Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Simple's Spotlight on Talent Deserving Winner

Well done to Anye Chen, who won the Simple Spotless Skin, 'Spotlight on Talent' competition (hosted on Facebook), on securing a £15K scholarship fund. Anye's talent is art with a focus on digital animation. View her 30 second entry above. I also love her "Why do I deserve to win"video, so clever, find this on her Youtube channel here:
If I could start again, I like to think that I would have focused on this subject, so jealous of her impressive prize ;)

Friday, 26 October 2012

Quick Recipe - Beef and Veg Stirfry

Sharing with you this quick and easy recipe for two. Using easy to find ingredients.

Enjoy ;)

Shopping list:

Red Pepper
Red Onion
Ginger (fresh)
Small tin of pineapple chunks in juice
Rump Steak (1)
Half a mug of rice
Butter & Veg oil
Maybe a little salt
Nando's Hot peri peri seasoning rub

Stage 1: The preparing in advance

1. Chop 5 mushrooms, 1 pepper, 1 red onion, 1 carrot. Place in a heatproof container.

2. Grate about a little finger (size!) worth of ginger. Crush and chop 2 cloves of garlic. Put to one side.

3. Thinly slice 1 steak (Rump is OK for this). Put to one side.

4. Measure half a mug of rice.

5. Open a small tin of Pineapple chunks, you will be using half a tin with the juice. Store the other half in the fridge.

Stage 2: The cooking and the eating

1. Bring a pan of water to the boil.
Throw in the rice. Add salt now if required. Once cooked, cool down with running water, drain and put to one side.

2. Add small amount of butter and veg oil to a frying pan. Once the pan is hot, throw in the pre chopped veg. Once softened return to the heatproof dish. Return empty pan to the heat.

3. Now place the beef into the frying pan and when it starts to brown throw in ginger and garlic, stir, then add the pre cooked veg & rice and stir again.

4. Throw in the pineapple chunks with the juice.

5. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of Piri Piri
Seasoning to the pan. Stir some more until the meat is cooked through and rice is warmed.

6. Eat

Friday, 21 September 2012

A YouTube Channel To do list

YouTube Broadcast yourself

I was coffee shop networking again the other day and a random who overheard a conversation I was having on social media said: "I have a YouTube channel. I have posted videos, I am getting visitors, what else can I do?".

I took his email address and sent him the below today. Sharing with you too, and logging for reference just in case someone asks again ;) 

Here is my email reply:

Subject: YouTube objective: Interact, Inform, Inspire and Educate

Well done for setting up YouTube with such quality videos and for subscribing to channels that relate to your business. Great start. 

The most important thing you can do is:  Tag and name your videos appropriately for Search Engine placement benefit.  Also write a description on your business and take advantage of opportunities to link back to your website. 

The second most important point to note is that YouTube is not just about 'Broadcasting yourself' it is about interacting with the community and inspiring and educating others of the benefits of your brand and much much more. 

Here is a YouTube to do list to keep you active. Once you have made good grounds with the below, talk to me further and we can discuss how you can grow your "relationships" on YouTube in line with your business goals. 

All the best 

A YouTube Channel To do list in no particular order

Respond to comments and as appropriate look for mentions of YouTube reviews on your brand (Searching for videos will work if they are tagged/labelled correctly). 

Spark up interest in your channel from engagement with related others.

Find “Fans” on YouTube and logging these (useful contacts for big campaigns). Look to promote those that have promoted you. Be thankful. 

Source Twitter or Facebook profiles of YouTube bloggers you like, your customers would like and engage further.

Review who subscribes to you and who you subscribe too. Have a strategy in place which outlines why you would subscribe to a channel and how you will communicate with subscribers ('YouTube updates'). Also consider the strategy behind, putting a favourite tick on someone else's videos. Plus if you have Google Analytics on your site, be sure to look how engaged (pages visited) your YouTube visitors are.  This will give you an idea as to how much focus you need to give to YouTube.

Encourage comments and respond to comments. Where possible (don't be spammy) add a call to action.

Direct people into your onsite community or other social media channels where comments can be easily shared.

Remember to save time you can set up feeds so that your Youtube activity can be automatically fed to some of your other social media channels.

Consider using 'YouTube updates' to the subscribers, how regular will these be. Why not try increasing the number of fans engaging with you by providing a short video on how to publish and edit a video on YouTube (as you defo know your stuff).

Report on the performance of your YouTube channel, using YouTube insights and web analytics data and be sure to note the stand out comments of the month (good or bad).
That's enough to be getting on with for now I think ;-)

If you have any other to dos for updating your YouTube Channel please post them in the comments section below.

Ten ways to increase your digital influence

I returned back to work on Monday and after 7 months maternity leave, I have managed to delete 4K worth of emails. Still have more to shift. Tip for anyone going on maternity leave, if you have subscribed to sites for client research (ie: Groupon) make sure you unsubscribe before heading off on your new baby journey.

Anyway back onto the topic of how to increase your digital influence online.

Whilst going through old emails, I found something that I wrote for the Sales team at work, giving ten ways they can increase their digital influence. What I wrote (back in Feb 2011) all still relates, so posting here.

HOW TO: Ten ways to increase your digital influence online

1. Remember there is nothing NEW to social media, the only new is the apparatus (even these aren’t that new!)

2. Note that social media facilitates face to face opportunities along with intensifying your personal and professional collaboration. (Deep!)

3. We (Rocktime) are creating compelling content to share with our customers and social media friends. The copy is currently seeded/sent out to four channels (do you know which?). Why not give our copy more legs & eyeballs and seed them out too!

4. We are already integrating our offline with our online (social media) communications (better ROI) making the most of our copy checking efforts

5. When engaging in the social networks consider how you can develop on your story telling skills, don’t always be selling / broadcasting (=boring) – be approachable honest and authentic (=builds trust).

6. Give your content wings and give it roots (Roots relate to you having a point of view)  change from thinking about changing other peoples minds to changing your own mind. Be interested and interesting.

7. Be topical early in the news cycle. Do mention and link to what others have said, but keep it real and write your own opinion.

8. Consider how you could use online video to increase our visibility (Google Search results). Do you fancy doing a piece to camera?

9. Give praise where praise is due via social channels. People love recognition (I love it loads! hint hint)

10. If you are thinking of blogging & engaging: Consider finding a niche and develop that niche and be an influencer.


If you would like to share more ways of increasing your digital influence online then please do leave a comment below. And yes that probably is the worst blog image ever posted above, just took a photo of the blog post I was writing.  It relates to influence though, so will stay until I think of something more creative.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

River Cottage eNews Love

Although I am a self confessed unsubscriber of eNews. I still get excited when I receive a thought out and well designed eNewsletter. This month I am praising the River Cottage newsletter for their content and multi channel integration.

View the River Cottage eNews online here:
My top five loves of this eNewsletter include:

1. Brand style
2. Calls to site/action
3. Content
4. Related social media links
5. And I especially like the fact that they are using the eNewsletter to promote/drive others with their community section (see photo).

One thing River Cottage 'could do better' is to consider the timing of the content rich eNews. I received this one (link mentioned above) at around 2pm. Open rate of the newsletter would work more effectively (re readership & engagement) if dispatch times were further considered.

Thoughts: The content rich e-news would better suit an evening slot, for those social media 'night time browsers' and 'midnight social media link delvers' like me. I would suggest a short bullet enews around breakfast time and follow it up with the meaty content after 6pm.

It's all about the timing ;)

Monday, 10 September 2012

Best Big Sister Ever Ode

Happy Birthday to my Big Sister Maxine,
If I was to rate her against a Pedicure she would be pristine,
She is the best Big Sister a Little Sister could ever need,
She talks a lot of sense and has a passion to succeed,
A fantastic role model and fabulous friend,
Although her OCD can sometimes drive you round the bend,
I love her so much and so pleased to have given her nephew Mason Tate,
He's such a lucky little man as she's simply great,
I am looking forward to holidays together when we are grey and old,
There will be lots of funny stories to be told,
Before this though, a happy birthday message needs to be displayed,
Well done Maxine for being you and for you I have hip hip hip horrayed x

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Calpol launch iPhone App

Late last night / early morning, after I has rubbed a Nelsons teething sachet into Masons gums, I noted that I had received an email from the Baby Centre website letting me know about the new Calpol App. First thought that was a well timed email (teething hour).

The App was super quick to download and on launch had a lovely feel to it. Very on brand too. I love the dial on the app allowing you to easily select what you want help with. The app also has some very gentle noises as you navigate to new information. More than one child can be registered on the app, which is useful if you use it to monitor dosages.

Calpol have done a great job at keeping an app focused on customer needs and also relating to their key products. A great job well done. (see edit note at base of blog for latest update).

Key features of the Calpol iPhone App are listed below:

Dosage diary – Enabling you to record does given and when you to repeat, with optional timer.

Find my nearest pharmacy or hospital – Uses your location to track the nearest places

Symptom checker – Providing a range of symptoms and conditions to help you find a suitable treatment

Temperature tracker – To help monitor temperatures over the course of an illness

Soothing lullabies – 4 tunes to help soothe your baby

History – To track doses and monitor temperatures

Information on immunisation – A guide to when you should immunise your children, which includes automated immunisation reminders

The new CALPOL® app for the iPhone is free and available for download now from the App Store.

Check it out. This is not a promoted post.

Edit note Feb 18th 2013: Wish the App had ability to add a dose for Calpol and a dose for another drug like Nurofen, also would be useful to monitor how much sleep the parent has actually had, before the poorly or teething baby strikes. Reason for parent sleep tracking, is so we don't have to have a conversation in the morning about the lack of sleep we have both had.  Nothing is achieved by discussing lack of sleep ;)