IFTTT: The Best Way to Share Instagram Photos on Twitter

Graphic of the Instagram logo next to the Twitter logoImages receive much more engagement than text. We all know that to be true and studies have proven it to be true on all social platforms.

When you post a pic to Instagram, you have the option to then share it to Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr and/or Twitter. Sharing to Facebook works fairly well because Facebook owns Instagram. But when you share a photo to Twitter, it appears on your Twitter feed as a link, not a full image.  As you know, links require an additional click and folks may not want to take the time to click on the link to view your photo. Therefore, it’s important to put the image right in front of your followers’ faces. You  can do this by using an IFTTT recipe.

The one that I use was created by DJuiceman in July of 2013. 129,000 people are currently using this recipe. (This particular recipe will  automatically share every image you add to Instagram directly to your Twitter account, so if you don’t want all your images going to Twitter then be sure to select a different recipe. There are several available.) You can find them by going to IFTTT.com and searching for “Instagram to Twitter” recipes. (You’ll need to create an account in order to use the recipe but the recipe is free to use and easy to set up.)  You just select “add this recipe” and the app will walk you through the rest of the procedure.  If  you need more information on how to use IFTTT.com, see this post – http://onthewebbsocialmedia.com/ifttt-possibly-my-favorite-new-toy/.

Let me know how it works for you.

 

 

12 Productive Things To Do When You Just Can’t Write

Businesswoman with a writer's block crumpling paper iI’m sure that you can guess the inspiration for this post.  I’ve been sitting in front of the computer half the morning trying to write an instructional article and it’s just not coming together.  I’ve finally decided to let that idea stew for awhile and try something else. Do you ever have those days? If so, keep this list handy so you can still be productive  the next time it happens.

Try a brain dump.

Grab your timer, some paper and your favorite writing instrument. (Mine has always been the original BIC pen.) Set your timer for 10 minutes and write down everything that you need to do, whether it is business-related, family-related, health-related, etc.  Whatever pops into your head – write it down.  When the timer rings, stop!  This exercise helps to get your brain clear and may allow some creativity to flow in.

Write Tomorrow’s To-Do list

Get a head start on tomorrow by writing your To-Do list. If you tried the brain dump exercise above, go back to that list and choose 6 items that you need to accomplish the next day.  List them in order of importance. On the next day, start with your first item – complete that item. When it’s done, move on to the second item. Then move on to the third task and so on.  At that end of the day, choose 6 items to be accomplished on the following day. This method is The Ivy Lee Method.  You can find out more about Ivy Lee and his method here.

Make a list of 100 tips for your business niche that can easily be posted to your social media platforms.  You’ll be able to use these over and over again and they will help you to position yourself as an expert. Using a hashtag to promote them will also help.

Read some articles that you have stored in Evernote, or in your professional development folder.

Catch up on webinar recordings that you missed. You know you have some somewhere.

Download some images from your favorite paid image source.  There are several image sites that offer unlimited downloads for a paid membership of a certain length of time or  a certain amount of downloads per day.  Make the most of your subscription. Three of my favorite sites for these images are Deposit Photos, Graphic Stock Photos (which has a special going right now – $99.00 for an entire year of unlimited downloads), and Clipart.com.

Use some of those images and create quote graphics or tips graphicsPixlr and PicMonkey are good places to do that.

Go through your old blog posts and share them again on your social sites.  Chances are there are many people who haven’t read them yet and you may catch some inspiration from one of the former articles.

Go for a walk.

Meditate.

Organize your desk.

Take a nap.

Sometimes your body is giving you physical hints that you need some down time. If your brain isn’t working, it may need recharging. Don’t fight it. Lean into it.

Image Credit: Deposit photos/racorn

 

 

 

 

Are You Using the Alt Tags in Your Images Correctly?

Delicious chocolate mousse with fresh raspberries and sauceWe’ve been having this conversation on Twitter about the proper way to use the “Alt tags” on the images that you place in your blog posts and newsletters. 

The term “Alt tags” is short for “alternative text tags” but is PROPERLY known as “alt attributes” because the <IMG> is actually the tag. They are the descriptions that you place in the alternative text box as you are posting your image.

The Google bots don’t “SEE”  images so it’s important to write a description of what the image is.  So for instance, the alt tag for the image on the right is “Delicious chocolate mousse with fresh raspberries and sauce”.  The title tag is “Delicious chocolate mousse with fresh raspberries and sauce which is being used to demonstrate how to utilize alt tags” because title tags can be a little bit more descriptive. 

Persons who don’t “enable images” in their e-mail or on their browsers may only see a blank box instead of your image but they will see the description of your image if you add one to your “alternative text” box before adding your image.

Another reason to be sure that your alt tag section is filled in is because when persons who are visually impaired are surfing the web, they usually do so by using software that reads the entire page, including the description of the image. This is one reason why it’s important not to stuff your alt tag box with keywords.  Can you imagine how irritating that would be for a visually impaired person to hear?  Additionally, you could be penalized by Google for keyword stuffing.

What’s most important  is to remember that almost all of your images should have alt tags.  (I say almost all because the social media icons that you might have on your page probably aren’t perfectly tagged and that’s okay.)

To find out how your pages rate, here is a free Image SEO Tool which looks all the images on a particular webpage, rates them for  basic image SEO and makes suggestions on what to do to improve them.

Image credit: depositphotos.com

You’re most welcome to use this article on your website, blog or in your e-zine if you include this entire blurb, without modification: If you liked this article by Shelley Webb, you’ll want to hop on over to www.OnTheWebbSocialMedia.com where you can find more articles, resources and social media strategies.  Shelley teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners how to bring their business into the on-line conversation.  

 

 

 

Are You Guilty of Copyright Infringement?

a toddler and  the family dog

We didn’t do it…

I have written before about the importance of using only royalty-free or your own personal images (captured with your camera or designed by you or your graphic designer) on your blogs and social media accounts.  Because there are an increasing number of lawsuits waged against sometimes innocent or unknowing persons, the information bears repeating. 

This is also true of Pinterest and what makes it more complicated is that just repinning an image COULD be interpreted as a copyright violation.

Today I was surprised to receive the following e-mail from Pinterest.  Here is the exact wording below (with a name withheld for his/her protection):

“Hi On The Webb Social Media Services,

This is to let you know that we removed one (or more) of your Pins as a result of a copyright complaint. The complaint was not directed against you or your Pin. It was reported by (name withheld) and directed against another user who Pinned or re-Pinned the same content from the following address:

http://www.laylita.com/recipes/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Strawberry-lemonade-recipe-10.jpg

While many copyright owners are happy to have their content Pinned on Pinterest, we recognize that some do not want their content to appear on Pinterest. Where, as here, a copyright owner notifies us that they want their content removed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), it is our policy to remove the allegedly infringing Pin, as well as all other Pins that contain the same content if the copyright owners so chooses.

Again, this complaint was not directed at you, or anything you did. We just thought you’d like to know why we removed your Pin.

Happy Pinning and thanks again for using Pinterest.

The Pinterest Team”

I did a Google image search of strawberry lemonade and VOILA, the exact image was available.  It can be found on www.HealthyAperture.com but I have no idea if they are the original copyright owners or are the alleged perpetratures.  NEVER ever EVER use Google images for your business or social media. 

So we know that there are several sites where royalty-free images can be obtained.  (For a boatload of resources, sign up for my free report 20 Great Royalty-Free Image Sites for Blogs And Why Never to Use Google Images which can be found on our home page.)

But what can we do about Pinterest?

According to this letter from Pinterest, at the current time, there is no punishment for repinning an image with an alleged copyright violation.  But like all things, that can change.

Also, some images that are found on websites (let’s say photography websites) should NOT be pinned without proper attribution and a certainty that the image leads back to the website.  If you have any of your own images on your website that you want protected, make sure that you either watermark them or that your website name is at the bottom ON the image.

One thing I often do is to click on the image in order to find out where it originated and then pin directly from the site.  This accomplishes two things: first of all, not all pins lead to a website. That generates frustration because sometimes there should be directions (for a recipe, DIY task, etc.)  that are unavailable or the pin leads only to the home page which does no one any good.  It’s difficult to search a website for a particular image. 

Secondly, if I am pinning directly from a website, then when my pin is REpinned, I am the one who gets credit as the original pinner, thus more exposure.  Sneaky, yes, but perfectly okay.

There are lots of royalty-free images and wallpapers available (the above image is courtesy of MorgueFiles.com) and lots of websites that would love to have their images pinned to one or more of your Pinterest boards.  With a little caution, we can all remain safe from potential lawsuits.

If you enjoyed this article, I invite you to sign up for our free weekly newsletter which offers short and sweet updates on the ever changing world of social media.

You’re most welcome to use this article on your website, blog or in your e-zine if you include this entire blurb, without modification: If you liked this article by Shelley Webb, you’ll want to hop on over to www.OnTheWebbSocialMedia.com where you can find more articles, resources and social media strategies.  Shelley teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners how to bring their business into the on-line conversation.

Branding Gone Viral – My Favorite Marriage Equality Images

photo

photo credit -Jeff Bass

Marriage equality activists began  protesting in Washington yesterday as the Supreme Court began its two days of hearings around two same-sex marriage laws. 

Of course, when something of this magnitude occurs, social media will quickly become  involved.

The HRC (The Human Rights Coalition), the largest lobby group for LGBT rights, placed a pink and red version of its navy blue and gold equality symbol logo on Facebook Monday and soon many other Facebook users followed in their steps by placing a version of the symbol as their Facebook photo or Twitter avatar.  The red and pink version was to signify that marriage equality is really all about love,

Then people got creative!  At first it was a red and white version of the original symbol to remind us of the equality for which our flag stands…  but it didn’t stop there.

I love creative people.  I wish I was more creative but I’m just not that way.  However, I DID manage to round up some of my favorite marriage equality images from a few of my friends and even THEIR friends*. 

These are an example of great branding going viral.

 

photo6

equal love – Lara Baeza Fernandez
multi color blocks – Mika Foster Denny via Debbie Dupree
pup – Jill Koenig
Paula Dean – Paul McCullough

 

Marriage equality words – Christoph Babka
Fangs – Anna Garrett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo 2

Bert and Ernie – several places
heart – Sharon Hunt Broughton
cracker – several places
shoes – Toby Causby

 

photo 4

symbols – Kenn Day
no time to hate – Alice DeMecele
next – Amy Van Tassel
hug – Rena Keslar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo 5

LU –
RU – Tad Brown
LL – Brooks Bayne
RL – Annie Goto and Kelly Lynch were married 10-25-08

 

Diptic 5

LU – Ken Mosesian
RU – Sanya Obsivac
LL – several places
RL – several places

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo

glitter stripes – several places
statues –
heart – several places
Grumpy cat – Mhris Carco

 

Diptic 2

rings – several places
upper R – William lll Dinger
rainbow – several places
what part of…. – Paul Santelo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

upper L-
upper R – Steve Woo
Lower L – Wadley Wad
Lower R – Eddie Martinez

 

image oregan

image – Gary Tondini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diptic 6

Upper L – Jacqueline Hadden
Upper R – Aymee Coget
Lower L – Molly Equality Burke
Lower R –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo8

LU – Barbara Camacho
RU – Sabrina Chaw
LL – Kim Bergman
RL – Shannon Ward

 

 

Upper L -  Upper R -  Lower L - Rachel Pitney Anderson Lower R - Deb Smith

Upper L –
Upper R –
Lower L – Rachel Pitney Anderson
Lower R – Deb Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*It was difficult to give attribution because many of the same images were found on different Facebook and Twitter profiles. If any of these images was created by you, please e-mail me and I will post proper attribution immediately.

 

crasher squirrel

“Crasher Squirrel strikes again” – Carol Wright

 And here’s one that was just sent to me! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you enjoyed this article, I invite you to sign up for our free weekly newsletter which offers short and sweet updates on the ever changing world of social media.

You’re most welcome to use this article on your website, blog or in your e-zine if you include this entire blurb, without modification: If you liked this article by Shelley Webb, you’ll want to hop on over to www.OnTheWebbSocialMedia.com where you can find more articles, resources and social media strategies.  Shelley teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners how to bring their business into the on-line conversation.

Frustrated With the Instagram/Twitter Feud? Here’s a Way Around It

38068340_thbEarlier this week, Mashable published an article about how Pinterest added support for twitter cards thus enabling images to be shared directly from Pinterest onto Twitter (and in the correct format so that a viewer is not directed back to the Pinterest website).

I was very happy to hear of this but when I went to try it out……….it didn’t work!  Then I heard that it could only be done from the iPhone or iPad app and only using a single Pinterest image.  So I tried again…and again…nothing. 

I’m not sure WHY it worked for the author of the article but it sure didn’t work for me.

Thanksfully (because I love sharing images and love it even more when it’s easy to do so), I found a way to share my photos directly from Instagram to Twitter (and they actually show up)! 

It can be done using the following recipe from ifttt.com (if this then that) :

ifttt_recipe_for_instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An account at ifttt is free and it’s very easy to use.  Use their search feature to find the recipe and connect your own accounts.   If you’d like more information about ifttt, here’s an article that will help.

If you enjoyed this article, I invite you to sign up for our free weekly newsletter which offers short and sweet updates on the ever changing world of social media.

You’re most welcome to use this article on your website, blog or in your e-zine if you include this entire blurb, without modification: If you liked this article by Shelley Webb, you’ll want to hop on over to www.OnTheWebbSocialMedia.com where you can find more articles, resources and social media strategies.  Shelley teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners how to bring their business into the on-line conversation.

 

 

Photo Pin – Another (Free) Option for Royalty Free Images

 

Until recently, it has been difficult to find interesting photos to LEGALLY use for blog posts.  With the advent of Pinterest, Google+ and even Facebook’s “like” of images, new options for obtaining royalty-free photos to use on your blog continue to increase.  One that I discovered just recently is called Photo Pin.

Photo Pin (www.photopin.com)  is free for bloggers.  Their only qualification is that you give proper attribution to the photographer and the site by providing a link.

Fortunately, they make it easy to do that by supplying the html code which you can simply copy and paste into the caption box when you upload your photo. If you don’t like photos with caption boxes,  put the code at the bottom of your blog post.  The one caveat to that is that if you like to download several photos at once to be used for future blog posts, the attribution  information must be stored away somewhere.

Although they are not associated with Flickr, PhotoPin uses the Flickr API and searches creative commons photos to use for your blog.

There are various size options depending upon the photo and there are many interesting images.

Try it out and let me know what you think.

photo credit: Rubin 110 via photo pin cc

You’re most welcome to use this article on your website, blog or in your e-zine if you include this entire blurb, without modification: If you liked this article by Shelley Webb, you’ll want to hop on over to www.OnTheWebbSocialMedia.com where you can find more articles, resources and social media strategies.  Shelley teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners how to bring their business into the on-line conversation. 

Fun With Photos (Or The Role of Images in Increasing Website Traffic)

 

The social media world has become filled with images.  Pinterest may have set this in motion but the fact that Google and Facebook give credence to images has also been a factor.

According to Dean Opriasa of Likeable.com, “Social media has always been visually inclined, but as technology and techniques have advanced, the role of images in the social space has thus shifted. A picture is worth a thousand words (and recently, $1 billion when it involves being able to share photos quickly and easily, evident by Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram).”

 

 

It’s great to use images in your blog posts, on your Facebook pages, on Twitter and on Google+ as well.  But it’s important to get the best benefit out of them when you do use them.  One way to do that is by embellishing them with your branding.

As I wrote in my article earlier this year,  it is best NOT to use Google images as you may be in violation of copyright infringement.  There are some great royalty-free image sites in that article, so you may want to check out that article.

Another possibility is to use your own images.  You can use those that you have stored on your computer or you can use images straight from your smart phone.

In this article, I’m going to share with you my favorite photo apps to help add quotes, captions, your business name or your website address to your images.  Don’t worry; I’m not techie so all of these will be easy for you to utilize.

Photogene (app) – I used Photogene to embellish the image above that was taken in my backyard with my iPhone. I used the app iQuote to obtain the quote. The branding could have been a little less subtle but it was shared by several people on Facebook thus spreading my website name without feeling “salesy”.

 

Pixlr.com or Pixlromatic app – This is a purchased photo that was edited at Pixlr.com.  It is a photo editor that is much MUCH easier to use than Photoshop.  Again, I simply chose a quote and added my website name. Unfortunately the app has no text adding capabilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graffiti Me! app – This is a very cool app that allows you to turn your photos into graffiti.  You can add text, spray paint or use one of their special effects.  It takes a bit of experimentation in order to produce something of interest, but it’s fun.

 

Textgram (app) – With Textgram, you have 127 characters to work with and several different frames, templates, fonts, colors and stickers.  I chose the free version but the pro version is just 99 cents and has many more options.

 

Diptic -allows you to group your photos together into several different templates that are provided, thus producing a great collage.  You don’t have the option of adding text in this app so you would need to do this prior to adding the photo to the collage.

You can export your creation to your camera role, e-mail, Facebook Flickr, Posterous, tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, dropbox and Evernote.

Pictures With Words – This app is also easy to use and has the option of loading photos from your own album, loading images of the day or loading “cool background images”.  I would advise NOT using the latter two options because they appear to be Google images and others that have copyrights attached.  It’s easy to add text and there is the option of using emoticons, if you so desire.

Amazing Booth! – I love this photo app!  It has all kinds of filters, including ones that make your photos look like paintings or pencil drawings.

 

Motivational – Make your own motivation poster photos with this app.  Your poster can be titled with 1-3 large words and then a subtext can be added.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sure there are many more fantastic photo apps available.  What are YOUR favorites?

 

 

 

You’re most welcome to use this article on your website, blog or in your e-zine if you include this entire blurb, without modification: If you liked this article by Shelley Webb, you’ll want to hop on over to www.OnTheWebbSocialMedia.com where you can find more articles, resources and social media strategies.  Shelley teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners how to bring their business into the on-line conversation.