Author Archives: Sam @ theBrewRoom

About Sam @ theBrewRoom

Sam Insalaco is the owner/operator of theBrewRoom, LLC. Find out more here: http://about.me/saminsalaco

Take Control

Control How Facebook Displays Your Web Pages

Did you know that you can control how Facebook displays your web pages when they are shared on the social network? You may have found that when you post links to articles on Facebook, it sometimes pulls in an image from the post, also the title, as well as a description of the article. This is because the website is feeding Facebook with information that goes into the Facebook Open Graph Protocol. In short, this protocol is a little bit of information that lives on every page of your site that tells Facebook what the title, description, url, image, etc.. are for that particular page. Rather than making Facebook scan through the article and try to decide for itself, you can do some things to make sure that Facebook is using the information that you want it to use when the article is posted to Facebook.

If You Are Using WordPress:

If your website or blog is on WordPress, you’re life is made a lot easier if you want to control how Facebook displays your pages. Here’s what you do:

STEP 1:   Install WordPress SEO by Yoast. Yes, this is not only the best SEO plugin available for WordPress, but it also has a feature to control how your posts appear on social networks. Nice huh?

social-settingsOnce you activate the plugin, you will want to turn on the Social functionality. This is done by going into the plugin’s Social settings. Click on Social, and then check the box to Add Open Graph meta data. You might want to do the same for Twitter as well as Google+ while you’re in there.

After activating the social functionality, you will see the section (see below) on each of your posts that allows you to manage the SEO settings for that post. Click on the Social tab.

Social Media Settings - Yoast

Step 2:    Enter the Title that you want to appear when this article is posted on Facebook. Do the same for the Description of the page. You may also want to specify the photo or image that you would want to appear when you share the article on Facebook. Sometimes Facebook is smart enough to pull the featured image from the page, or another image from the page, but this is the easy way to tell Facebook which image you WANT to appear. You can choose from amongst your Media Files that you have already uploaded too.

You will notice that you can do the same for Twitter, as well as Google+ posts. If I were you, I would go ahead and set these up. Even if you don’t use those social networks, it doesn’t mean that your article won’t get posted on them. And if your article is posted, you’ll be smart to make sure that it appears the way that you want it to look.

Step 3:    Once you publish your new post, the information that you have included in the Social section of the Yoast plugin will be included on the published page. Just to make sure, you can test it out using Facebook’s Open Graph debugging tool:  https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/

Make sure that you have published the page. Facebook will not be able to scan a draft post.

Enter the URL to your article and click Debug.

You will see what Facebook sees when your article is shared.

Facebook Open Graph Debugging Tool

Each of the elements that you edited on the Yoast plugin should appear, including a thumbnail of the image that you chose.

You will also be able to see a preview of how it will look when the article is shared:

facebook-post-view

Say you made some changes to the page, and want to test it again? Once you publish your changes, click the Fetch New Scrape Information button on the debugging tool. This will clear the page from Facebook’s cache and fetch new page info. You should see your changes there now. You can also use this method to clear Facebook’s cache at any time, for any page.

Once you have it looking the way that you like, go ahead and share it on Facebook, and anywhere else you want it to be shared!

Not on WordPress?

If you’re using another system, or building your web pages from scratch, you will want to make sure that you include the Open Graph tags in your page <head> tag. You should follow the official open graph protocol instructions, which are available here.

We hope that you found this article to be helpful, and that you can get started with making your sites pages more easily shareable and attractive to users when they are shared. If you need help with any of this type of stuff, let us know. We would love to help. Thanks for reading.

pictory productions wedding videography

Pictory Productions – Pittsburgh Wedding Videographer Website Design

Pictory Productions boasts creating “Wedding Films For Fun People“.

Well, theBREWROOM wanted to make sure that the website design and development experience for Pictory was fun for them as well. After all, if they want their clients to have, shouldn’t they have fun as well? We think so.


Megan, of Pictory Productions was heavily involved with the project, and took it upon herself to jump right in and work on the content and visuals for her new website. We love this. We love (clients) people who want to be really involved with their project, and have a real passion for the learning how to do things themselves. We love to work with these kinds of people. Megan was serious about how she wanted her site to look, and that passion for the project comes through in the end result. We hope that she is as happy as we are with the outcome.

Website Facts:

  • Built on WordPress
  • Hosting by theBREWROOM
  • Video integration

jeremy hazelton website

The Personal Blog of Jeremy Hazelton

Not only do we have the pleasure of being able to work on the website for Jeremy, but we also call him a friend. This guy has a real passion and gift for what he does, and when he speaks, that is obvious. We hope that you read his blog, and we hope that you reach out to him to learn more about what he is working on in the City of Buffalo.

jeremy blog facebook post

We’re really looking forward to great things to come from Jeremy. Especially the book that he will be writing soon. Go check out his website, and let him and us know what you think.

Website Facts:

  • Build on WordPress, using Genesis Framework
  • Hosting by theBREWROOM
  • Integrated email newsletter management

Tag Friends on Facebook Page Photos

If you reading this, then you are probably like me, and thousands of other people, and you have found yourself frustrated because you can’t tag your friends or page followers in photos that you post on your Facebook Page. Feels good to not feel alone huh? Anyway… Please note, this is not your personal Facebook profile that we are talking about here. I’m talking about the Facebook Page that you have for your business or brand.

Ok, so you’re posting a new update, and you’ve uploaded the image. Now, you have written something witty to go long with the image and you want to tag your friend, or a follower of your Facebook Page. You click Tag Photo, and you don’t get a single person that you know in the list! What the ?!? How frustrating!??!?!?

Well, it’s actually pretty simple. Go ahead and create the post. Don’t panic. Once it is up, click on the image itself. This will bring up the lightbox or “theater” view of the photo:

Tag Facebook Photo on Facebook Page

Now, look at the URL in your browser window. It will look something like this:
https://www.facebook.com/YourFacebookPage/photos/a.194423493934447.42456.109839319059532/887643727945750/?type=1&theater
Delete everything after the “?”.
So, it would now look like:
https://www.facebook.com/YourFacebookPage/photos/a.194423493934447.42456.109839319059532/887643727945750/
Hit enter, and you will see the old Facebook image page. Click Tag Photo and BAM! There you are! There are actual people that you! Yep. It’s that easy!
Tag Your Friends on Facebook Page Photo

 

I hope you found this helpful. If you did, please share it with some friends, because chances are they’re having the same problem that you’re having. And friends help other friends, right?

Social Media Marketing

How To: Simple Social Media Posting

This is going to be a quick and painless posting about the simplest things to do when you are posting on social media for your business.

Here are some quick how-to pointers:

  1. Don’t post as your personal account.
  2. – If you are posting for your business, then you should be using your business’ social media account. You can always share your business posting via your personal account once you put it up on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

  3. Use an image in your post.
  4. – People are more likely to see and engage with your posting if it includes an image. Embed the image right in the post, or make sure that your website is set up to display the images from the page when a page is shared on social media. If you don’t know how to do that, let us know.

  5. Include a link to the content that you want to promote.
  6. – If you’re promoting a product, piece of content or something else that you talk about on your website, link to the actual page of content. You ultimately want to drive people to your website, right?

  7. Use no more than three #hashtags in your post.
  8. – Don’t clutter things up. Use up to 3 appropriate and meaningful hashtags in your posts, should you have the character limit space to do so.

  9. Don’t tag yourself in the post.
  10. – You are already posting the social media update, so people will already see that it’s from you. You don’t need to tag yourself in the post.


    Like I said, these are just some simple tips to get you started posting the right way. If you want more help with your social media marketing, let us know.

    Do you have more simple suggestions for people? If so, post them below!

Pittsburgh Photographer - Steven Dray Images

Photographer Website – Steven Dray Images

Artists are fun people to work with. They know what they want something to look like, and they always want it to look great. Well, we’re happy to partner with people and businesses like that. We like to show off some good work over here. Steven Dray needed to take his photography business’ website to the next level to match the quality of work that he was doing for his clients. We think that we helped him accomplish that goal.

Here is what Steven has to say about it:

theBREWROOM was a dream to work with! I absolutely love my website. As an artist/photographer I was looking for something really creative to display my work and theBREWROOM knocked it out of the park. I have been getting tons of new business through my website since its launch. I am constantly complimented by other photographers and people in my industry on how beautiful my website is. I highly recommend choosing the theBREWROOM to take your website, SEO and business to the next level.
-Steve of Steven Dray Images

What do you think?

Pittsburgh Wedding Blog

Pittsburgh Wedding Blog – Burgh Brides

Burgh BridesBurgh Brides has grown from a dream into a reality for a girl in Pittsburgh who just loves weddings. We really enjoy helping people, especially when it comes to taking a dream or a passion and helping it come to life. That is why we loved working with Victoria of Burgh Brides. She has the excitement that makes this kind of website work fun for us. And it shows in the results.

In Victoria’s own words:

Just like books are judged by their covers, businesses are judged by their websites.  In order to remain competitive, be taken seriously, and make a great (and lasting) impression, a business needs a professional-looking, easy-to-use website.  I hired Sam because I knew this is exactly what he could provide.  My website is modern, user-friendly, and reflects my and my business’s personalities.  I receive so many compliments on my site but all of the credit really goes to Sam.  He was easy to work with and provided guidance and expertise, making the whole process stress-free and actually fun.  Invest in your business and hire theBREWROOM!

Website Project Included:

  • Logo design
  • Website design & development
  • Search engine optimization
  • Website training – the client manages the website themselves now
  • Ongoing SEO and internet marketing consulting

Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet

Social Media Image SizesDo you often find yourself Googling what the recommended images sizes are for each of your top social networks? Well, we went ahead and made a cheat sheet for you to download and print out. Post this guy on your desk so that you can have it in front of you the next time that you need to change your profile photo on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Google Plus.

No strings attached. Nothing to sign up for, or information to hand over.

Print The Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet

We can come up with some more cheat sheets like these. What other networks would you like to see included?

Perhaps: Instagram? Pinterest? YouTube? Let us know what you think would be the most helpful to you by leaving a comment below.

Need help editing and creating your profile and header images?
 You can use this Free and Easy online image editing tool:
 https://pixlr.com/

AM-GARD, Inc.

Website Design & Development: AM-GARD.com

We were excited when we first learned that AM-GARD, Inc. was interested in having us work on their new website design project. We knew that they were a family owned company, with a long history of serving their community, and that they had a strong business that reached all the way across the country. What we didn’t know is that they really do some good things for people, and they work with some very large government agencies as well as important American landmarks. Check them out when you get a chance. We are proud of the way the new website turned out, and so are they.

Project Includes:

  • Refinement of brand color scheme
  • new website design
  • logo revision
  • website development
  • search engine optimization

Shuffle Off to Buffalo

Well, it’s been some time since I have posted anything here on the blog. I am always telling my clients that they really need to be creating good, quality content that people will want to read, on a consistent basis. This sometimes means multiple times a week. I have not been listening to my own advice.

My Excuses:

  1. We have a 7 month old baby in our house now. It’s amazing how fast time flies and how much time is consumed by this amazing little girl. If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably seen the pictures. It’s been an amazing 7 months so far. I love every second of it.
  2. Another excuse, and the reason why I am writing this post to is announce the fact that I have moved, and as a result, theBREWROOM has moved. I am now a resident of Lake View (Hamburg), New York. theBREWROOM now has its base of operations in the Buffalo, New York region. I am excited about this move, and think that it will ultimately been a great thing for my family, and for my business. I hope that we get to start working with some local businesses that are looking for some help. If you’re in the Buffalo area, and need some help with your business, or know someone that does, please call or email me. I’d love a chance to sit down with you and talk about your projects and goals.

Why the Buffalo, New York area?

buffalo ny web designA lot of people have asked why we moved from Pittsburgh to Buffalo. While the main reason is to be closer to family now that we have the little one, there is also the fact that we feel like Buffalo is coming back. It has always been an affordable and family-oriented place to live, but it also seems like Buffalo is on the verge of something good, and we want to be a part of it.

What About Pittsburgh?

Glad you asked. We work with companies anywhere. We have clients all over the country, not just in Buffalo and Pittsburgh. The great thing about doing what we do, is that we can do it from just about anywhere. So, I chose to do it in a place that allows me to keep my costs down, which helps me keep my prices fair and reasonable for my clients. We will still work with clients in Pittsburgh. As a matter of fact, we want MORE clients in Pittsburgh, so that I have more excuses to go and visit. We love Pittsburgh!

In closing

Well, that just about wraps this post up. I just want to end by thanking the people and business of Pittsburgh for all that you have done to help me create my business. I hope that I was able to return the favor by helping you grow your ideas and businesses as well. If you feel like I have, will you please let people know by posting a review? Like I already mentioned, I want to work with the people and businesses of Pittsburgh for the forseable future. We love and will miss being in Pittsburgh, but we will be back.

Thanks for reading,

Sam Insalaco – founder of theBREWROOM