5 Tips To Increase Your Blog Traffic With Pinterest

Are you feeling like no one is reading your blog posts? Are you creating amazing, value-packed posts with opt-ins to grow your list but it’s not working? Have you tried using Pinterest? Pinterest is the second largest search engine behind Google. Here are some tips on how to increase your blog traffic with Pinterest.

Create Pinterest Friendly Images.

I make my Pinterest images 1200×1800 in dimension. Long images tend to do best on Pinterest. I will usually place this image at the beginning of the post or at the end, and remind people to Pin the image so they can bookmark the blog post. Overlay the headline of your blog onto your image (you’ll see an example at the bottom of my post). I use AdobeStock for my images. BONUS TIP: add your blog URL somewhere on the image so if it gets shared, people know where to find you.

Pin To Various Boards

Start joining community boards so more of your content will be seen. Also make sure to pin to your own boards. Want to grow your following? Strategy is the same as Instagram or Twitter – start following others and engaging with their content and you will organically grow your followers. I am part of community boards and Facebook groups too. People in the Facebook group will drop links, but also commit to pinning each other’s links within 24 hours. There are a ton of groups – search and I guarantee you’ll find one in your niche. The more your content gets out there (and not just on Pinterest), the more you will grow your brand.

Adjust The Caption

When you add the pin, make sure the caption for the image is catchy. Sometimes it will autofill with the file name of your image. Provide detail and value for the person who is searching on Pinterest – why should they click through? You don’t just have to stick to the headline of your blog post. Change it up or add in more text. 

Re-pin.

Don’t just pin once and forget it. Go through once a month and re-pin your content to other boards. This way, it will show up at the top of people’s feeds again. You can pin to new boards on your account (which is why it’s important to create many boards) or join group boards. I just started using Tailwind, which is a Pinterest scheduling program. So far, I love it!

Optimize Your Photo Name

When you upload a photo to your blog post, it asks for a file name. Don’t leave it at IMG_6793. You want to make sure it’s searchable (this helps with Google search). For example, my file below is named “pinterest-images” which might help it come up in Google searches. Make sure the alt-tag has your key words. For example, a blog post with 5 Ways To Use Pinterest will have an image ready to pin AND needs to have the alt-tag be keyword friendly so it’s searchable…alt-tag might be “ways to use pinterest.” This article explains more: https://yoast.com/image-seo-alt-tag-and-title-tag-optimization/

Ready to pin this article? Here’s an example of how I create my images:

5 Tips To Increase Your Blog Traffic With Pinterest | pattyrivas.com

The image name is pinterest-tips and the alt-tag is 5 Tips To Increase Your Blog Traffic With Pinterest | pattyrivas.com. I used Photoshop to create this but you can use free tools like Canva or Picmonkey.

Are you using Pinterest? What are your main questions or struggles with Pinterest? I really believe this platform is a great way to grow your blog and get more leads.

Want more followers? Leave a link to your Pinterest below so I can follow you!

Looking for more social media tips and updates? Make sure to like my Facebook page where I regularly share tips via posts, FB live and training videos.

5 Instagram Hashtag Mistakes You’re Making

Did you know you can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram? 

Hold on…back up. Let’s talk about WHY hashtags are important first…

Hashtags are a way for people to find your account/your photos on Instagram. Think of “search” on Instagram as similar to searching on Google. For example, people who want to find photos of cute dogs might search for #dogsofinstagram. 

When you use hashtags in your photos, your photos compile into a directory for that specific hashtag. So your #dogsofinstagram photo will now show up with all the other #dogsofinstagram photos. Using hashtags is what leads people to your account. If you’re not using hashtags, then how are people going to find you? I’ve connected with loads of people simply through the explore page and searching hashtags on Instagram.

So that leads us to our discussion about Instagram hashtag mistakes. If you want to grow your following and engagement, then you want to make sure you’re really harnessing the power of hashtags. Here are some mistakes you might be making:

Not Using 30 Hashtags.

If Instagram lets you use 30 hashtags, then make sure to use those 30 hashtags! You might be wondering, “How do I think of 30 hashtags.” Well, that’s where brainstorming comes in. Before you start posting any sort of content, sit down and think about WHO you’re talking to. Who is your target audience? For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, using hashtags that attract other photographers (like #shotwithnikon or something) won’t help you. Instead, think of what YOUR audience is probably searching for, like #weddingplanning or #bridetobe. Open Instagram on your phone and type in a hashtag. THEN, at the top you’ll see more suggested hashtags. Make a note in your phone with a list of hashtags you can copy and paste later on.

Not Researching Hashtags.

Why is research important? Because you need to make sure you’re targeting the right people. Here’s an example from my own life. My friend started a garden recently, and posted a picture of the pickles he grew. He used the hashtag #ticklemypickle. Initially, I was thinking that if I clicked through to that hashtag I’d be met with a bunch of inappropriate pictures. However, it’s mainly photos of pickles from pickle lovers! 

So what’s my point? Look through the photos of whatever hashtags you’re going to use to make sure the photos are congruent with your message and targeting. Imagine if you used #ticklemypickle thinking it would be mainly gardeners and pickle enthusiasts BUT it’s actually inappropriate photos. Probably not the followers you want on your account!

Not Using New Hashtags

So you found your top 10 or top 20 hashtags that work for you. You should just use those in every photo upload, right? Wrong. You constantly want to be doing research and testing out new hashtags. By using the Instagram search feature and seeing other hashtags at the top of the screen, you can regularly be looking for new ones to use. Test them out in your images and see how your engagement fluctuates. Who knows, you might find a hashtag that really increases your likes and comments. I’ve also read that switching up your hashtags regularly also means you’re less likely to get shadow banned.

Putting The Hashtags In The Comments.

Now, I’m not 100% sure about this, but here’s what I’ve read. Since Instagram has an algorithm now, and they’re cracking down on spammy accounts, they are flagging accounts that puts hashtags in the comments. This can lead to the infamous “shadow ban,” which prevents people who don’t follow you from seeing your posts in the explore page or through hashtag searches. A way around this is to put your hashtags directly in your caption. For those who don’t like the look of a list of hashtags right in the caption, they add periods so the hashtags move further down (and don’t show up in the IG feed). Here’s an example:

Using Hashtags With a Huge Reach

While it’s ok to sometimes use hashtags with millions of reach, you do want to also use those that may only have a couple thousand photos in the stream. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, start typing a hashtag in the IG search bar. You’ll see a number come up next to it. That is the number of photos already in that hashtag feed. You might thing bigger = better, however, you will probably have more success finding lesser-used hashtags. Why? Because those people may be more engaged and are more targeted. For example, if you’re an animal rescue for huskies, do you think you’ll reach more of your target audience using #dogsofinstagram or #huskyrescue? When you do your hashtag research, make sure to include popular hashtags as well as smaller hashtags in your list. Really try to get specific! Another plus of using smaller hashtags is that you could be featured in the “Top Posts” section of that hashtag. That means whenever someone searches that specific hashtag, your photo will be right at the top…aka easier for people to find and discover you!

Want to really nail down your Instagram strategy? Download my free Instagram Strategy guide below where I share 7 ways to build your Instagram and start getting new clients/sales:

instagramoptinbutton-01

Hopefully that answers some of your hashtag questions. By doing research and using hashtags effectively, you will start to see your Instagram numbers grow. While you’re doing that research, start commenting on people’s images too! This will lead them back to your profile and help you start building relationships with your target audience.

Pin this image to save this post for later and share with others:

Here are 5 Instagram Hashtag Mistakes You're Making | http://pattyrivas.com

Best of luck! Leave your handle below so I can give you a follow :)

How To Promote Your Product or Service on Instagram

Are you posting regularly on Instagram and ready to take it to the next level? Perhaps you have a course, coaching session, or product you’d like to sell. If so, then Instagram is definitely the place to be! Let’s talk about how to promote your product or service on Instagram.

A great way to promote your business is with campaigns. A campaign is a targeted approach to getting more people to your products or services pages. While you may be posting daily and providing value to your audience, campaigns have set goals in place. You’ll be talking about your products or services in your posts, and mixing those posts into your daily IG posts. There will be a set strategy in place, which is what we will be talking about in this blog post. Plus, there’s an awesome freebie at the end with my top 7 Instagram strategies, so keep scrolling (or if you’re impatient, check it out here).

So how do you run a campaign on Instagram? Here are 5 tips:

Use the “Link in Bio” feature

If you’re trying to send people to your product or services page, make sure it’s in your bio. That is the first place people look when they land on your Instagram. Think of some juicy copy which will entice people to click. Here’s an example:

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 11.44.08 AM

You read this and you know exactly what she does, and what her podcast is about.

I’ve also seen a lot of people lately using linktree. People will click on your linktree link, which leads them to another page where you can put a few different links, like this:

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 12.00.49 PM

When people click on the linktree link, this is where they’ll land:
Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 7.04.01 AM

Whenever you post a campaign image to Instagram, make sure to remind people to click the link in your bio.

Craft branded images

When you’re running a campaign, you want to strategize ahead of time. Create posts for Instagram that are relevant and have a theme going. For example, pick a color palette, and always include your logo or website on it. When people see this photo/color scheme, they should know it’s from you. For desktop tools, try out Canva, PicMonkey or Photoshop. For apps, my go-to is Over app. You can overlay text and images on a photo, which makes it super easy to add your logo.

Use Instagram stories

Instagram stories is huge right now and has surpassed Snapchat. If you’re not already using it, it’s time to get on it! This is also another avenue for you to promote your products or services. Use Instagram stories to be more relatable to your audience, and build relationships. Talk about your product or service that you’re promoting, but also use this platform to provide value and answer any relevant questions people might have. For example, if you’re a personal trainer promoting a new training package, use Instagram stories to talk about personal training in general. Topics could include 5 reasons you should hire a personal trainer, 3 ways to find a good personal trainer for you, a quick workout how-to, etc. Now people watching see your expertise, and will be more warmed up to buying from you. Here are more tips on how to use Instagram stories for your business.

Share relevant tips and tutorials

Tips and tutorials are huge on social media. There’s a reason you see them being shared left and right. Think of a few tips related to the product or service your launching or promoting. Let’s say you’re running a campaign for a yoga studio class package, start sharing videos, photos or IG stories that provide value. This could be pose tutorials, 5 tips for your next yoga practice etc. Then in between all of that content, you are interweaving your package. For example, at the end of an Instagram story with your tips, you’d say, “Want to grow your practice? We’re offering XYZ if you sign up by X date!” Regularly provide value then promote your product or service, and you’ll see your Instagram campaign grow organically.

Use user-generated content

If you have an engaged following, using user-generated content can help grow your campaign even more. I’ve helped one client (a protein powder) gain followers and sales by sharing content from other fans. Search through your hashtag to see what other people are posting about you or your product. Or you can also run a contest where you ask people to post photos on Instagram, which you will then share. For example, if you’re a coach, you could ask people to share photos of their own workspace using a relevant hashtag (let’s say #deskselfie). Then, you go through the photos and choose which ones you will re-share on your profile. How will this help your campaign? People love when you share their content. So if you mix this in with your promotional posts, it’s a good way to boost engagement and get people talking. Perhaps they will tag their friends on your profile in order to recommend you!

These are just a few tips to help you create a campaign on Instagram for your business.

Want even more Instagram strategies? Check out my free Instagram guide where I share 7 tips to get more engagement, leads and clients from your Instagram:

instagramoptinbutton-01

Want to save this post for future reference? Pin the image below so you can come back to it:

promotebusinessoninstagram

Hope these tips help – leave your Instagram handle below so I can give you a follow!

How To Find The Best Hashtags For Your Business

My last post on Instagram focused on how to use Instagram stories for your business – well, a lot has changed with the platform since then!

I will go over those changes in upcoming posts, but today we’re going to focus on how to find the best hashtags for your business. Hashtags are very important on Instagram, so it’s important to know how to use them to your advantage.

Use General Hashtags

If you’re a business owner, you already have a niche or theme. Start writing down hashtag ideas that relate to that – it can be as general as possible! For example, if you’re a personal trainer and want to get more clients, you can use general hashtags like #personaltrainer #fitness #gym #gymtime #igfitness.

While these hashtags will have thousands, if not millions, of photos, it’s still possible to find new follower. If they’er perusing that hashtag feed, and your photo stands out, they’ll click through and hopefully follow you. That’s why you need to make sure your photo is eye-catching and interesting. Think about what would make YOU stop scrolling.

Mix In Specific Hashtags

You also want to start getting more specific. Using hashtags with smaller audiences means even more targeted potential followers. Going back to my personal trainer example, you could use hashtags for your state. You could also use #crossfit or specific area you’re a personal trainer in, like #bootcamp #TRX #TRXtraining #postpartumfitness #prenatalfitness.

I’ll throw in another example. If you’re a photographer, what do you specialize in? Wedding photos? Infant photos? Do you take minimalist photos? Abstract? Find those hashtags are start using them.

These hashtags narrow you down even more. If someone is interested in wedding photography, they will be looking through that hashtag and be able to find you easily.

Find Community Hashtags

Are you an NASM trainer? I bet you there is a hashtag for that. If you’re part of an organization, search for their hashtag. There are also tons of social media communities around various topics. So, there might be a post-partum fitness community whose hashtag is #mommiesgettinghealthy or something along those lines. That is a huge, untapped potential for you. You now found a community of people talking about their problems and pain points that YOU can solve/help them with!

Using my photography example, find communities of people who you think will be interested in your services. Something like #photographer might connect you with more photographers, but that’s not your goal. Think specifically as to who is looking for you. If you’re a wedding photographer, you could be using #TheKnot because you know that is a community for brides.

Start doing some research and get creative with it. Think about what your ideal client would be searching for.

Having good hashtags is an important step for success on Instagram. This is the number way people will find you. While this tool is for Twitter hashtags, it can help you brainstorm some hashtags ideas for your niche.

Leave a comment below with your Instagram handle so I can check you out and give you a follow!

How To Use Instagram Stories For Your Brand

With new social platforms being created every day, it has become difficult for companies to choose which to utilize in order to efficiently market their brands. Companies need to act quick if they want to seize the opportunity before it’s too late.

That’s why we’re here to talk about one of the newer social platform additions: Stories on Instagram. Instagram stories are similar to Snapchat stories in the way that users can take pictures and post them for all of their followers to see. So how can brands use Instagram Stories to boost sales and gain a competitive advantage?

How To Use Instagram Stories

  • Direct to Website: If you do not have a link on your Instagram page that takes customers to your company website, do this now! A seamless integration of your website link on your page will make users more likely to visit and potentially purchase your products or services. By using the Instagram story feature, you can post pictures or small video clips of your products or services and subtly add a caption saying “Click for more info using the link in our bio!” I actually just did this for a client, and within an hour of posting on their Instagram story, 233 people viewed the photo. A handful took it a step further and messaged us to let us know they clicked our link!
  • Make a Personality: These days, internet users love to interact with a brand online that does not spit out almost robot-like responses. On Instagram, you can add behind-the-scenes type clips that give your company a personality. It’s important to note, the more effective you want your personality to be, the more consistent you need to be. If you are giving out a sarcastic personality vibe, be consistent and keep that personality so that users will feel a closer and more real connection.
  • Real-Time Product Use: Sometimes it’s hard to know if a product is going to work like you think it will. Using Instagram Stories, companies can showcase their products in real time to give potential customers a taste of the usability of their products. This will have users more inclined to purchase the product if they see it is what they have been searching for. It also allows you to collect feedback from your fans throughout your creation process.

Now that Instagram Stories is seamlessly integrated into the app, brands should utilize the fact that they can have real-time content one click away from thousands of potential customers.

 

Want more social media tips and updates? Make sure to join my FREE Facebook group and connect with other entrepreneurs!

ColourPop Case Study: How Social Media Can Increase Your Sales

Sometimes, it can be difficult to understand the cycle of how social media reaches an audience and results in sales for a company. From the second that a post goes up, what exactly happens?

For many individuals, it is hard to stray from the thought that social media posts and ads should lead to direct sales. For the most part, social media posts do not lead to direct sales. A social media post goes through many phases and reaches many individuals before one can see a substantial increase in sales.

I would like to share an experience with you that might help to clear this idea up. Recently, I purchased lip products from an online cosmetics retailer called ColourPop. This purchase wasn’t from seeing an ad on Facebook and thinking, “Hm, these look nice! I’ll purchase them to try them out”. The first time that I learned about this company was through my boss at work. She was raving about this company called ColourPop that has affordable cosmetic products and that I should give it a try! She had seen a video on YouTube of a makeup artist trying it out and reviewing the product. Looking at the infographic at the end of this post, my boss would be known as “The Connector”. She told me how she had been telling all of her friends about this company and that they also loved the products. So, I decided I would take a look at their website, read some reviews online and watch YouTube review videos. A little while later, I sat down and ordered some lip sticks. Let me tell you, these products lived up to their expectations!

What did I do next? Of course I posted all about the products on my social media platforms (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.) exclaiming how awesome these lip sticks were. I am seen as “Influencer #1”. Aside from posting on social media, I also had done what my boss had done. I went to my friends and raved about ColourPop. Furthermore, a few of my friends saw my social media posts and ordered the product just from seeing my reviews on social!

My power of influence led to my friends, “Influencer #2” and “Influencer #3,” to get online and purchase some products themselves. They received their products in the mail, and while that was happening, my post on social media was blowing up! People wanted to hear more about these products. I eventually directed them to ColourPop’s Facebook page and the cycle continued.

This might seem confusing to some, and it might take a couple read throughs to fully understand how the system works. Social media CAN increase sales in a company. It may take some time to reach the right people, however, once it reaches that one person called “The Connector”, your products and services may very well become the talk of the town. I’ve had clients who don’t get immediate sales, and then believe there is no ROI in social media marketing. This is just not the case. Think of social media as word of mouth marketing. By being present on social media, you’re giving your fans an outlet to post about your products, as well as share your pages with their own friends. Patience is key!

To stay up to date with social media news, tips and more, join my free Facebook group!

infographic

6 Ways To Create The Best Instagram Content

Instagram might seem easy enough as a social media platform – just upload a picture and wait for the likes to come in, right?

While this might be somewhat true, there are a few tactics you should implement if you really want to grow your Instagram account and create quality content. I have helped my clients gain new, loyal followers on Instagram, which leads to increased brand awareness and sales!

Here’s how to do it:

Take Photos In Natural Light

Always try to take your photos in natural light. NO FLASH. It just looks much better than when you use flash. Even if it looks dark, you’ll be able to edit it later on to make it brighter. You’ll learn more about what my favorite photo editing apps are at the end of this post in my free guide!

Weekly Features

Quotes…tips…”_____ of the week”…these are all great weekly features to incorporate into your account. For example, if you’re a clothing boutique, you can showcase an outfit or new arrivals each week. By having weekly features you’ll always have something to post. Try doing weekly quotes, tips, behind-the-scenes photos, etc. If you do create quotes or tips make sure you add your logo or website so that if it’s shared, it will be traced back to you.

Feature Photos From Fans

Have you seen accounts “regram” or repost photos from other accounts? This is a great way to grow your account, expose your fans to other related accounts, and connect with other users.
This is something I regularly do for clients. It could be from our own fans or it could be photos that I find while scrolling through the “explore” feed or certain hashtags (which is why it is important to use hashtags – other people or brands can discover you). If you share someone’s photo make sure to tag them so that they get the alert. This could lead to new followers for you since they will be curious as to who shared their photo, head over to your account, and hopefully give you a follow! It’s a great way to expose new people to your business or brand.

Use Hashtags

I think it’s pretty common knowledge now to use hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. But some people are still afraid to use too many hashtags. I don’t really think that’s possible on Instagram. Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags and I highly suggest you use as many as possible. Hashtags are the way that people will find you. When I do for clients is post the photo with a caption and then add hashtags in a separate comment so that it doesn’t clutter my initial caption.

There are lots of tools online to search for relevant hashtags to your brand such as hashtagify.me and Iconosquare. You can also use the Instagram search bar to look for hashtags and see how many post there are for each hashtag. So if a certain hashtag has 6 million posts you know that is popular however your post might quickly be lost in the shuffle. So use a mix of popular hashtags and those that might not have a huge audience yet. Here’s an example of a hashtag search for #running on Iconosquare. As you can see, there are lots of related hashtags and you can also see how many photos are tagged in each:

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 2.07.30 PM

Connect With People Through Hashtags

Going along with hashtags, make sure to also search through relevant hashtags and connect with new people. I always advise businesses to regularly follow new people they find through the search function. Furthermore, leave a relevant and meaningful comment on accounts…definitely more than just “Great pic!” We all know social media is about being SOCIAL, so make sure you’re doing just that!

Use Photo Editing Apps To Look Like a Pro

I rarely post a photo as is. I use a few different photo editing apps to make sure I get the photo exactly like I want it to be. There are also other apps I used to create quotes or tips right from my phone where I can also add in the brand logo. One of my favorite apps is called Over. You can create quotes on a blank background or choose from their myriad of free background images. It also allows you to add text or photos and has many paid options as well.

Try these photo editing apps to have insta-famous photos! | http://pattyrivas.com

If you want to learn more about the tools they use on a regular basis download my free PDF where I go over exactly what apps I use and what their features are. Click the orange box below to get your photo apps guide!

I believe Instagram is the easiest platform to be on right now as a business. It’s a visual platform which makes it a great way to showcase your products and show your fans the “behind-the-scenes” of your business.

It’s easy to connect with people related to your brand and find potential loyal fans. Remember, because it’s a visual tool your photos need to be great. Using these apps will help you create stellar content that will capture people’s attention in their Instagram feed. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions at all!

How To Use Pinterest To Increase Sales

Pinterest is an often disregarded social media platform but it has been very powerful in driving traffic to various blogs and websites in recent years and it can be powerful for you too. With the right strategy Pinterest can help you to significantly increase sales and here’s why: most of the users on Pinterest search for and pin things that they eventually wish to purchase. People are also drawn to Pinterest because of the high quality images and they are more willing to purchase what they see versus what they read. So what can you do to increase your sales with Pinterest?

The Pin-It Button

The Pin-It button allows visitors to your site to add images from your website to their Pinterest boards. When they do this, others on Pinterest will be able to see this content from your website as well. This will increase your web traffic and if the image directly links to a product, a number of visitors may make a purchase right away. You’ll see with  my own image below, if you hover over it, a “Pin it” button appears. You can easily install this through your blogging platform. I use WordPress and use the “jQuery Pin It Button For Images” plugin.

How To Use Pinterest To Increase Sales and Web Traffic | http://pattyrivas.com

Engage With Other Users

You can turn your Pinterest followers into customers or visitors to your website by pinning consistently so that your pins appear in your followers’ feed. You can also use apps like Viral Woot to schedule pins. You should look at your followers’ boards and re-pin content that is relevant to your business. As I’ve mentioned before, social media is about SHARING as well as promoting your own content. The more you share other people’s content, the  more others will find you and engage with your brand. As you find new accounts to follow, leave meaningful comments on pins that interest you. All of this is very similar to what I have talked about in other posts about gaining followers on social media.

Join Groups & Group Boards

If you’re a blogger, there are a myriad of Facebook groups you can join that will help you increase your Pinterest following and engagement. I am also a health & fitness blogger, so I have found fitness groups where we share Pinterest links and pin each other’s content. Search for your niche and see what you can find. If this doesn’t work for you, search for group boards on Pinterest. It’s a great way to collaborate with others and get way more eyeballs on your content. Search your niche/topic in the Pinterest toolbar, then click “boards” and relevant boards will show up. You’ll know if one is a group board because it will have a little icon showing multiple people. Here are a few examples:

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 11.55.20 AM When you join a group, as I mentioned above, make sure to share other people’s stuff as well as your own. Re-pin the group’s content onto your own relevant boards. Lastly, you can also make your own group board and invite others in your niche to it.

Make Your Boards Searchable

People are using Pinterest like a search engine. For example, when someone is searching for vegan recipes, they will type “Vegan Recipes.” If you want your board to be found, you need these key words in your board name and board description. Sure, having a fun board name (like I Love Veggies!) might stand out, but when people search for certain terms, your boards won’t show up.

Use The Right Dimensions

Long, skinny pins tend to do the best on Pinterest. So when you’re creating graphics, keep this in mind. I know it’s an extra step to create an image specifically for Pinterest, but if you’re looking to increase web traffic and conversions, this step is key. Here’s a handy guide on Pinterest image dimensions. Pinterest can be a major source of traffic to your website and that traffic can convert into actual sales if you use the right strategies on this platform. That’s why I created a Pinterest checklist for you! Download the checklist so each time you post you’re sure that you’re doing it right.

Start pinning, create good branded content, and eventually the visitors and customers will come pouring in.

Not sure how to create branded content? Stay tuned! I’ll be having a training on this soon.

How To Create A Social Media Marketing Plan

Did you know sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram are now responsible for more than 30% of all website traffic, according to a study by Shareaholic.

Now more than ever it is so important to have a solid social media strategy in place for your business or brand. I work with various clients (and also on my own content for this blog and my fitness blog) and create a social media strategy on a daily basis, but also develop plans that span months and even throughout the year.

Tips For Creating The Ultimate Social Media Marketing Plan

If you’re just posting randomly and sharing content sporadically, you shouldn’t be surprised when your social media results and ROI are less than stellar.

That’s why I’m going to share a bit of my own daily strategy and include a freebie:  a weekly social media planner PDF which you can download below.

The social media planner includes:

  • Worksheets for planning campaigns around holidays and important events
  • Tools for scheduling your social media so you’re not tied down to a computer all day
  • How to use hashtags to grow your following
  • Types of content to post (tips, quotes, promotions, etc.)

Get Your FREE Social Media Planner

Here are a few of my tips and tools used when it comes to creating a social media marketing plan.

Use Hashtags

Don’t be afraid to use hashtags – they will help people find you and engage with you. I would say limit Twitter hashtags to 2-3, but with Instagram you can use as many as you want! According to Buffer, there doesn’t seem to be a saturation point when it comes to hashtagging on Instagram. Hashtag away! Here’s an interesting image (from the same Buffer article) relating to hashtags and Twitter: How many hashtags should I use on Twitter?

In order to find relevant hashtags, just do a simple google search. You can also use tools like Hashtagify and Hashtag Scout. Lastly, use the search tool on Instagram (under tags) and simply start typing keywords relating to your niche. It will give you a list of hashtags and how many people are posting under that hashtag. So how do hashtags relate to your social media marketing plan? In my workbook, there is a page where you can list all hashtags related to your brand or business. Start using these regularly in your posts in order to increase your followers, retweets, shares and engagement. Experiment with different hashtags and monitor which ones do best for you.

Get Your FREE Social Media Planner

Create A List Of Content

This is something I do on a daily basis for my clients. While this is my full-time job, it doesn’t have to be yours, so don’t worry, I will explain how you can do this quickly! Keeping a list of relevant content you stumble on means that you always have a vault of links to post on your social media platforms. You will no longer sit down at your computer and wonder, “Hm, what should I post today?” I like to use Google Docs for my list, that way I can share it with my team and have them edit/add to it as well.

I also color-code each link so I can quickly see what “theme” it is under. For example, for my fitness related client, some of my colors are for running related topics, lifting related topics, healthy recipes…you get the gist of it. So how can you do this quickly? Create a google doc, then once a week dedicate however much time you can (I suggest at least 30 minutes but whatever you can do will help you a lot), to finding links to share. Here’s how you can find them:

  • Set up Google alerts for a specific keyword, like “business tips.”
  • Search your keywords on Pinterest and share people’s links. Make sure to tag them in your post so that they see it and engage with you. Most likely, they will also re-share.
  • Search through hashtags on Twitter. When people share news articles or blog links, they’re most likely using hashtags so that others will see it and share it (hence my first point of this post).
  • Check out Stumbleupon. I have found a lot of cool and interesting links on there that I end up re-sharing.
  • Trending topics. What is trending on Facebook and Twitter? If it’s relevant to you, share it and get people talking. Ask them what their thought is on whatever the trending topic is…get people talking!

When you plug in links into your Google Doc, also add in their Twitter handle or whatever social media account you will be tagging them in. It just makes it easier to copy and paste later on into your scheduling account. I made this Google Doc template for you so you can start curating your own content. Just save it to your own account and you’ll be able to edit it. Let me know if you end up using it! 

Plan Ahead & Use Themes

I visited a social media agency a few years ago in January. Guess what? They were already planning their campaigns and promotions for Back To School time in September. Now I’m not saying you need to think that far in advance, but planning out your year really helps with your strategy, even if it’s a month or two in advance. For example, right now at the time of this publishing (December), you could be planning your campaigns relating to New Year’s resolutions, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. Download my workbook to find a content theme calendar as well!

Schedule Your Own Content

Do you have a blog? Make sure you’re sharing your content! While I always refer to the 80/20 rule (80% of your content should be from other sources, 20% should be your own content), you need to be consistently sharing your own posts and articles as well. I mainly use TweetDeck to schedule my twitter posts, but other tools are Hootsuite, Buffer, and Edgar. Edgar allows you to keep a vault of scheduled content that gets shared and reshared (instead of manually keeping a list yourself), which is pretty cool, but it is a paid app ($50/month).

Whenever I publish a new post I schedule it and make sure to schedule it for a few times that week. I would made a copy of the Google Doc I shared above and keep all your links in there as well. You should not only be sharing your latest posts, but older ones as well. Did one of your posts go viral? Keep sharing the heck out of it!

Create Branded Content

This is super easy once you create a template. I’m sure you’ve seen people share inspirational quotes or tips. Instead of re-sharing those, create your own. I create my “Lightning Quick Tips” and share across my social media profiles. I just have a blank template, and each time I want to create one all I have to do is add the tip in. Here’s an example of one:

Social Media Tips

Include your logo so that way if people do re-share it, your business name and logo will be right there. This is another thing you can do quickly if you just set aside time on the weekend to do it. I use Photoshop, but there are online tools like PicMonkey or Canva that you can use. If I’m on the go, I use the app Over to add text to an image, and the same app to add my logo to it as well. Super easy. Want more tips relating to social media and a handy dandy workbook to write down all your ideas and strategies? You can download my free Weekly Social Media Planner workbook below. Use it to get more organized when it comes to your social media and jot down your content ideas!

Get Your FREE Social Media Planner

I’m working on an audio training series now that I’m really excited about. To get more results based social media marketing tips, click to be added to my VIP Waiting List for the brand new 3-Part Kick Butt Social Media Profit Program AND receive my Social Media Planner which will have you navigating the social media minefield like an Admiral in no time.

Yes, put me on the waitlist for the “Take Your Social Media From 0-100 in 3 Days” training!

Drop your social media links in the comments if you’d like me to follow you and check out your page. Good luck with creating your plan!

Gary Vaynerchuk’s Hustle

Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO and founder of VaynerMedia, has recently come out with a new “DailyVee” series which follows him around to show what he does in a day. Here’s the first episode.

I watched the first and second episodes and was motivated by it. He really does hustle all day long, as he calls it. It motivated me to work harder in my business and really look at time wasted throughout my day in which I could be more efficient. Many commenters also agreed and said things along the lines of, “Wow you really do hustle!” or saying how he inspires them.

But as I started thinking about it more and more, I wondered to myself, is that really the life I would want?

Would I really want to wake up at 4-5 am and work until midnight every day? Yes, the old saying says, “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I love what I do and I love having my own business. But isn’t one of the perks of owning a business freedom?

Gary preaches about hustling daily. And I agree – we all need to do the work to achieve our goals (obviously) but I also think sometimes he takes it to an extreme. He tells people how he is up at 4am and works until midnight…every day.

As someone who also writes about health and wellness, I just do not think this is a healthy way to live. Where is the work/life balance? I understand that when you’re building up your business you need to make sacrifices, but should well-known entrepreneurs like himself be pushing people to “hustle” like he does in order to be successful?

When I watched his second DailyVee video it kind of stressed me out just watching it! My goal used to be to build up a social media agency, but now I am working on creating my own online programs and courses in order to be an entrepreneur with freedom. For me, entrepreneurs who inspire me are the likes of Amy Porterfield, Tim Ferris, and Neil Patel.

I mean, Gary still does motivate me, and I 100% agree with everything he says relating to social media and digital strategies. I highly recommend reading his books, especially Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. But I think that when it comes to the “hustle,” I think he is a bit extreme.

I’ll leave you with this story I read online which I loved:

An American businessman was standing at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.

“How long it took you to catch them?” The American asked.

“Only a little while.” The Mexican replied.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” The American then asked.

“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs.” The Mexican said.

“But,” The American then asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”

“Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own can factory. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senor?”

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO (Initial Public Offering) and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions, senor? Then what?”

The American said slowly, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”

What do you think of work/life balance? I’d love to hear your thoughts!