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 CopyChar.CC – a simple tool to copy symbols.
If you’ve ever found yourself hunting around to find a particular symbol, currency sign or emoji then this tool is great – allowing you to find what you’re looking for at a glance. I just discovered it a couple of days ago and already I’ve added it to my list of time-saving tools. I think you’ll do the same once you’ve tried it for yourself!
Social media marketing is more than just creating social accounts and posting updates once in a while.
Nor is it merely a digital tool to broadcast company updates.
To make social media marketing work you need to take a strategic approach.
This post guides you through ten questions you should ask yourself before diving into social media.
Whether you are a social media beginner or you have been using it for a while, the following questions and actionable steps will help guide your social media efforts toward success.
Before you jump into the tactical and practical details of your social media plan, it’s critical that you take the time to understand your audience.
All successful businesses are based upon their ability to meet the needs of their audience and social media marketing is no different. Learning about the type of people you’re interacting with, from their psychological behaviours to their demographics, is crucial to creating an experience that relates directly to them.
Develop customer personas which will not only provide answers to basic demographic questions about your audience, such as age range and location, but also their challenges, dreams, hopes, and fears. Identify where your audiences congregate online, alongside which communities inform, inspire, or influence them.
Take Action: Finding data on your existing audience will help you identify whom you’re reaching and if they are within your target audience. Use Google Analytics and built-in audience analytics features such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics to do this.
Once you’ve identified who your audience is, map this information to social media behaviour.
Armed with information on who makes up your audience, the next step is to determine which social media platforms they use and direct your efforts accordingly. This doesn’t mean that you have to be everywhere at once. Do your research to determine where best to focus your social media efforts to be successful.
Take Action: Use Surveys (e.g. Survey Monkey), Polls (PollDaddy; Facebook; Twitter), and publicly available reports to match your audience demographic to the social networks they use.
Your goals and objectives are the foundation of your strategy, guiding every decision and tactic that comes next.
Goals are also important because they help align your social media strategy with your overarching marketing objectives. Your social media marketing efforts should not be siloed — they should be an integral part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Your goals should be as trackable and specific as possible. The more detailed your goal is, the easier it’ll be in a few months to see if you achieved your goal
Take Action: It’s important to setSMARTsocial media goals; i.e, goals that are specific, measurable, and achievable within a specific time-frame. In addition, set benchmark goals so you can gauge the success of your efforts as you go so you can put more effort behind what’s working and improve what’s not.
When it comes to marketing, you have two resources: money to spend and man-hours to give. It is up to you to decide how you want to allocate them.
There is a misconception that social media is completely free. While it’s true that it’s free to set up an account on all the major platforms, most offer premium features that may be worth considering.
Take Action: It’s a good idea to budget for paid advertising, particularly if you want to make an impact on Facebook, where organic reach has steadily declined over the past few years.
Time is a cost you need to factor into the social media equation.
To achieve results and credibility you have to be prepared to devote time regularly to producing and promoting content and engaging with your audience. Ask yourself how much of a time commitment can you afford for social media? Will you concentrate on just one platform and do that really well? Or do you need to hire some social media help?
Take Action: To create and maintain interest with your audience you need to post consistently to stay in front of your audience’s eyes and keep growing. Set aside one day each month to map out upcoming events, holidays, and so forth, which you would like to write or post about. Then use a simple excel spreadsheet to create your content calendar.
Your answer to the previous question may influence the type of content you will create for social media.
Do you have time to write regularly for a blog? Would it be better to make short videos for YouTube or to communicate through a livestream broadcast? You also need to keep in mind the content that works best on the platforms you have chosen. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest require high-quality visuals to stand out. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is better suited to industry news and long-form thought pieces. Whichever type of content you intend to create, quality and consistency are more important than quantity.
Take Action: Think about what you want your readers to know and feel after seeing your content. What action, if any, do you want your audience to take after seeing your content?
You can learn a lot by taking some time to observe what your competitors are doing online.
One of the key components of conducting a social media audit is to compare your competitors’ digital footprints against your own. Doing some competitor analysis allows you to benchmark your metrics against others to see how you stack up. While it’s tempting to go straight to vanity metrics such as follower numbers, it will be of more benefit if you skip the quantitative analysis for qualitative.
What type of content are they creating and how often are they sharing it?
Which content is performing well?
Which content is most shared, commented on, etc?
How have they chosen to use videos and images?
Which social media influencers are they interacting with?
When developing your social media strategy, it’s key to clearly define roles and understand who will manage, monitor, and engage on each account.
You may wish to take full responsibility for maintaining your social media presence, but if you are giving the task to someone in your organization, or hiring outside help, you need to ensure they are the right person for the job.
Take Action: There are many different roles that make up a social media marketing job (for example content creation, e-mail marketing, social media management, etc.). Clearly define the roles and outline the responsibilities of this position.
Responding in real-time and resolving issues around your brand should they arise, strengthens public perception that your focus is strongly centered on customer satisfaction.
From a marketing perspective, social media monitoring will help you determine the impact on your product, service or brand, and if required, make adjustments to your communication, marketing or sales plans.
Take Action: There are many free and paid monitoring tools, with new services being added continually, which will help you track the metrics relevant to your brand across the web. The tools vary in scope and range across a number of sites, real-time or delayed searching, the sophistication of analytics, the flexibility of data presentation, integration with other applications, and cost. Which one you choose will depend on your budget and the level of analytics you wish to achieve.
How will you know if you achieve your social media goals? To determine how effective your social media efforts are, you will need to measure your results.
You need to understand and track the metrics that matter to the core of your business. Social media metrics should always be tied to your overall business goals. Go beyond vanity metrics which merely serve as an ego-boost. Instead, ask if these metrics make an impact on your bottom line.
Take Action: Use built-in tools such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics, third-party tools, and measurement of social traffic and conversion with Google Analytics to track and measure your progress.
Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip. This week I want to show you how to find old tweets in your Twitter archive.
Have you ever wanted to search your Twitter archive to locate an old tweet? Twitter shows your last 3,200 tweets in your timeline, which to a Twitter newbie may sound like a lot of tweets, but for those of us who have been using Twitter for several years and tweet a lot, leaves us struggling to find old tweets.
The solution lies in Twitter’s Advanced Search function. Here’s how to perform a search for your old tweets.
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 URLList – a bookmarklet that allows you to bring a group of URLs together in one place and then share them with a single link.
As recommended by Social Media Examiner, “One use case that isn’t explicitly stated on their site is to create a large list of URLs for all of your different product landing pages and then use that one URL in your Instagram bio.”
Are you consistent in how you use your brand images across all platforms?
Do background colours, logos, and other images follow your branding?
Are all descriptions and URLs uniform?
If you were your ideal customer, would you be able to identify with your brand on social media in terms of image, tone, and voice?
Claim Your Vanity URLs
A vanity URL is the user name that you assign to your social media accounts which uniquely identifies you. Before you create your vanity URL, your social media profile is given a default URL that includes a string of random numbers.
Have you claimed your vanity URLS on Facebook and LinkedIn? For more information on claiming your vanity URL visit these pages at LinkedIn and Facebook.
Dig Into Your Audience Demographics
How well do you know your audience? Finding data on your existing audience will help you identify who you’re currently reaching and if they are within your target market. Use Google Analytics and built-in audience analytics features such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics to dig into detailed demographic data, including countries, occupations and interests, and the gender split of your audience.
Social media is all about engaging with the right audience on the right platform at the right time. Are you sharing the kind of information your audience finds useful? Are you sharing at the right time of the day? Audit how often you are posting on each platform and List which times you are posting and the results you are getting.
Schedule posts according to effective times of day:
Determine where you are getting the most engagement and make a decision about whether to continue efforts on all platforms, or to reduce your efforts to concentrate on just one or two platforms. It’s important, especially if your resources are limited, that you’re focusing your social media efforts in places that will generate the most return for your efforts.
How engaged is your audience with you on each of your social networks?
Do your interactions seem to be coming from your target market?
Are most of your conversions coming from one network only?
Study Your High Performing Content
Review your high performing content across all social networks.
Which content worked best for you? Create more of this content in the future.
Compare your competitors’ digital footprint against your own. While it’s tempting to go straight to vanity metrics such as follower numbers, it will be of more benefit if you skip the quantitative analysis for qualitative.
Look at the type of content your competitors are creating. How often are they sharing it?
How have they chosen to use brand images?
Which influencers are they interacting with?
Are they active on networks you aren’t?
Take note of what they are doing well, and where they are lacking.
I recommend you do a comprehensive audit on your accounts twice yearly to consider any major adjustments to your strategy. In the intervening time, keep an eye on your analytics and metrics on a monthly basis. Use a reporting system to keep track of monthly changes and review these when it comes time to do your twice-yearly audit.
I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending iOS Twitter tool – Tweeps Map
The free version of this tool is limited to a visual representation of where your Twitter followers are based geographically.
This can be useful to determine whether the content and the language and references you are using are actually relevant to where your followers are living. In my case, although I live in Ireland, the majority of my followers are based in the USA.
I can further break this down to State and Province
I can also track which follower geographic locations mention my Twitter account most.
The free plan will allow you to also track top unfollowers and inactive accounts.
Welcome to this week’s social media tip. Today I want you to show you how to set your wall posting preferences on Facebook.
Recently I was teaching a social media workshop when the topic of how to deal with people posting directly to a Family Practice Facebook page came up. The person who raised the topic hadn’t realised that it’s possible to limit who can post to your Page. In fact, you can set your page’s Posting Ability tab so that only your page admins can post to your Facebook page.
Here’s how to do it.
1. Choose Settings from your Admin panel. Then choose Edit.
2. From here, edit the posting ability to decide if you want everyone to be able to post on your page, or if you want to allow only your page admins to post by checking the relevant boxes.
3. When you’re done, hit Save Changes.
A very simple step, and one that those who are new to Facebook can easily overlook.
Are you using the right social media platform to maximize your online reach? Not all social media is created equal. Read on find out more about choosing the right platform to enhance your medical marketing activities.
Most small practice owners I’ve talked to find themselves overwhelmed by social media because they feel they need to be active on all platforms. It’s important, especially if your resources are limited, that you’re focusing your social media efforts in places that will generate the most return for your time online. Don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to be everywhere at once. Every additional platform your practice is active on means additional time and effort required to engage on and create tailored content for that platform.
Before becoming active on a social network, try answering the following questions to help you choose the platform that is right for your practice.
1. Will this platform help me achieve my marketing goals?
Setting SMART goals to which you can align your social media activity is a good guarantee of online marketing success. If you can’t explain how a particular social channel will help you to achieve your goals, then it may not be the right fit for you.
Different platforms attract different audiences. There’s no point spending your time on a particular social network if your audience isn’t there. Look at existing data to learn where a specific demographic spends their time online. For instance, if you’re targeting a younger demographic (25 years and under), then you should consider using Snapchat.
For the female-focused market, Pinterest is a good choice, because of its significant reach among women; 42% of online women are Pinterest users. 34% of users are between the ages of 18 – 29 and 28% are between 30 – 49, which creates a wide demographic of women who can be reached on this platform.
With an average of 1.47 billion daily active users, Facebook is still the king of all social networking sites (though we might see this predominance changing soon), so this is the most logical network to start with.
However, the catch with Facebook is over 80 million businesses have a presence on the network which makes it a crowded and competitive landscape. And with organic Facebook Reach estimated to currently be as low as 1–3%, succeeding on the platform is more difficult than ever.
Certainly, you should create a presence on Facebook for your practice, but be realistic in terms of what you can achieve there. To succeed you will need to include paid strategies for a successful Facebook marketing plan. The good news is that Facebook advertising allows for a high level of targeting right down to age, interests, income levels, geographic location etc. to ensure your message is delivered to the exact audience type you are looking to attract.
Look beyond Facebook to the many online groups and fora where your patients are also congregating. For example,Quorais a question and answer platform where you can either ask a question about your topic or simply do a search using your topic keyword to find what people are asking about that topic.
3. Which social networks are my competitors using?
Which social networks are your competitors using? Are they active on networks you aren’t? Use a tool like Buzzsumoto identify the social channels on which your competitors get the most shares. Chances are if these channels match your demographics and are working well for your competitors, they will work well for you also.
If you want your content to do well on social media, you’ve got to be strategic about what you publish and where you publish it. You need to create content that aligns with your audience’s expectations on each social channel.
Identify how, when, and where your specific audience likes to engage with content. For example, Instagram is the best platform for reaching millennials and users there will expect high-quality graphics and videos. It’s a great way to connect visually with your audience.
Twitter, on the other hand, has the most diversity in terms of audience penetration and is the best network for real-time communication. Due to its interactive, in-the-moment nature, it will require more of a commitment of time to participate in online conversations and chats and remain visible in the fast-moving stream of tweets.
Consider creating more video content for YouTube.
It’s no secret that video content is booming across all businesses, including healthcare. People around the world are now watching a billion hours of YouTube’s content every single day.
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world with added SEO potential due to its Google connection. As a form of patient education and health promotion, YouTube has great potential but is currently an under-utilized platform for healthcare.
5. Can I integrate this platform with another similar one?
It’s better to use fewer channels well than to stretch yourself thin trying to maintain a presence on every social network. There is a degree of reciprocity between certain platforms – for example, Facebook and Instagram – the key is to choose channels which integrate well with each other to create maximum impact.
6. Consider your existing resources
Do you have the skills or personnel to create the right content for the networks you’ve chosen? While it’s true, you don’t have to pay to sign up for a social media profile on most platforms, these days, the organic reach of most Facebook posts is less than three percent. Running a social presence now requires an investment of resources, both in terms of finances and time.
To Wrap Up
When choosing a social network always keep one eye on the bigger picture. Rather than being led by current trends, back up your decisions by aligning them with your goals and audience.
When assessing a platform ask yourself if it is the right fit for what you are trying to do and for whom you want to reach. Faris K. Timimi, MD, medical director for the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network (MCSMN) and a practicing cardiologist in Rochester, Minnesota, advises physicians to “look at the demographics and the nature of the platform, the content of what you are putting out there, and what are the characteristics and how does it fit.”
My final piece of advice is to master one social network well before adding another to your strategy. Regularly review what’s working and what’s not. After a period of say six months, ask yourself this platform is still working for you. If it, then focus on improving your reach on it. If it’s not working, consider whether it’s worth investing any more time on. Remember you don’t have to be everywhere to make an impact.
If you are looking to connect with more people in your industry on a wider scale, joining a Twitter chat is the perfect place to start.
It’s no secret that I love Twitter. I joined it eleven years ago – that’s eons ago in social media years, which as we all know we measure in dog years.
Since then I have watched disheartened as Twitter has become a far less friendly, far noisier place. That said, there are still incredible ways to use Twitter to learn and to connect with other like-minded people.
One of those ways is a Twitter chat.
What is a Twitter Chat?
A Twitter chat is a great networking and learning tool, and a super way to engage in meaningful conversations about shared topics of interest. Think of it as a virtual meet-up for people with common interests.
For those who may be unfamiliar with Twitter chats, they are a public chat, moderated by a host that happens live on Twitter. To filter all the conversations a specific hashtag is used. This hashtag allows you to follow the discussion and participate in it. Most Twitter chats are recurring and focus on specific topics introduced by a moderator. The chats usually last one hour and a transcript of tweets is often made available after the chat has ended.
Twitter chats can be fun and lively, and they’re a great place to learn and network. They are also a super place to meet new people. When you attend a Twitter chat regularly, people will get to know you and in this way, you can develop your network and grow your followers
What Is The Impact Of Twitter Chats On Healthcare?
For patients who participate in health-related Twitter chats, there is tremendous potential to motivate participants and encourage change. Much of this change comes from peer-to-peer support which has been shown to be highly effective in motivating change. Many participants share conversational and informational knowledge that they believe is valuable both to themselves and others.
The trailblazer in this area is the Breast Cancer Social Media chat (#BCSM). The first #BCSM chat took place in 2011. Moderated by two breast cancer patients, Alicia Staley and Jody Schoger, the goal was to provide credible, evidence-based information and support for anyone affected by breast cancer.
Alicia and Jody were soon joined by breast surgeon, Dr. Deanna Attai who saw immense value in taking part in these conversations. From this inside peek into the world of patients, Dr. Attai surmised that while doctors were providing information, patients, overwhelmed by their diagnosis, were not necessarily hearing it.
In 2015, BCSM published a studywhich demonstrated that breast cancer patients’ perceived knowledge increases and their anxiety decreases by participation in Twitter chats like #BCSM. In a separate paper published in 2016, the use of social media was linked to more patient confidence in cancer treatment choices.
Dr. Matthew Katz, a radiation oncologist based in the US, agrees that Twitter chats provide valuable insight into patient concerns and credits them with making him a better listener.
I also love what Elin Silveous says about Twitter chats being the best of social media. It’s about all healthcare stakeholders coming together to learn from and with each other.
Where To Find Healthcare Twitter Chats
Symplur is doing an impressive job of compiling all of the healthcare hashtags and providing chat transcripts in The Healthcare Hashtag Project. The goal of the project is to make the use of healthcare social media and Twitter more accessible for the healthcare community as a whole (a full list and a tweet chat calendar of meeting times can be found on the Symplur website).
How To Take Part In A Twitter Chat
1. Find a chat you’d like to join using Symplur or another tool like Twubs.
2. When it’s time to join the chat, you can join in straight from your Twitter account. Simply search for the relevant hashtag at the designated time.
Pro Tip!TweetChat is a great tool to use to make participation easier. Simply log in with your Twitter handle, enter the hashtag of the event, and TweetChat will pull up all the related messages so you can follow the conversation. If you plan to tweet a lot during the chat, it’s good etiquette to send out a brief message to your followers letting them know that you are attending a Twitter chat.
3. Take a breath and jump right into the chat with an introduction to who you are and where you’re tweeting from. The person hosting the chat will ask questions in order to spark conversation between you and the other participants.
Pro Tip! Twitter chats move fast, which is why using a third-party tool like TweetChat is so useful. Don’t worry if the pace is so fast that you feel you’re missing out on some of the tweets. The host will often provide a transcript after the chat so you to pick up on what you might have missed.
4. If you are new to Twitter chats, you might like to listen at first to get a better sense of how it works before you join in. However, even if all you do is listen rather than participate, take a moment at the start to introduce yourself when the host asks for introductions. You can let participants know this is your first chat – you will often find that “newbies” receive a lot of encouragement from the group.
5. Remember to use the hashtag associated with the chat for all tweets and retweets during the chat. Again, this is where the TweetChat tool is useful because it will automatically add the hashtag to your tweets, so you don’t have to remember to do it yourself.
6. The host will introduce their questions with Q (for question) or T (for topic) followed by the number of the question, for example T1, T2, etc. When you want to respond to a question, use A (for answer) and the corresponding number, for example, A1, A2, etc.
7. A good tip is to find out in advance what the topic will be so you have time to prepare some tweets in advance. Whether it’s a question or comment relevant to the topic, a link to some research you have seen, or an article you’ve written, being prepared in this way gives you more confidence to take part.
8. Follow Twitter etiquette. Let your Twitter followers know before the tweet chat that they’ll be seeing a lot of tweets from you for the next hour. You could even invite them to the tweet chat if you think they may be interested in the topic.
9. Enjoy! As I said at the start Twitter chats are super places to learn and find new people to connect with. If you haven’t yet tried a chat, then try one out this week and do let me know how you get on.
How do YOU get the most out of Twitter chats?
Any Twitter chats you’d recommend? What tips and tricks have you learned by participating in Twitter chats?
Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. Today I want you to think about the value of creating and growing a list of email subscribers.
With the explosion of social media marketing in recent years, the traditional email format may appear outdated. But nothing could be further from the truth. Even with the pervasiveness of new technology, email still remains a persuasive digital marketing channel for building awareness, boosting acquisition, and increasing conversion.
4 Reasons You Should Build An Email List
1. Email marketing helps you build relationships and credibility
People like to do business with those they know, like and trust. Email is direct, making it more personal and personalized than social media marketing. Email gives people a way to easily contact you with their questions.
2. Email marketing keeps you top of mind
Did you know that at least 91% of consumers check their email on a daily basis? While you can go for a few days without checking social media, most people check their email several times a day.
3. Email marketing is inexpensive
Email is an inexpensive way to reach people who are interested in hearing from you and communicating with them regularly.
4. You own your list
Unlike social media which is subject to change, your list is yours. in the words of Ann Handley,email is the only place where people (not algorithms) are in control. With social and other digital channels — Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, paid search, organic search — someone or something else decides who sees your content and when and where they see it.
5. Email marketing converts better than social media
A study by McKinsey & Company revealed that email is a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media. People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than those who do not receive email offers.
Bottom line — ignoring email as part of your marketing strategy means you are missing out on potential business opportunities.
Take Action: One of the best ways to build your list of subscribers is to offer something of value up front. This email incentive known as an “opt-in offer” or “lead magnet” is something you are willing to give away for free which requires people to provide an email address to download. Check out this list of 15 ways to create your first lead magnet.
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Each Monday I send out a weekly digest of social media marketing tips and the latest social media updates.
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 recommendingWordSwag – a free mobile application that turns your ideas, quotes, and content into attractive graphics that can be shared on social media.
Here’s how it works
1. Select your picture (Word Swag also includes 590,000+ free backgrounds!) 2. Edit your text (you can also choose from hundreds of captions and quotes) 3. Select one of 48 text styles. 5. Save or share your creative design on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook.
Content has no value unless it’s amplified. One way to ensure amplification and optimize your social media reach is to post your content at the right so they reach your audience when they are online.
If you search for optimum posting times, you will find many guides online. You can follow these recommendations as a starting point, but I do recommend you do your own testing to see which days and times work best for your own particular audience within your industry.
Sprout Social has published its latest listing of the best times to post to each of the major social media platforms, which is based on the company’s 20,000+ customer base, who use the platform to schedule and post online. It may provide a good point for you to start testing optimum times for your own social media posts.
Best Times to Post on Facebook
While Sprout Social observed that “compared to past years, there were few completely ‘off’ times for Facebook when reviewing the past year of data. Weekends, late night and earlier morning all showed more consistent engagement and have become much more opportune times for brands to get eyes on their content.” (This seems at odds with its recommended worst time to post being Saturday – but again it proves my point that it is best to test for yourself).
Best times: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Best days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
Worst day: Saturday
Best Times to Post on Instagram
Similar to Instagram’s parent company Facebook, the top times to post on Instagram expanded in 2020 compared to previous years. Midday engagement during weekdays became even denser with top times throughout the 11 a.m.–2 p.m. range, and evenings and weekend times showed increased opportunities for engagement.
Best times: Tuesday 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Monday through Friday 11 a.m.
Best day: Tuesday
Worst day: Sunday
Best Times to Post on Twitter
Best times: Wednesday 9 a.m.– 3 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 9–11 a.m.
Best day: Wednesday
Worst day: Saturday
Best Times to Post on LinkedIn
Best times: Tuesday through Thursday 9 a.m.–noon
Best days: Tuesday and Wednesday
Worst day: Sunday
To sum up
Consistent social sharing can help you stay top of mind with your audience. It’s a common mistake to only post content once and then not again. To get the most engagement, visibility and reach, reshare your content on multiple networks at various times and in different ways. Vary your updates when you do — for example, highlight a different statistic or quote, or ask your audience a question.
These data points are general but they provide a good starting point to start testing your audience engagement. Try them for a month, take note of your findings and see if your engagement shifts at the end of the month.
Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip. This week I want to show you how to create great graphics with Canva.
Canva is one of my every-day go-to tools when I am creating visuals. It’s so easy and quick to use it with a multitude of layout options, fonts, images and illustrations to choose from. And best of all it’s free! If you want more advanced features, you do also have the option to upgrade for a small fee.
Whether you want a Twitter post or Facebook profile picture, you can create them quickly using Canva’s drag and drop editor. Select from a number of pre-set designs, or create something from scratch. You can also add elements such as custom icons, fonts, charts, and illustrations.
Here’s how to use it
i. Sign up at canva.com. The sign-up process is quick and easy.
ii. Next click on “Create a design” and choose the platform for which you wish to create a visual, for example, blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Your image will be automatically resized to fit the size dimensions of each platform.
iii. Click on “Layouts” to select a layout for your graphic. There are tons of layouts to choose from. When you find one you like, click on it and it will automatically populate the blank screen for you to work with. You can change out the design at any time by clicking into another layout template.
iv. To add an image, select “Elements” which allows you to choose from a variety of shapes, illustrations, and photos from the royalty-free library. Note that not all images are free, some are priced at $1 each. You can also upload your own images to use.
v. To add text, click on “Text” and simply drag and drop your heading, subheading and body text. You can also choose from some pre-designed fonts, most of which are free.
vi. Selecting “Background” allows you to choose different background colours and textures.
vii. When you’re happy with your design, you have the option to embed it or share it from Canva straight to a social media platform, share a link for others to see the design or edit it if you wish. You can also download it to your computer in jpeg, png, or pdf format.
That’s it. You’re all set to create customised graphics for your marketing.
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 photo animation app – Pixaloop.
This animation creator lets you create and edit moving photos with easy and powerful editing tools, bringing life to images, creating animation picture effects and cinemagraphs. Animate photos and add picture effects to watch your image come to life as incredible videos that boomerang back and forth or flow like a GIF.
I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I share some of my favourite tools with you at the start of each week. This week I’m recommending iOS video editing app PocketVideo.
With PocketVideo you can create, shoot and edit your videos easily. The app supports any kind of video format: Horizontal (Landscape), Vertical (Portrait) or Square videos.
Video Overlaying, Green Screen overlays and Picture in Picture.
Animated Doodle Tool to draw on top or your videos, synchronized with the playback.
Easy to use, one-tap “Reaction Cam” Feature for easy creation of reaction videos.
Commercial-free music library
Animated text titles
Stickers, GIFs and PNGs
If you want to create compelling and professional looking Youtube Vlogs, Snapchat Memories, Instagram Stories, Facebook Videos and more, then check out this app.
Have you recently joined Twitter and are wondering what you should tweet beyond “This is my first Tweet”? Or have you been on Twitter for a while now but are running out of things to post?
If your tweeting needs a fresh injection of ideas, check out the following list of tweets you can adapt and post to your followers.
Link to a new post on your blog – ok this is one of the most obvious tweets to send, but if you haven’t blogged in a while, why not see this as an opportunity to revisit your website and identify your most popular posts. Pull out a quote, or a statistic or turn your headline into a question before tweeting a fresh link to your chosen post.
Share an inspiring or motivational quote – tag it with #MondayMotivation for more traction.
Post a behind-the-scenes photo of your office. People love to see behind the scenes stuff – so bring your camera to your next staff meeting, lunch or event. Sharing pictures of your employees (with their permission, of course) makes your practice so much more relatable. Furthermore, it helps to build a sense of camaraderie
Participate in Follow Friday – #FollowFriday or #FF on Twitter is a tradition in which people send tweets recommending other Twitter users they think are interesting to follow. The tweets are sent on Fridays and contain the hashtag #ff or #FollowFriday.
Use Hashtags strategically. Use hashtags to identify real-time opportunities for engagement in news and events, identify current trends and key influencers. Find trending hashtags with tools like Twitonomy, Hashtagify.me and RiteTag.
Thank a new follower – thank someone by name when they follow you. People love to be acknowledged by name.
Share a health care tip. Share a quick seasonal wellness or preventative care tip with your followers.
Tweet a “Did you know?” or “True or False” style tweet. These kinds of tweets are popular for encouraging interactions among your followers.
Conduct a poll. Ask your followers a question using Twitter’s Poll Feature. Use it to get a snapshot of readers’ attitudes on health topics like vaccination, screening, complementary therapy, mental health – the list is endless. Share the results in a follow-up tweet.
Live tweet. Live tweeting is a great way to share valuable information at conferences and events.
Post a “fill-in-the-blank” prompt. This is a fun way to engage your audience. Here’s an example: Fill in the blank: ________________ always makes me smile.
Tweet about cause awareness events. It could be Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month or Healthy Weight Week. Join in using the relevant hashtag on Twitter.
Post holiday-themed tweets (Christmas, Hanukah, 4th July, etc.) You could also join in fun holidays like National Donut Day. Check out this calendar to keep you right up to date with ideas.
Share news and updates from your practice. Are you rolling out a new program, product or service? Let your followers know about it in a tweet. You can highlight when someone on your team achieves a new certification level or when you acquire a new piece of equipment that affords better care. Patients will appreciate you keeping them informed.
Share your thoughts on an industry trend. Healthcare is constantly changing and evolving. Can you predict or comment on the latest healthcare trend? Set up Google Alerts to keep updated on emerging trends in your industry to provide the latest information for your readers.
Create a Twitter Moment.Twitter gives you the ability to create “Moments,” which allows you to curate a series, or gallery, of tweets revolving around a particular theme. Follow this step-by-step guide to create your first Twitter Moment.
Engage with your patients around relevant conversations. Join a health-related Twitter chat – you’ll find a comprehensive list at Symplur.com.
So there you have it, some suggestions for things to post on Twitter when you have run out of ideas. Of course the most important thing about Twitter, indeed any social network, is that it’s just that.. social. Don’t just engage in one-way tweeting. Twitter is a two-way communication tool. Make sure you are also taking the time to be sociable – like and respond to others tweets, retweet and comment often.
Welcome to this week’s quick social media tip. Today I want you to show you how to create Twitter threads.
Not sure what a Twitter thread looks like?
If you spend any time on Twitter you’ve probably already come across a Twitter thread, but perhaps not know that it was a thread. Threads are a series of related tweets shared in succession by one person.
With a thread, you can provide additional context, an update, or an extended point by connecting multiple tweets together. When used well, threads are a powerful way to illustrate a larger point.
Before threads, users would have to just continue replying to their own Tweets in order to link them together. This was a way to work around the old 140 character limit.
How To Create A Twitter Thread
1. Click the “Tweet” button to compose a new Tweet.
2. Click the new “Add another Tweet” button.
3. This brings up a second Tweet window.
4. Continue in this way adding threads until you’ve said all you want to say. You can either publish the entire thread by hitting “Tweet All”….
Or you can hit post each tweet in succession, which allows you to build momentum, perfect for a live event or an ongoing train of thought.
Publishing the entire thread gives your followers a fully-formed story — a better choice for a message you want to control a bit more, like a nuanced company announcement.
Here’s how your published displays on Twitter when complete.
Welcome to this week’s social media tip. Today I want you to think about how you can create emotional resonance through your content marketing.
The word “emotion” is a combination of the prefix e-, meaning “away,” and the Latin word movere, meaning “to move.” In this sense, emotions break us away from our standstills, moving us in new directions and prompting us to take action.
Numerous studies have found emotional arousal plays a key role in driving social sharing. In 2012, researchers Jonah Berger and Katherine Milkman published research based on an analysis of 7,000 articles from the New York Times to see which types of articles were most shared by email.
The results indicate that virality is partially driven by physiological arousal.
“Content that evokes high-arousal positive (awe) or negative (anger or anxiety) emotions is more viral. Content that evokes low-arousal, or deactivating, emotions (e.g., sadness) is less viral.” — What Makes Online Content Viral?
The Harvard Business Review released research in 2016 which showed that creating a powerful emotional experience increases the chances of going viral. The research, based on an analysis by Frac.tl of the top 100 images of the year from imgur.com, as voted on Reddit.com, found:
A significant correlation between content views and positive feelings (specifically joy, interest, anticipation, and trust).
Negative emotions were less commonly found in highly viral content than positive emotions, but viral success was still possible when negative emotion also evoked anticipation and surprise.
The emotion of admiration was very commonly found in highly shared content, an unexpected result.
One way to create emotional resonance is to tell a heartwarming story.
Effective stories inspire people by creating human connection and emotional resonance. In 2015, an article about a husband and wife celebrating 82 years of marriage, topped USA Today’s most shared content. Not only was the story uplifting and inspirational, but it also shared insights on reaching over 100 years of age (if you’re interested — the couple describes a healthy diet and frequent naps as the secret to growing old).
Marie Yoland Eveillard speaks with her father Duranord Veillard, who will celebrate his 108th birthday on Saturday, and mother Jeanne Veillard, who turns 105 in May. The couple got married in Haiti in 1932. Tania Savayan/The Journal News
Once you understand how to strike the right emotional chords with your message, you can greatly increase your chance of getting your content widely shared.
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 Mojo video app – a free dedicated story-maker for Instagram.
Mojo gives you access to 300+ templates. You can combine text effects and GIFs, add music and share your story on any social platform.
You don’t need an account. Just download the mojo story maker and start creating insta stories or video collage stories for other platforms with ease.
Upgrade to the Pro version ($39.99/year) to use your own logo and fonts.
Social media tools provide a unique set of opportunities in healthcare, but with these new opportunities come a number of potential challenges.
As health care professionals (HCPs) navigate the increasingly complex world of social media, concerns have arisen regarding questions of ethics and professionalism and how the use of social media fits within the social contract between the medical profession and society.
In order to maintain the trust of the public and that of individual patients, HCPs increasingly need to understand the limits and risks of disclosure of certain types of information online.
A study published in 2020 which sought to quantify potentially identifiable content shared on Twitter by physicians and other health care providers found nurses, physicians, and other health professionals may sometimes share more information than patients or families might expect.
The retrospective study describes a physician-initiated event sharing health-related stories and information on Twitter using the hashtag #ShareAStoryInOneTweet. The tweeted stories became widely shared, attracting media attention and disseminating the information widely. Almost none (either explicitly or appear to) confirm consent to share information publicly. HCPs commenting using the hashtag were “more likely to express support for the event and encourage others to participate than they were to raise concerns about patient privacy breaches.”
The study showed a relatively high incidence of sharing stories including details that might make them potentially identifiable to patients themselves or to families and friends in a setting that involved a large number of health care professionals. This finding highlights a lack of awareness about the privacy issues intrinsically connected to interactions on social media.
The study authors conclude with recommendations for more research to confirm the findings of this study and determine how to ensure physicians, nurses, and other professionals adapt their behavior to maintain medical professionalism in the digital age. This will required greater specification of professional ethical standards in this context along with evidence-based training in ethical digital communications skills for the undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education.
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 online video editing app Veed.
Say goodbye to clunky video software and hello to one-click editing online.
VEED is a simple online video editing platform – great for small editing tasks such as adding images, subtitles, text to videos and much more.
It’s perfect for anyone looking for simple and fast video editing without the need to install or set up complex software.
This is something that has caused a lot of confusion – and panic among Facebook users since Facebook made the announcement.
While the standalone Facebook Analytics tool will no longer be available after June 30, 2021, the good news is that you will still be able to access Facebook’s native Insights platform.
Social media consultant Amanda Webb has made a helpful video to explain the difference between Analytics and Insights and what you need to know about the change.
You’ll feel much more reassured after watching this video. And do take some time to check out Amanda’s other videos – she is brilliant at explaining social media and giving viewers confidence to try something new.
In this post, you’ll learn about some effective ways to discover the content your audience is looking for so you can create that content for them.
Creating healthcare content your audience will want to read is an ongoing challenge. I want to help you solve that challenge by sharing with you 7 different ways you can uncover the content your audience is looking for so you can create that content for them.
Let’s dive in.
1. Look To Your Analytics
The first place you should start is with your analytics. This will tell you what’s working for you, which types of posts resonate with your audience and get the most likes and comments.
Use Google Analytics to track top-performing content on your website, and the native analytics tools of each of the social networks you use to discover the type of posts that get the most engagement (shares, comments, likes, click-through rates, etc.)
2. Ask Your Audience
Go right to your audience and ask them what kind of content they’d like to see from you. You can create quick polls on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and post a question such as “What content do you want to see more of?”
3. Find Inspiration On Buzzsumo
I 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.
Quora is a question and answer platform where you can either ask a question about your topic or simply do a search using your topic keyword to find what people are asking about that topic. It’s a super place for market research. Make a list of those questions which you feel you could write about.
This is a free Google AdWords tool that gives you insight into the volume of monthly searches for a particular keyword, and how much and how much competition there is, based on advertising spend for sponsored links. It also returns suggested terms you could use instead or alongside your original keyword.
6. Use Google Related Searches
Google displays related search results at the bottom of the first page when you type in your Google search query. This is a super-helpful resource as it returns ideas that are relevant to your topic based on user interest and contextual words.
7. Analyze What’s Working For Your Competitors and Industry Peers
Look at the type of content your competitors or industry peers are creating. Identify which content is performing well for them in terms of social shares, comments, likes, etc. Brainstorm around how you can take a piece of content they have created and add your own insight and expertise to make it more even more valuable to your readers.
Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip. This week I want to show you how to repurpose your existing content.
Do you struggle to find time to create fresh content for your website or blog?
One key to maintaining a steady stream of quality content is to re-purpose what you already have. Repurposing content simply means taking one asset and reusing it somewhere else.
The first step is to identify your most popular content through your blog analytics tool and by using Google Analytics. Perhaps the content can be turned into an infographic or a slide-deck. By re-purposing content you have already written, you can extend and breathe new life into your current and past content.
Pay special attention to the content you published some time ago. Is some of this content out of date? If so, update it, and simply republish it again as an updated post. It’s important to update older content to make sure it continues to be relevant to your readers.
Welcome to this week’s social media tip. Today I want you to show you how to use Facebook Collections to curate and organize saved content for easy access and sharing.
Ever come across a piece of content on Facebook but don’t have time to read it in the moment? Did you know you can save that content to view later? Facebook lets you save content (posts, events, pages, and photos) directly from your news feed and then easily access your saved items from the left navigation menu on the home page.
Here’s how to do it.
To save content to your saved item list, simply click the three dots at the top right of any Facebook post in your news feed, and then simply select the option to save the content.
When you start building a group of saved posts, you can start to organize it into collections, categorizing it by topic.
To create a collection, simply click on Create Collection in the left sidebar. You’ll then be prompted to name your collection.
If you want to add a saved post to a collection, simply click the Add to Collection button below the item in your saved list – or create a new collection.
You can also share a saved item directly from your list by clicking the Share button.
I find the ability to save content on Facebook and categorize it according to collections a very useful feature. I like to share a #MondayMotivation quote each week and many times scrolling through Facebook I’ll find the perfect quote to save. Come Monday all I have to do is access my folder containing quotes to share one quickly and easily with my followers.
A recently published literature review aims to shed light on social media use worldwide and to discuss how it has been used as an essential tool in the health care industry from the perspective of healthcare professionals.
A literature review conducted between March and April 2020 is the latest most up to date reviews of the uses of social media in healthcare, including the use of social media during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on 158 studies, conducted in the United States (61), Canada (12), Brazil (2), the United Kingdom (12), Europe (22), the Middle East (9), India (9), Asia (8), and Australia (7), most of the reviewed articles were published over the past decade.
The findings presented in this review have implications for health care professionals, educators, and researchers.
As of August 4, 2020, 27,546 results appeared when searching for social media on PubMed, demonstrating the growing interest in SM within the health care industry.
Social media (SM) brings a new dimension to health care and is changing the nature and speed of health-related interactions between individuals and health organizations.
Healthcare professionals (HCPs)and health organizations should capitalize on the opportunities provided by SM and update strategies to reach communities and age cohorts at a relatively low cost.
Advantages of using SM in health care include accessibility from a smartphone, prompt content sharing and response generation, two-way communication,ability to forge connections between people, ability to reach large masses regardless of geographic location, age, or education, compared with traditional communication methods.
The most influential advantage of SM remains its cost-benefit feature: it can reach an increasing number of people without the high cost of traditional means and the information remains available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In health care, SM tools can be used for different purposes (health promotion; dissemination of health information; education; professional development; recruitment; communication with the public, colleagues, and patients; and research) and in diverse medical specialties (cardiology, nursing, radiology, dentistry, surgery, pathology, pediatrics, pharmacy, emergency, and critical and palliative care).
Using SM could be a key strategy in addressing some of the challenges and limitations often faced by HCPs in traditional health communication through faster and cheaper dissemination, more accessibility, better interaction, and increased patient empowerment.
Those who choose to use SM should be aware of the potential risks and problems that they could encounter but should not shy away from using SM because it can greatly increase the reach and impact of HCPs’ work and improve patients’ health.
I love learning about new tools to make social media marketing more creative and effective, so I’ve decided to share some recommended tools with you at the start of each week. This week’s cool tool recommendation is Responsinator.
Responsinator lets you see how your website looks on the most popular devices.
Why Mobile Responsive Websites Are A Must
Mobile first-indexing is now fully underway and there’s no excuse for having a website that is not optimized for use across all platforms in 2021. Most people aren’t looking at your website on a desktop or laptop anymore. They are looking at it on a phone or tablet.
Recent studies show 52% of smartphone users gather health-related information on their phones, ranging from information around a specific medical procedure to diet and nutrition best practices.
Having a mobile-responsive site (ie one that automatically changes its layout and placements of certain menus and buttons automatically) is important because firstly, over half of patients search online for health information on their smartphone, and secondly, Google now gives ranking priority to those sites that are mobile friendly. In fact, Google has stated that it will penalize websites that aren’t mobile-responsive, so if your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’ll likely lose out significantly in the organic search rankings.
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 browser-based graphic designer tool MockoFUN.
An intuitive drag and drop online graphic design tool, you can easily use and customize hundreds of pre-made mockups and templates to edit text and photo and create logos.
You can use MockoFUN for free or you can also upgrade to premium or access to extra resources and unlimited access to all templates and mockups.
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 Later, a scheduling and planning tool for Instagram.
Use the app to sync photos and videos from your phone, desktop, Google Drive, or Dropbox and create a different content library for each Instagram account. And you can also search by hashtag, then save posts directly to your content library.
You can add one account per user for free. Paid plans start at $9 per month.
Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip. This week I want to show you how to choose whether a Facebook Page or a Facebook Group is better for your healthcare business.
In her post, which sets out to provide the definitive answer to the question of Pages vs Groups, Andrea Vahl describes the difference as follows:
When you post something on your Page, people see that post in their News Feed as coming from your Page. Then your Page can also participate in the comment section of the post. In Groups, you are participating as a personal profile with the Group name also mentioned in the discussion.
4 Reasons To Create A Facebook Page For Your Healthcare Business
Vahl outlines the following 4 reasons in her post.
Facebook Pages have built-in analytics. You can measure what is working.
You can advertise via Facebook Pages.
Facebook Pages are more branded as your business. Groups facilitate discussion but you are participating as your profile.
Facebook Pages allow the installation of Apps that can help you collect e-mail addresses and leads or do things like run contests.
When Should You Use Facebook Groups?
The number #1 reason from a visibility viewpoint to use Facebook’s Groups feature is that you will be much more visible in the News Feed. At the start of 2018, Facebook announced major changes to the Facebook news feed which meant that people see fewer posts from Pages. It appears that Groups aren’t taking the hit that Pages are in the news feed, so using them in tandem with your Page is a good strategy to increase visibility.
Vahlexplains, that “Groups can have higher organic growth rate than Pages because of the fact that they are more visible. For a Page to grow organically, you do need to invest time in adding great content and possibly promoting it with ads.”
A Facebook Group is a natural fit for healthcare as it facilitates a stronger sense of community and conversation. However, this can be a disadvantage if you don’t have the time to moderate these discussions.
So, as always factor in the time you will have to engage with Group discussions.
Over to you
Do you use Facebook Pages or Groups in your healthcare communication? Or a combination of both? What have you found works best for you?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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).
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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?”
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.”
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.
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.
Welcome to this week’s social media quick tip. This week I want to show you how you can find out which kinds of ads your industry peers and competitors are running on their Facebook pages.
In an effort to increase accountability and transparency of Pages, Facebook is showing more information about Pages and the people who manage them in the Page Transparency section on Pages, which formerly appeared on the Info and Ads tab.
This gives you the ability to see which kinds of ads a Page is running, which can provide a useful comparator for your own social media marketing.
Here’s how to works
In this example, I’m going to check out the Mayo Clinic’s Facebook Page.
To access this information as a page visitor, visit any Page’s Timeline, scroll down to the Page Transparency below the About section and tap See More.
Now you can scroll through the ads currently running and in which countries (note you can’t see how the ads are doing in terms of engagement).
Why this feature is useful to your social media marketing
This kind of competitive analysis can be helpful to you to improve your own Facebook advertising. I’m not saying you should copy the ad creative, but you can certainly use it as inspiration for your own campaigns. Using this feature you can gain valuable insights into the kinds of images, headlines and call-to-actions that successful industry players are employing.
Pinning a Tweet allows you to showcase your best content at the top of your profile page for as long as you’d like.
In the past Twitter typically only allowed viewers to see posts in a sequential timeline which meant that your most important or relevant content quickly got lost in the fast-moving Twitter stream.
To solve this issue Twitter now allows you to pin a tweet or keep it placed at the top of the newsfeed giving you more editorial control as to what a viewer will see first when visiting your page.
How To Pin A Tweet
It’s super quick and easy to do. Follow the steps below to pin your first tweet.
1. Open up your Twitter Profile Page.
2. Choose a Tweet you would like to Pin. Select “Pin to your profile page”.
3. The Tweet will now automatically appear at the top of Page.
4. To remove a pinned tweet, simply click on the “unpin” option.
It’s a good idea to review your pinned tweets regularly to make sure you are sharing up-to-date posts. Out-dated pins will make your profile look out-dated too. To refresh your Twitter profile simply choose another tweet to pin. Twitter will ask you to confirm if you want to replace your current pinned tweet.
It couldn’t be easier to follow these steps and it’s something you should certainly do to highlight your accomplishments, share your latest news, and bring your viewers attention to the posts you want them to see first.
This week’s cool tool recommendation is live streaming app StreamYard.
StreamYard is a live streaming studio which runs in Chrome and Firefox on your laptop or desktop. You can use it to stream directly to Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms. StreamYard is great for live interviews. You can have 6 people in the stream. Up to 10 people can enter the broadcast studio so you can swap people in and out if you’re doing a dynamic talk show.
Other cool features include the ability to show viewer comments on screen, add a call to action, upload your logo, images, GIFs, and even videos.
StreamYard has both free and paid versions of the product. You can remove the StreamYard logo and upload your own. You can also add overlays and backgrounds, and use the restream integration. Full details are on the pricing page.
Today I want you to show you how to use Twitter’s Tweet Reply conversation setting.
Last August Twitter rolled out this function to users to give people more control over the conversations they start.
Sometimes people are more comfortable talking about what’s happening when they can choose who can reply. Users in the test pool have said that they feel more comfortable tweeting, and more protected from spam and abuse, which has lead to them tweeting longer, more in-depth thoughts, particularly on sensitive subjects.
Here’s how it works
Before you Tweet, choose who can reply with three options:
Everyone (the default, standard setting)
Only people you follow
Only people you mention
Tweets with the latter two settings will be labeled and the reply icon will be grayed out for people who can’t reply. People who can’t reply will still be able to view, Retweet, Retweet with Comment, share, and like these Tweets.
I admit I haven’t used the feature, but it’s interesting to see how some brands are utilising it here.
How about you? Do you think this is a useful feature?