Blog Archive

Instagram has become quite the contender in the social media arena. That’s largely due to Facebook. After the purchase by Facebook, Instagram garnered so many eyes on their website that it propelled them into something much bigger through the addition of videos and advertisements. Now is the time for your business to make its presence known using Instagram.

 

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Instagram is the place to upload photos that connect, engage, touch and stay memorable with their increasing Instagram followers. For businesses this is an opportunity to show users a different side of the company. Communicating on Instagram is all about pleasing the eye with color, basic words and bold strategies. With over 150 million users, there’s plenty of opportunity to go around.

Possible ideas for growing your business using videos are:

  • Highlighting your latest innovation
  • Getting to know the newest recruit
  • Teaching tutorials
  • Q&A sessions
  • Product/service/movie reviews
  • Explaining your latest offering
  • A day in the life of….

Possible ideas for photos are:

  • Your newest product/service
  • The company behind the scenes
  • Charity work
  • Company events
  • Photo contests
  • A day in the life of….

Turning a photo, video or ad into something profitable is going to take some work. It’s more than just placing photos and moving on. It’s about being strategic with your postings. Being strategic with Instagram begins with these tips:

  • Make every photo or video authentic.
  • Post on a schedule.
  • Make advertisements more visual than wordy.
  • Use hashtags to label photos and videos. Similar photos and videos must use the same hashtag.
  • Make Hashtags completely yours by using words or phrases that describe them. Make sure that words or phrases are used with other photos and videos. Every time someone sees that hashtag it will be connected to the company.
  • Spread Instagram links on your website, on your blog and on other social media accounts.
  • With business cards, email newsletters and offline marketing, make sure the Instagram link connects to the message conveyed.

Building your business with Instagram isn’t a one-time solution. Postings must be consistent for you to see results. When your Instagram strategy is up and running, all you’ll need to do is maintain it. Photos and videos are shared with other users, and this promotes your business using visual word of mouth. Over time, your company will build relationships with Instagram users and everyone wins. For more information on developing a social media promotion strategy, contact us.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

4 Tips for Accelerating Retail Sales Using Social Media
Combining Blogging and Social Media into a Truly Effective Strategy
7 Steps for Getting on Board With Social Media
5 Ways You Can Benefit By Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Essential Tips for Growing Your Business with Pinterest
3 Tips for Social Media Marketing Brilliance

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Social media is a powerful driving force when it comes to retail sales, and it’s a tool that can be easily leveraged during the holiday season. Modern social media campaigns can help businesses get the word out about their spectacular holiday deals in a variety of ways. Here are a few tips and strategies to consider:

 

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Promote Interesting Product Collections

Forget everything you’ve learned about “salesy” promotions. The social media world won’t stand for them. If you sound like your trying to sell, the majority of folks will be turned off, and they might even stop following you so they’ll never again see your posts. And if you’re perceived as spamming you’re doomed. It’s much better to create posts that are collections of interesting or unusual items from your offerings combined with those from other companies that would appeal to the same audience. Alternatively you might create several posts showing selections targeted to a specific niche market, that way you can check your stats to see which of your social media posts is gaining the most traction.

Mastering QR tags

Yes, people overdid it when these came out a couple of years ago. But some experts, including those at MarketingLand, agree that a well-placed, well-executed tag can deliver something useful to enhance your company’s message. Utilize the code to promote a movie, your latest Christmas commercial or reveal an exclusive online coupon. Toys ‘R Us, for example, has used them in its newspaper inserts to show insider videos of specific toys in action.

Playing with Pinterest

Pinterest has evolved into a tool much more powerful than just showcasing pretty photos of clothes and crafts. Retailers have mastered it and have taken big steps to make sure their brands are represented in the pins you’re browsing, liking and pinning. Several retailers have added “Black Friday Special” deal boards to their regular pin boards this year. Lowe’s Home Improvement has gone even further by creating a Holidays 2013 pin board and “blacking out” some of the items available for the holidays. PracticalECommerce.com reports that Lowe’s followers have been asked to guess the items, as well as follow the board to see new deals as they are revealed.

Make It Easy

People feel busier than ever this time of year and just about anyone will tell you they have too much on their plate to stop and browse. Smart businesses are considering the busiest season of the year and making efforts to focus on efficiency and simplicity for their shoppers. A retailer, for instance, could create a special Black Friday section, along with a Holiday Gift Guide for quick add-to-cart items to help minimize the time a shopper spends browsing to complete their list.

Be Wise with Hashtags

You’ve probably noticed the growing popularity of hashtags: random words strewn together, preceeded with a ‘#’ symbol, that have invaded commercials, social media posts, and even everyday speech. If you’ve never used these before, now might just be the time to learn the art of hashtagging and educate your customers at the same time. For example, digital marketing agency iAcquire uses specific hashtags in its Twitter feed to post relevant articles that bring in more readers. Using relevant hastags or creating a special one for your company can widen your audience and let you track discussions and topics. Hashtags basically create discussion topics on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Anyone can create a topic area just by adding the pound sign to it (#christmas, #decorideas, #mamaneedsanewpairofshoes, etc.), which then allows other users to locate the topic, view photos or messages that have that hashtag in common, and even add new ones of their own. Think of it as a way to aggregate multiple conversations that are all on the same topic. Target stores, for example, created the tag #mykindofholiday and invited people to come by and share their own holiday traditions all season long.

#Hashtag the Holidays

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

Combining Blogging and Social Media into a Truly Effective Strategy
7 Steps for Getting on Board With Social Media
5 Ways You Can Benefit By Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Essential Tips for Growing Your Business with Pinterest
3 Tips for Social Media Marketing Brilliance

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best tips of the month by clicking here!

(Also, “Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor):

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook Graphic & Web Design | Twitter

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

 

Why Insecurity May Be The Key To Success; Beautiful Gadgets and Gear; 5 Fundamentals That Determine How Fast Your Blog Grows.

 

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Why Insecurity May Be The Key To Success

Maybe you shouldn’t fake it until you make it. According to a new book, lower confidence may be the key to getting better. READ MORE.

Wish List: These Beautiful Gadgets and Gear Are Built to Last

The title says it all. READ MORE.

5 Fundamentals That Determine How Fast Your Blog Grows

Combine these five fundamentals into one solid blogging strategy. Once you do your blog will start growing. READ MORE.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

Top Stories for November 19th:

Top Stories for November 11th:

Top Stories for November 9th:

Top Stories for November 7th:

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best tips of the month by clicking here!

(Also, “Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor):

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Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

 

Born in a small town in Russia, Nikolaj Arndt has participated in street art festivals in different cities and countries around the world, applying his stunning technique of 3D chalk art.

 

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Take a look at how Nikolaj transforms otherwise bland streets and floors to truly magical works of 3D chalk art that when viewed from the correct prospective come to life.

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If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these:

“Night Watch” by Rembrandt Brought to Life
Clever Advertising: Canine Domino Effect
The World’s History in 3 Minutes
Fun Television Advertising at Its Best!
From Love to Bingo in 873 Images
Motel 6 Takes a Trip Through Time

The Sherwood Group’s Social Media Links (Like us and/or Follow us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor):

Google + | LinkedIn | Facebook Graphic/Web Design | Twitter

Please share your comments. We’d like to know your thoughts?

Blogging and social media are often considered as two of the best tools in any online marketer’s toolbox, which is why it is often suggested that we use both in a marketing campaign. However, while it is easy to do that, not a lot of people know how to use these two to effectively complement each other. So how do we combine them into a cohesive and effective strategy?

 

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Treat Each As A Unique Tool

One of the most common mistakes made by a lot of online marketers is prioritizing one over the other. Hence, the other is left to be used as just a promotional tool. For instance, social media is often relegated to promoting new blog posts. On the other hand, blogs might end up being reduced to a stepping stone to draw traffic to social media profiles.

Here, keep in mind that both blogging and social media are independent tools in their own right. Thus, it is a good idea to create a unique strategy for each, taking advantage of the features present in each one. Blogging, for instance, is much more suited for publishing content with detailed information. On the other hand, social media is ideal for posting quick updates and information. Note that it would be best to create a different content set for each instead of reusing stuff you have already posted on one. This way, the audience will have varied content to read from each, further drawing interest to both.

Combine Blogging And Social Media

This is where the tricky bit comes in. How does one combine blogging and social media into one seamless strategy that improves and builds upon on both? Here, blogger Viktoriya Semyrodenko gives a few simple guidelines.

She points out that it is best to begin by knowing what to share on these channels. As was said earlier, it is best to create unique content for each to give the audience more to read. Of course, don’t just throw in random content. See what kinds of topics are popular on both your blog and social media profiles and build upon those. Semyrodenko also stressed that knowing where to post which content and when is important to cover a larger ground for your audience.

When it comes to sharing content from one outlet to another, think of a way to make audiences naturally move from either direction. For instance, when posting links to blog posts on your social media profiles, don’t just copy and paste. Instead, come up with a great introduction to entice them to actually click and read. On the other hand, when promoting your social media profiles in your blog posts, don’t just stick with the usual “Follow us on X social media site”. Use a compelling reason as to why it would be great to follow and connect with you.

Going Beyond

However, while both blogging and social media are effective on their own and as a combined method, be sure to remember the other tools at your disposal. As pointed out by marketing blog SoMedia Network when talking about adding video marketing to the mix:

Businesses should no longer wonder about their effectiveness, but rather begin implementing both of them into their marketing strategies.

Look into the other methods like video marketing and email marketing and see which of these would improve your strategy further. Also, don’t forget about traditional marketing methods, such as print ads, as they may still be viable tools for you.


Please Note: Will Sherwood, CEO of The Sherwood Group, is in process of developing an online course with this working title: “Social Media Success in 45 Minutes a Week.”  Currently, he’s offering a 7 hour phone consultation program which includes a 1 hour phone consultation for each of 7 weeks, to help you use blogging and social media to drive the success of your business. The $2,500.00 fee is discounted to $1,750.00 while the online course is still in development.

Want to learn more useful blogging tips? Then, feel free to contact us today.

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If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

The Importance of Unique Content On Your Website
7 Steps for Getting on Board With Social Media
5 Ways You Can Benefit By Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
How To Spark Conversation About Your Business
4 Essential Tips for Growing Your Business with Pinterest
3 Tips for Social Media Marketing Brilliance

Social Media Links

(Like us and/or Follow us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor):
Google + | LinkedIn | Facebook Graphic & Web Design | Twitter

Please comment. We’d like to know which tip in this article did you find most helpful?

 

Now that anyone willing to spend $850,000 on a 3D printer can produce a fully functioning gun in the comfort of their home, let’s not cry “foul” over this emerging technology. Check out these eleven non-lethal items that are being created using 3D printers right now.

 

Donuts made by 3D printers

The photo above refers to #4 in the list below.

Engineers have long enjoyed using 3D printers to pop out quick prototypes made of thin plastic filament. Over the years, the machines have become more advanced, now capable of providing us with other, more widely useful applications, from car parts to body parts. And printers are becoming cheaper, too, meaning it’s becoming a lot easier for people to buy them for personal use.

Here are some of the things 3D printing is great for – other than terrifying your neighbors:

1. Prosthetics
2. Bones
3. Pizza
4. Desserts
5. Clothes
6. Guitars
7. Fetuses
8. Stem cells
9. Chocolate
10. Cars
11. Cats

Read this entire article in The Huffington Post.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

Stunning Photography of the World’s Most Remote Tribes
“Night Watch” by Rembrandt Brought to Life
Clever Advertising: Canine Domino Effect
The World’s History in 3 Minutes
Fun Television Advertising at Its Best!
From Love to Bingo in 873 Images
Motel 6 Takes a Trip Through Time

Please share your comments. We’d like to know your thoughts?

 

5 Reasons Why Blogging is Not Working for Your Business

 

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Business owners often complain that they don’t get clients despite regularly updating their blogs with useful content.

However, there are certain patterns behind the failure of all business blogs:

This post assumes that:

  • Your business takes blogging seriously and has either hired permanent blogger or contracted a professional freelance blogger to manage your blog.
  • You follow a fixed posting schedule and update your blog regularly.

READ MORE.

 

A Scientific Journal For Kids, Edited By Kids

This journal is made up of editors as young as 8 years old, Frontiers for the Young Minds is a science journal created by a UC Berkeley professor to teach kids peer review. Pretty cool, huh?

READ MORE.

 

The Top Five Traits to Look For in Prospective Startup Employees

Author  notes that most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that the fastest way to kill a startup is to hire the wrong people. It’s true.

Here are her 5 points:

  1. Passion and Drive
  2. A “Never-Say-Die” Attitude
  3. Flexibility and Adaptability
  4. Trust and Collaboration
  5. Openness to Taking Risks

READ MORE.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

Top Stories for November 11th
Top Stories for November 9th
Top Stories for November 7th
Top Stories for November 6th

Social Media Links

(Like us and/or Follow us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor):
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Unfortunately, in June, 2013 when Google stated a preference for user-friendly websites that are responsive, meaning they automatically resize for tablets and smartphones, there was an immediate response from the blogging community that mistakenly equated SEO and responsive website design.

 

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Unfortunate because, though responsive sites CAN be SEO-friendly, some are not, at least without some serious programming changes.

 

In a previous article, author Bryson Meunier detailed some of the common errors that give responsive websites problems ranking in search results in an article on Search Engine Land earlier this year, and this article give a more in-depth audit of responsive websites and SEO in this article on Smashing Magazine.

Clearly, fixing the issues with SEO may improve the user experience, but most credible SEOs these days believe that manipulating search engine algorithms to obtain short term ranking benefits isn’t worth it in the long run. Here’s why: READ MORE.

 

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

The Importance of Unique Content On Your Website
7 Steps for Getting on Board With Social Media
5 Ways You Can Benefit By Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
How To Spark Conversation About Your Business
4 Essential Tips for Growing Your Business with Pinterest
3 Tips for Social Media Marketing Brilliance

Like us and/or Follow us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google + | LinkedIn | Facebook Graphic & Web Design | Twitter

Please comment. We’d like to know what you think of this article?

It appears that both individuals and businesses are leaning more toward freelancers and freelance teams to best meet their needs. However, before jumping in, you might want to consider these important points before taking the plunge to use freelancing as an alternative workforce solution.

 

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Much discussion has been made regarding the pros and cons of either becoming freelancer or hiring one or more. In this post we have summed up the five basic points while acknowledging both sides of the issue. After looking at these points, it will be much easier for you to imagine the benefits of freelance and of creating teams of freelancers.

  1. “In the pursuit of less stress and greater well-being, freelance work can be the way to have your professional cake and eat it in smaller bites, too.” This statement was the closing statement of an article published in The Huffington Post. Some excellent points were made in regard to working as a freelancer at various ages, since it gives the person room some to breathe. The lifestyle can be more flexible since it evolves, allowing the person to pursue other passions and be available to participate in activities other than work. The back side of this is that it requires self-discipline to maintain the proper balance of time spent on work versus play.
  2. Many companies are turning to freelance hiring as an affordable option to hiring full-time employees. In our current economy many businesses must tighten their budgets, which often includes reducing their work staff. It is much more efficient for some employers to hire help when they need it through freelancers. As an added bonus, it can be difficult to fire an employee, but if a freelancer doesn’t work out, you don’t have to contract them for another project.
  3. Freelancers do not have the financial security of a permanent job, however few jobs today can be considered permanent. This point deserves some contemplation. Freelancing is growing in popularity with the number of opportunities steadily increasing. The creation of an entire team of freelancers that are available to fulfill the needs of a business is even more appealing to those looking for help as well as those attempting to offer whatever their clients need.
  4. There are literally global options available through freelancing that are advantageous to both sides. Workers are not restricted by employment opportunities available locally or by the economic conditions of the area where they reside. Employers are not limited to the local available pool of workers, and can tap into available workers that may be more skilled and experienced. How much more convenient would it be to access an entire team of freelancers to fulfill any needs?
  5. A recent article posted by Bloomberg News stated, “The recession that ended in June 2009 helped boost freelancing as a way for the newly unemployed to support themselves, and the practice has gained traction since. Internet exchanges allow companies to reduce labor costs by enlisting freelancers, who give up a reliable salary for discretion over how and when they work.” One freelancer that was interviewed for the article stated, “I’m working from home, setting my own schedule and making decent money.” He followed that statement by saying that he doesn’t plan on moving to California’s Silicon Valley even if he could land higher-paying work there.

 

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

10 Tips for Cultivating Creativity
The Importance of Unique Content On Your Website
7 Steps for Getting on Board With Social Media
5 Ways You Can Benefit By Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
How To Spark Conversation About Your Business
4 Essential Tips for Growing Your Business with Pinterest
3 Tips for Social Media Marketing Brilliance

 

Check out these portraits of some of the world’s most remote tribes before they pass away!

 

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We who live in a nice home with hot water on tap, a refrigerator cooling our food and wi-fi connecting us to the rest of the world can barely imagine a day in a life of, say, the Tsaatan people. They move 5 to 10 times per year, building huts when the temperature is -40 F. and herding reindeer for transportation, clothing and food.

“Before They Pass Away” is a long-term project by photographer Jimmy Nelson. He gives us a unique opportunity to discover more than 30 of these secluded and slowly vanishing tribes from all over the world.

See more of this photography.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these:

“Night Watch” by Rembrandt Brought to Life
Clever Advertising: Canine Domino Effect
The World’s History in 3 Minutes
Fun Television Advertising at Its Best!
From Love to Bingo in 873 Images
Motel 6 Takes a Trip Through Time

Please share your comments. We’d like to know your thoughts?

Some of my best ideas come when I’m taking a break from work. Many of the other graphic designers I’ve interviewed on this blog agree. We all turn to such activities as biking, visiting a museum or a garden, or just playing with our children for cultivating creativity and to break through creative blocks. As you might expect, recent research reflects this same viewpoint.

 

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Here’s list for leaders who want to cultivate creativity and never want to be known as idea killers:

1. Challenge conventional brainstorming. Read more.

2. Give people time to think independently before an idea meeting. Read more.

3. Ask for quantity and creativity, not perfection. Read more.

4. Diversify your teams. Read more.

5. Banish the “Dragon’s Den.” Read more.

6. Share the big picture to produce better pitchers. Read more.

7. Reward the “givers” on your team and beware the “takers.” Read more.

8. Introduce your staff to the “Empty Chair.” Read more.

9. Make it fun. Read more.

10. Watch out for the four villains of decision-making. Read more.

 

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

The Importance of Unique Content On Your Website
7 Steps for Getting on Board With Social Media
5 Ways You Can Benefit By Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
How To Spark Conversation About Your Business
4 Essential Tips for Growing Your Business with Pinterest
3 Tips for Social Media Marketing Brilliance

This article is provided here for your business success and inspiration by:

The Sherwood Group, located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, has over 30 years of experience working with the graphic design, website design, and marketing communication challenges presented by clients, small and large. Clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, through every business sector, from across the street to around the world. It’s not the size or industry that defines our clients. It’s their mindset.

Contact us by phone at 661-287-0017 or by email. We’ll can help you think through your objectives and propose ideas for the best solution for your needs and budget.

 

 

Social Media Links

(Like us and/or Follow us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor):
Google + | LinkedIn | Facebook Graphic & Web Design | Twitter

Please comment. We’d like to know which tip in this article did you find most helpful?

23 Real Photos That Haven’t Been Photoshopped.

My first reaction to these photos was to assume that they’re photoshopped. But they’re not. Here are a couple of them, but see the full article to check out all the other images.

The headless horseman is one thing, but the headless gymnast?!

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But actually: No magic, just amazing flexibility and a well-framed shot.

 

Hey! Trees don’t bend like this!

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But actually in this one forest in Poland, they do.

6 Unassuming People Who Casually Saved Hundreds of Lives

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For some people, saving lives is just part of their job description. For others, holding the door for a fellow human being is an accomplishment worthy of Mariah Carey’s 1993 classic “Hero” and a 21-gun salute. The people on this list fall into a third category. They’re the ones who went above and beyond, sometimes sacrificing themselves in the process. READ MORE.

How to Make WordPress Sites Load 72.7% Faster

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You want to know the secret to a faster WordPress website? You and everyone else. But it’s not a secret. The problem is that there is a whole lot of misguidance out there that makes it hard for site owners like you and me to identify the solutions that really work. READ MORE.

 

The ONE thing your written content needs. (And it’s not what you think!)

Bloggers hear a lot of advice about content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing, but you may have noticed something new pop into the online landscape lately – visual marketing. READ MORE.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these others:

Top Stories for November 9th
Top Stories for November 7th
Top Stories for November 6th

This article is provided here for your business success and inspiration by: The Sherwood Group, located in Santa Clarita, California, just outside Los Angeles, has over 30 years of experience working with the graphic design, website design, and marketing communication challenges presented by clients, small and large. Clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, through every business sector, from across the street to around the world. It’s not the size or industry that defines our clients. It’s their mindset.

Contact us by phone at 661-287-0017 or by email. We’ll can help you think through your objectives and propose ideas for the best solution for your needs and budget.

 

 

Social Media Links

(Like us and/or Follow us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor):
Google + | LinkedIn | Facebook Graphic & Web Design | Twitter

Please comment. We’d like to know which article you found most helpful?


© 2013 - The Sherwood Group
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