Speed up your old iPhone, iPad

On August 28, 2014, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

Does your iPad routinely crash as you surf the Web? Does your iPhone struggle to pull up videos and Web pages? The odds are your device is getting old. And this often means sluggish performance. There is hope, though. Lifehacker writer Gordon Whitson in a recent feature provided several tips for owners hoping to inject new life into their sluggish iPhone or iPad.

Resist the Updates

It’s commendable that you want to stay updated on the latest offerings from Apple. But downloading that newest version of iOS might make your iPad or iPhone even slower. To put it simply, the newest operating systems and upgrades are often too cumbersome for older devices. Refrain from the updates until you buy a newer iPhone or iPad.

Avoid Third-Party Apps

You might like third-party apps, too. But Whitson again gives some advice: Rely as much as possible on Apple’s own apps. They’re the ones designed to work best with your iPhone or iPad. And if you instead rely on outside apps, you might exacerbate the sluggishness of your device.

Clearing Space

Your iPhone or iPad might just have too many programs stored on it. Gordon recommends uninstalling any apps that you rarely use. You can also remove music or videos that you no longer access.

 

What Can You Do with a Six-Second Video?

No doubt you’ve been interested in the new Vine video platform, but you are also a bit baffled on how to make use of it. I mean, six seconds of video isn’t a lot of time to utilize in any message. Even so, as it turns out, the limitations of this medium are also part of its strength. Using this time judiciously has led to some imaginative uses and messaging!

How other businesses are making use of Vine videos

Vine has seen businesses make some very innovative and impressive videos since they’ve launched. Inspite of the time limitations, some businesses have embraced the platform and are crafting Vines that are getting significant attention and views. The key to winning with Vine would be to emphasize the quirky, fun and new aspects of the products or messages you want to feature. No one expects an epic film, but even so, they do expect to be entertained! Some ways companies are using Vine videos include videos about new products or people, customer service messages, and human-interest pieces. Businesses of every size are discovering cool ways to employ Vine videos.

Here are some examples:

Lowes home improvement store has created some incredibly popular Vines sharing quick tips for the home, in their #lowesfixinsix Vine videos.

Bacardi is using short videos to share their favorite drink recipes featuring their rum.

One of their competitors, Malibu Rum, dove right in and made some cool refreshing Vines of their own!

Taco Bell used Vine as an integral piece of the product launch for their Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos.

General Electric is using Vine to showcase innovative videos that share science in cool ways.

Clothing retailer The Gap is employing it to tout their products, via a sort of online video catalog.

Let your imagination run wild!

Companies are utilizing Vine videos in a number of ways, from product introductions to people and company messages. The great thing is that these videos take very little time and effort to produce. Go over to Vine and find out if this is something your company can use. It won’t take much time!

 

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

On August 21, 2014, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

Get Some Laughs and Some Sales at the Same Time!

The great 19th Century Irish playwright and humorist Oscar Wilde uttered these last words: “Either this wallpaper goes, or I do.” Why some enterprising wallpaper company hasn’t used this is beyond me, but it does go to demonstrate the reality that humor sells. Humor effectively disarms people, often by getting them to see your point in a way they hadn’t considered before, and initiates a connection where you might have had a hard time creating with your latest PowerPoint filed with facts. Art Linkletter told us that laughter is the best medicine, and he was spot on. It might be the cure for what ails your company too! Let’s consider 4 ways to use humor in your small business marketing.

4 easy ways to use humor in your small business marketing!

Take advantage of pop culture - This is a generation that has largely left the evening news favoring the likes of Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert and the other night time mavens who have crafted careers around the daily misfortunes of celebrities, sports stars and politicians. It’s all fair game, so don’t hesitate to use your share when you can find ways to make it humorous. Having your audience smiling and in a good spirits right off the bat can go quite a distance toward helping to build rapport with them.

Make a funny video - Portraying your products or services in a humorous light will get people eager for your videos wanting to know what you will do next. Making these doesn’t have to be a major production either, quite a few shoot them on their smartphones, which is by far enough camera. Another good tactic here is to use animated videos with services like GoAnimate or Xtranormal user friendly apps to make your videos quickly.

Create funny memes - Who hasn’t come across these on Facebook and other social sites? Combining this idea with the millions of users on sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr is a recipe for ridiculous traffic numbers.

Use humor in your content - Don’t be shy when it comes to getting a little edgy in your content. The payoff will likely be that people will see you as more like they are, and not simply some stodgy firm bent on selling them a product. The more you connect on a shared (and funny!) level, the better people will like you and share your posts.

 

Smart Ways to Incorporate YouTube in Your Business

On August 19, 2014, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

Why YouTube is a Smart Move for Your Business

Most of us realize that YouTube is now the second largest search engine around, and a incredible opportunity for helping your business achieve more leads, customers and revenue. What’s more, it isn’t all that hard to get your head around. You can quickly and easily create videos relatively cheaply, that will communicate on various platforms simultaneously. Its possible you have already been aware of just how important YouTube can be for your business but may not recognize exactly how you can assimilate it into your operations.

Let’s look at 7 ways you can incorporate YouTube into your business quickly and profitably.

  1. Showcase your products and services - Make videos that show off your products. Not a technical gabfest, rather a fun, engaging look at how this will benefit people who purchase.
  2. Drive traffic - Properly optimized YouTube videos can drive scads of traffic to your pages. Understand how to make your videos rank well in both YouTube and Google for best results. Consider driving paid traffic to your videos. Remember, it is much easier to rank a YouTube video highly than it is a webpage!
  3. Set up a YouTube channel for your business - Create a specific YouTube channel for your business, and keep feeding it! YouTube is also very much a social network, so be sure you keep up with comments on your videos and channel.
  4. Put a face on your business - Letting people meet you and some of your staff by way of video is a fantastic way to build trust.
  5. Create tip videos - Use this platform to generate legions of views and viewers by creating tip videos that display your expertise in helpful ways your people are seeking.
  6. Post links to your videos on your social networks - Make sure that you provide links to your videos on your social network sites, and also in email. This drives traffic to the videos, which in turn feeds the site, ranks higher and grows before your eyes.
  7. Use customer testimonials - An excellent way to showcase both your customers, (who’ll become raving fans!) and provide social proof about your products and services.
 

Is Your Facebook Page Mobilized?

Since millions are making Facebook a frequent daily stop, and more than 50 percent of them are using a mobile device for it, perhaps it’s wise for us to have a look at how our Facebook business page is being presented to the public. If you need more coaxing, now some 79% of smartphone users use their phones to go shopping, with 74% making a purchase as a result. Since Facebook creates a mobilized version of your Facebook page, you probably thought that’s all there was to it. Would that were so! Let’s look at some things you should be aware of.

Look at how your Facebook Page is rendered on a mobile device

Facebook creates a summarized version of your web page that is served to the public via their mobile devices. It’s essential that you take a moment and discover how this looks. The first component of your Facebook page that is rendered is your Timeline, though, and this is important: not all of it. That’s why you’ll want to make sure you have a “pinned” post, so that it will be featured first and most prominently. After this is the Recommendations and Check-Ins section, and then photos, and lastly, your most recent post.

A few ways to help optimize your Facebook Page

  • Keep in mind that you have far less time and space on Mobile to acquire the attention of your visitors. Take pains to use smaller, eye-catching photos, and also to not mince words! Be concise and direct in your text and especially any calls to action.
  • “Pin” a post you would like to show up first in your mobile timeline, because this will ensure that it does.
  • Log into your Facebook page from a mobile device and see that your important information is not only there but correct. You need people to be able to find you! This can be accomplished using “Facebook Nearby”.
  • One way to increase social word of mouth is to encourage check-ins from your location. This will make a big difference with Facebook.
  • Engage with your visitors while you are on your mobile device, which is not only convenient for you, but helps you keep on top of activity on your page easily.
 

Optimizing Your Facebook Page for Mobile Devices

On August 12, 2014, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

Is Your Facebook Page Mobilized?

Since millions are making Facebook a frequent daily stop, and more than 50 percent of them are using a mobile device for it, perhaps it’s wise for us to have a look at how our Facebook business page is being presented to the public. If you need more coaxing, now some 79% of smartphone users use their phones to go shopping, with 74% making a purchase as a result. Since Facebook creates a mobilized version of your Facebook page, you probably thought that’s all there was to it. Would that were so! Let’s look at some things you should be aware of.

Look at how your Facebook Page is rendered on a mobile device

Facebook creates a summarized version of your web page that is served to the public via their mobile devices. It’s essential that you take a moment and discover how this looks. The first component of your Facebook page that is rendered is your Timeline, though, and this is important: not all of it. That’s why you’ll want to make sure you have a “pinned” post, so that it will be featured first and most prominently. After this is the Recommendations and Check-Ins section, and then photos, and lastly, your most recent post.

A few ways to help optimize your Facebook Page

  • Keep in mind that you have far less time and space on Mobile to acquire the attention of your visitors. Take pains to use smaller, eye-catching photos, and also to not mince words! Be concise and direct in your text and especially any calls to action.
  • “Pin” a post you would like to show up first in your mobile timeline, because this will ensure that it does.
  • Log into your Facebook page from a mobile device and see that your important information is not only there but correct. You need people to be able to find you! This can be accomplished using “Facebook Nearby”.
  • One way to increase social word of mouth is to encourage check-ins from your location. This will make a big difference with Facebook.
  • Engage with your visitors while you are on your mobile device, which is not only convenient for you, but helps you keep on top of activity on your page easily.
 

How to Use LinkedIn Business Pages Like a Pro

On August 7, 2014, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

How to Use LinkedIn Business Pages Like a Pro

It was bound to happen: LinkedIn has developed from what was just a job board for business professionals, to a full-fledged alternative to Facebook and Google pages. Users are actively sharing content and sharing resources, making ‘connections” that are turning out to be very helpful for their business. LinkedIn now possesses over 3 million company pages and some 225 million members, which makes it the internets’ top business professional network.

How small business can be helped by LinkedIn

As the platform grows, there are lots of methods to make use of a business page on LinkedIn. Let’s see which make sense for you.

  • Optimizing your LinkedIn profiles - Ensuring that you optimize your company page with any keywords you are going after, along with any contact information. Filling your home page as well as any targeted pages you choose to use with relevant content ought to be high on your to-do list. Take note that profiles and pages do present themselves in Google search and also on LinkedIn, so it’s a good idea to make the best possible use of this.
  • LinkedIn search is growing - Since these posts on LinkedIn can and will appear in both a LinkedIn search along with Google, you’ll want to be consistent with any keywords you would like to rank for. Newer ways LinkedIn is enhancing search is through the capability for LinkedIn admins to post as your brand, instead of as a single person. Other new tools include recent acquisition SlideShare, LinkedIn Influencers and Sponsored Updates, proving LinkedIn’s newfound commitment to search.
  • Create epic content - Making sure you are posting your very best with regards to content is a must on LinkedIn. This could take many forms from your home page, product pages and videos.
  • Link to your other social media channels - Currently only a third of the top 100 LinkedIn company pages link to their social profiles from LinkedIn. This is an absolute must, because it will improve your Google rankings as well.

LinkedIn has developed into far more than a job board. See how it can benefit your small business today!

 

Understand Your Social Demographic

On August 5, 2014, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

How to Figure Out Your Social Media Demographic

Knowing who your followers are helps make the difference in whether or not social media is a profitable undertaking of a humongous time-suck. We may have thousands of followers and fans, but if we aren’t conscious of what they are interested in, or what facets of our business they find appealing, we frequently find that the response we get can be something less than thrilling. Since we understand we should match message to market, let’s figure out how we can learn about the like and dislikes of our social media fans.

So how do you determine social media demographics?

When we set out to analyze an audience for a web page, we typically use tools like Compete.com and Quantcast. These aren’t quite enough for what we’re looking for here, but lucky for you, there are a few new tools on the market that will help arm you with all the information you need about your social media demographics.

Three of our favorite new tools!

Here are three we like right out of the gate.

DemographicsPro - Formerly called KnowYourFollowers, this Twitter tool is most like many of the other demographic tools you might have been experienced with. It breaks down your followers into just the information you need, as per your request. You’re able to uncover info on country, state, gender, interests, others they follow, their employment and much more. Everything is presented both numerically and percentage-wise, letting you make the best use of the data to better target your followers. Some of the other areas you can delve into include marital status, race, income and brand preferences.

Birdsong - Birdsong is a social intelligence tool that generates on demand reports with analysis and insight as to what brands are doing on their social outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and others. This is extremely useful to understand how your competition is targeting their social media, and how you can too!

SoDash - SoDash is a versatile tool blending listening to social media, lead generation, customer service, brand management and competition monitoring  into one useful suite of social media intelligence.

Understanding the buzz and chatter about you and your competitors is the beginning of being able to utilize the information better in your marketing.