Flipboard is a social media content aggregation service that lets users grab content from anywhere and compile it into visually stunning digital magazines. It launched in 2010 with an app that was specific to the iPad. In mid-2012, an Android app was released, along with plans for a Windows phone app. The company recently launched a Web-based Flipboard portal that showcases select magazines.
Fast forward to 2013 and Flipboard now has 85+ million users!
Why you should be on it? Our age of information digitally is constantly evolving and with Flipboard’s strength you will be able to bring your social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn into one location. This can sit alongside your favorite news sources and anything else you want your customers to read, or watch (like YouTube videos). This is your own personalized version of the web in a magazine format.
If you are really not convinced about using Flipboard and looking for some more features, check out what Kimberly has to say about some great features of Flipboard.
After creating the Flipboard magazine, you want people to read it, engage with you. Let’s look at 6 effective measures to grow your magazine readership and amplify your marketing with Flipboard magazines.
Today people are connected 24/7 with their mobile’s, and with the array of applications made available to them. This is a chance for brands to reach out to them and connect with them. Social networks are the easiest ways for customers to complain regarding the product/services. But to connect with them beyond the customer care service, brands have to build a more personal relationship, which makes the customers feel like a friend. By doing so you will gain customer loyalty and they will even go out of their way to influence others for your brand!
Example: Give tips, so your audience knows you care. By just providing tips regarding “12 simple tips to improve your sleep” Delta Airlines build a friendship with their customers at no additional cost.
With the option of creating multiple magazines in different categories you now have a platform where you don’t have to put all your content on one page! With this option you can create dozens of magazines for your events/campaign. Keep the storytelling style of your magazines for events fresh. To garner attention for events keep fun names which attract your customers. Make sure the description is clear and succinct and explains the purpose of your magazine.
Example: As a brand you can create different magazines for events covering – Images, Celebrities associated with the events, Information about the events. Like promoting a new movie.
The key to promoting a brand is not just talking about the products and services. Use this opportunity to curate pictures, reviews or news stories relating to the brand keeping in mind Pareto’s Principle (the 80/20 rule). Keep 80 percent flipped from across the web and 20 percent is allotted to brand, promotion and content. You then have a mix of related content, it keeps the subscribers informed as well as entertained!
Example: If you are a coffee brand use feeds and articles which are relevant to your industry by providing articles, photos and videos.
As the saying goes “Keep your friends close, and enemies closer”. In this case not really enemies but competitors! The magazines in Flipboard can be made public or kept private. You can keep a closer eye on your competitors, by creating a private magazine and tracking all their activities. With this it would help you compare the strong and weak areas of your brand over time.
And don’t forget, Flipboard allows multiple users to curate one magazine. So your entire research team can help you in this.
Example: With cut-throat competition in the mobile industry, the option of a private magazine you can provide a personal portal that collects relevant information and keeps you across what’s happening in your industry.
Social media can play a large role in attracting new visitors to your magazine. Flipboard has made it easy by consolidating your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+ feeds into a magazine, which you can then flip (load) your brand posts into. As the audience like being connected to great experiences, you can use Tweets/Facebook posts as testimonials. Brands can now consolidate them into a magazine.
Example: Restaurants receive reviews by customers, creating a magazine of all the good reviews. Nothing excites a potential customer more than, to see testimonials by other customers as it re-instates their belief about the brand and makes them want to gain the same enriching experience as well.
Marketing your brand is about being everywhere in a wide range of media formats to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your web properties. So create your own Flipboard magazine for your blog. Load up your articles and you have your blog in a magazine format. Flipboard just happens to make it look sensational!
As Flipboard is now not just an app now but also on the web you have added another distribution point to amplify your content in another format.
If you want to hear what I have to say in 140 characters or less, please follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/erikpenn.
If you want to hear what I have to say in 140 characters or less, please follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/erikpenn .
One of the most frequently asked questions about Facebook marketing is: What is the best time to post on Facebook?
Until recently, there wasn’t an easy way to see when your fans were likely to be online, and marketers had to experiment with different times to figure out what worked best. Well, good news - “When your Fans are Online” is a new Facebook Insights tab specifically designed to help you find the best time to post on Facebook.
1. Go to your page settings (looks like a gear), and click on “View Insights”.
(Note: you must be a Page Admin.)
2. Click on the “Posts” tab, and then on the “When your Fans are Online” tab.
3. Find the best time to post on Facebook by looking for times when you have the most fans online.
The “Times” section (see below) is what I’m most interested in because it shows me how many of our fans are online each hour. When I hover over the graph, I can see that my peak is at 7am (in my timezone):
I can also go deeper than this, breaking down what time my fans are online each day of the week. To see this, I just click on any day of the week in the “Days” section, and a line appears over the original graph:
This shows me that a large number of my fans are online between 6-9am on Tuesday, so I definitely want to post in the early morning to maximize my reach. I will also use this graph to determine the best time to post status updates in other time zones.
Please note that these times are unique to my Facebook Page and will vary from the times that work best for your Facebook page because you have a unique set of fans. This will change weekly – so check back often.
It’s important to know the best time to post on Facebook because the News Feed algorithm has been updated to reward engaging posts with “Story Bumping“. Facebook explains, “organic stories that people did not scroll down far enough to see can reappear near the top of News Feed if the stories are still getting lots of likes and comments”. This means that if your post status updates when your fans are most likely to be online, you have a better chance of getting more likes and comments – which may help move your post to the tops of your fan’s News Feeds that haven’t seen it yet.
To benefit from this update, it’s important that you also use Facebook Insights to understand which types of posts your audience responds to best. You can find this data in the “Posts” tab, right next to “When your Fans are Online”. First, take a look at “Best Post Types” to get a high level view of how your status, link and photo posts perform.
This tells me that status posts get the highest reach, but that photo posts get the most clicks. Link posts sit in the middle, getting a higher reach than photos, and about the same number of clicks as status posts, so I will continue using all three post types. Again – your audience is different and will react differently to the variety of content you post on Facebook, so make sure that you’re checking this insight frequently to stay up to speed on the kind of content your audience likes.
Next, I will take a look at the “All Posts” tab to see exactly which posts have the highest reach and engagement.
A photo post immediately stands out as one of my posts with the highest reach and engagement, so I know that I should post more pictures of employees in cool locations. MY next best post is a text post about social marketing ROI, which I know is a hot topic – so I’ll try to share more content with an ROI perspective (and also ask the content team for more ROI-focused blog posts and an eBook). As you can see, this data makes it easy to find what content I should be sharing more – and what content isn’t really resonating with my audience.
This information, coupled with the best time to post tab, shows me how to maximize my Facebook presence, deliver content my audience wants and when they want to see it.
If you want to hear what I have to say in 140 characters or less, please follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/erikpenn.
As part of Facebook’s growing push to simplify its advertising offerings, the company announced Monday that the commonly-used page post link ads will become easier to use and customize.
Additionally, Facebook simplified the flow for unpublished page post link ads and improved the process of creating an ad.
Facebook announced changes to the creation of page post link ads in a blog post:
Choosing the right image is essential to creating a great ad, so we’re are rolling out image customization for Page post link ads across all of our interfaces, which means more flexibility for advertisers in choosing their creative. With this feature, advertisers can upload any image they believe will drive the most conversions to their website (rather than Facebook’s automatically sourcing a thumbnail image based on images on the linked site). Image customization is now available via the Page composer, create flow, Power Editor and the API.
Facebook is continuing to do more in the realm of unpublished posts, so that way brands can create an ad without having to promote an already-published post. Now the page post link ad has received this treatment.
Since advertising is a highly visual endeavor, Facebook reworked the flow for creating a page post link ad, so advertisers can see how it will look not only in the News Feed, but in the sidebar, as well. This way, advertisers can choose what kind of ad they want to publish:
We know Page post link ads in News Feed can outperform domain ads on the right-hand side, and we want to encourage marketers to take advantage of this enhanced performance for off-site conversions. So now when a marketer enters an offsite link as the ad destination, rather than defaulting to a right-hand side format, we’ll automatically allow advertisers to choose a domain ad for the right-hand column and/or an unpublished Page post link ad for News Feed. This removes the guesswork when transitioning from advertising on the right-hand side to advertising in News Feed.
If you want to hear what I have to say in 140 characters or less, please follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/erikpenn.
Facebook contests can drive huge fan growth over a short period of time and can make a massive impact to your Facebook page. Is this something you are running on a regular basis on your page? Do you want some ideas/inspiration for what might work for your brand?
If you are thinking of running a Facebook competition for the first time, or are looking for some ideas for your next competition, then this post will certainly give you some food for thought.
Client: Lilly Pulitizer - Fashion retailer
Current number of Facebook Fans: 529,000
Competition Objective: Increase sales of their ‘Agenda’ product
On a yearly basis Lilly Pulitizer sell really stylish looking ‘Agendas’ (Diaries) which their clients love. Each year they run a promotion campaign and this year they decided to use Heyo. They ran a Facebook contest to give away 50 Agenda’s. To enter the competition you had to register your personal details and e-mail, select your favorite Agenda and share out to your friends.
A key part of this promotion was being able to enter it via mobile devices. Although Facebook Apps are not supported on mobile devices Heyo have a smart solution. Clients that try to access the competition from a mobile device are automatically redirected to a mobile app where they can enter the competition.
The results of the competition were as follows:
A simple competition that encourages the sharing of something visually appealing works quite well. And when you see that 22% of all entries were through a mobile device it’s clear that supporting mobile for your competition is essential.
Client: Smart Shelters - Provide Storm Shelters
Current number of Facebook Fans: 19,100
Competition Objective: Grow sales of their Storm Shelter product
Smart Shelters ran a 12 month giveaway, where each month they gave away a storm shelter. Using a customized version of ShortStack they created an e-mail entry competition and supported the campaign with Facebook ads.
The page started with only 800 fans and within 5 months went to 5,950 (they are over 19k now). There were 8,551 email submissions and 4,500 Facebook shares. Since launching the Facebook app they have generated over $750,000 in additional revenue for their products. Of course some of this growth would have happened organically but they believe the Facebook App had a key part to this growth.
This competition provided something of real value so it was worthwhile running it on a monthly basis. As well as significant growth in email subscribers there was a large number of shares which helped build awareness for the products and also drive more email subscribers.
Client: BrushBuddies: Innovative products to make tooth brushing fun!
Current Facebook Fans: 100k
Competition Objective: Increase awareness of Brush Buddies globally
Brush Buddies have a range of singing toothbrushes and they ran a competition to find the best singer that would be put on the singing toothbrushes! Using SocialAppsHQ they let people upload a video of themselves singing and the fans could then vote to find the best artist. Fans were also allowed to comment on the video uploaded and share it out to their social network.
Here are the results of the competition:
If there is a good enough incentive, your fans will upload videos and through a platform such as SocialAppsHQ you can run a really great video competition. Video is very engaging and the videos uploaded through the competition would have encouraged people to stay longer on the page which is beneficial to the brand.
Client: Abbé Pierre Foundation, Charity to improve housing conditions of the poor
Current Facebook Fans: 248k
Competition Objective: Get signatures on a petition app
The Agorapulse petition app was used to collect names for a petition against inadequate housing. Each person that provided their digital signature were able to invite their friends to sign the petition and they also automatically shared the signatures with all their friends using Facebook Open Graph frictionless sharing. A leaderboard was created showing who got the most friends to sign the petition so this created the competition angle.
The Facebook signature application was very successful at leveraging the viral potential of social media. On average, two out of six friends invited by the original signatory ended up signing the petition. Some of the most active fans of the Abbé Pierre Foundation generated more than 150 signatures from their friends.
A leaderboard can be very powerful and does not need to be tied to a prize. People like climbing the leaderboard and this is a strong incentive to do more sharing. Consider how you could introduce a leaderboard as part of your competitions.
The frictionless sharing feature used within this competition also helped to build awareness of this campaign.
Client: Nature Clean : Canadian cleaning product brand
Current Facebook Fans: 8,548
Competition Objective: Collect relevant email subscribers, increase fans and gather research
A competition based around a survey and sweepstakes app was created which users could enter via their mobile device or through their desktop. They had to complete a survey and provide their details to enter the competition. The survey and sweepstakes were targeted to women but the questions were based around the cleaning behavior of household men, bringing a humor and fun element to the competition!
The campaign ran for a total of 3 months, in which time the survey/sweepstakes was shared nearly 700 times. The Facebook tab where the campaign was held had over 50,000 visitors, of which over 40,000 took the survey and entered into the sweepstakes.
A competition app can be a great way of building up profile information on your target audience. Consider what questions you could ask to survey your audience, but try to have a light-hearted/fun angle to the questions so people don’t mind filling it in and more importantly are inclined to share it with their friends.
Kaspar Szymanski a Search Quality Strategist based in Google’s Dublin office posted the official one page Google SEO cheat sheet designed to dumb down webmaster and SEO related techniques.
The Google SEO cheat sheet is in three steps:
(1) How to make your search results look good in the search results. Google recommends you craft your titles properly, make sure your domain name and file name structure is descriptive of the page content and tailor useful and descriptive search descriptions.
(2) Enable Google to really understand your images by giving them descriptive file names, use the alt attribute and write short captions below the image.
(3) Write the best and most useful content, while not forgetting to continue to keep adding useful and unique content to your web site.
Those are Google’s 3 main points when it comes to optimizing your website for Google’s search results.
Here is the PDF that you can download yourself, print out and distribute to your developer, marketing and content teams.
Different social media sites provide a different benefit for users. Having a well rounded approach to your use of these networks is key to properly utilizing them, which means targeting each with a specific approach. You have to optimize content, making sure it is shareable based on each demographic that you will be aiming for on each site. The new kid on the block is still Pinterest, and many people are confused about how to use it. Luckily, optimizing content is as easy as focusing on improving photo quality. Here is a step-by-step guide on optimizing images for Pinterest.
Now, don't get me wrong, repinning images from around the web is (usually) acceptable with proper credit. Pinning from within the site is also a good way to gain followers by using content already there. But the bulk of the images you provide on Pinterest for a professional account should be your own. This will give you the best shot at having an image go viral, which is what we should all be aiming for.
Here are some ideas for you to creat your own viral images:
Hey, guess what? People steal photos from Pinterest, all the time. This isn't usually malicious, or anything. But it can be hard to tell if the original photo came from the link it is anchored to, or if it has been reuploaded and used.Since most people are innocently doing this, you will want to make it easy for them to see who the picture belongs to. Put a simple watermark at the bottom of all of the images you upload onto Pinterest, giving yourself credit. This could be the link to your website, or just a quick copyright notice with your name. People can still remove it/cut it out. But if they are going to those lengths they are probably going to need to be dealt with legally anyway.
Each photo you upload is going to be titled according to the file name:
YOUR FILE NAME => PIN TITLE
Even though you change it on Pinterest and add a description, that initial file name is what will be used for searches. So if you have a file named DC75883768273_041, it isn't likely to get a lot of search traffic. Ditto for any images that have real file names, but aren't named properly to reflect what is in the image. Make sure every file has a clear, concise description of what is in the picture. If it is an infographic about optimizing images for Pinterest, for example, it would be titled "Pinterest_Image_Optimization_Infographic.jpg".
When someone repins your image, they can change the description to anything they want.
They can even change it to something like "LOL worst image ever WFTBBQ!". So if you have an image that isn't really clear in context, the description you upload it with won't really matter in the slightest. Only some of the users who put it on their boards will bother keeping it intact. A simple way to get around this is to actually add text to the image itself to describe what is in the picture or link it goes to. If you have an image of a piece of carpet with a stain, but it represents a larger article on using natural ingredients for household cleaning, you might want to overlay text that says "10 All Natural Ingredients For Cleaning". It will catch the eye, immediately convey the context of the image and keep it clear what it is about no matter what the description says.
One of my favorite tips for optimizing Pinterest images is the inclusion of Twitter hashtags in the image data. I try to provide it in two places, when possible. The first is in the description of the image, but this can still be erased, as stated before. The second place is in the image text I include, which has been really great for announcing Twitter chats especially.
While it is great to have a single image go viral, that isn't all you are working towards on Pinterest. You also want to gather plenty of followers, which means getting them to follow your main account, or one of your boards. To make this more likely, you will need to properly organize all of your boards and make it easy for Pinterest users to look through them. Create very specific board titles, with a good image for the cover. Then only fill these boards with directly related imagery, and avoid putting in anything else. For example, my own Pinterest has five different boards for recipes. Each one covers a specific type of recipe, such as Healthy Meals, Vegetarian Meals, Guilty Pleasures and so on. Since organizing the boards this way, I have seen a significant rise in followers.
Optimizing images for Pinterest doesn't take that much work, just a little know-how. This is the fastest growing social network on the web, so learning how to best use it is critical in having a well developed social media strategy.
Also read these further tips on image optimzation for Pinterest.
If you want to hear what I have to say in 140 characters or less, then please follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/erikpenn.
When conceptualizing your mobile app’s user interface, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Some of the basic things such as clarity of interface, consistency from one view to the next, and making sure that tapping on any button or UI element provides feedback to the user are fairly straightforward and are generally, though not universally, followed by most app designers.
There are a few things, however, that are often ignored which can equally impact the user experience. Below are some of these often-ignored UI design elements:
Often, we think of our app users as a ubiquitous set of users with similar intentions and expertise. However, there are often several distinct user groups with different intentions and levels of expertise.
Novice users, for example, tend to move slower throughout the application, are prone to making more touch errors, and are more uncertain about the functionality of each button. Expert users, on the other hand, tend to have the app elements memorized and move quickly and with intent throughout the app.
When creating your app’s user interface, you want to make it efficient enough for your expert users while being informative and simple enough for novice users.
This is a fairly obvious issue.
Button sizes are generally limited by the size of our fingers, and so if they are too small, users will be unable to touch them accurately. Button widths below 1cm are harder (and slower) to touch. Aside from the minimum size, there are some benefits to non-uniform button sizes (they give an indication to novice users as to which button is more important).
As a general rule of thumb, the size of a button should be proportional to the square root of the likelihood that an expert user would need to select it (there are more scientific reasons behind the size-proportional-to-root-probability rule, but that is a discussion for a different day).
Usually, application UI elements are either placed at the bottom of the app (most common) or at the top.
However, the way most users hold their phone is by using their thumb as the primary finger for touching buttons. If the user is right-handed, the thumb will more easily reach the region at the bottom right of the screen (or, for left-handed users, the bottom left). Reaching the top screen corner that is opposite to the thumb is much more difficult, and more intrusive with the application flow since the user has to reach over the screen.
Generally, it is best to keep the primary application buttons at the bottom of the screen, and ideally, to place the more important and often used buttons at the bottom-right corner of the screen.
The location of buttons is not the only consideration related to how we hold our mobile devices.
We also need to keep in mind that the thumb generally has a specific flow direction. For example, for a right-handed person, circular flows with a pivot point at the bottom right of the screen are much easier than linear flows (flowing out radially).
So if you have a user interface control that requires motion (i.e. a slider, a selection list, etc.), keep in mind how a user is holding the phone and that certain motions are generally more natural for the user.
Some applications tend to pack quite a few buttons into each of the application views.
Now, even if the buttons are of a decent size so that a user can click on them, there is another issue that app designers should be aware of. The more buttons presented to the user at one time, the more difficult it is for the user to choose one of them (this is especially true for novice users). It is interesting to note that as an analogy, a touch screen device can be thought of as a communication channel where the goal is to minimize the entropy of the interface (i.e. require the least information from the users for each touch selection).
Generally, most user-friendly apps tend to have an interface entropy under 3.5 bits (the maximum entropy for an interface is approximately 5.5 bits on an iPhone 5, accounting for average finger size and screen size). What this essentially means is that you should keep the total number of touchable UI elements to less than 10 per view.
There is a lot more involved in creating great mobile user interfaces. But hopefully you will find some of the above suggestions of benefit.
Story by Parham Aarabi an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, where he teaches a graduate course on Advanced Mobile User Interfaces and directs the Mobile Applications Lab.
In case you hadn’t noticed, Pinterest has been in the news a lot recently. In November last year, Pinterest started courting the business community with the creation of its business-specific accounts and a dedicated business support page. Then earlier this month, Pinterest quietly raised a cool $200 million at an astonishing $2.5 billion valuation – not bad for a company that has yet to make a profit! Most intriguing of all though was a study published last week by research center Pew. It suggested that Pinterest has grown so quickly, it’s now on course to catch Twitter in the battle for second place behind Facebook in the US social networking market. These events indicate that Pinterest is quickly evolving from being last year’s hot new upstart to a legitimate social network that should be part of your marketing mix.
But how can you maximize your Pinterest activities without spending a ton of time on it? Well, along with scheduling your pins, one of the most effective but underutilized strategies to get more exposure from Pinterest is by using group boards. Now, if you’re new to Pinterest, you may only know of regular boards that only you can pin to. You may have never have heard of group boards. Or maybe you have but you don’t know how to use them or don’t think they apply to you. I’ve been dabbling with group boards over the past few months and have seen a dramatic increase in followers since I strategically introduced them to my Pinterest marketing.
A group board works like a regular Pinterest board. The only difference is that along with the board creator, other people are also allowed to pin. Group boards go under many different names – shared boards, contributor boards, community boards and collaborative boards. Regardless the term, they are all exactly the same thing. There is currently no directory of Pinterest group boards. In order to distinguish a group board from a regular one you need to look out for the group icon at the top of a board when you are browsing someone’s page. This snapshot of a personal page of choices shows the group Pinterest page icon with the little people under.
Group boards are not only a great way to organize ideas and bring people together, but they can also have real tangible benefits for your brand and business.
If users select to “follow all” of any contributor’s boards, then they will be added as followers to a group board you are part of. The increased exposure and visibility you get through group boards will increase your follower growth at a faster rate.
The more followers you have the more likely they (and their followers) are to see your content, repin your pins and click through to your website. This means more traffic to your site and potentially more subscribers, customers and clients.
Implement this strategy correctly and you could get other people creating content for.
Certainly at the start, Pinterest can be time-consuming but managed well, you could soon have a team of people perpetuating your content for you across their networks.
Your customers may already be “liking”, commenting and sharing your content with their followers on Pinterest. But inviting them to pin to your brand’s group board will get them more engaged and involved in your online conversation. It will also elevate them to the role of brand ambassadors, who their followers are more likely to take note of.
The Pinterest blog recommends that you should only send invitations to Pinterest users who have expressed an interest in your pins and to avoid sending out repeat requests.
One way of encouraging people to join your group boards is to add a line in the board description. You could state that you welcome contributors and that anyone interested in joining the board should add a comment against a pin.
So there you have it, a whirlwind tour of Pinterest’s group boards.
As a brand marketing yourself online, you understand that branding your messages is very important; how else would someone know they were your messages if they were not branded appropriately? Branding your messages makes them easy to recognize as belonging to you. Your brand can make sure that each message makes the right impression by making sure that each message you publish carries an easily recognizable, consistent, and appropriate reminder that your brand owns the content. Logos are a very important part of branding – but don’t stop there!
You might be surprised to learn that there are several different opportunities available to brand your YouTube activities in such a way that they will be quite obviously and unforgettably yours!
If you want to hear what I have to say in 140 characters or less, please follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/erikpenn