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      Build A Media Library with React, Redux, and Redux-saga – Part 1

      Introduction

      Building applications with React can be overwhelming even after you’ve understood the elegant philosophy behind it. More so, managing large applications with React can be confusing at first. The ecosystem has grown with great libraries to save you some nightmares. But that also makes it difficult at first to figure out which library to use.

      In this two-part tutorial, we’ll build and deploy a media library app. The application allows users to search and display images and short videos from external services (Flickr and Shutterstock). It would also allow users to select images and videos for preview.

      We will build this application with:

      We will be using Yahoo’s Flickr API and ShutterStock API for images and short videos respectively.

      This tutorial assumes you have a basic understanding of JavaScript and React. Don’t worry if you have none. We will walk through and build the application from the ground up.

      Part 1 of this tutorial would cover basic React setup with create-react-app package, organizing our project workflow, defining routes, and of course testing it out.

      In Part 2, we will be using Redux and its async libraries; we will set it up and then integrate it into our application. Finally, we will deploy our application to Heroku for sharing with our friends. Our application would look thus when we’re done.

      Our app will be structured to allow you to either contribute to it or use it as a sample boilerplate for bootstrapping your React/Redux applications.

      There are loads of React boilerplate out there to help you get started with React. But we’ll be using create-react-app authored by the Facebook team. It allows you to create React applications with no configuration. create-react-app provides developers with the benefits of a more complex setup out of the box.

      Let’s get started…

      First, install the package globally:

      1. npm install -g create-react-app

      Then, create the media-library application:

      1. create-react-app media-library

      Bam. Our React basic setup is complete with scripts to start, build, and eject. Take a look at your package.json.

      Let’s test it out.

      1. cd media-library
      2. npm start

      Now, we can structure our project directory and add other dependencies.

      1. npm install --save redux redux-saga [email protected] react-redux

      Then, remove the default sample app:

      1. rm -rf src/**

      Project Directory

      Media-library
          - public
              - favicon.ico
              - index.html
          - src
              - Api
                  - api.js
              - actions
                  - mediaActions.js
              - common
                  - Header.js
              - components
                  - HomePage.js
                  - PhotoPage.js
                  - VideoPage.js
              - constants
                  - actionTypes.js
              - containers
                  - App.js
                  - MediaGalleryPage.js
              - reducers
                  - imageReducer.js
                  - index.js
                  - initialState.js
                  - videoReducer.js
              - sagas
                  - mediaSaga.js
                  - index.js
                  - watcher.js
              - styles
                  - style.css
              - store
                  - configureStore.js
              - routes.js
              - index.js
          - package.json
      

      If the project directory looks verbose, just be patient, and let’s walk-through. The intent of the project structure is to allow you to extend the application’s functionality beyond this tutorial. This would help you stay organized moving forward.

      What the heck is happening up there?

      1. View layer is our React component. It makes a request for action based on interactions on/with the application.
      2. Action, commonly called action creator returns a formatted object of the action type and optional payload which is then dispatched to the store.
      3. Redux-saga is a Redux middleware for handling async operations like fetching photos and videos from our API. It makes asynchronous operations look like standard JavaScript synchronous code making it easy to read, test, and reason.
      4. APIs are resource locations to fetch photos and videos in our own case.
      5. Reducers are simply pure functions whose purpose in life is to accept the state tree and an action from the store; make a copy of the previous state, transform it and then return a new state to the store.
      6. Store is a single object that holds the complete state of your application. It delegates the reducer with the responsibility of changing state when an action is dispatched.

      When the store receives an updated state, it transmits to the view layer to be rerendered.

      Now that we understand the workflow, let’s dive into coding.

      common/Header.js

      import React from 'react';
      import { Link, IndexLink } from 'react-router';
      
      const Header = () => (
        <div className="text-center">
          <nav className="navbar navbar-default">
            <IndexLink to="/" activeClassName="active">Home</IndexLink>
            {" | "}
            <Link to="library" activeClassName="active">Library</Link>
          </nav>
        </div>
      );
      
      export default Header;
      

      Link allows you to navigate to different routes in your application.

      IndexLink is the same as Link with the exception of OnlyActiveOnIndex prop set on it.

      components/HomePage.js

      import React from 'react';
      import { Link } from 'react-router';
      
      
      const HomePage = () => (
        <div className="jumbotron center">
          <h1 className="lead">Welcome to Media Library built with React, Redux, and Redux-saga </h1>
          <div>
            <Link to="library">
              <button className="btn btn-lg btn-primary"> Visit Library</button>
            </Link>
          </div>
        </div>
      );
      
      export default HomePage;
      

      containers/App.js

      import React, { Component, PropTypes } from 'react';
      import Header from '../common/Header';
      
      
      
      class App extends Component {
        render() {
          return (
            <div className="container-fluid text-center">
              <Header />
              {this.props.children}
            </div>
          );
        }
      }
      App.propTypes = {
        children: PropTypes.object.isRequired
      };
      
      export default App;
      

      App component is the parent component of our app. Every other component is a child to it. this.props.children is where other child components are rendered.

      We will implement the library route and the component that maps to it in Part 2 of this tutorial.

      You would notice that for Header and HomePage components, we’re using stateless functional component. This approach allows us to separate our presentational components from the container components.

      It’s a good practice as it enforces functional composition and component reusability.
      Whereas container components are responsible for your business logic and connecting with the store, presentational components are responsible for the look of your view.

      Simply put, presentational components are components whose purpose in life is to render values to the DOM. Container components also known as smart components provide props and behavior to presentational components.

      Let’s wire up our project routes.

      routes.js

      import React from 'react';
      import { Route, IndexRoute } from 'react-router';
      import App from './containers/App';
      import HomePage from './components/HomePage';
      
      
      
      
      
      export default (
        <Route path="/" component={App}>
          <IndexRoute component={HomePage} />
        </Route>
      );
      

      Now let’s add the entrance to our application – index.js.

      import React from 'react';
      import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';
      import { Router, browserHistory } from 'react-router';
      import routes from './routes';
      
      
      ReactDOM.render(
          <Router history={browserHistory} routes={routes} />,
          document.getElementById('root')
      );
      

      We pass in our routes and browserHistory as props to Router here.
      browserHistory uses your browser’s History API to create a clean and real URL without the gibberish that comes with using hashHistory. hashHistory has its use case, though.

      Router is a high-level API that keeps your UI and URL in sync. It ensures that required props are passed whenever you change URL.

      ReactDOM is the API for mounting our application on the DOM node(root, in our own case).

      Two more things before we test our app.

      Add a bootstrap link to a CDN in our public/index.html.

      <link href="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.7/css/bootstrap.min.css" rel="stylesheet"/>
      

      Let’s add some custom styling.

      styles/style.css

      body {
        margin: 0;
        padding: 0;
        font-family: Helvetica, Arial, Sans-Serif, sans-serif;
        background: white;
      }
      
      .title {
        padding: 2px;
        text-overflow-ellipsis: overflow;
        overflow: hidden;
        display: block;
      }
      
      .selected-image, .select-video {
        height: 500px;
      }
      
      .selected-image img, .select-video video {
        width: 100%;
        height: 450px;
      }
      
      .image-thumbnail, .video-thumbnail {
        display: flex;
        justify-content: space-around;
        overflow: auto;
        overflow-y: hidden;
      }
      
      .image-thumbnail img, .video-thumbnail video {
        width: 70px;
        height: 70px;
        padding: 1px;
        border: 1px solid grey;
      }
      

      Let’s test our app now…

      1. npm start

      Navigate to http://localhost:3000 on your browser.

      Bam!!! We’re up again

      Building application with React gets better as you understand the flow. In this part, we did:

      1. Set up configurations.
      2. Set up the project structure.
      3. Complete Header, Homepage, and App (parent) components.
      4. Map routes to different components.
      5. What else? We tested our app.

      In the second part of this tutorial, we will be exploring the power of Redux, Redux-saga, and separating our state management system from the React components for scalability and maintainability.

      How to Create a Winning Social Media Strategy (A Comprehensive Guide)


      Social media can help you reach new audiences, promote your content, and ultimately grow your brand or business. However, it isn’t as simple as just posting links to your blog posts across Facebook and Instagram. To succeed on social media, you’ll need to create a detailed strategy and establish a plan of attack.

      The good news is that you can begin your social media marketing journey by following a few best practices. Plus, there are plenty of third-party tools that can help streamline the process of publishing content and fostering social engagement.

      In this guide, we’ll explore the characteristics of a social media strategy and why it’s so vital to your business. Then, we’ll explain how to create a winning social media plan, with tips and tools to help you along the way. Let’s get started!

      Why You Need a Social Media Strategy

      A social media marketing strategy is an overarching plan for how you will create content, share it on social platforms, and engage with your audience. It covers every step of the process, from performing market research to posting content and evaluating your results.

      Without a clear strategy, you’ll likely struggle to see results. Randomly posting links to your blog posts is unlikely to truly engage your audience and attract them to your website. Plus, if you don’t have clear social media goals in mind, you won’t know if your efforts are paying off.

      With that in mind, let’s examine some key benefits of using social media to engage with your followers.

      Increase Your Reach

      You probably already know how popular social media is. As of July 2022, approximately 59% of people worldwide use social platforms. That’s around 4.7 billion users, and the numbers keep growing!

      Plus, the average person uses social media for almost 2.5 hours every day:

      An infographic of social media statistics from DataReportal

      Image source: DataReportal

      The statistics are even more encouraging if you’re paying for ads on social networks. Advertisements for Youtube and Instagram have a potential reach of 2.4 billion and 1.4 billion, respectively.

      As you can see, social media offers a great opportunity to get your business’ name out there and display your content in front of fresh eyes. You just need to choose the right platforms for your blog!

      Build Brand Awareness

      Brand awareness is simply how familiar people are with your brand, as well as with your products and/or services. It’s a step beyond brand recognition because it measures the extent to which the public can recall specific information and impressions of your company.

      Twitter is especially helpful on this front. Many brands have become well-known through their personas on this platform.

      Consider Wendy’s, for example. This brand is known on social media for its witty tweets and sarcastic responses:

      Wendy’s on Twitter

      Increasing your brand awareness is the key to gaining leads and retaining current customers. If your products or services are the first that come to people’s minds when they need something you can provide, they’re more likely to choose you over your competitors.

      While Twitter provides ample opportunities to refine your brand identity and build awareness, posting across multiple networks is ideal. This will help you reach various demographics and expand your audience more quickly.

      Establish Authority Online

      Since consumers have access to so much information via the internet, becoming an authority in your industry is crucial for driving conversions. Shoppers want to feel confident that they’re purchasing quality products. Proving that you know what you’re talking about is one way to reassure them that your brand provides the most bang for their buck.

      The best route for accomplishing this will depend somewhat on your target audience. For example, LinkedIn commands a certain amount of authority by default because it’s a network for professionals to connect.

      Publishing articles on LinkedIn is a prime opportunity for your brand to demonstrate extensive knowledge of subjects relevant to your industry:

      An example of building authority on LinkedIn

      However, this is only helpful if your target audience tends to be highly active on LinkedIn. Another option is to share articles related to your brand or industry on Facebook. It’s still the most popular social media site and is better suited to posting long-form content than Twitter or Instagram.

      Boost Engagement

      Engagement — loosely defined as any direct interaction between consumers and your brand — can help boost your business’ success in various ways. It increases brand awareness, solidifies customer loyalty, and can even improve your overall visibility online.

      Social media is an ideal venue for engagement. For starters, it provides a variety of ways for users to interact with your brand, including:

      • Following your accounts
      • Commenting on your posts
      • Re-posting your content
      • “Liking” or “reacting to” your content
      • Using branded hashtags

      Several of these modes of engagement are highly interactive, too, allowing you to respond to users’ comments or posts and drive further brand exposure and awareness:

      An example of an engaging Twitter post from Oreo

      Additionally, social media engagement is usually public and, therefore, can help your brand by providing word-of-mouth marketing. Users may incorporate branded hashtags or even post about products they love to promote your company of their own volition:

      An example of word-of-mouth marketing on Instagram

      Responding to posts like these can instill more loyalty to your brand on the part of your supporters.

      Provide Customer Support

      Customer support is integral to helping your buyers have a positive experience with your products and/or services. What’s more, it is also essential for building brand loyalty. Prompt and thorough responses to customer problems or complaints demonstrate that you value their business and encourage them to purchase from you again.

      While there are many ways to provide customer service, social media is a simple way for people to get in touch with you fast. Some may find messaging or simply tagging your brand in a post more straightforward than navigating your knowledge base, chatting with a bot, or tracking down your contact information and waiting for a response.

      In some ways, social media support is a chance to improve your image further. Publicly responding to customers can showcase your attentiveness and timely service (although it’s wise to take the conversation private after an initial response to keep customer information safe).

      Amazon is particularly well known for its Twitter support account. By dedicating an entire profile to helping customers, it can deliver answers to users’ questions quickly. For instance, this particular response was given nine minutes after the customer’s initial tweet:

      An example of customer support on social media.

      Your brand may not be large enough to warrant a separate account for your support team. However, it’s wise to devise a system for tracking support messages and ensuring that someone responds to them promptly. Later in this post, we’ll explore some tools that can help you automate this process.

      How to Create a Winning Social Media Strategy (In 9 Steps)

      By now, you should hopefully understand why creating a social media strategy can benefit your brand. So, let’s look at how to create an effective plan in nine easy steps!

      Step 1: Learn More About Your Audience

      The first step in creating a social media marketing plan is getting to know your target audience.  This means identifying your users’ demographics, interests, desires, and problems, so you can develop content that meets their needs.

      Creating generic social media posts might seem like a decent approach because you won’t alienate anyone. However, you’re unlikely to fully capture the attention of those who are most likely to engage with your brand or purchase your products.

      You can start by researching your target market and creating a customer profile (if you don’t already have one). You’ll want to identify their age, location, profession, preferred social media platform, and pain points.

      When identifying your target audience, we also recommend keeping in mind the “four Ps” of marketing:

      • Product: How is your product different from the competition, and which unique problems can it solve?
      • Price: What price is too high or low for your target market?
      • Place: Where does your target market shop?
      • Promotion: Which marketing strategies will be most effective for your ideal customer?

      A social media tool such as Audiense can help you build a high-quality customer profile. It uses social intelligence to help you learn more about your audience, what they’re looking for, and how to appeal to them.

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      Step 2: Investigate the Competition

      It’s also worth researching what similar companies are doing on social media. While we don’t advocate copying another brand’s approach, there’s almost always something to learn from your competitors.

      You can start by looking up other brands on different social media platforms. Here you can evaluate metrics such as:

      • How frequently they post
      • What kind of content they post
      • How much they engage with followers through comments, retweets, etc
      • How many followers they have, and how many accounts they follow
      • If they work with influencers (and which ones)

      It could be worth jotting down this information to have a general baseline for your social media marketing strategy. You can then adapt your approach according to the metrics and goals you identify in the next few steps.

      Step 3: Learn About Metrics

      If you use an analytics tool for your website, then you should already be familiar with standard metrics such as hits, click-through and conversion rates, and more. When you shift your focus over to social media, a lot of the same metrics still apply.

      For example, you will pay close attention to click-through rates from social media platforms to your website. However, some metrics are unique to social media, and you’ll need to know what they are so you can set practical goals.

      Some of those metrics include:

      • Likes, comments, retweets, and other engagement measures. On social media, you measure engagement using metrics such as likes, comments, shares, retweets, and more. The specific metrics available vary from platform to platform.
      • Post engagement. The percentage of people who engage with your posts as compared to overall impressions (views) determines your engagement rate.
      • Mentions. When other social media accounts mention you, this can work as a referral and convey trust from one brand to another.
      • Reach. Some platforms give you an idea of how many people your posts can reach, which varies depending on your follower count.

      Social media platforms understand the value they provide to businesses. That’s why most of the big names in social media include built-in analytics tools out of the box, so you can measure individual metrics without third-party tools.

      Twitter, for example, enables any account to access analytics data:

      An example of social media analytics.

      On other platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, you’ll need business accounts to access their metrics (or “Insights,” as Instagram calls them). Fortunately, these accounts are generally free to create.

      If you want, there are also a lot of third-party tools that enable you to access more in-depth analytics and peruse data from multiple platforms. We’ll talk about tools later on — for now, let’s explore how to choose the best social platform(s) for your strategy.

      Step 4: Choose Your Social Platforms

      It might feel tempting to target every social media platform so that you can reach as many people as possible. However, this approach can quickly become overwhelming, unless you have an enormous marketing team at your disposal. Plus, if you’re rushing to create content, then you’re likely compromising on quality.

      Therefore, we recommend focusing your efforts on just a few social media platforms. The right sites for your business will depend on several factors, including:

      • The age of your target audience. If you’re aiming for a younger crowd, then TikTok could be the way to go, with the majority of its users aged under 24. By contrast, Facebook is more popular with people aged 25-34.
      • The gender of your target audience. If you’ve been running your blog or business for any substantial period, think about what a typical member of your tribe looks like. Male, female, non-binary? Then, think about where your customers and readers are hanging out online. For instance, women tend to hang out on Pinterest: 76% of its users are women.
      • The nature of your business (and its products). If your products are highly visual, such as clothing or home decor, it could be worth focusing your efforts on Instagram. Alternatively, YouTube could be an excellent option for demonstrating complex products, such as gadgets and software. You’ll need to consider which platform will best show off your items and incentivize users to click on your links.

      Keep in mind that some social media platforms are linked. For instance, you can run simultaneous advertisements across Facebook and Instagram since they both belong to Meta.

      Step 5: Set Specific Goals

      Once you know where you want to focus your efforts and what metrics you care about, it’s time to set actionable goals. Using social media to “grow your website” is fine, but that’s not the kind of thing you can measure.

      When it comes to marketing campaigns, the smart move is to set incremental goals that you can easily track to see how you’re progressing. You can do this by using the SMART framework (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based):

      SMART goals

      Image source: Wikimedia Commons

      Let’s say, for example, that you decide to focus on Facebook as the heart of your social media marketing efforts. Some of the different goals you might want to set include:

      • Aiming for a specific number of followers for your business page
      • Increasing your engagement rate to X percent
      • Publishing a set number of posts during a specific period
      • Increasing the click-through rate to your website by X percent

      For most websites, the underlying marketing goal of social media is to get more traffic and conversions. That means you can either direct traffic back to your website or use social media to promote specific offers.

      The approach you take will depend on what your endgame is. However, it’s necessary to set realistic and measurable goals. That way, you can look back on your progress after a few months and see whether your approach to meeting those goals is working.

      Step 6: Create a Social Media Calendar

      By now, you should have a good idea of which platforms you’re going to use in your social media strategy and the goals you’re aiming for. However, before creating your content, it’s worth setting up a social media content calendar.

      During this step, you’ll want to decide how frequently you’ll post on each platform. You’ll also need to determine what time of day is most likely to generate engagement from your target audience.

      Posting too frequently could annoy your followers, whereas not publishing enough content means your brand could get buried in newsfeeds. Overall, studies suggest that posting just once or twice per day hits the sweet spot.

      Furthermore, many marketers report that posting between 6 and 9 PM on Fridays and Saturdays yields the highest engagement. This is consistent across various platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

      You can use a content scheduling tool such as CoSchedule to plan your social media posts:

      The CoSchedule content scheduling tool.

      CoSchedule uses a visual layout so that you can easily organize your marketing materials. It can also automate your posting schedule and keep creative assets on file to speed up your workflow.

      Step 7: Create Engaging Content

      So far, we’ve talked a lot about planning and the tools you can use to make your life easier. However, whether you’re growing a website or a social media presence, what matters most is the content you publish.

      You can have a rock-solid strategy based on data and an impressive array of measurable, achievable goals. However, if you don’t publish engaging content regularly, your social media presence isn’t likely to grow.

      Your mission, therefore, is to create and curate content that your audience cares about. Fortunately, content marketing and creation is something you already have experience in if you’ve been running your website for a while.

      However, social media is all about easily-digestible content: images, short videos, on-the-mark tweets, and more.

      An example of highly visual content on social media.

      Regardless of the content medium you choose, it’s all about quality. This means taking high-definition photos and videos, writing engaging (and accurate) copy, and editing everything before publishing. You’ll also want to try telling a story with your content so that you can make a lasting impression on readers.

      Additionally, hashtags can help increase your reach, particularly on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You’ll want to start by exploring popular and trending hashtags within your niche. Then, you can tailor your content accordingly.  You may also want to include your company name as a hashtag so that users can find you easily.

      Step 8: Engage With Your Audience

      Publishing content on social media isn’t a “set and forget” approach. Simply posting content is unlikely to deliver the engagement and results you’re looking for. Instead, we recommend dedicating time to engaging with your followers.

      This engagement can take various forms, such as:

      • Responding to comments
      • “Liking” or reacting to comments
      • Sharing content from your followers and customers

      For instance, the fashion brand Zappos frequently uses Twitter to answer customer questions and respond to feedback:

      An example of a brand engaging with followers on social media.

      Engaging with your followers shows them that you care about their feedback and opinions. This can foster better brand loyalty and even encourage customer testimonials.

      You don’t need to like or respond to every single comment or tweet on social media. However, making an effort to do this for an hour or so every day can make a big difference.

      Step 9: Track Your Results and Adjust Your Strategy

      Since you’re working towards very specific goals, it makes sense to pause from time to time and see if what you’re doing is working.

      Let’s say, for example, that your goal is to increase your Instagram following to 10,000 within a three-month period. To get there, you’ve been publishing new content with a focus on infographics:

      Infographics on social media.

      At the end of those three months, if you hit your goal, then you’ll know you’re doing something right. That means you can double down on the strategy you’ve been using by increasing your posting frequency, spending more time and money on better infographics, and so on.

      If you didn’t hit your goal, it could be due to any of the following reasons:

      • The type of content you’re publishing doesn’t resonate with your audience.
      • You haven’t been using hashtags effectively to expand your content’s reach.
      • You’ve been posting at the wrong times, which caps your potential reach.

      At this point, it wouldn’t make much sense to double down on the same strategy. That means you can either a) try a different content strategy or b) switch gears when it comes to the times you post and the hashtags you use. You could also try something new entirely, such as using influencer marketing.

      In a nutshell, what you’re doing is running experiments in social media marketing. You’ll make a hypothesis and test it as thoroughly as possible. If it turns out to be false, then you return to the drawing board to brainstorm with your team. Failure is part of the process, so don’t get discouraged.

      Outside of the built-in social media analytics tools, it could be worth using a third-party platform to analyze your success further. For instance, Agorapulse breaks down various key performance indicators, including customer engagement and audience growth. Plus, it uses one-click reporting to simplify the process.

      4 Bonus Pro Tips

      By now, you should have a general idea of how to develop your own social media strategy. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your approach!

      1. Link Everything

      Users are unlikely to spend time digging around and looking for links to your content. Therefore, we recommend setting up accessible links between your social media content and your blog (and vice versa).

      On your website, you can include social media icons that link directly to your profiles:

      The Dreamhost website with visible social media icons

      Many social media platforms enable you to link prominently to your blog or website within your profile:

      The Dreamhost Facebook page with a link to its website

      We also recommend including links directly to your blog posts and pages within your social media content. That way, users can navigate to your site with a single click. Here, you can use a link-shortening tool such as Bitly to create shorter and more attractive URLs for your posts.

      2. Create Campaigns

      You could create a long content schedule of engaging but separate posts across various social media channels. This approach could help you reach a wide audience and generate engagement.

      However, why not take things one step further and create a campaign? This is a collection of curated posts that follow a specific theme. The campaign might even have its own hashtag:

      An example of an Airbnb social media campaign

      Campaigns can catch the momentum from popular movements or social issues. Additionally, creating a cohesive campaign can help cement your message and further communicate your brand’s core values.

      As with all social media strategies, we recommend creating specific goals for your campaign. For instance, you might direct visitors toward one of your products or aim for more comments on your social channels.

      3. Keep Up With the Trends

      Creating original content can help your brand stand out from the crowd. That being said, following trends on social media is one of the best ways to show that you’re tuned in to the current moment. Furthermore, using trending hashtags can help you attract users who might not otherwise see your content.

      This approach can work even better if the trends are directly related to your industry or niche:

      An example of social media trends

      You can easily identify trending hashtags on Twitter or TikTok by navigating to the Explore tab of each social platform. For other social networks, it can pay to use the sites frequently and see which themes pop up in the accounts you follow.

      Additionally, exploring hashtags in your niche can help you connect with potential customers. Even if the hashtags aren’t trending, using them can make your content more visible to your target audience.

      4. Use Your Brand Voice

      Social media is, by its nature, more conversational than a traditional website. It enables you to speak directly to your followers and engage with them on a more personal level. That’s why it’s a good idea to zone in on your brand voice and use it to better connect with your audience.

      For example, if you have a fashion or food blog, you can use humor and casual language to engage your audience:

      An example of a brand using casual language on social media.

      This approach, along with sharing memes and jokes, can be beneficial if your target customer belongs to a younger demographic.

      However, if you work in a serious and professional industry, it’s worth maintaining a formal tone within your social media posts. After all, you’ll be targeting a completely different type of customer. Just keep your target audience in mind when you’re writing your copy, and that should reflect in your tone.

      5 Time-Saving Social Media Tools

      Creating and maintaining your social media marketing strategy can require a lot of time and effort. Fortunately, you can use some tools to streamline the process. Here are five of the best social media tools!

      1. Revive Old Posts

      Revive Old Posts

      Creating fresh and relevant blog content is essential to your content marketing strategy, and it also provides you with plenty of posts to share on social media. However, with Revive Old Posts, you can get the most out of your older content, too.

      Revive Old Posts can schedule your content on rotation and share it automatically to various networks. Furthermore, it can add optimized hashtags to your content to expand its reach.

      Pricing: The core plugin is free. Revive Old Posts premium plans start at $75 per year.

      2. BuzzSumo

      BuzzSumo homepage

      If you’re looking for new content ideas or insight into current trends, BuzzSumo could be the way to go. This all-in-one tool can help you with various parts of your social media marketing plan, from learning about your competitors to content research.

      BuzzSumo is also an excellent monitoring tool since it tracks your brand mentions across the web and alerts you to any issues. Additionally, it can help you identify and connect with influencers in your niche.

      Pricing: BuzzSumo has a free plan. Paid plans start at $99 per month.

      3. Canva

      The Canva website

      Part of social media success is having beautiful graphics in your content. With Canva, you can access a wealth of social media templates and design tools, including stock photography, color schemes, and layouts.

      Canva comes with a drag-and-drop editor, so you can quickly put together attractive posts. It also includes social media guidelines for all the major platforms, helping you create more engaging content.

      Pricing: Canva has a free plan. Paid plans start at $12.99 per month.

      4. Brand24

      Brand24 social monitoring tool

      Keeping track of all your brand mentions across social networks can be highly time-consuming. Fortunately, Brand24 can automate the process and send updates when users talk about your company.

      Brand24 can also calculate the “sentiment” surrounding your brand. This is how customers generally feel about your business, from positive to negative. Then, you can learn more about your audience and adjust your approach accordingly.

      Pricing: Brand24 plans start at $39 per month.

      5. Influential

      Influential influencer marketing company

      Working with influencers can increase your reach on social media and solidify your brand as a trusted authority. With Influential, you can easily find and connect with influencers within your niche.

      Influential uses machine learning and transparent data to determine which influencers are most relevant to your business. Therefore, it can quickly streamline the process of finding social media stars.

      Pricing: You can request a quote directly from Influential.

      Expand Your Reach on Social Media

      Social media platforms have billions of users who could potentially become your customers. However, you’ll need to create a plan if you want to succeed on social networks.

      To create a winning social media strategy, you’ll first need to research your target audience and competitors. Setting goals and choosing social media platforms is the logical next step. Once you’ve spent some time creating your content and engaging with your audience, you can track your metrics to see if your approach is working.

      Do you need a little help with your social media strategy? At Dreamhost, we offer Pro services for social media marketing. Our team of professionals can create engaging content for your brand, optimize your online profiles, and track your progress. Check out our plans today!

      Get Social and Grow Your Business with DreamHost

      Our experts will help create a powerful social media strategy and level up your execution so you can focus on running your business.

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      Decoding WordPress: The Media Library


      The WordPress Block Editor enables you to upload images and files directly to your site’s posts and pages. However, your media collection can become disorganized over time, and you might struggle to find media that you uploaded in the past.

      Fortunately, you can use the WordPress Media Library to organize your images and files. Thanks to multiple views and filters, you can develop an effective organizational system for your uploaded files. Additionally, you can optimize your images to rank higher in search results.

      In this post, we’ll give you an overview of the WordPress Media Library and its main features. Then, we’ll show you how to extend these features and fix any potential errors that occur. Let’s get started!

      An Introduction to the WordPress Media Library

      When you upload images, videos, and audio files to your WordPress website, these are stored in your Media Library. Essentially, this catalogs every piece of media you’ve used in your posts and pages.

      To open the Media Library, click on the Media tab in your admin dashboard. Then, you’ll be able to view your files and upload new ones if needed:

      WordPress Media Library

      Here are some files you may see in the Media Library:

      • Images (.jpeg, .jpeg, .png, .gif, .ico)
      • Audio files (.mp3, .m4a, .ogg, .wav)
      • Videos (.mp4, .mov, .wmv, .avi, .mpg, .ogv, .3gp, .3g2)
      • Documents (.pdf. .doc, .docx, .odt, .psd)
      • Spreadsheets (.xls, .xlsx)
      • Powerpoint presentations (.pps, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptx)

      If you need to narrow down your results by type, you can use the dropdown menu. Here, you’ll see the file types listed above, along with items labeled Unattached, Archives, and Mine:

      Media type

      You can also select a specific upload date. This can be particularly helpful if you’re unable to find an image but you know when it was uploaded:

      Upload date

      To organize your Media Library, you can use the Bulk select button. Then, you can select multiple images and delete them permanently:

      Bulk select

      In the top-right corner, you’ll see a search bar. Here, you can enter keywords to filter your results:

      Search Media Library

      Please note that you’ll have to have tagged the images with these keywords beforehand — but adding this little bit of extra effort to your workflow can make a huge difference when you’re trying to find things in the future.

      As you can see, the Media Library can help you organize the files on your website. It provides an all-in-one solution for uploading, editing, and deleting files.

      5 Useful Media Library Features

      If you’re new to WordPress, you might not know how to use the Media Library. Fortunately, this tool is very user-friendly, and it enables you to upload, view, and edit media files on your website. Let’s take a look at its main features.

      1. Multiple Views

      The Media Library lets you change the way files are displayed. You can either view them in a grid or a list.

      By default, the Media Library shows items in a grid view, with a thumbnail for each file:

      Grid view

      As we mentioned earlier, you can filter the results by media type and date. If you want to view the details of a certain file, you just have to click on it:

      Grid view attachment details

      Alternatively, you can switch to the list view. Instead of a gallery-like grid, your files will be displayed in a list:

      List view

      On the left-hand side, you can use the checkboxes to bulk-select files. Next to this, you’ll see a thumbnail representing each media item.

      Here’s what else you can see in a list view:

      • File: The file title, as well as the full name of the file.
      • Author: The user that uploaded the file.
      • Uploaded to: The title of the post or page where the file was uploaded.
      • Comment bubble: The number of comments for that file.
      • Date: The date when the media was uploaded.

      If you click on the file name, this will open the image editor:

      List view image editor

      You can switch between these two views at any time, depending on your preference. However, the list view can be a better option if you want to view a file’s details without having to click on it.

      2. Multiple Ways to Upload Files

      When you need to upload a file to your website, you can add it directly to a post or page. The Block Editor lets you add images, videos, and other files with blocks:

      Image block

      Once you select the relevant block, you can click on Upload and choose a file from your computer. If you’ve uploaded the file to WordPress before, you can select it from your Media Library:

      Upload from Media Library

      You can also drag and drop a file directly into this section. This will automatically upload it into the Media Library, and you can then add it to the post:

      Upload new file

      You can also upload images directly to the Media Library. Simply click on Add New, then drag and drop files into the upload area or select them from your computer:

      Add new media file

      With any of these methods, your media files will be automatically imported into WordPress. Even if you uploaded your files in the Block Editor, you’ll still be able to find them in the Media Library.

      3. Downloadable Files

      The Media Library also lets you download your files to your computer. This can be useful if you need to use the same images or videos on another site.

      To download a file from your WordPress dashboard, click on the Tools tab and select Export:

      WordPress export

      On this page, you can download all of your site’s content. This includes posts, pages, and media files.

      Select Media, then use the dropdown menus to download files that were uploaded within a certain timeframe. You’ll simply have to specify a Start date and End date:

      Export media

      If you want to download all of your media files, you can leave these fields blank. When you’re finished, click on Download Export File. This will download links to the relevant files to your computer in an XML file format that can then be imported into another WordPress install.

      4. Image Editing

      As a website owner, it’s vital that you optimize your images before publishing them. Large files can slow down your site and take up a lot of storage space.

      The Media Library has many native image editing features. For example, you can crop your images, scale them, and more.

      Start by clicking on an image to open the Attachment details page. Then, under the photo, select the Edit image button:

      Edit image

      This will automatically open the image editor. On the left, you’ll see options to crop, rotate, or flip the image:

      Image editing features

      If you select the Crop button, you can use the handles on the box to remove certain parts of the image. When you’re finished, click on Crop again:

      Crop image

      Using the rotate options, you can flip the image 90 degrees to the left or right:

      Rotate image

      If you need to invert the image, you can use the Flip buttons. These will reflect the photo vertically or horizontally:

      Flip image

      On the right side of the page, you’ll see the original dimensions of the image. To scale the image, you’ll just need to enter the new dimensions:

      Scale image

      Additionally, you can click on the Crop button and enter the size in the Selection fields. You can also choose an Aspect ratio, which is the relationship between the height and width of the image:

      Image crop selection

      The last feature you’ll see in the image editor is the Thumbnail Settings. Here, you can apply your changes to all image sizes, the thumbnail only, or all sizes except the thumbnail:

      Thumbnail settings

      When you’re finished, save your changes. You can now view the edited photo in the Media Library.

      5. Image Metadata

      In the Attachment details page of your image, you’ll see an option to add metadata. This contains basic information about the image, including the file name, author, and description:

      Image metadata

      After you upload an image, WordPress will use the file name as its title. However, you can edit this to provide a more accurate description:

      Image title

      You can also add alternative text. This describes the contents of the image when it can’t be displayed. Additionally, it can make your website more accessible to users with screen readers:

      Add alt text

      Along with improving user experience, alternative text can boost your search ranking. It enables search engines to understand your images and their purpose on the page.

      You might also want to write a caption and description to provide more information about the image. While the alt text is only visible to search engines and screen readers, the caption is visible to all front-end users:

      Image caption

      Meanwhile, descriptions will appear on the image attachment page. Here, you can post copyright details, keywords, links, and more:

      Image description

      This information will be saved in the Media Library. When someone visits the image URL, they’ll be able to see its description.

      How to Extend the Features in the Media Library

      The Media Library provides the essential tools you need to upload and edit media files. However, you may need to install a plugin to extend its core functionality.

      As you upload more images to your website, your Media Library can get a little disorganized. Although you can delete images in bulk and use filters to find what you need, you may become overwhelmed by the volumes of files on your website.

      With the Real Media Library plugin, you can create folders in your Media Library:

      Real Media Library

      This tool has a drag-and-drop interface that enables you to easily move media items to different sections. Plus, the pro version supports subfolders, image galleries, and rearranging within a folder.

      Alternatively, you can use the free version of Media Library Organizer to add media categories for better media management:

      Media Library Organizer

      The native editing features in the Media Library may not fully optimize your images. Often, you’ll need to compress image files in order to speed up your website.

      With the TinyPNG plugin, you can let your WordPress install automatically compress your images as you upload them:

      TinyPNG plugin

      Additionally, you may want to replace old files with newer versions. With the Media Library, you’ll have to upload the new file, locate the old version, and delete it.

      Enable Media Replace is a popular WordPress plugin that you can use to quickly replace files in your Media Library:

      Enable Media Replace

      Even though you might not need these tools, they are available to help you optimize your website and manage your files more efficiently. They can be particularly useful when activated on media-heavy sites.

      How to Fix Common Media Library Errors

      Although the Media Library is very user-friendly, you might run into some common image upload issues. Fortunately, most of these problems are easy to fix.

      HTTP Error

      One of the most common issues in the Media Library is an undefined HTTP error. This crops up when something goes wrong during the upload process.

      When this happens, it’s a good idea to wait a few minutes before trying to upload the file again. Sometimes, it’s just a temporary resource allocation problem.

      Alternatively, this common image error could be caused by your browser. You can try switching to another browser to see if it solves the problem.

      If the error persists, you can try clearing your browser cache and deactivating your plugins. Alternatively, you might need to increase your site’s memory limit.

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      Upload: Failed to Write File to Disk

      When you’re uploading files to your website, you may also come across the Upload: Failed to Write File to Disk error. Usually, this results from incorrect file permissions. However, you could have maxed out your hosting plan’s disk space limit or temporary folder.

      To fix this error, you’ll need to check the file permissions for your website. First, you’ll need to connect to a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) client to access your site files. Alternatively, you can use the File Manager in your hosting account.

      If you have a DreamHost account, open your dashboard and go to Websites > Files and FTP Users:

      DreamHost manage files

      Then, click on Manage Files next to your website. In your File Manager, find the wp-content file and right-click on it:

      Open file permissions

      For DreamHost accounts, you can select CHMOD. If you’re using another program, click on the File Permissions option. This will open a pop-up window:

      File permissions

      Make sure the Numeric value is set to ‘755’. Then, click on OK to save your changes. This should help resolve the issue.

      Media Library Failing to Load

      Occasionally, your Media Library might fail to load altogether. This can happen if you’re using a poorly-coded theme or plugin.

      You might also see this error when there’s a conflict between two plugins. Third-party software can cause compatibility issues with other programs.

      To resolve the issue, start by deactivating your plugins. Select them all, then choose Deactivate from the Bulk actions menu and hit Apply:

      Deactivate plugins

      Now, refresh the Media Library page to see if this solved the problem. If so, you’ll need to reactivate each plugin one at a time and keep refreshing the Media Library until the issue reappears. This should help you identify the culprit.

      If deactivating the plugins doesn’t help, then the problem might be your theme. Consider activating a default WordPress theme, then try accessing your Media Library again.

      Organize Your WordPress Images

      The WordPress Media Library enables you to upload, modify, and delete files on your website. You can also use it to crop and scale images without leaving your dashboard.

      To review, here are the main things you can do in the Media Library:

      1. View uploads in a grid or list view.
      2. Upload files in the Media Library or Block Editor.
      3. Download files to your computer.
      4. Edit image size, pixels, and orientation.
      5. Add image metadata.

      Although optimizing images can improve your loading times, you’ll want to build a fast website from the ground up. Our managed WordPress hosting plans come with several performance tools to help you grow your site. Check out our plans today!

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