Social Media Tools To Grab On The Cheap

Social media is an ever-increasing part of the way we as online
marketers build our audiences, customer base, personal brands, and more.

It makes sense then to look to ways to make our time on social media more efficient. While many tools exist that help companies manage their social media, they also come with a price tag on par with their enterprise sales status. But let’s take a look at a couple of handy tools you can grab for the classic less-than-a-coffee-a-day price point to boost your social efforts:

Post Planner:

Post Planner starts at a measly 10 bucks per month, and is probably the simplest scheduling software for your social platforms that you can find. Currently, it works with Facebook and Twitter (and FB pages), though they plan to add other services regularly. With Post Planner, you simply create a schedule of how many times per day you want a network to share something and at what time slots those shares will be made at. Then, their web app pulls the posts that have gotten the most engagement from other people’s pages and profiles and sorts them by type. So you can look for images related to business, or text posts that pose funny or engaging questions, etc. Next, you just add a piece of content you see has been used successfully elsewhere to your own profile or page. Post Planner automatically drops it in the next open slot.

So if you set your Facebook page to post twice per day, you can just click ‘add’ on 14 pieces of content you like from their library (or manually add your own) and bam, your social content is distributed easily for the week and ready to go.

Instapage:

Of all of the drag and drop landing page builders out there, Instapage seems to consistently take the cake. They allow you to create super easy landing pages that can be made on templates or built from scratch. Either way, they end up looking excellent and they even have a separate mobile builder where you can make the exact same page hide certain elements that don’t look as great on mobile, etc. Whether you use Instapage or not, having a way to quickly build good, customizable landing pages without hand coding them is a must to moving swiftly on your paid campaigns.

Just design in Instapage, point it at campaignname.yourwebsite.com and you’re ready to roll. They also, of course, let you easily forward your form entries to your email provider (Aweber, Mailchimp, etc.).

CoSchedule:

CoSchedule is marketed as a competitor to Post Planner, for scheduling up your social posts ahead of time. While it’s useful in that capacity, its real gem of a function lies in easily organizing tasks and schedules online.

Plus, unlike Google Calendars or Trello, you have the option to take the tasks you schedule and push them straight to a WordPress post or social media share if you so desire.

The X-Step Formula For Getting Influencers To Share Your Content

So you’ve written a new blog post or created a piece of content that you think could really make a splash, or at least generate some traffic and business around your website. You hit publish, run through your usual share sites, but the needle doesn’t seem to move. In fact, a week later, your post is far from going viral.

You think, alright, but I’ve quoted some experts in here, and this other company has a similar market that might enjoy what I’ve created, maybe I’ll ask if they can share it too!

But they probably get bombarded daily with tens or even hundreds of requests – so how can you stand out?! Well, here are a few ideas:

Have multiple targets. The fact of the matter is, even the best of pitches can fall on deaf ears, so it’s in your best interests to play a numbers game. If your goal is to have 3 influencers share your content, then you’re much more likely to meet your goal if you approach 15 influencers than just 3. Everybody wants to bad 1.000, but that’s just not how this play works.

Engage them first in a more helpful way. Do you know how much more likely most people would be to give their change to a homeless person on the street if they stopped and talked with them for a bit, found some common ground, and began to empathize? We naturally have better opinions and perceptions of trustworthiness of those we know better, so use this bit of psychology to your advantage! Never ask an influencer for a share straight up. Instead, share their content first, let them know in a tweet how much you like it, ask if you can help them with something they’re working on. In this way, you’ll warm them up before going for an ask, and be much more likely to get the answer you’re looking for.

Follow-up without the nag. This is a tough balance to strike.

Sometimes, however, people just don’t have time when they receive it to open your mail and it gets lost in the bottom of their inbox. Or perhaps they don’t really use email and another form of communication is way more likely to get their attention. Make sure that you have a follow-up plan for those who don’t respond to your messages the first time around, a sequence of 2 or 3 messages that you can try on different platforms, just to see if you can get a response. Funny enough, the “breakup email”(alright, I won’t message you anymore you clearly aren’t interested!) is the one that generally gets the highest response rate!

Be thankful. If someone is so kind as to share what you have to offer, make you thank them and ask what you can do for them in return. For every relationship you build here, you’ll have one less ‘random’ person you have to ask next time around.

Remember, even the most popular of people are just people, so being nice and treating them as such will go a long way in influencer marketing.

Health Habits For Entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur is a multi-faceted endeavor, in addition to needing to be willing to work hard, you’ve got to be preparing your mind and body to do that work well ahead of time. Here are a few habits besides “wake up earlier” and “eat healthy” that you can put to practical use.

Don’t Go It Alone With Your Organization

People like to think that they will keep themselves perfectly in line with just a bit of note taking here, a bit of list making there, but the reality is that most people practicing this organizational ‘method’ end up with sticky notes everywhere and sheets of paper that tend to disappear before you need them again.

Instead, consider using a web app like Trello or Evernote to keep everything organized and in sync.

Start The Night Before

When you are organizing your (now digital) to-do and deadline lists, it’s a good idea to get them set in place the night before. This has a couple of benefits. One, is that it’s easy to let this drag out when starting your work day, but you’ll likely want to be concise about it if you are cutting into your evening personal or even sleep time. Plus, if sleep is an issue for you, you can ease anxiety about the next day’s happenings by having them planned out in advance. Two birds, one stone.

Eat More Regularly

No one else needs to tell you what to eat, that’s up to you, but many of us do need to be reminded when to eat, as it can become too easy to sit and work away for hours on end without so much as a snack. Much of the time we begin to feel tired, especially during an afternoon slump, our bodies are actually dehydrated and/or in need of some caloric energy!

Make sure you’re taking this into account in your own schedule, and try and have a hard cutoff so you don’t keep doing ‘one more thing’ until your mealtime has long passed.

Find a Break Schedule That Makes Sense

Focusing alone on one task for extended periods of time can be tedious and tiring, so make sure you’re doing right by yourself and establishing a schedule that gives you breaks. For some, this may mean you simply work for an hour, take a 15 minute break, etc. For others, it might get more complex. Some people swear by a quicker pace in which they focus on something intently for 25 minutes, then completely disconnect for 5.

As with all of these habits, this last one is less about what exactly ‘works’ but more what works for you. This can mean making lots of little tweaks for your own situation, but the end results will be the same – a healthier, more productive, less-stressed you.

Marketers Ruin Everything, So You Should Be Fast

Knowing that this is going to be mostly consumed by online marketers, know that the purpose of this piece is not to insult you. Instead, take it to heart as the advice of someone who cares deeply about your profession and industry.

Marketers ruin everything. The great, loud, always-everywhere Gary Vaynerchuk is a fan of the phrase. It basically means that anywhere the people go, there’s money to be made, so marketers will follow them in droves. If marketers follow them in droves, that means so do their advertisements, spammy private messages, and promotional outreach.

Eventually, another place will become cool, the digital hangout to be a part of, and the cycle will repeat itself.

It’s not something that’s going to end any time soon, but it’s good to think about how you can best take advantage of it, and communicate in a way that doesn’t make you the bad guy.

The first thing you have to understand is that everyday consumers are becoming aware of the cycle. It’s not something they think about and analyze as much as you do, but they’re far from oblivious. This means that trying to be sneaky or pretend you’re not being promotional when you are isn’t the way to go.

On new social media platforms especially, marketers tend to think that the best way to promote their products or services is by disguising them as learning opportunities, free ebook giveaways into a funnel, etc. The truth is that, if you’ve built a relationship with people and they like the content you put out, they won’t have any problem handing over money all on their own when you ask.

Rather than focusing on sneaky funnels, put your effort into genuinely providing really great, valuable information for your followers. If you’ve already helped someone for free, they’re more likely to be interested in or at least hear you out when it comes time to pitch something.

In a high speed, more transparent world, most of the time you just can’t market like it’s 2007 anymore. What’s more, most people still do this, so you can stand out from the crowd by being the one brand or marketer not assuming they’re smarter than their market.

What are some ways this philosophy can actually be put into use? Here are a few:

– On Instagram, avoid falling into the trap of leaving automatic or, if they are manual, thoughtless comments that don’t serve any purpose. Nobody becomes a huge fan of someone after they auto-comment “NICE!” on a photo tribute to their recently deceased grandfather. Instead, offer real interactions, ask about the context of the pictures people post, etc. Score some people points by acting like an actual person!

– Use a social platform for warming up a prospect, not for the hard sell.

Community or social media platforms are meant for reputation and personality building. Instead of going directly for the kill, if you’ve built a rapport with someone and want to pitch them something, use twitter to ask their permission to send an email or schedule a Skype call to discuss your offer.