Don’t rely On Algorithms
Don’t rely on algorithms for Lincolnshire connections. In short, a computer algorithm can be set to find a solution to a single or set of questions. If you wan’t any further information about algorithms I’m afraid I’m not the person to ask! However, I do know that social media platform use algorithms to plot your interests and feed you the information it thinks you want to see. If that’s the case, it’s pretty obvious that you don’t rely on algorithms for Lincolnshire connections unless you use key Lincolnshire phrases regularly.
Here’s an example to (hopefully) make things clearer: If your main interests are in makeup and beauty and you tweet and search for messages on that subject Twitter will feed you more. However, if your interests are in football and you tweet and search for messages on that subject, guess what….? You won’t be seeing tweets on makeup and beauty but you will see tweets about football. That’s algorithms for you!
That sounds great; you’re getting to see all the information you want (good or bad, true or false). However, you may have been steered away from your primary goal which is doing businesss with your Lincolnshire neighbours.
I’m not a football fan so I don’t see posts about football. I do like to help and support all sorts of local businesses, charities and organisations though so I get to see a wide range of messages on social media. The algorithms have identified that I like Lincolnshire and connecting with Lincolnshire people to help and support them. However, if you’re mainly posting about football it’ll be pretty clear that you can’t rely on algorithms for Lincolnshire connections. However, help is at hand…
Connecting Lincolnshire – Reset The Algorithms
From what I can gather, the more you engage with the information fed to you by the algorithms, the more you are likely to see related posts. I have a hunch though that you can bypass the original algorithms and reconnect with your Lincolnshire friends using these methods:
On twitter you have the option to Create lists. I have lots of Lincolnshire lists ranging from ‘Accountants’ through to ‘What’s On’ with all manner of Lincolnshire trades in multiple lists (depending on their expertise) as well as geographical location. You can create a list and call it whatever you like and you can add or remove people to/from the lists at will. You can even make the lists private or open for everyone to see. Looking at your lists you can quickly see the recent posts by the people you want to hear from. It’s an excellent way to keep up to date with your favourite social media friends or influencers.
The beauty of the hashtag is that it is useable across various social media platforms. If you type into your search bar ‘Lincolnshire’ you’ll see all of the posts that have used that hashtag. However, that could be overwhelming as so many people use that tag. I’ve seen many, many people adding the hashtag #ShopLocal to their posts but I have a strong suspicion that they haven’t searched the hashtag to see what’s on it! If you want to sell something ‘locally’ to Miami, Adelaide or Ontario then by all means carry on using that hashtag. However, if you really want to get the attention of your local Lincolnshire, Newark, Retford or Hull based contacts you need to be using the hashtag #LincsConnect. Try searching it now to see who and what pops up. I can guarantee that it’s going to be local.
My account has been through several guises before I settled on #LincsConnect. Would you believe that I even created the hashtag #ShopLocal over 12 years ago? It quickly became evident that, although it was extremely popular, it was neither use nor ornament for the local Lincolnshire area. After a few months I stopped using it and tried several other hashtags before settling on the one we all know now.
Connections In Lincolnshire
Searching the hashtag #LincsConnect will instantly show you who has been posting locally. The easiest way to connect with people is to get into polite conversations so why not give it a go now? The more conversations you have with local people on #LincsConnect the more the algorithms are likely to pick up what you want to see and feed you more relevant information.
The #LincsConnect hashtag is an ideal way to search and connect locally but there are also some other hashtags that you may be familiar with that will be more specific to you;
If you’re looking for local traders to support or are a local trader yourself with something to sell or offer for Christmas you might want to search the #LincsConnectChristmas hashtag or add it to your posts for more people to see.I’ve had this hashtag trending on Twitter, Google, Duck Duck and other search engines.
No introductions needed! The hashtag is plain and simple so use it to advertise your gift ideas and services. If you’re shopping for Valentines ideas simply type #LincsConnectValentines into your social media platform search bar to see who and what is there. I’ve also had this hashtag trending on Twitter, Google, Duck Duck and other search engines. My hard work pays off for you!
Many people use the #ShopLocal hashtag thinking that they are encouraging people to shop in their area. However, in reality, the #ShopLocal hashtag is far from local. I invented the hashtag around 12 years ago but scrapped it not long after when I realised it was being used globally. It was literally ‘too successful’! The hashtag to use on your local Lincolnshire tweets is now #ShopLincs as it truly is ‘local’ to you. Add it to your posts to show you’re a Lincolnshire seller and search the hashtag to find locals in your area who have something to sell.
I’m sure this doesn’t need any explanation? If you’re looking for jobs or are advertising jobs the #LincsConnectJobs hashtag will be very useful to you. The #LincsConnectJobs Hour is on Mondays from 10.00am.
Two hashtags! Adding a hashtag to a post sends your message to the relevant section in a massive global database. If you add two hashtags your message will be sent to both locations in the database. Using a specific ‘hour’ hashtag is extremely useful and can help you reach people with the same or similar interests as you.
Get The Picture?
In summary, the algorithms can steer you away from the people you really want to talk to so don’t rely on algorithms for Lincolnshire connections! Using the hashtag #LincsConnect and making your own lists can bring you back to the people you want to connect with. Adding a picture or video to your message will help you to be seen but it will also allow you to put a lot of information into a poster while making your initial message short and to the point.
New Lincolnshire #LincsHours
Would you be interested in joining a new themed #LincsHour to help you connect with like minded people as well as new customers? Some of my plans include #LincsGardenHour #LincsFoodHour #LincsCharityHour #LincsHealthHour #LincsITHour ….
I have lots of new plans for the new website but can’t run everything at the same time. With that in mind, would you like to take on one of the hours? It’ll help you connect with lots more people while at the same time encouraging people to use and search the #LincsConnect hashtag to expand our readership and support network.
Lincs To Past Blogs
I hope you find this blog of mine interesting. Simply click on the blue link or picture below to go straight to the blog:
#MandarinTherapies provides Covid Safe bespoke mobile complementary therapies sessions from the comfort of your own home in and around Lincolnshire. Call 07966 174878 to book your appointment today. #ShopLincs
During the recent #LincsArtCraftHour sessions we have seen quite a few artists and crafters joining in and showing their gift ideas. Below is a list of some of them so please take a look to see what they have to offer. After all, Christmas ‘is’ coming and I’m sure that you’ll agree that it’s good to support our local traders:
Twitter Facebook Etsy/Folksy Website
@MelLangtonArt Mel Langton Art
@BurtonWard9 Burton&Ward Burton Ward
@origartprints fiduncart artist
@elliestreasures elliestreasures Ellies Treasures UK
@Amanda_schonhut Amanda Schonhut Photography
@jpbphotography Light And Dreams Photography
@Scarletimpress1 Scarlet Impressions Art Scarlet Impressions
@KcbraidsBeads KC Braids & Beads KC Braids & Beads
@HeyBeretDesigns Hey Beret Designs
@JaneHaighArt Jane Haigh Art
@2021VisualArts 20-21 Visual Arts Centre
@MadeWithMud Made With Mud Made With Mud
Would you like to advertise on the #LincsConnect blogs? You could be reaching a wider Lincolnshire audience if you do so please get in touch if you’re interested. You’ll be able to speak to me on 07966 174878. Likewise, if you have a blog that you would like linking here please get in touch.
Covid 19 is still around and threatening to disrupt our lifestyle once again so please follow the rules. Wear a face covering that covers your nose and mouth, keep a safe distance from other people and keep washing your hands. Don’t forget to clean your trolly and sanitise your hands when supermarket shopping and keep your distance wherever possible. It could save your life!
#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 Lincolnshire restaurateurs have been able to recoup enough income for them to feel confident to spend more of their money locally.
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.
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 Lincolnshire 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 another 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 Lincolnshire 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’.
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.
To find out more about the #LincsArtCraftHour follow this link to the previous blog:
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 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.
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 Lincolnshire floods in Louth 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!
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.
Lincolnshire Art Craft Hour
Join us each Monday on twitter from 12.00pm for the LincsConnect Lincolnshire Art Craft Hour.
Paint On Canvas…
Have you heard about the LincsConnect Lincolnshire Art Craft Hour (#LincsArtCraftHour) yet? It’s twitter based and includes artists and crafters from Lincolnshire, Newark, Retford and Hull. A great place for the experts to meet to show what they do. As a result, it’s a fantastic place to shop too!
What image does ‘art’ bring to mind? If you’ve ever been to The National Gallery you’ll have seen paintings from small to extremely large. However, if you’ve been to Tate Modern you’ll have seen something completely different. Art is about paint on canvas but it’s also much more than that. We can debate good and bad art but what it all boils down to is ‘do I like it’? You can introduce someone new to the LincsConnect Lincolnshire Art Craft hour today.
Who’s The Artist?
It isn’t me! We all have our own talents though (art isn’t mine) so we must be grateful for that. I know what I like as soon as I see it, as a result I set up this hour to showcase the many and varied art forms from our area. We all like different things of course and that’s what makes the hour so appealing. Who is the ‘artist’ then? Well, I believe that it’s the photographer, the jewellery maker, the crafter, the potter… Art isn’t just 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 so it’s time to make the most of it. I’ve found some stunning pieces of art on social media so I’ve been able to chat to the artists in real time while shopping. 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. That leads to sales and commissions.
Get Involved with the LincsConnect Lincolnshire Art Craft Hour
If you’re a Twitter user you’ll be familiar with ‘hashtag hours’ which involves every interested person on the planet (or so it seems) interacting about one subject. It usually feels like 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 difficult to follow. By the time you’ve seen a post, reacted to it and asked a question you’ll have missed 30 or 40 other posts.
Frenzy Free Lincolnshire Art Craft Hour
I want to remove that ‘frenzy’. A dedicated hour using the #LincsConnect hashtag on Twitter with Lincolnshire artists of all genres posting art, messages, links and special offers. The beauty of the hashtag is that anyone can search it at any time. The #LincsConnect #LincsArtCraftHour is on Monday from 12.00pm – 1.00pm but you can still search through it at any time of the week. In fact, you can search back weeks, months or years! Once the tweet is there, it stays there until the author deletes it. By duplicating the idea onto Facebook I want to include others who don’t use Twitter.
If you’re interested please do get in touch by email so that I can get everything coordinated. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lets set a start date:
Monday 7 September 2020 from 12.00pm – 1.00pm then weekly at the same time.
How Will the LincsConnect Lincolnshire Art Craft Hour Work?
Here’s the deal:
It will rely on the artists and crafters to post their messages, links, pictures and special offers which MUST include the hashtags #LincsArtCraftHour and #LincsConnect
The hashtag #LincsConnect will automatically post your message to the database for everyone to see. Assume no one is looking for you on the hashtag until YOU tell them to have a look!
Post your messages with the hashtags 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. As a result your posts will be seen by more and more people.
Here’s the crucial bit: You ‘must’ search the hashtag during the week to look at the posts and do your free networking. 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.
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.
LincsConnect Lincolnshire Art Craft Hour – What’s In It For You?
The posts will be on twitter but I will also do follow up arts blogs. I’ll search the hashtag to see who has been interacting with others and as a ‘thank you’ I’ll highlight the posts in future blogs. 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.
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 email@example.com
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
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 – At the LincsConnect Lincolnshire Art Craft Hour
That’s it for now but there will be lots more blogs here so please keep the link handy and log in for a quick catchup when you get the chance.
In Case You Missed It
The rules have’t changed – keep washing our hands as it’s the best way to help control Covid-19
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.
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:
- Shop locally – supporting local traders by buying their produce in local shops, garden centres, farm shops and markets
- 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
- 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.
- 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?
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.
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!
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.
Bespoke Complementary Therapies from the comfort of your own home
Support And Help From Around The County
The aim of this blog is to highlight some of the fantastic support that is being offered by local businesses, charities and individuals. To access more information including contact information please click/tap on the logo/pictures below:
Washingborough Academy are providing hot meals for the elderly in isolation in the Washingborough area during the coronavirus pandemic. Please let your elderly neighbours know about this project. Click on the picture for contact details.
Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln. Your community needs volunteers NOW. Can you help your local community? Contact Andy by clicking on the picture to find the contact form
Lincoln. Browns Pie Shop are delivering to your home or work 7 days a week from 12.00pm-8.30pm within 10 miles of the shop
Lincoln. The Salted Orange are offering a ‘not for profit’ meal delivery service for the over 65s. £20.00 weekly for three meals a day delivered to your door twice weekly
Lincoln Veg Out Lincoln provide a delivery service for their frozen vegan meals. Click the picture to go to their website or follow them on twitter @vegoutlincoln
Lincolnshire Grow Your Own Veg – skip the supermarket queue by growing your own veg from seed. Not sure how? Click on the picture to go to the website for more info or follow @strawbaleukman on Twitter. There is even a book to download too. No Soil Needed….
ONLINE. Dance classes for all age groups online. Why not join your children and have some fun? It’ll keep you fit too!
Lincoln, Norton Hub are providing a volunteer led local help scheme to those in isolation
Lincoln Small Beer is open to the public for beer, cider, wine, soft drinks, spirits, cask ale & kegs. Call them on 01522 540431 or click the picture to visit the website.
Lincoln The Golden Eagle is providing home deliveries too
Lincoln. School closure interim provision. To book call 01522 283027
Lincoln – BetterWeb Space is offering FREE basic websites during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Lincoln & Lincolnshire – Octagon Technology has produced a blog for remote workers. A useful blog about VoIP and how you can use it while working from home. Click on the picture to visit the blog post
Lincolnshire. “Self-isolation can be difficult for even the most resilient of us. If you’re experiencing loneliness or feeling low, call the emotional support helpline 0800 001 4331. Open 24/7 for confidential support”
Lincolnshire & Beyond. Call Connect Bus are still working to help our community stay mobile and now providing FREE transport too. Call 03452343344 for info
Lincolnshire. Lincs Libraries may have the answer to self-isolation boredom with their ‘download and listen’ service. It’s FREE with your library card
Lincolnshire Co-Op have announced at 12.00pm 22 Mar that they have reviewed their opening times and are advertising jobs for Customer Service Assistants and Delivery Drivers. The new store opening times will be 7.00am – 8.00pm with restrictions of two units on all products. Click the logo to go to their web page.
East Lindsey Lincs Digital partnered with TED East Lindsey are here to help with digital connections. If you know someone who needs help connecting with Skype or FaceTime visit their website for more info. Simply click the image to go to the website.
Lincolnshire This is a useful blog by @CCDigitalUK which explains how to market your Hand Made Products for sale on Etsy. An ideal opportunity to use some time at home to brush up on some marketing skills. Click on the picture to go to the blog post
Lincolnshire Live are promoting Lincolnshire businesses for free on 2 April 20. Click on the picture to follow the link
Gelston FREE delivery on packs of lamb meat. For more info click on the picture to follow @GelstonLamb on twitter
Gelston Lamb – Free delivery (for orders over £35.00) within 10 miles or 15 miles for orders over £70.00. Fresh lamb delivered to the Grantham, Sleaford, Ruskington, Heckington and surrounding villages. Order yours no by calling 01400 251501
Lincoln – Bracebridge Heath, Can YOU volunteer to help your local community in Bracebridge Heath? Please contact Andy ASAP by clicking the picture to go to the website. THE COMMUNITY NEEDS YOU
West Lindsey Business Rate Application Form. West Lindsey still have money available and believe there are still businesses that have not claimed
South Holland, Spalding. South Holland are providing additional support for those in the area who are struggling financially as a result of the Coronavirus. Click on the picture to find the Linc. Also contactable on Twitter @SHollandDC
Lincolnshire Rural Support Network (LRSN) @lincsruralhelp provides help and support to Lincolnshire farmers and their families. Cal 0800 138 1710 or click on the picture to open the link
Lincoln Washingborough Academy are providing hot meals for the elderly in isolation in the Washingborough area during the coronavirus pandemic. Please let your elderly neighbours know about this project. Click on the picture for contact details.
Louth. Are you struggling to feed yourself or your family? Two hearty meals delivered to your door each day could help you. Call 01507 602930
Spalding Covid Kindness Team. Contact the team for help with delivery of food, essentials & medications
North East Lincolnshire Single Point of Access (open 24/7) for your health, wellbeing, social care and mental health needs. Call 01472 256256 or click on the image to visit the website.
Lincoln. If you’re looking for volunteers please contact VCS Lincoln who will help promote your opportunities. Click on the picture to visit their website
Lincoln Community Larder (food bank) are in constant need of food and supplies. Can you donate something please? Click on the picture to visit their website and locate a drop off point near you
Lincolnshire Age UK East are continuing to provide telephone advice and support to older people in the East and West Lindsey areas as well as in North Lincolnshire. Click on the picture to visit the website
Lincoln/south Lincolnshire Can YOU help please? Age UK need extra volunteers NOW. You can find them on Twitter @ageuklsl or alternatively click on this picture to go to their website
Lincolnshire Community Health Services NEED YOUR HELP. @LincsNHS are offering paid work and flexible hours in return for your help NOW. email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07824 550 846
Boston, Grantham & Lincoln are looking for temporary staff to support catering and domestic work. Go to Twitter @ULHT_News or click on this picture to go to the website for more info
Lincolnshire County Council have regular video updates so please click this link for service updates and click on the picture for the regular live updates.
Lincoln If you need help with food, food deliveries or can lend a hand visit Lincoln Food Partnership
Rutland To find out what help is available in the Rutland and South Lincolnshire area visit the Rutland council website by clicking on the picture
Uffington For assistance in Uffington and the local area please contact Rev’d Fr Aran P Beesley by phone 07590 055905 or email email@example.com
UK. If you haven’t visited this .Gov website yet, DO IT NOW. Click on the picture to go to the website
UK. If you haven’t visited this .NHS website yet, DO IT NOW. You can go to the website by clicking on the picture
Lincolnshire. Can you volunteer? Click on the picture to go to the website
Lincolnshire Police request that you click on this picture to take you to the link for help and advice both nationally and locally for Coronavirus issues
Lincolnshire Police request that you do NOT contact them for Coronavirus related advice. There are other, more well equipped agencies available with information for you. Only call 101 for police related matters. Click on the picture to go to the website for info
East Lindsey Fortnightly activity packs for the over 50s. If you know anyone over 50 in the area who is isolated or alone please let them know about the services on offer. Click on the picture to reach the link
#NHS From 1 Aril @NHSLincsWest @NHSLincsEast @NHS_SouthLincs @SWLincs_NHS will all come under the umbrella account of @NHSLincsCCG
Lincolnshire FionaDuncan @OrigArtPrints is offering 20 (first come, first served) FREE cards for those of you who would like to send a message to friends/family/colleagues in the NHS. Just quote #Free2NHS to take advantage of these printed cards. All you will be asked to pay is the postage. You can also find Fiona on facebook
Click on the picture to find the link to Fiona on Facebook
Ease Lindsey DC now have £62m to support small business grants. Click on the picture to open the link
NHS Coronavirus checker. Please complete this short survey for the NHS by clicking on this picture.
Lincolnshire Food industry Jobs. Many jobs are available within the food industry sector NOW. Click on the picture to follow the link or follow @GreaterLincsLEP on twitter
Martin Lewis Money Matters
Martin Lewis the Money Saving Expert explains what’s available
Martin Lewis – Update for the Self Employed 24/3/20
Martin Lewis update for the Self Employed 27 Mar 20
Aby (Near Alford) Saturday evening wood fired oven pizza to take away (5.00pm-7.30pm). Call 01507 451366 before 4.00pm. ZERO CONTACT collection system of course. Days/times may change according to government regulations
Boston Market will continue as planned but will sell food only. Please respect Social Distancing when you visit and give a friendly smile to the stall holders
Cleethorpes & Grimsby
Cleethorpes. Toven’s Cafe offering food deliveries. Call 01472 488590 or click on the picture to visit the website.
Cleethorpes. Spill The Beans are offering a FREE delivery service to Cleethorpes & Grimsby areas. Call 01472 601392 or click the picture to go to their website
Cleethorpes. Veronica’s Larder is offering a takeaway service. Call 01472 823875 or click on the picture to visit the website
Grimsby Age UK North East Lincs are offering a meal delivery service. Call 01472 344976 or click on the picture to go to the website
Gainsborough The Gainsborough market will continue until further notice supplying food items. Please obey the social distancing rules.
Grantham. The Lunchbox delivers food around Grantham to keep your hunger at bay. Give them a call today
Grantham Gelston Lamb provide mail order fresh lamb direct from the farm. To place your order visit them on Twitter @GelstonLamb or on Facebook Gelston Lamb. You can order by phone too on 01400 251 501
Grantham The Grantham market will continue until further notice supplying food items. Please obey the social distancing rules.
Louth Award winning Meridian Meats don’t just supply top quality meat! Currently baking extra bread too in order to help feed the town. Pop in but keep a social distance for the safety of everyone
Louth. Are you struggling to feed yourself or your family? Two hearty meals delivered to your door each day could help you. Call 01507 602930
Louth Market is still open for food sales during the Coronavirus crisis. Please respect the Safe Distance rule
Market Rasen Cote Hill Cheese are now providing a MAIL ORDER service for their cheese so now is the time to replenish your stock. You can give them a call on 01673 828 481, find them on Twitter @CoteHillCheese and on Facebook Cote Hill Cheese. Click on the picture to go straight to their website
Spalding. Is your computer in need of repair? TCS are offering FREE pickup while we go through the process of self-isolation
Spalding Covid Kindness Team. Contact the team for help with delivery of food, essentials & medications
Hundleby (Spilsby) The Elm Tree are now providing take away afternoon tea for just £10.00. Call them to book your treat on 01790 753534 or click on this image to go to their website
Gelston Lamb – Free delivery (for orders over £35.00) within 10 miles or 15 miles for orders over £70.00. Fresh lamb delivered to the Grantham, Sleaford, Ruskington, Heckington and surrounding villages. Order yours no by calling 01400 251501
Stamford & Rutland
Stamford. Central Cafe Stamford are providing a delivery service for those who can’t get out due to self isolation. Minimum spend £10.00
Stamford. Contact the growing network of coordinated volunteers who are ready to help wherever possible. Find them on Twitter @OurStamford or click on the picture to go straight to their website.
Stamford The Stamford Cheese and Wine Cellar is open for business and is also providing mail order deliveries. Click on the picture to go to their website.
Stamford The Copper Room is providing a home delivery service for your bar until 11.00pm. Click on the picture to go their website and follow them on twitter @CopperStamford
Rutland For updates on what’s available in the Rutland area please click on the picture to go to the Rutland council website
This list is by no means complete so rather than producing more and more blogs with contacts lists this one will be updated regularly. Please save this URL to your favourites on whatever device you are using. More headings will be added to make searching the blog easier. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell your friends about this blog. It’s here for us all and it’s not for profit. Spread the word and stay safe
Ring Any Bells?
I often channel hop when listening to my car radio between clients and recently I happened upon a programme on the BBC World Service. The general gist of the programme revolved around the psychology of giving to charity. Obviously all charities rely on us for donations and fund raising events but the programme got me thinking; Have we become numb to the pleading of charities? I know that many of you will give regularly to your chosen charity, some of you may volunteer while others might be supporting the charities by shopping in the charity shops or taking part in the many events that are held each year.
Who Or What Is To Blame?
Have we become numb to the fundraising calls of the local charities? Are we becoming numb to their pleading without even realising it? Perhaps you may recall the horrendous pictures on our TV screens of the ‘flies in their eyes’ images of starving children in African countries who were too weak to even blink. This is going to sound dreadful I know but perhaps those images have lost their impact now. Charity adverts have evolved and may now include images of children in school wishing they could get a better education to have a better chance of fending for themselves in future years. The programme considered both images and the psychological impact of each. Both images raise funds for the charities but neither image is more effective than the other. Rather, some people are pre-disposed to giving to one image over the other with the net result being ‘both images work’.
These are just examples of course as there are a huge number of charities working in different ways to raise funds in order to help people and animals. How would it work though if there was just one charity in the world? Would that charity cease to exist as a result of its own success? Perhaps, but that’s just hypothetical of course because the reality is that there are thousands upon thousands of charities around the world. In fact, these charities make so much ‘noise’ that perhaps we are losing touch with what they are trying to do. By ‘noise’ I mean TV advertising, radio advertising, newspaper advertising and of course the huge bombardment that we get on social media. That’s a “huge bombardment” of ‘everything’ and not just from the charities. Are we in danger of suffering from information overload and therefore switching off from the issues that really matter to us?
We have lots of different charities in our region but we should all be thankful that they exist. We have the Lincoln YMCA @YMCALincs who look out for and care for many vulnerable people. They truly deserve our attention as they help to get people off the streets, into accommodation and give them a new start in life. If you haven’t heard of Leonie’s battle yet you need to give her a follow on twitter @chillibean2018 and follow her journey as she undergoes surgery and intensive physiotherapy to help her walk after having ben born Quad Cerebral Palsy. Such a brave little girl and a dedicated Mum who is constantly fund raising in order to pay for her life changing surgery. At the other end of the age scale you’ll find @AgeUKLindsey who are an independent charity offering advice and support for the over 50s. I wonder if we all realise how lucky we are to have such a huge number of heroes in our County who spend valuable time looking after others?
Surely a blog of this sort in March 2020 can’t go out without mentioning Coronavirus (COVID-19). This dreadful virus has touched everyone here. A global pandemic which is having a huge local impact. On a personal note I have cancelled group exercise classes and in my role at LincsConnect I’m seeing first hand how worried people are becoming. This pandemic isn’t just affecting health (although that is a huge worry) but the disruption it is causing is having a massive negative impact on businesses both large and small. I’ve seen a huge increase in businesses and charities posting to the #LincsConnect hashtag in order to get their messages around the County. Some are offering support, some are informing us of changes while others are asking for help. What can be done?
You’re Not Alone
Those of you who know me on twitter as @MANDARINLEISURE will no doubt remember that I post a positive and (hopefully) uplifting post each morning along with an excerpt from a song. I wake each morning (that’s always a good start)! with a tune in my head. It happens every day and I have no control over which song it will be. That’s my ‘ear worm’ so, being a friendly sort of chap, I have to share it. Well why should I have to suffer alone? It’s become a daily ritual now and I know that people from around the world are looking out for it and joining in with the fun. Here’s an example for you. Let’s see if you can guess the song:
Thinking of all the charitable work that’s going on around the county perhaps ‘now’ is the time to be thinking about how we can help each other. @LincsConnect has nearly 11,000 ‘local’ followers. If each one of them visited the hashtag #LincsConnect a couple of times a day to see who they could support we would all benefit hugely. It’s all very well posting your message (on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) using the hashtag #LincsConnect to tell people what you are doing, what you need or how you can help but it won’t do you any good at all if no one is bothering to look at the hashtag to see what or who they can support. I’m sorry if that sounds abrupt but the truth is, we are in deep trouble and we need to pull together to get through this problem safely.
I’m No Expert But…
I’m not an economist. I’m not a high flying business executive. I’m not an ace charity worker. I am just ‘me’ but I can see how we can start to help each other. I’m not talking about getting bread and milk for those who are in isolation. That has already been broadcast across social media (I’ll post my version of the form for you to print and utilise) and is certainly going to help many people. What I’m talking about is using and looking at the #LincsConnect hashtag to see who is in need. Trust me, when you help others you’re more likely to have that help reciprocated when you need it most.
Perhaps if those companies who only post their own messages and never look to see how they can help others changed their habits during this period of uncertainty we could start to achieve more. There is an old saying: “What goes around, comes around”. NOW is the time to be supportive of others, to be charitable, to look to see what can be done for others because together we can be absolutely AWESOME!
Take a look at this video to see how you can help on Twitter: How To Search #LincsConnect
For Those Of You Who Are Able
As promised, here is the form for you to print and utilise. Please use it wisely.
I’ve heard people asking “What will life be like after the virus”? There will be no income and (according to some) no hope! My answer to that is this:
Life after the virus will carry on. There will be an income because we will carry on working. I have hope and that hope is based on my belief in you.
Todays blog was a little different but I think it’s an important one. What do you think?