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Online Marketing Tips for 2014
Online marketing strategies and tips are all over the interest. The problem is selecting the right ones and implementing them with a hope they would work for your website. In fact, reading about online marketing tips can be quite overwhelming especially if you are a beginner. The usual go to strategy adopted by people is to read a â€œcredibleâ€ website or journal to learn about tips and guidelines. Well, that isnâ€™t a bad idea. But even the tips offered by the experts are never full proof. Online marketing strategies work on a case-to-case basis. What works for you might not work for another brand or website. Hence reading too much online can be a pointless exercise.
The most simple and efficient approach to implementing an online marketing strategy would involve understanding your requirement. Why are you building a strategy? What is the nature of your website? What is your business goal or objective? These are some really important questions that need to be answered before you begin formulating a strategy. The target market, country, age group and product are what will vary from brand-to-brand. Hence you need to be smart enough to tailor your campaign as per your needs.
What is recommended is following some basic guidelines that will hold you in good stead irrespective of parameters influencing your online business. Building the trust of a potential customer is crucial. Hence you need to make sure he has information of your product on every platform. Be it your website, social media, email or newsletters. No customer will jump at the prospect of buying your product or service when he first stumbles upon it.
Having a small budget for advertising isnâ€™t a bad idea. This again would depend on the budget you have and the business you run. You can reach a wider audience via social media and search engine advertisements. People spend a lot of time on social media. This is 2014 and the online audience will only increase from this point onwards.
The oldest rule of online marketing still stands and this is content is king. There is no substitute for hard work is what you have been hearing right since your school days. In the online world there is no substitute for good content. And hard work also. So make sure you have compelling content that is original and really interesting. Good content gets shared more often than not.
You donâ€™t need to depend on social media experts to build a critical mass on Twitter or Facebook. All you need is to stay up to date with the world around you. Yes, thatâ€™s all it takes. Donâ€™t always plug the greatness of your product. Tweet about a funny politician or great game that you saw. Not everyone wants to now about your â€œrobust and scalable softwareâ€. Make a joke. If you cant think of a joke, copy and past a joke with due credits of course.Â
Donâ€™t ever try and outsmart Google. Be honest. Donâ€™t resort to shady online marketing practices. Of course, you need to stay in sync with what Google is doing in terms of new updates and algorithms. Go along with Google and donâ€™t run ahead of it. Please Google. Play by the rules they have set.Â
6 ways to deal with troublemakers on your Facebook fan page
Job of social media managers is getting tougher by the day. Social media is now slowly turning into this monster that we have created. It is a beast that is increasingly getting difficult to tame. Suddenly people have found a megaphone where they can praise, abuse or even build or break the reputation of a brand or individual. Managing fan pages of companies or brand is a thankless job.
From the perspective of a brand/company, using social media can be a great way to launch or introduce a particular product or service. That can fetch you a lot of bouquets from your fans. But at the same time you need to be prepare for the brickbats as well, especially when a customer finds a certain fault or isnâ€™t happy with your product or service.
Probably five years back, such customers would have called the company to inform them about the poor service or faulty product. Some would send an email of course with the odd profanity but it was a one-to-one interaction. In todayâ€™s world, the customers use social media to give feedback to companies.Â
Everybody has realized there is an audience out there that would be witness to your interaction â€“ good, bad or ugly. They know a company would not want to rink their reputation with multiple eyeballs following a conversation that may appear on the news feed.
This has given birth to another section of social media users â€“ trolls. They are growing by the day and can be a handful to deal with. Basically these are people that will pounce on a post on your fan page for multiple reasons- spelling errors, to make a joke, to abuse or just make certain you donâ€™t have a good day. The anonymity factor plays to their strength.
Hence if you are the manager of fan page for your company or brand on Facebook, you need to make certain there is no harm caused by such users or such users donâ€™t divert the attention of your target audience. You need to act swiftly and without emotions taking over.Â
Here are some effective ways to deal with troublemakers on your Facebook fan page:
1. Hide the comment/post â€“ If there is a comment on your post or on the fan page that isnâ€™t relevant, you can hide the post. The person that has made the comment does not get a notification about the comment being hidden. He/she can still see the comment but the comment isnâ€™t visible to other users. Depending on the reason for hiding that comment, this action can be reversed and you can unhide he comment as and when you like.
2. Delete the comment/post â€“ This is similar to the â€œhideâ€ feature. This would delete the post permanently. The comments however can be brought back. This has a similar effect as the â€œhideâ€ feature.Â
3. Report the post/commentÂ - Facebook gives an option for moderating posts - Report/Mark as Spam. Make use of this option in the case of repeat offenders. Such people intend to disrupt the smooth functioning of the social interaction bet your and the audience. There are options to report such users to Facebook under: explicit content, hate speech, violent behavior etc.
4. Reply to the post/comment: Depending on the type of comment/post, sometimes it makes sense to engage in conversation. Depending on what type of brand you have, it makes perfect sense to engage in â€œbanterâ€ with fans.Â At times people like seeing the lighter side of the conversation and this actually helps you reach a greater audience.
5. Move the conversation outside Facebook â€“ if the concerned person is an honest critic or existing customer with a genuine problem, it would be wise to move the entire conversation to outside Facebook to help him. You can leave a comment with a number or email id whereby the person can give his feedback. This is essential as if your product has a genuine flaw, you would not want the entire world to know it before resolving the issue.Â
6. Ban user â€“ In case of users that resort to repeated abuse or trolling, it is best to ban them. They are neither your customers nor intend to be in the near future. Instead of wasting time by moderating their comments and post, it is best to get ride of such users.
It is best to deal with troublemakers is a swift and effective manner. Sometimes tiny issues can snowball into an embarrassment for companies and brands. You donâ€™t want a comment that is â€œlikedâ€ by 500 people or a post that is shared 1000 times, especially if it ends up negatively affecting your brand.
4.6 Million Users Affected By Snapchat Hack
The news and social media was taken by storm when nearly 4.6 million accounts of social media site Snapchat were accessed by hackers who then went on to post these details online for several hours.
A website names SnapchatDB went ahead and released this information but the last 2 digits of the phone number of users were censored. This user information has been taken down but you still can find the cached version.
This event has occurred after Gibson Securoty, an Australian firm has issued a warning in the app of Snapchat, which could have been abused by the hackers.
Gibson Security released a statement on Twitter that said:
"We know nothing about SnapchatDB, but it was a matter of time till something like that happened,"
However, the hackers claimed to have used the flaws that were highlighted by Gibson Security as per TechCrunch.
As of today, Snapchat is said to be the social media site of the future and has gained an enormous amount of user base and popularity. Snapchat allows picture sharing. These shared pictures get deleted once they are viewed.
Snapchat also allows users to find friends by means of an address if it has been uploaded in the contacts book. Gibson Security had warned Snapchat of the exact same thing prior to this hack.Â
As per the Gibson Security officials, Snapchat had been warned almost four months before this incident but the company did not take any precautionary measures.Â
Syrian Electronic Army Hacks Twitter Account Of Skype
In a horrific start to the New Year, Twitter account of Skype has been hacked by Syrian Electronic Army. The group that hacked the account also went on to post numerous tweets and looks like a typical case of phishing.Â
The hacking group also posted tweets from the verified Twitter account of skype that read:Â
"Don't use Microsoft emails (hotmail, outlook), they are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments. More details soon #SEA."
Unfortunately for Skype, this tweet was RTâ€™d or retweeted more than 8,000 times and happened to remain online for over 2 hours. There was another tweet posted from the compromised account of Skype that read:
"stop spying on people,"
The same group also hacked the Facebook page of Skype as well as a blog that is hosted on the website of Skype.
Skype has now gained access to these accounts and it does not appear that their actual services and user information was compromised. After this ordeal was over, the official Skype account tweeted this:
â€œYou may have noticed our social media properties were targeted today. No user info was compromised. Weâ€™re sorry for the inconvenience.â€
This event has turned out to be quite embarrassing for Skype as security lapses like this can shake the confidence of users who deposit personal details while signing up for accounts as well as bank details when they top up balance to make calls on Skype.
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Facebook Falling Out Of Favor With Teenagers
Social media giant has virtually been everybodyâ€™s favorite social media site for almost 5 years now. They beat then leading site Orkut and also held a stiff challenge from Google+ to stay ahead of competition. But now a new research has shown that young users are avoiding Facebook and are more obsessed with Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Instagram.
Daniel Miller, professor at the University College London said:
"Where once parents worried about their children joining Facebook, the children now say it is their family that insists they stay there to post about their lives. Parents have worked out how to use the site and see it as a way for the family to remain connected. In response, the young are moving on to cooler things. What appears to be the most seminal moment in a young personâ€™s decision to leave Facebook was surely that dreaded day your mum sends you a friend request. You just can't be young and free if you know your parents can access your every indiscretion. The desire for the new, also drives each new generation to find their own media and this is playing out now in social media. It is nothing new that young people care about style and status in relation to their peers, and Facebook is simply not cool anymore."
The EU funded the research carried out by the University College of London. Students in the age group of 16-18 were questioned in the United Kingdom regarding their preference of social media sites.Â
There was consensus that Facebook is better integrated and a great way to manage photo albums. However WhatsApp was the favorite chat messenger and keep in touch with friends. A lot of teenagers are now using Snapchat that enables picture sharing. The shared pictures disappear once they are viewed.
The students suggested that there could be privacy issues using Facebook as NSA may access data from the site. But this does not seem to be a major reason for the decrease in favor of Facebook. When it comes to pictures, Instagram is a firm favorite that happens to be owned by Facebook.
Techcrunchâ€™s Mike Butcher had the following inputs on this study:
"Facebook used to be quite a private place, especially among university students and gradually because Facebook needs to make money it had to open up and become more public. So that's what happening and they (young people) are going towards new kinds of platforms like Instagram or Twitter."
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History behind Twitterâ€™s â€œFollow Fridayâ€
If you happen to spend majority of your time on Twitter, like everybody else in the world today, there is a more than a slim chance you might have stumbled upon the words â€œfollow fridayâ€ #ff. This is nothing but one of the many traditions that happen to exist on Twitter. Follow Friday is nothing but Twitter users recommending another user to his/her followers hoping theyâ€™d like what the person recommended tweets on a daily basis.
These tweets are represented by #ff or #FollowFriday and are tweeted on Friday. This is basically a process, which enables twitter users to curate their timelines and follow the relevant people for tweets that might interest them. This also helps people that tweet good, informative or humorous stuff attain more followers.
Apparently Micah Baldwin who thought it would be a good practice to recommend twitter users to one another initiated this tradition. He happened to tweet this on a Friday and named it Follow Friday. Then another user happened to start the hashtag - #followfriday that was later re-christened to #ff.
This soon became a rage on Twitter and today it is a Twitter tradition. There are even apps that have been designed to track your interactions on Twitter as well as the users that are being recommended.Â
For newbies on Twitter that are yet to come to terms with these traditions, it is actually quite simple. So here is how you participate in follow Friday on Twitter. If you are working in the iGaming industry and think Simka Consulting is aÂ good source of affiliate marketing or iGaming news and updates and that your followers would find it helping with stuff that Simka Consulting tweets, all you need to do is tweet the following on a Friday:
Thatâ€™s it. Itâ€™s that simple!
Trends and traditions keep changing in the social media landscape. The trend of â€œFollow Fridayâ€ is yet to diminish and Twitterverse seems to be enjoying it very much. Most people are happy to recommend users that will add value to the timeline of their followers and vice-versa that is the real reason why #ff really works.
Facebook Rolls Out Video Ads
Social media giant Facebook will now be rolling out video ads that will commence with a stream of ads of the new film Divergent. These ads are supposed to be playing automatically on the Facebook news feeds but the sound on these ads will not be audible unless the user clicks on the volume option. As for the mobile users, these video ads will be downloaded in advanced as and when your device gets connected with wi-fi.
There were reports coming out of this development for the last few months but there was no confirmation. Now Facebook has confirmed what many people feared would disrupt the user experience. The engineers at Facebook have been testing various ways of watching these videos since September.
Initially these video ads were set to be rolled out in the summer but Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wasnâ€™t too sure of how the users would receive these ads and decided to delay the entire update.
There have been a lot of complaints from those using Facebook on mobile devices as it could consume some portion of their Internet usage as per the monthly plans. To counter these fears, Facebook has revealed that only the video ads that have been downloaded before though the wi-fi will end up playing.
As per Facebook, this content wonâ€™t consume the data plan even if there is no wii-fi connection at the instance of playback. Also, any user that is not interested in watching the video ads should just scroll past and that particular video will not continue playing.
What is not known at this point is the amount that Facebook intends to charge the advertisers for these video ads. There was a report compiled by Morgan Stanley that predicted Facebook could generate revenues amounting to $1bn (Â£613m) in the year 2014. This number could go up to $6.5bn by 2020.
However, the critical question remains to be answeredÂ - how will the users respond to these latest updates or are they too addicted to Facebook to even care?
Hot Searches â€“ How Google Trends Can Benefit Your Online Business
What people or potential customers are actually searching for on the Internet is what bothers search marketers the most. Most marketers crave for a comprehensive report of what are the exactly are people looking for on the web. Because letâ€™s face it â€“ everybody wants people on the web to land on their websites.
Something that has been less credit than it deserves in this aspect is Google Trends. Of course, there are certain issues with this and one of them is accuracy. But now there has been an update made by Google to Google Trends.
Google Trends will now supply you with data that you actually want by tapping into the Knowledge Graph. So when you are looking for shoes, you will get data on shoes and not something else with a similar name.
Because a word like shoes can be referred to multiple things.Â It can mean an exact brand or just shoes in general. Google Trends now gives you more precise data. Google Trends is now categorizing vague terms and combining the data even if it is not spelt correctly from terms that are searched into a main keyword.
Hence now you got search for â€œPokr Softwareâ€ but it will still be clubbed with â€œPoker Softwareâ€. Also, Google intends to club data that is closely linked with â€œPoker Softwareâ€ with it in the near future.Â
For marketer, this gives more accuracy in terms of understanding what people are looking for. Since those dealing with SEO will be hugely benefitted. Since you will get an idea of the broad trends surrounding a keyword like â€œpoker softwareâ€ instead of just the exact word.
Even content generation will benefit from this Google update. You will gain more viewers through the search, as you will now write more accurately on topic of your choice rather than a vague term of keyword.
Any business that is on the web or deals with generating leads online, exploring Google Trends would be recommended. Google terms it as â€œhot searchesâ€. So if the â€œhot searchâ€ is Dallas Cowboys and you own or run a sports website or blog, make sure you update some interest content about the Dallas Cowboys. It simply means you have more chances to be found.