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Using Twitter Cards - Increase Visibility on Twitter

Written by Craig Charley – Thu 24 Jul 2014

Twitter cards are an easy and effective way to make your tweets stand out in your followers' feeds.

Don't be limited by 140 characters, add enhanced links, product descriptions, media and more - all without affecting that character count!

You can start using Twitter cards by adding a few lines of HTML to your pages which will then generate the card when someone tweets that link - this is a quick setup that should have a huge impact on your visibility on Twitter and help drive engagement.

They also have the added bonus of unlocking Twitter Analytics (Twitter advertisers will already have access).

Twitter Card Types

  • Summary Card: A card for links including title, description, thumbnail image and author/publisher @ handle
  • Summary Card with Large Image: Same as summary card but with larger image and small description
  • Photo Card: Card with one photo
  • Gallery Card: Collection of up to 4 photos
  • App Card: Highlights a mobile app with a download link
  • Player Card: A card that allows embedded audio & video
  • Product Card: Details product information

Each card type requires a different set of meta tags which will you will need to add to your page. Once you've added the tags, you need to validate the page before Twitter approves your cards and they start showing in Tweets.

As mentioned, Twitter cards give you access to analytics to check the performance of your Tweets. It's a great way to monitor the effectiveness of different types of card and establish your top influencers.

Twitter Card Analytics

Not getting the results you desire? Find out where you're going wrong with our 2 day Social Media workshops and learn how to start growing your network.

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Convert PDF to Excel, PowerPoint & Word

Written by Aaron Charlie – Mon 21 Jul 2014

If you've ever tried to copy and paste from a PDF into Office software, you'll know how frustrating it can be. 

Luckily, with Acrobat XI you can easily export information to any Office program - you can even just export snippets of information.

In my example, I've been sent a report and I want to do three things:

  • Import the data into Excel to perform my own analysis
  • Use the key points in a PowerPoint presentation
  • Use insights in my own Word report

Here's how to do each task using Acrobat XI:

Convert PDF to Excel, PowerPoint & Word

This process works great for exporting data, text and graphics from PDF files and even allows you to keep your formatting.

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Photoshop Perspective Warp Tutorial

Written by Aaron Charlie – Mon 14 Jul 2014

Perspective Warp is easily my favourite new feature of the 2014 Photoshop CC update.

Imagine you take a photo and in post-processing you think 'I wish I'd taken that on the other side of the building!' - well now you can retake your photos with Perspective Warp.

Before we get started, choose a photo to work on. I've found that the process works best with photos with clear straight edges in.

If you want, you can download and use our sample photo to follow along with the tutorial.

To learn more cool Photoshop tricks, our 2-day Photoshop workshop is the best place to start.

Please note: this tutorial only works on the 2014 version of Photoshop CC. Open your Creative Cloud app to download the latest version.

Photoshop Perspective Warp Tutorial

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Effective Questioning Techniques for Trainers and Coaches

Written by Andy Trainer – Wed 09 Jul 2014

Using questions in training is the most effective way to engage with your group and encourage participation.

Questioning Techniques in Training

Questions give you instant feedback on how well your sessions are going while keeping discussion moving forward.

There are a number of questioning techniques and each is useful for different purposes and situations. They are:

  • General
  • Pass On
  • Question, Wait, Select
  • Send Back
  • Send Out

Before I go into each technique in more detail, I'm first going to run through why questions are important in good training sessions and what constitutes an excellent question.

We recommend that new and inexperienced trainers attend our 2-day Train the Trainer workshops. We will help you deliver more effective, engaging training sessions.

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5 Steps to Effective Personnel Management

Written by Andy Trainer – Mon 16 Jun 2014

Effective personnel management is one of the hardest tasks for any manager but it's also one of the most important.

Effective Personnel Management

Managing large teams can feel like a never ending task. The minute you think you have a grasp of the team's availability and capabilities, something changes and it can feel like going back to square one.

You need to approach the different aspects of personnel management in the right order, at the right times, for the best chance of success.

In this post I outline my 5 Steps to Effective Personnel Management. Read through and see how they compare to your processes.

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Quick Guide to the New Facebook Business Pages

Written by Aaron Charlie – Mon 02 Jun 2014

Facebook has rolled out the new page design for the majority of business pages.

Facebook New Page Layout

If you haven't already updated, then your page is currently in what I like to call 'limbo'.

The new design is visible to page admins, but not to fans or anyone else dropping by your page until you click the 'Update' button.

The update button is found on the new fixed admin frame to the right of 'Settings'.

If you're managing your page and still seeing the old layout then don't worry, there is a chance that all pages are getting the upgrade by June 6th.

Don't be confused when you update, read through my tips and find out what you need to know about the new Facebook Business Pages.

Find out how to get more out of your social media presence, including Facebook, with our two day Social Media course and see results within weeks.

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Project Management Software: Help or Hindrance?

Written by Andy Trainer – Thu 29 May 2014

Project Management Software. Helpful tool or just another complication?

From free online apps to enterprise solutions, there are hundreds of tools for collaborative and personal projects.

We want to know what the project management community really thinks about PM software.

Project Management Software Survey

Do you use free or paid software? Has PM changed for the better or worse?

Take our 1 minute survey to help us understand the PM community's view towards PM software.

We don't require any personal information and all answers will remain anonymous unless you agree for us to use a quote.

MS Project is the most widely used tool for managing projects, but how does it shape up to the latest online apps?

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What is Sass? Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets Explained

Written by Giselle – Mon 26 May 2014

Sass stands for Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets. After a quick look, I thought that it was better suited to larger sites and involved programming. After a second look, the scales fell from my eyes. Sass organizes your stylesheets efficiently and drastically cuts down on your development time. It uses some programming tools, e.g. variables, while being accessible to non-programmers.

We offer Sass Training as a private course for individuals who already know CSS and want to start working faster and better with their stylesheets.

Sass Training

What is Sass?

Sass is a CSS preprocessor. You start off by creating a Sass stylesheet, e.g. style.scss. You then use an app or the command line to output that file into a normal CSS file, e.g. style.css.

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Learn to Code for Free Online - The Best Resources on the Web

Written by Aaron Charlie – Wed 21 May 2014

We believe that the best way to learn is practical, face to face training with an expert on-hand to help solve any problems.

However, we recognise that not everyone is able to take the time off from work for classroom based training (especially if retraining for a new career).

We have scoured the web to find the best resources to help you learn to code for free online and at your own pace.

Learn to Code for Free Online

Before you get stuck in, make sure to look through our range of Web Design, Mobile Development and Programming courses. We cover all coding languages from beginner to advanced level.

Our popular Responsive Web Week includes HTML5 & CSS3, JavaScript and Responsive Web Design Training - everything you need to start building websites from scratch using modern best practice.

We also offer HTML & CSS workshops for beginners.

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10 Tips for Hacking Semantic Search

Written by Craig Charley – Thu 15 May 2014

Is it possible to increase search visibility without building links?

At BrightonSEO in April Semantic Search was a popular topic that featured in many talks and I also had the pleasure of taking part in a Semantic Search Roundtable discussion, sponsored by Intelligent Positioning.

My inspiration for this post was Andrew Isidoro's post 'I Am an Entity: Hacking the Knowledge Graph' and companion talk at BrightonSEO. Read his post and then watch the talk below:

Andrew Isidoro at BrightonSEO April 2014

It is also worth reading Krystian Szastok's follow up post 'I Became an Entity: How I'm on the Knowledge Graph' which gives further evidence of becoming an entity with some additional tips.

Andrew and Krystian's posts are both excellent reads, but they focus on individuals and the knowledge graph.

I also want to focus on businesses.

How can businesses get themselves into the knowledge graph, and also take advantage of the other features of semantic search?

First, a bit of theory about why this is so important.

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