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Schedule Your Social Media Posts: A Guide to Online Post-Planners

Posting content to social media is time consuming, and surprisingly effort intensive when done on a regular basis. The rest of this post will discuss some time management options in regard to scheduling pre-designed social media posts through a few different post scheduling services.

What They Do:

Post-planners are used mainly so that people can pre-schedule their social media posts for an entire day, week, month - all in one sitting. Kind of a 'set-it, and forget-it' option for your social media posting strategy.

Scheduling Options Mentioned in this Post:

  1. Buffer
  2. Hootsuite
  3. Socialoomph
  4. Pagemodo
  5. dlvr.it
  6. For Pinterest: Tailwind
  7. For Instagram: Latergram


Buffer & Hootsuite

Needless to say there's a lot of options out there in regard to post planning tools. I thought I would try to write this post which advocates time management techniques, with time management in mind so...if you're looking for 2 sites that will post to a variety of social networks, you might try either:


You'll notice that if you search around in these sites, that they are set-up a bit differently. I have found Buffer to be more user-friendly and Hootsuite to be a bit more all-encompassing. I have heard positive feedback regarding both sites, though I find Buffer to be easier to navigate through.

Without a subscription, both Buffer & Hootsuite still let you connect and share to one of each: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google Plus Business Pages (and additional social platforms which vary between the two sties).



More Scheduling Options

Socialoomph & Pagemodo

  • Socialoomph: I have used this site mainly for sharing, scheduling and analyzing my Twitter account, though I believe they have added additional sharing features. The array of specifically Twitter related features available on Socialoomph.com is impressive to say the least. If you are looking for options, I would suggest giving them a quick look. For more info on this site try their 'About Us' section here: www.socialoomph.com/about - Or you might try this 2012 article from PC World at: bit.ly/1CTqFUy.  
  • Pagemodo: I have used Pagemodo primarily for its Facebook features and tools. They also let you connect and post to a variety of social media accounts as well. If you're looking for some custom Facebook design tools in addition to a post scheduling planner you might give Pagemodo a try. Try their 'About Us' page here: www.pagemodo.com/about-us 

Sharing & Scheduling Your Blog Posts with Dlvr.it

Just about all of your standard blogging sites like Blogger, Wordpress or Tumblr for example have their own post scheduling options as built-in features. However, if you wanted to try an outside service which connects, schedules, and shares your blog entries to an array of social media sites you might consider Dlvr.it - which helps you to distribute your blog posts to any variety of social media sites.

For more information concerning this site, you might consider this article from: Practice eCommerce - found at: bit.ly/1zJHqz2 - which explains how to use Dlvr.it in greater detail. The article is a bit older from (2012), but well put together.

Specialty Scheduling Tools

Scheduling Options for Instagram and Pinterest Respectively

For Pinterest scheduling try: Tailwind - found at: www.tailwindapp.com
  • As far as I know, the only way to schedule posts to your Pinterest account is through a website called Tailwind. If you're looking for cool Pinterest features, Pinterest analytics and/or Pinterest auto-posting, Tailwind is your best bet, really easy to use and dare I say...fun!
For Instagram scheduling try: Latergram - found at: www.latergram.me
  • Like Tailwind with Pinterest, Latergram helps you schedule posts to your Instagram account, along with some other cool features.

Summary

There are indeed quite a few options out there. Of all the sites listed above, I would probably recommend Bufferapp.com for its ease of use, versatility, and available features.

Tailwind and Latergram offer some cool scheduling features but those features are unique to Pinterest and Instagram respectively.

I hope this blog article was helpful and that it helped give you some ideas for online tools, which can help you time-hack your way to a happier schedule.

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*Disclaimer: I am not associated with any of the Websites or companies listed in this blog post, which is intended for educational purposes.

A Few Simple Tips for Adapting Your Google Plus Profile to a Global Audience

Google Plus is a great social platform to develop a following, and by adopting a few basic adaptations to your profile and posting strategy it is remarkably easy to develop a diverse array of followers.

Set Your Language Settings

An often overlooked (free) feature available via Google Plus is use of their Google Translate application, which is built-in directly for desktop users.

Give the Translate Feature a Try

To use the translate feature, just make sure that your language settings are defaulted to your native language by visiting your account settings: http://www.google.com/settings/account - & clicking on language. Once your language settings are defaulted to your language of choice, you'll notice a translate button at the bottom left hand corner of any public posts written in other languages.

Note: As far as I know the Translate option is only available for posts in a desktop setting, but they do have a mobile app for Android and iTunes, linked below if you wanted to check them out.
There is also a desktop app to visit at: https://translate.google.com

Photos Help

It can be tough to tell if you want to follow an account which is entirely in another language. The information shared may be offensive or something you fundamentally disagree with.

A filtering system I have had success with on Google Plus is to scroll through user posts and look for images that are safe or normal looking (think cute cats, landscapes or comic illustrations for example) - 9 times out of 10 they are generally a safe account to follow and be followed by.

It's kind of a silly trick, but also a good method to use in your own posting strategy to help foreign-speaking followers know that you're a safe or un-offensive account to follow as well. A 'safe' picture is worth a thousand words :)

Summary

Aside from adding a bit of diversity to your standard posts, photos like the one above have a way of disarming your social persona at a casual glance. And just about anyone, regardless of the language they speak can recognize and appreciate images like this one - Essentially these just make it easier for people to engage with you on Google Plus regardless of their native dialect.

It's also a bit easier to 'Plus 1' a photo-post than to read a written content post...in any language actually, so photo posting on Google Plus is a way to give others something to 'Plus 1' on your profile without having to link into a separate blog or outside website.

Language Settings

Setup your language account settings at: http://www.google.com/settings/account to enable the 'Translate' feature for Public posts.

Join Communities Relevant to Your Interests

Also, by adding some diversity to your standard posts (based on other hobbies or interests you may have) will help to broaden your follower-base and aid you in finding new networks in the form of Communities to join - which are the real secret to gaining a follower base on this social network, but that's for another post :).

I hope this was helpful and that anyone reading this is having a great day - Cheers!

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Where to Find and Create Customized Email Signatures

You may know that most popular email services like Yahoo!, Gmail, AOL and Outlook let you create custom email signatures directly through their user settings. In each of these services you can format your signature and add links to improve the design a bit. But if you're looking for a more professional look to your email signature, you may consider a service called: Wisestamp - which integrates directly with Yahoo!, Gmail, AOL and/or Live, Outlook or Hotmail.

Signature Options:

After creating a free account with your Facebook or Email, you'll find their page setup is pretty straight forward in regard to filling in your details:


You'll see your entries reflected on a preview screen as you enter your info: 


Adding Social Media Profiles

You'll notice as you scroll down on the main screen a few additional options on the left-hand column. When you get to 'Social Profiles' simply click their 'Add another profile' link to add a variety of social media accounts & other online stores, videos & portfolio sites:


Depending on the type of email correspondence you plan to use this signature for, you'll want to pick relevant accounts to link. For example, non-professional email signatures may have links to your personal social profiles or fun YouTube or Pinterest accounts, whereas professional signatures may link to your LinkedIn profile or other online portfolio sites like Behance. If you click on the 'Add another profile' link you'll find a pop-up menu listing a variety of platforms to link to:


If you hover your mouse over any of the icons listed above while logged into the Wisestamp website, a little menu will popup, telling you the website which each icon represents. In the event you may not be familiar with the websites represented by these icons, I threw an arguably helpful chart together, which corresponds to the icons above:

LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Google+
YouTube
Instagram
Vimeo
Google Search
Google Maps
Tumblr
Wordpress
Flickr
Picasa
Ebay
Amazon
Reddit
MeetUp
500px
Behance
deviantArt
Angel List
Google Drive
Google Play
Apple
Dribble
FB Page
VKontakte
About Me
Blogger
Blog RSS
Elance
Etsy
Klout
Foursquare
Slideshare
Soundcloud
Stackoverflow
Vine
Trulia
Zillow
Wix
Yelp
Ello
Goldmail





If you'd like do a quick search on any of these sites, you can try entering them into the search bar below, to find more info about most of them:



Extra Options

A final option you may consider, can be found by scrolling below your social icon options. These 'apps' offer additional features you might consider. For instance, you may want to feature your latest YouTube video, Amazon Book, or latest Tweet below your signatures. They have some really clever design features that you can easily mess around with until you find a combination you like. A few of their options are displayed in a screenshot below:


These features are totally optional, so if you find it makes your signature look a bit cluttered, that's something to think about. In the image above you'll notice a tiny down-facing arrow highlighted - if you click there a drop-down display menu will appear with different applications you can sort through:


A Few Generic Examples

It doesn't take more than a minute to throw together a few different designs. Their service is free to one signature, but enhanced with a subscription



The examples above took just a minute, but if you take your time with their design features you can make some unique and creative signatures, save them to your email account of choice, and never have to worry about it again. The last image is broken down by section:

1: Personal or Business Details
2: Picture or Logo
3: Linked Social Media Profiles
4: Application: Causes

I hope this blog post helped to demonstrate a few ways you can use Wisestamp to generate a customized email signature. 

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Disclaimer*: I am not affiliated with the company Wisestamp or any of the other services or businesses listed in this blog post, which is intended for educational purposes. Thank you :)

A Beginners Guide to Email Signatures


Most email services (Gmail, Outlook/Hotmail, Yahoo! & iCloud) allow you to create personalized email signature to be automatically included at the end of each of your emails via their settings tabs. In the rest of this blog post, I'll show you where you can locate in your settings, email signature options for Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo! and iCloud.

Why You Might Use One

Creating a pre-made signature is just another time management strategy you might adopt to make your online life a little bit easier. It's really just a simple short-cut giving you the option of appearing more professional through your email correspondence.

How to Set Them Up

Gmail

1: Log into your Gmail Account
2: Look to the top right corner of your Inbox - Locate and Click the 'Settings' Tab:

3: Click on your 'Settings' tab, locate and select 'Settings'

4: Scroll down until you find the 'Signature' Section
5: Fill in your Signature

6: Add Links




6: When you're done, keep scrolling to the bottom of your screen, find and click 'Save' & your done :)

Using Outlook / Microsoft

1: Login to your Outlook/Live or Hotmail account
2: Once logged in, find and click on the settings tab - upper right corner of your screen


3: Select 'Options' from the dropdown menu


4: Locate and Click on 'Formatting, font and signatures'


5: Fill in your signature, click 'Save' & you're all set


From Yahoo!

1: Log into your Yahoo! Account
2: From your Email Inbox Homescreen, locate and click on your 'Settings' tab in the upper right corner of your screen, it looks like:


3: Locate and click on 'Settings'


4: On the next screen select 'Writing Email' (#1 in the image below) from the left hand column of your screen, to fill in and save your email signature:


Setup Your Signature on iCloud

1: Login to your iCloud Account
2: From Your Home Screen, select the 'Mail' option


3: When the next screen appears, scan to the lower left-hand corner of your screen to locate and click on the settings tab, which once again looks like:


4: Select 'Preferences' from the dropup menu which appears


5: Select 'Composing' 


6: Fill in your Signature and Click 'Done' - You're all set :)


A Quick Takeaway

Whether you're using Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo!, or Icloud as your email client, you can setup your own signature directly through these email services. To locate your signature editing options in any of these services, you just need to locate the settings icon, which looks like a little cog, and is usually located in the upper right hand corner of your screen except for in iCloud where it's in the lower left hand corner


More Info:

A really great email signature web service is at: wisestamp.com which embeds directly into Outlook, Gmail & Yahoo (Not iCloud as of the date of this post). Try their about page at: http://bit.ly/1AfzZvD

You can also try this article: '101 Email Signature Formatting Do's and Don'ts' - from www.xink.io located at: http://bit.ly/17I65te for some helpful formatting tips.

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*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the services, businesses or websites mentioned in this blog post, which is designed for educational purposes. Thank you :)

Digital Business Cards


Using a Digital Business Card with Vizibility.com


It's always a good idea to keep plenty of physical business cards around, but if ever you find yourself without them, it's also not a bad idea to have a back-up plan as well.

Vizibility.com is a website which lets you create a digital business card housed on their website, which includes links to your online social platforms, online portfolios, resumes and a few other unique options to link to. After setting up your information, you can then send your information via text, email, social network, or QR Code on the spot. It's not too difficult to set-up a free account, though your options increase if you decide to subscribe. 




Customize your Google Search Results

Another great feature offered through this website are methods for customizing Google Search's about yourself, or your company. For instance, if your name is John Smith, you may find that there are quite a few John Smith's that show up in a Google Search which are not representative of you. Vizibility gives you the option to either remove links which don't pertain to you or your business, or promote links which do. The idea is that only links pertaining to you or your business are displayed when a Google Search is performed. As mentioned earlier, your options increase if you decide to subscribe to this service though there is a free trial period to let you decide if you like their extra features.

More information on this feature here: http://bit.ly/1u3lU7Z - found on techie-buzz.com

Linking to Your Online Profile

After you sign up and fill in your details, you will have access to URL's which direct link to your Vizibility profile. You might include these links in your social media profiles, email signatures or blogs. They also provide a QR Code which direct links to your online profile on Vizibility. (More on QR Codes)

One of the great things about using their custom URL's or QR Code is that they will track and help you analyze your click rates as people find and click on your links.




In Conclusion

Essentially this is another way to display accurate information about yourself online, making it easier for potential business partners, social connections or employers to find or contact you through an online search. This website differs a bit from other professionally focused networks like LinkedIn in that it is not really a social network; rather it serves as more of an online location where you can store and easily share a customized digital business card, while still providing the basics of your contact details and social links.

For More Information

Try their 'About Us' section here: https://vizibility.com/Home/AboutUs
or
Try their 'News' section here: https://vizibility.com/Home/News

[Example Profile]

If you're looking for an example of what their digital business card looks like, you can find mine at: http://viz.me/chrisserafin - Which may give some ideas for how to best optimize your own online persona. I hope this blog post was helpful, and that whoever is reading this at the moment is having a great day! 

*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the company Visibility

What Are QR Codes And How To Use Them

What Are They?

A QR Code is basically just a url in an image format like the one at the title of this blog post. When these images are scanned (usually with a smartphone app) they direct-link users to a url which is preprogrammed in - it's really easy to do and below I'll show you how in just a few steps. So whether it is your website, online store, or social profile to follow - these little images can be a helpful way to get people where you want them to go online.

Where to Find Them

If you want to make your own QR Code for just about any web url you have a couple different options. You can either install browser add-ons or if you prefer, there are websites which will help you make them - usually you just have to paste in the url you want a QR Code for.

Browsers:

On the Web:
  • You can also try a quick Google Search and choose any of the QR code websites you like from the top links.
  • Many websites besides www.qr-code-generator.com exist and do similar things: however, I found this website specifically to be quite user-friendly and serves as a great example for this blog post. Please find a screenshot below:

How to Use Them:

These images can be saved as pictures (.jpg or .png) which can be saved to your desktop or anywhere else. They can then be uploaded or pasted onto a blog, newsletter, email signature, etc. Essentially anywhere you might be able to upload an image, you can put your own QR Code directing users to a url of your choice.

A Step by Step for Using the ShortenMe Chrome Extension:
  1. Visit any web page you may want a QR Code for
    • I used a random example below
  2. Click on your ShortenMe button (Circled in the image below)
  3. That's it. When the image shows up, you can usually click and save it to your desktop to be uploaded wherever.


To Try the ShortenMe Chrome extension make sure to:
  • Have the Chrome Browser Installed: [Click Here] to read about & download the Chrome Browser
  • [Click here] to find and download the ShortenMe extension in the Chrome Store: 
Scanning QR Codes with your Smartphone

You will likely need to download an application on your smartphone to navigate these codes. There are lots of options out there; I've used and liked each of the suggestions below:

Android:
iOS:
Perspectives

The Good

They are easy to use and a great way to funnel online traffic anywhere you want people to visit.

The Not-As-Good

They are a tiny bit ugly. And if someone has never seen one or heard of one before, you will likely have to teach them about what that thing is at the bottom of your Newsletter, or wherever you decide to place them.
In the end though, whatever gets you talking about your website (or url of choice) is not necessarily a bad thing in the way of advertising.
  • Note: Many QR Code sites will let you customize your Code; altering color, or placing images behind them (a logo for example) you can also shrink and enlarge them - its not really a cure-all for aesthetic appeal but you can certainly be creative here with your design choices to make them unique to you or your website.
Video
I also made a video (inserted below) which covers much of the same information written above.

video

Hope this blog post was helpful and have a great rest of your day!

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*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the companies or web sites mentioned in this blog article, which is intended for educational purposes. Thank you.

Time Management Tools - Using IFTTT



Effective time management can be an illusive goal when managing multiple online accounts. One way to help you save time online is to connect your existing accounts, and a helpful online tool you might consider is: ifttt.com

Brief 'How-To'

IFTTT lets users link 2 otherwise unassociated online accounts, to produce an automatic action. For example, you might set up a link (they call these 'recipes') between your blog and twitter account, to automatically tweet every time you create a blog post. The idea essentially is that, If you post on your blog Then you automatically tweet. It's a clever website and they do a really great job explaining their services on their About Page.

Essentially you can connect 2 of any of their 160 'channels', which you can browse through to think of creative ways to connect.

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