Monthly Archives: April 2016

This Week in Social: The Latest News, Trends and 5 Eye-Opening Stats You May Have Missed

The social media world moves incredibly fast and to help you stay up to date, we thought we’d round up some of the latest news, trends, research, and statistics that caught our attention this week.

 

From Twitter redefining itself and some big news from Facebook to new features on Pinterest and Periscope, it’s been an exciting week.

 

Let’s get started!

 
 

 
 

pablo (52)

 

 

What’s new in social this week

 

Want to jump to a particular story? Try clicking one of the headlines below:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Facebook reaches 1.65 billion monthly users

 

facebook-mau

 

In its Q1 2016 earnings report, Facebook announced it has now reached. 1.65 billion monthly users. That figure means Facebook grew 3.7%, from 1.59 billion monthly users last quarter (Q4, 2015).

 

The social network’s daily active user count has also grown significantly. It reached 1.09 billion daily active users in Q1, compared to 1.04 billion in Q4 2015, a 4.8% increase.

 

fb-dau

 
 

 
 

Twitter is no longer a social network

 

Highly alert Twitter users noticed it’s now categorizing itself very differently. In an update on April 28th, Twitter now sits in the News category rather than Social Networking.

 

This change moves Twitter away from apps like Snapchat, Facebook and Messenger in the App Store and the switch also boosted the app to the #1 spot in the News category (it was previously sat 6th in Social Networking).

 

twitter

 

Ranking #1 in a category could be a nice boost for Twitter, and could help attract new users who want to keep up with the latest news on mobile. Being ranked #1 will also help with App Store visibility and could lead to more organic downloads.

 

Could this be a sign of a significant shift for Twitter? Or maybe an experiment to see how App Store categories and rankings affect downloads? Keeping an eye on this over the coming weeks will be interesting.

 
 

 
 

Video consumption on Snachat has doubled

 

Daily video views on Snapchat have now hit 10 billion. TechCruch reports that the new numbers represent a 150% increase in video consumption on Snapchat in just under a year.

 

In February 2016, Snapchat reported 8 billion daily video views and in November 2015, 6 billion views. That’s incredible growth.

 

➤ For more on Snapchat, check out our ‘Complete Guide to the Ghost’ here.

 
 

 
 

Pinterest Featured Collections

 

pinterest

 

Pinterest has released Featured Collections, a way to keep tabs on trending topics and content. Every day, the brands, celebrities, and influencers, and Pinterest’s own editor’s will curate popular pins, users, boards, and searches within Featured Collections.

 

The Featured Collections will be localized to the UK, France, Germany, Brazil, and Japan, further strengthening the network’s relationship with international users.

 
 

 
 

Periscope launches sketch feature and deeper analytics

 

How to Create the Perfect Facebook Page for Your Business: The Complete A to Z Guide

Facebook now has over 1.65 billion monthly active users. And as small business owners and brand managers, there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to reach and connect with your target audience through Facebook.

 

Great! So where should you start? And is there an easy blueprint to follow?

 

From creating our Facebook Business page to posting several hundred times over the past few years, we’ve experimented a lot with various Facebook marketing tips and have enjoyed figuring out the best way to create and manage our Facebook page here at Buffer. I’d love to share with you how the process has worked so far from start until now!

 

 

 

Since things continue to change regularly with Facebook and its algorithm, consider this A to Z guide as a great jumping off point for creating a Facebook business page and growing your audience. Start here, test what works for your individual business and brand, and make changes as you learn.

 

How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple Steps

 

Creating a Facebook Business Page, Facebook, Facebook Business, Facebook Page

 

Step 1: Fill out your basic business info

 

Open the following URL to create a business page on Facebook:

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php

 

Once there, you’ll choose one of the following six categories for your page:

 
 
    1. Local business or place
 
    1. Company, organization, or institution
 
    1. Brand or product
 
    1. Artist, band, or public figure
 
    1. Entertainment
 
    1. Cause or community
 
 

facebook create a page

 

Keep in mind that you can change the category and name later on if needed.

 

Also, at this stage, it might be helpful to know that a physical address figures prominently in the setup of a local business or place, and the actual Facebook page will appear differently as well.

 

Here’s the look for a local business:

 

facebook page business example

 

Here’s the look for a company or brand:

 

facebook page company example

 

It’s something to think about when choosing a category.

 

Following the category selection, the next setup screen will ask for a descriptive sentence or two about your page, a URL, a Facebook page URL, and a profile picture. If you’ve selected a local business, you’ll also have the ability to select category tags to further define what your store sells.

 

About your page – You get 155 characters to describe your page. This description appears prominently near the top of your Facebook page on both desktop and mobile. Be as descriptive and helpful as possible.

 

URL – The web address for your store, company, or brand.

 

Facebook URL / username – You may have the option to choose a custom vanity URL for your page, i.e. facebook.com/yourbrandname.

 

(Facebook will ask that you reach 25 fans first before you can unlock a custom Facebook URL)

 

Profile picture – Upload a main profile picture/icon for your page. This photo will appear as your icon every time you comment on a post or publish in a news feed. Square dimensions are best. Facebook will force rectangular photos to be cropped to squares.

 

Profile pictures should be at least 180 pixels wide by 180 pixels tall. Here is a full list of the sizes that Facebook uses for your profile picture in various places around the site:

 
 
    • The main profile image on your page – 160 x 160
 
    • In a news feed – 100 x 100
 
    • In your timeline – 86 x 86
 
    • Next to comments – 43 x 43
 
 

The final two steps in the setup process include adding your page to your main Facebook menu (so you can access it quickly and easy each time you log in) and setting up a Facebook ad to promote your new page. These options can be skipped for now.

 

Step 2: Create an awesome cover image in a snap (no designer required!)

 

facebook cover image size

 

By this point, your page is live for all the world to visit. Let’s see if we can make it look even snazzier.

 

First thing, add a cover photo. The cover photo appears across the top of your page and is a great opportunity to deliver a visual element that supports your branding, draws attention, or elicits emotion from your visitors. 

 

A note on ideal Facebook cover photo size and dimensions: 

 

Facebook cover photos appear at 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall on desktop, however, Facebook crops out some of each cover photo on mobile devices. It specifically strips out 144 pixels off the right and left sides of the image.

 

Therefore, Facebook cover photo dimensions are 851 x 315px, but only the center 563 x 315px portion of the picture appears on mobile.

 

You can certainly hire a designer to make you something fabulous, or you can go the DIY route. Many photo editing apps like Pic Monkey or BeFunky can help with creating images of just the right dimensions. If you’re a Photoshop user, we’ve created a couple of Facebook cover photo templates that might be helpful. Canva is another super helpful tool for Facebook cover photos as it comes with several premade templates that look great right out of the box.

 

Here’s an example of a Canva template you could choose. You can upload your own image to use as the background, and you can edit the text to say whatever you’d like. If you’re looking for high-quality image options, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite sources for free social media images.

 

Canva template

 

Once you have created your cover image, upload it to your page by clicking on the “Add a Cover” button.

 

add a cover facebook page

 

If you happen to upload an image that isn’t quite the exact dimensions of the Facebook cover, you’ll have a chance to move and edit the image to fit the available window. When you’re happy with the final look, you can click “Save Changes,” and you’ll be set!

 

Facebook cover example

 

Here’s a pro tip: When you upload a cover photo to your page, the photo is added as an update to your timeline. If you edit the description of the photo, you can add a message to the update. Click on the photo to open up the photo viewer, and you’ll notice a link that says “Add a description.”

 

facebook image add description

 

You can add description, tags, location, and date to your photo. Once you’ve finished, the update to your timeline will be changed to reflect your edits.

 

facebook cover custom update

 

Step 3: Fill out your profile completely

 

Next, you can fill out your profile even more by adding information to your Page Info section. To access this section, click on Settings in the top menu bar on your page, then click Page Info.

 

page info facebook

 

Your name and category will be filled in already. Some of the most helpful bits of information to add next might be:

 

Start Info – You can choose when your company or product was founded, created, started, or launched. This information will appear on the history timeline to the right of your page’s feed and as an update at the very bottom of your main feed.

 

Address – Enter this if you want people to be able to check in via Facebook when they’re near your place.

 

Long description & Mission – Add additional details that explain your business or brand even further. This is a great way to go beyond the 155 character description that appears on the main page.

 

Phone number / Email address – Add additional contact information.

 

All of these details will appear on the About tab of your Facebook page.

 

example about section facebook

 

Step 4: Add collaborators to your page

 

If you plan on sharing your Facebook marketing duties with a team, you’ll want to grant access for various folks and various roles.

 

Here are the roles that you can choose from:

 

Admin – Complete and total access to everything (you are an admin by default)

 

Editor – Can edit the Page, send messages and post as the Page, create Facebook ads, see which admin created a post or comment, and view insights.

 

Moderator – Can respond to and delete comments on the Page, send messages as the Page, see which admin created a post or comment, create ads, and view insights.

 

Advertiser – Can see which admin created a post or comment, create ads and view insights.

 

Analyst – Can see which admin created a post or comment and view insights.

 

To add collaborators, go to your page settings and the “Page Roles” section. You can type in the name of any Facebook friend or person who has liked your page. Alternately, you can type in an email address associated with a Facebook account.

 

Step 5: Publish your first post

 

Add content to your page by publishing a post-a status update, a link, a photo, a video, an event, or a milestone. New, fresh content on your page will make it look all the more enticing once new visitors come over to check it out.

 

Keep in mind that visual content does exceedingly well and that Facebook is now ranking Live Video higher in people’s news feeds.

 

Here’s a telling graphic from a BuzzSumo study showing how Facebook posts with images receive 2.3x more engagement than those without photos.

 

Facebook, Facebook Engagement, Facebook Marketing, Facebook Pages

 

And there you have it!

 

Your Facebook Business page is up and ready to deliver awesome content to your fans and grow into something wonderful.

 

Read on to learn more about growing your Facebook page and posting best-practices!

 

How to gain your first 100 fans to your Facebook page

 

The temptation might be to share your Facebook page right away with all your Facebook friends. Not so fast. Take a moment to think strategically about your plan and to seed your page with content so that it looks inviting and engaging when visitors do stop by.

 

Publish three to five posts before you invite anyone. 

 

Then try out one of these strategies to get to your first 100 fans.

 

Invite your Facebook friends

 

Facebook has a built-in feature to tell your Facebook friends about your page. Click on the Build Audience link in the top right corner of your page, and choose Invite Friends from the dropdown.

 

Facebook page setup

 

You can then pick and choose which friends you’d like to invite, and you can drill down into specific sections of friends, filtered by location, school, lists, and recent interactions.

 

Once invited, your friends will receive a direct message with an invitation to your page. You won’t have a chance to edit the message they receive.

 

Invite your coworkers

 

One of the best sources of social media promotion for your company could very well be your coworkers. Ask everyone who works with you to like the page and-if willing-to recommend the page to any friends who might be interested.

 

Promote your Facebook page on your website

 

Facebook offers a full complement of widgets and buttons that you can add to your website to make it easy for website visitors to like your page.

 

One of the most ubiquitous plugins is the Facebook Page Plugin. With Page Plugin, you can easily embed and promote any Facebook page without visitors ever having to leave your website.

 

Facebook Page Plugin, Page Plugin, Facebook

 

Promote your Facebook page in your email signature

 

One of the most visible places you might find to promote your page is in your inbox. Edit your email signature to include a call-to-action and link to your Facebook page.

 

signature

 

Hold a contest

 

Facebook contests can be huge for gaining likes on your page. Two of the best apps for creating contests are ShortStack & Gleam which help you create custom campaigns to drive Likes to your page (or email capture or fan engagement or any number of different ideas you might have).

 

What to post and when to post it

 

In general, there are three main types of posts you’re likely to publish on your Facebook feed:

 
 
    • Photo/video
 
    • Text update
 
    • Links
 
 

As mentioned above, posts with photos garner 2.3x more engagement than posts without photos. 

 

Definitely make visual content a huge part of your Facebook strategy as well as your larger social media marketing plan.

 

As far as the frequency with which to post, Facebook’s algorithm changes have made research into the topic rather difficult. The consensus seems to be to experiment as much as possible. As often as you have fresh, compelling content to share on Facebook, give it a try. Try testing post frequency in week-long intervals so that you can measure the results quickly.

 

With that, we recommend being consistent with your content. When your content is good, your audience will start to expect it on a regular basis. Even if you’re only producing enough content to post to Facebook once per day, try to stick to that schedule.

 

Social media scheduling apps like Buffer help make this easy by letting you schedule posts ahead of time. You can add to a queue so that your page always has fresh content being posted automatically on schedule.

 

Ideal length and timing of Facebook posts are another area you might want to experiment with.

 

HubSpot collected a ton of research from the folks at CoSchedule and from a variety of sources, including QuickSprout, SurePayroll, The Huffington Post, Buffer, TrackMavenFast Company, and KISSmetrics.

 

Their takeaway:

 

Facebook Posting, Facebook, Managing Facebook 

 

As far as ideal length, we partnered with our friends at SumAll to place the data and insights into a fun infographic. What we found was that Facebook posts with 40 characters receive 86% more engagement than those with a higher character count. 

 

Facebook posting strategy, facebook, managing facebook

 

How to tell what’s worked and what hasn’t

 

After sharing posts, you’re likely to want to know how they did. Your social media management tool would figure to have some built-in analytics that can help you better understand how your posts performed. Here’s a peek at what the Buffer for Business analytics look like:

 

Buffer for Business, social media analytics, Buffer Analytics

 

You can also gain a huge number of stats and numbers from Facebook Insights.

 

Once you’ve shared several pieces of content to your Facebook page, you’ll see an Insights tab at the top of your Facebook menu, between Activity and Settings.

 

Buffer

 

At the top of the Insights page, you’ll see your Page Likes, Post Reach, and Engagement stats for the week, along with a comparison to the same stats from last week.

 

facebook insights

 

Another neat area to check is the demographic information on the people who visit and engage with your page.

 

Click on People from the Insights menu, and you can drill down into demographic information of your fans, the people reached by your posts, the people who engage with your post, and the check-ins you receive at your physical location.

 

Here’s an example from Buffer’s page insights about the people reached by our posts.

 

facebook insights demographics

 

One of the newest features of Insights is the “Pages to Watch” section at the bottom of the page. You can add other pages that you want to monitor-a great way to grab some competitor research and take inspiration from the way that other pages market themselves.

 

To add a page, simply click on the Add Pages button at the top of the section.

 

add pages facebook

 

Search for the name of the page you want to watch, then click to add it to your watch list. Once a page has been added, you can click on the name of the page from your Insights dashboard, and you’ll see an overview of their best posts from the week.

 

Facebook Insights

 

Now I’d love to turn it over to you!

 

What Facebook page tips and advice do you have? What have you learned along the way? Is there any part of the Facebook page creation and management process you’d like to know more about?

 

Excited to hear from you in the comments!

 

Oh, and by the way: Buffer can help you drive more Facebook traffic and engagement in less time. Sign up for free and see how it works for you!

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2014, but we’ve updated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness for your reading pleasure. – Brian

 

The post How to Create the Perfect Facebook Page for Your Business: The Complete A to Z Guide appeared first on Social.

 

Definitive proof that wages are on the rise in America

One of the hottest topic of debate in the US economy right now is wage growth. 

 

On Friday morning, the latest employment cost index is set to be released and economists expect it will show wages grew 0.6% in the first quarter of this year and 2% over the prior. 

 

Deutsche Bank’s Joe LaVorgna wrote in a note to clients on Thursday that plateau of ECI’s post-crisis growth, “offers firsthand proof that there is little relationship between the unemployment rate and wage growth.”

 

In economics speak, LaVorgna argues that ECI data indicate the Phillips Curve – or the relationship between wages and unemployment – is dead. This is the beginning of an entirely separate, very contentious discussion. We’ll let sleeping dogs lie for now. 

 

So but the first estimate of first quarter GDP was released Thursday morning and data contained in this report showed another story on wage growth. 

 

The following chart, which comes to us from George Pearkes at Bespoke Investment Group, shows the share of GDP paid to American workers in the first quarter. This ratio hit the highest levels since the recession and compensation paid to employees as a share of GDP is now on a clear uptrend. 

 

wagesFRED

 

Back in March, George and the team at Bespoke wrote a great note on the state of corporate profits in America.

 

In short, profits have been near the upper-limit of their historical range for all of the post-crisis period, and with a dwindling supply of available labor and new laws requiring higher minimum wages starting to really take effect, we seem to be on the cusp of major change in corporate behaviors and results. 

 

And while things like tax structures and the industries in which many of America’s biggest corporates now compete have some impact on why margins have been so high, labor costs appear to be at an inflection point. 

 

Thursday’s continued signs of an uptick in labor’s share of GDP is unlikely to be the last of its kind. 

NOW WATCH: FORMER GREEK FINANCE MINISTER: The single largest threat to the global economy

 

 

24 People Who Are Having A Way Worse Day Than You

It can always been worse.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

At least you didn’t have to be rescued at a bus stop:

 
 

At least you didn't have to be rescued at a bus stop:

 
 
 
 
 

Via buzzlamp.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Or have to deal with a car-bee:

 
 

Or have to deal with a car-bee:

 
 
 
 
 

Via buzzlamp.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

And at least you don’t have a brand new tan:

 
 

And at least you don't have a brand new tan:

 
 
 
 
 

Via Twitter: @elley5sos

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

At least you didn’t lose your precious baby:

 
 

At least you didn't lose your precious baby:

 
 
 
 
 

Via funniestmemes.com

 
 
 
 
 

View Entire List ›

Nick Mehta’s Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle for Customer Success

We’ve brought together an all-star lineup of customer experience thought leaders to provide insights at Opentalk 2016. Among them is Nick Mehta, Gainsight’s energetic, football-loving CEO.

 

Talkdesk Senior Manager of Field Marketing, Leah Kahn, sat down with Nick to talk to him about everything… except customer experience and football. We thought we’d save the shoptalk for Opentalk and start by getting to know the man behind the leading Customer Success Management platform.

 

Leah: Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me today, Nick. We are so happy that you’ll be speaking at Opentalk in a few weeks. You are well known for giving engaging talks at summits. Do you ever get stage fright?

 

Nick: It’s relative. At this point, I have spoken on stage so many times that it has become normal. For a small event of 100-200 people, I don’t even think about what I’m going to say; I just walk on stage. The larger the event is, the more difficult it becomes to engage with the audience. In those instances, I would say that it’s really important for me to be confident in what I’m doing because I don’t get a lot of feedback from the crowd.

 

Leah: Do you enjoy public speaking?

 

Nick: I just like communicating with people. I have a natural style of speaking that isn’t perfect or polished, but it’s authentic.

 

Actually, it’s funny because when I was a kid, I was kind of a wallflower. I might have had more computers than I had friends. If someone who knew me then saw me now, I would look like a totally different person.

 

I credit coming out of my shell to my wife, whom I met in high school. I started to think to myself, “If I can get a girl like this, I’m probably not that bad!”

 

Leah: Do you have any formal training in public speaking?

 

Nick: The first year of our conference, Pulse, I didn’t practice at all. The next year, I decided to hire a speaking coach. My speaking coach was a great person, but I’ll never hire anyone ever again for that job. I felt like a politician while I was up there. My speech felt totally scripted and forced. I prefer to just go with my normal fast-talking, smiling, cheesy-joke-making style.

 

Leah: Do you miss being more hands-on with computers?

 

Nick: Let’s be honest: I’m not a closeted nerd at all. I still love technology and science. I love quantum mechanics. I love math. By day, my mind is on enterprise software. At night, I’m pondering existential questions about the nature of life in an infinite universe.

 

Do you want to hear a joke? I made this one up myself:

 
 
The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle for Customer Success
 

“You can ask a company for their churn rate or you can ask how they calculate their churn rate, but they’ll never give you both.”

 
 
 

I encourage a love of science in my three kids, but I don’t do any of their work for them. It’s great because they’re just getting to the age where we can do cool projects. My first grader just did an experiment in which he dyed apple juice different colors and then asked people to guess what kind of juice it was.

 

Leah: How do you explain your job to your three kids?

 

Nick: Only my 10-year-old is able to kind of understand. It’s tough because if I was the CEO of Disney, it wouldn’t be abstract at all; I would tell them I made “Frozen.” To explain Gainsight, I have to tell them that there’s Disney, then there are companies that sell to Disney, then there are companies that sell to those companies that sell to Disney.

 

I basically tell my kids that I go to the office, I’m in a lot of meetings, I send a lot of emails and I talk to a lot of people.

 

Leah: What would you call your title, if not CEO?

 

Nick: CEO is a strange, arcane title. What does it even mean? If I had to pick a term that distills down what I do every day, I would say “Connector.” Every CEO defines their job differently. For me, I value my role as a connector. I connect Gainsight to the outside world, to other companies, to investors. I connect our employees to each other. I love helping people and I get to do it for a living!

 

Leah: Next time you take a vacation, what country do you want to go to?

 

Nick: I don’t really have wanderlust actually. I’m interested in New Zealand because it’s where they filmed Lord of the Rings and Japan because apparently (my wife sent me a link and this is an actual thing) you can arrange to live through a simulated zombie apocalypse.

 

I like America a lot. I’d like to get an RV and drive around all the small towns. I’ve been everywhere for work, but I’ve been each place for a short period of time. Sometimes it feels like I’ve seen every Marriott in America.

 

Leah: Thank you for your candor, Nick! We’re really looking forward to hearing what you have to say in your fireside chat at Opentalk.

 

Join Nick Mehta and a community of customer-centric business leaders at Opentalk 2016. There are 19 days before Talkdesk’s forum on the future of customer communication. Do you have your tickets yet?

 

The post Nick Mehta’s Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle for Customer Success appeared first on Customer Success Software | Gainsight.

How to Get Your Ideas to Spread with Influencer Marketing

When 50 fashion influencers on Instagram posted a picture of themselves in the same Lord & Taylor dress, it sent out signals that this dress was a must have fashion piece. The following weekend the dress was completely sold out.

 
 

lord-taylor

 

 

This Lord & Taylor campaign is a perfect example of the power of influencer marketing.

 

65% of brands now run influencer campaigns and according to an infographic by The Shelf, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people-even if they don’t know them personally-over promotional content that comes directly from brands.

 

We’re more likely to buy a product if it’s recommended by a friend than pushed at us by an advert and an eMarketer study found that advertisers who implemented an influencer marketing campaign earned $6.85 in media value on average for every $1 they spent on paid media for influencer programs.

 

Influencer marketing opens up endless opportunities for brands to amplify their content, connect with consumers and build relationships more organically, and more directly.

 

But how do you get started with influencer marketing? What makes an influencer? And how can you build relationships with influencers?

 

In this post, I’d love to give you the lowdown on influencer marketing and some actionable tips to help you find the best influencers for your business.

 

Let’s dig in.

 

 

 

pablo (50)

 

How to get ideas to spread

 

Success in marketing often comes down to one simple concept: getting your ideas to spread.

 

Traditionally, mass-media adverting is the go-to way to spread ideas. Here’s how it works (in theory)you buy some ads, put those ads in front of your audience, and that’s how your idea spreads. In turn, these ads drive sales and then you can buy some more ads, to reach some more people. And so on…

 

The problem with this approach is that we live in a time where choice is abundant and time is sparse.

 

Consumers are spoiled for choice when it comes to what to spend their money on and have too little time to consume content and engage with adverts. What this means is that most advertising is just ignored.

 

Time Choice 3

 

As technology advances, traditional marketing techniques have become less and less effective. This is where influencer marketing can help.

 

What is influencer marketing?

 

Consumers have always looked to fellow consumers to inform their purchasing decisions, and with the rise of social media, it’s becoming easier for brands to discover and partner with influencers to get people talking about their company and products.

 

To help us give you the best tips and advice on influencer marketing we spoke with social media agency, SocialChain:

 

“Influencer marketing is a marketing style that focuses on using influential people to share a brand’s message with their chosen audience,” explained SocialChain’s Anna-Marie Odubote.

 

“Influencer marketing is beneficial to businesses because it arguably creates more meaningful engagement than traditional advertising.”

 

“Influencers have very trusted voices. They are real people that appear to be unbiased; a traditional advert or a post directly from a brand will often be ignored. But an endorsement from an influencer is like your friend, brother, sister or parent ‘having your back’ and telling you about something you need to check out. And regular social media ads are a little bit like strangers shouting random things at you – after a while you just tune them out.”

 

Primarily, influencers act as a mutual friend connecting your brand with your target consumers. An endorsement from an influencer has the power to drive traffic to your site, amplify your message across social media platforms, and even directly sell your product through their recommendation.

 

Marketing and The Diffusion of Innovation

 

The Diffusion of Innovation is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures.

 

What the Diffusion of Innovation shows is that adoption of new technologies doesn’t happen simultaneously for everyone. Facebook, for example, was first adopted by college students and only now has it started to be used by the late majority and mass market.

 

The Diffusion of Innovation is broken down into five adopter categories:

 
 
    • Innovators: These are people who want to be the first to try the innovation. These people are very interested in new ideas, very willing to take risks, and are often the first to develop new products and technologies.
 
    • Early Adopters: These are people like to adopt new ideas and enjoy being amongst some of the first people to try new technologies and spread the word about them. Often these people are leaders and share their experiences with the people around them.
 
    • Early Majority: These people are rarely leaders, but they do adopt new ideas before the average person. Typically they like to see that an innovation will work before they’re willing to use it.
 
    • Late Majority: These people are skeptical of change, and will only adopt an innovation after it has been tried by the majority.
 
    • Laggards: These people are bound by tradition and very conservative. They are very skeptical of change and are the hardest group to bring on board.
 
 

Innovators

 

Editor’s note: for more on the Diffusion of Innovation and marketing, check out this great talk by Simon Sinek

 

Most marketing is traditionally aimed at the mass market (Early Majority and Late Majority in the above graphic). The problem with this approach is that it’s much harder to get these people to care about your product.

 

Innovators and early adopters, however, care deeply about new products and technologies. For example, a tech product reviewer on YouTube will be extremely interested in using the latest smartphone technology, whereas someone in the early majority will likely only care when their old phone is outdated.

 

If you’d like to get your ideas to spread, reaching the innovators and early adopters within your niche can be a great way to go. This is something Apple has mastered over the years…

 

Influencer marketing on the grandest stage

 

When Apple have new products to launch, the first people they talk to are those who want to listen. The people who actively opt-in to hear Apple’s message.

 

When Tim Cook gets up on stage at the WWDC conference, he’s not talking to the mass market; he’s talking to innovators and early adopters in the hope that what he says will inspire them enough to pass the information on to their audience.

 

WWDC

 

These innovators and early adopters care deeply enough about Apple to give up their time and watch a whole keynote presentation purely focused on Apple products. For Apple, it makes much more sense to talk directly to influencers who care, rather than push a message out to the mass market directly.

 

After the WWDC conference has finished, Apple knows their message and news about their new products will reach the masses through content produced by journalists and social influencers.

 

When you think about marketing your business, try to think about the innovators and early adopters within your target audience: Who sincerely cares about the problem your product or services solves? Who can you speak to that will really listen?

 

What makes an influencer?

 

SocialChain describes an influencer as, “an individual that has a significant audience, who listens and makes decisions based on his/her opinions.” And influencers come in various shapes and sizes:

 
 
    • Journalists
 
    • Industry experts
 
    • Celebrities
 
    • Academics
 
 

Editors of highly read blogs can be influencers as can highly viewed YouTuber’s like MKBHD, and influence isn’t just based on follower counts and audience size.

 

A celebrity may have a large following purely because they’re famous, or someone may have acquired hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter because they’re great a curating content. But a large following doesn’t necessarily dictate influence.

 

Measuring influence

 

SocialChain has developed a simple method for measuring influence across the main platforms; T-Score (Twitter) F-Score (Facebook) Y-Score (Youtube) I-Score (Instagram).

 

The scoring system is aimed to decipher exactly how much of the meaningful engagement you’re actually paying for and how cost-effective an influencer is, as Steve Bartlett, SocialChain’s founder explains on his blog.

 

Here’s an example of the T-Score in action:

 

– Tom is a real YouTube influencer who we’ve worked with [SocialChain] on a number of influencer marketing campaigns 

 

– Influencer Tom’s last 50 tweets have 17,600 engagements combined (replies, likes, retweets). 

 

– He has 210,409 followers on Twitter

 

– He charges £100 per tweet

 

17,600 (combined engagements from last 50 tweets) / 50 = 352 (Average engagement per tweet)

 

352 (Average engagements per tweet) / £100 (total following) = 3.52

 

Tom’s T-score = 3.52 and you’re effectively paying £1 per 3.52 engagements that Tom is generating for himself.

 

(This doesn’t mean you’ll get 3.52 engagements per £1 on your sponsored content, but it gives you a good idea of how much engagement you will hope to see per £1 spent.)

 

How to find influencers

 

The type of influencer you’re looking for will depend on the goals of your campaign.

 

“To find influencers that fit your business, you need to have an in-depth understanding of your own brand and how you want to be perceived,” Anna-Marie Odubote explained.

 

“There are many influencer discovery tools online that you can use to search for influencers in certain categories and countries. If you want to find more bespoke influencers, the best way would be to manually search social media.”

 

Here are a couple of tools to help you discover influencers in your niche:

 

Followerwonk

 

followerwonk

 

Followerwonk is a brilliant tool from Moz. It allows you to search for keywords in Twitter user bios to find those with the most authority and largest reach.

 

Klear

 

klear

 

Klear allows you to search for keywords and discover relevant influencers on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also filter users by skills and location as well as add all your selected influencers to a list.

 

Content + Distribution: The perfect mix

 

When you’re looking for an influencer to partner with, the ideal influencer tends to have two key abilities:

 
 
    1. The ability to create content
 
    1. The ability to distribute content
 
 

Reach and content

 

Content

 

Great content is the heart and soul of any influencer marketing campaign.

 

Most influencers have managed to build their audience through creating their own, unique brand of content, and if you’re simply asking them to share a piece of content you’ve created, it can feel a little inauthentic and stand out as an advert or sponsored posts.

 

Ideally, you’re looking to partner with influencers who can create content alongside your business. Rather than only sharing content, you’ve already created.

 

Distribution

 

I like to look at distribution as a combination or reach (audience size) and engagement. Sometimes it can be easy to feel that someone with say 100,000 followers on Twitter or 10,000 subscribers on their email list is an influencer. But really, it doesn’t matter how many people follow someone. What’s important is how many people engagement with them. And how many people click the links they share.

 

The SocialChain scoring system mentioned above can be a great way to measure engagement various influencers receive on their content.

 

How to build relationships with influencers

 

Once you’ve identified your influencers, the next step is to start building relationships with them.

 

“If an influencer manages themselves and all of their enquires, you always need to be personable and make the influencer feel valued and unique. Although influencers are their own business, the majority aren’t businesspeople. Too much corporate talk can scare them away, and it’s best to arrange a face to face meeting/ Skype call as soon as you can,” said Odubote.

 

“Depending on the influencer’s reach, [some larger influencers have management teams] you’ll often speak to their management (the influencer will see the initial enquiry and forward it to their management if it’s something they’re interested in).”

 

Over to you

 

Thanks for reading! I’d love to continue the conversation about influencer marketing in the comments below. Have you tried any influencer marketing campaigns? Any tips on building relationships with influencers?

 

The post How to Get Your Ideas to Spread with Influencer Marketing appeared first on Social.

 

On Branding: How a Digital Agency Goes Start-to-Finish with a Social Media Branding Strategy

CgV_pLPUsAA6CPHImagine having a way to control how you’re presented online, a way to identify yourself or your company and differentiate yourself from others.

 

Sounds a bit like social media, right? Sounds a bit like branding.

 

The two go hand-in-hand. Branding happens on social media, and social media is an outlet for the voice of your brand. Many people have found success with personal branding and company positioning online, and agencies have come along to help people with both.

 

One of these agencies, Januel + Johnson, was kind enough to let us peek inside the way they run social media for their digital agency and how an emphasis on branding extends to the very root of all the content, scheduling, and engagement they provide with Buffer. Get the specifics on how J + J find success for their clients with a 360-degree brand strategy, with social media and Buffer at the heart.

 

 

 

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None of our content looks scheduled. Yet with Buffer, it all is. That’s one of the biggest things that people say all the time. In fact, I get so much high engagement that people always think that I’m online, but I’m not, which is awesome.

 

– C.J. Johnson, Januel + Johnson

 

Growing a following on the strength of branding

 

Many agencies begin as an extension of one’s expertise: web design, SEO, advertising.

 

For C.J. Johnson and Ambar Januel, their unique advantage is with branding.

 

Branding has been a huge asset for them both at the personal level. C.J., an actor and director who lives in Los Angeles at the heart of the entertainment industry, found Buffer early on and has grown his following to 57,000 on Twitter. This follower growth brought attention and led to opportunities to share what he had learned about social media marketing and personal branding with others.

 

My following kept growing because I was using Buffer to schedule posts. My content is all about images. Photos. Videos. Because I’m the person that’s behind the camera, I know it’ll be high-quality and customized.

 

I saw that type of content was really kicking up some serious action and engagement. What ended up happening was people started asking me, “Hey, how are you able to get all these followers? How are you able to do this systematically?”

 

Everybody I talked to, I would say, “I use Buffer.” I would give them tips. I eventually was able to turn that into what I have now, which is Januel and Johnson, J + J, a premium branding agency. We specialize in branding period. That’s from the creative aspect of it, the social media, the publicity, everything.

 

Photo Oct 18, 6 51 56 AM

 

“None of our content looks scheduled”

 

Branding is the most significant selling point for Januel + Johnson, and a huge part of this branding effort is the social media presence. C.J. and his team want their clients to have great success on social. For Januel + Johnson, this all starts with the content.

 

Their emphasis is on visual content. They prioritize custom images for their clients, and they have the in-house production team to pull off some beautiful shots (C.J. leads a majority of the photoshoots for the team).

 

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Their visual strategy includes a few go-to elements:

 
 
    • Custom images
 
    • Emoji
 
    • Gifs
 
 

This is the formula that worked for C.J. as he grew his following, and it’s been working for clients, too.

 

The overall effect of this specialized, visual content is that it’s impossible to tell what’s been scheduled and what hasn’t.

 

The secret, of course, is that a majority of it is scheduled, within the Buffer dashboard. Januel + Johnson ensure that every social media update is unique and special, be it with a custom image, an emoji, or a GIF. And the result is a Twitter feed that looks completely in-the-moment.

 

One of our strongest assets is that we provide clients with the information to figure out how to schedule posts efficiently and how to get the best results. One of our biggest tips is to customize the content to fit whatever that particular client is into and what networks they’re on. And Buffer is a key part of it. I believe I manage 32 accounts in Buffer – at one point it was 50. I’ve used Buffer in every sort of way you can think of.

 

Before I started my own agency, I was working for a digital arts company, and I was managing 100 accounts there. We’d do two to three posts per day, per account, per channel. It was LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+. Not only did those accounts see growth, but they always had consistent engagement. I think that that had a lot to do with the fact that I used two rules when it comes to content:

 

Be informative, be entertaining.

 

In any situation, there’s always a call to action. Even if it isn’t a specific, “Hey, have you checked this out?” or “Hey, visit us here,” I always have a link at the end of the post. That helps a lot. And I don’t do link shortening. I leave the link as-is. That’s just for branding purposes.

 

From the beginning we would do a mix of photos, emoji, and GIFs. We would have customized videos, customized photos, including a call to action link, including the emojis and including the GIFs. We’d shake it up. Nothing looks ordinary. None of our content looks scheduled. It all is. That’s one of the biggest things that people say all the time. In fact, I get so much high engagement that people always think that I’m online, but I’m not, which is awesome.

 

When it comes to social media content, the more unique you are with posts and the more consistent you are, the better results you get.

 

Oro_San Francisco_JJ_Campaign 1-374

 

Looking for big results? Give it three months

 

Social media, with its real-time nature, tends to lend itself to an expectation of quick results.

 

Of course, this can’t always be the case (and rarely is), which is why a long-term social media strategy and a consistent brand on social are so key.

 

Januel + Johnson have found that three months tends to be the sweet spot for a strategy to take hold and for results to start coming in. They believe these first 90 days to be so key that they make this period a requirement for any new clients that they take on.

 

Our goal is to empower people in general. Entrepreneurs and creatives. That’s our number one goal.

 

Typically what we do is we have a three-month period. I like to call it a trial period even though it never is officially a trial. It’s basically a three-month minimum to work with us. Typically within those three months I see gangbuster results.

 

I think maybe it’s because the first month is that trial transitional phase.

 

The second month you’re building the system.

 

The third month you’re seeing out-of-control engagement.

 

I can tell you this, when the content is really, really good and it’s scheduled out to perfection, and everybody is doing the role of what they need to do to succeed, obviously, the results are awesome. Typically, when they’re not consistent about posting, or the content is not very good – looks like spam, looks redundant – then it’s just a mixed bag of results.

 

Week-in-the-life: A social media scheduling workflow

 

An emphasis on quality content raises a key question: How much time does it take to make and schedule all these awesome tweets and posts?

 

The content that Januel + Johnson creates includes:

 
 
    • Custom photos
 
    • Videos
 
    • Emoji
 
    • GIFs
 
    • Evergreen content
 
    • Events
 
 

Plus a good mix of scheduled updates …

 
 

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

 

… and real-time engagement.