9 Boards You Need If You Are Using Pinterest for Content Marketing

Pinterest ranks third in social media network popularity. Many businesses boast that Pinterest drives more website traffic than all of the other networks combined. But you still think it isn’t for you–just because you aren’t posting pictures of cupcakes, gardens and women’s fashion. Think again. Pinterest is perfect for content marketing.

So how do you leverage Pinterest and make it part of your content marketing landscape? By implementing these nine killer Pinterest boards and posting to them regularly:

Video Board

Create a board that contains videos that showcase about your professionalism or create videos that give viewers insider tips about your industry. Video is effective because it conveys your personality better than most written content will do. Upload snippets of your last speaking engagement, a behind-the-scenes video of a day in your life or even customer testimonials for this board.

Favorite Client Board

Create a board praising current clients, partners or post testimonials about your business or brand. This fosters great relationships with current clients while attracting new business at the same time. If your clients pin your pins to their own board, you are leveraging their network alongside your own and increasing exposure to your brand.

Books You Love Board

Book recommendations are another great way to gain exposure on Pinterest. Create pins around monthly book reviews that you post on your blog.

Tips Board

Advice and how-to guides are the most re-pinned objects on Pinterest today. Post graphics containing some tips and tricks that help you or items of value that you have come across over the years.

Favorite Things Board

If you have a resource or a tool that you adore, share that information with your Pinterest audience. If you like it, chances are, so will they.

Competition Board

It’s smart business to know who your competition is. If you respect your competitors, creating a board that showcases your competition also showcases how you are different compared to your competitors. Having this Pinterest board in your online arsenal is a great way to get your foot in the door with new customers in the market to make a move.

Upcoming Events Board

Pin information about upcoming conferences or events you will be attending or featured in. This board should include snippets and commercials about any upcoming webinars and online meetings you host.

Infographic Board

Infographics are hot on Pinterest, and users love to share them. Create a board dedicated to nothing but infographics. To create branded infographics for your company, hire a graphic designer or use free online tools like Piktochart to create stunning, shareable infographics.

Inspirational Quotes Board

Create a board that includes your favorite quotes about success, hope, trials, tribulations, life advice or whatever you like.  Regardless, creating, branding and sharing an inspirational image or meme is a great way to find new followers, inspire others, and drive more traffic back to your website.

Any images or infographics you create and post to Pinterest can also be used elsewhere across the web. Use all of the graphics you create for Pinterest and put them on your blog or use them on other social media networks to increase exposure and cross promote the Pinterest boards you created.

5 Things You Should and Shouldn’t Do If You’re Building an Email List

People on the Internet have notoriously short attention spans when it comes to written content. They like to read lists with lots of pictures or celebrity gossip, as is proved by the success of such websites as BuzzFeed, ScoopWhoop and EliteDaily. The only place where you might get a slightly longer attention span for textual content is over email. But even in the inbox, you have to compete with dozens, if not hundreds, of other emails for attention. If you’re able to build an active list of email subscribers, you can turn it into a great income source by promoting offers and products.

Here are five things you should do to increase the effectiveness of your emails.

#1 – Create an interesting subject line.

Your subject line is the most important factor in determining whether your email will get read. Make sure you have something that catches the eye immediately and makes the person curious about the rest of the message.

Here’s an example of a good headline: “The most powerful secret tactic of every master salesman.”

#2 – Know how often to send emails.

The frequency of your communications is crucial. If you overwhelm your subscribers with emails, you’ll be spending a lot of time in the spam folder. On the other hand, if you send one email a month, your subscribers might forget who you are. Usually, two or three emails weekly is a good number to aim for.

#3 – Provide interesting content.

Don’t make each email a sales pitch. Inform and entertain your users with good content which helps their lives. Use short paragraphs and highlights to make your text more readable.

#4 – Stick to a minimalistic design.

Emails aren’t the place to show off your fancy designing skills. Stick to a simple, uncluttered format. Use some textual formatting if you must, but keep the graphics to a minimum.

#5 – Use an unambiguous call to action.

What do you want the subscribers to do after they’ve read your email? Let them know clearly. Whether you want them to click a link, buy a product or floss twice a day, include a call to action.

On the flip side, here are some things which you shouldn’t be doing.

#1 – Not monetizing your email list.

You build an email list because you want to directly or indirectly help your bottom line. Don’t get so caught up in the process of building a list that you forget to send them links to products or services you want them to buy. The added traffic to your blog is nice, but what you really need is conversions.

#2 – Expecting your list to grow on its own.

In the early days of building your list, you will probably do a lot of promotional work. You will write more articles on your website, offer to guest post on other blogs, promote your list over social media and even provide other marketers with an incentive to send followers to your list. Once you’ve got a certain number of subscribers, it’s easy to get complacent and stop working on your list. Make sure you still undertake active list-building activities at least once every couple of months.

#3 – Underestimating the value of the snippet.

Go to your Gmail or Yahoo inbox right now. Do you see the little line of text right next to the subject line of the email? That is the “snippet.” Email providers will show the beginning of your email to let users know what the body of the email might be about. You can use this mechanism in your favor to create a great opening line. Your subject line and your snippet can create the perfect one-two combo that hooks your viewers’ eyeballs.

#4 – Getting disheartened by a few unsubscribers.

No matter how amazing your content is, you will have some unsubscribers. The fact of the matter is, not every person who signs up to your list will stick around for years. Some people might be bored and some people are just trying to clear out their inbox. Don’t read too much into a few unsubscribers. It’s part of the game.

#5 – Not testing your emails enough

Most email clients will allow you to split-test versions of your emails. You can send the same offer to your clients in two separate emails – each with a different subject line and a slightly different body. You can see whether a certain headline or a certain way of framing your offer works better with your list. Testing different headlines and body material helps you to know what you’re doing right or wrong. When you are sending promotional emails, split-test them to see which versions get a better click-through rate.

Building an email list can do wonders for your business if done correctly. Email subscribers are more likely to engage with your content and offers when they have already signed up to receive communications from you. Just go through the list of do’s and don’ts above to kick your emails up several notches.

How to Create a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

There is no getting around it. Social media has become a must-have for all businesses today, even small businesses. However, many small business owners find it daunting to create a social media strategy that works. After all, large companies often have massive resources and departments dedicated to this type of work, making it appear more difficult than what it is to attain social media prowess and success in a digital landscape. In this case, it makes sense to take a cue from big business and to use the same strategies that they do when crafting a social media campaign and replicating it on a smaller scale for your small business.

Step 1: Figure out what questions your customers are asking

Your customer is the life force of your business, even if they are only potential customers right now. What do they want to know? What’s important to them? What questions are they asking? Craft a list of the most common questions your consumers ask you on a daily basis, then focus answering those questions using social media as a platform.

Step 2: Use your voice to create your brand

Most consumers today want to feel like the message they are receiving is a personal one. Use your personality and let that shine through in your messages and in your responses on social media as you interact with a large room of people who are likely to buy from you. Being genuine is crucial in a fake, online world. Don’t adopt a persona, just be yourself. Interact with other people’s posts. Post answers to their questions using the content you have created already, or create content that answers their questions or their needs. This cements your brand as a subject matter expert and helps promote your business without making it feel like a sales pitch.

Step 3: Have a plan, and stick to it

Most successful social media strategists use a calendar. They will leverage holidays and other major company events and create social media posts around such things. For instance, if you know the holidays are coming up and you focus on Black Friday information, this will boost engagement and sales. So before you begin, craft a calendar at least three months in advance to plan your social media posts appropriately.

Step 4: Use the right tools

Making posts three or four times a day can seem cumbersome, if you don’t have the right tools. However, there are great tools out there. Hootsuite, for example, allows you to post to up to five social media accounts for maximum engagement, and even gives you a cross-interface platform. What’s better is that the basic account is free.

Step 5: Adjust as Needed

If something isn’t working, ditch it and try something else. It is not uncommon for social media websites or even Google to change the rules on the fly, so it’s important to make your social media strategy adaptable to such changes. Take a little time once per week to see what is working for you and what isn’t and make adjustments as needed. Also, take a little time to see what your competition is doing. It never hurts to stay up to date with things that are working for “the other guy”.

Step 6: Master one platform at a time

If you are new to the world of social media marketing, try to master a single platform at a time, as trying to master all of them at once could be too much. As you master one, start learning the next one, and cross promote as much as possible.

Step 7: Don’t discount advertising

Advertising on social media increases your exposure and engagement. Most social media ads are behaviorally targeted, meaning that they are automatically put in front of customers with an itch to buy something. No matter how small your advertising budget, it can pay to boost your online recognition using social media advertising as a vehicle.

Above all, don’t give up. Rome wasn’t built in a day and social media advertising campaigns are not designed to offer you flash-in-the-pan success. The key is consistency and follow up. Make sure you design a plan that you can easily stick with, and do that for at least 90 days.

SocialOomph Review

Managing a social media account can be time-consuming and tedious, but it doesn’t have to be.

With the help of the right tools, you can easily schedule updates, figure out who you should be following, and keep a close eye on all of your social media activity.

SocialOomph is one of a dozen popular tools on the market right now designed to help you do just that.

But is it right for you?

The Advantages of SocialOomph

If you don’t want to toggle between half a dozen sites in order to keep your social media updated, SocialOomph might be able to help. This is because you can do everything directly from the app, including creating brand-new blog posts. You can also keep a close eye on any mentions you receive, and then reply directly to them without ever having to leave your SocialOomph account page.

Like you might expect, there are fairly comprehensive post scheduling options. This allows you to ensure that your social media profiles remain active, even if you take a week off work, are sleeping, or are otherwise indisposed. These features can be absolutely essential to running a successful social media page, simply because of how important it is to keep your channel active during the highest periods of your fan’s activity. With this set and forget functionality, you can login whenever you’re free, or whenever it’s convenient for you. Last but not least, there’s automatic RSS to blog functionality, URL shortening, although back features, self-deleting updates, and keyword tracking, all of which has become somewhat standard with these sort of software suites.

Drawbacks of SocialOomph

If you want to utilize all of these features, you’ll have to make use of a paid subscription. Although there is a free version of the software, its functionalities are highly limited, particularly for anyone who wants to management outside of the Twitter platform. The free version will help you schedule tweets, track keywords, and shorten URL, but little else. With the premium version of the software costing around $35 month, it’s also one of the more expensive social media monitoring suites on the market.

The Verdict

There are a number of free alternatives you can use that have similar features, such as the ability to post content directly to social media sites without having to be on them. Still, there’s no denying that the paid functionality of SocialOomph is considerable, and it can help save countless hours with automation while also allowing you to boost engagement with your page. If you want to work smarter rather than harder, Social Oomph might be exactly what you need.

6 Social Media Monitoring Tools

With the numerous social media platforms that businesses have to use today, it’s never been more important to be able to monitor your activity on those sites in real-time. In the modern social media landscape, both social listening and monitoring has become a standard practice for most businesses who are striving to improve engagement with their readers. But which tools are best for the task? The following essay concise consideration of six leading social media monitoring tools, so chosen for their comprehensive approach to social monitoring, and other notable features.

Sysomos

There’s no denying that Sysomos is the gold standard of social media monitoring tools. Sysomos is an enterprise-level solution designed specifically for businesses with global reach. It’s highly accurate brand sentiment analysis is largely due to its capacity to translate more than 50 languages, enabling you to monitor your brand anywhere people are talking about it. Additionally, it’s also able to help you easily identify key influencers, monitor your historical data, and create backups and reports for regular review. Although the available email and telephone support are somewhat lacking, Sysomos does provide you with all the social engagement tools you need to keep a close eye on your customers online.

ViralHeat

While it lacks language translations, ViralHeat makes up for this lapse with comprehensive keyword searching capabilities. As with Sysomos, you’ll be able to easily identify influential people within your niche. It’s also capable of determining positive, negative, and neutral sentiments with reasonably high accuracy, and even uses your feedback in order to improve that accuracy the future. Furthermore, because it integrates directly with Google Analytics, you have one click access to all of your demographics, traffic activity, and other analytical information. One thing ViralHeat does lack is spam filtering, so you will have to spend some time sorting through inane messages en route to get to what you want.

Social Mention

As one of the better free tools on the market, Social Mention can provide you with a considerable range of information on on keywords. It provides you with fairly accurate scoring for the sentiment surrounding your brand as well as your reach, allowing you to use that data for tracking your progress. Unfortunately, these scores can be somewhat arbitrary, and the search results can be inconsistent, making the provided scores vulnerable to drastic change each hour. However, if you’re looking for fundamental features for free, you can’t go wrong with Social Mention.

How Sociable

Designed specifically to measure brand impact on social media sites, How Sociable has been used by more than a quarter of a million brands over the past few years. With support for as many as 36 of the most popular social media sites, this tool can help you monitor 12 essential metrics for free, or 36 with their premium version. Unfortunately, you have to sign up for the service in order to access the free tracking, but it’s absolutely worth a look. It’s also worth mentioning that this is one of the more accessible social media monitoring tools for beginners.

Visible Technologies

With one of the highest rates of accuracy in its sentiment analysis, the Visible software suite is an enterprise-level solution for businesses with a strong emphasis on social media marketing. It offers unrestricted access to all the data you could ever want, making it an excellent choice for both medium and large businesses. It can translate 11 common languages, has powerful filtering options to always measure influence accurately, and is largely customizable to suit the needs of your own marketing. Unfortunately, this software only works on Facebook and Twitter, but what it does offer is entirely comprehensive for those two platforms, from scheduling to the most esoteric customer service issues.

Oracle

If you’re looking for first-class real-time monitoring, every engagement tool imaginable, and relatively comprehensive analysis, you’re looking for Oracle. It can provide an estimated 75% sentiment accuracy, it can completely integrate your data into the cloud, and it can automatically set up email notifications to alert you about any spike connectivity occurring on your accounts. Above all, it has the best help and support of any software on this list. With a dedicated account manager, a very detailed FAQ, and a community full of experts ready to help, you’re sure to never have a question unanswered when working with Oracle.

The Verdict

When it comes to choosing a social media monitoring tool, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The tool that will be perfect for your business greatly depends on the type of features and scale that you’re looking for in a software solution. Fortunately, between these six options, there’s certain to be one that’s perfect for your needs. Consider spending a few minutes trying one or two of them and you may find some combination of them may help you fulfill your every need.

7 Common Business Mistakes on Facebook

If you’re having a hard time achieving the levels of engagement you want to reach on Facebook, it may be time for you to reevaluate your strategy.

Although finding success on social media may not be rocket science, there are a variety of common mistakes that even veteran social media marketers make.

Thankfully, with a little time and energy, it’s possible to fix most of these problems in only a few hours.

Below you’ll learn about the 7 most common business mistakes made on Facebook, and how they can be avoided.

Bad Timing

A considerable amount of research has been carried out on the times of day that are most effective for posting to social media. Unfortunately, many businesses end up posting when it’s most convenient for them, regardless of how active or inactive their fan base is. Although every audience different, most people login to Facebook around noon, and then in the evening after 7 pm. People also tend to be more engaged and involved with the site over the weekend, making it the best time to post.

Not Asking Questions

Sparking conversation on your page is often as easy as asking a pertinent or interesting question. Questions are also a valuable way to learn from your audience. If you don’t find yourself regularly asking your fans questions, that may be a sign that your Facebook page lacks the kind of two-way conversation that is the hallmark of a successful social media page. Whether you are asking for tips, making an inquiry about customer preferences, or just offering some friendly remarks about the weather, starting a two-way discussion with your fans can be shockingly effective at fostering engagement.

No Discounts

There are dozens of reasons why people follow a branded page on Facebook, but the most popular reason is definitely discounts. When fans support you with a page like, there’s some expectation that they’re entering into a give-and-take relationship. When you offer advantages for liking your page, not only do you create an incentive for your current fans to remain loyal, you also create one for your prospective fans to join the fun.

No Contests

People like competing for rewards. With Facebook contests, you can use that innate desire we all have to create substantial boosts to both your engagement and conversion rate. Without contests, many of your fans will never have the opportunity or interest to really engage with your page at all. And like with discounts, they help provide an incentive for people to talk about your brand, helping to get people excited about following your page.

No Content Worth Sharing

The average Facebook user spends about half an hour on the site each day. If you want to capture the attention that person as they’re barraged with hundreds or thousands of articles each day, you need to provide content worth sharing. Like a snowball rolling downhill gains momentum with each pass, the visibility of your page increases drastically with each share you receive, not only from the shared person’s account, but from the Facebook algorithms that help determine which content gets seen.

A good place to start fixing this problem is to research your metrics and determine what kind of content your audience finds most share worthy. You should also try a variety of different kinds of posts, like quotes, questions, videos, product information, and so on. When your content gets shared, your reach gets extended, and that creates a feedback loop that leads to even more exposure.

Post Frequency

A recent investigation from Buddy Media discovered that brands that post only once or twice each day typically earn double the engagement as brands which post three or more times. In short, quantity isn’t always a good thing. If you find that you are posting tons and tons of new things every day just to get increases in your engagement, then you should consider working on creating fewer posts of higher quality.

No Photos

Regardless of what platform you’re working on, photos have proven to be one of the most valuable assets available to any social media marketing. They are far more expressive than text, they’re better at conveying emotion, and they enable you to deliver information in a way that’s easily digestible. As such, it should come as no surprise to hear that they generally produce about 50% more engagement than all other types of Facebook status update, as well as about twice as many comments, likes, and clicks.

Big Picture

While this is far from a complete list of every kind of mistake you can make on Facebook, these seven pitfalls are far and away the most common and severe mistakes that businesses make. If you follow the guidelines provided above, there’s a strong chance your Facebook page will benefit from the advantages of a more engaged fan base.

Feedblitz vs Aweber vs Mailchimp

Whether you’re running a newsletter or managing subscription lists, you need the tools to turn casual visitors into regular readers. Thankfully there are a variety of email marketing tools that are perfect for the task.

Below we’ll look at three of the most popular email marketing tools available today, and how they stack up to each other in terms of ease-of-use, features, and overall presentation.

Feedblitz

For anyone involved in email marketing, subscription lists, and RSS feed management, Feedblitz is an all-in-one solution. Built specifically for bloggers, this tool aims to provide a flexible marketing solution for both beginners and pros alike. It includes all the fundamentals of email marketing software including scheduling, auto responders, and monetization options. You’ll also find enterprise-level feed management and comprehensive RSS capabilities, making this truly a one-size-fits-all solution.

Although the premium version of Feedblitz will set you back a few dollars, there’s a 30 day free trial available. The cost of the premium version of the software depends on the number of unique email subscribers you have, and includes unlimited messages, unlimited surveys, unlimited RSS, and best of all no surprise fines and fees.

Aweber

Similar to FeedBlitz, Aweber supports many of the same standard features. As one of the most popular auto-responder software suites on the market, this app allows you to send automated messages to your subscription list, working similarly to a standard RSS feed. The follow-up auto-responder allows you to send sequences of emails automatically without the need for micromanagement, allowing this to be a far more hands off email management solution. And unlike its competitors, there’s an emphasis on mobile support, with several hundred fully responsive email templates.

Another thing that sets Aweber apart is its email tracking capabilities. It only takes a few seconds to figure out who opened what emails, what links they clicked, and what the total sales, unsubscribes, and overall results of those clicks were. This also allows you to track individual clicks within an email, displaying they used link from your domain.

And last but not least, Aweber prides itself on providing customer support from real people, making it a strong solution for anyone with limited technical expertise. Although not quite as intuitive as MailChimp or Feedblitz, Aweber does include access to a free 10 part tutorial series that can help ensure you’ll be able to get the most out of software.

MailChimp

As one of the most popular email marketing suites in the world, you’ve probably already heard of MailChimp. Similar to Aweber, MailChimp provides you with detailed subscriber profiles that can help you track individual engagement and activity. This personalization is paired with complete automation that allows you to set triggers a stun activity, to learn more about how your readers access your content, and how to build engagement. But unlike its competitors, MailChimp also comes with even more advanced analytics to help track your subscribers.

If you have any measure of skill as a web designer, you’ll probably find yourself preferring MailChimp over Aweber. That’s because MailChimp gives you fairly extensive control over form design, either from scratch, or from their professionally designed GUI to help ensure your forms look fully professional.

Although you can find just as many easy to use templates like you can with Aweber, they’re far easier to customize and set up with MailChimp.

Another advantage of MailChimp is that its auto responders can be set to respond to certain triggers. For example, you can set them to create a subset of an email list that will receive any follow-up email based on when they signed up for your newsletter. This allows you to differentiate between your recent subscribers in your longtime fans when sending out autoresponder emails, which is something Aweber can’t do.

Unfortunately, the one thing MailChimp lacks any substantive degree of customer support. Apart from their self-help database, you’ll find yourself having to wait up to a full business day for an email response. But because of how intuitive it is to use, it’s also fairly unlikely that you’ll end up needing any help making the most of your time with MailChimp.