tiistai 28. elokuuta 2018

Dlvr.it: Your Guide to the Top 5 Social Media Advertising Options

Reaching the right audience on social media is no longer about skill. Today the game is pay-to-play. With platforms saturated, organic reach for businesses has taken a nosedive. That doesn’t mean businesses should give up on the 2.6 billion people active on social media worldwide. You can give consumers the opportunity to engage with your brand on their terms using social media advertising.

Advertising options vary by platform. Before you start a campaign, learn about ad options, costs, and effectiveness for the five biggest players in social media.

Cropped shot of a group of colleagues using their smart phones in synchronicity. Social media marketing concept

1. Facebook

Since Facebook changed its algorithm to prioritize interactions between family and friends, businesses are turning to ads more than ever.

Facebook has a monthly reach of two billion users and collects extensive data on demographics, interests, and behaviors. It’s an excellent platform to begin a social media advertising campaign.

Ad Options

It’s no surprise that the social media giant offers extensive ad options.

Ads by Format

Photo and video ads appear in users’ feeds and are the most well-known. Within these ads, you can choose to add variety with Collection, Carousel, or Slideshow formats.

Collection posts function like a shopping catalog. They showcase a set of products in one advertisement.

Carousel posts contain up to 10 images or video clips. Get creative with an interactive series of images or a how-to guide.

Slideshow posts allow you to create a video without the time required for filming. These ads load quickly, making them accessible even to viewers on a slow Internet connection.

Ads by Purpose

Instead of choosing a format, you can also create ads based on goals. Facebook offers lead generation ads, offers (or discounts), and post engagement campaigns. Ad goals can be specific to Facebook activity too,  such as increasing page likes or event responses.

Cost

Facebook social media advertising uses an auction system, where businesses bid to receive ad space. The cost depends on your campaign’s daily budget and the amount of competition for your audience.

Most ad campaigns are measured by CPC or CPM. CPC or cost per click only charges your account when a visitor clicks on your ad.

CPM stands for cost per 1000 impressions, with “M” representing the Roman numeral for 1000. Impressions are the number of times your ad is displayed. An impression doesn’t mean a user has engaged with your content, only that they had the opportunity to see it.

According to AdEspresso, CPC (cost per click) on Facebook is around $0.27 while CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) is $7.19 on average.

You can also consider alternative ways to buy ads on Facebook. “Reach and frequency” ads are a new feature not yet available to all users. These ads will consider how many people you want to reach and how frequently you want an individual to see your ad.

If you’ve ever purchased TV ad space, you might prefer purchasing Facebook ads as Target Rating Points (TRP). Under TRP, you are charged after your ad reaches your target demographic audience.

Audience Targeting

Facebook may have more audience targeting options than any other platform. Targeting capabilities fall into three categories:

  • Core (i.e. demographics, interests, behaviors)
  • Custom (from your lists)
  • Lookalike (similar to your existing audience)

Core options range from geographic location to favorite movies. Custom targeting allows you to upload a contact list or CRM (customer relationship management) data to find your leads on Facebook. Lookalike automatically matches your business with users similar to your existing followers.

Effectiveness

Facebook advertising offers high value given the site’s massive reach. Facebook remains the social media network and one of the most visited websites in the world, just behind Google and YouTube.

With recent changes, brand engagement on Facebook has decreased. Using ads can keep your business in front of a Facebook audience even as the platform continues to change and grow.

2. Instagram

This highly visual platform is all about images. Social media advertising on Instagram should focus on imagery and storytelling.

Ad Options

Instagram is owned by Facebook and uses the same ad management system. You can choose between ad formats for Feeds and Stories.

Hands making an Instagram ad on phone

Feed Ads

These ads appear in a user’s feed and are nearly identical to native posts. Choose from image, video, or carousel formats.

Image ads
  • Most simple
  • Promote existing posts
  • Caption up to 2200 characters

Image ads are the easiest to use. Promote an existing post that has already performed well organically and you’ll have the advantage of knowing that the content resonates with your intended audience.

Video ads
  • Up to 60 seconds
  • Landscape or square format
  • Up to 4GB

Video remains popular and continues to grow on Instagram. With IGTV and a newly revamped Discovery tab, Instagram’s video options continue to expand. Businesses can expect more video ad options in the future.

Carousel ads
  • Swipe to view multiple images
  • Between 2 to 10 cards
  • Cards can be image or video

Carousel ads keep visitors engaged with your content longer than a single photo or video. Feel free to get creative and tell a story with your carousel content.

Stories Ads

  • Use image or video
  • Carousel option available
  • Vertical or landscape format
  • 15 sec max for video
  • 5 sec for images

According to Instagram, 400 million accounts use Stories daily. This full-screen content mimics Snapchat and only stays online for 24 hours.

Story ads include a non-intrusive CTA (call-to-action) that asks users to swipe up if interested in seeing more. Supported CTAs for story or feed ads include:

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Get Directions
  • Learn More


Cost

Instagram’s advertising costs are slightly higher than Facebook and depend on the type of ad and audience targeted. More detailed targeting raises costs. Estimates place the starting rates for an Instagram ad around $5 to $6.70 CPM.

AdEspresso finds that the average CPC for an Instagram feed ad in 2017 was $1.15, while Facebook newsfeed ads were $0.50.

Audience Targeting

Instagram provides the same extensive targeting options as Facebook, including:

  • Location
  • Demographics (age, gender, language)
  • Interests (including apps used and users followed)
  • Behaviors
  • Custom audiences (your contacts)
  • Lookalike audiences (similar to existing customers)

Effectiveness

Although Instagram advertising is pricier than most platforms, they produce results. Users are more willing to engage with brands on Instagram than other forms of social media, with 80 percent of users following at least one brand. Ads have 2.5 times the click-through rate as other platforms.


If you're looking to capture a younger demographic, Instagram might be the best place to start.
Click To Tweet


3. Twitter

If your audience is on Twitter, ads are an effective way to both reach new users and meet specific goals.

Ad Options

Twitter ads are focused on goals. Businesses choose a campaign based on desired results, such as:

  • Website clicks
  • New followers
  • App installs
  • Reach
  • Engagements

Website clicks, new followers, and app installs function like CPC ads. Your account is only charged when a user clicks to your website, hits the follow button on your page, or installs your app.

Ads for reach are measured by CPM. Engagement ads include likes, replies, and retweets of your content.

There are three formats to choose from on Twitter:

  • Promoted Tweets: Ordinary tweet shown in users’ timelines
  • Promoted Accounts: Your account presented in a timeline, Who to Follow suggestions, or search results
  • Promoted Trends: Your hashtag in the trending topics section

Less traditional formats include promoted videos, in-stream video ads, branded emojis, and promoted Moments or a slideshow of related tweets.


 

 

Cost

Like Facebook, Twitter uses an auction system where you bid against other advertisers competing for the same audience. You can choose bids manually or set a budget for automatic bidding.

Twitter won’t charge you until a user completes a billable action. Billable actions are based on your goal. If your goal is video views, you won’t be charged until someone watches your video. If your goal is website clicks, a click is your billable action.

There is no minimum cost to advertise on Twitter, but the platform recommends starting at $30 a day to see results.

twitter

Audience Targeting

Targeting options on Twitter are extensive, including:

  • Geographic location
  • Language
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Username/Follower
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Tailored audiences
  • Keyword
  • TV targeting
  • Event targeting
  • Device
  • Carrier

Twitter lets businesses target audiences based on usernames followed. If you know which Twitter accounts are popular with your audience, username targeting can be highly effective.
Click To Tweet


Tailored or custom audiences let you create lists based on website visitors or CRM data, saving you the trial and error it takes to find your audience with social media advertising.

Effectiveness

With a strong focus on outcomes, Twitter ads offer predictable results and allow you to customize your campaign for specific needs. Twitter may not have the reach of Facebook or Instagram, but advertising to small, focused audiences can be an effective strategy.

4. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the must-have platform for B2B businesses. Part-job board, part-resume, and part-virtual networking platform, LinkedIn currently has 562 million users spanning over 200 countries.

Ad Options

LinkedIn advertising options include sponsored content, sponsored InMail, and text ads. These three options are entirely self-managed through the Campaign Manager interface.

A fourth option, dynamic ads, is available for managed accounts and involves working with a dedicated LinkedIn team to optimize your ads.

Sponsored Content

These ads show up in user newsfeeds. They are automatically mobile responsive, so users can view your ads on desktop, mobile devices, or the LinkedIn app.

Sponsored InMail

InMail allows you to connect with users one-on-one through LinkedIn’s built-in messenger. This function lets you reach out to potential clients with a personalized approach.

Text Ads

Text ads are small, non-intrusive blocks placed in the right sidebar of a page. Headlines are limited to 25 characters and descriptions to 75 characters. Only users accessing the site on desktop see text ads.

Cost

LinkedIn costs vary based on your budget. You can bid by CPC or CPM and have three budget options: total budget, daily budget, and individual bid limits.

Audience Targeting

LinkedIn focuses on meeting business needs efficiently, so targeting includes industry, company size, role or job title, and location. The site also offers three options for retargeting existing audiences.

1. Website retargeting

Find your website visitors on LinkedIn and segment based on the pages they’ve visited. First, you’ll need to add the LinkedIn Insight tag to your website. LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager will keep track of visitors, who you can divide into segments. Each segment must have at least 300 members to start advertising.

2. Contact retargeting

Directly upload your contacts list to reach known leads and customers. LinkedIn recommends creating a list of at least 10,000 email contacts before starting an ad campaign.

3. Account retargeting

Targeting by account lets you reach users from specific companies. Upload a list of company names and websites and LinkedIn will find matches within 48 hours.

 

Effectiveness

LinkedIn grants access to decision makers with higher spending power than the average online audience. According to LinkedIn, four out of five users make or influence business decisions at their company. These users also have twice the buying power of general web users.


For B2B companies, advertising on LinkedIn could be a perfect fit.
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5. Snapchat

Snapchat is the youngest social media platform on this list. Despite rising competition, Snapchat retains a consistent user base.

A key benefit of using Snapchat is its targeted audience. If your business needs to reach younger millennials (18 to 24) or Gen Z (13 to 18), Snapchat is a unique place to do so. While the base audience may not be as large as other social media platforms, its active monthly user base of over 300 million is still substantial.

Ad Options

Snapchat offers three main options but continues to expand. Snap ads, filters, and lenses are the most common and well-known Snapchat ads.

Snap Ads

Snap ads function like user stories. They’re full-screen video ads that play for up to 10 seconds and include audio. You can achieve some of the highest click and engagement rates with snap ads.

Filters

Sponsored filters are designs and frames that users can add to their own images. Snapchat filters are not the same as photo filters, which change how the subject of the photo appears. Filters can include your brand imagery but should also provide a fun element. Snapchat recommends designing a filter that takes up less than 25 percent of a screen.

A subset of sponsored filters are geofilters, which make your filter available to users in a set radius. You can set up a geofilter around your physical store, for one city block, or across the entire nation. Small-scale, limited-time ads are called on-demand geofilters. National geofilters have a significant reach but are only cost-effective for large-scale brands.

Lenses

Snapchat lenses are one of the app’s most popular features. Using lenses, you can add effects to your selfie like cat ears, giant alien eyes, or even turn your entire head into a basketball. Sponsored lenses encourage engagement in a light-hearted way.

 

Cost

The cost of a Snapchat ad campaign varies by campaign type, but many options start high. Simple story ads run at a minimum of $3000 per month, while filters and lenses can reach six figures.

If your target area is small, a sponsored geofilter can be an affordable option. Snapchat charges $5 an hour for 20,000 square feet.

But watch out for special events in your area. Running geofilters for or nearby a film festival or popular concert can hike advertising rates up to $20,000.

Audience Targeting

Snapchat allows targeting by:

  • Location/country
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Advanced demographics (not available in all countries)
  • User behavior categories
  • Mobile device type
  • Internet connection

Besides the typical demographic targeting features, Snapchat categories user behavior into four broad categories: Lifestyles, Shoppers, Viewers, and Visitors.

The Lifestyle category includes options like travel enthusiasts and gamers. “Shoppers” range from restaurant goers to pet owners. “Viewers” addresses media consumption, breaking down TV and movie viewers by genre, time, and network. Finally, “Visitors” covers users who visit entertainment venues, banks, or auto dealers.

Effectiveness

The nature of Snapchat requires users to engage as they use the app. This engagement applies to not only native content but advertisements. One company testing Snapchat ads received a 10 percent increase in conversion rates and a 15 percent increase in ROI (return on investment) compared to Facebook ads.

The obvious conclusion? Snapchat ads work and can be highly effective for reaching young audiences.

Takeaways

Social media advertising can feel convoluted. It’s difficult to find out which platform will produce the best results for your brand, but here are a few takeaways to get started:

If you’re new to social media advertising, Facebook is a great place to start. A wide audience, extensive audience targeting options, and an easily scalable budget makes Facebook a great starter platform.

For Facebook ads, start here.

If you are an experienced social media marketer, consider expanding your strategy with special features on Twitter and LinkedIn. Twitter’s Promoted Trends make it easy to execute hashtag campaigns, while LinkedIn’s InMail ads allow you to take personalized social media advertising to the next level.

Begin tweeting with Twitter ads or visit LinkedIn for a business audience.

Finally, if your business relies on visuals and a younger audience, Instagram and Snapchat are strong contenders. Social media advertising on these platforms can be pricey, but they pay off with especially high rates of engagement.

Instagrammers, head this way. Or keep up with the kids on Snapchat.

Start a new campaign, step up your current strategies, or get experimental. Social media advertising has become one of the best ways to reach your audience. With options for every business, getting started is easier than ever.

The post Your Guide to the Top 5 Social Media Advertising Options appeared first on dlvr.it | blog.



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torstai 2. elokuuta 2018

Dlvr.it: Marketing Your Business on Facebook: Facebook Pages vs. Profiles

Have you been marketing your business on your personal Facebook profile? Now may be the time to shift your marketing focus to a Facebook Page.

It is a violation of Facebook Terms to use your personal profile to represent something other than yourself, such as your business. And recent Facebook changes have made it more challenging for businesses to market on personal profiles. Importantly, Facebook no longer allows 3rd party applications, which are widely used by businesses, to post to personal profiles.

In general, Facebook is trying to encourage businesses to use pages for these purposes, rather than using their profiles.

Considering that Facebook Pages are far more useful than personal profiles for businesses, this change is a welcome one. While shifting your business marketing focus from your personal Facebook profile to a Facebook Page may be anxiety inducing, there are many good reasons to do it.

How are things different now for Facebook Pages and personal Facebook Profiles

Facebook has altered its platform for third party applications, in particular. Third party applications can no longer post to Facebook profiles on behalf of the user. Facebook clearly rejects any strategy involving businesses using personal profiles for marketing purposes. So while automated posting to Profiles is going away, Facebook will continue to support automation to Pages and Groups.

Facebook is continuing to encourage tools that help users manage and automated their business tasks.  Business users. That being the case, we must look at the reason that Facebook believes that Business users need Pages and Groups more.

Personal Profiles are geared toward helping individuals share personal details and connect with their friends and family. It provides opportunities to post to your friends, add your job title, and add your education. Nowhere in a Profile are you able to indicate a business entity. This represents a very intentional move on Facebook’s part.

What does Facebook have to say about this?

Facebook actually actively discourages using a profile to promote your business. Using your profile to represent your business is against Facebook’s terms of service, and could cause you to permanently lose access to their platform. This risk is definitively not worth losing all the hard work on your profile anyway, and all it takes is one report on your profile to make that happen.

The place that you can indicate a business entity is a Facebook Page. A Facebook Page and/or Group can help your business build its identity, rather than building a person’s identity. Your Facebook Page offers features that help your business hone their Facebook success, with Analytics built right in. With all these features available, Facebook makes your Business Page a great environment in which to operate.

Groups exist to market to your user base as well. A group can be set up to address a specific group of people, or a specific topic. As an Administrator of a group, you can set the topics and enforce rules of the group.

Groups are a great way to facilitate conversation and market to your desired consumer. By setting up a categorized group, or a group that talks about a specific product, you can find those people on Facebook who would be interested in your product. For example, if you have a company that sells cat toys, you may create a group that appeals to pet parents.

This is a great way for people to discuss their favorite cat products, their pets, and tips for caring for their pets. This being the case, you, as the marketer, have a great opportunity to slip in your marketing opportunities among the discussion.

Why should I post to Facebook Pages and Groups instead of to my personal Facebook profile?

Personal Facebook Profiles are intended to be for a person, not a business. In making a profile gear toward your business, you are actually performing a disservice to your business. You are limiting the reach of your business to just that of a profile. When you use a Facebook page, you are opening up a lot of opportunities for yourself, including a very powerful suite of Analytics, along with opportunities to implement calls to action and purchase Boosts for your posts.

A call to action on Facebook allows you to connect your customers directly to your resources. You may choose to connect a messenger, a website, a shopping page, or a contact us page. Any call to action option provides a valuable opportunity for interaction with a new or existing customer.

What are the analytics that I can access?

Facebook’s analytics are incredibly robust because of the wide variety of activity that is encouraged on Facebook. For your business pages, you can analyze timing of your posts, likes of your posts, reach of your posts, and engagement on your posts.

The most valuable analysis that Facebook provides is the analysis of when your followers are online. On a platform like Facebook, timing is everything. Many social media marketers want to know the ideal time to post to their timeline, and there are best practices for other social media platforms, but Facebook actually puts this info right in front of you.

Businesses can take advantage of so many opportunities through their pages and groups that simply aren’t available on a personal profile. Facebook’s analytics tools aren’t available for personal profiles. They won’t tell you when to post on a profile, but they will absolutely do this on your business page.

Why is a profile a bad idea for my business?

When you’re using a profile, you’re giving up your business identity. Because profiles are geared toward individuals (and should ONLY be used by individuals), you cannot place your business name front and center. In fact, again, this is against Facebook’s terms of service.

Your business identity cannot be part of your profile when you’re using Facebook. Remember that using Facebook is meant to promote your business. If you’re trying to do that on a personal profile, you are risking losing your access permanently.

Rather than putting all that work into a personal profile, put your efforts toward making your business page more robust. Put your energy into building this out so that your page can become verified. The verified badge helps users understand that this is your official page.

Getting your page verified by Facebook is a great way to generate an air of legitimacy about your business. Unfortunately, this badge will not appear on a profile if you are trying to use it for business.

What’s difference between posting to personal Facebook Profiles and Facebook Pages when it comes to SEO?

Within profiles, some choose to use their Facebook bio for SEO reasons. However, while this is a great addition to help with SEO, it isn’t necessarily the best tool to communicate about your business. Your page will allow you to build a complete profile for your business. Facebook has outlined a process to set up your page for your business.

Within that process contains information about how to set up a call to action. This may not seem like an important detail, but it is the one part of the process that can convert into money for your business. A call to action can direct your customers into your website where they can make a purchase.

This source of conversions provides the best possible chance you have from Facebook to get your business page to bring in money for you.

But I’ve spent all this time marketing on my personal Facebook profile

Not to worry. Facebook has already thought of that. There is a section of Facebook that will allow you to convert a profile into a page. Rather than losing all that work that you’ve put into the profile, you can retain all of that work. You won’t be losing any of the SEO that comes with your profile content.

A lot of businesses also worry about having people find their new page. There are actually a number of tools that can help with that. For example, Facebook’s people search tool can help. Of course, Ads may be the best solution for your business, but that’s a whole other post.

Not only will you be able to convert the profile into a page, you will also be able to add the friends into the page’s followers. Profiles may be a great short term tool, but for the long term, a page is the better option.

How do I complete this conversion?

With the conversion process, you will not be losing any of the information associated with the profile. The one thing that is lost in the conversion is the metrics associated with your posts. In the end, though, page insights are much more helpful for the analytics they provide.

Conversion also presents an excellent opportunity for page cleanup. Facebook allows you to select the content that you want to transfer. If you have information associated with your profile that no longer applies, you can simply choose to ignore it in the conversion. Beware, though, as the conversion cannot be reversed. If you want to convert, this will be a permanent page, and your profile will be gone permanently.

This is not a bad thing, but it is important to remember that this is a permanent process, so save what you must while you’re converting.

What happens after my conversion is done?

Once you’ve completed the conversion process, a couple of things will happen. First, your friends from the profile receive a notification that you’ve created a new page. They will then have the option to become a follower of that page.

If you choose that friend to follow your new page, they will automatically be removed from following your profile and will transition into a follower of your page. If your profile contained verified status, that verified status transfers over to your page as well.

Facebook also automatically takes care of transferring your profile and cover photo, so you don’t have to worry about that. You also have the opportunity to preview the changes before making the page live.

Wrapping it all up

Facebook wants your business to be successful, so they provide tools that help your business succeed. When you’re using a profile, you’re ignoring those finely tuned tools that Facebook has spent a lot of time and effort researching and implementing.

Understandably, many business owners are wary of these types of tools, but I promise, it is worth it to use these options. The call to action alone is an invaluable tool for your business. In the end, Facebook pages are simply a better option for most businesses.

The post Marketing Your Business on Facebook: Facebook Pages vs. Profiles appeared first on dlvr.it | blog.



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tiistai 17. heinäkuuta 2018

Dlvr.it: Facebook Stories, Instagram Stories, and Snapchat – New Formats for a New Age

The Story Post format has been around for a few years, originating on Snapchat. Recently, however, Facebook and Instagram have thrown their hats into the ring. They have released Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories as a direct answer to the post format Snapchat popularized. These features provide something that some consider invaluable: the ability to have your posts disappear. The Story format is unique in that the posts leave social media after 24 hours. But there are some things that you need to know before you start using these features.

Why use Facebook Stories or Instagram Stories in the first place?

Because this is a platform on the rise, it is a great idea to get in on the ground floor. Facebook Stories recently hit 150 Million users, beginning to rival Snapchat’s numbers. Facebook has even said that it is likely that the Story format will soon overtake the Feed format of sharing. The shift that we’re seeing is overtaking the text-based post, and moving toward visual posts. Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram have recognized what seems to be obvious to some: the mobile camera is the future. The camera is what we take everywhere with us via our phones. It is what allows us to transmit those potentially important moments to our social media timelines to share with friends, family, and followers.


Because this is a platform on the rise, it is a great idea to get in on the ground floor. Facebook Stories recently hit 150 Million users, beginning to rival Snapchat's numbers.
Click To Tweet


Facebook’s focus on this format is evident from the fact that they are launching Ads within Stories. Ads have been available on Facebook forever, which target their huge user base. However, Ads within stories is a brand new option. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, indicated that they are looking to optimize Ads in the Stories timeline. The focus is now centralized on optimizing this feature for businesses as well as individuals. Stories is now being expanded to third party applications, like Spotify, for use within that timeline. One thing is clear: Facebook is trying to stay ahead of the curve and keep Stories relevant in their own platform.

 

Facebook Stories and your Timeline

The first thing that you may be wondering is what the heck a Facebook Story is. This feature is essentially a short term post. The post lasts for 24 hours, and then is launched into internet oblivion, never to be heard from again. However, as of Thursday, July 12, Facebook has made it easier to save your videos or images that you’ve posted through stories. Facebook recently introduced an archive feature that allows you to save posts that you’ve spent valuable time creating.

What is the difference between a Facebook Story and a Regular Facebook Post?

In essence, it is the duration that it is live, and the location in which it lives. The Stories posts will live in a separate section at the top of the timeline. This is what makes this type of story invaluable, but more on that later. The more important thing to know about a story is that it doesn’t work like a regular post. It’s not text-based with shared links or pictures. It is image based. This means that when you post a Facebook story, you won’t be able to explain what the story is about, so your content must be visual.

How do I create a Facebook Story?

Stories, as a visual platform, are specifically geared toward mobile. With that being the case, they are currently only available on the mobile platforms. You can create a story post via your Android or iPhone app and post that to your Stories timeline. This doesn’t get shared to your normal timeline unless you manually share it. If you do share to your normal timeline, you will not lose the content. To create this story, you simply use your camera on your mobile phone to capture your content.

What’s the deal with the archive?

The archive is brand new along with their new Highlights feature! It’s an introduction that Facebook has made that will save those posts that you’ve spent very valuable time creating. The archive allows you to look back over your Stories posts and retrieve those that you find that you want to retain. Simply access the archive, then save the photo, and it will download to your device. From your archive, you can share a post to your Highlights to make it front and center for your followers.

Where will my Facebook Stories appear?

Facebook stories appear in the Stories timeline. This is a very valuable section of real estate on a Facebook timeline. As you’ve probably noticed, your Facebook timeline is organized by an algorithm. Facebook determines which posts are placed at the top of a timeline based on behavior. However, in the Stories timeline, posts are placed chronologically. The timeline is set at the top of Facebook’s application in Android and on the iPhone application. In desktop mode, you don’t see actual stories, but you can see your friends and the last time they posted. It is important to note that Facebook users will not see your Stories unless they follow you. So, tailoring your content for people that you know already follow you is ideal.

If you want these stories posted on your timeline, you can share them on your timeline. This will allow others who don’t follow you to see your stories.

How can I tell who accessed my Facebook Story?

Unlike normal Facebook posts, there are no engagements on Stories. Viewers cannot like or react to your stories. However, you can see who viewed the story. Who is able to see your story is dictated by who you’ve been chatting with on Messenger. If you set your story to Public, your story will be able to be viewed by anyone who follows you, friends, or anyone that you’ve chatted with on Messenger. If you would like to see how many people have viewed the story, you will be able to see this on the story itself. There will be a view count and a list of people who viewed your story. The list is organized with friends first, which means that any friends who viewed your story will be at the top of the list.

 

Instagram Stories

You might be wondering why Facebook and Instagram would both have the same stories feature. Instagram is a platform which lends itself naturally to the Story format. Because Instagram already works primarily in image posts, the Story format is perfect for it. The difference, however, is in how the posts appear, and how the posts are tagged.

What is the difference between Facebook Stories and an Instagram Stories?

The stories are similar in how they function. There are a few differences, however. First, Instagram has released a highlights option. This is a feature that will allow you to retrieve your stories and re-post them to your timeline in a different fashion, under a special section reserved for those highlights. There is also an archive, like Facebook’s archive, that will allow you to share posts to your regular timeline. Like Facebook, though, these posts will only last 24 hours. If you want these stories to retain longer than this 24 hours, you will need to make sure that your archive is enabled. You can also add @mentions and hashtags to your Stories on Instagram, or you can draw on your stories. Instagram stories also feature Snapchat-like filters that can be overlaid onto your video or picture.

How can my followers tell that I’ve shared an Instagram story?

Unlike Facebook, there’s an easy way to tell if someone has shared a story. When there is a story active on your timeline, your Profile picture will be modified with a colorful ring surrounding it. This will alert your followers, or anyone viewing your profile, that you have posted a story. Your followers will also see that you’ve posted a story when they look at the top of their Feed. Your profile picture will appear there. You can also cross post your Stories to Facebook.

Now that I’ve shared an Instagram Story, how can I see who has accessed it?

This is similar to Facebook in that there are no interactions. You will have view counts, like Facebook, and you will be able to see who has viewed your story. Only you can see this information, as it is hidden from the public view. If you have a story that did particularly well, you can share that story from your archives.

What is this that I’m hearing about Instagram Stories Q&A?

Instagram has announced a new feature called Q&A. It is a feature that allows an Instagram Story to become interactive. As it currently stands, there are no interactions or comments on an Instagram Story. This new feature provides the opportunity to direct conversation to a specific topic by asking your viewers a question. You can then interact with those who have viewed your content via a short answer forum.

 

The OG – Snapchat

Snapchat is the original Story format. They created the short term post forum under the premise that some would want their memories to be experienced in the moment, without lingering. In that spirit, the Snap will only stick around for 24 hours before it’s gone. Snapchat also created the types of filters that are overlaid onto your posts. They created the multiple Snap animation, and they created the augmented reality that allows overlay onto any picture.

So, what the heck is the difference between Snapchat and Facebook and Instagram Stories?

Snapchat is significantly different than these platforms. The entire purpose of the platform is to communicate with others in ‘Snaps’ which are short picture stories. You can Multi-Snap, which means that you will see your photos as a short video, rather than a picture. Snapchat has a feature called Snapcodes. This feature is basically a QR code that allows you to Friend someone with a simple scan. These codes can also unlock lenses. A lens is the overlay filter that is signature for Snapchat. Snapchat has also implemented a feature called Snapcash. This is similar to the payment feature in Facebook messenger. This feature also offers a quirky feature that can make it rain on your friend’s screen. Snapchat, in essence, is a self-contained platform within the Story post format. The entire point of the platform is to send Story posts.

So, does Snapchat have an Archive?

In short, sort of. They have a Memories feature. This feature is a manual feature. As a user, you have to manually add each Snap into your Memories, or it is lost. There is an option to auto save, but only Snaps that are posted to your Story. Snapchat also allows you to add memories to a section of the app called “My Eyes Only.” This section is a vault. It is only accessible via a passcode, and if you forget that passcode, you’re out of luck. If you forget it, not even Snapchat has access to it. So take care to add this feature only if you know you will be able to remember your passcode. If you create a new passcode for the My Eyes Only section, it will wipe out all content within this section.

How do people recognize me on Snapchat?

Snapchat is very different from Facebook and Instagram in the way that they create profiles. The profile picture in Snapchat is not an actual picture. They have created an avatar of sorts that is called the Bitmoji. The Bitmoji is created through a different app that has to be downloaded separately from the Snapchat app. This can cause Snapchat to be a little bit more heavy in the amount of space that it takes up on your phone. Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories are both dealt with in their own native apps, but Snapchat needs this additional app to create your Profile Bitmoji.

Why use Snapchat over Facebook Stories or Instagram Stories?

The captive audience. Snapchat is all about the story posts. Your audience is specifically there for the content. They are using Snapchat to view this type of story. It is a great place to test content. If you have some type of content that you’re nervous about trying, it can be great to try it out on Snapchat to see how well it works. It is also a completely different space. Instead of having this tied to all of your other profile content, it’s the focus. In other words, in a particularly noisy Facebook and Instagram world, Snapchat is a breath of fresh air. It is the timeline that can remain clean and organized without all the other stuff that you’re trying to communicate to your followers.

Wrapping it all up

Snapchat, Facebook Stories, and Instagram Stories are all similar in how they operate and how they communicate to your viewers. Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories have recently added a few features that offer the user more customization than previously available. The real estate of the Stories features is invaluable, as Facebook and Instagram are trying to reach back to their roots and bring users back to the pure source of content. Facebook is trying to boost the value of the Stories feature, with new features being added every day. These features can provide the business user an invaluable tool to make Facebook and Instagram far more appealing to their average viewer. So, now that we know what these features are, we need to find out how we can use them to better our business. More on that next time. We will go over the features currently offered in Facebook Stories, Instagram Stories, and Snapchat, and offer some best practices for when you’re developing your content.

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tiistai 10. heinäkuuta 2018

Dlvr.it: How to Fill Your Social Media Posting Queue – 8 Proven Methods

How often do you post on social media? If you’re like most businesses, not enough.

Generating enough content for your social media posting queue is a challenge. While content quality is important, maintaining an active presence is what gets your posts in front of an audience. Social media algorithms reward consistency.

Yet according to the Content Marketing Institute, B2C content marketers struggle to create consistent,  high-quality posts. The top five challenges included lack of time, producing engaging content, and producing enough content.

img source: Content Marketing Institute

These pain points probably come as no surprise. Producing enough content that engages your audience is every content marketer’s main task.

But those inexperienced with social media forget one thing: not all content must be original.

Post Third-Party Content to Social Media

It’s not too difficult to accept that reposting your own content boosts your business. But what about third-party content? Reposting third-party content is just as beneficial because it:

  • Saves time (no content creation needed)
  • Builds connections within your industry
  • Builds connections with your audience
  • Establishes you as an industry expert
  • Balances promotional content
  • Encourages link building
  • Can lead to greater SEO

Businesses are expected to produce a high volume of content just to stay active on social media. This is where third-party content can be a life-saver. For example, Twitter experts have recommended posting anywhere from 15 to 51 times a day. But who wants to spend time creating 15 original tweets every day?

Reposting third-party content can also build relationships. It’s easy to forget that behind every shared Tweet or post, there’s another person.

Sharing posts from other businesses in your industry can establish you as a thought leader who keeps up with the newest trends. On the other hand, reposting content from your audience communicates a willingness to engage and be social on social media.

Reposting third-party content takes away the pressure to churn out high-quality content at a breakneck pace. But finding content for your social media queue is still a lot of work. Fortunately, social media posting tools make the process of discovering and scheduling third party content much easier.

8 Methods to Find Content for Your Social Media Posting Queue

Here are eight ways to find third-party content for your queue without spending all your time on social media.

1. Manual Discovery and Posting

Most people share content by manual discovery. While browsing, they may come across a helpful article, copy the link, and paste it into social media with a quick caption. This method is simple but incredibly slow.

A variation on manual discovery is sharing others’ social media posts. Sharing an existing post excuses you from formatting work or hashtag research. However, finding high-quality posts while you scroll through feeds leaves a lot up to chance. There’s no telling how long you’ll need to scroll before finding content for your queue.

 

2. Browser Extensions

Browser extensions let you share and schedule content you find from your web browser. Instead of copying a link, opening a social media site, and manually creating a post, you can share the content you’re viewing with just a couple clicks.

Services that include a browser extension include Hootsuite, Buffer, and dlvr.it. While options differ from one service to another, most extensions include options for instant posting, scheduled posts, images, and other formatting.

 

Browser extensions save time by allowing you to post to social media as you browse. Only using a browser extension still requires you to manually find content. But pair an extension with RSS feeds and social media automation, and you have a recipe for seamless post scheduling.

 

3. RSS Feed Readers

Many people use RSS (Really Simple Syndication) to keep up with news and their favorite websites. If you’re not an RSS user, following an RSS feed could free up some of your time.

With so much content online, it’s difficult to keep up with every website or blog that you admire. People check their favorite blogs regularly or receive notifications through social media or email. But what about the sites that you find useful, but aren’t at the top of your list? These often fall by the wayside.

RSS solves this by combining just headlines – the “simple” part of the acronym – into an easy-to-scan feed. These feeds are useful for keeping up with news, industry changes, and of course, following websites you enjoy.

RSS feed readers take that convenience one step further by integrating multiple RSS feeds into one location. The largest RSS reader is Feedly.

After Google Reader was discontinued in 2013, Feedly quickly filled the gap and has remained the dominant RSS reader, improving upon features that Google Reader lacked. Other RSS readers include Inoreader, NewsBlur, and FeedBin.

Instead of searching for content manually online or scrolling through endless social media posts in an app, RSS readers keep you up-to-date by providing everything in one place. You can follow along with the latest news, blogs, and industry experts without visiting each individual website to look for updates or clogging up your email inbox with RSS updates.

 

4. Curation Tools

Your content curation strategy may range from RSS feeds to highly sophisticated software customized for your business. Referencing a list of curated content, you can choose the best material for your social media posting queue.

For free, general topic curation tools, start with public user-generated content like Twitter lists and Pinterest boards. These sources reveal the types of content your audience is actually consuming.

You can also explore curated content on open access websites or subscribe to curated newsletters. Examples include:

  • AllTop – Top articles from a variety of industries
  • The Tweeted Times – Best tweets curated for your specific niche
  • Quartz Daily Brief – Global news briefs with a mix of summary and curated articles
  • Redef – Email newsletter with options to follow media, fashion, sports, music, & technology
  • Internet Brunch – Light-hearted updates on Internet trends, gif, and pop culture

You can also find enterprise-level content curation services for your business. These curation tools have varying levels of customization. Leading services include Curata, PublishThis, and Scribble Live’s Trapit.

 

5. Bulk Content Search and Importer Tools

As the name implies, these tools search content in bulk to find relevant media. Then, you can import the best content and schedule in bulk to your social media posting queue.

Use bulk content search and import services to share third-party content or recycle original posts. Create a queue of your best blog and social media posts with platforms like dlvr.it and SmarterQueue.

Or use bulk search for content curation. Search tools grant access to thousands of articles based on your filters and keywords.

dlvr.it – Import & Discover Tool

Importing capabilities allow you to choose from the best content for social media posting. Import from websites, blogs, and even directly from social media sites.

6. RSS Automation

Many curation or post scheduling tools also include RSS automation. Combine the convenience of RSS with social media automation and you have a powerful tool.

An RSS automation service like dlvr.it automatically posts content from your RSS feeds to social media platforms. You set the filters to determine which post topics or sources are most relevant for your audience and let this service do the work for you. Share relevant news, industry updates, blog posts, images and even videos instantly or as scheduled posts.

This type of “set it and forget it” tool is perfect for marketers who are too busy to commit significant time to social media but know how important it is to modern businesses.

You can also set up auto-recycling for your own social media posts. Dlvr.it offers this with EverQueue, which reposts your top performing posts automatically.

 

7. Outsource Content Sourcing or Posting to a Third-Party Service

We get it. Some people would rather not deal with social media at all. If that’s you, then outsourcing the work could be a good option. Several agencies and contractors offer content sourcing and social media management services, so finding an expert won’t be hard.

Use caution when making the decision to outsource. While not having to do the work sounds tempting, letting a third party take over your social media has drawbacks too.

The largest benefit of going with a third-party service is expertise. You may not know the best strategies for posting on social media, but this work is your agency’s bread and butter.

An agency will optimize your posts by weekday, time of day, and posting frequency. They’ll also be experienced in post formatting, choosing the best hashtags, and encouraging audience engagement.

Connections are the second major benefit. An experienced agency will already have connections on your social media platforms and may be able to connect your business with relevant influencers.

Yet many business owners are hesitant about using a third party service and for good reason. Key concerns revolve around authenticity, consistency with company culture, and over-reliance.

When someone outside of your company posts for you, there will always be concerns about whether the content is genuine. It’s vital to sit down with your agency and communicate your brand vision and values. Mistakes are almost inevitable, but when you see a post that seems “off-brand,” you should be able to get in touch with your agency and clarify your needs.

You’ll need to keep in mind that a third-party won’t be aware of changes happening within your company, so you need to do the extra legwork to keep them up-to-date.

Finally, stick with a third party service for too long and Social Media Examiner warns that you may find yourself too reliant on outsourcing. The longer you remain with a social media agency, the more difficult it becomes to do the work yourself, especially if no one on your in-house team is familiar with the work.

 

8. Repost Your Own Content

It’s perfectly acceptable to repost third-party content and recycle your own content. In fact, here’s why you should be doing both. Reposting your own content:

  • Generates more web traffic
  • Keeps old posts from decaying
  • Promotes old content with little effort
  • Reaches more of your audience

Not every follower sees your content the first time you post it. Businesses worry that consumers view reposted content as repetitive and annoying. That’s almost never the case. Sharing a post multiple times can actually double your traffic.

If you’re still worried about repetition, consider this:

Any content you repost should provide value to your audience. Even if a consumer doesn’t choose to click through to your site, seeing the headline will remind them that your resource is available.


Any content you repost should provide value to your audience. Even if a consumer doesn't choose to click through to your site, seeing the headline will remind them that your resource is available.
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It’s easy for a follower to ignore a post they’ve already seen. But the chances of them remembering that specific piece of content and going to your website to find it? Not likely.

 

Start Filling Your Social Media Queues

Posting consistently on social media shouldn’t be a stressful task. But don’t try to implement all 8 methods at once. Instead, start with two to three tools and figure out what works best for you.

Better yet, use a single service like dlvr.it, that supports a variety of social media queueing options.

 

dlvr.it can help you succeed on social media with powerful tools to help you fill your social media queue with quality content from millions of sources. We’d love for you to try dlvr.it and see what we can do for you.

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tiistai 19. kesäkuuta 2018

Dlvr.it: How to Use Pinterest for Business – Boost Your Pinterest Marketing in Under an Hour

Pinterest may seem like a business opportunity that is worth skipping for many business users. After all, it’s just a picture based platform that can only appeal to those who are interested in art, fashion, or food, right? This couldn’t be further from the truth. Your business Pinterest account is a valuable resource that is another free option for marketers who are looking to appeal to their target demographics.


There are quite a few things that you can do with your Pinterest to make it more relevant, and some of these things can be done in only an hour!
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Why do I need Pinterest?

Pinterest is a fast growing platform that year-over-year expands its user base among both men and women. Pinterest is stereotypically associated with women, which is understandable since that is the primary user base. However, 40% of new user signups are men. This indicates that this form of social media is on the rise. Yes, photo-based social media is not just for Instagram anymore. There are quite a few things that you can do with your Pinterest to make it more relevant, and some of these things can be done in only an hour!

Pinterest is also one of the fastest revenue-generating platforms out there. Shopify partnered with Pinterest to gather data about product purchase habits of Pinterest users. They found that 96% of Pinterest users rely on Pinterest to gather product information, 93% plan purchases using Pinterest, and each of these purchases averages $50. All of this revenue could be slipping through your fingers if you choose not to use Pinterest.

Add your logo to your business Pinterest account

2 minutes
Setting up your business Pinterest account is the first step in this process. If you become a verified business through Pinterest, this can add a lot of goodwill and trust in the community. Not only can this add goodwill and trust, but it can offer opportunities that aren’t available in personal Pinterest accounts. The most important of these opportunities is Rich Pins. These Pins can provide information about your product right in the Pin.

Adding a logo as a picture in your profile can also add an air of legitimacy to your Pinterest posts. If you need a logo, there are many tools that can help you build a logo. I’ve always personally been partial to Canva due to their library of templates to get you started. However, there are other tools that can help in this arena. Once you have your logo created, you can use the steps that Pinterest has provided to get this added to your profile.

Make sure all your Pins are active and functional

5 minutes
This is probably the most important check to perform of all. After all, your Pinterest account will probably not be super helpful if it doesn’t direct back to functional content. Shockingly, VentureBeat reports that 50% of top Pins on Pinterest link back to outdated links that no longer function!

There are a number of tools out there that can help to perform this check. You can start with Boardbooster’s Pin Doctor. They require a monthly plan and they will also ask that you pay per Pin that you check, however, this is the fastest option to keep your business Pinterest as functional as it can be. Pin4Ever also provides an excellent suite of tools that not only backs up your Pinterest, but also checks the functionality of your Pins.

If you prefer to avoid paying for these checks, you can perform more manual processes that will help you check out these links. The ScreamingFrog SEO Spider tool will help you check your links manually. You can also use a broken link checker to make sure that your links are functional.

Add a Pinterest follow button to your website

5 minutes
A great method to link your business Pinterest account front and center is to create a follow button or widget to your website. These buttons can link directly back into your Pinterest profile and help your users follow the content that pertains exactly to what they’re reading. If they see these links on your website, you are setting a direct pipeline to your users that can provide them with everything that they need to know about your business.

Also, if you have an RSS Feed that is generated with your website, you can link this directly to your dlvr.it account so that your content is automatically published to your Pinterest account. This option will help you optimize your Pinterest publishing for the best dates and times.

img source: Pinterest

Add your keywords to your Pinterest username

5 minutes
This suggestion really has to do with SEO. Your search engine optimization depends on your ability to make your desired keywords front and center in your content. To become the Google authority on a subject, placing this keyword front and center in your title is key in making sure that Google picks this up. It’s much easier for Google to find a subject if it is placed within the headers in a website, and placing those keywords in your title is doing just that.

Promote your Pinterest boards on Facebook, Twitter and all your social media pages

10 minutes
Why would I want to use my other social media content? In order to promote all of your social media accounts, you must consider that all of them can be linked together. Your other social media accounts can benefit from your SEO that is implemented from your Pins. All of your business Pinterest content can lead back to your other content on your social media accounts. That being the case, linking your social media accounts to each other can only benefit you.

But posting each of your pins to your other social media pages and profiles can be a pain, particularly if you’re limited on time.

If you are looking to save time, try dlvr.it’s social media automation service to effortlessly share your pins to your Facebook pages, Twitter profile and more. Just connect Pinterest board to dlvr.it and add your social media pages and profiles. dlvr.it automatically posts your new pins across your social media pages.

How do I connect Pinterest to my other social media accounts?

dlvr.it provides many options to link your content directly to your Pinterest account along with many other Socials. Pinterest only states that you can directly link your Facebook and Twitter, while dlvr.it offers the options to send content simultaneously to Tumblr, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Company pages, and more.

Another great reason to use a service like dlvr.it to link your content to your Social Media accounts is that the content will appear more Curated. This means that if you have an RSS Feed that is more suited for Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, but your other Feeds may only be suited for Pinterest and Facebook, you will be publishing your content to the appropriate Social Media channels.

If, however, you would like to do this through Pinterest, Pinterest has created a tutorial to help you add your business Pinterest account to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

If you find some extra time after sifting through your Evergreen content, take some time to comment on the Pins of others that tie into your content. It will help to direct potential followers back to your content.

To automate the cross-posting of latest blog posts to Pinterest, try dlvr.it’s social media automation service.

Re-pin some of your Evergreen Content

10 minutes
Pinterest has recently been publishing a string of what they consider important to consider when using their platform. One of the most important aspects of their anticipation of success is publishing Evergreen content. Unlike other platforms, Evergreen content is vital to Pinterest success.

The reasons for Evergreen content to be at the forefront of your strategy lies in the content itself. By nature, Pinterest content is around forever, and because of this, your content should be relevant to all audiences for a long period of time. Things like tutorials, infographics, and and recipes last forever and Pinterest will make sure that they are found.

dlvr.it’s EverQueue service helps you re-pin the Evergreen content that you find the most appealing. All you have to do is import the content that you want to republish automatically, set your Pinterest account to re-pin, and then let dlvr.it do the rest! This service cuts down on the time that you spend re-pinning even further.

How should I choose my Evergreen content?

Finding your most popular content is a great start to locating your best Evergreen content. Once you’ve located the most popular content, you can determine the most relevant content. Start with the content that is most currently relevant. Since it’s your content, you probably know it best. Find those pieces of content that will be the most timeless. “How-tos” and tutorials are the most Pinterest-friendly content.

When you create a new blog post, share your featured image and link to your Pinterest page. Take advantage of Pinterest’s vast audience to promote your blog. It’s easy to pin your new blog post page to your Pinterest board – be sure to use an attractive and compelling featured image with your post to grab the attention of your Pinterest audience.

Turn off your search engine privacy

2 minutes
Why would I want to turn off my search engine privacy? In short, this privacy setting has the potential to be a game changer in your Pinterest traffic. The search engine privacy setting functions to protect people from finding your content on Google. Pinterest is a unique social media platform in that it allows your Pins to be Google search results. Because this is the case, if this privacy setting is activated, you’re throwing away the traffic that could come from Google.

In essence, the traffic that comes in from Google is the most important traffic that has the potential to be retrieved. Because Google uses Pinterest to populate a lot of search results, you can steal this traffic right out from under your competitors.

How do I turn off search engine privacy in Pinterest?

Turning off this setting couldn’t be easier. Pinterest has made a tutorial that will help you instantly launch yourself into Google’s search engine.

If you find yourself with a little bit of extra time during the week, you can hone your search engine craft. The best way to do this is to use a search engine optimization tool. Using these tools can help you select the most important keywords for your company’s interests. This can help to skyrocket your Pins to the top of Google’s results. Check out our blog post that will help you find the best search engine optimization tools.

Make sure you finish your profile

10 minutes
Why would I want to finish my profile? Isn’t a picture enough? In many ways, no. Not finishing your profile makes you seem lazy and uninterested in optimization. Not only is this another opportunity to make an impression, but it is another opportunity for SEO. You must think about Pinterest as an SEO machine to generate money for your endeavors. The platform will only work for you if you put your effort into it.

When you remember that Pinterest is a direct venue to Google, you understand that every word that you put into Pinterest is important. All things Pinterest feed into your SEO directly, and therefore, your profile is extremely important to making that impression that you need on your business Pinterest account.

Rename your boards to be more bold and innovative

5 minutes
Renaming your boards can help to improve your SEO immensely. There is a school of thought that discourages renaming Pinterest boards, however, if you are having trouble with your Google results, the only direction that you can go is up. As long as you’re remaining on topic with one focused category, your SEO will only improve. You can’t afford not to change these titles if you’re not optimized for search engine results.

How do I rename my boards?

This is another quick and easy edit to your Pinterest boards. It’s simply a matter of accessing the edit panel and changing the name of the board.

Use a popular Pin as your Cover Photo

5 minutes
Why is using a popular Pin important for your board’s cover? This cover photo is the first impression that you can make with your users. It is an 800 x 800 pixel space to convey exactly what your users can expect in your boards. This gives you the opportunity to place your branding front and center in every board and make an impression with all that you have available in your boards.

The best reason to use this is that it is dramatically underutilized. The cover photo being the impression that your users see is also a first impression. This first impression can lead to additional followers of your Pinterest boards, and thus, convert a lot of traffic into money for your products and services.

img source: smitten kitchen Pinterest

How do I change the Pin for my cover photo?

This is also a quick and easy process. Business Pinterest users spend most of their time finding the most important Pin to use, but I recommend using the most popular Pin in that board. User feedback in the form of Pins and views are the most valuable information that you can use to determine the content that you want as a lasting impression.


Pinterest is a tool that can provide so much insight into your business, and convert a lot of cash for you.
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Bringing it all together

Pinterest is a tool that can provide so much insight into your business, and convert a lot of cash for you. It is a direct marketing platform that has proven to be extremely valuable. By putting just a little bit of time and effort into your business Pinterest account, you can turn your followers into customers. This tool is too valuable to ignore, and it’s not just for crafters anymore.

The post How to Use Pinterest for Business – Boost Your Pinterest Marketing in Under an Hour appeared first on dlvr.it | blog.



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tiistai 12. kesäkuuta 2018

Dlvr.it: How to Promote Your Blog – 19 Easy Tactics To Get Traffic To Your Blog

We recently renewed our effort to boost the profile of our blog and increase quality traffic to our posts. As part of our improvement process, we researched successful marketers and studied their advice on how to promote your blog. Our objective was simple – learn and implement the best blog growth strategies and tactics to boost our business.

Much of the trusted blogging advice emphasizes long-term strategies – like building great content and nurturing an email list. This is clearly solid, reliable advice.

But we were left wondering – What can we do to promote our blog right now?

 

We have over 500 blog posts – some of which already drive a decent amount of traffic. We were looking for concrete steps we could take in just a few minutes to help drive traffic to our blog immediately.

We also wanted to make sure we have a sturdy blog promotion foundation in place so that we are in the best position to get the most traffic and attention from each new post we create.

Here’s some of the best ideas we found that can help you promote your blog and get traffic with just a few minutes of your time.

1. Share Your Blog Posts Widely on Social Media

People are spending time across an increasing number of social media platforms and on multiple devices. It’s easy (and cheap) to promote your blog posts across your social media profiles and pages.

If you don’t yet have pages set up for all these platforms, do so. It’s easy and free to get started. The most popular platforms and their monthly user numbers as of April 2018:

  • Facebook – 2.234B
  • Instagram – 813M
  • Tumblr – 794M
  • Twitter – 330M
  • Pinterest – 200M
  • LinkedIn – 260M
  • Google+ – 34M

Usage stats from Statista, Pinterest and Raka Creative.

2. Promote Your Blog Posts on All Your Social Profiles & Pages Instantly

Then when you create a new blog post, share a link, a photo and a short introduction or pitch to all your social media profiles and pages.

This ensures your latest content is instantly shared with all your followers. The faster your post receives likes, retweets and shares, the more credibility it has – and the higher the likelihood it will be shared and viewed by others.

To make this even easier, set up a social media auto-poster, like dlvr.it, to automatically post your latest blog posts across all your social networks as soon as they go live on your blog.

3. Share your blog posts again and again

The sheer volume and speed of social media content makes it easy for even the best posts to be missed. The lifespan of social media post is incredibly short:

  • Twitter: Half life of a Tweet is 24 minutes
  • Facebook: Posts garner 75% of impressions within 2.5 hours

To increase the chances of breaking through and getting the attention of your readers at the right moment, it’s best to share your new posts more than once.

When you launch a new blog post, share it with your social pages instantly, then schedule posts to your social media pages for a few hours and a few days later.

Sharing your posts multiple times can double (or more)  your traffic.

If you are in a pinch for time, try dlvr.it’s Echo tool to automatically post your original content instantly, then post two additional variations of your post hours or days later.

4. Reshare and Promote Your Evergreen Content

We’ve discovered that our most successful blog posts — the ones that drive the most traffic — are Evergreen. In other words, these posts are interesting and valuable to people months or even years after they were originally created.

In our case, most traffic flows to these pages via Google search. People search for the same keywords years after the post was written, and click through to our blog because these posts still answer questions or address issues we wrote about years ago.

What makes these posts interesting to people searching Google, likely makes these posts interesting to people on Facebook, Twitter and beyond.

Identify your evergreen content and reshare it across your social media profiles.

Check your blog stats for the last few months and determine which older posts are still attracting visitors. Then share these posts again to your followers and subscribers.

To make it even easier to share your evergreen content, try dlvr.it’s EverQueue. You can quickly fill your social media sharing queue with your evergreen content, then once it is posted, dlvr.it will automatically recycle it back into your queue and share it again and again in the future.

5. Promote Your Blog in Your Email Signature

Think of your email signature as free advertising space. Why not promote your blog every time your send an email?

Include a link to a recent blog post or one of your blog’s all time favorites. Or…include a link to both.

It’s free and easy to create and update your email signature with fresh blog links on a regular basis.

Or you can use a services like WiseStamp or  Email Signature Rescue.

  
img source: Wise Stamp

6. Promote Your Blog With Social Media Pins

As noted above, the half-life of a social media post is measured in mere minutes. Think about that. The typical social media post gets half of the attention it will ever get within a few moments of going live.

Maybe that’s acceptable for quick posts that require little thought or time. But after investing a significant chunk of time to create and tune a blog post, you want to get as much out of it as possible.

Instead of sharing your blog post on social media and watching the social media riptide instantly carry it away, pin your post to the top of your profiles. When you pin a post, it remains at the top of your profile. So when users view your profile page, your pinned post is the first post visible. This is great option when you share high investment content, like blog posts.

It’s quick, easy and free to pin a tweet, pin a facebook post, linkedin post  and more. 

 

7. Mention and Link to Others in Your Post

There is one (nearly) universal law of online marketing: Everyone loves to get links.

It’s free and easy to link to other people’s posts. And linking to valuable content is an easy way to make your blog highly useful to your readers.

Generally speaking a lot of good things can happen (and morewhen you mention someone in a positive light and link to them. They might link back to you. Perhaps they’ll follow you on social media. Next time you update your blog, they might share your post with their followers. And you might even make a new friend and business contact.

Next time you write a blog post, make a point of mentioning a related post or article and linking to it from your blog post. Maybe even target an influencer who has written a relevant article and call them out with a link in your post.

Most professional writers and bloggers track backlinks and are notified when their pages are linked to. More on backlink monitoring tools below.

To increase your chance to be noticed, include multiple outbound links in your posts to related pages from multiple authors.

To make an impact right now, update one of your existing blog posts to include a mention and a link.

8. Promote Your Blog Post with Tags and Mentions

When you mention someone in your post, tag them the next time you promote that blog post on Twitter. It’s easy and let’s them know via Twitter that you’ve referenced them in your blog post.

For example:

 

In most cases, it’s easy to track down the writer’s social media pages and determine if the author is active on Twitter.

This approach to alerting the people to whom you’ve linked requires very little effort to initiate or respond. Contrast Twitter tagging with notifying someone via email – which can require time consuming email communication and may involve the touchy subject of sending unsolicited email.

Make sure you understand the difference between a reply and a mention.

Here are some additional details on using twitter mentions.

9. Monitor Links to Your Blog & Say thanks!

If someone mentions you and links to your blog, reach out and say “thanks”.

Posting a tweet that says thank you, links to the post, and tags the author is a quick and easy way to show your appreciation. Here’s an example:

Saying thanks to a writer who has written about you builds goodwill and lays the foundation for future links and mentions. Next time you write about a related topic, let the writer know – you might get another link.

Sending a thank you email is a more formal and a bit more time consuming. This approach may work better than a tweet if the author is someone you want to connect with and perhaps have a discussion longer than 140 characters at a time.

It’s easy to monitor backlinks.

If you are using wordpress, you may already be receiving a pingback notifications when another WordPress blog links to you.

Here’s info on some of the leading backlink tracking tools. https://mention.com/blog/tools-to-monitor-backlinks/

10. Monitor Social Mentions and Shares – and Say Thank You!

In addition to linking to you from a blog post, people will also mention you and link to you from social media. There are many tools to monitor social mentions of you and your site.

Check your monitoring feed on a regular basis and respond with quick hello and thanks when someone shares your posts.

Popular tools for monitoring social mentions include Hootsuite and Tweetdeck.

 

11. Make Your Posts Shine with Eye Catching Graphics and Visuals

As part of writing each of our new posts, we review dozens of related articles and blog posts. We discovered when reading posts, within a few seconds  we judge the quality of the blog based on the layout and look and feel of the page.

Based on this judgment, we determine how seriously we should take the post and if we are going to invest the time into reading the post.

So what do we judge in a split second?

We re subconsciously evaluating the visual presentation of the post.

In short, if the post contains quality graphics and images that break up the text, we are more likely to take the article seriously and invest the time to read on. Posts with lots of words crammed into big paragraphs, small text, and limited or no graphics can feel ‘homemade’. We are likely to ignore the posts that lacked professional polish and focus our attention on more visually appealing blogs.

Adding a little visual sizzle to your posts is easy and doesn’t require a dedicated graphic designer.

Photo libraries like UnSplash make it easy to find high quality, royalty free images.

And easy-to-use graphic design tools like Canva and DesignBold allow even the graphic design novice to create eye-catching graphics to include in your blog posts and share on social media.

To make an impact right now:

1. Pick one of your top performing / evergreen blog posts

2. Create a visual on canva

3. Update your blog post with the image.

4. Post a link to your updated blog post to social media, include the new image in your post.

12. Use Hashtags to Reach a Larger Audience

Add one to two hashtags per tweet and Instagram post and boost your visibility and traffic. Hashtags are a quick and easy way to help new people discover your posts.

There are many tools to help you identify hashtags to include in your posts:

  1. Hashtagify
  2. TrendsMap
  3. RiteTag

13. Promote Existing Blog Posts with Internal Links

When creating new blog posts, you should include links to your other relevant posts and pages on your blog. This introduces visitors to your related posts and encourages them to stay on your site longer.

Additionally, and perhaps even more importantly, internal links are good for SEO. The links around your blog tell Google what pages are valuable and useful on your site. Using focused anchor text provide Google with additional guidance on the keywords for pages.

While you can’t control the backlinks other site give to you, you 100% control the internal links on your site. You can build internal links right now.

Ideally, you should link to posts that are related or have a natural connection to the current post. As you create more content for your blog you’ll have a larger pool of content to link to.

It is common practice for leading marketing blogs to include up to 10 internal links. So link away.

For WordPress users, Yoast is a popular tool to help you identify related posts and streamline the internal link building process.

To make an impact right now:

1. Pick one of your existing blog posts to drive internal links to (the Target Post).

2. Identify several other existing blog posts that have related content (Related Posts)

3. Update these related posts with a link back to your Target Post. Ideally, you will add the link to an important keyword or phrase in your Related Posts.

14. Promote your new post with internal links from older blog posts

You can also use the power of internal links to promote your newest article.

Spend 10 minutes reviewing your older blog posts looking for opportunities to link back to your newest post.

Adding internal links from a few related posts back to your latest effort can help boost traffic and boost SEO right out of the gate.

img source: Yoast

15. Clean up your Open Graph tags

OpenGraph  tags are small code snippets on your pages that tell Facebook and other social platforms exactly how do display your page details when your readers share your page with their friends. Setting up your Open Graph tags correctly is key to making your posts look professional and driving more shares on social media

For instance, Open Graph tags specify the Title, Summary and Image that should be displayed by Facebook when your page is shared.

For instance:

— vs —

If your pages do not explicitly call out Open Graph tags, you might be surprised by how your pages appears when shared on Facebook. The most common issues are the wrong image (or no image) displaying and a qmissing page summary.

Use the Facebook debugger to see your pages as Facebook sees them. This tool will let you know if you are missing OG tags or if there are other errors that could impact the display of your pages on Facebook.

WordPress users can set and control their Open Graph tags with Yoast or other Open Graph plugins.

16. Add Twitter Cards to Your Pages

Twitter Cards allow you to attach rich photos, videos and media experiences to Tweets, helping to drive traffic to your website.

Much like OpenGraph tags, Twitter Cards are small snippets of code on your pages that tell Twitter how to display your pages when someone shares your link.

Here’s an example of how Twitter displays a link when the target page does not include Twitter Card details:

 

And here’s a much richer display when the page contains Twitter card tags:

Tweets with images enjoy a 18% higher engagement rate. Twitter Card tags include Title, Summary and Media fields.

There are many WordPress plugins that allow you to easily add and manage Twitter cards on your posts, including our tool of choice Yoast (https://yoast.com/).

17. Freshen Up an Old Blog Post

Writing a new blog post from the ground up is time consuming and labor intensive. Only after investing many hours in research, writing and editing can you publish a post and start promoting it.

A faster way to give your blog a traffic boost is to freshen up an old post. In as quick as a few minutes you can make key updates and start promoting your freshly updated post on social media.

What posts are top candidates for freshening up? Scan through your blog and identify posts that have not been updated in a long time and that cover topics that are relevant today.

If a blog post is continuing to get traffic from google, that a sign people are still finding value in the post and it’s topic. We’ll have a lot more to say on this in a future post.

What to Update:

  • Add any new insights, tips or examples you’ve gained
  • Add your target keywords to headers and throughout the text
  • Add internal links to newer articles with relevant information
  • Improve readability by breaking up text and adding images, screenshots or other graphics.
  • Fix Any Broken Links
  • Check whether the resources or tools you recommend are still the best
  • Remove or replace any methods you no longer support

Then share it again across your social profiles.

18. Check Your Page Speed

If you pages load fast your visitors can view your page content quickly without waiting. Fast loading pages make for happy readers who are more likely to read your post and visit more pages on your site.

Additionally, Google rewards pages (https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2010/04/using-site-speed-in-web-search-ranking.html)  that load fast with higher placement in search results.

Google Page Insights and Pingdom offer simple free tools that analyze your page load speed and provide suggestions on how to improve your page load.

 

The suggestions can be a bit technical in nature. However, these tools will quickly let you know if your page speed is an issue that may be dragging down your traffic and wilting your search engine results. Learn more about Page Speed.

These tools helped us identify caching and image optimization as are problem areas. Based on this feedback painlessly cut our page load time in half and experienced a significant lift in our Google search placement.

BTW – we now use WP Rocket for caching and ShortPixel for optimizing our images.

19. Run a Quick SEO Check to Find Issues and Errors

If you’re like us, you regularly add plugins to your blog and update their settings. It’s no surprise when all these plugins don’t work well together and cause formatting issues that can negatively impact your your SEO.

You can quickly identify errors and issues on by using free SEO checkers such as SEO Analyzer and Site Checker Pro.

Using these tools we identified some critical issues with our header tags (these ones: <h1>…<h2> and <h3>). These issues were introduced when we made an update to our blog design and added a couple new plugins.

Based on the feedback from the SEO checkers, we cleaned up our headers and within 2 weeks the Google traffic to several key pages increased 20%+.

 

Pick a couple of these blog promotion tactics and try them over the next week. Let’s us know what works best for you.

And please let us know what we’ve missed from this list!

The post How to Promote Your Blog – 19 Easy Tactics To Get Traffic To Your Blog appeared first on dlvr.it blog.



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