Today we are going to talk about Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. And also about Steller, a much smaller platform but a gorgeous one.
Some of you will be using all of these and others may use one or two. Please don't worry if you don't use all the social media platforms but do spend some time today looking at and thinking about each one. It might be that you hadn't thought about how you could use it before but now realise it might be worth investing some time on. It's never too late to start!
Let's start with today's video:
I have been using Twitter for a long time and when I first used it, it was definitely all about the words and those special 140 characters. But images are so important on Twitter now and indeed Twitter want you to use images in your tweets. If you use an image it will get more attention than just words. I know that you will lose some characters if you do that but I think it's worth it. I try to add an image whenever I can.
I also love the fact that you can now add four images to a tweet and it will make a little collage for you. Have you tried that? It's a lovely way to show your audience a little visual story in a tweet! I did an Autumn one the other day and it made me happy, so I'm definitely looking to do more of those.
Every morning I do share the same image on Instagram and Twitter but the rest of day I try to share different images. However, if you don't use Twitter very much but want to have a presence on there then don't worry about sharing your Instagram images. Just share them a few hours later or in a different order.
If you don't use Twitter at the moment I wouldn't put it on the top of your to-do list. While I still find Twitter a really useful and helpful place, it is not growing at the same pace as Instagram. I love it because I already have an established audience there, many whom have followed me there for years but my audience grows by a really tiny amount each week.
On Facebook I try to use a wider range of images than I do on Instagram. I use a small selection of the ones I share on Instagram (at different times of day or even a week or so later) and then I take images of pretty buildings, interesting places and things are I go about my life. These are always popular on my Facebook Page.
Remember that your audience isn't necessarily the same on each platform and even if people do follow you everywhere they want more content not the same content.
On Facebook images with text are ones that people like to share. Or so I hear! I have tried it though and I think it's correct. Don't feel like all the images you share on Facebook have to have text on them but think about making some and see how they do. You can either take an image with text in the image. Greetings cards are great for helping you add text to an image composition. Perhaps you have beautiful handwriting and can write something. Or you can take an image and leave space to add text to your image afterwards. You can do this with apps like 'A Beautiful Mess' and 'Over'. Text on images works well on Instagram and Twitter too. And images with quotes on are always popular on Pinterest too, so you could use them on your blog occasionally and get them up on there too.
It is not technically a social media platform but more of a search engine. However, I think most of us think of it as social media (I certainly do!) and it can play a very important part in telling our visual story. It can also drive plenty of traffic to our blogs and websites, so definitely worth talking about.
I use Pinterest to expand the visual story that I am telling my audience. I only post beautiful, inspiring images and anything that doesn't fit into that category that I want to post for myself I put into a secret board. I want my Pinterest boards to be an extension of every thing else that I have online. They tell my audience a bit more about me and my style and taste.
I also use Pinterest to get my own work out there for people to see. Every blog post (almost every blog post!) has a 'Pinable' image in it. So, every time I am taking photographs for a blog post I make sure that I have one hero image that is a Portrait image. Take a look at Pinterest and look for a Landscape image. It will be tiny in comparison to the rest and it's unlikely to be pinned as much as all the other images because people just won't see it as easily.
This portrait, hero image is the image that I will Pin onto one of my boards and is the one that I hope others will Pin too. The better this image is, the more likely it is to be pinned and repinned. And it is also more likely to drive traffic back to your website/blog.
So, when I take images for a blog post I take the images for the blog post, a square image to share on Instagram when I have published the blog post and a portrait image to include in my blog post that will be pinned to Pinterest. If I have time I will also shoot a few extra images that I can post up on Facebook and Twitter with a link to the post.
And finally, I use Pinterest as a place to find new inspiration and ideas and also to see what is popular at the moment. I try to Pin for 5-10 minutes every day.
I do love to Pin!
Have you used Steller yet? I must admit that I don't use it enough but I do love it when I do. You basically make a little digital story book and it's really simple to do. You can make it as short or as long as you want to and you can add text to it too. You can take a look at what I've done on there so far and the lovely Phillipa makes gorgeous ones.
And have you used Periscope? I know that's video and not photography but still very much visual social Last year I started to make one every week from my studio. So far this year I have been concentrating more on my YouTube videos (another social media platform!) but I will definitely return to Periscope again. If you haven't seen it yet, you live stream a video and that video stays live for 24 hours and then disappears. It might be fun to take a look at and see if there's something you think that you could use it for. Here I am on Periscope.
Image sizes and formats
One thing that is really important to get right is image sizes and formats. Buffer (a really useful app I will tell you more about on Friday) has this great article with all the perfect image sizes and formats, to help you to get the right size of image up into the right place. It is always kept up to date too, so if anything changes the sizes in this article will too.
You might also like Pablo, which resizes your image to fit the social media platform of your choice!
I hope you don't feel too overwhelmed by all these different places. On Friday I'm going to talk about planning and share with you all my tips for fitting social media into your day without it taking over your life.