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Add Emojis for Fun, Creative Connections

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Does your business speak emoji?

There are more than 3,000 emojis at our fingertips⁠—and we are making use of them!

Facebook statistics show an average of 5 billion emojis are sent each day on Facebook Messenger. And as of mid-2015—a few years after emoji keyboards became standard for most Apple and Android users—half of all Instagram comments included an emoji.

It’s true: Millions of social-savvy communicators use emojis in creative ways on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. These small digital icons of faces, symbols, objects, and more make up a unique language.

For most businesses, adding emojis to your social media messages can help your business stand out. They can also encourage people to engage with you. Emojis can make a business feel more personable.

However, it can be difficult to incorporate emojis in a natural way when you’re representing your business. While your thumbs might be emoji-happy in your personal life, you might not know how to use them for your business profile.

For example, organizations and businesses with a more serious mission may want to stay away from emojis. At the very least, you should use them sparingly. You don’t want to upset clients or the public by accidentally creating a lighthearted message when the tone should be somber.

We enjoy using emojis and gifs on our social media channels. Why? Because it is engaging and fun.

Here are a few tips on adding emojis to your social media messaging:

  • If you aren’t sure what’s best, or if you generally want a cohesive look for your social feeds, make a guide of all your brand-approved emojis.
  • Think of emojis as an elevator pitch. Your audience should get the message—fast. One or two symbols should let people know exactly what value you’re bringing to them.
  • Use emojis to catch attention. Drop in a few to spice up your posts, but don’t leave readers guessing your message by leaving out relevant information and links. You can still use hashtags and images, too.
  • An emoji can help when you don’t have an image, or play off a photo to create a clever theme. Add an emoji arrow directing folks to “click here” or “look up.”

Think of adding in emojis as using all the tools in your toolbox, but not overdoing it with any one option. They create visually interesting messages that convey emotions sometimes better than words and add a human element.

Emojis remind your audience there are people behind your accounts, and that encourages engagement. As always, the more engagement you can encourage, the better you will do overall.

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Make Your Social Media Move

Closeup of video camera recording a person with text overtop reading "ACTION!"

In online marketing, words alone don’t cut it.

According to molecular biologist and Brain Rules creator John Medina, “Vision trumps all other senses.”

For example, Medina says that three days after hearing a piece of information people will remember 10 percent of the message. But what if that information came with an image? Then they’ll remember 65 percent.

This is just another example why we need to give our audiences something to see. But what if you don’t have extensive experience as a videographer? Video can work for you.

No matter your skill level or price point, these options will help users make memorable marketing materials.

Make Whiteboard Animations with Video Scribe

More than half of Video Scribe subscribers use the software for marketing. With Video Scribe, you can create whiteboard animations automatically for use on social media and websites, and in emails and presentations.

Seeing these whiteboard animations come alive, it’s easy to understand why this is such an engaging medium. The videos are fun, visual, and memorable. In using Video Scribe, you can break complex topics down so they are more easily understood. You can also make data-heavy stories more engaging and persuasive.

The software is quick to learn, making Video Scribe a simple process. As you work, you will be presented with different options. You will see familiar fonts, and be able to choose from stock images or upload your own.

The software requires a yearly subscription, but there are free trial options and different plans available.

Turn Text into Social Videos with Ripl

Photos, music, logos, and movement. With social video app maker Ripl, you can create marketing videos to share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn even when you have limited resources.

Thanks to its library of options and templates—and especially the way Ripl allows you to add easy animation to text and photos—you can have videos without a video team.

The Ripl app allows you to customize, share, and track engagement on social videos. These three capabilities mean you can maximize your time while investing in content for all your social channels. To top it off, the engagement tracking allows you to get feedback and insights, even if you are on a team of one.

Additional features, like daily inspiration that changes based on what themes you follow, and a calendar to track previous creations, make Ripl a good option for quick social ads.

A free basic version and paid pro version are both available.

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Let’s Get Visual

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Images can help you tell a story.

Strong visuals grab our attention. They make us laugh, cry, and feel every emotion in between.

But, if you have limited resources, upping your visual game may feel like turning straw into gold. Luckily, there are a host of tools available to help.

Create Images with Canva

Make memes, inspirational posts, social media ads, and more with Canva. From online ads to posters and wedding invites, Canva’s various options allow you to meet your print and digital needs.

Canva offers a variety of preset designs and social media platform templates. This means you can easily craft an original design or build something based on an existing look. New designs are added regularly, so there are always fresh looks for seasons and holidays. Looking for something in particular? Simply do a keyword search. There are both free and premium images, icons, and illustrations to add.

Canva is great if you don’t know where you want to start. However, you’ll want to watch that you don’t lose your own look in the process.

Think about uploading a color palette, using a certain filter, sticking with special fonts, and adding in your own photos. With a few tweaks, you can make your Canva creations still look distinctive and original.

Other online photo editing and design services to consider are PicMonkey and BeFunky.

Explore the Power of Infographics with Piktochart

Turn otherwise boring data into something shareable and understandable with Piktochart.

When you use data visualization, you turn numbers into a narrative. Piktochart is a infographic app that will help you create visuals for your data-based presentations and digital and print needs.

On Piktochart you can search layouts to find a look that will work for you. Adjust text and add or upload photos, logos, and images to tell your story. You can further customize your data by experimenting with various charts. Working with a team? You can share and collaborate within Piktochart.

Capture Attention with Skitch

Are you a visual thinker? Skitch from note-taking app Evernote is one of those tools that makes learning and tracking information easy.

This free screenshot editing app allows users to add shapes and text to an image. You can export or share online, or simply save Skitch projects to keep track of information for yourself.

What’s great about Skitch is that it can be so helpful for your offline life.

Gardeners, for example, might want to take a photo of their backyards and then annotate the pic to remember what is planted and where. Similarly, home designers could mark up a photo of a room with notes on furniture and pricing. And editors can share screenshots of articles with arrows pointing to the relevant paragraphs.

This is the kind of information that’s easy to relay if all parties are standing in the same room together, but can get lost in virtual translation.

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Your Social Media Career

Man in suit holding business card with social media icons on it

Let’s talk about careers in social media.

Social media manager. SEO specialist. Online marketer. How many different roles are open to someone with social media skills?

If you are looking for a career in social media, there are multiple avenues.

When considering your future in social media, don’t simply search for “social media” jobs. That is to say positions that call for social media skills vary. For example, your role may differ at a small or big company, nonprofit or for-profit, in a major city or with remote work.

A community manager, copywriter, graphic designer, and videographer may all find themselves needing social skills. Think about mentioning different skills in your resume—like blogging, online analytics, or multimedia—to signify to recruiters you’ve got what it takes.

By looking through the duties in a job description, you may see more and more social media skills popping up. Even if it’s not clear from the title, employers are looking for people with strong communication skills.

Keep an eye open for different titles.

Are you a brand ambassador or head of social interactions? We’ve even heard of social media evangelists!

A title like social media specialist likely has more to do with crafting, scheduling and posting on social media. On the other hand, a social media manager will likely be working on building a strategy and organizing a social media marketing and communications team.

Tactical and strategic experience make for a well-rounded social media professionals.

Top social media skills highly valued by companies include:

  • Conversion rate optimization: converting an online audience into downloads, purchases, and subscribes
  • Content marketing: creating and consistently publishing valuable information to a certain audience
  • SEO (search engine optimization): drawing organic traffic and raising content to the top of search results

At the same time, customer service, public relations, creativity, curiosity, and management skills all come into play.

Above all, remember social media has to do with people.

Likewise, social media also has to do with technology. It has to do with business. Maybe you like one area and maybe you’d like to specialize in a bit of everything.

Working in social media is exciting and often changing. However, it can also be what you make it. Skills change from job to job and company to company.

So, use your network and get a jump on connecting with others and finding the social media work that’s right for you!

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Write a Killer Social Bio

Nice to e-meet you!

There’s no second chance at a first impression, but on the Internet we do seem to meet each other again and again. We’re on multiple platforms and in various channels. We develop deep connections to others without every seeing them in person.

Your social bios represent a moment of truth: What do you do?

It’s time to pitch yourself clearly and quickly. If you’re at a loss, you’re not alone. Our messages don’t always get across. We use jargon. We fill our sentences with extra words. And then we’ve lost our audience.

Instead of writing a traditional bio, think about storytelling.

People are storytelling creatures. Crafting a story to explain who you are—or leading with an example—can help people remember us. You want to stand out. Be clear and constant. This is your story, and you’re sticking to it. If your story is not interesting or new, you will disappear in the noise of others.

Rely on others for introductions.

Do you have a best friend who knows you better than you know yourself? If you’re searching for the right words, it’s time to phone a friend. Ask others, “What do you think I do?” It’s a learning opportunity. You can find out what about your job isn’t getting across and gain a better idea of what to say next time.

Know and embrace your specialities.

Maybe you’ve worked hard to become known for a certain speciality. Maybe you have an array of interests. Find the theme that runs throughout what you do. What is the thing that makes you special? Build your message around that.

Include the little details.

The more specific you can be about who you are and what you do, the easier it will be for the right people to find you. Think about everything. Where are you located? How big is your company? What clients do you already support? What are your accomplishments and awards? It’s OK to brag a little. It will help others place you.

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Tweet Your Way Happy

Series of positive emojis: thumbs up, smiling face, sparkling heart, clapping hands, heart eyes

Positivity can lead to more positivity.

For anyone who has ever felt a smile spread across their face after seeing a good friend, it should be no surprise to hear.

We’ve heard before that feelings are contagious. Pass a grumpy colleague in the hallway and you may find yourself frowning too. Exchange a pleasant “good morning” with someone and you may find the day suddenly brighter. We’re guessing you’d rather see yourself surrounded with happy people if you had the choice—we would too!

So here’s another layer to this phenomenon: social media interactions can shape our feelings too. Surprised? Probably not. From personal experience, you know that your mood can change when you see a negative tweet or post.

Think about the kind of message you’d like to be spreading. How can you make your clients and connections live in a more positive community? A few ideas of how you can encourage happiness online:

Take action.

If you see a post the moves you or a pic you admire, like and comment. The person behind it will appreciate hearing from you. You may find they return the favor by becoming more vocal and supportive of your work as well.

Connect with others.

It’s not uncommon for bloggers to build communities of fellow bloggers. They can turn to each other for support and advice, while also lifting up one another’s work. Create or join a private group with others pursuing similar goals or working in a similar field.

Be honest.

When we don’t tell the whole story, gloss over the facts, or concentrate on the negative, we miss out on opportunities to be ourselves. You will have good days and bad days, but if you share them honestly, you may find your friends and followers understand you better.

If choosing to smile can trick your brain into thinking all sorts of positive things and improve your mood, why not fake it till you make it to a happier mood?

Let’s take that same positive energy online. Like, comment, share, and retweet your way happy.

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Generalists Can Excel Too

Single arrow with "specialist" written on it and arrow with multiple heads with "generalist" written on it

As we join different platforms and are tasked with filling in more and more bios (and using fewer and fewer words for each one) it can be difficult to define ourselves. How do we whittle down what we do into a few crisp keywords?

Your social media bios can open doors for you.

They are your virtual handshake, a wave to the world, and your online “hello.” This is your chance at a first impression, and you don’t want to mess it up. If you do, it could mean a missed connection.

The pressure to present yourself in a clear and concise way can be overwhelming. Generalist or specialist? It can be hard to present yourself quickly online if you excel in many fields. But your diverse experience is a strength.

It can feel like a specialist’s world on social media, especially when we see others who so easily and powerfully identify themselves in a handful of characters and handles.

If you’re someone with a range of experience, take comfort in the lessons of David Epstein’s book “Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World.”

You may be familiar with that old adage: “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” This is how generalists can excel over their specialized peers, even while worried they aren’t perfecting a certain skill set or becoming well-known experts in one major field, Epstein argues. That they have different experiences means they can approach problems creatively and seek more opportunities.

As Epstein explains in the book, often through real world examples, we benefit and can ultimately succeed in our careers if we draw on a variety of experiences.

In the first pages of the book, Epstein notes both Tiger Woods and Roger Federer took different paths. Whereas Woods focused on golf from a young age, Federer explored many sports, eventually landing on tennis.

Similarly, Epstein points to Duke Ellington, who took drawing lessons and played baseball as a kid, and mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, who wanted to become a writer, as examples of people who didn’t necessarily take the path of a specialist to success. We think things worked out anyway!

So, who are you, really? If you’re someone taking the scenic route, don’t fret. Epstein reminds us both generalists and specialists can excel:

“While it is undoubtedly true that there are areas that require individuals with Tiger’s precocity and clarity of purpose…we also need more Rogers: people who start broad and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives while they progress. People with range.”

Embrace all that you do and don’t be afraid to say “yes” to the unexpected yet intriguing opportunities. Learning doesn’t stop at graduation. Who knows where you will end up if you aren’t afraid to embrace all of who you are.

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5 Ways Small Businesses Can Add Video

"Open" sign hanging on business window

You own a small business and want to try video. Where to begin?

As business owners look to incorporate more and more videos into their marketing strategies—and report positive results—you may be wondering how video can fit into the marketing plan for your own small business.

But, with social platforms making video even easier to use, there’s no need to worry about downloading complicated software of buying expensive equipment to try your hand.

You still, however, need to decide what stories to tell. We’re here to help with a few ideas for your small business video marketing plan.

Announce who you are.

You may have a written mission or vision statement somewhere on your website or perhaps even hung on the walls of your office. If you met someone at a cocktail party, how would you quickly and effectively describe the value and purpose of your business?

Having that human voice and casual contact can drive home the importance of who you are and what you do. How could you express this through a video? Take a minute to say hello to your followers and give them a tour of your office.

Introduce staff and leaders.

It’s time to get personal. Great people make great businesses, and clients and customers want to know the people behind their favorite products. Who are your employees? What are their thoughts and specialities?

Using video to connect the public to your employees strengthens your relationships—and could maybe even convince people to bring their needs to you.

Launch a new product or service.

If you’ve got it, flaunt it. With video, you can give folks a mouthwatering view of a new dish at your local restaurant, show off how your latest invention works, or demonstrate the quality of your service. Just as you can introduce people through video, you can introduce what you do and sell as well.

Go behind the scenes.

Everybody loves to be an insider. Use video to offer a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes work that goes into their favorite product. Be there with your smartphone or camera to record key moments not everyone normally sees.

Get to know fellow customers.

You aren’t just creating a business when you work at the local level. You are creating a community. Chances are, you may already see some of your biggest fans chatting and tagging you on social. If they love you, they want to show it. Invite them to your platforms to share with others who they are.

What’s great about each theme is that they build on what you already know. Talk to your clients, customers, teams and loyal staffers. What do they have to say? What do they want to know about you?

Keep these video content themes in your marketing rotation, and we know you’ll all find a deeper connection.

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Yes, You Can Use Video on LinkedIn

Laptop with speech bubble saying "Let's connect"

Everybody’s on LinkedIn—even celebrities are on this social platform known for networking. And while this may not be the platform you go to for fun, it is the platform you should be on for professional connections.

According to numbers from LinkedIn’s Sophisticated Marketers Guide, there are more than 400 million professionals are on the platform. If you want to talk to leaders, savvy thinkers, ideators, marketers, communicators, head to LinkedIn. If you want to grow your business, and show off your skills to current and potential employees and clients, head to LinkedIn.

But don’t just be there—be part of the community.

This is how you can set yourself apart from the millions of users. This is how you can position yourself and your company as a thought leader and drive your business.

Increasingly, one way to do this is through native video on LinkedIn, which launched in 2017. You can start a video ad campaign, embed videos or upload and create on LinkedIn’s platform, which, it should be noted, are often more effective. You can share product launches, promote company news, drop insider offers and exclusive looks, and tell stories and introduce key figures.

Sure, you could similarly share these updates through static images or text. Video is one more avenue to connect. Additionally, data from LinkedIn suggests viewers spend more time with video and may be more likely to start conversations around video content.

LinkedIn is interested in pushing its community toward using more video too: In February, the company launched a live video feature in beta. The company continues to pilot live video streaming with a few broadcasters. The feature isn’t currently available to all members, but LinkedIn does offer an option to apply to become a live video broadcaster.

For everyone else, LinkedIn also offers support and encouragement to pursue the creation and uploading of original videos.

LinkedIn Marketing Solutions has a quick guide to using video on LinkedIn, and even goes as far as helping participants consider why video might be important to their strategy. (There’s also LinkedIn’s special Tech Marketer’s Guide to B2B Video.)

If your objectives include building brand awareness, encouraging clicks and new viewers or driving leads to your website, LinkedIn argues posting video on the social media platform is good for you.

As with any video strategy, it’s important to do what’s right for you and your audience. Come up with an idea and see it through, then look at the feedback and adjust. Adding in video doesn’t mean eliminating all other content and touch points. But it does offer a way to set yourself apart from others and create another opportunity for viewers to connect with you.

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3 TEDTalks to Pique Your Social Media Curiosity

As marketers, we love to think about why and how. How can we connect with this group? Why is this connection special? It’s important to stay sharp and remain open so we can absorb all the information and data. At the same time, that overload of content can be a lot to sort through.

When this happens, sometimes it’s important to take a break for yourself. Find an outlet that will excite and motivate you. Checking in with a TEDTalk, especially one that’s only about 10 minutes long, can be a powerful way to recharge without losing focus on your tasks at hand.

The three below caught our attention for the creative ways they delve into social media needs and interests. Sure, you can learn a thing or two while watching, but they’re also simply fun.

What makes something go viral? with Dao Nguyen

From baby goats in the office to exploding watermelons, Buzzfeed publisher Dao Nguyen explores viral videos, which, Nguyen says, is really about understanding what videos do for viewers. Do they want to laugh? Are they looking for affirmation?

“The question I get most frequently is: How do you make something go viral? The question itself is misplaced; it’s not about the something. It’s about what the people doing the something, reading or watching—what are they thinking?” Nguyen shares.

A funny look at the unintended consequences of technology with Chuck Nice

“So are we more connected, or are we just more connected to our devices?” asks comedian Chuck Nice in this TEDTalk. If you’ve ever scratched your head at the thought of designer babies, driverless cars and trolls, Nice has a lighthearted look at how we can navigate the future and remember to laugh at the technology that scares us.

3 ways to (usefully) lose control of your brand with Tim Leberecht

As more and more companies push to empower their employees through social media and turn their clients and staff into their biggest brand advocates, author and marketer Tim Leberecht’s TEDTalk can only become more applicable.

“I’m a marketer, and as a marketer, I know that I’ve never really been in control,” Leberecht shares. “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room, the saying goes. Hyperconnectivity and transparency allow companies to be in that room now, 24/7. They can listen and join the conversation. In fact, they have more control over the loss of control than ever before. They can design for it. But how?”

Surprise campaigns, humble companies and free publicity all come up in this talk.

Remember, TEDTalks are also searchable by topic and length, so you can explore 3,000-plus videos and transcripts for the motivation you need. And, since the talks already happened but remain part of the community online, you can comment and continue the conversation no matter when you watch.

Stay curious, friends!

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