Social media image sizes for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+Seems like there are so many different cheat sheets out there when it comes to social media image sizes. I was actually a bit stumped gathering these dimensions because there’s so many sources out there with completely different info.

The reason is that things change on each network, and each network has a completely different set of dimensions, viewable area, positioning and requirements for cover photos, profile pics and shared images.  It can be overwhelming knowing where to start.

So I put this resource with information together to help you make sense of it all. I’m hoping these are current and accurate. If not, please let me know and I’ll update it right away.

My top recommended sizes are:

For profile pics: 500 x 500. You can edit, crop and resize inside each platform.

For cover photos: See below – varies for Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +

For shared + link images:
1200px square for Instagram
1200 x 600 for Facebook & Twitter *
736 x 1102 (up to 2061) for Pinterest

*Even though Facebook and Twitter dimensions have slightly different proportions, following a 2:1 aspect ratio for both has worked fine for me. Also, since Twitter updated its tweet image size to 506px square, you can use the same 1200px square image instead of the horizontal image. Keep in mind that if you’ve enabled Twitter cards on your site, when you post a URL to Twitter the image will still crop to horizontal. So 1200 x 600 may still be the way to go for FB and Twitter, at least for now.

Part of the decision here is your blog design and sizing of your featured image. If your blog is designed for horizontal images, go with the 1200 x 600 as a template size. If you’re using a masonry type grid, a square might work well. And if Pinterest is important to your brand, a vertical image will work well. I use a horizontal image as the main featured image and add a vertical image inside the post for pins.

Updated: January 18, 2018

Facebook Image Sizes

Cover photo: 828 x 315 desktop / 828 x 462 mobile
(New) Group Cover photo: 1640 x 921px
Profile pic: 180 x 180
Link image: 1200 x 630

For Facebook profiles, your profile image will cover a good part of the lower left side of the cover, so if your cover photo incorporates text like mine, make sure you placement clears these areas. Keep in mind that mobile cover photos are taller and extend to 462px, so if you don’t want the left and right margins to be cropped, use 828 x 462 for your cover photo and adjust the placement of your images and text so they clear the difference. For instance, on the desktop my cover photo is cropped to 351px, but on mobile shows the full image:

Facebook cover photo size, including visible and invisible areas, plus mobile size guide

For Facebook pages, you don’t have to worry about your profile pic interfering with the cover photo. There’s less nudging and tweaking you have to do because the profile image now appears to the left. You have the full canvas to use for creative elements, branding, icons, CTAs and so on.

 

Twitter Image Sizes

Header: 1500 x 500 (1500 x 389 visible)
Profile pic: 400 x 400 (displays as 200px)
Tweeted image: 1024 square or 1024 x 512 (2:1 aspect ratio, displays as 440px wide)

For Twitter, even though the height of your file should be 500px, the visible area will be cropped to 398px high. And a portion of your profile pic is positioned on the lower left corner, like Facebook. Be sure to take that into consideration when placing creative elements.

Another thing to note is that the cover photo is responsive, meaning that the size will adjust according to the browser size and resolution. This means that your profile pic will shift left and right as people adjust their browser windows, so be sure to block out enough room for error on either side.

Twitter header image size, including visible and invisible areas

 

Instagram Image Sizes

Profile pic: 180 x 180 (displays as 110 x 110)
Shared image: 1080 x 1080

Note that Instagram images are no longer limited to a square shape, so you can work with 1080 wide, and choose a height anywhere from 566 to 1350 high. This larger 1080 image size means that images will be high resolution, so people may want to download yours for their own use. To prevent that, consider branding your photos with a watermark.

Pinterest Image Sizes

Profile pic: 165 x 165
Board cover: 500 x 500px recommended
Pins: 736 x 1104 (up to 2061)

Pins longer than 2061 will be cropped in the stream on mobile.

You can create custom pins for each of your boards – which I’m on the fence with – as a way to brand your boards so that they have a consistent look. If it bugs you that you can’t crop or reposition standard pins to get them to display the way you want, creating board covers may be the way to go. Personally, I’m okay with the look of my boards without customer covers. I figure that when/if Pinterest changes board cover sizes again,  I won’t have to worry about chasing new designs!

Still want to try experiment with custom board covers?

All you have to do is upload a pin sized to 500 x 500px, give it a description with a link back to your website, and assign it to your preferred board. Then edit the board and select the new pin you created as the cover photo.

Here’s where you do it:

Where to change your Pinterest board cover photo

 

LinkedIn Image Sizes

Profile pic: 200 x 200
Profile background: 1400 x 425
Update image: 698 x 400

Just like Twitter and Facebook, part of your background photo is hidden by your LinkedIn profile, which overlays the mid- to lower- section. If you have a free account, an additional 70px on the top will be superimposed by LinkedIn banner ads. So even though you do need to upload a 1400 x 425 image, the visible area on a free account is more like 1400 x 355. This is not the case for premium accounts – with premium accounts your profile will be superimposed but you have the full 425 height for creative elements.

Make a note of the invisible areas below when designing your cover. If you have messaging or images you want to showcase like I do here, make sure to clear those areas. The background photo is responsive, so depending on browser sizes and resolutions your background image will scale larger or smaller.

 

LinkedIn banner image size guide, including visible and invisible areas

 

Google+ Image Sizes

Profile pic: 270 x 270
Cover photo: 1080 x 608 (displays as: 920 x 518)
Shared image: 800 x 600

Did you know that when someone clicks on your name in the Google+ feed, both your profile pic and cover photo appear? It’s kind of cool and called your “hovercard”, which is like a digital business card.

If you’re a Google+ user, when someone visits your profile the visible area is about 1080 x 372. That means that any elements you place on the top and bottom won’t be visible when your profile initially loads. Users will have to scroll up to actually see the full 608 height. Keep this in mind when placing text, branding and graphics you want people to see right away.

Google+ cover image size template for profiles and pages

 

Keeping current on social media image sizes can be such a headache with all the changes. It doesn’t have to be! Help spread the word to make it easier for everyone else. I will try to keep this as current as possible as new updates are released. In future posts, I’ll walk you through determining which template sizes are best, how to create them, and how to watermark them with your own brand elements, colors, fonts and logos. That way when it’s time to share your images, you have a process down that will save you tons of time.

Feel free to pin this 2016 social media image size cheat sheet so your followers can benefit too:

 

Social media image sizes for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+

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If you’re ready to get serious about social media, but aren’t sure about the best ways to use it for your blog or business, this post is for you! It includes 9 tips for bloggers and entrepreneurs to help you create a successful social media marketing strategy that get you more followers, traffic, subscribers, and sales, PLUS save tons of time each week. Click through to get the social media strategy template and social media plan!

How to Create a Social Media Strategy | This post will help bloggers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses create a social media strategy plan that gets results. It even includes a social media marketing strategy template. #socialmediatips #socialmedia

Part 3 of the Blog Profit Plan series. This was originally a 2-part series, but after the last post, I realized that we still have a missing piece:

A social media strategy.

The missing piece is crucial if we’re going to tie our four buckets together:

  • Traffic
  • Content
  • Subscribers
  • Money

Social media is the bridge that connects you to your future customers and when you do it right (which I’m going to show you how right here!), it will be a game-changer for your blog and business.

If you missed parts 1 + 2 of the Blog Profit Plan series, here’s what we covered:

  1. How to Create an Epic Blog Business Plan
  2. The Blog Profit Plan: How to Make Money With Your Blog

Today, I want to look at part 3. Before we dig in, I should mention that having an effective social media strategy is all about showing up. Everyday. Even if it feels like a colossal waste of time and you have so many other things to do already, if you stay with me here, you’ll see the payoff. Promise.

Let’s dig into the strategy.

I created this social media strategy blueprint to help put what you learn into action. Click the image below to download. 

 Social Media Strategy Plan

This post contains affiliate links.

Step 1: What are your monthly goals?

Write this all down so you can see your priority goals for the month. This way when you share content, you have a strategy and a plan behind it. All successful social media strategies start here.

What’s the most important thing for you to accomplish this month? Do you want to:

  • Add 1,000 new subscribers?
  • Launch a new product?
  • Gain 3,000 Pinterest followers?
  • Sell 25 products? (remember the blog income formula)
  • Get 200 webinar signups?

Knowing your end game will help you plan what types of content to share (including any promotional content), plus give you actual numbers to hit.

For example, if your month’s goal is to get more subscribers, you would want to schedule blog posts that include a freebie or opt-in offer. And if your goal is to promote a new service or product, you would want to schedule blog posts that contain links to your product offer, coupons, discounts, and so on.

Step 2: Share content

Now that you’re clear on your goals, it’s time to share content to support your monthly goals and help build your following. There are two types of content you’re going to share:

  • Other people’s content
  • Your own content

We could just lump these two together and call it “share content”, but I’d rather break this section down because our strategy will be different for other people’s content vs our own content. First of all, it will take some time to develop a system for your original content. Sharing other people’s content is easy to set up and you can build a ginormous following this way. I grew my Twitter account to over 16K doing exactly that – retweeting and curating content.

Now, would I recommend sharing only other people’s content? No way. Definitely not a good plan if we’re going to build a platform for a hugely profitable business (which is exactly what we’re going to do!). Buuut, a following of 16K means that when you start sharing your own content, you have an audience ready to consume it. I say let’s check the box on it, so we can move on knowing that we’re revvin’ up a social media strategy the right way, k?

First up: create a source library of bloggers, influencers, pins, and posts.

Here’s how to do it:

1) Create a Feedly source library

There are likely blogs and influencers in your niche that you follow (if not, time to crack the books!). Make a list of sources that are relevant and useful to your audience. The sources can be anything…blogs, Facebook pages, Instagram accounts…anything.

For instance, my list includes:

Now that you have your sources, it’s time to import them into Feedly. Feedly will read and organize all of your favorite news sources in one place. Uh, huh? It sounds more confusing than it is. With Feedly, you have access to all of your favorite content right from their dashboard. This means that whenever a new post is published, Feedly will update your feed in real time, so you only have to check one source to see fresh new content.

creating a social media strategy- FeedlyLookin’ good… Later on, I’ll show you how to share all of your epic Feedly content, but for now, fist bump.

2) Create secret Pinterest boards

Now we’re going to do the same thing on Pinterest using secret boards. Secret boards are Pinterest boards that only you can see, so when you save pins here, they’re just for you and no one else. You’ll see them below your other boards, like this:

pinterest marketing strategyI recommend keeping your source list handy (plus any other brands that pin great content). This way if you can’t find valuable pins to share right there in your feed, you know where to go to find them. What I do is once a week, or when I’m catching up on Hulu, spend 30 minutes pinning content to my secret boards.

For example, my secret “source” boards are:

  • + Blogging/Biz Pins Source
  • + Entrepreneur/Freelance Source
  • + Social Media Source

The + sign is how I know that these boards are secret. See the mood board in the image above? That’s another secret board where I pin everything that inspires me…things like colors, fonts, work spaces, interiors, textures, fashion, logos, other brands…everything I love gets pinned here. If you want a place to gather design ideas for your brand, this is a fun way to do it! Gotta love Pinterest!

Step 3: Create and share your own content

Next up: let’s look at your own content. Here we’re talking about all the content you create: blog posts, tips, promotions, products, Ebooks, quotes, behind the scenes, stories, and so on.

The best way to approach this is always to be thinking about how you can turn one piece of content into something new. This way you’ll have multiple visuals to share, plus you’ll be building up a huge content library.

What do I mean by this?

First of all, for each post you want to create a number of assets, which is a fancy way of saying that every time you publish a post, you create a few pieces of content for it. Think of it as your blog post kit. For example, for each post you might have:

Phew! This looks like a lot, I know, but can you see how much content you can create by repurposing? Once you have a system together with branded image templates (use Canva or Photoshop), things move much faster.

Here’s an inside look at the content I created for one of my posts:sample social media marketing planI’ve also got a blog promotion plan for social media, which you grab right here.

Check out this Blog Promo Plan + Checklist to help you promote your blog posts and get massive social media traffic!

Step 4: Schedule content

I’m a huge fan of Buffer, SmarterQueue, BoardBooster, Tailwind, and Planoly for Instagram. What’s the deal with all these scheduling tools, you ask? Here’s how I use them:

BUFFER – $10 a month
Use for Twitter

To share other people’s content, I use it with IFTTT, where my recipes pull my Feedly feeds into Buffer. I also use Buffer to give new posts an initial spike in traffic. When I have a new post, I create 15-20 tweets and schedule them throughout the week in Buffer. I’ve found this to be an effective Twitter marketing strategy for my content.

SMARTERQUEUE – starts at $20 a month
Use for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

A serious game-changer for me, I heart it big time. SmarterQueue is like Buffer meets Edgar without the huge monthly fee. Once my queue reaches the bottom, SmarterQueue loops my posts so that they are always being shared. The only thing on my wish list is a better way to promote new blog posts, which is why I still use Buffer. Hopefully, these guys will be adding that feature soon.

social media strategy.with SmarterQueueBOARDBOOSTER – $10 up to 1000 pins a month
Use for Pinterest

Pinterest accounts for 80% of my traffic at this point and BoardBooster has been a huge reason why. This is a cool way to pin all at once but have Pinterest space them out for you, so you don’t bombard your audience with 30 pins in one hour. Oh, and remember the secret boards we created? BoardBooster is where you’ll set up campaigns to share those pins with your audience. We’re talkin’ set it and forget it here, friend.

Related: 14 Ways to Get Massive Traffic from Pinterest

TAILWIND – $10 a month
Use for Pinterest

BoardBooster has a semi-steep learning curve. There’s a lot to digest, and it takes time to set up your campaigns. If you want to get a jump on scheduling and get right to it, Tailwind is your answer. It’s amazingly easy to use, and all of your scheduled pins will be right there on the dashboard, so if you’re a visual person like me, you will love it!

Social Media Strategy Tip

There’s also a way to loop your pins similar to BoardBooster. If you’re curious about how looping on Tailwind works, this post is a good read.

PLANOLY – $7 a month
Use for Instagram

If you’re a control freak like me and want all of your images to have the same look and feel, with Planoly you can tweak designs in Photoshop, schedule them straight from your desktop, and share them from your phone. I started using this tool a few months ago and have to say it’s a fun way to schedule posts on Instagram. I’ve grown my following quite a bit thanks to Planoly and highly recommend it.

Social Media Strategy Tip exampleStep 5: Engage with your audience daily.

Make sure you engage daily with your audience – reply to comments and tweets, like other people’s posts, share, comment, and so on. The trick here is to get in and get out so you don’t get sucked in! Try to limit your time to 15-20 minutes a day. Preferably this will be your downtime, so you don’t interfere with more productive tasks, like creating content.

Phew! You made it. We’re gettin’ close…just a few more things to cover.

 

[ WHAT SHOULD YOU POST, AND WHEN? ]

Step 6: What types of content should you share?

The best social media plan includes sharing the right types of content on each platform. For instance, Facebook and YouTube are perfect for videos. Quick tips and inspirational quotes work well on Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitter.

Instagram and Pinterest are visual platforms. You’ll need to focus on creating eye-guzzling graphics that stand out and grab people’s attention. A straight text post won’t do on these platforms.

On Facebook and Twitter, you can include text-only posts, just know that these tend to get fewer retweets and shares than graphic posts.

What you can do with text posts is to ask engaging questions, such as:

  • What is the one thing most people don’t know about you?
  • If you could wave a magic wand over (your subject), what would you like the result to be?
  • What are the top 3 things you want to learn more about?
  • Are you excited about (insert subject)? Yes/No

People love inspirational quotes, quick tips and videos, so I like to spend a day or two at the beginning of each month to create graphics and quick tip videos. If you do this, you’ll always have content to share, even if you fall behind with writing blog posts. Been there, done that!

If you need help brainstorming what to share, this social media calendar has over 24 different types of content to help you get started.

social media marketing strategy examples

Step 7: Best times to post

I’m going to give you general guidelines for each platform, which I also cover, and more, in this post. Here again, you should track the analytics on each site to find the times when the largest number of your fans are online. (Psst…I’m working on a social media strategy template to help you with this, so stay tuned.)

The reason I recommend tracking your analytics is because I’ve seen some interesting patterns for my blog. Even though the best times to tweet should be weekdays 1-3 pm, I see a lot of retweets happening between 2-5 am, and again at 11 pm. This tells me that my Twitter audience is very active in the middle of the night, and not so much during the day. And with Pinterest, everyone (including me) will tell you that Saturday is “Pinit-Day,” but recently I’ve been getting more Pinterest traffic on the weekdays than on the weekends, including Saturdays.

You’ll likely experience the same thing, and these insights can be applied to your social media marketing tactics and posting times. I recommend starting off using the times below as a guide. Then, check your analytics every month to find the best times for you.

When to post guidelines:

  • Facebook – 12-3pm & 8-9pm weekdays, weekends 12-1pm
  • Twitter: 10am-6pm, sweet spot between 1-3pm weekdays
  • Pinterest: 5pm – 12am, all day Saturday
  • Instagram: 12-3pm, 8-10pm

Analytics tools:

Facebook – No more guessing! Use Facebook Insights (Your Page > Insights > Posts) for the best times of day to post. Here’s what your data will look like:

Facebook insight for social media plan

Twitter – Tweriod is a site that will give you the same data as Facebook Insights. I believe you can even view individual days for more specific data.

Instagram – Since you’ll only post on Instagram 1-2x daily, it’s crucial that you nail down the times that your audience is most active. Now, Planoly is a very pretty way to schedule Instagram posts but Iconosquare is going to be your one-stop Instagram HQ. Use it to find out which times your audience is actually engaging. Then schedule your posts accordingly.

Social Media Strategy Tip: Use Iconosquare to find the best time to post on Instagram.

Update: If you have (or switch to) an Instagram business account, you’ll see similar data in Instagram Insights.

Pinterest – If you use Tailwind for nothing else, use it for the analytics. With a premium account, you can see the best times to post based on engagement, which is what you’re looking for. You can use the data to schedule pins either through Tailwind or BoardBooster. Make sure you pin heavy on the weekends, especially Saturday. As I mentioned above, that’s when people are most active on Pinterest.

That wraps up the analytics. Now that you have your toolkit make sure you pop in once a month to review and tweak your social media strategy according to your best times to post. Your goal is to get the most engagement for each piece of content and skyrocket your growth.

Step 8: How often should you post?

Each platform is different. On Twitter, you can post 20-30x a day. Same for Pinterest. On Facebook and Instagram, you’d be spamming people’s feeds if you did that.

Here are some daily guidelines:

  • Facebook: 1-3x
  • Twitter: 13-20x
  • Pinterest: 10-50x
  • Instagram: 1-2x

You’re probably thinking How the heck am I going to post 30x on Pinterest or Twitter?

I’m right there with you… It’s a lot. I recommend starting small and scaling up. Think of the guidelines as your finish line. They’re up ahead, around the corner, and you’re going to reach them, just not quite yet. First, let’s put our heads down and focus on the start, which looks something like:

  1. You post once a day on each platform.
  2. Once you’re comfortable with that frequency, increase it to twice a day.
  3. Next, pick one platform to dominate, preferably the platform where most of your audience hangs out. Become a Ninja Pinner or Instagram It-Girl, kind of thing. The key here is to focus on just one platform for a long time.
  4. Once you’ve mastered step #3, repeat it for the next site.

Let’s recap: our monthly goal is to tie all of our buckets together (content, traffic, subscribers, product). And we want to do that with social media.

Here’s what a day on social media might look like:

  • Share on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram:  Your own blog post, a quick tip, other people’s content from resource list
  • Share on Pinterest: 5 pins from your source boards, 5 repins
  • On all platforms: Moderate, engage, comment, like, reply, retweet, share

The beauty here is that the only thing you’re doing in real time is that last one: moderate and engage. Everything else has been planned and scheduled ahead of time. Super fantastic, you’re all set!

Psst… an easy way to build up your content library is to repurpose your blog posts as videos, helpful tip graphics, questions, text posts, and so on. I know I’m repeating myself here, but I learn things visually, so figure it can’t hurt. Here’s what I usually create for my blog posts:
social media marketing strategies

Then I share each of these the first week my post publishes to get an initial spike in traffic. If you want, this blog promo plan will show you what to share on each platform so you can do the same:

social media marketing plan template

We’re almost finished.

If you feel like this is a lot, I get it. There’s a learning curve to all of this. No one becomes a ninja warrior overnight 🙂 If you hang in there with me and put in the time, scheduling social media will soon become effortless. And it will be so worth it. You’re going to rock social media and your goals, k? Just one last step which is super important and we can’t forget it.

Step 9: Queue it all up – one day a month

Spend one day a month planning your content around your monthly goals, so that you know what you want to share. Preferably you do this on the first of the month. What this looks like is you use the monthly calendar (step #1 above) and gather your content for the month around it. Pull from your blog posts and your resource lists from Feedly and Pinterest.

What this looks like:

You use the monthly calendar (step #1 above) and gather your content for the month around it. Pull from your blog posts and your resource lists from Feedly and Pinterest.

Then on Sundays, schedule your content for the week and create the images you need. This will include blog post images and other social media images, such as quick tips and inspirational quotes.

Here’s what I create for each post (now this is the 3rd time I’m saying this haha)

  • 2 pins (for A/B testing)
  • 2-3 Instagram images with links to my posts, or inspirational quotes
  • an image for Facebook and Twitter
  • a video of my post
  • a quick tip image for Facebook and Twitter

Let’s wrap this baby up!

Here are some final thoughts:

  • Consistency is key to getting results on social media. Show up each day, and you will grow your following and your business. No doubt.
  • Create a social media marketing plan each month for what you want to achieve on social media. Social media can really suck you in, so I recommend doing what you need to do each day and that’s it. That means you comment, like, moderate inside each platform, but do all your other work outside of them.
  • When you’re starting out, share other people’s content first, then focus on original content. This way you’ll build your following as you rev up your own content machine.
  • Use the tools mentioned above (BoardBooster, Tailwind, Buffer, etc.) to schedule your content.
  • Share content on each platform to start, then focus on growing one site. I recommend digging into Pinterest first because that’s where you’re going to get the bulk of your traffic. When those are bringing you great results and you feel comfortable, move on to another platform.
  • Test and check analytics to see what posting schedule works best for your audience.
  • Always include an image with your posts, unless you’re asking an engaging question. People are very visual, and this will help your posts stand out and be seen!
 Download the Social Media Strategy Blueprint.

I would love to hear how you made out with this. What does your social media strategy look like?

Having fun with the Blog Profit Plan series? Let’s keep it going:

Part #4: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: How To Start Making Money With Your Blog

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A social media cheat sheet for bloggers and entrepreneurs so you know what to post and when, plus tools to help you automate everything from scheduling, to growth and engagement, and creating images. Click through to see all the tips!

A social media cheat sheet for bloggers and entrepreneurs so you know what to post and when, plus tools to help you automate everything from scheduling, to growth and engagement, and creating images. Click through to see all the tips!

If you want to use social media to grow your business, but are a bit stumped with what to do, this social media cheat sheet is for you! It will help you plan out your content so you know what to post, when to post and how to post it. You’ll be on your way to blowing up on social media instead of feeling overwhelmed! I could have made this 30 days but actually, you don’t need it – just repeat it all over again on Day 25.

Follow these simple tips and download the social media cheat sheet  for massive growth:

  1. Share other people’s content and your own. Plan it all out and write it all down.
  2. Part of feeling overwhelmed is when you plan out more than what you can actually do because it looks great on paper! If you can share your own content once every two weeks, just fill in with more quotes, announcements, roundups, and other people’s content to give yourself some breathing room. When you have more time, you can share more of our original stuff.
  3. Pre-schedule your posts with services like Buffer, HootSuite or Tailwind. This will save you tons of time!!
  4. Be visual. Visual content is 40x more likely to get shared than other types of content. Use Canva to create appealing graphics and title images for your posts. Remember to brand each image with your logo!
  5. As you build a following and engage with people, you’ll see a boost in traffic to your blog. Make sure your posts encourage people to sign up for your newsletter or opt in to a freebie so you can leverage the traffic to build a mailing list.
  6. Study the things that other brands are doing to build their following and do that too. Monitor everything after the first month to see what’s performing well. Then do more of it!

Click on the image below to download your cheat sheet and calendar.

A social media cheat sheet for bloggers and entrepreneurs so you know what to post and when, plus tools to help you automate everything from scheduling, to growth and engagement, and creating images.

Let me know how you make out with this! Did I miss anything, anything else I need to add to help you save time?

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Have you been wanting to start a Facebook Group but not sure where to start? This post is for you! I share my best tips for growing an engaged Facebook Group to build an incredible community and increase sales!Hi friends!

If you’re a member of Facebook Groups, you already know what sanity-savers they can be.

Now, I’m not talking about the kind of sanity-savers that drive incredible amounts of traffic or help you grow your business.

Yes, they can do that, but I’m talking about the kind of sanity-savers that make you feel connected to the universe again.

When you’re sitting at your kitchen table in sweats and a t-shirt bangin’ away at your laptop, it’s easy to feel disconnected. And being able to pop into your favorite group, get feedback, share tips, ask questions, and partner up with other members makes you feel like part of something bigger.

(Fo’sure, there’s the dark side of Facebook groups. But that’s for another day!)

Many of you have asked me how to create and grow a Facebook Group, and today, I’m sharing the strategies that have worked for me to help you do the same.

I’ll be drilling down on the art side of creating and promoting a group. For the techie side of how to create a Facebook Group, Neil Patel has a step by step guide for you.

Ready? Let’s dig in.

First, why should you start a Facebook Group?

Well, for starters, you’ll have the opportunity to meet amazing individuals with similar interests and goals. Just like you can in other groups.

But here’s the difference:

In your own group, you have center stage. It’s much easier to be visible as a group owner vs a member because people HAVE to notice you. It’s like networking on steroids.

Here are some other perks:

  • You can reach a broader audience with your posts – you’ll likely get more traffic than other groups
  • More comments on your posts – you can use these to fuel other posts and threads
  • Draw attention to your freebies – pin them to your group for all to see
  • Announce your courses and programs – increased sales
  • Showcase your expertise and build trust – hold Q&A sessions and challenges

Of course, I wouldn’t write about building a Facebook group without pimpin’ my own. 🙂

If you want to network with other professionals and have multiple opportunities to promote your business, I’d love for you to join my Facebook community!

Before you create a Facebook Group

You’ll want to spend some time researching, taking notes, and creating brand assets before you set up your group.

I recommend creating a Google Spreadsheet (or Word doc, Evernote, Excel) so you can keep your ideas in one place. Here’s what mine looks like:
The first step on how to grow a Facebook group is to start with a worksheet to keep track of daily threads.

I create multiple variations to keep my daily threads fresh and new. Then all I have to do is put them in rotation in SmarterQueue. No last-minute wondering what to post. It’s all ready to go!

1) Decide what type of group you want to create.

Here’s where it pays to “think it forward.”

What level of engagement do you want your group to have?

Do you want it to be a promo group where people can sell their products, a group for sharing ideas and tips only, or a mix of both?

And what types of daily threads will you have?

For example:

If you have a wedding planning group, your thread may include the wedding planning highs and lows, best wedding plans, tips, budgeting, and finding photographers, bands, florists, invitations, caterers, and so on.

What about location? Will it be a local, regional or global group where members can buy and sell old wedding items and advertise their services?

As a rule of thumb, sharing groups have higher engagement than promo groups. Buut, it may be easier to get members if you mix it up. Just sayin’.

2) Create a group description.

Take the ideas you have from the previous step and create a group description.

Make sure you include the purpose of your group, who it’s for, and any group rules you have so that everyone can see.

For example, here’s my description:

Promote Facebook Group

See how I include a link to my free resources and my website? Boom.

3) Create a cover photo.

Doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just a photo of you or a graphic image with the group name.

If you want, you can take it up a notch and brand your cover photo with colors, a logo, and other elements. It’s really up to you.

What size should your cover photo be?

Great question! I’ve got Facebook group cover dimensions and a free template for you.

4) Create daily thread images.

If you plan to run the same threads each week, creating images and scheduling them in advance will save tons of time and headache. This way you can have your group running on semi-autopilot.

Here’s a 1020 x 800 template I use:

Facebook Group daily thread image example

 

Related: How to Use Photoshop to Create Branded Social Media Images

The last thing you’ll want to do before you create your group is to gather up some Facebook friends and invite them to join. You need to add at least one person (besides you) in order to create the group.

Remember, you can always remove them later!

how to grow a facebook group

Next, it’s time to promote your Facebook Group and get some members!

5) Invite Twitter followers to join.

I send new Twitter followers a message to thank them for following me. In that message, I include an invitation to download a freebie or join my group.

When you do this, make sure you frame your invitation around what’s in it for them. Don’t just ask people to join your group!

Be authentic and human, strike up a conversation. Then let them know about the group and why they should join. What’s in it for them? More sales, networking, support, encouragement? Whatever it is, put it out there!

Whatever you do, don’t send people messages like this:
Grow your Facebook Group using Twitter direct messages.

Ick. What a buzz-kill.

Make sure you make it about them and not you. With me?

6) Invite email subscribers to join.

Don’t forget to email your subscribers! They’re your biggest fast and will likely get the most benefit from joining.

I always include a shout-out at the bottom of my emails, like this:

-P.S. Want your marketing questions answered? I’d love for you to join my Facebook Community where you can network with other professionals, share tips, join forces, and have multiple opportunities to promote your business. Join Online Biz Superheroes.

You can mention your group wherever you prefer – at the beginning, middle, or end of the email.

I like to keep the focus of my email on-topic and close with the group link. Too many buttons and links in the body of the email can be overwhelming, in my book.

7) Include a link on your website.

I just added my Facebook Group to my site navigation. So every time people visit my site, they’ll see the link which will redirect them to the group.

The way I see it, it’s just one more way to make the group visible.

More visibility = more people who know about it = faster growth.

Hmm…sounds like the formula for anything we want to promote, no?

Anyway, we’ll see what happens with it!

8) Mention the group in autoresponders.

When people opt-in to your list or sign up for a freebie, include a link to your group in the Welcome sequence.

Something like:

Hey there! Here’s the link to download the Guide to Wall-Hanging Art.

If you’d like more free resources like this, plus tips to design and sell your wall hangings, join my Facebook community [link].

If you include this extra line in all of your welcome sequences, everyone who signs up for your free offers will have an opportunity to join. And it’s all happening behind the scenes.

The best part is, the more opt-ins you have on your website, the more members you’ll likely get.

9) Add to social profiles

This one sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to overlook. And really, it’s not hard to add a link to your group in your social profiles.

What IS hard is deciding how many calls to action (CTAs) you should include. After all, Instagram, Twitter, and even Pinterest don’t give us much real estate to work with, friend. It’s up to us to choose our primary CTAs.

My picks? My free resources and Facebook Group. Here’s how I include both in my Twitter profile:

Promote a Facebook Group from your Twitter profile.

What about you?

Are you looking to promote a new course or program? Get more subscribers? Or are you all about your group right now?

Psst…Curious about that fancy URL for the group?

You can do it too! Just create a branded domain (through GoDaddy) and have them forward the domain to your group.

I came up with the idea when I started my YouTube channel. There’s no way to create pretty links in YouTube descriptions, and this is my workaround.

#SHAMELESSPLUG Subscribe to my channel! It’s brand new and I can really use your support to help grow it. ✨ You’re the best!

10) Invite members of other Facebook Groups

This one has worked well for me. If you’re in a number of groups, you can direct message people who seem like they may be a good fit.

#WORDOFCAUTION You have to be careful with this strategy. Make sure you follow the group rules. If they don’t allow direct messaging or promoting groups, don’t do it.

And don’t go crazy inviting 100 people a day or anything like that. Maybe ten people every other day, you get the gist.

As long as you mention the benefits of your group (and follow through with your promise), people should be receptive to your invite. Most people have thanked me for inviting them…

11) Invite people who sign up for webinars.

This one I haven’t tried and am so excited to test for my upcoming webinar:

When people register for the webinar, instead of redirecting them to a Thank You page, send them to your Facebook Group. Simple.

I’m going to try this one soon and will keep you posted on my results. If you get to it before me, please let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear all about it!

12) Pin a post or a tweet to your timeline.

This is another one of those things you can put into rotation with other promotions.

Create a post/tweet about your group, then pin it to your Facebook and Twitter timeline. It will be the first post people see when they land on your page.

Pin a group post to your Facebook Page.

Pinning a post is super easy. See those three dots in the upper right of the post?

You can boost the pinned post and reach a bigger audience.

(I’d keep the budget small, say $5-10 a day for a week, and see what happens.)

Even if you boost another post and people visit your page, they’ll see the pinned post first. Woo!

13) Create an Instagram Story about it.

Instagram Stories work! I easily 2x my Instagram traffic every time I create a story.

The best part is, they’re fun and easy to create. Record a quick video or create a graphic about your group and use Instagram’s editing tools to add colors, text, hashtags, and more.

If you enable Save to Archive in your settings, the story will appear on your profile until you remove it, so new followers have a chance to see it.

 

Create an Instagram Story about your Facebook group.

 

14) Share your Facebook Group on social media.

You know what? I ALWAYS forget to promote my offers.

It’s terrible! I had to create a product promo worksheet to force myself to get into a routine of promoting offers in the same way I promote blog posts.

And to this day, I haven’t shared a single post about my group on social media (except for the pinned post, step #8 above).

So, friends, I’m off to start sharing!

Here’s my plan:

  • Create three Facebook/Twitter images
  • Create three IG posts
  • Create one pin

Hook those bad boys up in SmarterQueue, post them to my “freebies” category, and let them loop.

Curious about how to schedule posts with SmarterQueue? I’ve got a full guide for you right here.

That’s a wrap! Those are my tips on how to create a Facebook Group (and how to grow it to get more customers). What tips do you have to share?

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6 Social Media Tools to Help Promote New Blog Posts | Want to increase blog traffic? Here is a step-by-step guide to six social media tools and tips for bloggers / social media marketing plan / social media marketing #socialmedia #blogging

Want to streamline your social media PLUS get more traffic to new blog posts? I’ve got six of my favorite social media management tools to help more people find your content. This post also includes my best social media tips for bloggers and social media optimization tips. Social Media Tools / Social Media Tips for Business

Want to know which social media tools will help you get more traffic so more people will find your blog posts?

You’re in luck! Today, I’m sharing six of my favorite social media scheduling tools to help you get more pageviews, likes, and shares.

#1: Schedule posts to SmarterQueue.

SmarterQueue is an evergreen scheduling tool that allows you to reshare existing blog posts to new followers.

You can also create categories dedicated to new blog posts and set them to post one time only.

I recommend creating multiple “new post” categories and assigning each to its own platform. For instance, you may want to schedule tweets using the “new blog post 2” category and LinkedIn posts using “new blog post 3”.

You can track the number of time slots for each post beneath the calendar.

Use a Word doc to create multiple content snippets using variations of the title, quotes from the post, highlights, tips, or engaging questions. Each content snippet should be unique.

For every new post, I share 15 tweets, 6 Facebook posts, and 2 LinkedIn posts. Make sure you check the analytics and reschedule top performing content as recurring posts.

UPDATE 3/23/18: Twitter changed their tweet policies regarding duplicate posts (can’t reshare the same post anymore). To work within the new guidelines, SmarterQueue will share any duplicate tweets you schedule as a retweet of the original tweet. According to SmarterQueue, Twitter wants you to do it this way, so it may even boost your tweet in the algorithm.

It also looks like SmarterQueue is working on an update similar to SocialOomph’s spinning text (#4 below).

From SmarterQueue:

We’ll be releasing another big update in the coming weeks to help you even further – you’ll be able to create multiple text and image versions of each evergreen post, and each time the post is recycled it will use a different version. This will be available for all platforms, so you can easily test different content to see which gets more engagement.

Love that they’re making it available for all platforms. Woo!

#2: Use Buffer.

While SmarterQueue’s time slots are fully automated, Buffer lets you customize the content in your queue, which makes it a perfect tool for sharing new content.

With Buffer, you can easily control what you share and when by rearranging your queue. For instance, you may want to share 8 tweets the first week your post is published, 4 tweets the second week, and 3 tweets the third.

There are 3 ways to customize your queue in Buffer:

  • Randomly shuffle posts using the Shuffle button.
  • Select the Move icon and drag your post to a new time slot.
  • Use the automated Move to Top button, and then adjust time slots from
  • there.

Posts that get the most clicks, likes, and shares should be added to an evergreen scheduling tool like SmarterQueue.

#3: Promote Content using Quuu Promote.

Quuu is a social sharing platform that takes content curation to a whole new level.

Instead of creating custom source libraries and handpicking each post you want to share, you select interests and categories and let Quuu do the heavy lifting for you. It will curate random articles and share them to your social profiles via Buffer or Hubspot.

The articles are sourced from its partner platform: Quuu Promote.

Before you submit for approval, choose a relevant category for your post.

Once you submit a post, the Quuu Promote team will review it to make sure it meets their quality criteria.

Don’t be alarmed if your post is rejected. Quuu Promote has strict guidelines and holds their content to high standards. One of my posts was once rejected because it focused on a single tool and could be interpreted as a sponsorship or promotion in disguise.

Monthly fees start at $40, and each promotion runs for 30 days, after which you can rerun if your campaign was successful.

In my experience, Quuu Promotions out-performed Pinterest and Twitter ads.

#4: Schedule tweets using SocialOomph.

SocialOomph is an advanced Twitter scheduling tool with a number of attractive features, including tweet intervals and spinning text.

Tweet intervals

Tweet intervals help you create a consistent flow of content and give you maximum control over your posting schedule.

With most evergreen scheduling tools, uploaded posts go to the bottom of the queue and are shared in sequence, which means you have little control over when your content is shared.

With SocialOomph, you can share the same tweet every 3 hours, or every 3 days, by setting tweet intervals.

Select the date and time you want to share the first tweet. Then select Recurringly Publish, and choose how long SocialOomph should wait between tweets.

Spinning text

Spinning text is a feature that allows you to enter multiple text variations for every tweet. When it comes time to share, SocialOomph will randomly select one of the alternatives.

To create spinning text, start with { and add your first tweet text, including your link and hashtags. Follow that with a prompt and enter a variation of the text.

Repeat for as many tweets as you want, ending with }.

Here’s an example:

{ Tweet Title URL #hashtag | Title Variation URL #hashtag }

Another thing that makes spinning text so handy is that you can enter all your text in one window using the rotating text validator tool.

Below the compose window of the validator tool, you can preview your tweets before scheduling.

Set a maximum number of shares or let your tweet run continuously, and SmarterQueue will drip-feed it into your Twitter feed on autopilot.

#5: Exchange share credits with JustRetweet.

JustRetweet is a social sharing platform where members share each other’s posts to Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus in exchange for credits.

The idea is that you earn credits by sharing other people’s content and spend credits by giving them to members who share your content.

The more you share, the more credits you will earn. You can also purchase credits if you’d rather bypass their credit-for-credit system and share original content only.

In my experience, JustRetweet has active members who are happy to share your content.

When you log in to JustRetweet, you’ll see a list of posts with a prompt to retweet or like.

Most members offer 10–50 credits for a tweet or a share. Once you’ve accumulated about 2,500 credits, you can submit a tweet for other members to share. Set the number of times you want it shared and the number of credits you’re willing to offer per share. I generally set a limit of 75 shares.

You can also choose which social networks to include and specify a minimum number of Twitter followers to weed out inactive users.

Once you’ve shared your post, you can view the number of shares in the activity dashboard.

Overall, JustRetweet members are active, engaged, and more than willing to share your tweets.

#6: Use Google Calendar with IFTTT.

Google Calendar is a free tool that you can integrate with IFTTT to schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

To get started, log in to Google Calendar, and create a new calendar. Then, click on the time slot that you want to share your post to create a new event.

Make sure you select your new calendar from the drop-down menu.

Before you enter a title, select More Options. In the next window, fill out the following fields according to this guide:

  • Title: Start with #twitter, followed by your blog post title
  • Location: The URL of your blog post
  • Description: Your tweet text

If you want to share the tweet just once, make sure you select “Does not repeat” beneath the date. If you want to create a recurring tweet, use the drop-down menu to set your preferred frequency.

Save the new event, and then head over to IFTTT to create an applet that will share the tweet event from your calendar to your Twitter profile.

First, connect Google Calendar to IFTTT and create a new applet.

For your applet, choose Google Calendar as the first service, and select New Event from Search as the trigger.

Be sure to select your new calendar, enter #twitter as the keyword, and then select Create Trigger.

Next, select Twitter for the second service, and choose Post a Tweet with an Image as the action.

In the next window, set the Tweet text ingredient to {{Description}} and the Image URL ingredient to {{Where}}.

This action will use the description from your calendar event as the tweet text and pull your blog post image from the URL you entered in the location field.

You can create similar applets for Facebook and LinkedIn. For a complete tutorial on how to batch and schedule posts using IFTTT and Google Calendar, click here.

That’s a wrap!

When you put so much time and effort into writing valuable blog posts, it makes sense to put equal time into promoting them. Use these 6 promotion tools and strategies to increase the visibility of your content and give your blog posts the exposure they deserve.

 

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My first stab at Facebook ads was a simple Page Like campaign. I remember feeling nervous and scared about it, and maybe a little dewy-eyed at the same time.

I had no idea what I was doing, what type of ad I should run or why I was even running an ad in the first place. My Facebook ad strategy left a lot to be desired.

It all started with my clients throwing me curveball questions like What type of ad should I run? Where should we direct people? How do we track the ads? How do I get people back to my website?

Uh…no idea.

Want to sell more products AND grow your list at the same time? I’ve got a Facebook ad strategy for bloggers and entrepreneurs that leverages sales funnels. Time to put rocket fuel on your list and product sales using other people's money to pay for ads. Woo!

I finally broke down and asked my business coach for help. Together, we created my very first campaign. All the while, I wondered why we were spending so much effort, time, and money on Likes (like…what’s that about?).

Vanity, I guess. Wanting to impress my clients. Or, maybe fear that if my page had fewer than 1,000 fans, I wouldn’t be one of the cool girls.

Fast forward a few months later and my Facebook ad campaign strategy turned out to be a success, in more ways than one.

First off, my page got over 1,000 likes. Woo! More importantly, I learned a valuable lesson:

You need a Facebook ad strategy that’s bigger than Likes.

In this post, I’m sharing some hidden gems I’ve discovered since then that will help you use Facebook ads the right way – to build your list and get more sales.

Before we dig in, there are three main components to Facebook ads:

  1. Ad creative – your ad copy, image or video, and call to action
  2. Ad targeting and budget – how much you want to spend per day and who you want to reach based on interests and audiences
  3. Your landing/sales page – Where you direct people once they click your call to action

Much of what we’ll cover has less to do with the creative/techie side of things and more to do with sales funnels. I want to put #3 under a microscope and drill down on where to send people once they click on your ad.

Specifically, should you send them…

  • To a sales page where you ask them to purchase right away?
  • To a separate landing page with a free offer?
  • To no page at all (gasp)?

To help answer these questions, let’s look at two common mistakes people make with Facebook ads:

Mistake #1: Asking for a sale right away

Driving people directly to a sales page and expecting them to dish out on a first date is tricky business.

Let’s use Harry as an example (Harry is a fictitious name based on a real person). Harry has a nutrition program to offer and is eager to bring it to market. He’s been working on it for months and thinks Once this product is finished, I’m set. This is so great, everyone’s going to want it! All I need to do is run an ad, send people to my sales page and then sit back and watch the money roll in. (not)

HOLD UP. Can this strategy actually work?

Sure it can. IF Harry has seed funding and a fat checkbook.

He’ll have to run his ads long enough to figure out: 1) who his target audience really is, and 2) if they love his product as much as he thinks they will. Plus, he’ll have a high customer acquisition cost (aka: huge ad spend) because he’s going directly for the sale.

Doesn’t matter where he runs the ad either. Harry can use Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter for his ads and get similar results. His cost of acquiring customers will most likely be higher than he anticipated and higher than his budget. In my opinion, this is not the best Facebook advertising strategy.

#TAKEAWAY: Don’t send people directly to a sales page.

 

Mistake #2: Asking for nothing

This is the mistake that I made. Page Like and Brand Awareness ads keep people within the Facebook platform rather than driving them to a page on your website. Basically, asking for nada.

Sound familiar?

Based on my experience, what’s typically at fault is a lack of clarity around what you’re trying to achieve with your Facebook ad strategy.

Here’s where we can learn from Harry. Even though he’s misguided with his approach, he is crystal clear about his end goal: to sell a product. He simply needs to incorporate a sales funnel (more on that later) that will “pull people into a sale” rather than “push a sale on people”. Make sense?

Now, you’re probably thinking Okay then, where SHOULD I take people who click on my ad? And what should I ask them to do?

These are both great questions! The best ad strategies are ones that direct people to a landing page. First, I want to help you get crystal clear on what you want to achieve with Facebook ads.

#TAKEAWAY: Be very clear about what you want to achieve and make sure you send people somewhere.

Be very clear about what you want to achieve with Facebook ads before spending a dime.Click To Tweet

 

Facebook ad goals and objectives

You probably have many things you want to achieve in your business, such as:

  • I want more coaching clients
  • I want more consulting clients
  • I want to sell a digital product
  • I want to grow my email list
  • I want more sales on all my courses
  • I want more sales on my new products
  • I want to grow my Facebook engagement
  • I want to grow my Facebook group
  • I want more followers
  • I want more traffic to my site
  • I want to be known online

Whew! It’s a big list. To make it even more confusing, there are as many Facebook advertising options (or objectives) to choose from:

  • Boost post – promote your blog post to increase reach
  • Brand awareness – increase visibility of your brand and name
  • Reach – get your ad seen by as many people as possible
  • Traffic – drive people to a blog post of podcast
  • Engagement – engagement on your ad (like, comment, share, reactions)
  • App installs – get people to download your app
  • Video views – get people to see videos you uploaded
  • Lead gen – get people to sign up for your opt-in right on Facebook
  • Conversions – drive people to a page where they take a specific action (sign up, download, buy a product)
  • Product catalog sales – for e-commerce stores to promote their products
  • Store visits – for local brick-and-mortar businesses to reach people nearby

The trick is to choose the right goals from the first list and the right objectives from the second list. We only want goals and objectives that will help us increase sales.

If you’re confused by all this, I’m going to clear it up for you real quick…

First of all, forget about every ad objective except Conversions. Bump.

Now, from our goals list, let’s call the top six (in bold) our Power Goals. These are the ones that will directly impact sales and business growth.

The bottom ones…those leading to more followers, traffic, brand awareness, and visibility…are lacking muscle, meaning that they won’t have a great impact on your bottom line. Since these Wimpy Goals will likely happen as a result of your Power Goals anyway, there’s no need to chase them down with Facebook ads.

I’ll go so far as to say that Wimpy Goals will leave you thinking that Facebook ads don’t work. After my first Facebook campaign, I steered clear of Facebook ads for a looong time. They’re a total waste of money I thought. Which, of course, they were because I’d set out with a wimpy Page Like goal.

Don’t do what I did!

Next up, remember those sales funnels I mentioned? Time for a funnels throwdown, yo.

#TAKEAWAY: Always aim for a Power Goal with Facebook ads.

Aim for a primary goal with Facebook ads – your secondary goal will likely happen as a result.Click To Tweet

 

What is a sales funnel, anyway?

A funnel is simply a sequence of events you set up, where your target audience is first pulled into your content via a free training or awesome resource you offer, and then “gifted” additional content pieces that serve two primary purposes:

  • To educate them about said topic
  • To help them take actionable steps toward achieving something
  • To lead people to a purchase

Essentially, funnels take people on a scenic route to their destination, which is your solution for them.

Even though your funnel has one business goal, the most heart-felt funnels will provide amazing value that potential customers would gladly pay for…only they don’t have to because you gift it to them. This means that if at any point they drop off without purchasing, they will be taking with them actionable steps to help them achieve a mission-critical goal.

Here’s what a basic funnel looks like:

The best way to advertise on Facebook is to use salse funnelsIf funnels sound open-ended, as if you’ll be giving away the farm, I get it. Creating content takes a lot of time and effort. I’m five hours into writing this post and not one word has come easy, friend.  🙂

Still, I’m happy to do it! You know why? Because I get this little factoid:

People need a deeper relationship in order to buy from us.

Today, face-to-face networking is a ghost in our past, which means that the subtle innuendos and gestures we pick up on in person are missing. We have to rely on our content to fill in that gap and communicate who we are and where our expertise lies. Bottom line, gotta keep showing up, creating, and publishing.

#TAKEAWAY: Free content pieces should provide extreme value and lead to your end goal.

Sales funnels should include free content that helps people achieve something and leads them to a purchase.Click To Tweet

Side note: What should Harry do?

Harry should shift his strategy from pushing a sale to pulling people into his content. Focus on building relationships with people first. THEN, after he’s provided value and earned the trust of his audience, he can gently introduce his product.

Here’s what Harry’s funnel might look like:Facebook ad campaign strategy includes a sales funnel

Now, let’s put funnels to work for your ad campaign…

How to create your own sales funnel

First, work backward from your end goal. Think about what it would take for you to reach that goal.

Step back. Even further. Step waaay back from your product. Imagine that you’re no longer the creator. You’re no longer YOU. You’re a complete stranger who will be discovering said product for the first time.

Now, ask yourself What would it take to get me excited about this? What would be most helpful to me at this point in my journey?

Next, put on your inventor hat again. What content pieces can you create that would be most relevant to your product? What would organically lead people to a purchase?

By looking at your product from both angles like this, you can bridge your free content pieces to your business goal. Don’t limit your content to blogging and Ebooks here. Mix it up with videos and/or podcasts to give your people a sense of a one-to-one interaction with you.

For example, let’s look at what it would take if your Power Goals are to:

  • Build your email list
  • Sell an introductory product

A SUPER SIMPLE LIST-BUILDING FUNNEL EXAMPLE

You’d start with a funnel that includes these pieces:

  • A product – it can be a low-cost Ebook or workshop or a higher-priced course
  • A free course or resource – relevant to both your audience and product
  • A Facebook ad – with a conversion objective
  • A landing page – where people can sign up for your free resource (use LeadPages)
  • A thank you page – with an option to purchase the paid product
  • An email provider – ConvertKit is my new fav (read this post for how to set it up)

Can you see how this type of funnel would put rocket fuel on your list AND increase sales at the same time?

Let’s do some math. Say you spend $100 to test your Facebook ad. The ad gives you 20 new email subscribers, three of whom buy your ebook for $40. You make $120 in revenue and $20 in profit.

If we play this out for a minute, here’s what would happen if you ramp up your Facebook ad strategy and spend $100 a day:

  • 20 new subscribers a day
  • 3 new customers a day
  • $120 in revenue a day ($20 profit)

In one month, you’d have 600 new subscribers, 90 customers, $3,600 in revenue and $600 in profit. Bigger budget = more subscribers = more revenue.

So, how do you make this work?

The formula above uses a 20% conversion rate on ads and a 15% conversion rate on new-subscribers-to-customers.

I’m not going to lie. Hitting those numbers will take some work! First of all, you will need to create the content pieces. Then, you’ll need a winning combination of ad + landing page + free offer + paid product.

On the art side of the equation, you’ll need to have a deep understanding of what your audience most wants or needs. This is a biggie. If you jump into a full-blown ad campaign without solving a specific problem for people, it’s going to be hard to get results.

This is why starting with a small budget is so crucial. What you’re aiming for is to test your ads until one outperforms the others and yields a 20% conversion rate.

Don’t stop there…test your product, free gift, and landing page too.

I know you’re probably thinking This sounds like a ton of work!

I hear you. If you hang in there and stick with it, your investment will pay off as you get more subscribers and customers and see higher profit margins on your ads.

#TAKEAWAY: Use this funnel to supercharge your list and sell your products without spending money on ads.

 

What if you don’t have a product yet?

That’s perfectly okay. You can still dabble in FB advertising. You’ll be looking at a longer-term play and a different Power Goal, which is to fill your list with people who may be interested in a future product. (Psst…want to know my top 4 list-building strategies? Check out this post.)

In this case, I recommend driving traffic to:

  • A standout blog post with a free offer
  • A landing page with a free offer

Since your ad revenue here will be future-based, stay with the small budget and plan on gradually building your list until you’re closer to launch. By then you should know which ads are working and where to invest your dollars.

Include content pieces in your funnel that prime people for your product AND offer amazing education and value. Remember, we’re killin’ two birds with our funnels.

If you’ve been following our Blog Profit Plan series, you’re already blogging around content themes and it will be easy to gather valuable pieces. Then, all you have to do is to gift these resources to your audience in a natural, organic, and sensitive way. Easy peasy.

#TAKEAWAY: Use a small daily budget if your Power Goal is to build your email list and you have yet to create a product.

There you go! Funnels are hands-down the best way to advertise on Facebook. Have you created one yet?

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Facebook Groups Cover Photo Size | facebook groups, facebook group tips, facebook cover photos #facebook #blogHey there, friends!

Are you having trouble figuring out the Facebook group cover photo size for 2019? Looks much different than before, right?

Here’s how I discovered the update:

I started a Facebook group, uploaded my group cover photo, and went to work on prepping the images, prompts, rules, descriptions, and so on.

The cover photo looked perfect – until it didn’t.

One morning, I popped into the group and out of nowhere my cover photo looked like The Hulk. It was cut off on all sides and looked twice the original size.

Has the same thing happened to you?

If so, don’t freak! It’s not you. It’s just Facebook changing things up again.

Luckily, I’ve managed to get Bruce Danner back, and today, I’m sharing the updated dimensions (plus a free Photoshop template) so you can create a Facebook group cover photo that looks beautiful.

Keep readin’ to access the template.

Before we dig in, I’ve got a shameless plug for my Facebook group. I would love your support, guys. You’ll be able to network with other entrepreneurs and have multiple opportunities to promote your products or services. Plus, every week we’ve got #Thanksalatte Thursday, where I’m live sharing strategies to help you build an incredible online community and business.

Click here to join my Facebook group.

Facebook’s new group cover photo size

Here’s what’s happening with the Facebook group cover photo size for 2018.

And yes, it doesn’t look anything like the Facebook group cover photo size before Nov 27, 2017, when Facebook announced the update.

Today, the ideal size recommended by Facebook is 1,640 by 859px.

That’s NOT the size I recommend, and here’s why:

1,640 by 859px will work fine for phones and tablets…

Except that Facebook adds a text overlay to cover photos. If you leave your height at 859px, any text and images in your cover photo will likely be covered by Facebook’s text.

So you need to leave extra vertical space in two places…

1) At the bottom

This is for your group name and description, which Facebook will overlay on MOBILE.

2) At the top and bottom (again)

In addition to the text overlay, you should leave extra space at the top and bottom on DESKTOP because, get this, Facebook will crop it. You’ll need breathing room here, because repositioning your cover photo after it’s uploaded is tricky.

In fact, you’ll need a LOT of breathing room, especially on the bottom.

How much? Minimum 250px, I’d say. And if your group name breaks onto two lines like mine, you’ll want to leave an additional 150px on the bottom, for a total of 400px.

One line: 250px
Two lines: 400px

Your background image will be fine. Any text you add to the top and bottom will likely be cut off.

Because of this, and after some experimenting, I’m going with Louise M.’s recommendation of 1,640 x 921px. This size should give you the real estate you need on desktop, tablet and mobile.

Why did Facebook change the group cover photo size?

The 2018 cover photo size is a 16:9 format, which works well for photos and videos. Given that Facebook is becoming a video-first platform, these dimensions make sense.

Yes, you WILL lose height on both mobile and desktop. The good news is, finding preset 16:9 templates in Canva, Adobe Spark, or PicMonkey should be easy.

If you want, you can download my Photoshop template below and/or use it as reference for your design.

If you do decide to use Facebook’s recommended 1,640px, make sure you extend the height to 921px to allow for the text overlay.

How much of your cover photo will be covered by text?

It really depends on the length of your group name and how it wraps (if you include a location in your description, you’ll need even more space). As an example, here’s what my text overlay looks like on my iPhone 6S:

Facebook cover photo size mobile | Fall 2017

That overlay is tricky, no? I created multiple variations, trying to get it just right, and finally settled on some overlap. It was either that or pull my hair out, *wink.

Here’s what my Facebook group cover photo looks like on desktop:

Facebook group cover photo size desktop - Fall 2017

See how there’s less vertical space on desktop than on mobile?

Again, the top 100px is invisible. Be sure to leave it empty so that your title and image won’t get cut off.

I tried like crazy to reposition the photo without the extra 100px and could only move it up (not down). Just sayin’, we need some wiggle room.

This is the final cover photo I uploaded:

Facebook group cover photo template

Notice how the text on desktop appears higher than the original photo? That’s the extra space I mentioned. I can never get cover photos 100% where I want them! If you have other template ideas, I’d love to hear. Please let me know…

UPDATE JAN 2019: Looks like Facebook resolved the overlay on mobile and it’s no longer an issue. Feel free to use the entire cover photo for text and images without without it being obscured or covered up with the group title/description. Thanks for the head’s up, Danae!

If you’d like, you can download the Photoshop template I created (no email required). To edit the template:

  • Use the top overlay layer as a guide.
  • Replace the image placeholder and group name with your text and images.
  • Click the eye icon to the left of the guide layer to hide it before you save.
  • Save twice: once as a master PSD file, then again as a png to upload.

Click the image below to download the template:

Facebook group cover photo template

I recommend keeping the guide layer so you can go back and reposition your graphics and text as needed. If you’re like me, you will test many different options before you settle on one that works for both mobile and desktop.

Group cover photo info from Facebook:

Keep in mind that the recommended size for group cover photos is 1,640px by 856px (or 1.91:1 ratio). To change an existing cover photo, hover over the photo and click Change Group Photo.

Note: If the cover photo has never been set, group members may also be able to add a cover photo. If a group member sets the cover photo for a group, and later decides they would like to remove it, they will need to delete the photo in order to remove it as the group cover photo. source

how do i upload a cover photo to my facebook group

#FORTHERECORD  1,640 x 856px is NOT a 1.91:1 ratio (should be 859px), so I don’t know what that’s about! Stick with 1,640 x 921px and your Facebook group cover photo will be perfect. Promise.

Psst…Come join my Facebook group!!

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5 Easy Ways to Set Up Instagram Shoppable Posts | Want to sell more products? Want people to be able to buy them right from Instagram, without having to go to your website? This post is for you! It includes a simple step by step process for setting up Instagram shopping so you can level up your Instagram marketing and make more money with every post.If you sell physical products, Instagram shoppable posts are your new best friend. So you probably want to know everything you can about how to get approved for them, right?

Because Instagram is the fastest-growing channel out there. Just look at these stats from Hootsuite and Omnicore:

  • 1 billion users (and counting)
  • 500 million daily active users
  • 68% of users are female
  • 38% of users check Instagram multiple times a day
  • 72% of users have bought a product they saw on Instagram

Luckily, my friend Yandy Zuo is here to share her steps for enabling Instagram Shopping. And believe me, she had to wrestle with Instagram’s guidelines for a looong time before she got approved.

If you’ve been wondering how to create shoppable posts, or if you’ve been struggling to get the thumb’s up from Instagram, this post will help.

First off, here’s what a shoppable post looks like:

Shoppable posts on Instagram

See that “Tap to View Products” button? Click on it, and you can buy right from within Instagram, which is HUGE. A total game-changer and worth going through the steps to get this set up, in my book. 🙂

Read on for Yandy’s best tips on setting up Instagram shoppable posts…

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I’ve never felt happier than when I finally got approved for Instagram Shopping.

Now I can tag my products in my Instagram posts. When a customer sees one of my handmade cards or bookmarks in a post, they can click on the product and buy it right inside the app without having to go to my website.

My social media marketing is *next level* now.

If you sell products and use Instagram to market your products, shoppable posts are essential to increasing sales.

Think about it. Shoppers want to do the least amount of work possible. They don’t want to go to the trouble of heading to your website and manually finding the product. If they’re going to buy something, they want to buy it immediately.

That’s why Instagram Shopping made headlines when it was introduced. It’s also why I spent months trying to get approved. Before I set up shoppable posts, I had to direct people to my website and try to get them to buy. Basically impossible! Especially since Instagram gives you just one place to put a link…in your profile.

Now that I’m approved, I’m loving this feature! Not only can I tag my products in posts, but I can tag them in stories. Wow.

If you don’t yet have this Instagram shopping designation, you may be missing out on a lot of potential sales. But don’t worry.  Three months ago, I didn’t have it either.

Want to know how you get this super cool designation?

It’s actually quite simple to get approved if you follow these five easy steps…

1) First, have a business Instagram account.

This one should be a no-brainer. Why would a personal user need to tag products for people to buy?

Instagram only gives the product tagging to business accounts because they are selling stuff. Also, it’s a way for Instagram to ensure that your business is legitimate and won’t scam users.

To switch over to a business account, go to your settings and click “Switch to Business Profile”.

Related: How to Grow Your Instagram Followers Organically

2) Make sure you have the right policies on your website.

This was the big issue I had with getting approved. You need to have Privacy, Refund, and Terms of Service policies already on your website before you request approval from Instagram.

If you use Shopify, just head to the settings tab and go to the legal section. There, you can create your own policies or use the templates Shopify provides.

If you don’t have Shopify but use something like it (e.g., BigCommerce, WooCommerce), I’m sure they have a section for policies too.

If you use another hosting platform like Squarespace, Wix or WordPress, you can add your policy to the footer, as a link in your cart page or create a dedicated landing page on your website.

Whatever e-commerce platform you use, just make sure you check that all of your policies are there.

3) Sell physical products

This one comes straight from Instagram’s help center. I mean, how do you tag a service?

If you sell both services and products, Instagram will only allow you to tag your products.

If you sell a service or digital product, I recommend using Link in Profile or Link Tree to maximize that one link Instagram gives us. I use Link in Profile for my blog posts and custom order page.

4) Connect your account to a Facebook catalog.

Your Instagram account needs to be connected to a Facebook catalog. If you are using Shopify, head over to the sales channels section and add Facebook first, then Instagram to them.

When you add Facebook, Shopify creates a Shop section on your business Facebook page that displays all of your products. Follow the prompts and wait for Facebook to approve.

I got approved for Facebook right away, so unless your shop contradicts Facebook’s requirements, this shouldn’t be an issue.

If you are not using Shopify, set up your own Facebook page for your business and go to the Shop section. If it isn’t there, you will have to change your page template to the Shopping template. Just click “Set Up Shop” and follow the prompts from there.

Wondering why you need to connect to a Facebook catalog? Because that’s how Instagram can access your products and prices.

Once you have that out of the way, add Instagram to your sales channel and follow the prompts.

If you don’t use Shopify, you will have to manually add Instagram Shopping on Catalog Manager or Facebook’s Business Manager and wait for approval.

5) Comply with the merchant agreement and commerce policies.

This one, in addition to step #2 above, is essential to getting approved by Instagram.

Now, you’re probably already doing this, but it’s worth mentioning that to set up Instagram Shopping, you have to follow both Instagram and Facebook’s guidelines.

If you’re curious, below is a list of content that is prohibited from selling:

  • Commerce posts must not violate their Community Standards
  • Illegal, prescription or recreational drugs
  • Tobacco products and related paraphernalia (e.g. e-cigarettes, tobacco pipes, etc.)
  • Unsafe supplements
  • Weapons, ammunition or explosives
  • Animals
  • Adult products or services
  • Alcohol
  • Healthcare products
  • Real money gambling services
  • Anything that is fraudulent, misleading, deceptive or offensive
  • Subscriptions or electronic products
  • Digital media and electronic devices
  • Real, virtual or fake currency
  • Anything that constitutes Third-Party infringement
  • Anything discriminatory

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t post about something like this if you are a business account (although you might get shut down). It just means that you will not be approved for Instagram shopping. Which means you won’t be able to tag your products in your posts.

If you do post about and product tag one of the products/topics as mentioned above, Instagram can and probably will revoke your approval. Make sense?

That’s it! That’s how I got approved for Instagram shopping. Have you tried any of these tips? Let me know in the comments!

I even made you an infographic so you can easily share and access these steps:

Want to enable Instagram Shopping on your posts? Follow this simple step-by-step guide. It includes everything you need to know to get started with Shoppable Posts on Instagram so you can sell more products.

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Want to ramp up your Pinterest marketing? Uses video pins! Here’s how to upload videos to Pinterest (plus why you should do it vs. share videos from YouTube). Part of my Pinterest Growth series. Click through to start uploading videos and doubling your reach on Pinterest! Did you know that you can upload videos to Pinterest?

Video pins have been around for some time so I may be late to the party here. Still, I’m intrigued by autoplay video pins and like the idea of repurposing content I’m already creating for YouTube to share on Pinterest.

Here’s why I recommend uploading videos on Pinterest rather than sharing them from YouTube:

  • Pinterest recommends a vertical or square format (not horizontal).
  • You’ll be driving traffic to your website rather than a social channel.
  • You’ll see the player icon on your pins.

Ready for the details? Let’s dive in.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something. No worries, I only recommend products that I love and use in my business, and that I think you’ll find helpful as well.

Updated: May 15, 2019.

1) First, who can upload video pins?

If you want to squeeze the juice out of any pin, you’ll need a business account. Video pins are no different here. Make sure you switch to a business account to access the video upload option.

Next, create a billing profile. According to Pinterest:

Only advertisers can add their own videos directly to Pinterest. You might see these as promoted Pins, or on their boards. You can still save your favorite videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and TED, but they’ll only play if you view them close up.

Note: You may not need to create a billing profile. If you follow the steps below and see a video option when you create a new pin, you’re all set. If you don’t see that option, go ahead and set up a billing profile and enter a credit card. The good news is, you won’t need to set up an ad campaign or pay for organic video pins. A billing profile is simply a requirement to upload videos.

2) Next, what format + size works best?

Most of the specs for uploading video are straightforward, and you’ll see them on the right side of the upload window:

Pinterest specs for promoted autoplay video pins

Here are those specs:

File type: .mp4 or .mov
Max size: 2GB
Length: Min 4 sec up to 30 minutes
Resolution: Minimum 240ppi
Frame rate: Minimum of 25fps
Recommended aspect ratio: Square (1:1) or vertical (9:16)
Recommended length: 6-20 sec. video length

Now, about that recommended aspect ratio.

My first video on Pinterest was horizontal (the same video I posted on YouTube) and my pin looks perfectly fine. But since Pinterest encourages vertical pins, I’ll use a 9:16 aspect ratio next time.

#PERK The 9:16 aspect ratio also works for Instagram.

Now I’m wondering…can I promote my horizontal video pin with autoplay? I’ll have to check on that. If you’re curious, you can advertise your video pin fo’real with an active campaign. See more on that in the next step.

Side note: This 360-degree tripod mount makes it easy to switch between vertical and horizontal mode on your smartphone:

3) Upload your video on Pinterest.

This part is easy peasy.

First, select the “+” button, same as you would to upload any pin. Then, Upload video.

 

Upload a video pin to Pinterest.

 

While Pinterest is uploading the video, you can select a thumbnail image.

Edit your video pin thumbnail for Pinterest.

 

As with YouTube, you can use a captured thumbnail image or upload a custom image. I recommend going the custom route and adding a title and/or graphic to the image, so it really pops.

Whew! Almost there. Only two steps left:

  1. Choose your board
  2. Edit the pin

That first step is straightforward. It’s the last one that most people forget.

Make sure you edit your new pin so that people can find it. Include a title, website, and keyword-rich description (always, always!).

The Edit Pin window in Pinterest

#PROTIP Upload the video to YouTube also. Then, embed the YT video in your blog post and link your video pin to the post.

Here’s what the uploaded video will look like on your board:

uploaded video pin with the player icon

See that cool player icon? That’s what you get when you upload directly to Pinterest. 🙂

4) What about promoting your video pin?

Absolutely! To do that, you would create an ad from the top left menu, then select Awareness > Video Views.

Pinterest Video Awareness Campaign

Give your campaign a name and set a daily budget for it. This will help you control ad expenses.

On the next page, you’ll see Ad Group details.

As a general rule of thumb, you want to name ad groups according to the audiences you’re targeting. This will help you determine which audiences give you the best results at the lowest cost. (You can create custom audiences based on website visits, engagement, subscribers, and more).

Even though you set a daily budget for the campaign, it’s important to set a budget for the ad group. This way, you can test multiple audience/targeting combos within the campaign.

Another thing you can do here is to add keywords. Enter a keyword and Pinterest will suggest related keywords, along with their monthly search volume. Just click the plus sign to add them to your targeting.

Pinterest keyword targeting for ads

Next up, choose the video you want to advertise, give it a title and a website destination, and select Promote pin. You just created a video pin. Woo hoo!

5) Repurpose Instagram Stories.

If you’ve been recording Instagram Stories, why not pin them on Pinterest?

Since Pinterest prefers videos under 20 seconds and stories are 15 seconds, you can easily pin a snippet from your story.

Next time you record a video, keep both Instagram and Pinterest in mind…

Maybe you record a quick tip from a blog post…

Or, you record a soundbite from your free offer and drive people to a landing page…

Is your head spinning with ideas yet?

When you pair Instagram with Pinterest, the possibilities for video are endless (especially now that Pinterest supports square images). Just remember to claim your Instagram account on Pinterest, step #7 below.

6) What types of Pinterest videos perform best?

Off the top of my head I’m thinking short videos (2-3 minutes, tops). Long enough to grab people’s attention and make them curious to find out more.

If you already share pins that are tutorials, use those as jumping off points. Your goal should be to entice your audience to take the next step (click!).

7) Work backward from your end goal.

The big question with video pins is, Where do you want to drive traffic?

? Want more website traffic? Upload the video to Pinterest and link to a post or page that is relevant to the video. I recommend linking to a blog post with the embedded video. This is called “repurposing” and is a powerful way to leverage content you’re already creating to boost traffic to blog posts, landing pages, sales pages, and more. High five!

? If you want to grow your YouTube channel, select “Save from site” and enter the YouTube link. You can also upload the video to Pinterest first, then edit the pin and add the link.

? If you want to grow your Instagram following, no problem. Pin the Instagram post to Pinterest. Make sure you update the pin description with Pinterest-perfect keywords and hashtags (Pinterest will use the Instagram comment by default).

#PROTIP Claim your YouTube channel and Instagram account to ensure that all video pins from these platforms are attributed to you. You’ll also gain access to Pinterest stats on any video pin you save from these accounts (including repins).

That’s a wrap! Have you tried video pins yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

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If your business relies on LinkedIn, this guide is for you! It includes 13 tips to optimize your LinkedIn Profile for more views, appointments, and leads. Click through for the complete guide!Updated: August 20, 2019

LinkedIn has 500 million users, and you can bet that a good percentage aren’t on Facebook or Twitter. So if you’re in the B2B space, LinkedIn could be your only way to reach them.

There are over 1 billion searches a day for names and companies on LinkedIn.

This gives you a real opportunity to build your business reputation, expand your professional network, and generate leads and sales.

If you think of your LinkedIn profile as a one-page website, your first impression is crucial. With so many people fighting for attention, your ability to convince and convert potential customers can mean the difference between creating a lasting impression or creating no impression.

Below are 13 tips to creating a powerful LinkedIn profile. Before you dig in, keep in mind that LinkedIn profiles are pretty extensive with sections for Summary, Experience, Education, Publications, and more. There are no short descriptions.

It’s going to take some time to optimize your profile, and it certainly doesn’t need to happen in one sitting. Take your time, go through each section and gather the information and materials you need. You’ll be rewarded with more connections, increased visibility, and more leads and sales.

All of the items listed here can be edited by simply mousing over elements of your profile and clicking on the pencil icon that appears.

13 Tips to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile for more meetings, appointments, leads and customers.

Use a current profile image

Profiles with pics get an 11x increase in profile views. If you don’t have a high quality professional picture, get one taken as soon as you can. LinkedIn is all about the art of social selling, with “social” being the operative word. When I visit a LinkedIn profile without a pic, my first thought is that this is an inactive user. I’m also a bit frustrated, because I want to make an emotional connection and without a pic I can’t. I also don’t feel compelled to scroll the profile to find out more. To me, it means the person is too busy, uninterested or just plain boring to warrant more of my time.

Let people know what you do

Your professional headline is one of the first things people see when they land on your profile, right under your name next to your profile image. Give careful consideration to the title you use. While it might seem appropriate to use a simple title such as “CEO”, standard titles like this won’t do much to get you noticed on LinkedIn. Being creative and descriptive with your headline is more likely to capture someone’s attention. Think of your headline as a mini value proposition. Try to communicate more than what you do, and tell people who you help and how you help them.

Another point worth mentioning is that the words in your headline are indexed by search engines, so be sure to include keywords relevant to your industry with which you want to be associated. Using keywords this way will prompt LinkedIn to show your profile when someone conducts a search for these keywords, so give some thought as to how you’d like people to find you.

LinkedIn profile section

 

Also, don’t forget to let people know your industry (above your location).

Update your contact info

Under your header is a tab for contact. This contains your contact information that’s available to all of your connections. At a minimum, include your email address, phone number, website and Twitter account if you have one. For the website section, you can include more than just your main website and add a link to your Twitter account here as well. Try naming the links in a way that creates interest and tells people what you do, rather than just showing your website address.

sample linkedin contact

Customize your URL

The default URL is long and hard to remember, something like http://www.linkedin.com/firstNamelastName/1/a59/379. You can easily edit the URL to something that’s short and branded. Customized URLs are also referred to as vanity URLs. You definitely want yours to be as short as possible with your name in there so people can easily remember it.

To edit your public URL, mouse over your image in the brown bar at the top right of your LinkedIn profile and select Privacy and Settings. Midway down the page in the Privacy tab, select Edit Your Public Profile in the right column under Settings. This will bring you to your public profile. At the top of the right sidebar, you’ll see Your Public Profile URL. Select the pencil icon to edit. The prefix will always be www.linkedin.com/in/. Add your name to the end of the string and you’re all set.

Make a list of keywords

When prospects and connections search for terms pertaining to your industry, you want them to be able to find you. Take some time to create a list of targeted keywords for which you want to be shown. In my case, I want my LinkedIn profile to appear when someone searches for the word “branding”, so that’s my main keyword. I also use variations such as brand positioning and brand development. You’ll want to write down about 10 for your industry, listed by priority, and have them on hand while you’re updating your profile.

Weave the keywords in wherever you have an opportunity to talk about you and your business, being careful not to overdo it. You should always keep the needs of your prospects at the top of your mind, so make it about them first. Then add your keywords wherever they naturally fit in.

In terms of LinkedIn algorithms for search, the best places to include your keywords are in the professional headline at the top of the page, and a little further down in the Summary and Experience sections.

Write a great Summary

The summary is one of the most important sections on your profile, because it’s the first section people see and it’s where you can really tell your story. Try to elaborate on your value proposition here. Talk about your business, who you are and what you do for people. You have 2000 words to play with, and it’s a good idea to use up as many of those words as you can. Profiles with longer summaries are more likely to show up in search results, which makes sense because you have more room to include the keywords from your list, which I strongly recommend you do.

A common mistake people make is to write their summary like it’s a biography or CV. The problem with bios, on top of being boring, is that they do nothing to share your brand value and benefits. Biographies just aren’t going mean much to your prospects. As business owners we’re here to get leads and sales for our businesses, not apply for jobs, so why write for a job interview?

The point is to really talk to people, be creative, and start conversations. You want to engage prospects and let them know who you help and how you help them. Instead of creating a bulleted list of what you do, let people know how your services and expertise translate into value. People want to read about your solutions.

Sample LinkedIn summary

 

Keeping in mind what I mentioned above, you may still want to add a list of specific services you provide, especially for those services or keywords that are hard to integrate naturally into your story. If that’s the case, list those specific services at the bottom of your Summary, after you’ve engaged prospects in conversation.

Once you’re done writing your summary, take a look at the Add Media section just beneath it. You can add up to 10 pieces of media and visual content to educate and engage prospects. Try to find your best blogs articles, videos, or presentations to include here. Consider ones that are eye catching and will prove most helpful to readers.

Manage Skills and Endorsements

Members who include skills and endorsements receive 13x more profile views than those who don’t. At the same time, this section is often misunderstood because people can endorse you for anything, even skills you don’t have and wouldn’t want to display on your profile. They can endorse you even if they’re never worked with you, met you, or spoken to you, which makes it essentially meaningless. Nobody wants false endorsements.

What you may not know is that you can control which skills you can be endorsed for as well as which ones are displayed on your profile. To edit your skills, select the “Add Skill” link at the top of the section.

LinkedIn profiles that show skills and endorsements receive 13x more profile viewsClick To Tweet

You can choose whether or not you want to be endorsed (I suggest you say Yes). Then select “Add Skill.” You’ll see your list of skills below, and can add up to 50 skills. Pull out your keyword list again and make sure some of the skills match the keywords on your list.

The next thing to do is prioritize your skills so that the ones most relevant to your business and what you do are at the top. All you need to do is drag the skills around until they appear in the order you want. If you have more than 25 skills, the first 25 skills will appear on your profile and the others will have a button to view more.

Your top 10 skills are the ones that show endorsement thumbnails. They’re also the ones that members can easily endorse. Knowing that, it’s a good idea to cycle through your skills every once in a while and shuffle them around so you receive endorsements for them all. Since I’m an online marketer, I reordered my skills so that “social media marketing” is now on the top of the list. It’s been at the bottom for quite some time so I have only one endorsement for it. Now that it’s on top, it won’t be long before I start receiving endorsements for it.

 

LinkedIn Skills section

 

The Manage Endorsements window is where you can control which endorsements are displayed. Selecting this link will show a list of endorsements for each of your skills. Simply check and uncheck which ones you want on your profile.

There are two reasons why the Skills section is important. First, it’s an additional use of keywords and will help your profile appear for a search. Second, skills act as a visual testimonial and form of customer proof. Clients and prospects will see this section, and your skills will reaffirm your value proposition and everything you talk about in the Summary section.

If you’d like to get more endorsements, the best way to go about it is to endorse someone else. When you view someone’s profile, LinkedIn will make suggestions for endorsements. As long as it’s appropriate and you feel comfortable doing so, go ahead and give them an endorsement. This will prompt others to return the favor and endorse you back.

13 Tips to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile for more meetings, appointments, leads and customers.

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is visible

Check your public profile settings and make sure that everyone can see your profile, whether they’re on LinkedIn or not. You definitely want your profile to appear when people search for you on Google and other search engines.

To check your settings, click on Edit Profile from the top menu. In the top section underneath your profile image is your profile URL. If you’ve followed this guide and claimed a vanity URL it will be something like http://linkedin.com/in/yourname.

Hover your mouse over the right side of your URL and select the gear icon. On the left side will be your profile the way others will see it and on the right side is a list of sections. You want every section to be checked and publicly visible.

Check your Privacy Settings

Many people are concerned about activity feeds and updates. Understandably, you may not want prospects and connections to know every time you make a simple change to your profile.

Here’s where you can control which of your activities LinkedIn members can see.

Mouse over your profile image in the top bar and select Privacy and Settings.

The first three links under Privacy Control are where you can manage your activity broadcasts, select who can see your activity feed, and choose what others see when you’ve viewed their profile (Name, Photo and Headline is recommended).

Activity broadcasts are updates that are shared to your network when you update your profile, add connections, make recommendations and follow a company. This is the one you’ll want to toggle on and off when you make small changes to your profile.

I suggest keeping activity updates turned on for the most part so you can stay top of mind with prospects and connections, and toggling it off right before you want to make any discrete changes. Once you’re finished you can go ahead and turn back one.

Your activity feed, on the other hand, is something you do want everyone to see. Let your connections see your status updates, published posts, and any updates you share.

Ask for Recommendations

Recommendations are a great tool on LinkedIn. Think of them as testimonials or success stories. In terms of customer proof, they’re much more credible than endorsements and are an exceptional way to showcase your expertise to potential customers.

You want to reach out to satisfied customers and clients and ask for recommendations. You can also ask for a recommendation from an nonpaying customer, as long as you’ve provided meaningful value. Likewise, if there’s someone with whom you have a professional relationship or whose blogs and content you find valuable, go ahead and write them a recommendation.

The more you recommend others, the more likely you are to receive recommendations in return.

Fill out your Experience

Some people think this is the most important section, but if your past employment doesn’t relate to your current business, potential prospects won’t get the connection, and understandably so, because it won’t be there.

My business is branding and marketing. I help individuals and businesses develop web strategies that position their brand and increase visibility among key audiences. I’ve also had past positions as a fashion designer and as a sound production engineer. Am I going to include these in the Experience section? Definitely No. Not only are they meaningless in terms of getting leads and sales for my business, adding them will only be confusing and cause a disconnect. Again, people are interested in the solutions your current business provides.

Having said that, you want to fill out the Experience section as best you can, because LinkedIn cares about optimized profiles. More complete profiles will be given priority with search terms. Go ahead and list past job positions that support your overall value proposition and current business. Just like in the Summary section, stay away from using bullet points and passive sentences, and have your keyword list handy so you can incorporate them.

You can add media and links here too, and it’s a good idea to take advantage of this feature for your current position, which will be your current business. Add some samples of your work or a guide you wrote, or link to specific pages on your website such as a services page or targeted landing page.

Add Projects

The Projects section is not an obvious one on your LinkedIn profile, which is why many people don’t know it exists. It’s where you can display a written portfolio of sorts and highlight specific successes. You can’t add media to it like you can in the Summary and Experience sections, but if you write some great descriptions about what you did then this section can be useful in showing potential clients how you’ve helped others and how you can help them.

 

Add any projects to complete your LinkedIn Profile

 

Another great use of this section is to promote individual products, campaigns or events. You can feature your offer or digital download with a link to a landing page with more information and a call to action to invite people into your opt-in list.

To add a Project, select Edit Profile, and directly under the header area, beneath your LinkedIn URL you’ll see “Add a Section to Your Profile”. Select the dropdown menu “View More” and you’ll see the Projects section.

Publications

This is the place to feature any books or publications you’ve written. You don’t have to limit it to published books. If you have contributed to other blogs, or if you have blog articles you want to feature, go ahead and include them here, as well as any guides, ebooks, slide shares or other content you’ve written.

Add the Publications section in the same way you added the Projects section.

Key Takeaway

Having a compelling LinkedIn profile is crucial for social selling. It’s your face to the online networking world and your first point of contact when reaching out to potential clients and joint venture partners.

The power of LinkedIn becomes evident once you commit to using it. Try to carve out 20 minutes a day to make connections and grow your network, contribute to groups, share posts and status updates, and contribute your own blog posts.

Download the printable version of the Checklist for when you’re optimizing your LinkedIn profile.

 

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