5 Free Content Tools to Enhance Your Social Media Marketing

social media toolsAre you looking for new ways to grab your fans’ attention?

When was the last time you changed the way you share news and updates?

When you present your content in new, engaging and interactive ways, it stands out in a constant stream of competing information.

In this article you’ll discover five free tools to help you avoid the same tired ways of sharing content.

#1: Make Your Images Interactive

ThingLink‘s fun, dynamic, visual format draws attention to your updates.

You can add text or multimedia overlays to any of your photos or images, but what makes this tool more interesting than others is that the results are interactive.

Viewers hover over icons to watch a video, listen to an audio file, link externally, complete a poll and more.

Home Depot uses ThingLink images to share room and home décor DIY suggestions and tutorials. For example, they overlaid this photo of a DIY Sawhorse Table with the prices of all the pieces you’d need to make it and links to a blog detailing the process. The links become visible when you hover over the image.


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15 Resources to Create Images for Social Media

social media how to Do you post images on social media?

Would you like to create attractive images to share?

When creating images for social media, quality makes a difference.

In this article we’ll share tools and resources to create professional and engaging social media images that you can use on multiple platforms.

Why Create Images for Social Media?

In this visual-centric world, it’s more important than ever to create high-quality sharable images.

Getting Visual With Your Content: 10 Effective Ways to Use Images: In this infographic from Fresh Take on Content, Lane Jones visually suggests different ways you can use images in your social media. Share product pics, recipes, team photos, location, checklists and more. “It’s amazing how by just taking ordinary words… and putting them on a background makes the difference between a post that barely gets noticed and one that gets liked, shared, retweeted or reposted,” she says.

fresh take on content article

Find ways to use graphics on FreshTakeonContent.com.

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5 Ways to Connect With Your Fans Using Visual Content

social media how toDo you give your customers the best information in the simplest way possible?

Are you connecting with your fans through visual content?

Pictures and video can inspire and amaze your audience in a way text just can’t.

In this article you’ll find five ways you can use images and video to connect with and add value for your audience.

Your Audience Craves Visual Content

Our brains love images. Did you know we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text? That’s an important fact to keep in mind as you develop your social media marketing tactics.

If you have an important message you need to convey or just want to stand out from the crowd, visual content (whether it’s a picture or a video) is the way to go.

my kids' adventures collage

Stand out from the crowd by sharing images that convey your story.

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4 Ways to Network with Instagram Direct

social media how to

Do you know how to connect with others on Instagram?

Are you using Instagram as a networking tool?

Instagram Direct can reinforce your relationship with current followers, while giving you opportunities to meet new fans and influencers.

In this article, you’ll find out how Instagram Direct can help you build a larger network.

What is Instagram Direct?

Similar to Snapchat, Instagram Direct allows users to send pictures and video to others privately–like a direct message on Twitter or a private message on Facebook.

Only you and the person or group you send the message to can see the content.

instagram direct feature

Instagram’s new Direct feature lets you share pictures and video privately.

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How to Create an Infographic That Boosts Social Shares and Leads

social media how toAre you considering infographics for your marketing?

Can you effectively communicate visually?

Infographics are powerful ways to get attention.

In this article, you’ll discover how to craft infographics that are widely shared.

Why Infographics?

Modern humans have been around for about 200,000 years and for almost all of that time (97%, to be precise), we’ve survived by reading just the visual imagery around us.

We didn’t start using alphabets until about 5500 years ago.

The fact is, our evolving brains continue to interpret images faster than text. What that means for brands is visual storytelling is essential to delivering highly effective messages.

Because of that, infographics, a hybrid of images and text, have become a great fit for social media marketing. They combine charts, diagrams, pictures and stylized text into a visually pleasing package.

infographic by visual.ly

Visual.ly shows why brands should use infographics.

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New Research Shows Which Social Networks Ideal for Marketers

social media researchWhich platforms are most relevant to social media marketing right now?

Marketers need to know where (and how) they should focus their efforts for maximum ROI.

This article gives you four major research findings from reports tracking trends in social media marketing and the content that works best on each.

#1: People Spend More Time on Visual Networks

It’s impossible to miss the powerful effect of visual content on the social web. It can significantly enhance a brand’s marketing objectives by generating more customer interest and prompting prospects to take desired actions.

As an example of the power of pictures, consider that Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram each gained over 10 million visitors in 2012, thanks to eye-catching content. Numbers from Statista numbers shared on Mediabistro show that users spend more time on Pinterest (1:17 minutes) or Tumblr (1:38 minutes) than on Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and Google+ combined.

social network use stats from comscore

Visual social networks get more time from users than non-visual networks.

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5 Ways to Use Pictures to Tell Visual Stories With Social Media

social media how toAre you sharing your stories with your fans?

Do you use pictures in your social marketing?

People want pictures in their social channels.

When done right, these pictures become visual stories.

In this article, I’ll show you how five brands are using pictures to share their stories and why that’s important.

Great Marketers Are Great Storytellers

As a marketer, you know the importance of stories, but do you know how to tell a story with few or no words at all?

“We’ve now entered a phase in which visual communication is supplanting the written word,” says Bob Lisbonne, CEO of Luminate and former SVP of Netscape.” Some are now calling it the dawn of the Imagesphere.”

Our brains process pictures 60,000 times faster than text. When your brand shares a picture, your fans decide in a split second whether they want to see more.

People upload about 250 million photographs to Facebook every day, and Twitter has become more visual, showing photos and videos right in your feed.

The growth of other image-rich sites like Pinterest has been stratospheric, and apps such as Instagram, Vine and even Snapchat aren’t just for teenagers–savvy marketers are using them too.

These channels help you tell stories that create engagement, build communities and ultimately help nurture brand loyalty and long-term relationships with customers.

Below I’ll show you how five brands are using visual stories to engage their audiences.

#1: Give Life to Your Products

Stories don’t have to be history and they don’t have to be long. In fact, quick-moving social platforms encourage using fewer words. Twitter has always limited you to 140 characters, but now you can add a picture or video to your update to reinforce your message.

Whole Foods Market used this picture on Twitter to emphasize how their products fit into customers’ lifestyles:

whole foods breakfast sandwich

Whole Foods Market connects with followers by sharing pictures of their products.

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5 Ways to Make Shareable Images That Drive Traffic

social media how to Are you sharing compelling images across social networks?

Do you want more engagement and traffic from your efforts?

If you’re not regularly sharing images that resonate with your audience, you’re missing out on a ton of engagement.

In this article you’ll discover the essential elements of shareable images that increase engagement and drive traffic to your website.

Why Use Images to Drive Social Engagement?

People are drawn to visual content and take action based on its subtle cues faster than any other medium–faster than text, audio or video.

The power of pictures isn’t restricted to image-centric platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. Visuals are attracting attention and driving engagement across all social networks. Even LinkedIn and Twitter are getting in on the action and showcasing images.

All of the major social networks are highlighting visual content. Brands that can leverage the power of original, optimized images are getting noticed.

If you’re worried you need a graphic designer or special skills, don’t be. In this article I’ll introduce you to the tools you need and the five essential elements of shareable, traffic-driving images that you can include in your marketing plan today.

#1: Give Your Audience What They Need

If you want to encourage engagement and shares, your images have to appeal directly to your target audience.

Create images and infographics that either solve a problem or inspire your community to take action. Images that give short, instantly actionable advice are highly shareable. Quick tips, how-to’s, quotes and fun facts are all very popular.

Social media expert Kim Garst matches audience expectations with useful tips by regularly posting images with social media advice and tagging them with #biztip.

Her community shares these problem-solving tips like wildfire, which results in an exceptionally high organic engagement rate on Facebook.

kim garst tip

Creating an image with a useful tip makes for an instantly shareable piece of content.

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How to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile With Professional Portfolio

social media how toDo you want to enhance the appearance of your LinkedIn profile?

Are you looking for ways to get noticed and attract more business opportunities on LinkedIn?

In this article, you’ll discover how to use LinkedIn’s Professional Portfolio to make your LinkedIn profile stand out.

What is LinkedIn’s Professional Portfolio?

LinkedIn launched Professional Portfolio to showcase your unique professional story using rich visual content.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a photographer, a real estate agent, an interior designer or a marketer. By adding an interactive, rich media experience to your profile, you can leverage the power of imagery.

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