event notes, events, technology & web, wordpress

Additional Notes for my Session at NTC’s WordPress Day

Hi, WordPress Day-ers! As promised, here are the additional notes to accompany my slides from my session, “From Sharing to Hashtags: Social Media Musts for Your WordPress Site.” Slides are shared here. (And thanks for joining me!)

Everyone else: I made this presentation for WordPress Day at the Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Jose on March 22. Some of the information is geared specifically toward nonprofits, but lots of it is pretty universal for using WordPress & social media together, so enjoy! 🙂

Note: I’m not rehashing all of the text on the slides, so look at those for the main ideas and images. These notes include the additional things I said and things I wish I would’ve had time to say.

WHY GO SOCIAL? (Slide 3)

  • If you can get your existing supporters to promote you (even with a simple retweet), great! People trust recommendations from their family and friends.
  • People who wouldn’t necessarily find your website will stumble across social media posts about your organization.
  • You’ll broaden the reach of your content.

WHO’S ON SOCIAL MEDIA? (Slide 4)

  • Stats here taken from Pew’s Social Networking Fact Sheet in March 2016. (They update this page, so numbers may have changed when you view it.)
  • If you’re only going to use one platform other than your website, make it Facebook. Just based on the numbers alone, you’ll be able to reach supporters/potential supporters.
  • Beyond Facebook, find the best fit & focus there. Go where your people are!
    • Twitter is particularly popular among people under 50 and the college-educated.
    • Instagram is used by 53% of 18-29 year olds, especially women.
    • There is lots of overlap in Twitter and Instagram users.
    • Pinterest is used by 42% of all women online, while only 13% of men.
  • Choose which ones to use and use them well.
  • Avoid using them all if you can’t keep up with them.
    • Accounts with long lapses in between posts look worse than not using a particular social network. Don’t be the sad Instagram account with 3 images from 17 weeks ago. This might make people think you no longer exist, rather than that you’re simply posting elsewhere.
  • Whichever ones you use, establish a voice. Show some personality!

WEBSITE = HQ! (Slide 5)

  • Make your website the hub of all of your online activity.
  • You own your content on your website in a way you can’t own social media posts… They could disappear. (They probably won’t, but you never know.)
  • Also, using your website as your hub allows you to expand on ideas and information, while sharing snippets on your social media.
  • Watch which type of content gets the most attention (like cute kids, animals, infographics, travel photos, quotes) and make sure to repeat variations of it.

SOCIAL MEDIA ON YOUR SITE (Slides 8, 9, 10)

  • You want people to be able to find your social profiles and also easily share your content to their own.
  • Don’t just repost same content. Link to more content and share extra info, resources, etc.
  • Also bring social posts back to your website for recaps, expanding on topics, and sharing posts by others by embedding tweets, pins, updates, and photos with a simple URL right in the post box.
    • In the examples on Slide 9, you’ll see I’ve embedded an Instagram photo, a tweet, and a Pinterest board by simply adding the URL of each one on its own line within a post.
    • Now on Slide 10, they’re all embedded in my posts, only using the simple URL. (The toast one is from toastambassador.com.)

JETPACK PLUGIN (Slides 12-16)

  • It’s made by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, where I work.
  • It’s actively developed, so it’ll be up-to-date and keeps getting better.
  •  There are many modules for different purposes you can turn on and off as needed.
  • All of the modules I’ve mentioned here are included for free.
  • Publicize connects your social media accounts to your site (Slide 12), so you can publicize a new post automatically if you choose to (Slide 13).
    • Sharing to Twitter and Google+ at once this way often works well. If the same message in your Custom Message will work on Facebook, send it there too (but that depends on your message & hashtag use). Play around with it!
    • If your Facebook shares are acting up, the Facebook debugger can help. Click “show existing” to see what Facebook will share when you paste in a URL. Click “fetch new” to get them to re-check your post and change what they’ll post (like if it’s grabbing the wrong photo and you want it to update to the right one).
  • Sharing allows your readers to share your content to their social profiles.
    • These are the sharing icons (Slide 14) that often appear at the bottom of a post. You should add any social buttons where you’d like your readers to share your content, not only the social media you use.

SOCIAL ICON PLUGINS (Slide 18)

BUFFER SCHEDULING (Slides 19 & 20)

  • If you use Publicize with Jetpack, that’ll take care of one post about new content, but the real way to get eyes on your posts is through repeated mentions of it.
    • Change up what you say and make sure you’re sharing other things too so you avoid sounding like a spammer.
  • Buffer lets you connect various social profiles and set posting times for when automated posts go out.
  • Add new posts, like tweets, to your queue and they’ll go out on your selected times.

COSCHEDULE PLUGIN (Slides 21-23)

  • Another option for scheduling social media posts.
  • Allows you to schedule multiple social posts for one blog post all at once.
  • Great for busy posting schedules or to help teams work together and keep things organized between everyone.
  • It also includes an editorial calendar (Slide 22) that gets built right into your WordPress dashboard. Click on a day, select what you want to post, add your content, and schedule it.
  • For each blog post, you can set a social post, like a tweet, for same day as publish, day after, week after, month after, and so on Slide 23).
  • Because of how fast social media moves and how many posts the casual follower misses, multiple mentions are key. But you want to change them up, and have other content mixed in, to avoid looking like a spammer.
  • Whatever you choose to schedule your updates, schedule them at random times, rather than those ending in 0 or 5. Lots of automated posts go out then, so change yours up.
  • And don’t schedule everything for business hours if that’s not when your audience will be most active on social media.
    • Just like finding where your audience is when choosing your social media platforms, find when they’re there too.
    • Play around with times until you hit times with the best results and set your schedule that way.

HASHTAG IT! (Slides 24 & 25)

  • It’s important to get a feel for how each social media platform works and the best ways to use them.
  • Hashtags can really help! (Or hurt.) And they’re used differently on different platforms.
  • When you’re deciding on which hashtags to use, there are some tools that can help, like:
    • Hashtagify.me: enter in a hashtag and it’ll show you the most commonly used hashtags in relation to it.
    • RiteTag.com: enter in a tag and it tells you if it’s a good one to use now, a tag you should use later for getting eyes on your post in the long run, or if it’s a hashtag you should avoid totally.
  • CamelCase your hashtags, like #HistoricHouseCrush. It’s better for ease of reading in general, and also accessibility.

HOW TO: HASHTAG IT! (Slides 26-28)

  • Twitter
    • Using a broad and niche tag expands your chances of getting different eyes on your tweets.
      • For example, Best Friends uses #VicktoryDogs for updates about the dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring. Their care for those dogs is a long term project, spanning years, so this hashtag helps group the updates for them over time.
  • Facebook
    • If you want a more professional feel, use the Twitter guidelines.
    • If you want a more community feel, go more Instagram-y.
    • People love getting credit for their good deeds, so post photos of volunteers helping you out, tag them, and they’ll probably share your post, which they’re friends will see and (rightly!) interpret as a recommendation to support you.
  • Tumblr
    • You want to meet your supporters where they are, so if they’re on Tumblr, adapt how you tag for how Tumblr users do.
  • Google+
    • Don’t ignore it!
    • Use hashtags to categorize. Add them to your posts or comments, and G+ will auto-tag for you too.
    • This is a great one to automatically post to using Jetpack’s publicize feature, since it tends to handle images and text really well without you needing you to go manually format it.

TO RECAP (Slide 29)

  • Posting original, quality content on your blog regularly will help your SEO. Search engines love sites that are frequently updated with new content. They’ll crawl your site more often and improve your rankings.
  • Avoid promoting yourself constantly… Interact and show personality!
  • Followers will know if you’re struggling to come up with content or hating working on it, so choose the platforms that work for you.

 ADDITIONAL RESOURCES THAT I DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO MENTION

And that’s it! 😀 Hope that’s helpful. Feel free to comment/tweet/email if you’ve got any questions.