Archive for the ‘how to’ tag
While the number of followers you have on any given platform isn’t the end-all, be-all of your existence on that platform, learning how to grow an audience is one of the most important aspects of social media marketing (even if all you’re marketing is your personal brand!).
With that said, we thought we’d share some of the best practices we’ve found and the tips we’ve learned through our own research across social platforms, growing our own audiences. As always if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments or come and find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.
Slow growth is always frustrating, but it’s the kind of growth that tends to stick: Putting in the time and effort to find the kind of accounts you’re interested in who might also be interested in what you have to say (and later, sell) means they’re more likely to stick around for the long haul. So as tempting as it may be to have that follower number shoot right up for only $x, don’t buy bots. Instead, try these tactics:
- Conduct regular follower audits: Follow back appropriate accounts, and unfollow anyone who has gone inactive or is no longer relevant to your brand or industry
- Participate in chats: Twitter chats are a great way to find quality accounts in your industry, and you never know who might be in the market for exactly what you have to offer. They’ll be more interested in buying from someone they’ve already established a rapport with via chats than a strange brand, too.
Jumping in for my very first Twitter chat – I'm brand new to Twitter… It's seems harder to get followers here, tips? #socialchat
— Sara (@sarainshanghai) August 25, 2015
- Social listening is key: Track industry keywords and enter conversations but bring something of value, don’t just show up to sell yourself/your brand. That will turn people off quickly and you’ll be more likely to get blocked than followed.
- Follow first: Follow relevant accounts you find in chats or through keyword tracking. Don’t worry too much about whether or not they follow you back immediately. Just work on sharing valuable information and interacting with these and other accounts when appropriate.
- Copy industry leaders: See who leaders in your industry- even competitors- are following and follow them. (Just don’t follow 1,000 of them in one day. In addition to being somewhat creepy, Twitter puts a cap on how many accounts your account can follow in order to avoid spam.)
- Tap your followers: Who are your followers following? Who do they retweet? Some of these will be relevant for you to follow, and many will follow you back. Circle back around to regular audits and you can unfollow any accounts who have lost relevance or haven’t followed you back when you’ve honestly tried to engage them.
You’ll notice a lot of these revolve around finding accounts to follow. How does that help your follower growth? Many accounts will follow you back if they see that you’re posting things that are relevant and interesting to them. Others will as soon as you engage with them in a meaningful way— such as in a Twitter chat. The key is that you’ve got to put in a little work to prove that you’re worth following.
It’s hard to read much about Facebook marketing advice these days without reading “pay to play”, but you don’t have to have an enormous budget to grow your Facebook audience. Here’s a few tips to get you started without breaking the bank:
- Tap into existing connections: Ask relevant Facebook connections to “Like” your page. You don’t have to send the request to every single person you went to college with. Think about who might be interested in hearing from your brand based on the type of content you plan to share on Facebook; chances are you have connections interested in your industry or who work in a related area.
- Tap into existing followers: Ask those already following your page to put you in their top 30 priority News Feed accounts. Any actions they take are more likely to be seen by their followers, and they’re more likely to take an action if they actually see your content.
- Run an inexpensive campaign at a targeted audience. Who’s your target audience on Facebook? Set up an ad that’s relevant to them and cap it at a budget you’re comfortable with. It will stop running when the money runs out, and you’ll have some new followers who are piqued to hear what you have to say.
- Share interesting, relevant content. Test different content types too; Facebook is always changing the algorithm favoring different types of content (natively uploaded Facebook video is favored at the moment!) and your particular audience might favor one over all others.
- Ask questions in status updates. Creating interactive content is a great way to get your existing audience involved, which may prompt them to tag others to join the conversation too. Just be sure whoever handles social for you is prepped to handle any resulting volume increase!
- Host a Facebook contest. Work to create and interesting and engaging contest for your followers beyond just “Like our page to be entered to win [x]” and any new followers will be more likely to stick around once the contest ends.
- Promote your most successful posts. Once again you can set things up to end once you’ve spent your budget, so set things at an amount you’re comfortable with.
Based on this post on the Union Metrics Tumblr.
- Post great content: Postcontent people actually want to see. The best brand content on Instagram shows off a product in an alluring or inspirational way without feeling too much like an advertisement, and also stays true to the brand voice. For example, what works for Sephora isn’t the same as what works for Dennys:
Time your posts appropriately: The most successful Instagram and Tumblr accounts post at least once a day, and typically not more than five times a day. If you’re looking for the best time to post to these platforms, post outside traditional US business hours.
Find and follow interesting people: Try searching on a hashtag related to a topic you’re interested in, and follow people posting content you like. If fans are talking about your or your brand, give them a follow back and engage with them – they’ll appreciate it. Basically, if you follow new people, many of them will follow you back.
Use (hash)tags: Hashtags increase content discoverability, so use them in your posts. Adding a hashtag is the single best way we’ve found to get content in front of new audiences.
Based on this post on the Union Metrics Tumblr.
- Search relevant tags: You’ll find some great blogs to follow, and as you may have picked up, many accounts will check you out and follow you back if you’re relevant to their interests on almost any platform.
- Search relevant featured tags: Featured tags have changed on Tumblr over the years, but Unwrapping Tumblr has an entry about them here and keeps an updated list of them here.
- Track tags: Some of the tags you searched earlier that are relevant to your brand and industry might be relevant enough to keep constant tabs on, in which case you’ll want to designate them as “tracked” tags. Read exactly how to do that here, and once you do they’ll pop up any time you drop your cursor into the Tumblr search bar.
- Make good art (as Neil Gaiman says): Whatever it is that you’re creating or curating on Tumblr, make sure the content that you’re sharing is the very best it can be. If you’re bored or underwhelmed by your own blog, who else is going to be interested in following- let alone sharing- what you’re producing?
- Be sure you’re using the best tags: We can’t emphasize enough how important proper tag usage is on Tumblr. It’s how your content can be found by new followers interested in whatever it is that you’re talking about.
- Interact with your followers: Like, reblog, follow back. Consider thanking new followers in a post periodically and inviting them to ask any questions (you have an ask box, or you can set up a particular post to be able to receive answers) they might have about your brand. Also consider sharing UGC when it makes sense, either through reblogging, a campaign, or both. Anyone new who stumbles across your blog is more likely to follow if they see you interact with your followers.
- Cross-promote: Let people know you’re on Tumblr! Post about it on your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on another blog if you have one. Pin images from posts on your Pinterest and send Snaps about your Tumblr. It’s a lot harder for people to find you if they don’t know you’re there.
That list tip really works across all platforms: Be sure you have a consistent handle and occasionally let your followers on Twitter know you’ve got a Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Snapchat, and vice-versa.
We haven’t officially experimented with growing our own followings on Pinterest or Snapchat (yet!), but other people have. We recommend reading A Marketer’s Guide To Snapchat & How Brands Can Build Followers Through “Stories” from MarketingLand along with NPR’s excellent Engaging an audience on Snapchat for building out your Snapchat audience, and 6 Ways to Get More Pinterest Followers from Social Media Examiner for Pinterest.
Got any tips we missed or other resources you’d recommend? Leave ‘em in the comments!
It’s Friday and that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics with our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook.
How to Care for Your Blog When You Are Too Busy to Blog [from Social Media Today; written by Edwin Huertas]
“Learn to listen in on the sentiments and concerns of your audiences and write content that directly address these. You may not win any literary prizes, but I assure you that your audiences will be very, very interested in what you have to say. Tap into the ‘what’s in it for me’ mindset and you will always have interesting things to write about, and you won’t need to spend much time thinking about what to write.”
Which styles of visual content work best with which styles of written content.
On content marketing.
Content Marketing Personalization: Build Relationships At Scale [from B2B Marketing Insider; written by Michael Brenner]
“Marketing cannot continue to be about ads. Ads we tune out. Ads we hate.”
How to Create a Call-to-Action for All of Your Content [from Spin Sucks; written by Gini Dietrich]
“You also want to think about at least one call-to-action:
- How to place a call-to-action on every piece of owned media you create. This could be social share buttons, a subscription, or the requirement of an email address for download.
- How to create landing pages where people download your content. These help you track the effectiveness of one particular piece of content.
- What kinds of content can you offer in exchange for their registration data (that is, email address and phone number).
- How to build your database: Generate leads, nurture those leads with new and interesting content, and convert those leads to customers.
- How to bring in your sales team and integrate your efforts with them.”
B2B Content Marketing Update: Goals, Content Types, and More [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]
“The most commonly cited content marketing challenges are lack of resources / bandwidth to create content (60%) and understanding buyer personas and creating relevant content for each segment (54%). Roughly half also have trouble producing engaging content, coming up with a variety of content, or simply finding the time to product enough content. Lack of budget (27%) and lack of buy-in/vision (16%), though, don’t appear to be real problems.”
There Are Only A Few, But Here’s How Early Adopters Are Using Twitter Video [from Marketing Land; written by Martin Beck]
“Three weeks after the launch of Twitter’s mobile native video feature, most brands are not using it. The best examples are direct answers in Q&As.”
Remember all of those images you’re supposed to be using for engagement? Don’t use those anymore.
(But we would recommend continuing to share UGC on your Facebook page, even if it does include images.)
To isolate specific dates in your TweetReach Tracker, simply click on the calendar icon in the upper right hand corner of your screen, and specify the date range that you want.
If you set up a TweetReach snapshot report or Tracker to search for @username, that will only return mentions and retweets of that Twitter account. So, that might be what you’re looking for. But if you’d like to see tweets to and from that account, add in the from:username query, like this:
@username OR from:username
This will make sure we pull all mentions, retweets, and replies to your Twitter handle, as well as tweets from your account. That’s the best way to see the full set of interactions with a particular account. Want to see it in action? Here’s an example.
Social media can be a double-edged sword for a small business: it’s technically free (unless you choose to pay to advertise on it) and can be a huge boost to your business, but it also requires time that can be hard to come by on a small staff– particularly when you happen to be an army of one.
Etsy sellers in particular face a unique set of challenges, since at its heart Etsy is a marketplace for handmade crafts which can be incredibly time-consuming to produce and have to compete with sellers producing on a mass scale. These kinds of sellers are also more likely to have bigger sales and marketing resources at their disposal. How do you compete when you might not have any online marketing expertise yourself? Having a Twitter account and a Facebook page doesn’t mean you know how to market in those places, and it can be overwhelming to think about the number of social platforms available.
What to do? Plan, plan, plan. The initial setup takes the most time, but once you get the hang of things, the return will be well worth it if you’ve done your homework. And we’re here to help.
1. Decide where you need to be.
This should be determined by where your customers are; if they’re all on Pinterest and Instagram and you devote most of your time to Facebook, well, you can see how that’s not optimal. If you’re limited on time, pick one or two platforms to be really active on and set up alerts for any others so you won’t miss anything (try out free tools like Mention). It’s a good idea to at least have a presence on platforms you use less often, just in case potential customers try to reach you there.
You might also consider something like Tumblr: you can set up a queue of content to automatically post when you’re busy working during the day and sleeping during the night, and hop in to join conversations whenever you have the time (it’s recommended to make time at least once a day). A traditional blog also allows you to draft and schedule posts ahead of time, but Tumblr has the added bonus of established communities that are easy to tap into with tags and reblogs. There’s also the social aspect that comes with the concept of reblogging; you can always find new people to follow and new communities to immerse yourself in this way. Design and fashion are closely linked, for example, and reblogs are great ways to find new people to talk to about in both of these areas and their overlap.
2. Plan your content out.
If you use social media to only promote what it is that you’re selling, you’re missing the social aspect of it entirely. Decide how much time you can devote to sharing original content vs curating and sharing the content of others in your community of choice (with credit of course). A good ratio of sharing your own products and design alongside other content is about 70/30, and it holds fast across platforms.
Photos are popular and perform well across platforms too; Etsy advises sellers to have large, clear images of their products available, and one advantage of this is having high-quality images to pin and share on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr with a description. That’s your 30% promotion right there.
What about the other 70%? Here are some specific ideas:
Share what inspires you in real life: Photos of a walk you went on, an inspiring quilt pattern you saw at a resale shop or festival, you hanging out with other creative people at a conference or just a happy hour.
Related to that last point, share some little things from your personal life that you’re comfortable with, like pictures of your pets or your bookshelf. A lot of customers like to connect with the seller behind the items they’re making; it’s part of the homemade, handcrafted appeal. They’re not just buying a sweater, they’re buying a sweater from you.
Share photos of items you’ve made and loved so much, you kept them for yourself, or are planning to give them as gifts to a friend, partner or family member. That shows the deep pride you take in your work.
Share items from fellow Etsy crafters’ stores that you love: They’ll appreciate the promotion, and might return the favor.
Share funny little mistakes: Miss a stitch? Drop a bucket of paint? Cat and toddler get into your stock of feathers and glue? These moments can be hilarious, and are humanizing.
To that end, any kind of behind-the-scenes photos and descriptions of the process you go through can help customers understand the value of what you’re making by seeing the time and effort that go into it.
Mood photos: There are entire Tumblrs and Pinterest boards devoted to fall, or to a specific color scheme. You can start and curate one of your own, pinning your own items that fit in appropriately alongside images of crispy autumn leaves on roads and pumpkins, all-white schemes, or beach-themed boards.
Pick an approach that’s an appropriate fit for you and what you’re selling in your store.
3. Measure and adjust.
Measurement doesn’t have to mean expensive tools and confusing spreadsheets. There are a lot of free tools that can give you an idea of what’s working and what’s not. Run a free TweetReach snapshot report on your Twitter account, for example, to see which tweets have performed the best and which other accounts talk to and retweet you the most. These are people you want to make sure you’re following and engaging with in return as much as possible.
Additionally if you have a blog or a Tumblr, see which posts have performed the best and why. Was it because of the time of day you posted? The content itself? Did someone popular in the community give you a signal boost by repinning it or tweeting about it? Was it a combination of those things? Keeping track of these factors will help you make the best content plan possible moving forward: you’ll know what to do about the ones you can control, like timing and content.
Want more? Check out the Etsy community on Tumblr, as an example; they also have specific advice for Etsy sellers using Tumblr to promote themselves on their blog, along with some handy Twitter advice. Even if you’re not on Etsy specifically, it should give you a good idea of where to start.
Got a question for us about this? Drop us a line.
Since our first post on How to use advanced Twitter search queries is one of our most popular posts, we thought we’d break down some more advanced queries we didn’t cover in that writeup. Here are a few more of our favorite advanced Twitter search queries. And let us know if you have a question you don’t see answered here!
Specific phrase or term
Much like on Google, when you want to return results on an exact phrase- especially something that has a common word or popular slang expression in it that might return a lot of noise otherwise- be sure to put it in quotes.
“term1 term2” – search for tweets containing the phrase “term1 term2” (e.g. “aging hippies”)
This way you’ll only get back tweets talking specifically about aging hippies, with those words in that exact order. Without the quotes, you might get results about hippies aging wine or something else irrelevant to what you’re actually looking for.
Tweets containing links
This search filter comes in handy if you’re looking for people who are sharing articles they’ve found or are talking about a specific URL – say an article in the news, or a blog post you’ve recently put out that’s getting a lot of chatter. It’s also a great way to track link shares for a Twitter contest.
filter:links – search only for tweets containing links (e.g. CNN filter:links)
You can add this filter to any search terms to return only tweets that include those terms and a URL.
Tweets in a particular language
Let’s say you’ve run a free TweetReach report with your test query to see what kind of results you’re getting (something we absolutely recommend doing so you can tweak what you need to) and it’s returned a lot of tweets that aren’t in a language that you speak. Or let’s say you want information on a specific event or campaign, like Dia de los Muertos from those who speak Spanish. Use:
lang:NN – to search for only tweets in a particular language (e.g. Nutella lang:en for only English tweets about Nutella)
“dia de los muertes” lang:es – Find tweets in spanish about “dia de los muertes”
When added to a search query, the language filter will narrow your results to tweets in that language. Not all languages are supported on Twitter, so check this list to see which are and to get more information about languages on Twitter in general.
These are just a few we didn’t go over in the first post, so here’s the full list of advanced Twitter search operators if you’re interested in more. And we’ll repeat our advice from last time– Twitter handles fairly simple queries really well, but tends to break with longer and more complex queries. We recommend that you only add in a few advanced operators per query and try to limit the total number of keywords and characters in a search query. Keep it under 5-8 words and 60 characters and you should be fine.
Again, if you ever have any questions about search queries and how to get exactly the data you need from Twitter, just ask us! We’re big Twitter search nerds and can help you figure out even the trickiest search queries.
TweetReach Quick Tip: Did you know you can track anything on Twitter? Even though Instagram has revoked its display cards (effectively removing in-Twitter viewing only), the hashtags and other keywords still show up, so you can effectively track an Instagram campaign that’s cross-posted to Twitter. Same goes for Vine posts, and anything else. You just need a hashtag, URL or keyword to find those posts on Twitter. Simply enter the hashtag or keyword into our search box, and you can find any tweets that include it, even if they originated on Instagram or Vine– or anywhere else.
Want more on using hashtags? Twitter has a best practices post on their Development Blog.
- Go to the conference website and check someone’s feed that you know attended to see what hashtags were used; this will cover all the bases if either source missed one
- Search those hashtags to see what the main conference chatter was about:
- Making connections: maybe someone you have a good relationship with connected with someone else you’d like an intro to
- Notes from presentations/keynotes: find links to SlideShares and recordings
- Photos: get a feel for what events were like
- Observations about the location: if you’re planning to attend in the future, you can remember the restaurants, bars and other sites attendees recommended
- If you’re familiar with the area and you know in advance you’re going to miss the conference, consider tweeting out some suggestions for places to go eat and socialize on the hashtag(s)
- See if someone made a Storify of the conference, or consider making one yourself and tweet out the link with the conference hashtag(s)
- Run a free TweetReach snapshot report for the main hashtag to see top contributors (you might want to follow them) and what the most retweeted tweets were. Be sure to do this as soon as the conference ends so you can get the best information. (And if you want more, you can buy a full report for $20, no account necessary.)
- Ask if anyone has a link to a blog post about the conference from past years; that way you can really get a complete picture of how it changes year over year
Did we miss any good tips? Leave ‘em in the comments.
We talked to Beverly Robertson of the March of Dimes about using social media as a nonprofit in one of our TakeFives earlier this year, and here’s what she had to say:
“TweetReach: Do you feel the approach or reliance on social platforms is different for a nonprofit organization? What would you recommend to one that is just starting on their social strategy, or is uncertain of how to even begin?
Beverly Robertson: Social Media is critical not only for delivering mission messaging, but in introducing the organization to a new audience, as well as keeping track of what people are saying about you and your mission. It also is critical to take the opportunity to thank your donors and volunteers publicly for all of their hard work and support. I cannot tell you what a tremendous response we get for doing that. My recommendation is jump in, but listen before you speak.”
If you’re a nonprofit who would like to get more out of social media, here are some tips to get started on Twitter:
Listen before you speak: see what other non-profits have to say in their Twitter profiles and down their timelines before you jump into tweeting.
Listening to other accounts can give you a good idea of etiquette and basic interactions, but be sure to use your organization’s voice and be human
Find supporters and follow them. Interact where it’s appropriate: proactively answer questions and provide links to more information
If someone is spreading misinformation about your organization on Twitter, you have options:
a. Address them and gently correct the information, sharing a link for them/those following the conversation to read more
b. Send out a tweet from your own account that does not directly address the account spreading the misinformation, but corrects it Either way, try to avoid getting into a verbal battle with someone on Twitter. Neither party ever looks good.
Take major issues offline: if someone comes to you on Twitter with a big problem, make sure you’re mutually following one another and then DM an email address where a deeper discussion can take place
Check for hashtags related to your cause and monitor them; this is one way to track what’s being said about your organization
If there aren’t any obvious ones, create a hashtag and start using it. Encourage your supporters to pick it up as well.
Regularly monitor search results for the name of your organization, both the version you have for Twitter (such as @marchofdimes) and any iterations of the name without the handle: March of Dimes, MoD, etc. (Use Twitter’s search, create columns in TweetDeck and even run a free snapshot report with us.)
Consider hosting a tweet chat. Those interested in supporting your cause could find you through another’s timeline or the chat hashtag, and will have a chance to interact with and follow you, as well as ask questions.
Finally, be sure you have easy-to-find, working social buttons on your website! Supporters won’t know where to find you if you don’t tell them.
Want more information on how nonprofits used social media in 2012? Check out the infographic below featured on Mashable (and if you have any tips for us, leave them in the comments!):
Live-blogging has spawned a new generation of itself, and the cool kids these days are live-Tweeting and Tumbling while they watch their favorite shows. Sound like something you’d like to get in on? We’ve got some suggestions to help get you started using Twitter while you watch TV.
After all, 4 in 5 Americans multitask while they’re watching TV now, did you know?
If you want to be one of them, here are some tips for getting social while watching your favorite shows:
- Check for an official show or episode hashtag. Using this, you can join in the voices of the multitude – or minority – watching. It’s easy to connect with like-minded people this way. You can find these hashtags by searching for an official show handle by typing the show name into Twitter search, and then go to that account to see what hashtag(s) they use. If there’s no official account, or they’re not using hashtags, click through other search results to see what other people are using.
- If a hashtag doesn’t already exist, make up your own. People who follow you who watch the show might join in, and it can spread from there. Or someone who follows you who doesn’t even watch the show might start, because they know someone else who watches it.
- You might want to announce ahead of time if you’re going to be live-tweeting a show, and that you’ll be using a hashtag, just in case anyone wants to mute it if they’re not interested.
- Do not tweet spoilers. Ever. Remember that not everyone is watching live, and you don’t want to be the one who ruins the ending for everyone else.
- Interact with other people talking about the show, replying to and retweeting them when appropriate.
- Mention official accounts for the show, the actors or the characters. You never know when you might get a retweet, and those accounts often have a large following. You can find them by searching Twitter for the show name and choosing the official account that pops up with a verified checkmark, or by going to the show’s website – they all have their social profiles prominently displayed.
- Follow people you have an interesting interaction with – that’s what being social is all about, after all. You may find some new friends.
- For big events where you might have people over to be social IRL too – like a Super Bowl party or Oscar party – post pictures of your setup, and include guest’s handles in your tweets.
- Share your content from other networks like Tumblr and Instagram. But be careful of auto-sharing everything you post elsewhere; those who follow you in multiple places might get bothered by the redundancy and decide to unfollow you. It’s great to cross-post some, but be selective.
Do you tweet while you watch TV? Got any tips we missed? Tell us how you do it in the comments below.