Social media sites change their preferred sizes and formats pretty regularly and if you’re still using the sizes that worked in 2017, you could be missing out. I created an updated cheat sheet for 2018 — details for every site you use regularly are included — from LinkedIn to Pinterest.
and start posting using optimal image sizes for each network.
It’s that easy.
It’s even easier to get the help you need with social media by allowing a pro to help — if you’re struggling with getting found or having trouble keeping up with everything needed for your social media — let’s chat!
When you’ve covered all the basics for your launch and are ready to focus on building your audience and attracting prospects, growth hacking can help. By focusing solely on growth, you can propel your brand forward in a surprisingly short period of time and ensure you rapidly reach your forecasted goals.
What is Growth Hacking, Anyway?
Growth hacking is a form of hyper-focused marketing that provides rapid results for a company or brand. By focusing all efforts solely on growth, the growth hacker can achieve swift results. When your brand is in a constant state of growth, you’re scaling rapidly, adding followers in massive numbers and everything you do – every tactic, strategy, effort and piece of content has one goal, growing your business.
Does growth hacking replace traditional marketing?
The guy that hacks your cable and steals your HBO – not cool.
The group that phishes your business and holds your data for ransom – really not cool
Someone who is clever and inventive and uses any available resources to achieve a goal, even if they deploy those assets in unusual ways – very cool.
A growth hacker uses any and all available resources to focus on building a following and brand; innovation, problem-solving, creativity and original ideas are the hallmarks of this type of hacker and the type of entrepreneur that is primed for rapid success.
Be curious, be creative, be adventurous and take risks – and your business will grow.
Growth Hacking Strategies for your Own Brand or Business
Growth hacking needs three primary points of information to be successful:
You need to know who your customer is. Who will buy your product? Is a luxury for them or a necessity?
You need to know where they are. Geographically, physically and online, where are they? If you want them to find, follow and purchase from you, your efforts need to be targeted and tailored to match not only their needs but positioned properly as well.
What content resonates with them? Do they want a steady stream of visuals – video, infographics, images and more, or do they want whitepapers, case studies and technical details? Do they need to be informed, educated, entertained or engaged? Does humor resonate with them or is it a waste of time to incorporate clever memes, word play and outright funny content?
Once you know who you are aiming for, these techniques will help you streamline your efforts and make the most of your budget.
No matter how fantastic your products, services and content are, it won’t do your business much good unless you can grow your audience. Organic growth takes time, but turning to some key growth hacking strategies can help you speed things up and see the fast-paced growth you need for your brand. Your competitors are likely using some of these methods to supercharge their growth right now; the best way to catch up – or gain an edge – is to focus on a few growth hacking strategies designed to help you grow in a hurry.
Ideally, pages should load in two seconds or less; any longer and you could be driving precious traffic away from your site.
Provide Social Proof
You need social proof – and a lot of it – when you want to grow. Any available spot should showcase user content, real testimonials, review streams and more. People need to see others using, interacting with and winning with y our brand to be willing to give you a try. Seeing others who love your brand, and who have successfully interacted with you reassures your new customers and subscribers and helps you grow your brand in a hurry.
Customer statistics, from the number of visitors you have to your Twitter followers and even email subscribers, can all showcase how much people love your brand and provide visitors with real proof of just how effective you are.
What happens when someone makes a purchase or joins your list? Do you have an automated email campaign ready to welcome them, and are you focused on winning their business permanently?
Your New User Experience (NUX) will have a direct impact on the quality of these new arrivals and how well you grow your brand. A new user will need more guidance and help; having a process in place that welcomes them, walks them through and lets them know what to expect will help you make the most of this time period.
Viral Growth Loops
Anything with “viral” in the name is good news for marketers, and this method simply uses your existing happy customers to grow your brand. If each of your customers shares what you do with one other prospect, you could double your list. The key here is offering them something worthy of a share. It either needs to be content that is so funny, amazing or relevant that they can’t resist – or it needs to be a promo that benefits both users.
Hit on a viral growth loop with your customers and you’ll see rapid, extreme growth seemingly overnight. Determining what your customer responds to can help you craft a compelling offer or piece they’ll want to share again and again, and lead to the growth you are craving.
Guest Post on Other Sites
Position your brand as an authority by guest posting. You won’t get paid, but a well-crafted piece of content could land on a high-ranking site and generate plenty of traffic for your own website. Choose your topics and partners with care and guest posting can drive traffic to help you grow today and position you as an expert in your field. This type of branding and awareness can help you for years to come.
Create an Amazing Opt-in Offer
What happens when people do visit your site? Unless you have a way to capture their emails, they could bounce away before you can connect with them. Creating an irresistible offer for your email opt-in can help encourage these visitors to hand over their own contact details before leaving – allowing you to direct them into your sales funnel and making it possible for you to follow up.
Your opt-in needs to be relevant to what you do and valuable enough to get your visitors to sign up for it. Taking the time to create a piece that visitors want can help you grow your email list – which in turn will help you grow your business.
Employ Email Marketing
Inexpensive and effective email marketing makes it easy to connect with your subscribers and ensure they are aware of your offerings, products and services. An automated welcome email is a good start; you can also email your newsletter, relevant industry information and other things that would be of interest. Simple automation tools can help you connect and spread the word about your brand in a variety of ways.
Simply focusing your efforts on growth can yield surprising results in a short amount of time. When all your efforts are focused on one thing – growing your brand – you’ll be able to add followers in a variety of ways. From optimizing your site to creating compelling content, these techniques will help you make the most of your brand and your growth hacking efforts.
There are many ways to gauge and measure your success when it comes to your growth hacking efforts. Knowing the action, you want users to take, being able to state with precision where you are now and then measuring the outcome can give you the best idea of how well your efforts are performing.
According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, cybercrime costs the US economy about $445 billion each year. SMBs are particularly at risk, since they often lack the funds needed for dedicated network security. The benefits of cloud computing, increased mobility and cooperative networks allows SMBs to do more than ever before, but may also be exposing small businesses to risk. From your own employees to the apps your workers use, your mobile devices could be exposing your network to criminals seeking to steal your data or cause you harm. Becoming familiar with some of the most common network security issues faced by SMBs can help you protect your business and prevent a costly breach or hacking attempt.
SMBs Largest Security Challenges
Employees and your Network
According to network security experts at IBM, human error accounts for business data theft and security breaches the majority of the time; about 95% of problems can be traced back to employee error. You don’t have to have a malicious insider lurking inside your business to be harmed by your employees; most fall prey to phishing scams or malware and inadvertently let an outsider access your network.
Using mobile devices as part of your business network doesn’t eliminate your risk; it may actually increase it, since employees have more ways to access your systems and more ways to accidently let an outsider in. Education about security and the importance of password protection and device protection is a must if you want to avoid falling victim to a hacking scheme. Creating and enforcing data protection policies in the workplace can also help mitigate your risk of loss due to employee error.
By convincing an employee or insider to download a file (sometimes featuring celebrity images or popular films), the hacker can also send along malicious files. Once installed, you’ll be facing a variety of scenarios, form a full shutdown to a ransomware attempt like the one experienced by administrators in Horry County.
Ransomware is not restricted to computer networks; if you have any kind of network and someone gains access via a virus, they can easily lock you out of your own systems. Education and the management of devices, including BYOD products, is a must if you want to avoid struggling with this growing threat.
Failure to Backup
Less than half of all SMBs properly and regularly backup their data; this approach ensures that the loss of a device or a network breach is particularly disastrous. According to figures from the Ponemon Institute, 62% of business owners had no plan for data recovery in the event of a disaster, breach or theft of their devices. Simply creating regular backups and opting for cloud storage can protect your business from a variety of issues and ensure that even if your phone is lost or stolen, you can still operate your business as usual.
Lack of Policy Increases Risk
67% of SMBs allow employees to download non-vetted apps onto devices used to access the company network, according to a recent report by IBM. These third party apps could be benign, or could be harboring a virus. Since apps for mobile devices can literally be installed at the touch of a button and are fully equipped to access all parts of that device, including sensitive files and identification information, unvetted third party apps pose a significant risk to SMBs and networks. A mobile device policy that covers not only the physical protection of the device itself but strictly outlines the types of applications that can be downloaded onto the device is a must for a secure network.
SMB Data Protection Solutions
Your network consists of more than just your office computers; any device that can connect to your system is a potential risk; simply being aware of who is accessing your network via what device can help you make the best decisions about protection.
Any device that accesses your network needs to be physically secure and use a password or pin that can’t be easily guessed or transferred to an outsider.
Anti-malware and virus protections need to be installed on all devices, including BYOD models.
Educate employees about the importance of data and device protection and institute protocols for lost or stolen devices.
Understanding that all devices that are equipped to connect with your network have the potential to harm that network and taking proactive steps to mitigate risk can help protect your business from cybercrime. Education and awareness training for employees and a firm, enforced mobile device policy is a must for any SMB using cloud technology; while regular backups offer options in the event of a breach.
Taking steps now to learn about cybercrime and protect your business can prevent a costly breach from taking away the business you’ve worked so hard to grow.
Want a piece like this one for your managed services or security blog? I love writing about tech and network security! Let’s chat about your goals and what the right content can do for you.