Every weekend I give you the tastiest treats from everything I’ve shared on Twitter and Facebook over the past week.
This is the content I’ve hand picked from across the Internet because I think it’s worth your quality time.
This week’s episode is all about the power of four. I give you four tips to simplify your social media marketing, four creative ways to generate leads on Twitter, and the four key components of a successful online marketing strategy.
You’ll also get 8 (4 x 2) ideas for Pinterest boards and 3 (4 – 1) Twitter tools you can start using today to track your metrics.
This is the reading material I’ll be soaking up this weekend. Enjoy!
Tackle Social Media Marketing with These 4 Tricks (Forbes)
Do social media scheduling tools put you in a tizz? Does the thought of posting to multiple networks leave you overcome with a feeling of dread? Get back to basics (and avoid third party social media apps) with these four time saving tricks. This barebones approach is a great way to streamline how you update your social networks.
4 Components of a Successful Internet Marketing Strategy (HubSpot)
There’s no such thing as SEO pixie dust. That’s one lesson you’ll walk away with after reading this article. Also, find out what bases you need to have covered to give your online business the best possible chance of success. It’s all here.
4 Creative Ways to Use Twitter to Generate Leads (Under 30 CEO)
We all know Twitter is teeming with potential customers, but how do you hook them up with your business? The answer is to use your imagination, and here are four ideas to get your mind ticking.
8 Pinterest Boards Worth Creating For Your Business (Entrepreneur.com)
Are you just starting out on Pinterest and wondering how it all works? Or maybe you’ve got to grips with the basics, and you’d like to know how to attract a wider audience. Find out the 8 Pinterest boards your business must have to pull in customers. (Bonus material: discover the best times to post on Pinterest to win followers and repins).
3 Twitter Analytics Tools That Work Well Together (Chatter Buzz)
Twitter is one of the few remaining social networks that doesn’t provide built-in analytics tools. To track the rise and fall of your follower numbers, how much you’re being retweeted, and how far and wide your tweets are being spread, take a look at these three tools recommended by Chatter Buzz. (Bonus tip: It’s also a good idea to track clicks. You can do this with bit.ly, Hootsuite or Buffer App).
In the News: LinkedIn now gives you the option of adding a visual portfolio to your profile – perfect for visual professionals such as photographers and designers. WIRED has the in depth coverage.
We all start blogging with the best of intentions.
The thinking goes a bit like this. Writing a short blog post once or twice a week won’t take much time. An hour or two at most, right? That small sacrifice seems worth it to have a way of expressing ourselves, and potentially of earning a bit of cash on the side. You’ve got endless ideas of what to write about. What could possibly go wrong?
To begin with, blogging is a breeze. Exactly as you imagined. You give your two hours a week, write your posts, publish them, and all is dandy.
Then you decide you’d actually like some readers. After that, the real work begins. And I don’t just mean the marketing.
Once readers start pouring in, you have stats to check, comments to moderate. You have SEO to manage. And life would be way easier if you learned some html, but who wants to do that?
You’ll likely discover your most popular posts are multimedia, so you’ll want to start finding images for every blog post, and learning how to make videos.
After a while, your wellspring of ideas gets a little murky. They’re not flowing so fast from your fingers. Everything feels stale.
Then one day the heavens fall in and your blog gets hacked. Having unspeakable images on the homepage of your family blog is heartbreaking. And it takes you a week of time you don’t have to get it fixed.
What went wrong?
You’re like a carpenter without a hammer, a plumber without a spanner, an electrician missing his “let’s see if this wire is live without creating sparks or making my hair frizzy” tool.
You’re two slices of bread short of a sandwich, my friend. A baker without flour, a pilot without a plane, a farmer without a tractor.
You need to free up time to focus on what really matters, and the reason you started blogging in the first place: writing awesome content. CLICK TO TWEET
How to do that? Where can you get all that time from?
By having the right tools.
Here’s what you need. We’ve got the software, web apps, WordPress Plugins and hacks that will make your blog happy again.
What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
Set up your computer system to cut through your blogging tasks like a ninja sword slashing virtual fruit.
1. Get a Razor-Sharp Focus on Creating Content (Block the Internet)
Maybe it’s a tough truth to swallow, but we bloggers often have a streak of narcissism running through our veins. Why would we putting ourselves out there online if we didn’t feel some egotism and pride?
While ambition can be healthy, it can also prove your downfall. I know I (David) love browsing through and admiring stuff I’ve written, instead of knuckling down and putting words on the page.
After I’ve delved through my entire online canon, there’s a ton of shiny things to distract me – it’s called the Internet. So much to read, and so little time. On every webpage there’s stuff that’s way more interesting to read than actually doing some writing.
Blocking the Internet for the time you’re writing kills two birds with one stone. It stops you admiring the content you’ve already created, and it prevents you from wasting time “researching”. Sure, you will need to do some research. But write your article first, then fill in the gaps of research afterwards. You’ll find you’re way more efficient that way.
2. Quit Messing Around With Formatting (And Just Write)
Writing a blog post might only take 20 or 30 minutes. But formatting headers, BOLD, italics and links takes forever. It’s even worse if you copy and paste your post from Microsoft Word, and you’re forced to undo all the damage Microsoft did to the html.
One solution is to learn how to write in html. However, stopping to write code every time you start a new paragraph isn’t my idea of fun. Plus, it’s all too easy to forget to close off your html tags.
Instead, there’s a far simpler language you can learn: Markdown. You can pick up markdown in a few minutes.
3. No More USB Cables (Have everything everywhere)
Do you work from more than one computer? Or do you have a Macbook, a smartphone and a tablet? Transferring files between devices by USB – whether by drive or cable – takes up valuable time, especially when you inadvertantly lose a file, or accidently replace your latest masterpiece with a blank document.
If you don’t already, it’s time to start syncing through the cloud. In layman’s terms, that means everything you save on one computer (or device) will be on every computer you own. Sounds like some kind of wizardry, and it probably is, but it works.
Top tools for syncing: Our favorite is Dropbox (Multiplatform). Even better, with the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin, you can use Dropbox to keep your blog safe, even if it gets hack or gets lost in a server crash.
For Apple fanatics, iCloud does the cloud syncing for you, but there’s no WordPress plugin.
4. Collect Inspiration (and keep it close to hand)
The hardest part of writing is facing a blank screen. In the olden days, writers used to keep pen and a notepad in their pocket, and write a note to themselves anytime inspiration would strike. That way, when they sat down to write, they’d have an idea to get things moving.
Nowadays, nearly all of us carry a notetaking tool in our pockets. It’s called a smartphone. So start using yours to help you remember ideas you have while you’re day-dreaming at work, out shopping, or on the commute home.
The best note-taking apps now store notes in the cloud, so you can access them from anywhere. You write the note on your smartphone, and read it on your home computer.
You can also use these apps to take research notes direct from the web. Some even allow you to snap photos, or convert handwritten notes into a text document.
Top tools for notetaking: Evernote is the mother of all notetakers. It stores text notes, handwritten notes, images, audio clips and other files. What’s more, you’re given an email address to email notes to yourself. Notes can be organized into notebooks and tagged.
Evernote is great because it also includes a web clipper for grabbing research notes from the Internet.
For those who prefer a bare bones approach to notetaking, there’s Simplenote. Notes are text only, so they sync fast. It’s also less resource intensive on your computer or smartphone.
WordPress Insider Hacks
Optimize your WordPress set-up to make writing posts as simple as sending an email or pressing a bookmark button in your browser.
5. Write Your Posts in GMail (or any mail client)
If markdown doesn’t appeal to you, an alternative is to write your posts as emails. This tip works well because, honestly, who doesn’t spend half their life buried in their email inbox?
Because we write emails all the time, writing an email often feels less intimidating than writing a blog post. It’s a way to overcome writer’s block by tricking your mind into getting words onto the page. CLICK TO TWEET
In the WordPress dashboard, head over to Settings>Writing to get Post via e-mail set up. You’ll also have to set up a top-secret email account. And seriously, keep it secret, because anyone who has access to that email address can write posts on your blog.
6. Set Your Default Categories
Do most of your posts go in the same category? Save yourself time fiddling with the categories by selecting the category you always use as the Default Post Category. Do this from the WordPress dashboard in Settings>Writing. Sure, it’s only a few seconds you’ll save for each post, but every second counts.
7. Grab Ideas While You’re Surfing
This tip’s not for everyone, but it works well if you get inspired by things you find online.
WordPress allows you to write blog posts direct from your web browser using a bookmarklet called “Press This”. When you find a picture, video or quote online that sets off your muse, you hit the bookmarklet and get writing.
Again, you’ll find this tool in Settings>Writing in the WP dashboard. From here, you can drag and drop the “Press This” button into your bookmarks bar. Why not give it a whirl and see how easy it makes posting new content?
Websites and Web Apps
These are magical places on the Internet that work in the opposite way to the rest of the cyberwebs. That is, instead of sucking up time, they help you save it.
8. Find Stunning Images for Free
Very few bloggers are professional photographers, but nearly every blog can benefit from professional images.
If you’ve got the cash to splash, then stock photos will give you thousands of fanastic photos at relatively low cost.
For bloggers on a tight budget, there’s creative commons images. These are donated by photographers and designers, and anyone can use them, even you! As long as you give credit to the photographer in your blog post, you can include their image.
The best tool for picking up free images is CC Search. Looking for illustrations? Take a look at Open Clip Art.
9. Automatically Post to Social Media
If you’re doing your social media marketing right, you should be sharing every post you write on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. But that takes away your valuable time when you could be writing.
Twitter Feed is a free tool that automatically shares all your new posts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Alternatively, if you want more control over your tweets, consider the WP to Twitter plugin, which gives you the option of setting up templates for tweets from your blog, or manually editing the tweets that go out to promote new blog posts, all from within WordPress.
(Ideally, you should update Google Plus too, but Google are a cagey with their API, so there’s no way to post on Google Plus except good old DIY.)
10. Do Your Social Networking In One Place
What about when you need to reply to tweets and Facebook comments, or post other updates?
Being active on social media has become a vital part of the successful blogger’s daily life, and it can be the biggest time zapper of all.
Instead of flitting between networks, and finding constant distractions at each of them, do it all from one dashboard. Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Buffer App, whatever. The key is to choose your poison, and stick with it.
Most plugins seem to give you more stuff to do, not less.
Which plugins are the real deal when it comes to cutting down on wasted minutes? CLICK TO TWEET
11. Fight off the Spammers
Nowdays WordPress comes with the spam busting plugin Askimet installed by default. You must activate Askimet for it to work properly, so make sure you’ve done so.
However, even Askimet isn’t perfect, and spam will still get through. Who wants to waste time moderating spam? Spam busters, here we come.
Math Comment Spam Protection makes sure everyone who comments on your blog is a genuine human being by asking them to do a simple Math quiz before they leave a comment.
Alternatively, consider using the Disqus Comment System. Disqus makes people log in using Facebook, Twitter, Google or Disqus before they can leave a comment. The login system creates an effective wall against spammers, so you can leave your comment moderation safely in Disqus’s hands.
12. Stop Creating Work For Yourself
Link building is vital for an optimized blog, and that includes internal links where you link one of your blog posts to another.
By default, when you set up an internal link, WordPress records a “Ping” that it will ask you to moderate. That’s a waste of time. Why moderate pings when you created them? You know you want them.
Instead of scrolling through your own pingbacks, and clicking to approve each one, you can tell WordPress to self-moderate internal pings. Do this with the No Self Pings plugin.
As well as promoting your blog through social media, you need to be sure you’re getting as much traffic as possible from search. Which means SEO, and SEO is a drag, right?
Not with WordPress SEO by Yoast. It’s amazing how much this does for a free plugin. Yoast gives you an SEO score for every post you publish, and tells you if you need to add your targeted keyword to the page title, post header, or in the meta of the post. It also gives you control over the meta title and description tags for each post.
14. Avoid Getting Hacked
If your WordPress blog has yet to be hacked, you’re one of the lucky ones. There are cyber brutes out there, right now, attempting to smash the lock of your blog and wreak havoc on your site. These bullies are automated, so if they come for you, it’s not personal, but it is a huge pain in the backside.
Restoring a hacked blog takes up time you don’t have, and it’s just not fun.
Muscle up your WordPress site and make it as strong as possible with Better WP Security. It guides you through the process of making your blog as secure as possible.
Bonus hint: Choose a secure password. Sounds like simple advice, but I bet at least half of you reading this will ignore it.
15. Turn Tweets Into Comments
Blogging is a conversation, and like all good conversation, there’s an art to it. CLICK TO TWEET
A skilled conversationalist knows how to pull in as many people as possible into the discussion, even if they’re on the margins.
The Social plugin from MailChimp sharpens the conversation on your blog with little extra effort on your part. Facebook replies and Tweets about your blog post are included beneath the blog post as part of the conversation. That way, you’re pulling more people into the discussion, and creating more value for anyone reading your blog. What’s not to like?
16. Keep Your Old Content Live and Kicking
You spend hours crafting each blog post, yet it seems like every post has a shelf life of only a few days. After that, it’s done, and we’ve all moved on.
Maybe you’ve seen some bloggers who tweet from their archives. Seems like a great idea, but wouldn’t it be time consuming to go back through everything you’ve written and make tweets from it?
It doesn’t have to be.
Using Tweet Old Post (inspiring name, huh?), you can set up an autotweeting schedule for your blog’s archive.
You choose which categories you want to tweet, throw a few hashtags into the mix to boost visilibity, and boom! Your old content is valuable again. CLICK TO TWEET
17. Fix Broken Links (Fast)
As a blogger, your reputation is what sustains you. So when a reader emails you to let you know there’s a broken link on your blog, your heart sinks. “How many other people have clicked the broken link and not bothered to get in touch?” It’s a good question. Yet browsing every single post for dead links will take a short eternity.
Creativity often comes in bursts, and it’s usually while you’re writing one idea that your mind gets flooded with others.
If you prefer to keep your workflow within the WordPress dashboard, then Post Ideas is the perfect tool for you. Rather than having a never-ending list of drafts, it provides a way of prioritizing your ideas.
Then, when you sit down to write, you’ll know where to start work.
You know your brand is underperforming on social media, but what can you do about it?
Take a look around.
It’s that time of year again. You have to fight to get a treadmill at your gym. Your local park has become a racetrack for runners. And everyone’s talking about the latest diet fad.
We’re all getting in shape for summer vacation.
This makes it the perfect time of year for getting your brand in shape, too. Make your business into a lean, mean fighting machine before your summer vacation, and you can rest easy, knowing your brand will be ready to run at full throttle when you return to work, giving you the best possible performance through the fall and festive season.
Set aside any downtime you have over the next couple of months to get your brand fighting fit. We’ve got the tips to get you started. Some are for beginners, who’ve yet to even dip their toes in social media. Some are for intermediates, who need to bump up their game. And some are for experts, who only need a few small tweaks to be the leaders in their niche.
Let’s get your brand in shape!
Beginner Tips & Warm Ups
Take a deep breath. The first step is always the hardest.
1. Sign Up for Twitter and Facebook
Around 90% of readers are rolling their eyes right now. I know, I know, everyone’s on Twitter and Facebook, right?
You’d be surprised.
If you’re still procrastinating about getting started on social media, today is the day to start. You’ve got the know-how to read this web page, which means you’ve got it in you to use social media.
Seriously, if you can write emails, you can tweet.
The research is clear: if you engage with your customers on social media, they’ll be more loyal to your brand, and more likely to buy your products or services. What are you waiting for?
2. Set Up a Company Blog
I spend a lot of time with small business owners. They’re not dinosaurs, they’ve got a website, perhaps even an eCommerce store.
But when I ask them about their blog, they look confused and dazed. I might as well have asked how much of their market share comes from Mars.
“Now, I’ve heard of Twitter,” they say. “But what’s a blog?”
Here’s a simple statistic, and if this doesn’t get you straight over to Google to find out what a blog is, and how to set one up (I promise, it’s really simple), then nothing will.
Business to consumer (B2C) companies who blog generate 88% more leads compared to those who don’t. CLICK TO TWEET
That figure is 67% for B2B companies. (Stats here).
3. Decide Your Niche
Want to pick a fight you’re guaranteed to lose? Take on Amazon at their own game. Decide you’ll sell everything from ebooks to movies to toilet paper. Because selling everything means you’ll get richer faster.
No, selling everything means you’ll be trapped with a behemoth bank loan for all the stock you’ve bought, and no customers.
To sell online, you must choose a niche. If you want to expand later, you can, but for now, you must choose one product type or service, and be the best (or only) provider in that niche.
Choosing a niche ensures a steady flow of customers to your door.
Even Amazon started with a niche of sorts. It was an online bookstore, and grew from there.
Google started as a search engine. Now it has its own cell phone and tablet range.
Apple started making computers. Now you can buy books, music, games and movies from them.
Start with a niche. It’s the only path to success.
4. Post Daily Updates
So you’ve signed up for Twitter and Facebook. Now what?
You’re ready to start engaging, that’s what!
Get into the habit of sharing on every social network at least once a day, and blogging at least once a week. The more you share, the quicker your audience will grow.
Daily updates are perfect for Facebook. On Twitter, you eventually want to aim for hourly updates. That said, daily is far better than nothing, and the perfect place to start.
5. Find Your Brand Voice
Every brand has a personality. Zappos is friendly and approachable. Most banks are trustworthy, corporate, and distant. Apple is youthful and creative. Microsoft is conformative and slightly boring.
The good news is, brands get to influence their personality. Your brand is partly about how your customers perceive you, and partly about your products.
But it’s also about how you portray yourself.
On social media – which is where you talk to your customers – you portray your personality through your brand’s voice.
That means thinking about how you talk to your customers. Do you want to come across as playful and fun? Or a good listener? Or a creative problem solver? Or someone who understands young people?
All this influences how you talk on social media.
When you’re posting to social media, don’t just type anything that comes into your head. Reshape what you want to say into the voice and personality of your brand. Over time, you’ll start to think like your brand, and talking in your brand’s voice will come naturally.
6. Get Up Close and Personal With the Big 5
Once you’ve got to grips with Facebook and Twitter, you’re ready to expand your social media reach. Start with the Big 5 of social media. On top of Twitter and Facebook, these are LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google Plus.
LinkedIn is the professional’s social network, and is the must join network for businesses selling to other businesses.
Pinterest is all about sharing images of desirable objects. If you sell a good-looking or fashionable product of any kind, it’s the place to be. Even more so if your target market is women, as Pinterest’s userbase is 80% female.
Google Plus is rapidly rising through the ranks, and is essential for all small businesses. Being on Google Plus will become increasingly important for your business’s rankings in Google Search.
7. Find Your Brand’s Niche Social Network
The Big 5 aren’t the only places your customers hang out online. Search across the web, and you’ll find social networks and forums dedicated to anything and everything, from pets to finance to cars to getting smarter faster. Chances are, there’s a network online right now where you’ll find low-hanging fruit you can pluck for your brand.
If there’s not a network around already that’s a good fit for your brand, it means one of two things. Either there’s not a market for your idea and products (Hint: are you selling anything? Have you done any market research?), or you’re in a blue ocean, and you can lead the way by setting up your own social network.
Of course, you don’t have unlimited resources, so you need to carefully target how you reach out.
8. Pick up Some Hashtags
Whether you’re new to social media, or you’ve been at this game for years, you can benefit from searching out the latest hashtags in your niche.
Hashtags are included in tweets to help others quickly find what they’re looking for. That includes finding your tweets, and your brand. Hashtags, therefore, boost your visibility.
Want to look professional on social media? Want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to find you, whether they’re looking on Facebook, Twitter or eBay?
Then make sure you have the same username for every social network. This consistency makes you easier to find, and it helps to build customer relationships and trust.
To quickly and easily find a handle you can use on all networks, head on over to NameChk. KnowEm offers the same service, and will even sign you up to every major social network with prices started at around $70.
Ideally, your username should be the same as your website and brand name.
10. Join a Twitter Chat
Or a LinkedIn Group. Or a Google Hangout. Or a Google Plus Community. The point is to get to grips with meeting people online and being social. At the other end of what’s said online is always a person. You’re meeting real people and making real connections, many of whom can convert into customers, or help your business in other ways.
Intermediate Tips & Training Runs
Now you’re starting to get serious, what can you do to keep your audience growing and engaged?
11. Monitor Your Stats
Social media users come in two varieties: those obsessed by metrics, and those who think “It’s social media, not numerical media”.
If you’re the stats obsessed type, you don’t need this tip. However, if you’re on social media “just to be social”, then you’re wasting business time and resources.
On any training regime, you’d monitor your fitness levels, your weight loss, your track times. Business is no different.
Social media is trackable. You can track traffic and conversions. You can see what works at engaging your audience, and what doesn’t.
You might not like what you see at first, but in the long term, you’ll be glad you did it.
12. Discover What Your Customers Really Think About You
This tip’s vital for businesses who’ve been running the grind for a while. If you’re the new kid on the block, you’ll have to be patient and wait awhile before you can do this.
Do you want to know what your customers are saying behind your back about your brand? Whether good or bad, bad ass or bemused, delighted or dumbfounded, you need to know. Only when you know what your customers really think of you can you start to put things right.
Go ahead and enter your brand’s name into the Twitter search bar (you can do the same on Google Plus if you want). What do you find?
13. Scout Out the Competition
Unless your niche is absurdly small you’ll have competitors and chances are, some of them are doing a great job on social media (equally, some of them will be doing terrible).
Want to know their secrets to success?
The beautiful thing about social media is that it takes no subterfuge, sabotage, blackmail or bribery to get insider information.
On social media, everyone’s strategy is out there, plain as day, for all to see.
All you need to do is look at what they’re doing.
You can learn from what others are doing right – and what they’re doing wrong. If anything they’re doing makes you cringe, you know you can do it better.
14. Inspire Your Customers
Everyone has dreams. Everyone. We all have things, people or places we long for. We all want to be special.
Whatever you sell, whether it’s plumbing or round-the-world trips, you’re helping people fulfill dreams. CLICK TO TWEET
At the same time, we all have difficult days when we wake up grumpy, or things just don’t go our way. When that happens, we need a pick me up.
Get together a set of inspirational quotes to share on social media. Mix them up with an image if you want to, but most importantly, share them. Your customers will love you for it, and you’ll generate fantastic buzz.
15. Find What Your Audience Wants
Social media provides a low-cost, easy way to hang out with your customers. Following customers, you get a wonderful insight into their day to day lives, including their hopes, fears, dreams and problems.
When you know the problems your customers face, and how they talk about their problems, you can position your product as the solution. What’s more, you can do this in the words your customers use, which is especially powerful.
16. Ask a Question
Need more insight into the wants and desires of your customers? Ask them.
In fact, ask them anything. Ask them how their day is going. Ask them what they had for breakfast. Ask them for tips and advice.
The more questions you ask on social media, the better. Questions encourage a response, and show that you’re open to conversation.
Research by Buddy Media found Facebook posts featuring a question have a 92% higher comment rate compared to posts without questions. What’s more, put your question at the end.
Posts ending with a question were twice as likely to receive comments, and had a 15% higher interaction rate compared to posts with questions in the middle. CLICK TO TWEET
Closed questions with a yes or no answer (or “Would you rather … or …?”) usually work best, as they’re easier to reply to.
After you’ve started asking your audience what they think, listen to what they tell you. Listening isn’t a passive thing. Listening means taking action.
When your customers give you feedback, and you nod along politely, then ignore it, that’s NOT listening.
Listening means you take action based on what they say.
Let’s say you’re a crafty person who knits up sweaters. The first sweater you sold (to your adoring Grandma, who wanted to support your entrepreneurial spirit) was a red one. Because of that, red is a color close to your heart. But on social media, again and again, your customers tell you they don’t like red. And, truth is, you’ve never sold a red anything since that first sale.
Stop being sentimental. Sure, make a red sweater for yourself if you want. But in your store, include what your customers want. This is about them, not you.
18. Set a Follower Goal
How many followers do you want? Write it down. If you’re just starting out, a good goal is 100 followers. If you’re at 100, then aim for 1,000.
Do everything you can to achieve that goal. Follow people you’d like to engage with. Talk to others as much as you can. Email everyone in your network and ask them to follow you. Share useful content.
(The only thing you must NEVER do is buy followers. Bought followers are usually bots, and reduce rather than increase engagement).
By setting yourself a goal, you’re more likely to engage on social media every day.
19. Try Disconnecting for a Day
This tip is counter-intuitive, but it’s what we’ve found works for us at Social Caffeine. If we’re becoming disillusioned with social media, or our creativity is drying up in lazy, aimless web surfing, then scheduling tweets and having a Digital Detox for 24 hours is the way to go.
See how much work you get done by being offline, even if you can only handle it for a few hours.
Advanced Tips & Running the Marathon
Ready to lead the pack? When you’ve established a steady following, you’re ready to stand out from the crowd and become the go-to person in your niche.
20. Practice Calls to Action
Do you feel like you’re being pushy or selling out if you ask other people to help you out? Then you need to swallow some humble pie, because asking people to help you is the quickest way to get things done. And people love to help!
Research by Dan Zarrella of Hubspot found asking for retweets with a simple “Please Retweet” at the end of tweets increased the retweet rate by four times. That’s a huge boost in visibility for your brand. CLICK TO TWEET
On Facebook, share thought provoking articles, or inspiring quotes, then ask people “leave a comment if you agree”.
Calls to action are the foundation of any solid marketing strategy. Put down your ego already and ask for a helping hand.
21. Connect With An Influencer
There are people out there with tens or hundreds of thousands of followers. They’re trusted experts in their field. If only they knew about your product, you’re sure they’d LOVE it and share it with their network.
It’s time you started connecting.
Sending them an instant message “Hey check out my product!” is not the way to do it. That’s a big turn off, and unless they’re in a really good mood, they’ll ignore you.
Instead, use a more subtle strategy. Start out by following them. Engage with them from time to time. Get on their radar.
If you do it right, they’ll be curious enough to check out your product for themselves. You might have to send out some hints, but that’s way better than forcing it on them.
22. Make a Video
Both Youtube and Cisco have predicted that within the next couple of years, 90% of web traffic will be from video.
I know, putting yourself in front of a camera feels daunting. But speaking face-to-face with your customers helps them feel like they know you. Video builds trust much faster than the written word ever can.
With cameras built into every smartphone, and simple video making tools such as Twitter Vine and Hangouts on Air available for anyone and everyone, making quality videos has never been easier.
(Not sure about video? Consider starting a podcast, which can be just as good at creating relationships as video without the hassle of being on camera, though unlike video, it requires a regular commitment).
23. Run a Facebook Ad
Ads are a double-edged sword, which is why they’re an advanced tool. Get it right, and you hit jackpot. A constant stream of new customers and fans who spend way more than you laid out on the ad campaign. Get it wrong, and you’ll find yourself bleeding money.
That’s why you must be careful.
Only use ads when you’re sure your product is popular with customers, and when you have a strong understanding of your brand.
And once you’re rolling, even if they’re doing well, test, test, test. Every tweak that boosts click-through rates makes you more money.
24. Create a LinkedIn Group or Company Page
Want to keep your professional profile private on LinkedIn, but continue to pull in leads for your business? Then a company profile is the way to go. A company page allows you to connect with and send out updates to anyone who’s interested in what you do.
If you’d like to engage more widely around a topic related to your niche, then start a LinkedIn Group. Choose the right group name, write a good description, and make sure the discussions are lively, and you’ll have a place to meet potential customers and show off your expertise.
25. Host a Twitter Chat
When your Twitter following reaches a certain level – say a couple of thousand followers – it can be tricky to know what to do next. You know you can continue growing at a trickle, but you’d rather see your follower count explode.
A Twitter Chat is probably what you need. Arrange a time with a few of your followers to meet up each week. Choose a chat topic related to your niche, and for each chat, invite a different thought leader from your niche to share their wisdom. Pick a hashtag for your chat, too. Twitter Chats set you up as an expert, and provide opportunities to meet many different people. Week after week, you’ll find new people coming to your chat session, and your follower count skyrocketing.
26. Host a Google Hangout
As with Twitter Chats, you need a loyal tribe in place before you can host a successful hangout. But once your tribe’s there, it’s a way to grow fast, especially as you’re creating trust with a face-to-face meeting.
You can use Hangouts to do product demonstrations, tutorials, client surgeries, or Q&A sessions. As with Twitter Chats, you can invite experts to be interviewed.
To take it to the next level, broadcast your Hangouts live using Hangouts on Air. Then your conversation will go out on YouTube, and be saved there forever for anyone to find. Remember, the more content you create – including video – the more opportunities potential customers have to find you.
27. Guest Post on an A-list blog
There are few faster ways of establishing your authority than having your writing appear on the go-to blog in your niche.
The more guest posts you write, the quicker your name and face will be recognized, and the faster you’ll grow your social media fanbase.
(Tip: Want to start guest posting today? Why not pitch us your idea? We’d love to hear from you!)
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I’m a social media technologist, author, radio show host and founder of REV Media Marketing llc.
After 20 years as a direct marketer I've fallen in love with social media madness, with the caveat, “If popularity is vanity then sales are sanity – it’s up to you to decide how crazy you can afford to be.”