5 Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies That You Should Implement In 2017

There was a time when social media was seen as a passing fad by many. It was being used by kids and businesses didn’t see any real benefits from it.

However, the skeptics turned out to be wrong with the passage of time.

We don’t need to tell how big social media is.

The sector has grown rapidly than the internet itself.

Since opening their doors on September 26, 2006, Facebook crossed 1.94 billion monthly active users as of March 2017.

Currently, there are 3 billion internet users and around 2 billion of them are active on social media.

Approximately seven out of ten people in the US use social media to connect with one another, share information, engage and also to entertain themselves.

You can check out a recent compilation of the latest social media stats of consumer adoption and usage by Smart Insights.

 

Needless to say, if you’re not using social media to market your business, you’ll have to learn it or face the risk of losing it in the long run.

Still not convinced?

Here are some things social media can do for your business:

  • Tell prospects about your services and goods
  • Promote your business and brand
  • Attract new customers
  • Get customer feedback
  • Foster relationships with your customer base

 

Now without further emphasizing on the importance of social media, let’s see how you can leverage on this sector to grow your business this 2017 right from scratch.

5 Social Media Marketing Strategies That You Should Follow Now

  1. Set Your Goals And Objectives

The first step of any successful social media marketing strategy involves establishing your goals and objectives. Moving forward without really knowing what you want can be the perfect recipe for disaster.

Closely peruse your company’s overall requirements and find out how you can use social media to your advantage.

You may come up with many personalized goals; however, there are some common elements that you need to include in your strategy.

These include increasing brand awareness, finding prospects, retaining old customers and trimming marketing expenses.

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Source: Shutterstock

It’s best to focus on two primary goals and two secondary goals. Refrain from having too many goals as it can distract you from achieving none.

Along with goals, you need to have specific parameters in mind that define your goals clearly. For instance, if your primary goal is to generate leads and sales, you need to figure out the number of leads and sales you require even before the goal becomes a success.

An easy way to determine your objectives is to adopt the S-M-A-R-T approach. Your objectives have to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

In the example above, if your goal is to generate leads and sales, have a specific marketing objective. You may want to boost your leads by 50%.

Remember to choose objectives that you can achieve.

  1. Create A Brand And Remain Consistent Across Every Social Channel You Use

What’s your feeling when you find different descriptions of the same business on various social networks?

You’d certainly get confused and reluctant to get involved with such a business.

Humans love consistency, and if your social media profiles remain consistent across various channels, you’ll build positive relations with your visitors. They’ll know what to expect irrespective of the social network.

It’s been seen that 60% of internet users in the US expect consistency when dealing with online stores.

It’s best to use the same professional picture on your social networks and even on your blogs.

But that’s not all since your profile picture is just the beginning. Consistency has to come with your brand’s color, imagery, voice and overall outlook. Try to express your brand’s value and remain consistent and authentic in your communication across all your social networks.

Here are four aspects you need to ponder on when deciding on your brand’s voice.

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Source:socialmediaexplorer.com

After you nail down these aspects, all your conversations on social channels will flow smoothly.

The result………

Your audience will not only connect with you but eagerly wait for your updates.

Personal, casual, witty and funny conversational language work well on social channels too.

Mark Manson, for instance, gives a raw, personal and funny tone to social media as shown below.

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You may love to read Buffer’s voice and tone guide, which they religiously stick to in all their communications.

 

  1. Automate Like A Ninja

Find engaging third-party content pieces and share them on your social channels. Let the engagements come in. Next, drop your promotional product updates.

Automating repetitive tasks can free a lot of time, which can be used to work on other high-level marketing strategies.

However, simply pushing out content will not give you 100% benefits of your social media marketing efforts.

Envision yourself meeting a person for the first time. What would be your reaction if the person simply shoves a sales pitch in your face? And what about a person who continuously blabbers about the great things he can do?

You’ll immediately have a bad impression about that person and maybe avoid him next time.

The same thing happens on social media. You can share your updates and blog posts, but always ask for feedbacks and encourage people to discuss more on your posts.

And yes, don’t forget to entertain them.

It’s also a great idea to share pictures from your daily life or special events.

If you are a company, you can share pictures of your employees.

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Whenever possible, open up and show your real side to your audience.

  1. Create A Content Calendar And Post Frequently

After creating your Facebook page, you invite a couple of friends and other followers from different social media sites to like your page.

Then, you vanish for a month. This is a normal activity for new businesses on social media. However, if you want to get great results from your social media marketing strategy and build a lasting relationship with your audience, you have to post on a regular basis.

Build a content calendar and prioritize posting engaging and interesting content.

HubSpot’s Social Media Content Calendar Template can easily help you plan your content.

Here’s a simple schedule you can follow in your initial days.

  • LinkdedIn: Once per week
  • Instagram: Once per day
  • Twitter: Three times a day
  • Facebook: A handful of updates per day but don’t overdo.

The timely post made by Oreo, during the Super Bowl, earned them millions of followers and helped in creating a robust brand.

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An interesting thing to note is that they had planned for this tweet 18 months before.

  1. Research Your Competitors

Researching your competitors not only apprises you of their activity but also helps you to integrate their tactics into your own social media marketing efforts.

Create a list of at least 5 major competitors. Find out the social sites they use and study their content strategy. Look at their posting frequency and the number of fans and followers. Also, examine the type of content they post and its context (humorous, promotional etc) and the way they respond to their readers.

This will give you a clear idea on how you stack up against each other. It’ll also help you revise your goals, objectives and marketing strategies.

There’s No Such Thing As A Totally Free Lunch

According to Amy Vernon, co-founder of Predictable.ly, any effort on social media marketing takes time and that’s where the budget issue creeps in. She says that if you lack funds but have enough time, you should do the work yourself. However, if there are time constraints, hire someone to get the job done, she further adds. The assumption that creating a social media account is absolutely free and doesn’t cost you a dime is a myth.

Final Thoughts

Social media marketing is a terrific way to build your brand. People socialize every day on the internet and are eager to discover new brands. You just have to put in a lot of sweat and remain consistent. However, the benefits you reap will be worth your time.

What are your experiences of creating a brand using social media marketing?

 

 

Google Adwords: Step By Step Guide

IMG_2510Google as we all know, Is the biggest search engine in the world, but Google has many more services other than it’s search function. Google Adwords is a service where people like you and I can advertise our business. Blog or service, at the top of search result pages.

Of course, having a budget is essential for running an Adwords campaign, however, your budget needn’t be huge. For example, Google regularly offers vouchers for adwords. If you deposit $25 into your account, Google will give you an extra $75 worth of advertising to work with.

A lot of people reading this might be wondering how beneficial Google Adwords is to your website, well I can personally assure you, that a $50 campaign can take your article/service/blog/shop from having 0 visitors, to having 1000 overnight if you so choose.

Have we pricked your attention yet? I thought we might have!

So first thing’s first, let’s set up an account (it’s free to set up and will only take 2-3 minutes of your time.)

1 – Create a Google Adwords Account

First off, head on over to Google Adwords and click on “Start Now” and enter in your details – you will also be asked to confirm your email address. Once you have clicked the confirmation link in the email, head on over to adwords.google.com to sign in to your account.

2 – Decide On Which Locations You Want To Advertise To

Next up you need to decide on which part of the world you want to advertise to, which is where the analytics we discussed in the last article is so important. So for example, if the majority of your visitors are from the UK but you’re trying to sell a product in the USA, then you might want to advertise in the US. You can even narrow it down to specific states, cities and towns if you have a local business.

  • Click on “Create Your First Campaign” Button.
  • Click on “Campaign Settings” and then “Audience” before selecting which regions you would like to advertise to.

3 – Set A Budget

Moving onto the next part of creating your ad: deciding on a budget. Google will of course make budget suggestions but this is entirely up to you. You can set a daily budget that you’re happy to spend, whether that be $0.10 or $10 it is entirely up to you. You only pay when someone clicks on your advertisement, so each click might cost five cents meaning that in a $1 daily budget, you could receive 20 clicks (and 20 potential new customers!) from spending that dollar. You can change your budget at any given time and Google will never spend above the daily limit. Your ads will stop appearing in the search once the limit has been reached.

4 – Control Your CPC (Cost Per Click)

When you set your budget, so for example $1 per day, that $1 will consist of several clicks. It’s up to you how much you wish to spend on each click. The higher you bid, the more likely your ad will reach new customers. With that said, you are in the driver’s seat with this! You can bid whichever amount you like, many people starting out bid low (For example 10 cents) which will get you 10 clicks throughout the day.

Click on “Bidding And Budget” to change your CPC or to set ‘automatic bidding’ where Google bid an amount they think is most beneficial to your ad. Personally, I like to set my own CPC which can be changed at any time.

5 – Create An Ad!IMG_2511

Creating the ad itself is the most important part of the whole process. This is what your customers will see before they even see your website so it’s important to be appealing.

– Ad Title

This is your title so for example, if you had a bargain beauty product business, then your title might be “Buy Bargain Beauty Products” or “Find Cheap Beauty Products”

– Text Line 1

Be sure to include important keywords here as these keywords, when searched for, will appear in bold making the ad more likely to be clicked on as it appears most relevant to the user. An example of text in here could be “Bargain Beauty Supplies for Professionals”

– Text Line 2

This is where you make yourself unique and sell your service. For example: “Click To Save 20% Today” This is also known as a ‘call to action’ where you encourage the visitor to click

– URL

Simply enter the site’s URL for example www.yourwebsite.com

6 – Keywords

This is what people will type into the google search to find your ad. This is where it gets a little bit more complicated. However fear not, for I am equipped with all the tools and information you might need.

First thing’s first, don’t worry about getting it perfect straight away. You can easily delete or edit certain keywords if you find they aren’t working for you.

IMG_2515Here are my tips for choosing the right keywords:

  • Be Specific. Using keywords such as “Beauty” is too general and will likely show dozens of ads meaning yours is less likely to appear. I would recommend choosing “Beauty Supplies For Professionals” which Is more specific and niche to your website and will target customers who are looking for those specific things.
  • Start out with 4/5 keywords or phrases. You can then monitor which ones perform better and decide on which ones to remove and new ones to add.
  • Use the keyword tool! This tool is literally priceless and is completely free to use. Using this will show you how many people are searching for a specific keywords or phrases, how much competition there is from other advertisers and how much Google suggests you spend on each keyword.
  • Analyse your ad after a few days. Once a few days have passed, log back in and check how the keywords have performed. Google will show you how many times the ad appeared and how many times it was clicked on.

7 – Billing

This is the part no-one likes – parting with money! Haha! Here is where you enter your billing details. Here’s how to do it:

  • Click on “Billing” and then “Billing Preferences”
  • Select a payment method. You can choose between:
  • Postpay (automatic payments): American Express, JCB, MasterCard, Visa, Bank account payments (US bank accounts only), and debit cards with a MasterCard or Visa logo
  • Prepay (manual payments): American Express, JCB, MasterCard, Visa, and debit cards with a MasterCard or Visa log
  • Read and Accept the Adwords Terms & Conditions
  • You can also redeem a voucher here if you have one under “Promotional Codes”

8 – Done!

You’ve now completed setting up your adwords campaign. You can of course, add more, edit or delete your ads by signing into your account and adjust your budgets to suit your requirements. If you have any problems, there are dozens of online support pages at support.google.com

Alternatively, of course you can leave any enquiries in the comments below or tweet us @purelysocialmedia

Thanks so much for reading and I really hope this has helped you.

Until next time!

Holly x

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.

Google Analytics: Step By Step Guide

 

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As a lot of you will know, Google has a host of tools available for web developers and bloggers on everything from Analytics, to sharing documents, Adsense and even Adwords where you can advertise your site at the top of Google search pages.

Today, we’re starting with Analytics which allows you to track everything from the age and gender of your visitors to how a specific post has performed on your website.

So let’s get started!

Setting Up An Account

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  1. Head on over to https://accounts.google.com and create a simple google account using your
    email address and a password. If you already have a google account for Gmail or Youtube, you will be able to sign in with this.
  2. Once registration is complete, head on over to google.com/analytics and click on “sign in” on the top right corner, before selecting “Google Analytics” from the drop down menu.
  3. You will then be redirected to a new page where you will be asked to “sign up”, click on this.
  4. Enter an account name of your choice, your website and a few other straight forward questions. I would recommend leaving all of the “Data Sharing Settings” ticked as recommended by Google themselves. However, do have a read through them and decide for yourself before clicking on “Get Tracking ID”
  5. Accept the terms and conditions once you have read them.
  6. You will then be issued your verification code which you will need to insert into your html, PHP or Tags of every page you wish to use analytics for on your website. (I recommend the index page first and foremost but ultimately the whole website.)
  7. Once that is done, your site is verified and you can move onto using Analytics!

Okay so now that you have set up your account, it might take a day or so to show any information. Once this appears, you’re ready to start viewing your website or blog’s analytics.

“Analytics” basically refers to visitor information such as:

  • How many people visited your website or individual page
  • What time they visited
  • How they found you (if they clicked a link on social media or search engine)
  • How long they spent viewing the content (and if they clicked on links etc)
  • The age and gender of the visitor0
  • Location of the visitor (US, UK, Australia, Europe, China etc)

A lot of terminology on Google can be confusing if you’ve never used Analytics before, so I thought before we went any further that I would explain some important ones.

  • Sessions – This refers to a group of interactions from one user. A session refers to multiple pages being viewed, social interactions and events.
  • Users – An individual who Is viewing your content
  • Page Views – How many pages your visitors looked at on the site.
  • Pages/Session – How many pages were viewed during a session
  • Avg. Session Duration – The amount of time spent on the site
  • Bounce Rate – The Percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing just one page.
  • % New Sessions – percentage of views from new visitors to your website (rather than recurring)

So there you have all of the Google Terminology explained. Now, let’s move on to navigating through your Analytics control panel.

Once you’ve signed in to your analytics account, you will be taken to a page that looks like this:

 

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So let’s just talk through some of the navigaton on the left side where you will see options such as Dashboard, Shortcuts etc

  • Dashboards

Dashboards basically allow you to create your own “dashboard” where you can view the elements which are most important to you at a glance. For more information on setting up a Dashboard, head on over to Google Help Pages.

  • Shortcuts

Shortcuts allows you to view your most commonly viewed reports straight from your home tab. For more help on Shortcuts, visit Google Help Pages.

  • Intelligence Events

Intelligence Events lets you know about changes in traffic on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. For fore help on Intelligence events, Click here.

  • Real Time

This is addictive!! Say for example you Tweet a link to your followers and want to see how it translates to clicks on your site, then click on Real Time where you will see activity as it happens. It really is addictive to watch. I’ve spent many hours watching people roam my website. #GetALifeHolly

  • Audience

Now this is the most important aspect of Analytics (In my opinion). This is where you find out who your visitor is, where they came from, how they got there, where they clicked, how long they stayed, their gender, age and location and so forth.

 

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By clicking on ‘overview’ you will be given a brief look at your demographics such as how many visitors you received during a specific time frame. You’ll be given a few different statistics such as Bounce Rate and Pageviews which I referred to earlier. You’ll also be given a list of nationalities of your visitors whether they be viewing from the US, UK, Australia, Europe or otherwise.

  • Active Users

If you look at the navigation on the left again, you will see “Active Users”. To put it simply, Active Users are unique visitors. For me, I use this the least of all the features on the Analytics.

  • Demographics

The Demographics overview will let you know how many of your visitors are male or Female. It will also let you know which age group they fall into which is great for tailoring future content.

  • Interests

The ‘Interests’ section lets you see what interests your visitors have. So for example they might be sports fans, or car lovers. Google is a clever search engine and collects a lot of information from it’s users.

  • Geo

This will show you which Geographical location you are being visited from. This is really handy again for catering content to your main visitors – for example if 7% of your website’s visitors are visiting from Australia, it might be worth referring to Australian issues or events on your website.

  • Behaviour

This basically lets you know what your visitors did whilst viewing your content. You will see how long they spent on the site, which pages they visited, which links they clicked and if they engaged or interacted with you – such as sharing your links etc.

  • Technology

Technology allows you to see which web browsers and internet networks were used to find and browse your website. So for example, this will let you know if the majority of your visitors used Firefox or Internet Explorer.

  • Mobile

Mobile will inform you of which device they used when visiting your website, for example, Tablet, Mobile or Desktop. Google has even listed exact phone and tablet models of your users, so you will be able to see if the majority of your visitors prefer Apple or Samsung products as an example.

  • Custom

This is pretty self explanatory but again, Google give you the option to customise which items you view so you can find it all in one place.

  • Benchmarking

This is a VERY important part of Analytics. Benchmarking let’s you see how your visitors came across your website. So for example, if they clicked on a link in Twitter, found it in a search engine, email newsletter or directly typed it into the URL field. This is important so that you can focus on the traffic sources that give you the highest amount of views.

  • Users Flow

Users Flow let’s you see which page your visitors landed on when they first entered your website and which demographics landed there.

  • Acquisition

This is very similar to benchmarking but is much more streamlined. It allows you to see the referring sites and/search that was used to find your website at a glance.

I think I’ve mentioned everything there is to know about Google Analytics. Feel free to let us know if there’s anything I’ve missed and I hope this has been useful to you – I know that when I was starting out, a guide like this would have made my life much easier!

As always, let us know your comments below or tweet us @purelysocialtip

Until next time!

Holly x

5 Tools Your Business NEEDS To Survive

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The title might be a tad dramatic, but in all seriousness, these tools are the base of everything I’ve been discussing with you over the past few months. One of the main things I’ve always said is that even if I was broke and only made $10 in a year on my business, I would still invest that $10 in PR. “PR” covers everything from advertising to marketing and quite frankly, not a single business in the world can survive without it.

As I’ve said many times in these articles (yes, I know it’s boring, but it’s really important and I’m going to keep repeating myself until I’m blue in the face or at least until my fingers are from all the typing and whatnot) that you needn’t spend a single dollar to promote your business. It’s about knowledge and knowing where to go. If you spend an hour or two every week researching new tools and features to help promote your business then you’d be surprised at the amount of ‘free’ coverage you can gain for your business.

Sometimes narrowing down the vital tools your business needs to survive can be hard considering there are literally thousands of tools available online at the touch of a button. Here, I’ve narrowed it down to five just for you the lovely readers of Purely Social Media! (You’re welcome). These are in no particular order as these are equally as important as each other.

1 – A Survey Tool

Here’s something I haven’t really gone into great depth about here on Purely Social Media. Surveys are annoying when they are a pop up or if you need to answer one to gain access to certain content. However, a strategically placed survey (right column of the homepage) actually encourages your visitors to interact by completing the survey which also gives you some insider knowledge about your visitor.

Here’s an example of three good survey questions:

1 – Which gender do you identify with?

2 – Which age group are you in? (select below)

3 – Do you have a (free) membership with us?

We all know how difficult it can be to get a good demographic about who is actually our audience. Asking your visitors their gender and age group will help you to narrow down who your visitors typically are and can help you to cater content to that demographic. For example, if your average visitor is a female aged between 35-41 years old then you could write more articles tailored towards parenting, buying a home or tips on de-stressing (we all know having children and moving home is enough to give even the calmest of people stress!).

The final question “Do you have a (free) membership with us?” was chosen because of two reasons – one reason is because you make it obvious that they are missing out on something if they are not yet a member. The “free” in the question encourages your visitors to register a membership with you because they have nothing to loose. The second reason the question is a good one to ask is because it also lets you see the ratio of how many visitors are returning visitors to your website in comparison to new visitors. Again this allows you to cater your content to the audience.

The survey tool I would recommend is definitely Google Forms. It’s free, it’s easy to use and gives you a tonne of customizable options. There are dozens of online tutorials on using it, however Google have made it pretty straightforward for any users. I would recommend letting a survey run for a week and then changing it up a little to let your visitors see you are adding new content regularly.

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2 – Email Marketing (Newsletters)

Again, this is another one we haven’t really discussed at great length before. Newsletters can often be annoying and can back up in our email inboxes without ever being read. However, sometimes, if we are interested in the sender or the subject line, we will take the time to browse through those newsletter and on occasion will even find ourselves placing an order with the company.

Email Marketing (AKA sending a newsletter) is an advertising dream come true. Whilst I wouldn’t recommend flooding the newsletter with flashing banners, I definitely would recommend sending a weekly newsletter to your subscribers to let them know about any new offers, products or information you may have.

I would recommend using Mail Chimp for sending out your newsletters. Mail Chimp allows you to send 12,000 free emails per month to up to 2,000 subscribers for FREE. Of course, there are paid options available if you wish to send more than the free monthly allowance. The software is easy to use and can integrate with your mail software to manage your contacts. Again, there are dozens of ‘how-to’ guides online if you need them.

If I had to choose one “DO” for email marketing, it would be to always have a hook subject line. The sender and the subject line are the first things you see in an email and having a ‘hook’ can make the difference between generating a sale of hitting the recycle bin. Here’s an example of a good subject line:

“Limited Time Subscriber Only Discount!”

By saying it is a ‘limited time’ discount, you give a sense of urgency which makes your reader more likely to click the email which will of course contain the discount, but will also contain a few advertisements too. By mentioning the deal is for subscribers only, you make them feel a bit special and as if they’re getting something that not everyone else will receive. This is a sales strategy that has been used for a long time but it’s one that continues to work!

If I had to choose one “Don’t” it would be: do not send anymore than one email per week. If you bombard your readers, you’re more likely to find your newsletter in the trash can before it’s even been read. You’re also more likely to lose subscribers if you send too many newsletters out as they see it as a nuisance. I would recommend sending a newsletter out once per week at the same time each week. This will let the subscriber know when they can expect to hear from you and might even look forward to receiving it.


3 – Social Media Management

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and the dozens of other social media platforms are sometimes never ending. As I’ve said before on Purely Social Media, it’s important that you have a social media Management platform to help you with your social media accounts.

Buffer is a great app for social media management. Using the app is simple and straightforward. You simply type a status and an image (if you wish to choose one) and share it across whichever platforms you like at whichever time of the day you prefer. Scheduling is definitely a blogger’s best friend and will save your business a lot of time at the same time as promoting your content regularly. Buffer is free to use and can be downloaded on any smart device.

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4 – Affiliate Marketing

The blogging industry is huge and speaks for itself. Thousands of brands send products and information to bloggers in the hope that they will feature those products or information on their blog which could potentially drive thousands of new visitors and customers to your business.

It’s tricky knowing where to send your products. However what I would recommend is searching for bloggers either for free on Google search (by narrowing down results based on location and demographic) or by using paid for tools such as Buzzsumo is recommended.

As I’ve said before, you can do this for free – I would recommend going onto Twitter and writing a status about your request for bloggers and use some clever hashtags to find them. Here’s an example of what I mean:

“#Bloggerswanted to try out & feature a new skincare product. DM us for details! #journorequest”

That way you know that you’re only going to hear from people who are genuinely interested and are likely to feature you. It also means you can have a look at their Twitter profile and blog prior to sending a product to them.

5 – Contributors

Last, but by no means least, for today is Contributors. As you know, I am a contributor here at Purely Social Media and am compensated for my time and information. However, with that being said, I am only one blogger of millions. A lot of Bloggers will contribute to your site if you offer them something in return (not always money!). If you offer them “A front page advertisement of your blog for one month” in exchange for a 500 word article which they then will promote on their social media, you might be surprised at how many bloggers would be open to this.

Aged bloggers are less likely to take you up on this offer as we often don’t require an advertisement at that moment in time. However smaller, new bloggers might be open to it.

I would recommend contacting some bloggers and asking politely, if they would be interested in this. Some might not even respond to you, however some might be happy to contribute which again gives you fresh content for your site and if they are happy to share it on their social media then you might attract a whole bunch of new visitors or customers.

To top it all off, the blogger community is a popular one. Your name might end up being mentioned in the industry which can help to open up new doors for your business.

You’re definitely not the only ones looking for free exposure – it can be mutually beneficial.

Well there you have it, my top five tools your business needs to survive. I know it’s been a long one today but I’m certain your business will benefit from implementing even just one of these steps.

Let us know your thoughts and any other suggestions in the comments below or feel free to tweet us @purelysocialtip

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

30 Engaging Ideas for Blog Posts

30 ENGAGING IDEAS FOR BLOG POSTS

Welcome to the world of blogging. A place where you publish problem-solving content and build an online community that engages with your target audience.  And – by doing it consistently and strategically, you can establish a trustworthy brand that revolutionizes your business.

As you begin blogging for business, you can use this list of ideas for blog posts to create a content plan for your business to attract your target readership and help determine what content works best for your readers.  Just remember, you don’t need lots of traffic to build your business online; you just need an audience who can easily engage with your brand.

  1. How-To Post

Blog posts that show your readers how to do something are always incredibly popular. ‘How To’ offer invaluable advice that provides problem solving information that your readers are searching for answers on for example, if you’re a business that sells unique tea blends, this could be as obvious as “How to Brew Tea” or like our blog post on How to Get Steady Customers Fast and Free.

  1. Tools That Make Things Easy

Humans are lazy and more often than not – incredibly busy. We’re constantly looking for apps, new processes, websites and plugins that shorten the time it takes to do something and make our lives easier. For instance, we shared our most useful plugins that help schedule social media updates and blog posts.

  1. Review a Product Related to Your Niche

Prospective and current readers might be interested in finding out whether a certain product is worth the investment – sharing your insight into the benefits or criticisms of a product will give your readers answers.

  1. Inspiring Books

Whether its books that has motivated us along our journey or given us helpful business tips – your readers will find this information useful.

  1. A Series of Q&A Posts

Not only will Q&A posts help you interact with your target audience, they will provide answers to your readers’ questions and create extremely helpful content for your website.

  1. Tutorials

Create “Top 10” or “8 Tips for” advice posts, product demonstrations or videos about topics related to your niche. We’ve helped our readers by sharing our Top Five Tips for Blogging Success, 5 Best Tips on Sharing Content and Top 7 Mistakes Businesses Made with their Digital Marketing in 2015 & What Can be Done to Fix It in 2016.

  1. Promote a Free Downloadable Guide

One of the best ways to build your mailing list is by offering a free downloadable worksheet or guide to help your readers. You can promote your free download by explaining its benefits in a blog post.

  1. Inspirational Famous Quotes

Whether you’re a nutritionist, business coach, personal trainer or cosmetic surgeon there are quotes related to your industry. And – people love reading them!

  1. Host a Giveaway

One great way of getting your audience to share your content is by giving away free products. You could offer your services, products, prizes or treatments…everybody loves free stuff!

  1. A List of Useful Online Resources

Read any blog posts, taken a course or watched videos that have helped you? Share them with your audience!

  1. Interview Someone in Your Industry

As well as giving your audience advice, your interviewee will share it on their social media platforms and/or website which will put your brand in front of a relevant audience.

  1. Behind The Scenes of Your Business

Post images and short videos showing how your business is run – this will add a bit of personality to your brand!

  1. A Link Up of Helpful Blog Posts

A great way for getting yourself known in your industry is by connecting with similar, bigger businesses. Make yourself known by linking their content in a blog post and tagging them into your social media posts.

  1. Share a Project You Have Recently Completed

Prove yourself to your audience by showing off your skills by sharing images of a recently completed project.quote 30 engaging blog post ideas

  1. Business Goals for the Year

Between Christmas and the start of a New Year, business goals or New Year’s Resolutions get a lot of traction. Share yours!

  1. Write ‘Benefits Of’ Posts Related to Your Niche

Similar to tutorials, people are looking for reasons why they should buy into something. Show you’re an expert by writing about the benefits of something related to your industry.

  1. Share Your Opinion on a Film or TV Series Relevant to Your Business

Marketing has Mad Men and Steve Jobs to talk about. Write a blog post about based on your views about a TV show or film that has mentioned a topic related to your business.

  1. Round-Up of Your Most Popular Posts

Once you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ll be able to see which posts have performed best. Put them all together in a post.

  1. Things You’ve Learnt from Recent Training, eCourse or Book

We’re always learning. Writing about things you’ve learnt will show transparency on how you’re always willing to improve.

  1. Write About Something New in Your Industry

Last year, Twitter released the forever growing live streaming app that is Periscope so we written A Beginner’s Guide to Periscope to advise people who don’t know anything about the app.

  1. Beginner’s Guide

Similar to ‘How To’ posts, ‘Beginner’s Guides’ will give your target audience the information they’re looking for. We’ve written A Beginner’s Guide to Snapchat and A Beginner’s Guide to SEO.

  1. Motivational Mottos

We all love things that motivate us. Share motivational mantras and mottos that have helped you get to the position you’re in now.

  1. A List of Dos & Don’ts Related to Your Niche

During your time in business, you may have learnt something that’ll prevent your readers from making mistakes for example, when it comes to social media, refrain from publishing your problems or controversial beliefs on your business profiles as it may damage your reputation.

  1. Write a Follow Up Post to a Post You’ve Already Published

Written a post you could provide more information on? Write a ‘Part 2’ blog post.

  1. Blog About Hot Topics & Trending Events

A great way to publish content on talked about and most-searched topics is by writing a blog post on how your services and products relate to them like this post on Taylor Swift Vs Katy Perry: Which Star Rules Social Media? Or if you’re in the beauty related industry – a post on a trending out of the ordinary thing a celebrity is doing like, Kim Kardashian’s Vampire Facial would engage with your readership.

  1. Share Your Business Processes

Nubby Twiglet, a graphic designer has recently shared her knowledge on how to can streamline your business processes by sharing how she communicates with prospective clients, signing on a client, gathering design briefs, putting together project checklists, presenting your work and invoicing.

  1. Update Your Audience with What’s New in Your Business

Hired someone new? Releasing a new product or service? Blog about it!

  1. Your Predictions

Got an idea what’s going to be on trend in a year or season in your industry? Share them in a blog post.

  1. Publish Your Testimonials & Case Studies

Demonstrate you’re worth investing in by showing what your clients say in a blog posts. If you can show how you’ve helped a client by sharing your results in a blog post.

  1. FAQs

As your business grows and gets older – you may find you get asked a lot of the same questions. Write answers to your FAQs and publish them into an easy-to-find blog post to help your readers.

How To Use Instagram In The Beauty & Fashion Industry

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Often I’m asked how I keep up with so many different social media platforms for my beauty blog. The answer is simple: research! Before deciding on four of the platforms that I thought are most beneficial to my business, I took some time to do research and really see what platform was best for me. See more about that process here. Of all the social platforms I’ve used, Instagram is easily one of my favourites as it is effective for promoting my blog content and interacting with my followers. Not forgetting to mention that I’ve found gaining new followers to be relatively easy on Instagram (Bonus!).

So how can you use Instagram to promote your business?

Well, there are a few elements of Instagram to explore including using hashtags effectively, promoting your brand and how to gain new followers (we’re even discussing the pro’s and con’s of ‘buying’ followers #controversial). First, let’s talk about Instagram in general.

Firstly, Instagram is a photo sharing app. You can only access your Instagram via a cell phone or smart device. Initially, when I started using it, I found this frustrating because I wanted to access Instagram on my laptop or desktop PC when I was working rather than going on my phone and accessing it. Now, however, I actually prefer Instagram being an app rather than a website because it makes it more personal. As you will know if you read these articles regularly, I’ve mentioned that being personal is a followers goldmine. If you offer a personal touch to your online presence, people are going to interact with you as they do with their friends or family on social media. Not only that, but you can post to Instagram during your social hours without having to load a computer. #LazyBlogger…

In terms of content, keeping the pictures close to your business theme is recommended to ensure your potential followers know what they are to expect should they choose to follow you. Don’t be afraid to post up a cute cat picture now and again though, it shows you’re human and who doesn’t love a cute cat? (I’m Holly and I am a cute cat addict). Try to keep your content unique – no-one is interested in seeing the same thing on several accounts. New content is what engages your visitors.

Oh and for those of you who are like me and prefer to pre-schedule, you can also use Buffer or other social media management apps to time your instagram posts. You can thank us later.

 

Using Hashtags Effectively

The social media world is centered round hashtags right now. People are using guaranteed big search items like the Kardashians dropped into everyday statuses and conversations to attract a larger audience. Some hashtags attract a bigger audience than others, but just because a lot of people may see your post, doesn’t mean those people will click on it or interact with you. To effectively promote your blog, brand or business, you will be looking to encourage interaction on your social media pages. Very seldom will anyone visit your website or business based on a sweeping glance. More likely, is that they will visit if they see something relevant to what they’re searching for.

If you load a search engine and search for ‘popular Instagram hashtags’ you will see everything from #instadaily to #happy and #winitwednesday amongst dozens of others. While those hashtags are fantastic for posters who have daily content, who have a happy picture to share, or are hosting a competition. In the beauty and fashion industry other hashtags are proven to be most effective. Top beauty and fashion hashtags include:

  • #bbloggers (beauty bloggers official hashtags where other bloggers see the content – many of my followers are actually fellow bloggers so don’t forget to reach out to others in the same industry as you!)
  • #OOTD (Outfit of the day where people searching for this are looking for fellow fashionistas and fashion inspiration)
  • #hairspiration (gorgeous hairstyles from colour to styles can be found under this hashtag)
  • #fashion or #psfashion (pretty explanatory and #psfashion is for plus size fashion)
  • #makeuptutorial (short video clips showing mini makeup tutorials)

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Of course, there are dozens of other hashtags that can be used, so take a look at Top-Hashtags to take a look at more.

Using the hashtags in your post is simple. Steer clear of adding them throughout the status and always use less than seven in each post. A lot of people recommend using three or less, however as a personal opinion, I don’t mind seeing five or less and a lot of other instagram users have similar thoughts.

Here’s an example of an Instagram post using hashtags:

*insert image* – Loving this gorgeous eyeshadow. Who else thinks copper eyeshadows are beautiful? #bbloggers #makeup #copper #beauty

How To Gain Followers

Normally on social media, you can spend hours on end commenting on statuses and will get little to no followers. However Instagram is a whole new ball game. By searching for hashtags in the search feature, you will find thousands of users with similar interests to yours. Simply ‘liking’ their photo and commenting can encourage that user to not only follow you, but to also interact with you.

People like to be part of something popular, so once you get above 200 followers you are more likely to see an increase in followers simply by posting regularly. Which brings me to my next point, buying followers.

This is a controversial one because a lot of people dislike the thought of ‘buying’ followers. A lot of people might think there is no point in buying followers (I, myself, choose not to but it doesn’t mean I never will). Because people like to be part of something popular, you’re more likely to gain followers when you already have a lot of followers which is why some bloggers use sites such as fiverr.com to buy followers. It’s not against any rules as long as the accounts are active and comply with the standard user rules of Instagram so this is really a personal choice.

You can also promote your Instagram posts if you have a decent budget. For more information on this head on over to the Instagram help pages.

One thing is certain, Instagram is a social media platform that will always be around. With literally millions of users posting daily, the advertising and promoting potential for your business is endless.

We would love to hear your thoughts on Instagram (and what your thoughts are on buying followers!) so please do feel free to leave your comments below or tweet us @purelysocialtip

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!