7 Easy Ways to Promote Your Business on Pinterest

Pinterest is one of our most-recommended social media sites to get started with for all businesses, so knowing how to use it is important. Thanks to Pinterest’s continually growing user base and activity levels, it’s getting more and more important to promote your business on Pinterest.

Especially now, with the exciting new buyable pins coming out, Pinterest has proven to be an up-and-coming juggernaut in the world of marketing. To make sure you make the most of Pinterest as it’s available now, we’ve got 7 easy tips and tricks to promote your business on Pinterest so you can boost your exposure, client list, and profits.

1. Make Your Pins About More than Just Your Products

You have to think about your target audience on Pinterest and how to reach them. You need to make pins about more than just your products—they need to be completely audience focused, in a way that I think you could argue is more prevalent than other social media sites, including Facebook.

I’ve mentioned in the past that I love Pinterest, both professionally and personally (especially when it comes to the personal use!). If I’m going to spend my downtime on a social media site, it’s probably going to be Pinterest, and I’m not alone.

When you catch people in their leisure and they’re actively browsing in their categories of interest, it’s not necessarily difficult to catch their attention—if your pins are focused on them.

Some products are difficult to make appealing to Pinterest’s audience, so you have to find a way to make your products seem appealing to them. Lowes has done a fantastic job; understanding the large target audience of Pinterest, instead of posting pictures of their paint or floor tiles, they focus on how their products can improve your life and fit into your lifestyle. The offer organizational tips, all which link back to their DYI projects and their own products.

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Similarly, few people will click on a Pin (or save a pin) of just an image of some of Publix’s products (for those who don’t know Publix, it’s a great grocery store in the South). Publix has taken care of this by pinning recipes, which takes you to their recipes online, which encourages you to add all the ingredients to a shopping list, which you can then upload to their app.

promote your business on Pinterest
The pin from Publix…
promote your business on Pinterest
And the site it takes you to.

How can your business successfully target the interests of the audience on Pinterest? How creative can you get? The more audience focused you are, the better—that’s what will get you the results here.

2. Pin in the Right Category

Not pinning your pin in the best category for it will do nothing but have your marketing efforts come up short. There are a lot of categories, so it can be hard to choose, but it’s pretty important.

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I’ve seen Etsy sellers who advertise products like custom made Harry Potter lamps in the “home section,” when really they would be better placed (and ultimately find much more success) in the “books” category, where avid Harry Potter readers are more likely to stumble upon it.

Again, as we talked about in the section above, it’s not necessarily just about the category you think your product fits in—it’s the categories your target audience will be most likely to be participating in. If you can find a way to portray your business and product in a way that suits your audience and their category, you’ll be a lot better off.

3. Promote Your Pinterest on Your Website

promote my business on Pinterest
At the bottom of the image, you can see the PinIt button that will allow Pinners to pin the image directly onto Pinterest.

While the idea of this post is to promote your business on Pinterest, promoting your Pinterest on your website can actually help serve this purpose.

 

Putting a button enabling users to pin your product or page directly to pinterest is a great way to encourage them to do so. And the more people pinning (and leaving their own comments and descriptions), the more exposure you get. Sometimes it’s even better when it’s a pinner spreading the word of mouth instead of you promoting your own products, and these pins can carry more weight.

Have a link to your main Pinterest profile, but also feature Pinterest buttons on each product so that users can easily share it and save it. Who knows, they may even come back later to buy again, along with the other pinners who see their pin.

4. Don’t Forget About your “About Me” Section

Any time you can promote your website, you want to take advantage of that. Not only does this mean having a link to your website not just in the individual pins, but also on your public profile in a place that’s easy to see and easy to click.

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You can also write a quick bio of yourself and/or your business, and you can choose a profile picture. This is a great place to show the personality of your brand and your business. Keep in mind that while some people will know how you are when they find and follow you on Pinterest, some likely will not—this is where you can tell them.

5. Make Your Boards Interesting and Creative

You want to have more just interesting pins. Just like Facebook, it’s not just about the individual pins and posts, but about the entire profile overall and the impression it leaves.

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Your individual boards need to be exciting for people coming to your profile. For each board’s main picture, you should choose a pin that represents it well but that has a particularly appealing image. Each board should also have a great description, in the voice of your business, explaining what it’s about.

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Even if these are just small details, they add up quickly—it makes your profile appear more full, and it’s all about the small things to make your profile and your business stand out.

6. Keep it Relevant

While some pins will circulate for years on end (almost every time I’m on Pinterest I see the same Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup recipe, which yes, is delicious), when you first pin them, you’ve got a better chance of them being received well (and shared) if it’s relevant.

Seasonal pins work incredibly well, no matter what you’re pinning. Even if only the description is seasonal, it can work wonders.

For example, I saw a pin from Lowes showing how to build organized closets just in time for “spring cleaning.” Another example is the pin below, promoted by Fage, which is a recipe perfect for summer that features their yogurt, and is more appealing to pinners than just an image of the yogurt would be.

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The more relevant your pin is to what’s going on right now, the more likely it is to get more responses, repins, and engagement at that time.

7. Use Promoted Pins

PScreen Shot 2015-05-12 at 12.00.30 AMromoted Pins are a great tool and, like Twitter, have a seamless integration with the rest of the site’s pins so that yours doesn’t stand out—but this is a good thing! You want your pins to stand out because of the great images and content, not because it stands out as an ad.

 

Promoted Pins help make sure that a lot of relevant users are seeing your pin, and it’s Pinterest’s paid advertising platform.

We’ve got another coming out soon explaining Promoted Pins and how to best use them, so keep an eye out for it!

Final Thoughts

Having great images and some catchy descriptions are a great way to get your pins noticed, but those factors alone aren’t quite enough to pull the weight of successfully promoting your business on Pinterest.

Like all social media platforms, when you’re marketing on Pinterest, a lot of thought has to go into how you’re going to connect with your audience, how to make your content truly stand out (and what the best way to deliver it is), and how to promote your business without it all seemingly like a cheap ad.

Pinterest is a great tool—if you don’t have it, we recommend all small and medium sized businesses get one. If you do have it, take a look at using it more. With buyable pins coming, Pinterest is making a big dent in the online marketing world and it’s here to stay.

 

Do you use Pinterest for your business? How do you use it? Have you tried Promoted Pins yet?

The Best Times to Post on Facebook for Businesses

When is the best time to post on Facebook for businesses?

This is a question that we get asked all the time. While we’ve touched on it in past articles, with organic reach declining it’s more important than ever to know when your posts will best be seen, and even when users are most likely to engage with them.

So how can you find the best times to post on Facebook? When are those best times?

If you want a lot of eyes on your posts and content, you have to know what times work best for you, and see which of them works best your particular audience.

In this post, we’ll show you our personal data on what we’ve found to be the best times for businesses to post on Facebook, as well as showing you how to your specific best times and how to schedule posts to take advantage of them.

Best Times to Post on Weekdays

Weekdays tend to be among the most popular times to post, and that’s not only because business hours are continuous (so if you’ve got a 9-5 employee working on your social media, they may only post here), but also because social media has become part of our routine.

During the week, there are few times when there won’t be at least some of your users are online if you have a lot of them. The hard part is finding the most concentrated times.

As a general rule, we’ve found that for our audience, posts uploaded at 10am or later tend to perform well. Posting early gives you the edge to still have your post in the Newsfeed later. Activity and our audience’s usage stayed consistent from 10am to about 7 or 8pm on weekday evenings, with peak times occurring often between 3 and 4pm, sometimes with peaks happening in the afternoon. You can see this information in our chart below:

best times to post on Facebook for businesses

Out of all the weekdays, Fridays tended to have the least activity, but they still did ok for traffic, still beating out weekends. That being said, weekends shouldn’t be dismissed, and they have their own best times to post, and their own value. 

Best Times to Post on Weekends

It’s important to keep that in mind when you’re posting on the weekends, your audience’s best times may be drastically different than another Page’s. A college student’s weekend—and the times they’re even awake—are very different than a thirty-five year with a 9-5 job during the week. While our data can help you, you’ll want to check your Insights for your own current best times, which we’ll talk about later on in the blog post.

Come Saturdays, don’t even think about posting early. While our Page Views started getting some views around 8am, engagement didn’t increase until a little later on in the day. After about 9pm on a Saturday though, just about all activity dropped off entirely, so you’ll want to post a few hours before that to still get some hits on your post.

On Sundays activity on our Page didn’t start until 9am. We had slightly more concentrated blocks of activity around 10 am and 4pm. Posting just before these times on a Sunday will be your best bet.

It is important to note that for our data, the most concentrated times with highest levels of activity did not happen at all on either Saturday or Sunday—they happened all on weekdays. That doesn’t mean weekends should be ignored entirely, but it’s good to take note that a lot of your focus and your most important posts should go to busy times during the week.

Best Overall Times for Businesses to Post on Facebook

So, what have we found to be the absolute best times—on the absolute best days—for businesses to post on Facebook?

These times aren’t just good times—these are what we found to be the absolute best times to post on Facebook for businesses.

  • Mondays at 2pm and 4pm
  • Tuesdays at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm
  • Wednesdays at 3pm and 4pm
  • Thursdays at 3pm, 6pm, and 7pm

Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays all got activity—but not necessarily a lot of it. Friday got the most (with engagement factored in, which our chart doesn’t show), then Sunday, and then Saturday had the least.

If you want to post on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the best times are:

  • Friday 10am-6pm
  • Saturday 9am-6pm
  • Sunday 10am and 4pm

Again, for reference, here’s what our data provided us with:

best times to post on Facebook for businesses

As mentioned though, these best times work as a great guide line and are fantastic for split testing, but it’s important to be able to tune into your audience and really see what times work best for you, and for them.

Here’s how to do that….

Finding Your Best Time

With the differences in how different users utilize Facebook, it’s up to you to figure out when your best time is to post. These are the times that work best for us, and they’re a great starting period.

Again, to find the best time for your exact page and your exact audience, the best thing you can do is to test out a few posts on each of the suggested times listed above (and a few others, if those don’t work for you).

Your Page’s Insights is the best way to see what’s working for you so far, and to help you find the best times your audience is already active. When you go to your Insights, go to the Posts tab and it will automatically show you when your fans are online.

best times to post on Facebook for businesses

Test a few similar posts at set times over the course of a few weeks and monitor their progress on your Insights post tabs. From here, you can—and should—evaluate for reach (how many people are seeing your post) and number of clicks, likes, shares, and comments on each post individually.

Scheduling Posts Ahead of Time

It’s not enough just to know the best times to post; you actually have to have great content to post in them, and you have to make sure you’re hitting those time slots. One of the easiest ways to do this—to post the right content at the right time—is to create great content ahead of time and schedule it to post later, especially if you’ve got that 9-5 social media marketing employee who doesn’t feel like working unnecessary overtime.

Facebook now allows you to schedule posts and run them at a later time.

To schedule a post on Facebook, you’ll start from your Page’s Timeline. Click on the box where you can upload a new status, and type in your post.
In the bottom corner, next to the Publish button, you’ll see a drop down arrow. When you click it, you’ll have the option to schedule a post.

how to schedule a post on Facebook

It brings you to a screen where you can choose the exact time and date you want your post to go live. After you schedule your post, hit schedule, and you’re all set.

best times to post on Facebook for businesses

I also highly recommend Rignite for scheduling posts and campaigns, especially if you want to repeat the post at a later time or want your posts to extend cross-platform. We use Rignite, and it’s been one of the best resources I’ve got in my toolbox. You can see our Rignite review here to see if it will work for you, too.

 

To see more about being successful with Facebook marketing and Facebook Ads, you can read more about our FB Ads Formula here. You can also see more about how to promote your Facebook Page (without paying to) in this post.

Have you found the best times to post on Facebook for your Page? What time works best for your audience? Leave us a comment and let us know!

 

Make Purchases Directly on Pinterest with New Buyable Pins

Some exciting news has recently been announced for online businesses, or businesses who do any amount of ecommerce work. Pinners will soon be able to purchase directly from Pinterest, not even needing to go off-site.

buyable pins; make purchases directly on Pinterest
Image courtesy of Pinterest.com

Pinterest—a popular social media platform resembling an online scrapbook for wishlists, recipes, and a variety of other assorted interests— is a relatively new platform, but a frequently used one. Its ad platform is also climbing the ranks, first with their Promoted Pins, and now with buyable pins.

So far, it looks like buyable pins are going to break into the platform only on iPhone and iPad users at first. There’s no word if or when buyable pins will be available for Android and desktop users, but my guess is that once they hammer out any issues and are ready to expand, it will eventually become available to all platforms.

How Buyable Pins Work

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 6.29.57 PMBuyable pins is a massive breakthrough for Pinterest, and will likely have a huge affect on marketers and pinners. Some exciting news: there is no added fee for either merchants or users to purchase directly from Pinterest. My guess is that this may change once the feature has really taken off, with Pinterest potentially charging merchants an extra fee once it’s been proven how valuable and profitable buyable pins can be—which I really believe they will be.

When the feature launches, Pinterest plans to have around 2 million items ready for users to purchase.

Starting at the end of this month, pinners with mobile apple devices will be able to purchase items directly off the pins themselves, without ever leaving Pinterest. Pinterest’s servers will never actually touch or be able to access customers’ card or payment information (options for which currently include Apple Pay or credit cards), keeping their information secure, but they still only need to enter their card information into the app once.

Pinners will be able to identify “buyable pins” by a blue tag on the pins themselves. Buyable pins will appear in every part of Pinterest, including search results, recommendations, and in the feeds. If using the search options, users will be able to place a price limit and prevent higher priced items from showing up in their feeds.

buyable pins on Pinterest
Image courtesy of Pinterest.com

The pins will still appear alongside regular pins, including those pinned by users and not marketers. This will give them a seamless integration that has worked particularly well for platforms like Twitter, and has so far kept Pinterest a favorite marketing tool.

What This Means

As an avid pinner myself (I use Pinterest as a marketing tool professionally, and a virtual cookbook with thousands of recipes saved on my personal account), I can only imagine how profitable the new buyable pins will be, both for Pinterest (once they inevitably start charging) and businesses alike.

Pinterest will now not only expose potential customers to new products and companies, it can lead to major increases in impulse purchases.

Before, if customers fell in love with something, they had to leave the site to purchase, potentially going through several more screens and/or transactions to do so. Now, it will be simple, and with purchases made easy, I’d be shocked if they didn’t increase.

Pinterest has been doing a lot of work to improve their value to marketers and businesses, recently refining targeting features for their already-launched Promoted Pins platform.

Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann stated that 80% of people purchasing from Pinterest were doing this from their mobile devices, hence their choice to start releasing the feature to mobile devices first.

Final Thoughts

While Pinterest’s Promoted Pins already seems to be fairing well for them, buyable pins could propel Pinterest into a top spot in the social media advertising ranks. Businesses could see big jumps in revenue, which I’m guessing will happen, leading to more and more businesses will using buyable pins.

 

What do you think about buyable pins? Would you create buyable pins for your business to sell products once it’s available?

 

Increase Site Traffic with a Website Card on Twitter

Twitter Ads; Website card on twitter ads We don’t always talk about Twitter much on this blog, particularly since we focus on Facebook Ads, but Twitter itself is an important social media platform (one we recommend all businesses have) that increases exposure and potentially traffic to your site.

Twitter as a marketing platform offers a great deal of value. The very nature of Twitter makes it a natural environment for posts to get shared frequently, potentially even going viral, and creating a great deal of awareness about your brand.

Twitter Ads has been working hard to improve their platform to be more competitive with Facebook Ads, too. They’ve recently added Website Cards as another improvement to their ad platform, giving businesses another tool they can utilize. For businesses that use Twitter Ads, it’s a great feature, and it’s one that you should consider testing.

What is a Website Card on Twitter?

A website card on twitter is a new tool Twitter recently released with the goal of helping users to connect with your business and increase traffic to your site, increasing conversions in turn. It is part of their paid ad platform, and it allows you to give users more context and information about your site on your Twitter Ad campaigns.

The website card is made up of an image, a button, and a link to your site. Each of these components are a link to your site, so if users click anywhere on it, they’re automatically taken there. The idea is to give users more information about your business, and thus more motivation to click to it and increase your site traffic.

website cards on Twitter

By Twitter’s own statistics, which yes, may be a touch biased, Website Cards have been shown to drive 43% more engagement to your main website off of Twitter. Even if most users don’t get that massive boost, even a partial boost is one to take a look at, and at least worth testing out.

Twitter Ads can be more expensive than Facebook Ads, and often are. However, their ads also have higher click-through rates, so if you’re really seeking to boost traffic to your site, a website card on Twitter could be the way to go.

Now that we know what this tool is, we can take a look at how to set up a Website Card on Twitter Ads to start sending more traffic to your website….

How To Set It Up        

To set up a Website Card on Twitter, you have to run a Twitter Ad campaign with the objective being to increase website traffic or conversions.

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In the section of ad creation where you compose your Tweet, you have the option to create a website card. You’ll enter in your website URL, an image, a headline, and a call to action.

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A great benefit to the Website Card tool is the great variety of Call to Actions you can choose from, which offers consistently more options than Facebook’s call to action button.

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This allows you to add extra content to catch the attention of users and increase those clicks, sometimes boosting engagement but most often increasing website traffic to your site.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, any tool you can use to increase traffic to your website is a good thing—especially if it’s easy to use and cost effective. Considering Twitter Ad’s already high ratio of click-through rates, adding another tool onto your campaign to increase clicks to your site can be a great way to get that extra boost of traffic that you need.

What do you think about Twitter Ads? Have you used their Website Card feature yet? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

 

We’ve got our Beginner’s Guide to Twitter coming soon, giving you all the information you need to succeed!

7 Common Mistakes Bloggers Make That Kill Their Blog

Setting up, maintaining, and running a popular blog isn’t as easy as it sounds. In addition to doing everything right, you have to make sure you don’t do anything wrong.

There are 7 common mistakes bloggers make, most of which end up killing their blog—sometimes before it ever even really gets started.

1. You Don’t Post Consistently and Frequently

Frequency is one of the most important aspects you should consider when planning out your blog posts. Your posts need to be consistent in their frequency, and that needs to be fairly often. We post two to three times a week, but even one post a week is fine so long as you do, indeed, post every week.

blogging mistakes bloggers make
I make sure to post a minimum of two posts a week on this blog, in addition to guest posts on other sites.

Having four posts one week and no more for another month and a half doesn’t do much good, even if it’s the same amount of content. Without frequency, people stop coming back to your blog to see what’s new.

In addition to frequency, your posts should stay consistent in common theme, voice, and quality. If you’re able to keep your post consistent with all of these qualities, you’ll be a lot more likely to build an audience and keep it intact.

2. Your Posts Aren’t Long Enough

Posts that are only 200-300 words aren’t long enough to be informative, helpful, or even really entertaining.

common blogging mistakes bloggers make
You will automatically rank higher in search engines if your blog post contains more than 300 words.

Every now and then a quick post alerting followers to a special event is one thing, but overall, your posts need to be significantly longer, aiming for at least 1,000 words. If they’re much less, there isn’t enough content to be worth reading in most cases.

Keep your posts long enough to have substantial information and you’ll be good to go.

3. Not Doing Your Research

Just as with everything else in business, being successful with blogging has a little to do with luck and networking, and a whole lot to do with hard work in the form of research and preparedness.

There are a lot of things you need to know before you ever get started on each blog post. You need to research:

  • Your Audience: If you haven’t figured out who your audience is or what they’d like to read, you don’t have much to go on. While you do get to choose what you want to write about, you also have to keep your audience in mind—after all, if no one wants to read it, it won’t make a difference at all.
  • Keywords: Keyword research is so important, especially if you’re ever going to want SEO to help your site (which, at least eventually, you will). In order to make sure your blog post is seen, you need to understand what keywords tie in well with each post, and optimize the post for these keywords. Fortunately there are some really great tools that help bloggers and site owners research keywords. I recommend WordTracker and WordStream.
  • Your Competition: Not researching your competition is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. When you take a look at the sites and blogs that will be youre direct competition, you can learn a few things, like what content they have performs best, what your target audience is responding to, what keywords they are using, and—most importantly—what you can do to make your site different and offer something unique.

In addition to researching each blog post and making sure the facts you’re providing are correct (there is no faster way to lose credibility than to post wrong information), you need to do research than what you’re posting in each article, too.

Research and preparedness will pay off, even if it takes a while and doesn’t seem worth it. Trust me, it is, and neglecting this research is one of the biggest and most common mistakes bloggers make.

4. Using Weak Titles and Headlines

People won’t read your post if your headline can’t even catch their attention.

For the record, this is something I personally struggled with, despite having had a penchant in college for titling creative works. I originally made the mistake of thinking “7 Mistakes Made on Blogs” would be better than “7 Common Mistakes Bloggers Make that Kill Their Blog” because it was simple—that, however, isn’t enough.

When creating a title for each blog post, there is a lot to consider—certainly a lot more than I’d realized when I first got started. You need to keep several factors in mind to create a strong headline. Your title needs to be:

  • Keyword Oriented: Whenever possible, you need to feature the keyword you’re targeting in the title of your blog post. Even if SEO isn’t your endgame, it still shouldn’t be ignored. If you’ve got your keyword(s) in your title, you’re already on the right step. There’s a great plugin you can use to help you optimize for keywords, which you can read about here.
mistakes bloggers make
Google checks if your focus keywords is in your title, among other locations.
  • Descriptive: Your title and headlines need to be just descriptive enough that it tells visitors what they will be reading about. When users see your title, it needs to give them a basic idea of what they’re reading. People won’t click if they have no idea what page they’re going to next.
  • Brief: For all of my fellow Parks & Rec fans out there, you know how Leslie is always coming up with titles for news articles, and the titles always seem to take a solid two minutes to say? That’s the opposite of what you want. While you want your title to be descriptive, telling readers what’ll read, you also need it to be brief. An eight word maximum is a good place to stay around—descriptive, but not as long as the post itself.
  • Interesting: In addition to being both descriptive and brief, it is crucial that your title is interesting and eye-catching. Your title needs to make users want to click and want to read that post. It should offer value, often either in the forms of entertainment or informative value.

5. Not Being Audience-Focused

Some bloggers think more about what they want to write about, instead of what readers want to read. While you do get to write about what you want to write about, you also need to really consider your audience and your readers. After all, if no one wants to read it, what’s the point?

This goes back to researching your audience and knowing your niche. Sites like Quora, Yahoo answers, or industry forums (for us it’s Warrior Forum) are really useful tools when you want to see what your audience is talking about and what questions they’re asking.

The goal is to provide value in your posts, whether through entertainment or information. Answer questions or offer entertainment that your audience will want to read, and your posts will be shared and read much more frequently.

6. Not Having an Email Sign-up

In the cases of most “serious bloggers” who are using blogging to expand or boost their business, the ultimate goal isn’t to necessarily to get people to their blog—it’s to get leads from the people who come to the blog.

blogging post all bloggers make
You can also offer incentive to sign up, as we did in the form of a Mindmap.

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Without a pop-up or easy-to-spot sign-up form that prompts visitors to subscribe to your e-mail list, you won’t get those leads, and more often than not, they’ll forget to come back to your site to visit if you aren’t reminding them to.

7. Working on Auto-Pilot

If you’re blogging casually, approaching it as a casual past time is perfectly fine. If, however, you’re using it to expand or grow your business and/or client list, you can’t function on auto-pilot. Working on auto-pilot without plans for expansion, or adjusting strategies when needed, can be one of the fastest ways to kill your blog—even if it’s going strong at first.

You have to track the stats on your blog; we recommend using Google Analytics. It’s also important to come up with new ways to bring traffic to your blog, and to make sure your posts are getting the same (or better) traffic and responses as the last one.

Just because you did research once doesn’t mean that’s it—it’s important to continue to research, to come up with new ideas, and to continue to grow. You wouldn’t put your business on auto-pilot, but so many people do it with their blogs.

Final Thoughts

Blogging for business and careers is no easy task, especially when your business is relying on content marketing and blogging for its expansion. There’s a lot of thought and work that needs to go into each post, but if you can avoid these 7 common mistakes bloggers make, you’re on your way to growing your blog—and your business.

For more tools for bloggers, you can read about how to form a content marketing strategy, tools all bloggers need, and an inside look to our content marketing strategy.

Take Facebook Ads Off of Facebook with Audience Network Ads

Facebook Ads have proven to be highly effective as an ad platform—once you’ve gotten the hang of it. Some marketers greatly prefer Facebook Ads even to other highly popular platforms like Google Adwords.

Until recently, the only true limitation of Facebook Ads (aside from not always being beginner-friendly) is that these ads only stay on Facebook. While you could reach everyone in their extremely large audience, you could only show them ads on Facebook itself, and never to those who don’t have a Facebook.

Thanks to Facebook’s Audience Network Ads, this limitation no longer exists—you can actually take Facebook Ads off of Facebook entirely. Facebook’s audience network ads were announced and released about a year ago, but Facebook has recently released new tools for publishers to make it easier to create and run these ads.

What are Audience Network Ads?

The idea of Audience Network Ads is to allow Facebook advertisers to extend the reach for their ads. Audience Network Ads allow advertisers to place their ads in other mobile apps—mobile apps that aren’t Facebook. It allows for “the power of Facebook Ads, off Facebook.”

If you have a mobile app, you can advertise for your business with Facebook Ads on it, as well as advertising on other mobile apps.

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Facebook’s Audience Network Ads allows for the same featuring as their regular ads, including options like custom audiences. They started out with only featuring this type of ad when you’re seeking to drive installs or engagement on an app, but with the goal of expanding to more marketing objectives in the future.

In past tests, Audience Network Ads helped the US Navy increase their campaign reach by 33%, which is incredibly substantial when you think about what those numbers are. Rosetta stone digital marketing director TJ Hunter echoed this, noticing that these ads were highly successful in driving users to install their mobile app and reducing cost-per-impression by 40% while reaching users whose engagement and likelihood to purchase was 30% higher than “comparable” platforms.

 

The New Tools and Improvements of Audience Network Ads

For starters, a big improvement in the Audience Network Ads is that the participating apps have increased by 5x since October of 2014. That alone is a pretty massive increase.

Another improvement to audience network ads is the updates to the ads, how they look, and how they function. These updates and tools include:ss

  • Native Ad Templates: These ad templates focus on a natural, integrated placement for your ad that increases conversions, as Facebook’s research determined that banner ads at the top or bottom of screens are typically ignored entirely. These templates are best on native ad best practices. Within these templates, publishers can customize features like font, ad height, background color, and more that make the ad more integrated.

Facebook's Audience Network Ads

  • Native Ad Management Tools: Facebook is also introducing “a new way to manage multiple native ad requests to ensure that the highest performing ad is delivered at the right time to the right person.” The native ads manager will help you “pre-fetch” up to 10 ads at a time and deliver them in “the best order,” making it easier for you.
  • Horizontal Scroll: Facebook developers have found that building and optimizing a horizontal scroll (or “h-scroll”) increases ad engagement, and can increase the number of ads shown. Not surprisingly, they have created a horizontal scroll to fulfill these purposes.

How to Use Audience Network Ads

audience network ads Facebook

Audience Network Ads are like mobile ads—it is a placement option.

Audience network ads are available for all users, and don’t require any extra effort or advanced ad strategies.

To run Audience Network Ads, you simply select “Audience Network” as a placement option for your ad campaign. Like with all other ad placements, you can choose to only run an Audience Network placement campaign, or you can choose to run your ad on all placement options.

 

Final Thoughts

The opportunity to extend the reach of your Facebook ads and actually take your ad off of Facebook entirely is really exciting, especially given the case studies of success (higher engagement, conversions, and reach) that we discussed above.

What do you think about Audience Network Ads? Have you used them? Will you?

To learn more about techniques that can enhance your Audience Network Ads, read more about the importance of ad placement here, and about how to increase overall click-through rates on all of your ads here.

6 Tricks To Increase Click-Through Rates on Facebook Ads

Part of running a successful campaign is being able to increase click-through rates on Facebook Ads. This means that users are engaging with your ad, clicking away to a potential landing page (or wherever else your ad sends them), and are much more likely to convert.

Unfortunately, it can often be difficult to achieve high click-through rates on Facebook, but with these 6 easy tricks, you an increase click-through rates on Facebook Ads with some tweaking to your current campaigns or as soon as you start on your next one.

Here’s how:

1. Offer True Value Mixed with Urgency

This is one of the most important and effective ways that you will increase click-through rates on Facebook Ads. If you offer holds true value in your ad, you’re going to see a heck of a lot more clicks. It sounds obvious, but it’s still something a lot of marketers don’t do.

When a user first sees your ad, whether they realize it or not, their instinctual, unconscious thought is What’s in it for me. If there isn’t an obvious answer to this question, even if they don’t realize they’re thinking it, they won’t click on your ad.

You can offer value in a lot of ways, and one of the most common ones is by highlighting special features that come with your ad and product. A lot of times this can mean a sale. A sale is fantastic because it offers value while creating a sense of urgency, especially if you’ve got “two days left!” tacked on in the copy somewhere.

increase click-through rates Facebook Ads
This ad creates value by offering free items in addition to free shipping. It creates urgency by telling you they’re only offering this for a limited time.

That bit of urgency creates extra value in that your offer only stands for a certain amount of time. And that increases click-through rates.

2. Use Great Images

The image is what will initially capture the user’s attention and get them to read the text (and your offer). Because of this, the image you choose for your ad matters a great deal. To see our blog post on how to create or choose eye-catching images for Facebook Ads, click here. This post gives a great deal of insight on different types of images that work best for Facebook Ads.

While some advertisers go for the image that jumps out at users (and depending on your target audience, that may be the way to go), some marketers have found that choosing images that blend in with the rest of Facebook had higher conversions and click through rates.In this case, you’ll have to test out a few images for yourself to see what converts best and increases click-through rates the most with your specific audience.

3. Keep Text Concise but Interesting

If there’s too much text, it’s too much work for most users, and they’ll scroll away instead of clicking.

You only get so much text on your Facebook Ad, especially if it’s in the right hand side column. You need to make the most of it. You want your copy to be concise—short and sweet—but also interesting and descriptive. Hit the major points, and always make sure you have a call to action, like “Shop our 20% off sale, only 2 days left!”

increase click-through rates on Facebook Ads
You’ve got the call to action– Shop Boots– and can immediately see the benefits of a sale and free shipping, all in one quick glance.

As always, it’s crucial to make sure that your call to action is prevalent, and that you’re the text matches your offer, image, and landing page.

4. Use the right targeting

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you want people to click on your ads, you need to be showing your ad to the right people. If you get your content in front of the right target audience, you’ll be a lot more likely to see higher click-through rates.

To learn more about targeting on Facebook Ads, click here.

5. Split test

When you split test your ads, you have a good chance of increasing click-through rates just by seeing what works best. Even changing one aspect at a time—whether it’s the image, the offer, the text, the placement, or the targeting—can help you determine what your audience best responds to, and even who they are.

Split testing is so important, and should never be ignored, no matter how high your current click-through rates are or how much profit you’re bringing in.

 

Ad that appears in the newsfeed.
This ad has a different picture and copy than the ad below.
click through rates for Facebook Ads
The ad above, in addition to different images, emphasizes “vintage engagement rings,” while this one focuses on “ethical engagement rings.”

Part of the reason split testing is so important is because even with a great campaign, you will, inevitably, need to change it up.

Which brings us to trick number six…

6. Change it Up

Even if you have a really successful campaign, you still want to change things up every now and then. It keeps things exciting and fresh, and having new campaigns that users haven’t seen before is important to keeping click-through rates high and even increasing them.

One of the easiest ways you can do this is just by changing the image—the image, again, is what initially catches a user’s attention, so if they’ve seen the same ad before again and again, it may have lost it’s allure. To increase click-through rates and get them to click, you need something new.

To monitor how many times people are seeing your ad, you can check the frequency score for each ad campaign. This tells you how many times the same users are seeing the same ad. The higher it gets, the less likely they are to click, decreasing your click-through rates. If you start having a high frequency, it’s time change or end that particular campaign.

If you’ve found your target audience, there’s no reason to change it (aside from some split testing).

New offers can also send click-through rates skyrocketing. Instead of a percentage off a certain product, you could offer a site-wide sale, new items, or “buy one get one half off.” Even if it’s really not all that different, changing it slightly can push users over the edge to click—and to purchase.

 

What do you do to help your click-through rates stay high? Which of these tricks do you think will help you the most? Share your knowledge and experience in the comments below!

 

To see more about how to increase conversions on your landing pages once you get those clicks, click here.

How to Get a Free Coupon for Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads can get expensive pretty quickly. There’s no secret about that. And with organic reach continuing to decline with the most recent algorithm update to the Newsfeed, there’s a good chance that that bidding prices may increase as more marketers start using the system.

Even though Facebook Ads is expensive, there are plenty of ways to decrease the overall cost. One if these methods is by focusing on the new relevance scores.  Another is by finding and taking advantage of coupons and credits for Facebook Ads.

How To Get a Free Coupon for Facebook Ads

Believe it or not, there are multiple ways you can get free coupons for Facebook Ads (and you can take advantage of them all!). You can get them by:

Purchasing a hosting package from GoDaddy: Technically this one isn’t really free, but it still comes at a discount. If you purchase a three month WordPress hosting package from GoDaddy (which costs $12), then you get a $50 Facebook coupon in return. Even if you don’t necessarily need the hosting site but you know that you’ll use Facebook Ads, you’re getting $50 of advertising for only $12. A worthwhile investment.

To find out more, you can click here, where they are also offering Google Adwords and Yahoo search credits. Depending on what promotion they’re offering (and it does change), they may only have Facebook Ads credits or Google Adwords credits or Yahoo search credits, but it’s always worth taking a look at.

Finding a reseller of coupons from a Fiverr promotion: The Fiverr promotion is now over, but there are still plenty of people selling their unused coupons that they don’t want. They’re often selling them for cheap, for around $5-$15. Just as there are coupons from Fiverr floating around, there are coupons from other promotions that may be out there, too. Just be careful where you get them from, but they’re worth looking for if you’re interested.

Signing up for Facebook Go: Facebook Go is a great new tool Facebook recently released that allows marketers who spend a certain amount to get personal help from a trained Facebook Ads expert.

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In addition to the benefits of taking advantage of this awesome opportunity (helping to get the most out of the money you do spend), when you go through the Facebook Go program, you’ll get a $50 ad coupon. You can sign up for Facebook Go here.

Getting credit from Bing/Yahoo!: This doesn’t get you a Facebook Ads credit but it gives you a Bing search engine credit, so I thought I’d throw it in our list and give it a mention for anyone interested. If you want to request your coupon to get started (which I’m guessing is largely there to get people to use Bing Ads instead of Adwords), you can click here.

While these are the current ways (that we know about) to get free credits and coupons for Facebook Ads, there are always new promotions cropping up—including those from Facebook itself. If you keep your eye out, they’re not hard to find, and often very easy to take advantage of.

Keep in mind that there are plenty of places that promise $50 or $100 in Facebook credits for only a small fee. A lot of these are spam, junk, and/or a rip-off. Just because you find something that seems like a great deal doesn’t mean that it is. It is the internet, after all, and we all know how that goes.

How To Get The Most Out of It

Some people look at free Facebook Ads credits as a chance to run campaigns that don’t have to be successful, since it is, after all, free money. But if you have $50 that you can use for free advertising, wouldn’t you rather get the absolute most out of it that you can? I know I would.

Getting the most out of your Ads campaigns can certainly be challenging, as the system is complex. That’s why we’ve got our Beginner’s Guide and our popular and highly-praised FB Ads Formula. If you haven’t gone through either program (and the beginner’s guide is completely free!), make sure you do, as both are great resources that help to increase ROI quickly.

If you really want to make the most out of every penny you spend on Facebook Ads (including the money you don’t get from free Facebook Ads coupons), you can sign up for FB Client Machine.

FB Client Machine, as mentioned above, not only comes with a free facebook ads coupon, but it teaches you how to get the most out of your money. It comes with the promise of teaching you how to get businesses calling you for only $5 spent on Facebook Ads. Multiply the amount spent by 20 and you’ll have your phone ringing off the hook. This is still a new product that hasn’t launched yet but it’s one Ryan is contributing to and working hard on. We’ll give you all the new information as soon as it’s available.

Have you redeemed or acquired your free coupon for Facebook Ads yet? Do you know of any other ways to get free coupons for Facebook Ads? Let us know!

To make the most out of the money you save on Facebook Ads, make sure you learn about maximizing ROI with our FB Ads Formula.

Protect Your Page: How to Remove Fake Fans

It’s no secret that having fake fans on Facebook is bad for a lot of reasons, and that Facebook is penalizing and targeting fake likes.

Unfortunately, not everyone knew that fake fans could hurt their Page when they first signed up and purchased the now-notorious fake likes. Some think that it’s a legitimate marketing strategy, and others think it’s worth the risk.

The good news is that if you’ve purchased fake fans and fake likes on Facebook, it’s not all over for you and your Page. It is possible to remove them. It can be kind of a pain, but you can do it.

If you have fake fans and likes on your Facebook Page (and it’s possible to have them even if you didn’t purchase them), then you’ll want to remove them immediately.

Why You Want to Remove Fake Fans on Facebook

Fake likes (and the “fans” behind them) on Facebook are tempting. I completely understand the allure—you spend $100, you get 10,000 likes, and your Page looks popular and exciting.

Unfortunately, this is hardly the reality of the situation. While you will see a big increase in the number of your fans, fake likes have a hugely detrimental effect overall.

We’ve talked a lot about why fake likes are bad in the past, particularly in this post here. For those who haven’t read about it yet and want a quick rundown, here’s the gist of why fake likes aren’t good:

Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank to prioritize different Pages’ reach in users’ Newsfeeds. As we all know, organic reach is declining, and most users only see a small amount of what Pages post on their own timelines.

Part of how EdgeRank determines your priority and how much your posts get seen is by engagement, which is actually weighed pretty heavily. What this means is that if you have a large number of fans (say, perhaps due to fake likes) but relatively low engagement, your reach is going to decline even further, keeping your real fans from seeing the content you post—content they actually want to see.

One thing to always remember is that fake fans will almost never give you any kind of engagement. Most fake likes are just that—entirely fake, and are profiles created just to go through and like Pages, all available for purchasing.

One thing to take note of: just because you haven’t purchased fake likes and fake fans doesn’t mean that your Page doesn’t have any. Some of the more “high-quality” sites that sell fake likes will also like other Pages to help bolster up the profile to make it seem more real. Ultimately, with these profiles being fake, there’s no hiding it. Keeping an eye out for any profiles that flag your interest on your Page can help you detect them if they’re there.

How To Remove Fake Fans on Facebook

Particularly if you have a lot of fans but really low engagement and you know you have fake fans, you want to find them and remove them immediately. It does take some work, but in the long run, it’s exponentially worth it.

To remove fake fans and fake likes on Facebook, just follow these easy steps:

1. Find Them: It makes sense that this is the first step in deleting fake likes. You have to find them in order to remove fake fans.

In order to see a full list of your fans, you’ll start at your Page. On the right hand side, you’ll see a tool bar that says “This Week” and displays the number of new likes you’ve gotten, the post reach, and videos watched. This will help you quite literally find them on our friends list.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 2.14.38 PM

Actually identifying them is a bit harder, and there’s no perfect way to 100% know for absolute certainty that you’re definitely looking at a fake fan. But there are some common characteristics to look for, and these are often highly reliable and very telling (not to mention relatively easy to spot). They include:

  • They have an extremely long list of likes—and we’re often talking thousands of likes. Sometimes they make sense (someone interested in football and Peyton Manning, for example) and sometimes they don’t (someone who has Pages likes for hunting next to eating vegan).
  • Their personal information seems off. Has someone liked your Page who is not anywhere near your audience? Does the information you can see on their Page seem a little fishy?
  • The “fan” is from a country where fake likes commonly hail from. While there are thousands and thousands of legitimate users coming from these countries, most fake likes tend to come from Brazil, Chile, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and the Philippines.

Because most fake likes tend to come from the countries listed above, in order to start flagging fake likes quickly, you can search your fans with geography targeting (using Facebook’s Graph search) to see if you have any likes from them quickly.

2. Report Them: Once you’ve found them, you want to report them. This is really more recommended than an actual step. It helps Facebook to flag down fake accounts and get rid of them, and in the long run it can help other marketers, too (especially the ones who never paid for the fake likes and ended up getting them and then getting affected by them in collateral damage).

When you’re looking at their profile, if you scroll over to the right side of the cover photo, you’ll see an option for a drop down menu. Here you can report or block the user. If you can tell it’s a fake profile, hit report, and proceed to the next step.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 3.49.06 PM

3. Remove/Block Them: You’ve reported them, and now it’s time to get them off your Page.

Go back to their listing as a fan on your Page, and choose remove. This takes them off the list of your fans. By going back to the list, you’re making sure that you’re removing them from your Page, and not blocking them from the standpoint of your personal profile.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 4.01.52 PM

This is often effective enough to get rid of fake likes and Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 4.01.52 PMScreen Shot 2015-04-29 at 4.01.52 PMfake fans; since they’re fake, they often won’t notice you’ve deleted them and won’t be back. If you’d rather be safe than sorry, however, you can see how to block or ban them completely here.

Final Thoughts

If you have fake fans on Facebook, it’s definitely time to remove them if you haven’t already. If you don’t, you risk decreasing your reach further and having a lower priority given by Facebook.

Even if it means you’re losing out on fake fans you purchased, it’s a larger investment to remove them before it backfires on you. Facebook is removing fake likes on their own—it’s best to get rid of them yourself so you don’t get penalized if you’re losing them either way.

Don’t forget, fake fans and fake likes can still affect you directly even if you haven’t purchased any. It never hurts to check your Page’s list for them every so often.

 

Have you ever purchased fake fans on Facebook? Have you made sure to remove fake fans from your Page? Let us know what you think.

 

For more information about why fake likes are far from ideal here and more about how Facebook is killing the likes on their own here.

 

Get Rid of Unwanted Facebook Notifications For Good

Tired of annoying, unwanted notifications on Facebook constantly popping up? Whether it’s from that group from college you don’t follow anymore or a status you regret commenting on, a lot of times we end up getting pinged with notifications about things we don’t really care to be notified for. Especially with how much time and effort we put into social media, this gets old really fast.

Fortunately, it’s a lot easier than you think to get rid of unwanted notifications on Facebook—it just takes a few clicks, and there’s a few ways of going about it, depending on what you want to filter out. They’re also flexible, so you can go back and change your mind to enable the notifications at any time if you want.

Ready to never be annoyed with unwanted Facebook notifications ever again? Let’s get started.

Unwanted Group Notifications

This one is something that, for a while, drove me a little crazy. I joined a few professional groups on Facebook to help me network and learn. I was really excited about this, and more than happy to see the content in my Newsfeeds. I was less than happy to get a notification (and an e-mail) every time someone posted in the group.

It’s easy to disable these notifications, and there’s two ways to do it.

The first method to go about disabling these notifications is the same way you can disable all types of notifications (events, game invitations, etc)—you wait for a notification from the group to pop up.

When you’re viewing the notification, if you hover over it, you’ll see an “X” and a small dot. If you click on the dot, it will just mark the notification as read. If you click on the X, you’ll get the option to disable notifications or to see fewer notifications from that group (and only that group, not all groups).

unwanted notifications on Facebook

The second way to disable unwanted group notifications is to go to the actual group. At the top of the page, on the right hand side of the cover photo, you’ll see some options where you’ll notice that you’ve “joined” the group, and you’ll see a clickable button for notifications.

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If you click on it, you’ll see that you can choose what notifications you want to get from this group. You can choose to get notifications for all posts, the highlights (most popular/important), just posts from your friends, or no posts at all.

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Unwanted Game/App Invites

How many invitations have you gotten this week to play Candy Crush? Remember the good ole’ days of Farmville? Yep. You and me both.

The best way to turn off these notifications is to wait to get invited, get the notification, and click the reliable “x” that keeps you from being invited again.

As for really annoying app invites, if you want to get rid of them entirely (and not just get rid of the notifications) you can block out entire apps.

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To do this, you’ll go to “blocking” under the settings page. You can scroll down to “block apps” and block whatever apps you never want to be invited to participate in again.

unwanted apps on Facebook

Turning Off E-mail Notifications

Not only do we get hit constantly with unwanted Facebook notifications, we get hit with the unwanted notifications through our e-mail addresses, too.

To disable e-mail notifications, you’ll have to go to the drop down menu in the top right hand corner and go to your settings.

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Once you’re in your settings, go to the left side navigation bar and click on “notifications.”

You’ll see an option for e-mail notifications. Click on it.

You can then choose to disable or enable whatever e-mail notifications you’d like.

Unwanted Status Notifications on Specific Statuses

There are some really big events that we see happen on Facebook all the time—people graduate, get new jobs, get engaged and married, have a child (or adopt an insanely cute puppy), or even just post a really crazy picture. You comment on this picture, followed by all of that person’s two thousand friends. You get notifications each time someone comments, and you kind of regret commenting in the first place.

Sound familiar? Yep. We’ve all been there.

Fortunately, it’s really easy to turn off notifications for a status you commented on.

When you get a notification for the status, hover over that always-reliable “x” and choose the option to turn off notifications for that status.

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Disabling Unwanted Facebook Notifications For Mobile Devices

Now that Facebook and Facebook Messenger are two apps on most people’s phones, it’s important to know how to disable mobile notifications for each if you decide you don’t want your phone to light up every time someone sends you a message or likes your status.

While this partially depends on the type of phone and device you have, it’s easy to do no matter what.

For disabling notifications on Androids, apple devices, and windows devices, click here.

 

Easier than you thought, right? It sounds silly, but making sure you’re only getting the notifications you want can be important and time-saving, and it really matters when you’re doing business on Facebook, too.

 

Do you have any notifications disabled on Facebook? Do you get notifications on your mobile devices? Leave a comment and let us know!