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Four Useful Tips To Prepare Your Images For Social Media

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Do you often post images on social media? Do you want to create an image that attractive enough to share?

When creating images for social media, the quality of the images makes a difference. In the following we will share four useful tips to create professional and engaging social media images that you can use on multiple platforms.

In this visual-centric world, it’s more important than ever to create high-quality sharable images. You need to share product pics, recipes, team photos, location, checklists and more. Graphics are great for space-saving, convenience, higher engagement and more. Readers are attracted to visuals. Along with posts or hashtags, visual media also help with storytelling.

When you understand that even a single picture will change the way you communicate on social media. Since it can sometimes be a challenge to choose the best picture for your posts, Huffman shares things to consider, such as permissions, impact and relevance. Let’s start our first tips with:

1. Find Photos Online

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There are many free and paid options to find images online to use with your social media posts. There are three common types of image sharing sites: free photos, pay-per-pic and subscription services. Compares and rates top stock photography websites.

2. Take Better Pictures

If you don’t want to think about costs or permissions, or you’d just rather take your own photos, there are a variety of things you can do to take better photographs for social media.

Here is a good idea on how to take better smartphone pictures with a focus on food (and still-object):

Taking your own photographs have some advantages. You can be as original as possible and that’s one big deal. However, self-made photographs often feel amateur and unprofessional. Thus, you need to make those pictures as good as you can. If you are not too adept taking shots with camera, then you will need to:

3. Improve The Quality of Your Images

Once you’ve chosen or taken your photos, there are many free and paid web and mobile tools you can use to improve the quality of your photos, as well as create graphics or infographics. You can also use traditional software like Photoshop, Illustrator or a general paint program to prep your graphics to post on your social sites.

4. Create Quote Photos

Photos with quotes are very popular in terms of visual appeal, response and engagement. You can use your own quotes or take quotes from podcasts or blogs. Don’t forget to attribute and link. You can also find various quotes on sites like BrainyQuote, Quoteland, The Quote Garden or Wikiquote. There’s a searchable list of quotes from TED and a Forbes article on Top 100 Inspirational Quotes to get you started.

Conclusion

The images for your visual strategy don’t have to be over-the-top professional. You can start simple with powerful delivery. However, there are things you can do to gain better results. An extra boost of professionalism could make all of your pictures attractive.

Snapcash: The Latest Mobile Payment Feature From Snapchat

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Here is another mobile payment service. This time, it comes from the emerging social media service, Snapchat.

Recently, Snapchat has announced a partnership with mobile payments service Square to introduce its latest service called Snapcash. Basically, it’s a payments feature that lets you transfer money between accounts on the ephemeral photo-sharing platform. Square will handle the actual cash movements in the new feature. This collaboration will also provide Square with access to Snapchat’s more than 100 million monthly active users.

For now, Snapcash is only available to Snapchat users in the United States who have a debit card and are 18 or older while the minimum age requirement to use Snapchat is 13. The feature is going to be released on Android immediately, with iOS availability expected soon, according to a Snapchat spokesperson. When Snapchat users sign up for Snapcash, they are also creating a Square account. Users must add a debit account, which is stored by Square, yet Snapchat said it will not store any debit card information. After that, transferring money is quite simple. A user can swipe into a chat, type a dollar sign and amount and hit the green button.

Snapchat declined to discuss financial details of the partnership. The addition of a payment capability adds to Snapchat’s recent push to move beyond its origins as a chat application. The company is already in talks with media companies to develop content for its platform, recently began running ads, and moved into the live event space. Now, the social media company has became a new competitor in the mobile payment and money transfer battlefield that is currently led by Venmo and PayPal.

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Trust is an important issue for the company following a massive leak of pictures and videos from the app. The upside for Snapchat is that its young user base does not seem phased by security concerns.

The Ultimate Pinterest Statistic In 2014 (Infographic)

With 70 million users in the world and numerous social interactions every day, Pinterest is a social network on the move.

At least that the latest statistic says about users’ activities and brands’ heavy mobilisation on this visual based social media service. Pinterest is undeniably placed itself among the social giants in the world. It has even become the leader in sharing visuals, images, and photo sharing feature. Take a look at this infographic for the current state of Pinterest users, their activity, and how top brand are leveraging Pinterest to drive web traffic.

Here are some key points:

  • 30 percent Pinterest users are aged between 25 and 34.
  • 75 percent of Pinterest users access the network through mobile devices.
  • Everyday, 54 million Pins (images) are added on Pinterest.
  • 23 percent of online sales via social networks are generated through Pinterest.
  • Etsy.com sales increased by 20 percent per week due to Pinterest.
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Four Important Assets Of Content Marketing In Social Media

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Starting a new social media strategy is a good choice. However, smart marketers will create great content and fit it into multiple social media channels.

Today, it’s a widespread secret that social media is useless without great content. Content marketing is a simple concept anyone can understand but rarely well executed. Smart marketers have changed their way of thinking about “How I can get a good Facebook strategy” to “How do I create a content marketing plan to drive some good engagement on channels like Facebook.” The difference may seem subtle, but in actuality the outcome is drastically different.

Let’s talk about the four aspects to give all of us small business owners, marketers, and experts running our own show a snapshot of how this manifests into real outcomes where you can find real results.

1. Your Brand

It’s essential to map out what your personal or company brand stands for and the big items you want to be sure people remember you by. However, so many times we get so hurried in the business we forget to really think about these things when posting on social media. So the most important thing to do here is set up a top three to five attributes (powerful adjectives) and have those on the wall, desk, or screensaver to refer to so you always make sure you live up to this. So many of us post randomly, retweet without reading, and even write things like a blog post without such thought. Make sure to get your brand nailed down and so much more of the content you have to plan for will come naturally.

2. Your Blog

Let’s face it: your blog has the potential to be the single biggest impact on driving business to your company.

Your blog is what people judge you by. It’s how you are validated as an expert in the industry. Moreover, it’s your digital résumé. Google loves blogs that are posted to frequently (once a week is all that’s needed) and more so those that are shared on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. So, you must start to build a great content marketing calendar of blog posts and simply live up to that.

3. Your Tweets

Like a good tweet, this part will be short and sweet. Stop retweeting others’ tweets, stop tweeting third-party articles, and start tweeting your own business. It can be your quick summary of a great article you read on your blog, a new product launch on your page and press release. Then strategically retweet those in your industry that really havegood credibility, align with your brand and your content marketing calendar that focus on important topics to your company.

4. Your Video

If you haven’t started creating a good video series, it’s time to do it. More time is spent watching a video than on Facebook itself and video is 10 times more likely to be watched on Facebook than other channels. Start simply by creating (for instance) a good webinar content that you can record and archive. Put it on YouTube, take the highlights and add to a good page on your site.

Next, you can start looking at what your competitors or others are doing on video that you can see doing a good job and copy that. Create some original videos that are worth sharing. It can be customer interviews, product demos, teaching classes or workshops, an many more. If done right and aligned with your content marketing priorities, you’ll win a big score here.

Conclusion

Think about content first. Things like blog, video, and your overall plan. Later on, you can think on how you can share this blog or video on social media channels and push it out. Spending the time to think through a content marketing plan will drive every decision you need to make for effective social media return on investment. Good luck!

Vine Versus Vimeo Statistics (Infographic)

Video sharing market has been dominated by YouTube. With more than 1 billion unique users visiting the website every month and 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, it is hard to beat its mightiness.

However, other video sharing platforms are gaining their track, trying to surpass YouTube’s domination. The two YouTube’s biggest threat are Vine and Vimeo. Vine is popularly known as ‘Instagram for Video’ as it attracts a culture of ‘selfies’ and self-made celebrities. It is owned by Twitter who acquired it in 2012 and it has two primary investors: RRE Ventures and BoxGroup. It has no turnover yet but it does attract brands. Interestingly, there are 400% more shared branded Vines than branded videos. By contrast, Vimeo is known as ‘The Anti-YouTube’ as it attracts the independent film maker, musicians and bands. Owned by InteractiveCorp (IAC) having acquired it in 2006, it had a turnover of $40 million in 2013.

For more information regarding Vine and Vimeo, check out the infographic below.

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Seven Pro Tips To Use Vine

this picture represents vine, the social media sharing based on 6 seconds video loops, logo

Since its release on , Vine has become an Internet sensation, especially among teenagers.

While the app itself has seen a number of small updates, the video-looping app continues to evolve. The addition of new features and tools have made it easier for Vine users to produce creative and beautiful videos. By keeping a few tricks in mind, you can harness the power of Vine and take your six-second videos to the more impressive level.

Here is a list of seven Vine pro tips that you’ll want to use:

1. Discover and share new videos

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The iOS version of Vine got an upgrade last week. Now, the app allows users to discover new videos without having to follow others. Simply tap the magnifying glass icon and select one of the channels listed. Then, tap the new “+” button in the top-right corner of the app. You’ll see featured posts from the selected channel appear in your home feed.

2. Send videos from your Camera Roll directly to Vine

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iOS 8 users can send videos straight from their Camera Roll to the Vine app. However, they need to enable the Vine sharing extension. Here’s how:

  • Select a video from the Photos app.
  • Tap the share icon.
  • Select “More.”
  • Under “Activities,” enable Vine.

3. AssistiveTouch Feature

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iOS users who don’t want to continuously hold your finger down on the screen to record will be happy with this feature. The feature is called AssistiveTouch where you can control the length of your tap.

This feature is ideal for stop-motion, as you’ll be able to fit 180 perfectly equal frames in a six-second video (30 frames per second) without having to worry about lifting your finger. If you create a new gesture and hold your finger down for six seconds, you can essentially Vine with “no hands.” Just tap once, and it will automatically keep recording for a full six seconds.

Here’s how to activate the AssistiveTouch:

  • Go to “Settings.”
  • Tap “General.”
  • Select “Accessibility.”
  • Select “AssistiveTouch” under “Interaction.”
  • Enable “AssistiveTouch” and tap “Create New Gesture…”
  • Create the new gesture by tapping on the screen. However long you hold your finger on the screen is how long the tap will last.
  • Tap “Save” and give your new gesture a name you’ll remember like “Vine tap.”

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Once you’ve set up this gesture, you’ll see a white dot appear on your screen. When you’re ready to record in the Vine app, tap on the white dot, select “Favorites” and your custom gesture will appear. Tap on it to activate the gesture.

When you’re finished, tap the AssistiveTouch button, and then tap outside of the pop-up menu. If you don’t do this, the custom gesture will occur whenever you tap anything on your iOS device. To remove the white dot button, go back to “Accessibility” in “Settings” and turn off the AssistiveTouch.

4. Save Vine videos to your phone without publishing them

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It’s possible to save your Vine video without publishing it to the app. Go through the steps as if you are going to publish it, and un-check “Post to Vine” (seen above). Then tap “Share post.” The video will not appear on your Vine account, but instead it will save to your Camera Roll.

5. Duplicate clips

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If you want to duplicate clips, you can do it as many times as you like — as long as it all fits within the six-second limit. If you’re working with a trimmed clip, the duplicates will maintain the same trim. Each duplicate will also have its full-length history so that you can work with the original file again.

To duplicate clips, go to the “Preview” screen in Vine and tap the scissors icon that says “Edit.” That will bring you to a new screen with all the clips that make up your Vine video. Tap on the clip you want to duplicate, and an orange slider will appear so you can trim it (if you choose to).

Once you’re satisfied with what the duplication will look like, tap the “+” button, and it will be automatically added to your Vine video. If you want to delete any of the clips, select it and tap the trash can icon.

6. Level your videos in shooting mode

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To level the composition when shooting a video, tap the wrench icon and then tap the grid icon twice. A thin bar will appear to help you determine if your camera is straight. The line turns orange when the phone camera isn’t even, and turns green when it is. This tool comes in handy when you’re shooting 360-degree or panoramic Vines.

7. Preview and delete clips in shooting mode

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When you’re in shooting mode, you can preview and delete each clip. To preview the clip, tap the left-facing arrow with the “x” on the bottom of the screen. If you tap it twice, the clip will be deleted.

The A to Z Guide to Personal Branding Using Google+ (Infographic)

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Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon once famously stated that your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.

Personal branding is very important for your business and it should not taken lightly. Social media is the perfect place to build a strong branding. The infographic below elaborates a lot of aspects of personal branding in Google+ from A to Z. Take a look at it. Make sure you are doing everything possible to strengthen your brand’s position and grow your business on Google+.

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The Biggest Facebook Publishers in October 2014

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Here is the 25 most shared, liked and commented English language sites on Facebook during October 2014.

Some takeaways:

  • The Huffington Post hit a record 67.4 million Facebook interactions for content published in October,
  • PlayBuzz jump to third place overall, ahead of Fox News,
  • The New York Times climb to seventh place overall, sixth most-shared,
  • 15 of the Facebook top 25 now have over 10 million monthly interactions.

This is the top ten list, ranked in order of Facebook shares alone:

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The Huffington Post continue to assert their dominance in terms of overall sharing reach. They have added an impressive 2.1 million shares on their September numbers. That brought their overall Facebook total up to over 67.4 million for the month, a massive increase on the 53.4 million they achieved in September. Below are their top five stories last month, with Facebook interaction breakdowns:

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Here is the complete list of 25 most popular English language sites on Facebook:

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Instagram Now Allows You To Edit Photo Caption

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Now you can go back and fix all the typos in your Instagram captions.

The photo sharing company has released the latest update for its app on Monday, which allows users to change photo captions after they are posted. The app also has a new recommendations feature on the Explore menu. This has been one of the top requests from Instagram’s users, as the app didn’t allow users to tweak captions after a photo or video posted before, forcing them to post corrections as a comment or delete and re-write the caption entirely.

To edit a caption, tap the menu button underneath a post and select edit. Edited captions will include a note indicating the post was edited when a user views the comments.

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The update also changed the recently revamped Explore tab to make it easier to find new accounts to follow.

The Explore menu, which contains popular posts, has now been split into two parts: Photos and People. The Photos tab displays the same posts as the former Explore menu in the previous versions of the app. It contains the photos and videos popular within your circle of friends as well as those trending among the greater Instagram community. On the other hand, the new People tab displays recommendations of new accounts to follow, including people you’re connected to on other social networks, along with a preview of some of their most recent posts.

As usual, users can get the update on App Store and Google Play.

Facebook Has Added New Settings Menu For News Feed, Giving Users More Control Over Their Timeline

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Facebook is giving you more control over your News Feed.

The social media giant has revealed a new customisation menu for News Feed that allows users to have personalised content that they want see. The News Feed settings menu (which appears in the Facebook apps and on the web) displays which friends appear most often in your News Feed and which friends you’ve chosen to unfollow.

Next, you can choose to unfollow people you don’t want to see anymore or re-follow (or “reconnecting”, according to Facebook jargon) those you’ve previously hidden from your feed.

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The new News Feed policy also contains new ways of giving feedback about the types of posts you don’t want to see. Now, instead of choosing to unfollow someone entirely, you can opt to see fewer stories from a friend or page you follow.

This update is a part of a larger effort to make users’ feeds more relevant to what interests them, said Facebook product manager, Greg Marra. There are about 1,500 different stories that can appear in a user’s News Feed, but people only see only 10% of them. The algorithms behind News Feed take into account your previous actions, such as liking photos or clicking on links. The type of device or what type of Internet connection you’re on also contribute great information to Facebook News Feed algorithm.

“We know ranking isn’t perfect … we can’t just look at clicks by themselves as away of telling whether these stories are really interesting,” Marra said, pointing to Facebook’s recent efforts to reduce the amount of clickbait that surfaces in News Feeds. “We’ve been thinking: How do we get at this qualitative angle of what people really want?”

The latest News Feed settings menu is available on Facebook’s apps and website since Friday, while the other customisation features will be released in the coming weeks