Lighting Tricks for Social Media
Social media includes so many different formats, forms and platforms so at times it can be challenging to distinguish between them. This post will briefly touch on how you can make your videos and photos look 20x better by learning how to harness the power of good lighting!
Headshots/Profile Pics: Friends, clients, associates, potential bosses and complete strangers can see them so make sure that you’re representing yourself appropriately (or atleast modify your security settings to become invisible). For the average headshot, most people will want to avoid the passport (head on) styled photo.
Try using an office or desk lamp and move it so its on about a 45 degree angle from your face (look at the image below). You don’t want it to be right in front of you because then you’re going to have that “deer in headlights” look…not very pretty, right!?
Interviews: Whether your just snapping pics or filming video, interviews are a great way to generate media buzz and get your message/name out there. Try jazzing things by using the same setup as for profile pics (above) but add in a light that is shining onto your background. This will create some depth to the shot and will add some drama…it basically makes the person seem even THAT much more important!
Image via Wikipedia
Outdoor Shots: When taking group photos or video, avoid having the sun right behind the subjects. If the camera is directly facing the sun then you’ll get a glare. The sun is a great tool – it’s a powerful beam of light that when used properly can almost erase wrinkles, pimples, etc.
So there you go – 3 easy ways to improve your social media content! These are simple and easy. You don’t have to have fancy, expensive lighting kits to do this. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks!…
It was a little over a month ago that I decided to bite the bullet and start my own company. I’m in the process of designing my websites…yes – I did say websites! Aside from the “parent” website, I’m also launching 2 divisions of my company which both need websites as well.
Being the nerd that I am, I want to make sure that my websites are as effective as possible in making people think the following:
- My services/products are useful and needed
- My services/products would add significant value to their business
- My company is credible and has a solid reputation
- They decide to hire my company
So – what makes an effective website? To answer this, you need to think about what catches your attention? It’s easy to know what you like or dislike when it’s staring you in the face, but it can sometimes be challenging when you’re trying to verbalize it. That’s often where the disconnect is for companies and businesses.. They know what they want to do, but then they over complicate things.
So how can you make sure that you’re website is different? How can you make your website stand out from the crowd?
Here are some tips :
- Fresh & Relevant Content: Keep it current and keep it relevant. Make sure people have all the info necessary to send you buckets of cash : ) Also, make it interesting…
- Design : Make it pretty and pleasing to the eye. People should not get headaches or seizures when they’re browsing through your website. Don’t make me squint! And don’t bold or use uppercase necessarily or like your life depended on it. Think it through…
- Layout: Think about what menu options you should have. How many buttons. Where are they placed. Don’t overload your peeps with too many options. Make sure that your headings and menu names make sense too – or else I will come and haunt you!
- Maintenance: Update it regularly. Make sure that any old promotions are removed or at least archived. I can’t tell you how many sites I’ve seen that still have promotion banners for deals that ended more than a year ago.
- Optimization: Make sure it runs fast and smooth. Sometimes when things aren’t coded properly, you can encounter issues with viewing properly in different browsers. Aside from making sure that your coding is optimized, also test on a variety of different systems and browsers.
Bye Bye Websites?
Recently, I came across a discussion that proposed the following: websites are a thing of the past for businesses. They are outdated and don’t really offer any added value to the brand. It’s an added expense that doesn’t improve your ROI (I know – I’m using these nice fancy acronyms now! It means Return on Investment).
Baloney! I strongly disagree! At the risk of sounding like a snob I can’t help but think that this notion of websites being obsolete comes from a bunch of people who just don’t understand where the internet and social media is heading.
I PARTLY agree though – the traditional old school website isn’t enough to engage and capture the wallets loyalty of most of your consumers. The challenge is now to find ways to make your website more engaging. I’ll post some of my own personal tips on how to engage consumers and potential clients later on.
Kitty on Computer
An interesting question comes up… A lot of companies have the “consolidation mentality”. What I mean by this is that they strive to make people and processes more efficient. Slashing costs and getting rid of the unnecessary. It was only a matter of time before someone started to ask “can we get away with only have social media profiles?” I would recommend against this. Here are my top arguments for why websites are still vital for your company and your brand.
- Available 24/7 : Websites generally experience a lot less traffic than most social media platforms. How many times have you visited twitter and received that “sorry, we’re experiencing a high volume of traffic right now” Websites may be regarded as more of a stable method of communication. Also, most of the technical maintenance and “downtime” can be scheduled when traffic is lighter.
- Content Ownership: On your website YOU own your content. If people subscribe to your newsletter, you have their info. With social media, you don’t necessarily have that privileged. If Facebook were to disappear tomorrow, then your contacts would disappear with it.
- Open Access: Anyone, anywhere can access your website. They don’t have to be a member of a certain social network to help you build your brand.
- Adds credibility – its like the formal resume. It helps seal the deal. After meeting with a potential vendor, I always google their company to see what kind of dirt I can dig up on them. Should I trust them? For whatever reason when I see a well put together website, it calms my soul. It allows me to have faith in the company and it reinforces my decision to do business with them.
- Search Engines: Metatags help your site appear when people do related searches using search engines, like Google. You can use metatags with social media, but often the first couple of results that appear with search engines are actual websites and not social media web results.
Why Groupon is Missing the Mark
I’m a member of Groupon and have been for a few weeks now, but I have to say I have come very close to unsubscribing 8 times so far (yes – I keep track of these things). If you’re not familiar with how Groupon works, never fear. It’s actually quite simple. Simple is usually good.
- Each day they feature something (in your area)cool to do at a great price. (like a hot yoga class for 10% off)
- You only get it if enough people join that day… so you have to invite your friends
- Repeat the next day, and then the next and then the next, etc.
It’s great for businesses because you get your name and brand out there. Also, there is a section for reviews so you’re able to build up your credibility. Another point for Groupon!
My beef is that with all of the options out there to be able to target their offers, they are choosing not to. From the last 10 invitations that I’ve received from Groupon, only 2 were appealing to me. So essentially – I received 8 junk emails from Groupon. I know that I signed up for the service, but as a consumer, if the message doesn’t interest me I consider it junk. Social media and the internet gives consumers (like me) the right to choose.
So, what’s the root of the issue here? I have a few suspicions:
- Groupon has made a conscious decision not to target, perhaps they think that diluting the options will allow more consumers to come across a certain brand. While this may be true, I do feel that it will result in higher unsubscribe rates.
- Not enough businesses have signed up to support the variety of demands from different tastes. According to Groupon’s CEO Andrew Mason “Interest in Groupon is so high we can only feature one out of eight businesses that contact us.” If you read more of that linked article, it makes it seem like specialization is in the works for Groupon. I just find it a little strange that it took them so long for them to start thinking about it (they’ve been around since 2008). In the world of social media that’s like a decade.
- Just haven’t gotten around to do that yet…
My magic number for Groupon is 10. If I receive 10 “junk” emails from them I’m going to unsubscribe. Usually my magic number is 3 for most places (I am a patient Canadian afterall, eh!) so Groupon must be doing something right.
If Groupon truly wants to engage me, they will offer me the options of choosing what types of offers I would like to be sent. Entertainment, restaurants, fitness, beauty, electronics, children’s apparel, etc. If Groupon respects me as a consumer, they will allow me to “opt out” of receiving email offers about Agoo’s clothing line for tots or the newest powder to treat jock itch. I would even go so far as to recommend that Groupon takes a page out of Hautelook’s book and send out a weekly teaser email about what hot deals are in store for the next week.
All in all – it’s not too late for them yet. They’ve done a great job of peaking my interest and getting me to join. Now, its up to Groupon to keep me happy by offering things that I want. PS: If you send me any more deals relating to kids that’s a dealbreaker! I don’t have any and most of those ads with kids in them freak me out.