How to use Snapchat Geofilters

A Snapchat geofilter is an “accessory” to decorate your snap that is only available in certain locations. For example, you can only find Disneyland-related geofilters at Disneyland. This is a fun way to promote your business or community in a trendy and fast-growing social media. However there are a few guidelines and rules that you must follow. Here is a quick guide.

Community Geofilters
Community or personal geofilters are used to celebrate personal events, such as birthdays or weddings, to share that you’re enjoying a college football game, to brag about visiting a cool city, etc. It must not have copied content, photographs of people, logos (except for approved college logos), trademarks, sexual or drug content, or any kind of information that could be considered advertising.

Business (On-Demand) Geofilters
These can be used to promote your business or event. It can contain logos, your business name or trademark. However any telephone numbers, hashtags, addresses, lotteries, URLs, or any kind of content that could lead you to another website or app. You may submit political content, as long as you include the following text: “Geofilter paid for by [insert name of purchaser]” in 40 px height with a shadow background. Submitting an on-demand geofilter requires payment.

Keep in mind that both kind of geofilters must be limited by a geographical area, so that it can only be visible for people inside of that specific area. Also, the content must be relevant to such area or event inside that area.

Get your business on board with Pinterest!

Have you ever had a cork board where you could pin things that are important to you? Such as recipes, pictures of cats, a postcard from a place you wish to visit, a magazine article with tips on a topic you’re interested in, memorable quotes, etc. There is a social network that emulates that good old cork board in your office or bedroom. It’s a place where you can have all the things you bookmark on your browser in one place, organized by categories (or boards) with nice looking thumbnails, and it also lets you connect with people who share your same interests. But how is this helpful to your business? Pinterest is an excellent way to lead traffic into your own website and therefore increase the odds of an engagement with your potential customers. Your board can also become the place to consult whenever someone is interested in a topic related to what you offer in your business and this is a great way to gain credibility and authority as a brand. You don’t even need to generate your own content! It is superb if you do, but all you really need to do is carefully select the information or images you wish to publish.

On Pinterest first impressions matter, so if you want to catch the eye of the consumer you need images that are attractive and relevant. It can be an infographic on how your business works or why is it useful, an inspirational quote with a trendy background that motivates your potential customers, to a carefully produced photograph of your product. Keep in mind that you need to post or generate content that can be displayed with an image. Here is a graphic guide on Pinterest image sizes to keep in mind.

Are you using hashtags the way you should?

It is almost a fact that if you are a social media user you have used a hashtag in any of your posts. Whether you’ve used them to increase your search results or simply as a way to joke with your followers, the “#” symbol in a post is no stranger to you. But, do we really understand how it works and what it is really for? That may be a whole other story.

The modern use of hashtags in social media began and became popular on Twitter, as a way to group many tweets with a similar topic. This is specially useful if you want to know what people think or say about a brand, a political statement, an entertainment event, or even a natural disaster. Of course people often use them randomly, some use it as the punchline of a joke, and some can even become a meme.

So which platforms support the use of hashtags?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Google+
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Youtube
  • Kickstarter
  • Vine

Businesses can benefit from the search of hashtags. For example, someone looking for kitchen decoration ideas in Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest could search for “#KitchenDeco” and find posts made by businesses who provide interior design services, carpenters, natural stone provider’s, kitchen supplies stores, etc.

So what’s the secret for a successful use of hashtags in social media that could actually translate into sales? Here are a few tips.

Educate yourself
Most social media platforms have their own guides on the use of hashtags, where you can find the most popular and relevant for a specific topic. This can increase the engagement of your posts.

Be Specific
Coming back to the example of someone looking for kitchen decoration ideas, if that someone’s preference is leaning towards a granite countertop, it would be more easy for them to find what they’re looking for if they type “#GraniteCountertop” than just “#Countertop”. This means your business posts need to have simple but specific hashtags that can make it an easier find for possible clients.

Keep it Simple
Keep in mind that hashtags like “#SuperBeautifulHairStylesToRockTheSummer may look fun but are not as effective as a simple #SummerHairStyles, for the simple fact that it’s easier for someone to type the exact same words you used if there are no more than three words per hashtag. The same way, a post with more hashtags than words is not only ineffective but it’s also hard to read and understand. Remember that you must add some content that enriches the wider conversation that makes your post interesting and engaging.

Make your own hashtags
Now that you know these tips, you should definitively create your own hashtags for your business. Your hashtag doesn’t necessarily need to have the name of your brand but it does need to represent it, it needs to reflect your brand’s personality. And most importantly: always remember to use it.

Track your results
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Youtube all have analytic tools integrated to help you track the results of your posts and engagement of your followers. Taking a look at this information will help you to create more content that is more accurate and interesting for the demographic characteristics of your followers. There are other paid services that offer the same data.

Hashtags are an excellent strategy to increase your views and interaction with potential clients. It’s an excellent and economical way to make your brand stay in the mind of the consumers. Go use it!

Facebook Images: A Useful Guide

Ever wondered why your cover photo on Facebook keeps looking pixelated? Are you tired that the pictures you post always end up cropped in the wrong place? You may find this guide very useful, especially if you manage a public Facebook page for your business or personal interests. A pixelated image is always a no-no in the public eye of social media, remember: first impressions matter!

Below you will find a lifesaver graphic with the proper sizes of Facebook’s 2016 layout. After there is a brief description for each item we discuss.

1. Cover Photo
The display size of your cover photo is 828 x 315 px, you may upload a bigger or smaller image but Facebook will always resize it to fit the 828 px horizontal measure. Also, keep in mind that the displayed height of the image is 315 px, and Facebook lets you select the part you want to display in case you have an image taller than 315 px, which is especially useful in case you want to display text. However, not all images are displayed with the right quality, so in order to prevent your cover photo from appearing pixelated, it is strongly recommended that you upload your image with the actual display size (828 x 315 px), make sure your resolution is 72 dpi, and PNG format.

2. Profile Picture
You can upload an image of any size. However, since Facebook’s layout will always display your profile picture in a square format, save yourself the need to select which part of your picture you want to display and crop it. The best size is 336 x 336 px. PNG format is also preferable over JPG as it keeps better quality but you can now go crazy and use an animated GIF instead. Let your creativity go wild! Remember that Facebook will display your profile picture in your main page in a 168 x168 px size and in 32 x 32 px in your timeline posts.

3. Shared Link Thumbnail
The full sized thumbnail for shared links will always be 470 x 246 px, which is particularly useful to know if you want to customize your post or you manually added a link to your post after uploading an image. However, Facebook will not always display a full sized thumbnail and sometimes will use other scales of 155 px for landscape oriented pictures or 114 px height for portrait oriented pictures. What makes Facebook decide what to display? There is no specific criterion, but it likely has to do with whether the page you’re linking has the OpenGraph image property defined or even the size and orientation.

4. Photo on Timeline
Any image you upload, no matter the size will be displayed at a maximum scale of 470 px height (portrait oriented pictures) or 470 px wide (landscape oriented pictures). So, if you want to use the maximum space allowed, be sure it’s at a squared proportion of least 470 x 470 px. Remember, PNG format is still the best.

If you upload multiple pictures, Facebook will give you various options for the main post thumbnail. You may pick one main image that will be displayed in a bigger size than the others or you can also pick an option that will display all images in the same size.

Top 3 reasons why you NEED responsive web design

As someone who grew up using the internet when its greatest social network advances were IRC Boards and ICQ, it still shocks me to see the instant access we have to the Internet, previously known as the World Wide Web, today. A denizen myself, I solemnly swear by the necessity of responsive web design as an essential and indispensable tool for any successful webpage to succeed in today’s arena of clicks and views, tablets and smartphones whether it’s business oriented or not.

With such a drastic rise in mobile usage, incorporating smartphones, tablets and other gadgets, increases the necessity of having responsive web design. Responsive web design (RWD) permits a website’s layout to adapt and change as the size of the screen used to view the website changes and allows for easier programming as it saves your team the trouble of keeping multiple sites consistent and up to date.

1) Recommended by Google

Google holds 67 percent of the search engine market share so, when Google recommends responsive web design as its suggested configuration for mobile use and even calls it a best practice, you can trust the source. Another reason why Google recommends responsive web design is because content that is nested on only one website and one URL is much easier to share through e-mail, social media, message apps, etc. It is also much simpler to interact with and link the content that lives only on one website and one URL.

But most important of all, as of April 2015 Google began rewarding sites built responsibly by boosting their search engine rankings. This means that Google is effectively penalizing websites that don’t use RWD.

2) Comfortable mobile browsing

The rise of social media has come with a significant increase in mobile internet browsing. Mobile browsing can be very visually uncomfortable and also interactively for a user, if the web site they are visiting does not incorporate responsive web design. If a user has to pinch inwards to zoom in, pinch outwards to zoom out, drag an oversized page through a screen just to be able to access information, shop or socialize, you can bet that your non-responsive design webpage will get less visitors, and the ones that you do get will not be quite as satisfied as they probably are with a competitor that does incorporate responsive web design.

3) Cost effective

Given the considerable amount of different gadgets and hardware devices, from smartphones, tablets, to videogame consoles, that integrate web browsers nowadays, responsive website design is the most cost effective way to ensure that your website reaches all users with the same layout without having to pay for design and layout for a different page according to the device you want it to be seen on. Responsive web design solves all your layout and design needs at once and you don’t have to worry about taking on the extra cost of making a different layout and design for your website according to the device it will be viewed on: it can be viewed on any device!

Comfort, aesthetics, cost-effectiveness, SEO bonuses, and an easier experience for your clients and users, and much more is what you can achieve by choosing responsive web design. The choice is yours —my recommendation is that you go for it!