The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It



Today’s post is from Hootsuite’s blog. I answer a lot of questions on Facebook’s Pixels – how to insert them, what to do with the information, etc. This article explains Facebook Pixels very clearly. Enjoy and be sure to visit Hootsuite’s blog for more educational content!

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If you’re using Facebook ads—or you plan to use them in the future—there’s one key tool you should start using right away to get the most out of your social ad budget: the Facebook pixel.

What is a Facebook pixel?

A Facebook pixel is code that you place on your website. It helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads based on collected data, build targeted audiences for future ads, and remarket to qualified leads—people who have already taken some kind of action on your website.

It works by placing and triggering cookies to track users as they interact with your website and your Facebook ads.

 

Bonus: Download a free guide that teaches you how to turn Facebook traffic into sales in four simple steps using Hootsuite.

Benefits of using a Facebook pixel

There are several ways you can use data collected from Facebook pixel tracking to refine your Facebook advertising strategy.

Track conversions

The Facebook pixel allows you to monitor how people interact with your website after viewing your Facebook ad.

You can even track customers across their devices so you know, for example, if people tend to see your ads on mobile but switch to a desktop before making a purchase—or maybe it’s the other way around. This information can help you refine your ad strategy and calculate your return on investment.

Remarket

Pixel tracking data allows you to show targeted ads to people who have already visited your site. You can choose to get really granular here—for example, you can show people an ad for the exact product that they abandoned in a shopping cart or added to a wishlist on your website.

This capability is why you should create a Facebook pixel now, even if you’re not using Facebook ads yet—so you have retargeting capabilities from your very first Facebook ad.

Create lookalike audiences

Facebook can use its targeting data to help you build a lookalike audience of people who have similar likes, interests, and demographics to people who are already interacting with your website, helping you expand your potential customer base.

Run effective ads

Using a Facebook pixel can make your ads more effective by improving the quality of the ads you run, and by improving the targeting of the people who see them.

In addition to improving your ads based on tracking their effectiveness, you can use Facebook pixel data to ensure your ads are seen by the people who are most likely to take your desired action.

For some examples of companies using the Facebook pixel effectively, check out our post 5 Surprising Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Ads.

How to use a Facebook pixel

You can use Facebook pixel tracking to collect data on two different kinds of events: a set of nine standard events that Facebook has predefined, or custom conversions that you set up yourself. An “event” is simply a specified action that a visitor takes on your website.

Standard events

The nine standard Facebook pixel events for which you can simply copy and paste standard Facebook event code are:

View content: Someone lands on a page on your website.
Search: Someone uses the search function to look for something on your site.
Add to cart: Someone adds a product to their shopping cart on your site.
Add to wishlist: Someone adds a product to a wishlist on your site.
Initiate checkout: Someone starts the checkout process to buy something from your site.
Add payment info: Someone enters their payment information in the purchase process on your website.
Make purchase: Someone completes a purchase on your website.
Lead: Someone signs up for a trial or otherwise identifies themselves as a lead on your site.
Complete registration: Someone completes a registration form on your site, such as for a subscription product.

Custom conversions

You can use custom conversion events in place of standard events, or to collect more details than Facebook pixel standard events can provide.

Custom conversions use URL rules based on specific URLS or URL keywords. So, for example, you could use Facebook pixel tracking to record views of a specific category of merchandise on your website, instead of tracking views of all content using the “view content” standard event—perhaps to separate dog owners from cat owners based on which sections of your pet supply website they viewed.

Before you can use Facebook pixel custom conversions, you’ll need to help Facebook understand the details of the conversion event you want to track. To do so, head to your Facebook Ads Manager, then go to Custom Conversions and click Create Custom Conversion to define your custom conversion event using URL rules.

You can also create Facebook pixel custom events by adding more details to standard events using additional bits of code called parameters. These allow you to customize the standard events based on:

How much a conversion event is worth
Product name, category, or ID
The number of items someone adds to their shopping cart
A specific search string
The status of a registration

How to create a Facebook pixel and add it your website

Now that you know what you can track, and why you would want to do so, it’s time to create your pixel and put it to work on your website.

Step 1: Create your pixel

1. From your Facebook Ads Manager, click the hamburger icon (≡) and choose Pixels.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

2. Click Create a Pixel.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

3. Name your pixel, accept the terms, and click Next. When choosing the pixel’s name, keep in mind that you only get one pixel for each ad account, so the name should represent your business, rather than a specific campaign.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

Step 2: Add the pixel code to your website

To put the pixel to work gathering information on your website, you now need to install some code on your webpages. There are two ways to do this depending on the tools you have incorporated into your website. We’ll use the copy-and-paste method here. The other option is to use an integration or tag manager.

1. Click Copy and Paste the Code.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

2. Copy and paste the pixel base code into the header code of your website—that is, post it after the tag but before the tag. You need to paste it into every single page, or into your template if you’re using one. When you’re finished, click Next.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

3. Copy the appropriate event code based on the actions you want to track on your website. For custom conversion code, click Custom Event. This Facebook help article can help you figure out which type of setup is best for you: basic, recommended, or advanced.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

4. Paste the event code in the appropriate location on your webpage based on the action you want to track. It should go just below the tag for a new page that opens as a result of the tracked action (like a thank you page). Or, you can attach the code to specific HTML elements like buttons that trigger actions within a page. When you’re done, click Next.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

Step 3: Confirm your Facebook pixel is working

Before you start relying on the data from your Facebook pixel, you should confirm that it’s working properly.

1. Download the Facebook Pixel Helper extension for Google Chrome.

2. Visit the page where you have installed the Facebook pixel. If the extension finds the pixel, the icon will turn blue, and a popup will indicate how many pixels are found on the page. The popup will also tell you if your pixel is working properly. If not, it will provide error information so you can make corrections.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Facebook for Developers.

Note: The current Facebook pixel combines two older pixel versions: the conversion tracking pixel and custom audience pixel. Facebook discontinued the conversion tracking pixel on February 17, 2017. If you were using the Facebook conversion pixel, you’ll need to switch over to the new Facebook pixel. You can learn how to do so in this Facebook business help article. If you were using the old custom audience pixel, these instructions for Facebook pixels explain how to upgrade to the new version.

Get the most out of your Facebook ad budget with AdEspresso by Hootsuite or Hootsuite Ads. Both are powerful options that make it easy to create, manage, and optimize campaigns.

Learn More

The post The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

 

Source: The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It

Instagram Zoom: How to Get the Most From Instagram’s New Feature (Plus Inspiration From 10 Awesome Brands)



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Is your demographic on Instagram? If so, and you are using Instagram, this is a great primer on using one of the features – Zoom. Very cool! Although the examples are not bookish, your creative side will help you think of similar examples for your work, I’m sure!

 

Over the past six months, Instagram has released some exciting updates, from a new logo to longer videos and even a new way to share everyday moments with Instagram Stories.

Recently, Instagram announced another interesting (and long-awaited) feature: the ability to zoom in on photos and videos.

Instagram users can now pinch photos and videos to zoom in and take a closer look. This update has been released for iPhone users and Instagram says this update will be rolling out to Android over the coming weeks, too.

As with any new feature, this opens up a ton of opportunity and some more flexibility with the types of content we can create on Instagram.

We decided to dive in at the deep end and take a look at how this feature works, what brands are already doing with zoom, and how you can use it as well.

Let’s get started.

How to Zoom on Instagram

To zoom on Instagram you simply need to pinch the screen.

The pinch to zoom expression has been a feature on Facebook, Twitter, and many other apps for a while now, and it’s also a common practice within the iPhone camera roll, so it feels like a natural expression for Instagram’s users to adopt.

Here’s a quick example of Instagram zoom in action from PetaPixel:

When you pinch to zoom, the photo or video expands in a lightbox and moves out of the original frame to take over the rest of your screen.

Instagram images are still uploaded at around 1080px in width, so if you zoom in too far the content may look a little grainy. Here’s a quick breakdown of the sizes Instagram uploads photos at:

Square Image: 1080px in width by 1080px in height
Vertical Image: 1080px in width by 1350px in height
Horizontal Image: 1080px in width by 566px in height

(Here’s more info on ideal image sizes for Instagram and all other social networks.)

Why zoom opens up new content opportunities

As marketers, we’re always on the lookout for new ways to create and share engaging content with our audience, and Instagram’s zoom feature provides a great opportunity to do just that.

Zoom allows us to get a little creative with our content and also makes Instagram posts a little more interactive. Instead of simply viewing an image or watching a video, users can now zoom around and choose to focus in on certain aspects of our posts.

Some content will naturally entice users to zoom; a beautiful beach scene or a shot of a well-known landmark may pique curiosity, for example. But in most cases, we’ll need to give users a reason to take a closer look at our content. Zooming can be a way to enhance your Instagram content, create fun competitions and games and also encourage Instagrammers to pause and take a moment to engage with your posts.

Here’s a quick look at how 10 brands have already started to use Instagram’s zoom feature within their content.

10 Examples of brands using Zoom

Note: We’ve tried to illustrate how the zoom feature looks with each example. If you’d like to check them out on Instagram, we’ve linked to each post in the accompanying descriptions. Click on each link from a mobile device, open it in the Instagram app and then pinch and zoom across the screen.

1. British Airways

instagram-zoom-berlin

British Airways shared this lovely photo of Berlin as a way to start a discussion around city breaks in the German city. By zooming in, users can check out some of Berlin’s most popular sights and landmarks.

The airline also made good use of the caption to encourage zooming:

#Zoom in for a closer look. Where will your next #CityBreak be? Whether it’s iconic #sights, the buzz of a traditional market or the best in local cuisine, city breaks are one of our favourite journeys.

2. Bud Light

bud

Bud Light turned to Instagram to reveal the flavor of one of their new beverages. Using clever copywriting in the caption “Our new flavor is just a pinch away,” the brand encouraged users to zoom in and discover their new flavor.

3. Primark

instagram-zoom-primark

Primark used Instagram’s zoom feature to showcase its latest product releases. By zooming in, Instagram users can scan through the products and take a closer look. This was a fun and unique way to let followers check out their latest stock and made great use of Instagram’s newest feature.

4. BMW España

instagram-zoom-bmw

In this Instagram post, BMW shared a photo of a driver at the wheel of their new M4 model. The caption asks, “How fast is our #BMWM4 going through the circuit? #Zoom to guess.”

5. FedEx

instagram-zoom-fedex

I’m a huge fan of FedEx’s Instagram feed. They use the platform to show FedEx’s delivery drivers, vans, and planes out delivering parcels and giving followers a behind the scenes glimpse of how their parcels arrive. In this example, FedEx gave followers a view out of a plane window and allowed them to zoom in on the sunset and a view of another FedEx plane.

6. General Electric

instagram-zoom-ge

General Electric shared this photo from Pulitzer prize-winning photographer, Vincent Laforet. It features a bird’s-eye view of GE’s Tier 4 locomotive as it snakes along the Transit Test Track at the Transportation Technology Center.

In the caption, GE asks Instagrammer’s to take a closer look and asks: “How many rail cars can you spot?”

7. Reyka Vodka

instagram-zoom-vodka

Icelandic brand, Reyka Vodka, used zoom to celebrate some of its country’s most famous landmarks. The beautifully put-together illustration features a small map of Iceland, which when zoomed, reveals the landmarks and one of Reyka’s branded bottles.

To encourage users to zoom, Reyka turned to the 🔍 emoji and also used the hashtag #instazoom.

8. The Cheesecake Factory

instagram-zoom-cheesecake

The Cheesecake Factory used zoom as a way to turn an Instagram post into an interactive game. The post features 12 images of various desserts available at the Cheesecake Factory and asks viewers which cheesecake is featured twice. By zooming, users can take an up-close look at each cake and see which one features more than once.

9. Noosa yogurt

instagram-zoom-yoghurt

Noosa Yogurt used zoom to reveal the words hidden within a speech bubble. This post is captioned, “What do cows say when they play hide-and-seek? Hint: pinch and zoom to find out.”

10. MorningStar Farms

instagram-zoom-farms

Instagram also allows you to zoom in on video content and this example from MorningStar Farms is one of the first I’ve seen where the brand encourages the user to zoom on a video. The video itself is a short animation of the crop growing up from a seed, and it’s captioned: “Zoom in to see how a something small can make a big impact. Like this small seed.”

How to use zoom in your content: 3 best practices

As the above examples illustrate, zooming can be a really fun, creative way to make your Instagram content stand out. But how can you use it in your day-to-day social media schedule? Here are some early thoughts:

1. Use it sparingly

New features tend to be overused at the beginning, and if every post you share asks users to zoom in, the novelty may wear off. However, when used sparingly, it feels like zoom will be a great tool to have in your arsenal.

Be sure to experiment with various types of posts, like some of the examples above, and use your creativity. But be careful not to overuse this feature and instead only use it in special instances.

2. Give your followers a reason to zoom

“With the zoom feature, there needs to be some inherent reason to look at an image closer to discover something, but that action of discovery still needs to connect to the brands messaging in some way or it’ll just feel like a gimmick,” Steve O’Connell, ecd and partner at Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners, explained to AdWeek.

When it comes to planning the types of content you’d like to encourage users to zoom on, give clear thought to the “why” behind it. Why will a user want to zoom? How can we entice them to stop scrolling their feed and spend some time with our content?

3. Stay on brand

Jumping on the latest trends and updates can occasionally lead to content that goes off brand and moves away from a business’ overall social media strategy. The FedEx post included in the list above is a great example of staying true to your brand. FedEx’s Instagram is built around taking followers on a journey and sharing how their parcels go from A to B. If FedEx were to jump into a scavenger hunt with a parcel hidden somewhere in the post, this probably wouldn’t feel true to their brand.

Over to you

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this much anticipated Instagram feature. Have you used zoom much to get a closer look at any photos or videos on Instagram?

I’d also love to discuss the opportunities their feature presents to brands as well. Have you created any content specifically with zoom in mind? Are there any more great examples of brands using zoom that we have missed?

Feel free to jump in the comments and I’d be excited to chat with you there.

Source: Instagram Zoom: How to Get the Most From Instagram’s New Feature (Plus Inspiration From 10 Awesome Brands)

Now You Can See Your Goodreads Friends’ Updates – Right in Kindle for iOS (U.S. Members)



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Ed Note: Since I’m Canadian, I can’t see this feature. For those of you in the US – can you? And what do you think of it?

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, “The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge”
Are you a Kindle reader? We have more good news for you! Today, we’re introducing Goodreads Updates inside Kindle for iOS. Seeing and discussing what your friends are reading is now just one tap away in the same app where you read your books.Books, Books, and More Books!With Goodreads Updates in Kindle for iOS, you can see your friends’ latest updates about books they are reading and want to read, reviews and ratings of books they’ve read, quotes that were significant to them in the books they’re reading, and more.Want additional ideas on books to read? (And why wouldn’t you?!) Right underneath each update, you’ll also see the other books your friend has added to that same shelf. For example, if your friend just marked a new book as “Want to Read,” you’ll see and can quickly swipe through the other books she wants to read. It’s all designed for serendipity – helping you find more delightful moments when you discover a book you might have missed, or are reminded of a book you’ve been meaning to read.

Spark a Discussion with Likes and CommentsNotice a friend has started reading one of your favorite books? Like it and let her know. Use the comments to ask questions, share a different perspective, or have a “you too?” moment with your friends.

Instantly Start ReadingWe often hear from Goodreads members that learning about new books from friends is one of the top ways they discover new books to read. Has a book your friend is reading caught your interest? With one tap you can download a free sample…and then just start reading. ☺Tip: When using Kindle for iOS, remember that you can’t buy books directly inside the app. Here’s a handy reminder on how to buy Kindle books on your iPhone or iPad:1) Open the Kindle Store in Safari (http://amazon.com/Kindle-eBooks). Better yet – save it as a bookmark on your home screen.2) Search for your book3) Tap “Buy now with 1-click”I want to use it now! How do I get it?1) Download the latest version of the free Kindle for iOS app.2) If you haven’t already, link your Goodreads account to the app by going to Settings in the app. Alternatively, click here to go to Goodreads.com, and scroll to the Amazon section to connect your accounts. 3) Open up the app and click on “goodreads” in the top navigation bar to see your Goodreads Updates.Didn’t you just add some other new Goodreads + Kindle features last month?Yes! This is the latest in a series of new features making reading with Kindle even better for Goodreads members. Check out Auto-Updates on Kindle for iOS and Kindle Notes & Highlights on Goodreads—stay tuned for more to come.How does this work with the Goodreads app?Both apps work in harmony with each other. Just as we’ve done with Kindle E-readers and Fire tablets, we’re bringing the Goodreads features most closely associated with reading right into the Kindle for iOS experience. When you want to use more of the rich set of features Goodreads has to offer, just open up the Goodreads iOS app. Remember that to access Goodreads features on Kindle for iOS, Kindle E-readers, and Fire tablets, you need to link your Goodreads account to Amazon. To do this on Goodreads.com, click here and scroll to the Amazon section.How do I control what my friends see from me in their Goodreads Updates?As always, you have full control over what you share on Goodreads. Books, quotes, reviews and other items only appear if you decide to share them. And any time you want to double check what you have shared, you can go to your Goodreads profile on the Goodreads apps or on Goodreads.com. You can find more information here.When will Goodreads Updates be available for Kindle for iOS users outside the U.S.?We will announce additional marketplaces as we roll them out. Currently, Goodreads Updates is available for U.S. customers who have an Amazon.com account and have linked their Goodreads and Amazon accounts. (You can link them here.)When will Goodreads be integrated into Kindle for Android?

Source: Now You Can See Your Goodreads Friends’ Updates – Right in Kindle for iOS (U.S. Members)

Facebook to Change News Feed to Focus on Friends and Family: Here’s Everything You Need to Know



Are you looking for more information on Facebook – what’s new? This article should keep you going with new ideas for a while! Enjoy!

Source: Facebook to Change News Feed to Focus on Friends and Family: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

The goal of Facebook’s News Feed is to show people the stories that are most relevant to them. That’s no small task when you have over 1.65 billion people to keep happy and over 1,500 stories per day to prioritize for each of those individual users. Now, Facebook has announced one of their most significant News Feed shuffles.

On Wednesday, Facebook shared that the News Feed algorithm is going to shift so that it will more favorably promote content posted by the friends and family of users.

These changes are likely to mean that content posted by brands and publishers will show up less prominently in News Feeds. In the announcement, the company explained their priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook.

Back in April 2015, Facebook made a similar algorithm update trying to ensure that stories posted directly by the friends you care about will be higher up in News Feed, so you are less likely to miss them. But based on feedback, Facebook understands that people are still worried about missing important updates from the friends.

This update is likely to affect all types of content posted by brands and publishers, including links, videos, live videos and photos. Facebook said it anticipates that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for many Pages who’s traffic comes directly through Page posts.

The update will have less of an impact, however, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it. Links or Page content shared by friends or content your friends interact with frequently will still appear higher in the feed.

For example, the post from my personal Facebook account (on the right below) would be more likely to appear above the post from Buffer’s Page (on the left) in the News Feed:

newsfeed

What do users expect from the News Feed?

Facebook’s success is built on getting people the stories that matter to them most.

To help make sure you don’t miss the friends and family posts you are likely to care about, Facebook try to put those posts toward the top of your News Feed. The News Feed learns and adapts over time based on the content you interact with the most, too. For example, if you tend to like photos from your sister, they’ll start putting her posts closer to the top of your feed so you won’t miss what she posted while you were away.

Facebook research has also shown that, after friends and family, people have two other strong expectations when they come to News Feed:

The News Feed should inform. People expect the stories in their feed to be meaningful to them — and we have learned over time that people value stories that they consider informative. Something that one person finds informative or interesting may be different from what another person finds informative or interesting — this could be a post about a current event, a story about your favorite celebrity, a piece of local news, or a recipe. Facebook’s algorithm is always trying to better understand what is interesting and informative to you personally, so those stories appear higher up in your feed.
The News Feed should entertain. Facebook also found that people enjoy their feeds as a source of entertainment. For some people, that’s following a celebrity or athlete; for others,  it’s watching Live videos and sharing funny photos with their friends. Again, the company’s News Feed algorithm tries to understand and predict what posts on Facebook you find entertaining to make sure you don’t miss out on those.

The makeup of a successful social network (and why this update is essential for Facebook)

Despite its venture into publishing and partnerships with large news and entertainment brands, at its heart, Facebook is still a place for friends. And without solidifying our connections with those closest to us, Facebook could face struggles to keep its 1.65 billion monthly active users coming back.

To understand the inner-workings of social networks and what makes us keep using them, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology studied networks like Friendster and Myspace with the goal of figuring out what factors can be detrimental to a social network.

As explained over at Wired:

They found that when the time and effort (the costs) associated with being a member of a social network outweigh the benefits, then a decline in users becomes likely. If one person leaves, their friends become more likely to leave and as more people leave, this can lead to a cascading collapse in membership.

Networks like Friendster and Myspace were the Facebook of their day. Both had tens, and eventually hundreds, of millions of registered users, but what the study found is that the bonds between users weren’t particularly strong. Many users had very few close connections, and it appears there’s a direct correlation between how connected we feel to our friends and family and our affiliation with each network.

If Facebook users are worried about missing important updates from the people they care about most, then their affiliation with the network could begin to decline as they find other ways to stay connected. And once user begins to leave, or become un-engaged, it could have a waterfall effect on the network. David Garcia, a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, explains:

“First the users in the outer cores start to leave, lowering the benefits of inner cores, cascading through the network towards the core users, and thus unraveling.”

You can see how a social network unravels in the below graphic (Friendster is used in the image):
social-network-connections

For Facebook, the News Feed is the most integral part of their product to make us feel connected with those we care about. And as such, it’s important for Facebook to keep the content we want to see the most at the top of the feed.

How will this update impact business Pages?

The changes will affect all types of content posted by Pages, including links, videos, live videos and photos.

In their “News Feed Values” shared alongside this announcement, Facebook made it clear that content from friends and family will come first. And the company also highlighted the importance of authentic communication and being inclusive of all perspectives and view points without favoring specific kinds of sources — or ideas.

We expect that this update may cause organic post reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages. The impact will vary for every page and will greatly depend on the composition of your audience or the way in which your content is shared on Facebook. For example, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts.

As with all Facebook algorithm updates, it may take a little time to determine exactly what will continue to work and how to increase organic reach (though Facebook feels like it’s shifting more towards a pay-to-play market for businesses). 

One tactic that could become increasingly important is the amplification of brand content. With Facebook favoring content shared by users rather than Pages, it feels essential to find new and innovative ways to encourage your audience to share your content directly to Facebook. Ensuring your content is discoverable away for the Facebook News Feed could be another key play as well.

It also feels important to keep a focus on what people are looking for from the News Feed. As mentioned earlier, aside from friends and family, Facebook users turn to the News Feed to be informed and entertained. With those goals in mind, it’s worth thinking about how the content you create for Facebook can satisfy those desires.

Over to you

In their announcement, Facebook says their work is “only 1 percent finished” so it feels like there are plenty more twists and turns ahead for the News Feed.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this update and how it may affect the way you use Facebook and the types of content your share? Please feel free to leave a comment below and I’m excited to continue the conversation with you. 

Longer Tweets Are Coming: All You Need to Know About Twitter’s 140 Character Update



Do you struggle a bit with Twitter? There are significant changes coming – I hope you enjoy this article on the changes that you likely already see and how to use them! 

Twitter is about to make a big change to the way tweets work.

From today, it’s reported that Twitter is cutting back on what types of content will use up its 140-character limit.

It’s expected that @names in replies, media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls) and quoted Tweets will no longer be counted against the valuable 140 characters that make up a tweet. This allows for richer public conversations that are easier to follow on Twitter and ensures people can attach media to tweets without sacrificing the characters they have to express themselves.

Twitter first announced this update back in May but didn’t quite confirm a date when these changes would reach Twitter’s 300m+ users. However, The Verge has now confirmed it’s expected these updates could be launched today (September 19th).

Editor’s note: At the time of publishing, these updates aren’t live. We’ll add a note here when they’re publicly available to all Twitter users 🙂

twitter-update

What’s changing? Full details on Twitter’s 140 character update

This update has been much anticipated by many Twitter users and on their blog, Twitter shared the full details of what’s changing:

Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count. This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward, no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group.
Media attachments: When you add attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote Tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your Tweet. More room for words!
Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: We’ll be enabling the Retweet button on your own Tweets, so you can easily Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself when you want to share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed.
Goodbye, .@: These changes will help simplify the rules around Tweets that start with a username. New Tweets that begin with a username will reach all your followers. (That means you’ll no longer have to use the ”.@” convention, which people currently use to broadcast Tweets broadly.) If you want a reply to be seen by all your followers, you will be able to Retweet it to signal that you intend for it to be viewed more broadly.

twitter_may24

How will ‘new’ tweets be displayed

The diagram below, shared by Twitter on their dev blog, shows the high-level change to Tweets:

tweet-structure

This diagram shows that when displayed to users, @mentions, URLs and media will all appear outside of the tweet itself, leaving a full 140 characters to play with when composing the text for your tweet.

Also, when a tweet is posted in reply to another account, the name will be displayed in a format similar to below graphic, giving the feel of a threaded conversation (when a Tweet is in reply to multiple people, the name of the person whom the author is directly replying to should be prioritized):

tweet-reply

5 Ways to Make Full Use of Twitter’s 140 Characters

1. Provide more context in replies

One huge benefit of this update is the fact that user @names will no longer count against your 140 characters. Now, whenever you start a tweet in reply to another user, you still have room to say everything you wanted to in your tweet, without having to consider the length of their Twitter handle.

This opens up more space to provide additional details that previously may have taken a couple of tweets. For example, if you’re responding to a customer service question, you could share your reply in 140 characters, but also add a GIF saying “Thanks for reaching out” or a screencast video to further explain how to fix their support issue.

2. Utilize visuals more often

Visuals are a great way to stand out on Twitter. Studies have shown that visual and media attachments on tweets are a big factor in boosting engagement and retweets. One study by Twitter found that photos average a 35% boost in Retweets and videos get a 28% boost:

However, until now, it’s been tricky to convey the message you’d like in your tweet text and also include a media attachment in 140 characters.

When these changes are rolled out, Twitter users will be able to utilize the full 140 characters to share their copy and still include media, without infringing on that limit. For marketers, this means more opportunity to include stunning visuals, videos, product demos, and more within our tweets. For customer support teams, it also provides the chance to share additional content such as screenshots and screencasts to help customers with their support tickets.

3. No more need for the .@ to begin tweets

These changes bring an end to a long-standing Twitter peculiarity where tweets that began with usernames were visible only to users who followed both the person tweeting and the person named. This lead to many users beginning conversations or tweets that mention other users with a ‘.’ before the @name, for example:

tweet

This quirk has always been a little confusing for some of Twitter’s users, both new and old. And Jack Dorsey hopes this change will help to make Twitter a bit easier to grasp: “Unfortunately those rules are hidden, and then they find out later,” Dorsey said to The Verge. “So then they have to learn this weird syntax that kind of looks janky. So we want to take that away first and foremost to remove some of the confusing aspects of the service.”

4. Quote yourself to share longer thoughts

It’s become fairly common to break up a tweet into a couple of sections to fully elaborate and share thoughts. However, with Twitter’s quote option, you can share two tweets that are intertwined and easy to follow – meaning users won’t have to scroll in the timeline of visit your profile to see the first part of your tweet. This gives you 280 characters to play with.

How does it work? Simply share your first tweet, and then quote that tweet and add the rest of your message in the 140 characters available to you in the second tweet.

5. Opportunity for better conversation

Twitter, at its heart, is all about conversation and connecting with others. One of the most important factors in this update is that we now have the opportunity for better conversation on the platform. With usernames not counting against character counts, we can fully embrace the 140 characters available to us to express ourselves.

Previously, having a conversation with two or more participants could become a little difficult as usernames could take up anywhere from 5-20+ characters, leaving little room to get your thoughts across.

In an interview about these changes and how they’ll benefit conversations on Twitter, Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, told The Verge:

“Generally, we want to make sure we’re encouraging a whole lot more conversations on Twitter. This is the most notable change we’ve made in recent times around conversation in particular, and around giving people the full expressiveness of the 140 characters. I’m excited to see even more dialog because of this.”

How this update affects Buffer

Here at Buffer, we’re keen to ensure everything works as it should when Twitter roll these changes out. The updates have a significant impact on tweets, and we’re working to have these changes in place when Twitter open these character count adjustments up to the public.

Over to you

It’s incredibly exciting to see these changes come to Twitter and I can’t wait to see how everyone begins to make the most of their 140 characters alongside all the great media-based content that’s shared on Twitter.

I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on these updates in the comments below: What are you most excited about? Will these changes affect how you use Twitter? I’d love to continue the conversation with you. 

Source: Longer Tweets Are Coming: All You Need to Know About Twitter’s 140 Character Update

9 Visual Tools to Create Awesome Social Media Images



Source: 9 Visual Tools to Create Awesome Social Media Images

social media toolsDo you want to create professional-grade social media visuals?

Are you looking for budget-friendly tools to help?

Visual content can increase your visibility on social media and support your branding.

In this article, you’ll discover nine free tools to help you create beautiful visual content for your social media profiles.

free professional social image tools

Discover nine free tools to create professional-grade social media images.

#1: Start With a High-Quality, Royalty-Free Image

There are now dozens of free image resources out there. Pexels and Unsplash both offer thousands of high-resolution images for free and without the need for attribution. Unsplash focuses more on landscapes, while Pexels focuses on business and technology collections.

With Pexels, you get access to a massive library of high-resolution images, which are perfect for a blog article, header, slide deck, or social media post. You can download and post any Pexels image for free.

pexels

Download a high-resolution image that’s a bit larger than you need and then crop and resize it in your photo editor.

Pexels is also a compilation site, so they collect free images from other free image providers. This makes it a great one-stop resource.

#2: Discover the Perfect Color Scheme

Adobe Color CC (formerly Adobe Kuler) is Adobe’s free color-scheme finder, which helps you determine complementary colors for your visual content. In other words, Adobe Color CC takes the guesswork out of picking colors.

adobe color cc

Adobe Color CC makes it easy to determine the best colors for your visual content.

To start, paste the hex code of a desired color into one of the five color boxes below the color wheel. Next, select Complementary or Triad from the Color Rule drop-down menu at the upper left to quickly find the colors that will look best with that color.

adobe color cc

Paste the hex code in one of the boxes below the color wheel.

Adobe Color CC also allows you to drop in an image and it will automatically identify its four primary colors. This helps with choosing font colors, contrasting overlays, and icons within your post.

#3: Take Advantage of Pre-made Icons

With Flaticon, you get free access to over 144,130 (and counting) PNG icons.

Looking for an email icon for a Facebook ad or Twitter image? You can choose from over 1,300 email icons and customize both color and size.

flaticon

Flaticon has more than 1,300 icons for “email” alone.

Looking to create an infographic, cartoony advertisement, or Twitter image? Choose from over 1,800 “Avatar” icons.

flaticon

Flaticon’s cartoon icon selection is among the largest free libraries on the web.

Flaticon’s library is most useful when you need to create a visual post dedicated to an upcoming webinar, podcast, conference, and so on.

#4: Reveal Optimal Contrasting Color

ColorZilla is a Google Chrome plugin that allows you to see the hex, RGB code, official name, and gradients for any color within a browser window. Use the Color Picker function to find the best contrasting color for a call-to-action button or to emulate a peer’s designs.

The tool automatically copies the hex code of any “picked” color to your clipboard, making your visual design more efficient.

colorzilla

The ColorZilla Chrome plugin makes copying and reusing colors simple.

Used in conjunction with Flaticon, you can quickly grab your “Brand Blue” and drop it into the color selector, ensuring you’re downloading an icon that’s the same color as your website logo.

#5: Find Perfect Font Combinations

Luckily, you don’t have to be an expert in fonts. With Femmebot, you can access 25 of the top font combinations from font experts and see how these combinations look with graphics and images, as well as formatting.

femmebot

Femmebot showcases 25 visually appealing font combinations.

Femmebot’s font recommendations are a great place to start with visual content. Once you get rolling, you’ll quickly find the font combinations that appeal to you (and your audience) the most.

#6: Put It All Together in a Visual Content Tool

Now that you have your visual tools, you need a platform to actually create the content; one that helps you create something that looks like it came from a professional graphic designer.

Below is a simple example of a great-looking social media post from Buffer.

social image example

A simple Twitter image from Buffer promoting #BufferChat.

Let’s see if we can’t recreate it using free visual content creation platforms: Canva, Google Drawings, and PicMonkey.

Get All of the Help You Need With Canva

Canva was built for creating visual social media content. As such, it’s a tool that gives you a great result fast. You get access to presized social media post templates with easy-to-edit preloaded text.

canva

You can easily download and share the visual content you create with Canva.

Canva has a lot going for it. It offers premade social media image templates, including layouts that make content creation fast and easy.

Note: Investing in Canva’s “Canva for Work” plan ($10/month paid annually) allows you to save your brand colors, logos, and fonts, resize your designs for cross-platform use, create branded templates, and share all of it among your team.

The free version, however, is more than enough for most small business and social media managers. Definitely test it out before diving into the paid version.

Start From Scratch With Google Drawings

Google Drawings is an often-overlooked visual content platform because it’s part of the larger Google Drive suite. Though the learning curve is steeper than other platforms, Google Drawings is actually one of the more powerful tools once you know what you’re doing.

You get access to 500+ fonts and powerful layering and formatting options. The Distribute and Align tools make it easy to create perfectly symmetrical and distributed graphics. The best part is that it’s free.

google drawings

The free Google Drawings is quite powerful.

Note: If you’re using Google Drawings for your social media visuals, you’ll have to set the page size manually. Below, you’ll find a quick social media sizing chart.

Facebook photo sizes:

  • Cover photo – 828 x 464
  • Profile photo – 360 x 360
  • Link image – 1200 x 628
  • Photo post – 940 x 788

Twitter photo sizes:

  • Header photo – 1500 x 500
  • Profile photo – 500 x 500
  • Tweeted photo – 1024 x 500+

Instagram photo sizes:

  • Profile photo – 180 x 180
  • Photo post – 1080 x 1080

Focus on Beautiful Images With PicMonkey

While PicMonkey is focused on image editing, it can also deliver a quality end result for social media visuals. There’s a substantial gap, however, between the free and paid versions.

picmonkey

PicMonkey’s visual content builder is focused on image editing.

PicMonkey allows you to easily match your font or border exactly to one of the colors within your background image. It’s also a powerful image editing tool. The overlay library of icons and images is extensive.

Fonts are limited in the free version and much of the power is reserved for the paid version, which is $4.99 per month.

Here’s an example of a Twitter post with a slightly different style than the one emulated before. This graphic was made using Flaticon, Google Drawings, Femmebot, and ColorZilla.

social image example

The most professional social posts incorporate multiple tools.

You’ll want to find the tools that align best with the visuals you’ll be creating. Canva is a good choice if you’re marketing on several platforms at once and need to create a lot of content. Google Drawing is great for more complicated graphics or if you have a lot of team involvement. PicMonkey is excellent for quote overlays and photo-dominated social media strategies.

Conclusion

Whether you’re working with videos, GIFs, infographics, slide decks, or posts, there’s no question that visual content is an essential part of any social media marketing plan. These free tools can help you boost brand awareness and engagement.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these visual tools? Which tools work best for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Tips on nine tools to create beautiful free social media visuals.

Tips on nine tools to create beautiful free social media visuals.

 

Top 6 Social Media Bad Habits (and How to Break Them)



shutterstock_136413251

Source: Top 6 Social Media Bad Habits (and How to Break Them)

You’re at a dinner party, sitting next to the only couple you hoped you wouldn’t be stuck beside. They’re the type to bring cheap wine to the party, but only drink the good stuff while there. They’ve cornered you in yet another boorish conversation that’s all about them and your eyes begin to gloss over.

Social media should not be like this dinner party.

Post too many boring, repetitive, or overly promotional messages and people will just unfollow your brand and scroll on. A good conversation requires both parties to listen, ask questions, and share equally—no matter where it happens.

We’ve applied this standard conversational etiquette to social media marketing, and have come up with the top six bad habits you should quit doing (and tips on how).

Social media bad habit No. 1: Conversational narcissism

The biggest bad habit out there is conversational narcissism. This is when people (or businesses) always seek to turn the conversation back to themselves. Mastering the art of conversations applies to both in-person conversations and those on social media. Too much self- or brand-promotion isn’t good practice for networking with others—and doesn’t offer incentive for others to want to listen to you. In short, it’s disengaging.

To counter this on social media, try asking your audience questions, participating in comment threads, sharing or weighing-in on industry trends, handing out useful tips and information, or engaging with your follower’s content. We posted about the social media rule of thirds a while back, and we still stand by sharing a combination of:

One-third social content that promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profit.
One-third social content that surfaces ideas and shares stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses.
One-third social content based on personal interactions and building your brand.

Social media bad habit No. 2: Taking a mile when they gave you an inch

Too much brand promotion, sales pitching, and blatant advertising on social can annoy your audience. Don’t drown them in social sales content with links to buy this or try that (or Retweet and like this!). If you must sell your products and services on social media, offer your audience something in return—and always mix it up with useful content.

Try encouraging your audience to create content for you. For example, if you have a clothing brand, why not launch a photo contest that entices your community to capture creative photos with your products? User-generated content helps soften the blow of hard sales, but still gets your business’ products and services out there, while leveraging fans to market for you. Build a symbiotic and engaging relationship with your audience—if you scratch their back, they’ll scratch yours, so to speak.

Social media bad habit No. 3: Always the talker, never the listener

A good conversation is never one sided, but when it comes to social media, many seem to forget this. When all you do is post, you can’t hear if your audience responds. So many businesses share content and ask for likes on the regular, but go silent when someone asks a question or sparks a conversation.

There are many great listening tools out there (obviously, we recommend Hootsuite), that help you easily see all conversations around your brand and give you the opportunity to like or respond to posts from your audience. Try combining your listening efforts with analytics to understand what your audience cares about and join those conversations. Share content posted from your communities and like what they’ve put forth. Listening is a good look for your brand—and could set you apart from your competitors.

Social media bad habit No. 4: Canned responses

Social media came from the need to strengthen personal, human connections online. Yet so many businesses and brands give automated, robotic responses. Your loyal fans and followers took the time to find you, reach out, and make a connection. Next time you hit copy and paste in your compose message box, ask yourself: ‘does this response reflect the personality of my business?’

Remember that every social network attracts a different audience and has its own type of content that resonates most with that audience—and canned responses have no place anywhere. Create an individual engagement plan for each network and audience. Put brand guidelines in place to help answer any questions you may have on tone of voice, personality, humor, content type, and compliance (for regulated businesses). Just remember: canned responses are for robots.

Social media bad habit No. 5: Spamming

Trust is huge on social media—break it and people will retaliate by reporting and blocking you. There’s a wide spectrum of social media spam out there. From least severe to most, here’s a handful of offenses that you want to avoid:

Misusing hashtags
Serial posting
Posting the same content over and over again
Click-baiting your audience (enticing people to click a link, but not delivering)
Promoting your product and services in inappropriate groups, channels, threads, etc.
Spamming comment threads
Fraudulent reviews
Creating fake accounts
Hacking into social media accounts

One of the less severe offenses, serial posting, is often a result of overcompensating for lack of consistent posting. Try creating a content calendar, where you plan out what to post, when, and schedule it ahead-of-time. This will also help you avoid big gaps in posting.

Hashtag misuse may seem silly, but there’s nothing worse than jumping on a sensitive hashtag only to promote yourself (cue the PR nightmare). Do some research on what hashtags work for you before posting them. Only jump on trending hashtags and keywords if you know exactly why they’re trending and it makes absolute sense for your brand.

Social media bad habit No. 6: Feeding the trolls

There’s nothing more cringe-worthy than seeing a social media manager desperately trying to protect his or her brand—or rationality behind sharing something—in the midst of a social media crisis.

If you find yourself under sudden hellfire on social media for sharing the wrong hashtag or posting something you shouldn’t have, here are a few words to live by: always let people say their piece, do not interrupt, and never, never delete the evidence (cue screenshots and the further wrath of the internet). If you plan to respond, focus on acknowledging the mistake and putting out an authentic apology. For more tips on how to come back from a social media fail, check out our blog post on the subject.

That wraps up our top social media bad habits. Just remember that social media is like a great conversation, so always listen, share equally, ask questions, be engaging and trustworthy, and back off if the conversation goes sideways.

 

The post Top 6 Social Media Bad Habits (and How to Break Them) appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

Facebook Instant Articles: What They Are, How They Work and 5 Things You Need to Know



Many people are seeing Instant Articles as the Facebook version of blog posts.  Many are  very excited about this addition to the Facebook group of functionality. Let me know what you think!

Source: Facebook Instant Articles: What They Are, How They Work and 5 Things You Need to Know

Facebook have opened up Instant Articles to publishers of all sizes. In this post, we’ll guide you through the ins and outs of Facebook’s publishing platform and how to get started.

The announcement that Instant Articles were being opened up to all publishers came in February 2016, and they were officially opened for all on April 12, at Facebook’s F8 conference.

A Facebook-native publishing platform has been rumored since the social network changed its News Feed algorithm to favor “quality content” in 2013. Since that update, Facebook has become one of the top referrers of traffic to news sites and blogs of all sizes, and in the summer of 2015, traffic analytics company Parsely revealed that Facebook had even overtaken Google as the number 1 referrer of traffic to news sites.

Before launch over 1,000 publishers were testing the platform and as its rolled out to everyone we’re excited to learn:

How can you get started?
How they work?
How much engagement do they receive?

In this post, I’m happy to cover the ins and outs of Facebook Instant Articles and how to set them up for your blog. Here we go!

pablo (47)

First off: What are Instant Articles?

Instant Articles were built to solve a particular problem—slow loading times on the mobile web.

FB-Instant

The Facebook-native publishing platform includes a whole host of interactive features that help stories come to life on mobile, including auto-play video and tap-to-zoom image galleries.

Josh Roberts, Product Manager at Facebook explained more about the format in a post on the Facebook blog:

Facebook’s goal is to connect people to the stories, posts, videos or photos that matter most to them. Opening up Instant Articles will allow any publisher to tell great stories, that load quickly, to people all over the world. With Instant Articles, they can do this while retaining control over the experience, their ads and their data.

The platform has been in testing with selected partners since May 2015, and the data so far feels encouraging:

Instant Articles received 20% more clicks than mobile web articles from the News Feed
Once someone clicks on an Instant Article, they’re 70% less likely to abandon the article before reading
They are shared 30% more than mobile web articles on average

ia-infographic-final_1xFacebook also discovered that people on slower connections read 20-40% more Instant Articles than mobile web articles on average.

How to create Instant Articles

Step 1: Sign up

The first thing you need to do to get up and running is sign up to join the program. You can do this at instantarticles.fb.com.

Note: To begin publishing, you must have an existing Facebook Page and have Admin or Editor role on the Page.

IA-home

Step 2: Choose your Facebook Page

After signing up you’ll be given the chance to choose which Page you’d like to activate articles for:

choose-page

Step 3: Claim your URL

Once you’ve selected your Facebook Page, you’ll be asked to provide a URL you intend to use for articles. This URL will serve as the basis for the URLs of all your posts (and, in most cases, will be your blog URL, for example, blog.bufferapp.com).

To claim your URL you need to add a meta tag to your HTML’s tag and then add the URL to your settings. All the infotmation you need to do this can be found in the Instant Articles Settings:claim-url

Step 4: Create articles

In testing, Facebook discovered that publishers want a single tool to publish articles to the web, mobile apps, or any other places readers see their content. As such, articles can be published directly from your Content Management System — there’s no need to re-create articles within Facebook.

You can sync your blog with Instant Articles via Facebook’s publishing tools, an RSS feed or by using an API. Here’s a quick rundown of the options available:

Connecting with WordPress

If you use WordPress to power your blog, Facebook has created a plugin to streamline the process of creating Instant Articles. This is likely to be the quickest and easiest way to get set up with Instant Articles.

➤ For a step-by-step guide on connecting your blog using the WordPress plugin check out this article

Publishing tools

Alongside the WordPress plugin, Facebook has teamed up with many publishing platforms to create seamless integration with Instant Articles.

Publishing Tools includes integrations with:

Drupal, Atavist, Medium, Perk Distributed, RebelMouse, ShareThis, Sovrn, Steller, Tempest. Find the full details here.

RSS feed

If you aren’t using WordPress or another CMS supported by Facebook Publishing Tools, you can connect your content to Facebook through an RSS feed.

An RSS feed can integrate seamlessly with Facebook with new posts being automatically syndicated as Instant Articles whenever you hit publish.

To enable publishing from an RSS feed, you must configure your content management system to generate a new RSS feed which contains the full content of each article in Instant Articles markup (you may need a developer to help with formatting the feed). 

➤ A guide to formatting RSS feeds in Instant Articles markup can be found here.

API

The API allows you to create, publish, update and delete Instant Articles directly from your content management system and provides an excellent alternative to connecting via RSS.

➤ A guide to using the Instant Articles API can be found here.

Step 5: Customize styling

Facebook gives you the option to customize the styling of your articles during setup; here you can upload a logo and select which fonts are used throughout your articles. Font choices are currently limited to the Helvetica Neue and Georgia font families.

styling

Step 6: Submit for review

After you’ve completed the above steps you can submit your feed to be reviewed by Facebook to verify that all articles generated from your website are properly formatted.

Facebook currently aims to review all submissions with 24-48 hours.

Useful resources:

➤ Instant Articles developer docs

Instant Articles blog

How to connect your WordPress blog with Instant Articles

5 things you need to know about Instant Articles

1. You can monetize Instant Articles

Publishers can drive revenue from their content. If you sell the ads in your content, Facebook is giving publishers 100% of the revenue and is taking 30% cut if the ads are sold through the Facebook’s Audience Network.

Facebook’s Audience Network offers publishers the opportunity to leverage the power of Facebook ads to monetize their content, and when you get started with Instant Articles you have the opportunity to opt-in to Audience Network ads:

audience-network

If you sell your own ads, you’re able to serve video ads, animated ads and banner ads within articles. More information on integrating your ads can be found in the Facebook Developer Docs.

2. Building an Instant Article doesn’t create a post from your Page

When you publish an Instant Article, it doesn’t automatically create a corresponding Facebook post from your page. What happens is that any time a reader on a mobile device is directed to the article’s URL on Facebook, the link will be displayed as an Instant Article, instead of loading up in a mobile browser.

3. Quicker loading speeds can increase readership

Load speed is incredibly important for any blog, and Instant Articles can load up to 10x faster than mobile web articles. As mentioned a little earlier, the super-fast load speed or instant articles leads to 70% less abandonment and 20% more clicks.

The average attention span is down to just eight seconds online, which means faster loading times are a huge advantage when readers are eager to access content in an instant.

4. You’re in control of which posts are published

Once you get set up with Instant Articles, you’re 100% in control of which articles you share to Facebook. This means you can republish every article from your blog, or just a select few – as more data becomes available it’ll be interesting to keep an eye on strategies here and see what performs best.

You can control which articles you publish to Facebook from your Library. To view your library, click Publishing Tools from the top of your Facebook Page and then select Instant Articles from the menu on the left of the screen.

The Instant Articles library looks like this:

instant-articles-library

From here you can edit articles and choose which of your drafts to publish.

5. You can add email sign up forms to articles

email

Email capture is a vital part of many content marketing strategies, and losing out on potential subscribers is a fear that Facebook have addressed by enabling email capture within articles.

“One of the other things we heard is that publishers want to build a more direct relationship with their readers through Instant Articles, and one way to do that is through more regular contact with those readers.” Facebook said in a statement.

Over to you

As with any publishing platform, the value of Facebook Instant Articles greatly depends on your business model and goals.

At Buffer, we’re excited to test out the platform and see whether articles can increase the reach of our content and also our conversions. Traffic from Facebook is one of our highest converting sources, and I’m curious how Instant Articles may affect conversions going forwards. We’ll be sure to keep you posted. :)

As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear your views on Instant Articles and whether you’ll be using them for your business or blog? 

The post Facebook Instant Articles: What They Are, How They Work and 5 Things You Need to Know appeared first on Social.

6 Tips to Increase Your Social Media Shares



Source: 6 Tips to Increase Your Social Media Shares

social media how toDo you want more people to share your content?

Looking for more reach via social shares?

By making a few adjustments to how you create, publish, and post your content, you can increase the likelihood that others will share it more often.

In this article, you’ll discover six tips to help you maximize your social shares.

maximize social content shares

Discover six tips to increase social media content shares.

#1: Research Trending Topics

It pays to do your research ahead of time. Having a better understanding of what successful content looks like in your industry increases the likelihood of it being shared.

Use a tool like BuzzSumo to help identify top shared content.

buzzsumo search

Identify top shared content quickly with BuzzSumo.

You can search for top shared content pertaining to a topic or keyword, results sorted by overall shares.

buzzsumo search results

Use keywords or topics to search for top shared content.

Alternatively, you can search by domain to view top shared content specific to a website.

buzzsumo domain search

You can also search by specific website.

You get a comprehensive breakdown of shares per social network, which helps you decide where to focus your efforts.

buzzsumo shares by network

Search by shares per social network.

PostReach is another great tool to measure content performance across each social network. Simply enter an article’s URL in PostReach and run a free report.

In addition, you can also run a total share breakdown report.

post reach share breakdown

Share breakdown by network.

For further exploration, you can view detailed Twitter share activity.

post reach twitter share

Twitter’s performance measured in total shares, tweets, retweets, and total reach.

You can plot Twitter activity across a share timeline.

post reach share timeline

A timeline helps you identify how well content did over a period of time.

You can also see which users most retweeted the article and view your overall reach through sharer audience sizes.

post reach sharer audience sizes

See which users retweeted your content most.

Finally, you can zero in on specific sharers and potential influencers with a detailed inventory of sharers provided at the bottom of the report.

post reach sharers

Zero in on specific users and influencers.

Keep in mind, the purpose of this research is not to duplicate existing content, but rather to identify popular topics in your niche and add something new to the conversation.

Make it your goal to go above and beyond top shared content.

#2: Make Sharing Easy for Blog Visitors

Your audience is more likely to share content when it takes minimal effort. If your website already receives regular traffic, take advantage of the potential social shares by designing your most popular content for easy sharing.

An effective approach is to implement social buttons on your website. If you operate a WordPress site, there’s plenty of useful plugins for one-click sharing buttons, including Social Pug.

social pug

Social Pug features easy-to-use social sharing buttons for WordPress.

The way your content reads can also encourage social engagement.

Have a great tip to share in an article? Post a share button directly below your article, as demonstrated by Brian Dean of Backlinko.

backlinko social buttons

Have a tip? Put a share button directly below it.

You can create a unique call to action using ClickToTweet. To start, enter your desired text in the text box and click Generate New Link. Make sure it includes a link back to your post.

clicktotweet

ClickToTweet will track all clicks on the link.

You can embed the code in the appropriate part of your content.

clicktotweet embed code

Embedding these buttons ensures your best content is actionable.

#3: Provide Context in Headlines

There’s a strong chance your content is being snubbed if your headline fails to grab people. It becomes increasingly important to hook your audience with a headline, as online attention spans continue to dwindle.

Social audiences tend to favor snackable content; bite-sized pieces that quickly convey their intent. BuzzFeed articles are essentially engineered to take advantage of this trend: easily consumed and shared. They further entice the audience to read the content by addressing them individually. For example, you’ll encounter dozens of instances of you and your throughout.

What else goes into a headline worth clicking? Conductor analyzed user preferences and found that users tend to gravitate towards numbers, personalization, educational resources, and questions. When shared, a well-crafted headline functions like a status update, in that it will summarize the user’s opinion or awareness of a subject.

Want your best content to receive more shares across social networks? Start thinking about your headlines in a social context.

#4: Capitalize on Visual Interest

Attach images to your posts to help them stand out and benefit your social efforts.

twitter timeline

Photos increase social engagement.

Invest resources in quality images to maximize post visibility. Some stock photo sources are free to use, provided you meet the terms of their licensing agreement.

While stock photos provide an option, you may prefer to create custom images that better showcase your brand. Don’t have a graphic designer on hand? Use tools like Canva to create images to accompany your post. You can choose from premade templates that can easily be customized with text. It’s perfect for adding taglines that complement your attention-grabbing headlines.

You can begin by signing up for a free account. After logging in, click on Create a Design and choose a design. The Social Media Posts section may be a good place to start.

canva create design

Using Canva is great if you don’t have a graphic designer on staff.

Many of the templates are free. Select a template to start work on a custom image.

canva free templates

Canva offers several free templates.

Next, click the text to edit.

canva edit text

In the templates, the text is editable.

It’s easy to craft something that complements your headline whenever possible.

canva tag line

Crafting text that supports your headlines will help promote more shareable content.

#5: Prioritize Your Social Outreach by Network

Audiences vary greatly across social networks and accounting for their unique demographics helps you prioritize those relevant to your business.

  • Facebook has the largest total user base. Users are more likely to share content that affects them personally because their networks typically consist of friends and family.
  • Twitter has the second-largest user base and skews younger. It primarily functions as a news source and a real-time conversation hub for trending topics.
  • LinkedIn consists of working adults and industry professionals seeking networking opportunities. It’s the ideal network to demonstrate thought leadership and provide detailed product information.
  • Pinterest has a large female user base with traffic predominantly attributed to mobile devices. It remains a popular source for more “consumable” shares, including recipes and crafting guides.
  • Google+ still remains active and is considered a hub for tech-savvy individuals, such as frontline developers.

#6: Post During Peak User Hours

Want to give yourself the best chance possible for social shares and engagement? There’s a certain window of time you’ll want to target. Posting during peak hours greatly enhances your ability to attract shares and other meaningful engagement.

hourglass image shutterstock 308536664

Know when your followers are online. Image: Shutterstock.

According to HubSpot research, the ideal windows of engagement are as follows:

  • Post on Facebook on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 1:00 PM, or between 3:00 and 4:00 PM on Wednesdays or 1:00 and 4:00 PM on Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Twitter is typically used at work and at home, but mostly during downtimes like long commutes and breaks. Post to Twitter from 12:00 to 3:00 PM Monday through Friday. Also possibly 5:00 to 6:00 PM on Wednesdays.
  • Professionals use LinkedIn, most often during work hours, but not all day. Post to LinkedIn early in the day (7:30 to 8:30 AM), or lunchtime (12:00 PM), and finally near the end of the day (5:00 to 6:00 PM) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
  • Pinterest skews to female users, who are most active in the evening. Post new content to Pinterest between 2:00 and 4:00 AM and evening hours every day. Also, Fridays around 5:00 PM. Finally, the best time to post to Pinterest is Saturdays between 8:00 and 11:00 PM.

It’s important to note that there’s no universal posting window or one-size-fits-all approach. Engagement is shaped by many factors, including social network, region, goals (clicks vs. shares), and how audiences interact with the social network overall. You’ll ultimately want to experiment with your own content to find out what works best for your business.

Conclusion

Winning more social shares for your content means winning over audiences.

You’ll need to put in the effort to create the type of content people want to share. With great material in place, you can leverage creative opportunities to promote it and generate more exposure.

Time to get to work!

What do you think? Can you use these tools to drive more social shares? Please let us know in the comments below!

Hourglass photo from Shutterstock.
Tips on six ways to increase the shares on your social media content.

Tips on six ways to increase the shares on your social media content.

 

26 Tips to Improve Your Pinterest Marketing



Let’s turn to Social Media Examiner again for their thoughts on Pinterest Marketing. If you feel your audience hangs out on Pinterest, have a look through this impressive collection of tips.

Source: 26 Tips to Improve Your Pinterest Marketing

social media how toCould your Pinterest marketing use a jumpstart?

Are you curious about what’s working for other businesses?

Tweaking techniques that have been successful for others can help you drive traffic, connect with your target audience, and increase sales.

In this article, you’ll discover 26 tips to improve your Pinterest marketing.

pinterest marketing techniques

Discover 26 tips you can use to improve your Pinterest marketing.

#1: Share Pin It for Later Links

The Pin It button encourages users to pin content from your site onto their own boards. Engagement is captured even when users aren’t on the platform. The same idea holds true for Pin It for Later links.

You can post Pin It for Later links, along with the prompt “Pin it for Later” across social media.

pinterest save it for later example

Pin It for Later links can drive traffic to your content on and off of Pinterest.

To create a Pin It for Later link, attach the URL of the pin you want users to save, add it to a post on social media after explaining what it is, and attach it to the phrase “Pin it for later!”

This is a great way to drive traffic to Pinterest and build up repins.

#2: Add 20-30 Keywords in Promoted Pins

Keywords are the most important targeting feature you can use with promoted pins. Pinterest recommends that you use 20-30 keywords per promoted pin. That’s just enough to get you noticed, but not so many that you’re showing your content to the wrong people.

Using a large number of keywords can help you cover all of the broad, specific, short, and long keywords you need. You’ll show up better in searches when users are looking for content like yours, and it helps ensure that your pin is placed in the right category.

promoted pins keywords

Using 20-30 keywords per promoted pin better enables you to find and connect with the right audience.

These keywords won’t show up on promoted pins; they work instead like targeting criteria, matching your content with the people looking for it.

Think outside the box. Dollar Shave, for example, recently promoted their razors for Father’s Day gifts, and attached a Father’s Day keyword even though it’s not a direct description of the product.

#3: Feature Multiple Products in Single Pins

Featuring multiple products in your pins can help them to get more engagement. This tactic can add value to a single pin for two reasons: first, you show users how many amazing things you have to offer; and second, you have a better chance of appealing to more users by featuring more options.

multiple products in pinterest pin

This pin features three different meals appealing to three different taste palates and shows the diversity of the product they’re selling.

You can feature multiple complementary products (like an assembled outfit from your collection) or show multiple uses for a single product (like six types of crafts that use mason jars). Not only does this increase the chance of appealing to more users, but it can also lead to larger sales.

#4: Capitalize on Image Height

Pinterest’s pages are full of vibrant, high-quality, colorful images. So how do you make yours stand out? Image size (or image dimension) matters a great deal. While Pinterest automatically scales all images you upload to match the exact width, you choose the height of your images.

pinterest pin image sizes

Images with width to height ratios of 2:3 and 1.3:5 can increase clicks and engagement.

Vertical pins (pins that appear taller) perform better on Pinterest. It’s recommended that you use image dimensions from about 2:3 and 1.3:5 (with the minimum recommended width being 600 pixels).

Note: While you can design pins with the extended dimensions 1.2:8, pins that reach the maximum height don’t perform quite as well.

#5: Include Text Overlay on Images

While descriptions matter, images reign supreme on Pinterest. However, visuals still need a little help sometimes. To catch the attention of users scrolling quickly through feeds, add text overlay directly onto your images to make them stand out and explain why your pin and the content behind it are so valuable.

pinterest pin text in image

Text can explain ambiguous images or let you describe why your pin is so valuable to users.

In most cases, text shouldn’t make up the majority of the pin. It can, however, be helpful to show off step-by-step tutorials, listicles, or a few words telling pinners what the pin is.

Keep the text simple, the phrases short, and all of it easy to read. Bold text can make the description stand out. Plus, make sure the text is strongly contrasting in color from the rest of the image.

#6: Choose Light Over Dark Images

Aside from image dimension and text overlay, the colors in the images we choose are vital for engagement and number of clicks. Research shows that lighter-colored images are consistently repinned more than darker images. Warm colors (reds) are also more likely to be repinned than images with predominantly blue tints, getting an average of twice as many pins.

pinterest pin with light colors

Images with lighter colors are repinned more than those with darker colors, though color contrast can increase visibility.

In addition, if you’re looking for fast attention from your pins, use strongly contrasting colors to draw the eye straight to your content. Just make sure the dominant color is light as much as possible.

#7: Feature Step-by-Step Tutorials

DIY, or do it yourself, content is a staple of the platform. Even though most of us are never quite able to replicate the stunning results we often see there, that doesn’t stop us from trying.

Images that actually show step-by-step tutorials often get a high amount of engagement and clicks on Pinterest.

pinterest pin tutorial

Images with step-by-step tutorials immediately showcase the value they offer pinners.

Use step-by-step tutorials within an image to show users that you actually have content to share with them. When the value is up front in the initial image, you’ll increase the likelihood of users repinning the pin to share or save for themselves later.

It can also help make the tutorial look easy, giving users an “I can do that” feeling that motivates them to save it and maybe even try it out later on.

#8: Create 150-300 Words Descriptions

While the image remains the most important part of a pin, the description still holds its own weight. Descriptions give more information about what the pin is, which will help convince users to click and show them the value of doing so. It’s also an opportunity to add in your desired searchable keywords.

Using between 150-300 words seems to be the sweet spot for Pinterest descriptions.

pinterest pin description

The ideal length of your descriptions may depend on your audience and the type of content you’re trying to promote.

The audience you’re trying to reach and the type of content you’re trying to promote will affect your optimal description length. Test the length of the descriptions you use on your pins and see what resonates for your audience.

It seems like no matter what field you’re in, in the majority of cases you don’t want more than 350 words.

#9: Include Links in Pin and Board Descriptions

This is a simple but effective trick. Adding a link to your pin and/or board descriptions can increase clicks to your site, because users can click on the pin to actually travel to your site. It can also show users where they’re going without clicking on the pin to view it or leaving Pinterest.

You should keep the link as short as possible.

As well as adding links to your descriptions on pins and boards, make sure you always include a link to your website on your main profile page. It’s important to remember because this can send more traffic to your main site.

pinterest board description

Adding links to some of your pins and boards is important, but your profile link is the most important.

#10: Use Calls to Action in Pin Descriptions

Calls to action (or CTAs) are just as important on Pinterest as they are on every other platform. Adding CTAs in your pin description encourages users to take a desired action.

Popular examples of CTAs that often work well include: Repin, Learn More, Enter Our Sweepstakes, and Buy Now.

pinterest pin with cta

While you can prompt users to repin with a CTA, you can also encourage them to take actions off of Pinterest, too.

In the example above, the CTA “bid to win” encourages users to take part in a charitable auction. Telling users exactly what you want them to do, whether on Pinterest or once they get to your site, will give users a specific mission to complete and increases the likelihood that they’ll do so.

CTAs should always be brief, clear, and to the point. This is especially true on Pinterest.

#11: Share Price Points in Your Descriptions

Price tags can quickly grab the attention of a user scrolling by. If you’re promoting a product and trying to sell it, always add a price tag to your description.

Seeing the price of your product can put customers one step closer to considering a purchase. It suddenly feels more like shopping online than browsing a Pinterest feed. While a price tag alone doesn’t have all of the benefits of a full-blown Buyable Pin, it acts as a signal to pinners that it’s for sale and it’s waiting for them.

pinterest pin with price

Adding a price tag to the description on your pins can increase clicks and sales.

Without Buyable Pins, you can add text in the description of a regular pin. Alternatively, you could use rich pins, which are discussed later on. If you’re interested in setting up rich pins for your products now (and don’t want to wait for tip #15), check out the guide on how to set them up.

#12: Pin Consistently and Often

Like most marketing efforts, an important factor in success is the amount of content that you post. And again like all marketing efforts, the key question is how often.

For businesses, a good start is to pin about five times a day. Space these five pins out across the day, and make sure you pin in the afternoon and evening, as those are the best times for pin engagement.

pinterest following

You want to post pins frequently to continue to build followers and engagement, as PetSmart does here.

Spacing out your pins gives you a better chance of reaching more audience members.

#13: Schedule Pins

While you want to pin often, you also want those pins to be spaced out throughout the day. Trying to post multiple times a day, every day, can be exhausting unless you have a scheduling tool.

Unfortunately, Pinterest doesn’t have any features that allow scheduling in advance (at least not yet). Fortunately, there are several third-party tools available to help you.

viraltag schedule

Scheduling tools like Viraltag save you a ton of time and effort by allowing you to schedule pins ahead of time.

Viraltag makes uploading and scheduling pins easy. Use Viraltag to schedule what day and time you want your pins to be uploaded. Viraltag also has some unbelievably useful and smart features.

Scheduling your pins can keep your content on track and consistent.

#14: Explore Pinterest’s Analytics

The analytics and data we have about our content marketing or social media marketing efforts is important. You can find out who your audience is, who you’re missing, and what content is performing well (and what isn’t). Having this data can help us improve our results over time.

Pinterest has an analytics platform available for those with business profiles, which lets you see information about pin performance and general audience.

pinterest analytics

Pinterest’s analytics can give you a basic idea of what’s happening with your pins.

That said, some marketers and businesses want even more detail. Use a tool like Quintly to get access to more analytics features than Pinterest currently has. You can see an analysis of pin or media type distribution, find out the average price of your products, track follower growth, and more.

Plans start at $129 a month, and it includes other platforms, too.

quintly

Some third-party analytics tools for Pinterest offer additional features or enhanced analytics capabilities.

#15: Take Advantage of Rich Pins

Rich pins are a great feature that you can use to make your pins more dynamic. Only business accounts can use rich pins, and you need to set up rich pins separately and link them to your site.

Types of rich pins include app, place, article, product, and recipe pins. Article pins, for example, will display the title of the article, its publisher, the publication date, and the author.

pinterest rich pin

Rich pins can automatically provide additional information on the pin itself.

Product pins in particular can help boost sales by providing product and price information, including product availability and where to buy it.

To use rich pins, you’ll need to add some metadata to your site, validate your site, and then apply for rich pins. You only have to apply once per domain.

You can see how to apply for rich pins here.

#16: Reach Local Visitors With Place Pins

For local businesses, place pins have their purpose in marketing. Businesses looking to increase visits from destination travelers can also benefit from place pins.

pinterest place pin

Place pins provide valuable information about your location, including a map of where you are, a phone number, and an address.

Place pins are a type of rich pin, and include a map of where your business is, an address, and a phone number in the description (if you choose to add them). It shows users exactly where a place is located, and can even be added to the users’ saved places.

With place pins, users can also discover you if they’re checking out a nearby place pin. This feature alone is worth adding place pins to your content when possible.

#17: Collaborate With Influencers on Guest Boards

Did you know that you can open a board to one (or more) specific pinners and allow them to pin to the board with you? This happens often when you create a guest board for your business and invite an influencer to pin to it.

Brands like Etsy and Lowe’s frequently have guest boards created by experts.

pinterest guest board

Guest boards can be a mutually beneficial endeavor for both the brand and the guest pinner.

Guest boards offer an array of benefits, including bringing a new perspective and new content to your site, and adding the authority and expertise of the influencer. It also helps content from your boards to show up in the feeds of the followers of the influencer, which connects you with new members of a target audience.

#18: Tag Influencers in Relevant Pins

Influencers matter on Pinterest just as much as they do elsewhere, and you don’t even need a guest board to interact with them. To get their attention, try tagging an influencer in a pin.

pinterest tag influencer

Tagging influencers in relevant pins can build powerful relationships that can increase engagement and repins.

Share content from different influencers to help build rapport and make sure you have a good reason to tag them in your pin. Note: Tagging influencers when the content isn’t directly tied to them comes across as spam.

Pinning content to your board from different influencers is a good practice, as pinners like to see content that comes from multiple places instead of pure self-promotion. If the influencers reciprocate, they could be sending a huge amount of traffic and repins your way.

#19: Focus on Product Uses

This is one of the biggest mistakes marketers and businesses new to Pinterest make: they focus only on what the product is instead of how it can be used. Pinterest’s audience is much more interested in the use cases of a product, or how it fits into their lifestyle.

You’ll have much better results if you design your pin so users can picture themselves using your product.

pinterest show product

This pin shows a recipe the product can be used in, instead of just showing a picture of the product alone.

Your content will likely perform best if you can demonstrate different use cases in the pin image, instead of just an image of just the product. If you’re selling artisan furniture, show how it fits into the whole room. If you sell sports equipment, show the yoga mat and the silhouette of a yogi out on a mountain or in a studio.

The more people can picture themselves using the product (especially if you can highlight multiple uses, like “Six exercises for your balance ball!”), the more likely they’ll respond.

#20: Put Keywords Everywhere

Keywords are just as important on Pinterest as they are on Google. When people use the search engine, keywords determine what pops up.

Since users can search for pins, boards, and pinners by keywords, you need to put keywords everywhere you can. Every possible description that’s open to you should have at least one keyword on it. Include keywords in the descriptions on your pins, your boards, and even your profile.

pinterest keywords in description

This pin’s entire description is made up of different combinations of keywords, making it easier to locate via Pinterest’s search engine.

Using more than one keyword in a description when possible can increase the likelihood of your pin connecting with the right audience through the search feature. Keep that in mind and use keywords wherever you can without overdoing it.

Note: Adding keywords to the ALT text on your images off of Pinterest can also increase visibility.

#21: Research Related Keywords

Knowing what keywords you want to use in your regular pins and boards can be difficult, but promoted pins can give you some insight. When you add a keyword to your promoted pins (and again, you never have to run the campaign if you don’t want to), you’ll see a list of relevant related keywords that you can choose from.

Pinterest also automatically provides a few keywords to choose from before you even search, based on the pin you’re promoting.

pinterest research keywords

Even if you don’t run the campaign, you can use the promoted pin system to research keywords.

You can add these keywords to the descriptions of regular pins. If you have some similar pins, using combinations of different keywords can increase your overall audience by making all of your pins more diverse.

#22: Use Broad and Specific Keywords

This tip is applicable for regular pins, but is most important for promoted pins. With regular pins, you can add keywords into a description. While you can add multiple invisible keywords to promoted pins, those keywords never even show up in the descriptions. Though invisible, these keywords for promoted pins will help your target audience find you and vice versa, especially through searches.

pinterest add invisible keywords

This banana split cake recipe from Kraft popped up in the search for “Easter Recipes” even though the keyword isn’t visible in the text. We can assume they had the keyword attached in the promoted pins keyword, instead.

Choosing a combination of keyword types is important. You can reach your audience more consistently if you use both broad and specific (and short- and long-tail) keywords.

Pinterest is largely about discovery, but you still want people to be able to find you if they’re specifically looking for you.

#23: Frequently Update Promoted Pin Campaigns

Like with many social media ad platforms, you don’t want to run one campaign forever, even if it’s working now. Over time, your ad will reach its peak amount of engagement and clicks, and your campaign will stagnate, which makes updating your promoted pin campaigns even more important.

pinterest promoted pin

Updating your promoted pin campaigns is important, even if you have to do so before it’s even over.

Change up the image, pin, description, and even keywords you’re using in your promoted pins every few weeks. This can keep engagement up and allow you to connect to or attract new members of your target audience.

Plus, if you notice that one campaign has underwhelming results, you can stop it or update it while it’s running.

#24: Track Your Traffic With Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of the most important tools marketers and ecommerce businesses have, regardless of what type of marketing you focus on.

While the promoted pins system tracks conversions, using Google Analytics to track traffic sent to you by both promoted and regular pins can help you see how users are coming to and moving through your site.

This is especially true since regular pins don’t have conversion tracking information (you can just see how many clicks you got).

track pinterest with google analytics

Tracking traffic with Google Analytics gives you a more accurate idea of who’s coming to your site and how long they’re staying.

Use Google Analytics to find out how many users Pinterest is sending to your site each month, and get you an overview of how users move from page to page in your site. You can identify drop-off points and get an idea about how to get more results from the traffic you get to your site from Pinterest.

#25: Let Your Followers Guide Your Content

Unlike Facebook, you can view the profiles of the users who follow you on Pinterest. From Pinterest profiles, you can get a basic idea of your followers’ interests, potential demographics, frequency of activity on Pinterest (including their pins and likes), and most importantly, what other types of content they’re pinning.

pinterest follower profiles

You can locate your followers from your profile page and click on their profiles to see the content they pin.

While it will be difficult to evaluate all of your followers and their content, even getting a snapshot of information from a variety of your followers can give you ideas for the other types of content performing well with your audience.

If your followers pin a lot of DIY content, you can add more to your board. If they share interests, you can create content that appeals to your followers’ interests. If, for example, Sherwin Williams paint store noticed that a large number of their followers also had pins from the category Kids & Parenting, they could have a board with DIY kids’ projects, nursery color schemes, and kid room ideas.

#26: Run a Pinterest Contest

For those looking to boost engagement, number of followers, and new leads off-platform, Pinterest contests are a fantastic marketing tool. When you run a Pin It to Win It contest, for example, you ask users to repin from a selection of pins (though you can’t ask them to repin just the image).

This often results in having a variety of your content being pinned by different users, which can then be saved and repinned organically by other users who come across it.

pinterest contest example

Stating the date the giveaway ends can prevent the contest pin from continuing to cycle on the platform indefinitely.

Because pins can be reposted indefinitely, it’s always a good idea to add a note about the end date for the contest on the pin, particularly in the image when possible. Doing this ensures that users don’t continue to keep contest pins cycling.

Conclusion

There’s a variety of tips and techniques that you can use to get better results when marketing on Pinterest. Whether you’re looking to optimize your pins’ images so they stand out in searches or focus on using Pinterest’s features to connect and engage with your audience, these 26 tips for Pinterest marketing will boost your success and help you get the results you’re looking for.

What do you think? Which tips have you used in your Pinterest marketing efforts? What’s worked for you? Share your thoughts, knowledge, and experience in the comments below!

Tips on 26 ways you can improve your marketing on Pinterest.

Tips on 26 ways you can improve your marketing on Pinterest.