How Will We Communicate In The Future?

Since mankind uttered its first words, we have been developing ways to communicate. Fire beacons and smoke signals have evolved to string and soup cans.  Now we use VOIP and smart phones to talk to anyone at any time..

As technologies developed we used the telegraph and telephones – now communication is happening over the internet.  Look at the quantum leap since 1861 when the first transcontinental communication line was completed.

Telephones/Land Lines have died.

From 10% in 2006 to over 50% in 2016, land lines have all but died.  In the chart below – 2016 shows over 50% of adults using no land line and the number jumps to 60% for children.

We now send and receive data, voice and video instantly over the internet.  VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems are replace standard lines and mobile phones use VOIP.  At the end of 2016 95% of Americans had a cellphone and smart phones account for 77% of that.  (Pew Research study)

But how will we communicate in the future

Look at the past and present and we can see where communication is evolving.  From telephones connected to our homes to cell phones and then smart phone apps.  The evolution of apps is just as quick – with phone calls moved to SMS and phones calls are replaced with Facebook messenger, Twitter, Snapchap and Apple’s Facetime.Each generation looks for new – more picture/video entangled options.

Each generation of technology gets closer to real-time communication.

How does Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Play in?

Virtual and augmented reality (more explanation of what VR and AR is at the end of this post) is something that technologists have been working on.  Used for military planes to help pilots get more data in a fluid way.  The technology now creeps into manufacturing companies – helping humans be more efficient.

Business push for VR – it reduces the necessity of travel.  Members gather in a virtual conference room instead of wait in lines at the airport.  The brain’s perception is the same.

AR lets us have additional information connected in real time to add value to the current situation.  Imagine scanning the room for an old friend and augmented reality pointing a virtual green arrow at them over their head via your AR enables contact lenses or glasses.

Having AR & VR tools embedded into our lives is a huge shift in how we perceive who we are and where we go.  The brain acts very similarly if it “sees” VR or if it is having a “real” experience.  VR is used to help paraplegics walk again – and the results are amazing.  With VR the brain can see the body working and using a robotic exoskeleton to move the body.  Good things are happening and “some patients started to regain some sensation and some muscle movement on their own”, this is so amazing…read more at ABC.

What’s next?

You have to wonder what will be next – how will we communicate in the future?  A fantastic book called Autonomous, where Analee Newitz paints an incredible future where people, hybrids and robots communicate in fascinating ways – verbally, via private instant massages as well as skin like feedback clothing.  What we use to communicate in the future is literally up to our imagination. I want to experience these new ways – how about you?

6 Tips To Write An Attractive Email for a Better Response

If I had $1 each time someone declared email to be dead, I would be rich.  The fact is – email is a great way to keep in touch with your fans, customers and users.  Why?  Because it works.  When you write an email for a better sesponse – most times you are looking for the receiver to reply.  There are a few tips and tricks you can use to get better response – here are some ideas to help stop the cold or no-response emails and get the reply you want.

6 Tips on Email for a Better Response

Tip #1: Use catchy subjects and sub-headings in your emails

The subject line is the thing people look at to see if they will open the email – so it must catch the viewer’s eye.  This means it must have an attractive and appealing title or subject.  Worse – if you put no subject on your email it will be pushed right into the [SPAM] folder. That is what we want to avoid.

Using a great email subject line and adding breaks in your message with sub-headings – people will engage with your email better.  Subheadings in the email make it easy for people to scan the email quickly.

Note: Writing deceptive subject lines is a bad idea and makes the reader distrust you.  Bad idea.  The reader cannot feel had or cheated in any way. Keep your email subject sensible, yet captivating.  It will make the titles and subheadings in the email stand out.

Tip #2: Keep Length of the email in Check

The length can be a factor in email read-ability.  With all things internet – you will find many opinions.  Some will say short emails are the key and some will tell you the longer the better.

The “Keep it short Crowd”:
There is no point of sending one-line emails which do not convey anything. The content of your email should deliver what you are trying to say and at the same time it should not jar or annoy the reader with excessive length.

One should not over pack emails with loads of unnecessary information which the readers may not like. In such cases, the recipients may end up deleting your email without even scrolling through it completely. So, what would a perfect email for a better response look like? A proper or effective email will have maximum two paragraphs which comprehensively describe the content of the mail succinctly.

The Camp of Long Sales Letter:

People will close or delete the email when they stop reading – or better yet…click through.  So why not have a nice, long message for anyone who wants to keep reading.

With a longer your email you need to have mid-sized paragraphs with space between sections.  Font color and bolding will help make special point stand out and get people to your calls to action.  Pictures are an option – but know many email accounts will block them, so don’t count on images for the big messaging.

Tip #3: Use names in Email for a Better Response

If you have the recipient’s name, use it.  Please like to read their own name.  Its a psychological catch – but they add relevance when they see their own name.

People are busy. They need to be motivated to read the message.  How many times have you deleted emails which addressed you as “Dear Client” or “Dear Webmaster”?  Think about it.  Look at recent emails you have clicked on – why did you click it?

Tip #4: An appealing first paragraph

The beginning is always most important.  Start your email off like a pro – its your best chance that the reader will stay engaged.  Reserve the first paragraph for user profiling. Details about users can easily be mined from social networking websites – take time to do this and you will use email for a better response.

This kind of work will build a better rapport with the reader.  They will be more impressed with your work and see time went into the crafting of the message.

Tip #5: The Second Paragraph – Just Say It

Get to it.  They know you want something.  The reader knows you want something. The second paragraph is a jump to the reason behind why you are emailing.

Keep tone profound and convey everything you planned. Do not beat around the bush – sharing the information.

Tip #6: Sleek Ending Note

The ending note is your last chance to “get the sale”.  So ask – directly.  Crisp and short – sum it up right there.  Use style to end your email for a better response.

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Looking to buy a new computer – check out our Chromebook reviews – or, if Google OS is not your thing…take a peek at the netbooks we recommend.

What is Google’s ChromeOS and Chromebooks?

All laptops need an operating system (OS).  Popular OS’s are Microsoft Windows, Linux and Apple’s OS-X.  All computers need them, Google has recently developed a new one and it’s called Google ChromeOS.  They have started to allow hardware companies to put it on small, portable computers – and it is starting to become very popular.

How is the Google ChromeOS and Chromebooks the same as other computers?

Most people would not notice a difference between Google ChomeOS and Microsoft Windows.  There are still browsers to get to the internet.  Most computers that run the ChromeOS are laptops with wireless and bluetooth devices connected.  Everything works very much the same.  You still can read eamil, go to Facebook and watch videos on YouTube, Netflix and Amazon.

How is the Google ChromeOS and Chromebooks different?

Unlike its counterparts from Microsoft, Apple and Linux, chrome book stores virtually everything on the cloud using the new cloud computing technology. This means that all documents and files are securely stored and can be easily retrieved any time by a click of button and from any computer that is connected to the internet. Additionally, all applications run from the chrome browser hence just a few skills are needed to navigate Chrome book.

If looking to switch to Chrome book, one only needs a few applications and an internet connection and with a few steps to follow, one can begin using the chrome operating system. Switching from windows or mac or Linux to chrome book is however not a very comfortable experience owing to some few changes in the chrome book which may be alien to the users of other systems.

Chrome operating system does not run on normal personal computers. This therefore means that one should purchase a cheap chrome book which should be able to run the chrome operating system. When this is done, then next easy stem is to simply create a Google account. This is because all applications in chrome book run on chrome browser only including the few offline ones.

Most people today use Gmail as their email provider hence do not need to create another Google account. If one does not have a Google account, they should simply sign up for one by following the simple steps provided by Google. With that account, one should simply sign in to their account and they are ready to begin using the chrome operating system.

The chrome interface is very easy to use with a start button at the bottom left corner. On click, one can easily see their applications and even pin them to tool bar just like in the windows platform. The simplicity in the chrome operating system supersedes that in windows by far such that as long as one has the knowledge to use a browser, they can easily operate the chrome book.

The one main hustle for a person switching from windows or mac to chrome book is the keyboard. A few of the functionalities in the prior operating systems have been altered in the latter chrome book system. The caps on key, for instance has been replaced by a search key in chrome book. The caps on functionality can however be achieved by pressing the alt key together with the search key.

Additionally, there are no special keys on the chrome book keyboard apart from the alt key and the ctrl key which is unlike the windows which has a windows key, a function key and other keys such us page up key, page down key, home key , end key and many others. Essentially, since most of the applications run on chrome browser, all the missing keys are actually not needed when using chrome book.

Just like the all-time play store in android operating system, all applications that one may need while using chrome book are stored in the chrome store. The store is populated with all sorts of applications which are available for all users of chrome book. This is a bit different for windows users but it is not a hard concept to grasp. Chrome book allows the use of shortcuts just like in windows and mac operating system. However, since all applications run on chrome browser, then anything that a user saves gets saved in the download folder just like when browsing.

In conclusion, switching from the native systems to Google’s chrome book is not such a hustle and the only main difference is with the keyboard. With just a cheap chrome book machine and a Google account, one can easily run and explore the robust, easy to use and secure chrome book.

Tips to Turn Your Visitors into Clients

It’s great when you’ve set up a website and the numbers of people paying your little place on the web a visit start to grow, but it’s less gratifying when those numbers don’t translate into an increase in business.

The whole point of having a business website is to grow your client base and make money, and when that doesn’t happen, it can feel like all your hard work has been for naught. It’s a terrible feeling for sure, but it’s a feeling that you can eliminate by putting the following tips for turning visitors into clients into action…

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Add a Live Chat Function

If you don’t already offer your visitors the opportunity to live chat with your or some of your employees, you’re missing a real opportunity to convert them from visitors into clients. The most popular web designs made for law firms, clothing stores and ISP’s all offer live chat functions, and they do this because it works. Visitors love being able to ask questions to a real person and have them answered immediately. If you can talk to them in the moment, you are much more likely to persuade them that becoming a client of yours is a good idea. If they have to wait for an email reply, chances are they might go somewhere else, where the information is more forthcoming.

Offer Freebies

You might be thinking that offering freebies to your website visitors will do nothing more than put you out of pocket, but that’s not so. The kind of freebies I’m talking about are free credit reports, informational eBooks, and other digital goods. These can be created at little cost to you, but when they are downloaded by visitors, they will demonstrate your knowledge in your chosen field, giving them a greater incentive to become a client now or in the future.

Include Testimonials

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A lot of business neglect to include testimonials on their website because they think they’re clichéd or that the client won’t pay attention to reviews on their own site, thinking that there’s a good chance they’ll be phony. But, all signs point to the fact that genuine testimonials work.

Consumers like to know what other people think about the products and services they’re interested in; they like to be a part of the crowd, and they’re much more likely to buy if they see honest reviews they can trust. If you’re able to get genuine reviews from your clients, do so and do put a selection of them up (not just the five stars ones) and you will be pleasantly surprised by the difference it makes.

Create a Logo

If you don’t already have a business logo on your website, now is the time to create one. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fashion brand, finance company or b2b marketing operation, a logo will show potential clients that you’re a professional outfit, and it will give them a little more confidence to go ahead and contact you or make a purchase.

Include Videos

Including videos on your business website is a great way of better connecting with your visitors. If you are selling a product, creating videos that demonstrates them, so that customers know what they will be getting is a good idea. If, however, you’re selling services, take the time to introduce yourself, talk a little bit about what you do, and if you can, interview a past client about their experience. The more information your visitors have about your business, and the more mediums they’re able to check you out in, the more likely your website is to lead to conversions.

Offer Limited Discounts

Offering visitors to your website a limited discount is something that can prove highly effective in turning your visitors into clients. It is something that sites like Groupon do incredibly well. And something which you should try to imitate if you want visitors to make the leap and get in touch. The fact that the offer is limited will push the undecided into action, providing that the discount is significant enough to interest them, and although you will take a hit, this should lead to more repeat business and a better financial future for you and your business.

If you incorporate all of the above ideas into your business website, there is no way that you won’t see an increase in the number of visitors who become clients. When that happens, do your best to satisfy them, and they’ll start spreading the word so that your visitor count climbs ever higher!

 

How to Revamp Your Social Media Strategy

No marketing professional in this day and age would ignore social media. To do would be to sound the death knell for the business. Social Media has come a long way and is now vital tool to drive web traffic, improve brand reputation and visibility, and connect with customers and prospects.

If your social media strategy hasn’t been paying dividends lately, there could be a number of reasons for this. For example, if you use social media to get leads, drive sales, gather data, target ads and for customer service, it can be said that your business has matured digitally and you no longer have any low-hanging fruit to pluck. To succeed in future, you need to overhaul your social marketing with the right social marketing tools at hand.

The Linkage between Social Media and SEO

Let’s begin by taking a look at how social media and SEO complement each other. There are many misconceptions and outright falsehoods regarding the impact of social media on organic search ranking. The big question has been whether social signals have any effect on search rankings. None other than Matt Cutts, the former Google staffer, has said that social signals do not feature in Google’s ranking algorithm. This was back in 2014 and Google confirmed this again in 2016 via Gary Illyes.

However, despite this statement from Google, there is no doubt that there are a number of other ways that social media marketing can impact SEO. For example;

  • Social media profiles and content often show up in Google search results. For example, Google+, Facebook and Twitter content and posts often get indexed.
  • Mentions and social media activity accelerate organic search queries. For example, when something starts trending on Twitter, people quickly perform search engine queries to find out more about the trending topic. This “buzz” can quickly deliver visitors to your website.

The moral is that while social media signals are not ranking factors in the Google algorithm, they do have an impact on SEO by directly influencing other factors which are used in the ranking algorithm.

Where Does Your Social Audience Hang Out?

To revamp your social media strategy, you need to ask yourself where your audience hangs out. A lot of times, you may find your marketing budget being stretched thin because your campaigns are all over the place yet your audience may only be active on one or two social networks. For example;

  • B2Bs are likely to have a captive audience on LinkedIn.
  • For businesses selling a product, Facebook is most likely the platform.
  • For the fashion industry, Instagram appears to be the social media network of choice.
  • If you are targeting teenagers and millennials under 25, then you definitely want to be on Snap.
  • If your main audience in women, you can ignore Pinterest.

If you aren’t sure where your audience hangs out, there is a lot of research and data on this from research organizations like Nielsen and Pew Research Center.

However, social media isn’t ideal for all types of businesses. You may be in some obscure industry where a trade show or other forum may be a more appropriate marketing and PR strategy.

After refining your social media targets, the next thing is to test and retest. Test both paid and organic content and based on the results, refine your targeting. Also, acquaint yourself with how the social media network indexes its content and how it shows up when searched by users.

Combine Social Media Data with Other Marketing Channels

Marketing elements are rarely stand-alone, they co-exist with several other elements within the same ecosystem. To create a more unifying experience for your audience, you need to use data across all marketing channels. There are five ways to do this:

  • Gain content ideas from social media activity, for example, from complaints and suggestions in posts.
  • Gain content ideas from social communities, comments, and most engaging posts.
  • Gain remarking audiences from the site cookies
  • Use ad results to target better
  • Get link magnet ideas from trending topics

Conclusion

Social media marketing is akin to fishing. You need the right bait and you must cast your net where there is fish. Social media is just one cog of the overall marketing strategy. You must combine with other marketing channels for the best results.

Revamping your social media strategy is actually about understanding your social media helps you reach and engage with your target market better. Once you figure this out, you are home and dry.