On this episode, we talked some of the latest social media news about Facebook and Snapchat, answered a listener question and got into some hefty details about LinkedIn content marketing.
- Facebook is working hard to add more features to their own Stories platform, allowing multiple people to be able to add to an event or group story
- We talked through some of the significant points from a recent TechCrunch article, detailing the proposed changes to Snapchat and what’s to come for the platform.
- Moz recently announced that they were rewriting the Beginner’s Guide to SEO, one of their most popular, if not THE most popular guide on SEO. We talked about how the community will contribute to the new version.
- A listener question about blogging and LinkedIn content creation sparked a massive discussion about the evolution of the professional networking platform, and how to create content for both
Here’s a Facebook Stories thing
Another day, another Facebook Stories feature to add to the pile in an attempt to increase usage, this time it’s the ability to allow multiple contributors to a Facebook Story for an event or a group. It almost acts as a unique hashtag on Instagram, although Snapchat already has the same feature.
Anyway, it’s a wobbling step in a somewhat right direction, because it means that it will encourage the community of Facebook to contribute content to a brand event or a group, but we’re unsure if it’s going to help the feature.
It’s interesting to note that even though the Snapchat clone is gaining massive traction on Instagram, it’s just not working for Facebook. It’s a great study on how a feature can work well one one platform that is built for photo and video sharing, and how it’s failing on a platform that’s built for sharing everything.
The Snapchat changes on the horizon
On the last episode, we talked about the shortcomings of Snapchat, and how it’s been struggling to pull itself out of the mud.
TechCrunch recently published an article by Josh Constine; Snapchat’s epic strategy flip-flop. It’s an awesome read as it details all the issues the platform has faced, and how they plan to remedy the situation. We talked a lot about this article, and we go into it in more detail below, but please do check out the TechCrunch article, because Josh has been a real contributor on this topic since day one. Or is that Day One? We’ll never know.
Before we get any further into this, in addition to last week’s conversation about Snap Inc. shares, Josh Roa (not Josh Constine, but it’s close, right?) stated that he actually purchased Snap Inc. shares, showing how much faith he has that things can turn around for the platform.
Alienating the older crowd
One of the biggest flaws with Snapchat, and the biggest takeaway from the article is that usability has always been a big issue for the platform. Where most platforms are built around consuming content, Snapchat has built their platform on creating content which can often be confusing for most users. It’s difficult to add users and increase your network, and it’s also a bit of a manual process to check out other people’s snaps. The difficult UX & UI has contributed to the alienation of the older folk, who are darn set in their ways and refuse to change.
The biggest issue here is, the decline in daily Snapchat users cut deep, because they only had a very small market-share.
Snapchat hope that by improving the UI & UX, they can encourage an older demographic to use the platform which will help grow its user-base.
Trusting Evan Spiegel’s gut
Another significant issue with Snapchat, as mentioned in the article, is the fact that Evan Spiegel has made changes to the platform by trusting his gut more than data.
Put it this way, Spiegel remained weirdly optimistic that his platform would not be affected by the launch and subsequent explosion of Instagram Stories.
We’re all about trying stuff out to see what works, but then we’re also about building on that strategy, based on that data. For example, Gary Vaynerchuk recently moved his popular Q&A show, Ask GaryVee, from YouTube to Facebook to try something out, even splitting his main YouTube channel into two. After a couple of months, the data must have revealed or confirmed that it wasn’t the most ideal move for his brand, so he’s moving things back.
Rewriting the book on SEO
Moz recently announced that they were going to be rewriting their popular Beginner’s Guide to SEO to bring it up to date. The main principles of SEO don’t change too much over time, but there are always smaller changes that as a whole, can affect your strategy.
If you’re anything like us, this was the go-to guide when we were youngin’s and teaching ourselves everything to know about SEO. It’s one of the most valuable resources in the SEO community, most notably, because it is free.
And Moz intend to keep things that way, but this time they want to enlist the community to review the updated sections and contribute. This is such an awesome way at keeping the information in the public domain, because much of SEO has been this way.
We never get real confirmation from Google about ranking factors, so a lot of it is trial and error, as well as data from contributing resources such as Moz or Ahrefs.
They’ll be re-writing the content over the next 6-8 weeks and we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled and breaking down any interesting tidbits that come out of these updates.
Question #12: I'm considering starting a blog, but also considering blogging on LinkedIn. What are the considerations here?
This is another listener question we’ve received, and we’ve decided that we’re going to be numbering these questions for easier reference later on.
This question kicked off an in-depth discussion to creating content for LinkedIn, because it’s a platform that a lot of people don’t quite understand or are still trying to figure out how it fits into their strategy.
Overall, it depends on your strategy for your brand to help you consider whether or not you should be blogging on LinkedIn.
Quick tips for creating blog content and LinkedIn content
- Create a strategy or guidelines for yourself to help you understand why you would create content on your blog and/or LinkedIn. This will help you match your goals to your business objectives and help you decide what will work for you
- Don’t post the same content to your blog and to LinkedIn, making sure that you create content specific to the platform
- If you’ve got a great article on your site that you want to share on LinkedIn, it’s best to rewrite it for the platform and post that instead. This will also help to keep the information more timely and focusing on the LinkedIn audience
- The content you would create for your blog and for LinkedIn would be different, because the audience is different. Again, this depends on your strategy
- Writing content on your own blog will also contribute to your onsite SEO and can also contribute to your offsite if you’re able to produce enough quality content that constitutes a high-quality backlink to your site
An introduction to LinkedIn
Since Microsoft purchased LinkedIn, it has exploded from 100 million to 500 million users and counting. What once was an interactive job board has transformed into a content platform. It’s because the users of the platform have evolved the way they engage with it, understanding that it is another place to gain attention. LinkedIn has answered the call by introducing an Articles feature and allowing for native video on the platform.
It’s interesting to note that these two features are available to the individual alone, leaving businesses to only share text, links and photos. Businesses can still share video by using third-party solutions, such as Buffer.
A tale of two audiences
The difference between blogging and publishing articles on LinkedIn, is that your blog audience is going to be much wider, having come to your website by Google or a link from a social media post. Your LinkedIn audience is most likely going to come to you from within the platform itself, meaning that if you can build your 1st-degree connections, you’re going to have a somewhat guaranteed, but specific audience.
Contributing content to LinkedIn also means that you need to engage with the community by:
- Responding to comments on your content or messages to your profile
- Increasing your audience by building connections
- Interacting with the content that your connections publish
Your LinkedIn strategy
We mentioned before that it’s really important to create a strategy or at least some guidelines that will help you decide whether creating content on LinkedIn will help you achieve your business or digital goals.
It really depends on what it is you’re trying to achieve:
- Are you trying to increase organic traffic through to your website, to increase awareness and the chance of receiving leads?
- Are you trying to become an authority on LinkedIn?
- Are you trying to improve or increase your brand positioning?
You also need to decide what kind of content you’ll post. One of the things that put people off creating content for LinkedIn, is that they’re not really sure what kind of content people would be engaged in or what kind of content they should even be created in the first place. We listed a few ideas, but it’s always good to do a deep-dive on perhaps, what others in a field similar to yours are putting out there:
- A completed project you worked on and how you contributed
- An external link that will be valuable to your community, as well as your overview on the content which will help give it a personal touch
- An article about personal development, work hacks or an educational post
- Any kind of content that will help the audience with their business is always a good starting point