5.05.2016

3 Apps to Manage & Develop Your Online Presence

When it comes to developing your social media presence online, there is literally the best tool right in your pocket - your smart phone.  I specifically have an iPhone and I would say 90% of the interaction I have with my phone is on my social media platforms.  I remember when I first signed up for Twitter, I used it on the computer.  Every tweet was typed with two hands instead of two thumbs.  Same thing for Facebook, every interaction I had with Facebook after I first signed up was from a computer.  Of course, I could text from my little flip phone to a number that would sent a tweet out for me...but that is in no way a comparison to what we can do with our phones today.
I much prefer interacting with Twitter and Facebook through the app on my phone or tablet.  It is sleeker and easier to navigate now that my thumbs are used to scrolling.  So your phone is a great way to build your online presence if you're always on the go or into more of a lifestyle type of account.  Here are 3 apps I love to passively build and manage my online presence:

I have beaten this app to death on this blog, but it truly is my favorite app for overlaying text on a photo. The option to add an item - like a box - and change the transparency gives you a mini design machine in your pocket.  All of my YouTube thumbnails and most of my blog photos have text overlayed with the Phonto app.  I do most of my work on the go - editing photos and videos for my blog and YouTube channel on my phone, uploading advertisements on my Instagram, etc is all done on my phone so using a graphics program to create these 'beauty images' for my platforms isn't practical for me.  If you do a lot of work from your mobile, Phonto is an app to have.

IFTTT (If This, Then That)
IFTT is a great app to passively add content to other social channels.  You can set up recipes that will happen when an action is taken outside of the app.  One of my favorites that was recently removed during an update was the Etsy to Pinterest recipe.  I loved once I listed an item in my shop, it was automatically pinned to a specific Pinterest board.  That was was the one that was the greatest.  But what the app does is work from scenarios you create - so, a recipe could be if a youtube video is posted on this account, then send a tweet with the link out on that account.  I have recipes set up for Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc.  My other favorite one is the recipe to send an Instagram photo to twitter and post it as a native Twitter photo, not a link to your Instagram page.  I love that because I am not engaging on Twitter but ever since using this recipe I get a lot of reactions to my posts.  There are tons of supported social platforms to make recipes from as well.  This app is a great passive way to promote your actions on one platform to another platform, especially if you're a content scheduler like I am.

HootSuite
HootSuite is another app that can help you passively stay active on a certain platform.  And I have to admit I don't use it that much (really at all).  I love that I can schedule Tweets and Facebook posts right from one app and manage all of the things going on with my Twitter feed.  It is very helpful to schedule posts weeks in advance if you are unable to be actively posting on a certain platform.  I've always believed that you don't need to be on every single social platform ever but if you want to keep a presence on some that you think are important (for me that is Twitter), HootSuite is a great app to schedule content for you.  Last time I checked there is a limited feature to schedule to Instagram, but I believe it just alerts you that you need to post something rather than pushing the post to Instagram like HootSuite does with Facebook and Twitter.

If you're busy like me - I have a full time job and I like to take naps - these three apps can get your social media presence in line.  Hope these guys help you out!  And here is a bonus - for once all of these apps are available in the Google Play store as well!!

Do you have any time saving or 'helping hand' type of apps you go to everyday?  Any more suggestions of apps for me to try?

xoxo, Moe

5.04.2016

The Truth Behind Instagram // Why I Joined SnapChat

I think I've posted before about my first ever Instagram post - it was, shall we say....horrible.  Since I joined Instagram back in 2011-ish my Insta-game has been pumped up with the help of various apps, photo tips, and an increase of photo quality on the tiny computer I call my phone. 

Instagram has become perfectly curated and overly filtered.  Which I personally think this is great.  It is a micro-blogging platform (pretty sure I said that before too) and I love that I can create perfectly curated, unique content and promote other platforms through Instagram.  In a bid to find a way to be more candid and offer a behind the scenes sort of look into my actual & unfiltered daily life, I'd first considered the new option to switch accounts on Instagram.  Then my BFF introduced me to Snapchat.

So I joined Snapchat - turns out I'd joined before and claimed the @fivesixteenths username then quickly gave up because I'm an old lady.  But I'd like to think past me for being smart and thinking about future me.  (Pro tip : I do suggest signing up for new social media platforms in order to claim your business or personal username in case this app because super popular in the future, you won't have to have something funky across multiple platforms.)  

Snapchat gives the perfect, fleeting & unfiltered insight into someone's actual life.  Sending Snaps between friends is better than a text because, believe it or not, there is no pressure.  You get like 10 seconds to send a video snap so you're forced to interact from a distance much like you would if you were in the same room - unfiltered.  For me, it's much easier (#lazy) to take snap in response to my friend's snap instead of taking a photo, opening the texting app, selecting the photo and sending (or taking a photo from the app and sending).  I feel less curated and it's more in the now than trying to send off a stylized version of reality.

Snapchat also fills my need for daily vlog style interaction.  I've always want to upload vlogs to my YouTube channel but I feel awkward about it and I don't have time to edit that all the time.  Adding photos and video to my Story on Snapchat gives me that vlog style thing I want with out being committal.  If I were smart, I could also download my Story at the same time each day to have it as a record....but like I said #lazy.  I love that I can get a quite nearly real time look into the lives of my friends that I may not talk to on the regular, or a look into the lives of popular personalities that I may follow on other social platforms.

The thing I don't quite like about Snapchat is how hard it is to add friends or follow people you want to follow.  Searching by username is tedious and I really don't know if I'm following the right person half the time.

All in all, I joined Snapchat because it's quick, easy, and unfiltered.  It's also pretty fun to play with all the hilarious filters and send weird faces to your friends and followers.  It's as real life as a social platform can get, I think.

So follow me on Snapchat if you wish.  You won't regret it.

xoxo, Moe

5.02.2016

Make it Monday // DIY Planner Stamp Hack

Recently I've been getting into planner stamps.  I'd say about a year ago I thought 'I'd like to try stamping in my planner.' and just now it has come to me actually doing it.  There was some build up, but now I'm here.  And with any new thing I try, I always have to find a way to DIY something.  I am also very impatient and very frugal when it comes to something I'm not 100% I'll be into.  So when I started eyeing some photopolymer cling stamps to use in my planner I didn't think spending $14+ on something I may not be into, would be a good thing.  So I decided to see if I could DIY myself some word stamps....and it is totally possible.
I found these Studio G wood mounted rubber stamps in the small crafty aisle of my Meijer (but I'm pretty sure this same brand is sold at Joanne's and Michael's in their little dollar section) for a $1 each.  I've found some on clearance before for .50 cents, so these really don't break the bank.  If you're looking to create a lot of words, you may need quite a few sets - but even spending $5 on these is worth it because you can get A TON of words out of the amount of letters you have.  I chose to stick with two sets (because that's all my Meijer had!) and still got 5 words out of the two sets.  I'm sure I could get more, I just can't think of any more right now!
supplies // small wooden alpha stamps - set of two, various washi tape strips

First,separate the stamps from each other.  These come in a little block where the rubber part of the stamp is connected. Be gentle, and pull the letters apart that you'll need to use.  Start grouping your letters together and setting them aside.
Once you have the words together, make sure that the stamp side is flat and flush against each other.  I found that on some stamps I needed to gently pull the rubber part off of the wooden handle and re-position it.  The adhesive used on these stamps is rather sticky and has a good hold, but you can pull it off and stick it back on.  I'm not worried about the rubber part falling off after doing that either.  Lining the stamps up like this is important so that the ink is distributed evenly across the stamp and to ensure that even pressure will stamp a full image.

Now that the letter stamps are lined up well place a strip of washi along the handles of the stamps.  Make sure the washi is long enough to wrap around the whole set of stamps that make the word.  The best part about this is the washi isn't permanent.  So if you want to make a new word you can unwrap the washi and use the letters again.  When I first thought of this DIY I thought that super glue would be the best.....but now I know that washi is the best idea!
Now you have a set of functional word stamps for a great price!  I am thinking about finding a few more sets of these in the same font to make a few more words....

Is there something you've been wanting to try but haven't committed yet?  Anything you DIY to see if you really want to jump in?

xoxo, Moe