New WordPress 4.7 Vaughan Released


WordPress updated to 4.7, named after Sarah Vaughan. It has some great changes to the blogging platform. They include a new theme, Twenty Seventeen, PDF Previews and dashboard in your language. While these aren’t massive changes, they are welcome additions

Twenty Seventeen is probably the most significant thing in this update. For years businesses have been using WordPress to create websites. Now, WordPress is embracing this in the newest theme. It’s an easy to edit the template that can have a business up and running in a matter of minutes.

I’m glad to see them double down on businesses. This is a welcome especially but people who aren’t 100% tech savvy with WordPress. They have created easy to edit pictures and section of the theme. If you watched the video you can see how to edit the new theme. I plan on trying this out for myself. and will report on it soon!

The End of Vine

You will no longer be able to share the best six seconds of your life. This past week Twitter announced that they will discontinue the Vine Mobile app.Essentially shutting down the service. The mobile app is the only way to create new Vines. I was never big on Vine. I actually deleted the app off my phone a few days before the announcement. It seemed like Snap Chat and Instagram eclipsed this service and it never recaptured the magic it once had.

In a blog post on the Vine site, they said this on October 27th.

Since 2013, millions of people have turned to Vine to laugh at loops and see creativity unfold. Today, we are sharing the news that in the coming months we’ll be discontinuing the mobile app.

One of the big questions for Vine creators is what will happen to your Vines? News from the blog post is that the actual Vine site will still be accessible. Meaning, there are no plans to totally shut down the service. This is good news because if you had to move them to another service, you would lose all your followers and view counts. The most ideal thing would be to incorporate them into the creator’s Twitter account. However, this may not be feasible due to budgetary or technological issues.

They will be working with creators to answer any questions they may have regarding the Vines they have created. It sounds like they don’t want to ruin any work that has already been created and value the creators who participated on Vine over the years. If they can’t roll them over to Twitter, they will create an easy way to export the files. Similar to what Google has done with Google Take-out.

What does this mean for you? 

If you aren’t in the Vine ecosystem, nothing. If you are this could impact your marketing in a big way. Especially if you were all in on Vine. Now is the time to look at alternatives. The two that come to mind are Instagram (Stories and Video) and Snap Chat. If you want something similar I would recommend Instagram. It’s super easy to use. It’s no longer limited to 15 seconds. You can go up to 60 seconds. However, you can make videos of any length.

As I stated above, it is unknown on the future of the content. I will keep you posted on any updates.

Marketing on a Chromebook, can it be done?

This may sound like a super crazy experiment. Why would anyone submit to such an experiment? Well, it’s not my first choice after being in the Apple Ecosystem. You can read all my details on the Tech Metldown from Monday. Now, in order to run my business I”m using a 15.6 Acer Chromebook and a 4th Generation iPad. The transition hasn’t been as bad as I originally thought.

What works or hasn’t changed:

  • Blogging – Blogging is actually easier on the Chromebook. After all, blogging is done in the browser. Chromebook being a big browser make this a perfect marriage. The main advantage is the speed. It uploads faster and has a bigger screen. Even after I get a new Mac, I plan on keeping the Chrombook and using it for blogging.
  • Image Creation – This was one feature I was really worried about. I use Canva for the majority of my image creation. There are smaller things I need done that PicMonkey or Canva’s image editor can do. I don’t do any heavy lifting by Photoshop.
  • Batch Image resizing – This took a few to work out. The workflow has changed but it can easily happen. Bulk Resize Photos.com has a Resize Photo App for Chrome. The resizing takes place on the computer and not the cloud. However, one thing that caused me an issue is unzipping files. If it’s as large   Chromebook can’t handle them. They get stuck in an endless loop of “Abort this action” and you can’t unmount the zip. I, of course, Googled and learned you can unzip in Google Drive and avoid this issue.
  • Community Management – You can easily do community management on any social site. If you have a web based tool/solution, you can still use it on a Chromebook. I still manage all my accounts easily. I have become to rely more on Hootsuite for this rather than going through individual sites.
  • File Management – I was unaware that you could use an external hard drive on a Chromebook. However, to read or write to the drive it has to be an exFAT formatted drive. This format allows both Windows and Mac to read and write to the drive.

Things that are Wonky

  • Creating Documents – I can create documents in Office Online, Google G Suite formerly Google Docs and iWork from Apple. The first two work on the Chromebook, the last has some issues. The issue for me is sometimes one service works best. When I’m busy, I forget where the document was created or resides on the web. It takes me more time to find.
  • FTP Transfers – I have to upload and download files from servers. I downloaded Transmit for the iPad. Transmit works great in uploading. Especially if it’s a file or two. Where it doesn’t is downloading a lot of files. This week I needed to download 1400 files. I thought they were being downloaded to iCloud. I later learned they were stored local on the device. Getting the files out I had to do one by one. This took forever before I gave up. I learned that Chrome OS has an FTP app, that will be worth the $9.99 to easily download files.
  • Apple & Google Ecosystems – Neither company works well together. Issues I have are more with personal stuff than documents. I can use both iCloud and Drive without many issues. I can upload my pictures directly to my iCloud Photos Library and to my Google Photos. It’s not impossible just takes a workflow process to make things work. More on this later.
  • Email Management – If I had all Google accounts, this would be a non-issue. I have 4 IMAP accounts I need to manage. I can do it on my phone but no one wants to do email on your phone. I have found CloudMagic to allow me to check email and get notified when new messages come in. However, the service won’t let me copy and paste things. THis is helpful when blogging or getting something from a client. I have to forward it to Gmail and then copy. The last thing that is an issue is archiving emails. One thing to know about me is I save emails. You never know when you will need them. I archive my Apple Mail by Year. Each account has a folder by the year. Many will want it by company or sender. This works for me. I have yet to find a way to archive or download emails to an external hard drive. That will be accessible by Apple Mail later.


This is the initial overview of using a Chromebook. I will have a lot more later! If you are using one I”d love to hear apps you are using.

Creative Uses of Instagram Stories by Regal Cinema & HBO

When you think about Instagram Stories, you immediately think about things that are happening right now. It’s supposed to be done in the moment. Being a brand you don’t always have the luxury of posting things as they happen, you need to wait for the launch. This won’t give anything away. Or you want to create content to share on the service.

Two brands doing the second option are Regal Cinemas and HBO. Each went about it in different ways. The first company I saw using Instagram Stories in a new way was Regal Cinemas. They did a quiz. It may sound odd but it actually worked. It was focused around Tom Hanks, since his new movie in the Da Vinci Code series is being released this holiday. Here is what they did:

First you go through and answer each question. They timed it so each picture was posted the longest time possible. The questions are below:

After you added up your score, then they posted which Tom Hanks Character you were. See below:

This was a great way to use Instagram Stories. It took me aback when it first came on and I had to circle back through it. It was taking the static poll and making it fit the medium.

Next Compnay that that used Stories on Instagram is HBO. They used it to tell followers how to create Halloween Costumes of some of their most iconic characters. They included Game of Thrones, Sex in the City, True Blood and more. Here are all the Halloween Costume Suggestions:

You maybe asking how do you create images for Instagram Stories from you phone? Well, there is a slight trick. If you go to create a new story. Then swipe down when you’re in the “create a new story.” You will see all the pictures and videos you have created in the last 24 hours.

img_4744

You can create images and upload them directly to your stories. This is great for brands. All you need to do is edit them and then save to your camera roll and they are eligible for uploading. It’s a secret!

Pics created with app LongScreen

 

What happens when you have a technological meltdown?

technology
Imagine this, your MacBook Pro starts having issues that slows down to almost unusable speeds. On top of that, the video card starts to go out. Which is difficult but you have an iPad (4 years old) and a backup MacBook Air. It’s a bit of an adjustment but not difficult. Into the first week, the MacBook Air goes off and you can’t turn it back on. Now things get interesting.

This is what has happened to me. All my tech went out on me in one week. I have often bragged I could run my business from my phone and iPad. Well, that is being put to the test this week. I have resorted to using my iPad for everything. I have ordered a Chromebook to get me by until I get a replacement computer.

The Chromebook, while not a perfect replacement, can get me by on the majority of things I need to do. It is, in the words of Tim Gunn from Project Runway, a “Make it Work” moment. Which I”m trying to take in stride. Just as long as the iPad holds up!

This has inspired me to create a Tech Series on Marketing Elements. I know many small businesses face similar issues. Your tech is older or goes out and you have to make it work. There will be posts specifically geared towards those on Chromebooks, which can be done. Also, I will chronicle my journey.

What do I plan to do on the Chromebook

  • Blog – For Marketing Elements and others
  • Create Graphics – Through Canva and PicMonkey
  • Edit Photos – Basic editing through online editors
  • Community Management – for Facebook and Twitter
  • Social Strategy – Write up documents for clients/potential clients

 

Things I can’t do:

  • Edit videos
  • Record and edit podcasts
  • Upload files via FTP
  • Create new How To Tutorials


As long as things are basic. I think I can get by in the meantime. I will keep you posted on Extensions, Apps and more in the Chrome OS that can help your marketing.


Stay Tuned, don’t adjust your Internet…Delay in Marketing Elements

Just a quick note. I have had some computer issues and mine has finally died. Hence the missing posts from last week. I hope to have everything sorted out this week. I had to put my clients and business first this week. But I will be back soon talking more social media and finishing up the Influencer series Podcast.

Any questions Tweet me at @timgoleman

The Football Promotion that went a foul

Doing promotions is supposed to be a good thing for business. It’s used to generate traffic and sales. They are generally set up to get the customers the best deal without losing money. They should be well thought out and not on the spur of the moment. When you do quick deals sometimes things can go wrong, very wrong. The promotion I am going to profile, I can’t say for sure this is the reason it happened.

Ruth Chris Steak House came up with a promotion for the University of Michigan game against Rutgers. If Michigan won the game, every point they won by would be a discount at the restaurant. For example, if they won 48 – 35, it would be 13% off. This was to run the Sunday after the game till the following Thursday. It seems pretty simple. What could possibly go wrong with this promotion?

Before I give you the score. Football games can be extremely one sided. This should be kept in mind when crafting the special. The score of the game was Michigan won the game 78 – 0. Yes, that would translate into 78% off your meal at Ruth Chris Steak House in Ann Arbor.

Ruth Chris took to Facebook to clarify the promotion. They capped the discount at 50% off. This should have been set into the promotion ahead of time. Try to think about all possibilities and put a cap in the initial offer. Something like “We will give a discount for every point the University of Michigan scores against Rutgers, up to 35% off.” This would let people know that the most you will get is 35% off. Plus it would save face.

It caused a PR disaster. Just take a few minutes to read the comments. On top of that, the restaurant has been booked up every night since Sunday. Therefore, more people are complaining about not being able to get in.

To Avoid this do the following:

  • Put in the maximum discount ahead of time
  • Spell out all disclaimers as well. In the example here, No Alcohol, Must by and Entre, etc.
  • Tell if there is limited space and it’s first come first serve basis.
  • No rainchecks or further discounts will be given.

You can’t predict all problems in situations such as this, but you can try to minimize them.

Workplace By Facebook – Now Released

After a few years of speculation and beta testing. Facebook’s enterprise network has finally been released. What we had come to know as Facebook at Work is now called “Workplace By Facebook.” It was announced yesterday in their London office. If you’re not familiar with this, Workplace has been around since 2014. It’s a private Facebook network for a company, group or organization. Many, including myself, thought it would have been released in 2015.

Many, including myself, thought it would have been released in 2015. In the mean time services such as Yammer and Slack have made inroads to the enterprise world. I am a fan of Slack. I have used it for about six months. It has increased communication for the organization I use it with. Slack is better than email because people can have a conversation like instant messaging. The down side is the price. Most smaller organizations won’t have that much income to spend. Like the organization, I am involved with are on the free plan. 
01-title-image

Workplace has some advantages over Slack. Also, it has some disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage is there is no free plan like with Slack. That being said, the pricing is better than Slack. Depending on your organization’s size, you will pay $1-3 a month per user. This comes with unlimited storage. It’s a disadvantage but not a big one in my opinion. Note, I haven’t actually used Workplace yet. I’m going off what Facebook has posted.

The advantages are quite a few:

  • Low Learning Curve – since its based off Facebook we know and most people use. There will not be much training that will need to go into the service. It should operate like your personal Facebook
  • Separate from your Personal Account –  I find this as a bonus. If this is for work, you want to be focused on work and not playing games and such. This is a private network for you and your business.
  • No Ads – Since this is a paid product, there will be no ads in the service.
  • Unlimited Storage – There are no limits and file sizes. You can share without worrying about having to expand storage in the future. The price is very cheap for unlimited storage.

02-chat-live

How would you use the service? Facebook gave some examples:

a shipping company that can now connect with their ship crews using Live video, to a bank that now uses Workplace instead of fax machines and newsletters to share updates with its distributed bank branches. Large multinational companies like Danone, Starbucks and Booking.com, international nonprofits such as Oxfam, and regional leaders such as YES Bank in India and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore have all embraced Workplace. People work in different ways, around the world, and Workplace’s mission is to help them stay connected.

It should have all the features of Facebook, Live Video, Messaging, Posts, Groups and more.

News Feed, or the ability to create and share in Groups or via chat, or useful features such as Live, Reactions, Search and Trending posts. This means you can chat with a colleague across the world in real time, host a virtual brainstorm in a Group, or follow along with your CEO’s presentation on Facebook Live

04-admin

Something I am unsure about is if you can create groups of employees. I think it allows you to group people and have them share amongst their group rather than the entire company. Facebook as created a custom analytics for the service. The delay in launching has let Facebook test and improve the service.

One really great feature is Multi-Company groups. They allow different companies on Workplace, to come together in groups to collaborate. That means someone doesn’t need to be part of one company to participate in a group. It allows for safety and security of your business. This is a feature that I really like. Sometimes you need to work with someone on a limited basis and you don’t want them in your private network. These groups will help facilitate communication.

05-mcg

This is great for small businesses. First, because of the price. The pricing structure is $3 per user up to 1,000 users. $2 per user up to 10,000 users and $1 for 10,001+ users. If you are in education or non-profit, the service is free. They are also offering a three-month free trial. If you’re a small organization of people working from home, like a start up. This could be a great tool to keep in touch.

02-chat-live

Workplace is accessed via the web and the Workplace app. Being separate from Facebook you can’t access it from your personal account.

ME 0038 – Influencer Marketing Series – Finding Influencers

This podcast Tim Goleman talks about how you find influencers. This can be one of the hardest things to do in influencer marketing. The important thing is to find an influencer that is open to work with you and has the same point of view.

Find more at http://www.marketingelementsblog.com