Tag Archives: social media marketing

Pinterest Marketing: A Case Study

Pinterest Marketing_ A Case Study-315Pinterest made its debut as a photo-sharing website in 2010. It’s an amazing platform to use for marketing, especially when your product or services are visual. Does Pinterest marketing work?  I say it can for the right businesses! Here’s my “go to” Pinterest Marketing steps.

1. Set up a Pinterest business account

Pinterest is free to use. If your intention is to market your business on Pinterest, you should have a business account.  Business accounts have access to tools not available to individuals. Current users who switch to a business account can keep all existing followers and data.

2. Create at least 10 boards with at least 10 pins each

To be successful at marketing on Pinterest or any other platform, you must understand your customers.  On Pinterest, like all digital platforms, you demonstrate your expertise by creating content your audience values.  Create at least 10 boards with at least 10 pins each to start. Feature your own content and curate content from boards with a similar target audience.

3. Create “Pinnable” images for your best content

To best leverage your marketing, use Pinterest to drive traffic to your website, blog, YouTube channel or anyplace else.  Since Pinterest is a visual platform, all content should be presented with an attractive image.  To best take advantage of the images, they should include text that describes the linked content.

4. Create a “Best of Your Blog” board and make it the first board on your page.

One of the best ways to use Pinterest is to drive traffic to your website.  A “Best of Your Site” board can be an effective tool for this purpose.  The beautiful and descriptive images created in the previous step are perfect for this.  For best results, upload these images at the maximum resolution.

5. Identify Group Boards

Gathering a large number of followers takes time.  Rather than waiting, leverage existing Group Boards that already have a large number of followers.  A Pinterest Group Board search engine like  PinGroupie will help you find large group boards by category.  Only join boards where your content is appropriate.

6. Add Pins with New Content

Use Pinterest to highlight new content on your website, videos and other platforms.  All content should be linked with an attractive image and interesting text that clearly explains what your content is about.  This will give you a steady stream of traffic back to your website.

7. Maintenance and Optimization

Pinterest marketing is a long-term game.  Don’t expect success overnight, and not every link will be popular.  For maximum impact, reevaluate your existing content periodically.  Replace the less popular content with new content or refresh the images on older content.  This gives you the best opportunity to attract traffic.

All marketing is about building relationships with your potential customers.  Like other social media platforms, Pinterest can be an effective tool to accomplish this task.

I advised Hackerette.com, a travel blogger, on her Pinterest marketing. This is the strategy I recommended for her to showcase her travels with images of her in different destinations. There’s a personalization and authenticity through this pinning. She built trust and showcased her travel knowledge at the same time.

In her first month using these techniques, her Pinterest visitors were up 46% and sessions were up a whopping 48%.

The third month Pinterest showed a 260% improvement in sending traffic to her website. Pinterest daily pin impressions were up 873% and daily pin viewer average was up 484%. Monthly viewers were up 33% and monthly engaged viewers were up 110%.

One of the things you must keep in mind is to have a strategy to Pinterest traffic to your website before you grow your account. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to grow your Pinterest account and putting together a new course or product.

Need help with your social media strategy? Contact me … I can help.

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What are Facebook’s Audience Network Ads

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If you’re implementing a social media strategy for your business, Facebook advertising must be a part of it. It’s demographic targeting, and price points make it very attractive for a lot of businesses. It’s much cheaper than traditional advertising, and it gets your business in front of more people than organic Facebook marketing does.

There are many different ads you can create using Facebook advertising, but one of the most unique is advertising on Facebook Audience Network.

What is Facebook Audience Network?

This is how Facebook allows its advertisers to advertise off of the platform with the exact same targeting it offers on the platform. This can be remarkable for advertisers. Websites who want to generate revenue by being a part of the network, and of course, for Facebook who now has, even more, ways to offer to advertise.

There are 3 types of visual ads your business can place. A banner that shows up at the bottom of the screen. A native that appears in an article. An interstitial which takes up the full page above or below the article. You can also place Audience Network video ads that will appear throughout a video stream.

Why does Facebook Audience Network matter?

Many marketers have worried that Facebook’s news feed and in-platform advertising spaces would eventually become too saturated to be effective, or for the platform to continue to make money. Facebook’s new Audience Network allows Facebook to display their ads on external sites much like Google’s Display Network.

This is very important for Facebook, businesses, and marketers alike. They’re able to keep the same price point or cheaper sometimes on Audience Network ads. Therefore, making them that much more appealing.

Why are these ads so powerful?

This advertising can bring your cost per click down drastically. In fact, if you choose to opt out of the Audience Network Placement while placing your ad, Facebook will warn you that doing so might increase your overall cost per conversion. With more availability comes lower ad costs, and that’s a powerful thing.

Not only that, but you’re able to reach even more people. Even people who might not be regularly using Facebook or viewing the ads on Facebook. With Facebook’s incredible targeting data and demographic insights.

Facebook advertising should be an essential piece of your digital marketing strategy. If you have a limited advertising budget, test out social ads on Facebook’s Audience Network.

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What is Planoly for Instagram?

What is Planoly for Instagram-315(1)If you produce or sell products with visual appeal, Instagram may be the unsung hero of your future marketing efforts.

Instagram marketing isn’t as well publicized as its older social media cousins, but it offers great results when done correctly. It’s all about planning, concept, and consistency, and that’s kind of tough on any platform. Enter Planoly.

What Is Planoly?

Planoly is a visual planning tool that allows Instagram users to create calendars to plan their content, curate the content of others, schedule posts, analyze engagements and even grow an Instagram team.

Why Does Planoly Make Sense?

We think Planoly is pure genius! Primarily because Instagram is a visual platform, so it makes sense to plan and execute your campaigns visually.

Anyone who uses social media for marketing will tell you it can be time-consuming to stay on top of comments, responses, posting schedules and more. Having a single interface where you can see and take action makes it a whole lot easier to stay on top of things, and maintain consistency.

Like other tools that work with Instagram, it doesn’t auto post on your behalf (Instagram does not allow this). But it does send you reminder notifications when your posts need to be published within your smartphone.

What Does It Cost?

Planoly has a free forever plan that allows you to manage one account, upload 30 images, and have limited access to other features. It’s a great way to see if this is the right solution for you, without an investment.

Since fully fledged plans start at just $7 per month, this investment won’t break your budget if you do decide to “go pro” with Planoly.

Is It for You?

We think that Planoly is a great tool for anyone who uses Instagram for social media marketing. Anything that can help you to maintain a consistent presence on any social media platform is a huge benefit. Since it’s free to try, there’s nothing to lose!

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Lumyer.com for Photo and Video Animations

Lumyer.com for Photo and Video AnimationsSnapchat has enjoyed its reign among youth and young adults, but it’s got to look out for strong competitors like Instagram and other upstarts like Lumyer. Compatible with both iOS and Android, Lumyer offers a comprehensive set of high-resolution effects that go beyond dog ears or flower crowns.

Its aim is to augment reality by animating photos, enhancing videos, and enabling quick sharing. You have access to lots of editing tools to customize visual content. While not a social network like Snapchat or Instagram, it’s a photo enhancing tool with lots of power!

Using Lumyer to create what they call a “Lumy” is straightforward enough. Shoot a photo or video while using the app or choose one from your camera roll. Next, add up to 2 effects and make further modifications to size and position.

Not enough? Throw in filters to achieve the aesthetic you’re looking for. Then share your creation across multiple social media platforms within seconds.

What makes Lumyer different?

Animate a selfie on Lumyer. Take a photo, add effects to make it move, and save it as a GIF file. For other apps – like Snapchat – a video is the only option for moving selfies. But videos take up more storage space and consume more data. Also, the result is different from a clip and a GIF.

For example, you want a selfie where only your hair’s blowing in the wind while all other parts of the image are still, it’s easier to start with a photo and add dynamic elements, compared to standing immobile for several seconds in front of a blowing fan while the camera takes pics.

Take note: if you want videos, choose a filter beforehand, so it’s automatically applied to your clip once you start shooting.

The effects you add to a Lumy range from natural to fantastical. Some effects look realistic while others look completely out there. Whatever mood you’re in, there’s an effect that matches it.

Of course, selfies are meant to be shared, so a sharing option is included in Lumyer. With other apps, you can only post on the network. So if you want to post on several different social media accounts, you’ll have to download your selfies first. It’s not super intuitive but doable. With Lumyer, you can instantly post your selfies on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc. This makes Lumyer, as noted, more of an editing app than a social media app. That’s great news because it means you can choose a wider audience for your creativity.

How is Lumyer good for business?

So far, we’ve mentioned only selfies, making it sound like Lumyer is meant exclusively for personal use. But there’s more to Lumyer. As an editing app, it can handle photos of any kind. So you can jazz up posters, banners, and other kinds of visual marketing collateral. You don’t have to hire graphic designers with specialized skills in animation anymore – not when you can do it yourself.

Have you downloaded and tried Lumyer yet? If not, get it for free from the App Store and Google Play. In-app purchases are possible if you want access to more effects and filters, but for now, you can experiment to see if it serves your business needs.

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Landscape by Sprout Social: Streamlined Image Resizing for Social Media

Landscape by Sprout Social- Streamlined Image Resizing for Social Media

74% of marketers include visuals on social media. On Twitter, posts with images get 150% more retweets! With the emphasis on visuals in social media, creating visual content is a priority.

There is an ideal image size for each social media platform. For the top platforms, the ideal image sizes for profile photos are:

  • Facebook – 180 x 180
  • Twitter – 400 x 400
  • Instagram – 110 x 110

Why would the dimensions of a profile photo be important? Profile photos are typically the first glimpse a visitor has into your brand. On most platforms, the profile picture is shown with your comments, and posts. Such high visibility means that your image needs to be high quality, well-positioned, and cropped properly.

When creating visual content, editing photos to meet these ideal images sizes can be difficult when you’re marketing across several platforms with varying image standards. Cropping and editing images can be time-consuming and take the valuable time marketers could use to interact with their audience.

Sprout Social’s Landscape is a great tool for cropping and resizing photos for social media.

Landscape’s highlights

  1. It’s free!
  2. It is simple to use.
  3. And it’s quick.

Landscape has been designed to perform 1 task well, image resizing for social media, and it works for multiple platforms.

How to use Landscape

To crop an image, you do the following steps:

  1. Upload the image you want to resize.
  2. Select the social network it’s meant for.
  3. Crop it.

Landscape gives you plenty of options for the images you want to resize. After uploading your image, you can pick multiple social media networks to resize for. You’re also able to choose what kind of picture you are resizing. Cover photos, profile pics, and graphics are all supported. You can set custom sizes for images.

When it’s finally time to crop the image, Landscape autocrops for you. You also have the option of positioning the frame to the dimensions you choose. Once settings have been applied, networks chosen, and images cropped, you can go back and change settings or download the picture. The images are rapidly resized, and your images are delivered in a nice .zip folder.

Although Landscape is a relatively simple, focused tool, it’s incredibly useful.

Go further with Landscape

  • Keep visuals consistent across multiple platforms
  • Resize and edit stock photos
  • Create visuals with ideal sizes to be placed on blogs for easier social sharing

The next time you need to edit your images, keep Landscape by Social Sprout in mind for easy resizing. Spend less time cropping and more time marketing.

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Recent Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Social Media Updates to 6/15

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Social Media platforms do not remain static. They shift and evolve and as a marketer, it’s important to keep up. Here are recent changes I cover from Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook social media updates that have happened in the past two weeks!

Stay abreast, sign-up for my weekly email updates!

Twitter

Twitter Now Filters DMs From People You Don’t Know

Now your Twitter direct message inbox is more like text messages on your phone.  Messages from people you know and follow will go into your inbox. Messages from people you don’t follow will go into the requests area.

Bottomline

It’s a nice addition to make Twitter’s interface for user-friendly.  It’s taken them far too long to get to this but it’s a nice move to help us.

Facebook

Add a post, not just photos to Facebook albums

Now you can add videos, check-ins and text posts to albums. Show off your favorite collection in a “featured” album. Or follow your friend’s album to get notified when they’re updated. Create a collaborative album and easily add contributors.

Bottomline

Run an event? Add an Album for the event and let your volunteers post pics and text testimonials from the attendees. This way you’ll have a wealth of info for next years event.  It’s a valuable way to capture and retain more types of content per album.  Another move by Facebook to make things “sticky” so we keep coming back!

As a side note … Facebook Messenger emoji’s have been used 2 Billion times in their first 2 months in the app! Now that’s a success!

Facebook’s AI now assists in Spanish

Facebook Messenger’s artificial intelligence assistant “M” will make recommendations in Spanish if it detects Spanish as the user’s language of choice. This new feature scans the words and intent of a message, then give suggestions for Messenger’s many features, like emoji’s or payment buttons. This feature is available for US users with their language set to Spanish and in Mexico.

Bottomline

Since most of the world doesn’t use English as their native language Facebook added a translation capability to their news feed. Spanish is the language with the second most native speakers after Chinese so it’s only natural that Facebook would add Spanish capabilities.  It’s just another big bonus from Facebook to “make the world a more connected place” and it shows they are not sitting still but helping marketers….remember when they help marketers they help themselves though as well because we are the ones that create ads and use AI!

Instagram

Instagram Connects to Facebook Messenger

This button will redirect users to Facebook Messenger to interact with potential customers. This lets account holders to use Messenger Bots to improve the customer experience.

Bottomline

This is BIG!

Since most people have a Facebook Messenger mobile app it’s now seamless and easy to interact with potential customers whether they’re on Facebook or Instagram. Facebook Messenger also accepts payments between friends and for gaming and eCommerce. It just a small jump to selling from Instagram.  This is a huge cross-platform leap, enabling seamless movement from one social media network, Instagram, to Facebook’s Messenger.  This is the start of more to come!

Hide your Instagram photos indefinitely with the archive feature

Now everyone can hide photos on Instagram thanks to the new archive feature. The photo has to be published, at least for 1 second and then you can archive it.

Bottomline

Hide photos that didn’t get much traction or hide photos of the ex. Use this feature as a way to store photos for the future.

Google

Google’s smart keyboard app, Gboard adds phrase suggestions and draw-an-emoji

While this isn’t a social media network update per say, Gboard does make posting to your social media network a little bit easier.

Bottomline

It’s just cool! And makes texting and posting from your smartphone quicker and easier. It’s my all time favorite keyboard with the ability to swipe to spell a word and built in gifs.

That’s a bit of the key news and tidbits that have happened recently.

Stay tuned and stay in the know…sign-up here!

What is Facebook Messenger Day and How Do You Use it for Business

What is Facebook Messenger Day and How Do You Use it for Business-315In its quest to be the one-stop shop for social media, Facebook recently launched another tool called Messenger Day.  Even though Messenger Day does bear many similarities to Snapchat Stories, it has unique features worth exploring that position it as a potential Snapchat rival.

It’s worth noting that Messenger has 1.2 billion active users since it is from Facebook’s existing Messenger platform while Snapchat only has around 301 million users. For a business, Messenger Day may prove to be a more helpful tool for many companies than Snapchat Stories.

What’s in Messenger Day?

Messenger Day is integrated into Messenger, so if you’re already using Messenger, just update the app on your mobile device to get this new feature.

In Messenger, you can use clips or images from a chat, or shoot a new video or photo, and post them to your Day. You can jazz up your Day by adding filters, doodles, and other special effects. But, like Snapchat stories, anything you add to your Day will be viewable for only 24 hours.

How can Messenger Day be used for business?

Behind the Scenes

Using Facebook Live on your business page is a good way to cover a relevant event as it happens. But for exclusive sneak peeks of what’s happening behind the scenes, it’s better to use Messenger Day on your personal account. This move not only attaches a face to your business (making it more relatable), but it also encourages people in your network to check out your business if they still haven’t.

It grows your potential client base because you’re pulling in folks from different avenues, and avenues that already know you.

Calls to Action

Among the many filters available to use on Messenger Day are superimposed texts like “Who’s up for …” When used personally, these filters work as simple invitations. But for businesses, these can work as powerful calls to action.

For example, if you own an online retail store, you can use “Who’s up for …” to ask people to check out a sale. You can say something like, “Who’s up for a good deal? Visit us now and get 70% off. Offer good until this post lasts.” Make announcements more engaging and fun this way.

Employee-curated Content

Since businesses aren’t allowed to have Messenger Day…yet, you can leverage this new feature through your personal account and have employees do this through their accounts. If several of your staff members all make a business-related Messenger Day post, you can curate these posts and present them in one clip on your business page. This humanizes your brand. On the internet, people are more inclined to trust a brand with a face.

It’s still too early to tell whether Messenger Day can topple Snapchat Stories. But given the bigger user base of Messenger, it would be a smart bet. The last thing you want is for Messenger Day to take off while your business is left behind snapping!

For now, have fun experimenting with Messenger Day. It may not be long before Facebook rolls it out for businesses so get ready!
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Recent Facebook Updates as of May 18, 2017

Facebook and Social Media Updates for week ending 518

New Group Features for Facebook!!!!

Before people join your group, make sure they’re the right fit

Woo Hoo, now you can make sure the people who join your group are the right fit for your group. Facebook now gives admins the ability to ask people requesting group membership 3 questions.

Bottomline

If you’re using a group to generate leads for your products and services you can ask questions to better qualify your group members as actual leads.

Pages connecting to Groups

This is in the beta stage, so functionality is limited … Facebook is now allowing pages to post in groups as pages.  Pages are being prompted to tie a Group to their page at this time in a rollout.

Bottomline

This is awesome if you use a Page and a Group in your marketing plan. Instead of posting in your group as yourself (personal profile) and pushing all your connections to your personal profile you can now post as your Facebook Page and have your connections go to the place that best suits your purposes.

Facebook Messenger Day

Quick Reactions

Facebook has added one touch reactions and emojis to Messenger Day to encourage participation and engagement with content on the platform.

Promoting Custom Frames

Running a special event? Create a special frame just for your event. Now Facebook promotes your custom frame so your attendees use them and promote your event for you. Custom frames is a direct competitor for SnapChat geo filters.

Bottomline

Using Facebook Messenger for marketing is just in its infancy. I can see the possibilities for using Facebook Messenger Day at events and conventions. Quick replies and custom frames are both perfect for event marketing. When time is tight running from workshop to workshop a 1 click emoji or quick reply may make all the difference in your attendee’s engagement. Custom frames can be used by your attendees to spark outside interest in your event.

Facebook Introduces Offline Conversion Optimization to Lead Ads

Want to find out how many people that click on your Facebook ads actually purchase from you? Facebook has created an Offline Conversion solution. It’s a patch between your Facebook ads and CRM.

Bottomline

Now you can track someone through the sales cycle and map their purchase back to specific lead ads and campaigns. The ability to track sales and leads directly to social media marketing efforts is the next step in confirming the ROI of social media marketing.

Overall these are good moves that help the Facebook Marketer!  Are you using any of these now?

Later for Instagram: Help with your Instagram Marketing

Later for Instagram_ Help with your Instagram Marketing -315We all know a solid social media strategy requires consistency, organization, and timeliness. However, it is not always easy to stay on top of dozens of posts per month and a load of content. With Instagram growing massively in terms of users in the past year and adding many business marketing features, it’s a relevant platform for many businesses to have a strong presence on.

Need help implementing your Instagram marketing plan? There’s an actually an app for that. Let’s get acquainted with Later.

Top Features of Later

Later (formerly Latergram.me) is a simple (and free!) app that helps keep your Instagram account updated with less effort. The Later app has the following features:

Pre-Scheduling

Have trouble keeping your page consistently updated? Later lets you pre-schedule your posts months in advance. Just upload your content and pick the publish date. Upload your photos in bulk, schedule when they roll out, and you’re nearly done.  Simply stay current with your mobile device alerts and you can then easily roll posts out at the scheduled time. Plus, your pics are automatically organized in chronological order in the Media Library, saving you a good amount of time in a search.

Mobile App

Schedule your posts from virtually anywhere with your phone. In addition to a PC version, Later offers a mobile app that lets you create and schedule posts on-the-go.

Preview

Later lets you preview how your posts will look before they get sent. For an entire month, get a chronological calendar and gallery view of your posts as the audience will see them. This gives you a feel for the flow of the content and how each post fits thematically. Want to add more posts? Just drag an image from the gallery to the calendar.

Captions

Writing a proper caption on a mobile device can be nothing short of frustrating, With spacing issues appearing during the transition between mobile and desktop and difficulty typing on tiny keyboards, typos, and weird formatting can crop up in your posts. Later smooths out these kinks by keeping the spacing the same regardless of what device you draft the post on.

Want to go beyond a basic caption and hashtag? With Later, you can flesh out your brand’s story. With the ability to start a post on mobile and finish it on a desktop. You can write the kind of engaging content that tells your brand’s story and keeps the follower count rising.

Reposting

Add your favorite posts from users in your community to your library with a simple click. You can search for content to repost through location, hashtags, and usernames. Once you’ve found the posts to share and added them, they can be dragged into the calendar like your uploaded images.

Notifications

When it’s time for your content to be scheduled, Later doesn’t auto post as this goes against Instagram’s terms of service. Instead, notifications are sent right to your phone. Tapping them sends you directly to Instagram, where your post is ready to be activated and sent out to your page.

Later makes managing your Instagram marketing efforts much easier. Schedule and edit posts in advance while staying on track. Gain control over your Instagram content with Later.

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FoundonTack Review

FoundonTack Review - 315Putting your company’s identity onto a social media platform inherently involves more direct communication with: customers, associates, rivals, the potential trolls, and so on. While the Instagram interface is good for interacting with people, it’s not spectacular at analyzing their behaviors and measuring marketing impact.

That’s why I love the world of Cloud services. I always get excited when I see software that helps small to medium businesses compete with the big dogs. I recently took a look at an Instagram-focused service named Tack, using both their free area report tool and their Instagram curation service on a Pro-level account trial.

Super pumped for my new purple T-shirt from @foundontack #smmw17

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Scouting the Social Media Landscape

Tack comes swinging out of the gate with free access to their area report tool whether or not you sign up for their service. Either 500 posts or up to 12 months of activity are combed through and picked apart. Then you get a rundown of important data points like what the most popular posts were or which hashtags saw the most activity.

It would be nice to get the updated reports in real-time, but the emailed reports are easy to share with your team. You can run up to 4 locations per hour per account, which is plenty enough to look at a city with a couple neighborhoods and landmarks.

Let’s move to the account-based Instagram curation tool. It comes in 3 levels (Starter, Pro, and Enterprise) with the major difference being the number of Instagram user profiles and the maximum number of followers managed.

Once you’ve connected a profile to an Instagram account, you can look through user activity using a hashtag or a location. Input a hashtag or location into the large boxes, and you’ll be treated to posts that match your request. From there, you can quickly like, comment, or request permission to use the media yourself. All of these increase your Instagram visibility in the targeted field. It gives you the opportunity to use user-generated content in your own account.

On the main menu, you can perform several functions. Review activity on your posts, comments, requests, and manage your media library just below the curation fields. The last two fields let you customize your request message and response hashtag to whatever you’d like them to be.

Is It Worth Paying For?

Yes, if you intend to take your social media presence seriously. Also if your audience has a heavy focus on Instagram use or image-based media. Tack is useful for any company looking to run a social media blitz on a specific city or neighborhood. Especially due to the information you get in the free area report and the curation tools. Are you a new restaurant trying to break into a packed downtown scene? Are you an app creator selling a new game that wants you to walk around hunting for monsters? Tack is a useful tool.

Try a two-week trial of the starter and pro versions to see if the curation tool works for you. It doesn’t come with training wheels. However, it has a straightforward interface that should be easy for anyone with an understanding of social media. The staff is very responsive. They were more than willing to help walk me through the ropes of using the tools effectively.

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