One of the main things I dislike about Gmail is the fact that I cannot add links or HTML to my email signature; even Yahoo Mail allows that. Well, WiseStamp changes all of that by letting you customize your Gmail signature with HTML as well as share blog posts, social profiles, images and more all right in your signature. To do so, you’ll need an extension; there’s currently extensions for Firefox, Google Chrome, Flock and Thunderbird.
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I personally use Google Chrome as my default browser, so I decided to give the Chrome extension a test drive. Once installed, you’ll get an icon on your toolbar that when clicked brings up the WiseStamp configuration box. As you can see below, there’s much you can do to edit your signature. Also, you can click on the arrow in the top right corner (seen below) to pop the box out into its own little window, which will make it easier to work with.
WiseStamp gives you the option to create both a personal and business signature. Just choose one or the other from the dropdown menu. You can also choose which one to use as your default signature. By default, the signature is set to be automatically inserted into your email message. This can easily be undone by simply unchecking the box (seen below).
As you can see, there’s a rich editor that lets you do all kinds of things like format your text, add images, insert tables, insert HTML and more. This really gives you a chance to be creative and is also a great opportunity for promoting your blogs and personal websites. There’s also a place to add URLs to your social profiles, IM usernames and even RSS feeds. Unfortunately, the RSS feed feature is not yet available in Chrome but it is coming soon. In Firefox, however, this gives the chance to display your latest blog post, latest tweet and more.
Although there are only spots for Facebook. LinkedIn, Flickr and Twitter by default, you can change these and even add more. Each box is a drop-down menu that will let you choose from various different social sites; you can pick which one goes where and add as many as you like. The same goes for IM services plus, you can even add your Google Wave account email under IMs. Even though there is a tab for RSS feeds (that’s not available yet in Chrome), you can choose “Blog RSS” from the social profiles dropdown list and insert the link there.
Once you’re done you can preview how your signature will look before clicking apply and ok. If you already have Gmail open, you will need to refresh it in order to get your new signature to show. If you have chosen not to automatically insert the signature, you can manually insert it via the new icon on your email editing toolbar. You’ll notice in the image below that there is a new button that will let you choose which signature to insert.
I love WiseStamp and having the chance to create such a unique signature; the possibilities are endless. I’m sure you’re bound to get lots of new comments about your new signature. It’s no secret, everyone will want to know how you were able to do that in Gmail. Well, now you know – It’s simple, just download WiseStamp and fill in the blanks.
Top 10 Tips to Run a Perfect Expert Roundup Post for Your Brand
Roundups are common – it’s been happening for a long time now.
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However, running one isn’t that simple.
It requires the right ingredients – Good Topic Selection, Outreach, Presentation and Sharing.
But that is just the basics. What makes a roundup success isn’t an easy to cook recipe. It will need a lot of dedicated effort, several weeks of emails and follow-ups – too much editing and coding and finally a lot of sharing.
Here’s a small guide on how we run roundups and receive several thousand social shares – once it goes live.
1) Topic Selection:
Roundups end up getting several thousand social shares on an average but much of that depends on the topic that you have selected. Spend enough time to thoroughly research titles that generates a lot of attention. This title must be related to the site where you are going to post the roundup – else there will be little benefit of it.
Think of what your target audience wants to hear, for example for a finance blog – “43 Millionaires Share their Tips on How to grow your Money Quickly” – In short, relevant, catchy and actionable.
Do note that you have to find enough willing influencers on the niche to justify the roundup.
2) Email out Reach
Once the topic is decided, start the outreach process. Look for list of sites related to your niche and send them an email.
Use Google and search for terms related to your roundup, see what sites comes up. Look up their email ids and contact details and send them a basic pitch email.
This is the first pitch and it should be small and catchy. People hardly have enough time to read more than a few words – no point sending them huge paragraphs. Simply email them a small line about yourself, tell them that you are hosting a roundup where you need their participation. Let them know that your past roundups have received several thousand social shares and that should be enough for the first pitch.
When they reply back send them all the details. Keep the email small and mention everything in points – for example, where the post will be published, names of a few huge influencers who will participate, the question and the deadline.
3) Social Media Outreach
Outreach shouldn’t be limited to emails only. There are facebook groups, LinkedIn groups etc. which are very active and have good discussions. Use those places, post a small update and ask people to participate in an upcoming roundup. You will receive several replies from these groups and these are excellent places for promoting the roundup too.
These are the same people who will share your roundup once it goes live and these groups will send you so many social shares too.
To learn more about what’s working for other big name sites and branding that have completed their own roundups, and have seen massive results with social sharing, check out these 21 examples.
4) Using Lists
If you are someone like us who likes to carry out these roundups regularly then it is best that you use an email service like Mailerlite, Aweber, MailChimp etc. and start making a list of people who likes to participate in roundups.
Send an email and ask for participation when you are carrying out the roundup.
Every time someone sends you their roundup entry, make sure to ask them to sign up for the roundup list – that way they won’t ever miss out on the next roundup you will be doing.
5) Direct Submission
People like to participate in places where they find entries from other familiar people. If they see a word document with some entries from people they know, they would want to add their own entry as well.
For this you can use the G Suite or use Guest Crew status updates like we do. This way, when you add a status update people will both participate and tweet it out as well – which results in more participation.
How you present your roundup is totally up to you. Here are a few quick tips to format a roundup for success.
At the top of the roundup before you get into the expert answers – make a small list of clickable names, that way people can quickly reach the expert that they want to read. This hashtag navigation is very important.
Once you start formatting the roundup make sure to include a small image of the expert and next to the image – post a tweetable answer. Post the longer answer below it, that way it becomes more readable.
Do note that many people prefers small roundups where less than 15 people participate like this one published at MYUKMailBox – just make sure to keep the formatting in the same style.
People like to share content and making catchy tweetables make the process simpler. When you pitch your question to an expert, always ask for a smaller answer which will be added to the tweetable. Most people will send their small answer but some won’t. This is where you need to edit out a small sentence from the longer answer and make a tweetable out of it.
While making the tweetable, include your own username – so that when someone tweets it out, you will get a notification too.
Canva is the best option here – or you can use a graphic tool if you are blessed with more talent.
Try to make a graphic for every entry you have received. Simply include the image of the expert, their tweetable answer as a quote in the image and mention some details of the site where the roundup is published and the name and website of the expert on the graphic.
Place the graphic below the tweetable and chances are that most people will use the graphic for sharing the answers.
While Canva is great for creating visuals, it’s also easy to create animated white board and explainer videos as well. A perfect tool for this is mysimpleshow.
Through their drag and drop video creation tool, it’s quite easy to take the information provided by your experts, add in a photo of the expert, and then have an animation video created with all of the information already presented in your roundup. The great thing about this is that it can greatly improve the overall branding and reach of your content, while also making it easier for the experts to share with their social audiences as well.
If putting in the time and effort to create your own video isn’t something you are interested in, you can also refer to their full service site at simpleshow. Through this premium service, their brand can create completely customized and professional videos to match the look and feel you are going after.
This is the ideal solution for bigger brands that want exposure from their expert roundups. The build it your own solution at mysimpleshow is also ideal for freelancers that might be doing all of the expert roundup outreach and work, then looking to upsell a premium package even further.
8) Sharing it out
At this point the entire roundup is ready. This is where you need to start sharing the roundup.
While sharing, make sure to carefully tag the experts on every social site where you will share the roundup. You will receive many social shares if you tag carefully. Don’t limit the sharing to only social profiles, share it on the groups that are related to the roundup, share it further on forums where it is relevant. Ask your friends to share it further.
When it comes to running a successful expert roundup and promotion campaign, there are many tools to use to your advantage. Outside of the traditional WordPress plugins and social sharing methods we are all accustomed to, you can also look for other working methods — such as outreach tools, Facebook Groups, email finder tools, and also automation follow-up tools.
9) Outreach and Letting them know
Finally, send the experts who have participated – an email with all the details of where the post is published and a few quick links where they can share the roundup further.
Don’t be pushy while asking for shares – simply give them the links to make the sharing process easier.
10) Keep sharing further
This is your roundup and you should be the one to keep the sharing going – everyday after the roundup is published and socialized.
Do note that most people are busy and they can only share when they have enough time on their hands. This is where you need to fit in. Use the tweetables you have created and start tweeting it out – at least 10 tweets a day. This will take several days to complete and your roundup will keep getting social shares in the coming weeks.
Roundups are so far our best marketing method, it does takes time – most roundups take a full month of time to get it ready and published but they are always worth their time and effort.
15 Unconventional Social Media Tactics That Encourage Engagement
Just about every brand is on social media nowadays, but not all of them know how to use it effectively. It’s not enough to have a profile on multiple platforms and post content regularly. You need to provide the right kinds of content and posts that will make your followers want to react, share and comment.
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To find out what works, we asked a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members for their favorite lesser-known strategy for boosting a brand’s social media engagement. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Hold Contests and Giveaways
A great way to drive engagement and social growth is via contests and giveaways. “Tag and win” contests are a great way to drive action and at a relatively low cost. We use these to gain new followers and build brand awareness. It is a good idea to make it as easy as possible to enter and share with friends, as this will drive the viral nature of the post and go much further.
2. Promote User-Generated Content
User-generated content is a great way to encourage social media engagement. If you come off as being too promotional or professional, you give off the impression that you’re only there to do business. Encouraging customers to develop their own content allows businesses to show off their products from a more personalized point of view will increase engagement by highlighting your customers first.
3. Create and Share Useful Infographics
A great way to drive up engagement for image-based social networks, especially if your business is based on written content like mine, is to post infographics. If they contain interesting information presented in an aesthetically pleasing manner, readers will be inclined to reblog or retweet your posts. Small businesses can easily find freelance designers to help make them on sites like Fiverr.
4. Offer Exclusive Group Access
To entice our audience to engage with our Facebook Messenger bot, we entice them to join by giving them exclusive access to a free Facebook group that only our Messenger subscribers will have access. It includes exclusive training and Facebook live speed coaching that can’t be found anywhere else. By creating a unique “club,” it keeps the right people in our group and increases engagement.
5. Jack the News
Newsjacking is not “stealing the news.” Instead, it’s a valuable way for you to use a breaking story to shine a light on something you are doing at your business. While people are searching for the topic, new viewers will stumble upon what you are saying about the topic. It is a simple, cost-effective way for small business to generate tons of media coverage and social media engagement. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
6. Have a Virtual Party
Who said parties can only be offline? You can take your party online as well. We like to invite our customers, prospects and partners to join us for a virtual party. This is the easiest way to get discovered because when people share their voice, their audience sees what they are sharing as well.
7. Add Facebook Messenger to Your Website Homepage
It’s really easy (and free) to install the Facebook Messenger widget on your company’s homepage. As live chat becomes the No. 1 communication preference for online customers, bringing Facebook’s chat capabilities directly to your site encourages more interaction with customers. Plus, it’s a clever way to draw them into your social ecosystem.
8. Thank Your Customers Using Video
We love to use video on social media to thank our customers. A short, 15-second post identifying a great customer by name can create an amazing ripple effect. That person will likely share it on social, which will then create positive brand awareness. A small business can do this with an iPhone — just dedicate five to 10 minutes a day to these posts and watch the shares stream in.
9. Say Hello to Your Neighbors
As a physical location business, I love using Instagram’s geo-location feature. We can say hello to all the neighbors, to potential clients and to anyone who’s tagged themselves in or near our location. For example, I can see who’s nearby our massage studio based on who’s tagged themselves at the local gym, yoga studio or juice bar, and then “Like” and comment on their posts so they know we exist. – Rachel Beider, Massage Outpost
10. Focus on Image-Based Content
Several of my clients who are startup founders post images that are not necessarily about the product or service they sell but it talks about the industry they serve. For example, a pregnancy care app used to post images about newly born babies, which made them very popular. A picture is better than a thousand words — people always respond to something that is visually appealing.
11. Join a Relevant Group
Creating and joining engagement pods or groups with a similar niche is one of the underutilized methods to gain more engagement within your social media platforms. It’s essentially creating a community of loyal supporters to follow, like and comment on every content that you post. This will work for both personal and business brands.
12. Integrate Offline Promotions
If you have a store or retail related market, you can introduce items and posters within your store that will encourage people to engage with you via social media. It’s important to have a strategy in mind when you’re using social. How much promotion will you do? Discount offers? Value-driven content? Contests? Let people know you intend to provide this via social with in-person marketing items. Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting
13. Reach Out to Them First
I go through my followers’ followers and reach out to them on their pages. This means asking questions, commenting and retweeting their posts. I find that they then take the time to see who I am and discover what I do. This has significantly raised our followers in an organic way.
14 Take Advantage of Polls
Using polls in your Instagram stories is a great way to simultaneously encourage engagement and tap into valuable customer feedback. Pose questions in a fun and light-hearted way. This is a great way to take the temperature of your community. Are they willing to take two seconds to engage with you? If not, it may be time to re-think your overall approach to social media.
15. Share On-Brand Memes
Especially to the younger generations, memes are unique to our times and there is nothing like it in terms of engagement. Business owners sometimes have problems to not only understand memes but also to use them in successful campaigns. You need to have someone in the team that keeps up with pop culture and creates memes according to your brand, but you won’t regret it.
How to Make Them ‘Appy: 4 Top App Trends Rocking the Mobile World
As the App Store reported having more than 2 million applications available on it in 2018, it’s clear that the app market is a little saturated. However, through a sort of natural selection, app trends keep changing to ensure that users get the most out of their mobile and smart devices.
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If you follow what’s happening in apps, you’ll stay ahead of your competitors and build apps that people use.
Here are four trends that are changing the way people use apps this year.
1. Apps For Wearables
Despite a few hiccups with products like the Google Glass, wearable devices are alive and well. The number of people walking around with FitBits and smartwatches is only going to grow in the next few years. Along with these smart devices are the requisite apps to make them more useful.
Smart wearables are a great way to stay healthy for some people. A watch that also watches your heart rate, checks your daily step count, and alerts you of appointments is a great way to stay in check. When you can receive alerts to take medications or to get to the doctor, it creates a personal connection with the device.
Increasingly, companies are integrating productivity applications for wearable devices. While tablets and smartphones started out as devices to perform some leisure activities on, they now have tools to keep you working. This is a welcome change for some while others call it a shame for the way it keeps us tethered.
More products will come with sensors attached to them that are then synchronized with apps. There are lots of connected devices sure to bed developed in the coming years that we can’t even predict yet and each one of them needs an app.
2. IoT and Smart Home Devices
Most estimates suggest that in only a few years, the number of smart devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home are going to outnumber people. With these devices connected and listening to our every move and command, they’ll become more integrated with our daily lives. Smart home devices give us a way to be more productive and integrate the technology we’re already using with our home life.
As these items become more useful and more prevalent, they’re becoming more integrated with one another. You can now control smart home devices remotely via apps. You can start heating up your home as soon as you leave the office or unlock your door for visiting guests while you’re out running errands. Many of these smart home applications can be accessed through mobile apps as well.
These devices are collecting more and more data as time goes on. When integrated with weather applications, your heater can warn you that you won’t need it because a warm front is moving in. If there’s a blizzard coming, your fridge application can tell you that you should pick up some milk before you get home since you’re almost out.
There are so many ways that WiFi enabled devices at home can connect with you while you’re away. You can turn off lights that you forgot to hit on your way out or even know whether you left the oven on by checking the app.
3. More Mobile Purchasing
As mobile internet use has passed browsing on desktops and laptops, the number of people shopping has also moved mobile. More devices are now integrating payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Wallet into their interfaces, making mobile devices more accessible. It also means that developers need to get to work on new ways to process transactions.
Making purchases is becoming easier to do without cash. To process payment of any type from any customer that comes your way, you need to have the tools at your disposal. Not having the ability to process a payment sends your customers to your competitors.
Wearable devices are going to get into the purchasing game as well. When they can process payments, you’ll see very people leaving the house with their wallet.
Combine all this with data collection and predictive analytics and you’ll find new ways to engage customer loyalty. If you sell products in a brick and mortar space, your customers can get notified of special promotions as they walk by a business. Get them to buy from a certain retailer by tracking their data and you’ll build customer loyalty through habitual purchasing.
4. All New User Experiences
As devices find new ways to collect and display data, mobile user interfaces are going to change. With smaller spaces come more interesting challenges. The most successful mobile companies are finding new ways to push intuitive design out to their clients.
Interactive interfaces require designers to create apps that allow you to do things you could never do on mobile devices before. With user attention split and constant interruptions, apps need to accommodate these challenges.
App development needs to use content layers and circular design patterns that help people manage their content. With the increased use of augmented technology, there will be new ways for people to explore the space they’re in. If you’re the first company of your type to take up space there, you can lead the way in your industry.
The standards for user interface keep changing, meaning that your designers need to be at the top of their game. As these standards change, so do customer expectations.
App Trends Are Going To Keep Shifting
If you think you’ll ever finish chasing app trends, you’re never going to be happy with this moving target. Once you realize that chasing trends is the way of the world in the app game, you’ll be much happier about the results.
If you want to increase your productivity, check out our latest guide for building projects with better tools.
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