How to Get a Million Instagram Followers for a Day

Are you a photographer trying to get more Instagram followers? One of the most common tips you hear for growing your tribe is to share your best work. As actor Steve Martin famously said, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

It’s fantastic advice. Unfortunately, even if your pictures make the Mona Lisa look like a finger painting, it’s easier than ever to be ignored. Instagram now has over 500 million users posting more than 52 million pictures every day!

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Should Photographers Join Instagram?

When Instagram started out, it was meant to be a place where people shared basic moments of their daily life. As it grew in popularity and saw everyone from movie stars to presidents sign on, posts became more curated. Top names in the photography world from National Geographic to Magnum photographers joined too.

Although some argue this was the death knell of Instagram, an end to sharing our unfiltered selves through Gingham-filtered glasses, others saw an opportunity. Photographers found it inspiring to be part of a global social network, one where everyone speaks the same visual language. And companies found a new channel to market their goods.

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Some naysayers think Instagram, which is a mobile-first social network, is a second-class platform. What photographer wants their pictures to be viewed on a tiny mobile screen? The fact is that today almost 80% of social media time is spent on mobile devices.

Whether you are a pro trying to market your business or a hobby photographer wanting to interact with like-minded people, you need to be where your audience hangs out. Instagram is that place.

Something Terrible about Instagram

Steve Martin’s advice about getting discovered was great, but it doesn’t work as well in the Instagram Age. There are plenty of photographers who struggle to find an audience. P.T. Barnum gave some more pertinent advice when he once quipped, “Without promotion, something terrible happens…Nothing!”

On Instagram, you need to be proactive when trying to build your following. Unlike Facebook, there is no Share button to help new people discover you. Also, the Instagram algorithm doesn’t do much either to put your pictures in front of new people. The majority of engagement on your feed usually comes from your followers, not people who randomly stumble on your work.

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As a result, the best way to introduce your photos to a new audience is to get other Instagram accounts to share your work. There are two ways to go about this. You can ask other photographers to share your work. Or even better, you can get featured on hubs.

Leverage Hubs to Build your Tribe

Hubs are Instagram accounts that feature other people’s photographs. Think of them as a sort of variety show that shares what is happening in the world of Instagram. Each hub is like a channel. For instance, there are nature hubs, architecture hubs, street photography, and food photography hubs to name a few. A hub can be owned by an individual, a group of people, or a business.

This photo below I took in Malaysia was featured by the FreedomThinkers feed. According to their website, their mission is to inspire their viewers to travel the world. That aligns with mine so I was happy to share my image on their account.

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Some hubs are run just for fun as a way to create community. Other hubs are backed by a company and exist to market a product or service. Either way, they’re a great way to expose your work to a new audience.

To get a hub to share your photo, just include the relevant hashtag in the caption of your photo. You can usually find out which hashtags to use in their account bio. If the hub owner likes your photo, they will share it and credit you by sharing your name and IG feed address. The exposure you get can, in turn, drive traffic to your personal feed, resulting in an increase of followers.

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How to Go Viral on Instagram

Instagram is like the news, once one channel breaks a story, others quickly report on it as well. Many hubs copy their featured photo selections from other hubs. This creates a domino effect that can give you massive amounts of exposure.

For instance, my “Dark Towers” photo was featured on more than 20 hubs. One of those was on the Game of Tones feed which you can see below. I didn’t ask all of the hubs to share it, many featured my image because they saw it on another hub. Those hubs together had a combined follower count of over a million.

Having that many hubs share your picture doesn’t happen every day. On the other hand, it’s not uncommon to have at least a few different hubs share your photo at once.

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5 Killer Tips to Get Seen on Instagram

It doesn’t matter if you are a total newbie or seasoned pro, or if you have 100 followers or 100,000. There is a hub out there for all levels and types of photographers. Here are some tips for getting featured:

1. Know your hubs. To get featured you need to put the hashtag and/or tag your photo according to each hub’s request. Don’t just blindly tag a hub because it’s popular. Ask yourself if your work fits the style and quality of the hub.

2. Focus on your location. Geographic hubs are a great place to start. Look for ones that focus on a region like your city, state, province, country, or the place where you are traveling. Some examples are @ig_nycity or @uk. An added benefit to local hubs is that you can actually meet people in your area.

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3. Search according to types of photography. Consider genre hubs like @nightphotography or @urbanromantix. They are great for discovering like-minded photographers.

4. Try for small hubs when you start. If you are new to photography and/or Instagram, start small. Aim for hubs with less than 10,000 followers at the beginning.

5. Share with brands. Don’t disregard business hubs. These are some of the largest out there. For instance, the magazine Travel + Leisure @travelandleisure has over 2 million followers and regularly features photos from other IG feeds, as does @travelchannel.

The Super Secret to Instagram Exposure

This is my final and most important tip. Follow the hub you’d like to be featured on along with the admin of the hub.

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Some hubs will even direct you to “follow [insert name of hub admin(s)] to be featured.” The hub admins want exposure just like everyone else as they want to increase their follower count too.

If the name of the admin is not stated in the bio, look at the last few photos posted in the feed. There is often a note saying which admin selected the featured photo.

The Golden Rule of Engagement

Once you know who the admin is, friend them, visit the admin’s feed (not the hub), like a few of their photos, and then comment on one or two of their pictures. Be sure to write something that proves you aren’t a robot. In other words, don’t just leave a thumbs up or “Great shot!” comment.

Most importantly, don’t be human spam. Do not ask the admin to view your feed. Do not ask them for feedback on your work. And never ask them to feature your photo.

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If you take the time to interact with the admin’s photos, it’s possible they will visit your feed. And if they like what they see, you just might get featured. Reciprocity is the Golden Rule.

In the end, the hub admins are like gatekeepers, the editors of social network magazines. You want your photos in front of their eyes. Get them to know who you are. Connecting with a hub admin is the single most important thing you can do to get featured, besides creating amazing work of course.

Are Instagram Hubs Worth the Effort?

Some might say social media is a waste of time. It’s undoubtedly better to be out with your camera than staring at your phone.

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In my case, that Busan roof topping photo that was shared on 21 hubs got me a few hundred followers. It doesn’t really matter, though. Life is not a popularity contest. Whether you have one fan or one million, the most important thing for any photographer is to create.

On the other hand, the act of creating is deeply bound with the act of sharing. There’s nothing wrong with photographing what you love and keeping it for yourself.

But if you want to share what you’re passionate about with the most people possible, then let the world know. Or as writer and producer Dan Harmon put it, “Find your voice, shout it from the rooftops, and keep doing it until the people that are looking for you find you.”

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http://digital-photography-school.com/million-instagram-followers/

Recipe of a Winning Website

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An attractive design with an eye-catching theme matching the essence of a brand, head-turning headlines, big and bold images that become a major attention seeker – these are all the attributes that make a web design beautiful and a complete stunner.

But are these the only elements that matter? What about the nitty gritty parts of a website design that make it user-friendly? Will it create the hook for visitors and aid in conversions? What about the role of functionality?

They are, in actual, what makes a design beautiful in a glimpse. As a visitor goes further, what will really matter the most is the website’s functionality, the helpful navigation menu that will get him through, solid calls-to-action that will convert and various indicators that ensures security and trust. These stand as relevant answers to the questions asked above.

A stunning design could be an add-on to all of those mentioned above but never a primary concern. To ensure that all the web designers and entrepreneurs are on the same page regarding such essentials of design that makes it last longer than ever, we have gathered a list of 10 elements.

The infographic below clearly explains all the important elements that surround a quality design, what they mean, how they drive conversions, and why ignoring them could be a menace to your overall design. So take a look at this information-rich infographic below, make notes from them, understand them and implement them in your next website designing endeavors to rather make it a winning website that stands out – not because of its beauty but largely because of its functionality.

winning website

http://www.dubaimonsters.ae/blog/infographics/recipe-of-a-winning-website/

How to Customize Your Facebook Page: 7 Tips and Tricks

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As the hub of your business presence on a (nearly) 1.6 billion-person social network, your Facebook Page has the potential to be a valuable marketing asset. From educating prospective customers to sharing company updates and educational resources with your existing customers, you can use your Facebook Page to target nearly every stage of your marketing funnel.

But in a world where 40 million+ small businesses have Facebook Pages, simply creating a Page won’t guarantee you much in the way of results.

In order to attract and engage your target audience, you need your Facebook Page to stand out from the sea of sameness.

To help you get started, we put together this list of seven tips and tricks you can use for customizing your company’s Facebook Page.

7 Ways to Create a Custom Facebook Business Page

1) Claim Your Custom URL

First things first: If you haven’t already, head to the URL facebook.com/username and create a custom URL for your Facebook Page that’s short and easy to remember. The goal is to create alignment between your brand and the Page.

As you can see in the screenshots below, you first need to choose your Page from a dropdown menu, then you’ll be able to see if the URL you want is available.

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Keep in mind that you’re only allowed to change your Facebook Page URL once. So if you’re going to update it, choose your new URL wisely.

2) Control Who Gets to See Your Page

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Head to the Settings menu (via the link on the right side of your Page’s top nav), and you’ll be able to unlock a host of customization options. Perhaps the most important: The ability to restrict the visibility of your Page, which you can control under the “General” settings tab.

Are there certain countries your company doesn’t sell to? You can prevent your Facebook Page from appearing there. Sell a product (e.g., alcohol) that has legal restrictions and/or that is otherwise geared toward an adult audience? You can restrict the visibility of your Facebook Page according to age.

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By fine-tuning these visibility settings, you can help make sure your Page is reaching the right audience.

3) Control What Content Appears on Your Page

While you’re in the General Settings menu customizing your Facebook Page’s visibility settings, you might also want to consider customizing what content will be allowed to appear on your Page. Specifically, you can control who’s allowed to post content to your Page, as well as what types of content (e.g., videos and/or photos) people are — or aren’t — allowed to post.

Worried about bad language or inappropriate topics popping up in posts and replies on your Page? Adjust your Page Moderation settings to block the use of specific words, and turn on (or increase) your Page’s Profanity Filter. FYI: There are three Profanity Filter settings, “Off,” “Medium,” and “Strong,” which are based on the words and phrases that Facebook users have most frequently deemed offensive.

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4) Add a Call-to-Action Button

It’s a little tweak that can make a big impact: Setting up a call-to-action (CTA) button on your Facebook Page. The best part is that it only takes a few seconds to do.

If you haven’t already created a CTA for your Page, you’ll see an “Add Action Button” button where your future CTA will appear. (And yes, I realize how meta it is to be clicking on a CTA that’s telling you to create a CTA. Welcome to the weird world of online marketing.)

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Once you click that button, you’ll be taken to a menu where you can select the CTA you want and preview it across different devices.

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The CTA you choose should depend on the specific goals you’re trying to accomplish. Facebook gives you 11 different options:

  • “Contact Us”
  • “Book Now”
  • “Call Now”
  • “Send Message”
  • “Use App”
  • “Play Game”
  • “Shop Now”
  • “Sign Up”
  • “Watch Video”
  • “Send Email”
  • “Learn More”

In addition to having your Page CTA redirect to a webpage, you can specify that it sends mobile visitors to your app or a mobile version of your site. Sure, it’s a minor adjustment, but the end result is a better experience for your visitors.

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However you end up configuring your CTA, remember to use tracking links when redirecting people to one of your other properties. That way you can monitor how successful your CTA has been at generating traffic and leads.

5) Customize Your Page’s Tabs

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You can customize your Facebook Page’s tabs at a basic level by navigating to the “More” tab and selecting “Manage Tabs” from the dropdown menu. From there, you’ll be able to re-position the order in which your Page’s tabs appear.

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Clicking that “Add or Remove Tabs” link at the bottom of the Manage Tabs menu will take you to Facebook’s Apps menu, where you can install new apps. Once you install the app — like the Notes app, for example — you’ll be able to feature it as a tab on your Page.

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To create an entirely unique, non-Facebook-app-related tab for your Page, there’s a bit of a development rabbit hole you’ll need to go down. While it’s not impossible to do, it’s definitely tricky.

6) Use Custom Images

Facebook recommends “adding big, beautiful photos and images” to your Facebook Page. In a perfect world, this would entail having a photographer take some high-quality shots — or having a graphic designer create some custom images — that highlight your company’s products, services, branding, culture, and so on.

You could also go the Patagonia Facebook Page route and combine photos with design work, like you see in the examples below.

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Regardless of the types of images you end up using, make sure you stick to Facebook’s recommended image dimensions. Here they are:

  • Profile picture: 180 x 180 pixels (at least)
  • Cover photo: 851 pixels wide x 315 pixels tall (JPG file format / less than 100KB file size.

7) Add Ratings & Reviews to Your Page

Know how some Facebook Pages have those little rating and review widgets with the stars?

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Those will only appear if you’ve designated your Page as a local business during setup and have entered your full business address. If you’re creating a new Page, don’t worry: this option is hard to miss.

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If you already have a Facebook Page and want to make the switch to the local business setting, head to the About tab, choose Page Info, and then hover over the Category section. Click on the little pencil icon that appears and you’ll be able to switch your page to the “Local Businesses” category.

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Assuming you have your business’s full address already entered in, Facebook’s Ratings & Reviews functionality should soon become available on your Page.

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/26267/8-Creative-Ways-to-Customize-Your-Facebook-Business-Page.aspx

7 Ways to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Business

Image centric social networks are rapidly gaining market share due to their high engagement levels.

Everyone apparently loves an enticing photo.7 Ways to Use Pinterest to Market Your Business

Pinterest has become the social media network to watch after growing over 4,000% in the last 6 months.

At an average of 88.3 minutes per visitor it ranks third on engagement behind Facebook and Tumblr and well ahead of LinkedIn (16 minutes) and Google Plus (5.1 minutes).

Pinterest is a social network with a simple premise: Users share photos that they find online by “pinning” them, the equivalent of “liking” a status on Facebook or giving a +1 on Google. Users have to download a toolbar that can be used to pin items from any Web site. The photo and information then appear on your Pinterest board, and users who follow you can see your collection of photos and even re-pin them if they like them. The simplicity of this system does not lend itself to obvious marketing strategies, but there are a number of ways that you can use this growing social network to promote your business:

1. Share Your Products

The most obvious way to use Pinterest for your business is to pin your own products to share with other users. There are a few ways that you can leverage this strategy for the most benefit. Since you can create several boards, it is best to group your pins into product categories for specific customers, such as items for moms, kids, artists, and others. Doing so creates a virtual product catalog of interest to these consumers or for gift ideas for these groups. You can also create a “best of” board, showing off your most popular products.

7 Ways to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Business

2. Add to Gifts

When you create an entry for your pins, you can add a price tag. When you select this option, you can then add a link, pointing back to your Web site. Items added in this way are automatically included in the “gifts” section on Pinterest, which is a virtual catalog of gift ideas. Be sure to select your best photos for pinning, and include an evocative description.

3. Highlight Services

Not every business sells products. Pinterest is still a useful marketing tool for these businesses. If you provide a service, you can create a kind of visual resume with Pinterest. For example, if you design Web sites, you can pin a screenshot of a home page. If you are a graphic designer, you can pin samples of your work. If you offer other services, such as consulting or writing work, you can use Pinterest to share photos that inspire or that share a message about your work. For example, financial consultants could pin to photos that represent client goals, such as financial independence or financing education. Non-profit groups can share photos of the clients they are helping.

Pinterest for selling services

4. Maximize SEO Efforts

When you pin your products, you have an opportunity to maximize your SEO strategy and to drive trafic back to your site. You create quality backlinks whenever you or other users link to your products. When you write descriptions, you can use your targeted keywords, which will attract your target customers and encourage them to visit your site. You can share your pins on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, encouraging more links to your products. All of these efforts will help to drive more traffic to your site and to increase your search-engine ranking.

5. Offer Added Value

Savvy social-networking users can easily identify a profile that is designed primarily to market products and services, and they are likely to avoid these profiles. Offer other users more reasons to visit your profile by offering them added value. Pin to other products and services that will benefit them, but that also complement your own products and services. For example, if you create custom wedding gowns, you can link to other bridal accessories or to beautiful wholesale fabrics. If you are a Web designer, you can link to useful tech gadgets.

6. Offer Exclusive Content

Encourage users to interact with you on Pinterest and to visit your Web site by offering exclusive content. You can hold contests by asking users to re-pin your items for each “entry.” The more items are re-pinned, the more buzz you will build around your products and your site. You can also offer exclusive discounts or other promotions by using a QR code or other tactics.

7. Engage with Users

Pinterest is a social network, so take the time to form relationships with other users and to build a community around your brand. When you see that users have re-pinned your items, comment and thank them. Follow other users, and this will encourage them to follow you in return. Ask for customer feedback by encouraging them to re-pin their favorite products in your catalog. The more you can do to encourage customer interaction, the better relationship you will have with them.

With the number of Pinterest users growing rapidly — as much as 4,000 percent in the last six months — the site is quickly becoming a dominant player in the social-networking field. Finding ways to leverage this site to promote your business is important to your overall marketing strategy.

How to Sell on Pinterest - Infographic http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/02/02/7-ways-to-use-pinterest-to-promote-your-business/

The Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post

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Even though we all are crunched for time, spouting off a mediocre blog post for the sake of hitting a deadline isn’t worth it. Considering our audiences have access to countless other articles, it’s unlikely that they’d settle for a half-baked attempt.

We get it, though: It can be difficult to keep track of all the right blog components when you’ve got a full plate of projects. There’s a lot to remember when crafting a solid blog post … which means there’s also a lot to forget.

To help you stay organized, check out the following infographic from iSpionage. This visual guide points out all the elements of an excellent blog post, making it a great source to reference next time you’re writing a piece.

Anatomy of a Blog Post

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/anatomy-perfect-blog-post

Improve Your Website’s Performance With These Photo Optimization Tips

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Much has been written lately about slow page loading times on news websites. People are increasingly consuming news on mobile devices, often with limited bandwidth.

Earlier this year, Google announced that they now use “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking signal in mobile search results and even adding an extra second or two of load time has been shown to increase abandonment rates on websites.

Sites that aren’t optimizing for performance on all devices and connection speeds are limiting their own audience growth. Every time someone can’t find your site or they’re too impatient to wait for a page to load, you’re losing a potential reader.

Fortunately, the INN Nerds aren’t content to just complain about it, we’re here to help fix it!

Let’s Start with Photos

The average web page now weighs in at just under 2 MB, and images are the main culprit. Photos on the web are essential elements of storytelling and connecting with your audience. But if your photos aren’t optimized, they can also weigh down your web pages and make them slow to load. To improve the overall performance of your website, photo optimization is a great place to start.

What is Photo Optimization

Photo optimization involves compressing the file size of photo using a tool like Adobe Photoshop. We want the highest quality photo with the smallest possible file size. Too much compression can impair the quality of the image. Too little compression can result in a large photo file size which slows the performance of our web page. Optimization is finding the right balance between quality and file size.

Consider these two images:

Photo of Delicate Arch

Not Optimized. Width: 1200px, Height: 800px, File Size: 939 Kilobytes

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park

Optimized. Width: 1200px, Height: 800px, File Size: 107 Kilobytes

The second photo has a file size of less than 12 percent of the first. You can probably see a slight degradation in the photo quality. But most people would not notice the difference between these two on a web page.

On the web we should never use any photo with a file size like 939 Kilobytes. This will slow the loading of the page, especially on slower connections and mobile devices. We want to keep website photos under 100 KB if we can, and much lower for smaller images. For example, here’s the same photo reduced in dimensions:

Delicate Archive in Arches National Park

Not Optimized. Width: 300px, Height: 200px, File Size: 192 Kilobytes

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park

Optimized. Width: 300px, Height: 200px, File Size: 14 Kilobytes

The file size of the second photo is less that 10 percent of the first image, yet most people would see no difference in photo quality. If you have a web page displaying a number of similar-sized images, for example a gallery page or a series of stories with thumbnail images, smaller photo file sizes can add up a huge reduction in page loading time.

How to Optimize Photos in Photoshop

Best practice for optimization is to start with the highest-quality source photo, then resize and compress it for the web. Start by cropping and resizing the photo for the space it will fill on your web page. If the photo will be displayed in a sidebar widget that’s 300px wide, there’s no reason to upload a photo wider than 300px for that space. Reducing the size of the photo by itself will reduce its file size.

After the photo is cropped and sized, in the File menu go to Export -> Save for Web:

Save for Web dialogue box in Photoshop

Here you can select which photo format to export (always use JPEG for photos), and how much compression to apply. Medium is often the optimum setting, but this is a judgement call. If you don’t see a preview of both the Original photo and the JPEG export, click the 2-Up tab at the top. Now you can try different compression settings and see a preview of the results, including the file size:

Optimized image in Save for Web dialogue in Photoshop

Once you’re happy with the image quality and file size reduction, click Save to create your web-optimized photo. This will not affect your original image, which should be archived for possible use in the future..

Tip: If you like keyboard shortcuts, in Photoshop you can launch Save for Web like this:

  • Command + Shift + Option + s (Mac)
  • Control + Shift + Alt + s (Windows)

Optimizing Photos without Photoshop

If you don’t use Photoshop, there are any number of other tools for optimizing website images.

Compressor.io is a free online tool. You can drag and drop a source photo into it, and download a compressed version of the image. Compressor.io doesn’t have any cropping or resizing tools, and you can’t adjust the amount of compression. In our tests, Photoshop does a better job of balancing photo quality and file size. But if you have a photo sized correctly for your website, it’ll do in a pinch.

If you’re comfortable using the command line, there are a number of tools available to you for optimizing different image types.

Your Photo Workflow

If you’ve produced photos for print, you know it’s important to maintain the highest quality photo throughout the process. But with today’s cameras, the highest quality photo is likely to be 5000 pixels wide, and more than 20 Megabytes in file size. Such a photo is great for print, but a problem on the web.

Best practice is to safely store the original photo files in their highest resolution, for the day when you need to resize or reuse them in another context. Use the original photos to crop, size, and export for the web, then keep the originals safe for future use.

https://nerds.inn.org/2015/11/23/improving-website-performance-optimizing-photos/

Instagram For Business

InstagramForBusinessInstagram marketing leverages a popular visual platform to build customer engagement and brand recognition on a massive scale. Instagram is swiftly becoming a respected branding tool, if used the right way, will result in increased customer loyalty and retention for savvy businesses. Why? Because visual content elicits emotions, it tells a story and it connects with people in a way that no other medium can.

Instagram reported a huge growth in their user base from 200 Mil to 300 Mil over a period of 9 months

Instagram reported a huge growth in their user base from 200 Million to 300 million over a period of 9 months, this now puts them ahead of Twitter in the number of active users. To date, there are over 2,500 brands that have adopted Instagram to market their product and services. Brands on Instagram get more engagement per follower than Facebook or Twitter, according to Forrester.   

Forrester Instagram Stats on Brands

Source: Forrester

 To help you think about how you could use Instagram for your content and visual marketing needs, I am sharing five Instagram case studies of businesses that have increased their brand awareness and revenue by using immense creativity to capture more audience’s attention.

Instagram marketing for Business: 5 Stunning Case Studies Illustrate The Social Platforms Branding Power

 Levi’s

Levi's instagram marketing case study

Levi’s is an iconic San Francisco denim clothing brand. Its jeans are the most known and emulated clothing in world. Levis has 359,729 followers on Instagram. Levis wanted to be at the forefront of customers’ minds and increase its brand awareness among audiences.

Levis ran a 9 day campaign in November; they showcased four photos of their customers who were dressed with unique denim fabric and shared photos of memorable times in beautiful outdoor spaces. These photos ads were aimed at 18-34 aged audiences in U.S.

Results were awesome, as Levi’s posts reached 7.4 million viewers who visit Instagram on a regular basis to get motivated by well-crafted images, and they saw a 24% lift in ad recall.

Director of digital Levis Julie Channing said, “Not only were we able to reach a large audience with our ads on Instagram, but the metrics clearly show we engaged with them in a memorable and authentic way. We’re pleased with these results.”

Chobani

chobani case study on Instagram marketing

Chobani is founded by Hamdi Ulukaya in 2005, New York. They are unique in creating their appetizing and nutritive yogurt that is prepared with natural ingredients. The goal of Chobani was to change the outlook of people towards yogurt being great for any meal rather than only for breakfast.

Chobani ran a four week campaign in which they targeted females aged 18-49 in U.S. They posted images of quick breakfasts, a savory snack and indulgent dessert images that can be made with yogurt.

Chobani reached 4 million users in U.S., 22% lift in recall, 7% lift in people who used Chobani anytime in a day.

Jessica Lauria, Director of Brand Communications Chobani said “Instagram is a great platform for Chobani. It allows us to show how people actually use our product and inspires new ways to savor. This campaign showcased delicious creations and different times of day, extending our existing presence of real, beautiful imagery to new audiences and effectively changing people’s perceptions about enjoying Chobani throughout the day.”

Ben and Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s is an American ice-cream company founBen and Jerry's Instagram marketing case studyded in 1978. Ben & Jerry’s wanted to drive brand awareness for the creative and fun-loving brand and its new flavor launch: “Scotchy Scotch Scotch”.

Ben & Jerry’s , one of the first brands to join Instagram in 2011, ran an eight day campaign that included four photos of ice-cream in a cartoon, bucket and cone to tell its visual story. Photo ads were targeted to users among 18-35 age in the U.S. It managed the frequency of ads so that users were able to see Ben & Jerry’s ad only three times on average.

Ben & Jerry’s reached 9.8 million people in the U.S., saw 33% lift in ad recall and 17% more people became aware of its new flavor launch.

Mike Hayes, Digital Marketing Manager of Ben & Jerry’s said, “Since its launch, Instagram has provided us with an amazing platform to connect with our fans and tell our story visually. Ads on Instagram let us reach and engage with more fans about our flavors, fun and values.0

You Fresh Naturals

 You Fresh Naturals Instagram marketing case study You Fresh natural is a nut gourmet butter company that focuses on natural, gluten-free, and vegan products. It has 83,530 followers on Instagram. The goal of You fresh Natural was to create healthy treats for all kinds of palettes. It also wanted to increase brand awareness and conversion sales.

Jay, CEO of You Fresh Naturals, knew that an Instagram account was needed to achieve its goal. The company used hashtags, creative campaigns, Tagging Friends and Affiliate Selling with its Instagram friends.

The company earned $34,000 in one month, out of which $10,000 were earned only by affiliate selling. It made $7,827 in one week, found 1,980 new customers and made $1,290 per sale with Instagram.

CEO Jay Lawrence said, “Instagram is modern. The scroll function means it’s in your face. With Instagram, I’ll literarily get 20 comments in two minutes. It’s the best platform I’ve ever used to attract customers to my products. I knew Instagram comment selling would work. People love the impulsive side. If I put a post of an order for two jars, I would get a hundred comments in 40 minutes.”

Ikea
ikea instagram marketing case study

One of the pioneers in the selling and designing of ready to assemble furniture and home accessories, Ikea was started 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad in Sweden. Ikea has its presence in more than 40 countries, and it owns more than 340 stores

Ikea wanted to target a huge customer base of people who are young and constantly on the move. In order to promote their new 2014 PS collections, Ikea teamed up with the Moscow based agency Instinct to create a unique campaign on Instagram. It created an account within Instagram to showcase its new 2014 PS collection. The Instagram account, ikea_ps_2014, functions just like a regular website. It has 12 image tabs displaying the different product categories, like a virtual catalog.

It included a call to action in its timeline to generate a pro-active feeling in its client base. The initial numbers are encouraging, with the account having gathered more than 12,000 followers since the promotion started in June.

As you can see from the examples above, each company had a goal in mind and a strategy for achieving it with Instagram. Make sure you clearly identify your goal and then develop the right visual marketing strategy to promote it.

http://www.jolynnoblak.com/instagram-for-business-5-stunning-case-studies-illustrate-the-social-platforms-branding-power/

 

Guide to Creating Visual Content for Social Media

Fields of flowers in the mountainsPosting visual content is one of the most important things you can do to improve your social media strategy.

A successful social strategy will often include photos, videos, and screenshots of infographics or other graphs.
 
But posting visual content for the sake of posting visual content isn’t the best way to optimize your presence on social media. It’s important that your visual content be compelling, relevant, and correctly formatted.
 
To help you create visual content your followers will love, QuickSprout created the infographic below. It’ll teach you the major types of visual content, the best tools you can use to create original visuals, and tips on creating the most compelling, aesthetically pleasing designs.
 
creating-visually-appealing-content-infographic
 
 

10 Cool Things to Do on Pinterest for Business

pinterest button

While social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are great for sharing content, some businesses can benefit more by showing their visual sides on Pinterest.

The visual bookmarking site first began as a tool used mainly by women, but all that has changed. Now, both young and old, suburbanites and city-dwellers, males and females can all be found browsing boards and adding pins.

Today, more than 30 percent of Pinterest users are men, and 45 percent of all users are from outside the U.S. They’re not just pinning recipes and gowns anymore, either.

Below are cool things to do on Pinterest for business that will ensure your business is discovered by millions of Pinterest users who are looking to buy, plan, and do almost anything.

Verify Your Business Account

This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people miss this critical step. As a business, you need to sign-up for a Pinterest for Business account. Verifying your business website lets your users know that your account is official.

To verify your website, go to Pinterest settings and click “confirm website.” Check out these steps if you need help. Once your business is verified, you will be given full access to Pinterest business analytics, rich pins and promoted posts.

The best part about verifying your Pinterest for Business account is that when someone shares anything from your website, the pin automatically gets tagged with your logo. This is just a simple step that will see users market your products for you.

Add a “Pin It” Button

One easy way of letting your prospective customers know about your presence and products on the social bookmarking site is to add a Pinterest button. The site has a variety of choices available on their Goodies page; find one that appeals to you.

Adding a Pin It button encourages your readers and customers to pin your products on Pinterest and this increases your business visibility.

Write Strong Pin Captions

Many Pinterest users search the platform for information and as a result, pins that provide the most relevant and valuable information perform better on the site. Businesses should include more information on their products so as to gain more exposure for their brand and ultimately drive sales.

Keep in mind that many people now browse on a mobile device and for Pinterest users using Android phones or iPhone they will only be able to see up to four lines of text for your description. Therefore, it is important that you write strong captions that will get their attention.

Pin a Variety of Subjects

Your followers have a wide variety of interests, so why only present them with a few subjects? Pin a variety of subjects and not just what you have on your business. Pinterest did this with its Things to Try in 2015 post. They encouraged Pinners to create their own boards and share across other social media sites such as Facebook.

Pin Others’ Pins

Did you know that more than 80 percent of all Pinterest pins are re-pinned? Before you re-pin, you first need to find out what appeals to your audience. What moves them? What interests them? What do they want to learn more about?

Find and re-pin pins with the desired topics and you will be seen as an expert in your industry.

Pin Your Own Content

While pinning others’ pins, it is important that you also pin some of your original content. Always remember, you want your users to find out more about your business, services and products.

Your followers want to see your original content and this could include new ideas, services and innovations that relate to your business.

For good return on investment, consistently pin content that links back to your email opt-in page, website or blog, and to your online catalog or product page. It’s a total buzz kill when someone clicks on your pin only to find that it’s a dead end.

Clearly State Product or Service Price

Remember to include your service or product price when pinning as it makes it easy for users to immediately tell how much something costs. You could take this further by using Rich Pins that allow for inclusion of extra info like availability of the item or changes in price.

If you, for instance, reduce the price of a product, Pinterest automatically emails anyone who had pinned the products, letting him or her know of the cut. This, in turn, directs more visits to your Pinterest account, blog or website, and may even end up in some purchases. You will have to add some code to your website for this function and Pinterest has all the details to help you.

Consider Using Buyable Pins

Pinterest upgraded its Pins last year, providing its users with Buyable Pins. The “Buy It” pins appear next to the “Pin It” button and once you click it you will be checked out. Checkout happens within the social bookmarking site or within the Pinterest app for mobile shoppers. Pinterest does not take any commissions from the sales.

Expand Your Reach With Group Boards

To be able to fully harness the marketing power of Pinterest, you need to stop looking at it only as a place for competition but also as a place where you can grow together with other sellers. Join forces and audiences by creating group boards. This allows multiple sellers to contribute content so users are always assured of fresh, interesting pins.

Create your own group board or join existing ones that are already doing well. Find boards that attract your target customers and then reach out to the owner and ask if you can contribute.

Measure Pin Success With Analytics

Did you know that Pinterest drives more traffic than Reddit, LinkedIn and Twitter combined? Do you know how much traffic your blog or website gets from it? Pinterest Analytics can tell you. You can also easily tell the pins and boards that are getting the most attention from the clicks and re-pins they are getting.

http://smallbiztrends.com/2016/01/cool-things-to-do-on-pinterest-for-business.html

11 Ways to Use Images on Social Media

One of the interesting developments in social media over the past few years is the rise of visual aspects of social sharing.

Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine are three examples of visual-based content sharing. Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and even LinkedIn have all expanded their image-based features in recent times. Clearly, the bar has been raised for visual content. It’s important to make sure you have a plan for visual content and best practices for sharing it. And you don’t have to be a professional designer or photographer. Here are 10 easy ways to impress prospects, customers, fans, and followers with images: 1. Make Sure Every Blog Post has an Image  Adding one image to a blog post makes your blog much more visually exciting. If you don’t have internal images to use, buy stock images from places like Shutterstock or iStock (so you don’t have to worry about copyright infringement issues). 2. Add Twitter Card Capability to your Blog  A little work by your tech team can add Twitter cards to your site, so that when someone shares content it will also include a thumbnail image and content excerpt. This automatically adds a visual element to every tweet done from your blog. 3. Use Warm Colors in Images  Our own tests show that warm colors (yellow, orange, red, bright green, aqua blue) attract more attention than drab colors like gray, steel blue, or brown. It all has to do with the psychology of color. 4. Use Minimalist or Uncluttered Images  Images with a lot of detail are hard to see when scaled down to a small thumbnail on Facebook. A highly detailed image can become unrecognizable at smaller sizes, so make sure the subject of an image is large and uncluttered. 5. Use Horizontal Images  Vertical images may get cut off when shared on social sites. It’s best to use horizontal images whenever possible. A 4:3 ratio is good, (e.g., 800 x 600 pixels). 6. Keep Infographics Short  Infographics can be interesting content, but when creating infographics, keep them short and horizontal, too, if possible. Most infographics are really long, and when shared on social media become unrecognizable as thumbnails. Plus long vertical infographics don’t fit well in Pinterest and other visual-sharing sites. 7. Use Funny Images on Occasion  Funny images such as cartoons, Someecards or meme images of icons like Grumpy Cat from sites like memegenerator.net add a light and humorous touch to your social sharing. Most businesses will want to avoid off-color humor, snarky humor, or anything that makes fun of certain classes of people. Stick to “business humor,” as most of the time it is safer. 8. Use Selfies (with restraint)  Selfies are fun, and the occasional selfie of the business owner or other staff or the company mascot pet can humanize your business. Use them sparingly, however, as studies show that most people follow brands on social sites for discounts, special offers, and relevant information they can use. 9. Test your Own Social-Sharing Buttons  Most blogs have buttons to share on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites. But have you tried them out recently to see what your shares look like? Sometimes you have to tweak those buttons to pull the correct images and display them properly. 10. Find some professional graphics talent  If you are not very good with Photoshop or another graphics program, and don’t have anyone in house, find a freelancer who accepts quick, small projects. Fiverr is perfect for this. Then have graphics created professionally on occasion to use on social media. 11. Create knockout presentations and share them  PowerPoint presentations can be shared on sites like SlideShare or even transformed into YouTube videos. So next time you give a talk or present to a client, repurpose that presentation and turn it into additional shareable content.

http://www.inc.com/partners/comcast/11-ways-to-use-images-on-social-media.html