The Social Eye Blog

Social Media News and updates…..

#hashtagthis!

#Hashtags, do you use them? Are they your pet hate? Do you love them? Do you #getannoyedwhensomeoneusesanutterlypointlessonefornoreason

Hashtags have been around since 2007, when Chris Messina, a social technology expert, is credited, as using the very first hashtag, on Twitter. His tweet appeared as ?how do you feel about using # barcamp (msg)?? Messina wanted to create a discussion and hashtags have been used for this purpose ever since. It is said, he didn’t patent the idea, to help it catch on further. Now hashtags are not restricted to Twitter, Instagram appears to have taken over as hashtag King and Facebook still has no use for them! On Linkeldn, the jury seems to be out, as to if you should be using them or not, or just how many are successful on Linkeldn.So what makes a good or bad hashtag? What should you do about using them? Firstly, you need to do your homework! Check if a hashtag is taken, if you have the correct spelling and if it is too long, for anyone to remember!

Hashtags can be highly successful but they can also lead to epic fails, so be wary – Susan Boyle, was launching an album, a hashtag (and a party)to celebrate – so it seemed a great idea, to use a unique hashtag! the problem was that clearly nobody had actually looked at the hashtag written down and so the #susananalbumparty became legendary, for all the wrong reasons!

Other times, a hashtag can just come across as insensitive, #cairo to celebrate a new range of shoes, being tweeted at the same time as Egyptian Revolution, did not look good, for those involved. The New York police Department, who invited people to post a photo of themselves, with a police office, using the #AskACop backfired, when people started posting pictures of police brutality!

So have you come across any similar fails (or maybe some fantastic ones), do let me know!

Lorna Rimmer

Simon Jones, award winning photographer, talks to The Social Eye!

How to take a great photo on Instagram

So we are all aware of those beautiful Insta feeds, that we not only envy but aim to emulate! The rise of Instagram, has meant that we are all expected, to be able to take a decent photograph!

With this in mind, I asked the amazing photographer, Simon Jones, to share his top tips! Simon is a Manchester based photographer, who has won a number of awards, both in the Uk and Internationally. He has exhibited in both the UK and abroad and I was lucky enough, that he agreed to sharing some tips!

Composition!

Less is always more – only put in the camera frame, what you want people to engage with! Unrelated backgrounds, scenery, objects – they can all just confuse the message!

Get close or choose the background carefully! If you put the subject in the centre of the frame it will dominate the overall image. If the background and location are part of the story, put the main subject to one side of the frame, as this will create more of a story between the subject and location!

Lighting! 

Light from the side, as this will create more contrast – (think shadows and texture) which can add interest and mood! lLighting from the front will flatten the subject and remove shadows and texture!

You need to think about where the main light sources is coming from and arrange your subject to suit the message.

If there is not much light, you need to keep the camera (or your phone) as still as possible, to avoid camera shake (motion blur) lots of light result in a sharper image. It’s always better to use natural light (even at night) but if you want to get rid of shadows on a bright sunny day use the fill flash feature on the camera! 

Colour!

If you want colours to pop more, have a look at the artist wheel, by using colours opposite to each other ( complimentary colours on the colour wheel ) can really make something stand out,E.G Someone in a red coat standing in a green field!

Photo by Shane Aldendorff

So some key tips there for improving your photos and Instagram feed, do let me know if Simon’s tips have helped and show me or tag me in your photos

Sharing your story on social

The two people who motivate my decisions!
Part of “my story” that I am happy to share!

I read an interesting debate, this morning, about how much of your own life, you should share on social. By this, I’m not referring to posting photos of your kids, house, last meal and relationship woes but rather your own “ story”.

When you are thinking about content idea and when you are stressed and pushed for time, one idea can be, to share your own “story” as a way of connecting with your followers. It doesn’t need to be your “story” from birth to present, or even your whole history, of your career. It can be a “story” that simply connects, with your customers, or is relevant to articles and posts, you are sharing. So how much is too much to share? What are you happy to share- your goals? your motivations? Your failures? Your successes? What would you deem as too much or be uncomfortable to share?

Sharing your “story” can be frightening on social media. If you have honed the perfect tone of voice, you may be worried that it will not fit in with your perfected tone of voice. Perhaps you may be worried, you will not seem “professional” and potentially harm, your brand. It doesn’t have to be your personal “story” that leads to you feeling vulnerable , it’s sometimes good to step out of your comfort zone but you should never abandon, the fundamentals of your overall social strategy!

By sharing your “story”, you should be creating connections, with those that are reading your story! This may be, sharing why you started your business, the person that motivates you, the relative that gave you some advice, it can be as revealing, as you choose it to be!

Your “story” does need to be authentic and true, however, that goes without saying. What would be your comfortable starting point? Could it be as simple, as sharing a ritual, an idiosyncrasy, or anything else that reveals, the human side to your business!

Brand storytelling on social media, can help people, understand and resonate with your business, build your brand awareness and create a story that your customers or clients, will remember.

Now, just like I wouldn’t start reading Biff and the Magic Key story, to a group of pre teens – your story on social, needs to be a story, that will fit with your audience! Points to consider, might include, what problems do your customers have? How do they overcome problems? Having this in mind, might help you frame your story.

When it comes to telling your story, you may want to be unique, inspiring and have a context. Just like those pre teens, from my years in the classroom, would tell you – there always needs to be an audience, in mind, for your story. You need to know, where that audience live, in the world of social and the stories that will best work with them! Are your stories visual? personal? humour driven? It is vital that your story is going to be on brand and in the world of social, enough to stop the scroll?