Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Google Parent Company Alphabet Making Moonshot Projects Pay For Themselves

You know Google's Moonshot projects that have become so famous lately? Well, they are about to become a lot more financially responsible here soon. Alphabet, which is the new parent company over Google, has plans to make some of the most ambitious (or unrealistic) divisions more fiscally responsible. How you might ask? Well by requiring them to front the bill for things like recruiting, finance, marketing and other "backoffice" corporate necessities instead of letting their mommy pay for them.

Alphabet has a wide range of standalone moonshot companies that include Google X and Google Life Sciences. Google X is a super secret evil lair lab that developed projects like self-driving cars and Google Glass back in the day. Google Life Sciences was a very ambitious health care research branch. Naturally the overlords at Google are keeping tight-lipped about all of this and refusing to comment on the subject.

However, this arrangement keeps in line with what Google has been trying to do over the past couple months, trying to show Wall Street that it has the ability to corral some of its high costs for areas outside of its core online advertising business while also offering a more sustainable goal for innovation in the future.

In the beginning of the year, former Morgan Stanley CFO Ruth Porat was hired as Google's new CFO in order to help the company improve its relationship with its investors on Wall Street. Porat has been touting the need for "ongoing expense discipline" for a while now, which could sound boring to Google users but is basically the sweetest thing an investor can hear.

During her time at Google, the company has surpassed Wall Street estimates for profits twice in a row after being on a losing streak for six straight quarters. In addition to that, Google has also decided to push forward with its long-awaited plan to create its own holding company (Alphabet) which is expected to provide the company more transparency for the financials of Google's cornucopia of investments.

What people need to understand is that this new decision isn't one that was made to cripple the most ambitious projects at Google but is, in fact, designed to ensure that each one of these projects is self-sufficient and able to stand alone as its own business while surviving independently. This could also mean that each of these Moonshot businesses could be spun off at a later date.

There is definitely a lot of interesting things happening over in the Google camp, but they all seem to be pretty positive. Hopefully, this move by Google appeases investors and allows the company to really start innovating and creating even more things for the future.

Content originally published here
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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Starting Your Business On Social Media

Are you trying to launch a presence for your business in the world of social media? It's not as easy as some might have you believe. Creating a strong foundation on social media will assist you in building visibility and connections for your business. The world revolves around social media and the platforms we have today are some of the best ways to interact with customers and really understand what they want and how you can give it to them. So what are you supposed to do and how are you supposed to do it? Come with me and I'll show you.

Make Sure Your Profiles Are Filled Out

It is imperative that you take all of your social media profiles and fill them out completely. Incomplete or inactive social media business accounts give users little to no reason to like your page or follow you. In addition to that, inactivity will also probably have the same effect. It's amazing how many social profiles are out there that are incomplete or inactive for months and even years.

Make sure you keep these questions in mind when filling out your social media profiles: What will people gain from following? Do profile summaries and descriptions include Who, What, Where, and Why? Is your contact information clearly visible and up-to-date?

Share Buttons Are Critical

The easier it is for people to share your content on their own social media the more likely they are to actually do it. That is why you need to make sure that your blogs and pages have social media sharing buttons installed. Almost every single blogging platform out there these days has plugins and options for adding social media sharing buttons to your posts so there's really no excuse not to have them other than laziness.

Request Feedback From Customers

Customer reviews have a very real effect on consumers. How often do people read reviews on products they are buying off Amazon? How many times to people check out Yelp before going out to a restaurant? The answer is all the time. Research shows that people take online customer reviews and opinions into account when they have to make a purchase decision. If you're not getting a lot of reviews from customers then you should try asking people to post a review on Google, Facebook, or another social media channel that you are interested in. This is the perfect way to find out what customers think and how they feel about your products and/or services.

The More Profiles The Better

If you really want to succeed in social media for your business then making just a Facebook account or Twitter account won't cut it. You need to target as many social media platforms as possible, including LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Tumblr. All of these accounts may seem unnecessary at first, but it is absolutely critical to the success of your business and gets what you want to say out to as many people as possible. Heck even using Snapchat has started to become a thing for businesses.

Don't Block Blog Comments

Commenting systems, including Facebook, Livefyre, and Disqus, make it very easy for people to interact with your content through social media. Each of these systems has certain advantages to them as well. Livefyre is great if you are trying to encourage discussion and is used by sites like Hootsuite, CNET, and New York Magazine. Disqus offers very good moderating tools and requires users to make an account prior to posting comments. However, make sure you moderate your comments sections for things like spammers.

Make A Connection With Followers

Social media, believe it or not, is about being social! If you only make posts about your products and services in an attempt to generate sales then you will more than likely have all of those efforts fall on deaf ears. Unless you are actively speaking with people, your message won't get heard. You don't have to respond to every single comment, but you should try to start some type of interaction with your followers by responding to questions or giving out more information when and where it is needed. This lets people know that you are, in fact, a human being and not some autonomous robot.

Well, there you have it! If your business is new or just new to social media then these tips should help you get the ball rolling in no time! Remember, social media is the very best way to engage with your customers and really spread your company, your products, and your brand as far as possible!

Content originally published here
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

5 Tips For Repurposing Your Old Content

We can't deny the fact that we all have blogs on our sites that just seem to be gathering dust. Besides the random view or comment on an old post, our older content gets overlooked A LOT! Mainly because it's either outdated or Google tends to want to focus on more of the newer indexed material.

Your content should never go to waste, especially when there are numerous ways to repurpose your old content. You've already done the research needed, so just update, change the format and get more out of your blogs.

Refresh Your Old Material

The archives of your already existing blogs contain tons of info that you can easily reuse. You've already posted the content, so you know which blogs worked better than others. This gives you a good idea of what you can successfully reuse.

But this time, instead of using the exact same article, try adding a little more information here and there. Add small details in the blog, that you know has worked before.

Take into consideration, college textbooks. Their basic structure as a book doesn't change from year to year. New information just gets added to the pre-existing content. It gives the companies a quick turnaround and room to upcharge on the new textbook.

Turn Blog Posts Into SlideShare Presentations

If you take your old blog posts and turn them into SlideShare presentations, it will increase your traffic and may even get you new leads on clientele. SlideShare is only growing bigger and bigger, and having you share in that will get you, new viewers and potential customers. The best method to having great SlideShare posts is great imagery and well-presented information.

Keep in mind, when you save your infographics to SlideShare, it has to be saved in a one-page PDF format before you upload it. This will then have SlideShare automatically detect it as an infographic and list it in the infographic directory.

Create Top Ten Lists

Lists tend to do great on the Internet! Take some info from your most successful posts and create top ten lists out of them. Then you can link your original blog post with the clips in the list and draw traffic back to your site.

Start A Newsletter

By sending out newsletters to your clients, you can introduce them to content they might be intrigued by. If you use outside articles for the content of your newsletter, make sure you provide your sources, so you don't get in trouble for copy writing.

Use Small Clips From Old Posts

Some of the most powerful content doesn't come from long blogs. It's just snippets of those quality articles that gets you interested. Post clips with links back to your original blog and watch the traffic you draw in.

All in all, don't ignore your old content. Those old blogs can easily be brushed off, polished up, and reposted as new content, with very little effort. Aside from the examples provided, research some more ways you can get more value out of those old blogs. You'd be amazed at what you can do with all that content you've already worked hard on!

Content originally published here
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Facebook's Instant Articles Wants To Replace All Your New Sources

Back in the day, people used to get their news from things called newspapers. Then the television was invented and people, while still getting most of their news from newspapers, started to get their news from news reporters on TV. Then the internet came along and people starting getting their news online. Well, now Facebook wants to be your new source of all things news.

The social media platform is launching its Instant Articles features for its mobile app to more users, which will allow them to browse headlines, read articles, and watch news videos directly on their smartphones, according to the company.

Instant Articles was released in a limited capacity five months ago and is designed specifically for Facebook's mobile readers. According to Facebook, the features loads news stories 10x faster than a standard website and also uses Facebook's advertising software, promising faster loading and more attractive layouts.

According to Manager of the Instant Articles Team Chris Cox, "The most important thing we pay attention to is providing daily value. Daily use is something we care about." Cox was recently at The Wall Street Journal's WSJDLive conference in Southern California.

Instant Articles is just the most recent venture by Facebook to be in every facet of our lives. Facebook has already replaced things like photo albums, blogs, and instant messenger and now it is ready to replace you news services by giving you instant access to news wherever you are. Facebook has already said that it plans to publish 1,000 articles per day via partnerships with magazines, websites, and daily newspapers, including National Geographic, Time, USA Today, and CNET.

Facebook also announced that the Instant Articles feature now works with all Apple iPhones and that they are running a public test of the feature on phones that use Google's Android operating system. The stories are published on your News Feed in the Facebook app and when you tap on them, the stories fill the screen almost instantly. The feature doesn't require you to check outside news sources, like The New York Times, though Facebook believes that this makes the service more appealing.

Facebook also says that Instant Articles is part of a years-long effort to revitalize the service to work better with mobile devices and in more situations. There are currently 1.31 billion people using the Facebook app at least once per month so Facebook is trying to ensure that it works anywhere in the world, even over poor wireless connections and on lower-end smartphones. To do this, Facebook made the app use less data and work faster.

The more people that use the app, the more ads Facebook will be able to show you. This means more money. Facebook is the second-largest internet destination for advertising revenue, generating over 18% of the ad dollars spent online last year. That number is expected to increase to more than 20% by 2017. Cox didn't elaborate on how many Instant Articles are being read or shared by users.

Content originally posted here
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Friday, October 09, 2015

Improve Your Social Media Posts With These 5 Psychology Tips

Social media is a vital part to any successful business. However, a lot of businesses seem to have trouble with this certain aspect. Some have problems engaging with their audience. Others have lackluster posts. Some just don't keep their social media up and running frequently enough. If you want to get more out of your social media, then you need to tailor your content specifically so that it appeals to your audience on an emotional level. But how do you do that you might ask? With these simple tips.

Colors Speak Louder Than Words

Making the most out of color choices will help you get the most engagement out of your audience. Before you start posting things on social media you need to choose a color that goes with your brand. This color choice will not only represent your business but also impact your followers on a psychological level. Rob Russo uses visually striking colors on his Twitter account that draws the attention of his followers. That's what you want to try to do. You want to make your content pop and separate itself from the other dribble that floods social media feeds.

Hit Them Right In The Feels

If you can connect with your audience on an emotional level, especially if that emotional level is happiness, then you can positively impact your social media posts. Sporting good companies, like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, etc... do this often by showing emotional moments in sports and putting captions on them that give you some sense of positivity. You may be unaware, but you are actually eliciting some type of emotion with all of your social media posts. Make the most of your posts by sharing good things with your followers.

Pictures Speak Louder Than Words...

The image you have on your social media posts is the window through which all your content is viewed, so it needs to have an impact. You need to pick an image that shows what you're trying to say in your post. You've heard of Red Bull I imagine? Well, Red Bull's Instagram account is always posting images that attempt to inspire their followers to enjoy life and look for new adventure. Good pictures also help your content stand out from everything else, which is what you should be trying to accomplish. However, you need to ensure that your images are relevant to your target audience. Never forget your target audience.

...But Words Are Still Important Too

After you create your post, your call to action, or whatever, you need to write a description. Did you know there's a Law of Attraction? Well, it states that "like attracts like", so it is probably a good idea to begin your description with words that you know people want to hear or like to hear. There are six words that usually work well: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. These words have a tendency to create an emotional response that really captures peoples' attention. There are other trigger words that you could use, though make sure you are using positive trigger words!

Conversation Starters Are Key

If you want people to open up then you have to find the right way to introduce conversation into your social media posts. The easiest way to do this is, simply, to ask for it. Start your post with a question or end it with a question or a statement that invites open discussion. If you establish communication with your followers then you will better discover what they need and want and how you can give it to them.

You need to really put some thought into each aspect of your social media posts. This includes images, colors, descriptions, emotional connections and more. The above tips will help you connect with your followers and really get the most out of your social media campaign.

Content originally published here
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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Don't Share The Latest Facebook Hoax.....Please's not a hard thing to do, especially in today's time where we have the almighty Google at our beck and call whenever we want. Unfortunately, most people on the internet would rather hastily post and share things on their Facebook feeds without looking into it for even a second. Because, you know, if it's on Facebook then it's obviously true am I right?

The most recent piece of nonsense to circulate through your Facebook news feed has to deal with Facebook privacy. I'm sure you've seen it. It looks similar to something like this:

"Now it's official! It has been published in the media. Facebook has just released the entry price: $5.99 to keep the subscription of your status to be set to "private". If you paste this message on your page, it will be offered free (paste not share) if not tomorrow, all your posts can become public. Even the messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. After all, it does not cost anything for a simple copy and paste!
Better safe than sorry is right. Channel 13 News was just talking about this change in Facebook's privacy policy. Better safe than sorry.
As of September 28th 11:30 am Eastern standard time, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE. You MUST copy and paste!"

Just look at it. It has all the appropriate trigger words in it. First it tells you it's "official", then it goes in to talking about paying for Facebook (a common fear that spreads among users). The next trigger word? Private. Privacy is also something these scams attempt to use to stir the pot. Throwing a news channel in there, like Channel 13 News (how generic), is a nice touch. It attempts to give the story a little more credibility. Probably the biggest trick here is the addition of the legal code. It makes the entire thing look really official.

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The fact that the message insists that you copy and paste the status instead of sharing it ensures that it goes around the social media site quicker and hits more people. However, posting this status is entirely pointless and does absolutely nothing because this isn't a real thing. Facebook has absolutely no interest in owning any of your photos or posts. Anything and everything you post on Facebook is yours. In fact, according to a post from Facebook back in 2012, "Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our terms. They control how that content and information is shared. that is our policy, and it always has been."

You aren't preventing Facebook from violating your privacy by copying and pasting some stupid status into your news feed. That's not how it works, that's not how any of this works. When you first created your Facebook account you agreed to the site's Terms of Service. This includes the site's Privacy Policy. Even though Facebook does, at times, update this policy and the ToS, your agreement to those updated terms are implicit.

In addition to that, you have also agreed to give Facebook a "non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook." This comes straight from the site's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. This means that Facebook can use anything you post on the site to promote itself.

So what have we learned here today? Don't believe everything you read on Facebook. And PLEASE do a little research before you go posting nonsense like this. And should you disagree with Facebook's policies you can always not sign up for Facebook, try to work out a modified privacy policy with the site (like that'll ever happen), ask Facebook to change its policies, or delete your Facebook account.....the choice is yours.

Content originally published here

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Strategies To Improve Your Social Media Results

It's no surprise that social media can be a huge benefit to your business. However, managing and maintaining your company's social media presence can be a time-consuming challenge. If you are a startup, then you may also not have the time or the money to properly delegate your social media tasks. Regardless, your goal should be to build a sustainable web presence and to figure out a way to optimize your social media campaigns. Here are a few strategies that will allow you to double your social media results in far less time than you think, increasing your engagement with your followers and generate more leads for your business.

80/20 Rule

One of the most important things about your social media presence is knowing what content to post. Don't use social media to pitch your products and services. Doing this may actually turn off your followers and customers. The goal of your social media should be to provide useful, thoughtful content. Confusing your followers for customers is a bad move and it is always better to give rather than to receive. Doing this will instill a sense of trust in your audience.

Listening to your audience is also imperative. When you take the time to do this you can create content that flows with the goals and desires of those who follow you. The more you engage, the more unnecessary the marketing aspect of your social media presence becomes. This is the perfect opportunity to for you to suggest that your fans subscribe to your email list.

Roughly 80% of your social media content should offer value to your followers. However, you still want to try to convert these followers into customers. Therefore, the remaining 20% of your posts should be focused on generating leads. This doesn't mean you have to be pushy. In fact, you don't need to be pushy at all. Create things like educational content that steers your followers to one of your websites.

Create a Procedure

Social media isn't the best option for a "quick fix". Don't try sneaky tactics to get on the front page of Google. Actually, if you try this you're likely to get your account banned. If you want to generate a steady traffic flow then you will need persistence and patience. If you try to post to a bunch of different social media sites ever single day then you may end of doing more harm than good.

Getting distracted can take you up to 20 minutes to get back to where you were at the start. Taking constant time out of your day to work on social media will hinder your ability to focus on more important business tasks. In addition to that, if you don't have proper social media management tools then you will have to manually log into each site separately. If you try to cross promote, and you are logged into all of these websites then you could have a lot of clutter or end up publishing the wrong content on the wrong site.

A more efficient strategy would be to set aside 2 to 3 hours a week to focus on social media. Create something that lists the posting frequencies that you want for each platform and remember that some sites may require more content than others. Posting 3 to 4 times a week on Facebook is a good strategy whereas you may only want to post 1 to 2 videos on YouTube each week.

Recycle Old Content

Emailing the same person 5 times in a day will almost definitely get them to unsubscribe to your email list. However, if you post to Facebook 5 times in a day it may very well enhance the level of engagement with your followers. If you have a wide range of followers from all over the globe then you will have followers in different time zones, that work at different times of the day, and peruse social media at different times of the day. That means that not all of your content will reach 100% of your audience.

That is why you should repurpose some of your most popular content. When it comes down to it, most of your followers won't see your content more than once. Your content going viral is even more unlikely. Repurposing your content will get your content out to a larger audience. You can post the same content every 2 to 3 weeks. Make a few tweaks each time you post the content. You can change the title slightly or the body of each paragraph, small changes make big differences.

Putting It All Together

Social media can seem more overwhelming than it really is. If you want your social media sites to drive traffic to your business you can't afford to do it wrong. Posting multiple times a day on multiple social media sites most likely won't work. Creating a plan and sticking to it will help you stay accountable in the long-run. Scheduling posts will save you time and help you increase output and repurposing that content will increase the level of interaction and engagement with your followers.

Content originally published here

Monday, September 14, 2015

Websites Can Now Block Ad-Blockers, Engage In A Never-Ending Battle

The war on pop-ups has begun. Pop-ups, commercials, and advertisements are being defeated left and right as users install ad-blocking software in order to browse the internet free of this annoyance. However, these ads aren't just laying down and taking it. In a vicious battle that sees ads and ad-blocking software circling each other like panthers about to pounce, news sites and other online publishers have begun blocking the ad-blockers in big ways, small ways, and passive-aggressive ways.

New software is now available that can detect whether or not a site visitor is using ad-blocker software. This software allows websites to direct messages to these visitors and shove ads through to them any way they can. In addition to that, they can even withhold stories and block content from view. Publishers have been turning to startups that give them the ability to detect and break through ad-blocker software like Sourcepoint and Pagefair.

The Washington Post is one of the sites fighting ad-blockers. The newspaper is testing out a new feature that stops readers with ad-blockers enabled from viewing an article until they agree to sign up for an email newsletter or subscribe.

According to spokesperson for The Washington Post Kristine Coratti Kelly, "Many people already receive our journalism for free online, and in the long run, without income via subscriptions or advertising, we won't be able to deliver the journalism that people coming to our site expect from us."

Publishers have a good reason to be nervous. A report from Adobe and anti-ad blocker startup Pagefair estimates that ad blockers could cost the industry $21.8 billion in lost revenue this year. However, that number could be an exaggeration based on faulty economic reasoning. Usage of this did, however, grow by 41% this past year.

To make matters worse, when Apple's iOS 9 software update hits iPhones within the next week, those using Safari (which is an estimated 50% of mobile web surfers in the United States) will have the ability to shut out mobile ads by turning on a setting and downloading an app.

According to Sourcepoint CEO Ben Barokas, the goal is to reach an understanding between the reader and the publisher. In a perfect system, users of ad-blocking software could opt to pay for their content in other ways, like viewing less intrusive ads or buying a subscription. According to a statement from Barokas, "We are entering this phase where the conversation is 'Hey, we're the publisher, we'd love to give you content, please choose how'd you'd like to compensate us.' We're in this era of transparency and an unlimited amount of options."

Unfortunately for Barokas, that style of thinking is never going to work...unless advertisers become more aggressive. "We have seen that this is very ineffective unless coupled with a content block and offering other choices," Barokas continued. It's few and far between that ONLY appealing to their good will is enough to modify users' behavior."

Last year, Ireland-based Pagefair reported that only .33% of the 576 different targeted appeals that it ran on 220 websites convinced readers to exempt the site from an ad blocker. Of the ones that did, 1/3 eventually reneged on their decision. A quick look on Twitter showed that many ad-block users don't seem to have any sympathy on these types of pleas. Some users see the software as an ideological stand against the irritating and, sometimes, malicious ads that plague the internet and these users know precisely what the stakes of their decision is without a plea from a website.

Content originally published here
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Mihm: Don't be inconsistent with your NAP

NAP, stands for Name, Address and Phone.

Based on Moz’s Local SEO Ranking Factors, a body of research conducted annually by David Mihm, the Director of Local Search at Moz, NAP inconsistencies have been identified as the third highest negative factor affecting local rankings“.

When search engines see consistent NAP citations across your website, review sites, social media profiles, and directory listings, then this acts as a positive ranking factor. However, if search engines find inconsistencies in the citations, in the interest of caution and their own reputation, they promote businesses with accurate and consistent NAPs over yours.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Stop Bashing Millennials... Seriously

Over the past 200 years, within the U.S. and the majority of the world's developed economies, we have accepted the importance of diversity in national origin, race, creed, and sexual orientation. This helps tremendously with discrimination with social and economic participation. The increasing prosperity of the world really depends a lot on increasing our understanding the importance of diversity.

No matter how much we come together and accept one's diversity, there's still one way we judge those around us and everyone is guilty of doing it. Judging someone based off the generation he or she was born into. Now that people born after 1995 (Gen-Z) are entering the workplace, Millennials, Gen-Xers, Baby Boomers, and Matures now make five generations all working together.

Take into consideration, when someone is bashing a generation, the majority of the time, that exact generation has at least 1 or 2 people present for the conversation. You can't sit through a conversation if it were based on gender, race, or sexual orientation. Basically, the most present stereotype these days are judging people's acts and behaviors based on the generation that had no say in becoming a part of. It's an old way to stereotype folks because they didn't have social media, like we do now, that helps us understand individual behaviors. Let's face it, Facebook knows more about you than your own family.

With multiple generations in the workforce, generation labels become a lot more divisive than productive. If you want a successful business that reaches out to more than half of the world's population (which contains 4.5 billion Millennials and Gen-Zers), then judging generations is not the way to go.

Here are some reasons why you should stop judging generations and move onto a better era.

We're all using the exact same technologies to communicate

For example, Facebook isn't just for high school kids anymore. Grandparents are even creating Facebook pages. These tools that once was a great way to define a generation is now being used at all ages.

Different minds come up with different solutions

Trying to come up with different opportunities and challenges come from thinking from every possible angle. The more minds with past experiences working with the eager and ambitious minds of the future will result in very creative ideas.

Education these days isn't exactly the same as it has been in the past

Kids in school these days are using 3-D printers to make novel medical devices and prosthetics while matures were starting their new careers back in the 70s.

Virtual reality is making is possible for every generation to view others experiences

What used to hold generations closer together were their shared experiences of what couldn't be effectively reproduced. As more and more virtual reality comes up online, we will be able to see what other generations experienced.

The ability technology now gives us can help target the "right" people, not the "right" generation

The biggest benefit with moving into post-generational thinking is that technology will be in how we use behavior to identify and predict preferences, attitudes, and interests. So we won't be judging on generations all together but rather an individual person.

All in all, we are all making up part of the greatest global generational mix of human experiences. So instead of working against one another, we need to start working together and coming up with bigger, stronger, and all around better businesses, technologies, and new creations. Just imagine what all of us could come up with when we all think at different angles!

Content originally published here

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Facebook Sending More Traffic Than Google

Even though Google is still the single most-viewed website in the world, it isn't the number one site for everything, particularly driving traffic to media sites. No, that title belongs to Facebook according to analytics from  Yes, that's right, Facebook is still attempting to dominate literally every facet of our lives in hopes of becoming the leader of our future AI overlords....

According to the report, Facebook accounted for almost 43% of traffic to its network for media sites. This network, mind you, includes over 400 outlets like Mashable, Reuters, and The Atlantic. According to the numbers from, Facebook sends 6 billion page views and over 1 billion unique visitors their way. Google, on the other hand, only drove 38% of traffic to media sites.

Now don't get confused, Google is still the top referral source in terms of search and overall web traffic referrals. However, Facebook has the edge when it comes to referrals to media sites. The importance of Facebook as an online media traffic driver has increased exponentially over the last year and a half. Back in January 2014 Facebook only accounted for 20% of all traffic to its network of media sites. This figure has doubled in the last 18 months.

This increased importance as a traffic driver for Facebook shouldn't really surprise anybody, especially media sites. Many media sites closely monitor traffic and where that traffic originated from. As Facebook's user base has increased (there are currently 1.49 billion users and counting) so has its power as a platform for content distribution.

If you remember Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's long-stated goal for Facebook, which is "To build the perfect personalized newspaper for every person in the world", you'll see that all of this fits together nicely.

This is why Facebook introduced Instant Articles back in May. Instant Articles has Facebook hosting optimized content from publishers like the New York Times, NBC, Buzzfeed, BBC News and The Guardian. A lot of this content is presented natively through Facebook's mobile app (for the iPhone, at least) as opposed to requiring users to click on an outside link.

Facebook has yet to share with the world how Instant Articles are performing so far with users, or even if any money is working its way around. Though third-party data, like that from, is further fuel for Facebook's campaign fire that suggests that online publishers need Facebook if they want to reach the largest possible number of users, whether we (the consumers) like it or not.

Content originally published here

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Classic Sci-Fi Books Loved By Billionaire Business Professionals

Reading is one of the most important things you can do. There are a ton of benefits to reading, including increases to memory and intelligence. If you don't believe me then maybe you'll believe some of the wealthiest business professionals in the world? People like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, Sir Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg love to read, especially science-fiction books, and there are 7 books that tend to pop up on their lists frequently.

1. Dune

Author: Frank Herbert
Summary: A young nobleman stranded on a desert world inspires fanatic hordes in order to bring down and transform a decadent empire.
Why Billionaires Love It: They like to think that they are bettering the world. This means that billionaires are naturally drawn towards a hero who seems to be doing the same for the entire known universe.
Fun Fact: The sequel to this book is Dune Messiah, which is known for one of the world's most disappointing sequels.
Opening Line: "In the week before their departure to Arrakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a nearly unbearable frenzy, an old crone came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul."

2. The Foundation Trilogy

Author: Isaac Asimov
Summary: A brilliant mathematician predicts the eventual fall of a galactic empire and founds a new empire that will replace it.
Why Billionaires Love It: The book leans towards the assumption that human progress and the growth of civilization and technological innovation are the same processes. Therefore, technology is a necessity in changing the world for the better.
Fun Fact: Asimov's Laws of Robotics" (e.g. "A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.") are still cited as providing ethical guidelines for the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Opening Line: "His name was Gaal Dornick and he was just a country boy who had never seen Trantor before."

3. Atlas Shrugged

Author: Ayn Rand
Summary: In an alternate reality similar to our own, a group of industrialist individuals withdraw from the world and bring it crashing down.
Why Billionaires Love It: Like in most science fiction books, corporations tend to play the role as villains who are trying to destroy the world. Rand does a great job at reversing that by setting up corporate CEOs as the heroes that a villainous world is trying to destroy.
Fun Fact: The last film that Steve Jobs viewed before his untimely death was the critically-panned Atlas Shrugged, Part I.
Opening Line: "Who is John Galt?"

4. A Wrinkle in Time

Author: Madeleine L'Engle
Summary: A young, nerdy girl travels to another dimension to try and save her father and brother from a mind-controlling entity who rules a world without individuality.
Why Billionaires Love It: The story centers on individuality as a defense against group thinking in a collectivist society.
Fun Fact:  A Wrinkle in Time is one of the few science fiction books that have inspired an opera.
Opening Line: "It was a dark and stormy night."

5. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Author: Douglas Adams
Summary: A hapless Englishman has a series of surreal yet comic adventures through space.
Why Billionaires Love It: Who doesn't enjoy a good laugh every now and again?
Fun Fact: The book was originally a BBC radio broadcast.
Opening Line: "The house stood on a slight rise just on the edge of the village."

6. Ender's Game

Author: Orson Scott Card
Summary: A computer simulations player with outstanding talent, saves the world from bug-like alien invaders.
Why Billionaires Love It: Many billionaires built their fortunes on high tech, so naturally, a hero that uses high tech to save the world is going to be appealing.
Fun Fact: The author has frequently been vilified for his conservative political beliefs, even though science fiction authors, in general, tend to be right wingers.
Opening Line: "I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and I tell you he's the one. Or at least as close as we're going to get."

7. Stranger in a Strange Land

Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Summary: A man born on Mars returns to Earth and becomes the founder of a hippie-like, corpse-eating sex cult. (what else could be more intriguing than that?)
Why Billionaires Love It: It's a Baby Boomer thing.
Fun Fact: This also being heavy metal band Iron Maiden's favorite book.
Opening Line: "Once upon a time there was a Martian named Valentine Michael Smith."

Content originally published here
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Twitter Marketing In 10 Minutes A Day

If you're like me and have an outrageous schedule, your days are more than likely filled to the max. Having to wake up after not enough hours of sleep, rushing to work and trying to avoid all the morning traffic, having your afternoons booked with meetings and last minute deadlines, then evening dinners with friends or family you never get time to see. Top it off by juggling all of this with more last minute work things to finish up or setting up to start your routine all over again the next day. You seem to just not have enough time to breathe, so how do you have enough time to tweet?

Being a digital marketer, you probably less time than any of us! Any opportunity you get to cut back minutes or even hours off your daily tasks, you'll surely take it. Researching and testing out new tools, updating ad campaigns, managing creatives and building community. Anything to spare you some time so here is a template for only spending just 10 minutes a day marketing your Twitter account, to free up some time. And the best thing is that you don't need a computer or a laptop to be effective! You can handle all of your Twitter marketing from a smartphone or tablet if you wanted to.

Minute 1. Log on to Twitter. Check your notifications and respond to anyone who @mentioned you since the last 10-minute session you were on. And while you're at it, if you want, you can thank your followers for retweets or favorites.

Minutes 2-3. Write 2-5 tweets that you would like to be tweeted that day.

Minutes 4-6. Log on to Socialoomph, TweetDeck, HootSuite or any scheduling tool you like to use. Schedule the tweets you wrote for the day, using a schedule you created with the tool or based on your audience insights.

Minutes 7-8. Browse your Twitter lists that you already have, for influencers, industry-related brand advocates and other accounts to retweet and reply to. Try to make 2-3 interactions from your lists every day.

Minutes 9-10. By using Twitter's advanced search or a saved search from previous sessions, search for keywords related to your industry or targeted audience. Try to follow at least 10 accounts that use those keywords each day.

If you go by this schedule, it will keep your Twitter account active and will also allow for growth. It does, however, need a few key items set in place for it to work properly:

  • A solid understanding of your target audience.
  • A high-level strategy.
  • Some awesome content (such as pre-rendered videos, landing pages, images, etc...).
  • One or more relevant Twitter lists that you've put together that contains accounts that help with retweeting or engaging with.

These are the only things that really need to be done outside of these 10 minutes per day. It's also good for your account to unfollow accounts that either don't follow you back or have little strategic value.

This is a great strategy for smaller accounts, but won't necessarily work for you if you are seeing a lot of @mentions or using Twitter for customer service. In that case, you can still use this 10-minute strategy, you'll just have to increase time to you reading and replying to customer tweets. It's still a great strategy and has a lot of great outcomes to prove it.

Content originally published here
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Monday, August 03, 2015

Twitter Hatch Finalists Event 2015

On Tuesday, August 11th 2015 at 6:00 PM at the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California, the top ten finalists of Hatch, Twitters first startup competition, will pitch their ideas in front of a live panel of judges. These new startups are going to duke it out and see who is worthy of being the next best app ever to hit the market. It's going to be an awesome place to hear the best new developers in the world speak and pitch their ideas, hang out and network with other entrepreneurs and investors, and see who comes out on top, taking home the grand prize.

Here is a look at the finalists and a brief description of what they are all about!


Something is a real-time reading list powered by your Twitter stream. The more you use it, the more it learns about what you like, downloading the best content in the background so it’s instantly available.


Bridgefy is an encrypted mobile messaging app that works without Internet or SMS, over large distances.


Founderfox is a community that helps startup founders level up. Founders can instantly connect and chat with other founders while on the go, or instantly create 1-2 minute videos to tell the world their story, share updates, share resources, promote and all this automatically posts to twitter too.

Haystack TV

Haystack TV is your personalized video news channel, watch it on your phone, tablet or TV.


CollabraCam your next video with friends and edit live from up to six iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch cameras streaming in real time over Wi-Fi or Hotspot.


Somewhere is a visual platform for sharing your work, where people can learn and be inspired by their peers, and companies can communicate and collaborate internally. We're building the cultural graph to help people and companies find one another and work together.


See who's around and meet in-person. Spend time in each others' company, not on messaging apps!


CityFALCON is democratizing access to financial news. We create a level playing field in financial news for all investors and traders. We source financial big data from Twitter, and then using the power of Twitter and crowd curation, provide a comprehensive and timely resource for investors and traders.

Sales Prodigy

Sales Prodigy is Social Listening for Sales Simplified. We turn social media noise into sales intelligence.


BuzzReel collects sentiments on Twitter and categorizes them into positive or negative reaction based on tweets tweeted by users. BuzzReel perpetually keeps receiving your tweets for movies.

Content originally published here

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Content Marketing - Better Together

The biggest part of the Internet is content. Baby boomers spend about 20 hours per week consuming online content, and the generations after them spend on average about 10 hours a week soaking in content. No matter how you look at it, a content marketing campaign could be one of the most important things for your company. Getting your campaign strategy down is important. You can make it a lot easier with some good partnerships. That is a key factor in taking your content marketing to the next level.

Building partnerships is always a good idea, no matter what you're doing in the business world. The good thing about doing it on the content marketing level is that you can easily build off the success of others with little to no effort. You get exposure to a way bigger audience than you would have had on your own, and you get more links! Everyone loves more links. And as your company grows, your partners will be pleased when you get them some exposure as well.

You may wonder what you have to offer your partner company since you yourself are looking for help. Most of the time added exposure for the partner company would be the main reason they would work with you, but new companies don't always have an audience. So instead, you could offer your new innovative ideas. If you're a new company, you are probably full of fresh ideas. That is very valuable in itself. So, before you go hunting down some new potential business partners for your new content marketing campaign, make a list of what you can bring to the table that makes you a hot commodity for your potential new partner.

Another thing you should take note of is that looking for a business partner isn't always as easy as it may seem. A lot of companies try to partner up with the other company that either has the biggest following or the one with the biggest social media numbers in general. It can't be denied that numbers do help, but they are not everything. You need to make sure that you partner up with someone who can come through for you and add something valuable to your business relationship. What can they offer besides a bunch of Facebook likes?

When you finally do settle on a partner, make sure that you explain in detail the roles that both parties should take on. Explain exactly what you will be doing, and exactly what you need from them without sugar coating anything. This reduces the chances of a misunderstanding down the line, and other problems that might pop up. Makes her you know who is going to be supplying the ideas for all the content and who is responsible for researching before you ever get started with anything.

Content marketing is a never ending process. You always have to be coming up with fresh ideas that people will actually care about, you have to research constantly, and it takes up a lot of time. But, if you do things right and have a few great partnerships, it could be one of the best ways ever to grow your business and take things to the next level.

Content originally published here

Monday, July 20, 2015

Low-Income Houses To Receive Free Internet From Google

Google seems to be continuing its plan of offering cheaper consumer technology products in an attempt to grow the market with people who may otherwise be unable to afford it. Google's latest venture? Offering free internet to low-income houses.

The White House project is calling this program ConnectHome. It will be releasing in all current and future Google Fiber markets, including Nashville, Atlanta, Kansas City and Durham. Soon, it will also branch out to cities like Portland, Salt Lake City, San Jose and Phoenix.

Erica Swanson, the head of community impact at Google Fiber, says that providing an Internet connection is only one piece of the puzzle. They are teaming up with ConnectHome and local community groups to develop basic computer skills training and create computer labs to host these trainings in all of their Fiber markets.

CenturyLink will also be part of ConnectHome by offering Internet to HUD homes in Seattle for $10/month in the first year and $15/month for the next four years after. The Google Internet package will be free every month with free installation.

This announcement comes right after Google's announcement of Project Fi, a new wireless program from the SEO giant. Project Fi will allow Google to work in close partnership with phone carriers, hardware manufacturers and users to explore new ways for people to connect and communicate. The service will run you $20 a month for basic talk, text and WiFi connectvity plus an additional $10 a month for every GB of data you plan on using.

Content originally published here and here

Friday, July 17, 2015

You Need To Check Out These Free Instagram Analytics Tools

Instagram is somewhat different from other popular social media platforms everyone seems so addicted to these days. It doesn't have its own analytics dashboard for you to measure the engagement and popularity of your posts. Fortunately, there are plenty of analytics tools that you could use, some even being free! Here's a look at the most efficient free Instagram analytics tools you should be taking advantage of.

Iconosquare, or Statigram as a lot of you know, is a desktop app that has both high-level and in-depth analytics. This meaning it includes a history of all your most liked photos, the total number of likes received, follower growth charts, the average number of likes and comments you receive per photo, and a lot more. It's appealing to big brands employing the social tool to increase their business as well as the average social media user.

If that's not enough to grab your attention, Iconosquare also lets you add a custom Instagram tab to your own Facebook page to increase cross-channel engagement. This tool also has an embed feature to showcase your Instagram photo gallery on your website.

SimplyMeasured has a free Instagram user report that is a great social tool to help provide a high-level summary of your company's Instagram account to your fellow colleagues or managers. This web-based report is only available for accounts that have up to 25,000 followers. You will receive a comprehensive two-month report that shows analytical data such as keyword analysis for comments, best time to post to receive the most engagement, the average engagement per photo, most active followers, top locations and filters, and more. That's pretty good for a free report.

There's also a mobile app for iOS and Android smartphones called InstaFollow. It's an easy tool that gives insight about your follower base. After you download and sync the app to your Instagram account, you'll be able to track users who you follow that don't follow you back, track new followers and those who have unfollowed you, follow and unfollow users with a button in the app, and track followers who don't follow back. With all these options, you'll be able to better connect with your followers and learn how to increase your following.

Union Metrics is similar to SimplyMeasured. It has a web-based tool where you can receive statistics and data about your Instagram account. According to the company, it only takes two minutes. Union Metrics incorporated some of the algorithms from their paid tool in with the free report. It includes data such as what hashtags receive the most engagements, when the best time to post is, what type of content you should use or not use, and who your top fans and followers are. It's not quite as useful as SimplyMeasured, but it's still worth two minutes of your time.

Crowdfire, also known as JustUnfollow, is a free Instagram and Twitter analytics tool that is available on the web as well as your iOS or Android mobile device. The app is basically a huge relationship management tool. It helps you find and identify who your inactive followers are as well as who is unfollowing them. This free social tool also helps you find new followers and locate followers that have similar habits and hashtags as you. On top of all of this, Crowdfire also allows you to set up an app to remind you to post a photo to your account, at a specific time.

As a social media junkie or a company that relies tremendously on social media, don't waste your time if you aren't going to measure, track, and act on results. Try out these free Instagram analytics tools to find which one best works for you with the most marketing results.

Content originally published here

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Why Your Online Product Development Fails

If you've read the post about what can happen when you build a business based on selling your own products or services, then you'd already have realized that it can make you more money. It's a fun and interesting way to connect with your audience and customers at a more personal level. Deeper than what you would normally do on your blogs or social media accounts.

It's not all fun and games though. If it was as easy as what some geniuses want to make you believe, then we'd all be filthy rich. So don't be tricked into believing that it's so easy, anyone could do it, non-sense. The cold-hearted fact is that it takes time, knowledge, and work to create your own product.

The first time creating your own product is kind like putting Ikea furniture together. You'll have all the pieces laid out in front of you. All that work, time, and confusion may look intimidating, but you can do it though you may want some help to make it easier on you.

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Sonia Simone and Chris Garrett, of Copyblogger Media, offer free sessions on what mistakes people make when putting together a product to be sold online.  They teach you how to reach your business goals, but they've been noticing the same patterns of failing. In the webinar, they teach you ways on how to avoid these problems and be a part of the ones who do succeed.

Do NOT take the approach most online entrepreneurs take because that pretty much guarantees failure. The "kitchen table in your underwear" business model can also put a damper on your success. They will also show you the best way to start doing and get out of analysis paralysis as well as how to handle marketing and sales if you aren't the best person at sales and what to do when technology is holding you back.

As part of the launch of an all-new version of their Teaching Sells course, they offer the webinar and additional articles on common ways that could lessen your success. Their Teaching Sells course is a course designed to help you build a solid and sustainable business as efficiently as possible.

So if you are looking to build a new business, then this webinar may be something you should look into. It's only going to help you in the long run and it can steer you away from potential problems that could harm you or your business. Like anyone else, you're looking to succeed and they are willing to help you do just that. Follow the link below to enter your email and join Sonia and Chris during their webinar.

Content originally published here

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hillary Clinton Jokes Her Way to Instagram Debut

Pretty much every celebrity in the world has an Instagram. So you would think that a Presidential hopeful would have already had one. But, better late than never, right? That's what my grandpa always said even though my mom said he was wrong.

Hillary Clinton finally got around to making an Instagram account recently. This could be one of the best moves she could ever make to go along with her Presidential campaign. Now she can get in touch with most of the younger generations without spending a dime. And, judging by her posts, it seems like she has a pretty good sense of humor, which people will also be able to relate to.

After just one day on the photo-sharing social media site, which is now owned by Facebook, she already had 100,000 followers. That is a pretty huge number for just one single day. I can't even count that high. In her bio it says she is a “Doting grandmother, among other things”. Starting the jokes early. It already has the #Hillary2016 hashtag along with a link to sign up for her campaign emails as well. What a great marketing plan.

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She is pretty much using Instagram like you would think she would, giving her followers a look into the every day grind of getting her campaign together. She is also counting down the days to her official campaign launch. Like I said earlier, one of the best things she has going for her is her sense of humor. Her first post, which you can see below, was a picture of 9 pant suits. Three red ones, three white ones, and thee blue ones. The caption says "Hard choices".

I see what you did there, Hillary. I see what you did.

Content originally published here

Friday, May 29, 2015

Quoted Tweets Will Display Properly with Third-Party Apps

Twitter is has quickly climbed up the social media totem pole, and with ease. Gone are the days of strictly posting to Facebook and waiting for your 15 likes to pop up on your status. Twitter is now one of the three top dogs of social media, right next to Facebook and Instagram. With Twitter becoming such a huge trend now, many businesses and users alike have looked into the best way to utilize their 140 character limit. Hashtags are arguably the most "logical" way to promote yourself, but what about quoting tweets? You just have to worry about losing some of your precious character count... right?

Not necessarily anymore. You no longer have to worry about Twitter tossing quotation marks around all willy-nilly. Now, when you quote a tweet it does what it probably should have done since Twitter has been around: embed the tweet. Whether you have a video or simply an image, when you quote a tweet now it's a much easier and more fulfilling process.

Both businesses and average users alike know how important that 140 character space can be, so when you're able to capitalize on that, it tends to make life a bit easier.

There were some devices out there (cough-Android-cough) that have trouble even loading the Twitter application. With it being as buggy as it was, more than likely due to the fault of updates, the third-party apps started popping up. To be quite honest, some of the third-party apps out there operated better than the actual social media app itself. For small fees, you could download third party apps such as Falcon Pro, Plume for Twitter, and Tweedle, just to name a few. These apps came with widgets and operated much more smoothly than the official app.

Now, even with the addition of third-party apps out there making it easier for you to take full advantage of Twitter's newsfeed, trending topics, and proverbial clown car of hashtags, they're not without flaws. For example, that darn "quote tweet" update didn't register to the third party apps.

A recent development involving Twitter's updates just gave the third-party apps a bone though. With the recent update, your third-party apps like Falcon Pro and Tweetdeck will display quoted tweets the proper way, via the update. Now, it's important to note that the update only allows for the apps to DISPLAY the quoted tweets properly. The new update doesn't actually ALLOW you to quote tweets and have them function the way they would had you quoted via Twitter. You'll still be seeing those quotation marks pop up if you're using the off-brand applications.

That being said, there are talks that we should be seeing an update that will give the third-party apps the ability to quote tweets the way that Twitter does. How soon that update is coming, we're unsure.

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If you're using the third-party apps, then make sure you're concise about your witty commentary when quoting tweets. You're going to need to cut some corners with those Twitter "quotes".

Content originally published here

Thursday, May 14, 2015

How Live Tweeting an Event Can Help Your Business

When you think social media, there should be about 3 different names that pop into your head without hesitation. The first, and most obvious, is Facebook. Then you might think Instagram. Last, but certainly not least, would be Twitter. Twitter is quickly dominating the social media playing field when it comes to businesses staying connected with potential clientele. Gone are the days of staying at your computer and liking comments to get noticed by hopeful customers. Now, it's become more pertinent to use Twitter as the main vehicle for any business trying to get a leg up on the competition, especially if said business is just starting out.

What do most small businesses do to help get noticed and delve into proper networking? Attend any type of business event they can, of course. One of the best ways to help your networking and grow your audience is by simply live tweeting.

What is live-tweeting? Simple. Tweeting about what people are saying, doing, and just talking about the event as it unfolds.

Some of the best ways to use live-tweeting to your advantage is through audience targeting. Twitter has this lovely little feature called hashtags. By using these hashtags and letting your followers know to use the same hashtag in order to maintain conversation about the event and its keynotes, you're building your audience. Also, make sure to rewrite your bio in order to have it coincide with the event. Maybe even use the event's hashtag to you can hit the largest number from the event audience.

Why not offer a free download of some sort, or some kind of giveaway with the link on a tweet with the event's hashtag? Have attendees go to your booth in order to redeem. There's also the idea of having the giveaway involve retweets or favorites. This alone will increase your engagement with event attendees. Just make sure that you're keeping the tweets short, sweet, and to the point. You could even tweet your own content, like pictures, comments, and quotes.

It also never hurts to show off exactly what your brand's services are as well. Just be sure you're not spamming so that your followers don't get bogged down. Creating a quick YouTube video promoting your services or creating a quick image that shows bullet points or your service in action would be a great way to spread your brand.

A company can use the buzz generated by the live-tweeting to bring attention to a contest or even a big announcement from said company. Again, using the event's hashtag will help your tweet get to the largest targeted audience.

Try catching the attention of both journalists and speakers alike at the event. If you can grab the attention of these journalists, adding them to a private twitter list can help you to find their tweets more easily on your twitter feed. If they tweet something relevant to the event or trade show, make sure to retweet it! Sometimes, you can contact the event organizer to get a hold of the list of bloggers or reporters that will be in attendance.

Any large influences or speakers at this years convention? Live-tweet their speeches. Tweeting these speeches as they're happening will not only provide information to those attending and not attending, but also catch the attention of the speakers themselves. Just make sure you use their proper twitter handle when you do so. If you're lucky, they might event retweet your tweet to their audience, thus giving your brand a bit more headway.

If you're feeling risky, you can even tweet at an influences to see if you can grab an interview with them. This helps grow connections between your business and the speakers. Growing these relationships early on can become crucial to a small business.

It's imperative that you have a Twitter plan going into any event. Live tweeting an event can really help your business and while having a laptop or a smartphone with you at the event will help you still can't do it alone. You're going to need a team to make it happen accordingly. So, the next event or trade show that your business attends, make sure to live-tweet during it and sit back and watch as your brand starts to flourish.

Content originally published here