Why Marketers Should Use Twitter (Infographic)

It may seem like Twitter is having a tough time lately, but it still isn’t wise to write the micro-blogging service off. Twitter has 320 million monthly active users, most of whom are international and mobile, and they represent several key demographics for marketers. An infographic from WebpageFX examines the impact of marketing on Twitter.

Twitter users are highly engaged when it comes to online commerce. 52 percent of users report buying a product they first saw on the network, while 81 percent say Twitter impacts purchase decisions more than TV.

Users also engage with brands on Twitter, which is beneficial for both parties. 85 percent of users feel more connected to businesses after following them on Twitter, while 84 percent of users who interact with a brand share their positive experiences and 72 percent of brand followers are likely to purchase in the future.

Brands that use Twitter for customer service see a 19 percent increase in customer satisfaction, and the use of promoted tweets boosts offline sales by up to 29 percent. Additionally, two-thirds of companies with more than 100 employees use Twitter, so any brand hoping to compete should needs to maintain a strong presence on Twitter.

For advice on what kind of content to tweet and when and more insight into Twitter’s users, view the infographic below.

WhyTwitterMattersToMarketingInfographic

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4 Tools to Turn Your WordPress-Powered Website into a Growth Engine

Today, over one-third of all websites use WordPress for infrastructure and content management, making it the world’s most popular site building platform.

Perhaps the biggest reason for this level of market penetration is WordPress’s versatility. It can become almost anything you want it to be, a type of blank canvas for the digital work of art that is your branded online presence.

It doesn’t matter what design element, user interface module or back end tool you can think of. Thanks to the vibrant community of WordPress developers (it’s open source, after all), there’s probably an existing plugin that can do what you have in mind. And if there isn’t, you can have one built for you. Because the platform has emerged as the industry standard, WordPress’s plugin developer ecosystem is expansive and growing. It allows millions of developers worldwide to create exceptional applications and tools that integrate into WordPress sites to give them added functionality.

For businesses, this means that your website can become one of your most powerful engines of growth – whether you are on a mission to grow exponentially (viral growth), retain customers (sticky growth), or bring in customers through advertising (paid growth). You can use the WordPress framework, along with whatever set of third-party components you like, to make your site work for you in ways that were impossible even just a few years ago.

However, with great choice comes great paralysis. It can be hard to know what WordPress plugins are best for the specifics of your situation. At the time of writing, the WordPress plugin marketplace is home to some 45,312 options, and that’s before we count the thousands of standalone SaaS tools that integrate with WordPress sites from beyond the confines of your host servers.

To get you started in the right direction, here are four tools that can help turn your WordPress website into a powerful growth engine.

1. Drive Traffic Back to Your Site Using Start A Fire

If your brand is active online, chances are you share content from other brands as well as your own. This is true when it comes to outbound links in your blog content, and it’s true when it comes to your social media channels.

Curating great third-party content that’s relevant to your audience is one of the most effective ways you can position your brand as a leader in your niche, because it helps to cultivate the impression that you’ve got your finger on the pulse of your industry. And when you’re a trusted go-to hub of valuable information, people will want to keep coming back for more of what you’re serving up.

The disadvantage of using curated third-party content, though, is that you’re essentially asking your audience to click out of your owned web property to go to someone else’s, which means they may never return to your site. Have you ever thought about how much of your potential audience you’re essentially sending away?

Now imagine being able to drive those clicks to others’ sites back to your own content, because with Start A Fire, you can do just that.

start-a-fireImage Source

Start A Fire is a tool that allows you to add your own floating recommended links box, called a “badge,” to any URL you share. This means that whenever someone clicks on a link on your WordPress blog to a third party site, they’ll have a reminder to come back your site when they’re finished.

And Start A Fire-enabled short links can be shared anywhere, so you can even drive your social media traffic back your site after they’ve clicked on a link in your feed. Click on the link in the tweet below to see it in action.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

If you click the link, you’ll be taken to this page which includes this widget:

start-a-fire-social-widget

In addition to the WordPress plugin, marketers can integrate Start a Fire with their social media dashboards and email marketing platforms, so that every link shared has your custom badge on it.

Start A Fire is a free tool, with premium features available via custom pricing for agency and enterprise accounts.

2. Convert with Content Using Content Upgrades Pro

You could probably start a whole new business with the amount of time you spend researching, curating, creating and promoting content. Yet our content isn’t working nearly as hard for us as it could at converting viewers into subscribers and customers.

Content Upgrades Pro is a plugin that promises to use your content to “turn up to 59.2% of your visitors into email subscribers.” How do they do that? This clever plugin allows you to offer a “content upgrade” to your WordPress blog posts – a piece of extra content that you offer within your article, but people can’t get access to it unless they opt-in with their email address. It’s analogous to gating resources behind a lead capture form, except that with content upgrades, the audience is all the more likely to convert, because they’re already enjoying a taste of the premium content on offer.

This way it works is simple. You simply add a bonus “Fancy Box” to your WordPress content using the plugin, which triggers a popup requesting the visitor’s email address. Once they enter and click through to access the bonus content, the plugin redirects them to a download page or sends them an email. At the end of the day, they get more of the content they crave, and you get another qualified subscriber. It’s a win-win.

content-upgrades-pro

So what qualifies for content upgrades? Anything you want! It could be an expanded version of the article your audience is reading, with more details or extra points, or maybe a PDF version for easy reference in the future. Or better yet, a totally separate but equally relevant offer, such as a free checklist, e-book or guide on the topic, which you can offer on multiple articles at once. The choice is yours.

Content Upgrades Pro is available for $57 as a one-time licensing fee for a single website, or $77 for up to five sites.

3. Give Your Site Superpowers with SumoMe

Alright, so including SumoMe on this list was a bit of an underhanded move on my part, because even though it’s one package, it comes with more than a dozen extremely powerful add-on tools that add great functionality to your site.

From its heat maps, which tell you where your website visitors are clicking (or not), to its free exit intent popup email list builder, which promises to increase your email signups by 20% daily, SumoMe provides a well-curated group of useful apps, all aimed at growing your website traffic and increasing conversions.

sumome-tools

Seeing a grid of this many tools may be a little overwhelming for someone just starting to explore the world of WordPress plugins. But don’t worry – you don’t have to use all the tools they offer. Just the ones you need, and you can add more as the need arises. Additionally, SumoMe walks you through the setup process for each, and provides great tips and tricks for optimization.

And if you ever need some inspiration or ideas on how to make use of the tools for your website, they provide a great showcase library of how some of their top customers are using these tools and the results they get.

SumoMe is available in a robust “free forever” version, with paid plans ranging from $20 to $119, depending on your features and traffic volume.

4. Make Your Numbers Count with Kissmetrics

There’s no way we could talk about growth-enabling tools and plugins and leave Kissmetrics off the list. The company has spent years crafting the ultimate analytics platform to help WordPress users (and non-WordPress sites) with all levels of expertise to dig deep into their metrics, to learn what’s happening with their sites, and to discover ways to optimize the onsite experience.

What makes Kissmetrics different from the standard analytics platforms available is its emphasis on the end consumer. Instead of just focusing on metrics like pageviews and bounce rates, which is the realm of Google Analytics, Kissmetrics tracks individual users to help you understand and segment your audience so you can create better content and onsite experiences for success.

Any business that aims to convert customers through their WordPress site and wants to know who their visitors are, where they’re coming from and how to get more of them to convert, should be using Kissmetrics.

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Along with the standalone tool, Kissmetrics offers a standard plugin for WordPress, which allows you to track data and view the results directly on the back-end of your site.

And to top it all off, the Kissmetrics Blog that you’re reading is one of the best sources of high-quality, consistent, relevant content about the latest in analytics, online marketing and website development. So you can always be sure that you have an ally that’s just as invested in getting the best, most current information to help you succeed.

Kissmetrics pricing starts at $120 per month.

A Time for Growth

Once they’re set up, the tools listed here are all more or less capable of working behind the scenes. Once you let them get to work, they’ll require very little maintenance, but they’ll provide massive results. You can’t ask for much more.

While I’ve only provided four of the most beneficial tools and plugins that I’m familiar with, remember that there are thousands of options to choose from that can help develop your site into the growth machine it has the potential to become, and even more being developed daily. Keep looking out for that next great app that will help you even further in your growth journey.

About the Author: Nadav is a veteran online marketer and the Founder & CEO of InboundJunction, an Israel-based content marketing company. Nadav helps well-known brands in boosting their online visibility through PR, SEO and Social Media.

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EUFA EURO 2016 Final: 146 Million Facebook Interactions, 14.2 Million Tweets

Portugal was the last club standing at EUFA EURO 2016, outlasting host France to win the trophy, and Facebook said 195 million users were responsible for 950 million tournament-related interactions from June 10 through July 10.

The final match, won by Portugal in extra time, generated 146 million interactions from 45 million Facebook users, as well as more than 14.2 million tweets.

The top five moments of the match, according to Facebook, were:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo hoisting the trophy.
  2. The game-winning goal by Éder.
  3. The final whistle.
  4. Ronaldo leaves the match with an injury.
  5. Kickoff.

The five most-discussed players during the final match were:

  1. Ronaldo, 53 percent
  2. Pepe, 10 percent
  3. Nani, 7 percent
  4. Dimitri Payet, 6 percent
  5. Ricardo Quaresma, 5 percent

The five most-discussed players in France during the final match were:

  1. Ronaldo, 51 percent
  2. Payet, 12 percent
  3. Moussa Sissoko, 8 percent
  4. Olivier Giroud, 4 percent
  5. Pepe, 4 percent

And in Portugal:

  1. Ronaldo, 44 percent
  2. Quaresma, 10 percent
  3. Pepe, 6 percent
  4. Éder, 5 percent
  5. Payet, 5 percent

TwitterEUFAEURO2016TopPlayers

As for Twitter, the three most-mentioned players during Sunday’s final match were:

  1. Ronaldo
  2. Éder
  3. Payet

And the most-tweeted-about players during the entire tournament were:

  1. Ronaldo
  2. Antoine Griezmann
  3. Payet
  4. Gareth Bale
  5. Giroud

The most-tweeted-about teams during EUFA EURO 2016 were:

  1. Portugal
  2. France
  3. Germany
  4. Wales
  5. England

And the top five moments during the tournament were:

  1. The final whistle.
  2. The goal by Éder to secure the final match for Portugal.
  3. Ronaldo’s injury departure.
  4. Iceland knocks out England.
  5. Jonas Hector scores the last penalty against Italy to put Germany in the semifinal.

Readers: Did you interact on Facebook during EUFA EURO 2016?

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PB130: What Time of Day is Best to Publish to Your Blog

When Should You Publish Your Blog Posts

Today I am talking about when you should publish your blog post. What day of the week? What time of the day? For what timezone?

ProBlogger_130

Does it really matter at all? In the past when RSS feeds were popular, timing did seem to matter more.

It matters when you publish social media, but I’m not sure if it matters with blog posts that much anymore. From the studies I link to mornings do seem to be the best time.

Readers will read blog posts in the morning, but comment later in the day after business hours. Still studies need to be taken with a grain of salt. There are a lot of variables.

Note: Listen to this episode above or over on iTunes.

In Today’s Episode What Time of Day is Best to Publish to Your Blog

  • Find where your readers live and you can time according to the dominant time zone
  • My readership is all over the world, but 50% is in America, so I try to time my blog posts when the bulk of my readership is waking up
  • Look at your analytics and facebook page insights, that can help you find out when your audience is reading, mine seems to peek at 10:00 am East Coast time
  • I try to position my posts right before things start to heat up, so about 7:00 am East Coast time, then I promote them on social media when things are really hot
  • Consider the type of post you are publishing, challenge posts are posted on weekends, engagement on blogs is higher on the weekends
  • We publish tutorials and heavy posts earlier in the week, we do inspirational posts at the end of the week when people are looking for light relief
  • If we have a key post, like a sales related post, we try to get those out on Mondays US time, plus it enables us to promote it for the rest of the week
  • The timing of your blog posts is less of a factor than the timing of your promotion
  • Timing of emails and social media matter
  • We send out emails early in the week
  • We want to get those posts in front of you earlier in the week
  • Because we have a global audience we separate social posts around the clock – Twitter every hour and 7 or 8 facebook posts a day
  • Timing and regularity and consistency matter a lot – people take notice of when you publish – We publish this podcast on Monday’s and Wednesdays
  • Be consistent, get your content in front of your readers, and experiment to find the optimum times

Further Resources on What Time of Day is Best to Publish to Your Blog

Full Transcript

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Hi there and welcome to Episode 130 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name is Darren Rouse and today I want to talk about the question of when should you publish your blog post. What time, what day? Does it really matter at all? What are the factors that you want to consider particularly if you have an international audience as I do. That’s what I’m tackling today. You can find today’s show notes over at problogger.com/podcast/130 where I’m going to include some further reading for you and some links to some studies that have been done on this exact question that I’m going to talk about in a moment.

Welcome to today’s podcast. I am just back from Thailand. We’ve in the last couple of days come back from a break of a couple of weeks over in Thailand. This is the first page of content that I’ve created since coming back which worries me slightly, I have to say. If I’m sounding a little bit relaxed or confused, it’s probably because my head’s not quite back into work mode. We just had this great time over in Thailand, beautiful weather although we did have a couple of days of rain but really warm, beautiful, sort of tropical weather. Amazing food, very friendly people. It’s raining here in Melbourne when we returned, and it’s cold, so I’m trying to get my head back into work mode and struggle with the variation in temperature. It is good to be back as well, I’ve been looking forward particularly to getting back into the podcast.

As I said in my introduction today, we’re talking today about the timing of your blog posts. At what time should you publish? What day should you publish? Does it really matter at all anymore? I paid a lot of attention in the early days of my blogging to the exact time that I published and I still do think about that but I don’t think about it as much as I used to. I think in days gone by back in 2005, 2006 when RSS feeds were really big, I particularly paid a lot of attention to the times that I published because it seemed to have more impact upon whether people would see my blogpost or not because they would check in the RSS feeds. If you could time your post to go live when people would be in the RSS feeds, that has an impact.

Today, I’m not sure that the timing of your blogpost being published has as much impact as the timing of your social media post and your emails. They’re probably the big effectors today, but I guess there are a few things that you might want to consider when it comes to the timing of your blog post.

In today’s show notes, I’m going to link to a number of studies that have been done on this particular topic over the last four or five years. I’m not going to go over them in great detail now because there’s some inconsistencies between the results in them. I kind of have a problem with studies into this because I think blogs vary so much.

One of the things I will mention though in a number of studies that I’ll link to in the show notes is that mornings seem to be the best time. Of course, there’s some trouble with mornings because many of us have global audiences. A couple of the studies that I found, I found that most people seem to read blogs in the morning but they tend to comment in blogs outside of business hours; in the evenings, and particularly on weekends. That was one of the things that did seem to come up in a number of studies, but then there were a whole heap of other results where in there were inconsistencies. Take that idea with a bit of a grain of salt.

The problem with studies is that there’s a lot of varying factors, it’s not just about when you publish your blog post, it’s also about when you share it on social media and also depends on the topic as well. I know a parenting blogger who finds that Monday mornings at 9:00AM is a great time to publish because that’s the first time that their readers have a moment to themselves after they drop their kids off to school. She finds that when she publishes around 9:00 AM on a Monday morning, a lot of her readers tend to show up with a cup of coffee, read her blog once they got the kids off to school.

I know a sporting blogger who finds that Monday mornings is the worst time to publish. He actually finds that Saturday mornings is a great time because it’s just before all the games that he’s writing about are about to be played. He also publishes on Sunday night, at the end of the football round. He publishes about the games that have just been played.

Obviously, it’s going to depend on your topic. This is where studies fall short because they don’t take those factors into account.

One other piece of advice that I would give you in terms of working out the best time to publish your blog post is really to do some experimentation and it’s also to really do some analysis of when your readers are online and to do some experimenting around different times about whether you published just before they get online or just after or in the peak of it, a few things I would encourage you to do.

Work out where your readers live. The bulk of your readers, where are they living? I talk to a lot of Australian bloggers who have a lot of Australian readers. Obviously, that is going to be quite helpful to know most of my readers are in Australia, in America, then you can kind of time things for that audience.

But if you’re like me and you have a very global audience, around 50% of my audience is in the US but 50% of my audience is scattered around the rest of the world. That’s a factor that I need to keep in mind. That particularly is something I keep in mind with my social media updates.

In terms of my blog posts, when they go live, because 50% of my audience are based in America, that’s where I’m focusing most of my attention when it comes to the timing of my blog post. I’m actually trying to time my blog post to go live just as America is waking up because that’s where most of my audience is. That’s not because I want to ignore the rest of the world, I’m an Aussie, I value people who live in Australia or around the world as well. That’s where the bulk of my readership are. Understand where the bulk of your readership are and plan for your blog post to go live when they’re most likely to be able to see it.

The second thing I encourage you to do is to look at your analytics. Look at your Google Analytics and look at your Facebook Analytics. Facebook Analytics Page Insights, you’ll find in the analytics that Facebook give you, will give you some understanding of when your readers are online both in terms of the days of the week but also the time of day. That’s really interesting to look at.

I find as I look at both of my Facebook insights but also my Google Analytics that my audience tends to come peak at 10:00AM at the East Coast of America, 7:00AM on the West Coast. That’s the peak of when my audience is online. That is partly influenced by the times that I post on social media, so you’ve got to be a little bit careful there. I can see as I look at both of my analytics on Google and Facebook that that’s the peak.

Then for two or three hours on either side of that time is where my readership is at its biggest. It actually starts probably about three hours before that, 7:00AM on the East Coast, and then it goes for about five hours after the 10:00AM, 3:00PM on the East Coast. I guess it’s eight hours that my audience is really online.

What I’m trying to do with my blog posts, publishing my blog posts, is to position them to go live just before things really start to heat up. As a result, we publish at around 7:00AM on the East Coast of America which is usually around midnight Australian time, that’s when I’m setting my blog post to go live.

That’s just one of the timing factors that I’m taking into mind. A lot of the rest of what I do during that eight hour period is to promote those blog posts on social media. What I find really is to get the blogpost live just before things begin to ramp up, which then enables me to promote that blog post for the rest of that window where things are really hot. Tweets go out, Facebook updates go out for the rest of the peak. That’s the strategy that I use and it works quite well for us.

One other thing to consider is the type of blog post that you’re publishing. We have on Digital Photography School, we publish discussion type posts and challenges. We give our readers a little bit of homework. We say go away and take a photo on this theme or using this technique. Those type of posts we typically do on the weekends.

One of the things that I notice in a lot of the studies that I looked at around this particular topic was that engagement on blogs is typically higher on the weekends, people leave more comments on the weekends or outside of work hours. People are more willing to have discussions and leave longer comments on the weekends as well. What we do is on the weekends we’ll quite often put a blog post that is more asking a question and trying to stimulate a discussion or where we give our readers a little bit of homework and say go ahead and do this and share what you find.

If you do those type of posts, you might find that they’re really go to do after hours so you might time them for 5:00PM or 7:00PM when your readers are on the couch at home or on the weekends. We typically publish our meteor longer form tutorials, the heavers posts, earlier in the week and during business hours. If we’re doing more of a lighter post, more of a shareable funny post and inspirational post, we tend to do them at the end of the week, later in the week when perhaps people are looking to escape work a little bit and looking for some light relief in their lives. That might go live on a Thursday or on a Friday, sort of the end of the week. Those are some of the factors that I keep in mind as well.

The last thing I’ll say is we have a key post, like a sales related post that we really want to get in front of most of our audience. We typically try and get that out on a Monday, US time. The reason for that is that one, Mondays tends to be the day that we get a lot of traffic and a lot of the studies did find that. Two, it enables us for the rest of the week to continue to promote that and it gives us four days afterwards to drive traffic to that blogpost before the weekend comes. The weekend for us typically is a bit of a lull in traffic.

If we’re launching a new ebook or a course or some software or doing an affiliate campaign, we typically launch that promotion on a Monday or a Tuesday and that gives us those three or four days to really promote that and get that promotion in front of people.

Let me cycle back to something I said earlier in the podcast and that is that the timing of your blog post being published is probably less of a factor than the timing of the promotion of that blogpost. This is where you probably do need to do some more analysis to really get things right. What’s more important than the publishing of the blogpost is the timing of your social media and the time of your emails.

Let’s just really briefly talk about emails. Typically on ProBlogger, we send out emails early in the week. Those of you who are subscribed to the ProBlogger Plus Newsletter know that if you’re in America, you usually get that on a Monday. If you’re in Australia, you usually see that on a Tuesday. Again, that’s because we want to get those posts in front of you early in the week, they’re usually meteor posts, and that enables us to get them to you when you’re looking for content.

Digital Photography School is a little bit different. We usually publish our newsletter on a Thursday night, Australian time, or Thursday morning US time. The reason for that is that we found our readers typically take most of their photos on a weekend, that’s when they got most of their leisure time. We’re trying to get the tutorials in front of them so that they can then read them and use them on the weekends. We actually call our newsletter in the subject line Photography Tips for the Weekend. We time our newsletters a little bit different there and that’s come as a result of a lot of testing to see when people open them and when people click on the links in them.

Time your emails, really important, and then social media as well. For social media, it really does come down to experimentation. What we’ve actually found works best because we do have global audiences on both of my blogs is to really separate our social media updates around the clock. It’s a 24/7 kind of experience. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that pretty much every hour to hour and a half, something goes live on the ProBlogger Twitter account, same happens on the Digital Photography School one.

On Facebook, particularly on Digital Photography School’s Facebook page, we publish seven or eight posts per day. They are typically spread out every three or four areas although it does tend to be a few extra ones during the US day time. But again, that comes out of a lot of experimentation and watching what is working.

The last thing I’ll say about the timing of your blog post is that I’m a big believer that regularity and consistency in the timing your posts really does matter a lot. People take notice of when you publish. Whether you tell them or not, they begin to take notice of it. I know for a fact that some of you who are listening to this podcast know that we publish every Monday and Thursday morning, US time. I’ve never announced that that’s what I’m going to do but there was a couple of weeks where our posts were delayed because iTunes wasn’t updating them. I got emails from people saying where is your Monday morning podcast? I’ll listen to it on the way to work, or while I’m driving to work, or while I’m in the cafe after dropping my kids off.

I know for a fact that even though I’ve never announced it, we have listeners of this podcast who have noticed the rhythm of the publishing of this podcast and the same is true on my blogs as well. I think regularity and consistency is probably more important than the exact time. You might want to factor that in as well. I actually kind of like having a deadline. I like the fact that on Monday mornings if there’s a podcast that’s not ready, I feel bad about it so that gives me incentive to get that podcast recorded ahead of time.

This is in my mind not a science even though a lot of studies have been done and people have tried to wake out the optimal time. I think for me it’s really about trying to be consistent, trying to position your content so that it’s there when your readers are about to be there, and to experiment with that and see what works for you.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this, when do you publish your blog posts? Does it really matter to you? Do you publish them when they’re ready or do you publish them at certain times of the week? What other timings do you factor in? Do you publish your emails at the same time, do you publish your social media at the same time, your podcasts. I’d love to get your feedback on this. You can find our show notes today with the links to the studies that I did find on this topic if you’re interested in reading those over at problogger.com/podcast/130.

Thanks for listening, hopefully this one went out on time and iTunes published it at the right time. I look forward to chatting with you in the next could of days on the ProBlogger podcast.

When do you publish your blog posts?

I would love to hear your strategy for publishing your blog posts. Do you publish them at certain times? What other factors do you consider? I’d love to get your feedback on this topic.

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Got a Question You’d Like Me to Answer?

I base many episodes of this podcast upon questions answered by ProBlogger Podcast listeners and Blog readers.

You can use the following widget to ask a question. Please include your name and blog name (if you have a blog).

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The post PB130: What Time of Day is Best to Publish to Your Blog appeared first on ProBlogger Podcast.

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Facebook Takes Scissors to Paper App

Facebook’s stand-alone Paper application, which debuted amid much fanfare in February 2014, will be sent to the recycle bin after July 29.

Paper enabled users to see their Facebook content in themed, customizable sections, and the social network said in a Newsroom post introducing the app:

Your Paper is made of stories and themed sections, so you can follow your favorite interests. The first section in Paper is your Facebook News Feed, where you’ll enjoy inspiring new designs for photos, videos and longer written posts. You can customize Paper with a choice of more than one-dozen other sections about various themes and topics-from photography and sports to food, science, and design. Each section includes a rich mix of content from emerging voices and well-known publications.

Paper was one of the apps developed by Facebook Creative Labs, which was shuttered in December along with three of the other apps it created: Slingshot, Rooms and Riff.

Facebook Creative Labs apps that are still thriving include Facebook Mentions, Groups and Moments.

Paper users saw this message upon logging into the app Thursday:

Thank you for using Paper: In 2014, we launched Paper, a stand-alone app designed to give people a new way to explore and share stories from friends and the sources they care about. Today we’re announcing that we are ending support for the app, and users will no longer be able to log into the app after July 29.

We know that Paper really resonated with you-the people who used it-so we’ve tried to take the best aspects of it and incorporate them into the main Facebook app. For example, the same team that built Paper also built Instant Articles-a fast and interactive experience for reading articles in News Feed-using many of the same tools, design elements and fundamental ideas as Paper. Our goal with Paper was to explore new immersive, interactive design elements for reading and interacting with content on Facebook, and we learned how important these elements are in giving people an engaging experience.

We know not all the features you love will move over to Facebook, but we hope you’ll continue to notice elements from Paper improving the Facebook experience for everyone. We can’t thank you enough for using the app and exploring Paper with us over the past couple of years.

Readers: Did you ever use Paper? What did you think of it?

ThankYouForUsingPaper1 ThankYouForUsingPaper2PaperiPhone6650Paper650PaperCreators

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23 Must-Have Tools for Your Marketing Stack

It’s time to upgrade your SaaS marketing team.

With the right tools, your staff has the opportunity to acquire new users, offer quality customer service, and boost retention rates.

However, some businesses shy away from experimenting with new tools.

“New technology can be scary, and you don’t want to struggle with a tool that has a steep learning curve. Unfortunately, this means companies are missing out on some great products that can make life and business so much easier,” writes Travis Wright, chief marketing technologist at CCP Global.

The key is to create a marketing stack that fits your SaaS’s needs, not the latest trends. Moreover, don’t feel obligated to have a tool for every function of your business. Only try a tool when you think it can solve a problem or make your team more efficient.

Here are 23 tools to consider for your marketing stack.

Customer Support

Research reveals that “76% of consumers look at customer service as a test of their value to a brand.” Give your users value by answering their questions through customer support.

1. HappyFox

HappyFox handles all inbound requests in one ticketing system. And your service reps can contact multiple people from the same organization about a resolution. Unlike the some other help desk companies, you receive a secure help desk with SSL integration and 24/7 support at no extra cost.

happyfox-homepage-2016

2. Freshdesk

Freshdesk’s shared inbox lets your team collaborate and resolve issues together. You also can set requirements for resolution times.

freshdesk-homepage-2016

Onboarding

Onboarding customers is vital to ensure people understand and use your product effectively. This process is a way to not only familiarize consumers with your app, but also to formally introduce them to your brand.

Kate Griggs, product owner at InterContinental Hotels Group, says, “User onboarding is one of the most crucial–and frustrating–elements of any product launch. It is the first impression, and it needs to be planned and analyzed for future adoption and growth.”

3. Appcues

Appcues enables you to build a personalized user onboarding experience. With targeting capabilities, you can show the right experience to the right user at the right time. It’s highly recommended because non-developers can run experiments and improve your activation strategy.

appcues-homepage-2016

4. WalkMe

WalkMe gives you the control to change content, design, placement, and functionality of each step of the on-screen guidance. Its featured text option draws the user’s attention to important announcements.

walkme-homepage-2016

Social Media

People are constantly sharing information online. And right now, there are 2.3 billion active social media users. Your SaaS brand can learn what your customers are saying and can engage directly with social media.

5. Snapchat

Snapchat gives brands the chance to interact with customers. Boost brand awareness with short video clips. Moreover, the platform is America’s second-favorite social network. That opens the doors to introduce your product to more interested buyers.

snapchat-homepage-2016

6. Mention

Mention monitors conversations about your brand. Also, identify influencers and subject matter experts in your industry.

mention-homepage-2016

7. Buffer

Buffer helps drive more clicks on your posts and traffic to your site. The publishing tool lets you share content across multiple social networks.

Simplicity is the best word to describe Buffer. They offer simple analytics, making it easy to see your best performing social messages.

buffer-for-business-2016

Analytics

Your SaaS can benefit from gathering qualitative and quantitative data from your website. It moves your team to create a worthwhile online experience for your customers.

“When you are armed with this knowledge, you get to see how effective your website is and what changes you need to make in order to make it even better,” writes John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing Consultant.

8. Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics tracks individual and group visitor behavior. You’ll collect data from their first anonymous visit to their lifetime value.

kissmetrics-homepage-early-2016

9. Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg lets your team see exactly what visitors are doing on your website. For example, you’ll discover where people are clicking and where they stop scrolling on the page. Their Confetti Tool is really useful. It distinguishes your clicks, segmenting them by referral sources and search terms.

crazy-egg-homepage-2016

SEO

Make it easy for your customers to find you. Work with your team to generate visits to your site. If search engines can’t find you, then your ideal customers can’t either.

“…[B]usinesses are normally somewhat reluctant to get involved with SEO in the first place, and want to start small, with the basics due to budgetary concerns…If you want to see better results, you have to scale upward, in both quality and volume,” writes Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers.

10. Moz Pro

Moz Pro centers around improving your rankings and search engine visibility. And you can compare your mobile vs. desktop rankings.

moz-pro-homepage-2016

11. SEMrush

SEMrush finds long tail keywords and phrase matches. You also can monitor your competitors’ inbound links. And their US keyword database contains more than 80 million keywords!

semrush-homepage-2016

Loyalty

A Forrester study reports that “81% of marketing decision makers place customer loyalty as a top priority for improvement.” Customer expectations for loyalty programs have risen. And consumers desire incentives for their brand loyalty.

12. Loyalist

Loyalis is a rewards program created to boost your customer retention. You can even entice buyers with points if they share information via social media.

loyalis-homepage-2016

13. Social Annex

Social Annex helps your team deliver personalized actions. The software makes it easy for your customers to earn points and redeem prizes. Gamification is their signature tool. The platform has components like competition, tiers, and badges to enhance brand engagement.

social-annex-homepage-2016

Email Marketing

Communication is crucial to building quality customer relationships. Email is an effective tool to educate and respond to your consumers.

14. Customer.io

Customer.io helps your team send personalized messages. And connect every message to an action.

customer-io-homepage-2016

15. Vero

Vero empowers your team to segment users and combine conditions to send targeted campaigns. Sync with your customers’ routines and send emails based on time zones.

vero-homepage-2016

Content Marketing

According to Demand Metric, content marketing “costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.” Consider integrating content into your marketing strategy.

16. CoSchedule

CoSchedule equips you with a drag-and-drop marketing calendar. That way you can plan, publish, and promote without the hassle.

coschedule-homepage-2016

17. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo uncovers the most shared content across social networks. Receive content alerts regarding keywords, authors, and domains. Their chrome extension places all the necessary information at your fingertips.

buzzsumo-homepage-2016

18. Notifier

Notifier scans your blog posts, finds people you mentioned, and then lets you notify them. It’s a one-stop shop to bringing awareness to your content.

notifier-homepage-2016

Customer Feedback

Are your customers satisfied? Feedback guides your team’s decision-making and influences your customer success roadmap.

“Every business hopes to better its profits. The best way to do so is to serve the customer as fully as possible, especially if you can get each consumer to lead the way. By seeking customer feedback, many businesses gain a clearer picture of ways they can improve,” states Larry Alton, a business and online marketing consultant.

19. Riddle

Riddle gathers deep audience insight. Collect business intelligence through engaging quizzes and polls.

riddle-homepage-2016

20. Formstack

Formstack makes it possible to compile customer data. With A/B testing, you’ll find out which forms convert at higher rates. Their Social Autofill feature lets your users autofill form fields with social profiles.

formstack-homepage-2016

Video

Hubspot reports that “64% of users are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video.” It might benefit your team to create more videos.

21. Animate

With Animoto, gain access to dozens of video styles with unique filters and transitions.

animoto-homepage-2016

22. Wistia

Wistia allows you to restrict where videos are played. Every view generates a heatmap, showing exactly which parts of the video the viewer watched. Also, Wistia thrives on collaboration, share videos and analytics with your team and see their time-coded comments.

wistia-homepage-2016

23. Vimeo

Vimeo enables you to upload and share your videos. They have a free plan and a paid plan that costs as little as $59.95 per year.

vimeo-homepage-2016

Upgrade Your Stack

Useful tools help your team work more efficiently. So, don’t be wary about experimenting with different options.

However, be mindful about how a tool can solve your company’s challenges. You won’t need a tool for everything.

Start exploring. Upgrade your marketing stack.

About the Author: Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology and social responsibility. Connect with her on Twitter @shaylaprice.

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