– A Different Form of Online Education

Considering the amazing professional and personal development possibilities along with the large market offered by the online world, it’s no surprise more and more people of all ages are eager to acquire new skills, whether it’s just for earning extra money from a side job or for setting out on a completely new, exciting career path (as a web designer, marketer, web developer etc).

The online education industry is quickly expanding: according to recent studies, in 2015, the e-learning market was worth $166.5 billion. In 2017, it’s been estimated that this will grow to $255 billion. So, can we consider online learning the future of education?

One form of online education consists of the for-credit courses students enrol in for taking online classes offered by higher education learning institutions. But we will now concentrate on the other form of online education, usually targeted at professionals and students interested in getting online professional training and certification preparation to broaden their horizon.

While the number of people choosing to begin an online course is swelling each year, we can’t ignore the boundaries and the challenges of online education. Some interesting research recently conducted by specialists shows that 96% of people who start online courses never finish them.

For example, if you are an aspiring creative, interested in a career in visual design or illustration with no guidance from a specialist who could answer your questions and help you achieve your creative goals, you might feel lost and drop an otherwise interesting online course. On the other hand, studies show that people who receive one on one teaching will perform 2 standard deviations better than people who don’t have a personal coach.

This is why Rookieup is trying to introduce a level of personalization to the “self-guided online education” industry who could help the students finish their chosen online course, reducing frustration and improving the quality of their work.


How does it work?

You can search the community to find the perfect mentor for you. Then, you schedule a 30-minute session with your chosen mentor to talk about the industry, ask technical questions or receive quick design critique. In case you need more in-depth explanations, career advice or a complete portfolio review, you can go for 60-minute sessions with your mentor. This could develop into a long-term professional relationship with a specialist who can offer you guidance throughout your journey. Whether you are interested in motion graphics, visual design, UX design or photography, mentorship could be your way towards professional achievement.

How does that help you? Receiving good feedback is crucial, especially when you are a beginner. And, even if you have worked on a number of projects, you might sometimes feel at a loss as a designer. You may lack inspiration or get stuck in the same set of color schemes fonts and design elements that you tend to use again and again, project after project. You need innovation and encouragement to break from the old style you are so familiar with. A good mentor will give you fresh insights, will help you get out of your comfort zone and will recommend sources of inspiration that will jump-start your creativity.

How do you know if your mentor is good for you?

You should choose someone whose skill sets are complementary, rather than too similar, so that you have even more to learn from this person. The perfect mentor will understand your strong points and your weak points and will provide all necessary support for you to overcome difficulties.

I am sure you are tired of the corporate environment, and would rather become your own boss. However, becoming a freelance graphic designer/illustrator can be tough. It takes time and great effort to learn and develop new technical skills, gain self-confidence to take up more difficult, challenging projects, build a partner network and find that successful marketing technique that brings you on top. Successful freelancers also know how to choose their clients, how to quote their work, when to stop working and take vacations.

It may take years to learn how to cope with all these aspects, without the help of an experienced mentor who can offer you industry insights and career tips thay might ease your way up. A very important aspect a mentor could help you understand is how to be more efficient with your time and how to take pleasure in your work. After all, you should enjoy your journey and not let stress take away your happiness.


Finally, it’s extremely important to understand that your mentor just gives you direction; but, at the end of the day, it’s YOU who has to make the right choices. Your mentor isn’t there to tell you which direction you should take, they are their to offer guidance, which will only help you down the path you choose to take.

Who knows, perhaps with a little help, you could become the next Kal Michael (one of the first iOS designers), Gemery Mumenthaler (employee 1 at Noun Project), or Mike Casebolt (freelance designer/illustrator). They all became who they are today with the help of great teachers. So, believe in yourself, find a good mentor, and keep up the good work!

Read More at – A Different Form of Online Education

from Web Design Ledger

11 Storytelling Formulas to Supercharge Your Social Media Marketing

Legendary marketer, Seth Godin, describes marketing as  “the art of telling a story that resonates with your audience and then spreads.”

If you look at some of the biggest brands around, you might notice that they are often amazing storytellers.

  • Apple tells stories of people challenging the norms
  • Nike tells stories of people doing the impossible
  • Airbnb tells stories of travelers living in homes around the world and belonging anywhere.

But how do you tell compelling stories? How do you tell stories that your audience wants to hear? And how do you tell your brand story?

While researching on the topic of storytelling, I discovered several tested-and-proven storytelling formulas —  formulas used by companies like Pixar, Apple, and more.

These formulas can be applied to your company’s overall marketing, content you produce, social media updates, copy on your website, and more.

Ready to jump in?

11 Storytelling Formulas to Supercharge Your Social Media Marketing header image

11 storytelling formulas to supercharge your social media marketing

1. Three-Act Structure

Setup — Set the scene and introduce the character(s)

Confrontation or “Rising action” — Present a problem and build up the tension

Resolution — Resolve the problem

The three-act structure is one of the oldest and most straightforward storytelling formulas. You might recognize this structure in many of the stories you come across.

In the first act, set the stage and introduce the character(s) of the story. In the second act, present a problem faced by the character(s) and build up the tension. In the third act, deliver the climax of the story by resolving the problem (with your product or service).


Emily turned her passion into a business. She enjoys every moment of it... apart from the bookkeeping, financial statements, and taxes. But, she doesn't have to do them herself.

2. Freytag’s Pyramid: Five-Act Structure

Exposition — Introduce important background information

Rising action — Tell a series of events to build up to the climax

Climax — Turn the story around (usually the most exciting part of the story)

Falling action — Continue the action from the climax

Dénouement — Ending the story with a resolution

The Freytag’s Pyramid is created by Gustav Freytag when he analyzed the stories by Shakespeare and ancient Greek storytellers.

It is a more elaborate form of the three-act structure, which puts emphasis on the climax and the falling action of the story as much as the other parts of the story.


As a fast-growing startup, we work on many things at once. Emails and personal to-do lists were great when we were smaller. As we grew, collaborations became messy. Where's that file? What's the progress of this project? Who's working on this? Then, we discovered Trello! Now, we have everything in one place — comments, files, to-do lists, and more. Team collaboration has never been better before.

3. Before – After – Bridge

Before — Describe the world with Problem A.

After — Imagine what it’d be like having Problem A solved.

Bridge — Here’s how to get there.

This is our favorite storytelling and copywriting formula. We have been using it for our blog post introductions but it can be applied to social media updates, email campaigns, and other marketing messages.

Set the stage of a problem that your target audience is likely to experience — ideally a problem that your company solves. Describe a world where that problem didn’t exist. Explain how to get there or present the solution (i.e. your product or service).

Creating great social media images takes time. Imagine taking only 15 minutes to design one. With Canva, you can make stunning graphics in just a few clicks.

4. Problem – Agitate – Solve

Problem — Present a problem

Agitate — Agitate the problem

Solve — Solve the problem

This is one of the most popular copywriting formulas, which is great for storytelling, too.

The structure is quite similar to the Before-After-Bridge formula. First, you present a problem. Second, instead of presenting the “After”, you intensify the problem with emotional language. Finally, you solve the problem by offering your product or services.


Video calls aren't always fun. Distracting background noises, no video images, and poor connection. Unless you are using Zoom.

5. Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle

Why — Why the company exists

How — How the company fulfills its Why

What — What the company does to fulfill its Why

Simon Sinek’s TED talk, How great leaders inspire action, is one of the most viewed TED talks ever, with more than 30 million views so far. He explained that great companies like Apple inspire people and succeed because they use the Golden Circle formula.

Always start with your Why — Why are you in this business? What motivates you? Then, explain how your company will achieve your Why. Finally, describe in tangible terms what your company does to bring your Why to life (i.e. your products and services).


At Basecamp we want to do everything we can to help restore work-life balance. Work has a way of encroaching. Work calls on Friday at 9 pm or pings on Sunday at 6 pm as you’re sitting down for dinner with the family. It’s time to take a stand. So we’ve built a feature into Basecamp 3 we call Work Can Wait™.

6. Dale Carnegie’s Magic Formula

Incident — Share a relevant, personal experience

Action — Describe the specific action taken to solve or prevent a problem

Benefit — State the benefits of the action

How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of our favorite books at Buffer. After studying many great leaders, the author, Dale Carnegie, developed this simple three-step storytelling formula that can help you persuade your audience.

Open your story with a personal experience relevant to your point to grab your audience’s attention. Describe the actions you took chronologically, showing that a change was needed. Wrap up the story by connecting the change to its benefits. (This could be a customer’s testimonial, too!)


I've tried many to-do list apps, and none have ever worked for me. Then I discovered Omni-Focus thanks to a recommendation from a highly-respected startup founder. My productivity has skyrocketed since I started using it, and I now feel calmer and happier at work, too!

7. Dave Lieber’s V Formula

Introduce the character

Bring the story to its lowest point

Turn it around and finish with a happy ending

Dave Lieber is a keynote speaker and the Dallas Morning News Watchdog columnist, who has been telling stories for almost 40 years. In his TED talk, The power of storytelling to change the world, he shared the story formula he has been using for his stories.

Once you introduce the character of the story, describe how things went awful for her, using emotions to draw your audience into your story. At the lowest point of the story, turn things around, describe how things improved, and end the story on a high note.


Jane was an accountant for 20 years. During the recession, she lost her job when her company went bankrupt, and she couldn't find a job for months. What started as a much-needed way to stay afloat, became a new way of living. Airbnb connected her with the world and inspired her to become a tour guide, sharing the wonders of her city with visitors from around the world.

(Inspired by a true Airbnb story)

8. Star – Chain – Hook

Star — An attention-getting, positive opening

Chain — A series of convincing facts, benefits, and reasons

Hook — A powerful call-to-action

This formula is developed by, I believe, a Chicago consultant, Dr. Frank W. Dignan.

The star grabs your audience’s attention. The chain turns your audience’s attention into a desire. The hook gives them something actionable to fulfill their desire.


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9. Pixar’s award-winning formula

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

Former Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats shared 22 narrative rules she had learned during her time at Pixar. Among the 22 rules was this simple storytelling formula that has helped Pixar win countless awards, including 13 Academy Awards, 9 Golden Globes, and 11 Grammys.

You don’t have to follow the wording exactly. The idea, as I see it, is to introduce a character or a group of character, describe their usual routine, present a twist that disrupts their daily lives, explain how they overcome it, and celebrate!


Buffer is a fully-distributed company with team members all around the world. To keep track of who's on leave, they created a shared Google calendar where team members can add their vacation dates. In 2016, the company grew more than three times to almost 100 people, and the shared calendar system broke. It's a struggle to find out who's away and for how long. They needed a better system that can handle the growing team. After trying several solutions, they found Timetastic. Now, requesting and tracking time off is a breeze. They even know who's away from within Slack by using the Slack integration to pull the information in. Here's to a better work-life balance!

10. The Hero’s Journey

Departure — A hero receives a call to go on an adventure, receives advice from a mentor, and heads out on her journey.

Initiation — The hero meets a series of challenges but eventually completes the mission.

Return — The hero returns and helps others with her new found power or treasure.

The original hero’s journey is made up of 17 stages which are organized into the three acts described above. This formula is used by many of the greatest storytellers including George Lucas for his Star Wars films!

The hero of your story would often be your customers. They experience some tricky situations in their lives or work but eventually solve the problems with your product or service, improving their lives or bringing results to their company.


Everyone in the team knows that social media is important and fun. But no one really likes doing it as a job. Posting across platforms takes time and reporting the results is a nightmare. You are different. You read several helpful articles and learned about social media management tools. You know you can schedule your posts across channel easily and know your performance through the analytics. You adopted the tool for your team. Traffic from social went up. Leads poured in. Your manager loved the reports you created and even asked you to build a social media team. Social media management is never the same in your company again.

11. Nancy Duarte’s secret structure of great talks

What is — The status quo

What could be — The future that could be possible

Go back and forth between the two and end off with a …

New bliss — The wonderful future with your idea/product/service adopted

Nancy Duarte’s TED talk, The secret structure of great talks, has been viewed more than a million times. In her talk, she revealed the secret formula that Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King might have used for their famous speeches.

Start by describing the current situation and then contrast that with a future that’s way better. Make the present unappealing and the future attractive. Go back to the present and then point to the future again. End the story with the new state where your product or service is adopted.


Email. Imagine if there was a saner way to communicate. Receiving endless email chains when the discussion is no longer relevant to you, and missing important discussions because you were not CC-ed in the conversation. Only if you can control what you want to receive. Yes, you can. Slack brings all your communication together — collaborations, file sharing, integrations, and chat history. Here's how the best companies communicate in the 21st century.

5 storytelling tips from amazing storytellers

Armed with these 11 storytelling formulas, you are ready to tell your brand stories. To help you tell even better stories, I curated advice from several amazing storytellers. Here’re five tips from them:

1. Don’t complicate things

(by Lindsay Smith via Buffer)

Lindsay Smith is a producer at National Geographic Travel, who was awesome to join us for a podcast episode recently. National Geographic Travel has more than 25 million fans across their social media accounts.

One thing that’s very important for social media and storytelling in general, is to not complicate things unnecessarily. While we want to be very thoughtful about the stories and posts that we’re sharing, we don’t want to muddy that story up with irrelevant information. What’s important is that you keep it simple.

(Emphasis mine)

2. The 3 things to ask

(by Lindsay Smith via Buffer)

Here’s another advice from Lindsay that I love:

To tell a great story you must ask three things:

  1. Is this story going to be interesting? (Gut Check)
  2. What is the best way to tell this story? (Format)
  3. How do people want to see this story and how are they going to consume it? (Visual Element)


(Emphasis mine)

// To be updated: In terms of storytelling format, here’re 20 creative ways to use social media for storytelling for your inspiration (link).

3. Create detailed imagery to craft the setting you want

(by Gregory Ciotti via Sparring Mind)

Gregory Ciotti is one of my favorite marketers. When he was at Help Scout, he helped grow the company blog to almost 4 million unique visitors per year.

In his article, The Psychology of Storytelling, he shared the importance of storytelling, ways to create better stories, and characteristics of highly persuasive stories. Here’s my favorite advice from his article:

Creating detailed imagery helps craft the setting YOU want

Want to get people swept up in your stories?

Tell them what they are getting swept up in to, and they will respond.

Could any of us relate to the heroic deeds in tales like those of the Lord of the Rings without Tolkien’s exquisitely detailed descriptions of the dangers of Mordor or the perils faced by Frodo and Sam?

The imagery paints the picture of any good story, we could say that [Spoilers if you haven’t read/seen Lord of the Rings] “Frodo and Sam fight a giant spider,” but Tolkien spends an entire chapter on the ordeal, taking the time to help the reader visualize the ferocious nature of the enemy and the bravery of our heroes who persevere despite their many weaknesses (doubt, fear, dismay, etc.)

Implementing the “real” into a fantastic setting often helps create a better connection with the reader.

I don’t know the feeling of encountering a spider the size of a house, but I do know what terror feels like, and I also know how hard it can be to persevere in the face of immense doubt of your abilities.

These “all-too-real” elements of a fantastical story make it easier to relate to.

(Emphasis mine)

The awesome thing about storytelling on social media is that you can use multimedia such as images and videos to complement your words. Instead of asking your audience to imagine, you can show it to them.

4. Parachute in, don’t preamble

(by J.D. Schramm via Harvard Business Review)

J.D. Schramm is a lecturer on Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he teaches effective communications.

In his Harvard Business Review article, A Refresher on Storytelling 101, he shared seven advice on successful storytelling, and this is my favorite:

Parachute in, don’t preamble. The best storytellers draw us immediately into the action. They capture our attention and set the tone for a unique audience experience. Avoid opening with “I’d like to tell you a story about a time when I learned…” Instead, drop us into the action and draw the lesson out later.

As people on social media tend to have short attention span, your stories have to grab their attention immediately or they might just scroll past your post.

5. Get Personal

(by Kathy Klotz-Guest via Convince & Convert)

Kathy Klotz-Guest is the founder of Keeping It Human, which helps companies create compelling stories.

I read her article, 7 Ways to Make Your Business Storytelling Awesome, and this point stood out for me:

3. Get Personal

Great, emotional brand storytelling must be told through the lens of a person: a specific customer, a passionate employee, or a dedicated partner. Every great company story must be anchored in a human story and told through a personal human lens. Anchor your stories through real people, and you’ll see a big difference in your storytelling.

(Emphasis mine)

This reminds me that the stories we tell should seldom have our company as the main character or the hero. The hero of our stories should be our customers and community. The best example is the stories told by Airbnb, which are often about their hosts or guests.

What’s your favorite way of telling stories?

Whenever I write, I often find it easier when I have a structure in mind already. I hope these storytelling formulas help you in the same way when you craft your amazing social media stories.

I’m sure there are many other ways of telling stories. Would you be up for sharing your favorite way? Thanks!

Some of the icons in the header image are from Iconfinder.

from Social

Improve Your Conversions By Using The Psychology of Color (Infographic)

Color is a big deal when it comes to web design, but it’s not just about looking good. A seemingly inconsequential variation in shade can have a significant impact on conversion rates. That’s because colors have a proven and measurable impact on our attitudes and emotions.

This little crash course in color psychology can help you better connect with your ideal audience and build trust with visitors.

Is Color Psychology Really a Thing?

Yes indeed. In fact, key findings related to the subject have been published in peer reviewed journals. Read one for yourself while science is still legal. Aside from the documented scientific proof, consider all the marketing pros who have split tested countless pages to find that certain color schemes can produce vastly different results in terms of conversion, even when all the content is exactly the same.

You’re wielding a lot of power over the human psyche with your use of colors. The question you need to ask yourself is whether your experiments in emotional manipulation are working for you, or against you.

Grow Your Legions of Minions and Master Mind Control with These Color Rules

Earn Trust by Using Blue:

Even if you’re a grotesquely rich corporate overlord you can help foster trust by using the color blue in your web design. Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook should be enough to convince you of this, but I guess we can look at some actual evidence too.

  • Studies have determined that blue is a universally-liked color.
  • It promotes feelings of calm and tranquility, according to this credible source.
  • Facebook, LinkedIn, PayPal, Twitter and hundreds of other corporate entities use some shade of blue as their primary color.

You’ll see blue a lot in the financial world, particularly among credit card companies. Maybe they’re hoping it will help calm customers down before they call to dispute that ridiculous $200 finance charge.

Red for Pasion and Urgency:

Red gets the blood pumping. It’s a color that promotes passions, energy and urgency. Red is often used to promote clearance sales or to draw attention to CTAs.

Orange Inspires Impulsive Behaviors:

According to the marketing wizards at Kiss Metrics, orange can inspire activity, a sense of urgency and even impulsive behavior. When Amazon tempts visitors with a limited offer, it’s usually highlighted by a bright orange banner.

Black is For Luxury and Sophistication:

If high-end class and sophistication is what you’re going for, black does the trick. Using black is also said to promote a certain edginess, making it a great choice luxury goods, fashion and cosmetics.

White for Clean Simplicity:

White is believed to promote cleanliness, virtue and simplicity. It makes a great backdrop for the healthcare industry – or for anyone who enjoys a clean, minimalist approach to design.

Gray Promotes Professionalism:

Gray comes across as professional and subdued. When used correctly it helps create a balanced and calm effect. Used by white color professionals as well as luxury brands, but works well across a wide span of industry types.

Purple is Powerful on Many Levels:

Purple is seen as a color of majesty, opulence and luxury. It’s often associated with success and respect. This is a go-to color for beauty products, massage, yoga spirituality and feminine brands.

Green for Positivity and Health:

This color is associated with health, nature peace and relaxation. Some experts believe the color green can actually help alleviate depression. It’s also a great color for conversions, as it is said to promote decisiveness.

Yellow Keeps it Warm and Cheerful:

Yellow is a great color when it comes to generating a sense of optimism among your visitors. It’s also a great attention grabber. One rule to keep in mind when implementing yellow is to use it sparingly, as this color can easily become overwhelming.

This Infographic Will Show You How to Use Colors Together and Increase Your Conversions

Are you ready to start using colors to generate more results? Take a look at this infographic to learn more about how to use certain color schemes to drive more participation and action with your web design.


Psychology of Color on Web Design

color psychology on web design

Read About Web Design Conversion Rate Optimization Here

Read More at Improve Your Conversions By Using The Psychology of Color (Infographic)

from Web Design Ledger

Social Media Algorithms: How They Work and How to Use Them in Your Favor – Michael Stelzner [SSM032]

Social media algorithms are a lot like “Dog Years.”

They seems to progress and change at a rate of seven years for every one year on the human calendar.

We’ve seen first-hand the dramatic declines in traffic and organic reach over the last two years as so many businesses have.

But despite the challenges that marketers face with social media algorithms, there is still a way to overcome them and share your content with the world.

Michael Stelzner, CEO and Found of Social Media Examiner, has been in the business of social media since 2009 (when organic reach and traffic numbers were going strong). We had the pleasure of chatting with Michael all about how social media algorithms work and how marketers and businesses can implement strategies to use algorithms in their favor to get great content seen.

A huge thank you to Michael for jam-packing this episode with actionable wisdom and takeaways for social media managers and marketers alike looking to understand how and why social media algorithms are in place and how to use them in their favor.

How to listen: iTunes | Google Play | SoundCloud | Stitcher | RSS

This episode is available on:

In this episode, here’s what you’ll learn:

Michael Stelzner shares all of his insider secrets and knowledge on how social media algorithms work and how you as a marketer or business owner can overcome them. You’ll also learn tips like:

  • Why algorithms are important for consumers
  • What Live video is the darling of algorithms right now
  • How the Facebook and Twitter algorithms work
  • How to overcome social media algorithms
  • Michael’s most important steps for small businesses and brands

Social Media Algorithms: How they Work and How to Overcome Them

3 Key Takeaways for Marketers Looking to Use Social Media Algorithms in Their Favor

In Michael’s words…

1. Rethink

Rethink is the keyword here. Rethink your posting strategy on social media – Less is actually more!

2. Live video is the flavor of the day

Live video is currently the flavor of the day with algorithms and so figure out a way to do it. We have nearly 13 sessions on live video at Social Media Marketing World 2017. We’ve got some preliminary research that marketers are all in on live video and so it’s time to do it – do not delay.

3. Refocus

Refocus on the reason why you have a social community in the first place. There’s a community there and so it’s important to refocus on community development. Stop worrying about the numbers and stop worrying about the traffic. Start focusing on cultivating the right people to build a strong affinity and relationship with your business so that they become evangelists.

A Great Moment

Michael Stelzner Quote on Social Media Algorithms

“The moral of the story is that there were the “good old days,” but the good old days are over. They’re never coming back and we need to accept that.”

– Michael Stelzner

Awesome People and Stuff Mentioned in the Show

Favorite Quotes

  • Traffic has been going down, down, down and down. For years! That’s the challenge – you’re not getting the reach or visibility and we have to be OK with that reality.
  • With the algorithms in place, high-quality content can be seen at any time. This is important.
  • The old mentality of ‘scheduling when people are there’ has been thrown out the window. The whole idea of algorithms is that posts are not in linear order… these are like radical re-thinking strategies.
  • Due to the implementation of algorithms over the last year or so, we’ve completely gotten rid of our evergreen reposting strategy on Twitter and LinkedIn and only selectively repost to Facebook.
  • We know that the more we go live, the more our non-live content get exposure in the Facebook News Feed.
  • We are refocusing a lot of our efforts on community development with social media. We are actively doing things with our community to provide value to them.
  • Facebook is like the Hotel California – you can come anytime you want, but you can never leave. And they don’t want you to leave, marketers!
  • First and foremost, if you’re a small business with little traction on social media or on your blog, you have to figure out your email acquisition strategy.

How to Say Hello to Michael (and us)

Michael Stelzner is the go-to resource for everything social media – especially when it comes to staying on top of the latest trends. You can follow along with Michael on Twitter here or check out Social Media Examiner on Facebook here. And don’t forget about Social Media Examiner’s Award-Winning Blog.

Thanks for listening! We’d love to connect with you at @buffer on Twitter or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a rating and review on iTunes!

About the Show

The Science of Social Media is a podcast for marketers and social media managers looking for inspiration, ideas, and results for their social media strategies. Each week, we interview one of the very best in social media marketing from brands in every industry. You will learn the latest tactics on social media, the best tools to use, the smartest workflows, and the best goal-setting advice. It is our hope that each episode you’ll find one or two gems to use with your social media marketing!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

from Social

How To Use Color Contrast To Get The Maximum Impact

Colors influence our whole life from the very beginning. They could attract or distract attention, set a mood, or even influence our emotions and perceptions. As we know, “an image worth more than 1000 words”.  Therefore, the professionals involved in the communication area use the colors to send, support or to highlight a message.

However, sometimes it could be hard to know where to start when choosing the color palette for your design projects. Which could be the best option? Using the pairing colors or the contrast ones?

Well, there is not just one right answer or a magic formula for this. You should try different color schemes and combinations to see which of them appeal you the most and transmit the right message. But before doing this, you should know the basics of the colors and their combination. In this post, we will focus on the contrast (or complementary) colors and their usage, with some case studies.       

So, let’s start with the basics.

Contrast is more than opposites like black and white or large and small. Contrast is a design principle that should be a part of every design project. Why? Because it helps you organize the design and establish a hierarchy, showing the viewers which parts of your design are more important and help them focus on those. On the other hand, the contrast adds to visual more interest, regardless if we are talking about the logo design, print or online ads, website design, indoor or outdoor signage.     

In the color theory, the contrasting (or complementary) colors are directly or almost directly positioned across one from another on the color wheel. For example, purple and yellow, red and green, or blue and orange. As you can see below, the complementary colors provide the maximum contrast.


In terms of contrasting colors, we can also talk about Hue, Saturation and Color’s temperature.


Hue is a specific term for colors, traditionally one of the 12 found on the color wheel. But the color theory also can provide some handy information for graphic and web designers. Besides the traditional complementary colors, some other options include

  • Split-Complementary: any color on the color wheel plus the two that flank its complement; this scheme still has strong visual contrast, but is less dramatic than a complementary color combination.
  • Triadic: any three colors that are evenly spaced on the color wheel.



The saturation of colors refers to the color intensity, comparing to the black – white spectrum (the complete absence of a hue).  A color in its purest and brightness form is 100% saturated. The more you desaturate a color, the closer you are to gray (or black, or white, depending also on the brightness of the color). Therefore, using bright and saturated colors can be a strategic plan to highlight the important parts of a design project.


As we know, based on their temperature, all colors can be categorized into groups, based on their temperature: cool, worm and neutral. Reds, yellow and oranges are considered warm colors; blues, and greens are cool; black, white and gray shades are neutral. Depending on how they are used, the beiges and browns can be considered neutrals. You can get a high contrast by mixing the color temperatures in a design, especially warm and cool colors.

Using the contrast colors

In logo design:

The companies use many times contrasting colors in order to underline and emphasize their branding messages. But before choosing your color palette, you should start with the following elements: your brand persona, your brand message, the color psychology and meaning.  Let’s take a look, for example, to the following logo designs:


Mountain Dew uses green and red. Right away, a name like “Mountain Dew” evokes images of the great outdoors. Green works for the Mountain Dew’s logo because it nods to the brand’s connection to nature. But the red brings the kick that’s so central to the brand persona.

Visa uses yellow-orange and blue. They are definitely complementary colors. But besides the positions of the colors on the color wheel, let’s have a closer look to the meaning of the colors. Blue is a color often associated with trust, loyalty, royalty, friendliness, wisdom and peace. Yellow evokes positivity. So, the general message is trust, loyalty, positivity and wisdom. What else can we ask from a company at whom we throw wads of cash?

In web design:

On the web, color contrast is about finding colors that not only provide maximum contrast, but also provide enough contrast between content and the background for anyone. This doesn’t mean you have to limit your colors to complementary colors, but the contrast should be kept in mind all the same. You can combine different saturated and desaturated colors, to enhance the drama.

For example, the primary objective for this website is to reflect the adventure and wildness through the design, by combining different colors, textures and layering.  In order to do this, the designer not just used the vibrant orange-red letter on the forest green, but also used contrasting levels of the saturation.  

Using contrasting colors in web design helps you not just add more appeals to your design, but also organize your message and highlight the important parts of the design.

For example, the Mint website. The designer used one of the powerful combinations of contrasting colors. The white text, the orange color used for the call-to-action buttons and the bright green logo contrast with the dark background and stand out. Again, the designer used not just complementary colors, but also played with the dark and bright colors in order to highlight different elements of the website page.

In print design

For print design, the principles of the contrast are the same as for the web design. Whether you are working on a flyer, a brochure, a poster or have to publish an ad into a magazine, establishing the contrast is one of the most important things to consider. If it’s done properly, the contrast should be really noticed. It helps you separate the things, but it’s also the bond that puts the things together. Not only that a page is more attractive when contrasting colors are used, but the purpose and organization of the document are much clearer.

For example, the Hilton/F&B Brochure.

They use contrasting colors in their brochure design in order to highlight not just the pictures, but also the copy. Both of them are important, so the designer created the contrast playing with the colors.

On the other hand, let’s take a look to the Relic’s ad. They used tonnes of complementary and pairing colors in order not to just organize their design, but also highlight the message and create a summer feeling.

As in the web design, using the contrasting colors in print design helps you create a focus. For example, the adverts from the iPod used contrasting colors to focus the viewer’s attention on the music player. The ad featured a black silhouette character on a brightly green background. The iPod and the earphones appear in white and stands out from the black silhouette and the bright background.     

In indoor and outdoor signage

Because business signage is the first visible advertisement for any company’s services or products, you should give a special attention to the colors used for them. It’s true that the colors used have to match to your brand colors in order to provide a unified image of your company, but there are also other things you should take into consideration. One of them is the level of the visibility that will be created. By contrasting a light color on a dark background or a dark font or graphic on a light background, the viewers will be more drawn to your signage.  

For example, Starbucks uses white text on dark green background; and the signage can be viewed during the days and nights. Staples uses white text on the dark red. Although the white is a neutral color, combined with the dark red, it pops up!

With LEDs signs, it’s important to use contrasting colors. Contrasting colors do not only make colors eye-catching and more vibrant, it forces eyes to gaze at it. This is the key to getting the most marketing power out of your color choices – add some contrasting colors in the message that you’re trying to send.

Bottom line

As we said in the beginning, there is no magic formula for using the contrasting colors. You have to try and experiment by mixing different colors, using not just the primary colors, but also tones, shades and tints, because each concept and color combination can drastically change what you are trying to say with your project design.

Read More at How To Use Color Contrast To Get The Maximum Impact

from Web Design Ledger

My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #12

My name is Mason Ellwood, and I’m currently working on Flatiron School’s Online Full Stack Web Development Program. Each week, I’ll be writing about my experience, what I’m learning, and tips on learning to code.

Something that I have struggled with personally, is finding a comfortable place to work. I do not believe I am a complete introvert because I love being around and interacting with people. With this personal trait sometimes it is hard to sit in front of a computer all day which lacks that “human” aspect.

Learning to overcome this, I have set a routine for myself. Weekly I work to update my surroundings and interactions I have with people to break the monotony of isolating work. This has helped me to maintain sanity while establishing a productive routine to get through school.

Spending all day at a computer “learning” in an online program is challenging, and I won’t beat around the bush. It is easy to get distracted and set focus on other things. When your time frame to complete school is “self-paced” it is hard to set that pace aggressive enough to complete the school in a timely manner. Setting a schedule for myself through location and set aside time has increased my chances of success dramatically and I encourage you to the do same.

Boolean Enumerables:

As stated in previous posts; Module Enumerables are able to provide a set of methods that can search, sort, manipulate, and transverse a collection` such arrays or hashes. With your understanding of arrays, loops, and hashes you will be able to pick up on this concept quickly. There not really doing anything new, just doing the same thing in less line while being more semantically correct.

As I talked about before, #all iterates over a block and returns true or false, depending on the value being passed. Unlike the #all? Enumerator which must return true for each iteration of the entire #all? Method to return true.

Every iteration, every loop for the block must return true, or else it will return false like the example above.

Unlike #none? Which is the opposite of of #all?, which we are interested in none of the elements in an expression returning true within the block passing to #none?

This expression #none? Returns true because none of those numbers will produce a true expression when asked if they are even within the block. The way #none? Works is that no iteration of the block passing to #none? Can create a true expression. #any? Ensures that at least one element in a collection will create a true expression within the block passed.

#include? Will return true if the given object exists in the element if no match returns false.

I have only covered a few that I tend to use quite often. For a more comprehensive list, please visit ( Again will save your life over and over again. Next we will get into Hashes and Regex and finally move onto Object Oriented Ruby! These are concepts that I am currently fighting to understand so bear with me through these next couple of confusing posts.

Read More at My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #12

from Web Design Ledger

The Hipstory Collection – 21 Famous People Depicted As Hipsters

Hipstory is a project created by Amit Shimoni, an Israeli artist (29), graduate of the Be’zalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem.

A little bit about the creator, Shimoni is the founder and operator of his design studio Amit Shimoni Illustration based in Tel Aviv where he happily lives with his wife Noga and their adorable dog Adam. Among the studio’s projects Shimoni worked with top brands in Israel and around the world including the New York Times and illustrating a cover for the New York Observer. Shimoni received over 300 media coverage worldwide including leading magazines, newspapers and TV Shows like The Guardian, The German Stern, Wired magazine, Vice, Entertainment weekly and Comedy Central.

Shimoni’s artwork is exhibited in galleries around the world including Berlin, Madrid, Tel Aviv, New York and more.

HIPSTORY doesn’t talk about politics, it talks about generation Y.

“I often find myself wondering about the difference between my generation and the great leaders of modern history. About their belief system, the way they thought and what motivated them to act for change. Compared to our more self-centered generation which in my opinion is in a constant chase after fashion, style and trends as a way of self-expression while steering away from the big ideologies and meanings. I wanted HIPSTORY to re-imagine the great leaders of modern history and place them in a different time and culture era- ours. I wanted to created a sort of mirror- a mirror that on the one hand is supposed to make one smile, and on the other to make him think. As I see it criticism doesn’t always have to be poignant it can simply be a method to arouse discussion and show things under a certain light”.

What is the creation process of HIPSTORY?

“For every character I try putting my own interpretation, but I’m always leaving a place for the viewers own interpretation. During my thinking process I study each character as a leader and as a person. I try bringing a new twist to the smallest details that define the character, for instance, on Obama’s chest you can find the words “Hope” and “change” which are details anyone can recognize. On the other hand, I also leave details that are less notable like the tattoo on his right shoulder which represents a scene from Moby-Dick which probably just a few can recognize as Obama’s favorite book.”

For more information about Hipstory, you can visit their website at


1. Albert Einstein


2. Donald Trump


3. Dalai Lama


4. Santa Claus


5. Shimoni Che


6. George Washinton


7. Margaret Thatcher


8. Queen Elizabeth



9. Vladimir Putin


10. Barack Obama


11. Martin Luther King


12. Angela Merkel


13. Nelson Mandela


14. Abraham Lincoln


15. Vladimir Lenin


16. John F. Kenedy


17. Hillary Clinton


18. Mahatma Gandhi


19. Winston Churchill


20. Queen Beatrix


21. Benjamin Zeev Herzl

Read More at The Hipstory Collection – 21 Famous People Depicted As Hipsters

from Web Design Ledger

20 Best Business & Services WordPress Themes

business featured image

No modern business can be a success without solid web presentation. Most of the entrepreneurs understand this very well. Web design services are in demand now and will be asked for many years to come.

However, not every website will make a business thriving. It should look trendy, use advanced technologies, be simple, user-friendly, and comply with the latest web design and development standards. If you are a web developer, this compilation will help you build such kind of website quickly, without extra efforts, deliver it to the customer and take your money for a great job.

Business & services WordPress themes for the compilation were created by, a famous industry leader.

Buying templates from the experienced, highly professional companies like TemplateMonster guarantees your and your customers’ satisfaction. The templates will be easy to handle, which will free your time and the result will exceed clients’ expectations. By the way, the guys from TemplateMonster have more than 26 000 of templates in stock, but their inventory is being replenished daily.

Please view this 2-minute video to know about one of their latest releases – Monstroid2 – a multipurpose WordPress theme.

The theme takes the first place in our list.

But this is not all good news for today. The company launched a new service for its partners and clients. It is TemplateMonster Web Studios Catalogue.

The best thing about this catalogue is that it is useful both for end users looking for professional assistance and web design studios seeking for the ways to expand their client base and increase their income.

The Catalogue includes a list of all web design studios and freelancers who have successfully completed TemplateMonster’s certification and proved their high level of expertise of working with TemplateMonster’s WordPress, Joomla, OpenCart, PrestaShop, HTML5, Magento, Drupal, and Moto CMS themes.

The Catalogue features an extended list of TemplateMonster’s partners. The availability of integrated advanced search form allows people to come across the right studio in their location quickly and easily. Thus, one can filter all partners by country, city, and CMS they work with.

The Catalogue also includes a rating chart. Depending on the number of projects you have launched, you receive a rank on the chart. The greater amount of released sites results in higher rankings.

TemplateMonster’s audience vast, it consists of the users of different backgrounds and skills levels. A list of certified partners allows them to come across the best studio or a freelancer who can get their theme customized in the short run.

A person who buys a template is not necessarily aware of what to do with it next. How to get it installed and modified according to personal needs. That is why they start looking for third party agencies who can do the job for them. TemplateMonster Web Studios Catalogue saves the users’ time on search and helps them come across contacts of certified partners who know how to work with TemplateMonster’s themes.

In addition to being listed on a certified partners chart, every freelancer and web design studio can let the audience know more about their services, recent projects, story, and read TemplateMonster’s feedback on a separate profile page. This is where you can locate personal information, contact details, links to social media profiles, a list of CMS that your studio works with, pricing, and any other information that you want to share. Whenever a client reaches the page, he/she can get in touch with a studio via a request form.

Hopefully, the above info was useful for you. Are you ready to view the showcase of 20 best business & services WordPress Themes right now?

Have an efficient browsing!

Monstroid2 – Cool Multipurpose WordPress Theme

If you like all-in-one solutions, Monstroid2 is the theme for you. It has a clean and crispy design, bulletproof layout consistency, and intuitive navigation. It includes 9+ pre-built websites, 7 customizable header styles, and 4 customizable blog styles. Moreover, the theme has GPL3 license, which means that you buy it once and use forever. The theme has extensive plugins block, WooCommerce Plugin, and a number of other extraordinary features that will make your project one-of-a-kind.

Monstroid2 - Multipurpose WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Financial Services WordPress Theme

Choose this theme for your financial company even if you know nothing about coding. Build pages easily without touching it. Take advantage of more than 25+ modules, a library of presets, and drag-and-drop functionality. Also, with an advanced set of configuration options, you can easily customize the design of your theme. Choose from a variety of layout options and experiment with your pages structure.

Financial Accounting WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Financial Advice WordPress Theme

The theme is built on Cherry Framework 4. This framework that offers you easy-to-install themes with solid Bootstrap options, numerous shortcodes, and widgets, and a foolproof way to update the current design. MotoPress Editor plugin can ease the process of editing your website. With its help, you will have an opportunity to manage page elements in the visual mode. Drag and drop is always good.

Financial Advisor Services WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Market Research Agency WordPress Theme

The theme offers Content Modules that allow you to add multiple content types to your page. This includes buttons, images, pricing tables, contact forms, sliders, and much more. Each of them has an extended set of options that you can tweak to match the style of your website. Take advantage of custom widgets that enrich your theme with advanced functionality. Simple Slider, post carousel, and social media widgets help you build a stronger online presence, and offer you additional ways for displaying your content.

Business Analysis and Market Research Agency WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Emmet – Business Responsive WordPress Theme

All sections of the front page of this theme are completely customizable. Change texts, images, and links to each section or simply hide them. Choose one of the predefined colors or make your own one to make your website colorful and outstanding. The theme is equipped with Visual Page Builder, a complete solution for building responsive pages without coding, by dragging and dropping content elements. You can display your projects in Portfolio section, present offerings in Pricing Tables, introduce the stuff in a Team section, put Newsletter form, edit Testimonials sections, set Contact Form, and adjust Google Map to show your location.

Business Responsive WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

News GPL WordPress Theme

This theme for news portal comes with Live Customizer. It gives you the possibility to see the results on the fly when you make changes to your website. A huge set of Premium Widgets like Calendar, Social media block, and others makes theme layout user-friendlier. The theme is highly customizable (it provides a front page for various layouts). Besides, intuitive navigation and fabulous readability will make the users come back to your website every now and again.

KingNews GPL WordPress Template

Details | Demo

Top Level Business Company WordPress Theme

This theme for a business company is very attractive. Parallax effect adds depth and perspective to its layout. You can choose between multiple slider plugins when crafting your pages, including Cherry Simple Slider and Premium MotoPress Slider coming with the template. They allow you to assemble professional-looking slides of text, images, and videos, spicing them up with various transition effects. Use 80 handy shortcodes to simplify the embedding of media content.

Business Company WordPress Template

Details | Demo

Cozy House WordPress Theme

The theme is delivered with Cherry Real Estate Plugin. It will turn your website into a true Real Estate monster. Add properties to your site and let your clients find exactly what they need. Filter the search results by required categories and see where exactly the property is located on a map with preview markers. You can also allow your visitors to leave property submissions by filtering out a form and assign each of the submission to one of your agents.

Real Estate Agent WP Theme

Details | Demo

Professional Financial Advisor Services WordPress Theme

Stock Ticker Widget is included into template’s package. This financial data widget displays real-time market prices and statistics information on your website. It provides your site users with access to the latest financial data of the needed companies in the elegant and readable way. The site users are able to calculate their lease payments for particular periods by submitting real prices online on your website with Lease Calculator Widget. The widget will help you enhance the overall user experience by providing useful tools for the customers’ needs.

Financial Advisor Responsive WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Business Consultant Services WordPress Theme

With background video, you will be able to tell much more about your company. Using large, browser-size videos as a background for your web page improves a visual experience in a creative way. Enhance the mood and atmosphere onsite or demonstrate your product in action. You can tell a complete story that will be easy and fun to view – as opposed to regular, static pages. The theme is provided with parallax effect as well.

Business Responsive WordPress Theme

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Good Advice WordPress Theme

This theme was crafted for you with care. Enjoy the sleek, modern design of your theme. Each element of a design is carefully created and corresponds with the latest web design trends. Customize your site with multiple theme options. View all the changes you make to your design life, without reloading your page.

Financial Advisor WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Real Estate Responsive WordPress Theme

This theme lets you showcase your projects using a large variety of layouts and filter options. It has a full support for the dsIDXpress plugin. Embed live real estate data from an MLS directly into your blog. The dsIDXpress is not included in the package and has to be installed separately. The theme is mobile-friendly and looks great on any device and screen resolution.

Bellaina - Real Estate Responsive WordPress theme

Details | Demo

Stylist Responsive WordPress Theme

The theme includes an Appointment Booking Plugin. This is a must-have plugin that allows your guests to book appointments with or without registration. The plugin comes with color pickers to help you apply suitable website colors. It can be easily integrated with WooCommerce payments and read-only appointment calendar feeds. Backend plugin management is a real ease.

Business Responsive WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Business Consultations WordPress theme

This business theme is WPML Ready. WPML makes it easier to run multilingual WordPress site with a single install. With WPML you can modify pages, posts, custom types, menus, and even the theme’s text so that the right ones are displayed in every language. Advanced SEO support is integrated into the theme. This is important because SEO optimized pages can help you find your site easier on the web.

business consultant WP theme

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Business Solutions WordPress Theme

This business theme is provided with MegaMenu. It is a powerful tool for creating a better look and professional navigation easily without technical knowledge. It allows organizing your categories, subcategories easily with different content showing-off. Also, the theme contains a Contact Form. By means of this built-in web form, customers can easily get in touch with you, inquire more information about your services and give their feedback on using them.

Business Firm WordPress Theme

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IT WordPress Theme

Owing to the valid, semantic code your site will have better SEO ratings, impress your visitors with faster page loading speeds and get more flexible. All PSD files are fully customizable and were optimized to be used equally well by experts and beginners. The detailed documentation covers all the ins and outs of your theme. Use it to squeeze the most out of your website’s functionality. The theme is Cross Browser compatible, so doing whatever changes to your website, be certain to have its look and performance the same perfect in all browsers.

Information Technology WordPress Template

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Business News Responsive WordPress Theme

The theme includes Custom Page Templates. Build a unique and stylish site for any kind of business with a variety of custom pre-designed page templates. It is possible to use unique types of posts for various info like customers’ testimonials, team bio posts, company services description, and other posts you would like to highlight. Every page of your website can possess its inimitable charm. All you need to do is to choose from a list of available post formats, individually designed to match different tastes and needs.

Business Responsive WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Advertising Agency WordPress Theme

This theme for an advertising agency is responsive. Your site will quickly adapt to any gadget with any screen size the user has at hand right now. Text and images are flexible as well, so they will be rendered correctly. This will boost your conversion as your visitors will have no limits in terms of their location or device. The theme is retina ready, by the way.

Advertising Agency WP Theme

Details | Demo

Contemporary Business Firm WordPress Theme

Built by qualified developers, the theme ensures a cutting-edge performance on all screen resolutions and modern browsers. Find and change any element of the theme quickly and easily. The code of the theme is clean, well-structured, and carefully commented. Written in accordance with the latest web-standards, it lets you understand the purpose of any of its elements easily. The template’s package includes 24/7 effective and friendly support.

Business Firm WP Theme

Details | Demo

Financial Vision WordPress Theme

The theme is not only responsive but retina ready. The retina ready templates will perform and look awesome even on displays with high pixel density. In this way, they will help you keep the site up to date for years to come. The theme is built on Cherry Framework 4. It is a simple framework that offers you easy installation, solid Bootstrap options, numerous shortcodes and widgets, and loads of other helpful features.

Financial Consultant WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

This was the utmost collection of 20 best business and services WordPress themes. Did you find anything suitable for your business? Please tell us which theme did you choose and what features were crucial for you. Please also let us know what do you think about TemplateMonster’s web studios catalog? Are you going to get on the chart? Any feedback is welcome in the comment section.

Read More at 20 Best Business & Services WordPress Themes

from Web Design Ledger

20 Creative Ways to Use Social Media for Storytelling

Storytelling has always played a part in successful marketing.

Stories enable us to build personality and create a connection with consumers. But can we actually tell a story on social media? Is it possible to narrate a story with social media posts that are supposed to be short and sweet?

It turns out there are many ways to use social media for storytelling!

In this post, I’d love to share 20 actionable ways to use social media for storytelling. 

Ready to dive in?

20 Ways to Use Social Media for Storytelling

Navigating this article

To make it easier to navigate this article, the 20 ideas are grouped according to the various social media platforms. If you prefer, feel free to jump to your favorite section by using the quick links below:

Let’s go!


1. Write your entire story in a Facebook post

National Public Radio (NPR) studied over 3,000 of their Facebook link posts and found that shorter posts (those under 120 characters) had higher click-through rates than longer posts (those above 280 characters). But, that’s not the full picture!

Longer posts had more “Other Clicks” such as clicks to “See More”, which appears on long Facebook posts. This could mean that people got everything they wanted from the post itself without having to click on the link. That’s great if you are telling a story rather than trying to drive traffic to another site.

Longer posts had significantly higher adjusted click-through rates.

(NPR calculates adjusted click-through rate by adding link clicks and other clicks together and dividing that sum by post impression.)

The Humans of New York Facebook Page is a great case study for this. Most of the posts on the Facebook Page are long and require people to click on the “See More” button to read the full posts. While it feels like a hassle to read such Facebook posts, they actually receive incredibly engagement. I believe it is because they tell beautiful, captivating stories.

An idea to try:

If you want your Facebook fans to read stories about your customers or your company (instead of driving them to another site), it might be better to write longer Facebook posts. Instead of summarizing the story or just having the title, tell the full story.

2. Create a Facebook photo album

A photo tells a thousand words; many photos tell many thousand words. 😉

Creating a Facebook photo album is another great way to share a story with your followers. This tends to be perfect for events where you would have many photos taken to share. Here’s a bonus: I believe Facebook re-shares the whole album on the News Feed whenever you add new photos to it (e.g. Buffer added 3 new photos to the album: Buffer Meetups.). This allows you to share the album with potentially more people.

During our Hawaii retreat last year, we decided to share photos from teammates and their partners and families through a Facebook album. This gave people who were interested a chance to follow our retreat experience.

Buffer Hawaii Retreat Facebook Photo Album

(If you are curious, here’re our Facebook photo albums.)

An idea to try:

Whenever you organize an event, invite your colleagues and the event attendees to snap as many photos as they like and send them to you. Create a Facebook photo album with the best 10, 20, or 30 photos.

3. Produce a long Facebook video

Sometimes, even a collection of photos might not be sufficient to tell the story you have in mind. Perhaps you can consider videos if you have the resources and time. As Facebook videos can be up to 120 minutes long, they are great for longer stories. Furthermore, Facebook is tweaking its News Feed algorithm to prioritize longer videos that engage viewers.

Tough Mudder told a great story — many stories, actually — with its new promotional video for Tough Mudder 2017. It’s a montage of interviews with people who have attempted Tough Mudder on how the race have changed them for the better.

An idea to try:

Collect video testimonies from your company’s biggest fans or messages from your colleagues and compile them into a video montage to share on Facebook. For example, we did a Facebook video for Thanksgiving last year.

4. Go live on Facebook

Being authentic is a key aspect of storytelling, and there’s no other way to be more “real” than going live to engage with your audience. It is also a great way to reach your Fans since Facebook ranks live videos higher in the News Feed when they are live than after they end.

Candace Payne’s (as known as Chewbacca Mom) Facebook Live video was the most watched Facebook Live in 2016 (or perhaps ever). While it isn’t a branded content, it has a nice three-act structure (a model often used in screenwriting) we can learn from:

  • Setup – Introduction of the video where she describes her trip to Kohl’s
  • Confrontation – Build-up as she unboxes the Chewbacca mask
  • Resolution – Climax where she laughs uncontrollably

An idea to try:

It can be tough to go onto a Facebook live without preparation. Try creating a storyline using the three-act structure for the live video. This can be a live video where you share tips, a behind-the-scene video, or a question-and-answer session.

5. Sequence your Facebook ads

I learned about this amazing storytelling method on Social Media Examiner. It is such a clever way to tell a story and get results!

Refinery29, a fashion, style, and beauty website, partnered with Adaptly and Facebook to test the effectiveness of sequenced messaging of Facebook ads (or storytelling through Facebook ads). One of the test groups was shown three Facebook ads in a narrative sequence — introduction to the brand, an article from the brand, a call-to-action for an email subscription) — while the other test group was shown three Facebook ads with different creatives but same email subscription call-to-action.

Refinery29's Facebook ads — introduction to the brand, an article from the brand, a call-to-action for an email subscription

They found that the test group which was told a story through the ads converted at the highest rate.

Refinery29's Facebook ads study results

An idea to try:

If Facebook advertising is part of your social media marketing strategy, give this sequencing method a try. Introduce your brand with the first ad, share something about your brand with the second ad, and have a call-to-action on the third ad. Here’s how to sequence your Facebook ads.

Alternatively, you can use Facebook or Instagram carousel ads to create a similar effect. You can create carousel ads by selecting the “Multiple images in one ad” option when you are creating your ad.


6. Create a narrative with your Instagram caption

While a high-quality image is important for an Instagram post, a captivating caption can help to complete the story by sharing a narrative.

Airbnb is one of my favorite storytellers on Instagram. This is because they not only use beautiful photos but also tell a short story through the caption of each photo.


With such an image and caption, I’m so intrigued to read the story! If you are, too, here’s the story.

An idea to try:

For your next Instagram post, share a short story about the photo with more than three sentences. It might be helpful to note that Instagram captions are limited to 2,200 characters, and after three lines of text the captions become truncated with an ellipsis.

7. Tell a visual story with your Instagram profile

A creative way to share on Instagram is to use several posts to create a huge image on your Instagram profile. When done well, it can look very appealing.

Herschel Supply Co. has been recently using this method of visual storytelling on Instagram to promote their newest collection of bags.

Herschel Instagram profile

An idea to try:

If it fits your Instagram style or if you want to experiment with new ideas on Instagram, create an image on your profile with three, six, or nine images. A tool to help you with that is Instagrids. If you prefer to use Photoshop or Sketch, the recommended dimensions for each square grid are 1080 pixels by 1080 pixels.

  • Three-grid image: 1080 pixels in height by 3,240 pixels in width.
  • Six-grid image: 2,160 pixels in height by 3,240 pixels in width.
  • Nine-grid image: 3,240 pixels in height by 3,240 pixels in width.

8. Curate user-generated content on Instagram

This strategy has helped us grow our Instagram account from 4,000 to 20,000 followers over the past year. (And it is a great way to get to know people from our community!)

We curate user-generated content by sharing short stories from our community through photos on our Instagram profile. Another way to curate user-generated content is to create a branded hashtag for a story that you want to tell. TOMS does this with its annual One Day #WithoutShoes campaign, and in 2016, this hashtag campaign generated 27,435 Instagram posts from its customers.

TOMS Instagram Hashtag Campaign

An idea to try:

Encourage your Instagram followers to post a photo on Instagram with your branded hashtag and promise to re-post a few of the best ones or send the person with the best photo a small gift.

9. Create a short video or boomerang on Instagram

Many companies have been using Instagram videos to tell short stories. (Here are 17 inspiring examples from HubSpot.)

Unlike Facebook videos that can be 120 minutes long, Instagram videos can only be up to 60 seconds long. But constraints can help breed creativity. Great stories can be told in seconds. One of my recent favorite video stories is from Nike.

Greatest ever. @serenawilliams #justdoit

A video posted by nike (@nike) on Jan 28, 2017 at 2:02am PST

An idea to try:

Create a short 30-second or 60-second video, sharing the history of your company. The video doesn’t need to have stunning footage to work. Nike’s video told a powerful visual story purely with words.

Here are four actionable tips from NewsWhip after the team studied the most successful Instagram videos:

  • Stick to the point (This doesn’t mean your videos have to be short.)
  • Use on-screen captions to help storytelling
  • Use text captions to expand on the video story
  • Square videos are more popular than landscape ones but experiment with both

10. Use a series of Instagram stories

And, of course, you can tell Instagram Stories (or Snapchat Stories). 😉

Even though there’s no limit to the number of Instagram stories you can post a day, we found that 10 stories a day are a good amount of us. With 10 stories, you can share quite a bit of content. Here’s a recent example from us:

An idea to try:

Turn one of your recent blog posts into a series of Instagram stories. You can use a mix of photos and videos of yourself talking or create graphics using a graphic creator such as Canva. The recommended dimensions for an Instagram story is 1080 pixels in width and 1920 pixels in height.


11. Tweet a storm

Can’t fit your story into 140 characters or one tweet? Try using more tweets.

Tweetstorm is the practice of sharing a train of thought that is longer than 140 characters through a series of tweets. They are like mini-essays. Usually, the tweets will start or end with a number to indicate the sequence of the tweets.

Here’s an example from Ryan Hoover when he shared Product Hunt’s acquisition by AngelList:

Ryan Hoover Tweetstorm about Product Hunt joining AngelList

To string your tweets together, simply reply to your previous tweet. Apps like Tweetstorm and Storm It make it even easier to tweetstorm.

An idea to try:

If you have written a listicle recently, try sharing the key points of the listicle through a Tweetstorm. Remember to include the numbering in your tweets.

12. Create a Twitter Moment

According to Twitter, Moments is a new and dynamic way for people to tell their stories. They’re like tweetstorms but more beautiful and interactive. This creative format of telling a story could be a way to drive clicks and engagement.

Here’s a Twitter Moment we created to share the history of Buffer:


An idea to try:

Curate news and timely content relevant to your industry into a Twitter Moment to help keep your followers up-to-date with the latest happenings like Product Hunt did when Snap Inc. announced Spectacles. Here’s how to create a Twitter Moment and three more ideas to experiment with.

13. Attach multiple photos to a tweet

Research by Twitter has shown that tweets with photos get 313% more engagement. While most tweets with images have only one image per tweet, attaching multiple images to a tweet is a great way to tell a story. It helps to give more details to your story or allows you to tell a longer story.

Here’s a tweet with multiple photos by The New York Times during the recent Super Bowl. Having more than one photo tells people who saw the tweet more about the game than just having one photo.


An idea to try:

If you have hosted an event recently, share up to four of the best photos from the event in a tweet to give your followers a better idea of how the event went.

14. Create a GIF to share on Twitter

GIFs have become a popular form of content on Twitter. In 2015, more than 100 million GIFs were shared on Twitter. Apart from being popular, GIFs are entertaining and tend to perform well, too. CoSchedule found that their tweets with memes and GIFs receive far more likes and retweets than regular images.

Here’s a fun, short story told through a GIF:


Apart from telling a story through a GIF, another popular use of GIF is to spice up a tweet by adding an element of emotion or fun. Here’s an example.

An idea to try:

Try adding GIFs to your tweets to paint a more vivid picture of the idea you want to express — like how happy you are to have a full Buffer queue before a long weekend! Two GIF creation tools to try are GIPHY and

15. Spread your own hashtag

Hashtags can be a great way to curate stories from your community. Popular hashtags like #MyFirstSevenJobs, #LikeAGirl, and #ThisGirlCan became amazing collections of stories.

But you don’t always have to make your branded hashtag go viral. It can be meaningful enough when your customers and community understand the purpose of your hashtag and use it in their tweets, too.

At Buffer, we started using #BufferLove in our tweets last year to show our appreciation to people who shared our tweets, mentioned us, or gave us a shoutout. Gradually, our community began using it, too!


An idea to try:

Create a hashtag for your community, use it often, and encourage your community to use it whenever appropriate. #BufferCommunity is another hashtag we use often.

16. Tap into a trending hashtag

Instead of using a hashtag to curate stories about your company or community, you can also tap into a trending hashtag to share your brand story. It doesn’t always have to be a viral hashtag (though, it might be great). Most importantly, the hashtag has to be relevant and appropriate for your brand.

Since it’s legendary Super Bowl tweet, Oreo has been participating in relevant hashtag conversations such as #MarsAnnouncement, #NationalCookieDay, and #FathersDay with timely and entertaining tweets.


An idea to try:

Find a relevant trending hashtag in your industry and contribute to the conversation. #talkpay was a Twitter hashtag conversation we participated in last year.


17. Design a relevant Snapchat Geofilter

From our State of Social 2016 report, we found that only 5 percent of marketers and brands created on-demand geofilters in 2016.

If your audience is on Snapchat, Snapchat Geofilters could be one of the best ways to reach them. Entrepreneur Chris Hall was able to get $0.001 cost per thousand impressions (CPMs) for his Snapchat filter and generated over 10.5 million views of his filter in just seven hours.

In 2015, (RED) and Snapchat partnered for World AIDS Day to offer Snapchat filters in an attempt to raise funds for organizations fighting against AIDS.

(RED) Snapchat Geofilters

(Image from (RED))

An idea to try:

If you run a brick and mortar business such as a hotel, cafe, or clothing retail, experiment with a Snapchat Geofilter that allows your customers to share their experiences at your place, like Starwood did. Here’s everything you need to know about Snapchat Geofilters and how to build your own.


18. Create a YouTube channel or playlist

Among all the different types of content (videos, social media posts, news articles, etc.), videos are the type of content that most people consume thoroughly, according to a research by HubSpot. Personally, I think it’s the best format for storytelling. Videos tend to capture my attention much more than articles.

HubSpot's research chart

Airbnb has a YouTube playlist, Airbnb Stories, which contains remarkable stories from the Airbnb community. In the playlist, there are videos created by both Airbnb and its community. Here’s a story of an Airbnb host, Michael:

An idea to try:

Interview some of your customers and share their stories and experiences with your company in a video. It doesn’t have to be a long video, one to two minutes long is great.


19. Use an infographic

Infographic is a great format for visual storytelling. A study by Contently’s data scientists on 3,200 pieces of content created using the Contently platform found that infographics have a higher completion rate (73 percent) than blog posts (66 percent).

In the infographic below, Happify, a company that aims to help people lead happier and more meaningful lives, shares the importance of happiness and ways to make ourselves happier.

Happify infographic

An idea to try:

Use an infographic tool to turn one of your latest blog posts into an infographic. Here are seven powerful yet easy-to-use infographic tools to help you get started.

20. Create a SlideShare presentation

Over 70 million people visit SlideShare to learn new things, making it one of the top 100 most-visited websites in the world. SlideShare presentation decks make it easy for people to consume information as flipping through a deck and absorbing the information is faster than reading through pages of text.

We previously turned one of our blog posts, If Don Draper Tweeted: The 27 Copywriting Formulas That Will Drive Clicks and Engagement on Social Media, into a SlideShare deck. It has become one of our most-viewed SlideShare decks, with more than 600,000 views at the time this post was written.

An idea to try:

Convert your most popular article into a SlideShare presentation desk using less than 30 slides. To give you some inspiration, here’re the 10 best social media SlideShares of 2016.

Over to You

There are countless ways of telling stories on social media, and I hope these 20 ideas have inspired you to experiment with creative ways to tell your brand story.

As I’m sure you are much more creative than me, I’d love to hear how you have been telling your brand stories on social media. If you are up for it, feel free to comment below and share the link to a social media posts where you told a story. Thanks!

Hat tip to Fran Merlie whose article taught me about the three-act structure in Candace Payne’s Facebook Live video.

from Social

How to Add a Responsive Lightbox in Adobe Muse

Muse For You - The Lightbox Widget - Adobe Muse CC - Web Design Ledger

How to Add a Responsive Lightbox in Adobe Muse. No Coding Skills Required.

 Muse For You - Adobe Muse CC Adobe Muse CC Logo

A Lightbox is a great way to have your website visitors focus their attention on a specific item on your web page. With a Lightbox you can have the website be in the background while a specific item is emphasized in the center of the website. An opaque or solid overlay covers the website so it is not seen in the background while an element is focused on. Adobe Muse has a few Lightbox features but one of the drawbacks with the Adobe Muse built-in Lightbox is that it is not responsive. That is why I decided to create “The Lightbox” widget. With this widget you can add a YouTube video, Vimeo video, image, Google Map, or website to the Lightbox. As the user resizes the browser the Lightbox changes size as well to fit all devices. You can also set the opacity of the overlay in the Lightbox to be more solid or more see through. You can have a solid color or choose a gradient for the Lightbox overlay.

Muse For You - The Lightbox Widget - Adobe Muse CC - Web Design Ledger

Features Include:

  • Set the background color and opacity of the Lightbox background.
  • Add a gradient for the Lightbox background.
  • Link a YouTube video to the Lightbox.
  • Link a Vimeo video to the Lightbox.
  • Link a website to the Lightbox.
  • Link an image to the Lightbox.
  • Link a Google Map to the Lightbox.
  • Link a Muse For You Hover Box to the Lightbox.

Muse For You - The Lightbox Widget - Adobe Muse CC - Web Design Ledger

Here are the steps to add “The Lightbox” widget:

1. Install the The Lightbox Widget by clicking the .mulib file inside of the widget folder. This will install directly into the Adobe Muse library panel.

2. Drag and drop “The Lightbox – Add First” widget from the library panel onto the Adobe Muse website. If you would like to have a gradient background in the Lightbox add “The Lightbox – Add First – With Gradient.” If you do not see the library panel go to Window > Library. From the “Add First” widget you can style the color and opacity of the Lightbox overlay.

3. Next drag and drop “The Lightbox Widget” onto your Adobe Muse website. You will notice there is an option that says “Graphic Style Name.” This is the graphic style name you will want to apply to the element that opens the Lightbox when clicking on it. To assign the graphic style name open the graphic styles panel. If you do not see the graphic styles panel go to Window > Graphic Styles. Then assign the graphic style name that is in the widget to the element you would like to open the Lightbox.

4. Afterwards link the element in Adobe Muse to a YouTube video, Vimeo Video, Image, Google Map, or website via the built-in “Hyperlinks” section in Adobe Muse.

5. Preview in the browser to see the Lightbox.

6. Done!

Muse For You - The Lightbox Widget - Adobe Muse CC - Web Design Ledger

For more widgets and tutorials for Adobe Muse visit

Happy Musing :).

Read More at How to Add a Responsive Lightbox in Adobe Muse

from Web Design Ledger