#ContentWritingChat Recap: Speak Your Content: The Case for Social Audio & Podcasting with Jennifer Navarrete

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Speak Your Content: The Case for Social Audio & Podcasting with Jennifer Navarrete

With the popularity of podcasting and platforms like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, many brands are jumping on board with audio content.

It’s become a pretty powerful way for them to connect with their audience on a much deeper level and to establish the all-important Know, Like, and Trust Factor.

In this #ContentWritingChat, we talked about the benefits of adding audio to your content strategy, how to have engaging conversations, and more. With these tips, you’ll become a social audio and podcasting pro in no time at all.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Speak Your Content: The Case for Social Audio & Podcasting with Jennifer Navarrete

Our guest host for this month’s chat was Jennifer Navarrete. She’s a virtual event producer, has been podcasting for 16 years, and is the founder of #NaPodPoMo. If you follow her on Twitter, you’ll be sure to find her sharing voice tweets and going live on Spaces, so it’s pretty clear she has a passion for audio content.

Q1: What are some of the benefits of audio content and how will a brand know if this is the right move in terms of content creation?

In terms of benefits, Jennifer feels audio content is great for multitaskers. You can easily tune into a podcast or a live conversation on Twitter Spaces while you’re doing household chores or getting outside for a walk.

Before you dive into creating audio content, it’s smart to ask your audience if it’s something they’re interested in. Everyone has preferences on how they like to learn things, whether it’s through blogs, videos, or podcasts. If they’re excited about the idea, you’ll know to move forward.

As Shawn said, the overall experience is enhanced with audio content. People are able to better detect your emotions and passion through the way you’re speaking, often making it a more powerful experience.

Audio content gives you the opportunity to humanize your brand, as people will be able to get to know you on a deeper level.

Q2: Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse have become pretty popular. How can you make sure these live conversations are engaging to keep listeners interested?

Jennifer’s advice is to utilize the Nest within Spaces. Use this area to share additional information that can help shape the direction of the conversation.

With Clubhouse, her advice is to utilize Clubs and to schedule your events ahead of time. It’s a great way to give people the opportunity to see what’s coming up next so they can plan to join.

Q3: When a talk on Spaces or Clubhouse ends, it’s gone for good. Is there a way to repurpose these conversations so those who missed out can still benefit?

If you want your Twitter Spaces to have a longer life, Jennifer recommends trying Happs to livestream your Spaces and record them for playback later.

For those using Clubhouse, consider clipping and sharing 30 seconds of audio from your conversation. And be on the lookout for recording options in the future.

As Joanna said, many people are already recording their Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse rooms to create audio replays for their audience. Another option is to write a blog post based on the tips shared in the live conversation.

Try taking notes while you’re live and use them to create a blog post recap of all the best tips that were shared.

Shawn suggests recording the conversations and uploading them to SoundCloud later. You can even share them on your blog with custom graphics.

Q4: What are some tips you would offer to someone before starting a podcast?

Jennifer’s advice? Get started! As she pointed out, you have the necessary tools with you right now (your phone), so there’s no reason not to go for it.

Kushlani suggests planning some relevant and timely topics ahead of time. It’s always good to brainstorm some ideas before diving in so you’ll have plenty of topics to discuss.

Mack also finds planning to be really helpful. His advice is to plan your schedule and. the first two months (or two weeks) worth of shows so you’ll have plenty of content lined up and ready to create.

Don’t feel the pressure to script your episodes in advance. Give yourself the opportunity to just let the conversation flow for a truly authentic experience.

Q5: How can you promote the podcast to consistently bring in subscribers and generate downloads? What about promoting your talks on Spaces or Clubhouse?

If you want more people to check out your podcast and your Twitter Spaces, you have to spread the word. Tell people about what you’re doing because you can’t expect them to just figure it out on their own.

As Jennifer said, we all like storytelling, so find a way to tell the story of what you’re creating to build up to your actual launch.

By teasing podcast episodes ahead of time, you can get people excited for what’s coming up. It gives them something to look forward to. Consider recording a snippet of the conversation as you’re recording and sharing it to your social media platforms like Instagram Stories.

Make use of your existing social media channels, your email list, etc. to let people know about new podcast episodes and live conversations on Spaces or Clubhouse. To gain more exposure for your podcast in particular, you can seek opportunities to be a guest on other shows.

Q6: Is it necessary to invest in audio equipment? If so, what would you recommend?

These suggestions from Jennifer are fantastic for getting started with creating audio content.

Just remember that you don’t need to break the bank. There are plenty of affordable options that will still produce quality results.

At the end of the day, quality is key with audio content. You need to have crystal clear audio, otherwise people won’t tune in.

Luckily, our phones produce some pretty great audio, so you can always get started with that if you aren’t in a position to invest in equipment.

Ultimately, you can’t let the lack of fancy equipment stop you from getting started. Jump in with what you currently have and upgrade later.

Q7: How will you know if audio content is paying off for you? Are there specific metrics to look for when it comes to both social audio and podcasting?

You need to know what success looks like for you. As Jennifer said, get clear on your KPIs so you know which metrics to pay attention to.

Mack says to check things like number of downloads and time listened when it comes to your podcast. This gives you an indication of whether or not people are interested and listening to the very end of your episodes.

Want to join us for the next #ContentWritingChat? Mark your calendar for the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central and we’ll see you there! Don’t forget to follow @ExpWriters to stay updated.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Speak Your Content: The Case for Social Audio & Podcasting with Jennifer Navarrete

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Marketing Yourself to Build a Successful Online Brand with Liz Willits

This month’s #ContentWritingChat was actually inspired by a tweet.

Well, a thread of tweets. All written by a previous guest on our chat, Liz Willits.

In 2020, Liz made the decision to leave her job and build her own marketing business. She wound up sharing 20 takeaways she learned since taking that leap and provided some amazing nuggets of wisdom in the process.

And we thought it would make the perfect Twitter chat on building a successful online brand, something many people are striving to do today. So, let’s dive into the recap!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Marketing Yourself to Build a Successful Online Brand with Liz Willits

As mentioned, our guest host for this month’s chat was Liz Willits. She’s a marketer for SaaS startups, conversion copywriter, and and instructor at UVM.

Q1: Marketing yourself can be tricky, especially when your niche is saturated. How can you ensure you’re standing out from the rest?

Liz’s advice is to become the expert for the industry you’re in or the service you provide. When you’re a master at what you do, it helps you to stand out and attract all the right people to your brand. People want to know you know your stuff and showing up, adding value, and stepping into the role of an expert will help do that.

As Kushlani pointed out, it’s important to add value. If you aren’t adding value, why would anyone bother following you or engaging with you? Know what you have to offer your audience and deliver it consistently through your chosen channels (blog, podcast, social media, etc.).

To stand out, you have to use your voice. Be willing to speak up and share your thoughts and opinions. Teach people things they’re interested in learning. You can’t build a brand if you aren’t putting yourself out there and providing value.

Having a clear brand message will allow you to attract the right people to your corner of the internet. Make it obvious what you do and who you serve so people who are looking for what you have to offer will find you and connect with you.

Q2: Social media is a great way to market yourself and build a brand. When you’re just getting started, how do you choose which platforms to use? Should you focus on only one in the beginning before expanding to others?

Liz suggests focusing on just one platform when you’re just starting out. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to do too much at once. That means you want to be smart about which platform you invest your time and energy into. She suggests first determining where your audience is before going any further.

Masooma feels the same way. The social media platforms you want to be on are the ones where your audience is frequently hanging out. If you’re on the wrong platforms, they won’t stand a chance at finding you.

As Shawn said, you don’t have to jump on a new platform just because it’s what everyone else is doing. If your audience isn’t on TikTok, it won’t be worthwhile for you to invest energy into creating content there. Focus on being where your audience spends the most time.

Kathryn offered a great tip to implement whenever new social media platforms come along. Even if you aren’t sure it’s a platform you’ll use right away, it’s still worthwhile to create an account and secure your username. This way, it’ll be there for you should you decide to sign up for and use the platform.

Q3: Is it worthwhile to land speaking opportunities on podcasts and at conferences? If so, how can you pitch yourself as a credible guest speaker?

Liz thinks speaking opportunities are definitely worth it. However, if you’re serious about building a successful online brand, you want to be smart about which opportunities you say yes to.

As Sarah mentioned, speaking on podcasts or on the big stage at conferences will help you establish yourself as an expert in your field. Then, you can list those accomplishments on your website to boost credibility.

If you’re going to pitch yourself for an opportunities of this nature, find a unique perspective to focus on. This will help you stand out from the other pitches.

This is a great piece of advice from Masooma. When pitching, make sure you’re focused on reaching out to platforms that will help you reach more people within your target audience. Then, make it a point to connect with the host on social media and establish a relationship.

Carla agrees that you want these speaking opportunities to be relevant to your target audience. Your content will appeal to them and it’ll be easier to generate conversions if that’s your end goal.

Just make sure you keep track of all these speaking engagements so you can utilize them as a portfolio in the future. They’ll come in handy when pitching yourself for future opportunities.

Q4: As you build your brand, is it better to have a bunch of offerings or a few key services/products that you provide to your audience? Why?

Liz’s advice is to keep it simple. It’s easier to handle when you only have a few key services that provide a solution your target audience is looking for.

It’s always better to be an expert at a few things, rather than “just okay” at a bunch of things. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted by what everyone else is doing.

Julia suggests creating and growing one service first. Stay focused and put in the work to grow and build your community. She even shared a helpful workshop that you may find beneficial if you’re wanting to build a team to help. Check it out in the link above.

By sticking with just a few services, you can experiment and see what works best for you and your audience. Then, it’ll be easier to make changes along the way. Should you want to add more products or services later on, you can do that.

You can always expand your offerings down the line based on what your audience needs. Dana knows it’s important to listen to what’s resonating with your customers, so don’t be afraid to adapt if necessary.

Q5: Should new brands invest in email marketing? What benefits does it provide?

As Liz said, the great thing about an email list is that you control it. Those who have subscribed to your list have chosen to be there, are awaiting content from you, and are often ready to engage with what you have to say.

Kushlani said that email is a great way to educate and nurture your audience over time. You just need to make sure you stick with it and keep your list “warm” by sending out new content on a regular basis.

Carla brings up a great point about how we don’t own the social media platforms we invest so much time and energy into. However, you do own your email list. It’s important to focus your efforts on something you own and are in control of.

And as Masooma said, you don’t have to worry about algorithms with your email list. Instead of being at the mercy of ever-changing social media algorithms that control how your content is ranked, you can simply write and email and hit send, knowing it’ll lend in subscribers’ inboxes.

Offering freebies is a great way to start building your list. Then, it’s up to you to send great emails that keep your list engaged. Check out Julia’s freebie (linked above) for tips.

Once you have built that list, take Shawn’s advice. Don’t spam your subscribers.

And let’s face it, the sooner you get started, the better. Don’t wait to begin building that list!

Q6: What’s the best advice you have for someone looking to start their own brand?

If you want to start your own brand, never let fear stand in your way. There’s always going to be something scary that pops up, but you can’t let it stop you. If you do, you’ll always regret that you didn’t go for it.

Julia’s advice is to build a brand around something you’ll actually enjoy doing. It’s going to be hard work and if you don’t love it, you’ll get discouraged quickly.

This is an amazing quote that Shawn shared. Remember it.

Carla offered some helpful tips, such as getting clear on your offer and who your audience is, building an email list, etc. There’s so much to do, but really you just need to get started.

The right investments can go a long way in growing your brand. Joana suggests investing in website visuals because that can help you stand out and will leave a good first impression.

So many great tidbits in this tweet! Focus on adding value, experiment with new things, and be consistent. Definitely take this advice to heart.

Q7: How do you know when it’s the right time to leave your day job and go full-time with your own brand?

For Liz, she knew it was right to go full-time once she had built a substantial LinkedIn following, had 7+ months of a financial safety net, and she knew there was a demand for the work she was doing. Consider these same things when making this decision for yourself.

Carla suggests using your current job to fund your dream. Once your brand can sustain you financially, you may want to consider stepping down from your day job.

And sometimes there’s just this inner knowing that it’s the right time to focus on your brand full-time.

Want to join us for the next #ContentWritingChat? It happens on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Speak Your Content: The Case for Social Audio & Podcasting with Jennifer Navarrete

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Copywriting Tips to Attract Your Target Audience

Blog posts, social media posts, ad copy… Writing has the power to help you attract your target audience to your brand, position yourself as an authority in your field, and generate sales.

That’s why it’s so important that you’re taking the time to write captivating copy that will leave every reader wanting more from you.

But how can you do that? In this #ContentWritingChat, we’re sharing copywriting tips that any content creator can implement today to improve the ROI of their copy.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Copywriting Tips to Attract Your Target Audience

This month, we held a community chat and opened the floor up to all of you who are part of our amazing #ContentWritingChat community. Everyone shared helpful tips that will have you creating incredible copy in no time at all. So, let’s dive into the recap!

Q1: Writing copy starts with knowing your audience. How can you gain a better understanding of who you’re trying to connect with through your copy?

Getting to know your audience begins with a little research so you can learn what they’re all about. To get started, follow these tips:

As Daniel said, the best place to start is by creating a buyer persona. This will help you get clarity on exactly who you’re speaking to with the content you create. You’ll want to determine their interests and pain points, demographics, and more to create a picture of your ideal reader/buyer. Keep this person in mind as you write!

To start researching your audience, you can do a little social listening and also engage with people on the platforms you’re actively using. You can even check out Quora, Reddit, or BuzzSumo to get the creative juices flowing.

Another option is to create a survey that you send out your email list, for example. Or if you prefer something more personal, hop on market research calls with a few people. This way, you’re able to ask the questions you want answers to. And you’ll get feedback straight from the source that you can use to create content.

Also, the more you show up and engage with your audience, the better you’ll get to know them. While this isn’t an overnight solution, it’s going to be beneficial for your brand in the long run. Not only will it help you create better copy, but you’ll develop stronger relationships with your audience.

Q2: It’s also important to consider your brand’s tone of voice. How can you determine what kind of voice you’d like your brand to have?

After all, the voice that comes through in the content you create will play a role in whether or not someone is drawn to your brand. Here’s some advice to keep in mind:

The best advice for cultivating your brand’s voice is to be true to yourself, but also create copy that will appeal to your target audience. Consider what kind of voice would resonate with them the most without straying from who you authentically are.

At the end of the day, it’s crucial that you know who you’re writing for because you need to create content with them in mind. However, don’t get caught up in being something you’re not. Create for your target audience while still be true to your unique personality.

Q3: Using keywords within your copy is great for helping your content rank in Google, but how can you do so in a way that’s natural and not forced?

No keyword stuffing over here! These tips will improve your SEO without it being awkward for the person who is reading your content.

Figuring out your target keywords before you start writing is key. This will help you work them into your content in a more natural way. If you were to choose your keywords after writing the content, you’d have to go back and make edits to fit them in. And odds are, the quality of your work will suffer if you did that.

Using relevant long-tail keywords and synonyms to your chosen keyword can also help. This way, you won’t be repeating the same keyword over and over and you may even rank for the similar keywords you’ve targeted.

Don’t forget to include your target keyword in specific places throughout your blog post. It helps to have the keyword in the title, headings, throughout the copy, and in the meta description.

Once you’ve finished writing your content, it always helps to read it aloud. It’ll help you see if everything flows and could make it easier to spot mistakes or places where improvements can be made.

And remember that relevant content with a quality keyword is crucial to your success if you want your content to rank. Don’t get so obsessed with SEO that your content gets downgraded in terms of quality.

Q4: How will you know if your copy is actually resonating with the right audience? Are there any metrics to look for?

The right metrics will indicate how well your content is performing and whether or not you’re on the right path. This advice will help when gathering data so you know what to pay attention to.

First, you want to see if traffic is actually landing on your content. Once they’ve gotten to your site, see how long they stay there (or if they click off shortly afterwards) and whether or not they’re taking any kind of action. Do they leave a comment, make a purchase, etc.?

Tracking how long people spend on a certain page can be an indicator that they’re actually reading what you’ve written. You’ll also want to see if people are engaging with your content in some way, like leaving a comment.

Leads and queries are sure-fire signs that your content is performing well. You may also want to see which content pieces are being shared most on social media, how long they stay on your web page, and bounce rate.

Shares, comments, and direct messages are common performance indicators that creators like to track. It doesn’t get much better than when someone messages you after checking out your content.

What are people saying about your content? Their feedback makes all the difference in the world since you want to make sure you’re appealing to those who are in your target audience.

When you being seeing results constantly, that’s how you know you’re on the right path.

Q5: If your copy isn’t generating the engagement or leads that you hoped for, what can you do to turn things around?

First, don’t get discouraged. You can’t be so quick to give up when things aren’t going your way. There’s always hope to make improvement. Here’s how:

If your content isn’t performing as well as you’d hoped, it could be due to a lack of quality or a lack of strategy. You never want the quality of your content to suffer, otherwise people won’t bother to read it. And having a strategy in place ensures that you’re serving your audience while also reaching the goals you’ve put in place for your brand.

It never hurts to just ask your audience what they’d like to see from you. Sometimes their direct feedback is exactly what you need to overhaul your content strategy. When you create with them in mind, you’re going to see your ROI skyrocket.

If you have friends in your industry, ask them for feedback as well. Sometimes you just need someone on the outside to take a look and offer their honest thoughts. Just remember not to take it personally if they offer some tough criticism. Use it as an opportunity to grow and get better.

Be willing to modify your current strategy and content. Don’t be afraid to try something new and see how it does. When it comes to content creation, there will always be some trial and error to figure out what’s right for you.

Q6: Have you ever considered using any AI writing tools to assist in writing new copy? What are their pros and cons?

Having tested a few AI tools here at Express Writers, we had to know what everyone else thought about them. Here are a few opinions from the chat:

Our team has found an AI tool that they love to use to assist in the writing process. However, nothing can beat writing from a real human being.

The SEO Charge team has tried AI tools and found them to be helpful with ad copy. But when it comes to blog posts, they stick to human writers.

In Andrew’s experience, AI tools worked well when the content was focused on facts or simple ideas. With more complex topics, it was easier to just write the content himself.

Carrie isn’t feeling the AI tools, as she feels they simply can’t replicate the emotion she wants her content to convey.

Carla is curious to check them out and see how they work for her. They’re always worth a try if you’re looking for something to help in the content creation process.

Q7: How can a business put out great copy if their time is limited? Or if writing isn’t their strong suit?

And no, that doesn’t mean they need to abandon the idea of ever writing content again. This is what they need to do instead:

As a business owner, there’s no harm in you outsourcing your content. You can pay someone on your team to create content on your behalf or find an agency to handle it for you. This way, you’ve freed up your time to focus on doing the work that will propel the business forward.

The right copywriting will make your life so much easier when it comes to content creation.

And if it helps, figure out what’s really a priority in your day. If you want to create content yourself without outsourcing, make content creation your number one task and schedule time for it in your calendar.

Q8: Are there any sources that you turn to or tools you use to help improve your copywriting skills?

Using the right tools and learning copywriting tips from amazing creators will make a huge difference as you create your next piece of content. Here are some resources to check out:

A thesaurus is always a great tool so you don’t fall victim to using the same words or phrases over and over.

Grammarly is always a top recommendation!

Spend time speaking to those in your target audience. Doing so allows you to get to know them better and will help you produce better content.

Our own Julia McCoy and the team at Content Marketing Institute are always inspirational!

Interested in joining the next #ContentWritingChat? Mark your calendar for the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for all the latest.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Speak Your Content: The Case for Social Audio & Podcasting with Jennifer Navarrete

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Digital Accessibility Best Practices for Social Media with Alexa Heinrich

Are you taking extra measures to ensure your content is accessible to everyone?

If not, or you’re unsure what that means, you’ll want to read this #ContentWritingChat recap.

Digital accessibility isn’t something that’s optional for online brands today. It’s essential.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Digital Accessibility Best Practices for Social Media with Alexa Heinrich

Our guest host for this week’s chat was Alexa Heinrich, who is a digital accessibility advocate. Digital accessibility has become an even more prevalent topic in recent times, as many brands are striving to make their content more inclusive by being accessible to everyone in their online community. As content creators here at Express Writers, we felt it was a crucial conversation to have during #ContentWritingChat and Alexa shared some amazing wisdom with us.

Let’s dive into the recap to learn where we can all make accessibility improvements.

Q1: What do you mean by digital accessibility?

First and foremost, it’s important to understand what exactly digital accessibility means so we can see why it’s such an important thing for our brands. Here are some great answers:

Alexa is spot-on with her answer. Digital accessibility is about making sure your content can be accessed, understood, and enjoyed by anyone. It should never be inaccessible to someone based on their physical or cognitive abilities.

Asking yourself the questions that Rachel shared in her answer is a good place to get started. Do your videos have captions so they can be watched by those with a hearing impairment? Is it actually easy to read the font you’re using on your website or graphics you share on social media? These are things that, unfortunately, many of us overlook.

Essentially, you want to take steps to remove any barriers that someone may encounter when trying to consume your content. Put yourself in another person’s shoes and ask if they’d be able to enjoy what you’ve shared.

Q2: Why is it important for your digital content to be accessible?

By now, the answer to this question may be pretty obvious. However, here are some good reasons why accessibility needs to be at the top of your priority list:

As Alexa pointed out, there are a lot of people with sensory impairments. As a result, they may not be able to consume your content if you haven’t implemented certain measures to make it easy for them to do so.

Alexa went on to point out that not all disabilities are visible to the general public, nor are they all permanent. For many people, they don’t discuss their disabilities, which means you may not even be aware of them. Plus, you never know when a loyal member of your community may experience something that leaves them temporarily disabled. By creating accessible content, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that they’ll still be able to consume what you share online.

At the end of the day, creating accessible content can help you expand your reach to a much wider audience since you aren’t excluding anyone. This can lead to more brand advocates and an increase in sales for your business.

Carla felt the same way. You have more opportunities to generate sales and it’s also easier to get people to take that next step when you’ve created more inclusive content. And like she said, everyone deserves to be treated fairly, so you don’t want to ignore those who are differently abled than you.

Carrie knows that without implementing digital accessibility practices, you’re ultimately limiting your reach and your impact online. That’s something no brand wants!

When you take the time to make your content accessible in multiple ways, you’re going to reach an even bigger audience than you thought possible.

Q3: What are some ways to create accessible content on social media?

To ensure your social media content is accessible to the masses, keep these tips in mind:

For starters, Alexa suggests changing the way you type your hashtags. Many of us are guilty of writing our hashtags in all lowercase, when they should be in Camel Case. That’s when you would capitalize the first letter of every new word in the hashtag. It makes it easier for screen readers to decipher. For example, #ContentWritingChat is written in Camel Case.

Alexa also said to be mindful about emoji placement. They’re better at the end of your post. Captions should always be added on videos. And don’t forget to include alt text as well.

Manisha also mentioned adding alt text to images shared on social media, while also captioning videos, and using legible fonts. Another important point that she brought up is checking to make sure your content is easily accessible on a variety of devices, from desktop to mobile to tablet.

How many times have you seen a graphic on social media that was difficult to read because of the contrast between the text and the background? Unfortunately, it happens. Those who already have difficulty seeing will have even more trouble making out what your graphics say if you aren’t careful. Be mindful of this when designing.

Rachel also said to allow people to zoom into images, use legible fonts, and consider increasing the size of your text.

Carla suggests taking one piece of content and turning it into multiple formats. For instance, she incorporates both text and video into her blog posts. And she also makes sure to add captions to all of her standalone and livestream videos, meaning they can be enjoyed with or without sound.

Q4: Can you elaborate on writing alt text? What makes for good alt text?

If you know anything about SEO, then you’ve probably heard about alt text. While it can be helpful when trying to rank your content in search engines, it’s more beneficial for those with vision impairments. Here’s what you need to know when writing it:

As Alexa shared, the whole point of alt text is to write a description of the image. This way, someone who isn’t able to actually see it (or if it doesn’t load for some reason), the person consuming your content will know what it’s an image of.

She also shared that it’s wise to include any copy that’s on the image within the alt text. Then, there will never be any confusion about what your image contains.

This is a great example of a descriptive piece of alt text. Keep Rachel’s advice in mind!

If you really want to test the effectiveness of your alt text, close your eyes and envision the exact description you’ve written to see if it creates a clear picture in the mind.

Q5: What are some ways to use emojis in content so they don’t cause accessibility issues?

Who would have thought that cute emojis could create a problem when it comes to digital accessibility? Unfortunately, it’s true. And you may want to start rethinking emoji placement after reading this:

To ensure your content is accessible, Alexa advises placing emojis at the end of your social media posts. Otherwise, it can be rather confusing when screen readers are reciting the text from your post.

As you can see in her tweet above, the way a screen reader would translate the text with an emoji in the middle of a sentence isn’t user-friendly. It may come across very confusing to someone who isn’t able to see the post for themselves.

Alexa’s tip is to check out Emojipedia if you want to learn more about the descriptions of emojis. This will help you understand what someone may hear when using a screen reader to consume your content.

Carla is on the same page as Alexa and suggests avoiding putting emojis in the middle of a sentence. Keep them at the beginning or the end so you don’t disrupt the flow.

Q6: Are there any apps or programs you would recommend for captioning videos?

Captioning your social media videos does’t have to be such a chore. In fact, there are a number of tools that can make this process much easier. Here are some to check out:

When possible, take advantage of the built-in caption feature that many platforms offer. For instance, Alexa uses YouTube’s automatically generated captions. However, we know they typically make a few mistakes, so it’s worth going in and manually making edits for clarity.

Another option is to upload captions via an SRT file. If you’re posting a video on YouTube, you can download the captions and then use it when publishing to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Alexa also recommends trying Mix Captions as a tool to make the process easier.

Carla typically relies on the built-in caption feature that many platforms have. She just makes sure to take the time to edit them before publishing. It’s great to see so many brands implementing this feature and making it easier for brands to incorporate captions.

Q7: How can marketers get leadership on board with accessibility?

Now, the final task is getting the entire team to agree that digital accessibility is crucial. To help you with this, you’ll want to remember this advice:

As Alexa pointed out, being accessible is just good business at the end of the day. It’s going to have a positive impact on your marketing efforts, as you’ll be able to reach more people. Plus, you want to avoid any legal trouble down the line, which is why being accessible now can be helpful.

And ultimately, taking steps toward digital accessibility shows you care about your community. It shows that you’re aware of those who may have disabilities and that you want to serve them in the best way possible.

The final piece of advice is this tip from Lori. Please make sure you speak up. If there are ways your company can be more accessible, take the initiative and share your ideas for changing things.

Come hang out with us during the next #ContentWritingChat! We chat on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. All you need to do is follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for all the latest.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Audit Your Social Media Presence

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Audit Your Social Media Presence

When did you last audit your social media presence?

If it’s been a while, let this be your sign to make this task a top priority.

Taking the time to review your social media accounts to ensure they effectively represent your brand and to tweak your strategy to get your closer to your goals will yield great results long-term. In fact, it’s something that you should do regularly!

And this #ContentWritingChat recap has all the tips you need to get started.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Audit Your Social Media Presence

This month, we held a community chat so all of you could step into the spotlight to share your tips. There was some amazing, actionable advice shared throughout the chat, so let’s dive into the recap so we can start auditing.

Q1: What does it mean to conduct an audit of your social media presence?

If you’ve never taken steps to audit your social media presence, then you might not know what it really means or where to begin. To give you a better understanding, here are a few responses from the chat:

As Masooma said, an audit is your chance to evaluate how each of your social media platforms perform. Are you meeting your goals? Are you getting your desired results? Taking the time to answer those questions will help you determine if you’re on the right track or if you need to make some changes.

To put it simply, an auditing your social media is essentially about seeing what’s working and what’s not. After all, this will help you figure out what kind of content to share more of.

When conducting an audit, you’ll want to dive deep into your analytics. This can help you see if you’re truly engaging your audience by sharing content that resonates with them. Shawn’s advice to do this quarterly is spot on.

Q2: Part of auditing your social media presence is choosing the platforms that are right for you. How can you determine if a new platform is worth your time and attention? How do you know when to ditch a platform?

Remember that you don’t need to be on every single platform. However, it’s still smart to try out the latest craze to determine if it’s worthwhile for you. Here’s how to figure it out:

Lori’s advice is to know your audience. Are they hanging out on the platform you’re thinking about joining? If so, then it might be worthwhile for you to be present there. At the end of the day, you want to make sure your content is getting in front of the right people.

Rachel knows that there should be purpose behind your social media efforts. If a particular platform isn’t going to get you closer to reaching your overall goals, then it’s likely not going to be worth your time.

Another important thing to consider is whether or not a particular platform feels good to you. It’s much easier to create content for social media platforms that you are genuinely excited about.

Kim offered a really great tip about giving a platform a chance for at least 30 days. This will give you a good idea of how things are going. If your content has been performing well, take it up a notch. If not, you’ll want to tweak your strategy or scale back.

Just remember that it’s going to take time before you see results. Don’t give up too soon.

Q3: Your bio is often the first thing people see when they visit your social media profile. What should it include so that it accurately portrays who you are and what your brand is all about?

No one wants a lackluster bio! These tips will help you spruce up social media bio so that you’ll effortlessly attract new followers who love what you do:

A great bio needs to clearly state what you do, first and foremost. This will help people determine if your content is something they might be interested in. From there, you can add personal details to help strengthen your connection with your audience since they’ll get to know you better.

It’s also smart to include keywords in your bio, as this will help you show up when people are searching on various platforms.

Adding a personal touch to your bio goes a long way to build the Know, Like, and Trust Factor.

Any achievements that would be impressive to your target audience are great to share as well. This can include features, awards, certifications, etc.

Q4: We all know consistency is key, but how often should we really be posting on each social media platform? And how can we ensure we’re staying on top of posting regularly?

The good news is, you don’t need to be overwhelming yourself by posting multiples times a day on every single platform. It’s more about keeping your account active so you stay top-of-mind.

Masooma feels you don’t need to post daily, but you should engage daily. That goes a long way in building relationships with your target audience. When you do post, always focus on sharing high-quality content.

A few posts per week is a great place to start. The key is to make sure you’re still listening to other conversations and engaging with people to build relationships.

Using third-party tools to schedule content in advance is incredibly helpful. Just make sure that any engagement you do is done in real-time. Don’t automate that!

When scheduling content, it’s smart to fill your queue with evergreen content. You know, content that doesn’t have an expiration date because it’s always relevant. Then, you can add the latest trends as needed or post them in real-time.

Kim suggests using scheduling tools that provide you with the best times to post. This way, you can maximize your impact on the social media platforms you’re using.

Ultimately, it’s all about testing to see what works for you. Don’t be afraid to tweak your strategy over time to see what gets the best results.

Q5: Should you keep an eye on what competitors are doing? If so, how can this play a role in your social media strategy?

Although you don’t want to become too obsessed with your competitors, you can learn a lot from them. Here’s what you should look for while doing your research:

When you watch your competitors, you’ll be able to spot the mistakes they make and avoid falling victim to the same ones. It’s a great learning opportunity.

Just make sure you don’t copy your competitors. That’s not cool! Instead, use this research to inspire you to come up with fresh, new ideas of your own.

Lori feels it’s smart to use your competitors to fuel your success. Allow them to motivate you to do better.

If you find yourself too consumed with what your competitors are up to, take a break for a bit. You don’t want to start copying what they’re doing, nor do you want them to overly influence the things you’re creating.

Q6: What are some important metrics to track on your social media accounts to ensure you’re on the right path?

Diving into your analytics can reveal some great information as you audit your social media presence. Instead of getting overwhelmed with the data, here’s what you should look for:

Masooma focuses on metrics that are related to engagement. That includes comments and mentions, for example. It’s a great way to see if your audience is resonating with the content you share.

If you’re seeing a boost in engagement and more followers, that’s a good sign that you’re on the right track. Just don’t obsess over your follower count too much. It’s better to have quality followers rather than a bunch of followers who aren’t paying attention to what you share.

Q7: Are there any helpful tools you can use for tracking social media analytics, scheduling content, etc.?

The answer is yes! There are tons of tools that will help you audit your social media presence, ranging from free to paid options. Here are a few to consider:

Kim has a number of go-to tools, which include Buffer and Hootsuite.

Hootsuite is a popular option for scheduling content. Loomly and Later are worth checking out as well.

Q8: Which brands have a social media presence that you admire?

These brands will definitely get the creative juices flowing:

Masooma has a few brands that she loves to check out on social media, one of which is Wendy’s. They’re well-known for their sass as they roast others on their Twitter account.

Lori actually took things one step further and created a Twitter List of some of her favorite people to follow.

Want to join us for an upcoming #ContentWritingChat? Mark your calendar for the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. Then, follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat. See you at our next chat!