social media

Meme Week: Pinterest Maybe

Hey I tried to pin you, and this is crazy, that website has no images, so upload one maybe.

Meme Week: Twitter Maybe

Our week of useful tips via popular meme continues. If you like, pass it along!

Hey I just followed you, and this is crazy, your links are too long, use bit.ly maybe.

Meme Week: Facebook Maybe

American and internet pop culture has embraced the ‘Call Me Maybe’ meme and so have we. Today it’s Facebook (and our only self promotional one, seriously.)

Call us maybe?
Hey I just Facebooked you, and this is crazy, your page has no cover image, so hire us maybe.

Meme Week: Foursquare Maybe

So American pop culture and the internet has embraced the Call Me Maybe song. And whenever I’m having a crappy kind of day, I totally watch this video parody of it with Corgis (because why wouldn’t it be?):

Googling ‘Call Me Maybe’ and checking out image results, you’ll find some fun stuff. Here’s a collection/some info about the meme: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/call-me-maybe

We’ve jumped on this meme at Breaking Even and with Nicole copy/ideas and Alice artwork/ideas, we have a series of ‘Call Me Maybe’ inspired statements with accompanying cheesy pictures about internet marketing. All week. Yes you may have just died and gone to heaven. Or you more accurately you may chuckle for a few seconds.

First up, Foursquare. Let us know what you think! And if you like it, pin it, Facebook share it, tweet it, whatever! :^) Happy Monday!

Hey I just checked in, and this is crazy, your venue has no address, so claim it maybe.

Using Hashtags Online Starring Pinterest and Twitter

Chris Messina is believed to be the first user of the # (hashtag) on Twitter, using it to model his suggestion for indicating groups on Twitter.

Twitter describes hashtags as “themes” of tweets, as they link all other tweets containing that hashtag and are displayed in a live feed if you type “#……” into the search bar on Twitter.

This is a powerful tool, as millions of Twitter users around the world can see your tweets, even if they don’t follow you on Twitter, simply by searching for a hashtag. It allows a sort of deliberate or incidental connection between individuals who otherwise would never have encountered one another, in cyberspace or face-to-face, and they are automatically on the same page, discussing the same topic.

Using the #mitt2012 hashtag on Twitter allows anyone to join the online conversation.

Using the #mitt2012 hashtag on Twitter allows anyone to join the online conversation about Mitt Romney’s presidential bid.

Hashtags also make it easy to follow a thread of conversation. When you are first on Twitter and only have a few followers, it’s easy to follow conversations but when you get into hundreds or thousands of people, the common use of a hashtag between them helps everyone keep track.

Hashtags used by thousands of Twitter users simultaneously are called “trending”. Some hashtags trend periodically when a group of people get online to discuss a topic. When involved in a Twitter ‘chat’ hashtag and by using the designated hashtag, participants don’t need to spend time explaining what the chat is about. Everyone is automatically knows what they’re there to discuss.  It is the chat room on a grand (and perhaps less creepy) scale.

Sometimes hashtags don’t have a largely important purpose. They can be humorous or ironic, such as #Thatjusthappened, commenting on whatever misfortune or remarkable occurrence the Twitter user has posted (photo, video, link, etc.) This explains the sort of #bieberfever and similarly popular pop culture ideas; Twitter is a place for both serious and fun conversations and the hashtag allows them to happen.

By this logic, Pinterest users have begun adopting the hashtag trend as well, though this seems to be only done among the more social media saavy types.

I saw my Pinterest friend Jodi McKee use #splendidsummer in some of her pins and see it's caught on. Everyone using this hashtag is now part of an online (and visual) conversation about summer.

I saw my Pinterest friend Jodi McKee use #splendidsummer in some of her pins and see it’s caught on. Everyone using this hashtag is now part of an online (and visual) conversation about summer.

The hashtag can be a stand-alone building block or gathering point on or for a social network; as the number of users of a given hashtag accumulates, it “trends,” attracting yet more users to the given hashtag. It is essentially an organic, self-sustaining way to build attention for a given topic on Twitter, but it could easily be translated to Pinterest or other social networking sites as well.

Pinterest’s format, with it’s content around topic and the ability to caption and comment on photos and video, seems ripe for application of hashtags to build interest in specific topics and help site users with common interests connect. Given Pinterest’s stated goal, the hashtag would seem a naturally-suited tool to achieving greater interconnectedness via common interests.

It’s only a matter of time before Pinterest embraces some of the same concepts as older social networks. Next time you see a hashtag, join in the conversation. You may be surprised who you end up talking to, in a good way.

Marketing Monday: Online Photos 101

Online photos are all the rage. Whether it’s the new ginormous format of Facebook cover photos or the continually rising popularity of Pinterest, having photos associated with your web presence is becoming essential.

When you have photos on your website, they can be pinned on Pinterest.

When you have photos on your website, they can be pinned on Pinterest.



Here are some popular questions we get about online photos:

What are some ways I can use photos on my website and beyond?
Here are a few ways you may have thought about using photos with some real life examples:

  • Show textures/closeups– I have a friend who takes closeups of scarf patterns, etc. that she has in stock to show customers what is available. Check out the example from Atlantic Art Glass showing bead textures.
Want people to buy something high end online? Give them an idea of what it looks like up close, like Atlantic Arts Glass does with their jewelry beads.

Want people to buy something high end online? Give them an idea of what it looks like up close, like Atlantic Arts Glass does with their jewelry beads.



  • Show how-to photos– A series of photos can show how to do something in a way that’s less invasive than a video camera but more descriptive than text. A series of photos can show someone how to install your solar panels on their roof and help people see that it might be easier than they think.
  • Show products– Show the view from all angles (like that dress from the back!), or products in terms of stock photography and in the ‘real world’.
  • Give a tour- Show visitors around a location or property to get them familiar with it. I might not have noticed in your website text that each room at your hotel has a mini fridge but I could see it in the photo and be pleasantly surprised.
  • Show your staff– If customers deal with your staff, show them in action so when the customer comes into your business, they can say hi. Never underestimate making someone feel comfortable before they even meet you in real life.
  • Break up text- People may not read everything you write but they’ll skim for bold writing, bullets, and photos. Use photos to spice up a boring page!
  • Create an infographic– If you or someone on your staff is into design and some data, you can make an infographic. Check out the example below breaking down where the price of a public transit bus ticket goes, here is the original article or Google ‘infographics’ to get some other ideas.

    You don't need to create the most amazing thing on earth, so long as it's pleasing to the eye and shows interesting information, an infographic can be an interesting addition to your website.
    You don’t need to create the most amazing thing on earth, so long as it’s pleasing to the eye and shows interesting information, an infographic can be an interesting addition to your website.
  • Think beyond the photo– Anything visual like a map, video, chart, or graph can also be great website content. Compare your service levels with a chart or show where your jewelry is wholesaled with a Google Map.Remember any page on your website that has a picture on it can be pinned on Pinterest so the more great photos you have, the better your chance of getting noticed.

I don’t have a ton of good photos. Where can I get ‘stock’ photos?
You can get paid permission to use stock photos from websites like iStockphoto.com. Higher end photographs can be purchased on other sites like Getty Images for hundreds of dollars each. That said, you might want something less generic or less expensive for your uses.

  • Look up photos at creativecommons.org for photos you can use or modify with proper attribution.
  • If you see a specific photographer whose photos you like on Flickr or another website that does not have an explicit sharing policy, write to them to ask about permissions and compensation. Be as specific as possible about what you want to use the photo for. Some photographers will let you use their work in a limited application for a small fee.

How can I protect my photos from unauthorized use?
There are a few ways you can protect your photos:

  • Put your logo in the bottom corner of your photo. Then if anyone uses it, they’ll have to crop the photo. Most people will just leave it there.
  • Use a watermark. Some photo software comes with an easy way for you to add this.
  • Apply for and publish a copyright or Creative Commons licence, an alternative to copyright that appeared as an option in 2001. http://creativecommons.org/choose/
If you have further concerns, this looks like a pretty good article that addresses them: http://www.steves-digicams.com/knowledge-center/how-tos/online-sharing-social-networking/protecting-your-work-on-flickr.html

What about taking photos with my smartphone? Any tips on making those come out better?

The good news is lots of people have this topic very well covered. Here are two good general articles:

Nine Tips for Taking Better Photos With A Smartphone (CNet)

How To Take Better Pictures With Your Smartphone’s Camera (Lifehacker)

You can also look in forums specific to your device to get tips from other people who have the same device you do.

Should I put photos on my website or somewhere else like Flickr?
I will say right now I am ridiculously biased here.  I feel like this question is kind of asking me “Do I want to do more work so less people can see it?” Putting them onto a site like Flickr saves you from having to resize them and exposes them to people who are not necessarily coming to your website (which you clearly link to in your profile and photo captions).

Photos on your website
Steps Involved: Take photos, resize them, upload it via FTP or via your website software into a gallery, make the gallery display on the page you want.
Pros:
People have to go to your website to see them (also a con)
You can control exactly how they display (Ex: you want a neon pink border around all of them? You’ve got it.)
Good if you: Don’t have many photos, are kind of a control freak

Photos on Flickr
Steps Involved: Take photos, upload them to Flickr, use code to display them on your site
Pros:
Wider exposure than your website (2 million+ monthly users)
You can use programs or code to display them on your website
Automatic resizing when you upload them
Good if you: Have lots of photos, see the potential of other people contributing photos, want the most exposure to your work possible

Clearly, when it comes to albums, I am Flickr biased.

Clearly, when it comes to albums, I am Flickr biased.

So snap some photos people and get them online. It’s the cool thing to do!

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