How to simplify your social media tasks on a regular basis

We get 24 hours in a day & we all know the fact how we manage to tackle these hours when it comes to our personal & professional arena. And if you happen to be that someone who is managing several brand's social media profiles then you will agree that 24 hours are not enough. Everything comes down to how you manage the time & more importantly, how wisely you do it.

Everyone has their own method to manage their day. Its not a recipe that will suit for all. Its also about the comfort level. Here I share some of the tips on how you can simplify your social media tasks on a regular basis.

  • Maintain a notepad
    Take a moment in making a list of everyday's tasks each morning. Make a habit of maintaining a diary or Evernote or any other app you are comfortable with so you can make an entry whenever required.
  • Be clever & find out where you need to spend more time
    First you need to find out which social media platforms needs more of your time. Check which social media profiles of your brand has more fans, followers, engagement. Dive into the Google Analytics & find out from which social media profiles your website is getting more traffic. Create a chart based on these pointers & you will get your answer.
  • Better stick to a schedule
    Based on your findings from the pointers (point 2) decide how much time you want to devote to a brand's social media profile. Be it for scanning for spam comments & deleting the same, following/unfollowing, responding to replies, likes & retweets, creating & scheduling content etc.
  • Don't shy away from using tools
    There are so many tools available today which will help you to ease your tasks. 

Keen to find out who unfollowed you, followed you? Then tools like: Tweepi, ManageFlitter, Who Unfollowed Me, Crowdfire can be useful.

If looking for scheduling social media posts then tools like Buffer, Meet Edgar can be the best options.

Want to have a social media dashboard for all your brands where in you can tackle responses, replies under one hub? Then tools like HootsuiteSprout Social, TweetDeck, Agora Pulse can be your pick.

Its all about trial & error. Do not stick to one schedule. Keep checking on what works best & what not, to come out with your own strategies. I hope these tips may help you in simplifying your daily social media tasks. Do you have your own way of tackling such tasks? Do share with me. I would love to know.

Effective tools to promote your blog

Being a blogger myself, am aware of the fact that how much time bloggers spend in narrowing down a topic for their blog, drafting, proof reading, publishing & spreading the word out. It takes royal time in following all these steps. No matter how hard we try to spread the word about our blog posts on social media, we still feel something more could have been done. Promoting posts on social media at various time zones is the perfect way to increase the visibility of the blog. 

Before I share few tools, make sure you promote your blog posts on social media immediately after publishing them. And not for just once but at various times so that your content is read by your network. Apart from this, you can also increase the reach of your blog through the following tools:

  • CoPromote
    CoPromote focuses on one core policy "You share theirs, they'll share yours.". The users are real & the content shared by them are also real. 

All you have to do is pick a post to boost from your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Vine & Instagram that you would like others to share within their networks. But in order for you to earn reach, you would have to share other people's posts. The more you share, more reach you earn which will help to increase the shares of your content.

Pricing: They offer free & paid plans in which the free plan will allow you to boost 1 post per week & paid plans ($49, $99 & $499 per month) will allow you to boost unlimited posts & will help you reach out to more people depending upon the plan.

  • Start A Fire
    Do you like to share content you read within your network? Then this tool will be perfect for you. This tool helps in creating a branded badge of your content on the link you share.  

For example if you are reading an article and felt its worth sharing within your network, you can simply create a link from Start A Fire & post it. This way it will help you in taking your content in front of new audience. You can integrate various other services like Buffer, Hubspot, Pinterest, Hootsuite, WordPress. Full list can be found here.  

Pricing: The free plan covers almost everything & premium plan comes with additional advantages like managing multiple accounts, white label & advance analytics.

  • AddThis (Related Posts Slider)
    Related posts slider tool helps in boosting engagement & page views of your own blog posts. Simply integrate the code on your blog & AddThis will do its magic.

It randomly picks a post from your blog & displays the slider on the bottom right corner of the page (the position can be changed) which is being viewed by the visitor. This will allow visitors to stay on your blog & help in leveraging your blog's content.

Pricing: The free plan is suitable for all & premium plans ($13 & $100 monthly) comes with additional advantages like customizing the look & feel, deeper targeting capabilities.

  • Quuu Promote
    We are always in a fix when it comes to taking efforts to increase the visibility of our blog. Quuuu Promote helps to promote our content to influencers. It allows us to share the content with real people having good amount of followers across Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin & Google+.

All you have to do is submit the url, create a small version of the share for the networks & add image. Selecting a relevant category for your post is very important on Quuu. Most the content has to meet their standards else the posts may get rejected.

Pricing: It varies as per the relevant category you choose which is between $10 (reach 10,000+ people), $20 (reach 30,000+) & $30 (reach 100,000+ people) for 30 days of promotion per article.

Do you use any of these tools to promote your content? Or any other tools apart from these? Let me know. I would love to know more about your favorite tools.

How to optimize YouTube videos to increase views

Nowadays we are seeing a lot of people using YouTube for showcasing their talent. YouTube as a medium is not restricted to a certain genre these days. Video content is being appreciated & consumed by many people & the phenomenon of viewership is increasing day by day.

YouTube is also one of the social networking websites which gives users the ability to watch, share, like & comment on videos. And many YouTubers have found the way to be successful & have taken their YouTube channels to new heights of popularity & monetization. Thanks to the ability of optimizing YouTube videos for better exposure & views.

Optimizing YouTube videos is not a rocket science but by putting some extra efforts while uploading the videos on the channel, indeed makes a difference. Normally what people do is upload videos to their YouTube channel without optimizing it & expect that their video views will increase. It does not happen this way. Competition on YouTube is increasing day by day just like other social networks. Every YouTuber is in the race of gaining viewership & loyal audience. Two aspects plays important role in taking the YouTube channel to greater heights, such as optimizing & the way how you present the video on your channel in order to make the visitors stay. But optimizing also is important and when it comes to optimization, these are the pointers to be taken care of:

  • Title
    If you are a blogger, you must be picking the perfect title suitable for your post, right? Same goes for the videos. Suitable title is a must in order to grab attention.
  • Description
    Same as title, description also plays an important role in grabbing attention. Make sure you add the description with relevant keywords for every video you upload because normally people tend to read first 2 sentences because YouTube displays 2 sentences in the search results along with the title.
  • Tags
    Just like you add tags to your blog post while optimizing it, same goes for the videos. Try to use tags to describe your video along with the most relevant keywords. Long tail keywords are also allowed.

Once the title, description & tags are added, publish the video & keep a track of the views. Its not going to increase immediately. It will be an ongoing process of updating the title, description & tags to enhance the visibility of the videos in searches. Do not forget to share YouTube videos on your social channels frequently. This way you will be able to increase your views initially.

Along with optimization, its also important how you manage to make people stay on your channel. YouTube has great features & tools when it comes to adding annotations, call to action apart from editing & effects addition. It all depends on the treatment given to the videos.

So, happy YouTube'ing. If you have a YouTube channel, do share the link with me. I would love to have a look.

Core mistakes people make while using hashtags on social media

Hashtags have started to become an important aspect of our lives. The usage of social media is increasing day by day. Isn't it? We spend maximum time on social media by checking timelines, tweeting, posting images, status updates on our profiles, surfing the web and so on. And today, hashtags are being used on every social media. 

Hashtags help in driving awareness, increase search-ability, tapping the trends, boosting engagement, gives us the ability to track & measure content's reach. It has various benefits depending upon how its being used. If used properly, hashtags can be an excellent way to boost & track exposure. But many people make mistakes when it comes to the usage of hashtags on social media, such as:

  • Include spaces, punctuations & symbols in hashtags
    Hashtags can contain single word or combination of many words or phrases but must not contain space. Only symbol that can be included in hashtag is #.
  • Fail to come up with unique hashtags
    Its not difficult to come up with unique hashtags. But just to save the effort of searching, many times people come up with hashtags which are already in use. If you are planning to measure the engagement & reach of your content related to that hashtag which is already being used, it wont give you accurate figures. Hence unique hashtags are important. Before coming up with hashtags of your own, make sure to check whether that hashtag is being used by others or not. If you use a unique hashtag, it will help you in measuring your social media content, live event's reach & engagement, track conversations.
  • Try to hijack hashtags
    We often see that whenever a hashtag starts to trend on social media, many outsiders try to post content with that hashtag which is not even related. Just to gain visibility, others try to post links to their website, blog, pages with the hashtags used by others & try to take over. 

Understanding hashtags & its benefits is very important. But overusing is not a good practice either. Try to avoid these mistakes & I hope this may help you in your social media strategy in the future.

Twitter Moments now available for everyone

Indeed 2016 is turning out to be the year of rolling out new features for Twitter. We have seen several features are now available for everyone. Latest entry is Twitter's Moments. On September 28, 2016 Twitter announced that its now rolling out the Moments feature for everyone so as people can create stories on their own.

Twitter Moments was launched in October 2015 but then it was made available only for Twitter's curation team or select publishing partners. Later from August 2016, Twitter started to roll out Moments for influencers, brands & partners.

So what exactly is Twitter Moments?
Twitter Moments is nothing but a format of telling stories through your photos, headlines & highlights. Tweets with photos get more engagement on Twitter than text tweets. And with Moments feature, users will now be able to tell stories in visual format which eventually will be exposed to good amount of engagement.

The Moments feature can be accessed via Twitter official apps & web. Users will be able to create Moments through dedicated Moments tab on the profile page. Though Twitter has announced its availability for everyone, its still being rolled out slowly. Many users are yet to get this feature. So lets wait & watch. And if you are one of those lucky people to have this feature, do create moments & share with me. I would love to view!

How to create WordPress blog quickly

Which blogging platform to use? Is Blogger better or WordPress? Is self hosted WordPress option better? These are the frequent questions people normally ask me. WordPress option works better for most of the bloggers. And why not, it gives complete control & freedom when it comes to playing around with its technical aspects, themes, design, widgets & plugins. It gives that liberty of tweaking the blog as per our needs. With the help of SEO plugins it allows us to make the blog search engine friendly which ultimately helps in increasing search engine traffic.

So if you are that someone who has been blogging as a hobby & now wants to professionally take up blogging, explore monetizing benefits, then its time for you to switch to self hosted WordPress platform. Of-course, self-hosted WordPress option does not comes for free. You will have to pay for the domain & web hosting service. But the freedom & satisfaction you will get in tweaking your blog as per your requirement, will be phenomenal. And most importantly you will be having control of the blog & images as they will be stored on your hosted server.

Creating a self-hosted WordPress blog is easy and these days many hosting companies allow pre-installation of WordPress while registering web hosting account. Same goes with Host Zeon. Register your web hosting account with Host Zeon, make sure you use my coupon code which will give you 10% discount for the first year. And yes, domain name comes free with every plan.

  • Choose a web hosting plan
    Web hosting is a must for self-hosted WordPress installation. Select a web hosting plan as per your requirement (whether you want to host 1, 5 or unlimited domains). Starter plan mostly works for those who are eager to host one blog.
  • Choose a pre-installed application
    While selecting the application, choose WordPress from the list. This will install WordPress for you.
  • Choose your domain name
    Its best to have 3-5 domain name options before you finalize, to avoid disappointment.
  • Fill in required details
    Its very important to submit your details to your web hosting company because those details will be associated with your domain under Whois report.

Once this process is completed, you will receive an email with your account login details. You may also get a call from the web hosting provider to verify your account. Don't forget to login to your WordPress account to begin with customizing your favorite theme.

Happy WordPress'ing! If any doubts, feel free to get in touch with me.

Twitter rolls out changes to its 140-character limitation

There was this news about Twitter rolling out changes to its 140-characters limit soon was doing rounds since months. It already had started to receive mixed reactions from many people. And finally it happened.

Twitter will now no longer deduct characters for photos, videos, GIFs, polls & quoted tweets. Twitter in their signature style, made an announcement on September 19, 2016:

In a way, this will help its users to express more without bothering about the limit up to a certain level. But for that matter, links still will be counted under the character limit.

Way to many speculations based on this character limitations were being made during last couple of months. Twitter is certainly on to something which ultimately will be beneficial for its users in terms of Twitter experience. 

All we have to do is wait & watch for next announcements. What are your views on this latest change?

Ghostcodes App Review: Discover Snapchat users easily

Suddenly these days you must be noticing a lot of people have started using Snapchat. Yes, Snapchat is becoming very popular among the youth & not to forget, brands. I also started to use Snapchat few months ago & was finding it tough to discover other Snapchat users. I started to follow people I know via other social networks but then that's it. I was not seeing much growth in my reach/views. Normally, what we all do is just cross promote our social profiles on other networks. This helps somehow.

Recently while surfing the web, I stumbled upon this app called "GhostCodes". Its a smart app which helps you find the best Snapchat users by name & interests. In simple words, you can call it as Snapchat Directory. Snapchat lacks severely when it comes to discovering other users on the basis of categories & interests. The resources are limited. And that's why GhostCodes wins. Its a free, user-friendly app which is available for iOS & Android users. Snapchat is not associated with GhostCodes but what the app does is help people find other Snapchat users based on name, categories & interests. The app also showcases featured GhostCodes users.

How to make the most out of GhostCodes?

  • Download the app (iPhone / Android)
  • Create your profile on the app

It is packed with certain features like:

  • Search
    You can easily find other users by their real name.
Ghostcodes Search.PNG
  • Interests
    Adding interests to your profile will help other people to find you & follow you. Also you will be able to search other users based on the interests.
  • Categories
    There are 40 various categories listed on GhostCodes. Every user gets the liberty to choose one suitable category for your profile. You can search for other users on the basis of categories & vice-versa.
  • Kudos
    This is metric used to measure ranking system on GhostCodes. Kudos is nothing but "like". More Kudos you receive, better your ranking gets within your category. The best way to get your profile discovered is by giving Kudos to other users.
  • Download Snapcodes
    Snapcodes can be easily downloaded from the user's profile if you want to follow that person on Snapchat & vice-versa.
  • Profile
    Profile is the place where you will be able to see how many Kudos you have received and from whom. It will also show how many people have downloaded your Snapcode.

After using this app for more than a week now, I am seeing a decent amount of growth in terms of followers & reach on Snapchat. Once you get your GhostCodes profile up, do not forget to give me a "Kudo" & do add me on Snapchat. You can search me by my name: "Nikhil Wad". If you happen to use GhostCodes after reading this post, do let me know your views.

You can now see when someone has read your direct message on Twitter

Yes, you read it right. Now you can see when someone has read your direct message on Twitter. Sounds familiar, isn't it? We have seen such feature on Facebook Messenger & WhatsApp. In 2016, Twitter has introduced several features for its users. This clearly shows that Twitter is working real hard to sustain its users by providing new user experience.

On Sept 8, 2016 Twitter posted an update saying: New! Direct Messages are more dynamic than ever with read receipts, typing indicators, and web link previews.

If you don't want other users to know when you've seen their message, obviously you can disable it from settings. Disabling receipts will also keep you from seeing the check mark on your own sent messages. Apart from this, when you send or receive a link in a DM, a preview will automatically be created, allowing the participants to get a better idea of that specific link's content.

What are your views on these new features? Do let me know. 

Migrate your WordPress websites with these plugins

When it comes to migrating your WordPress websites, trust me it becomes very tedious, requires hell lot of patience & not to forget those unexpected errors which starts appearing during the migration process. But there are many WordPress plugins that help in migration process. These plugins copy, backup, move, migrate, clone and/or duplicate entire blogs or websites from one server to another.

Some of the best WordPress plugins which help in migrating WordPress websites are:

The Duplicator gives WordPress administrators the ability to migrate, copy or clone a site from one location to another. The plugin also serves as a simple backup utility. The Duplicator supports both serialized and base64 serialized string replacement. If you need to move WordPress or backup WordPress this plugin can help simplify the process.

WordPress Move is a migration assistant for WordPress that is capable of changing the domain name in use and/or migrating your installation to another server either as is or based on your choices. In addition to these, you can use WordPress Move to transfer your database or create backups of your installation. 

This plugin ONLY works with WordPress Multisite, will NOT work in single site mode, and MUST be Network Activated. You will find it's menu in your network administration dashboard (wp-content/network). The NS Cloner will take any existing site on your WordPress multisite network and clone it into a new site that is completely identical in theme & theme settings, plugins & plugin configurations, content, pictures, videos, and site settings.

ManageWP helps you save time and nerves by automating your workflow, so you could focus on things that matter. It is fast, secure and free for an unlimited number of websites. With ManageWP the data from all of your websites is compiled and shown on a single easy to use dashboard, allowing you to check up on your websites in a single glance. 

UpdraftPlus simplifies backups (and restoration). Backup into the cloud (Amazon S3 (or compatible), Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, Openstack Swift, UpdraftPlus Vault and email) and restore with a single click. Backups of files and database can have separate schedules. The paid version also backs up to Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, SFTP, SCP, and WebDAV.

WP Migrate DB exports your database as a MySQL data dump (much like phpMyAdmin), does a find and replace on URLs and file paths, handles serialized data, then allows you to save it to your computer as an SQL file. To complete the migration, you need to use a database management tool (e.g. phpMyAdmin) to import the SQL file to your database, replacing your existing database. It is perfect for developers who need to migrate fresh data from the production site to their local install, or migrate their locally developed site to a staging or production server.

Tried any of these plugins? Which is your favorite among the above listed plugins? If you have tried any other migration plugins, feel free to let me know.