wordpress website malware

Today we are going to be talking about website security. This includes how to keep your website up-to-date, as well as what to do if you do find that you have malware on your website. We are specifically talking about WordPress websites here, and I will be sharing my screen, so if you are listening to our podcast, please head on over to socialspeaknetwork.com and check out the related blog post or over to YouTube just to watch the video. The first thing that we are going to be talking about is backups and tools to utilize for backing up and why it’s important. Then we are jumping into updating your WordPress files, removing unused themes and plugins, adding a layer of security, and finally, if you’ve been hacked, what to do.

Use GoDaddy Pro, FileZilla, or Your Hosting for WordPress Backups

The first piece of this is, whenever you are talking about updating a WordPress website, you should make sure that you have backups of some sort enabled. So this could be manually going into your hosting account, downloading a copy of the database, as well as taking a copy of everything from the file manager and storing that on your computer, or you could utilize a plugin such as BackupBuddy to take a backup, or you could signup for a backup plan through your hosting account. And this might be included in your hosting, a lot of times hosting providers have backups actually included within their hosting plans, or you can do what we do for all of our websites that we manage, where we have another layer of protection through GoDaddy Pro.

This is a tool that is through GoDaddy, and I know a lot of you listeners and a lot of our clients have chosen not to work with GoDaddy for a variety of issues. There are plenty of other hosting companies out there, and we thoroughly enjoy working with a lot of them. This tool, however, is a free tool and it allows us to easily see all of the websites that we manage in one central location and see which plugins need to be updated, themes that need to be updated, and to do the backups directly through there. So we are going to be talking about GoDaddy Pro a lot. So, let me actually just jump in and I’m going to share my screen.

GoDaddy Pro Dashboard

Here we have the GoDaddy Pro dashboard for our website, for Social Speak, and I do feel kinda bad because I did have 11 updates for our plugins and one theme that I needed to update on our website, but I already recorded this video and realized I did not have any sound turned on. [chuckle] So you’re not going to be able to see me actually update our website here, but that’s okay. We all make mistakes, right? At least it’s all up-to-date now. But directly within the GoDaddy Pro dashboard, there is this backup link here, so if you were looking to update your website head on over to GoDaddy Pro and link it up to your website, your WordPress website. Now, if you do have a GoDaddy account for your hosting, you can do daily backups for free. If you do not, then you can do monthly backups for free and then upgrade if you do need to clone your website or restore a backup or download the backup or anything like that. But typically for a small website that isn’t really being updated frequently, a monthly backup is fine, and updating the plugins and theme files monthly is fine.

Daily and Monthly Backups for WordPress

Here though, I did just want to show you that we have the option for daily backups. We have some clients who are posting multiple blog posts, or updating multiple pages, adding new resources every single day, and so for them, it’s really important to have this daily backup. For those websites, we also do recommend having a backup plan in place directly through your hosting account as well, and that’s just because sometimes if the website has completely broken, it’s easier to update directly from the source rather than from a third party tool. Those plans though, can cost, I don’t know, $5 to $15 to $25 really, depending on what service and what hosting company you are working with.

The first step, again, of making sure that your website is secure and up-to-date is adding these backups. The next step is making sure that all of your WordPress files and theme files are up-to-date. The issue here is that if something hasn’t been updated recently, it opens the doors for hackers to go in and install malware. You want to make sure you have the most up-to-date PHP, and that also causes old themes and old plugins that haven’t been updated not to be compatible anymore. So this can be bad for a lot of different things, including for search engine optimization, and user experience on your website, something might just break. So you want to make sure everything is up-to-date.

I’m going to quickly jump to another website here. This is just another website that we have here, and as you can see, there are two plugins, one theme, and then the WordPress that all need to be updated. So, I’m going to just do a safe update, takes a backup, does the update and then turn, does another snapshot, another backup with the most up-to-date files that are there. So this is kind of that easy way of doing that.

Keep WordPress Plugins and Theme Files Up To Date

Now, when I did that, you noticed that there was just one, two, two different plugins that needed to be updated. Now, if a plugin is really old or a theme is really old, it might not be supported anymore and the theme developers or plugin developers might not be updating it anymore. So a plugin that we recommend in selling on your website is this plugin condition. And so, what this will do, and I’ll zoom in on the screenshot here, is it will actually have a notice for the last time something was updated. And so, this one here, this numbers plugin, for example, was updated a year ago. So most likely this might not be as compatible with WordPress as a newer version of some sort of user enrollment management plugin. This might be a plugin that they are not keeping up with anymore.

Additionally, in this screenshot right here, you see that this plugin is not even being used. It’s not active on the website. So, as you’re going through your plugins and your themes and updating them, take note if there are any that you’re not actively using. So here, I would actually recommend selecting all of these plugins that are deactivated and deleting them. These are very clearly plugins that you are not utilizing on your website, you do not need that functionality, so get rid of them. Make sure that the website files remain clean and concise so that it removes any opportunity for the hackers to get in and for malware to get on your site.

The same thing goes with themes as well. So here, let’s see if I can jump over here, I probably can. So here we only have the Enfold Theme on this website, however, when you are installing a WordPress website, oftentimes it also installs the 2020 theme, the 2019 theme, the 2016 theme, and WordPress will install a lot of themes on that initial installation. You want to make sure that you delete all of those extra themes. So in GoDaddy Pro, again, you don’t need FTP access or anything like that, you can just go to themes, you select the theme, and then you delete it. This will keep those theme files nice and clean and remove more of a chance of malware being able to get on to your site.

Remove Unused and Risky Plugins

A lot of times we see a plugin like this one, file manager plugin. Basically, this creates an FTP connection directly through your WordPress dashboard. And so, it allows any administrative user who has access to your WordPress dashboard to have access to the actual file manager on your website. And we’ve seen that this plugin in particular, but other plugins like it, have opened the doors for hackers and for malware to be installed on your website. So we highly, highly, highly recommend that you remove this sort of plugin from your website. So, I mean, even just looking at the reviews of it, hacked, hacked, hacked, hacked. Highly unsafe, avoid, malware.

Consider a Security Package from Your Hosting Company

We actually had this problem with this plugin in particular before as well. Would be a great thing to do if you’re just building the website, but remove it immediately if you can. So if you are looking to add a layer of security and protection onto your website, we recommend registering for a website security package through your hosting account, and again, depending on what hosting plan you have, this might already be included, but GoDaddy, for example, has one where it includes a firewall, so any site visitor has to go through the firewall and then they can view the site. And so, this just allows it to make sure that no files are being adjusted by folks who shouldn’t have access to the website in the first place.

If your site has been hacked, they also have this great plan… Well, I guess all of these plans do this, but the security plan, this Express plan, basically puts your site at the top of the line to have an engineer go file by file and remove all of the malware and then keep you up-to-date on the progress. If you’re just kind of worried about it and you don’t really know that you have malware on the site, the deluxe version is a great choice, and this is kind of a reactive sort of plan. The Express plan is more of a proactive plan, where it has all the bells and whistles, and again, puts you at the top of the list.

Monitor Website for Malware with Google Search Console

You can also monitor your site through the Search Console, as well as through, on pro sites, there’s the security plan as well. And so, whenever you want to add a new thing to the site, a screen like that will come up and a monthly check is free, and then if you want to do the premium one, it costs less than a dollar a month. So, very, very worthwhile. Some hosting plans, this website, I believe, is hosted on Bluehost, but some hosting plans, such as all the ones on GoDaddy, the security check is free. So you don’t actually have to even pay for the essential plan per month, you can just add to GoDaddy Pro and activate it for free.

One thing that we have found, however, is that malware is getting more and more advanced, so you’re not necessarily going to be able to even tell that you have malware through these scans. The scans might show everything correct, but if you click a link from Facebook on a mobile phone and it’s your first time visiting the site in a month, you might be redirected to another site, for example. Or if you click from Chrome versus Safari, versus Firefox, you might experience the malware. So it’s important just to make sure that everything is staying up-to-date and as secure as possible, so that there’s less of a chance of even having to deal with malware to begin with.

This time of year is a great time to really make sure that your site is protected and as up-to-date as possible as you’re moving into 2021. We do, however, recommend for next year, going into your website at least monthly and making sure all the plugins and theme files and WordPress files are up-to-date. Again, you can utilize GoDaddy Pro as an option, as a tool, to make sure that you also have the backups running and the security monitoring going on, but you can do it manually as well.

Contact Our Team For WordPress Website Help

If you have questions about how to do website maintenance, please don’t hesitate to reach out, or if you’re looking for support and someone to help with this website maintenance, we are here for you. We have very affordable plans for a website maintenance to help you keep your site up-to-date and clean, as well as working its best so that you’re putting your best foot forward. Please head on over to the socialspeaknetwork.com, click that free consultation button and we’ll schedule a 30-minute call just to get to know you and your needs, and then we can figure out if we are a good fit for you. Of course, if this has been helpful, we’d love for you to subscribe down below and follow us on iTunes, as well as YouTube and check out our blog. Alright, thank you so much and I’ll see you next time.

This is our first podcast for our monthly Q&A  series. In this podcast, we will go over – Why is it so important to do a social media audit and get rid of old accounts?  – Does blogging help your SEO and how can you find keywords/phrases to blog about?  – Why is it important to mix up your social media content?  – What are a few tools we use to make our digital marketing life a bit easier?  – Why should you be running Facebook ads, even if you feel they haven’t been successful before.

Growing Your Followers

Today we are going to talk about growing followers organically on social media. This is something that our clients ask all the time: “How do I increase my followers? How do I increase my followers?” And you can do it organically. We’re gonna talk about Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn company pages today, okay so we have a lot to cover.

Twitter

With your Twitter account, you need to make sure you are tweeting consistently. So whatever that schedule is, make sure you’re sticking to it. Maybe it’s one time a day, two times a day, three times a day. Optimize your posting time, so try different times. Thinking of your ideal client or patient, when are they home? Usually, Twitter’s always done by your mobile device, so most likely they’re on Twitter from their phone, so think of lunches, break times, maybe if your patients are parents, maybe later in the evening. Get creative with that posting time. It doesn’t always have to be 9:00 to 5:00. It could be at 6:00 AM, it could be 9:00 PM. So playing around with those posting times and seeing where, what times, and what days you’re getting the most engagement. You may be thinking, okay because you’re open Monday through Friday that that’s when you need to post, but maybe doing weekend posts is a great idea as well.

Post visual content. So Twitter used to be just all text. It doesn’t have to be now. Upload images, upload videos, make it eye-appealing, and utilize hashtags. We will put in the description below different hashtag tools to help you, but Twitter and Instagram, even LinkedIn, they thrive off of those hashtags, and you can follow different hashtags. People are always searching certain hashtags, and those are the people they follow. So look for those hashtags, follow the people that are utilizing those hashtags, make sure that you are Retweeting. So have a list of people in your industry that are like-minded. Not necessarily competition, but maybe it’s news articles. So if you are a OB-GYN, you may wanna look at the Women’s Health Magazine and Retweet stories that they’re posting. Look at those resources and make sure that you are utilizing those Retweets because then their audience will start to see you as well.

One great thing with all social media is that famous little search button on every single social media platform, whether it’s in the right-hand corner or in the middle, up top. Usually, it’s always up top. With Instagram, there’s a search icon when you open up the mobile app and search for certain people. If you are looking for… If your office is only within a 25-mile radius in that location, search for people in that location. Start following more people, and set a goal to maybe follow 20 people per week. One thing with all platforms and this is just a personal preference, but when you’re following people, don’t go follower happy, okay, and what I mean by that is you’ll look at some accounts and they’ll say they’re following 1000 people, but they only have 60 followers. Well, that ratio, it just seems kind of spammy, so when you start growing your followers, follow people, but do ’em in low numbers. So follow maybe five a day, 20 per week. Figure out what that looks like and make sure that those people are following you back. The more people that you follow that are in your niche, in your target market, they’re more likely to follow you back. Okay. So those are just a few tips for Twitter.

Instagram

Let’s go into Instagram. So again, you’ll see these… The same tips are, again, staying consistent, making sure that you’re posting at least once a day on Instagram, utilizing different content, trying live videos, doing Instagram stories, doing Instagram TV, along with just your regular posts. Share content from other users. So it’s user-generated content, so mentioning them, “This is a great article or a great story from so-and-so,” and make sure that you are collaborating with others. So thinking of your referral partners, is there a way where you guys can share a post every week or a couple of posts per month? How can you work with your referral partners on a much bigger scale to be able to help grow each other’s social media? Look at your analytics. Find out… Instagram does a great job with letting you know who’s looking at your posts, what days are your best days and what times, and then also your demographics. So where are they at, are they male, female, what stories are getting the most engagement? So paying attention to your analytics so you can make sure you’re giving that content back to them and that they are engaging with it.

Engage with your fans. Every follower you have… And again, you can search for your target market and follow them, engage with them, take the time to like their posts, to comment on them. Also look at those resources, those same people that you are gonna be retweeting on Twitter or sharing stories on Facebook, look at what they’re posting and start commenting on it because if they are a resource that you like, again, if it’s Women’s Health Magazine, and you start commenting on their stuff on Instagram, their followers are gonna see those comments as well. So being active and engaging with these platforms is a great way to be able to increase your followers. Again, it takes time. It’s not gonna be an overnight success by any means, but to have somebody that’s dedicated to your social media to make sure that they are reaching those correct people, that is key.

Facebook

Facebook, you can always invite your friends to like your page. So that’s always a great starting point. And then really with Facebook having your icon on, and all your social media icons and your email signature, having a sign at the front desk, follow us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, you know, because each person is gonna have that social media platform that they like, and they trust, and that’s kind of their go-to. So giving them the option of where they wanna follow you and engage with you as great.

So being able to put those signs up there, you know, on your marketing materials, but then with Facebook, working on having a little bit of ad spend, and you’ll see with especially with LinkedIn, as we get into that, you know, running those targeted ads, and having like campaigns following, follow our campaigns running, that’s where we’ve been able to see the most growth with our clients. And again, this is a paid feature, this isn’t an organic feature.

Start by inviting your friends and family to like your page. You’re always gonna have more friends because that’s where you most likely started doing Facebook was having a personal profile, and then you created your business page. So you could also have your employees of your company, also invite people to like the Facebook page. So consistency, inviting and then working on some of the paid options of boosting and running a paid like campaign to reach your target market.

 

LinkedIn

Going into LinkedIn, so you have your LinkedIn profile, and LinkedIn company pages are really growing. LinkedIn, what they’re doing with their platform I mean, it’s huge. And it’s a great b2b tool. So again, thinking of those referral partners, and inviting them to like the page, inviting your contacts to like your page, adding your employees to your page. And so they can say, “Okay, but it’s not just this one person, but they have a whole team and what their roles are.

Then for them to share the page to their personal profile, and for them to invite their contacts to like that page. So that process is really important too, is really to get your employees involved with your LinkedIn company page. And so that’s a great way to grow your followers organically with LinkedIn, you know, utilizing LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups as well, finding those targeted groups, being able to… Now with Facebook, you can share your content from your business page into a group, which is awesome. With LinkedIn, you can’t, but you can still post and be able to mention the company page.

Utilizing those LinkedIn groups, inviting your connections to like, following the page, and sharing your content from the company page to your personal profile, as well, is a great way to grow those followers organically.

YouTube

So last but not least, is YouTube. YouTube is a little bit different. It’s not so much of a social media platform, as it is more of a search engine. And really, that’s what it is. It is a video search engine. Google owns YouTube. So having videos on there is great for your SEO as well.

A few things to help your channel be found and to increase those subscribers to your channel is making sure you’re utilizing playlists and that they’re clear. So when people go there, they can see what type, what categories, and that’s really what the playlists are, they are categories that you have of different videos. Publishing longer videos, so having a mix between short tips, you know those three to five-minute videos, and then the longer ones that are 10 plus minutes that are really educating your audience on certain topics.

You know, maybe again, I always like to use the OB-GYN’s example, you know, maybe you’re talking about a eating plan for a pregnant woman or a birth plan or certain tips. These videos can be longer because they’re going to be educational. Maybe you’ll put together a PowerPoint presentation, and you’re walking through that as you’re talking. So publishing 10-plus minute videos is a great way to increase your subscribers.

Promoting your videos on an end-screen. Using those options that YouTube gives you, it will say end screen, you can say subscribe to our channel there, it will also allow you to promote your… Like another playlist, or if you’re doing a video that’s specific to that playlist, you want them to stay in that loop of that playlist. And so utilizing those tools to be able to do that.

Reply to every comment, if you get comments, and a lot of them, not a lot of them, but some of them can be spam. And just, you know, like it, but reply to the comments that need to be… That need to have a reply because those are gonna be the people that are gonna subscribe to your channel. Another one is just making sure your channel’s optimized completely. So having a tagline with your channel, making sure you have your channel app up top, and it’s clear and that they can… YouTube does this where it will show you what it’s gonna look like on a computer, on a TV because smart TVs people are watching YouTube all the time from their TV, and then what it’s gonna look like on their mobile device.

So you wanna make sure that that header is clear so when they come to it, it’s not cut off on every device that they are watching your videos from. They know exactly who it is. Making sure that you have a clear description, that your contact information, your website is in there, so they can reach you if they need to from your channel, but then also each video making sure you have that clear description, that keyword friendly title, the tag words, you know, making sure you have a YouTube thumbnail.

Just going through that little checklist to make sure everything is filled out correctly with your channel and your videos. Then also when you’re doing these videos, we always take our video and we put it onto YouTube and then we take the code from YouTube and we embed our videos into our blog post, which is a great way to get viewers to watch your videos, promote them on social media, have a video within your email signature, use them in your newsletters, people love listening and watching videos. So being able to utilize them in multiple places and having them link back to YouTube is a great way to be able to grow your subscribers.

I know we covered a lot today, if you need help putting together this strategy, this… And again, what we talked about today was really looking at that organic growth. You can run ads on all of these platforms to increase your followers and that we do help our clients with both the organic growth and the paid growth to make sure that you’re reaching your target market. If you need help with that and would like to talk more about the increasing your followers on all these platforms, head on over to socialspeaknetwork.com and click on free consultation.

Schedule your 30-minute free consultation today.

6 Ways to Maximize Your Video Content

There is no denying that videos are the most engaging type of content. They bring concepts to life, captures attention, and engages viewers. But let’s face it. Creating quality video content requires a lot of time and effort. It only makes sense to maximize its potential by converting it into different content formats.

Repurposing content doesn’t just save you time and resources, it also increases reach. Ready to stretch your video content as far as it can go? We listed down some of the most effective ways to repurpose your video content.

Create branded quote graphics with snippets from your video

Are you creating branded graphics for your practice? If not, then you should be. Branded graphics tell your story with visuals, attract your target audience, and create a uniform look across all your available channels.

Create branded graphics by using quotes from any of your video content. Use tools like Canva to create a visually appealing quote graphic. Make sure that your brand colors and fonts are reflected in your images. You want to ensure that your branding is consistent across your social channels.

Turn video content into a blog post

Are you running low on ideas for your blog? Consider turning your video content into a blog post. You can do this by either creating a blog post on that particular topic or posting the transcript of the video. Make sure to add the video recording in your blog post.

While video content is great, search engines like Google cannot crawl videos. By posting the transcriptions in the form of blogs posts, you’re creating content for Google to crawl. This can help your content rank in a number of ways. Plus, it provides a way to broaden the reach of your video content.

Trim clips and share them on Instagram

Videos are one of the most common types of content shared on Instagram, and for good reasons. They capture the attention of your target audience and get better engagement.

Instagram videos can be anywhere between 3 and 60 seconds long, depending on the post type. Instead of trying to cram everything you want to say into a 60-second video, make a one-minute trailer for Instagram. Find the most important tidbits that you can share with your audience. Or better yet, find a hook that tells people what value they’ll get from watching the whole thing.

Create a webinar highlight reel

Webinars take so much time and work to organize. Not milking every cent of its worth is a huge mistake. Offering a 5-minute highlight reel will help you extract even more value from your webinar.

A highlight reel can be beneficial for those who missed the webinar. It provides a short digest of what they missed. At the same time, it creates the understanding that they’ll have to show up in future webinars if they want to get the full content.

You can also use a highlight reel to promote future webinars and attract new audiences. This will give prospects an idea of your style, tone, and what to expect if they participate in the webinar.

Turn your videos into a podcast episode

Podcasts seem to be a growing trend, and it’s here to stay. If you’ve been planning to start podcast, but didn’t have the time for it, then this may be the solution to your problem.

If you’ve accumulated a ton of video content, you may want to repurpose your best content into podcast episodes.

Extraordinary podcasts are born out of everyday conversations. If you’ve had interviews or conversations via Zoom or Google Meet, you can also share them as podcasts for everyone to hear. This is one simple way to make the most out of your video content without a lot of work.

Use patient testimonial as a video ad

Patient testimonials help build your credibility. If you’re looking to build a larger, more invested audience, you want to use customer testimonials to promote your brand.

Providing social proof and real customer testimonials is one of the most effective ways to gain the trust of potential clients. Let your happy clients and patients do the talking and make an impact on your conversion rates. Make sure, though, that you got the patient’s approval first before using the video for this purpose.

6 Ways to Maximize Your Video Content

 

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enfold theme menu customizations

This month we have been asked numerous times for a logo to be centered on the WordPress Website. As we typically utilize the Enfold Theme for our WordPress Websites, we needed to do some customizations to the header and menu to make the formatting work.

It is simple enough, however, with just a bit of CSS to center the logo on the menu so menu items appear on either side (and in line) with the logo image!

Sets and CSS to add from Enfold Tutorials is at:

https://kriesi.at/documentation/enfold/menu/#toggle-id-147

/*————————*/
/* CSS – Logo center split menu
/*————————*/

@media only screen and (min-width: 780px) {
/*In the below code nth-child(x) the value of x should be half the number of total menu items*/
#top #header .av-main-nav li:nth-child(3) {
/* Adjust the width of the logo */
margin-right:150px;
}

#header .main_menu {
/*background: gold;*/
width: 100%;
left: 50%;
transform: translateX(-50%);
}

.av-main-nav-wrap {
left: 50%;
transform: translateX(-50%);
}

#header .logo {
left: 50%;
transform: translateX(-50%);
z-index:999;
}

#header .logo img {
top: 50%;
transform: translateY(-50%);
max-width: 100px;
}
}

When a logo is centered on Enfold using CSS, the social media icons appear behind the menu. To fix this, simply add the following to your General Styling Settings under Quick CSS to have the icons Float Right.

#top nav .social_bookmarks { float: right; }

This video tutorial for the Enfold Theme goes into the Header and Menu Settings specifically for:

  • Appending search icon to the Main Menu (Theme Options – Main Menu)
  • Adding Social Icons to the Main Menu (Theme Options – Header – Extra Elements)

If there are other items you have questions about on Enfold, please let us know! And don’t forget to subscribe to the Social Speak Network YouTube Channel!

6 Tips for Writing Email Subject Lines that Get Opened

A good email starts with a subject line that captures the recipient’s attention. It has to be engaging and interesting enough to give people a reason to open and read your email. But let’s face it. Writing a catchy, powerful subject line isn’t easy. Some don’t even give it much thought. If this is you, then you’re making a big mistake.

It doesn’t really matter how valuable your message is. If your emails aren’t getting opened, then they’re not getting read.

The chances of your emails being ignored are pretty high unless you have a powerful subject line. Use these tips to get your emails opened, read, and, and clicked.

Keep them short

Today, more and more people are checking their emails on their smartphones. What most people fail to realize is that only 30 characters of an email’s subject line are shown on a mobile phone. To avoid getting your subject lines truncated, we recommend keeping them short.

In today’s busy world, you want to make sure that your subject line conveys your message succinctly but clearly. Get right to the point in about six to eight words. Come to think of it. What good is your subject line if recipients can’t even read them?

Communicate urgency

Everyone feels a certain level of FOMO in their lives. Studies suggest that people are more likely to respond to the possibility of missing out than gaining something. Use it to your advantage by applying it to your subject lines.

Consider using action phrases that convey a sense of urgency, so that people will act quickly. Instead of saying, “We have a special offer for you”. You can say something like, “Offer expires in X days”.  Don’t be afraid to make the turnaround as short as 24 hours. Setting a deadline creates a sense of urgency that encourages the recipient to prioritize your email.

Tell them what’s inside

What is the purpose of sending the email? Is it to promote an upcoming event? Are you delivering an ebook you promised a visitor? Maybe you just want to share some tips or advice with your subscribers? Whatever the reason is, be very clear about the value of your email and what it means for your subscribers.

Make it clear that there is something valuable waiting inside the email. Use your subject line as a teaser.

Use language that implies exclusivity

People love being included in something exclusive. Using phrases such as “exclusive offer” or “members only” can entice them to sit up and really pay attention.

Use the principle of exclusivity to make readers feel special. Instead of saying “Please take part in our survey”, try saying “You have been selected to take part in our survey”. This suggests that they have been personally chosen and that their response truly matters.

Avoid using words that trigger spam filters

You may not be sending spam on purpose, but if you use certain words on your email, they are likely to be picked up by spam filters.

The last thing you want is for your emails to land straight in the recipient’s SPAM inbox. In some cases, people report an e-mail as spam based on their subject line alone. That’s why you should be careful when choosing the words you use in your email’s subject line.

Avoid using words such as free, no hidden costs, act now, 100% free, % off, $, guarantee. To make it easier, you can refer to Hubspot’s Ultimate List of Email SPAM Trigger Words.

Create some sense of mystery

Some subject lines work because they pique the recipient’s natural curiosity and interest. They know they will benefit from opening the email. But have you tried adding mystery to your email subject lines?

Mystery email subject lines create a bit of intrigue and playfulness. They’ll pique your subscribers’ interest, they’ll have no choice but to open and read the email. It might be just the creative tactic you need to cut through the noise.

6 Tips for Writing Email Subject Lines that Get Opened

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Social Media Plan 2021

In today’s blog, we’ll be covering six tips to create your healthcare social media plan for 2021. Yes, 2021! We are entering the fourth quarter already of 2020, and it’s really important to be proactive when it comes to your social media strategy. Because the more that you plan, the easier it is.

 

Social media review

You’ve heard of us talking about this a little bit throughout the year. We always like to do a quarterly check-in and just see what’s working and what’s not working.

So if you haven’t done your review yet, take the time this fourth quarter to really look at each of your social media platforms, (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube), you need to look at their Analytics. Look at each quarter, look at the whole year, look to see what posts have gotten the most engagement, and also look at your Google Analytics to see where that social traffic is coming from.

Are you getting a lot of website traffic from Pinterest or Facebook? Are you getting a little website traffic from Instagram, but you’re getting a lot of engagement? So really looking at each platform, what is working, and what’s not working on each one. Why? It’s because each platform has its own purpose.

Like with Instagram, you may get a lot more engagement, but you’re not gonna get a lot of traffic to your website; whereas Facebook and Pinterest, maybe you get less engagement, but more traffic to your website, so looking at those and looking at them individually and seeing what’s working. So that was number one, doing your social media review.

Content

So after you do your review, make sure you write down what content works the best, and figure out new ways to implement new content for 2021.

According to Tubular, by 2021, 80% of Internet traffic will be from videos, that’s huge, 80%. And a lot of that is done by the phones.

So you have to think of what types of posts you’re putting up. Are you doing more personal posts of you and your staff, patient testimonials, and short little videos? Are you doing doctor interviews, patient interviews, educational videos where you are talking, maybe you have a weekly FAQ section?

What are the types of content that you have put out over 2020 and what’s work the best? And then make a list of the content that you want to do more of in 2021 and things you wanna try.

So maybe you’ve just been posting, repurposing content from outside sources, which is great. It’s always good to share articles from your industry, Facebook loves that. But maybe you want to have original content. Maybe you should start blogging in 2021 and have that content go out to social media and drive that traffic back to the website. Think of different types of content that you want to implement into your social media plan for 2021.

Set goals

I know sometimes it sounds so like, “Oh, it’s just social media, we don’t need to have goals.” But you do. You need to really look at how many followers and likes do you have right now, and what’s that number you wanna get to. Sometimes, it’s not always the quantity, it’s more quality.

So you may have 1500 likes, but your engagement with them is amazing. So you may say, “Okay, I’m not really worried about growing my likes on my Facebook page, but I wanna reach even more people.” And so looking at those goals, maybe you tapped into Facebook ads a little bit in 2020, but your goal is to really master Facebook ads where you can see that return on investment, “I wanna grow my email list by 200 people in 2021.”

Well, you’re gonna grow that email list by creating really successful Facebook ads, you’re not gonna grow that email list by just posting. So setting those goals and looking at how you can utilize Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and making sure, looking at the kind of, if you’re new to the Facebook ad world, okay, you may be tapped into it or you boosted a post, but you really didn’t get anything from it.

Let’s dive into that a little bit more. What post did you boost, did you create a specific audience? Sometimes we have clients that say, “Oh, I tried the ad thing, it didn’t work for me.” But they have a brick and mortar practice in one city, but their ad is going out to everyone. So if you have a brick and mortar practice, you wanna make sure that you’re only doing a 25-mile radius and you wanna utilize the tools that Facebook provides you to set that target audience, that’s really important to make sure your ad is going to the right people. So setting those goals for your social media is a really important step.

Make sure you’re reaching your target market

So there’s a couple of ways you can do this. Obviously, a lot by trial and error of what platforms you’re posting to and where that engagement is coming from. You can also do a survey. You should have a patient database or an email list, and you can ask them what social media platforms are they a part of, even if you have, like your sign-in sheet at the front desk, add a couple of columns.

Where are you most active on social media? And just have Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn or Twitter, and then ask them. If you have a good relationship with your patients, they already know, like, and trust you, and they want to help you be successful because they’re coming to you for a reason, and hopefully they’re so happy about the results that they have seen with you, that they wanna be able to share your posts and tell their friends and families.

So if you are connecting to them on social media, that’s a great way to create those posts to talk to that target audience. You could also go a step further if you already have a large client database.  When you’re looking at those Facebook ads, you could upload a lookalike audience, so it will target people that have the same similarities as that list already.

If you’re putting all this time into Twitter and you’re putting up three or four tweets a day, and you’re following all these people, but you’re not getting any engagement, that may be a platform that you say, “You know what, this isn’t something that is going to work for us, we need to let Twitter go,” or “We’re only gonna post once per week, and we’re gonna focus our time on these platforms.” So just knowing where your audience is at.

If your audience is women and mothers, you need to be on Pinterest. You need to start creating those Pins, especially if you are an OB/GYN or an Endovascular Center that focuses on uterine fibroid embolization, you need to be on there because that’s where women are going.

Pinterest is a visual search engine, just like Google. The demographics on there are about equal, but women have a little bit higher presence on Pinterest, so if women are your target market, you gotta get on Pinterest and Instagram because that’s really where you’re going to reach them.

Look at your competitors

So you wanna see what are they doing. Facebook came out with page transparency about two years ago.

So if you go to a Facebook page on the right-hand side, it will say page transparency. That allows you to see what ads they have running and how they’ve been doing. You can kind of, in a way, spy on what they’re doing. This really gives you a good foundation of what’s working and what’s not working.

If you are an individual healthcare practice, like a Family Medicine Practice, you may wanna look at the larger hospitals of what they’re doing because that would help give you an idea of the content that they’re putting together, the ads they’re running, and then how you can tailor your own ads to reach your target audience.

So it’s really important that you’re always looking at those competitors, both in-state and out-of-state, nationwide, just so you can see, “Okay, well, we did a similar post, but they had a thousand likes and 15 shares and we didn’t have anything, why is that?” And so it allows you to see how things can be done as well. So that’s number five, looking at competitors.

Create your social media calendar

Once you have done all of these steps, you are now at the place, you have your notes, you’ve looked through everything, you have a good idea of what you wanna do, what you wanna implement, now it’s time to go back to that content calendar and create your social media content calendar for at least, at least the first quarter of 2021.

You are gonna create that, we will put a link to a social media content calendar that we use that you can make a copy of, and you’re going to in there put what networks you’re gonna work on, what resources you’re going to share from, what content ideas that you are going to implement, what videos you need to record, what goals you have? You wanna be able to run this many Facebook ads and put everything together.

So come January 1st, and hopefully, before that, you already have your social media posts written for January. You’ve already looked at what those national observance days are for the health and wellness industries so you know what topics you’re gonna talk about. You’ve already spoken to your doctors, your staff, your patients, and you have set up those times to interview them.

Using Zoom to do an interview call is awesome because you’re allowed to talk, they’re allowed to talk, and you can record that and then upload that directly into YouTube and use it as a social media post or as a blog post. So looking at what videos you want to implement and just having everything in that content calendar.

So come 2021, you are ready to hit the ground running and you are organized, so now, if you just do the first quarter of 2021, come February, you wanna start planning the second quarter, so you’re always about six weeks ahead.

And it’s important too because the industries are always changing, there are always new things coming up, and new news stories, so on your content calendar, you may have a place holder for an article or industry tip, and those are things that are gonna be more in the moment post. You may just schedule those a week in advance. But you wanna know your foundation, you’re gonna be able to know the National Observance days, again, the interviews, you can schedule those out, you can talk about, you put together the topics you wanna talk about, create those images in Canva, find that content that you wanna put with it. So you’re just making sure that you are ready for 2021.

Schedule a free consultation

If you need help putting this social media strategy together, we are here to help you. Head on over to socialspeaknetwork.com, and schedule a free consultation today and we can help walk you through what’s the best steps for your business to start and how we can implement a plan for you. So we are here to help you and we look forward to seeing your social media strategy.

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SEO on Pinterest in 2020

Today, I am going to be talking to you about using Search Engine Optimization strategies in Pinterest marketing. 2020 has created a very interesting landscape for business owners, and this is because we no longer have to stay focused on reaching clients in our local geographic area. Because of telehealth and platforms like Zoom, we can really look and start expanding and reaching people nationwide. Pinterest is a fantastic way to go about doing that because you aren’t necessarily going to reach people within your geographic location. Because of the use of Zoom, clients are used to working with people who really could be anywhere. They’re used to getting information from online, rather than going and sitting down with an individual. So 2020 has really created this landscape where even as a small business who really works with individuals locally, you now can really extend that net a lot wider, and Pinterest creates the perfect opportunity to do search engine optimization and reach the folks who are specifically looking for your product, your services, and your expertise. How Pinterest search algorithm works is it looks at four different top things:

  1. The domain quality
  2. The pin quality
  3. The Pinner quality
  4. The Topic relevance.

Let’s dive into these individually. The first item is domain quality, this is really to ensure that the websites that have pins coming from it are highly ranked in terms of Pinterest, so if you have never pinned before, if you’ve never claimed the website before, anything like that, Pinterest is less likely to show your pins to other users in Pinterest.

So how do you improve your domain quality in the eyes of Pinterest?

How to Increase Domain Quality on Pinterest

Well, the first thing to do is to convert your Pinterest account to a business account. This provides a lot more tools and resources such as the analytics and things like that, so there’s a lot more reason to do this. However, doing this well really just allow you to be more legitimate in the eyes of Pinterest as well. Once you convert your Pinterest account to a business account, you then need to claim your website, so this basically is like adding a verification emblem almost to your website to make sure that Pinterest knows that you are the one who’s actually creating the content on the site and then pinning it. And it’s pretty easy to do, typically, it’s just that HTML file that you load up through your file manager on your website, so you can do this via FTP or just logging into the C-panel of your hosting account, clicking File Manager and then uploading it to the root directory. Click a button on Pinterest, it’ll automatically verify your site.

Claim Website on Pinterest to Increase Pinterest SEO

The next item is, once you claim your website, you then have the opportunity to create Rich Pins, so when you are pinning, make sure that you are creating rich pins. We’ve talked about this in other episodes before, and the process for doing it, but let’s say you’re a dietician or nutritionist and you have posted a recipe on your website. The rich pin, then actually grabs the information from that recipe and showcases it directly on Pinterest. This helps having rich pins and information like this helps your pin to stand apart against others, it also it makes it so that that pin has more engagement in interactions. To increase your domain quality, we also recommend pinning often, so this helps you just create more engaged users, and then also Pinterest does reward people who spend time on their platform.

And then the last thing to increase the domain quality is to pin high quality content. So you want to pin content that will drive people to your website and get more interaction, the more interaction you get, the more Pinterest will recognize your domain. So the second item is the pin quality, so you want to make sure that the quality of your pins is high. The pin quality is really determined by the popularity of your pins and the engagement level of your pins, so you want to make sure when you’re pinning something that you have a nice title, for example, a title that somebody is going to want to click on to learn more, so you can try a lot of different types of titles on there, a lot of different types of image structure on there, but you want to make it so that when somebody sees your pin, they’re probably going to recognize that to you and click the pin because they know that they’re going to find the high quality content on the other side.

Use High-Resolution Photos on Pinterest with Text Overlay

We recommend for these pins to use a high resolution photo to make sure it’s either square or tall, so a two to three ratio is typically good, then use text overlays so that you have the title of the blog post or more compelling the information for why somebody should click it or save it. Then we recommend putting either just text on there that says your website URL or that has your logo on there, and that’s for that brand recognition. And then if you do have some sort of freebie or give away on your site, I also put a little snippet of text about that as well. And so when you do that, you can use variety of different tools. We often use Canva, but there are others out there to create different versions of this pin, and so as you’re pinning all of them, you’ll be able to see which ones are getting more engagement, then start making more that are similar to that.

Pinner Quality to Increase SEO on Pinterest

The next thing is the Pinner quality. Pinterest, again, likes people and accounts that are active on Pinterest, so you wanna make sure that you are active on Pinterest, so we utilize tailwind as a way to make sure that we are pinning and re-pinning other popular pins, and then you also need to create fresh content. On most networks, there’s a variety of different types of users, there are some users that just sit back and launch, there are other users who are creating content, and then there are other users who both create and share content. So that’s the type of user you want to be on Pinterest, and so when you are pinning, you need to make sure that you pin things to correctly categorize boards, and this just shows your audience as well as Pinterest, that you have some sort of strategy and rationale behind the things that you are pinning.

Use Pinterest analytics to determine which pins are trending, then you can create more pins for that blog post, for example, or pin similar pins to it. And so this is something that we highly, highly recommend doing on Pinterest. The next thing is the topic relevance, and so your goal when you are creating a pin should be to have pins that relate to other pins that are being searched for and re-pinned, and then one way to do this is to do a search on Pinterest and see what specific keywords and phrases are coming up, then you can look at pins that are coming up for that. If you find that some of them aren’t really related, that might be a great opportunity to create a blog post and a pin that does directly relate to there.

Increase Your Pinning Topic Relevance on Pinterest

Now, one thing that we recommend doing is having either a similar image, which graphically Pinterest will recognize as being similar, but then also making sure that you’re utilizing the right keywords in your description as well as in the link and the text and everything surrounding the pin, so that Pinterest really sees that your pin is related to that other pin. To find these keywords, again, just make sure that you are utilizing Pinterest search feature and just start typing in items and it will, just like Google’s, it will come up with recommended searches that other people have done and that are popular on the network. Another place to optimize for these keywords is in your business name, your profile, bio, and then also the specific boards and descriptions that you have on Pinterest.

All of these things working together can help you to increase your Pinterest search engine optimization. And because Pinterest is really a visual search engine that we’ve talked about in the past, it can be one of the top, it can quickly turn into one of the top traffic sources for your business as well. So as we close out, I wanted to give just a couple of more ways that you can make your website a little bit more Pinterest-friendly. So after you have claimed your website and enable the Rich Pins on there, make sure every blog post that you write has a variety of different pins loaded into the content and pinnable content, you can then also add a plug and if you’re using WordPress to enable share buttons, so somebody can quickly easily click the Pinterest share button and pin the image.

Consider Adding Prompts in Text to Pin Now and Read Later

You can also even add text near different parts of your content that say something along the lines of “Pin it now for later”, and this is a great way to get other people to pin it because maybe they don’t have time to read a 10,000 word blog post, so by adding these pins within the content, or pictures within the content with “Pin it, save it for later” text report, you’re just reminding people that they can, in fact, click to pin and save the blog post so that they can come back to it later. Additionally, the last thing that I want to also say is, if you have something like an e-commerce store, typically, we always recommend having the product images, the square. Sounds good, right?

If you think in the lens of Pinterest, you might want to actually play around with having those vertical images, so the 2 x 3 ratio, and so these vertical images of your products might potentially help you rank higher on Pinterest, so you have the picture gallery of all the pictures, just try loading them in different size and see if more people start pinning them. This is something that we are starting to play with for our clients who are utilizing Pinterest and have something like a Woo Commerce or Shopify shop.

Thank you so much to tuning in, and I hope that this gives you some insights into how Pinterest can help you drive more traffic to your website, now that 2020 has really opened up the geographic landscape for the people that you can help. I look forward to seeing you next time on The Social Speak Network podcast.