Posts Tagged ‘Shelly Kramer’

29 Guides to Beautiful and Effective Website Design

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Long gone are the days when websites were essentially static online brochures. Today’s websites are expected to convey a positive and compelling brand image, differentiate a firm’s products or services, educate visitors on how to solve problems, provide the latest industry news and thought leadership, serve as pre-sales engineers, entertain, personalize, interact, and display content in a wide variety of formats, from text and photos to infographics and video.

Gravity Movie Website - HTML5And to accomplish enough of all that in 15-20 seconds to keep the visitor on the site. While delivering a great user experience on any device from a smartphone to a 60″ HD LED screen. Yeah.

How can designers produce websites that offer both stunning visual design and fast page load speed? How can content creators make better use of the ubiquitous “About Us” page? How can sites be best designed to optimize search visibility? Effectively convert visitors to sales prospects and buyers? Offer an optimal mobile experience?

Find the answers to those questions and many more here in more than two dozen guides to beautiful and effective website design from the past year.

Website Design Guides

5 beautifully immersive HTML5 websites by iMedia Connection

Devanshi Garg showcases five websites that use HTML5 to “create graphical and feature-rich web experiences that blur the line between entertainment and digital marketing,” including the marketing site for the movie Gravity, on which visitors can “initiate a 3D spacewalk experience through their browser using HTML5 and WebGL.”

Why “Simple” Websites Are Scientifically Better by ConversionXL

Visitors to this post will unfortunately be assaulted with an obnoxious, screen-filling pop-up, but once past that, will learn from Tommy Walker “that ‘visually complex’ websites are consistently rated as less beautiful than their simpler counterparts. Moreover, (sites)…with simple visual design were rated as the most beautiful across the board.” Walker goes on to explain what a “prototypical” website is, why the brain finds simple design more appealing, and offers seven tips for designing a simpler site.

Skinny Ties website - before and after

The secret to a compelling B2B website by iMedia Connection

Making the point that “While your business may be B2B, your website could be dramatically more effective if it looked, acted, and worked more like a consumer website. That’s because no enterprise will ever be visiting your website. It will always be an individual — one living, breathing person at a time. A human who needs to be enticed, persuaded, convinced, and welcomed,” Paul Dunay offers practical guidance on how to make b2b websites more compelling and effective by taking “a few pages from the playbooks of consumer marketers.”

Unusual Navigation - Form Follows FunctionCreative Websites with Unusual Navigation by Designer Ledger

The English is a bit rough, but the examples of noteworthy and distinctive navigation approaches from sites like Ralph Van Rentergem, Yodabaz, and Form Follows Function (right) are well worth exploring for inspiration.

6 ‘About Us’ Pages That Are Probably Better Than Yours by HubSpot

Sonja Jacob spotlights half a dozen examples of noteworthy “About Us” pages, along with tips for creating compelling copy and graphics for one of “the most important pages on your website — which also happens to be one of the most commonly overlooked pages.” Among her examples are Yellow Leaf Hammocks: “Good stories humanize your brand and provide context and meaning for your product. What’s more, good stories are sticky.”

Yellow Leaf Hammocks - About Us page

Maximum Quality: 44 Free Fonts for Creative Designers by Noupe

Dirk Metzmacher presents a collection of more than three dozen “high-quality fontsets from all over the world,” as well as specifying the format(s) and license type for each typeface.

40 Of The Most Beautifully Designed Corporate Websites by Simply Zesty

Claire Brown highlights 40 “beautiful inspiring designs” that communicate the “company’s goals in the most attractive manner as well as make the user want to explore more,” among them Mooseheads, These Are Things, Art of Flight, and White Rabbit Beer.

White Rabbit Bear - Creative Website

Thinking of a Site Redesign? STOP and Take a Look at These Blogs by Craig McBreen

Craig McBreen presents a post that is “all about stopping, looking and paying attention to the elements of (great) redesigns.” He then delves into four noteworthy site redesigns, including Adam Toporek’s Customers That Stick, which incorporates “Minimal color adorned with a very cool logo (is that Don Draper leaning on the ‘C’?) and an uncluttered top navigation bar with only four links.”

Guides to Parallax Design and Infinite Scroll

7 cool web design trends to watch by iMedia Connection

According to Lisa Wehr, for websites today, “Plain-Jane HTML just isn’t going to cut it. And it shouldn’t.” She takes a closer look at how design trends like parallax design, infinite scrolling, alternative navigation, and responsive design work and what they help accomplish, along with examples of each.

G'Nosh Website

Long Homepage Design Part 1: Debunking “The Fold” by Market 8

Lynn Sharafeddine uses statistics and logic to dispel the myth that CTAs must be “above the fold” (a term borrowed from the newspaper industry) because website visitors supposedly won’t scroll down the page (they will). She then offers four tips for getting visitors to scroll, like presenting information at the right time: “When people are scrolling, you get to control when they see certain information. This is why sometimes a CTA placed at the very bottom of the page might convert better.”

Top 60 Parallax Examples by Intechnic

Danielle Kogan lists 60 (!) examples of parallax design, which she defines “a popular design technique used on websites in order to create an illusion of movement on the screen…This cool 3D-like design concept allows users to scroll up and down a page at different speeds, while images on various layers move at different rates to give the page more visual depth and dimension to give the user a more seamless experience,” including Tinké, The Winkler Organization, and Saucony Kinvara 3.

Tinke - Website Design Example

Guides to Website Design for SEO

Infinite scroll: its impact on SEO and how to fix it by Econsultancy

While web designers aren’t necessarily (and shouldn’t have to be) SEO experts, the design of a site should never hinder optimization efforts. Andreas Pouros explains two different techniques for implementing the infinite scroll effect in a search engine-friendly manner, along with the pros and cons of each approach.

8 SEO Best Practices For Website Architecture by Snaptech Marketing

Noting that “website architecture is a pivotal process that can make-or-break your site’s SEO success,” Darcy McGilvery advises using these eight best practices for SEO-friendly website design, among them making site architecture reflect page priorities (i.e., your most important pages should be highest in your site architecture, utilizing breadcrumbs, and keeping all pages within three clicks of the home page.

Simple Website Information Architecture Example

How to Create a Parallax Scrolling Website with SEO by SEO Buzz

Conceding that “Many believe that a parallax scrolling website and SEO are incompatible,” Wanda Anglin presents a case study on how this arresting visual technique can in fact be combined with solid SEO practices. Vitally, she notes that, from the outset, “The site must have a site architecture for SEO. Parallax scrolling is a style of effects that can be applied to each URL but you first have to start with SEO-friendly web architecture.”

Getting The Website Information Architecture Right: How to Structure Your Site for Optimal User Experiences by ConversionXL

Ignore the obnoxious pop-up here (again) and you’ll find an outstanding post from Peep Laja that outlines five steps for creating an information architecture (such as: metadata, scenarios, pages…Once you have an understanding of the users – their intent, the why behind it and how they’d like to achieve their goal – you can begin to figure out how to present your content in a way that will make sense to your users”), techniques for optimizing menu structure, navigation design, tools, and more.

Conversion Rate Optimization Guides

How To Collect Email Subscribers With Landing Pages That Convert At 50% by Marketing Land

Chris Hexton shares “examples and provides guidance on how you can use dedicated landing pages to increase your subscriber conversions rates” from email marketing, richly illustrated with both consumer and b2b marketing examples. He also offers three tips for maximizing conversions, such as using social proof (“People hate missing out!”).

Converstion Rate Optimization - Unbounce Page Example

5 Ways to Utilize Thank You Pages for Better Conversions by Visual Website Optimizer

Oli Gardner points out that “Thank you pages are usually an after-thought, a quickie, a clumsily put up half-hearted meal,” because efforts are focused on designing a high-converting landing page. Once the conversion is complete, the conversation generally ends, which leaves “an awful lot of money on the table.” He follow up with five ways to use thank-you pages to get more value out of the conversion.

Testing and Optimization: Radical website redesign program improves lead gen 89% by MarketingSherpa

David Kirkpatrick presents a case study on how One Call Now radically redesigned its home page, testing multiple elements to optimize conversions. He writes that “Through optimization, the sign-up process was shortened, and free trial sign-ups increased 55.3%, and the overall redesign of the entire website garnered a 89% lift in lead generation.”

Videos for Landing Pages 101 by Business2Community

Noting that “52% of consumers say that watching a product video makes them more confident in online purchase decisions,” Juan Pablo Castro explains how to decide what type of video to use, the importance of audio quality and scripting, how to create the right video content, and how to use video most effectively to increase conversions on consumer or b2b landing pages.

Path - Video Landing Page Example

10 excellent video-embedded landing pages by Econsultancy

Supporting the post above, Christopher Ratcliff here highlights noteworthy examples of landing page video content. While most of the pages are from the consumer marketing world, the General Electric example (“GE took off all the text-heavy mission statements from its website and replaced them with videos of examples of the company’s work instead”) shows how B2B marketers can use video for lead gen effectively as well.

GE Video Landing Page Example

Creating Search Optimized Landing Pages That Convert by Volusion

This guest post explains why it’s important to optimize landing pages for organic search; the distinction between organic and PPC landing pages; and how to build an SEO landing page that converts (e.g., “the first thing you need to do is analyze your reader’s intent. Ask yourself what type of readers and/or buyers you’ll be attracting. It’s not only what you want them to get out of your website, but what you feel they want to get out of your website”).

How To Optimize Contact Forms For Conversions [Infographic] by unbounce

To maximize conversions, Oli Gardner (again) advises keeping contact forms short, skipping the phone number field (unless absolutely necessary), and continually testing–as well as using left-aligned fields for readabilty, and using a button label other than “Submit” (“Forms using Submit have an almost 3% decrease in conversion rate”).

21 Inspiring Examples of Contact Pages and Forms by Web Design Ledger

Gisele Muller showcases 21 inspiring examples of exceptionally well designed contact pages and forms, noting that “A website should have a clear an obvious way for visitors to get in touch with the site’s owner..it is even nicer if your audience can find a contact page/form that shows your personality – something that shows that you care about your viewers and that you want them to contact you.”

Milk & Pixels - Contact Page Example

Mobile Website Design Guides

Smartphone Users Want to Buy: Get Out of Their Way by V3 Integrated Marketing

Social is Mobile - statsShelly Kramer writes that “Smartphone users are looking for what it is you do and sell because they want it—now,” cites statistics to back this up (for example, “70% of mobile users have used click-to-call to connect directly from the search engine results page…61% (say) it’s the purchase phase of the shopping process when click-to-call is most important,” and provides tips on how to make it easy for mobile visitors to find what they need and take action on your site.

3 reasons you’re not ready for responsive design by iMedia Connection

While the case for using responsive design is compelling, Scott Kiekbusch warns that organizations need to take a look at their current web presence and take three key considerations into account before attempting a transformation, such as starting with content inventory and strategy: “Most of [your current website content] is probably outdated or even downright worthless (you don’t still have content appearing in Flash, do you?). And it almost certainly isn’t optimized for viewing on a screen the size of a deck of playing cards.”

A group debate discussing the best way to make your site work on all devices? by Smart Insights

James Cannings reports on the results of an interactive session with web designers exploring the relative merits of four different design options: responsive web design, adaptive web design, separate mobile site, or “do nothing.” The post delves into technical aspects and distinctions between the approaches, and includes a helpful comparison of the pros and cons of each approach (with the final “con” of the do-nothing approach being “slow death”).

Responsive design for dummies by iMedia Connection

Evan Gerber explains what responsive design is, how it works, and how to best capitalize on the advantages of this technique while reducing risks, such as thinking across form factors (designers should create “interfaces that can work for both mice and fingers by doing things such as using big targets for tapping or clicking”), working collaboratively, considering bandwidth differences, and combining a mix of responsive and selective design.

The Next Web - Responsive Design Example

How to do a Mobile SEO Audit: Identifying and Maximizing your Website Mobile Potential by State of Digital

While, as noted above, web designers aren’t necessarily SEO experts, website design does of course play a role in optimization, and this is particularly true and important in mobile site design. Aleyda Solis walks through three different approaches to mobile site design, and explores the SEO impacts of each alternative.

Responsive Website Design TipsWarning: Your Hasty Move to Responsive Design Could Backfire by iMedia Connection

Devanshi Garg (again) contends that while there’s no question optimizing the online experience across the different devices visitors will use to access your site is critical, responsive design isn’t always the best choice–it depends on the nature of your site, as well as other design and analytics considerations.

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21 Fantastic Facebook Marketing Guides

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Many (most?) marketers have a love-hate relationship with Facebook.

On one hand, not only is it an easy-to-use, low-cost platform with more than a billion members, but 77% of B2C companies and 43% of B2B vendors have acquired customers from Facebook, and the world’s largest social network drives 20% of all internet page views.

Markets Have Mixed Emotions About FacebookOn the other, marketers don’t “own” their presence on Facebook, consumers continue to have privacy concerns about the site, and Facebook is constantly making changes to its interface and other functionality, including recent modifications that have drastically reduced organic reach for brands.

But the bottom line is, as Amanda DiSilvestro notes in one of the posts highlighted below, “there are two online platforms (marketers) just can’t avoid: Google and Facebook.”

So with that in mind, how can brands optimize the limited organic visibility they still have? What are the best page apps for Facebook today? What can SMB marketers learn from the biggest brands on Facebook? What are the best practices for advertising on Facebook?

Find the answers to these questions any many more here in almost two dozen of the best guides to marketing on Facebook of the past year.

Best Facebook Marketing Guides

5 Painfully Obvious But Extremely Effective Facebook Tactics Nobody Told You About by unbouce

Stefanie-GrieserWriting that she’s “heard that it’s easier to get into Harvard than into someone’s Facebook news feed,” Stefanie Grieser shares a handful of tips to help get your content noticed by fans, such as creating a photo collage instead of just posting a single image, and asking questions only at the end of posts.

Is there value in #Organic #SMM after Facebook closes the “Like Economy”? by Social Media Marketing 4 Business

Gary SchirrPondering the impact of the death of EdgeRank, Gary (@ProfessorGary) Schirr ?notes that “a post by a brand’s Facebook page could expect to reach 16% of its fans” up until the fall of 2013; but “after the algorithm change that figure seems to be 2.5%!” Will content proliferation and advertising keep small companies from being successful with social media marketing?

Infographic: Ten Facebook Page best practices by leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal

Jim DoughertyJim Dougherty highlights an infographic detailing ten ways to boost a brand’s Facebook page agreement; for example by asking questions (ask fans to share consumer preferences or help name your new product), use images, use fan content (“People love to see their content & their friends’ content shared by brands”), keep posts simple, and have fun!

37 of the Best Facebook Page Apps for Brand Marketing by Pamorama

Pam DyerWriting that “One of the easiest ways to use your Facebook page to its fullest potential for social media marketing is to employ third-party Facebook applications,” Pam Dyer provides brief reviews of more than three dozen such apps here, from Facebook app suites like AgoraPlus to apps for creating tabs, ecommerce, posting/scheduling, contests and promotions, blog apps and more.

Easy-to-steal ideas from Facebook’s 10 biggest brands by iMedia Connection

Drew HubbardDrew Hubbard shares ideas from mega-brands that “can be stolen…by even the smallest brands,” such as showcasing sponsorship of a local cause or organization; using caption contests (Red Bull does this well); documenting an event in photos; sharing an image of a cute animal next to your product (you don’t really need a reason); or giving people a look “behind the scenes” at your brand or company.

Facebook: News Feed Visibility Changes and RIP EdgeRank via V3 Integrated Marketing

Katy-SchambergerKaty Ryan Schamberger explains that while the term “EdgeRank” is no longer officially used by Facebook, “the algorithm’s three determining factors—affinity, weight and time decay—still play a role in News Feed visibility, although today’s ranking algorithm is much more complex. After detailing other new features, she notes that the key to increasing Facebook visibility is to create content users find engaging.

7 Powerful Facebook statistics you should know for a more engaging Facebook page by The Buffer Blog
***** 5 STARS

Belle Beth CooperBelle Beth Cooper reveals some real-world findings about Facebook use that can help marketers optimize use of the social network, such as that photo posts get 39% more interaction; using emoticons increases comments by 33%; and question posts generate double the number of comments as the average post.

Facebook Finally Gets Hashtags: 10 Smart Ways to Help B2B Marketers by Inbound Visibility

Sunita BidduExplaining that “hashtags can help your business get noticed by putting your posts in the stream of what’s being said and bringing you together with other people that are talking about the same thing as you are,” Sunita Biddu shares tips for optimizing your posts with hashtags, among them: know your audience, be consistent in your communications, engage your fans, and be active during events: “Creating a custom hashtag for your event (e.g. fundraising, seminar, handmade trade, etc.) and sharing it with attendees is a great way of increasing your brand’s buzz online.”

Does Facebook Work for B2B Lead Generation? Hell Yes! by Marketo Blog

Jason MillerWriting to those “who say that Facebook is not an effective lead generation tool for B2B, I will tell them that they need a new strategy,” Jason Miller reveals how Marketo generates leads on Facebook and summarizes the experience with four helpful recommendations, among them: “Wittiness is terribly underrated. B2B marketers like to have fun too. They are not on Facebook to be sold to. Entertain them a bit, and then tie it back to something useful.”

Best Facebook Advertising Guides

Infographic: Facebook ad term glossary by Inside Facebook

Justin LaffertyJustin Lafferty presents an infographic that explains words and phases as used in the world of Facebook advertising, such as Broad Categories (“allows advertisers to target users who have information in their Timelines and actions taken related to a specific category of interests”), Conversion Specs, Custom Audience, and Offsite Pixel (“tracking code placed on an external success page which alerts Facebook” of a conversion).

The Complete Guide to Getting Started with Facebook Ads by buffer

Amanda DeSilvestroAmanda DiSilvestro provides an outstanding guide for those new to Facebook advertising, covering everything from the four different types of Facebook ads (and under what circumstances each option works best) and progressing through how to set up a Facebook ad, how to manage ads, and how to optimize campaigns once they are up and running.

Infographic: Facebook ad cheat sheet by leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal
***** 5 STARS

Jim Dougherty (again) showcases a phenomenally useful cheat sheet detailing all of the different Facebook ad sizes, types, positions, and options available. Beyond ad dimensions, this infographic also includes helpful tips, recommendations, and potential pitfalls to avoid.

20 Quick Facebook Ads QA Steps by FB PPC

Andrew FoxwellAndrew Foxwell lists 20 questions to ask if your Facebook ads aren’t performing well, or if performance takes a sudden dip. Among them: Does (the) mobile landing (or desktop) page stink? Are the targeting audiences too small? Does the client have an active Facebook page? And have you gone through the signup flow and seen if the parameters stick properly?

How to Setup Facebook Conversion Tracking and Why It Matters by SteamFeed

Writing that “the Facebook Conversion Tracking feature is a way for marketers to measure the return on investment (ROI) of their Facebook ads,” Amanda DiSilvestro (again) provides a concise, three-step process for setting up and using this capability.

A Guide to Facebook Advertising by Capture the Conversation

Leah LeskoConfused by “the ever-changing landscape of Facebook ad types”? You’re not alone. But Leah Lesko here helpfully sorts it all out, explaining the use of, details behind, and tips for sponsored stories, promoted posts, dark posts, Marketplace ads, and mobile app install ads.

Best Guides to Facebook Cover Photos

5 Ways to Turn your Facebook Cover Photo into a Call-to-Action that Converts by Wishpond

This post provides detailed and richly illustrated examples of five ways to drive conversions using Facebook cover photos, such as promoting a Facebook Page Tab, getting more “Likes,” or promoting gated content such as a white paper–though the post does point out that “it is not easy to fit content like ebooks and infographics inside of a Tab.”

Facebook Reduces Cover Image Restrictions by v3 Integrated Marketing

Shelly KramerShelly Kramer says that “the latest (Facebook changes) might just make your day. The site has quietly removed the majority of its cover image restrictions, making it easier for brands and businesses to use this valuable visual real estate to promote things like sales, events and the Facebook page itself.” She then details what elements brands are now permitted to use in cover images, including “Calls to action such as ‘Buy now,’ ‘Tell your friends,’ ‘Contact us,’ etc..”

How to Effectively Use CTAs on Your Brands Facebook Page Cover Photo by Ignite Social Media

Building on Shelly’s post above, Ross Wilson delves into the use of calls to action on Facebook page cover photos, offering six tips for writing a compelling CTA (such as “Front load them with subjects and verbs. With only 20 percent content allowed in your cover photo, your CTA will be approximately the length of a tweet”) and following up with a handful of illuminating real-world examples.

Best Guides to Facebook Graph Search

Infographic: How to optimize your business Page for Graph Search by leaderswest

Jim Dougherty (one more time) showcases a nine-step “cheat sheet” for optimizing a page for graph search, from the basics like choosing the right category and making sure your business address is listed correctly through posting and tagging photos and videos (“posting photos and videos and tagging your business page in them can improve Graph Search rankings”).

Introducing Graph Search: Help People Discover your Business by Facebook Studio

This brief post explains what Facebook Graph Search is, how it works, why it was developed, and how it will be rolled out. “With Graph Search, people can search the social graph by looking for things like ‘sushi restaurants that my friends have been to in Los Angeles,’ ‘hotels near the Eiffel Tower,’ or ‘TV shows my friends like.’”

Social Media: Why Facebook’s new Graph Search will change social media marketing by MarketingSherpa

John CockburnNoting that “The way Graph Search works is simple … it filters our search results by what our friends and neighbors have previously liked and shared with us,” John Cockburn explains that while graph search by no means heralds the end of marketing on Facebook, it does make relevance even more vital and means “companies will now have to find the right mix of creativity and incentives as they battle for check-ins and likes to maintain relevancy in consumer search listings.”

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20 More of the Best Social Media Marketing Guides and Tips of 2013

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Social media marketing has become an integral part of strategies for maximizing the overall web visibility of an organization. To be effective, it must be integrated with SEO and PR efforts, and even executed to enhance online advertising efforts.

Best Social Media Marketing Guides of 2013Back in October, the post here 21 of the Best Social Media Marketing Guides of 2013 (So Far) noted that as social media marketing practices mature, the questions about it have evolved from simple “how do I do x” queries to more complex investigation into how to optimize social marketing strategies and tactics.

How can you make your blog content stand out amid the increasing online noise? What are the key platforms to utilize beyond the “big four”? What key trends in 2014 should social media marketers to be aware of? What are the best practices for promoting events through social media?

Find the answers to those questions and many others here in 20 more of the best social media marketing guides of the past year.

Best Social Media Marketing Guides and Tips

The Ultimate Social Media Tip Sheet by Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenThe insightful and prolific Heidi Cohen collects 101 top social media tips and tactics in this bookmark-worthy tip sheet, from knowing your target audience and their hot buttons and writing regular features responding to your audience’s needs to answering questions on forums and sites like Quora, and incorporating social media calls to action.

21 Rules For Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies, an infographic by WordPress SEO Cloud Hosting

Berrie PelserBerrie Pelser shares an infographic covering “21 unwritten (well, they were unwritten) rules of social media marketing” for social marketing success, which include: quality > quantity, mind your manners, patience is crucial, and—one easily misunderstood—access doesn’t equal entitlement (“Making connections may give you access, but it doesn’t mean fans and followers owe you anything”).

How to Find Influencers Who Already Want to Share and Link to Your Content by KISSmetrics
***** 5 STARS

Mark TruemanMark Trueman walks through a multi-step process for finding content similar to yours that has broad reach, determining who is sharing these posts, and then getting these people to share your posts. He even provides sample outreach email text that’s been proven to drive significant response.

IBM: These Are The Top 7 Social Trends That Will Emerge In 2014 by Forbes

Mark FidelmanThe brilliant Mark Fidelman reports on seven top social media trends for the coming year identified by IBM, including taking social beyond collaboration; increased traction for brand journalism; and “the true convergence of Social, Mobile, Analytics and the Cloud.”

70% follow social media for business purposes – Can it be ignored? by Pitch Magazine

Moneka KhuranaThe English is bit rough, but the concepts are spot on in this post. Moneka Khurana compiles b2b best practices and tips from Dell and Cisco, demonstrating how different types of information (e.g., brand information vs. market trends) lend themselves to different content formats, and a six-step approach to building a robust social media presence.

26 Tips to Create Social Media Magic for Your Business by Positively Peggy

Peg FitzpatrickIf you feel like your social media marketing efforts are hitting a wall, Peg Fitzpatrick prescribes more than two dozen “easy, actionable items that you can do to put the social media magic back into your brand,” among them: creating a weekly Google+ Hangout series, adding “a board with links to your other social networks and blog so people can find you everywhere,” and using third party apps to help grow your Twitter following.

20 Things You Should Share On Social Media by jeffbullas.com

Jeff BullasJeff Bullas lists 20 things to share on social media “that can assist your business to be viewed as a leader in its industry and drive inquiry and sales and help you get found online,” including Slideshare presentations, infographics, company news releases, and “Share your humour…mix up your serious content with some humourous photo’s, articles and even cartoons.”

How To Socialize An Event by LinkedIn
***** 5 STARS

Guy KawasakiGuy Kawasaki provides 14 tips to make it “possible to ensure that an event is covered in social media—even trending as a hot topic with an event with only 100 attendees,” such as choosing an evergreen hashtag and promoting it everywhere, produce livestream video coverage and real-time updates, and require executives to be available for photos.

The Best [And Worst] Times To Post On Social Media by V3 Integrate Marketing

Shelly KramerShelly Kramer outlines three methods for “discovering the optimal posting time on a social media platform,” including the use of third party data; for example, an infographic she includes which illustrates, in general, the best and worst times to post updates on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

20 Quick-Win Tactics For Building A New Social Media Presence by Marketing Land

Courtney SeiterCourtney Seiter lists “20 quick-win tactics for building a new social media presence on any network,” like filling out your profile as completely as possible; using professional, high-resolution images; analyzing similar accounts to determine what’s working (and what’s not); and cross-promoting the new account through your other social media points of presence.

Are You Using Quora in Your Social Strategy? 8 Tips to Do It Right by The Daily Egg

Joanna XuDescribing Quora as “the mature, authoritative big brother of Yahoo Answers,” Joanna Xu shares eight tips for getting the most out of the platform, from proper editing, formatting and use of photos through linking Quora to your other social accounts and backing up all of your answers.

How to Use Tumblr for SEO and Social Media Marketing by SEOmoz

Takeshi YoungTakeshi Young says that Tumblr is an often overlooked platform with great potential for SEO and social media marketing, and so in this post covers “1) What Tumblr is and how it works, 2) The benefits of Tumblr compared to other social networks, and 3) Actionable advice on how you can use Tumblr for online marketing, including specific content ideas.”

Why The Company You Keep Online Is A Big Deal [And How To Fix It] by V3 Integrated Marketing

While every company wants lots of Twitter followers and Facebook “Likes,” Shelly Kramer (again) provides a helpful reminder that it matters who is doing that following and liking. Fake followers, ill-advising activities or connections on Facebook or Instagram, purchased or otherwise illegitimate reviews–all can harm a company’s online reputation. Fortunately, she also explains tools and strategies to help keep a firm’s social presence respectable.

YouTube Marketing Guides and Tips

How to Optimize Your YouTube Video for Maximum Traffic by jeffbullas.com

Courtney GordnerMaking the case that YouTube is much more than “the world’s foremost provider of cute kitten videos, guest author Courtney Gordner explains how the video sharing site fits into overall social media marketing strategy and how to optimize YouTube videos for search.

YouTube Gives Video Publishers Calls-to-Action With External Annotation Links by Cloud Tactix
***** 5 STARS

Sam SwiechSam Swiech explains how to add your company website as an “associated site” on your YouTube channel (and notes that “It’s important to keep in mind that you can associate more than one site to your YouTube account at once,”) and “tastefully” apply annotations to videos.

Top 10 Ways to Optimize Your Business YouTube Channel by Pinterest

Mike JohanssonMike Johansson shares an infographic showing how to optimize a business YouTube channel, from creating an attractive channel design and developing a video strategy through utilizing annotations, calls to action, keywords, playlists, and social promotion.

Image Size Cheat Sheets for Social Media Profiles

Complete Social Media Sizes Design Chart [ #Infographic ] by Jason Fox

Jason FoxIn this brief but bookmark-worthy social media sizes design chart post, Jason Fox lays out the design specs and image size requirements for graphically optimizing profiles on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.

Infographic: The Ultimate Social Media Size Cheat Sheet by CloudTactix

Sam ZastrowFor those who want a more richly illustrated of the social network profile image size chart called out above, Sam Zastrow shares a photo-rich infographic which “includes everything you want to know about visuals sizing for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn (and probably a lot you didn’t care to know, too).”

Social Media Policy Development Guides

Law Firm Creates Social Media Guide For Businesses by Twin Cities Business
***** 5 STARS

Rebecca OmastiakRebecca Omastiak reports on a free guide created by Minneapolis law firm Gray Plant & Mooty that “informs businesses about the legal ramifications of using social media websites—including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, among others—to connect with clients, advertisers, and customers” to help companies understand how to write social media policies that are both effective and legally compliant.

Social Media Policies Present Challenges to Business via ThomasNet News

David SimsAlthough, as David Sims notes, “There’s no question whether manufacturers should establish rules governing if and how employees may use social media,” it’s vital for employers to understand the rules governing such policies. For example, a blanket prohibition on criticizing the company on social media sites is likely to run afoul of the law.

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The Top #Nifty50 Women Writers on Twitter for 2013

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Each year, the #Nifty50 awards honor 50 men and 50 women who actively engage on Twitter. 2011 was the inaugural year. In 2012, the #Nifty50 recognized the top men and women on Twitter in the technology realm.

The #Nifty50 Women Writers on Twitter for 2013The purpose of the award is to acknowledge the contributions of honorees to their fields, as well as their level of engagement on Twitter; to encourage interaction with these leaders; and to expand social networks. When the timing is right, the #Nifty50 will be expanded to include an element of social good—the #Nifty50 Kids project, which will provide access to advanced technologies for low-income children.

This year’s #Nifty50 highlights men and women who write—more specifically, who regularly produce some form of business-related online content (blog posts, news articles, videos, infographics, etc.)—and who actively engage on Twitter. The honorees include both full-time (e.g., journalists, authors, or PR professionals) and part-time writers (e.g., bloggers).

Since the first awards, the #Nifty50 hashtag has been tweeted and retweeted nearly 7,000 times, with a total exposure of more than 50 million people, according to Topsy. The #Nifty50 was also featured in the new book by Mark (@mnburgess) and Cheryl Burgess (@ckburgess), The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, August 2013) How Great Companies Make Social Media Work – Success Lessons from IBM, AT&T, Dell, Cisco, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, and Domo on building a social culture.

For 2013, we’re pleased to honor 50 women (below) and 50 men (in a post on the Blue Focus Marketing Blog) who are both outstanding writers and content producers and active social media connectors and engagers. Beyond their professional lives, the interests of these women range from the fairly conventional (travel, food, wine, health, fashion, family) to the unexpected (Star Wars, Milk Duds, beer, Swedish fish).

We’re proud to acknowledge these 50 women from 48 different organizations as the top #Nifty50 women writers on Twitter for 2013. You can find and subscribe to or follow the entire list on Twitter here.

(Editor’s note: Though I’d be proud to claim her as a member of my extended clan, I’m fairly certain that Marissa Pick and I have no familial relationship.)

Jennifer Aaker
@Aaker

Jennifer Aaker

 

Diana Adams
@adamsconsulting

Diana Adams

 

Ardath Albee
@ardath421

Ardath Albee

 

Kare Anderson
@kareanderson

Kare Anderson

 

Judy Bellem
@JudyBellem

Judy Bellem

 

Meghan M. Biro
@MeghanMBiro

Meghan M. Biro

 

Susan Borst
@susanborst

Susan Borst

 

Lisa Buyer
@lisabuyer

Lisa Buyer

 

Sandy Carter
@sandy_carter

Sandy Carter

 

Karima-Catherine
@karimacatherine

Karmia-Catherine

 

Ann Charles
@annmcharles

Ann Charles

 

Dorie Clark
@dorieclark

Dorie Clark

 

Heidi Cohen
@heidicohen

Heidi Cohen

 

Julie Cottineau
@JCottin

Julie Cottineau

 

Gini Dietrich
@ginidietrich

Gini Dietrich

 

Jenna Dobkin
@JennaSD

Jenna Dobkin

 

Esther Dyson
@edyson

Esther Dyson

 

Marni Edelhart
@CarpeDiFemme

Marni Edelhart

 

Kristi Eells
@Kristi_Eells

Kristi Eells

 

Laurie Friedman
@lauriefriedman

Laurie Friedman

 

Anne Deeter Gallaher
@AnneDGallaher

Anne Deeter Gallaher

 

Ann Handley
@annhandley

Ann Handley

 

Catherine Hays
@catharinehays

Catherine Hays

 

Elizabeth Hitchcock
@ElizHitchcock

Elizabeth Hitchcock

 

Amy Howell
@HowellMarketing

Amy Howell

 

Martine Hunter
@martinehunter

Martine Hunter

 

Jennifer Kane
@JenKaneCo

Jennifer Kane

 

Julie Kehoe
@juliekehoe

Julie Kehoe

 

Katrina Klier
@KatrinaKlier

Katrina Klier

 

Shelly Kramer
@shellykramer

Shelly Kramer

 

Megan Leap
@MeganLeap

Megan Leap

 

Heather Lloyd-Martin
@heatherlloyd

Heather Lloyd-Martin

 

Margaret Molloy
@MargaretMolloy

Margaret Molloy

 

Wendy Marx
@wendymarx

Wendy Marx

 

Lori Moreno
@LoriMoreno

Lori Moreno

 

Marissa Pick
@marissapick

Marissa Pick

 

Maria Poveromo
@mariapoveromo

Maria Poveromo

 

Tonia Ries
@tonia_ries

Tonia Ries

 

Jill Rowley
@jill_rowley

Jill Rowley

 

Lori Ruff
@LoriRuff

Lori Ruff

 

Angie Schottmuller
@aschottmuller

Angie Schottmuller

 

Esta H. Singer
@sheconsulting

Esta H. Singer

 

Mari Smith
@marismith

Mari Smith

 

Michele Smorgon
@maxOz

Michele Smorgon

 

Elizabeth Sosnow
@elizabethsosnow

Elizabeth Sosnow

 

Jayme Soulati
@Soulati

Jayme Soulati

 

Ann Tran
@AnnTran_

Ann Tran

 

Casie Vogel
@casievogel

Casie Vogel

 

Deborah Weinstein
@DebWeinstein

Deb Weinstein

 

Patricia Wilson
@brandcottage

Patricia Wilson

 

Again, you can find and follow the entire 2013 #Nifty50 Twitter women’s list here.

 

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26 Outstanding LinkedIn Tips and Tactics

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Indisputably the largest business-oriented social network, LinkedIn has emerged as a crucial site for professional networking, B2B marketing, hiring and job seeking. LinkedIn now boasts more than 200 million members across 200 countries, and adds two new members every second; what’s more, 35% of LinkedIn members use the site daily.

Furthermore, due to its multiple sharing options including buttons, apps, personal updates, company updates, and industry-focused group discussions, LinkedIn is often among the top three or four traffic sources for B2B blogs. As a key driver of both traffic and online visibility, LinkedIn is a key component in any B2B firm’s web presence optimization framework.

How can individuals use LinkedIn most effectively, whether for personal branding, job seeking or networking? How can companies best use LinkedIn as a marketing platform? What are the best practices for advertising on LinkedIn?

Find the answers to these questions and many others here in more than two dozen expert LinkedIn guides, tactics, tips and infographics.

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile and Use

How to Use LinkedIn Powerfully: 10 Tips to Know by Social Media Today

Tracy GoldTracy Gold offers tips for creating a more effective LinkedIn profile, among them writing a rich but concise summary (“use concrete details like results you have generated and tasks you do on a daily basis to show people how awesome you are, not tell them,” and connecting with care (“I favor being a tad picky. I’d like to think I could recommend—or at least answer questions about—anyone I am connected to on LinkedIn”).

6 Changes You Need To Make To Your LinkedIn Profile Now by V3 Integrated Marketing

Shelly KramerShelly Kramer recommends half a dozen key changes to power up your LinkedIn profile, such as adding an application: “LinkedIn offers a number of apps to help you add depth to your profile. Share what you’re reading, embed your SlideShare presentations, showcase your WordPress blog or add a poll. Other applications are available for specific industries, including Legal Updates, Real Estate Pro and Lawyer Ratings.”

How to turn LinkedIn into a relationship filter by SmartBlog on Social Media

Jesse StanchakJesse Stanchak interviews “LinkedIn Jedi” Dave Gowel about using LinkedIn as “a relationship filter, that when you put in all the relationships that you already have, it allows you to see the ones that you could have more easily, or get information about potential ones.” The key “is to start with a really high quality first-degree connection pool” so that those potential second- and third-degree connections are really meaningful.

10 words you should never use on LinkedIn by iMedia Connection

Josh DrellerHoping to land that dream job through LinkedIn? Josh Dreller advises avoiding these 10 over-used, meaningless, or just plain dumb phrases to describe yourself, such as “guru” or “visionary”—”terms such as ‘guru’ imply that you’re beyond an expert in something; that folks should be showering you with rose pedals or sacrificing goats in your honor. And, hey, if you’re a guru, why do you need a job? Self-appointed royalty titles only make most people feel like you’re going to be a huge pain-in-the-butt to work with.”

12 LinkedIn secrets to supercharge your social networking by Ragan’s PR Daily

Shelly Kramer (again) lists a dozen techniques for advanced use of LinkedIn, such as how to hide your status updates (“If you’re connecting with new business prospects or making changes to your profile in preparation for job seeking, you may not want to broadcast that activity to your network”), make yourself anonymous (for example, when conducting competitive research) and block your connections and group activities from competitors.

13 Things You Never Knew You Could Do On LinkedIn by Business Insider

Steve KovachWhile the title may be a bit exaggerated, Steve Kovach nevertheless highlights several of the less-used features, such as LinkedIn’s resume builder tool, which “will build your resumé in a snap. It takes all the information in your profile and coverts it to a simple resumé that you can print out. There are a bunch of templates to choose from too.”

The New Networking: Ultimate LinkedIn Guide for 2012 Grads by Online Colleges

Writing “Whether you’re a LinkedIn newbie or just need to become more effective on the site, these tips offer great ideas for LinkedIn networking,” the authors provide more than two dozen tips and resources for more effectively using LinkedIn. Though targeted at recent grads, many of the recommendations apply more broadly, like being a connector: “If you know two (or more people) that should know each other but don’t, take a moment to introduce them to each other on LinkedIn. They’ll appreciate that you thought of them and recognize that you’re valuable as a person who offers assistance and great connections.”

Looking for a new job? LinkedIn can help by iMedia Connection

Jim NicholsJim Nichols offers eight tips for utilizing LinkedIn in a job search, including helpful instructions on how to search for jobs on the business social network and connecting with recruiters: “A number of recruiters told me that LinkedIn is the source of more than half of their serious candidates. That’s a remarkable statistic and the operative word in that sentence is ‘serious.’…Recruiters are using LinkedIn to proactively find great candidates and check up on applicants that they are reviewing. If you aren’t there in a meaningful way, you may never get serious consideration.”

Social Media Minute: 25 B2B Marketing Uses of LinkedIn by MLT Creative

Martine HunterWriting that “If you’re in B2B marketing or sales, you can do so much more with your LinkedIn account than simply look up your B2B marketing contacts. Use  LinkedIn to help sell product, expand your networks, grow your business and gain free publicity,” Martine Hunter lists more than two dozen tactics to more fully engage on LinkedIn, such as conducting market research with Polls, sharing survey results with contacts, and “Check connections’ locations before traveling so you can meet with those in the city where you’re heading.”

4 Ways to Stand Out on LinkedIn by LinkedIn Blog

Nicole WilliamsNicole Williams shares four tips for making an impact on LinkedIn in this concise but helpful post, for example: “Dress it up: People always say dress for the job you want, right? Well, maybe it’s time to dress up your online profile picture. People with photos are seven times more likely to have their profiles viewed. Having a more polished image will not only make you visible, but it also lets employers know that you are serious about representing their company in the most professional way…Plus, you’re twelve times more likely to have your profile viewed if you add more than one position to your profile.”

10 Ways to Promote Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn by iMedia Connection

Jane TurkewitzJane Turkewitz recommends choosing “key strategic words in that will help define your core strengths and experiences” ot use in your title, using SEO strategies in highlighting your specialties (“Don’t be afraid to use multiple terms to describe the same function as I have done in this sample because everyone ‘searches’ using different criteria”) and securing high-level recommendations (“Director level and above recommendations are ideal”) among other tactics.

Marketing with LinkedIn

6 Lessons from HubSpot’s LinkedIn Company Page by Business Insider

Amanda MaksymiwAmanda Maksymiw shares lessons from examining how HubSpot utilizes its LinkedIn company, such as “Build a robust product tab…HubSpot has done a really nice job utilizing the Products tab within the company page.  Instead of simply focusing on its software products, HubSpot also links back to larger content assets such as eBooks, assessments, webinars, and its every (sic) popular Grader tools,” which is to say, not just literally products but also assets of value to prospective customers.

Linkedin Leveraging: How to Tap Groups for Traffic, Leads & Sales by KISSmetrics

Michael AlexisMichael Alexis breaks down LinkedIn Groups strategies used by Lewis Howes to allegedly generate $1.5 million in revenue. Sales pitch aside, this post provides a helpful step-by-step guide to starting a LinkedIn Group, broadcasting group messages, setting up webinars and more.

11 LinkedIn Marketing Gems You’re Missing Out On by HubSpot
***** 5 STARS

Corey EridonStating that “We already know that LinkedIn is more effective at generating leads than Facebook or Twitter. 277% more effective, in fact,” Corey Eridon presents tactics for optimizing LinkedIn marketing efforts, from gathering insights from LinkedIn Group statistics to using targeted product tabs to create “different variations of your product tab for each segment of your target audience.”

9 Ways to Add LinkedIn to Your Company Website by Mashable

Brian HonigmanNoting that “Adding LinkedIn’s social features to your company website is a great way to tap into both a large-scale recruitment platform and a targeted network of business contacts,” Brian Honigman describes nine ways to do this, including Share, Recommend, Follow Company and Apply buttons, as well as plugins for your company profile and, for recruiting purposes, “Jobs Your May Be Interested In.”

LinkedIn To Launch Targeting and Analytics for Company Pages by The Content Strategist

Kylie Jane WakefieldKylie Jane Wakefield explains how two LinkedIn features, Targeted Updates and Follower Statistics, “allow companies to further target key demographics and measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.” Targeted Updates enables “marketers to deliver updates to certain audiences based on specific details, such as company size, industry, geography, job function, and seniority,” while “Follower Statistics ‘provides insights about follower demographics, engagement levels, update impressions, total following, recent followers, and number of new followers month-to-month.’”

13 Brands Using LinkedIn Company Page Features the Right Way by HubSpot

Pamela VaughanPamela Vaughan details eight ways brands can make the most of their LinkedIn pages (such as incorporating your blog’s RSS feed: “While simply including your blog’s feed won’t broadcast its content to your LinkedIn page followers via the updates feed on their homepage…it’s a really easy way to promote your blog content to the visitors on your page”), supported with examples from companies like Voices.com and Zipcar.

5 Ways to Generate Leads from a LinkedIn B2B Company Page by Social Media B2B

Jeffery L. CohenJeffrey L. Cohen details a handful of techniques for generating B2B leads through LinkedIn, among them testing free banners (“Want to test some new creative ideas? Want to test some landing pages? LinkedIn gives you three free banner ads at the top of the products and services page. Create images that are 640×220 pixels, upload them to your page and add a unique URL, preferably to a landing page, and you have free ads”) and incorporating video with a call to action.

7 Ways to Drive More Blog Traffic Using LinkedIn by Social Media Examiner

Stephanie SammonsStephanie Sammons shares “seven powerful tips to use LinkedIn to drive more traffic to your blog,” among them six ways to “get active and engage” to drive more profile views and blog traffic, and four ways to “Post blog articles as status updates and link to relevant articles.”

Answers to Your Top 7 Questions About Mastering LinkedIn Marketing by HubSpot

Brittany LeaningBrittany Leaning answers the seven most common questions posed in a joint HubSpot-LinkedIn webinar, for example, Q: What’s the best way to find potential customers on LinkedIn? A: “Groups are your best bet, especially if you consider your business to be relatively niche. In a group, you can establish yourself as an industry expert very quickly through discussions and announcements. In general, groups are very engaging and allow for great communication between professionals interested in the same topic.”

How to get the most from LinkedIn Company Pages by Smart Insights

Annmarie HanlonAnnmarie Hanlon provides a detailed guide to optimizing LinkedIn company pages, from reviewing all of the key elements to create or review when setting up a company page, to sharing company status updates, to utilizing the (admittedly limited) data provided by LinkedIn Insights.

Advertising on LinkedIn

The KISSmetrics Guide To LinkedIn Ads – Part I: The Basics by KISSmetrics

Igor BelogolovskyIgor Belogolovsky serves up a step-by-step guide to building a successful ad campaign on LinkedIn, from determining whether or not LinkedIn ads are even right for your business (“If you sell something that benefits business owners or working professionals and you can, in one short sentence, clearly delineate why, the answer is probably yes”) through targeted, ad creation, budgeting and tracking.

LinkedIn…from Downtown! by PPC Hero

Kayla KurtzUsing NCAA March Madness as a metaphor, Kayla Kurtz explains why LinkedIn advertising could be a contender (“the glory of LinkedIn is it’s targeting capabilities. You can target all the way down to the CEO of a particular company and write an ad text written specifically to them, name included. If that isn’t targeting, I don’t know what is”) as well as limitations that could leave it in the losers’ bracket (e.g., historically low click-through rates).

How to set up a Successful Ad Campaign onLinkedIn by eMagine’s B2B Blog

Lee Rush SchwartzWriting that “LinkedIn ads are very similar to those you create on AdWords or AdCenter, but with the added bonus of specific targeting options not found in the other ad campaign media,” Lee Rush Schwartz steps through the six elements of ad targeting on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Infographics

Do You Use LinkedIn To Its Fullest Potential? [INFOGRAPHIC] by Infographic List

Arjan de RaafArjan de Raaf offers tips for making the best use of LinkedIn in this short but sweet infographic, including filling out all areas of your profile, as “First impressions are everything. It’s important to have everything completed on your profile to appear more professional. It’s also an opportunity to keyword optimize your profile.”

Infographic: How people are using LinkedIn by Ragan’s PR Daily

Here’s a fascinating collection of LinkedIn facts and stats, among them: less than 10% of members use the paid, premium version of LinkedIn. More than 80% of members have fewer than 500 connections. And the four most popular features on the business social network are Groups,  people searching, “people you may know,” and checking on who has viewed one’s profile.

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