The Process of Building a Large Social Media Following Explained in Detail

Sometimes it can feel a little like guesswork when you’re trying to build a following on social media – especially when you start out.

At first you’ll feel like every post you write is falling on deaf ears and after spending ages coming up with interesting things to say you’ll be met with the sound of silence in return. And what sort of content should you be focusing on anyway? And how do you get people to listen?

While it can seem like you’re just blindly fumbling about in the dark though, there is a proven method for finding success on social media and it’s perfectly possible to systemize the process to ensure rapid success.

Here we will look at how to implement the best strategy and utilize the right tools to start generating a following and taking the guesswork out of social media marketing.

The Strategy

The process of building a successful social media campaign is fairly straightforward when you know how. The goal is to continuously deliver value to your audience via informative and interesting posts that you upload regularly to your various accounts.

At the same time though, you also need to make sure that you have a strong brand identity across these accounts. That means that you should have the same account name, logo and imagery on Facebook and Google+ as you do on Twitter and Instagram. You should be creating multiple channels that your visitors can use to find you and using them all synergistically.

From there you should begin building your followers. This is trickiest when you’re starting out as followers beget followers – in other words, people will be more likely sign up once they see other people have.

To start those followers coming in you should make sure you have social media buttons your website or blog. That doesn’t just mean sharing buttons – but links directly to your account that your visitors can follow to find you. Alternatively you can use more elaborate widgets to showcase your channels, such as having a Twitter feed (this will have the added bonus of making your site look more active).

This is very important and while you might not think it would work, simply having those links there will be enough to gradually get some visitors seeping in.

From there you keep posting. And you can use some of the following tools and strategies to start getting even more followers as you do…

How to Grow Your Connections in Social Media?

Want to know one of the biggest motivating drives for people?

A sense of obligation!!!

That is to say that if someone feels like you’ve done something for them, they will feel compelled to do something back until they feel like they’ve done as much for you.

This powerful tip can be instrumental in building your social media following. Simply add people and they will add you back. Or, retweet their posts and they will retweet yours. It really is that easy.

That said though, you don’t want to waste your time adding millions of followers and then retweeting their stuff if you aren’t going to see any benefit from it.

That then is where a tool like Social Rank can come in very handy – this will tell you which of your followers is engaging with you the most and which of them has the biggest following of their own.

Very powerful stuff if you want to know who to retweet and who to engage with more generally!

What Social Rank also does is to illustrate the importance of quality over quantity when it comes to your social media followers.

In other words, it’s better to have one influential and active follower than a million who don’t care about you and don’t have any reach of their own.

Better yet, you want to find people to add who are potential customers – which is where something like NeedTagger comes in. This let you find people who are likely to be interested in your products or services. Unfortunately, NeedTagger is no longer serving customers – but there are alternatives still available such as LeadSift. HootSuite also has similar tools for helping you to find targeted followers.

How to Improve Your Posts in Social Media?

As you post, you also need to ensure you are keeping track of how effective those posts are so that you know whether what you’re doing is working.

Tweeter Spy is an incredibly useful tool as it lets you see which of your Tweets is bringing in the most traffic. Likewise, LikeAlyzer lets you see which of your Facebook posts are successful and what your competition is doing – as well as providing you with actionable tips for your own page.

In general, make sure that your posts are using popular hashtags and that they’re focused on hot topics. Buzz Sumo is a very useful tool that will enable you to easily see what topics are currently popular while you can see trending tags on Twitter itself. Of course you can also use tools like Buffer to save you time actually posting (it lets you queue posts).

Don’t Give Up!

Hopefully these tips will have helped you to start feeling more confident in your social media campaign.

If you find you aren’t a hit overnight though don’t worry – these things take time and a combination of trial and error and lots of data will only help you to refine your strategy.

This isn’t an art, it’s a science and once you get the hang of it it’s an incredibly powerful tool for you to leverage.

How Will Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Impact on Web Browsing?

Make no mistake, the next couple of years are going to see huge developments for the technology industry and bring about a seismic shift in the way that we do business on the web. The catalyst for this change is going to be virtual reality and augmented reality which will completely blow current technologies out of the water.

Just as the internet has completely upended business, communication and more; so too will virtual and augmented reality alter the way we engage in all kinds of activities.

This is going to have a particularly huge impact on the way we browse the web.

While it may take a while for us to find the right way to interact with the web through VR, it is going to happen and it’s going to change the whole ‘game’ when it comes to making money online.

Where We Are Now in Virtual Reality Web Design :

Virtual reality has been the technology that never quite lived up to its promise for the last several decades now.

Ever since Tron first hit cinema screens we’ve been waking to jump ‘into’ our computers but attempts to make that happen (like the ill-fated Virtual Boy) were sadly met with failure.

Then the Oculus Rift hit the scene and changed all that.

This piece of virtual reality hardware has been in development for a few years now since finding life through a Kickstarter campaign and is poised to launch very soon.

The commercial version will feature high resolution graphics, precise head tracking and more.

Facebook would go on to purchase Oculus for a whopping $2 billion, demonstrating that they really must have a lot of faith in the idea of virtual reality.

The buzz around the Oculus Rift has also led to some other developments though.

You have the other headsets springing up left, right and center from Sony’s Morpheus project to Google ‘Cardboard’.

More exciting still though, is the recently announced ‘HoloLens‘ from Microsoft that promises to combine VR and AR (Augmented Reality) in a truly exciting way.

HoloLens is basically a VR headset that lets you see through it as though it were a pair of glasses.

Rather than immersing you entirely in a virtual world, it then projects virtual 3D elements onto the world around you while impressive processing works out what you’re looking at.

This means for instance that you can build a LEGO castle on your kitchen table using a billion virtual LEGO pieces and have them all obey the laws of gravity as though they were really there in your kitchen.

That’s where we are now.

Add a few years of development and you’ll have precise precision tracking in full VR and much more refinement in the way we interact with virtual objects.

By then we’ll also see these technologies spread and take over the home and every aspect of our daily lives.

VR, AR and Web Browsing :

So what does all this have to do with web browsing and web design?

Chances are, a lot.

Did you know for example that there is already a ‘virtual reality browser’?

It’s called ‘Janus VR‘ and it’s a completely new way to experience the web.

Here you walk around a virtual lobby and pass through doorways to visit specific URLs.

These URLs then appear as museums with text on the walls that you can walk around and read.

Videos appear as separate theatre rooms that play when you enter them and sites that have been optimized for the browser will even feature 3D models, animations and lights and sounds.

A huge community has sprung up around the tool and already there are some amazing things to see and experience through the browser:

1.one minute you can be exploring through the woods and listening to calming music

2.the next you can be reading about a historical figure via a plaque written on a huge statue.

Better yet, you can meet other users browsing the same website and chat with them about shared interests.

This is an entirely new form of web design but it’s likely that the community of Janus VR users is only going to grow.

How long before your business needs to start considering how your website looks to virtual reality users?

It certainly poses some unique challenges if you’re currently only experienced with WordPress web development!

And it’s not just small projects that are already starting to experiment with virtual reality web browsing.

Firefox for instance recently launched an experimental version of FireFox with VR support. Mozilla’s Josh Carpenter has gone on record as saying that VR will be a ‘really big deal’ for Virtual Reality and Google has also reportedly begun experimenting with VR browsing.

And what of HoloLens?

Well one of the amazing features of HoloLens is that you can use it to turn any surface in your home into a display.

That means you could load one website on your fridge and another on your ceiling in the bedroom.

You could then ‘pin’ it to that location so that you’d always see that website in that spot whenever you went back.

How could businesses and website developers take advantage of that?

Communication and VR :

The real challenge will likely turn out to be not the hardware or software limitations but rather the design problems.

Some features of the web will likely lend themselves well to 3D environments, whereas others will be less suited.

While VR browsing might be a big deal in the future, it probably won’t entirely replace the standard website design because there will always be a benefit to reading a blog on the tube on an iPad.

Then again, iPads are a relatively recent disruptive technology and we probably never thought we’d read blogs on anything other than desktop computers a while ago!

One area where VR will truly make sense though is in communication. Facebook bought Oculus Rift because they want to facilitate a future where we’re able to chat with friends across the world as though they were right in the room with us.

One of the most exciting applications of HoloLens that has been demoed so far is the ability to call an electrician and have them not only visible in your peripheral vision as you talk to them but also able to see what you’re doing and even annotate what you’re seeing with arrows and written instructions.

Preparing for the Future :

A smart business move right now would be to begin preparing for the inevitable ubiquity of virtual reality and augmented reality.

Investing a lot of money into this area right now wouldn’t be wise seeing as we don’t know precisely what direction this is all going to go at this point.

Nevertheless though, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye on the direction that VR web browsers are going, to ask your responsive website development company to keep an eye on forthcoming technologies and perhaps to look into 3D modelling.

This is a valuable skill in itself and it’s likely to be even more highly valued in the next few years.

Find here our new post regarding Upcoming Web Browsing Trends Part 2 – From Flexible Devices

How to Make a Living by Sending a Few E-Mails a Day Thanks to SEO and Web Design Outsourcing

Browsing the web, it’s not uncommon to come across adverts telling you how you can ‘make $XXX a day by clicking a few ads’ or some such.

Don’t click them, they’re scams and they normally involve buying an e-book that requires a small loan to afford.

As a general rule, in order to be savvy regarding scams, you need to take a cynical approach and remember that if something sounds too good be true… it probably isn’t true.

In order to make money online you either need to work hard, or you need to work smart.

The good news is that if you’re really smart, there are ways you can still make a living without doing all that much work.

It’s not a case of ‘clicking a few ads’ but to be honest it does essentially boil down to ‘sending a few e-mails’.

What is SEO and Web Design Outsourcing?

The word outsourcing effectively means getting someone else to do your work for you. When you hire another company – say ColorWhistle – in order to handle your web design, this is an example of outsourcing.

But of course this type of outsourcing doesn’t save you money. In this case you have actually lost money by spending it on a service (though in theory you should earn that money back so it’s an investment). How does outsourcing earn you money?

The answer is simple: if you find a client who is willing to pay X amount for their web design, you can then outsource those web design services to someone else who charges less than that amount.

In other words, you become a web design broker. Now you are getting paid to do a job, getting someone else to do the job and then keeping the profit.

And it works just the same with SEO services, writing services and any other online work you can think of.

Why Web Design and SEO Outsourcing Are Great

All you’re doing now on a day-to-day basis, is receiving e-mails with your order, reading through it and then passing those instructions on to the company who you’re outsourcing to.

If someone is paying for a $1,000 web design and you’re only paying your guys $700, then you could potentially make $300 simply for sending a couple of e-mails. Literally!

The great thing about this business model is that it’s completely scalable. Meaning in other words that you can take on more and more clients and earn more and more profit.

If you’re getting more work than the company you’re outsourcing to can handle, then you can just start outsourcing to more customers.

Now you may be feeling bad and wondering whether you should really be making money from someone else’s hard work.

In truth though, if the company are happy to provide their services for a set price then you’re just bringing them more clients.

Effectively you are a broker/contractor and the value you provide is essentially finding the work through marketing.

It’s only fair you should get a commission! ColorWhistle is happy to provide web design and SEO outsourcing services and truly enjoys these kinds of mutually beneficial relationships.

From the perspective of the people hiring your services – they’re still getting the job done for a good price and so there’s no reason for you to feel bad about the specifics of how it is getting done.

How to Get Started

So, starting to like the sounds of SEO outsourcing as a way of earning money?

Great! The next question then, is how you go about actually getting started.

Just follow these straightforward tips and you could be making money from SEO, writing or web design outsourcing in no time at all.

Step One: Advertise

The first thing you need to do is to advertise for new clients. There are several ways you can do this.

Either you can create a website selling your services and promote it through AdWords and other forms of marketing or you can promote your services directly by advertising on webmaster forums like WarriorForum or on sites like oDesk, Elance and PeoplePerHour.

Then there are e-mail campaigns, mailing lists, social media strategies – you name it!

Step Two: Find a White Label SEO Company

Next you need to find an SEO or web design company that’s happy for you to outsource your work.

Here you’re looking for what’s known as a ‘white label’ SEO company or an SEO outsourcing service.

White label effectively means that the company is happy to provide services without needing to have their branding included in their work/communicate directly with the client.

ColorWhistle operates as a white label web design and SEO company, so that means you can send work our way and we’ll complete it quietly, quickly and to a great standard.

Step Three: Scale and Automate

Once you have a steady flow of clients and a service provider or you can trust, it’s then just a matter of expanding your business by getting more clients and finding ways to streamline your workflow. Using the right tools it’s actually possible to pretty much automate the process yourself – for instance you could have your clients fill out an online form and have that e-mailed directly to your service providers!

So there you go, that’s a genuine way you can make money online without doing much work at all. If you’re interested in hiring an seo company ColorWhistle will help you to get set up!

Web Design Psychology Part Two: Creating Balance

In part one, we discussed the importance of leading the viewer’s eye in web design. We looked at where viewers would typically look first when arriving on a website (the top left) and at how you could encourage their reading to flow in the right direction by using contrast, arrows and other tricks.

But this is really only the tip of the ice berg. Our brains are in fact highly complex data processing machines and whenever you land on a website for the first time, you will be taking into account a huge number of different cues and indicators to guide you around the page. In part two then we will be looking at some of the slightly more subtle ways you might unconsciously be leading your viewers around the page and at how these elements might be helping your readers to feel more – or less – comfortable while they’re on your page.

The Role of Images

Using the advice in part one of this article, you can create a web design that’s perfectly laid out to guide the visitor through your content as you see fit. But for this to work, you need to be careful about the contrary and conflicting visual cues you might be sending accidentally.

Take images for instance. If you add an image of a person to your webpage, then believe it or not this is actually going to influence the way your readers consume the information on your page. Most important of all here for instance, is the orientation of that person – the way they are facing.

Ideally then, you need to ensure that when you upload an image of a person, that they are looking in towards the content on the page rather than away from it. We are psychologically programmed to follow the gaze of other people we see, and so if there’s an image of someone looking ‘off-page’ this is only going to confuse and distract your visitors.

Think too about the shape of other images you use on your site: if an image has any kind of arrow ‘built in’ to it, then this will again unintentionally guide the eye of your visitor. Make sure that everything on your page is sending the same message so that there’s no conflict.

Creating Balance

Something else to consider is how you may or may not be creating ‘balance’ in your web design. This effectively means thinking about the relationships between individual elements on your pages – how far away are your different images and text? How much blank space do you have and where is it?

Balance is important because it helps our eyes to settle on the center of the page. On the other hand, if one side of the page seems to be more ‘cluttered’, if it seems to be somehow ‘heavier’, then you will find that readers tend to read that side first.

This is one reason that symmetry is very popular in design – it prevents one side of the page from appearing more important than the other and it ensures that the other cues instead guide the eye. Other websites will have less balance, in as much as they will use more imagery and text on the left side of the page, but this is okay seeing as it’s where you will want your visitors to look anyway.

That said, you still need to ensure you have balance in other ways by keeping the distances between elements consistent and by having a few elements on the other side of the page as counterpoints. This sort of symmetry simply makes your page more comfortable to look at and if your viewers are more comfortable then they’ll stay on the page longer reducing your bounce rate. Make sure all of your elements are harmonious.

Tools and Testing

While there is a lot of theory with regards to how to create balance and flow in your design and content, it’s nevertheless still difficult to take into account all of the different factors. This is why it can be useful to test your designs and to see what’s working better.

One way to do this is simply to ask a friend or colleague to look at your site and then to watch carefully where their mouse points. Normally the position of the pointer correlates with where visitors are looking and so by paying attention to this metric you can ascertain the movement of their eyes over your page.

Of course a sample of one is not enough for a significant experiment. That’s why you might also consider using ‘heat maps’ which collect data on where visitors are clicking and so probably where they are looking. Here is a great one.

Conclusion

Ultimately it’s important to go with your gut and to do what you think is best for the site. There is no such thing as a rule that can’t be broken and that’s especially true in design. With that said though, just remember that every element on your website is communicating something and that this will dictate the way your visitors consume your content. Make sure that everything is harmonious and that everything agrees so that your viewers comfortably know where to look and you remain in tight control of their attention.

Web Design Psychology

Web Design isn’t just about creating a site that looks good. Psychology of Web Design should lead a person through who is viewing your design.

Just as important is to ensure that it is able to serve the role for which it’s intended, which is to enable the easy flow of information and to help guide the visitor through your content.

The old adage in web design is ‘don’t decorate; communicate’.

Psychology of Web Design :

What this means is that you shouldn’t be adding features to your site because you think they look attractive – they should be there because they help to instruct the visitor on how to navigate through the page, where to look next and what’s most important.

Sure, you should make your site look good too but ultimately this is secondary to the way that it impacts on the reader and guides them through the page.

Whether or not you’ve been doing it intentionally, your web design choices thus far will have an impact on the way that your visitors navigate through your content.

The arrangement, sizes, colors and more will all help your visitor to determine what to look at first, which direction to scan the page in and how to interact with links and menus.

 

Psychology of Web Design - Responsive website design

 

For the designer, this means understanding and ‘hacking’ the psychology of attention.

Read on and we’ll look at some basic techniques you should be using to guide your visitors across your content.

Understanding the Basics of Psychology of Web Design :

The first thing to think about when it comes to guiding your visitors’ eyes across the page, is the preconceived notions they will be arriving on your page with.

One of the main examples of this is the fact that we consume information from left to right and from the top to the bottom.

If you have a page with lots of elements then, your visitors will very often start by looking at the top left and then ‘scanning’ their way through the page.

Lesson learned?

Important things like logo design should go in the top left.

Another hot-spot for important information is the center of a page – as we will often look here early on in order to get an idea of the ‘big picture’ when it comes to what’s on the site.

This is another good starting point for the flow of information, but it leaves you with less space for filling the page.

Interestingly, if you had a big spiral of text that filled the page, viewers would probably see the middle first but they would begin reading from the top left to travel inwards.

 

Psychology of Web Design - ROI

 

Cues of Psychology of Web Design :

While we will tend to start from the top left and from the middle when reading information, it’s important to note that you can use various ‘cues’ as a designer to suggest that readers start elsewhere.

For instance, we tend to look at things that are bold first and we look at things that have the most color contrast first.

No matter where you put it on the page, a big block of bold, red writing will get seen before the rest.

The idea here then is to ensure that your message remains congruent.

In other words, you want to place your important elements in the middle or top left and have them be the boldest and highest contrast – otherwise you create a conflict that leaves the viewer unsure of where to look.

This is also why the first letter of an article in a magazine will often be bold and colorful – it creates a very clear starting point (as in this article!).

This is also why minimalism is so useful, because the less you have going on on the page, the easier it is to create contrast and get something to stand out.

If you have too much color and noise, then you will only end up confusing the reader.

Moving images also tend to attract attention too, which is why banner ads are often animated.

This, as with our preference for the color red, is a result of our evolutionary history.

That is to say, that in the wild we would have been looking out for predators and prey which meant we needed to be highly sensitive to movement.

Again, you need to make sure not to over-do the movement and the color, as otherwise this will create conflict as the viewer’s attention is pulled in multiple different directions at once.

 

Psychology of Web Design - ad

 

Signing off of Psychology of Web Design :

 

Of course you can also use visual cues that make it very clear where you need to read or click, such as arrows.

Don’t be afraid to simply point at the things you want people to click or read a we’ve been conditioned this way our entire lives so it’s a very effective technique!

In the next part of this article, we will be looking at how designers should create balance in their design and at how you might accidentally be sending unconscious cues that confuse your viewers.

Stay tuned!