Showing posts with label social media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social media. Show all posts

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Reviewing FlexClip, a Free, Online Video Maker

How to make videos for social media sharing for FREE!
When it comes to social media it really seems as though video is king, but how can you create videos to promote yourself without buying expensive video equipment and having to learn new videography skills?   You use an online video maker!   I have tried a few different online video makers and have found they all have pros and cons, today I'm going to talk to you about FlexClip.

FlexClip are a completely free video maker which is awesome, but they also offer 2 other plans - basic and plus which offer better quality videos, longer videos and the ability to do more projects - they also allow you to add a custom watermark.

I love the fact that you can use it for free and see if you like it before committing to buying a plan.   The other thing I love is that when you make a video it doesn't include a watermark as many of the other free online video makers do.

Making a Video from Stills 


Now I am only reviewing using this to make videos from still images, but you can use it with video which I haven't had a chance to do yet.

So the actual making of the video is pretty simple and it tells you exactly how to do it BUT one of the biggest problems I felt with the program was that I could not find out what size images were best to be used.   They have lots of articles for you to read for help, but there doesn't appear to be a search function for you to simply ask the question you have which is a shame.

They list common FAQs for you to search, but when your question doesn't appear in there it is a little disheartening.

My first video was for my Arbonne business and you can see that I should've used different sized images.


What I really liked when I made this video was adding the music, there was a lot of Christmas music available for me to use.

The music that is available is definitely something that I think is good as other online video makers that I have used have not had as many different options as FlexClip.

As I enjoyed making that video I quickly turned around and made one for the offline business I work with, I still hadn't found what size images I should be using so used ones that I thought should be okay - I think they worked.

I used a different text style in this video and there are quite a few different options to use when adding text as well which I think is another positive.


I used both of these videos on Facebook and the quality seemed really good on there.

Adding Backgrounds to Images

I did have a play around and found that where I have images that aren't really the best size for this program I could add a colored background which really seemed to help.

Video Templates


FlexClip also offer a number of video templates which look great and depending on your business you may like to use them.   I have used video templates in the past, but I usually prefer to create my own initially when trying out a platform.

There are definitely a couple of the templates that I could see myself using in the future though.


My Thoughts on FlexClip


I really had my reservations when I first used it because I couldn't get an answer to my image size, but I did like all the other features and I think when I use it more I'll naturally get a feel for the size that works best anyway.

I am keen to try uploading videos and editing them (I only have my phone for taking videos so that could be interesting!) and when I do that I will review that aspect and link to it from here.

I would definitely recommend trying the free version and love, love, love that it doesn't have their logo on your videos as it looks so much better when sharing.   I am also seriously considering purchasing one of the plans as I think it's great for promoting for bloggers, zazzlers, affiliate marketers, social marketers as well as brick and mortar businesses.








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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Social Media For Writers Reviewed

Authors Need To Market Their Work

writers market
Writer Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
One of the gifts that I just received for Christmas was the book Social Media For Writers. My daughter thought it might be helpful for me to brush up on the skills needed to be successful with the use of Social Media in regards to my marketing strategy in order to sell my books. 

If you are a regular reader of Review This, you are probably aware that I published my first Cozy Mystery novel in October of 2017. Then in November I published my second book in the series. It isn't like in the past when if you were lucky enough to find a publisher for your books who offered you a contract. Back then if you were a writer with a large publishing firm, they did a lot of the marketing for you. A lot of us have gone the self-publishing route which means that all of the marketing is up to us, the author. Even if we had a big name publisher we would need to market our own work. Most publishing companies of today only spend their advertising money on well known authors (who kind of don't need it but that is another topic all together!). 

Those of you who know me probably think that I probably already understand how to use social media because this isn't my first rodeo with a writing gig. I might have published my first fictional work but I've been around the block several times when it comes to promoting my online writing ventures. I do understand the basics of social media and use it regularly but I will admit not to its fullest potential. The game is different for authors in particular and let's face it...the way to use these social networks changes on a regular basis. How many times have you reached a point where you feel that you have figured it all out, to have one or two of the popular sites change the playing field? I'm guessing a lot!

So, I really appreciate my daughter gifting me this book! I'm reminding myself of the basics while being able to come up with a strategy for my writing and promotions.

What I like about this book by Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine is that it is written in an easy to understand format. As I said, I'm not new to social media but even if I were the content would be easy to understand. They do a really good job of explaining how each option works and best practices for a writer to use on each platform. They cover blogging, podcasting, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. Do they recommend that you try to use all of them? Actually, no. They understand that if one were to try to have a solid presence on all of them; there would be no time for the actual writing of the books. They suggest that you pick the three that you are most comfortable with and go from there.

As I am studying this book, I feel confident with their advice. They are both authors in their own right and I can tell by the content that they actually use social media to promote not just this book but a series of books that they have co-authored together. I don't know about you but for me that is huge. I'm sure that you have experienced the same as I have over the years with getting advice from a so called expert who has less experience than you do when the dust all settles.

I really like that the authors break down the formats and give realistic time frames for using them. Having experience with most of these social media networks, I can tell that they are giving good information on the time that can be invested in working with the different options. They are even honest about having invested a lot of time on a few of them and figuring out that for their needs and their time constraints, it wasn't worth it. That doesn't mean that you will come to the same conclusion because we all have different styles and comfort levels. I do appreciate their honesty in the results for themselves!

Now, I realize that not all of you are planning to write a novel or a work of non-fiction; that being said I do know that many of you have a strong online presence either contributing here on Review This or your own sites. Perhaps you contribute on another multi-user site. My point is that much of the information will be beneficial for your online work as well.

I know in the past, I have tried to have a presence on all of the social media sites. It doesn't take long to get burnt out trying to keep up. Reading a book like Social Media For Writers is helpful in reminding us of what it is we want to accomplish and the audience we are trying to reach. This book gives some realistic advice on coming up with a strategy that is not overwhelming and that with the proper effort put forth should offer a successful result. It is not going to happen overnight but with dedication and a good plan, it can happen.

I am finding this book very helpful and I think that many of you will, also. I know I am changing my strategy after having read it. I am going to concentrate on three platforms and not worry about all of the others. How about you? If you were going to limit your marketing to three platforms, which would you be willing to invest your time in?



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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Read Tweep-e-licious to Help Increase Your Engagement on Twitter: A Book Review

Do You Wish You Had More Engagement with Your Twitter Tweets?

So was I. That's why I decided to buy Tweep-e-licious by marketing expert Lynn Serafinn. She believes in ethical marketing and is also the author of bestselling book The 7 Graces of Marketing. I bought Tweep-e-licious because I wanted to increase engagement with my followers and to get more followers targeted to my accounts. I was also looking for help in using Twitter more effectively to market my blogs and Zazzle products. I knew what I was doing wasn't working.


Increase Your Engagement on Twitter with Tweep-e-licious: A Book Review


My Twitter Accounts and How They Grew


If you are new to Twitter or haven't paid much attention to your account, you may find it hard to get the followers you want. I also had that problem -- especially when I was getting started. I didn't just want followers -- I wanted the right followers who would enjoy my content. How I wish I'd had Tweep-e-licious back then! What a difference it would have made. I gradually learned some of what the book covered on my own, but the going was slow, by trial and error. Lynn's book would have helped me get off to a much faster and better start.

I now manage three Twitter accounts I started in different years. As of three days ago in the morning, @barbsbooks had 2457 followers. I opened that account for my book business in March 2009. That averages out to about 308 new followers a year. Of course, the first 200 followers are the hardest to get, since it takes time to build more credibility. This account targets readers, writers, educators, and bloggers.

I opened @Gale427 in March 2012. I had reluctantly become somewhat of a political activist by then. I didn't want to mix politics and business -- especially since most of my target audience on my first account did not have similar thoughts on politics. I wanted to separate these topics so as not to alienate customers for no good reason. This account had 1074 followers three days ago and I follow 814. The account targets those with similar religious and political views, photographers, gardeners, affiliate marketers, bloggers, and those who like to read.

By 2013 I was starting to be more involved in my local community. I had started a blog completely about my local area and I wanted to target people who lived in California, who were not necessarily writers or bloggers, and who liked to share photos of their travels and Zazzle products.  I opened the @barbsloco account in November 2013. It was very slow to take off, compared to the others. I had 388 followers three days ago and I follow 304.

It took forever to get to 100. Perhaps that's because it was also harder to pinpoint my target audience. I knew I wanted followers as close to my local area as possible, but also anyone interested in traveling to the area. What I discovered is that the people following me tended to be either businesses in my area or travel bloggers and photographers from far away. Lynn's wonderful book of tips is answering all the questions I had about how to find my ideal followers and how to engage them. I also learned which content my current followers like to see and I'm trying to keep providing it. It's possible I was targeting the wrong audience.

Increase Your Engagement on Twitter with Tweep-e-licious: A Book Review



How Will Tweep-e-licious Help Me Grow My Account?

Here's what the book will help you learn to do:

  1. Master the basics. Even if you've had your account for a long time, you may have missed some of the basics of using Twitter you thought you knew or had been misinformed about. Lynn takes you through choosing the right ID and setting up or editing to create an engaging profile. Using her advice, I just edited the profiles of all three of my accounts. I found I wasn't making the best use of that very important space. 
  2. Manage followers effectively. Learn who to follow, how to follow, who not to follow, and who to unfollow. I had my own ideas on how to do this and most of what I've been doing after a lot of trial and error in the first years is pretty close to what Lynn teaches, except I don't yet use any automation to find followers. 
  3. Make the best use of Twitter lists to their best advantage. I already had lots of lists in my accounts, but I still got some great tips on how to make better use of them. I just finished the book, so I haven't had time to fully implement the tips. I have started a private VIP list for each account. I never would have thought of that. Most of my lists are based on a profession, a topic, or a location. 
  4. Create content that will attract and engage followers. Some of this I knew, but there were still a lot of useful tips I hadn't thought of. Learn what not to tweet. Many Tweeps make tweets every day that annoy people and it's one reason I didn't follow them or I later unfollow them. 
  5. Determine how often to tweet. People often disagree on this issue, but if you don't tweet often enough, no one will see you. How much is too much? Lynn helps you decide.
  6. How to repeat tweets often without annoying followers. I found this section very useful. Most of us have a number of evergreen tweets we want to keep active. There is a better way to do it than most people, including me, have used. 
  7. Make and use effective hashtags. I try to make effective use of hashtags, but Lynn offered even more tips I can try. 
  8. Determine when and how to use automation and applications. Lynn did explain at the beginning that because technology and Twitter rules change so often, some of her book, last updated at the beginning of 2014, might be obsolete. Most of her tips are still good, but when reading this section I discovered some of it was out of date. ---- You might as well skip the sections on Tweet Adder because it's gone. I could no longer find a free version of Gremln. Lynn suggested Tweepi.com for targeting followers by location, but I found out when I got there that you need the most expensive version to use that function.  I'm still using Buffer, Hootsuite, and Tweetdeck, so they are still good, but they have also evolved since the book was updated. 
  9. Build relationships and not get overwhelmed by them. This group of tips is important. It's easy to get overwhelmed while using the tips to build relationships -- especially if you are also implementing suggestions on using lists and finding the right followers. Lynn suggests ways to avoid getting overwhelmed. 
  10. Use Twitter ethically to market products and expand your influence. Many of these tips are for bigger fish than I am, but I found some tips on marketing and monetization I can use. If you are planning a virtual blog tour, have joint venture partners, want to run a contest, get a media interview, or do some crowd funding, you will find help here. Lynn also discusses another topic many wonder about  -- whether and when to set up multiple Twitter accounts. 


The summary above barely scratches the surface of what the 158 tips in this book cover. Don't start a new Twitter account without Tweep-e-licious! It's still helpful even if you've had an account for years.

My Recommendation

I was feeling invisible on Twitter. Do you ever feel that way? There were occasional likes and retweets, but few clicks or replies. If you are frustrated on Twitter because you don't have enough of the right followers and/or it seems no one is engaging with your content, you need this book. 

I finished Tweep-e-licious just a few days ago and started using the tips right away. Already I see my engagement increasing. I have more new followers than usual on my two oldest accounts. Since I changed my profile and cleared a lot of inactive followers,  the smallest and newest account lost one today. Many people use automation to unfollow anyone who unfollows them. I don't mind since a follower who won't be interested in your content won't be engaging with you anyway. 

The only downside to the book is that some of it has become obsolete, as Lynn predicted it would. I suggest you check out apps you aren't familiar with before reading her tips on how to use them, in case they have disappeared.

I ordered this book in paper. I recommend you do the same since it's much easier to flip back and forth to the tips you want to read again if you have actual pages. 

The Table of Contents lists all the tips in order. They are organized so that related tips are together. This makes the book very easy to use. If you want to be all you can be on Twitter, increase your following and engagement, and learn to run effective marketing campaigns, Tweep-e-licious is the "textbook" you need. It is so practical you can start applying the tips immediately as you read them. Get the book today. 

Increase Your Engagement on Twitter with Tweep-e-licious: A Book Review
Image Courtesy of Pixabay
Image Credits:

Top image: https://pixabay.com/en/twitter-banner-message-sky-1566735/
Middle image: https://pixabay.com/en/tweet-twitter-bird-blue-twig-155281/
Last image: https://pixabay.com/en/twitter-mobile-phone-social-media-1183719/
All images were edited and modified on Fotojet.com.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Add a Large Image to Tweets on Twitter with Twitshot

Add a Large Image to Tweets on Twitter with Twitshot
Twitshot makes adding large images to your Twitter tweets easy! 

Most of us don't have enough hours in the day to spend a lot of time on each social media site to share each article.  Finding an easy way to share eye-catching images quickly, makes every blogger's daily schedule more manageable.  


Twitshot is my all time favorite shortcuts to beautiful tweets that include big images with the necessary textual information.

Normally a tweet includes a thumbnail size image that is often overlooked when scrolling through tweets.  Large images are not as easily overlooked or bypassed.  

Getting traffic to your article often starts with catching a readers attention.  The best way to do that, is with images and not words.

NOTICE:  Unfortunately, Twitshot has closed.  We do not know if this is temporary or permanent.  I recommend using Buffer (there is a free option) instead.  Please check back later.

 

Appearance of a Regular Tweet 

If you use the Twitter button on an article, this is the way a published tweet will look.  As you can see, it has the small thumbnail picture.

 How to add Large Images to Tweets on Twitter


Appearance of a Twitshot Tweet

If you use Twitshot, this is the way your tweet will publish.  The photo is center stage and very eye-catching due to the size of the image.

 
How to add Large Images to Tweets on Twitter!


You can even include a short text description if you need or want that article summary normally shared beside the thumbnail image.  140 characters are allowed on Twitshot with your large image.  In the case of the movie review below, I had to shorten the summary for it to fit, but the text is still descriptive enough for readers.

Learn How to Add Large Images to Tweets on Twitter

How to Use Twitshot


It is so easy to use Twitshot.  You simply enter the article url into the box on Twitshot and select the image you want to accompany your tweet.   

Hover over the image to optimize your image to the recommended Twitter image size (1135 x 600).  However, you can select an image that is square instead of oblong.

When You Enter The Article Link, This is What You See
Learn How to Add Large Images to Tweets on Twitter




Here is a Mark-Up of Exactly What to Do to Add and Tweet With a Large Image
If you don't like the images that are auto selected, you can paste an image url, search for an image, or upload an image.  
How to Add a Large Image to Tweets on Twitter


Click Here to Visit Twitshot Today and Start Tweeting with Large Images!

You can also add a TwitShot Button to your Site for Sharing.  Click Here to Get the Code


More Tips & Tutorials for Blogger


Add a Large Image to Tweets on Twitter with Twitshot Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse




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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Meet Tsu: The New Player in Social Media

On October 25, 2014, I joined Tsu.co (pronouned Sue). Tsu is a brand new social media network and it is growing by leaps and bounds. In two weeks, Tsu's Alexa rating in the US has jumped from around 11,000 to almost 3,200. That's some pretty phenomenal growth on the Internet.

UPDATE:  August 2, 2016 TSU CLOSED  

What's all the talk about?

You'll find that Tsu is very similar to Facebook. People share content, tell stories, and post pictures. Tsu is also very different from Facebook. Tsu shares its advertising revenue with its members. Yes, you heard me right. Tsu offers a revenue sharing program that is similar to the revenue sharing model used on YouTube.

While I think it's pretty cool that Tsu pays its users to post content, there's something that I find even cooler. From the beginning, Tsu has provided spam reporting tools to its members. Members are encouraged to report spammers because Tsu and the Tsu Community want a place that is filled with content that is unique, useful, and updated.

That's right! At Tsu, it's all about quality content and engaging readers. And in less than 2 weeks, I'm pleased with my personal results. Yes, I have a few dimes in my Tsu Bank. But more important, I have seen a significant increase in traffic to my blogs, have met some incredibly talented individuals, and people I've met at Tsu are now following me on Google+ and Pinterest.

Yes, I am having a great time, meeting new people, and regaining the enthusiasm I lost after the demise of Squidoo.

I make no guarantees about the future of Tsu. There are no guarantees on the Internet. What I do know is that their business plan is solid, they have adequate funding to finance their growth, and they are tough on spam.

Tsu isn't without its growing pains. Every evening I can expect the platform to shutdown for maintenance and during the day I may have the occasional problem posting. But these things are expected on a new site that is experiencing rapid growth. What I can say, the Tsu technical staff is dedicated to delivering a site that users will enjoy.

If you'd like to give Tsu a try, you'll need an invitation. And here is my invitation to you. Please join me on Tsu. It's a community that is fighting for a spam-free Internet, taking back control of their content, and filled with creative people.

Click Here to Join Me On Tsu




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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

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