The 4 Biggest Pinterest Marketing Mistakes We Made (And How You Can Learn From Them)

I’m a bit embarrassed to share my early Pinterest Pins.

But here they are anyway.

A pin loaded with hashtags, a really odd-sized image, an image with a one-word description, a Pin with no description at all.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes with Pinterest, both in the Pins I’ve created and in the strategies and plans I’ve set forth.

And I’ve come to discover that Pinterest is wholly unique from Twitter and Facebook, and that I’ve had things quite wrong from the start.

All these mistakes have been a wonderful opportunity to learn. I’m grateful for the chance to keep improving my Pinterest strategy, and I’d love to share with you all my mistakes and the new perspectives I’ve gained from researching and experimenting with the best ways to Pin on Pinterest.

Continue Reading →

The 7 Hidden Factors of the Most Effective Social Media Ads

I’ve resisted social media advertising for a long time, believing that there are a host of free tools and free strategies that can help your business grow on social media organically.

What I’ve come to find out (and I’d imagine many of you have discovered this already) is this:

If you’re spending money to advertise online, social media ads may very well earn you the biggest returns.

(In some cases, it’s the cheapest way to reach people.) 

There are so many inspiring digital marketers who are pioneering the best practices and cool strategies for social media advertising. As we dip our toes further into social ads here at Buffer, it’s been fun to discover all the great tips we might try. I’ve collected seven of my favorite ones here in this blog post—a list of simple, actionable tips that drive successful social media ads. 

I’d love to hear in the comments any strategies you might add!

Continue Reading →

The Biggest Social Media Science Study: What 4.8 Million Tweets Say About the Best Time to Tweet

Updated 7/1/2015: Added some new insights and learnings into the blog post here. We’re so grateful for the chance to learn from the community on this!

Imagine removing all guesswork when you schedule your tweets, knowing the best times to experiment with tweeting for maximum clicks and maximum engagement.

As someone who shares frequently to social media, this info would be fantastic to have! We’re always eager to dig up new research into social media best practices—things like length and frequency and timing.

The timing element, in particular, feels like one where we’d love to dig deeper. And we just so happen to have a host of data on this from the 2 million users who have signed up for Buffer!

With a big hand from our data team, we analyzed over 4.8 million tweets across 10,000 profiles, pulling the stats on how clicks and engagement and timing occur throughout the day and in different time zones. We’d love to share with you what we found!

Continue Reading →

How to Choose the Right Stock Photo for Your Next Project

You’ve likely got a great way to search the web for the best free stock photos.

And once you know where to look, how do you decide which photos to choose?

Should you go with abstract or specific?

What is the best color profile?

What is the best orientation?

There are so many great sources for free photos. I find myself asking these questions most every time I pick a photo—how to identify the right stock photo for a project. There’s a good bit of research and advice out there on how to make the best choice when it comes to stock photos. Take a look at what I’ve found here.

Continue Reading →

Can You Run a Marketing Program With Zero Goals?

So much of marketing, it seems, is geared toward growth and traction, particularly when it comes to startups and technology. We are pressed on all sides by tracking metrics, pivoting, learning, and growing—a sort of exponential growth mindset that envelops, well, everything: content, social, email, community. If you haven’t measured it, then it doesn’t count. If you can’t measure it, you’re better off without it.

We’re surrounded by this movement at Buffer, kind of like a stone is surrounded by a stream: change is flowing around us and we’re deciding whether to tumble along or stay still.

Today’s marketing teams seem quite focused on growth and traction.

Can you run a marketing program with an emphasis on neither?

And one of our favorite follow-up questions: What happens if you do?

Continue Reading →

Social Media for Non-Profits: High-Impact Tips and the Best Free Tools

Whenever we have the chance to chat with folks about social media stats and marketing strategies, we are amazed at the many unique ways you all go about charting a path to social media success.

Every industry and niche—every social profile, even—is unique.

Non-profits are a great example of a segment of social media with its own unique elements and expectations. The non-profit structure—donation-backed, humanitarian-focused, member-based—presents an opportunity for some really neat ways of putting social media to good use, and I’ve done my best to collect a number of stats, tips, and strategies here in this post.

Do you run a non-profit? Do you help your non-profit share to social media? I’d love to learn from your experience also.

Continue Reading →

Why You Should Share to Social Media in the Afternoon + More of the Latest Social Media Research

I love to see new stats and research about how to best share to social media.

If it’s research-backed or numbers-driven, sign me up. These actionable tips are what drive a lot of our experiments at Buffer as we’re keen to see if the best advice from these studies meshes with our experience, too.

And there’s a lot of new info to go off of.

I’ve collected 10 of the latest surprising, revealing studies on social media here in this post, with takeaways and insight into social media timing, Instagram sharing, Facebook users, and more. If you’ve seen a recent study worth mentioning, I’d love to hear from you!

Continue Reading →

Our Latest Experiments With Medium, Instagram, and More: Buffer’s Social Media Report for May

It’s been an amazing month at Buffer working on some fun social media strategies and thinking ahead to some big new ideas.

What’s a good Medium strategy?

How can we gain more followers on Instagram?

What might a Buffer podcast look like?

I’d love to share with you what’s been on our plates recently, along with all the social media stats from our Buffer accounts. It’d be great to hear your thoughts also on the content we can write that would be most helpful for you!

Continue Reading →

The 5 Most Meaningful Google Analytics Reports for Social Media Marketers

We have Google Analytics installed on all the Buffer blogs (Social, Open, Overflow, and certainly also Happiness in the future). I imagine you might have it installed, too.

And though I could be in a much better habit of checking GA often, I am grateful to know that all the stats are there for me, whenever I choose to look.

The next question, then: Where should I be looking for helpful social media stats in GA?

There’s just so much to look at, with so many new and unusual titles. I’ve done my best to research and ask around about the best advice for social media marketers using Google Analytics. Here’s what I found to be the five most useful reports that you can set up quickly and let run forever.

Continue Reading →

15 New Social Media Templates to Save You Even More Time With Your Marketing

Imagine having a quick and fast way to get up to speed with social media or to get your work done in less time (and with more confidence).

When I’m in a pinch or into something new, one of the first places I turn is toward a template. I’ve built a stash of headline formulas, social media updates, and more to help organize my mind when it comes to working fast and learning something new.

Templates can be a lifesaver and a time-saver.

I have my favorite go-to templates, and I was also able to dig up a huge number of others, created by some really amazing folks who are generous to help us all work smarter. I’ve collected them here below. I’d love to know which ones might be useful to you!

Continue Reading →