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

What Industries get the most reach on FB?

If you ask 3 Facebook experts about organic reach on any given day, you’ll probably hear 3 different claims:

  1. Reach is up
  2. Reach is down
  3. Reach hasn’t changed a bit

So, which is true?

Well, it depends on your page, niche, location, ad budget, etc.

To get an accurate picture of how reach has changed over the past year, you’d have to access 1,000s of pages — which is exactly what our friends at AgoraPulse did.

They examined about 7,200 Facebook pages to see if organic reach is in decline.

The pages came from various industries & niches, including:

  • Personal website
  • TV channel
  • Actor/Director
  • Radio station
  • Computers/Internet website
  • Athlete
  • Recreation/Sports website
  • Jewelry/Watches
  • Games/Toys
  • Food/Beverages
  • Cars
  • Hotel
  • Wine/Spirits

And the results might surprise you:

These Industries Are Getting the Most Reach Using Facebook for Business


These numbers came from pages that use the AgoraPulse Facebook Page Barometer.

You can get a pretty decent perspective on the website as a whole from these 7,200 Facebook pages.

For the infographic here is the break down of pages and quantity of pages used:

  • Personal website: 14
  • TV Channel: 17
  • Actor/Director: 4
  • Radio Station: 44
  • Computer/website: 20
  • Athlete: 31
  • Recreation / sport website: 21
  • Automobile: 59
  • Jewel: 33
  • Games / toys: 19
  • Food / beverages: 270
  • Hotels: 126
  • Wine / spirits: 32


The study showed that organic reach for some Facebook pages has increased. Many companies are still very successful at using Facebook for business.

But for others, reach has dropped.

Entertainment-based pages in the categories of personal website, TV channel, actor and radio station saw increases.

Reach dropped for pages focused on:

  • cars
  • food
  • games
  • jewelry
  • hotels
  • beverages

Pages that post lots of entertaining, interesting content, rather than just pushing products all the time, saw their organic reach increase.

Shared via PostPlanner

Advanced Facebook Marketing Strategies

You have to experiment if you want to take your Facebook page to the next level. Following all the Facebook best practices just won’t cut it. Instead of copying everyone else, here are 8 ways to buck conventional norms & really get important data for your Facebook marketing strategy.

If you’re new to Facebook marketing, don’t worry — this advice is easy to follow. But these tips will work wonders for the most seasoned social media marketer too.

8 Advanced Facebook Marketing Strategies for Serious Pros

1. Segment Time for Different Content

The trick here is to post different types of content throughout the day.

Then take note of what works at what time.

For example, post a news link in the morning so your fans can catch up on what’s happening in the world.

Then publish something more light-hearted in the afternoon — like a meme, fun question or a quote.

Then do the reverse the next day & compare the results.

2. Experiment With New Content

Do you post enough variety on your Facebook page?

Would you like to test some new content but don’t know where to begin?

Post Planner’s new viral photo finder can help. The tool quickly locates the most popular & shared photos on any Facebook page.

I used the viral photo finder to find this post:

The trick here is to try posting stuff you’ve never tried before — maybe stuff you’ve never even thought to try before.

See how it works. Gauge the reaction & then try something new.

Think of each post as an experiment! And let Facebook tally the results.

3. Post the Right Content on the Weekend

Maybe people don’t want to read your blog posts on the weekend.

At least that’s what recent research from BuzzSumo says.

So try posting other stuff.

Instead of posting articles, mix it up on the weekend with more engaging posts like questions, quotes & photos.

>> Click to Tweet <<

But again — treat these posts as scientific experiments.

4. Post at Different Times of Day

So many social media experts think they know the #1 best time to post.

Guess what?

They don’t.

That’s because it’s different for every page & fanbase.

The only way to find out is to run experiments.

Ie. try posting at off-peak hours when there isn’t as much competition for eyeballs.

>> Click to Tweet <<

It worked for one of my Facebook pages.

We got strong engagement on content we posted after 10pm.

5. Test Post Frequency

You’ve also heard lots of advice about how many times you should post each day.

Just remember, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for every page. The only way to find out what works best on your page is to experiment.

We post 6-8 times a day at Post Planner!

So it all depends on how engaged your fans are with your content.

Here’s a recent post from Post Planner that got more than 4,000 shares:

Guess what?

The posts that we posted 2 hours before & 2 hours after this post also got huge engagement.

So don’t believe the hype when experts tell you to post only twice per day!

Test it out for yourself!

6. Be Personal

The Facebook pages I remember best are ones that engage with me on a personal level.

They showcase the personal side of their business.

Try communicating with your Facebook fans on a personal level. Discuss a new product launch by showing your team working hard behind the scenes.

Facebook is a social network, so be social.

Here’s a great Mother’s Day example from Creative Market:


7. Highlight Current Events

Are there events in the news that may interest your fans?

If so, you can craft your posts around those events.

For example, if a big game is coming up & your page focuses on recipes, share recipe ideas before the game.

If you run a fashion page, ask for opinions from your fans about what celebrities wore to a newsworthy event like the Academy Awards.

The possibilities are endless.

Pool Supply World posted this on Star Wars Day:


8. Crowdsource Decisions

Are you launching a new product or service soon?

Why not let your fans weigh in with their feedback?

>> Click to Tweet <<

Let them help you make decisions like:

  • picking a new book cover
  • deciding on a title or headline
  • choosing a new logo

This is a great way to get fans to engage with your page.

Check out how my friend Chris Reimer crowdsourced his book cover:


Wrap Up

Use these advanced Facebook marketing strategies to take your page to the next level.

The tricks could help you attract more followers & stay engaged with your fans.

Shared via PostPlanner

Using Blogger Outreach To Market Your Product


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Outreach marketing header

The story of the “great” blogger with “great” content but no traffic is a common one. Your excuse may be that you’re blogging as a hobby, maintaining an online journal just for fun, or not in it for the money.

But who are you kidding? Be honest with yourself—if you wanted to journal and didn’t care about having an audience, it would have been easier to write in a diary or Word doc.

So, you want traffic, right? Even if you aren’t blogging with the intention of building a million-dollar blog, it’s nice to have your ideas, words, and hard work appreciated.

The unfortunate thing is that this idea of “content is king” has got you believing that, if you writeamazing content, the traffic will somehow find you and because of this, you’ve been producing a post or two a day for the last 6 to 12 months. While you haven’t wasted your time, this strategy is incomplete.

Whether or not you run your blog like a business, you need to strategize like a business. Focusing on your “product” with no investment in marketing is like a business sourcing materials, manufacturing 100,000 widgets, storing the inventory in a warehouse, and then wondering why the customers haven’t been buying the product.

Not all is lost, however. You have tons of great blog posts already published and now you need to find the right bloggers or audience to share it with.

Get Your Free Outreach Marketing Template Now!

Outreach marketing mockup

Link Building Strategies: Guest Blogging And Outreach Marketing

Unless you’re already recognized as an authority or have thousands of readers a day, a passive form of content marketing isn’t going to work. Instead, your link building campaign must take two forms—guest blogging and outreach marketing.

For purposes of link building in this article, let me define guest blogging and outreach marketing:

  1. Guest blogging is contributing a blog post to a publication.
  2. Outreach marketing is requesting that a blogger link to your content from an existing or upcoming post.

Any effective link building campaign should, at the minimum, incorporate a combination of these two tactics.

But how do you decide where to leverage each one?

Guest blogging

outreach marketing

Guest blogging should be reserved for highly-relevant, powerful authority sites. This is because, as an individual blogger or one part of a small team, you don’t have the resources (time, energy, money, opportunity cost, etc.) to contribute to every single guest posting opportunity. You have to pick and choose where your resources will yield the greatest results.

The obvious example is that you would make a concerted effort to contribute to the CoSchedule Blog, whereas a smaller, lesser-known blog might get a pitch to be included in next month’s roundup.

Finding guest blogging opportunities.

To evaluate a blog, you must find relevant ones. This is really the easiest task of all because whose job is it to return relevant blogs? Google’s!

However, you need to be specific. If your blog is about “personal finance”, you wouldn’t try to reach out to CNN, Yahoo Finance, Wall Street Journal, or Bloomberg, which happen to be some of the top results for that keyword search.

Instead, pick a related, niche topic such as “how to become financially independent” and open up every website in the first 300 results (maybe not all at once).

Just remember that, as you work through this guide, it will benefit you to repeat the following process multiple times with different keywords to find the greatest number of bloggers to contact.

Evaluating blogs.

To determine if a website is worth guest blogging, don’t bother with the standard PageRank and domain authority (DA) metrics. PageRank hasn’t been updated since December 2013 and doesn’t seem to have the weight it once did in Google’s algorithm. Furthermore, as a third-party metric developed by Moz, DA is easily manipulated.

For example, I’ve come across dozens of penalized sites with high domain authority, and I view penalized sites as essentially useless for SEO purposes. If Google penalizes a site and takes away its traffic, it is effectively stripping the strength of that domain, so why get a link from one? Beware of link sellers and SEO’s selling links on crappy high DA sites.

Ultimately, the best indication of a blog’s strength is the amount of traffic Google sends to it via organic rankings, making SEMrush my favorite SEO tool. Just enter the blog you are interested in contributing to, choose “Positions” under the “Organic Research” tab on the left, and click on “All time” in the “Organic keywords” section.

If you find a level or upward trend, the blog is trusted by Google. Here’s a blog that ranks for nearly 10,000 keywords and is one you would likely be interested in earning a link from:

SEMrush organic traffic review for outreach marketing

Note that this blog has been around for at least 4 years and enjoyed gradual growth until recently exploding with traffic. That’s the kind of blog you should want to be featured on.

However, if this blog only had a 6-month history, now that might be a red flag indicating black hat SEO. And while you may get a temporary boost in rankings by guest posting on a site like that, it might be short-lived and thus a waste of your time because the goal is to build a strong, sustainable, long-term business model even if it takes more time and energy.

An example of a blog to avoid may have a chart like this:

SEMrush organic traffic drop review for outreach marketing

As you can see, this blog was hit by a penalty in late 2011 and has slowly been losing its keyword rankings.

Not all penalized domains will demonstrate an obvious trend like this one, but anytime you see a huge drop in traffic and no recovery, the blog is in decline. This doesn’t necessarily make it unworthy of contributing to, assuming the traffic hasn’t finally reached 0; it just means it isn’t a priority right now. Save it for a lull period when you want to tie up loose ends.

Guest blog vs. outreach: How to decide?

Outreach marketing guest blog vs. outreach

Once you’ve decided a blog is worth reaching out to, you must determine your approach. There aren’t strict rules for pitching a specific blog; it really depends on a number of factors, such as:

  • How many keywords is the domain ranking for?
  • How relevant is the blog to my target audience?
  • Is there a “Guest Post”, “Contributor Guidelines”, or “Write For Us” page? If so, how demanding are the guidelines?
  • Does the author link out often? If so, are the links dofollow?
  • How commercial does the site look?

For me, a domain needs to rank for at least 300 keywords or have a large, loyal following (subscribers or social media) to be worth investing hours writing content. The bigger the blog, the more time you should invest in making your contribution absolutely memorable because eventually, your portfolio of work will be your future credentials in email pitches.

On the other hand, if a blog is weak, you’re better off pitching the blogger on giving you a quick link by asking them to check out your content. Here is a template of the email pitch I use:

outreach marketing email template example

To make this feasible, the page you ask them to check out and possibly link to must be impeccable. Your content has to be extremely unique and insightful, your graphics need to be beautiful and vibrant, or you need to find some way to make a strong emotional connection with the blogger.

The page must offer exceptional value to the blogger’s readers to convince him/her to share your resource; otherwise, you are wasting your time.

Choosing the right content to promote.

I’ve never been a prolific blogger. In fact, I probably don’t build “blogs” the way traditional bloggers do because I don’t develop content on a daily or even weekly basis.

Since I create and grow so many websites, I focus on writing content where it makes strategic sense. There isn’t an exact formula for that, but I’ll use my latest project as an example.

Outreaching marketing choosing the right content to promote

After 5 years of being a full-time Internet marketer and SEO expert, I finally thought it was time for me to start sharing my Internet marketing and SEO knowledge. I created to teach beginners how to start a blog.

Given that the competition in the all-encompassing “blogging” niche is intense, it was important that I make my content stand out. This meant comprehensive non-commercial content, useful guides and resources, custom images, infographics, etc.

For instance, I noticed a lot of solo bloggers discussing burn out, not knowing what to write about anymore, and linking to other resources that helped blog owners come up with new ideas. Knowing there was a “market” for this type of content, so I created the “Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas”.

Now lists of blog post ideas already exist, but none of them break them up into the types of content (how-tos, checklists, top 10 lists, interviews, podcasts, etc.) and then provide 5 examples of actual ideas for each. The post ended up being nearly 3,000 words.

Fortunately, after all that work, it was a hit. I even got a Tweet from Ann Smarty:

Knowing I had created something bloggers might consider special, I searched for “blog post ideas” in Google, skipped the first 30 results, and started approaching bloggers with the email pitch above. Since then, my traffic has nearly doubled!

an example of how successful outreach marketing doubled traffic

Market Your Content

There are many bloggers who pour their heart and soul into their writing and have absolutely amazing ideas, analyses, and content. You may be one of them. Sadly, your work may not be getting the appreciation it deserves, and that’s because you haven’t spent the time to let readers know you exist.

That can all change with an effective marketing strategy.

You can get to 100,000 visits a month with 100 posts or 10,000 posts. Frankly, I prefer the former. The only difference is how much time you invest in marketing your content.

Timeline Contests Break Facebook’s Rules!


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I’ve been keeping an eye on my news feed (as you’ll recall, I’ve liked over 4000 pages & counting) in hopes of finding lots of good & bad examples of contests being run since the rule change.

Honestly speaking, I’m not seeing as many contests as I’d expected.

This is probably because most of the pages I’ve Liked are larger company pages — and not small local pages.

In my opinion, contests on Facebook tend to work best with smaller, local pages — and maybe also with personality type pages, like music bands.

In any case, here are 3 examples of Timeline contests that violate the new Facebook Promotion Guidelines.

1. Tag To Win

According to Facebook’s Promotion guidelines :

In order to maintain the accuracy of Page content, our Pages Terms now prohibit Pages from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in. So, for instance:

  • It’s OK to ask people to submit names of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize
  • It’s not OK to ask people tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize

But time & time again I see pages (even after Facebook made the new guidelines) clearly instructing their fans to tag themselves in a photo to enter a contest.

An example of this is on the Nature’s Bakery page:

natures bakery facebook tag contest

This is a clear violation of the Facebook Page Guidelines — but as you can see, 108 people Liked the post & there are 126 comments.

So you can see why doing this kind of contest is tempting.

2. Share To Win

I see this one much more often than the “Tag to Win” contest.

Our friends at Nature’s Bakery appear to be offenders on this type of contest as well:

share to win facebook contest

What do the Facebook Guidelines say?

Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted).

Translation: Page owners can encourage users to share the contest & come vote — by Liking their comment on a contest — but sharing cannot be a form of entering the contest.

Looks like 144 people helped Nature’s Bakery violate the rules!

Just so you don’t think I’m picking on Nature’s Bakery, here’s another offender (Lake Tahoe North) that collected 176 shares:

share photo to win facebook contest

3. Upload Cover Photo to Win

This is an old trick I’ve seen many page owners use over the years:

  1. Load a great cover photo promoting your product or event
  2. Encourage fans to upload it as their cover photo for a chance to win something

Is this against the Facebook Guidelines?

Let’s see:

All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.

Yep, seems like it’s against the guidelines to me!

Even if you aren’t doing it as a contest, encouraging fans to load your cover as theirs for exposure is a no-no.

Here’s an example from a band, Fresh Bakin, who recently asked fans to load their cover photo to win tickets:

cover photo facebook contest

There is no way of knowing how many fans actually uploaded the cover — but it does appear 91 people Liked the image, which was part of the “rules” for their contest.

Legit Facebook Timeline Contests

Don’t get me wrong here — if you want to run a contest on your timeline, then go for it!

Just make sure you follow the Facebook Guidelines.


1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:
a.   The official rules;
b.   Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
c.   Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)
2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
a.   A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
b.   Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted).
4. We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.

In other words, you can require fans to enter your Timeline contest by:

  • Liking a post
  • Commenting on a post
  • Liking & Commenting a post
  • Posting on the Page’s timeline
  • Sending a Message
  • Having the comment with the most Likes

It’s very tempting to run contests that involve sharing, tagging & uploading your cover photo — but don’t do it.

And obviously you can still use 3rd party apps to run your contest.

You’ll need to weigh the options of whether you run a Facebook Timeline contest or use a 3rd party app — that’s your call.

Social Media Calendars: To use or not to use…

You’ve heard of social media calendars before, but do you know what they are and how to use one?

Chances are you don’t. And that’s okay… I didn’t either when I entered the realm of social media marketing. But once I learned about it and how to use it, it change how I marketed my businesses on the social web.

Here’s why you need a social media calendar and how you can create one:


Why You Need a Social Media Calendar and How to Create One
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

A social media calendar can help you consistently promote high quality content, cut down on the amount of time you waste, and organize and curate content.

If you aren’t using one, you should reconsider. It’s helped me almost double my Twitter engagement over the last six months.

Shared courtesy via Quicksprout @ NEIL PATEL on APRIL 24, 2015

Facebook Tips From The Trenches


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You know how to set up a Facebook account, you have even boosted posts so reallysocial media marketer how hard is Facebook marketing?

What sets a true social media marketer apart on Facebook? Quite a few things actually, but mostly it’s their holistic vision and appetite for information. Here are a couple of examples of things pro marketers do on Facebook that other page admins most likely don’t.

Natively Uploaded Videos

When you see a natively uploaded video from a brand page on Facebook, it’s a sign that the marketer who shared the video is a pro. Why? Pro Facebook marketers know that natively uploaded videos get more views than links to YouTube videos on Facebook — like 52 times more(!) according to a blog post from GetResponse.

To upload and share a video natively to Facebook, you will need your video’s raw file. Facebook accepts many different video file types (you can check out their list here), but .mov and .mp4 are the most commonly used. Once you have your video’s raw file, you can drag and drop it into your page’s status update box or upload it as you would a regular photo/video.

What a natively uploaded video looks like:


What a YouTube video looks like:


Videos with clear calls to actions often yield better results. So to take your natively uploaded video up a notch,  add a call to action button and fill out the optional video description fields.


Staying on top of industry news — like knowing that natively uploaded content performs better on Facebook — allows pro Facebook marketers to be agile. They can quickly assess (often before the news has become widespread) whether or not they should research, test, prepare for, implement or disregard an update.

Using Graph Search to Learn More About Their Audience

When Facebook rolled out Graph Search in late September 2013, pro Facebook marketers immediately started investigating uses for the new tool. What pro marketers found was that they could use Graph Search in a lot of savvy ways to learn more about their Facebook fans and the types of people they wanted to target.

Since its release, Graph Search has been refined and updated to function as a semantic search engine, making it an even morevaluable tool for Facebook marketers. Now search results are indexed by Facebook (rather than Bing) and include people (both friends and people in a person’s extended network, i.e., friends of friends, people with similar interests and people nearby), posts, hashtags and locations, according to a post by Lior Degani on Social Media Examiner.

Pro Facebook marketers use Graph Search to research their audience, then use the insights they discover to more narrowly (and presumably more effectively) target their users via Facebook posts and/or ads. Here are a few phrases you can enter into Graph Search to start quickly learning more about your audience:

Here are a few phrases you can enter into Graph Search to start quickly learning more about your audience:

  • Pages liked by people who like [insert the name of your page]
  • Pages liked by people who like [insert the name of one of your biggest competitors]
  • Groups joined by people who like [insert the name of your page]
  • Pages liked by people who are older than [insert age] and like [insert the name of your page]

There are so many Graph Search searches you can try. Don’t believe me? Check out this post by Facebook guru Jon Loomer — he tests nearly 15 unique searches and shares his results.

Are Aware Of But Don’t Chase the Algorithm

Historically, when news breaks that a specific practice is working well on Facebook,  you’ll immediately notice a trend of everyone doing the same thing — it’s usually a trick that claims to help you boost your posts’ reach and/or increase engagement. But while everyone is busy changing their posting strategies to start doing “what’s working right now,” pro Facebook marketers are letting the bandwagon go on its merry way.

What’s most important to pro Facebook marketers is consistency regarding the tone, brand image, and the type of content they share on their page. If memes are the new “it” thing to post on Facebook to drive likes, you’re definitely not going to see a company like GoPro start posting lots of memes on their page. Why? Because they’re pros and are going to stick to sharing the content that represents their brand best.

This doesn’t mean that Facebook marketing pros are against testing. Testing is always smart, as long as it doesn’t compromise or confuse your brand’s current strategy.

#4 Pros Admins Think Mobile First

The number of people logging onto Facebook via their mobile devices continues to rise. In fact, of Facebook’s 1.32 billion users, a whopping 30 percent of them use the social network only on their phone, according to The Verge.

As social mobile usage increases, so does the number of pro Facebook marketers who are implementing and testing mobile strategies. These marketers have mobile on the brain! Before they share content, they consider the experience of the users who will consume their content on a mobile device. When they invest in Facebook ads, they invest a portion of their budget into mobile ad buys and tools like ShortStack that allow them to create mobile-optimized landing pages.

Mass mobile consumption is the future, and pro-level Facebook marketers are the folks who know this best.

Facebook Is Not The Only Way They Promote Business

This is perhaps the most important point of all. Pro Facebook marketers, who are also likely pro Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, email, etc. marketers, know they can’t rely solely on Facebook to promote their business. So when Facebook decides to change their algorithm in a way that does not favor content from brands, pro Facebook marketers don’t panic. Why? Because they don’t have all their eggs in one basket, and they know that they can lean on the other social platforms and marketing channels they’ve developed.

Readers, what else do you think sets pro Facebook marketers apart from the rest? Let me know in the comment sections below.

Facebook News Feed Algorithm Updates and What It Means To Social Media Managers

Screenshot 2015-04-23 15.26.26Google isn’t the only tech company making big updates this week, as Facebook took to the ’Net yesterday to announce updates to its News Feed algorithm.

There are three main News Feed updates according to the social network’s announcement. The first update focuses on improving the experience for people who don’t have a lot of content available to see. With this update, Facebook is relaxing its rule that prevents users from seeing multiple posts in a row from the same source.

While this first update may be good news for brands because it could lead to more of their posts being shown to users without a lot of content in their News Feeds, brands may not be as happy about Facebook’s other updates. For example, the second update will give higher priority to friends’ posts in the News Feed so members are less likely to miss this content. Facebook notes that posts from Pages will still be displayed in the News Feed, but the social network is trying to offer a better balance of content for each of its members.

Finally, the last update may have an impact on brands’ social “word-of-mouth” visibility. This is because Facebook is decreasing the visibility of friends’ actions in the News Feed, including stories about friends liking or commenting on a post. With this update, these type of stores will appear lower in the News Feed or not at all.

Facebook warns that these changes may have an impact on the distribution of brand Pages depending on the composition of the brand’s audience and the brand’s posting activity. That said, the social network suggests that brands continue to post things that people find meaningful.

“Facebook is constantly evaluating what’s the right mix of content in News Feed and we want to let you know about a change that may affect referral traffic for publishers,” the social network states in its announcement. “Referral traffic to media publishers from Facebook has more than doubled in the past 18 months and we’re always looking for ways to optimize how content is discovered and consumed. Media content is a key part of the experience for people on Facebook and we’re committed to helping publishers find the right audience for their content.”

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Social Media Personas- What are they and how do I use them


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Social media platforms allow different facets of your audience’s personality to shine through. These traits are useful to incorporate into your marketing personas to better understand and develop targeted communications and content. These characteristics form a social media persona.

Here are three attributes that influence social media persona development.

Motivation for social media participation. One way to assess your social media audience is to understand what drives them to engage with your company on these platforms. By doing so, you can more effectively fulfill their objectives. Here are five of the major categories of participants who interact with firms on social media.

  1. Fans. These participants like your product or firm. They’re willing to show their association with your organization. But don’t assume that their willingness to raise their hand translates to purchase.
  2. Information seekers. These social media participants are focused on finding out more about your products and organization. They actively look for additional information to make the optimal purchase decision and to maximize product usage.
  3. Discount hunters. These are the price savvy shoppers. They associate with you on social media only to get access to discounts and promotions. They’re only loyal so long as you’re giving them the best offer.
  4. Thought leaders. When these social media participants communicate, others listen. They tend to have influential blogs and large numbers of followers. They’re popularity can be social media based or from real life. They’re in-the-know trendsetters. They can move the social activity needle when they endorse your product or blog. Their comments and shares drive traffic.
  5. Detractors. These people have issues with your firm and want others to know it. Often they’ve tried other routes to get their grievances addressed.

Function in the purchase process. It’s useful to know if the people who engage with you on social media platforms are in the market to buy from your organization. If so, how does this influence what they seek on social media platforms?

  1. Prospects. These are potential customers checking out your firm. They may have heard about your company from friends and colleagues.
  2. Customers. These people have bought from your firm recently or in the past. They may be looking to see your current offering, to get more information regarding product usage, or just want to associate with your firm.
  3. Influencers. These people help make the purchase decision. They may do the research or just give their input. In large organizations, especially B2B and not-for-profit, their opinion can sway purchase decisions.
  4. Decision makers. These are the people who ultimately make the purchase choice. Within a company, they have a lot of authority.
  5. Fans. These are past purchasers who like your company and/or products. They’re worth their weight in gold because they tell others to buy from you. They want to engage with your company on social media.
  6. Employees. The people who work for your firm. Train them to represent your company, particularly your social media team and customer service reps, to participate in a way that’s consistent with your organization. Have a set of social media guidelines so employees know how to identify themselves on social media platforms when they represent you and when they’re engaged in their private lives.
  7. Competitors. These participants work for your competitors. Unless your competitors have high visibility thought leaders, you may not be able to distinguish them since they’ll engage through personal social media accounts. Assume your competitors know what you’re doing on social media.

Type of social media interaction.  On social media platforms, participants act in one of three major ways.

90% lurk, 9% comment, 1% create

  1. Lurkers. Comprising roughly 90% of your total visitors, this is the great silent majority. While many marketers and bloggers are disappointed that these people don’t “do anything,” in reality, these lurkers can be your loyal readers or visitors. They just don’t do anything public on your social media platform. Notice, I didn’t say trackable. They are the bulk of your visitors generating the bulk of your pageviews.
  2. Commenters. Accounting for about 9% of your visitors, these people take a small action. It can be a social share, voting or short comments. The easier you make it for them to do something, the more likely they are to act. These participants may exercise their creativity in terms of curating other people’s content since this is a low involvement way of distributing content.
  3. Creators. Comprising a mere 1% of your base, these people actively engage. They leave comments, review your products or write guest posts. For most marketers, these participants are nirvana. Of course, you have no control over whether what they say is positive or negative. This small percentage of active contributors is one reason that marketing plans based on user-generated content are challenged.

To more effectively engage with your firm’s prospects, customers and fans on social media, it’s useful to create a social media persona or to augment your marketing persona with this information. Specifically, consider what motivates them to engage with you on social media platforms, understand their function in the purchase process, and the way they interact on these platforms.

Social Media and Email Marketing – How To Leverage Them


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Want to know how to grow your email list?

Are you using social media to support your email list growth?

If you’re thinking of marketing tactics such as email and social media as two separate entities, you’re missing out on a lot of benefits.

In this article you’ll discover tips for using social media to improve your email marketing.

improve email marketing with social media

Discover how to improve your email marketing with social media.

What You Need to Get Started

There are two things you ideally need to make most of the tips in this article. In general, both will help you grow your email list.

A Lead Magnet

A lead magnet is a freebie you offer people in exchange for their email address. The freebie can be an ebook, whitepaper, report, access to a tool, template, video, presentation, course, etc. You can see a lead magnet in action on the homepage of Social Media Examiner.

social media examiner lead magnet

Example of a lead magnet promotion at the top of Social Media Examiner.

You should create your lead magnet with your ideal email subscriber and customer in mind. For example, if you want CEOs interested in social media to subscribe to your email list, create lead magnets about social media geared towards CEOs instead of people who work for them.

If you decide to use more than one lead magnet, you may want to create a resources section, learning center or another similar area on your website to help people find all of your freebies., for example, offers several lead magnets in their content hub. When you download one of their lead magnets, you’re taken to a squeeze page—the next thing you need for your own email marketing.

A Squeeze Page

A squeeze page is a landing page dedicated to converting visitors into email subscribers. Ideally, your squeeze page should include some information about your lead magnet and an opt-in form to capture your visitors’ information and email.

visually squeeze page

Example of a squeeze page for email subscriber opt-ins.

If you need to qualify leads for your products or services, you may want to include a couple of questions to find out who the subscriber is and what his or her needs are. But if your main goal is simply to grow your email list, fewer questions will lead to more subscribers.

Armed with the URL to your latest lead magnet squeeze page(s), here are some ways to use social media to grow your email list.

#1: Facebook Promotion Options

Facebook Page Short Description

You have the opportunity to share URLs in two places on your Facebook page. One of those is in the main website field for your page and the other is in your page’s short description. This is a great place to share the URL for your lead magnet.

The short description field is limited to 160 characters, so use them wisely to describe your business and get people to your lead magnet.

Facebook Page Custom Tabs

Custom tabs are applications you add to your Facebook page to create a specific functionality. For example, the Convince & Convert Facebook page uses a custom tab to house an opt-in form for their email newsletter.

convince & convert custom tab

Example of an opt-in form on a Facebook page custom tab.

Find out if your email marketing software provides a Facebook app to create an opt-in form on a Facebook page custom tab or you can use an app like Woobox Static HTML to display an opt-in form on your own website.

Facebook Page Call-to-Action Button

The Facebook call-to-action button can also be used to direct people to your squeeze page. Simply use the Sign Up text option and link it to your squeeze page.

call to action button set up

How to set up a call-to-action button on your Facebook page.

To encourage people to click on the call-to-action button, you can create a custom Facebook cover photo that promotes your lead magnet and points to the button.

Facebook Page Cover Photo

Speaking of the cover photo, you can also use the cover photo’s description to link to your squeeze page like Mari Smith does.

cover image with link in description

Example of a Facebook page cover photo promoting a lead magnet.

Even if you don’t use your cover photo to promote your lead magnet, you should at least update it to include a link to your website so people can click through to it.

Facebook Advertising

Facebook ads are a perfect way to promote your lead magnet and get your ideal subscribers signed up to your email list. Formstack‘s ad is a perfect example of promoting a free ebook, using a great image and a download button as the call to action.

formstack lead magnet in facebook ad

Example of a Facebook ad promoting a lead magnet.

Be sure to use the interests and demographics targeting options to go beyond age and location targeting to qualify the leads who see the invitation to your email list. The more qualified your leads, the better your email marketing will perform.

facebook ad targeting

How to use targeting options for a Facebook ad.

You can also upload your current email list as a custom audience and create a lookalike audience to target people similar to your current email subscribers.

facebook lookalike audience

How to create a lookalike audience from your email list.

Choose Lookalike Audience in your ad’s targeting options in the Custom Audiences field to promote your lead magnet to them.

Only use this option if you feel that your current email list is fully qualified for your business. Otherwise, you simply attract more unqualified email leads.

#2: Twitter Promotion Options

Twitter Bio

Similar to using the short description on your Facebook page, you can use your Twitter bio to promote your lead magnet and leave your website field for your main website URL.

link in twitter bio

Example of a link used in the Twitter bio.

Placing the URL of your squeeze page in your Twitter bio is particularly useful because only the link in your Twitter bio shows up in places like Twitter search results.

twitter bios in search results

Example of how a link in a Twitter bio appears in Twitter search results.

For maximum effectiveness, avoid including hashtags and other Twitter profile @username handles. That makes certain there’s only one clickable item in your Twitter bio for people to act on.

Twitter Lead Generation Card

The Twitter lead generation card is a feature that lets you collect email addresses directly from within Twitter. You’ll find it in the Twitter ads section and the setup will look like this.

twitter lead generation card

How to set up a Twitter lead generation card.

Additional configurations for specific CRM software (like Salesforce) can be found in the Twitter Help Center’s guide to setting up a lead generation card.

Otherwise, you download the list of email addresses from users who opt in from your card and upload it to your email marketing service. You can find your leads by going to your cards and clicking on the Download Leads icon (the one with the right arrow).

exporting leads

The location of your Twitter lead generation card submissions to export.

To get exposure for your Twitter lead generation card, simply tweet it to your audience or promote it using Twitter advertising.

Twitter Advertising

To promote your Twitter lead generation card or tweets with links to your latest lead magnets, you can use Twitter advertising. Just like Facebook ads, you can target qualified audiences. On Twitter, you do this with interests and followers of other Twitter accounts (like your competitors).

twitter ad targeting

How to target specific audiences for a Twitter ad campaign.

As with Facebook, you can market to custom audiences on Twitter. Start by uploading your current email list to Twitter’s audience manager. Choose your email list as a tailored audience, and then check the box for targeting users similar to your tailored audience. Then select your email list as a tailored audience again to exclude these users from ad targeting (since you don’t need them to sign up again).

You can also create a tailored audience from your customer list to ensure qualified subscribers by targeting your ad to a similar audience.

#3: LinkedIn Promotion Options

LinkedIn Publications & Projects

On your personal LinkedIn profile, you can add a Publications section that allows you to link directly to your ebooks, whitepapers, etc. You can also use this to link directly to your lead magnet squeeze pages.

linkedin publications

Example of the LinkedIn Publications section linking to a lead magnet.

If your lead magnet is a tool, like a free calculator, add a link to your tool in the Projects section of your profile.

linkedin profile editing

Where you can find the Publications and Projects sections to add them to your profile.

You can add both of these sections to your profile by using the guided profile editing option.

For more visibility, add your best lead magnet to the website links in your Contact Info. This adds it to the top of your public profile so visitors who aren’t logged into LinkedIn can still see it.

LinkedIn Advertising

For businesses looking to target specific professionals as email subscribers,LinkedIn advertising offers the best professional ad audience targeting options to help you get the ideal email subscribers on your list.

linkedin targeting options

How to target specific audiences with LinkedIn advertising.

Additional Opportunities on Social Media

Additional ways to promote your lead magnets and grow your email list with social media include the following.

  • Pin a great image of your lead magnet to your Pinterest profile and link that image to your lead magnet squeeze page.
  • Share a great image of your lead magnet to your Instagram profile andtell people to click the link in your bio. Temporarily (or permanently) change the link in your Instagram profile to point to your lead magnet squeeze page. Be sure that your squeeze page is responsive, since most people from Instagram will be viewing it on their mobile device.
  • Create videos on Vine and Snapchat telling your fans to download your latest lead magnet. Make sure your URL is short, easy to say, and easy to remember, like

#4: Make Sharing Easy

You don’t have to rely solely on your own promotion tactics to get more people to your squeeze pages. You can enlist the help of people who’ve already downloaded your free ebook or report.

Let’s say you offered a free ebook as a lead magnet. Simply create a landing page that thanks people for reading your latest ebook and add social sharing buttonsthat allow them to share the squeeze page for your lead magnet with their own audiences.

To get people to share on Twitter, pre-populate a Twitter Share button with custom text and the URL of your squeeze page. Make sure the URL being shared is the squeeze page of your lead magnet. Otherwise, you’ll end up with people sharing your thank-you page.

tweet button set up

How to set up a Twitter Share button for your lead magnet squeeze page.

Now, the tweet automatically points to your squeeze page!

sample tweet

Sample tweet configured in Twitter Share button setup.

You can configure a Facebook Like button in much the same way.

facebook like button set up

How to set up a Facebook Like button for your lead magnet squeeze page.

Add a LinkedIn Share button.

linkedin share button set up

How to set up a LinkedIn Share button for your lead magnet squeeze page.

Include a Pinterest Pin It button.

pinterest button set up

How to set up a Pinterest Pin It button for your lead magnet squeeze page.

Put It All Together

Once you’ve begun collecting your high-quality leads, there are a number of ways you can use social media to impact your email marketing campaigns.

For example, you can use your Twitter audience to split test email subject lines. If you send your experimental tweets through Buffer, you’ll get the following analytics for each tweet.

buffer metrics

Buffer analytics for a tweet.

The tweet with the most engagement can be considered the best headline, and the best headline should be used as the best email subject line.

Or you can get more traction for current email campaigns by targeting your email subscribers with social ads on Facebook and Twitter. Make sure the campaign and your social ads use the same images, call to action, etc., so your subscribers are presented with a similar message no matter where they see it.

What do you think? Have you learned a few ways social media can help grow your email list and reach your email subscribers? Do you have additional tips?Please share them in the comments!

Shared with permission via SM Examiner