Social Media Marketing With Images: Easy, Fun and FREE

Social Media Marketing With Images

Canva

Here we are: it’s a brand new year. You’ve decided to get up to speed on social media marketing, and you’ve wondered: WHERE do marketers get their images? Gorgeous photos, clever infographics, smart quote images… How do they do it?

Easy. They make images part of their social media strategies, because as the truism says, an image is worth a thousand words – and sometimes more. Images are evocative. They hint, and suggest.

You don’t need to be an ace photographer, or a designer, to use images in your social media marketing. You can create many images yourself. Train yourself to use your cell phone camera – every image you take yourself is free.

Then make the most of your images with some savvy image editing. No, you don’t need Photoshop. I listed some wonderful free image editing tools in this article.

Canva’s one of my favorite free image tools:

Canva is a new app, and it goes beyond simple image editing. Its claim is that it can “make design simple for anyone.” To that end, the app is stuffed with thousands of wonderful design elements, including stock photographs, layouts, and fonts.

Many of these elements are free. You’ll pay a minimal fee for others, but far less than you’d pay for an image from a stock photo website. Of course, you can use your own images, also. With the ease of Canva, you can create a birthday card, business card, or blog image in seconds.

It took me around two minutes to create the image at the top of this post. I created it at 600 x 900 pixels, which is an excellent size for Pinterest and Google+. Canva’s got a lot of presets for images, including images for Facebook and other social media sites. It’s just as easy to create your own custom sizes, just type them in.

I’ve been using Canva for several months, but haven’t even scratched the surface of this amazing program. Shush… don’t tell anyone, but I’ve even used Canva to create Kindle ebook covers in minutes. Over the holiday period, I used Canva to create fast and easy cards.

Grab attention with your images: some tips

In your marketing, you use images to grab attention.

Here are some tips…

  • Create your images in batches. If you’re in image editing and creation mode, don’t stop at one image. Create several. I like to create at least five.
  • Use call out images for your Calls to Action (CTAs). They’re an easy way to grab attention, directing your website’s visitors to the action you want them to take.
  • Use Skitch, or a similar app to build a swipe file of image ideas for your social media marketing. Watch how brands do it.
  • Use several image editors to get the effects you want – I often use two or three of the free Photoshop alternatives to create a set of images.

Social media marketing is essential for your business. If you’re just getting started, you’ll love the results you get from using lots of images in your campaigns.

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, and on Twitter: @angee

Amuse Me! 6 Fun Twitter Tricks: Get More Attention and Followers

6 Fun Twitter Tricks

Twitter’s a social network. It’s easy to forget the “social” aspect if you’re using it for business, but if you’re serious all the time, your followers think that they know what to expect from you and will tune you out.

Why not surprise them?

Build some fun into your tweets. Chances are that you’ll get more attention and followers.

Let’s look at six fun Twitter tricks.

1. Humor always works, but keep it clean

You can be funny on Twitter. Here’s some advice from Parks and Recreation writer Megan Amram:

Usually the tweets that I do are like one-liners with some kind of twist that fits in a very small area. I’ve definitely tweeted things, though, that then became blog posts.

She suggests that puns and wordplay work: “jokes that are popular on Twitter are very often wordplay or even jokes that have funny spelling or whatever.”

Tip: be aware of the branding connotations of your humor. Even if you’re posting on your social Twitter account, rather than a work account, keep it clean.

2. Brand yourself with eye-catching images

Dan Zarrella studied 400,000 randomly selected tweets, and reports:

Tweets with images uploaded to pic.Twitter.com were nearly twice as likely to be retweeted while the use of Twitpic increased the odds by just over 60%. On the other hand Tweets that used Facebook or Instagram links were less likely to be retweeted.

Image marketing’s huge. You’ll get more attention in your Google+ stream with large images, and Pinterest’s image-focused.

Start collecting attention-getting images now. Take your own photos with your cell phone, and explore stock image libraries.

3. Tell me a (short) story

Everyone loves stories.

Alan Rosenblatt suggests:

Now that Twitter displays images within the timeline, hashtags can gather a story timeline easily and present on a single webpage, complete with illustrations. And the story comes with a narrator (the tweet text), a visual (the image) and a dialogue (the caption).

Consider how you might share your brand’s stories on Twitter, in 140 characters or less. Tip: keep your tweets well UNDER 140 characters, to leave room for retweets.

You could tweet:

  • Customer stories:
  • Staff stories;
  • Stories about your brand’s history.

4. To be continued… Tell a long story

Andrew Fitzgerald’s TED video on Adventures in Twitter fiction gives some excellent examples of novelists and storytellers using Twitter creatively.

@RealTimeWWII live tweets World War II, for example.

 

You can use the live tweets strategy too. Why not live tweet your product launch? Your webinar? Many events lend themselves to live tweeting.

Make a list now, of events you could live tweet.

5. Use a funny hashtag to stand out

You can get attention with hashtags you create – especially if they’re humorous. (A hashtag is the “#” pound sign in front of a word; it makes the word searchable.)

Your hashtags:

  • Can consist of words and number squished into a single word;
  • Should be unique (use them to identify your brand or event);
  • Should be short – if they’re too long, you’ll run out of characters, and won’t leave room for retweets.

Here are some examples of funny hashtags on which you can model your own.

6. Create a humorous persona for your brand

Remember the “Get a Mac” advertising campaign?

… against a minimalist all-white background, a man dressed in casual clothes introduces himself as a Mac (“Hello, I’m a Mac.”), while a man in a more formal suit-and-tie combination introduces himself as a Windows personal computer (“And I’m a PC.”).

These personas were hugely successful.

Consider creating a humorous persona for your brand.

Not sure how to create a persona? From Lee Davis:

A fun, easy way to get to know your potential customer and understand how to engage them is to conduct an Empathy Map* exercise. All you need is a whiteboard, plenty of post-its and markers and about two hours.

Once you’ve created at least one persona, put a humorous twist on it, just as I’m a Mac/ I’m a PC did. (Empathy is vital.)

So there you have it – fun Twitter tricks to get more attention and followers. Try one of these tricks today.

 

, and on Twitter: @angee

Last Week on the Blog: Google+, Image Marketing, Blogging and More

lastweekonblog500

Here’s a quick roundup of some of last week’s posts. If you haven’t discovered image marketing, these posts will help.

Get Started on Google+: 5 Easy Image Marketing Tips

Image marketing is the hot trend of 2013. Gooogle+ LOVES images, so if you haven’t explored all the image uploading and editing options, get started.

Blogging? Get Inspired by Pinterest, Every Day

Clients are always asking me for content ideas. Often, I’ll recommend Pinterest.

Tip: explore secret boards. You can use secret boards to brainstorm projects, collect material, as reminders, as idea collectors, for your clients, and for upcoming projects.

Small Business Marketing Made Easy: 5 Free Ideas

Looking for free or low-cost marketing ideas? Think about your business first. What interests do your customers have? Market to them where they congregate. These 5 ideas will work for you.

Social Media Kickstart: Top Five Tips for Pinterest Marketing

Looking for new marketing opportunities? Consider Pinterest. This social media website is fast-growing, and addictive. It’s image-focused, so it’s perfect for advertising.

The site’s easy to use, so it won’t take long to get up to speed on how it works, and on how you can best use it for your business.

Blogging: 5 Fast Ways to Get More Business Via Your Blog

Is your blog getting business for you?

While there are many benefits to creating and maintaining a blog (credibility, find-ability, trust), few businesses bite the bullet and commit to getting business via their blog.

Let’s look at how you can put your blog to work.

Hope you enjoyed last week’s posts.

Contact me if you’d like me to cover something specifically for you.
, and on Twitter: @angee

Blogging? Get Inspired by Pinterest, Every Day

Pinterest Boards

If you’re a blogger, get acquainted with Pinterest.

As this article, 12 Most Resourceful Ways Businesses Can Use Pinterest, points out, Pinterest is wonderfully inspiring:

For content inspiration

If your site has a blog, let me give you a virtual high five! Blogs are great for many things including SEO and customer engagement. However, coming up with new content to write about can be a challenge.
What’s a stumped business blogger to do? Go to Pinterest! A search for a few keywords used in your industry could spark some ideas. Sometimes, looking at pins from another industry can bring a new perspective and inspiration too.”

We’ve talked about image marketing on Google+, but image marketing works anywhere, especially on your blog.

Remember: Pinterest has secret boards just for you!

In the above article, Cynthia Sanchez says: “As a business owner, secret boards on Pinterest are one of my favorite features. I dedicate a secret board to pinning articles I find on the web that I don’t want my followers to see.”

Secret boards are my favorite feature too.

You can use secret boards to brainstorm projects, collect material, as reminders, as idea collectors, for your clients, and for upcoming projects.

Tip: you can only have three secret boards at a time — although you can collaborate on boards. So if you want more than three, you’ll need to make one of your boards public.

If you don’t want to make your board public, you can save it to your computer, and then delete it from Pinterest. Saving a board is easy: open your board, then “print” it as a PDF.

Here’s the gist on secret boards:

What’s a secret board?

A secret board is only visible to you and to anyone you invite to it.

When you add a pin to a secret board, it won’t show up anywhere else on Pinterest – not in the category sections, anyone’s search results, your followers’ home feed, your own home feed, or even pins or activity pages on your profile.

Your secret boards are at the bottom of your profile. Just scroll down to see them.

If you’re blogging, and you’re not using Pinterest, get started on the site today. Pinterest is wonderfully inspiring for any blogger.

, and on Twitter: @angee

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