BloggingEducationMarketingMobile AppsProductivitySecurity & PrivacyShoppingSocial MediaTechnologyUncategorized

In our office we share memes, eat cake and brainstorm… a lot. But there’s one thing we do even more of.

We use our phones, like a lot, a lot! We use them for testing apps, testing websites, social media management, communication, the list goes on. So with that said, we want to give you the inside scoop of what apps we love to use day in day out, and why they are vital to our entertainment, productivity, communication and lifestyle.

We wrote an article a few weeks back about some of our favorite phone gadgets. Some were for pleasure, others for productivity. If you missed it, you can check it out here as today’s article goes hand in hand. So between, web designers, developers, digital marketers and our CEO, these apps are the ones you need to download, like yesterday!

Let’s begin with entertainment.

Head phones

Apple Music, Spotify, and Google Play Music, we need music like we need our coffee!

Podcast can be under entertainment and productivity as there are so many different types of podcasts out there. Our top favorite podcast apps are Podcasts (Apple) and Castbox. Castbox has over  95 million volumes of content and is available for almost all devices.

A few musicians came forward in the office and shared their favorite apps. Guitar Tuna was recommended by a few as an app to tune your guitar on the go or as a back up. It is available for both Apple and Android. Tabs is an app that has thousands of guitar, bass and ukulele tabs and chords for all your favorite songs. If you are looking to take up an instrument here’s two apps that are a go-to’s for the musicians in the office.

Audible is another app that fits into productivity and entertainment. Audible is a mobile library, with loads of books you can listen to or read.

Quora is an app to share opinions, knowledge and feedback. Ask a question and get a helpful answer.

Productivity

editing

Lynda.com is a popular app for taking online courses. You can choose a topic you would like to learn, for example: photography, web design, film, finance, interior design. The list is endless. You can also choose software you would like to learn. So if you are a photographer, maybe a course that is beneficial to your business is learning how to use Photoshop. If you are looking to get into finance industry, a valuable course might be learning QuickBooks, you can learn QuickBooks for payroll, online, for a Mac, etc.

We also have a lot of photographers in the office, so photo-shop apps or editing apps came up right away. Our favorites are Lightroom and Photoshop Fix, both are easy to use and high quality.

Our office uses Microsoft Teams to communicate and share info with each other (as well as a truck load of memes) it’s a secure way to create group messages. There are so many features within the program to expand functionality: like creating different groups, include files, planners and meetings.

If you want to create logos or invitations an extremely useful app is Canva. You can create logos, Pinterest graphics, resize images to fit other social media platforms, create business cards and so much more! We use this everyday to create our graphics, and images.

Lifestyle

Family Organization

Everyone has those apps they use regularly or occasionally that just make your life so much easier. When it comes to lifestyle, the office has a variety of favorites.

Some of us are obsessed with the weather, so we’ve got you covered with choosing the best weather apps. WeatherCan and The Weather Network are our most reliable apps we would recommend to anyone and everyone.

Cozi is a popular app for family organization. You can add shopping lists, cleaning schedules and upcoming events that your family has planned. It’s the perfect app for a busy family and even busier parents.

If you are prone to migraines which some are in the office the Migraine Buddy app is the best app according to both patients and doctors. This app helps you record and identify all aspects of your migraine. For example; what triggers them, your symptoms, medications and so on.

Headspace is a meditation app that helps you let go of stress, learn to relax and get a better nights sleep. If you don’t already have this app it’s definitely a must! Everyone can use a few techniques to reduce stress and anxiety during our busy lives.

 

What are some apps that are essential for you or just plain fun? Let us know in the ‘leave a comment’ section at the bottom! We’d love to hear from you.

 

BloggingEducationMarketingProductivitySEOSocial MediaTechnologyUncategorized

pinterest

Pinterest: An app where women find recipes and DIY projects, right?

recipes

Many people see Pinterest as an app women use to find home improvement ideas or recipes, but it has far progressed from when it was first released in 2010. Marketers are using it as a platform to drive more website traffic and increase sales. Pinterest has become a major visual search engine in the past few years. So how can you use it for your business in 2019?

 

Pinterest is 80% more viral and 3x more effective at generating leads than Twitter

traffic

1. Pinterest Drives Heavy Traffic 

Pinterest has a hover feature that when clicked it directs users directly to your site, This eliminates the amount of steps people have to take to get to your site. The other benefit is that users can pin pictures directly from your site, increasing your websites visibility.

watch

2. Longer Post Exposure

The average lifespan of a Pinterest post is three and half months,  that’s 1,600 times longer than a Facebook post. Pins last forever, meaning that it’s easier for people to search for you and easily find your latest pins. As time goes by and your pin gets shared by other users it continues to spread like wildfire. No need to re-share content and repeat your pin over and over.

3. Excellent SEO Strategy

Use keywords in your description for higher visibility and your target audience to find you easier. Continue to post with those keywords and create boards that are relevant.When a google search is made with that keyword, your pins will show up.

4. Free Marketing From Your Fans

The more your content is pinned the more visibility you gain, just like with any social media, although you don’t need to invest in content marketing, just spend time getting quality images and a good description and your pin is ready to be shared countless times. Users want to be inspired, so inspire them.

share

5. Engage Easier With Customers

Even though Pinterest is smaller than Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it is easy to engage with people on this platform. Users are eager to share, they want to send their ideas and dreams with others, so if they like your content they will be eager to share it.

 

We’d love to hear your Pinterest strategies. Leave us a comment below!

 

BloggingMarketingProductivitySecurity & PrivacySelf-ImprovementSocial MediaUncategorized

screen time

Social media nowadays is more than just a social network. It is used as a tool for businesses and a way to communicate with others. Although sometimes, we can get too caught up in the scrolling world that we don’t realize how it could be affecting our well being, relationships and even work.

As a digital marketing specialist I work with various social media platforms every day. It’s my job to scroll, to build community and relationships with people. Social media is a business tool so deleting it just isn’t an option… or is it?

The answer is yes. Yes, you can delete social media and you know why? Because it’s good for you.

community

 

The average person will spend nearly two hours a day on social media.

Want to to see if you fit the average? Take a look at your Screen Time feature (if you have an iPhone.) The results will likely surprise you. You can see which categories you spend the most time on. Entertainment, productivity, social networking etc. You can also see how many notifications you get a day and how many times you pick up your device. As someone who works on social media for work, my times may be a bit above average but I want to give you a look at what my statistics look like.

Average Screen time per day: 4 hours 33 minutes

Social networking (you will be knocked off your feet here) 24 *hours* 20 minutes! (Time for a social media detox!)

Pickups: 92 per day

Notifications: 59 per day

This is a lot of phone time! Most of it is social networking.

So here’s why it’s so important to take some time away from social media, even if you use it as a business tool. And some tips to get around the business aspect of it to put your mind at ease when you step away.

 

1. Social media tends to make you focus on others more than yourself

You mindlessly scroll, coming across a picture of how your co-worker bought a new car, or that your friends went out and had sushi on Saturday night. Are these things you really need to know about? No, not really. It’s entertaining, for sure. But this tends to just make you more concerned with what others are doing with their lives, rather than what you are doing with yours. Weekends spent working towards your personal, or business goals may not be glamorous or Instagram worthy. But it’s good for you. Taking the time away from social media means that you have to go out of your way to find out about other peoples lives. Its not just information accessibly to you. So if you need to know what others are doing you will have to be intentional.

private

2. Too public

Privacy has gone out the window, that is usually when it comes to social media. Of course as a business, keeping people in the loop about new offers or features you offer is key to your account and potential leads. But are you being too public with your personal account? Or finding it draining when others are too public with their lives? This could be a sign that you need to take a step away from the screen. Realigning what is appropriate to post on social media platforms and what is private to you or your family sometimes comes from taking a step away and realizing that you can still have a good time, without having to post about it or update your Facebook status.

3. Distorted version of reality

I can tell you that many accounts you follow on Instagram or Facebook are not all they say they are. Not that they are lying to you with their words, but sometimes it can be hard to differentiate whats real and whats not in an image. You see it in magazines, on billboards, TV ads and so many more places, especially on your own device. With the apps available to literally anyone, you can’t trust what is real or not. I can make the trees in the fall look more radiant than they actually are, my skin more glowing, even make water move in a still image. False images are thrown to you left and right and sometimes it’s exhausting. Even if you don’t realize it.

photoshop

4. Live in the moment

Ever been to a wedding and can’t actually see the beautiful bride because of all the phones popping up all over the place? Cellphones have actually changed how professional photographers do their job. Some couples have asked that people put their phones in a basket because the photographer won’t be able to get beautiful pictures without arms stretched all over the isle trying to get pictures or live videos for the world to see. We have sometimes forgotten how to truly live in the moment. Taking a social media detox will make events or scenery more fulfilling for you. Try going outdoors for a hike and just breathe in the fresh air, take in the moment.

Resist the temptation to pull out your phone to document the event or share it with your friends. Do it for you.

you are here

5. Free up your time

Now that your phone doesn’t have 410 notifications (okay maybe that an exaggeration) a day from Facebook or Twitter what do you do with all your free time? You can read a book, try yoga, go for a long walk with your dog… the possibilities are endless. You may even notice your energy go up, with removing yourself from comparison and false reality.

 

Quick tips to take a break from social media if you need it for work:

  • Get a scheduling app. Apps like Buffer or Tailwind can schedule your content for you if you need to be on top of posting for your business. Put in a bit extra time to retrieve content and caption your posts. Schedule them for times that suit your audience, simple as that!
  • Only delete your personal account to cut down on time you spend endlessly scrolling on the platform. Restrict your time limits to only work hours or only to answer messages or comments. (check in once a day for only a few minutes and avoid going into the feed. Only check notifications or places that actually need your attention.)
  • Hire someone to manage your social media accounts for you, so your account is still active even if you aren’t. This will make it easier if you want to make it a routine to get unconnected with the digital world more often.

social media

Taking a digital detox (more specifically social media) has multiple benefits to your personal well being.  The world will not end if you don’t upload a picture of your food. Allow yourself to step away from time to time. It’s becoming more and more important as social media grows to set boundaries with what’s private and what’s public. Start with one day, then a weekend, and adjust accordingly. Some can go a month, while for others, a day is just as refreshing.

 

If you are looking for someone to manage social media for your business, send us an email or call us at 780-652-1190

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Virtual Reality

Today, virtual reality is used for many things, most commonly in the gaming industry. Although that may be the most popular way to use those fun goggles, there’s many ways that common business are utilizing them as well.

You walk past the Microsoft Store in the mall. People are crowded around a person wearing big goggles. They attract attention as they swat around in the air randomly. If it’s the first time you’ve seen this, you may be confused, thinking they are crazy or totally intrigued! But if you’ve seen this before, you might already know it’s Virtual Reality! How does such an advanced tool that seems only practical for gaming apply to common businesses?

Here’s some ways your business can benefit from virtual reality other than games. Don’t worry it will still be loads of fun!

Kitchen

Try before you buy

For example; if you are a hardware store, many people come looking for things to upgrade their home. Sometimes it’s small things for regular maintenance. Other times its a total transformation to their home. Customers can design their bathroom or kitchen exactly the way they want it and use virtual reality to test out their new design.

resort

Promoting tourism

Many Travel agencies are using VR as a way for clients to virtually experience their vacation before they even step out of the office. Viewers can walk the along pathways in British Columbia with a new VR experience called “Wild Within.” You can also add virtual reality to hotel or resort bookings customers can walk through the lobby and even tour a room to seal the deal with their bookings.

Audi

New spin on traditional sales

In the business of selling cars? Why not offer your customers a virtual reality experience to try out vehicles not yet available at the dealership. Promote new features and upcoming looks, so customers can see their dream car in “reality.” Automakers are looking to VR to attract customers, increase time spent at the dealership and to promote car sales. In a Audi dealership in London, 50 percent of customers within the first year of using VR experience, pilot ordered vehicles without customers having a physical test drive, basing their purchase upon their virtual experience.

Safety Training

Virtual Reality has even become valuable on the factory floor. Training employees on forklift safety using VR has many benefits. It’s a safe environment for employees to gain hands on training without the risk of injury or property/equipment damage. While virtual reality may seem costly, it saves time and money on in person training, repairs, insurance claims and liabilities.

virtual reality

Virtual Reality is a fun tool to promote your business and engage with your customers on a whole new level. It is widely used for gaming but has so many more features to offer small businesses as it becomes more mainstream.

 

Interested in Virtual Reality for your business? Send us an email

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Hi hand

Not sure what Panda Rose does or who we are? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you!

Panda Rose Consulting Studios Ltd. is a company based around technology. Very vague I know, let me explain.

We take care all things technology so you don’t have to. We offer social media management, SEO services, Google ads, website development, mobile app development, virtual reality, and software development for your business. It’s your technology, and our geeks!

Geek /ɡēk/: Engage in or discuss computer-related tasks obsessively or with great attention to technical detail.

ChrisGerardJosh B.

That’s us! We are your Chief Technology Officer, or as we like to say CTO.

Meet Chris, (left) Gerard, (middle) and Josh (right). These three awesome guys handle either website development or mobile app development.

That means they are the guys who fix bugs on mobile apps or maintain the back end of your website. The difference between a web developed and designer is a designer maintains the aesthetics portion and usability, while a developer takes a website and makes it functional. The same idea applies for app development. They maintain the functionality of the app and correct any bugs that arise.

Everyone at Panda Rose is extremely talented, we truly have an amazing team. Catch our Social Media to see more team members featured! We are excited to see Panda Rose growing, and to be able to work with so many amazing team members and clients.

 

Interested in seeing what we can do for your business? Send us an email. We are looking forward to working with you!

 

 

 

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We believe every business needs a mobile app in 2019. The number of users downloading apps is rapidly increasing and it’s not stopping anytime soon! We break down some reasons why your business needs an app, yes that’s right (even) YOURS!

Dog Walker

Sales Growth

Is your business selling something or offering a service to the public? Of course! A mobile app keeps users updated by directly sending them push notifications about new offers and promotions. Mobile payments are being used more frequently because of just how easy it is. Setting up mobile payments within your app offers customers another chance to buy from you and making it easy so they’ll want to come back again and again! Win!

iphone

 Audience Building

Once you download a shopping or service app, do you go back into your search engine and insert the web address every time you want to contact or buy from them? Of course not, that’s why you have the app. Users are more likely to click into your app when its right at their finger tips, that is the day and age after all. So it makes sense to set up an app where customers can easily contact you and search things within your app.

Dinner Table

Loyalty Growth

Asking customers to pay for a food order, movie tickets or a dinner table is asking them for loyalty and when its easy, they want to give it you. Keeping customers coming back is key to any business. You want customers to like the products or services you offer and refer your business to other people.

 

Mobile apps are generating business in so many new ways, the benefits are almost endless! Be sure to contact us at [email protected] with any questions about getting an app set up for you today!

 

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Do you ever feel at the end of the day you were super unproductive? That you really could’ve done more? More tasks could’ve been completed, more words written or you just didn’t feel entirely present that day. Don’t feel too bad, we’ve all been there. Here’s some hacks that will help you beat those days and become even more productive during the day.

Wake up earlier

If you haven’t heard it said already you’re hearing it now. Becoming an early riser is probably one of the most popular hacks to become more successful and make the most of your time. Successful people are often early risers. Start your day off the right way in the morning, enjoying the quiet and peacefulness is a great way to charge up for the day. It also ensures you will have time to eat a wholesome breakfast which is the most important meal of the day.

Notebook

Write down the 3 most important tasks for the day

Before you start working on anything in the morning, write down your three most important tasks for the day. Being specific with your description helps you manage your time wisely. Avoid being vague, use more than three words in your description. Saying something like “research printers” can easily allow you to get distracted and your search can become unproductive. Whereas saying something like “find and compare prices on printers” is more specific and clearly states what you are doing.

Use a password manager

Most of us are constantly on the internet during the day, which means that logins and passwords are frequently being used. Trying to remember all of them or digging through papers to find where you may have quickly jotted it down is definitely not time efficient. Use a password manager to keep all your logins and passwords in the same place. This makes them easy to find and input. It may seem like a waste of time transferring all your passwords but it saves time in the long run. You will no longer have to remember all of them or go through the process of resetting a password when you can’t remember one. Simple things like this make you more efficient during your day as well as keeping your information more secure and organized.

Set quarterly goals rather than yearly goals

Setting yearly goals can sometimes be tricky. Your business is changing every few months, thus making your goals tough to reach. Quarterly goals are easier to achieve and ensure you stay on track. Don’t get too carried away with how many goals you set, this can overwhelm you as you reach your “due date.” Instead set a few major or most important goals to keep you focused and preserve your energy for what’s most important as your business grows.

Understand the value of your time

As a business owner you take on a variety of tasks everyday. Some of which are your specialty and some that aren’t. If you have tasks that are better suited for an expert but you’re not prepared to hire an employee to do the job, consider outsourcing to a freelancer, contractor or other professional fitting for the job.

google

Monitor and measure your activities

Keep track of ways you spend your time, limit areas that are not being as profitable or efficient as they could be. By continually analyzing your work you will avoid spending time on things that aren’t as profitable as they once were, and be able to determine which tasks are taking longer than usual. Some examples are:

  • Using Google Analytics – using this tool gives insight to what is effectively driving traffic to your website and what isn’t. If Facebook is generating more traffic than Twitter, more of your time should be spent on Facebook.
  •  Track your time – time yourself to see how long it takes to complete a project and if it could be taking up to much of your time that it’s no longer profitable. Seeing it this way may justify that you pass on the task to an employee, hire an employee or outsource it.

Finding some ways to manage your time will help make you more productive and therefore more profitable, which every business owner is looking for!