Keeping up With the WordPress Community When You’re Crazy Busy

Keeping up With the WordPress Community When You’re Crazy Busy
From security updates and feature releases to new themes and best practices, WordPress is constantly changing. And when you work with WordPress every day, staying in the know is essential for keeping your site competitive. So how do you keep up? After following dozens of blogs, influencers, and newsletters, I’ve discovered a handful of standout resources that […]

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YouTube Reports Updated User Count, ‘VR 180’ and Vertical Video Support

YouTube Reports Updated User Count, 'VR 180' and Vertical Video Support

YouTube Reports Updated User Count, 'VR 180' and Vertical Video Support | Social Media TodayYouTube has made a range of announcements as part of the platform’s presentation at VidCon, the online video creator conference held this week in California.

First off, YouTube has provided an official number of monthly active users, something the platform has long avoided providing specifics on. As per YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki, who delivered the opening keynote at Vidcon, YouTube currently has 1.5 billion monthly logged in viewers, a huge amount, underlining why YouTube is still the key destination for online video – despite rising competition from Facebook.

To put that in perspective:

(Note: Snapchat doesn’t provide MAU figures, though they have 166 million daily active users)

Of course, people use each of those platforms in different ways, and there are other factors to consider, such as engagement.

On this, Wojcicki also notes that:

“On average, our viewers spend over an hour a day watching YouTube on mobile devices alone.”

Taken in combination, the stats are impressive – the only other key insight to round out the overview would be video views per day. Last year, Snapchat reported that it was serving 10 billion video views every 24 hours, while Facebook claimed 8 billion. By estimates, at that time YouTube was thought to be facilitating around 4.95 billion videos every day – though the nature of each platform’s content would have obviously played a significant factor in such a count.

On Snapchat, for example, with a limit of 10 seconds per video, it would take six videos viewed for a minute of content – thus making the total viewing time a more reflective indicator of engagement than total view count (and likely why this stat hasn’t been updated by the major platforms in some time.

But still, total views are often used as a success metric for video content – the only official stat YouTube’s provided on this front is on their press page, which states:

YouTube has over a billion users – almost a third of all people on the Internet – and every day, people watch hundreds of millions of hours of YouTube videos and generate billions of views.”

How relevant the actual views count is comes down to your own purposes and reporting, but that seems to be the only key stat not clarified – at least to some degree – by Wojcicki.

In addition to this, Wojcicki also announced a new virtual reality format, called VR180.

YouTube Reports Updated User Count, 'VR 180' and Vertical Video Support | Social Media TodayBy halving the field of vision, YouTube is seeking to lower the barrier for entry to VR content – as explained by Wojcicki:

“This format delivers 3-D video while capturing 180-degrees around you. Creators only have to worry about recording what’s in front of them while viewers get an awesome, immersive experience with a VR headset, or a video that looks just as great on a phone as any other video.”

If creators only need to focus on half the scope, that makes it more affordable, and logistically easier, as they don’t need to cater for the whole field of view.

Of course, this does limit the experience for viewers, but often – at least at this stage of VR’s evolution – turning your whole head or body is not convenient when viewing. If you’re sitting on the couch, for example, you need to twist right around to see the full field of view, flopping your legs up onto the seats and fumbling over the back. Really, our current viewing habits are not designed to facilitate such behavior (note: the market for revolving lounge room chairs could be set for a boost in the years ahead).

The other key advantage is that by limiting the video to 180 degrees, you lessen the data load, which could also provide viewer benefit.

YouTube’s also looking to move with consumption trends by enabling vertical viewing of YouTube videos.

YouTube Reports Updated User Count, 'VR 180' and Vertical Video Support | Social Media TodayMany video creators hate vertical video and the fact that it compromises content quality, but the data shows that more users are viewing video in this way.

Snapchat has lead the way with the vertical format, which has seen other platforms follow suit – Instagram Stories, as a clone of Snapchat, also makes vertical video a priority, while Facebook recently improved their vertical video presentation options, in line with usage trends.

Whether creators like it or not, the data suggests that consumers don’t turn their phones to view video – a MOVR Mobile Overview Report from December 2014 found that smartphone users hold their phones vertically about 94% of the time, and consume all types of content in this way.

YouTube Reports Updated User Count, 'VR 180' and Vertical Video Support | Social Media TodayIt may not be ideal for content creation, in quality terms, but with the format being facilitated by more platforms, it’s clear that there’s significant demand. Worth considering in your creation process.

YouTube’s also looking to expand its in-app messaging and sharing option, which it unveiled back in January, while they’re also making YouTube TV available to more US regions, and creating more exclusive content for YouTube Red.

As per Wojcicki:

“To date, we’ve launched 37 original series and movies on YouTube Red, and they’ve generated nearly a quarter billion views.” 

The moves help YouTube advance their goal of becoming a genuine TV alternative, which could yield significant benefits, given TV advertising is still a $70 billion sector (in the US alone). Facebook and Twitter are among those looking to do the same, though YouTube, given their status as the online video platform, and the development of their YouTube TV packages, is currently blazing the path.

On this, Facebook is working to develop its own, YouTube like eco-system to catch up, announcing (also at VidCon) the development of a new video creator app.

As per Marketing Land, the app will focus on three areas – video creation, fan engagement and video analytics – making it easier for creators to establish themselves on the platform. Facebook will be looking to use its reach advantage to lure creators from YouTube, but given YouTube’s audience figures, that advantage may not be as significant as many might have assumed. Facebook won’t simply be able to steamroll YouTube by sheer weight of numbers, which likely means the battle for online video supremacy will rage on for some time yet.

And that will also likely see further algorithm updates from Facebook to prioritize video content – if you’ve not considered video as part of your Facebook strategy as yet, it may be worth doing so.

It looks set to be a key focus as they platforms continue to fight for expansion into the market.

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Instagram’s Developing a New Lists Feature for Private Sharing

Instagram's Developing a New Lists Feature for Private Sharing

Instagram is working on a new tool which would enable users to share posts and Stories with selected groups of friends only, creating a level of exclusivity and intimacy via their personal lists within the app.

Instagram's Developing a New Lists Feature for Private Sharing | Social Media TodayCalled simply ‘Favorites’ the new tool aims to cater to user behaviors – most notably, the development of secondary ‘finsta’ accounts where users can post their goofy, less than flattering Instagram images only to be shared with their close friends.

As reported by The Verge – and as shown in the image above – the option would enable users to create specific lists of their choosing, with the option to share to these lists added to the post flow. If you do choose to share with a list, the post or story would only be visible to these users – viewers will know that it’s a private image because of the small, green ‘Favorites’ note appended to the top right.

In addition, users will also get a new ‘Favorites’ tab within the app which will contain all the private posts you’ve shared with your lists.

Users won’t be notified when they’re added or removed from a list (though they will see the green marker), and they won’t be able to request to be added to a list. If you remove someone from your favorites list, they lose access to any privately shared content.

As noted, ‘Finstagram’ accounts have become an increasingly common trend on the platform, particularly among younger users, with the pressure for perfection becoming an influential element in their platform use.

As explained in this Medium post by teenage Instagram user Eric Herber:

“[Finstagram] completely went against all that Instagram has been for me in the past 2 or 3 years I have been on the social network. I have learned that Instagram posts are an art. It can take a lot of time for me to post a photo on Instagram. I need to decide the photo to post, ask friends for advice on captions, make sure every blemish is not seen, and edit it. I, along with other teens, spend this time because we know that everyone will see it and it can define who you are.”

The pressure for Instagram perfection came into significant focus in 2015, after teen social media star Essena O’Neill spoke out about the lengths she would go to in order to present a perfect life via her social accounts – a life which is actually far from her living truth. Disillusioned by this, O’Neill had gone back through her old Instagram posts and updated the image captions to reflect the actual truth behind her many ‘in the moment’ shots.

Finstagram accounts reduce the anxiety around posting, the implied peer pressure. And they can also serve another important purpose.

As noted in this piece from Elle Magazine:

“A mom whose kids attend Horace Mann says she first heard the term [Finsta] nine months ago during a meeting led by Common Sense Media, an organization that helps educate parents on emerging technology. “A mom in the audience turned around and told a mom next to me that there is something called ‘Finstagram,’ and kids use it to trick their parents into following them there when in reality they have a second ‘true’ account”

Teens can give their parents their Instagram details and share their polished, highly curated collections with them, while posting their more outlandish content on their Finsta accounts for the benefit of their friends.

Intended or not, this new tool could help cater to those behaviors, making it easier for users to share in a more intimate, private setting.

From a marketing perspective, the addition – if made available to brand accounts – could provide value in another way, giving brands a way to share their posts with specific lists of users based on content relevance, or maybe for exclusive groups and offers. It seems unlikely that this would be added to business profiles, but then again, if the take up is good amongst regular users, it could see an expansion.

There’s no word yet on a wider roll-out.

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5 Video Marketing Tips to Boost Your Exposure

5 Video Marketing Tips to Boost Your Exposure

I’ll save you a paragraph about why video marketing is becoming more and more important, since 93% of marketers already use video for online marketing, sales, and communication. If you’re in the 7% that doesn’t, no opening paragraph from me is likely to change that.

You’re stuck in 1998 and there’s no turning back. Enjoy ‘livin’ la vida loca’ and fax-machine marketing.

If you’re in the other 93%, great. Hopefully I can provide you with some value and we can all reach a few more people with our videos. Here are a few things you can do to gain more exposure.

1. Make it Easy For People to Subscribe

Finding subscribers is goal number one (I’ll use the word subscribers to describe not just YouTube subs, but also people who are fans of your brand anywhere else you post your videos).

Every new subscriber is another opportunity to connect with someone every time you publish a video. They make your syndication efforts much easier.

One of the things every video publisher needs to do is make the path to subscribing downhill and easy to follow. For YouTube, that means that you should add a branding watermark to all of your videos. This becomes your call to action throughout filming – ask people to subscribe by clicking your distinct button.

5 Video Marketing Tips to Boost Your Exposure | Social Media Today

Add a branding watermark within your YouTube Creator Studio

On Facebook, encourage people to like your Page and comment on your posts. Ask and you shall receive. Don’t ask and I guarantee slower growth.

2. Optimize Your Videos For YouTube (Stylistically and Technically)

When it comes to optimizing your videos, pre-production is just as important as post-production.

Stylistically, it’s important to always introduce your topic early, and to point out any calls to action within the video.

Technically, there are a whole slew of things you can do to make sure you rank well within YouTube. We shot this quick video to address video optimization.

VIDEO

3. Create Videos For Others, Free of Charge

This was huge for us at Cave Social. We saw it as the equivalent of pitching stories to editors of major publications. If pitching written stories worked, could pitching videos work too?

The answer is a resounding yes – but if you’re looking for earned media and advanced exposure, you may need to shoot your videos free of charge. While it takes time, and can be disappointing when your efforts are for naught, there are a few things you can do to up your chances of getting exposure.

First, always create a custom bumper that highlights the publication you’re looking to get featured on. This will help grab the attention of whoever you’re pitching – here’s a look at a bumper we threw on for Inman News, the largest real estate news publication in the USA (you can see it at the 7-second mark).

VIDEO

Second, you’ll want to only shoot videos for publications/businesses which you have expertise in.

It’s better to pitch 10 publications you know well than 100 you don’t. Once you’ve established relationships with a few, you won’t need to hunt for outlets anymore – securing partnerships will allow you to focus on your content.

Finally, if you’re on a time crunch and really want to see one video perform well, you can add bumpers from multiple companies onto the same video.

For example, say you want to reach an audience of entrepreneurs with your videos – you could shoot a video that doesn’t mention any specific publication, and substitute in bumpers for Fast Company, Inc., and Entrepreneur.com. If one of them picks it up, you’ll be laughing all the way to the new-subscriber-bank.

Don’t feel guilty about being a little clever here. You’re creating free content for others to sell ads with, not running a Ponzi scheme.

4. Pay to Play

Half of you will probably skip this one, but you shouldn’t – there definitely should be a paid media budget in your exposure game plan.

Facebook and YouTube both have robust advertising platforms that you can use to reach a much wider audience. Facebook in particular enables you to get as detailed as you want when targeting, so you can find the perfect viewers for your video topic.

Paid views can sometimes be just the boost your videos need to take off.

5 Video Marketing Tips to Boost Your Exposure | Social Media Today

Before we move onto syndication, I want to mention one strategy involving cross-promotion that we use at Cave Social. When promoting your YouTube videos, be sure to pay for amplification on off-platform websites (like Facebook). YouTube will count these views as organic, and give your video a boost within their platform.

5. Syndicate As Much As Possible

I leave as much time for shooting videos as I do for syndication, and it always pays dividends. Even an extra couple of hours can go a long way.

Place your videos in everything your write (when relevant), share them across all of your social media accounts, and submit them to discovery websites like StumbleUpon and Digg –  even Reddit if you’re feeling lucky and are confident that your content provides value to a particular Subreddit.

And remember  – don’t get discouraged. If you’re just getting started with video content, here’s a video we shot on how to create videos on a budget (with your smartphone).

VIDEO

 The post 5 Video Marketing Tips to Boost Exposure first appeared on Cave Social.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #365

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #365

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (Solve for InterestingTilt the WindmillHBS; chair of StrataStartupfestPandemonio, and ResolveTO; Author of Lean Analytics and some other books), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person "must see".

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another: 

  • Not even wrong – ways to dismiss technology – Benedict Evans. "Benedict Evans is fast becoming one of my favorite writers and thinkers. He starts with a quote by Pauli, who, asked to review a paper of doubtable merit, opined, ‘it’s not even wrong.’ By which he meant it lacks testability and provability entirely. He uses the quote in the context of predicting what will be a successful product in the future, applying two tests: Is there a roadmap to greatness and whether you’re looking at the application that this technology is proposed to provide, and not the actual capability that has been created. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking and working on discontinuous innovation, and Evans has added good stuff to the conversation here." (Alistair for Hugh).
  • If Google Teaches an AI to Draw, Will That Help It Think? – The Atlantic. "Alexis Madrigal is one of my favorite tech writers; he doesn’t jump into the fray early, but often waits until the real story unfolds. So, this is his first real dive into the realm of AI. And it comes with a familiar face: Douglas Eck, one of the subjects of his interview, spent time in Montreal and helped design the machine learning algorithms at Coradiant, a company I helped found, which pinpointed where problems were happening. This was back in 2007; if only I’d known to call it AI at the time." (Alistair for Mitch).
  • The Origin of HyperCard in the Breakdown of the Bicycle for the Mind – Justin Falcone – CSS Conference Australia – YouTube. "A postmodern sort of thing: a 2016 presentation on ‘hypermedia’ from the perspective of 1990. Or vice versa?" (Hugh for Alistair).
  • These Cities Are Replacing The Worst Kind Of Infrastructure With The Best – Fast Company – Co. Design. "What if we designed cities for people, not cars. Imagine if that were happening in… Dallas?" (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Why Your Brain Hates Other People – Nautilus. "I consider my self a fairly open, honest, empathetic and caring human being. It bothers me (always) how quick I am to judge other people. I don’t necessarily ‘hate’ other people, but my mind does try to decipher what makes us different over what might bring us closer together first. Is this who I really am? Apparently, it’s not a nurture thing?…" (Mitch for Alistair).
  • When pop stars have Instagram, they no longer need record labels – Quartz. "This is a compelling but not sustainable look at the music industry. And, in return, a smart read for any brand trying to create something that connects with an audience that is sustainable. How will brands build relationships with consumers? There’s just too much going on now, and the duopoly of Google and Facebook continues to grow. I’m dying to see how this will all pan out!" (Mitch for Hugh).

Feel free to share these links and add your picks on Twitter, Facebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.

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Connecting more Americans with jobs

Connecting more Americans with jobs

Whether you’re a student looking for a part-time job, an electrician seeking work closer to home, or a teacher moving to another state to be close to family, finding a job can be difficult. With job postings scattered across the web, newspapers and help wanted signs, it’s not always easy to find ones that are a good fit based on your unique needs and skills. As a result, many job seekers feel like they can’t find the job they’re looking for or apply to roles that aren’t the right fit. At the same time, 46 percent of U.S. employers face talent shortages and have issues filling open positions with the right candidate.

We have a long history of using our technology to connect people with crucial information. At I/O, we announced Google for Jobs, a company-wide initiative focused on helping both job seekers and employers, through deep collaboration with the job matching industry. This effort includes the Cloud Jobs API, announced last year, which provides access to Google’s machine learning capabilities to power smarter job search and recommendations within career sites, jobs boards, and other job matching sites and apps. Today, we’re taking the next step in the Google for Jobs initiative by putting the convenience and power of Search into the hands of job seekers. With this new experience, we aim to connect Americans to job opportunities across the U.S., so no matter who you are or what kind of job you’re looking for, you can find job postings that match your needs.

Find your next job, with Google

Starting today in English on desktop and mobile, when you search for “jobs near me,” “teaching jobs,” or similar job-seeking queries, you’ll see in-depth results that allow you to explore jobs from across the web. For many people, a job needs to satisfy some key criteria, like commute time, job specialties they’ve honed or the hours they have available to work. For many jobs, you’ll also see reviews and ratings of the employer from trusted sites, right alongside the job description, and if you’re signed in, for some jobs you’ll even see how long it would take to commute to the job from home. We’ll continue to add additional filters and information in the future. Looking for jobs is a personal and complex journey, and one that we’re trying to support in this new search experience.

jobs3

Searching for a job can take time. And keeping up with new jobs that are posted throughout the day can be impossible. Now, if you step away from your job search, you can pick up right where you left off and stay in the loop on opportunities that interest you. Just turn on alerts for your search to receive an email notification whenever new jobs arrive, keeping you up-to-date and on top of your job hunt.

We’re working with a number of organizations from across the industry to bring you the most comprehensive listing of jobs—including LinkedIn, Monster, WayUp, DirectEmployers, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor and Facebook. This means you’ll see job postings from these sites and many others from across the web as soon as they’re posted. To ensure even more jobs are listed over time, we’re publishing open documentation for all jobs providers, from third-party platforms or direct employers, big or small, detailing how to make their job openings discoverable in this new feature.

People from all walks of life, experiences and backgrounds have undergone a job hunt at some point in their lives. Whether you’re a young adult looking for your first job, a veteran hoping to leverage your leadership experience in civilian life, or a parent looking for a job with better pay to support a growing family, we hope this new experience on Google will help make the job search simpler and more effective.

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Facebook’s Adding New Profile Image Tools to Protect Users from Identity Theft and Misuse

Facebook's Adding New Profile Image Tools to Protect Users from Identity Theft and Misuse

As more and more people use social media more often, and upload more of their personal information to their profiles, identity theft and misuse becomes a much larger concern. This issue is particularly prevalent in India – according to research by Experian, identity theft is the most prominent form of fraud in the nation.

But identity theft isn’t the only way to misuse online data.

As per Facebook:

“In our research with people and safety organizations in India, we’ve heard that some women choose not to share profile pictures that include their faces anywhere on the internet because they’re concerned about what may happen to their photos.”

To counter this, Facebook is piloting a new test in India which will enable users to place a ‘profile picture guard’ on their profile image, which will stop people from downloading or otherwise tampering with your profile header.

The process is fairly simple – Indian users will soon see a prompt which walks them through adding a profile picture guard, though they’ll also be able to add the guard by editing their profile image.

Facebook Adding New Profile Image Tools to Protect Users from Identity Theft and Misuse | Social Media TodayAs shown in the video and image above, once the guard is added, there’ll be a blue border around your image, with a shield icon at the bottom.

With the guard activated:

  • Other people will no longer be able to download, share or send your profile picture in a message on Facebook
  • People you’re not friends with on Facebook won’t be able to tag anyone, including themselves, in your profile picture
  • Where possible, Facebook will prevent others from taking a screenshot of your profile picture on Facebook (which is currently available only on Android devices)

In addition, Facebook’s also giving Indian users new tools to add designs to their profile images – you can see an example below, with a kind of wire mesh looking overlay added to the profile shot.

Facebook Adding New Profile Image Tools to Protect Users from Identity Theft and Misuse | Social Media TodayAccording to Facebook’s tests, when a user adds an extra design layer to their profile picture, other people are 75% less likely to copy that picture.

Facebook’s partnered with illustrator Jessica Singh to create the new designs for users to add to their profile image.

Similar to Facebook’s shift in their mission statement – from “Making the world more open and connected” to “Bring the world closer together” – as Facebook expands, it’s finding that there are more challenges to creating an increasingly collaborative, open world than just giving people the tools to do so. While most people use social platforms to maintain relationships and learn about new things, others can also use the same devices to spread negative messaging, to incite hatred and division and to target vulnerable groups.

It’s disheartening, in some ways, that Facebook needs to put such measures in place, but anything that can be done to protect people and provide more safety and security – both online and off – should be commended.

The new profile tools are being rolled out in India, with Facebook planning to expand them to more regions soon, dependent on initial results.

via Social Media Today Read More…

8 of the Best Tools for Spying on Your Competitors

8 of the Best Tools for Spying on Your Competitors

To run a successful business you need to know the environment, and adjust to it wisely. That means knowing what works for your niche, what doesn’t, and finally, what could be done better.

But instead of learning the hard way (from your own mistakes), there’s a lot you can take out from your competitors’ experience to give yourself the upper hand.

To make spying fun, and prevent it from getting too overwhelming, in this post, we’ll look at some great tools that can simplify the process, and provide more comprehensive, actionable insights.

SpyFu

I bet you know your main business rivals – niche leaders targeting the same locations, consumer groups, and offering same services. What you need to remember here is that these businesses are not necessarily the ones you’ll have to compete with online.

To begin your investigation, you can try SpyFu, a keyword research tool which provides insights into who your organic online competitors are, and which are their most profitable keywords.

In addition to this, SpyFu can also provide analysis on the keywords that have just made it to the top, just fell out, or are ‘nearly there’, which may give you an idea of where your competitors’ efforts are currently focused.

One more handy element is the ‘Kombat’ diagram, which highlights the target keywords you share with your competitors, those you may be missing on, and which unprofitable ones you should probably drop.

8 of the Best Tools for Spying on Your Competitors | Social Media Today

Tool: SpyFu

Function: Identify your competitors and their winning keywords

Free version: Shows 5 keywords + 5 competitors for any domain

Website Auditor and SEO SpyGlass

WebSite Auditor can automatically gather your SEO-competitors that rank on page one for any desired keyword(s), and show the anatomy of those winning pages: how exactly they’re optimized, and how tactics vary from one competitor to another.

You’ll see the optimization stats for each element on a page, as well as all the tech insights.

8 of the Best Tools for Spying on Your Competitors | Social Media TodayUsing SEO SpyGlass you can analyze a competitor’s backlink profile, its diversity and quality. Looking at the distribution of the backlinks, you can detect the pages your competitor is steering the link power to.

Conveniently, SEO SpyGlass enables you to add several competitors to one project and compare the profiles – this can be extremely handy for finding the intersections, and, respectively, the sites/authors that are likely to cover your niche and mention alike businesses on a regular basis.

Tools: WebSite Auditor and SEO SpyGlass

Function: Uncover your competitors’ optimization and link-building tactics

Free version: WebSite Auditor allows to audit up to 150 pages against 10 competitors, SEO SpyGlass allows comparing 2 domains at a time and shows up to 1,100 backlinks per domain

SEMRush and WhatRunsWhere

With the help of SEMRush you can dive into the ad strategies and PPC marketing activities of your competitors and investigate their most profitable paid keywords and most successful ad campaigns – all you need to do is enter a domain name of your competitor.

Seeing estimated competitors’ budgets, and analyzing how some ads worked, while some – not so much, you can benefit from their experience without a loss for your own business, and adjust your own budget wisely.

8 of the Best Tools for Spying on Your Competitors | Social Media Today

WhatRunsWhere is another cool tool for ad tracking that helps you research where your competitors are advertising, and discover the most profitable publishers along the way.

A great thing about the tool is the access to historical data (over 5 years). Not only does this enable you to peek into current strategies, but it provides an overview of how their strategies have evolved over time, and what your competitors have been experimenting with.

8 of the Best Tools for Spying on Your Competitors | Social Media Today

Tools: SEMRush and WhatRunsWhere

Function: Discover your competitors’ paid keywords, best ad copies and best ad publishers

Free version: SEMRush shows 10 keywords and 10 ad copies per domain, offers a 14-days trial with card details required. WhatRunsWhere offers a 3-day trial with card details required.

SimilarWeb Pro

Another great tool to keep an eye on your competitors and uncover actionable ideas is SimilarWeb Pro. The tool provides you all kinds of insights regarding the competitors’ traffic levels, sources and distribution across the channels.

In addition to this, SimilarWeb also shows the engagement that comes with that traffic: average daily visits, average visit duration, number of pages per visit and bounce rate.

8 of the Best Tools for Spying on Your Competitors | Social Media Today

One more thing to make use of is their audience insights option, which provides data on geography (percentage of traffic sent by each country) and the audience interests (categories and topics). This info can be a nice base for generating new content ideas, tailoring it for each audience and speaking to the right values.

Tool: SimilarWeb Pro

Function: Uncover your competitors’ traffic amount, main sources and performance

Free version: A 3-month trial, allows to compare 5 domains, shows 5 results per metric

Awario

Having a social monitoring tool like Awario at hand, you can investigate a number of key elements – which social media platforms are the most popular with your competitors, which media campaigns resonate best with their audience, what are your competitors’ patterns of posting to social networks and how the content is being distributed among those.

You can set up an alert for any competitor and you’ll see all the insights – where the mentions come from foremost, and which kind of content is the best fit for each network. Perhaps Twitter is commonly used for entertainment or interaction with their users, while Facebook is for news or how-tos, or a YouTube channel is a more effective.  

In the same way, you can also create an alert for a campaign name or hashtag to gather data on mentions, shares and discussions across the major social networks and the web. Depending on what you discover, you can note the efforts that were in vain, the great ideas that can be extended, and the mistakes that should be avoided in future.

8 of the Best Tools for Spying on Your Competitors | Social Media Today

As a bonus, during social media listening, you can track the tone your competitors are using with customers, and the way they manage the feedback – be it reviews across the web, or mentions and replies in social networks. You can either learn from their approach, or even step in to the discussion with a solution from your side.

Finally, based on what audience says about your competitors, you can also note their strengths and their weak spots to inform your own process.

Tool: Awario

Function: Uncover your competitors’ social media strategies

Free version: Offers a 14-day free trial with 10 alerts and up to 50.000 mentions

BuzzSumo

With a tool like BuzzSumo (the right hand of most content marketers) you can develop a wiser content strategy.

By setting up an alert for a topic (a keyword), you can find out what’s resonating most within your niche by tracking the content with the most social exposure, via shares and links.

8 of the Best Tools for Spying on Your Competitors | Social Media Today

By monitoring specific competitors (by domain), you can also track their best performing content.

In addition to shares by network, you can also analyze the content length and format to see what fits each audience. And if you have a closer look at the best performing content, and manage to find the common traits making it so popular, you can then tailor your own strategy the right way.

At the least, you’ll be able to see if there are any hot topics to cover that you haven’t thought of, or if there’s another angle to cover them from.

Tool: BuzzSumo

Function: Uncover your competitors’ content strategy

Free version: Shows 5 top content copies for a domain and 10 for a topic, offers a 14-day full trial with phone verification required.

In conclusion

To succeed in the increasingly competitive digital media environment, you really have no choice but to stay one step ahead of your business rivals.

Understanding others’ failures, and saving your budget and efforts from being cast in vain, is already a valuable takeaway, but with the mindful approach, and powerful tools in your arsenal, chances are that you’ll be able to learn even more from their wins, and then use that insight to make better decisions for your own business.

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LinkedIn Adds Extra Insights to ‘Profile Views’ Data, Including Keywords Used to Find You

LinkedIn Adds Extra Insights to 'Profile Views' Data, Including Keywords Used to Find You

LinkedIn continues to add smaller updates and features to help refine and improve the user experience.

Earlier this week, we reported that LinkedIn is now giving users the ability to add images in comments, and now, LinkedIn has announced some new tools to help users get a better understanding of who’s viewing their profile – and ideally, why.

LinkedIn Adds Extra Insights to Profile Views Data, Including Keywords Used to Find You | Social Media TodayAs you can see in the above example, in addition to total profile and article views on the platform, you’ll also soon be able to see how many of those views came as a result of search.

As explained by LinkedIn:

“With more than 20 million professionals including recruiters, hiring managers and decision makers using LinkedIn search every week, making simple improvements to your profile can make the difference in being discovered for a new job or professional opportunity.”

The new insights will also expand upon the existing data on where your profile visitors work, while there’s also a new element which displays the exact search terms people used to find you (bottom right of last screenshot).

These insights could prove invaluable for those looking to refine and improve their LinkedIn presence, and ensure they’re appealing to the audience they most want to connect with. You can also click through to see open jobs at each company in your profile views list.

As noted in regards to the images in comments addition, while these smaller updates seem relatively minor in isolation, they’re cumulatively adding a lot more functionality, helping LinkedIn realize it’s vision to help people ‘transform the trajectory’ of their career.

In addition to this, LinkedIn has also included some key tips to help optimize your profile in response to these new data points, and get yourself seen by the relevant recruiters.

  • Make sure you have a profile photo – members with a profile photo receive up to 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests.
  • Members with current positions are discovered up to 16x more in recruiter searches
  • Members with more than 5 skills are 27x more likely to be discovered in searches by recruiters
  • Including the city where you are based makes you stand out up to 23x in searches

These data-backed tips will help optimize your profile, while the added capacity to understand exactly why, and how, people are finding you will give you more data to work with in order to focus and refine your presence. 

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