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Did you know?  Pinterest is the 3rd most popular social network and it has become a huge search engine!  People turn to Pinterest on the daily to:  shop, find information, ideas, educate themselves, organize themselves and so much more.  Once you get to know Pinterest and all that it can provide for you, the love affair begins 😉

To make sure your brand’s content hits the ground running, there are some basics you need to have in place, especially when it comes to graphics.  Pinterest is a highly visual platform.  Understanding the best graphics to use on the site is key to making your account perform its best.

We want to make sure you and your brand look your best on Pinterest, so, we put together this helpful 2018 Pinterest Image Size guide.  Download it, print it out, and keep it handy so you can have these image sizes available at-a-glance!  Download the guide HERE.

Part of being successful on Pinterest requires your ability to be found!  That’s where hashtags (#) come into play.  Once you have an understanding of how to utilize hashtags, you will notice an increase in your Pinterest traffic.

Hashtag Know How!

Here are 3 strategies you can use to get your hashtag game in place for your brand

STRATEGY #1:

Know the number of hashtags you can use one 1 pin.  A recommended rule of thumb is to use no more than 20 hashtags per pin.

STRATEGY #2:

Always use hashtags on the pins you post.  When people search hashtags in the search bar, Pinterest will compile the latest pins chronologically, placing the newest pins at the top of the list. That’s where you want your pins to live.

STRATEGY #3:

Organize a list of hashtags for your brand.  Categorize you hashtags into 3 buckets:

  1. Branded Hashtags:  a list of hashtags that only relate to and describe your brand
  2. Trending Hashtags: a list of trending (popular) hashtags on the topics you post about (these hashtags will frequently change based on the topic and current trends you are posting about)
  3. Content Related:  a list of content related hashtags to use in order to describe the post you are pinning

Best Practices When Selecting Hashtags:

  • Avoid using very broad hashtags, be more specific and try to think like your audience.  What hashtags would they use to find your pin?
  • Don’t be afraid to use hashtag phrases if they help to define your audience even better.  For example, we may use a hashtag phrase like #SocialMediaTraining as a hashtag to reach our audience.
  • Do some research!  When adding a hashtag to a pin on Pinterest, Pinterest will populate a list of suggested hashtags.  Next the hashtag, you will see how many pins are using the hashtag you are considering.  If the number is HUGE, your pin may get lost in the shuffle.  Try to determine how you can make your pin more niche with a more specific hashtag or hashtag phrase.

When working with Pinterest, our best advice is for you to get started, have fun, and experiment with different ideas, strategies, and tactics.  Happy pinning!

Is 2018 your year to tackle social media and create campaigns that your business benefits from it?  If you answered YES!, this blog post is for you!  We will review common mistakes businesses make as they craft social media campaigns, tips to use as you are defining your goals, and 5 measurable goals you can use to determine whether or not your social media campaigns are effective.

A Common Mistake Businesses Make…

Jumping into social media without identifying goals or measuring successes is a common mistake many businesses make and it leads to a very frustrating social media experience.  Many who jump into social media for business without a goal or without a plan tend to throw up their hands and give up stating that they threw away their money and social media just doesn’t work!  Don’t let this happen to you!  Read on…In this article, we will explore 5 of the most common goals people measure when using social media.  

“What gets measured, it what gets done”

Measurement is the key to anything you do!  If you can measure your social media progress and outcome, you will know the strategies and tactics to put in place

Here are some tips and things to think about before setting goals for your social media campaigns:

  • Make sure your social media campaign goals are in line with your overall business goals
  • Select different goals for different social platforms – not all platforms will yield the same results
  • Select goals that make sense for the social media platform you are using
  • Choose goals that are measurable
  • Track your progress

What Should Your Goals Be For Social Media?

5 sound goals you should set and strive and how to measure them are listed below:

  1. Brand Awareness – Brand awareness can be measured in terms of:
    1. Fan followers.  Create a stair-step approach when it comes to tracking brand awareness.  A common goal to start with is to gain your first 100 followers and build from there.
    2. Reach – how many people did your message reach (a popular Facebook statistic)
    3. Mentions – how many times is your brand tagged or talked about in other social media posts
    4. Shares – how many times were your posts shared
  2. Website Traffic – Make sure your web designer has installed Google Analytics on your website.  This will help you track how much traffic is coming from social media platforms and channels.  Monitor the progress on a consistent basis and set goals based on the traffic trends you see.
  3. Website Loyalty – How loyal are your customers?  Do they review what you are talking about on social media and then click through to your website to get more?  Google Analytics can help you measure repeat visitors.
  4. Brand Engagement – This is a popular social media result that many measure.  Based on the comments, likes, and interactions your brand receives you will be able to understand how your brand is perceived, the level of brand loyalty your company has, and the community your brand is building.
  5. Conversions – How many people saw your social media posts and then converted into paying customers.  Again, this will be measured by Google Analytics, letting you know how many sales were a result of your social media campaigns.

There are many more things you can measure through social media.  It all depends on why you are there.  It could be anything from “How many times did my phone ring?” to “How many people clicked through to my lead generation form?”  Take the time to really think about why you want to be on social media.  Once you determine why you want to be there, build your campaigns around the reason.

Need help tracking your results?  Download our tracker by clicking HERE.

It goes without saying that apps are a Social Media Manager’s BFF!  They help us plan, analyze, stay creative, efficient, productive, curate content and SO MUCH MORE!  One thing is for sure, we couldn’t survive without them!

When challenged to share our favorite 5, it was tough to choose!  There are so many quality apps available today and new ones are emerging every day!  Below are 5 of our favorite go-to apps that you will want to get your hands on right away!  To grab these apps, head over to your devices app store to snag them.

Get Creative with These Apps

As a Social Media Manager or anyone who manages a brand’s social content, you need to be creative.  One of the goals of the content you post is to “Stop The Scroll”.  This requires interesting and engaging posts.

  1.  Adobe Spark Post!

Why We Love It:  

This app is great for creating anything from a social media post graphic to posters, and custom sizes.  Not only does this app have loads of size options available, its library of free stock photos is HUGE!  Not only does Adobe Spark Post make amazing images, it also animates images.  Fun Alert!  Once you start with Spark, you may not be able to stop!

  1.  Animoto

Do you have a bunch of pictures that tell a story about your brand, service or product?  Let’s face it, sometimes static images just won’t do the job.  Our solution…Animoto!  Animoto is a great resource for turning images into animated video.  Not only does it create a great video but it also has amazing stock music to help you hit the right vibe.

  1. Typorama

A good Social Media Manager knows that you can’t just have one resource for creating social media graphics.  If you only use one tool, your posts become predictable, and, well…boring.  To create a wide variety of post types, you need to have a wide variety of apps.  We love Typorama because it has a large selection of font styles you can use for your graphic posts.  

Pro Tip:  Check you Typorama’s sister app, Videorama.  This is a super cool app that has a large selection of stock video for you to use.  Get creative with Videorama by adding text overlays, music, and filters to your videos.

 

Get efficient and save time with these apps.

4 & 5.  Yes, we said “these”.  

There are two time-saving apps we adore which wouldn’t allow us to choose just one.  Here’s why…Social Media Managers are a busy lot!  We are always creating content, posting and tracking the engagement of our posts.  In order to be effective at all of those things simultaneously, we need a tool to help us.  

So, numbers 4 & 5 on our list are Buffer and Hootsuite.  Both of these apps have web-based and mobile device platforms which are designed to help you schedule the posts you create.  

We love Buffer for its ease of use when it comes to scheduling posts on multiple accounts.  Hootsuite rocks when it comes to monitoring the social conversation surrounding your posts.  Both have similar functions.  We encourage you to dive into each to decide which is the best fit for you or maybe it is a combination of the two!

Honorable Mentions

Yup!  It was hard to pick just 5 favorites.  We couldn’t leave these out because they help to keep your posts and feeds uber interesting!  Make sure you check out:

  • Boomerang for repetitive, looped animation.  Try it once and you’ll be hooked!
  • Ripl – Great for animated video
  • Hyperlapse – Speed up a long video using this time-lapsed video app. Great for instructional type videos
  • Vont – Edit and trim videos right on your smartphone with this easy to use video editor

Pro Tip:  One of the best things you can do for your social media accounts is to keep them fresh and exciting.  Take the time to get to know new and different apps to help you achieve this.

Have fun and stay social!

 

Core Values, Why They Are Important To Your Business

What Are Core Values?

Core values are a set of standards for your business that everyone involved in your business must use in order to deliver the best possible product or service.

Core values force you to raise the bar and set the standard, the tone, and the cadence of your business.  Make sure you are doing what you can to set the right standards for your business to get the outcome you are looking for.

This video will help you establish core values for your business.

How can you get the most out of Twitter for your business?  We get that question A LOT!  Twitter can be confusing and some may be stumped on how to use Twitter.  When getting started with Twitter, it’s best to take baby steps and then grow from there.  Once you get your feet wet and splash around a little you can’t help but take a swim in the deep end.

Starting Out…

When first with Twitter, use it for two things:

  1. Gather information
  2. Share information

Gathering Information:

Twitter can be extremely valuable for gathering information on a number of topics.  To do this effectively you will want to follow these steps:

  • Follow credible sources who deliver valuable content about the topic you are interested in.  Topics can range anywhere from sports scores, business trends, world news, marketing tactics, etc.
  • As you identify the sources you want to follow, add them to lists in order to sort the feeds by category or topic.  Using lists will help you keep all of the topics you want to follow organized
  • To create a list, follow these steps:
    • Visit your “Lists” section of Twitter by clicking the gear icon drop-down menu or by clicking Lists on your profile page.
    • Click Create List.
    • Name the List & create a description.
    • Mark the List as Public or Private.
    • Save the List.
  • Now that you have your list created, you can easily add sources to the list by:
    • Click on a Twitter user’s profile
    • Click on the person icon drop-down menu on the profile.
    • Choose add or remove from Lists.
    • Choose the List you would like to add the person to or uncheck the List the person was already a member of.
  • Add as many people to your various lists as you would like
  • Check your lists often to get the latest news from your trusted sources

Sharing Information:

Twitter is a great way for you to position yourself as an authority on a certain topic, field or industry.  The trick is to share “tweet-able” information, share it often and on a consistent basis.  A good rule of thumb is to share 21-70 Tweets a week.  That is a minimum of 3 Tweets a day or a maximum of 10 Tweets.  It seems like a lot, but there are a couple of things to remember:  

  1. You are Tweeting sound bites of information that link back to a bigger story (your website, blog, landing page, or another social platform that has more detailed info).
  2. There is only room to Tweet up to 280 characters which is not a very large amount of content.
  3. If you do not maintain a constant flow of information, a single message will get lost in the Twitter-sphere minimizing your opportunity to be found by others.

So What’s “Tweetable?”

We are glad you asked!  Below is a list of some generic ideas to get you started:

  • Industry trends
  • Tips
  • Events
  • Statistics
  • Recommendations
  • Best tools for your industry
  • Links to your blog post
  • Pose questions (this is a great way to encourage engagement)
  • Attention-grabbing graphics
  • Video
  • Quote
  • Poll
  • Follow appreciation post
  • Short and sweet “how-to”
  • Data
  • Something funny

Now that you get the idea of what types of things you should post, it’s time to put a plan into action.  An efficient way of releasing multiple Tweets a day is to use a bulk scheduler like Hootsuite or Buffer.  Visit this blog post to get more information about bulk schedulers.

Happy Tweeting!

You know the old adage “A picture’s worth a thousand words”, well, that holds true on social media too! The best image with the wrong dimensions can completely derail your plan for the perfect post and kill your quest to go viral.

Make note of these image sizes to ensure you are putting your BEST foot forward on Twitter:

Header/Banner Image:
This is the image that runs across the top of your Twitter profile.

For best results aim for an image that is:

  • 1500 x 500 pixels
  • A recommended file size of 10 MB
  • File format JPG, GIF, or PNG

Profile Picture:
Your profile picture is the square image that sits on the left, bottom side of your header photo.

For best results aim for an image that is:

  • 400 x 400 pixels
  • A recommended file size of 100 KB
  • File format JPG, GIF, or PNG

In-Stream/Newsfeed Image:
This is the image that accompanies your “tweet”.

For best results aim for an image that is:

  • Minimum to appear expanded 440 x 220 pixels
  • Maximum to appear 1024 x 512 pixels
  • Appears in news feed collapsed at 506 x 253 pixels
  • Maximum file size of 5 MB for pictures and 3 MB for animated GIFs

Happy tweeting!

Have you ever seen a business or someone who seems to be able to churn out social media content effortlessly?  You know the the type!  They’re the ones who seem to have a newsworthy tweet on Twitter, an amazing image with the perfect caption on Instagram, a super-cool infographic on Pinterest and an ultra-engaging post on Facebook…on the daily!  How can they possibly do it all AND do their job?

Let’s face it, writing, creating, organizing, graphic design, and scheduling social media posts can be a DAUNTING task.  The good news is, it doesn’t have to be!  As a matter of fact, we know the secret to becoming super-human when it comes to social media.

What’s the secret to effective social media marketing?  A good plan and a collection of APPS to help you get the job done!

3 Apps We Can’t Live Without!

To stay on top of our social media to-do list, we rely on certain apps that we access daily.  After you take them for a spin, we think you will understand why we believe they are the best for helping to create and manage social media efforts efficiently and effectively:

  • Create amazing graphics with Typorama
  • Bulk schedule your social media posts with Hootsuite
  • Stay on top of Facebook engagement with Facebook Pages Manager

Enjoy!

In the social media world, one of your biggest allies are mobile applications or “Apps” for short.  They can help you manage your social channels and accounts on the go so you are not chained to your desk and chair all day, every day.  Not only do “mobile” apps help you stay mobile, but, they also help you to create systems, be creative, manage workflow and, they help you to easily adjust and pivot when your business demands it.  Once you begin using apps, you may, well, become addicted!  The power of conducting business from your smartphone or mobile device is truly liberating!

In this blog post, we will explore 3 types of apps you will need to be successful on Social Media:

  1. Creative Graphics Apps – Create professional apps that help to capture attention
  2. Scheduling Apps – Schedule social media posts ahead of time so you aren’t spending valuable time posting to social media when you should be working on your business.
  3. Never miss a Facebook Notification Again

BONUS TIP/APP:  Facebook Response Assistant.  Learn how to automatically respond to people who message your Facebook Business Page.

Intrigued how you can accomplish all of this and start saving a ton of time?  Read on!

Creative Graphics Apps:

These, by far, are a favorite of the Social Speak Team!  A good graphics app can make you look like a rockstar on social media.  Many of the apps we use have FREE versions which are very robust.  In most cases, for just a few extra dollars you can open up premium features to further your rockstar status.

Here are 3 of our favs that you should start using today!

  1. WordSwag (available in the App Store & Google Play Store) – Add text overlays to professional grade images from their image library or to your own photo library
  2. Typorama (available in the App Store) – Add text overlays to professional grade images from their image library or to your own photo library
  3. Adobe Spark (available in the App Store and on your desktop) – Add text overlays to professional grade images from their image library or to your own photo library, create collages, posters, animated images and so much more!

Scheduling Apps:

Save yourself time, become more productive and stay on top of what is happening on multiple social media channels with two of our favorite scheduling apps:

Hootsuite:  FREE & Paid versions available

Check out these 4 things you can do with Hootsuite:

  • Schedule Content
  • Content Curation
  • Analytics
  • Social Monitoring

Buffer:  Manage and schedule all of your social media accounts from this one app!  Pick the most popular times to schedule your posts to ensure the best results.

Both of these apps are effective from your mobile device and your desktop computer.  Regain control of your work schedule with these apps.  Elect to use either the free or paid version of both of these apps.

Facebook Notifications:

Don’t you hate it when you miss a Facebook like, comment or share or on your business page?  We do!  We want to consistently stay engaged with our brand followers and fans.  The best way to do this is to know when a post receives engagement or when you get a message to your page and respond immediately.

The good news, there is a way to accomplish this!  Facebook page manager.  This free mobile app will alert you every time someone likes, comments or engages with your business page.  You can also access page analytics and see other types of “back office” functions through this handy little app such as:

  • Messages
  • Reviews
  • Check-ins (if you are a brick and mortar)
  • Shares
  • New Likes
  • Followers
  • Manage scheduled posts
  • Manage page settings
  • AND SO MUCH MORE!

Download the app and tap on all the icons to reveal what’s available.  Do be afraid of “tapping,” you cannot break anything.  

Check out the image below to discover what the various Facebook Pages Manager functionalities/icons are:

BONUS TIP:

One of the most important things you can do when managing social media is to be responsive.  An easy and effective way to check this box is to turn on your

Steps to get there:

  • Click on “Settings” in the upper right corner of your Business page
  • Click on the second option in the left-hand panel called “Messaging”
  • Scroll to “Response Assistant”
  • Turn this option “ON”
  • Customize your outgoing message.  Consider adding your phone number to this message, prompting people to call you.

All of the apps we shared with you today are very helpful to managing your social media accounts successfully.  Let us know how you were able to implement them in your business by leaving us a comment.

This is updated from a post on Oct 26, 2010.

One of the most important parts of being active in the social media world is taking responsibility for your Facebook, Twitter, and any other internet marketing outlets you have. When we put our posts out and we like other peoples posts that is a good start to taking responsibility. When we send out Newsletters or email marketing campaigns we want other people to read them right?

Well it is a two sided road; I mean we all have to put in our efforts to read other peoples stuff as well. My tip for that is picking your inner circle of people and people you have made a power partner and start by reading their newsletters and/or emails. The same thing goes with our social media posts. We want people reading our post, tweets, events, questions etc. also emailing us wanting to work with us or learn more about what we do. We have to do that with others. The one thing I always say about social media is it brings people, communities, and companies together all over the world.

So how do we do that? It is easy . . . we put together a weekly schedule and then we implement it into our routine just like checking emails, and making calls.

Monday- Using www.Hootsuite.com schedule your posts to go out onto your Facebook personal page, Facebook business page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Ping.fm. Using my post before this one to help first create your strategy so you know what you need to post on your social media profiles and when. (Schedule an hour and a half to start)

Tuesday- Login to Facebook and add 10 people into your business list, research these people. Find people that have common interest or maybe looking for your services and put them into the business list you created. Then get onto Twitter or Twellow and search for your Keywords or location. You can search for people using keywords or type in keywords people would use to find YOU and add 50 people. (Schedule about 45 min to start, once you get the hang of it you can probably get it done in 30 min)

Wednesday– Spend some time on LinkedIn checking emails and finding people you may know and ask them to connect with you. (Schedule 45 min)

Thursday- Login to Facebook and add 10 people into your business list, research these people. Find people that have common interest or maybe looking for your services and put them into the business list you created. Then get onto Twitter or Twellow and search for your Keywords or location. You can search for people using keywords or type in keywords people would use to find YOU and add 50 people. (Schedule about 45 min to start, once you get the hang of it you can probably get it done in 30 min)

Friday – Repeat what you have done Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We are going to add another step into today, Once you are done adding people on Facebook and Twitter you want to go back to Facebook and go to your page, under your logo you will find a tab that says “Suggest to Friends” Click on that and then click the drop down tab to your list you made once that list pulls up on the top right hand side it will say “Select All” hit that and then send invitations. What this is doing is asking all the people you have been adding as friends to become a fan of your page!

Now this is what I do and share with people you are more than welcome to move it around however it works for you. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions of things that have helped you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Putting together a weekly social media schedule: ne of the most important parts of being active in the social media world is taking responsibility for your Facebook, Twitter, and any other internet marketing outlets you have. When we put our posts out and we like other peoples posts that is a good start to taking responsibility. When we send out Newsletters or email marketing campaigns we want other people to read them right?