How To Use Google Keywords Planner For Blogging Inspiration

How To Use Google Keywords Planner For Blogging Inspiration

Google Keywords Planner is a tool that will help you discover what people are searching for on Google.

It’s a handy way to decide which keywords you should include in your blog posts to help it apper on Google. It’s even better at giving you inspiration for what you should be blogging about.

In this weeks videocast I show you how it works:

When you find keywords or key phrases that you want to optimise for they need to be relevant to the content you are writing. If someone finds your post when searching Google for the answer to ‘why should I use Facebook advertising’ they will expect to arrive on a page showing them how to do that. Make sure you are delivering on that promise.

If you are using my content schedule and are using monthly or quarterly themes take some time to do some keyword research for them. You will find terms that will make it easier to appear in search engine results, you will also get a better idea of what people are looking for when they search Google. Make a note of those search terms and start to build content around them.

Google keyword planner is just the beginning of keyword research but it’s a good place to start.

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Content Marketing Tutorials Twitter Chats & Writing Great Blog Headlines The Social 7
photo credit: graphia via photopin cc
photo credit: graphia via photopin cc

This weeks roundup is full of content marketing and blogging advice. There’s a couple of tutorials for you to follow, a look at the trend towards collaboration via digital media and an article on the benefits of Twitter chats.

A guide to getting everlasting traffic with keyword research

I’ve been dabbling with keyword research for my blog this year. I’ve only got as far as using Google keyword planner but am already finding it useful for both inspiration and for finding the right terms I should be optimising for.

After reading this detailed article from The Next Web It seems I’m just scratching the surface. It includes a thought process and a really good method for keyword research. It’s one I’m going to have to try out.

6 Questions to Find and Claim Your Brand Voice

The second link I am sharing ties in quite nicely to the first. If we are going to be more targeted with our keywords, ensuring that we speak the language our customers recognise, we need to think more clearly about our brand voice. We need to make sure that whoever is updating our accounts has a very specific idea of how they should speak and what they should talk about.

For a small or one person business this can be as important as with a large brand. Setting yourself guidelines will help you stay consistent and avoid any chance of you posting something inappropriate or totally off topic.

Following the steps in this guide from Social Media Today will set you on the right track for thinking about your brand voice.

7 Creative Proofreading Tips To Transform Your Jaggedy Draft into a Polished Post

We talked about proofreading on the recent #talkingsoc Twitter chat. We discovered that most of us proof read our blogs by speaking them aloud. I find I’m putting more time into editing and proofreading my blogs recently. Because of that I’m always looking for tips on how to make the process easier and this article has given me a few new things to focus on. It’s a must read for any blogger.

The Collaborative Economy Is Coming for Your Business. Are You Ready?

There is a new digital trend and it’s one I’d be terrified of if I was a hotel, taxi company or car hire or sales company. It’s the trend towards services like Hailo, Airbnb and Uber. All three of these offer either a better experience for customers or the opportunity to save money by sharing. Hailo is an app that will hire you a cab cutting out the need for the minicab office. Airbnb lets you rent out your home or a room in your home and Uber does the same for your car.

I fond this article on collaboration a fascinating read, it not only lays out what these tools mean to competing businesses it also looks at how businesses have reacted both by trying to put restrictions on the services and by collaborating with them. Personally I think those who try and collaborate or put their own twist on the collaboration model are far more likely to succeed.

5 Basic Content Types Customers Need

Are you stuck for content? Is the idea that you don’t have anything to blog about holding you back from starting? There are lots of ways to find inspiration but there are some key kinds of content that will always attract and help your customer. Here are 5 that Heidi Cohen sees as essential and I tend to agree. I particularly like the ‘How much does it cost’ segment. It links to a really great example of how to answer this question.

6 Ways Twitter Chats Can Help You Connect With Your Audience

I’m a huge fan of Twitter chats as I find I can  learn a lot from them, I get to meet tweeters with common interests and I can get inspiration for blog posts and social media content. Sadly most regular Twitter Chats on Digital Marketing take place in the middle of the night for me as they are hosted in the States.

For that reason we launched a monthly Twitter chat on the topic over at We Teach Social. #TalkingSoc takes place on the last Thursday of the month at 9pm GMT (4pm EST). I’ve been really enjoying it so far.

If you want to get involved in Twitter chats this article from Social Media Examiner will give you some great advice on how to get the most from them and how they can help you connect with your audience.

Why The Blogging Experts Are Wrong About Headlines

I’m seeing a lot of blog posts about blog headlines lately. Creating good headlines can be key in getting people to actually click that link you are posting on social media sites. As the competition to capture your audiences attention grows getting the headlines right is becoming more important.

I enjoyed reading this piece on the Pushing Social blog as it’s challenging some of the advice that we constantly see being regurgitated and gives us some fresh perspectives.

And from Spiderworking This Week

How To Tell Your Twitter Stories With Storify – Cool Tool

Storify helps you bring together content from across the web into a timeline to tell a story. It was a particularly handy way to collate the content from our recent Tweet chat. Read more on the benefits and how to use it here.

How To Add Milestones To Your Facebook Business Timeline [Tutorial]

Facebook milestones can be an excellent story telling device. They can help you tell the story of your business and engage your customers over a period of time. This weeks video cast shows you how to add Milestones to your Facebook business timeline. Watch it here. 

4 Ways To Use Visual Storytelling On Facebook

Last year everyone seemed to be talking about social media storytelling so I thought I’d look at the concept in more depth this month. What exactly does the term mean and why does it work? I started with Facebook and discovered four ways that businesses in my newsfeed were using visual storytelling to capture the attention of their audiences. Read more here.

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10 Tips For Effective Content Curation
10 Tips For Effective Content Curation
photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

Finding great content that we know our audience will appreciate and sharing it with them is content curation. If it’s not already part of your online marketing strategy it should be.

Most of us are already content curators. Every time we share a link on Twitter or a photo from a Facebook page we are curating.

The Benefits Of Content Curation

It saves your time – If you create a lot of content you will know there is a huge time commitment involved. Finding and sharing content is far less time consuming and can compliment your own.

It saves your audiences timeAccording to an Aol & Neilson study 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared every day. For your audience this is information overload, they need an editor, someone to present the best, most informative, educational or entertaining stuff to them. By cutting through the clutter you are saving them time.

It establishes expertise – If you curate content well you are demonstrating that you know what you are talking about. Think about how a museum curator is viewed, they are clearly leading experts in their field. As a content curator you can be seen this way too. As a trusted source of information on your industry you could become known as the go to person or a thought leader on a specific topic.

10 Tips For Effective Content Curation

1. Edit fiercely, share only the best

It’s not enough just to find a whole lot of links and share them. You need to delve into the content and find the very best. People will only begin to trust the information you share if every single piece is a gem. Never share just for the sake of sharing, ask yourself if this will inform, educate or entertain your target audience.

2. Set the rules

I have a set of questions I ask myself before I share a piece of content:

1. As mentioned above ‘will this inform, educate or entertain’?

2. Is the content relevant to my audience? It’s ok to post off topic occasionally but the majority of what you share should be relevant to your industry and the interests of your target market.

3. What network is the content suitable for? For example, something I share on Linkedin or Google+ may be too heavy for my Facebook audience.

3. Use Google+ search

The search facility within Google+ is a fantastic content discovery engine. No matter what topic you search for you will find interesting content both from within Google+ and from the web. It gives you completely different results to your regular Google search and has the added advantage of allowing you to connect with new people who share your interests or expertise.

4. Use Feedly to subscribe to good content sources

Feedly is a website and an app for your mobile devices that will collate content from all your favourite blogs and sources. You just need to tell it which blogs you want to follow and it will keep tabs of them as they are updated.

I use this on a daily basis, it’s the equivalent of my daily newspaper and it’s where I find most of the content I share.

5. Use Google Alerts to find unique and interesting sources

I know every morning when I log on to Twitter I see the same Mashable and TechCrunch posts popping up in my stream over and over again.

There are always going to be some top bloggers or publishers for your industry and it is very easy to just share from these sources. To be a truly great curator you need to find some content that is less well covered by others. For this I use Google Alerts. When you add a search term to Google Alerts it will send you a feed of content related to that search term.

Here’s how it works in conjunction with Feedly.

6. Use Twitter Lists

Create a Twitter list of all the best content creators and curators. When you scan through tweets from this list you will stumble upon content that you may have missed elsewhere. You will also find new sources to subscirbe to on Feedly.

Here’s how to create a Twitter list

7. Set a theme or topic for curation

Setting quarterly or monthly themes for your content  will make the curation process much easier. Having a theme focusses your mind and it will also bring your audience along with you. For example I am covering time saving this month, most of the links I’m sharing on Facebook and Google+ fit into this theme and all the links I share in my newsletter do.

Over at We Teach Social we share curated blog posts on our monthly themes. Here’s a blog post Lorna wrote on our February theme – Getting your customers to love you. 

8. Write roundup posts

I write a curated blog post once a week. In ‘The Social 7′ I share my favourite reads from the last seven days. Some of these may be new, some are posts I’ve stumbled upon whilst researching a topic. It’s the quickest post I write in the week and since I started using IFTTT it’s become an even quicker process.

It’s tempting just throw up a list of links in a post but if you want to get the most from your curation it’s important to tell your audience why you are sharing it. A sentence or short paragraph about each link you share is all you need.

9. Send a curated newsletter

Mari Smith sends out a weekly newsletter featuring three useful links she has discovered during the week. I always enjoy seeing this drop into my mailbox and the content she shares is always top quality.

As well as sharing the links Mari gets to tell us about any offers or events she has coming up. It’s a great way to add value to an otherwise salesy newsletter.

10. Share curated content daily on your social networks

Most of you are probably already doing this but I recommend planning your shares in advance. You may not know what content will pop up and inspire you but you are able to identify how often you need to share curated content and at what time it will work best on each network you use. All that remains is for you to slot the content into your schedule as it appears.

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Easily Share Your Content To Twitter With Dlvr.it

Easily Share Your Content To Twitter With Dlvr.it

This weeks cool tool Dlvr.it auto shares blog and news content to social networks. It’s an easy way to ensure your blog posts are getting shared. I don’t however recommend using it exclusively. As I mentioned in my post on Scheduling you can tweet the same link to your own content more than once a day on Twitter. Dlvr.it just covers one of those shares.

Although automating is a great time saver, and this tool works well for Twitter I always recommend customising and timing posts specifically for Google+ and Facebook.

Here’s how it works:

Visit the Dlvr.ie website and sign up for a free account

Click the ‘+’ next to ‘routes’

Easily Share Your Content To Twitter With Dlvr.it

Click on ‘Click here to name your route’ and give it a name that describes it. This is handy if you set up multiple routes so you can keep an eye on statistics. In the example I’ve chosen ‘Blog to Spiderworking Twitter’

Easily Share Your Content To Twitter With Dlvr.it

Next click on ‘add’ next to sources. This is where you tell Dlvr.it what content you want to share.

Easily Share Your Content To Twitter With Dlvr.it

Click on the orange ‘RSS’ symbol

Easily Share Your Content To Twitter With Dlvr.it

Click on ‘add feed’

Now add your blog feed address to the site. If you don’t know what it is, in most cases it will be http://yourwebsiteaddress.com/feed

Easily Share Your Content To Twitter With Dlvr.it

Click ‘feed update’ in the top menu and you have the option to set how often Dlvr.it checks your website for new content, if you are an avid blogger or manage a site that posts many times a day you can choose how the app handles this content here.

Easily Share Your Content To Twitter With Dlvr.it

Click ‘save source’ at the bottom of the page.

Now it’s time to add your destination. In my case a Twitter account

Click ‘add’ next to destinations

Easily Share Your Content To Twitter With Dlvr.it

Choose the network you want to send your feed to

Easily Share Your Content To Twitter With Dlvr.it

Click ‘Connect to…’ and allow permissions

Easily Share Your Content To Twitter With Dlvr.it

From the ‘Post Content’ menu you can choose how much content you want to post to Twitter with your automated Tweet. I’d recommend only posting the title and the post link as this makes it easier for other people to share.

You also have the option to add a prefix or suffix to your automated tweet. In the example I’ve added the prefix ‘New Post’. If you are sharing content from a blog that isn’t yours you could include the Twitter handle of the blogger after the tweet.

Easily Share Your Content To Twitter With Dlvr.it

From the advanced menu you can choose to automatically add hashtags to your tweets. If you choose this option Dlvr.it will turn any categories from your blog posts into hashtags. You can also choose the maximum amount of automated hashtags you want added to your tweets.

Easily Share Your Content To Twitter With Dlvr.it

Once you have finished click ‘save’. Now you are good to go. Dlvr.it will automatically start checking for new content and posting it to Twitter when it finds it.

Dlvr.it Stats

Once your route has been running for a while you will be able to see some statistics related to it.

Click ‘Stats’ on the top menu.  This displays how many click throughs your posts from Dlvr.it got and where the people who clicked it live in the world.

Easily Share Your Content To Twitter With Dlvr.it

Easily Share Your Content To Twitter With Dlvr.it

I really like this tool, I use it to update the We Teach Social twitter account with content from all of our collected blogs. It means our usually pure information account is always updated.

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Case Studies, Vine and Jargon Busting – The Social 7

In this weeks roundup I’ve got some video inspiration both in the form of crowdfunding video pitches and a really clever vine. I’ve two case studies, a jargon buster for bloggers and a whole bunch of tools that will help you save time when using social media. 

Crowdfunding Pitch Videos That Shine: Indiegogo’s Best for 2012

I was doing some research for a blog post I wrote for the Write On Track website this week and found this fabulous post of great crowdfuding pitch videos from ReelSEO.

It doesn’t matter what kind of online video you are making, you have a duty to everyone who clicks the play button to keep them entertained. I think that all these work and are great inspiration to anyone contemplating shooting a web video.

50 More Business Jargon Fixes for Bloggers and Content Writers

If you are a blogger you will know that there are certain phrases that you write over and over again that get on your nerves. If they are getting on your nerves they are probably jarring with your readers too. I know that I have a few key phrases that I find myself both writing and then deleting constantly.

This list of overused business jargon phrases is well worth a read, It will help keep you in check. I know I’ve used ‘bang for buck’ before and I’m sure there are some others there that I’ve been guilty of in the past too.

10 Things You Must Know About Your Audience!

It can be really hard to define your audience but if you want to be successful with your marketing there is no excuse, you have to get to know them.

This huge post from Pam Moore is a great resource, it takes you through a list of questions you need to ask yourself about your target market to get to know them better. Once you know them your online marketing will become much easier and you’ll see better return on investment.

Social Media Success Stories: Heinz Five Beanz on Facebook

Heinz have run many clever social media campaigns, their success in many cases has to be attributed to the ‘We Are Social’ agency who have orchestrated the best ones including this one for ‘Heinz Five Beanz. Including a quiz, giveaways and discounts it seems to have achieved it’s goals of brand awareness for a new product. Read more about the campaign here.

Table Tennis by @yelldesign #AusOpen

Quite simply the best Vine I’ve ever seen

Case Study: How a ski resort hit 30 percent email conversion rate via Facebook

The second of the case studies I’m sharing this week shows the effectiveness of Facebook competitions. This is a powerful example of how you can generate leads through a competition. It’s interesting to note that ‘for every 100 people that view the campaign, 30 are entering their email’. That’s a whole lot of email addresses.

I’d recommend reading this before you think about setting up a Facebook competition, it’s not just a sales pitch for Heyo there’s some great tips in there too.

20 Tools To Stop The Social Media Timesuck

I’m looking at time saving solutions for social media this month and there seems to be no end of tools that can help you save time. I’m going to be sharing a few of my favourites but this post is full of recommendations. I just have to be careful that I don’t spend too much time trying them all out!

And from Spiderworking.com this week

Save All Your Open Tabs To A Visual Board With Collectably

I try to keep the number of tabs I have open on my browser to a minimum, since I started using Pocket I’ve cut down but when I’m blogging, like now I tend to have quite a few open. The problem is, when I finish a blog post I still tend to leave them open. This weeks cool tool allows you to save all open tabs on Chrome to a single page so you can revisit them later. It’s really handy when you are researching a topic and I know it’s one that I’ll be using again

Time Saving Tip – How To Schedule Facebook Posts [Tutorial]

Scheduling content on social media can be a controversial topic but I do believe it to be an essential way of saving time and being more productive. In this weeks video cast I show you how to schedule your posts on your Facebook business page.

A Beginners Guide To Creating A Social Media Content Schedule + Free Template

I’ve been meaning to share this for a while, it’s my method for creating a social media content schedule. I’ve included a download link where you can get the templates and I talk you through how to complete it.

How To Plan A Successful Crowdfunding Video Pitch

And the reason I was researching those crowdfunding videos earlier this week? I was busy creating this guest post for Write On Track. In it I take you through the steps you need to take to plan a successful crowdfunding video pitch. In fact these tips could be helpful for any online social media video.

Spring Online Social Media Courses Announced

And finally, we just launched our Spring term courses over at We Teach Social. They include some old favourites; Twitter for beginners, Facebook for business but I’ve added a few this term including Facebook advertising. Click here to see the full timetable.

If you enjoyed this blog post why not subscribe to my newsletter or my blog posts via email. Click here for more info.

How many tabs do you have open on your browser right now? Although since I started using Pocket over a year ago I've minimised the tabs I have open I still tend to end up with 6-10 when researching and writing a blog post.

Save All Your Open Tabs To A Visual Board With Collectably

How many tabs do you have open on your browser right now? Although since I started using Pocket over a year ago I’ve minimised the tabs I have open I still tend to end up with 6-10 when researching and writing a blog post.

This weeks cool tool is a real time saver, it saves all your currently open tabs to a visual interface where you can access them easily. It’s like Pinterest but without the need to double click and easier to curate, just one click of a button and you can create a board from your open tabs.

The only downside is that you will need to use the ‘Chrome’ browser in order to use it to save all open tabs.

Here’s how it works

Visit the Collectably website and sign up for an account

Save All Your Open Tabs To A Visual Board With Collectably

Click on ‘tools’ on the top right hand side of the page

Save All Your Open Tabs To A Visual Board With Collectably

Click ‘Install’ to add the extension to Chrome (you have to use the Chrome browser for this to work)

Save All Your Open Tabs To A Visual Board With Collectably

Once it has been installed you will see an orange ‘C’ appear to the top right of your browser window. When you click the ‘C” it opens a new window

Save All Your Open Tabs To A Visual Board With Collectably

Check the box ‘show all open tabs’

Save All Your Open Tabs To A Visual Board With Collectably

You can uncheck any tabs that aren’t relevant to the board.

Save All Your Open Tabs To A Visual Board With Collectably

Finally you need to name the board by clicking ‘select board’ in the dropdown above the displayed tabs and click ‘Add’

Now when you log in to Collectably your board will appear on the left hand side. Click on it and you are able to see and access all your saved tabs.

Save All Your Open Tabs To A Visual Board With Collectably

Boards you create are secret by default, only you can see them. You can collaborate with others by adding ‘members’ to your board. Just click ‘members’ on the right hand side of the screen and add the name or email address of another Collectably user.

Save All Your Open Tabs To A Visual Board With Collectably

You can also choose your board to be public, this will allow you to share it as a link, it will be viewable to anyone on the internet. To do this access the ‘board settings’ menu and choose ‘Public’.

Save All Your Open Tabs To A Visual Board With Collectably

Save All Your Open Tabs To A Visual Board With Collectably

This is a great time saving tool. It means I can always easily access and add to the research material I am pursuing on various topics without having to search through tags on Delicious or try to remember where I saw a link on a specific topic. It’s also a great place to curate useful content I might want to share with others. For example I can share all my own blog posts on Facebook advertising just using one link.

If you enjoyed this blog post why not subscribe to my newsletter or my blog posts via email. Click here for more info.

How To Double Your Blog Traffic, Facebook Advertising Tips & More - The Social 7
photo credit: The Pug Father via photopin cc

I’ve been doing a lot of work on Facebook advertising recently so it’s no surprise that there’s a few links on the topic included in this weeks social 7. I also found some cool tools for watermarking photographs, some advice on increasing your blog visitors and a good read on how some brands are handling social media crisis.

No More Sponsored Stories: 6 Big Changes Coming to Facebook Ads

Some big changes were announced for Facebook advertising this week. The biggest headline is the axing of sponsored stories, something I was delighted about. There are some other significant changes as well. As always Jon Loomer’s blog is the best place to look for these updates. Here are the 6 key changes explained.

How I doubled my unique visitors in six months (and tripled them in a year)

One of my goals for 2014 is to significantly increase my website visits so when I saw this pop up in my RSS feed I jumped straight on it. There’s some really great advice in this article on Problogger by Stacey Roberts, it isn’t groundbreaking just good common sense. It’s good to know that straight forward tactics like being a good social media citizen and writing for other blogs and publications has helped her achieve her goals.

6 Facebook Ad Image Best Practices that will Send your Click-Through-Rate to the Moon

When you create a Facebook advertising campaign through ads manager you have the option of adding up to six images to accompany it. Facebook will then test these images on a segment of your target and use the images that produce the best results for the remainder of your campaign. This excellent article from Wishpond outlines what you can do to ensure a better click through rate from your ads.

6 Watermark Apps To Protect Your Online Photos

There are lots of good reasons that you might want to add a watermark to the photos you take and share online. If people share your image, no matter where it goes it will carry your name and other info that you add to the image. If you worry that your work will be stolen and used by others for their own purposes you may also want to watermark your images.

This article reviews six apps that help you easily add a watermark to your photos.

11 Things You Need to Immediately Stop Doing on Facebook

This is a really nice fun article that is packed with great advice. Some of the illustrations made me laugh out loud. It’s worth bookmarking so that you can refer to it the next time you see a business page do something really silly on Facebook.

How to Give Your Goals a Makeover

January is always a month of planning for me, and I suspect others. There’s something about having that time off for Christmas that gets me in the mood for creating a plan. It’s very easy to set goals but the stronger they are the easier they are going to be to achieve. This excellent article from Pushing Social talks us through the steps for creating better achievable goals.

How to Respond to a Social Media Crisis

I’ve always been fascinated by how brands handle themselves in a crisis, of course we like to snigger when someone gets it totally wrong but it’s also really interesting to see how businesses manage it well.

This post on Social Media Examiner gives us three case studies, I particularly like the kettle story.

This Week From Spiderworking

5 Ways to Prepare for Your Facebook Advertising Campaign

Lots of businesses jump straight in to their Facebook advertising campaigns but by putting in a bit of time planning prior to launching you will see better results. Here’s my top tips for putting your campaign in place.

 How To Get More From Facebook ‘Boost Post’ – Target It [Tutorial]

This weeks video cast looks at how you can get more from your boosted posts on Facebook.

How Much Should You Spend On Your Facebook Ad? Social Stats Helps You Decide – Cool Tool

This weeks cool tool is a quick and easy way to decide on a budget for your Facebook advertising campaign. Social Stats allows you to choose a location, age group, gender and academic level to target and tells you how much you need to spend to reach them all on Facebook.

Did you know that Spiderworking.com runs Facebook advertising campaigns for business? Click here to find out more

Blogging Tips, Facebook 20% Text Rule and The Blind Instagrammer - The Social 7

Blogging Tips, Facebook 20% Text Rule and The Blind Instagrmmer

It’s another blog heavy social 7 this week. Maybe because I’ve made the finals of the Social Media Examiner Top Social Media Blogs I’ve been focused on blogging this week.  A massive thank you to all of you, the readers who nominated me and those who have helped me build it over the years.  Here’s my pick of my reads this week including plenty of blogging tips and advice, fun Twitter statistics, and a blind photographer who takes better Instagram shots than me. Have a great weekend.

The secret sauce of a great blog post

There is a lot written and preached about writing great blog posts.  I’ve been reading a lot of blogs recently and although many of them have great content I find a lot of them are missing something, that something that might want me to go back and connect with the blogger more regularly.  I had attributed the missing piece to personality, some might call it  storytelling but I think this article from Social Media Explorer really nails it.  The secret sauce according to them is emotion and the article makes a compelling case including a remarkable blog post that seems to be succeeding for exactly this reason.

The typical Facebook post receives only 0.03% negative feedback

Pages are still reeling from the recent Facebook edgerank changes.  We thought we knew the landscape of Facebook and then all of a sudden we realised our posts weren’t reaching as far and that images no longer seemed to get the most views.  One thing Facebook has been clear about is that much of this is due to negative feedback to posts.   The negative feedback statistic can be found in your Facebook insights by clicking ‘Engaged users’ next to an individual post in the insights interface. Any negative feedback will be listed here.

Negative feedback referrers to a user hiding the post, hiding all posts from your page, unliking your page or reporting it for spam.  Facebook now uses this information as part of the edgerank algorithm to decide who to show your posts to.  The good news is that in fact most posts don’t get much negative feedback.  Read more on this on the Edgerank Checker blog.

How blind people use Instagram

I love this story. A blind guy who uses Instagram, and what is almost frightening is a lot of his photos are better than mine.  I love that he is able to share visual moments from his life with others even though he is unable to see them himself.

How to blog with confidence

We had the first meeting of our bloggers network this week and one topic that came up straight away was how hard it had been for some of us to return to our blogs after the Christmas break.  Personal bloggers were finding it particularly difficult to find inspiration.  As part of our session we reviewed this post from Write On Track that gives some great blogging tips on getting your mojo back. One of the top tips was becoming part of the blogging community so it looks like those attending our blogging group had already taken one good step forward.

New Facebook guidelines – 20% text overlay on ad’s and cover photos

This week the new regulations about images you use in promoted posts and cover photos came in to effect.  Essentially this means you are not allowed to have more than 20% of your image devoted to text.  Facebook have a handy tool that advertisers can use to check their promoted posts but it would be handy to know in the design stage if you are going to be complying with the guidelines.

This excellent template from ShortStack will help you plan those images ahead of time.

 

How to blog successfully about anything

My final blogging tip of the week is this monster article from SEOMOZ on how to blog about anything.  Is it really possible to blog about something you have no interest in? There are ways and the key seems to be questions.  Not just answering questions from your clients but also asking them.  Reading this reminded me of the early days blogging here at Spiderworking.com, before I had found my voice I spent a lot of time researching the questions people wanted answers to and even posing my own ones.  I remember a series of posts asking what the rules of social media were was particularly effective.

 50 Fun Twitter facts

32% of all Internet users are using Twitter. Over the span of 16 days, the London Olympics generated 150 million tweets. I love these kinda fun statistics, they help us to put a bit of personality on the more serious numbers based Twitter stats.  Here’s 50 for you to wade through from All Twitter.

And from Spiderworking.com this week

What is the reach of your RT’s and what are your most commonly RT’d posts?

This weeks cool tool analyses the RT’s that you get on Twitter and shows you who manages to push them out to the most users.  What I really loved about this tool though was that it was able to show me my most RT’d tweets.  It could also form a basis for identifying your best brand ambassadors although I’d be cautious on basing this on follower account alone. Read more here.

Pinterest tip – Get more blog shares on Pinterest

I’m determined to embrace Pinterest more fully in 2013 and part of that has been looking at making my blog posts more shareable there.  Here’s this weeks 30 second video tip, it’s the first thing I’ve tried and it is bringing some, all be it limited, results already.

Video tips and book review – How To Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck by Steve Stockman

There is a lot of terrible online video out there.  At some stage we were all told that we needed video on our sites and this spurred everyone to throw together one regardless of quality.  This week I review and share some key tips from a wonderful book How To Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck.  This will definitely change the way you plan and produce your online videos.

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How To Get Your Blog Posts Shared More On Pinterest - Pinterest Tip

In 2013 I’ve set myself the challenge to spend more time on Pinterest.  It’s not a network ideally suited to my business but I’ve seen so many clever things done on it I wanted to up my efforts to see what can be done.

Here’s one of the first Pinterest tips that I implemented and it’s working, I’m only a week in to the new year marketing and I’m already seeing traffic coming in to my blog from Pinterest.

Includes examples from Jon Loomer and Ching Ya

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721Dec122

The office is about to close, I am sitting at my desk wearing a Santa hat listening to Christmas songs on the radio.  I may blog sporadically between now and January 7th but the office is well and truly closed.  Here’s wishing you a fantastic Christmas break.

Here are 7 social stories to keep you occupied over the holiday including a way to hack your WiFi signal to make it stronger, some Pinterest and blogging tips, Facebook page fails and the basics of creating a buyer persona.

There’s no such thing as a Twitter elite

There are people on Twitter who for one reason or another have become celebrities of the genre.  People who have lots of followers and have been on Twitter since it was a text service or those who court controversy and have built up a significant following, there are also some lovely people who attract followers with their magnetic personalities.  There are the real celebrities too. The likes of Stephen Fry, Amy Huberman, Justin Beiber.  All of these seem to be the thought leaders on Twitter or the ‘Twitter elite’.  This amusing article from the New Statesman describes how we should deal with these people, and why they may seem to hate us.

How to create a customer persona

How much do you know about your customer?  Are you creating content that will really interest them?  Creating a buyer persona, defining your typical customer types can help you market to them better.  It can ensure that you are meeting their needs, it can make sure you are speaking the right language.  This excellent post from Social Media Explorer takes you through the basics of creating these personas.  It’s worth giving this a shot even if you are a small business, knowing more about your customer will always make it easier to know what to post and what other products and services to form synergies with.

The worst Facebook posts of 2013?

Since the arrival of ‘Condescending Corporate Brand Page‘ on Facebook we have been entertained by some of the worst examples of begging, ridiculous, annoying and just plain bad Facebook posts from business pages.  There are posts asking you to like if you love your Children, to like if you had a birthday this year, irrelevant posts including cat pictures and more.  This article showcases some of the worst, they’re annoying but I can’t help smiling at the craziness of some of them.

How to boost your WiFi signal

I love this video from HackCollege and I’ll definitely be checking some more of their minute long videos out.  I do have problems with my WiFi reach but sadly my router doesn’t have and aerial so it won’t work for me.  If you try it let me know if it works.

Important update to Facebook promoted post and cover image guidelines

After my initial skepticism I am a convert to promoted posts on Facebook.  It means that when I have something that is really important for me to push out to a wider audience I can.  I don’t use them often but I’ve been pleased with the results when I have.

Facebook are in the process of changing their guidelines for promoted post advertising and cover images.  It seems they want to discourage images that are primarily made up of text and these new guidelines relate directly to that.  Neither your cover image or an image that you include in a promoted post may have more than 20% of the area covered in text.  According to this post from Inside Facebook they will help us measure our text to ensure we comply.  Make sure your images don’t break this rule in order to avoid promoted posts getting rejected in the future.

4 Tips for writing a blog post opening that turns heads

I’m always trying to improve my blog, I’m also one of the founders of the KLCK Bloggers Network, a group of like minded bloggers who get together once a month to share our experiences and knowledge.  Because of this I’m always looking for articles and hints and tips for writing better blogs.  This one from Jeff Bullas is great and focuses on the opening paragraph of your blog.  What should it do and how can you make it more effective? These are tips I’ll definitely be putting in to practice in the new year.

The 3 step guide to creating Pinterest-friendly graphics for your blog

I’ve still not fully embraced Pinterest, it’s not a network that naturally attracts me but it’s one that I’m aware is not going to go away.  It needs to become part of my social media marketing mix and it’s another one of my new year’s resolutions to make it work in 2013.  I have a plan of how I want to approach this and hopefully you will be seeing great things from my Pinterest in the year to come.   One thing that I know I’ll continue to use it for is sharing my blog posts so this article from Pro Blogger was a great find for me.  It’s a step by step guide to creating strong pinnable images for your blog.

And from Spiderworking.com this week

Easily create customised Facebook cover images

This weeks cool tool helps you create customised cover images for your Facebook pages and profiles.  You can choose an image from their bank of stock images, customise it with text, your own images and other stock photos to spruce up your Facebook page.  I made one in minutes to wish everyone a happy Christmas.  It’s simple to use, here’s how it works and how to create your own.

How to migrate a Facebook friend page to a Facebook Like page

For one reason or another lots of people set up friend pages on Facebook rather than business or Like pages.  This is against Facebook’s terms of service and they do remove friend pages that pose as businesses when they discover them.  The good news is that if you are a business you can now easily switch to a business page.  This week I show you how and show you some of the benefits of having a Facebook business page.

And that’s all from me until Santa arrives.  Have a great holiday, I’ll be back in business on the 7th of January.

If you enjoy reading my blog please nominate it for the Social Media Examiner Top 10 Social Media Blogs.  Last year I reached the finals but I’ve been working hard all year long to make it better.  I would be over the moon to make it in to the top 10 this year.  To reach the judging stage I need to get a lot of nominations so please nominate www.spiderworking.com/blog by visiting this post and leaving a comment including the link and why you think I should win.

photo credit: Daviddje via photopin cc