Archive | Learning How to Blog, Design Web Sites, and Innovate with Mobile Media RSS feed for this section

Don’ts for Businesses Using Social Media

30 Jan

In this new era of fake news, alternative truth, and inflammatory messages on social media, it is a good time for us to appraise (or reappraise) our own use of social media. Are we doing the best we can to avoid careless mistakes or inflammatory language?

Recently, Annie Pilon described “20 Taboo Topics to Stay Away from on Your Company’s Social Media Channels” for Small Business Trends. Here are some of her observations. PLEASE keep them in mind when utilizing social media and reacting to comments by others:

“If you use social media to promote your business online, you’ve probably put a lot of thought into what types of posts to share. But sometimes it can be just as important to consider what NOT to post on social media.”

             “Making fun of specific groups of people can go too far.

Even the occasional complaint about customers can be enough to damage your brand.

Avoid complaining about your employees online.

Customers want to know that you have a team that they can trust.

Nonconstructive criticism about public figures can seem petty to your social media followers.

You don’t want to be too intrusive when asking questions of your followers.

Be careful not to share anything that’s not true, as it can make your business look bad and lead to your followers being misinformed.

Healthy competition can be good for a business, even on social media. But there’s a big difference between a friendly back-and-forth and trash-talking.

Social media also isn’t the place to share sensitive or confidential information about customers.

Don’t share with followers every time you’re having a bad day or just feeling ‘blah’ about your business.

Posting anything illegal, whether it’s drug use or even just speeding, is a very bad idea.

Stay away from sharing any content that could be considered controversial.

It’s also best not to post anything that’s irrelevant to your audience.”

 

Click the image to learn more from Pilon.


 

Great Books to Read in 2017

26 Jan

As we continue to look ahead to 2017, there are various books that provide valuable information and that are highly rated by reviewers. Here are a few sources for YOU to check out, by topic.

Click the images to read the reviews.
 

“5 Must Read Books That’ll Inspire Entrepreneurs in 2017”


 

“12 New Books to Help You Build Wealth and Get more More Done in 2017”


 

“11 Great Business Books to Read Right Now”

 

“20 Books Every Marketer Should Read in 2017”

 

“Top 15 Best Books on Social Media Marketing for 2017”

 

Comparing AI Virtual Assistants

23 Jan

Over the last year, artificial intelligence (AI) personal assistants have become BIG!! The leading ones are (alphabetically): Alexa from Amazon, Cortana from Microsoft, Google Assistant, and Siri from Apple. These AI options can answer questions, play music, give directions, tell jokes, and even play games (try Jeopardy on Alexa).

How good are they? For this stage in their development, they are very good and relatively accurate for the simple tasks in which they specialize — and they can be fun to use. But they do each have limitations and their evolving software updates will continue to get better. In addition, there may be security issues that occur now. [Read this article for more on security.]

Recently, Jeff Dunn, writing for Business Insider, did an excellent comparison of these four virtual assistants:

“As the Web diminishes and the Amazon Echo [Alexa] continues to be a runaway hit, all the big players are convinced that talking to an AI will soon become the dominant way we interact with our computers. So they’ve started building. Apple has Siri, Amazon has Alexa, Microsoft has Cortana, and Google has the new and refreshed Google Assistant. The tech has come a long way, but all of these companies openly admit that it’s very early days for this proposed future. As such, all of these assistants are far from polished. But they’re also things you can use today. So which one works best? I strapped in for eight hours of robot conversations to find out, testing each of the big four assistants across a variety of categories.”

“There is a ton of work to be done. The problems here are large and sweeping: Each assistant still feels like a fragile, thinly veiled web of loosely connected services — because that’s what they are. It’s almost impossible to tell when one of them won’t be able to do the thing you asked. You have to be OK giving up your location and loads of personal data to get the most out of them.  There are numerous instances where using a Web browser is simply faster for doing fundamental tasks. Each one is still wildly finicky when it comes to phrasing. They all think too much in black and white; one misplaced or forgotten word is often enough to discard an entire request.”

Here are some of Dunn’s comparative findings:

  • Best for travel — Google Assistant
  • Best for E-mailing — Google Assistant and Siri
  • Best for messaging — All four in different scenarios
  • Best for Music — Alexa
  • Best for weather — Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant
  • Best for social — Alexa, Cortana, Siri
  • Best for general knowledge — Alexa

 
Click the image to read a lot more from Dunn.

 

Getting People to Spend More Time on Your Web Page

17 Jan

Consider these observations from Vikas Agrawal, writing for CustomerThink:

“Did you know that humans now have shorter attention spans than goldfishes? A 2015 study conducted by Microsoft in Canada showed that the average attention span of humans has decreased by 4 seconds in the past 15 years. From 12 seconds in 2000, last year’s study showed that it is now at 8.25 seconds only, largely due to the advent of smartphones. This is actually a tad shorter compared to the attention span of goldfishes who are clocking in at 9 seconds.”

 

Now, consider the work on infographics by InfobrandZ:

“Pictures speak to us. They convey ideas that spark both our memories and our imaginations. Looking at a picture is indeed like reading a thousand words. More than that, it allows us to visualize relationships in a way that is not possible with words. And in that fact lies the power of Infographic Marketing.”

Best Blogs for Small Business

15 Nov

There are many great online resources for small business, including the Web sites of Small Business Administration, Entrepreneur, and Inc. They deal with a variety of topics to assist startups and other small businesses. In addition, there are numerous blogs that focus on information and advice specifically geared to small businesses.

Recently, CreditMonkey published “Best Small Business Marketing Blogs 2016: Top Experts to Follow.”   Here  are some of CreditMonkey’s choices. Check them out:

 
Click on the image to see why these are considered top blogs — and to see more blogs cited by CreditMonkey.
 

 

Enhance Your Career Credentials

14 Oct

I regularly ask my undergraduate and graduate students: Why should an employer want to hire YOU? What can YOU offer that is distinctive?

One good way to answer to these questions is by publishing material online through your own blog or at other Web sites. By doing this, you can show off your Web-related related skills, highlight your own expertise on a specific topic, and demonstrate how well you write.

Recently, Mark Miller presented some great observations on this subject for Business 2 Community.

“Writing is one of the most productive things you can do for your career. You don’t have to be seeking attention from creative recruitment agencies in order to benefit from it, either. On a personal level, you grow your personal brand and get an opportunity to show off your communication skills–something that’s valuable no matter your field. From a job perspective, it can help you draw attention to your employer’s company, drive traffic to its site, and have a positive impact on SEO.”

“The advantages to being a published author are many, but getting started isn’t easy. That’s something I found out the hard way working closely with content marketing recruitment. I’ve spent much of 2016 developing my authorship profile, developing relationships, and creating opportunities for myself and others in my business to share our ideas and insights. Now that I finally have some momentum going, I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned so you can avoid making the same mistakes and get a head start!”

Here are a few of Miller’s suggestions:

  • Know “what you bring to the table that’s unique enough to justify being read over dozens of similar articles and posts.”
  • “If you’re first starting out, begin with smaller publications even if they have much smaller readership. You can even self-publish on a personal blog or on a site that allows anyone to self-publish like LinkedIn.”
  • “Most blogs and Web sites that publish regularly and accept external contributions will have easy-to-find, publicly accessible editorial guidelines and directions to submit content.”
  • “Building up a portfolio of published articles and opinions takes time, and a lot of it. And submitting content, communicating with editors, and finally getting published will probably take longer than you think.”

 
Click the image to read a lot more tips from Miller. And look at the links below the image.


 

 

Here Yesterday, Gone (OR Declining Today)

11 Oct

In the early 2000s, a number of new Web and social sites emerged. Despite a lot of hype, many of them did no hit expectations and/or are not as popular today. Here are some examples of the latter.

As reported by Clinton Nguyen for Business Insider:

“Much of the internet in the early 2000s was defined by Web sites that ushered people into a new age of social media and online entertainment. Take Friendster for example — the massively popular site became a household name before MySpace, and then Facebook overtook both of them as the most popular social network. Friendster is no longer in service, but plenty of the sites that defined the early 2000s are still around, albeit in somewhat different forms. Here’s what they’re doing now.”

  • “MySpace was massively popular in the mid-2000s, before Facebook came out. [It is now a shell of its former self in terms of popularity.] Like Facebook, every user had their own wall, where strangers and friends could post comments. The draw was customization.  MySpace has completely changed since then. The company rebranded and relaunched in 2013, with an emphasis on hitting catering to musicians and record labels. Unlike Facebook, users make “connections,” not friends, and radio stations and music videos are given the spotlight on the site.”
  •  

  • Live Journal was a haven for adolescent blogging in the late 2000s. The site became popular for having both personal blogs (which could be private or public) and “communities” where users could congregate to discuss their fandoms and pop culture obsessions. Today, the site retains much of the same look, including its popular discussion sections and blog layout. The front page now has a spots for promoted posts, which users can purchase by buying tokens with real money. Most of those spots are now occupied by gossip blogs, like ohnotheydidnt.”
  •  

  • “For a while, Xanga was also used as a blogging platform, mostly by high school students, though it faced competition from similar blogging services like LiveJournal and Blogger. It had many of the same features as its competitors: a blogging space, comments section, and a “props” feature (the 2000’s equivalent of a like). Today, user accounts don’t seem to exist on the site, and the homepage displays the development team’s last note, announcing server on Xanga 2.0, though that was posted in February 2015.”
  •  

  • “eBaum’s World became popular for posting viral videos, cartoon animations, and celebrity soundboards. People essentially visited the site for the same reason they’d visit other humor/game sites — to watch crudely animated Flash videos and to play with humorous soundbites cut from interviews. Today, the site publishes user-shared photo galleries and posts with embedded YouTube videos to garner traffic. Most of the videos come with one-sentence descriptions and slightly modified headlines, and photo galleries feature images and captions lifted from unattributed sources.”
  •  

  • “Ask Jeeves was a popular search engine before Google rose to the top. The site provided basic Web searches, but its real selling point was that users could pose questions in natural language (like, “What’s the weather today?” or “Has MSFT stock risen today?” etc). The service was notable for its butler mascot, Jeeves, but he was phased out in 2006 when the service became Ask.com. Jeeves was brought back to Ask.com’s UK site for a brief moment in 2009. But today, he’s absent from all of Ask’s search engine sites.”
  •  

  • “Before Google became the world’s most popular search engine, AltaVista was a leading search engine of choice. The site featured many of the services Google offers now — Web, image, and video search options. It also featured channels with news about entertainment, travel, and more. But when you visit AltaVista today, you’re redirected to Yahoo Search. The site went through a number of hands before it was consolidated into Yahoo Search.”

 
Click on the image to read more from Nguyen.


 

%d bloggers like this: