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.

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

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…