Posts Categorized: Social media

4 Clever Things You Can Do With Facebook Photo Albums

Are we friends on Facebook?  I’d sure love it if we were.  And if we already are, you’ve probably seen me fussing with my photo albums.  In an effort to make better use of all the posts in my archives and to organize things in a pretty (and dorky) manner, I inadvertently stumbled upon something clever.

And once I fell down that proverbial rabbit hole, I got to thinking about all the other ways a blogger/entrepreneur/company could use their Facebook photo albums.  Let’s get to it!

Photo albums for each of your post series
If you, like me, have on-going post series, this is a great way to make use of your archives and encourage your Facebook friends to have a dig through all that useful content.  You can also make photo albums for tags you regularly use on your blog - vegan recipes, hair tutorials, how-tos.

To make these photo albums as engaging + clickable as possible, crop your post image into a square and overlay the post’s title. Now your readers will be able to see all the posts on one prettily organized page.  If you’re feeling ambitious, you can schedule some tweets telling your Twitter followers that they can find all your travel posts in one place now.
A photo album of your press mentions
If you and/or your products are getting written up in magazines and newspapers, tell us about it!  It’s a lovely way to showcase your authority - in addition to those inevitable sidebar links.  You could also use this space to share screen shots of good Yelp or Amazon reviews.


A photo album of customers using your products
Encourage your customers to send you photos of your products in use.  You never know how someone is going to style your dress or what recipe they’ll make with your maple syrup!  If you’re feeling generous, you can offer them a discount off their next purchase in exchange for sending  you photos.  And then if you’re really on top of it, you’ll encourage them to include their social media information with their photo so you can @mention when you post their photos.

facebook-photo-album-product-linePhoto albums for each of your product lines
Do you come out with new products each season?  Or maybe you’ve got different products lines for different consumers? Make a photo album for each line.  It makes it easy for your followers to see all of your goods in one place (other than your online shop) and reaches people who follow you on Facebook but might not check your website regularly.

And if you don’t want to do any of this?  Make a photo album of your cat being needy.

Are you utilizing your Facebook photo albums?  Any other awesome tips to share?

P.S.  You’ve obviously installed the newsletter and Twitter apps on your page, right?  And customized your url?  And customized your app images?

How To Be Amazing At Social Media Without Letting It Consume Your Life

Good lord but maintaining your online life can get exhausting.  There’s always a new platform to sign up for, more people to follow, new best practices to perfect.  When I’m doing a Clever Session with a client, social media overwhelm is inevitably one of the first things we talk about.

Nearly everyone I’ve worked has said some version of the following:
“I know I need to use social media but I have no idea where to start.”
“It’s just so time consuming! I’ve got shit to do!”
“Do I reallllllly have to use __________?”
“How can I find time in my day to watch all of the cat videos I want to see?”

Dude. I know.  I totally, totally know.  I work hard to maintain some level of work/life balance and for me that means no data plan on my smartphone and only using two social media platforms (I use Twitter and Facebook - let’s be friends!)  It’s taken me a while (and an abandoned Pinterest account) to figure out a social media plan that works for me, promotes my stuff, but doesn’t consume my life.  Here’s what I’ve figured out (and what I suggest to my social media overwhelmed clients

Choose 2 (or 3) social media platforms and get good at them
It’s much, much better to do two things well than five things poorly.  If you ‘just’ have a Facebook page and Twitter account that is 100% acceptable. Devote your time to writing interesting, click-worthy tweets, creating Twitter lists that will help you reach your goals, and posting clever things on your business’s Facebook page.

If you’ve chosen LinkedIn, reach out to people you want to work with and post helpful articles. If you’re on Pinterest, write funny, helpful captions. Instagram? Share photos of the products you’re developing or behind-the-scenes photos.

You get the idea.  You’ll see better results (and feel a lot less stressed) if you really commit to becoming amazing at just a few things.

Pre-schedule your social media
This is the absolute best thing you can do to make social media manageable.  I (somewhat controversially) recommend that you tweet about your blog posts multiple times - which can obviously get time consuming.  Set aside an hour or two each week and spend that time scheduling your tweets and Facebook updates.  If you’re super organized (and feel so inclined) you can even schedule out Instagram photos and pins on Pinterest.  I use Hootsuite for all my pre-scheduling needs, but there are heaps of other pre-scheduling services.

You should also set aside at least 20 minutes a day to pop into your social media account and interact with your friends and followers in real time.  Robots we are not.

Work around the limitations of the platforms you’re using
Just because you want to post a tiny video of your products, doesn’t mean you have to create a Vine account.  If you’ve already got an Instagram account, you can use their video option.  I don’t have an instagram account, but I regularly share images on Twitter by using Twitpic.  Do you love to curate collections of inspirational images but don’t want a Pinterest account?  Create a photo album on your Facebook page.

Choose a platform that makes sense for your business
Really, arguments could be made for just about any social media platform for just about any business.  Regardless, here are my two cents for which platforms make the most sense for which business.
Twitter: just about everybody.  It allows you to interact directly with customers and potential clients in 140-character bites.
Facebook: most companies - especially brick and mortar businesses. Facebook is the grandma of social media so most people view it as a foregone conclusion that any reputable business will have a Facebook page.  It’s also the platform with the most users.
Instagram: photographers/designers/lifestyle brands.  Your goods are visually appealing!  You should be showing people that!
freelancers/marketers/consultants.  This is where you find potential clients and collaborators.  Obviously.
Pinterest: anyone who markets to women.
Vimeo/Youtube/Vine: speakers/coaches/companies whose product must be demoed to understand.

Which social media platforms do you use?  Do you preschedule?  How do you avoid the overwhelm?

photo by sean mcgrath // cc

Collaborating Your Way to More Traffic + Clients

tips for collaboration
When you’re self-employed or running your own business it’s very, very easy to fall into the busy trap and attempt to do everything yourself.  It can be hard to delegate and when you’ve worked hard to flesh out your email list and develop an online following, you might even be a bit greedy about sharing your spotlight with someone else.

Don’t be such greedy spotlight hogger, dude!  When done correctly, collaboration will lighten your load and expose you and your stuff to tons of new people who want what you’re selling.

Want to make sure that a collaboration goes well?  Here are some questions to ask yourself before you dive in.

Does this person do something that I can’t do + that my clients/customers need?
I regularly collaborate with Maria Ross on her Slice Sessions - I’m not a branding expert and Maria’s not a copywriter, but together, we’re nigh-on unstoppable.  I’ve also collaborated with web designer Sarah to dish out advice on websites - I gave content and copy advice, Sarah gave design and coding advice.

You might not want to collaborate with someone who does exactly the same thing that you do, but if they provide a service your clients probably need, team up!  If you’re a clothing label, collaborate with stylists.  If you’re a CSA, collaborate with a food blogger who makes and promotes recipes from your produce.  If you’re a wellness coach, collaborate with a place that makes fresh pressed juice!

Are our businesses about the same size?
Different collaborators bring different things to the table.  Maybe you don’t have a large online following, but you have a PhD and you’ve written two books.  Maybe your photographer has lots of experience with commercial shoots but very little with pets.  You don’t need to limit yourself to collaborators who are in the same tax bracket, but things will probably go a bit more smoothly if you’re on - if not the same page - the same chapter.

Do our businesses ‘make sense’ together?  Would their clients like me?
If you’ve been following this blog (or my larger lifestyle blog Yes and Yes) you probably know I’m not a particularly corporate person.  As such, I will probably never collaborate with Best Buy or a middle-aged white dude who talks about investments. My readers probably wouldn’t like them and their customers probably wouldn’t like me.  I would however, very happily collaborate with Paul Jarvis or Go Mighty or A Life Less Bullshit or Barnabas Clothing and I bet our people would love each other.

Have we been insanely, incredibly clear about who does what in this collaboration?
If you landed the client, do you get a bigger cut?  If you wrote a guest post for them, will they send it out to their email list?  If they’re designing something for you, how many rounds of revisions are allowed?  How many times will they tweet about your guest post? Who’s blogging about it?

You get the idea.

Collaborations can be heaps of fun.  They’ll introduce your goods + services to a whole new audience and hopefully you’ll introduce your people to awesome stuff they were looking for anyhow!  If you do it right, that’s a win/win.

Do you ever collaborate?  Any tips on how to make the most of all that team-working?

photo by j sorbieus // cc

16 Ways You Can Write Better Tweets, Starting Today

Wouldn’t it be awesome if there were a ‘better tweet’ plugin?

Something we could all download that would make our tweets funnier, more popular, and more click catching?

I reallllly wish there was, because I have spent A LOT of time crafting the perfect 140-word missive, playing with contractions and ampersands in order to fit my message into that little box.

If you’ve been plugging away on Twitter without getting the results you want, I’ve rounded up every single piece of Twitter-related advice I have and mushed them all into one post. Cheers to more followers and more clicks, friends!

16 Ways You Can Write Better Tweets, Starting Today

1. Make sure your traffic is actually coming from Twitter

I have about the same number of followers on Facebook and Twitter, even though I’ve devoted 90% of my social media efforts towards Twitter. But when I finally figured out how to work Google analytics, I discovered that 60% of my traffic was coming from Facebook! And I only posted once a week!

Before you spend an hour constructing The World’s Most Perfect Tweet, why not double check that you’re getting enough traffic from Twitter to validate all your hard work. Crack open your analytics and see where your traffic is coming from.

If most of your traffic is coming from Facebook - here’s how to get even more. If most of your traffic is coming from Pinterest, here’s an incredibly comprehensive post about how to get more followers and re-pins.

2. Add images to your tweets

Did you know that content with images is 94% (!!!) more likely to be retweeted, favorited, or replied to? Tweets with images are more engaging, more eye-catching, and if you include the title of your blog post in the image, you ‘free up’ some of those 140 characters to use for witticisms or @mentions.

If I’m promoting a particularly image-heavy post - like an interview with a fashion blogger or a roundup up of interior design resources - I like to create a little collage of the images I use in the post to entice people to click through. You can see how I do that here.

How do you add images to your Tweets?

* Resize your image so it’s 440×220. Sure, you could use a larger photo that you’ve sized for Facebook or a blog post, but it might get auto-cropped awkwardly. Spend the extra 30 seconds creating a Twitter-specific image.

* Click the ‘media’ button on your tweet box and upload it. You can also schedule tweets + images on most social media management platforms!

3. Add gifs to your tweets

If a still image is more engaging than a text-only tweet, a gif will probably make people spill their coffee in an effort to click that ‘favorite’ button, right?

Use a gif to demonstrate your feelings about a given topic or preview the best, funniest part of the video you’re linking to. @thecultureofme does a great job integrating gifs into his tweets; so does Kaleigh Moore! Here’s how to add gifs to your tweets.

4. @mention the people you linked to in your post

Did you assemble an awesome link round up post? (You should! They’re bizarrely popular!) @mention the people you linked to. Did you write a travel guide and link to the best museums, restaurants, and hotels in your city? @mention them. Are you hosting a guest post? @mention your guest posters. You get the idea!

When you @mention people, you’re laying the foundation of a beautiful internet friendship. When you @mention businesses and organizations you’re telling them you think they’re awesome and giving them content they can retweet and share!

5. @mention organizations that might care about your post

Did you write about a cause or experience that a professional organization might care about? Did you write about donating blood? @mention The Red Cross. Did you blog about your experiences getting braces at the age of 33? @mention the American Association of Orthodontists!

6. Include a suuuuuper juicy pull quote

What’s a pull quote?  It’s a juicy quote from an interview or blog post.  When you’re reading a magazine or newspaper, it’s the quote that’s been pulled out of the piece and put into a different, larger font - like this.
A good pull quote will grab a reader’s attention and lead to a whoooole lot of link clicking.  Pull quotes are particularly effective when they’re surprising, controversial, or sound-bite-y.

7. Ask your followers how they feel about a given topic

Social media is meant to be social, right?

Asking your followers a question about the post/topic you’re linking to will increase engagement and clicks.  It will also help create a conversation around the topics you’re writing about! This works best if you’re posting something that’s slightly controversial or writing on a topic that people have Opinions About.

8. “Did you miss it?” tweets

This is a copywriting trick that you should also use sparingly.  It’s super effective at first and increasingly annoying with each usage.  However!  If you want to drive people towards your archives or a post that went up earlier in the day, this is a good tweet to use.

Of course, make sure you’ve optimized those archived posts by updating the SEO, making the images Pinterest-friendly, and adding a P.S. or call to action at the end of the post!

9. If you’re linking to a numbered list, tell us which number you like best

Yes, you’ve probably seen Upworthy and Clickhole and other click-bait websites use this trick - but that’s because it works! Of course, use sparingly and authentically. Don’t tell us you “love #7!” if you haven’t even read the list.

And if you wrote the list post yourself, tell us which item you like the best or have found to be the most effective!

10. If you’re linking to a video, tell us where it gets good

What’s the best hook of the song? Where does the speaker share the best tips? When does the song start?
You get the idea!

11. Tweet the best, most inspirational part of your blog post

We all like to look and sound wise and inspirational. You can make that easy for us by tweeting inspirational, sound-bite-y things and then we can re-tweet them and appear vicariously wise.

12. Set up a schedule to promote other people’s stuff

One of the best things I’ve done to grow my Twitter following is regularly, systematically share other people’s stuff. If we follow each other on Twitter, if you’ve ever sponsored Yes & Yes, if we’ve ever worked together - I’ve probably linked to you.

Promoting other people’s stuff strengthens your online relationships, establishes you as a helpful person with good taste in content, and casts a vote for the type of content you like to see + support.

You can streamline your sharing process by sharing posts directly from Feedly, creating Twitter lists of people whose content you want to promote, or just corralling shareable content into one folder and then scheduling tweets once a month. Be sure to @mention the people you’re linking to so they know you think they’re awesome!

13. Feed your Instagram photos directly to Twitter

It’s rare that I’d suggest automating updates between your social media profiles; different social media profiles require different photo formats, but this is one exception. If you’re going to connect Twitter and Instagram (which a lot of people do) you might as well take one tiny extra step and make sure your followers see your Instagram photo rather than a link to your Instagram account.

And it’s super easy! Just use this free IFTTT ‘recipe.’

14. Write funny tweets

Easier said than done, right? If you’re blogging about a serious topic, if your brand’s not particularly hilarious, or if humor doesn’t come naturally to you - g’head and ignore this.

But if you’re funny-ish, spend an extra 15 seconds making your tweet funny. My funny tweets get 3-4 times as much engagement!

15. Add ‘Click to tweets’ to your blog posts

Whaaaaaat? You can help your readers promote your posts for you?! Yup. Click To Tweet makes it easy for you pull out smart, quippy passages from your posts and make them immediately tweetable.

I’ve found the most success with ‘click to tweets’ that are ‘wise’ and ‘inspirational’ - not so much “10 ways to XXX.” Nobody wants to help spread the word of my listicle, but they might want to piggyback off something that sounds like it could be inside a fortune cookie.

16Check the analytics on your tweets

You can see how your tweets are faring by checking In the upper left corner click ‘Analytics’ and then click ‘tweet activity.’ See what’s working, what’s not, and adjust accordingly.

Do you have any tips or tricks for writing tweets that people really click on? Share them in the comments!

P.S. 7 super interesting blog post ideas you haven’t seen a million times before

How To Use Twitter Lists For Networking (without leaving the house or putting on real pants)

use twitter lists for networking
Would you rather dig your eyes out with a spoon than attend a networking event?
Or maybe you’d rather remove your own stitches?
Or lick the bottom of someone’s winter snow boot?

Yeah, me too.

Despite my extreme distaste for smarmy, contrived, in-person networking, I’ve managed to amass a lovely and talented “professional network” - mostly by using a little-known Twitter tool!

If you prefer online networking to in-person networking, the Twitter list if your new BFF.

You probably already know that it’s a good idea to follow people and companies you’d like to work with, but when you’re following thousands of accounts, it’s easy for the good stuff to get lost. And it’s hard to network with people when you don’t see their tweets.

Here’s how to use Twitter lists to for networking (without leaving the house or putting on real pants)

1. Define your goals and follow accounts that will help you reach those goals

I’d like to teach a class about internet awesome-ry at a local liberal arts university. So, I researched the instructors and department heads of every single marketing, communication, and PR class in the Twin Cities, found their Twitter accounts, and followed them.

You can do the same! Want to write for magazines? Follow all the writers and editors of the magazines you’d like to pitch. Want to collaborate with fashion bloggers who wear a lot of thrifted clothing? Find ’em and follow ’em. Trying to get your products featured on travel blogs? Find travel blogs and follow them. You get the idea!

2. Make a Twitter list for each goal

Twitter lists organize different accounts that you’re following, so with one click you can see just the tweets of the people on that list. It’s a great way to corral your contacts for different areas of your business!

Here’s how you make a new list

* While you’re logged into Twitter, navigate to the Twitter page of an account you’d like to add to a list. You need to be following an account in order to add them to a list, so if you haven’t followed them yet, do that now.

* Click on the gear symbol next to the ‘following’ button. On the drop down menu, choose ‘Add or remove from lists’

use twitter lists for networking
* Create a list that matches one of the goals you’ve defined. “Editors to pitch” or “Travel bloggers” or “Thrift-friendly style bloggers.”  If you don’t want people to know that you’re following them for a specific purpose, make your lists private.

use twitter lists for networking use twitter lists for networking 1

3. Each day, spend 10-20 minutes networking with a different list

What does ‘networking’ look like? It’s retweeting their stuff, chatting with them, asking them questions about their work or topic, telling them how you felt about the last piece they published.

Maybe, on Monday you respond to and retweet fashion bloggers. Tuesday = editors. Wednesday = travel writers. Make sure that your tweets are genuine, helpful, and (preferably) funny.

4. Pitch them!

After you’ve been doing this for awhile and you feel like you’ve built some rapport, go ahead and pitch them! By now they’ll hopefully recognize your name and URL because you’re Twitter buddies.

So when you show up in their inbox offering a guest post or a press release, they’ll be all “Oh, hello! It’s my old friend So-and-so! I surely want to help her because she’s a good friend with whom I have an established relationship! Hooray!”

See? Easy peasy.  Now I’d love to hear from you! How do you network and connect without, you know, putting on real pants?

P.S. 16 ways you can write better tweets, starting today

6 (More) Oddly Obvious Mistakes You Might Be Making Online


In May, Sarah and I spent 14 hours (!) giving mini consults to approximately a gajillion blogs.

503 comments later, I
a) had to drink some box wine and watch a lot of Parks and Rec
b) realized that both Sarah and I were repeating ourselves

If you wade through that sea of suggestions, you’ll see that there are 10-11 things that we suggested multiple times.  It began to feel sort of ridiculous and obvious, but clearly, these were things that people needed to be reminded of.  (Full disclosure: after making all these suggestions, I scrambled over to my Facebook page and took a lot of the advice I’d been giving others!)

If you subscribe to my newsletter you got an email outlining the first five oddly obvious mistakes that a lot of people make.  But since I’m not tooooootally greedy with my knowledge, I thought I’d share a few of our insights.

Here are six more oddly obvious, quickly fixable mistake that you might be making online.  Get to fixin’, tiger!

1. You haven’t customized the tabs on your Facebook page
You were super clever and uploaded the Twitter, Mailchimp, and Blogging apps to your Facebook page. High five, you!  But did you know that you can customize the app icons so everything looks matchy-matchy and ‘on brand’?  Yup, you can.  Here’s how. 

2. You’re not really interacting anyone on Twitter
Cleverly enough, social media is called that because you’re supposed to use it to be social.  What?  I know.  While it is really important to promote your posts and products, it’s more important to actually talk to people.  Make lists of people you know in real life, lists of publications you’d like to pitch, lists of bloggers you like and then talk to them.  Done and done!


3. You’re not writing interesting tweets/statuses to promote your blog posts
I know it’s incredibly tempting (SO TEMPTING) to set your posts to automatically update to Facebook and Twitter.  And then you end up with an update that looks like this: “Blog post: Stuff and Stuff [giant link].”  It’s time-saving, but it’s not engaging, friends.  I promote my blog posts on Twitter three times each day, with a different tweet each time.  Sometimes it’s a pull quote from the post, sometimes it’s a questions.  Interesting tweets are a lot more likely to get retweeted, too!

4. You’re only promoting your blog posts once
I know it feels a little over-kill-y, but because of the way we use Twitter, you can totally promote your posts more than once.  I promote each of mine three times (around 9 am, 1 pm, 8pm) with a different tweet each time.  If I’m feeling reallllly  ambitious, I’ll even pull popular posts from my archives and tweet those.

5. You’re not using photos in your blog posts
Do it.  Doitdoitdoit.  If you write long, personal essays or you’re an incredibly successful, well-established blogger, you probably don’t need photos.  For the rest of us plebeians, photos make our posts about a million times more engaging, clickable, and pin-worthy.  I get all of my photos from Flickr: Creative Commons.


6. When you link to people on your blog, you’re not @metioning them on social media
When someone writes a guest post for you.  When you include someone in a link roundup. When you feature a company’s products in a post.  Get on those @mentions!  Did you know that if you have a Facebook page for your blog/company, you can follow other blogs/companies with your page?  It’s true.  And then you can @mention them in your Facebook updates, too!

See?  Oddly obvious.  I’m sure I’m missing some or making mistakes, myself.  Do you see bloggers doing anything obviously wrong that’s easy to correct? 

photo by Stephen Harlan // cc