The Coffee Date

How To Use Content on Different Social Channels

Social MediaLynn MayolaComment

Social media is great for establishing your brand and getting in front of more people but let’s be honest, it can be a lot to manage. There seems to be a new feature, algorithm change or platform appearing every day. How do we keep up? When you’re running an online business or blog you have to worry about emails, deadlines, branding, products, services, ads, the law, creating content and then marketing that content to make sure it’s seen, it can be exhausting.

People often say you can't use the same content for different social channels. False you can, you just can't use carbon copies it's important customize the content to the platform but that doesn't mean creating 4 or 5 totally different social media posts. Understanding the different social media channels is key in creating the perfect content for that platform.

Twitter

Twitter is all about capturing a viewer's attention as quickly as possible and with a limited amount of time. This means your tweets have to be clear, engaging and specific.

Optimized Graphics

Tweets with graphics have a much higher engagement rate than tweets without pictures so it is always a best practice to use a image in your tweets. Not only do pictures make tweets more visible but they can allow you more text. Because of the 140 character limit twitter has you might feel limited on what you can say, creating the perfect witty and engaging copy will still giving readers a clear call to action can be tricky. Using graphics that have the name of your post title or ask a question to the reader can save up space in your text while still painting a clear picture.

I create my images in Canva, for Twitter I go with two different size options to make sure the full graphic is seen and none of the text is cut off. 1024px X 512px or 800px X 800px are the options I tend to select depending on the purpose of the post.

Shorten Links

When twitter announced that it had officially stopped counting photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets as part of your 140 character limit, we all rejoiced but there has been very little news of twitter giving us free space of links. If you use a program like Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social or another social media scheduler then it may automatically shorten links for you but if not use a link shortener like bit.ly. Not only does this keep you under your limit but if we are being  totally honest, it just looks better.

Get Your Hashtag On

Even if you have killer graphics and shortened links you still are only going to seen by those who follow you or those who follow anyone who retweets you. Adding hashtags to tweets is a great way to extend your reach. Use relevant hashtags to help you reach the right people, if your post is about search engine optimization tips don’t use the hashtag #EmailTips. Remember not to over do it, hashtags do count against your character limits and you don’t want to waste any space or confuse your audience.

See the following example:

Adding hashtags to post

Facebook

Facebook is both an amazing thing and unpredictable thing in the blogging world. If you can get in front of your audience you can get great engagement but that’s a big if. If you have a smaller following and aren’t in a position to purchase ads you might be relying on a measly 2% of your followers seeing your posts. If you have 200 Facebook page likes and only 4 of those people see your post you want to make sure it’s engaging, clear and share worthy!

Graphics

Just like on Twitter, graphics are key for getting people’s attention on Facebook. When setting up your image for Facebook in Canva use the 800px x 800px or 940px x 788px option. Try to center text on images in case any part of the image is cut off.

Lead the Way

When it often comes to social media you have to tell people what to do. While we all hate click- bait, we can all agree we like rewards. “Click the link to read the post and get my tips for growing your brand with twitter.” Just putting a link and telling people what it is about isn’t enough. Take it a step further and tell them what you want.

Customize Post Descriptions

When you upload a blog post link onto Facebook you are able to edit the information that automatically generates. You can keep the headline the same but try to sum up the topic of the post that makes the reader want to learn more.

 

Remember Their Short Attention Span

Grab em early! While your graphic might get them to stop scrolling long enough to examine your social media post, your words are what will make them click the link. Make it intriguing but not super gimmicky.

Leave Them Wanting More

If your post can allure that whatever you are linking to will provide value or some sort of reward to the reader’s life then you are right on track. Don’t exaggerate with text like, “Never have a hangover again! Read this: (link)” if you are just going to tell them, “Stop drinking.” That my friend is called, the bait and switch. Consider thinking of the topic of your blog post and then think of the opposite side of it. Is your post about the dangers of a certain diet, you could say, “Fad diets can have dangerous results. Here are 5 simple things you can implement into your life to lose weight in a healthier way. And they don’t involve starving.”

Check out this example from Melyssa Griffin:

 

 

Instagram

Eye Catching Photos

Instagram is all about the visual, really it is, but it’s important to make sure that your images are good ones. If you are promoting a post, the image needs to be so good that it makes people stop and look. For Instagram the 800px x 800px is a great fit. You have two options when it comes your Instagram post, sharing a plain photo or a photo with text. Just make sure to use a clear photo.

Hashtags Are a Bloggers Best Friend

Hashtags are so important for expanding your reach. When sharing your post only include one or two hashtags in the original post and then comment your other hashtags under it. Remember to only use relevant hashtags don’t use #allthingspumpkin if your blog is about yoga and you don’t mention anything pumpkin.

 

Use Your Words

Because Instagram doesn’t allow you to share links in posts, interested users have to take an extra step to check out your blog post. Write text that inspires them to go to your profile and go check out your blog. Also tell them that’s what they need to do, then make sure you have the right link in your profile. I recommend having your Instagram Bio link go to your home page assuming that your newest post is featured or at the top of the home page, to make things easier on the reader.

Pinterest

The Really Pretty Search Engine

Pinterest is one of the best ways to get new people on your blog. Pinterest is considered a social media site but it also functions as a search engine. There is a lot of information on Pinterest so if you want to be successful you really have to stand out.

Be There Vertical or Be Square

It has been said a thousand times, you should be using vertical images on Pinterest. They convert higher and frankly, look better on the Pinterest feed.

Write It Out

Remember what I said about Pinterest being a search engine? The same way you optimize your blog posts for Search Engine Optimization using keywords, you should be using them on Pinterest.

Let Your Graphic Tell Them More

While Pinterest is a image results based search engine, having text on your graphic will engage more people. A lot of people just repin images of things they find “pretty,” by adding text you are declaring, “Wait, there is more than just a picture here.” So go ahead and include some engaging text.

 

So let’s recap.

You don’t need to create a totally different graphic for each social media post to share the same blog post. The trick is understanding how each platform gets engagement and making small edits. For each blog post I only make 2 images for social media.

Typically a square one for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and a vertical one for Pinterest.

For Twitter: Remember to use your graphic to get more words in.

Facebook: Utilize the customizeable edits to the post alluring and use a image that grasps the reader’s attentions.

Instagram: It’s all about the Call to Action to get them to your bio page and pretty pictures.

Pinterest: Treat it like a search engine, optimize your posts and use vertical images.

Now go rock it!

Guest Post by : Dia Darling

 

Dia Darling is a SEO Search Specialist by day and balance blogger and time management strategist by night. Here focus is helping millennials figure out their priorities and create a schedule that works with them. You can find her tips on blogging, goal setting and time management at AllTheThingsIDo.com  

 

Follow Dia on Social Media! 

Facebook - Twitter Instagram - Pinterest

3 Questions Which Will Help You Form Or Strengthen Your Brand Identity

BusinessDiana TrinhComment

Imagine your business is a machine. The nuts and bolts and screws are your daily tasks, the bits you and your employees need to do to keep the machine moving. The nuts and bolts are rarely seen, but without them your business is going to fail because quite simple there wouldn’t be a business.

What IS seen is the outer casing.  The beautiful or quirky casing that covers the nuts and bolts of your business operation. This casing is your branding. But how do you decide what it should look like? Are you going for modern or chic, or stripped down and industrial?  

There are a gazillion materials to choose from and even more shapes and colours.

This analogy clearly depicts the issues many business owners have when defining their brand identity. There’s so much choice.

Branding in today’s business world is so important, just think of Google & Apple, the worlds most valuable brands. We are visual beings and marketing is heading heavily towards a design intensive route.

If your brand could do with a little bit of sprucing or you are building it from the ground up, here are 3 questions which will help you.

1. Who are you serving and how are you serving them?

Wherever you put your energy it grows.  You’ve probably heard this saying before.  Well, if you start off in one direction you had better make sure it’s a direction you want to head in before you do.  Course correcting and changing half way through is one of the most common reasons for new business failure other than running out of money.

So getting clear on WHO you want to serve is the first step.  Who are your ideal customers? Who do you want to speak to on a weekly basis? Once you have a clear idea the next step is to define HOW you will serve them.  Find their biggest pain point which your product or service can solve.

When I founded Bluchic, I knew that I wanted to work with Girl Boss’s and Female Entrepreneurs who were business savy and creative.  I also identified that many of them were very creative but didn’t have the technical skills to develop their own website.

As a web designer, this is what I wanted to help them with.  To make it super, super easy for them to get a beautiful feminine website and take away the pain of needing to spend a huge amount of money hiring a web designer.

Get as specific as possible.  You want to paint a very clear picture of how your product or service is going to serve your ideal customer and take away their pain.

2. What is your single-minded proposition (SMP) and how can you convey this uniqueness to your customers?

A Single-Minded Proposition (SMP) is about defining your proposition in house so that you have a very clear picture of how you intend to serve your customers.  It doesn’t need to be a statement you go out with but something which sets the tone for all communication.

Ideally, your SMP highlights the one aspect which separates you from your potential competitors

Here are 3 steps to take to help you write your SMP:


1. Identify your product's most important features.
2. When you identify the important features, figure out each feature's benefits.
3. One of those feature/benefits will be the compelling reason to make a purchase.


Now form this all into one compelling statement.  Take a step back and be honest with yourself.  If you were to find your ideal customer in a cafe, walk up to them and give them your Single Minded Proposition would they want to work with you?

Once you have your SMP check back to this statement every time you put out a large piece of communication, does it align?

3. Is your tag-line results focused?

Your tag-line is a single sentence which you use to market your business and paint a vision of what your product or service can do for your customer.  

For example; Apple’s tagline is “Think Different”.  Absolutely nothing to do with the technology they produce. They focus on what the result of buying their products will do, and in the process they capture a market who are early adopters and rule breakers which is the reason they have people literally queuing round the corner when they release a new product.

Usually companies focus on the What they are delivering not on the results.

Let's take a look at some examples of each to help illustrate the difference.

Take your dining room to the next level with our ergonomically designed chairs.

See how our proprietary software can redefine the ways that your company conducts business.

Both of these statements are focused on what is being delivered. These are great SMPs, but they don’t tell the user how the product will improve their life or solve their pain.

Take a look at these two examples:

Changing your digital life one web page at a time.

Trust, growth and reliability: turning your house into a home.

In both of these statements, we can see much more of a "vision" than a proposition. The reason that these approaches can be so effective is that they cause the client (or potential client) to imagine the role of your product serving them in their life and then they wonder how they have ever done without it.

Guest Post : Kathie of Bluchic

Kathie is the founder of Bluchic and designs beautifully crafted feminine wordpress templates for creative entrepreneurs and business women.  For more information about branding and how to launch a website see Bluchic’s in depth guide. Follow on Twitter l Instagram l Facebook l Pinterest

 

How to Run a Successful Blog Tour

Blog TipsDiana TrinhComment

You might have heard the buzz about blog tours, but you have one major question: what is a blog tour? A blog tour is when you ask fellow bloggers to write a post related to the book, product, program, or service that you are launching.  At the end of their posts, they will provide a brief description of whatever you are selling with a link to your sales page. In return, you will want to promote a page with a list of links to all the sites on the tour. This way, everyone gets more visitors to their sites!

Want to host your own blog tour, but you don’t know where to begin? Read on for the steps you need to run a tour of your own.

Step 0: Develop relationships

You need to develop relationships long before you think about running a blog tour. You are going to have a higher success rate if you are not asking people to participate out of the blue. Comment on people’s blog posts, talk to them on social media, and e-mail them about something inspiring they have done or just to say “hi.”

If you sell makeup, this might look like commenting on makeup bloggers YouTube videos or getting into discussions with them on Instagram.

Step 1: Brainstorm a list of topics and dates

You want to take time to plan out your tour. Grab a pen and paper and write down all the ideas you have for potential topics for your bloggers. For example, if you want to have a tour around your new lipstick, you will come up with topics like “the best lipstick colors for blondes” or “occasions to wear lipstick.” You will also want to look at a calendar to see dates that you are free. You want the tour to run a week or two, and you also want to give yourself time to prepare for the tour and to tie up loose ends after it is over.

Step 2: Choose topics and dates

You obviously will need to actually select the topics and dates for the tour. I would recommend topics that are general enough for people to make it work with their business or blog. Also, don’t choose dates where people are usually busy. For example, the holiday season is not the ideal time to run a blog tour.

Step 3: Research potential contributors

Google is your best friend here. You will want to research tastemakers in your industry and look at their policies to see if they will do blog tours. Write down the names and websites of those who are relevant and seem open to participating.

Step 4: Create a spreadsheet of potential contributors

As unexciting as it sounds, you will want to create a spreadsheet to keep yourself sane during the blog tour. Here is some basic information that you will want to keep track of in your spreadsheet:

  • The person’s name

  • The link to their website

  • When and how many times you have e-mailed them

  • Which topics and dates they picked

  • If you have linked to and advertised their post.

Click here to download the template 

Step 5: Create a packet of materials for contributors

You want to gather all the materials and resources together for your contributors.  What do you need? Well, you will need a little blurb for them to post above or below their post. The blurb usually contains a brief description of what you are selling and a link to your sales page. You will also want to include any images you want posted with the blurb (i.e. your logo of the product).  Finally, you will want to include a link to the page with all the blog posts! Be sure to attach all this information to the e-mail if people say yes to participating!

Here is a sample blurb:

This post is part of Lisa’s Luscious Lipstick blog tour! Her lipsticks come in bright, beautiful colors that will cause your confidence to blossom. You can purchase your new favorite lipstick here (hyperlink to your sales page). If you want more great lipstick tips, you can read other informative posts here (link to blog page).

Step 6: Set up a webpage for the tour

You will want to have a single page that has links to all the posts. Organize the site according to topics, and link to the blog posts as soon as they are published. Be sure to share this page with your contributors.

Step 7: Reach out to contributors

You will now want to send an e-mail to the contributors. Be sure to do this with as much time before the blog tour dates as possible. I am talking about a few months in advance.

Begin by referring to something nice on their sites or talk about a previous interaction you had with them. After that, you want to describe your blog tour and ask if they wish to participate. Ask them to choose a date and topic that would be best for them. Be sure to include all your materials and information! Conclude by thanking them for their time.

Here is an example e-mail:

Dear Molly,
Thank you for posting that wonderful eyeliner tutorial! It helped me so much! Now I feel like I can walk into the office with more confidence.
I am running a blog tour for my new lipstick line! Click here (insert a hyperlink) to check out the new products (I am particularly proud of the red lipstick). Would you be interested in participating? You would just have to write a blog post on one of the following topics:
*How to apply lipstick
*How to pair lipstick with your outfit
*How to know if you are choosing the right lipstick for your coloring.
The tour will be running from October 3-18.  If you wish to participate, please let me know which topic and date works best for you. If you can join in on the fun, I will be sure to promote your post through my social media channels. I have set up a website for all the posts here (link to the page).
If you wish to participate, I have attached all the information you will need. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely, Lisa

Step 8: Follow-up with contributors

If you haven’t heard back from people after a week, send one follow-up e-mail.  That is it. As for those who have said yes, send them a reminder e-mail a few days before the start date of the tour.

Step 9: Advertise the tour

This is when social media and your e-mail list are your best friends. Be sure to advertise ALL the posts on your various social media channels. Also, send one e-mail out to your mailing list with a link to the webpage for the blog tour.

Step 10: Thank your contributors

Of course you want to thank people for their hard work! At a minimum, you should write them a thank-you e-mail. If you want to go above and beyond, send them a handwritten note and a gift card.

There you have it! That is how you run a blog tour. Before you know it, you will be getting more traffic to your sales page, and your contributors will be getting more visitors to their blogs! Who knows? You might inspire them to run their own blog tours, and you can participate in theirs!

Guest Post by : Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox is a novel writing coach and editor who helps ambitious authors start and complete their novels. When she is not working on her own novel, she writes for Quirk Books and Imaginary Book Club. You can find her thoughts on writing and pop culture at www.thebookishfox.com.