Archive | August, 2015

Deleting Pins for SEO- Good or Bad?

31 Aug

There is no point mourning the loss of the old chronological listing of pins on our Pinterest feeds. Those days are gone and we’ll be dealing with algorithm changes from here on out. That said, any time the topic of Pinterest SEO (or DEO – Discovery Engine Optimization) pops up, so will the tactics and iffy strategies that miss the larger points of best practice.

Some people advocate deleting pins without a fair number of repins. It is assumed that having a high engagement/virility rate helps your pins rank in Pinterest search. That has been found, at least anecdotally, to be true. So in theory, deleting pins without engagement will help.

There, I said it. It hurt.

However, there are other things you can – and should – be doing that will likely provide better results AND get you on your way to a much better Pinterest presence from here on out. As an added bonus, you won’t need to constantly monitor and delete pins. Just get back to enjoying pinning!

Deleting Underperforming Pins – Good Pinterest SEO Strategy or Waste of Time?

Even if you had a solid strategy when you first started on Pinterest, you might find that after a few years of fun Pinterest rabbit holes, your account has become something of a hodgepodge of disparate topics and abandoned boards.

If you have no clear view of your customers (get a sample buyer persona here which you can edit for your own needs), stop pinning now. Take a few minutes to get this in mind. Write it out on paper and then take another look at your account. Do they match up? Are you the solution to their needs, goals, challenges, and questions? If not, it’s time for a reboot.

If one-third of your boards are for your business and then you have personal boards for recipes, funny memes, clothes, etc., consider creating a personal account. Then you can duplicate those boards on your new account, repin all your board pins to the personal account and delete the misfit boards on your business account. If you would rather not have two accounts, you can create secret boards on your business account and move your non-business-related pins there.

Take a fresh look at your profile description. Are the keywords still relevant? Do the same with all your board descriptions. You might be surprised to find that some of your boards don’t even have a description. Fix that now! Are your board titles clear and keyword optimized? This is not the place for cute and clever. Be sure each board assigned the most applicable category. Never opt for “other” if you can help it!

Could you make some of your boards more specific? For instance, if you started with a board for social media, but now you have 500 pins about many social networks, could you split them up by network? It’s so easy to move pins in bulk right from Pinterest now, there’s really no reason not to!

Now you have a much more focused account, which is going to make for happier followers and some added Pinterest SEO love.

Get Rich Pins

If you don’t have them already, enable rich pins on your site. Rich pins display extra information on your site that you can’t get from a description alone – and they can’t be changed by anyone repinning or pinning from your site. They also stand out in the feed, increasing the chance that someone will click, like, or repin.

Pin Better Pins

From here on out, resolve to do a better job with pinning. For your own content, make sure your images have keyword-rich image names and a good description built into the alternative (alt) text. With anything you pin from your site, write a thoughtful description which should include a personal thought, “I can’t wait to make this for my kids! 3 recipes for a healthy school lunch.” as well as a subtle call to action, such as the URL to the article.

Be more particular about the images you pin. Are they attractive? Are they vertical? If you love it but it’s not ideal, you can make your own with Canva or your favorite image editor. When pinning from websites or repinning, you don’t have to settle for the description that pops up. Make it better!

Oh, and always, always check before you repin – make sure the pin does not lead to a spammy site. There’s no quicker way to lose your fellow pinners’ trust. On the other hand, if you consistently pin well, you might find other pinners trust you and will repin your pins more often. I have a few pinners who I completely trust – I know I never have to check their sources. It saves me time and increases their exposure.

Delete Underperforming Boards You Don’t Use

Did pinning about MySpace seem like a good idea at one time? If you’ve lost interest and so has everyone else, you might as well delete it.

The same thing goes for group or collaborative boards. If you accepted too many invitations and now you just can’t keep up, leave the ones that aren’t paying off.

Now you can concentrate on your remaining high-quality boards. Pin the best pins possible and you’ll never need to consider spending your time on tactics like deleting pins.

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Automating your SMM for Ease!

24 Aug

What do social media marketing, professional wrestling, and magic all have in common?

Trompe-l’œil, to borrow from the French.

It’s all a “trick of the eye” – a play on perspective. We are led to believe we see something one way, when what’s going on beneath can be rather different.

When we see a magic trick, we know that there’s a rational explanation behind the trick. But the trick is so good that we can’t even begin to guess how the magician pulls it off.

When we watch professional wrestling, we know it’s “fake,” but at the same time, a good storyline and well-executed moves make us think, if even for just a second, “Wait! Is this part real?”

Truly excellent social media marketers have to be able to pull off their own trompe-l’œil. We must appear to be always-on and 100% THE BRAND we represent. But, in reality, we have multiple accounts, other professional responsibilities, and personal lives that don’t include managing a Facebook page at four o’clock in the morning.

So, are all social media managers fakes? Cynics?

Maybe the mediocre ones are. But the true social media marketing experts have mastered a balance that isn’t just recommended for success… it’s necessary for success. Great social media experts know how to automate.

Automation is what allows your brand to be effective, relevant, and responsive.

At the same time, when automation is your priority, the humanity of your brand gets lost.

The art is in the balance. The real social experts balance automation with authenticity to produce a social persona that is truthful and valuable.

Social Media Automation Tips

  • Create your content calendar in advance. Develop your assets for at least one week at a time. This will save stress and pressure, freeing you up to improvise.
  • Don’t feel obligated to respond immediately. Yes, social media responsiveness is a hugely important metric. However, it’s also a productivity-killer. Set up reminders to check in two or three times a day (depending on your account traffic) to respond to interactions.
  • Constantly fine-tune your messaging. One of the biggest pitfalls of social media automation is falling into routine. Habit can save you time, but it can also stick you in a rut. Constantly evaluate what’s working and what’s not to improve your messaging and post timing.

Do you automate your social content?

Why or why not? To what degree do you think automation is helpful?

4 Ways Social Media Can Get Out of the Silo and Truly Evolve Your Marketing

17 Aug

Long gone are the early days when social media was the job of an intern or the responsibility of one person in an organization with few resources to support it. Today, “social” has matured into an integral part of a brand’s marketing mix.

But as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility.

Activations that are social by design actually go well beyond the responsibilities of an organization’s social team and/or agency partner.

Social posts are a good indicator of this evolution—while the posts themselves may reside on a brand’s social channels, it is no longer good enough to draft a tweet and push a button to publish it.

Content has matured and is now often the product of creative and editorial teams who may or may not be considered part of the social (or even digital) team within an organization. These newly welcomed players are instrumental in the creation of compelling content, which is often the currency that gets shared across social media.

From managing partnerships to creating, directing and producing several video interviews, to integrating paid amplification and coordinating with earned media outreach and even managing internal communications—multiple teams across multiple organizations and partners needed to be in lock step.

The above scenario represents an increasing reality for organizations and brands. While departments and heads of social, creative, content, media, analytics etc. are needed to do things at scale, it is at the activation level we realize how important it is for these teams to collaborate seamlessly. And when they can’t or don’t, you can literally see the seams and handoffs.

I often say that the new ideal is less like an assembly line than a mosh pit, whose dynamics are in constant sync with the beat and rhythm with which it co-exists. And if you’ve ever been in a mosh pit, you know it’s not for those averse to occasional bruising.

If you’re trying to evolve your social practice from silo to sync, here are a few tips we’ve learned based on what we’ve seen work for organizations of all sizes:

1. Leverage data and insights to earn a seat at the table: Social channels can possess vast amounts of data and potentially insights. Use these to add another dimension to traditional data sources.

2. Evolve toward becoming a publishing platform: The early days of social media were about establishing, owning, operating and globalizing channels. Now it’s about coordinating these channels with third parties and campaigns with a focus on quality over quantity.

3. Act as a bridge between creative and editorial: As social media expands into content marketing, it requires the ingenuity of creative mashed up with the media savvy of editorial. Whether in partnership with agencies or other entities, find this sweet spot and focus on scaling it in partnership with other marketing functions.

4. Don’t settle for seams: Push your social teams to be included in the upfront and planning of an initiative, and likewise push other teams (creative, communications, marketing, etc.) to be engaged on the activation front where the social teams are often tasked to deliver.

It is only through this mutual accountability that miscommunication can be avoided.

We’re rapidly moving toward a future where brands must seamlessly mix the nimble, contact-sport nature of communications with the rigor, accountability and scale of marketing. In that context, social teams will find themselves in a position where success is less about ownership than about consistent, sometimes messy collaboration.

7 Apps to Boost Your Social Media Marketing Productivity

10 Aug

Marketing your business on social is not only an effort that requires time, but mobility as well. Mobile usage in general has risen year after year – heck, at the end of 2014 526 million of the 1.39 billion users of Facebook alone were accessing the social media network solely via a mobile device. In terms of social media, this isn’t entirely surprising considering the nature of content most individuals produce on their personal platforms.

In-the-moment, on-the-go; the power of mobile paired with social networking allows “friends” to travel with users in the comfort of their own pocket. One person’s experience becomes an experience for everyone in their virtual circles. But what does this mean for a social media marketer from a business perspective?

To connect with consumers on social, think like your consumers on social. And did we mention “mobile” yet? YES. Not just for consumption, a number of apps exist to aid in the production and activation of your business’ social strategy when on-the-go. The perfect moment for a brand experience can’t always be crafted, your fans won’t stop talking after the office lights go off for the day – don’t miss a single opportunity. Load your mobile device with these 7 apps and take your brand’s social efforts to the next level.

 

You can post, manage scheduled posts, respond to messages, “Like”, comment, check your insights and everything in between with the tap of a finger.

Hootsuite

Social media never sleeps and with Hootsuite in your back pocket, fans might think your brand never does either. The app gives access to all of your tabs and streams so you can monitor and respond to chatter across multiple platforms seamlessly.

Dropbox/Google Drive

Regardless of what cloud you store those logos, post graphics, etc., rest assured knowing they’re always accessible even when you have to scramble and draft a graphic on the bus at 7:30am.

Repost

Sometimes your fans produce content for you. Show them love on Instagram and easily post an image to your own feed.

Canva

Used regularly here in the SMB office, anyone can be a graphic designer thanks to this handy tool. Brand your images and give those social audiences unique pieces they’ll want to share out over and over again.

Over

Sometimes an image alone can’t convey the whole message. Overlay text in a variety of beautiful fonts onto any visual with this app available on iOS and Android.

Google Analytics

The top dogs need data and you’ve got it. Cool, calm and collected. Traffic stats and campaign reports are viewable from an easy-to-understand dashboard on iOS.

Spice up Social Media with Videos

3 Aug

Have you gotten on the video bandwagon yet? Creating short videos is a great way to promote your business. No matter what you do or sell, or how large or local your business, short video “tidbits” will be well-received by your prospects and existing customers. And you don’t have to be a Hollywood producer or have Coca-Cola’s budget to produce engaging, sharable videos.

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Oh, jeez, that sounds like a lot of work, and what on earth would we even do?” — relax. Read on, to learn 10+ ways you can use short video to snazz up your social media marketing.

What’s the big deal about video?

There are now multiple social media platforms where you can create and post mini-videos, greatly expanding your sharing reach beyond the behemoth YouTube:

  • Vine (6-second videos)
  • Instagram (15-second Instavids)
  • Facebook (videos that can be 2 or 3 minutes long)
  • Google+ news feeds
  • Pinterest pins
  • LinkedIn Professional Portfolio videos

Video can reinforce your authority, humanize your business, build trust and in the process, facilitate engagement and increase conversions. Adding video to your social media marketing mix boosts SEO, too. If your video shows up in search results, you’re sure to attract more attention from searchers.

What about content?

Almost anything makes good subject matter. You can be strictly informative, or be light-hearted and entertaining.

1. Use short video for “show and tell.”

  • Do a voice-over format, where viewers can focus on watching your images – presentation slides, drawings, photos, text or moving video – while listening to an unseen speaker. Or let your images speak for themselves and set your video to music.
  • Do a “talking heads” format – a series of single-subject excerpts from a longer interview with a guest expert (or you – you’re an expert on your business!).
  • Do a how-to demonstration, where the speaker demonstrates and explains step by step how to put together or use your product. Or where you explain how you perform a particular service, whether it’s preparing someone’s taxes or decorating your famous cupcakes.

2. Crowdsource by inviting customers to upload photos or video clips showing themselves using one of your products in unusual ways or locations, then create a montage of real-life testimonials. Embed it on your webpage that describes that product.

3. Real estate agents have been using 360o degree video tours of homes for sale for a long time. Adapt this concept for yourself, with video tours of your hotel rooms, spa, gym – any place prospects want to see in advance. Or tour your production facility and other usually-unseen enclaves within your business.

4. Show off a new product, but remember to talk about the benefits. No product has value unless it can do something for your customer.

5. You can make a video of anything you can photograph. When your staff gets together for their next community volunteer day, don’t just take pictures, shoot short video clips of them on scene, talking about why they volunteer.

6. Do a “live cam” streaming feed of your office cat snoozing in a sunny window . . . wait for it. . . ahhh, big yawn and a flick of the tail.

7. Create a video of your veterinary office staff taking on a goofy new puppy patient.

8. Do brief feature stories about staff members. People prefer to do business with people they know.

9. Teach customers how to select the right product.

10. Video customer testimonials. They don’t even have to talk — if you’re a dentist, do a 10-second video that shows 25 patient smiles. Start with a fun introductory headline – We’re all smiles here at Dr. Dan’s Dental – end with your contact information and a link to your website, add some jazzy bluegrass music under the photos, and you’re ready to share.

Need more ideas?

Thinking up topics is as easy as asking yourself what prospects and customers most want to know about your products or services. Think about how you can deliver each answer as a short video that can be shared via social media to proactively address your prospects’ questions. Create an entire series of “did you know…?” posts or emails.

Go beyond cinéma vérité and add special effects. You’ll find loads of tools online that make editing easier, enable you to add filters or special effects like split screen, animate your visuals, enhance the quality of your video. You can add music under your video or add text over it.

What’s the most important takeaway from all this?

Short. Less time = more sharing.

You see 10-second or even shorter videos on television and your computer screen all the time without realizing it. Ten seconds is plenty of time to make a point, memorably. But, yes, you can make your short video longer than that. Just remember we all have pitifully brief attention spans these days. There’s a threshold where viewers go from interested to “whatever,” and you want to be finished before they’re finished with you. Leave them wanting more.

Better yet, leave them with a link where they can get more. After all, the point here is to market your business, even if the video content isn’t a direct sales pitch. Use short videos to drive traffic to your website, a blog article or e-book that expands on the topic or a tip sheet they can download and print out so they don’t forget the points you just made.

If you need lots of time, hold a webinar. You can make a video of that, too.

Think of these ideas as kick-starters, and give short videos a try. Ask your best customers what they think – it’s a great way to connect with them, and you’ll get useful feedback, especially if you make it fun and designate them your “short video beta testers.”