Posted by: Kerry Sheahan

Posted on: April 18, 2013 3:25 pm

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When we cast our minds back to 2005, Facebook was a very different scene. Little more than an upgrade from the likes of Bebo and Myspace, it was a basic platform where people could search for friends, upload pictures and reminisce from the night before. 8 years and one billion users later and Facebook has undergone a radical transformation, providing apps, games and even real time Bingo.

The most recent bow to its arrow comes in the form of Facebook Home. Described as a family of apps, it automatically shows updates on homescreen and lockscreen, allowing you to view a steady stream of posts and photos the second you turn on your phone. Put simply, it takes over your home screen.

Mark Zuckerburg’s multi-billion empire sums up the new systems when they say “everything on your phone gets friendlier.” With faster access to the essentials, as well as upfront notifications, users can even continue their conversations whilst using other apps, surfing the internet or watching videos. What’s more, the social media giant has introduced Chat Heads. Upon a friend starting a conversation, a message will pop up with a photo of that person, allowing users to tap to open or simply swipe to ignore.

A whole new meaning to the word convenience it would seem, however has this so called `convenience` gone a step too far for some people? As to be expected from any major update introduced by Facebook, the news has been met with a sense of controversy, if not hysteria. A simple internet search can take you directly to advice on how to install Facebook Home, and rumours have already begun circulation that Google tried to block it. Google’s Eric Schmidt has been quick to dispel the idea however, stating it would be “against our religion”.

Facebook Home became available from the Android Play Store in the UK April 12th on HTC One as well as the Samsung Galaxy S3. Whilst it is not currently available for tablets, the company has hinted that it would like to venture this way in the future. It appears unlikely that Facebook Home will launch on iPhone however.

With the news not having long broken, many are still in the dark as to what Facebook Home actually is, let alone installed it yet, but as more take the plunge it will be interesting to monitor the reaction it receives.

Posted by: Kerry Sheahan

Posted on: April 9, 2013 11:59 am

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You may be feeling that the one thing missing from your Facebook experience is the ability to accompany your status updates with an appropriate emoticon? No? It may not be amongst your top priorities, but like all of the social media giant’s additions and amendments, it will probably be hard to imagine life on the network without them given a week or two.

As of today, Facebook’s lucky users will be able to share how they’re feeling and what they’re up to through a drop down menu of emoticons and media, letting friends and acquaintances know precisely what they’re reading, watching or eating.

Put simply, it makes it easier to formally tag the places we attend, the TV shows we’re watching or the music we’re listening to, and so of course inviting our friends to get more involved in the things we love. For example, a person listening to an up and coming musician in their local area would be able to spread the word amongst friends, enabling them to click straight through to the Facebook profile and hit the “listen button”.

It’s all supposed to be part of Facebook’s plan to get users to open up more. But do a series of pre-formatted pictures really help us to express how we’re feeling? A more cynical approach would see this as an attempt to over simplify our moods and feelings? How often can we say we feel 100% sad, happy or confused? And more to the point why is Facebook asking us for such personal information?

Those who do try out the new drop down box will no doubt have noticed the pop-up notifying them that “details you add to posts also appear on your About page and other pages on Facebook.”

Now it is, the “other pages on Facebook that seems to be causing the biggest stir amongst critics and users. Facebook is essentially warning us that if we choose a particular pre-formatted emotion, TV programme or brand of coffee, Facebook could potentially use this data to target us with ads.

For example someone who reveals that they are listening to Beyonce could be targeted with ads for her new album or appearance. But is this all bad? If we’ve already stated an interest in the subject, is it not surely quite feasible that we should want to hear more about it?

Either way it will be interesting to hear feedback from Facebook’s one billion active users.

Posted by: Lewis Austin

Posted on: February 22, 2013 5:20 pm

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As many tweeps would have found out last Wednesday, either by blogs or first-hand experience. Twitter has revised the “rules” of tweeting when using links of one kind or another. Apparently the cause of this reduction is due to a change in Twitter’s t.co link wrapper.

How It Works

By adding a link to your tweet, you reduce your character limit down to 118/117 characters, depending on the type of link that you use, be it http or https. This will usually be used to explain the link and in the case of social media marketers, be used to entice a follower into clicking the link. After a little experimentation I can deduct that it does not matter how long the Url is. Try it for yourself, add a Url of your choice into the “post a tweet” section (preferably one that’s already been shortened), now add some random characters to the link. Your number of remaining characters should stay the same.

What Does This Mean

Well in some cases, you are actually missing out on characters, some bit.ly and t.co links are short enough for you to be losing a maximum of 2 characters. However it’s not all doom and gloom, I wanted to share an article from Mashable and noticed that I had 2 extra characters that I would have had.

It is easy to state why this loss of 2 characters is a problem, as a lot of businesses find it difficult to write an effective tweet, let alone in 118 characters, but in the long run, quite a few links will actually be at a slight advantage, and that advantage is only as significant as the disadvantage in this scenario. If you’re not buzzed about the pros, you shouldn’t really be bothered about losing 2 characters.

This structured method to tweets referring to external sources could actually help businesses learn how to make the most of the space that they have. As we all know it can be a task to get the attention of users on Twitter, due to its’ “here and now” approach, so it is more important now than ever to make each character count.

One thing that you have to notice is that there are a lot of businesses that are not really reaching a large number of audiences. Many have been working on promoting their business through the tri-media that is through radio, television or print. However, there are businesses that may not be applicable to those audience found within their locality. Or sometimes competition within the locality have already increased exponentially that there is a need to locate a new source of clients. This is where the internet will come in, statistics have shown that there is an increase in the number of people transacting business online, further it shows that people are now first consulting the internet whenever they need to locate a specific item that they want to purchase.

How to Bring your Business Online?

Ok so you have understood why you should bring your business online, now the first steps is usually the most difficult part, however rest assured that it is relatively easy as long as you are equipped with the proper knowledge. First step on bringing your business online is to develop a website that will serve as your online store for your business. When developing your website you have to think of it as your online store therefore you have to develop your content in such a way as if you are talking to your clients directly. Think of adding features on your website that will help you to convince your visitors to avail of your product or the services that you offer. You can do this by adding great content with the proper call to action or by adding videos and audio content to your site with the right call to action of course. Make sure also that your website design is also something that would cater to your target audience, if you are catering  to internet users in the age of 30 and above then you should design your site in such a way that your content will be easy to read and locate.

Now I Have A Website What Now?

If you think that having a website is enough to bring your business online this is where many people are mistaken. Having a website online is not a guarantee that you will be increasing your sales exponentially nor will it be a guarantee that your site will be visited by your target audience. This is because of the fact that the internet is full of websites that may be providing the same products or services as you have. So how do you compete if the internet is already full of such websites? You can do it through online promotion, specifically via Search engine optimisation, social media marketing, pay per click advertising among others. Through these methods you can promote your website online through search engines and social media. These methods will increase the visibility of your website to a wider audience and to those engaged in transacting business via internet in general.

Conclusion

In order to achieve these you may do it in-house or do the website development and online promotion yourself, just be prepared to experience a high learning curve and allot lots of time during the learning process, but if you do not have that luxury of  time then you can let the experts work on your website development and online promotion, you can hire the services of a reliable SEO Company or SEO consultant that offers a bundled service of web development along with their Search engine optimisation process.

 

One of the good advices anyone can give in any endeavour is to “take a risk and learn from your mistakes”, a better advice that could be followed by everyone is to “learn from others’ mistakes”. There are instances where we can prevent disaster from happening by arming ourselves with the proper knowledge and such proper knowledge could even be learned by learning from the mistakes that were committed by others.

Mistake and Social Media Marketing

One of the newest marketing strategy for SEO companies and SEO consultants is via the internet is Social media marketing, this is said to be a very productive marketing strategy but also a very volatile one since you will be dealing with people directly through social media networks, where comments placed could either make or break your company reputation. This is why committing a mistake in your social media campaign could turn your marketing campaign into a nightmare.

Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Through the experiences of social media managers there were several Social media marketing mistakes that we have learned and are now sharing it with you in order to avoid this kind of problems in the near future:

1. Lacks Interaction – setting up a Facebook fan page or a Twitter Account for the company is a potential avenue for marketing, therefore you have to work to increase your company reputation in the world of social media, which means that you have to interact with your clients or potential clients who would be asking your questions, giving their comments and posting their suggestions. By quickly responding to their queries you will be able to manage your company’s online reputation.

2. Forgetting the Call To Action – a basic requirement in every marketing effort is to include your call to action method. This is because of the fact that call to actions would tend  to motivate clients, potential clients or maybe the site visitors to purchase or avail of your products and services, should you post a status update a little call to action may not hurt.

3. Unreliable Content – sometimes it is easier to copy content and post it in your social media status however this is a dangerous practice since it would open up the avenue for complaints and negative comments in your website, make sure that all the content that you will be placing in your social media status is original and reliable because all clients or potential clients visiting your website are looking only for reliable contents.

Conclusion on Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing deals with actual people who are in the members of such online community, once you create your own social media page you are actually building a community for your company and thus it is important to look after your community by not committing such social media mistakes previously stated.

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