Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Is Workmines A Scam Or Legit? Workmines Review 2019

Would you like to get paid for watching video? Probably, everyone can find a few minutes a day to watch short video clips if a legitimate website is ready to pay for it. This is exactly what Workmines promises to do!

I saw a comment in one of the ‘Make Money Online’ Facebook groups promoting Workmines as a legit work from home job. I’m always curious but cautious about such opportunities, so I had to check it out!

In this Workmines review, I’m going to share my findings and honest opinion with you. Is Workmines a scam or a legit way to make money from watching video?

Let’s find out!

First of all, let’s check the information available on the company’s website.

After that, I’ll show you my own analysis and the final opinion about Workmines.

Spoiler: there are many question marks about this business.

What Is Workmines?

Workmines calls itself an online traffic acquisition agency. It promises to connect Advertisers to targeted Audience groups. In other words, Workmines drives viewers to video ads and social media accounts.

The advertisers pay Workmines for the views and ‘like’s of their materials on social media – Youtube, Facebook and others. Workmines pays the members and keeps its fee for connecting the two sides. Sounds like a legitimate intermediary business, right?

Who Is The Owner Of Workmines?

According to the company’s website, Workmines started its operations in 2017 in Riga, Latvia.

The company owning the Workmines brand is called Time4wWork Global SIA and it is registered in Latvia. The company plans expansion to 56 additional countries by 2020.

How Many Members Does Workmines have?

Here are some stats as published on on 4/25/19:

– 38,318 Total Members

– $172,560 Earnings by members

– $90,000 Paid Out

There is no way to verify the accuracy of this data. I assume that the difference between the earnings and payouts is the total of outstanding balances in the members’ accounts. What is not clear is whether there is an obstacle preventing the withdrawals. We’ll get to it later.

How Does Workmines Make Money?

Workmines states that it charges the advertisers around $0.9 – 1$ for every Facebook like, Twitter follow or Youtube subscription. The clients can choose the audience based on geographic location.

As a side remark: there are plenty of companies that sell Facebook likes for less than $0.05. Compared to this much lower price, Workmines offer looks detached from the reality, as it doesn’t add any unique value like advanced targeting filters or other features.

In addition, Workmines charges membership fees for the premium plans, which vary by the daily limit of paid videos the member is allowed to watch and by the potential referral income.

Here is the summary of the available plans:

How Does Workmines Work?

Sign Up with
You have to be at least 18 years old to participate.

First of all, you’ll need to sign up and create an account. The mandatory information you’ll be asked to provide includes your email address and the phone number. There is an option to sign up using your Facebook account as well.

By signing up you accept the Workmines Terms of Service (see more details on them below).

How To Make Money With Workmines?

The members are promised to get paid $0.4 for every video they watch on Youtube, every like or share on Facebook and every follow on Twitter. You should be able to watch a certain daily amount of videos, according to your membership plan.

In addition, Workmines offers a generous referral program called “Invite and Earn”. You will get a commission for every new user brought on board through your referral link. The commission is $0.1 for any referral’s activity (watching video, likes and tweets) once the referral upgrades to a paid plan.

How To Get Paid By Workmines?

To get paid, your account’s main balance should reach $15.

The primary suggested ways to receive the payment are Perfect Money, Payeer & Bitcoins. Workmines promises to support various local payment processors as well.

The FAQ section encourages you to contact your local representative to figure out the payment options in your country. When I clicked on the rep’s list, I found the following 7 countries: Latvia, Nigeria, Philippines, Zambia, Kenya, South Africa, and Belgium.

A bit strange choice of countries I would say.

Workmines Business Model Analysis

If Workmines was always free for the users who watch the video content (not for the advertisers, of course), I’d say it’s a nice opportunity to earn extra income by watching videos.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. You only can use the site for 14 days before being asked to upgrade to one of the premium plans. After two weeks you must pay to get paid for watching videos. The more expensive membership you buy, the more money you are allowed to earn from the videos and referrals.

Personally, I dislike the concept. It sounds like paying your employer to keep the job. One may argue that WorkMines is not an employer, but kind of a business where you are required to invest in order to make money. I disagree. There is no business to develop here, except watching the clips and maybe referring other people.

The Reasons Why Workmines Looks Like A Scam

There are many characteristics that can help you to decide if the work money from home offer is legitimate or a scam. You can read my detailed post about it here:

Seven Ways To Avoid Work From Home Online Scams

Here are the reasons why, in my opinion, Workmines is a scam.

Workmines looks like a Pyramid Scheme

Pyramid scheme chartWorkmines membership plans are gradual upsales luring you to pay more in order to get higher payments from referrals and more available videos to watch.

In all the paid plans, the daily payment limit for watching videos is only 4 times the limit paid daily per referral. It means that if you have more than 4 referrals, your income from bringing new members would be higher than the money made from videos.

Relying on referral fees as the main component of your income is a major pyramid scheme characteristic.

In the FAQ section, the company provides a sample of average earnings of members on different payment plans. In each example, it mentions that the member is supposed to have minimum 6-10 referrals.

You cannot get paid as a Free Member

As a free 14-day trial member you can make the maximum of $11.2 (2 videos per day x 14 days x $0.4) and you wouldn’t get paid for the referrals. With the minimum payment threshold set at $15, it means that you WILL NOT get paid anything as long as you are a free member. You’ll have to pay at least $39 for the Student Plan to become eligible for any payout.

By companies rules, you cannot use the earnings balance to pay for the upgrade. Is it because the balance is not real money and Workmines just want you to pay the real money TO them?

I’ll say it again to make sure it’s clear – you’ll have to make a payment TO Workmines before any attempt to get paid by them.

Remember the big difference between the member’s balance and the payouts? I would guess that a large part of it come out of the free trial members earnings. Many of these members probably decided to drop the system without paying for any membership plan, so their money was left unclaimed.

Workmines looks like a Ponzi Scheme

This business model gives me a clue that Workmines is not only a pyramid but also a Ponzi scheme.

In short, it means that the money paid by the new members is used for the payouts to the early joiners. This way the owners can keep the scheme operating for a while without any members screaming that they don’t get the money earned.

Getting the first payments convinces the first members that this is a legitimate business, so they are eager to upgrade and bring more referrals.

More money flows into the system and it keeps growing, until one day the owners disappear with the rest of the money.
Workmines Terms of Service
I want to mention several sections from Workmines ToS. They clearly speak for themselves.

No Refund Policy

Section XXII in Terms of Service clearly states that there is NO refund policy whatsoever. By making a purchase you confirm that you understand and accept this policy.

You’ve got the clue, right?

There would be no point to complain – the company has covered itself with this policy.

Membership Cancellation

According to section IX, Workmines has the right to cancel your membership “for any or no reason”.

Imagine the situation: you have paid for the membership, watched hours of videos, slowly accumulated a material balance in your Workmines account, requested a payment and….

.. suddenly your account was closed and the payment never arrived.

What a bummer!

No Earnings Guarantee

Workmines doesn’t guarantee any earnings amounts or time frames. What I understand from this, is that the only guaranteed amount is your fee payment.

There is no promise related to the number of daily videos available for you to watch and get paid for. Your plan may allow you to get paid for 10 videos every day, but Workmines doesn’t guarantee you will get access to the same amount of clips.

In addition, it’s not clear how much time you are supposed to spend on each video to get paid $0.4. Is it 1 min or maybe 1 hour?

The Workmines Owners Are Hiding

There are no names on the Workmines website. The owners clearly don’t want to be exposed. There is no phone number either.

Legitimate sites are happy to tell their story, share the names and experience of the key people in the company.

To look more reliable in your eyes, Workmines has provided the links to its parent company registration documents and tax information. As the company is based in Latvia, the registration certificate is in the Latvian language.

Per the tax document, companies paid capital is 1.00 EUR. There is no other financial information. I think it’s not enough for any serious company.

There Are No Testimonials

There are no client or members testimonials.

Who are the key advertisers? There are no stories from the clients showcasing the boost they got by using Workmines services.

If you look in the Payment proof section on the website, you’ll see the list of payments (let’s believe they are real) mostly to Kenya, with single records of other countries here and there.

Are there real people making money from watching video on Workmines?

No way to know.

Payment Options Are Not Convenient

There are no popular payout options like PayPal, Amazon Gift Cards, Checks or Direct Deposits. You’ll have to open an account with one of the other providers to request a payment.

Does it mean that the best payment processors or gift card providers don’t agree to work with Workmines?

The Website Is Not Professional Enough

The website is not professional enough. Many pages suffer from incorrect English spelling and grammar.

There are no sample videos. The tutorial leads to short Youtube video training without a voice.

The Contact Information Is Not Sufficient

Customer support can be reached by email only. Let’s say you sent several emails but your support requests are ignored.

How are you going to complain? There is no phone number, no office address.

Are you going to fly to Latvia to fight for your money?

Final Thoughts – Is Workmines a scam?

In my opinion, Workmines has too many signs of being more of a pyramid scheme than a real company with serious earnings potential for its members.

When I review a company, I usually prefer to try its service to get firsthand information. In this case, I was not comfortable to trust Workmines with my phone number and email address.

Now it’s up to you if you still want to give it a try. If not, I have some other offers for you from proven legitimate businesses.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

LinkedIn’s Content Insights Quarterly Report: See What Users Are Interested In

One of the biggest challenges for professionals on LinkedIn is trying to find topics that their target audiences are interested in. It often takes a considerable amount of research just to get an idea of what they are talking about. Luckily, LinkedIn itself is making that work easier with its new Content Insights Quarterly Report.

A trove of content data

LinkedIn says that the report will give users a clearer picture of the topics their audiences most commonly engage in. The site says that the data gathered for the report comes from the more than 100,000 articles being uploaded to it weekly.

linkedin logoFor the first iteration of the quarterly review, LinkedIn found the following topics as the most popular ones that members engage with:

Employee engagement
Social media marketing
Lean manufacturing
Investment banking
Venture capital
It is not surprising that three of the top five topics focus on employee acquisition, something that LinkedIn is already well-known to facilitate. This may cause you to shift more to using LinkedIn almost exclusively for recruitment purposes.

Insight on rising topics

Meanwhile, the prominence of Europe in the topic rankings highlights the concerns businesses have about the impact of recent political events. This includes Brexit, the Trump election, and the then upcoming French election

LinkedIn’s Content Insights Quarterly Report also looks at some of the fastest growing topics on the platform. The top five are:

L-1 (visas)
Accounts receivable
Immigration issues
The predominance of immigration-related topics again highlights the growing concern over the impact of geopolitical events on labor. Perhaps sharing some stories on your company’s views on labor and immigration would be good content to create and share.

How to take advantage of the new report

As I said above, the valuable data provided by the report makes it easier for users to come up with content. By focusing on the top topics being tackled within their respective niches, you can draw in more followers. Boosting the prominence of your profiles via  Connections Services will help you increase youor social proof once readers start discover your target content. Having a good article is one thing. When people see how many connections you have they will be compelled to follow you as well.

You should also take advantage of the quarterly nature of the report. The regularity of the publication means that you will have a good idea of the changing interests of your audience. This will allow you to adapt your content to match what readers are looking for.

Use LinkedIn’s Content Insights Quarterly Report

LinkedIn has certainly done its users a great favor with the release of its new Quarterly Content Report. The publication expects to be an invaluable tool for both content creators and readers. Check it out and see what it holds in store for you.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Blogging for fun can become profitable if done right

Back in the 90's people would blog for fun all of the time but you don't see too many people doing it today.  Everyone is worried about making money online and they tend to set up multiple blogs to pull in traffic that they can profit from, but that's not what happens to 99% of the blogs that go live.  Usually, people will set up a blog and abandon it after a few weeks of posting because they aren't making a full-time income from them yet.  If you're an experienced blogger you know it takes far longer than that to be successful online by just posting content to your pages.  You need to nurture everything and treat each post like it's going to make you $1,000 a day.  You need to sit down and do the research before you make a post, you need to know who you're writing to, and you need to know what they want to read.  Just doing those few things can make you more profitable than 99% of the blogs online today!

Blogging for fun doesn't really sound fun to a novice writer because they probably want to make money right away.  Well, if you want to make money you'll need to have fun in the beginning and not worry about your profits until later on. 

Below are a few things you should think about before you even buy your first domain for the blog you'll be creating.

Have a nice looking blog theme

Do you know how to code/program, if not, you can always go with a WordPress theme which will make your blog look absolutely amazing!  I actually prefer WP themes now when I'm blogging for fun because they are easy to install and I don't have to take weeks or month designing something that might not make any money for a few months or even years!

Don't worry, Google doesn't hate themes like some people think, you're still going to be seen as unique in their eyes because all of your content and new images aren't going to be on anyone else's website/blog unless you're just doing a copy/paste type of blog post.  In that case, you shouldn't expect to get much traffic from the search engines and don't complain when you're not making any money :D  Blogging takes time, and the majority of that time is writing content, so put in the work and get the traffic later on down the road that will help you make money.

Make sure your logo looks great

If you're blogging for fun you will still need to look like a professional within your industry.  If your logo was made in MS paint, and you're not blogging about MS paint, then you likely have a bad logo for your fun blog.  

Having a good logo will boost your credibility tremendously with anyone that lands on your pages.  Think of it as part of your digital business card that you hand someone when they land on your website.  They come to your homepage, see your great looking logo, and continue browsing around.  If you had a bad logo you could actually lose people right away, which would skyrocket your bounce rate, and we all know that a high bounce rate means people aren't sticking around very long to read a second or even a third page.  

A good logo designer isn't that difficult to find, you can actually find plenty right here on SEOclerks!  Here's a link to the logo designers on SEOclerks where I sorted them by how many likes their service has:

Did you check out those prices?  You can literally get a professional looking logo for $5 and a little more if you wanted some sort of mascot to be designed.  If you think about it, you could spend $50 here on SEOclerks for an amazing logo or you could go to a different website and pay 10x that amount for the same thing!

Never post quick or short articles

When you're blogging for fun you will likely put more effort into your posts because you'll get drawn into them and add more detail.  This is what usually happens, but you could fall into a slump and start posting 100 or 200-word blog posts that won't really do much for you later on.  You'd be better off just avoiding these types of articles because not many people like reading short snippet blog posts when they have questions that need to be answered.

Instead, take your time when writing and shoot for 2,000+ words with each blog post.  You may not hit your mark every time, but at least you have an idea of how long you want your new post to be when you started writing.  Invest some time into fun blogging and you will be rewarded later on when your traffic spikes here and there and your profits go up gradually.

Do your keyword research before writing

One of the biggest bummers blogging for fun bloggers run into is when they decide to start optimizing their blog post for the search engines and realize that the first 100+ pages on their website aren't done right.  Sure, you may have great content on there but if it's not optimized you won't be getting as much traffic as you should be. 

Knowing your keywords isn't that difficult, you can even take the easy route and sign up with SEMrush to do some keyword research or log into your AdWords account and set up a paused campaign to see an estimated search volume for keywords within your industry.

Easier keywords to rank for will have 1,000 or fewer searches per month, and these are the ones you should target first.  The more difficult ones to rank for will have 10,000+ searches per month and should also be targeted, but you shouldn't expect to rank right away for them.

If you're blogging for fun then you won't have a problem writing a blog post for a keyword that gets 500 searches per month.  This is because you're just having fun, you're not worried about making money, and that's how a lot of successful bloggers start out!  You're not trying to make money so you build a massive amount of posts targeting low traffic keywords, which will compile over time and bring in massive amounts of traffic later on.  After this happens you will notice it's much easier to rank for those medium level keywords and possibly see your blog on page 1 for a very difficult keyword!

Know your niche/industry

If you're just starting out and want to blog for fun, you might want to start out with a niche or industry that you're already familiar with.  Starting out with something you're familiar with will make the writing process go much smoother than if you had to do a bunch of research on a niche that you weren't really sure of in the first place.  Think about it, if you're blogging for fun and already know the niche or industry, you likely don't have to research anything and can write what you already know.  This type of blogging tends to be more genuine and has a first-hand experience point of view compared to someone who is doing little bits of research for each blog post they make.

Knowing what you're going to blog about before you even set up your blog, is going to catapult you higher up the chain since you have more detailed and well-written content compared to a competitor who doesn't really understand the niche but is trying to profit from it.  For me, I can write about anything website related or even animals if I really wanted to since I've been studying SEO and Online Marketing since 2003 and have always been intrigued by animals since I was a little kid.  I couldn't really write about cars or yachts because I don't invest as much time in them, because I'm honestly not as interested, and all of that will show in my posts if I were to write about them.

Stick to something you already know, post great content, and you will be happy you stuck in your lane later on!

Monetize, Monetize, Monetize!

If you're doing everything I mentioned above, you should also be monetizing your content in order to make a few bucks here and there.  If you're blogging for fun and hope to make some money out of it, later on, you will always need to monetize it somehow.

When you monetize a website you're adding affiliate links, partner links, selling ad space, putting up some Adsense code, selling your own products or services, and maybe even reselling a different persons products or services.  It doesn't really matter which method you choose, just know that if you go the product or service route that you will need to invest more time into your blog because people will have questions.  This is why a lot of bloggers tend to go with automated ad space from a company like BuySellAds or they will just slap some Adsense on their pages and call it a day.

If you're blogging for fun, but you want to turn this into a business, I would recommend going the affiliate route since you can control what shows on your website and that means you can promote high converting products or services that give you the best commission.  When you post Adsense on your pages you aren't really sure how much you'll make per click and that can get frustrating.

In conclusion

Blogging for fun tends to turn a blog into a hub of content for anyone that is interested in the niche/industry you chose.  If you know a lot about the niche already then it will be much easier to craft high-quality content for each blog post.  Do everything right and you will likely be able to sell your blog or make some money out of it later on down the road due to all the keywords you're ranking for and the traffic that is converting into a sale!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

How to Promote your Music When Using SoundCloud

If you’re on SoundCloud, and you want to know how to promote your music digitally, you’re going to have to be prepared to put yourself out there. While SoundCloud itself is an excellent music promotion tool, and I’ll look at that in this article, it works best when it’s being used alongside other online marketing tactics.

This article is going to give you 6 ways to promote your SoundCloud tracks. Read all the way through for our featured track!

How to promote your music on SoundCloud

Using SoundCloud Pro

Once you start using SoundCloud’s Pro accounts, for as low as $5/month, you’ll wonder why you ever thought the free option was a good one. The Pro account allows you to see important data, such as:
  • Where your fans are in the world.
  • Where your fans are playing tracks from online.
  • Which apps, pages, and social networks they are using to access your tracks from.
  • Which cities you’re most popular in.

Each piece of data allows you to grow your understanding of where your marketing efforts are succeeding, where they’re failing, and how you can better promote your music online and off.

For instance, let’s say the you find out that two towns over is playing your newest track often. Have you played a concert there recently? No? It may well be time. Now let’s say that your songs are being played much more often on Facebook than Twitter. You can adjust your tactics to push more people to share on Facebook where you’re already succeeding, and look at why Twitter isn’t getting you results.

Adding on some SoundCloud plays to your tracks could get you incredible results. With your social proof climbing higher with each play, your chances of someone who has never heard of you before playing your songs will also increase dramatically. Be proactive and use our SoundCloud plays service, and maximize your investment in SoundCloud Pro.

Live online performances

Many musicians are making most of their money off of live performances. The uniqueness and immediacy of a live performance can never be downloaded – but a portion of it can be live streamed. A tool like allows you to control when your live concerts, rehearsals, and practics are streamed live online.

Unlike using a Google+ hangout or YouTube Live Stream, StageIt allows for a virtual ‘Tip Jar.’ Now your fans actually have the chance to tip you for your performances. And you don’t even need to break out the full fireworks stage show for it to be effective. The shows are better the more intimate they are.

If the Internet has done anything it’s break down barriers between people of differing classes. Musicians are no longer untouchable golden gods like the hard rock bands of the 70s. They’re accessible through Twitter, sharing their personal photos on Instagram, and ranting on Facebook. Use StageIt for your rehearsals, practices, or studio recording sessions to give your fans the extra access they crave. Push them to SoundCloud at the end of each unique performance and watch your plays grow and grow.

Email marketing is still effective

I still subscribe to, and respond to, email marketing from some of my favorite bands. I actually look forward to the messages that I get from Brian Setzer and Green Day. I feel like an insider, with knowledge that the average fan doesn’t have. Green Day still features their email marketing sign up on their website, even after decades in the industry:

This is your perfect chance to really create an air of “This is a MUST open” by regularly including sneak peeks at tracks in your emails. SoundCloud makes it easy to embed your tracks in emails, making it easy to give your fans that extra level of information.

Tools I recommend for building better emails than the type you send to your mom include AWeber and MailChimp. Both offer you the chance to build your email marketing list, manage your lists, and create emails with incredible looking HTML built features. Here’s some excellent HTML-infused email Christmas marketing from Brian Setzer:

Joining and actively participating in online forums

The most popular online forums for promoting music include:
  • Reddit
  • Quora
  • Harmony Central
  • MusicDiscussion
Each one has its own little unique quirk. I’d take the time to look at your genre of music and determine which platform attracts the most fans of your style of music.

I would absolutely not recommend that you sign up for each one, create a profile, and dump SoundCloud tracks on them whenever you feel like it. Instead, focus on the biggest and most relevant forum and actively participate just like everyone else. Include links to your SoundCloud account in your profile, and put them out there when they fit into the conversation. It takes time, but that’s how you make real fans.

Promoting your music on social media

Yes, I know you’re already doing this. Nearly every social media site includes easy ways to share your SoundCloud tracks. But do you know that you can use standard marketing tactics, the kind used by brands, to promote your music on social media? Check out these articles on:
  • Twitter marketing
  • Hashtag marketing
  • Instagram marketing
You can build links to your SoundCloud account in each of those platforms in some way, if not directly having your tracks played within the social media site itself.

Creating YouTube videos that aren’t music videos

Every musician on Earth is pushing out music videos on YouTube. It’s an absolute no-brainer of a move for your music marketing. Everything from Beyonce level professionally styled videos, to something you shoot yourself on an iPhone, can succeed on YouTube.

The opportunity that you’re missing out on is creating videos which offer more of those ‘behind the scenes’ content types. Here are a few ideas to run with:

Discussing your music equipment. If there’s one thing musicians like to talk about, and fans that are interested want to learn about, it’s what you use to make your music. Talk about your guitars, your mixer, the amp you’re using in the studio versus live, and on and on. Try to follow up on some of the questions that will come up in the comments section.

Film your studio session and explain how you recorded a new track, or what inspired it. This is a great ‘rainy day’ video for fans.

Take a trip out to the local music store and film yourself trying out new gear.
Conduct your own interview, answering the questions you actually want, or even take questions from fans and give them a shoutout in the video.

How you’ll promote your SoundCloud is by including a link to it down in the description and using a call to action in the video to go visit. Cross promotion is so important with people using tools all over the Internet, and you want to get them following you as often as possible. In this example, you’re using your established YouTube audience, and YouTube’s excellent SEO, to send people to your SoundCloud account for another follow there.

Don’t be the Annoying Brand: Social Media Marketing Plans Without the #FAIL

Social media is becoming the go-to avenue for businesses to directly communicate their marketing to their potential customers. It is also a place where many amateurs show up with the worst social media marketing plans imaginable. These are the #Fails.

You don’t want to be a #Fail, right? Read this article to learn about ten of the worst problems with many social media marketing plans.

Social media marketing plans that are full of #Fail

Posting randomly with no marketing plan at all!

You have taken the time to meticulously plan and strategize for every other part of your business, why not for social media marketing too? Your business is going to need to work on a solid plan that has an achievable goal. Those goals could be:

  • To get more fans and followers
  • To increase engagement levels
  • To push for more shares
  • To get more clicks to your website
  • To have a certain campaign go viral

And on and on. The start of your social media marketing plans should always include a goal that you’re working towards. And that goal can’t be ‘to post some stuff every day and hope people like it.’

Posting random content

People follow brands for the same reason they follow their friends – to hear and receive consistent stories. For brands, these stories are the brand story and the content they share that builds that story. Just as I’d be confused by my mom suddenly posting about how she loves movies by John Waters, your fans will be confused by you posting something random and off-message too.

You social media marketing plans for every platform needs to:

Make sure that your brand is right for the platform. You don’t have to post everywhere just because everyone else is. Pick and choose your social platforms wisely.

Choose brand and industry appropriate content. If you own a comic book store you post about comic books and superhero movies. You don’t post up the latest basketball scores.

Steer clear of trending/viral content that doesn’t have anything to do with you. I’ve unfollowed more than a few social marketers who have tried to newsjack a story that has nothing to do with them.

Choosing the right social media platforms to post on, and then choosing the right content to post, are high priorities for every brand’s social media marketing plans. My favorite comic book store posts about comic book movies, and that’s perfectly on point:

Having no schedule for your social media activity
This ties into the idea from above. Just as I’d have a big WTH upon seeing my mom suddenly posting at 3am, your fans will be as put-off by your posting at an odd hour. Instead, you need to work out a schedule for when you’ll post to social media.

For a platform like Twitter this will be a ‘how many times per day’ question. For Facebook, this will be about what time of the day for that one post. For YouTube it will be which weekday you’ll upload your video every week.

You can use the blog itself as an example. I post a new blog EVERY Friday. If I have any fans out there (HELLO!!), they know to be here on Friday for a new post. Your social media marketing plans need to build that anticipation in as well.

Waiting until the last minute to post

When is it ever a good idea to wait until the last minute? The problem with putting off your social media posting until the last minute is that it’s so easy to forget it. I personally get all my social posts ready on Monday morning and schedule them out for the week. Sure, I hold off on some space for new blog posts, but the bulk of it is done in advance.

Failing to use the right tools

Sure, you’ve used Facebook or Twitter personally before. Enter a status, hit send, engage with your friends. That’s fine for a person just looking to have fun, but this is business.

Multi-platform social media dashboards are the go-to tool for the serious social media marketing plans that you’re working on. They will all have powerful analytics and data tracking features that will help you figure out if your marketing tactics are working or not. My favorite social media dashboard tools are:

Sprout Social

You need to use tools like these to see the nuances of your social marketing. It’s like trying to play baseball without a glove: You can still catch a ball, but wouldn’t you rather have some help?

Neglecting your social proof

Many brands out there have no idea what social proof is, or how to use it. Your brand’s social proof is the number of followers, and the amount of quality engagement, you’re getting. This can be:

  • Your number of subscribers on YouTube
  • How many retweets a viral message of yours has on Twitter
  • The number of repins your post has on Pinterest
  • one other

Having more of each of these important numbers will positively influence the decisions of your fans to also share, subscribe, repin, etc. This is why people come to use for our Twitter follower service, to buy YouTube subscribers from us, or purchase Pinterest likes and repins. These brands know that social proof is real, they have clearly seen what more social proof can do for their real marketing goals, and they want help on having more right now.

Trying too hard to be everyone and everything

There are six major social media marketing platforms to choose from. Do you have the time, the skill, and the right attitude for each platform? Unless you’re suffering from multiple personality disorder, that is like a ‘No.’

If you can hire on more than one social marketer that can grow an understanding of your audience on each platform, by all means do so. But trying to task one person with any more than three platforms will be a waste of time. Focus on three at most and don’t stretch yourself too thin.

Spreading your brand message too thin

There’s only so much information that your fans can take in and remember. On social media, you can usually only focus on one brand message at a time. This could be:

  • Pushing an upcoming product release.
  • Hyping your big end of season sale.
  • Keeping your brand slogan on people’s mind.
  • Growing anticipation for an event.

Remember that Nike told us to ‘Just Do It’ and we just did it. The simpler you keep your messaging, the easier it is for fans to remember.

Failing to engage with your community

The entire point of social media is being social. Your followers didn’t join social media because they could wait for a brand to market to them. They joined to speak with their friends and family.

Your brand can become an honorary member of that group by being a bit more human and engaging with fans in conversations. If they ask you a question, you had better answer. If someone has something interesting to say, let them know what you think. And if someone has a valid complaint you had better give them some of your time. Read this article for more on community building for Pinterest. The strategies can apply across multiple platforms.

Social media marketing plans which add in time for community engagement are the most effective plans there are. Social media marketing is social first, media second, and marketing last for a reason.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Launch your Pinterest Branding Strategies in 7 Steps!

Given the growing popularity of the platform, and the incredible ROI brands are reporting, it’s time for you to launch your Pinterest branding strategy. While Pinterest is quite different from most social network, you can master it and see some great returns.

This article is going to outline the beginnings of your Pinterest branding strategies so you don’t have to watch from the sidelines anymore. Let’s get you pinning!

Pinterest branding strategies to get your account started!

Beat the name squatters

The very first thing you want to do, even if you get to the end of this and decide you don’t want on be on Pinterest, is reserve your brand name. Domain squatting has been a problem for years, decades at this point. It’s when people who aren’t affiliated with you register you brand name.

You can register your Pinterest business account right now in a few minutes. If you want your placeholder account to look good, grab the exact images you’re already using on Twitter or Facebook right now.

Get your pictures ready

Pinterest is an incredibly image intensive social media platform. If you don’t have great pictures, now is the time to start investing in a good photographer. You don’t want all of your pictures to be blatant product photos, but you do want to look in focus and clear.

Pinterest is well known for allowing brands to upload large pictures, the kind of stuff you can’t get away with on Twitter, or even Facebook. I have a 17inch monitor and I couldn’t get this entire image from on Pinterest to fit on my screen! This is about 2/3rds of it:

You can’t get away with that on most social media platforms, plan for it accordingly for your Pinterest branding strategies to have the maximum impact.

A final note on images is the legal issues surrounding using other people’s images on your own Pinterest board. You’re a business. Using other people’s images for commercial purposes can cause problems. Look at your legal options, talk to pinners whose images you want to use, and proceed with caution.

Remember the ‘interest’ in Pinterest

People go on Pinterest to pin things that they’re interested in. Either because they have it, or because they want to have it in the future. They do this by creating boards of their interests. They’ll have one for wedding ideas, one for vacation ideas, one for recipes, and so on.

Effective Pinterest branding strategies need to think like this too. Your boards should follow themes, not products. Your products should be participating in your Pinterest pictures as supporting actors in a movie, not the stars. As is the case in all of social media, the minute you start coming at users with a hard marketing angle is the minute they find something else to do.

Take a look at these boards from the successful Nike Women board:

The vast majority are lifestyle boards. The fashion boards that they have, which feature their products a bit more directly, still focus on everyday people doing things that the products are designed for – sweating in. You can start a great Pinterest following with our Pinterest followers service, but it’s going to take board strategies like these to get real followers engaged with you and following your boards.

Use Pinterest Buyable Pins

Buyable Pins are a new feature that allow Pinterest users to purchase directly through Pinterest. This is a really new feature only available to US retailers with Shopify or Demandware. Pinterest users who follow brands know that they are going to see products that are for sale. Giving them a quick buying option to can skyrocket your ROI.

For those who don’t have that, try using Pinterest Rich Pins. These allow you to enter a price for your products, along with stock number details. When someone pins your Rich Pin to one of their boards Pinterest will notify them of any price changes you make. They’ll help you stay on the mind of your customers, especially when you have a sale.

Yo, Home Depot, this Rich Pin tells me you need to get these back in stock! It’s the end of summer picnic season for many of your customers!

Both Rich Pins and Buyable Pins work through your website. While you’re working on this, also work in the “Pin It” button. This is an easy way to create links from Pinterest back to your website. This is because anyone who pins it will have a ‘Learn more at WEBSITE’ message on their pin created from your website.

Bring your hashtag strategy over from Twitter

Everything that your business has learned about hashtags on Twitter can be used on Pinterest. While hashtags are not that popular, every chance you have to connect with users is an opportunity you should take.

What’s more, as Pinterest grows in popularity your hashtags are going to become even more relevant. This will be because they are great for search results, and because as your pins spread to more users your hashtags spread too.

Community engagement is as important here as anywhere else

Social media marketing is social first, media second, and marketing third. I can’t say it enough. You need to engage with your followers by:

  • Pinning their content to your boards
  • Commenting on their pins
  • Responding to them
  • Creating pins that ask for engagemnt

Your Pinterest followers are not really followers, they’re your friends and brand ambassadors. Make sure you have someone on your team who will have time to do this engagement work consistently. If you have the time to monitor it, you can even get community members to post to the boards for you. You can’t be much more engaged than allowing your fans onto your page and posting for you!

What is LinkedIn, and How Can I Use it to Get a Job?

We have social networks for the whole family: Facebook. Social networks for those obsessed with pictures of their food: Instagram. And social networks for the terminally impatient: Twitter. But what is LinkedIn? To put it simply, it’s a social network for the professional. What kind of professional? Well, anyone with any job, really!

No matter what profession you are in you can join LinkedIn to connect with past and current work colleagues, find other users who are in your industry, talk about business ideas in groups, and find a new job. If it has to do with work, you’ll find it on LinkedIn somewhere!

How does LinkedIn work?

Most new users on LinkedIn start by filling out their profile. This is because LinkedIn focuses on work details such as:

  • A summary of what you’re looking for business wise
  • Past and current jobs, with detailed history encouraged
  • Education
  • Skills and experiences
  • Honors and awards received
  • Recommendations from those you’ve worked with

The goal is to create an online resume that breathes. You have the ability to control who can see what parts of your profile when users who aren’t logged in, or connected to you, find you. Privacy is important!

You’ll be able to keep people looking at you, and your profile, thanks to the social side of LinkedIn. Posting regular updates helps keep people in your network interested in you. The right share from the right person can lead to new people finding your profile, and maybe offering you some work.

What is LinkedIn being used for?

The majority of people on LinkedIn are there for one of four reasons:

Stay in touch: The days of working at once place for your whole life are so over they’re in a museum. LinkedIn is the perfect place to stay in touch with old work colleagues. This can come in really handy if you’re looking for a reference and the person you want to have contacted has moved on from where you were working together.

Get answers: If you, or your co workers, are stumped on a question in your industry you can join a LinkedIn Group full of experts. You can also post an update in your Newsfeed asking your followers for their advice. Either way, you’re sure to get some great responses.

Find jobs: There are thousands of job listings on LinkedIn. Using the search function can locate that perfect job you never thought you’d get. Your LinkedIn profile can easily be your resume!

Find new employees: Employers love how they can find out nearly everything about a potential employee right in one place. They don’t even have to wait around for recommendations and references – they’re right there on your profile already!

LinkedIn currently has 380 million members, and rising every day. Are you worried that all of those members are in the USA and Europe? Don’t be, you can use LinkedIn effectively for job search in over 200 countries!

What is LinkedIn being used for by corporations?

Corporations are using LinkedIn to show off some of their branding, a bit of their culture, and attract new talent to their company.

Corporations on LinkedIn are looking to attract the best talent. The best talent always wants to work with a popular employer. For those brands which are new to LinkedIn, or those looking to make a big push, our popular LinkedIn follower service can really help push that new talent to join them. Who doesn’t want to work for a popular company? Adding on a Social Promotion package can push those numbers even higher as real Twitter influencers discuss your business.

Ways that you can start making connections on LinkedIn today

For the new LinkedIn user, there are three easy to follow ways to increase your connections right away and start looking like a LinkedIn power user:

  • Ask people that you’ve worked with for a Recommendation. You can give them one back in return if they need a push. Ask them to clearly show that you’ve worked together in some capacity.
  • Join groups to connect with users in your industry. Sharing ideas can lead to sharing business, know what I’m saying? You’ll also increase your authority in the industry as you become a trusted voice.
  • Add your LinkedIN URL to your business card and email signature.

LinkedIn allows you to customize your LinkedIn URL. Take advantage of this so that your URL is as easy to type in as possible for those who get your business card. It should also help with your Google search results, but don’t quote me on that.

So, what is LinkedIn? It is a cutting edge, 21st century social network for professional to connect, engage, and seek new employment and employees. For every dumb cat meme you’ll see on Facebook from your mom, there’s a possible opportunity to expand your professional life on LinkedIn. Why waste another moment on a LOLZ Cat?

The 12 Best Twitter Analytics Tools for Online Marketing Success!

Having good Twitter analytics apps is one of the most important things there is when it comes to successful Twitter marketing. This is because Twitter is one HUGE conversation taking place in one online space – The Twittersphere. When you think of Twitter like that you’ll understand why Twitter analytics tools are going to be your best friends.

The problem with Twitter is that there is so much to follow on that not even one single tool is going to do everything you need. That’s why this article is going to look at twelve tools that will help you understand conversations, find people to follow, look at hashtag use, and give you some visual examples of your data.

Why exactly do we need Twitter analytics tools?

Understanding a conversation as large as the one we’re all having on Twitter on your own is completely and totally impossible. How large is the conversation? How about 9,700 tweets per second large!

That’s why choosing the right Twitter analytics tools and apps is so important. I’m going to start out with tools that do a wide variety of tasks, and work my way down to more specialized tools from there.

1: Hootsuite

They’re one of the original Twitter tools, and years of refinement allows them to offer a top notch Twitter analytics and scheduling dashboard to you. While not being a very heavy tool for pure analytics, they do offer link click tracking through their link shortener. Think of it as a way to track the conversations people are having with your links.

Ok. That sounded weird, but it’s true! Being able to see and understand which links are working is your fan’s way of telling you what they want to find on your account. You can then plan your content around this for the future.

2: Buffer

Buffer is another one of those tools that isn’t heavy on Twitter analytics, but that does many things well with analytics added on. The main point of Buffer when it first came out was to help you schedule articles you find online for later tweeting. You queue up a bunch of articles that you think your Twitter audience will enjoy, and Bufferapp finds the best time to share those posts with them.

Those ‘best times’ they’re being shared at can tell you a lot about when to speak with your audience. You obviously want to be around to talk when they’re around to talk. You can even plan your blog, website, product, or special sale launches around this information for maximum impact.

3: SproutSocial

The main point to make about SproutSocial is that it is eerily similar to Hootsuite. They have many of the same custom reports, audience tracking, and customer engagement tools. Their layout is a bit different from Hootsuite and may better appeal to how you like to organize things. Give both a try and see which fits you the best.

4: SocialBro

This is another all-in-one tool that should likely be giving kickbacks to Hootsuite. They do have some interesting optimization tools that can help you find better marketing opportunities. My feeling is that their strength is in the Insights tool which their data generates. Great Twitter analytics tools are all about data. You’ll never read every relevant tweet, but you can get good data on them and use that.

5: Daily 140

This will help you understand the new users who have followed your account, as well as older ones if you wish. First, you’ll choose three followers on Twitter: Influencers with a big audience are great choices. Then Daily 140 will email you once a day on who these three people have followed and favorited. You’ll find new people to converse with, and get an idea of what they find interesting via their favoriting habits.

6: My Top Tweet

You can use this Twitter analytics tool in so many ways, but the basics are that you’ll get the 10 best tweets displayed from your, or any other Twitter users, account. These tweets are placed in order of total engagement. If you’re ever stuck on what to tweet next you can use this tool to find some great topics in a hurry!

7: Riffle

Riffle is a Twitter analytics tool from the people who brought you My Top Tweet. Many Twitter marketers use them together as Riffle adds on data for:

  • Popular hashtags
  • Most often shared links
  • Connected Twitter users

And other useful statistics from Twitter users you select. It all operates as a browser extension, giving you access to this data right away. The image to the right is a screenshot of what the window looks like, taken from their website.

8: Klout

Klout has been around for years, and has been successful to how its algorithm tracks the influence of Twitter users. If you want to find influencers to target and get on your side there is no better tool. If there’s one thing using and succeeding with Klout and influencers teaches you it’s the importance of getting mentions from popular accounts. This is why our Sponsored Mentions service is such a popular add on. You’ll get real mentions from popular users with a bit of Klout on their side!

They also have a tweet scheduling tool, but I wouldn’t make it a priority to use it as there are much better tools for that above.

9: Twitonomy

Very similar to Riffle in how it pulls apart any Twitter account you choose, but it is done from a dashboard rather than a browser extension. If you like to have a little bit more room to move around with your data, this is the analytics tool you want.

10: SumAll

This is another email based tool which sends progress reports on your:

Follower growth
Engagement levels
It’s great for managers and upper level people who want a basic summary on how the company account is doing. You can set it for daily or weekly emails. I find the weekly to be better in the manager/supervisor case. If your boss needs updates on a daily basis they should just log into the Twitter account and look. And not touch anything.

11: Bluenod

This is a visualization tool for connecting hashtags and users. For those that understand data in a visual way better, you will want to try this out.

For those that like to brag, you can embed this data on your website or in a blog post. This can be very useful when you’re celebrating a milestone, like reaching 100,00 Twitter followers, and adding a bit of visual imagery that shows how popular you are. We all know that showing how popular you are is a key to social proof!

12: Klear

This is another powerful tool for influencer marketing. It will give you a clear look at who you are following, the demographics that your account is fitting in with, and which Twitter accounts are closest to you in your relationship. It’s ability to track ROI based on influencers you select really makes this tool stand out.

You can also use it to find the most influential people in certain categories. This will help feed your ROI from above as you try to work with only the best Twitter users.

Twitter analytics start at home

Ok, a bad joke aside, you can’t forget the totally and completely free While I feel it doesn’t have many of the strengths of the above tools, and can bring up totally pointless data at times, you can’t go wrong with using Twitter’s own Analytics. You won’t get the same specialized data from it as you will from tools I’ve talked about, but it won’t hurt to log in and have a look around.