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#ContentWritingChat, social media

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Using Social Media to Connect With Your Audience & Generate Leads with Bernie Fussenegger

As a business owner, your social media presence is crucial.

It’s a place for you to share content that builds your community, while also giving you the chance to get to know and better understand your audience.

Not only that, but social media is also a great way to generate new leads… When you do it the right way! And luckily, that’s what we talked about in this #ContentWritingChat!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Using Social Media to Connect With Your Audience & Generate Leads with Bernie Fussenegger

Our guest host for this month’s chat was Bernie Fussenegger. Bernie is a digital marketing leader, as well as the host of #Digital360Chat on Twitter.

Q1: How do you choose which social media platforms are worth the investment?

The first step in building your social media presence is determining which platforms are worth your time and energy. Because the thing is, you don’t have to be everywhere! So, how do you choose the platforms that will deliver the ROI you’re searching for? These tips will help you make the decision:

Bernie’s advice is to first figure out where your audience is spending their time online. You want to make sure you’re somewhere that they’ll actually discover you, otherwise your content won’t be seen by the right people.

For him, his go-to social media platforms are Twitter and LinkedIn, but he still stays updated with other platforms so he can best serve his clients.

Gene shared two great points. It’s important to do some research to figure out what makes the most sense for your brand. Determine where your audience is, as well as how you can best serve them.

But another thing to consider is which platforms are the most appealing to you. Where do you have the most fun? Where do you really shine when it comes to creating content and being present?

Lexie agrees that it takes a little research to get it all figured out! She says it’s important to be where your audience is. And don’t be afraid to check out your competitors to see where they’re spending their time. Can you identify areas where they’re struggling and step in to do better?

John suggests considering the demographics of your audience as well. This will be a good indication of which platforms those in your target audience may be using.

Jason also feels knowing your audience demographics is key. If your audience is older, Facebook might be your best bet. If they’re younger, you might want to give Tik Tok a try. And of course, there’s always Twitter!

It’s also worth experimenting to see which platforms are actually working for you. Don’t be afraid to give a new platform a chance and see if it’s delivering the engagement you want.

Q2: Once you’ve picked your platforms, what should you be posting to attract the right people?
Posting the right content on Twitter is a huge part of your strategy. You want to make sure you’re sharing things that will appeal to your desired audience, otherwise you’ll end up with all the wrong people following you! And if you want to ultimately make sales, you need to have an audience that’s interested in your offerings.

Bernie is all about testing to see what kind of content works for you and your audience! Experiment by posting videos, graphics, links, questions, polls, and more to see what moves your audience to take action. Have fun with it!

Also, you want to make sure you’re engaging with your community. Sometimes it’s as simple as asking them what they want to see.

Lexie knows that posting helpful and engaging content will go a long way when it comes to building your community. Think about what your audience is most interested in and start by sharing that. She also encourages you to try out different content formats to see what really resonates.

Helpful, actionable will always be a winner! Amanda feels it’s important to think about the next step that you’re leading your social media followers to take. It could be joining your email list, purchasing your offerings, or something else. That’s how you start getting leads!

Jason’s tip is to NOT follow the best practices that you find online. The reality is, what worked for someone else might not cut it for you. That’s why you need to do some research and figure out how you can provide value to your audience.

Gene said to share content that shows your expertise/perspective, while also helping your audience in some way. And if you can do that while keeping them entertained and engaged, that’s a win!

Don’t forget that it’s also important to spread the word about your content. There’s no reason to be shy when it comes to sharing your blog posts, announcements, etc.

Q3: How can you create more engagement on social media to build relationships?

If you’re ever feeling bummed by the lack of engagement going down on your social media platforms, let’s make a change! These tips from the chat will help you boost conversations and ultimately build your brand:

Bernie knows that Twitter chats are where it’s at! They provide a fantastic opportunity to connect with people from all around the world. You can learn from them and make new connections. It’s also important that you’re actually engaging with others and listening to what they have to say.

If you want more engagement, you need to be social yourself. Jason’s advice is to ask questions, answer questions, share insights, and more. Don’t just promote your products. Think about what will get people talking.

As Michael said, you need to actually be present on social media if you want to drive engagement and see real results. This is why it’s important that you check in and engage with your audience regularly.

Engage with others and you’ll increase the likelihood that you’ll see engagement in return. Michelle says it’s important to spend time on the platforms of your choosing so you can read and respond to replies.

Marcy’s advice is to be willing to learn and be social. Having that mindset will really go a long way in creating success.

Q4: What’s the key to converting social media followers into clients and customers?

Now that you’ve got the followers, it’s time to start turning them into paying members of your community. After all, don’t you want to sell your products and services? To get people to take that next step with your brand, make sure your keep this advice in mind:

Bernie suggests providing value, being transparent, honest, and respectful. It’s not a game you can win overnight. But in time, people will connect with you and ultimately be willing to purchase from you.

John’s tips are to add value, build trust, and make it easy for people to discover and buy your offerings.

Jason says it’s all about consistency and quality. When you have established yourself as an authority and built trust, they’ll be more likely to buy.

If you want to make the sale, don’t be afraid to ask! You have to promote your offerings in order for people to discover them. Don’t expect them to find it on their own.

And don’t forget, you need to show up consistently!

Q5: How can you set up your Twitter profile to drive leads?

Now that you know how to drive leads with your content, what about your profile? There are different things you can do on your Twitter profile to drive people to your site and boost sales. Here’s what you can do:

Bernie said it’s important to keep things professional. You want to portray yourself in a good light to your target audience. Use your cover photo to show what you do, write a descriptive bio, and include a link to your website or services.

Always make sure your profile is completely filled out! Don’t leave anything blank because that doesn’t tell your audience anything.

Gene said to make sure you have a profile photo, a cover photo, a bio, and a pinned tweet. These elements can all help people learn what you’re about so they’ll know if you’re right for them.

Mara knows there are a number of ways to personalize your Twitter profile, so you want to take advantage of it all. Definitely don’t forget about that pinned tweet, as it can often be overlooked.

Tony said to use your Twitter profile to say what you do and who you help in your bio, link to your website, and have a pinned tweet with a lead generation offer.

Q6: How will you know if you’re seeing results with your social media efforts?

So, you’re putting in the work… The next step is to actually track and see if you’re generating the results you want. This is how you do that:

Bernie doesn’t put too much attention on the vanity metrics, but instead he looks at engagement, comments, impressions, and growth. These are all great to watch, but as he mentioned, your metrics will change based on the campaign. Consider what’s most important for you to track.

Lexie knows that it starts with setting smart goals! You need to know what you’re trying to achieve in order to know which metrics are the most crucial. From there, keep an eye on built-in analytics from your social media platforms and/or Google Analytics.

Don’t forget to check in often to see how things are performing. This will let you know if things are going well or if you need to tweak your strategy.

Just make sure you aren’t overwhelming yourself with metrics. Establish those KPIs and pick out the most important metrics from there.

Once you’ve collected some data, you’ll want to compare it to previous data to see how things are performing.

It’s also smart to have goals per campaign, not just general social media goals. Each campaign will likely have a different focus and you’ll want to track the right metrics to ensure success.

When looking at growth, it’s active, loyal followers that really make the difference. Having 1,000 followers that are listening and engaging is much more powerful than 10,000 follows that aren’t paying attention to you.

And as Michelle said, it never hurts to just ask people how they discovered you! This will show what’s really working in your strategy and where you can make improvements.

Q7: What tools and resources can help you make social media management easier?

Let’s make your job of social media management a little easier, shall we? There are tons of great tools out there that can help, as well as resources we can learn from. Here are some that are worth checking out:

Bernie has a number of tools he loves, which includes Twitter Analytics, Google Analytics, and TweetDeck.

Michelle’s go-to tools are Buffer and Pablo by Buffer. Buffer is great for scheduling, while Pablo will help you design imagery for your posts.

Crowdfire and SproutSocial are essentials for John.

Amanda relies on tools like Buffer, Tailwind, Canva, and Photoshop.

And of course, SEMrush is always a great one to use as well!

Want to join the next #ContentWritingChat? Our Twitter chat takes place on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central. Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated!

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!

Use Pinterest for your business

The Top Reasons You Should Be Using Pinterest for Your Business

Social media is awesome, isn’t it? You can reach out to your clients via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ and even meet new people, bringing them in and turning them into customers. There are so many excellent social channels out there that you might start to feel a bit overwhelmed and wonder just what else, outside of the social media trinity you should use.

Well, I am here to tell you about an incredible social channel that you might just be overlooking – Pinterest. That’s right! I am going to show you why you need to add this channel to your mix, as well as how you can use it successfully for your business.

Pinterest For Your Business: How To Succeed In Your Pinterest Social Media Marketing

Pinterest is a great resource for businesses, and can give you a wider reach and range for your audience. Here are some great reasons why you should be using it.

Use Pinterest for your business

1. Over 70 Million People Use It, & 93% of Those People Are Buyers. That’s right. The 70 million users is a stat from Wikipedia a few years ago, so it’s safe to say this may have even doubled by now. And Shopify is saying that 2 million people pin product pins daily, while 93% of all Pinterest users actually use Pinterest to plan purchases. If this isn’t your main reason to be on Pinterest, I don’t know what is.

2. You Can Use Pinterest to Help Increase Traffic. According to Jessica Meher from Hubspot, a great reason to use Pinterest is to help increase traffic. Research on the amount of traffic Pinterest provides shows that it can actually bring in more people than Facebook or Twitter, which is great for all websites. This is definitely amazing if your site is new or you rely on your site to help drive sales and bring in new customers.

3. You Will See High Amounts of User Engagement. Pinterest is amazingly addictive for anyone who uses it, and many people love to engage on it. In the article mentioned above, Jessica Meher points out that you will see more engagement on Pinterest simply because many people are on it and addicted to it. This means that they are very likely to pin, favorite, and comment on your pins while they spend their time browsing through the channel.

4. It Will Help Strengthen Your Brand. You can use Pinterest to strengthen your brand and drive trust among your client base. According to Nicole Kohler from Shareaholic, a great way to use Pinterest to strengthen your brand is to bookmark mentions of your brand and products. This will help you keep track when someone mentions your brand, giving you the chance to interact with them. This can help promote engagement, trust, and, as I’ve mentioned, strengthen your brand. It will also help you stand out from your competitors if you are regularly seeking out and engaging with your customers.

5. You Have Easy Access to Market Research. One of the great things about Pinterest is that you get the chance to do excellent market research easily. Pinterest gives you the ability to see what your users want to see while keeping you updated on the latest trends. You can follow your clients back and easily watch what they post and see just how they use social media, helping you create and curate excellent content for them.

And Here Are 9 Top Ways To Successfully Use Pinterest for Your Business

Now that you know a few excellent reasons as to why you should use Pinterest for your business, let’s take a look at just how you can use it successfully.

1. Integrate Pinterest With Your Website, Twitter, and Facebook. A great way to use Pinterest is to integrate it with your website, as well as your other social channels such as Twitter and Facebook. You can set it up to where Pinterest updates your Facebook and Twitter pages when you make a new pin, helping to drive your existing social media followers to your account. To integrate it with your website, you can include “Pin It” buttons to encourage visitors to pin product images to their own Pinterest accounts.

2. Learn What Your Audience Wants to See. You need to do some basic client research to be sure that when you use Pinterest, you are sharing what your clients want to see. You can create personas, but simply following your clients and taking a look at their boards can help you figure out what they pin and like to see. When you understand your Pinterest audience more, you can then start to develop things that are interesting to them, helping bring about engagement and driving more people to your website.

3. Focus On the Quality of Your pins and Not When You Post. Trying to find the best time to post to social media is something many people look for to help bring about more clicks and views. However, according to Kevan Lee from Buffer, when it comes to Pinterest, you need to focus on the quality of your pins and not when you post. High-quality pins are more important to Pinterest users and many people are on Pinterest at varying times. When you post something that is high quality, you have a higher chance having more people pin your pins and click on the links.

4. Create Excellent Captions With Each Pin. Just like with your blogs and other social media posts, the headlines and captions on Pinterest are vital. When you go to create a pin, make sure you have an amazing caption that can capture a user’s attention, convincing them to click. Focus your attention on making something that is engaging that gives clients enough information to be curious but not too much information that keeps them from looking further at your website.

5. Make Sure You are Driving Traffic to Your Site. You might be sharing a lot of interesting pins, but when using Pinterest, you need to make sure that you drive traffic to your site. For example, when you share a product image or an image from your blog, make sure to “Pin It” directly for your website. This will link back to your site visibly on Pinterest and will make it easy for a user to click on the image, taking them to the product or blog you are linking to. The only way to see the amazing traffic that Pinterest provides is to make sure you link back to your site.

6. Add a “Pin it” Button On Your Landing Pages and Blogs. As I mentioned earlier, adding a “Pin It” button to your website is a great way to integrate your account with your site. Make sure that the button is on each of your landing pages and product pages, as well as your blog. This will help make it easier for your clients when they want to share something from your site that they find interesting.

7. Have Proper Pinterest Etiquette. Just as in normal life and on other social media channels, having proper etiquette is great when approaching Pinterest. This can help you be more successful when using the social channel. Some good ideas for etiquette are to be nice, give credit to any sources you use, and don’t be overly self-promotional. You can also comment on your clients’ pins when they pin something from your website, and just maintain a fun, great client-business relationship.

8. Add Your Keywords and Use Hashtags. When you go to create your awesome captions, make sure that you include your keywords in the description. This will help someone locate your pins when they are searching through Pinterest for those keywords, just like when they are searching Google.

You can also include hashtags in your Pinterest post. This will help categorize your pin with a specific hashtag such as #weightloss or #shorthair. In addition, Anna Bennett from Business 2 Community says that it will help if you have your Twitter and Pinterest linked up. This means that once you make a pin and it gets sent out over Twitter, you already have the hashtags in place.

9. Use Secret Pinterest Boards to Curate Content. You don’t want to overwhelm your Pinterest followers with several pins all at once, but you also don’t want to lose the great content you’ve found. A great idea from Cynthia Sanchez at Social Media Examiner is to create secret boards that only you can see and curate excellent content.

This can help you with your whole social media strategy, as well as a blogging strategy. But it can also help you keep all of the excellent content you find in an easy-to-access location. Once you set up these boards, you can always go through the pins and begin pinning them throughout the week.

Pin Away, My Fine Friends!

As you can see, Pinterest for your business really can happen. It is a great social media resource and there are many ways you can use it for the betterment of your business. If you don’t have a Pinterest account, go ahead and set one up and start pinning. If you are looking for help with your social media strategy, look no further than Express Writers. Our social media services can help your business have a brilliant, shiny social media presence that you are sure to enjoy.