If you’re looking for a new marketing channel, Reddit is by far one of the best options for you to consider
The platform hosts content published by a vast network of users. In total, it attracts almost 164 million unique visitors every month.
The best part? These people are way more engaged and interested in your niche than the average person looking at your Facebook ad.
Looks just perfect, doesn’t it?
Before making your first move, you should know that there’s a catch to this.
Redditors are a particular community. If they suspect you’re there because of marketing reasons, things can quickly turn bad. The same will happen if you fail to follow the âreddiquette.â
But brands still manage to use Reddit for promotion with success. And they take the risk because it’s worth it.
Here are 10 actionable tips to help market your business on Reddit and generate a stream of targeted traffic to your website.
Reddit is all about user-generated content that can be upvoted or downvoted by users. Submissions that get lots of upvotes move to the Hot page.
This works on subreddit pages, but also the main Reddit page. You can only imagine what would happen if your post made it to the front page. We’re talking loads of traffic, a massive increase in followers and quite a few conversions too. Better upgrade your hosting!
If you’re completely new to Reddit, Edublogs has a series of videos on how to set up and use subreddits:
One thing you should know about Reddit is that it’s huge, and the sheer number of submissions makes it difficult to stand out. Plus, the platform implements updates at the speed of light so you should at least try to keep up.
At the same time, this also means that you have a myriad of opportunities for marketing. For promoting marketing services, there are subreddits for marketing, entrepreneurs, small business, growth hacking, and a ton of others.
Here’s all you need to know about the user base of Reddit before you make it part of your marketing strategy:
If this group falls into your target audience, Reddit can be immensely helpful in taking your online branding to the next level.
There are two types of posts on Reddit: links that simply direct users to an external site, and text posts which are hosted on Reddit.
Choose link posts if you’re looking to boost your traffic. If you’re more interested in getting links, text posts are a better pick.
To make it work on Reddit, make sure that your texts posts are relevant to the subreddit where you’re posting. AskReddit is a popular subreddit where users post all kinds of questions. As a brand, you should monitor those topics. And have a say in your field of expertise.
Offer plenty of insightful information that can serve as a good resource for users. Include lots of links to other websites and keep it interesting.
The best practice is to go through the hottest posts of all time for the subreddit that you’re targeting and see how if any promotional posts have made it to the top 100.
If there’s a few, you have a good chance of doing the same. Analyze what kind of angle they took and how they managed to not get scrutinized by the community.
Reddit community doesnât think twice before banning users who seem to be spammers.
A banned account is one thing, but in some cases, it might lead to banning an entire domain from ever appearing on the platform. And that could be a huge problem for your brand. There’s even subreddit where people discuss about the bans.
Here’s what you should do to avoid getting banned:
That last point requires additional emphasis. Redditors are a specific lot. They hate to become subjects of someone’s advertising strategy. That’s why they’re extra sensitive to any signs of marketing attempts and pick them up instantly.
Reddit users won’t hesitate to screen your posting history. They’ll go to great lengths to check whether you’re a marketer who only posts content from the company website.
That’s why you shouldn’t constantly post your own content â marketers generally use at least a 1 to 10 ratio of genuinely helpful unbiased content and promotional work.
To avoid raising any suspicion, you need a profile that looks like a real person, not a marketer. And believe me, a slight inkling that your posts might be promotional is enough to get you banned.
Make sure to submit to various sites and link to quality content. Amass a few hundred âkarmaâ points to prove that you’re not after promotion. Post insightful comments on other posts and wait at least a few weeks before posting your own high-quality content.
Browsing through all this on your profile, suspicious users are bound to see you in a positive light. After all, you’re here to add value to the community, not spam it with promotional brand content.
You’ll also want to be active in several subreddits, not just the one you’re targeting. That’s what real people do – blend in.
Reddit is full of smaller communities called subreddits. You can choose from niche subreddits with few subscribers or big subreddits that generate lots of traffic.
A great example of a successful subreddit is Glamour Magazine’s Showerthoughts. The publisher created a cross-platform campaign to promote their issue with Anna Kendrick’s on the cover. Reddit was the perfect network to start the discussion.
Niche subreddits are full of engaged users who are easy to convert. Posting on a large subreddit, you’ll get more traffic, but low conversion.
Try both and see what works best for your marketing objectives. Always follow the posting rules of subreddits, no matter how small.
RedditAds are reminders of the date and time of an event. They also feature a link to the official page of the event. Use Redditads to keep users informed about events that are directly relevant to your brand.
Red Bull makes great use of this strategy. They remind the gaming community in one subreddit about the upcoming events taking place at the Red Bull Training Grounds in Orlando.
And in Adweek, the global director of marketing for Coca-Cola explains why the brand uses RedditAds: “…because most Coke campaigns end up on Reddit one way or another.”
Another smart way to share news and remind users of upcoming events related to your business is setting up a calendar. The Phillies subreddit is a good example â users want news about all kinds of things ranging from the team’s standing or game schedules. They can see an updated calendar and rank board directly in the subreddit.
You can keep your followers in the loop by sharing company news or creating a calendar of events. Also, set up a goal and then update users on how far you’ve gone to reach it. Timely updates are key here. A study from the Pew Research Center showed that 78% of Reddit users come to the site to get their daily news fix.
If you’ve got an idea which is powerful enough to have several subreddits created around it, go for it. This is how you build a network around one core concept â the SFW Porn Network is one good example.
Make sure that your subreddits follow a naming convention. And feature common navigation that directs users to all your subreddits. Keep a close eye on the community and monitor it for quality â remove content or images that don’t follow the standard.
Reddit is a lively community. Users know that asking a technical question, no matter how complex, is likely to get answered. This mindset offers an attractive potential to brands for delivering quality customer service. Right in front of everyone’s eyes.
Xbox 360 is a case in point â the brand directs customers to the right subreddit to help them have their issue resolved as quickly as possible. Redditors can benefit from this repository of useful links and directions. All the while they’re also sharing their experience with Xbox 360.
Getting this type of natural exposure works well for all kinds of brands. If your business delivers solutions or products which might generate queries or suggestions, there’s a good reason to be present on Reddit. Create a subreddit for your brand and focus on showing that you care about your customers.
Reddit has enormous marketing potential. Tap into it with these 10 tips and enjoy increased brand exposure on a platform that attracts millions of users each month.
If you play it right, you’ll generate a ton of traffic to your website. And develop an active community of loyal followers to fuel your brand engagement.
BIO: Elizabeth Lee is an experienced content marketer from PACK & SEND, constantly looking for new and unorthodox ways of promoting and growing business online. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys traveling and learning more about foreign cultures.
The post How to Use Reddit in Your Content Marketing Strategy appeared first on DreamGrow.Continue reading
Every blogger should incorporate Q&A sites into their content marketing strategy. Itâs a great way to build authority in your industry and create backlinks to improve your blog rankings.
According to Alexa, Quora ranks amongst 150 top sites in the world and its popularity is rising. The active writers on Quora sport an average of 30,000+ monthly views and 350,000+ annual views. The most active writers get 90,000+ views monthly and 1+ million yearly. (Source: Quora)
Quora is even better than Yahoo Answers because it has more effective mechanisms for promoting and bringing out quality content. Quora has:
I am not blaming all the Yahoo Answers users, but the majority of them are just herd followers. A bit less opinionated, if someone says yes, everyone says yes. Once in a while, a user will come up with their own answer, but still, the answer would have no explanation. On the other hand, on Quora, there is no herd mentality. There are different opinions from different points of view, and most importantly the answers are thoroughly explained.
Thus, Quora is the perfect platform for becoming a thought leader in your field. Imran over at SmartBlogger says Quora is also the number-one traffic driver for his blog. And not just traffic, long-term traffic.
Here are five steps for using Quora.com to promote your blog. The fifth one explains how to create a blog on Quora.
Log into Quora with your Facebook or Google account and pick out ten topics that relate to your blog. There are over 300,000 topics to choose from. You can always add more topics later by using the âsearch box.â
Additionally, search and follow blogs that interest you by typing in the blog name or author.
When creating your profile, pay special attention to your bio and description. Quora shows the first 50 characters of your profile as a tagline above your answer. It’s a great branding opportunity, so describe yourself in a catchy and memorable way, like Joseph does here:
As a next step, fill out your Quora profile as much as possible. Set up a topic-specific bio by clicking on your profile. In the right column, there’s a list of âKnows Aboutâ topics. Describe your experience in each of the chosen areas.
Complete also your interests, cities, education, work history. Donât forget to add your other social media accounts to Quora.
Here’s an example of one of the most followed people on Quora, blogger James Altucher:
Here’s a compilation of the three main building blocks of James’ Quora page: the main profile highlighting his activity/history aka answers, his bio and “Knows About” section.
Browse through the list of questions until you find one that you feel comfortable answering. You can use two different strategies or combine them:
Bonus tip! If you find an interesting or popular question that is related to you, use it as a source of inspiration for your original blog post. Write a quality article about it and offer your answer in Quora with your blog link included.
Answer the questions the best way you can. Buffer Social suggests that your answers should be âgood and short” which further means:
As Rick stated in the Yahoo Answers article, itâs also important to give extra information over and above the bare minimum necessary to qualify as an acceptable answer. He gives an example:
If a user asks about the best way to remove a certain virus from her PC, donât simply give the steps required to perform the task at hand. Also write a short paragraph explaining the origin of the virus and ways to prevent becoming infected again in the future. Feel free to hit your favorite search engine for a quick boost in knowledge that you can then impart to the questioner via your answer.
It’s clear, organized, to-the-point and has a chatty, humorous style.
After you have answered the question, list the URL of a relevant post on your blog as the source for your answer. Thatâs the way you get clicks and traffic to your blog.
Hereâs an example of Quora’s top ranking answer to the question âHow do you find out if someone is a jerk before you hire them?â:
The first half of the answer has already three links smoothly planted in the text. It also doesn’t hurt to use visuals in your answer to catch the viewer’s eye.
Quora offers the opportunity to create a separate blog on their platform (https://www.quora.com/blog/add). It can be a valuable part of your social marketing strategy.
To quote one of Quora’s users Jeff Meyerson:
“Blogging on Quora allows for the strongest synergy between a blog and semi-random Internet browsing.”
According to Quora their blog is great for writers who don’t have an audience and also for bloggers who have an audience but want to reach more people.
The most followed blog on Quora is called “Leading a better life” by Oliver Emberton. The blogger offers motivational tips and tricks for everyday life. He has a simple conversational writing style and his posts include colourful graphs and images.
Hope you found these tips useful! And feel free to let us know how you are using Quora to promote your blog.Continue reading
Are you looking for ways to increase your Facebook page engagement? Want your audience to pay more attention to what you are sharing on your business page? Or just want to find more ways to make your brand resonate more with the audience on Facebook? Many people donât realize it, but design plays a critical role. Feast your eyes on the examples of Facebook page designs below. Youâll reach the end of the post inspired and filled with ideas on how you can use simple Facebook page design coupled with dedicated Facebook landing pages to increase your engagement rates.
Coca-Cola Spain uses the famous Coca-Cola color red in its Facebook page. In the cover photo, it displays four cans of Coke – the original, light and the zero sugar. The Coca-Cola logo is also displayed prominently at the top of the page next to the cover photo.
These are all elements that remind the page’s audience of ‘Taste the Feeling’ and drinking a Coke as a way to share happiness – reinforcing the special place the brand and its beverages/soda plays in peopleâs lives. Here is a screenshot of the Facebook page design.
CouponWand, on its website, finds and share coupon codes with its audience. It creates and publishes a lot of content on both its website and Facebook page where they share lots of coupon from top brands in different categories such as personal care, food, automotive, entertainment among others resulting in big money-savings for its users.
In its Facebook page shown below, CouponWand has created a well-designed Facebook landing page to get more of the people who visit or like the page to sign up via email. Why? So, they can receive in their inbox coupons they can easily print.
Even if you donât have anything else create a landing tab for your Facebook page! Facebook landing tab should answer two questions:
One of the most important things you need to do when creating your brandâs Facebook page is the landing page.Â Do not send people on the wall!
I was doing research on Facebook and trying to find a bunch of brand pages. I found some and wasnât really certain about the others. I was in a real hurry to finish this task. When looking at dozens of pages in a row you tend to notice where the time goes.
Number one annoyance was the fact that when you land on the wall you donât understand immediately where you are.Â Is it a page created by fans, employees or some random guy who just created a placeholder. The brands with a landing page stood out. Make people understand that this is the right pace, the official page.
Gary Vaynerchuk on his Facebook page has a welcome page designed where he shares his official event schedule. The app used to create the landing page enables Gary’s audience to automatically be notified of his upcoming events once they click the sync to calendar button integrated into the Facebook page design.
Options are given to users to sync and add Gary’s public event schedule to their mobile calendar, or their Outlook, Apple or Google Calendar. Calendar works great for Gary, who is known for the quality content he creates and shares with the public on entrepreneurship, sales, life, marketing, and vlogging.
The Facebook page of Lexus, a luxury marque by Toyota Motor Corporation, shows latest makes and models by the auto manufacturer. It also has a Facebook landing page where it shares dates and time of future events concerning the design of some of the vehicles it makes.
This is something that is sure to draw the interest of Lexus enthusiasts. On top of sharing lots of content concerning different models of cars it builds, it also alerts its page audience of future events that share, in detail, the direction the company is taking in 2018 going forward.
Second, I noticed that many large brands havenât registered their username (you can do it hereÂ www.facebook.com/username) so that their page addresses are unpronounceable strings of numbers and letters. Not very trustworthy! When I see addresses likeÂ facebook.com/dreamgrow,Â facebook.com/coca-colaÂ andÂ facebook.com/microsoft, I subconsciously assume that these are the official pages. (tip: you can use even shorter addressÂ fb.com/dreamgrow)
The Liverpool FC Facebook page shares lots of quality photos of the players in the team. It publishes lots of updates, including news, pre-match conferences, and previews. The audience is free to comment on posts published on the page.
It also lists images of different Liverpool jerseys with the option to purchase any of them online. You sure bet that some of its loyal and true fans take advantage of the Facebook page integrated online shop to buy jerseys they like. The page publishes engaging content that once in a while leads to sales.
Facebook is a very effective and powerful tool to send out your message, engage and interact with your true fans. Here are some things to keep in mind:
The Italian company known for its bread spreads (including its hazelnut cocoa spread), shares mouth-watering images on its official Facebook page. The kinds of images that make you think about getting your hands on some of the products they make – and try them out.
Or just go to the supermarket and get more if you are running low on your dose of daily Nutella goodness. The images reaffirm the company’s commitment to making quality spreads and sharing the awesomeness with their audience, majority of whom are also Nutella customers.
Malibu Rum Facebook page shares great images of the variety of rum Malibu Rum makes. And then they go one step further. In one of their well-designed Facebook welcome pages (shared below) the company presents the reasons why their Facebook audience should consider their Malibu Island Spiced Rum.
On top of that, the Facebook page design has buttons that act as calls to action, e.g., to check recipes or view full product information. In there they have also managed to create a short quiz that sure to engages their audience and has them exploring Malibu Rumâs offerings further.
Being a popular web hosting company, Bluehost knows how important client-onboarding is. And for a hosting company, it is necessary to provide resources that guide users through their journey of registering domains/buying hosting to launching their blogs/websites and growing them.
That is if you’re serious about being able to handle the volume of new clients coming in on a daily basis. So, Bluehost uses its page to share lots of great YouTube video tutorials that help them achieve this goal. I’m sure lots of their users appreciate the way the videos are listed (in a quick-easy-to-scan grid layout).
Kellogg’s Latin America Facebook shares lots of text, image and video content of their products in a bid to engage their audience more. Known for the cereals and convenience foods it makes, Kelloggsâs uses its page to shares lots of images and videos featuring their cereal bars, snacks, waffles, cookies, toaster pastries, vegetarian foods, and crackers.
The well-designed images remind their Facebook audience of the variety of food brands Kellogg’s has in store for them. It also has a great page sharing rules meant to guide how their audience engages with each other and other consumers.
Dell’s Facebook page design cover photo represents the computing power, experience, and products itâs known for selling to consumers. They have designed their page to include a Support page. In it, they have, in a well-designed layout, created links to some of the most important pages on their website.
So, when their users are stuck, they can quickly, from within Facebook, access these shortcut menus and be taken to the pages that contain the instructions/solutions to problems they are experiencing with their Dell computer, tablet or another mobile device. It also provides quick links to other Dell brands.
Facebook’s own page, Facebook Games, created to help Facebook users quickly discover some of the best games available inside Facebook, the web or phones similar to the ones the user may be using to access Facebook, has a Facebook landing page where it shares various ways to get Facebook Game Cards.
Knowing that ‘the Cards’ form an important part in playing some of the games within its ecosystem, Facebook has created a simple but well-designed page that shares links to resources their users are likely to find handy in their quest to redeem or purchase the Cards.
On NASCAR’s Facebook page, they share a lot of content to do with the drivers, cars, races, events in the present, past and those to be held in the future – to keep the community formed around the page engaged and up to date on what’s happening concerning everything NASCAR.
For the enthusiasts of the sport, NASCAR has a Facebook landing page created showing various photos of cars, drivers, events and different hall of fame legends. And to these photos, presented in a grid, they have added sharing buttons to them – a great way to spread the word about the brand.
Honda shares content on its Facebook page revolving around their products and the stories they inspire. They share news of latest inventions, tips, and suggestions that help their users get more out of their machines.
In a bid to shore up loyalty, they, on top of the regular content they post to their page, have a Facebook landing page titled Honda Owners Site. It’s a simple short page with links created to drive its audience to various sections of Honda website, containing information that helps them get the most out of their cars, making driving their Honda a special experience.
Walmart’s Facebook page uses an in-store image as their cover photo. The image creates familiarity with their Facebook audience, even warms them up to the content and the various offers Walmart shares on their page.
Walmart also has a dedicated Facebook landing page that looks exactly like an online shop. Its design is spartan with just the image of a product, its name, and price. Clicking on a product’s image reveals more details and a big blue button inviting shoppers within its Facebook page design to check out on Walmart’s website. I like the simple design of the shop.
CyberLink, known for its digital media tools and software solutions, uses their Facebook page to highlight its image and photo editing and video/audio playback solutions among other products it has in store for users of PCs and other devices.
In a dedicated landing page, it shares short and quick tips for its users to take advantage of the features of CyberLink products they use.
Almost in an infographic-styled page, it gives its audience tips to avoid holiday photo fails and also shares some video tricks. On the same page, CyberLink has also embedded some not-to-miss-holiday videos as well.
Carrefour France runs some contests and uses a dedicated Facebook landing page to highlight some of their shoppers who have participated in them. In the page shown below, you can see some of the participants with their images featured on the page.
The design looks great and compliments other content types Carrefour publishes on its page (text updates, videos & product images) to engage their audience / shoppers.
Lenovo has a Facebook cover photo with the words ‘Different is better’ on it. In this way, is Lenovo attempts to, in the fewest words possible, make its new Facebook audience curious about using Lenovo’s products.
It makes them wonder what it would be like – what the Lenovo experience is like. Then Lenovo has a dedicated Facebook landing page inviting people to join in on ‘the Lenovo movement’ to experience the good Lenovo has to offer. And in that page it also lists its Facebook pages in the different countries it operates in. Next to each is a like button.
CERELAC Arabia, whose parent company is Nestle, uses its Facebook page design to promote the benefits of using one of Nestle’s popular baby products, Cerelac. The cover photo features different varieties of Cerelac.
And then using a young cartoon-like character, speaking to mums and dads, CERELAC Arabia highlights how much milligrams of IRON a baby needs in a day. Of course, this ties to what their product has to offer. In the landing page, the Nestle IRON calculator is also included, with a button asking readers to Try It Now in the bottom left of the Facebook page design.
The Amazing Race TV show Facebook page shares lots of content about the show. And it is popular, with over 1.6 million likes. That is a lot of people watching the show then coming back to the page to engage with other viewers and the page admin.
What I also like is how CBS created a landing page in the show’s page called CBS Social Hub. In it, they use a grid-like design to show more of their popular shows to the audience that already like one of their shows: The Amazing Race.
MILO Nigeria has a great Facebook cover photo and Facebook landing page design. In the page, they share some of the virtues they want to instill in the young champs that enjoy using Milo products. Virtues such as focus and respect. In the page, they also use different tabs to direct visitors to various parts on the web with more resources about their promotions, championships, photo galleries and videos.
Like the tactic Nestle uses with Cerelac, it does the same with Milo – creating content that engages their page audience while also tying into some ideals the audience holds in high esteem.
Famous for its animal documentaries, Nat Geo Wild uses its Facebook page to share more content on the lives of different animals – and their habitats. And to reward their viewers they have, for example, created a simple Facebook page design like the one shown below.
The design catches their audience’s eyes prompting them to read more about what Nat Geo Wild will offer the person who eventually wins their sweepstakes. The opt-in form gets them more email subscribers they can email later, and the tweet button gets people to share the sweepstakes outside of Facebook.
Apart from using its Facebook page to share and promote products in its stores, Target also uses its page, via a dedicated section, to tell their audience about products available to consumers that have a CPSC Recall Notice.
So, the page is used to promote the consumption of safe products for Target customers. Consumers are notified of products that have quality issues or those that may pose safety risks. Their page audience can quickly access the list of such products and either look for alternatives or have the issues dealt with first before or after they buy.
Sweet Paul Magazine uses a dedicated section on their Facebook page to promote giveaways to their page’s audience. Gleam powers Their Facebook giveaways.
The Facebook page design is attractive and gets more of their audience to participate whenever they have giveaways running. Product giveaways also always result in more email subscriber numbers and social media shares if promoted well and to the right audience.
I like the Blue Band Indonesia Facebook page cover photo. Besides showing the audience the foods Blue Band can be used in, it just whets the appetite.
The cover shows well-prepared meals but not only that. Blue Band Indonesia also made sure to fit in an image of Blue Band right next to the foods. Good things go together, side-by-side you could argue.
Pepsi also has a variety of well-designed Facebook page photos that present their products in a great way. Check this one from PepsiCo.
This one from Pepsi Philippines.
And this one from the main Pepsi page.
Last but not least, for the sake of more Facebook page photos to look at, check these three.
Check this post for 26 additional Facebook page design examples.Continue reading
If you want to know what’s happening with your brand’s social networking sites you need social media monitoring tools. Before you reach for your wallet and start to spend money try out some of the free social media monitoring services. This way you will get an understanding of what is available and if you need any paid services to monitor social media.
Social media monitoring definition
The activity of tracking social media channels. Organizations measure and use social media analytics tools to find out where are the discussions about them, their competition and other topics of interest. Social media monitoring includes measuring opinions and sentiment of groups and influencers. It includes historical data and other information. The goal is to assess the reputation and be alerted to significant events taking place in social channels. — Dreamgrow
This time we have collected a lot of free social media monitoring tools. In the Group A are the social media monitoring services that I use regularly or seem interesting to check out immediately. The Group B is a list of tools for you to help with monitoring social media. Here we go:
Monitor and post to multiple social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. Create custom reports from over 30 individual report modules to share with clients and colleagues. Track brand sentiment, follower growth, plus incorporate Facebook Insights and Google analytics. Draft and schedule messages to send at a time your audience is most likely to be online. HootSuite has the dashboard for your iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, and Android.
The free statistics in your own Twitter account. Measure and boost your impact on Twitter. Tweet activity – measure engagement and learn how to make your Tweets more successful. Explore the interests, locations, and demographics of your followers. Track how your Twitter Cards drive clicks, app installs, and retweets.
Free Facebook page report. Login with Facebook. In your Facebook report you get these 7 insights:
The free Instagram account checkup from Union Metrics lets you see how youâre doing on Instagram. It uses clever algorithms to provide a free Instagram account checkup that helps you understand your Instagram health. The tool answers questions about your Instagram account like:
The free Instagram analytics checkup analyzes the last 30 days of activity on your account, including your posts and engagement from your fans. Run it any time you need a checkup for updated Instagram analytics.
Monitor online mentions of your brand in real-time. Mediatoolkit will let you know about every article, hashtag or comment mentioning your business. Mention monitoring for 100+ million online sources. Find mentions from any source in the world: be it profiles on Twitter and Instagram, or updates from websites, blogs, and forums. Free version includes
Your Twitter profile and tweets can get crawled and indexed by Googlebot and appear in both Google mobile and desktop search results. Google has been expanding how it displays tweets in Google Search. Tweet Indexation Rate Tool queries Google and returns the percentage of your indexed tweets, the Moz Page Authority, and number of other websites linking to your Twitter account.
SocialGimp provides Instagram analytics for brands, marketers and analysts.
Better insights about your audience and with proper analytics you can achieve long term effects. SocialGimp provides you with the tools your brand needs and also with advice, guidelines and benchmarks.
Get detailed and visual analytics on anyone’s tweets, retweets, replies, mentions, hashtags. Browse, search, filter and get insights on the people you follow and those who follow you.
Likealyzer takes the guess work out of your Facebook strategy. The recommendations point you in the right direction. Compare your Facebook page to competitors, partners, or brands you admire. Likealyzer will recommend similar pages to watch. Likealyzer converts raw Facebook analytics into a simple yet sophisticated report. Recommendations, not just metrics. Likealyzer is a Facebook tool designed for social media managers, agencies, and entrepreneurs.
BackTweets is a twitter time machine which enables you to search through a tweet history for tweets that link back to your site. As a free web app, BackTweets lets you search through a tweet archive for URLs sent via twitter. URLs are found regardless of the form they were tweeted in and include: full URL links, shortened URLs and URLs without the WWW prefix. BackTweets is a great social media listening tool for tracking your social media pulse – see how many people are talking about you, who is talking about you, and what they are saying.
Buffer makes your life easier with a smarter way to schedule the great content you find. Fill up your Buffer at one time in the day and Buffer automagically posts them for you through the day. Simply keep that Buffer topped up to have a consistent social media presence all day round, all week long. Get deeper analytics than if you just post to social networks directly. With Buffer you can manage:
BoardReader allows users to search multiple message boards simultaneously, allowing users to share information in a truly global sense. Boardreader is focused on creating the largest repository of searchable information for our users. Users can find answers to their questions from others who share similar interests. Our goal is to allow our users to search the “human to human” discussions that exist on the Internet.
Analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor. Find the key influencers to promote your content:
All paid plans come with a 14 day free trial $79/ month
A tool that Iâve been using for quite sometime now is Crowdfire. Itâs a Twitter growth tool which lets you get relevant followers with features like Copy followers and Keyword follow. Schedule your tweets to get maximum reach with Publish, manage non-followers and inactive followers and engage with new users using Auto direct message.
Cyfe is an all-in-one dashboard software that helps you monitor and analyze data scattered across all your online services like Google Analytics, Salesforce, AdSense, MailChimp, Facebook, WordPress and more from one single location in real-time.
Followerwonk is a cool social media analytics tool thet lets you explore and grow your social graph. Dig deeper into Twitter analytics: followers, their locations, when do they tweet. Find and connect with influencers in your niche. Use visualizations to compare your social graph to competitors.
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (blogs, news, etc.) based on your searches. Enter the topic you wish to monitor, then click preview to see the type of results you’ll receive. Some handy uses of Google Alerts include: monitoring a developing news story and keeping current on a competitor or industry.
This is one of the best free social media monitoring tools out there. Trends allows you to compare search terms and websites. With Google Trends you can get insights into the traffic and geographic visitation patterns of websites or keywords. You can compare data for up to five websites and view related sites and top searches for each one.
Free monitoring tool for measuring your brands or keywords using 32 social networking sites. HowSociable provides a simple way for you to begin measuring your brandâs visibility on the social web. Compare brands with those of competitors and similar sized businesses.
Blog Tools, create your own Trend Graphs with the IceRocket Trend Tool. Enter keywords to see mentions trended over time. Trend Tool, enter items to see mentions trended over time. Enter up to five queries under Trend Terms. Type in the label you would like associated with each query under Display Labels. Search tool for blogs, web, Twitter, Facebook, news, and images.
Key metrics about your Instagram account. Number of likes received, your most liked photos ever, your average number of likes and comments per photo, your follower growth charts and more advanced analytics. Track lead conversations, send private message as on Twitter, and improve communication with your followers.
Kred is a social-media scoring system that seeks to measure a person’s online influence.Kred, which was created by the San Francisco-based social analytics firm PeopleBrowsr, attempts to also measure a person or company’s engagement, or as they call it, outreach. PeopleBrowsr hopes that that combination can offer a more informed metric for non-celebrities like entrepreneurs and those whom they follow and look to for advice.
Mention allows you to create alerts for your brand, your industry, your company, your name or your competitors and be informed in real-time about any mentions on the web and social web. And there is a great limited free option.
Explore your Twitter network. Discover which people interact the most and what they’re talking about. It’s also a great way to find relevant people to follow. The visualization runs right in your browser and displays data from Twitter. Mentionmap loads user’s tweets and finds the people and hashtags they talked about the most. In this data visualization, mentions become connections and discussions between multiple users emerge as clusters.
Omgili helps you find interesting and current discussions, news stories and blog posts. Direct access to live data from hundreds of thousands of forums, news and blogs. Very easy to use, no signup for web interface. API available.
Find out how many people are pinning from your website, seeing your pins, and clicking your content. Pick a time-frame to see how your numbers trend over time. Get better at creating Pins and boards with metrics from your Pinterest profile. Learn how people use the Pin It button on your site to add Pins. See how people interact with your Pins from whatever device they use. Get a glance at your all-time highest-performing Pins.
Pluggio is a web-based social media tool to help marketers easily grow and manage their social media profiles (Facebook and Twitter). It includes a suite of tools to organize and keep track of multiple accounts, get more followers, and automate the finding and publishing of excellent targeted content.
The full set of social media tools. Post content to over 10 social networks with one single click of a button. Get real time click-through statistics with your domain name. Measure and analyze the best results from your social posts. Monitor the social media conversations that are important for your business.
Quintly is the professional social media monitoring and analytics solution to track and compare the performance of your social media marketing activities. Whether you are using Facebook, Twitter or both, Quintly monitors and visualizes your social media marketing success. Benchmark your numbers against your competitors or best practice examples.
Sentiment is a social customer service platform. Sentiment helps brands and contact centers communicate with customers on social media, and provide the best social customer service. [Free 30 day trial]
Track your shares, likes, tweets, and more. Enter a web address of a page and find out how much it has been shared in different social networking and bookmarking sites. Currently includes Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and StumbleUpon.
The social media counts checker gets the social count from popular social networks. This social checker fetches the socially shared count from Facebook, Google +, Linkedin, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Buffer and Delicious.
Social Searcher / Socialbuzz is a real-time search engine for Facebook, Twitter and Google+. It is designed to provide a different kind of user experience for curious users and deep analytics for the marketing professionals, such as: posts types, top links/domains, keywords, sentiment, top users and posts. Also the service has a quick possibility to change your search locale, filter search results by content type and popularity.
Schedule tweets, track keywords, extended Twitter profiles, save and reuse drafts, view @mentions and retweets, purge your DM inbox, personal status feed â your own tweet engine, unlimited accounts.
Social Aider is a social media tool that offers all the scheduling features like Bulk & RSS upload, retweet, etc. The tool can help you schedule your posts for weeks at any time or frequency of your choice. You can link to the following social media accounts:
Some other Social Aider features:
The cherry on the cake is that you can add as many projects/social media accounts to your Social Aider account, as you need, for absolutely no cost! Multiple social accounts mean you can manage your own social media or that of your multiple clients using the same platform. The pricing of the tool is low, to encourage budding bloggers and entrepreneurs to maintain a healthy online presenceâ¦ and it has a 1-year free trial!
Schedule from any website. Social Champ lets you schedule your content easily on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, google+ & Pinterest, with a single click.
Bulk schedule content. Social Champ allows you to organize your posts way ahead of time, making it easier for you and your team to organize campaigns & scale your social media marketing efforts.
We provide a CSV file template, all you have to do is fill it up & upload.
Suggestions based on RSS feeds. Interesting stories to share on social media filtered by topics of your choice; cats, food, startups, we have them all!
You can also add your favorite blog and schedule easily.
The tool has a limited free plan.
TipTop Search is a Twitter-based search engine that helps you discover the best and most current advice, opinions, answers for any search, and also real people to directly engage and share experiences with. A search on any topic reveals peopleâs emotions and experiences about it, as well as other concepts that they are discussing in connection with the original search.
ThinkUp is a free, open source web application that captures your posts, tweets, replies, retweets, friends, followers and links on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. With ThinkUp, you can store your social activity in a database that YOU control, making it easy to search, sort, analyze, publish and display activity from your network. All you need is a web server that can run a PHP application. [Free 14 day trial]
Twazzup is real-time news platform. It allows you to filter the news out of live Twitter content. It’s useful for understanding who are the influencers on a given topic and what are to trending sources.
TweetDeck is a social media dashboard application for management of Twitter accounts. TweetDeck interfaces with the Twitter API to allow users to send and receive tweets and view profiles. It was the most popular Twitter application with a 23% market share as of June 2009, following only the official Twitter website with 45.7% share for posting new status updates.
Measure Twitter activity that matters to you. With a TweetReach you can monitor Tweets about all your topics, hashtags, brands, accounts, and events â in real time, with comprehensive analytics on Twitter reach, performance and engagement. Twitter analytics works in real time to deliver timely insights you can use to make better decisions.
SumAll is a powerful social media analytics tool that allows our customers to view all of their data in one simple, easy-to-use visualization. Social media, e-commerce, advertising, e-mail, and traffic data all come together to provide a complete view of your activity.
Use Twitter Search if you need to find out whatâs happening in the world beyond your personal timeline. Twitter Search lets you search, filter, and otherwise interact with the volumes of news and information being transmitted to Twitter every second. Twitter Search helps you filter all the real-time information coursing through our service. Advanced Search allows you to create your queries using many advanced operators.
Pin Alert feature lets you track what are people pinning from your website, who is pinning the most and what images from your website are trending on Pinterest.
Only 4.8% of American users use Pinterest during work hours, so it very important for you to pin at the right times. Use our Pin Scheduler to schedule pins for future dates.
Thousands of social media marketers and agencies use Viralwoot for their clients. You can manage & grow multiple Pinterest accounts with a single Viralwoot account.
Talkwalker Alerts is a free, easy-to-use brand monitoring system which emails updates of your latest brand/keyword mentions to your inbox, from across the internet as well as Twitter. It also brings coverage from communities like Reddit, giving users a sense of the buzz created by their audience. You simply need to enter the topic you wish to set up an alert for, click to view a preview and select the types of results you want to see. You also have the option to select how frequently you want to receive the results: As it happens, daily and weekly.
Who.unfollowed.me is a service that helps you track your unfollowers, in real time, without waiting for a DM, or email. It allows you to check your unfollowers on your schedule, every 15 minutes, without waiting for an email or a direct message.
That’s all for now. If you know of a great free tool for monitoring social media, then please let us know in the comments.
Image credit: The Astronaut Twins by Windell Oskay
The post 47 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools to Improve Your Results appeared first on DreamGrow.Continue reading
Although, Facebook monthly active user count breaks new highs globally it has lost market share for several years in US. Starting from near 70% dominance. This has dropped to 36.64%. Seems that people are diversifying their social media use. Globally Facebook reached an important milestone! 2.20 BILLION monthly active users.
Now back to regular items. Two pairs of social networking sites are still battling it out between each other. The fight to be the third social networking site is between Twitter and Reddit. The race for the fifth place is between image-based social networks Pinterest and Facebook-owned Instagram.
Twitter’s market share was at a virtual standstill for the most of 2016. But starting from October 2016, there has been a growth spurt. Twitter seems to gain traction and hovers around the highest market share ever with 6.82%. Things are looking up for Twitter as they posted first-ever earnings in the first quarter of 2018. Positive news also reflects on their stock price. TWTR shares now trade around 37 dollars, considerably up from 14.3 dollars a year ago. Also since October 2016, Reddit has been in the fourth position, and Twitter has regained the number three spot in US visitor market share.
Twitter continues near its all-time high percentage on this top 10 chart with 6.82% in June 2018. Reddit’s growth reversed in May 2016. It lost the third position to Twitter in November 2016; then we can expect that Twitter will remain in the third position in the coming months. Reddit had impressive growth-sprint starting below 0.7% around December 2014 and reaching 5.62% in May 2016. However, since then, Reddit has lost some ground to Twitter, and in June 2018 the gap widened to almost 2 percentage point with 5.10 percent.
In the coming months, we’ll see if Reddit is running out of steam and Twitter can get ahead. As a side note, Twitter has updated its monthly active user numbers, and now the latest public number is 336 million.
In the last 6 months, Instagram pulled away from Pinterest. Pinterest lost market share, and now thereâs a considerable gap between the two image-based social networks.
Instagram has everything going for it. A pretty decent mobile app, Facebook’s support, and inclusion in its ad platform. Despite all this, it has lagged behind Pinterest in US market share of visits. Pinterest relative success may be due to Instagramâs mostly mobile-only functionality. Pinterest is more like a tool than just posting pretty pictures and collecting likes. More functionality might be the reason Pinterest has kept the lead for most of the time these sites have been on the Top 10 list.
Instagram has had the upper hand, but Pinterest regained the fifth position in September 2017 and has shown solid growth for several months. Instagram was in the lead since May 2017. The fifth position was mostly due to drop in Pinterest’s market share. Now they have switched places again. Instagram’s market share is at the all-time high at 2.47%, and Pinterest is 0.52% behind with 1.95%.
Quora gained a lot in the first half of 2018. It is now looking to replace Tumblr on the eight position. Meanwhile, Tumblrâs market share is slowly dropping around the 1.17 percent level. Quora is a perfect match for this list, but it wasn’t even around when we first started publishing this list. Quora was founded in June 2009. Quora is in the seventh position with 1.29% market share of visits.
The second half of the top 10 list is always changing. Smaller social networks like Yelp and LinkedIn have been gaining market share. But they are nowhere near their all-time high numbers. The Microsoft’s acquisition of Linked in for 26.2 billion dollars has not yet influenced these ratings. If Microsoft can integrate LinkedIn with its business software, then it may give the B2B social network a huge boost. On the other hand, recent history with Google+ shows that money and effort might not be enough to change the habits of users.
To put the percentages in perspective then the absolute number of visits of 1% of market share is about 32.8 million visits per week. This makes the total number of social networking visits in US 14.53 billion per month.
Every month the chart lists the top 10 sites of that time by the market share of visits in US. Please note that it is just a percentage and 30% in January 2012 is a lot less than 30% in December 2016. The gaps in the lines mean that the site wasn’t in the top 10 at that time. The gap in the data from April to May 2014 is the transition period to include mobile statistics. The data became unreliable and we didn’t include it in this chart. The chart is in logarithmic scale so that the smaller sites wouldn’t just a single line around 1% of social network market share.
Note: We lost some data in our table form November 2017 to the end of May. This is the reason for the big jumps between the end of 2017 and middle of 2018.
You can also check out the global view: Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Sites and 10 Apps!
Image: Designed by Freepik
The post Top 10 Social Networking Sites by Market Share Statistics  appeared first on DreamGrow.Continue reading
What is the Facebook profile picture size or Facebook banner size? How wide is the page of your brand? What’s the maximum video upload size? Here are all the numbers you need!
Please note that we update this article once a month – if you notice that something is off, please let us know via email.
To get the best bang for buck with your digital marketing efforts, you need to make sure you fill in all the data and design the Facebook images for your businessâs Facebook page.
A Facebook page which appears to be under construction or out of date will reflect poorly on your brand. The most important detail you need to get right is Facebook cover photo size. Having the right Facebook image size is important because if you mess it up, then the images will look all blurry, distorted, and reflect poorly on your brand.
Profile photo: 180 x 180 pixels. Displays at 160 x 160, best results when uploading a square image (360×360, 720×720 or 960×960). The Facebook profile picture frame size is 183×183 pixels.
Facebook cover photo size: 828 x 315 px (851 x 315px for personal profiles)
News Feed link image size: 1200 x 900 px
News Feed link image ratio: 4:3
Desktop news feed display: Up to 470 x 470 px
Mobile news feed display: Up to 626 x 840 px
Right column image size: 254 x 133 px
Text:Â The Desktop news feed displays 500 characters, mobile 110 characters, and the right column ad 90 characters.
Here are some templates you can use to create header graphics that will work for both desktop and mobile users. Click the images to download full sized versions.
This is the image that works best on desktop computers. It is displayed in full on desktop 828 by 315 pixels. On the mobile devices, Facebooks cuts the blue sides, and only the green part is visible (560 by 315 pixels)
This 828 by 461 pixel image is visible in full on mobile devices. Facebook cuts the green top and bottom on the desktop devices, and only the standard 828 by 315-pixel area is visible.
Thumbnail image: 1200 x 675 px
Aspect ratio: 16:9 or 1:1
Video: h.264, square pixels, fixed frame rate (max 30 fps), progressive scan
Format: .mp4 container ideally with leading moov atom, no edit lists
Audio: Stereo AAC, 128kbps+ preferred
File size: Up to 4 GB
Right column image display: 254 x 133 px
Text: The desktop news feed displays 500 characters, mobile 110 characters, and the right column ad 90 characters.
Image size: 600 x 600 px
Image ratio: 1:1
Desktop news feed display: 300 x 300 px
Mobile news feed display: 460 x 460 px
Right column image display: 125 x 125 px
Text: The desktop news feed carousel displays 500 characters, the mobile one 120 characters, and the right column ad 90 characters.
Image size: 1200 x 628 px
Image ratio: 1.9:1
Desktop news feed display: 470 x 246 px
Mobile news feed display: 560 x 293 px
Right column display: 254 x 133 px
Text: The desktop news feed display is limited at 90 characters, the mobile version has up to 110 characters, and the right column ad is set to 90 characters.
Image size: 1200 x 628 px
Image ratio: 1.9:1
Desktop news feed display: 470 x 246 px
Mobile news feed display: 560 x 292 px
Right column display: 254 x 133 px
Text:Â The Desktop news feed displays 500 characters at most, 110 characters on mobile, and 90 characters as the right column ad.
The Facebook Group cover image in 2019 is for some reason different from the Facebook Page cover photo size. The Facebook Group photos can be 820 pixels wide by 462 pixels tall. The visible size on the desktop is 820 by 250 pixels.
Image size: The size for group photos is 820 by 462 pixels (fully visible on mobile)
Desktop news feed display: 820 x 250 px (top and bottom cut)
Facebook event photo sizes are different in various locations. The correct Facebook event cover photo size is 1920 x 1080 pixels with a 16:9 ratio. Wider images will have the sides cropped. Taller images will be cropped top and bottom. There are online Facebook event photo maker tools, but it’s really easy to resize image for Facebook event yourself.
Image size: The recommended size for Facebook event photos is 1920 by 1080 pixels (16:9 ratio)
Desktop news feed display: 470 x 174 px
Mobile news feed display: 560 x 208 px
Right column display: 254 x 133 px
Text: Again, the desktop news feed will display 500 characters, 110 characters on mobile, and the right column ad is capped at 90 characters.
Image size: 1200 x 628 px
Image ratio: 1.9:1
Desktop news feed display: 470 x 246 px
Mobile news feed display: 560 x 292 px
Text:Â The desktop news feed displays 500 characters and mobile is at 110 characters.
Image size: 1200 x 628 px
Image ratio: 1.9:1
Desktop news feed display: 470 x 246 px
Mobile news feed display: 560 x 292 px
Right column display: 254 x 133 px
Text: Desktop and mobile news feeds both only display 90 characters.
Image size: 1200 x 444 px
Image ratio: 1.9:1
Desktop news feed display: 470 x 174 px
Mobile news feed display: 560 x 208 px
Right column display: 254 x 94 px
Text: Desktop news feed displays a maximum of 500 characters, mobile is limited to 110 characters, and you have 90 characters for the right column.
Maximum allowed characters: 500
Good length to aim for: 150 characters or less.
You can find and download the full infographic here!
Did we miss something? New changes? Let us know in the comments or by emailing us.
Check out the related posts:
The post Facebook Cheat Sheet: All Sizes, Dimensions, and Templates  appeared first on DreamGrow.Continue reading
President Donald Trump onWednesday nominated Andrew Wheeler as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, setting him up to permanently fill a position the former coal lobbyist has held in an acting role since July.
Three weeks after the start of a partial shutdown of the federal government shuttered many of the EPA’s services, Trump sent Wheeler’s formal nomination to the Senate for confirmation.
“I am honored and grateful that President Trump has nominated me to lead the Environmental Protection Agency,” Wheeler said in a statement. “For me, there is no greater responsibility than protecting human health and the environment, and I look forward to carrying out this essential task on behalf of the American public.”
Wheeler is the latest former employee of an industry regulated by the agency he now leads to be on the verge of ascending in the president’s Cabinet.
Last year, the Senate confirmed Alex Azar, a former executive at the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. On Jan. 1, former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan took over as acting secretary at the Department of Defense after Secretary James Mattis’ abrupt resignation. The next day, David Bernhardt, a former oil lobbyist and No. 2 at the Department of the Interior, became acting secretary when the agency’s boss, Ryan Zinke, stepped down amid mounting ethics probes.
Wheeler’s promotion was expected. Trump announced plans to nominate Wheeler to the job in November. Wheeler, the former deputy administrator, told The New York Times that month that he felt he was “making a difference.”
“This is a transitional time for the agency,” he said. “We’ve started a number of initiatives that I’d like to see through to conclusion.”
Wheeler took over the agency six months ago when scandal-plagued former Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned in disgrace. Close allies of Pruitt, including Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), swiftly touted Wheeler as an adequate replacement who would reliably carry out Trump’s pro-fossil-fuel agenda.
Wheeler delivered. In August, he proposed gutting fuel economy standards for new vehicles in a move seen as a “giant giveaway” to oil companies even as electric automobile technology made historic leaps forward. Weeks later, he unveiled a rule to weaken a landmark Obama-era power plant regulation, allowing by the EPA’s own calculus enough pollution to cause an additional 1,400 premature deaths per year.
In November, when scientists at 13 federal agencies, including the EPA, determined in the annual National Climate Assessment that global warming was rapidly worsening, Wheeler responded by threatening to intervene in the next report’s drafting.
In December, Wheeler handed two more victories to the coal industry that paid him to lobby until mid-2017. In the first week of the month, he proposed softening a rule requiring coal-fired power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. By the end of the month, he announced plans to relax a rule restricting how much mercury and other dangerous pollutants coal-fired plants can release into the air.
Installing Wheeler as the nation’s 15th EPA chief is a formality. Last month, Wheeler became the longest-serving acting administrator in the EPA’s 48-year history, surpassing Bob Perciasepe’s roughly five-month stint as acting administrator in 2013. Acting rules for the EPA are vague and have generally gone unchallenged, and some argued Wheeler could have remained in his current role for the rest of Trump’s first term.
Yet with a Republican majority in the Senate, Wheeler seems likely to win confirmation.
His nomination to serve as Pruitt’s No. 2 faced little opposition. Democrats largely overlooked him during the initial confirmation hearing in November 2017. He couched blatant climate change denial in smooth legalese. He appeared moderate next to Kathleen Hartnett White, the right-wing ideologue nominated to serve as the head of the Council on Environmental Quality, whose humiliating performance captured Democrats’ attention at the confirmation hearing she shared with Wheeler.
Wheeler’s nomination finally came up for a vote in the Senate last April as allegations against Pruitt began to surface. Ahead of the vote, at least one Democratic senator warned that the process seemed “like a shadow confirmation vote for the next administrator of the EPA.” Yet every Republican and three Democrats in the Senate ― more support than Pruitt himself received in his confirmation vote ― confirmed him as Pruitt’s No. 2.
Republican challengers unseated two of those Democrats, and the remaining one, Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), is expected to support Wheeler again.
Wheeler has faced his own controversies. As HuffPost reported in October, the agency chief repeatedly engaged with incendiary, partisan content on his personal Facebook and Twitter accounts over the past five years. The online activity included liking a racist image of former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on Facebook and retweeting an infamous “Pizzagate” conspiracy theorist. At least two Democratic senators called on him to resign.
In early February last year, The Intercept reported that Wheeler held fundraisers for Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Inhofe in May, five months before his formal nomination to be deputy administrator came before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, on which the senators serve.
That same month, HuffPost reported that two nonpartisan groups of regional air pollution regulators accused Wheeler of abusing his power as a Senate aide in the early 2000s to “bully” and “intimidate” the organizations when they opposed a bill Inhofe, Wheeler’s boss at the time, introduced.
In a statement Wednesday, Barrasso, the Environment and Public Works Committee chairman, vowed to push to confirm Wheeler as administrator.
“Acting Administrator Wheeler has done an outstanding job leading EPA and is well qualified to run the agency on a permanent basis,” he said. “I will work with committee members to get him confirmed.”
This story has been updated with statements from Barrasso and Wheeler.
From sweet victories to strange male obsessions to straight out sexist garbage, here is the feminists year in review
This week, journalists across Belgrade and five other Serbian cities gathered to demand that Serbias defence minister resign for making a sexist remark. The protests were sparked at a press conference two weeks ago a female journalist crouched to stay out of camera view and Bratislav Gasic thought it opportune to remark I love it when female journalists kneel so easily.
In the face of outrage, Serbias prime minister has promised to dismiss him, but with that dismissal not forthcoming, a furious press corps hit the streets, holding signs that declared Journalists Do Not Kneel.
Sexist garbage like that uttered by Gasic was once a privilege of male social entitlement all over the world, and passed wholly unremarked. But a global feminist movement that can now see its own vastness through access to social media has mobilised impressive denouncements of those still grasping for the privilege of old inequalities.
The protests in Serbia are but the symbolic December conclusion to a worldwide year of sexist jerkery, and the rage spawned in its wake.
The year began in sport, with the humiliating treatment of Canadas highest-ever ranked tennis player, Eugenie Bouchard, at the Australian Open. The 20-year-old former Wimbledon finalist had just crushed Dutch opponent Kiki Bertens in a straight-sets victory, 6-0, 6-3. Yet the attributes of raw strength, tactical mastery and athleticism required for such a victory went curiously uncelebrated in her post-match interview, when male commentator, Ian Cohen, asked the world No7 Can you give us a twirl?
A twirl? She replied.
A twirl, like a pirouette, here you go, urged Cohen, indicating her tennis skirt.
The Guardian reported: Somewhat uncomfortably, the No7-ranked player did as she was asked, then laughed and buried her face in her hands.
February saw controversy sparked by the release in Australia of the BDSM-lite pornette movie, Fifty Shades of Grey. The story of an innocent and inexperienced young woman who is sexually manipulated and abused by powerful man had already provoked comment around the world, with Irish feminist Emer OToole inspired to rethink her sexual practices in the wake of the mainstreaming of BDSM and a horrific local femicide. In Glasgow, a bar was roundly criticised for celebrating the films release with a free roll of duct tape given away with every sold pint (thatll shut her up!).
The issue in Australia was even less well-handled. The White Ribbon campaign to end violence against women was already having a problematic February; campaign ambassador Tanveer Ahmed announced in the Australian that feminism itself was limiting the effectiveness of anti-violence campaigns because it was a cult of victimhood focused on male villainy. In that context, the eager White Ribbon beavers whod planned a fundraising screening of Fifty Shades of Grey as a great conversation starter to talk about violence against women sensibly decided to cancel.
Sport, again – and March was an unhappy month for the worlds female football fans. It wasnt only that an Indonesian clothing company saw fit to label some of its sports shirts for the Super League football team Pusamania Borneo with the washing instruction Give this shirt to a woman. Its her job. It was the news that British soldiers had shouted sexist abuse at women playing in a football international between England and Australia near a military base in Cyprus, and it was the revelation of an ongoing pay-gap that sees female professional footballers paid a mere third of their male counterparts.
April was the month for a sexist controversy in science. A postdoctoral researcher spoke out when an anonymous peer reviewer for a science journal questioned the contents of her and a co-writers research with the suggestion that they should have recruited a male author to ensure its data was correctly interpreted.
The journal apologised for the response, and also for an email to the authors that explained the grounds for rejection were the qulaity [sic] of the manuscript is por [sic] issues on methodologies and presentation of resulst [sic].
The subject of the paper that received the criticism was – ahem – on gender bias in science.
In May, it was the entertainment industry coming in for criticism over the dress policy enforced at the Cannes Film Festival. Despite denials from the Cannes organisers, reports continued to circulate that women in flats were turned away from Cannes premieres for failing the obligation to meet evening dress requirements a particularly dark rejection, considering one of these women was an amputee. Cannes admission of Natalie Portman fronting in a see-through dress was, of course, no problem.
A greater problem for women in Hollywood was again a persisting gender pay gap, exposed by the infamous Sony Hack of 2014. That as late as October this year, actor Jennifer Lawrence was still publicly condemning it says much as does the gendered expectations of behaviour around pay negotiation familiar to any industry. Hollywood Life reported Lawrence as saying the all-too-familiar:
I would be lying if I didnt say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight, she explained. I didnt want to seem difficult or spoiled. At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the internet and realised every man I was working with definitely didnt worry about being difficult or spoiled.
And sexism in the entertainment industry continued into June especially after actor Rose McGowan publicised on twitter the casting call of an upcoming Adam Sandler vehicle. Demands for Wardrobe note: Black (or dark) form-fitting tank that shows off cleavage (push-up bras encouraged). And formfitting leggings or jeans. Nothing white perhaps should have drawn professional condemnation of Sandler but it was McGowan who was fired by her agent for revealing them.
McGowan remained defiant, defending her right to an agenda: Youre goddamn right I have an agenda, she told Nylon, I have an agenda for people to be better humans.
Her anger is understandable. Closer to home, the entertainment industrys scrutiny of womens bodies took one step closer to the laughable end of hysterical when Australian actor Caitlyn Staseys decision to post Instagram pics containing armpit hair became a news story.
But back to science: as women scientists the world were speaking up about ongoing industry sexism, into the maelstrom blundered the surprisingly hapless Nobel laureate, Tim Hunt. Perhaps he was joking about courting his eminent scientist (and feminist) wife when he quipped that men and women should occupy gender-separate laboratories because you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you but the times were not ripe for such humour, and Hunt was forced to resign.
Over the course of the entire year, including their history-making progress into the finals rounds of the World Cup which officially finished in July a greater progress than any male Australian team had ever made at international level Australias Matildas were being shockingly underpaid. Receiving just $21,000-$23,000 a year for their work, a proposal to lift their income to a base level of only $33,000 a year was rejected as unaffordable. Industrial protest culminated in their cancellation of a US tour in September quite understandably, given the number of similarly professional male footballers one expects would refuse to walk out on a pitch for less than $33,000 a game.
Bic, the pen manufacturer company that has previously disgraced itself by gendering the humble pen for her, further disgraced itself in August with a sexist campaign in South Africa, using Womens Day to encourage pen-using business women to act like a lady, think like a man to empower themselves for success.
A better use for a Bic pen in August was perhaps considered by Megyn Kelly from Fox News, who had the temerity to ask Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump just why he has called women fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals in previous statements.
The Guardian reported: Trump replied that he did not have time for political correctness, but then went after Kelly on rival network CNN. You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.
If Australian sexism has a federal parliamentary mascot, its surely George Christensen, the member for Dawson in Queensland. From a youthful past publishing quotes like the truth is that women are bloody stupid and publishing – only this year – cartoons depicting Queensland Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk naked, in September he somewhat unwisely chose to pick a fight with popular internet feminist commentator – and fellow Queenslander – Rebecca Shaw, choosing to attack her looks and choice of clothing. Her takedown response went viral, no doubt spurred by the consciences of her Northern compatriots, who heeded her advice to: Think about the fact that for every second he is in office, and after almost every tweet he sends, he is reflecting poorly upon the rest of Queensland. And lets face it, havent we suffered enough?
The October preparation of a crew of female Russian cosmonauts for a space mission to the moon did not receive the celebration it should have. Before entering a simulated spaceship environment for eight days of seclusion, the crew of engineers and scientists preparing to pilot, you know, an actual space mission were forced to field questions from the press about how theyd manage their hair, makeup and absence of men on the craft.
Puzzled cosmonaut Anna Kussmaul responded: We are doing work. When youre doing your work, you dont think about men and women.
Yet the strange male obsession with female grooming habits continued the rarified space alien environment which is New South Wales politics, when the secretary to the premier, one Ray Williams, slammed plans to redress the discrepancies between the plush male bathrooms to the under-resourced female ones in the local parliament building designed at a time when female participation in government was much smaller.
The Premier knows full well that if we were to give the women in parliament any more bathrooms, then were never going to get anything done in parliament, said Williams, tenderly.
November was certainly the month where women not only fought back, but won. Oft-harassed Fairfax columnist Clementine Ford achieved an all-too-rare victory for online feminists when her reporting of a Meriton hotel group employee who called her a slut online resulted in his employer sacking him.
But the even sweeter victory was earlier in the month, when jockey Michelle Payne, the only female rider in the Melbourne Cup race, also won it. Paynes glorious denunciation from the winners podium that the sexists whod knocked her could get stuffed was a sunshine-bright defiance amid the enduring, misogynist gloom.
And then December appeared, with the painful realisation that the achievements of Ford, Payne, feminism and, indeed, all women standing up to sexism, drew predictable criticism from male commentators for not being the right sort of feminists.
In a year of sexist jerkery, it was only to be – yawningly – expected.Continue reading
Internet, Meet Terry, a retired Spanish teacher from Wisconsin whose favorite hobby (and pro-social volunteer activity) has turned him into a celebrity and the unofficial patron saint of all cats who need a cuddle, a brush, and a nap with a friendly human.
A few months ago, Terry appeared (as if by magic!) at The Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary in Green Bay with one request: He wanted to stop by and brush the cats on a regular basis. Soon, Terry was showing up every day and spending up to three hours at a time with the cats.
And all that brushing can get kind of tiring, so Terry would sometimes have to take a nap (understandable). But then other people at the sanctuary started taking photos of Terry napping with his feline buddies. And when those photos were posted on Facebook, well…
Here’s a photo:
And, in the immortal words of DJ Khaled, “another one”:
And one more, because 2018 has been a year and, boy, do we need this:
You can guess what happened from there. After Terry’s pictures hit social media, they were viewed hundreds and thousands, and, by now, probably millions of times. A fundraiser for the shelter in Terry’s name has already hit more than $16,000.
And there’s a great reason why the internet’s going buck wild for Terry and his animal pals.
In a phone call with Upworthy, Elizabeth Feldhausen, the founder and president of the shelter explained that Safe Haven takes in cats who might not have had a home anywhere else.
“We rescue cats with disabilities and special needs — anywhere from anxiety to paralysis to diabetes to thyroid problems,” she said. “Anything that could put them at risk at another shelter.”
Sometimes, Feldhausen told us, the sanctuary takes on cases where an owner might have felt like they had no choice but to put a cat down because their medical care costs too much.
If the pictures above look like they might have been taken in someone’s home, there’s a reason for that, too. The shelter’s a therapeutic and cage-free environment. The cats have bedrooms and a living room. And they wander about freely so that they can get used to being around people and feeling safe in their space.
“It helps them a lot to be socialized,” Feldhausen said. “So we’ve set it up in a way as to be psychologically pleasing to these animals who have been through so much.”
Live with Terry 😻❤️🐾 #catnapterry #catgrandpa
Posted by Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary Inc. on Thursday, September 20, 2018
“I’ve always liked cats,” Terry told me when I spoke to him. “And I didn’t have cats as an adult. But when I retired I decided to do something fun and this place emerged. I had been volunteering at other shelters, but this place is special because no cages and the cats can feel taken care of in a friendly environment.”
According to legend (Feldhausen), Terry brings his own brush to groom the cats. And it’s just one more thing that makes them feel special.
“He says it’s his magic brush,” Feldhausen laughed. “That’s why the cats love him so much. He’s not just a grandpa to the cats. He’s the grandpa to everyone at Safe Haven.”
(“I just bought the brush at a local department store, but it’s a nice brush,” Terry laughed.)
Terry was brushing cats when I called the shelter (natch), but he took a couple of minutes away from brushing his one special cat to send a message to anyone out there who’s thinking of getting involved with cats who have special needs.
“It’s well worth it, if you have the patience. It takes a very special type of person to work with a special needs cat.”
Terry’s lifestyle — he takes several months off a year to do research in Spain — doesn’t allow him to adopt a cat right now, but that doesn’t mean he’s not making special connections. His favorite cat is a domestic short hair named Buckhorn who’s recently lost his brother to FIP.
“He was so scared. He hid behind a counter for weeks and I didn’t know he existed. Now he’s come out and he’s become my special friend and that’s going to stay with me forever.”
While not all of us can expect to go viral (“I just fell asleep!” Terry says) for doing good, all of us can do more. And that doesn’t always mean a donation. If you’ve got extra time and the desire to give cats (and dogs and all other domesticated animals) the love they deserve, look up your local shelter and volunteer. Both you and the animals will be better for it.
As for Terry? Feldhausen says that the sanctuary’s been overwhelmed with calls for volunteers. And while the facility’s too small too accommodate everyone, there’s no chance that anyone’s going to take over for the shelter’s number one grandpa.
“He’s going to be here forever!” Feldhausen said.Continue reading
Britain’s farmers have said Tesco’s fresh produce labelled with “fictional farm” brands may be misleading.
Despite the British sounding names, the “farms” do not exist and the produce is often sourced from abroad.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) says the labels may give customers a false idea of where the produce is sourced.
Tesco said in a statement: “We’ve named the brands after farms to represent the quality specifications that go into every product across the range.”
New brands such as Rosedene Farms and Boswell Farms were launched on Monday to cover Tesco’s own-label produce.
Phil Bicknell, the NFU’s Head of Food and Farming said: “It is clear that Tesco have identified that customers have a positive affinity with farmers and want to capitalise on this.
“The key question to ask with this is, what are these brands trying to communicate? If this is not aligned with the origin sourcing and specification of the product we must ask if this is misleading to customers.”
Tesco’s statement added: “Every product is sourced from a selection of farms and growers – some are small, family-run farms while others are of a larger scale – reared or grown to our specific standards from known and audited farms and growers.”
The new brands cover 76 new lines that will either match the price of competitors like Aldi or Lidl or beat them.
Tesco has been heavily criticised on social media with one tweet reading: “Shocking! Shoppers deserve to know where their food comes from. “
Tesco is not alone in using “fictional farms” to brand its products. Aldi has its own Ashfield Farm brand.
Marketing experts talked to by the BBC felt that Tesco was not being deliberately deceitful. Phil Dorrell from the retail consultancy Retail Remedy said: “I think they are being fairly upfront and honest that these are Tesco own-brands.”
Professor David Hughes from Imperial College London, an expert on food marketing, speaking on Farming Today said: “I don’t think it is particularly insidious.
“But particularly when it comes to fresh produce and fresh food, then from a consumer point of view if there’s a farm name there, the understanding from a consumer perspective is that it reflects a true farm. That isn’t the case. It seems misleading.
“I don’t think it is done maliciously. It’s probably a marketing mistake. Let’s have transparent traceable supply chain. And, if there are farms there let’s have a real farm name.”Continue reading