Shopping Made Easy

Shopping Made Easy

Click on the picture to go to the Twitter hashtag. You’ll see lots of local goodies there

The Funny Thing Is…

Hashtags! Do you find them confusing? Do you use them but don’t know why? The funny thing is that many people don’t really know how to use them so let me try to quickly explain;  A hashtag is just a label or name given to a section in a very large database.  That’s it!  It’s just a database.  Every time you write a post and use a hashtag your post will go to the appropriate folder in the database.  If you use two hashtags your message will go to two folders in the database.  To search for your messages just go to the search bar in your chosen social media platform and type in the name of the hashtag.  From there you’ll find your post as well as everyone else posts who have used the same hashtag.  However, do be aware that the hashtag is specific to the social media platform you’re using so if you type a message on Twitter you won’t be able to find your post if you search for it on Facebook.

At this point you may be wondering what the hashtag has to do with Shopping Made Easy?  The answer to that is quite simple of course.  Using Twitter just type in #LincsArtCraftHour to your search bar to see what local art, craft, sculpture and photographic posts have been included over the last few weeks.  You’ll find everything from needlework to paintings, cards and photography and the list is growing steadily.  Not only will you find pictures but you’ll also discover links to local Etsy shops and Facebook pages too so you really can shop on line while keeping your money in the local economy.  It’s a win, win situation don’t you think?  To make life even easier for you I’ve included links to the most recent artists & crafters below.

Not on Twitter? Not everyone is of course so if you’re a Facebook user don’t despair because you can still access some of the messages from the local artists by typing in #LincsArtCraftHour to your search bar.

Facebook #Hashtags

If you’re a Facebook user please don’t despair because you can type in the hashtag #LincsArtCraftHour to the search bar to find everything that’s been posted there.  You’ll find several blogs as well as some posts by the local artists.  I haven’t tried it on Instagram yet but I can assure you it will be coming.

What’ve You Missed?

Lots of gift ideas have been posted including Christmas decorations and cards but the question really should be ‘who’ have you missed?  That’s easy to remedy; You’ll find a list below which includes some contact details too

Advert

Breakfast £3.70, Afternoon Tea £7.50 and 3 course dinners available too. What’s not to like? Why not visit The Eatery, 36 Park Street, Lincoln next time you’re in town? Please get in touch first though to book your visit. Just click on the picture to go to the Lincoln Age UK Facebook page or follow them on twitter @ageuklsl It’s all for charity and you get fed at a bargain price too! 

The Local List:

This list is set to grow and grow so please do make a note to keep checking in to see who else has joined us:

Twitter                                        Facebook                                        Etsy                                      Website

@MelLangtonArt                        Mel Langton Art

@BurtonWard9                          Burton&Ward                                     Burton Ward

@origartprints                            fiduncart artist 

@elliestreasures                       elliestreasures                                     Ellies Treasures UK

@chrisdobbinart                       watercolourportraits

@Amanda_schonhut               Amanda Schonhut Photography

@jpbphotography                    Light And Dreams Photography 

@Scarletimpress1                   Scarlet Impressions Art                        Scarlet Impressions

@EnglandCreate                                                                                  Create-England

@ShaliniAustin                        Shalini.Austin

@Blackbird1976                                                                                   HDArtIllustration

@KcbraidsBeads                     KC Braids & Beads                              KC Braids & Beads

@Anitas_Cards_4U

Advert 

Mandarin Therapies and @MandarinMothers provide a bespoke mobile complementary therapies service throughout the County and beyond. Call 07966 174878 to book your appointment today. Click on the picture to go straight to the Mandarin Therapies Facebook page.

More To Come 

So far the active hashtags are #LincsConnect #LincsConnectJobs #LincsConnectChristmas and #LincsArtCraftHour but keep watching as there will be more interesting hashtags coming very soon.

In Case You Missed It…

Here are some quick links to take you to some more blogs that you may find interesting:

How Will Christmas Look In 2020?

Help Me, Help You

#LincsConnectChristmas

Charity

AgeUK Lincoln & South Lincoln are a registered charity needing your donations. However, you also have the chance to purchase an inexpensive meal here and be pleased to know that the profits will be going straight to the charity.

Let’s face it, you’re older now than when you first started reading this blog! Age creeps up on us all so it’s nice to know there is a charity here to help us when we need it.  If you would like breakfast, afternoon tea or a full meal don’t forget to book your place early.  Breakfast starts at 9.30am.

Stay Safe

Please go ahead and enjoy yourself but lease also remember to stay safe.  Keeping a social 2m distance, regular hand washing and wearing a mask when required will help you, your family, friends and everyone around you.

#LincsConnectChristmas

#LincsConnectChristmas

#EatOutToHelpOut Ends But…

The #EatOutToHelpOut scheme officially comes to an end on Bank Holiday Monday 31 August and I sincerely hope it has been a great boost to our local businesses and economies.  Not all of us have been able to take advantage of course as we’ve experienced some serious income deficits during the lockdown period.  However, ‘every little helps’ so let’s hope that the restaurateurs have been able to recoup enough income for them to feel confident to spend more of their money locally.

Recession?

We’ve heard the stories about the recession and possible price rises over the coming months but there are also stories about ‘green shoots’ in the economy and the resilience of the British people to get on with their businesses to make money and pull the economy forward.  There’s much speculation with stories of ‘doom and gloom’ but I think it’s important to remember that many of the stories are literally just ‘stories’ written by journalists (trained or untrained) who may have an agenda unbeknown to us.  With that in mind, my cup is definitely half full.  Focusing on the bright side and being determined to make business work is what I do.  I truly believe that we (that’s you and I) are capable of making our businesses successful regardless of the circumstances surrounding us.  Do we need help?  Do we need to collaborate? Do we need to focus on the good things?  Absolutely!  I’m prepared to accept help and advice all day long and I believe it’s one of the keys to success.  Knowing when you’re out of your depth and needing help is crucial as is knowing when to employ an expert to do a job properly.  When we work together we can often achieve much more so let’s Keep working and talking to each other.

#LincsConnectChristmas 

Use the hashtag to promote your business, charity gift idea or event this Christmas

After a pretty dreadful summer I believe we need to look forward to a bright Christmas.  We don’t know what the future will bring with Covid-19 but we do know that Christmas is coming! Whether you like it or not, celebrate it or not, or even believe in it or not, the fact remains that it will be here on 25 December and we need to be prepared for it.  We may not be out partying as we have in previous years but we are resilient enough and creative enough to make it a good celebration.

#LincsConnectChristmas starts on 7 September to coincide with the new #LincsArtCraftHour.  Combining the two will give us the opportunity to see what our local talented and creative people have to offer.  We’ll have the opportunity to shop early and safely by avoiding the usual Christmas rush because, well, let’s face it, we really don’t know yet if there will be movement and shopping restrictions in place to avoid a second Covid-19 wave of destruction.

A Christmas Hamper

In previous years we’ve had a virtual Christmas hamper where we’ve been able to add items of our own or recommend items from other traders.  The idea seemed to work well so I think it’ll be a good idea to do it again.

It’s time to start filling the Christmas Hamper…

 

The hashtag works on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so let’s start thinking about filling it up with lots of local goodies.  Perhaps an example here might be useful.  How about these messages:

“I think the #LincsConnectChristmas hamper needs some speciality chocolates.  I highly recommend @BonBonLincoln who produce exquisite designer chocolates”

“No #LincsConnectChristmas hamper will be complete without some bespoke Christmas cards by @CardsOfGrimsby”

Adding a picture with each message will soon get the attention of local shoppers and will make the #LincsConnectChristmas hashtag the place to look for local independent Christmas shopping. With your help we can get this hashtag noticed and talked about around the County and beyond to turn it into the ‘shop window’ for everyone to see.

A Christmas Meal

With no #EatOutToHelpOut scheme in place hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars will want to advertise their special meals and party events so the #LincsConnectChristmas hashtag is going to be ‘the’ place for them to advertise and I’m sure they’ll appreciate our support.

Let’s Work Together

I’m sure we can make Christmas a huge success but I do think that we will have to work together to achieve it.  Am I confident? Absolutely!

Put It In Your Diary

The #LincsConnectChristmas and #LincsArtCraftHour both start on Monday 7 September at noon.  Use the hashtags, search the hashtags and tell your friends about the hashtags.  They’re here for ‘you’. 

Advert

Mandarin Therapies & Mandarin Mothers provide bespoke mobile complementary therapies in the comfort of your own home, hotel or nursing home across the whole of Lincolnshire and beyond. Gift vouchers are available for that special person too.

Previous Blogs

To find out more about the #LincsArtCraftHour follow this link to the previous blog:

#LincsArtCraftHour 

Community

A message from Supt Paul Timmins of Lincolnshire Police following some sad and tragic deaths on Lincolnshire roads recently:

Click on this picture to open the video in Twitter 

Click on this picture to open the video on Facebook

We see far too many road deaths in Lincolnshire so please always ‘be aware’ and don’t become a statistic.  We love you just the way you are…. ‘alive’!

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse doesn’t have age limits. If you know someone who is suffering call the police today.  You’ll find some useful numbers here but if there is an immediate threat of harm call 999.

 

 

A Helpful App

Visit your App Store to download this free App to your device

Let’s pretend you’re out walking or have gone for a drive when you come across an accident.  You dial 999 to contact the emergency services for help but then you don’t know exactly where you are.  You know you’re in the middle of a field or on a country road but you couldn’t direct the emergency services to the incident.  I imagine you might feel completely helpless!

I saw a post on Twitter asking the public to download the App What3Words so obviously I did.  I didn’t expect to ever have to use it but thought it would be a good ‘insurance policy’ should the unexpected ever happen.  I have actually used it though.  I was able to give the three words that were displayed on my iPhone screen to the control room who directed the fire service to the field fire that I had discovered on my way home last winter.  That’s it!  It really is that easy.  All you have to do is open the App and you’re immediately given 3 unique words that identify your exact location.

When opening the App you’re given the option to share the 3 words via social media or email or send it directly to one of your contacts so it’s a great way to pass on your location to friends if you are meeting them in town.  Typing the three words into the search bar your friends are able to navigate directly to you using the App so as well as being the all important navigation tool in emergencies it’s also a brilliant tool for finding your friends.

Louth Museum

Perhaps you could try out your new What3Words App with your friends.  If you’re on your travels why not pop in to Louth Museum?  It’s open to the public again and there is no need to book.  The museum is over two floors (stair lift available for those who may need it) and you’ll be respectfully requested to wait outside if the museum is full when you arrive.  Covid-19 regulations are in place of course so don’t forget your mask.  I’ve had a look at the website www.louthmuseum.org.uk and discovered a virtual tour as well as Ruth’s Blog page.  I thought you might find this interesting; It’s a factual account of the Louth floods on 29 May 1920.  Imagine seeing a 2m wall of water heading into town…

Click on the picture to read the blog

 

Just imagine how useful What3Words would have been in this situation if it had been available then.  Technology has certainly moved on at a remarkable pace!

Stay Safe

That’s the blog done for now but if you have something that you would like me to include or would like to advertise please get in touch. Have a lovely Bank Holiday everyone.  Look after yourself and look out for your neighbours.

#LincsArtCraftHour

#LincsArtCraftHour

Click on this picture to go straight to the Facebook events page for this exhibition

7 September 2020 – A Very Important Date

Monday 7 September is a very important date for several reasons.  The new #LincsArtCraftHour stars at 12.00pm and all Lincolnshire artists, crafters, sculptors, jewellery makers….. are invited to post their promotional messages using ‘two’ hashtags.  I’ll explain more a little later but for now, let’s focus on the date.  7 September also sees the launch of the ‘Mel Langton Solo Art Exhibition’ at the Gallery of St. Martin’s in Lincoln ‘and’ it’s the launch of #LincsConnectChristmas too.  Yes, I know, you’re probably thinking ‘it’s too early for Christmas’ but the reality is that NOW is the time to start planning and advertising Christmas to raise brand awareness in time for the Christmas season!

#LincsArtCraftHour 

The #LincsArtCraftHour will be on Twitter from 12.00pm – 1.00pm every Monday lunchtime from 7 September.  The idea behind it is to highlight the talent that we have in the County and to allow you to view what’s on offer.  You’ll find everything from cards to jewellery and paintings to sculptures with everything ‘arty’ in between. While many of us are still either reluctant or unable to go shopping on the High Street this weekly hour will give you the opportunity to see what’s on offer.  Those posting will be able to include links to their Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, websites and online shops while at the same time showing off their huge talents.  ‘Christmas’ is coming but don’t just see this as a virtual shop window for your Christmas shopping.  A gift for yourself, a ‘thank you’ card, a birthday gift or even a Mothers Day gift for next year are all possibilities.

Rather than running through all of the information again I’ll let you have a look for yourselves by following this link to the relevant blog:  lincsconnect.co.uk/blogs/artcrafthour You’ll also find some info on the Lincs Connect Facebook page too so please have a look to see what you think.  I’m still looking for interest in other specialist hours so if you see anything on the LincsArtCraft blog that takes your fancy please let me know.  I’ll also be interested to hear if you have any other ideas of course.

Click on the picture to go to the #LincsArtCraftHour blog 

How It Works

If you’re posting messages on the #LincsArtCraftHour slot follow these simple steps:

Be sure to have your tweets ready to post (in real time or scheduled) by 12.00pm on Monday 7 September

Include a picture (or two) to show what you are advertising

Include a link to your website, Facebook, Instagram or online shop for people to follow

Include the two hashtags #LincsConnect and #LincsArtCraftHour in your tweet

Search the #LincsArtCraftHour hashtag to retweet and support others and to do your own free networking either live on the day or later in the week.  You can search the hashtag at any time 24/7.

Don’t ‘dump’ a load of tweets on the hashtag in the first couple of minutes (even if they are scheduled tweets) as it won’t look good on you.  Make sure your tweets are spread out over the hour.

How To Search The Hashtag

Searching the hashtag may be easier than you think.  Simply go to your search bar, type in #LincsArtCraftHour, click search (or enter – depending on what device you are using) then go to ‘Latest’.  That’s it! It really is that easy so make sure that we make the hour a success by supporting each other.  Finally, don’t forget to let your contacts know too.  Obviously the more people we have using, searching and talking about the #LincsArtCraftHour the more likely you are to increase your following and make more sales.

Old Maps

Click on the picture to follow Fiona on Twitter or click on this link to find her on Facebook: @fidunkart

I know I’ve posted this before but it’s worth another mention.  I think these painted old maps are an excellent idea.  If there was ever a way to bring a map to life, this is it!  Why not give Fiona a follow on Twitter or Facebook to see what other delights she has in her portfolio?

Advertisement

Mandarin Therapies provides ‘the’ stress buster you’ve been looking for. Bespoke complementary therapies from the comfort of your own home with full Covid-19 safety certification. Gift vouchers available. Call 07966 174878 to book your appointment. Click the start button to watch the video.

Christmas Is Coming…

Like it or not, love it or hate it, celebrate it or ignore it… It’s still coming and we need to start preparing for it.  Consider this scenario:  You wan’t to get the spare bedroom plastered and decorated before the relatives come to stay – too late! Many of the tradespeople are already fully booked until after Christmas!  That’s just one example but there must be plenty more.  Unless you’ve been living on a different planet you can’t have escaped the devastation that Covid-19 has wreaked on local and national businesses.  Many are suffering with lost sales since March so if you are going to recoup anything from this shocking year ‘now’ is the time to start planning it.  Christmas markets are cancelled across the country and town centres may still be in restricted shopping mode for our safety.  NOW is the time to plan your advertising for Christmas.  If you don’t, someone else will.  If you want to salvage some of your lost selling opportunities, NOW is the time to do it.  From 7 September I’ll be starting the #LincsConnectChristmas hashtag so lets all get on board with it and start to plan.  After all, its just 124 days to go as I type this blog.

Charity

Visit the Louth Age UK website for more information about their charity shop. Your safety is in mind and fundraising for those in need is at heart. Click on the logo for details

Are you a ‘vintage’ fan? If you are I think you’ll like this room in the Louth Age UK Shop. It’s your chance to grab a bargain while supporting a local charity at the same time

Click on the YMCA logo to find out how they serve our community and discover why they need our financial support

YMCA Pop Up furniture and Brik-a-brac shop, The showroom, Tritton Rd, Lincoln.  The next dates are 26-29 Aug from 10.00am to 3.00pm.  Click on the picture to find them on Twitter 

Advert

Mandarin Therapies & Mandarin Mothers provide a bespoke mobile service throughout the whole of Lincolnshire and beyond. Call 07966 174878 to book your Covid-19 safe appointment or click on the picture to go to the Mandarin Therapies Facebook page for more info. 

Mel has a solo art exhibition in Lincoln starting on 7 Sep at the Gallery At St Martin’s, Lincoln with lots of new original artwork. Entry is FREE and there is no need to book but please be aware that the usual Covid-19 safety rules will apply so don’t forget your mask. The art will be on sale of course and the gallery is happy to take card or cash sales. Click on the picture to find the link for more information

That’s about all for now but please don’t forget to make a note in your diary for the #LincsArtCraftHour on Monday 7 Sep from 12.00pm.  Tell your friends too

Stay safe everyone

Help Me, Help You

Help Me, Help You

LincsConnect has been busy on your behalf and things are set to get even busier. Click on the picture to see what’s been happening…

Can You Help Me?

It can’t have escaped your attention that I have been rather busy here on your behalf.  All of the retweets on twitter, the additional posts for you, The Facebook posts to help promote your business and events, not to mention all the blogs! I know you appreciate what I do and I appreciate the fact that you share what I’m doing too.  #LincsConnect only works when we work as a team and with 11,000 Twitter followers and steadily growing I know that your help is working for me too.  However, at the risk of sounding cheeky, I still need more help.  We are heading for a major recession so working together as a team is even more important than it ever has been.  You are still posting your work using LincsConnect and I’m very grateful.  LincsConnect is trying hard to share your work around the County and along our borders but I really need to ask more people to search the hashtag #LincsConnect (on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) to help share the messages and support each other.

Just imagine, if all 11,000 local followers each searched the #LincsConnect hashtag and shared just one message there….!

How Can LincsConnect Help You More?

What else can The account do for you?  Please let me know as I have plans for the account and need to know that it isn’t missing something important.

#LincsArtCraftHour

If you read my last blog you will recall that we have a dedicated weekly hour set aside on Monday lunchtimes to help promote artists, crafters, jewellery designers and sculptors.  Please take a look at the link below to refresh your memory:

#LincsArtCraftHour

Keep your eyes open for the #LincsArtCraftHour.  Click on the picture to go to the blog

I have a question for the Artists who will be joining us and those of you who will be looking to see what masterpieces and bargains are on offer:  Which hashtag would you prefer?  Are you happy with #LincsArtCraftHour or do you thing it would be better as #LincsArtCraft hour?  The latter is shorter and more general as it can be used at any time while the original idea is very specific to the Monday lunchtime hour.  Please do let me know so that I can make sure I get it right for you.

Guest Blogs

Do you have something to say that you would like to have included in the regular #LincsConnect blogs?  Please do get in touch if you would like to have your work included here as it’s always nice to see you here.

If you would like to collaborate with your blog here please email me at martin@lincsconnect.co.uk 

 

Featured Twitter Hour…

Do you have any featured hours that you would like to see on twitter? How about #LincsAuthors, #LincsMarkets, #LincsIT, #LincsHousing, #LincsGardening#LincsCharities #LincsRestaurants …..?  Who do you think should have their own featured hour?  The hashtag is here to help you so whether you’re a trader, a charity or a potential customer, I wan’t to make sure that #LincsConnect has something for you.  Please do send me your suggestions in the comments block at the bottom of this blog. Perhaps you would like to run your #LincsConnect hour?  I’m always open to suggestions so please do get in touch.

Here To Help

If there is something you need would you like to do a skills swap?  Would anyone be interested in a #LincsSwaps hour?  An our each week where you can offer your skills to swap for something of equal value?  Some of us may be finding finances a little tight at the moment but are willing to trade to get what we need.  Here’s an example:  A local restaurant may be in need of leaflets for a local leaflet drop and be willing to swap a meal to the value of £xxx in return for 200 hundred leaflet.  That’s just an example of course.  The exact figures would have to be agreed privately by the restaurant and the designer/printer but you get the idea I’m sure.  Again, if this interests enough people I’ll happily organise it.  You’ll need to get in touch though so that I know whether to go ahead with the idea or not.

Advertising/Local Discounts

Advertising space is always available on the blog of course so if you would like a spot here please let me know.  I could also arrange a feature with your advert to help highlight your business/organisation.  Again, just get in touch to make arrangements.  You can email me at martin@lincsconnect.co.uk

Perhaps you have a special offer or would like to offer readers a discount?  You could have a voucher on here to share across the County.

20% discount on Mandarin Leisure services for all NHS, 999 and military members across the County.

Featured Song Of The Week By A Local Artist

Each week I include a local artist, band or choir on twitter to highlight their work and show off the great talents that we have in our county.  If you have a favourite band with music on YouTube that you think should be featured please let me know.

All last week I featured Alex Cavan from Grantham with his song ‘Waterfall’.  If you would like to hear him just click on the picture below to go straight to his YouTube upload.

To hear Alex singing ‘Waterfall’ just click on the picture and if you would like to follow him on Twitter you’ll find him at @AlexCavanMusic 

It’s For You…

The blog is here for you to support everything from the North to South, East and West of the County and bordering towns and villages too.  It’s for you and the rest of our community so please, please, please do share this blog and lets see if we can get more people reading it and interacting.

Stay Safe 

Stay safe everyone, keep your distance and keep washing your hands.  We’re not in the clear yet so we need to ‘Stay Alert’

Sponsored by Mandarin Therapies and Mandarin Mothers. Bespoke complementary Therapies throughout Lincolnshire

 

 

#LincsConnect #LincsArtCraftHour

#LincsConnect #LincsArtCraftHour

Paint On Canvas…

What image does ‘art’ conger up in your mind?  If you’ve ever been to the National Art Gallery you’ll have seen a great many paintings from small to extremely large. However, if you’ve ever been to Tate Modern you’ll have seen something completely different.  Art really isn’t just about paint on canvas, it’s much more than that.  Of course, we can debate good and bad art until the cows come home but what it all boils down to is ‘do I like it’?

Who’s The Artist?

I can tell you straight away that it isn’t me!  If I try to draw stick men I can guarantee they won’t look right.  Thankfully we all have our own talents (art isn’t mine) so we can all be grateful for something.  I may not be able to produce anything that even resembles art but I do know what I like and I am a collector of art in its many forms.  I will buy anything from paintings on canvas through to photos, jewellery, carvings, sculptures, needlework…. You get the picture (no pun intended), I like art!  Not just any art of course, it has to be something that I like.  That may sound obvious but we all like different things.  Surely, that variety is what makes the hunt for a good piece of art so exciting?  Who is the artist then?  Well, I believe that it is the photographer, the jewellery maker, the crafter, the potter…  It’s not just about the paint on canvas but without the paint on canvas the art world would’t be complete!

How Do You Find Your Art?

There are many places to find art and in Lincolnshire we are blessed with some fantastic galleries and shops.  Social media provides a good platform for art shopping too of course.  I’ve found some fantastic pieces of art and, because it’s on social media I’ve also been able to chat to the artist too.  Not every conversation ends in a sale but that doesn’t matter.  The conversations help to build a following, the followers have friends, the friends have friends and family… If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, someone somewhere is going to like what the artist is doing and that can lead to sales and commissions.

Are You An Artist And Would You Like To Get Involved?

If you’re a Twitter user you’ll be familiar with the various ‘hashtag hours’ which involves everyone on the planet interacting about one subject in a frenzy of tweets and conversations.  Choose a subject and there will probably be a dedicated hour to it!  They are fantastic platforms for networking and getting messages seen  but they can be very hectic and difficult to follow.  By the time you have seen a post, reacted to it and asked a question you could have missed 30 or 40 other posts.

I want to change that ‘frenzy’ if I can.  My plan is to have a dedicated hour using the #LincsConnect hashtag on Twitter with Lincolnshire artists of all genres posting their pictures, messages, links and special offers.  The beauty of the hashtag is that anyone can search it at any time so if the #LincsConnect #LincsArtCraftHour is on Monday from 12.00pm – 1.00pm you can still search through it on Wednesday or Sunday of the same week, a different week or even a different month.  Once the tweet is there, it stays there until the author takes it down.  My challenge after that is to be able to transfer the idea onto Facebook so that those artists/crafters who don’t use Twitter can still make use of the idea.

Get Involved

If you’re interested please do get in touch by email so that I can get everything coordinated.  You can email me at martin@lincsconnect.co.uk

When?

Lets set a start date:

Monday 7 September from 12.00pm – 1.00pm

How Will It Work?

Here’s the deal:

It’s FREE!

It will rely on the artists and crafters to post their messages, links, pictures and special offers which MUST include the hashtag #LincsConnect

The hashtag #LincsConnect will automatically post your message to the file for everyone to see.  However, assume no one will be looking for you on the hashtag until YOU tell them to have a look!

Post your messages with the hashtag and tag in your friends.  Ask them to help spread the message by telling their friends.  This cascade of conversation can quickly get the hashtag seen and used  locally which will mean your posts will be seen by more and more people.

Don’t worry that you aren’t available during the #LincsArtCraftHour because you can schedule your messages in advance to make sure that they hit the hashtag at the right time.

Here’s the crucial bit:  You ‘must’ search the hashtag during the week to look at the posts and do your free networking.  Be prepared to get into conversations, say something positive, share other peoples posts… The more you share for others, the more likely they are to share for you.

   Click the logo above to see how the #LincsConnect hashtag works

 

What’s In It For You?

The posts will be on twitter but I will also do a weekly arts blog.  I’ll search the hashtag to see who has been interacting with others and as a ‘thank you’ I’ll highlight  the posts in the blog.  I’ll also include links to your websites and social media pages.

What’s In It For Me?

I’ll create paid advertising slots, paid blog links and paid features.  The whole process will be time consuming for me so I will need to have some form of recompense for my work.  Will it make me a fortune? No! Will it pay my bills? Probably not!  I always enjoy helping others though and if I can manage to produce a small income from my efforts, all the better.

Click on the picture to go straight to Daves Facebook page or click on this link @DaveSpherical to find him on Twitter

Dave recently joined me on Twitter and ‘Oh Boy’! he has some stunning pictures for sale. In this day and age where photos are easy to take with our digital mobile phones and editing platforms it’s such a joy to see some truly stunning pictures of nature at its best.  This is just one picture of many that Dave has taken and is offering for sale so if you like what you see you should definitely get in touch.

Mel is widely known around the County and beyond and when you see her artwork you’ll understand why. Click on the picture to go straight to her website or click on this link @MelLangtonArt to follow her on Twitter

Mel creates some truly remarkable artwork including bespoke commissions like the one you can see above.  I’ve been quietly following Mel on Twitter and can honestly say that her artwork really needs to be seen (and purchased of course).

Click on the picture to go to Ellies Etsy shop or click on this link @ElliesTreasures to follow her on Twitter

Arts and crafts go hand in hand and I’m sure you’ll agree that this hand made key ring really is delightful.  You’ll find much more on Ellies Etsy shop page so why not pop over (click on the picture above) to discover more.  I certainly don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Click on this picture to go straight to the Etsy Shop page of Twibell Arts or click on this link @TwibellArts to follow Serena on Twitter. I’ve been following Serena for several years and am always amazed at her talent and versatility. Not only did she paint the picture of this gorgeous cat (commissions welcome) but she also made the decorations in the picture too.

 

Manipulating an image (in this case ‘two’ images) to make an interesting piece of art is really special. This image of Lincoln High Street was taken by John and blended with an old image to create a piece of art that goes beyond the normal photograph. Click on this picture to go to Johns website or click on this link @jpbphoography to follow him on twitter.

Advertising

If you would like to place an advert on the Lincs Connect blogs please do get in touch.  Bloggers can also have links to their blogs here too.  Get in touch today if you would like to feature here by contacting me at martin@lincsconnect.co.uk

Mandarin Therapies and Mandarin Mothers provide bespoke mobile complementary therapies (Covid-19 safe) including Aromatherapy massage, Antenatal, postnatal massage and injury rehabilitation. Click on the picture to go to the website or click on the links above to go to the social media pages

Social

PCC Marc Jones is looking for young people to join the Lincolnshire Commission.  It’s an opportunity for young people to help the police better understand their concerns and thoughts.

Click on the picture above to go to the website

See You Soon

That’s it for now but there will be lots more happening here so please keep the link handy and log in for a quick catchup when you get the chance.

Stay Safe

The rules have’t changed – keep washing our hands as it’s the best way to help control Covid-19

 

 

#ShopLocal?

#ShopLocal?

Hashtags – Do They Work?

The simple answer here is ‘yes’ and ‘no’!  How many times have you seen posts on social media with the hashtag #ShopLocal on it?  As crazy as it may sound, the hashtag really isn’t much use if you’re using it to help people find you.  It’s fine as a statement of fact on your post but when you search for it you’ll find that the posts are anything but local.  In fact, the posts you’ll find there are for all around the world so if you’re expecting people to find your cheese that you produced in Sleaford I strongly suggest you think again!  When I set up Lincs Connect in 2012 I experimented with several hashtags and names before settling on #LincsConnect.  Other examples of my trial hashtags included #ShopLocal (ironically I created this hashtag in January 2011 for use on my @MANDARINLEISURE account but scrapped it because it went global) #SupportLincolnshire #SupportLincolnshireBusiness #SupportLocal #SupportLocalBusiness with the latter being shortened to #SLBiz. However, my early research made me realise that the ‘Support…’ hashtags were just too long and people refused to use them because of the amount of space they took up on the posts.  Another reason for scrapping them was because they start with the word ‘Support’.  When searching social media for relevant hashtags to do with Lincolnshire you’ll find that typing the letters ‘Linc’ into the search bar will give you LincsConnect on twitter and Lincs Connect on Facebook in the top three names to visit. Compare that to typing in ‘Support’ which will give you all sorts of connotations from TwitterSupport to a whole host of other national and international business support sites. It makes sense then that the hashtag to use on your tweets needs to be #LincsConnect as it is at the top of your searches and is truly local to Lincolnshire.

How To Use A Hashtag

If you’re happily adding hashtags to your post but never searching them you’ve truly missed s trick!  Here’s what to do:  Type in #LincsConnect in your search bar then press enter. Don’t click on the account @LincsConnect as that’ll take you to the account only which means you’ll miss all the good information.  Once your device takes you to the messages on the #LincsConnect timeline you need to look for the ‘Latest’ tab at the top of the Twitter page.  If you type #LincsConnect into the search bar on Facebook you’ll need to look for the ‘Posts’ tab at the top of the page (this’ll also show you related Instagram posts). Once you’ve discovered these pages you’ll realise that there is a huge amount of information, business posts, personal posts, charity posts and requests for help etc etc that are all related to our local area.  Try it now to see what you can find.  It’s a fantastic way to network and find out what’s going on locally.

Supporting Local

How do you support local?  Is it as easy as going to the local shops and picking something from the shelves?  In case you hadn’t considered it before, let me share some of my ideas about shopping and supporting locals:

  1.  Shop locally – supporting local traders by buying their produce in local shops, garden centres, farm shops and markets
  2.  Online – Many local traders have online shops.  A more cost effective way of selling may be via platforms like Etsy shops or even selling directly via social media
  3.  Don’t forget the local charity shops.  Dropping off your unwanted items is absolutely crucial but don’t forget they are there to help raise funds for the many worthy causes that otherwise would’t survive without our support.  Buying from the shops is absolutely essential if the charities are to survive.
  4. Social media – In the 10 years that I’ve been running #LincsConnect I’ve noticed some big changes in how people use the various platforms.  I’ve noticed a big rise in the professionally run accounts (some companies run several accounts for different clients) and I’ve also noticed the reluctance of many accounts to share anyone else messages or support others.  I’ll talk more about these two subjects later.

Obviously there are many other ways to support local businesses, charities and organisation but I’ll focus on my main observations first if that’s OK?

Shop Local

This concept certainly isn’t new.  However, during the Covid19 pandemic it has become much more important and (thankfully) much more prolific.  We know how important our local CoOp, Post office, newsagent and Spar shops are.  Many of them are in walking distance (for those who are able) and stock locally produced products.  Perhaps, with the use of ‘people power’ they might be able to stock more local local produce to help the local economy even further.  A polite request from customers or local traders may be all it takes.  It’s worth a try! In addition to helping to support local traders (including the shop owners and staff) it must have also come to your attention that during the lockdown there have been less emissions, less fossil fuel burned and less litter.  All of these positives are good for the planet so let’s see if we can maintain our recent good practices.

Online

This isn’t something that I have ever considered for my own businesses before Covid19 but it is something that I have been doing during the lockdown.  FaceTime and WhatsApp video calling has been a fantastic way to maintain contact with my clients while reducing my fuel usage in my truck.  It’s definitely a practice that I intend to maintain. During the lockdown I’ve been busy writing blogs and searching for companies who sell online.  Some are using Etsy, some use Facebook and others use Twitter.  I’m sure there are other platforms that are equally as good or even better but I haven’t come across them yet.  The obvious choice and probably the most popular is direct selling from websites.  Many people have their own eCommerce shop on their website which is easily maintained by the trader and convenient for the customer.  If, like me, you are a bit of a technophobe you’ll be able to find website designers who will be able to build a site for you or help you with your existing site.  If you would like to get in touch with any designers please feel free to ask me for some suggestions.  After all, that is what Lincs ‘Connect’ is for!

Charities

I often include charities in my blogs because I feel they need all the help they can get.  I’ve focused on very small charities through to the very big charities and the one thing that they all have in common is their use of social media.  The posts may not raise funds directly but their constant presence certainly helps to raise your awareness of them

Share The Love

Looking at the various accounts on social media I often make up my mind whether I should support them or not simply by looking at their posts.  The ones who never share anyone else posts, have conversations or try in any way to support anyone else is a big red flag for me.  I find myself asking the question ‘why should I support them when they don’t support others and are very unlikely to support me?’ I’m a big believer in helping others so when I find someone who shows no interest other than to post their own tweets I tend to move on to find someone who is more sociable and supportive.

Buying And Selling

I’ve noticed Fiona @OrigArtPrints on Twitter while searching the #LincsConnect hashtag and really like what she has been painting on old maps.  Her main sales come from Craft Shows but obviously they haven’t been open over the last few months so, being creative she turned her attention to Facebook and Twitter for her sales.  Facebook has been successful but Twitter less so.  However, her Twitter account is a good platform for showcasing what she does and for directing people to her Facebook account.  It is important to use more than one platform on social media if you want to increase your client base.  It’ll be interesting to see if future sales turn more towards social media and less towards the craft fairs.  Only time will tell. I think these paintings on old maps are fabulous.  You have to admit, they do bring the map to life. Here is another example:

If you would like more information about Fionas art just click on the picture for a link to her Facebook page. I’m sure she will be happy to see you there and you’ll be Able to see selections of her cards and key rings too.

Websites, Social Media And YouTube

I’m no expert of course but it does appear to me that one of the best ways to find a website (given that you probably didn’t know the sites name or even that you wanted to make a purchase) is through social media.  I’ll say that bit again just to clarify, “through ‘social’ media”.  Why the emphasis on ‘social’?  Well, I’ve noticed far too often that many people are using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to show off their products and gain new customers but quite often don’t realise that they need to talk to their followers to get continued engagement and (hopefully) new sales.  Put it this way, if you don’t talk to me on social media I’m not likely to notice you.  On the other hand, if you do talk to me but I don’t talk back you’ll soon stop talking to me.  Either way, I would be the loser so that’s why it’s always best to be ‘social’ on social media! While being pre-occupied with social media I almost forgot about YouTube.  Surely I can’t be the only person who searches YouTube on a very regular basis for music and information?  I do think it’s a great platform for showing your products (you’ll have seen some of my YouTube videos if you’ve been reading my other blogs), courses and skills.  While the social media could drive potential customers to your website the same driving force could apply to YouTube.  I feature a local band of the week each day on twitter and invariably I find the bands on Twitter or Facebook first then either follow a link to their YouTube channel or take a few seconds to search for them in the YouTube search bar.  This band (Saboteurs) from Sleaford have really got my attention this week.  You can follow them on Twitter @sabsbanduk for regular music posts and updates about upcoming gigs when Covid19 restrictions allow.  Alternatively you can go straight to their website www.saboteursband.co.uk for lots more info and a chance to purchase their new album.

The Saboteurs YouTube channel – just click on the picture to go straight there. It’s as easy as that and if you like good Indie music I think you’ll like this too

See You Soon…

I hope you like my brief blog about using social media for selling and finding new customers.  Please feel free to leave a comment below and share the post with your friends and contacts.  Hopefully I’ll see you when I search the #LincsConnect hashtag again soon.

Stay Safe 

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