The Internet is a strange and totally weird place, where people pretend to be things they aren’t, or worse, allow who they pretend to be on the Internet to actually affect who they are in real life.
But it’s not like we shouldn’t have seen this coming — do you remember chat rooms? You know, those little dark corners of the Internet where people went just to be someone else? And it was exciting–people loved the anonymity of it all. And then chatrooms grew into online forums, which grew into websites like 4chan, and then they gave way to games like the Sims, where people create entire lives based around their own personal fantasies… Man, the Internet is crazy.
So when social media became a thing, we all should have seen where things were going. On one end of the spectrum, we hoped maybe MySpace would force people to maintain some semblance of transparency between who they were on the Internet and who they were in real life. And on the other end of the spectrum, there were those who predicted that social media would be the beginning of something super weird, and people would just kind of transform into weird and ridiculous caricatures of their former selves.
And well, to some extent, both groups were correct.
But that doesn’t mean that social media is a useless circus. In fact, it actually means the exact opposite. Now more than ever, everyone from journalists and writers, to artists, entrepreneurs, and bloggers should pay attention to, and take control of, their social media presence.
Aside from showcasing and drawing attention to the work you do, social media is integral to your personal brand, and in 2016, that’s very important. Instagram is no longer just a place to snap a photo of last night’s pizza, and Twitter is no longer a snatch-and-grab game of witty rebuttals and a platform for airing one’s grievances, they’re networking tools that can take you to the next level, put you in front of the right people, or present you with new opportunities.
If you use them effectively.
Outside of my day job as the manager of digital content at RushOrderTees.com, I still keep up with a very rigorous freelance portfolio, and frequently work with some of the world’s premiere men’s and lifestyle brands.
My point isn’t to gloat, but to admit that very little–possibly none–of that would have happened were it not for my social media efforts.
Staying active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (especially), and even SnapChat have all provided me with opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise looked for.
I hooked up with my first freelance website content writing client after she saw my hashtagged photo from the Firefly Music Festival a couple years ago and saw some of my other work. I had one of my favorite mens publications, Cool Material, touch base with me after they saw an interesting Instagram post I’d made soliciting fun new freelance clients. And my tenure at VICE News? It all began with a well-positioned Facebook message to the right person.
The idea here is that as you expand your career, social media should become less of a recreational way to blow off steam and have fun, and more of an invaluable tool to help grow your name and showcase your brand.
Plus, whether you like it or not, everybody’s pizza looks the same (delicious).
Instagram is reportedly the “most loved” brand globally on social media. This is according to a report published by NetBase, which looked at 361 million English-language posts from people in 200 countries. Researchers found that Instagram came in first place with 246 million mentions on social media between May 2017 and May 2018. YouTube was second (86.5 million mentions), followed by Facebook (47.3 million). – Read the full story here… MARKETINGCHARTS
Also, Millennials (18-34) are more likely to document their travel on social media than Gen Xers (35-54) and Baby Boomers (55+). This is according to the 2018 Vacation Confidence Index recently released by Allianz Global Assistance. In addition to turning to social media frequently on vacation, 36 percent of millennials admit to posting photos that make their trips look better than they are; the tendency is highest among male millennials. – CTV
Guess what is the Most Loved Brand on Social Media July 24th, 2018CT-WebDesigners
Many savvy business owners know that SEO is not a one-time service and should be an ongoing marketing strategy. Why? Google makes over 500 tweaks to its algorithm every year–that’s more than one per day!
As you can imagine, all these changes can have an impact on your ranking. So, keeping up with the changes and modifying your SEO strategy is definitely important!
But while most marketers know they need to constantly monitor and tweak the SEO elements of their website, the question of “how often” is oftentimes a puzzling one. Below, I explain a little about the different elements of on-page and off-page SEO and how often each of these should be revisited in order to avoid the effects of an algorithm change. Some of these elements include keyword strategy, content creation, local citations, organic SEO, and social interaction.
As your business evolves, so will your online presence. Over time, keyword phrases being searched for can change, with new words entering the vocabulary and older ones getting dropped. It doesn’t matter if you are ranking well, if no one is searching for a keyword you’re ranking for, you’re not going to have any website visitors!
When doing the initial keyword strategy, keep track of the average monthly searches. You can do this by researching your keywords via Google’s Keyword Planner or HubSpot’s Keyword Tool. By keeping track of these initial values, you can go back at a later date and check to make sure the keyword is still relevant and being searched by the change in average search volume.
It is recommended that you revisit your keyword strategy on a quarterly basis and at least 3 – 6 months before any campaign or promotions. From an SEO point of view, it’s important to start looking at search terms early in the game to make sure you gain maximum impact.
Title tags define the title of a page or a document. They are used in search engine results to display a preview title for a given page. They are also one of the key factors of On Page SEO, so it’s very important to ensure that they include your target keywords.
Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide concise explanations of the contents of a webpage. They are also used in search engine results to display a preview of a page. While they don’t impact search ranking directly, they play a role in providing an explanation of your webpage to a prospective visitor.
On Page Metrics to Analyze
You’ll want to adjust your target keywords in these elements as your rankings fluctuate. As mentioned before, it’s best to keep an eye on how your webpages are ranking for your target keywords and adjusting title tags and meta data on pages accordingly to include or exclude these keywords.
Keep in mind that sometimes with certain Google algorithm updates or other modifications within Google come specific changes to the way Google would like you to create your title tags and meta descriptions.
On their own help docs, Google provides you great tips on how to create the perfect title tags and description. For now, it’s best to keep title tags under 65 characters and have it include one target keyword for the page. Meta descriptions are similar– one target keyword, but keep the length under 160 characters.
Generally, there are two instances where you would want to revisit your title tags and meta descriptions. The first reason is if you have heard of a new Google Algorithm update and you think you might be in danger of losing ranking due to not following Google’s guidelines.
To find out when these updates take place, read some of the industry leading SEO blogs, such as Moz, Search Engine Land, and Inc.com. These blogs will usually announce an update right when it happens.
The second time you would need to update your title tags and meta descriptions is if you have just updated your keyword strategy. These elements should strongly reflect your keyword strategy, so if you have changed any of these keywords, then it is also time to revisit to ensure they align properly.
Most marketers know about the importance of creating new quality content, but what some people don’t know is that it is equally important to refresh old content. The big question here is how do I know it is time to refresh your content? The answer: measure the clicks to the particular page.
Fresh Content Metrics to Analyze
There are a couple ways to measure the effectiveness of content in a blog post or site page, but I believe the most effective is by tracking visits to a page. I personal recommend Opentracker because they allow you to understand where the visits are coming.
If particular content is getting a lot of visits, it probably means the content probably well-received and does not need refreshing. However, if you see the number of visits decreasing overtime, it’s probably time for that content to get a new look.
So what can you do to refresh the content? Consider updating the title tag or meta data or even promoting the piece via social media again (to get more visits or backlinks). You can also link to it in future content pieces or send out an email to your content subscribers to give it another go.
Off-page SEO refers to the other techniques (besides on-page tactics) that can be used to improve the position of a website in search engine results. Many people associate off-page with just organic link building, but it is so much more.
In general, it has to do with organic and local link building, as well as social promotion. Google looks into your off-page strategy to determine whether or not your site is legitimate and if you have high authority in your industry.
Although social media does not directly affect your rankings, it can influence new visitors to your site, as well as promote other websites to link back to your quality content (thus helping your rankings in the long run).
Because of this indirect effect, it’s very important that you know how to measure the effectiveness of your social media campaign, as well as knowing how often you should refresh your strategy.
Social Profile Metrics to Analyze
Statistics are important for backing up your strategy. You can use plugins with social monitoring and publishing tools that keeps track of all of your social posts on different platforms. It also keeps track of how much interaction your posts and profiles get.
Generally, you’ll want to keep track of how your profiles are growing (followers, fans, etc.) and their respective interactions (clicks, likes, retweets, etc.) These should always track back to your marketing goals to ensure your social strategy is contributing to the bottom line.
Just like measuring content activity, measuring social interaction is definitely an ongoing process. Every time you post something on one of your social profiles, take a look at how all of your others published posts have done.
I recommend revisiting your social posting weekly if not more often to see if it’s helping contribute to your website traffic. As this is an indirect way of driving visitors to your site, you’ll want to monitor its effectiveness on a weekly basis to ensure it’s helping you achieve the results you’re looking for.
Local SEO involves optimizing local listings with your business information. It’s important to remember that your contact information should be the same across all optimized profiles. This means going to site like Yelp,
Yellow pages, and other local listing sites and make sure the information matches exactly with your social profiles, especially Google and Bing Places. Additionally, it is a good idea to add more local listings each month to improve your local rankings.
Local SEO Metrics to Analyze
While there are a number of metrics you could look at across several platforms, I would suggest investing in a tool like Bright Local. It will allow you to analyze your local listing profiles. Bright Local will not only tell you if any of your listings are inconsistent, so you can fix them to have them match across all fronts, but it will tell you if there are any listings that you do not have that would help your rankings.
According to Search Engine Watch, the biggest impact on local SEO is making sure you are managing your local listings each month. Go through Bright Local and try and keep a list of listings you have obtained and go back to ensure they were all implemented correctly, have not been changed, and there are not duplicates of one another.
With inbound links, it’s important to go over your link profile to see which links are good for your site and which are considered spam. If some of those backlinks are spammy, it’s important to get them removed by contacting the webmaster and asking for removal of that link. In addition to removing bad links, it is also important that you gain new links through the creation linkable assets.
There are many tools out there that will help you decipher all of your links and whether they are spammy or not. My suggestion would be to use Opentracker’s link tracker or another Link Research Tools. It will run reports that tell you all of your backlinks, as well as which backlinks your competitors have that you would be wise to acquire.
The practice of acquiring and maintaining inbound links has changed drastically just in the past 3-5 years. It is becoming much harder and with each update, it looks like it’ll only get more difficult to acquire quality, inbound links from other domains. As with most aspects of SEO, especially content creation, it is important to stay ahead of times by following industry leaders.
The Bottom Line
You must always remember that SEO can be an uphill battle, but if you stay on top of the updates and always make sure you are revisiting your content and backlinks, you will surely succeed with your campaign.
Ask out our SEO specials March 5th, 2017CT-WebDesigners
Snap’s Spectacles are no longer exclusive to its vending machines that kept popping up at random places across the breadth of the US. The company has started selling its tech-intensive sunglasses openly and towards the same, has listed them for $129.99 at online portal Spectacles.com. The video-recording sunglasses were previously limited to Snap’s NY pop-up Store and the snapbot vending machines and folks had to form long queues to get their hands on one.
Now though, the pop-up shop has been replaced by the online portal. The snapbot vendors on the other hand, will keep mushrooming across different places in the country — giving people the opportunity to make on the spur purchases. Do note though, that you can spend $10 to $50 — depending upon whether you want to pick up charging chords or a charging case to go with the spectacles, both of which will no longer be listed on Amazon.
As Evan shared in his interview with the WSJ, when we launched, the idea was : ‘We’re going to take a slow approach to rolling them out,’ says Spiegel. ‘It’s about us figuring out if it fits into people’s lives and seeing how they like it.’ Response has been positive since November’s launch so we’re now happy to be able to make Spectacles more readily available — especially for those in the US who have not been able to make it to a Snapbot.
While I would be lying If I went as far as saying that we were expecting the move — the signs were certainly there. After all, Snap in its IPO filing, mentioned that the Spectacles had failed to generate significant revenues for the company. The filing also mentioned that the company expected to experience production and operating costs related to Spectacles well in excess of the revenue obtained in the near future. With that said though, Spectacles are proving to be an example of marketing rightly done.
For one, the company created the right kind of anticipation about them by not launching them en-masse, while also making sure that they weren’t restricted to merely developers and geeks. This latter part was important as this was what Google did with its glasses — but then, the glasses were significantly more expensive as well.
Meanwhile, merely getting a significant portion of the public to adapt to the glasses would be a victory for Snap. After all, where do you think the folks that record these clips are going to be uploading them on? Right, Snapchat. So yeah, the company isn’t desperate to generate revenue from spectacles. However, with its IPO looming overhead, it would be an added bonus if Snap can exhibit that it has a couple of other revenue sources as well. The move to make the Spectacles publicly available through an online portal, appears to be the product of just such a line of thoughts.
It was more a question of when, rather than would. Facebook’s awesome reach and the amount of time people spend using it made it the perfect candidate for one and all social experiences — even when you are talking about finding jobs. The company realizes that and towards the same, is publicly rolling out a string of brand new job-related features that have been under test since last year.
Announcing the features, Facebook said:
We know that finding the right talent can be a challenge. 40% of US small businesses report that filling jobs was more difficult than they expected, which is surprising when you consider that these small businesses also employ nearly half of the country’s workforce.1
The update is pretty huge and will allow recruiters to post and hire directly through Facebook, rather than moving to LlinkedIn or some other platform. Let’s take a look at the new features.
Job openings through business pages:
So this is probably the biggest feature that is being rolled out today. Businesses can now leverage the reach of their Facebook pages to create and post job openings. The jobs can be viewed on the page itself. So basically, If I ran a Facebook page and wanted to fill a position, all that I would need to do is create a job opening. The opening would also be visible to whoever visits the page.
As per Facebook:
It’s easy for Page admins to create a job post, track applications and communicate directly with applicants. After posting a job, Page admins will be able to review applications and contact applicants on Messenger, all on mobile and all in one place. And as with other posts, they can boost job posts to reach a larger or more relevant audience.
Apart from being simple for the poster, the experience of applying for a particular job is pretty straightforward as well. Job posts could appear in various places — just like the other items on the feed, in the new bookmark for jobs, or even alongside other posts on business Pages. Once you see one that you like, simply click on the Apply Now button.
Doing so will open a form pre-populated with information from your Facebook profile — saving you further trouble. However, you can easily change the information before submitting the form to the prospective employer.
The feature is currently being made available to prospective employers in the US and the Canada.
Meanwhile, Facebook has a couple of advantages over LinkedIn. One is of course, the audience reach. Facebook has almost 2 billion users — four times that of LinkedIn and making it much more easier to get your voice across to more users. Next, is the fact that many people are not even aware of the fact that they could be open to a change in their employment.
By making applying to jobs literally as easy as one click/tap, this new feature could help a lot of people take the plunge and apply for some cool new positions.
Finally, there is scope for a lot more, considering that Facebook could leverage its platform to do things like: Presenting specific jobs before specific people, looking in your friend list to determine who could be the best fit for a position and so on. And of course, this marks yet another possible revenue stream for Facebook as companies would be able to spend money to sponsor their job postings and make it reach more people.
Hey LinkedIn, Facebook just rolled out a string of employment features February 21st, 2017CT-WebDesigners
Snapchat’s beginning sounds a lot like Facebook’s from “The Social Network.”
In Snapchat’s case, it wasn’t two ousted cofounders (the Winklevoss twins) against Mark Zuckerberg. But still, it featured the backdrop of an elite university — Stanford versus Harvard — and ended up in litigation, with Snapchat cofounders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy against Reggie Brown.
At stake was the founding story of a social network to make photos disappear. Snapchat’s founders ended up paying $157.5 million.
Snapchat survived its rocky starts to now be on the verge of a $3 billion IPO. Here’s how Snapchat went from a million-dollar idea about disappearing photos to the giant social media company called Snap today…
Like many other startups, ground zero for Snapchat’s story is Stanford University, where a young Evan Spiegel from Los Angeles befriended Reginald (Reggie) Brown. The pair decided to join Kappa Sigma fraternity — where they would meet Snapchat cofounder Bobby Murphy — although it would be a few years before they turned the idea of disappearing photos into a business.
Snapchat wasn’t Spiegel’s first startup. Murphy had recruited Spiegel, a Kappa Sig brother one year younger than him, to help with an idea he had about a social network. In 2010, they then launched FutureFreshman, a site meant to make applying to college easier. It never really took off, but Spiegel had caught the entrepreneurial bug.
It wasn’t until Spiegel’s junior year that the idea for Snapchat was born. “I wish these photos I am sending this girl would disappear,” Brown told Spiegel in April 2011. His friend immediately got excited about the concept of disappearing photos and told Brown that this was a million-dollar idea. Five years later, that idea would now be worth billions.
In Summer 2011, Snapchat was born — except it wasn’t called Snapchat at first. When it launched in the App Store, it was called Picaboo. Brown, Spiegel, and Murphy spent the summer working on it. Spiegel even drew the now famous Ghostface Chillah ghost icon.
But Picaboo wasn’t a smash hit. By the end of the summer, it only had 127 users. Then Brown, Spiegel, and Murphy had a fight over the startup’s ownership. It ended up in Spiegel hanging up the phone and locking Brown out of all the startup’s accounts. The move would later cost them millions.
The now-duo changed the app’s name to Snapchat in September 2011, its official birthday. It still wasn’t a smash hit, but it started to slowly catch on when Spiegel’s cousin started using it at a high school in Los Angeles. Teens had found a way to send photos and messages that would disappear seconds after opening.
By spring 2012, the app that once had just over 100 users now had 100,000 daily active users. That also came with a problem: rising server costs. Spiegel and Murphy were paying nearly $5,000 a month to keep the app going, and just as they were about to run out of money, Lightspeed Venture Partners’ Jeremy Liew found Spiegel and gave Snapchat its first check.
Read the full story of how Jeremy Liew discovered Snapchat here. When the money hit his bank account, Spiegel walked out of school. He was just three credits shy of graduation from Stanford. He and his team (which had then expanded to two other developers) moved into Spiegel’s dad’s house in Los Angeles. By the end of 2012, Snapchat had hit a million daily active users.
That’s when Facebook gave Snapchat a huge gift. In December 2012, it launched its own Snapchat competitor, Poke. At first Spiegel was worried it was going to crush his app, but Snapchat quickly surpassed Poke. Spiegel now calls it the “greatest Christmas present” to Snapchat. The app continued to grow and only attracted more attention from venture capitalists. But that’s when Snapchat’s story turns into a founder drama like “The Social Network.” In February 2013, Reggie Brown — the guy who came up with the idea for disappearing photos — sued Murphy, Spiegel, and Snapchat for cutting him out of the business.
Still, the trial didn’t slow Snapchat’s growth down. In Fall 2013, the company unveiled Snapchat Stories — its first step to making things less ephemeral. Snapchat users could upload their snaps to a story that would last 24 hours. It’s the closest Snapchat would come to recreating the Facebook timeline.
Snapchat’s fast rise — and seeming defeat of Facebook Poke — soon gained the attention of Mark Zuckerberg. The Facebook CEO came to Evan Spiegel with an offer: $3 billion for the company. Spiegel famously played hard to catch before turning Facebook down.
A month later, Snapchat was hacked. The username and phone numbers of more than 4 million accounts were exposed and people were furious. After all, the app still had a reputation for sexting at this point — and people were afraid what else might leak. At first, the young CEO didn’t see the need to apologize, but the backlash was swift. The company settled a few months later with the FTC over charges that it misled its users.
Sleazy emails from Spiegel’s Stanford days were then posted by Valleywag, a Silicon Valley news site, in May 2014. The emails shined a negative light on the CEO who was already drawing comparisons to Steve Jobs.
But that didn’t slow Snapchat’s success. It finally added a chat function, and launched Live Stories, or curated perspectives from thousands of people. By July 2014, investors valued the company at $10 billion. In three years, it had gone from a million-dollar idea to a $10 billion dollar one.
According to Nick Bell, Snapchat’s Live Stories feature was inspired by a visit from illusionist David Blaine to Snapchat’s headquarters. He watched as all of his friends were recording video of the magic trick, and he wanted to put the different perspectives together to see if he could figure it out. That’s when they realized that you could tell a better story by having the viewpoints of thousands of people on an event instead of just one.
The company started expanding from outside the Venice Beach bungalow where it moved after leaving Spiegel’s dad’s house and picked up more office space. It also started hiring a bunch of senior leaders to help the then-24-year-old CEO. Its Chief Strategy Officer, Imran Khan, joined in January 2015 from Goldman Sachs. Snap’s CFO, Drew Vollero, joined from Mattel in August 2015. Still, Spiegel was the one clearly in charge — and mapping where it would go next.
Snapchat also started welcoming outside content in. In January 2015, it added the Discover section, which allowed publishers to post Snapchat-friendly news items. The app became not just about sharing photos with friends, but sharing everything from Discover articles to chats to life in the moment.
Snapchat also found a way to make money — much to the relief of its investors. It started out by adding ads in its geofilters. So if you were in a McDonald’s, you could Snapchat a photo of yourself covered in fries.
Geofilters were just the start though. After Snapchat acquired Looksery, it added those famous lenses (like the barfing rainbows) that helped turn Snapchat into the sensation it is today. By the end of 2015, 100 million people were using it every day
Maya Kosoff/Business Insider
Snapchat had also secretly bought Bitmoji, a popular cartoon-figure app that had once blown up on Facebook. This was only confirmed though when Spiegel got engaged in July 2016 to Miranda Kerr, an Australian model he’d been dating for a year.
While Snapchat the app took off, Spiegel and Murphy had actually started working on a new secret project: sunglasses. It was revealed in the Sony Hack of 2014 that the company had purchased Vergence Labs, the maker of Epiphany Eyewear smart glasses. The division of the company called Snap Labs was so secretive that only a few people knew that it was working on a hardware project at all.
It was only revealed in June 2016 that Spiegel had been photographed by the paparazzi wearing an early prototype while on vacation with his girlfriend Miranda Kerr.
It was only when Snapchat finally unveiled the Spectacles — a surprise to employees internally — that it also revealed that it changed its name to Snap Inc. in September. The change name also came with a changed motto: Snap Inc was now “a camera company.”
The name change was a clear sign that the company was ready to go public: “You can search Snapchat or Spectacles for the fun stuff and leave Snap Inc. for the Wall Street crowd :)” the company said in a blog post.
On February 2, 2017, Snap Inc. finally filed to go public — ending a drought in tech IPOs. More than 158 million people use the app daily, something the company attributed to the fact that “we eat, sleep, and poop with our smartphones every day.”
Facebook has unveiled its 10 year plan to become more than just a social network, which includes developing social uses for artificial intelligence and virtual reality, as well as launching satellites and drones that can beam internet to earth.
As part of its mission to “connect the world”, the social media giant is working on a standalone VR headset and an AI picture-editing tool that will let users add “intelligent” filters to videos as they film.
“Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected,” said Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer, outlining the plan at the annual Web Summit conference.
The “most important problems we’re trying to solve for the future” are bolstering internet access, building “truly intelligent machines” and creating VR for “that lets us experience anything with anyone at any time”, he said.
Schroepfer highlighted progress Facebook has made over the past year, including the Aquila drone’s first flight, and the creation of an app that can add stylised filters to videos as they’re filmed using AI. More recently, Facebook’s AI achieved a breakthrough at the end of last week when it achieved 100 per cent on a picture recognition test written last year.
“But by human standards we’re still a way off intelligence,” Schroepfer admitted. “Our existing AI systems are pretty darn basic.”
Schroepfer said Facebook is also building a standalone VR headset that doesn’t require a mobile phone or computer to power it.
“It has everything needed to work VR,” he said. “It’s this technology that we think will eventually bring VR to the masses.”
The Facebook executive acknowledged the company has had some setbacks, including the loss of a satellite when Space X’s unmanned rocket exploded on the launch pad back in September.
“You don’t make big bets without big failures,” said Schroepfer. “That’s a bummer that’s going to set back our work in space for a little bit.”
Analysis: WhatsApp, Instagram and Oculus are all wholly-owned Facebook acquisitions. But only the virtual reality pioneer is getting a rebranding push from its parent company.
This past week, the embattled co-founder of Oculus VR didn’t attend his own annual developer conference. While Luckey languished in disgrace, a different well-known tech genius took the stage, gave the big demos and helped us imagined the future: his boss, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg dominated the first half of the Oculus event last Thursday, showing in great detail exactly how virtual reality devices — those goggles that put you in a Matrix-like computer-generated world — will be used to augment social interaction and communication on the Facebook platform. Forget your web browser or phone app: soon you’ll be able to see 3D versions of your Facebook friends, synced and gesturing to you in real-time while you “meet” together on a pixelated beach. Or the surface of Mars. Or an exact recreation of Hogwarts. (You get the idea.)
And outside the keynote, practically every single instance of the “Oculus” name — on every demo station, every banner and even the front marquee of the San Jose Convention Center — had the words “from Facebook” emblazoned right after it in big, bold letters.
To some attendees, it looked like Facebook was taking over.
“Is it going to be the Facebook Rift next year? I don’t know,” said Keith Kaisershot, a VR developer attending the conference.
If you haven’t been following the saga of Oculus, “taking over” might sound like a strange way to describe the company’s relationship status. Facebook already owns Oculus, after all; it paid $2 billion for the company in 2014. But Facebook’s moves at the show could signal a new, more corporate direction for the biggest name in VR. (While rivals Sony and Valve also share the high-end market, Oculus jump-started the current wave of interest and investment in VR.)
When Facebook originally purchased Oculus, it promised the pioneering VR firm could stay independent — to the point it could even keep its own separate headquarters in Irvine, California, almost 400 miles south of Facebook’s home base in the Bay Area.
How to Attract 2,000 New Instagram Followers Every Day
As Instagram continues to soar in popularity, more companies are trying to find ways to use their accounts as a way to amass fans. Interior design startup Homepolish is one company that has mastered the formula. Homepolish, which acts as a middleman between customers and designers, has gained more than 840,000 followers since its launch in late 2012 with its feed of beautifully designed and decorated rooms. In fact, the New York-based startup says it attracts about 2,000 new followers every day.
Homepolish founder Noa Santos and product manager Kate Haberbusch spoke to Inc. about how to use Instagram as a marketing tool–and turn some of the app’s 400 million monthly users into potential customers.
Social Media Marketing Guilford Connecticut
1. Craft each post to appeal to several different emotions.
As a rule, Homepolish makes sure each post connects with users in at least two different ways, which it believes doubles the chances they’ll share it with others. Haberbusch says that a viewer might tag someone in a post because it offers design inspiration, has a “cool factor,” shows something unique, or just looks gorgeous. The post at right features a wall painted with the lyrics of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ love song “Home.” Users might tag others because the photo depicts an awesome design–or as a way of showing a loved one they’re thinking of them. The recipe worked: The post has 554 comments–the most of any Homepolish post–and most of the comments tag one or more other Instagram users.
2. Give credit where it’s due.
Homepolish uses the photo caption to tag the photographer as well as the interior designer responsible for each post. Santos knows this means the company is opening the door to having potential customers cut out the middleman and contacting designers behind its back. “I am 100 percent certain that happens,” says Santos. But the company believes in building good karma: “The couple of clients that slip through the cracks,” he says, “are worth you being authentic as a brand.”
3. Don’t assume you know what works.
Early on, Homepolish occasionally featured people in its photos of living spaces as a way of livening up its feed. When they analyzed likes and shares, they discovered those photos received significantly fewer social interactions than the rest. “We realized that people want to insert themselves into the scene,” Santos says. “They’re not coming to us looking for photos of other people.” Since that revelation, Homepolish’s feed has become entirely human-free.
4. Be consistent.
Homepolish posts twice per day, a number it settled on after careful analysis. Santos believes this keeps users satisfied without oversaturating their feeds. The company’s target demographic is people in their 30s, which means they’re likely to have 9-to-5 jobs. So the company posts one photo before lunch and one after dinner, when people are most likely to have some down time and check their phone. The time of day doesn’t vary much–nor does the nature of the content. “Regularity is really key,” Santos says. “We know that people want to see great shots of spaces. They want to see shots that are beautiful, and accessible, and speak to who they are as an audience–and they want to see approximately two posts per day. From that strategy, we don’t vary.”
How to Attract 2,000 New Instagram Followers Every Day May 25th, 2016CT-WebDesigners
When a former sales employee at Yelp published a post on Medium Monday stating Yelp had fired her because she asked for unpaid time off to care for her boyfriend who was recovering from a brain injury, the company fired back on Twitter. The response may have opened up Yelp to a lawsuit, lawyers say.
“Unfortunately, we had to part ways with Ms. Senigaglia due to repeated absences (10 of her 59 workdays with Yelp) despite many exceptions to accommodate her needs. We provided multiple, documented warnings and ongoing performance counseling specifically related to reliability and attendance issues. Sadly, this role was not a good fit. We wish her the best,” Yelp tweeted about Jaymee Senigaglia, a single mother who worked for the company in San Francisco, where headquarters are based.
The “pretty explicit” tweet seems “atypical” for an employer dealing with a disgruntled former employee, says Jane Kow, founder of Bay Area law firm HR Law Consultants. Employers typically disclose personnel information “by way of subpoena, not by way of a tweet.”
And lawyers say it raises questions about whether Yelp violated Senigaglia’s right to privacy or gave her grounds to accuse the company of defamation.
Anthony Zaller, a startup and employment attorney with Los Angeles law firm Van Vleck Turner and Zaller LLP, says Senigaglia waived certain rights to privacy by posting publicly about her firing, but says “there’s some concern there that I have with the detail that Yelp responded.”
He cites case law pertaining to a situation in which a college student’s negative post on MySpace about her hometown of Coalinga, California was published in the local newspaper without her permission. “The court rejected (the plaintiff’s) theory that the newspaper’s publication violated her right to privacy because her post to MySpace was made virtually to everyone with an Internet connection,” Zaller wrote in a blog post two years ago, asserting the case could apply to situations of employees posting on social media.
But Zaller tells Inc. Senigaglia could argue that her complaint about getting fired did not merit a public airing of work history or specific reasons for her firing that she otherwise did not share. Yelp’s response “starts raising concerns. You’re getting into private workplace information and I think it would have been fine to do a more generic response.”
He adds that Yelp could potentially be providing Senigaglia with grounds to accuse the company of defamation. Senigaglia has already disputed Yelp’s statement that it provided her with “multiple, documented warnings.” “Hey Yelp, can you send over a record of these repeated warnings you speak of? I must have been absent for them,” she wrote in a follow-up post on Medium Tuesday.
Update: Senigaglia tells Inc. she also disputes Yelp’s claim on Twitter that she took a full 10 days off work. She says she took six half days off work plus, as she recalls, three additional full days off. “It was all approved by management, it was all worked out, there was no question of it whatsoever,” she says.
She says her follow-up Medium post counts in her mind as a request for her human resources records, which she has not received. She claims that Yelp did not want her to have to repeat training because she was a “top player.”
If any of the information in the tweet is inaccurate, “she could have a defamation claim,” says Zaller.
Attorney Robert Dolinko with San Francisco labor and employment law firm Nixon Peabody is doubtful Senigaglia would have a strong case if she alleged a violation of privacy, which is a right under the state of California’s constitution. If she hadn’t posted something publicly, the situation would be different, he says. But as it stands, “I suspect from a court’s viewpoint, that (tweet) would not be a privacy violation.”
“She’s opened up the issue to public discussion and Yelp therefore is within its right to respond presenting its side of the that very issue,” he says, adding that the tweet brings up issues of company culture. “It becomes a matter of corporate philosophy — does the employer want to get in a public dispute over this?”
Legal issues aside, the tweet could be viewed as a heavy-handed move for a company already under scrutiny after an earlier Medium post by a 25-year-old employee identifying herself as Talia Jane, who complained of low wages and poor treatment in her customer service role at Yelp food delivery subsidiary Eat24. Yelp fired Jane after she published the post, stating the dismissal was not in response to her post. The company at the time declined to share details about why it fired Jane.
Zaller says he would have advised Yelp to have responded by saying it had to part ways with Senigaglia and that the company would respect her right to privacy by not sharing specifics, “and kind of took the higher ground.”
“It just doesn’t look good for the company to go down to the employee’s level,” he says, adding that many who read the letter would agree with Yelp that that the fired employee was not a good fit with the company. “Reasonable people don’t post things on Medium or on Twitter when they have disputes with their employer.”
Yelp can easily argue that there was no privacy interest after Senigaglia posted details on Medium, says Zaller. “But on the other hand, is this good business practice? I would argue it’s not.”
The spelling of Anthony Zaller’s last name has been corrected in this post. The post has been updated to include a response from former Yelp employee Jaymee Senigaglia. Inc. has also reached out to Yelp and will update if the company comments.
Some business owners do not believe social media does, or could ever have any impact on them or their business. So, they do not use it personally or professionally.
However, if you own a business, a well-executed, social media marketing strategy can help grow your business and ultimately increase your company’s valuation, when managed and executed strategically and efficiently.
Five ways effective social media can increase your company’s valuation?
Raise brand awareness. Social media is the most effective marketing tools marketers can utilize to raise brand recognition and awareness. Social media can boost brand favorability quickly. According to a 2011 study by Ogilvy & Mather and ChatThreads, social media appeared to have the strongest impact on shifting brand favorability higher. Most important, we find that acquirers are typically willing to pay a higher valuation for a business with a strong brand.
Grow sales. Social media isn’t simply a way to reconnect with old friends. Savvy marketers (and business owners) know that the top social sites offer a variety of tools to help drive sales. A recent article on CIO.com cited three significant examples to reinforce this fact: $3 million in sales for Dell Outlet using Twitter; $2 million in sales for Starwood via one Facebook campaign; and a 1,600 percent ROI for VMware through hosting a Google+ Hangout.
Successful businesses that evolve and use new avenues to consistently expand sales are more desirable to acquirers than businesses with outmoded sales models that prove to be less and less effective. The more confident an acquirer is in your company’s future sales potential, the more likely they will be to pay a higher valuation.
Click Here to Learn More
Enhance your company’s industry reputation through thought leadership initiatives. LinkedIn tends to lead the pack as a marketing resource for B2B organizations, because the site makes it easy for individuals to connect with others in their industry. According to LinkedIn, 60 percent of the site’s members are interested in garnering industry insights while engaging with the social channel.
LinkedIn can position your key management as thought leaders (through sharing industry insights; posting relevant, original content; initiating or commenting on LinkedIn group discussions, etc.), you can boost the reputation of both business’s leadership and the business itself. Investors seek out successful companies that are well known in an industry niche, and will be more likely to offer a higher valuation than they would to a similar but lesser known company.
Improve customer service and satisfaction. The happier the customer, the more likely an enduring business-customer relationship will result. Today, 74 percent of Internet users utilize social networking sites according to Pew Research. People (especially millennials and younger age groups) expect to communicate with businesses via social media.
Acquirers will monitor the social sites of companies they are researching to see how customer service comments, inquiries and complaints are handled, as well as the frequency and type of inquiries, kudos and complaints received. If your business does not proactively engage with customers and address inquiries or complaints, an investor may question your ability to retain customers and repeat sales, which may compromise a favorable valuation.
Broadcast your success stories. Social media offers a multitude of channels to share success stories and case studies that distinguish your business from others. You can distribute any success story from your website, YouTube channel, PR sites or in news stories through social channels to gain visibility and positive traction for your company.
When an investor is researching your business on social media sites, your success stories can provide an inside look at the business’s operations and personnel, while reinforcing your ingenuity and accomplishments. The stories might also illustrate potential synergies more clearly for strategic buyers, who could potentially offer a higher valuation.
Investor’s social eyes are on you, so get your social media plan in order
If you are considering selling all or a portion of your business, don’t neglect the importance of your social media presence. Acquirers will closely scrutinize information about your business (as well as the activities of your key management) on social sites. Be proactive about strategically managing your social profiles and shining a bright light on your accomplishments and capabilities. With an effective social media plan in place, you may be able to secure a higher valuation for your business than you ever would have imagined.
Five Ways Social Media Increases Company Values March 14th, 2016ColorFuzion