Friday, 26 June 2015

How liking a Facebook post can help you stay up to date

I have often been asked why someone would like a Facebook post but don't comment or interact on them.

Of course clicking like is a way to tell the poster that you are enjoying what they have posted but there are also other reasons why liking a post can be useful to you as the reader too.

Sometimes you see a post and are interested in the ensuing comments and conversation or want to see updates about something (maybe if someone has asked a question and you would also like to know the answer or something similar)

Well, when you click the like button, if you have notifications or emails turned on, that will now mean that you will get updates of other people's comments on that post so you don't have to think - hmmm where was that post and what did people have to say about it.  You can just sit back and wait for any updates to come through to you.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Google Plus Launch Collections

Google Plus has just announced a brand new feature has launched - it's called *Collections*

Now you no longer have to worry about whether your:

Family will get fed-up of seeing your business related posts
Friends will get fed-up of your business posts
Business associates will see your family pics and posts

Because you can pop each post on Google plus into a Collection which is your way of organising posts into categories, and then those people that follow you (and those that don't) can choose which of your collections they want to follow and see in their news streams.

This also means that you can choose which posts you see from those people you follow and you can follow someone's collection without adding them to a circle too, so you get complete control over what you see and from who and which collections you get notifications from too.

I am loving this new feature......

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Why your website needs to be mobile friendly and how to check

Google have recently announced that websites need to be mobile friendly and it will affect what results are shown in search specifically when people are searching on mobile, which many are ....

So it is absolutely important that you have a mobile friendly website if you don't want to see your site at the bottom of the list when people are searching and you want to keep your (or raise your) visibility in search

But how do you know if your website is mobile friendly?

Well Google have a tool that you can use completely free of charge and test your site:  To access the tool and check if you are mobile friendly click the image below

All you need to do is enter your website URL and then wait as it analyses the site and gives you your results

You can see in the above screenshot that the particular website that was analysed is mobile-friendly! (woohoo, as that is my brand new website that I am currently designing and creating for everyone)

You can also see that there are links to additional resources on this page where you can learn more about mobile friendly websites, Google webmaster tools and also give feedback if you there there is a problem with your analysis results too.

Are you mobile friendly?

Friday, 27 March 2015

How online TV can help you and your business

It doesn't matter what your business offers, whether it is a service or a product, it is something that will solve someone's problem or challenge and how better to let them find out about it than to host your own online TV show?

Think how many people enjoy watching TV - yes many want to watch comedy or drama, films or entertainment, but you can now bring that through your own online TV show too and by hosting it you will be the person that they learn about, the person that they begin to see knows what their problems and challenges are and your business will be the one at the top of their minds when they or someone they know has a problem that they know you can solve.

Now as you are reading this you may be thinking - "Yeh right" an online TV show, thats:

  • Too expensive
  • Too complicated
  • Too hard

Well it used to be very expensive to be able to host a TV show, but now with new technology and the internet it isn't any-more and you don't have to invest in any expensive equipment or have a studio crew to be able to create and host your own show.

The technology is also not complicated or hard to learn, in fact, I teach people how to run their own online TV show using Google Hangouts, which, once you know how they work and the best place for you to host your show and how it all works, is very simple to use..... and best of all Hangouts are completely FREE too!

You may also be thinking:
"What I sell in my business, is too boring to create a TV show about it, I have no idea what I would talk about, why would people want to listen to anything I have to say?"

I bet you go business networking and talk about your business, answer people's questions, maybe you host your own website or social media platforms to generate leads and share content with people?

You know your product or service and you know how it will help your customers, and you also know other people who offer complimentary products and services too?

And of course, even if your business topic is what you conceive as being "boring", to your customers it obviously isn't otherwise they would not buy from you and need what you offer.

So why on-line TV and how would it work for you?
When you run your own online TV show, whether you air an episode everyday, every week or once a month, you are interacting live on-air with your potential, current and past clients and customers and you are positioning yourself as the expert in your field, and able to invite guests to join you, have interactive live chat as people watch your show and answer your viewers questions too.... What a great way to increase your visibility and attract new leads to your business.

Your Live on-air broadcast will be automatically recorded for you and available on YouTube after the live show, so you will have an ongoing number of videos for people to find and watch too.... That is always great, to create one piece of content and have it available on-going in the future too.

YouTube videos can be optimised with tags and descriptions and you can also add a link back to your website, on-line store or your contact details for people as well, so not only are you building visibility and relationships, but you are also soft promoting your business and giving people a way to contact you to find out more about what you do and offer too.

Now there are so many ways to run an on-line TV show including:

Guest panel chats
Showcasing products and services
Educational shows
Answering audience questions
Showing your audience how to do something

And much much more, which I will talk about in future articles, but for now I hope that I have been able to get you thinking about how you could use a TV show to add more value for your business and how it can help your business into the future?

Monday, 2 March 2015

Is Google Plus Is Dead (again!)

Firstly, NO Google+ is not dead!

Sadly it is human nature to expect the worst and believe media hype and what the on-line world of techchrunch and other platforms write, that is often times a little bit of factuality and a BIG piece of hype - they do this to get more views on their websites, sometimes it is called click-baiting as well, write a headline or something "newsworthy" that will attract people to click and read your misinformed and incorrect article and you will get better search engine rankings....

And of course Google Plus Is Dead is a headline that these sites use to grab a bigger market share of viewers and clicks to their articles.

This week it was announced by +Bradley Horowitz

"Just wanted to confirm that the rumours are true -- I’m excited to be running Google’s Photos and Streams products!  It’s important to me that these changes are properly understood to be positive improvements to both our products and how they reach users".

And the rumour mills started turning - some people started to ask questions and get clarification and others immediately thought negatively (as is the trend with the human mind) and scaremongering kicked in alongside the media reporters who just want more views and better rankings online!

So of course, as there was a change and someone had become head of Photos and Stream (the term stream has been used within Google+ since the day it was created and simply means news feed to those who are not used to using G+)

But people saw an opportunity to spread some hype and get everyone excited at some negative connotations of what is actually a really positive move by Google - having someone focus specifically on elements with Google+ - really it's no different to appointing a new department head within a large retail organisation or corporate... The retailer and the corporate is still there, but internally things are headed by different people because the organisation has grown to a size that it needs more people to head up the different elements.

All the regular hype mongers started to post articles that Google+ was dead and of course people started to ask questions and share the negative media articles on G+ asking if they were true....

I found one where there was a response from +Yonatan Zunger which you can see below:

So there you can see that direct from Yonatan is clarification that Google+ is not dead!

Forbes have also recently interviewed Pichai

And of course Google+ was mentioned...... Here is the part that is in particular reference to Google+

Q: The one thing that comes to mind is Google+. We haven’t seen a lot of new things there and many people outside of Google think it’s been a flop. What are the lessons you learned from it? What’s the future for it?

A: Google+ has always meant two things for us. There’s the stream in the product that you see. And for us, Google+ was also a way by which Google after many years, we made sure there’s common [login and] identity across our products. The second part was in many ways even more important than the first part. That part has worked really well for us. In terms of the stream itself, based on the stats we see, we have a passionate community of users. We would definitely like to see more scale at what we do. The team is working on a few next generation ideas. But to us these are two different things, and I don’t think we have always done a good job of explaining that.

Q: There are other parts of Google +, like photos, which people seem to like but seem to have been dormant because they are part of the larger product.

A: We are actively working on all of these areas. To me, photos is an important area. I see that as a specific problem space that’s different from the [Google+] stream.

Q: Should we expect Google+ to remain as one big product?

A: I think increasingly you’ll see us focus on communications [Hangouts], photos and the Google+ stream as three important areas, rather than being thought of as one area.

So you can see, this is not the end of Google+ and Google Plus is not dead..........  It is growing and as it does that it needs to identify the different products in different ways to bring you, the people using the platform, the best experience it can.....

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

How do I see the posts I have clicked +1 on Google+

So often we click a +1 button on Google Plus and then want to go back in the future to see those posts again.  And some people think clicking the +1 button will save their posts for them, but this isn't quite the case.

A +1 on someone else's post on Google Plus is your way of telling the originator of the post that you like what they have shared with you.

If you want to find all the posts you have +1'd so you can go back to them later, then you can do this:

First make sure you are logged into Google+
Open a new browser tab and paste this link https://plus.google.com/apps/activities

This will open your activities and apps window for you and you will see all of your +1's listed

When you hover over the text in bold it becomes a click-able link that will take you back to the original post 

Friday, 13 February 2015

How do I start a Hangout and can I do Private Hangouts On Air

I was just listening to a webinar all about using and creating professional hangouts and some of the audience questions were not answered fully, which kind of frustrated me and I found myself talking to the screen and giving the full answers - but of course no-one could hear me and I was watching the replay so the chat facility was also not available for me to use and share the full answers,  so I thought  I would write a quick blog post to share some hints and tips on using Hangouts that will hopefully answer some of your questions:

Can you do private hangouts

The response was yes, that is a video call and is not recorded.  which is correct - but to expand on the answer:

You can also do private Hangouts on Air and broadcast your live Hangout to a select audience as well as invite your audience into the hangout to interact live on webcam and audio with you.

When you use a private Hangout On Air you have the choice on whether you have everyone inside the hangout room with you and the recording is for their private review after the live event or whether the audience is watching your presentation from outside the Hangout room and interacting with you via live chat messaging, with the option to re-watch the presentation at the end of the live event.  

How do I start a Hangout - the answer was, you can go to hangouts.google.com/start or you can login to your Google+ profile and then start your hangout from the right hand side of your page.

Again both of these answers are correct but they are only telling you how to start a private Hangout video call not how to start a Hangout On Air! (which is what this webinar was primarily about)

To start a Hangout On Air you:

Can go to Hangouts from the left hand navigation panel in Google+ and create your hangout on air from there (this will create a Google+ event page for your live broadcast

Can go to YouTube live and set-up a new live event, which will not create a Google+ event page for your live broadcast

I do hope that this post with questions and answers is helpful to you - if you want to learn more about Hangouts, how they can work for you in your life, business or charity and are looking for personal support and answers to your questions, not just generic information on using Hangouts successfully, why not take a peek at the upcoming workshops I will be delivering all about Google Plus and Hangouts - I deliver regular workshops for Link4Skills and help people to discover Hangouts and take their online visibility to the next level