By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
Pinterest has become the home of inspiration for everyone that uses it. This platform is simple to use, aesthetically pleasing and makes it easy to organize your ideas. Many event planners and individuals planning parties use Pinterest to get ideas of how they want to decorate. Others use it to get home decor ideas or outfit ideas for different events and seasons. We can even use it to pick out our next manicure design. Small businesses can take advantage of Pinterest to reach more people and to sell directly on the platform. Below are our 4 Pinterest Tips for Small Business and here is a Pinterest advertising guide for you to see:
1. Advertise on Pinterest: Pinners aka Pinterest users, visit the platform when they are planning for something and when they want to purchase something. For example, a Pinner might visit the app to create a board of ideas for their home office. Small businesses can take advantage of this by promoting their items through ads. For example, furniture businesses use Pinterest to promote their desks, tables, chairs, etc. and make it easy for Pinners to purchase immediately by linking to their websites. Pinterest users spend 80% more in retail than people off of Pinterest. On Pinterest, brands provide the ideas for Pinners that spark their interest. Everything that they see on the platform is with an intent, either to do, to buy or to try, which leads them one step closer to becoming a sale for you. Take a look at my Pinterest Templates post for some great tips and pre-made templates for your pins.
2. Use Boards to Showcase your Products: Like we said, Pinterest is a full-funnel stop for businesses. As a small business, deciding where to advertise can be harder because of limited budgets. Pinterest is great to use for advertising because it helps small businesses reach the audiences that they need to reach at the right time. A part of this, is also creating boards and pins that showcase the products that people are trying to find. Let's go back to our furniture store example. The furniture store can run ads targeting specific users, but they can also post pins and create boards of inspiration by showing their products in action. They can promote a modern office desk by posting a pin of modern office decor showcasing the desk. Here, they can include product information and link to their website listing for the desk. This is an engaging way to reach customers without necessarily paying for ads.
3. Let your Customers do the Pinning: A great way to promote your items and get your brand out there is to allow visitors to your website to pin your listings. Add a "Pin It" button next to the items on your website to let them pin for you. By letting your customers pin your items to their boards, it expands your reach and allows more people to potentially purchase your products.
4. Add Watermarks and Prices: Most people want to see prices when looking for ideas on Pinterest. The worst thing is when a Pinner sees the perfect item for them, Pins it, and later finds out it is above their price point. It is helpful for both the potential customers and the brand to include prices on their pins. Another thing to consider is placing watermarks on your images. This allows others to know where the products are from when users pin your items. By placing a logo watermark somewhere on your images, you allow others to immediately know where the item is from which simultaneously promotes your brand.
By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
If you have ever been on Instagram or Pinterest, you know that having great photos is one of the keys to success on these platforms. Small businesses, bloggers, influencers, and just about everyone wants to have the best photos and best aesthetics for these apps. Great photos are essential to captivating your audience and getting views on your pages. These views can lead to visits to your webpage and eventually lead viewers to purchase your products. In this blog post, we will be going over the top 3 free photo editing apps that we found were the easiest to use. We will also be discussing some Instagram Stories tips to bring your stories to the next level of Instagram aesthetics.
1. Over App: The Over app does have free features and in-app purchases. For the Pro features the fee starts at $8.99 per month. The Pro version has extra features that are not available on the free version such as the ability to add shapes to your designs. In this app, you can use filters, crop your images, and use adjustments to edit your photos. The app also offers great tips for beginners and has pre-made layouts ready to use for your posts and stories. Below is a quick edit that I made using the app. First, I uploaded the photo and played with filters. Then, I cropped it to fit the image size that I was looking for and played with the adjust features including saturation, vignette and sharpen. Finally, I decided to play with the blur tool to show you guys you can use this app to blur your images when you don't want the audience immediately knowing what you are posting or if you are having a contest with a secret prize.
2. Instasize App: The Instasize App is more like a basic photo editing app without layouts or tips and tricks. It does have a paid version, Instasize Premium, for creators and a toolkit with tips and other content help for beginners and creators that sign up for the app. The creators package starts at $4.99 per month with more features than the free version. This app has basic features similar to other editing apps including the features on photos in your iPhone. Again, I was playing with filters and adjustments like saturation to edit the photo. You can also crop your image and add a grid around your image if you want to add text or anything else on the sides of your photo. Other than that, this one was not as impressive and did not have as many free features as the Over app.
3. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom: This Adobe app is a very quick and easy to use editing tool. It has a lot of free basic features similar to the other two apps. The free version does not include the healing brush and selective adjustments, but other than that it is still a very quick and easy app to use when editing photos on the spot. The paid version starts at $4.99 per month. Below is my quick edit that I made to play with the app. I followed the same process as with the other two apps.
4. Instagram Stories Tips: Everyone wants the best Instagram Stories to captivate their audiences. Whether you are a creator, a business or a blogger, you want your stories to lead your audience to your profile and hopefully your website. There are apps like Over and Canva that provide pre-made layouts for your stories which will help you in making them more aesthetically pleasing. These pre-made layouts guide you in where to put your writing and where to place your photos. Another tip for stories is to do it yourself. You can go on these apps and choose to create your own story without a pre-made layout. For DIY stories, my favorite thing to do is go on Pinterest to look at backgrounds that will fit the mood of the story. Then, I screenshot these backgrounds and upload to either Over or Canva. After you have your background, you can edit it like a regular image and then select your text style, font and curvature. You can also add borders on your photos, stickers and other elements to really make your stories pop. Sometimes, I use both apps. I use Canva to edit and design my story, but I will use Over to add the text because it makes it easier to curve your text if you want to have it in an arch. My last tip, is to use the stickers that Instagram already provides on Stories. This will also make your Stories pop and captivate your audience. Sometimes you might see filters or effects that you like on other people's Stories. When this happens, you can tap on the name of the effect and choose to try it, save it or send it. Below is a quick DIY edit that I made with Over for Stories rather than using a pre-made layout. I will also include the screenshot of the effects options on Instagram.
By: Johana M. Caba
Pandemics do not come around very often, but this is one of the first pandemics in which social media has been a crucial tool for fast communication between organizations, governments, companies and citizens. Everyone has been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic in various ways. In the United States, we are still dealing with the earlier stages of this very serious respiratory illness. Still, there are some things that we can observe from the virality of this situation and how various groups are reacting to it on social media.
First, let’s observe how leaders in government are reacting on social media. For the most part, elected officials are appropriately acting by posting live updates of the cases within their cities, counties and states. Many are advising their constituents to practice social distancing, wash their hands and take this situation seriously. On the other hand, there are some that might seem tone-deaf about the situation by posting about irrelevant things such as construction updates or events that they are attending. Up until a few days ago, many politicians were still not acting accordingly by not practicing what they were preaching to their publics. If there is a lesson to be learned here, it is that leaders need to think about what they are posting at all times and how those posts will affect their constituents in order to ensure that they do not come off as tone-deaf in the midst of a global crisis.
Second, we can observe how non-profit organizations and for-profit companies are reacting to the situation. Many organizations are providing assistance to employees and allowing them to work remotely during these times. A lot of schools have closed and they have kept their districts updated on social media, via robocalls and via emails. On social media, most organizations have kept a serious tone in regards to the virus and have ensured that their customers can contact them for any questions or concerns. Airlines, in particular, have been updating their customers on Twitter to ensure that they are working around the clock to help everyone with their travel plans.
Lastly, we can observe how citizens have been reacting to the virus on social media. For the most part, many citizens are serious and trying to share updates with their groups. Others have been posting memes and videos about random strangers fighting in grocery stores over toilet paper. This third group has been reacting to the news in very different ways. As the situation worsens, it is evident that many more are taking it seriously, especially as citizens from severely impacted countries post their experiences online.
What can we observe and learn from this situation in real time? Well, first, governments and for-profit organization need to take a more serious tone on social media and update constituents and customers frequently. This aids in providing some peace of mind for those impacted and helps answer questions that they might have. Here, we also see that becoming tone-deaf on social media can have negative repercussions for the government or organization. Therefore, in this situation, these groups need to take a serious tone and focus on providing the best services that they can for everyone’s safety and peace of mind.
Additionally, we see the way in which social media can make such a scary situation a viral moment for various days and weeks. We also see the impact that live posts from impacted countries can have on the actions of others. For example, we see that as more survivors are posting from Italy and Wuhan about their experiences, more people are becoming aware of the magnitude of the situation and the serious health risks that this virus brings. All in all, social media can be a great tool during a global crisis such as this pandemic to spread real information from trusted sources, minimize false information circulating these platforms and communicate directly (in real time) with those impacted.
By: Johana M. Caba
As a social media manager, we are always thinking of what kinds of graphics, posts and content will receive the most organic engagement. We can create content that appeals to various audiences, but might not receive the engagement we are looking for. So, for this blog post, we decided to take a look at which types of graphics receive the most engagement on social media. Below are the three types of graphics that can attract the engagement that you want for your content:
By: Marlene I. Urena
Some business owners may wonder: Is using emojis in social media posts a good idea? Will it take away from your business’s professionalism? Let’s discuss.
Emojis have become widely used when it comes to communicating. While most of the time people use them to text their loved ones, they are also used on social media. However, some businesses do not use them because they may not want to appear less professional. While emojis are not really known as a professional tool, companies can definitely benefit from their use on social media, and here are some reasons why:
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