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Archive for the ‘Week in Social Media’ Category

The Week in Social #174

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

On video and visuals.

While answers vary as to what, exactly, the visual web is, everyone does seem to agree that it’s very important. You can see these responses in eMarketer’s What Is the Visual Web?: Instagram, Pinterest are the social sites most closely associated with the visual web:

visual web

“Asked specifically about social media, respondents said Instagram was the service most closely associated with the visual web. At 92.4% of respondents, Instagram was about 10 percentage points ahead of second-place Pinterest. Facebook, at 58.1%, and Vine, at 56.2%, were far behind, and less than half of respondents (47.6%) named Snapchat.”

Emphasis added.

For those more specifically interested in the state of social video, check out 10 big trends happening in social video by Ben Davis for Econsultancy, and to act on that knowledge, check out 3 Types of Video to Incorporate Into Your Social Media Strategy via Navneet Kaushal for Social Media Today.

If you’re still skeptical about video numbers, you might want to take a look at Seven in 10 US Internet Users Watch OTT Video: The vast majority are regular YouTube viewers also from eMarketer.

OTT video service


The times, they are a changin’.

On Twitter.

You’ve probably heard of Twitter’s launch of Moments this week, but what about Twitter’s “Promoted Moments” & What They Mean for Brands? Aaron Rales sums it up for Ogilvy:

“Instead of slotting promoted tweets within live Moments feeds, Twitter is giving brands their own Moments called Promoted Moments. The Company is calling them ‘dedicated pieces of real estate…where a brand can curate a series of different tweets or Vines to actually tell their story.’ Like a Promoted Trend, Promoted Moments will be considered ‘premium’ purchases and thus given significant visibility on the platform (they’ll appear in every category list of Moments). Pricing has not yet been disclosed and testing will begin in ‘weeks, not months’ according to the company.”

See more brand implications + specifications at the link.

If you think earthquakes have nothing to do with marketing you’re right, except in the case of this particular case study Andrew Hutchinson broke down for Social Media Today: What Marketers Can Learn from How Tweets are Used to Track Earthquakes.

“The USGS case study provides an insightful example of how social data can be used, and the importance of tracking the right information to convert social data into something practical. The first step in the process is ascertaining what it is, exactly, you need to know. In this case, the team have started with mentions of earthquakes then narrowed down the data by cross-matching posts for relevance. For your business, maybe you’re tracking all mentions of your brand name (which you should be), maybe all mentions of your industry, all of your target keywords in some capacity. Track too much and you’ll likely never glean much insight, as you’ll be setting yourself a mammoth task in monitoring all those mentions every day. But through refining, though working out the key messages you need to track that are actually actionable and relevant to your business interests, you can focus your efforts onto the conversations and mentions that matter the most.

Emphasis added. Oh, and we can help with that refined tracking, by the way.

On everything else.

Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jenn Deering Davis tells it like it is in Mastering Engagement in Emerging Social Channels (by Anna Papachristos for 1to1 Media); calling networks like Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest “unconventional” really sells them short. She also takes a look at the 11 most memorable social media marketing successes of 2015 (by James A. Martin for Network World) along with some other marketers, for all your 2016 content planning needs.

And finally, Jay Baer of Convince & Convert tells it like it is: Your Blog Post Is Too Damn Long aka tl;dr.

So thanks if you’ve made it this far.

The Week in Social #173

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

Getting the most from Twitter.

If you’ve struggled with writing effective promoted tweets- or effective tweets at all- definitely make time for Twitter Releases Guidelines on Tweet Copy Best Practices for Promoted Tweets from Andrew Hutchinson for Social Media Today.

And while the focus of their advice is on one specific Twitter ad element – ‘Mobile App Install’ campaigns – the notes outlined really apply to all promotional tweets, even all tweets more generally. If you want to make better use of your tweets and generate better engagement, there’s some solid learnings in here, based upon research gleaned from 3,200 mobile app promotion campaigns from US-based advertisers.” 



If you need help tracking a Twitter campaign to see how all those tweets are performing, we know someone who can help with that.

For those in the PR industry, this piece from Shannon Felder for Lewis PR covers how you can reach your full potential on Twitter in a PR capacity.

Catch the latest on the Twitter buy button from Justin Lafferty for Social Times, and ICYMI, there’s a rumor going around that Twitter isn’t going to limit itself to 140 characters forever, which Chris Thilk covers for Voce.

On social media policy and getting customers to share your content.

Banning employees from social media entirely is a terrible plan (because they will always find ways around it) and brands are much better off crafting a policy to guide and maximize return from employee use of social. If you’re a brand who needs help with that, we offer How to craft an effective social media policy from Jennifer Lonoff Schiff for CIO.

As our fearless Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jenn Deering Davis puts it,

“The best social media policies are direct and specific, and communicate clearly to employees what they should and shouldn’t do. Make sure your guidelines are both easy to understand and to follow.”

If it’s customers sharing your content you’re struggling with, check out 11 ways to encourage your customers to share your content from Scott Gerber for Mashable. They should know.

Finally, what you might not have considered about Periscope.

If you’ve immediately dismissed Periscope from your visual content marketing plan, consider Why Embracing Periscope Opens Up New Avenues for Your BrandShawn M. Smith makes a great case for exposing yourself to a new audience (global and millennial; good to note if those are your target audiences), having a home for supplemental content, and more.

Written by Sarah

October 2nd, 2015 at 9:21 am

The Week in Social #172

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

All about Facebook.

You may have seen a dozen headlines declaring Facebook’s forthcoming “dislike” button, but that’s not actually what Zuckerberg promised. Andrew Hutchinson breaks down What Facebook’s ‘Other Than Like’ Option Will (Probably) Look Like, and What it Means for Marketers in Social Media Today. We also recommend his piece Facebook Looking to Ramp Up Instant Articles and Live Streaming on Platform to get fully acquainted with upcoming Facebook changes.

On UGC and permission.

When it comes to disclosing brand partnerships and sponsorships, we and the FTC say to always err on the side of caution with the mantra “When in doubt; disclose”. Similar to that, always ask for permission from fans and followers before you use their images, even if they tagged your brand’s handle or used a brand-related hashtag that isn’t specifically set up as a contest explicitly stating using said hashtag gives you permission to use their photos. (Even then, asking again wouldn’t hurt.) Below is an example, from the National Park Foundation:

Denali National Park, Alaska, for #TravelTuesday. #travel #Alaska #FindYourPark #travelgram #instapassport #landscape

A photo posted by Sparker (@sparkerpants) on

Need more convincing? Read On Instagram and Other Social Media, Redefining ‘User Engagement’ from Sydney Ember and Rachel Abrams for the NYT.

All about those tweets and other Twitter properties.

80% of Twitter’s 316 million monthly users are mobile. Are you optimized for that? Social Times is here to help with How to Make Your Tweets Mobile-Friendly by Lauren Dugan.

If you’re looking at adding Vine to your video content marketing plan, you might want to read over these Best Practices for Creating Budget-Friendly Branded Vine Videos from Eric Dahan.

And finally. . .shiny things.

Quinn Whissen breaks down The Social Media Shiny Object Syndrome in Marketing Land. 

If you’re worried you may have fallen ill with the Social Media Shiny Object Syndrome (SMSOS), ask yourself these questions:

  • Where does my audience hang out online?
  • Can I consistently engage my audience with unique, relevant content on my chosen platform(s)?
  • Where do I get the best engagement that actually benefits my business?
  • Am I spread too thin to the point where I can’t focus where it matters most?
  • Why am I on this platform in the first place, or why do I want to be on it?

The cure? “Focus where it matters. Spend your time wisely and strategically. Be intentional.”

And if you need help measuring to figure out where your efforts are paying off- and therefore best spent- we can help with that.

Written by Sarah

September 25th, 2015 at 8:57 am

The Week in Social #171

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

On social strategy and content marketing.

Work smarter not harder when it comes to your social strategy, says Matt Walker for Social Media Today in Using Competitors to Guide Your Social Media Strategy.

As for your content marketing you can always find lessons in unexpected places, as Kerry Jones reminds us in 3 Content Marketing Lessons Reddit AMAs Can Teach via Marketing Land. And here are The 3 best brand storytellers on social media, as told by our very own Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Jenn Deering Davis for iMedia Connection.

All about that video and live-streaming.

First, the numbers from Marketing ChartsMarketers Say Video’s Effectiveness Is Increasing. Which Content Types Are Working?



If you’re struggling with video, an effective strategy might be what you’re missing. And what do you need for that?

“One of the chief elements of an effective strategy, of course, is setting appropriate objectives.”

Like brand awareness, online engagement, or customer education. But don’t forget:

“As is sometimes the case in these surveys (and in life?), what’s most effective is also most difficult.”

Tough breaks. But the effort seems to be well worth it, when it comes to video success:

“…just 15% reporting a lack of success achieving their objectives through video marketing.”

Our fearless Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jenn Deering Davis also discusses how The Future of Video is the Stream (But Not Streaming) for SocialTimes. See if you agree:

“This streaming video trend will prove to be just that — a trend. The truth is, most of us just aren’t that interesting. On YouTube and Facebook, we can prepare a script, rehearse and edit to make a high-quality video. On Snapchat and Vine, the videos are short, forcing their own sort of creativity. But most of the time on streaming platforms, there’s just nothing there to watch. Getting more celebrities and brands who have more streamable content (and lives) will help, but the average user just won’t have much of their own to stream. Streaming video isn’t a standalone product; it’s a feature in the rest of the social stream.”

Emphasis added.

If you’re feeling strapped for resources but still want to tackle adding video to your content strategy, you’ll want to check out Why Brands Should Syndicate Videos: Example From Benefit Cosmetics from Homa Zaryouni for L2′s The Daily. And get a great overview of the very latest happening with streaming video apps in Blab and Periscope [are] Generating Buzz – but Don’t Count Out Meerkat Just Yet, as told by the always-informative Andrew Hutchinson for Social Media Today.

Last but not least, platform-specific news and tips.

Whether you’ve been paying attention to fashion week or not, Sarah Hecks has Live tweeting lessons from the catwalk courtesy of We Are Social’s blog.

Finally, if you’re looking to get the scoop on Instagram advertising, we recommend reading Instagram Advertising: A Media Buyer’s Perspective from Paul Van Winssen.

The Week in Social #170

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

Brand lessons.

We may not all have the resources and budgets of the big brands, but that doesn’t mean we can’t glean some knowledge from how they run things. Andrew Hutchison interviews Emma Williamson,  L’Oréal’s manager for Consumer Affairs and Social Media for the Australia and New Zealand region for Social Media Today’s Big Brand Theory: L’Oréal Stays Connected to Their Audience via Social.

“All channels of social media allow for us to have this relevant and on time discussion with our consumer – we need to be available in multiple channels and don’t value one over the other.”

Be available where your customer expects to find you, not just where you think your brand should be.

Michele Linn highlights another great example of this in How to Get the Right Content to the Right People at the Right Time: A Look at This American Life for Content Marketing Institute. Today’s content creators need to aim for:

“The right person to get
The right content
At the right place
At the right time
In the right format
In the right language
On the right device”

On choosing the right format.

Not sure if you should use a GIF or a Cinemagraph, or what the difference between them is anyway? Nicole Effendy at Ogilvy has you covered:


On Periscope.

Smart phones have helped end the taboo of vertical video, but now Periscope is giving the option for landscape purists to broadcast in their preferred format, as Martin Beck reports for Marketing Land. If you’re still not convinced your brand needs to be on Periscope, Chris Kyriacou has six reasons to convince you.

On Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook brand page layouts might be getting tweaked, while Instagram Ads Go Global, Including New 30-Second Commercials according to Josh Constine for TechCrunch.

And finally, a big milestone for Snapchat.

They hit 4 billion video views daily. Good work for a ghost.

Written by Sarah

September 11th, 2015 at 11:16 am

The Week in Social #169

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

This week brought a lot of platform-specific updates and milestones, so here’s a breakdown in case you missed some of them.

On Vine.

Looking at the current state of brands on Vine compared to top Viners, Brands Still Have Catching up to do. Lots of roundups on marketing sites discuss how clever things like Lowe’s 6-second Vine tips are, so why aren’t they catching on? Kevin Johnson explains that it has to do with the platform’s demographics:

“If brands really wish to connect with Vine’s young audience, they need to realize that what works on other social media platforms will not necessarily translate to equal levels of success on Vine. Vine humor tends to focus on the slapstick, the socially awkward, the ridiculous and the profane – much of what plays out on the most popular Vine channels would never fly on television.”

If that’s your brand’s target demographic, consider pairing with a Vine influencer who already has a following and knows the type of humor that will work there, or settle in and do your research before you start planning your Vine content.

You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the Vine updates that just came out, including an improved music experience.

On Instagram.

In case you still think Instagram is only for the B2C market, you might want to read The Power of Instagram for B2B Marketers from Sylvia Jensen. It’s not “just a fun mobile app” after all, it’s “part of today’s media system”.

Andrew Hutchinson brings wisdom from within Instagram themselves, sharing the creativity that went into the first brands to use their carousel advertising option in Brand Storytelling on Instagram – Some Key Notes to Benefit Your Social Strategy. Inspiration for brands of all sizes.

And the big Instagram ICYMI: Instagram updated yesterday to allow users to upload photos in portrait or landscape, ending the tyranny of the square-shaped image. This along with the end of the plague on vertical video means social media is changing. What do you think?

On Snapchat.

Snapchat still confusing? Wondering how brands actually. . .use it? Then Five seriously creative Snapchat campaigns and their results from Jack Simpson for Econsultancy is just the read for you. Pair with Everything You Need to Know About Snapchat Geofilters from Brian Murray to learn more about one of Snapchat’s lesser talked about features.

Everything else.

Really good read from Elisabeth Rosen for L2: Why the Viral Video is a Myth. TL;DR:

“In order to achieve significant scale, branded YouTube videos require paid support.”

viral video myth


And finally, here’s a clever cross-platform experiment to try from Nick Venezia: How to Use a $5 Twitter Ad to Redefine Your Facebook Strategy.

The Week in Social #168

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

Emotions + Emoji

If you think emoji are just for the teens, this piece by Shel Holtz for Holtz Communications wants you to reconsider (if your audience is into emoji, that is): Emoji are here to stay so start figuring out how they fit in your communications.


Bonus of emoji? It’s universal:

“You don’t need to speak a common language to understand emoji. No translation is necessary. Emoji—like so many other images—transcends language barriers.”

And while social media has given us a whole new set of shiny tools to communicate with each other, human communication itself hasn’t actually changed. John Unger talks How to Tap Into Emotions and Boost Your Content Marketing for the Jeff Bullas blog.

Video + Periscope

If you’re staring at a blank video content marketing plan with mild panic, don’t worry: Simon Crofts lays out Seven ways you can achieve more with video for Econsultancy.

Wondering How to Use Periscope in Your Content Marketing? You’re in luck because Dave Murrow answers just that for Bussiness2Community. This piece has a great breakdown of the app’s basics, plus some examples of how brands are using it already and how other brands could be using it. (That’s you!)

Everything else.

Okay, maybe not everything, but here’s 5 Things Everyone Should Know About Pinterest from Jim Dougherty for Cision. Think Pinterest is only good for food blogs and crafty moms? You may want to reconsider:

Thirty percent of this business’s social traffic comes from Pinterest. What business is it?

Odds are that Bank of America didn’t come immediately to mind, but that’s the answer. Bank of America’s popular Better Money Habits Pinterest boards host original content explaining many money-related questions, and they enhance their original content with relevant re-Pins such as wedding budgeting information.”

Trying to get good organic reach on Facebook seems like a battle brands can’t win lately, but Gini Dietrich has been experimenting over at Spin Sucks, and they’re sharing their results so far in Facebook Rewards Longer Content: Here’s What We Found. Spoiler alert: longform content on Facebook might not be the kiss of death you assume it is, especially as they revamp Notes.

And last but not least, a great interview with Erin Gleeson, the outreach specialist at 1-800-PetMeds, by Kristen Matthews for Convince and Convert: How to Comply with FTC Guidelines. Read firsthand how someone running a blogger outreach program keeps everything on the up-and-up with Johnny Law.

TL;DR? When in doubt, disclose.


Have a great weekend, everyone!

Written by Sarah

August 21st, 2015 at 8:59 am

The Week in Social #167

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

On that content we just can’t quit.

Chances are you have a big backlog of great (and maybe some not-so-great) content already; why not dive into your archives to remarket the best, and update and repurpose the rest? Find more details in How to Repurpose Your Content Again and Again from Michael Peggs for Convince & Convert.

Do you think of Jon Stewart as a content marketer? No? How about a content curator? You can see it, right? If not, Heidi Cohen breaks down why he is a master curator and translates that into some tips for marketers in How To Be A Content Curation Master.

On Facebook.

Some fun research from Facebook: How do you laugh online? Turns out there are a lot of differences by age, gender, and even regionally. The Not-So-Universal Language of Laughter from Udi Weinsberg, Lada Adamic, and Mike Develin is a fun way to better understand your particular Facebook audience.

laughter heatmap FB research

In case you missed Hank Green’s Theft, Lies & Facebook Video piece, read that first, and then this response from a Facebook video product manager.

Finally, up your Facebook game with these 6 Lesser Known Facebook Features You Should Be Using from Simon Leeming.

And Snapchat.

Some new Snapchat updates will make regular users and brands alike very happy. Check them out in New Snapchat Update Introduces More Emoji, Enhanced Audience Data via Andrew Hutchinson for Social Media Today.


Written by Sarah

August 14th, 2015 at 8:33 am

The Week in Social #166

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

On content + video content marketing.

Video is still the new black, so if you’re anxious to jump into generating video content for your brand but aren’t sure where to start, Mike Ryan’s 10 Ways To Use Short Video For Social Media Marketing is a good jumping off point.

And B2B companies still struggle to create the kind of content that actually brings them the most leads, as eMarketer illustrates in B2B Content Strategies Have Room for Improvement:

b2b content 1 B2B content 2

If you’re in B2B, don’t make the same mistake with your content strategy.

The hunt for the millennial male continues.

Where do the millennial males hang out? The latest answer is Imgur, as Garett Sloane notes for Adweek in How Advertisers Are Getting on Board With Imgur, a Pinterest for the Millennial Male. The real takeaway from this piece, however, is that eBay was so successful with their advertising on Imgur because they took the time to really listen to their intended audience and pay attention to the kind of content they like, then delivered their content in the same language and format. Any other brand would do well to follow their example, and not just on Imgur.

On Twitter and Vine.

Question of the week from Kimberlee Morrison, via SocialTimes: Can Marketers Keep Up with Memes and Trends on Vine? Most memes go through a similar cycle, and here’s the Vine version of that cycle:

  1. The original piece of content is uploaded
  2. Users replicate the Vine, as with the Whip/Nae Nae dance
  3. Users begin to remix, or make meta posts
  4. The meme reaches peak and then drops off, often to nothing.

The other difference is that on Vine they tend to move even faster through their cycle than on other platforms. The takeaway here is the value of pairing with an influencer on a platform you’re interested in expanding your audience on; they already have an audience there and they know what kind of content will perform well. Just be sure any partnership is a good match for both parties.

If your Twitter audience growth is feeling stagnant, Corey Ferreira breaks down How to Grow Your Twitter Audience in Just 30 Minutes a Day— provided you’re willing to put in a little hard work.

And finally, if Twitter’s Q2 stats had you ready to flee to greener social media pastures, take pause. Emily Alford speaks to those who know what they’re talking about in Instagram In and Twitter Out? Not So Fast, Say Experts. Here’s the key takeaway:

“Too many marketers pit social networks against each other, in terms of user base and revenue. Instead, they should focus on what consumers use each platform for and create integrated strategies that use platforms in conjunction with one another to move users down the purchase funnel.”

So focus on creating great content and giving it to your audience where they want it (that’s where they already spend their time, not where you’d like them to).

Written by Sarah

August 7th, 2015 at 9:05 am

The Week in Social #165

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

What marketers struggle with: Multichannel, influencers, video.

Why Marketers Haven’t Mastered Multichannel? While marketers say they want to make this a focus- “84% of senior marketers worldwide said multichannel marketing was a key focus of their current marketing strategy”- many struggle with understanding and buy-in from higher ups, as well as time to invest in planning and the necessary tools to comprehensively and continuously measure their efforts.

multichannel marketing challenges

As for that last challenge, we know a good Social Suite marketers should look into.

You’ve probably heard of this strange phenomenon of moving pictures used in marketing at this point, but how you do you Start Smart, Scale Up, and Stand Out With Video? Robert Rose takes on these challenges for Content Marketing Institute:

  1. How do businesses empower themselves to create videos (cost effectively) in the first place?
  2. Once businesses are creating videos, how do they scale this ability across the business?
  3. Once businesses have a functional process for creating videos, how do they use this new skill to differentiate the content they’re producing?

Click through to read the whole piece and see what themes address successful video creation and more.

Working with a social influencer is one of the best ways to boost reach across a target audience, but that doesn’t mean it’s free of challenges and Ayaz Nanji takes this on in Marketers’ Biggest Challenges With Social Influencers:


We would add one very important caveat: Be sure the partnership matches brand values on both sides. Throughly vet anyone you decide to partner with, be it brand or personal brand/influencer; that goes a long way toward “predicting behavior”.

The platform-specific info you need.

Because you can never get too good at Instagram, Jim Dougherty has 10 Pro Tips for Instagram from the pros, via Cision.

Heard about the Twitter Q2 announcements but weren’t sure what to make of them? SHIFT Comm has a great breakdown from Chris PennState of Social Media 2Q 2015: Twitter Users Plateau. The best takeaway?

“Should marketers be concerned with Twitter’s lack of growth? Perhaps, but that’s a determination marketers will need to make on an individual basis. Look in your web analytics at Twitter’s traffic over a multi-year period. Here’s an example:

shift comm

In this particular instance, while Twitter’s overall membership may not have increased, Twitter’s ability to drive traffic to a desired web destination has improved substantially in very recent times.”

Emphasis added.

Last but not least, Jay Baer is laying down 5 Reasons You Don’t Buy Likes with Facebook Advertising over at Convince and Convert. The bottom line?

“Remember: clicks first, fans second.”


So what’s the best thing you’ve read this week?