#ContentWritingChat, social media 2019, Brooke Sellas

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Creating Content & Engaging With Your Audience on Social Media with Brooke Sellas

Social media can sometimes feel a little overwhelming.

There are so many platforms to keep track of, you have to create fresh content on a regular basis, and still find time to connect and engage with your audience.

How are you supposed to manage it all? And how can you be sure you’ll reap the rewards of all the time and effort you put in?

Well, it’s all about having a smart strategy! In this month’s #ContentWritingChat, we talked all about social media. And in this recap, you’ll learn which platforms are worth your time, what makes a great post, and what you can do today to boost your results.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Creating Content & Engaging With Your Audience on Social Media with Brooke Sellas

Our guest host this month was Brooke Sellas. Brooke is the CEO and Founder of B Squared Media, an award-winning social media marketing and ads agency. She’s also the co-host of the Marketing Companion podcast alongside Mark Schaefer.

Q1: Which social media platforms are worth your attention in 2019? Are there any you’ll be adding or dropping from your strategy?

With so many social media platforms available at our fingertips, it can be difficult to choose the ones that are right for you and your brand. We asked everyone to share the platforms they’re focused on and the ones they’ll be saying goodbye to (if any) this year.

As Brooke said, social media is all about determining what works for you and your goals. The reality is, certain platforms work really well for some brands and don’t perform that well for others. Pay attention to what’s working for you and what’s not. And if something isn’t working, review your strategy first before completely ditching it.

Always consider which platforms your audience is actively using. If your audience isn’t there, you won’t be able to reach the right people and you’ll ultimately waste time and effort.

Gene’s advice is to direct your attention toward the platforms that serve your audience. He said you should also consider which ones are fun and enjoyable for you. And if a platform feels like hard work, then it’s time to let it go.

Another thing you want to consider is where you really shine. Are there specific platforms that you love to create content for and that truly showcase your abilities? Stick with them! For instance, if you create great images and video content, Instagram can be really beneficial.

For Michelle, she knows that LinkedIn, Twitter, and sometimes Facebook are the top platforms to focus soon with her B2B clients. You have to consider the audience and figure out what works the best.

And of course, Warwick is all about LinkedIn. He knows that this is the platform where he can be himself and create amazing content. Plus, he sees results from building his presence there, which is what really matters.

For the team at Bentley University, they aren’t afraid to utilize multiple social media platforms. Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook are the ones that work really well for them. However, they’re scaling back on their usage of Pinterest and Snapchat.

Q2: How do you figure out what you should be posting on social media?

Once you’ve chosen the platforms you’ll include in your strategy, it’s time to start creating content. But how do you craft posts that stand out, as opposed to getting lost in a busy timeline? Here are some tips to help you out!

Brooke feels that great social media content meets the goals of informing and entertaining your audience. To determine if you’re doing it right, you want to track results on a weekly basis. Her advice is to examine the top three performing posts and the bottom three. Look for micro-trends or patterns so you can identify what’s working and what’s not.

Jason knows that research is essential. You need to have an understanding of who your audience is and what they’re looking for online. From there, you can create the content they want to see the most.

If you’re ever feeling unsure of what your audience wants to see from you, just ask them! It’s as simple as that. Dianna also suggests looking at your competitors on social media to see what gains the most traction with their audience. This isn’t an invitation to copy, but it can be a great source of inspiration.

Part of the research you should do can be reviewing your older social media posts. This goes back to Brooke’s advice of looking for patterns to identify what works and what doesn’t.

As Lexie pointed out, creating social media content involves some trial and error. When you determine the types of content your audience likes, you can create more of it. And if there’s something they clearly aren’t responding to, you can eliminate it. It’s all about testing to see what works for you.

Tamara shared some great advice here. She said to listen to your audience, see what others are sharing to determine what’s working and what’s not, consider the content type that works best for each platform, and then test.

You also shouldn’t be afraid to create a different strategy for each platform you’re using. After all, each one is unique and requires its own content!

And let’s wrap up this question with a fantastic piece of advice from Michelle… Don’t go overboard on the promotional content. Focus more on providing value and building relationships.

Q3: What makes a highly engaging social media post? Are there certain characteristics that stand out among posts that perform well?

We all want our social media posts to go viral, but there’s really no rhyme or reason behind this. The most unlikely posts go viral and you can’t always explain it. Nor can you count on it to happen for you! What you can do is incorporate characteristics of content that performs well to increase your chance of success.

As Brooke said, make your own best practices. Pay close attention to what’s actually working for you. Just because something works for another brand, it doesn’t mean it’ll work for you.

What makes a highly engaging social media post largely depends on what your audience is interested in. That’s why it’s so important to understand them.

Ask yourself if the post creates a human connection. Will it cause people to take action? These are important questions to ask yourself.

Jason said to include emotion-driving keywords and a strong call to action. He also said to ask questions and use visuals that will grab attention. Together, this is a formula for success!

The best social media posts are relevant to your target audience. They’re also informative, timely, useful, entertaining, and accessible.

It’s also smart to make sure your content is creative, valuable, timely, informative, entertaining, thought-provoking, and of course… Relevant.

Dianna suggests asking questions to get the conversation going, tagging people when appropriate, using relevant hashtags, and including a visual. You also want to try and teach your audience something!

John knows that a great visual can help since it allows your posts to stand out.

Q4: What actions can we take to encourage more engagement on the platforms we use?

Feeling like you aren’t getting much engagement when you post on social media? This advice should help turn things around for you:

Make sure you’re joining or starting conversations to get the ball rolling if you want to boost engagement!

As Michelle said, we have to spend time on the platform. You cannot expect to receive engagement if you aren’t actively paying attention to your audience and responding to them.

Being consistent with your posting is a great way to boost engagement. It gets you noticed and encourages more conversation. As John knows, you have to put in the effort.

Jason’s advice is to research to figure out what your audience is actively engaging with. This will guide you in creating the content that speaks to them.

Twitter chats can be a fantastic way to increase exposure and engagement!

Make sure you’re actually engaging with your audience. You can also ask questions, create polls, and design other interactive content.

And one important piece of advice: don’t wait for people to engage with you. You can make the first move!

Q5: Once people are engaging with your content, how do you keep the momentum going?

When you finally have engagement, you don’t want it to stop! But if you aren’t smart about it, it’ll be short-lived. So, if you want to keep the momentum up and continue the conversation with your audience, consider these tips:

Great advice here from Brooke!

As Dan said, it’s our conversation to monitor replies, questions, and shares. Don’t ignore your community!

Always engage back! Simple as that!

Lexie’s advice is to not let your content get stale. Providing quality content is important if you want to keep your audience engaged and grab their attention.

You also need to be sure that you’re posting regularly instead of letting your account go dark. Share content to get the conversation going by posting what your audience is most interested in.

Q6: How can you be sure you’re reaching your goals with your social media efforts?

When you’re putting so much time and effort into your social media presence, you want to see that you’re actually reaching your goals. But how can you know this is happening? These responses from the chat will help you out.

As Brooke said, you need to know your KPIs! From there, you will tie your social media content and activities to those goals so you can achieve them.

Lori agrees that it’s so important to know your goals. This will tell you which metrics you should be keeping a close eye on. Otherwise, how will you know what you’re working toward?

Brian shared a great answer with us for this question. First, you need to define what success looks like to you and set measurable goals you can track. From there, you’ll choose the platforms that are right for you, create content, and continue to test to see what works and what doesn’t.

You may want to track things like DMs, comments, link clicks, etc. It all depends on your unique goals.

Q7: Are there any social media trends we should consider experimenting with this year?

Thinking about trying something different with your social media platforms this year? There are some trends you can try out!

For Brooke, it’s all about social listening and AI. Will you be stepping it up in either area this year?

Lexie knows that video is still hot! But the thing is, you can’t create video content just to jump on the bandwagon. You need to make quality videos your audience will connect with.

Chatbots are worth looking into if you haven’t already!

Partnering with micro-influencers and incorporating storytelling into your content are just two things that Tamara will be working on.

Gaby mentioned live streaming, gamification, paid social media, and more.

Q8: What’s one thing we can all do today to start creating more engaging social media content?

Now, we want to leave you with some final tips that you can act on today in order to see a boost in your social media presence. Pick at least one piece of advice and go for it!

Act like a human and have one-on-one conversations with your audience.

Know your audience and spend time learning all about them.

Experiment with different types of content to see what works for you.

Start having meaningful conversations with people.

Get your audience involved and make them feel heard.

Don’t be afraid to try something new!

Join us for #ContentWritingChat on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central! Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated.

customer service using social media

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Delivering Amazing Customer Service Using Social Media with Scott Ayres

Have you ever reached out to a brand via social media for a customer service request?

Odds are, that answer is yes!

Social media has become an easy way to connect with your favorite brands, ask questions, and seek help when you need it. However, that doesn’t mean all brands are handling their customer service requests effectively.

In this week’s #ContentWritingChat, we talked all about delivery amazing customer service using social media. You’ll learn how to manage all the different platforms, how quickly you should be replying to inquiries, and so much more.

Let’s dive into the recap!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Delivering Amazing Customer Service Using Social Media with Scott Ayres

Our guest host this week was Scott Ayres. He’s part of the team over at AgoraPulse and he knows a thing or two about managing a social media presence. Scott shared some great tips with us that all brands can implement for handling customer service using social media.

Q1: How has social media impacted customer service?

There was a time when your only option was to call a brand on the phone and wait on hold until someone was able to serve you. These days, social media has changed the way we handle customer service requests as a brand. Here’s how:

As Scott pointed out, social media requires brands to deal with their customer service issues in the public eye. What was once handled privately, the world can now see.

He also said that it’s easier for complaints about a company to spread now. If a customer starts talking negatively about your brand, others may pick up on it and start sharing the message.

Social media has allowed brands and customers to connect with one another in real-time. Plus, it’s easier on the customer’s part since they no longer have to wait on hold or check their inboxes for a reply.

Iain feels social media allows brands to not only solve their customers’ problems, but they also get to show their human side.

As Lexie pointed out, customer service using social media has become a 24/7 job.

Just keep in mind that customers expect immediate responses to their concerns now!

While customer service matters were typically handled privately in the past (via phone calls), social media has allowed customers to have a voice. Their complaints can be shared for the entire world to hear.

Q2: How does customer service support on social media directly impact reputation management?

It’s become increasingly important for brands to be smart about how their managing their reputations online, especially with so many customer service requests rolling in. Here’s what you need to know to keep things going smoothly:

You have to be aware of what’s going on with your social media presence. As Scott said, one bad experience can spread. You need to do what you can to resolve issues as soon as possible.

Lexie brought up a great point about how everything is public now. Your audience can see the complaints you’re getting, as well as how you’re handling them. And how you respond to criticism says a lot about your brand.

As Maria pointed out, there’s no where to hide! Everything is on display for the world to see when it comes to social media. That’s why it’s so important, now more than ever, to handle customer service requests with care.

How you handle customer opinions and complaints says a lot about your brand. Kathryn had her opinion of a brand completely changed when they took the time to reach out to her. It shows that you care about your customers.

If you don’t take action fast, it can turn off your audience. The last thing you want is for them to spread even more complaints. Julia’s advice is to treat any issues with the highest priority.

Don’t lose your customers because you failed to address their issues on social media. Respond in a timely fashion and do so with kindness.

Make sure you’re actively listening for issues that you can address before they get too out of hand. Don’t wait for people to come to you. And don’t expect them to always tag you when they’re talking about your brand. Search your brand name to ensure you don’t miss a thing.

Q3: How can businesses use social media to support objectives and build/maintain customer relationships?

As a brand, how can social media allow you to build stronger relationships with your customers? These tips are great to keep in mind:

Scott knows that being human goes a long way. Your audience doesn’t really want to talk to a bot. Be yourself and be helpful as you resolve any issues they may have.

A little personality ensures the customer service will truly stand out.

When you spend time interacting with your audience, it’s almost like you become a friend of theirs. And you really can’t beat that!

You can also use surveys, polls, and Q&A sessions to learn more about your audience.

Don’t be afraid to just ask what their pain points are to determine where you can make improvements.

Cheval suggests joining Twitter chats because they’re a great way to get to know your audience better.

A positive customer service experience can lead to a long-lasting relationship, so treat every situation with care. Don’t risk losing your customers.

Social listening is a fantastic way to see what your audience is talking about and what they may think of your brand.

A happy customer is sure to spread the word about your brand. And you really can’t go wrong with that kind of word-of-mouth exposure.

Q4: How can a small business maintain a high level of customer service without outsourcing?

If you’re a small business, you might not have the funds to outsource customer service using social media. However, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed! Check out this advice from the chat to help you better manage it all:

Ideally, you want to designate someone to handle your social media presence. This way, you’ll always have someone ready to tackle anything that comes up.

If you can’t dedicate one single person to the task, you can always have employees take turns manning this role. Just be sure to provide some sort of guidelines so they understand how to respond while also staying on brand.

Lexie suggests using tools to make the job easier. There are plenty that can help you monitor mentions of your brand.

Sarah also suggests finding tools to help you out. Social media is much easier to manage this way.

Cass shared some great tips that are also worth implementing. You can add your customer service hours in your bio, which allows your audience to see when you’re online. Having alerts helps notify you when a message comes through. And keeping an updated FAQ page should help limit the amount of customer service requests you receive.

Varun’s advice is to prioritize one or two platforms and really direct your focus there. You don’t need to overwhelm yourself by being everywhere.

Just don’t forget to set up those alerts so you see any mention of your brand that gets posted!

Q5: How can small businesses keep up with all the social media platforms available today?

With so many platforms out there, how can we possibly stay updated with everyone? Here’s some advice that’ll help you out so you don’t get overwhelmed:

Scott says you don’t need to be everywhere. Spend time where your audience is and you’ll have the best results with your efforts.

Ben agrees that you should focus on the platforms that are relevant to your business. Then, you can concentrate on those to provide value to your audience.

Clones could certainly help! However, Gene knows it’s best to focus on just a few platforms. Eventually, you can expand to others when you have the resources to do so.

Cass agrees, saying you should focus on two or three platforms and then branch out later on when you have the ability.

Just because a new social media platform comes on the scene, it doesn’t mean you have to jump on it right away!

Sarah’s advice is to get some tools to help you manage it all. TweetDeck and Hootsuite can be life-savers for those working in social media.

Q6: How fast should companies be expected to respond on social media?

When handling customer service using social media, people expect quick responses. And that can be a little intimidating to brands, especially since they have other things to work on. Here’s how quickly you should aim to respond:

As Scott said, you really need to reply as fast as you can. Your customers don’t want to be kept waiting, nor do they want a canned response or a reply from a bot.

Lexie made a great point that it depends on the size of your brand. Larger brands will likely have more resources than a small business. However, no matter your brand’s size, you still need to reply promptly.

Cheval said it’s best to answer customer service requests within one day.

For Iain, he says responding within the hour is ideal. However, he recognizes that it all depends on the resources you have.

For major issues, Julia likes to respond within 15 minutes. For sales or new client inquiries, her goal is to get a same-day response.

Randy pointed out that response times can also vary by industry. Some really need to respond faster than others, especially services like an airline.

Whatever you do, don’t rush to send out a poor response. You need to reply in a timely fashion, but make sure you’re still addressing the issue at hand.

If there’s ever any delay in your response, kindly apologize to your customer and then provide any help they need.

Q7: What companies are crushing it with customer service on social media?

You can learn a lot from the brands that are already succeeding at customer service using social media. Check out these brands to see why they stand out:

Brands that stand out to Scott include Wendy’s, Nike, JetBlue.

Lexie has seen Starbucks, Fitbit, and other brands doing a great job with customer service using social media.

Buffer is definitely a great example!

Jade has had great experience with Apple, plus he was impressed with how KFC in England handled their own fiasco.

Canva shines when it comes to customer support.

Applebee’s, Buffer, and DiGiorno are just a few brands Julia thinks have done a great job.

Gene got a pretty impressive display when he complained about one company’s main competitor!

Eddie also mentioned that some of the best companies are the ones who have dedicated service handles on Twitter. This helps to keep your main feed free of clutter.

Q8: What tools do you use to monitor social media and handle customer service?

Luckily, there are some amazing tools to make all of this hard work easier. These are some great suggestions we received during Tuesday’s chat:

The team at AgoraPulse obviously uses their own tool, but they rely on Intercom as well.

Julia is a big fan of MeetEdgar, BuzzSumo, and TweetDeck.

TweetDeck, Hootsuite, and analytics are go-to tools for Sarah. However, she also said that email and phone calls are effective as well.

SproutSocial is a great one to check out.

Eddie relies on Hootsuite to get the job done.

Just like Eddie above, Cheval also likes to use Hootsuite to monitor social media conversations.

Would you like to join the next #ContentWritingChat? Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat and be sure to join us every Tuesday at 10 AM Central!
content strategy course cta

promoting your content on social media

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Best Strategies for Promoting Your Content on Social Media with Corina Manea

Social media is a great way to promote the content you share on your blog.

However, it’s something that a lot of brands still struggle to do the right way.

How do you grab attention and get someone to actually click your links? How can you ensure you aren’t being too self-promotional on your social media accounts?

We answered those questions (and more) during this week’s #ContentWritingChat!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Best Strategies for Promoting Your Content on Social Media with Corina Manea

Our guest host this week was Corina Manea. She’s the Chief Community Officer at Spin Sucks. And she offered a lot of great advice to help you make your social media presence shine in the year ahead! So, let’s go ahead and dive into the recap!

Q1: How do you determine the best social media platforms for your brand to use?

When it comes to social media, you have to begin by making a smart choice about the platforms you invest your time and energy into. To help you choose the ones that are worthwhile, check out this advice:

Corina knows that it all starts with knowing where your audience is spending their time online. That’s going to help you reach the right people.

You need to spend your time on the platforms your audience is actively using. Then, you can create your strategy from them.

It’ll take some digging and research to figure out where your audience is the most active, but it’s well worth it in the end!

You also want to consider the type of content you’ll be creating. Certain platforms work best with a specific type of content. For example, visuals really shine on Instagram and Pinterest.

Ashley said you also want to choose a platform that will allow you to deliver your message in the most cost-effective way.

Make sure you also think about your brand’s message, purpose, voice, strengths, and more. This will guide you in choosing the best platforms for you and your audience.

Q2: What are the secrets to crafting amazing copy that promotes your content?

Another important aspect of promoting your content on social media is creating copy that resonates with your audience. After all, you need to create something that resonates with them and inspires them to take action by visiting your site. Here’s some advice:

Corina’s advice is to write with your audience in mind. You also want to show them you care about their interests and needs. That’s what will resonate the most.

As Megan said, remember that your audience is human. You need to speak to them and treat them as such.

Lexie suggests figuring out how your audience would like to receive the message. Some like it short and sweet, while others prefer long and detailed. It’ll take some testing to get this right!

It also helps to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Think about the language, words, and tone that would resonate with them and grab attention.

Julia’s advice is to keep it simple and to present a problem, agitation, and solution. That’s a winning formula right there!

Amanda knows it’ll take some trial and error to determine what really works for you and your audience. You have to be willing to test and review your metrics to see what performs the best.

Don’t forget that creating amazing copy all goes back to being authentic. I you aren’t true to yourself, your audience will see right through you.

Q3: Are there any creative tactics you can use to get social media followers over to your website?

You’ve got the followers, but how do you actually get them to click your links and visit your site? It’s not as easy as you might think, but we have some great tips! Check it out:

Corina said to make your audience crave more. You should leave them wanting to click your links and visit your website.

As Kristi knows, it’s important to give them a reason to take that next step by clicking your link. If they don’t see the value they’ll get from visiting your site, they won’t bother.

It’s also smart to provide a glimpse of the solution you are promising to them. That’ll intrigue them enough to make the jump over to your site.

You could even try sharing your blog content with a video or graphic that features some of the quotes or statistics that were within the post. This will help pique their interest.

Value, value, value! If people see the value you’re providing, they’ll take action. Maria suggests pulling quotes or stats from your content and also using eye-catching images to grab attention.

Zala knows that building community is one way to drive traffic to your website. People will often share your work and help do the promotion for you, which is a nice touch!

Bill’s advice is to start a conversation first, then provide them with an invitation to learn more if it suits the situation.

Q4: Since so many platforms are pay-to-play, is it worth using paid ads to promote your content? If so, when?

By now, you probably know that it can be worthwhile to invest in paid advertisements to promote your content. However, you don’t want to waste your money on any old ad. How do you choose the right time and the right content to promote? Take a look at these tips:

Corina shared the strategy they’ve implemented at Spin Sucks to see results with their social media efforts. She also said you need to have a clear understanding of your goals when using paid advertisements. It’ll help you connect it with the bigger picture when it comes to what your company is working on.

As Lexie said, you need to make sure you’re targeting the right audience with your ads. It won’t be effective otherwise.

Gene suggests using paid ads to get eyes on your best performing content.

If your content isn’t great though, no amount of money for a paid ad is going to deliver effective results.

Q5: Can video play a role in getting people from social media to your website? What’s the best way to go about it?

When promoting your content on social media, are you using video to help drive traffic? If not, you should give it a go! Here’s some great advice to get started:

Corina’s advice is to create engaging video content that shows off your personality. It’ll help your audience relate to you and connect with you. She even shared a few ideas for video content, which includes how-to videos, Q&A videos, and behind-the-scenes videos with your team.

Another way to gain traction is to share snippets of a new blog post in a live video. You can encourage conversation with the viewers and then direct them to your site afterwards to learn more.

How-to videos and interviews are just two ideas you can try out for your brand.

Andre suggests previewing your content and leaving your audience wanting more, just like a cliffhanger would.

Cheval knows that video is powerful because it shows everyone that you’re human. Not some robot! You can really connect with your audience through amazing video content. As he said, interviews are a fantastic way to do this.

Just don’t forget to end your video with a call to action!

Don’t think you need to have a professional set-up either. Using your smartphone will do just fine when creating video content!

It’s also smart to include captions on your video, which allows people to watch without sound and serves those who are hearing-impaired.

Q6: How do you ensure you’re not being too self-promotional on social media?

The worst thing you can do is be overly promotional on social media. It’ll turn people off! You have to determine the right balance so you aren’t selling all the time. Check out this advice:

Care about your audience and craft the content that is going to serve them in the best way. To do this, Corina follows the 70/30 method. She shares 30% of her own content and 70% is content from other sources.

Curation is key to creating balance on social media!

Iain’s advice is to share things you’ve learned, articles you’ve read, and to retweet others. Social media doesn’t have to be a barrage of your own blog posts.

Andrea follows the 80/20 rule for social media promotion.

Paul likes to share five posts from “sister” brands, three posts of his own content, and two pieces of content that build the brand’s voice.

Becca throws in a few general ramblings throughout the day, which can be a great way to get a conversation going with your audience. Not everything needs to be scheduled. You can still post in real-time as well.

For Cheval, it’s all about the 80/20 rule and sparking conversations.

No matter what ratio you follow, just remember to be social.

Q7: How will you know if your social media efforts are successful? Which metrics are important to track?

You’ll obviously want to track your results when it comes to promoting your content on social media. It’s the best way to ensure your efforts are effective at driving traffic, boosting conversions, and more. These are some key metrics you’ll want to keep your eye on:

Corina keeps an eye on engagement, traffic to the website, and a number of other metrics to ensure a piece of content was successful.

As Lexie knows, it all goes back to the goals you set for yourself. It’ll let you know which metrics are most important to keep an eye on.

For Rubain, increasing blog traffic is a must as is time spent on the blog.

Julia pays attention to analytics on the website to see where traffic is coming from, how many visitors from social media start a live chat, and the number of leads it results in.

Clicks to your site is where it’s at!

Ashley is all about traffic as well, as it’s an indicator people are checking out your content.

Conversations are important as well, since they can help you build a strong relationship with your audience.

How much business is coming in through social media? That’s another important metric to keep an eye on.

As Kelly pointed out, it really depends on the company. Everyone will have different goals and those goals can even shift with each campaign. It’s all about focusing on what’s right for you.

Q8: Which brands are doing social media promotion right? Why do they stand out above the rest?

To help you get some inspiration for your social media presence, check out these brands that are doing a great job:

Corina said Merriam Webster has been doing a great chat.

Grenae very kindly gave Express Writers a shoutout!

Julia’s favorites include Content Marketing Institute, Buffer, and Hootsuite.

Everyone knows Wendy’s does social media right!

For Kathryn, it’s all about the brands who are giving swift replies to their customers.

Thinking about joining us for the next #ContentWritingChat? Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to attend the party every Tuesday at 10 AM Central!

#ContentWritingChat, Twitter in 2018

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Market Your Business Using Twitter in 2018 with Madalyn Sklar

Don’t let anyone convince you that Twitter is a dying platform.

It’s still an amazing place to build your brand online and to connect with your audience.

And if anyone knows that, it’s our guest for this week’s #ContentWritingChat! She joined us to talk all about how we can market our businesses on Twitter in the year ahead.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Market Your Business Using Twitter in 2018 with Madalyn Sklar

Our guest host this week was Madalyn Sklar. She’s joined us for #ContentWritingChat on a number of occasions, so we’re always happy to have her on as a guest host.

For those who don’t know, Madalyn runs the #TwitterSmarter podcast and Twitter chat, so it’s safe to say she knows a thing or two about using the platform. And lucky for us, she shared all her secrets during Tuesday’s chat! Let’s dive in!

Q1: How crucial is Twitter when it comes to your social media strategy for 2018?

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share how important Twitter is when it comes to their social media strategy. This was a great way to see just how many people rely on Twitter when it comes to their jobs or the businesses they run. Here’s what some of them had to say:

As Madalyn said, your social media strategy should consist of the platforms that work best for your business and customers. She recommends Twitter, Facebook, and either Instagram or LinkedIn.

For Gene, Twitter is essential to his social media strategy. He relies on it to connect with people and learn new things.

With the changes coming to Facebook’s algorithm, it looks like the CoSchedule team is going to make Twitter even more of a priority. They already notice it’s where most of their engagement comes from.

As Julia pointed out, Twitter is out #1 here at Express Writers. The other social media platforms are secondary to it. It’s all about what works for you and where you’re getting the most traction.

Jason said he’s met so many people through Twitter chats and from just engaging in conversations. That’s one of the things that makes the platform so special.

If your audience is using Twitter, you definitely don’t want to ignore it. Lexie knows that would be a big mistake to make!

Twitter is a great place to start conversations, plus it’s one that many people turn to for breaking news.

Danielle said the brand she works for doesn’t see the full potential of Twitter just yet, but she’s working to change that. She knows what’s up!

Eddie offered some great advice for brands wanting to get more serious about Twitter. He said to realize it provides real-time conversation with your audience and is a great opportunity to field customer service requests.

Varun also agrees that Twitter is great for customer service. It’s so easy to respond to questions or issues there.

Q2: Will you be using Twitter differently this year? Any new strategies to implement or things to drop?

Because platforms are often changing, we wanted to find out how people planned to use Twitter in the year ahead. Would they be doing things the same as they’ve always been? Or will they be making a few tweaks for better results? Check out these responses:

Madalyn plans to use Twitter Moments more often in 2018. She also wants to do more video replies. These are two things we can all try out!

Being strategic about how you use Twitter is sure to help you get better results.

Amanda wants to be more consistent with her Twitter presence. That’s something many users can stand to work on in terms of sharing content and engaging.

Brent plans to be more structured with the time he spends on Twitter. He’ll be using Twitter Lists, blocking time for schedule, and still checking in for spontaneous posts.

Megan wants to work on developing more connections on Twitter this year.

More, more, more! Gene wants to participate in more Twitter chats, make more connections, and share more videos.

The CoSchedule team wants to make curation a bigger part of their strategy this year.

Joining Twitter chats and actively engaging with your audience are two keys to a winning formula.

Since Erica didn’t use Twitter that much last year, she’s ready to step it up. Making connections is one of her priorities.

For Cheval, he plans to use Twitter in the same way he always has. He’ll continue joining chats and engaging with people.

Jason seems to have his Twitter formula down because he won’t be changing much either!

Q3: What are the key factors to creating content that stands out in a busy Twitter feed?

If you’re going to use Twitter, you want to make sure your content gets seen, right? Since your feed can often move so quickly, grabbing attention is no easy task. These tips will ensure your posts stand out from the crowd:

Madalyn’s advice is to be consistent. You want to make sure you’re sharing content often and taking the time to engage.

If you’re guilty of tweeting just an article title and the link, it’s time to make a change. Get creative with your copy!

Carole suggests being useful or inspirational. She also said you need to add relevant hashtags and also let your personality shine through. People will resonate with that.

You can’t go wrong with a great video or a fun GIF!

Danielle knows that an eye-catching visual is the key to getting someone to stop scrolling.

The reality is, text posts tend to go unnoticed on Twitter. Rachel pointed out that you need to have a great video or photo to go along with it.

You can also try using polls to increase engagement, which is what AJ does.

Ken knows that a little humor can go a long way when done right.

And of course, you can’t forget to share content that’s beneficial to your audience. Lexie’s advice is to answer their questions and to be helpful.

For Kelly, it’s all about the conversations and less about the posts themselves. Take time to engage and build those relationships.

Q4: When it comes to marketing your business on Twitter, what are some creative ways to capture your audience’s attention?

If you really want to grab attention, you need to be creative! To help you shine on Twitter this year, keep these tips in mind for amazing tweets:

Madalyn knows a great GIF will grab attention and maybe even put a smile on your audience’s face.

Even Felicity loves a good GIF!

Lexie said visuals are big when it comes to social media. However, she pointed out that you need to make sure the ones you use resonate with your audience.

Instead of stock images, get creative! You don’t want to wind up using the same photos everyone else is using.

Infographics and polls are great things to share to get attention.

CoSchedule creates some great infographics, so it’s no surprise they know how well they perform on social!

As Mariana said, you need to be authentic and engaging. That’s key to building lasting relationships.

Giving your audience a behind-the-scenes look into your business is a great way to add a more human element to your content.

Even a video of your CEOs playing with puppies on the beach could work!

Jim suggests taking advantage of user-generated content as well.

In the end, it all goes back to understanding what your audience wants and what resonates with them the most.

Julia shared the things that have worked for us here at EW. Balance self-promotion with curated content, create custom offers to reward your followers, and use branded colors and images on your profile.

Q5: How can you locate and connect with potential clients and customers on Twitter?

Brands want to see results on Twitter, right? In order for them to see the true value in the platform, they’ll want to see that it’s bringing in clients and customers. But how do you make that happen? These tips are sure to help:

Madalyn relies on Twitter’s Advanced Search feature, as well as Manage Flitter to find people to connect with.

Julia’s advice is to focus on you and the leads will come. By sharing quality content, people will start to see the value you can provide.

Don’t forget to add in relevant hashtags to ensure your content gets seen by the right people!

You can also participate in Twitter chats to find people who could ultimately become clients or customers.

Andrea agrees that Twitter chats work like a charm. There are so many chats out there, so you’re sure to find one that’s right for your business.

Answer questions, interact with people, share helpful content, etc. These are all great suggestions of things to implement.

Social listening and keyword monitoring really does help you find your audience. You’ll be able to find out what they’re talking about and what they need the most help with.

Jim agrees that listening to your audience can really help you out.

The CoSchedule team relies on Mention and Brandwatch for social listening. You can also research who is talking about or following your competitors.

Advanced Search on Twitter is a fantastic tool to use for research.

Doris offered up a great piece of advice. She suggested to search misspellings of your products or even your brand name to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Rachel knows it’s smart to check out your competitors as well. She said to see who is following them, which gives you a chance to make a connection and possibly win someone over.

Don’t forget to also use Twitter Lists to find new possible clients. You can then start engaging with them to build a relationship.

As Jade said, you can’t tweet once or twice a day and expect people to engage with you. It’s going to take time to build a loyal, trusting relationship. Keep that in mind.

Q6: How can you measure the results of your Twitter efforts in 2018?

To make sure you’re actually making progress with your Twitter presence, you’ll want to keep an eye on some key metrics. Here’s what you need to know if you want to make sure you’re succeeding on the platform:

Madalyn suggests checking Twitter analytics to get all the scoop on your account.

The team at Content Marketing Institute relies on Sprout Social for all their analytics.

Your success on Twitter ultimately depends on the goals you set. The metrics that you pay the most attention to will depend on those goals.

Eddie agrees that it all goes back to your goals.

Don’t forget to check-in on your progress regularly and tweak your strategy accordingly.

Are you seeing conversions on Twitter? That’s one thing to watch!

Growth and engagement are the two things Warwick focuses on. He likes to see visits to his profile, video views, and referral traffic back to his blog.

Gene is focusing more on engagement with the help of more organic tweeting. It’s safe to say that’s something many of us should strive for.

Q7: What are your go-to tools and resources for mastering Twitter?

To help you truly shine on Twitter, these are some tools and resources that are worth checking out:

Madalyn has a plethora of tools she relies on, from Buffer to Manage Flitter and so many more.

It only makes sense the CoSchedule team would use their own tool, right?

Buffer and Canva are Felicity’s go-to tools.

Sprout Social is a must for Haley.

Lexie relies on Sprout Social for scheduling and monitoring. To learn about all the latest, she reads Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, and Kim Garst.

From Buffer to PostPlanner, Warwick’s favorite tools are worth checking out!

TweetDeck is definitely a must, especially if you join a lot of Twitter chats.

Jim knows the value in Twitter Lists. If you aren’t using them, you really should start! They’re a great way to cut through the noise on your busy feed. You’ll be able to see the updates that are most important to you.

Cheval reads content from Madalyn, Julia, and Search Engine Journal to stay updated on social media.

Q8: Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? Tag them!

Who is really making a splash on Twitter? These are some accounts you should follow:

Madalyn has a long list of people she loves to follow on Twitter. You might want to check them all out!

For Doris, her favorites include Madalyn, Neil Patel, Gary Vaynerchuk, Social Media Today, and SEMrush. She’s also a big fan of Express Writers and who could blame her? 😉

Gene knows that Twitter chats are where it’s at. Some of his favorite people either run chats or participate in them often.

Julia loves to follow Madalyn, Gabby, and Chris for great content.

Ken’s list includes a few amazing names, including our own Julia McCoy!

And of course, we can’t forget Buffer, Contently, HubSpot, and Copyblogger!

Want to join the fun for yourself? Hang out with us on Twitter every Tuesday from 10-11 AM Central! Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for all the latest!
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social media in 2018

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Strategies for Growth & Engagement on Social Media in 2018 with Lisa Marcyes

It’s safe to say many brands have a goal to grow their social media presence this year.

However, that’s often easier said than done when it comes to the tricky algorithms platforms like Facebook and Instagram have in place!

Luckily, we’re here to serve up some helpful tips so you can see more growth and engagement in 2018! And it’s all thanks to this week’s #ContentWritingChat.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Strategies for Growth & Engagement on Social Media in 2018 with Lisa Marcyes

Our guest host this week was Lisa Marcyes. Lisa is the head of Social Media Marketing at Marketo and she shared some of her best advice with us! If you want to find out what she and our other chat participants had to say, keep reading for the recap!

Q1: How do you anticipate social media to be different in 2018? Are there any trends to watch out for?

It’s no secret that social media is always changing! Because of that, it can be hard to keep up if we aren’t staying updated on all the latest trends. To ensure you’re a social media sensation this year, here are a few things you’ll want to keep an eye on:

Lisa said live streaming will become even more important in 2018. It’s a great way to engage with your audience and build relationships with them.

She also said chatbots are going to increase in popularity this year. Many brands are already using them, especially on Facebook.

Lexie know that’s video marketing has been hot for quite some time now and it’s not going anywhere. She thinks we’re going to see even more high-quality video and better live streams this year.

Rebecca also thinks we’ll see an increase in high-quality, authentic video from online creators. She’d also like to see more captioned videos, which adds accessibility for those who are hearing impaired or watching without sound.

Besides an increase in live video, we may be seeing more virtual and augmented reality through social media in 2018.

Since people are already watching TV online, there’s a good chance they’ll start tuning into Cheddar’s platform.

Bill would like to see businesses get more serious about creating audience-centric content. After all, it’s important to use social media as a tool for building relationships.

Brands are starting to see the value of injecting personality into their content, so it’s something we may see more of in the year ahead.

Ray thinks more business owners are going to see the value in Stories from platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. They’re helpful in building relationships with your audience.

Q2: If you want to see audience growth on social media, what are the best tactics to use?

While quality is certainly more important than quantity when it comes to followers, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to grow your audience! However, algorithms have certainly made that more difficult. To boost your following, keep these tips in mind:

One of Lisa’s tips is to include images with your social media content. She said visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared than any other kind of content, which is pretty impressive.

Julia knows that building a community is essential for growth on social media.

Lexie’s advice is to talk WITH your audience, not at them. Show that you’re listening and that you value what they have to say.

Three growth strategies you can easily start implementing today? Consistently post valuable content, engage with your audience, and review metrics to see what’s working and what’s not.

Engaging with your audience is essential to boosting your following. You can follow people in your industry to share their posts and start conversations.

No matter what, Jason knows it all goes back to creating quality content that provides value to your audience. Without that, no one will want to follow you.

Gene’s advice is to be real, consistent, helpful, and polite. He also said to be a networking and connector, which is what social media is for after all!

Andrea’s recipe for success is to be consistent with posting, focus on networking, and using great visuals.

Make sure you’re creating engaging content your audience would actually be interested in. Once you have that, vary your posting times. See what works best for you so you can share content at the times your audience is most likely to engage.

And of course, it all goes back to knowing your audience. Sarah said you need to know where they are and what kind of content they’d like to see. That allows you to cater your content to them so you can see the best results online.

Carole suggests learning what works best for each platform and for your audience. Then, you’re able to deliver exactly what they want.

Q3: Are there any creative ways we can promote our content and stand out in a busy feed?

With so many people using social media, it’s easy for your content to get lost in the sea. And no one wants that, right? To make sure your posts stand out, put these tips to use:

One way to stand out in a busy social media feed is to collaborate with influencers. Lisa said you can conduct an interview and publish it on your blog. Then, you can create quotes from the interview to share online. Everyone loves a great quotable!

She also suggests researching and developing a consistent posting frequency so you can share content with your audience is most active.

Jason knows it’s all about a captivating visual. You can easily grab attention with something eye-catching that gets them to stop scrolling.

You can also use GIFs to attract attention on social media.

Scott knows that creative branding and consistency is a must.

Becca’s advice is to make sure your content is unique. Don’t just do what everyone else is doing, otherwise you’ll blend in with the crowd.

Cheval feels live streaming is a great way to stand out. It’s something that not everyone is doing, so you stand a chance of reaching the right audience and providing value.

Jade’s advice with video content is to be yourself. That’s going to resonate with your audience the most.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. What’s important is that you determine what works best for you and your audience. That’s going to be different from what works for other brands out there.

Q4: How can we hack the algorithms this year to ensure our content gets the most mileage?

Want to know how you can make those frustrating algorithms work for you? These tips will help the right people see the content you share online:

Lisa suggests asking questions and conducting polls to encourage a response from your audience. Many of the algorithms favor engagement and they want to see that you’re active and so is your audience. These are simple ways that will get people to take action.

She also said it’s important to share content that’s relevant to your audience. By doing this, they’ll be more likely to click-through to your website.

Lexie knows those algorithms can change frequently! Her advice is to focus on producing high-quality content that your audience will connect with.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on your analytics. This will be an indicator of what’s working with your social media efforts and what’s not. You can make tweaks to your strategy accordingly.

Create content your audience won’t be able to resist interacting with and you’re likely to see great results online.

Julia suggests repurposing your content so you can get the most out of one piece of published work.

You can also try trend jacking or news jacking or a platform like Twitter. It’s a great way to join an ongoing conversation, but make sure you educate yourself on the topic before tweeting about it.

Focus on producing great content and you’re sure to win.

Rebecca’s advice is to put more effort into your content and building a relationship with your audience.

Q5: What will you be adding to or eliminating from your social media strategy this year?

When it comes to social media, is there something that just isn’t working for you anymore? Are there platforms or strategies you’d like to implement in 2018? Here’s what a few of our chat participants had to say:

Lisa said she’s going to add more user-generated content to her strategy in the year ahead.

Quit sitting back and waiting for conversations happen. You can put yourself out there and start them or look for others who are already engaging so you can join in.

Scheduling content is a major help since you don’t have to be on social media 24/7 to see results.

Cristy said video and polls did really well last year, so she’s looking forward to implementing them more in 2018.

Aisha said her goal is to produce more content with the aim of starting conversations. She also wants to use more user-generated content.

Monique will be focused more on making connections and maybe even doing live video.

Video and influencer engagement are two strategies that are sure to pay off.

Repurposing is a great way to get maximum mileage from your content.

Ray’s plan is to focus on the team’s core content outlets, which include a blog, podcast, and Instagram. It’s much better to focus on what’s truly working for you and eliminating the things that aren’t.

Speaking of eliminating things, Julia completely cut Snapchat out of her social media strategy for this year.

Pinterest and Instagram are out for Warwick, but he’ll be focusing on LinkedIn and YouTube.

Q6: Where do brands typically go wrong on social media? How can we avoid making those mistakes?

Brands sometimes make mistakes on social media. To ensure we don’t end up in the same position, we should let those mishaps serve as a cautionary tale of what not to do! Here are a few examples to avoid:

Ignoring feedback from your audience is one big mistake. Lisa encourages everyone to listen to their audience, which social media allows us to do easily. She also said you shouldn’t write off any complaints you receive. Use those as a learning opportunity to make changes.

Don’t be that brand that doesn’t engage at all on social media. Spend time responding to messages and starting conversations.

Engage in conversations with your audience instead of talking AT them.

Don’t jump on every new trend without a strategy.

Sarah’s advice is to figure out what your audience really wants and where they’re spending their time online. Once you do that, make sure you’re paying attention to them and reviewing metrics to see what resonates best.

Just tweeting is not a strategy! Zala knows a strategy is a must for social media success. Post consistently and monitor mentions and conversations people are having around your brand.

Not listening to your audience is probably one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

No one likes a boring brand! Make sure you’re injecting personality into your content to attract your target market.

Cheval knows that too much self-promotion can be a turn off. It’s fine to share the content your brand produces, but mix that up with curated pieces from other sources.

Don’t be afraid to share content from other brands. You shouldn’t think of it as a competitive thing, but rather an opportunity to provide value to your audience.

It’s safe to say Gaby wrapped it all up with this fantastic answer!

Q7: Are there any must-have tools you rely on to efficiently manage your social media presence?

With all the tools out there to schedule content and connect with your audience, how do you know which one is right for you? Well, you have to try them out! Here are a few suggestions from this week’s chat:

Hootsuite and Simply Measured are just a couple of Lisa’s go-to tools.

Here at Express Writers, we love MeetEdgar because of their library feature that repurposes content.

TweetDeck and Hootsuite are two great tools to check out.

Monique has only used Buffer so far, but she’s open to checking out more. It’s the best way to find the tool that truly works for you.

Iain is also spreading the Buffer love! It’s a fan-favorite since it’s so easy to use, but also affordable.

Buffer, Social Jukebox, and Manage Flitter are Gene’s must-haves.

Lexie is a big fan of Sprout Social.

Sarah said to use analytics as well. It’s the best way to see what content resonates with your audience and how things are performing.

You can find analytics on the platforms themselves (like Twitter and Facebook) or through your social media scheduler.

Q8: Where can we learn more about social media in 2018? Are there any resources we should bookmark?

To ensure we’re all social media sensations in the year ahead, it’s important to stay updated on all the latest trends, changes, and news! These are great resources to save for learning more about social media:

It’s no surprise that Lisa is a fan of Markto’s blog because they always share great content! She also enjoys reading Social Media Today, Marketing Land, Hootsuite, Social Media Examiner, and others.

Social Media Examiner, Mari Smith, and Brian Fanzo are some of Julia’s favorites.

Buffer’s blog always has great posts, as does HubSpot’s.

Jeff Bullas is another great resource for social media tips and tricks.

And of course, you can always learn about social media by being active on social media. Sarah suggests joining Twitter chats as just one way to increase your knowledge.

Our own #ContentWritingChat is a great Twitter chat for learning about social media and other topics. You can also join #SproutChat and #HootChat. Besides those, Andrea reads Social Media Today, Lilach Bullock, and a few others.

For more Twitter chat fun, you can check out #bufferchat, and #RaganChat as well.

And remember, never stop learning! There’s so much information available at our fingertips thanks to the internet. Take advantage of that by consuming blog posts, listening to podcasts, and more.

Want to join us for the next #ContentWritingChat? It happens every Tuesday at 10 AM Central! Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat so you don’t miss the fun!

social media engagement

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Social Media Engagement Strategies

This week, we had another community chat hour during #ContentWritingChat! We previously had our participants vote on topics they wanted to see for future chats and many voted for a chat on social media engagement strategies. It’s always a hot topic and we knew everyone would have some amazing advice to share!

If you’ve been wanting to step up your social media engagement, get ready to take some notes and keep reading for our recap!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Social Media Engagement Strategies

Using social media as a way to engage your audience is crucial when you’re building a presence online. It’s a powerful tool to build relationships and establish trust. But if you’re struggling to make those connections, we’re here to help! The tips in this recap will help you boost your engagement on every platform you use.

Q1: What does social media engagement look like to you?

What are you tracking when it comes to social media engagement? There are a few things that are important to measure in order to see results. Here’s what our participants look out for:

Julia doesn’t measure success on social media in terms of vanity metrics. She focuses on real conversations and clicks on the content she shares.

Conversations are key to measure when on social media! Pay attention to your comments and take the time to engage with others.

It’s all about the replies! There’s no denying that it’s a good feeling when people respond to the content you share online. Make sure you give them the courtesy of replying and getting the conversation started.

As Erika said, it’s all about being engaged WITH your community, instead of broadcasting AT them. Conversation is a two-way street, friends!

Lexie agrees that it’s about talking with the people in your audience.

Bill knows that you can’t self-promote all the time. You need to put effort into engaging with others through real-time conversations.

Not only is engagement about interacting with customers, it’s also about showing them you care.

Meaningful conversations are what really matters when it comes to social media engagement.

Take the time to interact with your audience. Ask questions. Reply to them. Make sure you’re adding value with everything you do.

Q2: Why is it important to measure social media ROI?

Are you tracking your results on social media to see how your content is actually performing? If not, you should be! Here’s why it’s important:

When you track your ROI, it tells you what’s working and what’s resonating with your audience. As Lexie said, this is important when crafting your overall social media strategy.

Track metrics to know that your time and money is being well spent! You need to track in order to do more of what’s working for you.

When you’re part of a larger team, you’ll often have to give proof that your efforts are working to those who are higher up. Track ROI and record the results in a way that’s easy to read.

When you keep an eye on metrics, you’ll be able to see if the social media campaigns you created are effective.

Javier knows you want to measure the productiveness of your time, efforts, and money when it comes to social media.

Q3: What are the right KPIs to track social media engagement?

Now that you know the importance of tracking your efforts on social media, which metrics should you be paying attention to? This is what you need to know:

Simply Measured shared a great graphic to help answer this question!

Tracking your social media mentions is very beneficial because it provides plenty of feedback.

Max likes using Facebook’s analytics to see what’s not working well for him and what is. This will help you create more content that resonates with your audience so you can see better results in the future.

Lexie knows that what you measure will also depend on the content you’re sharing. Your goal can differ, so know what you’re hoping to achieve.

Q4: What types of content track the most engagement in your experience?

So, what kind of content reigns supreme when it comes to encouraging social media engagement? That’s going to depend on your brand and your audience! However, here are some suggestions straight from our chat:

Creative, multimedia, relevant and of value, concise, emotional, and consistent are the essentials according to Gaby.

Julia has seen great results from visuals we’ve shared, especially infographics. She even notices collaborative content that features others has gotten plenty of engagement.

It’s all about creating great copy and eye-catching visuals if you want your post to stand out in a busy social media feed.

Polls and questions are another great way to spark engagement with your audience.

Visual content is a must on social media! Andrea also feels humor is a nice ice breaker.

Make sure your content solves problems your audience is facing to provide tremendous value. Martin also said content that engages asks questions. It’s a great way to get people talking.

Address the needs and problems your audience is struggling with by getting to know their needs.

Q5: Quality visuals can increase engagement on social. How can you create strong visuals that resonate?

Now that we know the importance of visuals on social media, we need to learn how to create ones that stand out. Check out this advice from the chat:

Visuals should supplement the message you’re sharing, as Jason said. Make sure visuals and copy work together, otherwise it just won’t make sense.

Zala said to know the platform you’re using. You want to make sure you target your image to the platform you’ll be sharing it on.

Gaby certainly has a winning formula for creating great visuals!

Erika suggests using Canva, whether you’re creating graphics with your own images or stock photos.

Lexie is also a fan of Canva because it makes designing easy for those who aren’t artistic.

Ken feels the same about Canva! He collects the imagery for this content and uses Canva to find the perfect layout.

Another great tool to try out is Adobe Spark.

Q6: How do you manage engagement across multiple social media platforms?

Considering most of us are using numerous social media platforms in our daily lives, it can be a lot of work to manage them all. How can you get the job done with minimal stress? Take a look at this advice to help make your social media tasks a little easier:

Make sure you focus on the platforms your audience is using. You don’t have to spread yourself too thin or get overwhelmed by trying to be everywhere.

As Logan said, the best platforms are the ones your target audience is actively using. Make sure you are where they are so they’ll see your content.

Sarah and the team at ThinkSEM rely on Hootsuite, Buffer, TweetDeck, and Google Analytics.

For Erika, Hootsuite and SproutSocial are her go-to tools!

Buffer is another great option for scheduling content and measuring analytics.

Here at Express Writers, we rely on MeetEdgar to keep our social media queues filled with great content.

Q7: Where are brands going wrong on social media in terms of engagement?

Unfortunately, a lot of brands are still getting it wrong when it comes to social media engagement. Make sure you avoid making the same mistakes by reading this advice:

Don’t try to be everywhere. Focus on where your audience is and invest the time and effort into those platforms.

Ignoring your customers and messages you receive is a huge mistake. Use social media to communicate and get to know them.

Jason feels brands need to share content that actually drives conversations and feedback. If you’re not, you’re missing out on value information! He also said to reply back when you receive responses to get the conversation going.

If you aren’t interacting with your community, you’re doing it wrong!

Ken knows that self-promotion is fine, but you can’t forget about engagement. Engagement should be something you do on a regular basis to build relationships with your audience.

Be human and show genuine interest! Listen to what people are saying, ask questions, and take the time to respond. Gaby knows that being social is a must on social media, after all!

Q8: What are your favorite resources for learning about social media?

In order to step-up your social media engagement, you should stay updated on what’s going on in the field. There are plenty of resources you can turn to for this! Here are some great ideas:

As Ken said, Twitter chats are a great place to learn more about social media engagement strategies, as well as many other topics.

Julia relies on Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, and Content Marketing Institute.

Lexie is also a fan of Social Media Today and Social Media Examiner.

We have another fan of these two websites, so they’re worth checking out if you haven’t already.

Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, Tech Crunch, VentureBeat, and Pinterest are go-to resources for Carla.

Sarah knows being present on social media is really the best way to learn about social media. Be active on the platforms you use and don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things to see what works for you.

Join us for #ContentWritingChat every Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time! Be sure to follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for the latest!

express writers cta 2017

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Instagram Stories for Business with Sue B. Zimmerman

Are you using Instagram Stories for your brand? If not, you should be! And if you’re wondering how to get started, our latest #ContentWritingChat is perfect for you. If you missed out, dive into the recap below, which is filled with awesome tips brands can use to impress on Instagram Stories.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Instagram Stories for Business with Sue B. Zimmerman

Our guest host this week was the Instagram Expert herself, Sue B. Zimmerman. Sue is no stranger to posting content on Instagram Stories, so she shared her tips on how we can all be using it to connect with our audience and grow our online presence.

Q1: Is it important for a brand to be present on Instagram Stories? How can it help your brand?

Is it really necessary for a brand to be using Instagram Stories? And how exactly can this Instagram feature help a brand’s online presence? Find out what our chat participants think about it below:

Sue feels Instagram Stories can be great for brands if they have a strategy their audience would be interested in watching. After all, it comes down to having interesting content that your target audience would want to tune into.

Varun knows that millennials and many others connect with real, human stories. Instagram Stories provides a great way for you to share that with your audience.

It’s a great way to personalize your brand and allow your followers to get to know you. When they get to see who you are and what you’re all about, they’ll form a stronger connection with your brand.

You can easily bring your audience up close and personal with your brand through your Stories content.

Q2: How do you know if Instagram Stories is right for your audience? Should you also be using Snapchat or stick to just one?

Before you begin using Instagram Stories, it’s important that you consider if it’s right for your brand and your audience. While it may work for someone else, it might not be the ideal move for you, so you have to think about it first. Check out this advice on how to know if it’s right for you and if you should also use Snapchat:

Sue said Instagram Stories can work for any business, as long as it aligns with your core business values.

When choosing between Instagram Stories and Snapchat, you want to consider where your audience is. Use the platform that they’re actively using so you stand a better chance at getting seen.

Take the time to do your research before investing the effort into another platform. Ask yourself if your customers are spending time on Instagram Stories. Are your competitors doing well there? These are important things to consider before diving in.

If your audience likes your content on Instagram Stories, Snapchat may work for you as well. If you want to find out, the best way is to just give it a go and see what happens.

Lucy also recommends testing to see which platform is ideal for your brand and audience. Try sharing content to each and see which one gets the most engagement.

As Mallie said, it’s important that you don’t share the same content on both channels. If you have people following you on Instagram Stories and Snapchat, it’ll be repetitive. Find ways to change it up so that it stays fresh and interesting.

Q3: What kind of content should you create and post to your Instagram Stories?

Once you’ve made the decision to commit to Instagram Stories, you need to decide what you’ll post there. After all, you can’t just post any old thing. It has to be relevant and appealing to your audience. Here’s some helpful advice so you can create amazing content for Stories:

Sue recommends sharing exclusive content to your Stories. This gives people a reason to come back and watch more every time they see you have new content. She said to share a glimpse into your business, which is an amazing way to give a behind-the-scenes look.

Remember that when creating content for any social media platform, it all goes back to your audience. You should find a way to serve them and deliver the content they need.

Julia’s advice is to get creative with the content you share on your Instagram Stories. It’s the best way to captivate and engage your audience, so make sure it’s original and interesting.

Keep it engaging and entertaining! Ask yourself what you would want to see and what your audience would really be interested in.

You can easily give people an inside look into what your business does. Your audience will love the behind-the-scenes look into what you do and it’ll help form an even stronger connection with them.

Sara suggests showing people what a day in your life is like. This gives you an opportunity to share the content you wouldn’t post anywhere else.

No matter what, make it personal and valuable for those who will be watching it. You want to make sure you’re giving them something they’d be interested in watching.

Q4: What makes an incredible, captivating Instagram story that your audience will love?

What’s the secret to creating amazing Instagram Stories content? Check out these tips:

Sue’s advice is to create content that entertains, educates, inspires, or makes someone laugh.

Personality is key when sharing to something like Instagram Stories. People want to see you’re human and get to know you.

Content that is relevant, captivating, timely, and appeals to their emotions is the winning formula.

Make your audience feel like you’re speaking directly to them by delivering what they want.

Have a purpose to everything you share and provide value to your audience. Encourage them to interact with you.

Julia mentioned that she loves the “truth bombs” and inspirational rants that Gary Vaynerchuk shares on Instagram Stories. He knows this is the type of content that will resonate with his audience, so he makes sure to share it often.

Q5: For those who are camera shy, discuss ways to help get more comfortable being on screen.

Many of us feel a little nervous appearing in front of the camera. It can be intimidating and we often worry about what others will think or say. To help you get over being camera shy, keep this advice in mind:

Sue’s advice is to speak to the camera as if you were talking to one person.

The best way to become comfortable in front of the camera is to be in front of the camera. The more you practice, the better you will be at it.

Jot down a few talking points before you go live to help you stay on track. Be confident in yourself and know that you’re doing great.

When you speak the camera as if you were talking to a friend, it’s so much easier to be on camera.

People who are tuning into your Stories aren’t looking for perfection, so don’t obsess over making things perfect. Be authentic and people will resonate with that.

Julia agrees that authenticity is more important than perfection.

The best thing you can do? Just do it!

Q6: In what ways can you increase ROI by using Instagram Stories? How can you get a viewer to take the next step with your brand?

Because you want to make sure your viewers take action after viewing your Instagram Stories, you need to know how to actually make it happen. These tips will help you increase your ROI:

Sue knows including a call to action is essential to getting people to take that next step. She also said to provide clear, concise information so people will want to take action.

It really is as simple as including a call to action within your story. Tell people what they should do next.

Mallie said to make sure the steps are clear and provide people with a call to action on what to do next.

Jeremy also knows how important a call to action is, but he also said to to engage in conversations. It’s so important to begin making connections with your audience.

Tell people to click the link in your bio, give them sneak peeks on your blog posts so they’ll want to read it when it’s live, and tag people in your posts. If you have the ability to use the “Swipe Up” feature, then use it!

If you’re working on a new product, Emily suggests telling people when it’ll be available. You can also share sneak peeks to build hype.

Q7: How can you know if your Instagram Stories are a success? Are there key metrics to track?

Once you’re posting on Instagram Stories, it’s important to see if your content is actually a success. If it is, you know you’re on the right track. If not, you have to figure out where you can make changes. Take a look at the following advice so you can know if your stories are a hit and which metrics you should track:

Sue said to see who is viewing your stories and watching until the end. It gives you a good idea of how interested people are in your content.

Are people watching your Stories and actually watching them all the way through? Or are you seeing drop-offs in view count? You want to see that people are staying tuned in.

Julia takes it a step further and reaches out to viewers of her story. It’s a great way to make a connection with your audience.

Jeff also agrees in tracking how long people are tuning in. It shows you who your top advocates are and which stories are the most engaging.

Engagement is a great one to track because you want to see that your content is resonating with people.

In the end, the success of your Stories goes back to your specific goals. Know what you’re trying to achieve with your posts and measure results accordingly.

Q8: Which brands are killing it at Instagram Stories these days? Tag them!

Which brands do an amazing job at their Stories content? Check out these awesome people and get some inspiration from them:

Sue loves watching posts from Drybar, Benefit, Lilly Pulitzer, and Chase Jarvis.

Sarah thinks Barbox is doing a great job with their Stories.

Julia is a fan of Gary Vaynerchuk and our guest host, Sue B. Zimmerman.

Buffer’s Brian Peters does a fantastic job at sharing valuable content.

Join our Twitter chat every Tuesday! Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on the conversation.


social media content

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Create Brand Social Media Content that Stands Out in 2017 with Jessie Simms

Did you catch #ContentWritingChat this past Tuesday? We talked all about how to creating social media content in 2017 and the chat was filled with amazing tips that will turn you into a social media sensation. Check it out in our recap and start putting these tips to use for yourself!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Create Brand Social Media Content that Stands Out in 2017 with Jessie Simms

This week, our guest host was Jessie Simms. Jessie is a Social Media Specialist at Page 1 Solutions and assists with their bi-weekly Twitter chat, #Page1Chat. She joined us to share her knowledge on creating social media content for brands so that you can stand out on the platforms you use this year.

Q1: Which social media platforms are important to be on in 2017?

With so many social media platforms available to us today, it can be hard to choose which ones you should invest your time in. To help you out, check out these suggestions for which platforms you should be using this year:

As Jessie said, you need to be where your audience is That’s always the number one priority when deciding which social media platforms are worth your time. She said that if Snapchat and live video make sense for your brand, they’re worth trying out. So, figure out if your audience is using Snapchat or if they’re tuning into live video broadcasts. If they are, give it a go!

Sarah from ThinkSEM agrees with Jessie’s advice. Figure out where your audience is and where you are getting the best results with your content. That will give you an idea of which platforms work the best for you and your brand.

This is great advice from Bill. Find out where your audience spends their time, but also consider which platforms make the most sense for your content and the goals you’re trying to achieve. It’s all about finding the platforms that for YOU and that might not be the same as what someone else is using.

Our CEO, Julia, said her top three platforms are Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Not only should you consider where your audience is spending their time, but it’s also a good idea to choose the platforms that you enjoy creating content for.

Instagram is a great platform to be on this year. If you already have a presence there, now is the time to step it up by using Instagram Stories and Instagram Live. These newer features are key ways to connect with your audience this year.

Kristi knows that video is going to be big in 2017, as it has been for the past few years. Video content provides a powerful way to connect and develop a relationship with your audience, so now is the time to use it. She recommends using Instagram and Snapchat, plus Facebook Live.

If you find that a platform just isn’t working for you, there’s no need to force it. Every social media platform won’t work for every brand. So, if you’re not getting the results you were hoping for, try switching up your strategy first. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to part ways. There’s no point in investing time and energy into a platform that just doesn’t click for you.

Q2: How can you figure out exactly what your audience wants to see on your social media profiles?

Once you’ve chosen the platforms you want to use for your brand, you need to begin creating content. However, that’s often easier said than done. To start off, you need to figure out what your audience is interested in seeing from you. Here are some tips to help you figure that out:

Jessie recommends seeing what your audience is already engaging with. You can do this by sharing content you think they’d like and seeing what their response is. Check your analytics to see which posts get the most clicks, replies, and shares.

“Listen” is the keyword in Erica’s tweet. It’s so important to take the time to actually listen to what your audience is saying if you hope to get to know them better. You’ll find out which content resonates with them and what they’d like to see more of.

Andy said to look to some of the leaders in your industry. Check out what they’re doing to see what’s working for them and what’s not. You don’t want to copy them, but you can get an idea of what resonates with their audience and try something similar for yourself. You can even look at the questions they’re asked most often and address them with your own content.

As Julia mentioned, you can even go on sites like Answer the Public or Quora to find out what your audience is asking. When you know what they need help with, you can deliver it to them.

If you really aren’t sure where to get started, you can always ask your audience what they’d like to see. Ask what their interests are and what they’re struggling with. You can then create the content that appeals to them. It really is as simple as that! It’s also a good idea to run tests to find out what works for you and what doesn’t.

Once you figure out what your audience is resonating with, start creating more of that kind of content. Be sure to track the results you’re getting, including the all important conversions. If your conversions aren’t happening, then something needs to be tweaked.

Q3: Do you suggest using an editorial calendar to plan out your social media content in advance?

If you’re a blogger, you likely use an editorial calendar to plan out your post topics so you can stay organized. So, have you tried using an editorial calendar for your social media content? Here’s what some of our chat participants had to say on Tuesday:

Jessie agrees that it’s good to plan content in advance, but she said it’s important to be flexible. You may need to make changes in order to accommodate trends or hot topics that pop up. She also said to make sure you’re not just automating posts and forgetting to engage with your audience. In order to build a relationship with them, you need to be present by talking to them.

Lexie from Netvantage Marketing and Jeremy both agree that flexibility is key when creating an editorial calendar for your social media content. You need to be open to tweaking your content.

Make sure you also incorporate timely posts into your social media sharing as well. These are posts that can’t be planned, but helps to keep things “real-time” and more personable.

A calendar helps you to see what’s coming up in the near future. Plus, when you already have ideas planned out, it’ll help to alleviate the stress of coming up with content at the last minute.

Q4: What tools do you love for managing social media?

Here at Express Writers, we don’t hide our love for Buffer when it comes to scheduling social media content. We wanted to find out which tools our Twitter chat friends liked using and here’s what some of them had to say:

Jessie is a fan of SproutSocial, which is a great platform for managing your social media presence.

Just like Erica, we have to spread that Buffer love! We use Buffer to schedule social media content for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

For Lex, her two go-to tools for social media are Hootsuite and Google spreadsheets.

Jill likes using Buffer and Hootsuite for her personal accounts, but her work uses Social Studio.

Buffer, Hootsuite, IFTTT, Crowdire, and TweetDeck are must-have tools for Varun. He also likes to use the native social media apps, many of which have their own analytics built-in. All of these tools will come in handy when scheduling social media content and tracking.

If you’re looking for tools to manage your Pinterest presence, BoardBooster and Tailwind are fantastic options, as Leah suggested.

The Digital Natives team recently started using Sendible for their social media management. We haven’t heard of this one before, but it sounds like it’s worth checking out!

Michelle relies on social listening tools such as Mention, Brand Watch, and Google Alerts to stay updated. These are definitely worth checking out if you want to see what your audience is saying.

Q5: Talk about the kinds of content that stand out in a busy feed.

Considering social media is so populated and we’re often following a lot of people, it can be hard to stand out in a busy feed. If you want to get your content noticed every time you post, keep these tips in mind:

Jessie knows how powerful a great image can be when it comes to grabbing the attention of your audience and getting them to take notice. She mentioned that GoPro does a great job with the visuals they share and Tasty is fantastic at making mouth-watering recipe videos.

When sharing photos or videos, make sure they complement your written content by being relevant and telling a story. It’s a great way to connect with your audience and to inspire them to take action.

Here at Express Writers, we ensure our graphics are amazing by having a professional design take care of it. It’s made a huge difference in our social media content and our blog content.

Consider adding a meme, a GIF, or a photo to your posts. When people are scrolling through their feed, it’ll be your visual that catches their eye and makes them stop.

Those visuals are a sure-fire way to grab attention!

Infographics are always a great option for social sharing, plus video continues to become even more popular.

Outside of including a great visual with your post, you should also use the right hashtags to get noticed by your target audience. Hashtags will increase your likelihood of getting discovered, so make sure you’re using them.

Sarah’s recipe for a fantastic social media post includes: a catching headline, a great images, relevancy, and solving a problem your audience is dealing with.

Q6: Describe the types of posts that work best on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

If you’re cross-posting the same content to multiple platforms, you’re doing it wrong! You need to adapt each post you share to the platform you’re sharing it on. Here are some tips on what works for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram:

When it comes to Instagram, it’s all about visuals. Share high-quality photos and have fun with Boomerang clips. For Facebook, give video a go and see how your audience responds to it. Keep it short and sweet on Twitter to get the best results with your social media content.

Due to the character limitations on Twitter, you don’t have a lot of room to work with. For that reason, Sarah knows you need to have a catchy title and an image that will grab the attention of your audience.

Even though Facebook may allow you to go well beyond Twitter’s character limit, that doesn’t mean you should. BuzzSumo recently released a study that said shorter Facebook posts perform the best.

On Twitter, share news and timely posts. Post amazing images on Instagram.

No matter what you share or where you’re sharing it, make sure that you have your target audience in mind. Create the content that is relevant to them and encourage them to take action.

Great answer from Jeremy! Your content should be simple, authentic, powerful, and helpful with an emotional hook. It should also tell a story and solve a problem for your audience.

Jacob offered up a helpful tip when it comes to creating social media visuals. He said to make sure you’re using the right size. Each platform recommends a specific image size and tools like Canva make it easy to design specifically for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more.

Q7: What steps can you take to make sure your content gets more traction and clicks?

When posting to social media, it’s all about making those conversions happen, right? In order to get results, you want to make sure your social media content is being seen and that people are actually clicking on your links. For some help, read through this advice from the chat:

You’re sure to see results when you follow Jessie’s advice! Make sure that you stay authentic and true to your brand with everything you post. Don’t forget to also engage with your audience instead of letting your profile because 100% automated. And, as always, be strategic about your content and track your results.

As Julia said, you need to analyze and track your social media content. This is the only way to figure out what’s actually working for you and what’s not. When you know what does work, you can create more of that content to keep seeing great results.

Ask your audience what they want to see from you if you aren’t sure. Then, create the kind of content they want and need. Make sure you’re following that up by evaluating how each piece of content did. Your analytics should be your best friend.

Track, analyze, and test! As Maria said, there are always ways to perform better with your content and your analytics will show you where to improve.

Jeff said to test, explore, and interact. That’s key to social media success!

Lauren’s advice is to stop posting just for the sake of posting. You should only be publishing content that is valuable to your audience. There’s no need to clog up someone’s social media feed with a bunch of fluff.

Cassandra said to share the content that is relevant to your audience and add keywords and hashtags. This will help to get more eyes on your content.

Don’t get too caught up in the numbers game. The amount of followers you have isn’t doing you any good if they aren’t the right people for your brand. Attract your target audience by sharing relevant content.

One other thing you can do? Join us for #ContentWritingChat and implement all of the helpful tips you learn. You’ll be a social media sensation in no time at all! Thanks, Elliot!

Q8: Will live video be important to your social media strategy in 2017? Should it? Discuss strategies to succeed when going live.

Live video continues to be the popular thing when it comes to social media, so more and more brand are taking action. Here’s what we found out from our chat participants regarding live video:

As Jessie said, live video is great because it gives the audience the inside look into a brand. It’s fun, authentic, and relatable, which really speaks to your audience and draws them in. However, she also said you need to have a purpose for going live. Create a loose plan for what you want to talk about so you can provide value to those that tune in.

If live video is something your audience is tuning into and it fits with your content marketing plan, it’s worth trying it out this year. If it doesn’t work out, don’t sweat it.

Because live video feels more personal and less formal, it’s what draws so many people to tune in. It’s sure to help in building that know, like, and trust factor with your audience.

Live video is something that Jeff has been experimenting with. Even if you don’t have it all figured out yet, such as where you’ll go live or what to talk about, that’s fine. It’s just important to recognize that it’s a growing trend and you should try it out at least once!

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time for great chats centered around content writing and marketing. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Top Content & Strategy Tips to Support Live Video with Jennifer Radke

Did you catch this week’s #ContentWritingChat? Whether you missed the chat or you’re in need of a refresher, you’re in luck! We have a recap of our latest chat and it’s filled with all kinds of amazing tips that are sure to help you become a live video pro. Keep reading to check it out!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Top Content & Strategy Tips to Support Live Video with Jennifer Radke

Our guest host this week was Jennifer Radke. She’s passionate about social media and is the CEO of the National Institute for Social Media. Jen joined this week’s chat to talk all about live video, as it continues to be very popular in the social media world. She shared some amazing tips with us that will help you make your your next live video (or your first) amazing!

Q1: Platforms for live video: how do you pick live platforms to fit you or your brand? Why?

There are many live video platforms these days and it can be hard to decide which one is right for your brand. You can use Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or even Periscope. So, how do you pick? Check out this advice:

Jen’s advice is to consider where your audience is already, plus the functions and features of the platform. You want to make sure that they live video platform you use is really going to work for you and allow you to get the best results possible.

Tracy said to figure out where your followers are. Find out what they care about and what they talk about. These are all great things to consider when choosing a platform.

It’s always a great idea to start with the platforms your audience is already using. It’s the best way to ensure your broadcast is being seen by the right people.

In addition to determining where your audience is and whether or not it’s going to support your goals, Sara recommends finding out if you can repurpose it. Being able to repurpose your live broadcast is very beneficial.

It’s often easier to start with the platforms you’re already familiar with. If you already have a following there, there’s a huge bonus. If you have a good following on your Facebook page, try Facebook Live. The same goes for Instagram.

This is great advice from the Digital Natives team!

Q2: Live video sessions: what steps should you take to prepare?

Now that you’ve chosen a platform to do your live video broadcast, it’s time to go live! So, what can you do to prepare? These tips will help ensure everything goes smoothly:

Jen suggests knowing what your goals are before you go live. What’s the reason you’re going live and what do you hope to achieve with your broadcast? You should also write an outline so you know what you’ll talk about. And don’t forget to make sure all your technology is working beforehand. There’s nothing more frustrating than technical difficulties!

Another great idea is to promote your live broadcast before it actually begins. If you’re going to be talking about a hot topic you know your audience will love, tell them beforehand so they don’t miss out.

Have some notes written before you go live. You don’t want to write out a full script because that’s not genuine and in the moment. However, it’s a good idea to have some main talking points in mind that you can refer to. This will ensure you don’t lose track and you can refer to it if there’s a lull in engagement from your viewers.

Lexie advises not relying on the questions you receive in comments from your viewers. If no one shows up or you don’t get any questions, you’ll have nothing to talk about. Know what you want to chat about before you go live.

Cassandra said to write out your talking points and also knowing how you’re going to handle questions and engaging with your audience. This will help make sure your broadcast is great.

Georgina’s advice is to focus on providing timely value and showcasing you personality. That’s what will make people keep watching.

Be prepared for anything! It’s live video and you never know what could happen.

Q3: How can live video support existing content strategies?

Are you still not convinced on how live video can work with your existing content? These tweets will tell you why it’s a must:

Jen suggests repurposing your content in live videos as a way to reach a different audience. You can get even more people checking out your stuff this way.

As Jessie said, people enjoy seeing inside your brand. Live video provides a way to give your audience the behind-the-scenes scoop.

The Digital Natives team agrees when it comes to behind-the-scenes content. Give people a look inside your latest campaign, an event, or your day-to-day work.

Shereese brought up a great point about how live video can give you automatic feedback from your audience. It’s very helpful!

Leah said to use your live video as a way to direct people to even more content. Provide a call to action and give them the next step so they know where to go when the broadcast is over.

Video will give your existing content a new voice, which is a great way to connect with your audience.

Gabriela said live video can appeal to a visual audience, humanize your brand, and help you connect with your audience emotionally via storytelling.

Q4: Discuss how to repurpose live video and how to use live recordings in other content types.

You don’t have to let your live video disappear after 24 hours or let it sit on one platform. You can repurpose it so more people outside of the live viewers can enjoy it. Check out these tips:

Jen suggests taking smaller pieces of your live video and creating quotes or sharing statistics. You can even write a blog post recap about your broadcast.

For platforms that allow you to download and save your live video broadcast, you can upload them to YouTube. This will allow your audience to watch it again and again, whenever is convenient.

It’s a good idea to consider some of the questions you get asked during a live session because they could become future blog posts.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas. You can take transcripts from your live video and repurpose it into recaps for your blog, infographics, or quotes. They’re all great ideas!

Tracy recommends editing your video into shorter snippets and sharing them as quick tips. You can also add subtitles or use your video as a boosted post on Facebook.

Q5: Authenticity is important in live video. How do you keep it authentic while prepping in advance?

You don’t want your live video to seem rehearsed, so you need to keep it genuine and authentic. Here’s how to do it:

Jen said not to over practice beforehand. You don’t want the video to have a scripted feel, so just go with the flow. If you make a mistake, it’s no big deal.

Come with a topic and talking points in mind, but don’t prepare a script. It just won’t flow and it’s not the way a live video on social media should be.

Matt said to keep your message natural, not canned. As others have already said, ditch the script.

Focus on informing your audience and providing value to them. While it’s okay to sell via your live broadcasts, don’t be overly salesy or pushy.

As Debi said, if you know what you’re talking about, it should come easily to you. You just need to relax and go with the flow during your broadcast. Don’t overthink it too much.

A huge yes to everything Gabriela said here!

As Zala said, it’s okay to be imperfect. Odds are, you are going to make a mistake on your live video and that’s fine. We all mess up and your audience isn’t going to hold that against you.

Q6: How can you encourage participation and get more users to interact with you during your live session?

A great live session is all about engagement. You want to make sure people are tuning in and actually interacting with you. How do you make sure that happens? Keep these tips in mind for the next time you go live:

Don’t make it all about you. You should be engaging with your audience by asking questions and encouraging them to leave comments. Jen also suggests asking your audience to submit questions in advance. This will ensure you come prepared with plenty to talk about.

Make sure you value your audience’s input. Don’t ignore them or disregard what they have to say.

Encourage people to chime in by asking questions or asking them to share their opinions. Make sure you’re genuinely listening in return.

Cassandra and Sara agree that it’s a good idea to tell your audience when you’re going live so they can be prepared to join in and can come with questions ready.

Q7: How can you create topics for and keep your live content consistently helpful and valuable?

Do you want to make sure you’re always providing amazing content for your audience. Our chat participants had some great advice. Take a look:

The topic for your live video should fit into your overall strategy and should answer the questions your audience has.

You can never go wrong when it comes to crowdsourcing ideas.

What is the biggest challenge people in your audience are facing? Provide a solution and deliver it!

Listen to your audience. Find out what they’re saying and what kind of content they’re already enjoying. Give them more of that through your live broadcasts.

It really is as simple as asking them what they want.

Piggyback off the latest trends, but make sure you aren’t too late. You want to address those trending topics when they’re still fresh and hot.

Fanny said to take a look at your competitors. See what they’re talking about and put your own spin on it.

Q8: What are some ways you can keep the conversation going after a live video session?

To really get the most out of your live videos, you want to keep the conversation going. You want to keep your audience engaged? How do you do that? Follow these tips:

Find ways to follow-up with some of the most engaged people from your video. It’s a great way to make new connections.

Jessie said to post a recap on your blog, pin the video to the top of your age, and encourage people to check out your blog afterwards.

Reach out to some of your viewers on a separate social media platform. It’s a great way to form a stronger connection and to get to know your people best.

Leah agrees that following up with live viewers is a must.

Before you end a broadcast, direct people to your other social media profiles or to your website. It’s a great way to get them to take that next step with your brand.

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time for great chats centered around content writing and marketing. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!

#ContentWritingChat, Sue B. Zimmerman, Instagram strategies, Instagram for business

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Smart Instagram Strategies for Your Business with Sue B. Zimmerman

Did you miss #ContentWritingChat this week? We have good news for you! We have a recap of our latest Twitter chat, which was packed with amazing tips on effective Instagram strategies for your business. Are you ready to dive in? Just keep reading!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Smart Instagram Strategies for Your Business with Sue B. Zimmerman

Our guest host this week was Sue B. Zimmerman. Sue is a speaker and a top Creative Live instructor. She’s also known as the “Instagram Expert,” which is why she joined our latest chat. She shared a ton of amazing tips for building a presence on Instagram that you’ll want to put to use today.

Q1: How can you determine if Instagram is the right platform for your business?

With so many social media platforms available today, it can be tricky to determine which ones are best for you to invest your time and energy into. So, how can you figure out if Instagram is right for you? Keep these things in mind:

Sue feels Instagram can work for any business. People process visuals faster than text, which can make it a worthwhile platform for you to use.

Are your customers on Instagram? Are your competitors active there? Can you actually commit to building a presence there? Those are questions you need to answer when deciding whether Instagram is right for you.

Tracy agrees! If your audience is on Instagram, your business should be there.

It all goes back to knowing your audience! Are they on Instagram?

Can you accurately and effectively represent your brand on Instagram? You want to make sure it’s the right fit for your brand.

Bill raises a solid point. Can you provide value to your audience on Instagram?

As Sarah said, try it! You won’t really know if a platform works for you unless you give it a go yourself.

Q2: What are key strategies for growth on Instagram?

What do you need to know to see growth on Instagram? We have the answer! Check out some of the tips the chat participants shared on Tuesday:

Sue recommends having an “Instagram Mindset.” She said you need to make taking great photos a priority. After all, Instagram is a visual platform and your followers expect to see quality posts.

Liliana said consistency, quality content, and commitment are three things you need if you want to see growth on Instagram.

We all know hashtags are a must on Instagram. Pamela recommends choosing the right mix of hashtags. Pick those that are popular (but not so popular that your post will get buried in seconds) and align with your audience. Consistency is key, too!

Make sure you’re posting great content and actively engaging with your audience. You have to be present if you want to see results.

Varun said Instagram requires great visuals, relevant hashtags, engagement with your audience, and trend analysis.

Optimize your Instagram strategy by posting when your audience is actively using Instagram. Don’t forget to add relevant hashtags and be social with others.

It’s simple! Know what your audience likes, what they interact with, and which hashtags they’re using.

Sherri knows consistency is key on all social media platforms. You need to post regularly and engage with your audience.

Julia said you need to consistently post great visuals, add relevant hashtags, and include a link in your profile to direct people back to your site.

Q3: How do you ensure you’re posting quality content on Instagram?

Posting quality content is essential on any social media platform. How can you make sure you’re doing a great job on Instagram? Check out these tips:

Sue said engagement confirms if your content is high quality. Are people commenting and taking action on your posts? That’s key!

Pamela recommends seeing how your content sits together and determining the story it’s telling. Make sure the content you’re posting aligns with your brand.

Brittany brings up some great questions you should ask yourself before you hit that “post” button. Would YOU like what you’re about to post? Does it align with your brand? Does it provide value? These are important things to consider.

Make sure your’e also taking the time to take great photos for your Instagram profile. Don’t rush content creation just so you can get something posted. It’s more important to post something great.

As Julia said, you’ll know you’re on the right track when you see those engagement rates start to rise. When people are engaging with your content and starting to follow you, that’s a great sign.

Q4: What are the qualities of a great Instagram caption?

When it comes to Instagram, not only do you need a great image, but you also need a great caption. Here’s how to write one that stands out:

Sue said your caption should educate, inspire, or entertain your audience.

Kristen feels a great caption is one that is succinct and clever. She also knows asking questions is the best way to increase engagement.

Varun recommends finding a sweet spot with your captions when it comes to length. Don’t forget the important CTA to tell your audience what to do next.

Tell a story with your caption!

Don’t forget to proofread before you submit. No one likes typos!

Q5: What are your tips for choosing the right hashtags? How many should you use?

What’s the secret to mastering hashtags? Keep reading these answers to find out:

Sue recommends thinking about where your customers like to hang out. Which hashtags are they actively using?

You have to do a little research to find the right hashtags for your posts and your audience. Once you’ve chosen the right ones, don’t put them in your caption. Instead, post them in a comment.

It’s important to know the answers to the questions Sarah suggested. Which hashtags are your audience using and engaging with? Which ones fit your brand?

Spot on! Using hashtags that are too popular will only result in your posts getting buried within seconds. Choose hashtags that are still popular, but have a smaller audience.

Gary Vaynerchuk knows social media, right? In his book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, he said 11 is the ideal number of hashtags for an Instagram post.

Pamela likes to use Hashtagify to find the right hashtags for her posts.

Q6: What are your favorite tools for managing Instagram?

Make managing your Instagram account even easier with the addition of a few tools! Check these out:

Sue provided a great list of tools! If you haven’t already, be sure to check these out.

Jason is a big fan of Grum. Have you tried it?

Stacey relies on Planoly to help with her Instagram presence.

Crowdfire is great for tracking followers and growth. Squarelovin provides a lot of statistics, including your best times to post.

Brittany loves Iconosquare and Hootsuite for managing her Instagram.

Michael is also a Hootsuite fan.

Sarah uses Buffer to schedule her Instagram posts. She also likes using the Repost app for reposting content from others.

Although it’s not specifically for Instagram, the team at globalHMA loves to use Trello for tracking post ideas and more.

Q7: How do you convert Instagram followers into ROI customers for your business?

So, how do you take someone from an Instagram follower to paying customers? Here’s what you need to know:

Sue knows that you need to provide a CTA if you want your audience to take that next step with you. Direct people to the link in your profile to get them to take action. It’s also so important to build a community first. They’ll be more likely to take action then.

Pamela recommends making a compelling offer in your caption, then directing people to click the link in your bio. You want to move people from Instagram to your website to make a sale or convert them into an email subscriber.

You can use to easily track clicks on the link in your Instagram profile.

Make sure you’re taking the time to and effort to nurture the relationships with your followers.

Engaging with your followers is essential if you want them to convert. Show them why they need whatever it is you’re offering.

Sarah recommends offering coupons or contests on Instagram as well. It’s a great way to grow your audience and get them engaging.

Don’t forget to make sure you have a great bio for them to check out when they visit your profile. Include your website link and contact details.

Q8: Which brands are doing an amazing job on Instagram?

Are you in need of some awesome Instagram inspiration? Check out these brands:

Sue thinks Suja Juice does a great job on Instagram.

These are all great accounts that Julia shared! Especially that last one! 😉

Brittany loves Glitter Guide as well as Brit and Co. She’s also a fan of the creatives who are local to her area.

These accounts are definitely ones to check out!

Lori is a big fan of our very own guest host, Sue!

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM CDT for great chats centered around content writing and marketing. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!