02-16-2016

A Blogger’s Guide To Working With Brands

We’re going to veer off the fitness topics today and talk about blogging and working with brands. If you’re not a blogger, I apologize for the long post! But come back this week for your “regularly scheduled programming.” :)

As you may or may not know, I am a social media consultant, and work with brands in helping them create social media campaigns and connect with bloggers in their niche. I obviously do more than that but the details would bore you haha.

So that is what led me to this post. On a daily basis, I’m perusing groups for links to share on client pages, communicating with bloggers, and setting up campaigns. In my communcations and interactions with bloggers, I’ve learned a few things that might help YOU as a blogger, and has helped me in how I work on my own blog.

The Blogger's Guide To Working With Brands | http://reach-yourpeak.com

Here are a few tips…and some tough love ;)

Set up your “tweet this” button properly

When I’m creating content calendars for clients, and searching for content, I can’t tell you how annoyed I get when I click a “tweet this” button so I can quickly grab a link from a blog post, and the twitter handle is @sharethis or some other generic handle. I then have to search the page for the blogger’s Twitter handle. This is probably my biggest pet peeve. I know other bloggers who have said, “if they don’t have their handle, I won’t share it because I don’t have time to search for their handle.” I do usually just search for the handle, especially if it’s a great piece of content, but it is an extra step. I know it sounds stupid and like, come on Patty just click on the Twitter logo and get their handle…but I know many other bloggers who share this sentiment! Make sure to add your handle to your “click to tweet” buttons.

Get the brand name right

This one seriously boggles my mind. A brand pays a blogger for a sponsored post, yet the brand name is written incorrectly? I know we all make mistakes but please review your post and make sure all brand names and links are correct. Not only am I the only one who has to hear it from the brand, it makes it less likely the brand will work with you again in the future, no matter how good your content or photos are. Double check everything.

Don’t be afraid to ask for compensation

Look, I’m going to be real here. Most brands will not email you and straight up say, “We’ll pay you XYZ.” We want to hear from you first, and see what your media kit and pricing packages look like. I know a lot of bloggers get annoyed when brands send them emails asking for a sponsored post but don’t include info about compensation. Brands want to get in touch with you first, see what you have to say/hear your ideas, review your  media kit, and then make a decision. So next time you get a generic email, just reply and ask if there is a budget for it. We (the brand) won’t be offended, and honestly expect that question. Whether or not it is in our budget is another thing, we (at least my clients) are willing to negotiate and see what we can do to make a partnership happen.

Go above and beyond

Now I’m not saying include all these extras for a lower rate, but when bloggers will continually tweet/pin/share links to our sponsored posts, even months after, that is noticed. When bloggers create detailed content with great images (especially pinnable images), it is noticed. Try to include as much info about the brand or product as possible, not just “check out XYZ, you can order it on their website here.” Make sure you’re telling a story in your post for your readers. Brands will  be looking at how much engagement your post gets (comments, social shares, etc.). These little things will make it much more likely the brand will want to work with you again. Some of my clients work with bloggers month after month because they like their stuff so much. 

That’s all I can think of now, but my number one take away for you is INCLUDE YOUR TWITTER HANDLE. lol. No seriously, my number one tip is to just create awesome content for brands, and trust me, they will want you to work with them regularly. Or perhaps even set up a contract for 6 months, a year, etc.

If you’re a health and fitness blogger, I actually created a Facebook group where you can share any content you want shared by me and my clients. I go through various groups on a daily basis, but figured this would be easier, especially for those who want their content shared. Join the group HERE.

What tips would you add? 

Do you have a blogging pet peeve? :)

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08-26-2014

Facebook News Feed Changes & What It Means For You

We’ve all seen it on Facebook.

You scroll through your feed and you see some outrageous headline like “10 ways to lose 10 lbs. in the next 60 seconds! Click to learn how.” Okay, that’s an exaggeration but you know what I mean.

Certain websites (ahem Upworthy) use click-bait titles to get users to click. Honestly, I never click on Upworthy stuff. I hate watching videos online. Unless I’m on YouTube looking fro a specific video to watch, I do not want to watch a video. I’d rather read whatever story it is you’re trying to tell me. Anyone else agree?

Anyway, the point of this intro is that Facebook is changing how these links will show up – woohoo!

facebook-updates

According to Facebook, this is their definition of click-bait:

Click-baiting is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see. Posts like these tend to get a lot of clicks, which means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed.

Facebook will try to make click-bait type posts less visible to users. While links like this might get lots of click throughs to the website, about 80% go back to their news feed pretty quickly because the actual article has not much to do with the headline.

If a link gets a lot of people quickly going back to Facebook, or not many users are commenting, liking or sharing a link, Facebook will make it less visible in your news feed.

But this isn’t the only update…

Facebook Links As Posts

This is a big change that I’m a fan of. Previously, sharing big photos on your business or brand page was what got more “views.” So people would share a photo and then add a link to it. Stop doing that! 

Facebook has determined that people are more likely to click on a link if it is in the link post format. You know…when you copy and paste a link as a status and the thumbnail image shows up? That’s what people (apparently) want. That format also allows people to see a short blurb or first few sentences of your post, which helps them determine if they want to click through or not.

From Facebook:

With this update, we will prioritize showing links in the link-format, and show fewer links shared in captions or status updates.

The best way to share a link after these updates will be to use the link format. In our studies, these posts have received twice as many clicks compared to links embedded in photo captions.

Random pet peeve: The “blah blah blah status update. links is in the comments!” I don’t know why this bothers me but it does. But if you do that, stop doing that too! Share your links as actual status updates and Facebook will show them to your fans more often.

We all know that Facebook Pages views has decreased and you have to work harder to get people to see your posts, so by implementing this change (and avoiding click bait) you increase the chances of getting your content out there.

Do you have a random social media pet peeve?

Do you like clicking on “Upworthy” type links?

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08-05-2014

How To Increase Your Facebook Page Likes

I get this question from clients all the time. Everyone wants more Facebook likes, and now that Facebook controls who sees your posts, everyone wants their “people reached” number to be high. But how do you do it?

facebook-engagement

What I tell people is that the number of likes you have on your page isn’t what matters. You could have 54,387 likes, but if no one is engaging with your brand (and if you’re a blogger, your blog is your “brand”), then who cares how many likes you have? You want quality fans who are interacting with your page.

I sent out a newsletter about this a few weeks ago on this topic, and used a fellow blogger, Slap Dash Mom, as an example.

 Her Facebook page is engaging and always has a ton of likes, comments, and shares. What I see a lot of bloggers do is just post links to their most recent post. And hey, it’s okay if you do, because I did that until recently too. I mainly focused on Twitter so I’d occasionally post on my Facebook page. But if you want to increase your page engagement and # of likes then you need to be posting regularly and NOT just about yourself (aka your own content).

That’s what Sadie of Slap Dash Mom does well. She posts funny memes, news updates, quotes, personal pictures & stories and updates about her blog. That’s probably why she has over 28K likes.

Here’s an example:

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 11.39.53 AM

I mean check out those numbers! Posting funny things always gets people talking and interacting – and that should be your goal. Her page also has questions to her fans like, “What’s your dinner tonight?” So simple and effective.

I’m still working on this myself. As you all know, social media takes time. Between Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+…all of that takes up a huge chunk of time. But if you are serious about increasing your numbers and traffic to your blog, then you need to make the time.

As I mentioned in my post on social media tools for bloggers using scheduling software can really help. I schedule posts right in Facebook, and use Tweetdeck to schedule my tweets.

AND now that Facebook has added a “save” tool, whenever you see something in your newsfeed you can now save it for later. Check it out below:

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 11.52.21 AM

I’m so glad they finally added this feature because I’d always see things in my feed that I wanted to read later on.

Keep in mind that 80/20 rule. 80% should be other content, and only 20% should be about you. Think about it – who wants to interact with someone who only talks about themselves?

Here are a few things you can share on Facebook (and even Twitter):

  • Ask questions, whether it’s something simple like “What’s for dinner” or “Would you rather…” type questions.
  • Share funny videos, memes, content, etc. Read something hilarious on The Onion? Share it! Even if it doesn’t fall under your blog niche, post it anyway.
  • What’s trending? Find what’s going on in current events, pop culture, etc. and share your thoughts on it.
  • How-tos and “lifehacks”
  • Share other bloggers’ content. It will help you expand your network and you’re helping out fellow bloggers.
  • Personal pictures. Out for a run? See something while out? Snap a pic and share it. Perhaps run a caption contest if it’s a humorous picture.

I’m sure there are many other things I can add to this list but this is just a starting point.

Homework: This week try to share one of each of these bullet points on your Facebook page and report back how it helped your engagement.

Takeaway: It’s how many people that interact with you that matters, not how many likes you have. The more people like, share & comment, the more people will be exposed to your page, which means your likes will increase! Create good content and followers will come.

For more tips, make sure to sign up for my social media newsletter! I’ll email you 1-2x a month with tips & trends in the social media world.

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What is your current Facebook strategy? What could you do better?

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04-29-2014

How To Increase Your Twitter & Instagram Followers

As some of you know, I have my own social media consulting business, and help businesses in my area with their digital marketing. 

One question I get regularly is, “How can I get more followers?” This doesn’t only apply to businesses…we all want more followers. So how do you do it?

Well, a key thing I tell clients is that I’d rather have 100 followers who love my brand and engage with me regularly, than 1,000 followers who never comment, like, share, etc. It’s time to stop focusing so much on the amount of likes, and focus on the quality of likes.

But that doesn’t mean I’m telling them it’s not possible to increase your followers…it’s still important to build up a good following if your blog is your brand or business. Here are a few tips for Twitter and Instagram, since they are pretty similar in terms of how to engage with others:

How To Get More FollowersPhoto Source: M i x y via Compfightcc

Search through relevant hashtags. As a fitness blogger and runner, some of the hashtags I regularly look at are #runchat #marathon #healthyeating #gymtime #fitchicks and much more. I scroll through the feed and find people I’m interested in following. I’ll add them to my feed, whether it’s Instagram or Twitter, so I can start engaging with their future posts. On Twitter, you can also make “lists.” I have a running list, fitness list, and tech list, so I can keep everyone organized based on my own interests.

Don’t be afraid to start a conversation. Since I just went through the hashtags and liked a few new pages that appeal to me, I’m not afraid to leave a comment on pictures that catch my eye, or ask them questions about something. This usually starts a conversation, and gets people to your page. This goes for Twitter as well. Look through hashtags and don’t be afraid to jump into the conversation and reply to someone. You may feel like a creep at first, but think of it this way: When someone randomly tweets you asking you something or complimenting you, do you think their creepy? Probably not. You probably feel good and love responding to comments that come your way.

Use hashtags on your photos or tweets. If you want people to find you, then you need to use hashtags. Just like you’re searching through hashtags to find people to follow, other people are doing the same. Make it easy for them to find you by using relevant hashtags. Don’t go crazy though, especially on Twitter. On instagram, pick 2-3 hashtags, then later in the day, add 2-3 more hashtags in a comment. That way people who are on Instagram in the evening, who may have not seen your picture in the morning, will see if if they are searching those hashtags. I feel like I said hashtag a million times here…did I make sense?

Don’t be afraid to post multiple times per day. If you are tweeting a link to your most recent blog post, are you only tweeting it once? You may be missing out on views and on people finding you. I suggest posting 2-3 times per day during your prime hours. You can find out when the most followers are on using Follower Wonk. Are you not posting multiple times a day because you feel annoying? Let’s say you post at 9 AM, but some of your followers only check their Twitter during their lunch break at 12 or 1. That means they probably won’t see your tweet, since it will already be at the way bottom of their feed. 

As I tell my clients, yes this takes time and work. But if you’re serious about building your brand, whether it’s your blog or business, then you need to make the time! Dedicate 30 minutes a day to doing these things, and you will not only gain new followers, but YOU will also find new people to interact with, and new content that will interest you.

*Are you a blogger or brand that needs help with your social media? Shoot me an email to chat!

What tips would you add to this list?

Do you tweet multiple times per day?

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03-10-2014

The Thigh Gap

Trigger warning: I will be somewhat discussing eating disorders.

When I first started my blog on Tumblr in 2010, a lot of posts I saw were “thinspo” or “thinspiration” which included pictures of girls with thigh gaps. It took me back to the days where a friend told me she wanted a thigh gap, and that your thighs shouldn’t touch. At the time, I wasn’t a personal trainer yet, so I didn’t think much of this, and didn’t think it was unhealthy or anything to want a thigh gap. I was remembering all of this because I saw Cassey from Blogilates posted on her Facebook page about searching for #thinspo, #thighgap and #skinny on social media platforms…I’ll get to that further below.

If you’re not sure what a “thigh gap” is, look it up on Google and a ton of pictures will show up.

thigh gap myth

The Problem

As with any desire to change a certain body part, it becomes a problem when it is something one obsesses over. From what I’ve seen through social media platforms like Tumblr, it seems that younger girls are really striving for this. Looking through the hashtags on thigh gap pictures, you may find things relating to eating disorders. There are lots of workouts that also target this “thigh gap.”

thighgapworkout

Why It’s A Problem

Having a thigh gap could be an unrealistic goal…something many girls may never achieve. Why? Because part of it depends on your hips. If you have wider hips, you may naturally have a thigh gap. If you have narrow hips, you probably don’t and won’t – no matter how many exercises you do. Here’s a good visual (and post explaining the thigh gap) I found on Tumblr:

thigh gap

Girls are chasing something that they may never achieve, and may be doing unhealthy things in order to get the thigh gap (like eating less).

Now, I’m not saying that people with thigh gaps are unhealthy. I’m saying that we shouldn’t be so focused on one body part, no matter what it is.

Social Media & Its Role

While social media certainly helps promote thigh gaps and helps girls spread these “thigh gap workouts” and “thinspo,” social media platforms are also doing a good job of letting users know that searching for these key terms isn’t necessarily healthy. Cassey from Blogilates reminded me of this (as I mentioned in the first paragraph). I knew Tumblr had a pop-up message, but wanted to explore other pages as well.

For example, when I searched “thigh gap” on Tumblr, this was the message I got:

thigh gap warning

I think it’s a great message, and helps to promote healthy goals, as well as possibly help those who need it.

Here’s a message from Pinterest:

pinterestthighgap

If you can’t read that it says, ” Eating disorders are not lifestyle choices, they are mental disorders that if left untreated can cause serious health problems or could even be life-threatening. For treatment referrals, information, and support, you can always contact the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 or www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

Cassey mentioned that no posts came up on Instagram for “thigh gap” and I searched as well, and it comes up as blank. However, if you search #skinny, a similar text pop-up as the Pinterest and Tumblr ones comes up.

Nothing yet for Twitter.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s thigh gaps, flat stomachs, “toned” arms, etc. I always feel disheartened when someone is so focused on one part of their body. Sure, I want to lose some belly flab, but I know that there are healthy ways to go about it, and also know that it’s possible I may never have a visible six-pack. As I mentioned, it’s a problem when something like this is obsessed over, and the sole goal of eating “healthy” and working out.

Like I said, I’m not bashing anyone with a thigh gap. We shouldn’t focus on whether or not we have one…but why not shift the focus to how strong our legs are? Girls should strive to make their legs stronger, whether it’s through running, lifting, CrossFit, etc.

I’m glad social media platforms are also standing up and trying to help those who may need it. It’s a step in the right direction.

What do you think about the thigh gap? Have you heard of it before?

Time to be positive: Leave a comment with your favorite body part and why you love it!

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05-21-2013

The Past Week

As I have mentioned a few times…the past week was super crazy! It was full of events and I was exhausted by the end of it but all were things I wanted to do. I figured I’d write a quick recap of what I’ve been up to! Don’t worry, my Brooklyn Half Marathon race recap is coming soon ;)

So, on Monday, my dad and I headed into NYC to visit the offices of Likeable Media and meet with the CEO and Founder, Dave Kerpen. I found out about Likeable Media at Social Media Week back in February. After that, I read Dave Kerpen’s book and decided to tweet at him to see if I could meet him for an informational interview. He replied! I wasn’t expecting that at all. My dad and I both met with him and asked for his insight into building our social media marketing business. He was so helpful, nice and funny! Plus, he also gave me a copy of his new book to read. It was a very informative meeting that really motivated me to keep moving forward with my business.

My dad with one of the freebies we got

On Tuesday, my sister and I headed up to NY again with one of my supervisors to the Westchester Digital Summit. We had no idea what to expect because it was so new, but the keynote speaker was Gary Vaynerchuk who is one of my entrepreneurial idols. We got to network a bit, attend some great media related sessions, but the best part was definitely Gary’s speech at the end of the day. If you’re into social media at all, or own a business and want to learn more about social media I highly suggest you check out his speeches. He’s hilarious and totally on point with where we are at in the digital world currently.

AND, I actually got to meet him and ask him for 1 piece of advice he would give me as I start to build my business!

Me and my sis

Okay…THEN on Thursday (sorry, this post may get long haha), my sister and I headed into NYC again to check out the Small Business Expo (waste of time) and go pick up my bib number for the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I won’t go into much detail here as there really isn’t any. The pre-race party area was pretty cool, but I was exhausted and didn’t feel like standing around to check everything out.

On Friday, I had a reception that Rutgers Recreation put on for the graduating seniors. It was a really nice event with catered food, and we were giving stolls to wear on graduation day. I have worked with a great group of students this past year and am sad that it has come to an end, but I am excited for all of the seniors who are graduating! They will certainly be missed.

My marketing team.

Saturday was the Brooklyn Half!! I have been building up to this since the end of January. It wasn’t my best race, but I’ll take it. That recap post is coming soon! Waking up at 4 am was not fun!

Lastly, Sunday was my graduation day! I received my Master of Education in College Student Affairs. I can’t believe another two years has gone by. It was a rainy day, but a great one. I loved having my family and boyfriend there supporting me and feeling how proud they were of me. Here are some pics from that day!

Dan and me

Me and my sis

Decided to get crafty with my hat

I’d post one of my whole family but it’s on my mom’s phone and I’m currently too lazy to go ask her to send it to me :-p

Overall, it was a great and eventful week! I am blessed to have so many people standing behind me and supporting me through me endeavors. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

I also am happy I have a bit of a running break now and can get back to some heavy lifting :)

Do you take running breaks after big races? Or do you train all year?

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