THE BLOG

24
Aug

How to Create an Avatar

Ever commented on a blog post or a forum and want more than an empty image that resembles a game piece on a board game to represent you? Or you have created a website using WordPress and can’t figure out why your picture is not showing up? Then you need to create an avatar. It’s a simple and easy process that allows you the freedom to add either an image of yourself, or a picture of your choice.

Before I walk you through the steps on how to create one, I want you to first give some thought to the picture that you want to use. Think about what it is that you do online and how you want to come across to others. Are you a gamer who wants a more arty image, not necessarily a photo of yourself so that you can remain anonymous? Or are you a writer who wants to create a professional image of yourself? These are all things to think about when deciding on which image to use.

Steps to creating your Gravatar:

  1. Go to Gravatar
  2. Click ‘Create Your Own Gravatar’
  3. Create an account, or if you are already registered with WordPress then log in.
  4. You will then need to confirm your account via email if you have created a new account.
  5. After confirmation you will be taken to a page that says ‘Whoops, looks like you don’t have any images yet! Add one by clicking here!’ – follow the prompt and click here.
  6. Select which method you would like to upload your image from
  7. Upload your image and click ‘next’
  8. You may then crop your image, so click ‘Crop and Finish’
  9. Click ‘G’ rated, if you click a higher rating, then you will find that your image won’t show up on most websites. Unless your image is not ‘G’ rated, but I really recommend you re-think your image choice if it is not.
  10. Select the image below, and click ‘Confirm Image’
  11. In the highlighted box click ‘Check this Gravatar’
  12. Your gravatar will be updated online within 5-10 minutes.
Image Source: VectorStock
21
Aug

Benefit from using the right Hashtags

If you want your content to be seen by people outside of your ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ on social media, then it needs to be searchable, and the way to do that is to add hashtag’s. But the key is to make sure they are relevant, popular and trending.

If you combine relevant hashtag’s and post at peak times you will see a big difference in engagement from others with your content.

Here are some simple tips to get the most out of Instagram and Twitter.

Instagram

Instagram allows up to 30 hashtag’s per post. I recommend using 3 – 10 relevant hashtag’s, as quality over quantity is always the best rule to follow. Do a little research into what’s trending and associated with what you are posting.

In addition to using relevant trending hashtag’s, you also have to think about the timing of your post. Who are you targeting? What times of the day are they on Instagram? Posting in peak periods will attract more attention. You will find the peak periods are between:

7- 9am: People scroll through Instagram while eating their breakfast, or commuting to work.

11am – 2pm: This is the time slot when office people break for lunch. Social media is a time filler for those who eat alone, or even those that dine with friends and colleagues. Have a look around next time you are out; people spend more time looking at their phones that conversing with those around them.

4:30 – 7pm: Peak time for commuters after work.

Another thing to keep in mind with timing is the time zone. Which time zone are you targeting? This is important for brands especially as the target audience may not be in the same time zone as the person posting.

These peak times are generic world wide, but the only way to find the best posting time for yourself is to analyse your own target audience and experiment with timing and find out which times, and days, generate the best results.

If you match trending hashtag’s and post at prime posting times you will find you will attract more likes and followers usually within 20 minutes of each of your posts.

Twitter

As Twitter is constrained by 140 characters you have to be choose your hashtag’s wisely. For Twitter I recommend using only one or two. It is also better to separate your hashtag’s from your message rather than hashtaging words throughout your message.

There are about 6,000 tweets per second, so your tweet will move down the news feed very fast and can easily be lost in the noise of Twitter. That’s why adding at least one relevant hashtag to your post can give some life to your tweet when people conduct a search. Most people will search hashtag’s to narrow down what they are interested in reading. So keep this in mind when thinking about which hashtag is the best to use.

If you post regularly on Twitter you might want to consider using a scheduling program like Hootsuite or Buffer. They allow for add-ons like Rite Tag that analyse your hashtag’s, making it easier to choose the most relevant one.

Like Instagram, the time you tweet is extremely important, even more so on Twitter as your tweet can be easily lost in the flood of tweets per second. Again, most people check Twitter during the commute to and from work, but the key timings for Twitter are:

12 – 1pm: During the lunch break seems to be a favourite viewing time.

5 – 6pm: You will gain more re-tweets and favourites during this time.

Again, it is extremely important to think about your target audience and times that they access Twitter. So spend time experimenting with different times and make note when you receive more responses.

Bonus Tip

Another tip to try with posting timing is just before the hour and just after the hour. This seems to be popular as people use social media as a time filler while waiting. Most appointments are on the hour, so while waiting for appointments or meetings people turn to their phone, same for when they are finished.

Follow these simple guidelines and you will notice quite a difference in the attention your posts will receive.