My inbox used to cause me a ton of stress.
It's the place I talk to clients, colleagues and team members. But it's also the place I hear from political campaigns, brands, non-profits, journalists and so much more.
For many years, all of those emails would come into one single place and it was always so hard to know what I needed to work on now, and what could be put aside for later.
But, as it turns out, Gmail has tools to help.
These two simple tricks — that combined only take me moments to set up — helped me take my inbox back from the chaos. And they can do the same for you.
These hacks work with Gmail AND G Suite (aka Workplace). So if you use Gmail professionally, you're still covered!
Creating a gmail filter
So I'm a HUGE newsletter nerd. My inbox is full of emails from journalists and organizations. And I love them. BUT they were cluttering up my inbox & it was keeping me from getting things done.
So now, whenever I sign up for a new one, I immediately do the following: I open the first issue & click those 3 vertical dots at the top.
Then I simply click "Filter messages like these"
Then I click "Create filter"
Now I select "Mark as read" and then I click "Create filter"
Now whenever I get an email from that sender, Gmail automatically marks it as read.
Step 1 complete!
Now on to step 2.
See unread emails first
Go to your email settings.
Switch from "Default" to "Unread first"
This will split your inbox into two sections.
At the top, you'll see your unread messages.
Below, you'll see all those newsletters and other things you want to get to... eventually.
They're not archived or filed away, completely out of sight, never to be seen again.
They're still right there in your inbox. But now they're comfortably out of the way, allowing you to triage your to-do list accordingly.
You can easily move emails from one section to the other at any time by simply marking them read or unread.
That's it. You're all done! Told you it was simple and easy.
This simple Gmail hack has made me so much more productive... and less stressed.
Hope it helps you too!
If you like free tools, tricks and hacks, consider subscribing to my newsletter where I share two free digital tools every two weeks. You can learn more and subscribe at freetools.digital. I also have a corresponding TikTok account. Connect with me!
And if you're looking for more content, check out my podcast Step Up Your Social. All episodes are short (~10 minutes or less) and provide quick, actionable tips to help you take your digital marketing to the next level. Listen today at stepupyoursocial.com or wherever you stream podcasts.
I also work directly with brands of all shapes and sizes, helping them find, hone and tell their stories online. Ready to take your digital marketing program to the next level? Let's chat!
So many brands works so hard on their social media posts and newsletters, but overlook crucial comms opportunities by outsourcing important messaging to bureaucrats.
When someone places an order with you, or donates to your organization, or even just signs up for your newsletter, are they welcomed into the family and made to feel as special as they are? Or simply sent a brief “thanks”?
Too many brands overlook such key moments in their audience journey. In today’s episode of Step Up Your Social, we’ll look at one massive failure, and a whole bunch of successes.
Hopefully this episode will inspire you to revisit your own customer or donor journey and edit accordingly!
Listen to the full episode here or wherever you stream podcasts. And scroll down for a full episode transcript.
Full Episode Transcript
A friend of mine recently had his outstanding student loans forgiven as part of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which forgives all outstanding student loans for people who have spent 10 years working in public service.
He knew he was getting close, but the program is complicated and he didn’t know exactly when he would cross the ten-year threshold.
Then one morning, the email arrived.
The subject line read “You’re amazing” and when he opened it, it screamed “Congratulations” in 36 point font next to a picture of fireworks.
"Our country couldn’t work without you and the work you do” it continued.
There was a GIF of Jim and Pam from The Office giving each other an air high five.
The email went on: “The United States government thanks you for your dedication to our civil society and we are excited to inform you that all of your remaining student loans have officially been forgiven."
Then there was a picture of President Joe Biden eating an ice cream cone and a note that read “whether you like ice cream, travel, or just an extra hour in bed, we hope you find a way to celebrate this tremendous achievement. Congratulations. And thank you for your service.”
Of course that is not at all how the email read.
Rather the email’s subject line informed him: “Action Required: View the message in your Paperless Inbox and take action.”
The email itself was a templated form with a green button inviting him to “go to paperless inbox.”
Once there, he found a PDF formatted to look like a letter informing him that his loans had been forgiven.
It did use the word “congratulations,” but everything that followed would have looked more in place from his accountant at tax time than the federal government informing him that his life just got a whole lot better.
Now granted — this is an official correspondence from the US Government.
But here’s the thing — the US government is a brand, just like any other. And, as is all too obvious for anyone who follows even the slightest bit of news, it’s got a massive branding problem.
What an amazing opportunity the government has to recognize the once in a lifetime gravity of this message and take advantage of it to buy itself some massive — and much earned — good will.
The federal government is rewarding people for their hard work and consistent payments with a massive gift. Rather than letting an amazing copywriter draft this life-changing note, they let a loan servicing company do it, where it was promptly outsourced to a bureaucrat.
What a missed opportunity.
So you, the listener, are most certainly not responsible for drafting comms for the federal government. So why are we talking about this on an episode of Step Up Your Social?
Simple. So many brands make the same mistake (if on a much smaller scale).
They worry so much about every tweet and Facebook post and newsletter, but then let bureaucrats write emails that matter so much.
Here’s a test for you — pause this episode and go subscribe to your own newsletter with a new email address. What happens when you do?
Do you knock your own socks off with your welcome, or do you get a simple “thank you for subscribing” and then get added into the standard queue waiting to hear from your brand again… eventually?! There’s probably a decent shot you didn’t even get a confirmation at all, right?
The Hustle is a phenomenal daily email that shares business and technology news right to your inbox.
Their content is amazing and they work hard ensuring their readers enjoy every issue. They definitely understand that a welcome email is a huge part of setting expectations and welcoming users into their community.
Years ago they went viral, not for their reporting or their formatting, but for their confirmation welcome email.
The welcome email informed them that the moment they subscribed, a buzzer went off in their office and now everyone was celebrating with hand shakes, hugs and even shots of tequila.
Silly? Yes. Memorable? Hell yes!
You can find the full email here.
And it's not just welcome emails that get overlooked.
I’m a paying Canva user. I pay annually.
The typical company would send a note letting me know that my credit card was about to get billed. But Canva is no typical company.
Rather than informing me I owed them money, they wished me a happy anniversary and congratulated me on another great year using their amazing product.
My wife and I have two little kids. We recently bought them each a pair of Keen sandals. A few weeks after buying them, we got an email from Keen asking if “those shoes dirty yet?” chock-full of helpful cleaning tips to keep our kids shoes looking clean and ready to go.
I’ll close this episode with one more example. When CD Baby first launched in the late ’90s, they were shipping physical CDs to people. Weird, I know.
Every order resulted in an automated email, which simply read “Your order has shipped today. Please let us know if it doesn’t arrive. Thank you for your business.”
But one day, Derek Sivers, the founder of CD Baby, realized that he could do better. So he replaced that bureaucratic drivel with the following:
Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.
A team of 50 employees inspected your CD an d polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.
Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.
We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Friday, June 6th.
I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!
Quite a re-write!
Sivers claims that simple email created “thousands of new customers.”
And I believe him! I know I for sure would be way likelier to tell my friends about it, then a note simply informing me that my CD has shipped.
So here’s your assignment: go through your own customer or donor journey and ask yourself - do your most important communications sound like they were written by a bureaucrat or by someone who actually loves your brand as much as you do.
Political Facebook ads keep getting more and more difficult.
Once upon a time, the only thing you need to run political ads on Facebook was a business page and a credit card. The 2016 Presidential election changed all that.
Facebook has added numerous new policies to prevent misuse. Some seem well thought out… others are just absurd. But as I always say, Facebook doesn’t live in our world, we live in theirs.
So every new change or tweak they roll out, no matter how ridiculous, we must simply adapt.
To run political ads of Facebook, you — the advertiser — need to be verified. You can start that process at facebook.com/id.
Your Facebook page needs a political disclaimer.
Your organization needs to be approved.
You can find all these steps, and get started, by going to your Facebook Page and navigating to settings => Issue, Electoral or Political Ads.
But getting everything approved isn’t exactly simple.
Here’s a fun fact: you are now required to have a website in order to run political ads on Facebook. Which is all well and good if you’re a Senate campaign, but might make less sense if you’re running for city council of a small town.
Some folks look to run ads aren’t even connected to a formal organization, but simply want to take a stand on an issue in their community. Unfortunately, the phrase “political ads” is actually quite misleading.
Facebook deems ads “political,” not just if they are from or in support of a formal political campaign, but also if they delve into a huge litany of topics including climate, LGBTQ+ issues, women’s rights… many nonprofits that don’t have anything to do with politics find themselves required to list their ads as political.
Another big issue I see campaigns make when applying for disclaimers: you must have an email address that matches your website. Meaning if your website is JoshForWisconsin.com you MUST have an email ending in @joshforwisconsin.com.
These are some serious hoops they are making down ballot candidates and tiny nonprofits jump through in order to run ads.
Check out this short thread on the issue if you’re so inclined.
But, that’s what it takes to run political ads on Facebook.
But here’s the thing, even if you do everything flawlessly, there is a decent chance you are going to set up ads, get them approved, and then watch with horror as your ad buy remains at $0.
This brutal phenomenon has been happening a lot of late.
So without further ado, here is my list of things you can troubleshoot to try and get your political Facebook ads to actually start spending once they have been approved.
Or to put it another way…
5 Reasons Your Political Facebook Ads Might Not Be Spending
First things first, all ads should be built in the ads manager (facebook.com/ads/manager). Even if you’re just “boosting posts” do it in the ads manager. You’ll have far better control and insight into your ads program when you do so.
Now that you’re in the ads manager (which is different than the ads center!), look in the top right corner at the dropdown menu and check your reporting timeframe.
Is it set to maximum? If not, it should be.
While this probably isn’t the issue, it’s by far the easiest to fix. So it makes sense to start here.
If you started your Facebook Political Ad campaign this month, but you’re looking at reporting for “last month,” it will show you haven’t spent any money, even if that’s not the case. Flip on over to maximum and see what happens.
If it shows ad spend, you’re good to go!
If not, you should check your Facebook Political Ads Disclaimer. If you don’t have a disclaimer, your political Facebook ads will definitely get rejected.
But there’s this annoying glitch where Facebook will disable your ads disclaimer, but for some reason they will still approve your political ads — they just won’t actually let you spend any money.
Go check your disclaimer.
If you get there and it says your disclaimer is disabled, you’ll need to reauthorize it. In my experience, that’s usually as simple as getting emailed a code. But, as always, YMMV.
Once it’s re-authorized, that usually solves the problem outright. If it doesn’t (meaning if after a day or two, you still aren’t spending), DON’T duplicate the campaign. But rather rebuild it from scratch. For some reason duplicating seems to drag the issue along with it. Rebuilding from scratch, in my experience, does not. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Another issue that might be at play — check and see how many disclaimers you have.
I’ve inherited accounts and realized they had more than one disclaimer set up. It’s very hard to select which disclaimer you want to use with your ad when building out your campaign — and if you wind up with a disabled one, the ads won’t spend. I find it’s better to simply delete any that you don’t need. If you have an out-of-date disclaimer, delete it, and as above, if that doesn’t work quickly, try rebuilding your ads from scratch.
There is a very good chance that this will solve your problem and your Facebook Political Ads will start spending promptly.
If you are using a custom audience (like a mailing list, or voterfile data…) it’s possible that your audience is too small to target with ads. That could be the reason your Facebook Political Ads aren’t spending. So it's time to check your audience size.
Once upon a time, when you uploaded a custom audience into Facebook, Facebook would tell you how many people from your audience were matched. Those days are no more. (Usually. Every now and then, they will tell you. Why? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
If your match rate is less than ~1000, your ads may get approved but they will likely not run.
Now if you’re saying to yourself, but I fed 1200 people into Facebook — I’m good… you’re probably not! Facebook’s match rate for custom audiences is never going to be 100%. Which is fair enough — not everyone on your mailing list is on Facebook. And some of them gave you their work email but use their personal email for Facebook. I’ve seen lists match at 85%. And others at 30%. It really depends on the list you are starting with.
As a rule of thumb, I assume I’m going to get between a 50%-70% match rate with Facebook custom audiences. Annoyingly, you won’t know your match rate until you start running ads. Then you can track your reach and, once you’ve spent a bit, you should have a decent sense of your list size.
But again, if you’re not spending, it might be because your audience is simply too small.
If this is the issue, you need to find a way to expand your audience size. You might not be able to target your mailing list or voterfile data. You might have to use Facebook saved audiences, where you build out an audience based on information like age, gender, location, etc.
Try targeting a larger audience and see if it starts spending. If it does, you’ve identified your issue. Great job!
Since we’re talking about Facebook saved audiences, it’s worth mentioning that Facebook changed the data we have access to significantly in early 2022.
You used to be able to target fans of AOC, Rachel Maddow and John Oliver. You could target “liberals” and “conservatives.” You could target people interested in LGBTQ+ or climate change or people who liked Human Rights Campaign or Sierra Club.
Facebook has scrubbed all of that data from their audience builder. Why? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
It’s a truly bizarre and awful move from Facebook, but again, this is their world — we just live in it. So check your targeting.
If you are trying to run ads to audiences you built before this change, there’s a possibility that they let you build the ad, and even approved it, but that they won’t actually let it run.
Go in and edit your campaign’s audience. It will show if you are currently using any data you are no longer allowed to use.
Update accordingly and this might solve your problem.
Facebook recently updated their policy on daily ad spend. They’ve always had a daily ad spend limit — especially for new accounts — but of late, I’ve found that every new account has a default daily ad spend limit of just $50. So now you need to check your daily ad spend limit.
This won’t be an issue for why you can’t spend at all — but if you’re spending keeps capping at $50 a day, despite a much larger budget, this is almost definitely why.
The good news: Facebook will help you increase your daily ad spend. Simply go to GPA Help and ask them to.
The bad news: It might take a bit. And if you’re desperately trying to GOTV in the final days of your campaign, help might not arrive in time.
To recap, here are 5 things to check if your Political Facebook Ads are approved but won’t start spending:
That’s my list. If you have any other solutions to try please share them with me. We’re all in this together!
If none of the above helped, hit me up. I help progressive candidates, campaigns and organizations troubleshoot such issues all the time and I’d love to help you get your ad program up and running.
Learn more about how my team and I help progressive campaigns with digital ads and a whole lot more at joshklemons.com/politics, or drop us an email today and let’s chat.
You can also regularly find me on Twitter complaining about Facebook Ads. If you’re into that kind of thing, let’s connect!
John Fetterman recently clinched the Democratic party nomination in his race to be Pennsylvania’s next US Senator.
Fetterman, the current Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, will be running against a recent addition to Pennsylvania politics… and Pennsylvania itself for that matter, Dr. Oz, who won his primary election by just 951 votes.
For the entirety of his campaign, the tattooed, shorts-rocking candidate from Braddock, PA has been leading the way nationally in Democratic fundraising and really created a masterclass in digital campaigning that any would-be candidate for office should take note of.
In fact, if you want some notes, check out ours here. We did a digital deep dive of Fetterman and Oz’s digital campaigns a while back!
While much of Fetterman’s campaign messaging had been focused on convincing people that he’s the best Democratic candidate for this moment, he’s now shifted his focus to convincing Pennsylvania voters why Dr. Oz is the wrong candidate for them.
Luckily, for him (and democracy!), Dr. Oz has given him a lot to work with.
This includes scrubbing his campaign site of any mention of Donald Trump - only after winning the Republican primary with help from Trump's endorsement, being an overall quack doctor, and worst of all - not even being from Pennsylvania. (And we don’t mean in the he-wasn’t-born-there way some folks talk about political candidates… we mean in the he-doesn’t-live-there-now-and-has-never-lived-there kind of way.)
In fact, Dr. Oz is so clearly not from Pennsylvania that he misspelled his “hometown” on his campaign paperwork.
While there are lots of issues with Dr. Oz as a candidate, the Fetterman campaign has really been hammering this one over the last few weeks.
But the thing is, there are only so many ways to point out someone isn’t from your state. Or are there? The Fetterman team have been finding funny and pointed ways to do just that and they have been hilarious every step of the way.
While plenty of candidates shy away from memes, Team Fetterman has leaned right in. And we think they've done a pretty damn good job of using them to move the needle.
We’re such big fans of Fetterman’s memes that we wanted to round some of them up and share them with you. So, without further ado, here are some of our favorite memes from Fetterman’s feed.
A Little Help From Steve Buscemi
The doctor’s past is always there waiting to catch up to him...
Sure you are...
We’re McLovin this one!
Getting ratioed hurts, but at least Oz earned himself a participation trophy
These are just some of the fire memes that the Fetterman camp has used to point out Dr. Oz’s Pennsylvania-less roots, and we think that they do a pretty good job for a couple of reasons:
First, they’re just downright funny. While Fetterman is a serious politician, he and his campaign want to make sure their audience knows he’s just a normal person - assuming you hadn’t already gathered that from his cargo shorts, tattoos, and professional wrestler vibes.
Second, Fetterman’s campaign knows their platforms and they know how to wrack up those engagements. They know their campaign is connecting with not only Pennsylvanians, but also a national, young and engaged audience of Democratic party supporters excited to like, share... and donate!.
By speaking in terms that are both human and engaging to people on social, Fetterman has gained a ton of followers and helped to point out one of the massive flaws of Dr. Oz’s candidacy, and he did it all by letting the memes do the talking.
So don’t be afraid to get out there and do some memeing of your own. If you want some help, hit us up.
We’d like to think that we understand these platforms pretty well ourselves.
Ben & Jerry’s is the top-selling ice cream brand in the US and has a massive fan base of ice cream lovers all over the world.
But they don’t just make ice cream. They also speak their values. Loudly and proudly. In fact, they’re one of America’s most outspoken brands.
Often when we think of people making a stand on important issues, we think of activists, advocates and politicians… not big businesses. But time and time again, Ben & Jerry’s have shown that businesses can – and should – be a part of the most important conversations shaping our lives.
Not only have they shown that living your values is important, but they have also laid out a roadmap for other businesses looking to join them in doing so - especially in regards to their very popular and very outspoken social media program.
So let’s take a moment to explore some of Ben & Jerry’s top-performing posts across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and dissect just what makes their social media content so powerful.
First off, if you didn’t already know, Ben & Jerry’s is a company that is seriously committed to progressive values.
Human rights, social and economic justice, as well as protecting the environment make up the core tenets of their values. And these stances frame all of their work from the ice cream they make to the tweets they share. You can learn more about their values here.
So what can we learn from this iconic brand that never accepts silence in the face of injustice? A lot!
Lesson 1: Your Values Should Drive Your Entire Business - Not Just Your digital Content
That’s the primary lesson to take from Ben & Jerry’s. If your values don’t touch every aspect of your business, then they won’t seem authentic when you throw a social post into the world in honor of some holiday or news event.
Ben & Jerry’s constantly seeks out opportunities to support causes and they take big risks to fight for what they think is right.
Take this post about a new ice cream flavor for example. It’s their fourth most popular Facebook post of the past year and it highlights their commitment to fighting for racial justice and equity.
Not only did Ben & Jerry’s take the opportunity to voice support for an important cause, but they also put their money where their mouth is. By partnering with Colin Kaepernick, and committing to giving all of proceeds to his organization, Know Your Rights Camp, Ben & Jerry’s shows that they are a company that doesn’t just talk the talk on Twitter, but one that truly lives its values.
While you and your organization may not be able to partner with Colin Kaepernick, your brand can still find ways to live your values.
Start by naming them. What do you believe in and why do those beliefs matter.
Once you’ve named them, share them with your employees, talk about them with community members. And of course show them in your content.
Sometimes we have to take risks to do what is right. If you’re going to choose to voice your values, you’re also going to have to stand by them when they’re tested.
That’s exactly what Ben & Jerry’s did this past summer during heightened tensions in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict when they ended their franchise agreements with stores in “occupied Palestinian territory.”
While plenty of very vocal people and organizations disagreed with this move from Ben & Jerry’s, the company stood true to its core value of advocating for human rights and dignity, above all else.
It’s not always easy to do what we believe is right. But the fact is, when you do, people notice. Your employees know when you do – and even more so when you don’t! – stay true to your word. Your followers do too - just check out the comments of that Instagram post.
And since 70% of consumers want to know what brands are doing to address social and environmental issues - social media is a great place to live your values!
Lesson 2: Meet Your Customers Where They Are By Being Part of the Conversation
Another aspect of Ben & Jerry’s social media content that makes it so powerful is that the brand speaks to consumers at the moments when it counts the most.
As the country, and many of us here in Wisconsin, were grappling with the outcome of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, Ben & Jerry’s came out with a statement showing the hypocrisy of the criminal justice system.
Being a part of the conversation while it’s happening can be difficult - unless you, your staff, and your audience already know what your values are. Then, it's not nearly as hard.
By having clear core values, Ben & Jerry’s was able to respond to this event as it was happening in a way that made their stance clear and that also contributed to the online conversation happening around the trial.
Ben and Jerry’s is also good at telling you why they feel a certain way about a timely issue. They provide transparent explanations and press releases that can take complicated issues and make their stance on them clear cut.
Some followers are going to disagree with you. But by making your values clear, and backing them up with the thought process behind them, you will show that you're a business that's thinking about these issues critically and applying your values to them.
By creating content that sparks or contributes to a conversation, while also explaining your position, you can encourage followers to interact with your business on social media while also building the trust of your most loyal customers, who likely feel the same way you do.
Lesson 3: You Don’t Have to Fight Every Battle, And You Don’t Have to Fight Anything Alone
While Ben & Jerry’s certainly doesn’t shy away from taking tough stances and big risks, they also don’t fight every battle.
When you know who you are and what you value, it's easier to know what to say and when to say it. And your followers will better understand what to expect from you.
Ben and Jerry’s is passionate about social justice. On 4/20, they could have easily just posted a joke about Half Baked or ice cream being the perfect cure for the munchies!. But this are no ordinary ice cream brand.
Instead they posted about racial disparities in arrest rates for marijuana and the importance of passing the MORE act.
They’re not out there taking on big tech or tweeting at particular politicians. But they are displaying their values in ways that make sense by informing their audience and urging them to action.
This is something that any business can do. By talking about issues that make sense for the values your brand represents, you can build a loyal and dedicated following. You might not get every sale, but your values have a way of breaking through even the most crowded media environment.
There are also plenty of ways to make your values relevant to your business, besides just talking about them on social media.
Partnerships can also be a powerful way to do so. In this example, Ben & Jerry’s partnered with an activist organization, a Black-owned coffee producer, and a Black artist to advocate for transforming the way we approach public safety.
These kinds of partnerships can be developed for any business.
If you’re a bank that values economic justice, partner with a local organization to help teach folks about financial literacy.
Maybe you’re a clothing brand passionate about supporting animal shelters - that’s awesome. Partner with a local artist to make a T-shirt and donate part of the proceeds to a local shelter.
Efforts like these will make it easier for you and your followers to stand up for what you believe in while also helping to amplify your presence in your community by bringing new people into your audience.
Overall, we can really learn a lot about how to share values on social media from seeing how pros like Ben & Jerry’s do it.
Their willingness to articulate and stick to their values permeates throughout their business, making them an active participant in important conversations, and a powerful ally to partners fighting for the same values.
Your business can do this too… if you want. And when you do so, your employees and your followers will love you all the more.
Looking for ways to further incorporate your values into your digital marketing program?
This is a short episode, adapted from an article I wrote 5 years, about the importance of engaging with positive comments on social media. It's as true today as it was the day I wrote it. So I wanted to share it with you, my podcast listeners.
If someone goes out of their way to say something nice about you on social, and you can't be bothered to smash that like button, you should re-evaluate why you are on social in the first place!
Listen to the full episode here or wherever you stream podcasts. And scroll down for a full episode transcript.
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
I wrote a version of this post 5 years ago. It’s just as true today as it was then . So I wanted to share it with you, my podcast listeners.
On Friday night — five years ago — I went to see a Grammy winning bluegrass legend wow his crowd with songs spanning his 40+ year career.
Because I’m both a bluegrass nerd and a social media nerd, I streamed one of his songs via Facebook Live.
It was late on a weekend night and it didn’t get a lot of views in real time. But over the next 36 hours or so, it was watched a few dozen times. (And now I can go back and rewatch the band anytime I want on my personal Facebook page!) But truth be told, by Sunday night, I wasn’t thinking about the video anymore than I was about the drive to and from the show.
But then Monday morning, something interesting happened — my video was “liked” by the bluegrass legend it featured.
Now let’s be clear: I don’t think that this artist liked the post himself (although he might have). More likely it was a member of his marketing or management team.
But the notification that he had liked my video popped up, and I have to be honest — I got excited. Like, more excited than I probably should have.
I work in social media for a living. I know how this works. I know he probably has some marketing agency liking positive mentions of him online. But you know what: it still got its intended effect out of me!
Having him like my video felt like getting a high five or a quick hello from a bluegrass legend.
Does that digital high five mean that we are suddenly best friends? Of course not.
Does it mean I can suddenly shred on the mandolin like he can? I wish!
Am I still excited enough that it happened that I immediately wanted to tell all my friends about it? Yup.
Liking that post cost him and his team literally nothing. Yet it added to my excitement about the show and about the artist overall.
Social media serves many roles, not least of which is customer service and community relations.
Think about yourself as a movie star. When you walk down the street, people are going to recognize you. You can't stop and have lunch with every fan. You can’t even stop and take a picture with them all or you’d never get anywhere. But you can nod and smile to everyone who waves at you.
That’s what a "like" is on social media — it’s a head nod from a celebrity. It doesn’t suddenly make you best friends or ensure that they will buy your product/go see your next movie/buy your upcoming album. But it shows the fans that you are real, and that you respect them as people, not just as consumers. And it only takes as much time to create that connection as you need to give a single click of your mouse or tap on your phone.
If someone posts about you or your business online, respond. Or at the very least, smash that like button.
If they write you a review, thank them (or address any concerns as needed). But at the very least, like their post and let them know you see them and you appreciate them.
If you see a celebrity on the street, and you wave at them, you are going to tell your friends one of two stories:
“Oh my goodness, I just say this famous person on State Street. It was so cool!”
*** OR ***
“I just saw this famous person on State Street. He was kind of a jerk.”
You’re the celebrity. Which would you prefer?
Kevin Nicholson is running in the Republican primary to take on Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers in November.
In 2018 he ran in the Republican primary to take on Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin.
He didn’t win in 2018. His chances in 2022 are slim. Which is good - his politics are awful!
But he’s running for higher office in my home state of Wisconsin - so of course I’m on his email list. (It’s part of my civic duty as a Wisconsin Digital Strategist to pay attention to such things!)
His emails are boring. Run-of-the-mill copy-and-paste jobs screaming about the world ending and asking for $5 so he can fix it all. There are lots of big red buttons and 24 point fonts. Sign up for a dozen or so statewide Republican email programs and you can pretty much mix-and-match them amongst each other, just swapping names and logos.
But... because I’m a huge digital and political nerd, I like to track my emails as they work their way through an ever-widening group of shady characters. That’s right <<<GASP>>> lots of political campaigns sell their email lists to the highest bidder.
Scott Walker used the massive email list he built up throughout his thwarted Presidential campaign to help pay off his campaign debt. (You might recall he raised — and spent — a ton of money on his campaign, only to drop out before the Iowa primary.)
He sold that sucker to anyone — and everyone — with money to burn.
So yeah, for better or worse (and it’s definitely for worse) it’s common practice in politics to sell, rent and trade emails these days.
“Selling or swapping your campaign’s email list is an amateur move that demonstrates a fundamental lack of respect for your own supporters. When someone signs up to hear from your campaign, they’re placing their trust in you with the understanding that you’ll use their contact information responsibly. Handing their email address over to a consultant or another campaign is an unethical betrayal of that trust that reflects poorly on the candidate and their campaign operation.”
That’s according to Josh Nelson, the CEO of Civic Shout and a co-founder of The Juggernaut Project, two companies that help Democratic campaigns and progressive groups grow their opt-in email communities. He’s become a leading advocate in the space, publicly calling out bad actors with the aim of curbing such practices on both sides of the aisle.
But here’s the thing about selling your email list: along with being unethical, it can also be risky.
Which brings us back to Kevin Nicholson.
Tracking Your Email Address with Gmail
So most people don’t know this, but Google actually has a simple way to track your email address as it floats around the internet.
Let’s say your email is WisconsinPolitics@gmail.com. When you sign up for an email list, you can add a simple tracking tag to your email. Doing so is extremely easy. Just add a + after your name and a keyword or phrase you want to track. For example: WisconsinPolitics+ScottWalker@gmail.com.
Now anytime you get an email to that tracked version of your gmail address, it will actually be addressed not to WisconsinPolitics@gmail.com, but to WisconsinPolitics+ScottWalker@gmail.com. This makes it very easy to spot.
So in the case of Kevin Nicholson, my email doesn’t come to Josh, but to josh+nicholson.
Pretty simple, right?
Pro tip: this even works with professional email addresses run via Workplace (or G Suite as it was once called).
So you could be SocialMedia@wisconsinpolitics.com. Simply add that + and now you’re SocialMedia+ScottWalker@wisconsinpolitics.com. It works exactly the same way.
So when I signed up for Kevin Nicholson’s email list, I did so using a gmail tracker.
It didn’t take long for me to start getting emails from questionable sources. But while the new senders were questionable, how they got my email address never was.
First it was Sheriff David Clarke. And it was brutal. Like so bad I’ll spare you screenshots. But yeah, it was bad.
Next up was the Wisconsin Conservative Digest. Never heard of them. Wish that was still the case.
They send me massive screeds poorly formatted and… let’s just say I’m not their target demo.
But then a few days ago, I got an email from them that I found interesting. Quite interesting in fact.
While they don’t seem to be outright endorsing him, they published a letter from Tim Michels... who is also running in the Wisconsin Republican gubernatorial primary.
So to clarify: Kevin Nicholson made a quick buck selling my email address… to a group that’s now openly promoting a candidate he’s running against.
You love to see it!
That’s not just unethical, it’s also just bad politics.
So that’s my cautionary tale for you. Have any of your own to share? Hit me up on Twitter. I can’t get enough of this stuff.
If you are running for office — or know someone who is — my team and I help progressive candidates and campaigns find, hone and tell their stories online.
A vanity url is a memorable url that will redirect to the page where you actually want to send people.
They are easy (and inexpensive) to set-up, and can help your user easily find your brand's important content and sub-campaigns.
In this episode of Step Up Your Social, we delve into what they are, how to set them up, when you should use them and more.
We also cover Bit.ly links and talk about when those can and should be used in lieu of vanity urls.
If you aren't using both of these tools in your digital toolkit, you're making things harder than they need to be for your audience.
Tune in today and learn more.
Listen to the full episode here or wherever you stream podcasts. And scroll down for a full episode transcript.
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
The other day I was watching Hulu and I saw an ad pushing treatment for men suffering from a quote Bent Carrot.
If that sounds a bit phallic… well, yeah, that’s the idea.
I tend to tune out most — if not all — medical ads, but this one got my attention. I mean, they took a sensitive issue and made it, if not funny, at least memorable.
But what really got my attention was their url: bent carrot dot com.
I mean, that is just an epic url for a company in the business of mending, ummm, bent carrots.
Here’s the thing though - there's no website at that link. Bent carrot dot com is not a website - it’s a vanity url.
What’s a vanity url? Think vanity license plates, but for landing pages.
It’s a memorable url that will redirect to the page where you actually want to send people. It can serve a similar purpose as a QR code, but with one memorable exception from this past Super Bowl, most people aren’t gonna capture a QR code from a commercial. Just like having a great 1-800 number used to be the industry standard for anyone who wanted you to remember their phone number, vanity urls are a great way to help ensure people remember your website.
If you go to bent carrot dot com, it simply redirects you to peyronies dash disease dot xiaflex dot com slash patient. Think anyone’s gonna remember that url? Of course not. But bent carrot dot com - yeah that one will stick with you.
Even though you probably wish it wouldn’t.
I was once working with a client on her digital program. Throughout the course of the engagement, it came out that she had a second website. There are certainly times where that can make sense. But I asked a few questions and I got a bit queasy on her behalf. This client had paid for an entire website, developed copy, worked up graphics… all the work that went into a website — when all she really wanted was a landing page for a vanity url she had bought.
She wasn’t a musician - but to keep it simple let’s pretend she was. She already had her band's website. She had a new album out and she — smartly! — bought the url matching her album’s name. But to use it, she thought she needed to build a whole new website.
Why is this bad? For so many reasons! The first is that she invested a ton of time and money into a new site. But she also made her users’ journey more complicated. If I like a band, I want all info about the band, INCLUDING THEIR ALBUMS, on a single site. Not spread out over a bunch of sites. AND by doing what she did, she actually hurt her SEO (or search engine optimization). Because her two websites are now competing with each other on Google for the same keywords.
What should she have done instead? She should have simply built a landing page on her primary site and redirected her vanity url to it.
Want an example of that? Head to stepupyoursocial.com. I mention that url in every episode of this podcast. But here’s the thing - that website doesn’t actually exist! It’s just a landing page on my primary website.
It was easy to build (well, easier), it helps with my SEO, instead of hurting it, and it keeps my users’ journey clean and simple. After all, you can easily jump from my podcast page right to my blog. Or to my services or about page. You can learn all about who I am and what I do without ever leaving my site.
So was this hard to do? Was it expensive? Good news: it doesn’t cost anything (beyond the cost of the url) and it takes about 60 seconds to set up.
Go to wherever you buy your urls - I personally use NameCheap. But there are loads of alternatives, including Google Domains, domain.com, buydomains.com, GoDaddy. Lots of options. Once you own the url, simply go into the backend and redirect it to wherever you want it to go. I can’t give you step by step instructions because every platform is going to be a little bit different. But Google “redirect url [insert name of where you bought your domain]” and you’ll find step by step instructions just waiting for you. Follow those instructions and you should have this done in less time that it took watch that hilarious TikTok video you were just checking out.
The hosting companies say it can take up to 30 minutes or so to take effect. I find it typically works within minutes. But just wanted to flag it might not work immediately.
So that’s what vanity urls are. When should you use them? Anytime you want to have a memorable url for a sub-component of your brand that’s easy to remember.
That might be bent carrot dot com. Or stepupyoursocial.com. Or the name of your band’s album. Or a program or campaign your organization is running. Or a video series you have created. Anything you want to be abl e to easily send people to without all those slashes and dashes after your primary url.
The cost of a non-premium url is going to be about $10 a year give or take. (A premium url - like social media master dot com for example - could run tens of thousands of dollars.)
While I’m personally partial to vanity urls, I also want to share a totally free workaround for you.
Bitly is a free link shortening tool.
You can take any url and drop it into bitly and it will give you a short url that will redirect to your landing page of choice. This could be a page on your site. Or an article you think is important. Or a YouTube video you love.
I use a bunch of vanity urls for my brand. But I also regularly use bitly links.
Want my free Facebook live checklist? Head to bit.ly/facebooklivechecklist and download it today. Want to find a blog post I wrote, rounding up stock photo sites that focus on diversity? Head to bit.ly/diverse-photos
And I’m not the only one.
Want to watch Madonna’s Frozen Remix video on YouTube? Head to bit.ly/frozenremixvideo.
Want to do a paid internship, spending your time diving off the West coast of Vancouver Island? Head to bit.ly/DiveIntern.
I think you get the idea.
Not every product needs a vanity url. For everything else, bitly links can be great substitutes.
But big important caveat: don’t just create a bitly link. Customize it. Meaning switch it from the random letters and numbers they’ll assign you with something easy to remember, like FacebookLiveChecklist or FrozenRemixVideo.
Doing so is free, quick and easy. If you’re not customizing your bitly links, you might as well be sending them to peyronies dash disease dot xiaflex dot com slash patient.
And no one wants that.
So get out there and set up your redirects.
And if this episode was helpful to you, do me a favor and send a few folks to stepupyoursocial.com. They’ll be redirected to a landing page on my site - it’ll be exactly what they were looking for!
In case you missed it, this past weekend Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with members of Congress on a Zoom call to ask for more US assistance in Ukraine’s ongoing siege from Russia.
During the call, he asked for the establishment of a no-fly zone over the country, more direct military assistance, and a ban on Russian oil.
While these are all difficult asks, Zelensky did have one request that should’ve been *extremely easy* for any member of Congress to agree to: please don’t share this meeting on social media until after it’s over, in order to help keep the beleaguered Ukrainian President safe.
Although the meeting was highly publicized, sharing photos or posts during the meeting could’ve provided information about Zelensky’s location, which might have put the freedom-fighting President’s life at real risk.
Despite this EXPLICIT warning - and the fact that politicians could’ve waited to score their social media points until after the meeting - a couple of Republican Senators just couldn’t help themselves. And of course one of their colleagues — two years into a pandemic — still hasn’t yet figured out how to mute his damn mic.
Now, we are firm believers that “if it didn’t happen on social media - it didn’t really happen.” But that rule kinda goes out the window when it’s a matter of life and death. You know? Especially when the person whose life you’re risking is the internationally-beloved, embattled leader who has reportedly already survived three assassination attempts in the past week.
Marco Rubio, in yet another desperate attempt at relevance, was the first to succumb to the urge to wrack up some of those sweet, sweet retweets. Since then, Rubio’s team has fired back at critics, saying, “There was no identifying information of any kind. Anybody pretending this tweet is a security concern is a partisan seeking clicks.” Maybe that’s true - or maybe it’s not. The only thing that really matters here is that President Zelensky’s team specifically asked Rubio and his colleagues not to tweet about it. And he did anyway.
The worst part about this in Rubio’s case is that he’s the Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Meaning that Rubio should probably be a bit more sensitive to this type of request than almost any member of Congress.
Despite this, Rubio’s unquenchable thirst for social media fame just proved too strong a siren call to ignore.
Rubio wasn’t alone though in endangering the life of President Zelensky. Not to be outdone, Senator Steve Daines of Montana quickly fired off a tweet as well.
Maybe Daines doesn’t like to follow instructions. Or maybe, he just had different marching orders. Because Daines was one of numerous Republican Senators who spent the 4th of July hanging out in Moscow back in 2018. He was of course joined by Wisconsin’s own Russian sympathizer, Ron Johnson.
Meanwhile, while Rubio and Daines were setting off a tweetstorm with their ill-advised tweets, Rubio’s fellow Floridian Senator Rick Scott was just trying to figure out how mute his dang Zoom mic.
Perhaps Senator Scott should’ve spent less time working on his 11-point plan to turn America into a Hunger-Games-like dystopia and more time learning about the mysterious technology that is the Zoom mute button. (Pro tip: if you won’t be speaking much on a Zoom call, mute yourself and then simply use the space bar to unmute yourself as needed.)
Since we at Reverbal Communications love to give advice to political candidates and elected officials (it's a big part of what we do - learn more here), here’s some advice for Senator Scott: Take some time to head down to The Villages in Florida and sign up for a Zoom intro course. Or better yet, just retire!
Ultimately, the moral of the story is this - while it’s always good to share what you’re up to with your followers, you don’t always have to do it in the moment. This is especially true when you’ve been asked by an ambassador of a country under siege to hold a moment on sending out those fire tweets.
In a time of absolute crisis and uncertainty, President Zelensky has come to be admired by many around the world as a fearless and inspirational leader - he’s a hero to his people and a symbol for the fight for democracy worldwide.
The least Republican Senators can do is give him the opportunity to speak openly with the US without the fear of another Russian attempt on taking his life.
Senators Rubio and Daines, with all due respect, both of you should please delete your accounts.
Last weekend, Scott Walker made a trip to Star Wars Galaxy Edge at Disney World's Hollywood Studios. Maybe he went to pay homage to his childhood hero and personal role model Darth Vader. Maybe he just needed a way to fill the days while not serving as Wisconsin's Governor.
While it's not clear what he loves most about the leader of the evil empire - perhaps it’s his icy-cold cyborg personality or his lack of empathy for everyday people - we do know one thing: Scott Walker found inspiration lurking in the dark side.
That inspiration led Walker to take a moment from his tour to drop this ridiculous tweet.
This tweet is bad — on so many levels. Not only is he glorifying Ukrainian suffering - but he’s using that suffering to compare an illegitimate occupation from foreign forces with a border crisis largely manufactured by right-wing media and talking heads... like Walker himself.
The people entering Ukraine are doing so with tanks and missiles. The people at our southern border are refugees looking for a better life. Needless to say, there’s not too much in common between those two groups.
Part of us wants to be thankful that Walker isn’t praising Putin like other Republicans (looking at you Trump and Tucker Carlson) - but nonetheless, this tweet is disgusting - even more so when you know it’s coming from the “most magical place on earth.”
For context his southern border tweet was sent just 3 hours after this tweet:
Have no fear though, just like in the galaxy far, far away, the dark side is strong, but the side of light and Resistance is stronger.
In this galaxy though, we fight not with lightsabers and lasers, but with quote tweets and Twitter dunks. We rounded up some of the best and most memorable smackdowns of this truly awful and absurd tweet for your enjoyment:
Calling out Walker’s past meetings with Russian spies
Ever wonder who funds the GOP empire? This Twitter user has answers.
Trump doesn’t seem too willing to take up arms - we’re guessing Walker wouldn’t be either.
Twitter won’t let Walker forget about his failed bid for President.
This Twitter user thinks Walker needs a civics lesson. We agree.
Ukrainian freedom fighters and Republican “freedom fighters” are NOT the same.
It’s hard to keep track of reality when you’re buzzing off the Disney Land vibes.
Scott might not take his arms to protect his country - but he sure did destroy that sandwich.
Thankfully, Scott Walker’s not too relevant these days, unless you’re a CPAC bro or someone pining for the old days of union busting up and the dismantling of Wisconsin’s working class.
And while we'd of course prefer to ignore Scott Walker for the rest of time and pretend he ever existed, it's hard to witness this kind of disgusting politicization of a tragedy like the one unfolding in Ukraine and not get mad. So what choice is there but to point out the hypocrisy of someone like Scott Walker. Hopefully next time he takes a trip to the dark side, he can stay off the socials and just keep his bad takes to himself.
One more fun fact for you on this truly awful tweet: it currently has 1158 retweets. But of those, 971 are quotes tweets (just shy of 84%). That is just a whole other level of getting ratioed!
If anything in that previous paragraph is confusing to you, you should take my Super Twitterer course!
And if you're running for office or looking to help be a force for good in the world, get in touch! We help progressive campaigns, candidates and organizations find, hone and tell their stories online.
Lucas Kunce announced his campaign to flip Roy Blunt’s open Missouri Senate seat in March of 2021. His rapid rise to national renown and social media stardom has been nothing short of meteoric.
Within a little under a year, Kunce has amassed a Twitter following of over 47,000 followers and out-fundraised the entire Republican field in Missouri, totaling $2.5 million in contributions in 2021 and $710,000 in the fourth quarter of 2021 alone.
And he’s done all of that without accepting a single dollar from any corporate PAC. His average donation sits at just around $38 dollars.
So how did Kunce pull this off? Authenticity.
These days, the writing on the wall is pretty clear. Most voters don’t want to elect politicians. They want to elect people that look like them, sound like them, and that resonate with their lived experiences. We find this to be especially true in rust belt states where voters have felt abandoned by career politicians and what they see as the Washington establishment.
Kunce and his campaign know that there’s a desire for authenticity and they’ve mobilized and centered their campaign around it. Their platform, messaging, and even the wording throughout their social media posts take the story of Kunce, a Marine veteran turned antitrust advocate, and use it to make real connections with the campaign’s supporters. (What's an antitrust advocate you might ask - it's someone fighting to end corporate monopolies and break up large corporations like big pharmaceutical companies.)
This path is not only working for Kunce, but charts a path forward for any other current or would-be candidate. Or really any organization trying to make a difference in the world! It serves as a reminder that we all have a story to tell that’s not only relevant, but also engaging. And honest. And doesn't speak at the people but aims to connect with them! You just have to be sure you're stepping up to
To understand who Kunce, a first-time candidate who started his campaign with almost name ID, pulled off this impressive feat, let’s take a look at his top 10 tweets since announcing his candidacy — ranked by engagement — to see how he did it.
Calling out the insulin cartel - 36,602 engagements
An estimated 516,000 Missourians had doctor-diagnosed diabetes in 2020. This is a politically relevant constituency that has been paying too much for insulin for far too long.
Kunce is running as an antitrust candidate. He found his niche here by tying back his platform to an issue that’s relevant — and personal! — for many so Missourians. His social copy explains this issue in a way that’s easy to understand while also matching his authentic voice. No wonder this post had over 36,000 engagements!
Taking on a GOP Rival, mark McCloskey - 33,697 engagements
Remember this disturbing moment from the summer of 2020? Mark McCloskey and his wife, Patricia, paraded out of their mansion to wave an assault rifle and a handgun to “protect” themselves from peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors. Since then, they’ve been featured at the 2020 RNC and McCloskey has announced his candidacy for Senate.
Kunce was a Marine who used the same type of assault weapon in service to his country, not to stifle free speech. He sums up that distinction well in this tweet.
Masculine and pro-video games? - 23,411 engagements
Kunce isn’t much interested in the ridiculous ramblings of insurrection-inciting and Putin-supporting Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, who’s very concerned about the effects of video games on male youth.
Kunce was able to come back to Hawley's absurd claim with an authentic rebuttal that wasn’t just relatable, but also doubled down on his credentials. We think it was a pretty perfect response.
A challenge to mansion man Mccloskey - 20,986 engagements
Next, Kunce solves the age-old question for candidates in a battleground or red state. Do I shoot a gun on camera to show off my gun-toting creds, or not? Here, he takes a unique stance by rejecting the old trope of on-camera gunplay and instead challenging McCloskey to apologize to the people he threatened in exchange for a private weapons training class with Kunce himself.
He used this fun take to call out a rival and make a real statement in the process. Kunce doesn’t have to prove he knows how to use an assault rifle. He did it for 13 years on missions serving our country - not in a vapid show of support to the CPAC and NRA crowds.
Calling out politicians moonlighting as day traders - 15,215 engagements
With this tweet, Kunce joined many of his progressive counterparts in highlighting the undemocratic trend of politicians moonlighting as day traders. This is exactly the type of behavior that has turned off so many voters from politics. And Kunce knows it.
He calls out politicians on both sides of the aisle, furthering his antitrust bona fides, while also getting national press for helping to push an important issue.
Highlighting the hypocrisy of nation building - 14,023 engagements
Here, Kunce uses his background as a veteran to make a very powerful statement. The same politicians that were comfortable dumping trillions into a failed war won’t even budge on spending half that to build up our own country.
One of Kunce’s major pieces of his platform is a “Marshall Plan for the Midwest,” and he’s able to share it effectively online through his personal story and smart messaging.
kunce calls for nation building at home - 13,656 engagements
Kunce continues this theme throughout his messaging and does so to great effect. His campaign has a clear hypothesis: Midwesterners, and particularly Missourians, have felt left behind by a government that is more worried about building overseas than here at home.
This type of sentiment has led to the rise of populist Republicans such as the orange menace himself. But Kunce, and many others like him, clearly believe it can be flipped into a message for Democrats looking to reconnect with middle-class voters who feel burned and abandoned by the Republican party.
Contrasting himself with another sleazy opponent, eric greitens - 10,312 engagements
While McClosky might be the most cartoonish candidate vying for the Republican nomination, his claim to the nomination is far from a lock. Eric Greitens, who’s most likely to be Kunce’s Republican opponent (despite his party’s best attempts to stop him), resigned as Missouri’s Governor in disgrace, after a disturbing history of intimidation, sexual assault and invasion of privacy came to light.
Missouri voters have yet to forget about his awful past, and the Kunce campaign wants to make sure it stays that way.
Easy to understand antitrust messaging - 10,054 engagements
The price of insulin has surged in recent years, placing a life-and-death medication out of reach of far too many Americans. For Kunce, an antitrust advocate, this issue to ripe for the campaign trail. And he does a phenomenal job of taking what could be a very complex issue and making it simple and easy to understand.
Companies are working together to exploit the necessary health needs of Americans, which is something that Kunce won’t stand for. Along with over 10,000 people who engaged with this tweet.
advocating for investments in the us, not abroad - 8,023 engagements
As you’ve noticed, consistency is key when it comes to building authentic relationships with your followers. Kunce maintains — and leans into — the same set of stances on issues such as antitrust legislation and building up the middle class.
His social media presence shows that although political tides may change, Kunce and his values doesn’t. He’s still the same person - the Marine vet from Jeff City who’s going to fight for the working people of Missouri, not the millionaires and the billionaires.
Throughout Kunce’s tweets, we can see a clear image of Kunce as a candidate. He’s authentic and relatable to voters in Missouri — as well as donors and social media followers across the country — and while his message is definitely carefully crafted, it never comes off that way.
And here’s the thing: any candidate regardless of budget or experience can do this too. Speak how you actually speak, say what you’d actually say, fight for positions you actually care about… and above all else, tell your story.
If you need help doing it — hit us up! This is what we do here at Reverbal Communications. Together, we’ll help you and your campaign or organization find ways to share your story with your audience in ways that engage and inspire. Maybe we can even help you capture the same lightning-in-a-bottle energy that Kunce managed to pull off to turn himself into an overnight political star.
Pete Souza is famous for being President Obama’s photographer. But he also served as the Chief Official White House Photographer for Ronald Reagan.
He wrote a book during the Trump years called “Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents,” where he rounded up all the phenomenal Shade he threw at Trump by comparing the bad news cycle of his day to great moments from President Obama’s administration. It’s a great book full of unbelievable photography — and hilarious snark — that takes the reader behind the scenes into some of the most intimate and powerful moments of the Obama Presidency, while also helping to clarify just what an unserious person his successor was.
After properly trolling DJT for some time, Souza has now formally turned his attention to Dr. Ronny Jackson, a Republican Congressman representing TX-13.
If you don’t know Dr. Ronny, it may seem odd that this world class photojournalist would bother spending so much energy tearing him down. But Dr. Ronny isn’t just any Congressperson - before getting elected to office in 2020, he served as White House physician to both Presidents Obama and Trump.
He was very well liked by many members of Obama’s team - there’s definitely a lot of head scratching going on in Obamaland about what the heck happened to the guy.
If you’ve never heard his name, you might remember him as the guy who gushed that then-President Trump was in “excellent health” and that if he adjusted his diet, just a bit, he might just live to 200.
This would have been hilarious if Ronny Jackson was just some Trump fanboi on Twitter. But of course he wasn’t – he was Trump’s official White House doctor. So instead of being funny, it was absurd, bordering on dangerous.
So yeah, Dr. Ronny went from a beloved member of Team Obama, to a drooling Trump sycophant to… a member of Congress?! And in his latter capacity, he has been working overtime to troll President Biden on Twitter as both physically and mentally unfit for office.
Is Dr. Ronny a hypocrite for helping promote the idea that President Trump was fit to serve another - checks note - 120 years(!!!), but that President Biden is somehow unfit for the job at hand? Yes. Yes he is.
And Pete Souza has the receipts to show just what a hypocrite Dr. Ronny really is.
Souza’s been sharing those receipts on Twitter for a while now, and his fire just continues to grow!
He’s got the stats, the stories, and a bunch of intimate shots to show just what a craven, hypocrite Dr. Ronny Jackson has become.
Each tweet from Souza should serve as a valuable warning to all Twitter trolls (whether or not they’re elected officials) - if you’re going to share awful, offensive views, don’t forget who knows where your skeletons are - especially if they’re a famous photographer with a substantial platform!
It’s been fun watching Souza eat Dr. Ronny’s lunch the last few months. And at some point, it just became too fun to not do a roundup. So here are some of Souza’s most popular digs, curated for your enjoyment:
Here's Souza’s Questioning Dr. Ronny’s knowledge of the Bible
For local voters
For out of state voters
For ineligible voters
The chatbot has three paths based on voting status including in-state, out-of-state, and ineligible to vote. Throughout these paths, the bot collects valuable information for the campaign such as contact information, how likely a person is to support Fetterman or other Democratic candidates, and can even sign people up for campaign communications and help them make donations.
All in all, we can see two very different approaches to designing a campaign website that ultimately lead us to the same goals - politicians looking to show who they are and what they’re about while making it as easy as possible to drive action on their website.
Both of these candidates have unique skills that help them greatly on social media. Fetterman’s personality and strong ideas lend themselves to creating social media content that drives donations and engagement from progressives throughout the country. Dr. Oz started his campaign with millions of followers across his pages, thanks to his long history in the public spotlight.
To learn some lessons from John Fetterman and Dr. Oz’s social media, we can break down their followings by platform, how often they post, their follower engagement levels, and also look at some unique properties of each candidate’s social media strategy.
While his numbers look big on their face (huge really!), we need to consider a couple of things. First, Dr. Oz converted his TV show accounts to campaign accounts. This means that although his following may look large, the majority of his followers are likely not Pennsylvanians or even out-of-state political supporters. Heck a ton of them likely don’t live in America, and a whole bunch more probably do not agree with his political platform.
The second interesting note here is that at the time of this writing, Dr. Oz has still not really converted his show’s Instagram account to a political one. This is a surprising choice given the new mission of his accounts on his other platforms, as well as his massive following on Instagram (over a million!).
Since the start of their respective campaigns, the Fetterman campaign has posted on Facebook an average of 1.8x per day to Dr. Oz’s 2.6x per day.
On Twitter, the numbers are closer with 2.6 tweets per day for Fetterman and 2.8 tweets per day for Oz.
Lastly, Fetterman takes the easy win on Instagram with an average of just shy of one post per day while Dr. Oz has only posted about his campaign once.
While Dr. Oz is on TikTok, he's only posted a small handful of times since the start of his campaign.
While posting often is important to growing a following, it’s engagement that really matters. We can see an interesting shift here when we comparing the two candidates’ Facebook accounts. Note that while Dr. Oz has a FAR larger following, Fetterman gets a much higher engagement rate per post.
This makes sense - people follow Fetterman on social because they like him and his politics. People follow Dr. Oz on social because they like quack science and Oprah told them too. Not exactly a captive audience when it comes to running a political campaign.
For John Fetterman’s campaign it’s his family members. This includes an Instagram account for his wife Gisele and a Twitter account for his dogs, Levi and Artie. These accounts both have sizable followings (31,900 followers for Gisele and 24,100 followers for the Fetterman pups), and allow the Fetterman campaign to amplify messages and show a different side of John Fetterman’s life.
What We Learned
So what? Now that we’ve taken a deeper look into John Fetterman and Dr. Oz’s digital media presence, what can we take away from our deep dive?
Well, for one thing, this is a great reminder that your digital presence matters. A lot. You need to post quality content that is geared towards your audience, create a website that tells your story, and make sure that all elements of your digital campaign are designed to meet your organizational goals.
Fetterman’s campaign tells the story of a progressive fighter who’s worked hard to make his state better. Dr. Oz on the other hand reaches his audience by leveraging his unique character to make a stance that can appear both authoritative on issues such as COVID while also flying in the face of what he sees as the “establishment.”
One important lesson is that where your audience comes from matters. Anyone can get followers in the wrong ways. But if your audience doesn't care about your content, it doesn't really matter how many of them there are. Social media (and digital in general), like everything, is about quality, not quantity. Keep that in mind the next time you're worried about your Facebook Likes not going up fast enough. Sure, keep an eye on that number. But pay way more attention to your engagement rates than your page likes.
Hopefully this was helpful. And never forget - we dug into Dr. Oz’s digital program so you wouldn’t have to!
Looking to take your digital program to the next level?
Some of the posts are for my own channels - many are for my clients.
I’ve experimented with a lot of third party scheduling tools. And I mean a lot!
But for the cost and the power, I’ve yet to find one that comes even close to Publer.io.
In this post, I'm going to give you 10 reasons why I use Publer to schedule and manage social media content for both myself and for my clients.
1) You can customize social media posts by channel
This feature has been kind of a game changer for me to be honest. In fact, it’s such a big one, you can just skip the rest of my list and go ahead and sign up today at publer.io if you're so inclined.
So let’s say I wanted to do a post thanking WisDems (that’s shorthand for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin) for hosting an event.
I can create a single post in Publer, and then edit it as needed by channel.
Which matters SO MUCH if you want to be able to tag WisDems (or anyone else!) in your post.
In Buffer and Hootsuite, you have three options.
- Create separate posts for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc, making sure that each post is just right
- Don’t tag them on any channel
- Tag them on one channel and let the remaining channels show a broken link
Not tagging someone on social media is like talking to them on the phone without first dialing their number. They might hear you, but probably not! You’re missing an opportunity to build on your relationship online and potentially get in front of their audience.
Tagging people with broken links… well that’s worse than not tagging them at all!
And for what it’s worth - you have plenty of channels to choose from. Publer lets you post on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google My Business, YouTube, and WordPress. And apparently they have more channels on the way.
But you can also use this feature to specify which graphics you want to use on which platform. Or to share unique utm links per channel, if you’re looking to track links in Google Analytics or elsewhere.
Sometimes, a post that works great for Facebook will be just a bit too long for Twitter. Time to put on the old editing cap and whittle that post down.
OR if your post is far too long for whittling down, you can hop over to reason number 2 why I so love Publer, and create yourself a tweet thread!
2) You Can Create Tweet Threads In Publer
Twitter limits posts to 280 characters. If that’s not enough space to get your message across, you can thread your tweets together to create a longer piece of content.
This was actually a user generated concept — users looking to go beyond characters limits (at the time a paltry 140!) started simply replying to their own tweets. Sometimes once, sometimes dozens of times. They literally started “threading” their tweets. As Twitter so loves to do, they took tools the users were already hacking together and implemented them into the platform.
But there was a problem. Until recently, Twitter’s API didn’t allow 3rd party tools to create threaded tweets. Mindbogglingly, this included Tweetdeck, which is owned by Twitter and STILL doesn't have the functionality! That’s right, if you want to schedule tweets in a platform owned by Twitter, you have long had the option to do so through Tweetdeck. But even today, you can only create single tweets - not tweet threads.
The same is true of pretty much every other third-party tool I’ve tested. Until I found Publer.
Publer let you schedule responses to posts on any channel, even with an optional built-in delay. And for Twitter, they let you schedule as many responses as you want - aka - tweet threads!
Start by typing your first tweet.
Once you've selected Twitter, you can add as many additional tweets as you want:
It’s worth mentioning that when I first started using Publer, you were limited to a single follow-up on Twitter, just like with every other platform. Often two tweets is plenty for a thread.
But Twitter opened up their API and Publer eventually added the option to thread as many posts as you want to a thread. As someone who does a lot of work in politics, this was another game changer!
But even if you don’t work in politics, it’s worth knowing that tweet threads can often get higher engagement than a standalone tweet.
One other note - until recently, you couldn’t add media (pictures or videos) to follow up tweets in a thread. That changed recently as well.
Bringing us to reason number 3 to use Publer as your third-party social media scheduling tool:
3) They regularly update the platform
Users can even request new tools.
4) You can reuse media from your Media library
If you’re promoting an event - you aren’t going to create a brand new graphic every time you post about it.
We’ve all waded through a labyrinth of Google Drive folders to find that one image we need. It’s especially complicated when you are working with a team (or teams!) who use different file naming conventions... or worse yet - no naming conventions at all!
Publer’s media library simplifies this. Once you’ve uploaded media to any post, that media will automatically get stored in your media library.
You can also pre-add content to your library, including photos, videos, and GIFs. In addition to this, you can also label your media for easy organization and even upload media directly to your library from Canva and other online graphic design tools.
5) Publer has a free built-in link in bio tool
Enter the Link In Bio tool.
With a link in bio, you can create a landing page that shows all of your Instagram posts with links, and folks can click through to an associated link from the matching post.
It’s far from perfect, but for many content creators, it’s better than the alternative - no links at all!
There are loads of free and paid link in bio tools out there. But Publer has one built right into its platform.
It’s easy to set up, simple to use and it's free.
To create yours, click your settings menu in the top right corner and then select Link In Bio.
You can even add custom images for those evergreen links to keep things looking nice and on brand.
Then, whenever you're creating an Instagram post through Publer, you can simply add a link, as needed, to the bottom of the post.
When someone clicks the link in bio, they'll see that post, as well as all others you've added links to, and can then click directly through to the url.
Not as easy as Twitter or Facebook, but that's how Instagram rolls. So nice to have an easy - and free! - workaround.
I'll also refer you back to reason number one that I use Publer as my third party social media scheduling tool of choice - not only is this great feature built right into the platform, you don't even have to create a standalone Instagram post. You can crosspost the same content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, wherever, and then customize by channel and drop that link into the bio.
Voila. You are good to go!
6) You can share specific channels with your team
You can add team members to your account, with limited access levels.
You can even pick and choose which accounts to share access to, so you're not turning over the keys to the whole kingdom, just to the doors that make sense for any given client or team member.
To add someone to your account, click the dropdown menu next to your avatar (top right of the page) and select "Manage Teams."
They can then create content you approve, do final edits, give green lights before you post - whatever works for you and your social media team!
7) They have a built-in RSS feed for easy content curation
Head to their “Content” tab and you can search for articles by keyword and category, and filter by date, language, country and even domain.
You can even save your searches to make future curation even easier. This is great for businesses who consistently speak on a few core topics or nonprofits or political campaigns who are passionate about specific issues.
8) They have a Chrome Plugin and it’s actually kinda great
Pretty convenient for a social media manager on the go, no?!
9) They have built-in analytics
Publer has built in analytics for your accounts.
Honestly, I don’t use their analytics much. I prefer to go directly to the platforms for more granular looks at how things are doing.
That said, they are convenient, free and right there.
They also send regular emails letting you know which of your posts are your top performers. That one is pretty nice to have, if for no other reason than it’s a good reminder that you should be digging deeper into the backend of your accounts.
10) They have good customer service
I’ve had some significant technical issues with Publer over the years.
I was posting content to one Twitter account that regularly had tweets end mid-sentence even though I was 1000% sure I had everything set up perfectly (I mean the first time I was quite sure, but by the 5th time, I was quadruple checking and it was still happening).
Google has tech issues. Amazon has tech issues. Facebook is pretty much just one massive tech issue these days. These things happen. To use the internet is to accept that.
But... every time I’ve had issues with Publer, I’ve reached out and found real people ready and eager to solve my issues. I definitely can’t say that for every platform I work with!
So to recap - here are 10 reasons I use Publer for social media scheduling and management
- You can customize social media posts by channel
- You can create Tweet Threads
- They regularly update the platform
- You can easily reuse media from your media library
- They have a free built-in link in bio tool
- You can easily provide limited access with team members and clients
- They have a built-in RSS feed for easy content curation
- They have a Chrome Plugin that’s actually kinda great
- They have built-in analytics
- They have solid customer service
A few features I’d love to see Publer add
A few updates I’d love to see:
- I’d love to be able to post Instagram carousels (aka albums) through Publer. Currently, you can post multiple pictures to Facebook and Twitter, but you’re limited to a single image for Instagram. I’m quite sure this is an Instagram API issue, but still on my ultimate social media consultant wish list.
- I’d love to be able to post and schedule Stories to Instagram directly from Publer. Hopefully this one is in the works.
- I’d love to be able to engage directly with comments once my posts are live right in Publer. This one is a beast and likely if Publer ever added this, their price point would look very different. I only know of one scheduling tool that currently has this option and that’s Agorapulse (which is, again, powerful but expensive). I’m not complaining, I'm just saying that would be another game changer for me.
Ready To Start Scheduling?
If you have any reasons you like Publer, let me know! Or if there are any features it’s missing, or a reason why you love one of the many, many alternatives on the market, let me know that as well.
I’ll also mention that I don’t do affiliate marketing for any products or services, but do have an affiliate link for this one specific tool. I only have an affiliate link because I’m such a fan of the platform that I found I was constantly recommending it anyway. Just wanted to be fully upfront about that.
If this post was helpful to you and you do wind up signing up, please use this link when you do so - publer.io/jlemonsk
Good for him! He put on his big boy pants and worked really, really hard to ensure that Congress couldn’t do jack for working people in this country... at least for one more night.
Fortunately, the Democrats in the House simply waited him out, and then quickly voted yes on Build Back Better, the bill he was so desperate to prevent moving forward.
Instead of letting a bill pass that would revitalize the US economy and provide $1.75 trillion dollars to build up our country’s infrastructure and fight climate change, McCarthy chose instead to ramble on... all freaking night.
Just to put this in perspective, McCarthy filibustered long enough to play two rounds of golf with his puppet master Donald Trump. Instead of watching McCarthy ramble on about nothing, you could have binged an entire season of Mad Men. In the time he used to set our country back, you could have driven from the House Chamber all the way to Detroit, where you could witness our country’s crumbling infrastructure firsthand.
While McCarthy may have been pretty proud of himself for forcing all eyes on him, his Democratic colleagues — the ones working to make real progress for our country — were none too happy. Lucky for us, through the amazing power of Twitter, we can get their ? takes first-hand.
Here are 15 of the best tweets from McCarthy's Democratic colleagues, sent during a floor speech that will be sure to go down in the history books... as one of American politics' biggest wastes of time. (Alongside this infamous gem of course.)
It is a feat of epic proportions to speak for four hours straight and not produce a single memorable phrase, original insight or even a joke.— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) November 19, 2021
McCarthy thinks he is a wit but so far he has proved he is only half right.
.@SpeakerPelosi made history speaking in the House for 8+ hours in support of DREAMers. (And she did it in heels!)— Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (@chelliepingree) November 19, 2021
The GOP leader did all that to stop universal Pre-K.
It didn’t work. We’ll be voting after 8AM on #BuildBackBetter to ensure a better future for our country.
I wish Kevin McCarthy loved delivering for working families as much as he loves the sound of his own voice.— Congresswoman Lori Trahan (@RepLoriTrahan) November 19, 2021
Now I see that all that child care, pre-k, job training, housing assistance, and climate change stuff is just a ruse to hide our secret plan to create open borders to allow undocumented people and fentanyl to flood our country.— Rep. Andy Levin (@RepAndyLevin) November 19, 2021
If you took the worst orator in the world— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 19, 2021
Gave him the worst speech in the world
And made him read it for the longest time in the world
That would be a lot like listening to Kevin McCarthy tonight.
Except, probably better.
Any of your favorites not make the cut? Share them in the comments or tag me into the conversation on Twitter.
Managing your business’s online presence is more important than ever. Today, 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to check out local businesses. This means having your information online and up-to-date is incredibly important.
What’s even more important though is how you optimize your information to get the best results in Google’s search rankings. This practice is known as SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) and it’s the process of optimizing the content you share online to appear as high as possible on the list of results returned by a search engine.
Paying attention to your SEO is key to expanding your online presence and is especially important since 92% of searchers will pick businesses that appear on the first page of Google’s search results.
NINETY TWO PERCENT!
Put another way: if you ain’t on the first page of Google - you ain’t online!
There are many ways to optimize your online presence that will help lead you to better SEO. Keyword research, proper use of alt tags, backlinks… the list goes on.
Not familiar with any of those terms? Here’s Neil Patel - the SEO master - with some basic background on SEO (in only 5 minutes!).
But this post is about a single tool that can help you step up your SEO game quickly and easily and it won’t cost you a cent to take advantage of. That tool: Google My Business.
Google has long struggled with standalone social media channels (anyone remember Google+?).
But Google My Business, or GMB, seems to be around for the long haul.
It’s not really a social channel. At least not in the traditional sense. But it allows businesses to create profiles and share social-style updates which will help them rank when people search for similar content online.
In this post, we’re going to look at 5 ways you can use Google My Business to improve your SEO game today.
But first, let’s do a slightly deeper dive into what Google My Business actually is and how it can help you grow your online presence.
Google My Business is a free platform that can be accessed by any business owner. It allows businesses to better control the information that appears about their business on their Business Profile when users search within Google Search or Google Maps.
The platform will also let you reply to Google user reviews and FAQs, share posts from your business, and even talk to customers in real-time. In addition, it provides useful analytics that can help you to understand how your business profile is being engaged with.
Important note: your Business Profile is not the same as your Google My Business account. Rather Google My Business is how you manage your Business Profile.
If you’ve not yet set up your Business Profile or you need to claim yours, check out this helpful support page from Google walking you through how to do it.
1) Optimize Your Business Profile Using Targeted Keywords and Information
People may search for your business name. But way more people are doing general searches in your industry. What keywords are they searching for? What questions are they looking to get answered on Google?
If you own a shoe store, you need to know if people searching for “tennis shoes,” “running shoes,” “sneakers”… or something else entirely! Until you know that, you can’t optimize your content accordingly.
When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, the goal is pretty simple: use the language your audience is using!
Not sure what keywords you should be leaning into? There are loads of free and paid tools out there that will help you do keyword research. Google Trends is a free Google tool that’s very helpful. I really like a tool called Ubersuggest (the free version is limited but still very helpful - the paid version lets you dig a lot deeper). There are tons of others. Do a Google search for keyword finder or SEO tools and you can research until your fingers fall off. Happy hunting!
Make sure to fill in all fields requested by Google My Business to the best of your ability. Information that will especially impact your SEO is location, hours, and contact information (phone and website).
You’ll also want to add information about your business using the correct category for your business and attributes to show your full capabilities.
And, as always, don’t forget to lean into your UVPs (unique value propositions). What makes you special? Highlight it! If you’re a restaurant with really awesome patio seating, make sure that’s obvious in your profile.
Once you’ve done some keyword research, use it! Make sure you’re using keywords that people would use when searching for a business like yours. Think about words or phrases that you want your business to be associated with and that users are actually using when they search Google.
PRO TIP: Avoid keyword stuffing (the act of cramming keywords anywhere and everywhere at the expense of actual good, clean writing). Google hates keyword stuffing. Come to think of it, so does everyone else!
2) Use Google My Business Analytics to Learn More About Your Business Profile
Poke around in there and you can find a ton of useful information such as:
- How customers are finding you via search, including discovery and direct searches. (Discovery searches are when your Business Profile is found when using a general search query while direct searches are searches of your business’s name.)
- Where customers view your Business Profile on Google - either on Google Search or Google Maps.
- What actions customers take on your Business Profile such as clicking on your website, getting directions to your address, or calling you.
- How your photos are performing compared to similar profiles or businesses.
- Where your customers are located based on direction requests.
- How your Google My Business posts are performing. These can help you to better understand what content to post on your Business Profile.
Knowing this information can help you to perform even better on SEO while also giving you a platform to directly engage also with your customers! Check it out today!
Here’s a review on my GMB site:
3) Build Trust With Google and Your Customers
First and most importantly, you’re going to need to start focusing on getting reviews! You want reviews coming in often.
Make sure to respond to every single review. If it’s a great one, thank your customer for leaving it. If it’s not so good, still make sure to respond. Ask the customer for more information or seek honest feedback regarding what you as a business can do to improve. Showing that you listen to feedback and responding thoughtfully builds trust both with customers and Google.
Next, you’ll also want to make sure to respond to customer questions in the frequently asked questions section of your business profile. This also helps to show Google that your business is trustworthy and engages with customers. In addition, responding to customer questions also shows off your expertise and willingness to go the extra mile for your audience.
Lastly, make sure to use your keywords in your responses to both reviews and frequently asked questions. Again, always be natural with your usage of keywords, since keyword-stuffing will negatively impact your Google ranking, but work them in as possible.
4) Use Google My Business Posts to Help With Rankings!
You can use this feature to share business updates, new products or services that you offer, events you’re hosting, or even just some fun times at your business. These posts show customers what you’re all about and can also help a ton with search engine optimization when you add in some keywords.
There are a few important things to consider when posting. One thing to think about is how frequently you’d like to post. Google no longer removes Business Profile posts after seven days - but it’s still important to keep your profile fresh. If you can, post a few times a month - more if possible.
You should also know that posts can be up to 1,500 characters long. You’ll likely want to keep it shorter though. Keeping things short and tight can help keep your reader engaged.
5) Utilize Industry-Relevant Features to Better Engage With Your Customers
If you’re running a restaurant, Google My Business will be a key part of your marketing strategy and has lots of potential uses. Features for this industry include the option to highlight essential info such as if you offer takeout or dine-in, and health and safety updates, the ability to share photos of your food and special deals, as well as the option for customers to place online orders or make reservations.
Retail businesses also have equally powerful options. These include the ability to list your products directly to your profile, show how customers can shop and link preferred shopping methods, and post about special offers.
Finally, service-based businesses can also harness the power of Google My Business. Service features such as the option to list your services and credentials, allow customers to request a quote or schedule an appointment directly, or even message you directly will streamline and personalize your customers’ experiences.
Google My Business isn’t going to magically create a pipeline of new customers to your business. But as with all things related to SEO, it adds up. Your site needs to be easy to navigate, you should be blogging, you should be using alt text on your images… and you should claim and set up your GMB account. Every bit helps when you’re competing with everyone else for that prime real estate on Google’s first page.
GMB is low hanging fruit that you should absolutely take advantage of. And the best part: it’s relatively easy and totally free to do so!
So if you’re one of the 56% of local retailers that haven’t yet claimed their Google My Business account, or if you’re just looking to increase your web traffic through search engine optimization, get on Google My Business today!
You will benefit a ton from all of the features covered in this post and more importantly - your customers will too!
If you found something useful in this article, have a question, or want more personalized help, let us know! We’re always here to help you take your business to the next level!
STep Up your social ep. 18 — Write Your Blog Post For Google. Or Facebook. Or Both. And Other Tips For Blogging.
Today let’s talk about how you should approach writing content for your blog.
In this episode, we cover a lot of best practices for blogging in 10 minutes or less including:
- The Goldilocks approach to finding good topic areas
- How to make your content easy to skim
- How to write for your audience, even if you're not a great writer
- The ideal length of a blog post (hint: it's exactly how long it needs to be and not one word longer!)
- And the importance of writing for Google. Or Facebook. Or both.
Full episode transcript
We did a deep dive into why in Episode 13. But the short version:
- It provides you content you can use to drive traffic to your website.
- It’s great for your SEO - Search Engine Optimization
- And it clarifies you as an expert in your field.
For more on all three of these reasons, head back to episode 13 and dig in.
So that’s why you should be blogging.
Today let’s talk about how you should approach writing content for your blog.
First things first: a blog post should answer a question. It doesn’t literally have to be titled with a question, though that doesn’t hurt.
The question should be specific enough that people are looking for the answer, and broad enough that you can turn it into a full-length blog post.
A while back, I did a blog post on the Evolution of Instagram. That topic is potentially HUGE - but I was answering a specific question: How has Instagram changed over the years.
-What was the score of last night’s game? A bit too specific.
-Let’s do a full annotated history of our local sports team, along with in-depth explorations of every players’ personal journey to get there, the story of the team mascot and a recap of every game they’ve played since 1945. A bit too broad.
-What can we learn about our favorite team based on their playing last night? Sweet spot!
You can write pages on that topic, without ever losing the thread of why you are writing the post - or more importantly - why someone might want to read it.
So answer a question. Specifically.
Next up: make your post easy to skim.
No matter how captivating your writing, some people are not going to be interested in pouring through every word.
User headers. And subheaders. And sub-subheaders.
Use bullet points and lists. Please LOVE lists.
Keep your sentences short.
Keep your paragraphs short.
Use formatting - like bold, italics and underline - to make it easier for your reader to know what’s the most important content in the page.
If you can, use images and graphics to help make your content flow.
The word I like to use when it comes to content written for the internet: digestable. How easily can someone digest what you are trying to impart. If it’s not easily digestable - they will just move on.
You don’t have to be a great writer to be a great blogger. You just have to break things down in a way that your audience can follow.
So answer a question and keep your content easily digestable.
If you want to connect with a wide audience, don’t assume they know… well anything!
The goal of writing for an audience is not to make yourself sound smart. It’s to make them feel smart.
Picture a real person in your head when you write (or at least when you edit) your content. You are an expert in your field (if you weren’t, you couldn’t be blogging on it!). Unless you only want to talk to other experts, don’t assume they know the lingo. Spell out acronyms for them, explain why something that seems obvious to you should matter to them. Write for them as if they don’t know what you are talking about. Because frankly, if they knew what you were talking about - they probably wouldn’t be reading your blog post!
So answer a question with easily digestible content in a way that makes your audience feel smarter.
Next up: write your blog post for Google. Or Facebook. Or Both.
What does this mean? If you want a post to do well on Google — meaning you want people to find it when they do a search on the topic — know your keywords before you start. What’s a keyword (bearing in mind a keyword can be a phrase as well)? It’s the thing someone is going to put into Google that will hopefully help them find your post!
Before I wrote my blog post on the Evolution of Instagram, I did research into which keywords people were actually searching for on the topic. Were they looking for a history of Instagram? A breakdown of how Instagram has changed? Something else altogether? They were looking for an Evolution of Instagram. So I wrote my blog post accordingly. And my blog post is now on the first page of Google when someone searches for that keyword.
How did I get it on the first page of Google? I used Evolution of Instagram as my url slug (the part after the .com in my website). I used it in my title. I worked it into my copy as often as I could without sounding redundant (if your copy sounds like it’s been “stuffed” with keywords you will be penalized by Google, not to mention by your annoyed readers!).
How did I know that this was a keyword worth optimizing for? I did research. There are loads of free and paid tools out there you can use. I like one called Ubersuggest. You can also just use Google directly - run a few searches and see what comes up. Did one query give you 20 hits and another 200,000? Well that’s good to know, isn’t it!
Not every blog post needs to be written for Google.
But if it’s not written for Google, make sure you’re writing it for Facebook!
If you don’t have to worry about people searching for your content - because it’s something timely, interesting to you and your audience but not necessarily to the world, or for any other reason, then be sure the title helps it pop.
Let’s say you’re writing a post about the ways that your industry has changed, and what it means for consumers. And, just so we can get specific, let’s say your industry is artisanal sourdough bread .
If you’re writing for Google, you might go with: How Sourdough Baking Has Changed Over The Years, or What Do I Need To Make Sourdough?
If you’re writing for Facebook, you might go with something more like: Finding the Sweet Within Your Sourdough! Or 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Sourdough… But Should!
No one is going to search for those latter titles - but they are fun and have the potential to do great on Facebook!
In this day and age, if your content isn’t written for Google OR Facebook, it’s written for no one. So pick one - or find a way to tailor it to both - and get to writing.
- Know the question you are trying to answer BEFORE you start writing.
- Make your content easily digestible.
- Write to make your audience feel smarter.
- Optimize your post for Google. Or Facebook. Or both.
One last thing: folks always want to know how long their posts should be. Google likes long form content, so if you’re writing for Google, keep that in mind. That said, I prefer the following: your content should be exactly how long it needs to be and not one word longer.
You’re not doing yourself any favors adding fluff to a post. Google will see through it. So will your readers. Tell them what they need to know and let them get on with their day.
Happy blogging y’all!
Step Up your social ep. 17 — How Chewy Uses Their Customers' Darkest Moments To Build Unyielding Brand Loyalty
Chewy is a pet supply company. They know their customers will have to cancel their auto-renewal products... eventually ? ? ?
But Chewy doesn't just offer canceling clients full refunds. They take their "marketing generosity" to the next level.
They don’t just want to get out of the way. They want to be a part of the family.
In this episode of Step Up Your Social, we take a look at how Chewy creates unyielding brand loyalty from their customers, even as those customers are canceling their orders.
We then give some thought to how *you* can keep your client lifecycle going, even as it seems like it might be wrapping up for the foreseeable future.
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Sure there are chores associated with having a pet: They have to be cleaned, walked, taken to the vet… did I mention the endless cleaning?! But through it all, our days are just better with a pet at our side.
Unfortunately, most pets have shorter life cycles than us pet owners.
You might enjoy your fish for a few months, your bird for years, or your dog or cat for decades. But eventually, that hard day will arrive when you have to say goodbye to them… for good.
So now grab a tissue, wipe your eyes and take off your pet owner hat and replace it with your digital marketer hat.
If you’re in the business of selling products to pet owners, this cycle can create a real challenge for you. When someone loses a pet, your customer cycle for them ends. At least for the time being.
There aren’t TOO many industries where customer service reps have to field questions from the grieving as a regular part of their job.
Selling pet products is DEFINITELY one of them.
So you know that awful day is coming for every one of your customers. What do you do?
If you’re Chewy, you use that awful day to builder deeper and more meaningful relationships with your customers.
Head to Twitter and search @chewy and the word died and you will find countless stories all getting at the same thing - my pet died. I had regular packages getting delivered from Chewy. I called to cancel and not only did they refund my money, they told me to keep the food and donate it to some other pet owner who needed it.
AND NOT ONLY THAT! Loads of people shared stories that they got flowers in the mail from Chewy expressing their condolences. I even saw people posting about Chewy sending them oil paintings of their passed pups!
To quote just one of the many tweets you’ll find when you search: “That’s all class.”
Here’s the thing - you can find these posts all over Twitter. But I first learned about this tactic from a random post in a Facebook Group.
And I can pretty well guarantee you that anytime a first-time pet-owning friend asks someone on the receiving end of Chewy’s — let’s call it “marketing generosity” -- where they should buy their pet supplies, they aren’t just going to recommend Chewy — they are going to do so empathically, as if it’s a family company.
Could Chewy simply offer full refunds and call it a day?
You might even see tweets letting you know that Chewy customer service makes it easy to cancel orders when your pet departs.
But by going from easy to compassionate, Chewy takes their relationships with their customers to another level.
They don’t just want to get out of the way. They want to be a part of the family.
On a P&L, this might seem bad for business. You are building deep bonds with someone who no longer needs your services.
But pet owners are pet owners through and through. It might be weeks or months before they get back on the horse (or kitty or puppy or chameleon). It might even be years. But they will almost certainly get another pet!
And even if they don’t, they will have friends and family members who do.
Chewy sees these regular order cancellations not as an end of their relationships, but as the start of a whole new one, one deeper and with more intimacy between them and their customer.
And it pays off for them big time - don’t believe me? Just head to Twitter or Google or reddit or Facebook and poke around! The stories are endless.
The takeaway here: wow your customers, even if they’re no longer your customers. Host free classes teaching people how to be better at something related to whatever you sell. If you ship products, make the packaging so fun people can’t help but post a picture of it on Instagram. If you’re a nonprofit and someone sends you a gift, do you send a thank you that let’s them know you appreciate them… or do you send them a letter that knocks their socks off?
The person who bought your product or donated money might never do so again. So what?! They are the people most likely to spread the word about how great you are to their networks.
Make it easy for them to do so and more importantly , give them a reason to want to!
At the end of the day, remember that you can’t just sell pet stuff. You have to be a pet person! I hope you have the same passion for whatever you are selling or advocating for online, as your typical pet owner has for their furry, four-legged friend!
It's called Guides and it allows you to batch posts to create compilations. For a platform notorious for keeping things "simple" (WHY can't I add links to my posts?!), this new feature is a powerful new way to take your content further.
Think Pinterest meets blogging. That's kind of where Instagram seems to be positioning Guides.
Instagram is a massive platform with a billion Daily Active Users. Understanding all the tools they have to offer is a huge step in standing out from the crowd.
So let’s take a look at how Instagram Guides work and hopefully you can get some ideas for how to use them to grow your own brand.
How To Create an instagram guide in 3 easy steps
Like I said. Easy!
There are three types of Instagram guides
The primary difference is in determining how you search for content to add to your Guide. But all three are ultimately pretty similar and none of them limit your content options.
Places lets you search locations to add content.
Products lets you search shops to add content.
Posts lets you search your own posts, as well as posts you've saved from others, to add content.
Editing each Instagram Guide type is a bit different, but they do have most basic features in common. Let’s start with Places.
Instagram Guides Types
Select images to add them to your guide. Don’t worry if they’re not your posts — the image will automatically link to its creators’ account.
As with all location-based searches on Instagram, you can go super specific (Wisconsin State Capitol), more general (Madison, WI) or very general (Wisconsin).
A Capitol search will only find pics tagged at the Capitol.
A Madison search might find pics tagged at the Capitol, but also posts tagged in other places throughout the city.
A Wisconsin search could find Capitol pics, Madison pics or pics from anywhere else throughout the Badger State.
Go as specific, or as general, as makes sense for you.
If you choose multiple images, they will be added to your Instagram Guide as a gallery your followers can swipe through. To add a new item to your guide, simply scroll to the bottom of the page and tap + Add Place.
You’re well on your way to posting your first ever Instagram Guide — but don’t forget to write a title and description.
Note: to edit the cover photo, tap Change Cover Photo below your Guide’s title.
Want to rearrange or delete a post from your Guide? No problem. Tap the three dots next to any image to edit, reorder, or remove that post.
Once you’re done, hit post. Don't forget to share it to your Instagram Story (tagging folks if you've used their content of course!).
Products is very similar to Places, except instead of locations, you can search through Instagram shops along with your Wishlist.
Posts is a bit more freeform, and as a result it’s the most versatile (and potentially most powerful) Instagram Guide type.
Wait, How Do I save Posts on instagram?
To organize your Saved Posts (for Guides or in general), head to your profile and tap the hamburger menu in the top right corner of the screen. Tap Saved, and you’ll see your collections, including the default All Posts collection. Tap the plus in the top right to create a new collection. Here, you can choose posts to create a new collection of related posts. Boom — you're in business!!
I use Saved Posts as a way to find posts I want to be able to find again later. I have collections for fun gift ideas, interesting ads I see (#DigitalNerd! 🤓), pics of my cat... Saved collections are private, so think of them as a safe space to save things you want to come back to later.
It actually seems that after years of having private Saved Collections, Instagram is using Guides as a way to simply have public Saved collections as well. And I for one am here for it!
With well-organized collections, you’ll start to see how flexible Posts Guides really can be!
How Do I find Instagram Guides Once They're Published?
You can also visit other people's profiles and click on their Guides the same way (if they've created any).
Want to see an example of an Instagram Guide? Here's one I made that's just pics of the Wisconsin Capitol. (Noticing a trend? I freaking love that building!)
Don’t forget, this feature is quite new as of this writing. There’s plenty to explore, and you can find your own way to use this tool uniquely.
Now... who wants to make a Guide explaining how to make Guides? Have fun and don’t forget to tag me (@jlemonsk) when you post your first Guide! I definitely want to see it!
Further Instagram Geeking Out
And then check out this episode of my podcast, Step Up Your Social, where I cover 10 Tricks and Hacks to Step Up Your Instagram Stories.
Ready to become an Instagram Champion? I provide private lessons to businesses, campaigns, nonprofits, solopreneurs, bands... anyone who wants to get more out of this powerful platform.
And Stories keep growing, both in their popularity and in their functionality.
So in this post, we’re going to cover some fun tricks, tips and hacks your can use to take your Instagram stories to the next level.
If you’re not already posting Instagram Stories on a regular basis, check out Episode 3 of my podcast Step Up Your Social and get caught up on what they are and why you should be using them.
That short podcast episode (all episodes of Step Up Your Social are short — ~10 minutes or less) is the 101. This post is the 202.
So let's dig in!
Instagram Stories: The basics
- Stories are ephemeral (they disappear after 24 hours)
- Initially you could only use pictures and videos for Stories that were taken in real time — that’s no longer the case
- By late 2017, Stories started rolling out interactive stickers — they continue to introduce new ones regularly
- In early 2018, they introduced GIF stickers
- As mentioned above, at last reporting, they have 500 million daily active users (on a daily basis, more people use Instragram Stories than use any part of Snapchat)
But needless to say, Instagram Stories is a vibrant platform and you should definitely be taking advantage of it. Here are some tips, tricks and hacks to get the most out of your Instagram Stories
How to make instagram stories
Since Stories have become such a successful part of the platform, Instagram has made it all but impossible to miss them when logged into the app. Users’ Stories are spread out horizontally across the top of the screen, just below the Instagram logo.
Your's is the first circle on the left. If you don’t have an active story, there will be a blue plus icon over your photo. Tap there to create a new Story. Stories last for 24 hours, so if you have made one in the past day, tapping here will show you your current story.
You can also tap the plus button at the top of your profile or home page and then select Stories from the bottom menu choices.
You can also swipe right anywhere in-app to create a new story. That's right, this is such a popular tool, Instagram — known for their obsession with simplicity — has given us numerous ways to get to the same place.
Adding filters can make an otherwise run-of-the-mill Story feel special. Take for instance this fun shot of my Turkish carpet. With a few quick taps, I can easily add some fun flair.
Once you’re on the Story creation screen, you can see a menu of filters in small circles at the bottom of the display. Tap on one, or swipe through to see different filters applied to your photo or video.
Instagram cycles through filters often, so it’s worth scanning through to see if there’s anything new. This example was taken in June, so there were a bunch of cool Pride filters. Some filters like this one have different variations, which you can see directly above the filter list.
Next, there’s the sticker library. These are meant to be placed over your content, and they’re incredibly diverse — GIFs, location, @mentions, #hashtags, donation requests, and more.
To resize or move a sticker, just use two fingers to pinch or drag it, respectively. If you change your mind, drag it to the bottom of the screen, where a trash can will appear. Poof, it’s gone!
Want a deeper dive into some of these fun sticker types? We’ll cover a few of the specific sticker types in more detail below.
Sticker Quick Tips
-Pinch and drag to resize and move stickers
-Tap on a sticker to change what it does — feel free to experiment!
-Change color of some stickers with a tap
-Add a “sound on” button sticker to let viewers know to turn up the volume
-Explore the deep GIF library to find something that fits your personality or mood
-All text is customizable — from font, alignment, size, color, and more
-Tap the squiggle to draw: change line styles & color, add arrows, erase, and undo/redo
All of these powerful and fun tool are… literally at your fingertips.
Wondering who watched your Story and which Stories inspired actions on your account? Analytics aren't quite able to read minds, but they are definitely the next best thing.
During the 24 hours your Story is live, you’ll notice in the bottom-left of the screen “Seen by x,” so you know how many people viewed your story. Tap here to see more detailed analytics of how your Story performed.
On the analytics screen, you can see both who viewed your story and what actions they took (for example, if they skipped your story or watched the next one), Instagram will break that down for you. This can be helpful if you’re posting 20 times a day and want to know what’s connecting with your audience... and what isn't!
Ok, now that we’re all caught up with the basics, so let’s talk hacks!
1. Increase Reach With The Location StickeR
You can be super specific — I’m at the WI capitol.
You can be a bit vague — I’m in Madison, WI.
Or you can be super vague — I’m in WI.
There are 2 reasons to use location stickers:
1) It helps people know where you are. And
2) and this is the important one, it could dramatically increase your Story’s reach.
There’s no surefire way to get one of your Stories added to a public Story* — which will definitely increase your reach — but not tagging your location guarantees that you WON’T be added to the public location’s story.
*What do I mean by public Stories? When you search for any place on Instagram, you'll find a menu of images tagged in that location. You'll also find public Stories that Instagram is highlighting to give a fuller peak at the spot you are checking out.
Two quick notes on this — 1) not every story should be tagged by location. If you’re sharing a screenshot of one of your tweets, or posting a Game of Thrones meme that got you laughing, it’s okay to skip the location. And 2) — and this is a big one — you don’t actually have to be at a location to tag yourself there. Now of course I’m not telling you to lie to your audience. In fact I'm straight up telling you to NEVER lie to your audience. But if you took a bunch of pictures at an event last night and you we’re too busy to share them to your Stories in real time, you can post them the next day, and tag the location after the fact. Just search for the location within the search bar, select it, and voila. You’re tagged.
You can then move that sticker around, make it bigger or smaller, or tap it to get different color formatting to better fit the feel of your story.
2. Increase Reach With Hashtags
Now on a general Instagram post, you can use up to 30 hashtags. Stories won’t let you go that far, but it will allow you to use up to 10 hashtags. The more hashtags you use, the better chance you have of getting added to public Stories.
You can only use the hashtag sticker once in a Story. But if it makes sense for you to add more, just pop on over to your text and start typing out relevant hashtags.
IF IF IF you are going to do this — and of course you don’t have to add 10 #s in every post — consider stacking and then hiding them, so that it doesn’t make your Story look... gaudy.
Create each hashtag as a new piece of text, meaning that instead of just hitting space between tags, you hit done typing out tag one, and then start new text for tag number 2 and so on.
Then, stack them. Literally put them all on top of each other. Which will look awful. But fear not. Once you've got your hashtags stacked, head back to your stickers and find yourself a sticker or GIF to stick on top of them. Then no one will see them except Instagram… which in this case is the only one who really matters!
3. Increase Reach With The Mention Sticker
As I always say — don’t talk about anyone on the internet if you wouldn’t want them to know. And talking about someone on social without tagging them is like talking to them on the phone without first dialing their number. Without it, they might accidentally come upon your post, but a tag all but ensures they see it!
Another reason to tag someone is that when you do so, they'll get the option to share your Story with their followers. So you give them a shoutout, and then they help you reach new audiences. Win-Win!
Along with hoping your community shares your posts, definitely consider sharing relevant and interesting Stories from your audience that tag you. User generated content can be an amazing way to tell your brand’s story.
And, something cool about sharing other people’s stories — it’s more like a quote tweet than a retweet. Meaning you don’t just have to share their Story as is. You essentially are sharing their Story as a sticker, so you can add your own location, mention and hashtag stickers to it as well as GIFs, text and more. Have fun with it!
4. Get Engaging With StickerS
You can use stickers to solicit questions from your audience (which you can then answer in follow up Stories), take polls, quiz your audience… there’s even a countdown clock available to you if you have an exciting event taking place and want to build some excitement.
Explore and get to engaging your audience with stickers.
5. Create Your Own StickerS
In your browser, long tap the image until you see the option to save it. Once the image is saved to your photos, tap the Share button and then tap copy photo.
Now, head back to your story. The copied image should pop up in the lower left hand corner of the screen. Tap on it and bang! You’re good to go.
If you miss the pop up, don’t sweat it. Just open the keyboard, hit paste, and you’re back in business.
That was the tip—here comes the hack! You can save transparent images (.png files) like a Polaroid frame and use these as stickers too. This way, it’s easy to get really creative with a few basic building blocks. Add these in the same way you added those previous stickers, and you’re in business.
This is a super fun and interesting way to create your own content, and most importantly, to be able to do so in your own voice (and with your own colors and branding).
6. Add Any Instagram Post To Your Story
Click that and whatever you were looking at will appear as a sticker in your Story. When I say “whatever you were looking at,” what I mean is that if it was an album, you can only add one image, and if it’s a video, you will only be adding a screenshot of the thumbnail associated with the video.
But once you have the image in your Story, you can move it around, make it bigger or smaller and add all of the stickers, GIFs and text you want. And if you tap on the actual post, it will change the formatting from the clean image with a tag of who posted it, to an image that includes the handle and part of the post’s original text.
When someone taps it, they’ll get a seemingly magic option to visit the original post. Here’s the thing — they would get that option whether or not you point them to tap there. Most folks just don’t realize that it's an option to click through.
The built-in call-to-action makes it super easy to drive people from your Story to your original post (or anyone else’s). It's a big part of why more and more accounts are creating Stories from their posts. It’s a second audience you can engage around the same content, and you can potentially drive people back to the original content at the same time.
I don’t recommend doing this for every one of your posts, but definitely a helpful tool for the posts you are particularly excited about.
7. Get Creative With Color
If you want to add a transparent color over top of one of your pictures, you can do that too. Instead of selecting the first pen, select the second one, which looks more like a marker. Choose your color, hold down and you get a transparent overlay over top of your picture.
Want to get really clever with either of these — create your solid or transparent color over top of a picture, and then use the eraser to remove color from the selected areas. That can create a very cool effect!
8. Keep The Story Going With IGTV
For those of us with less than 10,000 followers, you do still have one option for linking out from your Story — you can link it to an IGTV video that you have previously posted.
IGTV, short for Instagram TV, allows you to post longer videos then you can post within Instagram proper. On Instagram, you are limited to one minute videos, but with IGTV, you can go up to 10 minutes (some bigger accounts can even go up to an hour).
It can be a great way to repurpose videos that you created elsewhere but couldn’t post to Instagram because they were too long.
Like with the “Tap Here” hack, search the GIFs library for a “Swipe Up” call-to-action. so your audience realizes that your Story is intended to take them somewhere else to continue on in the fun!
You can also share an IGTV directly to your Instagram Stories. To do so, simply select it and add it to your story like you would any public post. This will not show the entire IGTV, but will let people stream a few seconds of it and give folks an option to keep watching your full video at IGTV.
9. Make Your Own Drop ShadowS
Create your text. You can change the size but doing so makes this hack a little tricky. Position it right where you want it, and then create the exact same text again, just with a different color.
Then place one of the texts on top of the other, but just slightly off, enough to create your own… wait for it… drop shadow.
Want to see an example of this in action. Head over to my Instagram account — I’m @jlemonsk — and then check out my Story highlight titled IG updates. Whenever I create a Story about a new Instagram feature, hack, or strategy, I add it to that highlight. Scroll through and you’ll find one that shows this drop shadow hack in action.
10. Put a Pin In IT
Create a video Story (either take a new video in the app, or add in a video that’s already on your phone). Then, select a sticker or GIF you want, or add even text. While the video is playing in the background, long press the sticker or text.
You’ll then get a scrollbar at the bottom of the screen. That scrollbar will let you move through the video at your own speed. Scroll to a spot that lets you clearly see where you want your sticker to stay pinned. Then move/resize the sticker until you have it where you want it. Hit pin and voila. You've pinned your sticker, text of GIF.
-Create a video story
-Select a sticker
-Tap and hold the sticker
-Scroll to a good spot
Assuming your video isn’t too complicated for Instagram to handle, it should paste your sticker or text onto that spot in the video and then let it follow along throughout the duration of the video.
So in this example, I pinned a Like sticker to a little toy car. Let’s call it a Heart-Ford. (Fun pun to always remember the capital of Connecticut: the Heart Ford Connects a Cut 😂). Instead of the Like sticker just sitting in the corner, it zooms along with the car.
Pretty cool, right?
Bonus! Third Party Tools
These design tools are useful beyond Instagram, with templates and editing capabilities to make almost anything you need for your social media program.
Adobe Photoshop: The gold standard of image editing, Photoshop now has a great mobile-friendly version of the app
Adobe Spark: A browser-based editor with thousands of fun templates
Canva: Similar to Spark, Canva is a user-friendly, browser-based image editor
InShot: A powerful video editing tool with cool filters
These next 3 apps focus specifically on Stories, and each has a free or paid option, so you can take your content as far as you can imagine.
Over: Easy to edit templates for beautiful stories
Unfold: Story-editing tool with beautiful, designer-built templates
Instories: A personal favorite, this is imho the most fun story editor with dynamic and fluid titles and video frames that make your Stories look quite professional without much effort at all
What are some of your favorite strategies, tricks or hacks that you have been using to step up your Instagram story game? I want to hear about them. Hit me up on Instagram (again, I’m @jlemonsk), or on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn where I’m Reverbal Communications.
Or… show off what you’ve learned! Make a cool Instagram Story and use the hashtag #StepUpYourSocial.
If you tag me in your Stories, you better believe I’m gonna share it! So hit me up!
Now what are you waiting for? Get out there and step up your Story game!
My general go to stock image site for finding high quality, free* photos online is Unsplash. Unsplash refers to itself as "the internet's source of freely-usable images. Powered by creators everywhere." It's a website full of beautiful, interesting and dynamic photos from all over the world. Type in whatever you need in the search bar and get ready to scroll through countless wonderful photos, brilliantly capturing your subject matter.
But representation matters — especially to kids. Early impressions leave an indelible mark that shape what children imagine is possible. Think a picture is worth a thousand words? It’s probably closer to a a few million!
High-quality, representative stock photography is absolutely crucial for any business, whether you’re writing a blog post, creating a graphic or promoting an event.
I use Unsplash all the time. But sometimes I need photos more geared specifically towards diversity, intersectionality or multiculturalism. While scrolling Unsplash will typically get me where I need to be, there are other options out there that focus specifically on representing the under-represented through high-quality stock photography.
Here is a compilation of 10 free (or affordable) stock photo sites that go further than tossing a BIPOC cherry-on-top of a scoop of vanilla. You might even say these collections are pretty much the whole damn sundae.
*Quick caveat: I'm not a lawyer and I'm certainly not your lawyer. While many of these sites offer free stock photos for you to use, I'm not telling you what you can and can't do with them. If you're worried about what's okay or not, talk to a lawyer, read the fine print, or... you know... head to Google and read up.
This Flickr photo stream features hundreds of images of women of color working in tech. Everything is free under a Creative Commons license, so you won’t have to pay a cent.(That said, as is the case throughout this round-up, the above caveat applies.)
This authentic stock site is a finely-curated “for-us-by-us” set of lifestyle+business content featuring Black women. A subscription runs ~$10/month, but given that the pics are behind a paywall, you’ll have access to exclusive content (unlike some big box stock photos you see on every 3rd ad in your timeline).
Pexels is a well-known free stock site, granted, but it's included here to point out their solid suggestions engine. Try searching for “Black people” in Pexels and not only do you get accurate results, but Pexels will suggest related tags, making it easy to hone in on exactly who you’re looking for.
Search “coffee” on your standard stock site. While the latte might be brown, the hands holding it rarely are. Nappy refers to itself as providing "Beautiful, high-res photos of black and brown people. For free." I can't really sum it up better than that.
Picnoi is a hand-picked collection teeming with great shots of hip, young Black & Brown folks. You can also browse their co-op's collection directly in Unsplash.
Intersectionality can be particularly difficult to find represented on stock photo sites. Body Liberation Stock is an impressive stash of shots depicting body-positivity in folks from all walks of life.
From Vice, these photos are intended to articulate the complexity of people not necessarily defined by their gender. You’ll find a solid variety of non-binary and trans people at work, school, and off the clock.
This is a wonderful reclamation for disabled BIPOC. In a unique—and incredibly vulnerable feature—this collection features interviews with each model, engendering a true intimacy rarely felt in stock photos.
Intended for editorial use, TONL feels like an enlightened version of Adobe Stock. If you’re looking for exceptionally high-quality and exclusive imagery, you can pay as you go (~$2/pic). The content curation will save you hours of scrolling those big name free sites.
A lot of stock sites can really miss the mark when trying to depict modern Muslim life. Salam Stock remedies that with a hefty collection that includes free and paid plans.
I'd love to see how you put these new resources to use. Tag me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook when you post your awesome, new, diverse content.
Well, that never been more true than when talking about social media.
You go to bed understanding exactly how a platform works — you wake up to find that everything has changed. There are new features, but also missing features, and moved features, and some features that are still there but no longer work. Arggghhh. It’s enough to make you logoff and go refill your coffee. But when it comes to the big platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Reddit… they know you’ll be back. So you just have to sit back down, pound that coffee, and get used to their radical new designs.
It’s been just shy of 10 years since Instagram was first launched in the app store. In a lot of ways, Instagram today is still very similar to the platform it was way back then (ten years is a lifetime in tech!). But while Instagram might feel pretty similar day in and day out, they’ve actually been rolling out new products and features pretty consistently year after year.
They have also hit some pretty big milestones along the way.
So let’s dig in and breakdown some of those key new features and major milestones in this Evolution of Instagram.
Instagram Launches — October 2010
And thus Instagram was born. For those wondering, the name Instagram came from combining Instant (as in instant camera) and telegram.
At the time, you had to access Instagram through a mobile device. Ten years later, that’s still the case. (It’s actually not, but it still feels that way.)
Instagram Incorporates Hashtags — January 2011
Twitter leadership thought it was a “thing for nerds,” but alas, the hashtag was born.
Hashtags were eventually incorporated into Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr and Google+ and of course, Instagram, where they made their debut in January 2011. (They have also FINALLY made their way to LinkedIn, which in the words of Verge reporter Casey Newton, is just “Facebook in slow motion.”)
Instagram Is Acquired By Facebook — April 2012
At the time, people panned the purchase. But not today! With over a billion active users, and long serving as Facebook’s primary growth platform for young people, that billion dollars now looks like a heck of a steal.
Instagram Rolls Out Explore — June 2012
But if you are looking for new accounts to follow or interesting content to peruse, well Instagram wasn’t really built for that. Until June of 2012 that is, when they rolled out Explore.
Explore let’s you rove around Instagram in a new way, not just by username or hashtag, but also by content suggestion, curated specifically for you.
Milestone: Instagram Hits 100 Million Monthly Active Users — February 2013
They launched in October 2010. It took them less than 2.5 years to add that ninth digit to their user-base. By early February 2013, they already had more users than any European country had citizens.
Not bad for a platform that had just 13 employees a short ten months ago!
Instagram Adds 15-Second Video Sharing — June 2013
That changed in June 2013 when they rolled out the option to upload videos of up to 15 seconds in length. (Note: at the time of this writing, that’s the length limit of videos shared to TikTok — it will be interesting to see if they too “evolve.”)
Instagram Incorporates Ads — October 2013
Presumably, there was a lot of work to do on the backend to enable their ads program to synchronize with Facebook’s pre-existing advertising platform.
While the initial ad rollout was limited to sponsored posts, it set the stage for Instagram becoming a product with an estimated standalone value of $100 billion.
Instagram Enables Direct Messaging — December 2013
So while you could tag your friends in posts and comment on their content, you were doing so for the world to see. But those were pretty much your only options.
That changed in December 2013 when Instagram rolled out Direct Messaging.
Now you could have private conversations with friends, without ever having to leave Instagram.
MILEstone: Instagram Hits 200 Million Monthly Active Users — March 2014
By March 2014, Instagram had a bigger user-base than the population of Russia, Mexico or really any country in the world save for a few.
Those 15-second videos really made an impression!
Instagram Expands Video from 15 to 60 Seconds — March 2016
As of March of 2016, you could start uploading videos to Instagram that were up to 60 seconds in length.
Still not long enough to play the full version of that new song you just wrote, but at least now you can get through the whole refrain!
MILESTONE: Instagram Hits 500 Million Monthly Active Users — June 2016
Instagram Introduces Stories! — August 2016
While they managed to buy Instagram and WhatsApp (as well as a slew of other companies that aren’t quite household names), a couple of the big players eluded them.
They desperately wanted Twitter. But Twitter wouldn’t sell. So in short order, Facebook introduced hashtags, verified accounts, trending content (now defunct) and a bunch of other features that were all “inspired” by Twitter. (Ie: they couldn't own it, so they went to work trying to clone it.)
But Facebook’s appetite to consume Twitter was nothing compared to the newer kid on the block, Snapchat.
Snapchat, launched in 2011, was immediately popular with the youth, a demographic that Zuck knew he needed to keep satisfied and clicking if he wanted to remain at the head of the social media table.
In 2013, just two-years after launch, he offered $3 billion to buy them out. They refused. Facebook reportedly tried again shortly before Snap went public. He was again rebuffed.
That second attempt happened in 2016. Coincidently, that’s the same year that all the primary platforms in the Facebook universe (that’s Facebook itself, Messenger, WhatsApp and of course Instagram) rolled out Stories.
Stories are ephemeral content (they disappear after 24 hours) that are intended to be less perfectly quaffed, more fun and allow a user to post as often as they want throughout the day without worrying about bothering the almighty algorithm.
While Snapchat is still doing its thing, there’s no doubt that the rollout of Stories slowed their growth considerably.
Milestone: Instagram Stories Hits 100 Million Daily Active Users — October 2016
Instagram Stories Launches Boomerang — November 2016
But Stories also quickly started rolling out fun filters and camera tricks (very similar to Snapchat, who had been providing such offerings for quite some time).
One early and popular such feature was Boomerang — which enables a user to take a short video which is then popped it back and forth, like a boomerang.
While they aren’t as popular today as they were when they first rolled out, you would have a hard time spending 10 or 15 minutes scrolling through IG Stories without coming across at least a couple such clips.
Instagram Enables Albums — February 2017
That changed in February 2017 when Instagram rolled out Albums. Albums made it possible to share up to ten pieces of content at once. (You can mix and match photos and videos in a single album.)
This made it easier to share bigger stories to the timeline without having to pump out a bunch of separate and disjointed posts.
Learn more about Albums, and how to use them, with this explainer piece I made when they first launched using... what else? An Instagram Album!
Milestone: Instagram Stories Hits 200 Million Daily Active Users — April 2017
Milestone: Instagram Hits 800 Million Monthly Active Users — September 2017
Instagram Gets Engaging With Their First Interactive Sticker — October 2017
You could use it to have people weigh in on a simple multiple choice question of your liking (simple because you were — and are — limited to only two answer choices). Once a user votes, they can see the breakdown of how everyone else has voted.
Like with all Stories, those containing polls still disappear after 24 hours. But it was the first of many stickers that Instagram Stories would offer intended to help bring your audience into the conversation.
Instagram Lets Us Keep Our Stories With Highlights — December 2017
And with that was born Highlights. (I’ve always thought this feature would have been called Albums, if Instagram hadn’t already used that name on a product less deserving of it).
Highlights are very important — first of all, they let you keep select Stories public indefinitely.
But even more importantly, they let you flesh out your account’s profile page, which has always been quite limited.
For your Instagram profile, you get a pic, a short bio, a location and a link to a website (the only active link you can use on the entire platform!). Now suddenly, if you choose to use them, the next thing someone sees while looking at your profile, after your photo and brief bio, is your Highlights. So if used well, they can really do a lot to help you tell your story in a more in-depth and relevant way for your audience.
Let’s say you own a restaurant. You might have one Highlight for salads, another for entrees, a third for desserts and a fourth showcasing the awesome artisanal cocktails you create in house.
Or let’s say you run a boutique. You could have a Highlight for hats, another for skirts, one for accessories, and one for handbags.
Highlights are a great way to show your audience what you do in a way that simply isn’t possible through the limitations offered in the Instagram profile section.
Instagram Stories Get Active With GIFs — January 2018
I was probably a year behind the current iOS when Instagram Stories introduced GIF stickers (GIFs are short videos that play on repeat) and I was so anxious to get access to them, I updated my phone.
My phone was fine, but alas, it was months before the amazing GIF library found its way into my account. Why? That’s just the way it goes sometimes. Instagram and Facebook don’t typically rollout new features to everyone all at once.
But suffice to say, I eventually got them and two plus years on, the novelty has still not worn off. Not even a little bit! 😉
Instagram Stories Introduces Type Mode — February 2018
Well in February 2018, Instagram Stories rolled out Type Mode, enabling the option to share JUST text, without any associated media.
While it might not be the most engaging kind of content to share, there are certain times when all you need is text, and it’s nice to have the option.
Music Comes to Instragram Stories — June 2018
In June 2018, Instagram Stories partnered with Spotify to enable the sharing of short clips of songs directly into a Story.
That part is is simple enough. But do a Twitter search for “why can’t I share music on Instagram?,” scroll through the endless steam of angry, frustrated or just plain sad users, and you’ll see where the controversy lies.
Because here’s the thing: only personal accounts can share music, not business accounts (more on that in a bit). But really, even that isn’t exactly true! Sometimes business accounts can share music, usually however they can’t. Or that’s my experience anyway.
Why? Because Instagram is a website and there are glitches. Sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Instagram Stories Hits 400 Million Daily Active Users — June 2018
Not bad for a product that was initially designed simply to slow down a competitor!
Instagram Doubles Down on Video With IGTV — June 2018
In June 2018 they rolled out IGTV, short for Instagram Television (yup) enabling users to share videos ranging from 61 seconds up to ten minutes. Some accounts could go as long as an hour, but in my experience, most are limited to ten minutes.
The IGTV rollout was extremely flawed from the outset and widespread use has been so limited that they actually rolled it off into a standalone app where it could sit quietly and not bother anyone.
You can still watch users IGTVs (two points to anyone who knows who to do so!), but mostly it serves as a tool to let people trying to upload longer videos to be able do so. Of course if you do so, people can watch the first minute of your video in their feed, but then they have to switch over to the IGTV version to continue.
The biggest mistake Instagram made with IGTV bar-none (in my opinion of course) was limiting IGTV search to only apply to the handle of the user who uploaded the piece, and not to the accompanying descriptive text.
I’m clearly a huge social media nerd — when a platform rolls out a new product or feature, I’m going to try it. When IGTV launched, I quickly headed to the search bar and searched for bluegrass (I’m a bluegrass musician and fan). What did I find: content from a bank in Kentucky… and not much else. Because the search term only applied to the name of the sharing accounts, despite the fact that just like with any other post, you could describe the video you were sharing with accompanying text. Hell, you could even use hashtags, but since they were unsearchable, they were completely worthless.
For example, lets say Del McCoury or Punch Brothers upload a video to IGTV, and introduce it as their "new bluegrass track," I still couldn’t find it by searching bluegrass, because their name doesn’t have bluegrass in it. They could even tag it as #bluegrass and still nothing! Pretty silly, don’t you think?!
Milestone: Instagram Hits 1 Billion Monthly Active Users — June 2018
Quite a feat for a company whose initial launch was just a knockoff of Foursquare!
Milestone: Instagram Stories Hits 500 Million Daily Active Users — January 2019
While Instagram didn’t invent the concept of ephemeral content, they have certainly perfected it. This is one feature that I don’t think will be going away anytime soon.
Instagram Adds Reels in response to growth from rival tiktok
When that didn't work, they decided to stuff the complexity of an entire other social channel directly into Instagram. After all, it worked with Stories - why not try again?!
Thus Reels was born.
Reels hasn't seen the same kind of fast usership growth as Stories, mostly because it's more complicated to use than Stories and doesn't do as good a job at actually solving a problem for users.
Stories enabled users to worry less about creating a perfect take before sharing a picture or video. Reels... kinda does the opposite. Videos have to be a very specific amount of time (15 or 30 seconds) and have to tell an entire story in a way that Stories didn't require. Stories can run together to show the happening of an evening or a campaign. Reels standalone and have to start and conclude, while ensuring something interesting happens in a very short and concrete amount of time.
There's clearly an appetite for creating and consuming such content (see: the explosive growth of TikTok!) but it doesn't naturally compute than everyone on Instagram is going to take the time or effort to join in on the content creation.
That said in November of 2020, Instagram rolled out a massive redesign of the app, placing Reels front and center (it literally took the place of the button that, since day one, was used to create a post!). So clearly Instagram is invested in its success.
Side note: this redesign also added a shopping tab, as Instagram continues to invest in the ecommerce side of social.
Whether or not Reels can ever claim the kind of standalone success as Stories is to be determined, but it's clear that Instagram will continue to invest heavily in this internal spinoff. And as long as the political future of TikTok continues to remain murky, that decision from Zuck and co. makes sense.
Despite Instagram retaining its simplicity year after year, it is actually constantly changing.
If I wanted to make this post twice as long, I easily could have done so! But for your sake and mine, I’m not going to do that.
That said, here are a few highlights we didn’t cover, but that are worth noting.
February 2016: Since Instagram has always been a mobile-first platform, it has bothered people to no end that you couldn’t login to more than one account at a time. Back at the beginning, if you wanted to share content from more than one account, you had to logout of one and login to the other to do so. In 2016, they added the option to be logged into five accounts at once (but no more). This was a much appreciated feature for anyone who works in social media!
March 2016: Instagram switches its feed from chronological, where you see whatever was posted most recently by anyone you follow, to algorithmic, where Instagram determines what content you see and in what order, based on what they think you will like.
May 2016: Instagram introduced a business account, which looks and feels identical to a regular account but comes with a few extra tools, the most important being analytics!
July 2016: They began to enable the ability to better moderate comments on your threads.
January 2018: Instagram added an “Archive,” storing all of your Stories even after they have disappeared. They are only visible to you, unless you have them shared in a Highlight. But with the Archive, you can go back and add old Stories to Archives, even if they’ve already disappeared from your profile.
September 2018: Instagram’s founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, resigned from the company. Notice how closely this follows the rollout of IGTV. Wonder if they’re related? #JustSaying
October 2019: Instagram removed the “Following” activity tab, which let you see the activity of the people you were following, breaking the hearts of exes and creeps everywhere!
This post could go on and on. But we’ll stop here.
What have been your favorite features Instagram has rolled out over the years? Are there any you wish they would retire from the platform?
Have their been any changes that you think should have been on this list but weren’t? Share them in the comments or hit me up on social.
In case it’s not obvious, I never get tired of talking about this stuff!
I hope this post was as helpful for you to read as it was for me to write.
If you enjoyed it, connect with me on Instagram (@jlemonsk). I regularly share platform updates, tricks, tips, hacks and the like. As well as the occasional pictures of my kids and my cat. (You know, all the good stuff!).
See you there.
Ready to Become an instagram champion?
Step Up Your Social Ep. 16 — Reply All Just (Accidentally) Reminded Us About The Power of Facebook Search
The Facebook search bar is more powerful than you probably realize. In this episode of Step Up Your Social we'll walk through some of the power lurking right at your fingertips.
Have any search bar tricks you like that we didn’t cover? Or find any surprises utilizing any of the above? We want to hear them!
Drop us a line or hit us up on social using #StepUpYourSocial.
Want to listen to the recreated version of the song? Or the original one? You can hear both in Reply All episode #158 The Case of the Missing Hit.
Or scroll down and listen to them both below.
Full Episode Transcript
Last week, they dropped an episode called “The Case Of The Missing Hit.” In it, PJ, one of their two hosts, goes on a truly epic search — and I mean epic in its literal meaning — to find a song that was big enough to be played on the radio internationally in the 90s, but somehow had [virtually] no presence on Google.
The story starts simply enough: A man named Tyler reached out to PJ for help. He could hear this song in his head, but he couldn’t find it on Google, even though he remembered many of the lyrics. It’s a weird concept in today’s age, where we can find virtually anything online. And yet the song was nowhere to be found… with one weird exception. Years ago, a guy who lives in Trinidad and Tobago had asked about it in an online message board, referencing several of the same lyrics that Tyler remembered. But of course, he too, was trying to track down the song.
This proved that Tyler hadn’t made it up, but it also didn’t help PJ solve the case of the missing hit.
To solve the case, PJ did what any normal person with a budget and an obsession does: he helped Tyler recreate the song in its entirety from memory. Tyler took a song he hadn’t heard in more than 20 years and he coaxed it out of a group of session musicians. PJ then took that recording and talked to… well everyone!
He spoke with numerous music critics from Rolling Stone, producers, radio show hosts from the era, even the lead singer of the Bare Naked Ladies, as the song in question had a very BNL type feel too it.
Google failed them, so PJ took his query to the world. And in the end, all this time, energy and effort amounted to… nothing. Everyone he spoke with had a great idea about how to try to solve the problem. Every great idea took PJ down another rabbit hole. And every rabbit hole ended as unceremoniously as it had started with, “sorry, I just don’t know.”
Then something the Trinidad and Tobago guy had said in his original post sparked something in PJ and he plugged a few lines of the song into Facebook’s search bar. Immediately, not only did he find the song… he found the songwriter who had written it in the first place.
So much time and energy and effort could have been avoided if PJ (or Tyler for that matter) had remembered that while Facebook is first and foremost a social media platform, like virtually every other social media platform you know and love, it’s also part-search engine.
So let’s talk about a few other things the Facebook search bar — that simple little bar right at the top of your account — can do, that you might not have realized:
First things first, type something — anything — into the bar on desktop, and you’ll be brought to a search page. From there, you have a slew of filtering options both on the top of the screen and on the lefthand side.
On the top of the screen, you can choose to only see posts, people, photos, videos, market place, pages, groups, apps, events and links. So the next time you’re trying to find a Facebook Page and you can’t quite remember what it’s called, instead of scrolling and scrolling and scrolling, try filtering instead.
On the lefthand side of the screen, you have a whole other bunch of options. You can opt to see posts from anyone, or only yourself, your friends, your groups or pages, or only content shared publicly. You can even choose a source, to see if a friend, group or page has talked about an issue you care about.
Want to see all posts? Of course you can do that. But you can also limit your search to only posts you’ve already seen. Which could come in super handy if you’re looking for something you saw, but can’t remember where.
You can limit your search to only show content tagged in certain locations or posted in a certain year — or even in a certain month of a certain year!
So yeah, right off the bat, you can see that while Facebook might not be Google, there’s more to its search then simply keywords and scrolling.
Now let’s get into some of the less obvious things you can do with Facebook search:
Once upon a time there was an easy way to see which of your friends lived in which city. Then Facebook got rid of that helpful feature. But good news, they replaced it (they just forgot to tell anyone). Looking for friends in a particular city or state? Just type in “my friends in [wherever]” and Facebook will show you a list.
Looking for a bar, a pizza place, or a spot to get your oil changed? Type in “pizza places near me” and Facebook will show you a list, with a map. Just like Yelp, but without ever leaving Facebook.
Want to know if your friends liked the pizza place you are considering? On the top menu bar, head over to places. On the lefthand side, select “visited by friends.” You can also filter by “open now” and price!
Want to know which events your friends are going to (or should we say so-called friends, since they’re apparently going out without you!)? Type in a keyword. On the top menu, go to events. On the lefthand side menu, go to “popular with friends.” You can also search for events based on location and date, to find things to do today, tomorrow, this week, this weekend or next week.
While their Boolean search isn’t as powerful as Google, you can employ it to some degree. If you don’t know Boolean by name you might know it in practice. Boolean search is a method of search that lets you filter or exclude terms by using all caps AND, NOT and ORs. So type “social media” AND “Madison, WI” into Facebook (or Google) and you’ll only get content back that mentions both. Switch AND with OR and you’ll find content mentioning either. Go with NOT and you’ll find content mentioning the first term but not the second one. This can be pretty helpful when trying to narrow your search.
Now it is worth mentioning that while Facebook search is powerful, it’s far less powerful than it used to be. Google “Facebook search bar tricks” and you’ll find tons of articles telling you about a bunch of features you can use. But alas, Facebook killed a lot of them off when they did away with their Graph Search. This feature let you see which of your friends liked which pages, and which posts had been liked by a specific person. Guess it was all just a bit too invasive for a company so worried about your privacy. #LOL
But there’s still plenty you can do with the Facebook search bar.
Have any search bar tricks you like that we didn’t cover? Or find any surprises utilizing any of the above? We want to hear them!
Drop us a line at stepupyoursocial.com or hit us up on social using #StepUpYourSocial.
In the meantime, don’t get stuck like Tyler and PJ. Start appreciating the power of Facebook search today!
PS: want to hear the song PJ and Tyler recreated, as well as the original? I’ll have links to them both at stepupyoursocial.com.