social media

Pinterest Freebie - Possibilities Planner 2018

Pinterest have created a wonderful Possibilities Planner for businesses, which is essentially a free calendar to help you implement your marketing strategies. "This is your go-to guide for audience insights, keyword recommendations and timing tips — download a copy to dream up a year of possibilities."

Screenshot of a wee section of Pinterest's  Possibilities Planner

Screenshot of a wee section of Pinterest's Possibilities Planner

The planner is designed to "help you understand what moments matter to Pinners and how your brand can be a part of their journey as they discover, save and do." Use the calendar to see when Pinners start saving Pins for each moment, which you may discover can be surprisingly early! Download Pinterest's Possibilities Planner PDF here.

Thanks Pinterest!

Get your products featured in Christmas gift guides using Twitter - a how-to guide for small businesses

Social media tip from Digibloom: How to get your products featured in Christmas gift guides using Twitter.

If you haven't already done so, now is the time to seek out Christmas gift guide opportunities to have your products featured by blogs and press. Sadly the opportunities won't always find you while you sit there and wait, so it's important to be pro-active!

HOW TO USE TWITTER TO GET YOUR PRODUCTS FEATURED BY PRESS AND BLOGS

1. Use the search term 'Christmas gift guide' in Twitter's search box. No hashtag needed. At the moment bloggers and press are requesting submissions for their gift guides, though in the next few weeks I expect that search term will reveal all the lovely gift guides that have already been produced. So get in quick, and check back as often as possible for new opportunities!

The search will default to a list of the 'top' tweets, and I suggest clicking on the 'live' tab to get the most recent tweets first (EDIT: This tab is now titled 'latest'). You can save the search by using the 'more options' drop down list and selecting 'save this search', as pictured below. Next time you click in the search bar, a list of your saved searches will drop down.

How to get featured in Christmas gift guides

Examples below:

Then contact the blogger/journo via direct message or email with a short, friendly message about your product and why it would fit well with their blog/website/magazine - and see what happens.

Be aware that some blogs may be offering paid showcases, so be sure to research whether or not it's a free opportunity. If you have to pay - is it worth it? Is it a quality, juried gift guide, or just a quick way of making money for the publisher that won't get you much engagement?

Some bloggers will request 'samples' of your work to review - if you're interested in this, be certain their photography and reviews are of a high standard in advance or it could do more damage than good.

2. Use hashtags #journorequest and #prrequest to search for opportunities. Journalists and blog editors tweet requests all year round - some are for small blogs and occasionally well known magazines or tabloid press. I often retweet the best ones on Digibloom twitter account if you haven't the time to weed them out yourself.

When promoting your products via TWITTER posts, these are my recommendations:

  • Include an image. Tweets with images receive much higher engagement. If you're auto-posting from Instagram and it shows as a cut off sentence with a link to Instagram and no image - you've wasted an opportunity. Post directly!
  • Use one or two hashtags. Think carefully about which hashtags to use - you're using them to further your reach to potential shoppers and people that may feature your products. What hashtags might your target audience be searching? Are your products relevant to any trending topics? Is it Monday and does your product ooze motivation? #Mondaymotivation. You get the idea!
  • Include a link to your product.
  • Don't make every post about your products. Post about your business by all means, but show sketches, studio space, workshop, packages ready to be posted, what's on your desk, behind the scenes, retweet customer appreciation tweets, and most importantly - be a good listener too. Comment and favourite tweets from others, engage with them, and build relationships.
  • Tell your audience what's interesting about your product. The majority of people are tweeting 'my product is perfect for...' or just slapping a link and an image (only really works for MUST-have products!) Use your imagination, tell a story within a few words, be positive, be fun, be cheeky. Describe it, make an emotional connection. What are the benefits? What are the features? Why do we need it in our lives?

Do you have any tips to share regarding getting your products featured in gift guides? Or Twitter tips that work for you? See the comment section? You know what to do!...

Pimp Your Facebook Page Like A Pro!

BRAND YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE LIKE A BOSS. MAKE IT CONSISTENT, COHESIVE, AND CREDIBLE. IN-CREDIBLE.

Learn how to customise your Facebook page tabs

I try to have a consistent theme from my blog to my social media pages and posts (see my Facebook business page). Your branding needs to be recognisable throughout your website, social media, packaging, logo, business cards, etc. If you're starting out with your business and don't know how to go about visual branding, here are some tips!

Once you know your brand colours, voice, fonts, etc you can apply them to your Facebook page in the form of a cover image/header, profile photo, social media posts, and your app tabs. Anything that can be branded should be branded!

Small Business Branding Tips For Facebook

1.) Creating app tab Icons for your Facebook business page

The app tabs on the left of your page (mine are purple in above pic) can be customised. You can either create an image of 111 x 74 pixel dimensions in graphics software (in which case scroll through my Canva guide and read from the Facebook page bit), or if you haven't tried using Canva yet, it's a bit of a game-changer for those that aren't a Photoshop whizz! Sign up to Canva, and follow my quick guide:

When you see this page, select "more" on the right hand side.

When you see the above screen, select "more" on the right hand side.

I figured out that the Gift Certificate template has the same ratio as the Facebook App Tabs. Select Gift Certificate (middle row, far right.)

I figured out that the Gift Certificate template has the same ratio as the Facebook app tabs. Select Gift Certificate (middle row, far right.)

Pick a background using the background tab, or upload your own image via the upload tab. Bear in mind that Facebook app tabs are small, so keep it simple.

Using Canva To Customise Facebook App Tabs

You can pick shapes, colours, text etc and add to your design. There are lots of free elements to choose from, or pay $1 each for the *premium* ones. When you've finished, click "download" and save to your device.

In graphics software e.g. Photoshop, resize your image to 111 x 74 pixels.

2.) customising the app tab Icons on your Facebook page

On your Facebook page, go to "settings", then "apps".

Branding Your Facebook Page
Branding Custom Tabs On Facebook Page

Choose the app you'd like to change from the list of apps you use. Click "edit settings".

Custom App Tabs On Facebook Page

When this dialogue box appears, rename the tab e.g. Follow My Pinterest, and save. Where it says "custom tab image", click "change".

Changing Facebook Tabs

Hover over the image and click where it says "edit". Choose your image file, and voila! Have a look at your page to make sure it looks *amazeberries, and then upload matching images for consistency.

Designing Facebook Page Tabs

Further Reading

*even better than amazing OR amazeballs.

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Instagram Tips for Creative Small Businesses

Instagram Tips for Best Practice + Awesome Hashtags to Build your Brand

When building your brand on Instagram, bear in mind these 5 key points:

Target your audience: who is your demographic? Post content they can relate to and enjoy through your images, and connect with them through your captions. Be sure to respond to their comments and check out their accounts too!

Be consistent: if you're posting cheery colourful images, don't suddenly post a dimly lit photo of your half-eaten kebab on a Saturday night out. While your account will evolve over time, try to keep it on-brand and considered. Popular Instagram accounts usually have a distinct, cohesive look and feel, and people should recognise your brand aesthetic across all of your online profiles.

Tell your story: tell the authentic story of your brand through imagery and captions. What's happening behind the scenes? Post work-in-progress images, macro images to show detail, how your products look in different settings, your creative lifestyle, studio, customer appreciation pics, your muse (cat), etc.

Be organised: make a plan or keep a calendar of upcoming events and occasions that are relevant to your brand. Post about these, with the addition of any daily or weekly opportunities to post such as #caturday, #throwbackthursday, #mondaymotivation, etc.

Convert your brand account to an Instagram Business profile. This will enable you to add extra business information and contact details to your profile, plus have access to Instagram Insights (top right of your screen). Insights provide simple, useful data about your follower demographic, follower engagement, etc.

Additional points to consider:

  • According to research from Buffer, the magic number of hashtags to use on Instagram for highest interactions is 11+
  • You can post hashtags in a comment on your own post immediately after your image uploads to make your post look neater and less spammy, though the longer it takes to post the comment, the lower down your image will appear in the hashtag lists (in order of recency). I recommend having lists of relevant hashtags saved in your phone to copy/paste in a comment immediately after uploading your image.
  • Use a variety of different types of hashtags - be broad, and be niche.
  • Research translations of popular hashtags to expand your audience to other countries, e.g. #blackandwhite #blancoynegro #noiretblanc.
  • Look at the hashtags your peers are using for ideas.
  • When clicking through a hashtag, note the 'related hashtag' suggestions at the top of your screen for more ideas.
  • Look for local hashtags that are relevant to your posts e.g. #londonmakers, and add your city/area using the location feature.
  • Post at optimal times. Discover popular days and times that your followers are most active by using Instagram Insights (with your free business profile). Bear in mind that Instagram's algorithm does not show images in chronological order anymore. The insights may reflect when your followers are online in general which can be useful!
  • Use hashtags according to upcoming events and occasions if your posts are relevant, e.g. selling Valentine's cards.
  • Use words that you use to describe your products elsewhere or to other people, such as the materials, methods, uses, the mood, etc.
  • Avoid ugly filters. VSCO app has some lovely free image filters (when used effectively), but Instagram filters are usually best used in (extreme) moderation. Brightness, contrast, temperature, and fade are the good tools, but natural light is your best friend. If in doubt, leave it out!
  • If you're promoting products/services in your posts, be sure to have a link to your shop/website in your bio. Don't make other people do the detective work. I have given up trying to find the online shops of some sellers I've wanted to buy from in the past. Don't lose those sales!
  • Never ever ever (this is a bugbear of mine, can you tell?) EVER post a link to one of your Instagram photos on a Twitter post without an image. Tweets with an Instagram link receive 52% fewer retweets (according to Buffer).

I've listed hashtag suggestions from several creative categories for those needing a head start. Some of the hashtags cross over categories, so have a good rummage through the lists below and pick any that are useful to you. If you have any to add, please pop them in the comments so I can update my lists!

Creative business

#brainstorming #branding #businesscards #businessowner #businesstips #buylocal #creativebusiness #creativepreneur #digitalnomad #dowhatyoulove #dreambigworkhard #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #etsy #etsygifts #etsyseller #girlboss #goaldigger #greateriscoming #lovemyjob #marketing #mompreneur #nolimitations #mycreativebiz #savvybusinessowner #shoplocal #shopsmall #smallbiz #smallbusiness #smallbusinessowner #solopreneur #startup #success #takemorerisks #thoughtleader #womeninbusiness #workanywhere #workfromanywhere

Creative lifestyle

#abmlifeisbeautiful (abm = A Beautiful Mess blog) #curatedlife #darlingmovement #darlingweekend #documentyourdays #flashesofdelight #folkgood #liveauthentic #livefolk #livethelittlethings #momentswithsunday #morningslikethese #mybeautifulmess #nothingisordinary #peoplescreatives #petitejoys #pursuepretty #thatsdarling #theartofslowliving #thedulcetlife #thehappynow

Handmade/crafts/makers/creatives

A photo posted by Katelyn Morse (@katejerryy) on

#artisan #artsandcrafts #bespoke #buyfolk #calledtobecreative #colorfullife #craftastherapy #craftlife #craftmanship #craftsposure #create #creativehappylife #creativityfound #creatorslane #design #designerslife #diyer #diyproject #handbuilt #handcraft #handcrafted #handmadeisbetter #handmadewithlove #handsthatmake #handwork #helloimhandmade #homeinthestudio #homemade #instadesign #inthestudio #knowwhomadeit #localcraft #lovehandmade #madebyhand #makersgonnamake #makersmovement #makersvillage #makeyourown #oneofakind #psimadethis #supporthandmade #thehandmadeparade #thenativecreative #uniquegifts #wearethemakers #yourrightbrainiscalling

Illustration/art/design

A photo posted by H A T C H (@hatch_art) on

#artistsofinstagram #artoftheday #artsanity #artstagram #artwork #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #drawing #drawingoftheday #figuredrawing #graphite #illustration #illustrationart #illustrationoftheday #instaart #instasketch #modernart #myart #newartwork #originalart #painting #penandink #pencilart #pencildrawing #sketchbook #sketchoftheday #stilllife #urbansketch #wallart #watercolor #watercolour #wip #workinprocess #workinprogress #worldofartists

Ceramics

A photo posted by jono smart (@jonosmart) on

#ceramica #ceramicart #ceramicdesign #clay #claythings #contemporarycraft #craft #craftmanship #glaze #handmadeceramics #handsculpted #handthrown #homewares #instapottery #keramik #porcelain #potsinaction #potter #pottery #potterywheel #raku #stoneware #underglaze #wheelthrown #wheelthrowing

Woodwork

#carvedwood #customwood #endgrain #finewoodworking #furnituredesign #handcraft #handtools #lasercut #reclaimedwood #rusticfurniture #salvagedwood #toolporn #woodart #woodburning #woodcarving #woodcraft #woodcreative #wooddecor #wooddecoration #woodengraving #woodshop #woodturning #woodwork #woodworking #workshop

Textiles/crochet/knitting/sewing

A photo posted by Erin Barrett (@sunwoven) on

#crochet #crochetdesigner #crochetpatterns #crochetpillow #crochettherapy #crochetting #ecodyeing #ecoprinting #grannychic #handknit #handstitched #handwoven #ihavethisthingwithtextiles #ihavethisthingwiththread #knitsofinstagram #knitstagram #knittersofinstagram #leathercraft #moderncrochet #naturaldye #plantdyed #plantpigment #seamstress #sweaterweather #tapestrycrochet #textileart #textiledesign #wallhanging #yarnaddict

Fashion/clothing/style

A photo posted by Baiba Rēdere (@woocoon) on

#clothingline #consciousfashion #couture #currentlywearing #dailystyle #designerdiaries #ethicalcloset #ethicalfashion #eveningwear #fairtradefashion #fashionphotographer #fashionblogger #fashionbrand #fashiondesigner #fashioneditorials #fashiongram #fashionista #fashionlover #fashionrevolution #fashionstatement #fashionstory #fblogger #folkfashion #futurefashion #handmadewardrobe #highfashion #igstyle #instafashion #limiteditem #lookbook #luxurywear #neocouture #outfitoftheday #personalstyle #slowfashion #sneakerhead #streetwear #style #stylediaries #sustainablefashion #todayiamwearing #upcycledfashion #urbanwear #vintagedress #vintagestyle #wearableart #whatiwore #whattowear #whomadeyourclothes

Accessories/jewellery

#accessories #artisanjewelry #contemporaryjewellery #diamondsareforever #ecobling #ecojewellery #etsyjewelry #fashionjewellery #fashionjewelry #finejewellery #handcraftedjewelry #handmadejewellery #handmadejewelry #instajewelry #jewellery #jewelleryaddict #jewellerybox #jewellerydesign #jewellerydesigner #jewellerylover #jewellerymaker #jewellerymaking #jewelleryoftheday #jewelry #jewelrygram #jewelrydesigner #jewelryjunkie #jewelryporn #jewelrystore #silverjewellery #statementjewelry #weekendstyle

Interior design/decor

A photo posted by @minilearners on

#antiqueclique #artisanwalls #diydecor #dreamkitchen #furnituredesign #homedecor #homedesign #homestaging #homesweethome #homewares #ihavethisthingwithfloors #instadecor #instahome #interior #interiordecor #interiordesign #interiordesignideas #interiordetails #interiorinspiration #interiorinspo #interiorstyle #instahome #kidsroomdecor #kitchendesigner #kitcheninspo #livingroomdecor #lovedecor #lovehome #luxeinteriors #modernhome #nurserydecor #pursuepretty #prettywalls #roomdecor #roomsetting #shanty2chic #sharemystyle #shelfie #staginghomes #statementpiece #wallart #walldecor

Typography/hand drawn lettering

A photo posted by Tim Easley (@timeasley) on

#artoftype #brushcalligraphy #brushlettering #calligritype #customtype #goodtype #graphicsmob #handdrawtype #handdrawntype #handlettered #handlettering #handmadefont #handmadetype #handwriting #lettering #lettering_co #letteringdesign #letteringhub #ligaturecollective #moderncalligraphy #penmanship #script #showusyourtype #signwriting #thedailytype #thedesigntip #thefinelab #typeeverything #typegang #typematters #typespire #typism #typoart #typographist #typography

Photography (also see 'creative lifestyle' hashtags)

A photo posted by Eri (@sse0055) on

#architecturephotography #blackandwhitephotography #bleachmyfilm #exklusive_shot #expofilm #fashionphotography #filmisnotdead #filmphotography #justgoshoot #landscapephotography #lensculture #lookslikefilm #macrophotography #mobilephotography #myphotography #naturephotography #passionpassport #photographyislifee #photographylove #photographylovers #photographysouls #photooftheday #portraitphotography #quietthechaos #reachedsouls #seekingthestars #stayandwander #staybrokeshootfilm #storytelling #streetphotography #tangledinfilm #toycamera #travelphotography #visualarchitects #wildlifephotography

Find this useful? Leave me a comment or find me on Instagram:

@digibloom (small business tips)

@makingstrangers (illustration)

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