“You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (PR). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free.” –David Meerman Scott, Best-Selling Author & Speaker.

There are many avenues available with social media that individuals can earn attention with for free! Using Twitter, you can create something interesting and valuable with just 280 characters. With viral tweets popping up from Donald Trump to Harry Styles, these 280 characters can greatly advance your brand’s message if you follow a few guidelines including adding visual content i.e. photographs, keeping your brand consistent, and interacting with other Twitter users.

Tweets can link to any web content (blog post, website page, PDF, document, etc.) however, the most effective tool on Twitter is visual content. Photographs, GIFs or videos can have the most impact on your audience. If a picture is worth a thousand words, adding an image to a tweet greatly expands what you can share far beyond the 280-character limit for tweets. A 2017 marketing survey done by Vengage found that 36% of marketers predicted that they would spend over 31% of their marketing budgets just on visual content. If this doesn’t demonstrate the importance of visual content, according to Brain Rules, studies also show that when people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. When trying to get your brand’s message out through Twitter,  including a visual can increase the effectiveness and reach exponentially.

Brand consistency is key to your twitter account. It is important that your Twitter presence have the same look and feel as your other online tools. Choose an account name and images consistent with your other online presences and your brand. You can create consistent content by maintaining a consistent palette, by evoking a feeling with filters, or claim your business’s image with text layers. Business blogs suggest placing your business’s name or Twitter handle on your media to ensure that potential customers can always trace their steps back to you. This way your media is always consistent with your brand’s message.

The most important tip for Twitter is to use it effectively! Hootesuite has several suggestions on how to start talking to impact your brand most. It is suggested that when first following other twitter users it is important to be selective because when you follow another Twitter user, you subscribe to read what they share. Follow other businesses in the industry, potential clients, and other businesses in the area. From here, Hootsuite suggests several tweets to be on the lookout for whether in hashtags or the tweets themselves. These include but are not limited to: your brand’s name, your brand’s products name, your competitors, industry buzzwords, brand slogans, your CEO or public representative’s name, and campaign names or keywords. By being on the lookout for these characters you can build a strong twitter presence with effective messaging.

Although 280 characters may not seem like a lot, think of the impact of viral tweets you have seen before. If Harry Styles can have an impact with 280 words, so can you!

When you log in to your social media, what do you see? It often seems as if most of the content on your news feed includes pictures of food, political opinions, and your Great Nonna’s latest birthday congratulatory posts! Besides these most informative personal updates, social media can be a key tool in your business’s marketing strategy.

6a00d8341c59be53ef017c31f698a2970b-500wiSocial Media Platforms have become the norm for marketers nowadays, but what exactly are the most popular Social Media Platforms? In the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report Stelzner explains how Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were the top three platforms used by marketers with Facebook leading the pack by a long shot. More than two-thirds of marketers (67%) chose Facebook as their most important platform, followed by LinkedIn (12%), Instagram (10%) and then Twitter (5%). Using the many available social media platforms can benefit your business in more than one way as Seltzer explains.

It may be hard to determine whether your Social Media Posts are really making a direct difference on your business, but the results have been proven on a larger scale. Stelzner reports that Marketers using social media for more than 1 year have reported: improved sales, increased exposure, growing business partnerships, generating leads, increased traffic, providing marketplace insights, developing loyal fans and increased thought leadership. Of these benefits a significant 87% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their business with increased traffic being the second major benefit. With all of these benefits clearly shown in the grand scale and Social Media being a free platform why not use it to its fullest advantage?

It is important to note that social media is more beneficial for B2B businesses in particular. In terms of growing business partnerships and marketplace insight B2B businesses can gain information that is extremely valuable.  B2B marketers are much more likely to use blogging (67%) when compared to B2C marketers (56%) as well. The difference is that these businesses can look at what is trending on social media platforms and learn from these trends and apply them to their business. Social media can also inform businesses on how to approach other businesses by getting a look at their branding.

With all of these benefits, how do you know what content will benefit you the most? In this case it is best to go with the trends. Seltzer claims that a large percentage (80%) of businesses use visual assets in their social media marketing and in second place was video (63%). Live video is also gaining wider adoption at 35%. Visual assets provide an easy way for other businesses to recognize your brand and provide an easy insight into their business.

With all of these benefits you have to think to yourself, when did you last post?

 

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“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”-Ansel Adams

Scrolling through Instagram, it is quite easy to tell the difference between a professional photograph and one taken on the newest iPhone. Even with the newest portrait mode, there is truly no comparison to a professional photographer . Hiring a professional photographer can benefit your business in several ways.

As the saying goes “A picture is worth a thousand words” and having a professional photographer can clearly relay the truth of who your brand is. With the professionalism of the photographs your brand can become immediately desirable. According to MDG Advertising, 67% of online shoppers rated high quality images as being “very important” to their purchase decision, which was slightly more than “product specific information”, “long descriptions”, and “reviews & ratings”. In addition, As Small Business BC mentions, having a professional photographer tells potential clients that you are operating with a level of professionalism and dedication to quality. Your professional message through photography can make your brand that much more appealing!

The correlation between images and social media has been examined and posts with photos have clearly higher levels of social engagement than other types of posts. In this way having professional photos can help spread your brand’s message.  As the infographic explains above, total online views are directly related to the number of multimedia elements within; therefore, having a cache of professionally taken photos can create free publicity for your business and have the added benefit of building effective brand recognition.

So when you are choosing between using stock images, doing it yourself, or hiring the real pros, go with the pros. In comparison to stock photos when Marketing Experiments tested a real photo of their client against their top performing stock photo, they found that nearly 35% of visitors would be more likely to sign up when they saw the real deal. Although the outright cost of hiring a professional photographer may seem daunting, the benefits are certainly worth more than the price!