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25 Days, 25 Expert Social Media Growth Strategies [New Email Course for Marketers]

What’s working for you social media these days?

One of our goals at Buffer is to always be iterating and experimenting with what we do on social media and in marketing. Whether it’s cutting our posting frequency, curating content, or creating square videos, we’re always up for trying newstrategies! Lots of times these experiments fail (and we learn valuable lessons) and other times they end up revealinggreat opportunities to grow.

So what are you experimenting with on social media this week? This month? This year?

We’d love to help withsome ideas!

We’ve collected our 25 most effective social media growth strategies that have helped us move the needle over the past year. These tips and strategies are straight from our Buffer playbook and have helped people (including us) find great success on social media! We’re excited to deliver these strategies to you in a free daily email.

Social Media Strategies email course

Buffer Email Course: Social Media Growth Strategies

Join us for 25 days of social media growth strategies!

We’d count it an amazing privilege toshare with you these strategies over the next several days. You can join for free by visiting the landing page below.

Join this course25 unique, social media growth strategies, delivereda day-at-a-time, for free!

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We’ll send you one email per day, Monday through Friday,for the next 25 days.

All of the lessons contain detailed knowledge-packed information on how you can get started with that specific strategy immediately. These are real strategies, resources, and tips that we’re currently using here Buffer or that we have used in the recent past.

A huge shoutout to the amazing folks who are blazing trails on social media marketing and inspired many of the strategies that you will read about in this email course. Lots of them have been guests on the Buffer Podcast The Science of Social Media!

Bonus: Many of the social media growth strategies include a shortvideo tutorial!

Course preview

Here’s a quick look at what’s in store for our social media growth strategies course in the first 15 lessons:

  1. The Why and the How behind social media marketing
  2. The web’s top (free) social media content curation tool
  3. Tools for creating videos on a budget
  4. 5 hidden Instagram marketing features
  5. Must-have image creation tools for savvy marketers
  6. The power of resharing content on Facebook
  7. 10 incredible stock photo websites to bookmark
  8. Building your brand through content curation
  9. Sell your product through educational screen recordings
  10. Less is more with Facebook posting (preview below)
  11. Understanding social media algorithms
  12. 6 time-saving social media tools
  13. Social media analytics and benchmarking
  14. 5 secrets of successful video marketing
  15. Strategies for sharing content across social media

Join our 25-day social media growth strategies course to see these lessons in detail and receive the remaining 10 lessons!

A sample lesson

We’re excited to make sure thatyou get all of the information and takeaways you want from these emails and so I’m happy to share here a sample of one of the lessons from the course. Here’s lesson #10 (in-full) Less is more with Facebook posting: (View full email in browser)

Less is more with Facebook posting

In October of 2016 we dramatically changed our Facebook posting strategy.

A gradual, but noticeable shift in many social media algorithms and an influx of brand advertising on Facebook meant that it was important for us to either start experimenting or we’d continue to see a decline in organic reach and engagement.

We needed to make a change.

We cut our posting frequency by more than 50% on Facebook and began to truly focus on quality over quantity. What happened next, even the most optimistic social media manager couldn’t have expected:

Our Facebook reach and engagement began to increase even though we were posting less!

Facebook Engagement Videos

We’ve written a detailed breakdown on the impact this change has had on our Facebook results But in the meantime, here’s a quick overview of our current Facebook strategy that we hope will help to spark some inspiration:

One or two posts per day maximum

The main reason why I believe we’re seeing such a dramatic increase in reach and engagement is that we’re only posting one or two pieces of content per day on Facebook.

This serves two valuable purposes:

1. It forces us to only share the best of the best content because we literally have limited space

2. It allows the Facebook algorithm to focus on delivering one piece of content (vs. multiple) to our audience

Curated content

Previously, we used to shy away from curated content because it didn’t directly affect the bottom-line: traffic, subscriptions, sales, etc.

However, sorting our Facebook posts by Most Reach shows exactly the impact it has had on our Page and growth: 7 of 11 of our most successful posts throughout the last 14 months are curated (not created by Buffer). These posts have combined to reach more than 750,000 people, averaging to about 107,000 people per post.

Curated content may not directly affect our bottom line, but it plays a significant role in reach, engagement (likes, comments, shares) and page growth.

Focusing on brand awareness and engagement

Focusing on brand awareness and engagement vs. driving traffic to our website has become a staple of our strategy as well.

We’ve witnessed a shift in many social media networks over the last year. It used to be that brands and businesses could post links to their blog posts and watch the traffic flow in. And while that’s still the case for many publishers, savvy marketers can benefit from thinking about their content strategy as a whole focusing on both direct traffic as well as engagement.

Posting content that aims to drive engagement only helps to build an activate Facebook audience. Then, right when you need them most, you can deliver a piece of brand content that will help move the bottom line.

Boosted Posts

Last, but not least, I’d love to address how important Facebook boosted posts have been in increasing reach and engagement on our Page.

Currently, we spend roughly $40 per day boosting our best-performing content on Facebook.

Boosting posts takes content that’s already performing well and amplifies it on a huge scale. As that implies, the key is to focus on boosting great content, not necessarily posts that aren’t doing well and forcing them with advertising dollars.

You Can Do It

Head over to your Facebook Analytics and calculate your average post engagement for the previous 7 days (total number of engagements / total number of posts).

Then, cut the number of times you post over the next 7 days by 50% and really focus on only posting your best content. Once 7 days is up, calculate your average post engagement again.

Did your engagement rate and total engagements go up or down? We’d love to hear!

Thanks for joining us,

Brian & the Buffer Team

F.A.Q. Frequently Asked Questions about this course

Does the coursecost anything?

It’s 100% free!

We’re excited to give these strategies away in hopes that might be helpful for you and your social media marketing efforts.

Who is it for?

Everyone! It’s not tied to Buffer accounts at all, so both current Buffer users and yet-to-be Buffer users can join.

What happens at the end of the 25 days?

At the end of the 25-day course, we’d love to send you a congratulatory email (on a job well done!) plus details on where you can continue your education and connect with peers online. I’ll also be around to answer any follow-up questions you might have about the emails and subjects included in this course.

Will you be signing me up for other newsletters or lists, too?

Nope, we willnot sign you up for other email lists without your express permission. Your email’s safe with us. <img src="http://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/2.2.1/72×72/1f642.png&quot; alt="

The iPhone originally happened because Steve Jobs hated a guy who worked at Microsoft (AAPL, MSFT)

Steve Jobs using an iPadGetty Images News

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA- You might think a product as revolutionary as Apple’siPhone might have been born out of some unique insight or high-minded feeling.

You would be wrong.

According to Scott Forstall, the iPhone’s co-inventor, the roots of Apple’s smartphone project go back to founder Steve Jobs’ disdain for Microsoft, and a grating social interaction with a particular employee of the software giant.

“Steve hated this guy at Microsoft,” Forstall said on Tuesday night at an event event at the Computer History Museumhere celebrating the 10th anniversary of the release of the first iPhone.

‘First thing is, they’re idiots’

Jobs wasn’t referring to Bill Gates, his sometime friend and longtime rival who founded Microsoft. The unnamed Microsoft employee in question was the spouse of a friend of Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve’s wife, Forstall said. Because the two couples ran in the same social circles, they would often end up at the same parties and functions, much to Jobs’ chagrin.

“Any time he had any kind of social interaction with that guy, he’d come back pissed off,” Forstall said.

The breaking point came when the Microsoft employeetold Jobs that the software gianthad “solved computing” with itsTablet PCeffort. Like the tablets that would come later, the Tablet PCs, which ran on a special version of Microsoft’s Windows software, were smaller and lighter than laptop computers and included touch displays. The part about them Jobs found distasteful though – and what made the employee’s comments so irritatingto him – was that Tablet PCs would only work with a stylus.

Bill Gates tablet 2000Reuters That interaction between Jobs and the Microsoft employee took place onaweekend. When Jobs returned to the office the following Monday, he let out”a set of expletives,” Forstall said. And then Jobs got Apple working to outdo Microsoft, developing a touchscreen device of its own that would rely on fingers not a stylus.

“First thing is, they’re idiots. You don’t use a stylus,” Jobs said, according to Forstall. People lose them, Jobs said, and they were counterintuitive anyway. “We’re born with ten styluses!”

Initially the development effort focused on building a tablet. Apple tapped to Forstall to lead software engineering for the project.

The coffee shop incident

That tablet project continued, with Apple’s team making big strides in building prototype multitouch displays. Apple changed switched its focus from creating a tablet to making a phone around 2004, afterForstall and Jobs visited a coffee shop.

Jobs noticed that many of the people in the shop were using their cell phones, but none of them seemed really happy about it, Forstall said. To Jobs, that was an opportunity. He asked Forstall if that multitouch project could be shrunk down for a phone-sized display.

And thus was born “Project Purple,” whichwould evolve into the iPhone. It was a “herculean” task to shrink the size of the device from the larger ones developed at the beginning of the research project to a phone-sized one, Forstall said. But when the project was complete, Forstall saw that Jobs was right.

scott forstallJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

“There was no question,” Forstall thought. “This is how phones need to be made.”

As a postscript, Microsoft’s Tablet PC business never gained much traction in the market.It was only in 2010, when Apple introduced the iPad, that the tablet business became a mass market. When introducing the iPad, Jobs famously made his distaste for styluses known with a hearty “yuck.”

But things have come full circle. Nowadays, Microsoft has its Surface line of devices, which focus heavily on stylus input. And Apple now offers its own stylus for its iPad Pro tablets, theApple Pencil.

NOW WATCH: Everything we know about the iPhone 8 – including a total redesign

Starting a Wine Business? Here are the States with the Lowest and Highest Excise Tax Rates

Starting a Wine Business? Here are the States with the Lowest and Highest Excise Tax Rates on Wine

If you’re planning to start a wine business – winery, wine shop, wine retail, restaurant, wine bar etc, it’s important to factor in your state wine excise tax rates. Federal and state wine excise rates vary by alcohol content and type of wine. The states with the lowest tax rate are California and Texas as per the Tax Foundation, the nation’s leading independent tax policy research organization.

States Taxes for Wine Businesses

According to the foundation, wine taxes apply to off-premise sales (from retail sources) not (on-premise sales) at a restaurant or bar. That means certain wine types you may be considering to sell, and wines with a higher alcohol content may be subject to higher excise tax rates at your retail source in some states compared to others. You need to know where your state lies on the wine tax spectrum.

Here’s a list of states’ wine excise rates as per the Tax Foundation:

1. States with the Lowest Excise Tax Rates on Wine

The five states with the lowest wine excise rates are California ($0.20), Texas ($0.20), Wisconsin ($0.25), Kansas ($0.30), and New York ($0.30).

2. States with the Highest Excise Tax Rateson Wine

Kentucky has the highest wine excise tax rate at $3.17 per gallon, followed by Alaska ($2.50), Florida ($2.25), Iowa ($1.75), and New Mexico and Alabama (tied at $1.70).

3. Federal Excise Tax Rates on Wine

Federal rates for wines with up to 14 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) are taxed at $1.07 per gallon, wines between 14 and 21 percent ABV at $1.57 percent per gallon, and wines between 21 and 24 percent ABV at $3.15 per gallon. Sparkling wine is taxed at $3.40 per gallon regardless of alcohol content.

Note: This list does not include states that control all wine sales: New Hampshire, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Wyoming.

Other Factors that Determine Wine Excise Rates

The Tax Foundation notes that wine excise rates can also include case or bottle fees dependent on the size of the container, as in states like Arkansas, Minnesota, and Tennessee. Moreover, rates may include sales taxes specific to alcoholic beverages and wholesale tax rates, as is the case in Arkansas, Maryland, Minnesota, South Dakota, and the District of Columbia.

Wine Glasses Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Starting a Wine Business? Here are the States with the Lowest and Highest Excise Tax Rates” was first published on Small Business Trends

Ranking Democrat Calls for Relief from Tax Burden on Small Business

Democrats Call for Small Business Tax Relief

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), ranking member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, recently issued a statement calling for removing the burdens the U.S. tax code imposes on small businesses.

The statement by Sen. Shaheen was made June 14 at a Senate hearing examining the impact of the current tax structure on American small businesses. It was made as part of Shaheen’s opening statement in favor of proposed tax code reforms and the removal of barriers to small business growth.

This statement, coming from a senior Democrat, hints at the potential for bi-partisan support fortax reform proposed by the Trump Administration as a way to stimulate business growth.

Democrats Call for Small Business Tax Relief

Our tax code is in desperate need of reform. It’s too long, too complex, and it creates a burden on middle class families and small businesses across America, Sen. Shaheen said in the statement. Today’s hearing is an opportunity to discuss relieving some of these tax burdens on small businesses so they can focus on what they do best: creating jobs and growing our economy.

Shaheen cited the National Taxpayer Advocate Service finding indicating small businesses spend 2.5 billion hours complying with IRS rules each year. For entrepreneurs, time is one of their most valuable resources, she stressed. Every hour spent filling out forms or navigating confusing tax rules is an hour they don’t spend marketing their products or thinking about how to grow their business.

Republicans have made tax reform a major policy priority since taking control of the government. And small businesses will welcome the move by a ranking democrat in the committee joining in the call for small business tax relief. It’s important discussion on this issue does not spiral into bipartisan squabbling and stays focused on how to make things a bit easier for U.S. small business owners.

Image: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

This article, “Ranking Democrat Calls for Relief from Tax Burden on Small Business” was first published on Small Business Trends