This may be of some interest.
Posted by Kirsten_Barkved
Show of hands if the following scenario has ever happened to you:
You make it to a conference. You sit through three to four days of amazing content, network like a boss, fill up on coffee and donuts, and cover page after page of notes — your wrist is dangerously close to being diagnosed with carpal tunnel. The energy in the room is contagious and everyone leaves the conference with the promise of new strategies, connections, and ideas that have the possibility to transform the way you think about business.
At least, that’s the dream. The reality? Once the conference is over, you’re back to the grind, no longer surrounded by that vibrant “we can do anything” energy that had you so inspired and hyped just days before. The buzz is now a dull hum. Your notebook is full of scribbles that you can no longer decipher, and you have a daunting to-do list to catch up on while you nurse a sugar hangover from eating three-days worth of donuts.
You’ve lost the fire. The conference motivation is gone. You, my friend, have the post-conference scaries.
With MozCon fast approaching, the excitement is building. But so is the anxiety: you know there’s going to be a ton of insightful talks and takeaways to write home about — how do you keep all that goodness going after MozCon?
We’ve all been there! And we want to make sure you’re set up for success. So myself and our Subject Matter Experts whipped up an extensive and effective guide to ensure you can put all the goodness you’ve absorbed at MozCon to work straight away. Read on to see what Britney Muller, Rob Bucci, Cyrus Shepard, Dr. Pete, and Miriam Ellis have to offer!
Before you head to MozCon, though, make sure you do these things first
We know this isn’t your first rodeo. But on the off chance that it is, or if you need a reminder before you set foot in MozCon, make like the Boy Scouts of America: Be prepared.
Because I’m a keener (remind me to tell you about the time I waited for 24 hours to be first in line for The Fellowship of the Ring movie) with a tendency to overprepare (remind me also to tell you about my first day of school where I packed all my favorite Nancy Drews, my best pencil crayons, a raincoat, and a pair of extra socks), I spend quite a chunk of time ensuring I have everything I need before an event.
You don’t need to be as prepared as my eight-year-old self, but here’s a brief checklist of things to do before you pack your bags and set sail for MozCon:
- Study the agenda — You’ve likely already glanced at who’s speaking. Take another skim to get an idea of who is speaking and what topics will fulfill an educational gap. Even if a topic isn’t related to your area of work, it’s still worthwhile to listen — who knows what you’ll uncover.
- Set goals for what you’d like to learn — Whatever your game plan looks like, flesh it out to flesh out. Show up ready to learn.
- Prepare your note-taking tools — There is no such thing as too many pens, not at a conference like MozCon. You’ll be taking a ton of notes, so prepare your note-taking tools, whatever they may be — charge your laptop or tablets, pack a spare notebook and some well-inked pens, or practice your telepathy if you plan on sending takeaways to your team via your mind.
- Subscribe to the Moz blog — We have oodles of content for you to sink your teeth into and there’s something for everyone, from basic SEO to local search to the nitty-gritty technical. Plus, we’ll be doing conference recaps after each day, so even if you couldn’t make it this year, you’ll get all the juicy details straight to your inbox when you subscribe.
- Make connections — There is ample opportunity at MozCon to network and meet new people but it never hurts to get a lay of the digital land before you step foot in Seattle. Follow the hashtag #mozcon on Twitter to stay up to date with MozCon goers and ask important questions of our speakers, like this:
— STAT Search Analytics (@getSTAT) July 9, 2018
You can also join the Facebook group to find out when people are arriving and pop in on conversations to get your name and face out there. If you know of people you want to reconnect that will be attending, now is a good idea to reach out and reconnect. Set up a time to chat over a coffee or maybe make plans to sit together at our Birds of Feather table.
At the conference
It’s Day One of MozCon and you’ve successfully found the coffee. Now what?
Attend every session…
And we mean every. Single. Session.
The great thing about MozCon is that it’s a single track session, so you don’t have to pick one talk over another. That also means, though, that the temptation can be high for skipping one or two.
“It may be tempting to sleep in on a morning session, but so much magic happens when you aren’t there. You never know what nuggets of insight you’ll miss.” — Cyrus Shepard
“I often find I have some of my best ideas at conferences, even if they’re not related to anything the speaker is talking about. Capture those ideas, too, and add them to your action plan.” — Dr. Pete
…But don’t be afraid to mingle in-between sessions
“Take breaks if you feel like it and spend some time meeting people out in the lobby. New MozCon friends can help hold each other accountable after the conference. I’ve met some of my closest industry friends in the lobby of conferences during a session — hi, Cyrus!” — Britney Muller
Remember what you learn
There’s a lot of information to digest and chances are that your hurried note-taking isn’t going to make a ton of sense once the MozCon high is over. To make deciphering your notes easier once you’re back at the office, add three key takeaways or any follow up you want to do on the topic after each session.
You can also create a page dedicated to takeaways that you think are worthy. While I’m definitely taking notes during each session, I reserve a separate page for any ideas, theories, or strategies that I think are valuable to explore.
Make sure you’re keeping your goals in mind, too. If you had planned on learning new things at MozCon, keep your ears open for any topics that piqued your interest.
“Write down at least one topic that grabbed your interest but that you felt could be studied further and commit to doing that study at your business and publishing your findings. Don’t forget to ping the original presenter when you do, letting them know their talk inspired your further investigation.” — Miriam Ellis
“At the end of each conference day, I also like to schedule emails to myself (a few weeks out) as reminders to attempt the things I learned about that day.” — Britney Muller
Keep tabs on live tweeters
MozCon has some pretty prolific live tweeters that know just how to distill all the right takeaways into 280 characters (which, IMO, is quite a feat). Some of our past MozCon live-tweeters have included:
You can also keep up with the conference goers by following the conference hashtag, #mozcon.
“Also, follow Cyrus Shepard on Twitter and do everything he says!” — Britney Muller
Take note of any free templates, tools, or spreadsheets
Much like parents who want nothing but the best from you (and also to sometimes show off your life successes on the family fridge), the speakers want you to excel in life after MozCon. Which is why you’re bound to find a plethora of downloadable templates and spreadsheets during their talk. Take note of any that you’d like to try back at the office. Make sure to also follow the speakers on Twitter for any updates or insider tips on how to make the most of their new resources.
— Dana DiTomaso (@danaditomaso) July 11, 2018
Download the talks
I’m sure you already know, but on the off chance you didn’t know, you’ll be able to download all the speaker’s slide decks once their talks are over. So if there was something you missed, wanted to share with the team at home base, or needed clarification on, you can do so with one click of a button once they’re available.
After the conference
Write about it
I know the last thing you want to do right after three days of learning and writing is to go and do more writing. But Future You will be so happy that Past You did this one thing.
The second you’re done MozCon-ing, write everything down. Get it all out of your brain and onto paper. Because otherwise, you’ll forget why you underlined a word or phrase three times or the cool new project ideas you had while chatting at dinner. You won’t mean to, obviously. It’s just one of those unfortunate facts of life. Kind of like drifting off to sleep with a really great idea for a band name — you’ll tuck it away in a pocket of your brain, certain you won’t forget about it in the morning. But you will. And the world will never know of They Might Be Little Pigeons.
So, write everything down the second you can.
“I’m one of those people who takes notes like, “Cheese fritters + SEO = YES!” and am very excited about it and have no idea what it meant a week later. So: Re-copy your notes or write a summary, ASAP, while it’s still fresh in your mind— even if it’s on the flight home.” — Dr. Pete
Schedule thinking time
The first week back at the office, block out some time in your calendar to percolate over what you learned at MozCon. I can’t stress this one enough: When we get back into the real world, we dive right into our list of to-dos, at home and at work. And the longer we delay the thinking and brainstorming process, the bigger the chance we’ll lose motivation or get bogged down by more projects.
Carve out some thinking time for yourself in your calendar the second you’re back at your desk to ask yourself some questions:
- What really stood out for me?
- What do I want to apply right away?
- What is going to be effective short term vs. long term?
I like to ideate to-do lists from these questions — maybe that’s a follow-up email with the speaker or a task to read further resources from their talk. Or maybe it’s to set up a meeting with my team to try out a new strategy. The point is: if I take this time now to marinate, the better chance I have of helping out future me — and future me really appreciates that.
“It’s so easy to go from hundreds of ideas to doing nothing concrete, and as soon as you return to your desk, you’re going to be buried in emails and requests. Commit to something actionable before you open up your inbox.” — Dr. Pete
Review your action items
Now that you’ve done your big thinking, it’s time to turn those takeaways and actions items into, well, action.
Think back to the goals you outlined before you set foot inside MozCon — did you meet any of them? How well did the topics address your questions? And how will you apply your action items? When I’m looking over my notes for any new ideas we can execute on, I like to make a table with two columns: 1) Things that we don’t do but could and 2) Things we’re currently doing but could be doing better.
Got a lot of action items and feel a tad overwhelmed? Just remember: If you apply just one action item a week, even if it’s small, that’s still fifty small changes you’ve made in one year. And they can all add up to one big change.
You’ll want to prioritize them like so:
- Strategic initiatives to implement right away
- Processes you can improve
- Areas for future learning
“A week after the conference, review your “action items” — either by yourself or with your team. Prepare a presentation for the top things you learned and share with any team members that didn’t attend.” — Cyrus Shepard
“Pin yourself down to three specific to-dos for the month after the conference.” — Dr. Pete
Remember that anything in life worth having (relationships, bangs, product launches, puzzles) requires more than just an idea — it takes time and work. Rather than let all that enthusiasm you had at MozCon fade away, keep the momentum going by reading and learning new things. A good place to start is by subscribing to daily industry reads that can fuel your inspiration. Here is just a sampling to get you started:
“Having a go-to list of daily industry reads is a really good way to keep the sense of inspiration up.” — Rob Bucci
Use your connections
What good was all that networking if you don’t put it to use — especially if, like me, you’re a Level-12 Introvert?
Make sure all those hard-earned connections don’t go to waste. Chances are, if you saw them at MozCon, you’ll be seeing them at the same tracks and conferences, so it’d be good to set some sort of foundation
All it takes is a LinkedIn message or an email. And they’ll appreciate you following up — bonus points if you make it personal. I’ve made several follow up emails after conferences and almost all blossomed into successful working relationships thanks in large part to emails that began as though we were continuing the conversation we had at MozCon. It doesn’t have to be the same as “Hi, how’s your dog, is she still afraid of traffic cones?,” but a nice “Hi, how is life after MozCon — are you settling back into the 9-5, yet?” goes a long way.
“It’s great to collect business cards, but it’s better to form life-long relationships. If you haven’t connected with those you met at MozCon, now is the time to do so. At a minimum, email everyone you enjoyed meeting with and let them know that you can be a resource for them.” — Cyrus Shepard
MozCon only comes once a year — like International Pancake Day or 7-11’s Free Slurpee Day — so make sure you’re prepared so you can keep that MozCon fire burning all year round.
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This may be of some interest.
When Instagram was first released, it was thought of only as a fun, visual social media network. Nowadays, it’s also used as a major content promotion tool for brands and influencers.
In fact, according to Sprout Social, 80% of Instagram users follow a brand, and one of the three most-viewed Stories of all time was posted by a business account.
Along with business accounts, influencer marketing is also on the rise. For instance, 93% of influencer marketing campaigns took place on Instagram in 2018.
Instagram’s popularity lets most brands forge an emotional connection with a massive audience. Some brands are so good at visually engaging and resonating with Instagram users that they’ve attracted tens of millions of followers.
To help you learn from the platform’s best of the best, we’ve compiled a list of 19 accounts with the highest number of users — as well as a few key takeaways from each.
Because the accounts with the most followers belong to influencers and celebrities, we’ve split this rundown into two sublists that are brand and influencer specific.
Followers: 303 Million
Instagram sets a great example for brands who truly want to engage an audience on their app. By curating and reposting their users’ most captivating content on their own profile, Instagram shows their followers that everyday people can meet their creative and artistic potential on the platform.
This inspires brands and normal Instagram users to spend the time and effort required to craft visually gripping content that will instantly hold an audience’s attention.
Instagram also does a good job of promoting their stories and IGTV show about celebrities, wildlife, and other culturally relevant topics. They post original content that highlights upcoming episodes, but the posts read more like a feature story than an advertisement, which sparks more interest in the show.
Followers: 111 Million
National Geographic hires the most talented photographers in the world, so their Instagram posts of landscapes, cityscapes, and the surrounding life always seem to be awe-inspiring. But their stunning visuals aren’t the only reason why they’ve attracted over 100 million followers.
National Geographic is a historic magazine that’s famous for their credible journalism and compelling storytelling. In each post’s caption, they are able to craft fascinating narratives about the photo or video, usually in a way that spreads awareness for a relevant environmental issue.
National Geographic also uses Instagram Stories, Stories Archive, and IGTV to drive traffic to featured articles and videos on their website. But they also know their followers prefer not to leave the app.
Instead of using gimmicky visuals and clickbait copy to coax people into visiting their website, they actually summarize the feature article or video in their stories and IGTV shows.
For marketers, National Geographic’s Instagram strategy clarifies that it’s crucial to meet your audience where they are, and not force them to go somewhere just because you want them to go there.
If people end up clicking through to your website, that’s great. But you should be more than willing to educate your audience where they want to be educated, even if it results in a lower amount of traffic.
Followers: 88.5 Million
In the advertising industry, Nike is known for their motivational ads that inspire athletes to believe in themselves when aiming to reach their full potential.
On Instagram, the iconic brand’s content follows this theme, with posts in the form of short films, documentaries, and inspirational videos and photos. Nike also uses Instagram to update their followers with quick news about the sports world, proving that they deeply understand their audience’s interests and desires.
4. Real Madrid
Followers: 72.6 Million
Real Madrid is arguably the most popular soccer team in the world, so most of the team’s Instagram posts update their massive fan base on scores, highlights, and transactions.
But the way they attract and engage twice as many Instagram followers as teams with similar fan bases isn’t through standard updates. They’ve built their enormous following by giving their fans an inside look of the team’s everyday activities through player takeovers and practice highlights on IGTV.
Breaking down these barriers between fan and player makes Real Madrid’s fan base feel like they actually know their favorite players on a personal level, which develops a more intimate and loyal relationship between the two.
5. FC Barcelona
Followers: 71.1 Million
Like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona updates Barcelona fans with sports photography, season-related stats, information about Barcelona players, and other fun tidbits related to the team and season.
They use a mix of content styles with videos, action shots, and posed photos, but they always use many tags, hashtags, and eye-popping emojis in their captions.
During games and other events, you can find FC Barcelona launching one or multiple Stories with their own video content as well as curated content sourced from fans.
With curated Stories by fans, they’re able to post more fresh, interesting content. FC Barcelona’s curated Stories also enable fans to contribute to the Instagram channel. While we aren’t able to post stories directly, you can find some on the account’s page.
Followers: 50.2 Million
With plenty of dog, cat, and baby videos, meme references, and jokes that are almost too relatable, 9GAG has one of the funniest accounts on Instagram.
The account’s Instagram stories and Stories Archives engage their audience well too — they post a ton of polls about topics that everyone has an answer for like, “Is soup a food or a beverage?” and “Would you travel to the past or future?”
They also use Instagram stories to drive traffic to their website by asking their followers to swipe up and see if they correctly guessed the name of a TV show or movie with only emojis as clues. On IGTV, they generate even more brand engagement by letting their followers ask questions during live Q&As with celebrities.
As the only online content platform on this list, 9GAG proves to marketers that interacting with your audience is one of the best ways to engage them, develop a relationship, and attract more followers like them.
Followers: 43.7 Million
Scrolling through NASA’s Instagram feed makes you feel a little like an astronaut floating through the depths of space. You’ll experience intimate views of different planets, constellations, and supernovas in the Milky Way galaxy, all of which are taken by NASA’s spacecrafts and Hubble Space Telescope.
NASA’s Instagram Stories and IGTV channel also educate their followers about interesting space insights, like the views of the sun and Earth, the search for life in space, and NASA’s new technology launches
NASA’s popularity on Instagram proves that you can actually create educational content that doesn’t sacrifice any entertainment value.
Followers: 41.3 Million
In the last year, the Champions League surpassed the NBA’s account in Instagram followers. Like the other soccer brand accounts we’ve noted, the Champions League regularly posts action and team shots, as well as updates related to upcoming and past games.
Along with regular updates and action shots, some of the account’s regular posts include stats like “Top Scorers,” behind-the-scenes videos, and team roster images.
Followers: 37.5 Million
Marvel posts regularly about its movies, TV shows, and Marvel.com content. It also mixes things up with the use of photo and video posts. Additionally, the account occasionally uses fun videos to cross-promote with other Marvel-affiliated accounts and influencers.
While many other accounts, like HBO, promote their content by posting trailers as Instagram Stories, Marvel uses Stories to cover red carpet premiere events. These stories include photos and clips of the stars, as well as other interesting things that happen at the events. Most recently, Marvel featured the premieres of Dark Phoenix and Avengers: Endgame.
Followers: 34.9 Million
Throwback Thursday will always be a huge deal on social media — who doesn’t love a heavy dose of nostalgia every week? Recently, though, Chanel decided to take #tbt to the next level. They’ve been evoking nostalgia in fashionistas all over the world by posting old ads that spotlight previous fashion trends for their Chanel Holidays campaign every day.
The legendary fashion brand also posts a lot of content about Coco Chanel’s early fashion influences to promote Inside Chanel, a web series that recounts Coco’s life and how she built her fashion empire.
Harnessing the power of the past is one of the most effective ways to evoke an emotional response from your audience and forge a connection with them. With that in mind, nostalgia should always be in your marketing arsenal.
Followers: 170 Million
So, who has the most followers on Instagram? That would be Cristiano Ronaldo, who’s been called the world’s best soccer player (or fútbol player).
Along with the expected soccer action shots, his Instagram strategy largely involves paid partnerships and cross promotions. Here’s just one example:
The account’s content is a mix of sports-related updates, photos capturing his life outside of the arena, and occasional motivational posts about topics like fitness and clearing your mind.
One thing this account puts great effort into is the imagery. All of its images and videos are crisp, clear, colorful, and high-production quality. We’ve found that editing images before uploading to Instagram can really make a difference in how professional a brand or individual account looks. Ronaldo’s account is one great example of this.
Followers: 156 Million
Ariana Grande has recently gained an incredibly large following on the platform. Her brand is especially relevant to the younger demographic of Instagram.
Throughout the last four years, it seems that Ariana has not needed to use partnerships or promotions to strengthen her following. Here’s an example of one of the few promotional posts she has had on her account, which dates back to 2015:
Currently, it seems her strategy involves a high posting frequency, with around six or more updates per week. She mainly uses the platform to update users on her daily life and her music career. These posts often include photos of her dog, behind-the-scenes videos, and concert highlights.
Ariana has also experimented with IGTV. Recently, she used it to announce the drop of her new song “Sweetener” by including the song in the post itself, as well as a link to it in the caption.
This type of strategy might make her followers and fans feel like they’re being rewarded for their loyalty on the platform. At the same time, the possibility of hearing Ariana’s new music might entice new audiences to follow her.
Many of her posts usually include short captions which may only include one or two emojis. This does not seem to be uncommon for major celebrities on the platform, as they may not have a large need to optimize captions.
While Ariana and other listed influencers may not have, or need, a caption strategy, those starting out on Instagram or aiming to grow their following should follow optimization best practices. These include crafting interesting captions that may use hashtags, and account tagging.
3. Selena Gomez
Followers: 151 Million
Selena Gomez’s content is a fun mix of paid partnerships, selfies, and quotes. As the former most-followed person on Instagram, she has mastered optimized photo captions, Stories, paid partnerships and cross-promotions with other influencers.
While her posts strategically embrace paid promotions and influencer cross promotions, she also uses Instagram to share inspirational quotes or her thoughts on certain political topics, which adds more of a human side to her page.
Followers: 145 Million
On any given day, Dwayne Johnson might use the platform to update fans on his family life, what he’s eating on his “cheat days”, his fitness products, or the movies he’s working on. He’s also started using IGTV to promote his projects and personal brand. He often films himself giving fitness tips, discussing his new products, or updating fans on other interesting events in his life.
Followers: 141 Million
The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star has recently posted a lot more about her family and her KKW Beauty Line. She also is no stranger to cross promotions and partnerships. While most of her posts are artsy or strategic, she is not afraid to post something jaw-dropping or humorous from time to time.
Here’s one funny post where she promotes The Secret Life of Pets.
She uses IGTV to promote her projects, like trailers for Keeping Up with the Kardashians. She will also occasionally team up with other influencers for tutorial-styled posts.
In this video, her hair stylist Mario Dedivanovic walks fans through how they can recreate Kim’s recent Met Gala look:
6. Kylie Jenner
Followers: 137 Million
While Kylie Jenner’s individual account follows her day-to-day life, she has also used it as a tool to promote her companies: Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin. Although Kylie regularly tags and engages in cross promotion with her companies’ accounts, her personal Instagram still has over 100 million more followers than the other two, combined.
Most recently, Kylie has used IGTV to give fans Kylie Cosmetics tutorials. This strategy allows her audiences to see how the products look and learn how to use them before they make a purchase.
This type of content may engage prospective buyers that are both experienced and less experienced in shopping for makeup.
Followers: 128 Million
Like Ariana Grande, Beyoncé focuses more on her artistic side than in cross promotion or paid promotion. She also breaks from the usual mold by rarely posting captions and letting her high-quality imagery or video speak for itself.
On her Instagram, you can usually find slideshows of high-quality photos of her, high-fashion shots where she’s seen in different styles and outfits, and occasional promotions of her own personal projects — such as her Netflix concert documentary, Homecoming.
8. Leo Messi
Followers: 121 Million
The soccer player regularly posts photos of himself on the field, as well as his daily life. His posts are a mix of photos and well-edited videos. When videos are included, they are often part of paid promotions. Messi has also dabbled in the Stories feature, where he shows off photos of himself, images from game events, and some images of his family.
While he doesn’t post large captions on his personal posts, he usually optimizes paid promotional posts with tags and hashtags. He also posts thoughtful captions in both English and Spanish. This might open up his following opportunities internationally.
9. Taylor Swift
Followers: 118 Million
The musician’s Instagram is filled with photos from concerts as well as a few photos from her everyday life. Unlike Beyonce and Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift embraces captions with emojis and hashtags. She also does an excellent job of tagging other accounts. This account is a good example of how strong captions and account tagging strategies can really optimize your Instagram.
Her posts are often colorful and in slideshow format, which allows users to swipe through multiple images.
Taylor has also used her Instagram as a tool to promote shows and albums. Like Ariana Grande, she recently posted stories to promote and give users a taste of her single, “ME!”
As they viewed the short story, users could swipe up to a link which listed sites where you could listen to, download, or save the song. This strategy gives users a taste of content and then a quick payoff when they swipe up.
Key Takeaways From the Most Followed Accounts
By looking at the most-followed brands and influencers, we can see some key strategies that many of them have in common.
Here are a few that you can start using, even without a giant following or a large social-media budget.
- Optimize captions witty or thoughtful captions with hashtags, account tags, and eye-popping emojis.
- Use cross promotion or paid strategies to join forces with other accounts or influencers.
- Experiment with new features including Stories or IGTV to give users new ways to engage and consume your branded content.
Thank you for reading.
This may be of some interest.
It was the political standup set that ended the White House Correspondents Dinner as we know it, but was it really that offensive? (No, obviously.)
When incendiary standup Michelle Wolf took the stage at last year’s White House Correspondents Dinner, she was hoping to kill. It probably didn’t occur to her that she’d end up killing the event itself.
Thank you for reading.