Tag Archives: Flickr

Antisocial Type?

7 Mar

Comic by Toothpaste for Dinner

This blog was prompted by three different conversations I had with local business owners today. All together they swirled into this question.

Are there businesses that SHOULDN’T use social media?

Short answer: no! Social media is flexible and can be adopted to any business need!

Personal answer: I personally wouldn’t contract with any company that isn’t safe for children or any doctor’s office. There are too many legal pitfalls in those two industries for them to be worth the risk with my limited legal knowledge.

So why do some business owners think their business wouldn’t benefit from social media? Here’s 5 misconceptions about social media that makes them think this.

1. Social media is only teens.

Where I run into this misconception most is in churches.  I approach them saying “Social media is simply a digitization of what you’re already doing with your members and community. It’s just another communication tool.” and they forward me to the youth pastor. Hello? Did you hear what I just said? Churches aren’t the only ones tainted with this heresy. It’s amusing to me to have people with a question about social media turn to me automatically not knowing that the middle-aged people standing around with me have smarter phones and more experience than I with anything technological or social.

What’s the truth? How about these stats? The average age of a social networker is 37. On Twitter and Facebook, minors are less than 15% of the sites’ users.

2. Social media is only women.

This perception is harder to pick up on. It shows up mor ein conversations and assumptions. I see it when people are surprised when my male marketing colleagues do more than SEO or when an automotive repair businessman tells me that hair saloons would benefit more from social media than his store. I’ve heard the term “chatty Cathy” applied to the social media profession.

How does this assumption hold up? Well, all of the major social networks do have more women than men users, but only slightly. It’s not more than 10% gap on Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn leans more toward men. Pinterest stands out in that it has the largest gender gap, heavily favoring the ladies. However,  not even that site is devoid of men!

3. Social media is only geeks.

So I should only use it if I’m selling comic collectibles or app development, right? Wrong! Who is the most followed person Google+? +Britney Spears. Is that geek behavior? Please, don’t insult us!

4. Social media is only Facebook, which we all hate.

I know I talk about Facebook a lot on this blog. That’s because that’s where most of my clients’ customers are. However, I’m not recommending a Facebook diet to anyone! And I know anytime anything changes the slightest bit on Facebook your stream fills up with wailing and weeping. It’s hard to take it seriously though when no one leaves. They can’t possibly all hate it as much as they say.

Let’s assume for a moment that you just cannot stand the idea of your business being on Facebook or you have been granted the divine insight needed to know that Facebook would not help your business in the slightest. You still have Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, and WordPress to pick from!

5. Social media is only procrastination.

Sounds like a personal problem to me. 😉

If anything this misconception is just another reason to hire Magic Bottle Marketing. If social media is distracting to you and decreases your productivity, let me do it for you!

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Social Art

28 Dec

I was in a creative mood today, but still had to work. If I can’t actually be artistic today I shall at least blog about art, so here are some thoughts about how an artist can use social media effectively.

Feast for the Eyes

People love to look at art. And it is important that they get to look at art in a format designed to compliment it.

Example: Flickr: Flickr has everything you could ever desire for photos. Some of my favorite features are…

  • Tags, a way to describe the elements of a photo. This is also how you search for photos.
  • Sets, a way to group your photos according to whatever theme or criteria you set.
  • Nuanced privacy controls, including type of copyright license, viewing privacy controls, and ability to turn off downloads of photos.

How can a visual artist use Flickr?

  • Portfolio
  • Boosting of search engine returns by distributing images through Creative Commons
  • Secure cloud storage of photos
  • Proofing of orders for customers

Flickr Tip: The best way to get is to give. The more you comment on other people’s work the more attention your work attracts. You’ll find the Flickr community to be a warm and welcoming crowd.

Personalize, Customize, and Switch it Up

People love to consumne media in a customized format. Any piece of art is more fun when it can be interacted with by putting it in our own frame with original commentary.

Example: Pinterest. Pinterest is the digital equivalent of cutting pictures out of a magazine and gluing them into a notebook. My favorite features are…

  • Boards which allow you to categorize everything. It’s an organization dream–nothing can be out of place!
  • Ability to like, comment on, or repin any pin. Express your level of rapture precisely!
  • Share to other social networks as much or as little as you want.
  • Post your own original content or just enjoy everyone else’s.

How can an artist use Pinterest?

  • Reach out to a niche customer
  • Target women consumners (vast majority of Pinterest users are female)
  • Promote all styles of  your work without diluting any section

Pinterest tip: Watermark all your pins with your web address or Twitter handle. Original creator information is easiy lost on Pinterest due more to format than carelessness or maliciousness.

Open-Door Studio

People love the secrets of the back stage. We appreciate the process of creation almost as much as we do the final product.

Example: YouTube. I doubt I have to tell you what it is. 😉 Best features…

  • Free
  • Easy to use
  • Linked to the mighty Google search engine
  • Opportunity for monetization

Let’s think outside the typical watercolor artist or photographer. Who else can use YouTube for a glimpse into their studio?

  • Fiber artists
  • Sculpture artists
  • Florists
  • Hairstylers
  • Makeup artists
  • Stage designers
  • Prop makers
  • Refurbishers and restorerers

YouTube tip: Edit, edit, edit, and then edit again. We want to see behind the scenes, but we don’t want to watch the paint dry.

Go Live

Everyone wants a piece of face-to-face interaction with the star. They want a personal touch.

Example: Hangouts the video chat feature of Google+. Features…

  • All the cool video elements of Skype but for free
  • Chat with up to 9 other devices.
  • Broadcast and record events on YouTube
  • Take the intimacy of a private back-stage tour global

What can artists use Hangouts for? How about?

  • Concerts–intimate feel of just 10 people but still able to reach as many as a stadium would hold.
  • Comedic acts–guaranteed audience interaction
  • Portraiture, caricature, and cartooning
  • Interviews
  • Business meetings
  • Collaboration and brainstorming with a shared Google Doc or Doodle

Hangout Tip: Involve all 9 people in the conversation and don’t forget the chat box on the left hand side.

Have I Mentioned You’re My Favorite?

8 Dec

Note: Blog title is a quote from the TV show ‘Reba‘.

Yesterday I talked about leveraging social platforms effectively by not treating them all the same. Here’s a quote from it.

     “I’m not going to dismiss the potential customers on any platform”

But I can’t deny it. Google+ is my favorite. Here’s some of the reasons…

  • Circles—the ultimate privacy answer

Before Google+ we had connections on Facebook that had to be mutually agreeable and once someone was your ‘friend’ they had access to everything on your profile. They have been adding ways around this with Lists, but it’s clunky and difficult even for me. Following someone on Twitter allows you to see all their posts, but it doesn’t require reciprocation on their part. Google+ circles gives us the best of both worlds. I know exactly whom I’m sharing every post with. I follow who I want to and I can group for both my own noise control and audience targetting. More on circles here.

  • Change we can understand!

Google+ is constantly improving, so things do change. Unlike Facebook or even Twitter’s recent addition of ‘Activity’ Tab, changes on Google+ feel like birthday presents or the pleasant surprise of your bathroom remodel being finished overnight. Why do people like changes on Google+ and hate them on Facebook? Because Google carefully explains how each change works and why they change it. Googel doesn’t try to fix what isn’t broken. Google also listens to feedback with these amazing things called ‘Community Managers’ who show up at every single +mention there is even on their evenings off! The entire process is teachable, transparent, and downright fun.

  • Search

It’s Google so I can’t say I’m really surprised. 😉

  • Clean interface

Perhaps my little brain is just easily befuddled, but I find Facebook and Twitter to be visually overwhelming. Google+ and Flickr have the best visual designs I have ever seen for a network. They’re convenient, quick, pleasing to the eye, and customizable.

  • No word limit

On Google+ there is no word limit anywhere—not in posts, not in comments, not in messages. Be as long-winded as you want! This was popular enough that Facebook recently had to increase their word limit, but they still didn’t get rid of it.

  • Automatic credit

On Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest I cringe at how little notice is given to whoever spilled their heart blood to write or photograph this piece of art we’re passing around everywhere. I don’t think people on those networks are disrespectful of authors and artists. I think the platform is set up so that it’s extremely difficult to track down the creator or to credit the creator. On Google+ if I write something you can share it and I am credited automatically. My name and profile are sealed to that post and the only way you can separate it is by copy and pasting. A truly determined thief is hard to stop, but most locks are to keep the honest people honest.

You might notice that I did not mention how amazing the people on Google+ are. They are absolutely wonderful, but they would be wonderful no matter where they were. I’m extremely grateful for Google+ connecting me with them, but Google doesn’t really deserve credit for their pure awesomeness.

There’s a lot more to Google+ such as sharing via email, Hangouts, SEO affects, messenger/huddle, not to mention the amazing Chrome extensions that are growing everyday. What I have mentioned is why I personally love Google+. What are your reasons?