Tag Archives: instagram

Website Traffic Boost using Google Maps and Local Guides

We’re all looking for ways to increase our website traffic or bring more eyes to our social pages. Let me tell you about a free, authentic and effective way of doing just that.

I received a really cool e-mail from Google this week, that told me that my photos had helped over 250K people on Google Maps (255,361 to be precise!).

Local Guides 250K Views for Free Website Traffic

How?

If you’re anything like me, you use Google for everything.  I regularly use: Search; Maps; YouTube; Gmail; Drive; G+; and, Translate. I actually just surprised myself at how much I rely on Google services.

Well…about a year ago I signed up as a Google Local Guide.

Google Local Guides are basically people who share their discoveries on Google Maps. This allows people to get more value from Google Maps by benefiting from the experience of others.  This could be a review of a local restaurant or a picture of your local beach.

So that’s good for Google, but what’s in it for you?

Well there are actually 5 different levels of guide (I’m a level 3).  A level 5 becomes a “Google Insider”, and gets to test new products before public release.  This Local Guides benefits page gives you a complete run down.

But personally, I’m not doing it for the Google benefits. I’m doing it because every picture I share carries my watermark and gives me free website traffic.  This image of The Shore in Edinburgh, Scotland has received 21, 445 views alone.

The Shore, Leith - More than 21,000 views providing Free Website Traffic

 

This image of Carson’s Pioneer Lookout in NSW, Australia has received 9,761 views.

Carsons Lookout Thunderbolts Way - More than 9,000 views providing Free Website Traffic

 

And this image of Murcia Cathedral in Spain has been viewed a whopping 39,363 times!

Murcia Cathedral - More than 39,000 views providing Free Website Traffic

It’s very important to keep your images relevant to the exact place on Google Maps that they are of (otherwise, I’m sure Google will remove them and you from Local Guides). However, it’s worth bearing in mind that as a landscape, cityscape, seascape photographer I’m much more interested in uploading those kinds of images. However, you’ll find that the local McDonalds is searched for on Google Maps much more than the places I like to photograph.  Food for thought?!

More importantly, the more accurate you are, the more relevant your image is to the person making the search on Google Maps. They are then far more likely to read your watermark (free advert) and visit your website.

Something that I haven’t done (yet), and also strongly advise, is that you also use your watermark to drive traffic to your various social media profiles.

I hope that boosts your website traffic or increases your followers on your social profiles.

Please click my social links, follow my page and say hi. You’ll then be first to know about my next blog.

 

Fraser 😉

DJI Mavic Pro – WOW!

You’ve probably heard the saying

the best camera is the one you have with you

which I totally agree with, or at least I did, until they invented the DJI Mavic Pro.  And I haven’t even got mine yet!

DJI launched the Mavic at the end of September 2016, and I was blown away.  The Mavic is a portable camera drone, which – at AUD $1699 – offers incredible quality and portability.

When launched, I was choosing between the DJI Phantom 4 or the (also new) Go Pro Karma. Let’s just say I’m glad I was indecisive, because the Mavic made my decision easy.

Personally, I’m a stills guy, and that’s what I’ll be using the Mavic for initially, but I do have ambitions to get involved in motion too (as well as, not instead of).

Now the downside! I don’t think that DJI were quite ready to release the Mavic, but once Go Pro launched the Karma they brought it forward (to make sure Go Pro didn’t capture some of ‘their’ market share).  As a result – and due to the popularity of the drone – deliveries have been delayed. I’m expecting mine pre-Christmas, and hopefully early December.

I actually bought the Fly More Combo, which at AUD $2199 includes a shoulder bag, additional propellers, an extra battery, a charging hub and a car charger. With hindsight, this probably means I’ll have to wait a little longer than those who just bought the Mavic by itself.

What do other people say?

So…I appreciate I sound like a fan-boy, which admittedly I am, so here’s a bit more information if you want to judge for yourself.

Here’s the guys at Flite Test reviewing the Mavic Pro:

I’d also recommend the reviews from Drone Valley, who tell it like they see it.  If you want both the good and the bad, you’ll get it here:

If you’re considering buying or have just bought the DJI Mavic Pro, and want to compare notes, or if you’ve been flying for a while and want to give me advice, please say hello via your preferred social platform.

Happy flying,

Fraser

What Happened to TSU?

If you’re anything like me, your daily routine at some point involved going to your PC, laptop, desktop or mobile and logging in to TSU. It looks like I’ve done this for the last time, because today as I logged on – as I’ve done since October 2014 – I got the dreaded “we have taken tsu dark” message.

So what happened to TSU?

TSU burst on to the social media scene back in 2014, with a promise to pass 90% of the revenue generated by the platform back to the users of the platform.  The idea was simple, it’s your content, we’ll monetize it, keep a little and pass back a lot.

It was (and still is) a wonderful idea.  But, unfortunately the execution of the business model didn’t live up to the idea. Why? Because they failed to recognize their biggest asset…the community.

Yes, there were many who tried to scam the system, and make a few extra cents here and there, but there were also many who didn’t, who wanted the network to succeed. I personally tried to engage with the company many times with ideas to help them succeed (because by helping them, I was also helping myself and others).  Unfortunately, this help was neither acknowledged nor accepted.

I – with hindsight foolishly – believed that the problems were those of a new company, with a small budget and that they would learn as they went. However, today’s announcement shows that time got the better of them.

Was it all a scam?

I believe not. I along with others look likely to lose the balance of our accounts (if they are under $100), and I would love to know where all that money is going to go (remember there were 5.2 million registered accounts).  However, I was paid several times. I also made nearly 200 donations to verified charities (some a few cents, some a few dollars). I will forever feel good about that, and so should the staff at TSU that tried to make a difference.

I also made a few genuine connections and friendships, which is a very difficult thing to do online. I hope that these connections will persist long after TSU is gone.

So what does this teach us?

The main lesson is to not put all our eggs in one basket.  If you’re trying to build an online presence or profile, you have to use the multiple channels that are available to you, and they should all point towards each other (and preferably back to a website of your own that you control).

Where to now?

A lot of people will now be looking for a new TSU, and I’ve even spoken to some who are interested in creating one (I wish them all the best with this). But, in the meantime, where are the substitutes and where should you focus your efforts?

Facebook

The grand-daddy of them all. The one where everyone is. The one where you’ve likely tried to convince people to leave. But yet…here we all are! Personally, I believe that Facebook is a necessary evil for now. Whilst they have the critical mass of people, you should still pay attention to it. It has however got progressively worse since it began, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s feed has got clogged up with junk more and more. So where else?

Instagram

For those of us who’s skills are visual (it’s photography for me), then Instagram is a good choice. It’s owned by Facebook, therefore Facebook don’t penalise the content when you share it.  i.e. I get 10 times the reach from a post I share to Facebook from Instagram than I do from my own WordPress website (that is not a coincidence).

Snapchat

Snapchat

The young upstart. The place made famous for nude selfies is now playing in the big league. With in excess of 100 million downloads from the android Play store, it is no longer a joke. MTV, National Geographic and Cosmopolitan are unlikely to all be wrong.

If you can work out a way to make Snapchat work for you, you may well be on to a winner.

G+

I love G+, but it might only be me and a couple of others that do! Possibly the best network, look, feel, functionality etc but it’s just not used by the masses. Unless you’re there already, I don’t think I’d recommend starting.

YouTube

Geek to mainstream in 10 years. A true success story, that keeps getting better. I’ve personally only ever made 2 videos (and one of those was for TSU) but I intend to make YouTube a big part of my future efforts…and remember they also share the revenue.

If you still think that YouTube is just about cats falling over, I’d recommend that the first 2 channels you follow are Casey Neistat and Gary Vaynerchuk.  These guys have literally changed my entire outlook on life, and I can’t thank them enough.

I also believe Music.ly is going to be great (it won’t be for me…but it will be for many) and that Twitter, Pinterest etc are on the decline.

I hope that helps give some of you some direction. I wish all the great, genuine and original TSUvians the very best, and that ours paths cross again in the future.

If you’d like to make the connection elsewhere, please do so via the links in the text above, or via the social icons on my website. Any shares of this post via your own social networks are of course much appreciated.

Peace and love,

Fraser

 

Is My Content Good?

If you’re trying to grow a presence online, then you’ll be aware that social media is where it’s at.  Personally, I use: TSU; Instagram; G+; Facebook; YouTube; Pinterest; and recently even, Snapchat (username Goofy Surfer) (the order is my personal level of importance).

But is my content good?

This is the question that I (and you) should keep coming back to, and this is why you should always refer back to the data.

On TSU, there is a great Analytics tool that allows you to evaluate every post that you make. You should be using it! And the best thing…it doesn’t matter how many Friends or Followers you have.

I use a 10% rule. It’s simple. For every 10 people that see my post does 1 person like it?

Here’s a few examples:

This image has received 327 views and 51 likes (15.6%…good)

Contrasting Fortunes - Is my content good?
Contrasting Fortunes

This image however, has only had 29 views and 2 likes (6.9%…poor)

Flag of the UAE - Is my content good?
Flag of the UAE

This post, has had 2270 views and 199 likes (8.8%…ok, but great reach)

As your audience grows, you will notice 2 things.  First, some people will share your content regardless of whether or not they like it, just because you have a big audience (in the hope that you will do the same back).  DON’T! Or rather, only do if you genuinely do like their content. Otherwise, your agenda is clear and people see through it in seconds.

Second. The 10% target you’re aiming for is likely to become a little ambitious. As your content reaches a bigger audience, it is natural that not everyone it reaches will like it (although some will).

ALWAYS focus on the people with whom you’ve got a GENUINE relationship with. They are your biggest fans and your biggest supporters. They will help you because they want to, and you will help them because you want to.

You will also notice that something that gains good momentum on 1 social platform, will not necessarily gain it on another. When you see this, start varying what you do on that platform and see what works.

But keep analysing… IS MY CONTENT GOOD?

Hashtags Give Your Posts a Second Life

This one isn’t just a TSU tip…it applies to social media in general.

Most people do not have a strategy on social media. They throw lots of things at the wall and hope that something sticks.

It is true that there are no short cuts to success, but you can definitely make the road longer than it has to be.

If you do not use hashtags, you have to get lucky! You have to hope that one of your followers is online at the time that you post (unless they scroll down their feed for ages). You have to hope that they like your post, you have to hope that they share your post and you have to hope that one of their followers does exactly the same thing.

That’s a lot of hoping!

Q. So what can you do differently?

A. In a word HASHTAGS.  Hashtags make your posts searchable forever. That means that something you post today, can still be found a year from now, and that can give it a Second Life …or even a 3rd, 4th or 5th.

Q. So what hashtags should you use?

A. This is where people in general are getting it wrong. How many times have you seen #originalcontent on a post? If you post something right now to TSU using this hashtag, by the time your post loads and you go to the search box and type in #originalcontent your post will not be the top result in the search.

Let me give you an example using Instagram. The reason I like Instagram is that tells you the number of times a certain hashtag has been used as you use it.

Let’s say you have a picture of a red rose in a park on a sunny day. If you used #red you’d be competing with >68 million posts using the same hashtag.  If you used #flowers, you’d be competing with >59m. If you used park it’d be >14m and if you used #sunny it’d be >25m.

Q. So what does this tell you?

A. It tells you that these are popular hashtags, so the chances of someone using that hashtag a year from now and then finding your post are extremely small. They are all good hashtags to use, but they are for short-term benefit.

Q. So what else can you do?

A. Get specific! When people search online…in fact…when you search online, you want to find exactly what you’re looking for. Let’s say you used #redroses.  This reduces your competition to >466 thousand.  If you used #redrosepark there is only 1 other post!

Now…not many people will search the hashtag #redrosepark but those that do will definitely find your post, and that, makes the work you do today pay back again and again and again.

In summary, yes you should use popular hashtags, but you should also get specific too.

 

Read more tips at:

Tip 1: How do you find the right people
Tip 2: Don’t be a Eucalyptus Head
Tip 3: Account Restrictions
Tip 4: How to invite Friends
Tip 5: Use Hashtags
Tip 6: Mention other TSU Users
Tip 7: Meaningful Engagement
Tip 8: Connect your Social Profiles
Tip 9: Spammers and Copyright Infringement
Tip 10: Who YOU should invite to TSU
Tip 11: Is Google finding your TSU posts?
Tip 12: How to get more followers on TSU?
Tip 13: TSU Invite Code
Tip 14: Is TSU a Pyramid Scheme?
Tip 15: Choose a Good Username
Tip 16: How much does a TSU Group Earn?

 

 

Connect your Social Profiles

Q. What are my Social Profiles?

A. Your social profiles are the other accounts you have on Social Media, i.e. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter etc.

Q. How do I connect them?

A. There are 2 different ways.

First, go to your page.  At the top where you see your name, your username and your friend and follower numbers, you’ll also see an ‘Edit Profile’ button on the left hand side.

Connect your Social Profiles

Click that button and fill in your website details (if you have one), your YouTube channel, Tumblr and Pinterest accounts.  Click ‘Save’.

Now go back to your page and you’ll see the links on the left hand side.

The second thing to do is to connect your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Click your profile picture (top right), click ‘Settings’ and then click ‘Social Accounts’.  Fill in details for whatever accounts you have.

The next time you create a post, the Facebook and Twitter icons will now allow you to send that post directly to your other accounts (NB: make sure you do this before clicking ‘Post’ on TSU).

Social Sharing to Facebook and Twitter

Q.  Ok, I’ve got that, but why?

A. If you share your posts to your other social profiles and someone then navigates to TSU via your link (shortcode invitation) and then signs up, they will become your ‘Child’, and you may benefit from that.

It will also help you find your contacts from other networks on TSU.

Learning to use multiple social media sites in harmony is a powerful skill and one which you can use to help build brand YOU.

Don’t worry if you don’t use all the social websites.  Just connect the ones that you do.

Please share to your favourite social network (buttons below).

Thanks 🙂

 

Read more tips at:

Tip 1: How do you find the right people
Tip 2: Don’t be a Eucalyptus Head
Tip 3: Account Restrictions
Tip 4: How to invite Friends
Tip 5: Use Hashtags
Tip 6: Mention other TSU Users
Tip 7: Meaningful Engagement