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Category Archives: Tips

September 21, 2016

Did you know a good landing page could increase conversion rates up to 300%?  Then why are you still sending people to your website homepage rather than sending them to targeted content via a landing page?    I can help you put together the perfect strategy for your small business and determine how you can use a landing page to increase conversion.  Give me a call and let’s talk.

The anatomy of a landing page infographic

Original infographic provided by dotmailer.com London Bridge, England.  If you are in need of email marketing solutions give them a look.

Top 10 Social Bookmarking Sites for 2016

What is a Social Bookmarking?

Social Bookmarking enables users to add, share and store links to their sites via the internet. When creating your bookmark you ‘tag’ them with appropriate keywords which enable users searching for those to find you!

Top 10 Social Bookmarking Sites for 2016

 

Many sites are free; others charge minimal fees and most require you to register to add your website to their list. Social Bookmarking sites are frequently used by SEO experts for search engine optimization, improving website ranking in search engine results (SERP) and traffic indexing new websites.  This is a great way to create high quality backlinks, increase Google PageRank and Domain Authority for your new website they can also help reduce your bounce rate.

Looking to increase your brand awareness? Then try some of the more prominent and popular sites; Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr and Reddit then check out my list of 25 top Social Bookmarking sites for 2016 below.

DoFollow vs NoFollow

Follow Link:  Links (inbound hyperlink) that points to a URL giving that page SEO ‘link juice’ or Google ‘points’ that increase the authority of that page. (i.e. If a lot of people are linking to this page, it must be a great page, so we’ll boost search engine preference.

No Follow:  Links (with the ‘nofollow’ attribute included) these links do not add ‘points’ for SEO results. Why would you want that? In a perfect world spammers would never consider “black-hat” tactics to increase their share of ‘link juice’ right? Wrong! To help even out the playing field the ‘nofollow’ attribute was born, automatically showing up in links placed in Comments, Forums, Paid Links and Google ‘untrusted sites’. WordPress automatically adds this attribute to user-submitted links and Wikipedia’s does for their reference section as well.

Caution: As in all things, do not spam (create multiple links for the same site), use only high quality trusted social bookmarking sites when you create the backlinks to your website.

Top 10 Social Bookmarking Sites for 2016

  1. Delicious.com
  2. StumbleUpon.com
  3. Digg.com
  4. Fark.com
  5. Scoop.it
  6. Slashdot.org
  7. Newsvine.com
  8. Blinklist.com
  9. Technorati.com
  10. Metafilter.com

Top 10 Social Bookmarking Sites for 2016

Tips For Configuring Your Social Media Profiles

Creating Searchable Social Media Profiles

When thinking about creating your Social Media profile there are two search possibilities you will want to consider. Google search and each of your social channels are the main areas you will want to maximize for profile search-ability.  After all, you want people to find you, right?

Included here I’ll share some tips on where to use keywords in your social profiles to help make it easier for you to be found.

Social Media Profile Tips

Let’s take a look at Google Search first.

 

Geek Mom Media | Google Search
Example Google Search | Geek Mom Media

Usually, but not always, there are 3 things you can control in a Google search result for your business or website, social profiles and pages.  They are the title, URL of your page and last the description.

The first thing someone sees in a search result is the title.  Generally it is recommended to keep your title between 50-60 characters in length for SEO page requirements.

The SEO title for Geek Mom Media is: Geek Mom Media: Consulting & Web Design for Startups

Your URL will appear on the second line, below the title of search results.  For social channels, the URL is normally listed as the social media domain, followed by your username.

Descriptions are generally taken from the meta name “description” in your page source and are limited to 155 characters in length.  The description for Geek Mom Media reads: Geek Mom Media wants to help you succeed, in your small business, by doing the geek work so you don’t’ have to. Affordable rates for home based business.

Note: Google won’t index anything that isn’t publicly viewable, that means it must be available on your public profile.  You will also need to be logged out completely to see what your profile or page looks like.

Let’s take a look at some specific Social Media Networks and how to best optimize your profiles.

Facebook Page

On a Facebook Page you’ll see something like this

Google Search - Ford on Facebook
Example: Google Search for Ford on Facebook

Search results on Google show the Facebook Page name, Location, number of likes, and number of people talking about the page.

Tip:  Generally a Facebook page name incorporating keywords rank higher in Google search results.

The first option for a search for Cars will give you any page that listed Cars as a subcategory, main brand or product category associated with the page shown in the  drop-down menu. Should you press enter after your search vs reviewing the drop-down you’ll notice options for search results under the menu:

Top, Latest, People, Photos, Videos, Pages, Places, and More

Search for Cars on Facebook
Example: Search for Cars on Facebook

Tip: Local Business Owner pages will appear under Places based on proximity to the person searching and your page category.  Be sure to place your keyword in the subcategory.

Key Points: Where possible include a keyword in your Page’s name and be sure to include keywords in your page’s subcategory.

Twitter Profile

Most Twitter profiles in a Google search will include your profile name, username (@username), number of followers, number of photos, videos and number of tweets.  Occasionally you’ll see one that pulls the bio or lists the username (@username), URL and a couple of your latest tweets.

Search for Ford on Twitter
Example: Ford’s listing for Twitter on Google

Tip: Look to see what your profile is actually pulling from Twitter before proceeding to change your bio and including keywords.

Again, Google will rank keyword searches higher for names and @usernames that include that keyword.  The example we’ve been using is “cars”

Search for cars on Twitter
Example: Search for cars on Google

When searching on the Twitter network, profiles related to the keyword will appear in your results.  They do not need to be included in the name, bio or username of the account.

Key Points:  Include any keyword in your name or @username where possible if you want to appear in Google searches for that keyword.  To appear in searches done via the Twitter network include those keywords in text content; it doesn’t hurt to also include it in your name , bio and @username.

Linked In

Most profiles will appear like this one:

Example: Search for Ford on Instagram
Example: Search for Ford on Instagram

The Google description comes from your Company Name and description.

LinkedIn Profile Example
Example: LinkedIn Profile

Once again, when you include a primary keyword in the Company name of your page you may rank higher in a Google and LinkedIn searches.

Key Point:  Where possible include a primary keyword in your Company listed page name.

Instagram

Profile name, @username and bio are used in a Google search result.

Tip: Including primary keywords in your bio can help to increase your results.

Pinterest

Profile name and description are used in a Google search result.

Tip: Include primary keywords in your name and description can help to increase your results.  Boards with primary keywords will also appear higher in search results.

Final Take Away

Knowing the general semantics of how profiles and pages work in major social networks can help your search rankings.  When configuring your other Social Network accounts, use the same type of logic.  In looking at Google+ and YouTube, both being optimized via Google will place higher in a Google search when a primary keyword is included in the page name or channel name.  When naming uploads for YouTube include primary keywords in video names as well.

Tip: It is kind of a no-brainer, but many times it’s not possible to include a keyword in your name or username because of your specific branding needs.  Including them in your bio, first paragraph and other text can help.

Geek Mom Media | Social Media Profile Tips

What Recipe Do You Use for Social Media?

What IF there was a Recipe Book for Social Media?

There is!  It’s called IFTTT, and they have all kinds of recipes for Social Media Marketers!

What if there was a recipe for Social Media | by geekmommedia.com

IFTTT (IF This Then That) can help you streamline your posting, save you time; it’s almost like having an assistant!  IFTTT is like a restaurant, were you have your own private chef!

Check out the Channels tab to see which Apps, Social Media Channels or other online Accounts you can connect and create recipes between ,   You can also connect your channels here as well as listings of popular recipes for various apps with Triggers and Actions available.

Glossary:

Channels are apps and social channels IFTTT can be configured between.

Triggers are acts that take place to start the process for your recipe.

Actions are things you program, after a trigger has taken place, to complete the desired process.

IFTTT Recipes

IFTTT Recipe Boxes

There are a ton of pre-made recipes to choose from or you can create your very own.  Best of all it’s totally free to use this service and automate your tasks between various apps and the social media networks you use.  With so many options to choose from, it is hard to put everything in one short post.

Here are the basics.

Step 1) Sign up for a free account

Step 2) Browse through existing recipes

IFTTT - Recipes

Look through the various areas of the listings for Recommended, DO and IF recipes others have created.  You may find exactly what you need here.

or

Step 3) Create your own

This is a long process, where you select IF Triggers Channels, Triggers, Trigger Fields, Then That Action Channels, Actions, Action Fields and Create your Recipe.  Due to the varying possibilities for each Channel I’m not going to go into too much detail just give you a high overview of how the process works.  The options you have are limited only by the selections you make from the choices available.  In this example I’m using Instagram and Pinterest to create a recipe to automate posting.

To Create Your Own Recipe

1. Go to the My Recipes Tab

2. Select Create a Recipe 

3. Click on the this (see image below)

IFTTT - Create a Recipe

 

 

 

4. Choose Trigger Channel

IFTTT - Choose Trigger Channel

 

 

 

 

 

I selected Instagram.  If this is the first time using IFTTT and you have not previously connected your on-line accounts, you will have to connect your Social Channel to your account, giving IFTTT permissions at this time.

5. Choose a Trigger

IFTTT - Choose a Trigger

 

 

 

 

I selected New Photo by Specific User.  Triggers available will vary depending on the channel you selected in step 4.

6. Complete Trigger Field(s)

IFTTT - Complete Trigger Fields

 

 

 

 

In the item selected the trigger field is the Instagram Username.

7. Click on the that (see image below)

IFTTT - If this then that

 

 

 

8. Choose Action Channel

IFTTT - Choose Action Channel

 

 

 

 

In this example I selected Pinterest. Scroll through the options or type in the channel you are looking for.

9. Choose an Action

Choose an Action

 

 

In my example there is only 1 action available, to post to a board.  Actions available will vary depending on the channel you selected in step 8.  In this example only 1 action is available for this channel (Pinterest).

10. Complete Action Field(s)

IFTTT - Complete Action Fields

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Create and Connect

IFTTT - Create and Connect

 

 

 

 

 

 

 12. Recipe ID

IFTTT - Recipe ID

 

 

 

 

Your recipe has been created and is ready to use.  Test it out, then publish for others to use if you desire.  You can turn off any time you like.  Recipes you have created or are using will show up in the My Recipe tab when signed into your account.

IFTTT helps you streamline social media tasks without the tedious steps involved.  Let technology do the work for you and see what IFTTT tasks you can automate in your social media posts now and don’t forget to share your favorite recipes.

5 Types of Landing Pages Your Small Business Should be Using

I’m sure you’ve probably heard of Landing Pages, but why do you need them?  You have a website, right?  Well, maybe not according to Yodle.com 52% of Small Businesses don’t have a website!  So how do you handle online marketing, where do you send your customers?  Facebook Pages can only go so far.  Or, maybe you don’t think you can afford a full-fledged website and have never heard of a Landing Page.  Let’s talk about what they are and how you can use them.

5 Types of Landing Pages Your Small Business Should be Using

Landing Pages are simply a website that includes all the information your customer needs in one place.  A one page website if you will.  It may have different sections showing what you offer, photo galleries, contact forms, and news.  They can be of any length necessary to get all the information you need to someone visiting your site.

Here are 5 types you should consider using

 

1. Focused Mini-site Page

As I mentioned earlier, over HALF of the business in the US don’t have a website. There are over 22 billion people on the internet and having a web presence is a fundamental necessity to success in the 21st century!  Your customers are much more likely to trust your business if you have a website or landing page.  Many professionals recommend never sending your social media traffic to your main website, but rather a focused landing page where you can easily interact with your visitor.

What’s holding you back?

Building individual pages from scratch can be expensive and time-consuming.  You need to have knowledge of Web Design, you need to have a separate URL and hosting site.

Is there a less expensive path?

Choose a theme from one of the many sites on the internet and have your Web Designer do the work for you.  You’d then host it on the same site as your website and you don’t need a separate Domain unless you really need to have one.  Template sites typically have loads of themed pages to choose from based on your business type or for specific themes you like.

2. Launch Page

Whether you use Facebook posts, advertise in a local magazine or local online marketing site you are sure to need  some sort of press release for new products or ideas that you are offering new & existing  customers.  A launch page can be a great solution to do just that!

A Launch Page Can:

  • Assist you gather email address for products you are about to launch
  • Be an enticing place to showcase special product offers and services

Other Benefits:

  • They are usually shorter in length than a regular landing page
  • Typically focused on one specific product or service
  • Easily convert potential customers

3. Event Page

The importance of drawing a crowd is still of extreme importance to any small business effort.

Without promotion, something terrible happens. Nothing ~PT Barnum
 “Without promotion, something terrible happens…nothing!”  P.T. Barnum

Whether it’s a meeting, conference, job fair, or other type of social gathering an Event Page can help you draw attention to your special occasion.  They can also help appeal to people that are interested in what you have to offer.  Using this type of page in conjunction with your social media marketing efforts can greatly enhance any business event.

4. eBook Page

It doesn’t make a difference what type of business you have; eBooks are a big draw and strong marketing tool.  Free giveaways can be essential to assist a mom & pop brick-and-mortar store become profitable on the internet.  Some ideas might be, how to manuals, do’s and don’ts for fashion trends or consumer tips for your industry.  Online businesses regularly use eBooks as a valuable marketing tool to build email lists and sell more products or services.

5. Contest Page

Many times contests are used to increase email lists by offering something in return for potential customer contact information. Having a central location to drive traffic can help you execute your giveaway and give credibility to your campaign, solving the many issues of “how do I hold a legitimate contest?”.   The simple “do this and get that”, on Facebook, often falls short of the goals you are shooting for.  Try using a landing page for your next giveaway.

How Else Can I Help?

Ideas may be spinning in your head right now!  You’re probably thinking of various ways you could use one of these pages for your business.  I’d love to discuss potential ideas and help you come up with some solutions that can help grow your business.  Either leave a comment below or use the form on my contact page to drop me a note.

6 SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT TOOLS TO TRY IN 2016

Every business should have an active presence on multiple social media channels.  Learning how to manage your social media platforms should be core for focused new business owners and marketers.

6 Social Media Management Tools to Try in 2016

Different networks can be challenging and time plays a huge factor in selecting the right management tools for your business.  The correct tools can help you reply to messages; monitor your social channels, schedule posts and monitor analytics from one place.

Selecting the correct tool can be daunting when you are getting started; there are certainly plenty to choose from.  I have listed some of the top user selected platforms to highlight; many have free as well as paid versions depending on the features and benefits that are important to you. Check them out and decide which works best for your needs.

Social media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media.” by Lori Ruff. (@loriruff)

6 Social Media Tools to Try in 2016

HOOTSUITE

With its high user ranking, Hootsuite gives you the ability to interact with 25 social networks from a single dashboard.  A great all around tool if you’re interested in engagement, publishing and workflow features, managing campaigns and viewing analytics are other pluses.

BUFFER

Stagger your content through multiple social platforms easily with Buffer.  It’s user-friendly and has a clean dashboard.  Scheduling updates couldn’t be easier, and helps save time on administering your social channels.  Buffer’s free image creation tool, Pablo can help engage your audience.

AGORAPULSE

Start your free trial with AgoraPulse if you are looking for a tool to help manage your Facebook and Twitter accounts.  Features include; Facebook Applications, CRM Software and Analytic Reports. You can easily run contests and comparisons to your competitors.  Never miss interactions with inbox media alerts.

SPROUT SOCIAL

Post to multiple social channels with Sprout Social scheduling.  Pull messages into a single inbox and manage multiple profiles at the same time.  Sprouts user-friendly format helps users collaborate with other team members too!  Strong analytic reports include message performance, demographics data and community growth.

SENDIBLE

With Sendible you can easily manage comments and posts from Facebook, Twitter and Flickr in one place. Prioritize important mentions and analyze messages requiring attention quickly.  Engage with your online community to track your social media and email messages to measure the success of your campaigns.

MENTION

Are you all about monitoring your online content? Then check out Mention’s advertised “Never Miss a Thing Online” promise.  Built to make sifting through online content easy, sharing quick and team collaboration simple; analyzing social data couldn’t be easier.

REFERENCE SOURCES

http://www.johnhaydon.com/
https://www.brandwatch.com
http://pakwired.com/

30+ Forgotten Social Media Features

Have you looked through all the help files and settings on your favorite Social Media Channels?  Probably not, or if you did back when you signed up there were probably so many things it was a little mind boggling.

There are really great features that you may have overlooked or were going to check out but may have forgotten about entirely.

Here are a few of the myriad of forgotten features on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram; with a couple of bonus tips for LinkedIn.

Check them out, see which of the 30+ I’ve listed you may have forgotten about or which ones have gone entirely unnoticed.

Social Media's 30+ Forgotten Features

Forgotten Facebook Features

Save links for later reading

When looking at stories in your newsfeed, you’ll find options under the drop-down menu in the upper right corner. One of these is the “Save” option, which According to Facebook, is for links, places, music, books, movies, TV shows and events. Not included are photos or plain text updates.

Save Links for Later Reading

 “Save” also shows up on pages. Select “Save Link” from the drop-down button in the upper right of the story or save a Page, for later review, by selecting “Save” from the more (“…”) option on the top right corner next to Like, Share.

Check the left menu panel under News Feed to locate your Saved items.

Saved on Facebook Left Menu

To Friend or Follow?

Did you know you can follow someone without friending them? 

Here’s how it works:  If the person has this feature turned on you’ll see a “Follow” button to click, along with an “Add Friend” option.

Friend vs Follow | Why Follow Someone on Facebook

Following someone means you will see their posts in your news feed, just as you would if you were friends.  What’s the difference?  They don’t need to accept your friend request.

Simply go to your Facebook settings, and then turn on the follow feature in your profile.  From the left menu, select Followers, and change the settings from “Friends” to “Everybody”.  If you need further assistance, check out Facebooks Help page.

Followers | Facebook Help

Post to Page Timeline

Did you know others can post to your page?  By tagging your name in an update these posts show up in the sidebar on your page. 

Timeline & Tagging | Forgotten Facebook FeaturesVistor Posts | Forgotten Facebook Features

Be sure to watch what is being posted, you may find customer service opportunities, be able to engage with others when someone mentions you and don’t forget to watch for spam.  Who knows, you may find something you want to re-share.

Sidebar Element Order

You can rearrange the order of the sidebar elements on your page. The top spots are reserved for People and About, but other sections can be dragged and dropped into any order you choose.

Sidebar Menu Elements | Forgotten Facebook Features

The pencil icon will appear when you hover over any section in the menu.

Advanced stats for any post

Have you ever noticed the “# people reached” link at the bottom of your posts?

Advanced Statistics |Forgotten Facebook Features

Have you ever clicked on it?

These insights show you all sorts of cool stats like the breakdown of likes, comments, and shares.

Other forgotten useful features

Did you know you have a Facebook eMail Address?  You can email me at [email protected], and the message will come straight to my regular eMail account. Your Facebook email is your username on Facebook, plus @facebook.com.

Download a copy of your Facebook data!  From your settings page, you can click the “Download a copy” link at the bottom.

Download a Copy of Your Facebook Data

Did you know you can attach a file to a Facebook Message?  When you’ve got an open message window open, click on the gear icon and choose the “Add Files…” option.

Attaching Files to Facebook Messages

Surprise Messages from Others.  When clicking your message page, you’ll see the default view of your latest inbox view. Notice on the top menu “Inbox” and “Other” if there is a number beside it you have unread messages from someone on Facebook.

Surprise Messages From Others on Facebook

Do you want a specific message to appear at the top of your Business Page timeline?  You can Pin a post to the top.  Click the drop down arrow in the top, right corner of any of your page posts, and choose “Pin to Top.”

Looking for fun emoji to use?   Check these out. 

  • (y) = thumbs-up ‘like’ symbol
  • (^^^) = a great white shark
  • :|] = a robot
  • <3 = a heart
  • <(“) = a penguin

Here is a full library of Facebook emoticons.

Forgotten Twitter Features

Creating collections via Tweetdeck

Collections are made possible using Twitter’s own Tweetdeck, a free management dashboard tool.  You can create custom timelines, containing what you want to see, for multiple accounts. 

Twitter Collections via Tweetdeck

Who’s in this photo?

When you add a new photo to a tweet, you can tag up to 10 people who are in the photo — and these tags won’t count against your 140 characters.

Here’s where the tagging option appears on a desktop. The feature is also on mobile.

Who's in this photo | Twitter Features

Photo Collages and Twitter Images

You can include up to 4 images when composing a tweet.  Simply click on the “Media” link to make a photo collage. 

Photo Collages on Twitter | Twitter Features

Here is a quick example of what a collage will look like:

Photo Collage on Twitter | Twitter Features

Twitter for Mobile

You can perform certain actions, like following a user or marking a friend’s update as a favorite, by using designated Twitter commands via SMS.  There are various SMS options on Twitter should you want to read more.

Here are a few popular ones:

  • D [username] + message — sends that person a Direct Message that goes to their device, and saves in their web archive.
  • WHOIS [username] — retrieves the profile information for any public user on Twitter. Example whois jack or w jack, for short.
  • FOLLOW [username]: allows you to start following a specific user, as well as receive SMS notifications. Example: FOLLOW jerry or F jerry for short.

Mute Feature

Should you want to manage your Twitter stream you can mute them rather than unfollowing someone.  This can be helpful if you want things a bit quieter while others are participating in chats or tweet bursts.

Mute Tweets | Twitter Features

Access from any tweet, click on the “…” (more) drop-down and choose “Mute” from the list.  You can “unmute” a person, at a later time, by visiting their profile.

Pin to Tweet to Top of Profile

You can pin any tweet to the top of your Twitter feed by selecting “Pin to your profile page” from the “…” (more) link under the tweet.

Pin to Top of Profile | Twitter Features

Forgotten Google+ Features

Posting a G+ Poll

You can run a poll from a Google+ post. Click on the “Poll” button then ask your question in the body of the post, set multiple answers choices and add an optional photo.

Create a Poll on Google+ | Google+ Features

Add a photo to a Google+ Poll | Google+ Features

Once published here is what your poll will look like.

Google+ Poll | Google+ Feature

Create an Empty Circle to save posts for future reference

Create a circle without anyone in it. This works great as a bookmarking tool or swipe file. Share posts to this empty circle then easily reference them later. All posts are added to your profile page and private, viewable only by you.

Empty Google+ Circle | Google+ Features

This also works great for your favorite services like Evernote or Pocket or email service. When you include your share email in the circle content saved will be automatically forwarded to you.

Linking a slideshow to your profile photo

You can control what appears when someone clicks on your profile photo.  In the Photos menu, look for the Profile Photos collection, then add, edit, and arrange the photos.

Did you know you can also set a GIF as your profile or cover photo?

Forgotten Pinterest Features

Set up a secret board

Ideal for individuals planning vacations, dream weddings and surprise parties.  A secret board is also great for seeding a new board before publishing for marketing purposes.

To create a secret board, click to create a new board and select secret in the options window.

Create a Secret Board | Pinterest Features

Rearrange the order of your boards

You can arrange the order of your boards to your preference. Simply click and drag your boards into the order you’d like when on your profile page.

Note:  The order of individual pins within a board cannot be changed.

See what has been pinned from your website (or others)

If you are interested in seeing what has been shared from your website or another website, you can type the following URL and add your domain name.

Type in:  http://www.pinterest.com/source/domainname.com/.

Change the “domainname.com” to your blog’s address (or the blog address of a site you want to check).

Customize your cover images

Want your board to have a specific cover image?  Click the “Edit” button at the bottom of the board then select “Change” cover.  Scroll through the images and select the one you want to appear.  You can even move the image around to get the best look on your board.

Collaborate with Friends | Pinterest Features

Change Cover Photo on Board | Pinterest Features

Collaborate with friends

When you click the Edit button at the bottom of your board, you’ll have the option to set others up as collaborators.  Type in a name or email address and an email invitation will be sent. Anyone you set can then add pins directly to your group board.

Collaborate on Boards | Pinterest Features

Forgotten Instagram Features

Where to view Instagram photos online

You can view any user’s Instagram feed online at instagram.com/username. Also, you can see your home page feed by logging in at instagram.com.

Add a border to your image

In addition to Instagram filters, you can also add borders to your image. Via the app, choose the filter first, and then tap the filter again to reveal a box icon you can tap to add a border.

Instagram 3rd Party Helpers

How to create a collage

Have you noticed the creative collages other people post and wondered how they do that? Check out these apps which will help get your creative juices going.

Layout from Instagram

Framatic

LiPix

Diptic

See an image, photo or quote you want to repost?

Again, this Instagram tip requires a Third-party app. Here are a few you can check out.

Repost to Instagram

Instagr Post

Regram

Choose from your home stream or images you have favorited.  Many apps have a paid version which will allow you to remove attribution overlays on the photos.  Play nice and give attribution in the description using @username and hashtags where appropriate.

Bonus: LinkedIn Tips

Download a list of your connections

Download your contacts into a spreadsheet.  Various formats, such as CSV are available. You’ll get a full list of your connections, including their name, current title, current company name, and email address.

Click on “Connections” on the top menu at LinkedIn, and then click the gear icon that appears in the top, right corner of your connections page. In the Advanced Settings panel select “Export LinkedIn Connections”.

Message someone you’re not connected with on LinkedIn

If you want to get in touch with someone on LinkedIn but you have yet to make the one-to-one connection, you can try this workaround. Look in their profile at the groups they belong to, and then join a common group. 

Group members can message each other even without a direct connection. Locate the person in the group members section, and you’ll see an option to “Send message” in the box to the right of their photo.

Create a Relationship notes and reminders

Under each connected profile sits the option to add relationship notes — how you met, reminder notices, and other important context.

Relationship Notes | LinkedIn Features

The reminder notices are a particularly helpful because you can set alerts for any contact. If you click the recurring option, you could set up a reminder to call or follow-up with the person on a weekly, monthly or custom basis.  The relationship panel is private so only you see what you have set.

 

Image credits: LibreStock, Pixabay

Curated from an original post at blog.bufferapp.com 

 

7 Ways To Boost Engagement Using Visual Content

Creating not only engages the readers you currently have but can actually attract more visitors.  If you haven’t already, you should consider using visual content!  Use this guide to learn how to using visual content on your blog, website and media.

In this post you’ll find some useful tactics as well as tools that are easy-to-use and will help you attract more viewers to your blog, or website.

1) Animated GIFs Are Easy to Create

Using animated GIFs can expand your marketing channels and increase the possibility of your content being picked up by major publications and other blogs.

Amy Smarty of SocialMediaExaminer.com writes “Millennials (people reaching young adulthood around the year 2000) are known as Generation GIF. If you check out publications like BuzzFeed, Gawker and Deadspin or browse the front pages of Reddit and Tumblr, you’ll see animated GIFs are everywhere.”

There are many tools available to help you create these animated GIFs.  Here a few you can check out.

GIFMaker – allows you to create animated gifs, slideshows, and video animations with music online freely and easily, no registration required.

MakeGIF –  lets you create animated GIFs the free and easy way. You can also use it to modify an existing GIFs.  You can create from a variety of sources; YouTube videos, photos and webcam videos.

GIFS – with GIFS you can create high-quality GIFs online from YouTube videos. Simply select the portion of the video you want to turn into the GIF, you can even add captions.

Note: You can also create an animated GIFs by modifying an existing image.

2) Check out On-Hover Sharing Buttons

Adding hover social sharing icons on each image can be an effective way to encourage your reader to share your content.  A simple mouseover call to action will prompt them to share more readily.  It’s a surprisingly effective way to increase .

Hover Over Sharing Icons

Here are a couple of tools that can help.

WWW Social Share on Image Hover – is a WordPess Plugin that helps you to add icons on your Post . It will shows social media icons on hover the post images on your site.

Symphony Tools – is a widget that makes it easy for your visitors to share your posts to Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Tip: If you’re a Hootsuite or Buffer user adding a browser extension will enable their sharing buttons as well.

3) Reach Your Audience Through Emotion

Emotions plays a huge part in most people’s live, whether they recognize it or not.  Connecting with your audience on an emotional level leaves a long-lasting impact. When something sparks an emotional response, the viewer is more likely to share, comment on and remember it.

People respond to things they see more than any other form of stimulation.  Connect with your users on an emotional level and they will begin to associate those feelings with your brand.  Joy, anticipation, trust and interest can invoke positive feelings and encourage sharing.

4) Find Unconventional Holidays To Celebrate

From National Freedom Day to National I Love Lucy Day (which also happens to be my birthday), uncommon  holidays make celebrating hard to resist.  They also make for great ideas and inspiration for visual content.  They provide a source almost daily for new content!

Coca-Cola does a great job in their social media marketing with this.  They have incorporated images of cute Polar bears to celebrate National Polar Bear Day.

coca-cola national polar bear day post
Watch for other large corporations that do something similar, Budweiser comes to mind.

5) Ask your Readers to Participate

Encouraging your viewers to participate not only gives you additional content, but makes them feel appreciated.  Everyone loves to see their work being promoted, ask them for suggestions or to provide you visuals, this can also capture their attention on your social media channels. Request photos, logs, designs or anything else they feel would help support your brand.  All of the top channels in social media are great platforms for this type of campaign, try it out on your Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest feed.

Here are a couple of  ideas to get you started:

Caption Contest – provide a image then ask your followers to come up with a fun caption.  Engage even more people by using ads.

Selfie Contest – these type of contests can be so much fun!  Selfies are something most everyone can relate to now-a-days.

Think of something fun you can give them as a prize, Kenneth Cole offered fans the chance to win free shoes every month for a year.  I’m not suggesting you give the store away, but find something of value you can give your winning reader for participating.

And remember to ask your readers to share your contests; the more the merrier, right!

Contests can help you build a relationship and trust with your viewers.  It’s easy to trust a brand that encourages love and sharing.

6) Come up With some Interactive How-Tos

Would your readers find a interactive walk through to show how to use your product valuable?  Probably So!  Use an online tool like the Whatfix browser extension to help you create interactive flows in minutes.

How to backtrack an image using Google
Create an interactive walkthrough to show viewers how to use your product

See some examples of recent Whatfix flows.

7) Differentiate Content by Tailoring it to Your Audience

Identify how your audience responds to different visual content.  Create different types for each social media platform to learn what resonates best.  Try comics, videos, info-graphics or anything that will give you a ideas what they find appealing.  Even a single image with text can be very effective.

Some more examples:

Do you have a how-to guide that could be content for a video?
Create a SlideShare of visual quotes you’ve been tweeting.
Use a how-to video as content for a instructional graphic.
Use a existing presentation and create a video or Animated GIF.

There are tons of tools on the web to help here are a few that may help and generate more ideas:

DirJournal – make your site or landing page more engaging

GifDeck – convert your SlideShare into a GIF online

FirstSiteGuide – guidance from a  collection of web geeks who believe in a web for everyone

Once you’ve gotten started with your marketing plan you’ll want to gather data and determine what gets the most engagement.  Look at what the leading traffic boosting and click generating visual content leads to purchases.  Check and see what others are commenting on and sharing too, look at where they share it also it may give you more insight into what is working well.  You may want to start creating different content for each of your social media channels.  Use the information you glean and tailor future content.

You can use analytics software like Fanplayr to help you identify patterns emerging. 

In Conclusion

Visual content has a growing influence on social networks and is popular on every platform.  Whether you look from Instagram or Pinterest images to Twitter and YouTube videos, viewers relate to a visual message.  Boost your engagement by using what readers are looking for.

I’d love to read any feedback you may want to share.  What tactics are working for you?  Did you find this information useful?  Feel free to share in the comments section below.

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5 Tips To Help You Get Started With Periscope

Are you new to ?

Maybe you still think it’s part of a submarine.  Join the crowd!  Periscope is the latest hot sensation for personal live broadcast via the internet.  Many companies, public personalities and everyday folks are already avidly using this new technology.

Broadcast fro your Smartphone

Put simply it’s a fun way to broadcast what you are doing at the present moment from your Smartphone.  Say you’re at a event and want to share what’s happening with your friends and followers or maybe you have a training session you want to share.  Start your broadcast and live feed the happenings real-time.  Anyone can join you, post comments or questions and send you love (in the form of hearts on the screen), the more they tap the screen the more love you get!  Once completed your broadcast will go into replay mode and will stay active for 24 hours, after which it self-destructs.

Here are 5  that will help you get started

  1. There are most likely many more accounts than actual scoping at this point, but take heart in know that it’s fairly easy to get started and not that scary.  I recommend watching a few broadcasts first to get the hang of it, them jump in and try one yourself. It’s a little intimidating to push the red button and go live, but everyone gets nervous and it will pass, just have some fun!
  2. Put your phone in airplane mode or do not disturb before starting a broadcast. This will eliminate the possibility of ruining your broadcast should you get a call during the event.
  3. Comments & questions can only be left during the live broadcast, A nice work around for this would be to include that others watching later during the replay they can tweet you questions or comments if needed.
  4. Engage your audience by asking questions, for feedback and hearts is OK too.  Most people love to share and express their 2 cents.  Be sure to thank everyone for joining and let them know you’d love their feedback.
  5. Discover like-minded people using Periscope by using hashtags.  Various communities are already using Periscope, find them by looking through hashtags.  You can also share your broadcast via where hashtags will also be very useful.

With 15 million (yes… MILLION) users, Periscope is the place to be. Whether you are building a personal brand, have a or an established , or simply enjoy engaging in online communities, you need to join Periscope.

Source:  5 Things You Need to Know About Periscope

I have only done one broadcast, so far, and a number of people I didn’t’ even know joined and asked questions; I even got 17 hears on first broadcast which was only about 4 minutes long.  It really was quite fun!

Join me on Periscope here.

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