Monthly Must-Do Checklist to Keep Your Social Media Profiles Fresh!

In order to keep your social media platforms fresh, relevant and effective there are several monthly maintenance jobs you need to complete. By regularly monitoring your pages and making it a habit to assess your settings, competitors and other important aspects, you ensure that your social media marketing is highly effective helping you to maximise your ROI.

 

  • Update Your Bios and Descriptions: Are your descriptions on your platforms relevant and up to date? Ensure you regularly update your bios with and new key information, links, messages or any other important information such as a new email address or website link.

 

  • Update Your Logos, Cover Images, Banners and Backgrounds: Are you logos and other visual identity covers up to date and relevant? By updating your social media logo and cover images to represent the current trends, seasons and any other important info like offers, sales and promotions, you keep your pages feeling fresh for your fans and followers.

 

  • Organise your Followings: If you follow a lot of blogs or have a large Twitter following it is worthwhile getting organised with up to date lists that contain the content and people you want to be able to find easily. On Twitter itself you can create lists based on interests or organise the updates from important users and influencers, if you already utilise this feature then ensure it is kept up to date and organised. If you don’t use Twitter lists then it’s worthwhile that you start.

 

  • Assess your Competitors Pages: Regularly examining what your competitors are doing on their social media platforms can reveal a lot of useful information to help you inform your own strategy. Explore keys are such as which social media platforms they are using, How engaged their fans are, what types of content they share , which types of content draw the most engagement, are they doing anything new? And are they using any social media platforms that you aren’t?

 

  • Review Page Permissions and Privacy Settings: It is important for security purposes that you review who has access to your social media pages, both people and third party applications and update these permissions accordingly. Ideally if a person who knows your passwords has since left your business you should change all of your passwords immediately. As a general rule of thumb however you should look to update your passwords on a quarterly or every few months basis.

 

  • Explore New Options and Keep up With Trends and Developments: Every month you should look at any emerging trends and developments in your industry and social media platforms that you need to be aware of and that you can utilise. Regularly check to see if you’re missing out on any new network features that could benefit you by checking the official websites and blogs of your social media platforms. You should also be up to date on industry trends, developments and any new emerging social media platforms by regularly reading articles and following industry influencers.

 

  • Revisit and Assess Goals: Key to your success is meeting your social media goals and objectives so ensure you regularly take a look at your analytics across your social media platforms to ensure you are meeting all aspects of them. As time progresses you may find your strategy and goals need to change or adapt therefore it is important to regularly assess your goals and ensure they are still the ones you want to aim for.

 


This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! Head over there now for more of a Free preview! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD


 

Instagram: Why Your Business Needs it and Top Tips for Success!

At its most basic, Instagram is a social networking app made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone. From a marketing perspective, Instagram makes a strong business case with 800 million monthly active users. When compared among the major social networks, only Facebook and YouTube have more people logging in each month. Instagram provides a huge asset for visual content, which we all know is driving social like none other and has developed itself into a fully-fledged, global platform that allows brands to humanize their content, showcase their products, inspire their audience and promote their brand all in a friendly, authentic way without directly selling to your customers.

 

What’s good about Instagram?

  • One of the best attributes about Instagram is that it greatly accomplishes its original goal: fast, easy, and efficient photo-sharing. Not only this but photos shared via Instagram are reaching a huge audience, thanks to steady user adoption. People engage better with visuals rather than words. It’s widely known that photos rule when it comes to marketing as photos make an emotional connection in a way that text cannot. They make your company and brand more relatable and of course, are fun and engaging.
  • No Character And Caption Limit. While there are some limits when it comes to the bio and username, unlike some social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram does not have a character limit when it comes to the image caption. The description of every post can be as long as you want it to be.
  • Despite being one of the most popular and highly used social media platform after Facebook, the number of local businesses making use of Instagram is still very limited – which is great as it means competition is still considerably low, unlike in the case of other social platforms like Facebook.

 

What’s not so good about Instagram?           

  • Since Instagram is a visual tool, you need to have appealing content to share to stand any chance of success on this platform.
  • Instagram is a service that is designed to be used with mobile devices, such as tablet computers or smart phones. It has very limited functionality on desktop computers.
  • Instagram is only an iPhone and Android app. If you have a Blackberry or Linux it won’t work. That means you won’t be reaching all your target audience.

 

Need to Know Facts, Stats and Tips about Instagram

  • More than 800 million active monthly users
  • More than half (51%) of the platform’s active users visit the site daily
  • 35% say they check it multiple times a day.
  • 60% of Instagram users say that they have heard first about a product or a service from this social media platform.
  • 70% of Instagram users have spent time looking up a brand on the platform.
  • Instagram, brands enjoy regular engagement with 4 percent of their total followers. On networks like Facebook and Twitter, engagement is less than 0.1 percent. (source: Forrester)
  • 70% of Instagram users report having looked up a brand on the platform (source: Iconosquare)
  • 62% of users follow a brand on Instagram (source: Iconosquare)
  • Your audience engagement rate could be 15 times more on Instagram than on Facebook and 20 times more on Instagram than on Twitter.
  • Brands on Instagram with a following of greater than 100K can grow by over 100% biannually.
  • 75% of Instagram users who view brand posts act on the information in them.

 

 

Why You Need Instagram For Your Business

From the boom in popularity of Instagram Stories, to the very impressive stats of user adoption engagement and the recent expansion of advertising opportunities—it’s a good time to be using Instagram for business. Only if your business can thrive in this creative and inherently visual platform though.

 

Tips For Success

  • Find an Interesting Angle: Find a creative angle for a photo to showcase your product in an interesting way. Think about whether you should show the entire product, frame the shot a certain way or include another item to accompany the product. Whilst you should experiment with different content, once you find the most effective angle for your products, make sure you prioritize that approach in your content calendar to maximize engagement opportunities.

 

  • Focus on Lighting: The lighting in a photo can tell a story about your brand so whether photos are taken indoors or outdoors, good lighting is crucial. Even with careful tweaking, Instagram’s editing tools often can’t fix a photo taken with poor lighting. Therefore it’s vital to get this basic photography skill nailed down in every photo before you even think about using the advanced filters.

 

  • Use a Filter: Each filter has a unique story and feel that it communicates. There is an array of filters at your disposal to communicate a particular mood for your brand and products. Whilst a ‘normal’ photo is the most popular choice people use and indeed there is an immensely popular #nofilter hashtag dedicated for that purpose, using artistically edited photos can add a lot to your photo.  To use a filter, once you’ve taken or uploaded a photo or video Tap Next, then tap the filter you’d like to apply. Tap the filter again if you want to adjust filter strength up or down using the slider. The simply tap Done to save your change. The most popular way to upload an image or video is without any filter at all. But for those who do like to use them, Clarendon is the most popular option followed by Gingham, Juno and Lark. The Most-used Instagram Stories Face Filters are Puppy, Bunny, Koala, Genius and Love.

 

  • Tell a Story With the Caption: You can give life to a photo with the caption and it’s important to learn what type of description resonates best with your audience.

 

  • Create a Hashtag Campaign: User-generated content is one of the best ways to promote your community and products. Create a brand-centric hashtag campaign for your followers to use in their posts. Remember that engagement is a two-way street so follow and interact with your followers that are using it and like the posts that are positive and aesthetically aligned with your brand.

 

  • Use a Call to Action: Ensure every piece of content has a purpose by adding a call to action to it which prompts customers to do something. It could be as simple as “Shop Now!” or “Download our app.” Whatever you choose, make sure the action is relevant to your post as this is a great way to gain new followers.

 

  • Partner With Influencers: Consider partnering with influencers to create compelling content to promote your products and increase your reach. Influencers already have built-in distribution lists with large groups of followers and are trusted for their opinions on what products to purchase. By working with influencers, you harness their popularity and tap into their vast and relevant audience which will expand your own follower count and boost sales.

 

  • Best Times to Post: Instagram is a mobile app so users are on the platform at all times of the day. However, there are a few studies out there that have found the optimal times to post on Instagram for peak engagement to be Mondays and Thursdays at any time except between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m and overall, users tend to engage with more content during off-work hours on weekdays. Simply think in the mind frame of your audience and work out when they are most likely to be looking on their phone. For example, if your target audience is a Teacher for example, they are most likely to be active during the evening when they are back home as opposed to during the day when they will be busy teaching.

 

  • Link Instagram to Your Facebook Page: One of Instagram’s unique features is that it allows you to share your content seamlessly across other social networking sites. Linking your Instagram to your other social accounts like Facebook will increase the number of eyes on your posts and allows you to benefit from targeting both audiences.Be careful however as its not recommended to automatically link you Instagram to evry one of your other social platforms as what works on Instagram probably won’t yield the same results on other channels and it’s important to tailor your content to each platform. Note: Your Facebook Page will already be linked to your Instagram if you set up an Instagram business profile. To link your Facebook page to your Instagram account, start in your Instagram profile by going to the gear in the upper right corner. In the “Options” menu, scroll down to “Settings” and look for “Linked Accounts.” If you’re not already logged into Facebook on your phone, you’ll be prompted to do so, and then you’ll need to pick the Facebook Business Page you’d like to link. Next, you’ll be directed to the “Share Settings” menu. The Facebook logo should be blue to indicate that sharing is on.

 

  • How to See Posts You’ve Liked: This is more of general useful little tip, but handy nonetheless! You can easily check out all the posts you’ve Liked in the “Options” menu of your profile. Press the gear icon and select “Posts You’ve Liked.” Then scroll down until you find the photo or video you’re looking for.

 

  • How to Reorder Instagram Filters: To save precious time when uploading photos, Instagram lets you reorder filters so you can position the ones you use most often at the beginning of your options. To reorder or hide filters, begin editing a post like you normally would. Scroll to the far right in the filter options and click the “Manage” gear icon. Hold your finger down on the three grey lines and drag the filter up or down. To hide a filter, uncheck it on the right side of your screen.

 

  • Hide Posts You’ve Been Tagged In: If someone tags your brand in a post, it will show up when you click the person avatar in right icon on your profile. To remove a tagged post, click the three dots in the top right corner and choose “Hide Photos.” Select the posts you want to remove and click “Hide Photos” again. This won’t remove the posts from Instagram, but it will remove them from your profile. If you don’t want to have to remove tagged posts, you can manually choose just to include the ones you do like. Click the three dots again and press “Tagging Options.” You can then choose to “Add Manually.” From here on out, you’ll be notified when someone tags you in a photo. When that happens, tap on the photo you were tagged in and choose “Show on Profile.”

 

  • Utilize Available Tools: There are several useful Instagram marketing tools that will help you get the most out of your marketing campaigns.

 

Ones for Planning, editing, scheduling

Sprout Social: A complete social media management tool that offers access to a range of very useful areas from managing multiple Instagram accounts, to robust analytics and planning and scheduling capabilities. You can also communicate easier with your customers, monitor hashtags and track posts from Instagram locations.

Hootsuite: One of the most popular platforms for social media management. You can plan campaigns, schedule posts and analyze results of marketing campaigns for multiple social media platforms all in one handy place.

 

Ones for measuring performance and selling products

Crowdfire: This tool help monitor your account, providing useful insights such as those of your new followers or recent unfollows, it will also find the best moments of the day to post and the best and most suitable hashtags for your campaign.

INK361: This tool gives you a complete package that allows you to manage and analyse your account, as well as delivering useful statistics based on timing, hashtags, location, number of likes and comments.

Websta is a free analytics tool for Instagram that will help you grow your account, understand your audience, customize your Instagram feed, follow posts chronologically, explore hot brands, users and hashtags and engage with your followers.

 


This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! Head over there now for more of a Free preview! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD


 

How to Create a Branded YouTube Channel that Gets you Noticed

YouTube is the most popular video hosting and sharing platform with over one and a half billion active users. Businesses have utilised the benefits of YouTube, recognising that with the power of video, YouTube’s massive audience, and AdWords’ targeting tools, you have the ability to reach and impact potential customers all around the world. Having the ability to embed a YouTube video player on your website or blog also means you can easily share your video on Facebook, Twitter and other social media network making it easy to efficiently share your story and build your business online.

What’s Good About YouTube?

  • A great tool for improving search engine rankings
  • It is a free platform for advertisements

 

What’s Not so Good About YouTube?

  • Not useful for businesses where videos are not relevant or useful to them
  • A successful YouTube channel needs a consistent uploading schedule so is not suitable for companies without the time or resources to keep producing quality videos

 

Should your Business Have a YouTube Channel?

If your target audience and customers are watching videos on YouTube related to your industry, then you need have a YouTube channel to attract that audience. YouTube is great for businesses that are innately visual and regularly produce videos that are product informative, demonstrations of products or services and generally informative and entertaining content that will be valued by a certain group. The sheer audience size of YouTube attracts many businesses to YouTube but with a lot of competition to face businesses should only use YouTube if they can regularly and consistently produce good quality, varied, fresh and entertaining videos.

 

Follow these top tips to create a successful YouTube Channel;

 

Always Create Great Content

The key to building an audience and maintaining a successful presence is to always provide content that is valuable, relevant and entertaining to the viewer. YouTube provides you with a great platform to showcase your visual creativity and show that you understand and care about your audience enough to consistency produce a variety of videos that address consumer needs and genuinely interest and provide value to them.

 

Make Your Videos Easy to Find

YouTube is very heavily saturated with videos making it harder than ever to get your videos noticed. Simply uploading your video and waiting for people to come across it will not suffice. Rather, you need to make it easy for the right audience to discover your videos by applying several key factors in your videos;

  • Use relevant keywords and search categories to attract your target audience
  • Embed your YouTube videos onto your website
  • Share your videos across social networks
  • Include your website URL in the video description
  • Ensure your video is categorised and tagged correctly and relevantly
  • Consider advertising to give your videos a boost

 

Appeal to your Target Audience

With so much choice for the consumer, getting your video noticed can be a difficult task.  The key to ensuring you stand a better chance of getting noticed is to do your research and find out exactly what your audience is watching and searching for on YouTube and then apply this knowledge to your own efforts. You will better reach your audience if you know what type of content resonates best with them and directly provide solutions for them or answer their questions and queries with your videos.

 

Thoroughly Brand your YouTube Channel

Your YouTube channel needs to act as a hub of your brand making it clear to the viewer who you are when they arrive on your page. Ensure you fully utilise the customisable features of your channel from the background to the video cover image to ensure that you create a branded environment for your audience where they trust that it is your brand page and where they are welcomed and encouraged to interact. There are several key areas to utilise to ensure you don’t miss any branding opportunities on your page;

  • Include links to your website
  • Effectively and clearly communicate your brand and purpose in the description
  • Ensure all creative aspects (colours, graphics, typography etc.) reflect your brand.

 

Know Your Limits

Maintaining a successful YouTube presence takes a lot of consistent and continual effort. From uploading content to creating titles, responding to comments, tracking analytics and general promotion, maintaining your account can easily become a very time consuming role. From this, ensure the person who maintains it has the time, talent and expertise to run it effectively as you are publicly representing your brand to a vast audience online so you do not want to give them a negative impression by ineffectively using YouTube. If you find yourself or the person running your account is struggling then strongly consider outsourcing to a specialist who has the adequate skill set to represent your brand well. Your business can only benefit from you knowing your limits and realising when the time is right to get a professional on board.

 

Listen to and act on What Your Analytics Tell You

Track your videos performance through your analytics will help you to understand your audience, how they interact with your videos and what content resonates best with them. Armed with this information, you gain a very advantageous position where you can use this information to help you optimise your future videos to ensure you are directly addressing your target audience needs, making them more likely to keep coming back to your channel and share your content with others.

 

Be Sociable and Engage Your Audience

To fully utilise the benefits of YouTube for your business you need to embrace the social aspect of the social network and continually interact and engage with your audience and other users. You need to be actively dedicated to your page looking for opportunities to interact with others and respond to comments and feedback on your videos. YouTube has very much developed into an active online community which you need to be a part of and participate in. There is much to gain in engaging with users and audiences from potential business opportunities, partnerships with other users and by listening to your audience you can get to know them better helping to create better content that is going to attract them in the future.

 

Keep Your Channel Updated and Fresh

Once you have set up your channel, developed a solid posting strategy and perfected your channel design you are well on your way to a strong YouTube presence but your work is by no means finished. In order to keep the attention of your audience and attract new ones you need to actively keep your channel updated with fresh content and continually analyse your analytics to gauge your audience response to your videos to ensure you are consistently targeting their needs with your videos.  Continually look to see how you can better enhance your audience’s experience with your videos and act on what your analytics tell you, positive and negative about your efforts and respond accordingly.

 

Be Aware of YouTube’s Future Trends & Updates

As new technology emerges and YouTube grows and develops it is likely to make changes that can affect your business marketing. Ensure you stay aware of changing trends and utilise any new developments within YouTube and a broader technical sense to help better your videos and audience video experience.

 


This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! Head over there now for more of a Free preview! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD


 

Questions to Ask Before You Get Started Using LinkedIn for Business

Who is Going to Set up and Maintain my Business Page?

Before you begin, you need to have a clear idea of who is going to be creating and maintaining your LinkedIn business page. Whether you assign the role to an existing member of staff or hire an external social media manager you need to ensure that the person that will be in charge of representing your business on LinkedIn is capable, with the knowledge and experience of how to successfully utilise LinkedIn and ultimately make it a successful addition to your marketing strategy.

 

How Should I Portray my Business?

Like with any other public platform you need to consider how you are going to portray your business to others and how you are going to link it with your other marketing efforts. As part of this consideration you will need to address areas such as how you are going to tie your branding to the overall typography and visual aspects of the page to what type of voice you want to portray within your status updates and of course what your overall objectives are for the page. Making sure your business is presented in a representative and appealing way is crucial so you need to ensure you have a clear understanding of how you want your business to appear to your audience and how and what you can utilise to help you achieve it.

 

What Images and Resources can I Utilise?

LinkedIn allows you opportunities to utilise the visual on your page. From the large cover image to allowing a variety of content types to be shared within updates, it is vital that you pull your resources and utilise these areas to help make your business inform, engage and stand out from the crowd. So look to see what visual aspects of LinkedIn you can use to your advantage, remembering to choose attention-grabbing images that reflect your brand and draws people in to learn more about your business. You also could and should explore the use of different types of content within your updates, from podcasts to eBooks and using brand videos. Mixing up the types of content you share grabs attention and keeps people engaged so pull the resources you have at your disposal, from customer testimonials, product demonstrations videos, to webinar footage and behind-the-scenes pictures and share them with your audience.

 

Have I Got a Clear Content Strategy in Place?

Posting status updates lets you reach out to and share news with LinkedIn members who have chosen to follow your business page. From this you need to utilise this connection and form a content strategy that provides value to and resonates with your target audience. You will come to learn what content formats they prefer, what content they interact with most, at what times and how many updates you need to post daily or weekly to maximise effectiveness. Just remember to always share content that is going to entertain, inform and be relevant to your audience and you are likely to be rewarded with engagement and  a two-way conversation with your followers that can create business opportunities, help you learn more about your customers’ needs and other beneficial information that can aid your business in the future.

 

How am I Going to Promote my Page?

You need to consider how you are going to let others know about your page which will involve utilising opportunities both online and offline. Online you can use a variety of methods from using your other social media platforms to encourage others to visit your page, to adding a LinkedIn “follow” button to your business website and putting your company page’s URL email signature and your e-newsletters. You can also encourage your employees to create their own LinkedIn profiles and ask them to interact with your business page by sharing statuses and directing connections to the page. Offline you can verbally tell others of your page in any conferences, meetings in addition to putting the URL on your business card, packing and anywhere else your customers/ prospects will see it.

How am I Going to Measure the Success of my Page?

How you define the success of you page will depend on what your overall objectives are for your page. LinkedIn provides a range of analytics that show everything from who’s visiting your page to what types of content they click on, like and share and at what rates so remember to continually analyse these analytics to see whether you are meeting your objectives for you page and what if any areas are in need of improvement and revaluation.

 


This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! Head over there now for more of a Free preview! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD


 

Why You Need Facebook for Your Business

Facebook has an extensive global reach, making it an invaluable platform for businesses to grow brand awareness. Almost two thirds of Facebook users decide to follow a brand page after making a purchase, making Facebook a great tool in your marketing arsenal as it encourages users to recommend and invite their own friends to ‘like’ business pages that they themselves have had rewarding experiences with. Opening your business up to a potential audience of active users that has now surpassed 1 billion.

Connect With Customers and Strengthen Relationships

You will be able to connect with your customers because it is likely that they themselves are using Facebook. When a user likes your page or comments on a post they are showing that they want a relationship with your business. This gives you an invaluable opportunity to listen to and find out about your customers, demonstrate your customer service skills, share your valuable and informative news and information, offer incentives and exclusive rewards for loyal Facebook customers. You can also use it as a channel for gaining feedback from your customers on how you can improve your product, services and your customer service, all of which can greatly help your business in the future.

 

Raise Awareness Through “Likes”

The Facebook ‘Like’ button can be seen everywhere from packaging to TV advertisements and has become a fundamental tool in the marketing efforts of businesses. Whenever a user interacts with your page by liking or sharing your content this action could get published to their friends and so forth resulting in excellent exposure for your brand and goes a long way in increasing your brand awareness. Through sharing and promoting great and valuable content that encourages interaction, you are deepening existing customer relationships at the same time as potential creating and attracting new ones, therefore making every post an invaluable opportunity to generate awareness and attention for your business.

 

It Shows Your Personality

The internet can often be an impersonal place; however having a business Facebook page offers an informal and chatty platform for your opinions, stories, humour and advice that gives you an opportunity to attach a face, name and personality to your brand. Having a Facebook page allows you to foster genuine social connections with your audience and as you share your brand story with others and enjoy interaction and conversation it allows others to see the human side of your business helping you create richer, more human relationships.

You Can Build a Community on Your Page

Facebook pages can work as excellent hubs for creating a community of customers, prospects and other businesses. As you continually post consistent, valuable and informative content you will be rewarded with a rich and very beneficial experience with your community in that they will share reviews, opinions, raise queries and offer feedback all of which can greatly help your business in the future. By encouraging engagement in this way you help your business build a reputation based on loyal followers making your page and brand more attractive to others who will be likely drawn to your page.

Still not convinced? Here’s 8 more reasons why you need a Facebook Page

  • Provides increased exposure for both your website and your brand.
  • Provides website traffic by way of content sharing.
  • Facilitates lead generation.
  • Improves your search engine rankings.
  • Free to use, though paid advertising opportunities are also available.
  • Offers valuable insights into your marketplace and your competitors.
  • Allows you to communicate directly with your audience.
  • Allows you to create and promote company events.

 

Blogging: How to Build a Following and Amplify Your Impact

Writing your blog post is only the beginning. The next challenge is to promote your blog in order to get maximum exposure and attract attention. Having a loyal band of readers who regularly engage with your blog and come back for more is fundamental to achieving success as a blogger. You may have the best blog in your niche filled with valuable and informative content, but what good is that if you don’t have a regular stream of readers to appreciate and act on your work? Not matter what else, you need faithful readers who keep coming back for more.

Relying solely on search engines mixed with a bit of promotion might get you a few eyeballs, but fundamental to your success is recognising that building a loyal readership isn’t something that happens overnight. Rather, it is an ongoing conscious effort to create, maintain and learn what works best for you, through the use of employing smart marketing techniques and tactics.

 

Syndication

One of the most powerful mechanisms of a Blog is its RSS feed that allows you to automatically feed your Blog’s content to many different places, including many social networking sites. This can significantly expand your reach and saves you hours of time where you would otherwise have to post your content manually. There are also many other social sites that allow you to plug in your blog’s RSS feed, make sure to link it to all of your available platforms and the potential reach of your blog becomes significantly increased.

 

Seek Out and Comment on Other Blogs with Similar Topics

Providing helpful, valuable comments on other blogs can be a great way to generate traffic, develop relationships and build a following. Once you have finished a blog post on a topic it is worthwhile to do a quick search to find other blogs covering the same topic, you can then add your viewpoint in a genuine, non-self-promotional way. Showing yourself to be insightful and willing to provide advice is always welcomed and appreciated and is often rewarded in the form of new relationships with other bloggers who are more likely to mention and promote your blog.

 

Promote your Blog

Anywhere your customers interact with your brand is an opportunity to encourage them to look at and interact with your blog. There are several key areas in which you can promote your blog,  from mentioning it on your e-newsletter, your email signature, to your business card and product packaging, promoting it across all your other social media platforms and reaching out to influencers in your niche when you publish great content.

  • Email Marketing – highlight your blog post by including a clear link to and/or a section of your blog post to help drive traffic to your blog and your website.
  • Twitter– Tweet a summary of your post, a quote pulled from the post, or share a link to and encourage others to comment on the post itself. You can also include your blog’s URL within your Twitter bio to help drive traffic.
  • LinkedIn – Share your post with your groups and others that you know may be interested in it, this can start discussions, encourage engagement and debate that can fuel new content for future blog posts.
  • Pinterest Create a board that is purely for your blog posts remembering to use an interesting and relevant image to be pinned along with it and keep the boards location high so it is clear and one of the first boards that is seen when on your profile.
  • Guest Post Opportunities – Be proactive in looking for other bigger websites and blogs that have opportunities for guest posters. This is a great opportunity for more attention from a potentially new audience and linking back to your own blog can help with traffic. Similarly you yourself can encourage others to guest post that can bring with it a new audience and following.
  • Meetings, Events and Giving Presentations– Remember that whenever and wherever you meet people this presents an opportunity for you to promote and refer the audience to your blog. Similarly for the very savvy marketer, you can also utilise digital technologies such as QR codes on your packaging that can allow people to quickly and easily subscribe to your blog.
  • Social Media Advertising – For particularly important and popular posts, consider using social media advertising to promote shares of your blog posts on Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

Utilise Website Banners

A website banner provides the perfect opportunity and space to create a clear call to action for driving traffic to your blog. Consider placing calls-to-action banners on different pages of your website and use language that encourages people to want to go forward and view your blog. One of the most popular website banner CTA’s for blogs is to emphasise the number of people who are already subscribed to your blog and encourage the person that is reading to join them.

 

Encourage and Ask for Participation

Blogging is a great way to build an engaged community. By writing your posts in a way that fosters interaction and discussions from your readers you benefit from an active and interested community that will respond to what you write. By listening to what your readers have to say you will gather important information about them from their opinions, interests and ideas to suggestions about your business, all of which are greatly beneficial as they will help guide future content creation and inform business decisions.

 

Host a Contest

Hosting contests are a popular and successful way of attracting attention from an audience. From asking people to pick their favourite blog posts of yours and why to having other bloggers publish a post on their blog about you, any relevant and engaging contest will help to expand your blog’s reach and attract new visitors.

 

Publish on a Consistent Schedule

You need to publish quality content on your blog, but it’s also important to publish quality content on a consistent schedule. Aim to publish a new blog post at least once a week as readers will come to expect a new blog post at a certain time and that will keep them on the lookout for it. They’ll know that if they go to your blog once a week, they’ll be greeted with new content. Similarly, if they go back to your blog and never see new content, they probably won’t return. Making it vital to create and maintain a consistent posting schedule.

 

Offer Multiple Ways to Subscribe

Whilst growing your email list is one of the most important things you can do for your business, email shouldn’t be the only subscription option that you offer. Not everyone wants to receive more email in their inbox, and if visitors can only subscribe via email, they likely won’t. Everyone should be able to find at least one option (email, RSS, Facebook, and Twitter for example) that suits their preferences.

 

Show Off More of Your Content

Visitors who enter your blog through your homepage should see lots of content options, however take the care to not make it overwhelming. Showcasing lots of content means readers will more likely find something of interest and stay on your blog for longer. However if you prefer to maintain a minimalist design on your blog page, you can showcase extra content on your individual posts. You can do this by ensuring readers get to see related content and are encouraged to read more posts by referring to related blog posts using text links throughout your content. These links should compel visitors to click through to more of your content since it relates to the current blog post.

 

Get Content Ideas From Visitors

One of the best ways to get visitors to keep coming back to your blog is by letting them know that you want to create content just for them. You can do this by adding a quick and simple survey feature to your blog that asks visitors what they want to read about next. A survey not only helps you learn more about what content your visitors want, but also ensures that you won’t run out of relevant topic ideas. An added benefit is that once visitors submit a topic idea, they might subscribe to your blog so they can see if you use their suggestion for new content.

 

Allow Comments

There is a recent trend to turn off comments on blogs in favour of social media engagement or, in some cases, to reduce the amount of moderation required because of spam. By allowing visitors to leave comments on your blog you turn a site with informational articles into a community. Visitors just want their voice to be heard and if they know they can ask the author questions and interact with other readers, it makes them more likely to return. To encourage visitors to become loyal readers and members of your community, be sure to actively reply to comments on your blog after a post has been published.

 


This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! Head over there now for more of a Free preview! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD


 

8 Point Checklist Before You Publish Your Next Blog Post

Have I Met my Goal for This Blog Post?

Whatever you set out to achieve with your blog post, whether it’s getting people to take part in research, purchase a product or sign up to your newsletter make sure that the material and links fully support your aim and you have clear and relevant call to actions. Having clear goals also makes it easier to measure your success later down the line and assess whether the blog post achieved what it set out to do.

 

Is my Post Easy to Read, Well- Developed and Presented?

Having a well- formatted blog post is crucial for both ease of read and keeping the attention of readers. Blog posts even when the tone is causal are ultimately still professional papers and when writing them you are representing your business as much as you do when at meetings and in general. From this, it is vital that you generate a structured blog template and form a routine before you publish around proofreading your post paying particular attention to several key areas;

  • Is your information bulleted and has numbered lists for easy consumption?
  • Are the links you use relevant and pointed to the correct webpage?
  • Have you used short and succinct sentences to get your point across successfully?
  • Are your section headings clear and specific to their individual points?
  • Is your post well concluded with good evidence?
  • Does the tone of voice/language fit the overall tone of your blog, and your brand’s editorial guidelines?
  • Did you use custom-made images and screenshots instead of stock photos whenever possible?
  • Have you given proper credit to the images/content you used in your blog post?
  • Have you taken to time to proofread and made sure your format is consistent with spacing between paragraphs as well as font styles and sizes?

 

Have I Directly Targeted my Audience in This Post?

You need to ensure that your blog post has been directly written with your target audience in mind. This involves you knowing and learning aspects about them from what content resonates best with them to what needs, interest, problems and questions they have as customers. So ensure your content contains specialised information that your customers will want to read. In doing so will not only will you be maximising interest and engagement from your readers, you will be proving your expertise in your industry.

 

Does my Post Contain Relevant Keywords?

In order to increase the potential for your blogs reach, every blog post you write should focus on and reiterate certain relevant keywords for your business. Ideally, when you are writing keep in mind 5-10 keywords and weave them into your content from the title through to the main sections of you post, taking care to not over flood your content making it unreadable and incoherent. As you become more comfortable with writing your posts you will soon find that you develop this skill to fully optimise your posts confidently.

 

Does the Title Grab my Attention and Make me Want to Click on it?

The main section of your blog post may be full of brilliant and valuable content, but if you don’t invest the time into creating an optimised your title that makes readers want to click on it, you are making a mistake. When forming a title consider whether you yourself would click on it, is it going to solve a common problem? Improve and aspect of your life or is it exciting exclusive content? Whatever you decide make sure it is compelling enough to click on and is optimised with keywords. You should also pay attention to the length of your title, bearing in mind that the optimal length is between 40 – 69 characters long. A shorter title may not be as descriptive and specific enough to capture attention, and a longer title will be cut off at 69 characters in search results, making your click-through rates likely to decrease.

 

Have I Backed up my Points with Good Evidence?

One of the key ways to become a trusted source of information is to provide content that is reliable and backed up with solid evidence to support what you are claiming. So before you publish your post make sure all the points you make are coherent and evidence is there that supports and justifies what you are claiming. Remember people may be making business decisions based on what you write so you must appear informed and reliable and give them clear reasons why what your saying is true and accurate.

 

Have I Included a Clear CTA?

By ensuring you include a clear call to action in every post you are making sure that each post is purposeful for your business. Whether you direct the reader to an external site or ask them to leave a comment for example you need to consistently encourage the reader to continue the interaction with you.

 

How am I Going to Promote this Post?

To ensure maximum reach and impact you need to consider how you are going to promote your post once it’s published. There are many tips later on in this section, but also consider the means of promotion you personally have at your disposal that can help get your blog post seen more.

 


This is an excerpt from my new book “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses” out now in Paperback on Amazon! Head over there now for more of a Free preview! http://amzn.eu/2uuslrD