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Automate Your Social Media Marketing with Sniply + SocialPilot

Automate Your Social Media Marketing with Sniply + SocialPilot

What would you do if you got an extra working hour for the rest of your life?

That’s right – one extra hour to invest in selling more stuff, creating content, serving more customers or anything you like that will help you grow your business.

Well, how do you get this extra working hour?

If you’re a Sniply user, you’re not new to social media automation. Today, we want to introduce you to another social media automation tool that’ll save your time and improve your marketing efficiency.

Social media marketing automation is the easiest way to save time while making sure that all your social media accounts are actively engaging prospects and audience. Since it’s possible to plan your posting calendar in advance, an automation tool takes away the pain of logging into each account regularly to post content.

Our newest partnership will help you take all the advantages of social media automation without creating a hole in your pocket.

 

Meet SocialPilot – https://socialpilot.co/

SocialPilot is a social media automation tool that focuses on making your social media marketing more efficient. Whether you’re a small business, a blogger or a marketing agency, you’ll find immense value by automating your social media marketing with the help of SocialPilot.

SocialPilot offers various features and functionalities to make your marketing more efficient. Some of these features are content scheduling, bulk scheduling social media calendar, Facebook branding, content suggestion, feed automation, client dashboard and many others.

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SocialPilot supports posting on all the major social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr, VK, Xing and others. You can schedule your posts and tweets from their seamless web app, mobile apps or browser extensions.

 

Top three features we like about SocialPilot

Although SocialPilot is packed with many useful features, we find the following three features that are really effective:

  1. Bulk Scheduling

SocialPilot lets you schedule multiple posts and tweets at once across several accounts. You can upload hundreds of posts in one go in both CSV and text formats. By scheduling multiple posts at once, you can ensure that your posting queue is filled up for weeks together and that you don’t have to worry about logging into your social media accounts to post new stuff every day.

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  1. Content Suggestion & Feeds

Content is the king on social media and when you are using a tool like SocialPilot, you’ll never run out of ideas. The team at SocialPilot manually curates high quality and engaging content from all over the internet on various topics like tech, startups, business, travel, marketing and other relevant subjects. It is important to mix up your curated posts and tweets along with your own content so that your followers get fresh content from across the categories.

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  1. Client Connect

If you’re an agency and are managing your client’s social media accounts, you have to ask them for their social media credentials, which makes your clients a little uncomfortable most of the times. The client connect feature of SocialPilot comes in handy in such situations. You can ask your clients to connect their social media accounts without asking for their credentials.

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Using Sniply + SocialPilot for Ultimate Automation Hack

Sniply’s integration with SocialPilot makes your marketing automation very efficient and effective. Sniply helps you to manage the content that you share and add your preferred call-to-actions on every link that you share. SocialPilot takes this sharing to the next level but automating your content scheduling and sharing.

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Getting Started with Sniply + SocialPilot

It’s easy to start using SocialPilot for social media automation. You can start by creating a free account at SocialPilot and integrating your Sniply account in SocialPilot. Once your Sniply account is integrated, all links that you share from SocialPilot will have Sniply link. Based on your Sniply configurations, you’ll be able to add your desired call-to-actions for the link that you share. You’ll also be measure all activities on your Snips through Sniply Analytics.

Conclusion

Sniply + SocialPilot is a lethal combination that will automate your social media marketing to improve brand visibility and drive engagement which, in turn, will ultimately lead to improved conversions.

 

How to Engage Your Competitors’ Social Media Followers

How to Engage Your Competitors’ Social Media Followers

Social media behaviors aren’t the most predictable. Our customers can’t always be served exactly what they want to see in their news feeds, essentially because their minds look for very different things from a moment to another. Before getting started, one thing that’s relevant to be mentioned is this: while stealing implies that at least one party is going to be disadvantaged, when it comes to social media people’s interests can be merged into a consistent message from similar brands. This is why stealing the audience of your competitors is actually a win-win situation on social media.

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Finding Competitors with Authority

Yeah, it’s easy in theory to follow your competitors. But if your market share isn’t clearly divided between competitors, it’s going to be a tough job identifying them properly. Using another’s fan base to improve your social media exposure takes a lot of steps – but it’s all worth it in the end.

During this phase, Google is your best friend. Identify your most successful competitors (if you don’t already know them) – search on Google for specific keyword in your niche.

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Let’s take a look at the dog food industry. While there are 5 big competitors in the industry of dog food advising, only two of these are hugely popular on Twitter, as the third has 45k followers, being somewhere in the middle.

There’s a lot at stake when it comes to your competitors’ followers – aside from the content and the posting schedule, there’s the tone these companies use to engage their audience. It’s the experience they’ve got that’s the most difficult for you to surpass. Part of this burden is because of word of mouth, part of it because of the very personal style your competitors have.

I’m aware that statistics don’t always apply. With this in mind, it is, though, crucial to be informed on the tendencies. 71% of the people experiencing a quick and effective brand response on social media are more likely to recommend it to others. On the other hand, 42% of the customers on social media expect an answer within an hour.

What we learn from here is that we don’t only have to be very prompt, but we must be helpful and friendly as well. The stalking part may not be very pretty, but it’s important not to skip it if you want to spot exactly what is that people like.

The Advantages of Guest Posting

Let’s suppose you’ve followed the first step. You now know who your competitors are and where to find them. It’s still not enough. Actually, it is only the beginning. Following whomever seems to be performing extraordinarily is crucial, but don’t stop here.

When it comes to brand interaction, what moulds people’s experiences on social media is how satisfied their needs are when being in contact with your brand. Most of the social media shares come from on-page blog posts. Try slinking in there – see what your competitors write about. If the difference in visibility is consistent enough so they don’t think of you as a threat, accepting a guest post on a pertinent topic shouldn’t be a problem.

Don’t give your competitors the impression that you’re trying to steal their audience. Rather, be genuinely interested in satisfying an organic need. Approach a topic that they’d all be interested in reading. Document it thoroughly.

For instance, in the example with the dog food, Petco has 169k Twitter followers. If you’re Petsmart (165k Twitter followers) they’re less likely to accept a guest post from you, as you’re their main competitor. But if you manage to find someone popular in your industry who needs your expertise as a complementary point of view, guest posting is a great resource for reaching out to new people.

Instead, after reading your guest post, my thoughts should be somewhere around the idea that ‘here’s this cool guy whose posts I’ve been missing. Who is he? I’d like to see more of that’.

Who doesn’t like a nice travel blog? They’re most inspiring. From packing your luggage in the most compact ways possible to exploring the wonders of lost civilization and best casinos to go to while you’re in Las Vegas, there’s not much you won’t find on a travel blog.

Suppose I’m Atlas Obscura, a travel blog. I do have a fine social engagement rate; but considering the area I write in – which is highly permissive – I could be doing much better. For instance, MatadorNetwork have more readers than I do. Their project is a little bigger than mine, and maybe monitoring them closely will give me some insight on what I could improve. As the difference between our performance isn’t that significant, I am one of their main competitors – so it’s my duty to be informed.

I believe that most of the people who click on something interesting on their social media feeds don’t pay attention to the source, but to the title and the picture. At least most of the times.

Of course, this brings a lot of extra responsibilities when trying to promote your content – in order to be remembered you have to be remarkable. Constantly and consistently remarkable. It’s not an easy job, but it does pay off.

When talking about promoting your content, a tool that you may find very useful is Sniply. What it does is enabling you to display a link and call to action on any other webpage that you share. This might be a very useful promoting tool, not to mention it’s main big advantage: drives traffic back to your website from the links you share on social media.

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From the exhausted mothers who always look astonishing, to the teachers who never seem to get mad at their students repeating mistakes, we all have our little secrets that keep us going. In this industry, guest posting is one of those, on the condition to do it flawlessly.

I looked for the editorial team of Matador Network on their site, to see who is a constant writer on the blog. There I found Genevive Northup.

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Then, I searched for her on Brand Mentions, and the mentions returned for the past month led me to a site which accepts guest posts.

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Finding Wall Street International, I decided to go through her guest post and see what it was about. I found that the author shared a personal traveling experience and the lead photo of the post is a personal one, of her husband’s. The writing style is somewhat similar – with a powerful personal touch. So now I know what kind of articles the editorial team of this magazine appreciate.

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I can contact the editorial team whenever I’ve got a text written on one of my recent travel experiences. Theoretically, they would have no reason to say no to my proposition.

Also, this way I can make sure that whoever saw my competitor’s article about trekking in the Arctic Circle has the chance to run into my own writings on social media.

Twitter Performance Speaks of Engagement and Popularity

It’s even harder, since Twitter took out their on-page counter, to keep up with your competitors and their social media performance. Luckily, there are some tools that can help you monitor their online presence without being pretentious or too tech-oriented. They’re friendly websites that don’t require a lot of social media monitoring expertise, yet they provide essential data that’s already put in perspective, ready for you to use.

The difference between Atlas Obscura and Matador Network isn’t that big compared to their overall performance. However, me being Atlas Obscura, I decided that I may have a thing or two to learn from closely monitoring the performance of this direct competitor.

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So here’s what I find at a first glance: the number of tweets per day, which is a little over 27 (while I only have approximately 24); the user mentions per tweet is 0.29% compared to my own 0.05% per tweet, which shows that they’ve got a higher engagement rate in terms of user interaction with their posts.

And here’s where a strange phenomenon happens. I’ve got a rate of 83% retweets to my posts, while Matador Network have 76% and 84% favorites, while they’ve only got 81%. And what’s perhaps even more surprising is that I’ve got a 14% retweet rate, my competitor only scores 1%. As you’ll see in the screenshot below, Twitonomy offered me all the information I needed at a first glance – enough to form an opinion on where my competitor is performing a little better.

This does give me an idea on what’s happening – my followers, fewer as they are, seem to be more engaged with the content I provide, despite the fact that I post an average of fewer tweets per day and less hashtags are involved.

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Taking a second look at this first chart, I realize that whatever strategy I may be borrowing inspired by what Matador Network does, it’s not going to be meant to increase loyalty. On the contrary, it’s going to be meant to reach for more new people, while trying to maintain the work I’ve been doing so far – it’s the strategy that brought me here, after all.

Another set of data that I may find useful concerns the user interaction – what are the most retweeted posts? What about the ones most replied to? Which hashtags work better?

Answering these questions can show me where I stand compared to this site’s performance.

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The most retweeted tweets give me a sense of what’s prone to be popular – what people like, what they identify themselves with, those specific things that manage to move them in a way. And when it comes to traveling, it’s not easy to bring something new and remarkable (and I don’t even have to be Atlas Obscura to know this).

Knowing what people most commented on allows you to give them tricks and advice as a reply to their comments on your competitor’s page. If it’s done properly, this strategy raises the attention and gains lots of followers – especially if you decide to reply to a popular comment. However, it’s crucial not to mention your brand, so that you can sound like a proper expert, not like a cheap advertiser looking for attention.

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Often, when you’re looking for something original and on the button, what you need in fact is no more than a glimpse of what is currently working. But, however engaged we are in our mission, it’s relevant to remember that very much like planning, pragmatism is something a business needs from day 0 in order to succeed. This is why I found particularly relevant the hours of the day and the days of the week when the Tweets are posted along with the hours when the engagement rates are better.

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It’s really useful to have a tool like this to tell you when your competitors are active on social media – because when they’re not, it’s your time to shine. And then steal their thunder and conquer the world. Or at least shine. If you make it a strategy – which first of all implies consistency and constant activity – this can be the very source of your social media success.

Spying the Twitter performance of your competitors is one of your best leads, especially if you know how to interpret the results you’re given.

Monitor Facebook Pages

Keeping up with your competitors on their social media strategy is a full time job (also literally). Fanpage Karma is the tool that I’m using to make this short analysis, allowing me to have a lot of powerful insight on what I should be doing instead of posting randomly and hoping for the best.

For instance, knowing that I (Atlas Obscura) only have 200k Facebook page likes and Matador Network has almost 700k, it’s time to begin a close monitoring and see where my strategies can be similar to theirs and where I should try being complementary instead. It seems that unlike our performance on Twitter – where the difference is smaller – there’s room of much better on Facebook.

Let’s start with the last thing we talked about when referring to Twitter – when to post. What I find from here is that the Matador Network Facebook page isn’t quite active during Saturdays – which suits me the most, since I decided that it’s an appropriate day to be active on Twitter, too. But unlike Twitter, I know from my own Facebook subscribers aren’t active on Saturdays – so I can actually adapt Matador Network’s strategy to my needs.

However, knowing that people in general tend to be less active on social media during the weekends, I won’t exaggerate – just post cool travel insights every now and then to make people’s weekends more fun.

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Of course, me being more active is in addition to my current activity. Given that on Facebook the difference between me and my competitor is significant, I could try their method – copy their posting schedule (it seems to be working!).

Matador Network doesn’t only have more Facebook fans, is also has a great engagement rate. So let’s debunk this.

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According to their content, most of the posts include links and none of them are actually simple statuses, as shown in the engagement matrix. Also, most of the links have pictures – which means that visuals can be exploited on social media as well. This gives me enough perspective to start improving my page’s Facebook performance.

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While in terms of absolute numbers i have approximately one third of their number of fans, the market share situation is dramatically better for my competitors, as shown in the graph below. Fortunately, on the previous point I got insight on what they do better and how to improve my performance.

This position, however, is relative as it doesn’t show that my weekly growth is approximately one third compared to Matador Network’s. This means that whatever I’ve been doing in terms of posting during the following week isn’t bad at all and what I should focus on is a way of growing this exponentially.

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Generally, Twitter and Facebook behaviors are different one from another, even when we’re talking about the same users – their reactions to whichever types of content differs depending on what they’re accustomed to. It would be significantly harder to engage an active follower on Facebook without any pictures featuring your links, because it’s a different way of behaving than the one I’m used to being exposed to.

Conclusion

Just like the devil, the biggest trick social media can pull is to leave you under the impression that it’s not to be taken into account. Don’t fall into that trap. Instead, take it seriously. It’s not even reducible to a means of content amplification – it’s way more than this. Being active and relevant on social media is almost as important as being relevant in your niche; these two often are converged. From a relevance statement to online awareness, there’s no direction where we can afford to underestimate its powers.

Take social media seriously and you’ll be taken seriously; today, you’re only as relevant as your content – and it’s impossible to maintain applicability when your content doesn’t get to your audience. Not settling for an average social media performance is, unlike just a few years back, a prerequisite for anyone out there who wants to be taken seriously.

Sendible Integration: Turn Followers Into Customers By Branding Shared Content

Sendible Integration: Turn Followers Into Customers By Branding Shared Content

By Leanne Clements from Sendible for the Sendible Blog

A couple of weeks ago we announced a new change to our ‘Suggested Content’ and explained the importance of curating content. As mentioned in previous posts, content curation can help grow your business by increasing audience engagement. Posting relevant, engaging content in Sendible is a quick and cost effective way to improve the ‘buzz’ and positive sentiment around your brand. This week we are looking at a feature to be released next week that will add another dimension to your content curation. We will give you the ability to advertise on the pages of content you share, for free!

Advertise on the pages of the links you share

You know that it is important to share content for your audience to read, and maybe you already have a growing audience, but what if there was a way to remind that same reader of your brand after they have clicked through to the shared content? Well, ladies and gentlemen, we introduce to you…sniply! If you haven’t heard about sniply already, it’s a way to brand all the links that you share online, i.e. when someone clicks on a link you share, your logo and message (and even action!) will still feature within that page. A custom message is attached to the shared page itself where you can link back to your website, shop, event page… the possibilities here are endless! By adding this dimension to all content you share you are maximizing your website traffic, which in turn will increase the likelihood of your audience actually purchasing your product or service. Using sniply in your Sendible account will dramatically boost your ROI by turning your followers into customers.

How this works, in practice

Let’s look at an example of how this would work. Sendible is trying to increase the downloading of their iOS companion application. If we want to target Apple users, we could curate and an article that is directly related to Apple users (a new Apple product, a review, any related content). Making sure we ‘snip’ the link, we are then able to put our branded related message on it. The linked content looks exactly the same as before, but now when our target audience read the article, they also receive a message on the page, prompting them to go ahead and download our application. All this without spending an extra penny.

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We can also track this link using Sendible’s link tracking tools. Using the analytics provided by Sendible, we can also now prove the success of the campaign, or understand what works better.

Easy to use with your Sendible account

Using sniply is really simple to do in Sendible. Simply open the compose box and enter the links you wish to ‘snip’. Then just click the ‘sniply’ icon.

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You will be presented with your previously used sniply templates to use, or an option to create a new one. Within two clicks you will have ‘snipped’ your link and you can now share with your followers, to all your social channels.

Sendible provide many options to customize your links, these include previews, tracking, shortening and many more. For more information on how you can make the most out of your Sendible account, contact us at [email protected] We hope you are excited about the arrival of this new feature! Leave us a comment to let us know what you think. If you do not already have an account with Sendible then we’ll give you a free trial at www.sendible.com!

5 Untapped Sources of Curated Content

5 Untapped Sources of Curated Content

If content curation is your job, then you know that timing is everything. There’s no quicker way to alienate your followers than to consistently serve up stale content. And, as you know, viral items on the Internet go bad much faster than a loaf of bread. For instance, if you’re just now finding out about The Dress, you’re much better off admitting you missed that one than posting about it now. We all saw it. We’re all sick of it. It’s blue and black, and there is no room for debate.

But being good at curating content isn’t just about not missing out on every viral sensation. It’s also about consistently finding cool things that might otherwise fly under the radar. Here are five sources of content that will not only keep you on top of what everyone else is talking about, but they will also help you to start a conversation of your own:

1. Flipboard

It used to be that whenever you wanted to keep abreast of whatever was happening in your industry, you’d subscribe to a bunch of trade magazines. However, since we live in a world that is going increasingly paperless, it may be a better option to just create your own magazine — a digital one.

Flipboard allows you to do just that. It aggregates content of your choice — everything from big newspapers to your social media feed — and presents it in a magazine-style app. This is a good one to use if you already know where to get your content but just need an efficient way to do it.

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2. Prismatic

Prismatic is taking content discovery to new heights by learning your interests and finding new ones. It’s a mobile reading app that presents you with articles and information from your own social network and items from other websites that are generating buzz.

Prismatic distinguishes itself, though, through the way it makes recommendations of topics based on your past usage. Soon you’ll see more things you hadn’t thought of but are certainly relevant to your interests. It’s kind of like the StumbleUpon of 2015.

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3. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo’s top content search is perfect if you’re a little late to the party, but you still want to share a relevant article. Enter a search term, and Buzzsumo will present you with a list of articles on that topic sorted by the number of shares across every major social media platform.

Buzzsumo is free, but it also has an upgraded premium service that provides more in-depth and focused searches. The pro version will help you get more in depth with advanced search queries. You certainly don’t need the pro version to get good use out of Buzzsumo, though.

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4. Medium

Think of Medium as a kind of Twitter — it was created by the founders of Twitter — without the character restrictions. It’s basically just a popular blogging platform, but it can be extremely useful to find content once you tap into the community that shares your interests.

And if you don’t have time to add yet another social network to check every day, Medium’s digest emails will keep you informed on the topics of your choice. In fact, Medium might be worth joining just for those emails alone. Personally, the Medium digest emails are one of the few newsletters that I almost always check out!

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5. Reddit

Reddit bills itself as the “front page of the internet.” It can be a little intimidating, and it doesn’t have the most intuitive user-interface. But it’s absolutely essential to know how to use it if you want to know what’s about to go viral before anyone else does.

Many marketers are intimidated by or even afraid of Reddit. They don’t understand it. It’s true that you need to walk a fine line as a communicator on Reddit. The key to using Reddit well is to just jump into the community and start participating. Notice that I said “participating” – not spamming!

If you just want to use Reddit as a source of material rather than interacting with the community, that’s still possible; just find and subscribe to subreddits related to your industry and let the wisdom of the masses inform you about what is trending. Beyond Reddit, there are community news sites in specific industries that operate similarly. For example, in the design industry, community news is alive and well; there are tons of sources of design news to choose from! I highlighted a few in other industries in this post for Socialnomics.

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Finding high quality and reliable content on the web is a challenge, especially if it’s content that you intend to use to help promote your brand. Getting ahead is tricky, but these five relatively untapped sources of rising content will prove super valuable in the long run!

What are your favorite places to find good content to share? Tell me in the comments!

[Infographic] Finding the Balance Between Curation and Creation

[Infographic] Finding the Balance Between Curation and Creation

Self-promotion is a delicate act. Social media is all about conversations and genuine relationships. Promoting your own brand could make you appear self-absorbed, yet if you don’t promote yourself, then who will? If you always only push your own brand, your followers may drop away like flies. If you only curate content and drive traffic to other people’s content, then where do you get your return on investment for resources spent on social?

Finding the balance between curation and creation is a difficult challenge, but in order to harness the business potential of social, figuring out this balance is a necessity.

Here are some statistics to consider

  • Posting links to 3rd party sites generates 33% more clicks than posts linked to owned sites
  • Posting links to owned websites generates a 54% higher click-to-conversion rate than posts that link to 3rd party websites
  • Curators who link to 3rd party sites 75% or more of the time on average get 47.8% more clicks per post, 0.2% more click-to-conversion rate, and 0.10 conversions per post
  • Self promoters who link to their own content 50% or more of the time on average get 17 clicks per post, 2.4% click-to-conversion rate, and 0.41 conversions per post on average

The goal is to find a balance between both by linking to 3rd party sites 50-75% of the time, which on average will yield 38.4 clicks per post, 2.5% click-to-conversion rate, and 0.95 conversions per post.

Not only does a combination of content creation and curation lead to building strong relationships with the right people, but it makes your content a lot more useful, and generates a much higher click-rate.

By curating different kinds of content, you increase engagement rates even more. Try linking to videos, podcasts and infographics.

There are lots of different kinds of retargeting campaigns that exist to help creative curation strategies, leading to increased clicks and conversations.

venngageThis infographic template was created with the infographic maker Venngage

 

How Sniply Helps SaferVPN Get Qualified Leads

How Sniply Helps SaferVPN Get Qualified Leads

For the past few months I’ve been building up a social media presence for the company I’m working for, SaferVPN, a service for people concerned about online privacy and security.

All the big shots in content marketing speak a lot about mixing up your brand’s promotional content with news and content from other sources. Hubspot speaks about the 80/20 rule of content promotion, stating that 80% of the content you share should be purely helpful and non-promotional, and the remaining 20% should be promoting your brand. Also Kevan Lee from Buffer discusses several different ratios for content sharing on social media, but reveals that 90% of the content they share is their own and just the remaining 10% is sourced content.

Now if you’re a content marketer like me, it makes perfect sense to mix up your own promotional content with sourced content relevant to your service. In my case that would be the latest news about online security threats and privacy issues. You don’t want to be overly salesy because (A) it’s not fun, and (B) nobody likes that kind of salesperson. Today’s content marketing is about providing value to your customers, offering solutions to their problems and being a thought leader in your field.

Since building up our social media following, I’ve spent a lot of time sourcing quality news related to privacy and security to share with our followers. Sharing such articles on Twitter and in different Google+ groups gives us a bit of brand exposure as they see our brand’s avatar. Yet, the problem is that we’re sending traffic away from our social media channels – but then where?

For a long time I was questioning how worthwhile it was to share all that sourced content. There was no way to measure neither direct website traffic nor signups as a result of the articles I shared. Try justifying to your CEO all those hours spent sourcing content and they will likely have a hard time seeing the value of it. Sure, our social media following is growing steadily and that’s great. But we have to be able to leverage it to drive traffic to our site, and in the long run, signups.

That’s why I was so happy to find Sniply. If you’re not familiar with it yet, this is how it works in brief: paste the link you want to shorten, customize a small speech bubble or bar in the bottom with your brand’s logo, a call to action and a button. It’s super easy to use and it takes less a minute to customize your Sniply link. Here’s how it looks:

 

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In the above example I wanted to share an article on how to stay safe when you’re using public WiFi, which is something our service helps users do. Just sharing the article itself is surely helpful – but then what? After sharing the article, I need to help educate our followers how our service can help them against the security threats explained in the article. If the visitor clicks the ‘Learn More’ button, I can decide where to direct them, for example to a landing page about security, or to a blog article about the topic. The beauty of it is that you get highly qualitative leads because you’re sharing content about the topics that your ideal users are interested in.

Once you have created a Sniply, just share the link in all your relevant social media channels. It’s so smart that even when you paste the link into Facebook, it will be automatically be shown as if it came straight from the site you are linking to, for example:

 

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As you can see, it looks like any normal link and it loads both the title and image properly from the article I’m linking to.

I was a bit reluctant at first whether or not people would share my Sniplys, because after all, that’s how you get a lot of visibility and it also gives you social proof from your followers. To my happy surprise, people actually share my Sniplys!

Once I’ve shared my Sniplys, I can track and analyze all the data in my Dashboard. That way I get a clear overview of the overall performance of my shared links. Perhaps more important, I can easily analyze link by link to see what type of articles gets the most clicks and highest conversions. I can finally justify promoting sourced content on social media and actually get some return on the time spent doing so!

Bottom-line: Sniply is a helpful tool in my content marketing arsenal since it helps me bring in qualified website visitors from my social media channels. You should try it too!

If Sniply has helped you in your social media marketing I’d love to hear how, feel free to share your tips in the comments below!

How to Use Social Media to Drive Conversions

How to Use Social Media to Drive Conversions

Are you ready to take your social media marketing to the next level? If so, then you will want to start taking a conversion-oriented approach to social media. In this post, we are going to look at some ways you can use social media to drive conversions.

Add Links to Your Profiles

This one seems like a no-brainer, yet lots of businesses do not use the spaces allotted for website links on their profiles and pages. In addition to the obvious fields, there are others that can help visitors to your social profiles navigate to your website. These include:

* The website field and bio for your Twitter profile.

* The website field and short description for your Facebook page.

* The Publications and Projects section of LinkedIn profiles.

* The links and introduction section of Google+ profiles and pages.

* The cover photos on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn profiles and pages.

For profiles and pages that allow you to have more than one link, you can optimize for conversion by having one link to the homepage of your website and one to a landing page geared towards converting social media visitors into email subscribers, leads, or sales. These links should be in place before you start promoting your social media profiles or added as soon as possible.

A great example from Autosend:

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Grow a Relevant Audience

Your business most likely does not need a million followers. Nor does it need fans that are bought in packages or acquired through iPad giveaways (unless you actually sell iPads). Unless you are trying to create the next ICanHasCheezburger, the only followers and fans you should strive to gain are relevant ones.

Relevant social media audiences are those that are going to be interested in your products and services. If you want to buy followers and fans, you should use official social media advertising such as Twitter Promoted Accounts and Facebook Ads. These allow you to create ads shown to your business’s target demographic.

If you want to use giveaways to grow your audience, then use relevant giveaways. If you offer a web analytics service, then give away a free year’s subscription to your platform. Unlike the people who would enter a contest to win an iPad (and never visit your page again), those who entered to win a free year’s subscription to your platform would be the ideal audience to sell to later.

Provide Value

One way that you will help grow a relevant audience and keep your relevant audience engaged is to provide value. The key to providing value in a way that encourages conversions is to do so in relation to your business.

A retail store that sells pet supplies could easily do this by going out on Twitter and searching for people in their region asking questions about pet food, pet toys, etc. Each question that they answer could lead someone to discover his or her website, see them as an authority on pets, and eventually go shopping at their store.

Service providers, such as wedding photographers, could do the same. They could simply go into local wedding groups on Facebook and answer questions. Through providing tips on how to take great photos, they will likely attain great leads.

A great example from When I Work (shameless plug):

wheniwork

Promote Content with a Call-to-Action

Another way to provide value on social media is by creating and sharing valuable content from your blog. People prefer to consume content over advertisements on social media.

Therefore, if you are sharing great content, they are going to click through to read it. When they do, make sure you have an informative post followed by a strong call to action to get the visitor to go from reader to lead or customer.

Get Fans on Your Email List

The next best thing to getting someone to convert from social media into a lead or customer is to get someone on your email list, another medium through which you can work towards conversion. You can do this as a part of your content with a call to action promotion strategy.

You can also do it by creating lead magnets specifically geared towards encouraging people to submit their email address to your list, such as informative ebooks or reports. Whenever you publish a new lead magnet, create a landing page for it that focuses the visitor on nothing but submitting their email address. Then promote that landing page to your social media audience.

A great example from Groove:

groove

Create Highly Targeted Ads

In addition to organically promoting your business to drive conversions, you can use social media advertising to reach the right audiences. If you know your ideal customers well, you should have no trouble creating ad campaigns that are shown to highly targeted audiences.

Facebook, for example, will allow you to target single men in a certain age bracket who live in San Francisco, are interested in exotic sports cars, and are CEOs of tech companies. LinkedIn, on the other hand, will allow you to target men who live in San Francisco, are CEOs of tech companies, and who are members of groups like exotic car owners and enthusiasts.

The goal of a highly targeted ad campaign is to have a small reach of people who are the perfect fit for your customer demographic. These ad campaigns should drive visitors to conversion optimized landing pages. This strategy should ensure that you are spending a smaller budget on a higher-converting audience.

Use Remarketing

Another way to use social media advertising is remarketing. So far, Facebook and Twitter both allow you to create custom audiences and tailored audiences based on visitors to your website that have had a cookie placed on their browser. You can use these cookies to match ad campaigns to specific pages people have visited.

Remarketing is the reason you can go to Facebook after browsing Staples’ website and see the same desk you were browsing in your news feed. Because you are targeting audiences that have visited your website, you stand a much higher potential to convert them into sales.

In Conclusion

As you can see, you have many opportunities to optimize your social media presence for conversions. Be sure to take advantage of all of them to ensure your social media campaigns result in positive ROI.

[Interview] How Upstart Avoided the Four Common Mistakes of Community Building

[Interview] How Upstart Avoided the Four Common Mistakes of Community Building

Community building is an integral part to growing any business. Nielsen recently published a research report that states 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family. So how then does one convert regular users into vocal advocates? Although each business has its own unique path to developing a strong community, there are some common practices to be avoided.1

I sat down with Brigitte Bradford, a startup marketer based in Palo Alto to discuss how she helped Upstart overcome the common mistakes in community building.

Upstart is a business that provides loans to students and new graduates. It solves the problems that young adults go through to secure a financial loan. By taking academic backgrounds and work experience into consideration, Upstart sees more than just a “credit score” and offers reasonable loans to high potential applicants. Started in 2013, Upstart has since raised more than $7 million in seed funding and was part of the Thiel Fellowship.

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1) Simplifying  messaging

“The best start-up idea is not the most complicated one”

What would your business look like on a car bumper sticker? How would you explain it in a tweet? These were the questions Brigitte asked herself when customers expressed difficulty explaining Upstart to friends. Upstart first launched with a novel financial product. On top of considering academic backgrounds and work experience during the underwriting process, Upstart had a unique loan system called the “Income Share Agreement”. Instead of a traditional loan with principals/interest, borrowers agreed to share a percentage of their future income for 5 or 10 years.

Startups often make the mistake of trying to change too many things in an industry to be “disruptive”. A fine balance needs to be made. How do you expect customers to advocate for you when they can’t even sum up the different things your business is trying to accomplish?

Evernote is a great example of an online business that boasts a simple ‘cut to the chase’ tagline. They pride themselves on being “one workspace” – an application that lets you store notes whether its on your phone, computer, at work, or at home.

2) Parking emotions at the door

“If the markets aren’t listening or responding, then you have to let go and do what people want.”

It can be hard not to get emotionally attached to your startup – after all it’s a product made by you! With Upstart, although many users appreciated the unique underwriting process, it became clear that there was a strong market and interest for a more traditional loan. Using the same income prediction model at the heart of their original  offering, the company began exclusively offering a more conventional 3 year fixed rate loan.

By listening to their customers, Upstart has since experienced 100% month-over-month growth. Not only did this change attract new customers but it made it easier for current users to share and advocate for Upstart. Additionally, features that you take out today could very well come back at a later stage of the business. Boasting this “customer-first” mentality is important when community building.

3) Own your messaging

“If you are calling yourself disruptive, own it, be willing to put yourself out there.”

Part of having a brand is owning that relationship you have with customers. When you think of your best friend, would you classify that relationship as authentic or fake? Hopefully its authentic. This same principle applies when building a community. This is how Brigitte describes Upstart:

  • We are a smart, hardworking bunch
  • We boast an open door policy (Send anybody an email anytime – [email protected])
  • We love data
  • We want to empower people financially with information and services that utilize technology

The personality that you are forming in your mind right now is exactly how Upstart is. From their open email policy to lightning fast customer service, Upstart truly lives up to who they promote themselves to be. For example: they just ran a bold, “hipster-esque” advertisement on Facebook, receiving likes, dislikes, and even media coverage. Upstart ran a unique email campaign entitled “Are you financially smarter than the average American?” – Sparked by recent news suggesting how US citizens generally have lower financial IQ than other OECD countries, Upstart created a 10-question quiz that challenged blog readers. This was extremely well received and generated a large number of views and referrals. By embedding core values into the company DNA, your customers will have a better expectation and appreciation of your brand.

4) Engage in ways your competitor can’t

“…the things our competitors are not doing well, how much time would it take for us to do that stuff well…”

Nothing rallies people together more than solving a problem. Every business answers a problem or need. Companies use this subject matter to their advantage! When Upstart created their blog, they wanted to ensure it embodied the company’s core personality and mission. Looking at the blogs written by large American banks, a lot of complicated financial jargon was used. To contrast, Brigitte made sure that every article was written in a friendly, easy to understand manner. Gifs, graphs, and pop-culture references were even used to add a more human element to this traditional, boring financial content. Brigitte mentions its important to respond to customer feedback with quick adaptivity. If readers enjoyed the blog post on credit scores, then write 3 or 4 more articles on different angles of credit scores! Always test your market and maximize customer responses.

Upstart: The Kickstarter for People

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A huge thanks goes out to Brigitte from Upstart as she shares these best case practices in community building. If you are interested in learning more about Upstart be sure to check out their website and follow Brigitte on Twitter! Comments or suggestions for community building? I would love to read them so write them out below. To wrap things up, here are some fun questions I asked Brigitte:

Pet Peeve:

People who say they are bored.

Cups of Coffee a Day:

On average 2 – 3 big cups of coffee a day.

Morning Ritual:

10 minutes of meditation and 10 minutes of yoga.

Book Recommendations:

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. Check out our team’s summer reading list!

Unique fact:

Travelled and volunteered in Tanzania for 2 months.

Favorite Quote:

Upstart lives by the “Just Do it” model – At the office, if you need to do something, just do it. If you have to apologize later that’s fine! No need to ask for permission, just get stuff done.