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5 Tools & Resources You Should be Using on Twitter

5 Tools & Resources You Should be Using on Twitter

We're creatures of habit, us humans.

We fall into a routine, and sometimes miss out on the shiny new tools and features that make the experience of using social networks easier and more effective.

Like with Twitter, for example. You probably send out tweets with links and photos on a regular basis. If so, you're using Twitter much in the same way the other 284 million active monthly users are.

But if you want to mix things up a bit and spend less time composing messages, there are some handy tools you can use to make the experience even better. Let's take a look.

1. More photos

Instead of one main image associated with your tweet, you can now upload up to four images to in one tweet that will display as a collage. Not only does this provide more diversity to your visuals, but it opens up storytelling opportunities that don't take away from your 140 characters.

2. Shortcuts

Writing a tweet just got faster. Using the shortcuts keyboard, you can navigate your way around using simple commands rather than clicking around until you find the right place.

3. Advanced search

Getting more specific about your search terms with the help of Advanced Search means you can get right to the information you're looking for. This tool is great for looking for relevant conversations about your product or service nearby, keeping an eye on competitors, and more.

4. Muted accounts

Have some noisy people clogging up your dashboard? By muting select accounts, you tune out the unwanted (and un-relevant) information from their conversations without having to unfollow anyone.

5. Twitter Cards

Twitter Cards allow users to attach rich photos, videos, and other media experiences to tweets to drive traffic to their website or create leads. We've used Twitter Cards to drive signups for our email newsletter and can attest to their power.

There you have it. Now go out, break up that normal content, and start zipping your way around Twitter.


5 Predicitions for 2015

5 Predicitions for 2015

You've probably read a post or two that recaps the past year (yes, we did one of those, too.) But now that it's 2015, it's time to start looking ahead instead of behind.

It's time to make plans, to get prepared for the future, and to build a strategy that helps make this year more successful than the last.

None of us can see the future, but we can make some predictions that will help guide our paths based on trends, new areas seeing growth, and by evaluating what works (as well as what doesn't anymore.)

Here are a few of our predictions for marketing in 2015:

1. Paid Advertising on Social Media

Facebook has already jumped into paid advertising with both feet and even announced that in 2015, business pages will pretty much have to pay if they want their promotional materials to be seen by, well, anyone. The good news is Facebook's advertising platform has improved dramatically over the past year and enables pages to target users better than ever before.

But you can expect to see this trend continue to grow on other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, too. As all of these social networks find their footing with revenue-generating opportunities, advertising seems to be the first area they'll push.

2. More Copywriting, More Content

Content Marketing is no longer just for the early adopters. Everyone is doing it, and if you're still not, it's time to get on board. 2015 should be a year in which you regularly publish valuable blog content, create lead generators (like free eBooks, templates, checklists, etc.) and start collecting email addresses so you can stay in touch with your audience and help them through the sales funnel.

3. Video, Video, Video

Online video is quickly becoming one of the most powerful marketing tools throughout social media. Old and new platforms like Vine, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and many others are making video creation easier than ever. And since video combines both audio and visual elements, you can communicate a powerful, concise message in just a few seconds.

4. Influencer Collaboration

One of the most popular ways to expand the reach of any marketing effort is to partner with a powerful, relevant voice within your target community. Whether that means collaborating with a popular blogger, YouTuber, or Podcaster, finding ways to connect with new audiences starts in this arena.

5. The Growing Importance of Design

Design has always been important, but now it's becoming critical to businesses' success. The everyday consumer is valuing it and taking it into consideration when make purchases or signing up for products. A recent study found that design was a reason that 46% of people trusted a website. If you have a website, marketing materials, or social media presence, it may be time to refresh the look.

As you look forward into 2015, think about the areas you can surge ahead and get on board with new strategies before your competitors. Don't rush it, but do your homework and see how you can thoughtfully transition into new territory.

What would you add to this list? Send us your suggestions at @wearelumen on Twitter.


Diversifying Your Social Media Presence

Diversifying Your Social Media Presence

So you’re on Facebook and Twitter. Think you’ve got it covered? You might want to reconsider.

While it’s true that these two outlets are probably the most widely used forms of social media, there may be other valuable options for you to consider based on your target audience.

Today we’re going to highlight a few other social media outlets, their user bases, and what they can offer that’s different from Facebook and Twitter.

Remember: Consider the audience that you cater to—and keep that in mind as you read.

1.  Pinterest

Remember when you had a cork board in your room that you’d pin magazine clippings and photos to? That’s the idea behind Pinterest. Today, it’s a great place to share recipes, DIY projects, craft and party ideas—you get the idea.                                                                              

Who does it well: Handmade Charlotte, A Beautiful Mess

Target demographic: Women ages 18-40 living in suburban or rural areas with an income >$75,000 annually. (All demographic info via Pew Research)

2.  Instagram

When it comes to Instagram, think curated photos with a short caption. This is the land of food photos, vacation snapshots, lifestyle snippets—and yes, selfies. Instagram isn’t the place for full photo albums or long captions. It’s a place to highlight your best photo and to tie in a few appropriate hashtags—which are to be used for grouping photos by subject matter (not adding afterthoughts.) Don’t forget to take advantage of the short video clip features, too.

Who does it well: Ugmonk, Nars

Target demographic: Men and women ages 18-30 living in urban and suburban areas with a variety of ethnic backgrounds and income levels.

3.  Tumblr

Don’t have a blog built into your website? Link out to a Tumblr for a place to share longer form content that’s more like a journal. Tumblr offers customizable or pre-made templates to make your blog blend seamlessly with your branding, and offers a reblog feature (like a retweet) that offers an opportunity for good content to be easily shared.

Who does it well: The White House, Sara Zucker

Target demographic: Men and women ages 18-30 living in cities, suburbs, and rural areas with varied income levels.

Still need more diversity?

Look into outlets like Vine, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google +, Flickr (just to name a few.) There are so many options. Just keep in mind: Each outlet needs to offer something unique and special. Find the outlets that are a wise time investment based on your target audience, and create quality content that makes the reader or viewer pause.