Thursday, October 8, 2015

The 3 Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes Made by Most Sales People

Would you like more leads pouring into your sales funnel right now? Do you find that lead generation often falls to the way side when emergencies come up? Do you find the whole concept of prospecting completely mind-boggling? If you’re answer is a resounding “yes”, then this article will help you to look at your…

The post The 3 Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes Made by Most Sales People appeared first on Social Climb.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Why Today is the Best Day to Start an Online Business (and how to do it)

Why today is the best day to start an online business

Ever wanted to work from a tropical beach in the Bahamas?

How about working from home and creating a steady income for your family?

If someone asked you this 20 years ago you would’ve said they were crazy. But with more than 2.4 billion people online, the internet represents the ideal marketplace for chasing those dreams.

I’m not saying you should quit your office job right now. But how about taking baby steps toward building an online business?

“But I don’t know anything about coding, design, and business!”

There are plenty of entrepreneurs who aren’t techies, but have developed successful online businesses. You can do the same, by following the steps in this blog post.

So, would you like to know what you need to start an online business today?

Step 1 – Pick a content management system

Easy way - start an online business image

[Image credits: Memphis CVB]

It all starts with your online home- your website.

Almost nobody creates a website from scratch because it simply takes too long. You can easily manage your website through what is called a Content Management System (CMS), a software that provides a friendlier way to update content, publish blog posts, create event pages and so on.

The most widespread CMS in the world is WordPress, which empowers 60+ million websites all over the world. Two of the main reasons it earned such a large adoption are the increasing number of available plugins (free and paid), and it’s huge, vibrant community filled with developers, designers and many WordPress advocates who can be great resources when you need help.

Step 2 – Make your website stand out

Golf tees for start an online business image

[Image credits: Steven Depolo]

A theme is like the dress you will add to your “core engine”. And since we’re talking about WordPress, you’ll be overwhelmed by the number of results for a Google search such as WordPress themes.

So, before you start looking for a theme, clarify in your mind what the goal of your website will be:

  • Will you sell goods?

  • Will blogs be an important aspect?

  • Will you feature content just for some of your users?

Don’t forget that the first impression plays a key role in the success of your online business. So don’t get over-excited by seeing the thousands of free themes and invest some money in having one that perfectly represents your business value.

If you don’t know how to code it yourself, consider outsourcing the customization of your WordPress theme to high-quality experts who can work their magic for you.

Step 3 – Build the 4 pillars of your online business

Pillars - start an online business image

[Image credits: Phil Roeder]

Once you have the “home” of your soon-to-be business ready, you should focus on creating the basic elements of an online business.

With this in mind, your next goal is to create the 4 pillars that will enable your business.

You’ll need:

  • A homepage

  • A landing page to collect email addresses

  • A blog section

  • A “showroom” page

Your homepage has to grab your target audience’s attention while providing a clear selling proposition, which is what you’re offering to them.

Landing pages are the perfect tool to collect email addresses and other information (like names, job titles etc.) from people interested in your offer.

A blog or “news” section helps you publish relevant content regularly to generate leads and rank on search engines like Google.

The “showroom” page is a page not about you, rather about people who support you or have bought a product or service from you. Testimonials, reviews, positive comments, and all that could reinforce the perceived value of your offer.

Step 4 – Turn your website into a selling machine with plugins

Money - start an online business image

[Image credits: 401k]

Since all the main pages of your website are now in place, you should focus on empowering your website with what it needs to become a selling machine.

Are you running an e-commerce store that sells goods? Are you selling subscriptions to a service? Maybe you are running a membership site?

You’re in luck because there are plenty of great WordPress plugins that can help you out with all the features you need.

Specifically, here are the top plugins for each selling type you could check out:

All these plugins provide incredible support to their customers, but if you need a little extra help – contact Codeable.

Step 5 – Set up an email list

Keep calm and communicate - start an online business image

[Image credits: Heather]

Now that you’re able to sell to your website visitors (and accept payments), you should capitalize on your efforts. Everyone knows that publishing great content is a powerful way to attract new visitors to your website and rank better on Google. But that’s just the first step. To build a successful online business you have to create a mailing list.

MailChimp and AWeber are the most used services when talking about email marketing. Since the former is free up until 2000 subscribers, we recommend starting with that.

MailChimp has a huge, helpful, and clear documentation for how to get started.

The most important thing you should create at this stage is a page where your visitors can subscribe to your newsletter. These kind of pages, called landing pages, are crucial to any online business because they’re fully committed to turning traffic into leads.

Leverage the idea of giving away free stuff in exchange for someone’s email address.

If you have no idea where to start – put together your 3 most read blog posts, add a nice cover and some graphics and voilà you’ve got a free ebook for your subscribers.

Infographics, white papers, cheat sheets and checklists are the most common type of “freebies” you can easily provide your readers.

Step 6 – Manage your social media presence effectively

Social media - start an online business image

[Image credits: Jason Howie]

With so much new content published every second online, just hitting “publish”  isn’t enough to get exposure for your online business. That’s where social media marketing steps in to bring your content to a wider audience that it wouldn’t normally reach.

Since you’re at the beginning of your business journey, you’re probably in charge of everything that your online business needs. Taking care of the social media can quickly become a long-hours activity you don’t have enough time to focus on.

Here are two powerful tools that will make your social media activities a breeze.


Buffer helps you schedule social updates and links from your website or blog. This means you can optimize your time while providing social updates about your latest blog post or new product throughout the day.

Buffer graph - start an online business image

If you want to know your followers’ most active hours on Twitter, just use Followerwonk and analyze your own followers. For Facebook, just look at your page’s insights and publish accordingly.


Spreading your content and updates is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to social media.

Another important part is to monitor relevant conversations about your business in real-time.

To do that, you should consider using a tool such as Hootsuite and its column-based interface.

 Hootsuite - start an online business image

Thanks to the ability to create separate columns, you’re able to keep track of mentions, replies, saved searches for relevant keywords to your business and also hashtags. To start using Hootsuite, just read this quick start guide.

Step 7 – Create unique visuals that will amaze your visitors

Upside down book - start an online business image

[Image credits: David Goehring]

Written text is ok. But an image along with text is more powerful.

Our brain loves visual content, and it processes it way faster. For your message to be better understood and (hopefully) shared around more, include imagery with your blog posts and social updates.

Don’t worry, even if you aren’t a designer and haven’t worked with photo editing tools, you’ll be able to create some pretty cool imagery.


Here are some great image creation tools;


With a huge library of free resources, like fonts, icons, layouts, symbols, photos and a pre-formatted canvas – you’ll love Canva.

Just pick one or more element from their library and you’ll be able to create a unique visual in minutes.


With Placeit you simply upload your image or screenshot on one of the many available mock-ups and download your creation.

Find stock photos and edit them

Finding cool stock photos to use at no cost sounds like mission impossible – but it’s not.

There are a bunch of websites that aggregate the best high-resolution stock photos every day. One of the most interesting ones is Unsplash, from Crew. If you don’t like it, there are many more worth looking at.

Wrapping things up

Creating and growing an online business isn’t easier than creating any other “real life” business.

The key difference is it’s convenient. It’s way more affordable since you won’t need an office for quite some time. Most of the tools you use are free (or cost low monthly fees), and many of them offer trials so you can evaluate whether they’re a good investment or not.

So if you’re good at something and always wanted to create your own business, today is the day to take that first step because everything you’ll need to pave your future entrepreneurial path is in your hands.

No more excuses!

Guest Author: Matteo Duò is Content Strategist at Codeable, the #1 outsourcing service for WordPress providing top-notch WordPress experts to small businesses, agencies, and bloggers. Wanna know know more about WordPress and entrepreneurship? Check out Codeable blog.

The post Why Today is the Best Day to Start an Online Business (and how to do it) appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

from Jeffbullas's Blog via Online Marketing News
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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

13 Tools To Take Your Blog Writing From Good To Great

13 tools to take your blog writing from good to great

Congratulations! You’ve written a fantastic blog post…but now what?

What will make your blog sink or swim in a sea constantly filling with content?

After all you’re competing with with over 20,000 blog posts a day.

Every writer experiences the challenge of making their content go from good to great. Editing your content is important to help you catch any mistakes and improve your writing skills specific to your readers.

By paying special attention to headlines, visuals, proofreading and social media, you will be able to give your blog post an extra boost in audience appeal.

Here are 13 tools to take your blog writing from ‘meh’ to amazing.

Making headlines

Your headline is the most important aspect to generate traffic for your blog, especially in search.

A quality headline alone can increase the traffic to your article by as much as 500%. Less than a quarter of visitors will actually read past your blog title, which means it has to be shareable and enticing enough for people to want to read your blog.

1. KingSumo Headlines

KingSumo blog writing tool

This automatic headline optimization plugin for WordPress has proven to increase blog traffic by addressing title creation intelligently.

For creator Noah Kagan, who took a few extra steps to implement this strategy into his blogging process, the payoff was an increase in blog traffic of 17.8%.

The plugin allows you to type in as many titles you can think of in WordPress. These titles are then shown to visitors and shared with others. The algorithm will be able to determine the best-performing title, where in-line statistics will then let you know which title to choose.

2. 25 Headlines

25 headlines blog writing tool

Reminiscent of writing lines as a child, this tool that was inspired by Upworthy, Kissmetrics, and Hubspot – concentrates on the ‘practice makes perfect’ method for headline writing.

Much like the perfect Tweet, the length of a blog title is one of the most crucial aspects to attracting readers. This tool will help train your stream of thought to create a title at the ideal length on the first try. Other features include checking Twitter length, and if your title reads like email spam.

Smart editing

The difference between a smart editing tool and the more popular grammar checker, is that only one of these types are able to measure and adapt to your way of writing, and who you’re writing for.

Great content involves good grammar, the writer’s style, and an understanding of your reader’s behaviour and interests.

3. AtomicWriter

Atomic writer blog writing tool

As the first editing tool that adapts your writing to your audience to encourage article reads, this smart tool learns the important factors your audience considers appealing content.

You will be able to understand their reading behaviour, if the complexity of your writing is suitable for your audience, and be provided real-time feedback to improve your blog writing.

Other features include seeing how title, format, and readability edits affect your content’s performance in an easy-to-understand Chrome extension, WordPress plugin, or web app interface.

4. ProWritingAid

ProWritingAid blog writing tool

With an abundance of blog writing resources, often writers might not be able to keep true to their own voice.

To help maintain your identity, ProWritingAid is your objective eye to your content. Some features offered are the ability to use statistics to measure readability, find overly wordy sentences, and overused words to suggest edits that will make your content more punchy and interesting.

You will be able to identify errors to improve your overall writing.

Stock photos & gifs

Picking the right images that match your writing is crucial to increasing traffic to your blog.

The appropriate visuals can increase your total pageviews by 94%, helping visitors understand the tone of your writing and visualize your written content.

In addition to naming your images with accurate alt text, having a select variation of tools available with specific uses will increase your time for creating great visuals.

By having imagery that relates to your content and your audience, you will be able to establish a strong connection and elicit emotion out of your reader.


Stocksnap blog writing tool

As the ‘best place on the internet to find beautiful free stock photos’, this website delivers high quality and high resolution pictures daily.

They differentiate themselves from the stock photo pack in the curation process and social sharing options. Only a select group of photographers within the network are able to carefully select and publish the content available to you. Users are able to see how many people have viewed, favorited, and downloaded the image, creating a sense of community and highlighting a photo’s popularity.

6. Stokpic

Stokpic blog writing tool

After accumulating over 12 years of professional photography experience and hundreds of photos, founder Ed Gregory started this site as a personal project releasing photos free to the public.

As the numbers climbed, requests for a more diverse selection of people, locations, and cultures increased. Realizing he could not fill all the demand by himself, he funded a new sponsorship program that provided 12 new photographers with $500 worth of photography equipment. Their only requirement was to contribute 50 photos to the site a month, encouraging personal and creative growth, and work ethic.

After just one year, this site had just under a million page views, and 200,000 downloads in 197 countries.

7. Pablo by Buffer

Pablo by Buffer blog writing tool

Great to use on the fly, Pablo helps your social media posts reach further with an easy-to-use image creation tool.

Their efforts to help people benefit from posts with images drove their determination to make a tool very similar in its simplicity to Buffer – their tool for scheduling posts.

You might have seen this tool used for multiple Twitter chats.

8. Giphy

Giphy blog writing tool

A 2-in-1 curation site providing free gifs in many different categories, and a mobile app to create your own, makes Giphy one of the most popular destinations for gif detectives.

You will be able to find the expected variety of celebrity, media, and sticker gifs, as well as a category specifically dedicated to artists who exclusively work to create illustrated gifs.

The app itself, allows you to record real-life ‘gifable’ moments and add filters or special FX.

9. Giffiti

Giffiti blog writing tool

As a mobile app that combines animated gifs and your photos, this app has become extremely popular, landing on the front page of Reddit without any formal marketing.

Adding a bit of humor into your everyday, this app can be a powerful and customized way to reach your audience. For example, if you are doing a behind-the-scenes blog post, and have a picture of your set with a dancing Carlton in the background, you’ll be adding more enjoyment to an already engaging topic.

Get social

Social media can be one of the last and most crucial steps to giving your blog writing an extra boost.

You can increase the chances of traffic and interaction when your new blog post is shared on the right day, time, and platform.

Get help along the way with these tools to ensure your social media calendar includes sharing this blog and relevant articles from your network cyclically.

10. AtomicInsights

Atomicinsights blog writing tool

Knowing the reading and sharing behavior of how your specific audience prefers to engage with your content is an up-and-coming topic online.

By understanding which of your blogs people liked, and the days that had the highest performance, you will be able to create an effective editorial calendar. The information that AtomicInsights analyzes includes your social media, Google Analytics, and blog history data to help you determine the direction of your blog.

11. Edgar

MeetEdgar blog writing tool

This useful web app helps you ramp up your social media regimen and stops your posts from going to waste.

Like most writers, you have blogs that are not reshared more than a few times within a few weeks of publication. The accumulation of green content will most likely not be seen by the end of the month, because many new articles would have already outranked your blog by that time.

With this app, you are able to categorize your content, schedule and cycle through posts according to the category, while updating your content library.

12. Social Media Calendar by Twenty20

Twenty20 blog writing tool

Described as “Your weekly plan-of-attack to grow on social media”, this email-based subscription system sends you weekly reminders of ideal content you should be posting for your social media schedule.

Topics like upcoming calendar events, popular hashtags, photos, tips and guides for social media will be sent to your inbox to help build your social media presence alongside your blog.

13. Post Planner

Post planner blog writing tool

If you work with a marketing team or are looking to increase engagement, Post Planner helps you find the right content to post in conjunction to your blog for a boost in engagement. With access to a library of amazing content like images, articles and status ideas, your audience will appreciate everything you share.

Final takeaway

Having methods to guide you through the processes surrounding your blog writing will help to encourage your content’s reach. Give these tools a try and implement what you’ve learned in your blogging strategy.

What tools do you use to take your writing from good to great? Share them with the community!

Guest Author: Initially a self-taught social media enthusiast, turned Social Media Marketer, Amanda Chiu writes posts, shares news, seeks industry knowledge, and engages with online communities daily. Her attempts at clearing her ever-growing reading list continues to be unsuccessful, and she really does believe that sharing is caring.

The post 13 Tools To Take Your Blog Writing From Good To Great appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

from Jeffbullas's Blog via Online Marketing News
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Monday, October 5, 2015

How to Advertise Your Business on LinkedIn

How to advertise your business on linkedin

Where are you going to advertise your business?

Google Ad Words has the widest reach. Facebook has the most categories.  Twitter is probably the best for mass marketing.

But nothing beats LinkedIn if you want to laser-focus your ad campaigns to audiences in the business community.

In this post I will show you the types of ads you can run and how to advertise your business on LinkedIn in the most effective way.

Downsides to advertising on LinkedIn

Like everything though, there’s a dark side.

Firstly, your ads are only seen by people when they are on LinkedIn. However, this time is increasing according to Forbes research. It reports that more than 50% of LinkedIn users spent more than two hours a week on the site in 2014, a figure that’s up about 10% from the previous year.

Advertising on LinkedIn is also more expensive than other social network. There is a minimum cost per click (CPC) spend of $2 and a daily minimum spend per campaign of $10. For comparison purposes, Facebook and Google Ad Words both have minimum CPC costs as low as $0.01.

Now that particular amount wouldn’t get any clicks, so although the ‘concept’ is valid, the technical comparison is just a tiny bit unfair, but you get my point.

Upsides to advertising on Linkedin

So what are the upsides to advertising on LinkedIn?

As Meryl Streep says in the movie of the same name, it’s complicated. LinkedIn has comparatively low click through rates – only about 1 in 500 impressions result in a click, compared to 1 in 250 on Facebook and 1 in 100 on Twitter. This is bad.

However, this low click through rate is offset by higher conversion rates…  This is good.

In a study of more than 5,000 businesses, HubSpot found that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74% - 277% higher than Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%).

In other words not as many people click on your LinkedIn ad, compared to a Facebook or Twitter ad, but those that do are more likely to buy.

Of course you can cheat a little bit by modifying your ad, because new ads score higher CTRs than old ads.

HubSpot ad graph - How to advertise your business on linkedin

You can also create multiple versions of one advertisement in a campaign, then keep an eye on how each one is tracking and eliminate the duds. This makes it perfect for those of us who are a bit obsessive about return on investment.

Ad example for - How to advertise your business on linkedin

Caption: These three ad variations are straight out of LinkedIn’s own best practices ‘How to’ guide. They demonstrate three ad variations in the same campaign.

A final upside – Linkedin sends nearly four times more people to your home page than Twitter and Facebook. What’s not to love about that?

Invests IQ research graph for How to advertise your business on linkedin

What advertising options are available on LinkedIn?

Don’t ask me why but it can be quite difficult to get detailed information about the choice of LinkedIn ads available. Following is a summary of what’s on offer.

1. Sponsored updates

You can pay to have one of your posts (updates) displayed outside your immediate circle of first connections.

Mercedes-Benz ad for How to advertise your business on linkedin

Caption: Example of a LinkedIn sponsored update

2. Sponsored InMail

Pay to put sponsored InMail at the top of your prospect’s inboxes. Sponsored InMail messages have average open and click through rates of 20% respectively, which are well above the industry standard.

Sponsored inbox for How to advertise your business on linkedin

Caption: Example of a sponsored inmail

3. Pay-per-click (PPC)

PPC allows you to create multiple variations of the same advertisement. You define your target audience and set your own price. These advertisements are displayed prominently at the top of the LinkedIn page as a text ad, or with a photograph in the right sidebar.

Top bar how to advertise your business on linkedin

Caption: Example of a PPC ad and display ad on LinkedIn

4. Display Ads

These ads are the same as the PPC ads but differ in placement and size.

  • The medium rectangle (300×250 pixels) appears on the home, profile, company and group pages.
  • The wide skyscraper (160×600 pixels) appears on a user’s inbox and message page.
  • A textlink – line of text – appears on the home, profile, company, group and message pages.

Textlink example for How to advertise your business on linkedin

  • A leaderboard (728 x 90 pixels) landscape image that appears at the bottom of certain feeds, making it the last thing a user sees before leaving the site.

Picture size for How to advertise your business on linkedin

5. Social Ads

  • Featured company (300×250 pixels) generates awareness and interaction for company pages.

Side bar how to advertise your business on linkedin

  • Follow company (160×600 pixels) or (90 characters) or (300×250 pixels) gives companies the ability to target professionals, generate awareness for their company page, and convert them to engaged followers.

Long side bar for how to advertise your business on linkedin

Caption: Follow company ad – 160×600 ad

Follow a company for how to advertise your business on linkedin

Caption: Follow company ad – 300 x 250

  • Group ads (300×250 pixels) are targeted, personalised and relevant group-specific ads created to drive membership to custom group communities. (180 characters of text including spaces)

Linkedin Group for how to advertise your business on linkedin

Caption: Group ad

  • Spotlight ads (160×600 pixels) or (300×250 pixels) comprise of a headline, image, 4 lines of text, 2-line logo title, a call to action and click through URL.

Spotlight ads for how to advertise your business on linkedin

Caption: Example of a spotlight ad on LinkedIn.

6. Job posting

It’s worth noting that LinkedIn advertisements are also shown on LinkedIn partner sites such as New York Times, Business Week and CNBC but these sites are not so widely viewed outside the US.

How to advertise your business on LinkedIn

1. Go to LinkedIn advertising or sign in and start a new campaign.

2. For each campaign (one client profile) you can create 15 variations of the same advertisement to test different headlines, descriptions, images and landing pages.

3. Define your target audience. Your goal should be to define an audience who requires your product and who will convert to a customer once they click through, so go for quality not quantity. As you build your perfect client profile, LinkedIn provides you with a handy counter that displays an estimated number of people who exist with the attributes you’re specifying.

4. Create your ad. If you have the choice to use a photograph, be aware that a woman typically drives the best click through rates. (sigh…). Avoid company logos.

Afgan woman photo for how to advertise your business on linkedin.png

Caption: This Afgan woman is reportedly ‘one of the most iconic photos of all time,’ because of the emotive power of her eyes.

5. Set your budget. You have a choice of a cost per click (CPC) or cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM).  Choose CPC if you want conversions and CPM if your advertising campaign is about increasing brand recognition. Always use the absolute minimum of $2 per CPC or CPM.

6. Capture leads. Either via your landing page or via emails automatically sent through to you (and LinkedIn will only send it to one email address) when someone asks to contact you about your ad.

7. Measure results and refine your ad. Track impressions versus click-through-rate of each variation via LinkedIn ad analytics. Turn off the least successful variations. Experiment with new variations to create the highest converting combination of copy, images and landing pages. Refine and repeat, so on and so forth.

If your target audience includes businesses or business professionals, LinkedIn is a perfect advertising fit, and getting better.

Forbes reports that 70% of users give the site a 4 or 5 rating (out of 5). This is significant when you consider only 9% of users thought the same way last year.

Guest author: Lauraine McDonald. Former circus performer and adventure junkie. Now social media, marketing and communications veteran committed to discovering and sharing best practices. Connect with her on LinkedIn. or via her social media marketing company in Melbourne – Media Momentum. 

The post How to Advertise Your Business on LinkedIn appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

from Jeffbullas's Blog via Online Marketing News
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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Call Tracking – The Tool Every Small Business Can’t Afford To Be Without

Your phone is ringing, it’s a customer who wants to do business with you and they got your number from – – hmmm, you have no idea where they found you. You’ve invested a lot of time and money on your marketing campaigns and strategies – – your website, social media, sleek postcards and mailers,…

The post Call Tracking – The Tool Every Small Business Can’t Afford To Be Without appeared first on Social Climb.

from WordPress

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

6 Ways to Ignite a Social Media Content Fire

Social media content fire image

Here’s the problem: As of February this year there were 2 million advertisers on Facebook alone.

And, there are a bunch of ways for any advertiser to get the job done on a minimal budget.

That means glut. Honestly, no one’s going to care about your social campaign unless it differentiates itself. No one’s going to see you unless your content fire is bright.

How do you stand out? How do you prove you’re different?

Be the individual you are. Tend your fire so we can see it.

Take advantage of the following methods to make your social media content sizzle.

1. Make it a game

We play games with each other throughout our lives.

But let’s talk business gamification. The Executive Editor for IGN, Scott Lowe, identifies two key components of gamification for business:

  • Unification: “Merging the action with the reward, instead of burying it under UI layers or even within a separate application”
  • Careful Consideration: Understanding the user’s motivation for playing the game – “The user needs to feel personally invested in successfully completing the action that results in the gamified reward”

A network like Facebook is an excellent platform for gamification.

A famous example is A&E’s Parking Wars game.

A&E Example for social media content

The end result of this effort to market the show Parking Wars was a total of 1.5 million users.

The experience was unified because the user didn’t have to leave Facebook to access the game.

In terms of consideration, why are “users” on Facebook to begin with?

Parking Wars was so successful because users could play with friends. There’s nothing quite like social motivation.

2. Make viral tweets

Going viral is the Holy Grail of social motivation. And Twitter is a good place to seek the Grail because it’s so easy for users to retweet what your content.

As with everything in the social media world, there are no absolute predictors of what will go viral. Humans are an unpredictable bunch. But we do a lot of research, and there are tools.

One of these tools was developed by researchers at Cornell University. They developed an algorithm to predict what will be retweeted, and a program to determine which wording is more likely to garner retweets.

Cornell university tool for social media content

The key takeaways are:

  • Don’t be shy: Ask for a retweet
  • Know your audience: Speak in their language
  • Write newsy headlines: Create buzz
  • Words matter: Express emotion
  • Name names: Rep your crowd

3. Get visual

Words are important, but if no one can see you, your words won’t mean as much. On any social media platform, getting visual is a must.

The photo-sharing app Instagram is the fastest growing major social network, with 26% of U.S. adults among its users.

On Twitter, tweets with images get 150% more retweets.

For brand pages on Facebook, posts in the top 10% include photos. These posts account for 87% of total interactions.

To find out what visual content has gone viral on Facebook, first do a graph search for businesses in your niche who are on Facebook.

Visual content graph search for social media content

Compile a big list. Then use a tool like the Post Planner Viral Photos feature (disclaimer: it costs $7) to filter out the images that have gone viral.

Roy's restaurant social media content example

Naturally, you’ll adapt. You’ll learn from the stuff that has gone viral.

And then you can get down to the business of creating and curating your own visual content.

4. Create memes

Researchers at Indiana University Bloomington found you can predict the virality of a meme by analyzing the structure of its retweet network.

Early on, if the meme is retweeted by a more diverse community of users, it’s more likely to go viral.

The researchers were able to use this analysis to predict which memes will go viral with over 60% accuracy.

When you create memes and infographics for your business, think diversity. Create images someone would want to look at even if they know anything about your business and niche.

The main intent should be to entertain and educate – not advertise. Advertising is the result of just how damn good your content is.

Google “free meme maker”.

Imgflip is just one of the many options. For our purposes it should do fine.

Imgflip example of social media content

Choose to upload your own image. Or choose from the list of images directly below the button.

After you’ve uploaded the image, add text at the top and bottom. You can even choose to add a scumbag hat. (Author confession: this is a meme of me with a scumbag hat.)

Meme example of social media content

Check the “Private” box if you don’t want it floating around online (probably a good idea so you can control dissemination). Play around. Then hit “Generate Meme”.

5. Create infographics

Canva and Venngage both have great infographic apps.

Infographic example of social media content

This template’s called “Sweet Blue”. You can access a template easily after hitting “Create Infographic” once you’ve logged in to Venngage. Or you can start from scratch.

Sweet blue infographic social media content

When you’re in template mode, single out a section by clicking on it.

Sweet blue 2 social media content

Then click delete up top. Next, drag over the Title Text box from the left.

Sweet blue 3 social media content

Then insert yours.

Sweet blue 4 social media content

Just like with memes, play around. Add interesting info and images.

Again, the most important thing to remember about infographics is that you are competing with loads of informative and entertaining content.

Attempts at blatant advertising should be shunned. Attempts at slighting the competition should be equally shunned.

6. Create videos

Facebook now places videos at the top of News Feeds, prioritizing this type of content over any other. They play instantly when you scroll down the screen.

In a recent development, Snapchat plays video ads too.

This is one more way, out of hundreds, to differentiate yourself on social media.

But how? Loads of advertisers use videos. You’ve got to learn from the best.

Joshua Hardwick, Managing Director for video production company ShortyMedia, has 4 Rules for a Video to Go Viral:

  • Evoke emotion: Stoke the fire
  • Portray your brand without overly promoting: Be clear about who you are
  • Have a marketing plan: Lead the viewer to a possible point of sale
  • Have concurrent branding/marketing efforts: Don’t make a video in a vacuum

These rules could apply to any type of content marketing.

There really aren’t scientific formulas for this. Where we’re going there are no roads – just great social media content.

So let’s all sit down and watch a favorite, excellent example again. And again. And again.

Guest Author: Daniel Matthews is a writer, part-time social worker, and musician who loves to explore topics ranging from technology to business culture and psychology. He has written for Social Media Today, Triple Pundit, Smart Data Collective, and YFS Magazine, among others. You can find him on Twitter @danielmatthews0

The post 6 Ways to Ignite a Social Media Content Fire appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

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