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Now with more emotions – Facebook is stalking you

 

facebook_reactionsSlate brought up a good point last week when they described Facebook’s new ‘feelings’ – “For years people have clamored for Facebook to add a ‘dislike’ button alongside its iconic like button. That was never going to happen, for reasons I’ve explained. Instead, in October the company began testing a suite of six emoji complements to the like button: ‘love,’ ‘haha,’ ‘wow,’ ‘sad,’ and ‘angry.’

“But, like almost everything Facebook does, there is a double purpose at work here—and that second purpose involves data. Specifically, Facebook is now going to be able to collect, and profit from, a whole lot more of it.” Slate pointed out more importantly.

Facebook is stalking you.

If you’re not aware – Facebook is one of the best, if not the best, at grabbing your personal information and leveraging it to the hilt.  No really – I mean a lot of data.  DaylanDoes.com gives some hints with the post bringing up a ton of stuff.

They point out these “few” items:

Name, City of birth, City of residence, Phone, Email, Current employment, Previous employment, Relationship, Anniversary, Previous relationships, Previous names (aliases), Screen names, Address book, Family members, Birthday, Religious views, Address, Website, Email address(s), Sexual preference, Gender, Languages spoken, Political views, Friends, Books you’ve read, Bands you like, Movies you’ve seen, TV Shows you watch, Video games you play, Food you eat, Your Favorite Athletes, Restaurants you’ve eaten at, Activities you participate in, Websites you visit, Sports teams you support, Your Favorite Sports, Inspirational people, Favorite Clothing brands, Places you’ve visited, Events you’ve attended, Events you plan on attending, Events your friends are attending, Major life events (location, dates, who with), Photos, Pokes, Wall posts, Networks you are a part of

Oh yea – and these…

Videos you’ve watched, Comments you’ve liked, Websites you’ve visited, Articles and websites you’ve commented on, Surveys you’ve filled out, Companies you like, People you’ve been tagged with, People you frequently hang out with, Friends you’ve requested, Friends you denied, Friends you’ve un-friended, How often you are online, Apps you Admin/created, Pages you admin/created, Your current mood, Device you’ve accessed the Internet from, Exact Geo-location (longitude, altitude, latitude, time/date stamp), TV, Film, Concert you are currently watching, Book or publication you are currently reading, Audio you are currently listening too, Drink you are currently drinking, Food you are currently eating, Advertising you interact with, Profiles you interact with most, Locations you access Facebook, Locations you access web properties connected to Facebook, Level of online engagement, When you changed jobs, How long you stayed in a job, Credit card details, IP Address, Apps you’ve downloaded, Games you’ve played, Pages/Businesses you’ve un-liked (when)facebook_ads

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Check out the “broad” range of options…this gives you a very minute idea of thethings you can drill down into – in fact all the items above can be a factor you can narrow audience with.

 

It gets worse of you use the Facebook App…seriously.  Well – you had to wonder.  Remember how hard Facebook pushes the messenger app.  They won’t even let you “chat” in the regular app, they MAKE you download the messenger app.  Motherboard’s post “Facebook’s Messenger App Is Tracking a Lot More of Your Data Than You Think” title says it all.

messenger-without-facebook“It should come as no surprise that most mobile apps run some sort of analytics on user behavior. But in the case of Facebook, the social network’s Messenger app for iOS apparently tracks quite a bit more than most users likely realize.”

but the best part Facebook is “using some private APIs I didn’t even know were available inside the sandbox to be able to pull out your WiFi SSID (which could be used to snoop on which WiFi networks you’re connected to) and are even tapping the process list for various information on the device”.

I have always wondered why my Facebook app takes forever to initialize, I presume this is exactly why.  If this app is analyzing my connection every time…dang.

Facebook, when the messenger app is installed, essentially has carte blanche to your phone.  “Record audio, and take pictures and videos, at any time: Read that line again….RECORD audio…TAKE pictures….AT ANY TIME!! That means that the folks at Facebook can see through your lens on your phone whenever they want..they can listen to what you’re saying via your microphone if they choose to!”

henrys-hard-orange-six-pack-hi-resWhich is why my friend Brad was at a bar in Michigan recently and the bar tender told him about Henry’s Hard Soda.  Now – it was the first time he had ever heard of – in fact, so much as he wasn’t even aware that alcoholic root beer and sodas were a thing.

Next thing he knows – he is being marketed to via Facebook ads.  Now, there is no way this had another source…it was his only, ever interaction with the stuff.

Here’s the deal – this is not new, nor is it going to get much better.  Is it “right”.  Not sure, but I can tell you its not going away.  And it will not regress…and honestly – what do you expect.  You can’t walk into your favorite restaurant and order food and walk out without paying the bill.  We are paying the bill with our information…and that is how it will be.

 

5 Mobile Marketing Tactics For Small Businesses

According to a report by Strategy Analytics, the number of mobile phone users in the world crossed 1 billion in 2012. Almost half of the adults in the United States use a smart phone to connect to the internet. The number of mobile phone users is increasing at a rate that shows no sign of slowing down. It leaves marketers with no choice but to bolster efforts to reach out to consumers using the device they prefer to use. For a small business, mobile marketing is quite a challenge. There are smart phones available in different sizes and not all smart phones use the same operating system. Every mobile operating system has its own unique features and so it becomes quite a challenge for a small business to develop websites that are compatible with every smart phone.

Below are a few tips that a small business may follow to develop a sound mobile marketing strategy:

Evaluate your position

The world of mobile marketing is fast and aggressive. If you feel you cannot create a great experience for your users, it is better not to start with mobile marketing at all, feels Mark Strecker, President and CEO of mobile advertising firm Amobee. So before you go into any further consideration of your mobile marketing strategy, step back and ask yourself “Are you ready?” You must be absolutely clear about your objectives and goals before you start your mobile marketing campaign.

Launch a mobile friendly website

It is better to start your mobile marketing campaign by building your mobile friendly corporate website. The behavior of mobile surfers is quite different from that of desktop or laptop users. A mobile surfer will never spend much time in finding information. If he cannot find information within a minute or two, he will leave the site and may never come back. So mobile websites should have important information and they must be highlighted. You can use a different font color or a larger font size to highlight important information.

You also need to keep up with the changing mobile technology and update your website from time to time. You should also limit the amount of data entry on mobile sites for hurried users. A sign-up form works perfectly well. It is also important to make pages load very fast on a mobile website, otherwise it might not match the needs of on-the-go visitors.

Create a mobile app

There are smart phone users who prefer apps over mobile websites. According to Gartner, mobile app stores will see an annual download of 102 billion in 2013. You can also create a mobile app that provides unique content, e-newsletters, sells products and drives traffic to your business website. App advertising can also be a good option to evaluate.

Mobile Search Advertising Programs

These are just like your PPC programs just that it’s on a mobile phone. Google lets you bid on what you are ready to pay, either per click or per call. There are a lot of mobile search options for you to explore including locally targeted ads and click to call ads. Mobile Search Advertising Programs work well for local retailers since 30 to 35 percent people search on their mobile or smart phone to find things locally.

Use mobile social media

Social media should occupy an important position in your mobile marketing strategy. More than two-thirds of Facebook users use smart phones to check their account and one in six people exclusively use smart phones for accessing their Facebook account. Keep your Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter pages updated and most importantly make them mobile friendly.

Aaron Jones is the Senior Content Marketer for iMarket2Mobile, a real estate mobile marketing app. Aaron has years of experience in marketing and enjoys writing about marketing strategies and evolving marketing trends. He enjoys interacting with people and providing tips for their mobile marketing campaigns.

A Guide To Creating A Successful Small Business Blog

In recent years blogging has become one of the easiest to use, yet most innovative tools for any website, small business or personal, to gain an audience. A blog garners attention because it enables you to get your voice out there. Whether it is a personal blog or a small business blog, the desired effect is essentially the same; to gain attention and get you or your business noticed.

Why should I bother blogging?

The principal is simple. You want to generate traffic into your small business or website. The easiest way to do this is to give your clients or potential visitors something that they will come to your website for, this is where the blog comes to the fore. The blog is simply a piece of content that will cause your clientele to want to read it on a regular basis, and therefore return to your website to do so.

How to creating a personal or small business blog.

The first step is to physically set up your blog page. If it is a personal blog then word press is a very easy to use site for setting up a new blog. You will need to purchase the domain name, these are usually fairly cheap. If you already have a small business website that you wish to relate the blog to, then you can just add a blog page to the existing site.

Visit this Wikipedia page to find out more about the origins of blogging.

Engaging content is everything.

The next step is the content. The key to a blog is that it must be either informative or witty. If you run a small business, then an informative blog that offers interesting advice within the field of your business will be beneficial to that business.

A blog can also set the precedent for how clients view your small business, as it gives them an insight into the workings and methods behind the business.

For example, if you were to have a marketing or P.R firm, a good blog would be one that gives advice to business owners on how to market their small business. If you were an information technology firm then you may wish to demonstrate your knowledge of the latest technologies by reviewing the latest products, a good example of this can be found on our it departments support website. This will in the long term bring you more clients as it shows firstly that you know what you are talking about, and secondly that you are willing to impart that knowledge and help others. It puts you on a good morale standing with your clients because before you’ve even spoken to them, they already have a feel for your company simply from your blog.

What writing tone should I use?

Funny blogs have an obvious lure to them and tend to be the blogs that attract the biggest audiences. Funny blogs tend to be seen more in personal blogs, however they make a very good platform from which to launch a marketing campaign. For example if you were about to launch a book, then you could create a blog in the months running up to the launch. By creating this witty blog and capturing an audience, you have a waiting client base into which the book can then be directly marketed.

When it comes to writing the blog you need to keep the tone on a friendly yet professional level. You have a website that no doubt already shows the professional front of the business. A blog allows the client more of a personal insight into the business, so although you should remain professional, the personal touch is important.

The importance of good content structure.

You need to ensure that as well as quality content, you also structure your blog with clear concise points. You do not want your readers to get bored, so don’t ramble.

In terms of content, you need to provide value to your readers. What questions do your customers ask you? What are the key words that will bring people to your site?

Search engine optimisation is something you should be considering if you are serious about the marketing of your small business. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a simple case of incorporating a certain word or phrase into a piece of content, in this case the blog. For example if you run a boarding kennel, you might include the phrase ‘look after my dog’ several times in a blog post, or across several blog posts. If someone then types this phrase into a search engine then your site would be optimised by the search engine for stating this phrase several times.

The importance of a blog title.

The title is everything, and possibly the most important part of the entire blog. It is a handful of words that will either blend into the endless streaming background of words that is our news feeds on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, or it can be that catchy little caption that lures in your potential customers. Think hard about the title to each blog.

The association between blogging and marketing.

Another aspect of blogging is the marketing. The modern method of marketing is of course social media. Blogging is no different. There is absolutely no point in writing a blog that nobody knows about. Sure a few people might happen across it by chance, but if you want to generate real numbers then you need social media.

If that’s the case, then why not just advertise the small business through social media and forget the blog, I hear you say. Simple… advertising is boring. If you look through any twitter feed you will see hundreds of advertised businesses with links to their sites. They’re tedious and no-one wants to see them quite frankly.

When a blog is linked to a twitter feed, you see only the title. The title is catchy and appealing, most people will read it, even if it’s just out of curiosity. They click the link and voila you have gained a viewer into your website.

You can also use an email subscription whereby readers who like your blog may subscribe to receive email updates when a new post goes live. This keeps readers coming back to your blog and site. Email subscriptions are also a crucial marketing tool. If you are able to get people’s contact details from them willingly then you can send marketing material to them that is relevant to your small business. Google Feed burner is a popular email subscription service and is added to any site by simply copying and pasting the code provided by Google into the html box on your site.

A blog then is a valuable marketing tool, and a great way to project a company image. There is a certain art to creating a good blog, but if you follow these basic principles then you should have a successful blog.

Helpful resources:

The art of blogging – http://taoblogging.blogspot.co.uk

Featured images:
  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://www.bigstockphoto.com/

Lucy is a serial blogger that loves to blog about blogging!!! Lucy runs numerous blogs for various clients across the United Kingdom.

Trade Tricks That Will Benefit Your Small Business SEO For The Long Term

Over recent months, the changes that have been rolled out across most of the world’s biggest search engines have been huge – Google of course leading the pack with Hummingbird. Each of the changes implemented has of course taken its toll on some sites and businesses while others will have barely noticed any difference at all. As far as SEO professionals are concerned though, we’re only just seeing the very tip of the iceberg and the changes still to come will completely overshadow those that have taken place in terms of abundance and significance.

This inherently leads to the question of what exactly you can do right now to protect your small business SEO interests long-term – if anything at all. Well, you can certainly tip the balance a little more in your favor, despite not being able to see what’s around the corner with any real certainty.

What follows is a brief look at five tricks of the trade that could, if implemented correctly, assist your long-term SEO as of right now:

1 – A Full Website Spring Clean

When a website functions effortlessly with speed, efficiency and smoothness, any search engine of importance will see it as a site that matters. Well, at least one that matters more than another site that’s pretty much falling to pieces or going to seed. Google likes to point to sites that give the user the best possible experience, so if this isn’t a description than befits your site, it’s a good place to start

Over time, it’s inevitable that your website will get a little untidy and cluttered, so it’s important that you do a decent spring clean/audit to see what’s what. From getting rid of broken links to removing defunct content and so on, make sure that your site serves its purpose as well as it can and you’ll be rewarded for it.

2 – Go the Extra Mile

Once you’ve addressed the above, think about going one or two steps further by making the user-experience even better than it already is. This isn’t just important for the sake of Google, but will also ensure that when a reader finds his or her way to your site in the first place, they’re more likely to stay there and hear what you have to say.

Take into account the speed of your site, the quality of the navigation system, the caliber of the content on EVERY single page and all of the other sites you offer links to/recommend.

3 – Get Involved with Google Authorship

Right now, Google Authorship doesn’t have much an impact on the way your site ranks or your SEO campaign as a whole – this is expected to change in the future, big time. Some of the very best tips of all for making Google Authorship work in your favor include finding guest writers of authority to contribute to your site, getting all writers you employ to work on your site to activate authorship and, most importantly of all, making sure the content and copy you come up with for any page, site, blog or forum anywhere is as flawless as it is compelling and unique.

4 – Promote Your Winning Content

Don’t just sit by and let your incredible content gather dust – get out there and promote it! Get your name, your brand and you message out in the wild by any means necessary – Facebook, Twitter, forums, blogs and news sites being prime example of where to start. And of course, this means coming up with sharable content in the first place.

5 – Embrace the Community

And finally, it’s not in your best interest to sit idly by and hope the masses will flock your way unless you yourself are willing to reach out to them in a similar manner. Regardless of your industry, niche or profession, there’s a gigantic community out there just waiting for your input and your involvement, so make now the time that you break free of your confines and start building connections with your peers, rival, clients – pretty much anyone of interest to you.

Featured images:
  • License: Image author owned

The Author

Rocky John Tayaban is an internet marketer for more than 8 years now. Among his expertise are search engine marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, online reputation management and web development. Rocky is currently the managing director of iSolutions Media, a company that helps businesses with their online marketing needs. Follow him on Twitter: @SmartOnlinePros to stay updated on all the latest in internet marketing.

Best Place To Make A Free Website

Given the number of do-it-yourself web design tools there’s no need to be a computer guru to be able to create a website from scratch. All you need is the Internet connection, a bit of inspiration, creativity, and what’s more important – a well-thought-out idea or a business plan, while the technology aspect you can leave to the professionals, namely free online website builders. Below I have made up a list of the most convenient and powerful platforms allowing you to build professional looking websites for free.

Google Sites

Google Sites is one of the safest and easiest ways to create a website at no cost. It allows you to collect, edit and organize your content quickly and effectively. It is compatible with other Google resources, such as Google Documents, Google Calendar, Picasa, and Youtube to name a few. Creating a website on Google Sites can be compared to creating and editing a document. What’s more, with GS you can adjust the privacy settings of your site, similarly to the Google Docs privacy setup.

However, there are some drawbacks of using Google Sites. These include lack of customization, limited functionality and inability to change your domain name (with GS you get a subdomain that makes your website look less professional). What’s more, with GS you can use Google Apps only – external apps are inapplicable. Thus, if these inconveniences bother you, you’d better opt for another website builder.

uCoz

With this powerful sitebuilding platform you can confidently claim your rightful place on the Internet, since uCoz-powered websites have a stunning, professional look and excellent functionality. This sitebuilder has been serving millions of users from all over the globe for seven years. Although it is primarily targeted on those who have no professional experience in sitebuilding, many skilled webmasters also opt for website builder uCoz as a fast and effective alternative to the traditional time-consuming ways of sitebuilding.

It is a perfect place to create a dynamic, noticeable web presence, as it offers the most advanced web design tools, thousands of widgets and gadgets, as well as hundreds of exquisite templates. uCoz offers both free and paid packages. It’s important to mention that it is possible to create a full-fledged website on this platform even when using their free plan.

Wix

Wix sitebuilder is a paradise for those who’re looking for the eye-catching designs, and are mostly concerned about the visual aspect of their websites. In fact, this platform works the best for musical bands, photographers, designers, and other artists. It allows them to make an unforgettable visual impression on their visitors. However, its inner functionality is somewhat limited, and thus it is not recommended for online entrepreneurs who plan to conduct complex operations online.

Conclusion

Surely, all these Do-It-Yourself sitebuilders are a great alternative to hiring programmers, designers, and other specialists. However, you should remember that these platforms are helpful only when you have a great business concept, unique content, and fresh approach. Your website shouldn’t be just descriptive, it should motivate your visitors become your customers!

Victor Moore is a skilled webmaster, the founder and the editor-in-chief of Easy Steps to Create a Website. He enjoys discovering and sharing new approaches to sitebuilding. With his blog he covers the most actual topics on creating, maintaining, and improving websites. Don’t hesitate to contact him via Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

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