social media posts creation

10 Key Ways to Craft Engaging, Fun Social Media Posts for Your Brand (With Examples)

When it comes to social media posts, from writing to visuals and publishing, every brand wants to create the content that fans want to follow.

This is far easier said than done, though.

To be a truly “likable” brand, a company needs to master the art of social media content creation.

Think, for a moment, about why you would follow a brand on social media. Maybe it’s because you are interested in the industry that they post within, know and personally like them, or you just found them and simply fell in love with the fun, unique content they were posting on social media.

Either way, social media follows are typically about a desire for content – and that follow means you have an active fan or reader that will come back for more, so consistency is key.

creating social media posts

How to Write Engaging, Fun Social Media Posts for Your Brand (Consistently): 10 Key Ways & Examples

Fans don’t want to follow brands that post dry, boring content and, in light of that, it’s wise for brands to put in the work that it takes to learn to create fun and engaging social media posts.

Here are a few key tips I’ve put together to get you inspired, thinking, and started out on the right foot.

1. Be real about your industry, add tasteful humor

One of the best ways to create engaging social media content is to be real.

The fact of the matter is that most brands, regardless of which industry they work in, deal with something that is taboo, awkward, confusing, or just plain funny on a daily basis.

What better way to make a great social media post than to capitalize upon those things?

For example: Charmin, a toilet paper company, wins on social media – especially Twitter. They’re simply real about who they are, what they do, and bring in a lot of humor consistently about it.

They have a consistent Twitter column #CharminAsks that sparks humor:

And, one thing I love is that they even engage back with their punny fans:

By posting lighthearted content that makes their fans laugh, Charmin earns many more follows, re-tweets, and favorites than you might imagine a toilet tissue company would.

2. Use color to stay consistent with your brand

Take a moment to consider brands that have tied color into their branding schemes:

  • Coca-Cola, red
  • Evernote, green
  • The Honest Company, bright blue
  • Content Marketing Institute, orange

…To name a few. These brands have figured something out that the rest of us can do well to learn from. Namely, that using a trademark color scheme across social media can be a fantastic way to draw more attention to your posts and earn more readers.

cmi twitter

Because social media is a very fast-paced world, people using on social media platforms are often scanning through their newsfeeds quickly.

This means that anything that isn’t immediately different, eye-catching, or unique is likely to get skimmed past. To save your content from meeting this fate, brand your company with a trademark color scheme and use it in your social media posts. In addition to making your brand’s content more immediately recognizable, this will also go a long way toward making readers slow down and interact with your social media posts.

3. You can be promotional if you’re also being helpful, generous, and authentic

In order to create the best possible social media content, brands can enhance their reader ship by being generous with information. And here’s the secret: you CAN blend that with a mention of you and your products, provided you don’t oversell and stay helpful during the mention.

Fans come to your page hoping to find something to engage with and when you hit the nail on the head and address a problem they can relate to or a struggle that everyone has, you’re likely to earn a spot on their social media short list.

Think of it this way: each time you interact on social media, you’re provoking some reaction from your readers – be it interest, laughter, or curiosity.

This means that all of your social media posts should be aimed at creating a helpful, generous, and funny presence as often as possible. Look at how Poopourri blends a mention of their product with a fun Halloween costume idea:

While you don’t have to solve all of your readers’ problems, a few social media quips that show them you relate to their lives will go a long way toward making them want to engage with the rest of your content.

4. Spark curiosity in your social audience

Any good marketer knows that the headline of an article is the most important part. While 80% of people read headlines, only 20% read body copy, which means that a great headline can go a long way toward earning you more traffic, and more engagement.

To make your social media posts more fun, consider toying with your headlines a bit. Instead of writing a dry, information-only few words, consider playing with headlines that will provoke your readers’ curiosity or make them laugh.

For a great example, consider Innocent Drinks, a smoothie brand whose social media is decidedly not focused on smoothies.

While nobody is advocating making your headlines and short tweet body all about laugh-grabs, it’s clear that incorporating funny, attention-commanding headlines and photos into your social media strategy is a fantastic way to boost your readership and engagement.

For some additional help crafting great headlines, check out these headline analyzer tools and generators:

5. Include custom visuals

It’s a well-known fact that including visuals in social media posts is a fantastic way to draw more engagement and promote more social sharing (including visuals in social media posts increases a reader’s willingness to read by 80%), but what if you took it a step beyond stock photos? By creating custom visuals for your posts, you not only provide readers with value that they can only find from your company, but you also create a solid piece of marketing material that is likely to get passed around the web, spreading the word about your brand.

To get started with custom visuals, consider creating an infographic with the help of a designer or using a service like Canva to create unique images for your posts. Read our SME’s guide on how to use Canva.

Keep in mind that any image you create should match the tone and topic of your post – informational images for informational posts and funny images for attention-grabbing headlines, for example – and that each visual should also be relevant to your audience.

6. Ask for reader response

If you want to reach the ultimate in fun, engaging social media posts, look no further than conversation starters. Everything from caption contests to calls for user-generated photos, videos, or artwork can be a fantastic way to start a conversation and get your social media page popping.

Consider Happy Family as a great example and how incorporate user-generated content on their social media account:

happy family facebook

7. Shout out to readers

If you’re playing your cards right, chances are you have some faithful social media followers that read virtually everything you post. In light of this, one of the best ways to make your content more fun and engaging is to ensure that the people talking about and responding to your brand know that you notice.

On most social networks, it’s easy to respond directly to a comment (Facebook, for instance) or to simply “@” someone (Twitter) to make it known you’re talking directly to them.

This is an effective way to not only enhance the interaction with that specific user but also to encourage other users to reach out as well, which they’re more likely to do if they see you responding to other users.

Plus, the level of customer-brand interaction has increased markedly over the last few years, so it’s a good time to make this move.

SproutSocial recently found that the number of private messages sent from customers to brands on social media increased 110% between 2014 and the end of 2015.

8. Encourage your team to participate

For the most engaging social media posts possible, consider switching up your posters a bit. If you have a team in departments like sales, marketing, or customer service, give them a chance at the wheel for a post or two a week. In addition to the fact that your customers will likely love hearing from these seldom-aired sectors of your company, it’ll also help make your team feel more cohesive and engaged, which is good for everyone!

My team and I live tweet from our Twitter, @ExpWriters, when we’re at events. This October, I tweeted while at #SEJSummit, tagging all of our team present with me on Twitter:

On other days, Rachel, our social media manager, tweets from our brand Twitter account.

9. Tell a story, consistently

For a great series of social media posts, consider breaking your content up into a serialized narrative. This gives your readers something to look forward to on a daily or weekly basis and creates a fun and anticipatory environment.

JetBlue has done this beautifully in their social media profiles. Check out their Twitter, and here’s a sample tweet:


Just remember to be consistent with your social media presence. If you start telling great stories then suddenly stop posting, your readers will think you’ve dropped off the face of the earth and no one will want to check back.

10. Don’t be afraid to be creative with your content!

No two brands are exactly alike and what is going to resonate with your customers is different that what is going to resonate with someone else’s customers. In light of this, it’s important to be creative and playful when it comes to your social media posts.

Depending upon what industry you work in and who your target audience is, you may need to experiment a bit in order to find the perfect social media outline for you.

Have Fun, Interact, and Be Social – Consistently

When used correctly, social media, from writing to publishing, can be a powerful tool for companies in all industries. Whether you choose to interact on Twitter, Facebook, Periscope, Instagram or a combination of any of these platforms and others, fun social media posts are some of the best ways to get your audiences to engage with your brand and spread the word about your company.

Remember to set a strategy in place and maintain consistency with your social media posts.

 

Need great social media copy and visuals? We can help! Check out our single posts here or total social media management packages here.

social media advertising

Your Guide to Social Advertising Basics: How to Get Traction, Succeed & Gain Attention on Social Media

Krystal is a Social Media Expert at Express Writers.

REALITY CHECK! It’s 2016.

If you have a pulse, you’ll know that door-to-door salesmen aren’t around anymore. We’ve all become proverbial Biff Lomans, haven’t we?

And yet, once we follow our dreams and get our businesses up and running… we realize that the old way of doing things is dead. Whenever I see company reps standing on street corners trying to pitch their newest subscription-based products, I wonder what the turnaround is for that.

Don’t they know?

This is the age of social media! It’s faster and more effective to get your message out with RTs and shares than leaving some poor young man dressed in an apron on the street, hawking down college students. (If I sound bitter, it’s because I am. But I digress.)

I’m online. You’re online. Our dads and cousins and people we knew in elementary school are online, consuming products and services and letting their social circles know about awesome experiences they’ve had with company X, Y, and Z.

It’s the age of social advertising, where your customers are your greatest marketing tool. If you have great, shareable content, and know an effective way of pushing it out, the rest of the work is pretty much done for you.

Of course, if it were as simple as that, I wouldn’t need to write this blog post guide for you. Social media is more than just the sum of its parts — you need to know how to manipulate those parts to your advantage.

That means understanding how each social media platform comes into play when you’re trying to reach a specific audience, whether it means changing your tone for that platform or adding/omitting a platform, depending on who you’re trying to reach.

Think about who uses social media in your life. If you’re a social media professional, chances are you use social media in your personal life.

What do people always say? Oh yeah, some complaint about their mom seeing a post they made on Facebook. And do you know why? Moms are on Facebook! (and dads, too.)

From personal experience, my mom got as far as setting up a Twitter account and stopped there. I’m all about using intuition when it comes to social media advertising, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a frame of understanding about each of the top three social media platforms.

the basics of social advertising

Social Advertising Basics 101: How to Get Business Traction, Succeed & Win on Social Media

Let’s start by looking at how to use my three favorite (and the top hottest) platforms to work with as a social media manager: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Organic, real-people-friendly tips here only!

1. How To Succeed On Twitter

It’s true: Twitter is the cool kids’ table 

In my private social media presence, Twitter definitely feels like the cool kids’ playground table. Indeed, the majority of Twitter users are from urban areas.

It’s where I hang out with celebs, complain to airlines about my 4 hour delay, and lose my geek mind over social media presences like Arby’s as they make nerdy video game references that touch my very heart and soul.

Awesome to see the humans behind the big businesses. (They’re nerds just like me)

Twitter is instant gratification, and instant reach

With the instantaneous nature of gratification and reach in mind, as a marketer, you want to keep some of these same perks in mind when you’re trying to use Twitter to your advantage.

Use Twitter to connect to your industry in a fast and productive way; it’s also an easy way to learn who follows who in what ever niche community you and your business belongs to. Or, you could be playful and engage over businesses and customers in friendly banter. I see it all the time from very well known businesses (especially in the book industry — I’m looking at you and your book banter, Penguin Random House!)

Twitter facilitates fast-paced conversations

But doesn’t Facebook provide the same sort of interaction, you ask? On the contrary! Twitter is like having a conversation, whereas Facebook can sometimes seem more like forum posting. People refer back to Facebook statuses for information and conversation, whereas Twitter is much more fast-paced.

Want to be hot on Twitter? Build your own chat

With Twitter, you can even start your own hashtag chats easily amongst those in the industry, whether it is other companies or customers/fans (or future customers!). Chances are, the followers of the people engaging in your chat are going to take note of those hashtag remarks and may poke their heads into the conversation to see what’s going on. Bam! A new follower of your brand is born.

Join a few chats (we have a list of 25 on Social Media Examiner, and our own #ContentWritingChat hosted by @ExpWriters)—and then consider being a cool brand that starts their own! Want some inspiration? Check out Applebee’s or Corner Bakery Café and see what they’re doing on Twitter—it’s genius.

2. How to Succeed on Facebook

Facebook Image

A TOLKIEN AND A HALF-LIFE REFERENCE IN ONE POST? *joyous hair pulling*

Be about them, not you

Facebook is a different audience and a different culture of communication than Twitter. While Facebook’s user base is largely adults, the volume of user total as a whole is staggering. You want to make use of all of those users out there and be a responsible Facebook poster. That means posting conversationally.

Remember — you want to get your information out there, but you don’t want to sound like a commercial spam bot.

You want to have a conversation with your audience in a singular space, and that’s your status for the day.

Engagement isn’t as high as other platforms

For the most part, businesses don’t respond to comments on their Facebook unless someone has a question or a complaint. It’s a space for customers to engage each other, but I don’t see the same level of interaction with brands on Facebook like I do on Twitter.

3. How to Succeed on Instagram

u ok Tony?

u ok Tony?

The newest member of the Social Marketing Band, Instagram is a great way to reach out to your customers if you’ve got great product to show off.

Good visuals go far

Since Instagram is a visual medium, keeping your wording to a minimum on your images is key. Surely, your company name and the name of the product can go on there, but don’t write an essay on your image and expect it to resonate with people. Show off that sexy Mustang concept car! Entice with photo edits of your cupcakes!

Don’t forget filters

What ever it is you’re selling, show it off to the world with an appropriate filter. Black and white can make things look timeless and classy, but if you’ve got something to show off that’s colorful, it stands to reason that you’ll want a filter that’ll bring those colors out without blinding your audience. It’s also a great way to draw attention to a blog post or an event.

Hashtags are key

And don’t forget your hashtags. Instagram helps you figure out which hashtags will actually be helpful to you by telling you how many posts are tagged with the hashtag that you’re trying to use. That’ll help you clean up your post and not have ten hashtags that are worthless on your Instagram. 30 is the max you can add, and anywhere from 15-20 is a sweet spot. PostPlanner has an awesome list of 25 best hashtags here. 

No One Likes Ads: Staying Grassroots Could Mean A Bigger Win

Folks, you can do anything with money. Even boost your online presence. All of these platforms have ad service that you can buy into to increase your exposure.

My dead-honest opinion of that is in this day and age, no one likes ads.

Doesn’t matter if it’s your mom or a millennial. As soon as people see that *sponsored* footnote on your post, alarms go off.

That’s not to say that using ad services can’t help you reach a community that you think you’re just not getting exposed to, but I firmly believe in the grassroots approach to social advertising.

That’s creating great content, using your platforms smartly, and engaging with the online community. After all, you can’t put the “social” in “social advertising” without being a bit of a social butterfly.

Remember — you’re not on social media JUST to post about yourself.

What’s going on in your neighborhood? Your city? Your industry? Keep people engaged and thankful for your presence by bringing them into YOUR world. For this reason, I think Twitter is my favorite platform. It allows for the greatest possibility of expanding customer loyalty through social advertising and communication.

While I definitely love Facebook because of its exceptional reachability and the ability to format longer posts, I’ve fallen in love with more businesses through Twitter, both as a user and as a professional.

Don’t be afraid to check out the accounts you love and try to emulate their style — if you can pull it off, and if it makes sense for your business. If you’re selling product to an older age bracket, you might not want to reference Caturday or Sephiroth in your social media posts. Always keep your demographic in mind.

And don’t forget, as always… use images when you can! Instagram is obvious when it comes to this rule, but as far as Twitter and Facebook goes, a catchy image will make your status pop off of someone’s timeline and into their eyeballs. I’m sure there’s a more eloquent way of putting that, but I do enjoy getting right to the point.

Conclusion: Don’t Overdo Your Hashtags

Listen, I’ve had a bit of an awakening when it comes to hashtags. I really don’t like them. I think they’re vital on platforms like Instagram, but Twitter’s and Facebook’s algorithms have changed in such a way that they capture key words without actually needing hashtags. I think having more than one or two hashtags ends up looking pretty tacky and outdated these days. But that’s just me.

What do you think? I’d love your feedback on this one! Let me know in the comments.

 

For creatively ingenious social media copy and posting, request our social media experts (ask for our amazing Krystal!) in the Content Shop.

8 recommended twitter chats

A Guide to Twitter Chats: Why They’re a Huge Opportunity, How to Join, & 8 of Our Favorites

Have you ever joined a Twitter chat before? If you haven’t, we’d have to say you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to make connections online.

As a Social Media Specialist for Express Writers, I join a lot of Twitter chats each week. They’re a fantastic way to meet new people and build awareness for our brand.

We also run our own weekly Twitter chat, #ContentWritingChat, which is pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

If you haven’t joined a chat for yourself, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. In fact, we often get people asking us how to join chats, so you may be having the same questions. Because we want to see more of you taking advantage of Twitter chats (and hopefully joining our own), I’ve put together a guide to make it all a little easier.

twitter chats

Why Twitter Chats Are a Huge Opportunity for Your Brand

If you’re not convinced Twitter chats are a social media must, we’re sharing the top reasons why you should join them:

1. They help you make connections.

Twitter chats take the awkwardness out of approaching someone online. They make it perfectly acceptable to tweet a stranger out of the blue. If you’ve ever been afraid to reach out to someone via social media, participating in Twitter chats is a great way to put those worries behind you.

In fact, you’re encouraged to respond to others during chats, which is why it’s so easy to make connections. Think of it like a networking event, except it’s virtual and held over Twitter. The best thing about it is that those connections you make during chats could turn into followers. Those followers can turn into blog readers, which may turn into paying clients and customers if your play your cards right. If you could meet a potential client or customer through a Twitter chat, why wouldn’t you want to join?

2. You get to share your expertise.

Twitter chats are a great place to share your knowledge and provide value to your current audience and others. Focus on being of service when you join Twitter chats. Share your answers to the questions being asked and people will take notice if you provide top-notch advice. Be on the lookout for questions other participants may have and answer them if you can. When you provide value, people will be interested in you and your brand.

3. They’re a great place to learn.

David said it best – Twitter chats are an amazing place to learn!

One of the best compliments we hear all the time about our own chat, #ContentWritingChat, is how valuable it is. Every week we have participants tell us how much they love the chat and that they learn a lot during the hour.

It’s my personal opinion that the best Twitter chats are the ones with a thriving community and that teach you something. When you can walk away from a Twitter chat with at least one new piece of knowledge, I’d say that’s a win.

How to Join a Twitter Chat

Are you ready to join your first Twitter chat, but aren’t sure how? There’s no need to worry. All you have to do is follow these tips and you’ll have a successful first chat.

1. Do a search online for a Twitter chat in your niche.

If you’re using Twitter chats as a way to grow your brand, you want to be strategic about the ones you join. If you join any random chat you come across, you aren’t likely to attract the followers you’re looking for. Instead, do a search online for Twitter chats in your specific niche. Figure out which chats your audience is likely participating in. Julia has a list on Social Media Examiner, and Madalyn Sklar has a great list on her blog. Keep reading for our favorite top 8!

There are a ton of chats out there, so you’re sure to find one for what you do. And if you don’t? Start one yourself!

2. Get acquainted with the host.

Before you join a new chat, it’s a good idea to get acquainted with the host if you aren’t already. Each Twitter chat has a host, whether it’s an individual or a brand. The host is the one who posts the questions and keeps the conversation moving. See what the host is all about by checking out their website, Twitter profile, and even scrolling through tweets from a previous chat. It’ll give you an idea of what the chat will be like.

3. Join in!

Once you’ve chosen the right chat, all you have to do is join in. To do this, log onto Twitter during the time of the chat and search for the chat’s hashtag. Most chats have a set amount of questions that are asked during the hour, but some are a free chat.

To do a great job as a chat participant, keep these four tips in mind:

1.) Label your answers with A1, A2, etc. This rule is pretty standard for all Twitter chats. The reason it’s a good idea to stick with this format is that it helps keep the chats organized. People can easily find your answer to a particular question.

2.) Engage with others. Once you’re in the chat, don’t just post your answers and ignore others. Make an effort to interact with other chat participants. Reply to their answers and share your opinions. You can even ask questions to take the conversation further.

3.) No self-promotion. I’m sure there are some people who won’t agree with this rule, but I think it’s best not to step on the toes of the chat’s host. Don’t self-promote in someone else’s chat. You wouldn’t want someone intruding on your space, would you?

4.) Follow any rules the chat may have. Some chats have set house rules they expect participants to follow. If you join a chat that has rules, please be respectful of them.

For example, we have a few rules for our chat, above.

Now for the fun part…our favorite top Twitter chats!

8 of Our Favorite Twitter Chats

1. #TwitterSmarter, hosted by @MadalynSklar

Every Thursday at 12 PM Central, head over to #TwitterSmarter with Madalyn Sklar. Madalyn was inspired to start her very own Twitter chat because of her podcast with the same name. We’ve been fortunate to have her as a guest on #ContentWritingChat and Write Podcast. Our CEO, Julia McCoy, has also guest hosted #TwitterSmarter! We love this chat because of its thriving community and the fact that each chat is jam-packed with value.

2. #bufferchat, hosted by @buffer

We’re pretty open about our love for Buffer here at Express Writers. It’s a tool we rely on every single day. It should come as no surprise that their Twitter chat is one of our favorites. The topics range from social media, business, and more. You can join the conversation every Wednesday at 11 AM Central.

3. #semrushchat, hosted by @semrush

Do you love to chat SEO, digital marketing, and everything in between? #semrushchat would be perfect for you! You can join our friends at SEMrush every Wednesday at 10 AM Central.

4. #HootChat, hosted by @hootsuite

Are you looking for something to do on Thursday at 2 PM Central? Head over to Twitter for #HootChat! This chat is run by the team behind Hootsuite and they’ve cultivated a lively community that joins each and every week. The chat topics range from social media and business topics, which are always full of value.

5. #SproutChat, hosted by @SproutSocial

SproutSocial is the brand behind the great community that makes up #SproutChat. However, the face of the chat is their Community Outreach Manager, Sarah Nagel, who has even guest hosted #ContentWritingChat. Be sure to check them out every Wednesday at 2 PM Central.

6. #CMWorld, hosted by @CMIContent

If you’re a content marketing expert or want to learn more about it, #CMWorld should be your go-to chat! It takes place every Tuesday at 11 AM Central and always features knowledgeable guests and actionable advice you can put to use for your brand.

7. #ContentChat, hosted by @SFerika

Want another Twitter chat that’s focused on the value of great content? Join Erika Heald for #contentchat on Monday at 2 PM Central. You’re sure to find an awesome crowd for this weekly chat.

8. #Luv4Social, hosted by @Luv4Social

If social media and marketing happen to be your jam, you won’t want to miss #Luv4Social Thursdays at 1 PM Central. The team behind this brand puts together a fun chat every week that always sparks an interesting conversation. Check it out if you want to learn how to step-up your presence on social media.

Join us for #ContentWritingChat Tuesdays at 10 AM CST!

Brian Fanzo #ContentWritingChat graphic

An example of one of our past Twitter chat topics where we had guest expert Brian Fanzo join us!

While you’re adding these amazing chats to your weekly schedule, we have one more you won’t want to miss – our own!

You can join us each and every Tuesday at 10 AM Central for #ContentWritingChat, hosted by our account @ExpWriters. We talk about everything from copywriting to content marketing, SEO, social media, and more. Make sure you join us – we’d love to see you!

Need great copy for your online presence, from blogs to web pages and social media? Visit our Content Shop! 

Image Prathan Chorruangsak / Shutterstock.com

The Best Social Media Management Apps (Bonus: Apps that Manage Instagram)

Let’s face it. With all the platforms available today, social media can sometimes feel a little overwhelming.

After all, you have to create content for Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn – and don’t forget Pinterest and Instagram.

Managing all of your social media accounts can be a lot of work.

The good news is, social media management doesn’t have to be hard.

With so many tools available at our fingertips, it’s never been easier to create and schedule amazing social media content. You just have to choose the right apps for you!

And to make it a little easier, we’ve put together a break down of some of the best social media management apps.

Grab your free copy of our easy-reference sheet for the best social media tools!

best social media management apps

The Benefits of Scheduling Out Your Social Media Using Tools

In case you needed a little convincing to get on-board with the social media management apps, here are a few benefits of scheduling in advance:

  • It creates consistency. One of the most important things when it comes to social media is consistency. You don’t want to pull a disappearing act by forgetting to post. You want to make sure you stay top-of-mind for your followers by posting on a regular basis. By scheduling your social media posts in advance, you’re able to do this.
  • You create better content. When you plan your updates in advance, you’re more likely to put thought into the updates you’re creating as opposed to the ones you craft on the fly. Your audiences expects to see the best and they deserve it, too. Make time to schedule so you can plan posts that your audience will enjoy and that your brand will benefit from.

Your Best Social Media Management Apps

To help you decide which app is right for you, we’ve rounded-up some of the best social media management apps to help you take control of your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram profiles.

1. Buffer

Here at Express Writers, our go-to tool is Buffer. We use it to manage our many Twitter accounts, plus Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. That’s not all it does! It also handles scheduling for Pinterest and Instagram.

The great thing about Buffer is that it’s incredibly easy to use. There’s really nothing complex about it! Both their website and mobile app (for Android and iOS) make it a breeze to schedule updates for any platform.

Check out our scheduled social media feed on Buffer (we have a lot of posts and profiles):

buffer

While you can use Buffer absolutely free of charge, you’d be missing out on some of the main features this social media scheduler has to offer.

The free plan limits you to scheduling only 10 updates at a time per account and you’re unable to add multiple accounts for each type of platform. (This means that two Twitter profiles or two Facebook pages would be out of the question.)

The good news is, Buffer’s “Awesome” plan is pretty affordable at only $10/month.

Buffer provides built-in analytics that give you insight into how well your posts are performing. You’re able to see which posts are actually resonating with your audience and which ones aren’t. This is essential so you can adapt your social media strategy for maximum results.

To make scheduling even easier, Buffer also offers an extension for your web browser. If you see a blog post you’d love to share with your followers, all you have to do is use the extension to quickly and easily add it to your Buffer queue without ever opening their website.

And finally, another great option on Buffer is their Optimal Timing Tool. What will this do for you? Well, you’ve probably seen all kinds of studies that show the best times to post on Twitter, Facebook, etc. While those studies are helpful, those times aren’t unique to your social media profiles. Buffer’s Optimal Timing Tool calculates the best times for you to post based on your own audience.

From its features and affordability to how easy it is to use, it should come as no surprise that Buffer made our list of the best social media management apps. It’s definitely one to check out if you haven’t already tried it.

Note: Buffer also provides plans for Teams & Agencies ranging from $99/month to $399/month, depending on your needs.

2. Hootsuite

When it comes to scheduling tools, Hootsuite is comparable to Buffer when it comes to price. Hootsuite offers a free plan that allows you to add three social media profiles. If you need a little more, you can upgrade to their Pro account for just $9.99/month, which allows you to add up to 50 social media profiles. It’s another great option if you want something that will get the job done without breaking the bank.

Here’s what a dashboard in Hootsuite would look like:

example hootsuite

Courtesy of matthewfarmer.com.au

Hootsuite provides scheduling for a variety of platforms, including: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

However, one thing they do differently is that they offer support for YouTube scheduling. By linking your Hootsuite account with YouTube, you’re able to schedule and share your YouTube videos right from Hootsuite. This is definitely convenient for video creators.

One of the great features about Hootsuite is that it’s more than just a social media scheduler. You’re actually able to monitor and engage in conversations with your followers directly from the Hootsuite website. Their engagement tools ensure you’ll never miss an important reply from someone.

Like Buffer, you also receive access to analytics on Hootsuite. You can use this information to see which posts are performing well on each of your platforms. With a Pro account, you’re able to go even more in-depth to improve ROI and analyze campaign performance through your analytics.

Note: Hootsuite also provides plans for small businesses and agencies. You can sign-up on their website to learn more about pricing.

3. Edgar

You can’t talk about the best social media management apps without mentioning the powerhouse that is Edgar.

edgar-schedule

Courtesy of Problogger.net (Darren Rowse)

While Edgar is certainly pricier than Buffer and Hootsuite, coming in at $49/month, it comes packed with features the other two platforms are lacking. It’s the only tool that will back you up in case your post queue goes empty.

Edgar is designed so that you add updates to your “library.” You can choose which platforms you want each post to be shared on, plus you’re able to save each one in a certain category. For example, you could create a category for “Blog Posts,” where you’d save any posts that link back to your blog. If you’re a big fan of sharing cat photos, you could even create a category for that, too.

Then, your next step is to create a posting schedule. You get to tell Edgar which types of posts you want to share and at what time. So, if you want to share a link to a blog post every Tuesday at 10 AM, you can do that no problem. Edgar will pull a post from your “Blog Posts” category and share it for you.

Edgar pulls your social media content straight from the library you’ve created. Whenever something has been posted, it goes back into your library at the bottom of the list. When Edgar runs out of content, he starts all over by pulling from your library. You’ll never have to worry about your queue going empty and not having something to share with your followers. Talk about making social media easier!

If Edgar sounds like one of the best social media management apps for you, you can give it a go with a free trial. Edgar currently works with Twitter profiles, Facebook profiles, Facebook pages, Facebook groups, LinkedIn profiles, and LinkedIn pages. It may not provide scheduling for as many platforms as Buffer and Hootsuite, but it sure packs a ton of value with its library feature.

Bonus: Tools That Manage Pinterest & Instagram

Now that we’ve given you scheduling tools for Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, let’s talk about Pinterest and Instagram. First up, Pinterest!

4. Pinterest Scheduling: BoardBooster & Tailwind

First, you can use Buffer to schedule posts to your Pinterest boards (for paid accounts only). This is quite handy if you’re already using Buffer as your primary scheduling tool. You wouldn’t have to pay for something else and you’d have everything right in one place. However, if you’re looking for a tool with a few more features, you have a couple great options.

BoardBooster and Tailwind are both powerful tools for scheduling your Pinterest content. They each offer a free trial so you can see which one fits your needs and purchase from there. Both tools allow you to schedule your pins and have them post at optimal times for your account. If you’ve been seeing lackluster results on Pinterest, one of these tools could be just what you need to step up your presence there.

With Tailwind, you’re able to see a visual representation of your Pinterest queue before it posts. It makes it easy to see how many pins are in your queue and what’s coming up next. You can also schedule certain pins to be shared at specific times, which is quite convenient if you want to time a pin for the same time your latest blog post goes live.

To use BoardBooster, the application sets up a secret board on your current Pinterest profile. You pin to that secret board, then BoardBooster moves your pins from there to the public board throughout the day. In your “Board Performance Report,” you’ll be able to see exactly what BoardBooster has posted for you, plus a few stats on each pin. You’re also able to “loop” old pins by reposting them and you can pull popular pins from another user’s board.

Tailwind’s most affordable plan is for bloggers and small businesses. It comes in at jut $9.99/month. BoardBooster’s plans are set up differently in that they’re based on how much you pin per month. If you pin only 500 pins each month, you’d end up paying only $5/month, which is quite a bargain.

Instagram Scheduling

The tricky thing about Instagram scheduling is that the platform doesn’t allow third-party applications to access its API. What does that mean? None of the scheduling apps can actually post for you. Instead, you can schedule posts within the tool of your choice, which then sends a notification to your phone as a reminder to post. There are applications that post to Instagram for you, however they technically go against Instagram’s rules and we’d advise not using them. There are a few great options to consider for your Instagram scheduling that are absolutely safe to use.

5. Later

Later (formerly Latergramme) is a nice tool for scheduling your Instagram content. You can easily upload images and captions via desktop or through the mobile app for Android or iOS. One of the handy things about scheduling with Later is that you can actually upload multiple images and save them in your library. So, you don’t need to have your post planned out right away. You can save images and move them from your library to your queue later on.

6. Buffer or Hootsuite

Both Buffer and Hootsuite provide scheduling for Instagram. If you’re already using one of these tools for scheduling on other platforms, you may want to stick with them just to keep everything in one place. It’ll make things much easier for you!

Using The Best Social Media Management Apps To Your Success

By putting your social media management under one application umbrella, you save yourself a great deal of time, management, and trouble. It’s a necessary step for the modern content marketer.

Take that a step further and hire a social media manager expert from our hand-picked, expert team! We’ll manage your profiles, create custom imagery, and write original, creative posts. Visit the Content Shop.

social media manager

How to Become a Social Media Manager: A Day in the Life of One, from Krystal

Ever wanted to learn how to become a social media manager, or what it’s like being one?

Krystal, one of our talented client social media managers, is guest blogging today with her thoughts on the subject. Plus, she’s sharing a look at her day, writing and creating social posts for our client base. Enjoy!

I grew up on the Internet.

No, seriously.

If you knew me up until college, you knew me as the shy, quiet, artsy anime/video games nerd that had some good ideas, but wasn’t very effective in communicating them. That is, unless we were friends online.

Text role play, fanfic writing, and managing online communities was how I got out of my shell and found my writer’s voice.

It was a way to communicate that didn’t always flow as freely in person. I learned how to manage folks on MMOs and do customer service via email.

These types of things were done for leisure, naturally.

I was always a reader and a lover of fiction, but when I started working for an indie bookstore, I was reading ten books a month and bridging the gap between having an online personality and communicating with bookstore patrons in person.

Now how, might you ask, did this culminate in becoming a social media manager?

how to become a social media manager

How to Become a Social Media Manager: Krystal’s Starting Roots

Reading and writing have always been my pillars. I used to do more Fine Arts (I even had a brief stint in art school), but I found that I couldn’t communicate with my paintings and photos as deeply as I could with words. This became apparent to me as I started becoming engaged in online communities such as LiveJournal and managing big raids in World of Warcraft and really excelled at connecting with users and empathizing with them.

You learn how to communicate with people in a whole new way, using persuasive and subtle language to create a sense of a virtual community. No matter what online platform I’m on, that’s what I strive to do – create a community, whether it’s with fellow nerds or customers I’m trying to reach out to.

It’s like calling a hotline and having to speak to a computer. That’s bad social media. Good social media is connecting with the user on the other end. Great social media is getting them to laugh at the screen and look forward to your tweets or status updates. You want to feel like the person on the other side of the screen is your confidante, ready to answer your questions and guide you in the right direction, whether it’s helping you figure out why your flight was delayed or which ice cream is the hot flavor of the month.

Being a Good Social Media Manager is All About Great Research and Writing

Of course, there’s more to social media than just being a solid communicator. You have to love research. Having a degree in Applied Psychology, I’m used to spending hours, days, even weeks doing research on one topic.

My biggest hurdle when I first started writing copy for social media professionally was getting used to writing copy for topics that I knew nothing about, or –let’s face it—topics I couldn’t care less about.

A Day in the Life: Writing for Typical Subjects Can be Fun!

But the beauty of loving research and writing is that, in general, you most likely love to learn. This was an unexpected perk when I joined up with the great folks at Express Writers.

I was getting clients that were connected to products like luxury vehicles, RVs, beds, and real estate litigation. I happen to own a bed, but otherwise I don’t know anything about any of those. I was pleasantly surprised by how fun it was to research the kind of content that their customers wanted to see, Googling all sorts of articles and such to get people excited about RV safety. Who knew!

As long as you check your sources and make sure they’re legit, you can find some awesome content out there. I keep a word document of all the websites I’ve found to be useful depending on the subject, just so I can revisit the ones I know will give me great content if I need to.

Tip: Be Conversational in Your Writing Style

Then, I get the information out there as if I’m having a conversation with someone. Even if a client wants the tone of the copy to be professional, I try to give it my own personal spin so that every tweet feels like a greeting, a first impression between strangers. I can talk a lot about keywords and SEO, which are all essential in the most fundamental ways, but once you’ve drawn in your customers with the right algorithm, you need to keep them hooked with your personality. This is of course true with actual face-to-face interactions, but when information is flying at users on their Timelines or Dashboards.

This is what I love about being a social media manager. It’s the ultimate social experiment of the human condition, only way more fun and interactive than anything you’d read in a textbook!

4 Tips to Share on How to Become a Social Media Manager That’s Worth Their Salt

TL;DR, right?

Well, I’ve zeroed in on some tips that I think you’ll find useful if you’re thinking of getting involved in the professional social media world:

1. Keep Reading

Seriously. Whether its articles online, novels, or even episodic video games – keep yourself immersed in some form of literature, whether it’s Dostoevsky, Murakami , or That-Indie-Graphic-Novel-That-You-Wish-Other-People-Read,-Too. It makes you a better, savvier writer overall and keeps your noodle engaged with language. Draw on the voices in literature to help you cultivate your own. It’s important to do, even if you only have 140 characters to show it.

The same goes for writing. If you get an itch to write a little story, poem, or blog, scratch it.

2. Stay Connected to Social Media

This is related to my last point, and it may sound pretty obvious, but it deserves special mention: stay involved.

Read your timelines, study how your favorite companies stay relevant on a daily basis and how they connect with their customers.

Really listen to their tones and how they come across.

Sometimes I even say posts out loud to see if they sound natural. You can really learn how much tone makes a difference when it comes to what kind of impact one has online.

3. Remember Your Audience: They’re Just Like You

I hate stuffy sounding social media. You know what I’m talking about. It sounds like the kinds of emails your boss writes when they’re trying to sound engaging – the ones that make you roll your eyes.

If you’ve been in the position where you’ve read a social media post that’s trying to be engaging and it makes you roll your eyes, then you know that that writer hasn’t found their inner voice.

This goes for professionally-geared social media accounts, too, not just the fun ones. Your posts should sound like a conversation – a virtual handshake to your followers – not a thesis statement.

4. Emojis Are Fine and All, But…

Use them smartly and sparingly.

Same goes for hashtags.

This is 2016 – you really don’t need twelve hashtags and thirty emojis in your tweet unless you’re a spam bot.

You can follow Krystal on Twitter @pseudomachine.

 

Need great social media content? Can’t keep up with the demanding schedule that social media needs for the highest exposure results? We can help! Check out our Social Media Management packages – to have Krystal on your social media, just request her in the order form!

a guide to snapchat

How to Use Snapchat: A Guide for Businesses on Snapchat

With Snapchat continuing to grow in popularity, it should come as no surprise that many brands are joining and creating “stories” of their own.

However, the social media app has left many people confused about how to use it and the ways it could benefit their businesses.

A Guide to Snapchat For Businesses & Marketers

To help you out, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to use Snapchat, five key points on how to make the platform work for you, plus some amazing Snapchatters you need to follow!

How to Use Snapchat: Adding Filters & Stickers

Once you’ve taken a photo or video for your Snapchat story, you have a choice to post it as is or you can do a little editing first.

To add a filter to your content, all you have to do is swipe left or right to see the available filters. Snapchat offers a timestamps, temperature, speed, and color filters for both photos and videos. You can even speed up videos, slow them down, or have them play in reverse. You can really get creative here!

Timestamp filter and color filter used on a photo in Snapchat.

Timestamp filter and color filter used on a photo in Snapchat.

One thing that many people don’t realize with these filter is that some of them have other options that aren’t readily seen. For example, if you tap on the timestamp filter, it actually changes to the date. (There are currently two versions of the date you can use.) You can also toggle the temperature between Fahrenheit and Celsius and switch between miles per hour and kilometers per hour for the speed.

Previously, Snapchat only provided users with standard emojis for adding to their photos and videos. Now, theres a wide selection of stickers for you to choose from. All you have to do is tap the sticker icon (the square icon in the top right-hand corner) and move through each category of stickers to find the one that’s just right for your snap. You can even design your own Bitmoji through the Bimoji app and link it for use in Snapchat.

Snapchat guide, how to use Snapchat, Snapchat for businesses

Creating a full-color image in Snapchat: Place a sticker on your image and expand it until it covers the screen. Apply text and stickers on top.

One way you can really get creative with stickers is to create a full-color background for your snaps. How do you do this? All you have to do is choose a sticker with the color you’d like, place it on your snap, and expand it until it covers the entire screen.

How to Use Snapchat: Face Filters 101

The great thing about Snapchat is that it’s one social media platform where you can really have fun with your content. You can draw on your photos and videos, add stickers, and even apply face filters to yourself and others. If you’ve been wondering how to try this out for yourself, the good news is that it’s actually pretty simple.

Snapchat guide, how to use Snapchat, Snapchat for businesses

Applying a face filter in Snapchat: Long-press on your face until the filter menu appears. Swipe to move through filters.

To apply a face filter on Snapchat, all you need to do is long-press on your face (or the face of the person you want to apply the filter to), then a selection of available filters will pop-up on the lower half of the screen. Swipe through them and choose the one you like the best. Once you’ve picked your filter of choice, you can take a photo or video with it applied to your face. These filters update on a regular basis, so you’ll want to check them often. (You don’t want to miss out on the coolest new filter, do you?)

Occasionally, you’ll even see sponsored face filters (also known as Sponsored Lenses) from companies. If you’re a business owner, this is something you may want to take advantage of. You can even create standard filters for users to add to their snaps. Standard filters can be made available only to people within a certain geographical location so you can be sure to target the right customers.

Snapchat Memories

One of the newer features on Snapchat allows you to post straight from your camera roll or share previous snaps. If you think you may want to share a snap again one day, you can save it before submitting it to your story or save it after it’s been posted. All you have to do is tap the icon as shown in the screenshot. The photo or video you just took will automatically be saved for you to use again and again.

Five Key Ways to Make Snapchat Work for You

If you’re ready to start using Snapchat as part of your online strategy, these tips will help you out:

1. Tell a great story

As with any social media platform, you should make sure you’re sharing valuable content your audience would be interested in.

What would they like to see from you?

How can you solve a problem they’re facing, through your Snapchat story?

You should also make sure everything is cohesive when played in full. Your story should make sense to your viewers.

2. Give them a behind-the-scenes look

Allow your followers to get a look into what a day in your life is like. You can show them your work process and allow viewers to meet the members of your team. People want to get to know you and the others behind your business. You can even get your audience excited about an upcoming product with a little Snapchat teaser

3. Team up with influencers

If you want to expand your reach on Snapchat, consider teaming up with influencers in your niche. You can have someone take over your Snapchat for a day as a way to attract new followers and provide great content for your story

4. Provide incentives for followers

You can choose to host giveaways through Snapchat, offer exclusive discounts, and more. Get your audience involved by having them screenshot your snaps or ask them to send you a snap in response.

5. Don’t worry about being perfect

Snapchat is meant to be a fun, genuine platform. Your snaps don’t have to be polished and picture-perfect. Instead, you should enjoy yourself and be real with your audience.

10 Snapchat Accounts to Follow

1. Gary Vaynerchuk: If you aren’t familiar with Gary Vaynerchuk, he’s the entrepreneur to follow online. As the CEO of his company, Vayner Media, you can get a look into his daily life through Snapchat. You’ll see just how much he hustles. (Hint: He doesn’t stop!) He’s been pushing brands and business owners to join the platform for a while now and for good reason! Add by username “garyvee.” Click link for Snapcode.

2. Buffer: Yes, the social media scheduling tool is on Snapchat! Buffer does a great job of giving followers a behind-the-scenes look into their business. They regularly have team members from across the world take over their account for the day to give you an exclusive look at their jobs for Team Buffer. Add by username “buffersnaps.” Click link for Snapcode.

3. Hootsuite: Hootsuite is on Snapchat, too! Follow along to check out all of their fun snaps and to see what it’s like working on the team. Add by username “hootsuite.” Click link for Snapcode.

4. Mashable: Mashable is the go-to resource for social media, technology, business, and more on the web. But did you know they were on Snapchat, too? Check out their snaps for a look into the Mashable brand. Add by username “mashable.” Click link for Snapcode.

5. Food Network: While your brand may not have the opportunity to land a spot on Snapchat’s Discover feature, Food Network as. They take advantage of this spotlight by allowing some of the channel’s biggest stars take over the account to share cooking tips and tricks. Add by username “Food-Network.” Click link for Snapcode. 

6. Sour Patch Kids: Sour Patch Kids is one brand that has been known for sharing fun and creative snaps with their fans. Just try watching their snaps without getting a craving for candy! Add by username “sourpatchsnaps.” Click link for Snapcode. 

7. Brian Fanzo: Brian Fanzo is a keynote speaker, frequent Periscoper, and is making a name for himself across social media. If you want to see what he gets up to on a regular basis, check out his Snapchat! Add by username “isocialfanz.” Click link for Snapcode. 

8. Pat Flynn: Pat Flynn is the creator of the popular podcast, Smart Passive Income. His Snapchat stories allow you to take a look into his life and business. Add by username “patflynnspi.” Click link for Snapcode. 

9. Julia McCoy: Did you know our very own CEO at Express Writers is on Snapchat? Julia McCoy joined Snapchat and gives her followers a look into her daily life as she runs the company and spends time with her husband and daughter. Add by username “julia.mccoy.” Click link for Snapcode. 

10. Rachel Moffett: And finally, you can check me out on Snapchat as well! See what I get up to on a regular basis as the Social Media Specialist for Express Writers. Add by username “redhead.rachel.” Click link for Snapcode. 

 

Need social media coverage? Check out our social media plans over in the Content Shop. We hand-pick specialists that can manage your social media expertly: write custom posts tailored to your audience, create custom imagery, and post every day.

content automation

How to Balance Automation with Creation The Right Way In Your Social Media

Today, one of the greatest challenges facing the content marketer is the balance between automation and creation.

With all of the fantastic automated platforms available for use today, it can be tough to determine where, exactly, the line needs to be drawn.

Too much automation kills conversation.

But too little automation means a lot of monkey work, lost time and excess stress for the busy marketer.

So, where’s the happy medium?

automation with creation

Your Guide to Effectively Balancing Automation With Creation In A Social Media Strategy

Let’s delve in.

Why a Mix of Creation with Automation?

Create: While automation may make life easier, creation makes life much more fun.

Creating content for your social media platforms is a deeply creative, interactive experience; it’s here that brands and individuals alike get to exercise their voices and styles. It’s also here that relationships are built and authority is made.

People who take an active role in the creation of their social media content often enjoy closer relationships with followers and fans as well as a more intimate grasp about the state of their social media presence overall.

Unfortunately, full creation zaps your time and creates distractions. Push notifications, pings, comments, messages, and re-tweets all demand our attention… if we’re not careful, it’s easy to get pulled away from the important tasks at hand to go engage on Facebook or Twitter. While this may help strengthen relationships in the long run, it’s not ultimately awesome for productivity. 

Automate: There are dozens of great reasons to automate your social media posting, like this Buffer resource.

In addition to increased traffic and more consistent interaction, automating social media can also help you get more done with less stress. Because social media requires a large time and energy commitment, automating things like posts and promotions can give you a break from the Internet and free up some space for you to worry about other things, which is a huge draw for busy people that need social media-free space to focus.

Additionally, automation is often a more efficient way to interact with social media. While it’s possible to lose some of the “human factor” behind social media when you begin to automate, it also makes all of your social media interactions much more deliberate and saves you from getting tied up with trolls or comment chains, which is yet another way to save your precious time.

Striking a Balance: 5 Tips for Using Creation and Automation Together

As is true with most things, the sweet spot between creation and automation is somewhere in the middle. To lean too much to either side is to sacrifice the benefits of one or both things, so it’s important to walk that middle line. Here are some tips to help you do that:

1. Keep a human eye involved

Some marketers would love to turn all of their social media dealings over to automated platforms and never look at them again. Unfortunately, this will only spell trouble for your brand eventually. The reason for this is that, while a large portion of your social media interaction can be automated, it’s pivotal to keep the human touch intact. This keeps social media personal and helps you avoid automated disasters like the one the New England Patriots endured when their automated platform retweeted a racial slur. The takeaway? Feel free to automate, but keep the human oversight intact.

2. If you’re going to reach out, do it personally

Some brands do things like send auto-generated messages to people who follow them. While this may seem like an efficient and personalized way to reach out to fans, it’s not. More often than not, this comes off as vacuous and more than a bit creepy, and it may actually turn fans off more than it helps to engage them. Instead of sending out auto-messages for the purpose of building relationships, dedicate some time each week to batch-checking and responding to social media messages. This can help keep your social relationships intact without derailing you on a daily basis.

3. Use automation to distribute content evenly

If you don’t use an automation service, you’re limited to posting content only when you’re awake, working, and free. This often leads to “blasts” that overwhelm your followers’ feeds and lead to much of your content being skipped over. Avoid this by using automation to distribute your hard-won content evenly throughout the day and night. In addition to avoiding content traffic jams, this also increases the likelihood that your readers will fully engage with your content and keeps you from becoming a spammy social media presence.

4. Keep an eye on current events

Social media moves quickly, and is one of the main news sources for people around the world. In light of this, I can promise you that you’re going to do your brand some serious damage if your automation platform is buzzing away while a national or global disaster unfolds. While it can be tough to stay on top of daily news and disasters all of the time, the best practice here is to cut off automation when there’s a known disaster at work. The exception is if you can use your automation to dispense content that is sensitive and directly related to the disaster in an intelligent and sophisticated way.

5. Keep testing your automation

Automation is the way of the future, but you need to be sure it’s working well in order to keep using it. Test your automation times, days, headlines, and activity levels often in order to ensure that you’re still in that sweet spot between automation and creation. Adjust anything that’s not working and move forward.

Conclusion

Automation and creation.

They’re like two peas in a pod when they’re used correctly: essential to each other, but not as effective or even as good-looking without each other.

These five tips can help you ensure that your social media displays the best of both worlds, and that you’re using automation and creation to the full extent and advantage of each, without sacrificing quality or personality in the process.

Struggling with managing your social media accounts? Let our non-robotic, human social media managers create – and schedule out (automate)! Check out our Social Media Services today.

So you think you can write julia mccoy

fb live or periscope

Is Facebook Live Streaming About to Replace Periscope?

“Live-streaming? What the heck is that?”

Well, that totally changed in 2015 when everyone and their brother discovered Periscope and “live-streaming” became a sudden hit – to the tune of millions hitting record. The online marketing community was abuzz about the popularity of Periscope. 10 million users crowded in and started live-streaming the same year it came out (it grew to a million users just 10 days after launch.) Recently, however, Periscope has been the subject of a gradual downfall. There’s a lot of rumored reasons: a lack of communication on Periscope’s part, the bugs in its app that have never been fixed, or the trolls and spam that exists a-plenty in the streams?

As it stands now, Periscope looks like it’s about to be surpassed in terms of popularity by a new, yet powerful live-streaming app from a long-standing social giant: Facebook Live. There’s a very good chance that this new live-stream king may well usurp Periscope off of the throne.

What’s really going down in the battle between the platforms?

Let’s explore.

fb live or periscope

Is Facebook Live Streaming About to Push Periscope Down the Rabbit Hole?

Periscope is owned by Twitter. Originally, Periscope was launched as an attempt by Twitter to gain more relevance and compete with other popular livestream apps like Meerkat.

According to Hustle, Zuckerburg is going for the throat punch on Jack Dorsey. With all the tremendous power of Facebook, it’s a huge move to open up Facebook Live streaming to the public. And Facebook just did that.

The Verdict on Periscope

While Periscope enjoyed heavy buzz and widespread adoption in its early days (it was even named the best app by Apple in 2015), the app could be seriously deflating. Here’s just a few reasons why it’s on a downward slide:

  • DailyMail.co.uk said that it’s a “parent’s worst nightmare”
  • Another news site said that with Facebook Live’s launch, and Google offering their own version of live-streaming soon called YouTube Connect, Periscope could die off like Meerkat
  • Chalene Johnson, a NYT Bestseller and Top #10 hottest iTunes podcaster with over 12 million podcast downloads and huge early Periscope fan with hundreds of thousands of followers, recently said in a podcast episode that Periscope is letting her down: it has gone too long without telling us why it was constantly freezing, not fixing a lot of issues, cutting down on the spam (trolls and fake accounts)
  • The fact that you can watch people snort cocaine, a girl DUI’ing (don’t worry: the cops were called on her since she publicly streamed it), and that spam and trolls thrive and exist in every other live stream, well, to put it simply: that doesn’t bode well for Periscope.
  • Spotlight was stolen: For another, Facebook stepped in and stole the spotlight. Facebook Live Stream is an app that the social media giant announced in late 2015 and which has been slowly rolling out over the last several months. Much like Periscope, Facebook Live streaming allows users to share their live videos via the Facebook platform.

Just The Technical Side: Periscope’s 5 Worst Problems

Don’t forget a whole number of technical problems Periscope has (likely some of the largest reasons for the platform’s downward trend):

  1. Freezing. Anyone who remembers Twitter’s infamous “Fail Whale” episodes might not be shocked by the fact that Periscope was freezing on a regular basis.
  2. Trolls. According to Business Insider, trolls were one of the most common problems on Periscope. From sexually explicit comments on female users’ profiles to harassment on posts that reached the trending list, many users were driven from Periscope due to bona fide harassment issues. Parents started reporting Periscope to higher authorities when they found their underage kids using Periscope and receiving illicit advances from these trolls. Periscope has came across as a very transparent platform where privacy didn’t really seem like a big deal: you could hit live and broadcast to anyone with very little trouble.
  3. Fake accounts. Fake accounts went hand in hand with trolling on Periscope and it wasn’t a problem that even the owners of the platform were unfamiliar with. In fact, even CEO Dick Costolo admitted that the platform “sucks” at dealing with fake profiles and abusive users.
  4. Failed notifications. One of the main reasons to join Periscope was to participate in live broadcasts. Unfortunately, however, many Periscope users simply weren’t getting notifications when live broadcasts came on. What’s more, when these users would report the issues to Periscope itself, the platform couldn’t identify the failed notifications and often had no answers for the users.
  5. Bugs. Periscope was riddled with bugs that made it freeze, function slowly, and provide a poor user experience. While these bugs may have been simple to fix, Periscope responded slowly or not at all to user inquires.

Now, it would be unfair just to blame Periscope only for the bugs or trolling issues (after all, Facebook has dealt with some of the same problems); the issue is not so much the existence of the bugs as it is Periscope’s apparent unwillingness to deal with them as proactively as they’ve needed to.

While Periscope users have long since been aware of the platform’s bugs and shortcomings, Periscope itself has seemed virtually oblivious or, at the very least, has failed to reach out and talk to its users about what’s going on internally, which is something Facebook has historically done very well.

Perhaps the only plus Periscope does have still going for it, is that Twitter owns it.

And with that kind of backing, I suspect it’ll be a good fight before it totally goes down – Dorsey is going to fight for it. (According to Hustle, their latest move is teaming up with GoPro to offer live streaming straight from GoPro’s cameras.)

Introducing Facebook Live: A Whole New Way to See the World

While Facebook Live streaming and Periscope may look quite similar on the surface, it’s what’s inside that matters. While Periscope is a simple live-stream app that’s connected to Twitter, Facebook Live is a live-streaming app that makes its home on Facebook – which remains the largest social media network in the world.

It used to only be available to celebs, but now it’s available for nearly everyone: just hit the little record button from your profile.

fb live

facebook live

Screenshot of facebook.com/help/1636872026560015

Don’t go live just yet, though…

Hold your horses. Users of Facebook live are warning first-time Facebook Live users that your first 45 seconds going live is “make and break time” (podcast from Chalene Johnson again: her first live stream got 250+ shares). Your first time going live sends an actual notification to every last person on your friends or subscribers list–and announces that you’re going live in 3, 2, 1… It’s a big deal and a lot of publicity for you, for free.

livestreaming

Better fix that hair… yer goin’ live.

So yeah, make that first one count. (That’s why I haven’t done mine yet; and per the Twitter chats I’m in, a lot of marketers haven’t either for this very good reason. You have to do it right.)

4 Good Reasons to Use Facebook Live Streaming Right Now

If you can get over doing your first live FB stream, here are some really, really good reasons to start using Facebook Live:

1. You can target your viewers

Facebook allows targeting. This is huge in potentially beating out Periscope, because Periscope has limited functionality there. But with FB Live, you get all the power of their demographic and people targeting capabilities. If you do Facebook ads, you’ll absolutely want to try FB Live.

2. It’s easy and available for nearly everyone

As it stands now, Facebook Live streaming works quite a lot like Facebook Messenger, meaning that there is a live video button at the bottom of the screen that users simply can click to share their live video broadcasts. (This rolled out early 2016 and is available to nearly everyone now.)

3. It’s huge for interaction and engagement

Facebook Live encourages a LOT of interaction. So much so, that Facebook says people comment “10x more during a live video than a regular video.” That’s 1000% more interaction for any of your non-live, shared videos! In addition to allowing users to showcase their broadcasts, the livestream app will also allow users to follow specific topics, like current events and science, and receive updates every time a video is posted in a certain category. Additionally, people viewing live videos on Facebook Live will be able to invite their friends to hop in on the same video (invited people will receive a push notification alerting them). Viewers will also be able to view Facebook’s new “Reactions” feature in the form of floating icons across the screen, much like Periscope’s floating hearts feature. The introduction of Facebook Live Stream is just one more notch on Facebook’s belt of video-focused innovation, following hot on the heels of the introduction of autoplay into news feeds.

4. Accessibility

In addition to higher levels of functionality and a larger user base, one of the distinct advantages that Facebook Live has over Periscope is accessibility. Contrary to what many marketers and app developers believe, everyday mobile users aren’t often completely up to date on the latest apps and, because of this, they’re more willing to use one app that covers all of their needs – from social media updates to live streaming. Facebook, increasingly, has emerged to fill this position. Because Facebook already has such a huge base of users, the platform is already in a better position to become a leader in live-streaming technology. The average U.S. user spends about 40 minutes each day on Facebook, which means that users who are already on the app are more likely to use the same app for all of their live streaming needs.

What’s more, this is a development that has the potential to boast widespread impact across various groups of users, including business and personal users.

One Big Reason Facebook Is Going to Win

Still not assured?

Get ready, I’m going to blow your mind. Ready for this?

In ONE quarter of 2015, Facebook added more daily active users in the U.S. alone than Twitter added in a month globally.

BAM. That’s a lot more people and power on the Facebook platform, vs. Twitter.

Which potential audience would you rather reach?

So, my verdict:

Consider using Facebook Live.

While Periscope has been a helpful tool for many marketers, the fact of the matter is that Facebook simply seems to be prioritizing live streaming videos more than Twitter.

Facebook Live’s users (including Chalene Johnson) consistently report that the platform feels quieter and more personal and that it’s easier to pull better numbers through Facebook Live videos than it is through Periscope videos.

While it’s inevitable that apps will develop bugs every once in awhile, the fact that Periscope has consistently failed to communicate these things to its users has been a bane for many onetime fans of the app.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, while Periscope and Facebook Live share similar visions and interfaces, the fact of the matter is that the team at Facebook Live has simply executed its vision more effectively. While both apps offer live streaming, only one of them places its users at the forefront and creates a quiet space that actually achieves the original purpose of the project: to engage people in conversation. It seems as if Facebook Live is about to take over Periscope. But, only time will tell.

What are your thoughts? Comment below!

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