ATT: All Facebook Business Pages (Video)

Howdy guys,

If you administer a Facebook page, then today’s DIY Monday is for you. Facebook is making major changes to its newsfeed algorithm come January 2015 and ALL pages will be effected so best prepare for it now.

From January 2015, Facebook will reduce the organic reach of all business pages substantially, essentially ‘forcing’ them to pay for advertising. As a principle, I’m against paid advertising on social media as I believe it should be free. If you rely largely on Facebook to communicate with your target audience and you do not have a marketing budget, I’d suggest you either immediately start planning for additional expenses or find other avenues to reach your target audience. You can read more about Facebook’s craziness here.

In today’s DIY Monday, I’ll show you a small little trick you can do to ensure that your subscribers/followers still receive updates from your page (even if Facebook will try to hide it). So go ahead and watch the video…

Thanks for stopping by guys. Have a good one.

Hugs and high5’s!

xoxo

screencast (5) from Meriza on Vimeo.

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DIY: How to create a KILLER presentation (video)

Howdy guys,

I was recently asked to do a presentation about my services to a potential client and I was slightly freaked out! I wanted to come across as professional but I didn’t want the ‘normal’ boring PowerPoint presentation. I wanted something fresh and hip and so I started trolling the web for something a little more creative. And that’s how I discovered on Stupeflix.com.

I loved this site because it offers so much freedom for the non-paying user. Usually with these kinda sites, you are very restricted with the capabilities for non-paying subscribers that it really isn’t even worth it at the end of the day. But surprisingly, I grew very fond of Stupeflix and I use it quite often now.

Another great advantage is that you don’t need a degree in rocket science to be able to create a video presentation on Stupeflix. This is always a major added bonus as I’m not the most technically-advanced person. It’s quick and easy and you can create a super professional presentation in minutes.

Give it a try and let me know how you guys find it.

Till next time, hugs and high5’s!

xoxo

 

How to create a KILLER presentation… from Meriza on Vimeo.

DIY: How to embed a tweet onto your website (video)

Howdy guys,

In yet another **AWESOME** screen recording video, I show you how to embed a tweet onto your website/blog. Embedding a tweet holds many advantages including that it allows people to favourite, reply or retweet straight from your website or blog, as oppose to clicking away from your blog and having to log into twitter. As bloggers, we’d like people to linger as long as possible on our blogs/websites for better statistics at the end of the day. This makes today’s DIY Monday a very handy tool to use.

Whether you use a blog like WordPress (like I do) or any other CMS (content management system) backend, the principle is pretty much the same. It should work on just about any CMS/backend. Happy tweeting and sharing everyone!

Till next time, hugs and high5’s.

xoxo

Ps. Everyone, please meet Vimeo, my new video sharing site. What do you think? Yay or nay? I lovit!

How to embed a tweet onto your website… from Meriza on Vimeo.

DIY: Why your business needs content marketing (video)

Howdy guys,

So as many of you may (or may not) know, I’ve been advocating for content marketing since forever. Although content marketing has pretty much been established in overseas markets (mostly developed countries), it’s still a relatively new concept here in South Africa. And even though I hate following western trends, I’m sorry to tell you that content marketing is here and it’s not going anywhere. So best prepare for it now. This entire blog is my business’ content marketing. When potential customers come to my blog, I’d like them to know these four things;

  • I am creative in writing and content formation and presentation.
  • I am innovative.
  • I am helpful; and
  • My pictures don’t look too shabby.

These are also the services my business offers. This blog tells potential customers a lot about who I am and what my capabilities are. And hopefully that translates into the fact that I have an immense passion for what I do, and who doesn’t wanna work with someone who loves what they do? But, while some people might not like it, many may like it a lot. And those are the people I’d love to help and work with.

For today’s DIY Monday, I’d like to share a very entertaining (even if I have to say so myself!) slideshow with you. It encapsulates the essentials on why your business needs content marketing to build and maintain a trustworthy relationship with your customers and potential customers. Please see the video below;

Why your business needs Content Marketing from Meriza on Vimeo.

 

I’ve also created a great diagram for you to download and keep close-by should you need it; Content Marketing

Ps. I’d like to apologise for posting video links (as oppose to posting the actual video). Unfortunately WordPress only really allows for youtube clips to be viewed as videos on the blog and since I don’t have a youtube channel (yet!), it prevents me from showing my videos straight from my blog. But I’m working on that youtube channel, promise. Please bare with me.

P. P. S. I know you’ll fall hopelessly in love with the background music in the slideshow and before you ask, I’ll tell you; it’s Beethoven’s Silencio.  Wowie! Isn’t it just the most beautiful thing you’ve ever heard?

Till next time, hugs and high5’s!

xoxo

DIY: How to create great looking fonts! (video)

Howdy guys,

I’ve officially moved away from the old, boring written blog and embraced my inner ‘new media’ (coz that’s how we roll here at Aim : The Blog). What am I talking about? A screen recording, silly! Come on, get with it.

I’m super excited to share my very first recording with you for this week’s DIY Monday. I have a few bloopers here and there, but please bare with me it’ll get better over time (I hope!). Today I show you how to create awesome looking fonts for designing purposes or for personal use, if you’re a creative mind.

Please give me feedback on the video. I’d love to hear what you think.

Till next time… Hugs and high5’s!

Watch the video here.

DIY: How to create a barcode-thingy

Howdy guys,

Last week I had a dentist appointment and while waiting at the reception, I scanned through the endless supply of pamphlets provided. One of the pamphlets had a QR code on the back and I was slightly surprised because I didn’t know they still “do those” anymore. Out of pure boredom, I scanned the code on my phone to see if it still works and turns out, this particular vendor had a very nice, clean, mobile-friendly page that contained a lot of its company’s information. I was so impressed that I thought I’d do a post on how to create your very own QR code.

The other day I mentioned my idea of doing a QR code blogpost to my sister but she had no idea what I was talking about. After a few minutes of using unfamiliar words and gestures to try and explain myself, she finally exclaimed, “Oh the code-thingy? Why didn’t you just say that?” So yes, I’m gonna run through how you can create a ‘code-thingy’ (aka a QR code).

Let me start off by posting a QR code for those who still have no idea what exactly it is. This is how it looks;

QR Code6

Right, so unless you’ve spent the past decade under a rock, you know exactly what a QR code is. But before I delve into how to create one, there are a few rules to it;

A QR code is a two dimensional barcode that stores information in black and white dots (called data pixels or “QR code modules”). Besides the black and white version, you can also create a coloured QR code. For these codes to work without problems, make sure the contrast is sufficient and the result is not a negative (in terms of color). To make your QR code even better, you can also get a QR code with a logo.

You should also understand that a QR code should ‘link’ to ‘something’. This ‘something’ can be a website url, an email address, a social media page, or even a picture. So firstly make sure that you know where you want to link your QR code to.

There are quite a few online sites that provides this service (you can google it), but here are the two I use most of the time:

For this tutorial, I’ll use QRstuff.com for a quick demonstration. So lets dive straight into it. Suppose I’d like to create a QR code for my blog’s Facebook page. So from the dropdown list I’ll select ‘Facebook’, see highlighted in yellow below.

QR Code11

Next I’ll copy/paste my facebook pages’ URL (https://www.facebook.com/afroiconmedia) into the “2. Content : Website URL” space provided. Again, see highlighted in yellow below;

QR Code12

You’ll have the option of selecting either a ‘static’ or a ‘dynamic’ QR code. According to the site, the difference between the two is;

  • Static QR Code: The actual destination website URL is placed directly into the QR code and can’t be modified.
  • Dynamic QR Code: A short URL is placed into the QR code which then transparently re-directs the user to the intended destination website URL, with the short URL redirection destination URL able to be changed after the QR code has been created.

And since I’m all for shorter URL’s, I’ll select the dynamic QR code.

Next, you can decide what colour you’d like your QR code to be. I’m a plain kinda girl, so I’ll select black and white, i.e. the normal, boring one.

QR Code10

Next you can download the code in whichever format you perfer, i.e. either a pdf file or for emailing purposes. I chose the pdf file, see highlighted screenshot below;

QR Code7
A new page will open prompting you to select a ‘paper size’. I selected the very first one, see highlighted in yellow below;

QR Code4

QR Code5

And tada! Your QR code has been created and is ready to be used! If your phone has a Barcode scanner, I’d recommend that you scan the QR code you’ve just created right there from your PC screen to ensure that all works 100%. You shouldn’t have any trouble, but if you do, try to create another one and see if it works. If not, then perhaps there’s something wrong with your barcode scanner or phone.

But if it did, then yay! You have created your very own QR code! Print them, copy them, share them, do whatever you like with them. I used this website so often at my previous job and it worked beautifully! I created QR codes for all departments, linking back to website pages and pictures and facebook and twitter, it was awesome! I was the office hero.

Hope it works as great for you as it did for me. If you liked this little tutorial, please let me know so I can share more of these kind of tips with y’all. Please also share it if you think it could benefit some of your friends. As always, please subscribe to my blog (see top right hand side →). Please also follow me on twitter and follow my blog on facebook. I’ll be posting a lot more tutorials like this over the coming months.

Till next time…xoxo

DIY: Create your own personalised pictures

Howdy guys,

So I’ve had a lot of requests about my pictures. People are always asking where I find them; if they’re my own or whether I source them from a third-party website. The bad news is that they are my own pictures, taken with my very expensive camera. But the good news is that you don’t need a R20,000 camera to get equally (if not better) quality images. So I thought I’d share my favourite online picture sharing site in this week’s Online DIY post.

Besides for being extremely time-consuming, doing your own pics also takes a lot of effort. Firstly you have to actually ‘go out’ to take the pics, and then you have to download and edit them in Photoshop to get it exactly how you want it. So not only do you need a good-ish camera, but you also need software, like Photoshop or Gimp or something.

Studies have proven that posts that contain a picture are much more likely to be ‘liked’ or ‘shared’ or ‘commented on’ or ‘retweeted’, etc. So weather you’re a small business who like to increase your social media following using images or an individual who just love pretty pictures (like me!), this post will certainly get you to your goal in no time.

**Hello, and welcome to the world of Canva.com**

For those of us who are not graphically inclined, creating anything that looks slightly presentable poses a colossal obstacle, especially if we are trying to come across as professional as possible. The great news is that with Canva, you don’t have to design anything. Yes, you heard me. They have a database of over a million designs and pictures and backgrounds to choose from so you’re bound to find whatever you’re looking for. You can create anything from posters to invitations to cards to web graphics to just a beautiful picture, and its easy as pie.

Step by step tutorial:

Log into www.canva.com and subscribe to the website. You will receive an email confirmation, confirm and you’re good to go.

Canva1

Firstly, pick your template. They have 20 options ranging from social media, poster and blog graphic. I selected the ‘social media’ template. It will open the board below;

Canva2

*Take note: if you hate spending additional money on designs, like me, then be careful not to select one of the pics that have the ‘Canva’ sign on the background. These are not free and you will be prompted for payment details once you’re ready to download the picture. So look out for that.

Right, so you have your blank canvas and you are ready to create an awesome personalised picture. You will see an options board on your left. Here you are able to pick your layout, your text, your background and in case you’d like to upload your own picture, you can choose the ‘uploads’ button. You can also search for a theme-related picture at the top (like Christmas or swim or summer… you get the point). So first you select the layout of your picture.

Next you can choose which text you’d like to add or change. You can choose the text font, the size, the colour, etc. You are also offered a selection of text banners should you wanna use them. Again, just look out of the ones that says ‘free’ when you hover your mouse over it.

Canva3

You can delete the text on the background picture and select a text banner, under the “Text” tab, if you’d like.

Canva4

Okay, so we’re just about done. Once you are happy with your picture and you’d like to download it, select the ‘Download or link’ tap at the top. It will take you to the screen below.

Canva5

Under “Publish” select; “Image”. Another pop-up will inform you that they are “preparing your image”. Usually the image will save to you ‘downloaded items’, depending on how your PC was set up. Once your picture has been downloaded, you can post it onto your social media sites or your website or save it as your PC background or whatever you choose.

*Tip: Another tip I always do is to personalise my pictures. I like to add my website’s address at the bottom of my pictures, as you can see in my example below. Branding should always be a priority for you and your business so I’d highly recommend this.

And voila! Your very own, highly professional-looking picture created all by yourself and without some fancy camera! Doesn’t it just look gorgeous?!

Honeycomb_Aim

Canva is an amazing tool for the clueless, and can come in handy for professionals too. It makes designing easy for everyone, but it’s not aimed only at amateurs. The simplicity and richness of the tools will get you coming back for more, and according to Canva’s developers, the current features are only 1% of what they have in store for us.

If you liked this little tutorial, please let me know so I can share more of these kind of tips with y’all. Please also share it if you think it could benefit some of your friends. As always, please subscribe to my blog (see top right hand side →). Please also follow me on twitter and follow my blog on facebook. I’ll be posting a lot more tutorials like this over the coming months.

Peace and love… xoxo

How to merge two Wordpress blogs

Howdy guys,

As you know, I’ve recently migrated my old blog’s contents into my new blog. I was struggling with how to do it and even though I trolled the internet with tips, I ended up figuring it out all my myself, with little help online. So I thought I’d quickly compile a quick guide as to how I merged my two blogs into one.

Let me start off with saying why this posed a problem to me. For those less technically advanced like myself, let me clarify firstly the rookie mistake I made; Before I tried to merge the two blogs’s content (photonistatheblog & aimtheblog), I registered the ‘aimtheblog’ name in a haste without investigating the merge firstly. As a result, the “Change Blog address” and “Transfer Blog” functions (as highlighted in yellow below) were ineffective since the blog name I wanted (aimtheblog) was already registered (by me!). So it didn’t allow me to choose the domain I wanted. As a result, I either had to find another blog name, or find another way. I chose the latter, of course.

Merge blog pic1
So here’s what I did. Instead of trying to merge the two blogs under the ‘My Blogs’ section (home/my blogs), I clicked on my old blog (photonistatheblog.wordpress.com), and then went to my ‘Export’ section (Tools/Export), see highlighted in yellow below.

Merge blog pic2

Next I exported all the contents of my old blog (photonista.wordpress.com) by choosing the free, “XML file” option. It gives you a little pop-up to confirm that this is what you’d like to do and once you click continue, the file downloads in like five seconds or something. A new pop-up will tell you that the download has been completed and then you move onto importing the file into your new blog.

Merge blog pic3
So next, I went back to my new blog under “My blogs” (Home/My blogs). I clicked on my new blog, aim.wordpress.com, then went again to Tools/Import and I imported the saved file (usually it saves under ‘downloaded files’ on your pc) and voila! Keep in mind that you’ll still have to tweak things here and there. My new blog’s theme changed but that was easy to fix, also all my widgets were gone but I added it back in a jiffy. It was very easy and straightforward.

Also just a small warning in case you are contemplating starting a new blog address; all the contents, including the comments from your old blog will be transferred to the new blog address, except for the stats and email address of people who subscribed to your old blog. So in that regard, you will have to start from scratch, so to speak which is a real bummer.

I hope you find this little piece helpful. I’m so proud of my new blog, yay!

Happy blogging everyone!

Till next time, xoxo

Facebook Content Map

Howdy guys,

I’ve had so many people ask me what the perfect daily dose of Facebook content should look like. That’s a very tough question. You have to find a balance between stimulating, entertaining and not boring your Facebook followers. Plus you must add engaging content otherwise your posts are pretty much in vain.

The whole point of posting something onto Facebook, or any other social media site, is to build a relationship with your target audience. However, you should be careful not to bore, irritate or annoy your viewers. I’ve unfriended and unfollowed many pages because I simply could not cope with their daily posts that were either too many and annoying or too little to be really meaningful to me.

In aid of this small little predicament, I’ve created what I call, the perfect ‘Facebook Content Map’. It’s a combination of posts you can use daily to interact with your audience. These few posts will keep them engaged and not irritated or bored.

What I did not add to this list is the importance that original content plays on all your social platforms. But I will post another article on why original content is so very important when sharing with your viewers.

Download the content map below and keep it handy for your daily posts.

Happy facebooking everyone!

Till next time,

xoxo

 

Content Map_Aim

New Facebook photo sizes (& cheat sheet)

Howdy guys,

As promised, here’s my very first DIY Online piece to aid businesses to become better communicators. I thought I’d start with one of my greatest pet peeves on Facebook. I’ve seen so many blurry cover and profile pictures from both businesses and individuals that I thought I’d compile a short, guide as to how to size your pictures when loading them onto Facebook. If you’ve been struggling with a blurry cover or profile picture, then this is a def must-read piece for you.

Pictures play an integral part in building an audience when starting your business’s Facebook page. And because pictures are visual, they are much more pleasing to the eye then just words on a blank piece of paper. People are more likely to click on a gallery or album than read long paragraphs of texts. I cannot overemphasize the importance of adding pictures daily to your company’s Facebook page. So go ahead and post some, your audience will lovit!

Working out what image sizes to use on Facebook isn’t as easy as it could be and involves some wrangling to get the result you want. Each type of image on a page, profile, and timeline has its own size and quirks, making it very difficult to memorise of all the various sizes.

What makes things even more fun is that Facebook changes things from time to time. Sometimes it’s a small, incremental tweak. Sometimes it’s an entire overhaul (like the new timelines that were introduced). So it’s always a bit of a moving target. And there always seems to be a new system just around the corner.

In March 2014, Facebook announced a new layout for the timeline of business pages. As of June, most pages were switched over. I’ve updated the information below to reflect the new layout. There’s a single column at the right with updates. The narrower column at left is for admin features and static information.

The new layout for business pages looks like this;

Aim_fb page layout

So lets start with the sizes of the cover picture on your Facebook page;

The Facebook Cover Photo is the large panoramic image space at the top of the timeline.

Aim_fb measurements

The image you upload must be at least 399px wide–one that’s at least 720px wide will work best. You can upload a photo already cropped and resized to precisely those sizes. Or you can upload a larger image, in which case you’ll be given a chance to move the image to choose the crop you’d like displayed.

To get the fastest loading times, upload a JPG file that’s 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall and less than 100 kilobytes.

Onto the profile picture.

Aim_fb pp_layout
You have to upload an image at least 180px by 180px. It’s displayed at 160px by 160px. The thin white border is added automatically and there’s no way to remove it.

Tip: If you find that your resulting profile picture, after it’s downsized in Facebook, is blurry, try uploading an image twice the size of the downsized image (that is, an image that is 320px by 320px). That should give a sharper result.

Below is a quick cheat sheet you can consult when you need to resize and load a picture onto Facebook quickly. You can download and save this cheat sheet for when you need it. It’s pretty straightforward and simple.

Aim_fb picture cheat sheet

Do you experience any difficulties when uploading pictures onto your Facebook page? Tell me about it in my comments section. I’d like to remind business of the a great platform social media, and Facebook in particular is to communicate with your target audience. Besides for being cost-effective, its instant and it provides an informal platform to communicate with your customers. Please make use of this wonderful tool to reach your customers.

Happy Facebooking everyone!

Till next time,

xoxo…