How to Turn Your WordPress Site into an Online Forum

Published in WordPress.

The success of WordPress lies in its versatility. What was born as a simple blogging platform has ended up becoming whatever you want… From an online store to a corporate website, or even a social network, the truth is that you can make anything with a WordPress site. And yes, that also includes the classic Internet forums. Do you want to know how to create your own forum? Keep reading!

bbPress, the Plugin to Run Forums on WordPress

bbPress is a plugin to add forums to your WordPress. It was created by the same creators of WordPress itself, so think of it as an official plugin. As you can imagine, it’s an open source plugin with exceptional documentation and an incredible amount of resources on the Internet. If you want to set up a forum, this is your solution without any doubt.

bbPress Docs Website
bbPress Docs Website.

Let’s see how to install and configure it on your website.

How to Install and Configure bbPress on WordPress, Step by Step

The installation and configuration of bbPress is as easy as it can be. As it is a WordPress plugin, simply search for it from your Dashboard, install it, and activate it:

bbPress in a Plugin Search
You can install bbPress just like you do with any other plugin.

Once the installation and activation process is completed, you will see the following welcome page with information about what’s new with the version you just installed:

bbPress Welcome Screen
Right after installing the plugin, you’ll see this welcome screen.

And that’s it! It’s that simple!!

Creating Your First Forum

If you pay a little attention to your Dashboard, you’ll see that, after installing bbPress, there are some new menus: Forums, Topics, and Replies. These three sections will contain all the information generated in your forums. But right now they’re obviously empty…

bbPress Menu Items in the Dashboard
bbPress Menu Items in the Dashboard.

The first thing we need to do is create one forum. To do this, go to Forums » New Forum and fill in the information requested in the form:

bbPress Forum Creation Screeen
bbPress Forum Creation Screeen.

For now, just name the forum and give it a short description. You can repeat the process as many times as you like to create the different discussion forums you want to have:

List of available forums in bbPress
List of available forums in bbPress, as shown in the WordPress Dashboard.

The interface to manage the forums is, as you can see in the previous screenshot, very familiar, since it’s the same you use for managing pages and posts in WordPress. Obviously bbPress includes some extra options, specific to the forums themselves, such as the order in which the forums appear, if we want the forums to be hierarchical or not, their status, visibility… but they don’t matter much right now and I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out what they’re used for, don’t you? 😊

Add Forums in Your Navigation Menu

After creating the forums it’s time to make them accessible to your website visitors. In fact, a published forum already has a public URL (usually they follow the pattern https://exmple.com/forums/forum/forum-name), but unless your visitors know about it, no one will ever find it. So you should better put them in your navigation menu, don’t you think?

To add a new forum to your navigation menu, go to Appearance » Menus and look for the Forums section in the left column of the screen. There you will find all the forums you’ve created and you can easily add them to your menu.

Adding a bbPress Forum in the Navigation Menu
Adding a bbPress Forum in the Navigation Menu.

One of the most common questions when installing bbPress for the first time is: isn’t there a public page where all my forums appear? And the answer is yes, of course there is. It’s https://example.com/forums/. Unfortunately, it’s not a “regular” WordPress page, but a “virtual” page generated by bbPress:

List of bbPress Forums in the frontend
List of bbPress Forums in the frontend.

So, if you want to add it in your navigation menu, you’ll need to use a Custom Link menu item:

Navigation Menu Item pointing to bbPress forums list
Navigation Menu Item pointing to bbPress forums list.

If you do so, then you can add all the forums as submenus and your resulting navigation menu will be clean and tidy:

Navigation Menu Example with bbPress Forums
Navigation Menu Example with bbPress Forums.

What About Forum Users?

If you have forums, the most common thing is to want people (users) to participate in them, so let’s spend a couple of minutes talking about user management in your bbPress forums.

The first thing you should probably want do is open the access to your forums. To do that, go to Settings » General and check the Membership option so that “anyone can register”:

Membership Option in WordPress Settings
You should enable the Membership option in WordPress settings if you want people to participate in your forums easily.

Needless to say, if you do this, you’ll have to add some kind of spam protection to your registration forms using plugins like Akismet, for example, or risk having your installation filled with spam… 😥

Once this is done, all you need to know is that bbPress defines several additional roles for your users, each of which sets different permissions when it comes to interacting with the forums, topics, and replies that appear on your website:

bbPress User Roles
bbPress adds new user roles to your WordPress site.
  1. Keymaster. The admin of your site is given this role by default… so I assume is the role you currently have. The keymaster has whole control over all bbPress and is able to create and delete forums, create, delete, and edit topics and replies, and so on.
  2. Moderator. This users have the necessary tools to moderate forums, approve or block comments and users, etc.
  3. Participant. This is the default role new subscribers will get. They can create topics and participate on existing ones, star them, subscribes to updates, etc.
  4. Spectator. They only have reading permissions to public content, subscribe to updates, etc.
  5. Blocked. They don’t have any permissions at all on the blog, other than reading public content.

How to Create Register and Lost Password Pages

Obviously, if we want users to participate in our forums, we must provide them with the possibility of registering and recovering their password if they have forgotten it. Luckily, this is also quite easy on bbPress.

To allow users to register, create a new Page on your website called Register and paste the following shortcode into the content: [[bbp-register]]. With this, you get a simple page with the following appearance:

Register Page in bbPress
Register Page in bbPress.

Then create another page called Lost Password and paste the [[bbp-lost-pass]] shortcode to generate the page with which users can recover their password when they don’t remember it:

Lost Password Page in bbPress
Lost Password Page in bbPress.

And that’s it! Well, obviously you have to put these pages in the navigation menu or somewhere else for the user to get to, but…. yes, you have everything you need.

Some Final Notes

As you can see, setting up a forum in WordPress is very simple: in a few clicks you can have the forums up and running at full speed. But before you go, let me share a couple extra tips with you.

Theme Compatibility

All the screenshots I have posted here today use the official WordPress Theme: Twenty Seventeen. As you can see, the appearance of the forums and forms is not bad at all, but they aren’t astonishing either. That’s why I recommend that you search for bbPress compatible themes. Some of them have very elegant and beautiful designs for the forums, topics, and so on, and they really make your website stand out. So take a few minutes to explore the options.

If you don’t know where to get started, look at this post from the guys at wpbeginner.

bbPress Widgets

bbPress includes many more things than we have seen so far. For example, the plugin comes with a full range of new widgets for you to use:

Available Widgets in bbPress
Available Widgets in bbPress.

The most interesting one for me is, first of all, the Login widget. If we want to reduce friction and make it easier for users to participate in our forums, what better way than to put the login form on a sidebar that appears on every page?

In the following screenshot you can see how to configure the Login widget. As you can see, it consists of three fields: the widget title and two URLs. These URLs correspond to the Register and Lost Password pages we have generated previously.

bbPress' Login Widget Setup
bbPress’ Login Widget Setup.

And this is the widget your users will see:

bbPress Login Widget
bbPress Login Widget.

Forum Setup

In addition to the new menus that bbPress has added to your Dashboard, which we have already discussed, the plugin also adds a new submenu from which to configure it. Specifically, if you go to Settings » Forums you can manipulate things like the frequency of content publication by a user (to avoid spam), the default role that new users should have, pagination parameters, and so on. Don’t forget to take a look at these settings to adapt the plugin to your preferences!

Additional Plugins to Enhance bbPress

Finally, it goes without saying that bbPress is one of the classics in the WordPress world and, therefore, the collection of plugins around it that extend its functionality is incredible. So if there is something you want to do with your forums that is not available by default, don’t forget to check out the plugins section of the bbPress website.

In Summary

Setting up a forums website with WordPress is one of the easiest things there: just install a plugin and you’re done. If you want to build a community and promote the participation of your visitors, use bbPress and turn your WordPress into a great online forum.

Featured Image by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash.

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The Ultimate Guide to Getting the Most out of Social Media

Published in Online Marketing.

The holy grail of the world wide web: what can we do to be the first result in search engines? In a previous post I gave you several tips to get to that coveted first position, based on how a search engine works internally. Basically, everything revolves around content: the more relevant and of higher quality it is, the more likely it is that it will be properly positioned and we will end up being relevant. Then there were other equally important factors, such as the speed of the page, SEM vitamins, webcasting… but always after addressing quality content.

Have you ever wondered why you want to be first on Google? The answer is obvious: because you want people to know you exist, to find you. But this has an important connotation: our real goal is not (or should not be) to appear as the first result on Google, but for people to know us… And if that’s our real goal, we might as well stop focusing on SEO only and start looking at other areas that can help us in this endeavor, don’t you think?

So today we’ll focus a little more on the world of social networks and how they can help you to improve the position of your website and your personal brand.

Social Marketing and Its Advantages

Social media marketing is nothing more than the use of social networks to promote our products or services (Wikipedia). If you’re still wondering why you should devote resources to promoting yourself on Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks, just read the latest GlobalWebIndex report: 1 in every 3 minutes we’re online is spent on social networks and more than half of all social network users follow brands they’ve bought from or intend to buy from 😲

Oh my god wow
Amazing. Source: Giphy.

In another article by Hubspot we find even more statistics on the role of social networks. For instance, 80% of advertisers agree that their social media marketing efforts translate into more visits to the web and, in fact, more than half say these efforts helped them increase sales.

Looking at these statistics, it seems clear that having a presence on social media and being an active member is great for your business. And sure it is! According to Forbes, social media helps you increase your brand visibility and customer loyalty, improve your conversion rates, increase inbound traffic, reduce marketing costs… Tremendous, right?

Create the Perfect Strategy in 6 Easy Steps

If we want to be successful in social media and translate all our efforts into visits and sales, we need to define a marketing plan that works. Although this “marketing plan” idea may sound too professional and complicated for you, it really isn’t—on the contrary, it’s all a matter of common sense. So here I leave you with the 6 steps we took at Nelio to create a successful strategy:

#1 Define Your Goals Based on Your Needs and Challenges

The first step is to decide what you want to achieve with your strategy. As we saw a few weeks ago, depending on the goals we set, we’ll carry out one type of strategy or another. It isn’t the same thing, for example, to promote our personal brand as it is to investigate the reaction of our audience to a new product we’re designing.

Pondering savvy shields by Miss America
Before doing anything, hold on a sec and think what you want to do and how you’ll do it. Picture by missamerica on Giphy.

Whatever your goal, you should always set challenging but achievable goals. To do this, it is best to follow the SMART formula: your objectives have to be specific, clearly identifying what we want to achieve with them; they have to be measurable, because in the end we want to be able to see how well we have met them (or not); they have to be achievable, because thinking about things that are impossible to accomplish is a waste of time; they have to be relevant to our business and needs; and they have to be time bounded to prevent them from getting too long and becoming a waste of time and money.

Tip: Think about what is relevant to your business at any given time and define the objectives you need to meet your strategy. These goals have to be clearly identified and, if possible, written down somewhere (don’t forget that some people say that writing down your goals makes you three times as likely to succeed as someone who simply has them in mind 😉).

Oh! And don’t miss this other post from Sprout Social, where they give you several ideas of the goals you could set.

#2 Know Your Target Audience

The second step is to get to know your audience—a critical step in turning your followers into loyal customers. The better you can define your audience profile, the easier it will be to create a convincing and appropriate message.

Clapping applause by Originals
Yup, you gotta know them! Picture by originals on Giphy.

Notice we’re talking about meeting our audience and not about imagining who they are. Don’t make assumptions about who your followers are or how they behave and define your strategy based on those assumptions—instead, make your decisions based on real data. Take advantage of the analytics offered by the social media to learn more about your followers and look at the available studies to know what to expect from them. For example, in this SproutSocial article the author talks about the demographic information of the different generations: “Millennials ask, Generation X buys, Baby Boomers observe.”  😇 Don’t miss it!

Tip: One technique that works very well to better classify our audience and create appropriate messages for our audience is to create audience personas (similar to the buyer persona Ruth told us about a few months ago). This post from Hootsuite explains how to do it 🤗

#3 Learn From Your Competitors

Before writing any content, you should probably take a look around and see what your competitors are doing. This is a piece of advice we keep repeating in our blog, but it’s something that Steve Jobs used to say: “Good artists copy, great artists steal“. You should do the same with your blog—”steal” from others. But don’t copy and paste their content. Instead observe, read, study, learn… and then make it better.

Depressed fight club
If you copy, at least copy well. And make it better, if possible. Source: Giphy.

See what content your competitors write about, what social networks they are on, how often they publish, what kind of publications they share… all this information is a source of incredible ideas and inspiration. Do you want to do even better? Focus especially on the interactions between your competitors and their followers. What complaints do they have? Are they asking for new features, products, or services? Those interactions that used to take place in private are now fully public, 24/7, so take advantage of all that know-how to design your strategy.

Tip: Learn from your competitors. When you’re self-employed or a small business with few resources, seeing what others are doing is a good way to understand where your industry is moving without having to devote large resources. But keep in mind this approach has its caveats—you won’t be as innovative as you could and you’ll be always one step behind, following trends instead of setting them.

#4 Write the Content that Works on Social Media

And finally, after three more or less complex steps in which all we did was study, analyze and prepare ourselves, it’s time to write the content that we’ll share on social media. Hurrah!

Bored gravity falls
Write with your audience in mind—answer their questions and give them what they want so that your content works well. Source: Giphy.

Since this is a topic we’ve already covered in this blog thoroughly, I think it’ll be better if I just link our most recent and relevant posts about it:

Tip: Almost half of all social network users stop following a brand if they get out of line promoting themselves, remember that a good content marketing campaign is one in which content solves problems for your users. If all you do is promote your product or service and you don’t add any other value, you can get hurt.

#5 Talk to Your Followers

Some companies forget this, but social networks are places where people meet and talk and discuss. They aren’t your personal bulletin boards where you can simply promote your content over and over again. You have to share relevant content. You have to interact with your followers, talk to them, solve their doubts.

Millie bobby brown hello by Converse
Don’t forget the social part of all this. For your strategy to work you have to become an active agent and interact with your followers; if you only “vomit” content and pass on it, you will be halfway there and cause frustration among your customers. Picture by converse on Giphy.

Remember when we were talking about studying our competitors? Seeing the interactions they have with their followers is an invaluable source of information. But so are your interactions with your own followers! For instance, here’s a recent example with Nelio Content:

Customer service through social networks is, like it or not, a reality. As stated in this Forbes article, “delivering an amazing customer experience gets customers to come back as well as refer their friends, colleagues and family members. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most, if not the most powerful brand strategies, and customer service is the way to get customers talking.”

Tip: Don’t use social networks as a bulletin board. Take a few minutes in the morning and a few minutes in the afternoon to interact with your customers. Watch what they say, what they’re worried about. Be active and don’t always wait to be questioned directly, let it be noticed that there is a person behind this great company, with his little heart! ❤

#6 Track Data, Analyze, and Start All Over Again

Finally, all you have to do now is see how your content marketing strategy is working. Did you plan to increase your visits by 20% in 3 months? Well, take a look at Google Analytics and check if your efforts helped you fulfill your goals. Did they? Great! Now prepare the next campaign and start all over again. They didn’t? Try to understand why, look for any mistakes you may have had, and start all over again too!

America obama
Track, analyze, and… be happy with your results! Source: Giphy.

If you don’t put a lot of effort into seeing how well you’re doing, you won’t be able to grow as a professional and you’ll be basically operating completely blindly. You have to learn what things work and what things don’t, what you excel at and what you fail to do… Think of this as an iterative process—it’s not enough to run a marketing campaign and forget about it. You have to get better little by little, step by step. And ideally every step you take is supposed to be based on everything you’ve learned in the previous ones, so take note of everything you do, evaluate it and… start over!

Final Remarks

There are many ways to reach our audience, and social networking is one of them. In fact, today social networks are perhaps the best media out there, as they offer a two-way channel where we can not only promote ourselves and share our content, but also interact with and get to know our followers. Don’t jump into the void and get into social networks without a plan: remember that your presence there has to translate into more customers and more sales. Define a suitable strategy following the advice we have given in this post and everything will be fine.

Featured Image by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash.

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5 Tips to Make Your Content Go Viral

Published in Online Marketing.

Every advertiser’s dream is to make this marketing campaign that has everything it needs to go viral… and it does! Everybody’s talking about it. Everybody’s seen it. Everybody shares it. Like this one:

Isn’t that wonderful? You envision something, publish it, and then suddenly everybody talks about it! How cool is that? 🤗 If you’re a blogger, what you’re probably interested in is in writing blog posts that go viral, aren’t you? Or, at least, you might be interested in reaching a broader audience than you’re currently doing. Well, follow the five tips I share in this post and I’m sure you’ll get better results!

#1 Appealing Content

The first thing we need to be clear about is that people don’t want to share garbage (and when they do, they really believe they are sharing something with a minimum of quality). People have a certain online “reputation” and “status” among their friends and followers, so it makes total sense that we share what we think is worthwhile, what won’t harm our status. That’s why we usually either share funny things (like the Volvo ad above) or some quality content.

Valentines day love by Mauro Gatti
If you want your content to go viral, you better appeal your audience. Picture by maurogatti on Giphy.

Therefore, the first step in making content that can become viral is to devote time and effort to craft the perfect post. This is not something new: good content provides solutions to people’s real problems and, above all, goes beyond the simple promotion of products or services.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t really matter how good your posts are if nobody reads them, right? That’s when click-bait titles come in. As you know, click-bait titles are those that awaken our most primal instincts (curiosity, envy, greed) and urge us to click just to see what lies behind them. As long as you’re really adding value in your post, I think it’s totally OK to use such titles, as it’ll maximize your chances of getting people to read your work.

Deadliest catch animation by MOOT
Click-baits might help you get clicks… but you have to make sure you deliver what you promise, or you won’t go viral at all. Picture by mootvideo on Giphy.

#2 Get to the Point Quickly

The main problem with social media (where, in the end, things become viral) is the speed at which content is consumed. Everything goes so fast that hardly anyone has time to read anything in depth. Most people skim content, jumping from title to title, looking for the exact answer to the question they have, without wasting time on the details. So, as the author of your blog, I recommend you get to the point quickly.

My work is done by SpongeBob SquarePants
Get to the point and answer your readers’ questions directly. Picture by spongebob on Giphy.

As Neil Patel tells us in his blog, viral content is usually short. The Volvo ad we saw at the beginning? Barely over one minute. Fast and effective. It only takes a few seconds to understand what’s going on… and a few more seconds on and you’ll want to share it!

I know that this advice is a little different from what we have been giving so far. In general, we recommended you write relatively-long content, since such content ends up positioning better in search engines in the long run as they look more elaborate, allow you to deal with a subject in greater depth, etc. But in this case we’re looking for something different: we want people to consume our content quickly and share it afterwards, so we craft shorter, more direct content.

#3 Make It Visual

Videos. Memes. GIFs. That’s what gets the most attention today. Everything that is visual has an ability to communicate in a few seconds what the written medium doesn’t. But don’t despair! If you, like us, have a blog or a website that isn’t that visual, there’s still some hope—we have many resources at our disposal (Giphy, Unsplash, YouTube, and so on) to get that visual touch in our web. Use them and you will see how your content is more enjoyable and attractive.

Make your content more visual, enjoyable and fun with the use of images and GIFs
Make your content more visual, enjoyable and fun with the use of images and GIFs. Source: Giphy.

But beware, visual clues goes beyond the simple use of images. The layout of the page itself, the use of titles and subtitles, lists, enumerations… all this adds a non-verbal component to our website and allows readers to skim our content quickly and effectively. It helps readers navigate through your text and therefore increases its chances of being reshared.

#4 Promote on Social Media

Next step in making our content viral is to give it the promotion it deserves. If we just write content following the first three tips and wait for Google to position it in its search engine in an organic way, we’ll probably fail. We really need to walk that extra mile and give our content the push it needs if we want to go viral, don’t you think?

Youtube chase by SoulPancake
Promote your content to reach your audience. Picture by soulpancake on Giphy.

Promotion in social media is the obvious and logical step, especially if we take into account that’s where content goes viral. Keep in mind that sharing content in social media doesn’t guarantee anything—for starters, it’ll simply reach your direct followers, so unless you have millions of them, the impact of such promotion will be limited. But if we’ve done your homework and crafter great content following the previous tips, the chances that some of these followers will reshare your posts and thus help you reach broader audiences will grow exponentially!

I’m well aware that effectively promoting yourself on social networks isn’t easy, but luckily there’s plenty of WordPress plugins that can help. I personally recommend you Nelio Content, which is the one we developed at Nelio and probably the most complete of all the plugins out there. With it, you can easily design a social media marketing campaign and automatically promote your content in a continuous and effective way. 🤗

#5 Let Others Play the Main Role

The last advice I’m going to give you is to choose the right words to share your content with in order to achieve this virality. Don’t focus too much on yourself and keep your followers in mind: they are the ones who have to (re)share your message and contribute to make it go viral, so make sure you address your messages to them. Viral content is a team effort, don’t forget!

Cleveland indians hug by MLB
Social media is all about team work—you depend on others to go viral, so don’t make it all about yourself and trust them! Picture by mlb on Giphy.

This tip goes even further: on many social networks you can explicitly mention other users. So why aren’t you doing it with your messages? By mentioning some key users (i.e. the influencers) and who may be interested in your content, you maximize the chances of getting a retweet and reaching an even wider audience, so go ahead and plan your marketing strategy with that in mind.

Will These Tips Really Make Your Content Go Viral?

Oh I wish so! But I can’t promise you that, sorry 😇. However, what I can tell you is that following these tips will increase the chances that your content will be reshared and thus reach a wider audience. You may not be able to reach millions of people like Gangnam Style did but… hey, that’s a start, isn’t it?

Featured image by Tyler Nix on Unsplash.

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The Fastest Way To Promote Your Website on Social Networks

Published in Online Marketing.

In this blog, we insist on the importance of creating quality content. Even if it takes time, especially when you start a blog, it’s not wasted work at all. But if you still have the perception it costs you too much to create quality content, I recommend you read Toni’s advice on how to write great content.

If you write content that adds value, your visitors will become regular readers of your blog and you will get better positioning in search engines. But not only that, one of the great advantages of generating quality content on your website is that you already have all the material that will allow you to promote yourself on social media quickly and efficiently without being spammy. So here are the steps you should take to keep this issue from becoming a stone on your path to success.

#1 Choose The Right Social Networks

Choosing the social networks where you will publish content is easy to decide if you have previously defined your Buyer Persona.

buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better. – Sam Kusinitz (The Definition of a Buyer Persona [in Under 100 Words]

Buyer Persona: Roger Sterling
Example of Buyer Persona: Roger Sterling

In fact, defining your Buyer Persona is essential to identify which social networks your target audience is looking for information on. As you can see, it doesn’t make any sense for you to publish content on LinkedIn if your target audience is teenagers.

#2 Set Up Your Social Network Profiles Well

Spend some time and care here. Your profile on a social network could be the first impression a potential customer will get of you. So make sure you have the link to your website and the appropriate cover and profile photos for your brand or website on each of them. In your biography, write a clear and concise description of yourself or your business and make sure you include contact information. And of course, answer quickly and correctly to everyone who contacts you through that profile.

Also, make sure that your WordPress website is well configured so that the social network correctly understands information from any of your posts. That is to say, you have well configured the Open Graph meta tags.

Meta tags are information that is included in web pages but not displayed (which is why they are called meta tags). In particular, if you look at the HTML code of a web page, you will find them in the <head>section of the page, with the format <meta />. These tags are used, for example, to provide Google with a brief description of the content of the page. In this case, Google uses this information to index and better display the content of your website when searching.

In the same way, social networks use a series of meta tags (title, image, description…) that are used by the social network to create the “rich graphics object” that is published on the network: the Open Graph meta tags.

Publication in Facebook
Publication in Facebook

If you need more details on how to set up these meta tags, I wrote a post about them.

#3 Promote In Every Social Network

Once you have everything ready, it’s time to get down to business and start creating content on social networks. Keep in mind that we’re all tired of messages that seem to be created automatically by a robot or that don’t give us any value. Does this mean I have to create every message manually on every social network? No, don’t worry, there are tools that can help you in this process.

We, for example, use Nelio Content (for obvious reasons 😇). As I mentioned earlier, your followers expect your publications on social media to be interesting and relevant—they don’t want spam. So, if you’ve been able to write a blog post that you’ve worked so hard on, why wouldn’t you want to make sure your messages on the networks are on the same level as your blog post?

Here are the three types of messages we create to promote our blog.

Personalized Manual Messages

Create a fully customized message for your social profile that describes what your content is most valuable for. With Nelio Content, this task is much easier than it looks. The message can be written from the WordPress editor itself at any point. Just by indicating that you want to add a new social message, a new window opens up. Write the message you want to share, indicate in which social profiles you want it to be published, set the date and time of publication, and you’re done!

Screenshot of Nelio Content's Dialog for Adding new Social Messages
Screenshot of Nelio Content‘s Dialog for adding new social messages.

What if you want to create more than one single message? Do you have to manually enter, one by one, all the tweets that will promote that post? Not exactly…

Messages with Templates

One option to create social messages automatically without your doing anything is Social Templates. A social template is a predefined text (with some “variable” parts) that our plugin uses to generate specific messages for your posts.

For example, David wants to make sure that his Twitter account (@davilera) creates a tweet every time his friend Antonio writes a new post. To this end, David has created a template in his Twitter profile (@davilera) in which he comments “Here’s another post by @avillegasn: {title} {permalink}.”

Dialog for editing a social template where you can configure how it works.
Dialog for editing a social template where you can configure how it works.

As you can see, this template only applies to posts that Antonio has written. And with this simple solution, David can automatically promote Toni’s posts. Cool!

If you’re interested in using this solution, I recommend you create social message templates exclusively for certain social profiles and make them as personalized as possible.

Extract phrases from your posts

If the content of your posts is of great value, you don’t need to make your life more complicated by making up new messages—the content itself is already a great resource that deserves being shared! Nelio Content allows you to create social messages from your post phrases in three different ways:

#1. As you type, you can select a phrase and manually create a social message.

Create social message
Creating a social message with Nelio Content

A window will open in which you can edit and modify the message as you wish and indicate when you want it to be published.

New social message with Nelio Content
New social message with Nelio Content

#2. Highlight all the phrases you would like to auto-share and then automatically generate all the messages in the different social profiles.

Highlighting to share with Nelio Content
Highlighting to share with Nelio Content

#3. Automatically extract relevant sentences from the text: Nelio Content includes an intelligent algorithm that automatically extracts relevant sentences from your post and creates messages to share on your social networks. What’s more, Nelio Content, when extracting phrases from your text to create a social message, is also able to make Twitter mentions when the phrases include references to external links.

Messages created with Social Automations
Messages created with Social Automations

Not only that it is very efficient, but it’s also extremely easy. And the generated content of your messages is definitely interesting enough to attract your target audience!

How Many Messages Should You Create?

Another question that often arises when we ask ourselves about social media promotion is how many messages we should create and how often they should be published. There is no single consensus on this issue and it depends a lot on the market to which your messages are addressed. But you’ll find more information on this topic in Toni’s article: Optimal Frequency of Publication on Social Networks.

Conclusion

As you can see, the content you publish on your blog is the best resource for creating valuable messages on social networks efficiently and automatically. If you use a suitable tool such as Nelio Content, you will save a lot of work in promoting your own content.

Featured image by rawpixel in Unsplash

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How to Create and Run the Best Social Media Marketing Strategy

Published in Online Marketing.

As the great Chris Lema told us in one of his posts:

There’s no way you become a great (or even decent) guitarist without picking up a guitar, grabbing a music book, learning where the notes and positions are, and this is the most important part, practicing with the guitar.

You don’t play the song the right way the first time. You don’t play it perfectly. Instead, you play, and you play, and you play – again and again and again – until you get good.

And the same is true for blogging.

You want to get better at writing. You must write. Not a little. A lot. Consistently.

A successful inbound marketing strategy has to deliver quality content that solves your audience’s problems. But you’ll hardly write “quality content” if you haven’t practiced a lot, right? It all starts with having the right attitude and the willingness to learn and practice… So today I’ll share with you a 6-step process to define and implement a successful social media marketing strategy. Read it carefully and get ready to implement it—the more you practice, the better you’ll be at it!

What Is a Social Media Marketing Strategy?

A social media marketing strategy is basically a planning of the content that you’ll have to publish and share on social networks for a certain period of time to achieve your goals.

Unsure grace helbig
If you think a social media marketing strategy is simply to post tweets and messages on Facebook, you’re wrong. There’s a lot more work to be done than meets the eye! Source: Giphy.

For example, imagine you’re organizing an event…. A WordCamp, for instance. Your goal is to have as many attendees as possible and the best speakers in your area. In other words, you want it to be a success. Well, there are two ways to do it: either you don’t prepare anything and solve the problems as they arise, or you create a plan with everything that needs to be done, assigning tasks to your colleagues, setting deadlines, etc. Which do you think will give better results?

A marketing strategy for your blog is more or less the same, but in this case you’d be focusing on the content you want to write and share. If you create a consistent and coherent plan, you will be able to communicate your message much better and the impact of your work will be infinitely greater.

I’m not saying everything has to be planned from the very beginning—tasks will have to be defined with greater or lesser precision according to their complexity. Moreover, the unexpected always happens, so I have no doubt we’ll have to adapt to unforeseen events… but you need to plan ahead nonetheless.

Create Your Strategy in 6 Easy Steps

Okay, now that we know what we’re talking about, let’s look at the different steps we need to take to do it. All presented in a beautiful list 😇

#1 Set Your Goals

The first step in any strategy is to define the goals we want to achieve with it. In our case, these can be very varied: we may want to make our personal brand known, present a new product, introduce some functionality, promote an event we’re organizing… But, in the end (and from the perspective of our blog and website), it’s all about making sure a certain message reaches as many people as possible.

Think sesame street
First of all, we have to think about what objectives we want to achieve. Source: Giphy.

Whatever the goals you choose, it’s very important to bear in mind that goals must be translated into measurable metrics. If you skip this step, your strategy is useless. The results we obtain with these metrics will allow us to determine whether our strategy has been a success or a failure. Not knowing this means we wasted our time and money.

So, the most important thing about this first step is to end up having one or more SMART goals:

  1. Specific. The goal must be clearly stated. For example, when organizing a WordCamp, a specific goal might be “to have at least 50% local speakers.”
  2. Measurable. Every goal must be measurable. In our case, we have proposed that 50% of the speakers should be local. This is something we can clearly check at the end of the event so… great!
  3. Attainable. Whenever we define a goal we have to be realistic and propose things that we can achieve. In our running example, for instance, we have to ponder if this percentage is feasible (I’m sure it is 😉). There’s no point in setting unattainable goals—propose something achievable and strive to achieve it.
  4. Relevant. We can set ourselves a thousand goals, but only a few will be really relevant. For example, does it make sense that one of our goals is for someone in Australia to write a tweet about our WordCamp? Well, maybe, but it doesn’t look like it, does it? What about our goal w.r.t. speakers? Well, since WordCamps are events that aim to promote the local community, giving visibility to local speakers seems quite relevant.
  5. Timely. The objectives must be achievable within a certain period of time—they cannot be extended to infinity and beyond. In our case, for example, the goal has to be met by the time the WordCamp program is closed.

Once we have our objectives clear, we can move on to the following steps.

#2 Identify Who Your Audience Is

To be honest, I’m not sure if this step should be before or after the previous one, as one depends on the other. Let me explain this. On the one hand, it’s clear that depending on your audience, you’ll have to set certain goals and not others. But, on the other hand, it’s also obvious that depending on the goals you set, you’ll have to address your message to a certain audience, right? So these steps influence each other…

Clapping applause by Originals
You must know who you are addressing, or your message will fall on deaf ears. The more you get to know your audience, the more you discover (as in this photo)… Picture by originals via Giphy.

At some point you will have to define the person to whom you want to address your message. This could be your current customer base, a particular segment, or someone completely different. For example, when we were talking about setting up WordCamp, the audience I want to communicate the event to are WordPress users and professionals in a certain area.

The better you can profile your audience, the easier it’ll be to create a convincing and appropriate message. So, for example, if we’re talking about getting speakers for our WordCamp, we’ll have to identify exactly what kind of speakers we want, what experience they should have, whether we want them to be local or not, etc. When all this is clear, we can then investigate their needs and craft a message that addresses all their concerns and explain how and why being a speaker in our WordCamp would help them.

#3 Find the Idea or Message You Want to Convey

Successful campaigns work because they usually have an idea behind them, a clear message, a concept to communicate. Once you have identified your audience and goals, it’s time to find the idea you want to communicate, some magic formula that’ll attract traffic to your website.

Idea aladdin
Find an idea that you can get the most out of; it will be the basis of your marketing campaign. Source: Giphy.

Normally, a good way to find the topics to write about is to identify the problems your target audience has and how the solution you offer will solve them. But the creative process of generating ideas is much broader and does not have to be limited to problems and solutions.

If we go back to our running example and focus on finding speakers, we need to identify what ideas we want to convey to those who should give a talk. For example, we can describe about the advantages of growing our local community through this kind of events, the synergies that arise between the different professionals who attend a WordCamp, or the business opportunities that arise when users and professionals come together in the same place.

#4 Decide the Posts You’ll Write and their Frequency

The first three steps are the most complicated, since you have to define the most abstract parts of your strategy. From now on, everything is concrete and just needs to be done. The next step you have to take is to establish the exact posts you’re going to write and when you’ll do it. In other words, you need to fill your editorial calendar with content.

Crossing season 4
The editorial calendar will help you stay focused and will tell you at all times how you’re doing, what you’ve done and what you have pending. Source: Giphy.

The first thing to do is to determine the number of posts you will write and then how often you will write them. This will determine the duration of your campaign…. although there is one detail to keep in mind: if you have some kind of temporary restriction (you want to launch a Christmas campaign, you want to achieve some objectives before a certain date, etc), this plan should be adapted to that restriction. The most important thing is to define a plan that you can follow.

Back to our running example, we may decide that some interesting posts (from a speaker’s perspective) could be, for instance:

  1. What Is a WordCamp (which might be useful for speakers, volunteers, or attendees)
  2. Call to Speakers — Why Getting Involved is a Good Idea
  3. Interviews with Previous Speakers — Don’t Miss their Experiences!

#5 Get Ready to Promote Your Content on Social Media

You probably think that the previous planning is rather short and that something else is missing…. and you are absolutely right. A successful campaign includes not only the posts in our blog, but also several promotional messages on social media. By promoting these contents and spreading the message, we’ll be able to attract the traffic we want. If we don’t, well, nobody will know about it! Think of your posts as the answers to the questions you publish on social media.

Animation love by Tony Babel
As we always say, it is as important to promote the content as it is to create it. Remember that part of your marketing strategy will be to make a correct promotion in social networks. Picture by tonybabel via Giphy.

The specific messages you’re going to use to promote your content don’t have to be defined right from the start: in many cases, they will come up as you write new content. But it’s important that you keep this step in mind and don’t forget about it.

#6 Execute Your Plan

The last step is, of course, to implement your strategy. That is, you’ll have to actually write all the content you planned, make sure you do it with a minimum of quality and correction, dedicate resources to promoting it, etc.

Once everything’s ready, go ahead and… jump! Source: Giphy.

I’m not going to explain more details about this step, because there’s no secret worth discussing. Just keep in mind it’s paramount that you focus on keeping to schedule (tools like Nelio Content will help you with that) and that you gather all the relevant data you need to evaluate the results of the campaign once it’s over. Write, promote, collect results, and keep your fingers crossed!

Now You Have the Secret Recipe… It’s Your Turn!

Implementing a good marketing strategy is relatively simple, if you know the steps to take. Start by clearly defining your goals and the audience you want to target. This way, detailing the specific actions you’ll have to take will be much easier. In the case of content marketing, this type of strategy is based on a good schedule and an effective social media promotion.

Are you ready to get started and practice all these tips?

Featured Image by MD Duran on Unsplash.

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The Definitive Tutorial to Get The Most Out of Nelio Content’s Social Automations

Published in Online Marketing.

You probably have to do repetitive tasks on a daily basis. And you may ask yourself: can’t someone else do it for me?

Can't someone else do it?
Can’t someone else do it? Source: Giphy.

Unfortunately, in real life you can’t stop from doing things yourself. But don’t worry, today we’ll explain to you how to reduce the effort you have to make with the promotion of your website’s content in WordPress thanks to the Social Automations that Nelio Content includes.

So that you know how all this works and can get the most out of it, let’s take a look at the three most important points that are part of Social Automations:

  • The configuration of social profiles in which to share content
  • Templates for creating messages
  • Highlighting relevant content to be shared automatically

If you master these three areas, you will become a professional in social media content promotion by doing minimal work. In fact, once the first two points have been set up, just by spending a few minutes on the third (which is also optional) you will get in return all the promotion of your new content with just one click. Yeah, just one click. Read on and you’ll see that we’re not lying to you 😉.

Select The Social Profiles That Will Promote Your Content

Social profiles are the foundation for promoting your WordPress content on networks. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can hardly post anything there, right? So if you don’t have profiles created on networks, go to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram or Pinterest and when you have your profiles ready, continue reading…

In Nelio Content, go to Settings and you’ll see the Social Profiles tab. This is where you connect your profiles. To do this, you have the step-by-step details in our help here. Don’t worry, it’s not hard and you’ll only have to do it the first time. As you connect profiles you will see them appear on the list, as shown in the following screenshot of our website (yes, we also use Nelio Content on a daily basis 😁).

List of social network profiles connected in Nelio Content.
List of social network profiles connected in Nelio Content.

With the list of profiles, you can activate the Social Automations for each of them. You do this by selecting or unselecting the two icons to the right of each profile.

On the one hand, the megaphone icon enables the automatic generation of social messages for that profile to promote new content in your WordPress. This means that if you activate it, automatic messages will be created when you make the famous click we talked about earlier (and I’ll talk about it later) on the edit screen of a post, page or custom post type. If you haven’t activated it, no messages will be generated for that profile at that time.

On the other hand, if you activate the re-sharing icon (yes, the one with the ball surrounded by two arcs that is right next to the megaphone) what will happen is that messages will automatically be generated to fill in the gaps in your editorial calendar and to promote existing content from your WordPress. That is, messages that reshare content that is old but still valid.

If you have old content on your website it’s a shame that you don’t keep promoting it on your networks so that it keeps bringing you visitors. I’m sure writing that content took your time. It’s a pity that it ends up being forgotten when it can still give you plenty of joy ☺.

You can change the frequency of automatic message publishing and indicate which social profiles are going to publish promotional or resharing messages.
You can change the frequency of automatic message publishing and indicate which social profiles are going to publish promotional or resharing messages.

The number of automatic messages that will be generated thanks to Social Automations depends on the social profiles you have connected and the frequency selected.

Once you have changed the publication frequency (changing the selector, as you can see from the previous screenshot), please note that this will affect the number of messages that will be generated automatically from that point on. Messages that were already created will not be changed.

You can check in your settings how many automatic messages Nelio Content will create for you.
You can check in your settings how many automatic messages Nelio Content will create for you.

Just below the list of social profiles, you’ll find a short sentence indicating the messages that will be automatically created with your current settings. This way you can get an idea of the number of messages that will be generated and change it if you wish.

Remember that all this configuration, which may seem a little complex, it is not. Besides, it’s something you do once and then you can forget about it. In our case, it is something we never touch.

Create Templates For Automatic Messages

Now that you know how to connect your profiles, activate Social Automations on them, and change the publication frequency, the question is: what is the content of the automatic social messages created by Nelio Content? The answer is simple…

By default, if you don’t do anything else, Nelio Content’s automatic messages will share the title and permalink to the content. But you can change this with social templates.

In Nelio Content‘ Settings, you’ll find the Social Templates tab. A social template is nothing more than a base text with placeholders that will be used to be converted into the content of automatic messages.

There are two lists in this section. The first is the list of templates that are used to promote new content (at the time this content is published). You can see in the following screenshot the templates that we have defined in our website in English to be used in the automatic messages that are created at the time of publishing new content.

List of social templates that are used as a basis for creating your social messages automatically.
List of social templates that are used as a basis for creating your social messages automatically.

But we also have another list of the templates that are used when creating automatic messages to reshare existing (or old) content from our WordPress on social media. You can see our templates for resharing in the following screenshot.

List of templates for re-sharing content already created in your WordPress.
List of templates for re-sharing content already created in your WordPress.

The placeholders you can use in the text of a template are:

  • {title}, which references the title of the content that we want to promote
  • {permalink}, which references the permalink to the content that we want to promote
  • {tags}, that references the own WordPress tags of the content that we want to promote. These tags are transformed into hashtags in social media

Now imagine that we want to share the next post from my partner Ruth:

Inbound Leaders – The Inbound Event for Marketing Leaders

If we create a template with the text “Do not miss this article: {title} {tags} {permalink}, by applying this template to the previous article, the result is a social message with the following text: “Do not miss this article: Inbound Leaders – The Inbound Event for Marketing Leaders #MarketingStrategy #Events #ContentMarketing https://neliosoftware.com/blog/inbound-leaders-the-inbound-event-for-marketing-leaders/”.

With this, you can see that Nelio Content‘s templates allow us to expand the possibilities of the automatic message creation algorithm so that messages with richer and different text can be created. If you create templates, your messages in social media will be more diverse and will not give the impression of having been created automatically by a computer program.

Dialog for editing a social template where you can configure how it works.
Dialog for editing a social template where you can configure how it works.

When creating a social template you have the option to set its text, on which networks or social profiles it can be used, and what content it will promote (from which author and which WordPress category). I recommend you keep an eye on it because it’s something you can build at first and then you’ll have it forever, without having to change it every time (unless you want to).

Highlight Relevant Content While You Write it

We’ve already mentioned the Nelio Content magic button before:

Create Social Messages Automatically
Nelio Content with Social Automations automatically creates all the social messages you need to promote a post. Click on the button and let it do the hard work for you.

When editing a WordPress post or page you’ll see the Social Media box if you have Nelio Content. There is a giant button that automatically generates social messages when you press it to generate the promotion of your content on social media.

As a result of clicking it, you’ll see an extensive list of automatic messages for the selected profiles (as explained above) that will be shared when you publish your WordPress content, the next day, during that week, during the next month and beyond. As I promised you at the beginning, in Nelio Content with just one click you have all the promotion done for your contents without any effort.

Scheduled social messages with Nelio Content
Automatically generated messages to promote a post on Nelio Content.

The content of these automatic messages is based on the templates we have created following the instructions I have given you above. But Nelio Content is also intelligent and will extract relevant sentences from your post or page and create messages with these sentences to be shared on social media.

Nelio Content does this on its own, without you having to do anything else. But it’s possible that when checking your post before publishing it, you detect a sentence you want to share. It happens to us a lot, so that’s why we added the possibility of highlighting sentences to share them in automatic messages.

Auto-sharing in Social Automations
With the Nelio Content button, you can select any fragment of the text and mark it for autosharing. The image shows the selection of the phrase “Nelio Content was born with the aim of simplifying the work for our blog” to mark it to share. You can also see other fragments highlighted in yellow that had previously been selected.

Just select the sentence from the editor and in the Nelio Content button choose the option to highlight that sentence. It will be highlighted in the editor itself, and you can remove that if you wish. This way you help Nelio Content to be even smarter in the selection and extraction of sentences to create automatic social messages.

Let Social Automations Work For You

Promoting our WordPress content on social networks can be a real pain in the ass. Luckily, Nelio Content helps you through the whole process thanks to the automatic features it includes.

If you set up your profiles, create templates and use the magic button, Nelio Content will become your butler and you won’t have to worry about promoting your content again. Everything will work by itself and your social audience will be receiving your messages automatically so that visits to your website will magically increase.

If you’re still not convinced of this, try it. Install Nelio Content in your WordPress and discover the amazing results you get. Remember to leave me your opinion about it 😍

Featured image by Andy Kelly from Unsplash.

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How to Stand Out on Twitter in 3 Easy Steps

Published in Online Marketing.

This past weekend I did an experiment: I left my cell phone locked in a drawer and decided to completely disconnect from the virtual world. I took the opportunity to see my grandmother, go out to dinner with friends, do some laundry… I basically enjoyed a 100% analog life. Fast forward to next Monday, back to the office, I take a look at Twitter and whaaaaat? I had a few hundred missed tweets 😱 What the heck, man?

Any Twitter user (whether you are a regular or sporadic user) know how fast this social network moves. According to Hubspot, there are more than 9,000 new tweets every second, with an average lifetime of about 18 minutes each. My goodness! That’s frenetic! Considering the amount of content (or noise, if you will) that is generated per minute on Twitter, it’s easy to see that the chances of your tweets having some impact are very small.

“Yup, you’re absolutely right. I don’t want to waste my time sharing content on Twitter and seeing it fall into oblivion… so let’s stop using Twitter!”

Wait! Twitter can be and actually is a very good platform to drive traffic to your website. However, to achieve this you must know its ins and outs and be smart about it. In this post you’ll learn the 3 secrets to make your blog stand out on Twitter and attract more traffic. Are you up for it?

Before Twitter, Do Your Homework

We’ve been talking about the concept of Inbound Marketing and the importance of making your blog grow. As you may already know, Inbound Marketing is a term coined by the founders of Hubspot that refers to the idea that, instead of trying to reach your audience through classic advertising, you should generate content of interest to attract them. I mean, they’re the ones looking for you and not the other way around.

Homework studying
Want your content to succeed on Twitter? First invest some hours in creating great content. Source: Giphy.

Social networks in general and Twitter in particular play a very important role in Inbound Marketing strategies. The followers you have in social networks are your followers because what you offer them is of interest to them, which is precisely what Inbound Marketing stands for—give them what they want, and they’ll keep reaching you.

To get a good number of followers and to get them interested and attracted to each new post on your blog, you need to create quality content. In the blog we have discussed this topic in depth on numerous occasions, so if you don’t know where to start yet, here are a few examples:

  1. 5 Critical Components to Successful Content Creation
  2. The Solution to the 5 Most Common Problems of WordPress
  3. How To Write High-Quality Content Your Audience Will Love
  4. 7 Skills that Will Help You to Create High Quality Content
  5. Strategies to Become a Productive Blogger

Increase Your Visibility in 3 Easy Steps

Assuming you’ve already done your homework and have an interesting blog, how can you increase its visibility? Well, following our advice, of course 😉

#1 Publication Frequency ⏲

The first secret to ensuring that your message is not lost in the whirlpool of Twitter is to publish with a high frequency. As we have just mentioned, the lifetime of a tweet is 18 minutes and thousands of tweets are published per second—it doesn’t matter how many followers you have, your tweet will probably go unnoticed. However, if you tweet often and with some frequency, you increase the chances that your followers will see some of your tweets at some point.

Time spin by Tony Babel
Twitter moves very fast, so make sure to have tweets often in your timeline. If you share content frequently, you increase the chances of your tweets being seen. Imabe by tonybabel on Giphy.

A few months ago, Antonio spoke to us about the optimal frequency of publication on the different social networks. Although there’s no clear consensus on the exact number of tweets you should publish daily,  everyone seems to agree that you should do it more than once. Here’s what Antonio told us about it:

From our point of view and our own experience, you should publish a maximum of 15 times a day from one single Twitter profile, spreading the messages. And, of course, sharing content of different topics.

Then there’s also a discussion about the best time to share those tweets. Should you tweet in the morning? Throughout the whole day? What works the best? Well, I’m afraid that, once again, there’s no clear consensus here either—there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

In our particular case, Ruth tried to answer these same questions in her analysis of the best time to publish on the different social networks and came to the following conclusion: given that we have clients from around the world (each with their own time zone), what works best for us is a more or less constant drip of publications throughout the day… 🤷

#2 Authenticity and Novelty 😇

Once we accept that we must publish several times during the same day a second problem appears: what should we write on each tweet? Because, let’s face it, if it was already hard to write a couple of blog posts a week, how do you expect me to write 15 or more tweets a day now? 😕

Customer service dog
Share relevant content with style. Don’t rely on boring templates. Source: Giphy.

What you should basically do is share your content using slightly different promotional messages that can catch your followers’ attention. Usually, the easiest option here is to share its title, as it’s one of the key pieces of your post, right? I assume you spent some time thinking of a good and catchy title, so it should drive big traffic…

How to Stand Out on Twitter in 3 Easy Steps {permalink}

but that only helps you once or twice—you won’t be sharing the same tweet over and over again. So what now? Well, either you rephrase the title or embed it in a call to action, or you share relevant fragments of your post, trying to engage with your followers. Something like this:

In this post you’ll learn the 3 secrets to make your blog stand out on Twitter and attract more traffic. Are you up for it? {permalink}

The best way to create these different tweets quickly and efficiently is to use the content we already have. For example, did you notice that the second tweet I showed you is a phrase that appears in the introduction? By extracting fragments with interesting facts or catchy phrases from your post, it’s very easy to create unique and interesting tweets.

#3 Teamwork 👫👭👬

The last piece of advice I am going to give you today is perhaps the most important of all—you’re not alone. One of the great things about social networks is people. Social media offers you a huge network of mend and women that can help you spread your message. The moment you realize this and do something to leverage it, your marketing campaigns will take a qualitative leap.

High five fresh off the boat by HULU
There’s plenty of people in social networks. Why don’t you ask for their help? Picture by hulu on Giphy.

One of the most common tips when creating quality content is to link to external sources. Such links are good for several reasons. On the one hand, they allow your readers to have more information on a topic that we know interests them, and you’ll save them some time (which, in the end, will benefit you too). On the other hand, linking to other authors allows you to identify people who are probably experts in the topics you cover, so you can reach them and build your own “expert network”.

One of the easiest ways to contact these experts and weave your own network is to mention them on Twitter. For example, if you now write a post about Twitter and link this article of mine, why don’t you write a tweet about what you’ve written and explicitly mention me in it? It’s clear that the topic you’re writing about is going to interest me (after all, we’re talking about similar things) and a tweet with a mention can easily arouse my interest. If I see you linked me in your post, I’ll be happy because you’ll be helping me attract more traffic from my website. So I might think: hey, let’s retweet this guy! See where I’m going? It’s all about relationships 😉

WordPress Plugins

There are numerous WordPress plugins that make it easy to share your blog content on Twitter. Some of them, for example, highlight parts of our content that our readers will then share (if we’re lucky), such as Better Click To Tweet. Others are responsible for publishing a tweet when a new entry appears on our blog, such as the well-known Jetpack. And others allow you to automatically reshare old content to extend the life of your posts and spoil the long tail SEO, like Revive Old Post.

Now, if you want a plugin that allows you to tweet your website frequently, extract fragments automatically from your posts to share them and mention the authors you link to on them, you can find it on this website. It’s called Nelio Content and it’s a great tool. It’s a plugin we created some time ago with the aim of automating and simplifying the creation and sharing of content. If you want to have a look, download it from WordPress.org and give it a try 🤗

Featured Image by freestocks.org on Unsplash.

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Free Tools to Know Your Followers on Social Networks

Published in Online Marketing.

In this blog we’ve been talking a lot about understanding your audience in order to better adapt the message you convey and be much more useful and interesting to them. But how can I get to know my audience better? Do we always have the same audience in all the media in which we publish content?

You know that on your website you can always install a tool like Google Analytics to better understand what your audience does and how it is. But this audience may not be the same as the one that follows you on social media. You can assume it is, but would that be true? There’s only one way to prove it….

Maybe you don’t know it, but most social networks provide free analytics to help you understand how good (or bad) you’re doing and also know your followers a little better. In this article I’m going to show you the free analytics you can find in your social networks so you can finally know who your followers are and then be able to improve.

Twitter Analytics

If you want to know the analytics of your Twitter account you just have to access analytics.twitter.com while logged in with your Twitter profile. This will give you a quick summary of the most important information about your account in the last month:

  • Most relevant tweet
  • Most relevant mention
  • Best follower you have
  • Number of published tweets
  • Number of Profile Views
  • Number of mentions obtained
  • Number of new followers achieved
Twitter allows us to see the performance of the tweets we've published in the last period.
Twitter allows us to see the performance of the tweets we’ve published in the last period.

Also, if you go to the Audience menu you’ll find the analytics you were looking for about your followers. Thanks to this we have seen that Nelio‘s social profile on Twitter has followers who are interested in technology, entrepreneurship, and marketing.

It’s interesting to see that our followers are mostly English-speaking (which we already expected since we always publish in English in this profile), and that many are in the United States.

Twitter Analytics allows us to better understand our audience data on Twitter.
Twitter Analytics allows us to better understand our audience data on Twitter.

As a curiosity, we also see that our Twitter audience is made up of many more men than women. In addition to it, our audience usually buy online and they have a preference for premium brands.

The truth is that knowing all this –without having to pay a single penny for it– is very useful for us. Don’t waste time and take a look at your data to see what you can learn from it to improve your business.

Demographics of our Twitter audience.
Demographics of our Twitter audience.

BTW, I have no idea how Twitter knows the value of your home or the income you have, but hey, since they give us the information we won’t complain 😅

Facebook’s Page Analytics

Facebook also includes free analytics for page profiles. If you have a business or your organization has a Facebook page, I’m sure you’ll be interested in knowing more about your audience.

To view the analytics of your page, just go to manage the profile of the page on Facebook and there you’ll find a specific menu with the insights, as you can see in the following screenshot:

Facebook allows us to know demographics of a page's audience.
Facebook allows us to know demographics of a page’s audience.

It’s very interesting to see the demographics of your fans, your followers, or the people reached by your publications. In our case, curiously, the same pattern is repeated as in Twitter, as we have many more men than women in our audience, and is mostly young people between the ages of 25 and 34.

Want to know when your Facebook fans are online? In the analytics of your Facebook page you will find this information.
Want to know when your Facebook fans are online? In the analytics of your Facebook page you will find this information.

A very interesting aspect is to be able to see when your fans are online on Facebook. This will help you to post messages at that time and achieve a greater impact of your promotion.

Our audience (as you can see in the picture above) connects more often in the afternoons (in our local time in Barcelona). Bear in mind that “our evening” is the morning in the USA, so that’s when we have to share our blog‘s content in English.

If you want to know what those who like your page also like, ask that directly on Facebook.
If you want to know what those who like your page also like, ask that directly on Facebook.

Finally, it’s interesting to see what else those who “like” our page like. To get this information we just have to ask it directly to Facebook, as you can see in the previous screenshot where in the search box we have put the following sentence: “Pages liked by people who like Nelio Software“. The result seems accurate, as it shows marketing tools or business and entrepreneurship topics.

LinkedIn Business Analytics

LinkedIn includes a section on analytics for company profiles. Just visit your company profile and go manage it. At the top you’ll find an analytics menu where, among other things, there are traffic metrics of your company’s profile, as you can see in the image below:

Traffic information to our company's page on LinkedIn.
Traffic information to our company’s page on LinkedIn.

The most important and interesting thing here is the demographics section, where you’ll find metrics about your company’s followers. In particular, you will see what industry they are in, what kind of work they do, what country and region they come from, or the size (in terms of number of employees) of the companies where they work:

Demographics of our audience on LinkedIn.
Demographics of our audience on LinkedIn.

In our case, Nelio‘s followers are people from the information and communications technology and marketing sectors, whose function is to develop their businesses. Most of them are from Spain, in particular from Barcelona (nothing unusual since we are also from Barcelona) and the companies in which they work are not very large.

Instagram Analytics

Instagram analytics only appear on your mobile phone application as long as your profile is a business profile. We have converted our profile to a company profile recently, and that’s why we still don’t have much to see here, as you can see from the following screenshots:

Analytics of a business profile of Instagram where you can find information about your audience.
Analytics of a business profile of Instagram where you can find information about your audience.

However, if your Instagram profile is large, you’ ll be able to know the demographics of your followers, just as you could do with your Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn profiles.

Pinterest Analytics

Finally, I don’t want to end this article without mentioning Pinterest, the social network where you can share images on boards. In this case you also need to set up your profile as a business profile in order to access your analytics. Once you do this, the analytics option appears in the upper left corner, as you can see in the following screenshot:

Pinterest analytics appear if your profile is a business profile.
Pinterest analytics appear if your profile is a business profile.

There you can see some slightly poor analytics, compared to the other networks we have seen before, but enough to get more information from your audience. In our case, Nelio‘s profile in Pinterest has a curious aspect in terms of the audience that follows us: there are more women than men! Knowing this, we could surely address the content of the messages we publish on this network to this audience.

Pinterest also provides demographic data of your audience on that social network.
Pinterest also provides demographic data of your audience on that social network.

I encourage you to log into your profiles and take a look at the analytics these social networks provide for free. If the data you see doesn’t match your reality, you should tweak your content marketing strategy so that you can reach the audience you’re really interested in.

Oh and, by the way, remember that in order for these analytics to be full of data, you must have your social profiles full of messages that are continually shared for your audience. How do you do it? Just two words: Nelio Content.

Featured image by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash.

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The Definitive Plan We Were Looking For and A Surprise For You

Published in Inside Nelio.

The creation of a blog is the starting point for any online communication strategy of any professional or company. A blog with quality content helps you improve the visibility of your brand. It is the key factor to generate leads; in other words, to obtain contact information of potential clients. It allows you to share news and updates and get information about what your readers are interested in. And, of course, the blog is the way to improve your SEO. So it’s clear you have to coddle your blog…

But maintaining a blog and not dying during its first year of life is not easy. In fact, we all face the following problems:

  • How to find attractive ideas to write about? Depending on the topic of your blog, it’s normal that at some point you run out of ideas about what to write about.
  • How do you get to be consistent in writing? The day has come to publish a new post and you don’t have it ready. What has happened? Where have you failed? Frustration can lead you to abandon the blog.
  • The promotion of the blog is an infernal task. After writing a post you still have all the promotional work left: log on to each social profile, copy and paste to promote on social networks… The day has only 24 hours!
Time spin by Tony Babel
It’s the end of the day and you have the feeling that you couldn’t even start what you had planned… Does it sound familiar? Photo by tonybabel on Giphy.

Our time is money

If you want to keep your blog successful, the key is to be efficient in the entire content generation process. In our case, it was this determination to get more efficiency that led us to create Nelio Content. What were we looking to solve?

#1 Not to lose our ideas

Are you having trouble generating ideas? Well, we do. That is why, when we had an idea, we had to write it down somewhere that would allow us to have it always available when we later had to think about what to write about. But where? Mail? Google Docs? Much simpler: on your own blog!

Nelio Content allows you to write down ideas about what to write in a list that you will always have available in your blog to convert them into future posts.

Calendario editorial de Nelio Content con entradas sin fecha
Don’t forget to write down your ideas when you come up with them. This way, you’ll be much faster planning your editorial calendar posts for the month.

#2 Oops! It’s my turn to write a new post; what can I write about today?

Did you know that the biggest waste of time, what kills your productivity, is lack of planning? Take a look at the time you waste thinking about what to write about every time it’s time to publish something new. In a blog, controlling planning means having an editorial calendar in which you schedule the posts you’re going to write over the next month. So when you start writing, you just need to concentrate on that task.

#3 How to include images and Gifs quickly

You know that all content is more attractive if you can include images or Gifs. But it’s hard to find that image on the Internet, download it and then upload it to WordPress. You have to be able to do it faster!

Solution? We’ve included in Nelio Content the option to insert images and Gifs from Unsplash, Giphy and Pixabay directly from the WordPress image selector and with a perfect integration to its interface:

Select a giphy
Search and select the giphy you want to add to your post and that’s it.

#4 Watch out! The posts must be complete

You can also keep in mind that a post has to be complete: you should indicate its category and tags, insert a featured image, write an excerpt, include some internal or external links and complete some additional meta-information that may be useful for the SEO. A tool can’t do this work for you, but it can warn you when something is missing before you publish an incomplete post.

Post Quality Analysis
Post Quality Analysis. Nelio Content analyzes the quality of your post in a non-disruptive manner.

#5 Better coordination between us

Our recommendation to ensure a good level of quality in your content is to have a review process. We do not publish any posts on our blog without someone other than the author having read it first. In our case, this means that when you have just written the post, you have to tell another member of the team to proofread and schedule it.

With Nelio Content, we do this by simply telling who to notify when the status of a post changes. In this way, when we change the status a post to “pending review”, the reviewer receives an automatic email with the notice and they know what to do.

Nelio Content notification metabox, where you can add users interested in receiving notifications about a specific post.
Nelio Content notification metabox, where you can add users interested in receiving notifications about a specific post.

#6 Promotion, promotion, promotion,…

You’ve managed to write a masterpiece that you know will succeed and could become viral. Congratulations! But don’t forget that first you’ll have to promote it on social networks😅. Horror! Writing on each social network entails more work than writing the blog post…😱

The automation of blog promotion on social networks is what has made the difference in our company: Nelio Content has considerably simplified our work!

Create Social Messages Automatically
Nelio Content with Social Automations automatically creates all the social messages you need to promote a post. Click on the button and let it do the hard work for you.

After writing a post and with a single click, Nelio Content is in charge of planning all your promotion on social networks. In other words, it automatically creates the queue of messages to be published in each of your social profiles without worrying about anything else.

In addition, the promotion of new content is complemented with the re-sharing of old content from your blog. Thus, the editorial calendar is automatically filled with social messages that will give a second life to your best old posts.

Editorial Calendar with Automatic Messages
Nelio Content with Social Automations will fill all your social profiles for you with older content if there’s nothing new to share. This way, you’ll maximize your chances of driving traffic to your website.

If you are interested in the topic, in this post I tell you how Nelio Content automatically generates all the messages that will be published on the networks using the content of your post and templates, even adding mentions on Twitter to increase dissemination. The time saving is amazing!

#7 Is it working for me?

But all the effort devoted to content marketing would be incomplete if we were not able to understand whether we’re achieving the objectives we seek. Is it strictly necessary to become a Google Analytics expert to get the most out of your blog? It would probably be ideal, but again this takes too much time and effort…

In our case, we wanted to have just the strictly necessary information in the blog itself to know how the posts were working. We only wanted information to help us quickly identify what content is most successful.

Nelio Content Analytics
Social Media analytics with Nelio Content show you which posts have received the most visits and with a click on Add Message you can quickly create a new message to promote that post on social networks again.

With all this, we have managed to design (and use) a simple and very powerful plugin, fully integrated into the WordPress dashboard, which allows us to significantly reduce the workload of our content marketing process. 👏

What about the surprise?

In the title of this post I had promised a surprise for you, didn’t I? Let me tell you about it.

You probably know our tool because of its free version we’ve published in the WordPress.org plugins directory. A few days ago you could subscribe to a Nelio Content Personal plan, aimed at those who have a personal blog and work alone with their website, or to a Team plan, if you are a tema that want to work together and be coordinated. In addition, the different subscription plans could be complemented by an add-on, Social Automations, which enabled automatic blog promotion.

After a detailed analysis of our customers, we saw that the best way to help them improve their website was to merge the Personal and Team plans into one. That is, to create a plan that had all the advantages of Nelio Content.

Can you imagine a plan with everything? Also with Social Automations? Well, here it is:

Nelio Content Premium 

Finally, we’ve opted for a single plan that includes all the functionalities and advantages of the Team plan with the Social Automations add-on.

Nelio Content Premium
Nelio Content Premium: new Nelio Content plan that will allow you to make a difference with your content marketing

Take a good look, the Premium plan for teams that includes automatic generation of social messages for only 29€ per month. You used to have this plan for 99€ a month. A discount you shouldn’t miss!

And now comes the million-dollar question: if the old plans disappear, what if you were already subscribed to one of those plans? Don’t worry: if something is clear in Nelio is that we love to take care of those customers who have been with us since the first day. And that’s why we at Nelio will always offer you the plan that benefits you the most. So:

  • If you were subscribed to a Personal Plan, when you upgrade the plugin, you’ll have the Premium version, but we’ll keep your old price for life. You had bet on us and that’s how we want to thank you!
  • If, on the other hand, you were subscribed to a plan with a higher price, it doesn’t make any sense that you can’t also take advantage of this great promotion. So, without you having to do anything, we’ll lower the price you pay for the service to match this new offer.

So, what do you think of the big change? We think it’s worth it, because we want both the small blogger and the big company benefit from the advantages of Nelio Content. All of them.

Featured image by Frank McKenna on Unsplash

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Influencer Marketing: Get Them to Share Your Content

Published in Online Marketing.

Everyone who has a business has the same problem: how to get more customers and revenue. If your business is exclusively online, the fact that there are more than a billion websites on the Internet poses two great challenges: first, how to get more people to know you and visit your website, and second, how to get those visitors to become leads and customers.

You’ll find lots articles, ebooks, books, videos, and tools that can help you in this battle. Actually, you’ll probably find so much information that you’ll be overwhelmed. You might even get the feeling that others seem to know how to do all this better than you and get better results. But the reality is that we all suffer from the same war and it is difficult for all of us to achieve those business objectives. There aren’t shortcuts or magic formulas here…

Consider, for example, our marketing tool Nelio A/B Testing. We analyzed the A/B testing experiments carried out by our customers and the conversion improvements they got, hoping that we’d be able to find some insights that you can apply in your own website. But as I just told you, there isn’t a single recipe to success, and the only conclusion we reached was that those who carry out many experiments are the ones who achieve the best results. In other words, online marketing is nothing like a sprint—it’s more like an ultramarathon where you have to work hard.

Content Marketing

Looking back at the challenge of how to increase traffic you’ll find many interesting articles such as the “7 Proven Strategies to Increase Your Blog’s Traffic by 206%” by Neil Patel, “25 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website” by Dan Shewan, or “10 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website” by Karen Asprey, among others. I recommend you read them all, but in the end they reach the same conclusion I already shared: it’s all about defining a good content marketing strategy where the key is always to create that content that will be really valuable for your reader. And if you think about it, it makes perfect sense, right?

What difficulties do you have when you put yourself to work? First, to know your potential or current client and understand their problems or needs. We talked about this before when we discussed how to define our buyer persona within our marketing plan.

Then, assuming that you’ve been able to identify what really adds value to your potential customers, the next great job is to generate all the content that will help them solve all their problems and turn them into your loyal readers. This content can include rankings, lists of tools or resources, infographics with professional images, guides or complete manuals, case studies, video tutorials, etc. As you can see, it’s quick and easy to say but generating this quality content requires a lot of hours and resources.

And we’re not done here! Once you’ve created the content, you still have to promote it in order to increase traffic to your website. All this, just for the challenge of increasing traffic to your website.

Well, don’t worry about it. I’ve told you before that this is an ultramarathon, so it’s a matter of going step by step and, above all, automating as many steps as you can to save time.

Influencer Marketing

A marketing strategy that complements content marketing and that will help you to get more visits is the one known as influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is when brands partner with social media “influencers” — people with a large following on one or more major social media platforms — to promote their products or services. These influencers may be actual celebrities (such as actors or professional athletes), or they may simply be popular figures within their social media platform of choice (such as YouTube stars or Instagram models).

Source: 2018: Year of the Influencer or year of the influencer marketing implosion?

How do you define an influencer marketing campaign? I’ll tell you how we did it:

#1. Find Your Influencers

First you must identify the most relevant influencers for your product. One option is to ask your buyer persona who they follow or where they get the information from. Another option is to Google your product’s keywords and find out who generates the most valuable content related to those keywords. You can also search for your product keywords on Twitter and see who are the ones that have the most followers and whether they fit the profile of your buyer persona. And of course, take a good look at your customers—maybe one of them can be a good influencer and, hey, they already know your product very well!

#2. Define What Kind of Collaboration You Want to Establish With Them

What do you want to get from your influencers and what can you offer them in return for a win-win relationship? We all want the influencers to talk about us and our products, but you also have to think what’s in there for them.

Some ideas you can use:

  • Can you offer your product to them for free?
  • What about an affiliate program so they can make money when they talk about you?
  • And a collaboration proposal with an attractive budget so that they’ll become very interested in talking about you?

Keep in mind that an influencer will work with you if the agreement benefits both parties.

#3. Contact to Influencers

Watch out! Before contacting an influencer, read their articles and, if possible, comment on their posts. Follow them on social networks and retweet, comment, or like hat your readers like. Assist, if possible, to an event where influencers give a talk and you have the chance to greet them. And LinkedIn is also a very good professional network for a first contact. That is, make sure your first approach is warm and natural.

With a little luck, the first time you contact them directly to talk about your “collaboration proposal”, they’ll have heard something about you and they won’t only have the perception that “the salesman on duty” is calling them. For example, Eugene Mota told “How I Got An 80% Response Rate For My Top Influencers Outreach Campaign“.

#4. Create Compelling Content for Influencers

If you don’t have something attractive to offer, it’s more difficult to contact them directly without being ignored. So, make sure that whatever it is that you write about is something that’s of their interest. I know it sounds complicated, but it’s actually very easy—just focus on what they publish and refer their content in your own. If you do so, you’ll be able to catch their attention on social media. After all, you’re adding up to their opinions and promoting them too!

#5. Mention Influencers in Social Networks

Therefore, once you created a content in which you reference any article of an influencer, the next step will be to mention them explicitly in social networks. This point is particularly important, because if you mention someone, it’s more likely that they won’t miss your tweet or social message.

Let me give you an example. Recently the Call for Speakers of WordCamp Madrid was published and Fernando Tellado, one of the organizers behind WordCamp Madrid, published a post in which he explicitly encouraged women to participate as speakers. Do you know what he did right after publishing that post? Exactly—he also posted a Twitter message explicitly mentioning a group of women to let us know they want us to participate. This tweet showed up as a notification in my cell and I submitted two talk proposals for the WordCamp. 👏 Easy peasy!

Disclaimer: I would like to take this opportunity to say that I’m against positive discrimination. So, please, if I am selected to present either of them, I hope it is because of the content of the proposal, not my gender 🙏.

Anyway, I think I made my point clear—if you explicitly mention someone in your tweets, it’s more likely they’ll hear what you say and echo it to their own followers. The only problem is, as always, this takes some time.

#6 Automate as Much as You Can

Our motto is to automate as many tasks as you can. This is why we created Nelio Content, a plugin that helps you get your job done.

For instance, Nelio Content monitors all the references you include in a post and automatically pulls all their meta information, including the author’s Twitter (if possible), making it easier to mention other authors because you don’t have to look for their Twitter handlers:

References in Nelio Content
Screenshot of some of the references of this post saved by Nelio Content.

You can also highlight the sentences you’d like to share on social media, so you don’t have to think what to tweet about:

Highlighting to share with Nelio Content
With the Social Automations button, you can select any fragment of the content and mark it for auto-sharing.

And finally, once you’ve done all these, Nelio Content with Social Automations can automatically create tall the social messages with explicit references to third-party authors with just one click:

Create Social Messages Automatically
Nelio Content with Social Automations automatically creates all the social messages you need to promote a post. Click on the button and let it do the hard work for you.

That’s cool, huh? And if you’re thinking “well, sure, but I had to tell Nelio which sentences I wanted to share”… well, note that Nelio is able to analyze the content of your post and extract the most relevant phrases it contains, even if you haven’t marked them and use those instead. Moreover, it’s also able to use the social templates that Nelio includes by default, along with the templates you’ve defined. The results are just amazing:

Messages created with Social Automations
Messages automatically created by Nelio Content with Social Automations

As you can see, a message has automatically been generated and will be published on Twitter in which we mention a very interesting article by Neil Patel, which also includes his Twiter so that he can receive a notification that he has been mentioned.

Obviously, I don’t have any guarantee that he will or won’t retweet it or make a like on my tweet, but my job has been exclusively to select those references that add value to my post. I haven’t wasted a second searching for Neil’s Twitter handler (@neilpatel) or typing the tweet. And with the peace of mind that if I had written this tweet manually, I wouldn’t have done any better, don’t you think?

Conclusion

We are well aware that any strategy of content or influencer marketing involves work. In the end, all your readers end up reading your articles because you bring them some value. Our advice? Automate everything you can, without losing quality or authenticity in the result.

Featured Image by Lilly Rum on Unsplash.

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