Click-to-Tweet: How to Get Customers and Fans to Tweet On Your Behalf

What if I told you that you could get customers and fans of your product or service to tweet about you on your behalf? You can do this by adding click-to-tweet functionality to your website. This will increase the number of posts linking back to your website on Twitter.

You can increase the number of posts linking back to your website on Twitter by highlighting snippets of text on each page or post and then empowering visitors to share those snippets by making it as simple as clicking a button.

Here’s a stat that will blow your mind: there are 6,000 tweets per second and 500 million tweets sent out every day. With all those tweets, what are the chances that anyone will see your posts?

Click-to-tweet is similar to user-generated content. You can get real customers and followers to share your website content on Twitter – expanding your reach on Twitter without having to do an excessive amount of work yourself.

What does Click-to-Tweet Functionality Look Like?

It’s not that hard to add click-to-tweet functionality to your website. Connect4 Consulting can do it for you. But there are options to choose from when integrating the functionality into your website. Let’s look at a few examples.

First there’s the traditional click-to-tweet box which looks like a quote callout box you might use to highlight an important line of text.

A great example of a straight-forward click to tweet box.

A great example of a straight-forward click to tweet box from Fiona Robertson’s website.

Flywheel also uses click-to-tweet on their website. Instead of a call-out box with borders, they use a highlighter to call attention to the tweetable text.

Flywheel’s example of click-to-tweet functionality.

Buffer has the least obtrusive click-to-tweet functionality. They just use a small “tweet” button after the tweetable facts and statistics.

Buffer Example of Click-to-Tweet Functionality

Example of Click-to-Tweet Functionality from Buffer

Forbes uses a combination of the two examples above. The click-to-tweet quotes appear at first to only have a small Twitter icon next to them. If you move your mouse over the text, it becomes highlighted.

Forbes' Example of Click-to-Tweet Functionality

Example of Click-to-Tweet Functionality from Forbes.com

Click-to-Tweet Can Be Really Great For Your Website

The great thing about click-to-tweet is that users can hit “Tweet” and send the message as-is or customize it with their own message and hashtags. Click-to-tweet can be really good for your website:

  • It’s yet another way to use content to keep users engaged.
  • The recognizable twitter icons and call-out text attract attention and will improve engagement rates with your content.
  • It’s a cool way to call attention to the most important parts of your content as people scan quickly through it.
  • It provides alternative visual content if you don’t have time to find a photo for your text.
  • By including your Twitter handle within the click-to-tweet message, you are increasing awareness about your website AND your Twitter page.

We can set this up for your website. Get started on your click-to-tweet website upgrade now.

 

Google+ Undergoes Huge Redesign

Google+ has just had a huge redesign. The social network has been entirely refocused on interests, and in the process dropped several of its most used features.

The new Google+ is much simpler. You’ll see this clearly in the new navigation centered around Collections and Communities. With Collections and Communities, discovering amazing things is simple: just follow or join whatever happens to pique your interests.

Google+’s new focus is on Collections and Communities: Collections allow you to immerse yourself in a specific subject — home brewing, sous-vide cooking, or Guatemalan entomology, for example; Communities allows you to meet up with like-minded users.

The new Google+ also makes it easier to post, search, connect, and keep up with great content in a fully redesigned home stream.

You can preview the new Google+ on the web today by signing in and clicking “Let’s go” when you see the prompt. (And since not every feature of Google+ has made its way into this new design, for now, you can toggle back to the classic Google+ with one click in the bottom left-hand corner.)

 

The Twitter Hashtag: What is it and How do you use it?

Hashtags are unavoidable. Everyone is using them – on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, even TV.

A hashtag is simply a way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic. For example, if you type #NationalCoffeeDay (or #nationalCoffeeDay or #nationalcoffeeday, because it’s not case-sensitive) into the Search Twitter box at the top of any Twitter page and hit Enter, you’ll get a list of tweets related to National Coffee Day (September 30th, by the way). What you won’t get are tweets that talk about “coffee” because “coffee” isn’t preceded by the hashtag.

 

Hashtags allow you to create communities of people interested in the same topic by making it easier for them to find and share info related to it.

Where Do Hashtags Come From?

Any user can create one simply by adding it to their own tweet. For example, when a plane went down in the Hudson River a few years ago ago, some Twitter user wrote a post and added #flight1549 to it. I have no idea who this person was, but somebody else would have read it and when he posted something about the incident, added #flight1549 to HIS tweet. For something like this, where tweets would have been flying fast and furiously, it wouldn’t have taken long for this hashtag to go viral and suddenly thousands of people posting about it would have added it to their tweets as well. Then, if you wanted info on the situation, you could do a search on #flight1549 and see everything that people had written about it.

When hashtags first started being used, it was a very organic process that worked simply because of a group mindset that people like to categorize topics and this was one way to make it easier to do so.

Now that they are so common, they really only show up spontaneously if there’s a breaking news item. Otherwise, they’re used to promote, praise, or pan people (#TrumpSucks), brands (#VolkswagenScandal), events (#MNF), and anything else people want to discuss en masse (#Joaquin).

How Do I Create My Own Hashtag?

The first thing you would do is a basic Twitter search to see if a related term already exists. These days, odds are it does. In fact, I’ve been trying to think of something so obscure that one doesn’t exist (#underwaterbasketweaving, anyone?) and haven’t had success yet!

Probably the only reason you would need to create a new one nowadays would be for the group activities category I mentioned above. In that case, since the tag will use up some of your 140-character limit, you want to keep it fairly short, while still making it precise so other people aren’t likely to use it for another purpose. For example, let’s say I wanted to create a virtual book club with my friends scattered around the country. I might create the #gsbookclub hashtag that we would all add to the tweets we’re posting about the books we’re reading.

If you want more than just your friends to use the hashtag, you might want to “announce” it to your followers.

There are two possible issues here. One has to do with whether there’s an issue with the hashtag itself. Twitter’s Help page explains some of the problems you can run into—for example if a hashtag is made up entirely of numbers, Twitter doesn’t make it searchable. However, in most cases, this is NOT the problem.

Instead, the problem is actually with Twitter’s own search feature. This Help article explains some of the factors that may be affecting you as well. For example, maybe you’ve got your page set to Top Results instead of All or maybe your tweets are protected.

How to Promote Your Content in Less Than an Hour a Day

Why Promoting Content is Important

In his post “The 80/20 Rule for Building a Blog Audience” marketer and entrepreneur Derek Halpern notes:

If you spend time writing a piece of content, and that content only gets 1,000 readers, chances are there are one million other people in the world who can benefit from what you wrote.

Why then, would you spend more time creating content when you already have something that your ideal customers can benefit from?

Halpern has an 80/20 content strategy, that is, he spends 20 percent of his time creating it and 80 percent of his time marketing it.

While this is a fantastic strategy if you’re new and need to grow your audience quickly, content marketing experts warn that sticking to this strategy can mean that you’re under-serving your existing audience.

So how can you grow your audience while still focusing on creating massive value for your existing readers and followers?

Here’s a plan: Give yourself quick wins with an automated strategy and a checklist.

Promoting Your Content: 5 Quick Tips

1. Send it to Your Email List (Time taken: 3-5 minutes)

One of the best ways to get immediate traction with your content is to send it to your email list. Your email subscription list is typically comprised of people who have signed up to receive updates from you because they like and trust you or your brand and want to hear from you.

These are the people who are most likely to add high numbers to your social shares, to read your content the moment it’s published, or to forward it to others who may benefit from it.

Your email subscribers are most likely the most engaged of your audience, so it’s always a fantastic idea to share content with them on a regular basis.

2. Schedule it on Social Media over a Period of Weeks (Time taken: 5-10 minutes)

A social media editorial calendar can be a fantastic thing and one most business owners swear by, especially if they run small operations with little help.

When you publish a post or a piece of content, one of the best things that you can do is to spread out the promotion over a period of time using tools like Buffer or Hootsuite.

3. Email Everyone who is mentioned in your post or article (Time taken: 5-10 minutes)

A fantastic way to not only connect with your audience, but to connect with other people in the industry and their audience, is to mention them in your articles and blog posts and then let them know when you’ve done so, in order that they can share with their readers if they so choose.

To find someone’s email address quickly:

  1. Look through their website for a “Contact Me” or “About” page to see if you can find it there.
  2. Try LinkedIn. Often, people who want to be contacted will put their email address up in order to be found.
  3. Google combinations of their name with “@websitedomain.com” (in quotes) to see what comes up. For instance, if you were looking for my email address, you’d be able to find it very quickly by using the search term [Gabe “@connect4consulting.com”]

4. Syndicate Your Content (Time taken: 10-15 minutes)

Building partnerships with larger media organizations is the ideal way to syndicate and share your content. This however, will take lots of time and effort.

While you’re working on building those, don’t forget to utilize the free networks like Medium and LinkedIn that offer you similar syndication opportunities to reach new audiences.

Medium has a great guide to publishing on its platform and the things to keep in mind. Read it here.

And in this fantastic post about publishing to LinkedIn, Noah Kagan lays out the following tips:

  1. Make your titles between 40 and 49 characters long
  2. Make your posts on LinkedIn visual! Add 8 images
  3. Don’t add video or other multimedia assets to your posts
  4. Use “how-to” and list-style headlines
  5. Divide your post into 5 headings in order to attract the greatest number of post views
  6. People like to read long-form content on LinkedIn – 1,900 to 2,000 words long
  7. Don’t get your audience all fired up
  8. Make your content readable for an 11-year-old
  9. Promote your LinkedIn publisher post on other social networks!
  10. LinkedIn likes get you views, shares, and comments
  11. Publish your LinkedIn posts on Thursday

You shouldn’t syndicate every single post. Choose posts that may resonate with unique audiences. It’s a great way to bring interested readers over to your website. I also don’t recommend syndicating new content immediately.

5. Create Quick and Easy Graphics to Share on Social Media (Time taken: 10-15 minutes)

If you’re using images in your posts anyway, a quick and easy win is to share the headline or quote from your post along with an image. If not, you can quickly and easily do so in Canva or many of the other image-creating resources mentioned in this post. We’ve found that it’s incredibly helpful to share images in your social media posts, since according to a 2013 Pew Research Study, nearly half of all Internet users have reposted a photo or video they found online.

This can help you gain traction on image-oriented social sharing networks even if you don’t have much of a presence on them.

Social Media Guru’s Weekly Checklist

Checklists can help you make sure that everything that needs to be accomplished within a given period gets done. As you’ll see below, a social media guru has a lot to do each week to maintain guru status.

Social Media Guru’s Weekly Checklist

Weekly

  • Check your stats
  • Engage with influencers
  • Engage with partners
  • Weekly goals check-in
  • Hold a strategy session
  • Attend events – chats, hangouts, etc.
  • Update your social media ads

Check Your Stats

In terms of what to check when it comes to stats, there are many, many options.

The Buffer blog has a great introduction to social media stats, as well as a weekly social media report you can create for sharing with your boss, client, or team.

This tip from Finola Howard is also really great:

Measure what’s worked. Note your best-performing posts in a spreadsheet or other file so you can reference later as you hone your content.

What makes for a best-performing post? That can be totally up to you, depending on the stats that matter to you.

Engage with Influencers

Influencers are people with either a large following or a verified status or an important role at a significant company. Reach out to those outside your circle, particularly any influencers in your industry or niche.

In the past, I’ve identified a few people who I was wanted to connect with, added them to a Twitter list, then went about the weekly task of checking out their updates and engaging when appropriate. The goal, ultimately, is to build a relationship and connection—and in a lot of cases it works, if given time.

Engage with Partners

Engaging with partners involves staying in frequent connection with your competitors, colleagues, and friends.

Weekly Goals Check-in

Often times, along with checking your stats on a weekly basis, you can quickly peek at how your stats fit with the goals you’ve set for social media. Here’re a couple of ways we do this at Connect4 Consulting:

1. Per-post basis

I know that we’ve got a certain benchmark in mind for a successful post, so I’m able to quickly see if we’ve reached that goal by peeking at the per-post stats (for instance, one benchmark is 200 clicks per tweet).

2. Longer-term goals

At other times, we’ll set a bigger goal to aim for over time, and we’ll use what’s called a waterfall graph to chart our progress.

Credit goes to the team at HubSpot for giving me this cool idea. Here’s how to make a waterfall graph for yourself:

If you’re using Excel, create a table with the following columns:

  • Date: Dedicate a cell to each day in the month.
  • Weekday/Weekend: Label each day as a weekday or weekend day.
  • Daily Actual Visits: Plug in the number of visits you actually get each day.
  • Cumulative Actual Visits: Add that day’s actual visit number to the number of visits you’ve gotten so far that month.
  • Daily Goal Visits: At the beginning of the month, plug in your daily visits goal, depending on whether it’s a weekday or weekend.
  • Cumulative Goal Visits: At the beginning of the month, sum your daily visits goal day over day.

Here’s what it might look like:

daily-traffic-waterfall.png

Each morning, plot your progress by plugging in the actual visit number from the previous day and adding it to the traffic you’ve earned over the month in the “Cumulative Actual Visits” column.

Next, create a graph from this spreadsheet to create your daily leads waterfall graph. First, hide the “Weekday/Weekend” column by right clicking on the column and choosing “Hide.” Then, highlight the rest of your data, including the titles of your rows and columns but excluding the “Total” row that’s at the bottom. Click the “Charts” tab at the top and choose “Line” and then “Marked Line.”

You should see a graph that roughly resembles this one:

daily-traffic-waterfall-excel.png

From there, you can add a title, label the lines, and change other visual elements.

Hold a Strategy Session

It always helps to step back and reflect.

Some cool strategy exercises could be reviewing what went into your social media marketing plan in the first place, i.e. your goals and purpose behind social media. Or answering some of these questions:

  1. What do we hope to achieve with social media?
  2. Are we on the right networks to connect with our audience?
  3. How does our voice/tone convey our brand?
  4. In what ways can we be most helpful to those we serve?

Attend Events

Here’s a huge list of possible chats to participate in:

list of possible places to look:

Update Your Social Media Ads

Depending on the depth of your commitment and involvement in social media ads, this one could easily be a daily to-do item. If you’re running just a few ads, then weekly could be a good frequency to start with. Check and refresh your ads. Keep the ones that are working. Iterate on the ones that aren’t.

Social Media Guru’s Daily Checklist

Sometimes it helps to have a checklist to make sure that everything that needs to be accomplished within a given period gets done. As you’ll see below, a social media guru has a lot to do each day to maintain guru status.

Social Media Guru’s Daily Checklist

Daily

  • Reply to everyone
  • Check your mentions
  • Monitor social media for keywords and phrases
  • Schedule your updates for the next day
  • Check out other social media profiles
  • Curate content to share
  • Advocacy: Make it easy for your team to share
  • Engage with MVPs
  • Follow back those who follow you
  • Connect with one new person

Reply to everyone

If you can reply to everyone who engages with you on social media, you are doing better than 75% of the brands on social media. So first and foremost—and on those days when there’s just tons going on, perhaps the most important to-do item of the day and the one we’d recommend for sure making time for—reply to everyone. Reply as quickly as you can, given all else you have happening.

Check your mentions

This is one layer deeper than replying to everyone who engages with you on social media.There are a few quick and easy spots to visit to find these:

Monitor social media for keywords and phrases

This great list from Bufferapp post on social media monitoring covers many of the basics of what to monitor on social media.

Brand or company monitoring

  • Your name or your brand’s name (e.g., Buffer)
  • Any variations of your brand’s name (e.g., Buffer and bufferapp)
  • Potential misspellings of your brand’s name (e.g., bffr, bufffer)
  • Names of the most active/visible members of your company (e.g., Joel Gascoigne, Leo Widrich)
  • Mentions of specific campaigns you’re running (e.g., #bufferchat, #bufferpodcast)
  • Your catchphrase, slogan or tagline

Industry or topic monitoring

  • Key words or phrases that describe your industry or interest (For example, at Buffer I might want to monitor for key phrases like “social media sharing,” “social media posting” and “social media automation” to start out)
  • Key words or phrases related to or complementary to your industry or interest
  • Frequently used industry hashtags

Schedule your updates for the next day

Here are some best practices. I’d highly encourage you to test and experiment with what works best for you!

  • Post three or more times per day on Twitter
  • Post 2x per day on Facebook
  • Post 1x per day on LinkedIn
  • Post one to two times per day on Instagram
  • Post five or more times per day on Pinterest
  • Post two or more times per day on Google+

Check out other social media profiles

On Twitter, this can be done quite quickly with a daily visit to one or more Twitter lists.

On Facebook, you can add other pages to your Insights reports. To do so:

  1. When logged in as the page admin, click Insights from the top of your Facebook page.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the Insights page, and you’ll see the “Pages to Watch” section.
  3. Click the blue button to Add Pages.

Curate content to share

Part of a social media sharer’s day is likely to include finding fantastic content to share.

Advocacy: make it easy for your team to share

LinkedIn found that employees are 70 percent more likely to click, share, and comment on an update than a typical LinkedIn user.

This brings up the idea of advocacy: Encouraging your team to share your content and advocate for your brand.

In practice, this can be as simply as adding a daily checklist item of emailing the team with a new blog post of yours or recommending a tweet to RT or favorite.

Engage with MVPs

Come up with a list of MVP fans or followers, or key people who regularly evangelize your brand. This could be a list of top users, influential people in your industry, folks you’d love to get to know, etc.

Focusing on brand advocates is a popular way to go here, as you can multiply yourself to a degree by encouraging others to share about you. MailChimp co-founder Ben Chestnut has a great way of explaining and showing this process of flipping the funnel upside down.

Follow back those who follow you

1. Follow everyone!

Return the favor for all those who follow you on social media. This can be quite straightforward on sites like Twitter and Instagram. For other networks, you can add people to circles on Google+, accept all connections to your LinkedIn, and follow a user or an individual board on Pinterest. On Facebook, pages can “like” other pages.

2. Follow those who fit with your focus or niche

Some people and brands choose to follow a bit more strategically by connecting with those who share common interests. With this, you can browse through a new follower’s bio or timeline to see if their social presence meshes with yours and then decided whether or not to return the follow.

Connect with one new person

Connecting with someone new can fall in quite smoothly with re-following, replying, and engaging.

The idea behind this item is to practice making one-to-one connections with the people in your audience, welcoming new followers with a personal message or reaching out to someone you appreciate or admire.

And there are some fun ways to do this quickly and easily: Say hi, share a GIF, or go the extra mile with some surprise and delight.

Best WordPress Plugins – Social Media

WordPress is an incredibly flexible, easy-to-set-up and manage web publishing platform that has been downloaded more than 60 million times since its launch in 2003. As of August 2013, WordPress is used by nearly 19 percent of the top 10 million websites. The content management system’s popularity has spawned thousands – nearly 30,000 in fact – of plugins that expand the basic functionality of WordPress. At Connect4, we routinely use 45 WordPress plugins. We use some plugins, for security, admin, and SEO, for example, on nearly every site we create.

The problem with WordPress plugins is that many of them present as much trouble as they do opportunity on a website. Not all plugins play friendly in the same sandbox. And not all plugin developers continue to provide updates for their plugins. Plugins that haven’t been updated in a year make for a security risk. So make sure you consult with your webmaster or web developer prior to installing any of these plugins. It’s always a good idea to make sure you have a backup before trying out a new plugin.

Today we are going to focus on social media plugins.

Social Media

  1. Social Author Bio
  2. Social Media Feather

Social Author Bio

Social Author Bio adds a author bio box with the author’s avatar with built-in and custom social icons on pages/posts.

social-author-bio

 

Download Social Author Bio

Social Media Feather

Social Media Feather is a super lightweight and free social media WordPress plugin that allows you to quickly and painlessly add social sharing and following features to all your posts, pages and custom post types.

Now the only social sharing and bookmarking plugin with full support for the Retina and high resolution displays as used in iPad 5 and other devices!

The primary goal behind the plugin is to provide very lightweight WordPress social sharing and following that doesn’t add any unnecessary burden to your site and especially on your users.

What sets WordPress Social Media Feather aside from the plethora of other social sharing and following WordPress plugins is its focus on simplicity, performance and unobtrusive impact.

social-media-feather

 

Download Social Media Feather