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 If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates.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.

Interested in a Quote on a Microsoft Surface Rental for Your Business Event? has Microsoft Surface Rentals, along with other Tablet Rentals, available for your Business Event Nationwide!

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
Sharing this story on Social Media? Use these hashtags! #AdBlocker #PopUps #Pagefair #Sourcepoint

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.