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Social Strategy and Consulting
Your business is constantly changing, your content and social media strategy should be flexible and grow with it. We regularly monitor results against pre-established goals, and meet with you monthly to review performance, adjust our tactics, and set priorities & tasks for the next month. Learn More

Social Advertising
Managing ads on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube and Google requires experience and the ability to quickly adjust targets and pricing to get the most from your ads. We are Google partners and experienced with these platforms. Learn More

Influencer Outreach
We work with you to find the influencers who can help increase brand visibility, review products, attend events or act as brand ambassadors. We have bloggers and social influencers ready to support you and your business. Learn More

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  • 12 outstanding resources for free images for your blog

    Image via unsplash.com

    Image via unsplash.com

    You probably know better than to steal images from websites by now, and if you don’t you should read my post on copyright and images! If you already know to be cautious about copyright here are some great resources for free or close to free images for your social media accounts or blog. As you’ll see there is a growing trend away from traditional stock imagery towards artists providing copy free images to download as a way to give back and also to promote their own work. I for one applaud these artists for their generosity! StockSnap.io Displays Creative Commons CCO universal licensed images for download. You can submit your work here for use by others as well. They share the best of the best on Twitter too, and you can often find easily shareable unusual images there, click the link to go to the source. Unsplash goes against the stock repository concept by releasing just 10 high resolution images to the world each day as public domain. The images are fresh and almost always extraordinary. Splitshire also has lovely and unusual images free of copyright and downloadable. Images are sorted by category and browsing has been more fun than searching for specific topics. Let your eyes guide you to the right image instead of a preconceived idea. DeathtoStockPhotos was one of the first sites I found with this idea of a photographer generated subscription service. Sign up and get images delivered to your in box on a regular basis. Images are fresh and trendy and beautifully shot. Again, you have to get out of the stock photo mentality here. These photos are abstract and unique. They also have occasional odds and ends like handwritten fonts available through partnerships. All in the spirit of supporting creativity. Pond5 is a stock media site and includes images, video, music, 3-D, After effects templates and audio clips. Some are for sale and others are in the public domain. The site is really fun if you’re looking for something different than the usual stock clips and licensing is very clearly defined on each item complete with source and use guidelines. JayMantri is a photographer who posts 7 images once a week for download with a CCO license. Free to use for any purpose. LockAndStockPhotos are free images uploaded by AJ Montpetit as a way of giving back. He publishes his photos under the Creative Commons Sharealike license and requests a link back to his website. NewOldStock is a vintage photo collection thought to be free of copyright. Many are from recognized institutions including the National Library of Medicine and e3ach provides their copyrights for easy decision making. I’mFree supplies a curated collection of copy free images. They also provide unique editable website templates through their web app which are fully customizable. Pixabay is a searchable archive of photos, drawings and vector images that can be used without attribution through the Creative Commons Public Domain license. You may find sponsored images here that are licensed and for sale by stock agencies. Pixabay links to the stock agency for payment. PhotoPin. This site searches creative commons photos and allows you to download them in a variety of formats for use. This site also allows you to download the necessary text for attribution on the image to give proper credit to the creator. Be sure to do that. You can also buy images here starting at $1. Flickr is a photo repository and allows you to search by license, so you can find images that fit your needs. Read the copyright notices before you use the photo. Many are open source or attribution only. Some authors write their own rules here, including where you can and cannot use the image.
  • Is your blog or social account at risk of copyright violations?

    content pirate Image sharing is a huge part of social media isn’t it? And when was the last time you Googled to find just the right image to illustrate your point? Stop that. Stop it now! Why? Well simply put most of the images you find in a Google search may well have a copyright on them and if you don’t know the source and use it anyway you could be liable for violating copyright laws. Now before you laugh me off and move on, let me tell you a story. In 1997 one of the designers at our company searched for an image of an assembly plant and then downloaded it, modified it and used it in a project on our website. In 2005 I got a certified letter from Getty claiming ownership of the image and demanding $600 or a lawsuit would ensue. Even if we removed the image, they still demanded payment. It took a lot of digging through the archives to verify what had happened and even find the image. At that point the designer had left the company and we were left holding the bag. We paid the fine and made it policy to never use images without proper attribution again. What’s all this about copyright? Isn’t anything online covered by fair use? In short. NO. Here’s a link to the US Government PDF on copyright, you should read it. Basically any work be it writing, images, music or other forms of work can be copyrighted at the time of creation, and fair use is a limited term. Some feel that simply linking back to the creator’s website constitutes attribution and so “fair use” is indicated. That’s not always true. If the original creator has not give permission through licensing or sale fair use may or may not apply. What is fair use? Fair use is defined in section 107 of the copyright law. Specific uses like criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research may be considered fair use but it subjective, and not always easy to define. For example is blogging a form of news reporting? Let’s say you are reviewing a book and you grab the cover from the author’s website. The photo will not replace the original product (the book) or interfere with the author’s rights, so in essence this could be fair use. Your own photo of an art installment outside used to review that art piece may also be fair use. In general it’s simply better to get permission, use open source, purchase the rights or look for Creative Commons licenses in most cases. Where can I get images? If you’re looking for images check out some of these options. Open source Open source simply means the creator allows any and all use of the image without attribution or copyright. This often is the case with software where the original code is made publicly available so that other programmers can improve or build upon it. Public domain Public domain images can be marked as such by the creator, who then waives all rights to the image. They may also be particularly old images, those created by federal agencies etc and here’s a link to more detail on the public domain mark and it’s use. Creative Commons Another way to find images to use is to search for Creative Commons licensed images. There are several different licenses available for creators to choose from and you should familiarize yourself with each. Basically they range from images OK to use with attribution to the source for commercial and/or non commercial use to all rights granted images which you can use any way you like. Stock Stock images come in many forms and many price ranges. Some may be as little as a few cents each and others hundreds or thousands of dollars. It varies by the quality of the image and the perceived value. Clearly a newsworthy photo may have a higher price tag than a photo of a more traditional stock image. Some have limited time allotments and others allow you to purchase image rights indefinitely and use them in any way you choose. Check the rights on the image before you buy them to see what uses are allowed. Free options There are several places where you can get open source or creative commons images. Way to many to list here. Follow this link to my post 12 outstanding sites for free images.
  • Drop in Instagram followers? It’s a good thing. Really

    People are reporting some fairly significant drops in their Instagram followers over the last few weeks. Stop freaking out. It’s not just you, it’s across the board. I used the popular statistics program Iconosquare.com to check my own stats and here are the results. I gained 131 followers in the last 7 days and lost 111. Not so bad. Screenshot 2014-12-18 13.47.27 Are people upset?  Sure. Brands are upset and people who care about numbers over engagement are upset. Mase is really upset, he lost 1.5 million followers! In fact he got so upset he deleted his  account. Lots of people are worried that they’re suddenly boring and un-popular. That’s not it. (more…)
  • Buffer’s New Scheduler Tool

    Buffer SchedulingAs if Buffer wasn’t already an incredibly awesome tool in our social media management arsenal, it just made itself even more essential. Now when you open the Buffer app in your browser you’ll see two tabs at the top of the page. “Simple Composer” and “New Scheduler”. Simple Composer is the old version you’ve already been used to, you can quickly add a post to your buffer queue and it will go off at it’s scheduled time with the same text to any accounts you choose. The New Scheduler tab  allows you to share and re-share particular posts across your social networks at a time of your choosing. New Scheduler is going to be a game-changer. As you can see from the screenshot above, for each post I can choose which of my networks to share on at what time, and even re-share the post again at times I select. (more…)
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