Results for category "Blogging"

11 Articles

I Want to Grow My Blog


I want to apologize, I have been slacking with my blog lately and today is the day that I make a change. This blog has opened a few doors for me since starting in 2012, but I want it to open more doors! I need to make this my job, my passion and make it my mission to grow my blog to even bigger then what it is now. As a reader of this blog, I am asking for your help, I am asking that you hold be accountable for implementing the ideas I am about to share with you.

Not only am I documenting this to help myself, but I want it to help anyone who is struggling to maintain a blog and/or web presence. This list is a brain dump of ideas and has no formal format. So here it goes…

  • Become friendly with 10 bloggers by March 2014
  • Write at least 2 posts/week
  • Grow email subscriber list
  • Read and comment on at least 5 blog posts a week
  • Subscribe to blogs of others trying to grow their blogs as well
  • Allow for more guest bloggers (At least 2/month)
  • Guest blog at least once a month to build links and traffic
  • Constantly brainstorm topics
  • Be featured on a prominent social media Podcast by March 2014
  • Create an editorial calendar to be more consistent with posting on Twitter
  • Measure and analyze Facebook Insights to determine the best type of contest for my fans and when to post it
  • Create a spreadsheet of blogs that I would like to strive to be like and interact with those bloggers on Twitter and their blogs
  • Write for Social Media Today at least once a month
  • Follow through with invitation to write for Social Media Examiner
  • Create at least 2 video tutorials a month

I am excited to finally have a documented list of ways to grow my blog and online presence. Do you have any advice for me, tips or tricks or any items I should add to my list? Please put them below in the comments.

Enhance Your Website With Twitter Widgets

Do you manage a website or blog? Twitter Widgets let you create embedded content on your own site. Let’s take a look at the Twitter widgets you can play with. To curate Twitter content, navigate to Twitter.com/settings/widgets and hit the “create new” button at the top right, it will take you to the below screen.

Twitter Widgets

I can use the User Timeline Twitter Widget to embed a stream of my tweets, who any users tweets on my blog. Once you have selected the options you’d like, hit “Create widget.” Twitter will give you an html code that you can embed in your  blog or website.


The widgets also allow you to create a stream of favorites, lists and a custom search as well. You can use this widget for any users that is public. You’ll also see the “Opt-out of tailoring Twitter” option. Selecting this will remove any advertising associated with this Twitter stream.

Custom Search

You can use the custom search Twitter Widget to show a stream using a certain hashtag. Recently I attended a conference, and this widget allows me to curate all the tweets using the event hashtag.

Other Uses for Twitter Widgets

. Curate tweets from a trip
. Create a list using the lists function to curate tweets that way.
. Curate a list of any users favorites
. ?

What other uses can you think to use the Twitter Widget for? Let me know in the comments!

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How to Blog for Hillels

Happy Saturday! Next week I am presenting with former colleagues at a social media break out session for at Hillel’s yearly staff conference. Hillel’s stated mission is “to enrich the lives of Jewish undergraduate and graduate students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world”. I worked for Hillel for two years as an on-campus professional.

I volunteered to speak about blogging and my portion of the session is 25 minutes. The below is a how to blog presentation that includes talking points of how Hillels can get started and maintain a blog. I’m posting this on my blog so I can foster feedback. Please leave any suggestions or questions in the comments below.

Topics included are:

  • What is blogging?
  • Blogging websites
  • How to engage your audience with blogging
  • Blogging Tips
  • Blogging examples
  • Blogging Best Practices

Read More →

Instagram Update: Embed Photos and Videos

 

An update to Instagram this week now allows you to embed photos and videos on your website.  You can tell that it is embedded, not only because of the filter, but because of the Instagram logo and link to my profile on Instagram. Keep reading to see how to do it.

When viewing an Instagram photos on the web, click the share icon, underneath the chat bubble, to bring up the embed code dialog box. Copy and paste the embed code in the HTML section of your website or blog and boom! You have embedded media from Instagram.

embed instagram

Why and How to Nurture Your Audience

 

Nurture your audience

I’ll be honest, I work really hard at getting people to subscribe to my blog, but I rarely subscribe to others. I don’t have a connection with them when they auto send me their most recent blog post, which I am also guilty of. I can’t remember where I read this, but the tip said to go through your email list and send a personal message to a subscriber thanking them for subscribing.  At first I thought, who has the time to do that? My answer now is…make time! This simple task of sending a personal email will go a really long way.

It’s not all about the sale

Your fans will keep coming back if you provide them value, not if you continuously try to sell them. You don’t want them to ignore your emails if they always think they will be pitched by you. I have found success in creating relationships with Twitter which I’ll go into more below. I’ll make a note of what someone tweets about and set a reminder to tweet at them at a later date as a follow-up. What if you don’t have an email list? Get one.

Create relationships with Twitter

Earlier today I posted on Facebook “Twitter is awesome because it’s instant, not because of what you ate for dinner”. If this isn’t your mantra as you try to build upon your social media strategy, you’re missing the boat. Don’t just utilize Twitter as a broadcast medium, use it to interact with your fans in real-time and to meet new ones. Don’t forget to nurture those new fans too.

Create relationships with Facebook and personal emails

Now that Facebook is rolling out the direct reply function, it’s easier to maintain those relationships with your fans. If you noticed that a fan of yours was vocal on one of your Facebook posts, send them an email with a similar article that they may enjoy. Not many people will take the time to do that, and your fans will appreciate it. You can use this idea with Twitter as well. Send a follower a tweet with an article they may enjoy based on a past interaction you had. This is a fancy description for community management. You’ll also find success in managing your community and not just talking at them, talk to them.

Why creating relationships are important

When you plan an event, what’s important? The NUMBER of people at the event, or the TIME the people have AT the event. I would rather have a party with 20 people who had an unbelievable time, then a party with 50 people who have a so so time. Those 20 people who had a great time are likely to come to your next party, the 50 so so people are less likely. Make sure your audience is always having a great time, and they’ll keep coming back.

Do you have any tips for nurturing your audience? Let us know in the comments.

See Also:

Use “Facebook As” to increase brand Recognition

Should I Sync Facebook and Twitter

3 Ways you are using Facebook wrong

How Benji Lovitt Uses Social Media

benjiIf this were just two or three years ago, I might be writing a blog post trying to convince you of the importance of using social media to market yourself or your organization.  In 2013, it seems that most people have been convinced that it’s a critical part of your business; now people are more interested to know how.

I can’t stress strongly enough how much I have gained from using social media to market myself and build my brand.  I openly admit that the first time I discovered Facebook, my first, second, and third thoughts were something along the lines of “this is really stupid.”  I have always prided myself on my ability to keep in touch with friends.  Why would I need this tool to do so?  And what’s with the need to publicly share anyway?

Well…six-plus years later, these questions can still be asked but for better or worse, Facebook and new ways of communicating and sharing are here to stay, and most of us use these sites without putting too much thought into them.  The pros and cons of Facebook as a personal communication tool have been written about by many others; what I can attest to is what Facebook can do for you from only a business perspective.

I am a stand-up comedian and humor writer.  Just months before I discovered Facebook, I moved to Israel and started a blog as a creative outlet to share my perspective on life as an immigrant.  Within months, I started to develop an audience and was recognized in the Jewish blogosphere as a voice worth paying attention to.  One day, it suddenly occurred to me that even if I didn’t feel the need to share on Facebook what I ate for breakfast, there was nothing stopping me from using the site as another platform for trying to make people laugh.  For the last five years, I have used Facebook to work for me, almost exclusively to build my brand as someone who can make you laugh when you think of Israel.  I have no idea who many of my Facebook friends are and wouldn’t claim them as “real-life friends”.  I have no doubt though that without Facebook, I wouldn’t have had nearly as much real-life success as a comedian.

A month ago, I gave a blogging workshop to Jewish student leaders at the University of Texas Hillel (which was surely made possible to some degree because of my reputation as a funny guy on social media).  One of the tips I gave was to know your brand and stick to it.  I know why people comment on my Facebook wall and send me pictures of funny Israeli t-shirts and it’s not because I am Tom Friedman or Daniel Gordis.  I try to stay away from taking a political stand because, one, that’s not why people follow me (I don’t want to alienate part of my audience by taking a stand) and, two, that’s not my area of expertise.  I typically try not to let more than a couple of days pass without posting something funny about Israel, be it something funny I come up with, a link to a funny news story, or even a question I ask which inevitably leads to funny comments from my friends.  I’ve been told my many people that they love coming to my wall so I presume I must be doing something right.

Bottom line:  Facebook and social media have given us access to an unlimited number of people we never would have “met” just a few short years ago.  Posting my comedic thoughts, blog posts, videos, and more on my Facebook wall has led to many people inviting me to do stand-up comedy shows in their communities.  Facebook certainly isn’t the only place to market oneself; it just happens to be the place where most of us are, and are often.

Since making aliyah in 2006, comedian Benji Lovitt has performed for audiences throughout North America and Israel including Hillels, Birthright Israel, and Jewish Federations.  His perspectives on life in Israel have been featured on Israeli television and radio and in publications such as the Times of Israel and the Jerusalem Post.  His annual Yom Ha’atzmaut list of things he loves about Israel has developed a massive following and he works regularly with Jewish organizations to promote Israel.  You can “like” Benji here.

How to Measure the ROI of B2B Marketing

Earlier I wrote an article about effective ways to use business to business social media to not only get new leads, but build in-person relationships with those businesses. Now that we have identified the strategy, I am going to explain how to measure the ROI (return on investment) of Business to Business Marketing.

The strategy is to offer to promote anothers business, and then when you have something to promote, they will be willing to help you in return. My colleague is a leasing agent at an apartment community, and her target was a local fashion boutique. We aimed for local businesses, as the big brands may not be as receptive or able.

The fashion boutique wrote a story about their business and at the end, included a discount to the resident of the apartment community. We post the article on our blog, and sent an email Friday evening, just before weekend shopping . Keep in mind that this is me testing a strategy, but we’ll follow up with the fashion boutique owner to see how many of our residents made it to the shop.

The Email

The email that was sent to the residents was a plan text email and had a call to acton.

“x Boutique is offering our residents a considerable discount. Head to our blog to see what they are offering”

The email included a link to the blog. This email accomplished two things, it draws attention to our blog in general, but it also doesn’t give the full details, which will make them go to the blog to find out all the details.

What I could have done better

a. We used a plain text email with no tracking capabilities. I have no idea how many of the 350 residents opened the email, nor will I know.

b. I should have made the coupon offer downloadable, so I would be able to tell how many people downloaded or printed a tangible coupon. The blog just said to come in and mention you were a resident of the community.

c. The tangible coupon would give the shop owner and ourselves a hard count of how many of our residents used the offer. Not that we don’t trust her, but she may not have an accurate count, which isn’t helpful.

The Plan

We have now built this strategic relationship, posted it on our social media sites and emailed our residents as a reminder. Now we wait. Monday will come and we’ll call, or better yet, stop by the boutique and ask if any of our residents came in and mentioned our email. We obviously want her to say yes. Whether or not she says yes will dictate how we handle the rest of the conversation.

Follow up and put out some feelers

If she answers yes, we respond with…

“Fantastic! I’m so glad that us working together brought you some new businesses. I wanted to tell you about an offer we are having. We are currently waiving application fees and we’d love to have you post on your social media sites about our offer. They’ll have to mention that they saw your post in order to redeem”

If she answers no, we respond with…

Pro Tip – Her saying no is not the end, it’s an opportunity!

“Oh no, well we’re going to post your blog again during the week and we’d love to put some physical coupons in our leasing office too (now we have a tracking system, and a tangible item to give those that come into the leasing office). We really want to promote the local business, but it also provides a great service for our residents. I’ll be in touch next week to check-in”

The difference between the two responses is that you don’t want to ask anything of the boutique owner if she hasn’t gotten anything from the relationship. If this strategy takes a while to play out, that is perfectly fine, but the idea is that both parties are happy with the effort they are putting in. If both parties are happy, the new relationship will have a better chance of growing.

The Goal

You want to start a business to businesses social media strategy, but have you thought about what your goal is? I am finding that there is so much pressure on businesses to be on social media, but they either think that they will make money directly from social media, or they have no idea what they are doing. The above strategy has a few goals…

– Indirectly get new customers

– Determine the ROI (Return on Investment) and ROT (Return on Time) Thanks Mark Cuban for learning me something on Shark Tank.

– Make more money

– Build relationships with the community and other businesses

– Give your customers an added incentive for being your customer.

Pro Tip – Consider designing a coupon that your partner businesses can post, that way you have a tangible piece of paper that you can count. This is where you can start to measure your return on investment on your business to business social media strategy. Up until we came up with the waiving of the application fee, we haven’t spent any money on this strategy, just time. I always tell people, social media isn’t free, the time you spend on it is what is costly. Don’t let that deter you, you will see a ROT and ROI. 

Time Investment

If you are reading this blog, social media isn’t your only job, and you have other duties to accomplish to keep your businesses going. If you get to0 busy, is social media going to be the first thing you skip? Set a time each month/week to think critically about how you are going to apply this strategy.

Monetary Investment

If the fashion boutique says yes to the question above, you’re going to want to create an offer of your own that she can post. You’ll be loosing out on income from your offer, but the volume of people coming in the door should outweigh what you are giving up.

Don’t give up

The business to business social media strategy is not an overnight fix for getting more traffic to your business. It is a strategy that will work overtime, you just need to be patient and you’ll start to see results. There are plenty of businesses out there that will want to work with you. If one says no, don’t get discouraged, move on to the next one and start a new strategic relationship.

Good luck and please be in touch if you can offer any extra advice or have tried this strategy and have had success.

My New Social Media Strategy

social media strategy goalsIv’e decided to implement a form of the scientific method with my social media strategy. I love writing in my blog and I have seen an upward trend in visitors from month to month, but only a slight increase. I want to keep this upward trend going and going, but I also want to test new strategies so I can help others formulate one for themselves. This post can also serve as a learning piece for others; It’s okay to test new strategies.

The strategy

My goal is to write 6 posts every week and release a post between 12:30pm and 1:30pm EST Monday-Saturday. Today will be the exception of debuting a new post on Sunday, but Sundays going forward will be my “best of the week” day. I’ll republish once every hour from 11am-7pm EST my most popular posts during the week. I will start implementing my new strategy tomorrow.

The strategy that I was using before involved me scheduling my tweets throughout the day the night before. Instead of posting links to articles every hour, I’ll use Twitter to engage with others and post an article once a day at roughly the same time. This will also help me create relationships on Twitter, which will help me accomplish part of my goals listed below.

How am I going to test this strategy? 

I use Google Analytics to measure site visits and I can easily compare month to month, day to day or even hour to hour. I haven’t written a detailed post on how to use Google Analytics, but leave a comment below if you would be interested in that. If I notice a higher percentage of change between the this month, last month and the coming month, I’ll know how well this strategy worked.

The Goal

Having social media goals will keep you on track and motiviate you. I’ll take this month to measure how many of the following occur, and use that to create a goal for each month going forward.

- Increase blog subscriptions 

- Increase blog comments

- Increase engagement on Twitter

- Increase engagement on Facebook

- Book more speaking engagements 

– Increase guest posts on the blog

– Increase guest blogging opportunities on other blogs

How to implement

Having a full time job in addition to managing the blog can be time consuming. My personal goal is to have blog posts written two days in advance and set them to publish automatically. I’ll write a post today (Sunday) that won’t get published until Wednesday because I already have articles that I wrote last week that need to be published. I also set it up so WordPress will tweet my article for that day automatically at the time I set.

I am really excited to experiment with this strategy and the metrics I have set are easy to measure. I’ll write a post a month from now on how I did. I’m hoping that this will also serve as an example for others on how to set social media goals. What do you think of this strategy and will you start your own? Let us know in the comments so others can learn from you too.

Image Source: MorrHighen; Stock.Xchng

 

Guest Post: My Internet Peeves

Guest Post By: Jacob Rosen

Social media is one my favorite things about 2013. Whether it’s just passing lots and lots of time on Facebook or tweeting with fellow bloggers, I consider myself to be a bit knowledgeable about the subject – although not quite a guru.

But still, many things tick me off in relation to social media and internet usage in general. Without further ado, as my first blog for Socially Gold, here is a quick list of some of my top 8 Internet pet peeves:

- Not being consistent: This is one of the top ones. If you don’t have anything new at all on your Facebook page, Twitter page, website or other platform every week, you’re doing it wrong. Make it a part of your weekly routine, schedule things in advance and plan accordingly around your availability.

- Facebook-Twitter linkage: Oh this one grinds my gears. There’s nothing more annoying on Twitter than a Facebook status pretending to be a tweet. I don’t want to see something Facebook-related; I’m on Twitter for a reason! The other way around isn’t as egregious, but still screams laziness.

- Not responding to comments: It seems obvious, doesn’t it? Whether they’re in the form of comments on Facebook, mentions on Twitter or formal responses to a blog post, you have to always respond personally. It’s just like cultivating a donor prospect; you can’t leave them hanging!

- Over-posting content: Almost to the opposite of the one above, there is such a thing as over-posting. Don’t tweet “For the morning crowd” and “For the evening crowd,” because sooner or later you’ll be posting “For the mid-sunset like to eat dinner late early.” If you share too many items on Facebook or over-tweet the same link more than twice, it’s an easy way to lose friends and followers.

- Auto-response emails: So I know I might be in the minority here. But I don’t know what these are still relevant. If it’s an emergency to reach someone, I’ll call. If not, then I’ll understand if he/she might be busy for a little while and will email back as soon as possible. And if it’s someone super important who needs to get back to me ASAP – I should know whether or not they’re out of town already.

- Out-dated email services: Are you still using Yahoo, MSN or some other type of 2002-esque email provider? Stop it. Stop it right now. Switch to Gmail. Switch to another provider that allows you to customize your email address. Employers, friends and colleagues will look down on you for not knowing the best email providers out there. And “best” is not subjective in this context.

- Out-date Internet browsers: Again, a similar idea as the one above. I get it when my parents or grandparents use Internet Explorer – they might not be familiar at all with the beauty of Google Chrome. But if you’re under 40 and still using IE, something’s amiss. Switch to Chrome now. It truly does change your online experience.

- No listed contact information: I’ve visited dozens and dozens websites – even newspaper, TV and radio websites – where it’s impossible to find contact information for staff members. And that’s within the last two years. A staff directory and contact submission form is a bare minimum if you’re looking to avoid spam, but don’t make me take more than 45 seconds to find that, otherwise I’m done with you anyway.

Hope you enjoyed this brief list of some of my top Internet pet peeves. I’m certain I’ll be back for more – but at least you know for now how not to make me angry via social media.

Jacob Rosen is the Development Associate for Hillel at Kent State University. He can be found on Twitter @udjrosen, where mostly he tweets about Cleveland sports since he also writes the side for WaitingForNextYear.com. He was formerly the editor-in-chief of his school paper, the Flyer News, and worked in the media relations department of the Akron Aeros baseball team for three years.

Thumbnail Image Source: Catalin82, stock.xchang

Social Media Training

This past weekend I went to Texas Hillel and gave a social media training session for their Israel Advocacy Team. My two hour session starts with an introduction to Twitter and Facebook as well as social media secrets. Take a look at the Prezi and you may even learn something new

 

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