August 2014

Social Media tip Friday

Did you know that self-explanatory, stand alone images in your Facebook posts perform better than those that need clarification in the accompanying description. In general, if your image needs a caption, it’s not going to be as effective.

Posting on Social Media

socialmediaquestionsIn this day and age, it seems like everyone is on some form of social media. To expand your brand and reach out to a broad audience, consider engaging in social media. A social media marketing campaign can do wonders for your business, but you won’t know unless you put yourself (and your business) out there! For some social media basics, here are a few tips and suggestions to get you started. Keep track as your audience builds and adjust accordingly.

Facebook: Facebook is a large network, but users often scroll through their feeds quickly. However, when they do click on articles, people generally do so because they want to read the article thoroughly. This is a great way to sharevaluable content, especially content that links directly to your site. However, don’t post too often – people can get frustrated or annoyed by multiple posts.

Recommendation: Post 3-10 times a week. Aim for quality content vs. quantity.

Twitter: Twitter has a high volume of users, so you can share more here because of the rapid paced nature of the website. Share content that you find interesting and is relevant to your business. It doesn’t have to link directly back to your site. In fact, most users who follow your company twitter page will want to see lots of interesting sources you curate, instead of constantly redirecting them to your website. That can be anything from quotes to pictures to articles online.

Recommendation: Post 2-5 times a day. Aim for quantity content vs. quality.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a professional Facebook. Make sure you don’t post too much, but when you do post, share content about your business and facts or tips for your industry.

Recommendation: Post 2-5 times a week. Use more formal and technical content.

Google+: Google+, though not often talked about, can be a valuable social media platform. Posting more on Google+ provides more content for Google (the search engine) to link to, which may boost your Google search ranking.

Recommendation: Post 3-10 times a week. Use relevant keywords to increase your standing in a Google search.

Pinterest: Pinterest is a relatively new, high volume network. Content is shared via pins, images which users can scroll through in different categories and then click on to browse the source content. Pinterest has a lot of pins, so be sure to pin content that has an interesting image attached to it. Like Twitter, feel free to post interesting material relating to your business, or promote yourself! Use keywords when pinning, and most importantly, link back to your site!

Recommendation: Pin 5-10 times a day. Use large, high quality images to get noticed in the Pinterest feed.

So there you have it, a quick guide to posting on social media! Not all platforms may be suitable for your business, and it’s certainly hard to maintain various profiles all at once. Some companies even hire social media coordinators to handle all the work that comes with maintaining a social media presence! To start, I suggest picking one or two outlets and focus on building an audience. With enough time and investment, your brand will grow online and strengthen your overall business. Best of luck!

Infographics

what-is-an-infographicLast week’s blog post covered the use of photos in projects, such as websites or blogs. Now I’d like to introduce you to another type of visual media that can help make your project more engaging: infographics. Infographics, like photos, help draw in readers by presenting information in a visually appealing manner. Infographics are almost like pieces of art; a truly creative piece will attract positive attention. So if you have a lot of data or research to present to your readers, an infographic might be the way to go. After all, reading through chunks of numbers and statistics can be quite dreary. Infographics will help keep your readers engaged and make your information more accessible.

Whether you or a graphic designer will be producing your final infographic, there are some steps you can take and questions to ask in order to maximize your infographic’s success.

  1. Brainstorm Purpose: Why are you creating this infographic? Who is your target audience? How much data do you have, and how much do you want to include? Are you persuading or informing? Are there any central design elements or a theme you would like to include?
  2. Data Visualization: What sort of data visualization techniques will you use? Diagrams are good for showing chronological changes or relationships. Maps are good for showing locations or comparing geography of data. Charts are good for showing changes over time and organizational processes. Tables are good for showing direct relationships over a large data set.
  3. Design: In choosing design elements, decide how much text vs. data visualization you want on your infographic. Choose a set of fonts and a color scheme to keep your infographic consistent. Play around with organization of information. Look at other infographics to get a sense of what you might want in your own infographic. A good place to start is Dailygraphic.com. It’s a great website with new infographics on a range of topics published every day. Remember, infographics may have to go through several iterations before they look perfect! Don’t be afraid to scrap designs in order to achieve your final vision.

Finally, remember that your infographic has a purpose. It should have beginning, middle and end in order to illustrate a point. Your data should also be reliable; double check your sources before creating your infographic in order to boost its credibility! If used properly, a well-designed infographic can be a serious boost to your website. So don’t be afraid to get creative with your data. Engage and educate readers with a visually appealing infographic (and a few pictures too!).