Friday, 27 June 2014

How to Have Some Summer Fun on a Budget - An Infographic

It's officially summer! And after the long, never-ending and brutal winter we just made it through (and I do mean "just" - in fact it feels like there was snow on the ground only yesterday), we all deserve some fun in the sun this wonderful summer. (Even if a strict budget must be adhered to!)  Here's a cute infographic I found on tacklingourdebt.com that offers up some cool, fun ideas...

Happy Summer, Everyone! We deserve it!!!


Thursday, 29 May 2014

6 Tips for Posting When You Don’t Have Time to Post

So your business is up and running across multiple social platforms and your blog is alive and well.  Good for you!  I’m sure by now you’re reaping the benefits of social media marketing. But if you’re like most of us, there are some days that social networking has to take a backseat because you’re swamped with other pressing matters. Well fear not!  If you have ten minutes to spare (Oh come on, you have 10 minutes to spare!), then I have  a few ideas for you that will make posting quick and easy on the days that  you don’t have a lot of time to put into it…
                                                                                                      

1.  Scan the News – With an online version of almost every publication known to mankind at our fingertips, it takes only seconds to scan the headlines of two or three online daily newspapers. Make a quick comment or two on whatever captures your interest or whatever’s trending right now. Don’t forget to include a link to the article so others can have a gander at what you’re referring to.

2.  Share a Quote – The internet is ripe with quotes of all kinds – inspirational quotes, funny quotes and brainy quotes – some from people we’ve heard of and some from anonymous sources. Pick a few and post ‘em. Everyone loves a bit of inspiration or a great one-liner.

3.  Use Visuals  – See a photo or video that interests you or that is relevant to your business (or not)?  Then post away.  Images and video are wonderful for fan engagement. Make a quick, insightful comment about it and voila – you’ve got yourself a great post!

4.  Retweet or Share – It’s well entrenched within the culture of social media to share other people’s comments, photos, links and tweets. Hit your Twitter and Facebook accounts and share a couple of things that immediately capture your attention. If it’s piqued your interest, chances are it’ll pique the interests of others.

5. Stockpile – You know those quotes, photos and videos that I mention above? 
Well, on days that you do have a little more time to spare – or even just as you see things that you know will make a great future post – save the link or photo to a special file on your desktop so you can just jump right on in and grab stuff to post when time is tight.  I have one – it’s named “Posts for Tomorrow” and it’s been a lifesaver for me on more than one occasion.  Just don’t forget to check it often – sometimes items are time-sensitive and won’t make any sense if they’re posted two weeks after they’re no longer relevant.  (And do the same thing for blog ideas – keep a file of ideas complete with links and you’ll never run out things to blog about.)


6. Take Advantage of HootSuite and the Like – Making use of HootSuite and other social media management tools (think Seesmic, TweetDeck & TwitterFeed) can be a godsend.  They’ll streamline things for you and make your life a whole lot easier!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

A Celebration of Earth 2014

Did you know that Earth Day came into existence on April 22, 1970? I have to admit, this isn’t a fact of which I was completely aware before today. I mean, I know Earth Day has been a ‘thing’ for quite some time, but I wasn’t aware of its exact origins until I Googled it and did some research over the past couple of days. Interesting! From Earth Day Canada:    


“Celebrated every year on April 22, Earth Day is the largest environmental event in the world. More than six million Canadians – including nearly every school-aged child – participate in an Earth Day activity in their communities.”

Earth Day was founded (as mentioned above, in 1970) as a day of recognition and education with respect to environmental issues. It’s globally celebrated, and has actually been extended to Earth Week – seven days of events centered on the advancement of “green awareness” and just plain being appreciative of all the wonders our incredible planet has to offer.

So, according to Earth Day Network, at a time when “Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans” and “Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press” and “Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity” (Really??), the idea for Earth Day came to Gaylord Nelson, a Senator from Wisconsin. (It must be said here that there has been some debate as to the actual founder of Earth Day – according to other sources, John McConnell, a peace activist was the first to propose that we celebrate the planet on March 21 (also in 1970), the first official day of spring.)
 
And… 
                                                                                                             
“As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.”

So how did we Canadians first come to celebrate Earth Day? Earth Day was first recognized in Canada in 1978 (although, again, I have read conflicting articles that put it in 1980), but the first actual Canadian Earth Day fell on September 11 and was introduced by Dr. Paul Tinari, then a student at Queen’s University and today a physicist, solar engineer and, oh yeah, the Director of the Pacific Institute for Advanced Study (which is a virtual research and development facility that studies the issues challenging our fair planet).

Earth Day is a day to make us ponder, enjoy, improve and truly appreciate our planet.  Try to do these things every day and Earth will be as breathtaking as it is today, for generations to come.  So, get out there and pick up garbage, plant a tree and just take in the wonderment that is Planet Earth!

And, hey, maybe one of these days somebody will declare Earth Day a stat holiday! All the more reason to celebrate!




Tuesday, 1 April 2014

21 Social Media Statistics for 2014 (So Far)

Social media continues to be a widespread phenomenon – it continues to grow both in terms of the number of people and businesses who use it as well as the number of social media platforms it encompasses. Insofar as its relevance to business is concerned, well, let’s just say that if you’re not social, you can’t possibly be competitive in the market as it exists in 2014. Why? Here are some stats, courtesy once again, of Jeff Bullas, social media guru and author, that will illustrate the importance and astonishing reach of social media...                                                                                                      

An Overview of Social Media:                       
  • 72% of all Internet users are now active on social media
  • 89% of those between 18 and 29 years old are social media users
  • 72% of individuals aged 30 to 49 are engaged in social media
  • 60% of people between 50 to 60 years old are active on social media
  • 43% of those 65 years old and above are engaged in social media
  • 71% of users access social media from a mobile device
Facebook:

·      Facebook now has over 1.15 billion users   

 ·         One million webpages can be accessed with the “Login with Facebook” feature

 ·         23% of Facebook users login at least 5 times daily


 ·         47% of Americans say Facebook is the top influencer of their buying decisions


 ·         On average, Americans spend %16 of each online hour on Facebook


 ·         70% of marketers acquire new customers through Facebook


Twitter:
 
·         Twitter now has over 550 million registered users and 215 million monthly active users
 
·         Between 2012 and 2014, Twitter achieved a growth rate of 44%
 
·         34% of marketers use Twitter for lead generation


Google+:
 
·         Google+ now has over 1 billion enabled accounts and 359 million active monthly users
 
·         Google+ is has a growth rate of 33% per year
 
·         People aged 45 to 54 years old have increased their Google+ usage by 56% since 2012


Visual:
 
·         YouTube has over one billion monthly active users
 
·         Pinterest has 20 million monthly active users
 
·         Instagram has 150 million monthly active users
 
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Regardless of which social media platforms on which you engage (some work better than others for different businesses – it’s crucial to do your research to find out where your customers and prospects are), the bottom line is, there’s no denying that social media can actuate real sales and marketing results! 




  

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A Good Laugh for Another Cold, Snowy Day

It’s the beginning of March, and it feels like we’ve been smack in the middle of a never-ending cold, snowy winter for as long as I can remember (at least here in my neck of the woods). So, I thought for this post, a little levity wouldn’t hurt. I know I could use it – it’s SNOWING AGAIN out there – and even though Spring is supposedly right around the corner – I can’t see it!!  

Here, courtesy of rajtlak.net, is a post I came across some time ago – and I thought it would be perfect for a much-needed smile on a yet another snowy, cold, grey winter's day… Enjoy!

32 Things to do When Your ISP is Down:          



Every now and then our ISP seems to drop dead for no reason at all. This list is for things to do during those unimaginable times...

1.      Open the curtains to see if anything has changed over the past 2 years.
2.     Re-introduce yourself to your immediate family.
3.     You mean there's something else to do?
4.     Steal WiFi from your neighbor.
5.     Play single player mode.
6.     Get that kidney transplant you've been putting off.
7.     Slit your wrists with broken AOL trial disks.
8.    Start talking to your girlfriend again.
9.     Call friends to see if their ISP is working.
10.Create your own IM bot to converse with.
11.  Plot out your revenge for the ISP.
12. Run in circles, screaming hysterically about the end of the world.
13. Open up the ol' pinging .bat file!
14. Take a shower and scrape off mold/fern from body.
15. Go through your web cache to see if you missed anything.
16. Switch to TV.
17. Twiddle your thumbs.
18.Go to the bathroom (of course!).
19. Hang yourself with network cables.
20. Load up the zsnes emulator and play chrono trigger and earthbound for hours.
21. Smack your modem against the wall.
22. Smash your head on the keyboard until it restores.
23. Get a black rooster paint a pentacle with his blood and do some invocations.
24. Go out to buy another pallet of Mountain Dew for the year ahead.
25. Host a LAN game with hopes of people joining.
26. Write your lists on paper.
27. Bet on horses; wake up the gerbil.
28. Go to Starbucks and Login to T-Mobile.
29.  Pray to the Dark Gods that it will be fixed.
30. Try dialing in every 10 minutes, just in case its back up.
31. Threaten your ISP with an impeachment vote.
32. Dial 911.