This Week in Social Media… Twitter launches Quick Promote, while you were away and Pinterest helps you find Pins with Guided Search

In this edition of “This Week in Social Media,” Twitter is on a roll with two new features to help you get the most of the social network and Pinterest unveils Guided Search to help you find exactly what you are searching for.

Promote Tweets Even Faster

Twitter introduced ‘Quick Promote,’ which is a faster and easier way for companies, both small and medium-sized, to get their best content in front of more people.

Now you can amplify your best performing Tweets directly from the Tweet activity dashboard. Promoting one of your Tweets will take a few clicks and your Tweet will automatically be targeted to users who have similar interests to your followers.

“Promoted Tweets can help you drive measurable business results,” states Buster Benson, Product Manager for Twitter. “In fact, we found that users who see a relevant Promoted Tweet from an SMB are also 32% more likely to visit that business.

Twitter-Quick-Promote How to get started:
Here’s how to get started with quick promote once you’re logged into your Tweet activity dashboard.

  1. Select a Tweet to promote. We recommend you choose a Tweet that’s already resonating with your followers. You can tell that a Tweet is resonating if it has a high number of total impressions and engagement rate.

  2. Choose a budget. We’ll provide an estimate of the reach you’ll see after promoting your Tweet. If you haven’t yet signed up for Twitter Ads, follow the prompt in the Tweet activity dashboard to set up your account.

  3. Watch people engage with your Tweet in real time, and optimize your content strategy to drive more of your desired actions, like Retweets or URL clicks.
Quick promote is now available to all SMB advertisers. To access quick promote login to your Twitter analytics account.

While You Were Away From Twitter

In addition to the roll-out of Quick Promote, Twitter also launched ‘While you were away.’ The welcomed feature is being introduced will show you a recap of some of the top Tweets you might have missed.

While-you-were-away-Twitter A lot can happen from the accounts you follow while you’re away. To help you stay on top of the news and fill in the gaps, Twitter will show you a few of the best Tweets you missed. Twitter’s goal is to help you keep up with your world, now matter how much time you spend on the social network.

To determine which Tweets will be displayed, Twitter will factor in several variables including engagement with the Tweet itself. Users on iOS devices will start to see the new feature while those on Android and users logged-in to Twitter.com will see ‘While you were away’ soon.

Pinterest Search Is Getting Smarter

Pinterest wants to help you find the best ideas, so they recently introduced Guided Search. Whether you know exactly what you’re looking for or just starting to look around, Guided Search is here to help you explore.

The next time you search for something, road trips, recipes, summer activities for the kids, descriptive guides will help you filter through all the great ideas from other Pinners. The guides are there to get you where you want to go, but also leaves room for other ideas.

Watch this video learn more about Guided Search:


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5 Steps to Get Started with Twitter

5 Steps to Get Started with Twitter
I just finished a presentation at a trade show about Twitter, and I realized that there are still many businesses struggling with how to get started. I wanted to share 5 simple tips for anyone to get started with Twitter.

Even in 2015, it isn’t too late to get started… Here are 5 simple steps to get started with Twitter, regardless of your social media knowledge or experience.

1) Start with Search

Start by doing a few keyword searches on Twitter – consider searching for words related to your product, industry, geography, service, category, etc. Just do some searches to get a general understanding of what people are talking about.

Twitter also has advanced search options so you can really narrow down and target any search option.

2) Look at what your Competitors are Doing

Spend some time looking at what your competitors are sharing and posting. In 2013 chances are that at least some of your competitors are using social media, and at least 1 – 2 of them are doing a pretty good job.

Learn from them – what is popular? What falls flat? What do people like? What do people respond to?

3) Look at what your Customers are Doing

Your customers are another great source of social media inspiration. Take note of what they like, talk about and what gets them fired up. Knowing your customers is important to understanding what you should talk about, the tone, positioning, etc.

4) Explore Your Community

Your definition of “community” depends on the type of business you are in. For my business, I participate in the social media community, the marketing community, the Cincinnati community and the Entrepreneurship community. Businesses that get noticed in social media participate and connect with communities — they take advantage of the 2-way dialogue.

Many of the companies that nail it on Twitter are constantly promoting others in their community and building connections. Consider who your community is. What hashtags do they use? Are there any Twitter chats that they participate in? Who are the influencers?

5) Figure out what you WANT TO ACHIVE from it

Before you start Tweeting, step back and ask yourself what you hope to achieve from participating on Twitter – personally and professionally. Knowing your objectives will dictate your direction and choices once you get started.

After these 5 steps you are ready to create an account and start participating!

Is there still value in Facebook? Given the challenges to marketing on Facebook, is it still a valuable business marketing tool? Social Media FAQ

Is there still value in Facebook? Many businesses wonder if Facebook is still a valuable marketing tool, given the challenges that businesses face when marketing on Facebook. This is one of the most common questions asked about social media: Should my business be on Facebook?

Here is the thing. It is like going online and asking “Should I be on a diet?” or “What type of dog would be best for me?”

The answer is: It depends. It depends on the type of business that you are in. It depends on your strategy. It depends on your resources. It depends on what you want to achieve. It depends on your goals and objectives. It depends on your customers. It depends on your category or industry. It depends on whether or not your customers what to connect with you on Facebook.

So, it is a complicated question without a “one-size-fits-all” answer.

That being said, here are some things that you should know about marketing your business on Facebook. The Challenge of Facebook Marketing:

The challenge that businesses have with marketing on Facebook is that Facebook has reduced organic reach over time. What this means is that initially, most of your “fans” or people who have liked your page would have seen your posts. Now less than 10% of the people who like your page will see your posts (and maybe less than 1%).

If you are a business on Facebook you aren’t competing against other businesses on Facebook, you are competing against everything I care about and fighting for my attention. Coke isn’t competing against Pepsi for my attention – they are competing against my friends kids, news articles and funny YouTube videos.

Because of the lack of visibility of business pages on Facebook, many businesses are questioning the viability of using Facebook for marketing.

There is still value in Facebook.

The reality is that there is still value in marketing your business on Facebook. Facebook generates value by gaining exposure for your business, and we know that being exposed to a brand (or just seeing it) increases the probability that you will do business with it.

Seeing something helps to Know, Like and Trust, it, which increases the chances that you’ll do business with the person or product.

The bottom line is that Facebook is the biggest and most used social network out there. If you want to grow your visibility and your brand, Facebook isn’t a bad choice…

So it isn’t free. Cry me a river.

The expectation that social media marketing is “free” is not sustainable in the long-term. Just because something isn’t free doesn’t mean that there is no value. Arguably by charging people the network has to prove its value more.

Facebook ads are extremely targeted and cost efficient. Spending a bit of money to reach your target audience shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

Evaluate whether or not Facebook is right for you.

The bottom line is that you need to evaluate whether or not Facebook is right for you and your business. I wouldn’t write it off, but you do need to evaluate how much time/effort/money you put in and what you get out.

Assess your business goals and strategies, your content plan, your target audience, the amount of time/effort you have and your other available options to determine where Facebook should for into your broader strategy.

If you don’t understand Facebook, get some Facebook Training you improve your knowledge. Using best practices for Facebook can always help to get more bang for your buck.

7 Ways to Repurpose Your Instagram Photos

Since I’ve written a lot about Visual Social Marketing, you can probably guess that I’m pretty big on Instagram. Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networks and the community on Instagram is highly engaged. That being said, if you invest a lot of time on creating great images for Instagram, you may want to get more bang for your buck.

The good news is that you can repurpose your Instagram photos across social media to get more visibility from your investment in creating great images.

Here are some ideas of how you can get more out of great images.

1. Cross Post to Other Social Networks

Crossposting to other social networks is the obvious way to get more from  your photos. I use IFTTT (if this than that) to automatically post my Instagram photos to Twitter and Facebook. Using IFTTT to post means that they will show up as organic images on Facebook and Twitter. For example, if you post through Instagram the image will show up in Twitter as a link, however by using IFTTT your images will show up as organic Twitter images, which gets them more visibility on Twitter.

2. Use Them as Marketing Assets

We use our Instagram photos as marketing assets in a few different ways. We’ll sometimes use them in blog posts, but we also recently used them as the cover image for our Facebook page. Many businesses use their Instagram photos on their homepage, or even in their other advertising materials. Keep your Instagram images in mind for all of your marketing.

3. Create a PowerPoint Presentation for SlideShare

Slideshare is a great social network and many of my presentations on slideshare have thousands of views. Consider your Instagram photos as individual slides. For example you can create a powerpoint of 15 Inspirational Quotes with 15 Instagram photos. Our goal is to create one of these every month. This is a great way to easily create more content from your initial images.

4.  Create an Animoto Video

Video is hot right now – especially short videos that can easily be uploaded to multiple different channels. Animoto allows you to create a simple video from a number of images, or if you want more control you can use iMovie or other video editing software. Create a quick video to share your best images in a compelling way.

5. Add Them to Your Website

Add the images to your website or blog. If you use wordpress there are plenty of plugins that you can use for this. Add your best Instagram photos to your website as a visual way to connect with your customers.

6. Pin Them to Pinterest

You’ll want to do step 5 first, and add the images to your blog or website (so that you get the traffic from Pinterest clicks). Add all of your images to your website and then every week pin them to different boards on Pinterest. Quotes and other images are great for Pinterest, so this is an easy way to create great Pinterest content and drive traffic back to your website.

7. Create a Blog Post with Your Best Ones

Every month, create one blog post that highlights your best Instagram photos. If you can’t do #5 (or find it too difficult) then you can use your blog as a way to get the images on your website (and then later pin them to Pinterest).

7 ways to repurpose your instagram photos

Online Marketing is Effective for 75% of Small & Medium Businesses

New data from a BrightLocal study shows that over 75% of businesses say that online marketing is effective for their business. Are you part of the 75% getting results? If not, you may be missing out. When it comes to online marketing and social media, you can’t afford to fall behind – or your competition will get the edge.

Not only are most businesses getting results, but they are planning to increase their spending this year. Also surprising is that most of them handle internet marketing in-house. This is somewhat surprising since there are so many SEO, Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing companies out there. At the same time, many small businesses aren’t spending enough to justify hiring an agency or consultant, with most spending under $300/month.

What blows my mind is that most businesses are getting results from social media while spending under $300/month and doing it themselves.

Findings from 2015 internet marketing study from small and medium businesses In order to really achieve results like this, businesses must:
  • Prioritize online marketing
  • Learn the essentials
  • Track success
  • Optimize and improve

A third of businesses spend most of their budget online.

This doesn’t surprise me because small businesses can easily get started online with small budgets. For many forms of traditional marketing like advertising you typically need bigger budgets to have an impact.

2014-small-business-spend-on-internet-marketing  

75% of businesses say internet marketing gets them customers

Most of the business surveyed get real results (attract customers) to their business. 2015 chart statistic how effective is internet marketing

So What Channels Work?

Strangely social media wasn’t included as an option (although arguably, social media would be included as a part of word of mouth)…. Apparently the survey was more focused on traditional online marketing channels vs social media. Interestingly, most online marketing out-preformed traditional marketing. 2015 chart statistic effective online marketing channels

This Week in Social Media… Pinterest makes Promoted Pins available, LinkedIn expands Publisher platform, and Pinterest creates Pinstitute

In this edition of “This Week in Social Media,” Pinterest makes Promoted Pins available to everyone, LinkedIn expands the Publisher feature, and Pinterest creates Pinstitute.

Promoted Pins Now Available to Everyone

Promoted Pins At the beginning of the month, Pinterest officially rolled out Promoted Pins to everyone! Eight months ago, Pinterest launched Promoted Pins for a select few brands to test the new feature. After analyzing the data obtained from the campaigns, the company is ready to move forward with the roll-out.

Results have been promising,” said Joanne Bradford, Head of Partnerships with Pinterest. Additionally, this is what the Pinterest team gathered from the results:

  • Promoted Pins perform just as good and sometimes better than organic Pins. Brand advertisers achieved about a 30% bump in earned media (free impressions!) from their campaigns. That’s from people who saw a Promoted Pin and thought it was good enough to save to one of their own boards.
  • Promoted Pins perform long after a campaign ends. Since Pins are evergreen and last forever, we often saw an extra 5% bump in earned media in the month following the end of a campaign.
  • Brands both in and out of our core categories found success. From financial services to food to auto, brands from a wide array of industries saw results.
  • Auction-based Promoted Pins (CPC) are seeing success, too. Many of our self-serve beta partners are seeing major gains in traffic and impressions. We’re still making tweaks to the product and want to make sure we get it just right before we roll it out to all businesses.

LinkedIn Expands Publishing

Early last year LinkedIn introduced Publish, a feature for users to publish long-form posts about their expertise and interests, to every member of the social network in the United States. A milestone was reached for the company as the one millionth post was recently published.


The plan is to expand the feature according to Akshay Kothari, Product Manager at LinkedIn, as he stated, “We want each one of our more than 330 million members to be able to share their insights with other professionals across the globe.” Last week the company moved forward with the plan to expand as the ability to publish on LinkedIn is now available to all members in English-speaking countries.

That now encompasses more than 230 million people around the globe who can now tell their stories, show their expertise, and share their stories. Have you written yet? Click the pencil in your status bar and give it a try.

Pinterest Announces Pinstitute

As Pinterest continues to grow, they committed to making the social network more business-friendly. “We’re committed to making Pinterest the best place for you to inspire your customers and see measurable results from your marketing,” stated Joanne Bradford, Head of Partnerships at Pinterest. To education business users, the company rolled out Pinstitute.

Pintitute is a new program for businesses to learn how to connect with Pinners and see a return from Pinterest. Pinstitute will focus on two particular areas, creative, and measurement. As of now Pinterest has invited a select group of companies to attend the quarterly Pinstitute workshops- the first is scheduled for March. For small businesses, they are planning a series of webinars and additional online learning tools.

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Facebook Advertising: How to know if your image meets the 20% rule

If you are new to Facebook advertising (or boosting posts on Facebook) you may be new to figuring out how to be sure that your images meet the 20% rule on Facebook.

What is the 20% Rule with Images?

First, if you aren’t planning to advertise on Facebook, it doesn’t matter to you. The 20% text rule only applies to boosted posts or ads. The 20% rule states that only 20% of your image can be text. If the image in the post you want to boost has more text, your ad will be disapproved by the Facebook advertising team.

How is 20% Text Calculated?

The 20% text is calculated using a grid system. Basically your image is chopped up into a grid, and no more than 20% of the grid squares can contain text. There are 25 grid boxes, so no more than 5 can contain text. ONE WORD OF CAUTION: A logo that includes text is often counted as text vs. an image. You can see this in the bottom example, where the logo is counted as text. Facebook Ad Grid Text Checker

What should you do?

Be sure that your text is contained into a small portion of the image so that you can pass the 20% text rule. Most brands find that they can still convey their message by strategically placing the text in a corner or specific section of the image vs. spreading it throughout the image.

How can you check your images?

There are a few different ways to check your images. Fortunately, Facebook offers a tool that is easy to check called the grid checker https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay — simply upload an image and Facebook will show you the grid. You can easily determine how many of the blocks contain text.    

Boost Your Career in 2015 with a Social Media Training Diet

The 2015 Social Media Training DietTis the season…. for New Years resolutions that are just a quickly created as they are broken.

I heard on the radio recently that the top goals that people have for 2015 are to eat better, exercise more and lose weight. (Side note: I think that all 3 of these are perpetually on my “Things I Wish I Had Time For” List).

That being said, I’ve already signed up for a personal trainer this year (and signed a 1-year contract) and I’m meeting with a nutritionist next week to get expert advice on exactly what I should (and shouldn’t) be doing. I’ve read fitness magazines for years and generally have a decent idea of what good (and bad) nutrition looks like, but I decided that if I’m serious, I need to invest in the support that it will take to help me reach my goals.

Many studies show that when you have a plan in writing and support from other people you are significantly more likely to succeed.

What does this have to do with social media?

When it comes to your career, you also need to continuously invest in yourself if you want to continue to be successful. Education and professional development aren’t one-time things — if you want to stay relevant (especially now) you need to be prepared to constantly learn and evolve.

In social media, that means reading industry news, following smart thought leaders that you respect, attending conferences, joining webinars and participating in training. If you want to stay on the cutting edge, you’ll need to work at it.

That is why I created the “Social Media Diet” – your “diet” to social media education. Whether you are a beginner or advanced social media marketer, we can all benefit from sharpening our skills. The idea of a “diet” may sound like a turn-off (how many times have we all tried and failed at diets?!?!?!) but the idea is that you need a plan for yourself and your education.

One of my personal goals this year is to invest in training and coaching for myself to super-charge my professional development.

Use this as a guide, or create your own, but either way – build and commit to a personal development diet for yourself this year. Better yet, as a friend, coworker or boss you help hold you accountable to skyrocket your success.

 

This Week in Social Media… Twitter launches Mobile Analytics, Pinterest adds bulk editing, and Google+ makes your videos better

In this edition of “This Week in Social Media,” we talk about Twitter adding the ability to view mobile analytics, Pinterest finally adds the ability to edit multiple Pins at one time, and Google+ enhances your videos.

Mobile Tweet Analytics

Last week Ian Chan of Twitter announced on his personal Twitter account that his team rolled out Mobile Tweet Analytics. While this information was always available on the Twitter.com, it will now be accessible through your mobile device using the official Twitter App.

Twitter Analytics You can now see metrics like how many people saw your tweet, clicked its link, expanded it, or viewed your full profile because of it. Now that this information is available to you on-the-go, you can instantly see how your tweets measure up. Maybe that tweet you posted several hours ago was only seen by 15% of your audience.

With that information available, you could send out another tweet to drive traffic, conversions, or even awareness. Just think about the possibilities you now have with getting real-time results anywhere.

As of now only the iPhone has the ability to access the new feature with more devices becoming available soon.

Move More Pins!

Up until now if you wanted to move, let’s say 20 Pins, you would have to do so, individually. As you can see, this can be a tedious process that could take you awhile to complete. At last this will be a thing of the past. One in which you can tell future employees of the hours you spent moving Pins to new boards.

Pinterest Bulk Edit Just this month Pinterest added the ability to move multiple pins, up to 50, at one time. So now if that recipe board of yours is getting a little unmanageable you could split them up, and give your dessert recipes their own board.

The new editing ability gives you the option to move completely or copy Pins to different boards. Additionally, you can delete numerous Pins at one time.

The latest update will be rolling out to businesses now and should be completed soon. With that being said, will you think change your board strategy?

Videos Will Be Better With Google+

With so many people taking videos, especially now more than ever with their mobile devices, sometimes the videos don’t turnout with the quality we wanted. That is going to be a thing of the past thanks to a new update with Google+. Starting on December 19th, when you upload a video to Google+ you have the ability to make your videos look and sound better.



Here’s how it works:

  • Use Auto Backup to securely store the videos you shoot.
  • Google+ will automatically analyze picture and audio quality. For best results make sure, you have Auto Enhance turned on.
  • When we think we can make improvements, desktop Web users will see a banner asking whether you’d like to preview enhancements.
  • The preview will show an instant side-by-side comparison so you can choose to apply changes or stick with the original.
In addition to the videos that Google+ suggests enhancing, you can choose to apply Auto Enhance to any videos you’d like:

  • In Google+ on Mac, Windows, Linux and Chrome OS, open a video, then choose More->Auto Enhance.
  • In Google+ Photos app on Android, open a video, tap the overflow menu, and then tap Auto Enhance.

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This Week in Social Media… Facebook Trending, Interest Targeting, and Slideshare Analytics

In this edition of “This Week in Social Media,” we talk about Facebook launched two new updates with Facebook Trending for Mobile and Interest Targeting, and Slideshare introduces Analytics to all users.

Facebook Trends Lands On Mobile

In January Facebook launched “Trending” on the desktop version (right-hand column) of the site. Trending was introduced to help people discover timely and relevant conversations about the news that they care about the most. Last week it was announced that “Trending” was making its way to mobile devices.

Trending With the latest Facebook App update when users click on the search icon (magnifying glass) you will now see “Trending” below your last several searches. Now, when you tap on a topic in Trending, you’ll see conversations organized in up to five different sections:

  • Articles shows you how news organizations are covering the story.
  • In the Story shows you posts from people who are part of the story.
  • Friends and Groups shows you what people in your network are saying.
  • Near the Scene shows you posts from people near where the story is unfolding.
  • Live Feed shows you a real-time stream of reactions from people around the world.
The way Trending topics are selected for users has not changed from the desktop version. It uses the same algorithm to determine which topics are relevant to the individual users. The update is available for Android users now with iOS and other countries coming soon.

Interest Targeting With Facebook

One of the more exciting updates that Facebook introduced recently is Interest Targeting. The new capability gives Page admins the option to target individual posts to specific users. Very similar to running a Facebook Ad, you can now select “Interests” to determine which users see a particular post.

Interest-Targeting In the example to the right BuzzFeed is posting an article about Boy Meets World. They are targeting users based on “Girl Meets World,” “Television,” and even “Friendship” to reach people who might find this article useful. By using specific interests you can make your posts more relevant to users who have added those particular interests to Facebook. With Page reach decreasing, this could be a way to make ensure your content is getting in front of the correct people.

This update is available right now as long as your Page has enabled the Targeting and Privacy setting and is currently only accessible on the desktop.

Slideshare Rolls Out Analytics To All Users

One of the best ways to increase website traffic and overall SEO is by using Slideshare presentations. Last week the company announced that all users will now have access to the analytics dashboard. The update will give users deeper insight into the effectiveness of your content.


Geographical distribution, traffic sources, and timing are just some of the new ways you can track the overall effectiveness of your Slideshare presentations. Additionally, you will see an improved view count accuracy as bot (web crawler) views will be removed. Now you can create powerful, and relevant content that your audience wants to see.

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