The smart marketer’s guide to using Buffer for social media efficiency {updated regularly}

If there’s one social media management tool that you absolutely cannot live without, what would it be?

For me, that’s Buffer.

I first discovered Buffer not through their software but through their awesome blog. The folks at Buffer do in-depth, well-researched articles about marketing and life hacks, and more than a year ago, I came across one of their posts. I read their blog posts religiously, and after a few weeks, I was intrigued so I finally tried their software. To this day, the Buffer blog is one of my favorite corporate blogs around.

But Buffer not only has a great blog—they also have a great product. And if you’re serious about having a decent social media presence, you absolutely must use it. I use it to maintain my personal Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. And for me, Buffer is more than just a social media scheduling service.

How to use Buffer for social media efficiency

Whether you’re a Buffer newbie or a regular user, here are some tips and tricks you should try today.

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How to use Feedly to replace Google Alerts

Use Feedly instead of Google Alerts

Are you using Google Alerts to keep track of news about your brand, industry and competitors?

Google Alerts is great because it’s easy to set up and it helps you monitor the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.). Recently it also got a fresh, new look. But if you’re one of the many people who suffer from email overload, getting emails whenever someone mentions your brand may be less helpful and more annoying.

Here’s a better solution: Use Feedly. You may already be using this site as an RSS reader—as a replacement for Google Reader. But you can also use it in lieu of Google Alerts.

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7 flawless marketing lessons from BEYONCÉ

Beyoncé - Flawless marketing lessons

Visual album. 14 songs, 17 videos. And the fans didn’t see it coming at all.

On December 13, 2013, without a preceding marketing campaign, Beyoncé Knowles dropped a visual album on iTunes. The self-titled LP is an instant critical and commercial success, easily beating the total sales of Beyoncé’s last record.

But contrary to what some believe, the release of the visual album does not demonstrate that marketing is dead. Yes, the album’s strategy was unconventional, but BEYONCÉ shows that marketing is even more important than ever. Here are seven marketing lessons you can learn from the “Single Ladies” singer:

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6 interactive infographics for your marketing inspiration

Infographics are taking over the Internet. Ok, not really, but many companies now use infographics as a marketing tool to increase brand awareness and add variety to their content marketing tactics.

But not all infographics work. Creating successful infographics requires planning, research, and an effective promotion strategy. Since many brands now release infographics regularly, infographics need to be unique, informative, and beautiful for them to be noticed.

In an effort to stand out in this crowded marketplace, some companies are tinkering with interactive infographics. Usually created with HTML 5, interactive infographics have the cool factor because they show data based on what the viewer does.

If you or your marketing team are thinking about creating an interactive infographic, here are six awesome examples you can use as inspiration:

how search works

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Google Hummingbird: What marketers need to know

Hummingbird 4

If you read marketing publications on a regular basis, you may have seen the extensive coverage on Google Hummingbird. Unless you’re an SEO pro though, you probably glanced at these articles, wondering what they really mean for you.

Here’s a quick guide on what you need to know.

A new Google search algorithm

Hummingbird is a new search algorithm. So unlike Penguin or Panda (which were updates to an existing algorithm), this one’s more significant. What does it exactly do? Danny Sullivan provides the following helpful explanation:

Hummingbird should better focus on the meaning behind the words. It may better understand the actual location of your home, if you’ve shared that with Google. It might understand that “place” means you want a brick-and-mortar store. It might get that “iPhone 5s” is a particular type of electronic device carried by certain stores. Knowing all these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words.

In particular, Google said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.

Hummingbird is an expansion of Google’s efforts to move towards semantic search, focusing more on user intent rather than individual search keywords.

5 marketing tips in light of Google Hummingbird

With this new search algorithm now in place, what can marketers do to ensure their pages appear on Google? Here are some basics you should keep in mind:

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