Friday, October 9, 2015

Tragically Hipp Fashion Gallery in Lakefield Ontario

We wanted to give a big shout out to Tragically Hipp Fashion Gallery in Lakefield for their recent Facebook post about our services in highlighting woman in business.

Tragically Hipp contacted us about a year ago to assist them with social media, apps & email use.

This was the first opportunity for myself, Heather McMahon to meet the inspirational woman who owns Tragically Hipp, Evelyne derKinderen.  Evie's authentic passion for helping woman feel strong, confident and as beautiful on the inside as well as on the outside was enlightening.

It didn't take long before I learned that Evie has a natural ability in identifying each woman's individual beauty.  She has a gifted nature for styling hair, applying just the right amount of make-up, an inner talent in knowing exactly what fashion items look great on each woman but more importantly, a powerful aura about her that makes every woman 'own it'.  She is fun, quirky and confident and knows her stuff, and it comes as no surprise as to why so many of her customers are inspired life-timers.

For the past eight years Evelyne has been selecting very specific fashions to accommodate the 'older woman', carrying sizes Small to XXL, and styles that flatter every woman. From the moment you approach the iron gate to 60 Queen Street in the quaint village of Lakefield, Ontario it is impossible to look anywhere else but on the beauty of this elegant and unique boutique.

Evelyne's moving approach to cross promote woman in business through Facebook allows her to show her talents and merchandise while also providing a shout out to local businesses and business women such as myself.  Evelyne knew exactly how she wanted my hair to look, what items from her boutique she wanted to dress me in and how she wanted me to pose for the photo she took, and I thought i looked fabulous!  What do you think? To view Evelyne's post about myself & HM Coordinator click here.

Thank you so much Evelyne for utilizing our services, providing very kind words in your Facebook shout out and for allowing us to get to know such a beautiful person in you.  We look forward to a lifelong friendship with you!

To all of our readers: Please support small business and professionals by liking and following all of us on social media and shopping for your services & products from us.  Please also remember to comment on our posts & articles and provide us with your contact information in those comments so we can all help each other 'spread the word' in this big beautiful world:)

Don't forget to Like Tragically Hipp Fashion Gallery on Facebook.

Wishing you all a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!

HM Coordinator is a Social Media Services & Training business
in the City of Kawartha Lakes
serving clients throughout Ontario


Also find us on: Facebook, PinterestTwitterLinkedInInstagram

Thursday, September 24, 2015


In an earlier post 'Hootsuite Compared to Buffer - What I Found', I made reference to providing an 'Upcoming Article' to show how I reduce the file size of my JPEG images/photos.

Since Buffer doesn't accept images that are over 3MB (megabytes) in size it's necessary to reduce the size of the image in order to use it in a Buffer post (and the reduced images do upload quicker).

I use a variety of free programs for editing photo's such as:

  • Picasa (a free program from Google that you can use to organize and edit your digital photos/pics)
  • Paint (a drawing program from Microsoft that you can use to create drawings or edit digital photos/pics. You can also use Paint to save pic files using different file formats)
  • Gimp (originally released as the General Image Manipulation Program, it is a freely distributed piece of software for retouching photos/pics, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages)
I typically use Picasa to lower file sizes by reducing their dimensions and quality levels. (The quality level will still be sufficient enough to use in a social media post).

Since I photograph products for some of my clients I will use an example from a local fashion boutique to show you how I reduce the size of an image to post on several social media channels. Here's how I do it:

Open Picasa

Select the picture you want to reduce in size by clicking on it, (or use the ctrl key to select multiple pics that you want to reduce in size)

You can see that I've chosen an image of a pair of shoes that is 5.7 MB in size (4272 x 2848 pixels).

Now all i have to do to reduce the size of the image is click the 'Export' icon at the bottom of the screen (now that i have it selected)

A new box will open in Picasa

Now you will see the Export location has already been filled in with the file path where your image/pic is already stored on your computer.

On the next line 'Name of exported folder' something may or may not already be filled in there. Choose a name for your folder to store your resized images. (I have chosen 'Resized' in my next example for this.)

Image Size is next so be sure to select the 'Resize to' option and slide the scroll bar down to 320 pixels.  (Remember, the lower the number the smaller the file, the lesser the MB [megabytes])

Image Quality should be defaulted to 'Automatic'.

Click  the 'Export' button at the bottom of the box to save your reduced image.

Now, open the folder that you created (you can view it on your computer folders or within Picasa). Mine is called 'Resized'.

Click on the reduced image in the new folder you created and you'll see the the size has been reduced.
You'll see below that my image has been reduced from 5.7MB to 65KB (1000 KB in a 1 MB) and from 4272 x 2848 pixels to 320 x 214 pixels

Now I will have no problem uploading this image to Buffer, Hootsuite or directly to Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Note: I didn't have to go to the smallest reduction size available in Picasa for this image and could have saved more of the quality by not reducing it quite so much, but now that you know how to reduce your images you can try different variations to see what works for you.

Good Luck and if you need any assistance, don't hesitate to leave a comment:)

I also welcome comments from others about what they use to reduce the size of their images for uploading.

HM Coordinator is a Social Media Services & Training business
in the City of Kawartha Lakes
serving clients throughout Ontario


Also find us on: Facebook, PinterestTwitterLinkedInInstagram

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

When It's Too Good To Be True What Do You Do?

Have you ever met another 'professional' that made you feel kind of warm and fuzzy inside during that first conversation because of where they said they saw your business relationship heading?  You know the people that can talk the talk, right? And then you find out that they don't walk the walk to the talk they talk.

Even though your gut is telling you early on that  "This sounds waaay too good to be true",  you want to trust their words to be true, because, let's face it, you've just met them.

We recently entered into a business relationship with one of those 'professionals' and with each of the first 3 meetings with them:

  • their words in reference to the direction our partnership was heading changed with every meeting
  • the money originally discussed decreased by the 2nd meeting
  • their lack of skill and knowledge became apparent
  • their disarray of how they do business resulted in important details falling through the cracks
Rarely questioning their contradictions, we decided to enter into the business partnership anyway, but not without hesitation & being overwhelmed with the promise of 'golden carrots'.

We did not go into this business venture as being one sided, meaning we knew that we would have to work very hard to provide the streamlined services that we had agreed to once the workload was presented. We had everything in place and we were ready to provide service a la mode.

These types of situations are not rare so we thought it a good topic of conversation.

We felt the following to be the typical stages that those of us true professionals and good and decent human beings go through when we find ourselves in the 'Too Good To Be True' situations that turn out to be just that.

Stage 1. WOW! - I'm so excited!  I can't wait to move forward!
Stage 2. Say Whaaat? - I thought they said...Is this too good to be true?
Stage 3. I dunno about this?? - I know they said this and now they say that. This is probably too good to be true.
Stage 4. Are you kidding me?! - Can you believe this?! I knew this was too good to be true.

And, if you entered into this 'Too Good To Be True' situation without hesitation, at this point if you could kick your legs behind you far enough to reach your own butt cheeks you would, because you knew.  Deep down you knew.  Your gut told you so and you didn't listen.

Why do we do that? Why when our gut tries to encourage us to disassociate ourselves from these types of situations and people, do we move forward anyway?  It's because we want to trust that others are as good and honest as we are and that they have the same professional and human qualities and ethics as we do.  That's why.

So, when it does turn out to be 'Too Good To Be True' what do you do?

What did we do in this situation?

We stayed the course delivering our services in the most professional and organized manner as usual knowing that it wouldn't be long before they pulled out of the business relationship based on their increased neglectful behaviour. And they did:)

For some, yes we know, doing what we did is not always easy. Your instinct is to FREAK OUT, yell and even use some obscene language.  And that's ok...on the inside.

The thing is when you have allowed yourself to enter into a 'Too Good To Be True' situation without hesitation and it doesn't actually turn out to be Good, you experience the feeling of being taken advantage of. I think the word 'sucker' may come into play here. lol  But please don't feel that way! You're not a 'sucker' and you've only been taken advantage of if you haven't allowed yourself to learn from the situation. Swallow a role of 'Caution' tape so your gut can prepare you for next time and move forward proudly.

There are still more of us that are those good and decent human beings that want to assume that others are just like us, those of us that want to allow others the benefit of the doubt to help each other achieve greatness, and most of the time the outcome is all good:)

So what do we feel you should do when it turns out to be 'Too Good To Be True'? Remain true to yourself and who you are as an individual or group. Remain true to your work ethics and the professional(s) that you are, while remaining strong and firm on the fact that you will not be taken advantage of.

We will move forward with a smile in our hearts because we know we responded in the way that was true to ourselves and we will move forward with a smile on our faces because we believe this particular individual as dishonest as they come with no problems sleeping at night will one day meet their match and learn the hard way that in order to be a good and decent human being, change will be imminent.

We welcome your comments and stories on this subject.


HM Coordinator is a Social Media Services & Training business
in the City of Kawartha Lakes
serving clients throughout Ontario


Also find us on: Facebook, PinterestTwitterLinkedInInstagram

Monday, September 7, 2015

When Is The Best Time to Post on Social Media?

We've heard it all when it comes to when the best time is to post on social media platforms and from our experience, our perception is significantly different than most of what you'll find when you google this topic.

One says never on weekends, another says never on Mondays or Fridays, another says in a certain region that Tuesdays & Thursdays are the best time to post, and another says Wednesdays are best, and then another says weekends are best, Fridays are best, and so on.

With all of that information out there how is one to know which of these is correct?

Let's face it, we all want the same thing for our businesses, our products, our services, events, specials deals, etc..  We want to be 'seen'!  We want to create an awareness out there to attract as many clients, customers, participants, etc., as we can so that we can be successful.

As a social media managing company what we want more than anything is for our clients, their products, their services, their events & special deals to not only be seen, but for the info to be shared, and for our clients networks (followers & likes) to grow.

We figured we've been doing this long enough, in a variety of geographical regions, for a variety of types of businesses and clients, that we now have a fairly good handle on what the answer is when someone asks us when the best time to post on social media is.  How do we know?  Because we are watching the analytics for each and every client to ensure we are posting on their behalf at the right time on the right channels.

So here it is! The moment you've all been waiting for:

There's no one easy answer for every business!

Different days are best for different industries in different geographical regions on different social media platforms (channels) with different content.  That sums it up.

What we can tell you is that like any advertising & promotion you have to be committed, you have to be consistent, you have to give it a chance and most importantly, you have to monitor & analyze your efforts.

Just like running an ad in the newspaper or on the radio, those organizations will tell you what the numbers are for distribution of the newspaper in a certain geographical area, or listenership to that particular radio station; social media analytics will tell you not only how many people you reach but it also provides a break down to help you identify specific days and times for specific posting activity.

You have to remember that social media takes time to develop a followership, but is significantly less expensive than print or radio advertising on it's own.  Your followers in week one of being on a social media platform, or even starting a different kind of campaign on a social media platform, will be significantly different by week twelve and different again by week twenty-four, and so on.  And if you are doing social media 'right', which includes watching your activity to see when people are liking, sharing, commenting, when new followers are coming on board, etc., you will see continued growth in your followership, and more importantly in your sales because of the number of impressions you're activity has made.

Don't be discouraged now that you've read what we've had to say because the great thing is, there are a number of tools online that can make tracking or monitoring your social media activity easypeasy.

In fact, buffersocial offers this article '19 Free Social Media Analytics Tools' to get you started.

We also love this article 'The Best Times to Post on Social Media' by AgoraPulse. We echo each other when it comes to having a different voice than many on this topic and AgoraPulse also offers some other great tips in their article .  It's worth the read!

If you're still uncertain about your own efforts on social  media or have not yet made the jump to get on board we can help set you up & teach you how to use them or manage whatever components you don't have time for.

Just to give you an idea of costs to have us work with you;
  • We have clients who pay $200 per month and clients who pay $600 per month, to manage their social media channels. 
  • We have clients who pay us flat rates to develop YouTube videos, newsletters, ads, surveys & contests
  • We have clients who pay us an hourly rate to analyze/monitor their own social media efforts, take photos for posting and attend special events to promote their event live and/or to take photos to share later.

The investment for social media is worth it!  We've said it before many times and we still believe, if you haven't jumped on board social media to start promoting what you are offering chances are very good that you will be looking for a new source of income within a two-three year period.  It's not enough to just have a website anymore! (see future post on this topic)

So, if you are already set up on social media please do us a favour and get committed to posting consistently. Give it a chance and get serious about monitoring the time and effort you are putting into it.

In the words of , (Co-Founder AgoraPulse), "If you have to decide what time works best, trust your own data, not other’s."

And if you are not yet using social media to tell the world about you're doing and offering, please jump on board now.

Good luck!

(HM Coordinator offers a 1 hour free consultation and will review any current activity you have online to provide you with suggestions for improvement.)

HM Coordinator is a Social Media Services & Training business
in the City of Kawartha Lakes
serving clients throughout Ontario


Friday, August 21, 2015

Auto Dealerships Need Social Media!

Your Customers Are On Social Media!
Shouldn't You Be?

If I'm looking for a new car (new or used) for myself or a family member, wouldn't you want to make it incredibly easy for me to connect with your dealership & your sales staff?!

Auto dealerships can benefit hugely from the exposure that social media offers.  It's an opportunity that can't be missed!

We've said it before and we'll say it again,
When was the last time you've seen a 20 or 30-something year old pick up a newspaper or magazine before a cell phone or tablet to read or review... just about anything?

A vehicle is something most of us will purchase in our lifetime and WE know YOU want as many of US as your customers as possible. 

But not just that!  We know you want to not only reach us, but to build a relationship with us, and engage with our network; our community. WE KNOW you want our referrals.

By having a good & strong presence on social media, your dealership and sales staff CAN, and WILL have all of the above.

Our motto is:  'Get Found Socially'

“We’re not sure which month but we know 2015 is the tipping point, when more people will be using mobile devices for research than desktop computers,” says Tim Wilson, head of automotive for Google Canada."

"More Canadian new car buyers will use cell phones and tablets to research their purchases this year than they will desktop PCs, according to a trend analysis by Google Canada."

"You need to have a social media presence to bring in your mobile clients, and as we can all see, mobile users are a large demographic. Social media can drive people to your site (website), which will help benefit your SEO and improve your overall reach." (being found in an online search)

Social Media:
  • It's not just about posting pictures to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
  • It's not an overnight solution. (no form of promotion is)
  • It's here to stay, it's serious stuff, it takes time AND commitment to bring positive results.
  • It will take 3-6 months to make a difference & ONLY if it is well planned out and attended to.
We service clients throughout Ontario and would love the opportunity to help your Ontario dealership get found socially!

HM Coordinator is a Social Media Services & Training business
in the City of Kawartha Lakes
serving clients throughout Ontario


Also find us on FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedIn

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Calling All Printing Businesses in Ontario!!

Have you heard?

We are offering a great deal for Printing Businesses throughout Ontario...or should we say, to the customers of Printing Businesses in Ontario.

We (you and I) can offer free social media to your customers to get them talking about YOU, and to keep them coming back!

With over 19 million people here in Canada on Facebook alone who wouldn't want this great deal?!!

Here's a hint...

Our motto is 'Get Found Socially'
Every business, professional & event needs to be on social!

Contact us to find out the details about how
we can offer FREE SOCIAL MEDIA promotion to your clients 

HM Coordinator is a Social Media Services & Training business
in the City of Kawartha Lakes
serving clients throughout Ontario


Also find us on FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedIn

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hootsuite Compared to Buffer - What I Found

Ok, so I chose to name Hootsuite first in my title when comparing to Buffer because I started off a few months ago using Hootsuite and thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread...not that i've even been eating much bread lately on this low carb lifestyle, but that's an entirely different conversation.

A month ago I started to use Buffer because some of my new client accounts were already set up to use this social media tool so i had to switch gears and learn this tool in a hurry in order to co-manage numerous social media platforms on their behalf. The first few days were hectic, learning the pre-existing schedules of these new accounts on top of learning to use Buffer and I must admit i was a little biased. Remember Hootsuite and sliced bread and all:)

My work method to learn anything new has always been to jump in with both feet to get a feel for what is available to me and then google video's and/or articles to learn more about specific features when i'm ready to ask questions: How do I do this?  What does this do?' Why do i want to do that? And most importantly, Can I do this?

By day 3 of using Buffer I was feeling much calmer and decided to purchase the most equivalent plan to that of my Hootsuite account and within hours I must say i was loving Buffer.  I remember saying, "I'm using Buffer and I'm feeling my groove."

I set up the social platforms for my more active clients on my new Buffer account and decided I would use Buffer instead of Hootsuite and this is where the true comparison of features came into play.

Please note my use of Buffer and Hootsuite to date is on a computer, not on a mobile device.

Also, the features i mention are those which i use consistently in my workday and are not the extent to which either of these social media tools offer.

Lastly, for any examples and opinions i express in this article that may be arguable, I invite you to share your comments for others to learn and try so we can all benefit as much as possible by this wonderful technology that is available to us:)

Here's the list of varied features that I've come across while using Hootsuite and Buffer:

1. Twitter Retweets - Hootsuite allows you to actually schedule your RT's so they don't have to go out all at the same time and bombard your followers.  Buffer doesn't allow you to view your Twitter feed at all so there is no option from this social tool to RT anything.

2. Twitter multiple images in posts - Hootsuite allows you to attach multiple images in a single tweet, which is of benefit for some clients. Buffer only allows you to attach a single image. (Upcoming article - Grouping Images - When it is beneficial & not)

3. Facebook multiple images in posts - Hootsuite allows you to attach multiple images in a single post for Facebook but the flaw is that it posts each image as a single post to Facebook with the same text for each. (not ideal for what I'm doing). Buffer only allows you to attach a single image.

4. Twitter image size - I rarely get a message from Hootsuite to say my image is too large when uploading photo's i have snapped with my Cannon.  As most of my images are 3+ MB's Buffer does not allow me to upload these, giving me an error message that 3 MB is the max size. (Upcoming article - How i reduce my JPeg images)

5. Reviewing all scheduled posts - Hootsuite allows you to select as many platforms for as many client accounts as you want to view what has been scheduled to post.  (This feature is handy when I'm scheduling posts to several social platforms on behalf of a client.  For example a client has a personal LinkedIn account, a LinkedIn Company page, a personal Facebook account & Facebook page and a Twitter account.  I can schedule posts on all of these platforms for a week or a month and if i want to review what i've scheduled on each i can view all at once on one page.)  Buffer only allows you to view scheduled posts on a single platform at one time.

6.  Content Curation feeds - Hootsuite allows you to delete/remove any content suggestions from your feed(s) that you do not want to use because you don't feel they are relevant.  Buffer doesn't, so this means you have to keep scrolling through all of the undesirable content suggestions to get to new ones.

7. Using extensions for sharing posts - Hootsuite and Buffer both offer extensions which means you can click on the icon at the top right of your computer screen (once you opt into this & I recommend you do. Don't be afraid!) when you want to share anything on the internet. From what i see both Hootsuite & Buffer extension features offer the same but I have a personal preference for Buffer because it appears to have a cleaner look. (Upcoming article - How I use Buffer extensions for my own clients social posts)

8. Repeating posts - Buffer allows you to 're-buffer' a post that has already gone live so you don't have to re-type the post if you choose to share it more than once.  This is also handy because you can see what was said in your previous post and can change wording where needed.  Hootsuite does not have this feature so if you want to re-post a post, you have to copy and paste it each time.  (Hootsuite requires you to re-upload an image for a Twitter post each time you re-post in order for the image to be viewed)

9. Page loading - I find that Buffer takes much longer to load the pages, especially for the Analytics feature to view the posts that have been sent, which can take 5 minutes or more and frequently goes to an error page asking you to 're-load' the page.  Hootsuite is instant almost always when going from page to page.

10. Social Media Platforms - To date I find both Buffer and Hootsuite offer the option to post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Google+.  Buffer also offers the option to post to Pinterest.  Hootsuite offers the option to 'view only' Instagram.  I've used all successfully.

11. Customer Service Support - At this point I have used the Customer Service Support for both social media tools a few times and to date find the response time to be a little quicker from Hootsuite, and the knowledge or perhaps the communication to be very slightly better from Hootsuite.

12. Training - One the things i love from any program, tool, software, etc. is the FREE TRAINING:) Hootsuite offered a 30 minute free telephone training session where we were both able to access my account and go through features together.  My 30 minutes went well beyond and I was not rushed or told my time was up.  Also, the person I spoke with during my training is 'my contact' for any ongoing questions, which I have used a few times.  When I asked Buffer if they offer any training, the answer was 'no'.

13.  Google articles and helpful tips from each company - Both Hootsuite & Buffer offer clear tips through their help pages for any questions you may have and both social media tools seem to have numerous articles available on the internet written by excellent users.  (Too many to mention, but all you have to do is type in what you're looking for and be ready to read and try for yourself).

14.  Added July 8th - I can't believe i forgot to leave out one of the most important features that i've been using which is to SCHEDULE multiple posts on multiple platforms at one time.

Both Hootsuite and Buffer offer a 'Scheduler' which can be used to schedule a post to go out to multiple social media platforms but Buffer takes this feature two additional steps further, whereas you can actually select different times and days within the scheduler for the same post AND actually 'tweak' your post from the scheduler so you're saying different things for the same post, but all from the Scheduler.  Hootsuite only allows you to select the multiple social media platforms for the post, write what you want to write and select the date and time and that's what goes out to all for that particular scheduled post at that particular time on that particular day.  This is one of my favourite features about Buffer.  How could I have forgotten? :)

Overall, I'm finding that i'm using Buffer for most of my clients now with the exception of the RT feature, which i'm continuing to use for every client.  Having said that, clients that i have where I'm sharing multiple images in a single post are still being scheduled to post from Hootsuite for Twitter posts only.

For those clients where I'm sharing multiple images for Facebook, I'm back to using the Facebook scheduling feature.
Oh, to have one source that will do it all for me! :)

I hope my findings are helpful and please remember that I welcome all comments so that i too can learn, grow and make new connections:)

Have a wonderful day!

HM Coordinator is a Social Media Services & Training business
in the City of Kawartha Lakes
serving clients throughout Ontario


Also find us on FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedIn