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Roaring Pajamas https://www.roaringpajamas.com Social Media, SEO, Digital Marketing Fri, 27 Mar 2020 21:19:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 How to Work From Home While Avoiding the Coronavirus https://www.roaringpajamas.com/how-to-work-from-home/ https://www.roaringpajamas.com/how-to-work-from-home/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2020 19:10:47 +0000 https://www.roaringpajamas.com/?p=2873 Do you need to learn how to work from home while sheltering in place? With the world concerned about the Coronavirus outbreak, companies, schools and businesses are sending people to work from home and self-quarantine and to learn how to … Continue reading

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Do you need to learn how to work from home while sheltering in place? With the world concerned about the Coronavirus outbreak, companies, schools and businesses are sending people to work from home and self-quarantine and to learn how to work from home on their own. Until this outbreak subsides, and for the unforeseeable future, thousands of people will be working from home and exploring remote work options for the very first time. The world is focused on Coronavirus prevention tips, and my belief is that we need to do our best to remain productive while we work at home as well. I hope you’ll learn a few important tips in this article while you’re learning how to work from home.

I’ve worked as a successful Digital Standards, Social Media and SEO consultant and a small business owner for more than 20 years. Most of my work has been performed remotely in my home office. Personally, working in a fabric cubicle with artificial lighting didn’t work for me. My productivity declined and concentration was difficult. A work from home solution was my best option. So, I set up a home office, learned how to work from home and here I am, sharing my tips and tricks with you.

Currently, my home is in a community where many people who work for Facebook and Google live. Most everyone is working from home and our sidewalks are bustling with employees walking dogs while on breaks (while practicing social distancing, of course). A few people mentioned to me this week how unfocused they feel, and how working from home isn’t as fun as they imagined. I’ve found myself offering tips and advice on successfully getting the job done, and I thought it was time to share my best advice right here on the Roaring Pajamas Blog.

Top 6 tips for successfully working from home

1. Create a routine.

When you worked in an office, you had a routine, right? You woke up at a certain time of day, worked out, ate breakfast, played with the cat or walked the dog. Keep doing those activities. Don’t stop. Maybe you can adjust the schedule to get up 30 minutes later because you no longer have a commute, or you can add a meditation, house cleaning or whatever to your schedule, but make and keep a routine. Setting a routine is especially important as you are learning how to work from home. Stay disciplined during this time and in time you’ll be able to relax a bit and still remain productive.

2. Shower and get ready for work. Every. Single. Day.

I love my Roaring Pajamas. We celebrate National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day too. But trust me. You’ll feel more professional, effective and productive if you get dressed. You don’t need to wear a suit or high heels, but you might at least get dressed in something you wouldn’t mind wearing to the grocery store when you run into a client, co-worker or boss.

3. Keep 2 to-do lists.

I always keep two task lists, one for work activities and the other list is for personal to-dos.

The reason I keep two lists is to help me separate work from my personal time during the day. I like to take frequent breaks to relax my eyes after staring at a computer screen. During those breaks, I’ll make a snack, look at my list and perhaps tackle a personal task like moving a load of laundry, picking up the mail or making a personal phone call. Knowing these personal activities are somewhat scheduled makes them okay to do during the day, and I feel less guilty and distracted.

Also, I find that creating a daily task list helps me stay on task each day. I’ve also tried the Tomato Timer to help me focus for 25 minutes at a time. The app’s awesome if you like that sort of thing.

I know this sounds obvious to many of you, but many people tell me they don’t really worry about prioritizing tasks on a daily basis. They also tell me they are easily distracted during remote work. Try my recommendation. It totally works.

4. Go outside. Often.

Sunshine is so important. I support this advice wherever one works, at home or office. Sunshine is known to lift spirits, reduce depression, improve energy and some studies claim the sun kills viruses too! If the sun is shining, take your laptop outdoors. Take a phone call on your patio. Take a noon walk.

My sunshine program includes:

– Sunrise: Breathwork, Qi Gong, sun gazing and a long walk
– Mid-day: A short walk even if just to pick up a package
– Sunset: Sungazing, meditation and a long walk

5. Cover your cameras and set up a VPN.

Seriously. Cover your cameras. Nothing rattles me more than receiving one of those emails that say they recorded me and the writer “knows what you did.” Those emails are creepy. I keep covers on my phone, laptop, tablet and external cameras. Now, when I receive one of those disturbing emails, I simply delete it knowing it’s fake.

I also like having my own VPN for increased security and peace of mind. Using a personal VPN allows an extra layer of security from hacks and man-in-the-middle attacks.

Use a company VPN, if available. Otherwise, you can sign up for one of many VPN services to help protect your data while on your home network, common area, café or other public wifi.

6. Schedule the end of your day.

I can work all day and all night on search engine optimization for our clients, but a girl’s gotta eat sooner or later. Each day, when I’m planning my activities for the day, I also plan the end of the day. During the dark days of winter, I usually step outside at sunset around 4:30 to 5 pm. In the dog days of summer, I’ll stop around 5 pm to eat dinner, then step out for sunset and a long walk. Either way, I consciously plan to end my workday. Of course, sometimes I’ll work late at night on a project. Those nights, I try to take a long break and then come back later in the evening to finish up what I need to do.

Hopefully, this post on how to work from home will help you remain productive while avoiding the Coronavirus. Working from home can be very productive and offers a lot of benefits. Try my tips to keep you focused, productive and successful while you work from home. You may also find you enjoy working from home after all the shelter in place requirements are lifted, and now you’ll know how to work from home, and you’ll have all the tools you’ll need. In the meantime, take care of yourself, boost your immune system and take heed of other Coronavirus prevention tips provided by your county health department. Do you have other tips on how to work from home? I’d love to hear them!

Related Articles

 

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How to Deal With Negative Comments on Social Media. Ignore or Engage? https://www.roaringpajamas.com/negative-comments/ https://www.roaringpajamas.com/negative-comments/#respond Wed, 02 Oct 2019 01:00:03 +0000 https://www.roaringpajamas.com/?p=2720 Managing social media isn’t all fun and games and memes. You’re almost guaranteed to run into negative comments. If you’re lucky, you’ll rarely have to tangle with these thorny customers. But for most social media managers, running damage control is … Continue reading

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Managing social media isn’t all fun and games and memes. You’re almost guaranteed to run into negative comments. If you’re lucky, you’ll rarely have to tangle with these thorny customers. But for most social media managers, running damage control is part and parcel of the social media game. In fact, a social media page without a few unpleasant comments looks pretty suspicious! So knowing how to gracefully handle these comments while keeping your brand’s image untarnished will make you a social media unicorn.

For the sake of your sanity, grow a thick skin if you don’t already have one! It might be tempting to fire back at a negative comment with both barrels, but it always pays to take the high road in these cases. At the same time, you don’t want to encourage someone who’s just looking to make your life miserable. Remember social media is a way to interact and impress both existing and potential customers. In fact, according to Groove, a “tool for growing small businesses that helps teams deliver personal customer support,” your business is 14x more likely to sell to an existing, happy customer than a new customer.

Clearly, the name of the game here is quality customer service!

Easier said than done, right? Well then, how do you differentiate between genuinely frustrated people and the ever-dreaded internet trolls? And once you do, how should you respond to their negative comment?

I’ve gone ahead and boiled this down into four easy-to-remember tips to make handling these comments a piece of cake.

 

 


1. Identify the type of comment.

Is the person commenting genuinely frustrated, or just trying to troll you?

Here’s an example of a complaint you might find on a restaurant’s page for a restaurant:

  • The service here was terrible! I had to ask when my dish was going to be ready at least three times, and when the food finally arrived it was lukewarm. Horrible experience, the waiter had terrible BO, would not recommend to anyone!

Yikes. This complaint is rough but it does describe a legitimate frustration.

Now for a troll comment:

  • You guys are so stupid you can’t even cook your food right. Your spicy chicken looks like roadkill and probably tastes like it too. Gross!

See the difference? The first negative comment describes a genuine frustration while the second is just mean for the sake of being mean. Online trolls who write comments like this live to abuse the internet’s “veil of anonymity” just to get a rise out of people. A good rule of thumb is to take their nasty comments with a very hefty grain of salt.

2. Respond appropriately.

Once you’ve identified the kind of comment you’re dealing with, you can decide on your battle plan. To arms!

If the commenter has a legitimate complaint, you’ll want to respond ASAP before moving the conversation offline. No matter how rude they may act, kill them with sugary sweet kindness! Responding emotionally can be tempting but only guarantees you’ll lose their business – and those they talk to – forever. Offer them a discount, a free meal, a free ticket – whatever you feel is enough to make up for their frustration.

Likewise, if the negative comment reeks of an internet troll, keep your cool! The last thing you want is for your social media followers to see you behaving unprofessionally. At the same time, you don’t want them to think of you as Big Brother for censoring too many comments. If the comment is truly vulgar or inappropriate, then by all means show them the door by blocking them. Just remember that blocking a follower is the nuclear option. You’ve got to be totally sure the comment is ugly enough to get someone blocked.

You also have the option of hiding or deleting a comment. These are much less severe ways to deal with unsavory types, but what you can do and what happens after depends on whether you’re using Instagram or Facebook.

Block someone on Instagram and unlike Facebook, their likes and comments are NOT removed from your photos and videos. You can still delete both your comments and those of others on your posts, but you can’t hide a comment on Instagram. The best you can do is report it.

Facebook is a bird of a different feather. Block someone in Zuckerbergland and your posts and comments fully vanish from their view. At the same time, their posts, comments, and likes will from your personal feed. Deleting a comment works the same as Instagram, but hiding a comment from a post on your Page does not. This keeps the comment visible to the person who wrote it as well as friends in their network.

Always remember, if nothing else you can report the comment if it doesn’t follow Facebook’s Community Standards.

They and their connected network won’t know they’ve been blocked, but their comments will be hidden from everyone else.

There are times where responding to a troll comment is better than removing them, but it’s your call to make. Let’s say someone makes a hostile comment listing out facts why your post is incorrect or inaccurate. Be the bigger person! There’s no harm in admitting they’re right, fixing the error and moving on. This both preserves your professional image and avoids making you look like an authoritarian censor.

3. Have a social media commenting policy in place.

Surprise! Most businesses don’t have a policy for how people should interact on their social media page. A real shame, because a commenting policy makes handling inappropriate comments including foul language or racism much easier. If you want to remove a nasty comment from an internet troll, you can cite your policy and be done with the matter. Easy peasy.

4. Sometimes the best answer is no answer at all.

Time for a little social media zen. Not every negative comment is worth responding to. In fact, doing so can actually set the person off and make the situation worse.

Comments like “Love your yoga pants but so-and-so’s are so much better” or “I’d never buy a book from your store” are too vague to be worth addressing. These are often from people who just want to express themselves and aren’t really looking for a solution. People like this are only interested in venting their frustration, so let them vent. No harm, no foul.

Remember, having a few comments like these here and there is perfectly natural! This shows you’re not policing what people say about your business. Leave them be and move on with your life.

Simple enough, right? Remember, our goal here isn’t to doctor our social media image. We want to make followers with genuine frustrations feel heard and appreciated. Most of all we want to make it right with them while staying polite, professional and on-brand. In the event of online trolls where making things right isn’t an option, knowing how to defuse the situation helps you keep your followers’ respect while clearing your posts of offensive material. And always remember – when confronted with someone’s negative comment, kill them with kindness!

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Roaring Pajamas’ Top Social Media Tools for Marketing Your Business in 2019 https://www.roaringpajamas.com/social-media-tools/ https://www.roaringpajamas.com/social-media-tools/#respond Thu, 18 Jul 2019 01:00:42 +0000 https://www.roaringpajamas.com/?p=2712 Whether you’re a digital native or internet-illiterate, there are social media tools you can use to help you promote your business online and engage with your audience. The truth is social media isn’t going anywhere. While social media use in … Continue reading

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Whether you’re a digital native or internet-illiterate, there are social media tools you can use to help you promote your business online and engage with your audience.

The truth is social media isn’t going anywhere. While social media use in the States may not be growing at the same rates as in the past, social media continues to play an important (and time-consuming) role in most adults’ daily lives. A 2019 study by Pew Research showed 69% of adults in the US used Facebook. Nearly three-fourths of Facebook users said they visit the site every day and half said they check the site multiple times a day. Meanwhile, Instagram use is up 2% from last year.

People are spending more and more time online: A 2017 Global Web Index study showed people spend 2 hours and 15 minutes a day online, and 33% of their daily time online on social media. There’s simply no question about it: if you want to reach people, your business needs an engaging social media presence.

Here are some of the best social media apps we use at Roaring Pajamas:

When to Post

We use the free portion on the When to Post app to find the three best times of a given day to post for an account. You can add several Instagram accounts to the free portion of the app and easily switch back and forth between them. When to Post offers a paid version with other metrics, but we don’t recommend it because you can get what they provide for free in Instagram’s native Insights.

Other “best time to post” (BTTP) programs and apps (like Later or Grum) are tailored to your page in other paid tools, but we find this one works the best!

VSCO

Instagram is a visual social media platform. Accordingly, your posts must be visually compelling. While some choose to keep it simple and post photos with no edits or with edits using the native in-app editing options, we like to use third-party social media tools for photo editing to make our posts even better.

VSCO in particular is a favorite to help us maintain a natural “unfiltered” look for our clients’ photos.

You can edit everything from exposure to saturation to white balance from within the app. They also offer hundreds of presets – some free and some for purchase – you can use for a subtle effect.

Either way, we recommend editing all your photos in a similar style to match your brand and keep your Instagram feed consistent.

The app is free with in-app purchases.

Hootsuite

Of all the social media tools, Hootsuite is one of the most comprehensive. Hootsuite is an all-in-one social media scheduling tool we’ve been using for ages. You can plan and schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can schedule posts for when your audience is online, even if it’s not the same time you’re online.

There’s also reporting/analysis built in so you can see what content is resonating with your audience and helping you reach your digital marketing goals.

Hootsuite offers a 30-day free trial and plans from $19 and up thereafter.

Dropbox

Dropbox is a secure data storage tool that’s great for sharing and editing large files amongst teams. Your files are kept in the cloud so instead of emailing different versions of documents or projects, everyone on your team always has access to the most recent version.

Dropbox is great for storing large files like images for social media use.

Plans start at $8.25/month for 1TB. They offer plans for individuals and plans for teams. You can try some plans for free.

Tailwind

Tailwind is a tool for scheduling Pinterest pins. This app provides a lot of features including scheduling other accounts’ pins, looping your own pins, and checking analytics to see what’s working and what’s not. Tailwind also offers Instagram scheduling. They own the When To Post app mentioned above. Since we use Hootsuite, we haven’t found a need for another app for Pinterest scheduling. However, some prefer Tailwind over Hootsuite for this task.

They offer a free trial and paid plans after the trial expires.

Canva

Canva offers graphic design for people who don’t want to use expensive graphic design software. Here at Roaring Pajamas, we own PhotoShop, but it’s a lot of work and we can quickly create a social media graphic in Canva instead.

You can create anything from Pinterest pins to infographics. Canva offers tons of different images, fonts, colors, icons, shapes and more for you to use. They even have slick design templates made by real graphic artists you can use for your projects.

All your projects are stored inside Canva so anyone with access to the account can view and edit them.

Canva offers a free version with paid upgrades.

These tools are what we consider some of the best social media tools and apps around for making sure you create and post excellent and engaging content. For more about social media, learn how to use a social media editorial calendar to organize your posts across platforms in our post here.

Need help? Contact us if you’re looking for help strategizing and managing your business’s social media presence.

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How the Hreflang Tag Boosts Your International Site’s SEO https://www.roaringpajamas.com/hreflang/ https://www.roaringpajamas.com/hreflang/#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2019 01:30:51 +0000 https://www.roaringpajamas.com/?p=2677 Correctly using the hreflang tag offers many benefits for SEO if you run a website with target audiences in multiple countries, languages or even dialects of a single language. For all its power, Google is still a machine and doesn’t … Continue reading

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Correctly using the hreflang tag offers many benefits for SEO if you run a website with target audiences in multiple countries, languages or even dialects of a single language.

For all its power, Google is still a machine and doesn’t know what it’s reading unless you properly identify your content. The Hreflang tag tells Google the language of a page on your site and the country the page serves. This tag ensures different pages on your site end up in front of the right people.

What is hreflang?

Pronounced “h-ref-lang”, hreflang is an HTML tag used in the backend HTML of your website that tells Google all of the language and/or country variants of a given url on the site. You may translate the same set of pages into different languages for different audiences and you want to identify the language for each version of a webpage.

Perhaps you ship products to many parts of the world – someone in Sweden doesn’t want to see information about costs and shipping to the United States. With this tag, you can tell Google which url contains Swedish content and provides information and costs for shipping to Sweden.

The hreflang tag also prevents Google from assuming you’re making duplicate content; pages for the UK and US are similar content-wise since they are both in English, but they serve different countries. This tag helps Google know you aren’t duplicating content but in fact making slightly different content for each place.

How does hreflang work?

Like other HTML tags, hreflang can be easy to get wrong if you flub the syntax. Luckily, there are tools online to help you.

The first thing to know is there are three places you can put the code, and where you choose to put it determines how you write the code. The three locations are in the:

If you choose to add this to the HTML code in the <head> you will want to add all of the language variants including itself in the tags. (see Google article)

The first part of the code specifies the url and the second part specifies the language and/or country. For example, the code might look like this:

<link rel=”alternate” href=”https://www.example.com” hreflang=”en-us”/>

Here you are specifying the url https://www.example.com is in American English (en-us).

You can differentiate between the same language spoken in a different country, e.g. Spanish from Spain and Spanish from Mexico. In hreflang, this might look like

<link rel=”alternate” href=”https:/www./example.com/es” hreflang=”es-es”/>

<link rel=”alternate” href=”https://www.example.com/mx” hreflang=”es-mx”/>

The first url is in Spanish from Spain and the second is in Spanish from Mexico.

A user’s current location and language settings determine what they see when they search in Google. If someone’s IP address gives the impression they are in a country in which a certain language is spoken, they are more likely to get results in that language.

If all this sounds a bit too technical, fear not: there are tools you can use to generate hreflang code. There are also great companies out there like Webcertain who are experts at international SEO and can help you if it’s all a little too much.

On the other hand, if you want to get started tackling the code yourself, Google’s own post about hreflang is a good place to start, as well as this post from Moz.

Examples of sites using hreflang well

Let’s take a look at a site using hreflang effectively. When I query ‘Zara’, Google brings up the US English version of their site because my default Google search settings are for American English:

If I change my Google search settings to the country of France and language to ‘French’, I get the following result for the same query (‘Zara’):

How using hreflang can boost your SEO

Using hreflang doesn’t necessarily help with ranking, but it ensures the right page gets served to the right people. This reduces your bounce rate because people are finding the page they want (and can read!) and aren’t clicking away quickly. A lower bounce rate is better for your site’s SEO.

At the end of the day, both you and Google have the same goal: you both want people to find the best possible landing page for a given keyword search (your page of course!). Knowing how to use hreflang in your HTML markup is an excellent step to get you there.

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Should I Use Meta Keywords on My Website for SEO? https://www.roaringpajamas.com/meta-keywords/ https://www.roaringpajamas.com/meta-keywords/#comments Wed, 27 Feb 2019 14:30:23 +0000 https://www.roaringpajamas.com/?p=2667 As an SEO agency, we are often asked about the use of meta keywords. Search engines and their algorithms change on a continual basis. Since our clients understand that search engine algorithms and search engine optimization rules change over time, … Continue reading

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As an SEO agency, we are often asked about the use of meta keywords. Search engines and their algorithms change on a continual basis. Since our clients understand that search engine algorithms and search engine optimization rules change over time, they often pose the question, “Should I use meta keywords?”

This blog is here to answer that often-argued question. To begin, let’s confirm exactly what the term means. Meta keywords are the strategically chosen phrases that are placed into the HTML of a web page and are used to help inform a search engine of the given topic of a web page.

The meta keywords are not visible in the text on a web page but reside in the HTML code. These keywords are placed behind the scenes, such as through a WordPress plugin, like Yoast.. Well, it used to be available in Yoast. You’ll learn momentarily if that’s still true today.

The history of meta keywords helps reveal how you should address your own SEO and digital marketing now.

The Story of Meta Keywords

Early on, search engines did not restrict the number of keywords allowed in the meta keywords tag. However, at some point, Google and other search engines noticed users were “keyword stuffing” into this meta tag. In other words, some marketers were cramming a high volume of meta keywords into the back end of their web pages. This action was seen as “spammy.” Google took action and created a limit that has been reduced over time. Today, Google suggests allowing only a maximum of 2 – 3 meta keywords for each web page.

Around 2011, Google made an announcement via a Youtube Video that Google was not using meta keywords as a ranking factor. This change kicked off other platforms’ changes. There was a popular WordPress plugin by Yoast for example that, mentioned before, infused the meta keywords into that given page or post. Recently, the Yoast plugin on WordPress eliminated the field for adding keywords to the meta keywords tag. These actions have led many marketers and companies to ask if meta keywords, in turn, have any benefits.¹

To Use or Not Use, That is the Question

We still recommend using meta keywords because although they are not acknowledged by Google or Bing, remember there are other search engines. While Google may make up a majority of the market, other search engines, especially internationally, still exist and they should be considered if the target audience for a website requires these other search engines. Examples of these other search engines include Baidu (a China-based search engine), Yandex and Naver.

Each of these search engines uses meta keywords differently.

  • Baidu does take meta keywords into consideration for ranking. The ideal number is 3 – 5 keywords implemented on every page. Do not go to a higher number as that may be considered keyword stuffing.
  • Yandex: May be used when determining the page’s relevance to search queries.
  • Naver: The search engine does use meta keywords. They should be implemented on every page on the site and should include 3 keyword phrases. Avoid keyword stuffing.

When asking yourself, “Should I use meta keywords?”, consider that these other search engines could be using them and, if you opt out of implementing the meta keywords, you could be missing important opportunities to rank, increase organic traffic and convert visitors to customers.

For example, a project manager at Bing, Duane Forrester, shared that “meta keywords is a signal. One of roughly a thousand we analyze. Getting the use of meta keywords right is a nice perk for us, but won’t rock your world. Abusing meta keywords can hurt you.”

In other words, meta keywords, when used properly and in a safe proportion, can help your ranking.

To be safe rather than sorry, we recommend to all our clients that they use meta keywords. There is no need to be worried about your Google ranking, either. In a Search Engine Round Table with Gary Illyes of Google, he shared that Google does not see the use of meta keywords as spam so it will not penalize a site for using this tag.


¹Source: https://datadrivenlabs.io/blog/meta-keyword-tag-google-2018/

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What’s the Future of Social Media? Social Media Trends 2019 https://www.roaringpajamas.com/social-media-trends-2019/ https://www.roaringpajamas.com/social-media-trends-2019/#respond Fri, 25 Jan 2019 02:07:40 +0000 https://www.roaringpajamas.com/?p=2641 You want to know the social media trends 2019 – and for good reason. After all, you know that social media is critical to almost all brands’ marketing and overall success. Because social media is ever-changing, staying “in the know” … Continue reading

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You want to know the social media trends 2019 – and for good reason. After all, you know that social media is critical to almost all brands’ marketing and overall success. Because social media is ever-changing, staying “in the know” will help you confidently strategize and grow your business further this coming year.

That’s why, to help you be one step ahead of the rest of the pack, our team at Roaring Pajamas is sharing our insights into the future of social media.

Remember, even if social media felt like a challenging “To Do” for you this past year, know there is hope.

In fact, the chief marketing officer of Hootsuite, Penny Wilson, shares that, “While 2018 had its challenges, they translate into tremendous new opportunities for brands to establish deeper, more authentic and longer-lasting relationships with customers in 2019 and beyond—connections that will help achieve those broader business objectives.”¹

Ready to use the power of social media to build these kinds of authentic, long-term connections with dream customers? Let’s share the trends that’ll help you get there!

The Theme of Social Media Trends in 2019

An overarching pattern exists for the future of social media. We, like most experts, predict a shift from the written word into visuals, especially video. Other social media savants agree. Take Marcus Sheridan. Formerly known as The Sales Lion, this author and podcast host has proclaimed that by 2019, he estimates 80% of all content we consume will be video.

The popularity of video is a rise of both evergreen video and live streaming. Live streaming offers immense power due to the level of highly engaging interaction. By using live video, brands and individuals can respond to comments, answer questions live and create a greater sense of connection. That’s why live and video-based mediums are important social media trends for 2019.²

Another reason live video is so engaging is because this medium feels authentic. With the fears around fake news and overly perfect feeds, consumers are feeling that need for genuine connection and are more likely to build trust and loyalty with brands that create down-to-Earth video and live content.

This brings us to a few of the top, specific social media trends for 2019.

Insta-Stories

In 2016 Instagram added Insta-Stories, the SnapChat-like feature letting accounts post short storytelling segments that disappear in 24 hours. With the attraction and growth of “live” and content that feels more spontaneous and authentic, Stories is only growing as one of the top social media trends in 2019.

There may also be more advertisements in between stories of followed accounts. Paid ads are a powerful way to use marketing dollars to get in front of ideal audiences and measure your ROI.

Facebook Live

Facebook Live was rolled out to some users in August 2015 and, by August 2016, anyone with a Facebook account had the ability to utilize this live streaming capability. Since launching, Facebook Live has helped many brands grow their reach and connect more deeply with more clients. Facebook Live will continue as one of the top social media trends in 2019.

The numbers speak for themselves. For example, Search Engine Journal cited that their average Facebook Live engagement was 178% higher than the average engagement of a regular post. In addition, Live posts achieved reaches of at least double the amount of “normal” posts.³

Ads in Facebook Stories

Currently, most ads we see on Facebook are in our main feeds and sidebars. The same way Instagram features advertisements in between stories of followed accounts, it’s likely Facebook will introduce such ads, as well. As ads are key to the future of social media, keep this information in mind when considering your Facebook and overall marketing budget for 2019.

Bots on the Rise

Chatbots are growing in popularity – and will only continue to expand this coming year. From setting up accounts to purchasing airline tickets and booking hotels, chatbots are being used to maximize efficiency and increase convenience. After all, a bot can be at work on a website 24/7 – rather than having a human working at 2 am, a bot can be there to help.

Influence Marketing

Partnering with influencers is a trend that is continually effective – and certainly one of the key social media trends 2019. In our work at Roaring Pajamas, we’ve found continued effective results by partnering with influencers. The right partners have like audiences with built-in trust with their followers, so when an influencer features your brand – ears are already perking up to listen!

Buy Direct on Instagram

Look out for Instagram adding a new shopping feature, which lets consumers buy products directly through the platform. For example, a decorator can post an image with household items and let visitors purchase by tapping on the item.

What Social Media Trends 2019 Do You Predict?

Our team and other experts feel strongly that the trends listed through this blog are the future of social media, but we want to hear your input too.

What trends do you think the New Year will bring?

Please share in the comments below!

¹Source: Ad Week
²Source: Social Media Examiner
³Source: InfusionSoft

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Roaring Pajamas’ Holiday Gift Guide for 2018 https://www.roaringpajamas.com/roaring-pajamas-holiday-gift-guide-2018/ https://www.roaringpajamas.com/roaring-pajamas-holiday-gift-guide-2018/#respond Mon, 03 Dec 2018 02:00:50 +0000 https://www.roaringpajamas.com/?p=2461 With December fast approaching, the Roaring Pajamas’ Holiday Gift Guide for 2018 is here to help make shopping for the ultra-techy person in your life much easier. We know figuring out the right office gifts for coworkers, loved ones and … Continue reading

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With December fast approaching, the Roaring Pajamas’ Holiday Gift Guide for 2018 is here to help make shopping for the ultra-techy person in your life much easier. We know figuring out the right office gifts for coworkers, loved ones and all around tech lovers can be a challenge. You want to get something that’s truly helpful and liked but aren’t quite sure what to buy. After all, technology is rapidly changing, and you want these gifts to be the latest.

Rather than traipse down the aisles of Target, wander around Best Buy or spend hours scrolling on Amazon, we want to share with you our list of concrete ideas and company favorites.

That’s why we created this:

Roaring Pajamas’ Holiday Gift Guide for 2018 for business owners, social media mavens – and beyond! 

This list includes the prime “Oh my gosh, no way! Thank you!” office gifts for coworkers and gadgets that will make life, including work time, more enjoyable.

Explore The Gifts

For the Person Who Works From Home

AmazonBasics Ventilated Adjustable Laptop Stand: To kick off our Holiday Gift Guide for 2018, we are excited to present this ventilated, adjustable laptop stand. The metal mesh allows your laptop to run cooler, helping to prevent crashes, and even draw heat away from your trusty laptop. If cords tend to bug you? That’s another perk. This stand can gather up and tuck away 6 cords. Cord overwhelm, be gone! The best part? It’s only $19.99!

For the Clean Freak

PhoneSoap 3 UV Cell Phone Sanitizer: This is the perfect gift for the cleanest person you know. This device, as seen on the TV show Shark Tank, uses UV light to clean your phone, killing 99.99% of all the bacteria that gathers on your phone throughout the day. Because, whether we like to think about it or not!, our phone attracts and accumulates a frightening amount of bacteria. However, we don’t wash phones like we do our hands so that bacteria adds up. That’s why we had to include the PhoneSoap for our tech Holiday Gift Guide for 2018. Your friend who owns a startling amount of hand sanitizer will LOVE this device. Plus, this pod simultaneously charges your phone. One more unique benefit? This pod can clean other things as well, from keys to headphones!

For the Tech Lovers

An Amazing Monitor: You have that coworker or loved one who uses a variety of devices, from tablets to their laptop. Here are two monitors to take the tech experience up a notch. The Dell 24” Touch Monitor is a touchscreen monitor that allows the user to combine the touchscreen of a tablet with the power and capabilities of a desktop. We also recommend the Dell 29” Ultrasharp Monitor because this monitor is massive, allowing the user to spread out all types of work across the screen.

Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard: This keyboard is one of those gadgets that’ll have social media gurus going gaga. This keyboard is useful with your computer AND your smartphone or tablet. The keyboard easily switches between devices and is easy to pair with Android, iOS, Windows and Mac alike. Our own team is passionate about using the keyboard for typing up social media posts and engaging on Instagram. After all, fingers get tired after so much Insta comment typing via mobile! Didn’t expect our Holiday Gift Guide for 2018 to help avoid carpal tunnel, eh?

For the Commuter

Bose SoundSport Wireless-Free Headphones: Have a friend who takes public transportation to work or loves to listen to a podcast while they walk part or all of the way to the office? Traditional headphones with the big wire probably annoy them far more than they realize. That is why these headphones are one of the best choices for gifts for coworkers in your office. This set of wireless earbuds offer excellent Bose sound – without any tangled cords. Plus, the earbuds come with their own charging case and include anti-sweat technology, so they’re great for workouts, too.

For the Entrepreneur

The Miracle Time Cube: A business owner has a lot to get done and they need to be hyper-focused. That is the beauty of the Time Cube. Rather than set phone alarms, which can be distracting and lead to time scrolling Instagram, this cube allows you to set timers to work on a task in the zone. The entrepreneur or tech worker in your life can hop on a phone meeting and flip the cube to 30 minutes, starting the countdown. The cube also made our Holiday Gift Guide for 2018 because it’s ideal for other tasks like setting timers while cooking, giving yourself 15 minutes to read before doing errands or timing workouts. 

Now, we turn it over to you.

Has one of these gadgets in the annual Roaring Pajamas’ Holiday Gift Guide for 2018 stood out to you – and made it easy to choose a gift for someone else or, hey, yourself? Let us know in the comment below!

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How to Make a Nofollow Link and When to Use It https://www.roaringpajamas.com/make-nofollow-link-use/ https://www.roaringpajamas.com/make-nofollow-link-use/#respond Sun, 07 Oct 2018 14:15:45 +0000 https://www.roaringpajamas.com/?p=2435 Used well, knowing how to make a nofollow link can make a powerful difference in your SEO. Having been immersed in the world of domain authority and keyword ranking for years (on years!), I have seen the industry’s continual growth … Continue reading

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Used well, knowing how to make a nofollow link can make a powerful difference in your SEO. Having been immersed in the world of domain authority and keyword ranking for years (on years!), I have seen the industry’s continual growth and evolution. SEO is a constantly changing landscape. (That’s why the Roaring Pajamas team and I create SEO tutorials!)

One important change to the SEO arena was made in 2005:  The ability to create a nofollow link.

That’s right – nofollow links weren’t always a thing. After people began to use spam tactics, such as posting links to others pages in all types of formats, like through blog comments, the nofollow feature was introduced. However, not knowing how to make a nofollow link is still common.

Now, nofollows are used for a variety of reasons. At Roaring Pajamas, we believe – in our heart of hearts – that the technique is not used enough but is very important. Let’s address why and how you can start implementing this feature ASAP.

First, What is a NoFollow Link?

So, before we jump into tactics for why and how to make a nofollow link, let’s confirm what we are typing about! Here’s what we mean by this term.

A Nofollow link is a link (hyperlinked text) on a web page we tell to not attribute any of the page’s authority to the linked external site/page.

Here’s an example to clarify!

A search engine bot crawls your page searching for what your beautiful page offers, as well as the other pages you have linked throughout. When the crawler sees you linked to something, the crawler says, “Oh – they cared enough to link this source, it must be pretty good! I’m going to scope that out.”

The bot goes to that page and explores, getting to know the page’s content and quality, as well as your own content and quality. The crawler then connects that site’s features and credibility to your own.

The fact that the crawler shares your authority with the target page is very important. So, your default for links should be set to nofollow. Then, whenever you know you want to provide a follow link, that being a more rare situation, remove the attribute as needed.

First, here’s how to set it up!

How to Make a Nofollow Link

To make a nofollow link, add a nofollow attribute to the <a> or hyperlink tag on your page.

This attribute allows the visitor to click the link – but tells the search engine not to share your page’s authority with the target page.

Here is how to add that attribute to the tag.

  1. Create a link in the visual view in your content management system (CMS).
  2.  Switch to the HTML view in your content management system. This mode is often dubbed “Text”, for example, in WordPress.  Once you enter this mode, find the correct link in the code by searching for “<a”.
  3. Add the necessary attribute to the link. Add “rel=nofollow” to the link. See the example below.

For the link: <a href=”https://www.roaringpajamas.com”>Roaring Pajamas</a>

We added:

<a href=”https://www.roaringpajamas.comrel=”nofollow>Roaring Pajamas</a>

And there you have it, how to make a nofollow link!

When to Use NoFollows

The nofollow attribute is meant to be used in situations where you want to provide a link to content, but the site either does not need any of your authority (the site has more authority than your site), or for other reasons, you don’t want to share authority.

The nofollow link is ideal for other specific situations, such as those below.

  • Use a nofollow on links to pages requiring registration. If the visitor needs to login when they get to that page, use a nofollow link.
  • If you have a reward or paid partnership with a brand, adding the nofollow attribute is the right, ethical step. Essentially, non-editorial links may have the attribute. This also includes press releases or other types of paid links.

When to Share Link Authority With External Sites

You now know how to make a nofollow link – but should you? There are times when sharing authority is ideal, such as linking to a high-quality article that offers great value or to partners and sources you trust.

For example, if you are a website designer and just designed a gorgeous website for a client, link to that with full authority. If you are co-hosting a podcast with an established entrepreneur, link to that podcast and link the entrepreneur to their website. This is a great way to share the love and your authority!

Explore Another Important Link Strategy

For additional link strategy, we suggest also studying how to create the best quality backlinks. So today, in addition to learning how to make a nofollow link – up your SEO game even further by exploring how to build quality backlinks and why they matter.

And, if you have any questions or thoughts on using the nofollow strategy?

Please share in the comments below!

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Using Facebook Messenger Bots to Connect with Customers https://www.roaringpajamas.com/facebook-messenger-bots/ https://www.roaringpajamas.com/facebook-messenger-bots/#respond Tue, 14 Aug 2018 01:30:42 +0000 https://www.roaringpajamas.com/?p=2409 The power of Facebook messenger bots in a brand’s marketing arsenal is valuable for connecting with customers and driving sales, but is often overlooked. Think about this – you hop onto an unfamiliar brand Facebook page. You are seeking information … Continue reading

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The power of Facebook messenger bots in a brand’s marketing arsenal is valuable for connecting with customers and driving sales, but is often overlooked.

Think about this – you hop onto an unfamiliar brand Facebook page. You are seeking information about a product you may be interested in purchasing, but you just don’t see what you are looking for in front of your face. You are about to hop off the page and say forget it, when all of a sudden, a friendly chatbot pops up in the bottom right hand corner of your screen.

“Hi – Welcome to our community! If you need help or have any questions, reply to this message.” As if they read your mind. You stick around, message the bot, get the information you need and then you purchase the product after all.

Chatbots for business are beneficial and useful tools you should have in your Facebook marketing game plan. Facebook messenger bots offer the ability to automatically engage your customers on Facebook — answering any questions and clearing up any concerns — thus, increasing your sales by influencing potential customers to actually convert.

Automation is queen in business and chatbots for business eliminate the need for extra employees, and save lots of of time and funds. Plus, if bots help increase your sales then it’s a win-win situation.

Facebook released data about the effectiveness of businesses using chatbots in case you need further convincing. Fifty-three percent (53%) of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly. And 56% of people prefer messaging over calling customer service. We all know calling customer service and being put on hold forever is the worst. Simply messaging a bot and receiving an almost instant response reassures the customer you care about their satisfaction and you value their time and their business.

As with every type of marketing tactic, in order to see positive results, you need to go about using chatbots for business the proper way. Some brands have mastered the art of Facebook messenger bots. Here are some of the ways we recommend using a chatbot messenger to connect with your customers on Facebook.

Guide Your Consumer to Find the Answer

Whether consumers are searching for a specific product, inquiring about shipping to a location or some other issue, a chatbot’s job is to guide consumers to always find the answer. Think through any and all questions your consumers may ask and personalize the chatbot to ask and answer flawlessly.

Don’t be a Robot

Even though the chatbot is well…a bot, the tool shouldn’t act like one! You want your messenger bot to show personality — give the bot life! Customer service should be helpful, as well as friendly, fun and a positive experience. Match the bot’s tone to your brand’s voice attributes — truly crafting the voice and personality to perfection. Don’t be afraid to use emojis or gifs in your responses if appropriate.

Be Active After Business Hours

People shop at all hours of the day, therefore, your business should be able to respond at nearly all hours of the day. Facebook messenger bots should always be on and ready to answer any and all questions and concerns.

Evaluate and Adjust Accordingly

You may not get the chatbots tool right the first time…or even the second time for that matter. Your customers may ask questions you didn’t think of at first. Customers may still not convert for some reason. Your job is to evaluate their journey and experience with your Facebook messenger bots and your Facebook pages as a whole – then adjust accordingly. Constant improvement is key.

Is your business is thinking about using Facebook messenger bots to connect with customers? Comment below with some of your fears or concerns using chatbots for business.

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How to Properly Tag Other Brands on Social Media https://www.roaringpajamas.com/how-to-tag/ https://www.roaringpajamas.com/how-to-tag/#respond Fri, 20 Jul 2018 22:04:59 +0000 https://www.roaringpajamas.com/?p=2405 Do you know how to tag other brands on social media? Do you know that you should tag other brands? The reality is that few businesses (or even individuals) understand the importance of giving proper credit for branded content. When … Continue reading

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Do you know how to tag other brands on social media? Do you know that you should tag other brands?

The reality is that few businesses (or even individuals) understand the importance of giving proper credit for branded content. When running social media programs for your business, tagging brands in your posts isn’t just the polite (and right) thing to do—according to some social media platforms, giving proper credit is the rule.

Of course, you don’t need to worry about how to properly tag other brands if all of your content is original—but, let’s be honest, coming up with consistent original content for every social media profile isn’t always easy! That’s why many businesses—ours included—occasionally posts content that was first created and shared by someone else.

Whether you post a photo of a famous celebrity, share a meme or borrow content from your own team members, you need to know how to tag and properly attribute credit . . . or face some big-time social media consequences.

Earlier this year, Facebook updated their stance: Their branded content guidelines specifically state that brands may not “tag a Page, brand or business partner without their prior consent” or “accept anything of value to post content that you did not create or were not involved in the creation of, or that does not feature you.”

Their updated rules were specifically meant to combat paid partnerships between publishers/creators and marketers, where publishers—often influencers and less-well-known celebrities—were paid to distribute content that didn’t belong to them (and wasn’t advertised as such).

“But wait! We’re not exchanging money for content!” you might protest. First of all, good! But if you gain a fan and then a customer through your Facebook page, who’s to say another brand’s content didn’t help? Better to be safe than sorry, right?

Facebook’s effort is an understandable one—they want to improve the user experience by making the quality of content on everyone’s feeds just a little bit better. Individuals Instagram users may still be able to get away without knowing how to tag properly, but the same is no longer true for businesses large and small. And while Facebook’s rules may not be standard (yet) on every other social media platform, they’re still worth following across the board.

So what does all this mean for your business page? Well, you can continue to share valuable content from other brands with your followers. You just need to be a little more careful about ensuring you’re following the “rules”.

Here’s how to do just that on Facebook—and anywhere else:

1. Don’t Mix Payment in With Publishing

This first rule is the basic premise of Facebook’s latest guidelines: They’re explicitly saying that you cannot publish content that you didn’t create in exchange for a paycheck. To be honest, we’d have advised you the same, regardless of Facebook’s stance.

Work to create content that is unique to your business and to your brand. Of course, occasionally sharing another brand’s content can be helpful and even relevant—but when you need to do so, follow the other rules outlined here and remember that compensation is out of the question.

2. Ask for Permission Before Posting

Asking for permission is always good practice. Don’t just give credit to the original poster—though that’s important, too! As a business, you should confirm that you have permission to share someone else’s creation before you post anything.

As you probably already know, a lot of time and energy goes into creating a single piece of content for Facebook or Instagram or your blog. When you utilize another brand’s investment for your own gain—there can be major social media (or even legal) repercussions.

Asking for permission to use images or video that have been created by someone else is a surefire way to keep yourself out of a mess.

3. Give (Proper) Credit Where Credit is Due

Imagine how you’d feel if you created something, only to have your content shared (and Liked and Followed) elsewhere—with no attribution to you or your hard work. Probably awful and infuriated, right? You don’t want to be the cause of that scenario for someone else—or worse, become the target of a lawsuit for copyright infringement!

Give credit to the original creator of any piece of content. If you didn’t take the photo or create the meme or design the graphic, lead your audience back to those who did.

This step is pretty easy once you’ve gained someone’s permission. They’ve already said “Yes”—now be cognizant of properly crediting them for their work. We’ve discussed how to tag content by adding a photo credit before: Be crystal clear about the source of your content. Whether on your blog, on Facebook, on Instagram or anywhere else, that means not just naming the source, but linking back to them where possible, too.

Always give credit where credit is due.

* * *

Sure, having to ask for permission and provide credit for every shared piece of content can be time-consuming (and perhaps even a little inconvenient), but doing so is not just good social media karma—it’s following the rules.

Worry not: If you follow our tips above, you’ll never wonder how (or when) to tag and share branded content ever again!

Do you share content from other brands on social media? Let us know your thoughts on the “rules” in the comments below!

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