Carol-Ann Black Carol-Ann Black

Pinterest: A Safe Haven From COVID19 Misinformation and Negativity

With a pandemic raging and social distancing the norm, we are all secluded from our family and friends trying to stave off boredom. So many of us turn to social media to stay connected, find out the latest information on the Coronavirus or COVID-19, and to keep ourselves occupied and from climbing the walls in our isolation. A quick scroll of Facebook is enough to stress anyone out–alarming headlines, political posts blaming and finger-pointing, misleading information that hasn’t been properly vetted, sales pitches for cure-alls for the disease, and alarmingly negative posts from fearful people. It makes you want to put down your phone, get into bed, and pull the covers over your head. But fear not, social network destination Pinterest is taking steps to protect you from that!

In 2017, Pinterest started restricting health-related content and searches, beginning with anti-vaccine information. Pinterest directed vaccine-related searches to pages with information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention starting in August 2019. Then it expanded to other health topics over time.

When people go on to Pinterest and search for COVID-19 or Coronavirus, they are directed to a sparse page with content form the World Health Organization and get the following message “Pins about this topic often violate our Community Guidelines, which prohibit harmful medical misinformation. Because of this, we’ve limited searches to Pins from internationally-recognized health organizations.” Social media posts are rampant laughing about how Pinterest is shaming your mom for searching for homemade DIY surgical masks. A search for COVID-19 brought up a whole page of frequently asked questions like “Is it safe to receive a letter or package from China?” and “Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?”, almost all provided by WHO.

All this means that Pinterest has become a safe haven from all the negative and misleading information about the COVID-19 virus and people are very happy about that! But Pinterest has gone even further! On Tuesday, they launched a new feature called Today tab which is refreshed daily to user-curated topics and trending posts. It offers advice from experts and health agencies, as well as timely posts like home workspaces and study tips for kids.

The Today Tab has Boards with titles like “TT-Pilates”, “TT-Baked Pasta”, “What to Watch”, “Toddler Art Projects”, “TT-Bedtime Yoga”, and “Jump Rope Workouts”. This is the mecca for everyone who needs some distractions from all the fear-mongering and finger-pointing. There is enough information to lose a couple of hours exploring fun activities, recipes, workouts, homework assignments, and crafts to do to make social isolation a lot more interesting and fun!

The microblogging platform is also a wonderful resource for self-care from everything from how to wash your hands to stave off disease to how to calm an anxiety attack. So if you’re feeling anxious, you can search for meditations to calm your anxiety and connect to your inner peace.

Are your kids restless and bored being cooped up at home? You can find DIY crafts and activities that will hold their attention and keep them occupied.

Or, if you’re trying to get your children on a schedule and don’t know where to start, there are plenty of homework assignments and homework trackers that you can print off from your home computer to keep your family on track.

If you are looking for activities and projects to use as homeschool lessons, Pinterest has a wealth of information for you. It has DIY science projects for every age to support the homework that schools sent home with your children.

With kids home from school, meal planning is a little bit tougher–Pinterest has got you covered there, too!

Pinterest also added a new “Compassionate Search” option on the website which prioritizes activities that help you relax with content from health authorities.

So take a break from all the scary news about COVID-19 and lose yourself in the wonderful world of Pinterest.

If you need help with your social media game and want to add Pinterest to your social media marketing, please call The AD Leaf ® Marketing Firm LLC at (321) 255-0900. We would love to show you how to increase your online presence and market your products to your clients via social media!

Social Media Marketing

How to Make Your Photos Pop for Social Media Marketing

1.8 billion photos are uploaded to the internet every single day!  In January 2019, according to Hootsuite, a social media marketing software company, there were 3.484 billion active social media users and they spent an average of three hours and seven minutes per day on social media!  That means the average social media user is bombarded countless photos and graphics each day! How are you going to make your photos stand out from the crowd and get engagement on your social media marketing platforms?

Here are five things that can help your photos garner attention:

 

FRAMING AND COMPOSITION

Social Media MarketingThe “rule of thirds” is a rule of thumb in the composition of visual images such as photography, graphic designs and painting.  It can be applied to any subject to improve the composition and balance of your images to make your design more engaging. The rule of thirds involves mentally dividing up your image using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines. You then position the important elements in your scene along those lines, or at the points where they intersect.  You want to use the rule of thirds, both horizontally and vertically by placing  your subject in the right or left third of the photo–this stimulates the viewer to spend more time looking at your photo.  The idea is that an off-center composition is more pleasing to the eye and looks more natural than one where the subject is placed right in the middle of the frame. It also encourages you to make creative use of negative space, the empty areas around your subject.

If your photo is of a landscape, avoid putting the horizon line in the middle of the photo because this tends to make the photo feel like it’s split in two.  Instead, place the horizon line along one of the horizontal lines of thirds. Make sure any focal point of the picture is placed at one of the points where the horizontal and vertical lines meet to serve as an “anchor” for the image.

If your picture is of a person, remember that the eyes are where we are naturally drawn to, so put the eyes level with one of the horizontal lines of thirds or at one of the points where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect to make a much more interesting photo and not a “mug shot” (where the subject is centered in the middle of the frame).

 

EFFECTIVE EDITING

There are a lot of filters available to use with the popularity of Photoshop and other photo editing tools.  Overall, photos with filters are 21% more likely to be looked at than non-filtered photos and 45% more likely to elicit comments.  But please don’t over use filters–remember, less is more! The filters most likely to boost images’ popularity are those that impose warm color temperature, boost contrast, and increase exposure.

Adding text, frames and emojis to your photographs increases engagement.  But again, use everything sparingly. A busy photo with too much going on will likely be scrolled past.  We highly recommend the Phonto photo editing app. It is a free mobile application that is user-friendly and easy to maneuver through.  It has more than four hundred fonts with changeable size, color, gradient and stroke color. You can also download your own fonts into the application.  You can crop the image, apply filters, add items and Phonto provides additional styling and tools to edit. Phonto can access your camera, camera roll or you can create a blank image and start adding different elements.

Facebook and Instagram have some great edits with filters, tags, cropping, text, stickers, doodles and emojis.  Both these social media marketing platforms give you lots of options to make your photo unique.

 

PUT A STORY BEHIND THE IMAGE

Draw the viewer in and keep them on your post longer by making your caption personal and appealing. Take your readers on a journey and tell them a story. Show them that you’ll help them overcome a challenge using your product.  Leveraging this type of storytelling is an effective copywriting tip that will help people relate to your product and better understand its value.

When you have a business, you need to reach out to as large an audience as possible. In order to do this, your content must connect with the masses. They need to feel that your brand is talking to them when they read it.

You don’t necessarily need to be cute, clever, or even a literary genius while writing content. You should write it in simple language. Try not to use complicated words that can make it difficult for a layman.

A majority of copywriting tips emphasize two things – improving readability and making it easier to understand.

Remember that each social media platform has limits on how much text you can use.  Keep these limits in mind when writing your captions and know that captions may have to be edited when you move between social platforms

 

CAMERA PHONE BASICS

Mobile phone photography can seem daunting, but following these simple tricks will elevate your photos:

  • Clean the lens before taking a picture.  Our phones are handled by us all day, thrown in  our purses or backpacks and set down on many surfaces.  As a result, they are covered in fingerprints, dirt, and dust.  Take the time to clean the lens with a soft, clean dry cloth.
  • Turn off HDR (High Dynamic Range) option on your phone–this tends to make photos look overdone and less appealing.
  • Don’t rely on Autofocus. Phones use passive auto-focus with contrast measurement. This means that the camera needs contrast to focus and have problems focusing on a blank wall or in low light conditions. It’s better to turn off Autofocus and take the extra time to make sure your shot is not blurry by keeping your phone steady.  The best thing is to use a tripod made for your phone.  If you don’t have a tripod, here are a few tricks for keeping your phone steady:  rest your phone on a solid surface, such as a wall or rock. Hold your phone with both hands, making sure you have a good tight grip.  Lean against a wall or tree to steady your body. Position your elbows against your body to keep your arms steady. Crouch down, and rest your phone on your knee.  
  • Avoid using the flash–oversaturation is a big problem with most photos.  Instead set the brightness on your camera before you take the picture.
  • If you are taking a photo of a person, shoot in portrait mode to create gorgeous blurred backgrounds and make the portrait appear sharp.
  • Experiment with different perspectives to get more interesting shots.  Most photos are taken from chest height while standing. Get down on your knees, hold the camera above your head or lay down and shoot straight up.  Or shoot through a “frame” such as a doorway, arch or window.  
  • Simplify your compositions for the most striking shots.The best photos are often the most simple ones. If the photo is busy, the user won’t know where to focus his attention. So, always aim to simplify by including only one subject in the photo and ensuring the background is not too busy or distracting.

By following these guidelines, you will insure that your social media images will get the attention and engagement we all want–happy posting! 

We have a staff of trained social media marketing professionals to help you improve your social media posts! Even better, we’ll help your business get the exposure it needs on all social media platforms. Give us a call at 321-255-0900 to schedule an appointment with us.