Puppies Jumping Into Swimming Pools Make for Unbelievably Cute Photos


If you haven’t smiled yet today, you’re about to. That’s because photographer Seth Casteel — the man behind the NY Times bestseller and viral sensation Underwater Dogs — is back with another installment of his series that promises to be even more adorable than the first.

How could this possibly be, you ask? Well, for this second iteration, Casteel taught 1,500 puppies how to swim, making the resulting photo book so squee-inducing you might just explode from all the cuteness.


The 72 underwater photographs Casteel captured over the course of these swim lessons have been compiled into the book Underwater Puppies, which is already available at Barnes & Noble for $13.65.

As with Underwater Dogs, Casteel captures that magical moment that the pups first enter the water, all excitement, enthusiasm, and in some cases reticence or wide-eyed surprise. It really is just about guaranteed to put a smile on your face:


Many of the puppies like Corey here, were from rescue shelters and had not experienced swimming or jumping into a pool.


“Popsicle” taking the plunge for the first time.

Read More at Puppies Jumping Into Swimming Pools Make for Unbelievably Cute Photos

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/puppies-jumping-swimming-pools-make-unbelievably-cute-photos/


This is What Little Puppies Look Like When They’re Shaking Off Water

There’s a rule of thumb when it comes to viral dog photography: what’s cute with dogs is going to be twice as cute when you shrink your subjects down to puppies.

Photographer Seth Casteel did it with Underwater Dogs and the sequel Underwater Puppies, and we are very happy to inform you that animal photographer Carli Davidson recently decided to take her viral SHAKE photos of dogs and create the photo series and book SHAKE Puppies.

These younger portraits actually came about thanks to a suggestion by the best possible team of photo connoisseurs you could have critiquing your work: second graders. Davidson says she was showing off the series to her friend’s second-grade class and, when she asked for feedback, they had two words for her: puppies and colors.

She also writes that she was, “drawn to the idea of surrounding myself with puppies.” And while you might think she’s not being literal, think again:

We actually got a chance to catch up with Davidson and ask her to fill us in on the technical details of the shoot. She tells us,

I shot these photos using rapid recycle, super short flash duration strobes (Paul Buff Einstein’s) to freeze the motion.

I used a Nikon D4 shooting 10fps to capture as many shake photos as I could and edited down to my two favorite, which was not always easy… I shot most of these with a 105mm macro lens. I love that lens for portraits of little animals and I never have to stress about getting too close to the subject for focus 🙂

Other gear that helped me finalize these were a Wacom Intuos and Cintiq to get all the nitty gritty retouching done, the Adobe suite — I use LR for file organization, retouch in PS and lay out / design the books in ID before delivering them to HarperCollins.

Oh! And of course, the most important tools in my arsenal: a ton of paper towels and Nature’s Miracle!

Here’s a look at the results of all those ‘accidents’ and the few pictures Carli managed to capture in-between:


Read More at This is What Little Puppies Look Like When They’re Shaking Off Water

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/little-puppies-look-like-theyre-shaking-off-water/

Are You Listening? The 20 Best Social Media Monitoring Tools

How do you know if your customers (and potential customers) are talking about you on social media?

If they tagged your social media profile in their posts, you could check your notifications. If they didn’t, maybe you could search on each social media platform every time you want to find out. Sounds tedious? Here’s a better way:

Use social media monitoring tools.

There’s a great deal of wonderful social media tools out there. Among them are tools built specifically to help you pick out relevant conversations on social media — social media monitoring tools. Some of these tools allow you to monitor multiple social media profiles on the different social media platforms from a single place. There are even some that let you monitor social media trends and keywords.

There’s likely one that suits your needs. Let’s take a look at the 20 best ones for small and medium businesses!

20 Best Social Media Monitoring Tools for Small and Medium Businesses

What is social media monitoring?

Social media monitoring is the process of listening out for social media conversations that are relevant to your brand. Businesses engage in social media monitoring for several reasons, such as to connect with their customers, to provide customer support, to measure their social media reach, or to understand social media trends.

To “listen”, businesses use social media monitoring tools to collect social mentions and track keywords, hashtags, and URLs that they are interested in.

Social media monitoring is also sometimes known as social listening.

Section separator

The 20 best social media monitoring tools for SMBs

All the social media monitoring tools listed below are not arranged in any particular order. They are all great in their own ways and will suit different social media monitoring needs.

For example, some are standalone monitoring tools while others have it as a feature within a social media management tool. Some gather individual social media mentions and messages while others analyze sets of social media content and trends.

Here’s an overview of all the tools in this blog post:

I’m sure I’m missing some great tools out there, and it’ll be great to get your help. If you have tried and love any social media monitoring tools for small and medium businesses, I would love for you to share them in the comments section below, including why you love them. Thank you!

Compare the tools easily with this spreadsheet

To make it easier for you to compare the tools, I’ve created a spreadsheet with the following information of each social media monitoring tool:

  • How much do the plans cost?
  • Does it have a free plan, free trial, or free demo?
  • Is it a standalone monitoring tool or is it part of a social media management tool?
  • What platforms are supported?
  • What are the main monitoring features?
  • Can I reply directly through the tool?

Social media monitoring tools spreadsheet
Get the spreadsheet

1. Buffer Reply

All your social engagement in one team inbox

Buffer Reply

Description: Buffer Reply organizes your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram engagement into neatly-threaded conversations in one team inbox. You will have all the information you need to know about each customer to provide personalized responses. Oh, and you can easily add emojis and GIFs. 😉

Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram

Prices: Starting at $50 per month and $250 per month

Once you’ve researched all your options and if you think Buffer Reply might suit your needs, we would love for you to check out our webinar on engaging with your customers using Buffer Reply.

2. Hootsuite

Effectively track topics that matter—then respond quickly


Description: Hootsuite’s monitoring tool is part of its entire package of social media management tools. If you were to subscribe to one of their plans, you can also enjoy other features such as scheduling and analytics.

With Hootsuite, you can set up unlimited streams of social media content based on your mentions, selected keywords, hashtags, or locations. Furthermore, Hootsuite integrates with more than a hundred apps to help you do more from its dashboard.

Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, blogs, forums, and more

Prices: Free, $19 per month, $99 per month, $499 per month, and enterprise pricing

3. Sprout Social

Intelligent, real-time social media monitoring with Sprout

Sprout Social

Description: Similar to Hootsuite, Sprout Social’s monitoring and engagement tools are part of its social media management software. Sprout Social has two separate features for social monitoring and engagement.

In the Smart Inbox, you’ll get all your social media mentions and messages. With the discovery feature, you can search for particular keywords on Twitter or Instagram (for example when someone mentions your brand without tagging your social media profile).

Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+

Prices (per user): $99 per month, $149 per month, and $249 per month

4. Agorapulse

Discover what people are really saying about your business


Description: Agorapulse is also an all-in-one social media management tool, which comes with scheduling, monitoring, engagement, and analytics features.

Its inbox collects all your social media mentions while its listening feature allows you to search for keywords, URL, and handle on Twitter. Agorapulse also allows you to monitor comments on your Facebook and Instagram ads.

Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

Prices: $49 per month, $99 per month, $199 per month, and $299 per month

5. Zoho Social

Social media management software for growing businesses

Zoho Social

Description: Zoho Social is a social media management dashboard where you can publish and schedule posts, monitor social activities, analyze your social media performance. 

In the Zoho Social dashboard, you’ll get real-time updates of how people are interacting with your brands. I find this great for events, where I might want to monitor related social media posts and engage with the attendees.

Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+

Prices: Free, $10 per month, and $50 per month

6. Brand24

Smart social media monitoring for businesses of all sizes


Description: Brand24 is a powerful yet affordable tool for those who want to dive deep into social media monitoring. Besides the major social media platforms, Brand24 also monitors blogs, forums, and other sites for mentions of your brand.

Apart from collecting your mentions and allowing you to reply, Brand24 analyzes your social media reach, interactions, sentiment, and more.

Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogs, forums, and more

Prices: $49 per month, $99 per month, and $399 per month

7. Mention

Media monitoring made simple


Description: Mention is more than just a monitoring tool for social media; it also monitors mentions of your brand across the web such as on Yelp, Booking.com, Tripadvisor, and Amazon. On its custom company plan, you can get in-depth insights and reports of your brand mentions.

If you connect your social media profiles to Mention, you can reply mentions directly within Mention. (You can even add a Buffer account and schedule your social media posts.)

Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogs, forums, and more

Prices: $29 per month, $99 per month, and enterprise pricing

8. Social Mention

Real-time social media search and analysis

Social Mention

Description: Not to be confused with Mention above, Social Mention is a free social media search engine for user-generated content across the web. It lets you find and measure what people are saying about your brand and products on places such as Twitter, YouTube, and blogs.

Since an account is not required, I believe Social Mention doesn’t save your searches.

Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google, and other websites

Price: Free

9. Keyhole

Hashtag tracking for Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook


Description: Rather than finding individual mentions of your brand, Keyhole provides trends, insights, and analysis of your preferred hashtags, keywords, or accounts. This makes it better for gathering data and reporting results than replying your social media mentions.

If you want to test out its tools, it offers free hashtag, keyword, and account tracking.

Platforms supported: Twitter and Instagram

Prices: $165 per month, $349 per month, $599 per month, $999 per month, and enterprise pricing

10. Trackur

Simple, fast, and affordable social media monitoring


Description: Like Keyhole, Trackur is a monitoring and analytics tool. It can help you find mentions of your brand (or your keywords) on social media, blogs, forums, and more and then analyze the trends, sentiment, and influence level.

Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, blogs, forums, and more

Prices: $97 per month, $197 per month, and $447 per month

11. Buzzlogix

Social media monitoring and engagement made simple


Description: Buzzlogix helps you with both social monitoring and social engagement. For social monitoring, you can track content with your preferred keywords and get the statistics in easy-to-understand graphs. For social engagement, you can monitor multiple social media profiles and response to social mentions and messages.

Platforms supported: Google+, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, forums, and news sites

Prices: $19.95 per month, $49.95 per month, $99.95 per month, and $399.95 per month

12. TweetDeck

The most powerful Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing, and engagement


Description: TweetDeck is the official Twitter management dashboard, where you can manage multiple Twitter accounts and monitor mentions, keywords, Twitter lists, and more in separate columns. And it’s free!

Platform supported: Twitter

Price: Free

13. Iconosquare

Instagram analytics and management platform


Description: Iconosquare is one of the most popular Instagram analytics and management platforms. Besides its robust analytics and management features, Iconosquare offers custom feeds, which you can use to monitor specific Instagram content. For each feed, you can add up to 50 users and 20 hashtags.

Platforms supported: Instagram

Prices (per Instagram account): $9 per month, $29per month, $49 per month, and from $990 per month

14. Tailwind

Social media monitoring for Pinterest and Instagram


Description: Tailwind is built specifically for Pinterest and Instagram, the two visual social media platforms. Apart from its scheduling and analytics features, Tailwind enables you to monitor your content and your competitors. It also provides information about emerging trends so that you can tap into them.

Platforms supported: Pinterest and Instagram

Prices: $15 per month, $799.99 per month, and enterprise pricing

15. Sendible

Seize opportunities via social listening


Description: Sendible is a full social media management tool, built for agencies that manage multiple clients. On top of scheduling and collaborating on social media content, you can also respond to comments and messages from an inbox and monitor hashtags, keywords, and your competitors on social media and the web.

Platforms supported: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, blogs, review sites (e.g. Yelp), and more

Prices: $49 per month, $199 per month, and $499 per month, and enterprise pricing 

Section separator

The remaining social media monitoring tools are more pricey than those above. I have not had the opportunity to try them out myself (as they do not provide free trials). I’ve selected them based on reviews and their brand name. If you have used any of them before, it’ll be great to hear your experience.

Section separator

16. Union Metrics

Social intelligence. Designed for marketing teams.

Union Metrics

Description: Union Metrics provides the social intelligence that can help you improve your social media strategy. With Union Metrics, you can track and analyze social media posts, monitor your competitors and trends, conduct research, and more.

Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr

Prices: $99 per month, $199 per month, and enterprise pricing

17. HubSpot

Connect with the people you care about


Description: HubSpot is a comprehensive marketing automation software that includes everything from social media and emails to SEO and lead management. The social media management features are included in the plans starting from $200 per month.

Because HubSpot integrates many parts of marketing together (such as customer relationship management and social media), it allows you to better monitor your leads and customers on social media.

Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Xing, YouTube, blogging platform with RSS feeds, and Pinterest

Prices: Starting at $200 per month, $800 per month, and $2,400 per month

18. NUVI

Real-time social intelligence


Description: NUVI gathers all your social media data in real-time and displays it in insightful visualizations to help you make decisions quickly and effectively. Like most social media management tools, NUVI can help you publish and schedule posts, analyze your social media activities, and create reports.

Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, VK, blogs, and RSS feeds

Price: Custom pricing

19. Falcon.io

Manage your brand


Description: Falcon.io is a marketing platform that helps social media marketers with social listening, customer engagement, content marketing, and audience management. Its social listening features help you monitor your brand, stay on top of popular topics, and engage influencers.

Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube

Prices: $1,000 per month, $1,750 per month, and enterprise pricing

20. Talkwalker

Put social data intelligence to work. Instantly.


Description: Talkwalker is one of the most powerful media monitoring tools. Besides being able to monitor social media platforms and websites, it can also monitor print and TV and radio broadcasts.

It even has image recognition technology to help you pick up social media posts of your brand or product even when your brand isn’t mentioned in the caption.

Platforms supported: More than 10 social platforms, websites, print, and broadcasts

Prices: $8,400 per year, $12,000 per year, and enterprise pricing

Section separator

100 more social media monitoring tools

While the tools above are all social media monitoring tools, they are different in subtle and big ways and serve different needs. I hope you found one suitable for your company. Otherwise, do check out this comprehensive list by G2 Crowd:

Best Social Media Monitoring Software

Once you have picked your social media monitoring tool, I would love to hear which tool you decided on and what considerations you have made. I believe it can help others make the right decision for their company, too.

The awesome featured image above is by Alex Blăjan and taken from Unsplash.

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-monitoring-tools

How to Build a Website the Easy Way – Simbla Review

As a small business owner, at one point you have choose if you want an agency to create your online representation of your business or if you want to do it yourself using a website builder like Simbla. Sometimes, having an agency create your website can get pretty pricey and miscommunication is usually the number one reason why projects remain unfinished or fail. With Simbla however, the entire process is effortless even for a non-technical person while the results are impressive, considering that you get to create a complete website with an online database and all the other features of a professional website.

I remember working with several website builders over the past ten years or so. Most of the times, they were basic tools with just a few features, intended mostly for amateurs. Simbla, however, is more than a website builder. At least, it is more than what I would have expected considering my past experiences. While the drag and drop interface makes the whole creation process quite effortless, the database integration feature adds to your website the element that makes it a real website, a professional online representation of your business.


With Simbla, making your own website seems a good alternative to working with an expensive agency. Here’s one way to do it and our favorite website builder to do it with.

What is Simbla?

An HTML5 SEO ready website

Simbla is a website builder that uses Bootstrap 3 to create HTML5 websites that look great and are also great for SEO. You will find several similar tools that will not allow you to create SEO ready websites. This is a particularly important thing because you want your content to be easily readable and visible by the search engine crawlers and thus, properly indexed.

Simbla websites are capable to generate valid standard XML sitemaps that you can integrate into your Google webmaster account and thus facilitate Google crawler’s access to your local files. The metadata generated is also in standard format, with typical titles and keywords and the URLs are search engine friendly as well.

The websites are easy to create unlike with other website builders. Also, the HTML5 feature is a good thing, considering that this version of the Hypertext Markup Language supports multimedia and is natively supported by al web browsers, desktop, and mobile alike.

How does Simbla work?

Everything you need is right there, on your own canvas. Simbla allows you to create a professional looking website with a working online database in just a few minutes, without much of an effort. Moreover, users are allowed to create alerts and send emails as a response to database actions as well. What else do you need to know about all its features?

Two modes for the website builder

Simbla features two different modes for their website builder, an easy mode for the beginners and an advanced “pro” mode for those who already know a thing or two about website design and coding.

(select a template or start with a wizard)

(Choose a plan)

(Your canvas)

  1. The Easy Mode

This is exactly how it sounds: an easy mode that allows the user to create a new website in just a few minutes without the need to know how to code or design a website. What’s great about the app is that everything you create with it looks professional and out of the box. There’s no way to tell that in fact the website was designed and developed through an app and not by a team of coders.

There are already made modules and prebuilt sections you can choose from and if you want to preview your work in real time you can do it without the need to write content. Everything you implement on your website will be instantly populated with dummy content. Therefore, there’s no way you can do something wrong. In order to insert your own text and images, you just have to click on a specific part of the module and insert your own content. I cannot remember another website builder that is easier and faster to work with.

  1. The Pro Mode

This mode is dedicated to those who know what they are doing when it comes to Html code and web design. In other words, if you’ve been around the block and think about yourself as an experienced web developer, you can access this feature and control every single detail of your website, starting from the first page and up to the last dot posted after the last phrase.

Upon entering the Pro Mode, you will receive a notification. At this point, if you are unsure about your skills, you can return to the previous mode. If not, you will see that the working canvas is a little bit changed and that you have more freedom on how to build your website. The drag and drop features are still present but at the same time, you get to start with a blank canvas and bring your website to life, step by step, by adding the elements you envisioned it should be there.

What kind of knowledge do you need in order to properly work in the Pro Mode? Well, you need to know a few things about how a website is structured, how menus, headers, and dynamic content are implemented and displayed. You will also need to know how to add different structures to your page and what each of them means and how does it work.

Simbla’s App Market

No website builder would be complete without some extra modules and apps to be installed on the newly designed and set up web pages. There’s an app market available on Simbla that includes modules for blogging, news, e-Commerce, product catalogs and a Knowledge base. Let’s take a quick look at four of these apps:

The Blogging App

One of the most important marketing strategies you can develop for a website is to create valuable content for your audience. The best channel for doing it is, of course, the blog. You can create and update your own blog right from the Simbla interface and add it to your website

The News App

Do you have some important news to share with your audience? Or, do you think that a newscast feature will be useful in the future? There’s no problem, Simbla allows you to add scrolling news headlines to your website. The interface of the module is similar to that of the blogging feature or other modules implemented by Simbla and therefore, you will find it easy to use and set up.

A Product Catalog

Whether you already run an e-Commerce website or you are using the web only to showcase your products, a good and professional looking catalog may help you market your business better to your customers. Fortunately, Simbla features an easy to set up the app for product cataloging and presentation that you may use as a part of your website.

The e-Commerce App

A website builder with an e-Commerce app? Can this be for real? Yes, it can. Thanks to Simbla, we can now design and launch a website with just a few clicks and set up a professional and working e-Commerce store. You can now organize your products, display them in your own store and let your customers easily checkout once they choose to buy one or more of them.

The CRM system

One of the most important and dynamic features of SIMBLA is the integration of a CRM system within the app itself. This means that the database, the website you have designed and all its related apps are integrated and available in one place. Thus, the CRM system will allow you to manage your online business, your customers, sales, meetings and the website itself better and easier.


Also, with the CRM system you have access to a smart sales dashboard and some new cool features like the sale pipeline and a new way of editing and creating data. While still in a beta version, the system is in continuous development and we can expect a final version quite soon.



If you are looking for a cool and professional tool to build your own website in less than an hour and without needing any of coding or designing skills, Simbla may be your best options. It has everything you need to start building from scratch, it allows you to build an online database along with the website and it includes several other apps that may be of help in the beginning or as your website grows. Moreover, a new beta CRM system which will include some cool new features will be released soon.

Did you try Simbla or a similar app? What do you think about it? Do you see yourself building a website with Simbla?


Read More at How to Build a Website the Easy Way – Simbla Review

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/build-website-easy-way-simbla-review/

7 Invaluable Marketing Skills That Help Teams Produce Consistently Great Content

In speaking with thousands of marketers and businesses over the past several years, we’ve learned that marketing has an incredible potential to impact people’s lives.

In fact, the American Marketing Association defines marketing as:

“The activity, set of institutions, skills, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

I love that. We as marketers are benefiting society at large!

But marketing skills and career growth don’t come easy in a field that moves at the speed of light. It seems like every week companies are demanding an evolved skill set out of their employees – giving rise to a new era of marketing roles such as the Full-Stack and T-Shaped Marketer.

Brands that can successfully bring a variety of people, marketing skills, and unique perspectives together have a huge advantage when it comes to providing value.

That’s why we’ve partnered with the incredible marketing team at Asana, a leading work management software, to break down the top 7 invaluable marketing skills that help some of the greatest brand teams on the planet produce consistently great content.

Let’s dive in!

7 Invaluable Marketing Skills for Team

7 invaluable marketing skills for teams

As Sujan Patel writes on his blog, “the modern marketer has to be familiar with a lot, good at many, and master of a few.”

Having a variety of skills and tools not only provides ultimate flexibility as a team to create a variety of successful marketing campaigns, but it also allows each marketer to shine as an individual.

These 7 high-level marketing skills will help to ensure your team has ultimate flexibility and individuality.

1. Storytelling

There seems to be a general belief that marketing has always been about storytelling – and that marketers have always identified as natural storytellers.

But that may not be the case.

LinkedIn found that just seven years ago the number of marketers listing “storytelling” on their profile as a skill was obsolete. It didn’t exist at all as a respected marketing discipline.

Today, however, between 7 percent and 8 percent of all marketers on LinkedIn worldwide identify themselves as storytellers based on their profile descriptions and list of skills.

Storytelling Marketing Skills

As a marketer, storytelling doesn’t just mean telling your audience what your product or service does or what it has done. Effective storytelling involves a deep understanding of human emotions, motivations, and psychology in order to effectively communicate with them in an authentic and engaging way.

During the writing of this article, Asana CMO Dave King told me: “The best marketers are problem solvers and storytellers. Content creators should ask ‘what problem is this piece solving for my audience.’”

As marketers, there are endless ways to tell a story.

One of my favorite ways to develop a compelling story is to use “The Story Spine” formula created by professional playwright and improvisor Kenn Adams. Over the years, Pixar has won countless awards by using this formula, including 13 Academy Awards, 9 Golden Globes, and 11 Grammys.

The Story Spine - Pixar Marketing Skills

Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

I encourage you to practice this formula for your own own brand, products, or services.

Let’s give it a shot with a brand we might all know of: Nike.

  • Once upon a time there was a passionate shoemaker that wanted to get his shoes into the hands of runners around the world.
  • Every day, he worked on perfecting his shoes so that these runners could perform at an optimum level.
  • But one day, this shoemaker realized that supplying shoes to thousands of runners around the world was no easy task.
  • Because of that, he worked harder and harder to ensure that he had the supply of products needed to be successful despite what critics said.
  • Because of that, his shoes continued to improve and more and more athletes started to wear them in prestigious competitions.
  • Until finally, it wasn’t just about running anymore. It became about something bigger – finding your inner champion doing what you love in gear that makes you feel great.

As Ken describes, “The Story Spine is not the story, it’s the spine. It’s nothing but the bare-boned structure upon which the story is built. And, that’s what makes it such a powerful tool.”

It’s up to us as marketers to fill in all the little nuances of the story.

2. Prioritizing

As many marketers know all too well – there is always something to be done.

Being an effective prioritizer is one of those marketing skills that doesn’t get talked about enough, but plays a huge role in the success of your team and content.

Producing consistently great content means saying yes to a handful of awesome content ideas/opportunities and saying no to many others.

The Asana marketing team uses a project labeled “Content Opportunities” to which anyone in the company is highly encouraged to contribute ideas. Then, when their marketing team is ready to take action on a piece of content or campaign, they add it to their Editorial Calendar project.

Asana Dashboard - 7 Invaluable Marketing Skills

This management of ideas, projects, and initiatives is what allows them to be super focused and productive on a consistent basis.

So how can you develop prioritization as a marketing skill? And how can you prioritize content and campaigns that will perform at a high level?

That’s where the importance of goal-setting comes into play!

At Buffer, we’ve experimented with a variety of goal-setting frameworks such as OKRs, Locke and Latham’s 5 Principles of Goal-Setting, BHAGs, and lots more.

Today, our marketing team is using two types of goal-setting methods depending on the scope. For long-term planning and strategizing, we use a modified Warren Buffett Framework, and for short-term (experimental content), we use a framework called ICE.

The Modified Warren Buffett Framework

My colleague Hailley has long admired the original framework for setting goals from Warren Buffett – a method where you write down 25 things you want to accomplish in your career, and from that, pick the top five as the focus and put the other 20 on an “avoid at all costs” list.

We’ve since adopted a modified version of this goal-setting framework. Here’s a quick overview of how it works (with a real-life example goals from one of our 6-week cycles):

Step 1: Choose 10 goals

Brainstorm a list of 10 goals related to your work on the team that can be accomplished in a certain, predesignated timeframe.

Remember to focus on goals and not tasks. A good way to remember this is that tasks describe how you spend your time, whereas goals are your results.


Warren Buffett Framework Step One

Step 2: Assign a “tag” to each goal

Next, go through and add a tag to each goal with the category that it falls into. The tagging system should be unique for each person.

Come up with your tags, and assign them to each of your 10 goals.


Warren Buffett Framework Step Two

Step 3: Pick three goals to focus on (P1s)

This is the most difficult portion of the exercise! Refining the list from 10 to the three that you will focus on during the specified time period.

Pick one goal for each tag that you have on your list.


Warren Buffett Framework Step Three

Then, add a P2 and a P3 to prioritize the rest of your goals within the list.

That doesn’t mean you have 10 goals all competing with each other at the same time.

It means that as soon as you complete a P1 in any one of the categories, you then (and only then) move onto your P2 and P3.

ICE Score Framework

“ICE” stands for Impact, Confidence, and Ease.

Below is a description of each element directly from the creators of the ICE Score Framework at GrowthHackers:

  • Impact: The possible impact the idea could have on the business if considered a “win
  • Confidence: This relates to how confident you are in whether it’ll result in a wi
  • Ease: This relates to how many resources, and what kind, are needed to implement the idea

For each idea, give each factor a score from one to ten. The overall score is determined by taking the average of the three scores. You should start with the idea that has the highest score.

ICE Score Framework - Marketing Skills

For example, let’s say you wanted to run a content partnership experiment with a peer or influencer within your industry (similar to this one!) Your ICE score might look like this:

  • Impact: 8
  • Confidence: 7
  • Ease: 7
  • Total: 22

Comparing that to other ICE scores, you can quickly determine which ideas to tackle next and which ones to table for the time being. Over time, you’ll be able to score ideas quickly and efficiently.

3. Collaborating

Why is team collaboration necessary?

Part of the answer, according to research from strategy professor Benjamin Jones at the Kellogg School, is that our individual knowledge base is becoming more and more specialized.

Jones gives a great example of the Wright Brothers and building an airplane:

“In 1903, two people designed and flew an airplane. Today, a Boeing 787 has dozens of specialists working on the engines alone. Then there are the controls, the hydraulics, the airframe itself. There is an incredible range of specialized skills needed.”

Generalist vs. Specialist Employee

There is an ever-growing need for collaboration among specialists (teams) within companies to get a product or service off of the ground.

In our experiences at Buffer and Asana, the most successful marketing teams coordinate on two important levels:

  1. Messaging: Ensuring there’s consistency in what is being said across channels (blog, website, social, etc.
  2. Distribution: Planning and sequencing content rollout for maximum impact across channels

By combining the right set of marketing skills in both messaging and distribution you are setting your campaigns up for a much higher rate of success.


Whether you’re launching a full-on marketing campaign or simply posting a video to Facebook, creating a consistent message across channels is an important part of building your brand.

We’ve found that having effective collaboration tools in place makes all of the difference.

Here’s a quick example of some of the tools and workflows we use in order to help our teams create consistent messaging:

  1. Kick off a conversation in messaging app, Slack, about the proposed idea or campaign:

Slack Screenshot

  1. Start a doc in Dropbox Paper with additional details, comments, copy, etc:

Dropbox Paper Flow

  1. Create a project within Asana and assign tasks to team members across the organization:

Asana Project

These three tools are invaluable for transparent and cross-functional collaboration and communication among teams within your organization. They’re especially important for us at Buffer as a fully remote company!


Without a solid distribution plan in place, your messages may never reach their intended audiences. Having the skills to not only create the assets, but efficiently deliver those assets across multiple channels, is an important quality for any marketer.

Here’s a quick look at some of the tools and workflows we use to distribute consistent content:

  1. WordPress for hosting and creating blog content:

Buffer Blog

  1. Discourse for internal distribution, information, and announcements:

Discourse Overview

  1. Buffer for social media planning, scheduling, and analytics:

Buffer - Social Media Tool Dashboard

At the core of any great team collaboration is trust. Trust is the willingness and openness to intentionally communicate with teammates on your direct team and across the company.

It’s up to you to make space (physically or virtually) for people to meet and share ideas. Pixar is a perfect example of this in action – they designed their offices so that artists, designers, programmers, and marketers would purposely bump into each other.

4. Visualizing

Humans are, by nature, very visual beings.

In the brain itself, there are hundreds of millions of neurons devoted to visual processing, nearly 30 percent of the entire cortex, as compared with 8 percent for touch and just 3 percent for hearing.

In other words, the most successful marketing teams are not only able to communicate messages in written form, they’re also able to create stunning designs that aid in telling a compelling visual story.

Social Media Design Principles

We wrote an article in 2017 titled, “Why Every Marketer Needs to Be a (Part-Time) Designer” and the general theory still remains true, even more so, today in 2018.

The best part is there are tons of free resources our there to get started! Here are some of our favorites:

Visual storytelling is one of those marketing skills that often goes overlooked, but plays a massive role in the success of every single piece of content.

5. Experimenting

Have you ever wondered how some marketing teams come up with so many great ideas?

Their secret…

Behind every one successful marketing idea or campaign, there were dozens (if not hundreds) of little failures along the way.

It reminds me a lot of what is known as a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in product development. A MVP is a product that has the minimum amount of features required to validate if people want it or not.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

The same theory holds true for marketing experimentation and testing.

A marketing team that is unafraid of failure and willing to run hundreds of different tests in order to quickly validate ideas will often succeed over a marketing team that puts their eggs (ideas) into one basket (channel/campaign).

The Information, for example, might have hundreds of potential story ideas in Asana at any one time — prioritizing experiments and ideas based on competition, importance, opportunity costs, and lots more.

Although there isn’t a true scientific way of running marketing experiments, this is the formula we’ve come up with at Buffer to systematically test ideas:

How to Run Marketing Experiments

We start with setting clear goals and then work backwards from there.

Let’s say we wanted to increase Buffer blog traffic by 10% in one year (goal).

Our marketing team would start by getting together and brainstorming all of the different ways we could accomplish that – SEO, social media, affiliates, etc.

We’d then prioritize ideas based on impact (Warren Buffett Framework / ICE Scores) and begin testing.

Then, we’d constantly measure and analyze results along the way while making incremental improvements.

Approaching experimentation and testing with a growth mindset, similar to developing a product, is a marketing skill that will help take your team to the next level.

6. Analyzing

As marketers, we’re all somewhere on the analytics expertise scale (whether we know it or not!) From the analytics wizards to those of us just starting to dip our toes in data analysis, we all have a base layer to work from.

Our Director of Marketing at Buffer, Kevan Lee, puts it perfectly:

“The great thing about deepening your skills in analytics is that we all have a base layer to work from. We all know how to build intuition. And intuition is just an absorbed history of data. Add to that the ability to ask good questions, and you’re well on your way. (The tools themselves matter far less than you’d think.)”

Asking good questions, when it comes to data and marketing analytics, is an invaluable marketing skill to have on any team.

This graphic from Moz shows just how many BIG questions there are to ask:

Moz - Asking Great Data Questions

At first, asking all of these questions can be a bit intimidating.

What if I don’t know the answers?

That’s okay!

One way we like to think about approaching analytics is this idea of “Crawl, Walk, Run” – It might look something like this if you’re just starting out:

  • Crawling: Which channels get the most engagement?
  • Walking: Which tactics and/or strategies are contributing to this engagement?
  • Running: Which channels, tactics, and strategies should we implement to increase engagement?

Data Analysis - Crawl Walk Run

Another great way of thinking of analytics is the “Hierarchy of Analytics” model made popular by data wizard Christopher S. Penn:

Hierarchy of Analytics - Christopher Penn copy

In the beginning, you might experiment with various analytics platforms and tools in order to get a feel for the basics of marketing analytics. Understanding what data is available, its limitations, and what you can report is a great start.

Then, as you become more skilled and confident with data, you might dive into things like understanding why something happened or what might happen in the future based on your findings.

There are some incredible data analysis tools out there from companies like Google, IBM, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft that can help you do just that!

7. Learning

I like to think that the path to becoming a great marketer is a lifelong journey and never truly complete.

Knowledge, passion, and expertise are intangible qualities that we usually don’t acquire overnight. These are often developed as result of years (even decades) of hard work, mistakes, self-reflection, and personal growth.

Even a virtuoso like Michelangelo was quoted as saying, “I am still learning” late into his career.

Michelangelo quote on Learning

At Buffer and Asana, we aim to build our marketing teams around folks who are naturally curious, hungry to learn, passionate, and open to new ideas.

“A love of learning is one of primary skills we look for in marketers because it tells us a couple things: do they love what they do, and are they curious about the world?” explains Kevan Lee. “Those two factors alone can take you quite far!”

Just like food nourishes our bodies, information and continuous learning nourishes our minds.

But where do you start on your learning journey as a marketer?

We’ve found that having a framework in place allows us to identify opportunities for growth. We call it the T-Shaped Marketer Framework:

Buffer T-Shaped Marketer Framework

T-Shaped Marketing at Buffer. Feel free to grab a download of the Sketch file or Canva template we used to build this, if you’d like to customize it for your company.

I encourage you to create one of these templates for yourself. It’s an incredible, eye-opening activity that will provide you with a clear path forward.

Then, we suggest forming habits around the marketing disciplines you’re most excited about:

  • If you want to get better at data analysis, try taking a course on Udemy or Skillshare to expand your skills
  • If you want to dive into video marketing, experiment with creating a video in Animoto or take a free Adobe Premiere tutorial on YouTube.
  • If social media is your passion, we’ve got a ton of great learning resources on our Social Blog, Skillshare, and the Buffer Podcast.
  • If you want to improve your organization, workflow, or project management skills, Asana has created a ton of great resources and best practices for work management on their blog.

If you’re curious, inquisitive, genuine, and if your intent is sincere, there will always be people who will support you in your journey.

Experiment and try out new things – some of them might even scare you! Once you gain some momentum, keep it going. That will set you up for a lifetime of success in marketing.

Over to you

Thank you so much for checking out this post!

If you’re interested in learning more about career and marketing skills from some uber-talented professionals in the industry, feel free to check out the Asana blog. It’s packed with some incredible insights.

We’d also love to continue the conversation with you below!

What skills are we missing from this list? What has helped your team create consistently great content? What would you suggest to those looking to hire marketers?

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/marketing-skills

George Cibu: Modesty Is The Key #2 DOTW

Designer of the Week 2

Today we are talking about typography, lettering, and branding and I am very excited to have George Cibu sharing his experience in these fields with us.

George is a freelance designer who specializes in typography, lettering, and branding. He is 22 years old and comes from Cluj-Napoca, the heart of Transylvania.

The talented designer has begun sketching at the early age of 18 and everything that followed after came as a nice surprise.

“I started doing graphic design about 4 years ago, doing all sorts of things to practice my skills. Sometime later I got to know some people on Instagram who did typography and lettering and I was very impressed. I found out that lettering is a great way to express your creativity.”

George describes himself as creative, ambitious, and motivated and rightly he does. Through hard work and dedication, he has become an illustrious designer who enjoys the fruit of his work.

But in order to know more about him, we invite you to read an interview where he talks about his sources of inspiration, his most important projects, hobbies, and his overall experience as a designer.
Also, if you’d like to stay updated with the designer’s work, make sure you follow him on Behance, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

So without further ado, here’s the interview section with our favorite designer this week. ❤

Where does your inspiration come from?
George: Instagram & Pinterest and books.

What is your favorite piece of work and why? How did you create it?
George: Hmm, I don’t have a favorite piece, to be honest, I always think that the next piece that I am going to make will be my favorite.

What do you think are the most important 3 skills for a designer?
George: The most important 3 skills for a designer are CREATIVITY, SOFTWARE (knowledge/skills) and COMMUNICATION.

How do you stay updated with what is new in the design world?
George: In order to stay updated I usually browse design galleries and read and collect books & magazines.

Have you worked with any major brands?
George: My clients are usually photographers but I’ve done some work for brands like Lookslikefilm, The Visuals Collective, Folk travel, Hope Outfitters, and also I did some branding work for a coffee shop, Genus Coffee and some lettering for Panemar, a bakery from Cluj-Napoca.

Who are your favorite 3 designers?
George: My favorite artists are Jon Contino, Joshua Noom, and Zachary Smith.

What is something new that you learned as a designer in your past experience (jobs & internships)?
George: think the most important thing I’ve learned is how to be more productive and also I’ve learned some new tricks in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. Other things I’ve learned is to remain friendly and respectful to everyone I work with. It is extremely easy to get frustrated or become overly-confident and obnoxious, but that will bring you down real fast. Modesty and respect are vital characteristics of any good designer.

What kind of people do you love to work with? What kind of people don’t you love to work with?
George: Every client is important to me and I value each of them.

Do you have enough free time for your family, friends and for your hobbies?
George: I always make time for my biggest hobby that I have, which is playing guitar

Do you remember about your first project? Tell us more about it.
George: My first project was to create a poster for an event and I also did a lettering for this project. It’s a great feeling when someone appreciates your work and they also pay for it. I think that was the moment that I’ve decided to be a graphic designer.

What do you think the future of graphic-design holds?
George: Since technology changes so fast, it’s hard to say what the future of graphic design holds, but I’ve thought it would be fun having a lot of tools and resources that would help designers to be more creative and more productive in a shorter time.

Below you can take a look at some of George’s stunning designs. Make sure you share your impressions with us in the comment section.






The Mountains


Love is the answer


Beautiful Places

Faith Can Move the Mountains



Hope and Strength

Ready For Adventure

Adventure Awaits

Rich in Memories



Show Me How To Love

Best Things in Life

Read More at George Cibu: Modesty Is The Key #2 DOTW

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/george-cibu-modesty-key-dotw2/

How Gift Wink plans to end the scourge of crap birthday presents forever

Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. To celebrate, TNW is running a series of profiles highlighting innovative companies led or founded by women. Have you ever received a terrible gift before? Socks for Christmas? Socks for birthdays? Just… socks? One startup taking aim at the scourge of crap presents is Gift Wink, which was co-founded by UK-based serial entrepreneur Alex Farrell. “Our mission at Gift Wink is help our customers buy the perfect gift at exactly the right time,” Farrel explained. “Right now, traditional online retailers make customers do all the work. Customer browse from long lists of generic…

This story continues at The Next Web

from UK – The Next Web https://thenextweb.com/tech/2018/03/09/gift-wink-plans-end-scourge-crap-birthday-presents-forever/

8 Useful Productivity Apps for Designers and Design Teams

You’re familiar with the pattern. You juggle deadlines, client and team meetings in a constant effort to stay organized. When the next project starts, you do it all over again. It’s akin to rolling a boulder up the hill – instead of trusting someone (or something) else to do it for you.

We have compiled this list of top project management and team collaboration apps for you. Here, you can expect to find one that not only fits in with your workflow style but will likely improve it. Panic situations and missed deadlines can quickly become not so fond memories.

You might choose to give several of them a trial. Or, you might find an exact solution to your specific needs the first time through. Either way, you’ll soon know how good it feels to always be on top of, or a step ahead of the game.

  1. monday.com

monday.com, a team management tool that until rather recently was marketed under the dapulse brand, has three outstanding characteristics that makes it a joy to work with. It’s intuitive to use, its non-imposing, and its fast.

Although it was first marketed to startups and tech companies, it wasn’t long before the user base became quite diversified, as breweries, construction companies, schools, churches and even professional sports teams signed up. In fact, the present customer base reaches across roughly 200 different verticals, nearly three-quarters of which lie outside the tech sector.

As far as speed is concerned, monday.com’s authors prefer the term “cheetah fast”.

A feature you’re bound to appreciate is the ability to build a customized workflow that fits your needs, as opposed to trying to force-fit your daily tasks to match the functionalities of the tool. Another feature you’ll love is the effortless transparency for your team that monday.com makes possible. This PM tool is totally visual, so everyone knows what they need to know at any given time.

  1. Taiga

This award-winning project management platform is a joy to own for any developer, designer, or project manager who wants a smoothly performing tool that will take the drudgery often associated with trying to get organized and staying on top of everything.

You don’t have to fit your workflow and schedule to meet the demands of a project management tool either. Taiga is so easy to use and to customize that you’ll have no problem configuring it to respond to your PM needs. It’s an ideal choice for teams following Scrum methodologies. It’s also a great choice for those using or want to take advantage of the benefits of applying Kanban methods to product design and development.

For larger or more complex organizations, Taiga’s Epics feature will give you all the help you need to manage multiple, interrelated projects.

Taiga offers three plans: Free, Premium, and Enterprise.

  1. Mason

Mason is a great design productivity tool to have in your toolbelt as it addresses a problem that many product teams face and that most traditional design and development tools cannot resolve.

By breaking a product down to the most atomic feature level and displaying those feature visually, and then allowing users to make edits and changes from there, this app not only enables tech-oriented individuals and project teams to update and maintain deployed product features, but it also allows non-designers, project managers, or marketers to hotfix features (buttons, images, colors, etc.) without having to make basic design changes.

Mason can be used to build, manipulate, test, and deploy product features free of charge, and you only pay for the features that your customers will view on their web and mobile products. The charges apply to teams of more than 2 who sign up for one of the subscription plans. For teams of 2, everything is free..

  1. ClickTime

ClickTime makes tracking, planning, and managing employee time a relatively simple task. According to most users, this productivity app’s most impressive feature lies in the way information is presented.

Charts provide clear information on budget status, employee availability, project hours remaining, billable hours, costs, and a host of other features designed to keep a project running smoothly.

  1. Active Collab

ActiveCollab helps creative professionals be more productive by streamlining the team collaboration process. It gives teams and project managers full control over assigning and planning work, and a better way to communicate and share files without the threat of being swamped by endless email chains.

With this project management software application, you can organize your tasks to fit your preferred workflow and keep track of those tasks in ActiveCollab’s calendar or use one of multiple project views.


  1. RunYourMeeting 

Even if a single participant shows up for a meeting unprepared it can cause wasted time and a loss of productivity for the other participants as well. RunYourMeeting gives team members the means to efficiently and effectively prepare for and conduct meetings so that time is not wasted.

This productivity app also keeps a record of to-do lists, keeps them updated, and issues email reminders as necessary. It also helps to ensure that what needs to be accomplished will be.

  1. Nutcache

Nutcache tracks project events from the time of initial estimates and budgeting through the final billing. This business-oriented project management tool enhances a team’s productivity by helping them prioritize and focus on the tasks that really matter.

Nutcache is the ideal project management app for those responsible for managing Scrum and Agile projects of any size.

  1. Futuramo Visual Tickets

Futuramo Visual Tickets is a web app for bug reporting and feedback exchange for visual teams working on digital projects. Its focus ison improving bug reporting, request management, and feedback exchange between team members.

With features to create and assign annotated tickets, teams are free of lengthy text explanations and can communicate more easily. Futuramo is free for teams consisting of up to 3 people.


No matter what you might select, you should quickly find it much easier to plan and organize your project. You will be able to easily track assignments, time, progress and status.

The way your productivity improves will still depend to some extent on you and the nature of your work. But you’ll definitely experience a difference.

You’ll save time performing the program management tasks that must be done. Moreover, you will avoid wasting time by not having to do them manually and repetitiously.

Read More at 8 Useful Productivity Apps for Designers and Design Teams

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/8-useful-productivity-apps-designers-design-teams/

How to Create Engaging Short Videos for Social Media (Including 7 Excellent Examples)

When was the last time you watched a video on social media?

Videos are becoming increasingly popular on social media, especially on mobile. Over the past year, the time people spent watching Facebook Live every day has increased by four times and Instagram videos by 80 percent1.

To create engaging social media videos, Facebook recommends creating videos as short as 15 seconds2. Sounds easier? But where do you start?

In this guide, you’ll learn step-by-step how to create short social media videos — anything from a few seconds to a few minutes. We’ve also included many tools and examples to help you get started.

How to Create Engaging Social Media Videos: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to create engaging social media videos

Creating videos can be more challenging than writing a blog post or designing an image. But it isn’t as difficult as you might have imagined. Here’s how you can create effective short social media videos easily:

How to create engaging short videos

1. Ideate

The first step is to brainstorm ideas for your videos. Here are three quick ways to generate a ton of ideas:

Look at your top blog posts

If you write a blog, like us, you’ll likely have a treasure trove of content ideas on your blog. The blog posts that resonate with your audience is probably great content for your videos. This strategy has helped us create well-liked videos such as this and this.

You can use your Google Analytics to find your top posts. Go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. You should see something like this:

Google Analytics: Top posts

In the upper-right corner, increase the date range to a month. A quarter or a year is fine, too.

Google Analytics: Date range

Scroll to the bottom of the page and change the number of rows shown to 100.

Google Analytics: Rows

Voilà! Now you have your top 100 blog posts for the past month (quarter or year) — and tons of content ideas for your video.

Study the most shared content

Sometimes, your top blog posts are also your most shared. But sometimes, they aren’t. Using a tool like Buzzsumo, you can find your most shared content. You can also find the most shared content for any topic!

To find your most shared blog posts, enter your blog URL on Buzzsumo.


You’ll get a list of your most shared blog posts, ordered in terms of the number of shares.

Buzzsumo: Most shared

You could also sort the results by the various social media platforms. For example, if you plan to create a Facebook video, you can sort the list by Facebook engagements. Now, you’ll have a list of blog posts that generated the most shares, likes, and comments on Facebook.

Buzzsumo: Sort

Check out popular videos from similar brands

Finally, you can also look around on social media to see what topics are popular at the moment. With Facebook’s Pages to Watch, you can easily check out the top posts from your favorite or similar Facebook Pages.

To access Pages to Watch, go to your Facebook Page > Insights. You’ll find the section at the bottom of the Overview tab.

Facebook Pages to Watch

When you click on any of the Pages, you’ll see its top posts for the week. The posts should give you some video content ideas. It’ll be great to keep an eye out for video posts specifically.

Top posts from Pages you watch

For Twitter, Social Bearing is a great tool for finding any Twitter account’s top tweets. For Instagram, you could try using the Explore feature, which shows you popular posts that are relevant to your account. On LinkedIn, you have the Companies to track feature in your Company Page analytics.

2. Plan

Once you have brainstormed your content ideas and picked one to work on, you can start planning for it.

The two ways I like to plan for a video is to either write a script or create a storyboard. Both encourage me to think through the entire flow and important aspects of the video. A storyboard also helps me visualize how a shot would look like, which will be handy for the next step — recording.


If you are not familiar with storyboarding, here’s a quick guide to get you started.

To help you with your planning, here are some tips from Facebook for creating effective videos:

Capture attention early: Videos auto-play on most social media platforms. By capturing attention with the first few seconds of your video, you have a higher chance of stopping a viewer while she scrolls through her feed. Facebook recommends starting with your most captivating elements, incorporating your brand message and identity early, and using engaging post copy.

Keep your message simple: Facebook encourages you to ask yourself, “What is the most important message I need to deliver in this video?”

Design for sound off: Facebook found that people watch mobile videos everywhere — home, at work, during their commute, etc.3 Oftentimes, they wouldn’t want the sound (and perhaps that’s why mobile videos are designed to play without sound). According to Digiday, 85 percent of Facebook videos are played without sound4. Add captions or text to tell your story visually.

Experiment with size: More than 50 percent of videos are played on mobile now5. And square and vertical videos take up more screen space than landscape videos when the phone is held vertically. In our own experiments, we found that square videos outperformed landscape videos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in terms of average engagement and views.

If you’re looking for information about video specs of all the major social media platforms such as the maximum length and default audio state, we hope we’ve gotten you covered with this blog post.

3. Record

Now, the fun part — recording!

Thanks to the advancement of technology (yay to smartphones!), you can create engaging, high-quality videos with just a few simple tools and tricks. Here are some of our suggestions:

Use your smartphone

You don’t need expensive video equipment to get started. One of the most powerful video tools is right in your pocket — your smartphone. Most smartphones today can record videos of high visual and audio quality.

There are also many video-editing mobile apps available, which you’ll learn about later in this post.

Stabilize your phone with a tripod

A stable video helps it look more professional. You can easily get affordable tripods from Amazon. For example, a mini tripod for phones costs about $11 while a 50-inch lightweight tripod costs $13.

Speak into a microphone

It’s best to find a quiet location to record your video. To improve the sound quality further, you can get a lavalier microphone for just $20. Just plug it into your phone and hit record.

Find good lighting

Natural light is one of the best light sources for your videos. If you can’t get that, lamps work great, too. When recording your video, be sure to face the light source so that the light spreads evenly across your face.

If you prefer a more advanced light setup, you’ll love this “Lighting on the Fly” guide by Wistia.

Find or create your video background

Finally, find a nice background for your video. A simple colored background is a great option as it encourages viewers to focus on you and prevents them from being distracted by things going on in the background.

If you can’t find a suitable background, you could create one yourself. You could buy a large foam board from Amazon or a stationery store and place it behind you. Or you could build your own lightbox if you are filming a small physical product.

4. Edit

Great work on recording your video clips! Now, let’s put them together.

Here are a few of our favorite video-editing tools:



For creating video slideshows, we love to use Animoto. It allows us to easily combine video clips, stock videos, photos, and text together to create short engaging videos. Music can also be added to the video in just a few clicks.

If you’re looking for more music choices, Brian Peters found 13 fantastic places for background music.

Other tools like Animoto: Adobe Spark VideoPromo, and Wave


Quik by GoPro

If you like to edit on-the-go, Facebook recommends Quik by GoPro (AndroidiOS). You can just pick your videos and photos, and Quik will automatically find highlights, add effects, and sync transitions with the music. You can then customize the video to your liking.

Other tools like Quik: Videoshop (Android, iOS), Stop Motion Studio (AndroidiOS), Vidlab (iOS)



With Legend (Android, iOS), you can turn simple text into impressive animations. These animations can be a great addition to your videos as a transition between two video clips.

Other tools like Legend: Crello, Adobe Spark Post (iOS)

Note: You’ll want to be mindful of the copyrights and royalties of the videos, images, and music you use for your videos. Here’s a quick rundown of a few rules and licenses.

5. Share

Finally, you’re ready to share your video!

While there are many ways to share your videos on your social media profiles, we hope the best way for you is to use Buffer’s Tailored Posts.

With Tailored Posts, you can easily schedule or post different videos to each of your social media profiles. All at once, from a single place. And videos will be uploaded directly to the social media platforms.

To use Tailored Posts, click on the Buffer browser extension on any website. (Tailored Posts is coming to the desktop and mobile dashboards soon!)

Then, select the social profiles you want to share the video with, update the copy, and upload the video.

Buffer Tailored Posts

Then, hit “Add to Queue”. Your video will be added to your respective social profile queues and shared at the selected times.

Section separator

7 video ideas and examples to help you get started

I know creating videos can feel a little intimidating at first. I had many questions myself. What should I include in the video? How long should it be? What type of music should I use?

I hope from these ideas and examples of short social media videos, you’ll find some inspiration and the answers to your questions.

How-to, tips, or tutorial

HubSpot created a short video on how to convince your boss to let you work from home, with stock footages and text.


Customer testimonial

GoPro interviewed three customers to promote its drone, GoPro Karma, and to introduce its new features.



Wistia did a recap video of their time at Inbound 2017.



Patagonia shared a quick behind-the-scenes look at their factory.


Product launch

Ben & Jerry’s created a simple looping video to promote a new flavor of ice cream.

If only our world was made out of marshmallow and salted caramel swirls 🍦💫🌀

A post shared by Ben & Jerry’s (@benandjerrys) on



We made a short video slideshow sharing five tips that increased our Facebook video views and engagement.


User-generated content

Starbucks compiled photos of its iconic holiday cups from its customers into a simple video slideshow.


For more ideas, check out Facebook’s Creative Hub, where they have listed close to 100 Facebook videos for your inspiration.

Facebook Creative Hub

Section separator

How do you create your social media videos?

With videos being the third most-wanted content type in the future (after social media posts and news), it’ll be great to get started now6. Here’s a simple framework you can use (and adapt):

  • Ideate
  • Plan
  • Record
  • Edit
  • Share

If you have already been creating videos, I would love to learn from you. Do you have any tips for creating engaging social media videos? How does your video creation process look like?

Topic: Video marketing

Image credit: UnsplashUX Planet

.footnoteContent a{ font-size: 1.3rem !important;}

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-videos

20 Beautiful Business Card Mockups to Download For Free

A business card is one of the best ways to share your contact details with someone in person. This way you can promote your business and impress potential clients. A business card is part of branding identity. Thus, it should reflect your brand style and atmosphere. Besides, it’s great to add some personal touch to a business card.

This post was created for designers who are working on branding or business card layouts. Here you’ll see 20 beautiful business card mockups which you can download for free. Insert your design into the mockup using Photoshop and you’ll have a realistic image to showcase the design to your client.

Check out this article for more business card designs.

1. 9+ Business Card | TABLET FREE MOCKUP VOL 2


2. PSD Business Card MockUp #2


3. Horizontal and vertical Business Cards Showcase Mockup


4. Male Hand holding Business Card Mockup


5. Hand holding Business Card Mockup


6. Business Cards in Wrapping Paper Mockup


7. 2 Business Card Mock-ups


8. HEX Business Card Template


9. Invitation Card with Envelope Mockup


10. Floating Business Cards Mockup


11. B-Cards Mockup #4


12. Cutout Business Card Mockup


13. Stack of Business Cards Mockup


14. Silver Business Card Mockup


15. B-Cards Mockup (Free PSD)


16. Business Card Mockups


17. Dribbble Thank You!


18. Free Business Card Mockup Psd


19. Freebie | Business Card On Wooden Floor Mockup


20. Free Classy Business Card Mockup For Presentation



Read More at 20 Beautiful Business Card Mockups to Download For Free

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/20-beautiful-business-card-mockups-to-download-free/