Thursday, 31 March 2016

Twitter Direct Message: To DM or Not to DM?

Twitter Direct Message Tips-01

Private or public messaging, that is the question—especially when it comes to social customer service. While most customer service interactions on Twitter start as a public message from a consumer, mentioning the name or @mentioning the handle of a brand, public messages aren’t always the best place to share certain information or resolve an issue.

So when and why is it appropriate to initiate a Twitter Direct Message with a consumer? Read on to learn the ins and outs of Twitter DMs, how your brand can use them to provide better customer care, and other creative ways to use DMs to improve your presence on this popular network.

What Is a Twitter Direct Message?

The public side of Twitter allows users to Tweet messages of 140 characters or fewer, and these messages show up on their profile page and on the Home timelines of their followers. Direct Messages, on the other hand, are private one-on-one or group messages that only show up to those involved.

While Direct Messages used to be limited to 140 characters, just like public Tweets, Twitter expanded the character limit of Direct Messages to 10,000 in August 2015. Users can also send pictures, videos, GIFs and emojis via Direct Message.

You can start a Direct Message with any user or group of users who follow you, and you are also able to reply to anyone who sends you a DM even if they do not follow your account. Many businesses on Twitter have also enabled a setting that allows them to receive DMs from anyone, even accounts they don’t follow, which is a strategic way to offer customers a private way to reach out. To receive DMs from anyone, you need to enable this functionality from the Security and Privacy settings page on Twitter.

Enable Twitter Direct Messages from Anyone

Direct Messages for Twitter Customer Service

Brands can use Twitter Direct Messages in a variety of ways, from customer care to sales outreach. The most common use case is for social customer service. this allows brands to communicate in a private message, which gives users greater security if they need to share sensitive information to help resolve an issue. Additionally, the longer character limit allows both parties to explain an issue in greater depth.

Consider using a Direct Message if you want to:

  • Send or request sensitive information
  • Use more than 140 characters to troubleshoot an issue
  • Change channels to email or phone and request contact information to do so
  • Gather feedback on customer service interactions

To allow the customer to DM you, make sure you are following their account or have the option to allow DMs from anyone. In terms of protecting sensitive information, we recommend moving the conversation from public Tweets to Direct Messages if you need to ask for any of the following:

  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Mailing or billing address
  • Personal account information
  • Billing information
  • Specific items they have purchased from you
  • Security question or verification

You can also use Direct Messages to gather feedback after a customer service interaction. The Customer Feedback survey experience from Twitter allows users to privately share their feedback after service interactions with businesses. This feature is only available through Twitter customer service solutions partners like Sprout Social. Get more information on this feature here.

If you manage social for a brand, develop a protocol for when to use Direct Messages instead of public Tweets, and make sure everyone on your team is aware of guidelines and best practices. Protecting your customers’ information should always be a priority on social and in customer care.

Make the Switch: Taking a Conversation From Tweets to Direct Messages

While users often reach out with a Tweet, you can prompt them to switch to Direct Message instead. On native Twitter, you can simply reply to their Tweet with a request that they send a DM.

If you use a social media management tool like Sprout, it’s even easier to switch to Direct Messages. Once you have configured your settings on Twitter to allow anyone to DM your business, you will see an option in Sprout to send a DM prompt in your Twitter reply window. When responding to a Tweet, click the Add DM Link button to add a deep link that will take the customer directly to his or her Direct Message Compose screen.

Twitter Request DM and Feedback (Blog Post)-01-1

When switching from public Tweets to Direct Messages, we recommend sending a public reply first so it’s clear you’re addressing the conversation in a private channel. This way any other users who witnesses the interaction will know your brand is responsive and available to address any issues that arise.

Creative Uses for Twitter Direct Messages

DMs can also be used as a channel to facilitate sales outreach, connect with influencers and potential partners, surprise and delight community members or develop relationships with members of your community.

Surprise & Delight Your Fans

A quick look at M&M’s handle shows its social team practices social media monitoring to identify opportunities to create deeper experiences with consumers and fans. When one user shared her love for the song in an M&M’s commercial, the brand found an opportunity to share a sweet treat and sent her a message to take the conversation to Direct Message.

Connect With Influencers & Members of the Media

Monitoring mentions of your brand on Twitter should be part of every business social media strategy. When you use these mentions as a talking point, you begin fostering relationships that ultimately build up your community.

Start by identifying mentions from members of the media and social media influencers, and develop a strategy for personalized outreach using Direct Messages. Whether you send a simple thank you, offer to put them in touch with the best point of contact for future stories, or propose a partnership, DMs can be a great way to get the conversation started.

Nurture Sales Leads & Facilitate Social Selling

Consumers are increasingly turning to social media to research products and services before buying. In fact, 75% of consumers say they use social media in their buying process. Paying attention to conversations about your brand as well as adjacent topics can help you identify opportunities for social selling.

For example, here at Sprout Social, we often see Twitter users asking their peers to share their favorite social media management tools. When appropriate, we casually strike up a conversation to answer any specific questions they may have about Sprout and offer a link to a free 30-day trial if they’ve expressed interest.

In many cases, these conversations are public-facing. However, when someone wants to schedule a demo, inquires about custom pricing often take up more than 140 characters. So we take the conversation to Direct Messages in order to get contact information and to connect people with a Product Specialist.

Develop Relationships With New Followers

Welcoming new followers to your community is a nice touch, whether you send a Tweet or a Direct Message. Consider using Direct Messages to start a conversation with new members of your audience. For example, you can open with a question about what brought them to your brand or offer to help. You can even provide a discount code to thank them for their interest in your product or service.

Some brands opt to pursue new follower outreach with automated Direct Messages. But we encourage you to think about all the possible ramifications before adopting automatic social media messaging platforms for your business. An impersonal and clearly automated message comes across as spam. Automated DMs can quickly transform a new follower from an eager potential customer to someone who dismisses your brand and unfollows you outright.

Bad automated direct message

When considering whether to automate any part of your brand’s social presence, ask yourself whether you’re adding value for your audience. If the answer is no, automation probably isn’t the best fit.

Best Practices for Twitter Direct Messages

Most of the best practices that apply to using Twitter Direct Messages ring true across public and private social channels:

  • Be human. Treat DMs as a conversation and reflect the same brand voice and tone you use publicly—even when dealing with a frustrated or angry customer.
  • Send timely responses. If you have a Twitter account, customers will assume they can use it to talk to your brand. If you ignore DMs or take hours—or even days—to respond, you are missing an opportunity to make your customers happier and increase brand loyalty.
  • Provide value. Your social media strategy should include both marketing tactics and a significant plan for social customer care. Make sure you are using DMs to effectively resolve issues, help customers and leave them with a positive impression of your brand.

As Twitter has expanded its offerings to help businesses practice social customer care, Direct Messages have continued to provide a way to build trust and relationships between brands and consumers. Don’t be afraid to address your customers on a more personal level. But at the same time, make sure you’re following the right DM etiquette before you start messaging away.

How does your business use DMs? Leave a comment and let us know!

This post Twitter Direct Message: To DM or Not to DM? originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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How to Build a Peer Network to Increase Your Social Reach


Does the content you share get the reach it needs? Want to learn how to get your content seen by more people? A network of social advocates will help you amplify the reach of the content you share. In this article you’ll discover how to build a network of peers and fans that will help [...]

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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

9 Ways Social Media Measurement Can Improve Your Marketing Strategy

social media measurement header image

Do you know how effective you are with social media marketing? Are your Twitter and Instagram accounts resulting in business growth? How do you know which platform drives more customers? It’s hard to know these answers if you aren’t up to speed with social media measurement.

The problem with a lot of businesses is they struggle with actually measuring social media marketing. This is because they either don’t have the right tools in place or realize how beneficial social media data can be.

Unfortunately the only metric many businesses measure is their follower count. However, that number alone won’t do much to help you make important business decisions. You need deeper data from tools like Sprout Social and Google Analytics to get actionable information.

Aside from knowing how many followers you have, here is how social media measurement can help improve your business, and build your brand:

1. Know Your Audience

Your number of followers isn’t nearly as important as knowing exactly who is following you. It’s absolutely critical to know your audience demographics.

Twitter Audience Report

Knowing your social media demographics will allow you answer questions like:

  • How old is my average follower?
  • Are my followers mostly men or women?
  • Where are my followers from?

Answering these questions allows you to tailor your messaging to your audience. Not only that, but your social media following is a good indicator of your customer base. You can use the data you collect to create new products and services targeting a specific demographic or customer avatar.

In addition to the data you get from Sprout, Twitter also provides some very in-depth information about your audience. With Twitter Analytics, you can find out more about your followers, such as their:

  • Interests
  • Language
  • Lifestyle
  • Consumer behavior
  • Interests
  • Income level
  • Occupation

Twitter Follower Metrics

2. Create & Share Better Content

You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king” in regards to SEO. Content is also crucial for social media marketing as well. If you’re not posting great content that resonates with your audience, then you’re going to have a rough time generating results.

One of the most important metrics you need to track is the social media engagement of each post. You should know exactly which Instagram and Facebook posts are generating the most engagement.

Sprout Social Instagram Report

Once you know which posts people resonate with the most, you can create more of it. Maybe a certain headline formula you use catches readers’ attention or perhaps you notice your most popular Instagram photos all use the same filter. Look for any sort of patterns and similarities with your top social media posts and try to replicate it with future content.

3. Figure out the Best Time to Post

One of the most common questions business owners and social media managers ask is “when is the best time to post on social media?” The answer depends on your audience. If you don’t have a social media measurement plan in place, you’ll have to rely on your best guess.

Why guess when you can get hard data that shows you exactly when to Tweet or post to Facebook?

All you have to do is find your social media posts that have the most engagement, then look at what time they were sent out. Hopefully, you’ll notice a pattern in either the days or times these posts were made.

Sprout Social Sent Message Report

Figuring out the best time to post on social media is even easier with Sprout’s ViralPost feature. Instead of manually looking through your past social media posts to find patterns, ViralPost does the hard work for you and automatically schedules your posts to be sent when your audience is most active.

Sprout Social ViralPost

Don’t make assumptions on when you should post. Look at your social media analytics and you’ll find the answer.

4. Learn the Most Effective Hashtags

Hashtags have become synonymous with social media. Almost every well-known social media platform integrates them, so it’s important to track the hashtags you’re using. Hashtags serve three main purposes on most social media sites:

  1. Categorize content
  2. Make your posts more discoverable
  3. Brand your company or specific campaigns

Sometimes you’ll notice a correlation between your most popular hashtags and your best performing posts.

Using the right hashtags on Instagram can instantly expand your content’s reach. Using Sprout’s Instagram reports, you can easily find your most engaged hashtags. If you’re struggling to come up with effective hashtags, give these tools a try.

Sprout Social Outbound Hashtag Performance

5. Make Your Team More Efficient

Email and phone customer support teams are usually evaluated on metrics such as their response time and rate. The goal is to provide quick and effective help to keep customers satisfied. Now that more consumers are turning to social media to voice complaints and to look for customer support, you need to measure your social customer service as well. According to a report from SalesForce Marketing Cloud, 83% of customers like or love when a business responds to them on social media.

If your business offers any type of support through social media, you need a tool that will allow you to quantify your team’s engagement.

Sprout Social Twitter Engagement Report

It’s a good idea to set benchmarks and goals to measure your team’s performance, so you’ll have a starting point to improve upon. To give you an idea of where to start, Lithium Technologies found 53% of Twitter users expect brands to respond to them within an hour.

twitter response time

6. Connect With Influencers

Social media is the perfect platform to connect with influencers since people use Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram to connect with others. Most brands start outreach campaigns by identifying influencers they’ve never connected with before. You should absolutely plan to build relationships with these people, but what if you could quickly identify users that already share your content?

With Sprout, you can see which Twitter users currently mention you the most, as well as which accounts you’re frequently mentioned with.

Sprout Social Frequently Mentioned Report

This data is helpful because instead of reaching out to people cold, you can start with the users that have engaged with your Tweets. They’re already familiar with you from sharing your content, which makes the initial conversation much easier.

7. Better Allocate Your Time

One of the worst things social media marketers can do is waste time on platforms that aren’t doing anything for their business. The shiny object syndrome can make it extremely tempting to jump from one network to the next. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself spread thin across Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest and five other social networks.

When you measure your social media efforts, you can see which platforms have the best results. Then you can focus your time where it’ll have the biggest impact.

You can see which social networks are driving the most traffic to your site in Google Analytics under Acquisition & Social & Network Referrals.

Google Analytics Social media Referrals

If you you’re spending a lot of time on a particular social network and not getting any real results, you can allocate more time toward better performing channels. On the flip side, if you’re receiving a lot of social media referrals from a platform you’re barely active on, it could be a great opportunity to ramp up your efforts.

8. Calculate Social Media ROI

Calculating your ROI is one of the main benefits of social media measurement. If you’ve ever debated whether or not social media marketing is worth it, or had to show C-level executives why your company should invest in social media, measure your ROI.

If you’re not a data-driven person, this might not sound like the most enjoyable task in the world. However, it’s not as difficult as it seems. Measuring social media ROI involves figuring out the costs you’re spending on social media marketing, and calculating the value you’re getting from your efforts. This metric is important because it puts a monetary value on social media marketing, which is something many brands mistakenly believe is impossible.

We created an entire guide that explains how to measure social media ROI, but here is a quick rundown.

  • Specify an action social media visitors have to complete such as buying a product or signing up for a free trial.
  • Attach a monetary value to that action.
  • Set up goal tracking in Google Analytics so you can monitor the number of actions completed.
  • Add up all the expenses related to social media including man-hours, content, ads and tools.
  • Subtract your expenses from the revenue you calculate in Google Analytics.

A survey from Convince & Convert found 41% of companies had no idea if their social media marketing was paying off. Hopefully, more businesses will get into the habit of tracking their efforts so we can lower that stat.

9. Create a Better Strategy

Social media measurement enables businesses to make better decisions. Once you know what works and what doesn’t, you can make changes to improve your strategy moving forward.

There’s no reason to go into social media blind. With tools like Sprout, you have an arsenal of data that makes it easy to spot holes in your strategy and measure the success of every campaign.

Start by developing a clear and concise social media strategy. Don’t just brainstorm a plan in your mind, write it down. Your strategy should include milestones and goals you want to accomplish. Periodically review these to see if you’re on course. If it seems like you won’t meet your goals, look through your data using the information you read above, and make the necessary adjustments.

Social Media Measurement Is a Necessity

As nice as it is to take a free-spirited approach to social media marketing, you eventually need to become more data-driven to maximize your results. You should track your social media marketing with the same precision and effort you use to track paid ads or landing pages. If you’re not measuring your efforts, you have no idea whether or not you’re reaching your potential, or if you’re even making money.

It’s time to go beyond vanity metrics and get serious about social media measurement.

This post 9 Ways Social Media Measurement Can Improve Your Marketing Strategy originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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How to Maximize Your Content Exposure on LinkedIn


Are you taking advantage of all of LinkedIn’s content marketing features? Do you know what types of content work best on LinkedIn? With a few tweaks to what you post on LinkedIn, you can build brand awareness, generate leads, and drive more revenue. In this article you’ll discover how to maximize your LinkedIn content exposure. [...]

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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

from Sniply: Social Media Examiner
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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

How to Create a Webinar That Gets Results

How to Create a Webinar-01

At Sprout Social, we love webinars. In fact, we have three different types of webinars and in a single month, we may run and participate in as many as six different sessions. One of the more recent webinars we ran was with an amazing company called Wistia, and it was oddly enough a webinar on how to run amazing webinars.

You can check out the recording at the previous link, but we decided to create this step-by-step guide on how to create amazing webinars to ensure you have everything that you need to get started.

Click below to jump to each section of the article:

From why you’d want to run a webinar all the way through to the tools you can use to get started, this post covers everything you need to know on how to create a webinar and to get your program off the ground.

Why You Should Learn How to Create a Webinar

When Sprout Social started our first webinar program, it was all about customer education. The purpose was to give customers an advanced look at how to use Sprout Social’s platform and to provide them with the chance to ask questions.

While these types are still a huge part of our program, we discovered other reasons to run webinars. We developed two other versions of webinars that include:

  • Partner webinars are created with other companies within and outside our industry
  • Thought leadership webinars are made to specifically speak to social media marketing issues.

Michael Version of Wistia Webinar.007

Each of these webinar types helps accomplish one of these unique goals.

Creating Partnerships

Throughout 2015 Sprout had the opportunity to work with 15 other leading companies on joint webinars. And already in 2016, we’ve worked with nine additional businesses. This is great for a few different reasons:

  1. These are typically adjacent companies with a similar audience to yours. If the time ever arises that a partner’s customers need a recommendation for a tool like ours, we can usually rely on them for a recommendation.
  2. These companies have also ended up being some of our greatest customers. As we’ve worked with these companies they’ve discovered more about our platform and realized they could use their own social media management tool.
  3. A lot of there partnerships have lead to deeper relationships. Relationships that turn into discussions about other joint pieces of content like eBooks, or even talks about higher-level things like product integrations.

Generating Leads & Customers

The main reason companies decided to start their own webinar program is typically due to lead generation and customer acquisition. This is because webinars are still a great way to drive qualified leads into your sales funnel. Our friends at Wistia recently shared some information on how their own webinar program performed in terms of lead generation in just three months.

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 1.39.31 PM

Not only are webinars great for generating leads, but at Sprout we’ve found the leads generated from webinars convert to customers at a much higher rate than most of our other lead generation channels.

Bolstering Relationships

Webinars aren’t just great for generating new leads, they’re good for growing relationships with leads already in your system, or even your current customers. Leverage your webinar program to increase engagement with these groups of users to reduce the risk of them churning. Try and use your webinars to show these groups how to use your product in a way that they may not have imagined.

Building Your Brand and Trust

If you properly setup and run your webinar, not only will you drive a lot of leads into your marketing funnel, but you’ll also create a lot of impressions for your brand. Between the reach your webinar hashtag see and the sheer amount of people sharing your registration page online, you’ll gain access to a new and trusting social media audience.

Educating Your Audience

If you think beyond the importance of new leads for revenue and reducing your churn, you get to a much more fundamental webinar goal: sharing your knowledge with others. Even if a person joins you doesn’t immediately start paying for your product, that doesn’t mean it’s not a worthwhile venture to try your best to teach him or her something new.

How to Create a Webinar

Given the lead generation, branding and partnership potential of webinars, you’d think they’re a no-brainer. Well the difficulty with webinars lies within execution. Unfortunately it’s not as easy as slapping together a PowerPoint presentations and bringing home the sales. This next bit will discuss how to create a webinar, then we’ll move onto how to actually run that webinar.

Establish Your Goals

Why do you really want to know how to create a webinar? It’s important to hammer this out first because a webinar that’s geared toward teaching your customers how to use your platform and one aimed at driving new leads aren’t going to have the same audience, topics or presenters. Figure out what you’d like to do and plan the rest of your webinar accordingly.

Define Your Target Audience

Once you choose a topic, you can move toward picking a target audience. If you’re creating a product-specific webinar, that specific audience may have already started a trial of your service, or they could even be your current customers. If it’s a lead generation webinar, then that audience is likely similar to those you target with your paid advertisements. Try using a tool like Sprout Social to dig into your social media demographics data.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 11.19.58 AM

Find the Right Topic

Choose a topic that you know will resonate with your audience. If you can’t think of any ideas, try asking your sales team if there are certain questions they receive frequently that would make for a good presentation. You could also dive into your website analytics to see if there are any popular blog posts that are worth repurposing as webinar.

Find the Right Presenter

The fact that webinars aren’t in front of a live audience may lead you to believe they’re not difficult to do. It might seem like at the end of the day, it’s really just you speaking to an empty room. However, that’s not the case. A webinar can be just as difficult as giving a live presentation, so make sure you choose a presenter who is up to the challenge. If it’s your first time, you might want to have two presenters on the call so that one can take charge if the other has any hiccups.

Find the Right Partner

It’s not always necessary to include a partner in your webinar, but it can add a fun dynamic, helps scale the lead generation efforts and you have a person there to help you tackle questions. When choosing a partner, make sure you find one with a similar audience relevant to the content that you plan to deliver.

top gun

Create the Registration Page

After you have all of the content and presenters decided, you can build your registration page. This is the page you’ll send users to so that they can register for your presentation. Most of the webinar platforms give you the ability to create a page with their template, though it lacks customizability.

You could also create your own page that plugs into the webinar provider you use. This allows you to make it a bit more on brand. Here’s a look at a portion of the landing page we use at Sprout Social.

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 4.06.10 PM

Drive Registrations

Once you’re ready to start collecting leads, it’s time to start driving them to your page to signup for the event. There are so many different ways to promote your webinar to drive leads to your site, but here are a few of the channels that we’ve found most successful.

  • Email
  • SlideShare
  • Blog Sidebar
  • Paid Social Media
  • Organic Social Media
  • Content Submission Sites

How to Run a Webinar

At this point, you’ve chosen a great topic and presenter, gotten all of the audience into a room together and are ready to present your webinar. Here are some things that you should keep in mind when it comes to actually running the webinar:

Practice Ahead of Time

No matter if you know the webinar content inside and out, it’s still good to run through what you plan to say a few times. Even though it’s really just you sitting in front of a computer, talking and presenting can be a somewhat nerve-racking process–especially if you’re not prepared. If you end up getting thrown off at any point, lose your place or find yourself fumbling, remember to take a deep breath and start over your last talking point.

Click the Record Button

Before you begin your broadcast, make absolutely sure that it’s recording. It’s a terrible feeling to put on an amazing show only to realize that none of it was recorded. If you don’t record your webinar, you can’t send copies out to those who didn’t attend or left the presentation early. If the webinar platform you choose doesn’t have recording functionality you can always use a screen recording tool like Quicktime to capture it.

Take Care of Any Housekeeping Items

Typically at Sprout Social, we start our webinar by addressing two things:

  1. Tell your users how to engage with the webinar. The main reason of running a webinar is that your audience can directly interact with the presenter. Give your audience a unique hashtag they can use to ask questions. You can also tell your audience how they can do it through your webinar platform, which allows you to answer questions throughout the webinar or or after. Try to encourage users to engage with the hashtag by offering a prize for the most engaged Tweet containing that hashtag.

    Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 11.18.20 AM

  2. Let the audience know you’ll send out a recording of the webinar. If any of your audience members have to leave at any point, let them know they’ll be able to view it on-demand. You’ll likely find that this is the question that gets asked most often, both during and after the presentation.

Introduce Your Topic, Company & Self

When you finish your housekeeping, move on to introductions. Start by telling your audience what the topic is about with some background information. Then shed some light on why your company is doing this webinar and tell the audience what makes you qualified to discuss that topic to give yourself some credibility.

Deliver Your Content

This isn’t The Kings Speech or your high school debate class, and we don’t propose to show you how to give an amazing speech, but we will say that our best performing webinars are those that remain conversational. There’s no reason you can’t be fun and informative in the same show. Try not to sound like the ongoing instructor that drones on without asking any questions or getting the class involved. Keep it interesting.

COLIN FIRTH as Bertie (King George VI) in THE KING'S SPEECH. In cinemas Jan 7 2011

Closing Remarks & Small Product Push

Once you’ve finished discussing your content, it’s time to move on to the closing remarks and questions. During the closing, it’s practical to take a moment to discuss your company a little bit or to extend an offer to the audience. Make sure you keep your pitch brief. You don’t want to soil the content you discussed because you came off as overly-salesy. You may also leave a bad taste in the mouth of the viewer, and when it comes time to send them a followup email, they may be turned off.

Questions & Answers

After the closing remarks, you can start to answer some of the questions that came in during your webinar. One great tip we can give is to come up with a few seed questions beforehand, that way you can address a topic no one asked. Sometimes it takes the audience a few minutes to warm up to the idea of submitting questions.

Webinar Hosting Platforms

This list is by no means all encompassing, and make sure you do thorough research on your tools before going out there and starting your platform. However, here are a few tools that we’ve come across:


GoToWebinar is a member of the Citrix family and offers some solid functionality. Email automation, customer branding and polls make it a good choice. The only issue we’ve run into is that if you plan to have over 1,000 attendees, you’ll have to bump your plan up to GoToWebcast. Then you’ll actually have to download the GoToWebinar software to your computer.


Another amazing solution is On24’s webcasting platform. One of my favorite things with On24 is you can load your presentation to the platform ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about actually sharing your screen.


AnyMeeting provides a webinar hosting solution that seems to have all of the same features and functionalities as the others but with a much lower price point. Unfortunately if you are a fan of sharing your screen, that functionality is limited to a few of their plans.

Other Useful Webinar Tools

Over the course of our webinar career we’ve found some other great tools that you should include in your toolkit.


The presentation creation platform from Apple makes it really easy to build a beautiful, informative webinar. If you have a solid design team, you can ask them to build out a robust template so you can create all of your own presentations with limited design requirements moving forward.


Make sure to put your finalized slide deck up on your company’s SlideShare page. This is a great way to get more impressions on your content after you’ve presented it. Here’s a look at the month-over-month impressions we’ve driven from SlideShare since regularly submitting our webinar content.

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 3.14.32 PM


SlideShare will house your webinar deck, but what about your webinar video? Look into creating a Wistia account for your video hosting. Wistia has great functionalities like the ability to add custom call-to-actions to your video and monitor some robust analytics.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is actually the company that brought you this blog post. There are a few really great ways to utilize Sprout’s social media management platform to help you run an amazing webinar.

To Drive Registrants: Social media should be one of the biggest channels for driving registrations to your webinars, but it can get cumbersome constantly signing in and sharing a post to your webinar intermittently. Use a social media scheduling tool like Sprout Social to create promotional webinar posts and schedule them for days leading up to the event.


To Assist Engagement: Engagement is such a big part of running webinars. It’s important to encourage your viewers to reach out to you during the webinar to create a better overall experience. However, it can get difficult to manage all of these conversations while presenting.

With Sprout Social’s Smart Inbox, you can manage all inbound messages during your webinar. Choose to filter by specific hashtags, social media profiles or keywords to ensure you’re not missing any of the conversation. You can also mark messages as complete as you go, making room for the new messages you receive.


Further Learning

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should start your own webinar program, check out the recorded video of the recent “How to Run an Amazing Webinar” video.

This post How to Create a Webinar That Gets Results originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Social Media Phrases You Should Never Use

Social Media Phrases Never Use-01

With the landscape of social media becoming more crowded, it can be hard for brands to break through the noise to get their message heard. As a result, many social media managers look for new and different ways to engage their audience. Some experiment with videos and photos. Some try live broadcasts. And almost all try playing around with the wording of their posts.

Trying to get the attention of an audience has produced some language trends that range from silly to condescending and annoying. In this post, we’ll look at some of the most common groan-inducing social media phrases and why you shouldn’t use them—as well as alternatives for wording.

Best & Worst

“Best” and “worst” have become two words to describe anything good or bad. When you think about it, they’re really two extremes at the opposite ends of the quality spectrum. They’re used so much though that their meaning has become a little lost. Steer away from describing things by using best and worst.

What to say instead: Pull out your thesaurus, and look for more descriptive words, such as primo and unfavorable.

Thanks for the Feedback

This is often used in customer support-type interactions as a catch-all response for negative comments, sometimes paired with “I’ll pass it along.” On the surface, it sounds fine. You’re thanking someone for their opinions, right? Well, this phrase has been so overused that it can be seen as a brushoff, a way to get someone to stop complaining without actually listening to what they’re saying.

What to say instead: This will vary by situation, but generally, acknowledging what the person is suggesting and offering a more concrete resolution than “I’ll pass it along” can work wonders. Your social customer service strategy is critical to the words you choose.

It’s That Time of Year Again

This is a phrase that typically comes at the beginning of a post about a holiday or event that’s quickly approaching. While you may think it’s building excitement, it could actually be building anxiety with your audience. Stop reminding people that they’re running out of time to do X, Y or Z before the holidays, and instead get them to just focus on what you’re offering. You’ll differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack, and your audience will be less likely to tune you out.

What to say instead: Highlight the holiday with a hashtag, such as #NationalPicnicDay, and then talk about what you’re offering.

We Enlisted Our Experts

You have experts? Great! Who are they? This phrase is a great carrot to dangle in front of your audience, but it can get old fast, especially in a time where anyone can call themselves an “expert.” Don’t be afraid to name-drop! A little bragging can go a long way, and the experts you’re mentioning won’t mind a little extra publicity.

What to say instead: Read what John Smith, CEO of Anywhere Inc., among others, had to say on this subject.

Help Us Go Viral

This has become one of the most overused social media phrases. It’s used to refer to a post that’s become “Internet famous,” whether it’s a video of a panda playing in the snow that’s gotten 1 billion views or a photo of a dress that no one can agree on the color of. The thing is, you can’t predict what will have viral marketing potential; it just happens. So stop asking your fans and followers to help you make it happen.

What to say instead: Sure, ask your audience to like and share your content; just don’t make the point of the action to make your post go viral.

Bae, Fleek or YOLO

OK, so these aren’t really phrases, but they bear mentioning. Trying to use language you think a segment of your audience uses to make your brand relatable can fall flat. It’s like dad jokes of the social world—sometimes funny, usually cringe worthy and generally embarrassing. Stay away from “hip” lingo. It isn’t as cool as you think.

What to say instead: Anything. Anything but this.

Now you’re armed with six phrases your brand shouldn’t use on social. Get creative with your substitutions, and wow your audience with your wordsmanship.

Do you have a phrase that you wish brands would stop using? Tell us in the comments.

This post Social Media Phrases You Should Never Use originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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How to Use Trello to Manage Your Facebook Group Posts


Are you active in Facebook groups? Looking for a better way to organize the content you share in those groups? Managing your content in Trello lets you spend less time figuring out what to share in Facebook groups and more time engaging with fellow members. In this article you’ll discover how to use Trello to [...]

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How to Manage a Podcast: Tools and a Checklist for Marketers


Are you interested in starting a podcast? Want tips to manage and promote your podcast effectively? Creating a successful podcast doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. Today, tools can help streamline activities such as finding guests, publishing audio, and promoting episodes. In this article you’ll discover how to manage your podcast from start to finish. Why [...]

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Monday, 28 March 2016

How to Use Instagram for Business: A Complete Guide

#SproutChat Recap: Activating Influencers


Creating and fostering relationships with influencers and tapping into their engaged and wide audience, can help your brand gain awareness and increase its reach. Determining who the best influencers for your organization are and mapping out a plan that ensures both parties will benefit from the relationship can be challenging.

This week at #SproutChat, we discussed best practices for the entire influencer marketing process–from identifying the best individuals to work with to what a successful relationship looks like.

Find Influencers With Engaged Communities

Start by digging into the conversations happening on social around your industry. Make a shortlist of the thought leaders that people are listening to on outlets like Google Hangouts, Blab and Twitter. Then, go a step further and identify the people on your list who have enthusiastic and engaged audiences.

Be diligent in activating influencers you’ve shortlisted are a good fit. Take notes on their follower demographics, what makes their communities excited and the nature of the content they write and promote. If there’s an overlap with your organization’s goals, move forward and reach out.

Don’t Just Go for Numbers

Influencer doesn’t necessarily mean follower count. Many #SproutChat folks agree that it’s not all about big numbers. An influencer can be someone who has a smaller following, but a group full of zealots. Passionate followers who are primed to act are much more valuable than an enormous and disengaged group. Finding these individuals is a bit harder, but once you’ve initiated a relationship, the payoff will be worthwhile.

Build a Relationship Over Time & With Friendly Cadence

Whether you’re paying your influencer or not, it’s always wise to foster an amicable connection prior to your formal partnership. Build a relationship based on your mutual interests and offer to help your influencers before you ask any favors for yourself or your brand.

Be Straightforward in Your Ask

Be upfront about your desires. Hiding your real intentions will only hurt your relationship and damage any kind of credibility you’ve built. If you think the ask might be too much, start small and work your way up. Gain insight from other industry professionals who are connected to your influencer. Be reasonable and always be sure to offer your time in return. It’s also smart to use social media monitoring tools to track who’s talking to you on each platform.

Join us next week with special guest Sprout All Star Mandy Edwards as we discuss best practices for content curation. In the meantime, check out our Facebook community to connect with other industry professionals.

This post #SproutChat Recap: Activating Influencers originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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How to Use Promoted Pins on Pinterest


Want to get your pins in front of customers? Have you considered using promoted pins? Pinterest promoted pins can help you drive referral traffic and increase sales. In this article you’ll discover how to create promoted pins on Pinterest. Why Promoted Pins? Pinterest’s promoted pins, which are now available to all businesses, are designed to [...]

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How to Use Your Social Media Team for More Than Just Marketing


Are you fully leveraging the power of your social team? Have you considered using social for more than just marketing? Your social team can do more than manage your online community. Your team can also support the goals and functions of other departments in your business. In this article you’ll discover four ways your social [...]

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Saturday, 26 March 2016

Facebook Enhances Video Metrics: This Week in Social Media


Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What’s New This Week Facebook Adds New Daily Video Breakdowns: Facebook added “new daily breakdowns for video metrics,” which “gives Page owners a [...]

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Friday, 25 March 2016

Video: Building a Smarter Strategy Through Social Listening

Insights Social Hour - Social Listening.001

As the term social listening grows in popularity, it can be hard to break free from the buzzword to really understand how it can benefit your business. At our most recent Sprout Social Hour, we invited social media experts Elly Deutch (Social Engagement Campaign & Advocacy Manager at McDonald’s), Caleb Gardner (Digital Director at Organizing for Action) and Katie Gear (E-Comm Marketing Manager at Hyatt) to discuss how they use social listening to inform social strategy.

Since the Sprout community spans the globe, we recorded the event in order to share the panel no matter what city you call home. Watch the video to learn more about social listening, including:

  • How social listening differs from social monitoring
  • Top insights your brand can derive from social listening
  • Examples of how listening can build better content and customer relationships
  • Best practices for implementing social listening as part of your social strategy

The panelists went beyond social listening to discuss how they determine which trends to pursue, how small businesses can use social to get competitive insights and set goals, and how to educate your organization about the value of social and secure internal buy-in.

We host Sprout Social Hours throughout the US and in London, and we participate in events around the world. To see where we’re headed next, check out the events page and come see us at an event soon.

This post Video: Building a Smarter Strategy Through Social Listening originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Facebook Ads Strategy: How Marketers Need to Alter Their Techniques


Do you use Facebook ads? Want to learn the latest strategies? To discover what’s changed with Facebook ads and how to get better results, I interview Rick Mulready. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business [...]

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Thursday, 24 March 2016

What Drives Successful Marketing Campaigns?

successful marketing campaigns

If your goal is to reach viral status, then you’ll need luck on your side. But launching successful marketing campaigns doesn’t require a four-leaf clover. Success doesn’t happen by accident. It’s a result of a well-planned, well-timed and well-executed strategy.

It’s not serendipity but rather a culmination of hard work and innovative thinking that turns an idea into a successful marketing campaign. Don’t let that overwhelm you. If you’re bored by the status quo, then use these tips and examples to help transform your outreach strategy.

Start With a Great Idea

Successful marketing campaigns start as an idea. In the early stages of your brainstorming, there’s no such thing as a bad idea. Throw everything out on the table and see what resonates with your team. Remember that brainstorming should be a fluid experience. Don’t overcomplicate things or stifle creativity by imposing a lot of structure on this process.

But once you do have a viable selection of ideas, your best course of action is to keep them organized by using an editorial calendar or Google Docs. Make it easy for team members to continue suggesting new ideas or adding feedback around existing ones. A Trello board, for example, is a great way to promote team collaboration and engagement around specific projects.

By keeping your ideas organized, you’re able to easily sort through everything and determine the best course of action for each one. Plus, you’ll have a nice reserve for future marketing campaigns.

Know Your Audience

When coming up with ideas for marketing campaigns your target audience should be top of mind. Everything you put out on social media and other marketing mediums should resonate with that specific group. An idea might sound brilliant, but if it doesn’t fit well with your target audience, then it’s not going to be successful.

Before your brainstorm, you need to know who you’re targeting. You shouldn’t build a target audience around an idea, but rather build an idea around your target audience. You’ll also want to research the social media demographics of the platforms you’ll be using during the campaign. Where is your target audience active, and do you have an established presence there?

sprout demographics dashboard

Launching a marketing campaign on a platform where only a small portion of your target audience is active isn’t a very efficient strategy. Dig into social network demographics to be sure your campaign will reach a majority of your desired targets. This is one of the easiest ways to ensure a successful outcome.

Totino’s executed this perfectly with its “Bucking Couch Bowl” campaign on Super Bowl Sunday. The pizza rolls brand is popular among younger demographics and Twitch, a well-known video video game streaming site, is home to numerous 18- to 34-year-old website vistors. What better place for a video game competition atop a moving couch?

Totino's Super Bowl

Additionally, consider topics that are popular among your target audience. You never want to be manipulative with your social media marketing strategy, so tailor your campaign as much as possible to the interests and needs of your customer base. Is there a need that you can address? Are the same questions showing up in customer support emails or blog comments? If so, work them into your campaign or even build a campaign around them. If you’re giving people what they want, they’re less likely to feel like they’re being marketed to and more likely to feel like they’re part of a conversation.

Set Goals & Be Specific

What does success look like to you? While it’s important to know who you’re targeting, it’s also critical to know what you expect to get out of the campaign.

Do you want to attract new customers? Increase downloads? Whatever your objective is, dig deep. How many new leads or downloads do you want to get? By clearly defining what it is you’re hoping to achieve and setting specific goals, you’re better able to measure success.

Once clear objectives are determined, you need to decide which metrics you’ll use to track them. Since many, if not most, of your marketing campaigns will take place on social media, familiarize yourself with the metrics that are worth tracking. We also encourage you to learn more about defining and measuring your goals with our guide to measuring social media ROI.

If you’re looking for even more analytics to help define and measure your campaign, try Sprout Social for free with a 30-day trial!

Find Inspiration

You might not have a brilliant idea right now, and that’s okay. Sometimes you need a little inspiration. Let’s look at a few key takeaways from some of our favorite marketing campaigns. Although you shouldn’t copy another brand’s campaign, check out the key elements that can be incorporated into your marketing initiatives. It never hurts to see what it takes to make successful marketing campaigns and then use those qualities in your own.

Get Your Audience Involved

This isn’t Old Spice’s first mention for brilliant marketing campaigns, and it likely won’t be its last. The brand’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign may be six years old, but it was so successful that it’s still inspiring campaigns today.

Back in 2010, Old Spice launched its campaign which was originally designed to promote a body wash. The 33-second video, which depicts a shirtless Isaiah Mustafa addressing viewers in rapid-fire monologues, was watched almost 6 million times in the first day alone.

The campaign was quickly expanded to include other products, and even led to a follow-up campaign based on user feedback. Mustafa ended up recording 186 videos responding to Tweets and Facebook posts from Old Spice fans.

That campaign resulted in a huge spike in social media influence for Old Spice. The brand increased its Twitter followers by 2,700% over a two-day period, its website saw a 300% increase in traffic and campaign impressions reached 1.4 billion.

At the time, Old Spice had done something that hadn’t been done before on social media. It took something as boring as a personal hygiene product and turned it into a quirky yet memorable marketing campaign. The initial video ads were fantastic, but it was the video responses, in our opinion, that gave this campaign its edge. Social media was often touted as a way to connect with customers, and these videos proved that use case.

Stand for Something

WWF Last Selfie

The World Wildlife Federation’s “Last Selfie” campaign played on emotions and was brilliantly executed. Wanting to reach millennials, it turned to Snapchat to raise awareness for endangered animals through selfies. This is fascinating for a couple of reasons.

  1. Brands work selfies into marketing campaigns quite often, but it’s unique to see something so often considered to be self-centered used in such a selfless way.
  2. The platform was genius. The decision to use Snapchat wasn’t based on demographics alone. Designed around time-sensitive content, the platform was the perfect choice for stressing how little time these endangered species have left.

On the first day of the campaign, the WWF saw 40,000 shares globally. Within a week, WWFs in different countries began localizing the campaign for their respective regions. The campaign was a huge success and the organization was able to collect its monthly donation goal in just three days.

More recently Burt’s Bees, no stranger to compelling marketing strategies, took a similar approach with its “Bring Back the Bees” campaign.

The campaign encourages followers to help bring back the disappearing honey bees by removing the letter “b” from their Tweets or by purchasing a limited edition lip balm. In return, the brand will plant 1,000 wildflowers for each person who participates. The goal of the campaign, which runs until June 30th, is to plant 1 billion wildflowers. As of writing this, 121.6 million wildflowers have been pledged.

Building emotional connections with your followers is important. Emotions are powerful drivers of actions. Happiness, for example, is one of the main catalysts of social media sharing according to psychologists. And sadness, while not something you want to invoke often, was actually found to promote connection and empathy.

Obviously don’t manipulate viewers into taking action by toying with their emotions, but a genuine campaign that tugs at the heartstrings can be a success.

Don’t Let ‘Boring’ Stop You

Launching successful marketing campaigns is easier when you have an easily sellable product, but “unsexy” products—like auto insurance—can be more of a challenge. Despite this, brands like Progressive have found success through humor and its perky spokesperson, Flo.

While not a marketing campaign per se, Flo has been a consistent piece of Progressive’s evolving marketing strategy for years. Selling car insurance is dull, and the idea of engaging with insurance companies makes some people cringe. Progressive found a way to humanize its brand and that is what’s driving its marketing success.

Flo’s commercials and social media presence are fun, whimsical and pull in viewer engagement. Her Facebook Page has more than 5 million fans. This recent post, which makes no mention of the company’s product at all, received more than 6,660 views, 160 reactions, 43 shares and 15 comments.


You might not be aware of your current policy details or even thinking about switching your insurance, but you do know Flo. And Progressive is counting on your connection with her (and therefore the brand) to convince you to consider it when you’re ready to start looking at other car insurance options.

Before You Go

Coming up with ideas and launching campaigns is the fun part. But just because your campaign is live doesn’t mean your work is over. You need an exit strategy. What do you plan to do with the leads or downloads you get as a result? You may have met your goals, but if you don’t have a plan for what comes next then it wasn’t a true success. And if you didn’t reach your objectives, what could you have done differently? Are there elements you’ll keep for future campaigns? Review each campaign with your team and see how you can improve the next one and the next one after that.

Additionally, consider the marketing campaigns that have caught your eye both as a marketer and a consumer. What did you like about them? Was there something you didn’t like? Use this information in your next brainstorm!

This post What Drives Successful Marketing Campaigns? originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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5 Ways to Use LinkedIn Publisher for Business


Looking for a way to promote your business to a professional audience? Have you considered LinkedIn Publisher? Using a few simple tactics, LinkedIn Publisher can support business owners in their efforts to get more referrals, leads, and sales. In this article you’ll discover five ways LinkedIn Publisher can help you grow your business. #1: Create [...]

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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Instagram vs. Snapchat: Who Rules the Visual Content World?

How to Nurture Leads Using Medium Letters


Wondering how to use Medium for business? Want to use Medium to engage with prospects? Medium’s Letters feature lets you communicate directly with prospects so you can build meaningful relationships with them. In this article you’ll discover how to use Letters on Medium to nurture leads. Why Medium Letters? More than just a place to [...]

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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

What Your B2B Social Media Strategy Needs to Succeed

How to Make Instagram Ads That Stand Out


Want to advertise on Instagram? Ready to take your Instagram ads to the next level? Instagram has quietly rolled out some great features to help advertisers grab attention and drive traffic. In this article you’ll discover four features you can use to create Instagram ads that stand out. #1: Drive Traffic to Your Website Until [...]

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How to Use Pinterest for Local Businesses


Want to connect with local customers on Pinterest? Wondering how to drive foot traffic with Pinterest? Pinterest offers local businesses a way to cultivate relationships with prospects and customers who are primed to walk through your door. In this article you’ll discover how to use Pinterest to market a local business. #1: Find Out What [...]

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Monday, 21 March 2016

10 Ways Marketers Can Increase Facebook Engagement

Facebook Engagement-01

With over 1.04 billion daily users and 40% of small businesses in the US, Facebook is a major piece of the social media marketing puzzle for most companies. For a long time, brands saw a lot of success on Facebook and were able to reach their target audience fairly easily. More importantly, they were able to do it organically (without using paid ads). But that all changed in 2014-2015 when business pages started seeing significantly less organic reach for their posts.

After the shift, business owners and marketers were left confused, frustrated and lost. What was once a huge traffic generator and branding tool was starting to look like a pay-to-play platform.

How Lower Organic Reach Impacted Facebook Engagement

One of the factors that determines what shows up in a user’s Facebook News Feed is the engagement a post receives. When a post has a lot of comments, shares and likes, it signals Facebook that users who have liked that page, would probably be interested in that content. This makes it all the more likely to show up in a fan’s News Feed.

The problem is it’s harder to get those likes, comments and shares when your posts aren’t being seen by a large portion of your audience. It’s kind of a catch-22. You need engagement to show up in your fans’ News Feed, but you need to show up in their News Feed to get the engagement.

Luckily, there are still ways to reach your audience and boost your Facebook engagement, despite the changes to the News Feed. Give these 10 tactics a try to start getting more likes, comments, clicks and shares on your Facebook posts.

1. Post at the Right Time (Hint: It’s Not When You Think)

Organic reach may have been reduced, but it’s not gone. One of the reasons Facebook changed the way content is displayed in News Feeds is due to the growing amount of content being published. As more brands and people started joining Facebook, the number of posts went up as well. That creates a lot of competition.

The trick is to post when engagement is the highest, not necessarily when the most users are logged in. Although most people tend to check their Facebook during the day time, the most engagement happens at night. Buzzsumo found posts published between 10 p.m. and midnight (local time) receive the most engagement.

best time to post on facebook

As you can see, the peak time for posting is around 11 a.m. However, that’s also when engagement is the lowest, most likely because News Feeds become inundated with so many new posts that people just skim through. But at night time, there are fewer posts being made so users have more time to go through and engage with each post.

It’s a good idea to schedule your Facebook posts ahead of time to be more efficient. Test different times between the most engaging hours to find out what works best for your company.

2. Share Content Your Fans Want to See, Not Just What You Want Them to See

If you want people to engage with your Facebook posts, you need to share content they want to see. Oftentimes, businesses assume just because they’re in a certain industry, all of the content has to be directly related to that field. For instance, a sandwich shop might stick to posting content only about sandwiches, deals they’re having and company news. The problem is that most people don’t want to read about sandwiches every day, so they’re less likely to engage with your Facebook posts.

In order to balance it out, broaden the type of content you share. A sandwich shop could post recipes, nutrition tips and other content that’s not necessarily about sandwiches, but also isn’t so unrelated that it seems out of place. A sandwich shop posting about online marketing wouldn’t make much sense.

3. Look at Your Posts That Have Gotten Engagement in the Past

Why try to completely reinvent the wheel? Sometimes the best way to get additional Facebook engagement is to publish more of the same type of content that you’ve had success with in the past. You can find your most engaging posts using Sprout’s Facebook Reports.

Facebook Analytics Reports

After you’ve identified the strongest performing content, all you have to do is double down and start creating more like it.

4. Use Real-Life Photos

As annoyed as we all say we are with people posting pictures every time they go to Starbucks, the fact is we’re still looking. On Facebook, photographs are the most engaging type of content you can share. Photos make up 75% of the posts on Facebook and account for 87% of the content shared on the platform, Social Media Examiner reported.

Facebook Photo Engagement

When you look around on most business pages, you’ll see a stream of stock images, rather than original pictures. Instead of relying on generic photos, use your phone or camera to take some real pictures. Posts containing original photos feel more personal and organic.

Another great tip to add more photos is to send your Instagram photos to Facebook. Go into your settings on Instagram and connect your Facebook account. Then when you take a photo, just tap on the Facebook icon to automatically share your pictures.

instagram to facebook example

5. Reply to People

You’re putting a lot of effort into getting people to engage with your posts. But once someone actually takes the time to leave a comment, are you ignoring them? Don’t just make a post and move on. You should check your comments throughout the day so that you can reply as quickly as possible. The longer you wait, the less likely the conversation is to continue.

Sure, you’ll have the occasional troll that’s just posting a comment to get attention. But most of the people who leave comments for your posts do it because they resonated with what you published. Make them feel heard and appreciated, and they’ll be more willing to engage with your future posts as well.

6. Create Blog Posts Specifically for Facebook (Share-Worthy Content)

Although photos get the most engagement on Facebook, links have more reach. To take advantage of this, and to bring more traffic to your site from Facebook, start creating content on your company blog specifically for Facebook.

If you already have a fairly active Facebook page that gets some engagement, you can refer back to the technique mentioned in the second tip. Just look at the most engaging links you’ve shared, and create similar content of your own.

However, if you’re starting from scratch or don’t have enough data from your own Facebook page to see what your audience likes the most, here’s another option:

Do a search in BuzzSumo for keywords you’d like to write about and look at content about the topic that has been highly shared on Facebook. You could even plug in the URL for one of your competitors and see which pages on their site have the most Facebook shares.

Find Posts With Facebook Shares

Generally, list posts and articles that spark curiosity perform well on Facebook. In the example above, the post with the most shares is a list post. The one directly beneath it makes you curious because you want to know how in the world anyone could shop for a week’s worth of food for only $50 at Whole Foods.

A good tip is to think of a topic or headline that would grab your target reader’s attention if it were on a magazine cover while waiting in line at the grocery store. If it passes that test, you’re on the right track.

Lastly, make sure you include an attention-grabbing photo that’s sized for Facebook. You can easily crop, resize and scale all your Facebook photos to fit perfectly on the page with Sprout Social’s newest tool, Landscape.

landscape facebook banner

7. Ask People To Engage

If you’re specifically after more Facebook engagement, make it clear within your content that you want users to like and share your post. Try to get in the habit of ending every blog post you publish with some sort of call to action. It’s not going to make everyone hit the Facebook share button, but it’s a good reminder.

Think about it–people are hammered with content on social media, blogs, television, podcasts and every other platform you can think of on a daily basis. We’re in a state of content overload.

With all of this content, most people don’t have the time or desire to finish an entire article. On average, a person will read 20-28% of the words in your post.

percent of text read

It’s safe to assume those loyal few readers that took the time to read your entire post are engaged and interested in the content. This is the best time to ask them to take action.

8. Use Facebook Video

Sorry YouTube, but even as the second-largest social network, this channel doesn’t mean much for Facebook marketing. After watching the undeniable takeover of video content, Facebook decided to dedicate a lot of time and resources into its own native video platform. As a result, Facebook tends to favor direct video uploads over videos embedded from YouTube and other third party video sites.

In one study on the engagement of Facebook native video vs. YouTube videos published on Facebook, the winner was clear. Native Facebook videos received:

  • Two times more comments
  • Three times more shares
  • Seven times more comments
  • Two times more reach

facebook native video vs youtube engagement

If you’re not using Facebook videos yet, or haven’t being seeing much success, make sure you read this article.

9. Shorten Your Posts

Don’t turn your Facebook page into the company blog. People don’t go on Facebook to read long form content. Make your posts short and sweet.

Facebook posts between 0-50 characters long receive the most engagement. The more characters you add after that, the less engagement you can expect.

Optimal Facebook Post Length

In order to cut down on the length of your Facebook posts, leave out unnecessary details, or information that needs to be expounded upon. Treat your posts like headlines. Use them to pull people in and entice them to click through to your website to read the full story.

10. Create a Facebook Engagement Strategy

Last but certainly not least, you need to have a Facebook engagement strategy in place if you want to start getting more attention. Wildly publishing posts, crossing your fingers and hoping someone leaves a comments or shares it isn’t effective or efficient.

Outline what you want to post, when you’re going to post it and the steps you’re going to take to get more engagement.

Down but Not Out

Organic reach on Facebook might be down, but that doesn’t mean you should count the social media platform out. There are still over a billion people logging in every day, which gives you plenty of opportunities to reach your audience and potential customers.

Make sure you have the right Facebook management tools in place and then you can put these 10 tactics into action to boost your Facebook engagement and increase your reach.

This post 10 Ways Marketers Can Increase Facebook Engagement originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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