#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Create a Social Media Calendar That Engages Your Audience with Maura Hughes of MeetEdgar

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Create a Social Media Calendar That Engages Your Audience with Maura Hughes of MeetEdgar

There’s no denying that brands want a number of things from their social media presence.

They want growth in terms of their community, engagement, click-throughs, conversions, and more. No shame in that!

But how do you make sure you’re actually creating content and showing up on your social platforms in a way that will help you generate the results you want? You create a social media calendar!

Having a social media calendar encourages you to plan ahead and be strategic about what you’re sharing and how you’re serving your audience. And in this #ContentWritingChat recap, we’re teaching you how to create one!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Create a Social Media Calendar That Engages Your Audience with Maura Hughes of MeetEdgar

Our guest host for this month’s chat was Maura Hughes. Maura is a Digital Marketing Manager over at MeetEdgar, a popular tool for scheduling social media content. In fact, it’s the one we use here at Express Writers! Maura had some amazing advice for creating high-quality, engaging social media content, so let’s dive into the tips!

Q1: Is it important to have a social media calendar? Why or why not?

If you’re not sold on the idea of planning out your social media content in advance, you just might be after reading these responses from the chat:

Maura feels a social media calendar is great because it helps you to be more consistent when it comes to posting on the platforms you use. That’s important if you want long-term success!

Not only is a calendar great for consistency, but it also ensures you’re posting with purpose. You’re thinking ahead and planning out content your audience would genuinely love, as opposed to throwing something together at the last minute.

And when you plan in advance, you don’t have to stress about coming up with content at the last minute! That’s never fun!

Plus, having a calendar with all your content outlined reminds you to think ahead to upcoming holidays and any social campaigns you’ll be running. You’ll never forget anything important this way.

Just remember that your social media calendar shouldn’t be set in stone. Allow yourself to make shifts as needed to provide the value your audience needs.

Lexie agrees that flexibility is key if you want to be successful! Never be afraid to make changes if something isn’t working or if there are timely topics you need to cover.

Q2: What types of content should go on your social media calendar?

Now that you’re probably sold on creating a calendar of your own, you’ll need to know what kind of content to fill it with. Here are some suggestions:

As Maura pointed out, your content should build the Know, Like, and Trust Factor with your audience. She also said to plan content according to your goals. For instance, if social media is a way for you to drive traffic back to your website, make sure you’re actually linking back to your site by sharing the latest blog posts, etc.

Always choose content based on your target audience. As Maria said, ask yourself what they’re likely to respond to. That will tell you exactly the kind of content you should be sharing.

If you’re creating a social media calendar for a client, always ask what they want to be posting more of. Take their suggestions into consideration. Rachel’s advice of creating different categories will really be helpful in staying organized with all of your ideas.

Share content that promotes your brand, talk about your offerings, and address timely events and holidays.

You can’t go wrong with things like informative blog posts, stats, videos, and infographics. It’s also smart to ask questions to get a conversation started.

Q3: Is it a good idea to re-share the same content in your social media calendar? Why or why not?

Before you rush to schedule some social media posts, here’s the scoop on re-sharing the same content:

It’s definitely okay to repost your content, especially if it’s evergreen. Evergreen content is always relevant and appealing to your audience, so why not make sure they’re seeing it? As Maura said, the shelf-life of social media posts is very short, so post things more than once to increase traction.

A smart tactic when re-posting the same content is to change up the copy, use different hashtags, and switch up the graphics. It helps keep things fresh.

By re-posting your content at different times and days, it ensures that even more people are seeing you’ve shared. Very important!

At the end of the day, make sure your content is reflecting what your audience wants to see. That’s how you keep them coming back for more.

Q4: What are some tactics for actually structuring your social media calendar?

Don’t get overwhelmed when planning content! Use these tips to make the task even easier:

Post with a purpose and ensure that the content you’re sharing is actually getting you closer to your goals. Otherwise, what’s the point?

So, if you haven’t set goals for what you want from your social media presence… Go ahead and do that today!

Make sure you’re testing to see what actually works for you in terms of the kind of content you share. It even helps to just ask your audience what they want to see more of.

This triple theme method that Rachel mentioned would definitely be helpful!

These ideas that Masooma shared are perfect for filling up your social media calendar!

Q5: What analytics and KPIs should you review to improve your social media calendar?

After you’ve started sharing all this amazing content, you’ll want to track your progress to ensure you’re reaching your goals. This is how you choose the right KPIs:

Go back to your goals! They’ll tell you if you should be more focused on link clicks, comments, shares, etc.

If you want link clicks, focus on that. If you want to see more interaction and brand awareness, pay attention to things like growth and comments.

When you track your engagement, it’s a good sign that your content resonates with your audience.

Ditch the vanity metrics! Maria says to focus on things like comments or shares.

For Katie, she focuses on tracking LinkedIn engagement. She likes to see that her content is driving conversations.

Rachel likes to view social media shares to see what insights people are sharing about her content.

Q6: How can we ensure our social media content is fresh and generating the engagement we desire?

No one wants stale social media content! Keep it engaging with this advice:

Maura suggests testing phrases, images, videos, etc. to see what performs the best. They’ll even send out one blog post with six different variations to test them all. It helps you see what works and what does.

Also, make sure you’re getting to know your audience through conversations so you can build strong relationships with them.

Sending out a survey is an amazing way to learn more about your audience and what they’d like to see from you.

If you find that something just isn’t working for you on social media, find out why. And focus on replicating the things that do work.

Q7: Which tools will come in handy when managing your social media presence?

And finally, it’s easier to manage your social media calendar with a few tools in your toolbox. Here are some great ones:

Maura recommends using MeetEdgar for scheduling, of course! She also likes Canva for creating graphics, as well as Google Analytics for data.

You definitely want to have a scheduling tool, a social listening tool, and something to create graphics.

The SEO Charge team suggests apps like Awario and Animoto.

Lexie loves Canva and Google Analytics.

Google Sheets is great for tracking stats. Social Oomph, Hootsuite, and CoSchedule are worthing checking out too.

And don’t forget about your in-app analytics!

Want to join the next #ContentWritingChat? It happens on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for the latest.

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

#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!

The Rise of Pinterest: 5 Reasons It Should be Part of Your Social Media Mix

The Rise of Pinterest: 5 Reasons It Should be Part of Your Social Media Mix

Are you looking for a great, new way to help leverage your social media campaign? Of course you are, that’s why you’re reading this blog!

There currently exists on the web an excellent social media channel that has been around for a while now, yet is starting to become a very vital aspect of any social media campaign – Pinterest. That’s right, the channel that gives people recipes and DIY tips is the next element in an impressive social media campaign. Let’s take a look at why this channel will be important for you, the various advantages of it, and how you can use Pinterest to generate revenue.

Why is Pinterest Such an Important Channel?

Pinterest hasn’t always been on the social media radar as an important channel for businesses. However, it is an incredible channel that can help bring about engagement and revenue for your company. According to Suzanne Delzio at Social Media Examiner, Pinterest currently has 47 million users, and this number is expected to grow exponentially in 2016. Researchers believe this growth will happen going off of past analytics that show users doubling in 2014, and more people are signing up for the social site each day. This means that your clients are likely to be on this channel already, and if they aren’t, they soon will be. While Pinterest has been a site mainly populated by women, the social media channel has attempted to grow the demographic, and reports are showing that the amount of men signing up is growing quick.

As you can see, the platform is growing by leaps and bounds in many different areas and demographics, making it an important channel. You need to make sure you are on this channel soon and well before 2016 starts.

Who Uses Pinterest the Most?

I briefly mentioned above that women use this site the most, but that the amount of male users is growing quickly. However, I am going to give a bit more detail into the users to help you craft an excellent campaign. According to Carly Stec at HubSpot, one-third of users are women, and that number is up by 25 percent. In addition, 8 percent of men inside the United States use the social channel, which is a growth from 5 percent. These numbers are expected to rise, and this means that there will be more shoppers will to buy your products or services. For now, women are still dominating over at Pinterest, and should be a target audience. However, don’t neglect the men who are starting to use this channel, as well.

The Anatomy of a Pinterest Brain

When it comes to Pinterest, you need to know and understand the anatomy of a user’s brain. Just why do they go to the platform and how do they become a shopper instead of a browser? Let’s take a look!

  1. “I’m Just Looking at Various Things.” When someone opens their Pinterest app or goes on the desktop site, they simply start out looking and browsing what is being shared. Many times, they don’t go in with the intention of buying, but, by following a few steps, many do end up doing so.
  1. “Well, This is Interesting.” The next part of the anatomy of a Pinterest brain is that someone has to think the image, idea, or product looks interesting. The more interesting the pin, the more likely that person will be to click on the image and then the link attached, directing them to a site. This can then lead them to purchase the item from the picture.
  1. “I Need to Narrow This Down.” Many times, people who are browsing Pinterest will see a multitude of interesting things, but they want to make sure they narrow things down. This helps them decide which pins to share or which products to buy.
  1. “This is Exactly What I Need.” After narrowing things down, users will end up buying what they find to be exactly what they need. This is why it is important to make your pins stand out. You want it to be the winning pin for the Pinterest brain. Don’t worry; I am going to look at how you can achieve this later in the blog.

5 Incredible Advantages to Using Pinterest for Your Business

Before I get into how you can make incredible revenue with a Pinterest account, I want to look at the advantages of joining. Some people might not be sure that it is a site they can use, but there are some incredible benefits to it.

  1. You Can Reach a Younger Demographic. Pinterest gives you access to a younger demographic, and while you might want to reach an older one, young people can really help your business. You shouldn’t ignore this demographic because you might be surprised just how much revenue you can bring in when you advertise to them. Pinterest is a great starting place for this.
  1. You Can Use it as a Marketing Tool on Your Site or in Your Store. If you have product images or blogs, you can add a Pinterest social share button to your site. This will encourage users and readers to pin anything they find interesting on their own account, therefore sharing it with their friend group. If their friends find it interesting, they will share that pin and so on. This can bring in more people to that product, blog, or landing page, and once there, you can convert them to leads.
  1. You Can Share More Than Just Your Products. When it comes to Pinterest, you aren’t limited to only sharing product images. In fact, you can share your blogs, other landing pages, and also share helpful information from industry leaders. You can create boards for each and every idea you have, helping to keep them all organized, and allowing people to follow the boards they find interesting.
  1. You Can Create a Board that Links to Your Blogs. Do you want to drive more traffic to your blogs? Then create a board and link directly to each post as you share it. Make sure to use your keywords in the pin description and use hashtags, as well.
  1. Pinterest Gives You the Chance to Make Your Brand More Human. This gives you a chance to show your brand in a more human light, which can help people trust you. You can create a board that shows the “daily life” of your company and share images or create an “event” board to show your events. Whatever shows a personal side to your business will help make your brand more human.

10 Ways to Use Pinterest to Generate Revenue

Now that you can see some of the benefits of using Pinterest, I am going to look at how you can use it to generate revenue. I will be referencing a few points from the HubSpot article by Carly Stec I shared towards the beginning of this blog.

Here are some things you can do on your Pinterest account to have a successful presence.

  1. Use Several Dominant Colors in Your Pin. Carly points out that images with dominant colors tend to receive more than three times the amount of shares and re-pins as those that don’t. Make sure you use more than one dominant color, as one won’t be as likely to get as many shares. This will help you stand out and make people look at your pins, and then, as I said, they will share. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
  1. Stay Away from Sharing a Human Face. Pinterest is an artsy social channel, which means that people like to see more artistic images than regular. One of the things that people seem not to like as much on the platform is seeing the human face in their images. You can show a person, but consider photos that have the person looking away, with a focus elsewhere like on a book or a cup of tea.
  1. Get Artsy With Your Pins. As I said, Pinterest is artsy, which means that artsy pins are going to be shared more than plain looking ones. There are many ways you can make an image look artsy by adding filters and focusing on different things in the image. If you are sharing a photo of a field, consider one that focuses on a flower with the field behind; just something that looks pretty and artistic.
  1. Bring Down Your Image’s Saturation. Carly also gives another tip for creating a good image to share on the channel, which is to bring down the image saturation. This gives it that Instagram filter feel, which can make people especially younger individuals look at it more. This is something you can easily do with the editing software that comes with your computer or by locating different online places that can help.
  1. Create Infographics that Provide Your Clients With Value. Pinterest is a very visual platform, as you can see, which means you need to have great visual content ready. However, your business might not be one with many visuals. A great way to utilize the channel is to create and share valuable infographics for your user base, encouraging them to read and share with others.
  1. Have a Decent Amount of Pins Already Pinned. In order for people to consider following your Pinterest account or boards, you need to have pins already pinned. This can attract more people because you will look active on the account. If you have nothing pinned, users won’t know if you are a valuable brand to follow. Create a few boards and pin different things to them to start out, and you will begin to see more people willing to either follow you or one or two of your boards.
  1. Promote Your Brand on Pinterest. Promoting on Pinterest is one of the best ways to get noticed. It is rare for people to stumble on someone’s account if it isn’t being promoted. Social Media Examiner points out that Pinterest says that promoted pins can get just as much traffic as regular ones, which helps with organic traffic. While it is still new, this is still a great idea for different businesses. You can join the list to become one of the businesses able to use it by signing up to be chosen to be in the beta program.
  1. Set Up a Collaboration with Other Popular Pinners. You can set up collaborative boards that allow others that aren’t from your business to pin to it. You don’t want to leave it open for just anyone, but you can invite other popular pinners or select people from your business who are also on Pinterest. This can help curate a lot of content from all over and different viewpoints, giving users the ability to get unique, great content from all over.
  1. Create Contests and Have People Create Their Own Boards. Pinterest creates a great opportunity to have contests for your clients. You’ll need to make sure that you follow the rules when it comes to contests, but it can be a great way to bring in more followers and eventual new clients. A great example of Pinterest content is Adagio Teas’ contest that encouraged clients to create a board of their top ten favorite items from the store. Once a user created the board, Adagio said to email the board and be entered into the contest, and everyone who did, received a small gift certificate in return.
  1. Share Your Pins in Your Weekly or Monthly Email Newsletter. When you share your newsletter with your clients, you can start to gain followers by including your pins in your emails. This can help your email marketing and also drive engagement and revenue. You can take a screenshot of your top or best pins from the week or month and then create a link for people to click on. This will take them directly to your pins and account, and get them looking at your other content, as well.

Enrich Your Business and Use Pinterest

Pinterest can really help enrich your business and make your social media campaign impactful. You will find that after you have established a presence that you can start driving excellent revenue. If you need help creating infographics or content for your Pinterest campaign, then contact Express Writers. We can help you create an excellent campaign and give your clients access to great infographics.


Why Content Matters For Your Brand Presence on Social Media

Why Content Matters For Your Brand Presence on Social Media

Today, nearly every online marketer knows that content is king. Regardless of how pretty and well organized your website or blog is, none of it matters if you don’t have the content to back it up.

How does social media come into play with the need overall for content? Is content really that important in social media? Yes! The answer is yes, content is more important than ever on social media.

April was an absolute storm for updates and changes in the social media world and all of the new changes and rollouts are going to greatly impact who can see what and how content is viewed.

It is a dog-eat-dog world out in the social media world of content. Everyone can write and everyone can tell a story, the biggest thing you must ask yourself is if yours is better than everyone else’s—because that’s what it’s going to take to be heard, to be liked, to be followed. Couple the fact that everyone is clamoring to be heard with the new social media updates and you will see how it can be an uphill battle to get your voice out there.

The 3 Main Features of Facebook’s New Algorithm

What started as a fun place to stay up-to-date with your friends and like their cute baby’s pictures has turned into a mass media market and the perfect platform for promoting your business.

Unfortunately with changes last year to Facebook’s algorithm it hasn’t been as easy to get organic traffic to your brand’s Facebook page, but it is still possible to do. With the new algorithm update that rolled out on April 21, 2015, Facebook has taken it a step further, making it even harder to gain organic traffic and almost forcing brands to pay to promote their business. This new algorithm has some serious updates in store.

Facebook announced it is putting more emphasis on friends and like pages and less on brands. The new update includes the following features:

  1. The content you care about is right on top: Your close friends’ statuses, pictures and anything else you look at consistently is shown at the beginning of your timeline so that you don’t miss anything in the lives of the people you care about most. This goes for pages as well. Pages you consistently interact with will be shown at the top of your news feed.
  2. Less posts from those you don’t: For those without many interactions, friends or like pages, Facebook has relaxed the number of times you can see their posts. Therefore, you can now have back-to-back posts that were previously blocked from coming through on your news feed.
  3. Less non-relevant notifications: Lastly, those annoying likes and comments friends make on other’s pages and posts that you could personally care less about and usually from people you have no clue who they are, will be buried at the bottom of your news feed, or quite possibly not visible to you at all.

So why is content on Facebook more important now than ever before? Because by placing the emphasis on friends and shoving the brands to the back burner, you are going to need every fan you have to help push your content without having to pay for it. Every time your content is shared, all of their close friends will be notified and have the opportunity to read it. Without good content, you are pretty close to dead in the water – or at least looking at a much larger Facebook marketing budget.

What’s New? Hello, Discover from Snapchat

Snapchat has always been a really fun way to see pictures of your niece or nephew or your friend’s crazy weekend out. With the addition of Snapchat’s Discover, storytelling takes on a whole new role with this media platform.

By offering a place to tell stories, users can open up different editions to see what is out there. Popular brands such as ESPN, the Food Network and National Geographic have their own channels where you can watch video. Simply open the channel to view the snap. If you like what you see, you can swipe up and view the whole video, and otherwise you can swipe left to see more.

Because what’s hot today is old news tomorrow, these channels are updated every 24 hours to keep content fresh and exactly what you’re looking for.

In today’s instant gratification world, millennials don’t waste time looking at things that don’t intrigue them. Discover starts with 10 second clips, letting you quickly decide if it is worth your time to check out, therefore not wasting your time watching a whole video of something you really don’t care about.

While this is a really great update and feature it lacks in a major way that other social media platforms don’t have problems with – there is no engagement. While storytelling and content are so important, consumers want engagement from brands. Discover is simply an in-your-face marketing tool where there is no way to interact beyond watching the video.

7 Ways To Get the Best Content Out There & Be Social On Your Platforms

It’s no secret that with everyone and their mother sharing stories and content on social media, a lot gets overlooked or not viewed. So how do you combat that? How do you get your voice heard and noticed in an over-saturated market?

  1. Post pictures. In everything you do, post pictures. No, more than that, post intriguing pictures – pictures that make you want to open the story and read it because you just can’t imagine what that image has in store for you. On platforms like Twitter, that picture may be the only reason someone opens your story, since Twitter only gives you so many characters to explain what you are doing. Therefore, that picture has to speak 1000 words before your actual words are even read.
  2. Share your content everywhere. Put it on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Google Plus and Pinterest. The more places your content is shared the more likely that people are going to read it, love it and ultimately share it. Don’t be afraid to share it more than once either. The more times your content is shared the better chance you have that people will read it and then share it with their friends. Choose different times of the day and days of the week to get the most views out of your content.
  3. Write things that everyone can relate to, not only a small group of people. You don’t have to write about your product for every post, just make sure it is relevant to your product. For example if you are trying to promote new kitchen appliances, it is a good idea to post a few recipes. This way you can bring in people who aren’t looking for a new stove at the moment but just can’t pass up that delicious, home style chicken and dumplings recipe that looks like grandma handed it down through generations.
  4. Use a consistent voice across all social media platforms. Pretty much be the same person on Facebook as you are on Twitter. Your goal is to make everything as genuine and as personal as possible. Having one voice on Facebook and a totally different persona on Twitter will discredit you and ultimately hurt your readership.
  5. Engage your readers. It’s not enough just to have great content; you want your readers to interact. Use a conversational tone in your writing and ask questions that you truly want to be answered. When they are answered, respond! You don’t have to respond to every single person who answers if the responses are overwhelming, but at least respond to a few of them. Let them know there’s a person behind the computer that wants them to be a part of what you are doing.
  6. Stay on top of social media updates and know what you’re up against. Being ahead of the game has never been a bad thing and surely isn’t in the case of the social media content wars.
  7. Lastly, utilize the metrics available across all of the different social media platforms to find out what is working for you and what isn’t. This is a great time to look at posting times and days. A post may hit Facebook at 9 a.m. and perform at its best, but be a total flop on Twitter because most of your followers don’t check Twitter until lunchtime. You may need to schedule different posting times between the different platforms to get the absolute best outcomes.

More Than Anything – Interact & Be Social

Social media didn’t get its name from being a one-sided platform to share information. No, it is the ultimate in brand and consumer interaction and the easiest way to gain recognition is to be present and engaged in your social media postings.

Why is social media interaction so important? Simply put, because it puts a face and a voice to an otherwise unattainable brand. If someone were to leave a less than desirable comment about something you shared on Facebook, ask them why or take their constructive criticism and take the time to thank them for their input and look into it. Not only are you making it personal to that person, but it also shows the thousands of other people that you care about the content you are sharing, you are passionate about your product and you care what the people think about you.

There are thousands of people sharing recipes on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, what makes your stand out? What makes people want to keep checking your site versus others when they are looking for something new to make for their family? Yes, of course your recipes may be better and your writing style may draw a few people in, but engaging with your readers makes them think of you more as a friend and less as a business. Friends always go to friends first when they need advice, or in this case, dinner ideas. So naturally they are coming to your site first.

And then guess what they are going to do? Yep, they are going to share it with their friends and promote it that everyone needs to check you out because you are without a doubt the best choice out there. And you will ultimately gain more followers, likes and retweets all because you responded to a comment or a tweet. A simple thirty-second response can be king in growing your followers.

A Simple Tip: Offer a Lot of Quality Content

Someone who reads the content you share and likes it often wants more. You can never have too much content, but you can certainly have too little! So how often should you share on social media? Well, that depends on the social media platform you are sharing to.

You want to share much more to Pinterest and Twitter than you would to Facebook or Google Plus.

Along with how often you share, how much you write is a big factor as well. Smaller blog posts, while quick and easy to read, often result in a higher bounce rate because they do not engage the reader or keep them wanting more. Blog posts of at least 1000 words are more likely to keep the reader clicking through other posts on your page because they want to learn more and read more of what you have to offer. The more content you have to offer, the more likely a reader is to check back on your blog or website often to see what has been updated.

If you pair good writing and heavy content with these simple steps, your use of social media should be at its peak and you will inevitably gain readership.

Photo credit: DragonImages / iStock

How Food Trucks Are Killing It On Social Media

How Food Trucks Are Killing It On Social Media

Looking for social media inspiration is one of my favorite things to do because I know just how much a little inspiration here can help. One of the latest trends I’ve noticed is food trucks and their absolutely epic presence when it comes to social media. I am going to look at why they kill it on social media and how, regardless of your industry, you can gain great inspiration for your very own social media campaign from these eateries on wheels.

Food Trucks Are Winning At Social Media Content

Food trucks have been part of the eatery crowd for quite some time, but they’ve become increasingly popular in the last few months and years. They are a great place for communities to gather and make great food for everyone. However, they wouldn’t be near as successful if it weren’t for social media. These small eateries, many of which travel to various locations throughout cities or towns, need social media to connect with their fans and let people know vital information. When it comes to social media, food trucks are a great example of how to use it and just what it can do for businesses.

One city that has a great food truck community is that of Austin, Texas, where my own office is located. Here in Austin, we have websites that are dedicated to finding excellent food trucks for newbies, and also giving information to those who need it for their favorites.

And a Few of Our Austin Favorites

If you’re ever in Austin, make sure to visit a few of these trucks (we recommend it!) If you aren’t heading to Austin anytime soon, you should still take a look at their social media presence to see just what you can learn from them. No matter where they are at, whether in Austin, Texas, such as Cowabunga Burgers or food trucks in Missouri such as Not’cho Ordinary Taco or London Calling, you can find some sort of social media inspiration. Let’s take a look at how food trucks are killing it with social media and just what you can learn from them for your own business.

How Are Food Trucks Doing So Well On Social Media?

One of the best ways that many food trucks are being epic with their social media presence is because they are focusing on their industry and customers. If you take a look at a few of the food trucks I shared above, you will see that they have a strategy that fits their service and their clientele. When you head to a local food truck, take a quick look at the age range of people there, many are Millennials or Generation X, and the business owners know this. In fact, many might just fit into those age ranges, themselves. Because of this, they know that they need to have an epic social media presence that is going to standout from the crowd of food truck businesses on social media.

Now, let’s take a look at a few things you can learn for yourself and your business from these incredible eateries and how it can apply to your business.

The Top 4 Things You Can Learn from Food Trucks and Social Media

There are a few things you can take away from food trucks, besides yummy niche food, and I am going to take a look at a few!

  1. They All Rely on Having Their Location Plugged in. This might not work for every business, but if you are a locally owned or small business, location is everything. It is especially true for food trucks because the instant someone arrives, they will want to check in and let their friends know where they are. This is great because it shows up on Facebook just how many people visited your location while also giving free advertisement to a wide range of people you might not have access to. Take a look at the pages I listed above to see how many people are checking in, and imagine each person has at least 200 Facebook friends. That’s a lot of coverage for practically no advertising cost. Sounds excellent, doesn’t it?
  1. They Keep Things Professional but Personal on Social Media. Food trucks and their social media presences are great at showing how one can be classy and professional while still getting “personal” with customers. This helps to foster a great relationship with people, making them more likely to engage with the social media page and business, as well as continuing doing business with the company. A great way to get “personal” on social media is to let your personality or brand personality, shine through, making people click. This helps differentiate you from your competitors, and can, in the end, instill a high amount of trust in your company from clients.
  1. They Share Updates Their Followers Want to See. When a food truck business owner posts to social media, they know that they have to post content their clients want to see. If they are constantly posting irrelevant information, their clients won’t engage with them and this could end up leading to a failed food truck. However, by posting content that is engaging for their specific audience, they are creating a fun atmosphere that will have people coming back for more both in the social media and physical sense. Make sure that when you are posting content, you are posting something that engages your clientele and that it is something they relate to. This can be various trends within your industry, on the Internet, memes, and so much more depending on your industry. Keep it relevant, keep it interesting, and you will keep your customers. 
  1. Using Multiple Social Media Channels. Many food trucks don’t just rely on one social media channel to get their coverage. They understand that people have multiple channels, and, therefore, know the need to be on a few others. The typical places you will see a food truck will be Facebook, Twitter, and possibly Instagram because those social channels work for their industry. When it comes to your own, you will need to see which channels will get you the coverage you need, as well as reaching the demographic you want. You should also keep in mind that various social media channels do have some sort of impact when it comes to SEO, which is awesome when it comes to ranking on the SERP.

Social Media Equals Success for All!

If you aren’t on social media or aren’t posting regularly, now is the time to start. Take a lesson from these excellent food trucks and create content that is perfect for your clients and niche industry. If you need any help creating excellent, engaging social media content then look no further than Express Writers. We provide a wonderful team of trained social media experts that can create content that will drive engagement and organic traffic, helping you rank and bring in amazing revenue. Take a look to see how our services will help you!