Tag: Social Media

Social media plays a crucial role in getting your content in front of the right audience. Read our articles to find out how to create the best impact from your social networks to help your wellbeing business grow with content marketing.

Why you need more than social media to grow your yoga business

Do you feel a bit lost when it comes to social media? Or feel like you’re spending too much time on it, but are just spinning your wheels, wasting your time? This post is going to help you get unstuck and find a different way forward!

Just because everyone else seems to be using social media, it doesn’t mean they’re actually getting good results from it. Even if some people rave about how it’s the key to a successful business, we beg to differ. Granted, you could put some of your marketing efforts into social media but it’s definitely NOT where all your focus should be.

In this post we’ll explain why social media isn’t the be-all and end-all, and give you some tips on what you can do instead to take your business where you want it.

Why we don’t offer a social media package

The simple answer: we don’t rate social media as a truly effective marketing strategy. It’s far more important to focus on your website and email marketing. These are the real tools you need to pull yourself out of the digital ditch that social media has thrown you into.

Now, you might be thinking, “Surely there has to be some benefit to social media?” And we agree, there is. It can be great for real-time conversations, quick messaging, polls and content sharing, and is ultimately an easy way of reaching your audience. But it can take a huge amount of effort to maintain if it’s your only method of growth. As soon as you’re not there, that conversation ends. And that’s less than ideal.

Ok, we understand that what we’re saying is almost a form of blasphemy in today’s society, so here’s a few more reasons to help put our point across.

Why social media is NOT an effective marketing tool

1. It flattens your experience

Social media can leave you with a very 2D view of how everything works. Imagine your first handstand. Whilst the end result was a success (hopefully), it was the process that went into learning it that gave you the biggest lessons! The same goes with growing your business.

2. You don’t own your hard work

When you post to a social media platform – unlike on your own website – you’re practically giving away your content to that platform. So, publish your content on your own website and keep what’s rightfully yours. You deserve it.

3. It can be hard to communicate

The purpose of social media is to be quick and easy to consume, but this can be seriously limiting when you’re trying to really connect and discuss deeper issues with your audience through a tiny character limit and one small photo. After all, yoga isn’t something you can rush. It should be practised with mindful care and attention – just like your communications.

4. It promotes addictive behaviour

In order for social media to really see major growth, it relies on you demanding the attention of an audience and creating a following for you and your brand. It may feel great while you’re riding the wave, but once you hop off, you’ll realise how caught up with ‘vanity metrics’ you’ve become. These likes, follows and shares may even start influencing what you do and how you teach.

5. It’s difficult to accurately measure

If you share an event for a yoga retreat or post a blog on social media, for example, it’s hard to know whether people who engage with your content become customers. There’s no real gauge of how effective your posts are, so you’re really just going on a hunch. Because of this it’s hard to improve, or see what can be improved, to help you focus your energy in the right places. Remember: if you’re not measuring it, it’s not marketing!

6. It’s a consciousness cul-de-sac!

As I’m sure you know, it feels real when you’re immersed in the virtual world, but it isn’t. People often use social media as a way of finding what they think is missing, or searching for an experience they’ll never find. It’s easy to get lost in the digital world and, unfortunately, this can lead to feelings of fatigue, unworthiness and even anxiety and depression.

It’s no coincidence that you’re having issues getting into the flow of using social media, when it’s made up of all the qualities that go against what we know and love about yoga and its philosophy. Quick and simple messages being chucked out thoughtlessly in the name of ‘growth’, but at the expense of your own mental state.

Ok, that got quite deep, but it’s important to know the truth behind the effects and downsides of social media before you commit so much more of your time to trying to make it work. On that note, have you seen The Social Dilemma yet? It’s definitely worth a watch!

So, let’s move on and look at what you can do to grow your yoga or wellbeing business without relying on social media for your growth.

What we recommend instead of social media

1. Perfect your messaging

It’s super important to be clear on what you’re offering and how you can help people. The best way to do this is to refine your messaging and communicate these aspects as clearly as possible.

Consider getting more personal with your audience. Social media leaves little room for personality within marketing and is often quite faceless. So, it’s a great idea to include your own journey and the story of how you got to where you are on your website. People love to know the story behind a brand, as it helps them connect to you in a more personal and relatable way. (But try to avoid navel gazing!)

If you need help getting clear on what you offer and how it helps people, take a look at our Brand Strategy Package. We’ll help you unpack your brand at a deeper level and refine your messaging to make sure you’re resonating with the right people in the right way.

2. Develop your branding

A strong brand is key for helping your audience remember you, whether they’re on your website, your emails, your social networks or any other marketing channel. Your brand needs to be instantly recognisable and consistent across all channels.

It may seem like a small detail, but your logo is absolutely crucial for creating a memorable impression of your brand in the blink of an eye.

Don’t forget: your logo needs a strapline and your business needs a ‘one-liner’ so that your potential customers can instantly see what you do. Check out our Logo & Style Guide Package if you need help developing your brand.

3. Blog to your heart’s content

As mentioned earlier, posting to your website means you’re publishing content that you own yourself, that will be there forever. In fact, if you aim to create at least some ‘evergreen’ content on your site, this means it will actually become more valuable over time.

You should aim to publish regular, high quality, original content in your blog that’ll stay relevant for years to come. This is a great way to keep people coming back to your website, and also gives you ready-made content to share in your email newsletters.

If you aim to publish posts that grow in relevance and popularity over time, this can be a great way of putting your time into something that can really help you grow, and is totally measurable.

4. Grow your email list

Once you’ve got your website set up right, with your messaging, branding and blogging all in place, then you can focus on email marketing.

Email marketing is still the most effective marketing channel and presents an awesome way to directly reach your audience. It even gives you an opportunity to personalise each email and add a nicer, more personal feel to your communications. As this recent Forbes article explains, “Email is the marketing channel most consumers say they want businesses to use to communicate with them.”

There’s no doubt that it’s more effective to promote yourself to engaged subscribers on your email list, than to send out a random social media post in the hopes that it might land in front of the right people. If they’re even paying attention…

The article goes on to say that “Email marketing still promises to deliver the highest ROI [return on investment] of all marketing channels.” Now, we don’t know about you, but if we’re putting a lot of time and effort into something, we want to be sure we’re getting the most out of it as possible!

So, go with what’s proven, start building your email list, and grow that community of engaged subscribers.

You’re on your way!

We know this might be a lot to take in, considering we’re often being told the perks of social media and how it’s all you need to be successful with your business!

But we think it’s so important not to lose sight of the other tried and tested marketing methods that are out there and ready for you to master. Plus, if you don’t feel comfortable using social media, you don’t have to!

As always, we’re just a click away if you need any help with your marketing efforts. So, book a free consultation and let’s get you set up.

Book a free consultation


How to use yoga images on social media

As a yoga business, you might not have pictured yourself being on social media as much as you are. If you’re not on social media yet, don’t waste your time trying to be on all channels — it’ll be too time consuming and draining for you. We listed the top social platforms in Which social media channels should your yoga business use? and gave suggestions on which platforms suit which types of yoga businesses, so this should help you prioritise..

When images aren’t properly formatted, your social media account could end up littered with blurry, poorly cropped images that look very inconsistent. In this article we lay out ways for you to avoid this so that you can clean up your account and have it looking more professional and engaging. You’ll learn how to edit photos individually per social media platform, as well as how to edit images in social media scheduling software like Hootsuite or Buffer.

Sourcing your images

First and foremost, you need high quality images of your business’s space, of you/your teachers in a staged class taken by a professional photographer. Tip: Maybe one of your students is a photographer and is willing to do a skill swap? If you can’t organise a photoshoot then the second option is to use externally sourced images.

If you find images from an external source, don’t simply do a Google search and grab images that you like, as this is going to be a copyright infringement of someone’s image. Instead, use a royalty free photo library like Unsplash, Pexels, PikWizard or Pixabay. When choosing an image from a photo library make sure that you choose a large version to download – around 2000px wide should do the trick. The next step will be to resize it, either in your scheduling software or in your individual social media accounts, so that it looks great on each platform.

Why does resizing my social media images matter?

It’s all about making a professional impression. If your images are strangely cropped or look blurry, people will most likely make an unconscious decision that your business is not professional. It’s a small thing, but first impressions count. And if you’re looking to attract a younger audience (under 30) then this generation are very social media and smartphone savvy.

If you don’t resize your images, you’ll also run the risk of the image not translating properly in your post. Why does this matter? Imagine that a potential yoga student found your social media account and saw nothing but poorly cropped, blurry images of your studio/yoga business. It could look like your shala is unprofessional or lacks the knowledge to post beautiful images.

Social media isn’t going to define your business or make/break it — being a good teacher with an approachable teaching style in a nice space is a lot more important. But, in the modern era, social media is your professional image, the first thing many new students will see. So, what you post sets up their expectations of your yoga business, how you teach and whether you take the time to make your images look good.

Also, ask yourself when was the last time you visited a social media account and saw blurry images that didn’t fit the posts — did that make you want to follow it? Then why should people follow your account unless you take the time to make it look professional?

How do I edit my photos on each social media platform?

In this section we cover how to edit an image on each of the 4 top platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Facebook

First, click the plus button to add a photo to your post and then click the paintbrush (edit icon).

From here, you can individually crop your image, add a filter to make it more visible, add text and/or ‘stickers’ like emojis, etc.

Next, schedule your post to be published on a future date. Why? So you can preview it before it’s published and check that it all looks ok.

Go to your page and click the ‘Publishing Tools’ tab at the top (depending on the device you’re using, it may be on the left-hand side of your screen).

Click on the post’s title that you want to view. As you’ll notice, there’s less space at the sides of the picture compared to the original, so the cropping worked and the image isn’t blurry as a result of the cropping. You can also test how the post will look on a mobile device, which is important because more than half of people access social media on a mobile device, like a tablet or smartphone.

Instagram

When you open your app, click the photo button as you normally would. If your image doesn’t fit properly, click the bottom left arrows that point away from each other.

After expanding the image, you can go through and find a filter that makes the image clearer to see (if it’s needed). Notice how Wildheart’s name and brand mark is cut off in the first image above. Now, look how it fits perfectly in the second image below — Instagram has several size variations (landscape, portrait, story-size, etc.), so you don’t have to worry as much about image sizing with Instagram.

LinkedIn

From your feed, click to make a post and from there, select the image button at the bottom.

As you’ll notice, LinkedIn may be the easiest platform because it automatically resizes photos to fit in a post.

You may be thinking, why use LinkedIn at all as a yoga business? We advised in our first post in this series that you may want to use your personal LinkedIn account to make informed, business-related posts and utilise your personal connections to grow your yoga business.

Twitter

Click the top right quill symbol to form a Tweet. Then, select to add an image (or it’s often already suggested to you to take an image with your camera, use a recent image, or click the mountain symbol below your camera icon to access your image library).

After you’ve selected an image, click the paintbrush (edit icon).

 

From here, click the crop button, which is second to the right in the bottom toolbar.

 

You can then edit your image to fit more precisely and, as you’ll notice, you can select what type of image you have — landscape, square etc. This can also help to simply cut away areas of the photo that are unnecessary, not just to make it smaller in general.

How to edit images with social media scheduling software

Wildheart’s advice: It’s a lot more efficient to schedule your social media posts in advance, rather than posting them on an ad hoc basis. This means you’ll be able to take control of how you spend your time on social media and also set an even schedule of posting. We recommend Buffer if you prefer using a mobile device and Hootsuite if you prefer using a desktop to schedule posts (a mobile device may be quicker, while a desktop will help you see the posts better).

Photo editing with Buffer

Click to add a post to share on social media — we chose Instagram as you can’t make any posts there unless they have a photo or video. From the post scheduler, click ‘Add photos or video’.

Click the ‘Edit Image’ icon at the bottom left corner of your image.

From here, the image automatically has the cropping ability on it. So, grab one of the corners and begin to drag — the background will begin to blur as you focus on the exact size you want. If you aren’t sure whether you really want to crop something, click the button second to the right and it will provide different proportions. All dimensions are set up so that when your post goes out, the individual platform will interpret the size and fit it into its dimensions.

Click the ‘Done’ button and there you have it. If you want to share a post from an outside source, like an article about the health benefits of yoga, drop the link into the post and then select ‘Add Media’ like you normally would — Buffer will give you ‘Suggested Media’ based on the post you’re sharing (the more images in the post, the more options Buffer will give you to choose from).

Photo editing with Hootsuite

From your desktop login, go to the ‘New Post’ button in the top-right corner.

Just like Buffer, you can either drop a link from an article you want to share, or simply select an image from the ‘Open Media Library’ if you want to make a post that’s paired with a visual.

Dropping a link gives you suggested images like Buffer, which makes it easy to create a post where you share an article you find interesting.

Click the ‘Edit Image’ button after you choose the picture you want.

From here, the great thing about Hootsuite is that you can visually see every major social media platform on the left-hand side of the screen. Depending on where you’re uploading to, select the dimensions for that platform that makes the most sense for your image or post.

As you’ll notice, each major platform is represented here and they all have different dimensions. Some of these platforms have a single, pre-set dimension they prefer. Most platforms want a landscape size, while Instagram has many options since their primary purpose is to share images/videos. As you might also notice, each platform has slight variations for its sizes even though most prefer landscape.

Over to you!

Now you know how important images are in your social media posts and how to make yours stand out. Keep in mind that if you want to save lots of time, scheduling your social media posts in advance is the way to go!

Of course, making sure your images look good is only one piece of the puzzle in creating unique, engaging social media posts for your yoga business. If you want to know how to make each of your posts distinct from each other, then check out our previous post in this series 6 tips to improve your yoga social media posts.

Or go back to Blog series: Social media for your yoga business.


6 tips to improve your yoga social media posts

It may seem that making one post for each of your social media channels is a quick and easy way to navigate social media. You can use scheduling platforms like Buffer, Hootsuite, HubSpot, etc. to write posts for the upcoming week, but that can quickly lead to scheduling the exact same post for each account. As it happens, Wildheart did this for a time until we learnt from Hootsuite that it’s better to not post the same message across all social media platforms, but re-write posts so they vary from each other.

If someone sees the same post on Facebook and Twitter, they may feel the post is less special and was simply churned out mechanically. In this article we share best practices for writing up social posts and how to avoid making all your posts the same. We offer six actionable tips that you can apply to your social media strategy straight away.

1. Tag people

Tagging people is the first step in diversifying your social media presence. If you want to share a blog post from another yoga business, an article on the health benefits of yoga, or to give a shoutout to a guest teacher at your studio, each of those businesses will have different accounts in use.

This is why if you just drop the name of the business or person in your post, they may never see it. Take the time to go through each individual post and tag them using the ‘@’ symbol wherever possible. Most companies’ username looks different on each account.

So, the easiest way to know whether you’re tagging the right person is to go onto their website and look for their social media icons. Typically, they’re in the footer of the website. If you can’t find these icons in the footer, you may need to do a manual search on each social media platform.

This is why a good logo and colour palette are important. Let’s say someone is searching for your yoga business’s social media, they’ll be looking for your logo and colours because they want to know that they’ve found the right account. Regardless, people are usually appreciative when you tag them on social media because it means that you care enough to take the time to look them up and give them credit for the post.

2. Change up your content

This is really quite simple and we’ll give you an example from our own scheduled posts. For each post, edit the words and phrases. What are you saying and how do you say it? Do you say that you’re, ‘excited for this special yoga teacher to come and visit’ your yoga studio? When you go to write the same post on a different social media channel, change it to, ‘we can’t wait for this amazing yoga instructor to visit our studio and teach their workshop’.

LinkedIn post example

Instagram post example

Notice how for LinkedIn we went with a more professional vibe versus a more casual approach for Instagram. So, we’re sharing the same link from the same post to add a coherence across our platforms, but we also make sure that each post is unique to the platform we’re posting on.

3. Watch out for the word limit

The word limit of your posts varies depending on the channel. Twitter only allows 280 characters, LinkedIn allows 1,300, Facebook 2,000 and Instagram at 2,200 characters.

A quick guide for social media word length: even if you have space in a post for more words, it doesn’t mean you should fill it to the maximum limit. More is not always better — carefully choose the words you want to use instead of putting down as much information as possible.

LinkedIn and Facebook posts can have more text, as people often gravitate towards those platforms for information. Twitter is the best place to practise featuring only the most crucial information. Instagram should also lean towards fewer characters — why, when there’s a larger character limit? Because Instagram requires visuals to accompany content, so followers focus on the image/video first and are less likely to read through a post with lengthy text (unless it’s from a celebrity or someone they’re close to).

So, a rule of thumb for the major platforms we’ve mentioned: when you upload videos, you may want your content to be shorter. If you have a dynamic photo, people will look for a description to find meaning behind the photo and that’s when you can expand the length of your content.

4. Edit your images

Edit your images to fit the particular platform you’re using. Don’t simply copy and paste without checking if the image looks good. If you aren’t sure how to edit your images for each platform, or how to edit an image using social media scheduling software (like Hootsuite or Buffer), then look out for our upcoming post teaching you how to do this.

One issue to watch out for is whether your image is landscape or portrait. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn prefer landscape images, while Instagram allows several different shapes. The bigger issue here is that Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have different preferred image sizes. So, make sure you edit your image to the correct dimensions before posting to each channel.

5. Timing is everything

Knowing when to publish your posts on each channel will mostly depend on your audience, which can take some experimentation. Common factors can include the type of followers on each channel, their age, sex, region, type of yoga they practise, and of course time zone. If you have some followers in Europe and others in the US for example, you’ll need to take this into account.

The key here is testing. You should run tests by posting for a certain amount of time — two weeks or a month at a certain time of day — and then change the time you post. After a couple of weeks, take note if there’s a change. It may not be apparent straight away, so you may need to change the type of posts you publish.

Wildheart’s advice for posting times:

  • Facebook — people tend to frequent Facebook in their downtime when work is done. So, mornings before work, evenings after work and weekends are best.
  • Instagram — people use Instagram to show adventures, yoga poses etc., which means that people need downtime to take these photos and videos, so evenings, nights and weekends are the most popular.
  • LinkedIn — since this is a professional site, early morning before work and lunchtime is most popular (think of someone at work and looking for business-related information during their breaks).
  • Twitter — since Tweets are so short, their purpose is for quick snippets of information. So, before work, mid-morning and lunchtime are popular times.

6. What about emojis?

Our advice is to use emojis wisely — all internet goers are bombarded on a regular basis with advertisements. Many of these ads try to be flashy and approachable, which is why they’re often overloaded with emojis. It can cheapen your posts and accounts if you use too many emojis.

So, here are our tips for using emojis in social media.

Don’t use emojis on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a more professional network and emojis aren’t always perceived as being professional. On the other hand, emojis are used frequently on Instagram, often on Facebook and occasionally on Twitter. Since Instagram is highly visual, and Facebook added an option where people can post their moods, emojis seem to fit naturally. Twitter doesn’t have much space, so only use them when they’re pertinent to your post.

How do you know when a post needs an emoji?

Don’t use an emoji simply because you like it or because you think your post needs one without having a concrete explanation as to why. There are many types of emojis these days, so find one that fits the scenario of the post. Are you answering a question? There’s an emoji of a person raising their hand. Are you curious about something? There’s an emoji grasping its chin and looking upwards, mimicking someone deep in thought. Whatever you’re posting, ask yourself if an emoji fits in naturally or helps to convey an emotion.

Make each post unique

Our last tip is to make each post unique. Copy and paste the content from a post on one platform to another, then edit the words and phrasing until it’s an entirely new post. It will be more work than copying and pasting everything word-for-word, but less work than writing an entirely new post for each social media account. Let’s say you begin on LinkedIn: If you copy and paste all the words into Instagram, edit the words, switch around the sentences and maybe add an emoji if it fits with the post. Soon enough, you’ll have an entirely different post that’s still about the same topic.

Wildheart’s takeaways

  1. Tag people/businesses from a post you found on their site.
  2. Edit/rewrite your content for each platform.
  3. Edit your images to fit on the particular platform.
  4. Don’t exceed your word limit (and don’t fill out a post right up to it, either).
  5. Find a good time to publish your posts and experiment with it.
  6. Only use emojis if they make sense for the post and platform.

Finally, remember that no more than a third of your posts should be self-promotional. People like to read and watch interesting things, they’re looking for information and to be entertained, so if all your posts are about how people should come to your yoga studio, your followers may not be very interested.

So, follow the above tips and you’ll soon have a more unique, diverse presence on social media. If you aren’t sure which social media platforms you should be on, then take a look at the first post in this series Which social media channels should your yoga business use? to get some advice.

Read the next post in this series

Check out the third and final post in this series How to use yoga images on social media.

Or go back to Blog series: Social media for your yoga business.


Which social media channels should your yoga business use?

A while back we shared a post advising businesses which social networks could benefit them the most, but as you know, a yoga studio isn’t any ‘typical’ business. Even among different yoga businesses, audiences vary based on what style of yoga you teach and whether you’re providing teacher training, community activities, retreats, therapies, etc.

Without social media, it can be a challenge connecting to a greater audience and maintaining casual contact with your yoga community. There are lots of social networks out there and being on all of them all the time can be draining when you’re busy running a business and teaching classes.

This post will help you avoid wasting time trying to manage social media accounts that aren’t serving you. We’ll cover looking at your audience, the function of social media, and summarise each social network to find the right channels for you.

Who’s your audience?

If you run a studio, what yoga styles do you teach? Are you a strict one-style shala, or do you have several teachers helping you to provide multiple styles? If you teach private classes in people’s homes, then what do you offer?

Do you know the general age groups that come to your classes? Do you have more classes for youths, parents or retirees? Do you cater more towards active styles or gentle styles? Do you teach at universities and businesses, or do you frequent festivals and parks? These are important questions and there are many more you could ask depending on your region, teaching background and personal yoga journey.

There’s never only one type of yoga for one type of person. On a large scale, it seems that younger and more ‘active’ people frequent Instagram, adults and retirees frequent Facebook, ‘professionals’ frequent LinkedIn, both middle-aged and younger home practitioners frequent Pinterest, and Twitter has a wide range of audiences.

Now, the above summaries aren’t absolutes — there are always exceptions and major differences for individuals. But it’s a quick way to glean what sites certain groups gravitate towards. Most importantly, think about what social media platforms your current students frequent and start from there.

Social media is the cherry on top of your marketing cake

At Wildheart Media we like to think of your marketing as a delicious, velvety cake. All cakes must have a solid foundation at their base, many will have a nice layer of icing on top of this, and some will even have a juicy red cherry on top! So, let’s find out what these delicious elements represent…

The cake

Your website has long-form content, which appeals to prospective students and also tells a story that new students can relate to. This is the foundation of your business’ online presence and therefore of your marketing cake. Your site most likely also provides class info, prices and a schedule; this is what will bring in new students, ultimately.

Your website has crucial information needed to convert someone from a one-time drop-in student to a recurring student. Websites can also take payments, host a blog and even provide an FAQs section.

Your website should be structured to take a new student on a journey with you so that they know what class they should try first and why. They can learn more about you and your community so that they can try to picture how they might fit into that story.

Social media simply doesn’t have the time or capacity to do all the above, let alone add a unique touch and style for your business (since all social platforms have only one kind of layout and design for everyone).

Website tips

  • Write specific content: don’t say ‘We teach yoga,’ say, ‘We excel in Iyengar yoga and emphasise holding poses longer with the assistance of props until you can reach the full extent of the pose.’
  • Have clear calls to action, e.g. ‘Sign up for a relaxing class here’ with a linked button.
  • Keep site structure simple, favouring clarity over too many options.
  • Publish regular content (like a blog or workshops) to show Google that your website is active and relevant.

The icing

The icing of your cake is your email marketing. Your website should have an area where students can subscribe to your mailing list. Remember, icing is sweet, so when you tell people they should sign up to your email list, it’s good to offer them an incentive, a goodie or two for subscribing. For yoga businesses, this might be sending a short video or PDF with a free yoga sequence.

If you’ve thought about email marketing, but aren’t sure how to get started, then check out our post on the 5 reasons why you should use Mailchimp for your email marketing.

The cherry

Social media isn’t meant to be the #1 tool to bring in new yoga students. Placing high expectations on that will lead to some big disappointments. That’s why it’s the cherry on top of your cake; it’s the perfect addition to the rest of your marketing efforts, but you can’t have just the cherry without the cake!

Put things into perspective and think about larger companies — have you seen certain Facebook or Instagram ads that feel cold or flat? There’s a reason for that — they’re trying to push out a product or service and that’s it; they’re not trying to make meaningful engagement with customers. Why? Because trying to make those connections takes time and effort when they’d rather use social media to push their sales.

Social media is a way to send out bits and pieces of your website’s content and show the world who you are, what you do and why you do what you do. It’s a way to build a community, interact with students outside of your studio and potentially reach new traffic.

Share relevant content about what you do — something that interests you — that way you can build an audience who’ll find that same content interesting to them. Sharing your interests will bring you a stronger base of followers, rather than people wanting to follow you because they like the aesthetic of yoga pictures.

Social media tips

  • Share relevant content to what you do.
  • Don’t make more than 25% of your content self-promotional.
  • Use a handful of relevant hashtags, not a heap of random hashtags.

Social media is a way to direct this new traffic towards your website, which will do the rest of the work of telling them why they should come to your studio.

The top 6 social media platforms

In this section we look at the pros and cons of the top 6 social media platforms, to help you decide which one is right for your yoga business. We consider the top 6 channels to be:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Facebook

Highly recommended for most yoga studios and yoga businesses. On Facebook, you can create a business page where you can add events, opening hours, location, contact information, and best of all — you can schedule your Facebook posts. So, if you want to post about a time-sensitive event or you just want to schedule some content to keep your Facebook page active, you can set this up in advance.

You can also see information on your published posts like whether someone clicked on an embedded link, e.g. grabbing an event’s link from your website and dropping it into a post will link a previewed picture and Facebook will tell you how many people clicked on that link.

If a post does particularly well, Facebook will bring attention to it and ask whether you want to pay to boost the post. Boosting a post acts as an ad, which can be very helpful if you’ve thought about making a Facebook ad before, but weren’t sure what would perform well.

If you’re hosting a special event or workshop, then putting that event on Facebook itself and not just in a post is extremely helpful because you can invite all your friends and acquaintances to attend it.

Facebook is also, without a doubt, the biggest social media platform in the world. It’s also known as a place where people relax on their downtime and engage with casual posts that interest them. So, posts about hobbies and fitness, like yoga, usually do well.

Instagram

Highly recommended for all yoga businesses. Now, Instagram can be tricky to navigate. There are celebrities and fitness-oriented people using this app to make glossy videos and photos. This can feel impossible to compete with, but don’t worry, it is possible!

Authentic accounts do much better on Instagram. Followers pick up on people and businesses that make authentic posts. Followers also enjoy it when you respond to their comments on your posts — this starts to build a community.

Instagram is the perfect place for you to upload pictures and videos of you teaching and interacting with your community. Instead of only publishing content about you and your practice, publish student-oriented posts. Potential students will see that and start to picture themselves as being part of your community.

The ability to upload ‘stories’ can help you better interact with followers, too. If you feel that you want more views on a particular post, you can share it to your story by selecting a post and then clicking the little arrow next to your comment and like button. There are all kinds of features you can use with your stories like small questionnaires, emojis and gifs. These stories stay up for 24 hours and are shown at the top of Instagram’s home tab, so they’re easy for your followers to see.

Quick tip: Links used to be active when you put them in a post, but since Facebook purchased Instagram, they don’t allow this anymore. You can add one link in your profile, which should be to your website. But what happens when you want to link to class info, events or a blog? We recommend using Linktree.

With Linktree’s free version, you can have up to 3 links in your profile. Then, in a post, you would direct followers to go to your profile’s description to click a specific link. If you publish a new blog post, you can prompt them to follow the “blog” link in the description. It’s not perfect, but it works well.

LinkedIn

Recommended only if you already have a sizeable amount of connections there. LinkedIn isn’t for a yoga business to post and connect, it’s a ‘professional’ place that talks strictly about business. You could set up your business on LinkedIn, but it isn’t a place to share funny yoga posts. So, as a yoga business owner, you could use your personal LinkedIn profile to engage with other people about the business side of yoga.

You can write articles with more professional and refined topics — posts discussing running a yoga business or maybe the health benefits of yoga. Topics that are more on the physical side would do best here. Philosophical posts most likely won’t land well on LinkedIn.

Having this professional edge will help if you want to reach out to your connections and ask them whether you could teach at their business. Since LinkedIn is a place for professionals, showing that you’re a yoga professional will give you certain credibility that channels like Facebook or Instagram can’t.

Pinterest

Recommended only if you own a yoga studio and teach multiple types of yoga. On Pinterest, you can create boards where you can add a collection of photos and/or videos. These boards could be yoga sequences or classes that you’ve taught or it can be a way for you to collect certain yoga poses centered around their posture type.

Pinterest allows you to share these boards with your students, so in an email campaign you could link a Pinterest board to give a new student a free yoga sequence for them to try at home. If you teach multiple styles of yoga like aerial (swing), Ashtanga and Iyengar, then Pinterest would be a great way for you to make multiple boards to share what kinds of poses and sequences each style includes.

Pinterest itself isn’t the strongest platform to try and connect with potential students. It’s mostly a place for you to showcase your class types and what yoga your studio offers, if you own a studio.

Twitter

Recommended if you take to Twitter well, you like the setup and function, you already personally have a large group of followers, or you know that many of your current students are on there already. Twitter is almost a combination of LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. There are professional audiences, audiences for leisure and passing the time, and audiences who follow niche subjects like yoga.

Since Twitter has such a mixed audience base, it can be tricky figuring out who to pitch to. The important thing is that Twitter will work for you if you like making lots of short posts, versus Facebook and LinkedIn where longer content is the norm. If you have a blog, then you can prompt people to tweet certain lines of your post that you think are tweet-worthy. So, it’s great for sharing short quotes and snippets of information.

YouTube

Recommended if you own a yoga studio and provide teacher training, any kind of non-traditional yoga or a very niche yoga style. YouTube is not the place to find new customers to come to your business, as people browse YouTube from all over the world. But what YouTube does well is give you the ability to link videos to your website.

So, if you provide teacher training, you can make a video where you or a fellow teacher is reading a section of the curriculum, teaching teachers in training, or demonstrating how you structure your lessons, e.g. if you teach students an adjustment class as part of their training, then you can showcase that. You can host your videos on YouTube and then use the share function to embed them on your website.

If you teach a niche yoga style like Kundalini or aerial, it may be hard for potential students to visualise what that class looks like. New, potential students can often be afraid of the unknown, so making a video to talk about the yoga style or show a sequence is a good idea for YouTube.

You can also make videos of your students giving testimonials about your business, or you can make videos of your fellow teachers and partners talking about your business. This will provide potential customers with ‘social proof’, which can be very powerful.

The downside with YouTube is that there are many professional ‘YouTubers’ for whom making videos is a business in and of itself. Also, to be successful, you ideally need to make videos that have a high-resolution, great sound quality and brilliant lighting. This takes more time and effort than all of the other social media platforms, so if you want to get on YouTube, plan ample time for editing your videos, or make several videos first before creating an account so that you can be prepared.

So, which social media channels should you choose?

Here’s what Wildheart recommends:

  • Definitely use Facebook.
  • Definitely use Instagram.
  • Use Twitter if you have a blog, if you know you have students/contacts on there, or if you personally have a lot of followers already.
  • Only use Pinterest if you own a yoga studio and teach multiple types of yoga, or you have another good reason to create and showcase different boards.
  • Only use LinkedIn if you personally have a lot of connections.
  • Only use YouTube if you offer teacher training and/or a niche yoga style(s) that you want to showcase.

No matter the type of yoga business you have, or what styles of yoga you teach, it’s a good idea to utilise social media. The most important takeaway is to not get overwhelmed and either choose every platform or think it’s too much work and be on none. Just pick 2 or 3 of the networks you like the most, you think will benefit you the most, and the ones you think are the best fit for your particular yoga business — then stick to them. Consistency is key to building up an online presence. You can’t simply post once a week and expect new students right away.

If your business is more traditional and likes to avoid social media because it seems like a fad or compromises your traditional approach, then we recommend you use social media to show people your business’ story and uniqueness. There are students and potential students on social media who may feel disenfranchised by ‘mainstream’ yoga, so be an authentic presence and try to connect with yogis seeking a business with deeper ambitions than just a few likes. Your vibe attracts your tribe, after all.

What next?

Now that you’ve read our advice, go try out the platforms that sound right for you. And, most importantly, have fun with it! If you don’t enjoy using a particular social media platform, this will come across in your posts, so choose the channels you feel most comfortable using.

If you have any questions or thoughts about our suggestions, then leave a comment below — we’d love to hear from you.

Read the next post in this series

Read part 2 of this series 6 tips to improve your yoga social media posts.

Or go back to Blog series: Social media for your yoga business


Marketing Tip #2: Facebook’s invaluable marketing tool

Our new Marketing Tips category features a series of videos from Wildheart’s Content Queen, Hannah. We’ll be sharing hot marketing tips via screencast videos, so you can see exactly how to do it yourself – making your life just that little bit easier!

Facebook’s best kept secret

In this month’s video Hannah shares a really helpful tool from Facebook for anyone wanting to share their web pages and blog posts on this network. It’s particularly useful if you want to re-share your content after updating the social media image or SEO data.

Watch our 3-minute video or read the transcript below.

Video transcript

[00:00] Hi, it’s Hannah from Wildheart Media here and welcome to our Marketing Tips video series. If you want to make sure your web pages and blog posts look great when you share them on social media, make sure you check out the first video in this series.

[00:15] In today’s video I’m going to show you how to make sure you’re always getting the latest social media image and SEO [search engine optimisation] data displaying when you share your pages and posts on Facebook. Now, this image is often referred to as an ‘og image’ and that stands for ‘open graph’, and open graph is basically the integration between your website and Facebook. Now, this is particularly useful if you’ve updated something on your page or post and you want to re-share it on Facebook, because what Facebook does is it always uses the cached version of your data, so when you change something you need to force it to update itself, to make sure that it’s displaying the right information when you share it.

[01:02] So, there’s a really useful tool that you can use to do this, and that tool – da da dah – is: the Facebook for Developers Sharing Debugger. So, this is on the Facebook for Developers website and I’ll put a link to this below the video. So, you can see here that we’re in the Sharing Debugger section and it says “Enter a URL to see the information that’s used when it’s shared on Facebook.”

[01:30] So, let’s say I’m going to share the Wildheart Media Yoga Businesses page. So, maybe I’ve changed something on this page, maybe I’ve updated the image or the SEO data, and I want to re-share it on Facebook. So what I’m going to do is copy that URL and just paste it into this field here and click Debug. And what you see, if you scroll down to this Link Preview section here, this will show you exactly how it’s going to display when you share it on Facebook. So, I can check I’ve got the right title here, the right description, and the right image is all pulling through.

[02:12] And, if you’ve changed something and that new information is not pulling through here, all you need to do is hit Scrape Again, and you can just keep hitting that button as many times as you need to until it pulls the right information through. You might have to hit it a few times, but basically that will force it to update its data, and then once you can see the Link Preview here is pulling through all the right data and the right image, then you can go ahead and share it on Facebook.

[02:45] So, that’s a really useful tool if you’re sharing any web pages or blog posts across Facebook, especially if you’re updating something and you want to make sure that that latest data is going to pull through when you share it. A really useful tool – the Sharing Debugger from Facebook for Developers. OK, I hope that was useful and I’ll see you next time. Thank you. Bye!


Marketing Tip #1: Sharing posts and pages on social media

Our new Marketing Tips category features a series of videos from Wildheart’s Content Queen, Hannah. We’ll be sharing hot marketing tips via screencast videos, so you can see exactly how to do it yourself – making your life just that little bit easier!

How to get your posts and pages ‘share-ready’

In this month’s video Hannah shares two important tips for getting your blog posts and web pages ‘share-ready’. You can’t control where and when your content gets shared across social media, but you can control how it displays when it gets shared.

Watch our 5-minute video for our hot tips, or read the transcript below.

Video transcript

[00:00] Hi, I’m Hannah from Wildheart Media. In today’s video I’m going to give you a couple of tips for sharing your blog posts and web pages across your social media channels. Now, it’s important that your posts and pages are share-ready, because you can’t control how or when other people share these pages on their social networks, but what you can control is how they’re displayed when they’re shared.

[00:26] Now, the example I’m going to use today is Facebook. So, here I am on the Wildheart Media Facebook page, and here is a blog post that we’ve recently shared. And you can see here, we have a beautiful image and the blog title and blog description have pulled through here. Now, we haven’t done this manually, so I’m going to show you how to add this information to your blog post so that it displays on your Facebook page like this.

[00:50] So, I’m going to go into the back-end of this post, Do you need to create digital products for your yoga business? Now, I just want to say – and you’ve probably noticed that we’re in WordPress here – we always build all our websites in WordPress, because we believe it is the most flexible and most customisable [Hannah: “and best supported”] web platform. But, whichever web platform you’re using, you should be able to do this in a similar way.

[01:15] So, if I scroll down on this page, you can see here there’s a section for ‘Post SEO Settings’. Now, the plugin we’re using here is called The SEO Framework. There are many different plugins you could use and one of the most popular is Yoast, so your SEO settings might look a little different to this, but they should all have the same general information. So, here you can see the post title and post description – which are these sections here that pull through to the Facebook post. And, if I click on the ‘Social’ tab here, this is where you can set the information for your social networks. So, we have the Open Graph title and description – and Open Graph basically means Facebook; it’s the integration with Facebook – and the Twitter title and description.

[01:59] Now, the SEO Framework plugin only requires one image to cover both of these social networks, so here’s the ‘Custom Social Image URL’. If you’re using Yoast, for example, they do require two different images, because Twitter and Facebook have different optimum image dimensions, so we do recommend following those recommendations and uploading two different images with the optimum sizes for each. Now, if I click into ‘change image’ here, you can see there’s a note at the top saying ‘Suggested image dimensions: 1200 x 630 pixels’. These are the optimum dimensions for Facebook, so every image you share on Facebook should ideally be this size. And, if I click into this image here, you can see that’s the exact size of this image already. Now, we highly recommend that you always resize your images first to the correct dimensions, before uploading them to your WordPress Media Library.

[03:00] Ok, so that’s the image that we have in place here. Remember, if you’ve made any changes to this page, always click ‘Update’ before you leave to save your changes. So, entering your data – your title, your description and your image – into the ‘Social’ tab of your SEO settings is what’s going to pull through to your social network channels, exactly how it’s displayed here on this Facebook post.

[03:25] Now, there’s just one more tip I want to give you. And, let’s say I’m going to share this post again on Facebook. So, let’s go up and let’s imagine we’re writing a new post. So, there’s the text we want to add and I want to add the link to the post. So I’m going to copy it from this page and I’m going to paste it into my Facebook update. Now, as you can see, as soon as you paste the URL there, all the SEO data is pulled through – the image, the title and the description.

[04:05] Now, one mistake that a lot of people make after doing this is simply hitting ‘Publish’. However, this final tip is going to make your posts look a lot more professional, because what we recommend you do is delete this URL. Now, as soon as the preview has appeared, and you can see this information, you can go ahead and delete this link, and you can see that it stays there. Now, the reason we suggest doing that is because it looks unprofessional and it distracts attention away from what you really want them to look at. So, this is your link here; you don’t need an extra link in the text. And, especially if that URL is very long – it might span two, or even three, lines – it’s not going to look very professional. So, we would suggest: always delete your URL once your preview has generated. Then you can go ahead and hit ‘Publish’.

[05:00] Ok, so I hope those tips were useful, and if you’ve got a marketing question, or you would like any tips, just fill out the form below, and we’ll include it in our next video. OK, thanks and see you next time. Bye!


How to attract more students to your yoga retreats and workshops

If you saw the last post in our Art of Marketing Your Yoga Business series, you’ll know that email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to build your yoga community. Building a community is really important, as your business will gain popularity and respect, and your students and visitors will be encouraged to keep coming back for more.

But, what else can you do to get more bums on mats, especially when it comes to yoga events? In this week’s post, we answer that all-important question every yoga teacher and studio owner needs to know – How do you sell more places on your workshops and retreats?

Standing out from the crowd

The problem these days is that everyone’s doing the same thing. You don’t need to look far online to find countless weekend workshops, multi-day intensives, retreats, holidays and other special yoga events being offered all over the world in any given month.

So, the trick is how to stand out. What do you offer that’s different? What’s your unique spin on this event? What makes your workshop special? Even if on the surface you don’t think your event is all that different, if you dig a little deeper, you’re bound to find the answer. As a teacher, you don’t teach in the same way as everyone else; you have your own unique style. Therefore, you naturally bring elements of your teaching style to your events.

We’d encourage you to spend a little time working out what makes your yoga business, or you as a yoga teacher, different. You’ll need these for your 3-pronged approach – all is about to be revealed!

The ‘trident’ approach to increasing yoga event bookings

In our experience, a single marketing method alone isn’t usually enough to reach a wide audience; that’s why we’ve developed a 3-pronged approach, aka the trident, to increasing your event bookings.

Remember our marketing cake? Well, our trident follows a very similar format. First, you need to have a good strong foundation in place for the base of your cake (your website and, more specifically, the page on your website for the event you want to promote); then you need to use the power of the email marketing icing to reach out to your loyal, engaged mailing list; and finally, you can pop the social media cherry on top, in the form of Facebook advertising:

  1. Event landing page on your website
  2. Email marketing campaign
  3. Facebook ad

So, let’s get baking and dive in a little deeper!

1. Event landing page

The first thing you need to do is create a strong landing page for your event. This is a page on your website that’s dedicated purely to this event, which has its own unique URL (web address) and includes all the details in a clear, easy-to-read format.

The best way to think of this page is as a sales page. Now, we know most people don’t like to think of ‘selling’ when it comes to yoga, but if you don’t see your yoga events as a service you’re selling, then you’re unlikely to be very successful.

Like any good sales page, your event landing page must focus on the WHY first. Most people tend to start with the WHAT and the HOW, but we think this is a mistake. In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to feature the most important element first – WHY should people book your event? This is a chance to capture their imagination and get them excited!

So, this is where you need to bring in your ‘stand out from the crowd’ points. You could use a strong ‘one-liner’ at the top of your page to explain what lies at the heart of your event; you could feature a list of reasons why this event is different; or you could simply include a paragraph of text giving people a feel for what they can expect when they book.

Your landing page should include clear, easy-to-read text, broken into short paragraphs, with striking images to help break up the text and give a visual flavour of the event. The important details, like dates, location and cost can appear at the top and bottom of the page, and must be accurate. It’s a good idea to include some testimonials if you have some, of previous similar events.

At the bottom of the page you need a very strong call to action. How do people book? Is there a booking form? Should they contact you directly? How do they pay? Is there a deposit? How and when do they pay the remainder? Make sure this information is very clear and that all links and forms have been sufficiently tested. It’s surprising how the smallest of obstacles – like missing information, a broken link or a button that doesn’t work – can stop people booking.

And don’t forget the elements of the page that you don’t actually see on the front end. We’re referring to the SEO data, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Your website should have an SEO plugin that allows you to set elements such as a focus keyword, SEO title, SEO description and social media images. If it doesn’t, we recommend installing The SEO Framework. This is particularly important if your event is several months away, as your landing page can be a great source of organic search traffic, i.e. people naturally discovering the event through searching online.

So, in summary, each event that you want to promote should have its own landing page with the following features:

  • Unique URL
  • Striking images
  • Event details – the WHY, the WHAT, the HOW
  • Location/dates/price
  • Testimonials
  • Strong call to action – how to book
  • Accurate and relevant SEO data (in the back-end)

Here’s one we made earlier…
We recently did some work with Heather Elton of Elton Yoga to help promote her Teacher Training programmes. Here’s part of the landing page we created for her Teacher Training in London:

Elton Yoga - landing page

2. Email marketing campaign

Once you have your dedicated landing page in place, you can now start shouting about it! A good place to start is with your mailing list, as your subscribers are already engaged with your yoga business and interested in what you offer.

You can create an email campaign either for your entire list, or for a relevant group if you’ve set up opt-in groups. You should include a brief outline of the event – again, the WHY is the most important element here – with a clear call to action, i.e. a link to the landing page.

The subject line of the email should be enticing enough to encourage people to want to open the email to find out more. For help with this, check out How to write email subject lines that get results.

Your email should be short and sweet – don’t go into too much detail about the event here, as the action you really want people to take is to click through to your landing page. So, think of your email campaign as the teaser trailer and your landing page as the main feature. It’s a good idea to use the same image and other design elements as the landing page, as this visually ties the two together and helps to set people’s expectations when they land on the page.

If you have more than one event to promote, it’s fine to include them in the same email. But make sure you include the correct link to each landing page, and make sure the differences between the events are super clear.

In summary, your email campaign should include:

  • Compelling subject line
  • Brief summary of the event, primarily the WHY
  • Similar design elements to the landing page
  • Clear call to action – link to the landing page

The double tap
For bonus points… If you’re using MailChimp or Drip, you can duplicate your campaign and send it to a segment of your audience 2-3 days after you first sent it, i.e. only to the people who didn’t open your last campaign. This should give you around 10-20% extra opens. Remember this is not spam – your audience are just busy and it’s easy to miss an email, so they’ll probably appreciate the reminder. It’s a good idea to tweak the subject line so it’s not exactly the same as the first email, e.g. “In case you didn’t get this…” or “Have you seen this event yet…?”

Here’s one we made earlier…
Here’s a screenshot of the email campaign we sent to Heather Elton’s mailing list to promote her London Teacher Training programme. The ‘Book Now’ button takes people straight to the landing page we showed you above:

Elton Yoga - email campaign

3. Facebook ad

The final prong of your approach is to send out a Facebook advert, promoting your event to a far wider audience than your mailing list alone. We would recommend only focussing on Facebook for this, as it’s by far the largest social network and their advertising capabilities are actually very sophisticated.

In order to start creating adverts, you need to have a company Facebook page set up. This is a dedicated business page, which is completely separate from your own personal profile. If you don’t already have one, this is your first step. And something we’d highly recommend.

Again, when creating your advert, you should keep the copy short and sweet, but compelling – always focus on the WHY. Attracting more bookings for your event is even harder here because you’re trying to appeal to complete strangers, rather than your loyal, already engaged, email subscribers.

It’s important to get your targeting right, so think about the locations in the world where people are likely to book. Where do most of your bookings come from? Start there, then widen the reach if necessary. Think about the interests you want to include. If you only include people who are interested in ‘yoga’, your reach will be far too wide. So, come back to your USPs again and think about your niche offerings. Are there categories that cover these?

You can also schedule your advert to go out at certain times of day. So, thinking about your target audience, what are their movements likely to be? Are you trying to attract people who tend to work a 9-5 day and are therefore more likely to be looking at Facebook during their commute or at lunchtime? Or are you appealing to people who are likely to have a regular, early morning yoga practice? Perhaps around breakfast time, late morning, or early evening would be better for them?

It’s important to keep checking in on your advert and tweaking it if it’s not performing as well as you’d like. If you do make changes, we’d recommend only changing one element at a time, so you can test whether it makes a difference to the results.

For a more detailed guide to creating Facebook adverts, read How to create targeted Facebook ads for your business. And remember: social media is an important part of your marketing strategy, but you shouldn’t rely on this alone. The main purpose of social media is to drive traffic back to your website; in this case, specifically your event landing page.

In summary, your Facebook ad should:

  • Focus on the WHY
  • Include an amazing image
  • Link people to your landing page
  • Have the right targeting
  • Be frequently tested, reviewed and tweaked

Here’s one we made earlier…
This is the Facebook ad we created for Heather Elton’s London Yoga Teacher Training. Again, the ‘Learn More’ button takes people straight to the landing page:

Elton Yoga - FB ad

How Wildheart can help

Does this all sound like too much hard work? We can work on an hourly consulting basis, delivering exactly what you need. We’ll work closely with you to work out your priorities and goals, then get to work implementing these as efficiently as possible.

See how we’ve helped our clients

Read the next post in this series

Creating landing pages, sending email campaigns and posting Facebook ads is all well and good, but how do you know if your yoga marketing is actually working? That’s the question we’ll be answering in our next post of this series, as we get into some serious number crunching – because if you’re not measuring it, it’s not marketing!

Or go back to Blog series: The art of marketing your yoga business.


Content Kitchen 7: In this social media age do I even need a website?

Brought to you on the first Friday of each month, Content Kitchen is a series of videos in which our co-founder Guy answers your content marketing questions. Why Content Kitchen? Because they’re recorded in Guy’s kitchen of course!

Do I even need a website?

As the power of social media increases, you could be forgiven for wondering whether it’s still relevant to have a website at all. Well, the simple answer is yes, definitely!

In this month’s video, Guy gives his top 3 reasons why you absolutely need a website in order to ensure the growth, and therefore the success, of your business.

What next?

One of Guy’s reasons in this video as to why you still need a website is to do with ownership. Who owns the content you publish online and how does this differ across your website and social media accounts?

Read our follow-up post Sharing and ownership: 2 keys to your content kingdom to find out more.


The anatomy of an awesome Tweet

As we saw in our post Which social networks should my business use? Twitter now has over 320 million active users worldwide. So if you’re not already using Twitter for your business, it’s worth signing up.

But with only 140* characters to play with, it’s actually harder than you think to write effective Tweets. How do you get your message across effectively and in the right tone? How do you include a compelling call to action? And how do you start increasing your followers to drive more traffic to your website?

*Great news! As of December 2017, Twitter doubled the maximum characters to 280.

Two types of Tweet

In our experience there are generally 2 types of Tweet:

  1. broadcasts
  2. conversations

Broadcasts are Tweets in which people simply share their content or broadcast their message to their followers. These kinds of Tweets are very common and often created by those who don’t ‘get’ Twitter, as they lack the power of a conversational Tweet. We’re not saying there isn’t a use for broadcasts, but it’s generally better to focus more on conversations.

Conversations on Twitter are much more powerful as they’re about sharing value in the context of a conversation. These can typically be a question to an individual/company or sharing content that is relevant to that person/company. If you hit the mark you’ll get likes, mentions and retweets off the back of your Tweet, which has the network effect of being seen by a lot more people!

There’s no hard and fast rule, but generally conversational Tweets are preferred.

Crafting your Tweet

With only 280 characters available, EVERY CHARACTER COUNTS! Each character is like gold dust, taking up precious space in your Tweet.

Whether you’re sending a broadcast or conversation, here’s our 5-part breakdown to writing an awesome Tweet:

1. The hook

This is the main part of your Tweet and should be a question or statement that is interesting, fun or intriguing enough for people to read on.

Twitter users are generally looking to be informed and entertained. They want news updates, interesting content, discounts and special offers. So you need to make sure your Tweets are engaging, represent your brand personality, and include a compelling call to action.

The call to action is the most important part of your Tweet. What action do you want your followers to take? Click on a link? Retweet your post? Whatever the call to action, make sure it’s clear and simple.

2. The link

More often than not, the goal of your Tweet will be to drive your followers to a blog post, a web page or some other landing page. So you’ll need to include a link, or URL.

Courtney Seiter of Buffer claims that:

“Link clicks are by far the biggest way users interact with content, accounting for 92% of all user interaction with Tweets.”

“But how do I fit my URL in with only 280 characters to spare?” I hear you cry! Well, that’s where URL shorteners come in. These are handy tools that compress your URL into far fewer characters, no matter how long it is to start with.

One option is to use Twitter’s built-in shortener, http://t.co, which automatically shortens any URL you enter. But this will alter a URL of any length to 23 characters, even if the link itself is less than 23 characters long. So you may end up losing some of those precious characters.

A better alternative is to use a URL shortener like Bitly, Ow.ly or TinyURL, the first 2 of which allow you to track your click-through rates as well as saving your character count.

At Wildheart we use Bitly to shorten our links when sharing them on social media. Many consider Bitly to be the No.1 choice when it comes to URL shortening, so it’s good to know we’re on the right track!

3. A relevant hashtag

Hashtags are a way of relating your Tweets to a specific topic. They’ll help your Tweets get found more easily (when people search for the topic), and allow you to more easily engage with wider discussions occurring within that topic.

You can search for existing hashtags using the Twitter search field, or if you’re writing on a broad topic that’s likely to already have a hashtag, just go ahead and apply it, e.g. #contentmarketing or #socialmedia.

You can also start your own hashtags if you want to encourage activity in a niche area, or if your business is running a promotion. For example, we might invite our followers to enter a competition by using the hashtag #wildheartgiveaway.

A word of warning: you should never use more than 2 hashtags in any Tweet. Also, if you’re sending a conversational Tweet to someone new, you might want to leave out hashtags altogether, as they can come across as a bit ‘spammy’.

4. Mention someone relevant

Another useful tool to use in your Tweets is the @mention. When you mention another Twitter user they will see your Tweet, allowing you to give them public acknowledgment or to promote them or their Tweet to your followers.

If you don’t know someone’s username you can search for them using Twitter’s search function and their username will be displayed in the search results.

Influencers

A good strategy is to mention people or companies of influence. This is really really key to building a great network on Twitter. There’s little point starting conversations with random users that have few followers.

You need to actively research the influencers in your field and then target those people – starting friendly conversations that add value, interest or fun to their day.

Just make sure you keep your Tweets relevant and professional. You don’t want to get on the wrong side of your influencers by publicly slating or offending them on social media!

5. A relevant image

Images and videos can significantly increase the engagement rate of your Tweets. If you’re already a Twitter user, think about your own activity on Twitter – are you more likely to view Tweets and click links that include images or videos?

Images and videos can significantly increase the engagement rate of your Tweets.

In Kristina Cisnero’s Hootsuite article, she gives an example of a test they carried out on one of their CEO’s Tweets. They posted the same Tweet twice, but the one with the image had a 79% higher engagement rate than the one without the image.

Any images you use should be relevant and high quality. Remember our Social media image guide for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Make sure you’ve sourced your image ethically, you’ve resized it to the optimum Twitter dimensions (1024 x 512px), and you’ve compressed your image to save space, particularly if you’re uploading it to your WordPress media library first.

Leave space for retweeting

Finally, as if all that wasn’t enough to cram into 280 characters, you should always leave space for retweeting.

It’s generally accepted that the “magic retweet number” is 20, i.e. leaving 20 blank characters at the end of your Tweet so that others can retweet with room to add their own message. This means your entire Tweet, including text, link, hashtags and @mentions, should ideally be 260 characters or less – yes, even shorter than the original 280 that you thought was hard enough!

Our top tips for awesome Tweets

Follow our top tips for writing awesome Tweets and you’ll be tweeting like a pro in no time!

  1. Absolutely don’t use all 5 elements above in every Tweet!
  2. Mix up the format of your Tweets. It’s very easy for someone scanning your timeline to see you’re blasting out the same format all the time. This is a big no-no because it feels impersonal and formulaic. Twitter works better the more personal it feels.
  3. If you’re sending a conversational tweet to someone new, you might want to leave out hashtags, as they can feel ‘spammy’.
  4. Only include an image if it’s super relevant, e.g. related to what you’re talking about in your Tweet. Pictures that are too polished or professional-looking can come across a bit salesy.
  5. Don’t be too pushy but don’t give up either! Hang in there when targeting your influencers, even if you get ignored 2 or 3 times. As long as you’re being genuine and helpful you’re likely to see some engagement eventually.
  6. In most cases avoid sending PMs (private messages), as they lose the network effect of the public space – unless of course you want to have private conversations and it’s relevant!
  7. Tweet and retweet alike. If you want others to retweet, reply to and mention your Tweets, it goes without saying you should be doing this yourself too. Don’t go crazy but do engage with the Tweets that interest you. Keep it casual, helpful and friendly.

Practice, practice, practice

Writing great Tweets doesn’t have to be as challenging as it might seem. Just remember to always think about your audience first, and you should see an increase in your Twitter engagement.

And how do you know if a Tweet will suit your audience? Practice, practice, practice! Plus of course, diligent tracking and constant refinement based on your engagement metrics.

Now go forth and get tweeting!

To find out how Wildheart can help dissolve your marketing headaches, including devising a content schedule to effectively share your content across social media networks like Twitter, take a look at the packages we offer, then book a free consultation to go through your options.


How to create targeted Facebook ads for your business

In last week’s Content Kitchen video, Guy tackled the question “How do I get better results from my Facebook ads?” He gave 3 top tips of how you can use them to better promote your business.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg. There’s actually a lot more to advertising on Facebook than you might think. So let’s dive deeper into the world of Facebook ads to gain a better understanding of how they work.

Facebook ads: an overview

As you know, Facebook is huge. In fact, it’s so vast that most businesses are seeing a significant decline in organic reach from their Facebook page. This refers to the number of people you can reach from your page for free.

According to Brian Boland of the Ads Product Marketing team at Facebook, “There is now far more content being made than there is time to absorb it. As a result, competition in News Feed is increasing, and it’s becoming harder for any story to gain exposure.”

If you’d like to know more about organic reach, check out Jayson DeMers’ article in Forbes Why Your Organic Facebook Reach Is Still Falling – And What To Do About It.

So what exactly are Facebook Adverts?

They’re a business tool that allow you to create targeted adverts to reach different audiences, and ultimately meet your business goals.

When you run an ad campaign, you choose the audiences you want to reach by a number of variables, such as location, age, gender, interests, behaviours and connections. This makes your ads more relevant for the people who see them, and hopefully brings you better results.

Facebook ads: what you need to know

As a company, the first thing you need to do before launching into ad campaigns, is to set up a company Facebook page and start posting from it regularly.

You should adopt an attitude of exploration. Your conditions are unique to your business and it’s your job to discover the sweet spots. Beware of marketing agencies who promise you a silver bullet – there’s no way they can magically find the sweet spot with your audience without exploration either.

One of our most important pieces of advice is: ads are only effective if the landing page is optimised. There’s no point having a great ad if it leads people to a mediocre or unclear landing page. Where do you want people to go? What’s the goal of your advert? How will you measure success? We always recommend a goal outside of FB, e.g. email signups, course registrations, booking a meeting, etc.

When choosing your audience variables, follow our essential targeting principle: the narrower your focus the better. Avoid going wide! Your advert will lose its targeted audience and simply won’t be as effective.

Don’t forget about retargeting. This is where you deliver ads to people who have visited your website within the last, say, 30 days. This usually has a much higher conversion rate, i.e. converting views to clicks. If you have low traffic to your site these ads will be low volume but high quality. It’s always better to go for quality over quantity, so don’t be put off – remember you’re an explorer.

The placement of your ad is important, i.e. mobile vs News Feed. Mobile-only delivery can be cheaper (at least for the moment), but remember your landing page has to rock on mobile devices – or else!

The design of your ad should not be overlooked. So get creative! You need a strong image or graphic and you need to balance this out with the text. Make sure you have a strong call to action. What do you want people to do? Make it very clear.

For more info on using text and images in your adverts, read the Facebook for Business Guide For Using Text in Ad Images.

How to get better results from your Facebook ads

Ok, so you’ve gathered the basics and might even have got started on your ad campaigns. Now check out our top tips for getting better results from your FB adverts:

  • Commit to a minimum of 3 months’ experimentation. Remember you’re an explorer – this is expedition time!
  • With all due respect to the social media giant, your aim is to give Facebook as little money as possible for the best results.
  • Keep your ultimate goal in mind, e.g. email signups, and don’t get lost in the FB campaign data.
  • Remember: the purpose of the ad is to send people to the desired page with the right expectation.
  • Start by testing certain audiences. Measure these each week and update them, creating a new test each time. If you’re not sure of the results, then test for longer until you have more data and feel more certain of the results.
  • You should also carry out A/B split testing on your ads. This is where you create 2 or more copies of your advert, but you change the age or gender of the audience for each one and test them to see which performs better. But remember: you can only change one variable at a time, or the results will be skewed. This article has detailed instructions on splitting your audiences.

Tweaking your Facebook ads

If you don’t feel your ad is getting the clicks it deserves, try investigating the following:

  1. Is your graphic right? Try changing it.
  2. Test different audiences.
  3. If you’ve tried these, then test the call to action. Is it clear? Is it compelling?

If your ad is getting people to the goal page but they aren’t ‘converting’, i.e. doing what you want, then you need to fix the landing page:

  1. Check that the expectation you set in your ad exactly matches what people find on the page. If people don’t feel you’ve delivered on your promise, they won’t hang around.
  2. Check the page on different devices, if relevant. Your design should be responsive so that the page works on any sized screen or device.
  3. Remove distractions and anything that’s not needed from the page, e.g. unnecessary website navigation or links.
  4. Check the page heading – is it clear and relevant?
  5. Check the copy on the page. Is it clear? Could a child or your granny follow the instructions? (No offence to grannies or children!)
  6. Check the call to action. Is it strong? Is it clearly visible?

As you can see, there’s a lot more to Facebook ads than you might think. Using them effectively to get the best results from your audience can be a fine art. It takes time, patience and curiosity, just like a good expedition.

By following our advice you should be well on your way to making the most out of Facebook ads to help grow your business.

Go forth and conquer, intrepid explorers!


Content Kitchen 3: How do I get better results from my Facebook ads?

Brought to you on the first Friday of each month, Content Kitchen is a series of videos in which our co-founder Guy answers your content marketing questions. Why Content Kitchen? Because they’re recorded in Guy’s kitchen of course!

How do I get better results from my Facebook ads?

This month we dive into the world of Facebook ads and how you can use them to promote your business.

Guy shares 3 best practice suggestions to help you get better results from your ad campaigns. Watch the video to find out more.

What next?

Once you’ve watched the video check out our follow-up post How to create targeted Facebook ads for your business – it’s the ultimate guide to Facebook ads, packed with advice, insights and top tips.


Social media image guide for Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn

A few weeks ago we shared our Guide to creating images for your website. This month we go one step further and share our tips for using images in your social media accounts.

Why do I need this guide?

Have you ever tried sharing something on social media – either your own content or just something you like – but the picture is all weirdly cropped…? And it looks different on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn…? It’s sooo frustrating!

Why is this happening? Because there is no standard image size for all social networks. They each use different image dimensions. What a pain!

But don’t fear – by the time you finish reading this post you’ll know exactly how to make sure the images in the content you share on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all look awesome!

We’re going to show you the professional way to display images on your social networks. And there’s even a free tutorial video when you sign up to our blog, so don’t miss it!

There are 3 main steps involved in using images with social media, as follows:

  1. Source your image
  2. Resize your image
  3. Upload and share

Let’s take a closer look…

1. Sourcing your images

The first thing you need to do is find suitable quality, suitably sized, relevant images for your blog, that don’t break any copyright laws.

For a detailed guide to sourcing and crediting your images, check out the “Where do I find images?” section of our post A picture says a thousand words… but not if it takes too long to load! A guide to creating images for your website.

It’s usually sufficient to feature just one image per blog post – if you want to use more you’ll need to follow the same steps for each image.

2. Resizing your images

Once you’ve found your image, the next crucial step is to resize it appropriately for each social network you want to share it on. This is the part where your business will really benefit – an update on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will instantly look more professional if you use the right sized images.

Each network has its own recommended image sizes, so it’s important to get these right. For now we’ll focus on the top 3 social networks for business, as these are the most common channels for blog sharing.

Recommended image sizes:

  • Facebook: 1200 x 628px
  • Twitter: 1024 x 512px
  • LinkedIn: 700 x 400px

So, how do you get your images to fit these sizes? The best free tool we’ve found for image manipulation is Pixlr Express.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to Pixlr Express and select Browse to open your image.
  2. Select Adjustment from the bottom toolbar, and then Resize.
  3. Ensure ‘Keep proportions’ is selected, then change either the width or the height to the required dimension and hit Apply.
  4. Provided the second dimension is still larger than the required end result, you can now select Crop and enter the second dimension accordingly. A box of these dimensions will appear over your image which you can then adjust to select the desired area.
  5. Hit Apply and you’ll be shown your image resized to the correct dimensions.
  6. Hit Save in the top left corner to save your resized image.

Tips:

  • The original image dimensions will need to be larger than the dimensions you want to resize it to; you can only resize down, not up.
  • You cannot simply change both the width and the height to the dimensions you need without keeping the proportions and therefore stretching or skewing the image.
  • If, when you change the width of the image, the height changes to a smaller dimension than is required, you’ll need to play around a bit by entering a bigger width until you can accurately crop the image to the desired dimensions.
  • Some images simply won’t work to the dimensions you want without cropping parts of them out. If this is no good, you may need to find a different image to work with.
  • As you’ll need to share different versions of each image, we’d suggest using a naming convention for easy identification. This is what we use and you can copy us if you like…!

Facebook: [image-description]-fb.jpg

Twitter: [image-description]-twitter.jpg

LinkedIn: [image-description]-linkedin.jpg

Still confused?

Simply sign up to our blog at the bottom of this page and we’ll send you a tutorial video showing you how to resize your images using Pixlr.

3. Uploading and sharing your images

So, you’ve found your images and used Pixlr to get them to the right size. Now what? You’ll be pleased to know this is the easy part!

First, it’s a good idea to crunch or compress your images to save space. Check out the “How can I reduce the file size?” section of our post A guide to creating images for your website. We advise using TinyPNG to do this as it’s super simple. You can also install the TinyPNG for WordPress plugin on your site and it’ll automatically compress every image you upload – how neat is that!

Then, you simply need to upload the images into your Yoast SEO plugin in WordPress. Here’s how…

Facebook

  1. In the editing mode of your post in WordPress, scroll down to the Yoast box beneath the main body of the post.
  2. Select the social icon on the left hand side.
  3. In the Facebook tab, click Upload Image next to the ‘Facebook Image’ field and add your correctly sized Facebook image (see screengrab below).
  4. Click Update (or Schedule) to save the changes of your post.
  5. Now, when you share your post on Facebook, it’ll pull through the correctly sized Facebook image.

WordPress screengrab Yoast SEO

Twitter

  1. As above.
  2. As above.
  3. In the Twitter tab, click Upload Image next to the ‘Twitter Image’ field and add your correctly sized Twitter image.
  4. As above.
  5. Now, when you share your post on Twitter, it’ll pull through the correctly sized Twitter image.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn works a bit differently to Facebook and Twitter, as there isn’t a LinkedIn sharing tab in the Yoast plugin. This is because sharing on LinkedIn works in a slightly different way.

In LinkedIn you can have a company page and a personal profile. You can share updates to both a page and a profile, and you can also publish posts on a profile.

Sharing an update vs. publishing a post on LinkedIn

Sharing an update on LinkedIn is an option you’d usually use for short, simple messages, particularly if you want to share a link with some brief accompanying text. The update is sent out to your network and can be seen by viewing the recent activity on your profile.

Publishing a post on LinkedIn is useful for when you want to share a longer update, or even a whole blog post. It’s still sent out to your network and also sends a notification to your connections. You can give your post a title, upload an image and also embed videos into it. Your posts can be viewed in the Posts section of your profile (see screengrab below from our co-founder Guy’s LinkedIn profile).

Screengrab of Linkedin posts

Using images in LinkedIn posts

So, this is how to use your image when publishing a post to your LinkedIn profile:

  1. Go to your LinkedIn profile and scroll down to the Posts section.
  2. Select ‘Write a new post’.
  3. Click on the icon above the text ‘Add an image to bring your post to life’.
  4. Select your correctly sized LinkedIn image and click Open. The image will be inserted into the post.
  5. You can now add your headline and text into the body of the post. If you’re just writing an intro, don’t forget to include a link so your readers can read the full article.
  6. After clicking Publish your post will be displayed on your profile.

Need more help?

We hope you’ve found this post useful. You should be well on your way to creating more professional-looking images to share across your social networks.

We know the resizing of images can often be a bit of a stumbling block. If you need more help, sign up to our weekly blog below and we’ll send you a tutorial video showing you how to resize images in Pixlr. You’ll be able to watch our simple steps in real time and you can re-watch the video as many times as you like!