What is Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing is the process of using social media like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, podcasts, YouTube, or blogs to promote or advertise a product or company. Social Media focuses on user interactions to communicate. Social media marketing allows a company to recruit a list of friends or fans, and allows an inexpensive way to communicate more consistently with the select group of interested people.

Using Twitter, a company can post information about specific keywords using a hashtag (# before the word). When users find your posts by searching for a keyword or topic using the hashtag, your company can reach new potential customers.

Using Facebook, companies can post events, videos, images and other items of interest to fans, all for free. Companies can communicate with customers on a more personal level, creating loyal fans.

Facebook paid advertisements are a quick way to expand your contact list of fans on Facebook.

Consider starting a blog on your website. Then, automatically post a small portion of the blog entry to Facebook and Twitter. The social networking sites will drive traffic to your website.

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How to Photograph Children: Tip 2 – Fill the Viewfinder with the Child’s Image

What distinguishes a professional looking portrait from an amateur snapshot? An image with lots of background clutter will instantly look like an amateur snapshot. Shooting images of children can be a challenge because children usually do not stay in one place long enough to plan the perfect shot with a great background. Ask the question, “What needs to be in the image to tell this story?” Fill the viewfinder with the image of the child, only including other items if they are necessary to tell the story. The zoomed or cropped image will eliminate background clutter and emphasize the details you were really trying to capture in the first place.

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Twitter Changes: Compare the Old and New Twitter

Have you noticed Twitter’s new format?
This article will show the old and new Twitter formats, and highlight a few of the details for you to compare.

Old Twitter Look

Old Twitter Look

New Twitter Look

New Twitter Look

What Changed?

  1. The most obvious change is the new wider format. As desktop computer displays continue to get bigger, websites can design for a wider page format. Twitter takes the lead here, getting us more information packed on the space of our displays. The new wider format is causing extra work for many who had custom backgrounds designed for the old twitter width. If you need assistance creating a Twitter background for the new width, Stroup Images can help.
  2. The top menu bar has a new search bar and a few color changes. The “Find People” link appears to have been renamed to “Who to Follow.” “Settings” and “Sign Out” have moved to a drop down menu on the Twitter username in the top right corner of the page. “Help” moved to the newly relocated menu at the bottom of the right column.
  3. The header at the top of the left column has a new larger profile picture, and also shows the name as well as the Twitter username. Location, bio and website are also new in the left column header.
  4. There’s a new “Edit your Profile” link in the middle of the left column, perhaps to help those who can’t find the “Settings” link under the drop down at the top right of the page.
  5. There’s a new menu bar in the middle of the left column with new tabs for “Timeline,” “Favorites,” “Following,” “Followers,” and “Lists.”
  6. Each post now has a small copy of the profile picture, adding some much needed color to the page.
  7. Many of the menu items which used to be at the bottom of the page are now easier to find at the bottom of the right column.
  8. The RSS feed button to subscribe to tweets is now strangely absent. I suspect Twitter decided that RSS could be reducing the number of actual visits their website, since tweets are short enough to be totally contained within the RSS feed summary.

These changes are a step forward for Twitter.

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Compare Facebook’s New and Old Page Styles, March 2011 Page Changes

Facebook is making some changes to the Facebook Page in March 2011.   Here is a sneak preview of the changes on my Stroup Images Page.  First, here’s the old Facebook Page style:

Old Stroup Images Facebook Page

Old Stroup Images Facebook Page

Here’s the new Facebook Page Style:

New Stroup Images Facebook Page

New Stroup Images Facebook Page

Changes include:

  1. The new Facebook Page now shows latest photos from your Page across the top of the Page.
  2. Navigation has been moved to the left side of the Page to match the personal Facebook pages.
  3. Your page may now show Top Posts or most Recent Posts on your wall.   You may filter what appears on your wall.
  4. Now you can get notifications when fans post or comment on your Page.
  5. A Facebook Page can now like other pages and feature them on your Facebook Page.   This will be wonderful for cross marketing if you have more than one Facebook Page.
  6. You can now make comments as your Facebook Page on other pages.
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What is Pay Per Click (PPC)?

Pay per click (PPC) is internet marketing where the advertiser pays only when users click on the advertisement on a web page.  Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing (YSM), and Microsoft adCenter use PPC advertising.    Relative placement of the ad on the page can be affected by bid price, relevance of selected keywords, and past success of the advertiser’s  internet marketing campaign.

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What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search Engine Optimization is the process of making your website more visible in search engine results.   When a user types a phrase in the Google search box, Google will order the search results based on how well the content of each web page matches the requested phrase, and Google’s perceived importance of the website page.  Search Engine Optimization focuses on improving the content of your website to better match users’ searches, making your website content easy for search engines to find, and improving your website’s perceived importance.  Moving your website up in the search engine results through search engine optimization will increase the number of visitors to your website.

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Tips for Photographing in Bright Snow – Exposure problems

A snowy landscape can be one of the most challenging to photograph.  Because the subject of snow scene is very bright, the camera’s exposure meter will assume that the image is too bright.  The camera’s exposure meter will try to render the average tones of the image as a middle gray.  For a snow scene, the average tones are far brighter than middle gray.  An automatic exposure of a snow scene will be too dark (underexposed), producing an image of gray snow.   If your camera allows exposure compensation adjustments or manual settings, increase the exposure by 1 stop to get a photo of beautiful white snow instead.

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Photography of Snow

At 17 degrees this morning in East Texas,  a few tiny snowflakes are falling.   To take pictures of snowflakes which capture their exquisite detail,  take a close up shot with a high f-stop.  A higher f-stop allows for a greater depth of field to be in focus in your image, thus recording more of the detail in the snow.

Detail of snow and berries

Snow and Berries by Stroup Images

This image of North Carolina snow and berries was taken with an f-stop of f/13.0 using an EF 50mm f/1.8II lens.

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How to Photograph Children, Tip 1

Photographing children can be a challenge.   Need a great tip for improving your photography of children?  First get down on the child’s eye level before snapping your picture.

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