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How Does YouTube Count Views? We Break It Down

It’s a Thursday at 4:00 PM, and the most popular video on YouTube is a 20-minute interview with Idris Elba answering tough questions while eating spicy wings. If you’re familiar with Hot Ones, “The show with hot questions and even hotter wings,” it might not be shocking to know that this video has close to 4 million views.

That’s right, spicy wings have the capacity to earn millions of views in less than a week on YouTube. Where do those views come from? What exactly counts as a ‘view’ and what doesn’t? For those who are curious, or if you’re a marketer looking to expand strategy onto a platform with nearly 2 billion monthly viewers, YouTube has the answer.

Breaking Down the ‘View’ Thing

YouTube hasn’t always been the most obvious choice for marketers. Sure, there are guides and explanations, even statistics on how to crack the YouTube code. Yet, there’s still uncertainty about what does and does not count as a view in 2019. For a site that’s no stranger to regular changes, what’s the baseline?

When a video gets despammed, it’s scanned for potential malware viruses and security threats from hackers. Any threats are removed during the screening process.

So, wait. If there’s no secret formula to what counts as a view, can’t anyone refresh their video to gain views? Not anymore. In the early days of YouTube, monetization wasn’t a thing. It was an assumption that almost every view fit into the original definition: a viewer-intended play of a virus-free video. It didn’t take the platform long to get wise to the fact creators could cheat the system. This is loosely referred to as an “artificial” view.

Luckily, YouTube has gotten pretty good at spotting artificial views. Some of the signs they look for include:

  • Views, reloaded – This is the classic case of a single user refreshing the video to bring those numbers up.
  • Viruses – If a video looks like malware–software designed to harm your computer, server, or network, it gets deleted.
  • Website autoplay – If the video is set up to autoplay on a website, that doesn’t count as a view.

Software in YouTube’s security system has the ability to detect malware – a computer program that assists in sending spam messages from your computer – and spambots. YouTube automatically deletes them to make the screening process go more smoothly.

More than that, there’s a magic number of views: 300.

Once a video reaches 300 views, the fun begins. YouTube puts a hard stop on counting views. Its system begins to track incoming views as well as the first 300. It can delete fraudulent views as they’re identified. Once the initial screening process is over, the view counter goes back to normal, but YouTube will continue monitoring for fake views on every video.

Why 300? Numbers below that don’t have the power to crowd the YouTube homepage and throw the website off its algorithm. The algorithm of YouTube is a powerful thing to mess up.

The Rhythm of Algorithms

If publishers fail to follow YouTubes guidelines, videos will be deleted. Viewership has its own set of guidelines and is taken very seriously. One reason for this is if a video reaches a certain number of views and falls within the guidelines, it’s eligible to make money.

YouTube’s account monetization allows a single video to earn thousands of dollars as it creeps into the territory of having millions of views. Accounts that give themselves fake views are, in essence, making money unfairly. YouTube’s policies here aim to make sure every creator works hard on every video they produce.

That said, algorithms change – sometimes at the drop of a hat. For the most updated information on proper video protocol, review YouTube’s guidelines regularly, especially when they announce changes for creators.

Another reason viewership is taken so seriously is user ability to find videos they’re interested in. It would be soul-crushing to sift through tons of spam videos in order to get to that one your colleague suggested about how to edit videos.

All this talk of algorithms and homepages may seem a little overwhelming, when the main question is actually, “How do I use this stuff to get views?” Don’t worry, as long as you optimize videos for search, you’ll find ways to get people clicking on your content.

It can be a bit tricky to decipher the mechanics of YouTube. But YouTube uses a system that carefully and cleverly monitors viewership so it can deliver the most authentic experience to its creators and users.

By counting views the moment fake views can turn into a real problem, YouTube nips potential problems in the bud. For more information on using YouTube as a marketing tool, check out our ultimate guide.

How to Analyze Your Facebook Ad Funnel Using Facebook and Google Analytics

Do you really know which of your Facebook ads produce customers and revenue? Is Facebook telling you one thing and Google Analytics saying something different? In this article, you’ll discover how to use Facebook and Google Analytics together to reveal how your Facebook customers engage with your funnel on their path to purchase. The Attribution […]

The post How to Analyze Your Facebook Ad Funnel Using Facebook and Google Analytics appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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How to Post on Instagram: a Step-by-Step Guide

With over 800 million active users, Instagram is undoubtedly one of the most far-reaching social media networks you can use for marketing purposes.

Instagram has proven a viable advertising option for businesses today, and shows no signs of slowing down — in fact, eMarketer estimates worldwide Instagram ad revenues will exceed $10 billion by 2019, an exponential increase from 1.86 billion in 2016.

If you’re not already using Instagram for your business, you’re missing out on a ton of opportunity to grow brand awareness and reach a wide audience. Fortunately, adopting an Instagram strategy can be relatively easy with enough time and effort.

However, if you’ve never used the app, you might be daunted by the first question likely to cross your mind — How can I post my first image?

If you’re ready to post an image to Instagram, we’ve got you covered. Here, we’ve cultivated a quick-and-easy guide to posting on Instagram, to ensure you can begin attracting some of those 800 million users today.

1. Tap the + icon at the bottom of your screen.

 

Post button on Instagram feed screen
 

2. Choose a photo or video from your library — or shoot one in the app.

Instagram will show you the photos already saved to your phone. Choose one of those to post. Alternatively, you can click “Photo” or “Video” in the bottom to take a photo or video within the Instagram app itself, if you don’t already have an image you want to use.

Once you choose an image, click “Next” in the top right.

How to upload a photo on Instagram

3. Crop the image.

You aren’t limited to just a square image on Instagram. You can actually share horizontal or vertical images as well. To get more of your image seen, pinch the screen of the photo you’ve selected on the Library screen.

However, while Instagram does allow vertical and horizontal options, the images still need to fit into some specific dimensions. So, you might still need to crop a tiny bit of your photo to get it to fit. 

4. Try a carousel post.

Do you have multiple photos and want to highlight them all? Instagram allows you to do this with its carousel feature. 

Carousel icon on Instagram

As you go to tap a photo or video, first tap the icon just above your photos to the right that looks like stacked squares. Once you tap this, you’ll see a number on the corner of every image or video you tap. This number notes where the content will show up in the carousel.

5. Pick a filter

Instagram offers 25 filters — scroll to the right to peruse your options, and click on one to preview how it will look on your photo. (Take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Instagram Filters to learn more). You can click “Edit” at the bottom right to adjust contrast, brightness, etc.

When you’re ready, click “Next” in the top right.

How to choose an Instagram filter

6. Type your caption.

Get creative and write a nice, interesting caption to go with your photo. Since text can help optimize your post in Instagram’s search, writing something can only benefit you. 

7. Use hashtags for post optimization.

With Instagram’s search feature, users can search by hashtags. So, you should make sure to write relevant hashtags in your caption. If someone does a search of a hashtag you placed in your caption, they might find your post as well as others that included the same one. 

8. Tag friends.

Want your friend or their followers to see a photo that you posted of the two of you? Tag them!

On the post page, you can click “Tag People” to tag other Instagram accounts in your post. Alternatively, you can include their handle (or their username beginning with an @ symbol) in your caption. 

9. Add your location.

If you’re on a fun vacation or at a neat event and you don’t feel like including that information in your caption, you can mark where you are in another way. On the post page, tap “Add Location” to put a location on your image (which makes it easier for people to find your post).

When you post an image or video with a location, it will show up between your name and the block of content on the feed. 

10. Play with emojis. 

Emojis are fun and can make your caption more eye catching. If you know of a few relevant emojis that could fit with your post, stick them in the caption area.

For example, if you’re posting a vacation photo, you could include a beach umbrella or a plane to show you flew somewhere.

Be sure not to go overboard and post emojis just for the sake of posting them. If you post a bowling emoji along with a photo of a beach, that obviously won’t make sense to people. Similarly, if you post 20 emojis that loosely relate to a post, you might just annoy your followers or come off as desperate.

11. Share the post on other social media platforms

Finally, if you want to share your content on your other, connected social media sites (like Facebook or Twitter), simply slide the bar from the left to the right.

When you’re ready to post, click “Share” in the top right.

How to write an Instagram caption
 
How to use share settings and publish a post on Instagram

12. Edit the post.

Typos happen to everyone! If you just posted something and notice a glaring spelling error, don’t panic. Simply tap the three dots that appear on the right across from your name, then tap “Edit.” 

How to edit an Instagram post

To learn more about how to use Instagram, including how to create a new account, how to manage notifications, how to connect other social media accounts, and how to upload to your Instagram Stories, take a look at our 
How to Use Instagram: A Beginner’s Guide.

The Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Fundraising

Nonprofit fundraising is exciting. It’s the lifeblood of charitable organizations and can serve as a way to raise awareness of a cause and drum up interest among donors.

Fundraising is also a massive undertaking. Because it’s likely your primary means of income as a charitable organization, raising money can be a burdensome, never-ending effort. It can even seem scary.

But it shouldn’t. Great fundraising can (and should!) be learned and mastered. Building a nonprofit fundraising plan is the best way to equip your volunteers, avoid fundraising pitfalls, and create a sustainable organization.

That’s why we built this guide. Below, you’ll read about the legalities of nonprofit fundraising, the different ways to raise money, and how to build a simple fundraising strategy. Keep reading to get started or use the chapter links to jump ahead.

Nonprofit organizations can be philanthropic, religious, educational, artistic, or scientific in nature. Some churches and universities qualify as nonprofit organizations as they don’t keep a profit — any money received is spent on its cause or on maintaining the organization itself.

nonprofit-fundraisingSource

Fundraising is often the primary means of revenue for these organizations. That’s one reason why nonprofits and charitable organizations dedicate so many resources to it.

The other reason is to meet the requirements of the public support test, among other nonprofit fundraising rules.

To qualify as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization (meaning, donations are tax-deductible with a donation receipt), a nonprofit organization has to receive a “substantial portion of its income” from the public … hence the public support test. Non-exempt organizations can still raise money, but their donors won’t be able to write off their donations as a tax deduction.

Nonprofit fundraising is heavily regulated by state law. This holds organizations accountable for how they approach and treat donors, and it ensures donors are giving money to the proper parties.

Before soliciting any donations, organizations must register with the state government in whichever state they’re operating. If the organization goes to another state to fundraise, they’ve got to register there, too. Also, if an organization hires a fundraising consultant or grant writer, he or she must also register with the state. (TL;DR: Fundraising requires lots of registration.)

Cause-related marketing, also known as commercial co-ventures, are also regulated by law. Commercial co-ventures exist when a nonprofit organization makes an arrangement with a business to receive a percentage of sales. This also refers to when two charitable nonprofits that agree to sell something together and jointly benefit from profits. We talk more about these below.

Overall, all nonprofit organizations should follow ethical fundraising practices. The IRS doesn’t enforce specific structural policies, but it highly encourages certain management and operational practices so organizations can better “obey the tax laws, safeguard charitable assets, and serve charitable interests”.

Note: This legal information is not the same as legal advice, where an attorney applies the law to your specific circumstances, so we insist that you consult an attorney if you’d like advice on your interpretation of this information or its accuracy. In a nutshell, you may not rely on this as legal advice, or as a recommendation of any particular legal understanding.

Understanding the legalities of nonprofit fundraising can help you navigate the wide variety of fundraising methods — which ones you can and can’t do, and which ones are best for your charitable organization and donors.

Nonprofit Fundraising Ideas

There are many options when it comes to raising money for a nonprofit — however, there are two major ways to raise money: individual fundraising or company and corporation fundraising

As you review these types of fundraising — and the different ideas behind how to raise money within both categories — don’t be afraid to combine some of the methods, or use the multi-channel fundraising approach.

By using this multi-channel approach, you diversify your fundraising methods so donors have more ways to contribute. Also, donors might be motivated by one method but submit their donation via another method (such as seeing a direct mail piece but donating via text).

Note: Many of the following fundraising ideas can be used for both individual or corporate fundraising — we’ve placed them in the category they’re most frequently used in. For example, you’ll notice we have events listed under both individual and corporate fundraising below.

Also, before you implement any of these ideas, don’t forget to review the fundraising guidelines from the IRS.

1. Individual Fundraising

Individuals account for about two-thirds of all donations made to nonprofits.

With individual fundraising — also known as personal fundraising — you can ask people within your network, such as friends, family, or colleagues, to donate to your cause. The process allows you to share your story and ask these people to help and support your cause (or whoever/ whatever you’re raising money for).

Why use individual fundraising tactics?

A few reasons why you may implement individual fundraising tactics include the need to raise money for an emergency or natural disaster, trips, life events, education, or medical expenses.

Here are some ideas for how you can implement individual fundraising tactics within your nonprofit:

Direct Mail Donations

Direct mail is a tried-and-true fundraising tactic. It’s cheap, quick, and can be repeated time and time again. The key? Writing a great fundraising letter.

In today’s world, direct mail should only be one of many fundraising tactics you use due to the fact so much content is digital. So, don’t forget to provide a way for your mail recipients to donate online, too (versus mailing in a check … which seems a bit old school these days, doesn’t it?).

Online Donations

Online donations refer to any donations made online — through your website, social media, or on a crowdfunding site.

Online giving is pretty straightforward. It also serves as the primary donation method for most other fundraising tactics. And even if your donors don’t hear about your fundraiser online first, there’s still a large chance they’ll end up visiting your website to learn more and make their donation online.

Social Media Donations

Social media has become a booming, online fundraising tactic due to the sheer number of people on various platforms — over 3.5 billion people globally, to be exact.

For example, Facebook allows individuals to run fundraisers on their news feed and for their birthdays. The platform has also released a “Donate Now” button for organization’s Pages. On Instagram, you can share a URL in your Bio that takes your followers directly to your fundraising site/ web page — you can even write a short description of your nonprofit, cause, or fundraiser in your bio to pair it with the URL.

Lastly, no matter the platform, social media makes it very easy to share content about your cause, why you’re fundraising, and who’s already involved to get others excited to become involved.

Mobile Donations

These days, people are rarely without their phones — and charitable organizations know it. Nowadays there are multiple ways to donate using your mobile device.

Some charities have apps through which you can give. Apps like Charity Miles, Feedie, and Walk for a Dog allow people to give back while doing everyday activities like running, walking their dog, or posting their food on social media. Companies can sign up to sponsor nonprofits through these apps.

Let’s not forget about texting, the most popular way to give using your smartphone. Last year, almost 50% of donations came from a text link. You can send out links via text or encourage your donors to give through a text message.

Individual Event Donations

Events are a popular way to raise money. Events are a common individual and peer-to-peer (p2p) fundraising method — meaning your supporters (not volunteers) are encouraged to raise money on your behalf. Examples of these events include silent auctions, charity dinners, craft sales, and talent shows.

Note: Remember: corporations can also raise money through events, too.

2. Company and Corporation Fundraising

About $5 billion dollars are raised through corporate fundraising tactics annually. You can use company and corporation fundraising if you’re looking to raise money from businesses that are willing to partner with your nonprofit.

Why use corporate fundraising tactics?

A few reasons why businesses may be looking to partner with a nonprofit include supporting or fulfilling their corporate social responsibility, reputation, and public relations. 

Here are some ideas for ways you can implement corporate fundraising for your nonprofit:

Matching Gifts

The process of matching gifts is when a company matches employee donations. 90% of companies offer some kind of matching gift program. This is because these programs help companies give back while helping donors give twice as much. If you’re interested in matching gifts, consider using a tool like Double the Donation to make these programs easy to market and implement.

Volunteer and Corporate Grants

Companies give volunteer grants when their employees have volunteered a certain number of hours. This encourages employees to donate their time and holds businesses accountable for charitable giving. Volunteering can serve as a great team (or company) outing, too.

Corporate grants are sums of money that companies and corporations give to nonprofit organizations. Companies can either give these grants directly to an organization or choose from a pool of grant applicants. Nonprofits should look out for grant opportunities and ways to apply for corporate funding.

In-Kind Donations

In-kind donations describe non-monetary items given to nonprofits from companies and businesses. They usually include food, drinks, or supplies for an event, free professional services like accounting or legal services, or equipment for a construction project. In-kind donations are typically accepted from businesses with which a nonprofit already has a relationship.

Note: In-kind donations are often used as part of fundraising events, like silent auctions.

Commercial Co-Venture Donations

Commercial co-ventures, or cause-related marketing, is when a nonprofit organization partners with a business to raise money. Examples of commercial co-venture are when a restaurant donates a portion of its proceeds for an evening, or when a retail store gives a percentage their sales, to a nonprofit.

5K Walk and Run Race

Host a 5K race for employees (and community members) to participate in. To raise money, charge a race entry fee. You can also give participants the option of getting sponsorships and/ or fundraising themselves to participate in the race.

Corporate Cookbook

Ask employees to provide one of their favorite recipes to create a corporate cookbook. You can charge the employees who submit their recipes a small fee — then, once the book is printed, you can see the books to the employees as well as local community members.

Employee Events

Give employees a reason to bond, have fun, and raise money for a good cause. Accept donations throughout the night and charge an entry fee — you can also organize a raffle. You might even encourage employees to bring their family and/or friends depending on the type of event you choose.

Here are some employee event ideas for you:

  • Bowling
  • Karaoke
  • Art show
  • Wine tasting (partner with a local winery)
  • Golf outing
  • Silent auction

Creating a nonprofit fundraising plan or strategy for your next campaign will help you focus your efforts and guide your day-to-day fundraising efforts when things get tough. It’ll also ensure your fundraising team is aligned on certain tactics or events that may be part of your strategy.

Walk through the steps below to start piecing together your nonprofit fundraising strategy.

1. Set your fundraising goals, mission, and story.

Start with the end in mind. What’s your fundraising campaign goal? Better yet, what’s your overall goal for this year? For the next three years?

This number should be rooted in the needs of your organization. To figure out those needs, return to your mission statement. If your fundraising goal answers the question of “How much money do you need?”, your mission answers “What do you need the money for?”

Defining your mission statement will guide your fundraising “asks”. What do you plan to do with the money from your fundraiser? How will it contribute to your organization’s mission and purpose? Donors will ask these questions, so outline the answers now.

A recent study found that transparency among charities could increase donations by 50%. Also, two-thirds of donors say that understanding the impact of their donation would encourage them to give more. If you’re open about how you spend your funds, people may give more to your cause.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to tell your organization’s story, as well as the stories of those whom you help. A 2010 study found that “charitable choices are largely driven by the donor’s own inclinations and preferences, a desire to help people they feel some affinity with, and a partiality for certain causes as a result of personal experiences.” A donor’s similarity to your cause or people you help can also motivate them to give.

Also, 62% of donors research charities before they give. Be sure to publish your story on your website for donors to read and connect with.

2. Identify your fundraising team or specialist.

Fundraising campaigns involve a lot of moving parts. Even if your entire organization will be involved in the campaign, it’s best to appoint an individual or small team to manage the fundraising efforts.

These folks will be in charge of tasks like:

Some nonprofit organizations hire a fundraiser specialist to help with these tasks, too.

All of HubSpot’s nonprofit content, in one place. Check out HubSpot’s free nonprofit content today.

3. Build your prospect list.

Who are you targeting for your fundraiser? What communities, companies, organizations, neighborhoods, and groups of people will you approach for donations? Can your volunteers, board members, and beneficiaries of your organization help you compile a list of potential donors?

This list will guide your campaign promotion. Whether you decide to fundraise via direct mail, social media, crowdfunding, events, sponsorships, in-kind donations or all of the above, having a prospect list will help you know exactly who to target.

4. Create a fundraising campaign plan.

This is your most actionable step and will define precisely how you’ll raise money. First, define which tactics you’ll use for your fundraising. (We cover these in the previous section.) Remember, providing a variety of ways to donate will likely increase the number of donations you receive.

Next, decide how you’ll promote your fundraising campaign as a whole. How will you market your organization and its drive to raise money? How will people hear about your events, sponsorships, commercial co-ventures, and more?

Note: How you receive your funds (fundraising tactics) and how you promote your fundraiser (fundraising marketing) are two separate things. This step of your nonprofit fundraising strategy helps you define both.

Lastly, consider how to establish recurring donations so that your organization doesn’t have to fundraise so actively and so often. Almost 50% of donors are enrolled in a monthly giving program, like this one for Charity: Water. Providing a recurring donation option can actually help you raise more money — the average monthly online donation is $52 ($624 per year) compared to the average one-time gift of $128.

5. Say thank you.

Regardless of how you choose to raise money for your nonprofit, always remember to say thank you. Sending a thank-you note and donation receipt is good practice per the IRS, but it’s also beneficial to build relationships with your donors and supporters.

Donor loyalty is just as important as customer loyalty. Fostering relationships by maintaining transparency can alleviate the pressures of non-stop fundraising. Put your donors first (alongside the people helped by your organization), and your nonprofit will see long-term success.

Over to You

Nonprofit fundraising is critical for charitable organizations. By researching tactics and building a nonprofit fundraising strategy, organizations can set themselves up for long-term fundraising success — and impact.

How to Master Non-Awkward, Effective In-Person Networking

Remember the good ol’ days when we found jobs through ads in the daily newspaper? Hard to believe, especially considering the fact that 70% of jobs are found through personal relationships, according to John Bennett, director of the Master of Science at the McColl School of Business.

Whether you’re trying to develop your personal career or forge new business relationships, making offline, personal connections has become even more critical as online social networking becomes the norm.

“Networking” is a buzzword that many of us have a serious love/hate relationship with. Sure — we all want to expand our network by meeting new people in our industry, but actually meeting them can feel like a middle school dance all over again … a painfully, painfully awkward middle school dance.

The web has given us ways to navigate around uncomfortable networking. According to Performics’ 2012 Life on Demand Survey, 40% of people feel more comfortable engaging with people online than in person. While reaching out to new people may be much less intimidating when we’re sitting behind a screen, face-to-face networking is an extremely valuable skill to hone if you want to build strong relationships with potential investors, managers, employees, partners, mentors, and clients.

This guide will help you navigate those uncomfortable face-to-face networking situations, so the next time you step into a room of potential connections, you’ll feel ready to dive right into relationship-building conversations.

1. Come prepared with a clear goal in mind.

Next time you’re going to an event, ask yourself: “Who do I want to meet, and why?” Certain event registration platforms like Eventbrite show the event’s attendee list on the registration page. If a guest list like this is available, take a moment to scan it. See a person or company on the list you’ve been hoping to connect with? Great — now look up the guest’s LinkedIn profile to learn a little bit more about them so you can seek them out at the event.

I’ve met tons of great people at events who have since become familiar faces at other industry events. Are these connections unimportant? No. But do I wish I had spent more time seeking out more purposeful connections? Yes.

For instance, let’s say you’re the CMO of a successful lawn-mowing business. Your business could benefit from finding a new source of potential customers, so you figure a great way to do that would be to start building some co-marketing relationships so you can reach a new audience of potential customers. If this is the case, you may want to consider spending some of your time at the event seeking out people whose business is complementary to yours — perhaps a home improvement vendor — with which you can build relationships that lead to possible co-marketing opportunities.

Do you want to spread awareness about a new project you’re starting? Do you want to meet an industry leader who can become a valuable mentor? Do you want to find potential new hires for open positions at your company? Having a clear goal in mind will make networking less ambiguous and lead to more effective connections.

2. Have some relevant conversation starters.

Approaching a big or small group can be intimidating, but with the right approach, you can join in on an existing conversation, or start your own successfully. Ease into the evening by introducing yourself to one person who is also flying solo and looking for someone to talk to.

Ahead of time, read up on industry news and trends so you’ll be prepared to spark conversation and ask for other people’s thoughts on topics that are interesting to both of you. This is especially important if you’re attending an event outside your industry. I once helped organize a marketing and technology event with many sponsors, including a law firm. At first, they were hesitant about connecting with an audience outside their area of expertise. But by checking out a few prominent blogs and scanning industry news, they felt much more confident to meet marketers, and they made some valuable connections that night.

Your first connection at an event is your gateway to meeting more people. Maybe they came with friends they can introduce you to, or maybe you’ll decide to break into bigger groups together. Whoever you approach first, relieve some of the awkwardness with informed, relevant conversation starters to get in the swing of things together.

3. Introduce yourself to someone who is a bigger deal than you.

We sometimes walk into networking events with high hopes of meeting the CEO of a company we admire, or the author of a book that kickstarted our career. We’re so thrilled to be in the same place as them, but suddenly, you spot them across the room and become nervous, awkward, and who knows — maybe even a little bit sweaty.

So how can you successfully strike up a conversation with this mini-celebrity from your industry’s People magazine without making a total fool of yourself?

First and foremost — make sure you have purpose. Butting into their conversation to tell them you love their work or admire their approach to business will not invite stimulating conversation. In fact, it’s more likely to evoke a simple “thank you.” Consider what it is about this person that resonated with you, and tie it into your work, projects, or philosophy.

Approach them with confidence, and introduce yourself not as a fan, but as an equal (because you are), and say something thought-provoking that they can relate to, like, “Your applications of inbound marketing for nonprofits was helpful for me at my last job, but I’m transitioning into a job in the pharmaceutical industry. Would you change your inbound marketing approach if you were me?” Remember that you admire this person because you respect their thought leadership. Give them a chance to admire you, too, by sparking an interesting and relevant conversation. 

4. Ask people questions about themselves.

Often, we meet someone and exchange our names, company, job title, and where we grew up in about three minutes. Then we smile, look at the ground, and say something like “I love your shirt.”

Smooth.

When the small talk is up, it’s easy for the conversation to go south. I’ve learned to avoid this by making them the topic of conversation. I was on the verge of an awkward silence at a networking event once, but when I referenced a project I was working on I was met with a genuine “Tell me about that.” I was not only impressed by this person’s casual cue for me to keep talking, but I was instantly intrigued by them, too. 

You may be thinking, how can I make connections if we just talk about them the whole time? And to that I would say — showing genuine interest in another person can say more about you than talking about yourself could.

Besides, if a person doesn’t reciprocate the behavior and encourage you to tell them about yourself afterward, then they probably weren’t a valuable connection to begin with. Next time a conversation is flailing, ask for them to elaborate or tell you more about themselves and you’ll find talking points you’ll be able to expand on. 

5. Ask for what you want, but be clear it’s mutually beneficial.

The highlight of networking events we all fantasize about is leaving with a concrete exchange that will move our business or career forward. Maybe it’s a job offer, getting an investor on board, locking down a recommendation letter, or landing a client you’ve been after for months.

Whatever the highlight, it isn’t going to fall in our lap. We can play all the right cards to set us up for a the big moment, but a time will come when we need to put ourselves out there and firmly express what we want. How can we do this without sounding aggressive?

Consider your answer to the classic job interview question “Why should we hire you over the other candidates?” You come up with a true, succinct, humble, and exemplary answer of why you’re the right person for the job. Your approach to getting what you want from networking isn’t all that different, except it’s important to express your flexibility.

In her book Lean In, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg references a time a woman approached her asking for a job by asking what her core business problems were and how she could fix them. This combination of flexibility and confidence in getting the job done is a brilliant way to frame your next big ask. Be firm on what you want, but be clear that what you want is mutually beneficial.

6. Exit a conversation gracefully.

It’s important to remember that networking isn’t like speed-dating. The goal isn’t to meet as many people as you can — it’s to make valuable connections. While it’s important not to rush through conversations for this reason, there are times when we need to jump ship. Whether you’re chatting with someone who won’t let you get a word in, or someone who is wasting time whining about their boss, you should still be polite when ending the conversation.

If there’s a lull in conversation, say “Please let me know how that project goes, I’d love to see it and hear how it turns out.” This will show you were engaged, and though it ends the conversation in the moment, they won’t feel offended. Alternatively, consider asking them “Have you seen anyone from [company name] tonight? I’ve been meaning to chat with them.” This will kindly express that it’s important to you to expand your network. In the future, if you need to get out of a torturous conversation, end the discussion in the moment, but keep it feeling open-ended for the future.

We sometimes meet people at events that spark our interest even though we don’t have any projects, mutual friends, or upcoming events to connect with about. But you never know who you may want advice or guidance from in the future.

For instance, I once met the CEO of a small video marketing firm at an event. Even though I didn’t work in video, I felt we connected during our conversation. He mentioned his son had just become a freshman at my alma mater. I followed up via LinkedIn and told him how nice it was to meet him, and to let me know if his son had any questions about starting at college. Shortly after, he put in a great word with my then-boss about meeting me and told me to reach out to him in the future. Ultimately, following-up with a personal connection helps you differentiate and solidify the relationship.

Plan on attending a networking event soon? Leave awkwardness at the door by walking in with full confidence. Remember — the outcome of the evening is up to you. 

45 Essential Social Media Marketing Statistics for 2019

Social media is everywhere. For many people, social media is used daily for entertainment, socialization, and even news consumption — myself included. 

Additionally, over the last two decades, it has risen as one of the primary marketing channels. 

With over 40% of the world’s population on social media, it’s critical your business devise an effective social media strategy to reach your intended audience.

But whether you’re pitching a social media campaign to your boss or deciding which social media platform your business should put paid advertising behind, it’s vital you use data to support your efforts. 

Here, we’ve compiled a list of 45 essential social media stats to ensure you know where to focus your marketing efforts in 2019 to get the highest ROI. 

Social Media Marketing Statistics/Data 2019 

  • 42% of the world’s population uses social media. That’s 3.2 billion users worldwide. (Emarsys)
  • To break it down, 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers are active social media users. (Emarketer)
  • 54% of social browsers use social media to research products. (GlobalWebIndex)
  • Each person spends an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social networks and messaging. (Globalwebindex)
  • 366 million new people started using social media in the past year. That’s more than a million new people joining social media every single day. (Hootsuite)

Facebook Statistics

  • Facebook usage among teens is dropping gradually according to the latest social media statistics. While 71% of teens claimed to use the platform in 2015, the number has now dropped to 51%. (Pew Research Center)
  • 68% of Americans use Facebook. (Pew Research Center)
  • 74% of Facebook users check it daily. (Pew Research Center)
  • Most people access Facebook around eight times each day. (SmartInsights)
  • 96% of Facebook users access it on mobile. (Statista)
  • If your Facebook ads contain images, then they will be between 75% and 90% more effective. (Consumer Acquisition
  • 93% of social media advertisers use Facebook ads on a regular basis. (Social Media Examiner)
  • At least 3% of Facebook profiles are fake. (Facebook)
  • The best time to post on Facebook is weekdays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Wednesday is the best day to post while Sundays show the least traffic. (Sprout Social)

Twitter Statistics

  • 326 million people use Twitter every month. (PR Newswire)
  • 9% more people [than seen in previous reports] are now using Twitter on a daily basis. (PR Newswire)
  • 24% of adults in the U.S. use Twitter. (Statista)
  • Link clicks account for 92% of all user interaction with tweets. (HubSpot)
  • 83% of the people who sent a Tweet to a company and received a response, felt better about the company and were more likely to do business with them. (Twitter)
  • Only 3 percent of Tweets about customer service issues call out the company’s username with the @ symbol. (Marketing Land)
  • People are 31% more likely to recall what they saw on Twitter vs. general online browsing. (Twitter
  • 53% of users say they bought a product they first saw on Twitter. (WebFX)
  • Twitter ads are 11% more effective than TV ads during live events. (Twitter)
  • The best times to post on Twitter are Wednesdays at 9am and Fridays at 9am. The best days to post are Tuesday and Wednesday, while Saturday sees the least engagement. (Sprout Social)

Instagram Statistics

  • Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users, and 500 million of them use it daily. (Instagram)
  • Instagram continues to attract a younger audience with 72% of teens saying that they use the platform. (Sprout Social)
  • 59% of Instagram users are under the age of 30. (Statista)
  • Ad spending on Instagram is 23% higher than on Facebook according to an internal analysis by Merkle. (DigiDay)
  • Videos get 21.2% more interactions compared to images and 18.6% more interactions compared to carousels. (Sprout Social)
  • 71% of US businesses use Instagram. It surpassed Twitter in business users in 2017. (eMarketer)
  • The best times to post on Instagram are Wednesday at 11am and Friday from 10-11am. Wednesday is the overall best day to post while Sunday sees the least amount of engagement. (Sprout Social)

LinkedIn Statistics

  • There over 530 million user profiles on LinkedIn. (LinkedIn)
  • 80% of social media B2B leads come from LinkedIn. (LinkedIn)
  • Over 46% of all social media traffic to company websites comes from LinkedIn. (LinkedIn)
  • The best times to post on LinkedIn are Wednesdays from 9-10 a.m. and 12 p.m. The best day for posting is Wednesday and the day with the least engagement is Sunday. (Sprout Social)

YouTube Statistics

  • YouTube is the preferred form of social media marketing worldwide. 83% of all consumers prefer it. (Hubspot)
  • 54% of all people want marketers to put out more video content, and this is an excellent place to begin. (Hubspot)
  • Most of YouTube’s user base is male. The ratio is 55% men to 45% women. (Journalism.org)
  • 96% of all teens in the United States use YouTube. (Forrester

Social Media Consulting Services 

Many businesses hire external social media consulting agencies to manage their voice and reputation online. Alternatively, some businesses create roles in-house for a social media consultant — this is someone who is responsible for increasing brand awareness, responding to customer service complaints across social media platforms, and engaging with your audience online. 

Whether you’re considering hiring an external social media consulting service or creating a role in-house, take a look at these trends that demonstrate the importance of social media consulting: 

  • 71% of consumers who’ve had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. (Ambassador)
  • 80% of companies online are under the impression that they deliver exceptional social media customer service, while only 8% of their customers say they agree. (Smart Insights)
  • 73% of marketers believe that their efforts through social media marketing have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business. (Buffer)
  • Social networks are the biggest source of inspiration for consumer purchases with 37% of consumers finding purchase inspiration through the channel. (PWC)
  • Social media is the most relevant advertising channel for 50% of Gen Z and 42% of millennials. (Adobe)
  • 50% of consumers say that seeing user-generated content would increase their chances of buying products through a brand’s social media. (Curalate)

Social Media Consulting Proposal 

All these stats have given you the data you need to work with — now it’s time to put your knowledge to use and create your own social media consulting proposal.

If you’re a social media consultant and you’re pitching a branding, marketing, or advertising campaign to a client, it’s critical you’re able to show how you’ll help your client grow their business. 

Here are six steps you’ll need to take to ensure your social media consulting proposal or business plan is effective: 

  1. Set clear goals. Figure out exactly where your company or client wants to go as far as their business and social media numbers. The clearer and more detailed the vision, the better. Follow SMART Goal guidelines to ensure that you’re on the right track.
  2. Understand your customers. Know who your target demographics are, because these are the people you’re trying to reach and engage. Gather your own social media statistics and use existing data your company or client might already have to figure out who’s interacting with the business and who might be good future prospects to reach. After you’ve done your research, you can create useful character personas to help you better understand and categorize customers.
  3. Understand your competition. Those “similar-but-different” companies are going to be out there. And, as with most aspects of the business world, the better you know them, the better you can know how to have a leg up on them. You can conduct this research at the same time you’re researching your customers, because chances are they’re interacting with competitors as well. Once you’ve gathered the data on your competitors, one of the most effective ways to use it is to figure out where there might be voids in their services that your business can fill.
  4. Be familiar with any existing social media presence. If you’re hired to run a company’s social media accounts, it’s critical you know about any previous social media postings, accounts, and experiments. By understanding what your client has already tried, you’re better equipped to take them where they need to go in the future.
  5. Don’t forget to pull your data. Before your new implemented strategies go underway, it’s important to collect a baseline of how it was before, so that you have something to measure against in the future. For example, if you take inventory of how many views you’re getting on Instagram Stories before the new strategy is in effect, you can see if the new ideas are improving these numbers or not. It’s important to keep a close eye on what is affecting your growth (positively or negatively) so that you know when you’re on the right track or when you need to try something new so your business can keep growing.
  6. Develop your strategy based on your findings. Define what your content will be, what platforms it will be distributed on, and how it will vary between platforms. Figure out smaller details at this stage too, like your client’s tone and voice on social media (either what it currently is or what it should be), along with design and style elements. Always be sure you’re staying true to your company or client’s brand by consulting with existing materials like mission statements, guides, or brand books.

Finally, take a look at HubSpot’s free Marketing proposal template (useful for both PDF & Word) to get you started creating a comprehensive social media consulting proposal. 

Let data drive your social strategy.

Social media marketing statistics can show you the state of the business world today, where it might be going, and how you can ensure your business is continuously meeting customers where they want to be met. Use these statistics to your advantage to help you understand what you need to do to effectively use social media for your business today.

4 Ways to Keep Instagram Stories Viewers Engaged

Wondering how to stop Instagram Stories viewers from skipping your content? Looking for quick tips to help? In this article, you’ll find four easy ways to create Instagram Stories content that gives your viewers a reason to keep watching. #1: Give Viewers More to See in Less Time With 1-Second Video Clip Compilations Given the […]

The post 4 Ways to Keep Instagram Stories Viewers Engaged appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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31 Funny Twitter Bios & How to Write Your Own

Perhaps one of the most challenging parts of making an impact on social media is coming up with something profound in 140 characters. That’s right; I’m talking about the tweet.

A tweet is short, sweet, and to the point. And crafting one often leaves us staring blankly at that little blinking cursor, hoping for a way to rephrase the tweet to let up some characters for an image, a link, or that ever-essential hashtag.

Unsurprisingly, a Twitter bio is equally challenging. You mean to tell me that I have 160 characters (thanks for the extra 20?) to explain to the Twittersphere who I am, what I do, and why my Twitter is worth following?

It might not seem like a big deal, but keep this in mind: Your bio is one the main things people use to decide whether or not to follow you on Twitter — so what you write in your Twitter bio needs to count.

Yes, it can be hard to sum up who you are and give followers an idea of your personality in one tiny tweet-sized bio. So here are a few quick steps to help:

As we’ve mentioned, leaning on humor can be a quick way to show off your personality and make you seem relatable to audiences. 

To give you some inspiration, we’re taking a moment to highlight some of the most amusing and entertaining bios we could find.

We’ve scoured far and wide and am proud to present to you with 28 of the funniest bios — from real people, beloved brands, and fictitious characters that pepper the Twittersphere.

28 of the Funniest Twitter Bios We Could Find

1. @TheMikeTrainor

Funny twitter bio from @TheMikeTrainor

Why we’re amused:

Comedian and writer Mike Trainor makes my inner seven-year-old want to ask him to pull my finger. Also, imagining Mr. Trainor saying, “He who smelt it,” while looking as dapper as he does in his profile picture is a little slice of added amusement. Plus, we can’t help but love this bio’s self-deprecation, in its allusion to the fact that one of his shows is “still airing somehow.”

2. @UberFacts

Funny Twitter bio from @UberFacts

Why we’re amused:

UberFacts fills our brains with seemingly unnecessary information all day, every day. Though with the rise of popularity in bar-hosted trivia nights and games like Trivia Crack, I wouldn’t say we’ll never need to know things like this:

3. @NelsonFranklin

Funny Twitter bio from @NelsonFranklin

Why we’re amused:

I [verb describing feelings of having a strong liking for] this. American actor Nelson Franklin gets us. We’ve seen enough “Actor/Entertainer/Jazz Pianist” Twitter bios — seriously.

Franklin took it upon himself to create a bio that not only asks his followers to test out their imaginations, but one which will also withstand the test of time. I mean, no matter what Nelson Franklin becomes in life, “Noun/noun/noun” is likely to be pretty accurate.

4. @mikeindustries

Funny Twitter bio from @MikeIndustries

Why we’re amused:

Mike Davidson, former VP of Design at Twitter, is a connoisseur of sorts — and while he has an impressive background, we do enjoy his present credential of, “Currently chillin’.”

We also can’t help but wonder: Does the Twitter bio 160 character limit have to do with the aesthetics of a Twitter page’s design? Is Mike Davidson to blame?

5. @JamieAmacher

Funny Twitter bio from @JamieAmacher

Why we’re amused:

Some people aim to save neglected pets. Jamie Amacher aims to save neglected houseplants. Buffalo, NY resident (and coworker of mine at Mainstreethost), Amacher knows the importance of keeping plants alive indoors — especially since, here in the Northeast U.S., we don’t get to see much plant life outside during winter.

I must say, it’s a noble act; sacrificing a Twitter bio front-loaded with accomplishments. for the sake of our forgetful nature and thirsty houseplants.

6. @sixthformpoet

Funny Twitter bio from sixthformpoet

Why we’re amused:

Like a homeless individual asking me for beer money, I can respect this. The mysterious Sixth Form Poet is an author (as she or he is quick to remind us) of the book The Sixth Form Poet, and offers up this Twitter handle on the book’s cover as authorship. The Sixth Form Poet has attracted 143k fans to date, which is fitting, considering this 2013 tweet:

7) @Lord_Voldemort7

Funny Twitter bio from @Lord_Voldemort7

Why we’re amused:

Harry Potter fans, rejoice — or cower in fear. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has a Twitter, and he’s not afraid to share his truth — in the form of a clever use of Christina Perri lyrics.

8. @shelbyfero

funny twitter bio from @shelbyfero

Why we’re amused:

As we mentioned above, we always appreciate a bit of tasteful self-deprecating humor, and Shelby Fero gives us just that in her Twitter bio. Though, according to HiTFiX (and her impressive Twitter following of 122k), it seems that people are crazy about her — at the very least, on Twitter. And, if you’re curious about her work, she’s also conveniently included a link to Google search her instead of providing a website.

9. @Arbys

Funny Twitter bio from @Arbys

Why we’re amused:

Arby’s puns its slogan, “We have the meat.”, by replacing meat with tweets. This is a great way of reminding people of your slogan while making a funny joke about the platform you’re on. 

10. @sweetestsara

Funny twitter bio from @Sweetestsara

Why we’re amused:

Sara Rubin is a video producer at BuzzFeed. You can thank her in part for many of the fantastic BuzzFeed videos you see circulating around social media and love are obsessed with. If you’ve seen any of the videos in which she’s, you know she’s an overall lovable and whimsical character — not to mention, hilariously awkward and anxious, like a good handful of us.

Her Twitter bio is just as imaginative and adds a touch of fantasy that I think provides a welcomed breather from some of the more serious Twitter bios out there.

11. @JohnCleese

Funny twitter bio from @JohnCleese

Why we’re amused:

John Cleese is an English writer, actor and tall person (according to his website). As he is also a comedian, we’re allowed to find it incredibly humorous that he mentions in his Twitter bio that he’s still alive, contrary to rumor. Plus, he’s doing “the silly walk” in his app, and we invite you to see for yourself just how silly it is. (Monty Python fans, rejoice.)

12 & 13) @arnettwill & @batemanjason

Funny twitter bios from @arnettwill and @BatemanJason

Why we’re amused:

First off, it’s clear to me that BFF Twitter bios are the BFF necklace of 2017. Actors Will Arnett and Jason Bateman wear their BFF-dom proud for all of the Twitterland to see — but it’s not the first time they’ve taken their affinity for one another to the public eye. In 2013, they were seen strolling down the street on a sunny afternoon in 2013 while having some fun with the nearby paparazzi:

14 & 15. @AlisonLeiby & @alyssawolff

Funny Twitter bios from @AlisonLeiby and @Alyssawolff

Why we’re amused:

In a similar fashion, writers Alison Leiby and Alyssa Wolff have obviously made a BFF pact to dedicate their Twitter bios to one another. Again — we approve.

16. The Onion

Funny Twitter bio from @TheOnion

Why we’re amused:

The Onion is probably the most well-known and popular satirical news site. They publish gag headlines and goofy articles for the sake of humor. In this bio, they sarcastically claim that they are the opposite of a joke site by calling themselves the, “finest news source.”

17. @Lesdoggg

Funny Twitter by from @Lesdoggg

Why we’re amused:

What do we love about comedian Leslie Jones’ Twitter bio? It’s simple and to the point. Plus, we can’t help but snicker at the humor in its simplicity — she lets us know about her line of work, without any jokes. That’s okay; luckily, her on-screen work and actual tweets provide plenty of hilarious fodder.

18. @shondarhimes

Funny twitter bio from @Shondarhimes

Why we’re amused:

For many of us, Shonda Rhimes is a legend — and our Thursday nights would be so much less interesting without her. She’s the writer behind such hit shows as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” and yes: People love to tweet their plotline opinions to her. She stops that madness with a concise, funny quip in her bio: “It’s not real, okay?” Yes, Ms. Rhimes.

19. @aparnapkin

Funny twitter bio from @aparnapkin

Why we’re amused:

Comedian Aparna Nancherla’s Twitter handle (@aparnapkin) is seemingly a play on her name, which is silly enough. Based on her bio I’d be willing to guess that her Twitter feed is equally as amusing.

That assumption is backed up by TIME, as her feed was named one of The 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2014. Out of about 328 million monthly active users on Twitter, that ain’t too shabby – she’s definitely considered a comedian in this culture, if I had to guess.

20. @notzuckerberg

Funny Twitter bio from @NotZuckerberg

Why we’re amused:

In case you haven’t already guessed, this is NOT Mark Zuckerberg. But that doesn’t stop @notzuckerberg (a.k.a., Twitter user @afterthatsummer) from tweeting as if (s)he were the “Zuck.”

The fake Mark Zuckerberg is pretty funny, as proven by his Twitter bio and tweets like this:

Touché, fake Zuck. Touché.

21. @AnnaKendrick47

Funny Twitter bio from @AnnaKendrick47

Why we’re amused:

We’ve always been rather amused by Anna Kendrick’s self-deprecating humor in general. Take, for example, this pinned tweet:

Plus, we love the location she listed. (Same here, Ms. Kendrick.)

22. @FirstWorldPains

Funny Twitter bio from @FirstWorldPainsWhy we’re amused:

This account pokes fun at “first world problems,” where people complain about things that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things: cold French fries, getting the wrong coffee, a cell phone dying, or — as @FirstWorldPains mentions in its bio — the absolutely terrible moment when you really, really want to write a good online bio, but can’t think of anything. #worstdayofmylife

23. @Charmin

Funny Twitter bio from @Charmin

Why we’re amused:

Charmin, as we know, sells toilet paper. We’re all adults here, and we all know what it’s used for. Charmin’s Twitter bio is entertaining because, considering its industry, the brand gets the awkwardness out of the way immediately, letting us all know that, hey, quality toilet paper is a good thing … and a good bathroom trip — or, “the go,” as it’s called here — should be enjoyed.

Plus, who doesn’t enjoy a good, TP-related riddle?

24. @ComedyCentral

Funny twitter bio from @ComedyCentral

Why we’re amused:

Because we see what you did there, Comedy Central. Also, this:

For some of us, cheese is always the answer, no matter what the problem.

25. @YourAwayMessage

Funny twitter bio from @YourAwayMessage

Why we’re amused:

Are we the only ones who remember the days of AOL Instant Messenger, a.k.a., AIM? Think back, if you can, to a time before Slack, Twitter, and even Facebook — and maybe, just maybe, it’ll all come back to you.

If looking at this bio (and its accompanying profile image) gives you an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia, then you already know why it’s amusing. Remember AIM profiles? And sub-profiles? And away messages? Or the sound of that creaky door opening when your ~*cRuSh*~ signed on?

Also, the location being “the den” is on point. If this doesn’t hit home for you, view this BuzzFeed article, or move on to the next!

26. @TheEllenShow

Funny twitter bio from @TheEllenShow

Why we’re amused:

Ellen DeGeneres entertains us on social media, television, real life, etc. She’s just plain amusing. So it should come as no surprise that her actual bio on Twitter is pretty darn amusing. According to her bio, she has a second job as an ice road trucker — hmm — and her tweets are both real, and spectacular. Well, she’s not lying about her tweets. After all, see below. So, what does that tell us about her second job? We buy it.

27. @tomhanks

Funny Twitter bio from @TomHanks

Why we’re amused:

Fame didn’t get to Tom Hanks’ head. He’s a normal person, just like you and I, having issues with fluctuating weight. Sometimes, he gains people’s approval — and other times, not so much. To that, we say, “Tweet on, Tom.”

28. @FranksRedHot

Funny Twitter bio from @FranksRedHot

Why we’re amused:

If you’re as big a fan of Frank’s RedHot as we are, then you know how easy it to actually but that — ahem — [stuff] on everything. Of course, as marketers, we agree that the brand might as well put it on Twitter, too.

29. @popchips

Funny twitter bio from @PopChips

Why we’re amused:

We wish eating popchips was in our job descriptions — since, when they’re around, we certainly eat them like it’s part of our collective responsibilities.

30. Pepsi

Funny twitter bio from @Pepsi

Why we’re amused:

It’s pretty funny to imagine a social media manager getting distracted from their job duties because the product they’re supposed to be marketing is just so delicious. 

31. @Alexa99

Funny twitter bio from @Alexa99Why we’re amused:

This is the official account of the Amazon Alexa voice assistant. The bio is funny because it reads as if a robot wrote it. For those who have an Alexa, they might also know that Alexa is bad at puns and tells bad jokes when asked. So, her interests, along with the sci-fi Star Trek, make sense for her. 

Because she is a robot, the most hilarious thing in this bio is how it ends with “Tweets and opinions are my own.” 

Find Your Twitter Humor

It’s true — exercising humor while also tweeting as a responsible business is often a fine line to walk. But as these examples show, it’s possible to be both self-deprecating and funny on social media, as long as it aligns with your brand.

And, as always, we’ll continue bringing you the latest news and tactics in conquering social media.

 
Professional Bio Templates

How to Use WordPress: Ultimate Guide to Building a WordPress Website

The thought of creating your own website may seem overwhelming.

You might even think this task is impossible for anyone but a developer or a person with a background in web design.

Well, I have good news for you — there’s a software out there that’s so easy to use, virtually anyone can successfully create a unique and professional-looking website for their business, blog, or portfolio. It’s called WordPress.

But how?

This ultimate guide will cover a basic step-by-step process of creating your own WordPress website as well as a list of tips and tricks to remember while working with WordPress.

But first, let’s answer the question most people have when they begin thinking about their new WordPress website: What is the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?

WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com

The difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com has to do with who is actually hosting your website.

You host your own website or blog on WordPress.org, through a third-party hosting provider. You also have to download your WordPress software, buy a domain name on a third-party site, and manage your server. It’s a much more hands-on experience than with WordPress.com. Also, your URL with a WordPress.org site will look like this: www.mywebsite.com.

WordPress.com offers to host your website for you. You also don’t need to download any software or manage a server. If you choose WordPress.com, your website’s URL will look like this: https://ift.tt/1Pt8449. However, you have the option to also upgrade your WordPress.com account and buy a custom domain from a third-party provider (meaning your URL will look like this: www.mywebsite.com).

How to Choose Between WordPress.org or WordPress.com

You may be wondering whether WordPress.org or WordPress.com would be a better fit for you. Let’s review a few more of the pros and cons that come with both options, so you can make an informed decision.

WordPress.org is ideal if you want full power over customizing and controlling your website. However, there is a lot more responsibility that comes with managing a WordPress.org website. You have to purchase and set up your own domain name, upload and install all of your custom plugins and themes, edit your website’s code, and manage your website’s security. WordPress.org is free to use, but you have to pay for everything else that goes into having a website.

WordPress.com is preferable if you’re looking for an option that has most of the hard work done for you. You’ll never need to manage your server, pay for your hosting, or buy a domain. There are also a number of customization options that come with a WordPress.com plan to help you make your website look the way you want it to.

WordPress.com has a free and paid version. If you stick with the free version, you can’t upload any custom themes or plugins, and you will have a WordPress subdomain. However, there is always the option to pay for premium upgrades and other plans that provide you with even more features and control, as well as the option to buy a custom domain through a third-party site.

WordPress for Beginners: How to Use WordPress

There are a number of ways for you to create your dream website with WordPress. Users generally find the software easy to use, but getting started can be understandably intimidating if you’re completely new to the process.

That’s why we have built this “WordPress for Beginners” guide. Below, we will cover how to start creating your website.

WordPress is one of the most popular CMS options available today according to TechRadar. Its ease of use and versatility enable the majority of users and business owners to create a website that works for their needs with the software. Here’s how you can do the same.

1. Select a WordPress plan

To begin creating your website, select a WordPress plan. As stated earlier, with WordPress.org, you only have one (free) plan option — but it requires you to buy your domain, hosting provider, plugins, themes, and everything else related to your WordPress site.

When it comes to WordPress.com, you’ll have to choose between the five plans they offer.

pricing plans for WordPress website
SourceWordPress

The main differences between the plans include the monthly fee, types of site customization, and access to marketing tools.

2. Set up your domain name and hosting provider

Setting up your domain name and choosing your hosting provider for WordPress typically happen around the same time in the website creation process.

Before we talk about how to complete those tasks, let’s cover the difference between your domain name and hosting provider.

Think about your domain name as your home address — it’s how your visitors are able to locate your website on the Internet. Your hosting provider is where your website is actually stored. Without a hosting provider, your site wouldn’t have space on a server to “live”.

Imagine your domain name is your home address and your hosting provider is your house. Your data files, which make up your website, are the furniture in your house.

Your domain name will look something like this: www.example.com. Examples of some of the best WordPressing hosting providers are WP Engine and Kinsta, which you can learn more about here.

WP Engine platform for WordPress website

Source: WP Engine

How to pick domain and hosting providers

Again, WordPress.org requires you to create your own domain and find a third-party hosting provider for your website. WordPress.com allows you to decide whether or not you want a custom domain depending on the plan you choose, but you will still have to find a third-party hosting provider.

There are hundreds of third-party hosting services, such as GoDaddy or Bluehost, that provide you with the ability to create custom domain names. Your hosting provider is important because it impacts your website’s speed, security, and reliability.

There are hundreds of hosting providers to choose from, but the good news for you is we put together a list of 19 of the best WordPress hosting providers to help you decide what will work best for your own website. All 19 of these providers meet WordPress’ three hosting requirements (listed below). If you still have an interest in looking at other hosting providers for your site, make sure they meet the following criteria:

  • PHP version 7.3 or greater
  • MySQL version 5.6 or greater OR MariaDB version 10.1 or greater
  • HTTPS support

Side note: If you are new to WordPress.com but have already purchased and created a domain name elsewhere, no problem — you’ll have the option to transfer or map it to your WordPress website.

For the sake of this guide, let’s assume you do not have a domain or hosting provider at this point. Here’s how to start creating your website on a third-party hosting site like Bluehost.

First, head to Bluehost’s website and click “Get Started”.

Bluehost for WordPress website
SourceBluehost

From here, you’ll be taken to Bluehost’s pricing page to choose from four different plans.

Bluehost pricing plans for WordPress website

Source
:
Bluehost
 

Once you choose your plan and click “Select”, you’ll be taken to another page to sign up with a domain name.

Bluehost signup page for WordPress website

Source: Bluehost

Once you select your domain name, you’ll be brought to a page to complete your account and billing information for your purchase.

Bluehost account page for WordPress website
SourceBluehost

After confirming your account and purchasing your domain, you will gain access to your hosting dashboard where you’ll be able to install WordPress.

3. Install WordPress

If you are using a hosting provider outside of WordPress, you’ll need to install the CMS to connect your new domain to your website.

This time, let’s use GoDaddy as an example. (Don’t worry, no matter the hosting provider you choose, this process looks similar.)

To start, log into your GoDaddy account, click “Web Hosting”, and then “Manage”. You will be brought to a screen with your account details.

GoDaddy account for WordPress website

Source: GoDaddy

Scroll down and under “Options & Settings”, you will see an area titled “Popular Apps”. Click on the WordPress app to begin the installation.

GoDaddy settings for WordPress website

Source: GoDaddy

After installing WordPress, there will be a few questions to answer related to the domain you want to use, the directory where you want to install WordPress, and your admin information.

After about 24 hours, your website will be installed to your hosting account, and GoDaddy will send you an email confirmation.

Now that you have your domain set up and WordPress installed, we need to set up your “Primary Domain” within WordPress, so your visitors are see your website when they search your URL.

In WordPress, go to “My Site” and click “Domains”. Select the custom domain you want to make primary.

Setup custom domain for WordPress website

Source: WordPress

Then, click “Make Primary”.

domain settings for WordPress website

Source: WordPress

Confirm you meant to make this change by clicking “Update Primary Domain”.

primary domain for WordPress website

Source: WordPress

Verify the update was successful by looking for a green box with a checkmark that says “Primary Domain”.

verify domain for WordPress website

SourceWordPress

Onto step four — making your website look nice.

Side note: If you choose to use a managed WordPress hosting service like WP Engine or Kinsta, you won’t need to go through this process as those services were built specifically for WordPress and will have WordPress installed for you.

4. Choose your theme

You can customize your website using WordPress’ themes and templates, which contain a multitude of layouts, formatting styles, colors, fonts, and other visual options.

WordPress automatically provides you with a default theme that looks rather plain. Sure, you can keep it, but your website visitors may not be so impressed. A custom WordPress theme, whether it’s paid or free, will make your website appealing to your buyer personas as well as ensure it looks professional.

Similar to the wide range of hosting providers available, there are also hundreds of themes and templates to choose from. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to 20 of our favorite themes and templates and categorized them by purpose. Whether you’re looking for a theme versatile enough for multiple different business types, or one suitable for your ecommerce site, portfolio, blog, or niche business, there’s a theme that will work for your specific needs. If you can’t find one that’s right for you, you can build a custom website using a tool like Elementor.

To find a theme that works best for you in WordPress.org, head to your admin dashboard. Click “Appearance” and then “Themes”.

You will then be brought to another screen to browse all available themes or search for a specific one you have in mind.

select theme for WordPress website
SourcePress Customizr

Once you discover the perfect theme, simply “Install” it to begin customizing it and adding your own content, posts, and pages. Each theme has different steps required of you during the customization process, so be sure to follow them closely. Each theme’s website (which are often accessible through the WordPress theme and template library) has helpful information as you work through the customization process.

5. Add posts and pages to your website

When you add content to your WordPress website, it’s displayed in the form of posts and pages.

Posts (or “dynamic pages”) are typically used for blogs and portfolios because they automatically place your newest website content at the top. Pages are static which is why they often appeal to business owners — the added content always remains in the same place.

Start by deciding whether you want a post or page to serve as the homepage (or any page) of your website. To add a post to your website, go to the admin dashboard, click “Posts” and then “Add New”. You can add a title for your post, insert photos, or change the format.

add post to WordPress website

Source: First Site Guide

Click “Save Draft” to save your changes as a draft or click “Publish” so the post immediately goes live.

If you’re looking to add a page to your website, you’ll work through a very similar process. In your admin area, click “Pages” and then “Add New”.

create page in WordPress websiteSource: The Hard Refresh 

First, add a title to your page. Next, you can insert photos, embed videos, and add content. Follow the same steps to create multiple pages for your website.

wordpress-posts

Source: The Hard Refresh

Don’t forget to click “Save Draft” or “Publish”.

6. Customize your website

There are a number of ways to further customize your website. Let’s review a few of the options.

First, create static or dynamic pages under the “Settings” tab in your WordPress admin page.

Consider using a static page if you’re a business owner who prefers having content remain in one place on your website. For example, it wouldn’t make sense for your “About Us” page to contain content that moves around — you’d want that content to remain in one location for consistency. Consider using a dynamic page if you’re a blogger who prefers having your newest content appear at the top of your pages. This way your visitors can easily find your latest posts.

On the left side, click “Settings,” then “Reading.” Choose between your latest posts or a static page.

reading settings for WordPress website

Source: WooCommerce

Your site title also can be customized — to do this, head to your admin dashboard. Under the “General”tab in “Settings”, add your website title and tagline.

general settings in WordPress website

Source: Softaculous

The navigation bar is customizable, too. This enables your visitors to easily find information on your website.

You can add a navigation bar by going to your admin dashboard, clicking “Appearance” and then “Menus”.

edit menus on WordPress website

Source: WordPress

From here, you can determine how you want your bar to look, how many pages you want to include, what you want to title those pages, and what order you want them to be listed in.

customizing navigation bar on WordPress website
Source: WordPress

Click here for more information on your WordPress site settings and customization options.

7. Install your plugins

Plugins are pieces of software that add functionality to your website. They also enhance the user experience. With over 55,000 available plugins, there are options for most every type of website and user. Some of the most popular plugins available include WordPress Contact Form, Yoast SEO, TablePress, The SEO Framework, HubSpot Conversion Tools, and Pixel Caffeine.

To begin installation, head to the “Plugins” section in your admin dashboard.

plugins for WordPress website

Source: SiteGround 

Click “Add New”.

add new plugin on WordPress website

Source: SiteGround 

Browse or search for your desired plugin and then click “Install Now”.

install plugins for WordPress website

Source: SiteGround 

Get the WordPress CRM plugin that helps you organize, track, and nurture your leads.

8. Optimize your website to increase page speed

Website performance is a critical part of the user experience. If a page takes too long to load, your visitors will move quickly to another site. So, you don’t want to frustrate visitors with slow speed times. 

You can improve your website’s performance by enabling browser caching. Browser caching is storing your website’s data to your visitors’ browsers. That way, your content doesn’t need to be processed for it to appear, which increases the website speed. 

To enable caching for your website, install and activate a caching plugin. There are more than 1,900 available under Plugins > Add New.

caching plugins for WordPress website

Let’s install and activate WP Fastest Cache. On the plugin’s page, click the box next to “Enable”. Then, click “Submit” at the bottom of the screen.

WP Fastest Cache plugin for WordPress website

That’s it! This caching plugins will help increase your website’s performance. 

9. Get inspiration from WordPress website examples

As you begin to customize your website, you may feel overwhelmed by all the possible options. No worries, you can grab some inspiration from other highly engaging WordPress websites. 

In the the example below, 99% Invisible is a popular podcast that focuses on design and architecture. Their website is a sleek, modern design. It offers easy navigation for visitors to quickly access each podcast episode. 

99% Invisible WordPress website example

Source: 99% Invisible

The Houston Zoo’s website displays its main attraction on the homepage. The magnifying glass icon on the top menu bar makes searching the site effortless.

Houston Zoo WordPress website exampleSource: Houston Zoo

Awesome Motive, the creators behind several WordPress projects, engages their visitors with a polished, yet simple website. It features subtle animation to grab people’s attention.

Awesome Motive WordPress website example

Source: Awesome Motive

WordPress Website Tips and Tricks

There are a number of WordPress tips and tricks to make your website as impactful and user-friendly as possible — we’ve listed 20 of them below to help you do just that.

1. Focus on the basics and create a great user experience with a WordPress theme that complements your business and website content.

2. Use dashes and not underscores when naming your files in WordPress. Google looks as underscores as joiners, meaning your file will look like one big word. That won’t help you with your SEO. Use dashes to make it obvious there are separate words. (For example, use https://ift.tt/2CWyE97, not https://ift.tt/2P8AhYz).

3. Use WordPress’ online support for any questions or concerns you may have while creating or using your website. There are a number of forums and ways to reach out to WordPress experts listed on their website.

4. Use Image Alt Text to your advantage. Image Alt Text can be used to improve your SEO and Google rankings.

5. Keep your sidebar as organized as possible. Stick to the essentials and think about what your website visitors and buyer personas really need quick and easy access to.

6. Back up your website regularly, so if you ever lose access or have technological difficulties, you have everything you need to completely restore your content. There are a number of plugins, such as Snapshot Pro, made specifically for backing up your WordPress content.

7. Learn and understand SEO basics to ensure your website is completely optimized so you can boost your conversions.

8. Create a custom homepage. As mentioned earlier, WordPress will provide you with a default homepage. Take the time to create your own with a theme that works for your business — remember, this is your visitor’s first impression of your business, blog, or portfolio.

9. Keep an eye on your website’s performance and know what is and isn’t working for your visitors. There are a number of useful WordPress plugins, as well as Google Analytics software, to help with this performance.

10. Include an “About Us” page on your website to show your visitors you’re a trustworthy person and/or business. “About Us” pages are known to be the second most-visited pages on websites (after homepages) — so introducing yourself is important.

11. Make sure your site is secure to ensure there are no hackers gaining entry. Again, there are plenty of plugins such as WP Defender to help you with security.

12. Create custom permalinks. Permalinks are the permanent URLs that you plan to keep static for the foreseeable future. They’re important because they improve user experience and enhance your WordPress website SEO.

13. Create a custom navigation bar (as we reviewed earlier) to make your site easy to use for your visitors.

14. Include excerpts on your blog posts so people don’t land on your blog page and see your entire piece at once. By only including excerpts on your blog page, you make room to list all of your blogs in one location. Visitors can then read the excerpts and click-through to read the posts they are most interested in.

15. Structure your website in a way that makes sense for your business, visitors, and buyer personas. For example, use posts if you’re a blogger and use pages if you’re a business owner.

16. Remove “Comment” and “Share” buttons from specific pages of your website. You don’t need (or want) a “Comment” or “Share” button on your “About Us” page, or any of your service pages for that matter.

17. Consider what your website looks like on mobile. It’s no secret people are searching the Internet while on their phones, tablets, and other mobile devices these days. Consider using a plugin to help you achieve a responsive, mobile WordPress design.

18. Use visuals and video content when possible to break up the text on your website pages.

19. Update your WordPress site and plugins regularly. WordPress will tell you when updates are released. This will keep your website looking fresh and working efficiently.

20. Use social proof to show your new website visitors how many other people have already subscribed to your site and content. There are plugins to help you do this in a matter of minutes.

Conclusion

Having a great website matters. It’s how you connect with your visitors and leads, create a positive first impression with new users, and boost conversions. The good news is creating your own website doesn’t have to be a daunting process … at least not with WordPress.

The easy-to-use CMS offers completely customizable plans suitable for all needs. With no prior knowledge necessary, you can start building your own site for your business, blog, portfolio, or online store immediately.

10 Tips I Learned About Creating Viral Campaigns From Larry Kim

We all dream about that one campaign that just really takes off — I’m talking about the Game of Thrones of the content marketing world.

However, few marketers can say they’ve created a piece of content so effective that it completely changed the course of their business. Well, Larry Kim, founder of WordStream and CEO of MobileMonkey, is one of those marketers.

Here, I sat down with Larry Kim to discuss one of his campaigns for WordStream, which went viral and resulted in millions of links back to WordStream’s website.

Keep reading to learn Kim’s ten tips for effectively creating viral content — but first, let’s dive into the backstory of the campaign itself.

Spoiler alert: The tips throughout this blog post are taken from our Content Strategy Course. To see my interview with Larry Kim and learn how to build a comprehensive content strategy, take our free course here.

Larry Kim’s Viral Campaign — The Backstory

On the eve of Facebook becoming a publicly traded stock, Larry Kim spotted an opportunity that no one else saw. Facebook’s IPO was a global topic of discussion across technology and business media — everyone wanted to buy these shares.

But no one was talking about the return on investment (ROI) of advertising on Facebook, which was a big part of Facebook’s value in the marketplace. That’s when Larry Kim decided to craft a story comparing and contrasting the ROI of advertising on Facebook vs. advertising on Google.

Larry’s report took a visual and data-heavy approach to a topic no one else was talking about. He was even able to spin the report into multiple infographics to make the content more engaging.

About his instincts, Larry told me: “The Facebook IPO was the biggest story of the time. And so we absolutely needed to come up with some way to insert ourselves into that conversation.”

At its core, his campaign:

  1. Compared and contrasted the ROI of Facebook ads vs. Google ads
  2. Quantified the typical average results via clickthrough rates, conversion rates, and costs
  3. Gave a final grade to both Google and Facebook ads according to their strengths and weaknesses

Here’s what Larry’s infographic looked like:

Image Source

It sounds like a simple idea, but it was executed flawlessly. Larry Kim’s report went viral, sparking discussion on ABC News, Forbes, Business Insider, and more.

What Larry had hoped would bring in a few hundred placements resulted in millions of links back to WordStream’s website from over 85 countries around the world.

Impressive, right? To discuss his strategies for promoting and analyzing his campaign, I sat down with Larry Kim. Here, let’s dive into what the rest of us can learn about successful content from Kim’s approach.

1. Content marketing is a numbers game.

This wasn’t Larry’s first piece of content. This wasn’t even Larry’s one-hundredth. In reality, Larry had already published thousands of pieces of content by the time this campaign took off, ranging from podcasts to blog posts to videos to ebooks.

Throughout his career, Larry had experimented with different types of content. He’d seen success with other articles revolving around advertising on Google with topics like “How does Google make money?” and “What are the most expensive keywords on Google?”.

After writing about Google for so long, he had a hunch that a report comparing Google to Facebook would be effective. He was right, but he never would have gotten there without producing all the content that came before it.

Sticking with a long-term content strategy is mandatory in order to achieve this type of success.

2. Timing your content to relevant events can have a huge impact.

Producing a large amount of content is undeniably important for becoming a better content marketer, but so is your timing. In Larry’s case, everyone was talking about Facebook because their IPO was on the horizon.

Larry was able to craft a story to fit right into the discussions that were already taking place on a global stage.

Here are just a few of the headlines Larry’s report was featured in:

Writers were already excited to write about Facebook, but Larry’s report further incentivized writers to write about Facebook’s ads performance compared to Google’s.

Ultimately, Larry did more than just join conversations already taking place around the world — he also helped form them.

Now, I know a trending event like Facebook’s IPO doesn’t come around all that often. But there are still other ways you can use timing to your advantage. Here are a few steps to help you do what Larry did for your own business:

  1. Get notified about breaking news in your industry with the help of Google Alerts. You’ll be the first to know about important news releases that your company could write about.
  2. Explore search volume for keywords related to these news stories with Google Trends. You’ll want to make sure that the story you want to write about also has significant organic search volume.
  3. Find a unique angle that others aren’t writing about. This will help you stand out from the rest of the stories out there and spark unique conversation.

3. One story can have value to many personas.

As marketers, we often think about targeting our content to specific personas. However, many stories aren’t only relevant to one type of reader. In this case, Larry Kim saw the opportunity to spin the story of Facebook ads vs. Google ads in a few ways to resonate with different audiences.

For instance, once Larry wrote and promoted his initial report, he quickly saw four personas that he could reach with personalized versions of his content:

  • Businesses, and the business press, were interested in this story from a financial perspective.
  • Marketers were excited to learn how these ad platforms compared so that they could improve their own marketing tactics.
  • Technology enthusiasts found this story relevant because it was a bold and timely article about the largely popular social network.
  • Lastly, Facebook users were interested in this story because it taught them about a new side of the Facebook platform — advertising.

What did Larry Kim do with these insights? Well, he took his original report and syndicated it into infographics specific to each audience — like this one. His approach was super simple but effective. To make each infographic resonate with its intended audience, he tweaked the headline to frame the story in a way that appealed to motivations of each persona.

What he found was that even in specific niches like online advertising, there’s a ton of opportunity for innovation when creating specific, targeted content.

4. Connections in the industry can last a lifetime.

Creating relevant content is one thing — but pitching this content successfully to online publications is an entirely different challenge. If you’re just starting out with content marketing, begin building up your outreach list now.

Start off by identifying relevant publications who might be interested in your content and make connections with the key people at each of these organizations. Build an email list that you can continue to reuse and expand in the future. Here are some great outreach templates to help get you started.

Since this wasn’t Larry Kim’s first piece of content in the online advertising niche, he already had a database of over 1,000 reporters from all of the major technology and business publications that cover Google and Facebook from an advertising perspective.

By continually providing valuable content to these reporters related to their niche, he established connections that he could rely on. This was pivotal to the success of his monumental campaign.

5. Paid promotion can amplify the success you see from organic promotion.

Larry told me his team chose to leverage their piece’s timeliness by putting a budget behind it — “We spent tens of thousands of dollars promoting the story, even though it was doing fine organically. It was just to get more mileage out of a winning hit.”

Now, if you’re anything like me, you might be thinking — Why would you spend a dollar on paid promotion when you have a runaway story that’s doing great on its own, and certainly doesn’t even need a dime to get more coverage?

However, putting money behind a popular piece of content can only accelerate its performance. Using paid advertising to support your most impactful campaigns can actually be the best use of your paid budget. Since the piece has already proven effective, you know it’ll do well on paid, too.

6. A great campaign can impact the success of future campaigns.

It’s easy to think that once a campaign is over, you’ll stop reaping the benefits. You move onto the next campaign and hope for an even better performance next time.

However, when you have an exceedingly successful campaign, you can still see its impact days, months, and years later.

You might not be surprised to hear that WordStream’s website experienced a huge spike in traffic over the course of Larry’s campaign. But it’s critical to note even after the campaign ended, they still saw an increase in traffic to their website.

The WordStream brand became so strong that people around the world continued to turn to WordStream for resources in the Facebook and Google advertising space. As Larry notes, “People are impacted by their subtle biases and they tend to favor consuming content from sources they’ve heard of before.”

Here’s what this looked like for WordStream after Larry’s campaign:

With the help of one great campaign, you can significantly impact your numbers on future campaigns. You’ll find yourself in an entirely new normal when it comes to metrics like email open rate, blog traffic, and landing page conversion rate.

7. You can manage your reporting with multiple free tools.

You might think you can’t get quality reporting tools without paying a boatload of money — fortunately, this isn’t true. For example, here are some of the free tools that Larry Kim used to measure the success of this campaign:

  • Google Analytics for traffic and engagement
  • Google Search Console for backlink reporting
  • Facebook Analytics for insights to audience types and their interests
  • SEMRush for additional linking data

I use all of these tools myself here at HubSpot. Plus, HubSpot’s own free tools can be used to run email campaigns and conduct paid ads, too.

8. Content marketing can lower your cost-per-customer acquisition.

There are clearly many reasons to aim for that one big content marketing campaign. But there’s a lot to be said about optimizing your content strategy for the long haul, too.

According to Larry Kim, one of the reasons WordStream is a successful business is because their cost-per-customer (CPC) acquisition is so low. When I say CPC acquisition, I’m talking about the investment that’s required to get a new paying customer for your business.

In Larry’s case, he was able to bring in new customers without spending a great deal of money.

How was he able to do that? Well, simply put, it had a lot to do with content marketing.

WordStream’s blog now generates millions of visitors every month. This is a huge accomplishment for a company in such a niche topic like pay-per-click advertising. Larry’s dedication to long-term content marketing efforts played a huge role in the company’s success.

9. Historical optimization can get you more value out of your content.

Campaign window over, reporting done — time to take the learnings and start the next campaign, right? Not so fast, my friend.

Historical optimization can significantly improve the long-term impact of your most effective pieces of content. Larry’s report clearly had a huge impact because it aligned perfectly with Facebook’s IPO. But even years later, they’re still using this content to drive traffic to their website.

They’ve continued to keep this content fresh by updating it with new data. In fact, it was last updated just a few months ago.

Here’s an example of a content strategy blog post that we here at HubSpot update frequently because it drives so much traffic to our blog. Each spike is a result of historical optimization. By frequently updating this piece of content, we’re able to keep this blog post relevant. Plus, we can re-promote every time we update it:

larry-kim-0content-campaignTo help streamline the updating process, try keeping track of all of your content in a content audit sheet. By keeping track of your highest-performing pieces of content, you’ll be able to identify the greatest opportunities for historical optimization. Keep an eye out for content that receives a lot of organic traffic and ranks for keywords relevant to your business.

Download a Content Marketing Workbook to get started auditing your content.

10. Successful campaigns stem from creative ideas.

Marketers are no strangers to creativity. But it can be hard to be creative over and over again just waiting for that one campaign to take off. In fact, it’s often exhausting — trust me, I know.

Larry gets it, too. From this campaign, he’s gained a greater understanding of how content marketing works. He told me that every time you create a new piece of content, like a blog post, white paper, infographic, or video, you’re essentially “auditioning a new piece of content that you hope will resonate with your audience.”

Most of the time, the content you produce goes nowhere. It reaches its goals, but it doesn’t have that massive impact you’d hoped. That’s okay! It’s still critical you remain creative, take risks and try new angles on your campaigns, and then hope it’s the right time and place to gain traction.

Even in a niche topic like Facebook ads, Larry found a story with global interest. If you’re creative enough, there’s always a way to cast a wider net for the content you’re promoting, even beyond the scope of the niche audience you’re targeting.

If you’d like to learn more about this campaign and how to create a successful content strategy for your business, check out HubSpot Academy’s new Content Strategy Course.

Who Were HubSpot’s 5 Fastest Growing New App Partners in Q2?

The ecosystem of app partners who integrate with HubSpot’s platform continues to grow. With dozens of new partners joining us in the first half of this year, HubSpot customers have access to an ever wider selection of specialized capabilities that they can add to their portals.

What are some of the recently added apps that are gaining the most traction in our ecosystem?

Once a quarter, we recognize the fastest-growing apps built by partners who are new to our platform ecosystem. We’ll include for consideration any apps that entered our app partner program in the previous quarter (for this post, Q1 of 2019), and measure their standing by growth in the following quarter (Q2 of 2019).

We’re excited to announce that the following five apps were our fastest-growing in Q2 of 2019 — check them out:

1. CRM Perks’ WordPress Plugin

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WordPress Contact Form 7 Plugin by CRM Perks sends form submissions from Contact Form 7 and many other popular contact form plugins to HubSpot CRM. With this integration, you can easily map any Contact Form fields to any HubSpot object fields, create new objects in HubSpot, or update old objects by setting a primary key field.  

Learn more about
CRM Perks’ WordPress Plugin and add it to your HubSpot instance here.

 

2. ManyChat

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ManyChat is a visual bot builder for Facebook Messenger with broadcasts, analytics, scheduled posting, and more. The ManyChat integration with HubSpot CRM allows you to submit data to a form, create/update contact properties, and receive new contact properties to HubSpot. You can then better organize, track, and nurture your leads and customers.

Learn more about ManyChat and add it to your HubSpot instance here.

3. JotForm

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JotForm is a software that enables users to quickly create and publish online forms. Using this integration, form responses submitted through JotForm will seamlessly populate your HubSpot account with the information you need.

Learn more about JotForm and add it to your HubSpot instance here.

4. Import2 Wizard

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Import2 Wizard syncs all your business info from your favorite apps into HubSpot in no time, and with no technical knowledge required. With this integration, you can import or export any object: contacts, companies, deals, timeline activities, notes and much more to or from HubSpot. 

Learn more about Import2 Wizard and add it to your HubSpot instance here.

5. Integromat

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Integromat makes it easy to connect HubSpot to any cloud service and automate even your most advanced workflows. Create integrations known as “scenarios” between HubSpot CRM and one or more cloud services or APIs using an intuitive visual builder and zero code. No-coding required.

Learn more about Integromat and add it to your HubSpot instance here.

Come to INBOUND and meet our ecosystem!

If you’re interested in learning more about these integrations and the other 300+ Connect Partners in our platform ecosystem, our upcoming INBOUND event is a great place to start. INBOUND is an action packed industry event with over 25,000 sales and marketing professionals, HubSpot customers and partners, keynote speakers and breakout session presenters, and more. It will take place in Boston from September 3rd through September 6th.

How to Turn More Facebook Leads Into Customers: A 5-Step Process

Do you use Facebook ads to generate leads? Want to convert more Facebook leads into customers? In this article, you’ll discover five effective tips to increase the chances your Facebook leads will become customers. The Importance of Lead-to-Customer Conversion All too often, I hear people who’ve tried Facebook ads claim that the leads they generated […]

The post How to Turn More Facebook Leads Into Customers: A 5-Step Process appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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How to Become a Social Media Consultant, According to 7 Successful Ones

Nowadays, social media is a critical component of any business’s marketing strategy.

There are over 3.2 billion people on social media globally. With such a large potential audience, it’s becoming essential for every company to use social media to reach new prospects, boost brand awareness, and market their products or services.

But oftentimes, marketing on social media platforms is easier said than done — and when you’re working at a small company with limited resources, it can be tricky (or even impossible) to hire and train a fully-staffed social media team.

If a company doesn’t have the resources to staff a social media team in-house, they aren’t out of luck — as an alternative, they can hire a social media consultant to help them increase their social media presence and grow traffic to their social accounts.

If you’re a social media consultant, you’re required to act as the voice, eyes, and ears of a client across various social platforms to properly engage with and grow an audience. While an undoubtedly rewarding role, it can be tricky — which is why we’ve gathered insights from X successful social media consultants.

If you’re interested in becoming a social media consultant but aren’t sure how to get started, or you’re hiring a social media consultant for your team but aren’t sure what to look for, keep reading.

How to Become a Successful Social Media Consultant

1. Build a portfolio of case studies, and produce and publish content that proves your worth.

Keith Kakadia, Founder and CEO Sociallyin.com, told me — “My advice to anyone who is trying to build a portfolio of clients as a social media marketing consultant would be to do a few things, starting with building out your portfolio of case studies. Many clients want to see the work you have done in the past for others successfully.”

“The second piece of advice I could give,” Kakadia adds, “is to produce and publish content that shows your expertise in the field of social media marketing. Having a blog or even writing on a channel like Medium can help you stand out from the crowd of social media consultants.”

If you’re interested in creating your own blog, take a look at How to Create a Successful Blog Strategy: A Step-by-Step Guide.

2. Network, network, network.

Akvile DeFazio, President of AKvertise, Inc., advises aspiring social media consultants to network: “The moment you decide you want to take the leap to become a social media consultant and eventually shift towards doing it full-time, I encourage you to begin networking and sharing your skillset and services with others, on and offline, even if you aren’t working for yourself just quite yet.”

“Relationships and building up your clientele can take time, so begin feeding your funnel as soon as you can. As someone who has always enjoyed networking, I didn’t realize just how valuable my network was until I announced that I was leaving my former employer to go out on my own. I imagined that as soon as I did, I would lose some ties as I wouldn’t be seeing industry peers and business owners in person as much, but to my surprise, many of them shared in my excitement and sent leads and clients my way.”

To begin networking, DeFazio suggests checking out places like meetup.com, joining Twitter chats regarding topics relevant to social media, and guest blogging to expand your reach and visibility. She also recommends researching podcasts that might be interested in having you as a guest, attending industry events such as pop-up networking events or conferences, and checking out your local chamber of commerce.

3. Create an engaging Instagram account.

Simone, a social media consultant and Founder of Savvy Simone, told me — “If you are hoping to become a successful Social Media Consultant, the first thing to do is create an Instagram and post frequently. Don’t worry too much about a logo or a polished website, that can come later.”

“Focus on growing a loyal following by providing value (social media tips and tricks) and sprinkling in some of your own personal life,” Simone added. “If you don’t have any formal experience, you can still attract potential leads by sharing your knowledge with the world. Be passionate about your new venture and make sure to spend time developing your own personal brand and online presence. Also, ask other social media consultants how they got started. Most are more than willing to chat with you!”

If you’re unsure how to grow an Instagram following, check out Instagram Marketing: The Ultimate Guide.

4. Timing is critical.

Amy Bishop, owner of Cultivative, LLC. and a Digital Marketing Consultant, told me it’s critical you remain practical when deciding when, and how, you’re going to create your own business — “Timing is typically one of the most difficult factors in deciding when to go out on your own. Only you will know when the time is right, but I suggest saving up about three to six months worth of living expenses, just in case things don’t go as planned.”

“Even if you don’t need the money,” she says, “it will save you some stress and likely prevent you from taking on clients that are a poor fit, or pricing yourself too low out of desperation to sign clients. Oftentimes (assuming it doesn’t break any contracts with your current employer), consultants will pick up a few clients before quitting their current job, to ensure they have a little bit of revenue flow — but I recognize sometimes that’s not an option.”

Additionally, Bishop mentions it’s vital you set up an LLC for your new business (it’s relatively inexpensive to set it up online), and keep track of expenses and income for tax purposes later on.

5. Prioritize lead generation.

Amy Bishop told me — “Lead generation is critical and, for many folks, the most stress-inducing part of starting your own business. There’s a huge demand for social media consultants — you just have to know how to find them. Start by reaching out to your network to let them know you’re offering consulting services. Ask them if they know of anyone that could use your services. Even if they don’t, they’ll likely keep you in mind for future reference.”

“Additionally, join local networking groups and associations. Try to identify folks with skills that don’t overlap with yours that you could partner with — for instance, folks that do web development, email marketing, or SEO, but not social media management. If you find yourself struggling to sign on clients, consider reaching out to agencies and asking for overflow work. You can keep your skills sharp and have some income coming in while you continue to work on new business.”

Ultimately, Amy insists if you’re passionate and dedicated to social media consulting, it’s worth the risk: “If you have experience managing social campaigns and you’re considering making the leap to owning your own business, I can’t begin to recommend it enough. For the right person, the benefits are limitless.”

6. Overdeliver in the beginning.

Keith Kakadia says — “My last piece of advice would be to overdeliver in the beginning as you start to build your brand.”

“You need an army of evangelists for you and there is no better way of accomplishing that besides overdelivering for all your clients and making them feel as if they are your only client.”

While you’re ultimately in-control of what packages you offer and at what price, consider going the extra mile early on — once clients’ begin seeing an increase in traffic and engagement from your services, they’ll be more willing to recommend you to another colleague or business, which is critical for your long-term success. Additionally, try including customer testimonials or reviews on your website to demonstrate your legitimacy.

Amazon Ads: What Marketers Need to Know

Do you want to know more about running ads on Amazon? Wondering what advertising options and services Amazon offers? To explore what marketers need to know about advertising on Amazon, I interview Brett Curry on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Brett is CEO of OMG Commerce, an agency that specializes in Google and Amazon ads, […]

The post Amazon Ads: What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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10 B2B Social Media Strategies That Work For Any Industry

B2B businesses are proof that any business can be successful on social media. Why? Because they’ve turned a niche industry that — admittedly — isn’t the most exciting into a playground for social content.

When I think about B2B companies with a great social media presence, a lot of examples come to mind: IBM, Google, HubSpot, and so many more. These companies do an amazing job of sharing content that interests and builds their audience — so much so that they don’t seem too concerned with broadcasting their products or services constantly.

For a B2B company to be successful on social media, their content needs to find the middle ground between being engaging and not disrupting their audiences’ experience on the platform. Ultimately, these companies need to figure out what their audience wants to see to truly reap the benefits of social media.

B2B companies have transformed the landscape of what it means to be a brand on social media. In order to engage and attract your own audience, then, consider the following strategies used in the B2B space that might lead your own social accounts to success.

10 B2B Social Media Strategies for Any Industry

1. Set SMART goals.

Like any other marketing channel, a social media strategy needs to be based off of goals in order to be successful. Defining specific, measurable KPIs for your company’s social media — whether they’re based on brand awareness or acquisition — will be the key to measuring success down the line.

To determine KPIs, you have to decide what success means to your brand. Are you trying to use social media as an acquisition channel? Do you want to increase your reach, or gain more traffic on your company blog? This will decide what metrics to track.

For instance, if your business is looking for leads, metrics like clicks and conversions are important. For brand awareness, it’s more vital to consider engagement, reach, and impressions.

Here is an effective example of a SMART goal for a company that is just starting to gain traction on social media:

Goal: To build brand awareness on social media.

Specific: I want to boost our company’s brand awareness by posting regularly and frequently on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. I will increase our posts on Twitter from once to four times a day, post daily on Instagram, and increase weekly publishing frequency on LinkedIn and Facebook from four to seven times per week. Our content creators will increase their workload from creating two posts a week to three posts a week, and our designer will increase her workload from one asset a week to two assets a week.

Measureable: A 4% increase in engagement rate across the board is our goal.

Attainable: Our engagement rate increased by an average of 2% last month when we increased our weekly publishing frequency and spent more time on thoughtful, engaging copy.

Relevant: By increasing engagement rate, we’ll boost brand awareness and generate more leads, giving sales more opportunities to close.

Time-Bound: End of this month.

SMART Goal: At the end of this month, our average engagement rate across our social media channels will see a 4% lift by increasing our post frequency and concentrating on thoughtful, engaging copy.

2. Keep an eye on competitors.

Social media opens the door to your competitor’s marketing strategy, or at the very least, their social media marketing strategy. For larger companies, keeping tabs on your competitors is part of the territory. You want to know what campaigns they’re running to see if they’re successful. And if that company’s target audience is similar to your own, you can take inspiration from that campaign.

But keeping tabs on your competitors on social media isn’t at all about copying their strategies. Being involved in the same industry will lead to crossover with your audiences and their interests. If you see that your competitor isn’t responding to trending news, then maybe it makes sense for your brand to do so. Looking for these opportunities will differentiate you from your competition.

3. Share original content.

This may seem like a no-brainer to some, but many businesses establish their social media presence on curating content from other sources. The truth is, your audience can tell the difference between content that is original and creative versus something you posted just to say you were active on the platform that day.

Social media shouldn’t be
just a distribution channel. Social media marketers also need to be content marketers to have a positive impact on their brand.

If you’re having trouble coming up with original content everyday, it’s okay to scale back your operation. If you don’t have the bandwidth to post on every platform, spend your time on the channels where your audience is the most developed.

And if you need content creation inspiration, head to The Ultimate Guide to Content Creation.

4. Use multimedia.

There’s a reason social media marketers get excited when a social platform launches a new feature — it’s because it adds a new medium to play with and test with your audience.

Instagram Stories, Twitter polls, and LinkedIn documents are all perfect examples of utilizing the multimedia formats that are unique to each channel.

Creating and publishing multimedia content on your social media channels adds an interest factor that will help you earn your audiences’ attention.

Think of it this way — if you scrolled through Twitter and only saw text-based posts, you’d get bored pretty quickly. The reason Twitter is addicting is because every Tweet is different. In a 10-second scroll you might come across a meme, a poll, a video, a photo collage, and a gif. The same should be true for your brand’s feed.

When you think of social media content, you should be thinking about the story behind the post in addition to all the different ways you can tell it.

5. Highlight your employees.

Many B2B companies do a great job of spotlighting their employees, which allows the audience to put faces to the company and personalize the brand. This is important for small and large companies alike, because whether you’re selling computers to businesses or opening a neighborhood restaurant — people are the heart of your business.

Additionally, highlighting your employees is a good opportunity for employer branding. Employer branding increases your employees’ advocacy by giving them the ability to spread word-of-mouth about their place of work.

Showcasing your staff may also increase your reach and engagement. For instance, instead of posting a product photo, you might post a photo of the 20 people who created the product, which would likely be shared with those 20 peoples’ networks.

6. Have a distinguished brand voice.

Whenever your company posts a blog, edits a pillar page, or posts on social media, it gives you a chance to demonstrate your brand voice. Just like a customer would recognize your logo, you should strive for them to be able to recognize your brand voice, too.

Like any other marketing asset, your social content should always be aligned to your company’s perspective. Does your company like to poke fun at challenges, or offer advice? Some of the most popular examples of consistent brand voice on social are fast-food companies like Burger King or Wendy’s:

Screen Shot 2019-07-23 at 1.43.23 PMSee Full Tweet Here

Wendy’s approach makes a lasting impression on consumers because of how different it is from every other brand. But you don’t have to make fun of a competitor in order to have a voice that stands out. Your brand voice can be friendly, casual, formal, snarky, humorous, serious, or any of the above.

If you’re having a hard time identifying your brand voice, try looking back at past blog posts or landing page copy. Take note of the emotion and tone in the copy, and try to convey that in your social messaging.

Having a unique brand voice also gives you the opportunity to stand out in an already crowded marketplace.

If you want more tips for building your brand voice from the ground up, here is a helpful slideshow to get you started.

7. Offer support.

Nothing is more frustrating than tweeting at a brand with a customer support issue and hearing radio silence. Even if you don’t have the bandwidth to create a separate Twitter account dedicated to support, keeping an eye out for these issues and replying to them right away is a good chance to rectify your customer relationship — and shows future customers that you’re there for them if a future problem arises.

8. Maintain consistency.

One of the hardest parts about posting on social media is maintaining consistency. Posting to every single channel every day takes a lot of time, content creation, and planning. If you’re just starting out, try spending time creating smart content that adds to your audience’s feeds instead of posting every day. It’s better to push out a well thought out tweet that adds to the conversation and encourages engagement than five quick blog links with just an article title as the copy.

Another way to maintain consistency is to create a publishing calendar and schedule posts ahead of time using a social media tool.

9. Experiment with content and posting times.

This is a step to take after you’ve proven that you can maintain a regular posting schedule and want to dive a little deeper into audience insights. There are always best practices for when and what you’re posting on social media, but the truth is that every audience is different, so you’ll want to run experiments to figure out what works best for your brand.

There are endless experiments you can conduct on your channels. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

  • Alternate between using questions and statistics in your copy to see which one pulls your audience in more.
  • Test different link positions to find out if it makes users more likely to click.
  • Add emojis to see if it increases interactions.
  • Post more frequently.
  • Post less frequently.
  • Put paid behind a video post and a still image to see which performs better.
  • Segment a different part of your audience to test how they react to an ad.
  • Test different amounts of hashtags to see if it affects impressions.
  • Spend more time replying to posts to find out if it increases your follower count.

Experimenting with your content is how you figure out your own best practices, which will always be more personalized than industry standards.

10. Engage in conversation

Social media was created to help people make connections with other people. Even though brands have entered and occupied the space for a while now, that sentiment hasn’t changed.

Your brand won’t be able to connect with your audience if all you’re doing is pushing your product at them.

It’s disruptive, and nobody wants to interact with a post that pulls them away from what they want their social feed to look like.

The key to staying relevant on social is to engage in the conversations your target audience is interested in having — even if doesn’t have much to do with your product. For instance, take a look at this tweet by HubSpot:

Screen Shot 2019-07-23 at 1.45.27 PM

See Full Tweet Here

This tweet has nothing to do with HubSpot’s product, but it does have to do with what HubSpot’s audience is interested in. As a company, HubSpot knows that its users and potential customers are interested in tech news and what’s happening in the business world. Therefore, it sparked conversation.

B2B companies aren’t the only ones who can use these strategies for social media, and they’ve already proven that these strategies can work for a variety of target audiences — so why not try employing some of these strategies on your own audience?

10 Jobs Artificial Intelligence Will Replace (and 10 That Are Safe)

As AI has grown smarter, more and more people are wondering, “Is my job safe?”

This is such a growing question that there’s even a website called, “Will Robots Take My Job?” With the website’s name speaks for itself. You can look up a job title and see the its likelihood of AI-driven doom. 

When we started looking up our own jobs with it, we were thrilled to learn marketing managers had only a 1.4% chance of our jobs being automated or replaced by robots and artificial intelligence. And although I breathed a sigh of relief that writing has only a 3.8% chance of being automated, it made me think about job roles that weren’t so lucky.

But, those with a higher percent chance of losing jobs to AI shouldn’t panic just yet. Although this website makes you think more deeply about the jobs that can and can’t be replaced, it’s not perfect.

Just like AI predictions, it’s probably not 100% accurate — simply because job titling isn’t always a one-size fits all approach. While one type of writer may draft adventurous novels, others might write news stories or blog posts. And while one marketing manager might manage social media marketing, another might manage content. 

While this site is pretty fun to explore, we highly recommend making your future career decisions based on expert advice. This will prevent you from unnecessarily panicking when AI could help your career rather than hurt it. And if you’re one of the few jobs in danger, experts can show you which skills will truly future-proof your career. 

To give you an idea of what jobs might be most vulnerable and which might be safe, we’ve compiled lists of jobs AI can and can’t replace based on advice from experts, stats from the website noted above, and other research.

But before we jump into that list, we’ll dive into the current state of disruption/

Artificial Intelligence Disruption is Already Happening

If you think job disruption by AI is limited to the assembly lines, think again: AI is doing a better job than humans at some aspects of sales and marketing, too.

AI can analyze sales calls far faster than any sales manager could — in fact, it would take nine years of nonstop sales call analysis for a human being to compete, and that’s if they didn’t take vacation or sleep. And AI is already being used to develop marketers’ content strategies and email marketing playbooks — it’s only a matter of time before it plays a bigger role in the process.

HubSpot co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah has a more positive outlook on the future of AI, In fact, he thinks bots and AI will make us better at our jobs and more secure in our careers, not the other way around.

The truth probably lies halfway between these camps — in many cases, AI will serve to make our jobs easier and will make us more effective and data-driven. But the fact remains that some jobs will be replaced by machines — it’s the essence of any industrial or technological revolution. The good news is; some jobs won’t be strictly replaced — they just might be adjusted to account for new technologies’ “careers.”

Based on the landmark 2013 study that inspired “Will Robots Take My Job?” we’ve rounded up some of the marketing and sales roles most likely to be replaced by robots, bots, and AI in the next few years.

This study analyzes the likely probability that a job will be replaced by automation and computerization — based primarily on the level of routine a job has and the specialized training and social intelligence required to complete it. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it gives you an idea of what your life could look like in a few years.

1. Telemarketers

Score: 99%

Why: You probably already receive robo-calls on behalf of various products and services, and career growth in the telemarketing space is expected to decline by 3% by the year 2024. This is largely in part because of the requirements to be successful: Unlike other sales roles, telemarketers don’t require a high level of social, or emotional, intelligence to be successful. Think about it — are you likely to purchase from a telemarketer? Conversion rates for direct telephone sales are typically less than 10%, making this role a ripe opportunity to be automated.

2. Bookkeeping Clerks

Likelihood: 98%

Why: Jobs in this role are expected to decline 8% by 2024, and it’s no surprise why — most bookkeeping is becoming automated, if it hasn’t been already. QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and Microsoft Office already offer software that does the bookkeeping for you that’s much more affordable than a person’s salary, so it’s no surprise this job has such a high probability.

3. Compensation and Benefits Managers

Likelihood: 96%

Why: This one is surprising because the job growth is supposed to increase 7% by 2024. But just because there’s demand doesn’t make you safe from automation. As companies grow in size — especially across multinational markets — a human and paper-based system can present more hurdles, time delays, and costs. Automated benefits systems can save time and effort for providing benefits to large numbers of employees, and companies like Ultipro and Workday are already being widely adopted.

4. Receptionists

Likelihood: 96%

Why: Pam predicted this back on The Office, but in case you’re not a fan, automated phone and scheduling systems can replace a lot of the traditional receptionist role — especially at modern technology companies that don’t have office-wide phone systems or multinational corporations.

5. Couriers

Likelihood: 94%

Why: Couriers and delivery people are already being replaced by drones and robots, so it’s only a matter of time until this space is dominated by automation altogether. At the same time, this space is expected to grow by 5% by 2024, so it might not happen as quickly as you think.

6. Proofreaders

Likelihood: 84%

Why: Proofreading software is everywhere — and we use it a lot here at HubSpot. From Microsoft Word’s simple spelling and grammar check to Grammarly and Hemingway App, there are a lot of technologies out there that make it easy to self-check your own writing.

7. Computer Support Specialists

Likelihood: 65%

Why: The field is projected to grow 12% by 2024, but with so much content on the internet with instructions, step-by-step guides, and hacks out there, it’s no surprise companies will rely more heavily on bots and automation to answer support questions from employees and customers in the future.

8. Market Research Analysts

Likelihood: 61%

Why: Market research analysts play an incredibly important role in the development of messaging, content, and products, but automated AI and surveys can compile this information more and more easily. GrowthBot, for example, can conduct market research on nearby businesses and competitors with a simple Slack command.

9. Advertising Salespeople

Likelihood: 54%

Why: As advertising shifts away from print and TV and towards web and social media landscapes, people simply don’t need to be managing those sales for marketers who want to buy ad space. More social media platforms are making it easy for people to buy space through free application program interfaces (APIs) and self-serve ad marketplaces to remove the salesperson and make it faster and easier for users to make money — and that’s reflected in the projected 3% decline in the industry.

10. Retail Salespeople

Likelihood: 92%

Why: If you’ve visited a mall, car dealership, or furniture store lately, you might not have been assisted by a salesperson at all from start to finish. Companies are democratizing the shopping experience with features like self-checkout, and the modern buyer is much more internet-savvy and more likely to do internet research and make a buying decision on their own.1

1. Human Resources Managers

Likelihood: 0.55%

Why Not: It’s kind of in the name — but your company’s Human Resources department will likely always need a human at the helm to manage interpersonal conflict with the help of non-cognitive and reasoning skills. The field is projected to grow 9% by 2024 as companies grow and need more robust structures for supporting and helping employees.

2. Sales Managers

Likelihood: 1.3%

Why Not: Sales managers need a high level of emotional intelligence to hit their quotas each month, network and collaborate with customers, and motivate and encourage the larger sales team. Managers also have to analyze data and interpret trends, and the high levels of intelligence required — plus the constant need to adapt to new situations — makes this role safe from automation.

3. Marketing Managers

Likelihood: 1.4%

Why Not: Marketing managers have to interpret data, monitor trends, oversee campaigns, and create content. They also have to nimbly adapt and respond to changes and feedback from the rest of the company and customers, making this another human-forward career AI isn’t quite ready to replicate.

4. Public Relations Managers

Likelihood: 1.5%

Why Not: Successful PR managers rely on a network of relationships and contacts to procure press placements and buzz for the companies they represent, making this another completely safe role. PR managers who have to raise awareness around an issue or mission need a particularly human touch to raise funds or get people to participate in a campaign, too — and jobs are expected to grow 7% by 2024.

5. Chief Executives

Likelihood: 1.5%

Why Not: It’s nearly impossible to automate leadership — after all, it’s hard enough to teach it. Chief executives have to inform broad strategy, represent companies’ missions and objectives, and motivate huge teams of people working for them. Companies may answer to stakeholders and boards of directors, who likely wouldn’t want a robot giving them an earnings report, either.

6. Event Planners

Likelihood: 3.7%

Why Not: Event planning is a growing field, and if you ask anyone on our events team here at HubSpot, whether you’re planning an event for employees, customers, or an industry event with tens of thousands of attendees, the planning process has many, many moving parts involved. Planners have to coordinate and negotiate with vendors, contractors, and freelancers to make things come together, and the organizational and people skills involved will make this another near-impossible role to automate.

7. Writers

Likelihood: 3.8%

Why Not: (I breathed a sigh of relief on this one.) Writers have to ideate, create, and produce original written material. AIs can do some of this with title suggestions, writing prompts, and automated social media messages, but blog posts, books, movies, and plays will likely be written by humans for the foreseeable future.

8. Software Developers

Likelihood: 4.2%

Why Not: Software engineering and development is hard enough for human beings to do, and the time and skill investment needed to create applications, software, and websites will be tough to replicate — especially since developers need to execute perfectly to create great products for customers. The field is expected to grow by 19% by 2024, so if you’re a software developer, you’re sitting pretty for now.

9. Editors

Likelihood: 5.5%

Why Not: While some of the load can be lifted from editors with the automated proofreading technology mentioned previously, editors have to review writers’ submission for clarity, accuracy, comprehensiveness, and originality. While there is some software that can spot-check for clarity and scan for plagiarism, the editor role must be carried out by a human in order to read work as another human would.

10. Graphic Designers

Likelihood: 8.2%

Why Not: Although there are some AIs taking small (and somewhat creepy) steps in the graphic design space, graphic design is both artistic and technical, making it an ideal role for a human being to carry out. Like writing, all work needs to be original and created to the client’s wishes, so graphic design needs to be created with a human artist and editor all-in-one.

Navigating Artificial Intelligence

To get a better idea of the state of AI and how it could impact future job landscapes, we talked to two experts: Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientists at Square 2, and Kate O’Neill, author of Tech Humanist and Founder of KO Insights.

“Right now, marketers and sales leaders are applying AI to high-level generic situations like personalization and selection of content to present to prospects,” says Lieberman. “Another great example is smarter email marketing like knowing when people open emails and using that intelligence to send at those times.”

He adds, “What’s great about this application is it does produce better results–which should be the goal of smarter AI-powered marketing.”

When asked about industries that could evolve do to AI, Lieberman says, “It’s highly likely that AI will supplement the advice, guidance, and recommendations from marketing agencies.”

“As an example, today consultants help companies know what to do, when to do it and how to do it but soon AI-powered insights and recommendations software will give marketers their to-do list and that list is prioritized based on their specific goals,” he explains. “This application is going to help them improve program performance every single day.”

When it comes to roles and tasks AI can’t replace, O’Neill explains that jobs which require emotional intelligence will be safer in the immediate future. 

“This is going to be a continuously moving target, but for the time being, what AI can’t do well is use emotional intelligence, understand situational context, make judgment calls, and generally see nuance and meaning like we do,” she says.

“That means any kind of job that benefits from these kinds of human attributes is better off done by a human. A computer or robot may assist you in performing efficiently, but for now, you’re the one who adds the expertise on how to perform appropriately,” she added.

However, she explains that this could change in the long-term. 

“Machines will become increasingly more sophisticated and will be able to distinguish between, say, happy and sad occasions for people, or interacting with children or adults, or what tone to use in what message, and so on. And those examples are just the tip of the iceberg.”

But, although some jobs may change drastically in the near or distant future, she emphasizes that AI will allow humans to spend more time on work they’re passionate about rather than time-consuming tasks. 

What’s exciting about this is it means we have a stage of development ahead of us where we can create more meaningful work for humans while also helping make machines more capable of offering contextually appropriate interactions.”

How to Future-Proof Your Career

While AI will take over smaller, more time consuming tasks, it can’t easily replace human emotions and behaviors that customers and audiences identify with. Even today, some customers prefer to talk to human customer service reps over bots when they have a problem.

Additionally, a company might always need a chief executive or managers with strong emotional intelligence or other teamwork-oriented skills.

Similarly, AI might not easily replace a creative role or service that requires employees to think outside the box or try something that hasn’t been done yet.

The best way to fend off the robots is to determine the skills and traits that are irreplaceable, hone in on them, and improve upon them whenever you can.

For example, if your job requires a lot of tasks that could be done by a robot, you might want to consider taking on a project that will teach you about management or leadership.

If your company offers professional development, you could also take a course in a more creative skill, like public speaking, writing, or graphic design. This way, if your job shifts, you might easily transition into another role or seem more valuable to a hiring manger due to your unique combination of logistical and creative skills. 

To learn more about how you can keep working with AI to improve your work and optimize efficiency, read our research report here.

Want to dive even deeper into these topics? Mike Lieberman and Kate O’Neill, quoted above will be speaking at INBOUND 2019 — running from September 3-6. O’Neill will run a session titled, “Technology, Your Company, and the Future of Meaningful Human Experiences,” while Lieberman will host, “The Robots Are Coming—How to Use AI to Make Smarter Marketing Decisions.”