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With over 79% of marketers in 2014 using promoted tweets as part of their campaign, Twitter hashtag campaigns are no longer a novelty in the marketing world. As demonstrated by hugely successful Twitter hashtag campaigns by NBACharmin, and Amex, Twitter hashtag campaigns can help you reap enormous rewards when done right. But how can you run and optimize a winning Twitter Hashtag campaign? Here is a simple 4-step playbook to help you create amazing hashtag campaigns.

In this blog post you will find out:

  • How to research what’s working for your competitors on Twitter
  • How to select the right KPI’s and goals for your Twitter campaigns
  • How to structure your Twitter hashtag campaign for maximum engagement
  • How to execute a flawless campaign and keep up with your audience

Step 1. Research how your brand & competitors are perceived on Twitter

What is your brand’s current position in the Twittersphere? How influential are you on Twitter? Who talks about your brand and in what context? When are your fans talking about you? What associated keywords are used to talk about your brand? These are some of the important questions you need to answer before starting your Twitter Campaign. In this step, you want to do two things:

  1. Measure your current influence. This information will be crucial for your post-campaign analysis. Your ‘influence’ metric includes your current followers, and more in-depth metrics such as contributors, and sources. You can measure your real-time influence using Keyhole by searching for your  brand name or URL of your website. This will give you the following data: contributors, reach, impressions, top sites & content, influential users, location & demographics, top sources of tweet, and related hashtags/keywords
  2. Make a list of keywords that your brand is mostly associated with. Knowing associated keywords will help you brainstorm the concepts, hashtags, and copies for your campaign. This information is also available on Keyhole in a form of word cloud.

Here’s sample data for our Twitter handle Keyholeco:

Real-time Conversation analysis for “Keyholeco” 

Here we can see the activity around our brand in the past week.

Location, Demographic, Sources ,and Keyword analysis for “KeyholeCo” using Keyhole’s analytics tool

The infamous master of war, Sun Tzu said, “Know your enemy and know yourself.” Likewise,

Monitoring your competition is as important as knowing yourself. [click to tweet]

This will help you gain a bigger perspective of the industry and guide you in crafting your own Twitter campaign. You don’t want to run a campaign similar to what your competitor has done last week.

The research method is simple; Do what you did for your own brand. Understand their current reach on twitter, read their copies, and monitor the influencers behind their brands. Analyzing yout competitor’s twitter strategy will reveal a lot about your own brand’s strategy.

Try it yourself here:


Step 2. Clearly identify the goals of your Twitter campaign

This is a step you and your team must do before creating the actual campaign content and strategy. It’s easy to get caught up with creativity and virality around the campaign that the actual business metrics and KPIs become unclear.

What is your brand aiming to get out of a Twitter hashtag campaign? Is it to promote awareness for a certain product? Increase your followers? Get people to download your new app? Metrics like followers, RTs, and mentions will inevitably increase with a successful campaign, but clearly defining your goals will be incredibly important in coming up with an effective content strategy.

Deciding which metrics to track can be tricky. Jenn Deering Davis from Kissmetrics gives some great suggestions for developing your KPIs:

If you want to measure awareness, use metrics like volume, reach, exposure, and amplification. How far is your message spreading?

If you want to measure engagement, look for metrics around retweets, comments, replies, and participants. How many people are participating, how often are they participating, and in what forms are they participating?

If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, track URL shares, clicks and conversions. Are people moving through social media to your external site and what do they do once they’re on your site?

If your goal is to find advocates and fans, track contributors and influence. Who is participating and what kind of impact do they have?

If your goal is to increase your brand’s share of voice, track your volume relative to your closest competitors. How much of the overall conversation around your industry or product category is about your brand?

A great example of a Twitter hashtag campaign built around solid metrics is UN Gender’s #HeForShe. The goal of the campaign was clear: To obtain pledges of gender equality from 100,000 males within a year. As part of their integrated marketing campaign UN Gender….

  • Made their call-to-action crystal clear. It was easy for audience to understand what the project was about, and how to participate
  • Streamlined #HeForShe content in all of their global accounts with Hootsuite
  • Obtained influential celebrity endorsement, such as Emma Watson, whom strongly encouraged men to pledge for gender equality
  • #HeForShe team worked closely with UN Women affiliate offices around the world to report on real-time feedback from tweeters across the globe

The key learning from UN Women’s #HeForShe campaign is that they built their strategy from a well defined goal — to get 100,000 pledges from men, which they were able to obtain within the first week by the way.

Step 3. Create your Twitter hashtag campaign and strategy around it

This is the fun part. I went ahead and did the difficult work for you so you just have to follow along.

I evaluated 10 of the past three years’ most successful Twitter hashtag campaigns, such as UN Gender, Yellow Page, ZzzQuils, Lays, and Amex, and found that all of these twitter campaign had three of the four qualities I call FOAM:

  1. Fun — words says it all. It’s fun and entertaining. E.g.: Charmin toilet paper’s #TweetFromThesSeat asks people to share their voice while “doing their business,” which resulted in thousands of hilarious tweets — from the “seat”.
  2. Opinion-based — invites people to share their views/opinions/ideas on a particular issue. E.g.: General Electric’s #IwantToInvent asked people to submit ideas of their own inventions.
  3. Action — calls on audience to do something. E.g.: Mastercard’s #PricelessNewYear twitter campaign asked audience to take a photo with their loved ones and tweet with their hashtag.
  4. Meaningful — gives audience a philanthropic motivation or a monetary reward. E.g.: Ensurance’s superbowl Twitter hashtag campaign gave out $1.5 M to one Twitter user.

FOAM chart for Keyhole 4 Step Twitter Campaign Blog Post

When drafting your content, ensure that your twitter hashtag ties in with your brand in a witty, relatable way. It needs to be customized to your goals & your audience. For instance, DiGiorno Pizza used #DiGiorNOYOUDIDNT to promote their pizza delivery service by targeting football fans. How? By crafting witty football smack verses and live- tweeting them during the football season.

Digi Pizza Twitter Campaign

Why did this work?

  1. Well-targeted demography. Who else is a better target for a pizza brand than a group of adrenaline-packed football junkies?
  2. Witty & Product-focused. Not only were their tweets funny and related to football, but it also promoted their product.
  3. Relevant. They tweeted live and responded ASAP showing clear understanding of Twitter and it’s mechanisms.

There are thousands of different ways to execute a Twitter hashtag campaign, but the key is solid planning. Open your excel files, round up your team members, and be ready to make checklists. For instance, if your hashtag Twitter campaign is going to have a give-away, plan the logistics in as much detail as possible — What is the prize? How are we going to pick the winner? When are you going to end the contest? How soon will they receive their awards? If you’re asking your audience to submit user-generated-content (such as a picture of them with your product), plan out your tweet schedules. You should use data you’ve collected during the research phase to optimize. For instance, how often and during what time slots are you going to tweet? Who will you tweet at? What kind of keywords will you use? — you get the idea.

Also, if your brand has a budget for the Twitter hashtag campaign, make sure you explore all the products Twitter offers and allocate your budget accordingly.

Promotion of the campaign needs to be incorporated in your planning as well. Here are few ways to promote your Twitter hashtag campaigns:

  1. Cross promote across all your social media channels. In other words, streamline your campaign.
  2. Partner with relevant allies. This can include celebrities, spokesperson, influencers, employees, or even other companies that can benefit from your campaign.
  3. Use paid services offered by Twitter. You can read more in depth about Twitter’s business products here.
  4. Integrate your campaign with offline efforts such as events. This method is particularly useful if you’re geo-targeting your audience.

Planning a campaign will vary depending on your budget, industry, and scope. Learning from other companies’ success and failures is of paramount importance. To read more case studies on Twitter campaigns, try industry’s shorty award’s twitter brand compilations.

Step 4. Execute, Monitor, and Respond

 Now that you have your compelling copy, creatives, and a meticulous plan in your hands, it’s time to execute. Make sure your entire team is aware of the strategy and plan for your Twitter hashtag campaign as it will be crucial to amplify as soon as it’s live. Remember, 92.4% of all retweets happen within the first hour it’s been tweeted.

If you’re new to scheduling your tweets or any other social media content, here is an amazing article by Buffer that can help you with content planning.

Few simple strategies to further promote your hashtags while the campaign is live:
1. Write a tweet in relation to a trending tweet that also ties in with your campaign hashtag
2. Tag (@ at) your top influencers and ask them to participate in your campaign
3. RT or Mention any participants for amplification
4. Create blog posts that aggregates your favorite tweets and share with your audience while mentioning the relevant participants

Twitter needs to be on-watch constantly during the entire duration of your twitter campaign. Make sure your hashtag is monitored realtime using tools like Keyhole. How is your campaign doing in comparison to your original goals? If it’s not doing as well as you’ve expected, perhaps an intervention is necessary. While monitoring, your designated twitter-warrior needs to respond to most if not all of the audiences participating in your campaign for amplification. Remember,

70% of surveyed Twitter users expect a response from brands they reach out to on Twitter. Of those users, 53% want that response in under an hour.

Here is a fun infographic that can help you optimize your Twitter response.

@keyholeco if you have any questions. We’re always here for you.


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10 Types of Visual Social Media Posts That Get Shared Like Crazy

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10 Types of Visual Social Media Posts That Get Shared Like Crazy

Do you want double your social engagement and get your content shared like crazy?

For small businesses and brands everywhere, posting multiple images on social media has been proven to have massive traction

It seems simple right? But if it was so easy wouldn’t everybody do it?

Like most good things, in life – there’s a catch. And it isn’t not needing a huge budget or incredible graphic design skills.

When it comes to content creation, many people make this simple mistake: they add more visuals just for the sake of it. This is a basic approach. Smart content marketers create visual content that reach people’s emotions – content with real psychological impact.

If you’re not a graphic designer or artist, don’t freak out. I’m going to walk you through you ten types of powerful visuals that are easy to create and can double your social media engagement. Let’s get started.

1. High quality stock photography

Beware: your fans will smell a cheesy stock photo from a million miles away. Not only will it lead them to discredit your professionalism as a brand, but will deter them from wanting to share your post.

On the other hand, high quality stock photography can do the complete opposite. As well as making your brand seem more credible, high quality and relevant images help establish your brand’s reputation and boost engagement. If you’re looking for original content, check out this handy article that lists and rates over 70 free stock photography websites.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-1.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Elite Daily

Take a look at this post on Elite Daily’s Facebook page. By using relevant and high quality stock photography, the band achieves a “wow factor” which immediately tempts the viewer to click through to the blog.

After all, everything your audience shares on social media will reflect back on themselves. You can’t blame them for wanting to look good, but you can choose the right images to make it possible.

2. Screenshots

You’ve probably heard the old adage “seeing is believing”. In terms of visual content, the psychological lesson here is that when people can see something for themselves, they’re more likely to trust the source – which develops its credibility.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-2.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Buffer

In this Twitter post Buffer gauge interest around one of its growth experiments by showing two screenshots of an A/B tested email. By doing so, Buffer are able to immediately impress the viewer which intrigues them to read on.

The text used to accompany the post is short yet effective: providing a hook for the article but letting the image become the compelling factor.

3. Infographics

The most basic way to understand why visual content is so effective on social media is to consider that the brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. When we’re scrolling through hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of posts, tweets and updates – images are simply easier to digest.

Infographics take this concept to the next level, allowing brands to capture complex pieces of information and turn them into engaging social media posts.

Notice how Charity World Vision have created a Pinterest board dedicated solely to its infographics. By doing so, they’re able to share large chunks of information in a single visual post.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-3.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: World Vision

By following design guidelines to ensure your infographics are easily readable and visually engaging, this is a great opportunity to increase impact beyond what a single image could achieve.

4. Personal photographs

The best way to connect with your audience on a deeply authentic level is to show them that you’re human, no matter how successful you are. If your business or brand doesn’t have a human face, people will find it hard to relate to.

To execute this personal element in your visual social posts, add snaps of your CEO or management staff. In this example taken from fashion retailer Nastygal’s Instagram, the brand’s CEO Sophia Amoruso is seen at a book signing of her recent book #GIRLBOSS.

Not only does this boost interest around the book, it builds the authenticity of the brand. Look at her: she’s a boss!

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-4.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Nastygal

5. Behind the scenes shots of your workplace

Another way to connect  people to the human aspect of your brand is to show behind the scenes shots of your workplace. This exclusive insight fosters a personal connection with your fans and strengthens their brand loyalty.

This particular type of imagery is more suitable for Instagram and Facebook, which are often considered the more “social” mediums. Designer Jen Gotch does this well on her instagram account by regularly featuring quirky shots of team activities.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-5.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Jen Gotch

These images give the impression that the team are “real people” and even encourage fans to consider Jen as a friend.

6. Quote graphics

A throwback to those motivational posters in your school counselor’s office – a quote graphic is still very beloved, and highly sharable. In fact, quote graphics work on every social media platform, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

The three things to consider with a quote graphic are the quote, the font, and the imagery. Go for a short quote with words that are easily digestible. Consider a font that’s readable on smaller screens because a lot more people are viewing through mobile devices these days.

Be sure to find an image that captures the spirit of the quote without competing with it for attention. The image should serve as a meditation space for the mind to go while its considering the quote.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-6.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Canva Quotes

Original images designed in Canva

7. Original designs

Branding your images is essential in order to build recognition on social media – a goal that should always be at the forefront of your visual content creation.

Also consider that generic images are rehashed over and over again, so creating unique content gives you a much steadier chance of becoming memorable.

When designing your own images, always create a style guide to ensure brand consistency. This means determining rules for your fonts, color scheme, and image personality. The goal: you want your brand to be instantly recognizable.

Take a look at how Amanda Fuller, creator of Kaleidoscope Blog, uses a simple yet original design over and over in her posts on Pinterest. Whenever I see a pin from the Kaleidoscope Blog on my Pinterest feed, I know exactly who its from based on this unique calling card design.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-7.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Kaleidoscope

8. Images that reflect the essence of your brand

If you want to create images that impact your target audience always consider: what made them choose you over your competitors?

The answer to this question is your unique selling point. By choosing images based around it, you’ll be strengthening the foundations of brand loyalty.

Consider VOSS Water. Propelled by brand values of purity, distinction, and social responsibility, VOSS Water visual social media posts always reinforce one (or more) of these ideals.

In the Facebook examples below, you’ll find the distinctive VOSS Water bottle featured prominently as anchor branding. Both images convey a sense of nature/ natural, and the fruit infusions look fresh and healthy, right on target with branding.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-8.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Voss

9. Action shots

Stimulate the imagination of your audience with an action or experience shot. Nothing is quite as convincing as a still photo that captures a moment in time.

Charity Water understood how to engage its audience with this vibrant image of clean water and outreached hands. Without reading, you instantly get the visual: What’s a bigger need than clean water? And what’s a great joy than having access to it?

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-9.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Charity Water

While you may not be providing clean water to those in need, you can still use this type of visual social media post to inspire your followers to feel good about you and themselves, also, for following you.

Share images of your product or service in its ideal use. There’s a reason why, depending on the brand, beer ads show customers partying at the hottest club or lounging on the beach–that’s the desired experience.

Whatever you’re selling, you want a product shot of your ideal customer actively reaping the benefits of it,

10. Images with a striking color palette

Colors can depict and elevate mood. Whether you’re looking to compel or commiserate, colors play a huge role in human psychology. Consider: what are the feelings you want to evoke from your social media audience? Try and replicate that feeling with the colors you choose.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-10.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Experiment with different color palettes

An easy way to do this is to use a color picker tool to extract colors from your favourite images. Before you start designing, you should always set out to limit yourself to four main colors – this will help establish a theme or feeling for your designs and increase their impact.

Now it’s your turn

Adding visual content to your social media strategy is a no-brainer, but using visual content that reaches your fans emotions and catches their eye is the smart marketer’s approach.

Whether you’re creating original content, sourcing photographs or shooting your own always consider how it will impact your audience.

How do you stand out from your competitors? Do certain types of visual posts work better for you than others? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

About the Author: Anna Guerrero heads up Editorial at Canva. Canva is launching new features to enable small businesses, bloggers and their teams to create more stunning graphics and boost their traffic

Read more at http://www.jeffbullas.com/2015/05/05/10-types-of-visual-social-media-posts-that-get-shared-like-crazy/#YiQp6yohRHLWX3gB.99

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Fashion Inspired By Nature In Diptychs By Liliya Hudyakova

by Lina D (BoredPanda)

The world of fashion often draws heavily upon the natural world to drive its creativity, and is precisely this link that Russian artist Liliya Hudyakova has such a good eye for. Her Fashion & Nature photo series pairs accomplished fashion designer’s dresses and other pieces with the natural views that she imagines might have inspired them.

The resulting juxtapositions draw an undeniable link between the clothing we see on the runway (or even wear) and the world that inspired it. Indeed, some of the oldest known pieces of decorative clothing and jewelry imitate or incorporate nature as well.

More info: Instagram | Facebook | Behance | Tumblr

Elie Saab S/S 2014 & Sunset

Gosia Baczynska S/S 2014 & Beautiful Fields

Elie Saab S/S 2012 & Tropical Beach

Elie Saab F/W 2014/15 & Pink Lake, Australia

Yiqing Yin F/W 2012/13 & Sea surface

Giambattista Valli F/W 2014/15 & Wisteria

Jason Wu S/S 2013 & Starry Night “Silhouettes” by Harry Finde

Monique Lhuillier S/S 2014 & Fire In The Sky in California by Aydin Palabiyikoglu

Carolina Herrera Fall 2015 RTW & Rice Field of Yunnan, China by Isabelle Chauvel

Blumarine S/S 2015 & Japanese Cherry Blossoms

Elie Saab S/S 2015 & Oceanscape Photography

Stephane Rolland S/S 2012 & Valley of the Glaciers – Satellite Image Of Patagonia (Chile) By NASA

Bottega Veneta S/S 2010 & Stormy Sky

Alexander McQueen S/S 2012 & First Snow Fall In Minnesota, USA

Delpozo S/S 2015 & Frozen Pond

Gucci F 2004 & Green Field

Comme des Garçons F/W 2013/14 & Autumn Leaves

Christian Siriano S/S 2013 & Sandy Beach

Alexander McQueen S/S 2010 & Autumn Leaves

Aquilano Rimondi S/S 2012 & Ocean Waves

Emilio Pucci F/W 2011 & Rainy Mountains

The Blonds F/W 2012 & Mountains

Jean Louis Sabaji S/S 2013 & Clouds

Blanka Matragi S/S 2012 & Ocean

Marchesa F/W 2012 & Red Leaves

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The 5 Elements of Great Graphic Design

Visual Hierarchy

By definition visual hierarchy in the graphic design context consists of manipulating visual content by prioritizing it and subsequently organizing it in a manner that will effectively get a point across. Visual hierarchy is one of the backbone principles of graphic design, and applies to every form of media you can possibly experience. This element is not simply about the image content; any text which is being considered for use is to be part of the arrangement process as well.

It is important to pay close attention to contrasts when being attentive to this element. Contrasts in color, context, size, and shape need to be closely monitored and anything which distracts from the key point should be properly adjusted.

Balance in Design Layout

Have you have ever looked at an advertisement of any medium and found a specific area of the visual that continually takes away your attention from the main focus? Empty spaces in some areas and overcrowding in others can throw the brain’s ability to retain attention into an uproar. Great graphic design will have all visual content and text arranged in a manner which is balanced evenly, and complimentary visuals or text will not crowd or distract from the point of the design. Each design will have a main point of reference and all other content is supportive, thus, supportive content should bring the point more clearly into focus rather than fog things up for the viewer.

Grid Use

A grid is made up of intersecting lines, horizontal, vertical, and/or angular, which can be straight or curved in appearance. Grids are two dimensional, and to the layman resemble nothing more than a bunch of tiny little boxes.

Grid use in graphic design will contribute greatly to the effectiveness of the design produced. Use of a grid assists in proper content placement, helping to achieve balance and providing depth and an essence of tangibility to the design. Because grid use assists in effective content placement its use contributes to the greatness of any design in which it has been implemented.

Proper use of White Space

The use of white space in the graphic realm can make or break the design and any potential it has for greatness. White space is any area free of markings or content of any kind, including margins and any areas of space between groups of text or other content. White space can be used effectively without the viewer even being aware of it; this is graphic design genius. White space can also undermine an entire concept, consequently destroying what could have been a great design. Proper use of white space should allow the viewer to breathe while drinking in the design; it should not complete the piece, rather it should dance with the content in unison.

The Marriage of Positive and Negative Space: Visual Harmony

The essence of using white space properly is the mastery of balance of both negative (white) and positive (content-filled) spaces. You cannot master white or negative space use without having used positive space effectively as well; this is the balance that needs to be achieved in all your designs.

To achieve great masterpieces of Graphic Design Singapore, creative agencies must have the entire world in their mind’s eye, and they must be able to express that effectively through their medium. The above five elements will encompass any great piece of graphic design, and it will not be difficult to identify each element with a trained eye. The intended viewer, on the other hand, will see nothing but symmetry and aesthetic perfection which is compelling in its purpose. Sharpen the attention you pay to the five elements, and begin to produce great graphic designs today.


source: http://drpgraphicdesign.com/5-elements-great-graphic-design/

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Death Of Conversation: How Smartphones Take Over Our Lives

by Julija K

I give many a chemical rush when they answer my call, 8-10 Americans believe I am addictive, and I can kill you if I’m misused. What am I? A cellphone, of course!

Thanks to cellphones, we are more connected than ever before, but disconnecting is also more painful. The following cartoons, as well as the ‘Death Of Conversation’ project by Babycakes Romero, illustrate some of the funny and not-so-funny side effects of our plugged-in lifestyle.

Do you think we’re better off now that we all have smart-phones or not? How have cellphones impacted your life?



more images on BorePanda site:


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10 Things To Do Before You Hit ‘Publish’

by Denis Pinsky

publishedBuilding a loyal audience on publishing platforms requires more than typing out a few paragraphs on a topic and publishing them as a post. There are a number of simple, but easily-overlooked things that you can do to make your content more engaging and effective, without needing a techie’s help. Below are 10 points to review before publishing.

1. If It’s Bad, Kill It.
This is some simple yet not often-used writing advice from none other than Stephen King. Many people still don’t understand the most basic principle of the Internet: what you post online might end up staying online forever. The moment you publish something, people will link to it, quote it, and screenshot it. If you’re about to post something that you suspect you might regret later, fix it first, or don’t post at all.

2. Verify Voice, Structure, and Formatting
Before you publish your post for the world to see, you’ll want to double check your work. After all, you’ve already put so much time and effort into researching and writing the post – it’s always worth it to take an extra few minutes to make sure you’re getting your point across properly. First check the post’s “voice”, the tone and style of the writing. Does the text come across as something that will appeal to your target audience? Does it match your brand? Is it appropriate for the subject matter? If the answer to any of these questions is uncertain, you probably still have some work to do. Next, make sure that everything is in the right place, and that all of the formatting is correct. Sometimes bolding, heading, and justifying text can make all the difference in how neat your article looks.
3. Follow a Headline Formula
In order to write great headlines, you need to follow a 3-step formula:
Make it engaging.
Make it descriptive.
Make it short.
You need all three of these steps in order to create headlines that will grab attention and persuade readers to click on your post. If a headline is punchy, concise, and gives a good idea of what the article is about, then you’ve succeeded.

4. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
Be on the lookout for any typos, missing words, and/or words used incorrectly. Mistakes like these can reflect poorly on your brand and convey a lack of professionalism and dedication to creating quality content. You’ll want to take plenty of time to proofread, and try different techniques so you’re certain you don’t miss anything. Reread your post and share it with friends, family, and colleagues to help catch any mistakes. Use spelling and grammar checkers. If you’re breaking important news, publish first, then edit.

5. Shorten Permalink
Trimming a link requires a little effort, but goes a long way. Rather than letting the URL of your post be automatically programmed by the publishing platform, clean it up by customizing with a short phrase or topic of your story. It will make the URL clean and easy to share. It will also enable you to edit the headline down the road. I try to stick with two words, if possible. Always customize your permalink before clicking ‘publish’ and never afterwards.

6. Excel at Linking
Incorporating links to other articles and sites is helpful to your readers, and shows that your brand is well versed on the topic. Just remember that you need to stick to two principles when linking: (1) Link with purpose and (2) don’t participate in link schemes.
Link with Purpose
The purpose of a link is to recommend and connect to a website, blog, online article or social media mention that would be useful to your readers. When you provide a hyperlink to another site, readers expect the link to:

Give credit where credit is due. The point is not just to mention your source but also provide a link so your readers can see the evidence for themselves.
Provide context. Links refer your readers to further explanation, background or detail on the subject of your post.
If your links don’t serve these purposes, don’t put them in.

Link Schemes
When you link somewhere for perceived SEO or monetary benefits rather than the purposes listed above, you are participating in a link scheme. Link schemes violate Google guidelines, and will thus get you penalized in the search engine results.

Examples of link schemes include:

Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link.
Article marketing or guest posting containing links with optimized anchor text in articles. Example: “There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress.”
You can find more information about Google’s rules regarding link schemes here.

7. Add Multimedia
No one likes to read through huge chunks of text. Keep things interesting by adding media. You can get creative with what you insert in your post. Options include images, videos, screenshots, charts, drawings, infographics, GIFs, and more. It’s a fact that people enjoy visual things. Posts that are visually appealing are more likely to grab readers attention and increase the likelihood that they’ll share the post. Try to plan ahead for article images. If you see one that looks like it’d be great for an article on a certain subject, be sure to save it in a designated folder. Also, try to remember that while high quality stock images are nice, original pictures are far better.

8. Know Your Market
Think about your audience and when they’re online. Are your readers located in the US, UK, or all over the world? Think about days of the week and think about the time difference between you and them. Typically, more people are online right before work, around lunch time, and early evening right after work. The beginning of the week is a better time to post than the end or weekend, since most people are generally celebrating their days off. This doesn’t apply to breaking news. If you’re debuting a story, you need to publish as soon as possible regardless of the time. Another thing to remember is context and trends. For example, if an unfortunate event occurred on a day you planned to post a cheerful article, wait to post it. Publishing at such a time may make you look insensitive and clueless.

9. Keep Readers Reading
Once a visitor has finished reading one of your articles, you don’t want them to click away from your site. You want them to stick around and check out your other content. In order to catch their attention and persuade them to keep reading your other posts, be sure to link to them. Link when you have other posts that are related to the topic you’re covering.

10. Create a Call to Action
You always want to inspire your readers to engage with your content. Whether that’s by subscribing, connecting with you on social media, or even just sharing your post, there’s no better place to politely ask for it than at the end of your article.

With these quick and handy tips, you’ll be able to improve the quality of your posts in no time. I hope you found them helpful. If you’d like to read more useful posts about blogging, SEO, social media, online marketing, and design, subscribe at the top or check back soon

source – forbes.com  http://goo.gl/XmutwX

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Dropbox Teams With Microsoft To Allow Anyone To Edit Documents Online



Microsoft and Dropbox are expanding their already close partnership today with the reveal of a new integration that will now allow consumers to edit their Microsoft Office files, including Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents, in Dropbox using Office Online via the web.

Previously, many of these edits would have taken place using Microsoft Office’s desktop applications – which also meant that you would have to be at a computer where the software was installed. The online option makes the service more flexible, as you can edit your files from any computer, including a borrowed machine or a shared computer, like a business center’s kiosk PC, for example.

To use the new feature, you’ll click the “Open” button when you’re previewing the file on the web, Dropbox explains, and then you’ll have the option to edit the file from your web browser using Office Online. The option is available to Dropbox for Business customers who have an Office 365 license as well as Dropbox Basic and Pro users, and those who are on the free tierof Office Online. The only requirement for using the free tier of Office Online is creating a free Microsoft account, the company says.

This change is notable because, before now, consumers using a web-based version of Office didn’t have online editing options when previewing files in Dropbox. Dropbox Business customers however had a collaboration tool called the Dropbox Badge which allowed collaboration to take place inside Office documents on offline apps like Word and Excel. With the new integrations, using Dropbox via the web is something that’s available to all consumers and business users alike.

The new integrations will be live as of today.

In addition to being able to access and edit files in your Dropbox from Office Online, you’ll also be able to save new files to Dropbox without leaving Office Online.


Dropbox notes the potential impact for its user base is large. A number of its customers are using Dropbox to store their business documents. In fact, the company says there are over 35 billion Office documents stored in its service at present, and the integration will allow “millions” of users to take advantage of the new functionality. In total, including desktop installations, Microsoft has over 1.2 billion Office users, 9.2 million of which are Office 365 Home and Personal subscribers.

While somewhat of a minor feature release in the grand scheme of things, the integration could position Dropbox as a more competitive option versus other cloud storage providers, like Google Drive, for instance. Because Google also operates its own online office suite, it’s been able to make creating, editing and then saving documents in the cloud a seamless activity for its customers.

Dropbox, on the other hand, doesn’t develop its own document creation tools, though it’s starting to take some small steps toward this goal with the recent reveal that it’s working on its own note-taking service.

By working with Microsoft, however, Dropbox can make it feel more like a service that works entirely via the web, instead of requiring the extra hassle involved with using desktop software applications.

Dropbox, too, has been making improvements for its web-only users, as it also announced last week improved web previews which load documents faster and included new functionality, like a redesigned document toolbar that adapts to the file type being viewed.

Today’s new integration follows a number of recent moves that have seen the two companies working more closely in recent months to make their respective services more compatible. In November, as you may recall, Microsoft and Dropbox first announced a strategic partnership that began to offer users the ability to edit Office docs from Dropbox’s mobile app, the ability to access Dropbox docs from Office apps, and in general better support for Dropbox within Office and vice versa. In addition, users can now also use Dropbox on Windows Phones and tablets.

However, Microsoft is not exclusively working with Dropbox when it comes to expanding Office’s reach – in February, it also announced broad support for other third-party cloud services, including iCloud and Box.

sorce: http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/09/dropbox-teams-with-microsoft-to-allow-users-to-edit-documents-online/#.qdhmhs:l2JX

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4 tech innovations from the past decade you couldn’t live without

by ebay


The year is 2005. The best thing you could do on your phone then was play snake and free-call friends who connected to the same service as you. Commercialised GPS had only recently hit the mainstream, so car trips generally meant that the person in the passenger seat (equipped only with a 2D map!) was the designated human GPS. YouTube was launched in 2005, and USB’s had only just replaced the floppy disc.

With technological advancements moving so seamlessly and quickly, there is little wonder there exists a collective forgetfulness of what life was like 10 years ago. Can you even remember a time when you didn’t ‘Google’? Also, while it used to be hard to track down the best prices for new technologies, eBay is now your one stop shop for tech products from trusted retailers. Hoorah!

Here are the top 4 tech innovations we bet you wouldn’t be able to go back to living without:

1. MP3 Players

Attn: the 160 million or so people who own an Apple iPod MP3 player, take out your white ear buds and ponder this for a second: before the iPod there was only the Walkman.

Try going for a run with a Walkman or packing enough CD’s in your carry bag to sustain an interstate train trip without listening to the same album on repeat.

2. GPS

Can you imagine going anywhere without a GPS? Whether a cars GPS or Google maps on your iPhone, getting from A to B is incredibly effortless these days. Before GPS hit the mainstream an actual paper map governed car trips, and while filling up their cars people would ask for directions to the next town. Weird, I know.

As for meeting friends at a bar across town or hunting down a secret beach, can you picture using only a paper map and your sense of direction to get you there? Nope, didn’t think so.

3. The iPhone

The first iPhone was released in 2007, and would go on to change the way we interact with the world forever. No longer were phones about snake, texting and calling -– the iPhone became a powerful computer that you could fit in the palm of your hands. It became a fifth limb.

The iPhone means that you can access the Internet anytime, anywhere. Work email received after hours? No worries –- you can respond to it on the bus home. Thanks to the iPhone, dinner table conversations have become a bore. While you used to debate vehemently with friends and family over topics you thought you both knew best about, now a quick Google search means you can find cold, hard evidence to support (or debunk) your argument. The iPhone marked the end of the MP3, and the burgeoning of the multi-billion dollar app industry. It also means that you never have to get lost in a foreign country again.

4. The Reverse Camera

Kim Kardashian wouldn’t be releasing 350-page hardcover book of selfies entitled ‘Selfish’ and your Instagram would be overrun with mirror selfies. Enough said.

Don’t get left behind in the Dark Ages. eBay is your number one stop for technology savings across photography, home appliances, computing, gaming, mobile phones and more. From 29th March to 2nd April, eBay is having a 20% off Tech sale from selected retailers including Dick Smith, The Good Guys and Kogan.

source: http://mashable.com/2015/03/28/past-tech-innovations-brandspeak/

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World Renowned Graphic Designer Recreates Famous Brand Logos Free Handed With Pen & Ink

by Paul Caridad


With just ink and a calligrapher’s pen, Sebastian Lester can create lettering that looks computer generated. A graphic designer with clients that include NASA, Apple, Nike and The New York Times, he doesn’t even need a computer to create logos. In these short timelapse videos, Lester shows off his skills and perfect proportions as he free hand prints some of the most recognizable logos out there. Lester is one of the highest profile calligraphers in the world and he shares his talents regularly with his followers on Instagram.

Seb Lester expresses his passion for letterforms, stating, “I find the Latin alphabet to be one of mankind’s most beautiful and profound creations.” Check out more of his work on his website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for daily inspiration.

Read more at http://www.visualnews.com/2015/03/world-renowned-graphic-designer-recreates-famous-brand-logos-free-handed-with-pen-ink/#3m92s4jPAs1FiX3k.99

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Personal To Professional: You Are Your Own Brand

by Joe Fell


I used to think of brands only in terms of companies and businesses. But with our worlds being more and more socially and digitally connected this has now fundamentally changed, to quote Barry Feldman: “You, my friend, are a brand”. Whether we aim to be or not, we’re all brands. And social media is one of the fundamental ways we manage these personal brands.

It’s a dangerous fallacy to think, “Oh, I can keep my personal and my business life separate on social media. Facebook and Instagram are for my non-work life and LinkedIn for work, right?” Wrong. Do you honestly think a prospective employer won’t look you up on Facebook or Instagram? Are you sure you’ll never connect with any of your colleagues on social media?

Our own brand is now part of a huge ecosystem full of billions of other brands, so it’s important to acknowledge this, grab the bull by the horns and take some time to work out what you stand for.

The benefits of actively managing your social brand vastly outweigh the effort it takes to do so. Here are four reasons why you should manage your personal brand:

  • You might miss out on conversations from which you can benefit.
  • Technology is constantly evolving. You don’t want to get left behind.
  • People are searching for people like you. Don’t miss out on opportunities.
  • Your competition is already managing their brands.

Now, I’d like to think I’m pretty tech-savvy, having grown up with a smartphone in my hand and having completed most of my education online, I find it pretty easy to get around the digital space. I have profiles on most of the large social networks. Checking and updating these profiles is part of my daily routine, yet I had never thought of myself as a brand and with that I am probably not alone.

You have most likely heard the saying that people don’t hire companies, they hire people. The fact is, our professional and personal lives are colliding and blending more than ever before – and we better get used to it.

The cultural roots of social media scream for people to show their real, whole selves. The reasons behind someone wanting to read a tweet about my late-night gym session is no different to why someone cares what I think about a restaurant in London in my TripAdvisor review. There are people out there who have the same, or similar, interests and hobbies as me and for them my posts and experiences are valuable.

The truth is, for most of us, our personal life is more interesting than our professional life. So, why not associate a noteworthy character trait to our personal brand to make us more memorable on social media? The fact that I work in a marketing agency? Meh. The fact that I work in a marketing agency, and have three nipples? (Purely fiction, by the way.) That’s memorable.

So with this in mind, how do you control your personal brand?

1. By Being Authentic!

Choose one to three areas of expertise, an interest or a passion that sets you apart from others. The world of personal branding is flooded with competing voices, so try and find a very specific niche and an opinion! It isn’t enough to choose a general field like “marketing” or “finance”. With a niche, you will have more opportunities to prove you know what you’re talking about. Not to mention your audience will find the content that much more relevant and interesting.

“If content is the fuel for your personal brand, social media is the engine.” (Jayson Demers).

Remember whilst consistency is key to success, providing value and thought provoking material can stamp your authority on the industry.

2. Join a Group or Community

These are your ‘online networking’ events, if you like. Sharing content and posts to these people will help draw others to you and your brand. Take a proactive approach and always aim to provide value and be useful, entertaining and engaging.

Make a Name for Yourself: 11 Personal Branding Power Tips by Barry Feldman highlights some key takeaways from a networking expert he studied:

  • Follow up with new connections you make promptly, stay in touch, and always follow-through on your promises.
  • Connect the people in your network to each other.
  • Surround yourself with top-notch people.
  • Don’t let awe stop you. Have the confidence to reach out to the best.
  • Study the network of successful friends and leaders in your niche and follow their lead.
  • Find mentors. Do as they do.
  • Ask for advice from everyone you stand to learn from.
  • Give as much as you can.
  • Ask your connections if there’s anything you can do for them.
  • Ask a lot of questions and listen.
  • Tell people you’re excited to hear their stories. They’ll be glad to share them.
  • Make yourself available to your peers and organisations.

3. Monitor & Reply Quickly

53% of users who tweet a company brand expect a response within an hour. Considering you are probably pretty busy I’d expect the time to reply a bit more lenient for personal brands. As a rule of thumb: Respond within 24 hours.

Set up email notifications for all your social media accounts. Social networks usually do email communication really well, and you can adjust the settings to a wide variety of interactions. Take things one step further by connecting your email to another service like SMS or mobile notifications to allow you to respond immediately. There are also numerous monitoring tools on the market, so be sure to do your research first!

The Bottom Line

In this socially connected world, where countless opportunities are just a finger swipe away, differentiation is key. How are you going to get heard above the noise? Embrace your interests, generate great content and share thoughtfully. You have to build some hooks in order to build your personal brand.

At the end of the day, your professional life and your personal life are one and the same. It may be uncomfortable. But it’s the truth.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/branding/personal-professional-brand-01191824#QtZpblrQe05QawvI.99