Tag: Content

Top 3 Reasons You Should Create Your Own Branded Images for Social Media

Top 3 Reasons You Should Create Your Own Branded Images for Social Media

We are constantly seeing brands get in trouble for using images that they have curated from various places on the Internet. It’s shocking how many small business owners don’t understand copyright law or the trouble they could get into by saving something from Google or another social media channel and then sharing it on their own social media.

The biggest trouble comes when you use an image you didn’t create and attach your brand colors and logos to it and brand it as yours. You have now violated trademark and copyright laws. 

Most of the time, it’s innocent. Businesses aren’t experienced enough in this area to understand that what they are doing is wrong. Seeing other business owners do the same thing is just reinforcing dangerous behavior.

Here’s what you should do instead:

Create Original Images

The best way to avoid this problem is to create your own images to share on social media. If you don’t currently have photos of you or your biz that work, there are plenty of stock photography websites you can use to download images that are legal and appropriate. A few of these websites are free to users. The better images will involve some sort of investment. 

Here are some websites to explore for creating your own images:

Canva.com

Pixabay

Unsplash

iStockPhoto

Dreamstime

Shutterstock

Brand Photography

If you are struggling to find stock images that resonate with the brand messaging you are trying to create, it may be time to invest in making your own. Brand photography utilizes the services of a professional photographer, skilled in the process of capturing your company’s personality and values on film. Not only will this keep you from getting in trouble with the copyright police, your audience will respond so much more to photos of you than random images of anything else. Just be sure that your agreement with the photographer allows you to share the images digitally. Not all photographers allow for that so you’ll want to look for a brand photographer that specializes in images for social media marketing and pay close attention to your agreement with them.

Connect with your Audience

If you spend your time sharing other people’s content, you are not inspiring them to work with you. This type of content does not relate to your brand, your story, your messaging, or your company culture. It’s easy to confuse those mindlessly scrolling their social media feeds and they won’t connect your post with your work. When you are creating your own branded images for social media you are using your photos, your fonts, and your brand colors. This is the ideal situation for online branding and marketing for any business. These types of posts are instantly recognizable to people who know you and are 1,000 times more interesting to people who don’t.

Are you struggling with not knowing how to use social media for your business?  Not sure when to post, how to post, or what #Hashtags even are? Over three months, we will develop a roadmap of exactly how to use social media for your business in our Quarterly Roadmap Sessions.  Branded images and content are just one of the things we’ll work on together. We will also work on ads, reporting, creating posts for higher engagement, and break through the fears and frustrations small businesses experience with social media marketing. Let’s chat.


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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media Training, Speaking and Strategy Consultations.

#FreshContent – Monthly Themes for Your Content

A key challenge for social media managers is keeping the creative juices flowing. Even the most imaginative content developer can get caught in a rut from time to time. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid finding yourself stuck. One great technique is to set a monthly theme for your content.

The beauty of themes is that they provide you with a framework for your content and can help you narrow your focus. Even if even if you have no shortage of ideas, themes can help you stay on track so that you post consistently.

So now that you are sold on using themes, how do you get started? No surprises here, you create a plan! Of course, that’s easier said than done. No need to worry though. Here are seven steps you can follow to build a successful strategy for incorporating monthly themes for your social media content.

  • Assess what currently works – Take a look at which platforms work best for you now and the type of content that is getting the most traction. Remember that your objective is to get people engaged. You want to do more of what is working best.
  • Restate your social media goals – It is always helpful to remind yourself of your goals. If your primary objective for social media is to strengthen your relationships with your clients, then a customer appreciate theme is appropriate.
  • Think about your customers – What type of content will interest and help your customers? Do they need information on your products? If so, a monthly “how-to” theme will work well. Could they benefit from getting to know your company better? Try a monthly “getting to know us” theme.
  • Brainstorm – Spend some time documenting a variety of possible themes. Get your entire team involved. Each one will bring a different perspective to the task.
  • Prioritize – Once you have a good list, prioritize the topics according to your goals and what is likely to be most successful in engaging your customers.
  • Decide how you will measure success – Set some targets so that you’ll know whether or not your theme campaigns are working. Useful metrics can include shares, likes, follows, conversions or whatever works with the goals you have set.
  • Rinse and repeatEvaluate your campaigns periodically to see what is working. Revise your plan to strengthen the themes that aren’t quite hitting the mark.

Working with themes won’t just help you keep writing, it will help your customers know what to expect. They’ll appreciate your consistency and come to depend on you for insight, inspiration, or a smile. Themes also give you the chance to incorporate content that is unexpected. One month you may focus on a technical topic, the next you might express gratitude or profile a customer or employee. The point is, you can take advantage of themes to keep your content fresh, engaging, and fun. So get started with themes now!

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

#FreshContent – Repurposing Your Past Content

If there’s one thing that professional marketers agree on it’s this: creating high-quality content is hard! Not only is it hard, but it also requires near mastery of a number of tools and resources. So it makes sense that you want to get as much out of your content as possible. The best way to do that is to repurpose it or use it in new and varied ways. Of course, doing that sounds much easier than it really is. Fortunately, we’ve got some ideas that can help you get a jump-start on repurposing past content.

Share on a Different Platform

The most efficient way to reuse your content is to share it across multiple platforms. A short blog post can quickly become a Facebook or Twitter post. A longer post might work best on your LinkedIn account. The point is you should make the most of all your social media accounts as a way to get more exposure for your content.

Give it a Facelift

The biggest problem with content is that it quickly becomes dated. Sometimes all you need to do is freshen it up by taking an older post and incorporating a current issue or challenge you’re facing; once done, it’s ready to re-post. As this “fresh” material gains relevance, you can use it in an email campaign or a brand new social media post.

Shapeshift It

There are many ways to take your old content and create something entirely different. A blog post can become a slide deck that can be posted to SlideShare or turned into a video. An article with statistics can become an infographic. With a little imagination, you can take an old piece of content, dust it off, and turn it into something completely different.

Mix and Merge

If you’ve been creating content for some time, you likely have a great deal of information on related topics. Bundling complementary material to create an e-book not only breathes new life into old articles, but it also cements your position as an authority. If your content has more of a “how-to” flavor to it, you can package it into a webinar. Even better, why not do both?

With a little creativity and imagination, you can turn older content into a brand new asset. In fact, you can use the very same information to create multiple articles, posts, and tools. Done the right way, what you thought was a one-shot post or article can be turned into something that is evergreen and long-lasting.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

#AwesomeStorytelling – Stories That Highlight Experience in Your Industry



If you want your viewers to connect with your brand, you’ll need to give them some common ground. One of the most effective ways to do so is by telling some awesome stories that highlight your experience in your industry. Here are some tips that will help you create compelling stories:

Speak truthfully.
Integrity is the cornerstone of brand trust. Don’t try to tell stories in which you are the savior. Instead, show your stories through their eyes. Show their struggles (and yours) to create a successful outcome. Audiences find hope and connection when your stories overcome adversity. It’s the way you tell the story that connects them.

Be Authentic to Yourself.
You need to explain why you do what you do and the purpose behind your actions. The key to success, is that emotional connection, remember? You need to explain how your involvement in this story is special and unique to your industry. Your “why” is just as important as the outcome.

Infuse Personalities into Stories.
Dry, factual statements and arguments will actually create barriers to trust. It is natural to be critical and skeptical of a person’s claims. It will cause a person to click away from an ad, post, or page, almost as quickly as a pushy, “Buy me because I said so” social media push. When those facts are wrapped in the power of a story, however, there is a chance to get them emotionally invested in the outcome. This emotionally connection allows them to follow through to the end, willing to suspend disbelief, and root for an outcome that aligns with your needs.

Know Your Audience.
Knowing your audience means you have to give them stories and characters that they will root for. Simplify your message and make sure you cut out unnecessary details. Anything that doesn’t further the story or the emotional impact has to go.

Include a Beginning, Middle, and End (Story Structure is King!)
There is nothing worse than a rambling story that has no purpose. Make sure that your stories follow a proven story structure for maximum engagement. You’ll want exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and a resolution. Each of these pieces connect your readers with your story in an emotional way.

Here are some ways you can get readers engaged with your #AwesomeStorytelling:

  • Use your ads in a sequential story form. Refinery29, actually did a Facebook ad test regarding this, and found a 56% conversion life, and an 87% rise in view-throughs.
  • Use visual storytelling. It’s imperative that you use the five senses in your storytelling so that your story can come to life. Visual aids like images, graphs, videos, and infographics can make your story far more compelling. Keep your social media platform in mind, as well, when you consider these options. Instagram Stories are highlighted at the top of everyone’s Insta feed. Facebook Day in the Life is highlighted at the top of the messenger app. We all know that Facebook videos are currently pushed more than regular content. You can tell the same stories in a thousand different ways. Don’t let yourself be limited.

There are so many more ways to use stories in your business. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Take time to create compelling stories, and you’ll see a huge difference in your social media responses.

Start your first story today!


Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.


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