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March 21 2013

10:00

Social Media Image Maker: Photo-Editing One-Stop-Shop for Social Media Networkers


  
socialmediaimagemaker

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, then Pinterest, Tumblr, Xing or LinkedIn and what do I know where all you've set your flag, and are networking as networking can. All these services want you to maintain a proper profile and, if you really do think you should register practically anywhere, you should try your best to make a good impression. One main necessity to achieve this is adequate imagery. Even if you really have reasonable images for these use-cases at hand, that's still where the problems begin. I don't know of two social networks that share image resolutions or other specifications. You can't simply upload the same picture to a zillion websites and hope for an adequate presentation. Instead you have to struggle with the same zillion different requirements when it comes down to even such a simple thing as a profile header-image. To further complicate the situation, social networks have fun changing their image-related specifications frequently. A new tool by the name of Social Media Image Maker promises relief...

April 30 2012

13:00

Why Does Google+ Bring More Business To People Than Facebook?

This is the link to the original article creator of this site, if this message appears to another site than 1stwebdesigner - Graphic and Web Design Blog - 1stwebdesigner is a design blog dedicated to bloggers, freelancers, web-developers and designers. Topics focus on web design and inspirational articles. it has been stolen, please visit original source then!

Google+, sometimes abbreviated as Google Plus or G+, is a social network developed and maintained by the tech giant Google. The network was released in beta to the public 9 months ago, by the end of June 2011. The full release came in September. While the network was supposed to be a strong opponent for Facebook, it was never even close to it. The fact that many people use it today is entirely based on curiosity and mostly on Google’s name and powerful brand and not because it brings something new to the business. Or is it…?

Google estimates the social network will have around 400 million users by the end of this year, while Facebook approaches a billion. Twitter only has around 100 million users while LinkedIn with 30 million users more than the micro-blogging platform.

But while Google’s last addition to its huge portfolio doesn’t bring many new things to the table, it is a powerful tool and it is arrogant to ignore it as it incorporates great features. Actually, after closely studying and researching behaviors there, it seems Google+ can actually be an influence on your business and bring you more clients than initially expected. This might be because of the more professional look and feel G+ has in comparison with Facebook, or just because some features are better developed. While G+ will probably never reach Facebook’s success, the truth is that it doesn’t even need to – quite frankly, their niches are different.

1. Communicating with targeted potential customers

Google+ incorporates a service called ‘circles’ which allows users to define the feeds displayed on their home screen and who can see them. Privacy settings also allow users to hide the list of members in their Circles. Everything is done quick through a drag-and-drop interface. Specific content can be sent out to targeted groups or individuals instead of everybody in your network. This means that the content you deliver will only reach the people you want to.

Image by Magnet 4 Marketing dot Net.

G+ Circles mostly replaces the typical “Friends” list you have on Facebook and allows you to define your own groups. The default Circles are Friends, Family, Acquaintances and Following. A definition of the “Following” circle would be “People who don’t know you personally, but whose posts you find interesting“, according to Google. Quite like Twitter I would say.

This function makes the platform valuable because it allows everybody interested in your services, posts or updates to follow you and stay in touch.

2. Easily reaching prospects

If you have a company, then you are also in need of clients. They are the ones bringing in the profit and allowing us to continue. If something is crucial, then reaching out to them is it. Moreover, the need to communicate with prospects and potential clients is very important, as it might as well be the difference between landing a huge project or failing miserably at maintaining your company on the lifeline.

The platform allows G+ users to connect with these people and more others, including influencers and people in their respective industry. This happens first because of what described above – everybody can follow everybody’s updates without needing a friend request to be accepted. This element is quite similar to the one on Twitter, where you can follow everybody you are interested with and interact with their content. You might ask yourself why use G+ when there is Twitter. Well, firstly, G+ does much more than just allowing you to follow people. And secondly, the user’s database is to be four times bigger on G+ than on Twitter by the end of this year, according to estimates.

Image by CubaGallery.

G+ also allows you to share information with only the right people, instead of sharing it with everybody who follows you. This is something Twitter does not allow you to.

Finding people on Google+ is also really easy thanks to the powerful search function. But more about this later.

3. The professional environment

Maybe the main difference between G+ and its bitter rival Facebook is the professional and business-like environment. Although possible for them to register, 15-year-old high-school drama queens simply don’t find G+ interesting. The same with Justin Bieber male fans from all over the world. Google Plus is clearly for people interested in doing business. In this matter it is quite similar to Twitter and LinkedIn. It just attracts the right crowd.

Basically this means on G+ you will in most cases find only people whom you have something in common with, have a company, are part of the same industry or share the same interests. And this will only get better with more and more people registering and being active on their G+ accounts.

4. +1 and the search function

Google added a +1 button few months after the beta release of the service and this only improves the experience. A +1 is similar to the “Like” on Facebook. But while the “Like” doesn’t mean much more than an ego-booster, a +1 helps the user much more beyond personal fulfillment. The more +1 an update gets, the higher the chance to be found through a Google search will be. And with Google still being the most powerful search engine in the world (and will remain like that for many years to come), this is a strong feature nobody else can offer. Linking the two services was probably the smartest move of Google+.

Image by west.m.

Users can get a lot of exposure thanks to the +1 buttons, which are available in everything that can be shared on the platform, including images. And while the feature is already incredible, bear in mind that Google Plus is still in its early development phase and improvements are likely to come.

5. The showcase features

Although Facebook allows you to do this as well, the capability of turning your G+ profile into a showcase portfolio is really well developed. Google Plus not only allows you to make it a visual portfolio, but also to make it in a written format like a classic CV. Again, some similarities can be drawn with another service – LinkedIn. You can say G+ gets the better out of two worlds.

Not only the pictures can be used in order to create a visual impact, but the “About” section is much more complex than on other platforms. It contains a big range of materials, links and details about where you’ve lived and how can you be contacted.

6. Google+ Hangouts

A strong feature Facebook and the other social networking platforms lack is the video chatting capabilities. Well, just for your information, even the US President used G+ Hangouts for a press conference several months ago. This allows you to communicate with up to 10 people on your network instead of asking them to call you or contact you on Skype or other service. You have everything under the same roof and gives Google a strong advantage over its competitors.

Bottom line

Google Plus has always been an underdog to Facebook and, in the beginning, even to Twitter and LinkedIn. But it seems people found the good in it and start using their accounts much more often. And while individuals still try to get a grip of it, companies and freelancers already use it to its full potential and land clients and projects through it.

Until next time, what is your experience with G+? Why it is exactly you use Google+ instead of letting go of it like many others do? Have you ever landed a gig on Google Plus?

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December 12 2011

21:00

7 Social Media Myths That You Should Bury Deep In The Ground

Social Media is huge today and each week we see lots of new headlines about companies developing their own platforms, Facebook having even more visitors, or Paris Hilton’s account being hijacked on Twitter. These things happen more often nowadays especially because social media is part of our lives and some of us could not imagine their life without it.

For freelancers it might be a bit difficult to handle social media, because of the loads of information on and about it. There are many myths about social media oand I will list some of them here, so you will not have to think about them anymore from now on.

1. Social Media Equals Immediate Success


Well no, it doesn’t. As much as I would like to say it does, instant success is not something social media guarantees. If you created a page for your company on Facebook, it’s very unlikely for you to get the first client within a week. You need to spend time and maybe even money to bring people there, while also spending time and money on trying to make them want your services.

The best way to have success in social media is spending a few hours each day on it, not getting burned out by working 24/7 work for weeks in row, because this doesn’t guarantee the success will come faster – the probability is actually lower.

So don’t think that having social media accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook will bring you success right away, because it is not like that. Use social media wisely and wait to see the results – good things come to those who are willing to wait for them.

2. Be on Every Platform


Photo by Lee Traupel

This is another false myth people talk about all the time. It is not a requirement to be on all the social media platforms, although it could be an advantage. On the other side, being on all the platforms (in case you are a small company) might actually do less than you thought. This might turn out bad because as a small company you probably do not have somebody employed just to take care of your social media responsible, therefore you probably do everything. This means there will not be enough time for every platform and some of them might get left behind. This will do anything but create a good impression for your clients, so avoid signing up everywhere if you are not confident you can handle all of them.

Moreover, not every new platform will reach success like the big ones, so make sure you have accounts on the big social media platforms and take it from there. If you think some other minnows have chances as well, have an account there too, but keep in mind that you do this for the sake of your clients. If they are not present on the respective platform, there is not need for you to be there either.

3. Social Media Replaces a Website


No, it doesn’t. I can’t stress enough about how important it is to have a website – separate from your social media accounts. The web 2.0 platforms are there to only aid your website, not to replace it. The most important thing about your website is that you have total control over it – from the host and domain, to platform and content. This is different on a social media platform where you are restrained by different rules. Whereas a website is yours as long as you want, a social media platform where you have all your clients can fail and cease to exist in a matter of days – if you have no website, how will you regain contact with your  clients?

This can’t happen with a website, which is yours and where only you decide on the content and layout. Nobody changes the rules without you knowing and if the host company goes bankrupt, you always have your backup (providing you actually do, which is a good thing to keep in mind) and can move in an instant to another provider. Social media does not replace a website because they have totally different purposes. This is why you should always have both of them.

4. No Contacts Are Made Through Social Media


This is another one which should totally be ignored. Clients can be landed through social media, this is something that I did before and that I will continue doing. Sure, social media is for fun and in our private circle we use for a total other purpose, but in a business environment clients are often landed through social media. Now if you are a freelance editor, don’t expect to land Darren Rowse and start writing for him immediately, because this will not happen. However, it is very possible to land any kind of client on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and, after building a strong relationship with him, to actually make him pay for your services.

5. Social Media is a Waste of Time


This couldn’t be more wrong. Not only is social media is important for any kind of business, it will also bring you clients and make you more popular on the internet – which, last time I’ve checked, was the second most used media in the world – far more used than radio or newspapers and close behind TV. You could consider that for some people social media is a waste of time, but I repeat, this is for some people. Companies need social media like air, especially because of the reasons mentioned above, but also because of many others.

If you have a strong social media strategy and want to invest time and money into it, social media will transform into a way of keeping your clients closer. Think they would rather read about your latest information on your Facebook page than get a weekly e-mail from you, which will end up sooner or later in the spam folder. You are the only one who can make your social media strategy transform this channel into a useful one.

6. High Number Equals Good Results


If your social media strategy is having as many followers as possible, then it is probably a waste of time for you too. Having numerous uninterested and untargeted followers will never bring the results you look for and you will end up thinking social media is a waste time. The large number of followers does not impress too many people when you are a business or a freelancer, if they are not interested in what you have to say. You can be followed by 1.000 people in the first two weeks, if only three of them interact with your, that is your real audience.

Try to target your audience a bit more and learn something about each one of them – at least while you still have a small number of followers. Clients feel when companies make an effort for them and appreciate it, so jump into this right away when you sign up on a social media platform.

7. Not Everything You Say or Do Matters


Unfortunately it does. If you don’t believe me, try to look for the stories about people who were fired from their jobs because of social media mistakes. Employers, employees, clients and prospects follow you closely and weigh every sentence and answer you make public. When you are a freelancer it might not cause that much damage, but if you are a company it might tear you apart – especially with the press following social media today as well, so pay attention to every detail of your conversations online (and for that matter offline too).

Conclusion


Social Media is huge today and if you are still not convinced about this, then there is something wrong. Try to take a look around you and realize everybody is active there and your clients are probably part of “everybody”. If your prospects are there, you have to be there too, otherwise they will move to another freelancer or company who is active on social media, and you will remain with those few faithful contacts everybody has.

Use social media wisely, have a strategy beforehand, follow it, be ready to invest in it; closely follow your discussions and watch for conversation mistakes and you will be just fine. Before considering these myths and many others, try to conduct some research yourself and you will realize most of them are false.

Do you know some other myths about social media? Do you ignore them or do you believe in them?

September 21 2011

17:53

Open Discussion: LinkedIn for Developers?

Over at FreelanceSwitch, we’ve had a few posts recently discussing the usefulness of networking sites like LinkedIn for freelance professionals: 5 Reasons to Use LinkedIn, Are You Getting Clients on LinkedIn? In last year’s Freelancer’s Survey we learned that (among other things): a) a growing portion of freelancers indicated they’re finding more clients using social media and b) many of those freelancers are web developers and programmers.

LinkedIn seems geared towards more traditional employer-employee opportunities, so is it useful for landing development gigs on the side? I’d love to hear the Nettuts+ community weigh in! Do you use LinkedIn? Has LinkedIn ever landed you a gig or new opportunity? I was curious what the web developer demographic was for a network like LinkedIn, so I pulled up the stats:

  • 659,000 members currently list themselves as web developers.
  • 1.8 million members identify themselves as developers.
  • 817,000 members use “programmer” in their title.
  • Many major tech and web companies use LinkedIn to field new hires, including Google, eBay, Rackspace and more.
  • LinkedIn boasts some active web developer communities like End to End Web Developers and Open Source group. Also a Q&A section on Web Development.

Do you use LinkedIn to get in touch with other developers or clients? Participate in any active developer Groups? Share in the comments below!

If you’re interested in improving your LinkedIn activity, Rockable Press just released LinkedIn and Lovin’ It! in three, DRM-free formats (pdf, epub, and mobi). You can download a 14 page sample for free. It’s available for $17, but if you join Rockable Press’ own LinkedIn group, you can get a voucher for $3 off. Stop in and say hi! For those of you on the Envato Marketplaces, the eBook can also be purchased with marketplace credit on the Tuts+ Marketplace.


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