There are a lot of things you can do to make an average photo truly shine. Sometimes it’s not the photo itself, but what you do to a photo that makes it stand out.

Here are ten different ways you can prepare your photos so they’re readily shared.

#1 – Use Humour

Humour gets shares. Some of the highest trafficked websites on the internet get traffic solely out of humour.

Try to add a funny line or two to your image to maximize the humour value.

 

Humor

Humor

 

#2 – Add an Inspiring Line

If you have a spectacular image, sometimes all you need is to find the perfect inspiring quote to make the image really stand out.

 

Inspire

Inspire

 

#3 – Be Controversial

Being controversial will tick some people off. But the people who agree with you will be much more compelled to share the image. You’ll get more likes and more shares, as well as a more loyal fanbase.

 

Controversy

Controversy

 

#4 – Use Memes

Memes are like running inside jokes on the internet. Memes are particularly powerful for getting traction on sites like Reddit or StumbleUpon. Memes change over time, but certain ones do stick.

Browse the social media sites to see which memes are “in” at the moment. Then incorporate some of the current memes into your image.

 

Memes

Memes

 

#5 – Turn It Into an Infographic

One great way you can add power to your images is to combine them with other images and turn it into an infographic. Infographics get wide adoption on both social media sites and social bookmarking sites. You can find the infographic below at Source: http://searchengineland.com/seotable

 

Infographics

Infographics

 

#6 – Color Correct It

Just color correcting an image can do a lot to bring out its natural beauty. Make sure you bring up the level of contrast as high as possible, while not blowing out the whites or losing color to the darks. Get it just right and the image will come off sharp and professional.

 

Color Correct It

Color Correct It

 

#7 – Sharpen It

Sharpen your image. If your image comes off a little blurry, it won’t come off as professional. While your best bet is really to take a photo with a high quality camera, you can make do with image sharpening in a pinch.

 

Sharpen

Sharpen

 

#8 – Add a Headline

A headline can help catch attention and get people to begin looking at an image or series of images. While some images can stand alone; a great many images can be enhanced by just adding one or two sentences as a headline.

 

Use a Headline

Use a Headline

 

#9 – Blur the Background

Often time’s simply blurring the background will make the foreground appear sharp and in focus. It’s not an effect that people consciously notice, but it makes a big difference. You can use apps like Instagram, if you don’t have a lens to accomplish the blur.

 

Blur Background

Blur Background

 

#10 – Make it News Relevant

Not all images can be news relevant. When it can be however, it’ll often spread.

 

News Relevancy

News Relevancy

 

Sites like Digg or even people on Facebook will pick up these images and pass it to people.  People care about what’s going on in the world. If you can link your image to a significant current event, you can gain a lot of traction.

These are ten things you can do with your photos so they can be readily shared. Making your photos go viral or “catch on” doesn’t just happen on its own. It takes effort. These tips will help get you from where your images are now to the viral tipping point.

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Top 5 Places to Get Photos to Share

Need great photos to share online? There are a lot of different places you can get these photos. You can create them yourself. You can get them from other people. You can find them through creative ways. You can even just hire someone else to do the whole thing for you.

Here are the top four places to get photos to share online.

Place #1: Paid Stock Photo Images

Paid stock photo image sites pay professional photographers to go out into the world and upload them to their sites. These photos, once online, can then be purchased by people who want to use those images for commercial purposes.

Some of the top paid stock image sites include:

-       http://iStockPhoto.com

-       http://Fotolia.com

-       http://GettyImages.com

-       http://JupiterImages.com

-       http://BigStockPhoto.com

 

Typically, these sites work through a variable price system. The larger the image you need, the more you’ll pay. Some sites use a credit system, while other sites you simply pay a straight fee for the image.

For example, with iStockPhoto, you can pay anywhere between 3 and 15 credits for an image. A credit costs between $0.24 cents and $0.95 cents per credit, depending on whether you buy them as you go or get a monthly subscription.

 

iStock Photo Buy

iStock Photo Buy

 

Some photo sites work a little differently and incorporate aspects of social networking as well. For example, Fotolia is designed as an online social network where photographers can sell their works.

 

Fotolia

Fotolia

 

If you’re looking to work with only the highest quality images, then paying for them is the best way to go. The quality of paid stock images is usually significantly higher than the quality of free stock images.

Place #2: Free Stock Images

Free stock images are exactly what they sound like: Stock images that you can use for free. These usually come with restrictions. For example, you may be allowed to use the images for web purposes, but not for print purposes or for distribution through DVDs.

Often time’s you’ll only get lower resolution images for free and need to pay to get the higher resolution versions.

Two of the top free stock image websites are sxc.hu and Morgue File.

Most images on http://sxc.hu can be used for web purposes, as well as DVD purposes. You need to ask for permission before doing anything that constitutes redistribution, such as using the image in a web template. You also need to ask for permission before creating print on demand items like coffee mugs or T-Shirts.

 

Sxc hu

Sxc hu

 

http://MorgueFile.com has one of the most liberal distribution policies on the web. Any image you use may be altered, it may be redistributed and it may be copied all without attribution to Morgue File or to the photographer. The only thing you can’t do is sell the image on its own without changing anything.

 

Morgue File

Morgue File

 

Place #3: Take Your Own Image

Sometimes, to get the perfect picture, you’ve really got to do it yourself. Taking your own photographs allows you to get the exact angle, lighting and image that you’re looking for. If you’re intimidated by the idea of taking your own photographs, here are a few tips to help get you started.

Start with a blank background. If you’re trying to get a shot of a specific image, try to reduce the background distraction as much as possible.

Get close to the object. The closer you are, the crisper your image will be. Unless you have a reason to take a wider shot, get as close as possible.

Move away from the middle. One amateur mistake people make when taking photos is placing their target photo right in the middle of the picture. This is usually the worst place for the object to be. Try positioning the object to the side instead.

Get the lighting right. The lighting with have a major impact on the quality of the photo. Try to get the lighting to be diffused throughout the surface of the object. If you can’t do that, try to make the lighting look artistic. Avoid lighting in rooms that cause a color cast on the image.

Get to eye level. While you can certainly create some artistic effects by photographing from above or below, typically you want to be right at eye level when taking photos.

Have a good camera. For most web purposes, smartphone cameras will take decent but not spectacular shots. To get truly high quality photos, invest in getting a great camera.

 

Camera

Camera

 

Place #4: Hire People to Do It

You can also hire people to take photos for you. There are several different places you can go for this. One place is Morgue File’s partner, http://FotoKoi.com. The way it works is quite simple. Start by clicking “I need an image” anywhere on the site.

 

FotoKoi Need an Image

FotoKoi Need an Image

 

Then just let photographers know what kind of image you need.

 

Fotokoi Request an Image

Fotokoi Request an Image

 

Another place you can look is http://Fiverr.com. There are many photographers that’ll go out in the world and take photos for you for a mere $5.

 

Fiverr

Fiverr

 

You can easily get the perfect photo you need for between $5 and $30 on these sites.

Place #5: Creative Commons Images

There are three primary categories of licenses you’ll encounter online:

  1. All rights reserved (not stock photos)
  2. Some rights reserved (most free stock photos)
  3. No rights reserved (paid stock photos, but do read the terms at each site)
  4. Creative commons

 

We’ve covered the first three categories above. The last category, creative commons, bears some explaining.

Creative Commons licenses are an easy way for image creators to license their images. It’s common for CC licensors to only keep limited amounts of rights on their images. For example, they may let you distribute the images however you want, but you have to pay attribution.

There are six different kinds of creative commons licenses you can choose from. You can view these licenses on http://www.creativecommons.org.

 

Licenses

Licenses

 

One great place to find Creative Commons images is the WikiMedia Commons database. They have over 12.6 million images that you can use freely.

You can access this database at: http://commons.wikimedia.org

 

WikiMedia Commons

WikiMedia Commons

 

Finding the right photos you need online isn’t difficult. You now know five different ways you can do it. Whether you want to grab them for free, do them yourself, hire someone, pay for them or get Creative Commons images, you now have all the tools you need to get the perfect pictures.

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Top 5 Photo Sharing Sites for Gaining Market Influence

A great photo sharing site has a few characteristics. First, the interface needs to look great, so that your photo feed looks as appealing and professional as possible. The site should also have a large audience, so your photos can get new viewers. The site should regularly get ranked in the search engines, to bring you more traffic. Most importantly, the site should support a range of social functions so that people can share and discuss your work.

If you’re using photo sharing sites specifically for a business purpose, then these are the five top sites you’ll want to use. These sites have the best of all worlds when it comes to gaining influence.

Site #1: Flickr

Flickr is one of the original photo sharing sites on the internet. It was acquired by Yahoo in 2005 and currently hosts over 6 billion images. According to data released by Yahoo in June 2011, Flicker gets over 80 million unique visitors each month. According to Alexa, it’s the 47th most highly trafficked website on the internet.

Flickr has a number of different features that help business owners increase their influence.

First of all, users have the ability to comment on photos. Sometimes photos can actually garner discussions. This all helps increase user engagement with your photos.

Images are generally organized into “Photo Streams,” which are basically albums. Flickr supports RSS, so your fans can easily receive future photos in their RSS readers.

Each image can be tagged. Tagging makes it easy for people who’re searching for photos to find your photos. It also helps you get ranked in the search engines. In addition to keyword tagging, Flickr also supports Geoformatting, which means location data can be saved onto photos.

Social media tags are embedded next to each photo to encourage people to share the photo among their social network as you can see below.

 

Flickr Example

Flickr Example

 

Flickr has a number of “groups.” People discuss and share photos in these groups. These groups can be a great way for you to reach more people who are interested in your specialty.

 

Flickr Groups

Flickr Groups

 

Adding photos to Flickr is easy. Just click the “Upload” button along the top navigation bar.

 

Flickr Upload

Flickr Upload

 

Site #2: Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the most unique social photo sharing sites to pop up. They’ve taken the “tagging” phenomenon to the next level.

Users of Pinterest can “pin” any image they see to their Pinterest board. This works much like cutting out images from a magazine and sticking it on a corkboard. Once you’ve pinned a bunch of images, you’ll have a montage of images all pertaining to a certain topic. I already talked about Pinterest in this article.

In addition to pinning images found on the internet, you can also pin images taken on any smartphone. So you can easily show up to an event or a conference, take photos and create a collage of those photos on the fly.

The site launched in March 2010 and quickly became one of the fastest growing websites on the internet. As for January 2012, the site was receiving over 11.7 million visitors a month, according to the internet statistics company ComScore.

One interesting thing to note is that the vast majority – 83% – of the website’s user base is women in the United States. In the United Kingdom, this number is more balanced, coming in at 56%.

Every image on Pinterest has several integrated social features. Each has a comment box and you’re automatically logged in via Facebook. You can also retweet, email or share all on the same screen.

 

Pinterest Social Media

Pinterest Social Media

 

Pinning up a new image is easy. All you need to do is click “Pin” and you’ll be given a number of different options to choose from to do your pinning.

 

Pin It

Pin It

In addition to pinning images from the web or from your computer, you can also pin using a bookmark. This allows you to pin any images you come across on the internet in one simple click.

Users who like your images can follow your pins. Through uploading great photos, you can build up a user base and increase your influence.

 

Following

Following

 

Site #3: Facebook

Facebook is by far the world’s largest photo storage website. It has over 50 billion photos stored on its servers all around the world. As the world’s largest social networking website with more than 900 million members as of April 2012, it’s definitely a photo storage platform you don’t want to ignore.

Using Facebook as a photo sharing application is quite different than using it just as a social networking website. The best way to use Facebook to spread your influence is to create a Facebook group or page.

 

Facebook Page

Facebook Page

 

A Facebook group or page will allow you to garner fans and likes. Whenever you post a new image, anyone who’s liked your page will have the potential to see your image on their feed (depending on Facebook’s algorithm.)

Once someone sees your photo, there are a number of different ways they can interact with it. They can comment on it, they can like it or they can share it. All of these options will result in some of their friends seeing the image on their feed as well. In this manner, your images can spread virally.

 

Facebook Comments

Facebook Comments

 

Uploading an image to a group of page is relatively simple. Just head over to your page, click “Photo / Video” and hit “Upload Photo / Video.” Then select the photo from your computer.

 

Upload Image

Upload Image

 

Site #4: Twitpic

Twitpic is the largest photo sharing utility used by Twitter users. Every day, approximately 2.25 million pictures are uploaded and shared via Twitter and over 45% of that image share volume is handled by Twitpic.

One thing that makes Twitpic unique is that you use the same login IDs as your Twitter account. You simply “authorize” Twitpic to use your Twitter account and you don’t need to deal with any other account information.

Twitpic encodes all their URL data into a very short code. That allows people to easily share Twitpic URLs in the 140 character space that Twitter allows.

 

Twitpic Short URL

Twitpic Short URL

 

Every picture you upload is saved under your username. People can view all the photos you’ve uploaded in the past by clicking on your name. Each and every photo has a comment section underneath it, so people can discuss your photographs.

 

Twitpic Example Picture

Twitpic Example Picture

 

To upload to Twitpic, just login with your Twitter account and click “Upload.” Twitpic will automatically pop up a box that you can type your Twitter message into, along with a character count feature. You can also choose to use location tagging with your image uploads.

 

Twitpic Post Image

Twitpic Post Image

 

Site #5: Picasa Web Album

Picasa was created in 2002 by Lifescape and acquired by Google in 2004. It supports both an online interface as well as a downloadable desktop interface. Though Google hasn’t released public data about traffic or number of images stored, limited data from Quantcast puts Picasa’s monthly unique visitors at about 5.1 million users a month.

Since Google released Google+, Picasa has more or less integrated completely with the social network. Unlike other photo sharing sites that comment using Facebook accounts, with Picasa your comments come from your Google+ account.

Albums that you upload to Picasa can now be tagged and shared by other Google+ users. You can also tag other people in your images. If you tag them, they’ll receive a notification that they’ve been tagged.

Here’s what a Picasa photo looks like:

 

Picasa Example

Picasa Example

 

To upload an image, just click the “upload” button.

 

Picasa Upload

Picasa Upload

 

Picasa has a number of unique features. First of all, you can order prints right from the interface itself. You can also create an RSS feed of any album you create. You can also “Share” on Google+.

 

Picasa Unique Features

Picasa Unique Features

 

Google Plus is today integrated with Google Search Plus, which uses Google+ likes to influence search rankings. Picasa’s integration with Google Plus makes it easy for you to take advantage of this.

If you upload a photograph of fish and share it among your Google+ network, people who’ve liked it and friends of people who’ve liked it are going to see your content much higher in Google+.

This alone is a powerful enough reason to take advantage of Picasa’s many features.
These are five of the most powerful websites for gaining influence on the web. Are you ready to take your influence to the next level?

 

 

 

 

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Many different kinds of businesses can benefit from using photos intelligently. Great photos can help you create a more professional brand, as well as demonstrate your work to potential clients.

These are ten different types of businesses can benefit from using photos; along with a few examples of how they’re using photos in their businesses.

Business #1: Photographers

A photographer’s job revolves around finding magical moments in life and capturing them on film for all to see.

Because a photographer’s job is so graphic-centric, having great ways to showcase their work is extremely important. Generally, you’ll want to put your best work towards the top of the page so people have a strong impression right off the bat.

 

Flickr Photographer

Flickr Photographer

Credit: Martin Gommel, http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwerfeldein/

 

Business #2: Artists

Artists often use the internet to both find work and to showcase their work. Many websites, such as DeviantArt, are portals for artists to get their work out there.

These communities of artists make it easy for people who’re looking to hire to find talented people. It also gives artists a great avenue to interact with one another.

 

Deviant Art Artists

Deviant Art Artists

Credit: Gale Franey – http://galefra.deviantart.com/

 

Business #3: Consultants and Coaches

Consultants and coaches can use photos to showcase themselves working with clients, to showcase changes they’ve made to companies or to showcase work they’ve done.

For example, Intersection Consulting uses Flickr to showcase a variety of ads, infographics and other marketing materials they’ve designed for their clients.

 

Consultants and Coaches

Consultants and Coaches

Credit: Intersection Consulting http://www.flickr.com/photos/intersectionconsulting/

 

Business #4: Non-Profit Organizations

Out to help the world? One of the biggest challenges non-profits face is conveying the real impact of their work. Photos can help drive that point home.

An image of an impoverished African village can often do more for conveying the need for help than words ever could. An image of happy volunteers could do more for conveying the joy of the experience than words ever could.

 

Volunteer Africa Pinterest

Volunteer Africa Pinterest

Credit: International Volunteer HQ http://pinterest.com/ivhq/volunteer-in-south-africa/

 

Business #5: Realtors & Real Estate Agents

The internet is a powerful tool in a real estate agent’s toolbox. Increasingly, home buyers are using tools like the MLS, Zillow and Craigslist to find homes.

Instead of having the opportunity to showcase homes in open houses, real estate agents often need to showcase homes online instead.

Taking great photos of a home and showing them on the internet is a great way to “hook” people and get them interested enough to give you a call.

 

Realtors

Realtors

Credit: Amy Gilmore, http://twitpic.com/694jko

 

Business #6: Models & Actors

Models and actors need to actively seek to cultivate their image, both online and offline. Casting agents will often look online for prospective models and actors. What’s great about online photos is that you can demonstrate both your looks and your ability to look photogenic.

The key to success with showcasing yourself online is to take hundreds of photos and only put up the best ones.

Example from Model Mayhem, the largest website for models to showcase their photos.

 

Models

Models

Credit: Sarah Montgomery, http://www.modelmayhem.com/2626043

 

Business #7: Wedding Planners

A wedding planner’s job is to help the bride and the groom create the perfect once in a lifetime experience.

Part of that job entails helping the bride and groom make decisions on how they want their wedding to turn out. What kind of flowers do they want? What kind of cake? While these decisions can be made with words; often the best way to do it is through sharing photos.

 

Wedding Planner

Wedding Planner

Source: http://pinterest.com/sbhorn/bridal-shower-ideas/

 

Business #8: Finance, Statistics & Economics

If you work in the finance, statistical or economics industries, you can also leverage the visual power of photos to build your influence.

Numbers can be very difficult for people to grasp. It’s much easier for people to grasp “dollar pills stacked to the height of the empire state building” than “a billion dollars.”

Likewise, many of the world’s best known economists are people who were able to explain complex concepts in easy to understand terms or were able to depict those concepts in pictures.

Stephen Dubner, author of the bestselling books “Freakonomics” was able to make a dry topic like economics appeal to the masses by making the subject interesting. If you work in a finance related field, you can also leverage the power of using visuals to increase people’s engagement.

This applies to mortgage brokers, money managers, accountants, economists, casino managers and any other career that relies heavily on numbers and statistics.

 

Statistics

Statistics

Source: http://pinterest.com/offthesidelines/statistics-infographics/

 

Business #9: Conference & Event Organizers

Conference and event organizers can use photo sharing to help attract guests and bring in top notch speakers.

Upload as many high quality photos of previous events as possible. Upload photos that have full crowds and pictures of smiling guests.

Put up photos of high profile speakers. Put up photos where speakers look great – The lighting should be good, the PowerPoint slides crisp and the setup professional.

All this adds up to creating the impression of an event that speakers would want to be at, as well as an event that people want to attend.

 

Twilio Conference

Twilio Conference

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/twilio/with/6169929527/

 

Business #10: Restaurants & Retail

Photos can also make a big difference for restaurants, conventional retail stores and other small consumer businesses.

These kinds of businesses can use online photo sharing to showcase their menu or their product selection.

You can also use it to highlight unique items. You can use the power of social media and the interactivity of the internet to help bring more people to your establishment.

If you just uploaded these photos to your own website, it’s likely that only people who’re already customers will see it. If you upload it to a photo sharing site however, you can get a lot of new people to see what you have to offer in a visual format.

 

Underwater Restaurant

Underwater Restaurant

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How to Get More Followers

Your Facebook page is only as good as your followers. The more people whom you can get to join your page, the better off you’ll be.

For many Facebook page owners, getting more followers can seem like an uphill battle. They post and post and post, yet the followers never seem to come.

How can you get more followers deliberately? Follow these tips.

Step 1: Choose a Keyword-Based Title

Your title should be based on a keyword that has search volume. That means people would naturally type in your page’s name and arrive at your page.

Keep in mind that this alone won’t get you much traffic. If you choose a term that has traffic, chances are there are already a hundred other pages that already compete for that term.

However, what this does allow you to do is capture massive amounts of traffic once you have a bit more traction. Try to go for keywords that are one or two levels deep. In other words, instead of going for “Photography,” try for “Wildlife Photography” or “Black and White Photography.”

Use the Google Keyword Tool at https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal to make sure you’re targeting a keyword that has real volume.

 

Assess the Traffic

Assess the Traffic

 

Step 2: Contact Influencers Directly

Chances are, you know some people in your network that are serious influencers. These are people whose status updates are frequently “liked,” commented on or shared by other people.

Pay attention to your news feed and figure out which people in your network are influencers. Then message them directly and ask them to like your page and recommend it to their friends.

This works best with people whom you have a strong personal relationship with. Make sure to convey that you’re truly committed to providing value with the page and that their friends would benefit from knowing about your page.

 

Send a Message

Send a Message

 

Step 3: Embed a Widget on Your Site

Grab a Facebook widget that lets people “like” your page from your website. Add this widget to your sidebar, as well as on the bottom of your posts. The more traffic your website has, the more effective this technique will be. You can find widgets at: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/

 

Widget

Widget

 

Step 4: Advertise on Facebook

Use either a sponsored story or a Facebook ad to get your Facebook page more exposure. Make sure to target only people who would likely be interested in what you have to offer, or else you’ll be over paying for the traffic.

Advertising on Facebook is a great way to get highly targeted traffic to your page if you don’t already have a large base of users on your website.

 

Advertise

Advertise

 

Step 5: Buy Followers

One grey hat technique you can use to get an instant follower boost is to buy followers. Using this technique can be a double edged sword. Ideally, you should only buy followers from people who generate real followers who would actually be interested in what you’re offering.

Try to buy followers from other page owners. You can do this by asking them to post about your page in exchange for a payment. They might charge a per-fan rate or a single rate for the entire post.

Alternatively, you can look at internet marketing marketplaces like Fiverr or Digital Point for people who provide follower acquisition services. Again, be very discerning about which services you use and try to only get followers who would genuinely be interested in what you offer.

 

Fiverr Example

Fiverr Example

 

Step 6: Content Based Strategies

Finally, here are a few different content strategies you can employ to help increase the likelihood that people will like and share your content.

  • Post a video. Videos that are funny, shocking or highly information get shared much more often than text.
  • Run a contest. Make sure the contest involves getting people to like your page or share your page with their friends as part of the process.
  • Give away a free downloadable eBook or report. The report can get passed around by people, who’ll in turn come to your page and join your follower base.
  • Create a posting schedule for yourself. Post regularly, at least 5 times a week. The more often you post, the more likely you are to show up in people’s feeds.
  • Vary your tone. Post something controversial one day, then something strictly informational the next. Follow that with something comedic, then something almost off topic.
  • Always keep your end user in mind when writing your posts. Aim to provide value with everything you do on your Facebook page. Many of Facebook’s fastest growing pages grow completely organically with no promotion, simply from the value they provide.

That’s how to get traffic to your Facebook page. Growing a Facebook page takes a lot of effort. You can’t just create a page and expect it to grow itself. Instead, you have to actively cultivate your user base, entice people to join and get fans to share your content.

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Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights is Facebook’s analytics platform for their Facebook Pages. Using Facebook Insights, you can figure out exactly who your audience is, who your potential audience is, how people engage with your content and what kind of content people tend to like.

This data can then be used to help improve the overall performance of your page and to get people to like and share what you put out there even more.

Here’s how to use Facebook Insights.

Step 1: Access Facebook Insights

To access Facebook Insights, open up your page. The link to access Facebook Insights is on the left.

 

Click Insights

Click Insights

 

Step 2: Understanding the Main Statistics

They four most important metrics you have at your fingertips are your total likes, friends of fans, people talking about this and weekly total reach.

 

Main Statistics

Main Statistics

 

Your total likes tells you how many people have liked your page.

Your friends of fans tells you how many people you have the potential to reach. Each of your fans can share your content; and if all of them do, this is the maximum amount of people you’ll be exposed to.

The people talking about this tells you how many people can created posts based on your content.

Finally, weekly total reach tells you how many people your page was exposed to in the last week. That includes friends who saw a share or a like on your page.

Step 3: How Influential Are Your Posts?

How much does each of your posts influence the number of people you reach? This graph will show you the relationship between the number of posts you make and your weekly reach.

 

Post Influence

Post Influence

 

Generally you’ll find that the more often you post, the more people will talk about your content.

Step 4: Per Post Data

How did each of your posts influence your users? Do specific posts have a stronger impact? The data in your per post data can give you all kinds of valuable information.

The reach number tells you how many people saw your post.

The engaged users number tells you how many people clicked on your post.

The talking about this number tells you how many people shared, likes or commented on your post and had the post appear on their feed as a result.

The virality number is the percentage of people who responded to your message, out of everyone who saw it. The higher this number, the more your message resonates with your audience.

 

Per Post Data

Per Post Data

 

You can narrow down your posts by post type, so you can see exactly which types of posts generate the highest levels of response or engagement.

 

Specific Types

Specific Types

 

Step 5: Demographics and Sources of Likes

Who likes your content? Are they male or female? How old are they? What country are they from? Facebook Insights can give you all that data and more.

Click on “Likes” in the Facebook Insights submenu on the left.

 

Click Likes

Click Likes

 

First, you’ll be presented with the demographics of people who liked your content.

 

Like Demographics

Like Demographics

 

This gives you the breakdown by gender, age, location and language. Furthermore, you can also get data about where your likes came from. Were they from your page? Were they from recommendations? Did they come from something else?

 

Where Likes Came From

Where Likes Came From

 
Step 6: Reach Data

Facebook Insights can also give you all kinds of data about how people reached your page. Did they reach you through paid means? Or did they reach you through a friend?

To access this data, click on “Reach” in the Facebook Insights submenu.

 

Click Reach

Click Reach

 

Much like with “likes,” you’ll be presented with a screenfull of data that breaks down your reach by demographics: Age, gender, location and language.

In addition, you’ll also have a graph that shows you how users reached your page in the first place.

Organic is essentially anyone who didn’t see your page via a paid means. They could be existing fans of your page who saw your content in their feed, it could be a non-fan who saw your content from a friend’s share, it could even be search engine traffic.

Paid tells you how many people saw your page via sponsored links.

Viral tells you how many people saw your content via their friends. If they got to your page from a friend’s like, share or comment, you’ll see it here.

 

How People Reached You

How People Reached You

 

Step 7: “Talking About This” Data

How many people are talking about your page? Who’s talking about you? To learn more, click the “Talking About This” link in the submenu on the left.

 

Talking About This

Talking About This

 

Once again, you’ll be presented with the demographics data of the people who’re talking about you.

In addition, you’ll also get to see a graph of how many people are talking about you and the overall virality of your page.

 

How People Talk

How People Talk

 

Improving your page’s performance is all about figuring out exactly what kind of content your users like, then giving them more of that. If you find that certain kinds of posts you make consistently generate more likes and shares than other kinds of posts, focus all your attention on creating just those kinds of posts.

Analyze your demographics data and figure out who you should be talking to. Even if your whole market is huge and spans a wide demographic range, the reality is often time’s the people who respond to your message will be from a small subset of that demographic. Figure out what that subset is and talk to them specifically.

Facebook Insights can be a tremendously powerful tool for figuring out who your audience is, what they want and what they respond to. It can be your compass as you navigate your Facebook Page to success.

 

 

 

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Adjusting Your Facebook Page Settings

Your Facebook page settings can give you a lot of control over exactly how your page functions and how users interact with your page. It can also help you manage your page administratively.

Here’s how to adjust your Facebook Page’s settings.

Step 1: Access the Settings

Click on “Edit Page” in the upper right corner of your Facebook page to access the page’s settings.

 

Click Edit Page

Click Edit Page

 

Step 2: Set Your Visibility

Who should be able to see your page and who shouldn’t?

Start by checking or unchecking the “unpublish” option. This gives you control over whether or not everyone can see your page. If you’re still editing the page, you might want to unpublish it for the time being.

Next you can choose whether or not to hide the page from certain countries or certain age groups. Generally you want to leave your group open to as many members as possible, unless there’s a specific reason to disallow them.

 

Visibility Settings

Visibility Settings

 

Step 3: Which Posts Show on Your Wall

Set whose posts you want to show up on your page’s wall. Do you only want your own posts to show up? Or do you want everyone’s posts to show up?

This selection has a huge impact on the overall vibe of your page. A page that shows everyone’s posts will have a more community oriented vibe, while a page that only shows the page’s posts will seem much more authoritative.

 

Posts to Show

Posts to Show

 

Step 4: Where Do Users Land?

Set where users land by default. When someone lands on your page, do they go to the wall? Do they go to the info section? Perhaps you’d like to send them to the photos?

What you choose here depends on what you’re using your page for. If you’re using it to engage a community, you’ll probably want to send them to the wall. On the other hand, if you’re using your page to provide information to people who want to come to your business, then sending them to the info page may be best.

 

Default Landing Tab

Default Landing Tab

 

Step 5: What Can People Do

Set what people can and can’t do on your page. These options allow you to choose whether or not people can post content, photos and vides and whether or not people can tag your photos.

 

What Can People Do

What Can People Do

 

Step 6: Blocklist and Profanity

Do you want to censor your page from profanity? If so, choose one of the profanity filtering options. If you want to block specific words, you can enter that here as well. For example, if you wanted to block all mention of alternative products and competitors, you can just put a big list of their names in the blocklist.

 

Blocklist and Profanity

Blocklist and Profanity

 

Step 7: Posting and Email Preferences

To set your posting and email preferences, click “Your Settings” in the left navigation bar.

 

Click Your Settings

Click Your Settings

 

This is where you can tell Facebook to always post as the page administrator when you’re posting on your wall.

You can also set Facebook to message you whenever there’s a post or a comment. This will allow you to respond to comments much faster.

 

Posting and Email Preferences

Posting and Email Preferences

 

Step 8: Manage Administrators

To manage administrators, click “Manage Admins” in the left navigation bar.

 

Click Manage Admins

Click Manage Admins

 

Here you can add administrators or remove administrators. Administrators are people who can post on your wall and be seen, they can delete posts or photos and generally do anything that the page creator can do.

 

Admins

Admins

 

As you can see, there are many different ways to use a Facebook page. These settings will give you complete control over who can use your Facebook page, how it’s used and how it’s managed.

 

 

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How to Set Up a Facebook Page

Facebook Pages are the best way for businesses and organizations to interact with consumers and the public at large. Facebook Pages allow consumers to “like” them, which is displayed to the user’s feed. It allows you to provide information about your business or organization all in one place.

Unlike a regular Facebook account, there is no limit to the number of followers or likes you can get.

Here’s how to setup a Facebook page, along with a few tips on creating a great profile.

Step 1: Create a Page

On your left hand sidebar, locate the subheading called “Pages.” Hover your mouse there. A button called “more” will appear. Click that button.

 

Click More

Click More

 

On the next page, click “Create a Page” in the upper right corner.

 

Create a Page

Create a Page

 

Step 2: Select a Page Type

Choose what type of page you want to create. Each page has slightly different options. For example, with a local business you can provide information like hours and parking options. With a cause, you can provide options like donations.

 

Choose a Type

Choose a Type

 

Step 3: Enter Your Basic Information

Enter the basic information for your business. This is the bare minimum of information that Facebook needs to get you started.

 

Basic Information

Basic Information

 

Choose your category carefully, as it can help people find you in the future. If in doubt, visit some of your competitors’ Pages and see what categories they’re using.

Step 4: Add an Image

Your profile image makes a huge difference on people’s overall impression of your page and your brand. Choose an image that represents what you stand for and would be instantly recognizable. If there are multiple Pages with the same name, people will use your image to make sure they’re choosing the right page.

 

Add an Image

Add an Image

 

Step 5: Add a Cover Photo

Just like with your personal profile, Facebook now also allows you to upload a cover photo to your Facebook Page. This is a great way to show what your business is all about, but according to Facebook’s terms, it is not meant to be space for an advertisement. Nor are you allowed to upload images that are primarily text. Use this space to showcase a great visual that makes your business stand out.

When you view your page, you’ll see an option to either add a cover photo or to change your cover photo, if you’ve added one previously.

 

Change cover

Change cover

 

You can then upload a photo from your computer or choose one from photos you’ve already added to your Facebook Page. The end result looks something like this and will appear across your Facebook Page. It’s a very big visual, so use it to your advantage.

 

Cover photo

Cover photo

 

Step 6: Click “Edit Info”

To add more information about your organization, click “Edit Info” under the title

 

Click Edit Info

Click Edit Info

 

Step 7: Enter a Topic

When you first setup your page, you provided Facebook with a small amount of basic information. Here you can provide Facebook and your users with even more information.

Start by picking a more in depth topic. The topic should be something that both makes sense to users and may be a search keyword that people use to find you.

 

Enter Topic

Enter Topic

 

Step 8: Hours and Other Details

Put in other details about your business. The more detail you can provide, the better. Users view more data as more professional. It also helps them make decisions about when to come to your business.

Each type of page has different kinds of details. In a local page, you can input things like hours, parking details, price, etc. A celebrity profile will be different, as would a non-profit page.

 

Hours

Hours

 

Step 9: About & Description

This is one of the most important areas of your page. Your “about” and “description” are going to be one of the most read areas of your Pages. People will read this area and decide whether or not they’re interested in what you have to offer.

 

About Description

About Description

 

Step 10: Email and Website

Every business today should have a website, no matter how small the business. A Facebook page often isn’t the best place to put in depth information. For example, you wouldn’t put an entire restaurant menu on Facebook. Instead, provide your website address so people can find out more if they want.

 

Email and Website

Email and Website

 

Step 11: Pick a Username

Finally, pick a username for your page. An easy to remember username makes it simple for people to navigate back to your page and to refer their friends. It also makes it easy to put on your marketing materials. You can choose just about any username you can think of, except ones that have already been taken.

 

Username

Username

 

Setting up a great profile is mostly about being as detailed and complete as possible. People want to be able to learn enough about your business to make a decision, just from your Facebook page. If you can put something on your page that increases engagement, like a question or a contest, so much the better.

Feel free to leave a comment!

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Top 10 Reasons to Have an Ezine

  1. Establish yourself as a trusted expert. People search online for information and will look to you, as a subject matter expert, to provide it to them. Every week (or whatever schedule works) provides an opportunity to build on this, while reinforcing your brand.
  2. Build a relationship with the people on your list. It’s common knowledge that people like to buy from people they like. By using ezines to connect with readers in their homes, you can develop a relationship of familiarity and trust. Be sure to share a little about yourself or your company in every issue, whether it is an anecdote, event, or employee spotlight.
  3. Keep in touch with prospects and clients. Consideration should be given to eventually developing two ezines: one for prospects and one for clients, as each require different information. This is a great way to notify your readers of weekly specials or upcoming product launches, offer new articles or customer stories, and provide links (or urls) to updated FAQs, blogs and splash pages.
  4. Drive traffic to your website or blog. As noted in #3, remember to call attention to new blog posts or other changes to your website with links directly to those pages. Remind readers of your online newsletter archives. Promote special sales (maybe with discount coupon codes only for subscribers) with a link to the sales page. Use links to turn your ezines and newsletters into ‘silent salespersons’– driving traffic to your website and building your lists around the clock.
  5. Build content on your website. Make a habit to adding your ezines and newsletters to your website in an archive area. This serves a several important purposes:
    • Visitors can read an issue or two to determine if your ezine will be of interest to them, which could help to increase sign-ups and potential sales.
    • If you optimize your article placements, you will not only make your website ‘meatier’, but you’ll also bring new traffic from the search engines.
  6. Get feedback from your readers. Make it easy for you to stay in touch with prospects and customers and vice versa. Ask them to take action and comment on your articles and offers. Conduct polls and surveys. Start a ‘Letters to the Editor’ column in your ezine. Feedback allows you to fine tune your messages, target your marketing, and expand your product line. It’s also great for relationship building!
  7. Develop an information product. If you deliver your newsletter once a week and include two articles, at the end of a year you’ll have 104 well-researched articles in your portfolio! Pick the best-of-the-best and turn them into a bonus ebook for opting-in to your list, submit to download sites to build your list, or sell in PDF-format!
  8. Grow your mailing list. Let your ezine subscribers work for you. Be sure to remind your readers that it’s okay to forward your newsletter to anyone they’d like. In addition, it’s important to include sign-up instructions for those who received your ezine from viral marketing methods. A simple line titled, ‘Get Your Own Copy of XXXXXX’, with a link to your squeeze or opt-in page is all it takes!
  9. Gather demographic data. By offering surveys, feedback forms, and niche reports, you’ll be able to get valuable information about your prospects and customers. Learn what makes your readers tick, how to better serve them, and how to give them what they want. Make sure they become repeat customers!
  10. Save money! All of the above benefits of publishing an ezine are free or almost free. The small cost of a top-rated ezine publishing system is nothing compared to the cost of brochures, business cards, advertising, direct mail, pay-per-click or other means of promotion. Not only that, but someone has to manage that production! Because your newsletter is delivered online, you can grow your list to be as large as you want without worrying about the expense. Bottom line − it’s proven that email marketing is the most cost-effective marketing solution for companies just like yours!

     

    Try GetResponse Email Marketing and explode your marketing ROI!
    Click carefully on http://www.getresponse.com/index/tomasjochmann

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Top 15 Ways to Build Your Subscriber List

Email marketing can be profitable for any business, no matter what kind of product or service you offer. It is significantly cheaper than other advertising methods and, if done right, helps build loyalty and trust with customers. As a result, you generate more sales and more profits!

The foundation for successful email marketing is a targeted, permission-based email list. Marketers call contact lists their ‘goldmine’ because it can generate much of their sales revenue. If you’ve built up a list of opt-in subscribers that are qualified and interested in what you have to offer, then you’ve completed the first step and are on your way. Now it’s time to ‘mine’ for gold!

Below you’ll find several list-building and retention ideas that will help you get the best results from all your email marketing activities:

  1. Provide useful, relevant content. Your visitors will not give you their email addresses just because they can subscribe to your newsletter free of charge. You have to provide unique and valuable information that will be of interest or use to them.
  2. Add a subscription form to every page on your website. Make sure it stands out so it is easy to find. If it doesn’t look cluttered, you may want to include more than one on some pages. For instance, if your opt-in form always appears in the top-left corner of your site, you may want to add one at the end of your most popular articles.
  3. Add subscription forms to your social media pages. Make sure that you don’t waste this valuable source of revenue opportunities. Integrate your sign-up forms with Facebook and more!
  4. Make it easy for readers to sign up. The more information you request, the fewer people will opt-in. In most cases, a name and an email address should suffice. If it’s not necessary, don’t include it here. You can always survey them once they’re customers! We do recommend that you provide a link to your Privacy Policy however.
  5. Publish a Privacy Policy. Let your readers know that they can be confident you will not share their information with others. The easiest way to do this is to set up a Privacy Policy web page and provide the link to it below your opt-in form. (Note: If you don’t have one, put the words ‘privacy policy generator’ into a search engine and you should be able to find a suitable form to use.)
  6. Provide samples of your newsletters and Ezines. This lets potential subscribers review your materials before they sign up to determine if it’s something they’d be interested in.
  7. Archive past newsletters and articles. An online library of past newsletters and articles is both appealing and useful to visitors and builds your credibility as an authority. In addition, if your articles are written with good SEO techniques in mind, they can increase traffic to your website through enhanced search engine positioning.
  8. Give gifts subscribers can actually use. Offer an opt-in bonus for joining your subscriber list! Write an ebook or provide a PDF business report, or even hire a programmer to create downloadable or web-based software. But don’t limit yourself to offering gifts to opt-ins. Give them out when your readers fill out a survey, provide a testimonial, success story, or a great product idea. Let them know when they can expect the next gift offer. Everyone likes to get something for free! And if you pass out ‘goodies’ throughout the year, your subscribers will feel truly appreciated − and that’s good for business!
  9. Ask your subscribers to pass it on. Word of mouth is a powerful viral technique that works great with email marketing. If your subscribers find your content interesting, amusing or informative, they’ll probably share it with their friends. This can be a great source of new customers, so make sure to remind them to ‘pass it on’.
  10. Let others reprint your newsletter as long as the content is not modified. If you’re happy to share your content with the universe, then why not! Many webmasters and newsletter publishers are actively looking for high-quality content and, if they reprint your newsletter, you’ll get new subscribers, and more traffic and links pointing to your site.
  11. Include a ‘Sign Up’ button in your newsletter. If you’re using plain text instead of HTML, be sure to provide a text link to your subscription page. You may feel that this is not required because the subscriber is already on your list, but remember that readers will forward your newsletters to others, or reprint them online. Make it easy for them to subscribe!
  12. Add a squeeze page. A squeeze page has one goal − to acquire opt-ins and build your list. Think of it as a mini-sales letter to go along with your subscription or opt-in gift. It should feature a strong headline and a couple of powerful benefits that should make subscribers salivate to sign up! Once created, use a service such as WordTracker to find hundreds of targeted keywords, and promote your offer using pay-per-click advertising from Google, MSN and Yahoo. Now that should make a splash!
  13. Include testimonials on your squeeze page. This is crucial. Put one or two strong testimonials from satisfied customers on your squeeze page. This can be in any format, but you may find that multimedia (audio or video) is more ‘believable’ and inspires more people to action. To further enhance believability, get permission to use actual customer names, locations and/or urls (Don’t use ‘Bob K, FL’). Add a note inviting others to participate. After all, it’s free publicity!
  14. Blog religiously. Blogging is a great way to communicate with prospects and potential customers, and creates a nice synergy with your email marketing. Be sure to include your newsletter sign-up form on each page of your blog. You can start a free blog at Blogger or WordPress.
  15. Post on other blogs. Post thoughtful comments and information on similar blogs with a link to your squeeze or opt-in pages. Also comment on others’ blogs through trackbacks. In most cases, your comments will be posted on their blogs with a link back to your site. This is an easy way to generate new traffic and subscribers, and get your brand out there!

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