MARKETING STRATEGY

How to Improve Your Social Media Scheduling with Pocket

How to improve your social media scheduling with pocket - this time-saving tool makes it easy to save and share relevant content. Click through to find out how bloggers, online entrepreneurs, and virtual assistants can use Pocket to save time!

A guest post by Miranda Nahmias

Back when I first started to use social media as a tool for my business and strategically schedule out my posts, the whole process was kind of a hot mess.

I would randomly do Click to Tweets or re-pin some pretty-looking posts, but I didn’t exactly have a strategy.

STARTING OUT WITH SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULING

Once I decided that I was going to take social media a bit more seriously, I signed up for Buffer’s Awesome plan (which I highly recommend) and got to work, bravely attempting to share posts for my business 20% of the time, and posts for other people’s blogs and businesses the other 80%.

This is a technique that has been encouraged by many role models within this niche, and is something that I personally very much believe in. My philosophy since starting my blog has always been to give and support as much as I can, so I make an effort to follow through with that in my social media scheduling.

I set up my Buffer to post 12 times a day at the optimal times that were best for engagement on my specific account (check out this tutorial from Nora Conrad on how to set up your Buffer like this!) and got to work!

At first, most of my “other people’s posts” were just retweets of interesting stuff that I’d found throughout the day. But I didn’t want to just do retweets!

Taking the time to personally tweet about someone else’s blog post will result in a much higher engagement and that blogger will be even more appreciative — it’s just an all around good thing to try and do. The task then became to find a whole bunch of interesting content and write a custom tweet for each one.

Enter the Pocket App

When I originally discovered the Pocket app, I honestly wasn’t too impressed. I thought it was a good concept, but couldn’t quite figure out how to make it work for ME. I would save stuff, but then never go back to it, and was only using the app on my smartphone.

Eventually, I realized that Pocket also has a Chrome browser extension. That’s when things started to get interesting.

Has this ever happened to you? You’re scrolling through your Twitter feed on your phone, find something that you want to read, but totally do not have time to read the whole thing!

Well, with this ingenious little app, you can just save it to your Pocket and access it later…on your laptop or your phone! Problem solved.

(Oh, and just so you know — Pocket is not sponsoring this article or anything. I just really like using it!)

Let’s Get Even More Organized

After using Pocket in this manner for a few weeks, I knew that there must be some way to harness its power in an even more effective way.

The problem that I found was that most of the posts I find, I’d like to schedule to both Twitter and Pinterest. But my Pocket was just a jumbled mess of articles, some even totally unrelated to business or not something I was interested in sharing on social media.

It took some digging, but finally I realized that you can use TAGS in Pocket! The tags pretty much work as folders so that you can separate the articles from each other, and each article can be given multiple tags.

Pocket Save with Tags

 

When you’re on the page of an article that you want to save, just click the Pocket extension (or, on your phone, choose the “Share” button in your browser, then “Save to Pocket”).

To create a new tag, just type in the text area and hit enter to save the tag. If you already have tags created, just start typing in the name of the tag, and it will autocomplete. Hit enter to select that tag, and then you can add more!

For example, if I find a great article (like Wonderfelle’s recent How I Found a Niche When I Stopped Looking For It), I’ll add it to both of the tags “Twitter” and “Pinterest.”

Taking the time to personally tweet about someone else’s blog post will result in a much higher engagement and that blogger will be even more appreciative — it’s just an all around good thing to try and do. Click To Tweet

Scheduling Tweets from Pocket

When I’m doing my Twitter scheduling with Buffer, I just pull up the Twitter tag in Pocket.

There’s actually a really fast way to schedule each post to Buffer — just click on “Share” > “Buffer” (or “Share” > “Twitter” if you don’t use Buffer) and it will auto-generate a tweet for you with the article title and blog’s name.

Pocket Share to Buffer

Personally, I don’t like doing it that way, because it doesn’t include the blogger’s Twitter handle. So instead, I choose “Share” > “View Original.” This will open up the post in a new tab and allow you to find their Twitter handle and write the tweet from that page instead (if you have the Buffer extension installed, you can do this even more easily).

If I want to schedule it for Pinterest, I just go to Pocket, open up the post’s page, and use the Pinterest or Tailwind extension!

Since Pocket is such a great tool for storing other people’s content, it’s also a great resource for virtual assistants. I use it all the time with my clients! If I come across an interesting post that I want to save and share on their social media accounts, I can simply add the content to a tag that’s specifically reserved for that person.

Really, the options are endless!

IMG_0109 small squareMiranda is a graphic designer who specializes in ebook and opt-in freebie PDF creation. She blogs about all things business, blogging, and graphic design over at http://www.MirandaNahmias.com.

Find Miranda on:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mirandanahmias
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mirandanahmias
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mirandamowbray

 

 

The Crucial Element Your Marketing Might Be Missing

The Crucial Element Your Marketing Might Be Missing: Why CTAs are such a crucial part of your marketing + how to use them effectively. Click through to learn more!

You know what's really annoying? When you spend hours researching, writing, photographing, formatting, and proofreading your work to create something you're actually proud of… and then nothing.

You know people are reading your blog or opening your email or following you on social media – but you're not seeing the sales or engagement that you want. Bummer.

The crucial element your marketing might be missing

It kills me to see people spend so much time creating and promoting their products and services and not seeing results. But the good news is, there may be an easy fix! I recently did a content audit for a client who was was struggling with getting clients from Instagram (despite having over 1,000 followers), but after making 1 little change – she booked 3 new clients within 1 week. 

She added a clear call to action.

From my experience, it's much easier to market and sell your products and services if you remember 1) most people are egocentric and 2) most people like to be told what to do. That sounds a little harsh (and I even tried to soften it with “most”), but I'm just putting that out there…

In the example I mentioned above, my client was using Instagram to promote her photography business. She had gorgeous images, was using relevant hashtags, and even had over a thousand followers… but she wasn't getting clients. Despite the fact that her feed was gorgeous – no one had any idea she was actively looking for clients! She mentioned in her bio that she was a photographer, but had no link to her website or no specific call to action to get in touch. It's such a simple thing, but the shift from “hey, I provide a service” to – “hey, I provide a service and this is how you can hire me” is crucial.

Make it easy for people to know what to do by giving them a clear call to action. 

Going back to the egocentric part, I think it's also important to acknowledge that people want to know what's in it for them. Most email sign up requests say something like, “sign up for my newsletter where you'll occasionally get tips on stuff” – sorry no one really wants to sign up for that. Setting expectations by telling (or showing!) people what they are actually getting (and when they are getting it) can make a huge difference in opt-in rates. #trust

Setting expectations by telling (or showing!) people what they are actually getting (and when they are getting it) can make a huge difference in opt-in rates. #trustClick To Tweet

Using benefit-oriented CTAs makes it easy to tell someone what to do + what's in it for them when they do it.

  • Click the link in my bio to read the post + learn how to plan your blog content (so you always know exactly what to write about)! 
  • Join my free course for 5 days of actionable tips to help you get noticed online and get more sales.
  • Schedule a session now and I'll help you create an irresistible feed that attracts your ideal audience (and actually generates revenue). 

These are all CTAs that I've used on my blog or on social media to encourage my audience to take action. Notice none of them just say “link in bio” or “submit” or “contact me” – because that would be kind of lame. Positioning your CTAs as something that results in actual VALUE makes them so much stronger. 

If it sounds like I'm a little too excited about CTAs its because I kinda am – strategically using CTAs was a game-changer for my own business and it could be for yours as well!

How To Plan Your Blog Content (So You Always Know Exactly What To Write About)

How to plan your blog content - so you always know exactly what to write about. Includes a blog content planner workbook to help you create content that converts! Click through to download.

Most people I know fall into one of two categories when it comes to their blog content struggles – either they have too many ideas and can't focus on a niche or they have a niche but struggle to consistently come up with ideas. Personally, I've been in both positions at one point or another, but as of a few months ago, I finally figured out my sweet spot. It only took like 6 years…

For the purposes of this post I'm going to assume that you're a blogger / biz owner who wants to grow their audience and grow their sales. Which is probably most people – because blogging “just for fun” seems very 2009 to me. And now I feel old.

Understand your “why”

Your blog has a purpose. When you're planning your content, it's helpful to remember your “why” – what are you trying to accomplish through your blog? I blog to share my knowledge with my audience, to build trust with them, to humanize my brand, and to promote the products and services that I offer. I don't blog about what I did over the weekend or what color nail polish I'm wearing (anymore) because I know that's not something that my audience really cares about. When I plan my content I ONLY think about the topics that will educate, inspire, or entertain my audience in a way that relates to my purpose. 

Sometimes you need to go wide first

Everyone in the world is probably telling you to focus on a niche. BUT – I also think that sometimes you need to explore a lot of things to figure out what you really want to blog about. Same goes for your target audience – you NEED a target audience, but I actually don't think it's a bad thing if you work with a number of different types of people in different industries at first. You may even realize that you don't actually want to work with the people you thought you wanted to work with!

In relation to your blog content, it may help to start with a brain dump of ALL THE THINGS you could write about in relation to your “why” – with a ton of ideas, you will probably see a few different categories emerge, and then you can narrow down your specific post topics from there. You could also skip the brain dump and start with a few select categories and only think about post ideas that fit into those specific categories – whatever works for you!

What do you know?

The awesome thing about knowing your purpose and knowing your target audience is that once you have these things in place, blogging is easier. If you know what they want to know, you always have something to share. How do you know what they want to know? If you already have clients / customers, think about the questions that they ask.  If you're just starting out, stalk them do a little research wherever they hangout – search Facebook groups, observe twitter chats, creep on Instagram, etc. And chances are, YOU relate to your target audience in some way, so think about the things that you wish you had known 2 or 3 years ago!

I literally keep a running list in Evernote of FAQs – not only because one day I may actually create a FAQ page, but also because it helps me come up with blog post ideas. I currently have so many blog post ideas that I will probably never get around to using them all, but that's not such a bad problem to have!  If someone in your target audience asks a question in a Facebook group or in a Periscope comment or in a one-on-one meeting, write it down! You'll be surprised by how many ideas you will come up with just by LISTENING. 

Make the most of what you already have

If you've been blogging for a while, you should be paying attention to analytics. Your old blog posts can tell you what topics your audience is really interested in – I keep track of not only which posts get the most traffic, but also the posts that get the most engagement (comments, social shares, opt-ins) and the posts that result in the most revenue. Think about how you can expand on those popular posts to write new content. For example, 10 ways to grow your instagram following was my most popular post in 2015, so last week I posted 3 more instagram strategies. I also included a content upgrade for both of these posts with a checklist of the 8 things you should be doing for every instagram post, and as of today, that content upgrade is converting around 50% which is a nice bonus!

Your blog has a purpose. When you're planning your content, it's helpful to remember your “why” – what are you trying to accomplish through your blog?Click To Tweet

Create a schedule that works for you

If we rewind back to 2010, you'd see I was the type of blogger that went from posting 5 days a week to once every other month… I lost a lot of my audience and a lot of subscribers during that period because I was so inconsistent. Don't be like the old me. If you can't regularly publish a new post 5 days a week, don't try. Pick one day, two days, three days… most people would agree that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to blogging these days, and personally, I'd rather see one really valuable post a week from someone than several “meh” posts. If you only have 10 hours a week to work on your blog and it takes you 5 hours to complete a post, basic math would tell you to do 2 posts per week… but that doesn't account for all of the OTHER things that go into blogging – social media, networking, community building, photography/design, and editorial planning are only some of the other things that you may need to find time to do, so make sure you factor in time for all of your tasks!

Back to the point

Or perhaps I should say, back to your purpose – every blog post you write should have a clear call to action that directly relates to your purpose. Whether you are asking a question to encourage discussion or directing your blog readers to buy your product or you are telling them to click on a link to download a freebie, you don't want your audience to walk away without doing something.

A few helpful tools

To plan my blog content I (currently) use Asana to brainstorm post ideas and for my specific tasks / project management. That sounds like a lot of tools for one end result, but it's the system that works best for me (and all of those tools are free)! Before you get into ANY of that, you should have a solid blog content plan in place – by creating a plan, you will be able to better address the needs of your target audience, focus on creating content that converts, and streamline your blog workflow! I've put together workbook of blog planning exercises to help get you started which you can download for free below!