Are you tired of posting content to your social media news feed and having it fall flat in the insights?  Then you should think about adding some GIFs to your digital marketing. GIFs are probably the most under-utilized media that I’ve seen in the digital marketing space.

What’s a GIF?

Definition: GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is “a computer file format for the compression and storage of digital video images.”  Source:  Merriam Webster Dictionary

In general terms, GIFs are those fun little images or mini videos that play over and over.  They can easily be embedded into your digital marketing to add some movement to your content and bring a little flavor to your online branding.

The first thing you need to think about when it comes to GIFs, is if you want to find a GIF or create one of your own.

Finding a GIF

I use GIPHY.com as my source but you can also find them on TumblrTwitter or do a quick Google search.

Saving a GIF (that you found). 

Once you find a GIF, the next step is to save it to your system.  Believe it or not, you treat GIFs as images.  Simply right-click and select “Save Image As”.  Just make sure “GIF Image” is your “Save as type”.

Making a GIF

If you can’t find a GIF that drives the message home, you can make one of your own.  There are sites that let you do this such as  Giphy’s Make a GIF ToolMakeAGIF.com.  My personal tool of preference is the Ripl App(For iOS devices).

How to use GIFs in Social Media

You probably have figured out already that when it comes to social media marketing, images will always take preference over text, and videos will always receive more interaction than images.  However, sometimes we don’t have the time or interest to create a video for every post that we create.

Enter your new friend, the GIF

Find or create a GIF and voilà!  You’ve now made your social media marketing more interactive!  Rather than posting an image, you can make it dance across your news feed – and give your account some more attention and interaction online.

Here is an example of how I used a GIF in my social media.  It was Friday and I was personally feeling run down after a long week.  I thought my audience may feel the same.  So I sought out a fun GIF to lighten the mood – and groove into the weekend.

Looking at the reporting, this one post received a total of 33% of my entire reach for the week.  “Reach” in social media terms is defined by the amount of people that saw your post in their newsfeed.

GIFs Aren’t Limited to Your Social Media 

You can use them in your blog content, or add a little flavor to your email marketing.  This may depend on the email marketing program that you work with.  I use Constant Contact.  I have been able to use GIFs to spice up the material in a content heavy newsletter.

The best example I’ve seen of a GIF in an email marketing campaign is Olive Garden.  They were promoting their delivery service during a weekend that had both an awards show and football playoff game.  They used a creative subject line, “Cleats or Stilettos?” and when you opened the email, your eyes fell upon this gorgeous GIF.

As you can see, for 5 to 10 extra minutes of finding or creating a GIF, the payoff is worth it.  Go seek out a GIF or make your own – and watch as the content pops off the screen and your numbers skyrocket.


Jeannine O’Neil, (@Jeannine_Oneil) owner of JO Social Branding, is a digital media strategist who empowers and educates marketing professionals on how to make the best use of their social media and email marketing.  Through JO Social Branding, she has positioned herself as a thought leader in the digital marketing industry.  In addition to her work as a speaker and consultant, Jeannine has a weeklynewsletter and podcast titled, “Social Eyes”.

Marketing and social media strategist Mara Glazer and PR expert Robin Samora have teamed up to offer three women entrepreneurs the opportunity to attend Ms. Glazer’s all-new “The Next Big Buzz” event in Baltimore from August 2-4, 2013. Applicants are asked to submit a 300 word essay by July 21, 2013 that highlights: their entrepreneurial vision and what they hope to achieve; the role they aspire to play in turning their vision into reality; and how their vision will help other women now and in the future.

Globally renowned marketing and social media strategist Mara Glazer, and PR expert Robin Samora of Boston-based PR firm Robin Samora Inc., have teamed up to offer three women entrepreneurs the opportunity to attend Ms. Glazer’s all-new “The Next Big Buzz” event in Baltimore from August 2-4, 2013.

The 3-day event, which will be held at the Hilton Baltimore Camden Yards, is geared towards women entrepreneurs and will feature high-energy workshops and presentations that transform attendees into “Buzzworthy Biz Babes” who are celebrities in their fields, widely known, and highly paid for doing what they do best. Event coverage includes:

  • How to create more buzz in a business by thinking like a celebrity.
  • How to finally demystify online marketing, the web and social media channels to explode a business and capture more leads.
  • How to create a business that supports a desirable and healthy work-life balance – while still bringing in serious income.

The event will also provide valuable networking opportunities with more than 200 notable entrepreneurs and business leaders from a variety of fields, including Ms. Glazer who is producing and hosting the event, and Ms. Samora who is a sponsor and presenter.

“It’s a privilege to offer three deserving women the opportunity to attend this transformative event, and take their professional and personal life to the next level,” commented Ms. Glazer and Ms. Samora in a joint statement. “It’s going to be three days of amazing content – and unforgettable fun and excitement — that will change their lives and make the world a better place!”

Women entrepreneurs who are interested in applying for a scholarship to attend The Next Big Buzz event are asked to write an approximately 300 word essay that highlights:

  • Their entrepreneurial vision and what they hope to achieve
  • The role they aspire to play in turning their vision into reality
  • How their vision will help other women now and in the future

Essays must be emailed to Robin@robinsamorainc.com by 11:59pm EDT Sunday, July 21. Successful applicants will be notified by 5:00pm EDT Wednesday, July 24. Selected essays may also be published (either whole or edited).

Each scholarship covers admission to the event and is valued at $697. Applicants will be responsible for travel, accommodation and other expenses.

For more information or media inquiries, contact Robin Samora at (617) 921-3448 or robin(at)RobinSamoraInc(dot)com.

About Mara Glazer

Leading marketing and social media strategist Mara Glazer helps entrepreneurs build amazing businesses that allow them to live amazing lives. She blends online and offline marketing strategies to help business owners create global buzz, and translate that into money in the bank.

Learn more at http://maraglazer.com/

About Robin Samora Inc.

Telling a story is personal. Sharing it is an art. Technology makes it global. Robin Samora Inc., a Boston based PR, branding and promotions firm blends all three to take its clients’ businesses and brands to the next level. With clients like Comcast, WBZ-TV and Blue Man Group, and a roster of authors, entrepreneurs and experts nationwide, the firm prides itself on being a “Promotional GPS” that takes its clients’ brands where they want to go to be seen, heard, engaged and remembered. With over two decades of experience, the firm is as comfortable on major media highways as it is on out-of-the way niche back roads.

Learn more at http://www.RobinSamoraInc.com

Leading marketing and social media strategist Mara Glazer’s all-new three day “The Next Big Buzz” event at the Hilton Baltimore Camden Yards in Baltimore from August 2-4, 2013, features a full slate of high-energy interactive presentations and workshops that promise to transform women entrepreneurs into widely known — and highly paid — Buzzworthy Biz Babes.

Leading marketing and social media strategist Mara Glazer

Leading marketing and social media strategist Mara Glazer

Women entrepreneurs who want to become a celebrity in their field, so that they can get widely known – and highly paid – for doing what they do best, can now visit http://thenextbigbuzzevent.com and register for leading marketing and social media strategist Mara Glazer’s all-new “The Next Big Buzz” event in Baltimore from August 2-4, 2013.

The 3-day event, which will be held at the Hilton Baltimore Camden Yards, features a full slate of high-energy interactive presentations and workshops that promise to transform attendees into “Buzzworthy Biz Babes.” Key topics that Mara Glazer and her team of hand-picked presenters will focus upon include:

  • How to create more buzz in a business by thinking like a celebrity.
  • How to finally demystify online marketing, the web and social media channels to explode a business and capture more leads.
  • How to create a business that supports a desirable and healthy work-life balance – while still bringing in serious income.

In addition, attendees will have ample opportunity throughout the event to network with over 200 successful entrepreneurs in order to find new clients, create joint venture partnerships, and get to know some extremely influential connections.

“This event is for women entrepreneurs who want to get known — and get paid! – for doing what they do best,” commented Mara Glazer, who will also reveal the secrets that enabled her to generate and translate an enormous amount of buzz into multiple 6-figure businesses in less than a year. “It’s also perfect for those who have reached a point where they seriously need to cut the crap when it comes to small business marketing, and get real about what it takes to succeed as a Buzzworthy entrepreneur.”

“Lots of experts only talk about becoming successful – but Mara shows you how,” noted Robin Samora, the principal of Boston-based PR firm Robin Samora Inc., who is an event sponsor and presenter. “She’s all about implementation, action and results. She tells people what they need to know — not just what they want to know. And just as importantly, she’s incredibly fun and inspiring.”

Speaking of her reputation for being fun and inspiring, Miss Glazer also had some comforting words for those who dread so-called professional development events that are little more than boring lectures from talking heads: “Make no mistake: this isn’t three days of being glued to a chair! This event is going to be a party. Yes, we’ll be giving out amazing content, but those fortunate enough to attend will also get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to network, let their hair down, and definitely shake their booty!”

Women entrepreneurs who aspire to be Buzzworthy Biz Babes and reap the rewards of living amazing and successful lives — both professionally and personally — can register for Mara Glazer’s The Next Big Buzz at: http://thenextbigbuzzevent.com/. The registration fee is $697.

For more information or media inquiries, contact Paul Valleau, Executive Assistant to Mara Glazer, at 866-430-4680 or Paul(at)maraglazer(dot)com.

About Mara Glazer

Leading marketing and social media strategist Mara Glazer helps entrepreneurs build amazing businesses that allow them to live amazing lives. She blends online and offline marketing strategies to help business owners create global buzz, and translate that into money in the bank.

Learn more at http://maraglazer.com/.

Many of you know that I am traveling with my family this week, to the “Big Easy”, New Orleans, to see my youngest daughter graduate from Tulane.  How exciting it is to be with both of my daughters who make me so proud!

With expanding your brand so important to growing a business, I decided to devote this week’s newsletter to using Twitter, to make an impression and get noticed in a crowded marketplace. As part of a professional network that I’m involved with, I’d like to share this article: Five Tips for Twitter, written by Grace Lavigne, from PRnewsire.com.

It’s informative, and straight  from the Experts.

Let me know what you think!

Five Tips for Twitter
By Grace Lavigne, PRNewswire.com

Your Twitter Bio: The Chance to Stand Out

“The bio for an individual should be ‘pro-fersonal,'” says Kelly Lux, the online communication and relationship manager for the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. “Basically a mix of professional and personal.”

“People generally want to know what you do for a living or where you go to school, and what you’re passionate about,” Lux continues. “Strike an air of business acumen and friendliness, especially if you are job-searching.”

“Try to say as much about yourself with as few words as possible,” says Michael P. Grace, founder of Virallock, a social media monitoring and management service. “Be witty and creative without being corny or cliché. This is your chance to stand out.”

Maybe include some fun facts, suggests David Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision. “We had a technology firm and one of the many things they included in their bio was that nobody who worked there was taller than 5’5″. People actually mentioned seeing that when they contacted the company.”

“If your bio says something to the effect of ‘father, coffee lover and social media addict,’ that doesn’t really set you apart from the crowd,” says Lux. Stay away from words like guru, ninja, rockstar, etc.

“Browse around and see how others describe themselves,” advises Grace. “Don’t copy others, but pay attention to users who have had a Twitter account for a longer timeframe.”

Hashtags, Handles, Links

“Use hashtags in your bio so people with similar interests can find you,” says Lux.

Jonathan Rick, digital and social media director at Levick Strategic Communications, says that if you want to be publicly associated with your employer, don’t write: Director at Levick Strategic Communications. Instead, write: Director at @Levick.

And if multiple people manage a company account, call them out either by their full handles or their initials, says Rick. For example:

  • @Poynter‘s bio lists handles: School for journalism & democracy, with tweets by @juliemmoos, @myersnews, @mallarytenore, @jeffsonderman, @abeaujon
  • @AmericanExpress‘ bio lists initials: Follow Amex’s Mona Hamouly (MLH), Matt Burton (MB) & Amy Tokarski (AT) for insider news, offers & more. Chk out our Favorites page to turn Tweets into savings!

Also, definitely include a link — not in your bio — but as part of your profile, says Lux. “Many people link to their personal website or blog, or LinkedIn profile.” The link allows people to find out more about you than they can from the 160 characters allowed in the Twitter bio.

Adding links helps describe and reinforce who you are, and drives traffic between all of your social media vehicles, agrees Grace.

Expert/Company Bios of the People Quoted in This Article:

Here is the text from the Twitter bios of the experts (or their companies) included in this article (links not included):

  • @LevickLevick Strategic Communications is the world’s leading crisis communications firm. We are unparalleled in building brand equity and protecting reputations.
  • @KellyLux#CMGR & SM Strategist @iSchoolSU / Borg Queen of #NEXIS / Co-founder #CMGRchat / Opinionated Wine Connoisseur and +1 Dog Lover / Instagram Fanatic
  • @VirallockVirallock evaluates, optimizes and monitors social media profiles to help students and young professionals avoid negative perceptions to their personal brand.
  • @StratCommunCommunication consultant. Marketer. Social media explorer. HR/management coach. Teacher. Golfer. Reader.
  • @DavidJohnsonSVCEO of Strategic Vision PR Professional Republican consultant Facebook: DavidJohnsonSV

Profile Picture: Say Cheese!

The profile picture is probably the most important component of your Twitter presence, says Lux. Your profile picture should be YOU — not a cartoon avatar; not a picture of your dog or the San Francisco skyline; and not a picture of you with your kids, spouse, pet, etc.

“You need to appear approachable, which, in this sense, means: smiling,” says Lux. The picture should be distinctive enough that people recognize it as they scroll by it in the stream.

“You want your Twitter avatar to reflect you as you write about yourself in the bio,” adds Lux. For example, unless you are a business consultant, stay away from the suit-and-tie look.

Johnson once worked with a romance author who wanted to be known as the “Queen of Naughty and Nice.” “She wanted to use a professional headshot from her Wall Street days, but we told her that her photo needed to convey the image she wanted branded in her book,” he says. “So we added a more racy photo.”

The picture should also remain fairly stable, says Lux. Don’t change it as often as your Facebook profile picture, but do change it often enough that the picture still actually looks like you (i.e., more than once every decade!).

Linda Pophal, CEO of Strategic Communications, notes that if a Twitter account is for an organization, rather than a person, then the company logo works well as the profile picture. For example: @ProfNet

Wallpaper: Keep It Simple

Trying to establish a perfect Twitter background shouldn’t be the main focus of designing your profile, says Grace.

“I don’t believe the Twitter background is all that important; I’ve never made a decision on who to follow or not follow based on their Twitter background,” agrees Lux.

“That being said, you don’t want to make it look like you’re selling too hard!” she continues. “If your Twitter background is a bunch of pictures of you, your latest book, your Facebook page, etc. — you’re trying too hard.”

“Use a consistent pattern that is not distracting,” says Grace. “Twitter provides a handful of design options that are decent, but feel free to explore colors, patterns and textures that may create a more pleasing aesthetic to viewers.”

Make sure that your wallpaper is consistent with all aspects of branding, like color schemes, adds Johnson.

Rick lists four approaches to wallpaper designs:

  • The Visual Way: employs big pictures that immediately communicate the brand, a la @Disney@Staples or @WWF
  • The Logo Way: uses the company logo as the background, a la @Ford or@LinkedIn
  • The Informative Way: lists contact info and links to other social channels in the wallpaper itself, a la @Intel or @mashable
  • The Product Way: displays Photoshopped pictures of the company’s key wares, a la @Pepsi (can of Pepsi) or @LAYS (bag of Lay’s potato chips)

Overall Look and Feel: Be Consistent

Your Twitter profile should be designed for the audience you are trying to reach and the image you are attempting to convey to them, says Johnson.

Profiles should reflect the individual or organization’s brand identity and communication strategy, agrees Pophal.

Approach the profile from the standpoint of crafting an “elevator speech,” Pophal continues. What is it that you do that represents value to your target audience?

“Every profile on Twitter has a voice,” concludes Grace. “Always consider how you want your voice to be represented to those who haven’t met you, and let your personality shine through as much as possible.”

Gracie

Click Here to listen to listen in on Enterprise Radio host Eric Dye & guest Robin Samora discuss the following:

  • Who is Robin Samora and what qualifies you as a Business and PR strategist ?
  • Who needs your services?  How does a client work with you?
  • Can you give us an example where you’re especially proud of the success of one of your clients because it shows a direct result from your counseling?
  • Name the symptoms experienced by someone who needs to embolden their lives by strategizing with you?
  • Why can’t people sort this out themselves…what does strategizing with you provide them that they can’t do on their own?

TIP: You are your own brand and you need to market yourself with that in mind.  Identify who you are and what your company stands for before hitting the road with the latest PR gimmick. What good is it if the world sees or hears you and thinks of fuzzy kittens on your YouTube video, but you’re selling hardware? You need to develop a strategy for your self-promotion that just doesn’t get you out there, but instead gets you out there with meaning, with creativity, and that’s consistent with your business mission. You need to be able to stand out in a crowd.

Robin Samora is a business and PR strategist who helps entrepreneurs take a leap of faith to make more money and get recognized in a crowded marketplace.  Her passion is coaching professionals to expand their limits to get the business and attention they deserve – so they can share their gifts and profits with the world.  With a background in business and marketing, Robin not only drives clients to uncover their personal profit centers, but she goes one step farther – she works with her clients to uncover unique strategies to bring their messages to the masses. Robin is a life-long entrepreneur, idea-generator and the founder of the Let’s Make You Shine Fund, which empowers young women to advance their education and use their special gifts to help others.

The act of writing down my vision for my business and life has brought me great clarity and almost a step-by-step map (if I follow it) to fulfill my greatest dreams — acknowledging, of course, the potential for adventure and a sense of humor in a plan bigger than my own, and an automatic course correction lever that is sometimes out of my reach, like a 7th shift on a manual transmission. (Little did I know until yesterday, that race cars have these shifts on the steering wheel!)

When you have a plan and create a road map before you start, you can work with speed. Just be open to the journey and accept surprises along the way. When you’ve mastered the trick of enjoying life’s attractions and distractions with curiosity, you can keep the momentum going — towards success as you define it.

My passion as a business and PR strategist is to help you be more in tune with where you want to go and to act as your business GPS to uncover the most productive way to get there, even if we sometimes find ourselves “recalculating” the route.

My ultimate goal for you is always the same — to make more money, get recognized in the marketplace and stand out in the crowd in a career built on your passion. By doing this, you can lead a bigger and bolder life, and ultimately, give back, big time. Not just helping one, but helping thousands.

My map is worn and torn, but serves me well.

What does your map look like?

By Shaunna Gately
MILTON —Strategist Robin Samora helps professionals, entrepreneurs and small businesses with the launch of her new personal coaching business Let’s Make You Shine. The Milton resident started the business coaching service last June, as part of her event planning and marketing firm Partner Promotions Inc.

During her 20-year career as a business strategist, Samora worked with many large corporations. But she said she started Let’s Make You Shine as a way to give back to aspiring entrepreneurs who need solid business advice.

Samora reviews different aspects of a client’s business, including what is being done in the marketplace and how her clients are presenting themselves. Samora goes a step further to develop a rapport with her clients to help manage their day-to-day struggles as well as their long-term goals.

“I help people that are ready to make a difference and do something big with their life,” Samora said. “That’s the kind of person that I like to work with. I’ve worked a lot with my own coaches … and I think that’s what really opened my eyes, is learning about really what’s serving you in your life and what’s not.”

Samora meets with her clients for a couple of two-hour sessions each month, and tries to hold her clients accountable for sticking with the strategic plans they develop.

Samora has been taking her business savvy on the road by hosting a business strategy tour, a series of informal talks at coffee houses throughout the Boston area.

The events are coined “Make Money Mondays” and are part of her push to spread the word about her new business. Samora’s tours finish at the end of June but will resume in September.

“I’ve worked with all different kinds of people to help motivate them, to get them where they need to go,” Samora said. “When they finish with me, my goal is for them to see themselves in such a different light and they are just beside themselves, so happy.”

Shaunna Gately may be reached at sgately@ledger.com.

Read more: http://www.patriotledger.com/article/20110510/NEWS/305109255/

Milton, MA…Business and Life Strategist, Robin Samora, recently interviewed celebrity photographer, Nikki Incandela from La Jolla, California on her monthly interview series.  The title was Put Some Pizzazz in Your Picture: What Your Image Says About You.

Nikki spoke about the importance of images in your personal branding. “With the prominence of Facebook and other social media, consistent branding is very important for your on-line presence and distinguishes you in the marketplace,” she said.  Nikki also offered some pointers on the different ways to use your image in your marketing and collateral, and shared her vast experience about being comfortable in front of a camera, style, and how to have an image that “attracts business.”

“A bad image can follow you for years,” said Nikki, “but a great image makes you confident and empowers you in your professional and personal life.  You have about four seconds to create an impression to say who you are as a person.”

“Nikki incorporates an important lesson I’m offering,” said Robin.  “No risk, no reward. Go for it. Don’t wait for someone to discover you. Put yourself out there and celebrate your brand – and  pretend it’s bigger than it is. If you do what it takes, you’ll grow into your new shoes. Nikki works at her public image using networking, social media, and she is a fabulous photographer,” continues Robin. “She also aligns herself with who she is, and where she wants to go!”

Incandela, who started as a fashion designer, was just at the Oscars not only to shoot the most glamorous Hollywood stars as they came down the runway but also had an opportunity to get fitted for a couture dress to wear at the gala event.

“Nikki and I have been working together informally for a couple of years,” said Robin, “but recently – she made a decision to make it big. I see fireworks in what she’s doing. It’s a combination of her inner flame, talent, and doing what she loves. Nothing makes me happier.”

About Robin Samora

Robin’s career began in advertising and then transitioned to media buying in the film industry. She owned two restaurants, became a Major League Baseball licensee, and worked in cable television as an Event and Promotions Manager – with major networks such as ESPN, HGTV, CNN, and MTV.  Robin eventually started her own company in 2002, Partner Promotions, a

Brand Ambassador firm for Fortune 500 companies like Comcast, Tivo, and NBC, marketing products and services – one-on-one in the retail sector, at business events, and in the community.

Wanting to utilize her talents, and years of coaching experience, Robin realized she loved working one on one, with clients, entrepreneurs and small businesses – not just major corporations.  She couldn’t help but notice that she would attract people who wanted to talk, and ask her advice. It became clear to her and those who sought Robin out for her insight, wisdom and advice — that she would be a “calm voice of reason, in a storm,” and provide a path for “next steps” to get recognized and promoted in the marketplace.

With years of business knowledge under her belt, Robin launched — Let’s Make You Shine a business and life strategy company for entrepreneurs who want to boost their bottom line, get attention and stand out in the marketplace. Now, Robin takes great pleasure in teaching others how to realize their dreams and potential, while also making a difference.

Let’s Make You Shine has been created with more than two decades in business development, operations and execution, sales and marketing, and extensive professional training. It’s Robin’s mission to help her clients make more profit, share their gifts and passion with the world, and get recognized for who they really are.

Robin Samora, Business & Life Strategist, discussed ways to use your brilliance to boost your bottom line at a gathering for small business owners and entrepreneurs at the Citizen’s Bank in East Milton on February 15.

The group was eager to learn from Samora, a successful entrepreneur who has launched two companies and makes it her mission to help small business owners make more profits, get more attention, and stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Robin, who has worked with major Fortune 500 companies promoting products and services, wanted to utilize her talents and years of business experience, realizing that she loved working one on one with clients and small businesses.