Social Media Mondays Kick-Off Post
On the second Monday of each month, CAPS Manitoba will feature a useful social media business tip to help you take your online presence to the next level. If there are specific topics that you would like to see, please leave us a comment below.
One of the most expensive aspects of effective marketing across various social media platforms is developing unique photographic material. Doing so is very costly, and there is a large expense to shooting custom photography. Thankfully there is a solution!
Online, there is a wide selection of stock photo sites — do you use any of them? If so, please feel free to share your experiences and recommendations below in the comments section.
When I re-started my speaking/ training company last Summer, I decided that I wanted, and needed, a blog that always included an eye-catching photograph for every blog post. However, if you’re on a tight budget or are frugal, like I am, then you have to get creative.
Do you need a creative boost to get started? Here’s all the public speaking memes that I’ve created thus far in my Facebook gallery. It’s fun, easy, and takes less than five minutes – here’s how I do it.
First, what’s a meme?
A meme (pronounced meam not me-me) is an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.
Second, how do I create a custom meme for myself?
1. Create an account at www.123RF.com
You can do this with a regular login password, or you can more easily login using either your Facebook or Google account.
RF stands for royalty free, which is what you want in order to avoid being slapped with an invoice for using someone else’s image, without their permission. A blogger friend of mine in the U.S. just received an invoice in the mail for $1,900 for using an image she grabbed for free off Google Images – it wasn’t royalty free.
I purchase 40 credits at a time from 123RF for $48, which works out to just $1.20 each for 40 one-credit images. There are bigger and cheaper packages and/ or subscriptions, but this one works for me. I’m on my 4th set of images now, and I use them in a variety of ways across each of the blogs that I guest blog for online.
2. Select a theme and search for an image
123RF’s search engine is quite good, plus they have a Lightbox where you can save your favourites without having to download them.
- Once you’ve found the image you like, the size you require to create a meme costs only 1 credit.
- If you’d like to use an image for your Facebook Timeline image, the size you require is 851 x 315 or wider, usually 2 credits.
- And if you need an image for a workbook, or in my case a book cover, then you will want to invest in the more expensive, high-resolution images.
Each image has a range of credit levels for purchase. But 99% of the images I buy cost me just 1 credit – a steal of a deal for any small business!
3. Now, make it your own custom meme
Once you’ve clicked download, next it’s time to jazz up your chosen image. I like using the free image editing online software at www.PicMonkey.com – I was introduced to this service by a 12-year old cousin of mine. It’s very easy to use, and you can create a custom meme in just a few minutes.
The whole process, from start to finish, usually takes me no more than 5 minutes total to place the custom meme into my blog or social media post.
Click “Edit a photo”, or you can elect to “Create a collage” to create a custom meme of images from photos of your last speaking engagement or event.
TIP: For branding my memes, I use the same standard font (Poetsen One) and turquoise colour (web#56ecf3) for all my images, and then another font (Geo Sans Light) to watermark my image with my website, hashtag or Twitter handle.
Why did I chose those? The colour is from my designer, and is the “Tiffany Blue” from the T in my logo. The two fonts are at the top of the list, so they are always easy and quick to grab – a real timesaver in my books. In my life as a marketer I learned just how important branding was when I ran the trademark protection for Sleep Country Canada’s logo. Always include either your hashtag, your twitter handle, or your website on all your custom memes.
Once your meme is just right, save it to your computer, and then you can use it across all your online platforms. If needed, I use Preview on my Mac to resize the image, but you can also crop, add frames (to look like Instagram), and enhance your photo on PicMonkey, even without buying their $33 yearly membership.
Are you ready to get started? If so, you can use the promo code: goodtogreat15 on 123RF.com to receive a 15% bonus on your next purchase or subscription. Simply activate it on their website before December 31, 2013, then you can select and download images whenever you need them. By the way, there is no expiry date on your account once you have purchased your credits, and you can download that same image multiple times for free.
Do you have a educational tip that you’d like to write a guest blog post for us about? Please contact anna@GoodToGreatPS.com with your idea and we will see if we can schedule you in for one of our upcoming Social Media Mondays posts.
This guest blog was written by:
Chief Fear Slayer
GoodToGreat Public Speaking Training
Author of Giving the Gift of Public Speaking
“Nothing BIG will happen in your life,
until you build off of the many SMALL things” – John Paul Aguiar