How to use Flickr to raise your visual profile!

the-market-stall-photoFlickr is a social networking site that was launched to enable users to exchange photos and images. It is now one of the most popular social media sites. To fully exploit its marketing capabilities, here are some tips that will point you in the right direction.

Choose the Right Screen Name – The screen name you choose for your account will become your URL on Flickr, so you should use a few competitive keywords or your company’s name. Now you are ready to upload photos. Upload images that best relate to your business. Pictures of products, happy clients or even photos of conferences and seminars can be categorised to reflect your businesses target audience.

Properly Name and Tag Your Images – It’s very tedious and dull, but if you don’t tag your images, there’s no point in having a Flickr account. As users search for images they have better chances of coming across your images if they are properly tagged. The use of good keywords for the titles, tags, and descriptions is absolutely essential. Also, in the descriptions you can include URLs and direct users to your company website. Don’t forget to cross promote! Link your account to your website and also embed links in the photos, if you use a blog, and share them on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. You also have the option to embed sets or galleries of images in your website. Here lies the main marketing power of Flickr, and the reason why if used properly, it could greatly enhance your profile.

Take Advantage of Stats – You may request for stats to be activated for your account. This should take 24 hours. Once you have access to your stats you’ll be able to see metrics on the overall views of your photos, but more importantly on referrals. These allow you to see who is sending traffic to your photo collections.

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Optimise your images and video for search engine rankings

Person-taking-picture-with-cameraWe have all heard about how marketers need to get more creative with their content by incorporating visuals, audio, and images. But how can we optimise all this new content for search engines?


1)     
Give your images detailed and informative file names

The file name can give search engines clues about the subject matter of the image. Try to make your file name a good description of the subject matter rather than its original identity. For example my-new-black-kitten is a lot more informative than IMG00023.JPEG. Remember instead of giving search engines a title that has nothing to do with the image, you can utilise your keyword research and rename the file with a keyword phrase that best describes it. London-2012-Double-Medalist-Mo-Farah-Adds-Midas-Touch-Team-GB For example if I was to upload an image of Mo Farah and his recent double Olympic success at London 2012, the file name would read London-2012-double-medalist-mo-farah-adds-midas-touch-team-GB. You can also add your company name at the start of every image description.

2)   Best Practices for Video

Like images, your video title should reflect the keywords that your users are searching for, and that, of course, aligns with your video content. Not sure what those are? Use a keyword tool to see what words and phrases people are searching to find your website. Keywords are especially important to the description you provide for the video. In YouTube make sure your first sentence includes the keywords you are optimising for, but also gives the viewer a reason to click-through.

Sometimes the best way for search engines to index non-written content is to make it written, you can do this by adding a transcription of your video. Most video services, including YouTube, provide this service for free so it’s really easy to include a transcription of your video on your website. Even better you can also use it as a blog post!

Do you need to write a blog? Here are some effective ways to promote it!

downloadSo you have done your research, written your article and optimised the content ready to publish. So how do you promote your blog post?

1) Ping it – Pinging notifies a number of services that your blog has been updated with new content, and these services can begin crawling and indexing your site for increased visibility. It’s so simple to use, just enter your blog URL into a box and click Ping!

2) Post it! – to the following social bookmarking services. These are free to use and provide a great platform to save, organise, and remember links to content that people find interesting on the web. Always remember to target your content to your target market and choose the most appropriate platforms.

3) Share it! – If you want to successfully grow your blog then you need to share your content on a number of social networks.

  • Facebook – Share your posts in relevant groups and ask for comments and feedback. Interaction is important especially within your business community.
  • LinkedIn – Share as an update on your profile and in relevant industry groups where followers may find the subject useful and may wish to interact with your blog post.
  • Twitter – Schedule a tweet of your post twice a day for 7 days, but remember to change the title each day!

4) Picture it! – Build a library of really interesting and distinctive images that illustrate your blog post content and use Pinterest or Instagram to share your expertise.

5) Email it! – Promote your blog by continuously building an email list of blog subscribers. This is not only a great way to market your own products and services, but it also allows you to build your brand and promote specific offers.

6) Guest Blogging and Comments – Promote your blog by subscribing to and regularly visiting other blogs within your niche. Actively participating in each blog community and adding valuable comments will help to raise your profile and offer their readers an opportunity to subscribe to your blog.

Using Hashtags Can Be a Great Way to Extend Your Reach!

HashtagIf you’ve used Twitter for more than a couple of hours, you’ve probably already seen a tweet containing a word with the symbol (“#”) attached to it. That’s what users call a “hashtag” and at any given time at least one of them can usually be found among the trending topics on Twitter. The Trends lists are designed to help people discover the ‘most breaking’ news from across the world, in real-time.

Hashtags are essentially a simple way to catalog and connect tweets about a specific topic. They make it easier for users to find additional tweets on a particular subject, while filtering out the incidental tweets that may just contain the same keyword. Because hashtags tend to spread so quickly and because users often search hashtags for content from people they aren’t following, using hashtags can be a great way to extend your reach on Twitter (and other social networks) whilst connecting you with your current audience in a more meaningful way.

Use Hashtags In Your PostsIf you want your posts to come up in searches, include hashtags in them so they are easy to find! Before blasting to the masses, always do your research. Only include hashtags in your posts that are relevant to your target audience and the industry you are in. Review certain hashtags before posting them to determine if there is already an extensive range of existing conversations using it. If your hashtag seems a bit overdone, modify your post slightly to generate a better response from your specific customer base.

Search For Industry TopicsIf you want to know what your target audience is talking about, you can search Twitter for the hashtag of your choice. This provides you with the opportunity to jump in on conversations, answer questions and generally provide valuable information.

Create Your Own HashtagsBrands both large and small choose to create their own hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to generate a buzz around a marketing campaign. Domino’s Pizza encouraged followers to tweet with #letsdolunch, once the number of tweets reached 85,000, Domino’s dropped prices by more than half during the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. that day.

The LinkedIn Factor – Tips to Get You Networking

How-to-Go-About-Networking-On-Linked-InStudies show that 80% of all new business comes from networking, not to mention career opportunities, so use your time wisely. These top 10 tips will help you on your way to becoming a highly successful networker, whilst having a great time.

1. Prepare – Make sure you arrive at the event feeling calm and friendly, so know where you are going and for what time, with plenty of business cards.

2. Make the First Move – Take responsibility and don’t come away from an event feeling you have missed an opportunity because no-one talked to you.

3. Start with Small Talk – Calm your nerves by making small talk with someone equally alone about something general: the venue, the parking, the weather or the refreshments.

4. Be Interested – Find out about the person you are talking to by asking questions, so that you can build a picture of them and in return they will be more receptive in hearing about you.

5. Concentrate on Giving – Look for ways you can help others; advice, referrals, even friendship instead of focusing on selling to them as this will naturally follow.

6. Keep your Mind Open – Resist the urge to dismiss a contact if they don’t seem to fit your needs because you never know when you might need them in the future.

7. Always Follow up – If you’ve promised somebody information, an introduction or a phone number, make sure you keep your word or you risk damaging your reputation.

8. Build Relationships – Be consistent and regularly attend events so that you become known and build trust with fellow attendees.

9. Have Fun and Relax – Events are social occasions, so treat them as such.

10. Enjoy the Event – If you enjoyed the event then tell your friends and colleagues, bring them along next time and help them network too!

The Best Way to Use Instagram For Business

imagesThe purpose of marketing and promotion simply means communicating with your customers. Many social media channels provide businesses with a platform to communicate, but now a new kid’s on the block! Instagram is basically a photo sharing application for mobile users, which is now part of Facebook. With more than 100 million users, Instagram has become the perfect opportunity for brands to get quick messages and photos to their target audiences. Users now have the opportunity to access Instagram profiles on the web in addition to mobile, giving marketers more possibilities to market on other devices besides Android and iPhone.

Start…

  • Sign up for an Instagram account and choose a username that clearly represents your brand.
  • Add a profile photo, a biography and link to your website
  • Connect your account to Facebook, Twitter and other accounts
  • Capture quality pictures of your products and services and begin uploading them to your community (Photos are the best medium to attract potential buyers and help ignite the conversation, which engages them)
  • Announce to your Facebook & Twitter followers that you are now on Instagram
  • Start sharing your photos across your networks and don’t forget to use hashtags!
  • Adding tags to your photos is a great way to find new followers and share your photos with more people. Choosing specific tags will help you connect with other like-minded people.
  • Give your business brand a face – showcase employees and their achievements or even your customers. Customers can be your brands greatest advocates and are a great way to tell your company’s story from the perspective of someone outside the company.
  • Create engagement by asking individual questions or launch photo contests. Ask users to use a particular hashtag for the contest by tagging their pictures. It’s easy to search through pictures and ask other people to vote for their favorite.
  • Remember to monitor your photos for customer comments and feedback!

3 Simple Steps to Effective Social Media

images v3Relevance – Given the casual atmosphere, it’s easy to post everything and anything. As a business or organisation participating in social media, you want to stay relevant to your business.  This does not mean you need to write only about your business or organisation but the key is to not litter your wall, tweets, or status updates with just sales pitches. Post about happenings in the greater community from industry lead articles to staff winning awards and remember to use related #hashtags for subjects. A nice balance of professional photos, videos and news stories will create your part in a social media conversation that will help to increase your exposure.

Engagement – People gather on sites like Facebook and Twitter because of their common interests or because they want to be in the know. It’s not formal communication like a press release, messages are shorter and in many cases more fun. If you really want to add value to your social media, you need to engage with people. Listening is the key to being effective. You need to listen to what people are saying to you and about you. When appropriate be sure to respond. Show your followers that you know your business and industry by posting links to related articles, notes about other complementary businesses, and by interacting with others on the networks in which you participate.

Remember…be activeHow often to post in social media? Too little and followers may not notice, too often and they may get annoyed. When posting something to Twitter for example you may want to post the same information more than once in a given day. Twitter feeds are fast-moving, so if a customer doesn’t see your original tweet, they may miss out. But remember to change the wording each time to freshen up the content! For Facebook, a single link to a blog post is enough. The same goes for LinkedIn updates. Generally, you can post multiple updates to Twitter, one or two to Facebook, and one to LinkedIn over the course of a given day without the risk of annoying the followers on each site. Just keep in mind: If you’re updating Twitter quite a bit, you may inundate your followers on the other networks with all your tweets.