Founded in October 2006 and later acquired in May 2012 by LinkedIn, SlideShare is a slide hosting service that began with a simple goal: To help people share knowledge online. Since then, the service has grown into the world’s largest and most popular community for sharing presentations averaging approximately 60 million unique visitors a month according to data pulled in Q4 of 2013. SlideShare also features in the top 120 most visited websites in the world and is used by individuals and organizations ranging from Guy Kawasaki to the White House and Mashable.
SlideShare for Business
Whether you own an online shoe store or you help companies grow their revenue, SlideShare has many applications in marketing. For example, as you probably already know, presentations work great for content marketing so one of the ways a business could use SlideShare is as a content marketing tool. You could use it to:
1. Tell a Story
It’s a tried and tested theory that personal stories make the best content inspiration source but to amplify the impact of your message further, you could leverage the power of visuals using SlideShare.
2. Embed Slides into Landing Pages
Whether you need to give people a preview of a product you’re launching or you need to explain a concept to your readers, few things can beat a well-crafted SlideShare presentation, which is also very easy to embed into any landing page.
3. Enhance Your Blog Posts
A great blog begins with the content you create and while there are many types of posts that you can write on your blog that will do well, embedding SlideShare content into blog posts should rank pretty high up that list because readers love it.
4. Brand Yourself the Visual Way
No one goes to a SlideShare presentation hoping to come across huge chunks of text. It’s clearly a platform for visual communication and this makes it a great tool to introduce people to your brand and what you stand for in a recognizable fashion.
So SlideShare has many applications. The other benefit of the slide hosting service is that uploaded presentations have great potential to generate traffic for your website. The key is to optimize them for both your target audience as well as the search engines.
How to Optimize your SlideShare Presentations so You are Using the Service to its Full Potential
1. Make the First Slide Captivating
When it comes to content marketing, first impressions matter so if you’re creating a SlideShare presentation for your audience, don’t under estimate the power of your first slide. Not to mention that it will be used as the thumbnail everywhere including social shares whether on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest. Read more
If you want to generate more traffic to your website and get more attention and higher rankings in the SERPs for your content, sometimes it takes more than creating quality content and hitting the publish button. One thing that is starting to have a huge and significant impact on these goals is social media. After all, Facebook has over 1.3 billion users, and a few hundred million people are spread across other popular social networks like Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and lately Instagram.
As such, if you want to reach and impact more people, increasing the number of social shares for your content is definitely something worth considering. Think about it: If you create and publish a post that gets 500 Facebook likes, 400 tweets and 200 +1s and you do this consistently, how much traffic to your website does this translate to and how much of a bump those posts will get up the SERPs?
The question is, how can you get people to share your content across the social media sites? Let’s look at 4 ways in which you can do this.
4 Ways to Get More Shares across Social Media
1. Make it Easy for People to Share your Content
If you want more social shares for your content, make your social sharing buttons obvious by placing them in prime real estate. For example, you can use a dynamic and customizable vertical box that contains buttons and/or links to the popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Reddit and which scrolls up and down a post to match the scrolling of readers. Alternatively, social sharing buttons at the end of posts is also very effective.
2. Encourage your Readers to Share your Content
Here is the deal: Most people, when they read something online, won’t immediately think “I want to share this”. You have to spell it out for them. Sometimes a few simple words strung together like “Please RT” can generate 3 times or 4 times as many retweets as you would get without such a call to action, a fact demonstrated to best effect by the studies and experiments outlined by Dan Zarrella in this post on copyblogger.com.
As it stands now, YouTube has over 1 billion users.
- Everyday people spend hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube
- Every year, the number of hours people spend on the website increases by 50%
- Every minute, 300 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube
- The video-sharing website is available in 61 different languages and localized in 75 countries
With stats like these, it makes sense why many businesses and marketers are jumping on the YouTube bandwagon in an attempt to harness some of the benefits of having a presence on a platform, which is as much a community site as a search engine. And while each channel on YouTube has its own approach to publishing, some of the most important actions when uploading a video on the website can be grouped into a simple checklist.
After all, making a video and uploading it to YouTube is only half the battle. The real challenge lies in optimizing the content and engaging with the community to make sure your video reaches the widest audience possible.
The checklist to upload a video on YouTube and successfully promote it is as follows:
This includes proper formatting, writing the metadata and creating an eye-catching and more importantly, a high-resolution thumbnail.
Any video you upload on YouTube should be properly annotated with a subscribe button, community CTAs and/or links to related content. Consider adding the video to a relevant playlist.
3. Engage & Outreach
To increase the reach and impact of your content, post it on Google+. You can also reach out to relevant blogs and/or online communities or you can engage with people in the comments section of social media sites and other online spaces.
Optimizing and Promoting a Video for Maximum Reach & Impact
So you created a video that’s creative, insightful and spot-on in terms of what your YouTube audience wants. Now what? The inclination is to sit back with some popcorn and watch the view count rise. If you do that, you will end up sorely disappointed because creating a great video is only half the battle. YouTube is home to a ton of great content. To really get your video out there, you need to optimize it. To that end:
In general, producing and publishing quality content is a valuable practice for marketers but it comes with its fair share of challenges and problem areas. You see, in reality, content marketing is so much more than publishing a few blog posts every week.
As a result, it demands commitment in terms of time and resources and you may also come across several obstacles and roadblocks. Some are obvious and easy enough to deal with. Others may require an in-depth diagnosis to find a cure. Let’s look at 5 such content marketing issues.
1. No Objectives
Content marketing is like any other marketing strategy; it requires planning. Before you produce and publish content, you need to know why you are doing so because your strategy will be informed by it. For example, are you creating content to close sales more quickly or are you creating content to influence your industry and ergo inspire recognition and respect? Maybe you’re thinking about customer support! By the way, who are your main customers?
In short, no matter what your reason is for hopping onto the content marketing bandwagon, you need to have clear objectives and a strategy.
Founded in March 2006 and launched in July that same year, Twitter has a short history of 8 years and in that time, the online social networking service went from 5,000 tweets a day in the year following its launch to 500,000,000 tweets a day as of 2013. This corresponds to an average of 6,000 tweets every second and a total of 200 billion tweets a year. As of December 2014, Twitter also boasts of 500 million users, of which an estimated 284 million are active users. Clearly, Twitter is one of the biggest social networks today and as a business, it makes sense to be on Twitter and of course promote the sharing and widespread distribution of your content by optimizing your website and blog to be more Twitter friendly.
But what makes a blog Twitter friendly? The truth is, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last several years, everyone in the digital marketing world understands the value of marketing on Twitter but not everyone understands what it takes to encourage sharing on the social network. In essence, making a blog more Twitter friendly is a two-part process and each process, in turn, involves a number of steps.
- The first process is creating content that will do well on Twitter.
- The second process is fine-tuning the technical aspects of your individual blog posts and the business blog in general for better results on the social network.
Let’s take a look at the steps to create a business blog more prone to widespread distribution and sharing.
1. People on Twitter like Statistics and ‘Snackable Content’
The average adult has an attention span of 8 seconds. This is a number down from 12 seconds in 2000. Obviously, as the years go by, we are not getting more patient. Quite the opposite actually!
Correspondingly, in the content-saturated and distraction-rich world of social media and by extension, Twitter, marketers have a need to grab the attention of consumers quickly, giving rise to the concept of snackable content. When you create content, make it a part of the process to include snackable bits and pieces of information easy to share on social media and ergo Twitter. In particular, you can choose to add things like statistics or compelling quotes in the body and these can serve as useful resources for easy Twitter sharing and content distribution.
A useful plugin to easily create tweetable content and promote sharing on Twitter is Click to Tweet. Use it to highlight snackable parts of your blog posts and make it practical for readers to automatically add the message to their Twitter status box.
2. Use Quality Visual Content
According to findings by Jeff Bullas, adding images to blog posts increases its total number of views and engagement and a blog’s overall number of readers, subscribers, followers, and leads. In essence, visual content serves to break up written content and make it easier for readers to go through the whole post without bouncing. Now, if you are optimizing your blog for Twitter, adding visual elements to your posts should be more strategic with at least one image featured prominently, either as the header of the piece or as one of the first images and adjusted to the right image ratio for sharing on Twitter. The ideal image dimension for Twitter posts is 1024px by 512px.
When it comes to email marketing, many startups are so focused on gaining new subscribers that they fail to address another important matter: Retaining the ones they already have. This is counter productive because according to Marketing Metrics by author Paul W. Farris, it’s far easier to sell to existing customers than it is to brand new prospects. But how can you build true customer loyalty via email marketing? How can you get your subscribers to open your emails each time?
If you want to keep your subscribers eager to receive your email notifications and away from the unsubscribe button, you have to treat them as people and not credit cards. Most subscribers abandon ship because the list maker starts getting greedy, either spamming their emails or not delivering the value they promised. This is going to drive subscribers away. The process of building customer loyalty has a lot to do with caring about your customers and thinking about their needs.
7 Ways to Keep your Subscribers Happy
1. If you made any promises, keep them
A lot of work can go into getting people to sign up for email newsletters. If you promised them something in return- freebies or a 30-day course to help them increase their social media ROI, you need to fulfill these promises. Make sure to act before it’s too late. It takes a lot of convincing for people to sign up on lists but less than a few seconds to hit the unsubscribe button.
2. Don’t be Random
Usually, people sign up on lists for a specific reason. So don’t be random about the newsletters you send out. Be specific about your list so you can craft emails that subscribers will be eager to open each time. In essence, send out nothing that’s too “everything-under-the-sun”! Give your subscribers what they signed up for.
3. Timing is Important
When it comes to email marketing, moderation is key. With too many emails too often, you run the risk of exhausting your list; Too little too late and people may not even remember why they signed up to your list in the first place. A general rule: Keep the frequency at one email per week. Of course you are free to do some experimentation to work out the frequency that’s optimum for your niche.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve all seen the importance of social media skyrocket for businesses.
- Facebook has over 1.19 billion active users monthly. This means that if Facebook were a country, it would have been the world’s third largest with 3.5x the size of the U.S population.
- 1 in 5 young adults aged between 18 and 24 use Twitter daily.
- Overall, Twitter receives an estimated traffic of 300K users per day.
- Between 2011 and 2013, LinkedIn experienced a 105% growth.
- 72% of online adults use social networking sites.
It’s safe to say that the need for businesses to get their social media marketing right is only going to get stronger over time.
Social Media Marketing 101
1. It all starts with picking the right types of social channels
Most marketers have limited time and resources to invest in social media. This makes deciding where to focus your social media energy an increasingly important decision. The thing to remember is that not all social media sites are created equal. Three things will determine which network you should sign up for.
- Your business objectives and goals
- Your customer demographic
- The type of product and/or service you offer
For example, if you run a website that sells beauty products, you will be sharing a lot of image-based content. This makes Pinterest an ideal social site. It also has a more women-skewed user base.
2. Publishing and Sharing Content
Many marketers limit their social media content to promotional updates. This won’t help you build trust or a community around your business. You need to broaden the scope a little. In addition to the occasional promotional update, try other types of updates including:
- Adjacent content. This includes content relevant to but not exactly about your business that may interest your audience.
- Joining conversations. Social media is all about interacting and communicating with people online. Take an interest in the conversations happening around you and jump in if you have something of value to add.
- Non-promotional company information. It’s always a good idea to humanize your brand on the social media sites. Let people in on what’s happening behind the scenes like if you’re doing any volunteer work or if you’re having a Christmas lunch for your employees.
- Humor is subjective and it’s not always acceptable so this type of post can be tricky. If you’re not sure about what you’re doing, it’s always better to put safety first. Remember that a joke is supposed to be funny. Not awkward. Not inappropriate. And not painful.
Then of course, how often you should update your social media accounts is another important consideration. The bad news is that there is no best practice that’s set in stone. The best frequency for making updates will depend on what’s appropriate for your business, the best practices in regards to the social channels you use and your audience. You will need to experiment to know what works best for you.
Over time, we’ve all seen businesses, celebs and politicians fail epically at social media. When a campaign burns to the ground, there is always an underlying reason. For example:
- Humor only works on social media if you’re actually funny
- Twitter bots are dangerous
- Customers can be critical and it’s impossible to please everyone
Then there is another reason. The good old maxim “any press is good press”. But that’s unlikely in most circumstances. The social media landscape today is way too precarious for businesses to deliberately make blunders for publicity.
What You Can Learn from the Worst Social Media Mistakes in Recent Years
1. Your Facebook or Twitter Account is an Extension of You
– London Luton Airport
In March 2013, London Luton Airport was slammed for using the picture of a fatal crash in Chicago, which killed a 6-year-old boy, in a Facebook post that was meant to be amusing. The caption read:
“Because we are such a super airport….this is what we prevent you from when it snows……Weeeee :)”
The insensitive picture was removed within 90 minutes after it was posted following an outrage by Facebook users.
– American Airlines
Called the “largest, shittiest airline in the world”, American Airlines replied to a tweet by an obviously unhappy customer with “Thank you for your support! We look forward to a bright future as the #newAmerican.” The tweet has since been deleted but this just goes to show that while there are some situations where an auto-tweet is acceptable (for example when someone subscribes to your monthly newsletter), there is a danger to auto-responding to everything.
2. Don’t Tie your Business to an Unrelated Event just Because it’s Trending
Baked goods purveyor Entenmann learned the hard way that words can be a tricky thing. Following the verdict in the controversial Casey Anthony murder trial, Entenmann sent out a tweet that read:
“Who’s #notguilty about eating all the tasty treats they want?!”
Naturally, there was backlash and the inevitable apology wasn’t long in coming.
Maybe it was ignorance or maybe it was heartlessness but following the Aurora Shooting in the early hours of July 20, 2012, CelebBoutique made a massive and unforgivable social media misstep tweeting:
“#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress;)”
The company’s PR clearly did not have the time or inclination to check on why Aurora was trending and the resulting tweet was incredibly insensitive. They later followed up with an apology and an explanation about what happened.
Do you ever wonder why some posts on Facebook go viral while others barely collect a dozen likes?
It’s not about luck if that’s what you’re thinking! A Facebook post going viral has little to do with luck and everything to do with what you post, when you post it and the words you use to send out your social message. For example, Facebook users are known to share content relating to certain topics more than others including posts about positivity, technology and health. And if you use certain words like “Facebook”, “Why” and “How” in your title, the corresponding post tends to get more likes and shares.
So with these considerations in mind, how can you maximize your overall user engagement on Facebook?
What you Need to Know about Facebook Engagement?
Worldwide, Facebook has over 1.5 billion users. Of those, 699 million people log on Facebook everyday with the average user spending 15 hours 33 minutes on the social network every month. In total, the traffic to Facebook every month amounts to 700 billion minutes.
To tap into that traffic, certain skills, stats and tips are more useful than others.
- Posts with 80 characters or less get more interaction
- The use of emoticons in posts increases comments
- Question posts get 100% more engagement comments wise
- Quotes collect 26% more likes and 19% more shares than “normal” posts
- Posts published on Thursday and Friday receive 18% more engagement. This number increases to 32% on weekends. The best time to post on Facebook is 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. to get the most shares and clicks
- Contents relating to some topics get more engagement than others. The top 5 topics include sex, positivity, learning, technology & social media and food & drink in that order
- 80% of U.S social media users prefer Facebook to the other social networks as their preferred way to connect with their favorite brands.
A 4-step Process to Increase your Facebook Engagement
1. Use the Right Social Media Tools to Inform Your Marketing Strategy
With tools like Mondovo, Hootsuite and SocialMention, you can build a brand that resonates with people. Think about it. Do you know if your social media efforts are paying off? With the right tools, you can narrow down on the social channels that are sending you the most traffic. You can listen to your audience and join relevant conversations. If you can identify your best content and most engaging posts, you can create more of what your audience wants from you.
Let’s start this post with a question!
What do you do on your smartphone most often?
– Email clients?
– Check the news apps?
– SMS/Text messaging?
– Take pictures and/or record videos?
For those of us who are completely honest, there is no shame in admitting that, for the most part, our time is spent on the social networking apps behaving like “stalkers.” We observe and obsess over people, places and things that are meaningful to us.
On any given day, how many times do you honestly check your social apps to see what your friends are eating for lunch or whom they are hanging out with?
According to Adobe’s 2013 Mobile Consumer Survey, in 2012, there was a 31% and 180% increase over 2011 in smartphone and tablet users respectively in the United States. Consumers today are increasingly using their smartphones and tablets to connect with brands through mobile-optimized websites and mobile apps.
Key findings of the 2013 mobile survey:
1. For consumers who have access to both a smartphone and a tablet, the device of choice remains the smartphone although tablets are rapidly rising in popularity.
2. Facebook is the dominant social network. It is accessed via mobile at 85%.
3. Twitter follows this number at 35% and Google+ at 21%.
4. The most popular social activity on mobile is to read status updates. Consumers are also using smartphones and tablets alike to view pages of their favorite brands.
In this era of emerging mobile-specific technologies, businesses have an unprecedented opportunity for brand differentiation.
Understand Your Audience Before you Address Them
Social media users fall under 3 different categories of people:
For social media success, you need to have a cursory understanding of your target audience before you start talking to them.
Thinkers use social media when they are contemplating whether or not to make a purchase. These are laid back people and are slow to act. 48% of Pinterest purchasers are thinkers that will favorite an item that they may or may not buy at a later date.
Questers are people actively researching a potential purchase. They are information gatherers looking for feedback on items they are interested in.
Leapers are people who get inspired by social media to make a purchase. You may think of this category of people as impulse buyers. They take action quickly when they see something of interest.
These customer profiles are key to developing a successful mobile social media presence.