Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Web—that thin facade of readable design elements on top of the machine gibberish that constitutes the Internet—is fading. And the way it’s slowing being replaced has far reaching implications, more-so than anything else in technology today.

Think about your mobile phone. All those little buttons on your screen are apps, not websites, and they work in ways that are fundamentally different from the way the World Wide Web works.

An accumulation of data tell us that we are spending time on apps that we once spent surfing the Web. We’re fascinated with apps, and they’ve taken over. On mobile devices, more than 80% of our time is spent on apps, and less than 20% is spent on the Web!

This is quite a change. Back in the day we printed out travel directions from MapQuest and with one wrong turn we would be lost. Today we open up an app on our phones and are routed around traffic in real time. This is nothing short of a miracle.

Everything about apps is very efficient and convenient for users. Apps are faster and easier to use than going through, what feels like the long way, the Web. Behind the convenience factor, there is the end of the openness that allowed Internet companies to grow into some of the most powerful companies of the century.

As a example, let’s look at e-commerce and accepting credit cards. When Amazon.com made its debut, it had to pay a small percentage in transaction fees. Apple takes 30% of every transaction conducted within an app sold through its app store! App stores are locked to particular operating systems and devices, where Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon are the gatekeepers. Apple regulates apps that compete with its own software and services.

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The Web was invented by academics who had the goal of sharing information in mind. Unlike with app stores, there was no drive to control the early Web. Standards arose for programming languages. Businesses that would have liked to wipe the competition other off the map were forced, by the very nature of the Web, to come together and agree on revisions to the common language for Web pages and sites.

The result was that anyone could put up a Web site or launch a new service, and it was accessible to everyone. Google was born in a garage. Facebook was born in Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room. App stores, however don’t work that way. The list of most downloaded apps is the main driver of consumer adoption. The search feature on app stores is broken.

The Web was created to expose and share information. It was so intent on sharing that it didn’t include any way to pay for information (something some of its early creators regret to this day, since it forced the Web to survive on advertising).

The Web became the avenue for exchange of information and, therefore, businesses had to design technologies that were compatible with competitors’ technologies. Microsoft’s Web browser had to faithfully render Apple’s website or else it would risk consumers finding an alternative browser like Firefox or Chrome, which has since taken over.

Today, apps are taking over and the Web isn’t the first priority. The process of creating new Web standards has slowed to a crawl. Meanwhile, businesses with app stores are devoted to making those stores better than and purposely incompatible with app stores built by competitors.

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The dominance of apps is becoming the natural state for software. Businesses are trying to use their market power to shut out competition, even when it’s not the way to go for innovation and the consumer. This doesn’t mean the Web will die. Facebook and Google still rely on it to supply a steady stream of content that can be accessed from within their apps. But even the Web of news items could disappear. Facebook plans to host publishers’ work on Facebook itself, leaving the Web nothing but a curiosity.

The Web might have been a historical accident, the birth of a powerful new technology going steadily from a publicly funded research lab to the public. It’s not that today’s top app companies want to suppress innovation. It’s that in the transition to a realm where services are delivered through apps, rather than the Web, we are adjusting to a system that makes innovation and experimentation that much harder for those who build things that rely on the Web.

 

You created your Facebook Business Page for your fans to join and “Like”. Now what? There are no doubt many questions you may have about what strategies are best in regards to brand identity, customer interests, and, of course, fan growth. How do you tell which tactics are most effective and work best for your brand and business? Lucky for you, Facebook has integrated, and recently updated, its own analytics tool called Facebook Insights that helps Facebook Business Page owners analyze trends within user growth and demographics, consumption and engagement with content, and creation of content.

How To Use Facebook Insights

Once your Facebook Business Page has more than 30 followers and ongoing activity, Facebook will automatically engage Insights to start monitoring your page’s activity and growth. These analytics can be accesses and viewed solely by page administrators.

The Facebook Insights highlights sharing behaviour both on and off your Facebook Business Page with pertinent data, graphs and charts. The charts allow you to select which information is displayed on each graph by checking the desired boxes. All these tools can help your business better understand what your audience wants from your page.

Facebook Insights can help visualize information on page growth and audience engagement, as well as specific metrics for individual posts and comments that are Liked on your page. Experimenting with strategies to see which are most effective on your audience can be made extremely simple by keeping a close eye on these analytics.

Regarding content, Facebook Insights also helps break down audience demographics with simple visualizations. Insights allows you to see gender, age, country, city and language breakdowns for a better understand of who makes up your online audience.

Quick Guide: Facebook Insights

First off, there are two different kinds of Facebook Insights: User Insights and Interaction Insights.

  • User Insights: Total page Likes, daily active users, new Likes/Unlikes, Like sources, demographics, page views and unique page views, tab views, external referrers, media consumption.
  • Interaction Insights: Daily story feedback (post Likes, post comments, per post impressions), daily page activity (mentions, discussions, reviews, wall posts, video posts).

Before you get started with Facebook Insights to help with your marketing strategy it is important to decide what exactly you are trying to measure. With so many different tool options, it can potentially be challenging to find the right data that will answer the questions you have. Take the time to get to know the data and keep a close eye on your daily and monthly performance trends with the different integrated tools. Aim to keep your statistics generally on the rise, and it should be safe to assume that you are doing the right thing.

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Tools:

Active User Growth: This tool monitors the daily/monthly changes of the fans who follow your page. Keep in mind the number of fans you have on the first of every month to see what your growth looks like. If you are trying to grow your page organically, 5 to 10% is a decent figure to aim for. If you are looking for a larger and faster growth pattern, try add Facebook Advertisements or custom Facebook welcome pages. Whatever you go with, make sure to watch for changes in fan growth and  try to determine what triggered them.

Inline Insights: This tool analyzes basic performance for each post you put on your Facebook Business Page. This information will show up near the bottom of each post, and will let you see what kind of content gets fans talking and sharing the most. Determine which posts are best received by your audience so you can give them exactly what they want! This is an ideal tool to see immediate results for new content strategies.

Page Views: This tool helps determine the number of fans coming to check out your fan page. Subtracting the number of unique page views from the daily views can give you some good insight as to how many fan are continually coming back to look at your page.

Demographics: Use these tools to see information about your business’ fans such as age, sex, and location. This is some good stuff to know when trying to provide valuable content.

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Short and sweet is what Twitter is all about. It is a platform through which you can get the most bang for your buck, or, in other words, the most engagement for each of the posts that you make. With other 300 million monthly active users and 500 million tweets sent every day, Twitter offers your company/business an immense opportunity to reach potential customers. Unlike other social media platforms, 80% of Twitter users access it through their mobile devices, which means you will be at their fingertips.

Besides, everything happens on Twitter, from breaking global news to local events. So, why not join the crowd? Start a Twitter account for your company and get your business out there!

Before getting started on your very own company’s twitter account, it is necessary to ensure that you are well acquainted with the way you should post on Twitter in order to get the most out of your efforts.

Optimize your Twitter bio

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Let the world know everything they need to about your company. For your twitter page, ensure that your company identity and the voice are branded well. In other words, have a bio that tells people exactly who you are and what you do, a link to your company website and all other information necessary pertaining to your business that you deem would be a valuable addition.

Connect in context

Twitter is about the now and the current. Hence, posting all the information on a regular basis about your product and the background of your company/business might not be the best way to go about. Rather, try telling your audience about your new and exciting product, its features, its qualities and how it is a must for them to have. Getting them engaged with simple posts that speak a lot is a powerful tool. Keep it short and simple—a principle on which Twitter rolls.

Listen and Learn

When starting something for the first time, it is necessary to watch what others and doin in order to learn. Observe your competitors tweets or search for keywords pertaining your industry in order to gather the intelligence. This is an easy way to gather the information and the marketing tactics that you need so that you may apply them for your own benefit. Watch, observe, learn and improve.

Grow and Succeed

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Twitter is a social media platform in which there is constant engagement. For such situations, its necessary to learn how to handle situations with the best interest of the customer and your company in mind. Try and obtain information and methods of handling posts made in the best possible way. Another way of ensuring growth and success is to constantly run exciting promotions in order to strengthen your brand and to better engage with customers. Twitter ads are also a great way to get your efforts amplified!

Learn from others

In order to be successful, it is necessary to follow in the footsteps of those who were able to accomplish what you desire. Hence, find companies that are part of the same industry as you, learn their tactics and get them implemented on your growing business.

In the words of a provider of PR and content marketing for startups, “Make a list of the 100 most influential people in your space — journalists, thought leaders, potential clients/customers, big-name bloggers and writers, potential partners, etc. Add them to a private Twitter list and engage with them daily. And remember to “be casual [and helpful], not promotional. Build a real relationship and then look for opportunities to collaborate.”

Be regular

Posting on twitter everyday is a sign of a healthy and an active company. Tweeting once a week or once a month gets you out of the loop, and causes your audience to trail away from your business.

Twitter is a valuable marketing tool. Its minimalist approach provides convenience for your audience while ensure optimum engagement and success for your company. In the case of Twitter, there is no picture that is worth a thousand words, but a sentence that is worth a thousand words!

 

 

 

 

 

For many small businesses, the Summer is the busiest season of the year. For others, it maybe the slow season. Regardless of which you happen to find your small business in,you can still be proactive and productive this Summer 2015.Nothing is hotter than social media right now: It is time to heat up yoursocial media strategies by following some of these sizzling social media tips!

Refine marketing with a seasonal theme

It is essential to make a few simple changes to your advertising that make it more appealing to a Summer audience.

During the hotter months of the year, people like to relax and let loose. Make sure that your ads and cover photos reflect this. Emphasize aspects such as relaxation, convenience and savings and fun. This is what Summer is all about! Tie your brand into the season.

Alter post times

When you target your audience is just as important as what you target them with. The timing may differ in the Summer from fall or winter.  In the colder months it regularly becomes dark between 4 and 6 pm so more people stay indoors and are more apt to conduct searches online.

During summer, however, it’s typically light out until 8 or 9 pm. This encourages people to stay outdoors much longer. In general, they are online less during the day, especially if the weather is nice. Keep this in mind when you schedule your posts.

Snap Summer “Selfies”

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Most businesses focus their marketing strategy on sharing business-related content, but giving your followers a peak behind-the-scenes can give them a better idea of your company’s personality and foster engagement for your other content. Use your business social media pages to post photos from the company BBQ cookout or picnic. Post some fun pictures of your loyal customers enjoying the hot weather! Share your staff’s favorite Summerrecipes or link to videos of Summer office activities and events. Giving your fans a glimpse on the inside helps strengthen relationships, makes your business more real and approachable. Show your business personality and increase engagement this Summer 2015!

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Summer Sweepstakes

Engagement is important to the success of your social media efforts and the best way to get your followers involved is to ask! Invite them to share their own Summer photos featuring your brand (i.e. A bridal shop inviting followers to share their wedding photos orHardware Store asking for project photos). This strategy increases your network engagement and you instantly will great user-generated content.

Take A Risk

Try somethings you usually wouldn’t do. Post more than you usually would, and not all of it should be about your product and brand. Go for the natural marketing feel by discussing things at a human level! Talk about Summer community events with your target audience!

Try A New Outlet

Take advantage of the potentially slower Summer business months! Use that free time to try out a hot new social media outlet. Try a visual platform such as Instagram, Vine and/or Pinterest. Set a reasonable goal such as posting 2 new photos per week. The 3 months of Summer may not be enough time to gauge the effectiveness, but it could also be a hidden gem in your social media marketing efforts that you can’t pass up! The only way to find out is to try and when September comes around, decide if you want to continue to grow your presence on that outlet.

You could also take a shot at a new type of social media post.Consider trying a Facebook quiz or trivia question, a caption contest, a question for the audience or feature a customer story.

Grow your Network

This is that hot time of the year to find new people and potential customers to connect with online via LinkedIn and Twitter. Trying to grow your Facebook likes is not a bad idea either. Keep in mind that if engagement is down for you (because everyone is enjoying the Summer), it is not unlikely that it is down for your competitors. Still, find that personal connection to people that can help grow your business evenduring the slow days of Summer!

If it happens to be busy for your business, grow your email list!Something as simple as a paper sign-up sheet can go a long way in helping you stay in touch with customers after they visit your boutique, eat at your restaurant, or come into your office.

This is a great chance for you to personalize your sign-up experience a little more than in the past. Ask for their name and email address, and since you’re face-to-face, you could also ask for their hometown to find out whether your new contacts are local or discovered your business while on vacation.