Monthly Archives: June 2019

Jun 18

These 5 Lessons I’ve Learned Will Make You Rethink How You Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn

These 5 Lessons I’ve Learned Will Make You Rethink How You Use LinkedIn

If you’re interested in using social media to engage with your customers, you’ve probably spent some time memorizing some rules about when to post on each social network. Maybe you’ve studied a chart like this one:

For LinkedIn, the traditional wisdom says 7a.m., noon and 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday are the best times to post.

As much as I like these charts, they don’t apply to everyone. Instead, I’m a big fan of sharing what I’ve proven to be true with my own data, so here it goes:

1.) The timing of your post on LinkedIn is WAY less important than the content of your post.

Because of the volume of content, and the behavior of users on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, timing is more important on those networks than on LinkedIn. The shelf-life of a Tweet seems to decrease every time someone writes about it. A few years ago, the shelf-life was a day or so. Now? We’re talking less than 3 hours.


The beauty of posting on LinkedIn is that high-quality content has a long shelf-life. The most clever Tweet will be forgotten within a day at absolute best. But an original article or a thoughtful post on LinkedIn will still spark conversation and engagement for weeks after you post it. I noticed this week that I had notifications of likes, comments or shares on posts from a day ago, three days ago, and 14 days ago. My best content is still generating conversation weeks after I post it.

Why is that? I’m not an expert in LinkedIn’s algorithm, but I think it relates to the behavior of users on LinkedIn. For the most part, LinkedIn users don’t get on the platform looking to waste time. They go on with a purpose — they want to connect with people in their industry and gain business insights by reading articles and posts from business people they admire.

2.) Don’t take engagement for granted.

Unlike on Facebook, where we often feel obligated to like certain posts — your cousin’s engagement announcement, your niece’s first birthday party, etc. — there’s no obligation within your business relationships. The likes, comments and shares that you earn tend to be much, much more meaningful. Savvy LinkedIn users are looking for content that will enrich their lives and enrich the lives of their followers, so if they like, comment or share your content, you can be sure it’s not an idle gesture.

If you’ve only got a few minutes available to devote to your social media effort, spend that time on LinkedIn. The longer shelf-life of your posts and articles means you’ll get the best bang for your buck by sharing relevant content with LinkedIn’s business-savvy audience. When someone in your network engages with your content, read it as a hat-tip, a sincere thank-you, and an opportunity to start a one-on-one conversation with them.

3.) Share content that will still be relevant weeks from now.

Since content on LinkedIn tends to stick around, it’s important to share evergreen content. A user might login to LinkedIn twice a month and catch up on all of the most interesting news from her network from the past two weeks. If that includes your post, you want to make sure it’s still relevant two weeks later. In fact, you probably want to make sure it’s still relevant six months later. If someone looks up your profile and takes an interest in your latest post, she might click through to your older posts to see what other insight you’ve shared.

4.) You don’t have to be world-famous, just famous in your world.

A major source of anxiety for professionals who use social media? You can follow all the rules and best practices, and you can still end up with lousy numbers. The pageviews aren’t hitting your targets, you haven’t reached 1,000 followers, or your content isn’t going viral.

But here’s the thing: going viral, or becoming world-famous, shouldn’t be your goal.

Here’s a question I like to ask in training sessions. What’s the most famous painting in the world? Most people will tell you the Mona Lisa.

But what’s the most famous farmers market in the world?

You’re probably picturing the most popular one in your town, no matter where you live. Why? Because farmer’s markets can only serve people within a small radius. Their entire premise is based on selling locally produced food, so garnering national fame is completely irrelevant for them.

Your job on social media is not to garner national fame. You simply need to become well known and respected in your own circle, just like a farmer’s market only needs to be famous in its own town to be successful. And doing that is easier than you think.

Curate your LinkedIn network by connecting with decision makers and influencers in your industry, and focus on providing meaningful content for them.

5.) Things work so well that you stop doing them.

There’s an old adage in sales – “Things work so well that you stop doing them.” After doing the same activities, telling the same stories, and seeing the same people, a salesperson wants to mix it up a little. I definitely experienced this phenomenon between the years of 2008-2015, when I was averaging 16 in-person meetings per week.

This same idea applies to social media as well. Much like consistent sales meetings or steady trips to the gym to workout, social media activities compound over time. Create a schedule, stick to it, and watch as your time investment on LinkedIn becomes more and more valuable.

Which of these 5 tips do think are most important? Have you experienced anything that contradicts what I’ve found?



Jun 04

7 Best Places to Find Background Music for Your Next Video

Marketing

7 Best Places to Find Background Music for Your Next Video

Finding the right soundtrack for your video can be challenging with legalities surrounding copyright, royalties, and other rights infringement matters. It’s essential to use appropriately credited and/or purchased music so that your video does not get banned from YouTube or your chosen social media platform. In this blog post, we’ll cover some of the most popular websites for soundtracks to use in your next video.

First of all, what is royalty-free music? This article from Hooksounds explains the topic in further detail, but a common misconception with royalty-free music is that it’s automatically free to use in your project. In most instances, royalty-free refers to a one-time license that lets the music be used over a set period. Essentially, you are not required to pay subsequent royalty payments after the one-time fee. Royalty fees can range in cost from less than $100 to tens of thousands of dollars depending on the song. No matter which music licensing option you choose, you’ll want to read through the website’s terms and conditions to ensure you’re within rights to use their song in your project.

If you edit your videos in iMovie, there are several jingles and sound effects within the program, free for use in your project.

Created by composer and musician Benjamin Tissot, Bensound offers hundreds of tracks for use in your multimedia project (online videos, websites, animations, etc.) for free as long as you credit Bensound.com. Available genres include acoustic/folk, cinematic, corporate/pop, jazz, rock, and more. In addition to the free music offered, there are several selections to purchase as well.

Within the audio library of the YouTube creator studio, there are many options for free music and sound effects. Sort by genre, mood, and even instrument to find the perfect vibe for your video. To access the library from your YouTube account, go to Creator Studio > Create > Audio Library. 

Did you know that Amazon offers a selection of royalty-free music? For personal, non-commercial purposes, you can find many free or premium tracks starting at just $0.99. The search function within Amazon is somewhat limited, though, so finding a decent soundtrack to use is slightly more complicated.

Designed specifically for YouTube creators, Thematic is a worry-free platform featuring songs that are pre-cleared for monetization without having to worry about licenses, claims, or disputes. The search capabilities at the time of posting are somewhat limited, but if you have the time to sift through and listen to the different songs, there could be some decent options.

Audio Jungle by Envato Market is an excellent option for one-off purchases of music and audio tracks without having to spend a lot of money up front. Averaging between $20-25 per track (up to $1,600 per track), Audio Jungle features more than 120,000 songs for use in your project.

By far, our favorite service to use when finding background music for video is Artlist. It’s a subscription service that offers access to an entire catalog of music along with unlimited downloads for a full year. At only $16.60/month (billed annually) this is one of the most affordable options considering the price of purchasing songs on an individual basis. We’ve been impressed with the quality and quantity of music available on this website.

Jun 03

Our Top 4 Design Apps for Social Media Content

Marketing , Social Media

Our Top 4 Design Apps for Social Media Content

Do you need to create social media posts for your company, but don’t have enough time to spend learning Photoshop?

Thankfully, you no longer need a background in design to start producing engaging content for your audience. With the help of a few iPhone and browser-based apps, generating several variations of a single design can be as easy as a click of a mouse.

Canva

Canva Pro has been a favorite among our team. We love taking the pre-designed Canva social media templates and adding our own unique spin. There are hundreds of free graphic elements and photos available for use in your designs. While the basic version is free, you’ll pay $9.95/month (at the time of this posting) for the upgraded perks. We think the upgrade is worth it, and here's why:

  • Resize your design with a single click
  • Upload custom fonts for your brand
  • Set unique color palettes for your brand
  • Save templates for you and your team

Basic: Free
Pro: $12.95/mo. or $119.40/yr. 


Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is an online tool that allows non-designers to create social graphics, promotional videos, and basic web pages. It’s similar to Canva in that there are templates to use, but the customization options are somewhat limited. The Adobe Spark Starter Plan is free, but you won’t be able to personalize your project with your own logo, colors, and fonts. We feel that this option is best if you already have access to the Adobe Suite and are looking for an easy way to produce consistent branded content.

  • Easy to use for simple image posts or slideshows
  • Best for producing branded content
  • Basic version is Adobe branded

Basic: Free, with Adobe Spark Watermark
Pro: $9.99/month


Word Swag

Like the app’s title suggests, Word Swag turns your words into a beautiful photo-text design. Choose from the library of free photos, or select from your phone’s photo library. Decide which crop to use (there are options within the app for different social platforms), and then add your desired quote or text. Custom fonts are not an option, but they do offer some variations among the different styles, and the font color can also be changed.

  • Less expensive than some of the other options
  • Great for quote/image posts
  • Design choices are limited

Basic: Free
Pro: $4.99/mo.


Over

Like the other programs/apps mentioned, Over is a template-based design app. There are multiple template options for Instagram & Facebook stories, which we love. There are several font options available in the free version, with even more available to download in the pro version. 

  • Best for Instagram/Facebook stories
  • Templates are easy to customize
  • Styling is limited in free version

Basic: Free
Pro: $14.99/mo. or $99.99/yr.


What are your favorite social media design apps? Let us know if you want more in-depth tutorials on any of these (or other!) apps, we’d love to help!

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