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The complex digital media landscape changes every day, and this year is no exception.
Having advanced social media tips at your disposal certainly has its perks, but finding a no-nonsense list can be pretty challenging.
That’s where I come in.
Since we’ve got a lot of ground to cover, let’s dive in with our first category and get you solving your digital marketing struggles, one platform at a time.
One of the most popular digital media marketing tools, Facebook Ads is a cost-effective way to market your business. Access to a massive audience and the ability to tailor your audience make Facebook Ads useful in just about any digital marketing campaign.
With that in mind, choosing how you engage with Facebook Ads can significantly impact how well your campaign performs. For example, are you running traditional ads or boosting previous posts?
Are you targeting general demographics or building your custom audiences? The most impactful Facebook Ads take time to develop, so monitor your experiments and test different techniques regularly.
Validation is a priority in social media marketing, but Facebook’s capacity for customization and experimentation makes validation particularly important. With hundreds of unique audiences, formats, and content styles available to you, proving each component’s value reinforces the integrity of your campaign.
When you reverse engineer an effective marketing strategy, you can easily disassemble and reassemble your marketing campaign. Take the time to determine the traits that make up your ideal audience. Where are they located? How old are they? What do they do for fun?
As you identify audiences that respond to your brand, you can save those specific groups. This social media tip is especially useful when you’re promoting future content or retargeting that audience.
As I’m pointing out social media tips for Facebook, I have to explain the value of using ads to retarget warm leads.
Imagine you ran a Facebook Ad on the value of hiking boots. It was presented to a cold lead, so they never ended up clicking on your link. For most marketers, that’s the end of the marketing journey.
Lucky for you, you can advertise to those same audience members in a few days with a retargeting ad designed to take full advantage of your previous content. If you’re retargeting using video ads, you can even set your ads to only retarget users that watched at least 50 percent of your hiking boots video. This approach lets you pre-qualify prospects before you’ve spent a dollar on them.
Now that you understand the power of retargeting on Facebook, let’s take it a step further and discuss link retargeting.
If you’ve never heard of link retargeting, here’s what you need to know: Link retargeting lets you add Facebook retargeting pixels to your short link whenever you share curated content. Why does this matter? Essentially, anyone who clicks on your content can then be retargeted with relevant ads.
Whether someone clicked on reviews, industry news, or media coverage related to your brand, you’ll be able to retarget them. This works even if the link leads to a third-party website! This lets you leverage your content curation and expand your retargeting ad reach while still offering genuine value.
Instagram saves were introduced as both an expansion of the user experience and an alternative to the traditional “like” feature. The idea behind saved content is that users can actively save certain pieces of content to come back to later.
As saves become a larger part of the Instagram algorithm, one of my social media tips is to find creative ways to make a repeat visit to your content worthwhile.
Traditionally a visual-first community, Instagram travel content creators have found success with the mini-blog format. By creating a second, deeper experience for users, these content creators have been able to pack more value into a single piece of content.
When brands create content for Instagram, they tend to focus on producing original images. Although having fantastic, high-quality pictures is valuable, there are plenty of other content styles to choose from.
Brands can choose to create engaging videos or GIFs to connect with their audience. Everything from memes to micro-blogs can increase retention time, which leads to greater exposure and growth within your social media channel. As far as social media tips are concerned, it’s in your best interest to experiment with a variety of different content styles.
IGTV is fascinating, mostly because it showcases the growth Instagram has had over the years. From pictures to full-blown video productions, Instagram has empowered brands with some incredible marketing tools.
By creating long-form video series, you can live stream events, host Q&As, create tutorials, share reviews, or even host your own live talk show!
Tools like IGTV let you experiment with your content style while connecting with audiences in a powerful, meaningful way. If you’ve wondered how you can expand your content offering, IGTV is worth considering.
Possibly one of the most undervalued resources in digital marketing, micro-influencers can make a massive difference in your campaigns’ effectiveness.
When brands imagine an endorsement or a brand ambassador, they tend to imagine celebrities and industry leaders. Those are definitely great aspirations, but there’s just one problem: Most brands simply don’t have the resources to secure celebrities.
That’s where micro-influencers come in. Don’t get me wrong, Instagram Ads are absolutely worth using. However, there’s just no substitute for a micro-influencer with a loyal fanbase in the thousands. You could end up with access to a much higher quality audience with fewer bot accounts and ghost followers.
Like any social media platform, LinkedIn puts a premium on the connections between users. This might sound strange considering that it’s typically seen as a networking space for employees and employers.
However, the last thing you want to do as a brand is disappear into the sea of business pages. On LinkedIn, developing your relationship with your audience is crucial. That’s why regularly posting updates and content has become a priority for brands on LinkedIn.
Building that audience connection goes further than posting updates. Consider setting up introductions, messaging users, or publishing weekly blog posts. There are lots of inexpensive ways to engage your audience on this platform.
As far as social media tips go, experimenting with paid ads usually makes perfect sense. You’re leveraging the reach of social media with a targeted marketing tool.
When it comes to LinkedIn, the rules change a bit. For starters, LinkedIn Ads are notoriously expensive. They also come with low click-through rates (which is usually attributed to the idea that there are fewer leads, but they’re higher quality).
Still, the issue is bigger than budgeting. The reality of LinkedIn Ads is that unless you’re going after a very particular crowd, you can find much cheaper PPC (pay-per-click) ads on a variety of other platforms.
Test ads on LinkedIn and another platform at the same time. Determine your CPC (cost per click), reach, and conversion rate to make sure LinkedIn Ads are a good investment for your business.
Traditional sales language and tactics are not your friends on LinkedIn.
Trying to brute force your way into being an industry leader simply doesn’t work. Instead, refocus your attempts on building relationships with your audience and selling your brand, not your product.
Users are going to scan through your content in less than a second if it’s not immediately valuable to them. Instead of taking the typical hard-sell approach, you should prioritize honest communication with users above all.
Videos and other multimedia content do exceptionally well on LinkedIn when handled properly. Ideally, the content should start by teaching your audience how to solve their problem in an immediate, tangible way.
Beyond that, as a brand with loads of expertise, you also have the ability to establish yourself as a thought leader by using the right content and helping users address deeper issues in your industry.
Post videos, infographics, or whatever valuable piece of content you can think of. Experiment, test, and discover what truly works.
Twitter is constantly changing. As the conversations develop over time, it can feel impossible to follow every new update. My social media tip is to focus on social listening and determine where your brand stands on the latest relevant issue.
Not only should you strive to understand what your audience thinks, but you should also take the time to become part of the conversation in real time. The last thing you want is to be left out of meaningful conversations with both previous and current users.
Your brand voice on Twitter matters quite a bit. Authenticity and brevity are essential to your brand’s relatability, so take the time to clarify exactly what your brand voice is.
Are you casual? Are you funny? Are you instructional? Identify your strongest options and start experimenting.
Polls are interesting because they accomplish two goals at once. The first goal is user-generated content (UGC). Not only that, but polls also help you increase your engagement with minimal effort on your end.
If that’s not enough reason for you, keep in mind you can make these polls for whatever you want. Try out different landing pages, or test different offers. The choice is entirely up to you.
There are a few different types of Twitter Ads (Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Trends), but for this list of social media tips, we’re just going to focus on the value of Twitter Ads.
Like most social media marketing tools, you’re paying for performance here. One of the most valuable aspects of this platform is that you can start to create specific social media ads based on what’s happening in the world. This gives your ads a sense of urgency and authenticity that you can’t find anywhere else.
Much like LinkedIn, Pinterest is a fantastic place to connect with a specific audience. If your market research shows that your audience is populating Pinterest, you can have a compelling experience ready for them.
Once your audience is proven to be a good match, you can use images, make them interactive, and tweak your Pinterest Ads for brevity.
For those unfamiliar with this, Rich Pins are essentially a way for users to collect more Pins without having to think about it.
There are a few different types of Rich Pins:
The point is simple. Create content tailored to your specific audience and continue to develop that relationship over time.
Mobile is massive on platforms like Pinterest, so you can make a few safe assumptions about the user experience. For starters, it’s unlikely that they’ll use desktop computers when checking content.
To properly optimize for mobile, you’ll want to set up vertical images in a rectangular shape. Set those images to have a 2:3 ratio to fill the mobile screen, and just like that, your Pinterest account is ready for the modern age.
When you think of Pinterest, the term “‘search engine” may not jump to mind. On the other hand, when you consider how easy it is to look up just about anything on the platform, it’s no surprise that it’s become such a useful search engine for others.
My final social media tip is that when you’re on this social media platform, take the time to focus on the keyword viability of the words you’re using.
Navigating social media marketing can be just as confusing as it is stressful. If you’re struggling with elevating your marketing campaigns and need some social media tips, don’t worry. You’re certainly not alone in this.
When using Facebook, make sure to properly validate your audience and use link retargeting regularly. With Instagram, take advantage of their diverse content formats and build something unique.
Use LinkedIn to build a relationship with other users and are actually willing to chat with them.
Twitter lets you stay updated, and it’s time you started updating your audience regularly. Use Pinterest when you want a mobile ads experience with a focus on keywords.
No matter which platform you use, know that by listening to these social media tips, taking control of your marketing campaign, and thinking critically about what works and what doesn’t, you’re one step closer to digital marketing mastery.
Which platform would you like to see covered next? Let me know in the comments below!
The post Beyond the Basics: 20 Fresh Social Media Tips for 2021 appeared first on Neil Patel.
Video marketing has exploded in recent years. 54 percent of consumers say they prefer to watch videos from the brands they support over any other content type. If you have or are considering diving into video marketing, you need to know about Vimeo.
Creators and marketers use Vimeo in various businesses to create and share videos. Like YouTube, all types of companies can use the platform to grow their businesses, including small businesses, e-commerce, social media marketers, educators, fitness professionals, and creative professionals.
Does Vimeo have any marketing potential, and is it right for your business? Or is it just another platform that will suck your time and offer no returns?
Here’s what you need to know to figure out if Vimeo is right for you.
Vimeo is a video-sharing platform that provides businesses and professionals with the tools they need to make, share, and market high-quality videos. The platform boasts more than 200 million users, 1.5 million paid subscribers, and over 100 billion video views.
Just what makes this video platform so popular?
The platform allows creators to record, edit, and customize high-quality videos with features like text, music, and calls to action.
It also provides a range of collaboration tools, workflow features, privacy settings, and detailed analytics so you can understand what videos your audience likes.
What makes Vimeo stand out is the platform’s dedication to helping creators produce high-quality videos that make a difference. Unlike YouTube, you won’t find random, low-quality videos and tons of spam.
Instead, you’ll find thoughtfully crafted videos, high-quality creators, and an engaged, helpful community.
Here’s an example of an interview I did a few years back that was posted on Vimeo—it has a bit of a documentary feel, which is typical for Vimeo videos.
In addition to interviews, Vimeo creators also post landscapes, music videos, training, augmented reality, workout videos, short films, and, yes, even cute cat videos.
If you are looking for an easy-to-use, professional-grade video platform, Vimeo may be the right choice for your business. However, before you make your decision, let’s look at a few of the key features Vimeo offers.
Like YouTube, Vimeo allows creators to record and host videos. However, it also does a lot more. Here are a few key features Vimeo has to offer:
Note: Vimeo’s free basic version limits access to advanced tools, including some metrics, privacy features, and storage options. However, the free version is still quite useful!
If you are on a tight marketing budget, Vimeo is an ideal choice for video marketing.
Unlike YouTube and other video marketing alternatives, there are no paid ads, so you won’t have to spend thousands to reach your audience.
Vimeo is pretty affordable, with a robust free forever plan that lets you:
Paid Vimeo accounts are also reasonably priced, starting at $7 per month when billed annually for their Plus version and goes up to $75 per month for the Premium version.
Is Vimeo worth the cost? Let’s look at how you can use this video editing and sharing platform to grow your business.
Vimeo can be used by any business interested in leveraging the power of video marketing. Whether you are a local plumbing company looking to share customer reviews or a million-dollar marketing company looking to share training videos, you can use Vimeo to create, host, and share videos with your target audience.
Remember, Vimeo is not just a video hosting platform but also a community.
You can look for other videos, leave comments, and even create custom playlists of your favorite videos. Videos don’t just stay on Vimeo—they can also be posted natively on platforms like Facebook or embedded in landing pages or on your website.
Here are a few use cases for the platform:
In terms of usability, Vimeo and YouTube are pretty similar. Both platforms allow you to upload videos, watch videos from other creators, go live (with the premium plan only), create playlists, design a channel, view analytics, and engage with other creators.
The core difference between Vimeo and YouTube lies in the audiences. Vimeo users tend to be more creative and engaged.
Unlike YouTube, you won’t likely deal with spam messages that add no value. Vimeo videos also tend to be more artistic and of high quality.
Vimeo also doesn’t have ads—which makes it easier for creators with smaller marketing budgets to share engaging, high-quality videos with their audiences.
Note that live video is only available to premium plan members, so if that is important to you, consider using other platforms like Facebook and Instagram to go live.
Now that you understand what Vimeo is, how it works, and what makes it stand out from other platforms, it’s time to dive into actual uses. There’s no reason to waste time learning a new platform if it won’t help you grow your business, right?
Vimeo stands out from other video platforms due to several unique marketing features. Let’s look at a few of them.
Branding helps you make a memorable impression on your audience. Colors, fonts, and logos can help consumers know what to expect from your company and recognize your brand across platforms.
Vimeo allows you to create a custom channel aligned with your brand by adjusting your channel’s title, thumbnail, header image, description, and even create a custom URL.
The channel page essentially serves as a landing page for your brand where you can share videos, a description, and essential links.
Here’s Content Marketing Institute’s Vimeo page. Note the header image is a video that showcases Content Marketing World, the brand’s flagship conference.
Videos can also be customized by adding keyword-optimized titles and descriptions, time-stamped links, links to other sites, captions, and unique thumbnails. The time-stamped links and internal links are advantageous because YouTube killed off a similar feature a few years back.
These features don’t just make it easier to create videos your audience will love (which is a huge benefit!). It also allows businesses to keep their branding consistent across all platforms.
Paid plans also have access to Vimeo Create, their video maker tool that provides access to stock photos and videos and includes the ability to add branding to videos.
Vimeo’s analytics platform provides insights into demographics and user behavior, including impressions, plays, likes, comments, and your most popular videos.
It also provides an overview of the devices used to watch videos and shows which parts of your videos garner the most and least user interaction.
Even if you natively publish videos on other social platforms, Vimeo still monitors play, likes, shares, and reposts so you can see which platforms are most popular.
This data makes it easier to understand what types of videos resonate with your audience so you can create more of the content your users love.
If you spring for a paid plan, Vimeo provides access to even deeper analytics to help you understand how your video marketing is driving business and what you can do to keep delivering valuable content.
Creating great videos is just half of the battle—you also need to make sure your audience can find your videos through video optimization. Vimeo allows creators to produce custom titles and descriptions and choose categories to help interested parties find your content.
These features aren’t particularly unique to Vimeo; YouTube also lets you optimize videos by adding titles and descriptions.
However, what is unique is the impact these optimizations can have on your reach. That is because Vimeo does not allow creators to bid for keywords and outrank organic results.
For example, your competitor can’t bid on your brand name and outrank your content just by paying for it. This feature makes video optimization critical on Vimeo.
The lack of sponsored content is a feature that makes Vimeo stand out, so let’s dig in a little deeper.
The average internet user sees hundreds, if not thousands of ads every day. From social media to your own email box, paid ads pop up everywhere we use the internet—except on Vimeo.
On Vimeo, all search is organic and there are no pre-video or mid-roll ads.
Unlike most social platforms, Vimeo is mostly monetized through paid memberships. This levels the playing field; posts from brands must live and die on their own merit, which is pretty cool.
Smaller brands that post content have the same opportunity to drive user engagement and views as large brands, making this an exciting platform for businesses in all different industries—including those with little to no marketing budget.
Vimeo allows users to post and embed videos on other platforms or social media and integrates with a wide range of other tools, including Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor.
This means you can leverage the power of Vimeo without ever leaving your current video editor and better track the impact of your email marketing campaigns.
For the more tech-savvy, Vimeo also offers an API so you can add video integration into your custom apps.
There are many video marketing tools on the market—which can make finding the most valuable tool a headache. On Vimeo, if your content is high quality, useful, and brings value to your audience, you are just as likely to reach your audience as larger brands.
Ready to create a Vimeo content strategy? Start by researching keywords your audience is interested in and look at your most popular content. Are any of those topics conducive to videos?
If so, write a video script, fire up your camera, and start recording. Then, use Vimeo to reach your audience. Make sure to optimize your videos and engage with other creators to see the maximum impact.
Are you using Vimeo? What’s the most valuable feature for your business?
You might not be aware of Discord. Or you may know about it, and you’re wondering what it has to do with marketers. After all, isn’t it for gamers? That was once the case, but not anymore.
Discord has evolved considerably since its official 2015 launch. Once solely a tool for dedicated gamers, it is now a popular base for a diverse range of groups, including influencers and hobbyists. This platform is great for those looking for alternatives to the more obvious platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
For marketers who want a different way to communicate with their audience, Discord could be just what they’ve been searching for.
Discord is a VoIP system that uses a combination of video, voice, and text communication services. It’s often compared to Slack, and its messaging system works similarly.
Discord was the brainchild of Stan Vishnevskiy and Jason Citron. Initially, they just wanted a way to talk to others in the gaming community. Discord boasts over 100 million active monthly users, and its growth shows no signs of dwindling.
The versatile platform also has a strong focus on community: It’s the ability to build communities that have helped fuel Discord’s growing popularity.
As the founders themselves say, Discord is used by various groups, including study groups, art communities, and hikers. Anyone looking for a community to share their interest with or establish/grow an audience can set up a Discord account and get started.
Like most online apps, Discord starts with a download. Just choose your device. I’m using my Windows laptop in my example, but it’s compatible with Android, iOS, Linux, and macOS.
Once you’ve downloaded Discord, open the setup file to launch it. Discord will then go through any updates, and you might have to wait a couple of minutes for the interface to launch. Once it launches, you’ll get an overview of Discord’s latest features and updates. These include:
Finally, Discord has gone mouse-free, making it ideal for those who want to multitask.
If you’ve downloaded Discord to your laptop, it will automatically launch when you start up and see the Discord interface. From there, you can instantly check if:
You’ll find an inbox and an option to send group DMs there, too.
On the left-hand side, there’s a set of buttons that you’re going to want to know better.
For voice chat, select the “W” button.
Explore communities by clicking the green-and-white button on the left. This will give you an idea of the communities on there and whether your company would be a good fit. There are five main categories:
If you know anything about Discord, you’ll know it’s all about servers. How do you set one up?
It’ll take a few seconds to set it up. You’ll then get a welcome message. Now, you’ll be ready to start inviting friends and personalizing your server.
To customize your server:
Channels are similar to what you’d see in a regular forum and provide a space to talk about a specific subject. You can choose either a voice or a text channel. To start a channel:
Say you want to give someone permissions to become an admin member. You’ll have to add a role.
To add roles:
You’ll find a fuller tutorial on the official Discord website.
This option lets you add bots and apps, create webhooks, and follow channels. Just click the button to get started.
Now you know your way around the basic features, here’s more about how you could use Discord as a business.
You may find the categories limited at first sight, but plenty of brands use Discord successfully. Here are some examples:
Discord has excellent potential to help your business and grow its community.
Engagement is essential to building your business. Letting your customers or would-be customers get to know you increases trust and fosters loyalty over time. However, that’s not where the benefits of customer experience end. Enabling engagement also:
How does Discord enable engagement? Through multiple channels, and that’s perhaps one of the best things about it.
As I’ve already mentioned, you can directly talk to customers through video, chat, or text. Or you can start reaching out to would-be customers through your servers and specific channels.
A more recent feature is Discord server insights. By studying your insights (or data), you can better understand:
You can aggregate your data daily, weekly, and monthly, and you can also export it to a CSV file for further analysis.
If you aim to build a community space where you can attract larger groups of members, you’ll want to start a community.
To do this:
From here, there are three steps:
You can answer customer FAQs by setting up a server and listing them there. Just follow the instructions in the article. Another way you can do this is with a bot.
You can use third-party application bots. However, it’ll mean giving them access to your Discord account, so if you’re not comfortable with this, skip to the next method.
There are a few FAQ bots available ready for you to install. I’ve listed a few popular ones below.
However, these aren’t recommendations, and as always, you should exercise caution before using third-party scripts or giving permissions to your account.
If you have some coding experience, you could also create a bot. You can do this with Python. To use this method:
Easy enough so far, right? However, this is where it gets a little more complicated: You’re going to have to do some coding. Here’s an excellent tutorial that will talk you through the steps.
Through Discord, you have an enthusiastic target audience in front of you and multiple ways to communicate with them. What’s not to like? Now, all you need to know is how to market to them effectively.
This next section will detail some best practices to help you.
Discord users are predominantly younger adults and teens. This demographic will have very different wants and needs from older age groups, so consider whether your brand is a good fit.
Also, remember that Discord is for a casual audience. It is not a professional network, like LinkedIn.
How do you better market to your audience on Discord? By joining its partner program. The partner program is for its “active and engaged” communities, and it’s open to new and established members.
Perhaps the program’s most significant benefit is greater personalization. This means you can further customize your server to keep with your branding. Another benefit is that it makes your services easier to find on the discovery page.
Not everyone will qualify for the program, and there’s quite an extensive application process.
Encourage your customers to do your promotion for you by setting up their channels and servers to discuss your brand and special offers.
Consumers are often more receptive to personal recommendations rather than the “big sell.”
Who doesn’t love a discount? Provide exclusive discounts, special deals, and competitions through Discord. Invite others to promote your brand further.
While Discord doesn’t have the high profile of some social media sites, it’s still a useful marketing tool for anyone wanting to build a community.
It combines personalization, promotion, and multiple communication methods, allowing you to reach out to customers more effectively.
Discord may not be suitable for every brand, but many companies use it successfully, including Adobe and Newegg.
With some imagination and creativity, you could develop unique customer offers, introduce new ways to communicate with your consumers, and take your customer service to the next level.
Do you use Discord for your business? Let us know in the comments below.
If you’re like most business owners, you’ve invested resources in creating a Facebook business page that engages your customers. You may have spent years growing your following and building trust.
What if something leaves your business page vulnerable to a Facebook hack?
Here is what you need to know to protect yourself—and your business—from a Facebook hack.
Unfortunately, Facebook hacks are quite common. According to the New York Post, as many as 160,000 Facebook accounts are compromised each day. Users tend to be more relaxed about security when using social sites like Facebook, leaving them vulnerable to hackers.
How does this affect your business page? Facebook allows users to access business accounts through their personal profiles. Every person with admin control over your Page is vulnerable to a Facebook hack that could leave your page open to hacking.
Hackers typically gain access to Facebook pages through phishing scams, email attachments with malware, data breaches that reveal passwords, or users’ carelessness (such as not logging out of Facebook or using easy to guess passwords.)
Large-scale data breaches may happen less frequently, but the scale can be staggering. For example, in a widely reported Facebook hack and data breach, hackers gained access to nearly 50 million exposed accounts.
Hackers who gain access to your page can post their own links, attracting your fans to click on spam links—leaving them vulnerable to Facebook hacking as well.
They might create and approve ads via your Ads Manager to promote malicious content, with high spending that could cost you thousands before you can take action.
They could also use the information stored in your Facebook account for identity theft or to access other online accounts, including hosting, banking, or other social accounts.
All of this can cost you time, money, and the trust of your audience. While you may stop malicious activity relatively quickly and even recoup some costs, you could lose access to your page for a time. The opportunity cost of not being able to market via this platform can have a significant impact on your business.
Many strategies to protect yourself from a Facebook hack are standard online security steps you should use on every online platform. If you haven’t paid much attention to online security, start with the basics, then explore security features in each platform or app.
Hint: If you’ve been using the same password for years across multiple platforms, you’re long overdue for an update.
A look at your Facebook settings will lead you to a detailed section called Security and Login. Review each section for tips and information on best practices to keep your account secure.
Make sure to scan your computer for malware and viruses regularly. Antivirus software helps spot problems that might leave you open to Facebook hacks, such as keyloggers or redirect viruses.
Keep your software up to date; this ensures you are using the most secure versions of your browser and other apps, including any recent security updates or improvements.
Remember that your business page is only as secure as the people who have access to it. Protect your personal profile, and share security updates and best practices with your team.
Passwords are the first line of defense in online security.
Your password should follow the guidelines on each site you use. This is likely a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. Choose something unique to you, with a tricky combination of these characters to create a password others would find hard to guess.
Do not use the same password on every site. Instead, use different passwords for every online account. For example, you might use one for your secure financial accounts but a completely different password for your social accounts and other platforms that might be easily hacked.
In the case of a Facebook hack, you’ll at least be protected from the hackers using your Facebook password to access more secure accounts, like banking or retirement accounts.
Consider a password manager like LastPass or 1password so you don’t have to remember dozens of passwords. These platforms store all your passwords in one place so you only have to remember one password. They can also generate random passwords that are more secure.
Make sure you never enter your password anywhere except the Facebook app or at Facebook in your web browser.
If you’re using your internet browser, be careful entering the domain into your search bar. Hackers sometimes spoof domains close to the real Facebook domain to capture login information from users who aren’t paying attention.
Two-factor authentication simply means if you ever log into your Facebook account from a new device, the platform will automatically ask you for your password and require an additional security check. This step usually includes entering a security code sent via text or email to a pre-approved address or number.
To set up two-factor authentication in Facebook, visit your Settings page, select Security and Login, and then edit the section labeled Two-Factor Authentication.
Facebook will prompt you to provide contact information to verify your identity when logging in. You’ll also get alerts if someone tries to access your account from an unfamiliar device.
Facebook often sends out emails to verify suspicious or unusual activity. Make sure the email address on file is one you check regularly and read the emails you receive in case Facebook is trying to flag suspicious activity.
Staying on top of the risks, being familiar with common phishing attempts, and understanding the latest security recommendations from Facebook can go a long way toward keeping you safe online.
You can see a list of recent email messages sent by Facebook in your account settings under Security and Login, in the Advanced Section.
How else can you protect yourself from a Facebook hack? Give careful thought to the people you give admin access to for your business page.
It’s a good idea to have more than one admin for your page in case you ever lose access or are unable to log in. If your profile is hacked, another admin you trust can keep the page running and help you gain back your access.
However, that doesn’t mean more is better. Periodically checking to remove people who no longer need access to your page. If someone needs temporary access, grant it at the appropriate level, then remove it when their task or project is complete.
Facebook provides several page admin levels, which enables you to grant different access to different people. Be careful who you add, and only grant them access they need to complete assigned tasks.
Perhaps you need an employee to post to the page to carry out your Facebook marketing. Review the different levels and their permissions and only provide admins the level of access they need to do the job.
Giving every person you add as an admin the ability to remove and add other admins means they could potentially remove you—with little recourse to regain access. They could also add admins you don’t know and take over your page.
Only people you trust absolutely should have the ability to remove and add admins. This chart breaks down the permissions for each level:
Report any unusual activity to Facebook to keep your account secure. You can report messages, profiles, or posts right on Facebook to let them know you have concerns about something you see on the platform.
Reporting can allow you to use Facebook more safely and flag any suspicious behavior to Facebook.
If you are uncomfortable with behavior or messages from another user, simply block them to ensure they are removed from your friend’s list or page. This action will also prevent them from messaging you on the platform.
Have you ever used a computer at work, the library, or a coworking space? You’ll need to exercise extra caution to log out when you’re done. This step is critical to remember when using accounts that contain personal information.
If you’re using Facebook from a computer you don’t own, always log out immediately afterward. You have no idea who may use the device after you, and staying logged in leaves your account wide open.
If you ever can’t remember if you logged out after using Facebook on a device you don’t own, change your password immediately so your security is never in question. You can also log out remotely from all devices in Security and Login Settings. Protecting access to your accounts can stop a Facebook hack from happening at all.
Hackers often gain information they need to guess your password by adding you as a friend on Facebook. They may even add mutual friends, making them look like a safe person who is already in your network. Or they may directly impersonate someone you know.
If you don’t know someone, don’t accept their friend request. If the request seems suspicious or duplicated, reach out to your friend by text or email to let them know someone is using their likeness or identity online.
Allowing access to your personal profile can provide access to information like your birthday or high school. This information makes it easier to hack into your business account or impersonate you to gain access to other social accounts, your friends, or even your audience.
Preventing Facebook hacks on your business page requires more than posting engaging content and creating Facebook ads. There are real security risks you need to be aware of to protect your investment—and your customers. Luckily, a few simple steps can help protect you.
Stay up to date on the security features of each platform you use, and protect your personal Facebook profile as well as your business page. Take advantage of alerts, emails, and other notifications to help you act quickly should a Facebook hack occur.
These steps will reduce your risk so you can enjoy growing your audience and connecting with your customers without expensive and stressful setbacks. If this seems overwhelming, connect with us for help so you can focus on running your business.
What steps can you take today to prevent a Facebook hack on your Business Page?
TikTok has steadily grown to become one of the most popular social media apps.
As TikTok’s popularity grew, so did one question: “How can I get on the TikTok For You page?” This is the main page of curated content users see when they log in.
This article will answer that question and teach you everything you need to know about TikTok’s mysterious algorithm and how to use it to your advantage.
TikTok is an iOS and Android social media app for creating and sharing short 15 to 60-second videos on any topic.
In 2016, the app launched as Douyin in China, and in the following year, ByteDance released it for markets outside of China as Musical.ly before rebranding to TikTok.
While it started as a fun lip-syncing app with a cult Gen Z following, it’s evolved into a way for users to share short comedy skits, business tips, and more.
The For You page, aka “FYP,” is the first page you land on when you open the TikTok app. It’s a curated feed of videos from creators you might not follow, but TikTok’s algorithm thinks you will like based on your interests and past interactions.
For example: If you like and leave comments on several videos about Instagram tips, you can expect to see a fresh serving of social media marketing TikToks on your For You page every day.
Think of it as the Instagram Explore Page. The app wants to hook you in with more content you like to keep you scrolling longer.
The TikTok For You page is the “holy grail”l of success on the app. It means you’ve created a piece of content that resonates with your audience. The algorithm has picked this up and recognizes your content’s quality above all the other videos on the app.
What this means for business owners and influencers:
For years, the TikTok For You page algorithm was cloaked in mystery. Rumors and speculation flew around the internet, sparking the rise in hashtags like #fyp and #ForYou, until TikTok HQ came out with a statement settling the debate once and for all.
In a community post, TikTok states:
On TikTok, the For You feed reflects preferences unique to each user. The system recommends content by ranking videos based on a combination of factors – starting from interests you express as a new user and adjusting for things you indicate you’re not interested in, too – to form your personalized For You feed.
Here’s the nitty-gritty details of the TikTok algorithm and learn how the For You page works.
The more comments, likes, shares, and duets your video gets, the more likely the algorithm will pick it up.
Another ranking factor you need to keep in mind is your video completion rate. As more users watch your TikTok to the end, it’s more likely to get pushed out for further distribution.
Hashtags, sounds, and captions are a treasure trove of information to help you get onto the For You page. For instance, if you use a trending hashtag or sound bite, it’s more likely to get noticed by the algorithm.
Remember, TikTok’s goal is to keep people on the app, and serving up trending content is one way to do that.
Your location, language preference, device, and country setting play a role in curating your FYP. After all, a comedy skit about South African politics would probably only appeal to South African users.
However, these signals don’t have as much weight as the others, giving you the chance to reach a global audience.
There is no bulletproof recipe for success on TikTok or any other social media network. Algorithms are constantly changing, and if your content doesn’t resonate with your audience, it won’t rank.
However, you can do several things to improve your chances of hitting the TikTok For You page:
Some users believe using #fyp or #ForYou will get their content pushed out to the masses, but it’s only a rumor. TikTok has never confirmed this, and these hashtags don’t guarantee you any viral success.
You don’t want to use those hashtags as a crutch and miss out on using keywords relevant to your content and niche.
After all, the main goal of social media is to attract the right followers and then monetize your audience.
Remember, there is no tried-and-true formula, so as on Instagram, you’ll need to do some experimenting to find a hashtag strategy that works best for your account.
Remember when I told you how vital the video completion rate is on TikTok? The easiest way to achieve top marks for this ranking factor is by creating shorter, engaging videos.
Although you can record 60-second clips, using all the time available won’t necessarily translate into viral success. The less time someone has to spend watching your TikTok, the more likely they’ll watch to the end and not swipe away.
You can improve your watch time by making sure you have a hook right in the beginning to encourage viewers to stay until the end.
As your video completion rate increases, so do your chances of landing a coveted spot on the FYP.
TikTok is not the platform to spill your guts in a microblogging session.
You only get 150 characters, including any hashtags you add, which leaves you with fewer characters at your disposal than on Twitter.
With such limited real estate, you need to focus on writing short captions that compel viewers to engage with your content.
How do you do this?
You could stir up some mystery by saying something like, “this took me five attempts to get right” or “wait until the end.” This could encourage viewers to stick around and watch the entire video.
Another tactic is to ask a question. Comments are another engagement factor, and getting people to watch and reply can help send all the right signals to the FYP algorithm.
Lastly, you can tease viewers with information you’re revealing in your video. For example, “How I find clients as a freelance writer” or “One easy hack to make $100 online.”
Are you still posting grainy, low-quality videos on TikTok? That might be one of the reasons you haven’t earned a spot on the For You Page.
A high-quality video is more likely to keep eyeballs on your content, which means higher completion rates and more views.
TikTok isn’t going to push out low-definition, blurry, or grainy videos to the masses. At best, it could cause users to swipe away; at worst, people will close the app.
With most smartphones offering HD video, it’s easier than ever to produce high-resolution videos without a big budget or full production team.
Besides the quality of your content, the platform also rewards editing skills. Experiment with filters, stickers, and transitions to make your videos more interesting and keep people watching (and hopefully rewatching) until the very end.
With engagement being such a critical factor in getting onto TikTok’s For You page, posting at the right time can make or break your video’s success.
How do you figure out when your followers are online and ready to engage?
With a free TikTok Pro Account. It’s similar to Instagram Analytics, and you can see:
However, you need a minimum of 100 followers to start seeing data about your audience.
Think of music and sounds on TikTok like hashtags. You can use trending audio clips to boost your discoverability and get a bump in likes, comments, and views.
How do you find popular sounds to use in your videos?
You’ll need to put on your stealth hat to uncover what’s getting the most traction. Here are three ways to find trending music:
When you’re creating a video, tap the “Sounds” button at the top of the screen. A new page will load, and you’ll see a “Discover” page.
Here, you can view recommended sounds for you to use and a “Playlist” section featuring viral clips, trending sounds, and TikTok music charts. You can also explore the “Trending” page to see what’s currently trending in different categories like “fitness” or “food and drink.”
Scroll through the sounds and add what you like to your Favorites folder to use for later.
When you’re swiping through TikTok and come across a sound you want to use for a video, add it to your Favorites folder.
The feature collects your clips in one handy spot, and you don’t need to waste time trying to remember the name of a sound.
If you like a sound and want to save it, tap the sound name under the username. An audio page will load where you can see a list of all the other videos using it and a button to add the clip to your Favorites.
Once you’ve switched over to a TikTok Pro account and hit 100 followers, you’ll get access to another juicy analytics feature.
Under the “Followers” tab, you’ll see a list of sounds your followers have watched in the last seven days.
It helps reduce research time and shortlist sounds for your next video.
By following the tips above, you’re not guaranteed a spot on TikTok’s For You page, but it can significantly improve your chances.
Remember, all the hashtags and trending sounds won’t help you in your mission for TikTok For You page stardom if you’re not creating memorable and shareable content for your audience.
How do you plan to use TikTok in your social media strategy?
When Instagram launched in 2010 with its visually-focused platform, it disrupted the social media scene. So big was its success that it sparked a whole movement in photo styling.
Instagram has since added video, but its focus has always been one-off visual experiences that are shareable but sometimes leave marketers trying to figure out how to provide context.
The answer has typically been super-long captions, stories, or creative posts that make up a series. Still, Instagram was never really the place for long-form content.
Fast forward ten years and Instagram is finally getting into the long-form content game.
Instagram introduced Guides as “a way to more easily discover recommendations, tips and other content from your favorite creators, public figures, organizations and publishers on Instagram.”
The scrollable lists provide text and visuals that come together in a listicle. You can either use new, saved, or older posts to deliver helpful how-tos on almost any topic.
It’s one more opportunity to put your brand forward as a subject matter expert and influencer in Instagram’s space by engaging its users with more in-depth content directly on the platform.
Instagram Guides are a new tool for content discovery. They’re a string of consecutive Instagram posts curated to share helpful information with your audience. Each post within the guide links to a traditional Instagram post or a product page where you can purchase what you see.
Here is an Instagram guide my agency, NP Digital, created to promote mental and physical well-being while everyone works from home. It starts with a cover image that includes a title and a brief description.
As you scroll down, you find six posts put together to provide tips on taking breaks during work, communicating with coworkers, and maintaining a routine, among other tips.
Each tip is clickable and leads your users to the original Instagram post.
Six months later, Instagram opened up Guides to all users and expanded it to other topicsrolled up into three different types of guides: Products, Places, and Posts. In particular, they’ve focused on travel and shopping, linking Product Guides directly to shops on Instagram.
Now that Instagram has expanded its guides, there are all kinds of content possibilities to promote your brand. Home improvement brands could create repair and renovation guides. Cosmetics brands might have step-by-step guides for different makeup looks, and cooking brands can include recipes in their guides.
The possibilities are endless.
As we mentioned, you can create three kinds of guides on Instagram right now: Posts, Places, and Products. You’ll know which one you’re looking at by checking the lower-left corner of the guide.
A post lets you curate past and saved posts. It’s the most flexible in terms of the kinds of content you can include.
Nordiska Kӧk is a maker of bespoke countertops imported from Sweden. This brand’s Instagram guides offer tips on choosing and caring for a counter.
Notice how each guide tells you exactly what it is (a post, product, or place Guide) and how many Instagram posts you’ll find in each one, right above the title.
Product Guides link directly to Instagram Shopping, allowing users to buy from your guides.
Stuck in the Book, a book blog run out of Manchester, England, created these guides.
Two of the guides in the example above are Product Guides. If you click on any of the products in these guides, you’ll be directed to a page where you can buy the books.
Finally, Places Guides focus on travel. Users can build guides for travel tips or recommendations.
Brands have a lot of room for creativity within these categories. They let marketers tell a story around products, repurpose older posts into new content, or add context to new posts.
With Instagram Guides, brands can build long-form content for the first time on Instagram. There are many excellent reasons you might want to do that.
Longer-form, scrollable guides keep users on your content longer, allowing them to get to know your brand and your products. They won’t have to click away to another site for more information, as they would with regular Instagram posts.
Because Instagram is now offering longer-form content, it also updated its search functionality. Users can search for content by keyword, which will surface Instagram Guides. That means content discovery just got a whole lot easier on Instagram. Users no longer have to know your brand name or search by hashtag.
Now that users can find you using keywords, you can create guides that target your brands’ new audiences. Guides also help you put your brand forward as a subject matter expert in your vertical. By creating content that addresses micro-moments, you can focus on the solutions people are searching for, even outside your target audience.
This feature is yet another opportunity to build loyalty through useful, trustworthy content. Tips, tricks, step-by-step instructions, and any content that would be valuable to your target audience will keep them coming back for more.
You can foster loyalty even further by offering the first crack at content or product deals through your guides or by announcing new guides through a newsletter.
Product Guides let users shop directly from Instagram, shortening the buyer’s journey. Users can see product descriptions and prices, as well as more products from your shop.
Guides are shareable in stories and through direct messages. If your audience likes your guides, they can spread the word.
Much like you would share articles on LinkedIn, sharing guides from other users on Instagram shows your expertise in your vertical, and makes it more likely your guides will be also viewed and shared.
Guides give you another format to explore with influencer partnerships. Work with influencers in your space to create guides that include your products or services.
To create a guide, click on the little plus sign like you would for a regular post, video, or live content. In the dropdown menu, choose Guides.
From here, you’ll be able to choose between the three kinds of content:
Once you choose your content format, place your images, posts, and links. Keep in mind that this is Instagram, so images and content should be formatted for mobile.
Rachel Waldorf is a lifestyle content creator out of Seattle. She uses Instagram Guides to create gift guides featuring Seattle-based businesses.
To access her (or any) guides, go to the main Instagram page and look for the Guides icon.
That will lead you to the Guides page.
From here, you can browse and click on Guides to view their content. Waldorf has created Places and Product Guides for her followers.
In the Product Guides, you can click on her featured products and shop them from the website or directly from Instagram Shopping.
As I mentioned, scrolling down from here shows users related products so they can keep shopping.
You can also share, embed, or copy links to guides by clicking on the icons in the top right.
Because this is still a new feature, not everyone has set up Instagram Guides just yet. As time goes on and marketers discover how valuable this tool can be, you might begin to see them more and more.
For now, you can check on your favorite Instagram accounts or find them through the Instagram Explore page.
Instagram Guides are another great tool for a brand’s marketing arsenal to build their following and increase conversions.
The new long-form format allows marketers to provide valuable content to their target audiences and reach new audiences at the same time.
You can even use them to deliver shopping opportunities directly to your users through Instagram Shopping.
How are you going to use Instagram Guides in your marketing?
On the hunt for a Google+ (also called Google Plus and G+) alternative? It may be easier than you think!
Since the social media platform closed its doors in 2019, consumers have been looking for another option to match the features, traffic, and SEO benefits.
Luckily, there are several replacements you can use.
Here are the best Google Plus alternatives and how you can use them to grow your business online.
Google Plus was Google’s fourth attempt at building a social media network. Its predecessors included Google Buzz, Google Friend Connect, and Orkut.
For years, you had to have a Google Plus account to use features like Google Photos, Hangouts, and YouTube. So, most consumers created Google Plus accounts to use these other apps—not the social media platform.
Then a data breach happened. Google discovered a glitch that allowed third-party apps to access the private information of 500,000 Google Plus users.
So, when Google announced its decision to start phasing out Google Plus due to low usage in 2018, it made sense.
There is no one-size-fits-all replacement for Google Plus.
Depending on your business and where your key audience hangs out, you might choose to use one or all of the platforms listed below, which may help you recover some Google Plus features.
Google My Business (GMB) is a snippet of information about your business’ operating information, reviews, and so much more. Getting on GMBcan help you appear as a business profile and on Google Maps, both on desktop and mobile, when users search for brands like yours.
Business Profiles on Google Search look like this:
Business Profiles on Google Maps look like this:
Business Profiles on mobile searches look like this:
While all this information is likely on your website, GMB helps you index the content and share it with a broader audience.
The result? A potential boost in search result rankings, revenue, and valuable insights about your customers.
Google My Business is more than an online local business directory. It comes with “social” features, making it a suitable replacement for Google Plus.
People can tap the “+ Follow” button under your listing on their mobile devices and receive updates from your business. You can use the feature to send out a special “Welcome Offer” when someone opts in to help incentivize people to shop at your store.
Lastly, Google My Business comes with interactive features like reviews and a Q&A section. With 91% of younger customers using online reviews to make purchasing decisions, engaging and monitoring brand sentiment can help you build a stronger “know, like, and trust factor” with your audience.
Facebook is the largest social media network in the world. On average, 1.82 billion people log into the site every day, and it boasts a whopping 2.7 billion monthly active users.
While the platform started to keep in contact with friends and family, it’s morphed into a powerful and lucrative business tool.
Building an online community that loves your brand is one of the keys to success.
The only problem?
Starting from scratch is a challenge, and it was a problem the Google Plus community solved well.
Fortunately, you can replace it with two Facebook options: Groups and Business Pages.
Over 1.4 billion people use Facebook Groups every month, and the feature comes with a ton of tools to help you provide value to your audience and encourage engagement.
With Facebook Business Pages, you can replace your Google Plus page and get features like reviews, instant messaging and automated replies, special offers, and analytics.
Plus, if you have the budget, you can access these 2 billion people via targeted Facebook Ads.
By now, many of us have created a LinkedIn personal profile to keep up with colleagues, apply for jobs, and promote our brands.
When used correctly, LinkedIn can take things a step further and help you generate leads and establish yourself as an industry thought leader.
One of the best features on Google Plus was circles.
You could create different ones and then add people to them. It was a way to segment your updates and keep your professional and business lives separate.
LinkedIn helps you keep this balance. You can connect with co-workers, ask for introductions to potential clients, and share content to boost your business or personal brand.
Do you own a visually appealing e-commerce brand?
Then it’s time to tap into the power of Pinterest.
While Google Plus was good for sharing updates and creating a community, it didn’t have a way for you to boost sales.
Pinterest, on the other hand, has exploded its e-commerce capabilities.
First rolling out buyable pins and then promoted pins, the platform encourages users to take action on their feeds’ inspirational content.
However, before you head on over to Pinterest, know the site is not for everyone.
As the site is a visual search engine, your brand needs that element to succeed. If your brand doesn’t appeal to the platform’s niche interests and demographics, it might not be the best Google Plus replacement for you.
Instagram is one of the best social media platforms for relationship building and showing your customers the humanity behind your brand.
This is especially true if you want to target Millennials and Gen Z. 13-17-year-olds are the largest demographic on the app, followed by 18-20-year-olds and 30-49-year-olds.
Google Plus could upload photos, multi-person instant messaging, text and video calls, and location tagging. Instagram has all that and then some.
While savvy coaches and entrepreneurs use the app to sell in the DMs, Instagram has released more shoppable features and ads since being acquired by Facebook.
For e-commerce brands, it’s a potential gold mine.
Still not convinced these social media platforms can benefit your business?
Here are some of the ways these Google Plus alternatives can help grow your audience and boost sales:
Using one or more social media networks to replace Google Plus will help you spread the word about your business.
The more you show up online, the more you expose people to your brand, and the more people will remember who you are and buy your products or services.
Content marketing is king. It’s a free way for you to get in front of your ideal customer, solve a problem, and get them onto your website.
Using your social media platforms to promote your latest blog post or YouTube video may increase the number of eyeballs on your products or services and lead to more sales.
With platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest offering in-depth analytic reports, you can deep dive into what is resonating with your audience.
You can also use features like polls to survey your followers and find out what products or services you should release next.
People expect businesses to handle their customer service questions and complaints through social media quickly.
Using apps like Facebook, you can solve complaints ASAP, avoid sales from falling through the cracks, and build meaningful relationships with your customers.
As you can see, there is no duplicate for Google Plus. Each of the networks we have looked at is similar but doesn’t offer the same features.
When it comes to finding a suitable Google Plus alternative, what features are most important to you?
The post 5 Alternatives to Google Plus for Your Local Business appeared first on Neil Patel.
How do you ensure your YouTube channel is reaching the right audience and helping you achieve your marketing objectives? By performing a YouTube audit.
With over 2 billion active users, YouTube is among the world’s most popular social media platforms. Roughly 73 percent of US adults have a YouTube account, which means it’s an excellent opportunity for marketers to generate new leads and promote content.
But, if you want to make the most of this channel, you need to ensure your content is high-quality, targeted, and optimized.
YouTube isn’t just a social media platform. It’s also a highly sophisticated search engine, just like Google.
In other words, you need an effective YouTube search engine optimization or “SEO” strategy to maximize your chances of:
If you’re totally new to SEO, you might find this video helpful.
A YouTube audit reveals how well your channel is performing and whether it’s helping you achieve your business objectives.
Among other things, it will help you understand:
Keep in mind that over 500 hours of new content appears on YouTube every minute, which means there’s fierce competition. Everything on your channel should be geared towards standing out and providing value.
Roughly 50 percent of shoppers use online videos to decide between different products. What’s more, a whopping 90 percent of users discover new brands just by browsing their favorite YouTube channels.
That means there’s a huge opportunity to find new customers and build brand trust— if you provide users with valuable content. A YouTube audit is the best way to check if you’re leveraging your channel to its fullest potential.
Ready to overhaul your channel and ensure you’re getting the most from your video marketing strategy? Let’s get started.
You need to understand how your channel is performing right now. This is where KPIs, or key performance indicators, come in.
What exactly are KPIs, though? Well, they’re metrics that help you assess how effectively it’s generating results for your business. On YouTube, that might include watch times, views, impressions, and clicks.
With KPI data at your fingertips, you can take targeted action to improve your content, increase your subscriber base, and boost your YouTube rankings. For example, you can track where your viewer traffic comes from and your most popular videos.
You can access these KPIs through YouTube analytics, which is the platform’s metrics tool.
At a glance, you can see exactly how your channel is performing and access specific KPIs for more advanced information.
Pay special attention to which videos are doing well — and which ones aren’t. Consider adding all your videos to a spreadsheet you can edit as you work through the optimization steps.
OK, so stage one is completed.
You have your KPI breakdown, and now it’s time to take action and improve your performance. Ready to move on to stage two? Let’s check it out.
This phase is where you get to work. Keep in mind that not everyone needs to work through every step on this list. It all depends on your KPI analysis and your specific business objectives.
In phase two of your YouTube audit, we will:
I’ll walk you through each step.
Branding is a great place to start your audit. Why? Because YouTube is a visual platform.
Color can boost your brand recognition by up to 80 percent, so it’s crucial you spend time designing unique visual branding to stand out from your competitors.
How do you do this? First, establish your brand identity and create a clear, consistent marketing strategy. Consistency can improve your revenue by around 23 percent, so ensure your messaging translates well across all platforms before moving forward.
Once you’ve established your identity, you’re ready to begin, starting with the highlight video. This video showcases what your channel stands for. It shows users what people can expect if they watch your content.
In other words, choose your headline video wisely. Here’s a good example.
Tasty is a home cooking channel. The highlight video is a product review for a home air fryer, which speaks to their target audience.
What else can we say about Tasty? Two things. They use a colorful, branded avatar, and an eye-catching channel banner.
Google recommends a minimum banner size of 2048 x 1152 px, with your aspect ratio set to 16:9. You can use platforms like Canva to resize and optimize both your avatar and your banner.
Remember, successful marketers know how important it is to consider branding from a user’s perspective, so look at your channel objectively.
If content doesn’t serve your marketing strategy or is not consistent with your branding, delete it!
Do any videos feel “off” or outdated? Are they inaccurate or wrong for your channel? Simply remove them and give your channel an instant uplift.
Just make sure to update links if any of your content sends users to those videos.
When it comes to a highly competitive platform like YouTube, metadata is your friend. Metadata is the collection of words and phrases you use to describe a video’s content.
Remember, YouTube is a search engine. It uses keywords, or key phrases, to connect users with the search results they’re looking for. Using the right keywords in your metadata can seriously increase the chances of ranking in search results and finding the right audience.
Here’s an example. If someone searches for “curling iron product review,” here’s the first result:
You’ll notice the channel creator uses “curling iron review” in the title, and it’s in the thumbnail, too.
There’s also mention of curling irons in the description and caption, so all signs point to this being a curling iron video:
Every video should have a relevant title and meaningful description to help users decide if it’s what they’re looking for.
How do you edit your own metadata? It’s simple.
First, go back to the YouTube Studio and open “content” from the left-hand menu. You’ll see a list of all your videos.
Next, click the little square to the left of your video and select the “edit” button when it pops up.
Work through each option, starting with the title.
Keywords are the search terms users type in when they’re looking for videos. If you don’t use the right keywords in your metadata, people won’t find your videos.
That said, how do you know which keywords to include? It all starts with keyword research.
Let’s work through an example.
Say I have a video on how to make chocolate chip cookies. I start by Googling some terms I might search to see which ones bring up video results. (This is also a great way to find inspiration for new ideas!)
If I search “chocolate chip cookies,” or “how to make chocolate chip cookies,” Google shows me YouTube videos.
“How to make perfect chocolate chip cookies” is the top result, so including “how to” might help me rank higher in YouTube rather than just calling it a chocolate chip cookie video.
On the other hand, if I search for something general, like “baking,” I don’t see any videos. This tells me to use a more specific keyword.
Next, use Ubersuggest to check:
This helps you identify which terms to use in your title and description. Once you’ve identified your keywords, you can optimize your videos.
If someone likes your video, chances are they want to see similar content. This is where playlists come in handy.
YouTube playlists are like shelves in a physical store. You group similar videos together in a playlist, or shelf, and visitors browse through your collection.
Here’s why they’re a great idea.
Want to set up a YouTube playlist? You can create and manage a playlist in YouTube studio.
Make sure to use keywords in the title to increase your visibility in the search results, and only include relevant videos in each playlist to keep your messaging consistent.
The best way to generate leads from your YouTube channel? Include direct call-to-actions or CTAs.
CTAs direct people take action, such as:
Here’s an example from one of my own videos. As you can see, I’m using two CTAs.
See how CTAs might generate more leads and increase your channel engagement?
Placement’s important, too. Here’s what you should know.
You can find these tools in the video manager section of your YouTube studio.
Now it is time to implement everything you’ve learned. Watch every video from start to finish, noting problems and changes you want to make.
Here’s what to consider.
The bottom line? Just because you have YouTube subscribers and people watch your videos doesn’t mean you’re using your channel effectively.
Remember, YouTube is more than a social networking site. It’s a whole search engine all of its own, so you need to keep basic search optimization strategies in mind if you want to stand out.
Remove outdated content, tweak your meta descriptions and CTAs, and ensure you’re sending out a strong, consistent brand message. Check out Ubersuggest if you need some more help with keyword research and optimization.
Have you performed a YouTube audit on your channel? What did you discover?
Google has an impressive resume of highly impactful, successful products. For instance, products like Google Search and Google Docs are used by millions around the world daily.
But no business is perfect. Even the most inspired innovation can fail if the market just doesn’t get into it. That’s why, over the last few years, Google has started to cut their losses and kill products that never quite hit the mark.
Google Play Music, Google Glass, and now Google Hangouts on Air have been retired, which may come as a surprise to users who relied on these products.
Don’t worry, though—it’s not all bad news! While you may have lost your favorite live-streaming service, there are plenty of Google Hangouts on Air replacements.
Google Hangouts on Air launched in 2012, with Google adding live-streaming and community elements to their already existing Hangouts platform.
At the time, it made perfect sense. Effective live-streaming services weren’t particularly well-designed, so Google had a massive window to establish themselves in this space.
Their plan worked for a while. Google managed to get President Obama and Pope Francis to live-stream on its platform. Combine this with a list of solid support features, and Google Hangouts on Air managed to attract quite a few users.
This usage didn’t last long, though, as the market began to flood with competitors. Eventually, YouTube Live began to pick up steam, and live video was a more natural extension to that platform. Over time, it became clear Hangouts on Air should be absorbed by YouTube Live.
Here’s a list of ten Google Hangouts on Air replacements on the market. Whether you’re live-streaming a podcast, a Q&A, or your cooking channel, you may find the tools you need here.
Be.Live is a simple, reliable streaming tool. If you’re looking to expand your audience and reach, Be.Live lets you stream on sites like Facebook Live and YouTube Live.
You can sign up using your Facebook or Google accounts and quickly set up your stream in either space.
Beyond that, there’s a surprisingly deep level of customization in Be.Live’s presentation. When you start using Be.Live, you’ll be able to add your logo, custom frames, and branding colors to the stream.
If you want to go even further, you can add name tags and agendas to the lower third of the screen during your streams. You can even download your streams in HD once they’re over and upload them to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Whether you’re looking to stream on Facebook Live or YouTube Live, Be.Live could be a strong Google Hangouts on Air replacement. You can try their basic plan for free to test it out yourself.
Discord is often seen as a gaming-centric platform. While there are certainly plenty of gamers using this service, what makes Discord stand out is their emphasis on two things: community and transparency.
This is a live-streaming tool that works best if your community is already on Discord. This doesn’t mean it’s off-limits to you if your audience doesn’t already use it, but it may take some extra legwork to get people on board.
If your audience and products revolve around gaming, you want to try Discord. It lets streamers display the games they play and the activities they’re engaging in. This is a fantastic Google Hangouts on Air alternative if you’re looking for a way to engage with this demographic.
At this point, you’ve probably heard about Zoom. In fact, “zooming” seems to be the word used for video chatting, even if a different platform is being used! But there’s a good reason it’s on everyone’s mind: Zoom is a robust live-streaming product.
One of the most compelling points of replacing Google Hangouts on Air with Zoom Live is that many communities are already familiar with Zoom. Millions of people are using Zoom daily, whether for work, school, or catching up with old friends.
Getting users to adopt an entirely new service or tool can be challenging, no matter how loyal your community is. Zoom’s level of familiarity may make it easier to retain your audience while you transition from Google Hangouts on Air.
Zoom offers a variety of features like virtual hand raising and polling to keep your community engaged. The fact that they let you stream your webinars and meetings to multiple platforms simultaneously is just the icing on the cake.
Streamyard is built around a simple idea: create an experience for live streamers that’s easy to learn and use.
This platform doesn’t ask you to download anything; it runs in your browser. If you already have a following on LinkedIn, Facebook, or YouTube, you can live-stream to all of them using Streamyard.
Streamyard recognizes complexity makes it difficult for streamers to connect with their communities. If you’re looking for a Google Hangouts on Air replacement that removes technical barriers and limitations, this is a tool you’ll want to try.
With useful features like audience comments popping up on screen and call to action buttons in your streams, Streamyard simplifies your live-streaming process so you can focus on what matters most: your audience.
In the hunt for your Google Hangouts on Air alternative, you’re going to find lots of products that promise to offer more. Many alternatives promise more features and integration.
But Talky.io doesn’t take that approach. Instead, Talky addresses a smaller niche, focusing on providing a simple video chat tool designed for groups of up to 6 people.
What Talky lacks in features, it makes up for with its simplicity and ease of use. Using Talky is as simple as starting a chat and sending your room link to the people you need to chat with.
In a sea of feature-heavy tools, Talky might seem underwhelming at first. But if you’re looking for a Google Hangouts on Air replacement anyone should be able to use, this may be a fantastic option.
For a lot of streamers, this is the gold standard of live-streaming tools. What makes OBS Studio so noteworthy? Simple: the customization.
Aside from being a free, open-source software you can download and start using instantly, it’s sponsored by some of the biggest names in live-streaming. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch have all supported OBS Studio. It’s safe to say if you have a favorite streamer, they’re likely using this.
Who is OBS Studio for? Well, it’s technically for everyone looking to start live-streaming. This depth makes it such a powerful tool, but it can also present some issues.
Think of it this way: OBS Studio is like Photoshop, with most other alternatives being more like Canva. OBS Studio is often a great tool for veterans of the live-streaming world and those not afraid to get their hands dirty.
Speaking of noteworthy live-streaming tools, we can’t ignore the current king of the live-streaming world: Twitch.
The company that put Mixer out of business, there’s no denying Twitch is one of the most popular live-streaming tools on the market. And while many think Twitch is a platform primarily about gaming, that’s not the case.
Businesses regularly promote their products on Twitch with marathons of shows. Art and philosophy streams have also started to take the spotlight, with a heavy emphasis on community engagement.
While it can be challenging to establish a presence on the site, success on Twitch may mean a massive increase in your community size and quality. It’s worth looking into if you’re looking for a Google Hangouts on Air replacement.
Spreaker does one thing, and they do it exceptionally well: it supports podcasts.
Whether you’re looking to host, create, distribute, or even monetize your podcast, Spreaker has something for you.
The reason Spreaker made the Google Hangouts on Air alternative list is simple: there aren’t enough tools dedicated to podcast live-streamers. What really makes Spreaker stand out is they go above and beyond for podcasters.
With Spreaker, you can publish your podcast quickly and easily using their Content Management System. From there, you can distribute your podcast across major podcast platforms.
Spreaker handles monetization, too, letting streamers auto-insert ads at any point in their podcasts.
If you’re serious about podcasting, Spreaker is a tool you should consider.
If you’re wondering which of these tools Google wants you to use, it’s probably YouTube Live. Initially, Google tried to merge Google Hangouts on Air with YouTube Live, but the transition didn’t go incredibly well.
Still, there’s an appeal to using YouTube Live. Aside from the rich infrastructure YouTube and Google offer—plenty of features and a robust support system—live streaming on YouTube is made simpler by one thing: the platform understands user expectations.
When users are on YouTube, they already expect to consume content. This means when you create live content for them to engage with, it’s probably an easy transition for them to make.
Likewise, if you love the Google Hangouts on Air ecosystem, you’ll probably feel right at home in the relatively similar YouTube Live ecosystem.
As far as innovation goes, Facebook Live doesn’t offer much that YouTube Live and Twitch don’t. That said, Facebook Live does have one ace up their sleeve: when you stream on this platform, you have access to billions of people.
We can argue about how impactful social media sites like Facebook have been in popular culture, but one thing is for sure: everyone and their grandmother is on Facebook. This means if you want access to a massive audience, being on Facebook may be a good idea.
Their live streaming tools aren’t as robust as others on this list, and the tools aren’t tailored to a particular industry or genre. But, Facebook has a reach that’s second to none.
Seeing your favorite live streaming platform vanish is frustrating. But there’s no reason to worry about the future of your content. As long as you’re willing to explore and adapt, you’re sure to find the right tool for your brand.
Gaming, cooking, and art streams have great community-focused tools like Twitch, Discord, and Talky.
Streamers looking for massive audiences and reach can use Facebook Live and YouTube Live.
Whatever you’re looking for, you may find the right Google Hangouts on Air replacement right here.
What alternative to Google Hangouts on Air is your favorite?
Instagram SEO is important for businesses and brand owners who are thinking about getting more eyes and more engagement on their Instagram posts. How can you optimize search for the posts you create?
Initially, searching was limited to hashtags or user accounts. A later feature to Instagram is searching by interest, not just by hashtags or user accounts. Here’s the announcement from Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, with a snapshot of how you can use this feature.
Being able to search by interest broadens your opportunities as a consumer of Instagram, allowing you to dive in and explore topics of interest without the limitations of specific hashtags. Users can search for topics or by interest, just as you would on Google.
How can you create content on Instagram that is optimized for users who are searching by interest?
Initially, to search for something on Instagram, users were limited to searching for hashtags or searching for account names. When you would type something into the search bar, a drop-down menu would appear with options for hashtags that accounts have used in their posts or in account names themselves.
This is relatively limiting. Imagine that you wanted to search for inspiration for a project, or vacation photo ideas, or architecture, or any number of other ideas. Maybe you want to see how people are using a product, integrating a new trend, or wearing a certain kind of outfit. You could only find these things if you knew the hashtag that consumers were all using.
Herein lies the problem: What about the posts where they forgot to use the hashtag? Or what if you don’t know about a specific hashtag and are missing out on lots of posts?
Search by interest broadens your search horizons by allowing you to scout, in essence, the entire content of an Instagram post.
Now when you type in a topic of interest, the results come up with a wider range of posts.
Also, Instagram shows you other related topics and keeps you clicking, scrolling, and exploring more.
This is great news for your business if you are using Instagram to get the word out about your brand. Here are just a few reasons you should be glad for the feature:
Using the feature itself is a pretty straightforward process. In short, start searching. But let’s take a look at how you can get the most out of this feature, both as a user and a marketer.
To start, find the magnifying glass icon on your desktop interface or mobile app. That’s where you’ll type in your topic of interest. Let’s look at how it works.
Now the fun begins. You can start clicking around to find more ideas.
You can click on more ideas and dive down that rabbit hole, where Instagram and Instagram content creators hope you’ll stay for a while.
With that rabbit hole in mind, let’s talk about how you can be using this feature for your own marketing needs. Your goals on Instagram likely include the following:
Instagram SEO helps with all those things because people who are already searching for what you’re creating and selling can find you more easily. But how do you make the most of it? It’s all about making sure you’re writing keywords and key phrases that your customers are looking for.
So, now it’s not just about making sure you’ve included every possible hashtag that they may search for or click on, but also creating content in your post that includes those keywords.
Here are some examples from our searches above. You’ll notice in the copy the natural use of the key phrases we searched for.
Now that we’ve talked about this feature that explodes the opportunities available with Instagram SEO, let’s get into why Instagram SEO is so important in the first place.
Spelled out, it’s Instagram Search Engine Optimization. That little magnifying glass signifies the powerful search engine that allows users to actually seek out specific posts that they are looking for. That search engine uses data and algorithms to show the users’ posts they are likely to be interested in.
Optimization is the driver of your success with search. By optimizing your Instagram posts, you are seeking to ensure that you have included the words, phrases, hashtags, and so on that will feed into that algorithm and show your content to interested searchers.
It’s about doing what you can to get to the top of those searches and be seen by a maximum number of people.
Why should you even worry about Instagram SEO? Well, it’s really about optimizing everything you do. As you go through the time and effort to create your Instagram posts, you want to make sure that you’re getting the most engagement and ROI on each of them.
With over one billion users on Instagram, many of whom are Generation Z or millennials, it’s a very popular place for marketers. You want to stand out among the competition and have your content be seen.
When you think of SEO, the first thing that comes to mind is probably website SEO and optimizing that space for search engines, such as Google or Bing. That is the most common usage when we’re throwing around the word SEO.
However, when you think about it, SEO can mean any kind of search engine optimization, whether it’s a juggernaut like Google or Instagram or another smaller, although no less significant, platform.
Here’s something to remember though. Search engines like Google search all websites, including social media platforms. That means that when people are searching for the kinds of things you are posting about, Google may crawl your social media pages too and pull results from there.
When you are creating content to be optimized to Instagram’s search features, you may also want to think about how Google is analyzing that content, to get better traffic, whether customers are using the internal search on Instagram or Google.
Let’s talk a little bit about how to improve your Instagram SEO, especially with this “search by interest” feature in mind. This really all comes down to what you’re posting, what you’re writing in your post, and how you go about using Instagram as a business.
As we mentioned above, Google crawls Instagram and other social media sites like any other website. This is especially true for profiles or usernames. When people search for your brand on Google, your social media pages are likely to come up. So make sure that your username mirrors your brand name closely.
Here’s an example, using Google to search for fiddle leaf figs on Instagram. Of course, to get Instagram in the top results, we had to use the word “Instagram” in the search, but it shows you the power of having your top keyword in your username and bio.
Remember what your ideal clients are searching for. Make sure those top keywords are in your bio and description, and in your captions. You can use them naturally, in your sentences, but make sure the most important ones are near the top of your captions.
Also, don’t neglect hashtags. Yes, this feature is opening the world of Instagram to more keyword usage, but hashtags are still a big player in Instagram SEO. Use relevant keywords that your customer base is interacting with, and use them often.
According to an article from Later, which referenced data directly from Facebook and Instagram, the company uses similar keywords and key phrases to identify which accounts are related to one another. This is important for Instagram’s Explore feature, which pulls in new posts and accounts that may be of interest to you, based on posts and accounts you have interacted with in the past.
Thinking about this as a marketer, you want to make sure that your captions, as well as your username and bio, contain the keywords and phrases that would connect your account with similar ones, such as your competition. This way, when Instagram users are interacting with their content, yours will also show up in their Explore fields.
Needless to say, you need to be thorough and relevant in your captions. If you sell fiddle leaf figs, as we mentioned above, you need to make sure that fiddle leaf fig is in all of your posts, even if the photo is about something only related to fiddle leaf figs or your brand.
For instance, if you are posting a sale announcement or a holiday greeting, make sure you are still getting that keyword in there. While you’re at it, make sure your photos are always on brand, too. Everything should be about fiddle leaf figs in the end.
All the tips and tricks aside, search engines are constantly working to be more human. And the more human you can be, the better. Some of the best tips for social media SEO include just being authentic, natural, and just showing up a lot. Keep the “social” in social media and be kind. The quickest way to get hidden or pushed down the algorithm is to just have poor etiquette on these types of platforms.
To really up your Instagram SEO game, you may want to explore the number of Instagram analytics tools and other programs that can help you learn how your Instagram strategy is working. Here are just a few to get you started.
It’s true: SEO is a key part of your entire content strategy. They are interrelated and critical in our ever-growing digital world, and that doesn’t stop with your website and your blog. Instagram SEO and all other social media platforms you are using consistently should also be part of this equation.
This “search by interest” feature certainly makes it easier, opening a world of possibilities as users can now find your content based on your whole caption, not just your hashtags, but now the onus is on you to make sure that you are taking full advantage of those captions.
How are you planning to create captions that are more searchable for your customer base?