Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Benefits of Total Immersion

On this episode of Driving with John Chow, I talk about sending Sally to Shanghai to learn Chinese. Because that’s the kind of crazy things you can do when you live the Dot Com Lifestyle.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

11 Changes & New Features Coming to AdWords: What You Need to Know

Every spring, Google unleashes a slew of big announcements. One year, the big announcement was Enhanced Campaigns. Last year, they dropped the spectre of Expanded Text Ads on us.

Today, our own Mark Irvine was live in person at Google's Marketing Next event in Mountain View to get the scoop on what big changes and new features are coming to AdWords, and we've got a roundup of all the updates right here.

Google Marketing Next

Between sweeping aesthetic alterations, a bunch of new audience features, and oodles of buzzwords, Google Marketing Next did not disappoint.

The good news: our AdWords overlords have bestowed on us a bounty of exciting new features that’ll enhance your digital marketing strategy.

The bad news: you’ve got some learnin’ to do! (But don't worry! We'll guide you through all the changes in our free webinar tomorrow. Sign up here!)

google marketing next 2017 keynote themes 

The overarching themes of the day (and upcoming year) were user intent, data, and machine learning.

I’d say the event was underpinned by another word: context.

adwords shift towards context vs keyword targeting 

Recent changes to AdWords (I’m looking at you, Exact-ish Match keywords) have led the digital marketing community to declare the beginning of the end for keyword-centric advertising; in its stead, we'll work with semantic and contextual information, targeting audiences, not clicks.

Between machine learning and the rise of voice search (which apparently makes up 20% of all mobile searches) today’s announcement did little to slow the march towards a keywordless future.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Some of the new features announced today will make it easier to find prospects, while others will help you cater to their explicit needs from your first interaction the point of sale and beyond.

Intrigued?

Let’s dig into the 11 most interesting features and changes announced at Google Marketing Next.

1. AdWords Has a New UI

Google is billing this as “the most powerful change [they’ve] made to how advertisers visualize and manage their campaigns in over 15 years.” And it’s easy to see why. The new AdWords UI is sleek. It’s sexy. It’s everything the clunky old UI, with its overlapping shades of grey and unfindable sub-menus, is not.

the new adwords ui 

That being said, you needn’t worry about wrapping your mind around the whirring new labyrinth just yet: despite the fact that millions of advertisers already have access (and can vacillate between the old and new UI’s at will) the “new AdWords experience” won’t be available to everyone until December.

Stay tuned: we’ll have a more in-depth post on the new AdWords UI later this week!

2. Life Events Targeting Comes to YouTube and Gmail Ads

There are some things that can be categorized as everyday purchases. Hand soap. Corn Chips. Cigarettes. Whatever.

For purchases that tend to happen around or because of YUGE life events (think weddings and graduations), though, things are a bit different.

There are patterns of behavior that tend to indicate an impending life event. Looking for an apartment and working on your resume and upgrading from kegs of swill to four-pack microbrews, for example, might establish that someone is graduating. If your product or service could help someone at this stage in your life, your advertising to them is a mutually beneficial proposition.

Check this out:

adwords gmail life event targeting 

By using this exact strategy, smart-speaker company Sonos saw huge improvements in both ad recall and search intent.

Now, AdWords will allow you to use Life Events as a targeting option in both your YouTube and your Gmail Ads. Big, bold, targeted creative. What’s not to love?!

3. In-Market Audiences Come to Search

Machine learning was mentioned by virtually every speaker, but the bit that piqued my interest most was about in-market audiences finally coming to the Search network.

As you know, in-market audiences, which have been available on the Display Network for some time now, help advertisers find prospects who are nearing the end of the buying cycle. Through the synthesis of search query data and activity analysis, Google is now able to identify these hyper-valuable subsets of your target demo on the search network.

4. Location Extensions for YouTube Ads

Good: A totally disinterested stranger finds and watches your video on YouTube.

Better: A prospect sees your video on YouTube.

Best: A prospect sees your video, notices the new location extensions beneath it, then heads to your brick-and-mortar joint to buy bespoke shoelaces or chewing gum that never loses its flavor or [insert your product or service here].

Welcome to the new PPC reality.

5. Google Surveys 360

Account managers rejoice!

Surveys 360 allows users to:

  • Create a survey
  • Find a specific audience sample across the web
  • Generate results quickly

Why does this matter? It promises to make A/B testing SO MUCH EASIER, by giving you the ability yo solicit feedback from customers. By asking someone why they clicked your ad, you can get an idea as to what’s working (and what isn’t) straight from the horse’s mouth.

google surveys 360 

This was the feature that elicited the most favorable response from members of our Managed Services team. Nic D’Amato, a Senior Paid Search Strategist, said “It’ll help with remarketing, with ad copy testing: it’s got a bunch of applications and I’m excited to try this out.”

6. AMP Ads and Landing Pages for Search & Display

Mobile matters. (Duh.)

According to Google, every additional second of landing page load time represents a 20% dip in conversion rate. This is no good. You need fast(er) landing pages and you need them yesterday.

google announces amp for search and display ads 

AMP landing pages are Google’s latest answer to improving page speed.

But wait: it gets better.

In addition to sending search traffic to AMP pages (as you can already do organically), Google has also unveiled Display ads for AMP pages. These ads allegedly load up to 5 seconds faster than regular Display creative: even though the ads look the exact same!

7. Google Optimize: The Landing Page Solution We’ve Been Waiting For?

After the big shiny new UI, this has the potential to be the most interesting announcement to come out of Marketing Next.

Google Optimize will now integrate with AdWords, giving advertisers more agility in the often clunky, belabored world of landing page testing.

google optimize makes landing pages testing even easier 

Per Google: “With the Optimize and AdWords integration, you can quickly and easily create new versions of your landing pages and then apply them to any combination of AdWords campaigns, ad groups, and keywords – no coding or webmaster required.”

Just let that sink in for a minute.

Landing page variants with no coding required. It’s a PPC fever dream like no other.

Simplified landing page testing will give advertisers a massive advantage over their current selves (especially when you consider the new Quality Score reporting available in AdWords, which allows us to view landing page experience on its own).

I’m really curious to see exactly how this works and begin using it in my own clients’ accounts.

8. Hello, Google Attribution

Another new product!

The complexity of the average customer journey, which often traverses the digital and physical worlds, far exceeds my pay grade. Most attribution solutions don’t really make life any easier on this front, so the majority of marketers are stuck in “where did that conversion actually come from” limbo.

google unveils new attribution modeling tool 

Google Attribution will allow you to view the true impact of your digital marketing efforts from 10,000 feet. For free.

Attribution modeling is a pain (unless you’re some kind of data scientist or something). This will make it easier. What’s not to love?

9. New Landing Page Report

More mobile stuff. Shocker.

For my money, this is the most actionable takeaway of the lot. Google has baked a nuanced, upgraded version of the PageSpeed tool right into the new AdWords UI.

adwords mobile landing page test 

Outside of providing suggestions for optimizing the load time for a specific page, this new Landing Page Report will allow you to review a site-wide usability report and ask experts questions.

10. Google Assistant Makes Buying Easy

Offering users a simple way to pay for your goods or services would be fantastic, right?

What if they could do so from their phone? Using only their voice?

Interested? Cool.

So is Google.

 making a purchase on phone using google assistant

Per the announcement today, mobile devices (plural: people using multiple devices, like up to 5 in a day, is a thing) will afford prospects much faster checkout times. That’s not the neatest part, though. That honor belongs to the way Google Assistant is being integrated.

By uploading local inventory, a searcher can be alerted to the exact number of X product in stock at your shop in real time.

adwords google voice assistant purchase GIF 

This one’s got some stringent caveats (prospects must use Android Pay, the Play Store, or some form of payment stored in Chrome), but it represents the future, man.

11. Cookie the Dog

Last but definitely not least. Cookie, Bhanu Narasimhan's dog, stole the show.

cookie 

Still got questions, about Cookie or about how all these new updates and features are going to affect your AdWords campaigns? There's still time to sign up for our webinar on WEDNESDAY, MAY 24. We'll talk you through everything you need to know.

About the Author

Allen Finn is a content marketing specialist and the reigning fantasy football champion at WordStream. He enjoys couth menswear, dank eats, and the dulcet tones of the Wu-Tang Clan. If you know what's good for you, you'll follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

How I Save Thousands of Dollars Each Year Working from Home

One of the greatest and most common fears that people have when they choose to quit their day jobs and pursue their online careers full time is that their new online businesses will not be able to fully replace their old income. They’ve grown accustomed to a certain standard of living by making a certain amount of money each year. And make no mistake, unless you are exceptionally lucky, you’re probably going to take a pay cut for the first few months, if not for the first year or more.

Naturally, the hope and expectation is that your online business will continue to grow and eventually your online income will surpass when you were once earning at your day job. Meanwhile, you might be able to work fewer hours and get to enjoy the dot com lifestyle with all the time and location freedom that it can afford.

Money Is Relative

But here’s the thing. You should never think about your annual income in absolute terms. It’s all relative and you have to consider all the other factors that come into play. Remember when I talked about how to scale your online business? Working insane hours in order to earn more money might not be worth it. Working fewer hours for less money can provide a far more fulfilling lifestyle, one where you get to spend more time with your family and with traveling the world.

home-office

It’s all relative. Something that far too many people overlook is that the very nature of working for yourself from the comfort of your home office is far more cost-effective than the traditional job of a salaryman. I’ve been at this for a decade and I can tell you that I literally save thousands of dollars every year by the very virtue of working from home.

A Money Laundering Scheme

I just got back from picking up a pair of pants from the dry cleaners. I have a wedding to go this weekend, so I wanted to make sure everything was ready to go. The total bill for a single pair of trousers came to just over eight dollars. I don’t normally wear dress pants and dress shirts, since I work from home. It’s far more likely that you’ll find me in shorts (in the summer) or in sweatpants (in the winter) with a t-shirt.

Back when I still had a regular office job, I had to take my clothes to the dry cleaners on a fairly regular basis. Back then, my local dry cleaner charged about five dollars for a pair of pants. Even if I only laundered two pair of pants each week, over the course of a year, I’d spend over $500 on dry cleaning alone, not to mention the additional cost of having an office-appropriate wardrobe. At today’s pricing, I’d be spending over $800 on dry cleaning each year.

The Drive to Succeed

This goes far beyond the simple cost of clothing and dry cleaning, of course. Since I work from home and have constant access to my Wi-Fi, I am able to take on a less expensive monthly plan for my smartphone. Since I work from home and don’t have to deal with a daily commute, my transportation costs have diminished significantly. My wife and I used to have separate cars, but now we just share the one because we don’t need a second vehicle.

A tank of gas in Vancouver is currently about $50, which let’s say lasts a week. Annual auto insurance on our vehicle is about $1,400. Over the course of a year, that means we’d be spending $4,000. And that’s all before we factor in the additional costs of depreciation and maintenance.

Since I operate my own business out of my own home office, I am able to write off certain expenses too. I write off a portion of my mortgage interest, my home insurance, my utility bills, and so on. These net me additional savings come income tax season.

The specifics of your situation will surely differ from mine, but the same fundamental principle still applies. If you’re working from home as an entrepreneur, you don’t actually need to earn as much as you do at your regular day job. You can earn thousands less, enjoy your same standard of living, and reap all the benefits of the dot com lifestyle too. It’s all about perspective.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

Monday, May 22, 2017

How To Handle Wild Income Swings

On this episode of Driving with John Chow, I show you how to deal with the wild swings that can happen when you make money online or when you sell high priced products like real estate or supercars.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

More Marketing Tips That Help Win Customers

Many bloggers still don’t understand the importance of testing, why it’s so important in ensuring you’re getting your content to the right audience with optimal conversion rate. It’s been stated the reason it works so well is because you have so many ways to promote your content and blog that some definitely perform better than others. If you can differentiate between those strategies, providing results compared to those which are a waste of time, you can quickly increase your engagement, traffic, etc. Next,

The objective is to win customers by utilizing marketing strategies that are effective. The importance of testing cannot be underestimated. Today, I’ll be discussing the following…

  • Marketing strategies you need to test
  • FREE testing tools

Let’s get started…

What Should You Be Testing?

What you test will depend on your niche but there are a few universal elements that should be tested, no matter what your niche. For example,

Landing page funnel is often overlooked and you should always test it to ensure you’re getting the highest conversion rates. It’s often been said that email subscription is the best way to remarket your blog because through a follow-up sequence, you can keep bringing people back to you blog for FREE. However, many bloggers setup a landing page and leave it alone, hoping that’ll it convert. This is the wrong approach and you’ll be losing opportunities to win over customers. The objective is to get visitors to subscribe so you can win them over by sending them valuable information in the form of follow-up messages. However, it’s important to test what gets you the highest conversion rate. Try the following…

  • Test landing page titles and description
  • Test call-to-action
  • Test images and video
  • Test different forms and location
  • Test timing and type (pop-up, inline, etc.)

Next,

It’s important to test the different type of content on your blog. For example, I know specific type of content gets higher engagement than others so will focus on creating more desired content. It’s actually very easy to determine what content resonates with people by looking over comments and social shares. You can also check keywords you’re currently ranking for because you’ll be surprised how many people have linked to your content without your knowledge.

These are the “2” direct elements that have an effect on customer conversions. Both factors can be used to market to your customers, either through a solid funnel or content marketing. You should test each of them to ensure highest conversion rate.

FREE Testing Tools

I’m going to quickly mention “3” tools I use to track how well my marketing efforts are converting. First, I’ll use the built in testing tool provided by my ESP. This I’ll utilize to track conversion rates on my newsletters and email opt-in forms. My research has shown me a conversion rate of 20%+ is optimal but you should keep testing to increase until it begins to drop. The point it starts to drop, you know the previous form gave you the best email conversions. Next,

I’ll use Google Analytics to track visitor, landing page, and geo-location to find out where and how my visitors engage with my content. You should focus on the pages with the highest conversion rate then find ways to convert on them. For example, if I know 50% of my visitors are landing on “example.com/page-1), then I should add an opt-in form because it will increase the chances of subscribers. Later, I can win over my customers with a series of high quality follow-ups providing value.

Social media is a great way to determine what content your audience enjoys. For example, through they’re “share” pattern, I know what content resonates with them so I can focus on writing that much more. Next, if I can’t write content because of a busy schedule, I can hire someone, but direct them in the right direction. The point is it’s widely believed the higher social shares on a particular content, the more engaging it is. This element, again, is not hard to track because you have to focus on favorites, total shares, and “retweets”.

Next,

Here’s something cool many people don’t know about…

Copy and paste your URL in this FREE tool provided by QuickSprout.com. Here’s an example using JohnChow.com. The web analyzer will do its job and provide you with a set of results. Next, if you skim over to “Social Media Analysis”, you’ll get a breakdown of the highest shared content on your website by Total Shares.

Skim through the results, and you can find out what content is resonating with your readers and can either update, create, and optimize the content. Through this simple technique, you’re able to win over customers by creating content that resonates with them more than others. Here’s something else…

Take the URL of the page and type it into Topsy.com. It’ll show you all the people who shared that content and when you create similar content, you can contact each one of them asking for feedback and to share it with their followers. They’ve already shared similar content you’ve written before so will more than likely share this content, too.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

13 of the Best Instagram Ads We’ve Ever Seen

As I was writing this post, I reached out to coworkers and friends to screenshot their favorite Instagram ads. The responses were, unfortunately, lacking to non-existent.  When I kept bugging them, most responded saying that they either only saw terrible ads, or none at all. Which got me thinking…

The best Instagram ads don’t look like ads at all.

They look like Instagram photos. Kind of like the best movies we see are those that we can relate to—the best acting mimics real life!

Instagram Ads

What we noticed? As social media platforms push consumers toward video, businesses are taking advantage of the opportunity. We also saw a lot of cool carousel ads, creative boomerangs, and high-quality photos.

Welcome to the Oscars of Instagram Ads. It’s going to be a star-studded post. Even better, we’ll take you behind the scenes and show you just how to duplicate their award-winning looks.

Best Actor

Let’s hit this red carpet running! Look at that adorable face. You just know he had to pose 12 different ways with his ears getting tugged to produce this adorable ad. This creative gets right to the point—it’s a grooming service marketing itself to you by showing a picture of a groomed puppy. Sometimes, the best way to get your result is a straight line. Congratulations, Krisers Pets!

Best Instagram Ads

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Cute animals will stop your prospects in their tracks
  • The “Call now” CTA makes it easy to take action

Best Picture

Look. At. That. Cheesy. Goodness.

Hats off to you, Domino’s. You know what draws hungry college kids coming home from the bars, posting late night Instagrams: cheap—yet delicious—pizza.

More than just the gorgeous picture of a pie, food pictures are huge on Instagram right now. (And did you know that the #1 most Instagrammed food is pizza?) These kinds of ads blend in and stand out appropriately; no one is going to get annoyed that you’re showing up, and they might just be intrigued enough to place a delivery order or head into the store.

Dominos Instagram Ad

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • It looks “native” (like an organic Instagram post)
  • Emojis in the ad text are a nice touch to resonate with hungry millennials

Best Director

This artistic ad from Dance and Beyond is slightly mind-bending, like looking at an illusion on your phone screen. Props for some awesome photography skills—you know the photographer (director) had to rearrange these legs 10,000 different times and take 10,000 shots to get this exactly right.

Don’t be afraid to up the ante on Instagram. If you have an amateur photographer on staff—or if you run a photography studio—show off your skills! Everyone is always looking for the perfect angles. Capture your audience!

Dance Direction

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Eye-catching, artsy photography begs to be “liked”

Best Original Screenplay

This Chik-fil-a Instagram won the show with a pregnancy announcement. To be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed the play on the typical bun-in-the-oven announcement but I truly identified with Dad. He was upset that there was only one mini chicken sandwich in his box! The emotions were so real!

To create an Instagram ad like Chik-fil-a’s, think about how your brand or product can unexpectedly be involved in the personal milestones of your customers. Everyone loves a great success story; do you run a boutique where your salesperson had a meet-cute with a customer? Do you have a restaurant that hosted a surprise birthday party recently? Tell your story through a video ad! 

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Uses self-deprecating humor—exactly what you’re looking for from a fast food restaurant
  • Tells a complete story quickly

Best Animated Feature

This adorable Haagen-Dazs ad combined a very real-looking ice cream cone with some very animated bumble bees to celebrate Free Cone Day. They even included a nice play on the “busy bee” idiom in the caption!

This advertisement isn’t too flashy or cartoonish, but draws awareness to the endangered honey bee population and the free cone event in a cute way. You know that they considered featuring real bumble bees, then immediately realized it would be a terrible idea. Way to go, Haagen-Dazs!

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Latches onto a popular event and a popular environmental issue
  • Creative use of hashtags

Best Adapted Screenplay

Though this might be a stretch for an ad, the popular show 13 Reasons Why is based on a book, and was adapted for television by Netflix. This carousel ad features the show’s main characters with some dramatic overlay quotes.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Eye-catching carousel without being a full-blown trailer
  • Intrigues your audience, drives subscription conversions

Best Cinematography

This ad must have been filmed with a high-def, fisheye drone (or something like that, I’m not a photography expert). The footage is amazing! It makes the viewer feel as though they are in the crowd with the best seats in the house. And it never gets boring, with quick action shots, clips of an excited audience, and sporadic camera flashes.

Have Go Pro, will travel? This type of ad is great for travel agencies, car share companies, boutique hotels, or any business that assists their customers getting from point A to point B. Make your audience fight the FOMO with some fast and slow video compilations.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Incredibly well-taken video
  • Makes the audience feel present but not as though they are being swindled

Best Costume

This adorable Starbucks ad wins best costume for that great camouflage! On top of the adorable factor, it has all the makings of a great Instagram on a personal account. Don’t kid yourself, one of your more photography-inclined friends could have captured this for a ludicrous amount of likes.

Take advantage of scenery! If you have an especially cool mural or view around your business, take photos of it—maybe with your products strategically placed in the shot.

Starbucks Best Instagram Ad

Why this Instagram ad works:

Best Makeup and Hair

Just looking at this ad from Glossier brings the great, classic song to mind, “My lip gloss is poppin’, my lip gloss is cool!” Glossier has a series of strong ads featuring their products, which closely resemble make-up tutorials that you would find on Instagram organically. This advertisement draws your eye with the enhanced sparkles, and can provide swift gratification with a click of a button to order the same gloss.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Like so many of the best Instagram ads, it mimics a great organic ‘gram
  • Clever copywriting is the icing on the cake

Best Comedy

Who doesn’t love a good pet-shaming? Not only does this Instagram ad blend in with the rest of my feed full of naughty puppies and silly cats, it includes a plot twist! This naughty goat head-butting a car door is the perfect advertisement for car insurance—because who knows when a trip to the petting zoo could go awry.

Want to make an ad like this? Simply find a way to incorporate cute animals into your business proposition. Works like a charm.

Insurance Agency

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Great repurposing of the pet-shaming meme
  • Copy and CTA both reinforce the next step: Calling for help

Best Set Design

Mrs. Meyer’s subtle boomerang ad could be from any parent’s Instagram—spilled milk on some cookies that you know left the kitchen covered in flour and sprinkles. The real eye-catcher is the great title, “Perfect is Boring” that steals the show.

Face it, good cleaning products aren’t the most thrilling selling point. If your product is similarly sleep-inducing, try putting a fun twist on it! Sell cat litter? Pictures of silly kittens. Paper products? Find some way to work The Office into the conversation. You got this.

Boomerang Mrs. Meyer's

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Perfectly paired image and caption
  • Blends in with an Instagram newsfeed, but is eye-catching enough to create pause

Best Dance

Shout out to Brooklinen for having the best boomerang jump-into-bed dance that everyone can identify with. #BedGoals, am I right? This Instagram ad features (what I can only assume is) a sweet Brooklyn loft, a beautifully made bed, and a satisfying “poof” when that attractive man somersaults into it.

As so many Instagram models can tell you, being scantily clad goes a long way (ahem, every Kardashian, ahem). However, I would recommend duplicating the relatable satisfaction displayed in this ad—the bed jump—like pulling a cheesy slice of pizza or perfectly landing a water bottle flip.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Boomerangs are always effective at drawing attention
  • The caption boasts a sale!

Humanitarian Award

Last, but absolutely not least, our Humanitarian Award goes to Donate Life America! Doesn’t that sweet face stop your scroll in its tracks? This simple and to-the-point ad is for a great cause, too.

Humanitarian Award 

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Well-taken photo for a good cause

Congratulations to all our winners! Did we miss an outstanding Instagram ad that you’ve seen? Send it our way!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

5 Social Media Tips That Will Never Change

As far as we can gather, social media isn’t going anywhere, at least for the foreseeable future. Everyone online will continue to want to connect with everyone else online in some fashion. It may have started with simple text-based status updates and those will likely continue to persist, but we must also recognize that the face of social media and social networking will continue to change.

And as an online business owner — if you’re a blogger, affiliate marketer, or run an e-commerce store, you are an online business owner — it’s important that you keep up with these trends and changes. It’s true that all your hard work can go unrewarded when someone decides to change the algorithm on you. It’s simply the nature of the beast.

Just as Google will continue to adapt its search algorithm and you’ll want to keep up with those updates, there are certain best practices that will always hold true, regardless of what changes these search engines and social sites make. Good content is still good content and if you want to continue being successful on social media, you’ll want to keep these five fundamental tips in mind.

social-media

1. Be Consistent

If you’re going to leverage social media to expand your brand presence and grow your business, you’ll need to post regularly. If you unleash a flurry of tweets in an hour, only to let your Twitter account go dormant for days at a stretch, you’re going to lose the interest of your followers. You might even lose some followers too!

While you may not need to (or want to) bombard your fans and followers with dozens of updates each and every day, you will want to maintain a certain level of consistency. This keeps your brand front of mind and all algorithms will always favor a good level of activity.

2. Engage With Your Audience

This is something that I’ve mentioned before and it’s something I’ll likely mention again. Social media never has been and never will be a replacement for a podium at the top of a stage. It’s not a box on which you can stand and simply shout out at your audience. It’s not a billboard for one-way communication.

Social media is inherently social; it’s right there in the name. Remember to engage with your fans and followers. Respond to their questions. Follow up on their interests. Create a real conversation and don’t just use the platform as a sounding board.

3. Use the Available Tools

Every social network changes over time. It’s inevitable. If you want to make the most fo what you can get out of each platform, then you’ll want to make sure you take advantage of the tools that are made available to you.

A great example of this is Twitter. It started with basic text updates, but tweets with uploaded pictures tend to be more popular. And when you insert a YouTube link, the video can oftentimes be played right from within Twitter. The same is true with Instagram, moving from pictures to videos and now Snapchat-like “Stories” too.

4. Put Your Best Foot Forward

Several years ago, I wrote about this in the context of freelancing, but it holds true for any sort of business you may want to run. Haters gotta hate. If you’re not attracting your fair share of haters and criticism, you’re probably not pushing yourself far enough.

But even when someone openly bashes you, derides you, and throws you under the bus on the social media, you should take the high ground. It doesn’t matter if that guy is being totally unreasonable, because all your other fans and followers are watching. Show that you’re the best and let your actions speak for themselves.

5. Track Your Numbers

This is easier on some social media platforms than others, but it’s always a good idea to maintain some sense of your numbers. What does your growth look like over time? Are you getting more video views on Facebook or YouTube? Are you attracting more likes and comments?

If you really want to take your social media game to the next level, you need to experiment and track your results. A/B split tests can really help you narrow down the strategies that are working (and the ones that are not).

Do you have any evergreen social media tips? What has consistently worked the best for you, algorithm updates be damned?

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!