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HOW TO: Optimize Storify for SEO

June 16, 2014 2 comments

Optimize Storify SEO

You have an idea in your head for a social media story and you plan to use Storify to make it. Even though you haven’t started curating content, you should be thinking about one critical element: Headline.

Why?

It’s pretty simple: Storify takes your headline and uses it to create the URL. You want to make sure your headline is optimized for search engines.

Curate with headline in mind

To do that, you’ll want to start the curation process with a headline in mind. You don’t need to write it on Storify’s curation canvas, but keep it somewhere, on a scrap of paper or in your mind, before you start curating.

It’s OK if the headline you have in mind is not one you end up with. It might not matter to you what the headline is on Storify.com, especially if you plan to embed the Storify on your website or blog, especially if you’re trying to drive more traffic there.

Then curate your content. Once you have curated your content, make sure that what you have pulled in meshes with the headline that you had in your mind before you started creating. If it does, you can move to the next step. If it doesn’t, you’ll want to tweak your headline.

Key in on keywords

Then think of any keywords you can use in your headline that might be applicable. You don’t want to stuff keywords into your headline, but if there is one or two that could create a more fluid headline, go ahead.

Then you want to take your headline and shorten it so that the keywords are prevalent. After all, those are the words you want in the Storify URL.

Then write your headline online if you have not already done so.

How to edit URL

If you wrote your headline on the Storify curation form and want to change it, you can, but it’s not readily apparent.

First you will need to hit “Settings” on the top black bar. Then, on the popup, hit “Edit URL.”

Make sure your Storify saves and then finish with the rest of your curation process, and you’ll have a headline optimized for search engines.

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Categories: marketing, social media Tags: ,

Your Audience Owns Your Content

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

If you hadn’t heard, I’m a contributing blogger for Social Solutions Collective. And the Collective has a weekly Twitter chat, #collectivechat, on Mondays.

This week we talked about owned vs. leased digital real estate. One of the questions was “Who ‘owns’ the content you post online?”

I’ll admit, my answer, by and large, was the same as most everyone else: You do. But I had a nagging devil’s advocate in the back of my mind. So I answered:

And that’s what I’m going to do.

Why you own your content

You create your content, so that gives you a right to receive credit when it is shared. You went through that hard work to make content that would be good, useful and used.

You are the one putting all the hard work and effort into getting an idea, a little wisp of a thing floating around in your head, onto paper or photo or video or whatever.

That’s your work, from start to finish, and that’s why it’s your content.

Why your audience owns your content

But let’s get things straight: Just because you create content doesn’t mean you own the content. You can slave over that blog post, spend hours getting the right lighting or nitpick over video edits, but it doesn’t mean you own the content.

Sure, it might be your copyright, your hard work, but it’s not yours.

It belongs to your audience. To your community.

After all, that’s who you created the content for. So it’s their’s to read, to view, to consume, to share. It’s their’s to modify, to tweak, to use.

And if your community doesn’t use, consume, share or discuss your content, does it really matter who owns it?

Social Media Wish List: Shared Facebook Lists

January 20, 2014 1 comment
Shared Facebook Interest Lists

Even though I have 25 followers on this Facebook interest list, none of them can help me curate the list.

If you’re like me, when you use social networks, you get inundated by the full stream of status updates, tweets, posts or whatever else appears.

That’s why you use segmented features to navigate the social networks that you use frequently.

Facebook and Twitter have lists while Google+ has circles and Pinterest has boards. As more and more people jump onto more and more social networks, segmented features become an invaluable tool for social network users to navigate through the parts that are most important to them.

Facebook lists

That’s exactly how I’ve come to use Facebook. I rely heavily on Facebook interest lists.

And that leads me to my social wish list, a list of feature that I would like to see on social networks. For Facebook, that means shared interest lists.

Right now Facebook lists work like this: You can combine pages and friends and people you follow onto a list. Do you want to have all of your TV shows together? Make it a part of an interest list.

You can do that for any topic, from hobbies to sports to entertainment and more. (I recommend making one for your hometown, including all the restaurants and municipal pages together, so you can keep tabs on what’s happening around your home.)

You can then share your list, and others can subscribe to it.

But what happens when someone who is following your list finds that they have a page to add to the list? Right now, the only choices that person has is to start their own list, replicating all the work already done, or to contact the list owner and let them know they are missing something they might want on their list.

That’s certainly the situation that I have encountered with some of the lists that I follow. Some of my Facebook friends have similar interests to me, as surely some of your friends have with you. So why do I need to make my own list of Wisconsin food producers when I could allow my friends to help me build it together instead of building ours independently?

How it could work

To me, shared Pinterest boards should be the model Facebook emulates. By that I mean one person starts a Facebook list and can give co-ownership to others to help curate that list. And, just as on Pinterest, others are free to subscribe to (or follow) the list.

Another example of what Facebook interest lists could strive for is Listly. On Listly, users make lists and can allow others to help add to those lists. Facebook lists could be set up similarly. Allow list creators the ability to open up list curation to others.

So, please, if anyone at Facebook is reading this, work on allowing users to give co-ownership of lists to others so that lists can be harnessed by the power of community.

Social Media Super Tool Combo: Storify + Scoop.it

January 13, 2014 2 comments
Storify and Scoopit

When you combine the social curation features of Storify with the visual display of the Scoop.it topic widget, you get a great way to supercharge your content marketing efforts.

If you haven’t realized it yet, I’m a huge fan of social media tools. But one thing I love more than that is combining social media tools to supercharge your social efforts.

Sometimes, even when you really love a specific tool, it just doesn’t have that one feature that you would like it to have.

But when you combine it with another tool, you get a great end product that highlights your social media efforts.

And that’s exactly what you can get when you combine the content curation of Storify and Scoop.it.

Storify’s missing piece

I’ve written a few blog posts about Storify and why and how I like to use it to curate content. I could go on and on about the features that I love about it.

But there’s one thing that bugs me about Storify.

I came to realize it when I started a social campaign using Storify to curate content weekly. I wondered what the best way to display it would be. After all, when I curate a standalone Storify, I can easily embed it on a blog post or web page. But when I make a series of Storify stories, the tool doesn’t have a great way to display them together.

That was especially important because the social campaign using Storify was part of a larger content marketing campaign, all of which was to be displayed on a singular web page.

Scoop.it Widget FTW

That’s when I turned to Scoop.it. On Scoop.it, you can curate topics with web links, media and more. And from there you can take that topic and, using Scoop.it’s Goodies menu, display that topic as a widget, embedded on your website.

There are certainly other sites where you can collect the Storify series content and display it as a widget. But the reason I liked Scoop.it over others is because its widget is deliciously photogenic, with any visual content taking up the width of the widget.

You can customize the widget and increase the width as well as tweak other settings.

And, best of all, since the links I added to Scoop.it were of the Storify embedded on a web page instead of at Storify.com, all of the traffic from the widget and the topic page pointed directly to the website I wanted the traffic to go to.

The next time you’re looking to put together a content marketing campaign using Storify, remember that you can supercharge your social media curation efforts by combining the tools of Storify and Scoop.it.

3 Simple Steps to Increase Traffic to Your Website Using Storify

January 6, 2014 2 comments
Increase Traffic to Website Using Storify

Follow these simple steps to optimize your Storify notifications to drive more traffic to your website.

I’m not ashamed to admit it: Storify is one of my favorite social media tools.

I curate content for my professional job and for my personal brand and other interests. And I use Storify to do that.

A Storify primer

If you haven’t used Storify before, here’s a quick primer: You create content by curating from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, websites and more. You publish your content when you’re ready, and then you can notify people that you used their content and embed the content you created onto your website.

It’s that last part that I’m here to help.

Picture this: You create your Storify content and then embed the content on your website.

The next step is to send out notifications to people that you used their content. (Just make sure you optimize your Storify notifications.)

But you can do better than the default Storify notification. And all it takes is three simple steps.

  1. Once you have finished your Storify and hit publish, hit the “Distribute” tab and then copy the embed code.

  2. Paste the embed code on a page or post under your domain. Publish the page and grab the shortened URL for the page or post.

  3. Then, again on Storify.com, hit the “Distribute” tab and then “Notify mentions.” Storify offers a default message to send to Twitter users. Instead of the Storify domain-shortened link, paste your shortened URL over it.

Simple steps, big difference

If you do those three simple steps (combined with optimizing your Storify notifications for one person per tweet), you will send all those you notify straight to your website, where they will see the embedded Storify.

Without those steps, you would send those Twitter users straight to Storify.com.

They’re an easy few steps to take, but if you don’t do them, you could be losing out on easy website traffic.

Categories: marketing, social media Tags:

HOW TO: Optimize Your Storify Notifications

August 12, 2013 2 comments
Storify Notifications

A sample Storify notification popup. The top part shares on your social networks, and the bottom sends notifications to other Twitter users.

I’ve talked before about how Storify is one of my favorite content curation tools.

And one thing that I’ve learned over time is that sending notifications to the people whose content you curate is an important step.

That’s why you need to maximize your efforts and optimize your Storify notifications.

Duplicating content

One way to optimize your notifications, which are sent out via Twitter, is to pull in content you find in other streams as duplicate content from the Twitter stream.

That might sound a bit confusing, so let’s use this example: Suppose you found an Instagram photo in the Instagram stream. You pull it into your Storify.

What you should also do is search your Twitter stream to see if that Instagram photo was published to Twitter. If it was, it increases the number of people you will send notifications to.

Then, after you have sent out the notifications, you can go back in and edit out the duplicate images imported from the Twitter stream.

You can use this for any other streams, too, including Flickr and YouTube.

The default message

So you’ve increased the number of people to notify with the first step. Now let’s transform that default message, which you can also see in the photo above. This is what it is:

You’ve been quoted in my #Storify story “[Storify story headline]” [Shortened Storify URL]

What makes that message stand out?

Nothing.

But do you want to stand out?

Yes, of course.

Then don’t notify people until you’ve changed that default Storify notification message. Period. It’s that simple.

Why do this step?

It’s easy: Personalization. It’s about that extra step, and that shows people that you put in effort above the minimum.

Storify shows you how many characters you have left when you write a personalized message. (In the photo, that character limit is “32.”)

Your goal should be to get that character limit number down as close to zero as possible.

Push it to the (character) limit

Why take that close to zero? It’s simple: That way, you ensure that each person will get a personalized tweet with (likely) only their Twitter handle plus the rest of your message and the link. I say likely because if two people have short Twitter handles, they might get notified together.

But when you modify that message to something like “Thank you for your contribution to this #Storify story …” then you end up sending a personalized tweet to and thanking them in the process. It’s a nice bonus when you stretch that character limit.

Takes just a minute

Remember, even if you have a lengthy Storify story, you have to modify that default message only once if you notify everyone at the same time.

So go that extra step. Take that extra minute.

Make sure you optimize your Storify notifications by using every character possible, which will ensure you tweet out the notifications in a personalized manner.

Categories: business, marketing Tags:

Like or Comment: What Do You Think of This Facebook Marketing Tactic?

July 22, 2013 3 comments

Like Comment Facebook Marketing TacticLikes. Comments.

When you interact with a page on Facebook, those are the two most common ways you will do so.

And, a new Facebook marketing is asking you to choose one of those responses.

This is what happens: A page will post an update (link share or photo, generally) and ask those who see the post to like if they agree with one option and comment if they agree with another option.

In other words, it’s a poll using Facebook actions. You can see an example above from the KLM UK Facebook page.

Legitimate or lame?

Why this tactic could be legitimate: Likes and comments are at least two of the metrics you measure for your Facebook success.

Why this tactic could be lame: If you want to set up a poll, you can do so; Facebook has that option already.

A lesson from big brands

Marketing tactics can sometimes have a trickle down effect, meaning big brands use them and then smaller brands adopt them. However, I perused most of the Top 20 brands on Facebook, according to FanPageList.com. None of the brand pages I looked through were using this tactic.

In fact, most brands often posted unique, brand-specific content as opposed to memes or other content that was not original to the brand. (Surely that’s one reason those are top brands on Facebook.)

But I digress: My point is KLM UK could have found some other way to use the above content without asking for fans to vote via likes or comments.

Measuring the efforts

Think about this: If a brand posts a one of these (a Facebook-action poll), does it hurt engagement numbers? For instance, if someone really wanted to like the photo above but didn’t want to vote for Africa, they might have left the content without liking or commenting.

Brands could measure this by comparing Consumers vs. Reach for Facebook-action poll posts versus other similar (photos to photos, link share to link share) posts as Jon Loomer suggests as a Facebook Insights ratio to monitor.

This is not a tactic that I have used, though, so I have no data to compare and contrast.

A call for action

But brands asking for likes or comments usually is not a bad thing. In fact, as Hubspot points out, calls to action on Facebook lead to more likes and comments (and more shares if the CTA is “share”).

In that light, providing a CTA is not a bad thing. But posturing the content as a Facebook-action poll could be.

What do you think: Is this a tactic that should be embraced or scorned by marketers?

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