Thursday, 30 April 2015

Four steps to stay on top of social media trends

social media trends

Between Plag** (formerly Plague), YikYak, Meerkat, Periscope, and the hundreds of other apps that have sprung up in the last few months, Marketing FOMO, or “Fear of Missing Out,” can be a very real thing. While reports that teenagers still use Facebook might be comforting, that market share is rapidly dividing among smaller niche apps, even among some that have been available for a few weeks.
How can a busy marketer possibly keep up with these social media trends?
I’m here to tell you that it’s not impossible and that it shouldn’t take a large chunk out of your schedule, either. It does mean committing to experimentation, however. So first I’m going to discuss a few principles to help you stay on track, and then I’ll go over a few can’t miss apps you should check out now.

Strategies to Keep on Top of Social Media Trends

  1. Own an iOS (Apple mobile) device. Much as the average Android user hates to admit it, the newest and hottest apps usually start on iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system. If you carry an Android phone, consider investing in an iPod Touch just for testing purposes.
  2. When you hear about a new app, write it down.  I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Usually, you have to hear a new term 3-5 times before you bother to look into it—so if you check it out on day one, you’ll be that much further ahead of your competition.
  3. Spend a half an hour every evening using a new app: No amount of research and TechCrunch reading will ever provide a substitute for hands-on experience. Connect with friends, create a personal account, and use it like a real person would use it, not a marketer. Get a feel for how the app works, and try not to get sucked in for more than a half an hour—if you can!
  4. Subscribe to the Product Hunt newsletter: Product Hunt is a ranking site for new products on the market. You can visit every day to stay abreast of the hot new trends—or you can have the top 10 performers emailed to you daily. You decide which level of commitment is right for you.

The Top 5 Apps You Need to Know Now

  1. Meerkat/Periscope: These two apps are at the forefront of the live-streaming video trend. As a female, I have a slight preference for Meerkat, as it has a better anti-harassment setup. But otherwise the two apps are more or less interchangeable, and you should test out both to see with which you prefer.
  2. Product Hunt: So nice I’m going over it twice, Product Hunt has a vibrant community, with voting, live meet-ups, and now, even a community for the product makers themselves, MakerHunt. You should be familiar with this wundercompany and their meteoric rise.
  3. Slack: You might have used IRC in the past—in which case, you’ll wonder why Slack is so hot right now. But if you’ve never handled IRC, you’ll likely be stunned by the simplicity and beauty of this people-connecting software meant for company teams—but rapidly being hijacked by communities like MakerHunt.
  4. Plag**: I mention this once more because it is more like an interesting phenomenon than a useful tool (if you do make headway on this platform with marketing, please tell me!). Plag** is a cross between Tinder and Imgur, a place to share information and photographs for rapid dissemination across borders—just like an airborne virus.
  5. Kong: The latest thing from the makers of Path, Kong is a delightful advance in the art of the selfie, animating your best duck faces as a GIF-file. The genius viral nature of Kong’s share structure is that you’re not just limited to sharing on Path—you can also post to Facebook, Twitter, save to your phone as a GIF or a video, and send it as a text or as an email. This app has only been out for 1-2 weeks, but I predict it will go far.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

3 Terrific Tips to Increase Your Facebook Reach

3 Terrific Tips to Increase Your Facebook Reach

Facebook enticed you to play and then they made you pay.

It’s almost the perfect business model. You spent a ton of money investing in getting likes, shares and comments. This also enticed other people to join Facebook. Facebook then collected the demographic and social data about all your fans and friends and now sells the data back to you.

We call it “Facebook targeted advertising”. It’s the freemium web monetization model on steroids. But we are all still having fun. Aren’t we?

So what’s Facebook’s organic reach?

When Facebook first started offering businesses professional pages, companies took advantage of that to increase the reach of their brand. Over time, Facebook got smart and restricted reach, forcing companies to pay for promoted posts and advertising. Today, it’s pretty tricky to stay in front of even a small fraction of your fans.

Here is Facebook’s reach if you aren’t paying for ads according to recent research from Locowise.

Facebook organic reach

If you want to check out your pages reach here is a cool tool.

Here’s how to increase your Facebook reach, get more shares, followers, and “likes” under the new rules of Facebook.

Stop worrying about reach so much

Stop worrying about reach. It sounds strange, but think about it. There’s not much you can do about your reach on Facebook. They control the platform. The best you can do is use something like this Studyweb guide to build a better blog, and focus on ways to get targeted visitors off of Facebook and onto your website.

You could:
  • Use Facebook ads.
  • Use promoted posts.
  • Start a group.
  • Use more images that are mind-blowing, or at least memorable.
For example:


Radio station Nu92 posted this photo to their wall with the caption, “Who remembers having to do this to their school books?” It was an instant hit, attracting over 200,000 “likes” and 98,000+ comments. Why was it so popular? Answer: nostalgia.

They took people back in time to relive their childhood, for better or worse.

It connected with people. That radio station was able to make people feel understood – that’s key. By the way, radio stations are really good at that sort of thing. Have you ever noticed how many viral images they post? Use that as your guideline, and see if you can work in a link back to your site.

Quality not quantity

You’re shooting for quality, not quantity. The lifespan of a Facebook post is really short. The viral ones are almost always “wow” shots of someone doing something epic, something extremely nostalgic, something audacious and out of the ordinary, or something so controversial and divisive that people are practically forced to comment.

So, even though, right now, it seems like reach is dead, it’s not. It’s just being reinvented through a lens of quality. So, refocus your efforts on that, and try to gently move people from your epic posts to your website.

1. Start a group

Start a group on Facebook, and then advertise it. Guess what? Facebook won’t limit your reach in your group, and you’ll have a captive audience of people that want to hear what you have to say. Groups are a great way to have an ongoing discussion, promote interest in your blog, grow an audience, and avoid long-term marketing expenses.

Instead of continually trying to fight the reach problem, you simply side-step it. Groups already work well for sites like LinkedIn, so you’re not taking huge risks with it.

Group success tips

The key to making your group successful is to invite people whom you know will participate. Part of social media is “social” – in other words, there has to be interaction and engagement in the group for it to take off.

The first few members are important too. By having members join in the beginning who contribute, it creates the “social proof” for others. It tells new members that this is an active and interesting group.

Some ideas for starting a group include:
  • Discussion of controversial subject matter in your niche or industry.
  • Publishing case studies (stories).
  • Starting a support group (this works particularly well in the health and fitness industry, but also in personal finance and other niches where long-term motivation tends to be the sticking point for consumers).
Sure, you’ll have to spend money on advertising to get it going but, after a while, you can turn down the burn rate on your ad campaigns and let referrals build your group. The long-term effect is a free ad platform that grows of its own volition. And, if you appoint group moderators and managers, you won’t even have to manage it on a day to day basis.

2. Use better visuals

Using better visuals will help you engage more people which, in turn, will help you hang onto the reach you do have. Facebook has always been a visual platform, with images and videos outperforming text-based status updates.

That trend is going to continue, too. Social media is really an amalgamation of various types of platforms, but the common theme seems to be images, video, and short text-based updates. The shorter, the better. In fact, the hard data from Wishpond, and other agencies, shows that photo posts get 120 percent more interaction that text-based ones.

Try shorter posts

Shorter posts get 23 percent more interaction. with “tiny” posts of up to 70 characters getting more “likes” than posts of 231 or more characters.

It’’a hard to be too succinct. Memes tend to do well on Facebook, as does humor. So, keep that in mind. Photos of any kind generate more engagement than an average post, with images getting 53 percent more “likes” and 104 percent more comments than standard posts, according to Hubspot.


3. Invest in ads

If you want to reach more people, a great way to do that is to skip the sponsored or “boosted” posts and just advertise to your target market through Facebook’s default ad platform. That platform has grown and changed over the years, and today it offers a rich dataset for companies.

In fact, it probably rivals Google’s own ad platform. Advertisements don’t have to lead people back to your Facebook fan page. They can direct users to a landing page on your site – this makes Facebook much more valuable than it used to be.

Try using ads for lead generation

With ads, you can:
  • Generate leads
  • Increase email signups
And, best of all, you don’t have to worry about increasing organic reach for some arbitrary or hypothetical benefit. Ads, while not cheap, are a proven way to gauge interest in your product or service, and the response is immediate, often with results appearing after a few hours of your ad being approved. This means you can just focus on getting people who are actually interested in what you have to say, rather than messing around with “likes” and comments that go nowhere.

Guest Author: Judith Schneider works as an Internet advisor. She enjoys writing about what works for her online. Look for her posts on many computer and tech blogs.


Tuesday, 28 April 2015

9 Ways Brands Can Use Twitter Video To Drive Real Results

If you haven’t thought about incorporating Twitter video into your social marketing strategy, there are plenty of good reasons to start. But as with most tools, you need a little know-how to use them to get the biggest benefit. So, if you have no idea where to start, try these 9 great ways to get the Twitterverse a flutter with talk about your content.
Which tricks have you tried? Emailtweet, or send us a note with your tactics and questions.
Some infographic components designed by

Monday, 27 April 2015

7 Twitter Bio Ideas that Entice Followers (and Make You Unforgettable)

What does your Twitter bio say?
  • “Coffeeholic”
  • “Ninja Lean Entrepreneur”
  • “Growth Hacker”
Sorry, but these are vague (and forgettable).
Remember: your bio is usually the first thing people see when deciding whether to follow you on Twitter. 
And you only have 160 characters to tell them everything they need to know. So it has to be convincing! Every letter needs to count.
People loved it when I changed my Twitter bio. Check out these replies:
Do you want a similar reaction the next time you change your bio?
Then let me show you how to take your all-important bio to the next level.

7 Twitter Bio Ideas that Entice Followers (and Make You Unforgettable)

1. Use Keywords

Keywords are super important when people search for you on Twitter. That means the strongest Twitter bios usually contain targeted keywords.
You need to think about what your target audience is searching for — and then include those keywords in your bio.
Keywords are especially important for beginners who are trying to build a Twitter following.

2. Embrace the Space!

Your Twitter bio is only 160 characters long!
It’s basically your elevator pitch on steroids. Don’t waste it!
But remember: you’ll rarely write the perfect bio the first time around. So keep trying!
For example, my current Twitter bio has gone through at least 10 re-writes.

3. Tell Us What You Do or Believe in

Use your bio to tell everyone on Twitter exactly what you do — or even better, what you believe in!
This helps differentiate you from others in your field.
Richard Branson gets it!

4. Include Name of Your Employer

This is useful when people search for your company on Twitter.
If your bio has your employer’s Twitter handle, you’ll appear in the search results when people search for the business on Twitter.
Jason How & Jenny Brennan write for our blog — and they both appear in the “@postplanner” search results.

5. Avoid Meaningless Buzzwords

  • Social media expert
  • Marketing guru
  • Networking ninja
  • Lean entrepreneur
These are cute. But they’re a bit 2011.
Get rid of the buzzwords!

6. Add Social Proof

What are your greatest accomplishments?
Mention significant awards & recognition in your Twitter bio. This social proof can be a great conversation starter.
Here’s an example from Emily Schuman:

7. Use Humor

A little humor will go a long way for getting people to remember you on Twitter.
Not that Tom Hanks needs any help. He’s the master!


Your Twitter bio is pretty much your best opportunity to tell people why they should follow you.
Don’t waste it!
Instead, use a few of the Twitter bio ideas I mentioned in this post and beef up your bio today.