How to Increase Traffic to Your Website Using Pinterest

Increase Traffic to Your Website Using PinterestRegardless of your industry, Pinterest can increase traffic to your website. Obviously Pinterest works better for more visual businesses like those in the wedding, fashion, food and travel industries than what it does for accountants. But even with accountants, you can still pin helpful content that’ll engage with your target audience. For example, pins which relate to money saving and business tips will provide helpful content to business owners which may/may not be in need of a new accountant.

The way to make Pinterest work for your business is by helping and inspiring your prospective reader/client in order to direct them to your website. It’s not about building followers on Pinterest – it’s about using content to attract readers who will get your brand, love what you do & build loyalty to buy from you. Here’s how to get started:

Create a Pinterest Business Account

With a business account you get access to analytics, rich pins (we’ll discuss these in point 3), and the ability to promote your pins. If you’ve not already got a Pinterest account, click to create a business account. If you have a personal account already, click the following link to switch your personal account to a business one.

Verify Your Business Account

Once you have a business account on the go, you can now verify your Pinterest account. By verifying, you’ll be able to monitor the web traffic coming from your pins. Here’s how to verify using the metatag Pinterest generates:

  1. Go to your profile and click Account Settings.
  2. On profile, in the Website field, enter your website URL and click Confirm Website.
  3. Go on to the next page and see the metatag to put in the <head> of your website.
  4. If you’re using WordPress, login to your website and go to Appearances,then Editor and in the right hand sidebar click “header.php
  5. Within the header.php file, copy and paste the metatag Pinterest gave you. Insert this code in between the <head> and </head> tags in the file. Click to update file and it’s all go!

Apply for Rich Pins

Qualifying for Rich Pins is another advantage to owning a business account. As well as making your business look more credible, Rich Pins enables you to provide more information with your pin. Currently, Pinterest offer 6 formats of rich pins; articles, recipes, places, products, apps and places.

In this tutorial, we’ll use rich pins for articles to explain how to enable rich pins for your account.

The easiest way to set up rich pins is by using Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress. As opposed to manually adding Pinterest’s metatags to certain places on your site, Yoast SEO does it for you!

To install Yoast SEO click Plugins, Add New and then Upload Plugin. Upload the .zip file for Yoast SEO and click Install Now.  Activate the Yoast SEO plugin by clicking Activate in the Installed Plugins section on WordPress.

Next, go to the new SEO section of your left sidebar. Click SEO and then click Social. Go to the Facebook section and tick the Add Open Graph Meta Data and press Save Changes. Once completed, click the following link to enable Rich Pins by copying a link to one of your blog posts by scrolling to the bottom of Pinterest’s rich pins validating tool.

NOTE: It can take up to 7 days for Pinterest to approve your rich pin application.

Organize Your Boards

In order to engage and gain a following on Pinterest – you need a flawless profile with boards that will attract your prospective reader/client.

Your first 8 boards are most visible. The first 4 are the most important. They show off your brand, show what you’re interested in and show what you do. From this, they’ll get an understanding of what you’re about.

One great way to create an eye-catching Pinterest profile is by coordinating the board covers and name titles. In the world of Pinterest, jumbled up images and mismatched colors won’t do. Your profile needs uniformity. Do this by implementing your brand colors on the board covers and having a style for your board titles. Each board also needs a relevant description that includes keywords your target audience will be using in their search for inspirational content.  

When organizing your boards think:

  1. Who is my target audience?
  2. What content is my target audience looking for?
  3. What do they love?
  4. What content will help them?

Here is an example of a Pinterest profile which engages with its ideal audience:

 

Pinterest Print Screen

Melyssa helps bloggers and creative entrepreneurs build their businesses using their blogs, social media and email marketing. Her board is simple, matches her brand colors and most importantly – her boards are relevant to what her target audience will be searching. For example: entrepreneur tips, social media tips, blogging tips + email marketing tips.

Create ‘Pinworthy’ Images for Your Blog Posts + Other Web Content

Photography

If you shoot your own photography then great, you’re onto a winner! Your photography will be unique & help form your brand. But, don’t worry, if you don’t take your own photographs, there are heaps of websites that provide beautiful stock photography that is blog and pin-worthy (some are free, too!). Here are a few we recommend: Unsplash, Death to the Stock Photo and Pexels. Take note that tall thin images work best on Pinterest.

The Graphics & Text

You have the photography – now you need the graphics. You can use design software like Photoshop and Illustrator, but if you don’t have the budget, Canva is amazing for creating your own eyecatching pinworthy images for your content (like the feature image for this post. You can add your headline, change text size, add icons, adjust brightness and play with color. For inspiration for the most pinned images on Pinterest, check out this link to find out more.

When it comes to adding your text, your headline needs to grab people’s attention at one glance – so the text needs to be clear and simple.  

Join Group Boards

Joining Group Boards is a great way to build your following, show off your content, interact with industry leaders and prospective clients in attempt to increase the traffic to your website. Pingroupie is an amazing website which allows you to find Pinterest group boards which are relevant to your brand.

Filter your boards by ‘Collaborators’ – ones with higher members are more likely to accept.

You NEED to follow the owner of the group board in order to be accepted.
You may need to email the group board owner in order to be accepted.

Once accepted, try to pin 1-4 images to your group board in a day. Anymore than that then you might appear spammy. Build a good reputation by repinning other members content from the group board.

Curate Great Content for Your Pinterest Boards

In addition to pinning your own content, repinning content helps attract your target audience too.

Curate great content for your boards by following people in your industry, liking, commenting and re-pinning their content onto your boards.

The most likely content to go viral on Pinterest are how to posts, top resources, recipes, guides and checklists. Ensure your pinning seasonal and on-trend content too.

TIP: Pinterest is more likely to recommend your board if it contains lots of popular pins. Once a week go through your boards and delete the pins with low re-pins. This’ll make sure your boards appear to only show amazing content people love!

Schedule Your Pins

Scheduling pins helps save you time + allows you to schedule lots of images to be pinned to your board. Unlike most social media platforms, there are no popular times on Pinterest, Pinterest just likes to see lots of fresh popular content being pinned to your board daily. We recommend using ViralTag and BoardBooster to schedule your pins in advance. 

If you have any questions or suggestions, then feel free to comment below or tweet us @purelysocialtip.

Launching a New Product or Service? Here’s How to Create a Content Marketing Plan to Reach Your Audience + Win Sales

How to Create a Content Marketing Plan

Nobody likes a cold caller or an in-your-face salesman that doesn’t let you get away. When it comes to investing in a product we want choices. We like to build trust and find out how it works. In a world where marketers can easily put their product in front of you on Facebook, through Google or pop into your inbox – the “hard sell” can quickly be deleted and ignored. To promote a new service or product, we need to engage, show you’re an expert and provide value. And – that’s why content marketing is key.

Here’s How Content Marketing Will Grow Your Business

Provide value

We love getting as much as we can for our money. And – as a species, we LOVE freebies! And, that’s why offering free downloadable guides and resources work so well. You’re giving your potential client much more than a product or a service. You are proving that you are the solution to their problems.

If your audience has spent time reading your blog or chosen to download a guide, they know you know what you’re talking about. And before getting told about your new product or service, they trust your brand.

Enhance your SEO

In addition to building trust, content marketing ticks all of the SEO boxes too.

Say goodbye to the‘black hat’ SEO days.

Google now sees good, helpful SEO optimized content as the #1 ranking factor your website. The more helpful content you publish on your website, the more search engines indexes you.

And – the more your content is found on a search engine, the more chance you’ll have of connecting with a potential client.  

Engage with your audience + start conversations

By default, we engage with people and emotions. Showing our personality through the content we post on social media, blog posts, emails, online forums – we build meaningful relationships. Our ability to interact is what builds customer loyalty and wins a sale.

Become an expert

We’ve touched on how we need trust to make a purchase.

If you’re making a claim that you’re social media services will increase sales. You’ve gotta give evidence for that skill set. Through your content marketing you can demonstrate your ability to solve problems. You can feature case studies and prove your products/services are worth investing in by posting testimonials.

Using a combination of content marketing strategies you can provide rich information that’ll build your authority and put you ahead of your competitors.

To gain exposure and build as much hype around your product launch as possible, here are a few ideas to connect with your audience and get your name out there:

  1. Get Blogging!

Your blog should be your first point of call. As well as boosting your SEO, your blog posts will be the platform for the rest of your content marketing to build on.

Your blog posts don’t need to explain your new product or service, they just need to include keywords, spark interest and get your readers engaged with the advice you are publishing.

Brainstorm blog post ideas around the topic of your product/service that’ll be published in the six weeks prior, during and after your launch following this rough timeline and structure:

Blog Post 1: 2 weeks prior offering a free content upgrade to collect email addresses (after launch – update this post with banner images and product/service details)

Blog Post 2: 1 week before (after launch – update this post with banner images and product/service details)

Blog Post 3: On the day of launch offering a free guide based around the theme of your product/service to build your email subscribers

Blog Post 4: 1 week after launch

Blog Post 5: 2 weeks after launch including a free worksheet based on the theme of your product/service

Blog Post 6: 3 weeks after launch

  1. Create Opt-In Freebies to Embed into Your Blog Posts

As detailed above, you’ll see that we recommend creating free downloads to offer to your readers in Blog Posts 1, 3 and 5. These ‘lead magnets’ will get people signing up to your mailing list so you can get to work on priming  your audience for your product launch.

Follow our guide to designing an email sign-up form that can be embedded into your blog posts so you can automatically send out your freebie.  

  1. Set up an Email Sequence that’ll be sent to Your Freebie Downloaders & Mailing List

Email marketing is a great way to prime your audience for a service or product launch.

  • Brainstorm + write an email sequence of around 6 emails.
  • Send out 2 emails before launching.
  • And – send your mailing list 4 emails on or after the launch.

Here’s an example of an email sequence to your mailing list or after your freebie is sent out:

  1. Advice surrounding the theme of your product/service.
  2. Show how you/your business benefited from your product/service – the more personal the better – it’ll show what you’ve learnt from your journey and help your audience connect with you.
  3. Product launch email – feature case studies, your USPs and briefly mention your product/service. You may also want to link to recent blog posts related to the topic of your product/service.
  4. If you’re planning a webinar or Q&A on Periscope – send an email out to promote what they’ll learn from you & mention what you’re clients say.
  5. Pitch your product/service – mentioning an exclusive discount to email subscribers.
  6. Mention that it’s the last 24 hours of your discount and briefly go over the benefits of your product/service.
  1. Promote Your Freebies on Facebook Ads

Everybody loves a free gift.

As well as creating a post to promote your product/service launch, use Facebook Ads to promote your free downloadable guides.

People are more likely to trust a business that offers them free information in place of an advert of a service you’re offering.

In your Facebook advert, use your email sign-up URL to send out the freebie to your audience. You can find out how to find the email sign-up page URL in our How to Create an Email Newsletter Guide.

By creating a Facebook Ad, you can hit your demographic, offer a freebie to provide valuable helpful content that’ll show off your expertise and collect email addresses to add to your mailing list.

Through your mailing list you can start conversations with your potential customers, promote your recent content in your email newsletter and hopefully sell to them further down the line.  

  1. Facebook, Twitter + LinkedIn Posts

Write posts to direct traffic your blog posts and your new product/service for each social media network. For each link we recommend writing:

4x Twitter Posts

2 x Facebook Posts

1x LinkedIn Post

If you’re a member of a Facebook or LinkedIn group, post your content in places where it will be of most use.

  1. Guest Blog!

An amazing way to reach your target audience AND improve your website’s SEO is by guest blogging. Here’s how to promote your product/service through guest blogging:

  • Firstly, research businesses/blogs/websites which has a similar target audience to yours.
  • Email them to see whether they accept guest posts.
  • Brainstorm blog post ideas surrounding the theme of your product/service.
  • Arrange to publish your guest blog around on or after your product/service launch.

Find out why publishing content on sites is useful your website’s SEO in our article: A Beginner’s Guide to SEO.

  1. Upload Images to Instagram and Pinterest to Promote Every Blog Post

Create a pinworthy image for every blog post you create. Pin this to your boards + shared boards to get as much traffic as possible.

On Instagram, publish images featuring a question that relates to the content of your blog post. By posting these images to your Instagram with relevant hashtags you can hopefully kickstart a conversation with your potential audience.

  1. Lead a Q+A And/Or Tutorial on Periscope

An amazing way to show your expertise and connect with your potential clients is by using Periscope. Here you can host a livestream of a tutorial or Q+A related to your product or service.

What’s best is that your audience can interact with you and other watchers in the chat running at the same time as your live stream. Unlike educating your audience through a blog post, Periscope allows you to connect with your audience as well as your audience engaging with you.

You can briefly mention the benefits of your product/service and direct watchers to your website to find out more.

New to Periscope? Find out all you need to know in our Beginner’s Guide to Periscope blog post.

  1. Host a Webinar

Webinars are an awesome platform for generating revenue – they’re becoming increasingly popular too! Here are a few ideas for your webinar:

  • Think of one of your FAQs or what your potential client would like to learn from you. Use this idea for the basis of your webinar.
  • You can host the same webinar 2 or 3 times.
  • Pitch your product/service at the end of the webinar.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below or reach out to us on Twitter! We love to engage!

15 Things You Should Do Before + After You Publish a Blog Post

15 Things You Should Do Before + AfterYou have spent time brainstorming your content, you have written your blog post and now you’re ready to press publish. If you’re looking for marketing tips, it could be that you’re missing a few basic SEO elements that can help boost the reach of your blog post. Follow our checklist of things you should do before + after you publish a blog post to get more people reading your post as well as improve your search rankings.

BEFORE YOU HIT PUBLISH

  1. Write An Engaging + SEO-Worthy Blog Post Title

8 out of 10 people will read your headline – but only 2 out of 10 people will click through to your post. That said – this makes the title the most important component of the marketing of your blog post. The title serves two purposes; it needs to include keywords for all that SEO value and be interesting enough to attract potential readers to click through to read your post.

An example of a not-so-engaging blog post title:

“What I’ve Learnt About Facebook For Business”

By re-working the title to include your keywords, your target audience and demonstrating your blog post will drive results, this blog post title works better:  

“New Business Owner? Here’s How to Grow Your Business on Facebook”

  1. Link to Old Blog Posts

Google likes to see inbound links in your content. One of the easiest ways to boost the amount of inbound links in your content is to hyperlink old blog posts. It will make Google happy as well as keep readers on your website for longer. Put together a list of blog posts that relate to the blog posts you’re about to publish and link them within your content. Remembering to make the anchor text the blog post title for example: How to Use an Editorial Calendar to Grow Your Traffic + Social Media Following and not hyperlinking text like, ‘find out more here’.

  1. Is Your Blog Post SEO Optimized?

Now you need to ensure your blog post content is ready for Google. If you use WordPress, one of the best ways to check this is by installing the Yoast SEO plugin. It’ll make it easy for you to edit your page title and meta description. And – tell you how well your content scores for SEO. Here’s are few factors that’ll make your blog post SEO-tastic:

– Have you used your keywords in your content?

Try to make your keywords make up 1% of your content. But remember to incorporate them naturally within your blog post.

– Are your keywords in the page title?

Usually – a page title is autogenerated from your blog post title. But sometimes this won’t include your keyword and can look a bit messy. Scroll down the content of your blog post title in editor and you’ll find Yoast SEO. From there you can edit your page title to tick all of the SEO boxes.

– Do you have a meta description?

Similar to page titles, a meta description is automatically pulled from the content of your blog post. Use Yoast SEO to write your meta description to include a keyword and attract readers. Take a look at the meta descriptions of your competitors in the search results. Using their meta descriptions as a comparison, you can make your meta description stand out from the rest to increase your click through rate.

You can find more tips to step up your SEO game in our Beginner’s Guide to SEO.

  1. Break Up Text into Smaller Chunks with Headings

What’s more off-putting than a huge chunk of text? It’s a huge turn off. And – Google knows this.

Make it easier for your reader by breaking up your content into small sections and you’ll find people will stay on your page for longer. More engagement = more chance of winning your reader as a client.

– Read through your content and see where you can break it up. Once you’re finishing editing – Yoast SEO will give you a score as to how ‘readable’ your text is. Aim for a green light!

– Use header tags like <h1> </h1> around the headings of your sections.  In your headings you may want to include your keyword to please Google

  1. Use Branded Imagery

Our branding sets us apart from our competitors. And – setting a style for your blog post images will help enforce your brand. For each featured image use a set font, colour (from your website/logo) and style. Create a template to help make your images more consistent with one another. It’ll also speed up the process too!

  1. SEO Optimize Your Images

Like we optimize our content, we need to optimize images too. On WordPress, when you upload an image it’ll come up with ‘description’ and ‘alt text’ on the right hand side. Type in your blog post title into this – not forgetting to include your keyword!

  1. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!

After hours of writing on a screen, it’s so easy to miss a typo or miss something that doesn’t make sense. Take a break from your computer for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Return to your blog post with fresh eyes and read in small sections. Using this technique you’ll be able to notice more mistakes + make your blog post flawless.

  1. Delete Unnecessary Words From The URL

Once you’ve typed in your blog post title, a URL will generate automatically from this. To ensure your URL scores well for SEO – start by deleting words like ‘the, a, because’ to lay more emphasis on your keyword and main components of your blog post title.

AFTER YOU HIT PUBLISH

  1. Write Social Media Posts & Share onto Twitter and Facebook

After you publish a blog post, write a series of unique posts to promote your blog post on social media. I usually tend to write around 8 tweets and 4 Facebook posts for each blog post I publish. Once written, schedule them to go out over the next 4 weeks.

After scheduling, insert all of your social media posts into a content bank so can schedule them sporadically with other posts to keep your social profiles updated and drive traffic to your website.

If you’re not using a scheduling platform yet – take a read of our How to Use an Editorial Calendar to Grow Your Traffic + Social Media Following blog post to find out our list of recommended scheduling websites and plugins.

  1. Pin Your Image onto Your Pinterest

You may know this already – but Pinterest is soon becoming one of the best social media platforms for driving traffic to your website. After you publish a blog post ensure your images gets uploaded to the following:

– Pin your image to a blog post board, aka a board used solely to house your blog posts images.

– Pin your blog post’s image to other relevant boards on your Pinterest. Once your blog post has been uploaded to your blog post board, pin your image to any other relevant boards on your Pinterest. That way you will maximise the reach of your pin as you’ll be putting it in front of an audience who follows your boards.

– Upload your pin to shared group boards. If you’re not already a member of shared boards, search for boards relevant to your business so that you can share your pin with both people who are a part of the group board and who follow the shared board.

  1. Post Blog Posts in Relevant Facebook Groups

Similar to shared Pinterest boards, there are tonnes of Facebook groups where you can post your content. Join groups that are relevant to your business so you can share your knowledge to an audience who could benefit from your blog post.

  1. Upload An Image to Instagram

Instagram is a great platform to show off your branded images. After you publish a blog post make sure you upload an image to your Instagram profile. Not forgetting to include hashtags to reach an audience that are looking for content like yours. You’ll find top tips in our post Using Hashtags Effectively on Social Media.

  1. Talk About Your Blog Post in A Round Up Email

Everyone has their favorite go-to places for content. For some of us it’s Facebook, some can’t stay away from Pinterest and some of us like getting their updates through email.

After you have published a blog post, write a quick 30 word summary of your blog to feature in your weekly, bi-weekly or monthly round up email to drive traffic to your website.

If you haven’t got an email marketing campaign in-action, make some time to brainstorm ideas for content that you can exchange for an email address. For instance, if you’re a healthy lifestyle brand, creating a ‘20 Lunch Recipes That Are Budget Friendly + Help You Lose Weight’ guide as a lead magnet for your mailing list campaign. LeadPages is an easy-to-use campaign to help get this set up for you!

  1. Link Post in Old & Relevant Blog Posts

Like including links to old, relatable blog posts before you publish a blog post, linking your new blog post to old content will work in the same way. Readers who land on your old blog post will be shown a new blog post that may interest them will help reduce your website’s bounce rate.

  1. Tweet People Talking About Your Blog Post Topic

Get conversations started with people talking about your topic. Type in relevant search terms or words associated to your blog post and you’ll find people talking about it in some way. Mention that you’ve written a blog post that’ll help with their problem and engage with their previous tweets/photos. It’ll help direct people on to your website as well as boost your Twitter following.

 

Using Hashtags Effectively On Social Media

IMG_1389Everyone from Kimye to Politicians use hashtags on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Some people even use it in day to day conversations nowadays. #Guilty.

I have a love hate relationship with hashtags. When they are used correctly, they add to your content and attract new followers/customers/UFO’s. Used wrongly, and they can be pretty annoying to see. Sometimes you see people typing a 20 character status on Twitter and use the extra 120 characters on hashtags – #wrongwaytousethem! There’s a thin line between tolerated and completely intolerable. So, lucky for all of you, I am here to tell you how to use them effectively to benefit your business or blog.

Being a Blogger of almost five years means you get to hear about all of the funny mistakes I’ve made over the years, knowing you will never face the embarrassment of making the mistakes I have. I once posted a picture on Instagram of my cat and used the hashtags “#cutecat” “#CatsofInstagram” and uhm… “#Faceoftheday”. For starters, I had clicked the option to automatically share my Instagram posts to twitter and Facebook and because of this “catsofinstagram” was completely irrelevant on the other platforms. Aside from that, let’s move onto the elephant in the status “Face Of The Day” obviously does not relate whatsoever to my cat picture. I only used it because it was a popular hashtag. I ended up receiving about 5/6 notifications telling me I was using “Click Bait” (where people use catchy titles or hashtags to encourage people to click on the item despite it being irrelevant) and those people unfollowed me. I didn’t even have an excuse for it, I genuinely just wanted more people to see my status. #Fail.

So, moving on to using them the right way…

Frequency Of Hashtags

Twitter was the originator of the hashtag. Originally, people thought the idea would never catch on but Twitter blatantly have had the last laugh with hashtags being used across all social platforms from Instagram to Facebook and even Pinterest.

According to Twitter, using two hasthtags in your status doubles the chances of engagement, meaning you’re more likely to receive a comment, a ‘like’ or even a follow. If you’re really lucky, you might even be retweeted which opens the door to many more people. With that said, using three hashtags actually drops this chance by 17%. Facebook is a hub of hashtags, but personally, I use only one hashtag at the most.

For Instagram, people don’t really seem to be too put off by hashtags and I think that’s partly because they don’t look so dominant in statuses – for example, the image is the dominant feature of the post and the hashtags are written in blue making them less prominent than the black you see on Twitter or Facebook. Feel free to go wild with hashtags on Instagram but always keep them relevant. We all know that #fitspiration or #f4f are popular hashtags but they’re no good to you or your visitors unless your image relates to them. If, for example, you are in the beauty industry and are posting an image of lipsticks, then you might opt to use “#beauty #makeup #lipstagram #lipsticks #faceoftheday #pretty #bbloggers” – all of these are relative to the content meaning you’re more likely to get interaction from the people who see your post, such as a ‘like’, ‘comment’ or ‘follow’ (if you’re really lucky, you might even get a regram which is basically Instagram’s version of Retweeting).

It’s also a good idea to use your business name as a hashtag to help spread the word about your brand. It’s also a good way to keep track of others talking about your business as it’s likely they will use the hashtag.

IMG_1392Research Your Hashtags

You needn’t pluck hashtags from thin air or be in the know about which ones work best, you can use online tools which will help you decide which hashtags will work best for you. I use Hashtagify.me for research, and if your business has a local presence, you might want to consider using Trendsmap which is tailored to your preferred location.

Aside from that, you may want to try doing your own research. You could try using one hashtag across your social media platforms for one week and see how they perform before trying a different hashtag the following week and so on. This will help tailor your results to your very own business and will make it much more personalised rather than from a wide demographic.

Communities

Mainly on Twitter, but also on Instagram, are communities who have similar interests and they all use a specific hashtag where those people will ‘like’ or interact in some way. These communities also host ‘tweetchats’ on Twitter where once or twice a week users gather and use the hashtag to participate in a discussion which has a different theme each time. This sounds a little bit complicated so I’ll give an example. As a beauty and fashion blogger, I obviously participate in related chats. Hashtags used for these are #bbloggers or #fbloggers and each week, a new host will tweet a question using the hashtag. For example:

“Welcome to #fbloggers – Q1 – What are your thoughts on runway to high street fashion?”

Anyone searching for the hashtag on Twitter (using the search feature) will be shown this tweet and any other tweets using the same hashtag. By responding or contributing to the chat, you will definitely see some interaction. I regularly receive around 10 new followers in each hour long chat (and I’m not even the host!). Just be sure to interact with other people by replying to them with a comment, or retweeting people. Be sure to always use the hashtag in your responses so other people can see them too. Just be smart with it – if you have success using a hashtag, be sure to use it as often as you can (just not more than once in one status as we have already discussed).

If you’re lucky enough to be the host for the chat (you can either start your own chat or request to be the host for another one by contacting the appropriate hashtag profile) then you can get literally hundreds of new followers – I hosted a chat once and it was trending for an hour because of the amount of interactions there were. It really is a follower goldmine.So, now that you know all about how to use hashtags, it’s time to get to work! We here at Purely Social would love to hear all about your success with hashtags and if you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or drop us a tweet @purelysocialtip

Thanks so much for reading this article! I look forward to returning with more useful information to help your business or brand.

Holly

Top 7 Mistakes Businesses Made with their Digital Marketing in 2015 & What Can Be Done to Fix it in 2016

marketing in 2015

It’s the beginning of the year – which means creating New Year’s Resolutions and thinking about the year ahead. We reflect on the positives, we notice our mistakes and we work on how we can improve. Instead of indulging in high calorie food like we do over Christmas, we start cleansing our bodies and working on getting back into shape. And – like our bodies, our business’ need to detox too. The start of a new year is one of the best times to analyse the results of our digital marketing campaigns, try new strategies and create a marketing plan for the year.

Take your business to new heights by eliminating digital marketing mistakes and digitally savvy in 2016 by following these tips:

checklist

Mistake 1: Not Using Analytics Tools

If you’re going to promote your products and services online, you need to be able to identify what’s working and what’s not. Tools such as, Google AnalyticsHootSuite and Buffer provides you with rich data that helps you build a picture of how your content and social media marketing connects with your customers. Check out these simple but essential things you need to monitor:

  • Your social media insights. If you’re using a social media schedule tools like HootSuite, Sprout Social and Buffer, you can create reports on how your social media is performing in a few clicks. This will help you compare results, monitor your following, identify your demographics and see how much traffic is being directed to your website. On Facebook, you can see what time your fans are online, the most popular times are when you should be posting. You can do this by logging into your page, clicking ‘Insights’ on the top panel and clicking ‘Posts’ on the left hand side.
  • See what’s popular on your website. Google Analytics provides you with a wealth of data which shows what’s popular on your website. Seeing what content brings in the most traffic can help you create future blog posts that are popular with your audience.
  • Identify what’s converting. You might be investing a lot of time and money into moving up the page rankings for a chosen keyword. The keyword might be directing lots of traffic to your website, but the traffic may not convert into enquiries. On Google Analytics you can monitor your SEO campaign so you can identify when to stop optimizing a keyword and concentrate more time and effort on another.

Mistake 2: Forgetting to be ‘Social’ on Social Media

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Not being social on social media is one of the most popular mistakes businesses make. Check out our article on 3 Ways Social Media Automation on Twitter is Antisocial.  Cut down on selling your products/services and engage with your following by following these strategies:

  • Run competitions. Everyone loves the thought of winning something. Show your customers value in following your social media profiles by running a giveaway in exchange for a ‘like’ or ‘comment’. This is an effective way of increasing your brand awareness, social media following and reaching your target audience.
  • Share your customer’s content. If your customers take a picture of your product, write a blog post reviewing your service/product – sharing it on social media will show your potential customers what your customers are saying about you.
  • Start conversations with your customers and relevant influential people. Social media platforms are a great place to respond to comments from your customers and build trust. Twitter is a great place to get talking to popular people in your industry to build relationships and increase your brand awareness.

Mistake 3: Avoiding SEO

If we want to find something out, we Google it. Google is a very powerful tool to get your business noticed by potential customers searching for your services and products you provide. To kickstart your SEO campaign, take a look at our guide to SEO and use the following tactics:

  • Find out the most relevant keywords for your industry. You can identify the most searched keywords for your business and area by using the Keyword Planner tool on Google AdWords. Once you’ve found the keywords, you can begin to optimise them on your website.
  • Use your keyword in page titles and meta descriptions.
  • Publish relevant blog posts to direct your potential customers to your website.

Mistake 4: Focussing on Promoting Your Services

You may find that a lot of us avoid information about businesses services. When we’re searching online, we are looking to find the solution to our problem. In place of promoting your products and services, start providing content that will show your expertise and gain trust from your potential customer:

  • Create and share helpful content. For example, if sell fitness clothing and gym equipment, writing blog posts and social media posts about workouts, healthy recipes and benefits of certain exercises will engage with your audience more than sharing links to gym tops and Additionally, by publishing helpful content, you can work on a wide range of keywords which will drive more high quality traffic to your website.

Mistake 5: Not Having a Budget for Social Media Promotion

Facebook has made it more and more difficult to reach potential customers without paying. Simply by having a small Facebook budget, you can engage with more people and increase your brand awareness. Here are a few posts to sponsor:

  • Advertise helpful content. If you’ve recently published a video, infographic or blog post that will help customers – paying to promote the post will help you connect with more of your target audience.
  • Boost competitions to maximise your engagement. Similar to sharing helpful content, making more people aware of your competition will help you engage with a larger audience and get more entries.

Mistake 6: Not Having an Email Marketing Campaign

With 91% of consumers checking their email daily, email marketing could be the missing link in your digital marketing campaign. Get your email marketing started by:

  • Creating a giveaway to build your mailing list. Try building your database of emails by offering free downloadable guides as well running competitors in exchange for an email address.
  • Promoting your latest content. Like sharing your latest blog posts, videos and infographics on social media, you can use your email marketing campaign to share content and direct traffic to your website.
  • Advertising special offers. As well as promoting your products and services, running exclusive offers will help keep your potential customers subscribed to your mailing list.

Mistake 7: Not Using the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business

In 2015 you may have not used social media to promote your business or you may have struggled to find the best platform to engage with your ideal customer. You can identify the best social media platforms by:

  • Understanding your typical customer can help you create content for your potential customer. For example, if you offer services for businesses, LinkedIn is one of the best places to network and promote your content, but if you’re target audience is people – Facebook is an ideal platform to share your content.

Summary

Get ahead of your competitors in 2016 by keeping your strategies up to speed with the constantly evolving nature of digital marketing. Start understanding your audience, showing your expertise, blogging to boost traffic and using social media to engage with your customers. That way – you’ll reach your potential audience, gain their trust and boost your sales.

 

Questions, comments, straight up disagree? We want to hear from you! Reach out to us on twitter or comment below!

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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Useful Tools for Beauty and Fashion Bloggers

usefultipsforfashionandbeautybloggers

When blogging first started being a “thing”, there was just a person behind a screen who wanted to vent about their lives and their passions in that moment. Nowadays, blogging has become a full time career with hundreds of people monetizing their hobby, and with time has come a slew of new tools to help make blogging easier to manage -whether that be with content, social media or images.

Here are a few tips from one beauty blogger to another to help you make the most out of your passion.

Scheduled Posts

Being able to schedule blog posts has become every bloggers best friend. Many bloggers feel the need to post everyday or every other day and so being able to write up two or three blog posts at one go and schedule them to appear on your blog at a specific time or date is definitely essential to blog maintenance. Whether you use Blogger or WordPress (as most bloggers do) each platform gives you the option to schedule your posts. No more working weekends – Hurrah!

Photo Editing

Many bloggers spend hours on end perfecting their pictures, whether that is of a product or of your makeup or outfit, you can end up spending the entire day photographing something and still find that once you upload it, it still looks boring or the lighting looks awful. Nowadays there are several tools you can use to help you edit the lighting and add in all sorts of fancy embellishments to your images.

Picmonkey as an example is a bloggers favourite tool as you can edit and design images without downloading software or registering to the site. If you prefer to use apps, you can download “afterlight” which is a free app where you can apply filters and lighten the images on your phone.

Here’s an example of an image that has been edited using Picmonkey to add filters and overlays:

picmonkey

Taking Photos

Pictures are equally as important to your blog as content. If you have good photography then you make your blog look and feel more professional which not only do visitors love, but so do companies who might be interested in sending you their products or wish to advertise their brands. There are a few things you can utilise to make it that bit easier:

  • Buying a large sheet of thick white paper or card is inexpensive but can help make your product pictures look much cleaner and professional. Beauty products in particular are notoriously difficult to photograph with reflecting and mirrored packaging causing shadows and catching your reflection. Adding the white background can help to eliminate some of that.
  • As for lighting, many bloggers use ring lights and soft boxes but these can prove to be pretty expensive (wave goodbye to the handbag you’ve been saving up for!). You can find some good deals for these on Ebay or Amazon but there is a much cheaper alternative. There are lamps that have a swivel neck on them and no shade that are available to buy for less than $15 in your local homeware stores.  Buying two of these and some powerful light bulbs can give good lighting without breaking the bank which for beauty and fashion bloggers is ideal.

Tip: Aim each lamp at either side of the object and photograph from above to avoid shadowing.

  • In terms of actual camera equipment, of course there are dozens of DSLR camera’s available at different prices. For those of you who don’t know what a DSLR camera is, “DSLR” is short for “digital single lens reflex”, Basically, they use a mirror behind the camera lens that directs light towards the viewfinder when you’re composing a photo. It all sounds complicated right? Well, all you really need to know is that the pictures from a DSLR camera are significantly sharper than using a standard point and shoot camera. If you’re interested in investing in a DSLR camera but are not really sure which one to go for, then the one that is favoured by beauty and fashion bloggers is the Canon 600D. There are of course others available but this one is great for being able to change or add lenses and the video quality is also pretty good if vlogging is your thing.

Aside from DSLR’s, there are high quality ‘point and shoot’ camera’s which do the job pretty well. Again, Canon have pretty much nailed it when it comes to quality – anything with a high MP (above 12 megapixels) and has a good digital zoom (10 x or higher) will do the job perfectly. Pretty much every camera has a display on it nowadays but just in case, be sure to look for this so you can view your images prior to uploading.

Smartphones invariably have good camera’s nowadays too so don’t be afraid to snap your outfit or a beauty product you’ve been loving if you haven’t got a fancy camera.

Here’s a picture of beauty products that was taken using just a smartphone:

smartphoneimage

Whether you decide to use a smartphone, DSLR or digital camera, buying a tripod is definitely recommended, particularly for outfit posts or for taking selfies of your makeup or hair. You can pick one up fairly cheaply; however, if your camera is heavy or expensive (like a DSLR) then you might want to consider spending a bit more cash on a higher quality tripod. If you are using your smartphone, you can still use a tripod – take a look on ebay for “Smartphone tripod” where you will be able to pick up a holder for your smartphone that will screw onto your tripod for about $5 (including delivery).

Social Media

As we mentioned in a previous blog post, social media is a vital for making your content reach new audiences. There are a few tools that you can use for scheduling tweets, facebook posts and even Instagram posts.

Buffer is an app that you can download and use to control all of the mentioned platforms and will allow you to schedule updates at your preferred time and date. It will even allow you to send your updates ‘as and when’ the app thinks is suitable. Another great platform to use is Hootsuite which does pretty much the same as Buffer, except you can use it on desktop PC’s and laptops too. Both apps are free.

Google Analytics

A lot of bloggers already use Google Analytics to track which posts are performing well and to check their audience stats however some don’t use it because they feel it s difficult to use or mistake it for adwords. Adwords is a paid for advertising platform, whereas analytics simply tells you all of your visitor statistics including their age, location and how long they stayed on your website. It even tells you which backlinks you have and where your visitors clicked from to get to your blog. It’s definitely worthwhile using and is actually quite straightforward to use. There are thousands of online tutorials and help pages on how to use Google Analytics so go ahead and erm, ‘Google’ it… Pun intended!

Commenting & Interacting

Finally, the best thing that we could recommend is to interact with like minded people by commenting on other blogs and leaving your links in the comment. Make sure your comment is actually interesting and relevant otherwise those pesky spam filters will ‘junk folder’ your comment instantly. Here’s an example of a good comment:

“Great advice! I always forget to put a top coat on once I’ve finished painting my nails and then wonder why they chip so easily! Which top coat would you recommend? Thanks again! (insert blog)”

As you can see the comment interacts with the blogger and lets them know you’ve taken time to read their post. You also encourage them to reply to you either by visiting your blog or by replying to their own comment. Bloggers love nothing more than to know their work is appreciated and a comment lets them know that they’re not just typing into an empty space that no-one reads. You’d be surprised by how many followers, comments and visitors your blog will receive if you ‘pay it forward’ by interacting with other bloggers.

As always, we here at Purely Social Media will be updating with more advice to improve your blog each week so be sure to add us to your favourites or tweet us @purelysocialtip