6 Ways to Promote Your E-commerce Products on Social Without Being Salesy

The average person spends almost two hours on social every day.

This comes out to five years and four months on social apps over the course of a lifetime.

While this number may sound astounding, we all know how great social can be for connecting and engaging with friends, family, and brands we love.

We can get the news, family updates, and current events we need to feel connected all in one place.

But what’s one thing we’re not looking for on social media?

A sales pitch.

Promoting on social is like walking a tightrope.

When your messaging is on, your social posts can pick up wind, sending your products flying off their digital shelves.

But when you get your messaging wrong…

Coming across too salesy on social can leave your followers racing for the “unfriend” button.

To help you find the perfect balance, here are six ways you can use to promote your e-commerce products without being too salesy.

1. Connect with bloggers and influencers

Friends and family have always been one of the most trusted sources for product recommendations.

According to Collective Bias, 70% of millennials are influenced by their peers’ recommendations when making a purchase.

70% of millennials prefer endorsements from non-celebrities

However, with social, that pool of trustworthy “peers” grows exponentially.

Customers now have more than just their friends and family to get recommendations from. They can turn to bloggers, influencers, celebrities, and the trend-makers themselves.

So why not work with those influencers to become a part of the trends they create?

By establishing partnerships with influencers and bloggers, you can increase product sales and grow a more loyal customer base.

Influencer marketing is a driving force when it comes to social promotion because of how seamlessly posts can blend into a user’s timeline.

In fact, Tomoson places influencer marketing as the most effective strategy for acquiring new customers quickly.

fastest growing online customer acquisition method

Establishing relationships with influencers, bloggers, and trusted celebrities gives you the opportunity to promote your products effectively without sounding like a sleazy salesperson.

After all, the post isn’t coming directly from your brand.

Instead, influencers share their own insights about your products – building awareness and trust.

While some brand posts are organic, the fastest and easiest way to get your products on an influencer’s feed is through sponsored content.

Although the post may be paid, you want it to seem as natural as possible.

Let’s not forget Scott Disick’s major ad mistake.

letthelordbewithyou instagram

Work with influencers who are excited to show off your brand – and willing to put in the effort to create a caption that helps your content stand out.

Also, make sure they’re appropriately tagging each post.

According to some new boundaries established by the FTC, each post needs to be properly tagged as sponsored.

The easiest way to do this is with a simple #ad or #paid, like we see in this example of a sponsored post from Naked Juice.

naked juice sponsored ad on instagram

Unfortunately, this kind of hashtag (literally) screams advertisement.

These posts can come across a bit spammy, potentially pushing away followers for both your brand and the influencer you’re working with.

Although you need to make it clear that the content being shared is sponsored, you are free to get creative with how you do so.

Try labeling your sponsorships as partnerships. According to this tweet from the FTC, a “partner” hashtag is a unique – and ethical – way to let followers know you’ve paid for the post.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

A campaign-specific hashtag like this one can also collect your sponsored images into one place.

When a potential customer clicks your #XXPartner tag, they’ll see what other influencers you’ve been working with.

So what’s the bottom line with influencer marketing?

Don’t try to deceive your fans and followers into thinking a post is organic.

Focus on creating long-lasting relationships with influencers within your industry and be open about sharing products, promotions, and events.

As your connection and trust develop, you’ll see more and more returns out of your influencer relationship – meaning stronger sales from their posts.

2. Run a contest or promotion

Remember when Instagram users lost their minds over a red bathing suit?

In May 2017, Sunny Co Clothing announced a promotion on their Instagram feed. Anyone who shared the image and tagged the company within the next 24 hours would receive a free suit.

red suit instagram

The promo took off.

In just a few hours, Sunny Co Clothing had to post yet another message stating they would reserve the right to cap the promotion if necessary.

A day later, they released another post announcing they would fulfill the first 50,000 orders.

Just 25 hours after the start of the campaign, Sunny Co Clothing’s Instagram following had jumped from just 7,000 users to 784,000.

The response to the red bathing suit giveaway was overwhelming, but not that surprising. A free item is always a great way to create a buzz.

Here’s another contest promotion from Tom’s.

toms shoes contest promotion twitter

Tom’s annual #withoutshoes tradition challenges participants all around the world to spend the day barefoot.

For each image uploaded using the hashtag, Tom’s donates one pair of shoes to children in need.

While participants aren’t the ones to walk away with a new pair of shoes, the promotion builds awareness about the brand, as well as the causes the company supports.

To see real results from a promotion, stay true to your brand.

Focus on quality of participants – not just quantity.

And remember, proper planning is key when it comes to running a successful promotion.

Lay out your rules clearly and easily.

Here were the rules for Sunny Co Clothing’s red bathing suit giveaway.

sunny team contest rules

State when you’ll pick your winner, when the entry pool will close, and when winners can expect their rewards.

Establishing your expectations early on can reduce confusion and keep both you and participants happy.

Create a promotion plan for your contest. Let participants know it’s coming and have a strategy for getting the word out.

Most importantly, have a plan for what you’ll do next.

Think beyond just the contest. Develop a plan for getting new leads and customers into a proper marketing funnel once the promotion period ends.

Don’t let your new leads escape without first adding them to an email list or getting them to engage with your social profiles.

3. Start producing product videos

There are over 500 million hours of video watched on YouTube every day.

This means over 57,000 years worth of video content is absorbed across the world each and every day.

And according to Social Media Today, video is only going to become more and more popular.

internet video traffic

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that we’re becoming more and more attracted to visual content.

Video is becoming easier than ever to create and share.

You no longer need bulky or expensive equipment to create a video worth showing off.

In fact, social makes it more acceptable than ever to post a video you filmed on your smartphone.

Video allows you to engage with your audience in a new way.

You can show off reviews, give tutorials, or give customers a close-up look at your products. You get the opportunity to share your voice, humanize your brand, and strengthen relationships with customers.

The addition of live video on Facebook or Instagram, as well as Snapchat and Instagram Stories, allows you to appear as just another friend to your target audience.

Glossier does a great job at using video to blend into their follower’s feeds.

glossier instagram stories

Within their Instagram Story, Glossier goes beyond simply showing off the products they offer.

Instead, they work with influencers, employees, and everyday people to feature real-life applications of their makeup and skincare line.

Videos like these place your viewer in the product user’s shoes.

Shoppers can get inspiration, tips, or just see your products from a new perspective. Watching your products in action can help them make more educated purchasing decisions.

If you choose to use Instagram Stories for promotion, be sure to link to your products within your post.

This neat feature can encourage your customer to buy right then and there – decreasing the chances they’ll forget to come back later.

Another way to use video comes from Dollar Shave Club.

our blades are great dollar shave club

If we didn’t watch all of our shows on Netflix, this would be just a typical commercial.

It gives the major benefits of Dollar Shave Club, but it also helps shows some personality.

Is all this information probably located on their website? Yes.

Is this a more interesting way to absorb that information? Absolutely.

A new, exciting spin on the company’s most important information can make potential customers stop scrolling.

The video will get shares, a few likes, and maybe even some laughs.

But most importantly, customers will remember it more than a typical text list of benefits posted to Facebook.

According to the Social Media Today study, video can be a powerful influence on shoppers.

With four times more buyers preferring video over text, there’s no excuse not to have some strong video content.

videos in ecommerce stats

Think of your product videos as a way of letting customers behind the curtain. Show them who you are, what you do, and invite them to get to know exactly who runs your brand.

Focus on providing value. If there isn’t clear, distinct, and honest information about your products, it’s time for a second take.

Finally, have a promotion plan. Don’t assume customers will watch your videos just because they’re there!

Know when to post, what to post, and where to post it.

4. Share user-generated content

Who are the best magnets for new customers?

Current customers.

User-generated content is designed to create a community. By using the brand as a middleman to connect other shoppers, user-generated campaigns connect buyers from all over the world.

With 92% of consumers trusting user-generated content more than traditional advertising, it can be one of the best ways to promote e-commerce products on social.

User-generated content, like the multi-channel #AerieReal, encourages actual users to share their own posts using the products they’ve purchased.

aeriereal facebook post

Similar to Glossier’s Instagram Story, the #AerieReal campaign allows customers to see what Aerie’s products look like on real people in everyday situations.

But Aerie also takes their user-generated content a bit further.

Aerie started their #AerieReal campaign as a way to fight the overwhelming amount of photoshop and image manipulation in the fashion industry.

They use their user-generated campaign in an effort to show off bodies of all types, shapes and sizes.

To encourage users to share their own posts, Aerie donates $1 for every post to the National Eating Disorders Association.

This gives their customers an opportunity to show off their unique style skills while also contributing to a great cause.

Plus, user-generated content can be a way to work around the annoying limitations to Facebook advertising.

ugc creating a brand

According to Mavrck, user-generated content can increase your engagement by almost 7X.

With the new Facebook algorithm centered around improving the user experience, a user-generated campaign can help you improve engagement.

The stronger your post engagement, the more impressions you’ll have.

Let’s take a look at how LEGO generates content from their users.

lego facebook page in 2018

Within LEGO Ideas, users become designers.

LEGO Ideas gets end-users involved in the product-creation process similar to a Kickstarter campaign. They brainstorm, vote, and ultimately become a part of the creation process.

This also saves some of LEGO’s skin.

Running potential ideas past customers before a project is developed can help save a product from flopping.

Once the project is complete, LEGO can market the idea as a user-generated project.

According to the Harvard Business Review, this can increase sales up to 20%.

TurnTo found that there are many reasons why users tend to engage better with user-generated content.

the impact of ugc

From increased confidence to more authentic experiences, user-generated content can help you establish the trust that your brand otherwise couldn’t.

So go ahead.

Show off how much your customers love you.

Ask for videos and pictures.

Create a unique hashtag.

Encourage your loyal fans to share their stories.

Get your customers talking – not just to you, but to each other.

5. Take advantage of enhanced posts on Pinterest and Instagram

What is one of the biggest struggles of getting a customer to buy from social media?

Pushing your customer from the social platform to a purchasing page.

If you can’t directly link to the product page, you need to find a way to show your customer where to buy.

While Facebook and Twitter allow you to simply add product links wherever you want, Instagram and Pinterest like to make linking a bit more complicated.

Here’s an example of the only place you can feature a link on Instagram:

Adidias instagram

Unfortunately for you and your shoppers, going to your bio isn’t the most convenient way to get to a product page.

With only one link option, users can’t get directly to the product they saw in a traditional post.

On Pinterest, you can link to a webpage from each post.

However, that link may be to a blog post or homepage that doesn’t directly sell the product your user is looking for.

If it’s too complicated for your customers to buy, they’re likely to give up before they complete their purchase.

Luckily, each platform offers enhanced post options that make it easier for customers to purchase – without you needing to scream directions at them.

On Pinterest, “Buyable Pins,” allow users to buy without ever leaving the Pinterest platform.

They look like this.

buyable pins black shoes

Shoppers are no longer saving items as “inspiration.” Instead, Buyable Pins give them the opportunity to store products like a shopping cart.

If they’re not ready to purchase at that moment, they can come back to the pin when they are.

Because the posts appear within organic content, Buyable Pins don’t seem salesy. They blend in with other pins – only offering the additional step of purchasing if the user is interested.

Pinterest is a social frontrunner for e-commerce products, with almost double the average order amount as Facebook.

pinterest average order value from buyable pins

Pinterest shoppers are ready to buy.

They’re looking up items they want, inspiration for events, and they’re ready to pull out their wallets for something they love.

Instagram is similar.

As another visual-centric platform, Instagram is flooded with influencers, brands, and regular people showing off high-quality images of products and purchases they love.

To make it easier for shoppers to buy directly from Instagram, they introduced a new Shopping feature.

You can see it in this example from Warby Parker.

warby parker instagram shopping

With both Pinterest and Instagram, you’ll want to focus on high-quality images that cleanly and clearly display the product, but that don’t read “advertisement.”

Because they are not featured the same way a sponsored or promoted piece is, they have the power to blend right into the timeline of your users.

If they’re not interested, they’ll pass right by without the annoyance of being assaulted by an unwanted ad.

If they are, they can tap through to purchase.

Use these enhance posts, but do so thoughtfully. Don’t overwhelm your shoppers with purchasing links in every post.

6. Become a part of the conversation

Let me guess.

You have your social media notifications off, posts scheduled, and when you check on your engagement, you only look to see the number of likes and comments you’ve gotten?

While there is nothing wrong with silencing your notifications or using an automation tool, there is something wrong with ignoring your customers and clients.

Because according to CoSchedule, customers spend more with companies that engage with them on social media.

customers spend more with companies that engage on social media

If you could add about 30% to each online order just responding to comments, liking some posts, and giving advice, why wouldn’t you?

Social is about creating conversations – not blurting out whatever promotion you have running that week.

While this tip may not be a direct promotion strategy, it’s a long-term investment that can improve your sales and strengthen your customer relationships.

Here’s a relatively simple communication between REI and a customer.

rei twitter

By lending a helping hand and being available for questions, REI is blending sales and customer service – improving the shopping experience for customers.

This kind of unique attention can catch a customer’s eye.

Whether a digital passerby sees you assisting another customer or you’re speaking directly to the shopper in need, engaging with your audience can make your brand more memorable.

Not only can this improve your chances of getting a sale right then and there, but the customer will also come back for more.

But you don’t have to wait for customers to come to you with questions or feedback.

Check out this #DearEverlane campaign.

dear everlane instagram

Using #DearEverlane, the company blends testimonials, user-generated content, and social proof to get some awesome conversations started.

Not only are they providing feedback and responding to comments, but they’re also putting it on display for other customers to see.

They’re showing that they’re human.

Don’t be afraid of your audience finding out there are real people running your business.

Encourage them to get in touch, ask questions, and reach out with feedback.

Then acknowledge those comments with genuine, thoughtful, helpful responses.

Try to show some personality beyond your marketing campaigns and product lists.

By actually taking the time to acknowledge your target audience on social media, you’re able to create deep relationships that can develop into loyal shoppers.

Conclusion

The traditional sales pitch is long gone.

With the entire Internet at their fingertips, customers are more prepared than ever to make educated purchasing decisions.

They don’t need you telling them what to buy.

If you’re still hoping to land a sale by telling your customers what they “need,” you’ll quickly find that your e-commerce store isn’t doing so hot.

Rather than trying to push sale after sale, use social to establish genuine relationships and connections with your customers.

Connect with bloggers and influencers to get in front of a new audience. Or run a contest or promotion to increase engagement.

Think beyond the normal product pages and make product videos to show off your products and personality.

Then use your current customers with user-generated content.This shows your products in real life.

And mix it up. Use enhanced posts to sell directly on social media so your customers don’t have to go anywhere else.

Finally, use social media to have a conversation with your customers.

By listening to what they want, engaging with people they trust, and developing campaigns that help get them involved in your brand, your social platforms can become selling machines.

What promotion strategy have you seen the most success with for your e-commerce store?

About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.

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How to Use Facebook Messenger to Sell More E-Commerce Products

Facebook Messenger currently has more than 1.3 billion monthly active users.

Not only that, but 2 billion messages are sent back and forth between end users and businesses every month.

This is a huge opportunity to move consumers through the sales funnel and to boost your sales.

Now that Facebook Messenger has introduced the ability to purchase products directly through the app, the opportunity is even larger than before.

Unfortunately, many businesses seem to be struggling with successfully tapping into this huge market.

47% of customers surveys say that they didn’t have a positive live chat experience in the last month.

Not only that, but 56% of consumers can’t recall any exceptional live chat experience.

This means Facebook Messenger is a great opportunity to set your brand and your company apart in the eyes of the consumer, if you can do it well.

I’m going to show you how to wow your customers with Facebook Messenger.

I’ll help you figure out how to do this so well it won’t just improve your customer experience, it will also boost your sales.

First, let’s look at the main functionality of Facebook Messenger and why you should be adopting it as part of your business strategy.

Facebook Messenger is no longer just a messaging app

Facebook Messenger originally began in 2011 as a messaging app for Facebook users.

Messenger has since grown into so much more.

facebook messenger texting and so much more

Now consumers can watch videos, play games, connect with companies, make payments, send money, and more, all without ever leaving the Messenger app.

64% of Facebook users are on Messenger.

Not only that, but 50% of American teens use Messenger every day.

There is a large and growing target market sitting here for businesses to immediately access.

Businesses are clearly recognizing the potential as there are already 60 million of them signed up on Messenger.

You might see that number and assume it means the market is saturated.

Unfortunately, it seems like most businesses are struggling to provide the services and options that consumers expect.

A survey conducted by Kayoko found that while consumers love real-time support, they hate the typical live chat experience.

There is a noticeable lack of faith in businesses ability to handle live chat well.

starting a live chat conversation

This is important to remedy. Live chat isn’t just for customer support, it also impacts sales.

businesses realize live chat can grow their businesses

Live chat isn’t the only way to use Facebook Messenger to sell.

The chatbots can be used different ways to boost sales and build customer loyalty.

Not only that, Chatbots could save insurance, financial services, sales, and customer service departments $174 billion.

chatbots could save 174 billion

Combined with the Buy Now feature, Facebook Messenger is one of the top free Shopify apps to boost e-commerce sales.

First, I’ll walk you through how to set up a chatbot and the Buy Now feature of Facebook Messenger.

Then I’ll show you some of the best ways you can use Messenger to sell more products.

How to build your chatbot

The first step to using Facebook Messenger is to set up your chatbot.

While you’re setting it up, keep the following in mind:

  1. Use Simple, Clear Language and Instructions – Avoid technical jargon, complicated instructions, and overly complex responses.
  2. Use Guided Responses – Use prompts with response options. Open-ended questions can be difficult to properly program. It creates too many potential consumer responses to try to plan for.
  3. Don’t Be Pushy – Users can also easily block your bot if it’s annoying them. Slowly introduce promotions or selling opportunities. Monitor customers’ reaction to make sure you’re not annoying your audience.
  4. Have a Plan – Who are you’re building this bot for? Know who your audience is and what problem you’re trying to solve for them. Build a chatbot to solve those problems.
  5. Offer a Way to Speak with a Real Person – Make sure you don’t leave your customer frustrated with an unresolved issue. Offer a preset option like “Contact Support” in case their questions remain unanswered.
  6. Optimize and Update Your Bot – Continue testing and improving. Watch what your customers struggle with and how they respond to new ideas.

There are many services out there that will help you set up Facebook Messenger Chatbots, such as Mobile Monkey.

mobile monkey

For a simple do-it-yourself guide, Social Media Examiner has a great post.

Start by selecting a single goal for your bot such as handling order confirmations.

Refine it based on user feedback.

Then slowly add additional features that will start driving new sales.

If you don’t feel comfortable coding bots from scratch, you can hire a developer to build them for you.

Link Messenger to your e-commerce store

Once you have a Messenger bot, you need to sync it to your website.

After all, if Messenger isn’t linked to your site, it can’t reflect product updates, price changes and other information you need it to have.

There are three ways you can integrate the use of Messenger with your e-commerce website:

  1. Add the Messenger sales channel to your store site.
  2. Add Facebook Live Chat to your e-commerce store
  3. Add the Buy Now button to your Messenger bot.

The Messenger Sales Channel

The Messenger Sales Channel allows customers to view your product catalogs within the Messenger app.

When they find something they want to buy, it will take them to your e-commerce checkout page.

You can also use the Messenger sales channel to respond to customers’ questions and provide automated notifications about their orders.

It’s easy for customers to contact you. They can either click Message Us from your online store or click Message on your business’s Facebook page.

Shopify walks you through a few simple steps to add the Messenger channel if your e-commerce site is through them:

add the messenger sales channel

Facebook Live Chat

Facebook Live Chat is one of the Best Shopify Apps for Customer Service in 2018.

zotabox facebook messenger

The Facebook Live Chat Shopify app allows you to provide chat on your Shopify website, whether they’re on mobile or not.

zotabox facebook live chat

You can install it on your site by clicking the “Get” button and following the links.

Set up options include the following:

  1. Display on Certain Pages Only
  2. Time on Site
  3. Scroll Down Page
  4. Minimum Screen Size
  5. Mobile Friendly (for some tools)
  6. Exit Intent (for some tools)

zotabox facebook live chat reviews

The Buy Now button

Unlike the sales channel, which brings customers out of Messenger to your site checkout, the “Buy Now” button allows for purchases without ever leaving the app.

All a customer will have to do is tap the button and go through a simple checkout process within the app.

buy now button in facebook messenger

Customers contact, shipping, and payment info will be pulled automatically from their Messenger profile if they’ve set it up.

To complete the purchase, they can tap “pay.” They will then receive an order confirmation, including the option to see a receipt.

You will receive payments from these purchases through a PayPal or Stripe account.

Use targeted chatbots to boost conversions and sales

Now you’ve set up a basic chatbot, and you’ve synced Messenger to your e-commerce site.

The next step is to start building in the more advanced chatbot options to drive more traffic, conversions, and sales.

Provide customers with entertainment.

Consider designing your chatbot for entertainment, assuming it fits with your brand.

You can send fun facts, games, and entertaining content.

The Trivia Blast chatbot is a good example of this.

trivia blast facebook messenger

The chatbot will send regular messages with game suggestions and calls to action to play them.

Users can sort the trivia games by topic, and some games offer the option to “challenge a friend,” inviting more users to sign up.

Consider these points when building a chatbot for entertainment:

  • Always ask users to opt into receiving new content.
  • Make sure all of your content is mobile-friendly.
  • Use lots of videos and images to keep your messages engaging.

Offer customers free stuff.

Everyone loves free stuff when there is no commitment required.

They get something without any effort.

According to Dan Ariely from Duke, the word free “gives us such an emotional charge that we perceive what is being offered as immensely more valuable than it really is.”

You can use this “free effect” with your chatbots to generate leads.

Here’s a chatbot that offers tips for de-stressing.

distressing facebook messenger

Why offer something free?

It helps build a meaningful relationship and engagement with your customers.

Your willingness to give away something for free before a customer buys anything builds trust.

This will help increase your conversion rate.

Build engagement with empathy.

Empathy is a powerful tactic in your marketing arsenal.

Empathy is showing another person you understand how they feel and what they’re going through.

When people believe you understand them, they are more likely to buy from you.

Empathy from a chatbot is more difficult than with human interaction, but it’s still possible.

Build your bot to mimic empathetic questions and responses. Make the language emotional and understanding.

Check out this chatbot from Sebastian Kull.

sebastian kull chatbot

By asking, “What is your biggest business struggle right now?” the chatbot is trying to project empathy and concern.

Consider these ways of using empathy in chatbots:

  • Offer free advice for a problem.
  • Use language that empathizes.
  • Give away exclusive, valuable content.

Empathy is great for building trust with prospects and generating leads.

Encourage sharing and referrals.

Not much in marketing is more powerful than word of mouth.

People trust their friends far more than they trust a salesperson or paid advertisement.

That’s why people click paid search results far less on Google than organic results.

web visit channel distribution

It’s also why reviews and other social proof increase conversion rates.

People trust other people. And they trust their friends even more.

Companies with consistent referral programs experience a 69% faster close, 59% higher lifetime customer value, and 71% higher conversion rates.

percentage of companies with referral programs

How can you use word of mouth in your chatbot?

The easiest way is to ask for a referral after they’ve bought a product and are happy with it.

You can include a “share” button that allows people to share the chatbot with their friends.

share button on chatbot

If you target people with this when they’re most satisfied, you’ll gain new customers by leveraging your existing ones.

It’s a very effective marketing technique, with a high conversion rate.

Encourage lead nurturing through chatbots

Most people don’t just visit your website once and then buy.

The average person will visit your website and see your product multiple times before ever purchasing.

That’s why lead nurturing is so important.

Before AI, lead nurturing was done through automated email messages, email segmentation, and manual prospecting.

59% of Americans are willing to receive coupons or special offers through a chatbot.

americans willing to receive offers or coupons through chatbots

People are increasingly more comfortable with receiving offers from chatbots. This means there is no need to fear that using them will make your business suffer.

In fact, chatbots seem to be outperforming apps.

The average retention with the bots after just one month of use was 40-60%. The apps? 20-40%.

retention rates of bots

Chatbots respond quickly, and they don’t forget to send a message.

They are the perfect, cost-effective option for nurturing leads.

Provide guided sales advice.

If you had the choice between searching a website solo or having a salesperson guide you, which would you choose?

I’m willing to bet that you’d prefer to browse on your own.

That’s what I’d choose.

Consumers like to be left alone to shop.

consumers prefer chatbots

The great thing about chatbots is that consumers feel like they still have the comfort of shopping alone.

There is no anxiety of interacting with a “pushy salesperson” since everyone knows chatbots aren’t real people.

You can use your chatbot to interact with customers in a non-invasive, low-pressure way.

Here’s a great example of this:

shop spring chatbot

Chatbots can ask customers questions and then only show products they’re interested in.

spring chatbot product discussion

Make sure you build your chatbot to ask questions about price, type of product, and style.

Then, set it to only show users the items they’re actually interested in.

Provide gift buying support.

84% of consumers experience gift buying stress.

Luckily chatbots can help ease this stress
.
Chatbots can make gift recommendations.

GiftGuru does this in a way that’s fun.

giftguru chatbot

During the holiday season, people are going to buy gifts.

You can make this easier for your customers and boost your sales with chatbots.

They are less expensive for your business and less anxiety-inducing for your customers.

Use chatbots for data mining.

Data is as valuable as gold.

Validated tests with meaningful data show us right from wrong in our campaign attempts.

A/B testing is more possible than ever before with the rise of artificial intelligence and chatbots.

Bots can have an enormous amount of conversations in a short period of time. Every time they do this, they are gathering new, relevant data.

Consider the shopping bot, Celebstyle, as an example.

It allows you to steal your favorite celebrity style.

celebstyle chatbot

Then it offers suggestions of clothes based on that celebrity.

celebstyle chatbot where to get this look

Every time a consumer chooses a celebrity or buys clothing, it provides new data.

This can then feed into your analytics tools and reports to help you improve the targeting and layout of your ad campaigns.

Improve your customer support service.

Customer support has traditionally been a challenge for businesses.

Chatbots can make a significant difference here.

In the healthcare and banking industries, a bot answering questions saved an average of 4 minutes when compared to an in-person inquiry.

chatbot time saving

On top of that, more than 50% of customers expect businesses and their support center to be open around the clock.

50% of consumers expect a business to be open 24/7

This is a lot easier, and cheaper, to do with chatbots.

The hardest part of salesmanship is responding promptly and being available all the time.

Chatbots can do this better than humans.

The average company takes 10 hours to respond to a consumer’s message.

10 hours average time for company to respond

A bot can respond immediately.

Check out this conversation with a shopping bot named Magic.

magic chatbot

The customer instantly gets what they want, when they want it, no matter what time it is.

This is a great way to boost sales in a world that is becoming increasingly busier.

Narrow down your target marketing.

Can you imagine if bots were able to learn about and send them customized messages that catered to their specific location in the sales funnel?

It’s already happening today with email segmentation.

Low-commitment prospects are sent low-pressure emails. High-commitment customers are upsold on the newest product.

MailChimp sees a 14% higher open rate and a 100% higher click-through rate with segmented campaigns.

segmented emails outperform

If it works for email, it will work for bots too.

Segmentation will eventually become fully automated.

H&M’s bot already does this on a small scale.

hm chatbot

The bot asks users which outfit is their favorite. Then it automatically creates a user profile for each person based on their answer.

This means the bot (and the business) is becoming better and better at showing outfits that will resonate with their target customer.

The robots are learning, and this helps your company better target ads and boost sales.

Help customers comparison shop.

Everyone loves to find a good deal.

How do you know when something is a good deal?

You need to be able to compare prices of identical and similar products.

In the past this may have meant opening several browser tabs or calling different companies.

Now, chatbots can do it all for you. This allows your ideal customers to easily comparison shop.

5Gifts4Her is a shopping bot that allows users to easily compare potential gifts across similar product and price ranges.

5gifts4her chatbot

Chatbots can even be programmed to compare local prices based on the location of a user.

price comparisons chatbot

Thanks to this new technology, comparison shopping has never been easier.

You can use this technology to boost consumer trust and ultimately sales, assuming you’re competitively priced.

Share locations & tracking with customers.

Do you offer in-store pickup for your products?

If so, instantly sharing your location with a customer can save time and effort for both of you.

Location-sharing makes it easier for customers to find you and plan how to reach your shop.

send location in chatbot

If you ship directly to home, it can work the other way around as well.

Customers can instantly provide you with their address via Messenger instead of having to type it in.

These simple chatbots can tell your customers important information about their order after a purchase has been made.

They can send an order confirmation and shipping notification.

Shopify has several Messenger chatbots that can provide order updates. They typically start at only a few bucks per month.

An order confirmation looks like this:

zennkai salon chatbot

When the order ships, the customer receives another notification.

zennkai order tracking

Customers can also click “Track shipment.” This will take them directly to the shipping carrier’s website where they can see up-to-date information on the location of their package.

Your customer can also choose to click “View order,” or “Continue shopping.”

Either of these options directs them back to your website to encourage more shopping.

Use Messenger chatbots for abandoned cart recovery.

More than 60% of consumers abandon their shopping carts before completing the purchase.

ecommerce cart abandonment rates by category

In Finance and Non-profit that rate is as high as 83%!

That means 2 out of 5, or less, survive all the way through your checkout process.

Chatbots can help you with this.

Since you’ve already connected Facebook Messenger with your website, you can use it to automate an abandoned cart follow-up sequence.

Pura Vida Bracelets already does this well.

pura vida bracelets chatbot

They didn’t stop with a simple reminder.

They also offered a 20% off discount in a great attempt to close the deal.

beachlife bracelets coupon

Adding a discount to your offer incentivizes people to finish their purchase.

The two main reasons people abandon their shopping cart is that the final price is too high.

ecommerce cart abandonment reasons in united states

Adding a discount to your abandoned cart follow-up leverages this and may capture consumers who abandoned due to the price.

Here’s another great example:

commerce bot chatbot

Why are chatbots such a great place to recapture cart abandoners?

People often have their email notifications turned off, but they rarely turn off their Messenger notifications.

This means you’re more likely to reach them immediately.

The faster you reach people who hesitate to buy, the higher the chance that they’ll finish their purchase.

faster is better in sales

Conclusion

Messenger apps are a huge marketing opportunity.

More consumers and businesses are adopting the use of mobile and messaging social apps every year.

To use Messenger to boost sales, you need to make sure customers enjoy interacting with your brand.

The last thing I want to do is push away consumers with poorly programmed chat bots.

That’s why it’s so important to use Messenger and chatbots right.

Start with setting up your bot for basic interactions. Then sync it with your e-commerce site and add the “Buy Now” functionality.

Once this is done, start programming your Messenger chatbots for interactions that will increase your sales.
These include offering entertainment, free stuff, advice, and support through Messenger bots.

Additional options are lead nurturing and engagement interactions.

I recommend you use Messenger to test your bot programs as well as your other ads, to data mine, improve targeting and boost your sales.

Program these interaction sequences in with simple language, guided responses, and the ability to speak to a real human whenever needed.

This will have you outshining the competition and increasing your sales in no time.

How do you use Facebook Messenger to sell?

About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.

User Engagement: The Most Important Metric You Aren’t Tracking for Your SaaS Business (and how to do so)

**Click here to check out Sherlock – our recently released product on Product Hunt now**

User engagement is the lifeblood of every SaaS business.

Whether you run a light, freemium prosumer app; or a heavy, enterprise B2B app – the success of your business is dependent on the engagement level of your user base.

This is because the business model of SaaS is based on retention.

It’s not about acquisition. You can sign-up as many customers as you want, but if they all leave after a month – you lose. The entire SaaS business model breaks without retention.

And engaged users stick around for a long, long time. Unengaged users don’t.

Without an engaged user base, you don’t have retention. Without retention, you don’t have a business.

It really isn’t much more complicated than that.

So…if user engagement is really this important to any SaaS business, why is it so hard for most of them to answer some seemingly simple questions,

  • Who are my most engaged users?
  • Which are my most engaged accounts?
  • Is my total engagement going up or down?
  • What is my most engaging event?
  • And a slew of other questions about user engagement…

I have always found it crazy that almost no SaaS businesses truly understands how engaged their user base is — now or over time. Certainly not from a quantitative perspective.

Even though it’s super important.

In this post, we will attempt to remedy that by laying out a framework for creating an essential engagement score that will allow you to actually quantify the engagement of your userbase.

*Full disclosure — we built our product, Sherlock, to enable product teams to easily build, track and take action on a custom built engagement score. You can check it out here.

Four steps for creating a User Engagement Score for your Product

STEP 1: Define Engagement for your Product

This first step for creating an engagement score is a strategic step. In this step you need to think about what engagement means for your specific product.

Active vs Engaged Users

A quick note about active vs engaged users. They are not the same. Lincoln Murphy, one of my favorite SaaS thought-leaders said it best:

“Very often, I see people using the terms ‘active’ and ‘engaged’ interchangeably when talking about user engagement. I think this is a mistake. These terms are related…but do not mean the same thing. You want “engaged” users…not just active users. A common definition for engagement for many SaaS apps is: number of logins. Seriously. This is a lot more common than I wish it were (I see it ALL THE TIME), but this is how a lot of SaaS providers measure ‘engagement.’ Logging in is a proxy for an active user, but it is certainly not engagement. Someone might login to your product to find the cancel button. Engaged users are those who are logging in and using the features that are driving value for him/her.”

I completely agree with this perspective. We don’t believe in some universal definition of engagement that applies to all products. Each product is unique. Each product has its own nuances which define successful engagement. So…it’s important to define — specifically — what it means to be “engaged” with your product.

For example, a B2B productivity tool could define “engagement” as a certain number of projects created, tasks created, tasks completed, team members added, comments left, files uploaded, projects completed, etc.

A social networking application could define “engagement” as a connections made, posts/updates, likes, comments, etc.

The point is —  your product IS unique. Don’t run away from that fact. Embrace it and create a engagement model based on the important (and unique) activities that are important to your product. My guess is that you already have a good idea of what these activities are.

If you don’t, I would suggest a quick survey of your team. Ask everyone a very simple question:

“What is an engaged user of [our product]?”

They should answer with something like, “An engaged user of [our product] does X, Y, Z.”

You will receive some very interesting answers. Undoubtedly, some will be very qualitative while others will be more quantitative. None will be “right” (there is no “right”), but these responses from your team will give you a great starting point for defining engagement and maybe help you think about things you hadn’t before.

Regardless of how you get there, you should now have a list of ‘engagement’ activities that a user can take in your product (or even outside of your product). It could look something like this:

ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES

  • Logged in
  • Added photo
  • Shared photo
  • Invited friend
  • Commented on photo
  • Edited photo
  • Posted to Facebook
  • Posted to Twitter
  • Opened email
  • Clicked on email

Once you have this list created (and don’t worry — things can change — you will be iterating and refining this over time and as your product evolves)…you can move on to Step 2 – tracking these activities.

STEP 2: Start tracking these product activities (ie — events)

I’m assuming most SaaS teams reading this are already tracking their important product events.

But if you’re not….what are you waiting for? Get yourself a Segment account and get it done.

No excuses…make it happen (then move on to step 3).

STEP 3: Weigh each ‘engagement’ event

Now that you are tracking your important engagement events, the next step is to weigh each event based on its impact, or its importance, to overall engagement with your product. This is an essential step because:

All activity is not created equal.

Certainly the act of inviting a new user to your product is a more engaging act than simply logging in (as Lincoln Murphy argues). Writing a long post on a social media site is more engaging than simply liking a post. Creating a project on a task management application is a more engaging than simply completing a single task. And so on.

So you need to weigh these activities accordingly. Create a table that looks like the one below. List your engagement events on the left column, then add a column for Event weights:

sherlock event name event weight

You can have a score range of 1–10, 1–100, 1–1000…whatever you want. The point is you should give each event a point value that is in line with its value to overall engagement. As a general rule, more common, higher-frequency events should have lower point values. Less common, lower-frequency events — those used by “power users” — should have higher values.

Then, for each one of your users, you should add a column for the number of times they triggered each event over a period of time (for example, the last 7 days):

event name event weights number of weights

Then simply multiply the event weight by the number of events – it should look like this:

total event value

The total of all your individual event values will give you a total engagement score for an individual user.

Then…just run this for each one of your users and you will have the basis for a quantified user engagement score.

you did it congratulations elf will ferrell gif

But don’t stop there. Next step is to give it all some meaning.

STEP 4: Give it Context

While this step isn’t necessary for creating an engagement score for your product, it’s an essential step for making that score valuable for your business. There are a few ways you can give this score context so that it can help you make decisions:

1. RANK YOUR USERS

When every one of your users has an engagement score, that gives you the opportunity to do something amazing — actually rank your users based on their engagement. And this opens up so many opportunities. To name a few:

  • Discover your power users and find out what makes them great;
  • Prioritize sales efforts to focus on engaged accounts that will convert;
  • Prioritize customer success efforts to drive great support, identify problem accounts and growth opportunities;
  • Drive more personalized marketing programs;

This kind of user ranking can help you understand your users in the context of their actual engagement with your product — which is incredibly powerful.

2. CALCULATE OVERALL SCORE FOR YOUR PRODUCT

By calculating a score for each one of your users, you can aggregate those scores to create an engagement score for your product as a whole.

user engagement score sherlock

By tracking this average score overtime, you can determine whether or not the work you are doing on your product is actually driving engagement.

3. COMPARE POPULATIONS OR COHORTS

A user engagement metric becomes tremendously helpful when comparing different populations of your of users. You can compare the engagement of new users vs older users; users on a free plan vs those on a paid plan; users with different access-levels; etc.

The opportunities to gain insights by comparing engagement across segments are endless.

4. CORRELATE WITH OTHER BUSINESS METRICS

Ultimately, a good user engagement score is an essential business metric — not just a product metric — for any software business. So, comparing the levels of user engagement to other business metrics — like sales, retention, growth, LTV, etc is a great way to ultimately predict and forecast business progress based on engagement levels.

And if you don’t think user engagement is tied to the value of your business…read this (it cost Twitter over $1B in market cap): Morgan Stanley downgrades Twitter

Keep improving

Peter Drucker is famous for saying,

“You can’t improve what you don’t measure.”

This is certainly true when it comes to user engagement. It’s an essential metric for every software business — so you need a way to measure it and make it actionable. We hope this post helps offer a framework for getting a quantitative handle on engagement.

If you’d like to have a product that does all of these steps for you, we can definitely recommend Sherlock – we’d love to hear your feedback!

About the Author: Derek Skaletsky is the Head of Product and Customer Success at Kissmetrics. Previously, he founded the engagement automation app Knowtify which was acquired by Kissmetrics.

Get Web Traffic Without Relying on Google – or Spending a Dime

As of this month, Google had almost 75% of the search engine market share, which means that far more people are looking for information on Google than on any other search engine.

desktop search engine market share

So, if you have a new website, you should be putting most of your energy into ranking on Google, right?

Well, let’s look at it this way:

If you were traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast, would you only take a single road?

What would you do if there was construction? Or, what if someone built a newer, better, and more direct highway?

Would you insist on staying on the same route?

I bet you wouldn’t.

You’d be willing to switch to a different route, and then maybe you would switch to another one later. You’d keep taking different routes until you finally arrived at your destination.

There’s no question that Google is a great road to take. It’s wide, it’s clear, and it’s direct.

And if you use AdWords, it’s a little like taking a superhighway to your destination – a superhighway with a lot of tolls.

The problem is that Google makes changes to that highway all the time by changing its algorithms (an estimated 500-600 times a year).

Sometimes, those changes can leave you stranded on the side of the road (think Panda 4.1 in 2014).

You may have spent a lot of money on that trip.

If you put all your eggs in the Google basket, you could easily end up with no eggs and an empty wallet.

So, you shouldn’t put all or most of your energy into chasing Google and AdWords when you have a new website.

But how do you get website traffic without relying on Google? Believe it or not, it’s possible.

And you can even do it for free.

I’m going to tell you how.

You can’t ignore Facebook

You might have heard that Facebook organic reach is dead or users are fleeing from Facebook.

But don’t worry. Even if new Facebook sign-ups have leveled off or user number are going down, Facebook still has 1.8 billion monthly users worldwide.

That’s a lot of people.

Even if Facebook loses a couple of million users, it still has a lot of people.

So, if it makes sense for your business to be on Facebook, be there. But be there for more than just the socializing.

Use Facebook and other social media networks as hubs that you can link to your website from.

From Facebook, you can link to a blog, e-book, consultation offer, or somewhere else on your site.

Facebook lists your website right there for everyone to see. And when someone clicks on a post, it takes them directly there.

neil patel shared a link on facebook

It’s true: Facebook’s organic reach is down. But it certainly isn’t gone.

Look at it this way: If you have 1,000 followers and a mere 2% of them see your posts, that’s still 20 people. 20 people may not sound like a lot, but any one of them could still buy from you.

The important thing is to remember the social part of social media.

Treat your page followers like you would treat people if you were networking IRL: Respond to concerns, answer questions, and engage on a regular basis.

For example, look at this example from MailChimp:

mailchimp comments on facebook

People like working with people they like.

A good place to start that relationship is on social media.

SlideShare is a hidden gem

SlideShare is an information-sharing site that LinkedIn owns. Think of it as PowerPoint with a purpose.

The content on the site comprises some 18 million uploads of slide presentations and infographics in 40 content categories.

linkedin slideshare

You can find information about anything that anyone could ever want to know on SlideShare in the format of a PowerPoint, PDF, Keynote, or OpenDocument presentations. And when you make a presentation, you can make it public or private.

Some 80% of SlideShare’s 80 million visitors come through organic search. That’s proof that it can be a useful tool for driving traffic to your website.

The great thing about SlideShare is that you can use your existing content to create killer presentations.

You can take an old blog, update it, and format it for a slideshow. Or, you can break down an e-book you’ve published and create a new presentation.

Search Engine Journal uploads their webinar presentations to SlideShare.

search engine journal slideshare

If you’ve recently given a presentation at a conference, upload it to SlideShare and give the content a second life.

Matthew Darby from HubSpot does this, too.

grow with hubspot slideshare

The results might surprise you.

Traffic Generation Café’s Ana Hoffman chronicled how she got 200,000 views, 400 new Facebook fans, and 1,400 clicks to her website by publishing nine presentations over 30 days.

SlideShare, she says, is now her second-largest referral traffic source.

congratulations ana slideshare

Only 19% of B2B marketers use SlideShare, which presents a big opportunity for you to make use of the network before everyone else is using it.

knowledge well presented linkedin slideshare

You must be a LinkedIn member to use SlideShare. If you’re not a member now, you definitely should be. Start by signing up for a free account.

Once you’re a LinkedIn member, you can use SlideShare.

login with slideshare

Now, you can upload your own presentations.

select files to upload to slideshare

Once you’ve uploaded a presentation, be sure to share it on Facebook, LinkedIn, your blog, and everywhere else.

SlideShare includes analytics, so you can look at your stats and see which decks get the best results.

LinkedIn publishing will get you noticed

You know LinkedIn as a valuable business network. But did you know that, by using the publishing tool on LinkedIn, you can drive more traffic to your website?

You’ve probably seen the influencer posts on your LinkedIn feed, but the people like Richard Branson aren’t the only ones who can publish on LinkedIn to get noticed. You can, too.

richard branson bill gates climate change article on linkedin

A lot of people publish on LinkedIn, so it can be hard to get noticed. The key is to post valuable, relevant content.

If people like what you have to say, they’ll want more. That will drive traffic to your website.

Remember: You’re not trying to sell something or promote yourself. You’re trying to provide useful information that will help someone solve a problem.

If you’ve ever posted on a blog, publishing to LinkedIn is pretty intuitive.

Even if you’re publishing for the first time, the process is straightforward.

There’s a space right at the top of your feed where you can post something to your newsfeed.

Or you can choose to write an article.

write an article linkedin

The interface is simple. There’s a space for a header image and an area where you can start writing.

article editing linkedin UI

There are a few important things you’ll want to remember. Write an attractive and enticing headline, include images, and use h1 and h2 heads like you would on a blog.

Just take a look at some of LinkedIn’s key influencers like Bill Gates.

bill gates linkedin

Larry Kim is also a great example.

larry kim linkedin

Follow in the footsteps of influencers like these to gain a following with LinkedIn.

Join the conversation in Facebook groups

Relevant groups on Facebook give you a chance to contribute to conversations in your area of expertise.

Think of it as networking online.

Do it naturally like you would at a dinner party: politely join in when you have something relevant to add.

Don’t talk only about yourself and don’t try to sell.

Groups are for people with similar interests who want to share ideas and information.

Genuinely engaging in this way will give you more visibility. You’ll build relationships and drive traffic to your website.

If you’re going to engage with groups, follow the rules of polite discussion: Be kind, don’t be disagreeable, and use common sense before hitting “send.”

You can find Facebook groups on your Facebook page by clicking on the down arrow in the upper right-hand corner.

facebook right hand corner dropdown

You’ll find several categories where you can start your search:

facebook discover

Browse the categories, then click on a category you like to get some suggestions.

Choose a group and click “+ Join.”

join business groups on facebook

Some groups will allow you to simply click to join. Others may ask you some questions before allowing you to join.

There are public and closed groups.

Snapchat News and Education is a public group for people to learn and share tips about Snapchat. Vincent Orleck, the social media director at AtticSalt, created it and runs it.

snapchat facebook page

But people share more than just Snapchat tips. They also discuss Snapchat-related issues and marketing.

This is an example of a place where you could lend your expertise.

vincent orleck facebook comments

Be sure the groups you choose are the ones that are relevant to you before you ask to join. And be sure to read the group’s rules.

facebook about this group

LinkedIn groups attract industry professionals

With more than 500 million users and 9 billion content impressions on LinkedIn feeds every week, LinkedIn packs a lot of power.

And LinkedIn users are there for one reason: business.

LinkedIn groups are an ideal place for you to keep up with relevant information in your industry, share information, network, and build brand awareness.

To find LinkedIn groups, go to your homepage, click on the grid in the upper right-hand corner, then select “Groups.”

linkedin work grid

You can either search for a specific group in the search bar or click on “Discover” for recommendations from LinkedIn.

linkedin discover groups

Social Media Marketing is one of the largest social media marketing groups on LinkedIn with over 1,800,000 members.

It’s a forum for advertising and marketing professionals who are actively engaged in social media.

By posting to a group or adding to the conversation, you can build brand awareness and increase traffic to your website.

social media marketing linkedin group

Again, engage in relevant conversation and don’t spam with promotion.

And, once again, be sure to read the rules.

Twitter chats drive traffic

Go to Google and search for “Twitter chats [the category you are interested in]” and find lists of relevant chats.

You can find chats for marketers that meet almost every day of the week, so there’s bound to be one that fits your schedule.

The chat #sproutchat meets on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. CST.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Generally, users ask questions one at a time (Q1, Q2, Q3, and so forth). After each question, visitors respond.

You can join in and answer, too. You may also be able to pick up some useful tips or just have a little fun.

sproutchat twitter questions

You can also use free tools like TweetChat and Twubs. They’ll help organize your chats, slow down the feed, and automatically add the hashtag to your reply.

Believe me: that last one is really helpful. Twitter chats can move fast, and it’s easy to forget to include the hashtag when you respond.

By automatically including the hashtag, you ensure that your responses stay and that other users can see it in the chat stream.

That way, if people like what you have to say or want to learn more, they’ll look at your profile and go to your website. Of course, you want to make sure that you have your website URL in your profile so that users can easily navigate to your site.

Get traffic with knowledge through Quora

Quora is a social Q&A website with more than 190 million monthly users. On Alexa, it ranks 128th in the world and 67th in the U.S.

People ask questions, and other people provide answers. That’s it!

There are hundreds of thousands of topics on Quora, so you’re sure to find something in your wheelhouse.

quora sitemap

To join, you can use your Google account or your Facebook account. Or, you can create a login using your email and a password.

signup or login to quora

Quora will ask you for topics you want to follow and areas in which you have expertise, but you can fill that out later if you want. Pick at least ten topics.

choose interests in quora

By participating on Quora and providing useful answers to users’ questions, you can drive referral traffic – traffic that comes to your website from another site.

social media marketing on quora

The more referral sources you have, the more you’ll drive a steady stream of traffic to your website.

These are visitors who specifically go to your site because they want to learn what you have to say.

That’s the best kind of traffic there is.

Give help, get traffic on HARO

HARO is shorthand for Help a Reporter Out. It’s a service that journalists use to crowdsource information for news articles.

im a source HARO

According to the HARO site, there are 50,000 journalist queries each year. The service reaches some 800,000 sources and 55,00 journalists and bloggers.

The premise is simple: a journalist needs information for an article and reaches out to find experts in the field who can provide information (and get free media coverage).

These journalists work for some major news outlets like Time, the New York Times, Mashable, and Reuters. It’s pretty sweet to get coverage from those outlets.

The service is free for sources. You simply register, monitor, and pitch.

how haro works

There’s an option to sign up for free, but you can also pay for subscriptions that have more bells and whistles.

haro subscriptions

Make the most of your email

Most of us use email as our main mode of business communication. If you’re like me, you’re receiving, sending, deleting, and responding to email all day long.

Think of all the emails you send. Are you wasting the valuable real estate at the bottom of the screen?

All you have to do is add the URL to your website (with a link) below your name, and voila! You’re promoting your website and driving traffic there.

Or, you can promote a blog post that will drive traffic to your site.

neil patel email signature

It couldn’t be any easier for people to find your site. All they have to do is click.

The average number of emails one person sends for business each day is 40.

If you have ten people in your office, and they all include the company website in their signatures, you’ll be promoting your website 400 times each day.

And you’re doing it for free!

But that’s not the only way to put your email signature to good use. I offer some other suggestions:

If you use Outlook and need help adding a link to your website in your email signature, check out this guide. For Gmail, go here.

Blog longer and less frequently

To blog or not to blog? That’s the question in 2018 as content reaches a saturation point and it’s harder to set yourself apart from the pack when it comes to content.

“Harder” doesn’t mean “impossible,” however. You can still effectively use a blog to drive traffic to your website.

I know what you’re thinking:

“Isn’t blogging all about SEO and driving traffic from organic searches?”

It’s true: A huge benefit of blogging is that you’ll drive more traffic from the SERPs. But that’s not the only way that blogging can bring visitors to your site.

In addition to improving SEO, long-form blog content also results in more social media shares and greater visibility for your company.

If you want to thrive on social media, you need to give users something worth sharing.

You can’t expect users to keep sharing your short tweets, status updates, and pictures of your company and employees.

That’s all great as supplemental content. But what users really want to share is high-quality content that’s genuinely useful.

So here’s the takeaway: write and post quality blogs that provide value. You have to help readers solve a problem, educate them, or entertain them.

Publish longer posts, but publish less frequently. Rather than three or four so-so posts a week, write and post one detailed, quality post that’s 1,500 to 3,000 words in length.

In its annual blogger survey, Orbit Media discovered that there was a direct correlation between longer posts and bloggers reporting “strong results.”

bloggers with strong results

So, take the time to do the research and put out blogs that are chock-full of useful and compelling information.

By publishing only when you have something substantial to say, you’re like the person who never raises their voice: When they finally do yell, everyone notices.

Just make sure that your blogs are attractive, reader-friendly, and have lots of images. Users love visual content like pictures, graphics, and videos.

Be sure to include recent (and accurate!) data to support your topic.

And, for goodness sake, make sure your spelling and grammar are spot-on. You don’t want to lose a reader for good because of poor mechanics and sloppy writing.

Try guest blogging

It may sound counter-intuitive, but spending your precious time writing a blog for another site – and for free – really can pay off.

The biggest benefit is that you can include links on a guest blog and drive traffic to your website.

And if you can drive traffic to a specific landing page where you gather valuable email information from visitors, then you can capture leads and add them to your subscriber base.

Then, you can use good, old-fashioned email marketing to drive more business.

If you do it right, guest blogging can be a powerful way to position you as an expert and earn your site valuable backlinks.

You should only guest blog on quality sites, and you should make sure that your guest posts are detailed, actionable, and engaging.

Don’t guest blog just for the sake of guest blogging.

Be strategic about who you associate yourself with. You’re aiming for authority and reputation, not volume.

And it’s not a matter of asking every blogger you find if you can write a guest post for them. You need to look for guest blogging opportunities, which can take some time.

Keep in mind that it’s easier to get other bloggers to accept a post from you if you provide them a little taste up front.

guest blogging email templates

So find the best opportunities, focus on the right topics, and write amazing copy that provides value for readers.

Readers aren’t going to follow a link to your site – and ultimately part with their email information – unless you give them something they like or need.

And that means providing long-form, helpful, valuable content.

Just because you’re writing for someone else, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take as much care with what you write as you would on your own site.

Play nice with others, and they’ll play nice with you.

Offer a webinar to drive traffic

Too often, business people forget that they have something other people don’t have: knowledge about their own industry or niche.

You might take it for granted, but other people don’t.

Consider holding a webinar. You can help others out by sharing some of your knowledge while driving more traffic to your website.

Webinars drive web traffic in several ways.

First, by promoting the webinar, you’ll draw people to your website even if they don’t sign up.

You’ll draw people back to your website – and attract some new viewers – when you post the webinar recording to your website and promote it on social media.

You can turn the webinar into a SlideShare presentation and get even more traffic from people who go to your site after viewing the SlideShare.

And, if you’ve done a good job, attendees will tell other people about their experience, and you’ll get more traffic from word of mouth.

According to ConvertKit, the numbers are compelling.

convertkit webinar stats

Let’s look at that by the numbers:

webinar sales funnel

That’s not bad for an hour of your time.

If you have the right topic and target the right people, your product will provide the solution to a problem they have.

Why not give them what they need while driving traffic to your site and making money at the same time?

Of course, webinars aren’t seat-of-your-pants, off-the-cuff affairs.

Webinars require planning, practice, and lots of promotion.

You’ll have to promote your webinar like crazy. It’s harder to do without paid ads, but there are ways to do it.

You can tell your subscribers about it with an email blast. But be sure to include personalization, and be warm and friendly so the recipient feels like it’s a private invitation.

Post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other appropriate networks you use and include a link that goes to a sign-up page.

kissmetrics webinar ad on facebook

Let any groups you belong to know about it if it’s relevant to them and if you’ve already built relationships. But don’t go in cold.

Yes, it will take a lot of time and effort. But the time and effort are well worth it when you consider the possibility of new business, visibility, and, of course, web traffic.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that Google is a big player when it comes to generating web traffic and that AdWords can help you get where you want to go – fast.

But not everyone who is just starting out can afford to go all in on AdWords.

Algorithm changes sometimes have effects on website traffic that should prevent you from spending all of your time and resources chasing Google rankings.

I’ve given you more than ten tactics that will help you drive traffic to your new website without relying on Google. And the best thing is that all of the tactics I’ve shared with you are completely free.

Follow them, and your website visits will steadily increase. You’ll be well on the way to making your brand visible and attracting leads.

What other ways have you found to generate web traffic without Google?

About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.

How to Manage a Sales Team: Killer Strategies in 2018

Managing a sales team is no easy task. You have the potential to either make or break your sales reps.

And there’s tons of conflicting information out there.

Effective sales managers recruit top sales leaders, provide them with the tools they need to bring in sales and watch the numbers grow.

But it isn’t always as simple as that.

Sales managers can either inspire their teams and help them reach their goals or crush their morale, which leads to a decrease in your company’s profitability.

It can be hard to know what your sales team truly needs from you to hit their goals, make profits, and drive sales.

That’s why we’ve compiled these strategies to help you run a killer sales team in 2018.

Running a Sales Team: It’s a Big Challenge

Running a sales team is hard work.

It’s not always easy to find a balance between encouraging quality performance and pushing sales reps with new goals.

As a sales manager, your success depends on your team’s ability to meet performance goals. But sometimes, it’s hard to control and motivate reps.

Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to motivate and encourage your team to excel.

After all, your sales reps are the backbone of your business.

The Importance of a Sales Team

Businesses need sales to stay alive in the same way that humans need water.

Without sales, your business will die.

And as common as online sales are becoming, the need for sales reps to pick up the phone is just as important now as it’s ever been.

Building relationships is the key to closing sales. The Internet can’t always build relationships for you. Only a good sales team can do that.

Sales Team Positive Effects

First of all, salespeople understand your target client better than anyone else at your company.

If you know your ideal client, you’re more likely to capture the prospects you want. If you don’t know your ideal client, your prospects won’t have a reason to be interested in you.

If your pitch is dull, dry, or impersonal, you’ll put your prospects to sleep.

Marketers usually have a pretty good idea of who your customers and clients are, but salespeople truly know.

They can even put a name and a face to your prospects with customer avatars.

customer avatar

Without a sales team, the marketing team wouldn’t have a detailed description of ideal clients to use for targeting them more effectively.

No one knows your ideal clients better than the people who spend all day talking to them.

They understand their questions, concerns, thought processes, and more.

And the top source of sales for sales organizations is – you guessed it – leads that the sales teams source.

top source of sales

Salespeople generate qualified leads even better than the marketing team.

That’s why leveraging their knowledge and customer know-how will help your marketing efforts.

Your sales team is with your clients every step of the way through the buying process, so they can help the marketing team target the right people.

They talk to your clients through the entire sales funnel.

sales funnel from cold to hot

Today’s buying process isn’t always as linear as a simple sales funnel. And salespeople know that. They understand the particular sales funnel model that applies to your business.

This is important because satisfied customers tell an average of nine people about how happy they are with their experience. Dissatisfied ones, on the other hand, tell an average of 22 people about how unhappy they are with their experience.

satisfied customers vs dissatisfied customers

Salespeople make the customer experience smooth and enjoyable.

They sell your product to real people with real concerns, questions, and objections. That’s why you need them to perform at their best.

There are two basic sales team structures that you can use to up your sales game.

Sales Team Models

Effective sales processes can’t exist without effective sales team models in place.

The two basic sales team models to keep in mind are:

  1. The island
  2. The assembly line

Let’s analyze the island model first.

The island

This old-school model structures out the responsibilities for sales all reps.

It says that every sales rep is fully responsible for every step within the sales process – from generating leads to finalizing deals.

sales teams and models in sales team model

This model is simple and encourages sales rep independence.

The assembly line model is a bit more complicated.

The assembly line

With the assembly line model, there are four different groups that share different responsibilities:

  1. The leads generation team
  2. The sales development representatives (SDRs)
  3. The account executives (AEs)
  4. The customer success team

Each group deals with a different kind of lead or customer.

assembly line sales team model

The first and second groups reach out and qualify leads. The third team closes the deals. The last team then deals with increasing customer lifetime value (CLV).

How do you know which one model best for your team?

Takeaway

If you’re a startup, the island model probably isn’t best for your business. It’s competitive and aggressive.

If you’re in an established market, the island model could work for you.

The assembly line model reduces the complexity of your sales cycle, boosts efficiency, and scales your team.

With this model, one rep isn’t responsible for every stage of the buying cycle.

Once you choose a model that works best for your goals, here’s how you can manage your sales team effectively.

How to Manage a Sales Team Effectively

A good sales team model goes a long way. But you still have to do your part to keep your team in check.

Find and hire the best workers

If you aren’t finding and hiring good workers, you won’t see any success.

Worry less about company culture and more about background and reference checks, assessment results, and how the interview goes.

evaluate a sales candidate

According to CPSA, there are five key qualities of a successful salesperson:

  1. Empathy
  2. Focus
  3. Responsibility
  4. Optimism
  5. Ego-drive

Empathy refers to an employee’s ability to identify with customers, put themselves in their shoes, and make them feel respected.

Once a sales rep shows empathy, they can gain the trust of customers without appearing judgemental.

If a sales rep can read customers, show concern, and provide solutions, they’re a winner.

A sales rep with focus has the drive to accomplish their goals and stay on task. They are self-motivated, organized, and don’t need anyone to tell them what to do.

A person with a large sense of responsibility won’t place the blame on someone else when they’re in a difficult scenario. They accept errors, fix mistakes, and move past obstacles quickly.

A salesperson who is optimistic is slow to accept defeat. Failure doesn’t disrupt their positive view of themselves, and they can easily turn situations around.

Ego-drive is similar to optimism, but ego-drive is focused on competitiveness. A person who is ego-driven is self-motivated with clear goals that they want to meet.

Once you’ve selected workers who fit this mold, provide sales training to them.

Provide sales training

58% of employees who go through a structured onboarding program are likely to still be working at an organization after three years.

sales training stats

If your sales team doesn’t know your product like the back of their hand, they’ll fall short when closing a sale.

Make sure that sales reps understand product details and features so that they can effectively answer questions and solve client problems.

For basic sales training and techniques, give Lynda a try.

lynda start my free trial

It has training courses on sales fundamentals that users can access on the go.

Online videos and modules from industry experts make training less of a hassle, and you can track progress to make sure that reps have viewed the training sessions.

Be sure to field train and provide detailed feedback. Listen to sales calls, review recordings, and offer specific feedback to your reps.

You should also set a good team example to boost morale.

Set an example and inspire them

Goals drive salespeople, so achievement-based rewards aren’t a bad idea.

Don’t keep training goals vague and general. Be specific. Tell reps which areas they’re doing a good (or bad) job in and why.

Did they reach a goal by a certain percentage? Tell them about it.

Was their performance amazing on a difficult call? Offer specific examples of what they did right.

If there’s room for improvement, provide a brief, detailed breakdown so that they know exactly what to improve and how to improve it.

Create sales processes that work, but be flexible.

Create sales processes but don’t be stuck to them

Ineffective sales processes are a huge barrier for sales departments.

sales effectiveness barriers

Many sales reps have proven and documented that having a sales process is effective.

This process acts as an aid to help them meet metrics, convert clients, and close deals.

Emotion is the basis for all sales. Logic comes later. A stuck sale means that there’s no more emotion involved with a client.

Reps have to bring that emotion back into the picture. Hit on a client’s pain points and suggest how your product or service can make their life easier.

Create a model for sales processes, but recognize that every sale and client is going to be different. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box.

Develop powerful strategies

Other strategies are more cut-and-dry and leave less room for creativity.

Powerful sales strategies, such as CRM strategies, keep salespeople on task and bring in results time and time again.

crm strategies

Sell your reps on what they can gain from sales processes.

They can develop stronger skills by sticking to a process, rely on guidance through every step of a sale, and close more deals.

Your sales process works, and your metrics prove that it does. Show your reps the proof, and they’ll be more likely to stick with the script.

Set clear goals so that there aren’t any questions about the sales process.

Set clear goals

Standardized scripts act as a framework for any sales process.

A sales team’s script might focus on identifying pain points, finding products that can relieve them, and offering them as a solution.

sales team script

These scripts serve as clear goals that reps need to stick to. Sales metrics do, too.

Data and key sales metrics should be readily available to all members of your sales team.

Be transparent and provide open data so that reps can unleash the full potential of sales analytics. Tell them which metrics you want them to hit.

Next, keep in mind that you can’t get respect if you don’t give it. Respect every member of your team.

Respect all the sales team members

Admit when you make mistakes, even if you use data strategically and are usually right when it comes to making sales decisions.

You should serve as a leader, but remember to learn from your own mishaps. Don’t get angry or lash out when you lose a deal or miss a sales goal.

Analyze your mistakes, try to learn from them, and share what you learned with your team.

As you see problems, be open to new ideas and suggestions from your team.

Anyone could have an actionable idea that could boost sales results. Don’t be afraid of encouraging your reps to speak up, and don’t shoot them down when they do.

Communication is key. If you want your reps to understand you, you need to take the time to understand and listen to your reps.

Keep things simple in the process.

Keep it simple

Have you ever noticed that Apple, one of the most successful companies in the world, is such a simple brand?

iphone x homepage in 2018

The brand’s copy, imagery, ads, and products are minimalistic, sleek, and straightforward. And it works.

Customers want quick, simple solutions. That’s why you need to bring the KISS rule into your sales methods.

KISS stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”

Customers want to know if your product works, if it fixes an issue, and what past buyers think about it. Don’t deliver too much information here.

Keep it basic and tell a clear, simple story. Your sales reps need to tell clients that the product works, that it solves their problem, and that people love it.

Try to boil down your value proposition to a basic, short, sweet sentence for this purpose.

value proposition canvas

You also need to analyze metrics and results. If you don’t, you won’t know what’s working.

Analyze metrics and results

Sales metrics and KPIs provide you and your team with quantitative, proven insights that showcase how well your methods are working.

Drilling down into your data can help you figure out which sales reps are closing the most deals, which products and services are selling the best, and which strategies are paying off.

You can even use data to determine which contact method is most effective for sales.

sales by contact method

By analyzing this data on a regular basis, you’ll know what objectives to adjust or leave the same.

Give regular feedback to your team so that they know where they stand.

Provide regular feedback

When giving feedback, it’s best to start with the positive.

List two things that a salesperson is doing well and then one thing that they can improve upon.

The SMART feedback model can help you do this. Make sure your feedback is:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

smart sales goal

You have to be disciplined about your feedback, though.

Ensure consistency

You have to consistently provide feedback to lead your team in the right direction.

Feedback isn’t a “one-and-done” task.

You’re responsible for delivering actionable and valuable feedback to your team on a regular basis. If you need to, schedule a brief feedback meeting with each team member every week.

You also need to keep your team in the loop.

Set up communication that works

Regular meetings are a great way to keep in touch with your team and check in.

Conference calls can be just as effective. Email can be, too.

If you want an even easier solution, communicate with your team on Slack.

You can organize channels by categories, send links and attachments, and find every team member in one convenient place.

slack

Motivate your reps by rewarding their achievements.

Motivate and reward great results

You motivate your team when you reward their great results.

You can let people pick their own rewards to keep your job easy (and keep reps happy).

Some rewards might include taking them to lunch or dinner, babysitting their kids, walking their dog, washing their car, or giving them a full day off.

These rewards motivate the entire team. Who doesn’t want to watch their manager wash their coworker’s car?

If you’d rather offer team-wide rewards, you could take your employees to a bowling alley, a sports game, the movies, or even an escape room.

You should also encourage your team to never quit learning.

Encourage learning

When you invest in your team’s education and help them stay on top of new industry techniques, you’ll help them keep up with new trends.

Books, podcasts, webinars, and e-books are easy to get. Sometimes, they’re even free.

If you have the budget, you can send team members to conferences or establish mentorship programs.

Don’t forget to enjoy the process, though.

Don’t forget to have fun!

Meeting sales quotas is great, but it doesn’t always boost morale.

Having fun with your team to boost relationships is just as important as meeting goals.

You can hold non-sales contests, create a fantasy football league, or hold a costume party.

//www.instagram.com/embed.js

Work hard and play just as hard!

If you’re managing a remote sales team, you’ll face a few different obstacles.

How to Manage a Sales Team Remotely

Awesome sales teams don’t always work in big office buildings.

If your salespeople travel for work or work remotely, you’ll face a few more hurdles than a traditional team will.

Luckily, technology makes managing a remote team easy.

Studies have found that remote workers are actually more productive, too. A whopping 91% of remote employees believe that they get more work done from home than they do in an office.

For a remote team, you will need to invest in technology and security for your reps.

Invest in technology to provide security

It’s important that your employees can access the right technology to get their work done.

No employee should have to fend for themselves when it comes to finding the right hardware or software.

Invest in technology for your workers to use. This ensures that employees aren’t using personal equipment to complete company work, which can be a security risk.

Keep services and products up-to-date and make sure that you guard all of your equipment with the right antivirus software.

With remote employees, it’s hard to monitor their every move. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t trust them.

Trust the professionals you hire

If you don’t trust your sales reps to work remotely, you shouldn’t have hired them. Trust that the professionals you hired are going to get the job done.

Don’t micromanage them and never assume anything about them.

Don’t assume anything about a remote employee’s identity, priorities, motivation, or situation unless you have all of the facts.

Instead, ask them questions to learn and understand who they are and what they stand for.

Building healthy team relationships is harder with remote employees, but not impossible.

Build healthy team relationships

Don’t limit your conversation with employees to professional topics.

Talk about what you do and who you are outside of work. Share a story about your children or your pets. Discuss hobbies with your team.

And make time for video calls. These are more personable than conference calls over the phone.

Use Google Hangouts instead to connect with your team.

Follow up and check in with remote employees. Don’t leave them in the dark.

And never assume that your remote reps know about a change in policy or operations if you haven’t told them about it.

Get some management tips from industry experts if you need more insight.

The Best Sales Management Books

The best place to get tips about management style is from those who have been managing people for years and have perfected their craft.

Here are a few sales management books that can help you on your sales management journey.

1. Cracking the Sales Management Code by Jason Jordan and Michelle Vazzana.

cracking the sales management code book

2. To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink

to sell is human book

3. The Accidental Sales Manager: How to Take Control and Lead Your Sales Team to Record Profits by Chris Lytle

the accidental sales manager book

4. Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com by Aaron Ross

predictable revenue sales book

There are also some sales team management tools out there that can help you do your job more efficiently.

Sales Team Management Tools That Can Help to Work More Efficiently

PipeDrive is a CRM tool for sales teams.

pipedrive homepage 2018

RescueTime can help you and your team track productivity so that you stay on task.

rescuetime for sales teams

The software tracks how you’re spending your time and then breaks it down visually so that you can adjust your priorities.

You can use Evernote to save all of your documents, notes, and thoughts. You can sync the information across several devices and share it with your whole team.

With this tool, you can take screenshots, add callouts, and more.

evernote for sales teams

Trello is a digital board for managing personal tasks and team projects.

trello sales team board

If your sales team enjoys using a whiteboard to share ideas with one another, this tool could be useful.

Conclusion

Running a sales team is never easy.

You’ll either encourage your reps and help them learn how to close deals or discourage them from wanting to try with clients at all.

Your sales team is the backbone of your business, so it’s important that you learn how to manage in a way that works.

Learn the differences between sales team models like the island and the assembly line.

Find and hire the best workers, give them the training they need, set inspiring examples, and create sales processes that work. Don’t be stuck to your processes, though.

Develop powerful strategies, set clear goals, respect your reps, and remind them to keep it simple.

Analyze your metrics and provide regular, consistent feedback. Constantly stay in communication with your team using a tool like Slack.

Motivate and reward great results, encourage learning, and don’t forget to have fun with your team.

If you have a remote team, it’s important to invest in their technology and security. Trust the professionals you hire and build healthy team relationships.

Finally, check out a few sales management books to take advice from industry leaders or enlist the help of a few sales team management tools like Pipedrive and Trello.

Which sales team management strategies are you going to try in 2018?

About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.

LinkedIn Pulse: A Complete Guide (+ Examples)

You blog because you want Internet users to discover your content and engage with it. But sometimes, your reach just isn’t large enough.

That’s why it’s good to diversify your content.

Creating more content and putting it in more places gives you as many views, readers, and customers as possible.

If you want to boost brand awareness and engagement, you need to be active on as many platforms as you can to spread your brand across the web.

That’s why most businesses use sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn in addition to their regular websites.

But some businesses are missing a huge opportunity to publish content because they don’t realize that they can post full articles to LinkedIn via LinkedIn Pulse.

There are tons of reasons why blogging with LinkedIn Pulse is a win for businesses. Here’s a complete guide to using and publishing on the platform along with actionable examples of how to do it.

What is LinkedIn Pulse?

If you want to build a good reputation online, increase your credibility, and reach a larger audience, publishing content on social media can help you do that.

LinkedIn Pulse takes social media content a step further with an online news aggregation feed. Members can share self-publish content right to their audiences.

The platform generates blog posts, insights, and news from influential industry professionals and businesses looking to extend their reach and share insider knowledge.

LinkedIn tailors content to each individual based on their interests. That way, users only see the content that they want to see.

linkedin pulse app

Content for the Pulse platform originally came from huge, well-known influencers. Now, all LinkedIn members can create and publish their own content for their followers.

If you’re a business or a thought leader, this is an easy and efficient way to build rapport. After all, most businesses are already using LinkedIn in some capacity.

According to DemandWave, 92% of B2B marketers include LinkedIn in their digital marketing mix.

linkedin pulse in digital marketing

The platform also allows you to track the demographics of your readers to gain audience insights.

You can view the industries, job titles, and locations of your readers as well as the traffic sources that they are using to view your content.

linkedin pulse demographics of your readers

If those features haven’t already convinced you that LinkedIn Pulse can help you boost brand awareness, then read on.

Reasons why you should use LinkedIn Pulse

You might be wondering, “What makes LinkedIn pulse better than other networks?” Or you might be thinking, “Why should I worry about posting to Pulse if I already have a blog?”

One of the largest advantages of Pulse is that the sole purpose of it is to help nurture and grow professional relationships.

Because of this, Pulse is great for helping you connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Connect with your audience

On LinkedIn, your audience isn’t just anyone. You know that your content is going to reach professionals at every level of many different kinds of businesses.

And you can leverage this content to boost your visibility across the web so that you can steer your audience toward any future content that you may list on your profile.

Just like any content that you post on the web, Pulse content can help you increase your search engine visibility.

And LinkedIn will notify your connections every single time you publish a post. That way, your posts won’t get lost among the crowd.

neil patel published a post on linkedin pulse

Engage customers through useful content

LinkedIn Pulse is also great because it helps you engage customers through content that is genuinely useful.

This is possible because of the unique nature of LinkedIn. It’s a place where social and professional networking combine.

Professionals on the site are motivated to grow, learn, and consume. They want to grow and interact with a network, follow people and brands they’re interested in, and make connections.

How do users do this? They have to engage with others and deliver content that focuses on their goals.

If you create high-quality content, you can help your audience engage.

According to LinkedIn, 62 percent of members say that they engage with content because it is informative or educational. 61% say that they engage with content that is relevant to them.

If you post content that is relevant, inspiring, or educational, you’re bound to build an engaged customer base in no time.

But how does Pulse work, exactly?

How does LinkedIn pulse work?

Most of the content on the LinkedIn homepage feed comes from Pulse.

Pulse users receive weekly email digests containing new posts, and users publish more than 130,000 original articles every week.

There are mobile apps for both iOS and Android. To get started, users don’t need to follow topics or publishers.

They can just log in to LinkedIn to get personalized news based on their industry and connections.

The cards on the interface allow users to skim through tons of content and publishers quickly.

If users want to read a story at a later time, the app allows them to save it. Users can easily dismiss stories that they don’t like, and they can follow authors with the click of a button.

Each of these actions refines future recommendations.

start reading on linkedin pulse

LinkedIn sends notifications from the app based on what’s trending in a user’s field, the authors that they follow, and their previous actions on the platform.

pulse ios notifications

If a connection or industry influencer appears in the news, LinkedIn will notify users about the piece of content that mentioned them.

With Pulse, you can target readers with relevant stories based on their connections and professional footprints.

All you have to do is publish on the platform to get started making waves with your audience.

How to publish on LinkedIn Pulse to connect with your audience

Before you publish any kind of content, you need a game plan. What’s the big picture?

Do you want to share insider advice, strengthen your brand, interest recruiters, earn your spot as a thought leader, expand your network, or all of the above?

Step 1: Choose a message and start writing.

Once you know why you’re writing, you can choose a message and focus on who you’ll be writing to. Pick a clear, straightforward message.

Do you want to write tips for freelancers? Or maybe you want to write about the best practices for hiring new employees in order to appeal to those in management.

If you’re having trouble choosing a message, think back to what you’ve benefited from in your career.

What advice would you give someone entering your field? Where is the industry headed? Is there anything big going on in the news that is going to impact your line of work?

Once you have a topic or keyword, turn to Answer the Public to dwindle down potential angles.

answer the public enter keyword

For example, say you want to write about social media marketing.

Just enter in the keyword, and the tool will recommend hundreds of ideas in the “why,” “are,” “how,” “where,” “which,” “who,” “what,” and “when” categories.

social media marketing questions

If you find it difficult to keep up with the visualization wheel, click the “Data” tab to see the content in organized boxes instead.

data tab answer the public

Another great tool for coming up with content ideas is the Blog Title Generator from BlogAbout. Just click the “Refresh” button until you find a theme you like.

content generation ideas for linkedin pulse

Hit “Next” when you’re ready to focus on creating the title for your new post.

Once you have your topic ready to go, you can begin writing. Once you’re done writing, you’ll need to add an image.

Step 2: Create and add an image.

All Pulse posts allow you to upload a header image. The best size to upload is 600 x 322 pixels (or double that size at 1200 x 644 pixels).

If your photo is larger, you can drag and reposition it to fit the header space more effectively.

linkedin pulse cover image

You can use free, high-resolution stock photos. Or, if you want to be more creative, you can create your own.

It’s easy to create custom blog graphics with Canva.

Just sign up for an account or log in if you already have one.

Then, click on the “Use custom dimensions” button. Canva doesn’t have a template for LinkedIn blog images yet, so you’ll need to manually enter your desired dimensions here.

create a design linkedin pulse

Next, use a free photo that Canva provides or upload your own image. Scale it to fit the space correctly and try out a few filters.

filter linkedin pulse image

If you want, you can even add the text (such as the title of your post), enter in some graphics (like your logo), or add a few icons.

creating headline on linkedin pulse

Once you’re done, go ahead and download the image. From there, upload it to LinkedIn.

You’ll need an eye-catching headline to accompany your image.

Step 3: Write your headline.

Aside from your photo, your headline is one of the most vital aspects of a successful Pulse post.

This is what readers will look at to decide if they’re interested in what you have to say.

Write a concise, interesting headline that uses keywords that are relevant to your post.

Use numbers, facts, and statistics to create the impression of authority.

Use powerful word choice to pull readers in. Intrigue readers with words like “amazing” or “fascinating.” Create drama with words like “kill,” “fear,” or “death.”

Keep things short, sweet, simple, and to the point. If your headlines are too long, save some of the information for your introduction.

Now, you’re ready to finalize your post.

Step 4: Finalize the post.

You have your image, headline, and content where you want them. Next, you should finalize your article.

The “Publish” button is in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. Before you press it, make sure that you’ve formatted your post correctly.

publish button on linkedin pulse

Add in block quotes, bullet points, images, or videos and correct any header mistakes.

If you choose to include links, double-check that they send readers to the right places.

Check spelling and grammar. Typos and bad punctuation can ruin an article’s success in the blink of an eye.

At the end of your post, you can add up to three tags to help users discover your content. These tags will influence the channels that your article may appear on.

It’s best to add all three tags to take full advantage of this feature.

add tags on pulse

Once you’ve double-checked your content and added the appropriate tags, you’re ready to officially publish it.

Step 5: Publish your post.

LinkedIn doesn’t yet allow you to schedule Pulse posts for future publication.

If you don’t want to publish your article just yet, set yourself a reminder to log into LinkedIn and publish it when you want it to go live.

Once you do hit publish, the post will become part of your profile and will appear in your “Posts” section.

Your followers and connections will receive a notification about your newly-added content.

It will show up in their notifications, within their feed, and via email if they’ve subscribed to daily emails from Pulse.

Any members who aren’t following you but fit within your industry or share similar connections may also receive an update about your post, which could convert them into a follower.

Your post will be searchable both on LinkedIn and off of it.

Create a content calendar so that you will have a clear schedule for future LinkedIn Pulse articles.

Don’t forget to create a content calendar

A content calendar will save you time in the long run. It will help you schedule out your content and keep it organized.

If you spend time brainstorming content topic ideas now, you won’t have to do it when you’re ready to sit down and write.

With a reliable stream of content, your readers will stay engaged.

Try out a tool like Trello for creating your very own LinkedIn Pulse content calendar.

pulse editorial calendar on trello

You could even create a theme-based weekly post or round up that is exclusive to your Pulse readers like NPR’s Weekly Roundup:

npr weekly roundup

Plan your calendar out for one to six months.

Schedule as far out as possible so that there’s no question about what you should be working on, when you should work on it, and when it should go live on Pulse.

You should also plan to announce large events on LinkedIn like webinars, Q&As, interviews, product releases, conferences, and more as soon as you’ve committed to a date.

crazy egg post share on linkedin

Add these announcements to your content calendar, too.

You should also test content before adding it to your Pulse calendar. Does it match your other content marketing efforts? Would you share it yourself?

You don’t have to set your calendar in stone, either. Keep an eye on your surroundings and competition. If something is trending, take advantage of it.

What topics are your competitors talking about? How do your reader analytics look? If a topic just isn’t working, don’t be afraid to pull it.

How to boost your results on LinkedIn

There are a few things that you can do to elevate your posts on LinkedIn for the best results possible.

For example, you should use keywords on Pulse posts just like you would on regular blog posts.

Review profiles of others within your industry. What keywords are they using?

Make a list of industry-related keywords and include them with each piece on your content calendar.

Next, make sure that you’ve completely filled out your profile. As you fill out more content on your profile, the “Profile Completeness” or “Profile Strength” circle will fill in.

Try to get that circle to be 100% blue since complete profiles usually rank higher on searches.

linkedin profile strength

To complete your profile, head to the “Profile” navigation bar on your account.

Click “Edit Profile” and fill out every section.

Be sure that you have a profile photo on your account. Update it regularly to match the photos you’re using on other sites. That way, people will immediately recognize you and your company.

You should also join LinkedIn groups related to your industry. Click on “Groups” in the navigation bar of your LinkedIn homepage.

groups selection on linkedin

Then, search through groups that LinkedIn recommends for you.

group listing on linkedin

Join a few you like and share your content there. Engage with other members’ posts, too.

You’ll also want to keep in mind that profiles with regular updates have increased visibility. You can stay active by simply updating your LinkedIn status frequently.

This doesn’t have to be difficult. When you have news about your business, make a point to share it with your audience.

Now that you understand what LinkedIn Pulse is and how it works, you might be wondering if you should treat it the same way you treat your blog. The short answer is no.

LinkedIn Pulse vs. your website blog

When you publish an article on your blog, you publish it on your terms.

On LinkedIn, you’re publishing on LinkedIn’s platform and LinkedIn’s terms instead of your own.

LinkedIn chooses how to show and share your articles. If you want Pulse to recommend your posts, you have to play by LinkedIn’s rules.

linkedin pulse shared articles

On your own blog, you can set up automatic sharing to social media, schedule out posts, and run your site the way you want to.

That isn’t the case on LinkedIn.

When you publish on your own website, you gain SEO benefits and an increase in traffic for posting articles.

When publishing on LinkedIn, you have to remember to link back to your site for the same results.

You might be thinking that you can just publish the same article on your website and LinkedIn to “double dip” and get the best of both worlds.

But that could actually cause more harm than good.

When your content appears twice on the web, it creates duplicate content. Google doesn’t like duplicate content, and it will penalize websites where the content shows up last.

duplicate content

If Google can’t figure out who posted the content first, it will penalize both websites. That means no ranking, which is not good.

If you still want to publish on both platforms, there are two ways that you can do it:

  • Rewrite articles and publish two different versions.
  • Publish the full version to your website and write a teaser post on LinkedIn that directs users to your site to read the rest of the article.

For example, take this Neil Patel blog post about LinkedIn sales funnels.

neil patel blog post about linkedin

The LinkedIn post of the same article features a “Click to continue reading” button that directs users to the rest of the post on the website.

neil patel linkedin pulse post

There are many ways to leverage the power of your LinkedIn network.

You can still use LinkedIn Pulse while also optimizing your site with blog posts. You don’t have to choose one or the other.

Conclusion

Sometimes, the reach you already have on your website just isn’t cutting it. That’s why you should diversify your content to get as much engagement as possible.

By being active on several different platforms, you can gain more views, followers, readers, and customers.

But most businesses and influencers don’t know that they can post full articles on LinkedIn with LinkedIn Pulse. It’s LinkedIn’s news aggregation platform.

By using LinkedIn Pulse, you can connect with your target audience, engage customers by writing useful content, and establish yourself as an industry thought leader.

Pulse works by notifying users of recommended content based on their connections, industries, and interests. Users can follow brands, influencers, topics, and more.

To publish on Pulse, choose a message and start writing. Create and add a header image that is 600 x 322 pixels. You can use a stock image or create your own on Canva.

Then, write out an engaging headline. Keep it short, simple, and intriguing. Use numbers, statistics, and facts.

Finalize your post. Double-check that you don’t have any grammar or punctuation mistakes within your article. Fix formatting errors and add tags to your post.

Then, publish your post to send it out to followers, connections, and others within your industry.

Like most places, consistency is key on Pulse.

Don’t forget to create a LinkedIn Pulse content calendar to plan and organize content one to six months in advance. Use a tool like Trello to brainstorm and keep track of ideas and due dates.

Boost your results by completing your profile, joining groups, interacting with other users, posting status updates, and targeting keywords with your posts.

Never post the same content on Pulse as you post on your blog. If you do, Google might penalize your website.

To avoid a penalty, you can either write two different versions of your post or only share a snippet of your full article on Pulse with a link to your website where users can continue reading.

Take advantage of LinkedIn Pulse today to boost your brand awareness and engagement online.

How have you taken advantage of LinkedIn Pulse within your industry?

About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.

What is Vero? 9 Things About the New Social Media App

Remember Orkut? Or Friendster? How about MySpace and Classmates?

Maybe you do, maybe you don’t, because social media platforms come and go faster than most of us can keep up. For every success like Snapchat, there are plenty of others that failed to gain any serious momentum, even if they were fun and innovative ideas.

Are you familiar with Vero?

You know Facebook, of course, and Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp. They’re good (though not perfect). You probably use them at least once a day.

social networking platforms like vero used daily

But we don’t find one platform that we like and stop. According to a recent study of social media in the United States, most people use an average of three of the top eight platforms.

Facebook and YouTube are used by a significant percentage of those on other sites and apps. Consider them the stalwarts. Most people have an account on those two behemoths (Facebook has 2.167 billion and YouTube 1.5 billion users) and at least one other platform.

reciprocity across social media platforms like Vero

But do you know Badoo, Snapfish, Tout, or Line? The point is, there are hundreds of social media platforms out there that you’ve never heard of, for virtually every niche, interest, or group of people.

Some won’t make it or be worth your time. But others may be the platform you’ve been looking for…

And that brings us back to Vero.

What is Vero Social Media?

The words “revolutionary” and “game-changer” are tossed around too much these days.

That said, I’m going to throw caution to the wind here. What is the Vero app? It’s nothing less than the evolution of social media. It’s both revolutionary and a game-changer. It’s true social.

Vero labels itself “more social, less media”, and with its focus on providing a natural and ad-free experience, it’s hard to argue with it. Initially launched a couple of years ago by billionaire Ayman Hariri, movie financier Motaz Nabulsi, and venture capitalist Scott Birnbaum, the platform has only started to take off recently.

Why exactly is anyone’s guess, but growing frustration with Instagram and its incredibly unpopular algorithm, combined with a growing number of data leaks on other platforms, may have been the catalyst.

vero spike on google trends

According to Google Trends, Vero’s popularity as a search term has been steady albeit not spectacular over the past year. The spike seen above occurred around the time the Facebook data breach became big news and people were looking for alternatives.

Regardless of why, the app shot up from outside the top 1500 on the App Store, to #566, and finally #1 over the course of just a few days. It has since gone down again, but is seeing faster growth than at any other time in its history. Vero recently passed 3 million downloads.

“We wanted to build something that stood for something beyond a gimmicky, one-feature thing. We wanted it to be an extension of how you want to express yourself. [On other social apps] you’re performing for the crowd. Research shows that people are becoming more and more negatively affected by having to do that all the time. We wanted to create an online social network … that allows you to just be yourself.”

~Ayman Hariri, CEO of Vero

The Vero app strives for transparency where the other platforms prefer working behind the curtain.

Vero v. Instagram v. Facebook v. Twitter – Differences

On the surface, the Vero app is very similar to mainstays like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can post photos, videos, and links, share locations, or recommend books, music, and films. Others can like and comment on what you share. Sound familiar?

But it distinguishes itself in some very important ways: No ads. No algorithms rearranging your posts and limiting who sees what. No data mining. Chronological feeds.

In fact, Vero makes public its manifesto and business model for anyone interested in what they do, and why they do it. Vero believes that people naturally seek connections, and that explains the explosive growth of social media over the past 10-15 years.

Here’s what it all boils down to according to them:

But as time passed, an imbalance began to form between the interests of the platforms and the best interests of the users. We made our business model subscription-based. making our users our customers, not advertisers.

Basically, you are the product sold to advertisers on other platforms. Facebook makes billions selling ads to brands and companies based on the data they collect from their 2.167 billion users. You are not a customer to them. You are a product to be sold.

The same is true for Twitter and Snapchat and Instagram (owned by Facebook, lest we forget).

Vero takes the opposite approach. By using a subscription-based model, they’re beholden only to their users.

Every decision, every tweak, every new feature, every change to their design and interface needs to keep their users happy and satisfied. They need to respond to the needs of their users. They have to address the complaints of their users.

The user is the customer. The platform is the product. And that is a revolutionary idea in social media.

But that’s not all. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and others want you to spend as much time as possible on their platforms. They want you to engage in mindless scrolling of feeds for hours each and every day, because they collect data on your browsing behavior.

The more users they have, the more they can charge advertisers.

The longer you spend browsing feeds – which are increasingly becoming mostly ads and sponsored content – the more they can parade those statistics in front of their customers.

1.40 billion daily active Facebook users who spend an average of 20 minutes on the platform each visit is an enticing potential audience for an advertiser.

American adults spend an average of 25.29 minutes per day on Facebook. And they want you to continue doing that.

You don’t need me to tell you that social media is addictive. It’s designed that way. In fact, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter send out notifications intended to pull you back in to their platform over and over again throughout the day.

Here, once again, Vero sets itself apart.

While they do want you to use and enjoy the app, they also want you to be aware of how much time you spend on it.

To that end, there are no push notifications, and they are the first and only social media platform to include usage info on your dashboard. You can quickly see how much time you’ve spent on the app each day and each hour of that day.

vero homepage in 2018

The others don’t want you to think about that. Vero very much does. As they say, “social media should enhance your life, not detract from it.”

That too is a game-changer.

9 Things You Need to Know About Vero

There’s always a bit of a learning curve when you start using a new app or service. New features, new ways of accomplishing tasks, new terminology, and so on.

The Vero app is similar to other social media in some ways, and very different in others. It’s not well known…yet. Let’s take a closer look.

1. Vero was Launched in 2015

As mentioned earlier, Vero is no overnight success. It was launched in 2015 to little fanfare, and failed to generate much attention. It did reach #45 on the App Store, but quickly fell out of the top 1500 apps on the platform.

Its popularity over the past few years has been steady but unremarkable, with just a few hundred thousand downloads prior to its recent surge. But, as the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race.

Towards the end of February 2018, it had about 500,000 users. It doubled that in just 24 hours, adding 500,000 new users on iOS in the US alone.

Vero hit 3 million registered users on both Android and iOS in March 2018.

2. The App was Started Because of Personal Frustration

The men behind Vero weren’t looking to revolutionize the social media landscape. They were simply frustrated with what was available, and the pain-points of the major platforms.

vero team

To begin with, feeds on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are subject to some mysterious algorithm that decides what to show, who to show, and when to show it. Those sites long ago abandoned the chronological feed, showing content from newest to oldest, much to the chagrin of users.

And then, of course, there’s the advertising issue. Over the past few years, the amount of ads and sponsored content in a typical feed has been creeping up. Platforms like Facebook are funded by those advertising dollars, so they’re more concerned with keeping their advertisers happy than their users.

“When I did [join existing social networks], I found the options for privacy were quite limited and difficult to understand, and when I decided to get on and connect with a few of my friends, I noticed that their behavior online was very different than their behavior in the real world.”

~Ayman Hariri

On traditional social media, we tend to overshare and – for lack of a better word – “exaggerate” our accomplishments and activities because it’s going to be seen by everyone.

The team behind the Vero app wanted to eliminate all of that.

3. Posts Can Be Photos, Text, Music, or TV shows

Or places, videos, films, and books. This allows you to truly share where you are, what you’re watching, reading, or listening to with your connections.

The app is geared towards a visual experience – just like Instagram – so even a post about a book you’re recommending will automatically feature an image of the cover. Likewise for a song, album, movie, or television show.

Photos and videos can be shared from your gallery, or you can opt to take a new one with your camera directly in the Vero app.

4. Friends v. Followers

They’re not the same.

Friends are people you actually know in the real world.

Followers (or fans) are those that choose to follow your account for some reason, usually because they enjoy your content.

Would you share some big news or a personal tragedy with strangers on the street? Probably not. You’d go to your close friends. But on social media, it’s an all-or-nothing situation that demands we either share with everyone or no one.

Vero makes it easy to differentiate between the two groups. In fact, they’ve created 4 categories (more on that in a minute).

5. Vero is Free. For Now.

The app will eventually work on a subscription model, requiring users to pay a few dollars each year.

When they first launched, Vero planned to give their first million users a free-for-life account, but with their recent uptick in downloads, that offer has been extended.

It won’t last forever, though. In order to provide that ad-free experience, they do need to generate revenue in some way.

The subscription fee – which will likely be less than the price of a cappuccino at Starbucks once every 365 days – will allow them to keep advertisers out and the customer experience their main and only concern.

In addition to that, Vero is using affiliate links on recommendation posts.

Click on a book, song/album, or downloadable film or show, and you’re instantly taken to the corresponding purchase platform where you can opt to buy it. If you do, a small portion of that sale will go to Vero.

6. You Can’t Register for Vero on Their Website

Registration for Vero can only be done via the app. There is no option to sign up on their website.

7. Users Can Categorize “Connections”

This is another key differentiator between Vero and Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and the like. Instead of only having one large group – fans/followers – there are actually four different categories for each connection you make:

  1. Close Friends
  2. Friends
  3. Acquaintances
  4. Followers

vero app smarter connecting

Every time you publish a post, you’ll be able to select which groups will see it with a simple sliding bar.

Want to share something with only your closest friends? No problem. Have another post to send out to everyone? Piece of cake.

You have complete control over who you share with…just like in real life.

8. Vero’s Interface is Different from Facebook and Instagram

You’ll immediately notice the color scheme is nothing like the other platforms. We’ve all experienced the slap-in-the-face bright light that comes with checking your Facebook feed at night. Vero uses a black background with white text and teal highlights. It looks great, and is much easier on your eyes.

There are no usernames on Vero like we see on Instagram and Twitter. You set your first and last name, and that’s what people see on your posts (although there’s nothing stopping you from using something other than your actual name).

And if you’ve ever struggled with making your photo fit the required square or rectangular shape and still look great, you’ll appreciate the fact that Vero accepts images of all shapes and sizes. No cropping required.

You can choose to edit your photos in the app itself – including a variety of filters like Instagram – but you don’t have to make any changes if you don’t want to.

Along the top of your homepage, you see five icons (L-R): search, your user profile, collections (everything shared with you is organized into categories for easy search and retrieval), notifications (you’ll receive one whenever someone wants to connect with you so you can accept and categorize them…but don’t worry, as only you can see what category you’ve assigned them), and chat.

share your first post on vero

Hit the “+” button to share a new post, and you’re whisked away to the Create Post page. Select your post type – Camera (including stuff from your gallery), Music, Book, Link, Movie/TV, or Place – and share. Make a recommendation (or not), add a comment (or not), and finally select the connection categories that will see it. Done.

create post in vero

From your user profile dashboard, you can manage your connections and account settings, review your previous posts and those shared with you under collections, send and review connection requests, and monitor your usage info.

dashboard in vero

9. You Can Add an Avatar

I know what you’re thinking: big whoop. All social media platforms let you set a profile picture or avatar. That’s true.

But Vero takes it a step further and lets you set up to three different avatars for the three main categories of connections. Your close friends will see Avatar A, while acquaintances will see Avatar B.

You may want to have a bit of fun with your “close friends” avatar while presenting a more professional image to your “acquaintances”. Head to Settings > Avatars > Use Three Avatars, and select the image you want for each group. Easy.

Should You Join?

It depends. Vero is a relatively new social media network, and that comes with some growing pains and glitches. The app is officially still in Beta.

It has somewhere in the vicinity of 3 million users so far, but that obviously pales in comparison to Facebook’s 2+ billion, Instagram’s 800 million, or Twitter’s 330 million. If you’re looking for everyone to be there, you may want to wait a bit longer.

Some big names have already jumped on the bandwagon, though, including Rita Ora, Selena Gomez, and Zack Snyder. Look for the check mark icon to indicate an official and verified profile, but be aware that your favorite guilty pleasure (Kim Kardashian, anyone?) may not be there.

But – and this is very important – if you’re tired of the ads, the algorithms, and the extinction of the chronological feed, then yes, you should join.

How to Use Vero

If you’ve ever signed up for a social media account, you’ll find Vero a breeze to get going. Even if you’ve never had a social media profile (those people still exist, right?), you’ll still find it a piece of cake.

1. Download the Vero app

Vero is available for both iOS and Android.

2. Sign up

Once you’ve downloaded and installed the app, you’ll have to provide a few details to get registered: your first and last name, your email address, and your mobile phone number. Within seconds, you should receive a text message with a 4-digit PIN that you need to enter in order to continue. This is used to verify your telephone.

3. Add an avatar

After registering and verifying your details, you can write your brief bio – you’re given up to 150 characters – and select your avatar from either your image gallery, or by taking a new photo within Vero itself.

4. Add connections

Your feed may look a little neglected at first because you’re not following anyone and you haven’t posted anything yet. But that’s easy to fix.

You can search for profiles to follow by name, hashtag, or keywords. Find the personalities and brands that matter to you, and follow them. Reach out to your friends, and connect (and assign them an appropriate connection category).

Add new connections at any time by clicking the teal + in the top-right corner on your connections dashboard.

connections in vero

Another great feature in Vero is the ability to filter what you see from every connection. Have that one friend who posts 30+ cat videos every day of the week? Turn off videos for that one person, and those damn cats will never clog your feed again.

follow and filter in vero

5. Start posting

With a few connections under your belt, click the “+” button and make your first post. Share what you’re reading, watching, or listening to right now. Or let others know where you are right now. Or share a thought, photo, or video.

With its unparalleled control, you only share what you want with whom you want, and only see what you want from whom you want.

And everyone sees it all ad-free and in chronological order.

Conclusion

Social media isn’t going anywhere. Social media marketing is a crucial cog for any business or brand. Platforms rise. Platforms fall.

Will Vero buck the trend of “suddenly popular, gone by next week” that plagued apps-of-the-week like Peach and Meerkat? Only time will tell, but you have to admire the foundation and core beliefs behind the platform.

Less media. More social. No ads. No data mining. Be a user, not a product.

True social.

Have you checked out Vero yet? Why or why not? What’s holding you back?

About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.