Everybody loves photos in social media. Here are three free apps to help you work with them to attract and engage more of your target audience, fans, and prospective customers. Aviary is a full-featured, web-based photo editor that can handle just about anything you can throw at it: enhancements such as sharpening and brightening, applying filters, blemish removal, and much more. Bonus: Aviary allows sharing directly to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or email. Image Sizer solves the problem of getting pictures to fit into the Instagram square frame. It also lets you place multiple images into one frame, offers a choice of filters, and has sharing options. The new Google Photos app is attracting a lot of attention. It boasts unlimited cloud storage, remarkable visual search capabilities, and a range of editing and sharing options. This blog by Jacqueline Till, on Growing Social Media, provides visual examples for each.
Pew Research reported in September 2013 that people weren't comfortable with conversations about politics on Facebook. Things seem to have changed, at least for U.S. Millennials. Sam Fiorella, a partner at Sensei Marketing, blogged about a study showing that Millennial Facebook users have "liked" a political issue (30%) or a candidate (24%), and many are using Facebook to advocate for political positions they support. Another report, from ShareThis, showed that 71% of all U.S. Internet users chose to use Facebook to share or comment on the 2014 midterm elections. Facebook is certainly an important place for politicians to have a presence, as shown by Ted Cruz (1.2 million likes), Hillary Clinton (933,000 likes), Mitt Romney (10 million likes), and Barack Obama (43 million likes).
Is your website accessible for the more than 640 million people around the world with hearing, visual, or other physical disabilities? All business owners know that in the physical world they face a positive legal obligation to provide accommodations for disabled persons. So far, there are no legal requirements facing website owners. This may change in the future. In any case, it's good business and good citizenship to make your website completely accessible. According to Amy Hayes, vice president of marketing at Bazaarvoice, here are some best practices for website accessibility.
The article contains a link to W3C's Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools, which help you to assess your website and plan for improvements.
Smart marketers know that Millennials have their own, non-traditional ideas about families and relationships. Outdated messages about traditional nuclear families, which have long dominated U.S. culture, don't cut it with the rising generations, who are much more culturally diverse than previous ones and who have grown up in a world where the nuclear family isn't the only model. To illustrate, some quick stats about today's families: single-parent households, 34%; interracial marriages, 1 in 7; and children living with same-sex parents, up 69% in the past 15 years. And, since this generation has suffered through a long period of economic stress, attitudes toward money and spending are often quite different from those of preceding generations. Finally, writes Celinne Dacosta, associate strategist at 360i, traditional holidays, which brands have relied on in the past, are fading among this generation. Three examples: less "home for Thanksgiving" travel; a generation that's 75% single is skeptical about Valentine's Day; and the adoption of new celebrations like "Friendsgiving" and "Galentine's Day" that seek to promote inclusivity. Your marketing team needs to understand these trends and find ways to engage with younger customers on their own terms - before your competition does.
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