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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: ,

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:

HOW TO: 5 Steps to Get Larger Instagram Photos on Storify

July 15, 2013 Leave a comment
Larger Instagram Photos Storify

This sample Storify story shows how to get larger Instagram photos in a story: The Twitter stream (top) shows a smaller photo than through the URL stream (bottom).

Storify is my favorite content curation site. I love using it to mine social sites for content for interests or for work.

And one of the best sites to mine is Twitter. There’s so much content waiting to be curated, from text to photos to video. But Storify does have one quirk with its Twitter stream function: Instagram photos.

When you pull in Instagram photos through the Twitter stream, the photos come in smaller than if you pull them in another way.

You want them larger, right? Well, here’s a simple rundown of how you can make that happen.

1. Search the Twitter stream for the Instagram content you want.

2. Pull that content into your Storify. (Displayed as the top photo in the Storify to the right.)

3. Click through on the weblink to the Instagram image.

4. Copy that URL and paste it in the URL stream. (Alternatively, you could search by user in the Instagram stream, but I find it’s quicker to do this cut-and-paste method.)

5. Pull that photo in to your Storify. (Displayed as the bottom photo in the Storify to the right.)

Now you can enjoy curated content with larger photos.

Have you used this trick to grab larger Instagram photos for your Storify stories?

Categories: how to, social media Tags: ,

6 Tips and Best Practices for Using Storify

January 21, 2013 6 comments
New @Storify stickers. Now ready for #sxsw.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of xdamman.

Do you need to curate a story that has spread through social media channels? Then Storify is your answer.

Storify lets you take content from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and many more social channels and make a story.

It’s great for conferences, breaking news and weather. (All are examples I curated.) But there’s certainly other ways you can use it, too.

No matter how you choose to use the site, here are a few tips and best practices for using Storify.

Be flexible

Flexibility is a key attribute in many things, and it can easily be applied to Storify. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into curating a story; perhaps a better story is lurking in the depths of that originally planned content.

Bring out your inner detective

Curating content sometimes calls for some sleuthing. You need to make sure that the people talking about a hashtag were part of that chat or discussion. You need to make sure that people supply local content are from the correct Greenville or Franklin or Springfield. Take the time to investigate sources of content before you hit publish.

Instagram photos

When you’re pulling in content through the Twitter stream, you can pull in Instagram photos that were posted to Twitter. However, the photos show up in a smaller size. It’s best to take the URL of those Instragram photos and pull them in through the URL stream. Then they appear larger.

Personalized messages

When you publish a story, you’re still left to publicize it. Storify pulls in an automatic message to alert users that you’ve used their content. But take a moment and personalize that message. Thank them, encourage them to visit, just do something other than use a boilerplate message.

Watch that language

Maybe you want to include curses or other explicit content in your stories, but most of the time, you won’t. It’s easiest to overlook those words when they are attached to photos. Read carefully.

Think visually

As with most content nowadays, the emphasis is on visuals. Storify is no exception. When possible, bring in as many photos as you can; they’ll speak to people much easier than words. And be sure to put a photo near the start of the story; that photo will be the cover photo for the story.

Take these tips and best practices to heart and you’ll be curating better stories in no time.

Categories: business, social media Tags:
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