Social Media

How to Visually Brand Your Facebook Posts and LIGHT UP the News Feed

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Dialing in the branding on your Facebook posts can pay off big time. And there’s way more to your brand than just a logo! The right visual branding helps your content stand out & look more familiar to your audience. How do you develop strong visual branding for your Facebook posts? Start with these 5 things: Establish your brand’s personality & voice Define your color palette Choose fonts for your company Create brand templates Create your brand’s photo filter effects Let’s break each of these down. How to Visually Brand Your Facebook Posts and LIGHT UP the News Feed 1. Establish Your Brand’s Personality Your brand consists of everything that people associate with your company — including the the way you make them feel. Your company’s social media branding must convey your: philosophy culture personality what you do best And defining a voice for your brand won’t take long. Think of your brand as a good friend with a distinct personality. So what’s your brand’s personality? How would you describe your brand to a friend? Would it be one of these 4 personality types? 2. Define Your Color Palette Once you’ve determined your brand’s personality, you’ll need to decide on your color palette. These are the colors you use on all your brand assets: your website blog social media posts stationery At Canva, we chose a set of warm pastel colors to represent our brand. What colors suit your company? For guidance, let’s take another look at our friends: 3. Choose Your Fonts Like your color palette, your font should reflect your brand personality. If you’re wondering which font to use on your page, here are some great designs that match our 4 brand personalities: 4. Use Brand Filters We’ve all heard about brand color palettes & fonts, but did you know there’s another way to improve your brand recognition? Yes, photo filters! Establishing a consistent “look” for all your brand images is a great way to make your business page stand out on Facebook. Canva just released a simple photo filter tool that lets you create your own brand filter. Check out these cool options: 5. Create Kick-Ass Brand Templates You will build a stronger theme for your page & boost your brand recognition by creating templates for: quotes announcements sale products promotions competitions any other campaigns By including a small logo or watermark, people will know how to find you even if the post is taken out of context & posted elsewhere on the web. Conclusion By applying the principles of visual branding to your Facebook posts, you will convey your brand’s personality more precisely & consistently. The key to social media is building relationships, right? Making your posts more visually striking & familiar to your followers will make your posts shine as bright signals in the din of news feed noise. Have you tried any of these branding techniques on your social media pages? Share your tips or examples below. The post How to Visually Brand Your Facebook Posts and LIGHT UP the News Feed appeared first on Post Planner.

How to Find Viral Photos from Forbes’ Top 50 Social Media Influencers

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I’ve written before about the Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers — and how to get on that list. People on the list post awesome content & get tons of engagement from followers. But what if I want to see the most viral photos these influencers have shared on their Facebook pages? Is there an easy way to do this? Turns out there is… NOW. >>> Tweet This! <<< Yep, I’d use Post Planner’s new photo finder. The tool makes it easy to find viral photos on any Facebook page. To try it, go to your Post Planner app & click the Photos box on the right: How to Find the Most Viral Photos from Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers Once you get to your app and click on “Photos”, you’ll see 5 default folders: Awesome Quotes Engaging Photos Funny Photos Crazy Photos Beautiful Photos We added these just to get you started with some highly shareable photos from some great pages. But I also created my own custom folder named “Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers”. And the cool thing is you can add MY folder to YOUR Post Planner app. To do so, just click “Find more Photo Feeds”: “Feeds” & “Fan Pages” are selected by default. Change the setting to “Folders” to find my social media influencers folder: Once you do that, your folders list should look something like this: Red means I’ve already added the item to my personal library of feeds. For you, the “Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers” folder will likely appear in black. The “48″ you see in the above screenshot is the number of people who have added this folder to their Post Planner app — as a source of content for their Facebook page. Click “Add” and the folder will be accessible from the Photos box on your app — as shown below: To see all the photos these influencers share on their Facebook pages, click the folder name & watch photos load on the left. I can’t provide a screenshot of all these photos, but you should see something like this: You’ll have the option to choose “Most Recent”, “Most Popular” or “Most Viral”. What does “Most Viral” mean? Here are the definitions: Most Recent — these are the most recent photos Most Popular — these are the photos with the most Likes, comments & shares Most Viral – these photos are ranked based on the number of shares in relation to the number of fans The “Most Popular” and “Most Viral” photos are most important because viewing those lets you see images that got lots of Likes & shares. These photos may bring a similar response from your fans if you post them on your Facebook page. This image from Sandi Krakowski is the most viral photo posted by any social influencer on the list. I found it by clicking the bubble marked “Most Viral”: >>> Click to Tweet <<< To use Post Planner to share this photo on your Facebook page or profile, just click the green “Share This Photo” button. The photo is added to your publisher: I now have 2 options for sharing the image: Share as Sandi Krakowski’s photo (which displays on Facebook as a shared link from the original source) Post as a Timeline Photo (which uploads the image directly to my Timeline) It’s up to you. And both options have merit. Posting it as a Timeline photo will automatically generate a short link leading back to the source of the photo — so credit IS given where credit is due: Next, enter the text you would like published with the photo. Then schedule a time to post the image. Or just post it now. View Individual Pages in the Folder You can also view individual pages in the folder, to see each person’s most viral image. For example, the most viral photo on Boom Social with Kim Garst was this image from about 3 months ago: This was a holiday-themed post, so it doesn’t make sense to share it at the end of March. But scroll down & you’ll find that Kim’s second-most viral photo could be shared on any page — at pretty much any time: >>> Click to Tweet <<< Power of Sharing Viral Photos You’re realizing now that sharing viral photos from others can be a powerful way to boost fan engagement on your Facebook page — and also network with some of the most influential people in your industry. >>> Tweet this Fact! <<< These photos already got big results, and chances are your fans will respond in similar ways. Bonus tip! Here’s one last piece of advice for using Post Planner’s new photo finder: Click the photo in Post Planner & you’ll be taken to a new tab to view the original Facebook post — which makes it easy to read the comments Woohoo! There are so many ways to use the photo finder. How do you see your page taking advantage of this valuable new tool? The post How to Find Viral Photos from Forbes’ Top 50 Social Media Influencers appeared first on Post Planner.

Double Your Number of LinkedIn Connections in Just 5 Minutes per Day

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Have you been ignoring LinkedIn? Let me guess… your Facebook page is smokin’ & your Twitter is going pretty well too. You’re even taking advantage of all that Google+ has to offer — Hangouts, Circles and all the rest. But what about LinkedIn? With 225 million users, LinkedIn is the largest professional social network in the world, according to a new WhoIsHostingThis? infographic. The communication style may not be what you’re used to on websites like Facebook & Twitter, but there are lots of ways to use Linkedin to: get noticed make new connections become an influential player in your niche This infographic has 6 easy LinkedIn strategies you can start using today. Double Your Number of LinkedIn Connections in Just 5 Minutes per Day Be Active Only about a third of LinkedIn members log in every day. Here are some tips for boosting your activity on LinkedIn: Update your status every day Comment on updates from companies you follow Share updates from your connections Send an invite for a new connection at least once a day Make it Personal Always include a personalized greeting when you send a connection request. Here’s how to write a genuine message that will catch someone’s attention: Describe yourself as you would in person Tell them why you admire their work Keep it short Avoid cliches Reach Out LinkedIn’s alumni search feature helps you find connections from high school & college. Other ways to reach out on LinkedIn include: Making it easy for people to contact you Joining LinkedIn groups in your niche 81% of LinkedIn members belong to at least on group. Be Smart Use your updates to get your network to engage. When posting, make sure you: Share content that is relevant to your niche & industry Ask questions when you share an article or blog post to get your connections to respond Endorse People You Know An endorsement is a great way to show someone you respect & value their skills. Here are some endorsement best practices: Endorse others without expecting an endorsement in return Endorse people you know for skills you admire Thank those who endorse you Promote Your LinkedIn Profile Tell people about your LinkedIn profile — online & off. Post your profile: on your store window in your marketing materials on your business card in promotional materials at events The post Double Your Number of LinkedIn Connections in Just 5 Minutes per Day appeared first on Post Planner.

The #1 Most Viral Facebook Photo Posted by 25 Top Social Media Experts

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The top minds in social media marketing are converging on San Diego this week for Social Media Marketing World 2014.  Many of the conference speakers are doing great things on Facebook — including posting photos that get tons of shares! I thought it would be cool to put their photos to the test. So I used Post Planner’s new Viral Photos tool to pinpoint the #1 most viral photo posted by each of their pages. These #1 photos received a wide range of fan engagement. Some were shared thousands of times, while others were shared just a handful. The winners were: Kim Garst’s News’ Years meme (13,204 shares) Steve Spangler’s “pun-ny” wildlife image (8,137 shares) Mari Smith’s post about hashtag privacy (1,282 shares) The content of the photos ranges from promo images advertising webinars & podcast guests to inspiring quotes & messages. And some were just plain silly. So read this post if you plan to attend the conference this week. I can’t think of a better way to strike up a conversation with Mari Smith, Jay Baer or Ian Cleary than by discussing the most popular photo on their Facebook pages. The #1 Most Viral Facebook Photo Posted by 25 Social Media Experts 1. Brian Clark, Copyblogger >> Click to Tweet // Post by Copyblogger. 2. Amy Porterfield, AmyPorterfield.com >> Click to Tweet // Post by Amy Porterfield. 3. John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing >> Click to Tweet // Post by Duct Tape Marketing. 4. Mari Smith, MariSmith.com >> Click to Tweet // Post by Mari Smith. 5. Andrea Vahl, Grandma Mary – Social Media Edutainer >> Click to Tweet // Post by Grandma Mary – Social Media Edutainer. 6. Jon Loomer, Jon Loomer Digital >> Click to Tweet // Post by Jon Loomer Digital. 7. Jay Baer, Convince & Convert >> Click to Tweet // Post by Convince & Convert. 8. Kim Garst, Boom Social with Kim Garst >> Click to Tweet // Post by Boom Social with Kim Garst. 9. Pam Moore, Marketing Nutz // Post by Pam Moore @PamMktgNut. 10. Viveka von Rosen, Linked Into Business // Post by LinkedIn and Twitter Social Media Training and Strategies. 11. Ian Cleary, RazorSocial >> Click to Tweet // Post by RazorSocial. 12. Michael Hyatt, MichaelHyatt.com >> Click to Tweet // Post by Michael Hyatt. 13. Laura Fitton, Hubspot Inbound Marketing Evangelist // Post by Laura Pistachio Fitton. 14. Joel Comm, JoelComm.com >> Click to Tweet // Post by Joel Comm. 15. Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute >> Click to Tweet // Post by Content Marketing Institute. 16. Pat Flynn, Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn >> Click to Tweet // Post by Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn. 17. Simon Mainwaring, We First // Post by We First. 18. Bryan Kramer, BryanKramer.com // Post by Bryan Kramer. 19. Steve Spangler, Steve Spangler Science >> Click to Tweet // Post by Steve Spangler. 20. Neal Schaffer, Maximize Social Business >> Click to Tweet // Post by Maximize Social Business. 21. Cynthia Sanchez, Oh So Pinteresting >> Click to Tweet // Post by Oh So Pinteresting. 22. John Lee Dumas, Entrepreneur On Fire >> Click to Tweet // Post by EntrepreneurOnFire.com. 23. Lewis Howes, LewisHowes.com >> Click to Tweet // Post by Lewis Howes. 24. James Wedmore, JamesWedmore.com >> Click to Tweet // Post by James Wedmore. 25. Aaron Kahlow, Online Marketing Institute >> Click to Tweet // Post by Online Marketing Institute. Want to see more? Each of the 25 photos above is #1 most viral photo on that expert’s page. Would you like to see the 2nd most viral for each page?… and the 3rd?… and the 4th? No problem.  You can access & sort all their photos in a couple clicks with Post Planner. Just head to the app here: https://apps.facebook.com/postplanner Then do the following: Click “Photos” Click “Find more Photo Feeds” Choose “Folders” Search for the folder “SMMW14 Speakers” Click “Add” Then click on the folder & sort by “Most Viral” Like this: Booyah! What do you think? Why do you think the photos above got so many shares? Let me know in the comments below. The post The #1 Most Viral Facebook Photo Posted by 25 Top Social Media Experts appeared first on Post Planner.

[BREAKING] Facebook News Feed Bug Could Be Costing $Millions in Lost Revenue!

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** The following post contains a short rant about a current Facebook bug I’m experiencing — a bug that could be KILLING your bottom line! ** It’s been a tough week. Why? Because my Facebook homepage (including my news feed) has been completely blank since last Monday (March 17). Here’s what it looks like: See anything missing? Pretty much everything, right?! And I’m getting REALLY frustrated! This makes it so I cannot access interest lists or Facebook groups. Notifications only load when I’m on my personal Timeline — and they load very slowly. Yes, I’ve cleared my cache, cookies, etc. I’ve also tried loading it in different browsers on different computers — and got the same results. The ticker does appear when I zoom to 175%: But I have to visit Timelines directly to respond to posts from friends — or use the Facebook mobile app on my smartphone, which I’m not a fan of. Facebook News Feed Bug Makes it Tough to Work My duties as Post Planner‘s ambassador of awesomeness involve talking to people on Facebook. And most of that communication happens on my news feed — where I comment on posts from the people & pages I follow. But this bug makes this critical communication nearly impossible. And I’m not the only Facebook user having problems. Mike Gingerich, of TabSite, reports similar issues: Mike has the most recent version of the Facebook news feed. My page has an older feed. Apparently, this bug can impact anyone. Since Mike & I are both experiencing problems, let me break down some possible impacts: I have 597 friends. Counting myself & Mike, that means 2 out of 598 people are experiencing this issue — about 0.3344%. If that percentage held true across the website, of Facebook’s 1.3 billion users, more than 4.3 million might be experiencing the blackout. Average users see about 1,500 news feed stories per day, which means more than 6.5 billion stories may not be getting viewed. Wow! Lost Revenue If 4 million people aren’t seeing posts in their news feed, Facebook may be concerned about how this bug might impact advertising revenue. That’s millions of eyes not seeing Sponsored Stories & other ads. That’s like hiding Facebook from San Diego, Houston & Washington, D.C. — combined! The lost revenue could be huge. I Reported the Bug to Facebook I reported the bug to Facebook, but I’m skeptical I’ll get a reply. And finding bugs or other “known issues” in Facebook’s Help Center is not exactly easy. Here’s how to report a Facebook bug: I accessed “Report a Problem” in my settings (via the gear icon). Why the Bug Should Concern Page Managers Social media managers SHOULD be concerned about the bug since it could mean a drop in Reach, Likes, comments & shares on posts. If fans can’t see your status updates — they can’t engage! And fan engagement is key for getting more people to see your posts. Don’t expect fans to visit your Timeline to view updates — it ain’t gonna happen! If there is good news here, it might be that most Facebook users are viewing the social network on mobile devices — and the issue doesn’t seem to be affecting them. But there are fewer Facebook ads on mobile, and I’d guess mobile users are less likely to make purchases than those using a desktop computer. What about you? Have you got the bug? If so, tell me about your experience in the comments below. Even better, post a screenshot of your page. How might the bug impact Facebook pages moving forward? **Update: As of 10am March 26th my home page (sidebars and news feed) seem to be working again, as well as Facebook groups. Maybe writing this post got someone to fix the darn bug!! The post [BREAKING] Facebook News Feed Bug Could Be Costing $Millions in Lost Revenue! appeared first on Post Planner.

What to Post on Facebook When You Don’t Know What to Post

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Posting consistently on Facebook & other social media websites isn’t easy. Where do you find content? What should you share? Does certain content perform better on certain platforms? How do you know? To answer these questions, here are some social media tips to help you find content when you don’t know what to post. Next time you’re feeling lost for ideas, pull out this list — because sometimes the secret to not feeling stumped is as simple as a great resource. So keep these ideas handy for the next time you hit a wall! What to Post on Facebook When You Don’t Know What to Post 1. Inspiring Blog Posts or Articles If you’re not already subscribed to industry blogs, you’re missing out on a great opportunity. Whether you’re on social media to promote a bakery or to help brand a plumbing business, following blogs that relate to your target audience gives you great fodder for sharing online. Sign up for a free account with a service like Bloglovin, add blogs you want to follow, and enjoy a one-stop resource to track multiple sites all at once. Then, when something interests you, share it on social media. Post Planner also has an epic feature for following blogs. You just add any blog to see its recent articles, and then sort the blog’s content by popularity so you can be sure you’re sharing the most viral articles. Remember — relevant content will please your audience & make you someone worth following. It will also build camaraderie among other influential people in your industry. 2. Beautiful Photos If there’s anything networks like Instagram & Pinterest have taught us, it’s this: People like pretty pictures! Particularly on social media sites that focus on visuals. Sharing beautiful images is never a bad idea. So when you’re not sure what to post on Facebook, try sharing something visually stunning. If you need help finding beautiful photos, head over to your Post Planner app. Once you’re there, click:  Photos > Beautiful Photos I promise you — you CANNOT go wrong with any of “Most viral” photos you find here. 3. Quotes Meaningful quotes perform well on virtually every social network. You motivate & inspire your followers when you share quotes on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram. And again, if you need some proven quote images, just head to your Post Planner app. Once there, click:  Photos > Awesome Quotes Then sort by “Most Viral”, share the best images, and watch your engagement SOAR! 4. Your Own Content Definitely use your social media accounts to promote your content online. Just don’t let that be all you post! Tweet links to new articles, share a photo from your recent blog post, and so on. Presumably your fans follow you because they like what you’re doing, and most will appreciate you sharing updates & new content from time to time. 5. News & Updates Sharing news & updates about your company goes hand-in-hand with sharing the content you create. Building your brand means sharing its voice — and part of the beauty of social media is the way it allows you to let fans in on behind-the-scenes activities. This could include: announcements about new products photos of event prep work requests for feedback and more In every case, you’re keeping fans informed while deepening their connection with your company or brand. The Bottom Line Above all, the best way to improve your content marketing is to understand your audience. When you’re truly stumped for an idea, ask yourself who you’re trying to reach. Anthropologie has a mostly younger, female audience, for example. Travel + Leisure caters to a broader, but highly affluent group. And food magazines like Bon Appetit target food lovers of all kinds. So who is your audience? When you know who you’re targeting, you’ll definitely know what sort of content to share. Use the inspiring sources above to guide your efforts. The post What to Post on Facebook When You Don’t Know What to Post appeared first on Post Planner.

Here’s the Easiest Way to Run a Facebook Timeline Contest for FREE

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If you run a Facebook page, then you know fans LOVE contests. You also know Facebook contests get A LOT more engagement than regular posts. That’s why it’s great Facebook changed the contest rules a few months ago. You can now run a contest by simply posting a status update on your Timeline. No need to use a pesky 3rd-party app! This is great news for small business owners who don’t have time to learn how to: create page apps design graphics give fans ways to sign up by submitting emails Now you can just post a status update & manage your contest in the news feed! Facebook marketers call this a “Timeline contest”. In this blog post, I’ll show you the easiest way to run one for FREE! The Easiest Way to Run a Facebook Timeline Contest for FREE First, remember that Facebook didn’t drop all the contest rules. There are still guidelines for using a status update for a Timeline contest. According to Facebook: 1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including: a.   The official rules; b.   Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and c.   Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals) Facebook officials say you must also include: a.   A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant. b.   Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. But really, the only thing you can’t do with your Timeline contest is require users to share the contest post in order to enter: Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted). Picking a Winner Can be Tricky The major downside to using your Timeline instead of an app to run a contest is that selecting a winner can be difficult. After posting your status update, you’ll need to choose a winner once the deadline to enter the contest has passed. Facebook lets you consider a Like or comment as an entry into your contest. But how do you fairly pick a winner when the contest post gets thousands of Likes? When Timeline contests started getting popular, app providers launched tools to manage the contests & make it easier to select a winner. Some of these apps are free. And most do a great job addressing the challenges of running Timeline contests. But none are as easy to use as the new Timeline contest tools from our friends at AgoraPulse! Timeline Contest Ideas Now you’re itching to run a Timeline contest, right? Awesome! You just need some contest ideas. All you need to do is publish a post on your page. Something as simple as: LIKE this post to win a FREE month of Post Planner. Or perhaps you want people to Like & comment: Want a FREE month of Post Planner? LIKE this post & COMMENT about why you should win. We’ll pick a random winner. You can even require contestants to post photos: In the comments below, post your best picture of you using our product. One lucky commenter will win $100! Make people answer a trivia question to enter your contest, and only those who answer correctly qualify to win: What year did Facebook start? Correct answers have a chance to win an iPad! Keep your status update short & add the first comment — include when the contest ends & yours & Facebook’s rules & restrictions. If you need more ideas, you can dive into Post Planner’s Status Ideas Engine — where we have an entire category devoted to Contests (with thousands of pre-written statuses). FYI: Text updates that are too long, are often unsightly & may turn people off. Go the extra mile by creating a custom image for your contest. This is a great option, since text updates on Facebook pages don’t get as much Reach as photos. I made this image in about 1 minute using Canva: To start the contest, I simply post this graphic to the page with the rules & entry deadline. And at 5pm, I select a winner. Here’s how tools from AgoraPulse help me manage the contest: How to Run Free Contests on Facebook with AgoraPulse First, visit the contest site for AgoraPulse & connect your Facebook account by clicking “START A CONTEST”: You’ll see a list of pages you manage after you OK the permissions: Click “SELECT PAGE” next to the page you’re using for the contest. You’ll then see a list of recent posts from the page: Click “LOAD MORE POSTS” if you need to see more: For this example, I chose the “Start making RESULTS not excuses” post. I was then provided 3 cool options for Facebook contests I can administer from my Timeline: The contests include a: Sweepstakes — lets you randomly pick a winner from those who Liked and/or commented on the post Quiz — requires fans to enter a correct answer for a chance to win Photo Contest — requires fans to add photos in the comments I chose sweepstakes for this example. It took a few seconds for AgoraPulse to pull the data from the post — but it looked like this when finished: You’ll see a summary of your selections & have the option to: Select another Facebook page Select another post Select another contest Super easy! I love it. Now determine how you’ll pick the contest winner. The screenshot above shows that by default AgoraPulse lets Facebook users Like or comment on the post to enter the contest. And you can only enter once. I chose only the Like option for my example: Now I just need to choose the Winner. I click “PICK A WINNER” and AgoraPulse selects 1 lucky contestant: I can even pick another random winner if I’d like to give prizes to more than 1 person. I can also “unpick” the winner if for some reason somebody doesn’t qualify for the contest. And the tool lets me view someone’s Facebook Timeline to learn more about them. I save & archive the winner once I’m satisfied with the selection. I’ll either contact the winner with a message from my Facebook profile, or announce the person’s name in a new post or in a comment on the existing contest post. Now I’ll show you how to use AgoraPulse to set up a quiz contest: Just enter the correct answer in the box above & click “FIND COMMENTS” to see who answered correctly. If more than 1 person answered correctly, choose the winner & proceed as we did in the sweepstakes example. A photo contest is managed in a similar way, except the winner is the person who posted the photo that received the most Likes. Conclusion As you can see, Emeric Ernoult & the gang at AgoraPulse have created a sweet set of tools for managing Timeline contests. The tools are: user friendly easy for beginners useful in a variety of ways FREE! So go ahead and try them out! And if you have status ideas for contests that have worked well for you, please share them in the comments below (along with a link to your page). The post Here’s the Easiest Way to Run a Facebook Timeline Contest for FREE appeared first on Post Planner.

Teens Are Using Facebook WAAAAY More Than Reported (Here’s Proof)

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It seems like all I hear lately is that teens are leaving Facebook faster than George Costanza leaves a burning house. Could this be true? Are kids leaving the world’s largest social network in droves? Well… no actually. Not according to a new study from Tom Webster, of Edison Research at least. Not only are teens still using Facebook — they might be using it more than any other age group. And if you run a business page on Facebook, here’s why you should care: Teens Are Using Facebook WAAAAY More Than Reported When it comes to teenagers leaving Facebook, most reports I’ve read have focused on how kids view the social network — rather than actual numbers. Stuff like: My 3 teenage nephews say Facebook ain’t cool. They mostly use websites like Instagram, Tumblr or SnapChat for their social media activities. They only go to Facebook when their mom tags them in a post! According to Webster, however, nearly 80% of Americans between the ages of 12 & 24 use Facebook. Facebook still has room to grow with some age groups. But among younger Americans, “Facebook is nearing its practical limit,” according to Edison Research. If 80% of teens already use Facebook, newer growth may appear slower than in years past. But Facebook is by far the most popular way for teenagers to share photos via their smartphones: Still, what do most of these social media websites have in common? They let you register with your Facebook account — which inflates Facebook’s user numbers. According to Webster: A Facebook account is the new driver’s license. Getting one isn’t cool — it’s what you can do with it that is. If 80% seems high, it could mean teens are registering for a Facebook account just to have quick access to other websites — without having to remember other user names & passwords. Facebook Activity in the Past 24 Hours But before you conclude that teens don’t use Facebook anymore, check out how many times teens have checked their Facebook profiles in the past 24 hours: Those between the ages of 12 & 24 check their Facebook pages 8 times a day!?!? And that number has recently increased. Teens polled by the Edison Group in 2012 said they checked Facebook about 6 times per day. That’s funny — I thought teens were leaving Facebook? Granted, the rise of smartphones has likely boosted how often teens check Facebook — while the total time kids spend on the website has dropped. It’s easier to breeze through your news feed on your smartphone than on a desktop computer — which displays all those distractions in the sidebars. One Last Stat About Teens & Facebook Here’s one last stat to remember as the debate about whether teens use Facebook rages on: Some find it hard to believe that teenagers with 600 Facebook friends would leave the website because it’s not “cool” anymore. Finding 600 friends on those other social media sites is a lot more difficult than on Facebook. Why Data about Teens & Facebook is Important Teenagers on Facebook represent the next generation of consumers. And Facebook officials & advertisers must grab their attention. Fewer users + fewer advertisers = less $$$$ for Facebook. But the study above has now restored my confidence that teens do still use Facebook — even if they’re on the site for less time each day than their parents. In the end this means that marketers need to post super engaging content — to keep teens tuned in to their Facebook marketing campaigns. Is your company concerned about teens leaving the social network? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. The post Teens Are Using Facebook WAAAAY More Than Reported (Here’s Proof) appeared first on Post Planner.

The Weird Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Automation

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OK, I confess. I’ve automated some of my social media posts. There, I said it. And I imagine a few of you are cringing because I just used the “A” word: ( ( ( AUTOMATION ) ) )  I’ve debated the merits of social media automation with many people. Ie. is it okay to schedule posts in advance so updates are published automatically throughout the day. I think it comes down to 2 questions: Do you have time to properly manage your social media accounts? Do you have money to hire someone to do social media marketing for you? After all, time & money are a small business owner’s most important resources. So when business owners ask me this: I don’t have time to manage my social media platforms. Should I automate the posts? My response is “Yes & no.” I explain in detail in this blog post — including which social media activity you should & shouldn’t automate. In the end you’ll see that it all depends on what you post. The Weird Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Automation First, let’s look at what you should automate. What You Should Automate 1. Tweets & Facebook Posts I see no problem with automating tweets & status updates. But please don’t link your Twitter account to your Facebook page. That’s annoying! It tells your audience that you don’t care. And why would anyone want to view the same content on different platforms anyway? Arranging for tweets to post on your Facebook page is a huge no-no: But scheduling posts to publish automatically on their respective platforms is fine. In fact, I recommend it. Scheduling posts ahead of time helps me better manage my day, since I’m not constantly on social media publishing content. Automate your posts so you never miss a chance to publish content at the most optimal times — when your fans are most active online. 2. Content Curation Finding engaging content to post in social media is tough! Even after perusing my favorite Twitter lists, some days I just don’t have much to post. Imagine trying to find unique content for Facebook & Twitter. That’s a lot of work. And it’s why you should automate the process of curating new content with an app like Post Planner. With Post Planner, you can quickly find engaging content, trending content & beautiful photos — and with the push of a button you can schedule that content to post automatically to your Facebook page. If this doesn’t save you time, I don’t know what will. What You Shouldn’t Automate Now let’s go over the stuff you shouldn’t automate. 1. Tweets in Conversations Automating tweets in a conversation is dangerous. Still, there are tools that let you post a tweet automatically whenever someone mentions a keyword on Twitter — which inserts you into that discussion. Most of these automated replies feel inauthentic & spammy. Acura made this mistake in 2013 when the car company automatically replied to everyone who included a specific hashtag in a tweet. That meant if you tweeted the hashtag you’d likely receive a tweet asking you to visit an Acura VIP booth. It didn’t go well. 2. Direct Messages on Twitter (DM) No way! If you’re automating Twitter direct messages, stop — RIGHT NOW. Direct messaging is so 2008. 3. All Posts on All Networks Don’t schedule all your posts to publish automatically on all your social media accounts — it’s lazy & unsophisticated. But many business owners still publish the same updates on all platforms. They think of social media as just a promotional tool, not a way to build relationships with customers. And they often give up — and end up blaming social media for why they didn’t succeed. This might be the reason some people have unliked your Facebook page or stopped following you on Twitter. Automation isn’t the Devil Social media automation isn’t evil. There are many ways you can use automation to make your social media marketing better — especially if you rely on Facebook & Twitter to get more customers. Just remember these important tips: Key Takeaways Don’t automate tweets that should be published live Don’t tweet automatically when someone uses a specific keyword Don’t send automated direct messages on Twitter Schedule some tweets & status updates to post automatically Automate content curation Do you automate your social media activity? Why or why not? What do you think should & shouldn’t be automated in social media? The post The Weird Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Automation appeared first on Post Planner.

7 Facebook Ideas to Revive Your Sputtering Page (These Actually Work!)

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Looking for fresh ideas to revamp your Facebook page? Do you feel like you’ve done all you can? Are you following Facebook best practices and deploying a consistent content strategy — but there’s something’s still missing? Is fan engagement on your page strong, but you’re looking for something different to spice things up? If you answered “yes” to any of these, then you’ve come to the right place! In this post I’ll share 7 fresh Facebook ideas to help revamp your page. 7 Facebook Ideas to Revive Your Sputtering Page 1. Change Your Cover Photo  Do you know what time it is? Time for a new cover photo! When was the last time you changed your Facebook cover photo? The prominent image is the largest piece of real estate on Facebook & it’s the 1st thing people notice when they visit your page. Changing your cover photo gives your Facebook page a whole new look. Use new cover photos to: Promote holidays & seasonal events Advertise specials & promotions Showcase customer testimonials Praise your fans Display new products or services So take a cue from Fast Company & change your cover photo often. 2. Host a Facebook Contest or Giveaway Facebook contests & giveaways are great ways to show appreciation for fans & find new ones. Contests also work well for getting followers to re-engage with your page. I LOVE contests! Only winning twice hasn’t stopped me from entering almost every one I see. Hey, if you’re not in it — you can’t win it, right?! Here’s an article with tips to help optimize your Facebook contest & a killer contest example from Antavo: 4 Ways to Seriously Rock Your Next Facebook Contest 3. Recognize Your Fans Recognizing your followers & asking them to interact with your page also helps boost engagement & build relationships with fans. In exchange for a prize, ask fans to share photos of themselves using your product. Share the photos on your page to show other Facebook users that your page is active & lots of people are interested in your company. And it’s easy to give fans a shout-out on your page. Post a picture of them, or even better, change your cover photo to showcase your community.  It will build brand loyalty while humanizing your company at the same time. 4. Post a Variety of Content  If you’re having trouble getting your fans to interact with your page, it’s probably time to take a long, hard look at your content. Are you posting inspiring quotes, engaging questions, fill-in-the-blank posts & beautiful photos? Those work great for boosting engagement. These tips could help jump-start your Facebook page: Humor Memes Behind-the-scenes shots Personal posts Videos Check out this example from ShortStack: 5. Ask for Suggestions Ask your fans for suggestions about what they would like to see on your page. Businesses often seek feedback from fans when making decisions about: New logos New web design Book covers Book titles This helps get fans to post comments on your page — after all, everyone wants to share their opinion! Here Gary Vaynerchuk asked his fans for help picking a title: // Post by Gary Vaynerchuk. 6. Host a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) Reddit AMAs are wildly popular. AMA stands for “Ask Me Anything”. These events let participants pose questions to guests like Barack Obama & Bill Gates. More businesses should host Reddit AMAs on Facebook. Invite influential guests from your industry & allow fans to pepper them with questions. Daymond John knows how it’s done: // Post by Daymond John. 7. Use Analytics My last tip stresses the importance of data-driven decisions. When was the last time you clicked the analytics button on your page & viewed what worked & what didn’t with your Facebook audience? Data from your analytics will open your eyes to what you should post on your page. It’s a ripe platform for finding fresh Facebook ideas for your page revamp. Conclusion Let’s review my 7 suggestions for revamping your lagging Facebook page: Change Your Cover Photo Host a Facebook Contest or Giveaway Recognize Your Fans Post a Variety of Content Ask for Suggestions Host a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) Use Analytics I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Remember, it’s never too late to resuscitate a dying page. Now I’d love to hear from you! What’s your secret for bringing a Facebook page back from the dead? The post 7 Facebook Ideas to Revive Your Sputtering Page (These Actually Work!) appeared first on Post Planner.

4 Ways to Seriously ROCK Your Next Facebook Contest

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Are you planning your next Facebook contest? Do you want it to seriously ROCK?! Then you’re going to LOVE this post. Facebook contests are a great way to increase exposure of your page — and doing them right can bring huge numbers of Likes and shares. Plus, Facebook contests can help build fan loyalty & create ambassadors for your brand. Yeehaw! But… (and this is a BIG but)… do a contest the wrong way, and you risk losing fans or attracting the wrong type of fans. Boooo! So to make sure your contest goes off without a hitch, here are 4 tips you absolutely MUST follow to make your Facebook contest seriously ROCK!! 4 Ways to Seriously ROCK Your Next Facebook Contest 1. Give Away Your Products & Other Relevent Prizes Your contest prizes should be from your business or industry. I understand that prizes need to entice potential contestants, but that doesn’t mean you have to give away an iPhone, iPad or iAnything, for that matter. Those prizes attract contestants who are interested ONLY in your gifts — not in engaging with your page when the contest is done. Give away something that a customer might buy from your company. For example, if you sell women’s apparel, make the prize a nice article of clothing. You can also PARTNER with another company in your industry to give some of their products away. A clothing company, for example, might partner with a store that sells shoes, cosmetics, or accessories. Here’s an example from Decal Drama, a decal company that recently hosted a Facebook contest with Jewelry In Candles By Sahrae: This partnership helped ensure the contest pulled in potential customers as fans instead of those who just wanted to win an iPhone — who will never engage with the business. And contests like these appeal to present fans because they can win something they were already looking for. 2. Use an App My second tip is using an app to host your contest. You can organize a Facebook Timeline contest in minutes, but you won’t receive much info from Facebook about the results. You need to collect & track data from your contestants because they’re part of your target market — and this info is key to learning more about them. Facebook also doesn’t offer the same viral elements as many third-party apps. App features may include: Fan-gating Incentives to share Growing an email list Detailed analytics This is what a fan-gate looks like: And here are some apps I recommend for your next Facebook contest: ShortStack Antavo AgoraPulse Tabsite Binkd 3. Encourage Fans to Sign Up NOW Deadlines are your friend! Businesses often make the mistake of not building enough momentum during their contest — ie. there’s no time to get the contest off the ground because deadlines come too soon. Though deadlines are key, setting them to come too soon is the wrong way to run a contest. Make sure you provide Facebook users enough time to discover your contest — then remind them that they only have a few days to sign up. This will create momentum with just enough urgency to get people to respond. Urgency is an important trigger for compelling people to take action! And don’t worry about annoying your fans — if you give away the right prizes, chances are they’ll be interested in what you have to say. // Post by Post Planner. 4. Promote, Promote, Promote Just in case you missed the part about reminding people about your contest, here’s another notice for you: Promote, promote, PROMOTE!!! Some business owners complain that their Facebook contests don’t get enough entries to justify the effort. That’s when I ask them how they ran their contests. Lo & behold, they announced their contest ONCE on Facebook & Twitter — and then WAITED. PLEASE don’t make this same mistake! Promote your contest!… I mean, REALLY promote it. Here are some tips: Get help Post the contest on your Facebook profile & ask your friends to share. People love contests & they’ll share it if the prize could benefit their family & friends. Use your cover photo A powerful way to promote your contest is broadcasting it loudly & proudly with your cover photo. This prime location on your page immediately grabs attention. Run Facebook ads Use Facebook ads to dramatically increase exposure for your contest. Ads extend your Facebook reach tremendously. They let you target fans, friends of fans & other people outside your social circle who may be interested in your page. These articles will help get you started: How to Use Promoted Page Ads to Get Tons of New Likes on Facebook  3 Facebook Ad Strategies that Won’t Break the Bank 4 Kick-Ass Tips for Creating Facebook Ads that Convert Conclusion Let’s review what we learned today about running a killer Facebook contest: Give away the right prizes to attract the right crowd Use a third-party contest app Provide a sense of urgency to sign up Never stop promoting Do you have anything to add? If you’ve organized a Facebook contest, please share some of your best tips in the comments below. The post 4 Ways to Seriously ROCK Your Next Facebook Contest appeared first on Post Planner.

19 Dale Carnegie Quotes to Inspire You Next Time You Want to Give Up

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Dale Carnegie mastered the art of making friends & influencing people. His books made him famous around the world. For decades, Carnegie has been a household name — long since he passed away in 1955. Today, new generations of entrepreneurs, influencers & other professionals are embracing his writings. He was one of the best ever at inspiring people to build self-confidence & believe they can accomplish anything in business & life. I compiled 19 uplifting Dale Carnegie quotes meant to inspire you next time you want to give up. If you like them, be sure to check out Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends & Influence People” — about 15 million copies have been sold! 19 Dale Carnegie Quotes to Inspire You Next Time You Want to Give Up 1. Don’t give up! 2. Get busy! 3. Lose your fear! 4. Profit from mistakes! 5. Stop self-pity! 6. Embrace failures! 7. Accept the worst! 8. Have fun! 9. Aim to influence, not convince 10. Find your courage! 11. Act enthusiastic! 12. Stop worrying! 13. Embrace criticism! 14. Be persistent! 15. Accomplish something admirable! 16. Make the best of things! 17. Take a chance! 18. Do your best! 19. Do something you believe in! The post 19 Dale Carnegie Quotes to Inspire You Next Time You Want to Give Up appeared first on Post Planner.

Here’s Why Facebook Will Drive the MOST Sales For Your Business

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Want to social media to grow your business online? Are you wondering which platform will generate the best ROI? Thanks to the team at Shopify, we may have an answer. One word: FACEBOOK! Shopify analyzed data from about 37 million social media visits, which led to more than 529k ecommerce orders for Shopify merchants. These 12 websites helped generate the sales: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Instagram Reddit YouTube Vimeo Vine Hacker News Polyvore In this post, I’ll show you the highlights from the study — then show you the infographic & my key takeaway. Here’s Why Facebook Will Drive the MOST Sales For Your Business Traffic Facebook claimed a whopping 63% of all social media-driven visits to Shopify stores. Orders Facebook was responsible for 85% of all Shopify orders generated by social commerce. The website dominated industries like photography, sports & recreation, & pet supplies. Average Order Value Here’s the one place Facebook lost ground. The social media website had an average order value of $55 — lower than Polyvore, Instagram & Pinterest: Conversion Rate But Facebook bounced back in the conversion category. About 1.85% of Facebook users who visited Shopify stores placed orders. But despite dominating 3 of these 4 categories, there are industries Facebook hasn’t taken over yet: Key Takeaway No matter your niche, Facebook is a crucial part of your content marketing strategy. The site drives more web traffic & converts more sales than any of its competitors. Check out the infographic from Shopify for more proof: Your Turn As a business owner, have your social media accounts driven many sales? Tell me in the comments whether you’ve bought something from a company you found via a social media site. The post Here’s Why Facebook Will Drive the MOST Sales For Your Business appeared first on Post Planner.

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Jump-Starting a New Facebook Page

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Starting a Facebook page ain’t easy. In fact, it can be a huge pain in the rump! Our goal at Post Planner is to relieve as much of that pain as possible. So today I’ll help jump start your NEW Facebook page by providing a cheat sheet with a checklist that every page manager should follow. Here you go: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Jump-Starting a New Facebook Page ✓ Uploaded Cover Photo You need a cover photo that stands out & helps brand your page. The cover photo is the first thing people see when they visit your page. Check out ShortStack’s page for inspiration. Those dudes are always rockin’ a killer cover pic: Facebook relaxed the rules for cover photos & now you can pretty much use whatever you want. These are the only guidelines: All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines. That’s it! There are no restrictions on advertising promotions, using calls-to-action, or anything else. Follow my 3 point checklist for a great cover photo: High Quality Representative of Your Brand Current These posts show some amazing examples: 17 Wicked Ways to Use Your Facebook Cover Photo 20 Awesome Facebook Cover Photos to Inspire You ✓ Uploaded Profile Photo Your profile pic appears in: News feed of followers Posts on your Timeline Your replies to comments Comments & updates you post while using your page Cover image on your page The most important is #1 — the news feed of your followers. You should design your profile pic to look great in that location. This post explains why: Your Profile Pic is “Waaay” More Important Than Your Cover Photo ✓ Completed Basic Information Your Page Settings allow you to add tons of info about your business to Facebook. A section of this page will even appear on your Timeline. Just fill out the “Short Description” field & you’re good to go. Keep this in mind when writing the description: Brevity (no more than 100 characters in length) Don’t stuff the intro with keywords ✓ Added a Company Milestone Use Facebook Milestones to celebrate your company’s achievements — both large & small. Milestones help you build relationships with fans by sharing your journey & providing insight into your business. Milestones offer great ways to showcase the history of your brand because they’re displayed so prominently on your Timeline. Here are some ways to use Facebook Milestones to showcase your business: Highlight the day your company opened Highlight the moment your Facebook page reached 10,000 fans Highlight the launch of new products or services Highlight key moments in history – how & where your business started To add a Milestone above your Facebook status bar: Select “Offer, Event” Click Milestone Add a headline, location & details of your Milestone Choose to add a photo Click Save Milestone photos display at 843 x 403 pixels — but you can use any size you want:   ✓ Wrote First Status Update Write at least one status update before inviting people to Like your page. I sometimes post 6 or 7 updates before inviting anyone to the page, so visitors have an idea of what type of content I’ll be sharing. ✓ Added Page Apps Some claim apps on Facebook are useless since the apps aren’t visible when using Facebook Mobile. But tab apps on Timelines are used for: Newsletter Signups Contests Driving Traffic to a Blog Pinterest Instagram Twitter YouTube Galleries Portfolios and much more All Facebook pages need at least one tab app that gathers emails from fans. Hosting contests is one of the most popular ways to use apps. Fans are compelled to enter their emails in exchange for a chance to win a prize. There are lots of app providers, and most offer free plans with easy-to-use templates that make the apps simple to install. Here are some app developers I recommend: ShortStack Tabsite Heyo Antavo WooBox AgoraPulse ✓ Changed Page App Thumbnails Once you’ve installed some apps on your page, change the app thumbnail images on your Timeline to make them consistent with your branding. Some apps provide a default thumbnail image. Most, however, leave this generic thumbnail image on your page: Read this step-by-step guide for changing this hideous thing: How to Add/Change an App Thumbnail Image on Your Facebook Page  ✓ Added URL to About Section Putting a URL in the About section on your Timeline is an easy way to drive more traffic to your website. Adding this link to your page is critical since it’s shown on computers & mobile devices. Add the URL to the Short Description in your About section. Insert the URL near the beginning of the description so the link is one of the first things people notice on your page. ✓ Changed Page App Names Now that you’ve added some great apps to your page & designed custom thumbnail images, it’s time to change the names of the apps to make them more appealing to Facebook users. Use a catchy name that will compel people to click the app. Use a call-to-action if you can: Click for Prizes Check It Out! Free Gift! Go Here! ✓ Liked Other Pages with Page Most page managers skip this step, but Liking other pages is an easy way to get more Likes on your page & build brand awareness on Facebook. Here’s what happens when you use your business page to Like other pages on Facebook: Your page will feature the pages you Like Your fans will see that you Liked the page in their news feed Your page will have its own news feed Wait… what?! I bet you didn’t know that your page can have its own unique news feed. The news feed for your page includes the pages you have Liked, and you can comment on these posts as your page — not your personal profile. To start the news feed, click the gear icon in the blue Facebook navigation bar: You’ll see a drop-down menu with the words “Use Facebook As:”, along with a list of the pages you manage: Select a page, and anything you do on Facebook you’ll do as that page. You can LIKE other pages, comment on posts, share updates, etc. But there are some things your page can’t do: Send friend requests Send private messages (unless someone sends the page a message first) Like or comment on blog posts Share content on your personal profile, in groups or on other Facebook pages. ✓ Set Up Post Planner Account Setting up your FREE Post Planner account is the last item on my ultimate new Facebook page cheat sheet. Post Planner helps you schedule updates & find content to post on your page. Go here to install Post Planner for free: https://apps.facebook.com/postplanner > IMPORTANT: click “Okay” on ALL permissions > IMPORTANT: make sure “Public” is selected for visibility of posts Our new user guide provides awesome tutorials for every Post Planner feature — and you receive badges as you complete each level. ✓ Save & Share this Cheat Sheet This cheat sheet will help you get every Facebook page you create up & running in no time. Bookmark this post, pin the image, and share it with your readers on your blog. The post The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Jump-Starting a New Facebook Page appeared first on Post Planner.

I Watched YouTube for a WHOLE Day and Learned These 4 Blogging Tips

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What I do to relax on a Sunday might surprise you. It usually has nothing to do with social media. I unplug from all my online accounts, brew a cup of coffee & do whatever I can to unwind. But last Sunday, I spent the whole day on YouTube — looking for lessons I could apply to my blog. I went to every channel I’ve subscribed to & watched as many videos as I could — and they weren’t all puppies & kittens! I follow hundreds of YouTube channels related to: Fitness Business Cooking Comedy News Sketch Movies Tech And I’ve been a fan of most of these channels for a long time. The people who run these channels have cracked the code when it comes to marketing their content. I was searching for blogging tips, so I revisited each channel to see what compelled me to subscribe in the first place. Here’s what I found: I Watched YouTube for a WHOLE Day and Learned These 4 Blogging Tips 1. Entertain Your Audience The most obvious thing all these channels do is entertain their audience in a unique way. Each channel has its own: Voice Style Method of Presentation Personality I watched some of these channels for more than 15 minutes — and didn’t get bored. But “entertaining” is a subjective word. It’s impossible to entertain everyone — so don’t even try. The way to entertain your audience while blogging is to write conversationally — as if you’re actually speaking to someone. In other word, be YOU! I was told by somebody years ago that I shouldn’t be writing because my work wasn’t “business-sy” enough. He said my writing needed to feel more professional. I took that advice & nearly fell asleep writing my next article. I quickly went back to my original style — and haven’t looked back! 2. Publish Consistently Consistency is KEY! During my YouTube binge, I came across a video on a channel I didn’t recognize. That’s probably because the last time the channel pushed new content was over 3 months ago. I decided to unsubscribe. Compare that to Jimmy Tatro & Life According to Jimmy — he’s produced a video every Monday for the past 3 years. He doesn’t need to produce more than 1 video a week because I can count on Jimmy publishing something new every Monday — which keeps me coming back for more. The best bloggers on the web also maintain consistent content calendars. That’s how readers find your content & it’s why they return to your site. 3. Stay Focused I subscribe to some YouTube channels because they focus on specific topics. About a year ago, I subscribed to a channel dedicated entirely to hairstyles. But one day the guy running the program decided to start talking about relationships & love. Unsubscribe! If he kept discussing fashion I might still be a subscriber. But hairstyles & relationships were just too far apart — so I left. I was no longer interested in his content. It’s best to start a new channel instead of changing the focus of an existing, successful YouTube program. That’s what Epic Meal Time did. Their audience grew so much that programmers now have YouTube channels dedicated to video games & movie shorts — and they’re pretty good. This lesson also applies to blogging. Master 1 topic to get recognized in your industry, then branch out to other subjects. The expertise you gained in the beginning will help promote your new ideas. 4. Book Guests Many YouTube channels have regular appearances from guests — no matter the industry. This usually happens in 1 of 2 ways: The channel invites industry experts to appear & share expertise Channels partner to have guests appear on each other’s programs The same can happen on your blog. Invite industry experts to write articles for you while you seek opportunities to write for other blogs in your space. Guest blogging helps you gain exposure for your writing while also letting you share your expertise with new audiences. What Bloggers Can Learn from YouTube The most popular channels on YouTube entertain their audiences with awesome content. You should do the same on your blog!!! The success of top marketers on YouTube shows us we bloggers should: Entertain our audience Publish consistently Stay focused Partner with guests Will these tips help make your blog better? Please add your suggestions in the comments below. The post I Watched YouTube for a WHOLE Day and Learned These 4 Blogging Tips appeared first on Post Planner.

5 Simple Tips for Creating Boundaries on Social Media

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Photo by Andre Hayward With more than 73% of online adults using social media, the opportunity for users to connect with personal and business contacts is at an all-time high. Facebook is a great resource for staying connected with family and reconnecting with old friends. Sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook offer strategic opportunities to build relationships with hiring managers and learn about open job positions. While social media provides innumerable opportunities for relationship building, users often find themselves in uncomfortable situations with connections. Creating a profile can open users up to friend requests from strangers, undesirable postings on their profiles, and a host of other issues. Creating Boundaries The rules of engagement online are exactly the same as they are in-person. Similarly, just as we have to set boundaries with our ‘real world’ friends, we have to set healthy boundaries with our online connections. Set the tone on your profile Are you using a specific social network for business-only? Set the tone by using a polished, professional, profile picture. The language in your profile description should be business-focused. Your posts should center on professional topics. Don’t be a robot, but pictures of you dancing on a table with a margarita in your hand are a big no-no if your main focus is building a business network. By setting the tone on your profile, you are sending out the message to new connections that you are focusing on professional topics. Setting the tone does not simply apply to business profiles. As an example, if you don’t want connections to post gossip blogs on your wall, or tag you in a tweet with a link to one, don’t post them yourself. Be selective While the point for many in using social media is connecting with current and new potential contacts, you do not have to accept all friend/connection requests. The number of spamsocial media users paired with those that simply would not be a good fit dictate that the average user should approveless than half of most requests received. The following is an excerpt from my book, The Social Media WHY: A Busy Professional’s Practical Guide to Using Social Media Including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and Blogs for Business: Imagine being gifted a beautiful luxury home for free. You decide to let everyone in, no matter who they are. After a while, your home is dirty and stinks, plus you are tired of the fighting and crazy conversations going on in your living room. It is obvious the house is stupid and is to blame for your situation, right? Bottom line— you are responsible for the people you accept. The quality of your social media experience is directly related to the quality of the network your build. Treat your social media profiles like your home As demonstrated in the above tip, your social mediaprofile is a great deal like your home. Set rules and enforce them, when necessary. Just as you would not allow a guest to place his muddy boots on your coffee table, address connections who post inappropriate links and articles on your profile or tag you in them. Inappropriate is relative. If you do not wish to be included in political rants, it is okay to remove them or let the poster know that you should not be tagged. Also, like your home, other guests are watching you. If you allow one rude guest to verbally attack anotherguest or use bigoted language without correction, visitors will assume that you condone the behavior. Silence is an answer. Be sure to monitor your pages and profiles and, when necessary, take corrective measure or reroute conversations. ‘No’ is a full sentence There may be times when a friend/connection asks you for a favor out of turn. I have personally been asked for loans more times than I can count, often by peoplewho I’ve never met in person. I’ve been asked for business referrals by peoplewho I have no personal business history with. Someone may attempt to attach themselves to you in a way that makes you uncomfortable. The bottom line is that a simple ‘no’ is perfectly okay. You don’t have to explain yourself or go into more detail. If necessary, unfriend or remove contacts who repeatedly cross lines. Be of service Social media is about people, not technology. Remember that the purpose of connecting with people is to create mutually beneficial relationships. Be of service to your connections. Post helpful information, provide insight when possible and facilitate introductions betweencomplementary connections. When you focus on being of service, and you know that you are a giver, enforcing boundaries becomes easier as you will understand that you can give more to those you are called to help, by minimizing energy-sucking distractions. The post 5 Simple Tips for Creating Boundaries on Social Media appeared first on Crystal Washington.

Three Tools to Leverage Your Client’s Brand

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Competition is steep in today’s business world. People are constantly bombarded with advertisements, solicitations, and other marketing messages. It pays (literally) to know how to cut through the clutter to make an impact. One of the best ways to outshine the competition and differentiate your personal and/or professional brand is through directly leveraging your clients’ brands. Most companies focus on creating branded brochures and mailing tchotchkes with their own logos on them. However, if you want to make a lasting impression with potential clients, do the direct opposite—send them items branded with their logo and colors on them. Three Tools for Sending Customized Gifts and Cards Cookie Bouquet creates customizable cookie gifts. As long as your client is not on a special diet, a cookie bouquet can be a great way to show a potential client that you value them. My personal favorite is the Team Spirit bouquet. I request my logo on the cheerleader bears’ chests and the client’s logo on the football player bears’ chests. It wows them every time! SendOutCards allows users to create customized cards online that they then mail on your behalf. You can even add gifts or gift cards to your order! Do you have any funny pictures with your potential client? Did he/she mention something funny recently? I not only use pictures of my clients on cards, but sometimes I reference their jokes via funny Photoshopped images. Touchnote is a mobile application available on iOS and Android that enables users to create customized cards from mobile phone photos. You can then mail a card or postcard directly from your phone! Did you meet a great new contact at an event? Follow up with them immediately by mailing a card with a picture of the two of you. These are simply three of my favorites, however, the possibilities are endless. If your potential client owns a trucking company, mail a remote control truck painted with their logo. Include cookies and a copy of the contract! Customizing gifts alone will not seal the deal. However, providing the best product/service solutions coupled with your having a strong appreciation of their brand and culture will go a long with in strengthening your own brand and client relationships. Do you have a favorite customizable gift tool that you use in business? Leave it in the comments section.   This post first appeared on Personal Branding Blog. The post Three Tools to Leverage Your Client’s Brand appeared first on Crystal Washington.

Three Tips for Handling a Social Media Brand Crisis

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One of the most amazing benefits of leveraging social media is the ability to gain momentum behind a concept or brand. The corresponding negative is damaging publicity and untrue information can also spread quickly and gain traction. Most professionals are wholly unaware of how to handle a social media crisis for their personal brand or even small business, yet in the age of social media—when even things from the past can even come back to haunt—all professionals should have a basic understanding of how to handle a social media brand crisis. Three tips for protecting your brand during a crisis Act quickly. Do not allow even a day to go by without directly addressing the situation. Use reputation management tools like Mention and Google Alerts to monitor discussions of your name or brand online. Note: When setting a Google Alert, select “all results” versus the default “Only the best results” or you could miss something important. Additionally, if the crisis is unfolding via social media, respond via social media, the same day. While there are many examples of how delayed (in the social media world, that means 24 hours) response has caused damage, I can think of no better recent example than that of Paula Deen. Paula’s decision to wait over 24 hours to release her YouTube video following the National Enquirer’s release of her deposition allowed the tongue-in-cheek hashtag #paulasbestdishes to gain momentum, causing brand partners (who later decided to sever ties with the southern cooking phenom) to take the heat. Be genuine and upfront. Oftentimes, dealing with the problem directly and sincerely will diffuse a situation. Sincerely is the key. The days of canned responses and obviously heavily prepared PR statements are gone, at least via social media. Know the main talking points, but be sure to deliver your message in a clear, concise, and heartfelt manner. Point out any misinformation and ensure that your tone is never defensive. Offer solutions and, in the case with unhappy clients, provide them with contact information in order to resolve their issue with a phone call or email. Note: It doesn’t really matter if the person is receptive to your offer (though it is ideal), the important thing is that your social media contacts see that you are offering a solution. Turn the crisis into an opportunity. After being put through the ringer, the last thing many professionals would consider is how to turn the negative experience into an opportunity. However, a wonderful example of a brand leveraging this tactic would be Kickstarter’s apology after allowing a project, deemed extremely offensive to women, to be funded using their site. After their sincere apology, they announced that the company would donate $25,000 to an anti-sexual violence organization. Kickstarter turned their own critics into brand advocates with that move and gained hundreds of shares via social media highlighting the “classy” way the company handled the situation. Remember: Responding to a social media brand crisis requires speed, sincerity, and forward thinking. Creating a plan now just may make the difference between brand destruction and growth later.   This post first appeared on Personal Branding Blog. The post Three Tips for Handling a Social Media Brand Crisis appeared first on Crystal Washington.

LinkedIn Connection Requests via Facebook Message?

Crystal Washington's Blog -

One of my mentors recently contacted me when she received a LinkedIn connection request via her Facebook inbox. Was it legit or spam? I decided to conduct a little experiment to see. Over a year ago, Facebook assigned users a Facebook email address. If you do not update your email address, your Facebook email appears under the Contact Information section of your Facebook profile. Your Facebook email address is your page’s URL at Facebook.com. For instance, mine is crystalwashington@facebook.com. I logged into LinkedIn and under Network> Add Connections> Any Email > Invite by Individual Email. I entered my own Facebook email address and pressed Send Invitations. Next, I went back to Facebook and saw the following message in my inbox: In summary, I sent myself a request to connect with myself on LinkedIn via my Facebook inbox. ***The earth exploded.*** Practical Business Application If you’re using Facebook for business, you’ll likely come across Facebook friends who you want to connect with on LinkedIn, to fully leverage a business relationship. In the event you don’t have a Facebook friend’s email address and it is not listed in her/his Contact Information section, you can still send the person a connection request via Facebook. I would suggest, however, that you follow up that request with a Facebook message telling your friend that you did indeed send the request and suggest that she/he log into their LinkedIn account before clicking on the button to confirm that they know you (otherwise, they may accidentally create a duplicate LinkedIn profile). The post LinkedIn Connection Requests via Facebook Message? appeared first on Crystal Washington.

4 Tips for Getting More LinkedIn Leads

Crystal Washington's Blog -

I just received an email from one of my clients that his profile ranked in the top 1% of profiles for views on LinkedIn in 2012. I’m pretty stoked because this is precisely why he hired me last year to optimize his profile and teach him how to be more strategic on LinkedIn. Believe it or not, optimizing your profile for LinkedIn really is not rocket science. There are a few things that everyone can do to gain more leads. Optimize your profile for keywords. If a set of words are not in your profile, you will not come up in search when someone types them in. Think of all of the words, products, concepts a potential client may use that relate to you and PUT THEM IN YOUR PROFILE. Make sure your clients are on LinkedIn. Honestly, someone who has a clown shoe business could have a kick butt optimized profile and be extremely active, but still not get many views. Realistically, one’s ranking also has a great deal to do with the demand for their products/services. We should be most concerned with obtaining leads vs. strictly views. Someone with few views (due to low demand) could close extremely lucrative contracts. Be active. Post in groups and be of service. When you offer awesome solutions and insight into client issues in groups, group members will click on your name to check out your profile and learn more about you. Stalk people (a little). If you see that someone viewed your profile on the home screen, contact them to see if you may be of assistance. The post 4 Tips for Getting More LinkedIn Leads appeared first on Crystal Washington.

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