Tag: The Voice of Social media

How Chocolate Saved Shawn Askinosie

How Chocolate Saved Shawn Askinosie

After a particularly dizzying murder trial, Shawn Askinosie thought he was fine.

He kept practicing law as a homicide defense attorney for five years after that moment, all the while wondering why he was dealing with panic attacks, mental fogs, and even the symptoms of a heart attack after nearly 15 years of loving his career.

Eventually, something broke within him: he loved being a lawyer but simply couldn’t do it anymore.

Listlessly trying to find his place in the world, he stumbled upon making chocolate. Now, 15 years later, Askinosie Chocolate makes some of the highest quality chocolate in the world. On the journey, he also found a renewed sense of purpose in life that helped him come back from the brink.

Featuring insights from Buffer’s Small Business, Big Lessons podcast episode one, and the accompanying unpublished interview, Shawn explained how chocolate saved his life – and how he’s using his chocolate business to help others thrive as well.

How Chocolate Saved Shawn Askinosie
Shawn Askinosie

From defense lawyer to chocolate maker

The trial started out fairly routine: he was representing a woman accused of murder.

Right before the trial was supposed to go to the jury for a verdict, the judge pulled him and the prosecutor into his chambers.

The judge said he was revoking the jury’s mandate. Instead of a jury verdict on jail time versus the death sentence, the judge would sentence the woman to probation. Shawn wanted to keep fighting – he wanted his client off completely, not accepting probation – but the woman told Shawn he’d done enough, and she accepted the probation deal.

For five years after that trial, Shawn tried to forget about it and move on, but he couldn’t. He even started getting physical symptoms.

“I started having these little mini panic attacks in the courtroom,” said Shawn. I didn't even know what a panic attack was then, I never even heard of such a thing… my doctor thought it might be a heart attack.”

While thankfully it wasn’t a heart attack, Shawn’s doctor was deeply concerned for his mental wellbeing and told him to see a psychologist. He ended up starting antidepressants, trying to keep himself afloat so he could continue the career he increasingly no longer loved.

“I loved what I did so much and then I didn't – that really kind of threw me off,” said Shawn.

Eventually, he just couldn’t continue law anymore and resigned.

He spent a lot of time figuring out what would come next and fell onto food. He cooked a lot of barbecue for his friends. Then he tried baking. He enjoyed it, but nothing sparked a true passion.

Then a thought came to him: what about chocolate?

He learned the basics of chocolate making from some blogs and immediately felt drawn to the process. Realizing the sparks of passion, he took a trip to Ecuador to meet cocoa farmers and learn about the entire production chain from bean to finished product.

On that trip, Shawn realized his new passion would be to make the best chocolate in the world.

How Chocolate Saved Shawn Askinosie
Shawn Askinosie and Lawren Askinosie inspecting cocoa beans with their farmer partners in Mababu, Tanzania (2019)

Honoring family, supporting farmers, and building community

Shawn set out to turn his passion for chocolate into a company so he could sustain himself and his family. But unlike his law career, which was driven by excitement for the game and the mountains of cash he could make, Shawn approached chocolate making as an homage to his grandparents.

“My grandparents were farmers and an inspiration to me, just very kind people who lived a simple life… and I wanted to honor them,” said Shawn.

Keeping his grandparents in mind, he thought about what he wanted the business to do beyond delivering economic profit.

He landed on three keys: caring for the farmers he worked with, providing great jobs for his future employees, and providing care and resources to the communities he worked with.

In his mind, profit gave him the ability to focus on these other, bigger things. It’s a belief he thinks all companies should adopt as they think about corporate social responsibility (CSR).

“Even though it's messy, we need to diffuse the CSR efforts throughout all aspects of the company,” said Shawn. “… [It should] not just be the elite within the company that have the chance to roll up their sleeves and really serve others.”

With his three keys in mind, Shawn built up Askinosie Chocolate. He now has a profit share agreement with farmers in his supply chain, he sets revenue growth goals with an explicit amount set for increasing employee wages and benefits, and launched a nonprofit called Chocolate University to teach citizenship, entrepreneurship, and civic-mindedness through teaching kids the business of chocolate.

How Chocolate Saved Shawn Askinosie
Shawn Askinosie inspecting cocoa beans with farmer partners in Mababu, Tanzania (2019)

Building a company driven by service

Through his decade-plus-long journey so far, Shawn has thought about growth a lot. But it’s far from his top priority.

“Everybody tells us that we need to grow, grow, grow,” said Shawn. “Why?”

Shawn knows that people asking about growth always come with good intentions: your friends and family want you to be rich while your local Chamber of Commerce wants you to provide employment. But he also wants to push back against this notion and ask how companies can stay small while still delivering impact.

“Scaling is a strategy that is not without sacrifice,” he said.

One quote Shawn regularly turns to when there’s pressure to grow for growth’s sake is that “more is not enough.” And he wants entrepreneurs to focus on “enough,” not just “more.”

“We have lived this life of massive consumerism, of over-consumption, and the younger generations are pushing against this … because it's a truth that they want to live by,” said Shawn.

Rebelling against mass consumerism is part of a larger movement that Shawn calls “corporatocracy,” when a few massive corporations control most of the economic means of production.

Underneath the corporatocracy, though, is the future Shawn sees: responsibility for the social good.

“There are a lot of really small companies that [you] don't even know, never even heard the phrase ‘social entrepreneurship’, but they have rolled up their sleeves and they're doing good works on their street, in their neighborhood.”

For new entrepreneurs trying to fight against the corporatocracy, Shawn has a simple rule: ask yourself how much is enough, don’t just ask for more. While “enough” will change throughout your life, it’s critical to figure out what is enough for you right now, then center your actions to that end.

This, said Shawn, will help create “companies of the future that are not completely driven by profit but are driven by this notion of service to their brothers and sisters in need.”

Building a business, rebuilding a life

There’s an adage that you should always start how you mean to go on. But the problem Shawn sees is not starting out with good intentions; most entrepreneurs do that. Instead, it’s keeping those intentions at the forefront when growth comes calling.

You can – and should – still aim for profit. The key is to balance profit with staying true to your purpose and your “enough.”

For Shawn, this balance of profit with “enough” turned out to be his savior. Instead of wondering why things don’t feel good even though he’s “successful,” Askinosie Chocolate has meaning behind every action and every dollar of profit, which helped rebuild Shawn’s mental health and give him a renewed sense of purpose in the world.

“I am confessing that my company is less valuable than it might have otherwise been,” said Shawn. “And I am okay with that. Why? Because it would be out of balance for me to end the company in a way that is inconsistent with the way I started it.”


Listen to Shawn's episode and interviews with other small business owners on Buffer's latest podcast, Small Business, Big Lessons and come

https://buffer.com/resources/shawn-askinosie-chocolate/

Trump to launch new social media platform TRUTH Social – BBC News

Former US President Donald Trump has announced plans to launch a new social media network, called TRUTH Social.
He said the platform would “stand up to the tyranny of big tech”, accusing them of silencing opposing voices in the US.
Social media played a pivotal role in Mr Trump’s bid for the White House and was his favourite means of communication as president.
But Mr Trump was banned from Twitter and suspended from Facebook after his supporters stormed the US Capitol.
Social media firms were under pressure throughout Mr Trump’s presidency to ban him, with his posts criticised as insulting, inflammatory or peddling outright falsehoods.
Last year Twitter and Facebook began deleting some of his posts or labelling them as misleading, such as one in which he said Covid was “less lethal” than the flu.
They took the decision to ban or suspend Mr Trump after the January riots, which followed a speech in which he made baseless claims of electoral fraud.
Responding to the riots, Mr Trump called those at the Capitol “patriots” and showed no sign of accepting the result of the election, prompting Twitter and Facebook to rule that it was too risky to allow him to continue to use their sites.
‘Your favourite president has been silenced’
Since then he and his advisers have hinted that they were planning to create a rival social media site.
Earlier this year, he launched From the Desk of Donald J Trump, which was often referred to as a blog.
The website was permanently shut down less than a month after it launched after attracting only a fraction of the audience he would have expected through established sites.
His senior aide Jason Miller said it was “just auxiliary to the broader efforts we have and are working on”.
An early version of his latest venture, TRUTH Social, will be open to invited guests next month, and will have a “nationwide rollout” within the first three months of 2022, according to a statement by Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG).
“We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favourite American President has been silenced,” wrote Mr Trump.
“Everyone asks me why doesn’t someone stand up to Big Tech? Well, we will be soon!” he added.

Donald Trump’s team is making a big deal of this. Yet there’s no indication that the new company has a working platform yet. The new site is just a registration page.
He wants to create a platform that rivals Twitter or Facebook, but that simply won’t happen.
By its very nature the platform is overtly politicised. It is not going to be a talking shop of ideas like Twitter, or a place the whole family is on like Facebook.
What it could be is a more successful version of other ‘free speech’ social media platforms like Parler or Gab.
Donald Trump clearly wants his megaphone back. He thinks this might be his ticket. But if he’s really going to be heard, he needs the Big Tech platforms to let him back on – and that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

— Read on www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-58990330

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Facebook planning to rebrand the company with name change

Facebook reportedly planning to rebrand the company with name change | Science & Tech News |

— Read more on www.google.co.uk/amp/s/news.sky.com/story/amp/facebook-reportedly-planning-to-rebrand-the-company-with-name-change-12439054

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Facebook reportedly planning to rebrand the company with name change | Science & Tech News |

Facebook reportedly planning to rebrand the company with name change | Science & Tech News |

— Read more on www.google.co.uk/amp/s/news.sky.com/story/amp/facebook-reportedly-planning-to-rebrand-the-company-with-name-change-12439054

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Clubhouse App Updates & News

Clubhouse App Updates & News

Clubhouse App Updates & News
— Read on mawebwales.wordpress.com/2021/10/09/clubhouse-app-updates-news/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

New from Buffer: Start Page

New from Buffer: Start Page

The past year and a half has shown many of us that small businesses are too often the unsung heroes of our world. For almost 11 years now, we’ve remained committed to serving small businesses at Buffer. Earlier this year, we decided to make an expanded effort to help small businesses by making something even more accessible for people starting out and going broader in the types of problems we help solve.  

Today, we’re launching Start Page by Buffer for anyone who wants to create a beautiful, mobile-friendly landing page in minutes and update it in seconds, and it’s free.

We’ve built Buffer’s publishing, analytics, and engagement features with small businesses in mind. Now, we’re exploring something adjacent to social media to help with another big challenge we know small businesses face — properly leveraging that one key link that we all get on our social media profiles.  

There are a large number of link-in-bio tools available but we wanted to build something different, something that gives small businesses and individual creators the flexibility and power to create a beautiful page to showcase their brand through products, content, events, or announcements, all from one link.  

Start Page lets you quickly generate a landing page and URL for your business, no matter what type of business you have. Combined with our social media tools, Start Page creates a powerful toolset to start marketing your business.

How Start Page works

Simply go to buffer.com/start-page to begin building your Start Page, if you don’t yet have a Buffer account, you can set one up for free.  

You can start adding boxes for text, images, videos, social links, and more, right into our editor to create the layout you want, or you can choose from one of our pre-made templates. From there, you can customize page colors and style as well as add your own images, GIFs, and logos.

Once you’ve created and customized your page simply hit publish to claim your unique URL and start sharing it in your social profiles, email signatures, and marketing campaigns.

What’s next for Start Page

We’ve already heard from several businesses and individuals that they love Start Page, and we’re thrilled to continue evolving Start Page as more and more people use it as the home for their business. On our radar is custom domains, adding analytics for page views, and making even more themes.

We’d love to hear from you! If you’ve given Start Page a try, how’s it going? What would you like to see us add to it? Get in touch with us on Twitter to share your thoughts and feedback.

https://buffer.com/resources/start-page/

Snapchat Shares New Insights into NBA Fan Engagement in the App

With over half of all basketball fans in the US active on Snapchat, the app presents significant opportunity for tie-in campaigns and promotions. … …

Snapchat Shares New Insights into NBA Fan Engagement in the App

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

TikTok Shares New Insights into Halloween Engagement Trends

Halloween hype is rising on TikTok, which could present new opportunity for your promotions.https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/tiktok-shares-new-……

TikTok Shares New Insights into Halloween Engagement Trends

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

Back in 2015, we launched our first social media calendar. We were so excited to bring a new way of planning and scheduling to Buffer, and it proved to be a favorite feature among customers.

Since then, Buffer has changed a lot. We’ve re-designed our interface and added new planning features, like Stories Scheduling, Campaigns, and Hashtag Manager. Inevitably, our calendar started to feel a little dated and out-of-sync with the rest of Buffer. It even began living on a completely separate codebase, which made it difficult for engineers to make updates and fixes.

What started as a quiet call for improvements became a chorus of feedback from customers. In fact, the word “calendar” has appeared a whopping 247 times in our feature request form since the start of 2020.

The most common theme? Having all social media channels visible in one global calendar view. Here are a few examples:

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

So, our design team got to work; interviewing customers, looking at existing usage patterns, and digging deeper into the ideal experience. This is how we summed it up in our design brief:

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

Which brings us to today, many prototypes later, launching a brand new calendar experience that's available on free and paid Buffer plans.

Let's take a closer look!

Total planning visibility

The new calendar sits within your publishing dashboard and you can access it from the menu on the left-hand side of the dashboard. You can choose between a weekly or monthly view.

The weekly view shows you the key details of each post you’ve scheduled for the week; the channel to which it is scheduled, a preview of the text, and a thumbnail of your image.

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

The monthly view gives you a higher-level snapshot of the month with timestamps for every scheduled post. It’s a great way to spot and fill gaps in your strategy.

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

If you want to exclude certain channels from the calendar, you can use the Channels dropdown to choose which channels are shown.

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

To add a new post to your calendar use the Create Post button. This will pop open the composer, where you can choose the scheduled time.

Note: we're currently exploring other ways to add and rearrange posts; for example by clicking on a timeslot and dragging and dropping. We'd love to hear whether this is important to you!

Check your calendar anywhere, anytime

The new calendar is built into our iOS and Android apps. It’s the quickest way to stay in sync with everything you have scheduled and add content on the go.

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

Much more to come

We’re excited to hear your feedback and to add more power to the new calendar. What should we add next? How can we make it twice as good? We have some ideas, including:

  • Dragging and dropping posts around the calendar.
  • Creating a post by clicking on a timeslot.
  • Viewing and filtering Campaigns.

Share your thoughts

Excited about the new calendar? Have some ideas for us? Send us a tweet @buffer or use the Share Feedback button we’ve added right above the new calendar in your Buffer dashboard.

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

https://buffer.com/resources/new-social-media-calendar/

LinkTree Advertising

youtube.com/watch

LinkTree Advertising – Advertise on the Longest LinkTree in the World for just £50 per year – https://youtu.be/2iRGug5d4PI via @YouTube #LongestLinkTreeInTheWorld

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Clubhouse Latest Update News – Changes to Clubhouse Clubs

Clubhouse update release date – Tues, Aug 17

Clubhouse Update News:

Hi all — Happy Tuesday!

Here’s what’s new in this week’s clubhouse update release: ♣️

We’re making some one-time changes to clubs — to simplify how they work and make them easier for you to manage.

We’ve been talking about this for a while at Town Hall and on our blog, so hopefully you know the details, but if not, here is a reminder! We’re simplifying things by eliminating club “Followers,” so there is a single relationship you can have to a club: “Membership.”If you’re the Admin of a club, you can choose to make your membership “Open” (meaning anyone can join as a Member) or “By Approval” (meaning you individually approve all Members).

We’re creating a new role called “Leaders” to help club Admins make their clubs successful. Leaders can start rooms and schedule events that all club members can see, but can’t edit club settings, edit the club name, or add/remove members. Admins can choose which trusted club members to designate as Leaders.When people visit your profile, they’ll see the clubs in which you’re an Admin, Leader, or Member. We’re committed to making this a smooth transition for all of the club Admins out there, so we put together an FAQ to answer your questions and help you get migrated!

🟢 See who’s online — and start a room with them — directly from the Backchannel. Now you can see a green dot when people you’re chatting with are online, and a new button you can tap to start an audio room with them, without leaving your message threads. This feature is available in both 1:1 and group chats.

📥 Archive messages. This has been one of our most requested features ever since we launched the Backchannel. From your inbox, just swipe left on any message to archive it! This works in both your main Chats tabs and your Requests tab. You can access your archived messages anytime by tapping the “…” at the top of the full-screen inbox view

🔔 Fewer, better notifications. We rolled out some improvements that will result in us sending you 18% fewer notifications, without impacting room visits for creators. This mean 44% fewer notifications than a month ago, with more improvements to come. 🙂

That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for being part of Clubhouse! 🙏🏽

The Clubhouse Updates News post was posted by Clubhouse member @

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Introducing Our Canva Integration: Design and Share Visual Content Instantly

Introducing Our Canva Integration: Design and Share Visual Content Instantly

If you’re building your own business or work in social media, chances are you’ve heard of Canva. It’s the do-it-yourself design platform that has taken the world by storm, with more than 50 million people using it every month to create graphics and other visuals.

Today, we’re excited to share that you can now use Canva and Buffer together to create and publish social media posts, without having to leave Buffer. You get the best of Canva’s design features and the best of Buffer’s social publishing features in one place. Hooray!

Before I dive into how the integration works, I’d love to share a little bit more about why we love Canva and why it made sense for us to add this integration.

Making it faster to share great content

Buffer customers are already using Canva to design images and graphics for their social channels, taking advantage of the 14,000+ social post templates that Canva offers. Why not make it quicker to bring those designs into Buffer? With this integration, you’ll no longer have to download images from Canva and then upload them to Buffer. You can now add them directly to a post in Buffer with just a few clicks.

Keeping it user friendly and accessible

Canva’s mission is to empower anyone to design, no matter how much actual design experience you have. When we speak to our customers, we often hear that they love using both Buffer and Canva because both tools are easy-to-use, intuitive, and affordable. We’re excited to bring these tools together to create a streamlined process for everyone, no matter your skill level.

Growth and innovation

Canva is growing fast and adding lots of incredible new features to its design platform. We’re thrilled to bring those features to Buffer through this new integration.

Creating content is one of the hardest and most time-consuming parts of any marketer's life, especially if you’re wearing many hats while trying to grow your business. Canva is a life-saver for spinning up visual content without the help of a designer. We couldn’t be more excited to add Canva to Buffer.

A closer look at Buffer’s new Canva integration

Canva is available on all plans, including our Free plan, and it’s super easy to get started. If you don’t have a Canva account, you’ll need to create one at Canva.com first. If you have a Canva account, you’ll just need to make sure you’re logged in while you’re using Buffer.

Creating a new Canva design in Buffer
The new Canva integration is built into the publishing experience in Buffer. When you open the Buffer composer to create a new post and use the Add Image button, you’ll now see a new dropdown menu with the option to add an image from Canva. Selecting this option opens up the Canva editor, where you can create your image and add it directly to Buffer.

Introducing Our Canva Integration: Design and Share Visual Content Instantly

Buffer will automatically detect the appropriate image dimensions for you, based on the channel you have selected in the composer.

These are default sizes:

  • Facebook: 940 x 788
  • Instagram Post: 1080 x 1080
  • Instagram Story: 1080 x 1920
  • Twitter: 1600 x 900
  • LinkedIn: 1200 x 627
  • Pinterest: 1000 x 1500

If you’re composing a post for multiple social platforms at once, for example, Instagram and Twitter, the image dimensions default to a 1080 x 1080 square. This is the most compatible size across all social platforms.

Importing an existing Canva design into Buffer
If you have pre-existing designs in your Canva library, you can add those to Buffer too. The first time you use the integration, you’ll need to click on Folders in the menu on the left-hand side, and then All your designs. This will add it to the menu for future use.

Introducing Our Canva Integration: Design and Share Visual Content Instantly

For more details on getting set up, feel free to read our help center guide.

Tips and resources for designing with Canva

One of the best things about Canva is that it’s easy to pick up and use right away. You don’t need any formal design training; it’s made for non-designers. That said, if you’re looking for some help getting started, Canva offers excellent tutorials in their design school.

They also offer courses specifically about creating social media content. Social media mastery is a popular one, with more than 140,000 students already.

Other resources

We’d love your feedback!

Canva is available on all Buffer plans today and we’d love to know what you think. Share your thoughts with us on social and don’t forget to tag @buffer!

https://buffer.com/resources/canva-integration/

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content

There’s no denying that content creation is time-consuming. You have to think of what to post, create a graphic, write a caption, choose hashtags, post the content, and engage with your audience in the comments—and then do it all again, and again, and again.

While the challenges of social media content creation may feel daunting, showing up consistently has big benefits for your business. By posting valuable content consistently, you can:

  • Grow your audience
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Build authority in your industry
  • Improve engagement

If you are looking to achieve any of the benefits listed above, it is worth figuring out a sustainable strategy for saving time planning and creating social media content. The key to achieving this is twofold—planning in advance and batch working content creation.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content
@stilclassics

Multitasking—A Cautionary Tale

Let’s take a moment to talk about something we all do—multitasking. Multitasking often feels productive because you are doing “all the things”, but in reality, multitasking is one of the least productive things you can do.

It has been estimated that only 2% of the population is actually proficient at multitasking. When you switch from task to task, it actually takes 50% longer to accomplish a task. (John Medina, Brain Rules).

“Only 2% of the population is actually proficient at multitasking.”

So what are the 98% of us that are not proficient multitaskers supposed to do? The answer—when it comes to social media content creation—is creating a system and batch working. Below is a process that you can repeat each month to save time planning and creating your social media content.

Content Planning Process

Each month, set aside time to map out your social media content for the following month. By outlining the content topics you want to cover for the entire month, you can look at your content from a higher level and be more strategic about your content plan. Plan on spending 1-2 hours each month mapping out your content for the following month.

Plan on spending 1-2 hours each month mapping out your content

Things to include in your content plan:

  • Number of posts. How often do you post (or want to post) each week? Keep in mind that quality and consistency are more important than the number of posts. Stick to a schedule and frequency you can sustain long-term.
  • Goals. What are your overall business goals for the month? How can your content support those goals?
  • Any important dates. Do you have a new product or service launching, or an event? Plug those into your plan first, so you can fill in supporting content around them.
  • Social media holidays you want to “celebrate”. Are there relevant social media holidays you want to celebrate on your social platforms? This list has a good roundup of these types of holidays, or you can always research those that are specific to your industry.

With this content roadmap, you can confidently go into the month knowing what content needs to be created each week (more on that later).

What Types of Social Media Content Should You Create?

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to social media content is knowing what to post. When creating content for social media, it is important to share a variety of types of content. Your content should educate, entertain, or sell.

Below are a few examples of businesses balancing content that educates, entertains, and sells.

Bulletproof (@bulletproof)

Bulletproof balances entertainment, education, and sales very well in their content. They highlight their products, share recipes and answer FAQS, and create funny, relatable GIFs.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content
Screenshot of Bulletproof's Instagram profile.

Shopify (@shopify)

Shopify shares inspiring personal stories of their customers, encourages conversation and engagement by asking questions, and sharing video content with “how” and “why” motivating life hacks.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content
Screenshot of Shopify's Instagram profile.

Flodesk (@flodesk)

Flodsesk highlights new features, shares tips and best practices for email marketing, and encourages engagement from their audience by asking “this or that” and “would you rather?” questions.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content
Screenshot of Flodesk's Instagram profile.

Another advantage of planning your content for the entire month is that you can better distribute and plan the types of content you will be sharing. Rather than scrambling to come up with something to post and potentially posting too many sales-focused posts or too many funny memes, planning in advance allows you to be more intentional and strategic with what you post. That ensures you are hitting all the marks building the know, like, and trust factor with your audience, serving them, and ultimately converting them.

Let’s say you want to share four posts per week. To balance your content types, you could share two educational posts, one sales-focused post, and one entertaining post each week. As you plan your month of content, you can start to plug in your content ideas according to that cadence and flow.

Bonus tip: This step of the process does not need to be high-tech. Simply use a monthly calendar (you can print one at Print-a-Calendar.com if you don’t have one) and grab some sticky notes and a pen and start jotting down your content topics. This process allows you to move things around as needed to better balance and distribute your content. Alternatively, you can plan in digital form on a Google calendar or in software like Asana, Trello, or Cickup. Choose the tool that works best for you so that you are more likely to use it.

When planning content, it is important to remember that content doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Really anything can be content if it is valuable to your ideal audience. Share your knowledge, take your audience behind the scenes, introduce your team, share customer testimonials or reviews, answer frequently asked questions. Know that you have insight that your audience craves—they told you that when they chose to follow you.

Streamline Content Creation With Batchworking

Let’s circle back to batch working and how to apply the tactic to content planning.

What Is Batch working?

Batch working is a highly focused, topic-specific form of working. When batch working, you divide your work into different hours/days and focus on only one thing at a time. Batch working can be applied to all areas of your life and work, but here we will focus on how to utilize it for content creation.

The idea is that by focusing on one task at a time, you can get into a flow state which is when your productivity and creativity truly flourish. The end result is better quality content in less time. A win-win!

Step 1: Plan a Month of Content

As outlined above, the first step in planning and creating social media content is to map out the entire month on content.

Assuming you have your monthly content plan and roadmap ready to go, each week you should follow the steps below to streamline the content creation piece of the puzzle.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content
Photo by @stilclassics.

Step 2: Create All Visual Content

With your content roadmap, decide what visuals need to be created for the week. Write a list of everything you need from stock photos, custom graphics, videos, Reels, cover images, etc.

Once you have the list, it’s time to start creating. For custom branded graphics, you can use a tool like Canva. Create (or purchase) a library of templates you can easily customize with different content each week. This keeps your branding consistent and also saves you time as opposed to starting designs from scratch each week.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content
Photo by Canva.

Step 3: Write All Captions

Captions do not have to take a long time to create. By batching captions and following a caption formula, you can quickly write captions that convert your audience. A good caption should include:

  • Hook: Grab their attention right off the bat. Think of the first 7-14 words of your caption like an email subject line. You have to inspire your audience to click “read more”.
  • Value: Deliver on what you promised in your hook and share content that educates, entertains, or sells.
  • Call to Action: Tell your audience what you want them to do next (i.e. share, like, comment, click, buy, sign up, tag, etc.). Keep your calls to action simple and fun to increase the likelihood that your audience will follow through.
How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content
Photo: Luke Southern via Unsplash

Step 4: Schedule Posts

Now that you have your visuals and captions, it’s time to schedule your posts according to your content calendar. Using Buffer’s Publishing tool, go to Settings and set your posting schedule.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content

Then navigate to your queue, drag and drop images and copy/paste captions and click “Schedule Post” or “Add to Queue”. Depending on the type of post, your post will either automatically publish at the scheduled time, or you will receive a push notification at the scheduled time to post yourself.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content

Step 5: Add Hashtags (if posting to Instagram)

If you are posting to Instagram, when you schedule your post, you also have the option to add up to 30 hashtags to the first comment of your post. Buffer’s hashtag manager allows you to save hashtag groups right in the platform. This makes it easy to choose the right hashtag group(s) to add to your post. When used thoughtfully and strategically, hashtags are a great way to extend the reach of your content.

How To Save Time Planning and Creating Social Media Content

Enjoy The Benefits of Planning & Scheduling Your Content in Advance

Imagine not having to constantly be wondering, “What should I post?”. As you get into the habit of planning and scheduling content in advance, you will start to see your efforts pay off. Not only will your content strategy benefit you, but you will also save yourself time and reduce stress around social media content. Instead of “posting just to post”, adopting a content batching routine allows you to create high-quality content when you are in your “content zone” and schedule it according to your social media strategy.

When you plan content in advance, your content can better support your overall business goals. If you have a product or service that you want to promote, an event or a company milestone, planning in advance lets you work backward to create strategic social media content that supports those goals.

Finally, by freeing up time and energy in the content creation process, you allow yourself to spend more time in other areas of your business. That extra time can be spent building connections and relationships with your social media community, or in other areas of your business like sales, admin tasks, networking or growing your team, or even on self-care. Think about what you would spend those extra hours on each month, and use that as motivation for sticking with your new content process.

Social media is a powerful tool for businesses. By planning in advance, you can leverage social media strategically and thoughtfully.

https://buffer.com/resources/how-to-save-time-planning-social-media-content/

How we’ve built and evolved our habit of giving back at Buffer

In 2020, it was more important to us than ever to support small businesses and non-profit organizations.

There are so many organizations offering essential services to their communities, and we have felt so lucky to be able to support them while continuing to support our own customers. We always want to give back each year — the amount might change, depending on our profit, but we’ll always give back. It’s a habit worth building and continuing.

We’d love to highlight the organizations we supported in 2020 and the important work they’re doing, and how we came to support them.

An evolution of giving back and choosing flagship causes

Back in 2017, we committed to donating 20% of our profit each year to charitable organizations and, each year, we’ve chosen those non-profits in different ways.

The first year in 2017, we invited our team to nominate any organization they wanted and chose seven that got the most votes. It was a very open-ended prompt! In 2018, we focused our search a little bit, still taking in any team nominations but ultimately choosing one organization to represent each of our six company values.

In 2019, we put a stake in the ground and decided to focus our giving efforts on a core Buffer stakeholder — the environment. We worked to calculate our carbon footprint and found projects to fund that would prevent, remove or reduce carbon emissions of the same amount. Then, we asked our team to tell us their favorite organizations that produce clean energy, remove carbon from the atmosphere, support sustainable energy sources, or otherwise contribute toward the health of our planet, and ended up choosing five of them to support.

As we entered 2020, climate action was still a core cause we felt committed to supporting, but it became obvious that there was another area where there was significant work to be done. Combatting racial injustice and actively pursuing anti-racism became a priority for our company, and we worked to establish several programs to support BIPOC activists, as well as Black- or POC-owned or -led organizations engaged in anti-racism work.

When we started looking into our 2020 charitable donation, we decided we wanted to make a significant contribution to organizations tackling one of these two core causes — climate action and anti-racism — and that had a strong alignment with our vision: a world with more small businesses that do good while doing well.

The selection process

As we’ve always done, we invited our team to tell us about organizations that inspired them. Here’s what we shared about each cause and why it was important to Buffer’s vision:

“Without a habitable planet and the stability that provides, no small businesses will be able to thrive, including Buffer. Simultaneously, the climate challenge also creates tremendous opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship, hence more startups and small businesses! It feels crucial to do our part in building a sustainable and healthy environment where small businesses can have long-term success.”

“Systemic racism is not only injustice, but it is also bad for business. Research ‘estimates that aggregate economic output would have been $16 trillion higher since 2000 if racial gaps had been closed.’ When it comes to a world with more small businesses, we'll also want to see more diversity in those businesses. By making our contribution to a more equitable and just future, we can create a world where more people from underrepresented groups can start small businesses and have the means to support small businesses within their communities.”

From these prompts, we collected team nominations and we learned about some amazing organizations. After a team-wide vote, we settled on four organizations to each receive $12,152.25 USD — an equal split of $48,609 USD, which was 20% of our profit share from 2020.

Our 2020 charities and the work they’re doing

We chose two organizations to represent our focus on anti-racism and two that represent climate action. We’re proud to support these organizations that are truly working toward a more equitable and sustainable world. Read on for more information about their work!

GiveDirectly
When we zoom out to the global level, there is huge inequality between people born and living in developed versus developing countries. The differences in wealth and access to opportunities remain massive. Currently, there is strong evidence that giving unconditional cash grants to people living in poverty is one of the most effective ways to drive positive change in their lives.

GiveDirectly gives cash grants that enable folks to invest in the projects, businesses, and items that are most impactful for them, instead of relying on organizations to choose for them. From their website: "We believe people living in poverty deserve the dignity to choose for themselves how best to improve their lives — cash enables that choice.”

We are excited about supporting GiveDirectly as a way to catalyze more small businesses — especially by folks from underrepresented groups — starting up all over the world.

digitalundivided
There is no doubt that the U.S. tech and startup scenes have long been homogenous in many ways — with race and gender in particular. We get really excited when we hear about organizations that are supporting underrepresented groups and lifting them up to get the same shot as other founders, and digitalundivided is doing just that.

At digitalundivided, they run training programs, pre-accelerator programs, and a fellowship to help Black and Latinx women founders get the resources and mentorship they need to develop their businesses. On top of that, we were excited to see that they conduct research about Black and Latinx women founders in the U.S and that they use their research as a catalyst for change and action. From their website: “At digitalundivided, we use original, proprietary research to develop a data-driven ecosystem that expands the current body of knowledge about entrepreneurship in emerging communities.”

Their mission is all about doing good while doing well — supporting Black and Latinx women in their entrepreneurship journeys, all while catalyzing economic growth in their communities.

Cool Earth
Trees are a powerhouse for our planet, constantly pulling carbon out of the atmosphere — so deforestation is a huge contributor to the climate crisis. Cool Earth works directly with rainforest communities to halt deforestation. They do this by meeting and learning from rainforest communities around the world, many of whom are indigenous communities that have intimate relationships and immense wisdom about their local forests.

Cool Earth partners with these communities to develop solutions that are unique to each location. In many situations, they support the local communities to develop sustainable incomes so they can be self-sustaining without causing harm to the rainforests. From their website: “Cool Earth supports local and indigenous knowledge to develop innovative ways to address threats to the forest while making communities stronger and more resilient.”

Cool Earth takes a tangible climate action while empowering and supporting indigenous communities, and it’s an approach we are honored to support.

VertueLab
Cleantech is a growing industry of companies working to support the environment through clean energy, the sustainable use of resources, carbon sequestration, and more. VertueLab works to tackle the climate crisis by providing funding and entrepreneurial support to early-stage cleantech startups whose products can deliver a measurable impact on reducing greenhouse gases. They also intentionally prioritize the growth of diversity, equity, and inclusion across cleantech industries.

In other words, VertueLab is directly nurturing small businesses that strive to make a difference in the climate space, and that shape a more sustainable and equitable world. From their website: “[Our mission is] to unleash innovation and entrepreneurship that will solve environmental challenges and catalyze shared economic prosperity.”

VertueLab actively fights against the climate crisis with a very similar vision to ours — to see a world with more startups that are doing great work for the planet and doing well in the process.

Additional donations to anti-racism organizations

In mid-2020, separately from our annual profit share donations, we also committed to donating $100,000 USD to organizations for and by Black people working to dismantle racism. After consulting with our Black teammates to determine the organizations they wanted to see the money go toward, we donated to three wonderful organizations:

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute, which protects and defends the human rights of Black transgender people.

The Marshall Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system.

Brave Space Alliance, a Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ center designed to create and provide affirming services for the LGBTQ community of Chicago.

We encourage you to read more about these organizations and the daily impactful work they do to support Black communities.

Learnings for next year

We’re a team that loves to give, though our approach up until now has been to “figure things out as we go.” That’s worked for us thus far, but now that we’ve established several charitable initiatives, we’re excited to think through a more holistic approach to charitable giving.

Having our two flagship causes is a great help with this, as is our annual choice to donate 20% of our profit. We’re committed to continuing our anti-racism programs, internally and externally, and working to be as carbon neutral as possible.

We’re honored to support these organizations and hope you’ll look into their work as well. We list even more anti-racist organizations worth supporting over here. There’s much more work to be done!

https://buffer.com/resources/giving-back/

An Honest Look into our Engineering Team Engagement Survey

An Honest Look into our Engineering Team Engagement Survey

It’s been a busy season for our engineering, product, and design teams at Buffer — what we collectively refer to as EPD. In the past eight months alone, we hired a Chief Product Officer for the first time, promoted a team member to be our first VP of Design, completely overhauled and restructured how we organize our EPD teams, created new roles on the team and hired 10 new product and engineering team members to our now 48-person EPD area.

That’s a lot of change. Thus, in the spring of 2021, we put out a survey to the EPD teams to understand the level of engagement of our team members and our “eNPS” — employee NPS, or if team members would recommend Buffer as a place to work.

I did a deep dive into the experience of the engineering team in particular – the results were an honest, eye-opening look into the experience of our team members, and we have a lot of action steps to take from our learnings.

A few key takeaways:

  • Engineering teammates have very distinct and differing needs depending on their tenure at Buffer (6+ years, 2-6 years, less than 2 years).
  • Women on the engineering team have a much lower eNPS than their male counterparts.

Below, we’d love to share the survey results transparently through the note I shared with our team.


Hi team,

Thanks so much for completing the EPD Engagement survey. Here's the breakdown for us in engineering:

Engagement is quite high, and eNPS at 38 is ok. About half of you actively recommend Buffer as a place to work, half feel it’s kind of ok, and a couple of people actively do not recommend Buffer.

An Honest Look into our Engineering Team Engagement Survey

If we break it down, a few more interesting things emerge:

Breakdown by tenure

Veterans: 6+ years at Buffer

An Honest Look into our Engineering Team Engagement Survey

Veterans feel most committed to the company (100%), positive about coworkers (100%), and feel they belong here (100%) but don’t see themselves really growing in their careers anymore (29%).

This makes sense: only people who like their coworkers and company would stay over six years, and also, at that time frame, managers need to work harder to find career growth opportunities.

So the focus for this group is career growth, and that’s the main driver of going from “it’s ok” to “it’s great here.” This honestly does get harder as time goes on — to keep a growth curve after many years — and so we need to get more creative with these conversations. With Lattice reviews and growth plans happening now, that’s one way to think about what’s next for veteran teammates.

Tenured Teammates: 2-6 years at Buffer

An Honest Look into our Engineering Team Engagement Survey

Teammates who have been here 2-6 years are our largest group. Engagement & eNPS are the same as the all-engineering average, and this includes some people who actively don’t recommend Buffer as a place to work.

This group is happiest with Management (94%) and Team Culture (94%) but is also the most exhausted group. Only 38% of this group have energy for leisure, friends, and family after work. They also don’t feel that this hard work is noticed: only 44% of respondents say people notice that they are going the extra mile (or hundred miles).

For this group, work-life balance and managing workload is the main focus, with burnout and not feeling valued as the main concerns. This is an active focus for me and for engineering managers who have been hearing this, too.

Newer Teammates: Less than 2 years at Buffer

An Honest Look into our Engineering Team Engagement Survey

Teammates with less than two years at Buffer are by far the happiest. Again, nobody in this group actively thinks Buffer engineering is a bad place to work. I’m happy to see this because it means that our outside image, and who we are on the inside, aren’t hugely different (if we talked a big game during recruitment and the blogs but were horrible to work at, we’d see eNPS of new people be lower with many detractors).

This group scored every metric as 100% (seriously!) except for feeling valued, at 67%.

For this group, recognition of contributions, praise, and valuing their opinion is the most important thing to improve. We hear you!

Breakdown by Gender

Gender is one factor where people can have very different experiences at the same workplace. There are other factors too, but we don’t have data for those. We do have enough people to have data, which is great. What’s not great is that women in engineering have a very different and much worse experience than men.

Note: all respondents happened to identify within the gender binary as either “male” or “female,” so I only have two categories represented for gender. That said, there are many genders.

Men in Engineering

An Honest Look into our Engineering Team Engagement Survey

Women in Engineering

An Honest Look into our Engineering Team Engagement Survey

Obviously, this is a problem. I would rather have a team with an eNPS of 20 and all genders scoring “it’s ok here” than have some genders saying it’s “good to great” and other genders saying that “it’s just ok” or “it’s awful.”

It’s also notable that participation in the survey from women in engineering was a bit low. This means that an eNPS of 0 is probably over-estimated. People who don’t fill in the survey are not usually super happy. More likely, the non-respondents are either passive or negative (“it’s fine, and I don’t have time for surveys” or “it’s so horrible and hopeless that there’s no point in even filling in a survey”).

There is some good news: at least some women are saying it’s great to work here! Also, women rated Management at 100% (we have 50% women engineering managers, so that could be part of it), and they rated Team Culture at 100%: women think their coworkers are skilled and do quality work.

Job Satisfaction at 80% is good, and so is Fit & Belonging (80%). So the good news is that women don’t feel actively excluded, held back, and discriminated against. That’s a low bar, but it’s one many teams fail to clear.

For women, Work Relationships was one of the lowest scores. While “my supervisor cares about me” and “my coworkers want me to succeed” is at 100%,  “people know what’s happening in my life” is at just 20%. Women don’t feel comfortable talking about what’s going on for them outside of work.

Women are also more exhausted than average, with just 40% having energy for other things outside work.

One hypothesis or story here is that the pandemic has been extra hard on working moms, and women still pull a double shift in many cases. There’s also often a stigma around being a working mom or caring for parents and relatives, and so women feel exhausted and also unable to talk about everything draining them at and outside of work. Women are socialized to smile, be nice, don’t complain, have it all together, and face a lot of guilt and pressure to be always on, always  “doing it all.” This is true in society at large. So, it could be true of our women in engineering, and a problem if Buffer isn’t doing enough to support them.

Another interesting data point: women scored lower than average for trust in senior leadership’s decisions, with no “strong agrees” and a few “disagrees.” Recently, I read a post on Being Glue that offers a possible explanation here:

Women are socialized to be nurturers and often pick up extra work to shield their team members from decisions made in leadership that could be challenging for others to adapt to. Recent org chart changes come to mind; there could be other factors too. If women statistically feel the impact and are tired from trying to mitigate that impact, while men are more likely to feel the benefit of that Glue/nurturing work without as many costs, that could explain some of the differences between men and women’s experiences. That’s a hypothesis. It’s a story I could tell from the data I have on this team and from the data in the industry. I don’t know whether that is our story.

To find out more about what the story (stories?) really is, Melissa [our new VP of People] and I are going to run a session with women in engineering to hear more about the experience of being a women engineer at Buffer and why it is different — and worse — than the experience of being a man in engineering.

For men reading this, you are absolutely welcome to share your thoughts with Melissa or me directly. If you’ve noticed anything that would negatively affect your women coworkers, I absolutely want to hear about it, and if you have ideas, please share.

The reason I’m not including men in that live discussion is that I want to hear the women’s stories from the women because, in the data, we see that the story for women is different. I hope this makes sense. I am happy to talk more about it too.

Limitations

I don’t have enough data on race and sexual orientation to have statistically significant sample sizes, so I can’t draw any conclusions for these groups as part of this survey. We do know that these groups also can have a harder time in the industry at large.

In the long run, a more diverse team will mean more data. In the shorter run, we’ll need to rely on other methods to ensure everyone has an equitable experience. There is work to be done, and not having it in survey results does not erase that work.

-Katie


As we continue to make changes and improvements to the engineering experience at Buffer, we look forward to sharing our learnings along the way.

Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter at @gokatiewilde to continue the conversation about building engaged and fulfilled engineering teams. Always happy to chat!

https://buffer.com/resources/engineering-engagement-survey-2021/

How We Serve Our Customers While Working a 4-Day Work Week

How We Serve Our Customers While Working a 4-Day Work Week

As with the rest of the Buffer team, our Advocacy team was thrilled when we first experimented with a four-day work week in May 2020. Unique to this team, though, was a bit of wariness around the success of a four-day work week for a customer-facing team.

As a company, Buffer has always had a high bar for customer support. We aim to provide fast, personal, and informed customer support responses 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We also assign one Advocate to every ticket so that each customer gets a sense of continuity with us. The thing about Advocacy is that even if we are working one less day per week, the incoming ticket volume remains mostly unchanged.

So how do we aim to set the bar high when we’re working four-day work weeks?

We’ve tried several different setups and are quite happy with where we’ve landed. Here’s exactly the system we currently use to make a four-day work week work for our Customer Advocacy team, along with a transparent look at our team goals and metrics from the last year of working a four-day work week.

How Advocacy is set up for a 4-day work week

Over the years, the Advocacy team has done a few different rounds of summer Fridays, where our teammates took half-days on Fridays for a month in the summer. We learned quite a lot from those, so we already had a framework for what the challenges and opportunities would be as we entered into the four-day work week.

In general, a shorter work week is a great opportunity for the Advocacy team to learn and grow in several areas:

  • Communication: With a four-day work week, we have to have excellent communication with a key focus on asynchronous communication.
  • Knowledge management: We already put a lot of effort into how we share knowledge and document our processes, and this is another chance to improve how we do so.
  • Experimenting with time management: It’s a chance to explore how we can work more efficiently each day, and how we can better manage our energy.
  • Setting individual goals: This was a great opportunity to rethink individual goals and give the team clear objectives to work towards.

Where we started with the four-day work week

When the whole Buffer team first started working four-day work weeks, we gave each team at Buffer the freedom to choose the day of the week to take off. The whole company mostly fell into two camps: Wednesdays or Fridays.

We already knew that choosing a consistent day each week wouldn’t work for us on the Advocacy team because we need to be available seven days a week for our customers. Any day that we have no Advocates working, ticket volume builds up, and customers don’t get responses. There’s also a chance we miss a bug or issue with the Buffer product that comes through the inbox.

From the get-go, we knew we would need a variety of days off for different team members. Initially, we rotated days off, so teammates were off on a different day every week, but there were always some teammates online. We did this for the first month, and it wasn’t a popular option. First, there was far too much admin work involved to set up this schedule; second, it was tricky for Advocates to plan anything when the day they were offline was continually rotating.

The system that works for our team

The schedule we have now is the schedule we landed on in July 2020, three months into us adopting the four-day work week. We asked team members for their preferences for a day off, and we try to follow that as much as possible. Most folks opted to have Friday off, some prefer Monday off, and a smaller group takes off Wednesdays. Now, it’s consistent every week, so we know exactly who will be online each day of the week.

Timezone
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday 
Number of teammates working
13
16
15
15
8
1
2

An important part of this system for us was building it to optimize for most folks on the team to be able to take three days off in a row.  This work structure — four days on, three days off — can be really replenishing, and we wanted that for our team members.  

Also, it can get tricky to have an ongoing conversation with a customer if you’re off one random day in the middle of the week. We built the schedule with that in mind, though we have a few team members who find value in taking Wednesdays off and we support that. For the majority of the team, though, it’s Monday or Friday off.

How we manage weekends

As you can see in the above chart, we have customer support coverage on the weekends as well. That’s something we’ve done since the early days of Buffer, and we hire a few people specifically for weekend shifts. By default, they work one of the weekend days and not both, so they have one weekend day off. The exception is that one teammate prefers to work Friday to Monday and have Tuesday to Thursday off.

For those taking weekend shifts, we still optimize for having three days off in a row to maintain the benefits of that added rest and maintaining flows for communicating with customers.

Goals and metrics and the 4-day work week

In general, we set goals and measure our incoming volume across seven days instead of the four that each teammate is working. The challenge for us is making sure that, collectively, we are as productive across those seven days with this new schedule. Honestly, we struggled in the first six months with this; we did the best that we could, but we didn’t have clear goals and we weren’t able to have clear expectations for increased productivity.

This year, we’ve been much more clear with our goals, specifically around ticket-number targets to hit within four days. That clarity means that teammates can hit our response time goals and continue to work a four-day work week. As with other teams at Buffer, Advocates also have the option to work a partial or full fifth day of the week if they feel they haven’t been able to achieve what they set out to do in a given week. We call that fifth day an “overflow day.”

A look at our goals and how they’ve evolved

Our two main goals for the Advocacy team have always been our response time to customers and individual ticket goals (how many tickets an Advocate gets through in a day). These goals were based on what we thought were realistic targets for the team and for the level of each individual.

In Q1 of 2020 (before we were working a four-day work week), our goal was to respond to customer emails within six hours. We also had individual ticket goals that were based on daily volume. When we moved to four-day work weeks in Q2 of 2020, we implemented new targets for tickets per day, but we didn’t tie these to the customer experience we wanted to provide or set these based on achieving the same output in four days instead of five.

We ended up evolving our business hours for offering customer support. At the beginning of our 4-day work week experiment, our business hours were Mondays at 3 am ET through Fridays at 8 pm ET — i.e. 24 hours a day during the work week. To create more consistent expectations for our customers, we changed our hours to be 6 am to 8 pm ET each day, Monday through Friday.

Now in 2021, we’ve set ambitious company and team-level OKRs (objectives and key results) around customer response times and overall service experience. It’s important to us that we don’t sacrifice customer experience for efficiency. We’ve aimed for a two-hour first response time, and subsequent replies sent within seven hours (for email tickets).

A few results so far in Q1 2021:

  • Our customer satisfaction score went from 92.3% in Q4 2020 to 94% this quarter.
  • We hit our goal of a two-hour first response time, with a median of 1.6 hours during business hours.
  • Our team sent 71% of second responses within seven hours (our goal was 90%).

We have also standardized our team targets for ticket replies sent per week (148-170 tickets) and ticket quality we expect from each individual. These goals ensure a level of output we need to achieve our objectives while being able to take that fifth day off.

Parting thoughts

We are proud that we’ve been able to improve our customer response times and experience in 2021 while working a four-day work week. Even with that, we know there is still room to evolve what a four-day work week looks like for our team.

The reduction of hours available across a global team means we’re at times a bit short of hands when we’re impacted by external factors such as third-party downtime or issues with APIs. Whilst we might be able to get the same amount of tickets done in four days as five, there is always going to be value in being available on specific days and times within the world of customer support.

As a team, we’re continuing to discuss how we can embrace a bit more flexibility around coverage in our strategy for the future.

Do you work on a customer support team that has four-day work weeks? Or do you have more questions about how we approach a four-day work week? Drop us a tweet! You may just hear from one of our Customer Advocates.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

https://buffer.com/resources/customer-advocacy-4-day-workweek/

Caryn Hubbard is Buffer’s VP of Finance

Caryn Hubbard is Buffer’s VP of Finance

I’m happy to share that Caryn Hubbard was recently promoted to Buffer’s VP of Finance. 🎉

Caryn Hubbard is Buffer’s VP of Finance

Caryn has been on the Buffer team for over five years now and has made huge contributions in her time on the team, both as the leader of our Finance team and as a member of our Executive team. She was instrumental in our $3.3M buy back of VC investors, in helping us navigate the turbulence of the financial impact of the pandemic, as well as in launching Buffer’s annual charitable donations. She has also piloted several projects that advanced Buffer’s transparency around compensation, including multiple versions of our salary formula.

Beyond the Finance team, Caryn has overseen Buffer’s legal and compliance focus through industry changes and Buffer’s expansion. She continues to be a strong leader for the financial team and most recently has been working on our approach to liquidity and equity.

I’m so grateful for everything that Caryn does for Buffer and our team. Buffer’s financial future is more secure, and we have a more sustainable business as a result of Caryn’s hard work. She is a trusted and calming presence who is relied on to provide regular thoughtful updates on Buffer’s finances to our team and investors. You can see the most recent report here.

https://buffer.com/resources/vp-finance/

Tyler Wanlass is Buffer’s VP of Design

Tyler Wanlass is Buffer’s VP of Design

I’m happy to share that Tyler Wanlass recently became Buffer’s VP of Design. 🎉

Tyler Wanlass is Buffer’s VP of Design

Tyler has been on the Buffer team for over five years now, initially joining as a Product Manager before he transitioned to our first Head of Design.

Throughout 2020, while we were hiring for a new Product leader, Tyler took on that role in the interim and did an incredible job. I’ve been impressed with how he’s juggled so much, operated at a high level, and contributed at layers from the leadership team down to the individual 1:1 level with product team members. He’s lead Product excellently, introduced new processes and alignment, and put things in a fantastic place for Maria, our CPO, to come and take us to a new level. Since working with Maria, he has formed a strong partnership and they’ve already achieved some incredible milestones together as well as jointly brought new energy to how we approach Product overall.

A key reflection I had over the past six months is that at Buffer, we’ve always spoken about Product being at the core of Buffer. We’re a truly product-led organization, putting the Product at the center of everything we do. We don’t have a sales team, and much of our growth comes through word of mouth based on our customers’ experience. With this in mind, it started to occur to me that having two Product leaders, both Maria and Tyler, within the leadership team would be the most appropriate structure going forward and help us to create the right balance and approach to strategy over time. VP of Design is not a role we previously had at Buffer, and in these first few months, it has felt completely natural and highly impactful. This decision reflects the importance we place on product innovation and quality, which is fundamental to a lot of the outcomes we are pushing for.

I’m so grateful for everything that Tyler does for Buffer and our customers. Tyler has been an awesome partner in some big decisions this year. I believe customers and all of us at Buffer are better as a result of Tyler’s significant contributions.

https://buffer.com/resources/vp-design/

Social Media for Nonprofits: Empowering Younger Generations to Take Action

Social Media for Nonprofits: Empowering Younger Generations to Take Action

Today’s youth is craving to be at the forefront of successful movements, tearing down and rebuilding structures and enacting positive change around the world. Increasingly, nonprofits are leveraging this desire and turning to younger generations to drive change and become the future leaders of the world. Their main catalyst of change? Social media.

This is the driving notion at Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), a young, vibrant, and growing organization that is pushing for bolder actions to make universal access to modern and clean energy happen by 2030. They believe that the younger generations are the driving forces of the current climate action movements; they ask the most challenging questions, are open-minded, and use their own network to reach new audiences of leaders and supporters. Through their platforms, SEforALL truly hopes to channel the right mindset and influence the future leaders of the world.

In this interview, you’ll hear directly from Meriam Otarra, Communications Specialist at SEforALL, and you’ll learn:

  • Why it’s important for nonprofit organizations to appeal to younger audiences nowadays
  • How to connect on a deeper level with younger audiences through reader-friendly, modern, dynamic content
  • The marketing tactics that work best to reach younger audiences
  • Tips on building awareness and community around important causes via social media
Social Media for Nonprofits: Empowering Younger Generations to Take Action

This post is part of the #BufferBrandSpotlight, a Buffer Social Media series that shines a spotlight on the people that are helping build remarkable brands through social media, community building, content creation, and brand storytelling.

This series was born on Instagram stories, which means you can watch the original interview in our Highlights found on our @buffer Instagram profile.

There are so many great nonprofits working hard to make the world a better place. We want to help a tiny bit when it comes to their social media marketing efforts. We offer a 50% discount to all registered nonprofit organizations. Here’s how you can apply for the discount!


Tell us more about you! What’s Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) all about and what’s your role there?

Hi my name is Meriam Otarra and I’m a Visual & Digital Communications Specialist for international organizations. I currently lead the creative communications and social media for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). SEforALL is a young, vibrant, and growing organization that works with the United Nations, international organizations, governments and the private sector to ensure we achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) — access to modern, clean, reliable, and sustainable energy for all — by 2030. We’re soon celebrating a decade of SDG7 progress since SEforALL was initiated by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. Since then, there has been an increasing demand for SEforALL platforms and products, and that’s why as part of the communications team, I make sure that these digital products are:

  • Reader-friendly, modern, dynamic;
  • Reaching the right audiences!
Social Media for Nonprofits: Empowering Younger Generations to Take Action
Meriam Otarra, Communications Specialist at Sustainable Energy for All

Tell us about the “This is Cool” campaign! What has made this campaign so successful?

From where I’m from, which is the Philippines, a day never passes by without hearing someone say, “It’s hot.” (Either that, or “Oh my god, it has been raining non-stop for 7 days!”) And without urgent actions to the climate crisis, the rural and urban poor in developing countries in Africa and Asia are getting more and more at risk of the consequences of heat, because they can’t access or afford whatever cooling technologies are available out there.

SEforALL started the #ThisisCool campaign last year after releasing one of the household reports called Chilling Prospects, which tracks the global development of delivering universal sustainable cooling. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the current cooling situation (last year it was found that around *1.02 BILLION* people are at high-risk due to lack of access to cooling!), its challenges, and what can be done across the world to make sustainable cooling for all a reality.

Social Media for Nonprofits: Empowering Younger Generations to Take Action

As part of the campaign, we created a microsite with Greenhouse PR, with different cooling case studies—from cool rooftops to farming innovations—and provided a nicely illustrated toolkit that can be used by anyone and everyone to start the conversation on sustainable cooling. Check it out at thisiscool.seforall.org!



Why do you believe it’s important for nonprofit organizations to appeal to younger audiences nowadays?

We’ve said it before at SEforALL (and we’re definitely not the first ones to say it!), but youth are the driving forces of the current climate action. They aren’t afraid to speak out and demand better policies or a better response to the pandemic that’s affecting us, youth, both short- and long-term. As social media managers, sincere engagement is what we ultimately aspire to build, and at least for what I can say as the frontline of SEforALL social media, youth are the ones who ask questions, are open-minded, share ideas, and use their own network to help SEforALL reach other audiences who may have otherwise not heard about SEforALL before. Through our platforms, we can only hope to channel the right mindset and influence the future leaders of the world.

As social media managers, sincere engagement is what we ultimately aspire to build, and at least for what I can say as the frontline of SEforALL social media, youth are the ones who ask questions, are open-minded, share ideas, and use their own network to help SEforALL reach other audiences who may have otherwise not heard about SEforALL before.

As a nonprofit international organization, how do you connect on a deeper level with younger audiences?

We’re not scared to dive into conversations with youth. That’s why we created the SEforALL Youth Summit last February, organized by the SEforALL youth representatives ourselves, to show that youth voices are needed to be heard and that SEforALL is here to listen. The outcomes of that Summit are also going to feed into the high-level meetings on energy happening this September.

Social Media for Nonprofits: Empowering Younger Generations to Take Action

What marketing tactics have you found work the best to reach younger audiences?

We found showing data and infographics that hit closer to home for younger people have had better engagement and reactions than most other content. Two good examples that we’ve pushed out during the Summit were (1) showing data through an infographic on the amount of energy the whole country of Senegal uses versus the amount of energy Californians use playing video games; and (2) no energy access, no internet.


We found showing data and infographics that hit closer to home for younger people have had better engagement and reactions than most other content.

For our #ThisisCool campaign, we also reached out to youth influencers in the climate action sphere in Africa and Asia by commenting on their posts related to passive cooling (see example below). And only when they follow us back do we actually send them a personalized message on Twitter telling them about our campaign and ask them for their emails so we can send the toolkit directly to them. It’s important for us to know that they believe in our message as we do with them before we bombard them in their inbox. With the support from Greenhouse PR, we selected them not just based on their following count, but also the quality of content that they put out.


Which social media platforms have successfully driven SEforAll’s missions forward and why?

As far as advocacy goes, our Twitter and LinkedIn profiles have had the most impact on SEforALL projects. Twitter is fast-paced and straight to the point and easy to connect with our audiences in the international organization sector. As we (and our partners) always have events, knowledge products to release, it’s usually the first platform we utilize for any campaign. And while LinkedIn is quite the contrary, we’ve used our LinkedIn to establish thought leadership in the energy access scene, as well as show value and appreciation to our staff. It’s also quite surprising but a lot of our youth audiences are mostly on LinkedIn.

We’ve used our LinkedIn to establish thought leadership in the energy access scene, as well as show value and appreciation to our staff. It’s also quite surprising but a lot of our youth audiences are mostly on LinkedIn.

What advice do you have for other organizations that want to build awareness and community around the causes they care about via social media?

Two words—timely and timeless. At SEforALL, we don’t want to be just quick, we also want our content to be relevant yesterday, today, tomorrow. It helps to create content that puts the cause into proper context, one that is straight forward, relatable, short.

At SEforALL, we don’t want to be just quick, we also want our content to be relevant yesterday, today, tomorrow.

We recently did a 2-minute explainer on why we need universal energy access or Sustainable Development Goal 7. It was also created to reach out to those who are not yet familiar with the Sustainable Development Goals in general. We talked about current events, why energy is needed for cold chains for vaccine deployment, why children need energy to access online education, etc. Art and copy have to go hand in hand. At SEforALL, I’m lucky to work with multimedia wordsmiths that make my work easier.


What actions can businesses and individuals take today to make sustainable cooling a reality?

When we think about cooling, the first thing that comes to mind is air conditioning. But cooling for all depends on many different solutions and with the climate, economic, health crises that we are facing, we need to make sure we prioritize efficient and affordable solutions that (1) won’t spike energy demand, and (2) don’t have negative environmental impacts.

Business, corporations, individuals—all stakeholders—can think about cooling solutions in four ways:

  • Passive cooling solutions: no-energy solutions like trees that provide shade or natural ventilation in buildings
  • Policy solutions: governments prioritizing passive cooling in building codes or cities ensuring enough green space to keep the city cool
  • Financial solutions: making energy-efficient refrigerators and air conditioners easier to purchase by the mass public
  • Service solutions: training people and companies how to be more sustainable and how to create sustainable products

To find out where we are in delivering sustainable cooling for all and what the newest cooling innovations are out there, we’re having a virtual event on the release of our 2021 Chilling Prospects report this May 5!


We hope this interview with Meriam helps you get started with or double down on your social media efforts. You can follow Sustainable Energy for All on Instagram here and on Twitter here!

https://buffer.com/resources/empowering-younger-generations-to-take-action/

When Taking Fridays Off Can Help Our Team Get More Done: An AMA on the 4-Day Work Week

When Taking Fridays Off Can Help Our Team Get More Done: An AMA on the 4-Day Work Week

Since we first kicked off a 4-day work week in May 2020, people have had a lot of questions about it. What day are we taking off? How long will we continue this practice? Is everyone really working four-days a week or are some people working more?

Some of the answers to these questions have changed over the last few months, and I’m sure some will continue to change and evolve as we learn more about operating within a four-day work week. A little while ago, I decided to answer questions about our four-day work week policy on Twitter, and I got a fantastic response. I’ve included a high-level recap in this post, but feel free to check out the whole thread if you’d like to see every reply.

Without further ado, here are some of the questions I got about the four-day work week organized into a few top categories, along with my replies and those of Caryn Hubbard, our VP of Finance, and Åsa Nystrom, our VP of Customer Advocacy, who contributed to several answers.

Why a 4-day work week?

Pranay asked: Why did it take a pandemic to implement it and why is a 4 day work week matter – cant it just be about the work itself instead of timing it?

We’ve thought about it for years, and I have a fundamental belief that 5-day workweeks aren’t necessarily optimal. The pandemic meant added stress for all of us, especially for the parents in the team. I wanted to get through it with the team, mentally, in the best position.

I believe that many businesses that are squeezing every last drop they can get out of their companies in terms of profit, productivity, etc. suddenly ran into issues in the pandemic. Growth goals to hit and no profit margin, meant layoffs for many companies.

And when you make layoffs, you erode trust significantly with your team. That can take years to build back. I wanted to build trust with my team through the pandemic. This was one of the best ways that I thought to do it.

How does it work?

Niel asked: Does everyone take the same day off? Or is it up to the individual? Or is it based on teams? Or something more nuanced?

In the beginning, we experimented with teams deciding the day, but knowing which day and having adequate time for cross-team collaboration was a challenge. Frankly it felt quite chaotic. Now, we do Fridays other than Customer Advocacy which rotate the day.

Shubham asked: Which 4 days of the week do you work? M – TH or Tu – Fr or something else? Do you find that the team tries to fit in 5 days of work in 4?

For the majority of the team, we do M – TH. In the beginning I tried Wednesdays as my day off, and enjoyed that but I prefer Fridays now. 3-day weekends are very powerful. I think overall, the team tries to work smarter. Perhaps trying to fit 4.5 days into 4.

David asked: woah didn’t know you were doing this – love it what would your reasons be for going back to 5 day?

The reasons would likely be not achieving our goals, which would be sad because I fundamentally don’t believe it’s putting in hours that will get us there.

And, one key thing is that over time, we’ve realized that 4-days should feel like a privilege, not entitled. So, if you get your tasks and goals for the week done, awesome – take that day off. If you didn’t quite do enough for us to reach our goals, spend part of Friday working.

Scott asked: Doing a 4, 10’s type of deal? Or not tracking exact hours, rather output and movement?

Not tracking exact hours, and more focus on tracking output. The goal is to achieve the same if not more, in less overall hours worked (more along the lines of 4 8’s).

Gaya asked: That’s awesome! Hopefully more companies will follow to normalise this. Q: Did the salaries stay the same? I know people who are holding back from working less because of decrease in pay

No change to salaries at Buffer with our 4-day workweeks. It’s less hours for the same pay. I don’t believe in same hours in less days, because for me 4-day workweeks are really about a more fundamental belief that hours worked are not correlated with results.

Stone asked: Love that you did this! Do you build in any deep work/no meetings time as well? Do you think the pandemic was needed for the transition/will you keep@it when offices reopen? How confident are you that people aren’t working longer 4 days or actually taking Friday off?

For many years we’ve had discussions and focus on deep work, and many teams have a day with no meetings. I don’t think the pandemic was needed to do it, but it was a motivator. I’m confident we’ll keep at it after, too. We’re already 100% remote so no actual offices.

I’m confident in most cases people are taking the Friday off. That said, we also don’t actively discourage working a little on Friday, if the team member feels that is needed to achieve our goals. We have big ambitions for what we can do for customers *and* innovating culture.

How do specific teams and teammates manage a 4-day work week?

Dwija asked: Do you have mothers working as full time employees? If working hours of those 4 days increase – how do they manage? I know it depends on them but just curious. Females are taking a hit – BIG TIME in Covid. ( For example: Yours truly)

From Caryn: We have many mothers and fathers at Buffer. Our shift to the flexibility of a 4 day workweek has been one of the most key things keeping my family of 5 healthy & safe this past year. The trust & flexibility to work the schedule that works for me & my family is everything.

From Joel: To add to the great insights Caryn shared, our decision to try a 4DWW was very much with parents in mind. Working hours haven’t increased. We work hard as a team to strive to achieve our goals without regularly working more hours. More here.

Mark asked: Does customer support participate in the 4-day week? If so, how do you stagger hours / meet customer expectations?

Yes, they do, but we still want to serve customers to the same high level. Over time, we’ve tweaked our 4-day workweek to drive us to push ourselves in the 4-days and feel like we’ve really earned that day off, not entitled to it.

Our customer support team is the one team that switches up the day off in order to make sure we maintain coverage for customers.

Stefan asked: Are the customer-facing teams doing 4-day work weeks as well? If so, are they all off on Fridays? If so, are customers’ emails/calls not answered till Monday?

No, we have to take a slightly more unique approach in our customer service team. We’re fully committed to providing world-class service, and we know the world works M-F (and even weekends). The specific day is different per team member, so more of a relay in that team.

Have y’all had any issues with a handoff from one team member to another in this relay system?

From Åsa: Jumping in to help with this q. No issues! We work in four-day blocks and use an assigned inbox flow to keep consistency in our customer communications. Our team covers most of the globe and are in constant communication across the week to keep on top of issues etc.

Jean asked: Do you have a strong customer support team in terms of number of people? Are you also applying this formula to tech team?

Our customer support team is 21 people out of 85. All teams adopt the 4-day workweek, but we also have goals we strive for and we see the 5th day as something earned not entitled.

Mercer followed up with: Does that mean that your support team doesn’t always get the same time off? How do you strive to protect the time of your customer-facing teams (who so frequently don’t get the same blessings as the other teams around them)?

It’s not necessarily that different for our support team, but it’s often more measurable for a support team. So we aim to be mindful of that. But we also have engineering teams that will work the 5th day if they don’t feel on track. Most teams work 4-days now.

From Åsa: Everyone on the CS team works a 4-day block & has the same days off every week to make sure we have the same ability to disengage and recharge! Being customer-facing doesn’t mean we can’t participate in company initiatives like these, it just means we need to plan a bit more.

Sllyllyd asked: Do the more senior team members stick to four days?

In general, yes. Often the more senior team members are the ones who feel the most accountability and energy for goals, and so we sometimes work the extra day to get make sure we’re on track. It’s not the norm, though, and when we do it’s usually just a couple of hours.

From Caryn: There’s a high level of flexibility and trust that we’ll meet our shared and individual goals w/in the schedule that works best for us. As a mom of 3, my needs look different than fellow colleagues but I thrive with that mutual respect & trust. Sometimes I choose to work 5 days.

How is it going?

Daniel asked: What’s better than you expected? What’s worse than you expected?

Better: The extra day builds in reflection time that we often don’t make room for, where many of us solve problems. So in many ways, we do more meaningful work.

Harder: Purpose becomes even more important. We need to feel driven to do great work in the precious 4 days we have.

Purpose on an org level or individual level?

Both. Especially with the past year we’ve had. The real magic is when org purpose feels intertwined with a personal sense of purpose, something worthy to go after that can really make a difference. If org purpose feels like it serves society, individual purpose usually follows.

Jesse asked: Are people get as much done? Do you have hourly staff?

We have no hourly staff, which is important. This isn’t less hours for less pay, it’s less hours for the same pay. In terms of productivity, that’s hard to measure in this wild past year we’ve had. But, things look promising. Philosophically, I believe we can get as much done.

Awesome. Are people happier and more excited to come to work? Boost in moral? Did you see it level off?

Yes, to all of that! You nailed it. We’ve not felt it level off yet, there’s still a ton of gratitude for the 4-day workweeks 9+ months in.

André-Paul asked: What are the biggest changes you’ve noticed within your team? Any new routines/behaviours/processes?

Well, there’s definitely a new level of gratitude. We’re here, trying out this wild new thing, and gaining this extra day for family or ourselves. It’s awesome. And with that, a sense of alongside gaining flexibility, giving flexibility too.

What I mean by gaining flexibility and giving flexibility is, especially as a global team, we need to be open to meetings once in a while earlier in a morning or late at night, to make everything happen. Especially with a 4-day workweek.

So, a renewed sense of, we’re lucky to have this extra freedom but let’s be smart about how we work in order to make 4-day workweeks really work for us as a company and for customers, so we can keep having them.

Ali asked: Has the rate of burnout gone down?

It’s hard to measure, but I believe absolutely, it has. Or rather, 2020 was a year that drove much more burnout than most years and we minimized the amount in part through implementing the 4-day workweek.

Michelle asked: I can always find more to do. Are people self-disciplined enough to really take Friday off and are people good enough at knowing how much they can really get done in a week or do they set goals that are too lofty and usually end up working Fridays?

Great question. I think it’s somewhere in the middle. I genuinely thing most people now take Fridays off. But, we still have big ambitions as a company and so once in a while we need to work a Friday. The real magic is when the Friday off helps you actually get more done.

Luthfur asked: How are you measuring productivity? Put another way, how do you intend to make the decision on whether this is going well or not.

Ultimately, we will make our decision based on whether we achieve our goals as a company. I fundamentally believe though, that the 5-day workweek is a relic of the industrial era and not necessarily the most effective way to work. So I believe we can achieve our goals in 4DWWs.

One of the benefits we have, is that investors do not control our company. We can take longer term stances and decisions, that we believe will lead to great results in time.

If you or your team are trying a 4-day work week send me a tweet to share how it’s going for you, I’d love to hear about it!

https://buffer.com/resources/ama-4-day-workweek/

3 New Ways Facebook is Helping Brands Manage Their Content and Communities

According to Facebook‘s recent State of Small Business Report, more than half (55%) of small businesses say they’re using digital tools to communicate with customers.

On the heels of this research, the platform announced several new tools and features to help businesses connect with their customers online and grow their communities more efficiently.

Building Community

For businesses that already use the new redesigned Facebook Pages experience, originally unveiled this past January, the platform is introducing additional ways to manage your community and find relevant content from other businesses without having to deviate from the app.

More specifically, businesses can engage as their business profile streamlining routine tasks including commenting, posting and liking. Once a user takes the time to check out or hover a particular update or post, they can tap through a new dedicated feed of listings from these Pages that may align with their top interests.

To further help you save time managing your business account, Facebook suggests leveraging the Professional Dashboard that serves as a central hub for all the key tools as well as actionable Page Insights. A final tip – don’t overlook the ability to set task-based permissions to admins to further monitor who has access to your Page.

Upping discovery

“The need for digital business communications and transactions isn’t slowing down, and we’re continuing to build products that meet the evolving needs of people and businesses as they look to do more online,” Facebook shared in the official announcement. In this vein, it’s rolling out a few noteworthy updates emphasizing the quality versus quantity of leads.

A new ‘Conversion Leads’ goal for Lead Ads allows advertisers to optimize for lead and most likely versus pure volume. Put differently, emphasizing functionality of Lead ads as opposed to going for reach alone. You can also integrate your CRM data with Facebook. Per the platform, Lead ads that used Conversion Leads quality optimization saw on average greater than 20 percent increase in lead-to-sale conversion rate compared with existing optimization.

To drive longer-term relationships, Facebook also introduced the option to convert Lead ads form into Messenger templates. As part of the testing phase, Newsome Interactive added Messenger to its lead-generation strategy and saw more than a 13 percent lift in lead volume.

Finally, new ‘Call Ads‘ will enable advertisers to display a ‘Call Now’ CTA button in their ads. This not only allows advertisers to connect with consumers in real time, but also help improve the overall performance of Call ads and lower the cost per call. In testing, Facebook reports observing a greater than 30 percent cost reduction in cost per quality call during the test, compared to running Call Ads with the Link Clicks optimization goal.

Improving the Business Suite: scheduling stories and editing scheduled posts y

Last year, Facebook rolled out Business Suite with the primary goal of taking the headache out of managing their online presence so they could focus purely on establishing meaningful connections.

A recent survey revealed that two out of three users said Business Suite helped them connect with more customers. Following 2020, however, as a growing number of people and businesses focus their efforts online, and with the future leaning heavily towards digital communications and transactions, the platform wants to take these efforts to the next level.

In its latest push, Facebook is focusing on helping brands streamline content creation by planning, and these new features are designed to do just that.

Here’s what’s new:

  • The ability to compose Stories within the app, then schedule them to go live on both Facebook and Instagram. Your scheduled posts will then be displayed on your content calendar within the Business Suite app.
  • The ability to save all Facebook and Instagram posts as drafts, adding even more planning flexibility for your Stories approach.
  • Coming soon: the ability to publish and manage Facebook Photos and Albums from Business Suite by navigating to the “Posts & Stories” tab.

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The post 3 New Ways Facebook is Helping Brands Manage Their Content and Communities appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2021/04/3-new-ways-facebook-is-helping-brands-manage-their-content-and-communities/

#SMWLA 2021 Preliminary Agenda Is Live!

We’re excited to announce our initial agenda of Main Stage and Academy sessions for the 12th edition of #SMWLA, June 29-July 1.

Secure Your Pass Today and Save Up to $140!

Featuring insights from REVOLVE, PepsiCo, Google, Hulu, Wieden + Kennedy, as well as creators including Hannah Bronfman and Luvvie Ajayi Jones, this year’s program is shaping up to be the best yet and you’ll gain actionable insights into the business of influencer marketing under the umbrella of our annual theme, “Reinvention.”

Take a peek at the new sessions below and don’t wait to register, tomorrow, Friday, April 16th is your last chance to save 40% on your pass.

Disruption, advocacy, and leveraging your brand voice

How to Be a Professional Troublemaker: Fighting Fear with Luvvie Ajayi Jones

Referencing insights from her new book “Professional Troublemaker” join Adweek and Luvvie Ajayi Jones for a conversation unveiling how we can leverage the power of our own voices, personally and professionally, for a greater good and how to drive actions needed to prove the truth of our words in a noisy social media landscape. Learn more.

Turning Passions into Businesses: A Conversation with Hannah Bronfman

Join Adweek in conversation with Hannah Bronfman, founder of HBFIT, as she shares insights and tips learned throughout the evolution of her presence as an advocate and a host, how mommyhood now shapes her views and strategy on social media, and how influencers can make small strides each day to drive positive change in our society from racial injustice to reimagining default standards of “beauty” and “healthy.” Learn more.

The Meme Economy, Building Brands and Catering to the Next-Generation Consumers

The Meme Economy with Reid Hailey

Memes have become one of the most culturally relevant methods for digital communication. Join Doing Things Media Co-founder and CEO, Reid Hailey, to learn how memes are applied to real-time Culturally Relevant Marketing (the new CRM) and how top meme creators (@Shitheadsteve, @Middle Class Fancy, etc.) produce branded content that capitalizes on real-time trends. Learn more.

Building Brands at the Speed of Culture

Join James Andrews, founder of Authenticated Ventures, as he addresses key questions as we navigate this next chapter including If culture is defined by where consumers are paying attention, what are you paying attention to? If authenticity is measured by credibility, how do you know when you are respecting or disrespecting the genres and sub genres? If we have now moved into a fractured and confusing media landscape, how do you know if you have the right personnel on the team with the right skill sets? Learn more.

How REVOLVE Caters to the Next-Generation Consumer

In this session, REVOLVE Chief Brand Officer, Raissa Gerona will explore how REVOLVE is approaching the business of influencer marketing, how they pivot their strategies as the space continues to evolve, and tips for ensuring partnerships move the needle and foster long-term loyalty. Learn more.

Academies: Cultural relevancy, collaborations, and “influence culture”

(Re)volution of Rockstar Energy Drink

2021 has been a year of reinvention and revolution for Rockstar Energy. It launched its first-ever TV commercial during the pre-kick off at the Super Bowl with Lil Baby and shortly thereafter announced a huge partnership with 100 Thieves. Hear from Gabe Alonso, PepsiCo’s Head of Digital Platforms and Community as he explores how the brand is developing key influencer partnerships to drive cultural relevancy and rebuild its brand equity with a new generation of energy drinkers. Learn more. 

“Influence Culture”: The Reinvention of Word of Mouth Marketing via Social Media

Join Hulu’s Head of Brand Social, Tatiana Holifield, to unpack this cultural phenomenon and learn practical ways to reinvent your influencer marketing strategy with credibility and authenticity. You’ll learn how word of mouth marketing creates a halo effect that drives Earned Media, why an Active Listening strategy is integral to mastering ‘Influence Culture,’ and what key forces and consumer dynamics are behind today’s hyper-competitive marketing landscape. Learn more. 

How Google is Evaluating the Return on Influencer Marketing

Join Google’s Global Influencer Marketing Lead, Tobias Rauscher, as he shares how he and his team managed to elevate influencer work to be a part of the broader marketing mix. He’ll also debunk commons myths around measurement frameworks and selling impressions and likes as impact. You’ll learn how to prove the return of influencer marketing and compare effectiveness across the marketing mix, how to think of vanity metrics vs. brand lift and how to think of long-form vs. short-form. Learn more. 

Passing the Pen: The Importance of Collaboration in Brand Partnerships

In this session, join Wieden+Kennedy’s Head of Social, John Petty III, and explore what modern brand partnerships need to look like to succeed in internet culture. You’ll learn how to identify the right collaborations and partnerships for your brand, the essential factors behind creating the best brand partnerships and how to make cultural waves and authentically engage your audience. Learn more.

The post #SMWLA 2021 Preliminary Agenda Is Live! appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2021/04/smwla-2021-preliminary-agenda-is-live/

Recent Entrepreneur Podcast Guests on the Mike Armstrong Podcast & YouTube Channel…

The Mike Armstrong Podcast Show #MikeArmstrongPodcast

Please find some of the recent Podcast guests featured on the Entrepreneur Chats #EntrepreneurChats feature of the Mike Armstrong Podcast #MikeArmstrongPodcast and the Mike Armstrong YouTube Channel #MikeArmstrongYouTube.

Podcast guests

If you are interested in becoming a podcast guest and are an Entrepreneur or Professional Sports Athlete, please contact the Mike Armstrong Podcast Show via this website, and please let us know a little about yourself.

Podcast Guest

If you are looking for podcast guests then please feel free to reach out to Mike Armstrong, who is always happy to appear as a guest on any podcast, social media live or video blog (blog) discussing almost any topic that you have in mind, or one of his chosen expert topics including Business, Entrepreneurship, Sales, Marketing, Social Media, Clubhouse, Leadership, Mindset, Personal Development and Sports etc.

#PodcastGuests

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Mike Armstrong is looking forward to attending, speaking at and teaching at this event today – #MikeArmstrong

USA Networking

Happy Tuesday Friends!

Please register here before 4pm UK time today.

Join Mike Armstrong #MIkeArmstrong a.k.a the #WelshDragon on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 from 11 am – 1:00 pm Eastern Time Zone (4pm to 6pm GMT) for a SPECIAL show of Networking plus the Singer and Actor Showcase.

THE LINK TO REGISTER TO SHARE WITH FRIENDS IS:  https://bit.ly/BlancaLawsofLife

THE FACEBOOK LINK TO SHARE IS: https://www.facebook.com/events/445495100086568

THE INSTAGRAM STORY TO SHARE IS:  https://www.instagram.com/p/CNkts8IL8O1/

THE LINK FOR FULL AGENDA (PLUS FREE LEARNING SCHEDULE) AND TO APPLY TO BE IN SHOWCASE IS:  https://bit.ly/3uCnNbV

THE PRESS RELEASE IS:  https://bit.ly/LawsofLifePressRelease

THE LINK TO OUR ONLINE MAGAZINE:  https://www.flipsnack.com/F5B6786D75E/online-news-magazine-xp86p9mzhm.html

 

INVITE FRIENDS.

NETWORK.

ENJOY THE SINGER SHOWCASE TOMORROW

HAVE YOUR PITCH READY!

Mingle in Breakout Rooms, Have a one on one

Join the Room of your Choice!

            BLANCA HOST – Led by Blanca to discuss webcasting, podcasting or business strategy

          LOVE HOST – Led by Mother Daughter Dynamic Duo Coach Rochelle Schwartz and Alisha Schwartz

HEALTH HOST – Led by Marc Siegel (Also Judging the Competition)

          REAL ESTATE HOST- Led by Sunny Arfa

          LIFE HOST – Led by Samantha Foster, The Lifehouse Project

          CRYPTO HOST – Led by Alan Hagel and David Shafman

 

GUEST HOST OF THE DAY: SKYLINE SKYLINE AND MARC SIEGEL

GUEST OF THE DAY: Sho-Time.  Read last week’s article about Sho-Time!  http://bit.ly/Shotimerocks

 

DIAMOND SPONSOR:  MARECKI & MEDOLLA, YOUR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY PUTTING COMMUNITY FIRST.  Mylegaladvocate.com or call them at 561-847-2868 if you have a personal injury and need their help.

 

SPONSORS FOR WINNERS OF SHOWCASE:

 

Guest of Honor and Gift Sponsor @shotimetv

Judge & Speaker @christiansantamaria + 60 minute marketing coaching sesh with Blanca

Radio Interview with @EliDapson

Radio Interview with @Osodiva

Magazine Interview with Authority Magazine

Magazine Interview with Medium Blog

Magazine Interview with Natalee Federal

Beat Gift Sponsor @farikoondatrack

Video Edit Sponsor @jordansantamarianyc

Shirt Giveaway Sponsor @SchebereNewYork

CBD Gummy Gift @quantumperformancecbd

Renu28 Anti-aging and pain gift @the_real_bionic_woman & @Gilat Khorsandi and Stacy Rosman

Glamour Face Mask gift @SOULsticesky

Laws of Life is giving an interview on IG, Magazine feature in THE LOOP and more. Visit www.lawsoflife.shop

 

LAWS OF LIFE LEARNING TEACHERS ON TUESDAY:

 

Christian Santamaria – Marketing for Singers and Actors and “Creatives” (1:30 – 2:00 pm)

Mike Armstrong – SEO Strategies (2:00 pm – 3:00 pm) #MikeArmstrong

Lizeth Alvarado – Instagram (3:00 pm – 4:00 pm)

Blanca – How to Utilize Social Media to Promote a Special Event (4:00 pm – 5:00 pm)

 

Remember to RESERVE Thursday, April 15, 2021  from 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm for Marc Siegel’s Networking Group and join his Spectacular Small Business Facebook group if you have not done so yet!     https://www.facebook.com/groups/2970532012980880

Thank very much in advance for your attendance and for your kindness and friendship.

Blanca

Host

Laws of Life Network

561-543-9040

www.lawsoflife.shop

Published by Mike Armstrong a.k.a the #WelshDragon – https://linktr.ee/mikearmstrong

#MikeArmstrong the #WelshDragon

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Introducing the First Wave of Speakers for #SMWLA 2021

We’re excited to introduce the first round of leaders who will bring our 2021 theme, “Reinvention,” to life at the 12th edition of #SMWLA taking place June 29 – July 1.

Featuring insights from REVOLVE, PepsiCo, Google, Hulu, Wieden + Kennedy, and creators including Hannah Bronfman and Luvvie Ajayi Jones, gain actionable insights into the business of influencer marketing under the umbrella of our annual theme.

Register today so you don’t miss out any agenda updates in the coming weeks and save 40 percent on your pass when you register before Friday, April 16th.

Creators

 

Hannah Bronfman

Hannah Brongman

Author, Founder of HBFIT, Activist & DJ

Hannah Bronfman is the Founder of HBFIT, a unique destination for all things Health, Beauty + Fitness, a DJ, author of the book “Do What Feels Good,” and entrepreneur. On social media, she inspires her followers to embody a life of health and wellness by sharing her workout regimens and favorite homemade recipes. She is a vocal advocate for social and racial justice. Beginning in June 2020, Hannah began posting “History with Hannah” videos to her IGTV where she tackled voting rights, civil rights history, and the contributions that Black artists and chefs have made to American culture.

 

Luvvie Ajayi Jones

Luvvie Ajayi Jones

New York Times Best-selling Author and Podcaster, “Professional Troublemaker”

Luvvie Ajayi Jones is an award-winning author, speaker and podcast host. Her books include New York Times bestsellers I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual and Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual. Her podcasts “Professional Troublemaker” and “Jesus and Jollof,” tackle culture with both humor and criticism with an underlying aim of making people laugh, think, face their fears and use their voice for the greater good. Luvvie is also the co-founder of the #SharetheMicNow global movement.

 

Building brands

 

Raissa Gerona

Raissa Gerona

Chief Brand Officer, REVOLVE

Raissa Gerona is the Chief Brand Officer of REVOLVE and Co-Founder of Alliance Apparel, which REVOLVE acquired in 2014. In her role, she leads the brand’s strategy at the forefront of marketing to connect with the next-generation consumer through social media and experiential events. In support of this, Raissa oversees brand marketing for more than 20 REVOLVE-owned brands in addition to the company’s owned brand collaborations. These involve global lifestyle influencers such as Chrissy Teigen, Nicole Richie, Aimee Song, and Camila Coelho.

 

Ben Trinh

Ben Trinh

Global Head of Entertainment and Cultural Marketing, Uber

Ben Trinh is the Global Head of Entertainment and Cultural Marketing at Uber. Previously, he served as the entertainment and influencer marketing arm of Postmates, leading successful campaigns which featured John Legend, Chance the Rapper and Billie Eilish. Prior to Postmates, Ben spent several years at Lyft as a city launcher and then Head of Influencer Marketing. Earlier in his career, he led his own agency, Bredfor, which also focused on influencer marketing and served as a foundation for his current role. In his spare time, Ben is also an investor and advisor as well as the host of the celebrity featured podcast, “First and Featured.”

 

Gabe Alonso

Gabe Alonso

Head of Digital Platforms and Community – Energy Drinks, PepsiCo

Gabe Alonso is a seasoned digital strategist, with experience across multiple marketing disciplines spanning digital products, social media, and CRM. In his current role, he spearheads digital Platforms and community for the Energy Drink portfolio at PepsiCo. Previously, he served as industry-defining brands like Activision and Nike, where he drove best-in-class digital storytelling across platforms with an obsessive focus on the consumer. These roles included Global Director, CRM Strategy and 1:1 Marketing and Global Director, Member Programs. In his free time, you can catch Gabe hitting milestones on his Peloton.

 

John “JP” Petty, III

Head of Social, Wieden + Kennedy New York

John Petty, III — “JP” — leads engagement strategy development for the likes of McDonald’s, Bud Light, Ford, Heinz, and Delta at Wieden + Kennedy New York. Prior to his current role, he spent five and half years at advertising agency, Translation. In November of 2017, he was instrumental in launching artist services company, UnitedMasters. He is a hip-hop and sports fanatic well-versed in project management and data analysis, a mix that allows him to combine a connection to culture with a methodical, data-driven approach.

 

James Andrews

Founder, Authenticated Ventures

John Petty, III — “JP” — leads engagement strategy development for the likes of McDonald’s, Bud Light, Ford, Heinz, and Delta at Wieden + Kennedy New York. Prior to his current role, he spent five and half years at advertising agency, Translation. In November of 2017, he was instrumental in launching artist services company, UnitedMasters. He is a hip-hop and sports fanatic well-versed in project management and data analysis, a mix that allows him to combine a connection to culture with a methodical, data-driven approach.

 

Reid Hailey

Head of Social, Wieden + Kennedy New York

Reid Hailey is the CEO and Co-Founder of Doing Things Mediam a digital content and entertainment company that houses the fastest growing library of viral videos on the internet. Under Reid’s leadership, Doing Things owns and operates over 25 of the most culturally relevant brands on social media including ShitheadSteve, NeatDad, AnimalsDoingThings, MiddleClassFancy, DoggosDoingThings, GamersDoingThings, and NoChaser. Since 2017, the company has doubled in size every year, organically garnering an audience of more than 60M followers across social platforms that consume more than 1B videos monthly.

 

Platform leaders

 

Tatiana Holifield

Tatiana Holifield

Head of Social, Hulu

Tatiana Holifield is a seasoned marketing executive with 15 years of experience in media, sports, and entertainment, As Head of Brand Social for Hulu, she leads the streaming giant’s social media marketing strategy to drive earned media and brand awareness. Her unique ability to lead high-performing teams, reach Millennial & Gen Z audiences, and elevate legacy brands through digital innovation has named her one of the industry’s top change agents. Prior to her current role, Holifield was the Vice President/Head of Digital Strategy for Pacers Sports & Entertainment where she one of the Pacers’ highest-ranking women in leadership.

 

Tobias Rauscher

Global Influencer Marketing Lead, Google

Tobias Rauscher is the founding member of Google’s social media team, the Social Lab, and Influencer Marketing Lead where he oversees more than 80 collaborations with social media influencers and YouTube creators to meet marketing objectives. Prior to this role, he served as Social Media Marketing Lead where he drove Google’s global social team, creative excellence, and innovation partnerships across over 100 teams including Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Pixel. In addition to starting #teampixel he built the first social network at the age of 14.

 

The post Introducing the First Wave of Speakers for #SMWLA 2021 appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2021/03/introducing-the-first-wave-of-speakers-for-smwla-2021/