The Big Switch!

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It has been quite some time since I have blogged or posted about things in a while, and many apologies to those who read my blog. But, now I do have something to write about and it is about making the #switch to a Windows based phone.

A Connected World

A little history here. On my Verizon account, I have been carrying 2 separate phone lines. One for personal and the other line for my small business. In the beginning, both lines were Android, but then I switched one of them to the Apple iPhone 4S. Now, initially, I was impressed with the 4S from Apple. This was my first foray into using Apple products, and I must say that they do possesses a certain level of simplicity of use and fluidity of motion. And, I in no way will take away from them the fact that, for the most part, the mobile world does revolve around Apple. And therein lies the problem. Because my world (both personal and business) has always been Microsoft, and not Apple.

Mixing Apples and Oranges (in a manner of speaking..lol!) 

Microsoft Operating Systems have always been on any PC or laptop that I have owned, so there is a sense of familiarity about it. Working with it as long as I have, either just as an end-user, government employee, or a  college instructor, there has always been a version of Windows that I have used to be productive, entertained, and organized. With that being said, when I added the Apple iPhone 4S into the mix, it was not a matter of a poor choice, but rather a “seeing what is out there” type of choice.

Apps, OPs. and Oops!

For my social networking life, there are just three apps that I use with any amount of frequency. They are: Facebook, Google Plus , and Twitter. And with any search in either Android, Apple, or Windows Apps store, you will find these three apps. So, why the switch? Simple. Office 365 and One Note. With Android and Apple mobile OPs, you have One Note, but, no Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. With the large amount of my documents being in MS Word format, having a way to bring them up in native format was a BIG PLUS. Now, I would not propose to create an entire document on my mobile phone, however being able to edit it, make small changes, and save it in native MS Word format is a wonderful thing! Also I tend to toss my phone around a lot, and with an iPhone, this is not a good habit to have..lol.

In the end, its all about the movies…

The final selling point for me, I didn’t actually find out about it until I came home with the phone. And that is – 32 GB internal storage and Carl Zeiss lenses. From my early days of photography, I was the proud owner of a Contax brand camera. Excellent camera, beautiful pictures, and the Carl Zeiss lens made your photos look outstanding. Now, take that lens and put it in a mobile device coupled with 32GB of internal storage for all my music, videos, and movies? You have got me sold! So now on my daily commute, I can chose to either listen to music, watch music videos, or any one of my favorite movies that I have downloaded to the phone (“Smokey and the Bandit” anyone?) Oh, and the looks I get from my fellow commuters is priceless because not everyone has a Windows Nokia phone. So, is any cell phone the perfect cell phone? No, not really. But having tried all three platforms, I can say that the Windows 8 phone fits perfectly into my life, my media, my social networking, and in my pocket!

What was there before the Internet?…

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Life, Love, and pursuit..

Sorry for the delay in between post, but have been taking some time out to tighten up my social media, and also to take a little time to reflect. Personally, I think it is a good idea sometimes to just unplug from the Internet and social media, in order to take a step back and remember life before Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, and blogging. A time to re-energize yourself, put priorities in order, and regain your focus. Hence, the writing of mine at the top of the page.

“Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto”

On my Facebook page, I stated that in this age of technology, we live all aspects of our lives online. From ordering our groceries to finding our life mate, so much of our daily lives are online. And I wondered – “What would happen without the Internet?” Do we remember enough of our basic social skills to still be able to hold a conversation without the assistant of Google, Pulse, or any other news feed for a topic? Did we retain information in our memory to again go to a store, purchase a card and gift, and deliver a birthday message in person? When we relax, do we remember how to pick up an actual good book, or do we automatically reach for our iPad, Galaxy Tab, Nook, or Kindle, and just download the latest seller? Or even something simple as writing a letter to a friend, do we type it or do we take out pad and pencil and write them a letter and (gasp!) mail it to them? I remember, in 2003, there was a large blackout on the East Coast, lasting for at least a few days. No cable T.V, no satellite radio, and of course, no Internet. Now, as Shakespeare would say – “Therein lies the rub” – because even though there was no way to access the information, local radio stations would report the standard reply – “For more information on the progress of repairs. you can follow us on (insert web address here!).

“By the clicking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes..”

The blackout showed me exactly how habit-forming looking to the Internet for our information has become. No longer do we call the operator or look in the Yellow Pages. We now Google or Bing a business to inquire about their hours or products. When we look to make friends, we search our online social media feeds or any number of dating sites. Not that there is anything wrong with that, the thought on my mind was that we are quicker to friend someone online rather than the person we see everyday. And shouldn’t be the other way around?

“Try a little tenderness..”

So, try a little experiment of your own. The next time you want to get in touch with a friend, don’t text or even call, totally surprise them with a visit. On someone’s birthday, buy the card early and mail it to them and take the gift there in person. If you know someone that enjoys reading, buy them an actual Barnes & Noble gift card, instead of a digital one! You may realize that you have forgotten just how pleasing these little acts can be.

As always – Take care, have fun, be safe, and trust me…there is always a reason to smile!

Cajun Gator

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New Client this week – the Cajun Gator in downtown Port Huron, Michigan! Funny story here, I had been in contact with the owner before and he was not sure if having a dedicated social media marketing person for the restaurant was the way to go. Well, on my way to see another possible client, I happened to pass by the restaurant where the owner proceeded to knock on the widow to get my attention, and as they say, “the rest is history’!

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As with all my other clients, this staff is a joy to work with and can only get better as time goes by! Oh, and the picture above? That was one of their dinner specials from the night the restaurant signed with the company. The dish is Blackened Beef & Lamb tips, and it was so good!

That is it for now, has been a super-busy week for me and time to get some rest, finish watching the Saturday feature movie on the SyFy network, and have some fudge brownies!

 

It’s Easter and things have been hopping!

Who knew being a “content manager” for social media platforms would be so much fun! The last few weeks have been a real “roller-coaster ride” of gaining new clients, building their platforms, minding their social media, and finding fun and exciting ways of engaging their customers and keeping daily content fresh and fun. And sometimes, if all the stars are in the right alignment, there is the chance to get a little sleep!..lol

Actually, when there is “time-off” it is usually spent reading over social media reports, techniques, hints, and tips that can be used to enhance the coverage of each one of my clients. And as each one is different, there is no “boiler-plate” type of plan that can be used.

It is actually an interesting read to see what other social media and public relation firms are doing for their clients, and how what they do can help me be of a better service to my clients. By reading, new ideas are found, which can lead to forming better relationships with other companies in other areas. A constant sharing of ideas and information!

As summer approaches, there will be so much going on with the company. Art fairs, festivals, and even a couple of outdoor concerts! All of which will need to be recorded, uploaded, and tweeted about!

That’s it for now. Going to take some time and enjoy the rest of the Easter Sunday.

Oh, and updates will be more frequent and will do the very best to have them be so!

Branding Your Business on Social Media

Starting your own small business can be a wonderful, exciting, and yet often very scary task! And getting your business noticed, can be an even bigger task. There are so many ways to gain attention for your business and your brand that it can be a job in and of itself to figure out the best way to get that done.

Be Consistent!

For me, I think the first rule in “branding” with your business is to be consistent! If you have a company logo, be sure to use that photo in every internet profile that you create. Taking that small step can help potential customers associate that logo with your name and what services that you have to offer to them. And be sure to follow that up with the naming of your social media accounts. Strive to stay as close to your business name as you can. For some platforms, it may be needed to shorten the name to confirm with their particular naming schemes, but do try your best to have screen name reflect the name of the business.

Which platform for my business?

This can be a crucial question for many a small business.  Because all of the platforms have their own merits as to what they can offer to a small business. First a word of caution: When creating an account on any social media platform, always check to see if there is a “business option” available on that platform. A social media business page will almost certainly offer you better ways to engage, track, and communicate with your customers over the “personal page “option.
When choosing your social media platform, take a look and see what your are comfortable with! Facebook has the “comfort level” that brings the most people on-board. You may already have a personal page, so using it create a business page would not be a stretch for most. If your business is more of a visual medium, try taking a look at platforms such as Instagram, or consider Pinterest if your business is that of arts and crafts, or a restaurant! For the more adventurous, open a YouTube channel for your business to post “how-to” videos.

Location, Location, Location!

For many small business owners today, sometimes the task can be getting noticed. Many consumers will just check for a business on their smartphone using Google Maps, Search, or Yellow Pages. A simple step many business owners forget to take can help them in search engine results. That simple trick is “verification”! If you google the phrase – “Google for Business” you will be given a link to where you can actually verify all the information about your business to make sure that it is correct! You will also be given the option to receive a postcard from Google with a verification number on it. This lets Google know that the business is in operation and ready to go! You can also follow the similar steps for Microsoft Bing. The folks over at Yelp and YP.com have a free basic listing that will allow you to offer customers coupons for percentage off at your business. And a Foursquare account will allow your customers to “check-in” and spread the word about your business.
There are a number of avenues for businesses both large and small to use social media and local services that are internet-based to “brand” and attract, retain, and engage customers and bring them to your door and to inquire about your services.  Taking just a little time to look over each one, can be one of the most important tasks a business owner can do!
If you have any questions, you can can use our company contact form!
Charles
“Your business is our passion”
810.488.0060

Need a Facebook page for your business?? Here are some tips and hints!

You’ve got the business ready to go and now you want to create that all important social media platform page! And you say to yourself, “Hey, I’ve already got a Facebook page, I’ll just create one for the business!” So you click the “Create Page” button, then off you go and your business Facebook page is up before your cup of coffee gets cold. But, did you make the right choices when you were sitting up a page for a business?

Business or Personal..there is a difference!

The quickest way to see if you set up your business Facebook page correctly is to check two things. One: Does your page have an “About” button located under you Facebook cover photo. And two: does your page have an “Admin Panel” If those items are not present, then your page was created as a Personal Page.

As a personal Facebook page, there is no tools that are available to you in order to monitor the performance of your posts, who sees your page, or to be able to promote your own business page.

Let’s Get Started!

When you make the choice to create a Facebook page for your business, the first item to consider is: “What type of business am I?” Because the answer to that question defines the catagory you should use for your page. Once you have decided the type of business, now you can “Create Page”!

Actually Easier Than You Think!

First, using your favorite Internet browser, type www.facebook.com in the address bar and press enter. Once you are logged in, click on the “gear icon” on the page and you will see a menu. The “gear icon” is located on the top right-hand side of the page. There are many choices in this menu, but we are only concerned with the one that reads – “Create Page”. Click that one! You are now looking at a page with six (6) boxes on it, and each box has a different name or choice.

Boxes, Boxes, Oh Why So Many Boxes!

 For the purpose of this writing, let us say that you have a physical location for your new business; in that case you would click the box labeled “local business or place”. When you click the box, you are presented with a new menu! Choose a category for your business by clicking on the arrow and scrolling until you find the type of business you are opening. Then fill in the rest of the information, and agree to the terms and conditions. Once you have all the information filled out, Facebook will let you add a photo. The ideal choice is to use your company logo. For best results, the photo should be 180 pixels by 180 pixels ( you can modify the photo in MS Paint by using the Resize function!) Now you can fill in your “About” section. Tell the public a little about who you are, about the company, and what the company can do for them! You get about 2-3 sentences, so put important information in there including a link to your company website (so they can find you right from your Facebook page!)

Admin Panel

 Now you will have an Admin Panel which is used to edit and manage your page. From here you can add individuals that manage your page. Be sure to read the description of each type of manager so that you give the right level of control to the right person.

Cover Photo

Now it is time to change the standard Facebook cover photo. The cover photo will need to measure (in pixels again) 851 x 315.  

First Post!

 

WooHoo!! Now you are ready for your first post! Be creative, be funny, be welcoming, but above all..just be yourself. This is your company, something to be proud of! (Hint: Clicking the little star in the upper right will “highlight” the post to give a more prominent space on your timeline!)

Done and done!

 

Well, look at that, on your way to becoming a “Facebook Guru”! Created a business page, made a cover and profile photo and made your first post and highlighted it! And all in less than one day! Pat yourself on the back, have a cappuccino, and smile and feel good about the job you have done! Feel free to stop by and take a look at the Facebook pages I have done. My company Facebook  page is at: www.facebook.com/contentmarketingcreations and the Facebook  page I did for a client is at www.facebook.com/ShoeMaze