Category Archives: Social Media Minute

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How to Make Your Blog Content Better: 7 Important Writing Tips

It is important to regularly update your blog and website to keep current customers engaged. It’s also an excellent way to attract potential new customers. But just churning out any old blog content will have the opposite effect. You never want to turn potential customers away from your site and redirect them to sites that offer better content.

This post discusses the seven important writing tips (along with some great tools) to keep your blog content relevant and engaging. Using these tips will help you to consistently bring traffic to your site. 

Tip #1: Determine the Goals for Your Blog Content

When you add new content, it’s easy to think that’s the end of it. However, this is only the beginning.

How is your content going to be seen by your customers?

What are your goals?

What is your content action plan?

Before your put pen to paper, take a couple minutes to think about your goals and strategies:

1 – Write a Strategy Plan

This doesn’t have to be “War and Peace”; it just needs to outline what you will do with your content. Something as simple as tweet four times and post to Facebook can be enough to ensure consistent marketing.

2 – Set Business Orientated Goals

Ask yourself why you are producing your content.

  • Do you want conversions?
  • New followers?
  • Backlinks?

Whatever you are aiming to do, make sure you know what it is so you can concentrate your efforts on the end goal.

3 – Decide How You Will Measure Your Success

It doesn’t matter how good your plan is if you don’t measure its success. Determine which metrics you will track, and see how well your content is working for you. Google Analytics is a good way of tracking customer behavior on your site. 

4 – Understand your Audience

Your content will only work if it appeals to your traffic. For example, a cake decorating business wouldn’t expect to gain much by writing an article about fly fishing – no matter how great the article is, it doesn’t appeal to their core readership.

5 – Constantly Modify your Strategy

Using the information you gather in your brainstorming sessions and the metric tracking, you will see what works and what doesn’t. Concentrate on doing more of what works.

6 – Keep an Eye on Your ROI

You need to monitor your ROI – make sure the amount of money you are putting into producing good content is achieving the level of profit you would expect.

7 – Conference Regularly with your Marketing Team

Ensure the strategy is working by discussing your content’s performance, and social media engagement. Brainstorm any new ideas.

Tip #2: Produce Original Content

Copying other people’s content won’t win you any readers. Why not go a step further with your blog content?

  •  Find The Hook: Instead of writing the same article as everyone else, granted in your own words, why not write the article that no one else has? Your readers will love your unique perspective. Ask yourself what is missing from the other articles you’ve read. Now research that area and write about that. That’s your hook.
  • Market it to The Right People: Look on forums and across social media at the types of people who are reading about your chosen subject. Promote your posts to those people – they already have an interest in the topic, and you are providing a new perspective on it.

Tip #3: Edit and Proofread

It doesn’t matter how good your content is – if it’s littered with mistakes, readers will look elsewhere for well-written content. Consider employing an editor or proofreader. The downside is that this obviously costs money, but the positives can bring amazing results.

There are many sites such as upwork, toptal, freelancer, rated writing, peopleperhour that can be great places to look for a good editor.

A good editor will:

  • Make your content read well
  • Correct any errors
  • Polish your content, giving it a wholly professional feel

Tip #4: Use Proven Marketing Tools to Help You

These tools can all help your blog content stand out:

BuzzSumo – Enter any topic and see what type of content is trending now. 

Hubspot Post Generator – Type in keywords you want to use and the site will give you post topic ideas.

Readability checker or Grammar Guide – Your blog may have this built in, but if not, a readability test tool and grammar guide can give you tips to make your content more reader-friendly and accurate

Hemingway Editor  – The app shows you how to improve on each sentence you write.

Piktochart – This is a great tool for building infographics, another way to present information and break your content up.

Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyser – This tool tells you likely your post title is to make a reader feel moved. Aim for over 50%. Use this alongside KingSumo Headlines to help chose a perfect title.

Tip #5: Use Outside Sources

Using outside sources can help keep your content fresh and relevant and can be used in many ways:

  • Provide Accurate Information: Unless you are writing an opinion piece, use outside sources to check that what you are saying is true.
  • Use Data and Examples: If you are saying something that is quantifiable, refer to the data and example points from the original source to show you are not just making it up as you go along!
  • Use Quotes from Experts: Using experts’ quotes can really add validity to your posts and help to show readers that you are credible.

Tip #6: Focus on Your Words

  • Try to focus on one key idea per article. Otherwise, it can come across as messy. Once you have chosen your key idea, expand on it and talk about various facets of it.
  • Try to reduce jargon. People don’t want to look up definitions just to read your posts.
  • Write in your own voice. Posts and articles with a bit of personality read much better than something that sounds like a robot put it together. Don’t be afraid to give a little bit of yourself to readers.
  • Read the Ultimate List of 1000 Powerful Words That Will Make You A Social Media Rockstar

Common Power Words still have power to your blog content

Tip #7: Work On Your Visuals

A long body of text can be off-putting to readers, so always mix up the content in a way that looks visually appealing.

  • Use infographics, tables, and graphs, and photographs to break up your text.
  •  Format your text using headings and subheadings, and try to keep paragraphs short.


By following these simple steps, you are giving your blog content the very best chance of building up a regular readership. Your readership will be more likely to consist of engaged followers who will share your content with others. And as you become a respected authority in your field, people will be much more likely to purchase your products or services.

The post How to Make Your Blog Content Better: 7 Important Writing Tips appeared first on blog.

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How to Link Facebook to Twitter With SMART Automation

The subtle nuances of when to post, why to post and where to post on social media, can be overwhelming. This uncertainty is especially true for small businesses. To make posting across multiple networks simple, Facebook offers an easy way to link Facebook to Twitter. And, so does Twitter as discussed in our post on How to Link Twitter to Facebook with Smart Automation.

However, the one-stop shop approach of posting content from one social media platform to another, in one (or two) simple keystrokes (e.g., link Facebook to Twitter and Twitter to Facebook), may be acceptable for some, but it all depends on your intent and audience.

As a user, I find it annoying when people constantly cross-post. There’s a reason why we’re friends on Facebook and a reason why I follow people on Twitter – but the reasons are quite different. If I want to see what you tweet, I’ll follow you on Twitter, but I don’t necessarily want to be your friend on Facebook. – Found on Quora in response to the question: What are the pros and cons of having Twitter crosspost to Facebook?

Option #1: Link Facebook to Twitter via the Facebook Interface

Pros: Automatically connecting Facebook to Twitter

  • Automation saves you time.

The time-saving nature of automation is true. But, how many times a day, week or month do you post on Facebook vs. Twitter?

For example, every social media platform offers different ways to connect, and the way you share information and connect with people through Facebook is very different to the way you would connect through Twitter.

Twitter is fast-paced, you can Tweet ten times a day and not be seen to be bombarding your followers, however, if you posted at this frequency through Facebook, this could be overkill.

Cons: Automatically connecting Facebook to Twitter

Publishing a Facebook post to your Twitter (or vice versa) may seem like a good idea, “killing two birds with one stone”, but none of your Facebook friends or Twitter followers will be thankful that you did… in fact, it may cause quite the opposite reaction. – Stir Up Media

  • Your followers follow you on TWITTER because they want to read your TWEETS and your Facebook followers are “liking” your page because they want to see your posts… they don’t want to be sent away to an entirely different social media platform to read what you have to say; it annoys the heck out of the majority of them.
  • Your Facebook posts can be much longer but will be cut off after 114 characters (or so) to include a link to the complete post.
  • While hashtags are well established on Twitter, they are not very common on Facebook and make no sense to most people. Using hashtags through Twitter may also not quite make sense through Facebook, or when tagging a business or name through Facebook – it won’t translate and connect through Twitter on an auto-post – they simply don’t quite marry when you connect them in this way.

How to Auto Link Facebook to Twitter (from Facebook)

Step 1: Go to and click on the ‘Link to Twitter‘ button. You can connect your personal profile (at the top) and/or any of your Facebook pages, all from this page.

Note: You must be logged in to the Twitter account you are trying to link.

Step 2: From here, it will take you to a prompt to authorize Facebook to use your account. If you are not logged in, you will need to enter your Twitter username and password first.

Step 3: Once you click on ‘Authorize app‘ it will redirect you back to Facebook where you see the following screen and can select what type of content you’d like to share by clicking on the boxes.

Link Facebook to Twitter settings to setup your account

Here you can decide how much information you want to share on Twitter then click ‘Save Changes‘ and you’re all set!

Now you’ll be able to simply post a status update on Facebook that will keep you from having to log into both services and post two separate updates.

HUM…are you sure this is what you want to do?

***Note: since Twitter has a 140 character limit, it will automatically truncate your post with an automatically created short URL that will link back to the original post on Facebook.


I’m not going to sugar coat this…the easier solution is to connect Facebook to Twitter directly through the Facebook interface.

However, with a few extra steps using Zapier + (option #2 below), you have much more control over what to send, how often and when.

Option #2: Link Facebook to Twitter via with smart automation


1 – uses smart social media automation

This solution is very different from the automation used by Facebook in option #1 above.

With, you have as much automation as you need.

  • Need complete automation? We’ve got it!
  • Prefer to touch every post that goes out? We’ve got that too.
  • Need something in between. We’ve got exactly the right amount of automation for your needs.

To put it another way, that’s what smart Social Media automation is all about.

2 – allows you to share just the right amount of automation for your social media needs.

  • Hands-free auto-posting
  • Handcrafted curated posts on an optimized schedule
  • Fine tune sharing based on keywords, author, tags and more


  • The major drawback is the amount of time needed (initially)

It takes a few extra minutes to work on setting up and then using Zapier to string together an RSS feed. But, once completed, you’re ready to go – use as much or as little automation as you need.

How to Link Facebook to Twitter – the smart automation solution

Step 1: You’ll need to create an RSS feed using a tool called Zapier. Don’t fret; this may take an extra few minutes, but you’ll have to do this just once.

Once done, follow the steps below to create a Facebook RSS feed.

This recipe will make it incredibly easy to supercharge your social media and accounts.

Get Started

  1. Click ‘Make a Zap!’. You will land on an editing page where you can tell Zapier what data to pull and where you want to put it. You can name your Zap in the top left corner of that page.

How to Create a Facebook RSS Feed Step 1

Choose a Facebook Page

Next, you need to tell Zapier, which Facebook Pages account to grab data from.

  1. In Step 1 (the Trigger step) of the Zap, type ‘Facebook Pages’ in the ‘Choose a Trigger App’ search bar.
  2. Select ‘New Page Stream Post’ and then click ‘Save + Continue’.
  3. Select ‘Connect a New Account’ and enter your Facebook email address and password in the pop-up box. Then click ‘Save + Continue’.
  4. From the drop-down box, choose a Facebook page. Click ‘Continue’.How to Create a Facebook RSS Feed Step 2
  5. Make sure you have one recent page stream posted to the Facebook page you selected. Then click ‘Fetch + Continue’.
  6. Once you see the ‘Test Successful’ message, click ‘Continue’.How to Create a Facebook RSS Feed Step 3

Configure the RSS Feed

  1. In Step 2 (the Action step) of the Zap, type ‘RSS by Zapier’ in the ‘Choose an Action App’ search bar.
  2. Select ‘Create Item in Feed’ and then click ‘Save + Continue’.
  3. Now you can fill in the fields to customize the Zap. Play around with the settings to format your RSS feed.
  4. Click the drop-down arrows on the right side of each field to show the fields that are available to add in each section. You can copy the settings we selected below. Click to see how the RSS feed formatted with these settings.
  5. Name your RSS feed and click ‘Copy to clipboard’.
  6. Add a Title. We chose the ‘Message’ field.
  7. The Source URL is where the feed item should link. Choose ‘First Action Link’.
  8. Next, add the body content of the feed item. With the limited options available, we opted to show the ‘Message’ field which means the title and the body content will be the same in the feed.
  9. The Author name, Author link, and other fields are optional.

How to Create a Facebook RSS Feed

  1. Click ‘Continue’.
  2. Click ‘Create + Continue’ then wait for the ‘Test Successful’ message and click ‘Finish’.

How to Create a Facebook RSS Feed Step 5

Save the RSS Feed

  1. Choose a folder to store your Zap in (optional).
  2. Toggle the Zap to ‘On’ and wait for the green checkmark to appear.

How to Create a Facebook RSS Feed Step 6

Share your Facebook Page Updates

Add the new Facebook RSS feed URL to Route the updates to link Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and more. When you click on the links inside the content, readers are redirected back to Facebook to consume the entire update. Here you will also be able to customize the RSS feed a bit further by automatically adding hashtags, prefixes, and optimized schedules.

What Next? How to maximize your Facebook RSS feed’s smart social media automation is all about how little or how much you want to automate to link Facebook to Twitter and your other social networks.

1 – If you don’t want to send everything from Facebook to your other social accounts, use Filters.

2 – Does scheduling makes sense for you? If so, make sure to schedule at the right time.

3 – Looking for content to share?’s content curation feature keeps your customers, fans and followers engaged with a consistent stream of content. Simply search for the type of content your audience would love, and start sharing.


In Conclusion

1 – If you don’t post a lot of content on Facebook, automatically connecting Facebook to Twitter directly through Facebook’s app might not make a difference to your Twitter followers. My suggestion is to use option #1 above – it makes perfect sense for your needs.

2 – However, to take full advantage of all that offers through its smart automation features, follow option #2 above to link Facebook to Twitter and vice versa.

The post How to Link Facebook to Twitter With SMART Automation appeared first on blog.

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How to Link Twitter to Facebook with Smart Automation

One of the questions I frequently get asked from my social media friends is “How do I link Twitter to Facebook?” A quick Google search on the search term “posting Tweets to Facebook”, revealed top results from the usual suspects – wikiHow, Quora, Facebook, and Twitter.

Linking your Twitter account to your Facebook account, so that Tweets are automatically posted on your Facebook page, will help you reach out to more people, and it will make it more convenient for you to communicate overall.

By just glancing at the search results, you’ll see that there are some easy options you can choose from to connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts so that your Tweets and Retweets will automatically post to your Facebook wall and vice versa.

However, there are a couple of things you should think about first before going the easy route:

1 – Twitter and Facebook are two distinct networks with two different sets of etiquette and norms.

This distinction is especially relevant because…

2 – Do you “really” want to post all your Tweets to Facebook?

Posting all of your tweets to your Facebook wall may sound like a good idea at first (you can keep your friends updated on everything going on in your life!), but believe me, neither your Facebook nor your Twitter friends will thank you.

How to Link Twitter to Facebook and vice versa

***If you choose to ignore the question above and opt to go the super easy route, option #1 below is probably good enough for you. However, if you decide to invest another ten minutes, we highly recommend that you review option #2 as well.

Option #1: Link Twitter to Facebook via Twitter

Twitter makes it super easy to connect the Twitter account you want to associate with your Facebook profile account. Follow instructions here Using Twitter with Facebook.

From your Twitter account, go to:

Settings > Apps > Facebook Connect > Allow

To link your Facebook updates to Twitter, use this application on Facebook:

If you want to know how to link your Twitter account to your Facebook account, just follow these easy steps, and you’ll be ready to go in less than a minute. After setting this up, all of your tweets are automatically and simultaneously posted to your Facebook profile, with a little note at the bottom mentioning that it came from Twitter.

However, do you “really” want all your Tweets to end up on Facebook? And, at the same time? 

Think about this!

Option #2: Link Twitter to Facebook via with optimized posting


With you can choose which Twitter messages to post to Facebook, rather than being at the whim of an auto-updater.

  • Smart Sharing: Share the right content with the right audience. Target content to your social networks based on keywords, author, tags and more. Also, fine tune your posts with’s powerful find and replace/remove text tool.
  • Optimized Schedules: Tell us what days and times you want us to check for new updates, and we’ll deliver your content right on time. Or just queue up content, and share it when your audience is active and engaged.
  • Engagement Stats: Use’s content sharing and social analytics to gain customer insight. Measure audience engagement across social networks and track the performance of each item you share.
  • Hashtags: Broaden your reach with hashtags. can automatically add contextually relevant, search-friendly hashtags to every post.
  • Engage with Multimedia: Make your updates stand out with images, photos, gifs, video or text. Effortlessly share them to all your social media platforms.
  • Custom URL Shortener: makes it simple to share your own branded short links across social media. Unleash the power of your own URL shortener with every item you share.
  • Incredibly Fast Updates: continuously scans your RSS feeds and automatically populates a queue of content to share on your connected social media platforms.
  • Google Analytics: Set your own UTM tracking parameters on every link you share and easily view all social media traffic from right inside of Google Analytics.

To get started, you’ll need a Twitter input.

How to Make a Twitter RSS Feed

To start, you will need to log in or create an account at

(See our post on How to Easily Make a Twitter RSS Feed That Will Boost Traffic)

Step1: Once logged into your account, Click ‘Add a Feed’ to create a new feed.

RSS to Twitter

Step 2: Click the Twitter icon

Twitter RSS Feed

Step 3: Associate a new personal Twitter account or choose a previously connected account to your new Twitter stream input.

***This is important because Twitter requires we share with them who is accessing the Twitter stream you’ll be entering in Step #4.

NOTE: YOU WILL BE ABLE TO CHANGE THE TWITTER ACCOUNT you want to create an RSS feed from on the next screen.

How to create a Twitter RSS feed

Step 4: Under Account, ADD the Twitter handle you want to use.

At this time, you can also update:

  • Any settings
  • Add filters
  • Choose when you want to pull information
  • Access advanced settings (enable photo posting, include Retweets, etc.)

Click Save.

How to create a Twitter RSS feed

Step 5: Click ‘Continue’

Step 6: Click ‘+’

Step 7: Choose the Facebook icon

Link Twitter to Facebook by adding Facebook to socials

Step 8: Name the new feed. Click Save.


What Next? How to maximize’s smart Social Media Automation is all about how little or how much you want to automate to link Twitter to Facebook and your other social networks.

1 – If you don’t want to send everything from Twitter to your social account, use Filters.

2 – Does scheduling makes sense for you? If so, make sure to schedule at the right time.

3 – How about hashtags? supports auto hashtags.

4 – Looking for content to share?’s content curation feature keeps your customers, fans and followers engaged with a consistent stream of content. Simply search for the type of content your audience would love, and start sharing.


In conclusion, if you don’t tweet very often (say, once or twice a week at the most), connecting Twitter to Facebook might not make much difference to your Facebook followers. Follow option #1 above.

However, to take full advantage of all that offers through its smart automation features, follow option #2 above to link Twitter to Facebook and vice versa.

The post How to Link Twitter to Facebook with Smart Automation appeared first on blog.

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The Best FREE Twitterfeed Alternative for Social Media Growth

As of October 31, 2016, the much beloved and pioneer of Twitter auto-posting, is ceasing operations. We wish Mario, the founder of Twitterfeed, all the best. They posted the following on their website:

Twitterfeed will be shutting its doors on Oct. 31st. Please transition your account to another service before that date

As a result, you likely got here because you need a Twitterfeed alternative.

Best FREE Twitterfeed Alternative

If you’re in the market for a Twitterfeed alternative, you’ve come to the right place.
Get Started with Smart Social Media Automation

We not only help you auto-Tweet RSS feeds but we can also link your content to Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and more. In addition, our smart auto-scheduling tool ensures delivery of your content at just the right time. With this in mind, we encourage you to explore what has to offer.

  • Given that we’re always adding new features, check back often!
  • Not to mention, setting up a account is quick and easy.
  • Furthermore, you can get started for FREE, and as you grow, it’s a breeze to add our set of robust features with our paid plan.


As a Twitterfeed user, you had a certain level of automation.

At, you have as much automation as you need. (FYI, our competitors can’t say that.)

  • Need complete automation? We’ve got it!
  • Prefer to touch every post that goes out? We’ve got that too.
  • Need something in between. We’ve got exactly the right amount of automation for your needs.

To put it another way, that’s what smart Social Media Automation is all about.

We share over 5 Million items for 1,000,000+ customers every day. That is to say; we got this social media and RSS auto-posting stuff down!

In the light of the many questions we have been receiving from customers looking for a Twitterfeed alternative, we put together a list of the most popular questions:

  1. What social networks does post to?
  2. What are’s features?
  3. How do I set-up Facebook?
  4. How much does cost?
  5. Can I add a Facebook profile and page? is a Robust Auto Tweet RSS Feed Solution and So Much More

You not only get the same features you loved about Twitterfeed, but you’ll get so much more.

  • Auto Tweet RSS: We continuously monitor your news feeds, and RSS-enabled websites and automatically share new content to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more.
  • Scheduling: Queue up content wherever you find it with our browser extension. We’ll share it to your social networks on an optimized schedule.
  • Curation: Keep your customers, fans and followers engaged with a consistent stream of content. Simply search for the type of content your audience would love, and start sharing.

To say nothing of all the great added bonuses and features…

Incredibly Fast Updates continuously scans your RSS feeds and automatically populates a queue of content to share on your connected social media platforms.

✓Google Analytics

Set your own UTM tracking parameters on every link you share. Easily view all social media traffic from right inside of Google Analytics.

✓Smart Sharing

Share the right content with the right audience. Target content to your social networks based on keywords, author, tags and more. Also, fine tune your posts with’s powerful find and replace/remove text tool.

✓Optimized Schedules

Tell us what days and times you want us to check for new updates, and we’ll deliver your content right on time. Or just queue up content, and share it when your audience is active and engaged.

✓Engagement Stats

Use’s content sharing and social analytics to gain customer insight. Measure audience engagement across social networks and track the performance of each item you share.


Broaden your reach with hashtags. can automatically add contextually relevant, search-friendly hashtags to every post.

✓Engage with Multimedia

Make your updates stand out with images, photos, gifs, video or text. Effortlessly share them to all your social media platforms.

✓Custom URL Shortener makes it simple to share your own branded short links across social media. Unleash the power of your own URL shortener with every item you share.

✓Share From Anywhere

Reading an article, you love? See a funny photo? Share it to social media in seconds with the Firefox, Safari, and Chrome plugins.

Be that as it may, don’t take our word for it. Our customers offer the most compelling evidence:

Favorite Tweets by @dlvrit

Of course, if you have questions, please visit our support forum or feel free to contact us. We’d love to hear from you!

Get Started with Smart Social Media Automation

The post The Best FREE Twitterfeed Alternative for Social Media Growth appeared first on blog.

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What You Need to Know About the Surprising New Focus of Google Plus

I had to check my calendar to make sure I wasn’t in some time warp. Or better yet, a “Back to the Future” type Hollywood movie. It’s 2016, and I’m writing about Google Plus.

When was the last time you gave G+ any thought?

I’m here to tell you; it might be worth a second look.

Isn’t Google Plus Dead?

Let’s address the elephant in the room. Is Google Plus dead or just slowly dying? Believe it or not, neither is true. Surprisingly, G+ has a renewed focus. Google is putting resources into making G+ competitive – but with a new value proposition (more on that later).

Matter of fact, take a look at the 2016 Google Plus user stats collected by Statistic Brain:

Total number of Google+ active members 375,000,000
Total number of unique Google+ monthly visits 27,000,000
Average time spent on Google+ per visit 3:46
Percent of online adults that visit Google+ at least once a month 22 %
Percent of smartphone users that use the Google+ app at least once a month 30 %
Average sales order for a visitor referred from Google+ $40

Before we discuss the renewed focus of Google+, it’s important to understand a small change Google made that led to our conclusion.

Auto-post to Google Plus Personal Profiles [and Business Pages]

When launched the ability to auto-post to Google Plus business pages, the first question many of you asked was “What about Google Plus Personal Profiles?” Unfortunately, at that time, Google had not created a way for us to do that.

If there was one thing that frustrated us was the lack of posting to Google Plus personal profiles using After repeated requests to Google to add this feature went unanswered, we gave up asking and put our focus on other social networks.

We couldn’t figure out why they held back on adding this when Facebook had not.

Now, four years later, our ask has been answered. We’ve partnered with Google Plus to bring you the ability to post to Personal Profiles. But the reason why may surprise you (keep reading).

So, what does this mean for you?

  1. Think about G+ as another place for you and your content to be discovered by the 27M people who share common interests.
  2. Convenience! No more bouncing in and out of to manually update your G+ personal profile. You can finally get insanely organized and productive all inside of the app.
  3. Last but not least, remember G+ is Google. Google search is the largest search engine on the planet, and the two services (G+ and Google Search) are tightly coupled.

It’s pretty easy to add G+ plus your social media calendar.

1.) Login into, click the Socials icon and “Add Social”
How to Add a Google Plus Personal Profile to


2.) Click the G+ icon
How to add a Google Plus Personal Profile to

3.) Choose your Google account

How to Add a Google Plus Personal Profile to


4.) Choose your Google Plus Personal Profile

How to Add a Google Plus Personal Profile to

Why Should You Care About The Return of Google Plus?

After four years of not posting to personal profiles, why has Google had a change of heart?

We asked ourselves that very question.

The answer is simple; Google+ has a renewed focus on content. It’s not about who you know (like Facebook), but rather, it’s about what you know (content – images, video, blog posts).

With this in mind, it now makes sense why they would open up auto-posting to Personal Profiles.

Google only wants your content!

What’s more, Google+’s renewed focus is directly aligned with Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.

They’re not in the business of organizing the people of the world in a Facebook kind of way. They tried that and failed.

They’re taking Google Plus into a new direction. The more content that easily pours into Google+, the more benefit you get and Google gets.

Google Plus Renewed Focus

For many years, Google Plus had been a Google version of Facebook. Although Google was slow to realize that they couldn’t compete with Facebook, they are finally breathing new life into Google Plus.

You can now tailor your Google Plus social media stream around topics rather than people.

With Facebook, for example, I connect with people. The thing about people is we have many interests. The reality is I don’t share all the same interests of my friends but yet for the most part, in my Facebook feed, I get ALL my friends streams of consciousness.

On the other hand, Google+  is taking a different approach. Google came to realize that I may only like content related to basketball – so, let me connect with people who share my interest and passion for basketball.

If the same person shares information on G+ that includes their other hobbies,  interests or what they had for dinner, I don’t see it. No more unwanted cat gifs, images of what they are eating, and other meaningless status updates.

We can finally say; G+ has a unique value proposition which is to connect people around their interests and hobbies and make it accessible.

The Google Plus SEO Debate Ranges On

What’s important to realize and often overlooked is Google Plus is Google! One could surmise, Google can use your search history to influence the content you see on Google+ and vice versa.

However, what is likely on the mind of many small businesses – is there “really” a connection between Google Plus and SEO?

SEO experts have been debating the value of Google+ and its impact on search rankings. There is evidence to suggest that Google Plus posts do pass SEO benefits (the same is not true with Facebook and Twitter for example).

However, as with all things regarding Google search, no one “really” knows for certain. In our research, we found only one hint of G+’s SEO impact.

According to excerpts posted by the Wall Street Journal from Eric Schmidt’s book, ‘‘The New Digital Age’, Schmidt explains the importance of content posted to Google Plus.

It should come as no surprise that Google would tie the two together. Search is Google’s big moneymaker. If Google wants people to engage on Google+, connecting it with search is one sure way to do it.

The critical extract reads:

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevant.”

If there are any hints at any SEO value, it’s worth the time to post to Google Plus. Why? Because it’s super simple to do with’s integration of both Personal Profiles and Business Pages. You no longer have an excuse not to share your blog content on Google+.

The Time to Give Google+ a Second Look is Now

To recap, Google+ has many differentiating features that make it unique in the social media market.

  1. Enhance your SEO: Content shared on Google Plus is indexed more quickly and appears in search results faster than any other social media channel. Read 10 Dead Simple Tips to Take Advantage of Google for SEO
  2. Brands are people too: Unlike Facebook, Google Plus Pages will have the ability to interact and engage with any Google+ user – a major plus.
  3. Increase Engagement: Google Plus circles are a natural way to target specific content to users. Now, you can see the right content by the right customer (taking your privacy settings into consideration). As a result, you should expect higher engagement.

What’s next?

Head on over to and connect your G+ plus personal profile (and business page if you haven’t already done so).

Pundits are saying G+ is back! No time like the present to give it a second look.

The post What You Need to Know About the Surprising New Focus of Google Plus appeared first on blog.

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9 of the Best Office Halloween Tips Guaranteed to Boost Your Spirit

However you look at a calendar, Halloween is just around the corner – waiting to excite or spook you! Halloween is one of those bizarre days that isn’t a national holiday, but certainly feels like it to employees (and school-aged kids) across America. And over the years, anticipation for the office Halloween party, costume contest, cubicle trick-or-treating and office pranks is on high alert.

So while you will have to accept that a little less work will get done on Halloween, there are also plenty of ways to improve morale, focus your employees, and not completely write off the day.

Office Halloween Fun

Queen of Office Parties

My daughter-in-law, Christina, a supervisor for a large medical center, is the queen of planning company “morale boosting” parties. Her ideas run the gamut from office Olympics to an NFL opening day tailgate party (which according to her VP, was the talk of the floor) to monthly themed potlucks. Halloween is one her favorites.

Christmas may be the big corporate-paid party of the year, but Halloween is the party that each employee gets to participate in. Celebrating Halloween at work appeals to the child in each of us and helps create a motivational, team work-oriented work culture.

Mug shot of Christina with a co-worker at her office Halloween party

Office Halloween costume contest by Christina

Halloween Activities for Your Office that Keep Employees Motivated

Thanks to Christina, the Balance, and Branding Beat, here are nine office Halloween ideas will that spark your creative thinking and open up the world of possibilities for celebrating Halloween at work.

1. Have a costume contest and parade

Encourage people to wear their costume to work for the day. Or, you can make the celebration more elaborate and hold an official parade of costumed employees throughout the company.

Have multiple categories of awards:

  • Best costume
  • Funniest costume
  • Most sophisticated costume
  • Costume that took the most work to make
  • Scariest costume
  • Most creative costume

Advertise the awards in advance and provide a thoughtful gift to the winners such as a Starbucks gift card or a gift certificate to a local restaurant or an afternoon off. (I vote for the afternoon off!)

Office Halloween costume contest and parade

We have a costume contest each year at work and there are always lots of creative costumes. It makes for a fun day and my mime costume won this year, yeah!

For offices with many departments (e.g., sales, marketing, accounting, tech, etc.), assign a theme to each department or by floor or division. Add an award to the list above for the best theme. Winning group gets a pizza party or an adventure to the local museum.

Office Halloween party at InShape

Halloween at In-Shape HQ is crazy. Each dept has a theme. We are the Villains! I am @disneymaleficent #marketingteam @inshapeclubs.

Make sure you read the section below on office-appropriate Halloween costumes! And, the one after that on what not to wear – just don’t!

2 – Host an Office Halloween Breakfast

Cider and doughnuts make a yummy breakfast treat for Halloween. So might pumpkin and apple bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin coffee cake, or pumpkin and apple muffins. For healthy eating, assorted fruits top off the meal, and do make the breakfast a team building celebration.

Make sure to ask employees to spend some time together rather than retreating with their breakfast to their office or cubicle.

Office Halloween breakfast

A couple of ideas for your menu:

Spooky Eyeball Recipe

  • Cook egg in a little butter, don’t flip
  • When done, add ketchup for the veins and a slice of black olive for the pupil

Mummy Sausage Dogs

  • Use sausage links and a tube of biscuits
  • Place a biscuit on a flat surface and roll out with the palm of your hand, cut thin strips with a knife
  • Wrap strips around the sausage
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or according to directions on box
  • Add ketchup for eyes

3 – Halloween Luncheon

You can make a Halloween at the office luncheon as seasonal as breakfast. Or, you can order pizza, sandwich wraps, sub sandwiches, or any other lunch menu.

You can even host a Halloween potluck contest, similar to the costume contest. Give awards for the scariest looking dish, best use of blood (i.e., the color red), craziest use of guacamole and best decor.

The image below has my vote for the best Halloween table decoration:

Office Halloween potluck

With dishes ranging from Dirt Pudding to Cincinnati Death Dip, our Chicago office enjoyed a spooky lunch filled with creepy food and cheesy horror movies. Our potluck winner was editor Suzie Moore with her awesomely horrific ‘Monster Mashed Potato’.

Office Halloween potluck luncheon

And this dish wins for Guacamole (yum?) with tortilla chips:

Office Halloween potluck luncheon with Guacamole

Martha Stewart has even gotten in on the office Halloween fun with her 13 Hauntingly Good Halloween Potluck Ideas.

4 – Halloween Office and Cubicle Decorations

Synthetic cobwebs, plastic spiders, and craft pumpkins are essential for creating creepy office holiday decor.

Take some caution tape and webbing and drape it across cubicles, desks, ceilings, and walls. Randomly scatter hand prints (dipped in blood) and plastic spiders throughout for a more realistic effect.

Office Halloween: Group cubicle decoration

Don’t hold back your artistic urges. Give the office a unique thematic feel and make this an office competition!

Offer prizes for best and most festively decorated work area. You can give awards like the awards suggested above for costumes.

Enhance the team building aspects of this competition by encouraging groups of people to work together to decorate their shared work area.

Office Halloween: Cubicle decoration


If you succeed in making your cubicle into a character, take it a step further and embellish other office items with the Halloween spirit.

Office Halloween: Other office item decorations

5 – Pumpkin Carving Contests

Start at around 4 p.m. so that staff can bring their children in for the pumpkin carving contest. Parents can bring older children to help and younger kids to watch if you choose to make this a family adventure.

Or, better yet:

Make pumpkin carving a contest between individual employees or groups of employees. Either option is a fun, creative team building opportunity.

Pick a pumpkin face and start working. Get everybody in the office involved!

Office Halloween: Pumpkin decorations

6 – Trick or Treating (Without the Tricking)

Not just for children, you can encourage all employees to bring treats to share and employees can go cubicle to cubicle or door to door trick or treating. Provide each employee with a Halloween trick or treat bag for fun.

7 – Schedule Philanthropic Activities for Volunteers

If your coworkers are going to be a little antsy, you might as well pour all that energy into some volunteering. Contact a local charity, soup kitchen, or animal shelter to see if you and some of your employees can volunteer for the day.

It can be both inspiring and gratifying to give back to your community with the support of your company through philanthropy, volunteerism, and leadership.

8 – Bobbing for Apples and Other Games

Increase your office morale and offer your employees a couple of ways to express their Halloween spirit. Games and activities are a great choice because they are easy to set up and only take about 30-60 minutes to complete.

Try out one of these:

  • Office decorating contest: spookiest set-up wins
  • Guess how many candy corn pieces are in a jar
  • Play the mummy wrap game with toilet paper or streamers
  • Pumpkin bowling – yes, this is a real thing!

Office Halloween: Pumpkin bowling

And, you can’t forget the ole, bob for apple game…

Bobbing for apples is a tradition many of your employees will decide to skip, but it’s fun for those who are interested. It’s a laughter generator for those who are not. Team building games and activities that are active in nature and without the potential to embarrass, work best for Halloween celebrations at work.

‘The Office’ – ‘Costume Contest’: Let’s hear it for the rational consumer!

Office Halloween: Apple bobbing contest

Work-Appropriate Halloween Costumes That Keep It Classy

It’s always fun to rock Halloween costumes at work — you get to spice up your regular day with some fun festivities and bond with co-workers over your cute costume inspiration.

But — and this is a big “but” — don’t make the mistake of taking your outfit too far. So as much as you’d like to all dress up as a “sexy grocery store clerk”, you definitely will want to tone down your costume so that it’s appropriate for work.

With help from Pinterest and Brit + Co’s post on 130 Winning Group Halloween Costume Ideas, we’ve rounded up some ideas that are creative, easy to do, and still keep it classy.

1 – Orange is the New Black

Everyone’s favorite Netflix show gets a second chance at being your group’s signature look this Halloween. Try not to get into a knife fight over who gets to wear the orange jumper.

Office Halloween idea: Orange is the new black

2 – Dominoes

Grab your co-workers, pool together all the black clothes you have and decorate with plenty of sticky tape, and white paper. That’s all it takes to make this cute costume.

Office Halloween idea: Dominoes

3 – Gangnam Style

Grab your dancing co-workers and get ready to go Gangnam style. Make sure you all perfect your gallop shimmy before hitting the parade route.

Office Halloween idea: Gangnam style

4 – Office Super Heroines!

Christina and her staff, strut their Halloween super strength.

Office Halloween: Super heros

And, don’t let a curmudgeonly boss or corporate policies ruin your office Halloween fun!

Christina to the rescue…

I think this says it all, “They told us we couldn’t dress up for Halloween, so we just wore superhero socks!”

Office Halloween: Office super hero socks

Trick or Treat? Inappropriate Halloween Costumes are HR’s Worst Nightmare

It goes without saying, but just in case you need a visual reminder, we recommend not wearing any of these costumes to the office Halloween party.

There are different levels of conservatism in every workplace when it comes to how far you can push the envelope. But in most offices, you don’t want to wear a costume that offends a certain ethic group or goes crazy on the sex-pot-o-meter. – Shanti Atkins, President and CEO of ELT, an ethics and workplace compliance training firm

Inappropriate office Halloween costumes

1 – Pregnant School Girl Costume

Just don’t! While it is rather comical and could get a laugh or two, we don’t recommend wearing something like this to an office party. It could come off as offensive or just un-tasteful.

Office Halloween - Inappropriate costume 1

2 – Sexy Olaf

Just don’t! Apparently, the sexy variation of Olaf, the snowman from Disney’s Frozen is one of the hottest costumes this year. The costume might be a hit at the party, but you’ll likely have to endure lasciviously whistled renditions of “Let It Go” every time you walk the sales floor between now and Thanksgiving.

Office Halloween - Inappropriate costume 3

3 – Plug & Socket Costume

Just don’t! If you are bringing your spouse or significant other to the office Halloween party, we would recommend staying away from this one. It’s funny (kind of), but not worth it. Keep the couple’s costumes PG and avoid the innuendos.

Office Halloween - Inappropriate costume 4

4 – Janitor/Warehouse Worker/Manual Laborer

Just don’t! Every so often, some desk jockey, usually a skinny suit wearing, Audi driving, Red Bull-guzzling junior executive type assumes the whole office will find it hilarious if he dresses up in the manner of some occupation that is clearly several stations beneath him. We don’t, and it’s not.

Last, but certainly not least:

5 – Untitled

Just don’t!

Office Halloween - Inappropriate costume 5

Keep HR Happy! Let the festivities begin!


Thank you Christina, the office party queen, for the inspiration for this post and awesome morale-boosting office Halloween ideas.

For further “office” inspiration, check out our posts on:

A big shout out to our office in Portland. Maybe we should have a virtual Halloween contest – San Francisco vs. Portland – game on!
Have any office Halloween ideas to share? We’d love to hear from you. Happy Halloweening!

The post 9 of the Best Office Halloween Tips Guaranteed to Boost Your Spirit appeared first on blog.

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How to Use Snapchat to Boost Engagement: 7 Awesome Tips

Snapchat opened its doors only five years ago. Today this social media platform is stronger than ever, and it looks like its future is even brighter. However, if you’re a business owner that’s over 20 years old, there’s still a decent chance you don’t know how to use Snapchat.

Snapchat grew in one year as much as Twitter has in four. The growth and dominance of Snapchat prove it is the latest social network that you need to pay attention to.

Editors note: In this post on how to use Snapchat, we welcomed user submissions from our blog readers. Who better to help us understand Snapchat than an avid user and aspiring writer, Mike Jones. 

How to Use Snapchat to Boost Engagement

In this post, we’ll discuss seven Snapchat tips guaranteed to give you a boost in your social media engagement.

First, it’s important to understand the real backbone behind Snapchat.

1 – Understanding Snapchat

Understanding How to Use Snapchat to Boost Engagement

Without embarrassment or apologies, Snapchat succeeded in bringing a different card to the “big guys’ table”. On the contrary, thanks to this card, the website wins more and more territory among social media users every day.

This card is about Evanescence. The creators behind Snapchat understood that the one element that defines a real-life conversation to be genuine and desirable is in actuality, its perishing character. You can’t find the dialogue saved on any hard disk, but a Snapchat becomes a memory that inspires a feeling inside of us.

Definition of evanescence - how to use snapchat

The same rule of meaningful conversation stands as a backbone for today’s Snapchat. Visual stories from a Snapchat disappear without a trace after 24 hours from their creation. The success of this innovative feature makes us think that the Internet shouldn’t store our humanity (a wishful thought).

This disappearing act brings some bad news and good news when thinking about how to use Snapchat for your business.

  • The bad news is that you have only 24 hours to prove a point.
  • The good news is that every 24 hours you have a clean page to create the recipe that boosts engagement.

2 – Cracking Snapchat Stories

How to use Snapchat by cracking Snapchat stories

How to use Snapchat in a natural and organic way to boost engagement is to beat Snapchat at its own game, namely by creating compelling stories. The platform runs entirely on snaps, which are videos or photos that open the door to a narrative. Using snaps to promote your brand:

  • Gives you access to a low-cost marketing channel that creates highly personal connections
  • Engages users with one another

To make the most of your 24 hours, you should respect a key element that differentiates snaps from other videos or photos. That is – every snap posted – should have a raw personality.

Snapchat doesn’t require big budgets or an elaborate marketing strategy

This character means that the story of a snap doesn’t require a large budget or much forethought, but should convey an original message, and be spontaneous. Snapchat doesn’t speak the language of business. But rather, consumers come to Snapchat to show the world their real face and have fun at the same time. So, it is important to forget about marketing strategies while on Snapchat and come up with new ways to make consumers see your brand.

Every story can receive an impactful boost by using Snapchat features. Businesses shouldn’t restrict the use of lenses, face swaps, emojis or special texts in their posts. These features increase the engagement in a fun and natural way. Rumors have it that Snapchat will move its content to the 3D level, so be prepared for new methods to deliver stories – sooner than later!

By cracking Snapchat stories, the result will help forge the key to success. Remember that snaps have 24 hours to become memorable through authenticity and originality by showing pieces of reality that inspire your brand to greatness.

3 – Show your Brand’s Personality

 Show your Brand’s Personality - How to use Snapchat

Users make a choice before joining Snapchat. That choice is to ditch the glamorous filters of Instagram and the pressure of posting only “perfect” stories on Facebook for the envy of friends. Instead, they seek new ways to show the world their real personality. This human aspect might mean exposing their “not so cool” traits, such as silliness or awkward situations.

Before creating their first story, businesses have to learn how to use Snapchat in this new way of socializing. Fortunately, companies can choose from several methods to make their brands more personal and to boost engagement.

How to use Snapchat to make your brand more personal

  • Snapchat exclusive sales. This method is the perfect platform where you can design some private sales. Make sure you post the campaign only here and nowhere else. It is a good way to create the feel of a community, where only Snapchatters can enjoy exclusive perks.
  • Snapchat promotions. Again, this method has exclusivity at its core, but it is more than that. This time, Snapchat users have to do a little extra work to gain access to your promotion. Giveaways are fun to host, especially when everyone that participated gets a reward. The participation usually sticks to what Snapchatters love most, namely taking pictures or videos that respect a theme related to your brand.
  • Exclusive previews of new products. Before showing the world your brand new product, entrust your community with your exclusive news. Showing Snapchatters your product before anyone else will create a unique bond with them based on trust. The excitement of a new product is something worth talking about. Sparking up the possibility of a viral event will boost engagement.
  • Behind the scenes videos. Snapchat gives its users a friendly environment to post daily events. As no one has only perfect days in a row, snaps about ordinary daily activities are most appreciated here.

Your brand is not just a professional product. Brands have regular faces, meetings, daily office routines, office parties, a kitchen with coffee, etc. Show Snapchatters that they are part of your community through behind the scenes videos that surprise them. Such as:

  • A crazy brainstorming session of the marketing team
  • A philosophical dialogue between colleagues over coffee
  • The process of product creation

Users will feel that they can relate to your brand, which humanizes it.

4 – Allow Takeovers

How to use Snapchat through influencers

There are many influential Snapchatters whose voices inspire thousands of followers on a daily basis. Even greater news is the possibility that there are important influencers out there that have something to do with your field.

It is a good strategy to discover these famous personalities within the Snapchat community and contact them with the purpose of collaboration. For example, clothing retailer, Wet Seal worked on a Snapchat campaign that was entirely taken over by an influencer with the username MsMeghanMakeup. She had a community of more than 300,000 followers, and her experience with this social platform enabled her to gather 9,000 connections in just two weeks for the fashion retailer.

We wanted to be thoughtful about how we could exponentially increase our reach, so we partnered with an influencer in the teen space. – Leslie Hall, President at Wet Seal’s digital agency ICED Media

This campaign demonstrated one of the most effective engagements boost that Snapchat ever saw.

→Key Takeaway: Allow the help of influencers, especially when your Snapchat profile is at its beginning.

5 – Activate Snap Ads

Snapchat has made it easy for businesses of all kinds to advertising on its platform. The website recently introduced the option of snap ads, which are approximately 10-second promotional videos that appear between stories. These ads seem like normal posts – which give them an organic nature. You can also include a swipe up option, like other snaps, to lead viewers to pages with additional details, such as websites, longer videos, and articles.

Snap Ads can appear even during a live snap. They can target audiences based on gender, age, type of content they engage with or mobile network careers. What’s fascinating is that Snapchat discovered that the click through rate on a Snap Ad is 5x higher than on other social platforms.

6 – The Power of Geofilters

Snapchat doesn’t employ hashtags, but it nonetheless has a similar version of them. The new hashtags are the Snapchat geofilters. These are little decorations that appear on snaps. The use of the geofilters is to let viewers know the location of the Snapchatter by showing the name of the city, neighborhood or other places.

Businesses can now create sponsored geofilters of their own. Whenever users snap a photo, they have the option to use the filter of the location to explain where they are. The little art can cover bars, shops or restaurants, but they can even be active during an event.

This way, if a business doesn’t own a certain location, the marketing team can manage campaigns where Snapchatters have to be in a particular place, use the brand’s geofilter, and have a chance to win an exciting prize. Snapchat claims that a nationally sponsored geofilter from the U.S. can reach 40% to 60% of its daily users. And when you think about the fact that Snapchat has around 150 million daily users, you can just see how much geofilters can boost engagement.

7 – Sponsored Lenses

 How to use Snapchat - use the Snapchat lens to boost engagement

There’s a third way to invest in Snapchat advertising. A favorite feature of this social platform is the lens. Users can add these interactive animations over a photo or a video, and the result is funny and entertaining. Users can now throw up rainbows, have kitty faces, big eyes, change into zombies or famous characters.

Businesses can join this popular trend with sponsored lenses. Snapchatters tend to love sponsored lenses and use them to personalize their snaps. With just one caveat – as long as you come up with a new and exciting twist on the user experience! Snapchat researched this social feature and found that their users play around 20 seconds on average with a Sponsored Lens. That gives the businesses enough exposure to clearly boost the engagement of their brands.


Hopefully, with these seven tips, you have enough insight into how to use Snapchat to promote more engagement with your brand. Do you see a Snapchat campaign in your future? All indicators support that Snapchat should be part of your social media mix. So, now is a perfect time to board the Snapchat boat to increase brand awareness.

The post How to Use Snapchat to Boost Engagement: 7 Awesome Tips appeared first on blog.

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Pros and Cons of Facebook Ads: How to Determine the Best Strategy

As of the second quarter 2016, Facebook had over 1.71 billion active users – are you reaching the right ones? My guess, probably not. But if you’re like me, spending money on Facebook Ads is like blindly throwing darts.

You may have dabbled in spending a couple of bucks to boost your Facebook page posts but were probably disappointed with the little response – leaving you feeling like you wasted your money. Sound familiar? Do you find yourself wishing there was a better way to reach your target audience on Facebook? 

Unless you’ve taken one of Mari Smith’s Facebook Ads webinars or are a social media expert, it’s hard to know where to start and how much money you should spend.

In this post, we’ll discuss the who, what, where, why and when of Facebook advertising.

1 – How Facebook Ads work

2 – Who Should Advertise on Facebook?

3 – How to Target Facebook Ads

4 – How create a successful campaign

5 – Importance of images for Facebook Ads

6 – How to track performance


People who like your Page spend an average of 2 times more as your customers than people who aren’t connected to you on Facebook. (Facebook Ads fact)

How Do Facebook Ads Work?

In researching this post, I realized that I didn’t quite know the difference between Facebook Ads and a boosted post and when should I use one or the other? It turns out, the answer to this question isn’t always an easy one. It depends on what your goals are for advertising and what audiences you want to reach.

Thanks to Reload Media for the following explanation:

What is a boosted post?

A boosted post is the most basic advertising you can do on Facebook. You create a boost by allocating advertising budget to a post already on your business page. Taking my husbands business page Evan Garber Arts as an example below, you can see the ‘Boost Post’ option in the bottom right-hand corner.

Boost Post vs. Facebook Ads

  • The post on its own would only reach a tiny portion of Evan’s current audience which could be as little as .05%!
  • Boosting the post allows you to ensure a much larger audience sees the post in their news feed.

Typically, use boosted posts when the goal is to achieve audience engagement such as post likes, shares, and comments.

What are Facebook Ads?

Facebook ads are a more advanced way to advertise on Facebook and require you to create an ad account.

Facebook ads offer the greatest number of options for advertisers, and the type of ad you choose to use will depend on your marketing objectives. Objectives include Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion and contain the following goals:

1 – Awareness

  • Boost your posts = Post Engagement
  • Promote your Page = Page Likes
  • Reach people near your business = Local Awareness
  • Increase brand awareness = Brand Awareness

2 – Consideration

  • Send people to your website = Website Clicks
  • Get installs of your app = # of App Installs
  • Raise attendance at your event = Event Responses
  • Get video views = # of Video Views
  • Collect leads for your business = Lead Generation

→Interested in generating more Facebook leads? Make sure to read Everything You Need to Know about Facebook Lead Ads.

3 – Conversion

  • Increase conversions on your website = Website Conversions
  • Increase engagement in your app = App Engagement
  • Get people to claim your offer = Offer Claims
  • Promote a product catalog = Product Catalog Sales

Here’s a simple image from Facebook, explaining how Facebook ads work:

How Facebook Ads work

Who Should Advertise on Facebook?

First, take a moment to think about why advertising on Facebook may be worth the investment for your business.

Perhaps you’ll recognize some of these challenges that Mari Smith hears from Facebook Page owners on a regular basis:

  • Your fan growth has reached a plateau.
  • You’re unable to reach more of the fans you do have.
  • You’re not sure if paying to promote (boost) your Page posts “actually” works.
  • When you do pay to boost posts, your organic reach goes down.
  • You’re afraid of wasting money.
  • You’ve tried ads before and didn’t get good results (read: a solid ROI, return on investment).
  • You’re not really sure what to advertise.
  • You don’t understand Facebook’s ad terminology.
  • You don’t know who to turn to when you get stuck….

Next, consider what type of business do you market to. Are you a business to consumer (B2C) or business to business (B2B) company?

From the Moz blog, take a look at the pros and cons of advertising on Facebook.

Pros of Facebook Ads

  • Campaigns are easy to track
  • Immediate influx of traffic
  • Complete control over your daily budget and maximum CPC
  • Instant return on investment (You can easily define a cost per conversion and understand what your profit is)
  • More targeting options, including, towns, regions, age, likes/interests, income bracket, and other demographics
  • Easier to set up than Google AdWords
  • The ability to reach people early on in the buying process, before they are aware of their need, while capturing those who are conscious of the need in a subtle way
  • You can use images and videos to capture the interest of your target market, helping you to sell your products and services
  • CPC is relatively cheap, depending on your industry (On average, our clients have paid no more than $0.61 per click)

Cons of Facebook Ads

  • If set up and managed incorrectly, it can be costly
  • Depending on your target market, the majority of the large potential audience can be irrelevant (For instance, we would not recommend Facebook Advertising if someone only served or supplied their products and services to one town)
  • There is no option to target your ads at certain times within the day or on certain days of the week unless you choose a lifetime budget (Most of our clients request daily budgets)
  • Only really suitable for those operating in B2C markets.
  • Reaching people too early in the buying cycle could potentially reduce your goal conversion rate


1 – If you are operating in a B2C market, Facebook advertising could be the ideal cost effective solution for you.

2 – On the other hand, the main con of Facebook Advertising is that it’s not recommended for B2B companies.

How to Target Facebook Ads

One of the biggest advantages to advertising on Facebook is your ability to target specific groups of highly engaged people. In fact, according to Facebook, compared to the average online reach of 38% for narrowly targeted campaigns, Facebook targeting is 89% accurate. 

Facebook ads let you target by:

1 – Location

2 – Demographics

3 – Interests

4 – Behaviors

5 – Advanced Targeting (e.g., custom audiences, lookalike audiences, audiences from your website, etc.)

Here’s a snapshot from the ‘Ad Set’ section in Facebook Ads where you can define your target audience by the feature sets listed above.

Define your audience, budget and schedule for Facebook Ads

How to Create a Successful Facebook Advertising Campaign

Here are the creative steps to creating ads that feel at home in the Facebook feed, as well as help deliver business results – at least according to Facebook:

1 – Identify your business goal

Start by deciding what your ad is intended to do.

  • Are you trying to push a certain product?
  • Drive foot traffic to your store?
  • Encourage website views?
  • Improve trust?

Identifying the purpose of your advertising will help you build posts that deliver the desired results.

2 – Identify your audience

Decide who your target audience is before you design your ad. It may affect the image and the way you write copy.

  • How old are they? 18-25? 25-54?
  • Where do they live? Anywhere? In Boise, Idaho?
  • What kinds of things are they interested in? Family Activities? College sports?

3 – Choose a topic

When deciding on the topic of your ad, think about your audience, and what would be interesting to them or offer them some valuable information.

  • Do you feature employees to build trust?
  • A new item to bring back old customers?

Knowing what the subject or theme of your ad is will help determine everything else.

4 – Choose an image (see more on images below)

Images are the first thing people will notice about your post. So take time selecting and curating the images you put there – this is how people will see your business.

5 – Write your copy <– (Notice how this is way down at the bottom of the list. Read more on why images are everything in Facebook ads!)

You don’t have to be a novelist to write effective text for a Facebook post. Following a few simple tips can help make your writing more effective and consistent in your ads. Most importantly, if you do nothing else, spellcheck.

Ask yourself the following:

1 – What’s the best reflection of your businesses personality?

Is it funny? All business? Adventurous? Every business has its unique identity and the more authentic you are, the more effective your ads are likely to be. Be yourself and be consistent in your tone of voice.

2 – What is important?

***Remember, people scroll through Facebook quickly, so the chances they’re going to stop and read a novel are slim. Stick to the relevant information and pay attention to the character count limit.

Elements of a successful ad

As a helping hand, here are a few tips again from the Moz blog to get you started on the road to creating a successful Facebook Advertising campaign:

  • Keep your information short
  • Make sure to include an offer or price
  • Use keywords
  • Include persuasive or engaging imagery/video (see more in the next section on the importance of images in your campaign)
  • Place your URL above the image/video in the text section
  • Use taglines and hooks to draw your potential customers in (i.e., “Make This a Year to Remember)

From AdExpresso’s eBook on The Science of Successful Facebook Ads, here’s a quick overview of what a typical Facebook ad should look like:

The Science of Successful Facebook Ads

A couple of data-backed facts on the most popular type of Facebook ad:

1 – Most popular: Page post Link ad

Data shows that the most popular type of ad is the Page Post Link Ad and is ideal for promoting your external site. Use the Link ad to send people directly to relevant sections of your website.

See example of a post link ad below found in my Facebook feed for Tecovas (everyone needs one awesome pair of boots!):

Facebook ads example of a Post Link ad

2 – High Engagement: Video ads

Video ads, which currently make up 15.1% of all Facebook ads, can drive high audience engagement.

Best practices of a video ad:

  • Use the video to show your audience a short example of your work.
  • Embed the video in an ad that promotes your offer or business.
  • Include a CTA to sign up to receive more information at the end.

3 – Photo ads are good for generating comments and likes, but not good for traffic, and you can’t include a CTA.

4 – Other ad types of ads such as Events and Offers are good for highly specific aims, such as promoting a time-sensitive webinar or sale.

Images for Facebook Ads

Images are everything in Facebook Ads

The good and bad news: Images are everything in Facebook ads.

Consumer Acquisition found that images are so important, they’re responsible for some 75 to 90% of an ad’s performance.

If you look at AdEspresso’s anatomy of a Facebook Ad diagram, it’s obvious how important images are – more so than the actual copy.

1. Pick An Interesting Subject

Focus on the things about your business that make it stand out.

The people.

The environment.

The products.

Try to pick an image that will grab your audience’s attention as they scroll through Facebook.

2. Shoot for Quality

If possible, avoid these three things:

  • Low resolution (which leads to pixelation)
  • Blurry photos
  • Clip or stock art

You can do this by taking photos with your smartphone of things that aren’t moving (that includes your hands while you take the photo), in well-lit places. It also means paying attention to the size of the image specified by the ad you’re building (square vs. rectangle).

3. DIY Photography Tips

You can take great photos on your smartphone.

  • Take the time to set up your shot.
  • Make sure there’s proper light and that you don’t have a lot of things crowding your frame.
  • Try using a photo app that offers filters. They take an average photo and make it feel more professional.

A few more tips from AdEspresso. Do these images grab your attention?

Tip #1: Eye Contact Helps Build Trust

Facebook Ads: Eye Contact Helps Build Trust

Tip #2: Focus On Lips

Notice the power of red!

Facebook Ads: Focus o n Lips

Tip #3: Beards Rule

Researchers from Australia looked at how people rated the attractiveness of men who were clean-shaven, had light stubble, heavy stubble, or were in full bloom beard-wise. They found that the men with the heavy stubble are always rated as more attractive than the clean-shaven guys.

Tip #4: Pregnancy Bumps Can Release Our Care Chemicals

Facebook Ads: Pregnancy Bumps Can Release Our Care Chemicals

Conclusion: We spend our entire lives looking at other people, so we’re drawn to them in ads as well. We love looking at eyes, lips, and bodies — it’s just in our nature. Adding something slightly different, like facial hair or a pregnancy bump can also make your ad stand out from the rest.

For more inspiration, download AdEspresso’s eBook on 500+ Facebook Ads Examples to get inspired. The best advertisers are those that constantly try new ways to improve their performances. New designs, new audiences, new ads’ copy. In this eBook you’ll find 500+ real world Facebook Ads Examples to get inspiration from for your campaigns!

How to Track Performance

Coming soon…


What have your experiences with Facebook Ads been like? We’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments.

The post Pros and Cons of Facebook Ads: How to Determine the Best Strategy appeared first on blog.

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How to Create Amazing Content: Review of a FREE Infographic Maker

Every so often, I have a need for a custom infographic for a blog post. Usually, this is followed by a fleeting thought such as “I can make my own – no problem!” As we all know, with limited time and limited design experience, this is a somewhat impossible feat to accomplish. Until now! Word on the street is there is a new web-based infographic maker that helps you make stunning visual presentations in four easy steps.

I’m up for the challenge.

Here’s what I know about Visme – a free online graphics tool for bloggers, businesses, and other professionals with limited to no design skills.

Inforgraphic Make Visme homepage

Visme translates your ideas into engaging content in the form of:

  • Presentations
  • Infographics
  • Reports
  • Web content
  • Product presentations
  • Graphs & Charts
  • Wireframes

So what does Visme have to offer you?

Visme — the Swiss Knife of Visual Content

Have you noticed that many visitors come to your website and leave right away?

According to Visme, it is not your content.

The number one reason people leave your website is because of non-stimulating and outdated images.

One of the key features of Visme is that it allows you to take otherwise boring data and transform it into a straightforward and easy to understand visual format.

Make boring data beautiful with Visme, an infographic maker

So, let’s test this out.

Here’s a “boring” data stat taken from one of our blog posts on Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories: What You Need to Know:

Boring stat for infographic maker

Infographic Maker 101 – How to Create Professional Infographics

Goal: Take the boring stat above and create a beautiful visual presentation.

(Facebook remains the most-used social media brand among all ages with 64%. But among 12-24’s, it has been overtaken by Snapchat (72% to 68%) with Instagram close behind (66%).)

According to Visme, creating infographics is easy. You can start with a blank canvas and introduce your own elements and design, or you can start from a series of starter infographic maker templates to use as a great starting point to create from.

Step 1: Select an infographic maker template

Visme has numerous infographic templates to choose from. Select one that best meets your design needs. It’s easy to customize so don’t worry if the template isn’t a perfect match.

To start my boring stat infographic, I searched through the templates using the keyword “social media”.

Snapshot of Visme Infographic maker templates

Step 2: Create an outline of your topic

The purpose of an infographic is to translate a theme or idea into the form of visual content. Therefore before you populate your infographic, step back and ask yourself a few questions:

  • What is the purpose of the piece?
  • Who is going to be my audience?
  • What message do I want to portray to the viewer?

Pro tip:  There is no right or wrong, but make sure you do have a clear picture of what you want to create before you do begin the process.

Here’s my outline:

Purpose: Take a boring stat and turn it into an interesting visual

Audience: Our blog readers

Message: Wow, that’s interesting!

Step 3: Select from the free assets and upload your own

Now that I’ve picked my theme, I can do any one of the following:

1 – Create a chart or graph. Each chart can be customized with specific bits of data to fit your data needs.

2 – Use the infographic widgets.

Infographic widgets are exclusive mini apps that allow users to quickly translate otherwise boring data into simple and easy to understand snackable pieces of content that are easy to digest.

3 – Add footnotes and references

Step 4: Publish your infographic

This final step is super easy. Review in preview mode then hit publish and voilà…

Boring Stat Infographic: Teens are flocking to Snapchat

Boring stat created with Infographic maker Visme

My thoughts on Visme (so far):

1 – The app is fairly user intuitive but took a little longer to create my first infographic than I would have hoped for – because there is so much you can do, the tools and settings aren’t entirely intuitive, resulting in a steeper learning curve.

2 – I couldn’t find the Snapchat logo in any of the button sets, so I tried uploading one from my desktop. This process was not easy – again, a learning curve but after a few attempts, I was finally able to load the image.

3 – The animations are fun and simple to do. If you reload this page, check out the animations on my “Boring Stat Infographic”.

With that said, I can’t wait to use Visme again.

What else can Visme do?

As mentioned earlier in this post, Visme is much more than just an infographic maker. I haven’t tried these yet, but you can also do the following:

1 – Presentations

If you’re tired of PowerPoint, Visme offers some beautiful presentation templates for you to use, each with its own collection of slide layouts.

Once you complete your presentation, you can present online via Visme or download your slides as images and paste them into Powerpoint.

2 – Banner Ads

If you advertise online, you can use Visme to create attractive and engaging banner ads in many shapes and sizes.

Even if you don’t advertise, banner ads can be utilized on your own site as calls to action, driving your website visitors to take the next step in your sales process.

Here’s a snapshot of five different default banner types and their sizes

Create banner ads using infographic maker Visme

3 – Custom

The custom design area of Visme is one of its strengths, enabling you to use their tools to easily create any type of image, including those share-worthy memes that pepper your social media streams.

So, what’s the difference between Visme and Canva?

Well-known graphic design tool Canva is an amazingly simple DIY tool for everyone – non-designers as well as professionals. For a refresher course on why we like Canva, check at our post on How to Use Canva to Create Beautiful Graphics for Social Media.

However, when it comes to an easy-to-use infographic maker and ability to create interactive presentations, Visme is one of the few visual content creation tools that allows you to add interactivity and animation to all your designs and collaborate with other team members on projects.

Here’s one side of the story from Visme on Canva Versus Visme: What’s the Difference?

Canva Versus Infographic Maker Visme: What’s the Difference?

In conclusion, Visme is different because:

  • It does more than just create one type of content and every template is completely customizable.
  • Ability to make any object interactive and add motion.
  • Easy publishing. You can download, share directly through social links, or embed in your site.

The embedding option is particularly cool, as it means you can include animations to liven up presentations and reports when they are embedded, adding visual interest to what could otherwise be a boring set of static slides and statistics.

  • Fully HTML5 based so content is both web and mobile friendly.

Inquiring minds want to know:

Would I personally recommend this service? YES, with a caveat. Once you get used to the program, you’ll be able to do more than you ever expected. However, if you don’t have time, or only need an occasional graphic, Visme may not be for you.


Visme also has great blog content. For more creative ways to use Visme, here are some good finds from their blog:


Have you used Visme? What’s your favorite infographic maker? Share your thoughts in the comments.

The post How to Create Amazing Content: Review of a FREE Infographic Maker appeared first on blog.

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