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Want more site traffic and engagement? Amp up your visuals

The popularity of the visual web is in full force, but it can be time consuming to create visual content. Here are some quick tips on making it much easier on yourself while winning traffic and engagement.

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The challenge with social media and blogging

Alright, so you’ve jumped on board with social media and blogging. You spend time coming up with witty, clever postings that will make people laugh and get some interaction on your page. The problem is, you’re still not seeing any interaction. Sound familiar?

Many businesses run into this problem when they begin using social media. Content is king, but there’s something else that will REALLY take your social media efforts to the next level. I am, of course, referring to visual content.

Making visual content sharing easier:

In today’s day and age, people are MUCH more responsive to visual content. Photos and video receive more interaction and response than any other kind of content out there. With that being said, I do realize that not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera and that some don’t have the time to take pictures and film videos on a regular basis.

Here are a few ways to make it easier:

Use Instagram. If you haven’t gotten on board with this awesome photo app yet, now would be the time to do so. You can take pictures on the go using a number of unique filters and immediately share them on your social media sites. Anyone can be a professional photographer if they use Instagram well.

Share photos on Facebook. Too lazy to take pictures yourself? If you like enough business pages on Facebook, you can share some of the photos that they put up directly on your page. All you have to do is click “Share” under the picture, write a little introduction, and click “Share.” Boom, you have a social media post for the day and it’s visually interesting.

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Put more pictures on your blog. I completely understand how time-consuming blogging can be. To think of a topic, do a full write-up, link SEO-friendly keywords, find a relevant photo and post is an hour and a half process. Not everyone has the time for that. If you pare down the copy, however, and add more enticing photos, not only will you save on time, but your readership will go up. Make sure the photos you add are interesting though. Having four stock photos won’t be nearly as effective. Clever photo captions wouldn’t hurt, either.

If you’re going to make a video, do it correctly. As effective as videos are, we understand that it’s difficult to be comfortable in front of the camera. We also know that many people make videos that are less than entertaining. If you’re going to embrace video marketing, have fun with it and be creative. Soon, you’ll be more comfortable in front of the camera AND getting more traffic on your blog and social media sites.

The takeaway

These are just a few ways that you can use visual media efficiently while still driving up your online presence. Remember: having superior visual content is just as important as having awesomely written content in today’s marketing world. Get out those cameras and start snapping photos!

Carrie Gable & the Real Estate Virtual Assistant team at RealSupport, Inc. work virtually for many top real estate agents & brokers nationwide, offering marketing campaigns, branding, website & logo design, listing marketing efforts, lead management, technical support, marketing presentations, social media setup & management, copywriting, blogging and much more.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. John Rickmon

    October 1, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Not one client has ever asked me for my website. Nor has any associate. If no one is asking, why are people link farming, cloaking, and trapping leads?

  2. AgentGenius

    October 1, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Likely depends on your market. In Austin (where we are headquartered) it is the norm to be at a networking event and someone whipping out their phone and asking for your website right then and there. So consider yourself lucky? 🙂

  3. John Rickmon

    October 1, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I have never paid for an SEO lead and I never will. Is “Austin” code for KW?

  4. AgentGenius

    October 1, 2012 at 11:37 am

    We’ve never paid for SEO either, that was clearly not the intention of the article. At all. Austin is NOT code for KW, no one on staff is part of or related to KW. For the record, I (Lani) have been in Austin longer than KW has. 😉

  5. raymondduke

    October 2, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Nice article. Once my phone gets fixed I’m planning to start taking more photos with it. It will be good to have a library of random photos of my own to use when I’m writing up a blog post! I kind of did this already but your article convinced me I should do it more.

  6. mooersrealtymedia

    December 21, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    With video go easy on the personal branding or talking head pieces. Push the local area community event videos. Because those are needed first before you can gain the outside buyer as the next step use of video. For property listings. Video is so powerful at creating the transport for the viewer, listener to your home town and the property listings in the communities you sell in. Stills are powerful, but video is 24 and higher still photos per sec with motion and natural sound. That delivers. Beams your customer to your local area. To get inside several homes anytime of day with 24 hour, 365 days a year open house tours.

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Social Media

Don’t let your Instagram vanish without a trace – have a backup plan

(SOCIAL MEDIA) In a weird glitch, multiple Instagram accounts vanished out of thin air. Don’t be stuck up the InstaVanish creek without a paddle… or at least a backup in place.

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Poof, gone

Can you imagine being locked out of your own Instagram account for no rhyme or reason? Well, dozens of people just found out, and they are PISSED.

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Thankfully, we’ve got a solution to make sure you don’t lose out if it happens to you.

First, some context

According to coverage from Consumerist, “Several Instagram users began complaining about the disabled or deleted accounts on Twitter today [July 6], noting that they received no warning or explanation for why their accounts were no longer active. The affected accounts appear to cover a wide range of users, from business owners, to fan and personal accounts.”

Via Twitter, Instagram did acknowledge a known bug causing the issue and said, “we’re working to resolve this as quickly as possible.”

However, the response came hours after complaints began, possibly because the issue allegedly affected a very small number of user accounts.

Furthermore, while Instagram gave instructions to users on how to reconfirm their identities and recover their account, they aren’t guaranteed to work.

So, bearing all that in mind, we here at American Genius recommend backing up your entire account in order to preserve your content.

Use what they give you

If you still have access to your account, you can utilize Instagram’s recently-launched Archive function. This lets you take photos off public view without removing them from your account; only you will be able to see them.

However, this does you no good if you’re already locked out, nor does it save posts that are publically available.

For that reason, we recommend a third-party backup option for your profile content.

A’int no party like a third party

You have a few different options. Our favorite one utilizes IFTT (If This, Then That). Using this automation tool, you can write a conditional function that says if you post a new photo to Instagram, it will automatically be sent to a cloud drive, such as Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox.

Along with the benefit of multiple storage options, we love this solution because you can set it and forget it.

That being said, it is not a complete solution; IFTT will ONLY backup up new photos, instead of old ones. To backup your entire collection of old memories, Instaport seems to be a crowd favorite.

Instaport is a free service that lets you download a backup of your entire account.

Once you download this backup, you could upload it to your preferred cloud storage provider, then set IFTTT to send future backups into that same folder.

Better safe than sorry

Using these tips, you can avoid being a total victim of an Instagram screw-up. Hopefully, this recent one will resolve shortly.

#InstaVanish

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Social Media

How to quickly make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the masses

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Most of us have a love/hate relationship with LinkedIn, but no matter your feelings, you should be the one who stands out in a crowd – here’s how.

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Your LinkedIn is your brand. That’s it. Whether you are job hunting (or people are hunting you), or are showing off your business, insight, acumen, or simply networking; your profile on LinkedIn needs to stay appealing and not drive potential headhunters, bosses, clients, or networking groups bananas.

Let’s start with a three part list of what you MUST do, what you SHOULD do, and what you COULD do.

Here’s what you MUST DO (as in, do it now).

  1. Get a #GREAT LinkedIn photo. Nothing sells you like the right profile picture. No selfies. No mountain biking. Get a professional headshot. Don’t lie about your age. Wear what you wear when you’re on the job. Smile. People are visual.
  2. Simplify your profile. Cut the buzzwords. Cut out excess skills that don’t add to your vision or that don’t represent the kind of job you want. (i.e. most of us can use Outlook but few of us need to mention that skill because we don’t support Outlook). Focus on the skills that are important.
  3. Keep it current. Your LinkedIn should reflect your career and current responsibilities. Update the description. Add new projects. Change your groups as you change in your career and move towards new levels. Indicate when you receive a promotion.
  4. Extra, Extra! Headlines. Don’t use something lame for your headline. How would you want to catch a headhunter to look at you if you could only say 10 words? Make it standout. There are thousands of managers – but only one you.
  5. Custom URL. Just do it. Pick your own URL. It’s FREEEEEEE.
  6. Get the app. Make LinkedIn a part of your mobile life and check it more often than you do Snapchat.

Here’s what you SHOULD DO (Set aside some time at Starbucks and go do this in the next month).

  1. Tell your story. Your summary should bring to live the content of your career. Don’t leave that section blank. Spend some time crafting a cool story. Run it by your professional mentor. Send it to your English major friends.
  2. Connect. Add colleagues. Add partners from other organizations. Use connections to broaden your network. Synch your profile with your address book. Add people after a conference.
  3. Endorse your connections. Identify people you’ve worked with and give them the endorsements – which can get them to come endorse you!
  4. Ask for recommendations. Ask a colleague, partner, or manager to write you a recommendation to help advertise your skills.
  5. Add a nice cover photo. Again, visual people. Some more on that here.

Here’s what you COULD DO (If you’re feeling dedicated, what you can do to give yourself an extra edge.)

  1. Share your media. Upload presentations, videos, speeches, or projects that you can share. (Don’t violate company policy though!).
  2. Publish original content. LinkedIn has a vibrant publishing feature and sharing your original work (or content you’ve published elsewhere) is a great way to share your voice.
  3. Post status updates. Share your reactions. Share articles. Repost from influencers. Be active and keep your feed vibrant.

That’s a quick list to get started. So go start your LinkedIn makeover (and I’ll go do the same). Let’s get connected!

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Innovative widget places Instagram Stories right on your website

(SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS) Increase your social media reach with this neat new free to use Instagram Stories widget for your company website or personal portfolio site.

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Instagram Stories are a great way to integrate video into your marketing strategy. If you’re already investing time and money in this successful strategy, might as well feature Stories on your website too, right?

Well lucky you, Fastory recently released a free widget to add Instagram Stories directly to your site to feature your nifty marketing efforts on desktop. Even though mobile is still dominant with younger generations, desktop users need some love and access to Stories, too.

Fastory CEO Sylvain Weber noted the “widget is the only one fully based on the brand new Instagram Graph API (no private API, validated by Facebook himself).” This pretty much means Fastory is ahead of the game with the newly opened up API, and are basically development pioneers.

Drive awareness and build loyalty by spreading the wonder of your Instagram Stories far and wide with the Stories Widget. Simply log in to Facebook to get the widget, then sync your Instagram Stories stream.

Next, all you have to do is copy the provided HTML code and paste it on your website. Hooray, now you have a widget that automatically updates your website with your latest Stories.

Keep in mind you’ll need an Instagram Business Account for this to work.

If you have more than one business Instagram linked to Facebook Pages, just select the one you want to use from the drop-down menu when getting the widget code.

You can continue that process to select multiple Instagram accounts and generate widget codes for each of them.

Free for a limited time, you can also utilize the Memories feature, keeping a collection of your Instagram Stories on your site instead of having them disappear after twenty-four hours like usual.

All the Stories featured on your site also include a “follow us” button to encourage user engagement and gain you more followers.

Looking for help jazzing up your Instagram Stories? Fastory was originally created as an easy to use design platform to create and customize Stories.

Their mobile-first marketing suite offers drag & drop design featuring animated headlines crafted in Adobe After Effects, fonts from Google Web Fonts, and motion design.

Story creation and editing is collaborative with varying roles and levels of privileges. Plus, you can track visitors in real time to identify drop off points and areas for improvement. Contact Fastory for Story creation pricing information.

And on the free end of things, check out the Instagram Story Widget.

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