Twiter and the 2012 Election – Lessons Learned


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The following is an excerpt from the new ebook, “How to Use the Internet to Win in winningin2016-cover2014: A Comprehensive Guide to Online Politics for Campaigns & Advocates”, available in the Amazon store for the Kindle e-reader and as a PDFn

The explosion of Twitter marks one of the biggest changes in the digital political landscape in the last few years — in 2008, Barack Obama had all of 100,000 followers by Election Day, a number that was well above 20 million on Election Day 2012. Though the Twitter and Faceook are often lumped together in the popular mind, Twitter isn’t quite a mass medium in the same way Facebook has become — it’s more of a channel to reach those“influentials” like bloggers, journalists and activists. Also different: you can pretty much post as often as you want on Twitter, while you’ll probably want to limit yourself on Facebook to keep from burning out your audience.

An example of Twitter’s ability to influence the political discussion? In 2012, Obama and Romney campaign staff regularly engaged in “Twitter duels” online, with reporters and activists the intended audience. Though these back-and-forth exchanges probably didn’t change any votes, they got plenty of media attention — mission accomplished.

Functionally, Twitter is the very short equivalent of blogging, with a dash of social networking thrown in: individual Twitter messages (“tweets”) are limited to 140 characters in length, and people generally have to choose to “follow” someone’s Twitter feed in order to see their updates. As with Facebook, essentially anyone or any organization can create a Twitter feed, but in some sense Twitter lacks the reciprocal nature of a true social network — plenty of feeds have thousands of followers but follow far fewer people in return themselves (do you think that Lady Gaga really pays attention to what you say?).

One important consideration — Twitter’s a useful tool for campaigns, but its real political power may lie in what campaigns CAN’T do on it, which is to dominate the conversation. Twitter is truly a democratic medium (with a small “d”), and content and opinions spread on Twitter often find their way onto blogs and cable news and into newspapers. Twitter helps create the sea of information in which modern campaigns swim, and whether or not they’re active on Twitter themselves, it’s likely to shape the political communications environment in which they operate.

What to Tweet?

A common perception of Twitter is that it’s an inherently trivial medium — it’s often spoken of as a way to tell the world what you had for breakfast. But in practice, normal people who fill Twitter’s “airwaves” with self-indulgent drivel generally don’t pick up much of a following (for celebrities, that’s unfortunately NOT so true). In fact, perhaps the most common single use of Twitter is to spread links to blog posts, videos, news articles and other pieces of in-depth content, making the 140-character limit less of an issue.

In general, as in so many other parts of the online advocacy space, readers aren’t likely to pay much attention to you unless you have something of value to offer them. People who tweet too much trivia too often can find their followers dropping off in droves, so be sure to pay attention to the KIND of information you distribute. Not every tweet needs to be a haiku-like gem of wisdom, but it rarely hurts to think for at least a minute or two about your ultimate communications goals before messaging the world. How often people Tweet varies immensely — I have friends who’ve sent out 10 or 20 times more messages over time than I have, for instance. It really depends on what you have to say.

Building a Following

Once you’ve established an initial base of content on Twitter, next start building your following. Unfortunately, short of being mentioned in the Twitter feed of someone famous, finding an audience typically takes time. Start by following the people you want to follow you — your staff, political activists in your state, district or area, local bloggers, journalists, etc., since at least some of them will follow you back right away. Once they do so, you have the opportunity to reach them — and potentially, their own audiences through them.

Supporters = Amabassadors

Of course, you’ll want as many of your supporters to follow you as well, particularly if their own following is large and/or active. So ask them! A “follow us on social media” email is a nice break from a string of fundraising asks, and your supporters may appreciate a chance to help the campaign without having to open their wallets.

@Replies and Hashtages: Engaging the Community and Connecting with Prominent Voices

The most effective way to build your following over time is to actively engage the Twitter community, a process that can take several forms. The most straightforward is to use an “@reply,” in which you reference another Twitterer in your own post (i.e., “@epolitics why don’t you just shut up about this crap”). You can use @replies to hold a back-and-forth conversation with someone, plus they’re a good way to get the attention of someone with whom you’d like to connect ( and other Twitter-management tools — like Hootsuite — typically make it very easy to see who’s @replied you).

@replies also play a role in “retweeting,” which is the forwarding of someone else’s posts to your own followers. Retweets are one of the signature characteristics of the ongoing Twitter conversation, since they let people provide value to their readers without having to write new content themselves. Plus, retweeting someone more prominent than you can be a good way to come to his or her attention, particularly if you use the old-school “RT @reply” method rather than Twitter’s newer built-in retweet function (RT’ing a tweet as an @reply also lets you add a comment, another valuable feature).

Besides RT’s, the other common bit of Twitter shorthand you’ll commonly encounter is a “hashtag,” a word or abbreviation preceded by the “#” sign. Twitterers use hashtags to refer to a topic that’s being discussed by several people at once, for instance an issue, event or public figure, and people often use Twitter’s search function to follow the extended discussion around a particular tag. This tendency makes hashtags a valuable way to gain exposure to new followers and to find yourself retweeted, assuming of course that you have something interesting to say. Some websites attempt to keep track of common hashtags, but the easiest way to find the hashtags in general use is to use a Twitter search around a topic and look for the tags terms people are using when they talk about it.

Engaging the Twitter community is obviously time-consuming, since you have to pay attention to what many different people are saying — you can’t participate in the conversation unless you’re actually listening. Besides hashtags, dedicated Twitter-management tools like Hootsuite and TweetDeck let you break the feeds you’re following down into various groups, for instance based on topics they cover or the kind of author they are (hint: track relevant journalists), and they also tend to speed up the process of posting content vs. going through itself. A good tool will typically allow you to pre-schedule Tweets for publishing, something that’s particularly handy if you have content that needs to go out over the weekend or while you’re traveling.

Besides public conversations, you can also “Direct Message” someone behind the scenes if you are following each other reciprocally, and I’ve known people who’ve been able to connect with a blogger or reporter via DM whom they’d never been able to reach via email.

Advanced Tactics

Twitter has given rise to an impressive array of different tactics and practices in its short time on Earth. “Live-Tweeting” an event involves covering it comprehensively as it happens, and social media-friendly conferences and seminars typically promote the use of certain hashtags to facilitate the process. Activists or groups can also pre-arrange TweetChats, which are public discussions at a particular time and around a particular hashtag. Many people pay attention to the hashtags that are “trending” on Twitter, i.e., becoming widely discussed, and the goal of a TweetChat or live-tweeting is often to either encourage a topic to trend or to ride the wave of a subject that’s moving up the popularity ladder. Finally, a Twitter interview can be an interesting way to run a one-on-one public conversation, though it practice it can feel like competitive poetry or a freestyle rap showdown — i.e., a public balancing act on a very narrow wire.

Twitter and Cell Phones

A common question about Twitter: why the 140-character limit? The answer is cell phones — Twitter is designed to be used like SMS text messages, making it one of the few online tools commonly and easily works on handheld devices. Some organizers have taken advantage of this fact to use Twitter to help rally communities in which cell phones are more common than access to the traditional internet. Others have used the Twitter/phone connection for on-the-spot coverage of rallies and other events, particularly as a means to distribute photos and videos shot with their phones. Finally, some campaigns in 2012 employed “protected” Twitter feeds — ones that can only be followed by people “approved” by the feed owner — to organize field staff and volunteers on the fly.

Advertising on Twitter

Update: this section has changed in the version 2.0 of this ebook, published in April of 2014! Please go toTwitter Advertising for Politics & Advocacy for the latest information.

Warning: Ways to Stumble

The most important Twitter rule to remember? Don’t be an idiot, since something you post on Twitter will live forever, even if you try to delete it (just ask Anthony Weiner). Even if you’re smart enough not to send topless photos over the internet, a big mouth can still get you into trouble. As a friend of mine once said of a Democrat challenging Sen. Chuck Grassley, “as long as he has a Twitter feed, she has a chance.”

Another note of caution: electoral campaigns in particular need to be careful to distinguish between a candidate or officeholder’s Twitter feed and one updated by staff, since Twitter as a community tends to value authenticity. If Twitterers find out that a “candidate’s voice” is not actually his own, the campaign’s credibility can take a hit. Campaigns can use both approaches in a single feed if it’s clear whose voice is speaking at any given time, and can even turn a relatively rare candidate appearance on his or her own feed into an event to promote. Finally, don’t forget that once a campaign has a Twitter feed, people will expect to be able to follow it and interact with the author(s). Don’t start a feed and let it die of neglect.

For more from this chapter, please download your copy of “How to Use the Internet to Win in 2014″ today.

Political Social Media Campaigns – How and Why they can win or lose elections.


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vote-for-me-buttonStarting out, knowing the ins and outs of online networking can be a bit daunting for candidates. Here are a few tips for political campaigns are unfamiliar or starting out with the whole social media thing.

First a note to the candidates:

Much of how campaigns have been using social media amounts, at best, to a waste of people’s time and attention, and, at worst, to relentlessly spamming your friends. Not only is this ineffective, you’ll likely be irritating some of your friends and supporters – and I know you don’t want to do that.

For the candidates (and those who love them), I offer a few tips for using social media to get you started:

  1. Define your objectives: It’s amazing how often this step is bypassed. Do you want to use social media to communicate with your existing supporter base or grow your base? Do you want to raise funds, awareness or both? Knowing the answer to these question will have a lot to do with your strategy. I’ve seen campaigns hoping to grow (don’t they all?), but using the tools as if they only wanted to be in touch with an existing audience. It shouldn’t have been a surprise that the online community didn’t grown much.
  2. Engage (a.k.a. It’s not all about you): Don’t just publish. If you primarily use these new channels to push out your “Come learn about me” events and links to your “Donate here” page, people will tune out pretty quickly. Don’t miss the important opportunities to talk with, not at, your audience. Doing this well will build your reputation and visibility.
  3. Public vs. Private: Know what content (information, photos, etc.) about you can be seen online by the many (everyone) or by the few (close friends and family). Then, assume that it all can be seen by the many and plan with that in mind.
  4. Connect the online and offline worlds: Most of your activities and content should have both online and offline components woven seamlessly together. This can range from posting photos on Facebook from an offline event to holding live events online allowing a large group the opportunity to interact in real-time, and everything in between.
  5. Fish where the fish are: People want to hear from you where they hang out, not where you want them to be found. The fish are on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube; not on your website. If you wait for the fish to come to you, you may be sitting alone with your pole in the water for a very long time.
  6. Get a running start: It takes time to build real momentum, so start early. Sure, you can easily get a certain number of Facebook fans or Twitter followers in a short period of time, but will they be the right ones? Would you prefer to be connected to more people who don’t care about you or your message or fewer who are engaged and interested?
  7. Damage control: Most people aren’t thinking about this as a top priority when they begin engaging through social media. We don’t really expect damage, so why would we be thinking about damage control? The fact is that, should something go awry or someone have something negative to say, it’ll be online in a heartbeat. If you’ve done a good job establishing your community online and have shown yourself to be authentic and responsive, you’re in a much stronger position to be able to respond to the situation in a faster and more credible way than had you not built your online presence so thoughtfully.
  8. It takes work: Social media is not a set-it-and-forget-it proposition. For some reason, many have the misconception that all that is required is the up-front work to set up a “presence.” In order for your online presence to work for you, it takes work – attentive, responsive, ongoing work. I’ve seen many people set up Facebook pages, encourage people to join and then allow it to go dormant, even when community members post messages or questions. This is akin to publishing your phone number, yet not answering when someone calls.
  9. On a list of 8 tips, this important one comes at no extra charge: This may not be the best job for the intern or your neighbor’s son: I’m sure the intern and the neighbor’s son are delightful people. They might even be heavy Facebook users. Just because someone does something often doesn’t mean they do it well. At speaking engagements, I often use driving as an example. I know people who have been driving for years, but when I’m in the car with them, my foot instinctively searches for the brake pedal on the passenger side. They drive a lot; they don’t drive well. Understanding best practices, the nuances of various tools, social media analytics and the pace and etiquette of the different social platforms are not simple tasks. There is too much at stake. Find (or hire) the right person to help you leverage the potential of social media and taking your campaign online – where the fish are.

Running a campaign isn’t easy. It takes a dedicated team to develop and execute the campaign’s strategy. You don’t need a separate social media strategy. What you need is a good understanding of how to use social channels in a way which supports your campaign strategy. Understanding why this is important and how to execute this will go a long way toward having the candidate be every bit as compelling online as they are in person.

Looking for ways to boost your Twitter following?

1  – Understand Different Engagement Types

It is helpful to know which Tweets bumped up your engagement, and where your engagement peaks and valleys fell over the course of a campaign.

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But it’s more helpful to know which types of engagement your peak and valley posts received.

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These are the different engagement types on Twitter and what they mean.

Replies: Twitter followers/users felt passionately enough about your brand and/or its Twitter content to reply and try to engage directly. Next steps: Conduct sentiment analysis and drill even deeper into the specific replies to understand what’s going on.

Retweets: Twitter followers/users either very much like what you’re saying, want others to see what you’ve said — or both. Next steps: Pay special attention to your Tweets which get a lot of Retweets, make sure you understand why, and try to replicate.

Mentions: Twitter followers/users want to talk about your brand. Next steps: Jump into the conversation, even if it isn’t directed at you. Whether a Twitter user is complimenting your brand or complaining about it, do whatever you can to make yourself an ally and give your brand a personality.

Favorites: Twitter followers/users are big fans of your Tweet, but don’t necessarily want to take their love a step further. Next steps: It’s worth looking at the overlap here between Twitter users who Favorite your content and also Retweet it. This is a simple yet effective way to benchmark the resonance of your Twitter content over time.

2 – Experiment with Twitter Moments

We explored what Twitter Moments can do for your brand in a previous post, but here are some concrete ways you can generate awareness for your own brand using the new feature:

  • Tweet GIF’s, video clips, and eye-catching and/or surprising images during and leading up to major events. These will capture the most attention as Twitter users scroll through a “Moment.”
  • Put together short video breakdowns of an employee giving the “need-to-know” facts about a major news story, industry event, or any other “Moment” you want a piece of. Help Twitter users cut through the noise.
  • Do you have a major influencer or partner with his or her own significant Twitter following? Host a Q&A focused around that person. Twitter Moments offers greater visibility for events like this than ever before.

The opportunities for experimentation with Twitter Moments are endless. Get out there! Turn a Twitter Moment into your brand’s moment.

3 – Make the Most of Your Ad Real Estate

I turned to our Senior Marketing Manager, Danie Pote, to understand how she makes her paid efforts on Twitter work.

Danie says, “This goal is to make people want to click just by looking at your image, without even having to read your Tweet copy.” You can do this by:

  • Taking advantage of additional space for text in the image to place a strong CTA
  • Using vibrant imagery to capture attention
  • Testing two different graphics against one another in Twitter ads to understand which performs best during the campaign

4 – Turn Notable Users into Twitter Lists

A Twitter list is a curated group of Twitter users. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the users on that list.

Twitter lists help you keep an eye on people who are important to your brand, whether you’re looking at them on the Twitter platform or using a multi-column app like Tweetdeck.

First, find out who your brand’s most engaged users, most followed users, and top users by Klout score were for a particular Twitter campaign.

twitter lists

Then, create a Twitter list which incorporates all these users.

When you put together a similarly focused or themed Twitter campaign in the future, begin by reaching out to these users to build initial buzz.

5 – View in Context

Most likely, your brand isn’t just on Twitter, so remember not to look at your efforts and results on this network in some kind of vacuum.

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You might find you can reutilize resources, from text to videos to captions, on Facebook or Instagram, and cut down on your time spent creating brand new content for these networks. Or you might find the opposite — that you’ve been trying to post the exact same content across all your active social networks, and this isn’t creating the kind of engagement you’re looking for.

Examining your campaign results on Twitter alongside results on your other social networks will tell you whether you need to pivot for the next time or keep doing what you’re doing.

Launching a Facebook Business Page? We have a few tips

Small business owners often find that Facebook helps their bottom line, but how can you be sure that your time on the social network is well spent?

Update Frequently
If you don’t have time to update your Facebook page, there’s no reason to have it. Tools like Hootsuite allow you to schedule posts, so you can spend a few minutes once or twice a week to populate your Timeline, and none of your followers will be the wiser.

Be Interactive
Reply to people who comment on your wall, even if their comment is a complaint. A negative experience that becomes positive in the public realm helps your brand while you can also direct customers with complaints to the person who actually can help them.

Avoid Shameless Self Promotion
Yes, Facebook is a place where you can post a link to your latest blog post or talk about products added to your eCommerce website. However, you don’t want to only do those things. Post customer photos or links to industry-related news. The latter helps build you as an authority.

Complete Your Profile
This includes the “About” section. Put your URL directly in that blurb as well as in the expanded information so users can click over to your website no matter where they’re looking on your profile. You’ll also want to use relevant keywords here. 5. Represent Your Company Even if you’re not an eCommerce business or it isn’t your intent to use Facebook as a type of customer service, consumers will expect you to. Respond kindly to every criticism and with humility to every compliment. Be personal but stay away from anything that might be misconstrued as “TMI.”

Make Goals Do you want more followers?
Do you want to see Facebook Insights graph raising as more people talk about your brand? Maybe you want people to sign up for your newsletter or feed. Or is it important to get more traffic to your website or see greater sales? Being active on social media can do all of these things, but your strategy may change if you want to focus on one over the other.

Measure Results
Facebook has built in Insights for page owners to see how well their posts do, and you’ll find similar metrics if you purchase advertising on the social network. However, you can also use Google Analytics and other tools to measure the success your activities on Facebook, which you’ll want to do to be more successful in the future.

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Adding a live link to a Google Calendar Event (description)

I can not even say how frustrating this had become or how happy finding this helpful video made me. Huge shout out to Have Technology – Will Travel, Jason Mammano for posting this online

While Google does not give us the ability to insert a hyperlink in a Google Calendar description by default, with a little HTML action we solve this deficiency.

Here is the magical code:

<a href=”URL”> display text</a>
Education application: Perfect for teachers that want to share assignments or resources on a public calendar to their students. Public school calendar for an administrator or counselor to share date specific resources.

See how to use it in the video below.
View more of his amazing tips

Running an Instagram Influencer Campaign

Shared courtesy of the fine folks at SME!

#1: Reach Out to the Right Influencers

The first thing to do is to identify potential Instagram influencers and reach out to them.

Identify Influencers

Take your time exploring Instagram pages that are related to your business and whose followers align with your target audience. You can simply go to the Explore tab and search by keyword to find potential candidates.

Once you’ve found an interesting account, look at the suggested accounts that appear next to the account’s Follow button.

suggested instagram accounts

Find influencer prospects by looking at the Suggest accounts for any user.

Make a list of at least 10 accounts you want to target, focusing on ones with more than 100,000 followers. The more substantial the account’s follower base, the more successful your campaign is likely to be.

However, don’t look only at the number of followers that an account has, because that doesn’t tell the whole story. Look at the posts’ engagement (the number of likes and comments) and make sure there’s a good balance.

Contact Influencers

After you’ve compiled a list of influencers, it’s time to reach out to them. You want toask if they would consider adding a link to your landing page to their bio.

Instagram pages that are open to advertising opportunities typically make it easy for you to contact them. In their bios they will provide an email address and often a Kikcontact name as well. (Kik is a messaging app commonly used by the Instagram community.)

instagram profile with contact info

Influencers who are open to advertising opportunities include contact info in their profile. Reach out to these influencers to see if they’re open to advertising your product or service.

Once you have their contact information, it’s time to craft the message you’re going to send to influencers. Explain that you’re looking to promote your Instagram account and business, and want to know if they’re open to advertising opportunities. If they are, you’d like them to send you a quote.

You’ll get different types of quotes, based on the number of followers for the account, its engagement and the industry. Prices may also vary depending on whether the account is personal or branded.

Try to negotiate on pricing. You’re not dealing with Instagram directly, so pricing can be tailored based on your profile and situation. Some Instagram accounts earn over $10,000 a month, so don’t be shy about negotiating on prices.

Keep in mind that if you’re a small business, you may want to reach out to smaller accounts first. Then if you see a nice return, you can move on to larger accounts for future influencer campaigns.

If you contact a personal Instagram account with over 500,000 followers, the account owner might not be the one who replies to you. Instead, you may hear from an agency or a manager who is acting on their behalf.

#2: Set Up a Landing Page

After you have a list of influencers who’ve agreed to work with you, you need to create a landing page for your campaign. The landing page should be a simple web page andinclude an opt-in form. You want to drive traffic from Instagram to your landing page and invite visitors to provide their contact information. To do that, you’ll need to provide a free offer to incentivize them.

instagram campaign landing page

On your landing page, offer users an incentive to give you their contact information.

The offer can be a free guide, report, lesson, ebook or webinar in exchange for something from users. Because you want to generate leads, ask your visitors to provide their email address. Remember that the more valuable the information you offer, the more likely people will appreciate and remember your business.

The goal of your landing page is not to sell but to attract new leads. To catch the attention of Instagram users, the page needs to be clear, concise and engaging. It’s also important that the page is responsive since most of your traffic will come from mobile devices.

#3: Launch Your Campaign

After you choose an influencer, you’ll need to deliver your promotional materials for the campaign.

Because your goal is to drive traffic to your landing page, here are the materials you’ll need to send to the account promoting your business:

  • Provide a caption with a strong call to action. Invite the influencer’s followers to check out your link in the influencer’s bio.
  • Submit a picture of the product or a quote. (You can use a call to action here.)
  • Share the link to your landing page. Edit the link with a link tracker so you canmonitor the clicks and the return on investment (ROI) of each influencer campaign you run.
instagram campaign image

Give your partners everything they need to promote your link.

After you provide these three elements, the influencer will publish your post and add your link to their bio. The account’s followers can then start engaging with your ad.

Paid Mentions

Another way to leverage your relationship with influencers on Instagram is the paid shout out (or mention).

In exchange for a fee, influencers will mention you to drive their followers to your account.

When your Instagram account is on target with the accounts that mention you, you’ll attract more followers, and ultimately get more traffic to the landing page you link to in your bio.


Instagram now has over 300 million users, many of them Millennials. If you want to generate new leads from the platform, you don’t need to have tons of followers or even have an Instagram account. With an Instagram influencer campaign, all you need is a simple landing page and a minimal budget to invest.

What do you think? Have you reached out to Instagram influencers to promote your business? Which influencers have you worked with? What were the results of your campaigns? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Facebook Ads Changes: What Marketers Need to Know

Facebook has gone all in to provide businesses with tools and targeting options to connect with customers and prospects in the moments that matter.

In this article I’ll share the five biggest things to happen with Facebook ads.

five facebook ad changes

Discover what marketers need to know about five Facebook ads changes.

#1: Call Now Button Connects You to Mobile Users

Facebook launched a local awareness initiative in 2014 that gave advertisers the option to add a Get Directions call-to-action button to their ads. This year Facebook took it up a notch with the Call Now button.

This is an important lead generation tool for businesses of all kinds, but especially local businesses. It basically takes an entire stage right out of the funnel. Rather than send people to your website or Facebook page hoping they’ll contact you, the Call Now button allows you to let people call you directly from your ad.

facebook call now button gif

The Call Now button makes it easy for people to call you.

Smart targeting on Facebook can get you in front of motivated consumers on mobile. Adding the Call Now button gives people a direct link to convert from the ad, no extra steps required.

#2: Dynamic Product Ads Sync With Sales Catalogs

As powerful as Google Shopping ads are, it only made sense that Facebook would enter this arena, too.

Though they serve a similar purpose, Facebook’s product ads do not work in the same way as Google’s product listing ads. Facebook’s product ads are actually more like Google’s dynamic remarketing display ads. They use Facebook’s targeting parameters, or the consumer’s history on your site or in your app to serve ads.

The ads are template-based, meaning you don’t have to spend time on new creative for each ad. The templates pull images, product names, pricing and other attributes from your catalog, based on the keywords you’ve provided. This catalog integration also means your ads will stop running once your product is out of stock.

dynamic product ad template

Templates pull images, product names, pricing and other information from your catalog.

Best of all, these templates work for news feed and sidebar ads across all displays, so you don’t need separate ads for desktop, tablet and mobile.

#3: Carousel Ads Come to Mobile

Facebook launched carousel ads last year, but this summer they extended the option to mobile. This format has a lot of interesting possibilities, thanks to its ability to display multiple images with different links within one ad unit.

This mobile carousel ad from Tinker Crate spotlights different features and views of their product.

facebook carousel ad on mobile

The carousel format is a natural fit for mobile devices.

This spring, Neiman Marcus used carousel ads to showcase shoe and handbag collections and reported three times more conversions and 85% higher click-through rates, compared to standard ad units. The average lift in conversion across early testers was 12%.

Given the natural inclination to swipe sideways on mobile, carousel ads are an intuitive, seamless ad format for mobile users that gives you a creative, engaging way to tell stories.

#4: Updated Ad Tools Boost Productivity

A June overhaul gave Facebook Ads Manager and Power Editor facelifts, as well as added functionality.

On the Power Editor side, this release offers a more logical interface, but also enhances bulk editing and advanced search capabilities.

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The redesigned Power Editor has a more intuitive interface. Image: Placeit.

Ads Manager has a more streamlined feel, with performance metrics featured more prominently. Facebook said the update means “advertisers can quickly reference how their ads are performing in the same environment where they create and edit them.” Essentially, you now create your ads and manage them in one place.

What’s particularly awesome about this update is that you can bulk-edit the targeting and budgets for several ads at once and use the Create Similar option to duplicate ads and campaigns.

If you aren’t seeing these new features yet, don’t worry. They’re rolling out globally in the coming months.

#5: Ads Manager App Brings Campaign Management to Mobile

Small- and medium-sized advertisers rejoiced earlier this year when Facebook released the stand-alone Ads Manager app. You can now track ad performance, edit ads,revise budgets, adjust scheduling and create ads, right from the app. (You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play).

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The Ads Manager app enables you to create and manage ads from a mobile device. Image: Placeit.

The stand-alone app also lets you receive push notifications, save new ad drafts,create ads using photos from your phone and more.

Now, you can be as mobile as the people you’re trying to reach and not feel chained to a desktop computer to monitor your ad campaigns.

Look to See These Ad Formats in the Future

Prefill Form Fields with Lead Ads

This summer, Facebook announced they’re testing a new mobile ad format calledlead ads. These ads auto-populate some form fields on mobile devices using information that’s already known about the person. This makes the submission process much easier, as the user can just verify the accuracy of the information and click through.

facebook lead ad example

Lead ads make it easier for people to fill out forms on mobile devices.

Lead ads might be a good option if you want people to sign up for your company’s newsletter, request a follow-up phone call or receive a price estimate. Once you get in front of motivated consumers on their mobile devices, you don’t want to risk losing them by asking them to type in a bunch of information.

Facebook has promised to share the results of their early testing.

Design Immersive Mobile Ads

This summer at Cannes Lions (an annual ad industry festival), Facebook gave a sneak peek at an immersive mobile ad format they’re working on.

Basically, the ad takes over the screen when a user clicks it in his or her news feed. When it expands to full screen, the ad becomes a browsable microsite, but it keeps the user within the Facebook ecosystem.

This ad format will demand a great deal of creative and will probably suit larger brands, at least in its early days.


Shared via smexaminer

Published August 24, 2015 

Tips To Use Google Search Efficiently

dr seuss google logo

Millions of people use Google search every day for a variety of reasons. Students use it for school, business people use it for research, and millions more use it for entertainment. Did you know that you may not be using Google search to its full potential? Here are 20 tips and tricks to maximize your search efficiency.

Use the tabs
The first tip is to use the tabs in Google search. On the top of every search are a number of tabs. Usually you’ll see Web, Image, News, and More. Using these tabs, you can help define what kind of search you need to do. If you need images, use the Image tab. If you are looking for a recent news article, use the News tab. It’s rudimentary and most people use the tabs already. If you are not, then it’s highly recommended to get associated with them. They can cut search times dramatically if utilized properly.

Use quotes
When searching for something specific, try using quotes to minimize the guesswork for Google search. When you put your search parameters in quotes, it tells the search engine to search for the whole phrase. For instance, if you search for Puppy Dog Sweaters, the engine will search for content that contains those three words in any order. However, if you search “Puppy Dog Sweaters”, it will search for that phrase exactly as you typed it. This can help locate specific information that may be buried under other content if not sorted out correctly.

Use a hyphen to exclude words
Sometimes you may find yourself searching for a word with an ambiguous meaning. An example is Mustang. When you Google search for Mustang, you may get results for both the car made by Ford or the horse. If you want to cut one out, use the hyphen to tell the engine to ignore content with one of the other. See the example below.

Mustang -cars
This tells the search engine to search for mustangs but to remove any results that have the word “car” in it. It can be wildly helpful when finding information about something without getting information about something else.

Use a colon to search specific sites
There may be an instance where you need to Google search for articles or content on a certain website. The syntax is very simple and we’ll show you below.

Sidney Crosby
This will search for all content about famous hockey player Sidney Crosby, but only on All other search results will be removed. If you need to find specific content on a particular site, this is the shortcut you can use.

Find a page that links to another page
This Google search tip is a little obscure. Instead of searching for a specific page, you’re searching for a page that links to a specific page. Think about it this way. If you want to see who cited a New York Times article on their site, you would use this trick to find all the sites that link to it. The syntax is below.
That will return all pages that link to the New York Times official website. The URL on the right side can be practically anything. Be aware, though, that the more specific it is, the fewer results you’ll get. We know not a lot of people will likely use this Google search trick, but it could be very useful for some.

Use the asterisk wildcard
The asterisk wildcard is one of the most useful ones on the list. Here’s how it works. When you use an asterisk in a search term on Google search, it will leave a placeholder that may be automatically filled by the search engine later. This is a brilliant way to find song lyrics if you don’t know all the words. Let’s look at the syntax.

“Come * right now * me”
To you or me, that may look like nonsense. However, Google search will search for that phrase knowing that the asterisks can be any word. More often than not, you’ll find they are lyrics to The Beatles song “Come Together” and that’s what the search will tell you.

Find sites that are similar to other sites
This is a unique one that could be used by practically everyone if they knew it existed. Let’s say you have a favorite website. It can be anything. However, that website is getting a little bit boring and you want to find other websites like it. You would use this trick. Below is the syntax.
If you search that above, you won’t find a link to Amazon. Instead, you’ll find links to online stores like Amazon. Sites like Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and others that sell physical items online. It’s a powerful Google search tool that can help you find new sites to browse.

Use Google search to do math
As a college student, I can attest that I use this one rather frequently. Google search can actually do math for you. This is a rather complex one to describe because it can be used in so many ways. You can ask it basic questions or some more difficult ones. It is important to note that it won’t solve all math problems, but it will solve a good number of them. Here are a couple of examples of the syntax.

8 * 5 + 5
Planck’s Consant
If you search the first one, it’ll return 45. It will also show a calculator that you can use to find answers to more questions. This is handy if you need to do some quick math but don’t want to do it in your head. If you search the second term, it will return the number value of Planck’s Constant. So it can do math, but it can also help you solve math problems by showing values for known mathematical terms.

Search for multiple words at once
Google search is flexible. It knows you may not find what you want by searching only a single word or phrase. Thus, it lets you search for multiples. By using this trick, you can search for one word or phrase along with a second word or phrase. This can help narrow down your search to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Here is the syntax.

“Best ways to prepare for a job interview” OR “How to prepare for a job interview”
By searching that, you will search both phrases. Remember the quotes tip above? It’s being used here as well. In this instance, these two exact phrases will be searched. It can be done by word too, like the example below.

chocolate OR white chocolate
This will search for pages that have either chocolate or white chocolate!

Search a range of numbers
Searching for a range of numbers is another tip we don’t anticipate a lot of people using. The people that do use it, though, will probably use it quite a bit. People interested in money or statistics will find this tip particularly useful. Essentially, you use two dots and a number to let Google search know you’re looking for a specific range of numbers. Like the syntax below.

What teams have won the Stanley Cup ..2004
In the first instance, the search will toss back the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2004. The two dots with only one number will tell the search that you don’t need anything before or after 2004. This can help narrow down searches to a specific number to improve search results. In the second, Google will search for the numbers 41, 42, and 43. It is obscure, but wildly useful if you happen to need to search for numbers like this.

Keep it simple
Now we’re getting into the general tips. Google search knows how to search for a lot of things. What this means is you don’t need to be too specific. If you need a pizza place nearby, use this to search.

Pizza places nearby
Google search will grab your location and deliver a variety of results about pizza places that are near you.

Gradually add search terms
There will come a time when Google search doesn’t shovel out the results you expect. In this instance, keeping it simple may not be the best option. As Google itself suggests, the best method is to start with something simple then gradually get more complicated. See the example below.

First try: job interviews
Second try: prepare for job interviews
Third try: how to prepare for a job interview
This will gradually refine the search to bring you fewer, more targeted terms. The reason you don’t go straight from the first try to the third try is because you may miss what you’re looking for by skipping the second step. Millions of websites phrase the same information in a number of different ways; using this technique lets you search as many of them as possible to find the best info.

Use words that websites would use
This is a very important one. When people use Google search to hunt the web, they generally search for things using the same language that they would use for speaking. Unfortunately, websites don’t say things the way people do; instead, they try to use language that sounds professional. Let’s look at some examples.

“I have a flat tire” could be replaced by “repair a flat tire.”
“My head hurts” could be replaced by “headache relief.”
The list goes on and on. When searching, try to use terminology you would find on a professional website. This will help you get more reliable results.

Use important words only
The way Google search works is to take what you search for and match it with keywords in online content. When you search for too many words, it may limit your results. That means it may actually take you longer to find what you’re looking for. Thus, it is apropos to use only the important words when searching for something. Let’s see an example.

Don’t use: Where can I find a Chinese restaurant that delivers.
Instead try: Chinese restaurants nearby.
Or: Chinese restaurants near me.
Doing this can help Google find what you need without all the clutter. So remember, keep it simple and use important words only.

Google search has shortcuts
A number of commands can be entered to give you instantaneous results. Like the math example above, Google can immediately give you the information you need that is displayed right at the top of the search results. This can save time and effort so you don’t have to click a bunch of bothersome links. Here are a few examples of some commands you can enter into Google.

Weather *zip code* – This will show you the weather in the given zip code. You can also use town and city names instead of area codes, but it may not be as accurate if there are multiple area codes in the city.
What is *celebrity name* Bacon Number – This is a fun little one that will tell you how many connections any given celebrity has to famed actor Kevin Bacon. The popular joke, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, is that no actor is more than 6 connections away from Kevin Bacon. Mark Zuckerberg has a Bacon Number of 3.
The math example posted above is another one.
What is the definition of *word* or Define: *word* – This will display the definition of a word.
Time *place* – This will display the time in whatever place you type in.
You can check any stock by typing its ticker name into Google. If you search for GOOG, it will check the stock prices for Google.
These quick commands can take a web search that is usually multiple clicks and condense it into a single search. This is very helpful for information you need repeatedly.

16. Spelling doesn’t necessarily matter
Google search has gotten a lot smarter over the years. These days, you don’t even need to spell words correctly. As long as it’s pretty close, Google can usually figure out what it means. Here are some examples.

If you search “Nver Gna Gve Yo Up” Google will automatically assume you mean to search for “Never Gonna Give You Up.” If by chance your misspelling was intentional, Google gives you the option to search for the misspelled term instead.
This trick is great if you happen to forget how to spell something or are not altogether sure how something is spelled. It can also be helpful when searching for obscure words. This applies to capitalization and grammar as well.

Use descriptive words
Pretty much everything can be described in multiple ways. Take our namesake, the “life hack.” The terminology “hack” refers to a computer programmer breaking security on a network or system. However, when used in conjunction with the word “life”, it alters the meaning to tips and tricks people can use to improve their lives. If you have trouble finding what you’re searching for, keep in mind that people may search or define what you need in a different way than you do.

You may search “How to install drivers in Ubunut?”
When you really mean “Troubleshoot driver problems Ubuntu.”
There really isn’t a good specific example for this one. If you search for something and you can’t find an answer, try asking the same question using different words and see if that helps the results.

Find a specific file
An often forgotten feature of Google search is the ability to search for a specific file or file type. This can be infinitely useful if you need a specific PDF or PowerPoint file that you previously viewed or need to use for another project. The syntax is quite simple.

*Search term here* filetype:pdf
In the above example, you simply replace the search term with whatever you’re searching for. Then use the filetype command and enter the extension of any file type you can think of. This can mostly be useful for scholarly purposes, but business presentations and other assorted presentations can benefit from this kind of search as well.

Money and unit conversions
Google search can quickly and accurately convert both measurement units and currency value. There are a variety of uses for this, like checking to see the conversion rate between two currencies. If you happen to be a math student, you can use it to convert from feet to meters or from ounces to liters. Here’s how to do it.

miles to km – This will convert miles to kilometers. You can put numbers in front to convert a certain number. Like “10 miles to km” will show you how many kilometers are in 10 miles.
USD to British Pound Sterling – This will convert a US dollar to British pounds. Like the measurements above, you can add numbers to find exact conversions for a certain amount of money.
It’s true that this tip is geared toward math students and international business people. However, you’d be surprised how often these tips are used by regular people.

Track your packages
Our last trick is to use Google search to find out where your packages are. You can enter any UPS, USPS, or Fedex tracking number directly into the Google search bar, and it’ll show you the tracking information about your package. This is much easier than going to the specific sites, waiting for them to load, then searching for your packages there. No examples are really needed for this one. Just type your tracking number in and see where your package is.

Google Search wrap-up
Google search is a very powerful search tool. Using the tips outlined above, you can find anything and everything you could ever need on the World Wide Web. Whether it’s avoiding Wikipedia for a school essay project, finding the latest stock prices, or even finding song lyrics, there is a way to make Google search work for you.


Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

These days, you want to create a LinkedIn profile that will get praise on the web. A profile that will get recruiters to dial your number… a profile that will clog your profile with thousands of InMail messages.

Indeed, having a presence on LinkedIn can increase your odds of being recruited. The platform rose to 300 million members last year, amongst which are individual recruiters and enterprises looking to hire the right fit for their corporations. It’s also intriguing that89 percent of employers have recruited from the site, so it’s a great opportunity to seek professional roles.

But just filling out a profile is not enough…

If you hope to be on someone’s radar, you’ll have to optimize your presence. The platform offers many overlooked ways to be more discoverable in search results and promote your expertise.

Below then, are 10 tips to craft a LinkedIn presence that will help you attract eyeballs of potential recruiters:

1. Write a robust summary

There’s a space of 2,000 characters to fill up for the summary, so you have the opportunity to list your goals, broader expertise, and success stories. You could also include real-life examples to demonstrate your experience. If you are a graphic designer, you can include a digital clip. If you are an author, you can include a chapter of your publication.

As for the keywords, the most important spots are the Job Titles, Headlines and Skills, but the Summary section counts as well. Mention relevant keywords in this section (without stuffing) while you write a compelling description. Here’s the LinkedIn summary of Cindy King, Director of Editorial at Social Media Examiner:

LinkedIn Summary should be thoughtfully crafted

Start-ups, sales, marketing, social media – the right keywords can be incredibly effective.

Some other things you should do in the Summary section:

  • Use proper spacing, formatting, and bullets where possible. Don’t fill up the summary with a block of text
  • Demonstrate your experience by including presentations, web addresses, etc.
  • Add a CTA (call-to-action) such as contact references and links to other web profile addresses
  • Display rich media

2. Headline and profile image matters

Headline gives you an opportunity to highlight your experience, so it needs to have something specific than the title of your current profession. LinkedIn will fill this space if you don’t optimize this element by filling the headline with the title of your recent or current role.

You should also note that the professional headline will show up under your name in search engine results. It can be a selling point, so you need to use a variety of terms to show up in a variety of searches. For example, using ‘Graphic Design professional’ as well as ‘Web Design specialist at abc’ will increase your chances of being discovered by recruiters in the same industry.

Example of a bad headline

Example of a bad LinkedIn headline

Example of a good headline

Example of a good LinkedIn headline

I recommend using the divider symbol (|) to separate titles when listing several expertise in the headline. Also, you should avoid any words like ‘experienced’ as mentioning such words is weak telling.

Next, you should pay attention to your facial appearance as it can affect judgments of traits such as competence and trustworthiness. You should avoid using:

  • Pixilated or grainy images
  • Black and white images (without reason)
  • Self-portrait (snaps taken by holding your arm out)

Instead, you should:

  • Use natural lightning
  • A clear light-colored background
  • Relax your face and expression

As the profile picture is crucial for your personal brand, you can take the option of hiring a professional photographer.

3. Join relevant groups

Discover relevant groups by using industry-specific keywords or via the group memberships your connections have. When you join a group, contribute professionally by sharing your views on a particular topic and start ongoing discussions. And if you’re the founder of a group, you might as well be an active member of it.

You might not know that when you’re a member of the same group as someone else you want to get in touch with, you can message them without the need of being their first-degree connection. Group members are also able to see profiles of fellow members without being connected, so joining more groups will expand your profile visibility and messaging options.

So if you’re a freelance graphic designer, you would join these groups:

Join LinkedIn groups to gain profile visibility

Give them a try, and see how joining a group can add a boost to your optimization goals.

4. Use the publishing feature

Wouldn’t you like people to see you as a thought leader as you optimize your profile? LinkedIn’s publishing platform will deliver your content to a network of people seeking professional insight. You can use a tool like BuzzSumo to come up with interesting topics relevant to your profession.

A published post can be viewed by anyone on LinkedIn; think of the platform as a way to showcase your expertise with high-quality information. The added benefit is that LinkedIn articles are ranking well in Google search results.

LinkedIn's publishing feature

Published posts are added to your profile, and anyone viewing your profile can see your publications. Even analytics showcasing the number of views, likes and comments are displayed.

Other tips to remember

  • Use formatting, spacing and best practices like in blog posts
  • End with a call-to-action
  • Be consistent with a publishing plan
  • Participate in comments

If your contribution gets featured on a LinkedIn channel (read about Channels here), you’ll get added exposure.

5. Get endorsements and recommendations

You need to add skills to your profile for optimization and get endorsements for those skills from your connections. LinkedIn will display your top 10 skills based on the number of endorsements, which will help profile viewers know what you excel in. The skills will be displayed in the drop-down menu, and skills that have been endorsed will move to the top.

Endorsing others also helps build strong connections with people in your circle. Usually after endorsing someone, you receive an endorsement and it’s easier to talk to the connection because you’ve been in touch recently. It’s possible to rearrange, edit and remove the skills and corresponding endorsements as well.

Another thing you should do is ask for recommendations from people you’ve worked for or worked with. These recommendations take up important real estate on your profile at the bottom. It serves as a social proof to win over new business; recommendations show what companies you’ve worked with and why they love working with you. Here’s an example of a recommendation given to a graphic designer:

Getting recommended on LinkedIn

To get high-quality recommendations, you need to:

  • Ask a team member or employer to recommend you on a specific detail, such as your deadline driven approach
  • List your key achievements to provide substantive content for the requested recommendations
  • Give recommendations – let the act of giving work out on itself. Recommendations can prompt a positive response, getting you one in return

Only recommendations approved by you will be displayed on your profile.

6. Highlight your achievements

In your profile, you get the option to add your certifications, honors & awards, volunteering experience, publications, projects, and test scores. These credentials will add value to your profile: if you don’t have a job, your volunteering experience will show you have been a part of an organization. If you have a certification that will make you stand out in the competition, display it here. Show prospects what you’ve achieved so far in your life.

You can include a lot of details in each of these sections. For example, publications let you include the URL of the book or website, the excerpt and the title. LinkedIn allows you to add up to 2,000 characters of description to a publication, as well as names of people (if any) associated with the publication.

Likewise, you can list larger initiatives you’ve been a part of in the Projects section. You don’t have to stick to collaborative efforts though; you can too reference your own internal work.

Highlight your achievements on LinkedIn,such as completed projects

Projects to highlight can include:

  • Designs developed/managed
  • Presentations & public speaking
  • Surveys, webinars & interviews
  • Training or team-building tasks

While you can list as many publications and projects as you have available, I don’t see it as a necessity. Instead, list the achievements you really want prospective employers to recognize you for.

7. Customize the URL

Similar to other social networks, your LinkedIn profile URL by default contains alphanumerical random characters. However, you can customize the URL of your profile by following these steps:

  • Open Settings > Edit
  • Click on Public Profile > Customize Your Public Profile
  • Select a name you want on the vanity URL

The profile will include your personal name. My recommendation is to keep the vanity URL same for all your social networks, something like ‘’ and ‘’.

Getting a vanity URL for LinkedIn

Here are the benefits of using vanity URLs:

  • It enables consistent branding
  • It creates link trust
  • It makes you more memorable

LinkedIn users can also use profile badges to promote their profile on personal websites, guest blogs, etc. When users click on those badges, they’ll be redirected to your profile through the vanity URL.

8. Post regular updates

Your status updates will be seen by anyone who views your profile, and these updates will appear in the LinkedIn feed of your connections. Status updates are also included in the email you receive from LinkedIn as the weekly network update. Your latest status update will appear on your profile page. The character limit was changed from 140 characters to long-form for the status.

Status updates are a great way to build a memorable reputation and stay on top of mind of recruiters. Here’s what to share:

  • Key accomplishments: Something like, “Just received investment advice from xxx; excited about giving it a try!”
  • Industry insights: According to LinkedIn’s marketing strategy guide, 60 percent members want to look at industry insights over other forms of content
  • Tips and new trends: Good-quality updates related to your profession will interest others in your industry too. You can write about new trends, share success stories, etc. Search for new trends by following industry publications, Influencers and Pulse

Also, if you can’t post updates in real-time, there is always the option to schedule them. You can use one of these tools:

  • Buffer: Enables you to schedule statuses at optimal times (for company pages too)
  • HootSuite: You can schedule updates to be published on your profile, in groups, and company pages
  • Sprout Social: Schedule updates for your profile

In the ‘your updates’ tab, you can see the summary of all your updates.

Status updates increase LinkedIn engagement

With the above-mentioned tabs, you’ll be able to spot any update that was left as a draft and schedule it for later.

9. Incorporate branding

We think highly of people with good company, so increasing your network connections builds your personal brand on LinkedIn. Connect with former classmates, friends, industry leaders, trusted partners and other professionals.

If you want an introduction to someone, ask your connections (1st degree, 2nd degree, etc.) to introduce you as a contact. Profiles with strong and relevant connections (your connections reflect your personality) are always growing.

Another way you can incorporate branding is by customizing your LinkedIn background image. This requires you to upload a custom 1400×425 pixel image. Background is the first thing visitors notice on your profile, along with the profile image, so it is a sign of trust and credibility.

Custom background is a way to brand your LinkedIn profile

For premium members, it’s possible to choose a default background offered by LinkedIn, but it’s always a better option to upload a custom image. LinkedIn wants you to use a GIF, PNG or JPG image with 4MB being the maximum size.

For the custom image, you can:

  • Work with a graphic designer
  • Use tools such as Pic Monkey to create an eye-catching background design

Choose the option that suits your budget.

Note: When deciding what to use as a background image, keep it simple. If your success can be demonstrated with numbers, add them. If you have known clients, add their logos.

10. Be active

Optimization isn’t just about filling all details on your profile; it’s also about being active as a LinkedIn user. This can be done in several ways, such as by using an application to show yourself as an active individual. For example, you can use:

  • SlideShare: For getting the word out about your presentations
  • TripIt: To post your upcoming trip and keep viewers updated about your next destination
  • WordPress: To showcase your existing blog posts

Using third-party LinkedIn applications

Finally, offering help is crucial. Give out recommendations, congratulate people on their work anniversaries and volunteer your expertise. When people know you can be relied upon, you create a memorable experience, which builds trust and gives you additional recommendations.

Promoted Pins – Wading In The Shallow End First

Do you want to add Promoted Pins to your marketing mix?

Are you wondering how to budget for a Promoted Pin campaign?

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on Promoted Pins for them to be effective.

Because they have long-term visibility, they’re a sound addition to your Pinterest marketing.

In this article, I’ll share how to build an effective, affordable promoted-pin campaign on Pinterest.

#1: Start With Effective Pins

While promoted pins are an excellent way to get the most visibility for your advertising dollar, it all starts with crafting a great social media image. Based on your business specialty or niche, create images that speak to your audience.

promoted pins on a budget

Discover how to create a promoted pin campaign on a budget.

Also, use tall images to make sure your pins get noticed. They stand out better and command the attention of Pinterest users.

Give yourself a section of images and pin them ahead of time, so you have choices if you decide to test out various types of visual content using different small budgets.

Once you decide what image you want to use, here’s how to craft an ad for your promoted pin.

Note: Promoted pins are still rolling out in the United States. If you don’t have access yet, join the waitlist.

#2: Choose Your Objective

Go to your Pinterest profile and click the settings button next to Edit Profile to get to promoted pins in the drop-down menu.

pinterest profile settings

To get started, go to your Pinterest profile and select Promoted Pins under Settings.

Once you click the Promote button, you’ll see that Pinterest offers you two choices: Boost Engagement or Get Traffic.

pinterest promoted pin goals

Decide if you want to boost engagement or drive website traffic from your promoted pin.

To get maximum benefit from your promoted pin ad campaign, choose Get Traffic to Your Website.

Keep in mind this is a future strategy that does the promotion backwards. While you tell Pinterest that you want traffic to come to your website, what you really mean is that you want engagement for your pins.

#3: Create the Campaign

Give your campaign a name and then decide on what date or dates you want your promoted pin to be seen. Since the budget is low, you don’t want to stretch it out too long.

choose a pin to promote

Choose Get Traffic to Your Website, and then decide when you want to run the campaign and determine the budget.

If it’s your first time promoting a pin, use Saturday as your day. The more you use promoted pins, the more likely you’ll find the best day for your brand. Keep fine-tuning this aspect of your campaigns.

Now, decide how much money you would like to spend each day. I recommend spending $10 for one day or spread $10 over two days ($5 per day).

#4: Select Keywords for Visibility

The next step is to pick which pin you would like to promote. Then use keywords to tell Pinterest where you would like it to be seen.

This is one of the most important things you can do to get your pin noticed. Keywords should include everything that anyone searching for what you have to offer would think of. So make sure you hit all of the right niche-specific terms for your pin.

add keywords

Use niche-specific keywords to make sure the right people see your pin in Pinterest search results.

Depending on your niche, you can see an estimate of how many weekly impressions your pin may get.

#5: Determine the Cost Per Click

After you set your keywords, decide how much money you’re willing to spend for each person who clicks on your pin to be directed to your website. This is where you may think you need a large budget to get good traffic. However, we’re not after traffic right now. We want the engagement in the form of repins.

Come up with a low cost-per-click (CPC) number. I usually offer 15 to 25 cents per click.

set the cost per click

Set your Cost Per Click limit at a low number, so you get the most clicks for your budget.

A low CPC ensures you won’t run out of money if people get click-happy.

#6: Review Campaign Results

Once your campaign is complete, review the results and wait for the resulting traffic.

For example, I only spent $5 on the campaign below. It received a lot of engagement and impressions at the time, and I’m still getting traffic from it today.

viewing promoted pin stats

This $5 promoted pin campaign received more than 7,000 impressions and 42 repins.

The point of this whole strategy is to turn small amounts of money into traffic generators for your website in the future. The 42 people who repinned this pin will show it to their followers. When their followers repin it, it opens up new reach for you on Pinterest. It just keeps snowballing.

After two promoted pin campaigns over 30 days, I received an extra 218 repins by using a low CPC and targeted keywords for my campaign.

viewing promoted pin campaign results

Two campaigns in 30 days netted more than 61,000 impressions and 1,360 engagements.

Pinterest is a long game in terms of traffic, so a small budget goes a long way. People will always be pinning, and Pinterest rewards you for it.

Over to You

While many people think they need to spend a substantial amount of money for an advertising campaign to work, this is not necessarily the case.

To succeed with promoted pins, be mindful of your visual marketing. Choose a good branded image that will attract attention. And be patient.

This long-term strategy helps save money on ads, while giving you the greatest benefit. This is perfect for companies, but especially important for individuals looking to increase visibility and engagement at an affordable price.

Shared via SME
Published July 29, 2015


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