LinkedIn Rolls Out New Posting Tools
On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore new LinkedIn posting tools, new Instagram features being tested, new Facebook Ad Manager app creative tools, and other breaking social media marketing news of the week!
Watch the Social Media Marketing Talk Show
If you’re new to the show, click on the green “Watch replay” button below and sign in or register to watch our latest episode from Friday, July 20, 2018. You can also listen to the show as an audio podcast, found on iTunes/Apple Podcast, Android, Google Play, Stitcher, and RSS.
For this week’s top stories, you’ll find timestamps below that allow you to fast-forward in the replay above.
LinkedIn Introduces Video Captions, Articles Quotes, Translations, and More: LinkedIn introduced several new improvements to help members start conversations on the platform. These new features include the option to add closed captioning to videos posted from the desktop, as well as the ability to easily highlight and share quotes from LinkedIn articles and save drafts of posts to edit and complete later on mobile. (4:10)
LinkedIn is also rolling out a new Me tab, which offers a “quick and easy” shortcut to all of the content members have shared, written, or recorded for the site.
Last month, LinkedIn introduced a See Translation button on posts that are in a different language than you speak. LinkedIn confirmed that this new feature is currently rolling out to both desktop and mobile.
LinkedIn Rolls Out Several New Updates to LinkedIn Messaging: In addition to rolling out improvements to news feed posts, LinkedIn also debuted several new features to LinkedIn Messaging. The company added an expandable message compose box and the ability to send attachments and start a group chat on LinkedIn Messaging on mobile. LinkedIn also added the option to include emojis in messages sent from the desktop, @mention people, and seamlessly copy and paste images from screenshots or the web into your LinkedIn messages. (12:45)
Instagram Tests Ability to Remove Followers From Public Accounts: The Verge reports that Instagram is widely testing the ability to manually remove followers from public profiles. Users with private Instagram accounts have always had the ability to remove followers and limit access to their content. This new experimental feature extends the same level of direct control to a few selected public accounts on Android devices. (22:15)
Instagram Test Reaction Emojis for Stories: Instagram appears to be testing a new Facebook reaction-style emoji response for Instagram Stories. A similar feature was rolled out for Facebook Stories last month. This experimental feature was spotted by SupraBo and shared by Matt Navarra. (26:32)
Instagram Upgrades Two-Factor Authentication: Instagram accounts currently only offer two-factor authentication through SMS delivery of password reset or login codes, which make them particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks and hacking. The company confirms it’s building a non-SMS two-factor authentication system that would rely on security apps such as Google Authenticator or Duo instead. (30:22)
Facebook Adds New Creative Tools for Ads Manager App: Facebook rolled out a new suite of creative tools for the Ads Manager app “that makes it easier to build compelling ad content right from your mobile device.” These new creative tools include the ability to incorporate text; crop images; and add stickers, logos, and more into your ads. It also includes fully customizable ad templates and color filters to further embellish and improve the quality of your ads directly within the app.
Facebook Tests Branded Content Labels on Posts: Facebook appears to be testing a new About This Partnership tag for sponsored posts that details the relationship among brands and the publishers who post ads for them. This possible new label was first spotted by Jenny Earnest and shared by Matt Navarra.
Facebook Rolls Out Option to Sync Instagram Contacts to Messenger: Facebook launched a new feature in Messenger that allows users to connect and pull their contacts from Instagram. This new feature was first spotted by Jane Manchun Wong and has since been spotted by users around the world.
YouTube Features Searchable Hashtags Above Video Titles: YouTube has started displaying the first three hashtags within a video’s description above the title and at the bottom of the video. Android Police reports that the hashtags are clickable and will bring up a results page with other videos tagged with the same hashtag. The website will even display the top three hashtags at the bottom of the video and above its title. Hashtags have been spotted on both the web and on mobile. Engadget reports this new feature “might still be in the midst of rolling out or available only in the US and other select locations” on Android devices but doesn’t appear to be available on iOS.
Snapchat Launches News Partnership Initiative: Snapchat partnered with four news-focused discovery platforms – NewsWhip, Storyful, SAM Desk, and TagBoard – to give journalists access to better tools that will help them uncover Snap pictures and videos during breaking news stories. These news organizations will now have full access to all publicly available snaps and content shared on the app’s Discover channels, the same way they have access to publicly available Facebook and Twitter posts.
Twitter Puts Verification Fix on Hold: Last November, Twitter paused all general account verifications “to address confusion around what it means to be verified.” This week, Twitter announced plans to pause its work to overhaul the verification process for the next few weeks. While admitting there’s still more work to be done, Twitter cites concerns about the quality and integrity of information shared on its platform ahead of the upcoming election season for this decision.
via Social Media Examiner https://ift.tt/1LtH18p
July 21, 2018 at 05:03AM
James Gunn fired from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’ after offensive tweets resurface
Disney fired director James Gunn from the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the company confirmed at Comic Con this week. The move came after highly offensive joke tweets dating from between 2008 and 2011 resurfaced. The tweets, which have since been deleted, make light of topics ranging from molestation and rape to pedophilia.
“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement provided to TechCrunch.
Gunn, for his part, acknowledged the distasteful statements. The director, who helmed the first two installments of the Marvel franchise tweeted a multi-part apology/explanation for the old tweets, in which he refers to himself as a “provocateur” during his early career.
“I used to make a lot of offensive jokes,” Gunn wrote. “I don’t anymore. I don’t blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today. Love you to you all.”
Prior to helming blockbuster superhero films, Gunn made a name directing films for Troma, the comedically offensive, aggressively b-movie studio behind films like The Toxic Avenger. The tweets resurfaced after being promoted by right wing personalities like Jack Posobiec and Mike Cernovich.
Gunn has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration and took to Twitter to weigh in on actor/director Mark Duplass’ recent tweets about conservative pundit Ben Shapiro.
via Twitter – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com
July 20, 2018 at 03:54PM
The Top 15 Ways to Come up with New Content Ideas
I write a ton of blog posts for my websites.
Writing has become a major part of my life throughout the years.
People recognize this and often ask me the same question: How do you come up with these new ideas?
Truthfully, writer’s block happens to all of us. Just ask any writer, and they’ll tell you the same thing.
Sometimes you sit down, and the words don’t spill onto the page as easy as you’d like them to. I can relate and empathize with you there.
That said, I don’t have much trouble coming up with new ideas. I came up with a system a while ago that made it easy for me to constantly source new topics to write about.
These strategies aren’t limited to blog posts.
They can be used to come up with content for research articles, podcasts, and ebooks. You can even use them to come up with ideas for your new video blog or whatever else you’re working on.
Here are the top 15 ways to source new content ideas.
1. Create topic lists in bunches
When you’re ready to write new content, you shouldn’t be sitting down to decide what you’ll write about.
This wastes time, and it’s inefficient.
I like to create long lists of potential topics all at once. Spend a few hours researching subjects for new ideas.
Give yourself enough topics for at least a month or two. If you’re publishing three posts per week, you’ll want to aim for at least 12 to 24 new ideas.
Sometimes, I come up with 50 topics at a time.
When your mind is focused on one task, it’s much easier to brainstorm. Come up with the ideas first. You can perfect the titles when you start writing.
This strategy will make it easier for you to pump out content. You’ll be able to pick a topic from your list and start writing.
2. Social media followers
Start with people who follow you on social media. Click on their profiles and see what they’re talking about.
Read through tweets. Check out photos. See what brands they are interacting with.
Some of these may lead to a dead end, but others can be extremely beneficial to your brainstorming process.
Plus, if you have tons of social media followers, you’ll always have a huge source of ideas.
You could even ask your followers directly. Post a question on your Instagram story, and ask for replies.
For example, let’s say you have a brand related to the fitness industry. Ask your followers a question about their favorite unconventional workouts or what meals help them lose weight.
The answers will help you come up with new content ideas.
3. Blog comments
Review the comments on all your posts. You should do that even when you’re not trying to come up with new ideas.
It gives you a chance to communicate with your audience. Always respond to their comments.
These comments can be a great source of inspiration. For example, here’s one of the comments from a recent post I wrote on the Neil Patel blog:
The reader makes some interesting points here. I could pull a few different concepts from this message to write about in the future.
As you can see, I responded to his comment as well.
If people ask questions in the comments section, those questions could be used as titles for a new topic. Just tweak a few words or so to make it SEO friendly.
Regardless of what your audience comments about, I’m confident you can generate at least one or two ideas from this section of each post you publish.
The great thing about this source is it’s nearly never-ending. As long as you keep publishing new posts, there will always be new ideas hidden in the comments.
4. Conduct interviews
How do you know what type of content your audience wants to see? Ask them directly to tell you.
Conduct interviews. Ask them about their habits.
The great thing about an interview is it doesn’t have to be direct. You don’t have to have a clear black and white question with a definitive yes or no answer.
Just find ways to get people talking.
You’d be surprised how interesting some of these statements can be. The responders may start feeding you new content ideas without even realizing it.
It’s in your best interest to record your interviews. That way, you can review them later instead of frantically trying to write things down while someone is speaking.
5. Competitor websites
If you’re not sure what to write about, check out your competitor’s blog. This is one of the best ways to come up with long lists of topics in bunches.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to steal or plagiarize. But there is nothing wrong with using their titles and concepts for idea generation.
Look through their posts and start writing down topics you haven’t covered yet.
You have a huge advantage here because you can try to make your post about the same topic even better than theirs. For example, let’s say you’re using a top 10 list from a competitor’s blog as an inspiration for a new content idea. Well, you can try to one up them by creating a top 15 list on the same topic.
In addition to your competitor’s titles for new content ideas, you can also look at other aspects of their website.
Read through their comments section. You already did this with the comments on your website, so it makes sense there will be ideas buried in other sites as well.
See if they have an FAQ page on their site. These questions could all be ideas for the topics you can write about.
6. Google search suggestions
If you’ve got a general topic in mind, start searching for it on Google:
Look at all the suggested topics that come up when I type in “email marketing.”
These suggestions could all be topics to cover.
In addition to the search suggestions, you can also check out the related searches at the bottom of the page:
If you’re not sure what to search for to generate these suggestions, start with content titles you’ve already posted.
The reason why this is such a good strategy is because you know the topics will be relevant to your audience.
Plus, you can assume these new titles will be SEO friendly since you sourced them through Google.
7. Recent events
Depending on your brand, you may not want to be reporting breaking news.
It won’t speak to your audience, and it doesn’t fit with your company image.
But you can definitely come up with ways to get creative. When you’re watching the news or reading updates from an online source, try to figure out how you can make these topics relevant to your brand.
Look up local events or national trade shows related to your industry.
Give your audience information about the event. Tell them what they need to know if they want to attend or register.
8. Product reviews
Think about recent products you’ve used related to your brand or industry.
You can review these topics in a blog post or video demonstration.
For example, let’s say you run a website related to camping and other outdoor adventures. If you go on a fishing trip and use a new pole, you could write about your experience with the new gear.
If your company is releasing a new product, use this method to build hype for a new product launch.
You could even write reviews for products you don’t own and never used. Just look up products online, and base your discussion around online customer reviews.
9. Topic generator platforms
If you’re still stuck and can’t think of anything to write about or research, use online sources to help you generate topics.
One of my favorites is the HubSpot blog ideas generator.
As you can see, it’s pretty simple.
Just add some keywords you want to include, and the tool will come up with a list of potential ideas.
In addition to the HubSpot tool, you can check out Portent’s content idea generator.
10. Personal stories
When in doubt, tell a story about something that happened to you.
It could be a success story. Or maybe tell your audience a story about a mistake you made.
How did you learn from it? How did you get to be where you are today?
It could be a recent story or one from the past. Master the art of storytelling.
Personal stories are great because they make your content unique. While people may have similar stories, the details of yours won’t be the same as anyone else’s.
11. Sign up for newsletters
Get content ideas delivered directly to your inbox.
Sign up for industry newsletters. They’ll keep you up to date with trending topics, news, and events.
You can even sign up for competitor newsletters. See what they are discussing with their customers.
Use the topics covered in these emails to generate new content ideas.
12. YouTube videos
All businesses should have a YouTube profile. Use it to upload videos, and then share those videos on all your marketing channels.
But YouTube can also be a resource for coming up with new ideas.
Treat it the same way as a Google search, which I previously discussed. As you start to type in a subject, you’ll see suggestions.
When you watch a video, there will be related videos on the sidebar for you to consider as well.
Let’s say your brand is in the automotive industry. Here’s an example from the ChrisFix YouTube channel:
This video is about how to change the oil in a car. But look at the videos on the sidebar I’ve highlighted.
These related topics are about how to replace brake pads and how to repair rust on a car. Both of these are suitable new content ideas related to this industry.
In addition to finding topics based on the titles of videos, you can also watch some of them to find some inspiration within their content.
Just as you did with your website and the websites of your competitors, you’ll also want to read through the comments section of YouTube videos. Check out the comments on your videos as well as the videos you’re watching to help generate new ideas.
13. New products and technology
If your company sells something, writing content about a new product release is a win-win scenario.
I briefly mentioned this earlier when I talked about product reviews.
First, you’ll be able to generate a buzz for the release, which will ultimately help you drive sales. But it also gives you something to write about.
Furthermore, staying up to date with the latest technology trends can help you come up with new topics to cover.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what type of business you have, new technology is evolving everywhere.
There could be new software directly related to your business or just a general advancement in your industry. These are all scenarios to consider sharing with your audience.
14. Use data and analytics
Have you seen a recent study related to your brand or industry?
Write about it.
You don’t have to be the one conducting the research, although that would make the content even better. But to save time, you can use new data to write about a subject.
For example, let’s say you’re in the fashion industry. This new study may be something worth writing about:
Use this study to talk about fashion trends that don’t require wearing a tie. Or maybe share ideas about how to wear a loose tie with the top shirt button unfastened.
You could even share a video demonstration about how to properly tie a tie so that it’s not too tight around the neck.
All these ideas came from new facts in your industry.
15. Revisit previously published content
Your old content shouldn’t be dead and forgotten. Use those topics for ideas too.
Just re-work the titles, and write a newer post from a different angle.
For example, let’s say your company is in the field of mobile app marketing. If you had written a post about how to get ranked on the app store, a new topic could be how to boost your ranking to get more downloads.
Although the topics are similar, they are not quite the same.
Or let’s say you’re in the personal finance space. An old topic might have been about how to save for retirement. But you can take some of the content from that piece and write a new article about the best retirement accounts to invest in.
If an old post has outdated research, you can write a new one that includes the updated information.
While you may suffer from writer’s block from time to time, you should never be struggling to come up with new content ideas.
There are many resources at your disposal. Learn how to take advantage of them.
Come up with a long list of new ideas at once.
Go through this guide of tips and tricks, and you won’t have any problems.
What resources are you using to generate new content ideas?
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July 20, 2018 at 10:12AM
Facebook, Google and more unite to let you transfer data between apps
The Data Transfer Project is a new team-up between tech giants to let you move your content, contacts, and more between apps. Founded by Facebook, Google, Twitter, an Microsoft, the DTP today revealed its plans for an open source data portability platform any online service can join. While many companies already let you download your information, that’s not very helpful if you can’t easily upload and use it elsewhere — whether you want to evacuate a social network you hate, back up your data somewhere new, or bring your digital identity along when you try new app. The DTP’s tool isn’t ready for use yet, but the group today laid out a white paper for how it will work.
Creating an industry standard for data portability could force companies to compete on utility instead of being protected by data lock-in that traps users because it’s tough to switch services. The DTP could potentially offer a solution to a major problem with social networks I detailed in April: you can’t find your friends from one app on another. We’ve asked Facebook for details on if and how you’ll be able to transfer your social connections and friends’ contact info which it’s historically hoarded.
From playlists in music streaming services to health data from fitness trackers to our reams of photos and videos, the DTP could be a boon for startups. Incumbent tech giants maintain a huge advantage in popularizing new functionality because they instantly interoperate with a user’s existing data rather than making them start from scratch. Even if a social networking startup builds a better location sharing feature, personalized avatar, or payment system, it might be a lot easier to use Facebook’s clone of it because that’s where your profile, friends, and photos live.
If the DTP gains industry-wide momentum and its founding partners cooperate in good faith rather than at some bare minimum involvement, it could lower the barrier for people to experiment with new apps. Meanwhile, the tech giants could argue that the government shouldn’t step in to regulate them or break them up because DTP means users are free to choose whichever app best competes for their data and attention.
via Twitter – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com
July 20, 2018 at 08:22AM
Instagram Stories Strategy: How to Make Stories That Benefit Your Business
Want to attract more leads with Instagram? Curious how a story arc on Instagram Stories can help? To explore how to use Instagram Stories for business, I interview Tyler J. McCall. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers, business owners, and creators discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode, I interview Tyler J. McCall. He's an Instagram marketing expert who's focused on Instagram strategy. His membership community is the Follower to Fan Society. He also co-hosts The Recurrent Revenue podcast. Tyler shares timesaving tips for repurposing content for Instagram Stories. You'll also learn how to boost follower engagement by creating Instagram stories with a beginning, middle, and end. Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below. Listen Now Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show: Instagram Stories Strategy Tyler's Story Tyler's love of Instagram began when he started a side business selling a room-and-linen spray called Mr. McCall's Fine Fragrances. Tyler made this spray on his kitchen table with essential oils and printed the labels on the copy machine at his full-time workplace. He turned to Instagram as a way to market the spray. Tyler's marketing background was grounded in the non-profit world. For about 8 years he worked full time doing non-profit marketing management, such as volunteer recruitment, fundraising, sales, and so on. However, in 2014 and 2015, when he began marketing the spray, the influencer age of Instagram was also just beginning. On Instagram, Tyler was following a ton of different people whose content he loved. Those people tended to be home, lifestyle, and travel bloggers. He communicated with people, built relationships, and commented on others' content. When Tyler launched his product, he sent direct messages to the people he followed (who had tens or hundreds of thousands of followers) asking if he could send them the spray so they could let him know what they thought. They all said yes. Soon, Tyler was receiving product reviews, and they posted about the spray on their Instagram accounts. (This was before influencers charged for posts.) For a year, Tyler built the business via online and in-person sales. Toward the end of 2015, he left his full-time job and started doing social media management with a focus on Instagram for other people. Through these initial jobs, he discovered he enjoyed the work and started a small agency with a close friend. They helped local businesses create Instagram content and manage accounts. After Tyler and his agency partner went their separate ways, he focused on building an Instagram presence for himself, as well as local and national clients. He now teaches his clients how to use Instagram in an intentional way. When you grow the right kind of community, you can grow your business and sell more online. When Instagram Stories came out in August 2016, Tyler had just gone on Snapchat, which was really hot. The Snap Spectacles came out, and WOW airlines did a cool Snapchat marketing campaign for the whole summer. The airline let five or six influencers take over their Snapchat account and flew them around the world for the whole summer. Inspired by the WOW campaign, Tyler focused on Snapchat but soon began posting regularly to Instagram Stories. He quickly realized the connections he made and relationships he developed helped his business. Instagram Stories helped him make sales. People joined his mailing list, Facebook group, and programs. He also booked coaching clients. Today, Tyler is on Instagram Stories virtually every day, creating some kind of content for his followers. Listen to the show to hear more about how Instagram Stories interrupted Tyler's plan for Snapchat.
via Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media https://ift.tt/1LtH18p
July 20, 2018 at 05:04AM
Instagram Stories Strategy: How to Make Stories That Benefit Your Business
Curious how a story arc on Instagram Stories can help?
To explore how to use Instagram Stories for business, I interview Tyler J. McCall.
More About This Show
The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers, business owners, and creators discover what works with social media marketing.
In this episode, I interview Tyler J. McCall. He’s an Instagram marketing expert who’s focused on Instagram strategy. His membership community is the Follower to Fan Society. He also co-hosts The Recurrent Revenue podcast.
Tyler shares timesaving tips for repurposing content for Instagram Stories.
You’ll also learn how to boost follower engagement by creating Instagram stories with a beginning, middle, and end.
Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below.
Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:
Instagram Stories Strategy
Tyler’s love of Instagram began when he started a side business selling a room-and-linen spray called Mr. McCall’s Fine Fragrances. Tyler made this spray on his kitchen table with essential oils and printed the labels on the copy machine at his full-time workplace. He turned to Instagram as a way to market the spray.
Tyler’s marketing background was grounded in the non-profit world. For about 8 years he worked full time doing non-profit marketing management, such as volunteer recruitment, fundraising, sales, and so on. However, in 2014 and 2015, when he began marketing the spray, the influencer age of Instagram was also just beginning.
On Instagram, Tyler was following a ton of different people whose content he loved. Those people tended to be home, lifestyle, and travel bloggers. He communicated with people, built relationships, and commented on others’ content.
When Tyler launched his product, he sent direct messages to the people he followed (who had tens or hundreds of thousands of followers) asking if he could send them the spray so they could let him know what they thought. They all said yes. Soon, Tyler was receiving product reviews, and they posted about the spray on their Instagram accounts. (This was before influencers charged for posts.)
For a year, Tyler built the business via online and in-person sales. Toward the end of 2015, he left his full-time job and started doing social media management with a focus on Instagram for other people. Through these initial jobs, he discovered he enjoyed the work and started a small agency with a close friend. They helped local businesses create Instagram content and manage accounts.
After Tyler and his agency partner went their separate ways, he focused on building an Instagram presence for himself, as well as local and national clients. He now teaches his clients how to use Instagram in an intentional way. When you grow the right kind of community, you can grow your business and sell more online.
When Instagram Stories came out in August 2016, Tyler had just gone on Snapchat, which was really hot. The Snap Spectacles came out, and WOW airlines did a cool Snapchat marketing campaign for the whole summer. The airline let five or six influencers take over their Snapchat account and flew them around the world for the whole summer.
Inspired by the WOW campaign, Tyler focused on Snapchat but soon began posting regularly to Instagram Stories. He quickly realized the connections he made and relationships he developed helped his business. Instagram Stories helped him make sales. People joined his mailing list, Facebook group, and programs. He also booked coaching clients.
Today, Tyler is on Instagram Stories virtually every day, creating some kind of content for his followers.
Listen to the show to hear more about how Instagram Stories interrupted Tyler’s plan for Snapchat.
Why Create Instagram Stories?
Within the world of social media marketing, and especially within the world of Instagram, Instagram Stories is an important place for your business or brand to show up. Among all the social platforms, Instagram is where people engage the most. Tyler also loves Instagram because you can easily and organically find your ideal customer or client.
Instagram and Instagram Stories are important because so many people use them. Currently, Instagram has more than 800 million monthly active users, and more than 500 million people are on Instagram every single day. Of those active daily users, about 300 million are on Instagram Stories. In other words, more than half of Instagram’s daily active users are using Instagram Stories.
Tyler is especially interested in Instagram’s report that one in five Instagram stories leads to a direct message. In other words, when you create some content, you have an opportunity to start a conversation with a potential customer or client 20% of the time. You don’t even have to do any selling. For a business owner or marketer, that opportunity for dialog is a huge win.
Since Instagram Stories launched, users spend more time on Instagram and focus more on stories than the feed. Both Tyler and his students have seen user habits shift from scrolling through the feed to only watching Instagram stories.
Branded content is incredibly popular on Instagram. More than half of Instagram users (200 million people) look at a business profile every single day.
For any business, followers forgetting about the business is the biggest hazard. Because so many people watch Instagram stories, they allow your business to stay top of mind and open the door for conversation.
I ask whether Instagram stories allow you to connect with people a little more authentically because stories don’t need to be as polished as other content on Instagram. Tyler says yes. In fact, in the entrepreneur, solopreneur, and personal brand spaces, highly curated Instagram stories don’t get you as far because they need to offer an honest, genuine look into your business or life.
Listen to the show to hear Tyler predict how IGTV will grow the number of Instagram users.
Instagram Stories Algorithm
Although social networks don’t give users the details about how their algorithms work, Instagram has recently been demystifying the algorithm because many users have recently expressed their dislike of it. Instagram says the algorithm creates a unique experience for each user.
Instagram’s algorithm looks at a few key factors to determine when you’re served content. Much of what you see depends on the way you engage with specific content. How much time you spend on the app also influences the content you see.
As an example, because Tyler is on Instagram for a couple of hours a day, he sees more fresh content than someone who logs on for only a few minutes a day. For the person who spends only a short time on Instagram, it shows only the top few things that interest them.
Tyler has noticed that different areas on Instagram (like Stories) and the feed speak to one another. To visualize this, if you watch someone’s story, engage in their store, answer their polls, or reply to them via direct message, you’ll likely see more of their posts in the feed. Conversely, if you engage with someone’s content in the feed, their stories seem to be bumped up in your queue.
Also, Instagram Stories refreshes every time you open the app. Say someone adds new content to their story, and you always watch their stories. As soon as they add new content, their story is bumped up so you don’t miss their content if you’re away from the app for a few hours, or even a day or so.
Listen to the show to hear Tyler explain how you can test the way your engagement with different Instagram features impacts the content you see.
Timesaving Tips for Instagram Stories
For marketers who struggle with creating content for all the different platforms, Tyler offers tips for creating Instagram stories. For instance, you can repurpose content from other platforms. You might turn a quote from a podcast or captioned video into a fun graphic. Or repurpose a blog post into a talking-head video on Instagram Stories that highlights the bullet points from the blog post.
With an Instagram Stories takeover, someone else creates content for your Instagram Stories for a day. If you work for an agency or large business, takeovers offer an incredible opportunity to feature your employees or team members and their stories. You can also allow customers and clients to do a takeover.
User-generated content is another low-effort way to create Instagram Stories content. In fact, Instagram has simplified your ability to share user content. If someone with a public account tags you in a story, you can add that story to your own story. Instagram also recently released a feature that lets you share posts from Instagram to your story as long as the post isn’t from a private account.
With these features for sharing user content, you can spend a few minutes per day sharing customer or client posts or stories in which they’ve tagged you or your business. When you share their content, a shortcut to their post appears in your story. You can also thank the user for the mention and point your audience to the product or service the original poster is enjoying.
For example, to share a 60-second video that somebody posted on their Instagram account, you tap the little airplane icon and share that post to your story. Instagram creates a photo in your story that shows the user’s post in the center and picks a color from the post as a background. Tapping the photo then takes you to the video post.
When you share user content to your story, you don’t need to worry about people leaving your stories. Although someone who taps to see the user’s full post leaves your story temporarily, Instagram removed the bottom bar that would allow someone to return home. The user has to return to your story before they can navigate elsewhere on Instagram.
In fact, Tyler says Instagram Stories users typically don’t navigate away from stories. Some people who manage business accounts focus on getting 10,000 followers so they can get the swipe-up feature, which is the only way besides a link in your bio to take a user from Instagram to a website. However, given user behavior, swipe-up doesn’t solve many Instagram marketing problems.
Listen to the show to hear why Tyler recommends sharing video via Instagram Stories instead of the feed.
Tyler’s Story Arc Method
With the story arc method, Tyler follows the basic principles of a story arc that you often learn in school. Every good story has a beginning, middle, and end. Although the story arc concept is simple, Tyler finds people often struggle with putting the idea into practice. To help people create story arcs, Tyler teaches the purpose or intention behind each section of the story arc.
Beginning: The beginning of your story sets your audience’s expectations for the rest of your story. You can explain what your story is about in all sorts of ways: a video, on-screen text, or a boomerang video with on-screen text.
This introduction also gives anyone who’s not interested the chance to swipe away at the very beginning. That’s important because the key performance metric for Instagram Stories is viewer retention. You want the people who will stick around for the whole story.
To illustrate, day-in-the-life stories are great for someone selling a personal or lifestyle brand. The story might begin with a photo of a cup of coffee and the text “day in the life.” Someone hosting a takeover of your account needs to offer an engaging introduction that sets the tone for the rest of the story. To announce a new product or service, start by showing the results people can achieve.
Tyler also offers tips on how to hook your audience so they watch the whole story. For a new product or service, you might invite your audience to “imagine if…” or “how would it feel if….” Teasers work well when you want people to check out your other content. As an example, for his weekly Facebook Live, Tyler teases an idea or a concept and then sends people to the live video or replay.
The beginning of your story must also provide context for what you’re doing and why it’s important to your audience. When a story begins in the middle of someone’s day or the middle of a process or experience, your audience doesn’t understand what they’re watching and will swipe away. If you consistently confuse your audience, they’ll learn to stop watching your stories altogether.
To provide context, you can simply explain what your story is about — whether it’s your day, a process, a conference you’re attending, or something else. If your story is for a multiday conference or experience, Tyler recommends ending the story each day and starting a new introduction the next day.
For instance, on the second day of a conference, you might post a photo of your coffee, a Danish, or the sunrise. You could even post a boomerang video of a dancing dog. Then you might appear on-screen to say, “Day Two of VidCon” or something like that. This way, viewers understand it’s the second day of the conference and you’re going to share what you do that day.
Middle: As you move to the middle of your story, your intention for the story becomes especially important, because even when you’re promoting products or services, your content needs to connect with your followers in a way that’s meaningful to them. When you’re trying to sell something, you do that by educating, inspiring, or entertaining your followers.
For example, you might position your product by teaching your followers something that gets them ready for your product. Or you might inspire your followers with a personal story that sets the tone for the lifestyle they can have by purchasing your product.
To make the middle part valuable and meaty, make sure you deliver on whatever your intention is. A process story might inspire followers to create video for their own business. A story about a conference you’re attending might share what you learn from the thought leaders there.
As you share a process or experience, you also want each story post to build on the previous one. To illustrate, in a day-in-the-life story, Tyler’s posts might show him working on a podcast, taking a call, and so on. As he posts snippets from his day to his Instagram story, he makes sure the story has continuity so people know when something happens in the day and why it’s relevant to them.
Throughout the middle part of the story, Tyler also recommends diversifying your content to keep it interesting. Don’t post all video or all pictures. Instead, weave together different types of content. Instagram gives you almost every tool you need to create boomerangs, videos, photos, on-screen text, hyperlapses, GIFs, location and hashtag stamps, polls, and more.
After Tyler mentions using hashtags to provide context and vary the content, he notes that hashtags can also help increase your views, but those views typically don’t lead to growth or convert to anything. The views are mostly vanity views.
The hashtags increase views because you can follow a hashtag or location tag. So anyone following the hashtag or location tag will see parts of your story. However, these views don’t help your growth or conversions because people who follow a hashtag and location tag don’t see your whole story.
To visualize this, if you put a hashtag on every single Instagram story post for the day, Instagram will probably show only a few pieces of your story in the hashtag story. Also, your content is mixed with other users’ content. Most of the people who watch your story are probably following you already or have just found your profile and are checking it out.
Tyler is a fan of polls because they encourage people to keep watching your content and engage with your brand. Instagram Stories has two polling options: an A/B poll and a slider poll. Someone who taps or slides a response is more likely to like your post, comment, send you a direct message, and follow you off of Instagram. In this way, polls encourage further engagement.
After your followers begin to engage, Tyler suggests using calls to action that ask people to send a direct message. Then you can start having conversations with people.
Ending: When you wrap up your story, build anticipation for what’s next and make a clear call to action that reflects what you want people to do after watching your story.
For instance, you can ask people to send you a direct message if they want to know more about your story topic or want to find out what happened.
Or say you make a product and your feed features the finished product, while your story shows how the product is made. In this case, your calls to action can create a loop. In your story, the call to action is “Check out the latest post in our feed to see the finished product.” In your feed, the call to action is “Check out my Instagram story to see how this product is made.”
Another example is simply teasing your story for the next day. If your story is about an event, you can say, “Tune in tomorrow for day two.” If your story is teaching how to do something, you say, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll share the next lesson.”
Teasing what’s next is important, especially if you plan to create stories every day, because our brains can’t handle a cliffhanger without some kind of resolution. Your preview for the next story builds your followers’ ongoing viewing and engagement habits. The closure is also important so viewers know how you plan to finish the story, lesson, or experience that you’ve started.
If you don’t know what you’re doing the next day, you might wrap up with a summary of your current story and thank viewers for following along.
Timing: As you create your story arc, it’s helpful to know the key Instagram Stories timeframes. Each Instagram story post appears in your story for 24 hours. A video post can be 14 seconds, and a photo post appears for only 8 seconds. You can make as many story posts as you like, but Tyler limits himself to 12 story posts per 24-hour period because that’s all people tend to watch.
You can compose and post the entire story arc in one sitting or spread out your story posts over several hours. Your approach depends on the story you’re telling. To illustrate, a process story that shows followers how your product is made might take a few hours. With each post, simply begin with a brief reminder such as, “Today we’re taking you into the factory,” so new viewers can catch up.
Because Tyler loves to talk, he’s a big fan of talking-head videos. He’ll do five or six videos on his phone and post them to his Instagram story all at once. You can also create the content throughout the day, save it, and then upload it all later.
To help beginners break a video into 14-second increments, Tyler recommends the Story Splitter app for iOS and says you can find similar apps for Android. The app cuts your video into the bite-sized portions that you can upload to your Instagram story. However, the app doesn’t let you edit the segments. With practice, you learn to talk in 14-second increments and pause at the right point.
Currently, Tyler doesn’t use the app. He records video for his stories in Instagram. When he messes up (which he does about 14 times per day), he deletes the video and records it again.
Listen to the show to hear my example introduction for a story about VidCon and how I might handle a story for an event where I don’t know what happens next.
How to Measure Instagram Story Results
Tyler tracks a few metrics to determine whether his stories are working. Retention is a key metric that shows how many people are left at the end of a story relative to the number of people who started the story. This data indicates whether his content resonates with his audience.
Because Tyler uses direct messages as calls to action, he also tracks how many direct messages he receives on a regular basis. Tyler uses direct messages to continue pushing people to his products and encouraging them to join his community. A concentrated direct message strategy gets you further on Instagram than any other strategy.
For a large business, direct messages can be unmanageable, and this metric may not be a figure for you. Instead, your call to action might ask followers to swipe up, and you can measure the traffic you get from Instagram.
You can access Instagram Insights whether or not you have a business account. (You do need a strong following to see insights on a personal account.) However, a business account provides in-depth insights about your stories. Specifically, you can see swipe-aways, exits, people who go back, and engagement. For more story metrics, you can choose from a ton of great third-party tools.
I then ask if Tyler ever deletes a clip from his story because a huge drop occurs between one clip and the next. When this happens, Tyler typically leaves the clip in the story so he can figure out what happened. A drop like this can happen for many reasons: time of day, a shift in the content, or something else.
Although Tyler almost never deletes content, he might archive a post with low engagement and repost it later or repurpose the photo or caption. By not deleting content, Tyler always has access to data about that content. That data helps him continue learning how to create better content for his followers.
After 24 hours, your Instagram stories are archived automatically. You can pull those stories out of your archive later or add them as highlights on your profile.
Listen to the show to hear Tyler share more reasons for not archiving a post.
Instagram vs. Facebook Stories
I ask Tyler how Facebook Stories compares to Instagram Stories. Tyler says he’s waiting to see how Facebook Stories evolves. On each platform, the user culture is vastly different. Tyler finds that Facebook users are more interested in viewing long-form videos than stories. His Facebook stories might get a couple of dozen views, whereas his Instagram stories might have a few thousand views.
If your Facebook page has lots of fans, like the Social Media Examiner Facebook page, you might have more stories views on Facebook than on Instagram. To see how your Facebook stories perform, you can turn on Facebook Story Insights, which isn’t very intuitive. First, open Insights for your Facebook page. Then, on the left, you’ll see the option to turn on Story Insights.
Tyler also notes that Facebook stories don’t have as many features as Instagram stories do. In Facebook stories, hashtags don’t work and user accounts aren’t clickable. If you add these features to an Instagram story and then share it to Facebook, most of those things are stripped out of the Facebook story.
Listen to the show to hear my thoughts on Facebook Stories.
Discovery of the Week
If you need a handy way to repurpose content, Lumen5 can turn your online articles into videos.
After you enter an article’s URL into the Lumen5 discovery engine, it quickly converts the article into slides with pictures and text. You can then edit each slide by replacing images, editing text, and choosing video transitions. When you’re done, you can export the slides as a video. In this way, you could create a customized video in half an hour.
The toolkit for customizing the slides is powerful. Your editing options include all kinds of effects, copyright-free music, and media. For instance, you can make a word look like it’s spelled out in Scrabble tiles. The automated system can choose relevant background images, but you can also change them.
Lumen5 is a free, browser-based app you use on a desktop computer. With the free version, video quality is limited, but you can create unlimited videos. With the Pro version ($49 per month) or the Business version ($99 per month), you can export higher-quality video and access additional tools.
Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how Lumen5 works for you.
Key takeaways from this episode:
What do you think? What are your thoughts on Instagram Stories? Please share your comments below.
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July 20, 2018 at 05:00AM
What We Can Learn from Uber’s #DeleteUber PR Nightmare a Year Later
What We Can Learn from Uber’s #DeleteUber PR Nightmare a Year Later
Uber still remains a thriving, popular choice for anyone that needs a ride. The company has a lot that it can teach us about social media and the way that large companies overcome PR nightmares.
The hashtag #DeleteUber started to trend in January 2017 when the company’s choice to profit from political protests was met with backlash.
But that’s not all that Uber has done wrong. The company has also been accused of improperly handling customer data, stealing IP and even sexual harassment.
The tip of the iceberg was one simple tweet. “Surge pricing has been turned off at #JFK Airport. This may result in longer wait times. Please be patient.”
Businesses can learn a lot about the right way to use social media after the company’s tweet caused droves to delete their Uber app.
Keep Politics and Business Separate
When you dig deeper into the issue, you’ll find that Uber’s former CEO, Travis Kalanick, was on Donald Trump’s economic advisory council. The company’s move to disrupt protests resulted in customers that were against Trump’s policies to lash out at Kalanick.
Customers made the decision to disrupt protests as a reflection of Uber in politics. Customers assumed that the move was an endorsement of the Administration’s political agenda.
Adding political opinions into your own social media account may be acceptable, but when it comes to business, it can lead to lost profits.
If Kalanick wasn’t so close to Trump at the time, the backlash may have been minimized. Some drivers even decided to compare Uber and Lyft, leaving to drive for Lyft instead of Uber due to one simple tweet.
Respond to Backlash Firmly and Quickly
Uber’s account took five hours to respond to the backlash – forever in social media. The company’s response was: “Last tweet not meant to break strike. Our CEO’s statement opposing travel ban and compensating those impacted,” followed by a link to a Facebook post.
If customers complain or you’re subject to negative press, act quickly.
Make your stance known and don’t wait while the media exposure damages your business. If a competitor is the subject of backlash, you can also leverage this to your advantage on social media.
Comment on your stance, or do as Lyft did and release a statement expressing your stance and values. A lot of people that abandoned Uber at the time read the statement and started to support Lyft.
Time and Innovation Heals Most Wounds
Negative PR needs to be met swiftly, and if there’s one thing social media allows, it’s the quick spreading of news – negative or positive. Uber didn’t react to the backlash quickly, but their innovative service and time helped the company overcome the backlash.
Small businesses may have closed their doors after a scandal.
Uber’s net losses were $4.5 billion in 2017, but net revenues jumped 85% from the year prior to $37 billion (not bad for a company that underwent scandals, social media nightmares and countless complaints).
Losses fell 3 out of the 4 quarters in 2017, so it’s safe to say that the public will forget about mishaps, such as the #DeleteUber campaign, when prices or service are better than the competition.
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July 20, 2018 at 01:44AM
You still can't block followers on Spotify, and users are not happy
Spotify's social features are what set the streaming giant apart from its competition, but now, those same features are the root of a very real problem: harassment.
As reported by BuzzFeed this week, unlike other social media platforms, Spotify does not allow its users to block followers from viewing account activity — which has created a new avenue for abuse and intimidation.
The piece shares a story from Meghan, a 26-year-old who has been excessively targeted by someone from a previous relationship.
Spotify did remove the messaging feature in 2017, but the activity feed that shows followers what music you're listening to remains.
While there is a "private session" feature that blocks everyone from seeing what you listen to (and limits the social capacity of the service), users have allegedly been requesting a user specific block function from Spotify as early as 2012 — and even recent tweets have suggested folks are still are fed up with the lack of action.
According to BuzzFeed, the company "does not have any timeline on plans for a block feature," despite its acknowledgment that it's a "good idea."
In May, the streaming service bungled an attempt to control the promotion of artists who fell under the company's "hateful conduct" policy. Hopefully the same energy that was intended to prevent hate speech on the platform will eventually apply to those using Spotify to harass others.
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July 19, 2018 at 01:05PM
Strategies for Promoting Social Media Video Content
Experts have predicted that video content will make up most of the Internet’s traffic within a couple of years. Corporations make the investment into video production services because history has shown that these investments provide impactful ROI towards achieving just about any business goal.
To capitalize on this, you will need to create quality video content guided by a deep understanding of your audience. With that step completed, you need to increase your video’s ROI by attracting as many viewers to it as possible. This involves implementing strategies designed to promote video content. You should focus on:
Packaging is a crucial component for catching the eye of consumers. In this respect, a video is the same as any other product. If you want attention, you will need to opt for creative packaging. When it comes to video content, this typically means the title and the thumbnail.
This is the online video equivalent of an album cover or the dust jacket of a book. Packaging quality plays a significant role in whether or not people will watch a video.
Optimizing for Search
As with any content, the point is to have your video rank highly in organic search results on Google and YouTube’s search engine. This involves much more than just creating and uploading. An understanding of SEO is essential, including knowledge of how to conduct keyword research.
If possible, place your keyword at the start of the title. Keep in mind that for SEO purposes, your YouTube video’s title is the essential element on the page. You will want a title that consists of fewer than 60 characters to keep it from being cut off on the search results pages.
Next, work on your description and tags. The narrative is beneficial for SEO and will help viewers determine what they are about to watch. As with the title, keep your target keyword close to the start of the description.
Also, you should link to some of your other content in the description. For example, you can include links to your social media profiles as well as to your website. Tags are descriptive keywords that are helpful for getting your content found by search engine users. Choose 3 to 5 relevant keywords to use as tags, with one of them being your target keyword.
Choosing the Right Platform
The platform you choose depends on what you want from your video content. For example, each platform comes with their advantages and disadvantages. YouTube will offer a high viral potential with its 1.3 billion users, but Vimeo provides a much cleaner interface and higher quality videos with the drawback of a much smaller set of users.
Similarly, Facebook can bring rapid awareness to your followers, but content will be “fenced in” from the rest of the Internet and all but invisible to anyone not on Facebook. The right decision here will involve looking carefully at the different options and determining which is best for your content. The clean interface of Vimeo may make it a better choice for B2B marketing when compared to YouTube.
In many cases, the best option is to host the content in as many places as possible.
Embedding Your Video
Embedding your video can maximize ROI. Best options include inserting it into your email signature or using it in your email campaign. You can also add it to your homepage to lengthen the time that visitors spend on your site. Add it to your social media channels to reach some of the millions of people who watch videos on Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat every day.
Consumers love video content, and the strategies above can significantly increase your ability to reach your audience.
The post Strategies for Promoting Social Media Video Content appeared first on Social Media Explorer.
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July 19, 2018 at 12:52PM
Trump just noticed Europe’s $5BN antitrust fine for Google
In other news bears shit in the woods. In today’s second day Trump news: President ‘The Donald’ has seized, belatedly, on the European Commission’s announcement yesterday that it had found Google guilty of three types of illegal antitrust behavior with its Android OS since 2011 and was fining the company $5 billion; a record breaking penalty the Commission’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said reflects the length and gravity of the company’s competition infringements.
Trump is not! at all! convinced! though!
“I told you so!” he has tweeted triumphantly just now. “The European Union just slapped a Five Billion Dollar fine on one of our great companies, Google. They truly have taken advantage of the U.S., but not for long!”
Also not so very long ago, Trump was the one grumbling about tech giants. Though Amazon is his most frequent target in tech, while Google has been spared the usual tweet lashings. Albeit, on the average day he may not necessarily be able to tell one tech giant from another.
Vestager can though, and she cited Amazon as one of the companies that had suffered as a direct result of contractual conditions Google imposed on device makers using its Android OS — squeezing the ecommerce giant’s potential to build a competing Android ecosystem, with its Fire OS.
Presumably, for Trump, Amazon is not ‘one of our great companies’ though.
At least it’s only Google that gets his full Twitter attention — and a special Trumpian MAGA badge of honor call-out as “one of our great companies” — in the tweet.
Presumably, he hasn’t had this pointed out to him yet though. So, uh, awkward.
Safe to say, Trump is seizing on Google’s antitrust penalty as a stick to beat the EU, set against a backdrop of Trump already having slapped a series of tariffs on EU goods and Trump recently threatening the EU with tariffs on cars — in what is fast looking like a full blown trade war.
Even so, the tweet probably wasn’t the kind of support Google was hoping to solicit via its own Twitter missive yesterday…
#AndroidWorksButTradeWarsDon’t doesn’t make for the most elegant hashtag.
But here’s the thing: Vestager has already responded to Trump’s attack on the Android decision — even though it’s taking place a day late. Because the EU’s “tax lady”, as Trump has been known to vaguely refer to her, is both lit and onit.
During yesterday’s press conference she was specifically asked to anticipate Trump’s tantrum response on hearing the antitrust decision against Google, and whether she wasn’t afraid it might affect next week’s meeting between the US president and the European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker.
“As I know my US colleagues want fair competition just as well as we do,” she responded. “There is a respect that we do our job. We have this very simple mission to make sure that companies play by the rulebook for the market to serve consumers. And this is also my impression that this is what they want in the US.”
Pressed again on political context, given the worsening trade relationship between the US and the EU, Vestager was asked how she would explain that her finding against Google is not part of an overarching anti-US narrative — and directly asked how would she answer Trump’s contention that the EU’s “tax lady… really hates the US”.
“Well I’ve done my own fact checking on the first part of that sentence. I do work with tax and I am a woman. So this is 100% correct,” she replied. “It is not correct for the latter part of the sentence though. Because I very much like the US. And I think that would also be what you think because I from Denmark and that tends to be what we do. We like the US. The culture, the people, our friends, traveling. But the fact is that this [finding against Google] has nothing to do with how I feel. Nothing whatsoever. Just as well as enforcing competition law — well, we do it in the world but we don’t do it in a political context. Because then there would never, ever be a right timing.
“The mission is very simple. We have to protect consumers and competition to make sure that consumers get the best of fair competition — choice, innovation, best possible prices. This is what we do. It has been done before, we will continue to do it — no matter the political context.”
Maybe Trump will be able to learn the name of the EU’s “tax lady” if Vestager ends up EU president next year.
Or, well, maybe not. We can only hope so.
via Twitter – TechCrunch https://techcrunch.com
July 19, 2018 at 10:25AM