Canva: A Social Media Expert’s Best Kept Secret

The key to becoming a successful social marketer is to constantly be thinking of innovative ideas and always work creatively. Enter Canva: a graphic design tool for everyone. Canva is an Australian based start-up that sky-rocketed back in August 2013, when they raised over $3 million from distinguished technology-based investors. It has a major emphasis on creating graphics that are friendly for all social media platforms including, but not limited to: Facebook and Facebook Advertising, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube.

Recently, I’ve discovered how to use Canva as an essential social media tool for anyone wanting to enhance their digital presence.

Canva’s Top Features

Customized Dimensions: Canva offers several types of social dimensions including ads, cards and blog post headers.

Pre-made Content: Templates make creating designs easy but you can also have a creative guide.

FREE Stock Images: Choose from several FREE stock images from a variety of categories. There are also images available for purchase.

Fonts Galore: Several fonts make creating unique designs.

Drag & Drop Tool: Users can easily place their graphics using an easy-to-use drag and drop tool.

Simple User Interface: Canva makes creating your designs easy by not including all the extraneous editing tools other photoshop tools have. This saves time because users can’t constantly second guess themselves with several filters and other art tools.

Creative Stream: Designers block? Click the Stream tab to view in real time other Canva user’s designs.

Accessibility: Canva is available for desktop and iPhone/iPad mobile apps.

Getting Started with Canva

Like I mentioned, Canva is extremely user friendly. Follow these steps to begin your first design.

  • Choose Dimension
  • Choose a Template
  • Create Content or Insert Photos
  • Let your creativity run wild!
  • Download as a PDF or Image File

How Can You Use Canva?

Canva is perfect for creating images for a client or even for personal social platforms. Even with a full-time graphic design team on your side, sometimes it’s nice to take a shot at creating your own designs. Below are some of my personal ideas for using Canva in my career as a digital media account manager:

Holiday Graphics for Social Media

Holiday Graphics for Social Media

Blog Post Headers


Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads


Pinterest Graphics

Expand Your Skills

In all honesty, one of my major future goals is to develop design skills so I can be a triple threat in the industry. Canva allows me to do that. I get to use my way with words and turn them into a visual piece of art. As every social media expert knows, imagery is essential for creating top-notch campaigns: especially professional looking imagery. Using this tool can help you stand out in a crowd and even impress your clients.

What are you waiting for? Sign up for Canva NOW… It’s free!

Or, if you’re interested in other social media tools I keep in my back pocket, check out this blog on Instagram Marketing Tools or this one on Optimal Social Media Posting Times.

7 of the Most Influential Women in Digital Media Advertising

This month we celebrate Women’s History Month. Since the beginning of advertising, women have made a significant impact, whether they were recognized for their successes or not. As a female in the advertising, I look up to those women like Mary Wells Lawrence who paved the way for women in the industry. To this day, the world of advertising remains a male-dominated field. In fact, only 3% of creative leadership positions are held by women, while ironically women control 80% of consumer spending in America.

With that being said, in honor of Women’s History Month I would like to celebrate women today who are making a difference in the field of digital media advertising. You may have never heard their names, but their work more than likely impacts your day-to-day activities.

Sheryl Sandberg: Chief Operating Officer at Facebook

Woman's History Month - Sheryl Sandberg.When first joining Facebook in 2008, Sandberg’s first goal was to make it profitable. This lead to the creation of Facebook’s first advertising platform of “ads discreetly presented” and by 2010 the company become profitable. Today Sandberg oversees all of Facebook’s operations including sales, marketing, business development, human resources, public policy and communications. As a reward for her great efforts, she was invited to the board of directors. The first women on Facebook’s board.

Kim Luegers Morse: Product Consultant at LinkedIn

Woman's History Month - Kim Luegers MorseBefore landing her current position as Product Consultant at LinkedIn, Kim was the Director of Mobile and Emerging Media at Pandora. There, she was partially responsible for the company’s $100 million-plus in mobile advertising sales revenue. Currently at LinkedIn, she works to help higher education institutions leverage LinkedIn media effectively to achieve their marketing objectives. The social network, which is primarily used by business professionals world-wide, has over 300 million active monthly users (and counting.)

Susan Wojcicki: CEO at YouTube

Woman's History Month - Susan Wojcicki.Susan become Google’s 16th employee and marketing executive in 1999. She was able to license their search technology and led initial development of Google’s image search. Later on, she advanced to Vice President of Advertising & Commerce and created the advertising and analytic products offered by Google including: AdWords, AdSense, DoubleClick and Google Analytics.

Arianna Huffington: Co-Founder/Editor-In-Chief at Huffington Post

Woman's History Month - Arianna Huffington
Arianna boldly took on the world of digital media in 2005 with Huffington Post, an American online news aggregator and blog. Today, her creation has flooded our Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter timelines to become a household name with viral post after viral post. It’s likely worth an estimated $100 million.

Sara Clemens: Chief Strategy Officer at Pandora

Woman's History Month - Sara Clemens

As Chief of Strategy at Pandora, Sara works towards global expansion along with perfecting the internet radio company’s business strategy. Prior to landing her Pandora gig, Sara held leadership positons at Greylock Partners, LinkedIn and Microsoft.

Lisa Utzschneider: Senior VP, Sales, Americas at Yahoo

Woman's History Month.Lisa certainly has an impressive resume, which presumably helped her land the job as Senior Vice President at Yahoo in February of 2014. She started out as a General Sales Manager at Microsoft where for ten years she led several advertising initiatives for product development and sales. Lisa then joined Amazon in 2008 as their President of Global Advertising. As President of Global Advertising, she assumed the role of operating all of the company’s owned websites including Amazon, IMDb and DPReview. She developed long lasting sales strategies and advertising solutions for the ecommerce conglomerate.

Carolyn Everson: VP, Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook

Woman's History Month - Carolyn EversonWith previous experience from Walt Disney Imaginnering, MTV Networks and Microsoft, Carolyn brings innovation and leadership to Facebook. Her efforts have cultivated Facebook into the leader of mobile advertising. She’s responsible for growing Facebook’s ad revenue, which recently accounted for 62% of the $2.7 billion the social network made last year-not to mention mobile ad revenue alone was up 151% from the year before.

Who are the women that inspire you?

The women above represent some of the most successful digital brands in the world. Not only have they helped lay the foundation for digital media success, they continue to build up to make the internet more enjoyable and entertaining. We’d love to hear about more women who are making an impact in digital media advertising! Please leave a comment below to continue the conversation.

Twitter Advertising Guide: Follower & Tweet Engagement – Part 1

Social media advertising welcomes a new effective player to the game. With the recent roll out of optimized advertising, Twitter has proved it will be a front runner among options for paid digital ad campaigns. Just like Facebook advertising, Twitter offers a variety of choices for objective-based ad campaigns.

In Part 1 of this blog series, we’ll look at the Follower and Tweet Engagement Campaign Objectives within Twitter.

Follower Acquisition

A Follower Acquisition campaign is meant to increase your community on Twitter by asking people to follow your account. When setting up a Twitter Follower Campaign you have the option to select a tweet you have already tweeted to your followers. Alternatively, you can choose to create a “Promoted Only” tweet, which will not post to your timeline, but rather it will only appear on your targeted audiences’ Twitter feed.

I recommend keeping your Follower Campaign text to a minimum of 100 characters. Something short, sweet and to the point. Twitter also suggests that you don’t include a photo in your tweet, because that will distract potential followers from clicking the “Follow” button.

Here are a few examples of engaging tweets:

  • Follow us to get exclusive deals and coupon codes!
  • Follow us if you love fried chicken!
  • Love coffee? Follow us today for special offers near you!
  • Hate how expensive your phone bill is? Follow us to see how you could be saving up to 60%.
Jack Daniel's Fire Follower campaign.

Jack Daniel’s Fire Follower campaign.


IU Health Follower campaign.

Tip: Create at least 3-4 unique tweets to increase your chances at a successful performance.

The next step in the set-up process is to define your audience. Twitter allows you to choose from one of the following targets:

  • Interests: Choose from interest categories based on who you would be interested in following your account.
  • Followers: Choose specific accounts and target followers similar to their account.
  • Tailored Audience: Here you can upload your own lists and target those people. Note: Listing uploading can’t be done within Twitter advertising. Twitter asks users to us a third-party source for uploading lists.

Once you choose a target, you will then be able to narrow down by location, language, device and platform and gender. The final step is then to choose your budget for your Followers Campaign. Twitter makes advertising worth the buck, because no money will be spent unless your objective is achieved.

Tweet Engagements

Twitter is a place for people to connect and engage. To increase your chances of an engagement, try constructing a Tweet Engagement Campaign. I would compare this type of objective to that of Facebook’s “Post Engagement” objectives. The goal is to create the largest audience for impressions, retweets, favorites and clicks.

Examples of Tweet Engagements could include:

  • Special sales or promotions
  • Events
  • Visually appealing photo
  • Vine or YouTube videos
Amazon promotes their coupons with Tweet Engagement ads.

Amazon promotes their coupons with Tweet Engagement ads.

Ugg Australia promotes a video on Twitter for the holidays.

Ugg Australia promotes a video on Twitter for the holidays.

I would consider this objective the catch-all for tweets that you would like to promote to larger audiences. The key to creating a successful Tweet Engagement Campaign is to create content that is shareable, but also has a purpose to be shared. And just like a Follower Campaign, Twitter allows you to use a previously posted tweet, or to create your own Promoted-Only tweet.

With this objective, Twitter lets you choose from one of the following targets:

  • Interests: Choose from interest categories that are similar to your followers.
  • Keywords: Reach people that might be associated with similar keywords related to your promoted tweet.
  • Followers: Select specific Twitter accounts with followers that would have similar interests to your tweet.
  • Television (one of the coolest features!!): Target people who follow specific TV shows. Great for tweeting during TV show finales, premieres, award shows, sports games and more.

Just like a Follower Campaign, you will be able to tailor your audience by location, language, devices and gender. You can also upload lists, CRMs, and more to reach a specific audience.

Twitter Advertising is a great tool for increasing your brands reach along with increasing followers to your account. In Part 2 of this guide, we will explore the Website Clicks & Conversions, Leads and App Installs or Engagement objectives. Stay tuned…