Snapchat prior to the launch date.  With their SnapWho campaign at the Coachella music festival, Heineken snapped clues hinting about special performances at the Heineken House. Fans were prompted to respond with snaps on which artists would be there. If correct, they received access and a sneak peek of when that concert would be happening. The campaign provided an exclusive element to concertgoers and reached fans who weren't at the event but enjoyed the content nonetheless. For a more sales-driven angle, you can post a 10-second snap with a special Snapchat referral code or share a daily deal with your followers. When you reward your community for following your Snapchat stories, they're likely to spread the word to their family and friends. You can track customer behavior and the effectiveness of the channel by seeing how many promo codes are used. How to Drive Users to Your Snapchat Account Before you embark on any sales offers, make sure to promote and drive users to your Snapchat account. Create a custom Facebook tab to promote your Snapchat account, or put your Snapchat name in your Twitter bio and use your QR code as your profile photo. For all of your social accounts, you can create images that drive users to your Snapchat account. #3: Involve Fans in Your Story Social media should be a two-way conversation with your community. Engage your followers by asking for their participation. For example, ask them to send in a selfie featuring your product or create a video on why they love your product. For the Super Bowl, Mountain Dew launched a 100% fan-driven interactive Snapchat campaign called Kickstory for their new Kickstart breakfast drink. Fans voted on what would happen next in the story by taking screenshots to indicate the level of engagement. Everlane took a different tack and asked their followers to screenshot their snap or chat with them for more information on their new shoe collection. To create more meaningful relationships, make sure you reply to your fans. You can do this within the chat feature or send back a photo thanking them. Going the extra mile on Snapchat will make users feel special and included in your community. #4: Include Branding Elements in Snaps Snapchat allows you to connect with your community and further enhance your brand's voice and tone in...

How to Reserve a Domain Name. Do You Need a Web Host if You Want to Reserve a Domain for Future Use?

by @ thesitewizard.com

How do you go about reserving a domain name for a future website? Do you need to get a web host or do some other special thing? This article answers those questions.

24 Most Effective Free SEO Tools for Google, Bing & More | Buffer Blog

24 Most Effective Free SEO Tools for Google, Bing & More | Buffer Blog


Social

Check out our list of the best free SEO tools that can boost your organic rankings on Google & Bing and can lead to immediate gains in your marketing today:

SEO Optimizing Your Joomla Website

SEO Optimizing Your Joomla Website


Joomla! Community Magazine

Are you a business owner or a marketer who has a Joomla website? Are you searching for some information on how to best optimize your Joomla website...

Gmail Tabs: A Game Plan for Marketers

Gmail Tabs: A Game Plan for Marketers

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Does your business rely on email? Are you wondering how Gmail tabs will impact your marketing? If email is a part of your business, you’ll want to pay close attention. In this article I’ll provide a simple 5-step plan that any marketer can use in response to Gmail tabs. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, you'll learn what the new Gmail tabs mean for your business. You'll also pick up some tips on what you can do and I'll talk about my concerns for the future. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Why should marketers pay attention? Chances are that email plays some role in your marketing. Maybe you email your subscribers when you have a new blog post or newsletter. Perhaps you have some sort of online form (for lead generation or just a simple contact form). Email indeed plays an important role for most businesses. Gmail is auto-filtering all emails for all users. This means your marketing newsletters and emails will get stuck in a slightly hidden folder, no matter what you do. In that very same folder, Gmail is posting unsolicited ads that look like emails. The bottom line with regards to these new Gmail tabs is that you will likely see a drop in your email marketing effectiveness unless you take action. In 2012, there were 425 million Gmail users. That's a huge number! Social Media Examiner has 75,000+ Gmail users. Yes, 34% of our readers subscribe through a Gmail account! There's a pretty good likelihood you have more Gmail users than you realize. What are Gmail tabs? Gmail is rolling out tabs that organize your mail. There are three default tabs: Primary, Social and Promotions (shown below). If you haven't already received this update on Gmail, it will likely come soon. Your emails are likely going into the Promotions tab. Tabs default "on" for all Gmail users unless your subscribers change this setting. If your subscribers don't know how to change it, this is how they will be finding your emails. At the time of this post, not all subscribers have tabs, but it is rolling out very quickly. What are the marketing implications? Gmail is becoming like Facebook. If you use it, you use it by their rules. I'm also concerned by the possibility that other email providers may follow Google's lead. This may be the beginning of the end of email as the one platform you can at least get delivery into. With social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you can never be sure that your messages get in front of your audience. Email has always been the one way that you could be certain of getting in front of your audience, assuming subscribers gave you permission to send them emails. Will this change with Gmail tabs? I think so. The updates in the Promotions tab reset each time you visit Gmail, meaning it is very easy for a Gmail user to never realize there is mail waiting in the Promotions tab. Other email providers may follow suit. There could come a time when marketers will have to pay to play. Your 5-step plan for dealing with Gmail tabs Here are tips you can move on right now to help educate your Gmail readers. These are all proactive steps we have taken at Social Media Examiner. 1. Make a video educating your Gmail users. First, educate your subscribers by making a video like the one below I made for our audience. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Elz_1KQnmA In this video, you'll learn how your readers can make sure your emails show up in their Primary box.

How to Login to WordPress Admin Area

by Kyle Henderson @ JellyFlea Creative

Showing the Login Screen To login to the administrator area of your WordPress website, go to the address bar of your web browser and type the following: http://your-website.com/wp-admin where your-website.com is the domain of your website. You should then see the login screen. Enter your username and password (case-sensitive) and click the ‘Log In’ button. If […]

The post How to Login to WordPress Admin Area appeared first on JellyFlea Creative.

How to Increase the Facebook Visibility of Your Local Business

How to Increase the Facebook Visibility of Your Local Business

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you have a Facebook page for your local business? Are you looking for ways to reach your customers on Facebook? Because your audience is naturally limited by the area you serve, local marketing on Facebook can be challenging. In this article you'll discover nine ways to use Facebook to get more local exposure for your business. Listen to this article: #1: Use Local Videos and Images Facebook native video is more visible and gets more reach in the news feed, so it's a good idea to have a Facebook video strategy for your local business. Really tailor your videos to appeal to local users. Add a fun video about a local event, share a quick tip or even cross-promote another business. Your video doesn't have to be professionally done to get results. This local video about elk in Estes Park received over 220,000 views, and led to at least one direct booking. Local images are also very shareable. If your business doesn't have regular images to post, take pictures occasionally when you're out and about in your town to share in the future. When your local clients recognize the area, they're more likely to visit your page and your business. #2: Feature Your Customers and Fans Share photos of happy customers on your Facebook business page. Personal photos help your visibility with the friends of your customers. Encourage people to tag themselves in your photos. Remember, a page cannot tag a fan unless the admin is a personal friend of that person. Only people can tag other people or people can tag themselves. Also, thank your customers from time to time. Post an image and tell your community how much you appreciate them. When you have a post such as a photograph that people can easily like, you increase your chances of being seen by those people in the future, because they have already interacted with your page. #3: Collaborate With Other Local Businesses One of the best ways to connect with your community is through other local pages. Interact regularly as your page with other local pages: share their posts, tag them, comment on their posts and show them a little love. This will make you more visible to their audience. A side benefit of promoting other pages in your community is they're likely to promote you too. Create a formal cross-promotion plan or just give other pages a shout-out from time to time to create goodwill. #4: Use Reviews Social proof and recommendations can benefit your business in a major way, so use the Reviews capability on Facebook for your local business. Reviews show up prominently on mobile phones especially. To enable reviews, make sure you set Local Business as your category and have a physical address. You also need to check the Show Map box on the About tab. For further details, see #6 of our Frequently Asked Facebook Questions post. Be sure to respond to all reviews (good and bad). If you have negative reviews, try to correct the issue. You may even want to consider giving your best customers a little incentive to leave a (hopefully positive) review about your product or service. #5: Build Your Email List One thing that many local businesses don't do often enough is build their email list. Once you have a list, you're able to email your customers to promote something new, share a contest and so on. Like with reviews, offer something good as an incentive to get people to opt into your list. #6: Create Local Awareness Ads Reach people who are near your business with a local awareness ad, either because they live nearby or because they’re in your area with their mobile device. Create a different call to action, such as Get Directions, for each ad. A local awareness ad is also the perfect way to attract someone to your business for the first time with a coupon. #7: Join Local Groups If your business focuses on B2B, then a networking group could be a great place to reach other business owners,

Failing to Start: Why We Accept Mediocrity and How to Change

Failing to Start: Why We Accept Mediocrity and How to Change

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you accept your lot in life? Are you afraid of starting something new? To learn how to accept who we are and how to make a change, I interview Seth Godin for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Seth Godin, the bestselling author of Purple Cow, Tribes, Linchpin and many others. His most recent book is The Icarus Deception. He's also the CEO of Squidoo. Seth shares his experiences of having an idea and going for it, even if you think it might fail. You'll learn why he thinks everyone should be willing to fail and why art is so important. You'll also discover how Seth used Kickstarter to fund The Icarus Deception. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Taking Risks The idea behind The Icarus Deception The idea behind The Icarus Deception was Seth's manifesto rant that will hopefully shine some light on the revolution that he thinks we are living with right now. Seth explains how people don't understand the impact of the Industrial Revolution of 1880–1910. Before 1880, there was no such thing as jobs. The unemployment rate was zero and most people worked on the land or for their family business. The Industrial Revolution changed this and it also changed government, regulations, school, culture and society. It invented the weekend. We accept all this because it happened before we were born. You'll discover why right now we have a new revolution that is replacing the fading industrial age. What's happening now is that we have a revolution built with the connection we have about ideas, people to people and the ability to reach markets. We'd have never thought back then that one person working by him- or herself anywhere in the world with a laptop could touch a million or a billion people. Seth talks about how PSY, who made the Gangnam Style video in South Korea, was viewed 900 million times and how this was impossible 15 years ago. When Seth wrote Permission Marketing 12 years ago, he didn't realize that he was writing about a different way to make connections with people. He believes that it isn't about Facebook or Twitter, it's about a passion for doing things that might not work. The industrial age is about polishing things so they do work. It's the giant gap. Seth wants to teach people to like the idea of doing something that might not work. Listen to the show to find out more about why it's connections that create all of the value in business. Why the commonly told version of the Icarus story is no longer relevant Seth believes that all myths are true, to the extent that although there are no supernatural beings involved, they're about us. Myths have developed over thousands of years to talk to human beings about how to be our best selves. The myth involves Icarus and his father Daedalus stranded on an island. Daedalus fashions some wings for his son and says, "Put these on, but don't fly too high because if you do, the sun will melt the wax and you will die. But more importantly, don't fly too low because the mist in the water will get in your wings and you will surely perish." Seth explains the reason why the industrialists want us to fly too low is because they benefit from this. Listen to the show to find out why Seth thinks we are flying too low and what he wants us to do about it. The meaning of art Seth shares his definition of art. Art is the work of a human being doing something that has never been done before,

5 Unusual Tips to Improve Your SEO With Social Media

5 Unusual Tips to Improve Your SEO With Social Media

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you want to rank higher in search engines? Interested in ways to use your social accounts to improve your SEO? Social media has a significant impact on your search results, and a strong social presence can boost your search rankings. In this article you'll discover five ways to use social media to improve your search rankings. Listen to this article: #1: Build Links With Your Social Channels Google used to put a high value on link building in their search rankings, no matter what quality of links you were building. When people figured this out and started manipulating rankings with fake or low-quality links to their site, Google started to focus on higher-quality links. Links on social media are often considered higher-quality links, because social sites have a high web authority from the get-go. Even if your Facebook page is new, it's likely to rank highly (and maybe even surpass your website) thanks to Facebook's overall high authority. It may sound obvious, but make sure that you include a working link to your website not only in your content, but also in every social profile you have. In addition to increasing traffic to your site, it's also highly valuable for link building. When it comes to link building within content, post content like new products or blog posts to your social profiles to encourage sharing. For example, you could create a relevant YouTube video for each blog post and embed it in the post, capitalizing on the high web authority to send traffic to your site and increase search rankings. #2: Grow Your Follower Base Pages with a lot of high-quality followers rank better in searches. High-quality followers are real followers on your social channels, and a large percentage of them engage or interact with you in some form. This interaction might be repinning pins, retweeting your content or sending you a tweet, placing reviews on Google+ or engaging with your posts on Facebook. Social signals are a very real factor when it comes to SEO. Search engines look at social signals to find out how often you're posting to your social media accounts, how many people interact with you and if there are social-sharing elements available to visitors to your site. There's no point in trying to outsmart the algorithms with fake likes on Facebook. Low-quality followers are not good for you. Not only will Facebook penalize you for fake likes, search engines like Google will punish you with lower rankings, too. So, make sure you're steadily gaining a solid base of followers that are interacting with you and your content, and encourage them to share, engage and interact with you. #3: Make Your Content Searchable and Sharable Pinterest is a great example of a social platform that makes your content both searchable and sharable. Pinterest encourages sharing to a great extent. Users post pins they like to their boards, and share them with other Pinterest users. Many social accounts give you the option of keeping your content private, or relatively so. On YouTube, you can have unlisted videos, and only people who have links to the videos can watch them. Pinterest allows secret boards, and Twitter gives you the option to have a private profile. When it comes to your business, you want all of your social accounts to be public, and you want all of your content to be searchable. For example, for your Facebook profile, you have the option to make your posts searchable in search engines. To do this, go to your Facebook privacy settings and enable the option Do You Want Other Search Engines to Link to Your Timeline?, shown here. The more people who see your posts, the more people who might share it. Encouraging sharing (including through methods like Facebook contests) is a great way to increase your search rankings. #4: Use Keywords in Your Posts Keywords are important for your website, blog and paid ad campaigns,

Why La Colombe Chose Square to Help Fuel Its 100+ Location Expansion

by Square @ Business Resource Center | Town Square

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Todd Carmichael has lived and breathed coffee for 32 years. He’s the founder of La Colombe, a coffee shop with 12 locations across Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and D.C, and the host of the Travel Channel series Dangerous Grounds. Fueled by Carmichael’s passion to push the U.S. coffee scene forward, La Colombe sits at the forefront of the ethical trade movement and regularly dabbles in new terrain like brewing the first-ever latte on tap. And it’s all paid off. The company is rapidly expanding, with plans to open 100+ locations across the country over the next few years.

But until recently, there was a problem — La Colombe’s old-school point-of-sale system. Slow, clunky, and confusing, the system didn’t move at the speed necessary to support the company’s growth. What’s more, it was big and ugly — a jarring contrast with La Colombe’s sleek design aesthetic, creating what Carmichael calls a “barrier” between his employees and the customer. So they ripped it all out and replaced everything with Square.

La Colombe is now a Square power-user, using Employee Management to streamline operations and manage employees across all its locations. And as La Colombe expands to 100+ locations, Square will be there to support it with our ever-growing suite of sophisticated tools for larger businesses.

As we were helping La Colombe make the switch to Square (we have to admit, it was satisfying to rip everything out), we caught a few minutes with Carmichael. Below is our interview, where we talk coffee, design, and why Carmichael chose Square.

Interview Excerpts:

How did you decide it was time to expand?

I’ve come to the idea that America deserves better coffee. And I believe that we are the people to deliver on that promise. But I can’t deliver on that promise alone — I need partners. I need people who understand. We couldn’t have done that type of expansion without tools like Square. It’s impossible. Without you guys I probably wouldn’t succeed.

Why did you make the switch to Square?

You can’t make beautiful coffee over the Berlin Wall. In so many ways the old-school register was that. I’m going over these huge barriers — and that’s not what it’s about. You and I right now are talking without anything between us. That’s what Square offers to me.

Customer experience seems to be at the top of your priority list

What counts is making transactions quickly. Let’s get that part done and go to the part that counts — the interaction between us. I’m not just seeing the top of your head over a huge register. Architecture and design matters. It tells a story about who we are, which is about interaction with our customers. Square is beautiful, small, and quick.

Why is design so important?

I felt like my old register system were these anchors at the end of chains — and I’m floating on this beautiful ship. You guys have come along and you’ve changed that, you’ve caught up with me.

What does the switch to Square mean for your business?

First off, I know how to actually operate Square. I want mobile people and I want people out front. I’d like you to come into my café and have a great experience. Square makes my cafés a happier experience. It’s a fact.

Learn how to put Employee Management to work for your business. Get started with a 30-day trial.

How to Create Multiple Pages for Your Website with BlueGriffon 2.x

by @ thesitewizard.com

This article shows you how to add multiple pages to your website using the free BlueGriffon web editor. It is chapter 7 of the BlueGriffon 2.x tutorial.

Fan Content: How to Leverage Your Fans to Enhance Your Social Media

Fan Content: How to Leverage Your Fans to Enhance Your Social Media

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you want your fans to help market you? Are you wondering how to include fan content in your social media? To explore how fan content can enhance your social media, I interview Jesse Desjardins for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Jesse Desjardins. Jesse is the head of social at Tourism Australia, where he manages a small team that oversees large Facebook, Instagram and Google+ communities. Working with fans, Jesse's team receives over 1000 images from fans a day! Jesse shares how he and his team leverage fan content--specifically photos--to promote Australian tourism. You'll discover how Jesse and his three-person team have grown Facebook to 6M fans and Instagram to 800K fans to reach 3M to 6M people a day. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Fan Content How Jesse got started at Tourism Australia Jesse shares that while he was working at a small advertising agency in the U.S. in 2004, he went to Australia on holiday for a month and fell in love with the country. He ended up getting a job and staying. After four years, he returned to the U.S. and was working in advertising doing campaigns for celebrity perfumes when he realized he'd left a brand he loved—Australia and travel. For the next two years, Jesse spent time on SlideShare doing things like You Suck at PowerPoint. During that time he also put up proposals for people to send him money to attend festivals like SXSW and Cannes Lion in exchange for his notes and photos. Jesse says that gave him a good foundation for how to build community. When he saw a job open up for social media manager at Tourism Australia, he sent his résumé, but he knew he needed to do something more. He put his résumé on SlideShare that night and the next morning, it had 40k views and a lot of supportive comments. Listen to the show to find out how Twitter helped Jesse get his résumé into the hands of Tourism Australia's managing director. What Tourism Australia's job is and how promoting tourism has changed Jesse explains that Tourism Australia is basically the marketing agency for tourism in Australia. His team promotes tourism to the country as a whole and also works with the different states and international offices. He says that advocacy and word-of-mouth have always played a role in promoting any industry, especially travel. Tourism Australia had started a Facebook page before he joined the organization; however, it took them three years to hit 1M fans. Jesse shares that he took a look at what had already been done and made the decision to launch Instagram, Google+ and Twitter as well and he's ramped it up ever since. Listen to the show to hear how Jesse views the return on social media for Tourism Australia. The strategy behind Tourism Australia's social media Jesse's social media strategy has a couple of components. He says the first component is to build something that gets bigger over time. Jesse explains that in traditional advertising, the work tends to focus on big campaigns that you work on for 6 months, then launch. His approach for Tourism Australia is different. His team works on the small things that add value every single day. As an example, he explains that instead of running a big campaign or contest to grow Instagram quickly, they've grown the account slowly over the past two years by posting consistently. He says this has been a good way to use the small resources they have to perfect the system to ...

How to Vet Social Media Groups for Prospects

How to Vet Social Media Groups for Prospects

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you looking for ways to engage directly with your customers? Have you thought about joining social groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and beyond? Joining the right social groups allows you to connect with your customers by answering their questions and sharing valuable information. In this post you'll discover how to choose the best social groups for your business. Listen to this article: #1: Look for Real Discussions The most important thing to look for in a social group is discussion. You're not looking for posts; you're looking for posts with comments. This signals a group whose members are actively engaging with each other. In other words, you want to steer clear of the "link farms" of social groups. These are the ones where members stop by to drop a link to their latest content or sales page, and nothing more. Note that groups that allow people to share links can still have engagement. It's the groups that have zero engagement and lots of links that you'll want to avoid or leave at your earliest convenience. Sure, you could drop your own links into those groups, but chances are no one is listening. #2: Consider Groups Your Competitors Join If you're having trouble finding social groups to join for your business, take a look at what groups are listed on your competitors' profiles. Start by visiting your competitors' Facebook profiles. Click on their About tab and scroll down to see if they have any groups listed publicly on their profile. You can find a similar listing of groups on some LinkedIn profiles. Note that some LinkedIn users can see who has visited their profile. Also check the About tab on your competitors' Google+ profiles to see if they publicly share the communities they've joined. This research should point you toward groups that will be great for your business to participate in to find customers, colleagues and partners. #3: Make Sure Your Customers Are There To ensure that the groups you've joined are home to your customers (and that they're actively engaged), do a quick preview of engaged member profiles. You can do this by hovering over names of people engaged in discussions in Facebook groups. You can scroll through discussions on LinkedIn to see the headlines of discussion starters or hover over names in the comments or discussions. Both will usually include job titles and company names. On Google+, hover over names of Google+ users to see their taglines, many of which will also include job titles and company names. This research should ensure that your customers are participating in discussions within a group and help you figure out the right people to start engaging with yourself. #4: Go Local Whenever you're searching for great groups for your business, don't forget to go local in your search. Even if your business isn't solely local, you'll likely find great local groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ that focus on helping businesses refer other businesses. In many cases local groups tend to be more heavily moderated than general groups, making them invaluable. #5: Try Paid-Entry Groups Another option when searching for social groups with strong engagement is to focus on groups that require some form of payment to enter. This includes the use of paid products, courses, subscriptions, memberships, masterminds, events, conferences and other premium points of entry. To find these groups, ask yourself what premium resources your customers would buy. These groups likely are filled with the customers you want to connect with; ones who've shown they're willing to invest in premium education, products and services. Go Beyond Social Networks Don't just rely on the top social networks to connect with your customers. Look beyond social networks for forums, Q&A networks and other online communities within your industry. These also offer a wealth of opportunities to engage directly with your ideal cust...

4 Ways to Use Facebook and Twitter Analytics to Improve Your Marketing

4 Ways to Use Facebook and Twitter Analytics to Improve Your Marketing

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you overwhelmed by the amount of analytic data found on social media platforms? Want to know which metrics to follow? Knowing what to measure and how to apply the data makes it easier to modify your marketing for better reach, engagement, and visibility. In this article, you'll discover four ways social media insights can improve your marketing on Facebook and Twitter. Listen to this article: Measure What Matters Like any data set, social analytics have their share of vanity metrics that provide very little value. Paying attention to these vanity metrics can distract you from watching the metrics that help you take action and make decisions. For example, a sudden growth in likes or followers might make you feel great about your efforts, but by itself, it's a vanity metric that doesn't really tell you anything to help you adjust your marketing. Instead, focus on the analytics that are important to your strategy and goals, then review other data for trouble signs or trends that can impact your efforts. For example, if growing your engagement is a target goal in your strategy, then you need to zero in on per-post engagement levels to see what works and what doesn't. #1: Adjust Your Content Mix Twitter and Facebook both offer data on how well individual posts perform with your audience, including their reach and engagement. On Facebook, go to Insights > Posts > Post Types to review the engagement by the type of content you posted (post, link, image, video). On Twitter, you can see a snapshot of each post you've made by going to Settings > Analytics > Tweets. Pay close attention to this data, because it paints a clear picture about the type of content your audience is most interested in. You can review this data to see how your audience responds to the use of links, images, and video. For example, link shares might not do well overall by the numbers. Looking closer, you could discover that your audience may be less inclined to engage with curated links, but their heads turn when you post links to your own blog. Monitoring the data on engagement and reach vs. post type can help you tweak your approach to sharing content so that you're leveraging the types of content your audience prefers to digest and share. #2: Fine-tune Your Posting Schedule The majority of your audience may be up during the day, but that doesn't mean they're checking their social accounts at the same time. When they check, and on which days, can vary greatly from one audience to another. Your social metrics can tell you exactly when your audience is most likely to engage with your content. On Facebook, go to Insights > Posts > When Your Fans Are Online. For Twitter, you can use a tool such a Tweriod to find out when the bulk of your followers are online. This data is very important when you consider the limited real estate you get in social feeds. Getting the timing right on your content can make a huge difference. If you make a post early in the morning, but the bulk of your audience typically engages with your content in the afternoon, then that early morning post is likely to get buried, seen by only a small portion of your audience. Check your insights and analytics for peak engagement times. Experiment with different times and days to see when your audience is most likely to respond. Zeroing in on when they're most active will greatly improve your reach and engagement. #3: Inform Your Messaging Both Twitter and Facebook sit on a wealth of user data, including behavior, location, demographics, interests, lifestyle, employment, and more. Facebook arguably provides the most diverse data set, while Twitter also provides helpful audience information. Similar audience data is available in a variety of ways depending on the platform you're using. On Facebook, open the Ads Manager and go to Audience Insights. On Twitter, you can check your audience data by going to Settings > Twitter Ads > Analytics ...

How to Use Facebook Audience Overlap to Improve Your Facebook Marketing

How to Use Facebook Audience Overlap to Improve Your Facebook Marketing

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Want to learn more about the people who make up your Facebook custom audiences? Have you tried Facebook's Audience Overlap? Using Audience Overlap will let you compare your custom audiences against each other, revealing information that will help you make better decisions on where to focus ad targeting and conversion efforts. In this article you'll discover how to use Facebook Audience Overlap to improve your Facebook marketing. Listen to this article: What Is Audience Overlap? Audience Overlap is a Facebook Ads tool that allows you to compare up to five different audiences at once and see the percentage of people who overlap among those audiences. You can access Audience Overlap in the Audiences section of either the Ads Manager or Power Editor. Within the Audiences section, you can see all of the audiences you've created from custom audiences, lookalike audiences, or saved audiences. There are a few differences among these audiences. Custom audiences can be made up of website visitors, certain subsets of your website visitors, a list of email subscribers, or people who have done something specific with your app. Lookalike audiences are similar groups of people you create from another audience, which you use in targeting. Saved audiences are any sets of targeting you save. One limitation to Audience Overlap is that the audiences you compare need to have at least 1,000 people in them to protect people's privacy. How to Use Audience Overlap Audience Overlap is easy to use. Select the check boxes of the audiences you want to compare and then choose Show Audiences Overlap from the Actions drop-down menu. Whichever audience you select first will be the "main" audience for comparison. To change the main audience, click the arrow button in the upper-right corner of the pop-up box and select one of the other audiences. Here are five ways to use Audience Overlap to analyze your community. #1: Compare Website Visitors With Your Email List It's useful to know how many of your website visitors are already email subscribers. Compare your email subscribers audience to your total web traffic audience, as well as other audiences you've created (such as last week's traffic). This will help you know if you need to work on getting more of your email subscribers to visit your site and if you want to focus on getting more of your website traffic onto your email list. Keep in mind that these results aren't exact. When you upload a custom audience of your email subscribers, they won't all match up because your subscribers' email addresses have to be the same login they use for Facebook. I find that somewhere between 50% and 75% of the list typically matches. #2: See How Many Facebook Fans Visit Your Website Do an Audience Overlap comparison to find out whether your Facebook fans are going to your website. If the overlap is low, it could mean you're not promoting your own content enough. If the posts directing people to your website are not doing the trick, you may need to increase your ad budget so they get in front of your fans more often. #3: Find Out Whether Lookalike Audiences Match Your Current Audience Sometimes lookalike audiences don't perform well when you use them in ads. You can check to see how much these audiences have in common with your current audience or other saved audiences that perform well. Remember, you don't want these audiences to have a lot of overlap or you won't be reaching anyone new. However, if they have little or nothing in common, it could be an indication of a mismatch. #4: Analyze the Overlap of Two Audiences Another good way to use Audience Overlap is to compare two sets of targeting to make sure there isn't too much overlap. If you run ads for similar groups at the same time, you're essentially bidding against yourself. You may not need to use both audiences in your targeting. At the very least,

Facebook Advertising 101: How to Get Started With Facebook Ads

Facebook Advertising 101: How to Get Started With Facebook Ads

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Are you considering running Facebook ads? Have you tried Facebook ads but have had little success? To discover how to run successful Facebook ad campaigns, I interview Amy Porterfield. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Amy Porterfield, co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies and host of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. She's also the former Facebook community manager for Social Media Examiner. Amy will explore what you need to know to get started with Facebook ads, plus you'll discover the benefits of running Facebook ad campaigns. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Facebook Advertising 101 How Amy got started in social media and Facebook Amy became interested in social media when she was still in the corporate world. She worked for Tony Robbins for about six and a half years as director of content development. In that last year Tony got heavily into social media (he did his own Twitter), and Amy worked on Tony's Facebook page. Amy got the entrepreneurial bug, and knew she wanted to go out on her own. She fell in love with social media and she knew that was the area to pursue. While still in the corporate sphere, Amy started educating herself. She asked to be involved with anything related to online marketing and social media. About a year later, she took the leap and left the corporate world. Amy started by doing social media consulting, but eventually built a business around online training courses related to social media marketing. Listen to the show to discover how Amy and I first connected, and our first experience at Blog World. Why use Facebook ads? Facebook does a lot to help marketers find their ideal audience online. Amy believes the targeting capabilities on Facebook are far more advanced than any other social media platform. Facebook allows people to get in front of their perfect audience on a regular basis. Amy breaks down the Facebook targeting options. If you've built up a Facebook business page and have a few thousand fans, start with targeting them. It's the cheapest way to target on Facebook, since you don't pay as much when you target your own fans versus a cold audience. The next thing to do is create a lookalike audience of your own fan base. You tell Facebook that you have these fans, and you want to target people who are similar in likes, interests, activities and behavior. Facebook will give you an audience that's very similar to the one you've already attracted. Then upload your email list to Facebook. Facebook will compare it to their database, and when they find a match, they put the contact in a bucket. This allows you to target people who are already on your email list with a new opportunity. Also, take that email list and ask Facebook to find a lookalike audience. Amy adds a couple of other targeting options to the mix. Target fans of other Facebook pages, such as your competitors or people who are aligned with your business. Amy says the reason she mentioned the other options first is that sometimes when people are first starting out and go to look for similar interests, they struggle to find Facebook pages to pop up. For example, when you put together your ad, if you type "Amy Porterfield" in interests, her page will likely pop up, and you can target her fans. But a lot of pages won't populate, Amy explains. Facebook says it has to do with trending, activity, engagement and how many fans you have. Amy suggests trying to find five pages and target their fans. Another one of Amy's favorite techniques is to re...

Growing Social Media Examiner: The Bumpy Road of Pursuit

Growing Social Media Examiner: The Bumpy Road of Pursuit

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Ever wonder how Social Media Examiner started? Are you curious about the obstacles we faced in building a sizable media entity? Sit back and learn the story that led millions of people to us. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, my friend Mark Mason, host of the Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast, interviews me to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Social Media Marketing podcast. We'll explore the core skills that helped me move into social media marketing. You'll also learn how I make strategic decisions about the future of the company. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Pursuit My Entrepreneurial Journey Before Social Media Examiner, I was known as a writer. I wrote a book called Writing White Papers and helped a lot of out-of-work journalists figure out how to go from writing for magazines and newspapers to writing for businesses. The job of a white paper is to persuade and educate. Businesses with expensive or complex products or services use white papers to communicate about them. For instance, a big corporation would hire someone to talk to the engineering and sales departments and translate that foreign language into something a customer could understand. Mark asks how important the helping aspect is to me as an entrepreneur. Whatever I do, I want to help the largest number of people in a way that doesn't place a huge strain on me personally. There's only so much of me to go around, and by creating products that are highly scalable, I can make helping others a big part of what I do. For example, this podcast has more than 10 million downloads and Social Media Examiner has 60 million readers. I wasn't an overnight success, however. When I started Social Media Examiner in 2009, I felt like I was really late to the social media game. A lot of people say they feel they're late today. What I lacked in timing I made up for in my ability to ask questions, understand complex things, and communicate how these things work in a way everyone can understand. This skill has helped me throughout my career. In the 1990s, my focus was creative agency work and designing websites, which was novel at the time. I also helped people design annual reports, trade show booth displays, and corporate logos. When I transitioned into a writer and later into social media, my communication skills continued to serve me well. When I started Social Media Examiner, my secret skill wasn't that I knew anything about social (I knew nothing). It was my ability to discern which people knew things, extract information from them, and convey that knowledge to my audience. No matter what you do, figure out which of your skills allow you to travel into a new space. Then you can be really successful. My entrepreneurial journey has never been easy. By the same token, I think if it had been easy, I would have been bored and moved along to the next thing. I like a challenge and solving puzzles. I'm not one of those people who wants to build a system and then sit back and retire on a beach. I want to keep pushing the envelope and figuring out ways to be better. When I was in college, I dreamed that I was in a room with a couple of hundred people who were congratulating me on my success. I had the dream when I was around 20 years old, and I'm 49 now. That dream didn't come true for around 25 years. Although I've always had certain levels of success, I've never had something amazing happen overnight. I've always been the tortoise, not the hare. I realized my dream had come true in 2014, the second year of Social Media Marketing World,

How to Create Social Media Contests That Convert

How to Create Social Media Contests That Convert

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Looking for ways to improve your social media contests? Want to know what works for other businesses? Whether you want to build an email list or grow your follower base, social media contests are a great way to engage your audience and significantly boost conversions. In this article you'll discover how three businesses ran successful social media contests and learn how to incorporate their tactics into your own contests. Listen to this article: 3 Successful Social Media Contests for Inspiration The Prepared Pantry, an Idaho-based specialty grocery store, sells baking mixes, kitchen tools, and gourmet foods. The store ran a smart sweepstakes contest, enticing fans to enter its social media contest by offering a top-of-the-line panini maker. To enter, fans simply had to give their name and email, like the company's Facebook page, and share and tweet out the contest. The Prepared Pantry's campaign received 4,392 impressions and captured 1,972 entries. That's a conversion rate of 44.8%! A conversion rate over 40% is excellent. After this one campaign, the company now has almost 2,000 new email subscribers. TopmaQ is a New Zealand–based company that sells tools, construction equipment, and building products. Fans were offered a chance to win a wheelbarrow full of tools - what a creative incentive! For a chance to win, fans entered their email and liked and shared TopmaQ's Facebook page. TopmaQ's creative giveaway resulted in 8,798 impressions, captured 2,296 email addresses, and finished with a conversion rate of 26%. With the extensive reach and high number of entries, TopmaQ clearly picked a prize that resonated with their target audience. Core Entertainment, an Ontario-based entertainment company, holds over 400 events each year. One lucky winner was offered a private suite for an upcoming concert featuring country music star Garth Brooks. To enter, fans supplied their email and liked and shared the campaign for a chance to win. This social media contest was seen by 3,549 people, captured 1,062 email entries, and resulted in a conversion rate of 29.9%. With impressive reach and over 1,000 new email subscribers, Core Entertainment certainly knocked it out of the park with this campaign. Replicate the Success of These Social Contests for Your Business You've just seen three examples of highly successful social media marketing contests spanning the grocery, hardware, and entertainment industries. Hopefully, you're already considering what prize you might give away for your next social contest, or how you might promote it to your audience. Now here comes the best part. Each of the preceding contests did the same five things to set their campaign up for success. Read on to learn what these steps are and how you can replicate them for your next contest. #1: Make Your Contest Mobile-Friendly Mobile is a must for a successful social contest. Facebook boasts 1.04 billion daily active users, with 934 million of those on mobile. This is a big number, but should come as no surprise. In fact, according to Mary Meeker's 2015 Internet Trends Report, U.S. adults now spend more time every day browsing the Internet from mobile phones than they do from computers. If your social contest isn't mobile-friendly, you're missing out on over half of your potential entries. #2: Promote With Linkshare Posts Creating social contests is great, but how will they help you capture new leads if they can't be found? Promote your contest via email marketing, sharing on social networks, writing a blog post, or even word-of-mouth marketing. Additionally, share your campaign in a linkshare post on Facebook. To promote your campaign in a linkshare post, paste the direct link of your campaign in a Facebook status. As you do, you'll notice that Facebook automatically renders a preview of your campaign, including an image (just like the post for the Prepared Pantry above).

Blogging for Business: How Content Can Improve Your Sales

Blogging for Business: How Content Can Improve Your Sales

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Are you wondering how a blog can help your business? Are you trying to figure out how content can improve your sales? To learn more about the connection of blogging and content marketing, I interview Marcus Sheridan for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Marcus Sheridan, founder of The Sales Lion and author of the ebook Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy. Marcus shares insights into the struggles marketers have to get results from business blogging. You'll learn what to focus your efforts on and a few simple tactics that will work. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Content Marketing for Business What blogging is today Marcus explains why blogging is essentially about teaching the people in your industry. He shares why it's important for your business to be better at teaching than anyone else in the world. You'll hear why social media is not in your control and why you need to have your content on your own blog. Marcus shares how your blog helps you to communicate with your prospects and existing customers and the different ways you can use your content for your business. Listen to the show to find out the power of producing your own content. How to use content marketing for your blog The expression content marketing has exploded in popularity over the last 18 months and Marcus thinks that it's going to become a more common marketing approach within the next 12-18 months. Marcus shares how content marketing helped River Pools & Spas become #1 on Google and how a single article made his company $1.2 million in sales. Learn why content is the greatest sales tool in the world when used properly and how it can shorten the sales cycle. Listen to the show to find out the rewards behind the principle of communication and great teaching. How to produce great content You'll learn why it's important to talk to the reader in your voice and how to deepen their trust in you and your business. You'll also pick up some useful tips to create great content: Speak in your own voice. Eliminate the marketing message from your content. Make your blog your education center to answer all of the questions your prospects and clients ask. Offer more articles for readers to look at examples. Add a call to action to help your readers learn more. Listen to the show to discover the benefits of using your own voice and keeping it real. How to connect blogging to business results Marcus shares why it's so important for your business to be aware of how your content performs in communicating with your prospects. You'll discover why he believes every salesperson should participate in the company blog. And Marcus shares his hottest blogging and content marketing tips for businesses today: Approach content marketing as a teacher. Discover your content marketing tipping points that impact your business results. He says, "If you hang around the barbershop long enough, you're going to get your hair cut." If people spend enough time on your site, they will become customers. You have got to put the content out there and make it valuable, and you've got to be a teacher. When you do, you'll start to see amazing benefits. Listen to the show to hear how your business can benefit from blogging and content marketing. Survival Tip: Social Sharing The secret to getting the results you want from the content you create is to embed social share triggers in key strategic locations withi...

5 reasons why you should use Google AdWords

by WebsitesForAnything @ Websites For Anything

Google launched its Self-Service Advertising Program back in October of 2000. Today, we know this as Google AdWords, and as a small business owner here in Fredericksburg it’s definitely something you should think about using to your advantage. If you’re not familiar with Google AdWords, it’s just a simple pay-per-click (PPC) service which enables you to create and run ads ...

The post 5 reasons why you should use Google AdWords appeared first on Websites For Anything.

How to Discover Social Media Insights About Your Competitors

How to Discover Social Media Insights About Your Competitors

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Want to raise the bar on your social media? Are you monitoring your competitors? Knowing what works for the competition helps improve your own social media marketing. In this article you'll discover six ways to reveal insights about your competitors' social media marketing. Listen to this article: #1: Analyze Your Competitor's Content Share Rates Ahrefs is a handy tool for SEO, but it has some excellent social metrics as well. If you want to look at more than just social sharing numbers, it has some stats that will give you a peek at how your competitors' content is performing socially. Open Ahrefs Content Explorer. Then type in your competitor's domain, and click Search. You'll see a spread of your competitor's content, along with a snapshot of share stats in table form. To drill down into the shares for specific pieces of content, click the down arrow located in the far-right cell. You can instantly see how the article is distributed on social media. This chart provides you with information about the sharing velocity of the content and the most popular platforms. You can access this information for every article ever published. This helps you understand how, why and when your competitor's content is getting distributed. Note: Ahrefs requires a trial sign-up or paid membership. #2: Find Out Who Shares Your Competitor's Content on Twitter It's crucial to know who loves your competition. If an audience loves your competitors, there's a good chance that they'll love you, too. Go to https://twitter.com/search-home and type in a competitor's Twitter handle and when you see the results, click Live to see Twitter users who are promoting your competitor's content. These people, for whatever reason, may follow your competitor on Twitter. They at least liked your competitor's content so much that they shared it. What should you do about it? You may want to reach out and follow these users yourself, share their content or favorite their tweets. Doing this will get you on their radar. #3: Identify Top Influencers Who Share Your Competitor's Content Every industry has those people who are actively sharing great content. Chances are, your competitors are benefitting from the social sharing of these individuals. How would you like to have these people sharing on your behalf? You can use BuzzSumo here, but if you don't have a paid account, you can carry this technique only so far. BuzzSumo imposes a daily limit on non-users, so you may have to wait a day to try this one out. (Or just buy an account; it's worth it.) Go ahead and enter a competitor's website so you can identify their top-shared content again. Now, click View Sharers. The list you'll see shows you who is sharing this content and why it's so popular. The information is roughly organized according to the top-ranked influencers. The people who are at the top are big on social media. They usually have lots of followers. If they have a website, you can also see that web address. One of the best features of this tool is the ability to filter results. Say you want to find only the social sharers who have a blog. No problem. Filter the results to show only bloggers. Now you can target the people who might be open to sharing your content on their blog, or who could be open to guest-posting opportunities. What should you do with this information on social influencers? Connect with them on their preferred social media network. Get to know them. Reach out to them and request retweets. Inquire about guest posting on their blog. #4: Discover Your Competitor's Most Popular Content What are the most popular articles your competitors are producing? What content has the most shares? Use a tool like BuzzSumo to find out. You don't need to sign up for an account to use the limited version. Enter the domain URL of the site your competitor uses to post content.

6 Tips for Writing Headlines That Drive Traffic

6 Tips for Writing Headlines That Drive Traffic

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are your headlines performing as well as you'd like? Do you want to write more effective headlines? Using a few simple techniques, you can craft headlines that capture attention and convince people to click through to your content. In this article you’ll discover six tips for writing effective headlines that drive traffic. Listen to this article: #1: Begin With Numbers Headlines containing numbers typically perform better than other types of headlines. A list-type post promises to be quick and easy to read, and that's important in today's busy world. You can use a low number to illustrate how concise your article is, or a high number to illustrate how comprehensive it is. But don't use too high a number or you'll lose the benefit of the content appearing easy to consume. Odd numbers generally perform better than even numbers, as they appear less conveniently packaged than even numbers, and the number seven works well in headlines. Make sure you use a numeral rather than spell out the number. Numerals stand out better in headlines and take up less space. #2: Highlight Value Why should people read your post? What's in it for them? The benefit should be clear, simple and direct in the headline. How-to headlines always work well, in part because they're so clear. The reader can see instantly the benefit to be gained by reading the article. Your headline should promise something. And the more specific you can make that promise, the better. It's an added bonus if you can incorporate drama, excitement or humor in the headline, but don't lose credibility. People distrust outrageous or unlikely claims, so make sure your benefit is genuine and believable. #3: Pique Curiosity Headlines with questions can be effective, provided you compose them the right way. The golden rule is never to ask a question that your reader can answer "no" to. Likewise, if you answer the question in the headline, there is no need for people to read the article. They already know the answer. The question in the following headline creates tension. Readers will want to know the answer, so they'll read the article to find out. Questions arouse curiosity, which is a powerful emotion. #4: Stay Away From Positive Superlatives We're conditioned to always be positive in our communications. But is that tactic effective in headlines? A study by Outbrain found that the average click-through rate on headlines containing negative superlatives ("never" or "worst," for example) performed 63% better than those containing positives (like "always" or "best"). In fact, headlines containing positive superlatives performed 29% worse than those without any superlatives. One reason is that the overuse of superlatives (such as best, fastest or cheapest) in marketing has led to them being ignored, or worse still, disbelieved. Negative terms are more likely to be viewed as authentic and genuine. #5: Add Adjectives and Power Words Unlike superlatives, which can turn readers off, adjectives (if used correctly) can create interest. Incorporate adjectives like beautiful, brilliant, effortless, essential, fun, horrifying, incredible, strange, useful and valuable in your headlines. These words grab your readers' attention and intrigue them sufficiently to read on. To write more persuasive headlines, try these five power words: you, free, because, instantly and new. Beloved by copywriters, these words have been used in headlines for decades. If you use these words in your headlines, you're pretty much guaranteed a boost in your click-through rates. #6: Use Punctuation The Outbrain study mentioned above also found that simply adding a hyphen or a colon to a headline increases click-through rates by 9%. It's a simple technique to use. Place your main keyword before the colon or hyphen, and add your clickbait headline after it. Note Optimal Headline Lengths

How to Use Twitter Analytics to Improve Your Engagement

How to Use Twitter Analytics to Improve Your Engagement

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you need better results from your Twitter marketing? Want to use Twitter Analytics to guide your efforts? The data in Twitter Analytics reports can help you identify the content that resonates with your audience, so you can build a more active following. In this article you'll discover four ways to use Twitter Analytics reports to boost replies, retweets, and other engagement metrics. Listen to this article: #1: Tailor Your Content to Audience Interests Tweeting content that appeals to your audience's interests can draw people to your feed and encourage them to click and share your content. To get to know your audience, go to your Twitter Analytics and click the Audiences tab at the top of the page. By default, you'll see charts tracking follower growth and demographics. There are five tabs that you can click to see data about your audience, such as what devices and wireless carriers they use. The Interests bar graph, which is available on the Overview and Lifestyle tabs, ranks popular topics and indicates what percentage of your audience is interested in those topics. You can find out the interests of users who took part in your campaigns, viewed or interacted with your tweets, and converted on your website. You can also see this data for different personas, such as parents, Millennials, and users with annual incomes greater than $100,000. Once you understand more about your audience's interests, you can create and curate content that will appeal to them. For example, suppose you're a digital marketer for a social analytics company. When you look at your Twitter analytics, you discover your audience has an affinity for cars. With this information, you create content that breaks down the social profiles of different car brands to identify the best industry practices. You'll also want to retweet influencers, share articles from niche publications, and develop multimedia posts that relate to topics your audience enjoys. Regularly tweeting content your audience is interested in will not only boost engagement, but also help you grab your followers' attention when they're scrolling the news feed. #2: Schedule Tweets Based on Your Audience's Location You can increase clicks, retweets, and comments if you schedule your posts when your target audiences are online and most active. To find out the best times to tweet, click the Demographics tab in the Audiences section of your Twitter analytics. The Demographics report gives you a snapshot of your audience's gender, location, net worth, and more. You'll want to focus on your followers' Country and Region stats. You can also examine this data for audiences you want to pursue. Have you ever earned higher-than-normal engagement by tweeting in the early morning or late at night? Your location data may reveal you were tweeting during a foreign audience's peak hours. Using this information, you can adjust your schedule to better reach those followers and prospects based on a time zone. For example, suppose the chart below shows the countries where your followers live. You can see a significant portion of them (18%) live in Egypt, so you may decide to post more often during the country's workday and in the evenings to better connect with that audience. Experiment with sharing relevant news from a particular region and articles from a region's influencers. If one of your content pieces starts earning a high number of clicks and shares, schedule it throughout the day to reach users in other countries. Scheduling content based on user location can help you increase engagement numbers and potentially connect with an audience you never knew about. #3: Tweet Around Events Share content that relates to holidays, conferences, and anticipated trends to add variety to your Twitter feed. Click the Events tab at the top of your analytics dashboard to see an expanding list of events. The sheer volume of events on Twitter may seem ...

Social Sharing: How to Inspire Fans to Share Your Stories

Social Sharing: How to Inspire Fans to Share Your Stories

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do you use stories to market your business? Are you wondering how you can get people to share your content? To learn how to inspire your fans and followers to share your stories via social media, I interview Simon Mainwaring for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Simon Mainwaring, author of We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World. He's a consultant who's worked with brands like Nike and Motorola. Simon also hosts the upcoming We First Social Branding Seminar in West Hollywood in a few days. Simon shares the importance of tapping into the power of your fans to share your story. You'll learn how you can create a story and the kind of content you need to use to succeed. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Social Sharing Why is it important to tap the power of fans? Simon states that the power of social media is not in the ability of a brand to sell directly to a customer; it's more to inspire a customer who made a purchase to talk about your brand to others. With traditional media, it was "one to many." A television commercial would reach many people. Whereas with social media, it's about "one to one to many." Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired magazine, said, "One member of those thousand fans and those thousand fans will promote you to so many other people." Apple's marketing looks effortless, but they do very conscious things to build their rabid fan base. They celebrate the customer through the priority they give to the user experience. There is no other brand out there that spends so much time and attention to make sure their customer experience is so well-captured in the product itself. Apple really listens to their customers and the marketing is done in a very human way. The video below shows the campaign for the iPod, which was done in very simple language. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaVFCdwT0hk You'll discover what else Apple does to tap into the human dynamics and how they have a raving fan base. Not everybody has the brilliance of what Apple has built and Simon says there is a fundamental shift that every brand needs to make. The shift is for companies to market themselves not as the celebrity of their customer community but rather as a celebrant. You have to stop talking about yourself. Instead talk about your customers. Now thanks to social media, there is real-time dialog between brands and consumers. If you want to inspire your fans to promote your brand and build your business, you need to reframe your marketing as a celebration of your customer community. You'll hear the questions you need to think about that get customers to share and what gives you the power of one to one to many. You can then use your marketing platform to celebrate your customers. There are many entrepreneurs and big brands that transform their experience with social media. Brands have changed their positioning and it's become a benefit to their customers. Coca-Cola's marketing used to be "The Real Thing." Now they've changed it to "Open Happiness." Pepsi was "The Joy of Pepsi," and now it's "Refresh Everything." You'll hear how Sharpie celebrates their customers and what Intel did to make it all about their customers with the launch of the Museum of Me. Listen to the show to find out how the direction of conversation has reversed between brand, company and customer. What's happening in the PR and advertising industry to bring about t...

Kickstarter: How Crowd Funding Is Changing Business

Kickstarter: How Crowd Funding Is Changing Business

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Have you considered crowd funding? Are you wondering how it can help your business grow? To learn about how Kickstarter has transformed the process of funding projects, I interview Richard Bliss for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting). In this episode, I interview Richard Bliss, host of the podcast Funding the Dream on Kickstarter. He's also a coach and consultant for crowd funding. Richard shares the do's and don'ts when it comes to creating a Kickstarter project. You'll learn the process in detail of how Kickstarter works for both the campaigner and the supporter. Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below! Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Crowd Funding How would you describe Kickstarter? Richard believes that Kickstarter is a new phenomenon that most people are familiar with. He says the idea is similar to what happens in a church when they pass around a collection plate. The crowd helps fund an idea, a passion or something that they all would like to get more of. It's very public radio– and television–esque in its approach. Listen to the show to find out how Kickstarter has been around nearly 4 years and seems to have hit mainstream now.  Why entrepreneurs and marketers need to pay attention to Kickstarter Richard explains how Kickstarter is totally changing the rules of how we think about money. Traditionally it's the money that blocks us from fulfilling our dreams. However, what crowd funding and Kickstarter have done is made the money worry go away and that leaves us with "Now what do we do?" If you have an idea for a game or a project, for example, you can put it out there and Kickstarter allows you to go find like-minded people. These people want to see you succeed because they like what you are doing. We buy into people's passions. You'll hear an example of someone who wanted to do a tour through New Zealand taking video and photographs and how with help from Kickstarter, she achieved her goal. Kickstarter is not into causes, political campaigns, charities, funding businesses or equity. They are into one thing: If you have an idea for a project, which includes a beginning, an end and a deliverable, they will help you fund it. Richard describes what the deliverable can be and why it has to be clearly defined. You'll discover why the founders of Kickstarter built the platform and the reason it started with film and music. Listen to the show to find out how Richard picked the name for his podcast, Funding the Dream. Types of businesses that benefit from Kickstarter Richard explains how film is the largest category when it comes to sheer numbers. Sundance Film Festival has had 14 of their projects backed by Kickstarter. This year for the first time, an Academy Award was won by a Kickstarter project. Amanda Palmer made news when she raised more than $1 million to fund her new CD. Richard explains how Kickstarter has 13 different categories and 50 subcategories. One of the biggest categories that gets covered in the news is technology. Transformation is what is happening with Kickstarter and crowd funding. Every Kickstarter category that catches fire turns everything upside down. Richard gives an example of a project he has backed recently and how in the past you'd have to convince a bank to give you a business loan for your idea. But Kickstarter totally transforms the money. You'll hear the difference between reward-based and equity-based crowd funding. Richard tells the story of how his reputation led Kic...

Getting Started with Automated Email Marketing

by Sherice Jacob @ The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

Email marketing is one of those pivotal, game-changing facets of online marketing that nearly every serious marketer needs to not only know how to do — but do successfully. As you’ve learned to grow your business, you no doubt have come across email marketing jargon such as segments and drip feeds. But what does it […]

6 Ways to Improve Engagement With Social Media Content

6 Ways to Improve Engagement With Social Media Content

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Do you struggle to get your fans to engage? Interested in ideas to get people talking? Simple content ideas can give you something to talk about, even if you feel like you don't have anything new or original to say. In this article you'll discover six ways to create social media conversations with content. Listen to this article: #1: Ask Your Audience Questions Everyone wants to be heard, so consider asking questions in your social media posts. This gives your audience the opportunity to chime in with their opinions, tips and wisdom. Inviting people to join the conversation makes them feel like your company cares about what they have to say. It also provides insights into your audience that can inform your marketing decisions. Prior to opening a new location, YO! Sushi asked their Facebook followers to guess where the new location would be, based on photos of local landmarks. Everything that Loot Crate does on social media pertains to the gamer and geek culture. In this Facebook post Shenron the dragon asks the audience a question from Anime Expo. Female Entrepreneur Association is all about inspiring and empowering female entrepreneurs and creating a community for them. The question posed below not only engages their audience, but also creates a sense of community among members who are planning to attend the same conference. Money Crashers, which provides expert information on personal finance, flips the script in this post and asks the audience to share their tips. Asking a simple question like "Where in the world are you?" is an easy way to connect with people and find out more about them. This Facebook post from Sprouting Photographer provides an inspirational quote and then asks followers to share their favorite quotes. #2: Post Lighthearted or Humorous Content If you're having a rough day, lighthearted or humorous social content can lighten your mood a bit. You can be that ray of sunshine for your followers, and at the same time, develop meaningful relationships. The Honest Company, whose mission is to empower people to live happy and healthy lives, does a great job of using graphics. The brand is lighthearted, so this amusing post ties in perfectly. If you see content that makes you smile, it will probably make your followers smile as well. In this post Save The Date Wedding Podcast shares a cute animal video from BuzzFeed. Headspace, a meditation app, posts graphics that people can identify with and asks followers to tag friends on Instagram who are like-minded. Denise Duffield-Thomas has an audience of female entrepreneurs who work from home, so she knew this photo of a smartphone cover would make them laugh. #3: Show Off Your Personal Side The more people connect with you on a personal level, the more likely they are to do business with you. If you're a business owner, give people a glimpse into your personal life. If you're a marketer, show what it's like behind the scenes of your company. This post from business strategist Amber McCue reminds people that she, too, is juggling a family life and career. By sharing this post about her kids, she connects with other entrepreneurial moms. Fizzle focuses on helping people start businesses. They post behind-the-scenes photos of their staff spending time together, which helps them connect with their audience. Even Oprah takes readers behind the scenes on her social accounts. In this Instagram post she's learning to make Tibetan dumplings for a lesson she showed on Periscope. Natalie Sisson's followers are interested in her Suitcase Entrepreneur lifestyle, and this Facebook post gives them a taste. #4: Share Inspirational Quotes We all love to be inspired. That's why posts with quotes are so popular on social media. When choosing quotes, keep in mind the perspective of your customers and what they hope to achieve. DailyWorth,

4 Tips to Improve Your YouTube Marketing

4 Tips to Improve Your YouTube Marketing

by @ The Social Media Examiner Show

Are you marketing on YouTube? Could you use some new ideas to improve your YouTube results? Perhaps you should reconsider your YouTube approach. In this article you'll discover four tips to make your YouTube marketing more effective. Listen to this article: #1: Pique Curiosity With Unconventional Video People aren't going to click on your video to see a boring infomercial. They may be willing to tolerate a dry tutorial if it offers unique advice that they won't find elsewhere. The most successful YouTube videos, though, tell an original and interesting story. This ad from Android is a good example. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnVuqfXohxc&feature=youtu.be It may be easier to come up with great content ideas if you don't limit yourself to videos that relate directly to your product or business. This is particularly important if you're in an industry that's hard to get people excited about (such as asphalt contracting). Consider this video of a young girl dancing, which was used to promote the Samsung Galaxy 580 phone. The video is seemingly unrelated to the product, yet still reflects positively on the company. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK7IzfLmyco The video conveys the excitement that Samsung wants its customers to feel about its phone. It helps set the mood for people to take the next step, which is to visit the URL at the end to learn more about the product. Your goal is to keep viewers engaged long enough to soften them up for your call to action. Don't go overboard with this type of content, though. You've probably seen some commercials and had no idea what the message was until the very end, which left you confused about the company. Make sure that your videos evoke the emotions you want customers to feel about your company, even if there isn't a direct connection between your video content and the product you're ultimately promoting. #2: Support Customer Research With Keywords When marketing on YouTube, it's important to recognize and consider your audience's stage in the buying process. Some marketers try to cold-sell to customers and prospects who might be interested in their products. The problem is that people who find your videos on YouTube are usually in the discovery stage and aren't ready to commit to a purchase. For this reason, it's important to choose keywords that are relevant to people who are looking for new information and to provide video content that educates based on those keywords. You can use the AdWords Display Planner tool to research keywords for your video descriptions and ad targeting. What types of keywords should you look for? Consider words and phrases that are relevant to both your industry and products. For example, if you have a car repair shop, you could target keywords such as "how to change oil" and "auto mechanic." Testing Keyword Performance in YouTube Ads Your keywords need to receive enough exposure for you to properly test them. Choose keywords with at least 1,000 monthly impressions, and you should be able to gather enough data to gauge their effectiveness. During the initial keyword testing phase, you want to collect data on the performance of keywords in your ads in a cost-effective way. Some of the keywords you're bidding on may generate more volume than you expect, especially if you're bidding competitively. YouTube is a massive site, so it's easy to quickly blow your ad budget, especially if you choose high-volume targeting options. Unless you're working with a big budget to start with, set your budget low enough to ensure you don't spend too much on a single keyword target. You can always raise your budget after you've had a chance to optimize your campaign and know which keywords offer the best ROI. #3: Qualify Leads With YouTube Video The goal of your video should be to prequalify viewers and send fully interested prospects on to your website to learn more about your products and services.

The Art of Persuasion: How to Craft Words That Sell

The Art of Persuasion: How to Craft Words That Sell

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

Do your words sell? Want to sharpen your copywriting skills? To explore the art of persuasion and why it's important to social marketers, I interview Ray Edwards. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Ray Edwards, author of Writing Riches and MoneyWords. He's host of The Ray Edwards Show. His latest book is called How to Write Copy That Sells: The Step-by-Step System for More Sales, to More Customers, More Often. Ray will explore how to craft written and spoken words that sell. You'll discover why marketers should care about creating persuasive content. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: The Art of Persuasion Ray's copywriting journey In 1974, at age 9, Ray saw his first direct-response copy at his grandparents' house in Pineville, Kentucky. His grandmother loved to read Weekly World News and The National Enquirer, and Ray's favorite part of those tabloids was the fascinating, full-page articles that were peppered with information about books and courses that were available for purchase. Those stories had headlines like, "Turn Your Mind Into a Mental Magnet That Attracts Friends, Power, Love, and Money" and "How Modern Chinese Medicine Helps Burn Disease Out of Your Body, Using Nothing More Than the Palm of Your Hand." Ray later learned these were not articles; they were full-page ads written by Eugene Schwartz, who was "a genius with direct-response copy." During his career in radio, Ray studied direct-response copywriting and marketing, and used them as his secret weapon in the business. While others were cranking out commercials and ad copy to fill 30- or 60-second spots, Ray wanted to get money into advertisers' businesses. That way they would keep doing business with the station and he could keep his job. In the early 2000s, radio started changing because of the Internet. People could take their favorite songs with them, which eliminated the things that annoy people about radio stations: static, commercials, and DJs. Ray recalls paying $1,200 to go to a group meeting at Seth Godin's office in New York. (This was before Seth was as big as he is now, but after he had written Permission Marketing and Unleashing the Ideavirus.) Ray figured Seth could offer "marketing wizardry" about how to fix the radio stations, but Seth's advice to Ray was to figure out what to do after he was out of the radio broadcasting industry. Ray realized everything he'd learned about marketing, persuasion, and selling in an entertaining and palatable way would transfer to the Internet. He hung out his shingle and has been working as an Internet copywriter since 2005. Listen to the show to discover which client (and handler) Ray and Mike had in common. The importance of persuasive content Marketers need to write so people will buy not only products, but also ideas. You want people to read your blog posts to the end, comment on or share them, or write about them. Ray explains that you know you're writing persuasively when other people are writing about your posts. You're the generator of the conversation, not only a participant. He says that at it's core, copywriting is the science and craft of persuasion in communication. Whether you're talking, writing a blog post, doing an interview, recording a podcast, or posting on Snapchat, every communication is persuasion. Listen to the show to learn why Mike feels this topic is so important. Ray's system for persuasion Because everyone is present on the social media playing field, you have to be persuasive and stand out.

Social Strategy: How to Build a Sustainable Social Media Marketing Plan

Social Strategy: How to Build a Sustainable Social Media Marketing Plan

by @ Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business t