LinkedIn Marketing: The All-in-One Guide to Scheduling and Writing the Best Updates

We write a lot about Twitter tips and Facebook tips and less so about other places like LinkedIn. Part of it is that we’re still keen to figure out our best strategy here. And we thought, in the midst of our figuring things out, it’d be great to share with you what we’ve found so far!

I’m grateful to refer to a lot of amazing info that’s been shared online and on the Buffer blog in months past, some cool tips about LinkedIn marketing best practices and more. Here’s a rundown of the best LinkedIn marketing strategies we’ve found.

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How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan From Scratch

This post originally published on July 16, 2014. We’ve updated it here with new research and stats and a cool new infographic. :)

When I went rock climbing for the first time, I had no idea what I was doing. My friends and I were complete newbies about ropes and rappelling and every other bit of jargon and technique that goes with climbing. We saw others doing it spectacularly well. We were thrilled at the thought of reaching the top of the climbing wall; we had no idea how to get there.

I’d imagine that a social media marketing plan could feel the same way.

If you’re starting from square one, it might feel equal parts thrilling and overwhelming. You know what you want to do and why. You can see that others have climbed the social media mountain; you’ve got few ideas how to get there yourself.

It’d help to have a plan.

We’ve shared before about different parts of a social media marketing plan—the data and research and personal experience behind what works on social media. Now we’re pleased to put it all into a cohesive, step-by-step blueprint that you can use to get started. If you need a social media marketing plan, start here.

Oh, and our friends at online infographic maker Venngage  were kind enough to wrap all that follows into a comprehensive infographic that’s easy to keep, share and reference:

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The Big List of IFTTT Recipes: 44 Hacks for Hardcore Social Media Productivity

This post originally published on May 7, 2014. We’ve updated it here with the latest IFTTT recipes and favorites.

We are all about working smarter here at Buffer. Our focus on improvement and efficiency has led us to blog smarter, share smarter, and approach problems and activities with a fresh perspective of getting more done as quickly and simply as possible.

To that end, we love automation. We get a kick out of tools and apps that do some of the work for us, leaving us more time to invest elsewhere.

IFTTT is one of our favorite tools (and one that I’d imagine you might love as well). We use IFTTT in a number of neat ways here at Buffer, and there are loads of different options available through IFTTT for powering up your social media marketing. I thought I’d share a few of our favorites and some that might help you work smarter, too.

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The 15 Best Browser Extensions to Improve Your Social Media Marketing

This post originally published on September 22, 2014. We’ve updated it here with new extensions, images, and a Product Hunt collection.

There are a few actions I perform over and over again as I work through my social media marketing plan. Do you know the feeling? You click on the same few buttons or type in the same URL.

And then, one day, someone shows you a browser extension that completely rocks your world for the better.

I’d love to share some of those world-rocking browser extensions with you today. There’re several great options out there to supercharge your browser and streamline the tasks you keep coming back to.

Got a favorite browser extension that you use for social media marketing? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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Got 60 Seconds? Learn Something New in These 25 Short & Sweet SlideShares About Social Media

Slide decks exist somewhere near the intersection of visual content and written content, a hybrid form of information and consumption perfect for bite-sized bits of learning.

If you’ve not got time to read through a 2,000-word article, you might have a moment to flip through a SlideShare.

We’ve been excited to experiment with the process of building slide decks around the Buffer content we have here on the blog, and in the course of doing so, we discovered a trove of wonderfully succinct and visual slide decks all about our favorite topic: social media.

We’ve collected a great group of 25 here—the first handful from our top Buffer posts and another handful from the amazing selection on SlideShare. I’d love to hear if you have a favorite!

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A Scientific Guide to Hashtags: How Many, Which Ones, and Where to Use Them

This post originally published on April 8, 2014. We’ve updated it here with new info, screenshots, and audio.

Have you ever found yourself explaining hashtags to someone whose only connection with the word is as a telephone button?

Internet language has evolved considerably over the past few years as social media has taken off. Hashtags are a huge part of this evolution. What once was a telephone button is now a social media phenomenon.  No wonder people are curious.

When they ask, I tell them that hashtags are a pound sign immediately followed by a keyword. They’re used for categorization on social media. Yes, they can be annoying if overused. And yes, I’ve seen the hashtag video of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake.

Hashtags also have the potential to be truly valuable. The stats and info below make a pretty clear case that we should be understanding, using, and appreciating hashtags.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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