A blog by the Brick Factory The Brick Factory

The Closest Thing to Free Likes: Re-Posting Old Content

All too often, great content is created, uploaded to a blog, posted on social media, viewed by interested users, and then quickly forgotten.

But, if that same great content is posted on social media again later, then it is able to reach a far greater audience. This sounds obvious, right? The problem is, we often fail to take this basic step toward significantly improving the traffic on our blogs. Why is that?

  • Are we afraid of spamming followers with repeat posts?
  • Do we think that all old content is irrelevant?
  • Do we believe that content that performs poorly will always perform poorly?

Sometimes we post the right content at the wrong time.

This is what happened when Buzzfeed posted the blue and black/white and gold dress picture on social media. While Buzzfeed’s Twitter followers loved the post, Buzzfeed could not get it to take hold on Facebook. They tried posting the dress as a link, but the post still failed to get the engagement they wanted. Buzzfeed decided to post the link one more time. The post took off and went viral.


Why Repost?

A great deal of blog posts are not time-sensitive. These posts have the ability to become more popular over time, earning themselves the title of “compounding posts”.

According to Hubspot, compounding posts typically account for about 30% of a blog’s traffic, while only making up about 10% of all blog posts.

It can take a few hours or even longer to write a great blog post. It only takes a few minutes to write a new Tweet or Facebook post to drive people to your blog content. Each time you re-post old content on social media, any new likes you receive are essentially free.

How to Re-Post

Change When You Post

The best way to start re-posting is by changing some basic variables in the way you post. Try changing the time of day or day of the week that you post. Some users only have time to check their Facebook and Twitter feeds at a certain time or day of the week. Some users may be in different timezones.

NPR’s Planet Money Podcast posted a link to the same podcast episode three times over a period of only a few days on Twitter. They first tweeted a little after 9PM on Wednesday October 14 and received over 20 retweets.


The following day they again posted, this time just a little before 9PM and received a few more retweets and favorites.


Finally, on that Saturday at around 1PM they received their biggest response out of the three tweets promoting their podcast episode.


These three tweets together received over 50 retweets and over 100 favorites. That is nearly twice as many retweets and over 50% more favorites as the most popular tweet of the three.

The chart below shows how each time they tweeted a link to their content, the average amount of time spent creating their podcast episode per interaction they received on Twitter decreased.


Change How You Post

When re-posting, it is crucial that you, at a minimum, phrase your new social media post differently. This is one way to safeguard against your followers thinking that you are spamming them.

Try changing your language to suit a different audience. Try using new hashtags. Or try injecting some humor into your posts.

Here is a perfect example of successful re-posting by Entrepreneur magazine.


The first time Entrepreneur posted the article on social media, the post was quite successful, earning over 5,000 likes and nearly 3,000 shares.

Nearly seven months later, the magazine posted the same article on Twitter with a message that was different from what they had used months before. It was a huge success. The tweet earned over 80 retweets in its first eight hours, making it one of Entrepreneur’s most popular articles on Twitter that day.


At the end of October, they posted it on their Young Entrepreneur Facebook page, earning them another 1,400 likes. On November 6th, Entrepreneur Philippines posted the story for additional 600+ likes.

Can’t figure out what to post on Facebook today? Dig through your blog and find a popular piece of content. Do not be afraid that you are posting it twice. You took the time to write a fantastic blog post. It deserves to be read by as many people as possible.


One month later: ten takeaways from DPM2015

Officially, our title is “strategist.”

But we do a little bit of everything: digital strategy, account management, project management.

Last month, we hopped on a train up to Philadelphia to attend Digital Project Manager Summit 2015.

We learned a lot in three days – enough to fill a book, never mind a blog post.

But one month later, a few things have really stuck.


1. Designers hate us

“This is ugly.”
“I’m just not feeling it.”
“That won’t work, let’s do it this way.”
“Make it red.”

Design feedback can be pretty frustrating at times.

Often, we get one of two things:

  1. An emotional response
  2. A specific design change

But neither of these are particularly useful.

It’s important to take a big step back and instead of just responding, asking yourself questions like “how does this affect my users” or “how does this help me achieve my goals” and use that to govern your feedback.

2. Don’t shoot the messenger

Sometimes I have to deliver bad news.
Sometimes I’m on the receiving end.

The key to making it more palatable?
Explain why.

3. Content: more rules

So you want to build out a reports section of your website.
But often, we’ll only have one or two content samples to work off of.

This can be problematic. Based off the samples, we planned for a headline with about 50 characters. But you want a 500 character headline, and our design didn’t plan for that. So you end up with a weird looking report.

One thing we can do, as strategists, is provide our clients with content guides. We’re already providing style guides that explain colors, fonts, etc. This is just an extension of that.

Your content guide might say:

  • Headlines should be under 50 characters
  • Blog posts should always have an author and need one of ten tags
  • The first paragraph of your news article will be the preview on your homepage

4. Content: everyone has goals

The often underappreciated content hierarchy is one of the most important parts of your redesign. In it, you go through all the content that will be on a page and list it in order of prominence and importance. It’s the foundation of your layout.

But often people don’t consider all stakeholders when putting together a hierarchy.

What are your user’s goals?
Rank them in order of importance.

What are your business goals?
Same thing. Rank them in order of importance.

Now see where those rankings match up. Where does your content fits in with those two different sets of goals?

5. Projects managers are real good at Karaoke


We heard everything from Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” to Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” to “I Touch Myself” by the Divinyls.
And everyone rocked it.

We may have even participated.
But as far as I know, all video and photo evidence has been deleted.


…thanks, Josh.

(Who still films in portrait?)


6. Never sleepwalk

It’s easy to fall victim to the status quo. But every day is an opportunity to take risks, solve problems and grow your business.

  • Take initiative. Be proactive and don’t let barriers stand in the way of good thinking
  • Take ownership. Take your business’ future as your own. If you know what’s broken, fix it!
  • Let go of ego. Find that balancing point between commitment to your ideas and open-mindedness.
  • Think strategically. Find that golden ticket and focus your resources on making meaningful change.

7. How many cooks in the kitchen

Nothing complicates a project more than not knowing who’s responsible for what, when and how during a redesign. From the moment the project has been approved, work to:

Define the key players throughout the process. Who’s the core project owner? Who is the final decision maker? Defining this early can mean the difference between getting approval on schedule or waiting three weeks for the board of directors to return feedback.

Define your feedback plan. Will we have weekly meetings? Will we communicate primarily via email or another tool?

Have everyone on the same page. Does everyone understand the redesign process? Does everyone know the project phases? Does everyone know what is the purpose of a wireframe or content hierarchy?

8. Keeping a project in scope is possible (maybe)

When you’re knee deep in a six month redesign and it might seem like any hope you had for staying on schedule and in budget are long gone. But take a deep breathe and these tips might just help save the day.

  • Documentation is your friend. Always have the original scope of work and any supporting resources on hand when discussing changes to the scope. Some changes may be entirely new features that are outside the scope of work.
  • Determine the Impact. If we include this new feature, how exactly will it impact budget and timeline? Make sure all stakeholders understand the effort involved.
  • User-Centered Design. Will this new feature really benefit the end user? Does it conflict with our user experience research?
  • Keep your end-goal in mind. Can we meet our goal without this new feature? Is this something that can be handled following launch or it is a must have?

9. Manage your meetings

Everyone has the potential to derail a meeting with the feedback they give. But a well organized, feedback plan can make all the difference in turning an unproductive witch hunt into the building blocks for the final deliverable. So what can you do?

  • Set ground rules upfront on how you deliver and accept feedback. Leave nothing to chance.
  • Avoid problem solving. These meetings are about information gathering. If you present the problem, we’ll help you find the best solution.
  • Frame everything with your goal in mind.
  • Listen. Take everyone’s feedback into consideration.

10. Goats

Goat GIFs can make or break a presentation.



How Search Can Improve Your Website: 6 Google Hacks

I’m notoriously bad with song lyrics. But I can type a few words from the song’s chorus into Google, and bam- every word is right there in the first result. The trick is to use an asterisk in place of the words you don’t know.

There are actually tons of tricks like this that you can use in your Google search query. They’re great when you don’t exactly know what you want. And they’re great when you’re looking for ways to improve your website.


1) You can Google an image. Not the keywords of an image. An actual image.

This is probably the coolest Google hack that nobody knows about. You can search for an image by clicking on the camera icon in the search box on Google Images. Then you use the image’s URL or upload an image from your computer. The results will show you the sites that also use that exact same picture and show you “visually similar images” from around the web.

This hack could be particularly useful for finding other sites that use some of the same visual elements of your site. Wondering what other sites may be using that infographic that your design team created?

You can also use this tool for inspiration. Upload an image you like and click through the results to find some fresh ideas for visuals.

Join our team! Fall Internship at Brick Factory

Do you want an internship that sets you up to succeed in the digital space? Are you looking to leave your next internship with a serious set of skills? Do you want to work with some pretty awesome people? You’ve come to the right place.

The Brick Factory plans and executes world-class digital campaigns for non-profits, trade associations, advocacy groups and brands. We believe in simple solutions, setting clear goals and objectives, and providing great service to our clients. We believe a good website or campaign is never done and the launch of a website is the beginning, not the end.

The Brick Factory interns will be responsible for supporting our Strategists in the conception, implementation and analysis of many digital initiatives. This includes website, social media, email, mobile and other digital marketing efforts that support new business, our products and client campaigns. This position calls for an individual with strong communication skills, analytic skills and creative thinking ability. This position requires a highly resourceful individual who can think on their feet and can focus under pressure.

What you’ll do:

  • Assist in running our clients’ digital programs. This involves an active engagement that is beyond management, ensuring that our projects ship on time, goals are set, tracked and met, and our clients are provided with clear, high level recommendations that help them succeed in the digital space.
  • Work in a small team environment. You’ll wear multiple hats, provide input and solutions, and work on multiple projects at one time.
  • Contribute to our blog. Brick by Brick is our soapbox to spread the thoughts and opinions of The Brick Factory. Once settled, you’ll be expected to develop new post ideas and contribute innovative content regularly.
  • Aid in new business and marketing efforts. At The Brick Factory everyone is involved in selling new work. Our interns have a large role in managing advertising and marketing campaigns. You will also be constantly looking to expand the work in our existing client portfolio while reaching out to new business prospects.
  • Make yourself and the company better. Meaning that you aren’t ever satisfied with the status quo and are constantly looking to improve yourself, the company and our clients.
  • Something you are interested in. We encourage our interns to tackle a self-driven project from conceptualization to launch during their time with us.

What you bring to the table:

  • You’re a fun person to be around.
  • You have a passion for work in the digital industry and are excited to learn new things.
  • You’re a problem solver. You would rather figure out the best solution than be told how to do it.
  • You’re organized. You can manage multiple projects at once and are dedicated to hitting deadlines.
  • You’re detail-oriented and you double check your work. Whether it’s making sure a document has standard formatting or looking through your code for typos, you know a project isn’t done unless it’s done well.
  • You have some experience with HTML, marketing and sales research, and analytics tools. A big plus if you have experience with CSS and JavaScript as well.
  • You have a strong writing background. Your communication skills are exceptional and you have experience creating and editing content for clients.
  • Have used or are willing to learn Adobe products such as InDesign, Dreamweaver and Photoshop.

What you can expect from us:

  • A metro accessible office in downtown Washington, DC.
  • A great work environment, with plenty of opportunity to learn.
  • Training and professional development opportunities.
  • Compensation during the extent of your internship.
  • A fun team of enthusiastic and talented people.
  • Occasional work activities, lunches, and happy hours.
  • Additional random perks and benefits.

The Details:
Dates: September 2015 through December 2015 (can be flexible for the right candidate)
20-25 hours a week in the office

Sound interesting? Take a look around our website, blog, Facebook and Twitter. If you think we’d be a good fit please send a resume and cover letter to analystjobs@thebrickfactory.com.

Twenty Great 404 Error Pages

Human being are fallible creatures, so when surfing the web it is inevitable that they will occasionally mistype a URL or try to access a page that no longer exists.  When this happens visitors hit a site’s 404 error page which tells users and search engines that the page they are looking for can’t be found.

On most sites the 404 page is a throw away.  It is the last thing that web developers put together and not a lot of thought is put into it.  This 404 page from the Washington Post is an example of the sort of soulless 404 page you typically run into.

However some sites go the extra mile and use their 404 pages as an opportunity to connect with visitors by highlighting key content and/or showing some personality.  Here are twenty sites, presented in no particular order, that have taken the time to put together outstanding 404 pages.

(1) Hillary Clinton

On her Presidential campaign website Hillary Clinton uses her 404 pages to show her playful side.