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YouTube, visual branding

Lights, camera, action! Key strategies every Youtube newbie needs to know

In 2021, more than 2.3 billion unique users go to YouTube‘s site each month, consuming more than 1 billion hours of video each day. Additionally, 90 percent of people say they discover new brands or products via YouTube. For businesses, this means YouTube is a prime advertising arena and a crucial platform to utilize for branding. 

In our visually driven digital age, video and images are what sells. Potential customers are drawn in by enticing and eye-catching visuals. With the widespread use of smartphones, online videos are easily available at the swipe of a finger.

Society is “moving towards images and video; this is how we want to digest information,” said Toronto coach Matthew Hunt of Small Business Online Coach.

Online videos can also be a more economical form of advertising, giving businesses a great alternative to expensive television commercials. “Web videos reduce the amount of capital that a business needs so that they can create their own commercials, infomercials and other such videos,” Garret Silva wrote in Web Video Mastery.

As a global platform, YouTube draws in audiences from over 100 countries and is available in 80 languages. Currently, 62% of businesses are already using YouTube to post video content. Video content is a great way to increase engagement and develop a relationship with your company’s target audience. Web videos grant companies the opportunity to form an emotional connection with their audience and further encourage brand loyalty as well. 

Entrepreneurs who wish to do more than just keep up with the competition should begin to incorporate online video as part of their marketing strategy. YouTube content can take a variety of forms, from short, information based videos, to advertisements, or longer lectures, web seminars, and series. 

3 Key strategies to get started on YouTube

  1. Have a niche.

“To achieve success on YouTube you must have a niche,” media entrepreneur Jamal Edwards wrote in the Telegraph. The young entrepreneur, who grew up in London and now heads SBTV, is multimillionaire.

Regardless of the product or service being sold, the content should target a specific segment of the online universe.

Latina in Business’s YouTube channel is an extension of our editorial platform. Our niche is minority women entrepreneurs and business owners. We post content such as webcast interviews with Latinx leaders, virtual workshops, and conversations with industry professionals on various topics surrounding business, diversity and inclusion, and entrepreneurship. 

 Instead of trying to reach all audiences, focus your content on one audience. By focusing on a niche, you can target its marketing, maximize brand awareness and achieve more success.

  1. Be memorable.

Entrepreneurs should create video content that is memorable and distinctive as compared with the millions of other clips uploaded daily. Consider that 400 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, according to YouTube. With that volume being shared on the Internet, an entrepreneur must figure out how to best resonate with the online community.

Attractive thumbnails are another component that will draw viewers in and keep coming back. Be consistent with your visual brand so that viewers will be able to recognize your content from the rest.

You might be interested: 3 Latest video trends successful businesses use to engage their audiences

  1. Don’t bet the farm on one platform.

It is no secret that YouTube is the most popular name in the world of video platforms. But along with YouTube, other platforms carry video, including Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Vimeo as well as Facebook.

Entrepreneurs should avoid shaping a video strategy focused solely on one platform. Failing to develop a plan involving other platforms puts the entrepreneur at risk if the primary platform fails or changes its business model to the entrepreneurs’ detriment. Consider utilizing other platforms to post varied video content.

Sites like Instagram and Twitter are great for posting shorter clips. Instagram also offers the option of livestreaming, which is great for longer content and engaging in the moment with your audience. Facebook is a good place to reach older audiences and share longer videos, such as reposting past livestreams or information based videos. Vimeo’s user-base is known for its more creative-driven content. Many students and filmmakers utilize this platform to share their short films and creative projects. If your brand is focused on producing creative and experimental visual content or you aim to reach these audiences, this might be a good platform to use. 

Finally, TikTok is the newest and most popular among young, Gen Z audiences. Teens use the platform to create short-form, entertaining content, similar to what Vine used to be before the app shut down. It may be harder to reach audiences on TikTok, but if your brand is young, fresh and targets this demographic, TikTok could be the perfect platform for your brand.

A picture is worth 1000 words when branding your business

We’ve all heard the phrase before: A picture is worth a thousand words. This couldn’t be more true in our current digital age where visual media has become a key component to how businesses advertise and communicate with clients. As any business owner knows, promoting your company is an integral part of ensuring an organization’s success in a commercial environment. Positive branding allows companies to not only expand, but also attract new clients. While there are a variety of ways to market and advertise a company, one key avenue is visual branding.

4 Interesting ways to promote your business through visual branding

Create a catchy and visually appealing logo or brand image

Many business owners forget that having an attractive logo is one of the first ways to catch a potential client’s eye. There are a variety of free resources online that can help you create a logo for your company, such as Canva. Canva offers a variety of tools and templates that will allow you to create your own personal logo. This is a great option for new, small businesses that may not have the funds to spend on a custom logo. However, if you’re not too artistic and do have the money to spend, enlisting a graphic designer will ensure that you have a one-of-a-kind logo designed that truly conveys your brand messaging.

Use visually-based social networks

Now more than ever, visual branding is a crucial component to a business’ social media presence. Perhaps in the past, social networks were driven more by written content, but in recent years visual media has become the center focus of most social media platforms. From Instagram to Facebook and Pinterest, images are now doing a lot of the talking for business promotion. As customers, we are drawn to eye-catching photos and while we’re told not to judge a book by it’s cover, it’s hard not to make judgement based on visuals.  The truth of the matter is, the better visuals you have as a company, the better you will look to potential customers.
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You can easily use Canva to create no-hassle, eye-catching social media posts. Canvas templates are specifically designed to fit each platform’s proportions.

Utilizing visual branding for your business’ social networks is a great way to draw in new customers. On networks such as Pinterest and Instagram, you have the ability to not only share pictures that are informational sources for your company, but also promote and share other resources you may have, such as pictures of your staff, infographics, company events and the like.  And always keep in mind that your prospects and clients enjoy seeing what goes on behind that scenes at your business—it adds an extra layer of personality and uniqueness to your company and what you deliver!

Turn your client testimonials into images

Yes, clients will usually convey their feedback of your company verbally—not visually.  However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get creative!  Take a quote from a client and using basic tools in Photoshop, Canva, or another image-creating program and devise a simple background and use the quote.  Then brand the image with your logo.  You can then share this simple graphic on your social networks, place it on your website for added “testimonial flair”, or even include it in a brochure.
Enlist the help of stock photos

Stock photos are a great resource that every business can utilize. As a business you do not need to break the bank on professional, high quality photos for your business. May stock photo sites, such as iStockPhoto, allow you to purchase a subscription to access thousands of quality images to compliment blog posts or social media posts. Additionally, there are many free stock photo sites that also provide high-res images for use with attribution, such as Unsplash, Pexels, and Freepik.

By using a stock image you ensure that the file’s resolution will be perfect and you also avoid facing any issues for using a copyrighted image that you find via a Google search. Remember, there are image companies out there that have a staff that simply polices the Internet, looking for any abuse of their owned images.  If you happen to pull one of their images off the Internet and use it without permission and without purchasing the file, you can face stiff fines and even legal action for copyright infringement.
Aside from the benefits of avoiding legal issues, stock photos also allow you to create interesting visual landscapes. Many stock photos are taken by professional photographers who create interesting and creative layouts, such as in the image above. These creative images are eye-catching and exactly the sort of photo that would captivate a potential client scrolling through social media. Many stock photo licenses also allow you to remix and edit their content, meaning you can personalize a stock photo to better fit your company’s brand image.
In closing, always remember that consumers, in general, are visual creatures and they respond better to advertisements, online content, and other materials that have stunning, eye-catching images.  Get creative in how you communicate visually with your clients and prospects and you will be remembered!
This article was originally written by the Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce’s Editorial Team and published in 2014. It has been updated for relevancy. 

hiscec_aboutsmallThe Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce is a business to business membership-based business association focused on providing tools and solutions to members to increase their presence online. The Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce offers Internet marketing services that help you to promote your products/services; to build business relationships and to collaborate with potential clients via an exclusive social network and it helps you to increase your sales using the e-commerce and marketing tools that are available for premium members.

Change is HER: Inspire women to run for public office 

Currently, women are underrepresented at all levels in the 500,000+ elected offices across the U.S. In fact, women make up 51% of the U.S population, yet less than a third of elected positions. Change is HER is working to change this by inviting and encouraging women to run for public office. 

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Change is HER campaign is inspiring women to run for public office. (Graphic courtesy She Should Run).

The Problem

One of the factors that prevents women from running for public office is that they simply do not consider themselves qualified. Additionally, women are less likely to be invited and recruited to run for office than men. 

“Being invited or encouraged to run for office leads many individuals who otherwise might never consider the option to suddenly throw their hat in the ring. And women are just as likely as men to respond positively to recruitment as men, but they are asked much less often.” 

Percentage of women and men who are recruited to run for office. (Graphic source: 10 Things to Know about Women’s Representation in the United States)

The Solution

To combat these setbacks, She Should Run, in partnership with award-winning advertising agency BBDO Worldwide, have launched a nationwide public awareness and action campaign to reach 5000 diverse, change-making women who are not yet thinking about running for office but should be. The “Change is HER” campaign targets women who already contribute, every day, to the wellness of their communities, through action, support and care. 

By highlighting their accomplishments, the campaign aims to inspire them to run for public office. Change is HER believes that if a woman has changed someone’s life, they could be one run away from changing many others. If they care, they are already qualified.

The campaign is running across social media using hashtags #changeisher and #sheshouldrun on Instagram and Twitter

People are encouraged to the stories of the influential women in their lives and invite them to run for public office. 

Inspire the women in your life, or take the leap yourself 

Change is HER highlights three incredible women in their campaign video; Alexis Sanchez, Olympia Auset and Ebony N.Mayo, who have dedicated themselves and their time to help others, as they are celebrated and encouraged to run for office by those who have witnessed their actions. 

Olympia Auset, Ebony N. Mayo, and Alexis Sanchez are three incredible change-makers in their communities who have been encouraged to run for public office. (Image courtesy Change is HER campaign). 

Olympia Auset dedicates her time to the health of her community, in South central LA, through a low-cost organic grocery program. 

Ebony N. Mayo is an actress and founder of a cigar company who volunteers every weekend with the Brown Bag Lady organization, to help the homeless people of their communities.

Alexis Sanchez is a trans activist who is dedicated to empower transgender youth among other fights.

Their stories are inspiring and uplifting reminders that women have and deserve a place in leadership. Women already occupy workplaces and professions that have the most direct consequence for our daily lives, such as healthcare and education, yet they still are underrepresented in elected positions.

If you know a woman who would be great in elected office, invite her to consider the possibility. It could make all the difference! 

You might be interested: 12 Latina leaders honored in 2020

She Should Run is a nonpartisan nonprofit working to increase the number of women considering running for public office, by identifying and tackling the barriers to elected leadership.

Their programs unveil the many pathways to leadership, guide women toward discovering their “why,” and connect them with a supportive Community who are in varying stages of their own journeys, ultimately building their confidence toward a future run for office.

Venezuelan tech entrepreneur revolutionizes social storytelling with video-sharing app FlickPlay

Pierina Merino is the 29 year old Venezuelan tech entrepreneur behind FlickPlay, a new revolutionary platform changing the world of social storytelling through innovative use of augmented reality (AR). At its core, FlickPlay is a gamified video-sharing social app that combines interactive game elements with social media. The app creates immersive and gamified experiences that offer a new canvas for social storytelling, allowing users to create their own content to share in and out of the app. 

Pierina Merino, CEO and Founder of FlickPlay (Photo courtesy Pierina Merino)

The first sparks of creativity

Pierina has worked across different creative industries over the past 8 years. From designing large scale architectural projects for Frank Gehry, to leading creative and design strategy for premium VR experiences for luxury fashion brands, her career has revolved around innovation and pushing the boundaries of technology to bring the physical and digital world closer together.

Her creative passion first sparked at a young age. Growing up in Venezuela Pierina was always known as the “creative one” in school. 

“I was the one that designed the cheerleaders’ outfits, painted murals, and was the perfect partner to successfully achieve any creative assignment,” she says. “Most students in Venezuela pursue traditional fields, such as law or medicine. However, I decided to choose architecture when I was a little girl. Back then, I did not know where it would take me. Entrepreneurship runs in the family; it is in my DNA.” 

At the age of 16, Pierina left her home country for Canada to study English and urbanism and further pursue her creative drive for architecture. From there she eventually found herself in Miami where she enrolled in Miami Dade Community College to get her start in the field of design. She worked diligently to earn a scholarship at one of the top worldwide schools:  SCI-ARC Southern California Institute of Architecture, where she graduated with honors and earned a recognition as the best thesis. Pierina then went on to work for renowned Canadian architect, Frank Gehry where she gained invaluable experience and worked alongside distinguished professionals.  

Starting out with her first start-up

Before founding FlickPlay, Pierina launched and led PIEMER–the first 3D-printed product line to be sold at Nordstrom, nationally. The line included jewelry pieces such as rings and bracelets and was a complete success gaining nomination for the Fashion Rising Brand Award by the renowned Los Angeles Business Journal in November 2017. PIEMER also received an invitation to exhibit in the Los Angeles Architecture and Design Museum.

While traveling nationally to Nordstrom stores for her start-up, Pierina became aware of the huge social disruption that has taken place in offline social life since the introduction of social media. 

“At Nordstrom, I came across grandmas and mothers that chose my products in the department store to get sent to their granddaughters and daughters. In turn, young women seemed less interested in stopping by at the traditional point of sale and preferred to visit creative sites where they could create content for social networks. Retail stores have suffered a huge social disruption in the past 10 years. Our daily online and offline experiences are more disconnected than they should. As digital images (through our phones) feel more and more real and tangible, I became obsessed with the possibility of generating creative experiences that could help users communicate fun and interactive moments in their favorite locations. Therefore, I pursued this until I discovered its full potential and came up with FlickPlay.”

From “mall culture” to social media

In the 80s and 90s “mall culture” was at the center of social life for young people. People would go to malls to spend one-on-one time with their friends. This also greatly benefited retailers as their physical locations were the site for gathering and socializing. However, in recent years with the introduction of social networks in our everyday lives, retailers have suffered. Pierina describes that now more than ever the locations where millennials and Gen Z-ers decide to visit is primarily determined by their experiential value. The cooler and more “share-worthy” the place, the more likely they will frequent that location. 

Social media and social storytelling has evolved tremendously over the past decade alone. From the 1-dimensional world of Facebook and Twitter that launched as platforms for text and images, to the 2D era of Instagram and SnapChat that focused on images and video, we are now entering a new era of 3D platforms that incorporate innovative technologies like virtual and augmented reality, immersive content tools, and even gaming elements as FlickPlay delivers. This new era of social storytelling is weaving a web between our physical and digital worlds, bringing them closer than ever before. 

How FlickPlay is revolutionizing social storytelling

Layering gaming and immersive content tools, FlickPlay is leveling up the way we tell and share stories. Described as a combination of Pokémon Go, TikTok and Snapchat FlickPlay uses gaming and augmented reality (AR) content tools to power a new canvas for social storytelling. At FlickPlay, users can access creative AR experiences through their interactive map game and camera. Once videos are shared, they get gamified for the community to unlock points, and engage in content and leaderboard challenges with their friends and FlickPlay community.

“From Pokémon Go, we have all the gaming interactions and we capture the city spaces. In terms of content distribution, we resemble TikTok in how repetition is used to boost vitality. In terms of creative inclination and technology, we are like Snap,” says Pierina. 

FlickPlay

The FlickPlay app combines gaming elements with immersive content creation tools and augmented reality features to level-up your social stories (Photo courtesy Pierina Merino)

FlickPlay App is the first digital platform that allows users to get into a content game in the city. Users gain relevance through these experiences because they are based on two pillars:

  1. Scores, rewards, and goals that allow to reinforce the interaction of content with the user
  2. Brand interaction in relevant locations and highly creative content that drives the users to share it

Fans of experiences and creative content can gain access to the creation of and participation in interactions with game dynamics that enable them to access creative experiences that are not open to everyone. Augmented reality videos generate a cerebral impulse that enhances the retention of the shared visual content. Any event, object or person that goes through the camera in this app becomes memorable. 

Facing obstacles as a female tech entrepreneur

Venezuelan tech entrepreneur, Pierina Merino (Photo courtesy Pierina Merino)

Despite the success of FlickPlay, Pierina still faced obstacles throughout her journey with the project. One of her biggest obstacles was acquiring funds and investors to back her venture. As a woman entrepreneur in the tech field, Pierina was part of the 2% of women founders and CEOs of technology companies in the U.S. This meant she had to prove herself. 

To pass the test with Venture Capital, I had to face more than 100 meetings and screenings with my project pitch in my portfolio. I made a lot of pitches and can barely remember how many industry events I have attended to introduce myself and to try to raise funds,” she says. 

However, eventually she gained her first investors, Muse Capital, led by two women. This drew the attention of other executives in the technology industry and Pierina was able to finally secure the rest of her investors to bring her project to life. 

You might be interested: Ivana De Maria presents her storytelling app at 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch

To other minority women who are thinking of starting their own business Pierina says, “It’s time to take space. We cannot change the past or what leaders used to look like, but it is our responsibility to break the biases for us and future generations. Building a tech  company from scratch is not easy for anyone no matter gender or ethnicity, it requires a lot of mental and emotional strength. The moment you let biases crush your goals you are proving them right. Find your true believers and have enough drive and determination to get what you want when you want it. You will probably have to prove more along the way but that will only make you stronger and a better leader.

The future of social storytelling

Augmented Reality (AR) is transforming not only the way we communicate and tell stories, but also the way in which brands interact with their consumers. It is projected that by 2022 AR advertisements will lead 15% of brand publicity strategies. Therefore, it is key that leading brands include AR as soon as possible to secure a competitive advantage over the others.

FlickPlay is already taking that step forward with its innovative technology. 

New and old activities find the way toward reformulation. Political campaigns, daily life stories, interactions with distant worlds, brand content creation, treasure hunts in the city, challenges among friends, virtual competitions and much more is in store

“This is a novel platform in the app market. Our focus is not on ‘selfie mode’ -as Instagram- but on the physical space and relevant locations for users,” says Pierina. “Our strength lies in the introduction of game mechanics so that content creation and consumption become more entertaining.  Rewards get users excited about getting benefits. Some users engage in the competitive aspect and want to make it to the top of the list, while others only seek to produce high-level creative videos remaining outside of the game dynamics. We want to reach one billion users and still focus on the consumer. We want to be fun and interactive. FlickPlay is making room for a new social segment to tell the best stories in their favorite places.”

On the subject of Covid-19 and how it has impacted our perceptions of our physical world and our relationship with social media, Pierina says: 

“After the shock associated with cultural and social changes in the world due to the pandemic, I’ve noticed that everything we can touch is getting closer to everything we cannot see in the real world. Therefore, while virtual reality becomes the only tangible way to view the world, what we cannot attain in a real way will become part of the digital world. No matter where you are, two realities coexist across the globe, the one you reach through your senses and the one that defies them, that you can find looking through FlickPlay. The magic of this app makes this happen.” 

Get FlickPlay using the QR Code above!

FlickPlay is currently available in the Apple Store in the U.S. and Canada, and will be launching soon in Spain as the first European release. 

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5 Steps to increase your blog traffic through Pinterest

If you’re a business owner with a blog or website, chances are you’re familiar with the struggle of increasing blog traffic to your site. SEO optimization, keywords, and targeted ads can only go so far when you’re competing with tons of bigger sites in the Google search results. However, Pinterest might be the perfect place to market your content to users who share your blog’s niche interests. Worldwide, over 2 billion searches occur on Pinterest each month and Pinterest boasts nearly 90 million active monthly users in the United States alone. That’s a huge potential audience and when utilized correctly, Pinterest can be a massively effective marketing tool. 

Below are 5 easy steps on how to use Pinterest to increase blog traffic to your site and gain thousands of new readers. 

5 Steps to increase blog traffic through Pinterest  

  1. Create a new Pinterest business account for your blog 

First thing’s first, you need to create a new business account for your blog. You may already have a personal account on Pinterest, but creating a separate account specifically for your blog will help you target your account to reach the niche areas your blog covers. 

Setting up your new account is super easy! Simply navigate to Pinterest Business, click “Get Started” and fill out your information. Once you complete your sign up info, Pinterest will walk you through a few questions for your settings and preferences and help you get started.  

Once your account is set, you can edit your profile and bio to attract users whose interests are relevant to your blog. In your bio, add a keyword-rich description of your blog to help users find you in Pinterest’s search engine. 

  1. Set up your own Pinterest boards and join group boards

Now that your account is set up, it’s time to create your “boards” and start pinning! If you’re not familiar with Pinterest’s terminology, a “board” is essentially a collection of pins, or posts. Boards are usually grouped by categories. So for instance you may have a board for “Healthy Recipes” and another for “Journal Prompts” or “Marketing Strategies.” Creating boards centered around topics you cover on your blog or site will help you draw in users who are searching for those topics. 

You can also join relevant group boards to increase blog traffic to your site. Group boards are community boards where people with shared interests contribute their own pins to the group. Joining boards that focus on your blog’s topics is a great way to get your content out to a larger audience. Not only will your pins reach more people who are actually interested in your content in a group board, but those in the group are more likely to save or share the pin on their own boards. This chain of shares is what you’re aiming for, the more shares you get on an original pin, the more potential traffic you drive toward your blog. 

  1.  Create and post shareworthy Pinterest Pins 

Now, the pins are really the most important thing. Your original pins, or posts, are what ultimately will be shared around and draw users toward your blog. Creating eye-catching, shareworthy pins is key to standing out in the search. Your goal with each pin is to hopefully draw people toward your site by having them click the pin and follow the URL to your blog. Though getting them to save and re-share your pin is also great as it creates more exposure for your content. So you may be wondering, how do you create a shareworthy pin? 

Shareworthy pins usually have an eye-catching picture and an intriguing title. Vertical images also do better than smaller square images. Another plus is if your pin has a “call to action” such as “Click on the blog link below for more.” Tell users where to go next and direct them toward your blog. Also pay close attention to keywords and tag all your pins with relevant keywords. Just like with any search, keywords are, well, key! Before you make a pin, do a little bit of keyword research. Search up some of the keywords associated with your content. Pinterest will show you related keywords under the search bar when you search a term, so take a look at those suggestions too to get a better idea of which keywords are popular. 

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Canva is a free site that provides easy-to-use templates to make eye-catching pin images

For creating an eye-catching image you can use tools like Canva or PicMonkey which let you create infographics, headers, and visual aids to go along with your content. I personally use Canva, which is completely free to use, with the option to go premium to access bonus content. However the free version gives you plenty of free content to make eye-catching graphics and headers for your social media posts and pins. Canva also provides users with templates specifically designed for a certain social media platform, so you can easily make images for your pins with little hassle

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No hassle. Canvas templates are specifically designed to fit Pinterest image dimensions

  1. Develop an active Pinterest following 

An active following in not completely necessary on a search-based platform like Pinterest, since your content will still reach people who are not following you and simply find you in keywords searches. However, an active following can definitely help increase blog traffic since loyal followers will be more likely to re-pin your posts and spread them around. 

One way to increase your following is to follow others who post similar content. Many users are likely to follow back other users in their niche. 

Another strategy is to plug your Pinterest on your other social media sites and blog. Add a button or widget that will link to your Pinterest or display your recent pins and boards. Your current readers are already loyal followers of your content, so by promoting your Pinterest to them, they will in turn be able to help spread your pins and reach new readers. 

You might be interested: How to improve brand perception

  1. Pin frequently!

Lastly, pin frequently and consistently! Pinterest values consistency and is more likely to promote content from frequent pinners. Try to get into a routine of pinning at least once a day, and slowly increase from there. You don’t want to overwhelm your followers by dumping a ton of pins on them at once. It’s better to spread out your pins to a few each day and frequently post instead of just posting a ton at once and being inactive afterward. 

Also be sure to have a good mix of your own pins and pins from others. Sharing pins from other users is a good way of including content from experts in areas that are relevant to your blog or site but in which you are not an expert. Re-pinning from others is also a way to promote your account to others in your niche. When people see someone has shared their pin, they are more likely to check out that person’s account. So by sharing other people’s pins, you’re driving traffic to your account too. 

The main thing though is to stay active and consistent, so take some time to develop a schedule so followers will know what to expect from you. Once you’ve established a routine, you can queue up pins to post on schedule or post manually each week. Whatever works best for you! 

And remember to have fun with it too. Pinterest is a great online resource with many communities centered around just about every niche and topic you can think of. Find your people, have fun sharing information on the topics you love, all while you increase blog traffic to your site and promote your content! 

8 Ways to Promote Your Blog Through Social Media

Promoting your blog is one of those subtle arts that it can be hard to get to grips with. You have plenty of amazing content ideas, the words flow effortlessly onto the page, but you haven’t got a clue how to get more people to read them. Sound familiar?

Well, not to worry, because we have 8 proven ways by which you can use the power of social media to direct more and more people to your posts. Not only are they great ways to turn all eyes in your direction, but they’re also 100% free! What could be better than that?

Don’t forget about the power of cross-posting 

Cross-posting is the first thing that we need to talk about, and with good reason. It’s no use being on half a dozen different channels if you only update them sporadically. The beauty of cross-posting is that it allows you to post the same content to multiple channels at the same time. 

Of course, you’re going to want to tweak the format to suit the individual platforms, but that’ll only take a few minutes a week on your part. This strategy is ideal if you want to be able to create a constant stream of hype that gets people excited about what you’re going to post next. 

Post your blog with an attractive image so that it catches the eye 

You can have as many powerful social media marketing tools as you like, but if you’re not posting eye-catching visual content then you’re doing your blog a disservice. The important thing to note here is that whilst it needs to catch the eye, your content also needs to relate directly to what’s written in your blog. 

You might get more traffic from amazing natural photos, but if you’re writing about recruitment or something else unrelated, people are just going to be confused and go elsewhere. 

Share your blog to relevant Facebook groups 

Facebook is still the king of social media, but the mistake so many people make is creating a page for their blog, and then only posting to it. The problem with this is, if no one is reading your blog, no one will be looking for you on Facebook. 

What you need to do instead, is to link to your blog in posts you leave in relevant groups. Plenty of people will be doing 

similar things, so you’re going to have to be creative, imaginative, and persistent if you want to stand out from the crowd. Over time you’ll start getting people to hop over to your blog, and before you know it there’ll be an avalanche of new traffic. 

Share your blog to relevant Facebook groups.

If your blog is business orientated, it needs to be posted to LinkedIn 

Ask the best online paper writing service, the best accountancy firm, or the best management consultancy where they post their blogs, and they’ll tell you they focus on LinkedIn. This is because it’s the perfect forum for blogs that are aimed at professionals and executives. The other channels may well be enticing, and you’ll still get a few hits through them, but LinkedIn is where you need to be for this kind of content. 

Tweet a question on Twitter, and link to your blog as the answer

One of the easiest ways to attract an audience is to tweet a thought-provoking question, and then immediately link to your blog as the source of the answers. This is great because it creates a real impetus to click the link, and it’s also a proven way to stand out from the thousands of other tweets people will see on any given day. 

Find 3 trending hashtags that you can jump on 

If there was one piece of advice that every blog promoter should be given before they start posting, it’s to go easy on the

 hashtags. You might think that adding a dozen of them to the bottom of every post maximizes your chances of being seen. Unfortunately, all it’s really

 doing is making your posts look like spam. Something you certainly need to avoid if you want to position yourself as a distributor of high-quality readable content. 

The secret is to find 3 trending hashtags that you can jump on that are relevant to what you have to say. This will allow you to strike the perfect balance between search, and relevance. 

You might be interested: 5 Steps to build an employee branding strategy

Tweet excerpts of upcoming blogs to build interest and anticipation 

Use Twitter to engage audiences and link back to your blog.

Building anticipation is a major part of holding a captive audience. The great thing about tweeting a teaser from an upcoming blog is that it allows you to get some hype behind your next post. That way you’re not just trying to get people to read what’s already out there. You’re also getting them excited about what you have in the pipeline. 

Keep the teasers short, thought-provoking, and intriguing. If you can create something that people will retweet so they can see what their friends have to say, then you’ll truly be onto something. 

Be creative, don’t just say ‘read my blog’

No list of clever ways to promote blogs would be complete without a few words on the importance of creativity. There are so many people on social media these days that you need to be able to do things differently if you want your voice to be heard. 

It’s not about being provocative or posting clickbait, but rather about framing your message in new and original ways. Once you can do that, your posts will stand out a mile when browsers are scrolling down their feeds. Over time you’ll home in on a unique style that represents you and what you have to say, and you’ll find that your readership grows exponentially as a result. 

5 Steps to build an employee branding strategy

If you want to build a remarkable employee branding strategy but don’t know where to start, here is a short guide for you.

Mexican tacos social media for small businesses

Social media for small businesses, a must-do or die

Social media for small businesses has become an imperative in today’s competitive business world. Here are some tips from four experts in the field. 

“Who has time for Twitter and Facebook?” a Hispanic restaurant owner once asked me. His reasoning? All his clients were local, he was in a very good and visible location well-known for his “authentic Mexican food,” and he was working at full capacity. The man was right in all his assertions; however, if there is something in life you can count on, that something is change.

Mexican tacos social media for small businesses

Six months later, a big fast food Mexican chain opened a store half mile down the road. The novelty and the quick service together with the promise of “fresh and prepared-on-the-spot” dishes drew half of this restaurant owner’s clients to the new place. The war was on.

Soon my acquaintance realized that the old ways were insufficient to play hard against the chain. Not only had he to bring in new customers but also position his restaurant under a different light. The “authentic Mexican food” needed to be now an “authentic Mexican experience.” However, until those customers stepped in the door, how could he show the change?

Social media for small businesses best tips

Social media offers an array of opportunities for small business owners, providing tools that –although not totally free as they require some time and attention–, are manageable at very low cost with great and unexpected results. Yes, it can be overwhelming if there is little understanding of how to use the tools. Also, it can get discouraging if the tools are not being used properly.

So here are some tips for the beginner as well as the intermediate social media user:

  1. Like many other aspects of your business, you need to learn how to use the tools in order to master social media. Understanding what channel is the most adequate for your type of product, how to reach a local clientage that might be interested in your products and services, and how to adequately promote them needs some thought and know-how. Learn from the experts and apply to your particular craft or service. Attend a workshop at a local chamber of commerce –usually for free– or community college.

Michael Fertik, Forbes Contributor and Founder, & Owner, Reputation.com

“Small businesses should identify strong social influencers – bloggers that your customers read, individuals with robust followers – and start engaging with them.  Follow them on their social channels to spark a return follow.  Share their content.  Comment thoughtfully, respectfully and without self-promotion on posts multiple times a week.  As time goes on, the door for conversation will open – as will opportunities for more meaningful engagement like sharing new milestones or promotions, guest blogging or even reciprocal commentary on your posts,” says Michael Fertik, Social Media expert at Forbes (Is Social Media Worth It for Small Businesses?)

2. Once you choose the channels you want to work on, invest time and some dinero in a good page design. It should look as good as your business looks when a customer shows up at your location. A beauty parlor can share pictures of their popular haircuts and hairdos using Pinterest or a video on YouTube to demonstrate how a technique is done. While it is hard to share a recipe in 140 characters on Twitter, you can ask your Twitter followers to make comments about your place, ambiance, music or whatever makes your restaurant attractive in exchange for an offer or coupon. A real estate agent or broker can target potential local customers by showing listings, asking clients to give testimonials and providing tips on how to prepare a home for a quick sale.

Shantosh Kanekar social media for small businesses

Shantosh Kanekar, Advisor to Hedge Funds, Startups & CEOs

“Find out what is relevant to your customer’s life and give them the information that they want.

  • Are you a hiking gear company? Great. Talk about the best hikes in your local area and the world. Talk about the issues which are commonly faced by hikers. Develop Trust. Then weave in your gear story.
  • Are you a corner restaurant? Talk about the latest food trends in your local area and around. Make videos of how you are making your signature dishes. Show your chef visiting the market for picking up his recipe.
  • Are you an accountancy firm? Share the latest in small business accounting. Make your partners generate a video which simplifies complex tax issues. Share how you can help them through your Facebook posts.

Content which helps your buyer journey has to be the focus of your social media.Content is the step before Conversion,” says Santosh Kanekar, Startup Mentor, Leadership Coach and Author, Contributor at Entrepreneur (Social Media Trends for Small Businesses in 2017).

You might be interested: Lorraine Ladish uses social media to build community

3. In Latino culture, personal relationships are important. In person, a handshake, a greeting and a warm voice can close a deal. Be yourself on social media, talk about the issues that matter to you, as a business owner but also as a person. Let your potential customers know who you really are and trust you before they step into your door. Social media is not only a way to offer products and services; it is mainly a way of building relationships.

 

Ted Rubin

“The real value of social media is the SOCIAL part. That means having conversations with your followers, responding to them, interacting and engaging with them. It boils down to what seems like an obvious statement – to get a return on relationships with social media you have to be social. Ted knows this is a seemingly obvious thing to say, but as he tells me in the interview, “Ray, I’ll make this real simple. Almost everything I preach, almost everything I talk about, people can look at me and say, ‘Well, that’s common sense.’ But the truth of the matter is, common sense? It’s not very common.”

Knowing that the key to accruing ROR is communication, interaction, and engagement with customers, you might say to yourself – I don’t have the time (or the money) to communicate with everyone! Well, you don’t have to. Earlier we told you that return on relationships is “both perceived and real” and THAT is the trick,” says expert SM Guru Ted Rubin, who coined the Return on Relationship ROR benchmark (Ted Rubin on How to Maximize your Return on Relationships) 

4. Follow up with your fans as you would do with a client who visited you at your business. Give them feedback, ask for feedback. Contact them for their services and get truly interested in what they do or have to offer. Social media is a two-way street, not a window to show off.

Brian Hughes social media for small businesses

Brian Hughes, CEO and founder, Integrity Marketing & Consulting

“Small businesses need to have a solid online presence if they expect to be successful. 36% of people surveyed in the study indicated that they might choose not to do business with those small businesses that have no website. This is true for many industries. Small businesses need to be active on social media. It’s crucial to respond to critical reviews to keep customers. The study found that close to one in five respondents will avoid small businesses that are unresponsive to critical comments about the business,” says Brian Hughes, CEO, Founder, Digital Marketing Expert at Integrity Marketing & Consulting (Reality Check: Small Businesses Must Be Using Social Media). 

Increase your networking opportunities and contact those new potential clients afterwards on social media. Meet and greet other Latino entrepreneurs as well as general market businesses to exchange product offers, services and ideas. Don’t miss this opportunity to promote your business in style!

 

personal brand

5 Social media pitfalls that can get you fired

Are you aware that social media pitfalls can make you unemployable or get you fired? There was a time, not so long ago, when hiring decisions were made on the basis of a resume, an interview and a few references. Now, employers are using social media to get to the nitty-gritty about your thoughts, beliefs, values, political views and anything else you willingly put out there. Do you think you are still employable?

 

social media pitfalls

Social media is your resume. What’s on it?

Social media and employment are now very much connected. According to careerbuilder.com, 60% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates and 49% of employers found information that caused them not to hire a candidate. Your odds of getting an interview are reduced when an employer finds any of the following social media pitfalls on your social media pages:

  • Provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information
  • Information about drinking or using drugs
  • Discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc.
  • Bad-mouthing of previous company or fellow employee
  • Poor communication skills

HubShout’s Social Media Conduct survey found that many American workers fall into these social media pitfalls that are a turn-off to employers—but, 34% are not worried about employers seeing the posts because they believe their social media accounts are private.

About those privacy settings

Plenty of evidence disputes the notion of online privacy. Even if you’re confident that no employer will find you on social media, consider this: The careerbuilder.com survey found that 41% of employers say they are less likely to interview a candidate if they are unable to find information about that person online.

Your best bet is to create social media profiles that reinforce the qualities of the awesome person that you describe in your resume and interviews. It’s even OK to brag a little! According to the careerbuilder.com survey, this is what employers want to see on your social media profiles:

social media pitfalls

Does it pass the grandma test?

Scott Kleinberg, Chicago Tribune

Scott Kleinberg, nationally syndicated columnist

Scott Kleinberg, nationally syndicated columnist and the former social media editor at the Chicago Tribune, came up with a good rule of thumb for posting on social media. He calls it the “Social Media Grandma Theory”—If you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying something to your grandmother, you should think twice about saying it on social media.

And do keep in mind that this applies to sharing other people’s posts. You share it, you own it.

 Fired because of social media pitfalls

When all goes well, you get hired! Your employer may advise you of the company’s social media policy, but don’t count on it. If there is no social media policy, refer back to the “Grandma Theory,” especially as you begin to friend and connect with colleagues.

The social media/employment connection does not end when you’re hired. Joking around at the office is not the same thing as posting something that could be construed as offensive. That post, unlike the spoken word, lives on forever. Employers have fired people because of some post in the realm of these social media pitfalls . They’re allowed!

 The Social Media Conduct survey found that 41 percent of Americans believe that getting fired because of a social media post is an infringement of First Amendment rights. It’s not.social media pitfalls

The First Amendment “does not protect speakers against private individuals or organizations, such as private employers…the First Amendment restrains only the government.”

Make the best of it

Your social media friends and connections could someday be in a position to hire you, help you get a job, or give you a reference. For that reason alone, it’s best to keep things civil. Now that we know that employers are using social media to make hiring and firing decisions, it’s even more important to resist the urge to be provocative and irreverent on social media. Read more about social media and employment in HubShout’s Social Media Conduct eBook.

 

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