The Scientific Guide to Pinterest Marketing: How to Create Popular Images for More Pins and Better Conversion

Push pins

What should I be doing with Pinterest?

We hear this question a lot on the Buffer blog. We’ve been fortunate to find some neat ways to improve social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more, but Pinterest?  It’s kind of uncharted territory for a lot of us.

(Just so you know, Buffer doesn’t integrate with Pinterest yet, but you can be sure we’ll be the first one on their doorstep when the API opens up for us to do so!)

In our experience, there is a growing interest in Pinterest marketing, Pinterest research, Pinterest stats and tips. So, here it all is. I found some really interesting data and science on creating the perfect pin, gaining the most repins and followers, understanding the Pinterest mindset, and much more.

Ready to go? Let’s start right off with a whopper of a stat.

More adults use Pinterest than they do Twitter

Do you have a Twitter marketing strategy? I imagine you do. Could you be reaching more people on Pinterest? As of this year, yes.
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The Twitter Strategy Guide: 14 Twitter Tips to Take Your Tweeting to the Next Level

Computer at desk

The line between a beginner Twitter user and a seasoned pro is a fine one indeed.

The distinction changes daily—sometimes hourly—for me. One minute I feel like I’ve got this Twitter thing figured out and the next I find myself overwhelmed by how little I really know.

When I dove headfirst (or feetfirst? either way my eyes were closed) into Twitter, I tried just about everything to find the best strategies for a beginning tweeter.

Now I’m ready for the next step.

Seeing how much the Twitter experience can change for a starter compared to a seasoned vet sent me back to the drawing board to find some new strategies to handle the Twitter stream and to get the most value and enjoyment out of my time on Twitter. Here are a few of the strategies that I have tried. Feel free to pick and choose from these advanced Twitter tips to make a strategy of your own. Continue reading…

The Power of Storytelling: How We Got 300% More People To Read Our Content

Gummy bearsImagine that you’ve written a blog post that can help thousands of people solve a really painful problem.

You’ve written the post, edited it, looked it over a few times to make sure that you didn’t miss anything important, and hit ‘publish.’

You send the post out to your list, share it on all of your social networks, and settle in to see what happens.

And then…


Sure, you get some traffic. Maybe even a comment or two. But nowhere near the level of response that your breakthrough problem-busting content should be getting.

It’s disappointing. And it happens to a lot of us.

The problem is that valuable content isn’t nearly enough.

The power of story

Your valuable content is a vitamin.  Continue reading…

The Big List of The 61 Best Social Media Tools for Small Business

WrenchBanana Republic and Susan’s Neighborhood Shirt Shop could be using the same social networks—Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.—but their marketing plans and their marketing tools are likely quite different. Enterprise solutions are great for the big guys, but the rest of us are in the market for something more our size.

Small businesses are eager to find valuable tools that take a lot of the time and trouble out of social media marketing and that do so without costing an arm and a leg. I think we’d all want tools like that, right?

Well, I went searching for just this kind of simple, easy, cost-effective tool, and I came up with 61 that made the cut. I tried out more than 100 in total, and I’m sure I missed a few along the way (please tell me in the comments or on Twitter which ones deserve a look).

Hopefully you find one or two here that you can use in your small scale marketing that can get you big results.

Social Media Tools for Small Business

Sixty-one is a lot of tools to browse through, so I thought I’d help out by categorizing all of them into a clickable table. The headings below will take you to each section within the post. Continue reading…

5 Tips to Optimize Your New Twitter Profile

channingtatum_profile2Change is coming to your Twitter profile. Big, beautiful change.

Twitter is currently rolling out a profile redesign to all users, a redesign that puts an even greater emphasis on the great Twitter content that you share and one that provides some bonus opportunities to make a branding splash. Visual content will get a big boost. Top tweets will get a bump. And we’ll all be scrambling to find out what works best on this extreme makeover of our Twitter homes.

While you wait your turn to find your way around your new profile, you might be interested to plan ahead. We collected some Twitter tips from past stories, some psychological studies on marketing best practices, and some ideas on how each of these different factors might combine for some truly terrific tips on how to handle your new Twitter profile.

What’s changed on the new Twitter profiles

The Twitter redesign has a lot of people seeing shades of a certain other highly popular social network. It looks a lot like Facebook.
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8 Winning Headline Strategies and the Psychology Behind Them

headlines shatteredRecently I dug into all the research I could find about headlines for a Mozinar on The Science of Writing Must-Click Headlines on Social Media.

(P.S. We have another webinar coming up soon with the awesome folks from Twitter for Small Business—check it out!)

I found plenty of data about what words are used in the most shared headlines and social media posts, how long headlines should be and more.

What was especially interesting was to dig into the psychology behind some well known headline formulas to begin to understand what makes them so irresistibly clickable. Here’s an overview of what I discovered—8 winning headline formulas and the psychology behind them.

1. Surprise

Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, list surprise as one of the six principles of ideas that are really sticky. According to their research, presenting something unexpected—breaking a pattern—will help you capture attention. This works in two parts: surprise captures our attention, and then interest holds it.

Surprising headlines are winning headlines because our brains love novelty. The brain’s pleasure centers are more “turned on” when we experience unpredictable pleasant things, compared to expected pleasant events. Continue reading…

The Complete List of Evergreen Content Ideas for Your Blog

Tree ringsA good tweet peaks at 18 minutes. An evergreen blog post lasts for years.

It’s crazy to see the disparity between two pieces of content that we all create on a regular basis. It’s a little reassuring, too, that some things we make online have a chance to endure.

Having this long-lasting content on your blog and in your archives is a boon to traffic, social sharing, and more. Chances are good your site already has some evergreen articles, whether you intended to make them evergreen or not. These dependable performers are great to have around. I’m happy to share some ways to work more of them into your content strategy.

What makes a piece of content evergreen

Evergreen content is quality, useful content that is relevant to readers for a long period of time.

I assume all of us are already creating quality, useful content by default. The key with evergreen then is that this quality content means something to a visitor who found the post the day it was published and one who happened upon it six months later.

There is no specific length of time for how long evergreen content remains relevant. Some evergreen content lasts forever. Some lasts a year or two. As long as the post can be linked to and gain traffic long after it is originally published, it qualifies as evergreen.

The draw of evergreen content, as puts it, is continued, sustained success. Continue reading…

The Complete Guide to Growing Your Organic Facebook Reach

Facebook empty stadiumNowadays, when I endeavor to check my Facebook statistics, I do so with the window open, birds singing, a pint of ice cream at my desk, and party jams playing on my jambox.

I must balance the bad news with some good.

Checking Facebook statistics has been bad news for a lot of us lately as we wrestle with declining numbers and shrinking reach. As the Facebook algorithm continues to change and adapt, we continue looking for answers. Why can’t we reach more fans with our updates? What kind of content should we be sharing?

What can we do about our declining Facebook reach?

The question comes up quite often, in the comments here on our blog and in discussions we have here at Buffer. We’re looking for the answers ourselves, and we believe we share this conundrum with a lot of other marketers. For our experience, Facebook has been on the decline for some time now.

  • Our posts on Facebook reach an average of 4.5 percent of our fans.
  • Overall reach has been on a slow decline for the past several months.
  • Twitter is far and away our top referral source to the blog. Facebook brings in little more than 1/3 the traffic that Twitter does.

Do these numbers sound familiar? Do yours look similar? We’re keen on finding the answers and experimenting with ways to reverse this trend and to get our Facebook content seen by more fans and followers. We imagine you’d like the same for your business. Here’s what we’ve come up with so far.

The problem with Facebook reach, explained in a single graphic

Facebook reach is on the decline for just about everyone. A study by Social@Ogilvy found that organic reach has declined to 6 percent, a drop of 49 percent from last October. In other words, if you don’t pay Facebook to boost your content through advertising, you can expect an average of six people to see your content for every 100 fans you have.

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How to Find Your Social Media Marketing Voice: The Best Examples, Questions and Guides

Social Media Marketing voiceAmong the many ways to stand out on social media—killer content, amazing visuals, specific formatting, and more—one that often gets overlooked is voice.

We don’t want brands talking at us as if we are dollar signs. We want authentic communication. 

Finding a voice for your social media marketing can be difficult because the concept is somewhat unlike other optimization strategies online. Voice is not a statistic you can track or a design element you can tweak. Voice goes deeper than that.  Instead of tracking and analyzing, you can plan and practice. Here’s what I’ve found works best in terms of getting your voice together and using it to interact online.

What is the difference between voice and tone?

When you jump into the discussion of voice in social media marketing, you can’t help but touch on tone as well. The two go hand-in-hand and are often used interchangeably. In this sense, it’s less important what the definitions are as long as you have definitions. You’ll be better off knowing where you’re headed with a well-defined direction.
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How to Perform an A/B Test on Headlines, Tweets, Traffic, and More

CompareDo you ever wonder how often you’re being A/B tested?

The practice is so commonplace among websites and marketers these days that at any given point at any given website you could be part of a grand experiment in optimization. I often hope this is the case. I love the science and analysis behind improvements—both on the web and in the real world—so I find myself clicking a blue button and hoping my participation is making a website better.

I love participating in A/B tests, and I love performing them. We get an opportunity to test a number of different elements on the Buffer blog, always striving to add more value for our readers. It’s an ongoing process for us, and it’s one that I’m excited to show you.

But first off, just so we’re all on the same page …

What is A/B testing?

I imagine that most of you have some idea of the way that A/B testing works (a large chunk of the definition is right there in the name). In essence, an A/B test is a way to measure two versions of something to see which is more successful. This description from LKR Social Media is the perfect way of putting it in layman’s terms:

Have you ever gotten into an argument with a friend about which route is fastest to get from your house to theirs? How’d you settle that bet? You tested it! You both left the same place at the exact same time, went your separate routes, and found out once and for all whose way is the best.

I do this all the time, much to the chagrin of people in my caravan.
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