Growth Hacking

3 Ways to Generate Leads Using YouTube

Want to generate more leads and conversions with YouTube? Looking for organic tactics to help boost the performance of your existing video content? In this article, you’ll discover three effective ways to turn YouTube viewers into leads. #1: Drive Website Traffic With YouTube Cards YouTube cards are a marketer’s dream come true because they let […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

New Instagram and Messenger Ad Features, and LinkedIn Native Video

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show with Michael Stelzner, we explore new Instagram and Messenger ad options with Amanda Bond, new LinkedIn features with Viveka […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

How to Use Facebook Messenger for Social Customer Service

Want to provide better customer service on Facebook? Wondering how Facebook Messenger can help? In this article, you’ll discover how to use Facebook Messenger as a valuable social customer care tool. Why Messenger for the Front Lines of Customer Care? According to USA Today, Facebook views Messenger for Business as a venue for “conversational commerce.” […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

How To Advertise On Snapchat With Literally Any Budget

It’s no secret that Snapchat’s rise has been nothing short of astounding. With over 150 million daily users (60 million in the US and Canada) and 10 billion video views per day, there really is no good reason for brands to avoid the platform. Beyond the incredible user engagement, Snapchat offers relatively affordable advertising options compared to other social platforms, making it ideal for small and large businesses.

While ads on social media generally have a bad reputation, Snapchat is one platform where users actually want to engage directly with ads through lenses, filters, and interactive content. Ads on Snapchat the ability to penetrate into the very core of why users use the service in the first place making ads both engaging and fun!

Got $ 100,000+ To Burn? Start Here…


The good news? Snapchat advertising options are available for almost every type of budget. You may be familiar with popular lenses like the face swap or dog emoji, and brands can be a part of the fun too…for a hefty price. The Peanuts Movie campaign reportedly cost $ 750,000 to run on Halloween.

An interactive mobile video ad will likely cost you at least $ 100,000, but again, these are reserved for brands with big budgets. These ads appear in between Stories or Discover content.

National sponsored geofilters are overlays on users’ pictures and videos and typically reach 40 to 60 percent of daily Snapchat users in the United States. Gatorade ran a sponsored national lens that generated 165 million views.

Certainly, brands that can afford to spend big bucks in Snapchat advertising should consider it, especially if you’re looking to increase brand awareness. But if you’re a smaller brand or new to Snapchat, there is an option that allows you to pay to play without blowing your social media marketing budget.

And For Smaller Budgets: On-Demand Geofilters!

On-demand geofilters provide a budget-friendly alternative to other Snapchat ads, making it easy for just about any brand to allocate some money towards Snapchat. Additionally, on-demand geofilters don’t require an active presence, meaning you can create a filter without having an active account.

Starting at just $ 5, on-demand geofilters are a great way to expand awareness in specific geographic areas you want to reach. Pricing varies based on duration and size of the geofence, among others, but it is certainly a budget-friendly and creative way to engage with the Snapchat community. Note that if you want to target an area above 5 million square feet you’ll have to use sponsored geofilters.

To keep cost down, I recommend setting a small geofence, like the building where the event is taking place. In other words, keep it hyperlocal. If you try to cover too much space, you’ll end up spending more to reach the wrong people. Make your location as specific as possible.

In addition, only run the geofilter for the necessary period of time. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to run a geofilter for an event that hasn’t started. Visit Snapchat’s website for full guidelines on geofilter submissions.

Geofilters can work for any brand, big or small, that needs an innovative way to reach new and current audiences.

Use Cases for On-Demand Geofilters

Career Fairs

Generate excitement and buzz about your company with an on-demand geofilter at a career fair.

In addition to your geofilter, you can also accompany it with unpaid Snapchat content. Create a story showcasing a behind the scenes look at your company to give applicants a glimpse of what life is like at your company. Publishing this content along with your geofilter allows you to get the most out of both paid and unpaid content.


Similarly, raise awareness about your tradeshow attendance with a custom geofilter. Let fellow attendees know where you are by including your booth location on the geofilter. Be careful about using tradeshow logos. Your geofilter will likely get rejected. There’s a good chance that other booths aren’t using geofilters as a marketing tactic, so it’s a great way to stand out from others.


Hosting an event? Launching a new product at the store? For an affordable price, on-demand geofilters are a great way to get the word out.

And with Snapchat’s Memories, you can generate content for free from users’ snaps. Simply encourage users to send snaps with your geofilter, screenshot them, and save them to add to an event recap in a story. For a little bit of money, geofilters can help to generate user created content after the conclusion of an event.

Then There’s Always Organic Content

Remember that your Snapchat advertising endeavors are only part of the puzzle. In addition to advertising, your organic content is just as important. In fact, your organic content is how you’ll capture your users’ attention over and over. Because snaps disappear, your brand can create unique organic content that forces your followers to pay attention, outside of advertising.

Like any social platform, your organic Snapchat content needs to be planned. Be willing to experiment to see what works with your followers; maybe it’s a weekly question and answer session, or a Snapchat takeover with an influencer. Don’t be afraid to get creative.

In Conclusion

There’s no doubt that part of your audience, if not all, is on Snapchat. And it’s where you need to be. With so many social platforms and competition, you may feel overwhelmed with paid social advertising. Experimenting with on-demand geofilters is an affordable tactic to reach your customers and gain loyal followers. Build a community with fun organic content, and use Snapchat’s advertising options to help support those efforts.

The post How To Advertise On Snapchat With Literally Any Budget appeared first on Social Media Explorer.

Social Media Explorer

Is Your Data Safe With Amazon Echo?

Amazon Echo smart speakers have been a rather popular gift this holiday season. In a press release yesterday, Amazon revealed that the company sold 9 times more smart home devices than it did this time last year. Now millions of homes around the world have Echo’s AI assistant, Alexa, to cater to their needs.

The utility and novelty of smart home technology like Echo is undeniable. After all, who isn’t excited about the prospect of ordering pizza without having to lift a finger? However, it is important to recognize that this type of technology may undermine your privacy. With Echo’s aural interface, the device is always listening, just in case someone gives it a command. In other words, “Big Brother is watching you”.

Should You Be Worried?

It could very well be possible that Alexa is recording and storing every conversation in your home. However, Amazon claims otherwise. According to the company, Echo only streams/stores a fraction of a second of audio before it detects its “wake word”, along with the audio of the command itself. Since Alexa is powered by AI, “she” stores your command history to help make her “smarter”. That way, Alexa can better respond to your future commands. While Amazon’s reasoning behind storing your command data is sound, imagine what could go wrong if someone else gets access to that data?

Amazon does let you delete specific voice recordings in the Alexa App. You can also delete your entire Echo history on Amazon’s website. However, Amazon cautions against doing so, warning that deleting voice recordings “may degrade your Alexa experience”. On the flip side, Amazon is also seemingly dedicated to protecting its Echo customers’ privacy. The company is refusing to provide authorities with the Alexa data of a man accused of murder. Amazon defended its action, affirming that it will not allow data access to third parties “without a valid and binding legal demand”.

While this move sets precedent for future concerns about Echo data, user information is still vulnerable. Police claim that they eventually extracted information from the alleged murderer’s Echo device without Amazon’s help. Whose to say that others couldn’t easily do the same?

The post Is Your Data Safe With Amazon Echo? appeared first on Social Media Explorer.

Social Media Explorer

The Best of Social Media Explorer – Dec. 30 2016

Hi! I’m Don Power, one of the Managing Editors at Social Media Explorer.

Every week, we publish an informative and insightful newsletter and it occurred to us that not all of our blog readers are subscribers — and not all of our subscribers are blog readers. So, in an attempt to bring everyone the best of our content (just in case you missed it) here’s our picks for the week from SME — and from around the web.

NOTE: If you are NOT already a subscriber to our newsletter, why not subscribe via our VERY easy signup page here:

And if you ARE already a newsletter subscriber and already saw the following content already this week, well, here’s some content you might like instead:

Either way, thanks for stopping by. Feel free to connect with me personally on Twitter, follow @smxplorer, or join our Social Media Explorers Club on Facebook.

How To Advertise On Snapchat With Literally Any Budget

Beyond the incredible user engagement, Snapchat offers relatively affordable advertising options compared to other social platforms, making it ideal even for small businesses….Read more

3 Easy Steps To Grow Your Email List Using Social Media

When you consider social media’s record low conversion rate, how do you get social media visitors to subscribe to your email list? You incentivize….Read more

5 Charitable Apps to Use This Holiday Season

With such a hectic festive schedule, have you gotten a chance to give back? No, we’re not trying to guilt trip you. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to donate, you’re in luck! Read more…

From Around the Web…

Don’t forget to subscribe!

The post The Best of Social Media Explorer – Dec. 30 2016 appeared first on Social Media Explorer.

Social Media Explorer

Community Plus Purpose Equals Business Advantage

Community Plus Purpose Equals Business Advantage

A well-managed online community can be a business advantage.

That’s not just something I dreamed up, it’s the conclusion of a study entitled, “What Creates Advantage in the ‘Social Era’?” In this 2015 study, authors Tim Kastelle, Nilofer Merchant, and Martie Verreynne set out to discover what will provide an advantage to businesses in the era of the Internet.

In previous eras, simply getting your strategy right created an advantage. In the Social Era, though, honing your strategy right only moves you from the ‘No Advantage’ region of the map into the first or second row. What causes the big jump in performance, that extra 30% increase or more, is combining community (ideas of many) and purpose (yet aligned to your mission). That’s the recipe for the giant leap to the top of the map.

Click to read the full study: What Creates Advantage in the ‘Social Era?’

The research reviews how, over time, what was once necessary to gain advantage becomes “table stakes.” It’s no longer enough to have the lowest price, best product, or access to capital. It’s not enough to have a unique niche. Those things are just necessary to survive. In order to thrive, businesses must figure out how community can be applied to their unique strategy.

Technological change has made collaboration a necessary part of economic production. And those businesses that can apply collaboration thoughtfully will gain advantage.

Key Takeaways for your Community

  • Treat your customers and/or employees as co-creators of value within your organization, not just value extractors
  • Celebrate unique points of view and outside ideas
  • Clarify your business mission, and then use that as a controlling force for your community strategy
  • Ensure that your community guidelines are transparent
  • Recognize that when your community invests in an idea, it co-owns its success

Can you think of other ways you can weave purpose into your community strategy?

This blog post was originally published by Rosemary O’Neill on Social Strata 

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Social Media Explorer

Stop Making Content That Wastes My Time

So two friends are walking out of a movie theater having just seen the latest installment in the Avengers franchise. One friend turns to the other and says “Wow, I can’t believe how great that content was”. The other friend laughs excitedly and replies  “Yeah that content blew my mind!”. Do you see what’s wrong with this picture? Humans aren’t inspired by content they’re inspired by emotion and trust me they can tell the difference.

Stop Making Content That Wastes My Time

Marketers have been searching for the holy grail of content for decades now. They’ve used google analytics and heatmaps to sneakily watch readers ‘engage’ with their ‘content’ like a cold war era intelligence agency. They track clicks, record live user sessions and embed cookies doing whatever it takes to understand what the hell can keep the view count growing. But perhaps the answer is a bit more simple than we think.

For generations storytellers have used the art of emotion and tension to capture audiences. They’ve understood that humans crave escape; a momentary bliss from the chaos of daily life. Content is no different, and unless you’re answering a direct question, your words better find a way to earn your audience’s emotions. It comes in the form of humor, stunning original visuals, in laughter and in honesty. Each soul devoting time to your words deserves your unwavering commitment to them.

When you’re writing for a wide audience this can become daunting. How can you structure your words to appeal to the world at large? Pixar has some outstanding insights into storytelling and I challenge you to apply them to your own efforts. Now, granted most of their advice is catered towards writing a novel or character driven story but I believe many of the fundamentals of storytelling can be applied to what we do as marketers. Take Rule #22 for example:

“What is the essence of your story?”

If you’re not asking yourself that question before you put pen to paper, you’re simply wasting my time. When a reader gives you their attention you become their eyes ears and soul. Whether it be in the form of a novel or even a social media blog post, the reader trusts you to fully understand your intentions behind your work. Don’t waste their precious attention. Then we see in Rule #5:

“Simplify. Focus. Combine Characters”

Noticing your article growing to a dangerous +1000 words? Stop yourself and start editing even before you finish. Ask yourself what really needs to be there. Are you staying within your essence? Are you remaining true to the reason for writing in the first place?

I’ll stop here for now, but I encourage you to watch the below video series for some stellar insights into the why behind producing:

Now, if you are answering a specific question (as we often do here at SME) it’s fine to forgo emotion for knowledge. But I want you to take things one step further. When someone comes to you for an answer, give them the answer and then another question. Keep them engaged by expanding their scope of what can be asked. A viewer wants to learn about setting up sponsored updates on Facebook? Great tell them how and then tell them about Lead Ads and the potential therein. Use this learning opportunity to it’s fullest potential and they’ll remember you forever.

“Each soul devoting time to your words deserves your unwavering commitment to them.”

Guess what you are a teacher, so start acting like it. Prioritize education over analytics. Just imagine if you refocused all that time spent on Google Analytics and put it into making the best educational articles you possibly could. Do you really think things like restructuring your word count is actually going to do anything to keep people engaged? Think of why they’re there in the first place and give them more than they’re expecting. No Harvard professor ever spent half their work day studying which powerpoints gave them the best ROI.

Using the phrase ‘Content’ is regressive for the marketing industry at large. I believe we should use the word specific to our end goal. Are you creating a blog post to teach people about Twitter Ads? Then call it a lesson. Are you publishing a video interview with Jason Falls? Then call it a conversation. It may seem simple but I challenge you to eliminate the word ‘content’ from your vocabulary entirely.

The post Stop Making Content That Wastes My Time appeared first on Social Media Explorer.

Social Media Explorer

Do You Understand Your Brand DNA?

Do you know why people love certain brands? Apple. Wal-Mart. Hilton. BMW. Adidas. Because they are consistent. You know you’re going to get the same thing. It might be innovation, price, prestige, convenience, value … but you’re going to get it consistently.

Do You Understand Your Brand DNA?

With your digital marketing, it’s imperative to extend that consistency to your audience. BMW can’t deliver luxury or prestige over the Internet, but its content certainly can build on or around those concepts. Your messaging, campaigns and programming through your website, app, social channels and more should feel like your brand.

It’s about understanding your brand’s DNA. This is the core experience your brand delivers to consumers. And it’s hard to pinpoint sometimes because it might be an idea or a feeling, not a tangible thing. Apple fans might say the brand delivers innovation in technology, innovation in design or even a supreme user experience. But for many Apple fans, the brand delivers a feeling of sophistication, of elegance, of style. They feel like a more refined person because they own a Mac.

Social Media Explorer started as an outlet for me to share ideas on the emerging world of social media marketing. Because of my personality and an ill-fated conference I attended in the fall of 2007, it quickly became a flag bearer to stir up the conversation. That attitude led to me co-authoring No Bullshit Social Media.

The DNA of this blog is that of the instigator. The disruptor. We call it like we see it and call those out who aren’t doing it right. That has been the unwritten promise of Social Media Explorer.

Deviating from that DNA would be a mistake.

That’s why I was tickled the first time I chatted with Drew Neisser about taking over control of the site. Not only did he want to know the backstory of SME, but he wanted to build the direction of it around that. Drew gets it. And he gets you. He knows why you’re here. And he plans on delivering on that promise.

And yeah … I’ll be around, too.

So let that serve as an all points bulletin to the snake oil salesmen, self-promotional blowhards and social media douchebags out there. The naysayers and social media skeptics should pay attention, too. Social Media Explorer won’t let you over-promise and under-deliver. It also won’t let you write off a good thing.

SME explores the new with a mindful eye on driving your business. SME analyzes the world with the intent of sharing learning to improve your business. SME holds accountable those who influence businesses about social marketing to protect your business.

It’s in our DNA and our audience demands it.

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Social Media Explorer