Adding Social Media Icons
Instagram released official icons for users to put on their blogs, websites and printed materials this week. They join Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube in having authorized icons. [The rules and guidelines for each vary, so be sure to look them over and make sure you are playing by the rules. ]
Using these social media icons on your blog, website and in your shop’s newsletter, gives you the added benefit of brand recognition. Facebook users (and there are more than a billion!) are more likely to click, like and follow along with your shop if they see the icon, rather than expecting them to track you down. Facebook’s search engine is notoriously difficult to track down the exact person or business you are looking for, so make it as easy as possible for customers, and potential customers, to “like” you on Facebook.
The same principle goes for each social medium, wherever your fans are, you need to be as well. And you need to make it as simple as possible for them to stay in touch. Using the icons and, most importantly, linking them to your profile on each medium will give them the quickest and easiest way to connect with you.
Download the logos from each site or by following the link on each icon below:
You may have received the email this week, too, about the changes at Twitter
They are adding Tailored Suggestions, a list of Twitter users you might want to follow based on your visits to websites that are integrate Twitter buttons or widgets. It hasn’t been rolled out for everyone yet, but I was able to check it out with our Twitter profile, and it worked well, giving me a list of social media and small business supporters to follow. More information here about how it works, as well as how to get out of it, if you’d like.
Twitter has clarified ways to set your preferences to limit, modify or remove the information they collect, including the Do Not Track (DNT) browser setting, which stops the collection of information used for tailored suggestions.
The revised Terms of Service clarifies how Twitter works and the small changes and formatting improvements they recently made, including new headings for easy reference and updated descriptions of services.
The most important thing to keep to in mind? Their very first tip:
Getting Started with Video
Art Gallery Fabrics uses videos, like the one above, to show off their new fabric collections. Stores like the Missouri Star Quilt Company use videos to promote events like The Iron Quilter. Fabric companies, like Riley Blake Designs, use videos to teach sewists new techniques, while introducing fabric collections. There’s a wide world of possibilities for using video.
Here are some tips to get you started in making a short video to promote your business:
2. Write a script or draw up a storyboard for your video.
Get down some solid ideas about what, where and how you are going to film the project. Or maybe you will use still shots that you’ve already taken? Either, decide how the video is going to go together and get it down on paper to refer to as you go along.
3. Do all the filming and photo-taking that you might possibly need.
You may edit out as much as you keep in, so be prepared and have more footage than you will need for the finished video. Thanks to technology today, you can record video on most still cameras, as well as on many smartphones. (CNet’s review of the best camera phones.)
4. Edit your video.
Depending on the camera and your computer system, how you go about editing the video can vary. Apple computers have iMovie as part of their iLife package. Window’s offers the downloadable Movie Maker. Other video editors include Adobe Premiere Elements, Ulead VideoStudio Express, Apple Final Cut Pro. Add music legally and consider using captions.
5. Upload your video.
You have the choice of uploading your video several ways. You can upload it to your own server, then embed it in your blog or website. You can also upload it to YouTube or Vimeo, both of which allow your videos to be found in a search, easily shared via Twitter, Facebook and email, plus others can embed it on their own blogs to share. Facebook, is another option for uploading your video, though both YouTube and Vimeo allow sharing via Facebook. For a comparison, check out this video.
6. Share your video. Then add more.
One great aspect of using video is that you can promote yourself and your business as experts in the field, a go-to resource. This requires that you make more than one video (or even a small handful of them) and that you promote them on our social media sites, blog and website. If they are age-less videos, they can re-posted over time to attract new viewers and customers. Consider adding a videos tab to your Facebook page and/or your website for maximum viewing.
For more information on using videos to market your business, check out the inspirational article by Melanie O’Brien in the current (March 2012) issue of WebCents, available now.