Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Anchor

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I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favorite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending a super recording app called Anchor.

Anchor is an audio recording app for micro-podcasting, audio broadcasting, Q&As, and more. Features like sound clips and transcriptions make it simple to create audio for social media. Billed as “the easiest way to make a podcast, ever,” it lets you record a high-quality podcast, and distribute it everywhere (including Apple Podcasts) — all in one place. No fancy equipment or podcasting experience necessary, and it’s 100% free!

 

Posted in #HCSM, Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How to Follow Topics on Twitter

Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. This week I want to show you how to follow topics on Twitter. Following a Topic allows you to stay informed on what’s happening and see more relevant content about that topic.

Here’s how to follow topics on Twitter

From your Home timeline

  1. While scrolling through your Home timeline, you may notice that Twitter will suggest a Topic for you to follow.
  2. Simply Tap the Follow button next to the suggested Topic to follow.

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From your Topics menu

Tap Topics in your profile icon menu.

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Tap Follow some Topics to browse by category type.

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From within each category and sub-category type, tap the Follow button next to the Topics you’d like to follow.

When finished, tap Done.

Note:  Just like with accounts you follow, you can unfollow Topics at any time.

How to unfollow a Topic

From your Home timeline:

  1. In your Home timeline, navigate to a Tweet about a Topic you’re currently following.
  2.  Tap the  icon from the top of the Tweet and select Unfollow.

From your Topics: 

  1. Tap Topics in your profile icon menu.
  2. Tap Unfollow next to the topic.

Worth Noting

Topics you follow are public.

Anyone who can see your full profile can view the Topics you follow. If your Tweets are protected, only your followers will be able to see your Topics.

How to see the Topics someone follows

You have the option to see the Topics that someone else is following. You’re able to view their Topics if their Tweets are public, or if their Tweets are protected and you’ve been approved as a follower.

On the Twitter for iOS and Android app, and twitter.com:

  1. Go to their profile.
  2. Click or tap the more menu  at the top of their profile page.
  3. Select View Topics.

Here’s to your Twitter success!

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Crop Video

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I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is video editor crop.video.

With this tool, you can turn landscape video into cropped vertical or square video for optimised viewing on social media.  Use it to adjust each shot separately, remove unwanted shots at the begining and end of your video and add subtitles or your logo.

With the free version of Crop Video, you can export one shot without a watermark, and the size, length, and quality of your exported video are limited.

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Create Recurring Content

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to create a recurring content feature. 

What is recurring blog content?

Recurring content is consistent content published on a regular schedule using a define structure. This content has the ability to form hooks that keep readers interested in coming back to your site for more of the same.

I’ve experimented over the years with many different types of regular recurring columns on various blogs.  I’ve focused recently on a Cool Tool feature which I post each Monday morning.

Why create recurring content?

Marketer Heidi Cohen outlines the following three advantages to creating consistent content.

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She goes on to outline the business value

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Before you introduce a regular feature to readers, it’s important to take some time to choose a topic that matches your content strategy and crucially won’t have you running out of ideas after a few weeks.  Ideally, your topic should be associated with your keyword phrases to support your organic search efforts.

Once you’ve decided on your topic, decide on the elements you will use to maintain consistency in the design and format of your content.  Choose the same day and time to publish so readers know to expect it at that time each week – this helps build an audience for your content.  To quote Cohen, “as the digital version of appointment media your audience depends on receiving your information at the same time every week. Over time, this builds share of audience attention.”

Finally, keep the format and design elements consistent.

Here are three types of recurring features to add to your content marketing.

1. Advice Column

Set aside one day a week to provide step-by-step instructions, or answer readers’ questions.

2. Interview Series

I ran an interview series, Social Spotlight, last year with healthcare thought leaders.  It followed a consistent question format, with some tailoring to the interviewee, and was a popular addition to my content calendar.

3. Weekly Round-Up Post

I run several weekly round-up style posts for client blogs focussed on their niche. I curate the most helpful, interesting and topical news from their industry and publish them in a blog post, usually on a Friday.  It’s always the most read content when I check the weekly blog stats.

Of course, your recurring content can live outside the written word. With the popularity of video, consider adding a regular vlog or even more popular, a Facebook Live recurring feature.

To sum up

Recurring posts of high value keeps your audience interested and coming back for more. By adding a regular recurring feature to your content marketing you give your audience something to look forward, while at the same time building a unique and recognisable element into your brand.

Here’s to your social media success!

 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Evernote

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending note taking app  Evernote.

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Evernote is one of the everyday tools I use to keep me organized. A note-taking app that synchronizes all your files by saving them to a cloud service. quickly capture ideas, whether they’re notes, to-do lists, reminders, or even pictures. Because Evernote has apps for mobile, desktop, and web, your notes are instantly available on all of your devices.

Price: Free for basic plan; Premium plan starts at $6.99 pm.

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: Sharethrough

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending the Sharethrough headline tool.

This tool analyzes your headline and gives it a score based on a multivariate linguistic algorithm which takes into account more than 300 unique variables, enabling your headlines to capture attention, increase engagement and deliver a stronger impression.

In the example below I typed the following headline and achieved a score of 65% with suggestions on how to improve and gain a higher score. Try it with your own headlines and let me know how you find the tool.

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Related Reading

Write Better Headlines With These 9 Winning Formulas 

Posted in #HCSM

What Healthcare Marketers Should Know About Instagram in 2021

Are you using Instagram for your healthcare communication?

Instagram (IG) enables healthcare providers the opportunity to connect in an immediate way with their patients. It is particularly good for community outreach activities and patient education.  Healthcare providers can also use IG to show users a behind-the-scenes view of their practice.

Dermatologists, cosmetic dentists, and plastic surgeons can benefit from Instagram by using photos or video to illustrate their services. Practices can showcase before and after photos of patients, as well as videos or illustrations that educate patients on procedures and treatments.

A new infographic summarises some key facts and figures about Instagram which will be of interest whether you are already using the platform or wondering if it’s a place you should be in 2021.

Since its launch in 2010 Instagram has grown to over 1 billion active monthly users, sharing 95 million posts every day.

And Instagram users aren’t just active — they’re highly engaged. More than 200 million users spend an average of 53 minutes per day on Instagram and visit at least one business profile.

So how does Instagram stack up against popular platforms such as Facebook and Twitter?

Turns out it has higher engagement rates than both. In general, Instagram has an average engagement rate that is 14x higher than that of Facebook. Compared to Twitter, the rate is even 27x as high. 

Is this the best place for you to engage your audience?

The most active age demographic is 18-34 so if your target audience falls into this bracket, then Instagram is definitely the place for you to communicate.

Want to learn more?

Check out this presentation which I gave at the Social Media Residency Clinic during Mayo Clinic’s Middle Eastern Summit.

Posted in Thursday Tip

#ThursdayTip: How To Brainstorm Fresh Content Ideas

Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip.  This week I want to show you how to generate content ideas when you are running out of inspiration.

Next time you’re stuck for something to write about,  try brainstorming using a tool like HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator. It lets you input up to three different nouns and returns five blog topic ideas that will exercise your writing muscles again.

Here are the suggestions generated for me when I input the terms “social media” and “marketing” into the tool.

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A similar tool to Hubspot, Portent’s Content Idea Generator allows you to generate ideas with just one keyword. Be prepared that the tool can throw up some quirky suggestions, but don’t let that put you off. Keep playing around with it until you find one you can work with. I also really like how it shows you best practice tips, such as using metaphors in your writing.

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I also like to use Buzzsumo to find inspiration by searching which popular content is most shared right now on social media. These are the topics people want to read about so it’s worth brainstorming ideas around this content.

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In the example above, I entered “social media marketing” into the search box and discovered the most shared post is one detailing why email marketing is better than social media marketing. This led me to create a similar post right here on Medium 4 Reasons Why Email Marketing Is More Powerful Than Social Media.


 

Posted in Cool Tool

Monday Morning Cool Tool: PNG Transparency Creator

I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week.

This week’s cool tool recommendation is PNG Transparency Creator

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Billed as the world’s simplest online Portable Network Graphics (PNG) transparency maker. Just import your PNG image in the editor and you will instantly get a transparent PNG. Free, quick, and instantaneous it’s a super easy tool to add to your image creation toolbox.

Posted in #HCSM

Write Better Headlines With These 9 Winning Formulas

“The purpose of a title is to get potential readers to read the first line of your content.” – David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy, the original Mad Man of advertising, once famously said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

Ogilvy’s remark reminds us never to underestimate the power of the humble headline.

Even in this digital age, headlines count.

Think about how many headlines you read every day while searching online or browsing social media. What makes you actually click on an article or post to read it?

Quite often it’s the headline.

According to Copyblogger, on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.

Your headline is the first (perhaps only) impression you make on a prospective reader.

And yet many content creators treat their titles as an afterthought. The good news is that writing captivating headlines is a skill you can learn and hone to perfection.

Over the years, I have developed some tried and tested formulas for writing headlines which compel readers to click and read more.

In this post, you will learn nine secrets to writing great headlines that work every time.

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There’s no absolute rule on how long your title should be, but try not to make it any longer than it needs to be.

As a rough guide aim for 6-10 words or 50-60 characters.  It’s worth remembering that when the length of your headline exceeds 62 characters, search engines ignore the remainder of the headline (which may decrease your click-through rate).

CoSchedule has some good information on optimal headline length here: What Really Is the Best Headline Length?

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People love number-style articles. Our brains are attracted to numbers because they automatically organize information into a logical order.

Several research studies have shown that headlines with numbers tend to generate 73% more social shares and engagement (interestingly, research shows that headlines that contain odd numbers have a higher click-through rate than headlines with even numbers).

When adding numbers to your title, use the numeral, not the word. Web users scan headlines and using a numeral makes your title more scannable.

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Question headlines have two benefits. Firstly, they leverage a reader’s curiosity.   Secondly, a question headline boosts your SEO efforts.

Increasingly, people are using voice search on their smartphones, tablets or voice assistants (like the Amazon Echo or Google Home devices) to search for information on the Internet. It’s estimated that by 2020, 50% percent of all searches will likely be voice searches. In essence, voice searches are largely about answering questions, not about focusing on individual keywords.

Question headlines help future-proof your content for SEO. To quote NewsCred, “If you’re a marketer, ‘What’s the Alexa strategy?’ will be a question you’ll be expected to answer.”

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It’s important to include keywords in your titles if you want to rank higher for particular search terms. Adding them at the start of your headline can have a greater SEO-impact than if you include them at the end of a title.

When researching keywords I like to turn to Google Related Searches. You’ve probably noticed that Google displays related search results at the bottom of the first page when you type in your Google search query. This is a helpful resource as it returns ideas that are relevant to your topic based on user interest and contextual words.

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Personalizing your title by adding a “You” or “Yours” makes your headline more effective since it speaks to your readers’ concerns and sounds more conversational. It’s important to use the words and language your audience actually uses. If you’re not sure what that language is, use social media as a listening tool to find out.

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All great headlines are benefit-driven. David Ogilvy said that the headlines which work best are those that promise the reader a benefit. Keep the benefit upfront and specific in your title. Will your readers learn something new? Are you offering actionable steps for them to take?

Including words like tips, ways, strategies, etc. in your headline promises your readers that they will know more and do more after they have read your post. Be sure you deliver on that promise. Ask yourself: “As a reader, what would I expect to read if I clicked through to this post?”

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Research by CoSchedule found that content with emotional value gets shared significantly more than content that contains little emotional value. Emotion is a key driver for making people click and share your content, with positive emotions driving more clicks and shares than negative or neutral content.

If you want to test this theory for yourself, plug your headline into the Advanced Marketing Institute’s Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) Headline Analyzer. This tool scores the EMV of your headline with a breakdown of why it scored that value. A perfect score would be 100%, but don’t despair if yours doesn’t match up. According to the Institute, “most professional copywriters’ headlines will have 30%-40% EMV Words in their headlines, while the most gifted copywriters will have 50%-75% EMV words in headlines.”

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All words are not created equal. Although I’m no fan of hyped-up phrases, the judicious use of power words in your headline will grab a reader’s attention fast.

Try reading the title of this post, omitting the adjective “Winning”, and it’s not quite so compelling. The key here is to make sure the choice of word is justified. Don’t say your solution is “easy” if it clearly involves a lot of work. Download a list of 90 headline power words here.

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By nature we are curious beings, so leverage that curiosity in your titles. Learn from the masters of the headline craft, Buzzfeed and Upworthy. A word of caution here—when using this formula, never resort to click-baiting. Always craft a headline that links to authentic and relevant content.

Over to you

Test out the suggestions in this post next time you sit down to write a piece of content. There is no excuse to settle for a “good enough” headline. Keep a swipe file handy for inspiration, adding to it every time you see a great headline. The more you practice, the more skilled you will become as a headline writer.

Do let me know what your favorite headline formula is. Which headlines work best for your audience? Share your best tips with readers in the comments below.


This post first published  Mayo Clinic Social Media Network