Should You Boost Posts on Facebook?

Should You Boost Posts on Facebook?

What is a boosted post? Why should we pay for our fans to see our posts?

There seems to be a wishy-washy view from the experts as to whether boosted posts work or if you should stay away from them.

In my own experience, boosted posts are a quick and easy way to get the audience to take an action. The key is having a call to action to make the boosted post effective. Some of my clients absolutely dislike boosted posts. Because as the post gains momentum the comments can be negative or attract trolls. Let’s look at boosted posts and why we need to pay so our fans can see the boosted posts. From this article, you should be able to make an informed decision for your business.

Let’s start with what is a boosted post

A boosted post is a post you’ve uploaded to your Facebook fan page.

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How to Stay Relevant as a Writer in the Visual Age

How to Stay Relevant as a Writer in the Visual Age

Scroll through your Facebook feed, and for every link to a long-form article, you will have to pass a healthy handful of viral videos. Are they industry specific? Hardly. Politics, entertainment, entrepreneurship advice, you name it, the verdict is clear: The preferred form is video.

Are they industry specific? Hardly. Politics, entertainment, entrepreneurship advice, you name it, the verdict is clear: The preferred form is video.

Politics, entertainment, entrepreneurship advice, you name it, the verdict is clear: The preferred form is video.

According to a report by Cisco, total internet video traffic (business and consumer, combined) will be 79 percent of all Internet traffic by 2020, up from 63 percent in 2015. But the data points to a larger issue, and one that is scaring one of the longest standing crafts of all time: writing.

However, videos are only part of the equation. The larger shift that is happening is away from reading and more toward visual storytelling, which includes images. Content with images gets 94 percent more views than content without, cited another study. And according to a Citrix report, nearly two-thirds of the posts on social media are visual content.

The Role of the Writer Has Changed

Here’s what’s fascinating: Despite the data telling us that images and video are a consistently rising trend, this is not to say that writing, in itself, is dying—in fact, far from it.

One could say that writing is simply becoming more visual. Those images that get shared so often on social media? One of the most popular image types is quote graphics: images with text layered on top. Or the videos that fill your Facebook news feed? They are paired with banner text acting as headlines, piquing the curiosity of potential viewers.

So even though data shows the human brain processes images at lightning speed—13 milliseconds—and that videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text, this ignores the simple fact that potent messaging is what draws someone in to begin with.

Sure, reading long-form content requires a longer attention span and deeper cognitive efforts, but the act of reading will never disappear, since words are what give us direction. They tell us what we’re about to watch before we watch it. Therefore, the role of the writer isn’t vanishing. It’s evolving. High-performing images and videos are demanding that writing, if anything, challenge itself to be more condensed. Snappier headlines. Quick, meaningful quotes.

The visual age is forcing writers to get to the point.

So, how can writers stay relevant? And more importantly, what does a successful writing style look like in today’s digital world?

The role of the writer isn’t vanishing. It’s evolving.
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1. Know the Rules of Your Medium

Marketers especially, listen up: Since written and visual storytelling has become so intertwined, you have to think of them as two halves to the same coin. The question is not which one to choose, but rather the density of the blend. For example, combining an emotional photo with a powerful quote to create an image graphic is a great mixture for a platform like Instagram. It is not, however, a great fit for a platform like Facebook, since Facebook’s algorithm does not favor posts with more than 20 percent text. It’s a simple example, but a crucial one.

Written and visual elements work together to tell lasting stories. For marketers, then, the question becomes how to properly utilize both based on the medium of choice—and what the users on those platforms are most comfortable engaging with.

In addition, there are plenty of cases when writing absolutely trumps visual storytelling. Some would argue that reading a column or blog is easier than listening to a heavily detailed podcast— learning through reading versus listening.

If you want people to think and learn something particular, consider writing. If you want people to feel, lead with the visual: video or imagery.

2. Let Design Accentuate, or Even Guide, Your Writing

If you look around, writing is everywhere. There truly is no shortage of words. From infographics to websites, landing pages to Facebook ads, the written word is alive and well. It just tends to get overshadowed by trends that hail the power of visual storytelling.

A key part of making your writing stand out, then, is to frame it in the right context. This is where learning to work with designers can be tremendously helpful. By understanding how a designer approaches a piece of content, you too can learn how to shape your writing to fit within those constraints without losing any of its meaning or depth.

The real benefit here, however, is that a single sentence framed by the right design can hold so much more weight in the visual age than an entire essay lost amongst a sea of other copy. Learning to write with the awareness of the context created by design will not only help your writing stand out; it will allow you to reach and impact many more people whose eyes are on the lookout for something visual.

3. Visual Stories Are Still Stories

Along with the changing responsibilities of the modern-day writer comes the acceptance that, sometimes, what you’ve written can be more powerfully told through a video, for example.

Thinking like a screenwriter or a playwright gives you a significant advantage in the digital age. If you can be the writer behind meaningful videos and construct a story worth watching, your value will not be forgotten. In fact, the next time you see a video on the internet, take note of whether or not subtitles are included. Chances are, they’re there.

When a viewer watches a video with subtitles, they are not only feeling the visual but reading the story as well—and the better the story, the more engaged they will be. Since so many people watch videos on their mobile phones, especially when they’re out and about (and may not have access to headphones), subtitles allow them to follow along. If you can write a narrative worth reading, imagine how much more engaged people will be with a coinciding video guiding them through.

The craft of writing is not dying. It is simply evolving as consumer behavior changes.

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4 Tools to Research Competitors on Social Media

Do you want to learn more about your competitors’ social media activity? Looking for tools to help? Competitive research tools let you see at a glance how your social media marketing compares to similar businesses. In this article, you’ll discover four tools for researching your competition on popular social media platforms. #1: Benchmark YouTube Channels

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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Facebook Ads Dynamic Creative, Instagram Visual Backdrops, and YouTube Fan Sponsors

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show with Michael Stelzner, we explore Facebook ad updates with Amanda Bond, Instagram updates with Jeff Sieh, YouTube fan sponsors

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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10 Things that DO NOT (Directly) Affect Your Google Rankings – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

What do the age of your site, your headline H1/H2 preference, bounce rate, and shared hosting all have in common? You might’ve gotten a hint from the title: not a single one of them directly affects your Google rankings. In this rather comforting Whiteboard Friday, Rand lists out ten factors commonly thought to influence your rankings that Google simply doesn’t care about.

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10 Things that do not affect your Google rankings

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

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Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat about things that do not affect your Google rankings.

So it turns out lots of people have this idea that anything and everything that you do with your website or on the web could have an impact. Well, some things have an indirect impact and maybe even a few of these do. I’ll talk through those. But tons and tons of things that you do don’t directly affect your Google rankings. So I’ll try and walk through some of these that I’ve heard or seen questions about, especially in the recent past.

1. The age of your website.

First one, longstanding debate: the age of your website. Does Google care if you registered your site in 1998 or 2008 or 2016? No, they don’t care at all. They only care the degree to which your content actually helps people and that you have links and authority signals and those kinds of things. Granted, it is true there’s correlation going in this direction. If you started a site in 1998 and it’s still going strong today, chances are good that you’ve built up lots of links and authority and equity and all these kinds of signals that Google does care about.

But maybe you’ve just had a very successful first two years, and you only registered your site in 2015, and you’ve built up all those same signals. Google is actually probably going to reward that site even more, because it’s built up the same authority and influence in a very small period of time versus a much longer one.

2. Whether you do or don’t use Google apps and services.

So people worry that, “Oh, wait a minute. Can’t Google sort of monitor what’s going on with my Google Analytics account and see all my data there and AdSense? What if they can look inside Gmail or Google Docs?”

Google, first off, the engineers who work on these products and the engineers who work on search, most of them would quit right that day if they discovered that Google was peering into your Gmail account to discover that you had been buying shady links or that you didn’t look as authoritative as you really were on the web or these kinds of things. So don’t fear the use of these or the decision not to use them will hurt or harm your rankings in Google web search in any way. It won’t.

3. Likes, shares, plus-ones, tweet counts of your web pages.

So you have a Facebook counter on there, and it shows that you have 17,000 shares on that page. Wow, that’s a lot of shares. Does Google care? No, they don’t care at all. In fact, they’re not even looking at that or using it. But what if it turns out that many of those people who shared it on Facebook also did other activities that resulted in lots of browser activity and search activity, click-through activity, increased branding, lower pogo-sticking rates, brand preference for you in the search results, and links? Well, Google does care about a lot of those things. So indirectly, this can have an impact. Directly, no. Should you buy 10,000 Facebook shares? No, you should not.

4. What about raw bounce rate or time on site?

Well, this is sort of an interesting one. Let’s say you have a time on site of two minutes, and you look at your industry averages, your benchmarks, maybe via Google Analytics if you’ve opted in to sharing there, and you see that your industry benchmarks are actually lower than average. Is that going to hurt you in Google web search? Not necessarily. It could be the case that those visitors are coming from elsewhere. It could be the case that you are actually serving up a faster-loading site and you’re getting people to the information that they need more quickly, and so their time on site is slightly lower or maybe even their bounce rate is higher.

But so long as pogo-sticking type of activity, people bouncing back to the search results and choosing a different result because you didn’t actually answer their query, so long as that remains fine, you’re not in trouble here. So raw bounce rate, raw time on site, I wouldn’t worry too much about that.

5. The tech under your site’s hood.

Are you using certain JavaScript libraries like Node or React, one is Facebook, one is Google. If you use Facebook’s, does Google give you a hard time about it? No. Facebook might, due to patent issues, but anyway we won’t worry about that. .NET or what if you’re coding up things in raw HTML still? Just fine. It doesn’t matter. If Google can crawl each of these URLs and see the unique content on there and the content that Google sees and the content visitors see is the same, they don’t care what’s being used under the hood to deliver that to the browser.

6. Having or not having a knowledge panel on the right-hand side of the search results.

Sometimes you get that knowledge panel, and it shows around the web and some information sometimes from Wikipedia. What about site links, where you search for your brand name and you get branded site links? The first few sets of results are all from your own website, and they’re sort of indented. Does that impact your rankings? No, it does not. It doesn’t impact your rankings for any other search query anyway.

It could be that showing up here and it probably is that showing up here means you’re going to get a lot more of these clicks, a higher share of those clicks, and it’s a good thing. But does this impact your rankings for some other totally unbranded query to your site? No, it doesn’t at all. I wouldn’t stress too much. Over time, sites tend to build up site links and knowledge panels as their brands become bigger and as they become better known and as they get more coverage around the web and online and offline. So this is not something to stress about.

7. What about using shared hosting or some of the inexpensive hosting options out there?

Well, directly, this is not going to affect you unless it hurts load speed or up time. If it doesn’t hurt either of those things and they’re just as good as they were before or as they would be if you were paying more or using solo hosting, you’re just fine. Don’t worry about it.

8. Use of defaults that Google already assumes.

So when Google crawls a site, when they come to a site, if you don’t have a robots.txt file, or you have a robots.txt file but it doesn’t include any exclusions, any disallows, or they reach a page and it has no meta robots tag, they’re just going to assume that they get to crawl everything and that they should follow all the links.

Using things like the meta robots “index, follow” or using, on an individual link, a rel=follow inside the href tag, or in your robots.txt file specifying that Google can crawl everything, doesn’t boost anything. They just assume all those things by default. Using them in these places, saying yes, you can do the default thing, doesn’t give you any special benefit. It doesn’t hurt you, but it gives you no benefit. Google just doesn’t care.

9. Characters that you use as separators in your title element.

So the page title element sits in the header of a document, and it could be something like your brand name and then a separator and some words and phrases after it, or the other way around, words and phrases, separator, the brand name. Does it matter if that separator is the pipe bar or a hyphen or a colon or any other special character that you would like to use? No, Google does not care. You don’t need to worry about it. This is a personal preference issue.

Now, maybe you’ve found that one of these characters has a slightly better click-through rate and preference than another one. If you’ve found that, great. We have not seen one broadly on the web. Some people will say they particularly like the pipe over the hyphen. I don’t think it matters too much. I think it’s up to you.

10. What about using headlines and the H1, H2, H3 tags?

Well, I’ve heard this said: If you put your headline inside an H2 rather than an H1, Google will consider it a little less important. No, that is definitely not true. In fact, I’m not even sure the degree to which Google cares at all whether you use H1s or H2s or H3s, or whether they just look at the content and they say, “Well, this one is big and at the top and bold. That must be the headline, and that’s how we’re going to treat it. This one is lower down and smaller. We’re going to say that’s probably a sub-header.”

Whether you use an H5 or an H2 or an H3, that is your CSS on your site and up to you and your designers. It is still best practices in HTML to make sure that the headline, the biggest one is the H1. I would do that for design purposes and for having nice clean HTML and CSS, but I wouldn’t stress about it from Google’s perspective. If your designers tell you, “Hey, we can’t get that headline in H1. We’ve got to use the H2 because of how our style sheets are formatted.” Fine. No big deal. Don’t stress.

Normally on Whiteboard Friday, we would end right here. But today, I’d like to ask. These 10 are only the tip of the iceberg. So if you have others that you’ve seen people say, “Oh, wait a minute, is this a Google ranking factor?” and you think to yourself, “Ah, jeez, no, that’s not a ranking factor,” go ahead and leave them in the comments. We’d love to see them there and chat through and list all the different non-Google ranking factors.

Thanks, everyone. See you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

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Product Evangelism: How to Evangelize and Create Advocates

Want to create an intensely loyal fan base for your product? Wondering how a product evangelist can help? To explore how product evangelism supports the sales process, I interview Guy Kawasaki. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy

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How to Prioritize SEO Tasks [+Worksheet]

Posted by BritneyMuller

“Where should a company start [with SEO]?” asked an attendee after my AMA Conference talk.

As my mind spun into a million different directions and I struggled to form complete sentences, I asked for a more specific website example. A healthy discussion ensued after more direction was provided, but these “Where do I start?” questions occur all the time in digital marketing.

SEOs especially are in a constant state of overwhelmed-ness (is that a word?), but no one likes to talk about this. It’s not comfortable to discuss the thousands of errors that came back after a recent site crawl. It’s not fun to discuss the drop in organic traffic that you can’t explain. It’s not possible to stay on top of every single news update, international change, case study, tool, etc. It’s exhausting and without a strategic plan of attack, you’ll find yourself in the weeds.

I’ve performed strategic SEO now for both clients and in-house marketing teams, and the following five methods have played a critical role in keeping my head above water.

First, I had to source this question on Twitter:

How do you prioritize SEO fixes?
— Britney Muller (@BritneyMuller) September 15, 2017

Here was some of the best feedback from true industry leaders:

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 1.59.39 PM.png

Murat made a solid distinction between working with an SMBs versus a large companies:

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 2.03.26 PM.png

This is sad, but so true (thanks, Jeff!):

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 2.00.16 PM.png

To help you get started, I put together an SEO prioritization worksheet in Google Sheets. Make yourself a copy (File > Make a copy) and go wild!:

Free SEO prioritization workflow sheet

TLDR;

  1. Agree upon & set specific goals
  2. Identify important pages for conversions
  3. Perform a site crawl to uncover technical opportunities
  4. Employ Covey’s time management grid
  5. Provide consistent benchmarks and reports

#1 Start with the end in mind

What is the end goal? You can have multiple goals (both macro and micro), but establishing a specific primary end goal is critical.

The only way to agree upon an end goal is to have a strong understanding of your client’s business. I’ve always relied on these new client questions to help me wrap my head around a new client’s business.

[Please leave a comment if you have other favorite client questions!]

This not only helps you become way more strategic in your efforts, but also shows that you care.

Fun fact: I used to use an alias to sign up for my client’s medical consultations online to see what the process was like. What automated emails did they send after someone made an appointment? What are people required to bring into a consult? What is a consult like? How does a consult make someone feel?

Clients were always disappointed when I arrived for the in-person consult, but happy that my team and I were doing our research!

Goal setting tips:
Measurable

Seems obvious, but it’s essential to stay on track and set benchmarks along the way.

Be specific

Don’t let vague marketing jargon find its way into your goals. Be specific.

Share your goals

A study performed by Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews found that writing down and sharing your goals boosts your chances of achieving them.

Have a stretch goal

“Under-promise and over-deliver” is a great rule of thumb for clients, but setting private stretch goals (nearly impossible to achieve) can actually help you achieve more. Research found that when people set specific, challenging goals it led to higher performance 90% of the time.

#2 Identify important pages for conversions

There are a couple ways you can do this in Google Analytics.

Behavior Flow is a nice visualization for common page paths which deserve your attention, but it doesn’t display specific conversion paths very well.

Behavior flow google analytic report

It’s interesting to click on page destination goals to get a better idea of where people come into that page from and where they abandon it to:

behavior flow page path in google analytics

Reverse Goal Paths are a great way to discover which page funnels are the most successful for conversions and which could use a little more love:

Reverse goal path report in google analytics

If you want to know which pages have the most last-touch assists, create a Custom Report > Flat Table > Dimension: Goal Previous Step – 1 > Metric: Goal Completions > Save

Last touch page report in google analytics

Then you’ll see the raw data for your top last-touch pages:

Top pages report in Google Analytics

Side note: If the Marketing Services page is driving the second most assists, it’s a great idea to see where else on the site you can naturally weave in Marketing Services Page CTAs.

The idea here is to simply get an idea of which page funnels are working, which are not, and take these pages into high consideration when prioritizing SEO opportunities.

If you really want to become a conversion funnel ninja, check out this awesome Google Analytics Conversion Funnel Survival Guide by Kissmetrics.

#3 Crawl your site for issues

While many of us audit parts of a website by hand, we nearly all rely on a site crawl tool (or two) to uncover sneaky technical issues.

Some of my favorites:

I really like Moz Pro, DeepCrawl, and Raven for their automated re-crawling. I’m alerted anytime new issues arise (and they always do). Just last week, I got a Moz Pro email about these new pages that are now redirecting to a 4XX because we moved some Learning Center pages around and missed a few redirects (whoops!):

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 9.33.40 PM.png

An initial website crawl can be incredibly overwhelming and stressful. I get anxiety just thinking about a recent Moz site crawl: 54,995 pages with meta noindex, 60,995 pages without valid canonical, 41,234 without an <h1>… you get the idea. Ermahgerd!! Where do you start?!

This is where a time management grid comes in handy.

#4 Employ Covey’s time management grid

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 12.04.15 PM.png

Time management and prioritization is hard, and many of us fall into “Urgent” traps.

Putting out small, urgent SEO fires might feel effective in the short term, but you’ll often fall into productivity-killing rabbit holes. Don’t neglect the non-urgent important items!

Prioritize and set time aside for those non-urgent yet important tasks, like writing short, helpful, unique, click-enticing title tags for all primary pages.

Here’s an example of some SEO issues that fall into each of the above 4 categories:

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 12.03.55 PM.png

To help prioritize Not Urgent/Important issues for maximum effectiveness here at Moz, I’m scheduling time to address high-volume crawl errors.

Moz.com’s largest issues (highlighted by Moz Pro) are meta noindex. However, most of these are intentional.

Screen Shot 2017-06-16 at 2.41.12 PM.png

You also want to consider prioritizing any issues on the primary page flows that we discovered earlier. You can also sort issues by shallow crawl depth (fewer clicks from homepage, which are often primary pages to focus on):

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 12.44.50 PM.png

#5 Reporting & communication

Consistently reporting your efforts on increasing your client’s bottom line is critical for client longevity.

Develop a custom SEO reporting system that’s aligned with your client’s KPIs for every stage of your campaign. A great place to start is with a basic Google Analytics Custom Report that you can customize further for your client:

While traffic, search visibility, engagement, conversions, etc. get all of the reporting love, don’t forget about the not-so-tangible metrics. Are customers less frustrated navigating the new website? How does the new site navigation make a user feel? This type of monitoring and reporting can also be done through kickass tools like Lucky Orange or Mechanical Turk.

Lastly, reporting is really about communication and understanding people. Most of you have probably had a client who prefers a simple summary paragraph of your report, and that’s ok too.

Hopefully these tips can help you work smarter, not harder.

Image result for biker becomes a rocket gif

Don’t miss your site’s top technical SEO opportunities:

Crawl your site with Moz Pro

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Why You Should Be Using Your Content to Build Social Proof

Why You Should Be Using Your Content to Build Social Proof

Long gone are the days of brands having complete control of the narrative around their products and services. Thanks to the social media revolution, we’ve entered a user-generated content future where consumers are seeking out the opinions of like-minded people to establish whether your brand has the social proof they’re looking for.

According to a 2016 study from Twitter and Annalect, approximately 49 percent of social media users rely on recommendations from influencers to inform their purchasing decisions.

Even more interesting?

Consumers have come to trust the opinions of their peers or other online experts far more than brands—and nearly as much as their friends.

According to the same study, about 40 percent of respondents said they’ve purchased something after seeing an influencer feature it on his or her social pages. Compare that to the measly one percent of millennials who say a compelling ad has influenced a purchasing decision, and it becomes startlingly clear that you need to build social proof to gain loyal customers—and UGC is at the foundation of that strategy.

The Proof Is in the Pudding

I like to think of social proof as driving people to replicate the behavior and lifestyles of those they admire—including how they dress, what they eat, and even where they choose to vacation.

Social proof is not a concept born in the social media age. For example, in the famous 1986 Hair Club commercial, CEO Sy Sperling drove incredible results with a simple line, “I’m not only the Hair Club president. I’m also a client.” Similarly, nightclubs limit entry and make patrons wait in lines outside. The visual of others wanting to get into the club so badly that they line up increases the perception of the venue’s popularity. Make no mistake—this tactic is meant to entice a passerby to check out the club, too.

That said, social media has amplified this effect by delivering intimate snapshots of other people’s lives right into the palms of our hands. Think about it: Social media is the perfect medium for appealing to humans’ inherently tribal side, and this need to belong is critical to the way we share on social platforms. Considering that about a third of all time spent online is dedicated to social media, it’s easy to see the power of social proof.

The need to belong is critical to the way we share on social platforms.
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Building the Proof You Need

Simply put, social proof shows consumers that their peers are buying a brand’s products, so they should as well. But social proof comes in many forms—all considered UGC—from basic reviews to check-ins to pictures to influencers hyping up events. Here are three tips on how you can establish valuable social proof.

1. Release Content Consistently

Social proof has the ability to drive interest and even loyalty by positioning your brand as trusted and preferred in the eyes of your potential and existing customers. Releasing a stream of high-quality content can place you in a virtuous cycle of follower growth—the more you share, the more people see your content, read it, share it, and follow you.

Dunkin’ Donuts, for example, saw Facebook Live as an opportunity to connect and engage with its audience. The first live video gave fans a behind-the-scenes look at its culinary team preparing heart-shaped donuts for the Valentine’s Day Dunkin’ Hearts Love contest. The video garnered thousands of views, comments, and likes in only a few minutes.

Social media platforms provide a forum for entertainment, with users attempting to educate, impress, relate to, or entertain their friends. By providing consistently relevant, interesting content, you can increase your follower count and build valuable social proof.

2. Create Incentives for People to Share

You should release high-quality content about your brand, of course, but if you’re the only one doing so, you’re completely missing the mark of social proof. The goal, after all, is to encourage your audience to leave reviews, share your messaging, invite friends to purchase your products and create their own content about your products.

When generating content with the focus of driving shares, think through the lens of, “Would my audience want to share this?” Is the content funny, emotional, or educational? Does it support a cause or belief? If not, get back to the drawing board.

A great example is John Lewis, a U.K.-based department store, that created online traction this past holiday season. The creation of an ad featuring a lovable dog, Buster the Boxer, jumping on a new trampoline made for social media gold. Nearly two million people shared the touching video because of its lovable character and message.

Incentivize your followers to leave reviews, share your content, and invite friends to purchase your products. The goal should be to increase conversion rates by positioning your brand as well-loved. If you can convince others to trust you because you have evidence that others already do, you can generate a positive perception of your brand.

Social proof isn’t all positive, however, and with the ease of sharing comes the difficult task of crisis management. You don’t have to look far to find some recent examples. The negative posts associated with United Airlines and the Fyre Festival spread like, well, fire (pun intended).

3. Measure Success

About half of customers seek out and engage with UGC before making a purchase, but measuring the amount of social proof your brand has and the true impact on the bottom line can be difficult.

To get an accurate baseline, make a list of your social proof initiatives and quantities. This means taking the time to measure your current performance on each platform, including the product reviews, social media mentions, social media followers by platform, Yelp and Google reviews, and purchases.

After your baseline is set, test growing individual social proof initiatives and measure results. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your platforms. The ultimate goal is to focus on social proof initiatives that drive inbound leads and sales. Look at web traffic, leads, and conversions prior to testing for a baseline, and adjust accordingly. Hypothesize, test, measure, learn, and repeat.

And like any other business model, always keep an eye on the competition. Look at competitors, and benchmark against peers in your industry. There are plenty of tools — like TrackMaven and Brandwatch — that allow you to easily keep an eye on the conversations around you and your competitors.

Social proof might not be a new concept, but utilizing it to your brand’s advantage can be an incredible opportunity. Follow these steps, and let your brand’s biggest fans do what they do best: advocate.

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How to Use MailChimp with Social Media for an Even Bigger Impact

How to Use MailChimp with Social Media for an Even Bigger Impact

E-mail is an important tool for staying in touch with potential customers. By using a 3rd party email service provider, you’ll protect your precious domain name from being blackballed as spam.

MailChimp is my favorite. This popular email provider specializes in working with small businesses. They have a freemium business model. With their free account, you can email up to 2,000 email addresses and send up to 12,000 emails a month. That’s a lot of emails!!!  In addition to sending email, they teach their clients how to use their product with easy to understand articles and videos. With MailChimp, you can engage and keep a loyal customer base.

In 2015, Social Media Examiner released a study about commercial social media effectiveness. The study found that 91% of surveyed businesses believed that social media networks increased brand awareness. Dedicated customers share your Facebook page links with their friends.

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How to Use Facebook Audience Optimization for Better Organic Exposure

Want to increase your Facebook news feed exposure? Looking for a solution that doesn’t involve ads? In this article, you’ll discover how to improve your organic visibility via Facebook’s Audience Optimization feature. Why Use Organic Post Targeting? Facebook gives businesses access to a large global audience, but the platform is becoming increasingly saturated with branded

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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