Cracking the Deep Web: How to Get Steady Customers Fast and Free

Hi Guys, Mika here!

As you know, we’ve been increasing our team to include a few new bloggers varying in expertise. The newest member of our team, Leah Zitter, has a wealth of experience in SEO and the deep web. This week’s article is an introduction to just that. Enjoy! 

visible web

Three years ago, I used the Deep Web to promote my website that offers hidden jobs for freelancers. As far as I know, I was and remain the first person to do so.

I invested three hours a week using Deep Web engines.

Within that first month, I gathered 375 visitors.

What is the Deep Web?

The Deep Web consists of all sites that are hidden from search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, or DogPile. Regular search engines can only retrieve information from pages that are accessible to it or that are large enough to be discovered. But there are many other groups on sites such as Twitter, Behance, Ryze, forums, password-protected business sites, Tumblr, Reddit, or up-and-coming blogs that are inaccessible because they are too small, password-secured, or not registered with search engines.

The science journal Nature notes that Google only indexes 16 percent of the surface Web and misses all of the Deep Web. This means that about 3000 out of 1 web pages are hidden from engines. Think of the ocean and the hiddenness below. The ocean is your worldwide web. Underneath is your deep or invisible web. This is where your clients chat.

I sought tools that could probe this hiddenness so that I could connect with them.

Why I used the Deep Web

Part of the reason I turned to the Deep Web was because I was looking for other ways to conduct free surveys. I also wanted to probe my targeted person’s subconscious needs. I wanted to connect with them in as real a way as I could and show them I could help them. For that to occur, writing articles was not enough. I wanted to talk with them; to capture their words for help so that I could refer them to my service. Along the way I sought their opinion. The engines that probe the deep web helped me do this. They helped me make some of my posts viral.

I collected 78 FB followers from zero in 2 months and gathered references from those who tweeted their thanks.

Method

I spent 8 months tracking down uncommon engines that dated since 2000. I investigated those that survived. Engines dip in and out of existence regularly, so, for instance, I wrote a few articles on MetaSearch.org only to have that amazing search engine die within months of those articles  being published.

I also read books on the deep web such as The invisible Web: uncovering information sources search engines can’t see by Chris Sherman and kept up-to-date with events on the Deep Web via researchbuzz.me.

Thirdly, I probed and used some of the methods of certain HR recruiters who had devised their own systems for spooning out hidden names.

Most important, I am a research scientist with an advanced degree in logic and formal training in Search Engine Marking. I used that training to fiddle with different keywords and algorithms running some for a few months before adding or replacing with others to see which terms, posts and sites were most popular and effective.

Here are the results.

Deep Web Engines: Top 3 for advertising and marketing on forums and groups

Boardreader – You’ll want to use the ‘Advanced Search’ to help you make the most of this site. Few engines need as exact keywords as this does. Surprisingly, I found the Imbd option helpful.

Omgili –‘Oh My Gosh I Like It’ really does help you find communities, message boards, and discussion threads on any topic. Type in your key words (I used ‘looking for freelance _’) and access Discussion Posts or Blog Posts. You may find News Articles helpful.

Webring – Find people and groups who share your interest. It is small (because its relatively new) but its members are more earnest than on FaceBook and you can engage with them at greater length than you can on Twitter.

Deep Web Engines: Top 3 for advertising and marketing on social media

Socialbearing.com – This engine helps you drill Twitter. It is excellent for tracking real-time conversations.

Twazzup.com – This is a new all-in-one Twitter search engine. Twitter has other search engines that you can use such as OneRiot and Louis Gray, but the helpful thing about Twazzup is that you can type in whatever interests you and Twitter returns all – noise and all.

Smashfuse.com – Terrific. Smashfuse travels FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Vimeo, Tumblr, and Flickr among others. It is also fast. Minuses: It lacks advanced options. (I add date or country to the keyword or I simply use general keywords. The latter option is probably best).

Deep Web Engines: Top 2 for advertising and marketing on blogs

Blogsearchengine.org – This engine swims through stumbleupon and delicious. Minus: It lacks advanced options.

MeltwaterIceRocket.com – This is one of the most powerful blog search engines. It searches blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and sites on the worldwide web. I  use the advanced search options to type in certain words such as ‘ paying submissions’, the date (‘today only’) and tag – which searches for words in the post. Example [tag: writer telecommutes].

Deep Web Engines: Top 3 for getting eyeball-boggling content

Dotmos.com – It helps you dig news in your field that you may less likely see on the common search engines. I use it for real-time conversation and for creating content.

GigablastGigablast is an open source engine. You’ll find its advanced search options below the blue border of its title. I sometimes also use ‘Ixquick’.

Tiptop insight engine – This engine captures news. If you’re savvy with your keywords, it can help you capture real-time conversations. The engine needs permission from Twitter to grant you access but it digs up from pages that are well beyond Twitter.

Interesting, right? Feel free to reach out in the on twitter, via email, or in the comments below with any questions, comments, or if you need help implementing. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

How to Use an Editorial Calendar to Grow Your Traffic + Social Media Following

how to use an editorial calendar

If you are looking for ways to get your target audience onto your website, content is king. By blogging and sharing engaging content on your social media platforms, you can completely revolutionize your business. High quality, relevant content will engage with your potential customers and get your ideal customers onto your website. As content plays a crucial role in your marketing, you need to research and strategize your content to make sure you reach as much of your target audience as possible – and, that’s where an editorial calendar comes into play. For detailed advice on how to increase traffic to your website, you can read our Beginner’s Guide to SEO.

So, What Is An Editorial Calendar?

An editorial calendar is a calendar you use solely to plan your publishing schedule for the weeks and months ahead. Whether you use it for scheduling your blog posts, podcasts, publishing infographics or social media content, your editorial calendar helps you strategize your content marketing to make sure you increase your traffic and brand awareness. See our content calendar series for more details on the step by step process.

The Benefits of Using an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog & Social Media Platforms

Although a lot of us know how important blogging and social media is for growing your business, it can often be something we rush or leave as an after-thought. Using an editorial calendar to plan your publishing schedule will improve the quality, frequency and relevance of your content. Here are a few of the benefits:

Plan Your Content Marketing Strategy

Once you’ve researched the most searched keywords for your business, you can plan content around them. This way, you know that you’re publishing high quality content that is relevant to your audience.

Ensure You are Publishing High Quality Content

We have already touched on how easy it is to rush a tweet or blog post without planning it strategically. By having and creating a publishing schedule, it allows you to write informative, well-researched content that your readers will love.

You will have more time to brainstorm ideas for your posts. And – you may also find that one of your content ideas can be split into a series of posts which will create more content that’ll attract your target audience.

You Will Post More

If content is king then consistency is queen. Not only does publishing 1-2 blog posts every month generate
70% more online enquiries than businesses who don’t blog
, studies have also found that consistently publishing quality blog posts makes your brand more trustworthy and enforces loyalty from your readers.

It Will Help Stop Writers Block

Ever open up a blank word document and stared at it in hope of finding inspiration? You’re not the only one. Planning ahead will give you a head start on knowing what to write – which’ll cut down the time you’re wasting on procrastinating.

why you need an editorial calendar

How To Create An Editorial Calendar For Your Blog

1. Use Google Analytics to Strategize Your Content

Google Analytics gives you an amazing insight into what content works well on your website. Take a look at what blog posts bring in the most traffic to your blog and use the most popular subjects to plan your future content. For example, if you’re a healthy lifestyle brand and your blog posts about fitness get the most attention – you can use this data to plan posts that will generate more traffic. When planning your content, you can also see what page titles and post structure worked the best.

2. Brainstorm Content Ideas

Plan some time to brainstorm ideas for your blog posts to go in your editorial calendar. If you’re running short on time,  carry around a notebook to write down any idea that comes to mind.

3. Evenly Distribute Your Blog Posts across the Month

When it comes to planning what days your content will go live, make sure you distribute your blog posts evenly across the month. That way you won’t publish loads in one week and neglect your blog for 2 weeks thereafter. Being consistent with your content will make your reader more aware of when you are posting so that they know when to check out your posts.

How to Create your Editorial Calendar for Social Media

1. Share a Variety of Content

When you don’t schedule posts in advance, you may publish more of one type of content than another – or you may even post a lot on one day and not a lot on another.  On your editorial schedule you can plan when to post a video, infographic or a link to a blog post to maintain an interesting social media presence.

2. Ensure You are Posting Visual Content

When it comes to social media, when you combine visual content with text & links it works better than written content alone. For instance, infographics are liked and shared on social media 3x more than any other type of content.

3. Organize Social Contests

One of the best ways to reach more people and increase likes, shares and follows is by hosting free giveaways on your social media platforms. For example, Qwetee reached 100,000 fans by giving away t-shirts every week. On your editorial calendar you can plan when a competition is going to be launched, ended and when the winner is going to be announced. On this plan, you can also write blog posts and tweets to get more people engaging with your competition.

4. Schedule in Twitter Chats

An easy way to interact with your audience is by participating in Twitter Chats that are relevant to your business. For example, #CreativeHour is held every Monday at 9pm EST. Using your editorial calendar to remind you when Twitter Chats are taking place is a surefire way to make sure you’re not missing out on potential networking opportunities.

5. Plan Your Ad Spend

As Facebook has made it difficult to reach your audience organically, by planning which posts you’ll boost or when your like campaign is going to take place, you can set your budget for the month and feel reassured that you’re reaching as many people as possible.

6. Write + Schedule

Once you’re plan is in place, you can write your social media posts and schedule them in advance. You can use Hootsuite or Buffer to do this (see below for more information on these).

Plugins and Platforms to Help You Stay Up to Date with Your Editorial Calendar

While some of us may prefer to create our editorial calendar on paper, a few of us may like to manage our publishing schedule digitally. Here are a few plugins and platforms we recommend:

CoSchedule – A WordPress plugin that allows you to plan your posts on a calendar as well as write and schedule social media posts from the post editor. It starts at $15 per month for 1 user with 5 social media profiles.

WordPress Editorial Calendar – Another WordPress plugin that allows you to see all of your posts, drag and drop posts to the desired dates and times and edit titles and content. And – it’s free!

Google Calendar – You automatically gain access to a calendar when you sign up for a Google account. You can easily schedule in posts and set reminders. Unfortunately – this isn’t synced up with WordPress but you can have the calendar synchronized with your phone.

Hootsuite – Hootsuite allows you to schedule Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn posts in advance from your PC and through a mobile app. You can also see how well posts performed. It’s free for one user with 3 social media platforms.

Buffer – Similar to Hootsuite, Buffer makes it incredibly easy to schedule your social media posts. You can use Buffer to schedule Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest from your PC and mobile app. What’s more – you can set up an individual plan for free!

We sure hope you found this blog helpful! If you have any questions, tips, comments, feel free to reach out to us on twitter, email, or in the comments below! We look forward to hearing your take.

How Snapchat Can Be Used In The Fashion & Beauty Industry (Including Bloggers!)

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Hi everyone!

It’s Holly again back to give you some more insider information on Snapchat and how it can be beneficial to the beauty and fashion industry. Last week, we discussed how to set up and use SnapChat, so now that you’re a pro, it’s time to put your practice into good use and efficiently use the platform for your business or blog.

A lot of people might be wondering how the beauty and fashion industry can benefit from using a social platform such as Snapchat and the answer is simple – it builds a community. Releasing new products is all fine and well, but in order to make those products the most sought after items in the business, you will need to create some sort of community and hype around them which is where Snapchat fits in just nicely.

Let your followers become industry insiders…

As we mentioned in the “beginners guide to Snapchat”, anything you post to your followers will disappear in 10 seconds. To some this might seem like a pain, but actually, it makes your followers feel as though they are part of an exclusive club where they have had a ‘sneak peak’at something that a lot of other people might not have seen. It gives them a backstage insight to the industry and that is where the Fashion and beauty industry can use Snapchat to their advantage.

Fashion week is the biggest week on the fashion calendar which will see everyone from high street to designer brands showcasing their latest and upcoming trends for industry insiders and press. Unfortunately, us mere mortals don’t have the status to mingle with Kimye and Victoria Beckham so we rely on press coverage to let us in on the inside scoop. Now, brands are turning to Snapchat to document snippets of insider knowledge and backstage model diva drama for their followers to see. As each clip only lasts 10 seconds before it disappears forever and ever, followers will be left wanting more which will encourage social media interaction and even increased visitors to your website. (Remember, Visitors = Sales!). Brands such as Juicy Couture, Burberry & Alexander Wang all use Snapchat to promote their brands. If it’s good enough for them… right?

So, as a small Fashion brand, how can you use Snapchat for your business?

IMG_1007It works quite similarly for you as it does for the large companies. When new products are being created, perhaps consider capturing a snippet of a creative meeting, of fabric swatches, or of an upcoming advertorial for the season ahead. Because you are only showing a 10 second clip of it, you leave your followers wanting more as was mentioned earlier. This also works for beauty brands too where you can showcase new product ideas, color swatches and new packaging. As a beauty and fashion blogger myself, I can safely say I love this kind of content and even though I know the brands are trying to sell themselves, I fall for it hook, line and sinker. I want to buy the new products and I want to be the first to know all about them.

You can also send exclusive offers to your Snapchat users. So for example, you can take a picture of a dress and include the caption:

“20% off for Snapchat users using code 0000

the snap only lasts 10 seconds so not only will this encourage your viewers to act immediately, it also lets them feel as though they are part of an exclusive club. Of course, everyone wants to be part of an exclusive club, just like I want to be part of Taylor Swift’s Squad… Moving “swiftly” on. (pun intended).

Now that we’ve taken a look at how Snapchat is great for promoting Fashion and Beauty Brands, let’s take a look at how Fashion & Beauty Bloggers like me can benefit from using it.

I’ve been blogging for almost five years, and since starting out, I’ve probably signed up to around 20 different social media platforms. Some of them work better than others and more often than not, the ones I expect to work the least for me, end up being a huge source of traffic to my blog. One of those very platforms is Snapchat.

I initially started using Snapchat a year or so ago where I enjoyed sharing cute snippets of my cat wearing my slippers (still gets me laughing to this day) with my friends until one day I realized that I was being left behind. Other Fashion and beauty bloggers were using Snapchat to promote their blogs in ways I didn’t even think about.

As I mentioned earlier, brands like to showcase snippets of upcoming launches and bloggers are no different. Whilst bloggers invariably don’t have new products of our own to showcase, we are able to share with our visitors what is coming up on the blog in the coming week.

As scheduling is a vital part in keeping every blogger sane (trust me!), we invariably have our content planned for the week ahead and so this means we can show snippets of us typing a blog post and highlight eye catching segments such as:-

“The $3 mascara that wins the Volume battle hands down”

Then caption it “Coming tomorrow on my blog”.   Users will be enticed to see this wonder mascara and are likely to visit your blog to see it. Clever huh?

Another way for fashion and beauty Bloggers to use Snapchat to their advantage is to offer your followers something exclusive that they can’t find on your blog or Twitter. For example. If you are doing an OOTD IMG_1008(Outfit Of The Day)blog post then a still image is perfect for your blog, but on Snapchat you could record a
clip of a 360 degree view of the outfit where you zoom in on key features. For Beauty bloggers, you could show lip swatches of a new lipstick on your blog but to offer your snap chatters something a bit more, you can record yourself applying it and biting into an apple to prove the product doesn’t smudge easily.

Not only does this drive traffic to your blog but it also encourages more followers to your SnapChat.

Be sure to cross-promote your snapchat channel at the bottom of a blog post where something ‘extra’ is offered on Snapchat. Be sure to share your username across social media too and watch as your followers and blog visitors increase day by day.

IMG_1009Similarly to brands, bloggers can also offer exclusive deals such as competition entries and interviews to people who comment on your snapchat content. Again, be sure to blog about this on your blog and mention it across other social platforms to let people know that they can expect a lot from you on Snapchat.

 

 

Snapchat is also rumoured to be offering advertising opportunities in 2016 although this has not been confirmed.

So now that we’ve covered how Snapchat can be beneficial to the fashion and beauty industry, what are you waiting for? Get snapping and be sure to leave your usernames in the comments below!

A Beginner’s Guide to SEO

a beginners guide to SEO

If you’re thinking about launching a business with little risk, the internet is an excellent platform to launch a business and have instant access to thousands of potential customers. The only disadvantage – anyone can do it so your business can be easily lost in amongst your competitors. That’s where SEO comes in. It’s the means whereby you show Google that you’re an expert in your field so they can rank you high in search results.

With 93% of online experiences starting on a search engine, working on the SEO of your website is an effective way to get you in front of your customers. In effect – search engine optimization needs to be an essential part of your marketing campaign.

Follow these tips to improve your SEO, get online enquiries and watch your business grow.

For great SEO results, content is king

Gone are the days of keyword stuffed webpages, spammy link building and black-hat SEO practices. Google has improved its ranking factors to penalize bad practices in order to get the loyal experts to the top of the search results. And – Google does this by indexing exceptional, useful content.

Get blogging

By blogging regularly, you get your business visible on Google by targeting a large number of keywords and getting more webpages indexed in Google searches.

Blogging is one of the most effective ways to get your target audience onto your website. In fact, 60% of consumers feel more positive about a purchase after reading content on a website; content is key. In effect – attracting customers on to your website via a blog post, is one of the best practices to get your target market to trust your brand and invest in you.

What’s more, HubSpot found posting 1-2 blog posts every month can generate 70% more online enquiries than businesses who don’t blog. If you are publishing relevant, useful blog posts 6-8 times per month, you can see an increase of 140% more enquiries.

Publish your content on other websites

In order for Google to place your website ahead of your competitors, you need to make Google value your website. Google calculates this by your domain authority. You can build your domain authority by getting your URL published on websites. So, the more Google sees you, the more Google values you.

Get your name out there by posting blog posts on high quality websites that are relevant to your brand. This will build links to your website and put you in front of an audience that are likely to click through to your website. For example, if you sell organic skincare products, get your content featured on health and beauty blogs and websites.

seo tips

Fix these Common SEO Mistakes 

  1. Not using Google Analytics

Monitoring your results on Google Analytics can help you see which keywords are converting and which  are not. You may find that you’re getting a lot of traffic from high-traffic keywords – but if they’re not converting into online enquiries, it’s worthless. By analysing results, you can tailor your content to include keywords to engage with the right audience.

  1. Not optimizing for local searches

If you’re business serves a certain area, optimising your website for local searches helps potential customers in your region find you. Begin by including your area in page titles and meta descriptions.

  1. Not optimizing the right keywords

When it comes to keywords, it’s best to be as specific as possible to get better search engine rankings and accurate traffic.

  1. Not using unique page titles and meta descriptions for every page & blog post

Every page needs a unique title that includes a keyword and a descriptive meta description that will attract a potential customer to click through to your website.

  1. Not using anchor text for internal links

When you’re linking to services or products in your web content and blog posts, make sure to use a keyword as the hyperlink. For example, instead of “click here” which holds no SEO value, use “social media management services”.

  1. Not creating shareable, useful content

To improve your domain authority and direct quality traffic to your website, you need to create extremely useful content that people will link on their websites and social media platforms.

For example, as a social media marketing company we publish tips & guides to provide our readers with content that’ll be a great value to their blogs and businesses, such as:

Top Five Tips for Blogging Success
A Beginners Guide To Periscope
5 Tips of Boosting Your Fashion/Beauty Social Media Page

Use these SEO Tips & Tricks

  1. Identify your keywords on Google AdWords

To find out your relevant keywords, sign up for a Google AdWords account and use the keyword planner tool to identify the most popular search terms for your industry.

  1. Use keywords in your page titles

Your page title is the first line of content that shows up in search results for your website. Every page needs a unique page title that includes a keyword at a maximum of 70 characters.

  1. Write engaging and optimised meta descriptions

Your meta description is the text underneath the page title in search results. Using 160 characters you need to attract potential customers to click onto your website. Include a unique selling point, what exactly you do and a keyword within the text.

  1. Include meta tags/keywords on every page

Assign every page with keywords that are unique to the page. Use a maximum of five keywords. Not forgetting that your chosen keywords also need to be included in the content of the page.

  1. Implement H1 tags in your page content

H1 tags is the largest HTML heading there is (they go up from H1 to H6). Using a H1 tag will help Google identify the keyword you’re optimising. In the HTML editor of your page or blog post, use H1 tags to lay emphasis on your primary keyword.

For example:

<h1>Social Media Management</h1>

  1. Add your keywords to your alt text in every image you upload

Like the written content on your website, you need to optimise images with keywords. When you’re uploading images, optimize a keyword in the ‘Alt Text’ of your image. The ‘Alt Text’ shows up when an image cannot be displayed. This also tells Google what you’re optimizing so they can index your images for Google searches.

  1. Title text

The title text describes the link’s content, to get the most SEO value, use keywords to describe the destination to tell Google to rank you for a particular keyword.

For example: when you’re hyperlinking a service, ‘Social Media Management’ will appear in place of hyperlinked text such as ‘find out more here’.

  1. Have a XML sitemap for your site

This is a map of your website and it tells Google what pages to index in searches.

  1. …as well as robots.txt

Robots.txt is a bit of code which helps search engines find your XML sitemap. In effect – this helps Google robots improve your rankings and help direct your target audience onto your website.

  1. Check your site speed

Slow loading times can make a user close your website. As Google wants to rank useful websites high in searches, your website needs to be accessible and easy to navigate. Factors to a slow web speed could be large image files, lots of adverts, unnecessary redirects, a shared web hosting provider (if you’re website gets a lot of hits), excessive scripts, broken links, too many plugins installed and a web design with a large file size.

  1. Optimise your website for mobile

In April 2015, Google rolled out an update that boosts the ranking of mobile-friendly websites in search results. So if you’re website isn’t optimised for mobiles and tablets, you could be missing out on a lot of traffic.

  1. Redirect links that have been changed or broken

If you have changed the URLs of your webpages or have URLs that don’t work, then links should be directed to a live page or a 404 page.

Want to find out more about SEO? We would love to hear from you! Feel free to comment below, tweet us at @purelysocialtip or send us an email beseen@purelysocialmedia.com.

Top Five Tips For Blogging Success

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The road to success is always paved with pot holes. It can be a bit of a bumpy ride sometimes, but if you know the right roads to take, you can bypass those potholes and have success without the hardship.

Take it from me. I learned the hard way! It is very easy to get lost on your way to the end game. I started out my career as a blogger simply reviewing products and begging PR firms to send me products. I did not realise that no one wants to read posts from someone bragging about how much free loot they managed to bag, not to mention that no one would even find that post. Turns out simply writing content and putting it online doesn’t mean it will automatically go viral if you don’t promote it (see our post on the best ways to share content here). As time went by, I soon learned how to perfect my blogging technique. Here are my Top Tips for Blogging Success to make your journey a little bit easier.

1 – Platform

Deciding which blogging platform to use can be tricky. However, it is an important decision to make! Changing your mind once you have established your blog can be very tricky and highly time consuming. There are two preferred platforms that bloggers use: WordPress and Blogger.

WordPress is a platform designed for more advanced users who may have experience in using plugins and HTML. The platform allows users to add more features into their blog and to incorporate downloadable features. WordPress itself is free to use, however you may need to buy a hosting package if you’d like a custom domain (Hostgator is popular amongst bloggers). Many of the plugins and templates are free to download and use, but there are premium paid for versions that provide more options.

Blogger on the other hand is a completely free platform which hosts your blog. The platform is open source and allows new users to design their blog at just the click of a few buttons. To add to this, the simple to use platform is also owned by Google which means it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

To summarise, if you know your way around the web and are pretty good with coding and would like customizable options, then WordPress could be the option for you. If you’re new to blogging or web design as a whole, and have limited to no budget, and prefer a more turn-key option then Blogger is likely to be your preferred option.

2 – Timing

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Timing your blog posts to publish on a specific day and time can prove to be successful with your visitors. Us humans are creatures of habit and so letting your visitors know that you will be posting new content on a certain day or time will encourage regular visitors to return at that time.

Timing your blog posts also helps you to target different time zones. For example, if you have a business in New York but think people in the UK will be interested in your content, then there’s a five hour time difference to take into consideration. Scheduling your blog post at 2pm UK time (9am New York) will mean New Yorkers will wake up to read it before work or whilst commuting, whereas the Brits will read it in either their lunch or coffee breaks. Scheduling is available on both WordPress and Blogger.

3 – Topics

Whether you’re a fashion blogger or a holistic therapist letting your visitors know about what you have to offer, it’s important you choose the right topics to not only attract new visitors but to keep those visitors on your blog.

Writing controversial posts may bring in a few visitors but in terms of gaining credibility for your business, it certainly won’t do much good. Many bloggers write about topics that answer a question. This provides information for your visitors and encourages them to browse around the rest of your blog. For example, if you have a Holistic Therapy business, try writing about the benefits of holistic therapy in comparison to other methods, or perhaps a blog post highlighting a specific ailment that holistic therapy has successfully treated. These areas are fairly non controversial and will provide useful information to those reading. By veering off topic, your visitors will become confused as to what your blog is actually about.

4 – Design

Keeping your blog simple and easy to navigate through is just as important as having any content at all. Ever visited a successful website that was full of graphics and a loud background with obnoxious writing? No, that’s because users don’t find a ‘busy’ blog, a ‘friendly’ website. Many Bloggers choose to stick to a white background and accentuate it with one or two colours in the navigation or sidebar and banner. Every blog has a decent amount of photography which in itself adds colour to the blog.

In terms of photography, ensure you make your photo’s large and clear without being overly edited. Don’t stretch the photos or you risk significantly reducing the picture quality. Aside from that, whether you choose to use a big fancy camera or a cell phone camera, your photo’s will be one of the main attractions of your blog.

5 – Social Media

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Promotion is key to blogging success which is something we have talked about previously here on Purely Social Media. Many people leave out promoting their content on social media or tweet about it once and think ‘that’ll do’, however the truth is that your blog will never reach the masses unless you shove it in people’s faces and let them know it exists.

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are three of the most popular social media platforms amongst bloggers and all can be managed using different platforms such as Hootsuite or Buffer where you can schedule your social media updates in advance. Scheduling your social media updates means you can take the time to carefully plan what you wish to say in your status and creating links to be included. A good job is never a hurried one!

The value of social media to your blog or business is invaluable. All it takes is for someone popular to retweet something you’ve said and it can receive thousands of visitors overnight. For those of us who are not quite fortunate enough to have famous fans, social media is vital whether you have twenty or twenty thousand followers. One more person seeing your content is one more than you had before.

Finally for social media, it’s important to use your platforms to interact with your followers/visitors. Whether you have a blog or a shop, it’s useful for helping with any issues or customer services. If you interact with your followers, you gain trust in your website and business which will encourage returning visitors and customers.

Summary

These five tips will definitely steer you and your blog in the right direction without spending a single dollar. I could easily have written a dozen more things to help you on your way but having a successful blog won’t happen overnight and you certainly can’t learn everything there is to know about blogging overnight either (trust me, it’s taken me more than three years and I’m still learnng!)

Until next time, make sure you let us know your thoughts by commenting or by tweeting us @purelysocialtip

5 Best Tips On Sharing Content

besttipsonsharingcontentHi everyone! It’s Holly here. I’m back once again to let you know a few tips I’ve picked up on sharing your blog content across the web so that even superstars like Johnny Depp can find it… A girl can only dream!

As we all have learned by now, blogging and content sharing go hand in hand. While having great content on your blog is definitely important, sharing that content is equally vital.

Imagine hosting a dinner party full of celebrities and forgetting to hand out the invitations. The dinner party has everything you could need to make it incredible, but no-one attends because you haven’t shared the information (or handed out the invitations). Blogging is no different. You could have an interview with Princess Kate Middleton on your blog where she gives you the inside scoop on her outfits for next season but if you forget to tell anyone that the interview exists, then no-one is going to look at it which is why sharing your content across the right platforms, using the right strategy and format is vital in making your content popular. Poor Kate..

Every time an actor stars in a new movie, you will see they are working the media circuit by appearing on chat shows and doing magazine shoots. This is because throughout these appearances, they are promoting their new releases to let the world know it exists. Celebrities are clever little creatures aren’t they? Well you can be equally as clever. Sharing blog content is a little bit different from appearing on chat shows, but it’s not necessarily hard to do.

So how can you share your content like the pros? Here, we take a look at different methods on how and where to share your content.

1 – Automatically share your content.

There are several platforms available that will automatically share your content to social media. Twitterfeed is the platform that many top bloggers use to share their content. Despite it’s name, Twitterfeed shares content across more platforms than just Twitter. Registering is as simple as entering in your details (name, email address, fingerprints.. (jokes)) and your social media handles. You will also be asked to allow Twitterfeed to post on your behalf thus allowing access on those platforms. Then, just sit back and watch as you let it do all the hard work for you. Twitterfeed shares content to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and other platforms automatically, saving you time and effort. (meaning there’s time for creating more good content not to watch more episodes of Dr Phil on the television…)

It is also worth using programs such as Hootsuite and Buffer to schedule tweets to promote your posts at a later time to ensure you cover different worldwide time zones. When you go to sleep in the US & Canada, people in the UK are just waking up! Covering different time zones will give more people the chance to see your content.

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2 – Add A “Share this” link to every post

Have you ever been on a blog and noticed the blogger has their social icons and a “share this” link at the bottom of every post? Well that’s because they’re pretty savvy when it comes to sharing their content. That blogger is encouraging their readers to share their content for them meaning more people see it across different platforms. You could do your blog a huge favour by adding one of these social bars to your blog. Blogger offers an ‘add on’ for free and WordPress also have several plugins for this such as “Ultimate Social Media Icons” which will make things much simpler for you to implement.

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3 – Use The Blogging Community!

Bloggers are a supportive bunch and as long as you support them, they are quite happy to return the favour. Here are a few ways to use the blogging community to your advantage:

  • Comment on other blogs. This is something we have covered in previous blogs but it’s still a really good way to share your content. If you comment on other blogs with a relevant comment and drop your link at the end, that blogger and other commentors are more likely to visit your blog. Here’s an example of a good comment to leave:

“Please tell me this skirt is available to buy in the UK? I really want the red version to wear for my Christmas party. You look amazing in it! (insert your blog link here)”

By adding this kind of comment, you have asked a question (meaning the person is more likely to visit your blog to reply) and you’ve made the comment personal to the content proving that you’re not just looking to drop your link.

  • Join Twitter Chats! Every day different twitter chats are ongoing using different hashtags such as #lbloggers #fbloggers #bdib and #bbloggers. Hundreds of bloggers (and brands) join in these chats and talk to other bloggers and share each others content to their followers.

Joining a chat is really simple and anyone can do it. Just search on Twitter for one of the hashtags to see when a chat is live. You’ll be surprised at how many visitors you receive and also by how many blogger friends you will make!

3 – Competitions

Again, something else that has been touched on previously is competitions. Running your own competition on your blog is a fantastic way to share your content and encourage visitors. You don’t need a huge budget to run a competition, anything from a gift to a voucher works well and is welcomed with open arms on social media. In fact, it’s a visitor gold mine.

If for example you have a $20 voucher to give away, then write a post about the voucher on your blog and share it on social media encouraging your followers to “follow” and “retweet” your content. This method will literally have your content seen by thousands of users which will encourage more people to follow your blog. If you run a competition once per month, as an example. You are likely to see a decent increase in visitors and content sharing.

4 – Search Engines

Waiting for your new blog post to be picked up by the search engines can have you waiting for months on end. If you want Google, Bing and other search engines to pick up your content quickly, it might be worthwhile manually submitting your content. It’s really quick and easy to do and if you add the Bing and Google submission tools to your favourites as part of your blogging routine, it will quickly become something you automatically do. Search engines might still take some time to rank your content using this method but it is definitely worth trying out.

5 – Summary

To summarise, sharing your content is probably equally as important as creating good content. Using word of mouth is great for telling people when a new shop has opened in your area, or to let people know that there’s a new yoga class opening but not so effective for letting people at the opposite side of the country (or even the world) know about your latest blog post, which is why these methods for sharing your content are so important.

If you have any tips and tricks to tell us, we would love to hear from you! Please feel free to comment below or tweet us at @purelysocialtip
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Social Media Strategies Your Business Depends On

purelysocialmedia

Note to our readers:

Hey guys! It’s been a while. We’ve been super busy trying to build our brand and tending to our clients.  But we’re back and coming at you with more posts on a more regular basis. 

We’ve decided to work with freelance bloggers to help diversify the information that we bring to you, as well as stabilize our post frequency, so you have something to read from us on a very regular basis. This week’s article is written by Holly Sturgeon, a beauty and fashion blogger from the UK who has a passion for social media and loves to dig up information to bring to you guys. Welcome to the team, Holly! Hope you all enjoy!

Back in the days our businesses depended on local and national advertising in Newspapers, on Radio and Television. Whilst those things are still important for spreading the word about your business, other options, (Free options at that – Thanks us later!) are now available.

Social Media has pretty much dominated our lives over the past few years with more than 307 million monthly average users on Twitter alone. You might use social media for keeping track of your favourite celebs or for sharing your cute cat pictures rather than for promoting your business, but sharing your content on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (or any other of the numerous social media platforms that are available) could actually prove to be quite fruitful.

Ever scrolled through your news feed on Facebook or Twitter and seen a blogger or business letting you know all about their latest product or service? Of course you have! Well that’s because those businesses have started their own social media campaigns and began promoting themselves by using different social media strategies including the one’s we’re about to mention.

Whether your business is a blog, a service or is product driven, your primary aim of using social media will doubtlessly be the same and that is to reach new audiences and welcome new customers to your business. Here are a few social media strategies your business depends on:

Advertise Your Social Media Accounts

Of course, the purpose of using social media is to promote your business but your business also needs to promote your social media. (hear us out!). Presuming you already have a website, ensure you put your Twitter or Facebook handles on your homepage and in your ‘contact’ page. Customers feel more secure knowing they can contact you instantly and so letting them contact you via social media for any customer issues is a great way to attract followers and of course encourages user engagement. It’s also vital to ensure that when you are sent a query or comment that you reply to each one individually and personally. Also ensure you deal with all ‘personal’ or account queries via direct message to ensure customer confidentiality. All of this will ensure that your followers will feel safe and this is likely to result in return business.

Content

In order for this to work, it is really important to ensure you keep your feed current. Using apps such as Buffer or Hootsuite, you can schedule posts to appear on your timeline at your preferred times. In terms of what content to publish, businesses should always keep things professional with a hint of humour. Retweeting controversial users or using foul language are definite no-no’s but posting up the odd cute cat picture (obsessed!) will keep your timeline current and will encourage users to engage by favouriting, liking or retweeting your status. You should also consider keeping your tweets short (under 100 characters) as shorter tweets are proven to attract 17% more engagement.

Timing

Timing your updates is also important. According to Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella, Twitter engagement for brands increases by 17% at the weekend. It has also been proven that Twitter users who use their mobile phones to browse their newsfeeds are 181% to be on Twitter during their commute. Perhaps consider posting in the early morning. The same applies to Facebook and Instagram (we’ve all done it) as we are all more likely to browse through social media platforms out of boredom whilst travelling.

 Images

Here we go with the cute cat pictures again – You are twice as likely to receive comments, replies, likes, retweets etc if you post an image with a link. So whether you choose to post a picture of your latest service or even a picture of the office Christmas Tree, you are encouraging people to engage with your brand. Engagement = visitors = Followers = Customers which is the aim of the game.

Hashtags

The hashtag trend started on Twitter but is now actually popular across most social media platforms. At the end of your status, placing a relevant yet popular hashtag will mean that your tweet will reach new followers. In fact, of all the information and advice given in this blog, this is probably the most important and successful tip. Here’s an example of how to use a hashtag:

 “Spending the weekend decorating the office. #springcleaning “

 Anyone who types “spring cleaning” into the search bar on Twitter will be able to see your tweet, this also applies to Instagram and Pinterest. Using more popular hashtags, including ‘trending’ hashtags (which you will see on the left hand side of Twitter or on the right side of Facebook) will obviously mean your tweet reaches a bigger audience, but that also means that more people use that hashtag and so your tweet will be pushed down the newsfeed very quickly, leaving a limited amount of time for users to see your status.

If you use hashtags that are relevant to your status, you will reach new users that are genuinely interested in what you have to say meaning you are more likely to encourage engagement and receive more followers.

You might want to consider creating your own hashtag. For example if your business is called “purelysocial” (shameless plug – We’re not even sorry!) then type your status similar to this format:

 “There’s only 6 weeks left until Christmas, Are you prepared? #purelysocialmedia”

If someone retweets your status, their followers will see your business name in the tweet, despite the fact that you’re not directly advertising. Clever huh?

Competitions

Everyone wants something for nothing. We all have entered a competition at some stage in our lives, whether it was in a magazine or even just buying a lottery ticket. Running a competition on social media can prove to be extremely popular and will definitely encourage people to follow you. Whether you offer a service or a product, running a competition on social media where the users are required to “follow and share/retweet” your status to enter will mean you will get a follower, who will share your status with their followers, who will then share it with their followers and so on. It can result in hundreds of followers and will mean more people will visit your website. Using clever hashtags (such as #win, #competition and #giveaway) for this, like previously mentioned will see your competition reaching the masses.

Paid for Ads

No-one really wants to pay for something if they can achieve similar results for free but we thought we should cover all options available to your business. Of course, there are paid options available on both Facebook and Twitter where you can start a campaign which see’s the platform advertise your service on newsfeeds. You might have seen “promoted” statuses on Twitter which are paid for advertisements and the ads on the right hand side of Facebook are also paid for. Advertising this way is definitely useful for those who have a budget to work with but can also be an expensive way of experimenting with social media.

Using social media can increase your customers greatly and is definitely something your business will depend on if you want to increase exposure online. Keep an eye on this blog for more tips on using social media to promote your business and feel free to submit your questions!

Until then, feel free to share your cute cat pictures with us @Purelysocialtip

Is following clients on Instagram a good idea?

image via flickr

image via flickr

We’ve managed accounts for several fashion and beauty businesses and often encounter the question of whether or not it makes sense to follow clients. Most of you in the fashion and beauty industry make it a practice to only follow those on social media who are in the industry. This helps you to network with colleagues, keep abreast of the goings-on and trends within the industry, and get inspiration. These are all great reasons to do so and you should definitely continue to follow those in the industry, but our thought is this: Yes. You should also follow your clients. We’ve heard several reasons for not following clients from: “I don’t want clients’ posts to distract from what I would like to see: i.e. posts within my silo” to “What’s the point in following clients period?” or a variant of a KPI question.

Here’s our point:

By not following clients and potential clients, you’re missing the whole point of social media. This goes back to understanding why you’re on social media in the first place. If you are on social media to reinforce a relationship with current clients and expand your client base, then you absolutely need to have a two-way relationship with your followers. If not, then it’s useful for other things (we’ll talk about specifics later), but not necessary.

The entire purpose of social media is to break the fourth wall and open communication that previously was non-existent between businesses and their customers. How are you going to have a conversation with your clients if they can only visit you on your terms i.e, your page.

The benefits of having a two-way relationship extend to both intangible and tangible forms.

The intangible benefits:

  • Building a relationship.

you get to know your followers on their turf, as well as yours, and gain an insight into their lives. You also are now have more of an opportunity to listen and converse. For example, if a client posts a picture of the hairstyle you just did for her, you then have the opportunity to gain permission to repost and image. More content that you don’t have to create. Potential clients who see this can now see your work in a relatable setting.

  • Humanizing the brand.

By engaging with your clients and showing them that you are not a robot, and that you care about the welfare of your clients, you bring a human face to the brand. This means don’t just follow and lurk, engage! Like a photo, talk about something relevant, reply to comments.

Too many businesses ignore comments. If your page is getting swamped with comments, you’re obviously not going to have time to reply to each one individually, but keep an eye out for questions and potential clients seeking information. This can be the deciding factor between whether you gain a new client or lose a potential client. If you don’t have time during business hours, delegate someone to take shifts or set aside an hour or two each day where you make a point to browse through your notifications and answer questions. If you’re just starting out and get very few comments, you absolutely need to make it your duty to respond to everyone, question or not. Show that you care that they took the time to leave a comment.

  • Building trust.

Going back to the example of re-posting a client’s image of your handy work, this is also an opportunity to build trust. How many of us have gone to a hair or nail salon and left less than pleased and now do detailed research before trying any new place?   By posting your handy work from your client’s perspective, you’re developing a rapport and showcasing verifiable reviews from clients that love you i.e., building trust.

The tangible benefits:

Higher potential for new clientele.

New clients are important to growth; a business can’t survive solely on repeat customers. In order to significantly increase revenue, the fact is that you need new customers. You need more people buying your products and your services in order for significantly increase growth and, as a result, revenue. This means that some time should be spent focusing on how to bring in new clientele. This is not to say that you should take any focus off of current repeat clients, you definitely should not, as repeat clients are fundamental to sustaining business. On the other hand, if growth is your goal, new clients are how you get it. Social media gives you the opportunity to reach clients in a way that no other marketing platform does. It essentially puts clients right at your doorstep and opens the door to their lives. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen posts of people moving to a new area and looking for a new stylist, nail salon, and or boutique. It happens on a regular basis, why not benefit from it.

Where do you start?

  1. Pay attention to who likes your content and do a little bit of research. Check out their page, see where they’re located. If they’re in your area, follow them.
  2. Check out who likes the content of those in your industry. Some instafamous people in the industry have followers from all over the world. If you check the comments, you’ll see from time to time people comment “I wish you were in *insert town here*.” If they mention your town or surrounding areas, this is your cue to step up and promote yourself. Don’t get ahead of yourself, no sales pitch necessary. Simply “Our salon/ boutique is right here in ______, check out our content” will suffice.
  3. See if there are any Instagram pages dedicated to your city and see who follows them. Do a little bit of sleuthing and see if you can find target client. If so, follow them.
  4. Take a look at your discovery tab, as you like and follow more content that’s relevant to you, the Discovery tab will pull more useful content. Instagram has nearly perfected this algorithm. Take full advantage of it.
  5. If your feed is too clogged, create a separate page just for yourself as the owner so you can see only what you want to see. Click here for a few apps that can help you manage multiple Instagram accounts.

5 ways to remain relevant on social media in the fashion/beauty industry

  ODD MOLLY SS2011 NEW YORK 09/15/2010

As a fashion/beauty professional, you are uniquely positioned to be able to pull from a wide variety of sources to ensure that you remain on trend. The fashion beauty is one that will always be relevant because it is always changing and evolving to meet society’s needs. The question here is: How do you remain relevant in social media during all of these changes?

  1. Keep up with your resources.

    You probably already follow tons of magazines and blogs relevant to your trade. If you aren’t, you definitely should be. Use these resources to your advantage. Dedicate a day to posting an inspiration from your favorite magazine or blog on a regular basis. If there was a makeup look, outfit, or tip in Nylon magazine, for example that caught your eye or fit your aesthetic, it may be a good idea to shout them out. This lets your client base know that you keep up with current trends.

  1. Recreate a look.

    Going back to that look in Nylon magazine, take it a step further. Why not try to duplicate it. If you are a clothing boutique with similar piece, try to recreate the look. When you do that, be sure to include key hashtags. See below for example:

This is a look from the Spring 2015 Ralph Lauren Runway show.

Figure 1: Getty Images

This is a duplicated look from things the average consumer can find in their local boutique.

Figure 2: Created by Purely Social media via Polyvore

A social media post may include Figure 1 in one post, discussing points about the image that your customers may find interesting and how monochromatic looks may be in style. This post could include hashtags like: #SS15 #NYFW #monochromatic #springfashion #spring2015 and things of that nature. Figure 2 would come shortly after (at peak times) with a fun caption like “buy the look from us” with a staff member wearing a similar look using items from your store. As a result, you are making your business relevant by placing yourself at the top of customer’s minds with current fashion events.

This trick can be done with any of the businesses that fall within the fashion and beauty umbrella. We’ve even had one of our clients create nail looks to match fashion trends from Fashion Week. An army green ombre nail would go great with this look!

  1. Capitalize on Award Season and Fashion weeks.

    During award season and fashion week, regardless of your geographical location, timelines are filled with fashion week looks and award show and after show looks. This is the perfect opportunity to hashtag stalk observe and steal bandwagon to showcase your business. Whether you sell clothing, style hair, or specialize in nails, you can make these peak times relevant to you. The legwork is already done for you in making the hashtag relevant, now you just have to find a way to customize it to your business. A makeup artist, for example, may want to pay key attention to Red Carpet makeup trends or Award show looks that can be done at home. Women are always looking for key ways to look great quickly and low cost. One idea is to take a high quality look and show women step-by-step how to do it at home with an Instagram 15 second video. Another option is to just do a side-by-side with a popular look from an event and your rendition of that look. This way you can display your skill set and draw in business.

  1. Do research on seasonal trends.

    This is especially true if you live in an area where there is more than 1 season. Keep in mind that fashion weeks usually occur before the respective season does, so you’ll have plenty of time to pull research. Once you have your research put together, you can use your posts to remind your client base of what the trends to watch were. Trends in fashion and beauty are relevant all year round. If you are able to use your business as the go-to for women who are interested in keeping up with the trends, you’re sure to generate quite a bit of traffic for yourself. If you’re a nail salon, why not show your followers which colors are currently trending for spring. If you’re a shoe store, show your customers what shoes they need. Today’s society is easily influenced by social media platforms and often look to social media platforms for advice on what to wear, how to execute a makeup look, or what nail color to get next. You can easily position yourself as a resource on upcoming trends by just doing your own research, which you’re probably already doing anyway.

  1. Pay attention to fashion and beauty trending pop culture.

    What shows are popular right now? What celebrities are current fashion icons and how can you capitalize on that? Like it or not, Kim Kardashian has been a fashion icon for several years and she has found a way to make her look relevant consistently throughout. What can you pull from that and give to your client base? If you can tell your client base how to look like someone they admire, you can gain a competitive advantage on social media against your direct competitors.

Basically, the way you stay on trend is by telling your client base what they want to know, sometimes, even before they know that they want to know it. Keep an eye on what’s happening in your industry and find ways to make it relevant to your client base. Understand who your target market is and give them news that’s relevant to them. If you’re targeting teenagers, they may be interested in more casual fashion and beauty, whereas women in their 20s may be more interested in date night looks, work looks, and things of that nature. New moms may want to know how to look good for a night out somewhere between setting the baby down for a nap. You need to anticipate your client’s needs and provide them with the content they crave. That’s how you stay on trend on a consistent basis. Questions? Need help? Feel free to comment below, send us an email, or tweet @ us!