Happy Holidays from Apple Pie Design

Hi I'm Peggy, and I specialize in Website & Print Design, Social Media, and eMarketing

About Peggy @ Apple Pie Design

Website & Print Design | Social Media | SEO and Local SEO
eMarketing | Consulting and Training

An avid lover and follower of technology. I help businesses create solutions to complex problems whilst maintaining the focus on vision, needs & strategy.

For the past decade I've been crafting user-centered strategies and experiences within a client's marketing plans using print, web and social media. I specialize in design, both print (brochures, annual reports, inserts, flyers, etc.) and web (Responsive, Bootstrap, WordPress, HTML/CSS and PHP) and eMarketing through client preferred social media platforms and email blast campaigns. Some other areas of expertise of mine are creative direction/art direction, photography, interface design, concepting and production, website SEO and more. Most days I work with colors, pixels, grids, typography, and lines of code. Being a self-taught professional, I am excited about the vast opportunities we have today in technology, design and marketing. It's no longer a question of what I can do, but what we can think of doing. We can come up with the ideas together, and figure great ways to implement them.

Advanced levels in the following Marketing and Print Design programs:  InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, PowerPoint \ Prezi Presentation, MS Word \ Excel, Acrobat, iMovie production

Advanced levels in the following Web development programs: Dreamweaver, Sublime, MySql Database maintenance, HTML, ASP, PHP, CSS, WordPress, WordPress Blog Tools, CSS, Templates and PlugIns, Bootstrap, Git, Responsive Design, UI/UX principles, basic Javascript

Advanced social media and writing programs:  Social Media (Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogs, Website Bookmarking, etc.)

Feel free to learn more about my experience, and connect with me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/peggyhiemer/

Some Cool Stuff I Created

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Social Media
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Sometimes I Blog


You're going out with a bunch of friends and you are looking for a place to eat after a long game of softball. You whip out your smartphone and search for nearby restaurants. You find a couple of suggestions that you run by your buddies and the first thing they ask is, "what do people say about them?" In other words, people are already programmed to weed out the establishments with the weaker ratings.

It's a love-hate relationship. As a business owner, every positive review, you feel like patting yourself on the back, but you will agonize and get yourself upset for each negative post. This just happened to a new client of mine and he was very upset about it. It seems that when people have negative things to say, they seem to go right to "Yelp". Negative reviews affect a business's overall "star" rating and this is the first thing Yelp users see next to your listing. As an avid social media moderator, I know firsthand that what customers have to say about your business, can influence others. Good reviews bring in new business. Bad reviews could keep potential and existing customers away. It happens to many businesses, but Yelp is going to be around for the long haul, so I thought it would be nice to suggest some ways that I help businesses combat their negative reviews. Enjoy.

1. Own your Yelp. It's very important to "claim this business," on Yelp. By doing so, you'll be able to respond to reviewers, or "Yelpers," who have given you a weak rating in a public forum so that future visitors can see that you're working to amend any issues.

2. Fix it and research. After learning about the situation, it is important to fix the issues both internally and externally whenever possible. Here is an example, a client was very unhappy with a pizza delivery, and had called the establishment to complain. Your management staff had done its best to rectify the situation, but it still does not mean that the client will not speak about their experience online, or on social media. Make sure that after you fix the issues internally, it is important that you research a bit externally online, to make sure that the person complaining is well taken care of as well on social media platforms as well.

3. Flag any false reviews. False reviews are not permitted by Yelp and can be flagged for removal. A false review can be a post that is hearsay or even one that is misleading.

4. Get the most out of Yelp. As a business owner you can subscribe to an array of tools on Yelp that can help bring more customers through the door. With more Yelpers utilizing your products and services, this creates an opportunity to boost your overall rating. You can also partner with Yelp to participate in events where the majority of those attending are active on Yelp. Put on your best efforts forwards and watch your Yelp rating grow over time.

5. Create a social following. Build your reputation through other social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. If your business can build a community and establish itself within local social groups, active Yelpers are more than likely to be lenient and go a little easier on negative reviews.

- Peggy Hiemer.

When you go to your Facebook Fan Page, you'll start to see Facebook warn you of upcoming changes that will be happening to the design of all Fan Pages on Facebook on June 5th, 2014. Facebook announced the re-design back in March.

As of June 5th, your Facebook Page will change to the new design which has the following dimensions. Click here to download an editable PSD file of a new Facebook Page Cover Image Template 2014

Biggest Changes:
Your page cover image is now different, the thumbnail for your profile picture box on the left is now higher up on the page, which covers up your cover image more. Also, Facebook puts text to the right of that profile picture of your Page Name and Website… you can't hide that text. Also, there are now 'Like' 'Follow' and 'Message' buttons hovering overtop of the cover image on the right-hand side. So you will need to make sure you don't have any text or important information in your cover image that would be covered up by those new elements.

Facebook page tabs are gone! (Well, sort of). The image buttons commonly known as 'Tabs' are gone, and now there are only 'text tabs'. In the new design, the space under the cover image now has a fixed menu of 'Timeline' 'About' 'Photos' and 'Likes'… with a 'More' option that when clicked will show your old tabs as links. You can click on MORE > MANAGE TABS which allows you to drag and drop the order of your new 'text tabs', and you can move a custom tab/app to the space beside 'About'. You can't move 'Timeline' or 'About'.However, Page Tabs aren't completely gone, Facebook now calls them 'Apps' and you can have an 'Apps' box on the left side with your old page tabs shown in a list with a graphic.

Left column that you can re-arrange! Yes, the timeline is now a SINGLE COLUMN Timeline, like personal profile walls. This is a much better user experience, being able to read posts in a single column instead of having to jump your eyes back and forth between two columns of posts that don’t line up. Also, the left column you can now re-arrange to have the boxes in whichever order you prefer. This means you can move page ‘Apps’ to the top, or have recent comments to your page by page fans at the top.

Comments from Page Fans now appear on the left side in a much nicer box showing the comments in mini boxes

New stats boxes on the right-hand size of the page for admins to quickly see updates to their page.

- Peggy Hiemer.

In order to choose the best search terms for your website, and for your search engine optimization (SEO), it is very important for you to understand why you need them and how they are used. Here's a little background insight to help you get started.

What does "Search Terms" mean?
Search terms, often referred to as keywords, are the words or phrases that customers use when searching online. Think about how you use the internet to search. What keywords and phrases do you use in order to find the solution or product of choice? Let's take for an example that your business is "Landscaping" or "Flowers". When having a website, you'll want to incorporate the search terms that you think your potential customers will be searching for. That way, you'll appear closer to the top of the search engine results for those particular search terms. But you also have to be willing to "THINK OUT OF THE BOX" when it comes to your products.

Why are search terms are necessary?
Every time someone uses a search engine to find something online, the term or phrase that they enter will pull and rank related websites. In order to make sure your website is listed in these results, it's extremely important that you identify appropriate search terms and use them throughout your website text.

Are you choosing the right search terms?
To find the best search terms ask yourself one simple question, "If someone were looking for my business, what would they search for?" Something you should also consider is making sure your search terms aren't too specific. For example, Marchie's Salon could enter "Massage" or "Nail Care," but a broader term like "Salon" or "Spa" would be best to get the most attention and best ranking in search results. You should also use a term that is familiar and commonly used by the general public. For an example, if you own a limousine company, "limo" might also be a good search term to use.

Here are some categories you could explore when selecting your terms:

  • Your type of business and town
  • Your industry keywords and phrases
  • The types of products and services you offer
  • Popular brand names that you sell

NOTE: It is not best to keep your searches with your business name in them. You have already cornered the market with your new website and capturing the name there. You want to think bigger. Think about those that don't know your business by name. How will they find you with only knowing the service or need they are looking for.

Pick a few search terms (usually three is a good starting place) and optimize your site by incorporating them into your website text where they make sense.

Change is good.
If you decide to sell a new product or brand, move your store to a new location or offer more services, make sure you update or add to your search terms to reflect the changes in your business. As your business evolves, your search terms should as well. Make sure all of your terms apply to your website and business and add new terms when necessary.

These are just a few ideas on how to improve your SEO on your website. Feel free to contact me at info@appl3pi3design.com to learn more on how to keep growing your website presence and how to keep moving your information up the search engine rankings.

- Peggy Hiemer.

Are you wondering how to use images and short video to enhance your customers' experience? Have you considered creating a brand profile on Instagram to make your brand visible to a new market and then posting directly onto Facebook with them? Getting started on Instagram is fairly straightforward.

1. Balance Fun Images With Pictures From Your Business and cultivate a following. Take advantage of the increased real estate you have with the Instagram web page to tell a story with the images. Have a healthy balance of fun images and business pictures. Cross-post selected images to your Facebook page with an industry-related hashtag that aligns with your campaign or brand image to help people who don’t know you’re on Instagram to find you there.

2. Market Your Brand Using Trends. Remember when Twitter’s #followfriday seemed somewhat avant-garde? Instagrammers should use a number of trending hashtags to join in a bigger part of the visual storytelling. Take someone through the days of the week maybe, beginning with #IHateMonday and ending with #SelfieSunday, each day highlighting a new product or idea. Be creative.

3. Showcase your Employees. Showing your employees at work not only gives a behind-the-scenes view of your company and gives it that little personal touch needed with social media, it’s also a way to celebrate staff and show them how much they’re valued.

4. Harness the Power of Apps. There are 20+ apps available for your phones that will enhance your photo-sharing experiences. There are apps that let users print images, stylize your photos, subscribe to Instagram profiles via email, search tags and keywords, plus many more.

Download and use these apps to make Instagram a significant part of your social media marketing strategy and have them readily available on your phone as you are taking pictures. Capture the "the-moment".

All of these ideas are of course just my own findings as I work with the social media platforms daily. Feel free to email info@appl3pi3design.com if you had any thoughts on how you successfully have been able to use Instagram for business. Cheers!

- Peggy Hiemer.

Now that the year is coming to a close, I would like to leave this year with a look at a new and exciting new year coming around the corner for businesses, small and large. While social media has now reached a level of maturity beyond the "shiny new car small and all the bells and whistles", what social media efforts should you keep an eye for 2014?

1. Twitter is UP, Facebook is DOWN
With 1.18 billion users, Facebook won't be disappearing any time soon, but I am starting to see a trend of how 2014 might be the year for Twitter. Computer companies are advertising the "Twitter" APP already installed in the new operating system packages, and twitter seems to be making new and improved additions more than those that are noticeable on Facebook (changing a button here and there). Twitter now is highlighting images , and many brands already use Twitter, in particular the travel industry (hotels, airlines, etc.) Having more users join this social media platform you should make sure you have an account at least, and make sure to watch it grow through out the 2014 year.

SnapChat the next social media app to watch for 20142. SnapChat
If you are not familiar with SnapChat , its the hottest 2013 trending mobile application that sends out messages (text, photo or short video) called "snaps" that auto-destruct after a short moment of time, between 1 to 10 seconds depending on how the snap was set up. As of April 2013, it's 5 millions users were uploading over 150 million photos per day. They have been experimenting with "SnapChat Stories". Brand marketers now have an opportunity to ask customers to share their stories, or interact with them while in their store, hotel or destination, to increase engagement and share-of-wallet with in-store promotions. This is a definate one to watch.

3. Google + (yup, finally)
Believe it or not, I think Google+ is going to have it's up and coming debut. With the ever needed custom URLs, and the recent changes in search algorithms under the code name Hummingbird, the Google Hangout function is going to continue to push the envelope. Since Google pretty much controls the web world, this one is important to pay attention to.

4. Videos...(believe it or not, they are HOT)
Videos continue to make their upward climb in the social media world. Businesses are doing weekly videos to help promote their business or their products, and with the addition of Vine and Instragram, there are promises for the 2014. I have now been seeing features allowing WordPress and Responsive (format that resizes automatically between computer, pad and phone technologies) website designs allowing easier usage of videos inside scrollers, and easily scaled when viewing on different technologies. This is one that should not be forgotten, and definitely used.

All of these comments are of course just my opinion and findings as I work with the social media platforms daily. Feel free to email info@appl3pi3design.com your thoughts of new up and coming social media trends that I might of missed. Here's to a great and successful New 2014 Year! Cheers!

- Peggy Hiemer.

All those LinkedIn Group emails:: I just started working with a new client doing social media training/consulting, and one of the social media platforms that I suggested for his business connections is LinkedIn (the Facebook for businesses). I have encouraged him to connect with any and everyone that he can, along with joining groups that meet our social media strategy, and that would benefit from his services. So with doing that, he is now very popular.

A little too popular, he is telling me. He is now getting over 30-50 emails a day from those LinkedIn Groups that he connected with and he wants to know how to turn them off. If you're like me, I love using LinkedIn for connecting with others and helping with their questions and concerns right from my desk, but I think I can do without all the emails that come from the groups that I have joined as well.

With this said, I thought that I would share on how to turn the notifications to include the different settings that area available. You can set the frequency of the group emails from Daily Digest Emails, Weekly or No Emails at all.

1) Log into your LinkedIn Account
2) Scroll all the way to the top grey bar, and click on your image graphic that is all the way to the right.
3) A small menu will pop up. Select "Privacy and Settings"
4) Scroll to the middle of the page, on the left hand side. Select "Groups, Companies & Applications"
5) Inside that menu, you will see a couple of categories. Select "Set the frequency of groups digest emails"
6) A new window will pop up, which will include all of the groups that you have joined along with a pull-down menu to the left that will allow you to select your email preferences.
7) Save Changes

Ta-da, you should now see a considerate change in your email activity from the LinkedIn Groups. Please note there is a notice on the menu that states that "Your changes will take effect within a few days" for your information. These changes will not be automatic, but in my simple mind, any changes to these emails will be glorious. Free free to email me at info@appl3pi3design.com if you have any questions, and enjoy the connections and the new sanity.

- Peggy Hiemer.

Yes, we've all been there. You post a quick comment without thinking on Facebook along with a photo you just took and realize later that you spelled something wrong….or what you just wrote really didn't sound right.

The fear strikes. How do I EDIT what I just posted. Oh no what if someone saw what I just posted and now thinks that my business is just a "bumbling idiot".

Well help is on it's way. Many users, and soon even mobile users, you now have the ability to edit your Facebook posts. The feature should roll out to web users over the next couple days, as well as remaining Android users who haven't seen the feature arrive yet. The next iOS update will probably see the update, as well from what I am reading. It doesn't appear to be a feature on business pages ... at least not yet ... but the comment editing feature was enabled for business pages, so it's very hopeful.

Here's how the feature works. When you post an update that you want to change, simply find that little gray arrow in the top right corner of the update.

Then, you'll click "Edit" on an individual Facebook page, and "Edit Album, and then EDIT PHOTOS" on a business page, and you will be given the opportunity to change the text.

When you're happy with your edits, just click "Done Editing," and you're good to go! As a safe measure if you don't seem to see these new features yet on your APP or software, your next best option until that becomes available is to "DELETE" and then start all over. Once you delete a post, no one will see it accept for yourself....in your Facebook history settings. Happy posting.

I love WordPress – in fact it's my Content Management System (CMS) of choice. And with the popularity of WordPress being used, the people that develop WordPress work very hard to release new versions of their software every so often to give users access to new and improved features and to patch up any security holes that have come to light. Similar plugins, like your contact form and formatting tools, need to get updated as well as these are the favorite features that hackers are focusing on. Many of my client's WordPress websites have been compromised because their websites have not been properly maintained. One of my clients had their WordPress website hacked with some information that only comes up when you repost a blog on Facebook...might not be noticeable until it is too late.

Best practice for updating

  1. Log in weekly as your WordPress site administrator and check for updates; you will see notifications across the top of the dashboard area and in the 'Plugins' section when updates are available.
  2. Always back up your site before undertaking any updates, so that if something does go wrong, you can easily restore your site to the way it was. WordPress provides step-by-step instructions on how to back up your data: http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Backups
  3. Once everything is backed up, follow the steps on the WordPress website, to update to a new version of WordPress http://codex.wordpress.org/Updating_WordPress. To update plugins, just follow the on-screen instructions in the 'Plugins' area of WordPress.
For help and guidance on backing up and updating your site, please don't hesitate to contact me at phiemer@sbcglobal.net

I had a client that just recently created a new business page, but once he got past friends and family it seemed like he had a huge battle on his hands, and was ready to give up on the whole Social Media effort. That's were I came in.

Since this gentleman had a very comment experience like so many others, I thought that I would write some key points that will help the battle enjoy.

  1. Change your time line cover often. Remember that your timeline is the first thing most people will see. You will want to make sure that your cover image is eye catching as much as possible, and direct them to your page.
  2. Post pictures on your page. Lots and lots of pictures. Fans love pictures no matter what they are, because most of them can relate in some way. Even if they see the photo on their time lines, and push "LIKE" it brings activity to your page. This is kind of like the old time shampoo commercial "You tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on, and so on..." This is how the social media goes viral.
  3. Network with other companies on Facebook. Like their posts, comments etc. Some of them will return the favor. Most times once you start networking on other facebook pages, you will see some success each month of your Facebook page growing on it's own.
  4. Turn some of your ideas into contents. People love contests and if you can spare a couple of dollars to ship a small package out, you should do it. I personally love the "FOLLOW-ME FRIDAYS". This one has been successful for me with my clients. We offer a small gift that fits within an envelope to the first 4 followers of the day. Didn't cost must to mail out and it brought conversations to our site, especially if the little gift was fun J
  5. Allow yourself some time. I know from every person that I speak with, that their biggest fear for getting involved in Social Media is the time factor. Did you know that you can PRE-SCHEDULE your posts. If you would like to know more on how to pre-schedule your posts, feel free to view, small step-by-step instructions on how to do that. This works perfectly for when you go on vacation, but want to keep up conversations.
  6. Content is King. First and foremost it will come down to content. Content is key in not only attracting new Likes but keeping the ones you have engaged. You'll want to post at regular intervals, but not too regular where you become annoying to your audience (no one likes that FB friend that posts something every 30 min). Your posts need be something your audience will want to share. Videos and images do well, particularly funny ones.

Connect with me:

cell. 815.302.9034
e-mail. info@appl3pi3design.com
facebook. www.facebook.com/appl3pi3design
linkedin. www.linkedin.com/in/peggyhiemer/
twitter. twitter.com/appl3pi3design

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