10 Tips for Growing Your Social Media Audience


The first step to running a successful social media operation is to build an audience you’ll later be able to turn into conversions. To help you get started, we compiled our 10 best tips for growing your social media audience.

1. Like snowflakes, each social network is unique

Treat your Twitter followers like your Facebook fans and there’s a small yet threatening chance they will burn you at the stake. Nothing sets off a loyal Twitter follower like directing them to a Facebook post. The nerve! If you can’t say it in 140 characters, don’t say it at all.

Test what type of content works on each network (photos, texts, links, videos) and identify that crossroad between your company’s message and the uniqueness of that particular platform.

2. Ditch the hardsell

Not only is the hardsell on social media annoying, on November 14th, 2014, Facebook officially declared that “overly promotional page posts” will get less play in users’ News Feeds. And when the Facebook algorithm speaks, we suggest you take heed.

This officially means nobody cares about your marketing message as much as you do. Ditch the hardsell or your audience will ditch you. You need to be compelling and shareable.

3. Don’t be rude, respond to your customers

Brands were asked nearly 22 million questions on social in 2014. Brands that are responsive get 3.5 times more interactions than their less-responsive counterparts. Publicly responding to user posts on social media shows other potential customers that you provide a good level of customer support. It shows that they can reach you on their terms. Need more tips on how to provide effective social customer care? Read how Socially Devoted companies outperform competitors.

4. Pay to play, but don’t break your bank

More brands are making strategic and effective use of promoted posts, which puts those that aren’t at a disadvantage. Allocate a test budget for promoted social content and support content that performs well organically. This essentially gives a larger chunk of your audience (and through their interactions – your potential audience) more of what they want.

5. Promote the right content on Facebook

Reach, both organic and paid, is strongly linked to interactions. Facebook wants to serve users the right content in their News Feed, and post interactions signal interest. Learn more about Promoted Post Detection and the science behind boosting content.

6. Don’t be everywhere


It may sound odd coming from social media evangelists like us, but not all companies need to be on all social networks, especially if time and money are scarce.

Give your content an honest assessment, and apply your focus to the social networks that are right for your company right now.

7. Give exclusive offers

Users don’t connect with their local cafes just to find out when the doors open. They want the insider scoop on a limited time offer involving free cookies when you tweet #(insert campaign hashtag). Give your audience a sense of inclusion with a drop of exclusivity. Create network-specific offers that give your fans and followers a real sense of the worth in belonging to your online community.

8. Use hashtags to increase searchability

Not only can hashtags be used to facilitate a campaign or add some humor to your voice, they’re also a great way to tap into a conversation and reach a new audience interested in your topic. Do you tweet about traveling? Add #ttot or #TravelTuesday to your content and join an active community who are already talking about your topic.

9. Set reachable goals

Let’s head back to Marketing 101 where we learned about creating SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-sensitive). The same method applies for setting and reaching social media growth goals. Don’t simply look to your competitor’s page size and say, “we want to catch up”, give some thought to your priorities and assign value to each goal achieved.

Remember, you won’t know where you’re going unless you know where you started.

10. Learn from your competition

As Pablo Picasso is credited for saying, “good artists copy; great artists steal.” This isn’t to say go on and plagiarize your competitors’ content, but don’t be fooled to think you’re the only one with a good idea. Analyze what they do, how they do it and use this as a jumping off point so you can employ similar triggers in your own campaign.


Google & SolarCity partner on $750M fund for rooftop solar


Solar installer and financier SolarCity announced on Thursday that it plans to raise a $750 million fund to invest in installing solar panels on the rooftops of home owners, and $300 million of that fund will come from tech giant Google. While Google has put over $1 billion into clean energy projects over the years, the commitment to the SolarCity fund is Google’s largest to date, and the entire fund will be the largest one ever created for residential solar projects.

The deal shows the momentum behind the booming solar panel industry in the U.S. Solar energy represented over a third of all new electricity in the U.S. in 2014, and that could grow to 40 percent in 2015, which would be a new record. The solar industry is now a major U.S. employer, employing twice as many workers as the coal industry; SolarCity employs more workers in California than…

View original post 370 more words

The Beauty of Friendship and Books

The Bookshelf of Emily J.

Over the last two years, I’ve had the opportunity to work in some archives in Salt Lake City on a women’s history project. This internship has resulted in some interesting research projects for me on women, technical communication, and communication design. My formal assignment is to do research for a team of women working on a book of women’s discourses from 1820 to present.  I work on the first half of the book, which covers 1820 to 1920.

I consider the most valuable aspect of this opportunity to be the friendships and associations I have developed through my time there.  I get to rub shoulders with highly educated women who have encouraged and guided me on learning historical research. While my time there is occasionally overwhelming because of everything else I am doing right now, I think of it as a precious way to gain an education in history and research…

View original post 246 more words

Mobile Industry Generated $3.3 Trillion Last Year, Created 11 Million Jobs

mobil emagicA new study finds that the mobile industry last year produced more than $3.3 trillion in revenue.

That breaks down to more than $400 for every man, woman and child on earth. So everyone must be feeling a little wealthier, right?

Well, no. It turns out the mobile revolution is still benefitting some more than others, with a lot of that money going to the giants of the industry, like Apple and Qualcomm, the latter of which commissioned the Boston Consulting Group study released today. Six of the 25 most valuable companies in the world, BCG says, are companies directly making money from mobile technology: Apple, Google, China Mobile, Alibaba, Facebook and Verizon.

But, while a lot of the direct revenue has gone to a handful of key technology companies, the benefits of mobile technology have arguably transformed parts of the developing world even more than they have changed life in richer countries.

Smartphones have given people in developed countries the kinds of services they were used to getting on their PC, as well as Uber, Snapchat and Angry Birds. In emerging markets, though, the phone has brought fundamental services like banking and health care to people who previously did not have access to such things.

Along the way, mobile technology has been creating lots and lots of jobs, including 11 million directly and countless more indirectly in the six countries studied by BCG — the United States, Germany, China, South Korea, Brazil and India.

The path to job and wealth creation has been different in each country. In China, for example, BCG cites the role of Alipay, which makes it possible for consumers to pay for almost anything wherever they are. Again, that’s not a huge deal in the U.S. where much of the population has credit or debit cards, but it has been a huge enabler in China. Alipay is believed to have processed more than $500 billion in payments last year, BCG said.

In India, only 5 percent of people have computers, but e-commerce company Flipkart has built a huge e-commerce business by going mobile-first, with more than 10 million people having its app on their phone.

The report is filled with all sorts of other happy talk, including surveys showing how highly customers value their phones and that apps are saving people time and money across the globe.

But it’s not all mobile sunshine and rose-colored tablets. The study also says the mobile divide is real and growing, especially the gap between the biggest corporations and smaller businesses.

“Narrowing the divide could be especially important in countries like South Korea, where [small and midsize businesses] have struggled to compete against large conglomerates in recent years,” BCG said.

Getting more of those “mobile laggard” companies on board could create seven million jobs in the six studied countries, BCG said.

BCG Mobile Impact

Why Your Content Marketing Team Needs to Act Like a Rock Band

teamJason Miller is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at LinkedIn, where he leads the global content marketing and social efforts for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. He is also the author of the Amazon #1 Best Selling Book, Welcome to the Funnel.

In Welcome to the Funnel, and in life, Jason advocates for content marketing teams to be put together like rock bands, specifically KISS

1. Paul Stanley (guitar) = Social Media.Entertaining, out there in front.

2. Gene Simmons (bass) = Content. Writing the bulk of the songs/content.

3. Peter Criss (drums) = SEO. Laying the beat/foundation for everything. He’s a part of the band, as an SEO person should be part of the marketing team, not off in a corner somewhere.

4. Ace Frehley (guitar) = Demand Gen. Pulling it all together.

5. Doc McGhee (band manager) = PR. PR and marketing need to work together to make sure they’re not mixing messages.

6. KISS Army (fans) = The community. Like Seth Godin says, if you don’t have somebody to consume your content, you don’t have anything.

Each person in the team has an individual role that comes together to create a beautiful final product. For KISS, it’s a record. For marketers, it’s “Big Rock” content, content that has high value and can be repurposed and “sliced and diced” over and over again.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

 It won’t shock you to find that Jason wanted to be in a hair metal band when he grew up. He actually was a bass player in a hair metal band, but eventually gave it up. The metal lifestyle and college-going lifestyle weren’t meshing. The final straw was when a record company came to their show, saw the opening band, signed them, and left before Jason’s band went on. It all ended well though, as Jason says now, “I’ve never been happier with my career.”

How To Develop Your Editorial Content Calendar

Content marketing is becoming an increasingly popular tactic in digital marketing strategies across all industries. Businesses are coming to terms with thinking and acting like publishers by providing audiences with quality content on a regular basis.

Typically, content marketing projects have lots of moving parts that come together at different times to form a cohesive campaign. As a result, using a editorial content calendar is crucial in managing the content marketing process.

Calendar Management And Template

There are many ways to format and lay out an editorial content calendar. However, your team’s editorial content calendar should include an annual look, in addition to content plans by month for the entire year, always staying 60 to 90 days ahead. Additionally, you should appoint one person to manage the editing and upkeep of the calendar to avoid confusion among team members.

Your content editorial calendar should be available for all team members to view, either in a shared document online or saved somewhere on your business’ shared drive.

The calendar, created and managed in a spreadsheet, can take on a variety of shapes and sizes. Below is an example template of the editorial calendar we use at Vertical Measures (feel free to download).

Editorial Content Calendar Template

This calendar includes your content marketing plans for the year at a glance and offers a separate sheet to be used for each month, which includes a deeper look into each content project. Let’s take a closer look at how you might use this template or create your own original.

Year View

When developing your editorial content calendar, it is important to think ahead as far as possible. Look forward a year to events and happenings that could affect future content projects.

A great way to collect ideas for the full-year view of your editorial calendar is to gather team members to brainstorm for events coming up in the following year, like holidays or annual events. Consider researching industry events that you can create content around. Try to plan for 12 months in advance to avoid roadblocks throughout the year. Consider the following when brainstorming for the coming year:

  • Business Quarters: What are your quarterly goals? What resources do you/will you have each quarter? What is your quarterly content marketing budget? Having this information at hand can make it easier for the calendar manager to stay on track with goals, resources and budget.
  • Selling Cycles:  Does your business have specific cycles or trends throughout the year? Include any information regarding your selling cycles that can aid content producers and editors in their projects.
  • Seasons:  Does natural seasonality affect your business or does your industry have its own conceptual seasons? This data can be useful when brainstorming content ideas.
  • Holidays: What major holidays or industry-specific holidays could you create content around? Additionally, the actual holiday dates are important for developing publishing schedules.
  • Events: What industry events are you attending? Or what events will be happening near you? This information is crucial to plan content projects ahead of time.
  • Product Launches: What product launches should customers be aware of? Typically, some content will be focused on specific product launches throughout the year.
  • Deadlines: What are the current production deadlines for content that the team has set to meet? Deadlines that are already set in stone should be recorded so other content projects can be planned around them.
  • Company Goals: What are your specific goals for the business? What are you hoping to accomplish through these content projects?
  • Metrics: What overall metrics will you be tracking? Will you be looking at links, traffic and conversions? Outline goals upfront so content producers and editors can work to create content to effectively meet them.

Monthly Calendar Creation

CampaignCalendar_LEach content project has its own row, ordered by the publish date. Due date and publish date should be filled in chronologically. The remaining columns should be filled out following these recommendations:

  • Title/Description: What is the title of the content piece? Describe the piece so others can identify the main theme and message.
  • Status: What is the current status of this project? This column could be color-coded or labeled with different categories like “in progress,” “on hold” or “with editor,” so the standing of the content project is easily identifiable.
  • Type of Content: What type of content is this piece? Types of content include blog posts, articles, videos, podcasts, slide shows, whitepapers, etc. This information is important for resource planning as well, to identify content trends and popularity.
  • Producer/Designer: Who is responsible for the creation of this piece? This person will be in charge of completing the content piece and managing the project throughout.
  • Editor: Who is the editor for this content project? The editor is generally the last person who sees the content piece before it is distributed. This person is responsible for double-checking spelling and grammar while fact-checking content as well.
  • Target Audience: Is this content piece intended for potential customers, current customers or another audience? What demographic are you targeting? It is important to identify this information before content distribution.
  • Distribution Channels: Where will this content live? What social networks will be this content be shared on? Be sure the content distribution channels match where the target audience hangs out online for maximum content exposure.
  • Promotion: What promotional efforts will take place to distribute this content piece? Will this content piece be leveraged by another digital marketing channel? Perhaps a content piece can be used in other online marketing efforts, giving your content a longer life cycle.
  • Meta Data Tags: What tags or keywords are associated with this content piece? Be sure to check with the SEO team on the best tags and keywords to use with each content piece for maximum SEO potential. What good is your quality content if it can’t be found? Ensure your content is optimized not just for your audience, but for search engines too.
  • Metrics: What success metrics are you measuring this content projects against? Are there baseline measurements? What are they? These metrics and baselines will depict whether a content project is successful or not.
  • Notes: Are there any specific instructions or notes regarding this content piece? Are there updates to the project’s status? Add anything extra worth noting in this column.

Customize Your Calendar

You should look into customizing your editorial content calendar to fit your organization’s specific needs. Consider these additional columns:

  • Image Link: If the content project is text based, having an Image Link column could help the person posting the content. The link could be to a website or to a folder or image on your shared drive.
  • Social Updates:  This could be the same as the Promotion column, but could also be an additional section. If you plan on sharing this content across social networks (which you should!), you may consider including Tweets, Facebook status updates and Google+ posts that can easily be copied by all that have access to the document.

Overall, there are many ways to adapt these editorial calendar suggestions to make it your own. The important part is getting your content projects organized in a way that is easily digestible for your team and the person managing the process.

Utilizing an editorial calendar for content marketing projects is important in more ways than one. Not only will your content be organized in a way that makes sense – chronologically by month – you will have a record of all of your past content projects.

Having a list of past content projects on hand allows for easier reporting and quick recognition of milestones and achievements. Additionally, content marketing project organization can aid in brainstorming future projects and provide content repurposing and refreshing ideas.


27 ways to find great content ideas

content ideas

  1. (18m) Collection tips! Drafts App, Evernote and Chase’s keyword/tag trick.

    “Make the right thing the easy thing to do.”
      or copy + Facebook

  2. (25m) Disciplined non writing get’s you chomping at the bit. (Chase mentions travel.)
  3. (26m) Create a trigger points list, a list of events that would cause someone to look for a solution to their problem. (Definitely listen to this one… great insights from Barrett.)
  4. (29m) Create a learning timeline. List the stages from novice to expert.
  5. (31m) Do. Learn. Go. — new things/places that you’ve never done/learned/visited before.

    “A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.” ~ John le Carre
      or copy + Facebook

  6. (37m) Express passion about a belief you have that the world should embrace.
  7. (38m) Look through the lens of emotions. Fear. Embarrassment. Passion. Rage. Envy. Lust. etc.
  8. (41m) Magazines: check out the table of contents, read only the articles that interest you.
  9. (43m) Write every day for xx number of days.
  10. (44m) Google auto complete!
  11. (45m) Answer reader/listener/visitor/subscriber questions.
  12. (47m) Ask everyone who signs up for your email: ‘what’s one thing you’re struggling with right now as [your niche here]?’
  13. (46m) Ask powerful questions. “What’s the worst thing that happened to you this week?”
  14. (49m) Create a structured series to leverage real-time-ness. (You’ll have to listen to this one.)
  15. (52m) Read every post on a single author blog. You’ll see how they grow and change over time.
  16. (53m) Get personal. 1). reveal things about yourself, get uncomfortably personal… embarrassing, touching, passionate stuff. 2). Talk to yourself publicly. Write posts to yourself. use your self talk publicly.
  17. (56m) Try different formats of posts. long. short. image. story. data. infographic. etc.
  18. (57m) Be a journalist instead of a teacher. Tell someone else’s story.
  19. (58m) Your story. what was hard. what was easy, what you wish you would have known.
  20. (59m) News in your industry.
  21. (60m) Curate and synthesize. read several books on a topic and summarize the bigger picture.
  22. (60m) Get as close to the actual thing that happened as possible. Most people operate at the level of hearsay.
  23. (61m) Amazon TOC of books. also 3 star reviews.
  24. (62m) Social media, find the leaders/influencers: what are they talking about? What seems to be popular?
  25. (63m) Subscribe to help a reporter out. Help a Reporter Out.
  26. (63m) Ask your spouse/partner/friend about the topic. Develop your empathy muscle.
  27. (64m) The Periodic Table of Content Marketing (source). Really helpful to slice and dice some ideas up.

“Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.”

Kurt Vonnegut

27 Ways to Stumble on Unbeatable Content Ideas (FS088)

10 Powerful Quotes That Will Change the Way You Approach Content Creation

Have you ever heard of Momentum?

For those of you that haven’t, Momentum is a Google Chrome extension that displays the time, weather, a “to do” list, and an inspirational quote every time you open a new browser tab.

(It’s awesome.)

While the interactive to-do list helps me stay focused through out the day, the daily inspirational quote is often even more powerful in terms of fueling my productivity.

Isn’t it funny the way quotes can inspire us to take action or change our way of thinking?

Fully aware of their ability to help us improve, we’ve gathered up ten of our favorite quotes on content creation from some seriously brilliant minds. We even whipped up some Twitterable images (yes, I made that up) to make it easy for you to pass this wisdom along to your followers and friends.

10 Powerful Quotes That Will Change the Way You Approach Content Creation:

1. “Adapt to your customer’s needs. They expect it.” – Scott Abel [Tweet this]


2. “Don’t use big words. They mean so little.” – Oscar Wilde [Tweet this]


3. “Be the best answer.” – Lee Odden [Tweet this]


4. “The secret is not to do more…It’s to create content that matters.” – Jay Baer [Tweet this]


5. “There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.” – Seth Godin [Tweet this]


6. “It’s not that we need more content; we need more relevant content.” – Jason Miller [Tweet this]


7. “Amazing things happen when you listen to the consumer.” – Jonathan Mildenhall [Tweet this]


8. “Go deep into specific topics. Identify what topics you can own, and create the best pages on the Internet for that topic.” – Andy Crestodina [Tweet this]


9. “Content marketing is a commitment, not a campaign.” – Jon Buscall [Tweet this]


10. “Tell a relevant, targeted, transparent story, and the whole world will share it.” – Randall Lane [Tweet this]