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How to Find the Best Promotions and Deals Online

Holidays like Black Friday don’t come very often, so we are usually left to our own devices when it comes to finding the best deals on a variety of goods and services. Some people go online in search of a good deal on vacations by booking cheap flights and unused accommodations that would otherwise lose their owners’ money. Others look for good promotions and codes that make their online betting more affordable. This is just an intro to the issue at hand, but if you are interested in the types of deals you can get, you can learn more here.

So, the question is where and how can to find the best deals online? How can I make sure that I am paying the lowest possible price for food, clothing, games, music, and the like? Here are a few pointers. Bear in mind, though, that any websites listed in this piece are there purely as an example.

Websites Looking Up Websites

Yes, it is true – there are several websites whose sole purpose is to find you the best deals. If you are on the lookout for a specific item or service, these sites are there to help you find the most appealing offers online, at least according to your parameters and their availability online. The way they do it seems fairly simple at first glance – they are, essentially, topic-specific search engines. You can find the best deals on the web simply by typing in key words and phrases.

If you are still unsure about how this works or if it works in the first place, we urge you to take a glance at trivago. Trivago is a company that has a website and an app that allows you to find the best accommodations in the city you are visiting, but also the specific neighborhoods that are within your price range. While this is not the only search engine whose niche is hotels, it is one of the more famous ones.

Finding the Newest Deals

There are apps and websites for this as well. The thing is that sites like dealnews make it their mission to alert their users and visitors every time there is a special kind of deal, though some of them concern brick-and-mortar stores. You can usually supply them with an email address to get notified when your favorite store has a unique promotion.

The only downside to this method is that it is sometimes hard to find what you are looking for specifically, instead of a generic deal or promotion concerning items and services that are not on your radar.

Coupons and Codes

There is a certain mindset that comes with couponing. Some people and their families have made it into an art of sorts, with being able to feed their loved ones, paying the bills, and having money left over. This, of course, is what you get from extremes. But, you can also save a pretty penny with coupons and promotional codes.

Businesses often try to promote themselves using these codes and you can find them in a number of places, from your Facebook feed or TV commercial with a super simple puzzle, to your Junk or Spam folder, and even on some of the videos hosted by your favorite YouTubers.

How To Create Portfolio For Social Media

Show and tell is perhaps the most important thing when it comes to proving yourself professionally. Whether you are trying to enhance your personal brand or give employers a feel for your skills, an eye-catching portfolio will leave a lasting impression regardless of your industry of focus.

The creative industry is bustling with different categories of professionals, and the advent of social media has broadened the scope even further. While it may not be strictly a matter of needing a portfolio, it is a great advantage over other social media professionals that don’t and can really serve to show off your skills.

How to Start Your Social Media Portfolio

Even though you don’t have to be a designer to build a remarkable portfolio, a few links to your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram feed will certainly not cut it. Nobody really wants to filter through a long stream of epic consciousness to find the gems that make you good at your job – so what do you do to make sure you are glossed over for your next application?

  • Figure Out What You Are Showing Off: The truth is, most people have a limited attention span and would be thrown off by unnecessary detail. If you are looking to use the portfolio to attract a specific type of client, focus on projects that would potentially interest them. If you work in a non-visual role, think creatively to create simple visualizations that could help demonstrate your work. If you do not have samples of your work, it might be necessary to create mock ones, and if your best work is proprietary, try describing the project in generic terms and create a mock article or Facebook post and use that as visual evidence

 

  • Be Willing to Get Personal: Remember that your social media profile is not just about your work. It should include a bit about your story or background and who you’re looking to work with. Details like these help to forge a personal bond between you and your prospective client.

 

What to Include In Your Social Media Portfolio

It is necessary to selective about what you include in your social media portfolio. By factoring in what you’re trying to accomplish with the portfolio, you would be better equipped to decide what is relevant and what isn’t.

  • Screen Grabs: This is especially useful if you are trying to show off your writing style. Screen grabbing any quippy masterpieces and their reactions from your audience will give them an authentic feel as well as justify your landing the position you have an eye for. Snipping or using a screen capture tool is also quite effective for this purpose, just make sure to include the engagement metrics (likes, re-tweets and favorites) and you’re likely to impress the hiring manager.

 

  • Social Campaigns & Their Objectives: Any special campaigns you have done are also worth including. Typically, Social media is part of a more elaborate strategy, so talking about the campaigns objectives and the impact of social media can help to demonstrate the positive effect of your expertise. A few screen grabs may come handy here. Perhaps one or two that showcases social media engagement and denotes the metrics that followed.

 

  • Analytics: Reports and analytics that show off the result of your work is just as important as showing off work samples themselves. Whether it is Facebook Analytics, Google Analytics or other programs, dive into the numbers and demonstrate how you can not only get things done but you can read data to forecast what can work next.

If you also reserve a page or two to show your stats, and the results of relevant work, it would certainly grab attention.

Where To Build Your Social Media Portfolio Profiles

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Social media platforms are uniquely suited to help you stand out from the crowd. While Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the more popular options, LinkedIn is a favorite among business people and professionals. However, to more creatively give people a well-rounded sense of your skill as a professional; you may use any of the following social media platforms. The good news is that they take information from your other social media platforms and make the hard work of setting up much easier

  • Me : About.me is a Vcard social media platform where you can create a one page profile about yourself and then provide links to other social media platforms as well as various means of communication. This platform is particularly great for people who cannot create a personal website for themselves because you can customize the end of your URL and it is extremely easy to share with others.

 

  • Vizify: Vizify is great for social media junkies who have presence on a lot of platforms that they post to regularly. It takes data from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (as well as other platforms) and creates a unique and visually stunning blog. By pulling from these many platforms, it takes very little time to set up; and requires a lot less attention than the others. You simply have to pick and choose what data you would like to display while it creatively manages to represent it, as well as highlight your most frequently discussed subjects. Ultimately, it is a fun way to show your audience and prospective client you up-beat personality.

 

  • Slideshare: Slideshare can be used in two ways – for uploading and sharing power point presentations and trainings publicly and/or to create an interesting bio about yourself that you can eventually display on your LinkedIn profile (because it integrates LinkedIn). It is a handy tool if you conduct social media trainings often, and helps engagement because you can upload the relevant slides before hand and give them to the attendees who will then easily follow along online, share the slides or save them for future reference.

 Overall, you cannot go wrong by having a social media portfolio. It not only gives you credibility as a social media professional or an expert in your field of interest, it helps you stand out of the crowd of social media naïve competition.

10 Ways To Take Instagram Worthy Images

We get it. Social media is a jungle. Between the perfectly manicured outlays of Pinterest and the slightly depressing string of Instagram feeds, there is no shortage of reasons to wonder why we seem like the only ones incapable of living the all too desired photogenic life of the typical social media celebrity.

For what it’s worth, social media is merely an impressively crafted lie. Well, maybe not a lie exactly – but a deliberate effort to present reality in more desirable truths. And while there is no denying that people invest a lot of money into the somewhat misleading lifestyle; it’s probably not an investment you can afford. If you’re looking for a few ways to display mundane activity like a celebrity grammer without drilling a hole in your checking account, you are in the right place. Here are 10 ways to capture your unforgettable moments like a pro –

1. Don’t Trust Instagram. Use Your Own Camera

While it might seem like an obvious option, taking photographs with the instagram app is a rookie move. It doesn’t have nearly as many functions that your phone camera does – including zooming and grid features, not to mention the more advanced editing tools that could let you play with the image’s point of focus to create a greater sense of depth.
If you are dissatisfied with your camera quality however, consider using apps such as VSCO Cam and Rookie that provide advance functions or Camera+, which offers everything including a stabilizer to combat shaky hands and keep pictures sharp.

2. Pre-Meditate Your Instagram Feed

It’s no-brainer to suggest that this might help your picture quality. Deciding what you want to share with your audience is instrumental to the effort you make and its final output.
Resist the urge to violently attack your instagram feed with a barrage of meaningless photographs. Before an image is instagram worthy, it is first captured for a specific intention. This would mean that you are on the lookout for moments and objects that can convey your currents thoughts or that are just worth sharing.
So, the question is what I’m I trying to say?

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3. Set up; Light, Stage, Colors

Having decided what you want to say, the next hurdle to cross is how you want to say it. To deliver on great picture quality, here are three things you must be well informed about;
• Light: lighting is the life blood of any form of photography. No amount of filtering or app-editing can salvage a poorly lit photograph. Of the different lights available, natural light always reads better in delivering an effortless looking photograph, otherwise set your camera’s exposure to control how light or dark your photos are. But you can never go wrong photographing outdoors in the early morning, late afternoon or on overcast days.
• Stage: Remember that it is okay to move objects around to create the most eye-pleasing outlay. Backgrounds are also fun, but a more simplistic approach with blank backgrounds is usually more appealing. Less is always, absolutely more.
• Colors: A burst of strong colors and shapes will help to draw a viewer into the photograph. With the perfect amount of light, there are endless possibilities to the magical and spiritual outcome of your images.

4. Get In Position

The image of an instagram foodie standing on chairs to get that perfect angle is one that we love to hate. But you have to admit that the relentless desperation pays off somewhat. Don’t be afraid to be the weirdo dangling off the side of a bar stool to get a good shot. Putting any kind of effort creates intimacy and emotion in your work that is usually worth the hassle.

5. Bad Weather Is a Grammers Best Friend

Whether its snow, fog or rain, bad weather can translate to a good photograph as long as you know what you should be looking for. Reflections from puddles can make the most interesting pictures, and those droplets of dew on vegetation are pure magic to capture.

6. A Little Prop Never Hurt Any Instagram Feed

Experimenting with different objects can prove to be an effortless way to enrich your image. Not to mention, they add texture to a beautiful scene or element so that it is no longer just beautiful, but it’s bursting at the seams with stories.
Remember to keep the props light and whimsical. Props are great, but clutter? Not so much.

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7. Take a Lot of Pictures

Don’t stop at just one or two. It is nearly impossible to get a perfect picture at a few tries, even professional photographers don’t. Settle down and take multiple snaps of your subject, and if you have a thousand great images, you will certainly find one two or three that are your favorites. Pick one and start from there.

8. Edit, Edit, Edit

Keep in mind that the unrealistically perfect life of your favorite instagram celebrity is the result of retouching so this is no harm. There are a variety of apps that can help to fix even the smallest of details including flyaway hair or blemishes. And if you do not have a professional lightning crew at your disposal brightening a few spots, removing shadows and weird colors might be your best bet to obtaining a great instagram photo.

9. Caption From The Heart

If you want to keep any audience hooked on your instagram photos, captions are the answer. A great caption can turn an otherwise mundane subject into the centre of attention. Captions are great for also bringing part of your personal feelings into each post to make it more of a meaningful experience.
Hash-tags might have an equally great influence on the popularity of your photo as well. Even if the image eventually gets lost in the sea of photographs trending for similar hash-tags – it might likely stay afloat for log enough to get noticed by someone important.
And if all else fails…

10. Take a Picture of A Picture

Sure, it is lazy and unoriginal, but sometimes there is no better way to convey your thoughts and/or message than that one exact picture, and what have you got to lose anyway?

What’s the best photo sharing social network ?

Everyone is a photographer these days. Whether it’s a phone with a built-in camera (and they all seem to have them), a digital point-and-shoot or a fancy camera with extra-long lenses, we all now have the ability to take better than average shots. It has almost reached epidemic proportions. But once you have taken the photo, which is the best way to share it? Photo sharing apps also help you to de-clutter your device, storing them in a central location.

WHATSAPP

On your phone you are very likely to have WhatsApp, keeping you in touch with friends and family 24/7. It is a piece of cake to send your pictures, but without broadcasting to an endless audience. Limiting, but great for privacy. Selfies can be sent out for people to comment on, enabling them to tell you how beautiful/handsome/cute you are. And the definition of selfie now appears in the Oxford Dictionary, so it must be credible.

INSTAGRAM

Top of the pops, in terms of photo sharing apps, is Instagram. Originally launched as a unique social networking platform based on sharing videos and photo, this clever app also allows you to enhance your pics by using multiple filters and other artistic touches (kind of like airbrushing), and then send them out to other sites like Twitter and Facebook. It is ideal for sharing and marketing anything of a visual nature, so food, furniture, clothing etc. And it’s a free and fun way to advertise.

With 400 million active users, Instagram is part of the Facebook stable.

FACEBOOK

Facebook features in almost every type of social media review. It is massive, with 1.59 billion users. Along with being the ideal way to keep up with family and friends, photo sharing is easy and free. The photos you post are broadcast to all your Facebook Friends, allowing them to comment. And you don’t even have to resize your photos, Facebook uploads pics of all sizes.

Their paid advertising is really powerful for visual products, and with friends of friends of friends sharing advertising posts, the word quickly spreads far and wide.

PINTEREST

A real fun site, you can follow people or groups in order to get information on just about anything. Pinterest allows you to ‘pin’ images from all over the web, and file them in one of your unique pin boards.

Features include a wish list, plus the ability to plan an important event, for example, a wedding. The ideas, in picture form, are endless. You can pin to a friend’s board, or browse through each other’s boards, liking images and re-pinning them for future reference, therein creating a network of photo sharing users.

The recipe sites are inspiring, along with décor, health tips, arts and crafts, and much more, and the search function works really well. Clicking on a link will take you to the original web page in order to collect the information needed.

It is the easiest thing to spend hours just scrolling through, getting more and more motivated to cook, sew, decorate or whatever. The advertising aspect makes a lot of sense, but somehow it doesn’t feel as informative as Facebook.

PHOTOSHOP

With a huge number of image editing features, this is probably the most professional of all the online social platforms. And it is not difficult to use. Created by the original Adobe Photoshop creators, you too can edit like a pro. Nothing better than editing a betting football virgin games photo.

Fix your phone photos on the go. Flip, rotate, crop, straighten, adjust colours and remove red-eye. Adjust brightness, white balance and hue using easy slider controls, and add frames and borders. Easily post to Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook, and then wait for all the positive comments.

PICASA

Picasa is one of Google’s answers to photo sharing. With an easy user-friendly interface that almost everyone can follow, it makes you look like an experienced photographer. Not as popular or busy as other sharing platforms, you can, however, share collages and edited photos with all your Google friends.

ZENFOLIO

Aimed at the professional market, this site is virtually unknown to the man on the street. With the ability to customise all aspects of the image, online portfolios are easily created for both clients and visitor to view. It is also quantifiable, as statistics are easily viewed to chart the appeal and success of the images. You can also sell your work from the site, offering enormous appeal to photographers.

Best solutions to automate social media posting

All small business owners and sole traders know how much of their time is spent marketing, and it feels like once you’ve finished it’s time to start again. With all the run-of-the-mill work such as orders, selling, invoicing and the rest, social media posting could become the straw that broke the camel’s back. Too much work, not enough time in the workday. But social media cannot be ignored; it is cheap, it reaches your chosen target market and, most importantly, it is visual. But it needs to be consistent. Posting needs to be done at the researched best times and days for great post engagement.

Instead of neglecting the important aspects of your business, automating your social media interaction will save you hours of weekend and evening work, and will give you peace of mind.

There are limitations. If you have a request from a current or potential client on your Facebook page, for example, do not rely on automated responses. Actual people need the personal touch. Most users are experienced on social media, and they recognize an automated response, so be careful how much you automate.

But by planning the release times of your posts, over a set period, automation is the answer to your problems. Software is available to monitor your accounts, so you are notified whenever someone leaves a comment or mentions your company or brand. Or when someone uses a Ladbrokes promo code.

How do we go about it? Let’s start with Twitter. Instead of letting it become a drain on productivity, queuing your tweets in advance, and spreading them over the course of a few hours is the solution. Two Twitter automation specialists are Twuffer and Tweue, so check them both out and see which one suits you best. FYI; research has shown that Tweets of around 110 characters, instead of the maximum allowed of 140, get a 17 percent higher engagement, so keep your messages short and sweet. Twitter is a powerful advertising tool. Take advantage of it.

Buffer is also excellent at increasing post engagement and driving traffic to your posts, across all the different social media platforms. You can build a list of your more interesting posts, and share them among your networks, even setting a custom post schedule for all your social platforms, for each day.

To find out who is talking about you online, Brand24 is a listening tool which informs you whenever your brand is mentioned on a blog post or on social media. They don’t do the automation side, but the listening feature is priceless. Then you can personally acknowledge, and thank people, whenever you receive a mention.

Many social networking tools have phone and browser apps, so you can manage your automation on the go. Hootsuite is robust and easy to use. So if you only want to install one app, that’s a good suggestion.

CoSchedule syncs your social media updates and blog content in advance, allowing you to plan the company’s editorial calendar in partnership with the desired social platform.

It’s good to remember that one size does not fit all. Successful Twitter content doesn’t necessarily work on Facebook. Twitter likes short blasts of advice and Google+ needs more in depth information. So test it out according to your audience, and automate it where you can.

Other outstanding automation apps and software include SproutSocial, Social Flow, and Social Oomph, but search around if none of them suit you. Each has unique features, so choose whichever gives you the best options.

Remember sharing is caring, so share other people’s content. Hootsuite, along with everything else it does, has an option to find content that interests you by merely using keywords. Buffer gives you the ability to create a posting schedule based on updates from within your network.

Then there are newsfeeds such as dlvr.it, Scoop.it and Feedly that also share and curate your content. Dvlr.it scans your feeds and posts updates whenever you blog. Another option would be Curata, as a more robust tool. And Chrome has an extension that enables you to stack up your social updates.

For more specialised businesses there is IFTTT. This is invaluable if, for instance, you run a travel agency. This option can be used to send out cheerful greetings when the sun shines, to send out weather forecasts for the next day every evening, or even sunrise messages at dawn. Customise it to suit your company.

Remember, automation is not everything. Login daily to your networks, and post short updates, or greetings, so that your clients still get the personal touch.

Whilst you could leave posting out totally whilst on vacation, some automated posts may still be sent out, but you probably wouldn’t want to monitor them while you are sunbathing by the sea. Maybe leave posting alone until your return, and pick up where you left off.

It is important that you don’t overdo your postings. Research how many posts per day are acceptable for the different social platforms. Don’t flood your timeline or you’ll end up with unlikes and unfriends. Remember to post at weekends, generally between the hours of 09:00 and 19:00. And never automate private or personal messages.