When social networks help us discover talent

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At HabitaMedia, we like to tell you about our most recent finds, and also reveal a little more on how we do business.

Being always on the watch for the latest discoveries, passionate about art and very active on social networks, we stumbled upon the work of a talented young artist, Reiko. We enjoyed her work very much and decided to collaborate with her. We will tell you all about it.

Reiko, a multidisciplinary artist

Reiko Matsushita is a young Japanese woman who came to Montreal to study. Having recently graduated in neuroscience at McGill University, she is a scientist, but also a pianist who not only loves plants, but is also a superb artist.

With her notebook and pencils, she often walks the streets of Montreal, finding places that inspire her and settles down for a moment to illustrate them.

In addition to outdoor drawing, Reiko also produces animated videos, illustrations for school books, sketches, watercolours…. An artist with more than one string to her bow.

Reiko and HabitaMedia, a beautiful collaboration

While looking at all the beautiful artwork of Montreal on its social networks, it was quite natural that we contacted each other on Instagram in order to consider working together.

The first commission from HabitaMedia was a black and white drawing, in ink and watercolor, representing the Via Capitale du Mont-Royal agency at the intersection of Mont Royal Avenue and De La Roche Street.

Via Capitale du Mont-Royal is one of our clients with whom we have maintained a very good business relationship for seven years. They recently renovated their façade and will be celebrating their 25th anniversary on Le Plateau. At the time, this design seemed like the perfect gift for the occasion!

Melanie, the founder of HabitatMedia, placed a second order, this time to gift her companion to mark their first year anniversary. An illustration of a beautiful triplex in the Petite Patrie.

It is then for a client with whom we have been working for seven wonderful years, who is moving to new premises in the heart of the Villeray district, that we bring a touch of Reiko’s work to embellish the beauty salon “Esthétique Edit”.

Finally, it is for herself that Melanie asked Reiko to realize her next creation, one that she will then be able to contemplate daily in her home.

Art and social networks

With her drawings, Reiko illuminates, brings colors and captures simple moments in some of Montreal’s most beautiful places. Through her works that she shares with us, she reminds us of the beauty of our city through her eyes and her sensitivity.

It is by posting images of her work on her social networks that this talented artist has managed to attract the attention of the HabitaMedia agency, and surely other beautiful projects are coming for her…

Here is a good example that illustrates the power of social networks, its great power of visibility, especially for artists who can promote their creations. A great way to promote exchanges, to bring projects to fruition and to create beautiful collaborations.

We invite you to discover her artwork on her Instagram account

Optimize your images for the web with GIMP

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Just as important as your written content, photos and images are essential to the performance of your website. Good visuals enhance the user experience of your potential customers, but they must be used in the right way.

A good use of images starts by optimizing them for the web. In other words, you need to reduce the weight of your images (the space they take up in memory) as much as possible, without compromising their quality.

Why? Because the loading speed of your website is greatly affected by the weight of your photos. By using heavy visual files, you risk making your website slower and scaring away your visitors, which will also affect your search engine positioning.

Fortunately, there are simple ways to optimize your images before displaying them on your website. To do so, we recommend that you use GIMP, a free image editing software.

Image optimization with GIMP

  1. Start by downloading GIMP for free using this link: https://www.gimp.org/downloads/.
  2. Once the download is complete, open GIMP.
  3. You will then be able to import the photo you want to optimize into GIMP. To do this, click File, then Open…
  4. Choose the image you want to edit, then click Open.
  5. Now, you need to optimize the image by giving it the right size and weight for your website. To do this, first click on Image, then click on Scale Image
  6. You will now be able to view and modify the properties of your image. Here, the dimensions of the image we used are 8256 by 4644 pixels, which is much too large for a website. We will reduce its width to 1500 pixels*. Press the circled button on the second screenshot below to keep the proportions of your image.

    *Note: the dimensions you choose to give to your image depend on the use you are going to make of it. The idea is to reduce its weight as much as possible, by reducing the image to the right size for your website.

  7. Another property that you will then be able to modify is the image resolution. Generally, images optimized for the web have a resolution of 72 pixels/inch or 92 pixels/inch.
  8. Once you have completed these changes, press Scale.
  9. You will then be able to export your photo and save it on your computer. Click on File, Export As… and choose the location where you want to save your image. Then click on Export.
  10. You will then see a dialog box appear. Choose the quality you want to assign to your image. We advise you to set the quality between 80 and 90 for best performance (higher quality means larger size). Then click Export.

You now find yourself with an image whose weight is considerably reduced, and which will not affect the loading speed of your website !

If you have any further questions about image optimization or GIMP, please let us know in the comments !

How to clear your computer’s cache

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Is your computer too slow? The changes you made to your website do not appear when you open it in your browser? To avoid these problems, it is important to clear your computer’s cache on a regular basis, a simple solution that will greatly improve the performance of your device.

What is cache and why should it be cleared?

The cache is all the information that is automatically saved on your computer when you use a program or when you surf the Internet.

For example, when you visit a website for the first time, your computer saves a copy of some of its data so that you can open the site more quickly the next time you visit.

This process, which is useful, can however lead to an accumulation of superfluous files on your computer and affect its performance.

Moreover, not clearing your computer’s cache often enough can prevent you from seeing the latest versions of the websites you visit, since your browser opens them from old data stored in the cache memory.

How to clear cache on PC (Windows 10)

  1. Click the Start button in the lower left corner of the screen (or press the Windows key on your keyboard).
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click System.
  4. From the options on the left side of the window, click Storage.
  5. You will then see the various types of files that are stored in your computer’s memory. Click Temporary Files.
  6. Wait for your computer to scan the temporary files on your computer. Your device will select all unnecessary files that you can then delete.
  7. When the scan is complete, click Delete Files.
  8. Wait until the files are deleted (this may take a few minutes).

How to clear cache on Mac

  1.   Click Go, which is at the top left of your screen, on the menu bar, and then click Go to Folder…
  2. Type ~/Library/Caches and press the Enter button. You will then be     redirected to a folder where some of your computer’s cache is located.
  3. Open each folder and delete their contents.
  4. Repeat the first two steps, but replace ~/Library/Caches with /Library/Caches (without “~”) in step 2.
  5. Again, delete the contents of each folder

Remember to clear your computer’s cache regularly (every two weeks or so) to optimize its performance.

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How to build a good digital reputation

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Before calling on a professional, future customers increasingly look at the opinions left online. Therefore, it is important for you to build a good digital reputation. Here are 5 tips to increase your notoriety.

 

1 – Ask your customers to evaluate you.

When you are face-to-face with your clients at the end of your work, ask them to leave you an opinion on Google and social networks to share their experience. Take the opportunity to be with them to prevent them from postponing this and forgetting your request. Explain the impact this could have on you.

To optimize your clients’ participation, it is recommended to follow-up by sending them an email or text message a few days after making the first request. If possible, personalize this message by using the person’s name and adopting a simple tone. Don’t be afraid to do this because the customer will feel valued and want to help you.

2- Prioritize “Google My Business

The most widely used platform to leave or read reviews is “Google My Business”. Google’s notoriety means that most people will use this source of opinion rather than another. It is therefore a mistake to neglect the opinions that will be left about you.

To avoid the risk of getting bad feedback, feel free to regularly ask your customers how you can improve their experience. Maintaining good communication will avoid unpleasant surprises and you will have time to manage dissatisfaction outside the web before it affects your reputation. 

 

3- Make the request with a newsletter

If you haven’t had time to ask your clients to evaluate you when they were in front of you, feel free to do so using a newsletter. Be careful, however, about the frequency with which this newsletter is sent: do not force the client’s hand. This approach simplifies the task for the customer: you can insert the link directly to your social networks or Google My Business.

Also, take the opportunity to offer the option of sending a review answering directly the email that you can publish as a testimonial on your website. This allows you to reach people who don’t own Google or social media accounts. Never forget to emphasize the importance of this gesture from your customers. 

4- Thank your customers

Don’t forget to thank the customers who make the process of leaving you a notice. This will help maintain a good relationship with them. The easiest way is to comment directly above their opinion with a short note expressing your gratitude. If you know who the person is, feel free to personalize your message so that the person feels recognized.

By doing this, you show that you can also give them the same time they took in giving their opinion. It is also a way to confirm your sincerity when you explained to them how important their opinion is to you.

 

5- Do not ignore negative opinions

Despite all your precautions, you will sometimes have to face negative opinions. One mistake that many professionals make is to ignore these opinions, but they will not leave and can drive away future customers. It is important to accept these opinions and to perceive them as an opportunity to show your professionalism. Wrong opinions must always be answered, but in the right way.

Start by apologizing, and show your willingness to help the client. Invite the customer to contact you outside the public sphere. Leave out the unpleasant or ironic answers because it is important for the Internet users who will consult your profile later on to see that you take the remarks into account and that you care about customer satisfaction.

 

At HabitaMedia, it is our mission to support you promoting your web visibility. We have been helping companies and self-employed workers develop their digital strategy for more than 10 years. If you are short of time, would like to know the best practices of social networks, or prefer a turnkey service, HabitaMedia is here for you. To learn more about our services, feel free to contact us.