Contact Michelle for a bespoke proposal
Not Your Average Digital / Social Media Specialist
You might have seen people using Facebook live and you are wondering how they do it, or you are wondering How to use Facebook Live to promote your business.
Using Facebook Live to promote your business is one of the best things to do on Facebook right now. Most of your friends are visiting Facebook daily looking at their feed to see what is going on. It’s a well-known fact, that Facebook’s algorithm gives preference to Live Video. Well, they would do wouldn’t they, it’s theirs and they want people to use it. They see Facebook live as content that is different from normal videos. And unless people turn off Facebook live notifications (sorry) people will see your Facebook live videos in their feed, there is no doubt about that. Facebook Live is a great way to connect to your audience, to market your business and basically get yourself known.
People seem to love video, and they love live streaming, so they want to watch it, they want to see you, to see who you are, and if they watch, like or comment, on the stream their friends will see it even more so you have a vast audience at your feet.
How to use Facebook Live to promote your business
You can practice Facebook live right away from your phone.
- Click where you would put your status update – you’ll see some choices
- Click the red video camera
- Allow access to your camera – if you haven’t done so already
- Set your audience – who do you want to see your practice – friends or public.
- Hit GO LIVE
And start broadcasting right away – obviously people aren’t going to turn up right away – so just blabber on about something and soon they will appear. That seems to be what most people do.
So now you are a video star.
Broadcasting on Facebook Live from your desktop
However, for your business, you want to do something a little more special than walking around the park, rabbiting on about the kids. You want something a little more professional, And now you can use various apps or platforms that help you broadcast on Facebook Live directly from your desktop.
Steven Healey is a chat show host and trainer has been broadcasting for some time now, in fact – he’s hosted over 150 live shows, and luckily for us, Steven has produced a video tutorial on How to Broadcast to Facebook Live Video to Promote your Business from your desktop.
In this course he shows you how to
- Create an Account on Smiletime so that you can broadcast from your desktop.
- Create Your own Channel on Smiletime
- Upload your artwork
- Practice broadcasting without going live
So now you have started your journey and now How to use Facebook Live to promote your business. There will be further videos to progress to more advanced techniques. You can find out more about Steven and where to connect with him on the video.
You might also be interested in the Book that Steven has written with Fraser J Hay called “How to grow your business online” it’s not available yet but I will come back with the link this week.
We are often asked to review websites for customers, to find out exactly why the website isn’t getting any hits. This usually means the website is not being found on Google search or other search engines because of website errors. It’s easy to find out if you have website errors costing your business hits.
With the holiday season coming up fast for e-commerce businesses it’s even more important that these websites are fully optimized. Not being found on Google or being on page 10 and having pages that load slow, is not going to help business. First people have to be able to find you and secondly they need to want to stay on your site. Slow load pages, prevent customers sticking around. Also, bear in mind that increased traffic can cause your website to crash if you aren’t prepared.
With the holiday season coming up fast for e-commerce businesses it’s even more important that these websites are fully optimized. Not being found on Google and having pages that load slow, is not going to help business. First people have to be able to find you and secondly they need to want to stay on your site. Slow load pages, prevent customers sticking around. Also, bear in mind that increased traffic can cause your website to crash if you aren’t prepared. But its not just e-commerce websites should worry about errors. All websites that want to be seen need to check the health of their website.
Your website needs to:
- Look professional
- Load quickly
- Be mobile friendly
- Have optimisation
- Be error free
So, there is a lot to think about! It’s not just having a website that is going to bring you customers or views, its how well the website has been made.
The trouble is just looking at a website that has been made for you isn’t enough. Yes, it looks great but doesn’t let you know what’s going on inside. So we look deep inside to find out exactly what errors are lurking there and then we fix them.
Are these website errors costing your business HITS!!
How do you find out what errors are costing you business you ask…
Well, you could be an excellent coder or developer who knows about SEO or web development or you could use a tool like the one we sometimes use:- the Ellipsis Site Checker This site does a complete health check on your website. Then it gives you your report which you can look at online or you can download it, to show to someone else or to refer back to later. You can also compare your own website to a competitors website which is fun.
The good thing about this website is that it, not only explains to you why the error is bad for your website, or costing your business hits but it also show you how to correct them, and most of them you can do yourself. You’d be surprised how many website errors costing your business hits there are.
This nifty in-depth health check will tell you things like- if the page title is too long, if the meta description is there and how do create it, if its not, it will also tell you if your website is mobile friendly. It tells you about your keyword usage, your links, and your Google page speed. There is actually so much information this site check tool give you its crazy – and would take me an age to list them all.
All you do it put in your website URL and it does the rest for you, in few seconds. So find out if you have website errors costing your business hits.
If you need help, let us know.
I thought it would be helpful to let you know my best apps for creating social media designs. We used to have to struggle through with photoshop or illustrator or hire our own graphics designer but all that is very expensive for most people. And there are actually a few ways which are cheap or even free for you to create images for social media without any design skills, whatsoever.
Everyone is always asking me how to create great images for social media accounts or their content strategy.
It might be that you need a
- Twitter header
- Facebook header
- Graphics for quotes
- Images for Instagram
- Images for posts on Pinterest
- Blog post title images
- Images for within the blog post
There are a number of reasons to create your own images for social media or websites. And the apps make it easy to keep your branding by using your businesses colours, designs, fonts, and logos. They make creating social media designs simple as pie.
Best Apps for Creating Social Media Designs
The first one is one of my all time favorites – Canva
Canva is my go-to app for creating social media designs for a number of reasons. You can do so much with Canva, I don’t even know where to start. I first wrote about them in Jan 2014, Canva the free design tool but its even better now. The best thing is that you can upload images to use again – and put them in a folder, so you can keep your brand design images consistent. What’s more Canva now have an iPhone app so you can design on the go. Canva also have a Chrome extension.
Available for upgrade
Available on: iOS
No2 is Pixlr
Pixlr is a Photo Editor – For PC or Mobile – Pixlr have a few photo editors online and are now part of Autodesk – With Pixlr Editor – You can create a completely new image, open an image from your computer (or phone with the app) open an image from a URL or select on from the pixlr library, Facebook or other library. You can then edit the photos, with the many filters and add text. There is also a Chrome extension for this one. Pixlr have added a selection of backgrounds and foregrounds for Halloween too, which is fun.
but has a lot of ads.
Available on: Web – iOS and Android
No 3 is Pixomatic
Is just an app, I’m not sure if a web version is coming. What’s different about this app to the others is that you can cut and paste images, and change backgrounds add blur and colour splash effects. For instance, say you have taken a great selfie and the background is awful – simple, cut yourself out and put a new background. Great idea.
Available on: iOS
No4 is Wordswag
Wordswag puts awesome text on to your images, or you can choose an image or background from the library. I really don’t use this one enough – it’s so fast and easy to use. You choose your image and then with a quick swipe choose from many different text layouts, quotes, captions, jokes.
Price: $4.99 £3.49
No5 is Over
Over is a creative photo editor – This app is the new kid on the block, well for me certainly. There is so much in it, very similar to Canva, although I might say more of a mixture of Canva and Wordswag. They have a selection of sizes set up for you, in Twitter, Linkedin, etc etc, and a blank canvas too. You can use your own images or images from unsplash you can then add on a huge selection of quotes, sayings, birthday wishes, shapes or add your own text.
Lots of reasons to get the Pro version.
Availble on: iOS and Android
So there is my selection of my 5 Best Apps for Creating Social Media Designs, of course these apps can be used for many other operations too.
Many businesses are gearing up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday as it is a very profitable time of year for online businesses.
With Christmas following soon after this time of year provides some businesses with 40% of their yearly revenue. Its a very exciting time and businesses are rushing like crazy to get their promotions and ads out there.
Its a very exciting time and businesses are rushing like crazy to get their promotions and ads out there.
So we thought now would be a good time to let you know…….
Black Friday and Cyber Monday
For those are still confused at the terms, Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving in the United States and it was created to persuade people to shop for fashion online. Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving and signifies the start of Christmas shopping season, in Philadelphia, which would bring lots of traffic, queues and mobbed stores. Black Friday is now associated with sales in technology, games, small appliances, kitchen gadgets and the like. These are the biggest sales days of the year and not just in the US. Since 2009 retailers all over the world have been getting in on the sales campaigns saying that this time is the busiest.
However, as we have seen time and time again business are so busy with preparing their promotions such as.
• Social media marketing
• Blog Posts
• Landing Pages
• Facebook ads
• Website ads
That they do not think of the strain the increased traffic could have on their website. According to Cityam and we saw it ourselves, last year we saw 1 in 5 retail websites crashing as they were unable to cope with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s really no wonder that websites were struggling to cope as traffic volume went up by 660 percent.
Online stores such as
• John Lewis
All went down before they even knew it.
We expect more traffic online this year as people want to avoid the crushes and the fights that occurred in stores last year. Some online stores had queues of over 30mins with people trying to get online to purchase bargains. So we are urging retailers to ensure that their websites are ready to cope with the influx of Traffic.
So, how to prepare your website for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
The big companies still fail and they have the money and the staff to prevent these crashes.
Small businesses don’t need to panic however, there are some simple steps that you can take to ensure that your website doesn’t go down at a crucial time and so you don’t lose out on potential business. You still have time to prepare your website for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
First, you need to speak with your hosts or your friendly web dev people and find out if you can increase your hosting package to give your more CPU/ ram and bandwidth allowance – we are busy tracking our customer’s websites and predicting traffic surges during this time to prepare their e-commerce sites for this.
Other Options are…
Data caching improves capability by distribution data from a backend server to multiple front-end systems.
Multisite Cloud Hosting
A multi-cloud strategy uses two or more cloud services to minimize the risk of crashing by steering traffic through the fastest routes available
Sharding your database involves breaking up your big database into many, much smaller databases which can be spread across multiple servers
A Content Delivery Network Such as
• Amazon CloudFront
A content delivery network will separate your data (traffic) so that it is distributed to many servers so again preventing downtime.
You can also use Pingdom to monitor your own websites and servers.
So if you are busy sending out promotional emails, fliers, posting ads and press releases about new products think first about how your website, online store, e-commerce site, shopping think about how you can prepare your website for Black Friday and Cyber Monday quickly.
The newly launched Causr app is an innovative Networking app for Business Professionals because it uses location to find business people to network with, it doesn’t matter where you are and what you are doing, you can always find someone.
Causr, was created by James Eder Founder of Causr.co and Co-founder of The Bean Group. James thought that technology could help tempt fate to connect people who might usually not get the chance to meet otherwise. Anything is possible with the technology available to us now, and he’s proved that with this app.
Networking on the go
Creating a network of like-minded business professionals is one of the best things to do for your business. You can share information, ask for help, help others and develop a meaningful list of professional or business contacts.
Most of us will already have one or more networks of people who we connect with on various platforms, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, or maybe even Whatsapp groups or another networking app for business professionals.
However, the difference with the app Causr is that it enables users to make meaningful connections anywhere at all with its location-based networking. You might be staying at a hotel, be on the train, or at a meeting in a strange town, and need help or be able to offer help to someone nearby or just meet someone for a coffe. The location isn’t exact, it just shows the locality – say for instance 1.6km away.
Causr – Networking app for Business Professionals
Causr, works pretty much like Hometouch the find a carer in your area app or just like Tinder the dating app, although its not a dating app, it really is a networking app for business professionals. However, John says it could unintentionally happen that way!
When users create their profile they can type in what they are looking for or how they can help people. This way when people are searching for users in their area they can instantly see what you want or need.
After you have downloaded the app you will be required to log in. When you first log into the app it will ask you if its okay to use your location, of course, you will say yes here, otherwise, there is no point. You also get the option to only share your location while you are using the app or all the time.
Next, you sign in with LinkedIn, there isn’t another way to sign in, it only uses LinkedIn. It says that it uses LinkedIn to securely sign you in and to easily load in your profile. First this means that users don’t have to fill in loads of details but secondly, it would stop people signing in for a laugh to mess people around. They would have to go through creating a LinkedIn account purely for that gag, I guess that would put some people off.
How to use Causr
Once you have signed up you will see some icons at the bottom of the page.
The first one is the location icon – which finds business professionals near you with whom you can network with. you will see on this page from the top who are people closest to you, getting further way as you go down the page. I was surprised at this early stage to find people all around me.
If you tap on a users name – you go to the profile – where you can read more about them can add them as a connection – once they have added you as a connection you can start talking to them.
The next icon – is 2 heads, which shows you who you have connected with – like your address books (Nothing to see here yet)
Then you have the speech-bubble which is your messenger – where you can chat to your contacts
The next one is 3 people – which is groups, here you can join groups and connect with people that share the same interests. You just click discover groups and you are presented with a list of groups to join. Here you can also suggest new groups or visit groups you have signed up for.
Next is the cog – the settings button, to edit your profile etc.
So, now you know why I call it the Innovative Networking app for Business Professionals; because its such a great idea. I’m going to try it out a bit more. Please do let me know in the comments if you’ve tried the Causr app and what you thought of it.
You can download Causr from the app store.
Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
This platform schedules Instagram updates quickly and simply, directly from your PC. We have lots of platforms who claim they schedule Instagram posts but in reality, most of them don’t. What happens is, the tool only allows you to upload your images and schedule them but they don’t post them for you. These tools can only remind you of your scheduled time so that you open Instagram and post it yourself. Which might be of some help to people but it’s not much use for most of us especially those who work in social media management.
Most of the problem is that Instagram was designed as a mobile app and they want it to stay that way. So there are or have been in the past certain restrictions. They don’t want you to download pictures from the internet and post them on your feed, they want real-time updates. It’s all in the name Instant Gram these are supposed to be real pictures which you have just taken to show to the word. However, we want to share images from our holidays that we’ve removed from our phones and uploaded to the computer, or there might be other reasons to share an image from your PC. However, many people have got around that by copying photos on their mobile phone and saving it to their photo album. There are other tools out there that claim to do this but when I looked didn’t offer a trial – I will check them out again.
You might also like – Who unfollowed me on Instagram
or How to add Multiple Instagram Accounts
Platform Schedules Instagram Updates for Real
The platform that schedules platform schedules Instagram updates is called Instaschedule. It’s a really basic platform, no frills here but it does the job simply and effectively. I am actually not sure if its allowed, but they post the updates through your account and it works. I’ve been trialling it for a few weeks now and the developers have made lots of changes to make it better for you. They are continually working on it, so it might change more in the future. For now, I think it’s perfect.
Price Plan on Instaschedule
I’m not sure about the price for multiple accounts that seems pretty high if you are using it for clients, but the 1 account plan is quite reasonable. All plans are for unlimited posts.
I think it’s great also that they offer a 14-day trial, enough time to see if it works for you.
How to schedule your Instagram updates with InstaSchedule
When you have signed up, logged in and chose your free trial, you will simply have to add your Instagram account.
You then click on Schedule Posts and it’s as simple as that.
Choose a time and a date that you want to Schedule the post or update.
Write a caption – not forgetting to use those all important hashtags.
Select your Image file and Upload posts.
Once the post is scheduled it shows you at the bottom in Published posts, and once it has been published you will see a green tick.
The only thing I didn’t like is that once it’s published it stays in the plan, as above. So to me, it looks like it hasn’t been scheduled – but it has. I suggested that it might be better if this was removed so you have a clean slate again. They informed me that they keep it there in case you wanted to keep the image caption or just slightly change it, which does make sense.
There another Facebook video scam doing the rounds. This Facebook Scam uses Google Chrome to attack your account and send spam to your friends.
How do I know this, because I got caught (I am ashamed to say) yes, after warning you all of this very same thing, over and over. I clicked the link not thinking it could be unsafe, just not thinking on a Sunday morning. This just shows you how easy it is to get caught out, because I think everything is a scam !
I was having a conversation with a friend over a delicate health matter, and she sent me a video, it just appeared like the above. I just thought she had got fed up with typing. So I clicked the link, it wanted me to add an extension to watch it. Crazy, me didn’t think much of it, because she uses a lot of different platforms that I might not know. However, after I added the extension it didn’t work, I thought OH DEAR! I looked at it more closely saw that the URL was very strange. Its actually changed again already it now says – budaner.pw – yes I clicked it to check but I made sure I didn’t let it in this time. It adds an extension called – iHU or another one with three letters.
Shortly after – it sent a video link to about 15 – 20 of my friends. Ah! I quickly wrote to all of them to tell them it was a Facebook video scam and not to click it.
As Steven Healey explains here – in this Facebook live video – we’ve seen a few friends with this today, and some getting very annoyed. Yes, its a silly mistake to make but mistakes do happen, and it wasn’t intentional of your friend. It basically hacks your account so the extension sends it automatically to people in your own friends list.
This is how they are catching us out, sending it via a Facebook messenger message from a friend you trust. With your name on.
How to remove the Facebook video scam from Google Chrome
Don’t click this link in the video
If you do click it – and install the extension (stupidly like me).
Quickly go to Google Chrome.
- Click the 3 dots.
- Click Settings.
- Click Extensions on the left.
Scroll down until you see the offending extension – this is the one I had but there are others.
If you are not sure which one it is immediately – just stop them all right away so that you can go through them.
When you have turned it off.
Go back to Facebook – and change your password.
- Click in the top right corner of any Facebook page and select Settings.
- Click Password.
- Type your current and new passwords.
- Click Save Changes.
Quickly tell everyone that you have sent a message to not to click it.
Post on your Facebook page not to click the link thats its a Facebook video scam.
I did three malware scans and could not find anything, so it seems its just related to the extension – once that’s gone, nothing else happened.
As you can see its nothing really to get stressed about – delete the extension and change your password, and nothing can happen.
Hope this helps.
Today Twitter announced that they are finally allowing us longer tweets. Twitter told us in a blog post in May that they were going to be allowing longer tweets and other updates that were coming that will make changes in the way we tweet. Today we got some more of those updates.
Longer Tweets and other updates on Twitter
So, its not really more than 140 characters (which is Twitters trade mark amount of characters that you can use) but now only text matters. When we started adding Videos, Gifs and Images to our tweets it meant that we lost space in the amount of characters that we can type. Now that all changes. You now don’t lose any characters, which is great, as you really didn’t have much room left once you’d added your media attachments and hashtags to type a meaningful message, it always had to be very short.
Twitter announced the update via a tweet and a video.
Say more about what’s happening! Rolling out now: photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets no longer count toward your 140 characters.
What doesn’t count to your 140 character limit in a tweet
- @Names (in replies)
All of these items will no longer us up valuable tweeting space.
One of the other changes happening today is the requirements to put .@ A full stop or period before a username so that the tweet is shared with all your followers instead of just the person that you are talking to is over, now you can just put the user name and your followers will see the tweet in their feeds. And you can also retweet your own reply. We’ve already seen that we can now retweet our own tweets which is very useful when you want to get a tweet to be seen more often, and saves time typing it all out again.
Twitter also said that they are working on more improvements and will let us know about those soon. I do these Longer Tweets and other updates on Twitter but I hope they don’t change it too much.
Last night Peter Hollens the singer and producer most known for his awesome Capella covers over on YouTube was distraught last night, when hacking group who say they are not hackers but just testing his security attacked many of his social media accounts. Many fans were tweeting – Peter Hollens Hacked.
Peter Hollens Hacked
We love Peter Hollens and we were upset to read a tweet from Peter that all he wanted to do was come home after a hard day and spend sometime with his daughter but no, there he was running around tracking the accounts that had been hacked so that he could change passwords and remove any thing the hackers had posted.
Singer and Producer Peter Hollens Hacked by *security* OurMine
Peter Hollens is in a long list of people that have been hacked by the group OurMine, who say that they are just trying to inform people that nobody is safe. OurMine are mostly targeting CEOs, and YouTube stars, Celebrities and I did see one article that said they were targeting MineCraft users.
Techcrunch were hacked in July of 2016 and received the same message as everyone seems to get and the same as Peter Hollens received.
Don’t worry we are just testing security, we didn’t change any passwords, please contact us
I hope that all the messages of support helped Peter get through this annoying time, I’m not sure what they did on his accounts, I do know that it was reported that they sent emails to Variety subscribers informing them that the website had been hacked.
So, I’m assuming this is their way of getting work to secure peoples accounts? I wonder if anyone has actually contacted them as they ask. If you know please let me know.
In the meantime, we should all be getting Two Factor Authentication on all of our accounts – this makes it harder for hackers to get in with an extra layer of security – where you have to have a password and something else. I don’t think this is going to help with the various exploits or phishing attacks but it has to help a little.
In the meantime check out this new video from Peter Hollens – Hamilton – An Acappella Medley – Peter Hollens & Co.
Update – It seems Peter was hacked again as on 1st of November this information came from Peters Facebook
UPDATE: It’s 100% VIDiq, they confirmed. DELETE IMMEDIATELY…. ATTN Youtubers: (Already 15+ users affected) Anyone who uses VIDiq needs to disable it immediately. There’s a huge meta data breach… go into youtube and disable access. I’m 100% positive this is how my channel was hacked yesterday.
Here’s how to do it: Click here to delete access: https://security.google.com/settings/security/permissions…
SHARE THIS POST ASAP.
More confirmation: https://twitter.com/vidIQ/status/793549756622528513
Hometouch is an online marketplace for home carers and families to find each other. As you can imagine for me this tech service which uses Saas was a dream to find. Getting the carers you want is a very difficult, upsetting and lengthy process for families. This, let me tell you IS the solution.
StartUp Home Care Platform Hometouch changing Social Care as we know it
Hometouch uses SaaS, Software as a service to help families find the carer they want at affordable prices and also helps carers get paid the money they deserve. From what I understand carers can charge the rates they want, (no more minimum wage for them) and Hometouch takes a commission for connecting them with families and running the system.
Hometouch was founded by Doctor Jamie Wilson who is a dementia physician in 2015 after he noticed the amount of people waiting for suitable care on the NHS. The Startup has had three lots of successful funding rounds since then. I can see why this is such a great idea and already works really well. They do need to make some alterations to the website to make it more intuitive for people that might be looking for their own carers and not as able as some people, and also to add more features, but I believe they are continually improving the system and it does the job at the moment, it could just be better.
Hometouch matches carers to families
Matching carers to families makes Hometouch sound rather like a dating app such as Tinder, and I suppose the practice is very similar, but without the weirdos! Carers are vetted and checked out completely. I found out about this while I was on the website looking at carers profiles and they asked me if I needed any help.
Hometouch has a chat feature on the site, which actually is very handy if you do come across any problems with the website, someone will usually answer within a few minutes, even out of usual working hours. You can also call them on the phone 24hours a day.
So, I said that I was concerned about the checks and the safety aspect. I really was, I needed someone trustworthy, and that was knowledgeable about Alzheimer’s I couldn’t have just anyone.
I was told
In my experience we have been going above and beyond the checks that most local authorities carry out. Having met with 10 to 12 over the last couple of months
We check all of our carers ID, Qualifications and CRB/DBS certificates. We also face to face interview every carer that joins HomeTouch and assess them against 5 criteria – punctuality, communication skills, compassion/empathy, ability to take initiative and personal presentation/honesty. We pride ourselves on the high quality bar we set and only accept a small fraction of the carer applicants on to the Home
How Does Home Care Platform Hometouch work
Its so simple,
You create an account on the Platform, no obligations
Click on Find A Carer
Put in your postcode and you are shown a list of carers profiles in your area.
The Profile shows you
- The Location of the carer
- How far they are from you
- How much they charge
You then click through to view more and you can read about their background, their expertise and experience and some even have a video.
When you have decided on your carer, you then write to them and discuss your requirement and their availability basically to see if you are both a good fit.
I actually met up with the carer I chose at my fathers house for them to meet, and for dad to decide himself if he felt he would like the carer that had been chosen and also for the carer to decide if the job was for him.
When you are happy you then click BOOK and put down what hours you require, when and what service. Another good thing is you can book just a one off or on going care, you can add or take away hours or days, you just work it out with your carer and then alter your details on the website. The carer we chose is very in demand and we can see why he has even been on holiday with his clients.
We’ve been using the Home Care Platform Hometouch for two weeks now, I am very happy with the service, the carer and the system. And as a business opportunity its huge, its really going to change social care as we know it.