Resource Centre

A carefully curated collection of articles, books, tools and galleries.

Topics for 2017 include visual trends, graphic design, strategy, creativity and inspiration; web design, development and seo; email marketing and copywriting; marketing, advertising and social media. If you have a resource you'd like us to consider adding to the list, email it to us or if you're interested in adding a resources module like this to your website, let us know.

 

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3 Things Kate Hudson’s Startup Can Teach you about Facebook Ads that Convert

By 

So you’re a new eCommerce owner. One of the first things you’re likely doing is driving sales to your site through the use of Facebook Ads. Your budget is $10 to $20 per day and your ads average .20 to .30 cents per click with 30-80 people coming over to your site. You know those are good metrics, but there’s just this one thing: they don’t convert. 

When this happens, you hit a wall: is this campaign worth it or is it a waste of time?

I’ll show you 3 tweaks to get over that wall and finally increase your conversion with Facebook Ads.

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Read the article at growthhackerkit.com

The Ultimate DIY Guide to Beautiful Product Photography

If there’s one thing that’s true when it comes to ecommerce, it's that the perceived value of your products and the trustworthiness of your business is often judged by the quality of your web design. And a big part of having an attractive website these days also means having high-quality, beautiful product photography.

But it's not just aesthetics we're talking about. Showcasing your products with high-quality images can also be the winning difference between a conversion and no sale at all. This is particularly true if you’re also distributing your products on marketplace sites like Amazon, where they are displayed alongside those of your competitors, or selling on visual platforms like Pinterest.

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Read the article at shopify.ca

5 Biggest Ways Social Media Will Change in 2016
 
Death and taxes used to be the only two things we could all rely on. Now we can add a third: that social media will roll out all sorts of weird changes. Entrepreneurs will then scratch their heads, wonder what this is all about, and finally jump on the bandwagon and try to catch up.
 

So before you scratch your heads, here's a heads-up. Five major changes are currently rumbling away in social media, and they're going to break out in 2016. You need to be ready for them.

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Read the article on inc.com

Vendeve

The referral network  for women entrepreneurs.

Meet branding and marketing experts who deeply understand your target customer and can help you build a magnetic, profitable, soul-stirring business… finally.

Visit the site

When is the Best Time to Send Your Email Marketing Campaign?

There’s nothing we’d love more than to tell you a magic time and day that would give you the absolute best results for your email campaign.

But while we can’t give you exactly that, we do have more than enough data and proven best practices to offer you something more satisfying than the generic ‘it depends’ answer.

Use these 5 steps to find the best send time and day for your business:

1. Look at the trends

Industry trends are a great starting point when you’re first thinking about the best time to send your email. At Constant Contact, we regularly analyze customer email results to collect industry-specific data to help you know where you stand.

In addition to updating you on the average open, click-through, and bounce rateeach month, we also have this helpful chart that identifies prime times to send an email based on general trends by industry.

Based on the data, a clear trend across many industries is the highest open rates often occur early in the week. Monday morning is the optimal time for many different industries — which makes sense as many of your subscribers will approach the beginning of a week refreshed and engaged after the weekend.

Tip: Try sending out your next email newsletter early Monday morning before your subscribers’ weeks fill up with plans and commitments.

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Read the article at blogs.constantcontact.com

Best Times to Publish Content for Social Media Engagement

By 

At AddThis, we’re constantly analyzing data from the 1.9B unique users we see per month across our network of over 15MM websites to learn how people are engaging with content. Last December, we published the best times to post on social media during the winter holidays. That post, as well as a similar one we did earlier that year, proved so popular that we’re doing it again.

Knowing when your users are active on social networks is useful, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. We analyzed data in both the United States (US) and in the United Kingdom (UK) to search for peak social engagement times – when users were most likely to click and share content – on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. These findings are meant to help website owners get an idea of the best times to publish new content to maximize engagement on social media.

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Read the article at add this.com

Tips, Tricks & Best Practices to Increase Twitter Engagement

With over 250 million active users, Twitter is here to stay. And for good reason — it’s an extremely effective method for communicating with your user base. AddThis data shows that Twitter users shared over 182 million pieces of content in 2014 — and are on track to more than double that in 2015, with nearly 107 million shares to date. However, it’s more than just a “build it and they shall come” platform.

We often get asked, “What’s the best way to increase engagement on Twitter?” In this post, we’ll share some tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way to help you with just that.

Mastering the Twitter Count: You Don’t Need 140 Characters

In your Twitter bio use the full 160 characters allotted. It’ll not only help Twitter users to find you, but also learn more about you. Make sure your bio is fully optimized and includes hashtags.

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Read the article at addthis.com

How to Build a Social Media Marketing Strategy for Your Business

With hundreds of active social networks, it can be tough to know where you should start when it comes to marketing a business or building an online community. To help you get a better understanding of each network, and how you can use them for your business, we put together a quick rundown on some of the top sites and services for your to build out your social media marketing strategy.

Facebook

  • Number of users: Facebook recently reported 1.49 monthly billion users with Asia accounting for 28%, Europe for 24%, USA and Canada for 17% and the rest of the world for 30% of those users.
  • How your visitors use it: Facebook is the largest platform for sharing worldwide, and when it comes to brands, users can share products and content that resonates with them. The social media platform also offers brand pages where users can interact with and review brands based on their experiences.
  • What you can do: Long-form content – with no character or word limit – gets the most Facebook shares and likes, so start writing! Encourage your fans to post reviews or stories about their experiences with your site on your brand page. Facebook is also a great platform to offer insider tips, troubleshooting ideas, meetup and event invites, and promotional offers.

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Read the article at add this.com

2015 Facebook Image Size Guide

Ever tried using photos or graphics on your Facebook page? It can be frustrating. So here's an up-to-date, unofficial guide to what's what, what's where, and how big.

In its early days, Facebook was all about text and links. But as it has grown up, images have become more and more important. They’re now more important for design and identity on the user interface, like your profile picture or cover photo. And it’s a great way to share photos in galleries and on the timeline. Facebook photos are now a huge part of the site’s appeal. The site still isn’t as photographer-friendly as Google+, but it’s getting better.

Working out what image sizes to use on Facebook isn’t as easy as it could be and involves some wrangling to get the result you want. Each type of image on a page, profile, and timeline has its own size and quirks. And Facebook never has been very good about making its help pages easy to find.

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Read the article at havecamerawilltravel.com

How mobile photography has shifted what pics your customers want to see (and 5 on-trend tips)

by Rebecca Swift

Today we’re in an all-consuming visual interchange, where visuals rule as the language of the 21st century. Photos, graphics and videos are now integral to our daily life, led by smartphones, and fueled by the changing way we consume and interact with media.

The main catalysts for change have come through social sites and apps such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram where consumers spare time endlessly scrolling and browsing photos and videos.

As a result, expectations for how images look has shifted, and consumers now seek out authenticity in images, by way of photos that feel real, relatable and regional.

Brands and content marketers globally are taking note. Campaigns are becoming more authentic and real, “street casting” is used more often (as opposed to hiring professional models) and more photographers are shooting with a reportage-style candid aesthetic.

What does this mean for brand imagery?

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Read the article at istockphoto.com

What We Learned By Looking at 90 Days Worth of Tweets

By 

We’re now a couple of weeks into Q2 and some of us on the marketing team at AddThis are checking in to see what’s working and what’s not when it comes to our social media strategy.

Because we’re seeing great engagement on Twitter, we decided to take a closer look at our tweets to see if we could find trends in what was getting the most attention. Here are the 3 lessons we learned (or had reinforced) from looking at our past 90 days worth of tweets...

 

 

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Read the article at addthis.com

6 Reasons Why Women are Driving Social Media Growth

Do you know the 6 reasons why women are driving social media growth? If not, then keep reading and you soon will! 

For some readers this information may be a surprise while for others it will meet expectations; however there are some very interesting facts anyone involved with marketing should be aware of. 

Women and Social Media 

We crunched the numbers and reviewed the research and the results are in; women are driving social media growth and apparently have been for the past few years.

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Read the article at loungelizard.com

How to take great photos for your product Pins

by Carolyn Kao

People use Pinterest to discover creative ideas and plan their futures every day. This is a huge opportunity for businesses because people need your inspiration, products and services to make their plans a reality.

Your business can Pin products, inspire Pinners and drive clicks to your website. A strong image can play a large role in driving Pin engagement. If your business website already has product images, you can start creating Pins directly from your site with our Pin It button for browsers.

Don’t have high resolution product images on your website just yet? This blog post will cover 3 simple tips for taking great product shots and teach you how to upload images to create Pins for your business.

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Read the article at business.pinterest.com

50 Of The Most Beautiful Twitter Banners Of 2015 So Far

By 

Do you like free stuff? I think the better question is, who doesn’t like free stuff?

The next question: do you realize you have a plethora of free advertisement right at your fingertips? Social media gives you the option to plaster your brand all over your page and completely customize your look. You have profile pictures, headers, and banners galore, but are you utilizing them to their full potential?

Let’s talk Twitter, and how you can customize your banner to best suit your brand and get the most bang for your (free) buck.

See the gallery at designschool.canva.com

How We Doubled Our Twitter Engagement Rate

By Christian Brink

Keeping up with social media is a 24-hour grind. And I don’t just mean posting and responding to followers, I mean keeping up with changes to the actual platform, learning how to get the most out of it, and modifying your strategy accordingly.

Facebook is a great example. Posting images used to be the leading way to get more reach, but now that’s changed and the recommended style is link-share posts. In fact, some studies even suggest that text-based posts are now getting more reach than photos!

Well, similar to what we try to do with Facebook, we tweaked our strategies on Twitter and found something that clicked. Here are three ways we recently doubled our engagement rate.Engagement Rate as defined by Twitter is the number of clicks, retweets, replies, follows and favorites divided by the total number of impressions.

 

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Read the article at addthis.com

Google Plans to Index Tweets in Real Time: How This Could Impact Your SEO

Written by Eric Enge | @stonetemple

Years ago, it was commonplace to find real-time tweets in Google Search results. Twitter and Google had inked a deal that gave the search giant access to the social network's data stream. In turn, Google would display tweets in search results in real time. But that agreement expired, and in the middle of 2011, Google lost access to Twitter's data stream

Now, nearly four years later, the gang's back together. Recently, Google and Twitter announced that they are working together again to index tweets as soon as they are posted.

How should a marketer to react to this news? In this post, I will focus on how you can benefit from the new deal between Google and Twitter. You will need to be active on Twitter to obtain these benefits, but I will include some tips for those of you who are just getting started -- you can still benefit from this development if you're doing the right things. The good news is that it will take some time for Google to implement changes based on the new data they will be getting from Twitter, so you have some time to get ready. But the sooner you get started, the better.

So let's dive into what the deal actually is and learn how you can take advantage of it.

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Read the article at blog.hubspot.com

5 Beginner Twitter Tips for Businesses

These five beginner Twitter tips will set you on the right track to creating a meaningful presence on the network. Bookmark this page to help you keep the engagement going when your audience isn’t actively on your site.

1. Set Up Your Profile

Of course you’ll need a Twitter profile if you’re going to start building a community there, but when we say “set up your profile,” we really mean it. Leave no bio blank, no picture unloaded, no Twitter stream empty. Completely fill out your profile so the new people you start engaging with know exactly who you are—which is a foundation for engaging with you. Social Media Examiner has a great post that goes over the different ways you can maximize your Twitter profile for mobile users.

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Read the article at addthis.com

Free Best Practices e-Book: Designing a Marketing Email That Works

Tips for designing marketing emails that get opened and help your business grow

First impressions matter.

And when someone opens your marketing email for the first time, what they see is going to determine what they do next.

Chances are you’ll want them to read your email and take a next step. Maybe you want them to visit your website, register for an event, or buy something.

This is where a beautiful, professional-looking email designed to drive action is crucial and that’s why we made a guide dedicated to helping you make the right impression with every email you send.

We’ll take you through the reasons email subscribers delete emails and how you can encourage people to take those next steps.

In this guide, you will find... 
 

  • The Reasons Readers Trash Your Emails

  • Email Design in Action

  • 5 Simple Tips for Mobile-Friendly Emails

See More

Download for free from batemandesigngroup.com

Free Best Practices e-Book: Turn Your Social Buzz into a Loud Roar

10 Strategies for Social Media Marketing Success

In the evolving world of social media marketing, it can be hard for a time-starved small business or organization to keep pace and know what to do when it comes to connecting with customers and members on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Yelp.

While there’s no “one-size fits all” approach, we’ve assembled 10 best practices for social media marketing success that will help your business or organization, whether you’re just getting started or trying to take your efforts to the next level.

In this guide, you will find these ten strategies explained... 
 

  1. Have a Goal

  2. Know Who You Are and Portray Yourself Consistently

  3. Be Where Your Customers/Members Are

  4. Tell Your Customers and Members Where You Are

  5. Don’t Just Join Conversations. Add Value to Them

  6. Be Relevant

  7. Be Engaging

  8. Be Active

  9. Respond in a Timely Manner

  10. Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

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Download for free from batemandesigngroup.com

Your 2015 Pinterest resolutions

It’s the new year, and we want your business to accomplish big things. Invest more in Pinterest to help you achieve your goals, whether that’s getting more site traffic and sales or engaging with a new audience.

To help you start the year off right, we came up a few resolutions for businesses.

This year, resolve to:

  1. Have a specific Pinterest goal. Decide what you want to focus on this year. More sales? Engagement with your content? Traffic? Followers? While Pinterest is useful for all of those things, it’s always good to focus on what’s most important to your business right now. Track metrics using Pinterest Analytics every week so you can measure how you’re doing.

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Read the article at business.pinterest.com

2015 Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet and Image Tricks [Infographic]

Social media trends are hard to predict.

You never know which social platforms will take off in a big way, which won’t, or what changes popular networks will make in the months ahead.

One of the biggest trends we’ve seen in the past year is the importance of visual content.

In 2014, visual-centric social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram continued to see their user count and engagement rate skyrocket.

Today, 70 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram daily and 50 percent of Pinterest’s 30 billion pins were added in the last six months.

Great visuals have become a crucial aspect of online marketing. In fact, 63 percent of social media is made up of images!

How can you create the great images for your business’s social channels?

One of the most important things you can do is keep track of the optimal photo dimensions for all the social media channels you use.

Last year, we created a cheat sheet to help you determine the right dimensions to use when sharing images on social media. Because many of these recommended dimensions have since changed, we updated the cheat sheet for 2015.

We also pulled together some of our favorite tricks for using images on each of the top social networks.

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See the infographic at blogs.constantcontact.com

How to Supercharge Your Content in 2015

by Sarah Maloy

Content marketing was 2014's biggest buzzword, but 2015 will be all about how brands can make that content strategic and make it start working for them. 

As you start to look at your content strategy for the new year, take a look at these 5 tips and learn about some of the tools and ideas that will help you supercharge your content in 2015. 

1. Identify Your Brand Values

Every piece of content you create doesn't have to (and shouldn't) be about you. By creating a content mission statement, list of brand values, or editorial guideline, you'll have a solid foundation for which topics fit with your brand.

From there, you can expand beyond just talking about your brand, and start to explore stories that resonate with your audience and show what your company or organization is all about. (To learn more about the brands that are doing this well, check out the "Stop Talking About Yourself" webcast we hosted with AdAge and Contently.)

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Read Article at shutterstock.com

5 Pinterest Tips for Beginners

A fresh new year can mean a fresh new start in your social media strategy. Get off on the right foot with this simple guide containing 5 tips to help you start growing your Pinterest audience effectively.

1. Invest Heavily in Images

This isn’t to say you need to find a huge budget to buy stock photos all the time. Instead, small and large-budgets can both benefit from taking great snazzy photos from their smartphone to help tell their story. Having beautiful photos on your website pages is the #1 thing that’s going to get Pinterest users back onto your site. (Remember you can’t pin anything without an image, and people love sharing good images and photos.) A successful Pinterest strategy starts here.

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Read article at addthis.com

2014 Year in Review [Infographic]: How Social Media Fueled Social Action

Social media had a big year in social action. Huge world sports events like the Sochi Olympics and World Cup took place and garnered nearly 5 million shares on our network. We also saw other stories capture worldwide attention and spur online engagement. Stories like the Ferguson/Michael Brown case and the Scottish Independence vote sparked political outrage both on the streets and online. But there was one thing we found tied all of these events together.

After the Michael Brown/Ferguson hearing and Eric Garner jury decision, people across the world took to social networks to gather information, posts their thoughts, and organize on the streets. The Ukrainian Crisis and Gaza Conflict followed the same pattern: people used social media to gather in protests and spread information quickly. Social media was used as a tool to bring about change in these communities. People were not apathetic, they took charge, and it was the people who empowered social media.

Read on to discover this year’s inspiring social trends in our annual year-end infographic.

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See article at addthis.com

Case Study: Kraft Foods using Pinterest for Business

Kraft Foods provides millions of families around the world with the staples they need to make delicious meals. The brand adds thousands of recipes to Pinterest, the greatest source of referral traffic back to Kraftrecipes.com.

Kraft wants to make it easy for people to discover and share everyday, achievable meals. They joined Pinterest in January 2012 because the service reached Kraft’s desired audience and had significant scale. It also helped that recipes were already one of the most popular interests on Pinterest.

Now, Pinterest has transformed the way Kraft thinks about its content marketing.

Kraft's “Christmas Recipes” board takes advantage of the many searches for recipes during the holiday season.

Kraft learned that well-lit, appetizing food visuals with some color contrast are the most often repinned. Recipes tied to seasonal and social events also perform well. Kraftrecipes.com saw a significant traffic lift after testing and optimizing their pins.

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Read Article at business.pinterest.com

Project Holiday: Create Pins and boards for the season

It’s the right time to create Pins and boards for the holidays. Businesses that take advantage of seasonal interests, including products, DIY projects, travel and recipes, can inspire people while they’re in a holiday mindset, ready to take action.

And there’s lots to indicate that many people are already in the holiday mindset. So far, there are more than 604 million holiday Pins and 244 million gift-related Pins on Pinterest. Overall, more than 65 million people are following boards with holiday or gift Pins—a significant chunk of Pinterest’s community. 
 
With so much activity, it might be hard to know where to start Pinning.

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Read Article at business.pinterest.com

How to use Pinterest Analytics to change the way you Pin

We recently featured DODOCase, a leather goods company, in our blog to show how they made real business decisions using the new Pinterest Analytics.

 

 

We launched Pinterest Analytics last month, and we wanted to give you more information on how you might interpret the data to take action on your Pins and in your business.

We worked with DODOCase, a San Francisco-based leather goods company, to walk through a real-life example of how a business can take action on the content and audience insights gleaned from Pinterest Analytics.

Let’s get started!

We’ll cover:
Your profile analytics 
Your audience
Your website analytics

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Read Article at business.pinterest.com

9 ways to drive traffic with Pinterest search

Every day Pinterest search drives millions of visits to other sites through referral traffic. We asked our resident SEO expert, Anna Majkowska, for suggestions on how you can help Pinners find your content and get more visits to your website.

Here’s what she said:

1. Name your profile and verify your website: Include the name of your business in your profile name and in your username, if possible. Verify your account so that your profile appears higher in profile search results. Provide a description of your business and the type of stuff you Pin.

2. Get the official Pin It button: Increase the chances of your Pins appearing in search results by installing the Pin It button. The more times Pinners add things from your website,  the more credibility it has, which means it has a better chance of appearing in search results. Make sure to pre-fill suggested descriptions with useful text on your website, too. Pinners frequently keep the suggested descriptions. 

3. Use Rich Pins: This is a powerful way to increase both your search impressions and clicks. Rich Pins add more textual content to your Pins, helping them rank better. Rich Pins have extra information and stand out more on the grid, helping drive clicks. 

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Read Article at business.pinterest.com

Learn more about your customers with new Pinterest Analytics

We often hear from businesses who change their product and marketing strategies based on insights they learn on Pinterest. For example, Lowe’s introduced a DIY-focused marketing strategy after learning that their “create-your-own-colorful-doormat” Pin got more than 200,000 repins. And UK-based Juniper Cakery came up with new cake design techniques after learning about their customers’ confection preferences through Pinterest analytics.

 

Well today, we’re excited to announce a new, smarter analytics tool to help businesses worldwide continue to improve how they work, with meaningful insights about what their customers are interested in.

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Read article at business.pinterest.com

SUCCESS STORY: Lowe’s Inspiring home improvement on Pinterest
Industry: Retail
Pins about: Home Improvement, DIY, Design
 

A big part of Lowe’s marketing strategy is helping people feel like they can take on home improvement projects on their own. To share project possibilities, they added a Creative Ideas section to their site. Because Lowe’s has the Pin It button installed on their site, people who browse Creative Ideas can pin projects they want to take on later. Once these projects are on Pinterest, other pinners can discover and pin them, too!

 

Lowe’s also created a few Pinterest boards dedicated to smaller home design and decor projects. Their most repinned pin—a create-your-own colorful doormat project—has gotten more than 200,000 repins so far, and has helped Lowe’s understand that their strategy of helping people DIY is a sound one.

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Read article at business.pinterest.com

19 LinkedIn Mistakes That Make Me Pull My Hair Out

By 

If you aren’t getting the results you are looking for, it’s highly possible you’re making one (or several) LinkedIn mistakes that are turning off potential clients. Turning people off doesn’t always have to provoke a dramatic response that involves the other person slandering your business on Yelp but even in its most harmless form, it hurts your bottom line.

You only get one chance to make a good first impression and when you waste it on making rookie LinkedIn mistakes, you’ve already shut the door on what could have been a mutually beneficial relationship.

Take a few minutes to review the 19 most common LinkedIn mistakes I see to make sure you aren’t making any of them. It could be the difference between making or breaking your next sale.

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Read Article on LinkedIn.com

Social media: 4 tips to communicate visually

By Jessica Ann

Swipe-stopping images are one of the best ways to communicate visually on social media. But wait…what does swipe-stopping mean?

Whether you’re reading this article on your mobile or computer, you most likely have the option to “swipe” through what you’re viewing. When what you view is visually stunning, you “stop swiping” through your feed to start looking at whatever image caught your eye. You’ll either slow down your swipe, or stop scrolling entirely to view the photo in more detail. This is what “swipe stopping” means. So, here’s some ways to start showing more scintillating visuals on social.

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Read Article at istockphoto.com

Storify - Make The Web Tell A Story

Collect media from across the web. Publish on Storify,  embed anywhere.  Share and notify sources, go viral. Storify is completely free to use. You can upgrade to Storify VIP for real-time updates and full customization options.

Storify helps make sense of what people post on social media. Our users curate the most important voices and turn them into stories. Together, we are building a new information network that will give you the social perspective on any event. 

 

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See more at storify.com

Anna Kendrick - 8th Most Creative Person in 2014

By Josh Eells

For knowing that her best role is herself.

Each of the actresses in Kendrick's loose cohort has forged a connection with her fans in her own distinct way. Lawrence does it by charming talk-show audiences with embarrassing anecdotes and navigating awards-show red carpets like they're filled with marbles wrapped in banana peels. Dunham does it with her brilliantly honest HBO show, Girls, and her liberty with her body. And Kendrick does it via the Internet.

If you scroll back through Kendrick's online history, a few themes emerge. Dogs. Baked goods. Jet lag and/or hangovers. Sweats, Snuggies, and other comfy clothes. Game of Thrones. She also has a few social media rules she thinks everyone should abide by, about which she is surprisingly passionate. Two Instagram photos a day, max. ("I've got a really itchy unfollow button.") Links, @ and # signs, and quotation marks should be avoided. ("It looks like I'm reading fuckin' code.") Melancholy is okay on Instagram, but not on Twitter. ("Just say something funny.") And above all, never, ever overpromote. "That's one of the things that annoys me most," says Kendrick. "When my entire time line gets filled up with actors being like, 'Check out my short!' or 'I'm on Craig Ferguson!' It's just bad business."

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Read Article at fastcompany.com

The Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014

By 

The Internet has drastically altered the way in which information is shared, and has had a profound impact on marketing. Over the past few years, there has been more of a shift toward inbound techniques, while many outbound tactics have become antiquated. More businesses are finding success publishing original content rather than embedding advertisements within external content, because of the additional benefits these tactics offer, such as branding and audience growth.

With these trends in mind, let’s discuss my predictions for the top online marketing trends of 2014.

1.      Content Marketing Will be Bigger Than Ever

One of the main ways that companies are establishing authority and gaining trust with consumers is by consistently creating valuable content through a variety of channels. This typically involves relevant industry information that provides insight or entertainment to an audience. Doing so allows a company to steadily build rapport with its demographic and develop a loyal following. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the top B2B content marketing strategies are social media, articles on a business’s website, eNewsletters, case studies, videos and articles on other websites.

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Read Article at forbes.com

Facebook in 2013: More Growing Pains Ahead

By Chris Taylor

We'll get to our Facebook predictions for 2013 in a minute. First, here's a pertinent prediction from 2011.

In January of that year, when Goldman Sachs had just become an investor, Facebook could do no wrong. Business blogger Albert Babayev made what was seen as a sensible, middle-of-the-road prediction about the social network's value, one which presumed it would grow linearly, not exponentially. By 2013, he estimated in a comprehensive spreadsheet, its market cap will be around $224 billion, give or take.

Facebook's market cap this week, as we head into 2013, is $55 billion, give or take.

How did analyst expectations underperform by anything like $175 billion in corporate value? What happened? The answer, in four numerals: 2012. I've been wracking my brain, but I can't remember a comparable year in which events went south this fast for a technology company.

It was supposed to be Facebook's coronation year. Hard to remember now, with all that frenzy over the IPO, but plenty of folks felt we were on the edge of enjoying another publicly traded tech titan, a growth engine to rival Google or even Apple. 

Facebook had the pulse of the planet. It was social media. True monetization of that capital, solving the ad problem, solving mobile, was all just a matter of time. Why wouldn't the IPO go well?

 

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Read Article at maskable.com

10 Best Practices to Help Big Brands Get Started on Twitter

by Shelley Pringle

While a relatively small percentage of the adult population is active on Twitter, there are still plenty of solid business reasons for brands to engage on this social media platform.

Consumers may be conversing about your brand—in either positive or negative ways. Competitors could be active on the platform, dominating your category with their 140-character tweets. Twitter is also the place to reach people who have influence elsewhere, including relevant bloggers and even traditional media contacts.

However, it is not wise to start tweeting up a storm without thinking through your goals or how to measure your activity.

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Read Article on polarisprinc.com

Content Marketing Advice from 17 Online Marketing Experts

By Steven Sefton

Content marketing is becoming an increasingly sought after skill in the world of online marketing. Traditional link building for SEO purposes is becoming a riskier business, and with the amount of online noise, it is harder than ever for your content to stand out from everything else that is happening on the internet.

From 6 second vines to 30,000 word guides, content marketing principles can be applied to just about anything that you need to promote online, regardless of the medium.

Inbound.org has some of the best online marketing related content around, shared by some of the best online marketers around. I asked 17 of the top rated members of inbound.org this question: What is your best content marketing tip? And here’s what they had to say…

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Read Article at seftonmedia.com

Why Use Google Plus? A Quick Guide and Glossary to Google+

By Kristen Curtiss

Google Plus remains a mystery for many small business owners and nonprofits. Why? People feel that there are so many social networks to choose from. They also can’t seem to find the benefit in starting a completely new presence on yet another completely new platform, especially when they don’t know ANYONE else using Google Plus.

Here’s a quick guide and glossary that will explain why you should use Google Plus, the benefits of using it, and what you need to know to get started.

Relationship building is key

Creating relationships with industry influencers (who may have big followings on Google Plus) might not seem that important to your business, until you realize that those relationships could extend your reach and help you become visible. Let’s say you run a flower shop in Topeka, Kansas, and you’ve nurtured relationships with national brands and/or influencers who live in another area. Who do you think those people will recommend when one of their thousands of followers need flowers while visiting Kansas? No, not your competition down the street…you! They know you, they trust you, and your name comes to mind first because they have held conversations with you.

 

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Read Article at constant contact.com

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

By Stephen Walsh

Google Plus has more than one billion registered (and 359 million active) users, as well as some of the most business-friendly features of any social network, this is the time to start building out your business page, if you haven’t done so already.

 

As additional incentive, Google Plus has been shown to dramatically improve search engine rankings, which, in itself, is a sufficient reason to join the platform. By building your brand through this social media channel, you will be able to boost your SEO efforts and increase your business’s online exposure.

So, let’s jump in and take a look at some of the awesome ways to increase your exposure on Google Plus.

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Read Article at entrepreneur.com

The Best Days to Post to Facebook, Based on Industry (Infographic)

by Michael Sebastian

Among the greatest challenges is determining exactly when to post a given piece of content so it attracts the most “likes,” comments, and retweets. A recent infographic from Linchpin SEO could help crack that code by showing the best days to post to Facebook. Even better, it organizes the information by industry.

For instance, companies considered “general retail” will find more engagement on Mondays, whereas nonprofits will see greater success on weekends, according to LinchpinSEO, which analyzed the user engagement of more than 1,800 Facebook pages from the world’s top brands. The data were collected from April 1 to May 31.

It’s important to remember that each brand will have a different best day and time to post to Facebook. This infographic could help you identify it. 

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Read Article at entrepreneur.com

Pinterest Marketing: Using Pinterest for Business

by 

Pinterest is the world’s fastest growing social network and thus many companies are adding Pinterest marketing to their overall strategy. Having achieved 2000% growth in 2012, with 28 million US visitors as of December, up from 25 million in September, Pinterest is achieving a trajectory comparable to Twitter a few years ago.

However, for businesses it has not been the easiest social network to get to a grip on. They recently launched Pinterest for Business, but they are still holding back on unveiling a long awaited public API.

The Hidden Value of Pinterest Marketing

According to the LA Times it is “ranked by Experian as the third-most-popular social network behind Twitter and Facebook.” Its real strength for businesses lies in the demographics. Forbes reports Pinterest is very popular with “college-educated females between the ages of 25 of 44.” Known as a ‘sweet spot’, for brands, due to their purchasing power, and prolific use of e-commerce and social networks.

Wired notes that “a Pinterest user is 72 percent more likely to have found an item to buy on the site than a Facebook user.” If you are an e-commerce company, or drive any significant amount of your revenue from these demographics, then marketing Pinterest for your business is something you are going to want to dedicate time to in 2013.

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Read Article on topdogsocialmedia.com

10 Twitter Header Images Done Right
By Bob Al-Green
 
Since Twitter CEO Dick Costolo revealed the site's design updates Tuesday morning on The TODAY Show, users have been testing out the new header image feature — with varying degrees of success.

Twitter has adopted a Facebook Timeline-like cover display for main profile pages, opening up a new avenue for visual creativity. Early adopters of the header image include Ryan Seacrest and The TODAY Show's own Al Roker.

In case you're feeling stumped, visually challenged or just weary after updating your Facebook cover photo, we've compiled a slideshow of 10 Twitter users who are already doing it right.

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Read Article on maskable.com

These Five Brands Are Nailing It on Pinterest

by Hannah Clark

When it comes to Pinterest, many brands aren’t quite sure how to turn boards and pins into followers and potential customers. However, now more than ever it is important not to overlook this image sharing social network.

Pinterest users have proven that they trust their Pinterest networks to endorse solid products. These people trust their networks so much, in fact, that 47% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from Pinterest.

Pinterest also generates 4x more revenue per click than Twitter and 27% more per click than Facebook.

There are a few brands, however, who have figured out the business potential of Pinterest. See how these 5 brands have been using it to the fullest. 

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Read Article at socialmediatoday.com

Free e-Book: Turn Your Social Media Buzz into a Loud Roar

10 Strategies for Social Media Marketing Success

In the evolving world of social media marketing, it can be hard for a time-starved small business or organization to keep pace and know what to do when it comes to connecting with customers and members on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Yelp.

While there’s no “one-size fits all” approach, we’ve assembled 10 best practices for social media marketing success that will help your business or organization, whether you’re just getting started or trying to take your efforts to the next level.

 

Best Practices for Social Media Marketing:

  1. Have a Goal

  2. Know Who You Are and Portray Yourself Consistently

  3. Be Where Your Customers/Members Are

  4. Tell Your Customers and Members Where You Are

  5. Don’t Just Join Conversations. Add Value to Them

  6. Be Relevant

  7. Be Engaging

  8. Be Active

  9. Respond in a Timely Manner

  10. Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

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Read Article at BatemanDesignGroup.com

Free e-Book: People "Like You", But Do They "Like You" Like You?

28 Tips for Better Facebook Marketing

When it comes to Facebook, many people struggle to just get “Likes” for their Page. And believe it or not there are actually varying degrees of “Like.”

There are those that connect with your Page but never engage with it. And then there are those that like, comment, and share almost all of your content. 

We’re interested that second group. You know, the ones who like you, like you. Their interactions with your Page help you spread the word about your business or organization. They’re the ones who attract new “Likes” to your Page and help you make the most of your Facebook marketing.

So how do make sure you keep your best fans engaged?

Good question. And that’s what this guide is about:

The goal of your Facebook Page should be two-fold:

  1. How to engage your best fans.

  2. How to drive actions that will bring you real results.

In this guide, you’ll find 28 tips for better Facebook marketing. From choosing between a profile and a Page (really, there’s no contest) to creating simple, straightforward calls to action, we’ve got it all covered.

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Read Article at BatemanDesignGroup.com

The Resume Is Dead, The Bio Is King

by Michael Margolis

If you’re a designer, entrepreneur, or creative – you probably haven’t been asked for your resume in a long time. Instead, people Google you – and quickly assess your talents based on your website, portfolio, and social media profiles. Do they resonate with what you’re sharing? Do they identify with your story? Are you even giving them a story to wrap their head around?

Read Article at 99u.com

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