I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Kim Garst’s Social Boom conference this year, where we were able to listen to industry experts like Peg Fitzpatrick, Ian Cleary, and, of course, Twitter expert Kim, herself. We were given a LOT of information during the two-day event, but I wanted to (attempt) to give you MY top 10 takeaways from the event.
So here goes…
- Pinterest is still an excellent tool for driving traffic.
Admittedly, my pins need some work (please don’t go to my Pinterest account to confirm this). Just as I tell everyone to do, I’ve selected my three favorite platforms and focused on those rather than trying to be active everywhere.
However, over the weekend Peg Fitzpatrick convinced me of the value of pinning to create lifetime traffic for your website. Unlike Twitter, where tweets disappear quickly, or Facebook, where they may stick around for a week if they’re getting a lot of shares, Pinterest could drive traffic to your site for YEARS.
There are some best practices you should try to follow:
- Tall, vertical images 720 x 1200 pixels work best
- Name your images for the search engines (in other words, facebook-tips.jpg)
- Provide helpful descriptions of 75-100 characters (using keywords but NO hashtags)
- Convey your brand style but avoid using borders or round photos
- Try to be consistently active and post 10-20 pins per day throughout the day (Tailwind can help with this)
- It’s OKAY to pin your OWN pins to other boards, just don’t do a bunch of them at one time
- Use the 80/20 rule of content you find vs. your own content
If you start to see results from your efforts you may want to consider using promoted pins to build awareness for your brand. On these occasions, wait until after your pin has started to grow organically before sponsoring it. And make sure that the pins you’re promoting have a call to action!
Note: if you change the name of your boards at any point, you’re changing the URL, itself. So if you’re linking to the board from anywhere an your website or in emails, the URL will be broken. Just something to keep in mind.
- Stop writing blog content based on gut feelings.
Once again, I’m guilty as charged on this one. I TRY to write about what I’m seeing in the news or questions I’m being asked on Periscope, but oftentimes I simply write based on what I THINK my audience wants.
Spend a few hours every month on Q&A sites like Quora, the Facebook help center, Twitter help, or Twitter advanced search looking to see what questions people are asking. You can even do a Google search for “Topic” + “FAQ.” Better yet, do a survey of your audience and ask what THEY want.
Use keywordtool.io to check high volume searches for main keywords. When you’re done compile a list of topics you could cover or questions you could answer.
Make sure that you’re also using a good blog title. You can check your title with the Headline Analyzer.
- Let LinkedIn send you leads using Boolean search.
“90% of decision makers no longer respond to cold calls or emails; we need to find a new way to get buyers attention. ‘Visibility creates opportunity’ and social media can be used either as a soapbox or a mountain top to stand on to get your message heard.” – Koka Sexton
You may not be aware of this, but LinkedIn allows for Boolean search. If you’re not familiar, this type of search allows users to combine keywords with operators such as AND, NOT and OR to further produce more relevant results. For example, Owner OR Founder OR CEO AND small+business NOT Consultant NOT Social+Media.
You can create and save up to three searches for free and receive email alerts when someone new falls within the category.
Now you may be thinking, “even if I have the right contacts, I don’t know what to say.”
Who they are will dictate what you should say. Speak to them as if you’re speaking to a peer. Reference any research you have done on them, mention any points of pain or pleasure, or ask for advice. Whatever you do, DON’T jump right to the sale!
- Pop-ups may be annoying, but they’re huge for generating leads.
People have love-hate relationships with pop ups. Many consumers hate them (I actually received an angry tweet recently from a person after they encountered my exit intent popup). However, the reality is that 70% of your website visitors leave your website and never return, so if you don’t find SOME WAY to capture their email before they leave, they’re gone forever.70% of your website visitors leave your website and never return. #Marketing Click To Tweet
Now, in order to be successful with your opt in you need an enticing offer. Many people get hung up on this stage and never finish because they think you need a long ebook or video series. The reality, though, is that checklists convert extremely well (and they’re very simple to create).
There are a number of lead capture opportunities, from the famous sidebar forms that don’t convert well to highly noticeable floating bars. One of the best options, though, is the WELL TIMED pop up.
I have an opt-in at the top of my website. However, I have a different opt-in that appears only when someone goes to leave the page, referred to as exit intent. What I didn’t realize until this weekend, though, is that I can have a DIFFERENT pop up/opt in appear based on the page they are on.
So, for example, if a website visitor was on a blog post about Facebook marketing and they went to leave, I would show them a pop up with an opt-in on Facebook marketing. On the other hand, if they were on a page about Twitter, the pop up would provide an opt-in about Twitter. Rather than showing EVERYONE the same opt-in, it would be customized to what they were reading, which is going to convert far better. I use Opt In Monster for my pop up, for anyone who is interested in researching further.
- Start by growing your Facebook custom audiences and then grow your list.
Facebook marketer Nate Kennedy gave us his equation for generating leads with Facebook ads, one that I’ve actually used successfully in the past.
Step 1: Decide what problem solving content piece you’re going to create.
Step 2: Write 2 different ads – long copy and short copy
Step 3: Create a paid ad campaign and optimize for website clicks
Step 4: Target people based on 5-10 audience interests
Step 5: Build a custom audience from all the people who consume your content
Step 6: Set up a second campaign that retargets the audience with a lead magnent/opt-in/free offer
The only thing I would, personally, change in Nate’s equation is that I would split test for images BEFORE I split test for copy, just because people are going to notice the image before the copy. You could actually test for both at the same time, having an ad set for each variation of the copy (long vs. short) and then have two different images within each ad set, but that’s up to you.
You’re going to pay very little if you drive targeted traffic to a piece of ungated content and by using that method to get them into your custom audience they will already be familiar with you and your content when they are shown the second advertisement. This means that they will be more likely to convert and at a lower cost than cold leads.
- Publish more content to LinkedIn.
Many people hesitate to publish to LinkedIn because they don’t want to produce MORE CONTENT. However, according to LinkedIn expert Viveka von Rosen, it’s completely acceptable to repurpose your blog content for LinkedIn Publisher. You could even just take a portion of your content and then post a link where they can go back to your website to read more.
Regardless, LinkedIn Publisher is searchable, it lets you showcase your expertise, and it helps to grow your followers and expand your visibility.
- Consider trying ads on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn ads can get you a LOT of visibility for very little investment and are something to strongly consider. The key is to know your audience and focus your ads on the RIGHT people.
- Twitter lead generation cards can have a big impact on list building.
You may be familiar with lead generation cards, but have you actually looked at them? They’re kind of confusing, truthfully, which is, I think, why so many people aren’t using them. However, they are a great tool since they let you capture leads directly within Twitter, without users having to fill out a form or even leave the platform.
If you’re interested in setting up lead generation cards, try TweetLead.io. It’s still in beta and they’re currently offering free lifetime access to people who sign up.
- Now is the time to jump into Periscope.
Periscope just hit 15 MILLION users in mid-September. After 5-1/2 months. Insane!
However, even with all those users, just 1% are actively broadcasting on Periscope, which means there is room to set yourself apart from the crowd and be an early adopter in your niche. But now is the time, not 6 months or a year from now.
If you are ready to jump in and don’t know where to start, check out my ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Periscope.
- The image shared to Pinterest from WorldPress blogs should not be your feature image.
If you’re not familiar with WordPress, you can add a feature image that will show when you’re within the blog browsing topics. However, this image can be different from the image you put into the actual blog. The feature image is 500 x 500 pixels. As I’ve mentioned, this is NOT the ideal size for sharing to Pinterest.
You’ll have to check with your webmaster to see which image is being pulled when images are shared from your blog directly to Pinterest. However, the image within the blog post should be designed with Pinterest in mind in order to encourage users to share it more within the platform. This means no borders or rounded corners. It should be vertical and be creative and compelling.
It’s always tough coming up with a list of your TOP takeaways, especially with so much great information shared. However, I think that regardless of experience level, there is something in this list for everyone. Which tip did you find most helpful?