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The Google Network

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The Google network is a great way to engage with audiences across the internet. It consists of both
the Search Network and the Display Network.

Search Network: Includes other search engines such as AOL as well as Google.

Display Network: Made up of a number of different websites which are owned by Google i.e.
YouTube and sites which specifically relate to Google such as Gmail.

The Google network makes up thousands of sites which display targeted AdWords. AdWord
campaigns are placed in the Google network by default. However it is possible to opt out of either
network by changing the settings.

Key things to know:

– If you are displaying a keyword – targeted ad, it can be placed across both the search and display network pages. Google uses search- engine- targeting to match keywords that users search for on search engines.

– Google display network pages use contextual targeting to match keywords to web page content, otherwise known as ‘automatic placements’.

-‘Placement-targeted’ ads can only appear on pages in the display network. It works by
choosing a specific audience and site to direct your ad at, otherwise known as ‘managed
placements’. The keywords and placements will combine efforts and work together to
determine the best position for the ad.

-Ads are displayed on Google based on their relevancy.

-Ads that are fully text based can appear on both search pages and on display network pages.

-Ads that feature images or videos can only appear on Display network pages.

Display Network Placements – Where do they go?

Search network ads are shown on pages related to the keywords related to the ad. These ads
appear alongside, above or below the search results and are specific to that particular search query.
Display network placements work differently.

‘Managed placements’ are ads which are placed separately for increased control. There is also the
added option of excluding certain placements for which you don’t want to run ads.

For more information on The Google Network contact us today on 08433 832 732

The Benefits of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

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Online Marketing

There are two types of marketing approaches for search engine listings. The first is; ORGANIC; search
engine results are natural or ‘free’ listings. The second is PAID; search engine results have are paid
advertisements AKA ‘sponsored links’.

Search engines will rank the most relevant at the top of the page. This is determined by the
searchers query. Depending on the search engine, the relevancy of the search is calculated in
different ways. On Google, both organic and paid results will appear for the same query, however
the results are separate from each other. This means that the ranking of an organic search result will
not interfere with the ranking of an ad. The advertiser can perform well and have a strong online
presence, even if their site doesn’t rank top in the organic search results.

SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) = Creating new websites or altering existing in order for them to
rank highly in a search engine’s organic listings when users search on terms that are related to the
site’s content.

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) = the process of marketing and promoting a site through paid listings
on a search engine.

Using keywords associated with your website improves the ranking results of your website a great
deal. It is vital to generate engaging content and appropriate keywords in order to achieve the best
results possible for your site.

The majority of search engines work by using a pay-per-click (PPC) service, meaning that your only
charged when a user clicks on your ad and not for an ad impression (the amount of times in which
your ad appears on the page).

It is becoming increasingly popular to advertise websites rather than opting for the organic search.
There are several benefits of the PPC service; advertising allows you to become more proactive
about when and where a listing for your site to appear. Targeting and engaging with an audience
becomes a great deal easier, you can specify the user’s location, demographic, language. You can
also determine how to reach your audience through the device they use i.e computer or mobile
phone.

One of the most attractive aspects of online marketing is that it can be tailored to fit any budget.
There are a number of formats you can use to target different users such as text ads, graphical
images, audio streams or interactive and video ads. Also, if you find that the ad is not as influential
as you first hoped and believe that a different approach is needed, the formatting of your ad can
easily be changed.

Direct response vs. Branding

Direct response

Direct response determines what action you want your audience to take after they have clicked
through to your website, it could be; making a purchase, sign up to a newsletter or request a quote.
The action of your desired user is called a conversation.

By setting up a cost per acquisition (CPA), the impact of your ad can be measured. This is a great
way of monitoring the performance of your ad and ensuring that your CPA targets are met.

If your advertising goal is to promote your brand then your main purpose for advertising online is to
raise awareness of your brand and engage with potential audiences. This is achieved by being ahead
of as many competitors as possible within your target audience.

Examples of how online marketing can help you:

  • If you are an online retailer without a shop of location. Driving traffic to your website through displaying ads with keywords that will target your audience.
  • If you own a small business that cannot afford traditional marketing materials/ methods: Narrowly target your ads to target niche audiences and closely control your costs and track your return on investment (ROI).
  • If you own a large company but want to build on your brand awareness. Place images on sites you think your audiences will spend most of their time.

How can Google Ad Words benefit you and your company?

It is argued that the most beneficial aspect of Google ad words is how thoroughly measureable
it is. This makes it easier to understand what works and what doesn’t; every user’s click is linked
to a particular ad, keyword and search query. You can track each aspect and make improvements
and adjustments whenever you feel is necessary. This will enable you to engage more with your
audience and improve your return on investment.

Ad words will also be beneficial to you in terms of targeting audiences more directly. The ads will
target a user according to their query; the result being only highly relevant ads will be advertised to
the user. They are more likely to click on an ad if it is advertising what the user is searching for.

Want help with your SEO? Find out more by calling us on 020 3131 2230

Using Twitter To Win More Business

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Social Media marketing can be used for a variety of different purposes – the most important thing to do when starting any marketing campaign is to set objectives – to know what you want to achieve from the campaign.

This enables you to determine whether or not the campaign was a success.

Marketing of any kind should not be about ‘ticking boxes’ – for example – Facebook Page? Tick. Twitter Account? Tick.

These platforms can be incredibly powerful if used properly and it’s on this subject that I wanted to post an article from Sarah Blenkinsop at Golden Frog PR.

Sarah and I have been working in collaboration for a little while now and are getting some great results for our clients.

However it’s the story of how Sarah gained three new clients through Twitter that I really want to highlight – she has learned through trial and error how to best utilise the platform for her needs, and now she has a solid Social Media strategy she is seeing some incredible results – I’ll let her take up the story:

“When I first signed up to it, I wasn’t sure what the use of Twitter was – I was a bit delayed in getting involved to be honest, despite my profession.
I spent the first little while working out how it worked, and then decided to follow a load of people to see if they followed back. To my surprise they did! One day, when feeling rather philosophical I posted my favorite saying – If you live today thinking about yesterday you don’t let tomorrow happen. It was re-tweeted all over the place, and my following got huge! I guess as a result of having more followers I got more followers, and now I fluctuate between 3500 and 4000.
I have realised that some things make followers disappear. For example I lost 500 in one day by posting details of a sale that one of my clients was having. I learnt not to do that again!
The best thing about my engagement is that it has won me three new clients. I do fashion PR – it’s hard to win new clients as there are a lot of people out there doing what I do. One client approached me direct and asked me to pitch, which I did, and won. Another client tweeted that he wanted free PR, so I got in touch and we worked out a way he could afford it.

And the last was hunted out by me – I had loads of cross promotional opportunities and so tweeted offering some free PR, and approached specific companies with the offer. One took me up on it, and added a retainer on top! I never thought that Twitter would amount to actual contracts. It’s subtle, but if you play it right it can translate into serious commercial sense, for what amounts to a few minutes a day.”

It’s a fantastic case study and proof that if you do things right using Social Media then you can achieve amazing results.

Have you got a Social Media success story that you want to share with us? Let us know in the comments box below or over on our Facebook Page.

You can follow Sarah on Twitter here or The Bright Click here.

Have a great day!

Matt

Facebook Adds Twitter Style Subscribe Button

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Facebook LogoIt’s been a busy couple of weeks at Facebook – you may have noticed some changes on how your interface looks and feels recently, and seen some changes on how you are alerted to news stories too – with fewer alerts jamming your email inbox.

Arguably the top recent news is that Facebook has launched a subscribe button, which basically enables you to choose the exact type of updates that you see from your friends. Crucially – much like Twitter – it also lets you follow users who you’re not yet friends with.

The new feature gives you three choices as to how much info you receive into your news feed from specific friends: all updates, most updates or important updates only. You can also specify which types of updates want to see, and those that you don’t. Don’t need to see another story about Farmville or Texas Hold’em Poker? Just opt-out for that friend. Sounds good doesn’t it…!

The option to subscribe to users who aren’t your friends is a significant step for Facebook as this function was a major difference between the site and its rival Twitter. As long as the people that you want to follow allow subscribers to their updates – you can follow them. Therefore following a celebrity on Facebook (if that’s your thing) becomes much easier as they don’t have to ‘accept your friend request’ any more.

Even if you’re not a celebrity (yet) you can allow non-friends to check out your updates by clicking on the ‘Allow Subscriptions’ tab on the subscriptions page. Only public updates will be visible if you choose to do this.

Need to know more about Facebook? Check out my blog or drop me a line by visting my contact page!

5 Great Things About Google+

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Google.

Even if you’ve never used the internet before, you’ve almost certainly heard of it. Like ‘Hoovering’ became a verb for vacuum-cleaning, so ‘Google it’ is now what you say when you’re suggesting that someone search for something online, much to the chagrin of Yahoo and Bing, who would probably advise otherwise.

But for all of Google’s online dominance, Facebook has emerged as the most popular site on the web – indeed a huge positive for those wishing to embrace Social Media is that Facebook and Twitter are so huge that searches on Google include individual posts in real-time from these sites, expanding the SEO benefits of using these sites enormously.

Google, in the past, has tried and notably failed to become more ‘social’. It’s ‘Chrome’ browser is fantastic, its Gmail service innovative and second to none, and it’s iGoogle homepage is clever if not fully embraced.

However ‘Buzz’, and ‘Wave’ – its last attempts at Social Media, much like my weekend BBQ, failed to catch fire.

Google Plus | Matt Davis MediaEnter Google+. Now in my experience, anything with a + after it, is usually great. Sky+ : life changing. Nike+ : Genius. Lost+ : Better than the original.

And Google+, thankfully, is no different.

Here are five things that make it GREAT.

1. If you’re lucky enough to get a Google+ invite (which I was :-)), and you have a Google account (ie a gmail address) then it’s brilliantly easy to sign up.  Once you’re signed in with your Google account, click the link in your email, and you’re ready to go. Confirm your name, add your gender and optionally change your profile picture, accept the terms, and Join!

Google Plus | Matt Davis Media

2. Circles.

Google+ is built around Circles. Circles are Google’s version of  friend lists, and work by dividing your network into sub-networks of  ‘like’ interests. For example – I tend to share more Social Media related items with my Twitter followers, and more personal stuff with my Facebook friends. I therefore follow a wide range of relevant industry profiles in Twitter lists. In Google+, I can instead add family to a ‘Family’ circle, friends to a ‘Friends’ circle, Social Media experts into a ‘Social Media’ circle and so on. But if my brother happens to like Social Media too, I could add him to my ‘Social Media’ and ‘Family’ circles.

Initially it takes a bit of effort, but Google has worked to make it fun. You can select those people you want to add  and drag them down to the relevant circle, and their name cards will be bundled together with a paperclip to emphasise what you’re doing. Facebook has had lists for some time now, but few people use it since it takes several clicks per friend you want to add. With Google+, a couple clicks is all it takes to add as many friends as you like to circles.

Best of all, once you have established your circles, you can add new friends to lists in just one click. This is more similar to Twitter following than Facebook friends, since you are able to add anyone to your circles, whether they’ve added you or not. However, if they’re private and mostly share updates with their private circles, you won’t see / hear from them very often.

3. The Stream

Now that you’ve added some friends and colleagues to your Google+ circles, it’s time to start sharing. Just like every other social network, Google+ is designed for you to share what you’re doing with others. This aspect is very similar to Facebook in that you can upload pictures, videos and links directly to your updates. You can also add your location, which is turned on by default in the mobile web app. A key aspect is that you can choose to share your update only with certain circles, with all of your circles, with extended circles (all of your circles and all of your friends’ circles), or with the the whole world – the choice is yours.

The main page, (The Stream), will show posts from others, with pictures, videos, link previews, and comments. You can click 1+ to show you like a post, or you can share public and semi-public posts with your own network. New posts and comments show up automatically in near-realtime. Posts are bumped back to the top of your list whenever new comments are added to them, but if you’re tired of seeing a particular update, you can simply choose to mute the post using a drop-down menu. You can also navigate through the posts in your stream with standard Google keyboard shortcuts.

A nice feature is that you can edit your posts and comments anytime after you’ve left them. How often do you supply an update with a mistake on Facebook or Twitter only to have to delete it?With Google+, that’s a thing of the past. Although this can of course potentially change the context of any longer conversations…

Similar to @replies on Facebook and Twitter, adding @ before someone’s name lets you select their name from a list and link to them in the comment

4. Hangouts

A unique feature of Google+ is Hangouts – group audio and video chats where you can bring your friends together even if you live around the world.

Once you’ve installed the relevant plug-ins (takes moments), you can start a new Hangout and invite your circles or individual friends to join in. Or, you can jump into another Hangout that’s already going on. Before you jump in, Google+ gives you a quick preview of how you look in the video if you have a webcam turned on, and shows you who’s already chatting.

Once you’re logged in, Google Hangouts will let others in the chat know that you’re there. You’ll see a large video of the chatter currently talking on the top, and smaller thumbnail videos of everyone else underneath. Hangouts does a great job at recognizing who’s currently talking, and it automatically switches the top video when others start talking. Or, if you only want to see one video feed, click on the thumbnail to only see that video in the larger view.

Yes it’s similar to Skype, but in my opinion much more intuitive and better looking too. There are a few functionality issues to be ironed out, but that’s why we’re still in the test phase!

Alternately, if you prefer text chat, Google+ includes the original Google Talk text chat that you’ve likely already used in Gmail. You can chat with your existing Gmail contacts even if they’re not on Google+, even while you’re talking in a Google Hangout in another window. This gives you the best of both worlds. Full voice, video, and text chat with groups in Hangouts, or one-on-one text chat right in your Stream just like you’re used to in Facebook.

5. Sparks

Yet another unique feature in Google+ is Sparks. Sometimes it can be hard to keep up with certain niche topics you’re interested in, so Google built Sparks to give you automatic updates about the things you love. Just enter a topic, and Sparks will bring you highlights from it right to your account. It’s essentially Google Alerts but in a stream on your social media site – great for me.

There’s a little way to go but the initial signs are that Google has really thought this one through and are determined to get it right no matter what. Is it a Facebook Killer? Probably not just yet, but in the way that it integrates with your existing email, calendar and of course your search engine, it’s going to give it a run for it’s money.

For business users though – nothing to really report as yet – but it’s still early days…

Do You Need To Measure Social Media ROI? I Don’t Think So…

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Matt Davis Media | Pound SignOne of the questions that I get asked a lot is:

“What is the return on investment from Social Media?”

Now in cases where a Social Media campaign is being implemented by a business itself, by existing personnel for example, the only real cost is time, and it does take time and dedication to implement a Social Media campaign effectively. There may be a small cost to train the relevant member of staff initially.

But in my case it’s different, as my clients are paying me directly to manage their Social Media platforms for them, and as with most things that you pay for, you expect to see some kind of return.

In my opinion however, there are different forms of return and these all need to be taken into account.

Matt Davis Media | Solar SystemFirstly, before implementing a Social Media campaign, you need to know what you’re aiming to achieve from it. I think that primarily your main aim through using Social Media is to drive people to your existing ‘main’ website. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, think of your website as the ‘Sun’ in the middle, and of your Social Media platforms as ‘planets’ orbiting around it.

Professor Brian Cox I ain’t but hopefully you get the picture!

Secondly, I genuinely believe that at some point in the near future, businesses will have little choice but to use Social Media in one form or another to communicate with their clients / potential clients. Whether that’s because Facebook becomes the default way to log into the majority of websites (giving you one portal for all the websites you use – handy?) or that Facebook messaging becomes the ‘new email’ I’m not sure, but sooner rather than later it will have an even bigger part to play than it already does, in much the same way the the second version of the internet overtook the first version.

Also, your competitors are most likely using Social Media. The vast majority of your customers are too. So unless you want to play catch-up later on, it’s a good idea to be there now.

Lastly, a question. What’s the return on investment of a receptionist? Or a secretary? I would view Social Media much the same way. Social Media is doing a job for you. It’s increasing your online presence, enhancing your online reputation, boosting the chances of your business being found by the search engines, allowing you to hear what your customers are saying about you, allow potential customers to see actual examples of how you treat your customers and clients… and that’s not even scratching the surface.

Recent studies are now showing that Return On Engagement is a more effective way of measuring the success of your Social Media output. Please let me know your thoughts too!

How To Use Social Media To Increase SEO

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There are an increasing number of tangible benefits to using Social Media in your daily marketing, for example the number of likes, fans , followers that you have across the various platforms.

There are also benefits that are harder to measure, for example customer service, brand recognition and the building of long-term relationships. Even if you still don’t fully understand or ‘get’ Social Media, it’s now more important than ever to include it in your marketing budget. When you’re watching TV this evening, take a look at the number of companies directing their customers and potential customers to Facebook pages rather than their actual websites and you’ll see what I mean.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is something that is very much tangible, but again difficult to understand and even more difficult to implement when you’re not sure exactly what you’re meant to be doing. If you can’t be found on Google, Bing or Yahoo, you are more or less invisible online.  SEO isn’t just about ranking well; it’s about building your online brand. There are many factors that affect how a site ranks in the search engines and SEO is about optimizing your site as best as possible to help it succeed.

It’s important to note at this point that SEO and social media marketing shouldn’t exist separately – far from it. There should be an element of SEO in all of your online activities. As social media marketing matures, it is becoming clearer and clearer that it has an impact on a site’s SEO.

Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

Here are a few ways you can use your social media marketing activities to aid your SEO:

Incorporate Keywords into Tweets and Posts
Although Twitter limits you to just 140 characters, it’s an incredible way to share a link to your blog, article or video. Incorporating keywords into the Tweet (perhaps as a hash tag, for example #socialmedia) helps that Tweet get pulled into a results page by the search engines. Over on Facebook, there is more room to make your posts visually more attractive, and also to target keywords in your updates, particularly in the title. You can also write a short description about the content of each post, again incorporating your target keywords.

Drive Traffic to Your Main Site
When posting blog posts on your Facebook or LinkedIn page, don’t include the full content. Include a short snippet or introduction and use that to drive visitors to your official website. If somebody can read the whole post on your Facebook page, it’s great that they are there in the first place, but it would be even better to get them over to your website where they can see what else you have to offer.

Think of your social media profiles as gateways to your website.

There are lots of other ways that you can incorporate SEO into your social media marketing. Please contact me for more information!

5 Tips On How To ‘Humanise’ Your Business

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I’ve got to be honest – I’m not even sure if ‘Humanise’ is a real word, but I hope you understand where I’m coming from!

Looking at a business from the outside, whether literally outside the premises itself, or at the company website, you can get a good idea of what services  the business offers, and how you could potentially benefit from these services and / or products.

But what do you know about the business itself? About the people running the business? About the people who will sell you said product or service? About the people who will provide the after-sales care? The answer is – potentially very little.

And this is where Social Media can play a huge part in separating your business from the pack, and adding a human element to what may otherwise be a largely synthetic process.

Here are my top 5 tips:

1) Write A Blog
Rumours of the death of blogging have been greatly exaggerated, honestly. Yes, video is now king, but a written blog builds up a great picture of who you are as people. Think about writing a blog as inviting someone into your living room – the things that this person would see around them would give them an instant indication of what you’re like as a person. A picture on the wall, a guitar in the corner, a magazine on the coffee table, your CD collection, some baby toys in a box. Yes I’ve just described my own living room but apply this to your business and your customers will feel more warmth and empathy towards you, rather than someone who is just trying to sell them something.

2) Use Video
As above – video is king. The average user online watches 188 videos per month, and I’m not just talking about those kinds of video…  A weekly video blog or interview with a staff member – or even customer video testimonials – are a great way to engage with your customers and clients.

3) Build Relationships on Social Media Platforms
Platforms such as Facebook allow you to see what your customers are saying. Some of these comments may well be negative, which incredibly, I’ve had people say to me in the past is a bad thing! Of course it isn’t – it’s a great thing. Word of mouth is a powerful thing – there’s an age-old adage that people will tell ten people about a negative business experience but only one about a positive. The problem with this is you would never find out – but not any more! Not only can you find out – but you can respond, and if you respond in the right way you can quickly turn a negative into a positive. But you should also be engaging daily – pose open questions and reply to them, run little competitions, allow your customers to be ‘part’ of what you’re doing.

4) Let Your Personality Shine Through
Boring is forgettable – Personality is memorable. Don’t hold back – be yourself. If you’re the life and soul in the office, then transfer this through the keyboard, make it jump out of the screen! But also…

5) Take It ‘Offline’ Too
As much of an advocate of Social Media as I am, make sure you engage with your customers in person too. Ultimately, the aim of most businesses is to sell – it’s what we all set out to do, hey, it’s what we as business owners need to do. There are a million sales people out there with a million techniques, but I would argue that one of the best things you can do is get to know your customers and clients as people and stay in touch with them regularly. Build rapport and see the people you do business with as your friends.

What do you reckon? Let me know if you have a number 6 that I haven’t covered…

Five Social Media Myths Busted!

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I’ve just read this great article would love it if you read it too – it debunks five common Social Media myths and is spot on.

In a nutshell:

1 – Social Media is not free because even though there is no charge to use the main platforms, your time has a value.

2 – You don’t have to use every single Social Media platform – do whatever will work best for your business.

3 – Last year Facebook grew 277% in the 34-55 age group alone – Social Media is not just for kids…

4 – Once the accounts are set up, the hard work is not done – it’s just beginning.

5 – You CAN sell using Social Media – you just have to do it properly.

Please click here to read the full article.

Why Social Media Is More Important Than Your Website

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Last week I opened my door to find a peculiar yellow book on my doorstep. I picked it up, looked at it, and dropped it straight into my recycling bin without a second thought. A bit harsh perhaps, but my house is cluttered enough as it is without adding more to it with stuff I don’t need.

I then switched the TV on to be met with an advert, where a man called Day V Lately (who on earth came up with that?!) is looking for his own album in a bunch of record shops, quite possibly using this yellow book to do so, before retreating to the internet, where using the web version of this yellow book he manages to find the album in a split second, problem solved.

I felt slightly confused by this – a company produces a book that lands on your doorstep, and then puts out an advert effectively saying that this book doesn’t work any more, use the internet instead!

The fact is that this book is a LOT smaller than it used to be. And rightly so, these days, it’s considered essential for a business to have a website – if you have a business, you have a website. But how do you drive people to your site? SEO is the obvious answer, it costs money but is hugely effective when done properly. But even then, is your website dynamic?

By this I mean is it enough just to have a website, box ticked? The kind of site that people will only visit once, as the information never changes? And even if you do change the information from time to time, how do you keep your customers up to date without bombarding them?

The answer is simple – Social Media.

Yes it’s important to have a good-looking, informative website, and it should be kept up to date. But with a Facebook Business Page you can keep your customers updated in real-time – they can see a daily snippet of information about your business in their news feed – information that will take them seconds to read, but will keep your business on their radar.

I didn’t stay up to watch the Superbowl the other night, but during the famous advertising slots the majority of the major brands were directing their customers to Facebook rather than their own respective websites! Why? Because that’s where their customers are – all in one place, so that’s where they, the businesses, need to be too.

It’s a brilliant tool for advertising special offers, staff changes, opening and closing times, seasonal hours – it’s easier than ever to engage with and communicate with your customers.

And, even more crucially, it’s easy for your customers to communicate with you too. If your customer has a gripe, they can tell you about it publicly. And you can tell the world how great your customer service is by dealing with it publicly too. I currently know of a few cases in terms of local businesses where simple Google searches lead to negative reviews that are sitting untouched for everyone to see. Being pro-active on Social Media platforms would most likely prevent this from happening, but on the occasions that it did, would enable the chance to be able to put things right quickly.

The above is just one example of how Social Media can improve your business and drive goodwill as well as revenue.

If you want to know more, or have any comments then please write on my wall at www.facebook.com/mattdavismedia and I’ll show you how it can work!