Tag Archives: Internets

Desktop Activity Isn’t As Dead As Experts Say

Desktop Activity Isn’t As Dead As Experts Say

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Mobile, Mobile, Mobile…..that’s the future wave. Smartphones are the growing platform of choice for everything digital and while the world is engaged in the screens carried in their back pockets, what has become of the desktop? Well, if you let the many digital experts tell it, stationary computers have one foot in the grave already and are preparing for a swan dive. Fortunately for me and many others like me the demise of the desktop has been greatly exaggerated.

Let’s look at just what the real current status of the desktop computer is in the social media area.

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According to FlurryMobile, 90 percent of mobile user time is spent in apps. Consumers are often using their phones with entertainment and communication intent — calling, texting, checking email, engaging on social media, watching videos, listening to music, getting directions, checking store hours and playing games such as Pokémon Go. The chart above supports this view the personal time is more suited for mobile device usage vs the general office/work hours of the day. But what about the actions that are taking place o these devices?

Where the device decisions get a little more complex is during the process of detailed transactions. Depending on what you’re doing and how major a transaction it is, desktop usage offers a several advantages in efficiency over smartphones. See the following excerpt from Search Engine Land.

Most consumer journeys involve cross-device usage; however, the device used for the final transaction is often determined by the type of transaction and the amount of data needed to complete the transaction.

An example of this type of deeply considered journey can seen in the financial services sector, when a consumer opens a retirement account and makes initial investments. It’s a complex decision with a high cost of failure, and the average consumer will research the process across multiple devices; however, the final transaction of creating the account requires entering a significant amount of data. For that reason, this step is more convenient to complete on a desktop or tablet then on a smartphone.

On the other hand, when the purchase is simple and straightforward without a high cost of failure, like booking a hotel room due to a flight cancellation, I’m more likely to book my hotel stay on my smartphone as I’m exiting the terminal instead of opening my laptop to complete the transaction. And in e-commerce scenarios, the ease of completing the transaction through a one-click purchase option can help increase mobile conversions.

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Once again we see that while usage and time spent is trending towards mobile access, there is a large portion of online active that is taking place almost exclusively on desktops.

[M]arketers always overestimate the appeal of new things and underestimate the power of traditional consumer behavior.
Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian

In the end it would appear that the desktop is not going anywhere. Desktop functionality has become much more direct and focused. Folks are browsing, entertaining and communicating as they move about. Yet they are still sitting down for the bigger decisions and transactions. Keep this in need with your own business. Do you fall into any of those desktop heavy industries? Remember that it will always pay off to have a balance in your professional positioning. One that includes both stationary and mobile accessibility.

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If You Think A Cost-Per-Engagement System Is A Good Influencer Payment System Think Again

If You Think A Cost-Per-Engagement System Is A Good Influencer Payment System Think Again

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Businesses are looking to get the most out of their dollars when collaborating with influencers to marketing their brand. You hear it all day about ROI, Return On Investment. What are you getting for the money spent on a respective campaign. The playing field is still very fluid. From the FTC routinely popping up to flex its might and changing views on social media influencer marketing to influencers buying followers to inflate their asking prices it’s really a lawless space. One of the other elements that may be on the rise is CPE payment. Cost-Per-Engagement basically means getting paid specifically on the engagement criteria agreed upon. It could be the number of shares, likes, comments, etc.  Collective Bias SVP Holly Pavlika speaks on this matter and issues it could create a in a recent blog. Lets check some of that out then I’ll add my 2 cents.

There are definitely some pros to this model, so the appeal is warranted. CPE focuses the attention on influencer selection, the quality of their content and the importance of data. It also stops the misnomer that it’s all about the size of the influencer’s following, when in essence, study after study shows it’s the middle tier influencer who gets the most engagement.

This does not mean, however, that influencers should be taking the risk of uncertain income associated with the CPE model. Here’s why: for influencers, CPE encourages fraudulent practices that harm their authenticity and devalue their content. To boost engagement, influencers can game the system and enlist their communities to comment, click on links and share. They might buy traffic and likes, enable repeat-sharing, or even incentivize their audience to engage by using sweepstakes or giveaways. It’s contrived metrics at best.

*See the full Collective Bias Post Here*

As an influencer myself I can tell you it’s not the way to go. I work with Collective Bias and they operate on a variable per post system. Going into any campaign, once selected I know what I’m earning and that allows me to focus purely on the content requested for the job. Be clear of the roles in this arrangement. Brands hire influencers to press their products/service/events with honest engaging communication. Influencers work with brands to build their professional clout and make money. With that being said there is a balance that you aim for in terms of content quality and direct message sending. Anything that could distract from that is problematic. In this case the idea of financial uncertainty connected to the CPE model.

All of our time is valuable. I’d have no interest in putting in the time to research and review a brand only to have my pay left up in the air to the number of likes or shares it may get. Influence is not measured in those metrics alone and it does a great disservice to operate in that way.

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I don’t feel that all influencers would engage in shady operations under CPE but I think more would do so then currently are. Digital influencer marketing is already an uncertain space as is. Putting content creators in the position of counting every share and RT connected to their work seems like a sure-fire way to negatively effect the quality of work they put out. Brands to trust in the research that goes into finding influencers and truly identifying their influence so it’s not such a gamble on their part. No one likes having their money played with

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Community Management is the Backbone of Social Media Business

Community Management is the Backbone of Social Media Business

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Gaining followers, increasing visitors, engaging in others content, trouble shooting negative commentary, etc,etc…..These actions among many are just some of the duties that make up having an active digital presence. Especially if you are in a business space then you are constantly managing the people who you are attracting to your services/products. Here’s the thing you need to understand. What you once knew as customer service has forever changed and is now community management. Here’s a little breakdown of why it’s vital to understand and embrace this change.

In previous generations when you did business with people there was a bit of a divide between them and you. The business and it’s customers had limited space to really interact outside of the location for transaction. Generally letters or customer service phone lines were the only real way to voice opinion and that often ended up in a void that would perhaps get viewed by one or two people if you were lucky.

Today businesses (if they’re smart) have an active social media presence and that results in their customer base now having a place to evolve into a community. They have pages to share their quality interactions with the brand and their less than enjoyable experiences. Praise and complaints now live out in the open so you need to be equally engaged within these conversations. The good thing about this is that you don’t merely have a new frontier to field problems in, but you now have a more direct pipeline into the true needs and wants of your target market. What focus groups and surveys once did you can now accomplish in real-time via proper community management. Don’t just react to comments. Proactively ask questions. Inquire about what they would like to see change. In addition to this you can identity actual brand advocates and potential ambassadors in the most organic of ways.

Overall, shifting your thought process from customer to community is a win/win on both sides of the equation. Value will be added to your brands market relations in the form of outward service and investment beyond the basic push for profit.

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The Deep Web – The Area of the Internet You Don’t Know About

The Deep Web – The Area of the Internet You Don’t Know About

DeepWeb
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I’ve referenced Dark Social before. In short terms that is the social media activity that most analytic systems can’t trace. Most of that activity to linked to mobile usage. In this, instance when I speak of the Deep Web there is truly a deeper, at times more dangerous connotation. The internet that most of us know, Youtube, Facebook, Amazon, etc….really only makes up at most 1% of the actually Web. Researchers are still trying to calculate a more exact figure but much like deep space the web continues to grow.

For moment though let’s think of the Web in terms of the ocean instead of outer space. What we generally navigate is the bare surface of what the web actually is. It is space that we navigate often via search engines. Yahoo, Bing, Google and the like open the doors to a vast array of web pages but they are far more limited than you may think. Their actual search capabilities still leave TRILLIONS of web pages untouched. Here’s an excerpt from CNN that gives some more insight to the matter.

Though the Deep Web is little understood, the concept is quite simple. Think about it in terms of search engines. To give you results, Google (GOOG), Yahoo (YHOO) and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Bing constantly index pages. They do that by following the links between sites, crawling the Web’s threads like a spider. But that only lets them gather static pages, like the one you’re on right now.

What they don’t capture are dynamic pages, like the ones that get generated when you ask an online database a question. Consider the results from a query on the Census Bureau site.

“When the web crawler arrives at a [database], it typically cannot follow links into the deeper content behind the search box,” said Nigel Hamilton, who ran Turbo10, a now-defunct search engine that explored the Deep Web.

Google and others also don’t capture pages behind private networks or standalone pages that connect to nothing at all. These are all part of the Deep Web.

50% of Deep Web Institutional databases and more all create material that are public but generally can’t be reach by standard means. It’s estimated that half of the Deep Web is a seas of reports, databases and study pieces ranging from The Patent and Trademark Office to NASA. Businesses with their own Intranet systems make up another 10-15%. These are spaces you generally would need to pay to access.

That leaves the most dangerous corners of the Web which experts refer to as Tor. Existing within a system of redirected, bouncing signals to avoid tracking, this is where illegal online activity is taking place. Weapons and drugs sales, pirated media and all types of generally banned services and materials can be found here.

While most of what I’ve mentioned today most of you will never see, there is a growing professional push to gain access to more of the web. Various universities are diving into the Deep Web looking to regularly search it’s contents. Stanford, for example, has built a prototype engine called the Hidden Web Exposer, HiWE. Others that are publicly accessible are Infoplease, PubMed and the University of California’s Infomine.

There is also a browser bundle to reach Tor but that is not something I’d share with the masses, but it’s out there. As with most great technological advances, we are always playing catch up. It’s so much bigger then Retweets, SEO and Keywords when you step back and look at the bigger picture. Just keep in mind the how vast the space is we are engaged in daily and be responsible.

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How To Keep WhatsApp From Sharing Your Phone Number With Facebook

How To Keep WhatsApp From Sharing Your Phone Number With Facebook

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The ultra popular messaging app WhatsApp currently has over a billion users. Along with its international uses and ability to function fully off standard wifi, it’s the security of the app that has made so many people happy to use it. That mood has changed a bit recently as WhatsApp announced it would be sharing info with Facebook or “advertising and marketing”  purposes. They have recently rolled out a new terms of agreement before this info sharing kicks in. Now let’s be honest and admit many of us don’t read or at best skim those terms. We often just accept and go about life. No problem. For those that haven’t accepted yet or even if you have accepted within the past 30 days you can still protect your info.

See below for the short steps to securing your information.

If you have not accepted WhatsApp’s new terms and conditions yet, do not click the Accept button. Scroll down to the bottom of the terms and tap the line that says “Read more about the key updates to our terms and privacy policy.” Next, uncheck the box that says “Share my account information with Facebook…”

If you have already accepted WhatsApp’s new terms and conditions, but have done so within the last 30 days, you can still opt out of sharing your info with Facebook. Go into Settings then hit Account and uncheck the “Share my account information with Facebook…” box.

Simple actions that you’ll be thankful for later.

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Is Writing Truly a Dying Art in Social Media?

Is Writing Truly a Dying Art in Social Media?

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It’s no secret that I feel a certain way about the shift in digital communication from written to image based. The continuous migration towards simpler forms of visual communication does serve a purpose in getting a message out to a population with steadily shortening attention spans. However I can’t stop but notice a pitfall in this rush to banish written expression to the sidelines. Simple does not always equal more effective. Yet as is the way of most businesses follow the numbers and statistics have quite a few experts already preparing for the rise of an all video based Facebook.

At a recent conference in London, the Head of European, Middle Eastern and African operations, Nicola Mendelsohn, said “In five years time Facebook “will be definitely mobile, it will be probably all video.” While Zuckerberg himself has expressed his belief in the growing role of video and imagery, this proclamation of the written words’ irrelevance goes well beyond anything stated thus far.

She goes on to say, “The best way to tell stories in this world, where so much information is coming at us, actually is video,” Mendelsohn said. “It conveys so much more information in a much quicker period. So actually the trend helps us to digest much more information.”

Spoken like a true business person. Be clear, I don’t disagree with the data but every time there is a conversation on information sharing it almost always seems to trend towards quantity over quality. Everyone doesn’t take in information in the same way. Everyone isn’t a video star in the making. I fear we will be flooding the social Internets with dry, low quality media just because it’s quicker and easier than sitting down and writing out your thoughts. It’s essentially a return to the TV model with everyday citizen replacing the paid professional actors.

Yet Mendelsohn has her eyes focused firmly on the data.

“We’re seeing a year-on-year decline of text…If I was having a bet I’d say: video, video, video.”

Sounds wonderful and maybe this is the way things are going to trend but if there is one thing I’ve learned is that when the trends go right they often leave much uncultivated to the left. Writing is the basis of human civilization. No matter what else we develop to express ourselves, the ability to work and do so creatively will never cease to connect.

fb vs snap

Do you welcome a digital world driven by sound and images both stationary and moving? Is writing as primary function now on it’s last electronic legs? Only time will tell.

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Simple Methods to Success In spite of the Instagram Algorithm

Simple Methods to Success In spite of the Instagram Algorithm

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Nothing gets the masses fired up like the word Algorithm. Without fail people worry that the way are used to operating online is about to crumble and life will never be the same. Generally speaking algorithm changes across social media only effects a select handful of people. Are the professionals making their bread and butter off digital activity there may be more at sake. Even so, the path to stability is much easier than you may think. It takes a little work but truthfully it’s nothing that many of you aren’t already doing.

Take a look at these suggestions from the Social Media Examiner for how to keep your Instagram posts on people’s feeds without any interruptions.

#1: Create Campaign-specific Instagram Links

Ben & Jerry’s Instagram account is colorful, fun, and often hilarious. They’re one of the most creative and courageous companies out there, so it’s no surprise their Instagram account reflects that.

Their response to the algorithm change was to double down on what’s been working for them all along: passion for their product and a healthy dose of cross-platform promotion.

The fact is that Instagram is not a great platform for selling. Posts with too much promotional language do poorly. But if you can get people off of the platform and onto your website, you have far more control of how and what they see.

Ben & Jerry’s does this in every single post with a call to action (CTA) to “Click the link in our profile to see ____.”

To integrate Ben & Jerry’s tactic in your own Instagram marketing, be sure to add CTAs in every one of your Instagram posts.

If you’re looking for sales, direct traffic to a product landing page on your website. Plugins such as Like2b.uy and Have2Have.it can help.

If you’re looking for content engagement, include a snippet of the article you’re promoting and add a CTA such as “Click the link in our profile for the full article.”
***See the other tips after the jump***

Continue reading Simple Methods to Success In spite of the Instagram Algorithm

Branding Management During Times of Crisis via Evita Robinson

Branding Management During Times of Crisis via Evita Robinson

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There is turmoil in the streets of the United States. We are in the midst of a period of social unrest that the U.S hasn’t seen in years. Recent and continuous killings of Black men by the police have pushed the nation to a crisis point that is being noticed far beyond the continental U.S.  As an entrepreneur it is often a difficult balance to represent your growing brand while dealing with troubles that transcend business. The time, energy and commitment to your business could easily be undone if you act incorrectly during this time of high emotions and sensitivity.

Crisis management process diagram, business concept

Nomadness Travel Tribe creator Evita Robinson is the embodiment of being the Face of your Brand so she understands the symmetry between business and personal quite well. She dove into this topic via Facebook Live and shares some great insight.

Check out for video below.

Sometimes it’s bigger then just the business. Make sure you are following Evita in all her many ventures so you got miss the big things she has upcoming.

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Tumblr Seeks New Life With New Live Video Feature

Tumblr Seeks New Life With New Live Video Feature

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While the Big 4 of Social Media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat continue to evolve and add-on new expansive features to their respective platforms, Tumblr for many has faded into the shadows both on a personal and business level. After Yahoo failed to resurrect the mini blogging site and after years of being labeled too uncensored to control or properly monetize, Tumblr pops back into the conversation with new live video capabilities.

Does this now inject Tumblr into the realm of credibility again? It’s hard to say. For those that never left and still use it to this day, there can very well be a new sense of engagement for followers. Yet, I don’t expect to see a flock of new users signing up solely for that feature.

http://livevideo.tumblr.com/post/146063566225/launches-tuesday-june-21
Here are a few factors to keep in mind with the new Tumblr Video feature.

  • Tumblr does not have a native streaming video option. In actuality, live video is enabled through YouNow, Kanvas, Upclose, and YouTube.
  • Your videos live on Tumblr, so not only can they be reblogged but users won’t miss out on your content just because they missed the live broadcast.
  • Tumblr will notify your followers when your video goes live, and even pin it to the top of their dashboards. This favorable placement of live content will be a big aid in getting this new feature out to the people smoothly.

There are definitely people who think there is a solid shot at business gains via this new tool. Simply Measured shares that position and gives a little insight here.

While Tumblr is not big in my marketing plan it pays to know what is going on around in the digital world and for those that do utilize that platform it’s a major upgrade that can connect people to their followers in a brand new way. Live video is clearly the next frontier and Tumblr hopes it’s the path back to success.

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Mary Meeker’s 2016 KPCB Internet Trends Report Sheds Light on the Future of Digital Marketing

Mary Meeker’s 2016 KPCB Internet Trends Report Sheds Light on the Future of Digital Marketing

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There are an endless amount of people delivering advice and guidance about how the Internet is evolving and what he next moves will be to heighten digital business. To me there has to be a balance between the data and the narrative. Many things said across social platforms pick up stem but they aren’t actually true. To that extent I was diving into the KPCB Internet Trends Report from Mary Meeker for 2016 and there is a ton of info about today’s internet activity that would be well applied to your strategies going forward. I’m still going through the report but you will be glad you took the time to do so as well.

After the jump are a few of the standout points along with her recent interview discussing the report, which you can get access to at the end of this post.

Continue reading Mary Meeker’s 2016 KPCB Internet Trends Report Sheds Light on the Future of Digital Marketing