Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Instagram Training for beginners

As well as providing social media training and advice for businesses and individuals, I do voluntary tech talks at the library and train seniors/beginners on using this amazing platform.

Instagram is a fantastic visual social sharing photo site for businesses and for pleasure.

Here is what we did last night:

It’s a step - by step process:

1. Took the picture

2. Cropped it - I used a paid app called Photogene (2) (You do not have to pay for any apps if you do not want to) - search the App store I think
Photogene 4 is available for purchase. (It's a brilliant tool for cropping, blurring, rotating, and editing)

3. I decided to display the full size of the photo so used InstaSize to do so (it is a free app so please be mindful of advertising) -
4. We chose the Lo-Fi filter in the tools section to bring bring some saturated colours and shadows to the photo

5.We added a description - Loving these (but I could have said Training at the library, or reading these as well)

6. We added several hashtags #childrensboo usingks #instabook #booksofinstagram #catbook #librarybook (I advise using ONLY 1-5 hashtags per picture and to check hashtags first (on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google and by using

7. Then we posted it!

Instagram for beginners example:
It sounds like a long process, but this was part of my training last night :)

It is fantastic to learn a new skill so if you have any questions please ask away.

Or visit my Pinterest board for tips, tools, and resources:

I post up tips, tools, resources and advice on Facebook:

And feel free to flip through my magazine on Flipboard which has plenty of tools, tips, and resources as well!  -

I offer customised one-on-one or group training for people or businesses so please feel free to contact me. I also offer social media advice and community management.

Oh and I love Instagram - it's an amazing platform for learning about the world and sharing photos.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

It all starts with Content

Image from:

Finding Content:

• Search similar brands, blog posts, and events – perhaps even affiliate marketing, guest posts, or advertising – you can also access anyone's social media content on their websites
• Set up RSS feeds –on Feedly or bloglovin to find plenty of content
• Pocket -  via Twitter Tweets, to save articles/content to read later
• Pulse via LinkedIn
• Flipboard  -  search for anything - feel free to read my magazine full of social media tips, tools, and resources:
• Pinterest  -  to search for anything
• Instagram -  to search for images and hashtags
• Twitter and Twitter lists -  to keep up to date with anything happening in your industry
• Facebook interests list -  to share (or gather) content to/for your business page
• Connect with other business owners, brands, people etc. online and offline - you can attend business seminars or access their social media content
• Google trends, content, and alerts
• Get listed in directories online in your industry
• Check out some of your competitors and get ideas for your own content - read/research articles, case studies, latest findings, Tweets, surveys, queries, posts, magazines, blogs, even adverts, launches, and campaigns to get ideas for your content – a lot of research is needed!
• Find out about all the latest brands, products news online, in articles, newsletters, etc. to use or address later

Content for future use:

• Search! Everything (anywhere) - articles, links, studies, news, government websites, industry sites, blogs, images – please make use of search!
• Read emails – if someone is asking you about something pertinent, if someone needs something, or needs to find something, or is having difficulties with something, – that is a potential blog post topic
• Subscribe to emails in your industry or within your field of expertise – organisations, support bodies, government organisations, etc.
• Plan a month ahead according to calendar of expos and events – what is happening in your area/industry this year?
• What is important for your clients to know and why?
• What would benefit your clients and why? (Tips, tools, advice, resources, etc.?)
SEARCH EVERYWHERE for content, subscribe to newsletters, and ASK for information.
• Make use of your website, Facebook searches are quite limited so make sure that your website is accessible, is mobile friendly, and has ALL the latest information people need (Do not limit your social media marketing to Facebook you will miss out on content from everywhere else)

Ideas for Content:

  -  Links to articles, websites, services, support, articles, reviews, recommendations, surveys, case studies and other resources
- Suggestions – tips, tools, and advice directly from your business
- Daily wisdom, proverbs, or quotes (use as fillers)
• Help people – provide your own content or OTHER resources, great studies, articles, posts, or links etc. To help people solve problems/find answers is the best thing you can do to promote your brand.
• Participate in the relevant hashtags of events/expos/conferences in your industry such as the beauty expos and USE those hashtags e.g.#beautyexpo2015. (Make sure you are using the correct hashtags by searching on Google or for them first!)
• Post the latest updates from your blog along with the link.
• Direct people to other social media channels you have by Tweeting about them.
• Give tips about your services on the basis of your industry expertise. Tips (image tips which can be shared or even pinned!) work well everywhere.

So ...

• Use content from your site or blog posts
• Use a mix of your own images or share/use other people’s images – these all have to be on brand
• Use Call To Action buttons and posts -
• Use hashtags only when relevant such as #crueltyfreebeauty  - CHECK every hashtag carefully before using
• Choose quality content which is relevant and valuable to the people who have liked your page – share other people’s/pages content – especially things you feel will help your audience connect with your brand
• Be consistent and on brand to build an audience – then you can ask people questions and build a community
• Post relevant videos – make sure they are short (and on brand)
• Thank people who like your page and offer rewards, specials, discounts, or incentives (later on)

Need content?
Try my Facebook list:
or Flipboard magazine:  
for social media training tips, tools, resources, and advice.
Try, Instagram, search Twitter, and Pinterest for valuable content for your own business and brand.

Feel free to connect with me if you have any questions:!__contact and I will customise training for your business.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

10 Perfect Social Media Gifts for this holiday season

If you are an addict, or you work in social media, or you just love digital technology - here are 10 perfect social media gifts for the holiday season.

1. Twitter and Facebook like cookie cutters

Have a bake -off at your office this holiday season. I adore these Twitter bird and Facebook like cookie cutters. They’re from CavidDesigns on Etsy.

2. Project your Instagrams

Get your own holiday slideshow done with this fantastic Magical Mini Projector: the slides are made from your Instagrams  so you can display your brand's pics at your end of the year function!

3. App coasters

These colourful app coasters from Etsy are a welcome addition. They're perfect for your end of the year workspace drinks.

4. Pillows for Geeks

These  pillows are a great addition for an office space. and they'd be even more perfect for the person who handles all of your social media and will need to rest! They're from Craftsquatch on etsy
5. Cameras 

People seem to love cameras and taking pics so it's the perfect gift for the person who looks after the Instagram profile in your office, or for the foodie, the designer, the photographer, or the blogger - here are 10 instant cameras for you to choose from

I love the Fujifilm Instamax Mini it's tiny and compact and will be a great conversation starter when taking instant pictures at your next function, launch, or event. 

6. Facebook like stamp

Stamp your way through the end of the year party, or on all your completed paperwork. This like button will also make a great conversation starter. It's from Wacodis on etsy

I'm really partial to  this OMG stamp when you just don't have the words - perfect for that end of the year party and another great conversation starter -  OMG Stamp

7. Eat. Sleep. Tweet.

It feels that way sometimes. It's the perfect tee for your team - ladies size - from DesignDepot123 on etsy 

and I found a great star wars inspired Twitter tee for men - May the Tweets be with you by JazzyDesignz

8. Give Back

There are plenty of ways that you can give back to your community.

Why not host a #socialgood project at your workspace this holiday season?

You can pack birthing kits -  - please contact the company to discuss how you can help or you can raise funds and donate as a team, or host an event by choosing an organisation or charity and pack kits, make toys, wrap presents, or hold a charity workshop lunch or afternoon tea for your end-of-the-year office party.

You can drop off dog treats, dogs and cats toys for  Give a Dog a Bone, Keep Kitty Happy

There are also plenty of retail outlets with gift-giving trees, where you can drop off gifts and cards for kids. Just Google what you can do/join/participate in to give back this holiday season.

If you need ideas of who you can help why not take part in #GivingTuesday on the 2nd December -

 9. Do a Bill Gates

In 2013 Bill Gates participated in the Reddit Secret Santa gift matching. He gifted his elf with
a donation on her behalf to Heifer International  (as well as some other gifts) -

A donation to any organisation is a great gift for a coworker who you don't know too well or for someone in the office who you know would appreciate this. 
You can give cows, honeybees, goats, or a wide range of animals to a community through Heifer and the entire community benefits. There are plenty of other organisations you can donate to on behalf of someone else.

And 10. Attend a Party

Get your co-workers together and join a party who are raising funds for charity over the holiday season.

There are plenty of events, and fundraisers you can join - I love the sound of this one - Ugly Christmas Jumper Party

or 11. Just Make Stuff - the perfect gift really could just be a card thanking a coworker, a bunch of flowers, a box of chocolates, something homemade, or a batch of homemade cookies or biscuits. 

The holiday season is about giving - give your time - make a card with kids, host an event at your office,  wrap presents (so many organisations are wrapping presents and hosting gift events) or give your time by participating/volunteering in an event. 

Remember that social media never sleeps! - your social media will still be active and you will probably still be working but you can use these ideas to spread cheer, to be responsive, and to be interactive on all your social media profiles -

Saturday, April 26, 2014


I am a huge fan of resources. I love finding content, reading about the latest social media news, and finding out everything I can because it really helps me with my social media training.

I have spent the past few months writing courses - if you are interested in Pinterest for Beginners, Instagram for Beginners, or Twitter for Business - please let me know - there is a Twitter course available later this year and I am holding an Instagram talk in May (2014).
I have plenty of resources on offer and I am happy to train one-on-one, in groups/workshops/talks and even via Skype. Please feel free to contact me

Although I am not very active on this blog - I post most of my updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. This really helps when I am training because I tend to save content and share during my talks and classes/courses - to help provide the best social media training services I can.

When I write courses, I spent hundreds of hours online (well it certainly feels like it!) searching for content, reading thousands of topics - here are some for you - and then writing my own talks and courses.  

So I am in the middle of writing a tech talk on Instagram for Beginners which I am presenting in May - a step-by-step guide to using Instagram for beginners. It has been a lot of fun (and took a lot of research time!) to put this together. Once the talk is over, I will share an edited version on here -

What resources do you like? What content are you always looking for to use?

I have plenty for you on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest to keep you up to date.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Content, content, content (again!)

As a social media trainer; one of the most challenging things is finding content, and images, and posts, and updates, and Tweets, and videos, and stories (you get the picture) which is or will be valuable for your audience (or fans or followers)

I have been teaching my clients how to find content by focusing on keywords and stories or images or videos which their fans - the people, the humans who come to their accounts ACTUALLY want to read, or like, or share to their friends. (use Google Analytics or various insight/analytics tools to assess this)

So I was very very happy to put together all the things I like to read and share on LinkedIn Pulse app  - - which is a really good way to share content that will be relevant for your brand and business.

So after saving about a million things to my - which is very handy if you use Twitter and want to save articles (to check and read later) - I have set up various Pinterest boards with articles or content which will hopefully help, motivate, or inspire me when I train or at least give me stuff to talk about (or share or post or Tweet).

Social Media is social!

 It is about sharing information which is relevant to you BUT it has to be valuable to actual people. When people like, or click, or ReTweet, or comment on, or share (across various accounts) it is then your role( as a social media person, or community manager) to actually engage with the people. (As you would if they were standing in front of you discussing a certain topic)

Back in 2005 I was blogging a lot! I had my own second hand bookshop and social media was not what it is now. It has now become a place where you can Tweet, post, save, like, share etc.I love it, I love how people are connecting, sharing stories and I also love seeing the impact social media is having on our lives (think social good - it is really helpful during natural disasters, world events, or for people who want to spread kindness and help other people)

While blogging was an interactive and very handy tool for me - I have now moved towards Twitter (where I stay updated on EVERYTHING) and save content to read, or post, or share later and Pinterest - which I have found highly beneficial.

I set up a Computer and Internet Basics for Seniors (older people) board and a Social Media Love board and I use these boards to not only train but to provide relevant and hopefully handy resources for my clients. I use articles from Pulse app. from the Flipboard app and from all over the Internet so I can share and save information - it is truly limitless.

So in order to find content for your own business or brand, please download some of these apps. Or join some of these accounts.

And don't forget to blog, to write your own original Tweets and Facebook updates (on your Facebook business page)! To start - then perhaps and if it is needed set up an Instagram account and perhaps join Pinterest - which has a great search feature and you will find information about everything and anything.

This is what was recorded in 2013:

So what does this mean as a brand or business?

Stop thinking that you are online and you HAVE to only sell or market your business and products. 

Please start listening to what your clients, and fans, and followers have to say. What is relevant to them? Why did they like or follow your brand or business? What do they want? What is important to them? 

What are they sharing, and commenting on? Are you actually answering them, talking to them or are you just not engaging? Engaging really means - someone has seen an article you put online, then responded to the article, "Wow I never knew that!" or "What an amazing idea." or whatever and you genuinely responding - we love that idea, or we (...), or I (...)

Imagine a person is face-to-face with you and have conversations. They don't have to be witty, or trying too hard, or insincere, or not like yourself at all - you can have genuine conversations with people offline (think of when a customer comes to buy your products, or how you talk to people on the phone, or how you meet people in a professional way) and START doing that same thing online.

Remember any content you create, write, post, and share is aimed at people JUST LIKE YOU.

Why do you follow a certain person or brand on Twitter? Why have you clicked like on something? What are you commenting on and responding to? What inspires YOU, motivates YOU, propels YOU to act - the people you are trying to reach are also doing the exact same thing.

Stop thinking of social media as only selling to or marketing towards current or potential clients and start being a person - and talk (both online and offline) to real people just like you! 

If you would like to know more or would like social media training or advice - feel free to contact me. ~ Elana

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pinterest for resources and content

Have you tried out Pinterest  for your business or brand?

Do you struggle to find content?

First I would suggest setting up a blog for your business. A blog (try will help you drive content from your website to and from all your other social media sites. Blogging you will help drive traffic and it will help raise awareness of your business products or services.

My suggestion is to blog at least once a fortnight; but a lot of people choose to blog weekly or daily.

So now that you have set up a blog; you will need to find content which is aimed at raising knowledge and awareness of your business/brand's products and services.

So this is where Pinterest comes in handy. Search Pinterest for content ideas (by using keywords) If you don't know what keywords are applicable for your business; think of your products and services and then use keywords which will help individuals find your products and services. 

Here is some information about keywords if you have never used keywords before -

Now most businesses should be creating their own unique content to drive their business. In other words; you want people to find YOUR business so here is a way to start creating your OWN content -

Social Media has become very visual so you can design your own content to share on your social media sites. 

Some great content tools or ideas are:

 - tips
 - infographics
 - images with quotes
 - information about your products or services
 - facts
 - tools
 - slideshares
 - images of your products or services

 and 88 other ideas for content - 

But the best social media practice is to SHARE tools, resources, tips, infographics from other trusted resources and that is why you need to make use of Pinterest for business purposes.

Set up your own board (so a board about your OWN business/brand) and then set up other boards and start pinning and sharing.

Pinterest is a great site to find content an to help you find ideas for your OWN content.

Here are some ideas of how to use Pinterest for small business -

Make use of the search tool in Pinterest and look at the popular pins to see what content people like and why. 

Start using Pinterest for YOUR business and make sure that you pin your OWN content and SHARE content as well. The content ideas you use (or find or create) on Pinterest can be used on your Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google + as well - just make sure that ALL the content you use (and share) links back to the original source.

Here is a Pinterest tutorial - and now start searching, sharing and Pinning!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Social Media, tips, tools and resources

Check out my Facebook page for tips, tools, guides, information and resources to help YOU with your social media marketing -

If you have any queries or would like to set up a training session please feel free to contact me: