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Internet Presence
Creating your own website is challenging. There is too much information, and a lot of it changes rapidly. Tools, articles, information for feeling more comfortable with your own website. @MarcKneepkens
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
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Know Your File Types: When to Use JPEG, GIF, and PNG #infographic

Know Your File Types: When to Use JPEG, GIF, and PNG #infographic | Internet Presence |
If you’d like to know exactly which is the perfect image filetype to use for which images, and save a lot of space and bandwidth in the process while maintaining a quality image, check out the handy reference below for the facts.
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North Korean Defector Jang Se Yul Trained With Hackers - Business Insider

North Korean Defector Jang Se Yul Trained With Hackers - Business Insider | Internet Presence |

"The US shouldn’t take them lightly.”

Whether North Korea was responsible for the Sony hack or not, the consensus is that North Korea has some of the best hackers in the world.

There have been some reports recently about North Korea’s special cyber warfare unit, known as Bureau 121. The North Korean government has made grooming its “cyber warriors” a top priority for decades, and has given first class treatment to its hackers.

Jang Se-yul, a North Korean defector who now leads an organization called North Korea People’s Liberation Front in Seoul, could have been one of them. 

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Specially trained 'hacker' units from a rogue country!

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Sony exec fires back at President Obama

Sony exec fires back at President Obama | Internet Presence |

Speaking with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton fired back at President Obama's criticism.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

MIchael Lynton's interview with Fareed Zakaria is revealing how this cyber attack happened, what they did to respond and that they still want to show 'The Interview' to the public.

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Zuckerberg says Facebook is 'thinking' about the demand for a dislike button | VentureBeat | Business | by Daniel Terdiman

Zuckerberg says Facebook is 'thinking' about the demand for a dislike button | VentureBeat | Business | by Daniel Terdiman | Internet Presence |
During the Facebook CEO's second public Q&A today, he said it's an important area for discussion.

Facebook is well aware that its community wants a way to dislike something negative, rather than having to “like” everything.

Asked by a U.C. Davis law student during a public Q&A today if Facebook will ever add a dislike button, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company is “thinking” about it, so that expressing a negative sentiment “ends up being a force for good.”

Zuckerberg acknowledged that the company knows that many people think the “like” sentiment is not appropriate for posts such as when someone is sick. But he seemed to quickly backtrack. “The like button is valuable because it’s a quick way to share a positive sentiment,” Zuckerberg said. “Some people have asked for a dislike button so they can say something isn’t good, and we’re not going to do that. I don’t think that’s good for the community.”

People have long asked for a dislike button, and the question was one of the most common among the thousands of people who had posted comments on the Facebook page for today’s Q&A with Zuckerberg. And the CEO, wearing the same grey T-shirt he always wears, said he knows where people are coming from.

“The thing I think are really valuable is there are more sentiments just than people like something,” he said. “There are things in people’s lives that are sad, or that or tragic, and people don’t want to Like them. We’ve talked about for a while how can people express a wider range of emotions like surprise.”

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5 Content Marketing Mistakes that Even the Pros Make

5 Content Marketing Mistakes that Even the Pros Make | Internet Presence |

Do you feel overwhelmed with content marketing? As simple as it sounds, it’s easy to forget that there’s just as much marketing involved in promoting your business as there is content creation. Typically, this task falls squarely on the shoulders of the marketing department. If this sounds like the track your content marketing strategy is on, it could be costing you more customers than it’s gaining.

So, how can you make sure you’re developing a solid, actionable content marketing plan? Well, you’ll first have to avoid the following mistakes as they will derail your content strategy. Here’s what to avoid:

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Very detailed and knowledgeable article.

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33 Cool Apps Help Startups Create Visual Marketing FTW

33 Cool Apps Help Startups Create Visual Marketing FTW | Internet Presence |

We have put together a list of tools that can help you create amazing visual content like infographics, memes, gifs, etc. Must read for every online marketer.

Marty Note

Great list mostly new to me. Missing one of my favorite visual marketing tools Haiku Deck: . Haiku Deck is much more than a simple UI on the Creative Commons. If you are SMART you will use Haiku and some of these other #cooltools to create the kind of arresting visual marketing we all need and aspire to daily.

Via Martin (Marty) Smith, scott penton
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A wealth of information.

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Standing out in a world of information density | Mark Schaefer

Standing out in a world of information density | Mark Schaefer | Internet Presence |

I think the future belongs to the content creators who are focused on delivering quality content to a niche.One example of this is the site SoulPancake. They are devoted to answering the big questions of life in a fun, entertaining, and sometimes profound way. Their approach has now resulted in a profitable business, a book, and even a television program. Their content is not focused on SEO or tricky headlines that drive traffic. Their success comes 100% through honest, amazing, entertaining content.

If you want to look at a more corporate type of example, I love the way Adidas is creating beautiful adventure videos to promote their Outdoor division. My neighbor told me he spent an entire evening just watching videos of athletes hanging from cliffs. He was living vicariously through these videos and building an emotional connection to the brand and what it stands for...

Click on image or title to see full article.

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Via Jeff Domansky
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This is all it comes down too. Good content, quality, quality, quality!

Jeff Domansky's curator insight, November 2, 2014 10:11 AM

What is the strategy to stand out in a world of increasing information density? Mark Schaefer answers.

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Content Marketing Trends Your Business Should Implement

Content Marketing Trends Your Business Should Implement | Internet Presence |

Through proper content marketing, businesses can build their brand, raise awareness, and engender trust. This type of marketing positions businesses as credible and reliable information sources. Sharing and promoting content related to your particular industry attracts people to your social media and digital platforms as well as your product lines.

With so many potential benefits from content marketing, here’s a look at the trends that your business should consider implementing:

“Director of Content” is the new highly recruited marketing title

The person in this critical role helps coordinate sales and marketing activities to ensure both departments are working toward the same goals. In addition, this leader provides a vision and helps the business incorporate the best content marketing strategies, including webinars, videos and guest blog posts.

By shaping strategies and overseeing execution, the content director ensures messaging remains focused and on brand. Whoever holds this role needs to have a well-rounded approach to creating, managing and distributing content across multiple platforms to reach as many people in the company’s target audience as possible.

Mobile optimization is crucial

A 2014 report from the Pew Research Center Internet Project reveals 90 perent of Americans over the age of 18 have cellphones and nearly 60 percent have smartphones. Approximately half of all adults in the United States own a tablet.

With such impressive penetration, it’s not surprising that a separate report from financial giant Morgan Stanley predicts mobile Web usage will exceed laptop Web browsing by 2015. As smartphones are becoming cheaper, the study results illustrate the absolute necessity of content marketing on mobile devices.

Whether you’re creating email newsletters, white papers, or podcasts, optimize the content for mobile devices. Failing to take this step means you might not reach a large part of your target audience.

Videos need to play properly on smartphones and tablets. Webinars need to enable people to join on the go. Thinking about mobile now ensures your company won’t fall behind the curve in the coming months.

The evolution of the guest video post

Many companies are hip to the opportunities that come from having one of their leaders write guest blog posts and bylined articles for industry publications. Imagine, however, the bang you could get from doing a guest video post.

Guest bloggers can easily create engaging, high-quality videos that will inform and educate on a variety of essential topics. Videos allow guests to show, not just tell, so the company will receive a more compelling piece from their guests.

With studies reporting videos as the new way to reach a mass audience, the evolution of guest videos is upon us.

Engaging industry influencers

Don’t think that you have to create all content in-house. Work with industry influencers who have respected voices, and ask them to develop content your company can distribute.

For example, you might ask a well-known consultant to write a review of your newest product. While you won’t have the kind of control over the content you’d have if you used someone inside your company, you do gain greater credibility and trust through working with a professional outside your firm.

Another possibility is having someone in your marketing communications department do an audio or video interview with the influencer. Edit and package the content for distribution on social media and your company’s website. Then, ask the influencer to share with his or her followers.

Develop a one-stop shop

Some companies enjoy success by developing a one-stop online resource where visitors can educate themselves on issues and topics relevant to your industry.

One approach is to use a university model in which you offer online courses, instructional modules, and self-test tools. Content packaged to teach your customers things they want to learn is highly effective at drawing in visitors and getting them to engage with your site.

Create a check-list to ensure you’re contributing the most helpful information for your viewers. Does your site have extremely high-quality content? Does your company practice data curating to get the most up-to-date, comprehensive information available? It may be time to start!

Try custom-content feeds that give viewers access to a variety of content like social media RSS. Another option is to recruit influencers to contribute to your site. Have a leader in the field post a blog, or take the time to interview one of the most successful people in the field and post the video online.

Utilize Google+ and SlideShare

Move over, Facebook! New social media sites are pushing the envelope for B2B content marketers. With new technologies from Google bursting at the seams every year, there is no doubt that Google+ is innovating a whole new network of social sharing.

Many people are taking up Google+ to disseminate content marketing information for their companies. Professionals are connecting with their work, while also sharing personal articles and photos with family and friends.

SlideShare will also be a key contributor in content sharing. With the ability to create presentations and share them easily with groups, this trend has B2B marketers working hard to create vivid and engaging content.

With all of these new trends, it’s easy to say that content marketing is growing rapidly. The industry is experiencing new advancements every year, which is sure to provide more insight on what is producing ROI for all companies utilizing it.

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Staying on top of content marketing.

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Teaching Respect for Other People’s Content in the Internet Age | Digital Citizenship

Teaching Respect for Other People’s Content in the Internet Age | Digital Citizenship | Internet Presence |
As we enter National Cyber Security Awareness Month, it's the perfect time for all of us to discuss respect for other people's content online.

Tom Galvin is the Executive Director of the Digital Citizens Alliance.

Let’s face it: kids these days are incredibly tech-savvy – they spend an average of seven-and-a-half hours per day consuming some form of media, much of it online. But just because children are voracious content consumers doesn’t mean they’re always able to tell good content from bad content – and it doesn’t guarantee they understand how to use content they find on the Internet appropriately.

As we enter National Cyber Security Awareness Month, it is the perfect time for all of us to discuss this issue with children, parents, and educations – what more can we do to keep content safe and what are the stakes if we don’t.

Online Piracy and Content Abuse

With kids spending so much time interacting with online content, they are more likely to be exposed to stolen content in the form of pirated movies, music, and games that are offered up to unsuspecting youth as “free” downloads.

The sites that offer these so-called free downloads are usually only able to do so because they have stolen or misappropriated the content in the first place. The online criminals behind these sites then rake in millions by placing legitimate advertisements to make their sites appear more reputable. You can learn more about that in the Digital Citizens Alliance’s study, Good Money Gone Bad.

The Risks of Engaging with Stolen Content

To start, downloading pirated music, movies, or TV shows is illegal. You wouldn’t allow your kids to walk into a Best Buy, slip a DVD in their coat, and walk out without paying – so why should it be any different when the content in question is online?

While it may be illegal, it is also far too common. A new Digital Citizens Alliance poll shows that 62 percent said they didn’t always check or weren’t sure if movies, music, games, or books they downloaded were legally authorized. Previous Digital Citizens Alliance research has shown this is a widely used delivery mechanism for malware.

Aside from the moral implications, downloading stolen content can also expose children and their families to a wide array of online crimes. The criminals behind these sites often use the “free” content they are offering as a Trojan Horse to lure unwitting victims. Once downloaded, you, your child, and your family could be exposed to anything from malware that targets your computer to identity theft.

That “free” download is probably looking a little more costly now, isn’t it?

Showing and Teaching Content Respect

Content respect isn’t just limited to not downloading stolen music, movies, or TV shows; it also means teaching kids how to appropriately use the content they find online. Nowhere is this more important than in the context of their education.
Kids today are used to finding whatever they need to complete an assignment online. The information they find on the Internet is so ubiquitous, that it’s easy for them to think of the content they find online as up for grabs. That’s where another form of content abuse comes into play – online plagiarism.

When we talk about online plagiarism, it’s also important to understand that it’s not just other people’s writing that is being misused and abused. Kids aren’t just writing reports these days; they’re creating multimedia presentations, videos, infographics, and more. Using someone else’s creations without properly crediting their work – whether it is someone’s writing, art, music, or even just their ideas – is plagiarism, plain and simple.

What We Can and Should Do

Content abuse is an action that can embolden perpetrators to go onto bigger, bolder, and more insidious activities. We can’t put our heads in the sand. Just because we haven’t cracked down on it yet doesn’t mean we should ignore it forever. In fact, there is no better time than now to do something about it.

As responsible adults, it’s up to us to ensure children understand the difference between referencing someone else’s content with proper attribution and outright stealing or plagiarizing that content. It’s a thin, but very important line. Unchecked, stealing others work creates a culture of content abuse. When young people see there is no penalty for stealing movies and other content, they can get into committing other, more high-risk online crimes. 

Teaching kids the difference between good and bad content – as well as how to appropriately use the content they find online – should be a goal for all parents and responsible adults. Learn what we’re doing at the Digital Citizens Alliance to make the Internet a safer, more respectful place for ever

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Via Dan Kirsch, Gust MEES
Tony Guzman's curator insight, October 13, 2014 12:32 PM

This blog article shares some great insights into how to best train our youth (and adults) about proper online content use and downloading.

christian campos's curator insight, February 15, 2015 9:37 PM

This article does what the title says. its shows how we as users should have respect for other peoples content and how we sometimes don't acknowledge when we are getting a form of media illegally. I Agree with the article stating that sometimes downloads can result in "trojans", therefore exposing your computer to a harmful virus. Kids and digital immigrants would most likely fall into these traps due to  the unfamiliarity  of these downloads or websites.

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Vive La Tech - Win a trip to Europe's largest Tech and Innovation conference.

Vive La Tech - Win a trip to Europe's largest Tech and Innovation conference. | Internet Presence |
Brushing up on my French, since I just entered to win a trip to Le Web in Paris withGA.

Here is the link for your entry:

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A trip to Paris plus a visit to 'Le Web', Europe's largest tech conference.

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Why Ello Suddenly Went Viral

Why Ello Suddenly Went Viral | Internet Presence |
The fledgling social network was one of the most talked-about items last week. Here's why.

Last week, as if almost overnight, it seemed like social media startup Ello was everywhere.

The free social network, whose much-discussed manifesto explains why it eschews ads and user data collection, was seeing about 31,000 new signups per hour with no signs of slowing down at the end of last week. The site is invite only, and the codes are even going on eBay for as much as $100.

The Burlington, Vt.-based social network was co-founded by artists Todd Berger, Lucian Föhr, and Paul Budnitz. Neither of them is a first-time entrepreneur: Berger and Fohr run a design firm, and Budnitz is the founder of Budnitz Bicycles and art toy company Kidrobot.

The site launched in beta on Aug. 7 with a user base of 90 people and was growing steadily before it suddenly went into overdrive. If you read any news last week, you were guaranteed to have seen some headline about how Ello is rapidly growing and gearing up to be the anti-Facebook. Word of the fledgling social network was everywhere.

Berger told he doesn't even consider Facebook a social network: "For us [Facebook] is an advertising platform, not a social network. On Facebook, the advertiser is the customer, and you are the product that’s bought and sold…You can be anyone you want on Ello."

Berger and the Ello team chalk the recent exposure up to the vocal criticism directed at Facebook's legal name policy by the LGBT and drag community. Drag queens Sister Roma and Lil Miss Hot Mess were among many in the community who found their profiles deactivated by Facebook because they used stage names, not real names. "Things really started to explode about 10 days ago when members of the San Francisco LGBTQ community began coming over because Facebook had been kicking them off their network. That led to more interest within the larger creative community, and people in general." Ello started seeing a significant rise in users on Sept. 23.

The social network's burst of attention begs the perennial question: how do you parlay going viral into actual longevity? In the case of Ello, the company's success seems to stem from meeting the zeitgeist at the right moment. Berger holds that the positive response, and what will keep people invested, is the site's point of view. "[We're] a values-based company with a mission. People appreciate that."

Berger says the company has been "working around the clock" to properly field user requests while "rolling out lots of new features, including privacy related features to improve user safety and security."

Despite the anti-Facebook comparisons, Ello will likely not spell the end for the social giant. However, it will be interesting to see whether platforms like it and continued activism will compel it to alter its fairly entrenched policies. It remains to be seen whether future platforms in this space will need to take Ello's tack to make a dent. 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The 'Ello' story.

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17 Statistics That Show Social Media is the Future of Customer Service

17 Statistics That Show Social Media is the Future of Customer Service | Internet Presence |

Millions of people are taking service issues to social media channels as their preferred communication route. These questions and complaints are public, and the only real question for businesses is how - not if - they will respond. Listening is no longer an end, but rather a means to evaluating where you need to engage.

To celebrate the release of the Third Edition of the Definitive Guide to Social Customer Service, here are 17 statistics that show social media’s rise as a customer service channel and its bright future. People spend more time on social than any other online activity.

1.  While social media usage continues to increase, it’s already the top Internet activity: Americans spend an average of 37 minutes daily on social media, more time spent than any other Internet activity, including email. (Wall Street Journal) Tweet

2. At the same time, Comscore found that smartphones and tablets combined now account for 60 percent of all online traffic, up from 50 percent a year ago. Tweet

3. Accordingly, 78% of active Twitter users are mobile;  81% for FacebookTweet

This naturally leads to a rise in consumer demand for social customer service.

4. 67% of consumers have used a company's social media site for servicing, compared with 33% for social marketing. (J.D. Power and Associates) Tweet

5.  33% of users even prefer to contact brands using social media rather than the telephone. (Nielsen) Tweet

As a result, although phones continue to be the most popular device for customer service, your customers might be using them to Tweet instead of call.

6. And it’s important to remember: your customers are not just Tweeting about you from their sofas. 58% of consumers used their mobile phones while shopping in-store, rising to 78% for 18-29 year olds. (Pew Research) Tweet

7. 14% of Tweets sent to major retail brands are from customers experiencing problems in-store. (Conversocial) Tweet

Whether in-store or online, fast responses are an essential part of meeting customer expectations for social care.

8. 71% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide good service. (Forrester) Tweet

9. That’s why when customers reaches out over social, you should do everything possible to resolve their issues over social. Only 2% of customers who were given an email address or telephone number on social asked for it in the first place. (Conversocial) Tweet

Certainly, the worst thing your brand can do is not respond at all. 

Gartner found that failure to respond via social channels can lead to a 15% increase in the churn rate for existing customers. Tweet

11. And your customers might be be discussing your brand, just not directly @ mentioning you; fewer than 3% of customers directly @ mention brands on Twitter (i.e. referring to the brand “company” instead of “@company”). (Conversocial) Tweet

As well as speed, quality and resolution are key to delivering a great customer experience. Managed properly, the benefits of providing great customer service over social media are tremendous.

13. When companies engage and respond to customer service requests over social media, those customers end up spending 20% to 40% more with the company. (Bain & Company) Tweet

And remember: on social media, you’re not just showing a single customer a great experience, but also their friends and everyone else watching.

14. Customers who encounter positive social customer care experiences are nearly 3 times more likely to recommend a brand. (Harvard Business Review) Tweet

15. Additionally, 42% of people will tell their friends about a good customer experience on social, while 53% will talk about a bad one. (American Express Global Customer Service Barometer) Tweet

Because of all of this, social customer service has evolved greatly in the past couple of years and will only continue to grow.

16. Adoption of social customer care programs increased fivefold from 12% in 2010 to 59% in 2013. (Aberdeen Group) Tweet

17. And major brands aren’t just adopting social customer service: they’re making it a major priority: 67% of companies believe that social customer service is the most pressing short-term priority for the contact center. (Forrester) Tweet

How do these statistics apply to your business? Any favorites that you'd like to add?

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Via massimo facchinetti
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The Social Media Salary Guide [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Social Media Salary Guide [INFOGRAPHIC] | Internet Presence |
Social Media Week is upon us, so we thought it would be appropriate to delve into the social media industry and see how its salaries stack up.

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Via Ana Cristina Pratas, massimo facchinetti
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North Korea Loses Its Link to the Internet -

North Korea Loses Its Link to the Internet - | Internet Presence |

While perhaps a coincidence, the failure, which lasted about 10 hours, began after President Obama said the U.S. would respond to an act of “cybervandalism” against Sony Pictures.

A strange thing happened to North Korea’s already tenuous link to the Internet on Monday: It failed.
While perhaps a coincidence, the failure of the country’s computer connections began only hours after President Obama declared Friday that the United States would launch a “proportional response” to what he termed an act of “cybervandalism” against Sony Pictures.
Over the weekend, as North Korean officials demanded a “joint investigation” into the Sony attacks and denied culpability — an assertion the United States rejected — Internet service began to get wobbly. By early Monday, the Internet went as dark as one of those satellite photographs showing the impoverished country by night.

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Most North Korean hackers are located outside of the country, see the end of the article.

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Kill the Password: Why a String of Characters Can't Protect Us Anymore | WIRED

Kill the Password: Why a String of Characters Can't Protect Us Anymore | WIRED | Internet Presence |

You have a secret that can ruin your life. It’s not a well-kept secret, either. Just a simple string of characters—maybe six of them if you’re careless, 16 if you’re cautious—that can reveal everything about you.

Your email. Your bank account. Your address and credit card number. Photos of your kids or, worse, of yourself, naked. The precise location where you’re sitting right now as you read these words. Since the dawn of the information age, we’ve bought into the idea that a password, so long as it’s elaborate enough, is an adequate means of protecting all this precious data. But in 2012 that’s a fallacy, a fantasy, an outdated sales pitch. And anyone who still mouths it is a sucker—or someone who takes you for one.

No matter how complex, no matter how unique, your passwords can no longer protect you.

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Read this article and find out how hackers get all of your information! Must-read!

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Redesigning Your Website in 2015? Start By Asking These 5 Questions.

Redesigning Your Website in 2015? Start By Asking These 5 Questions. | Internet Presence |
Updating your website can be one of the biggest challenges you face when it comes to marketing your business, but it doesn't have to be.

Any business owner who has ever redesigned his or her company website will tell you: It’s not for the faint of heart. Whether you struggle to get key stakeholders on the same page, question where and how to best invest your money, or wonder why nobody quite gets your vision, redesigning your website can be one of the biggest challenges you face when it comes to marketing your business.

But it doesn’t have to be.

When you ask the right questions from the get-go, you can save time, frustration and dollars in the long run. As we head into 2015, here are the five most important ones to consider before you get started.

1. What is the goal of the new website?

Before you embark on the redesign process, it’s important to think strategically about your content so you're clear about what you want the new site to achieve. Do you want people to buy products? Fill out an application? Subscribe to an enewsletter?

The clearer you get about exactly what actions you want users to take, the easier it will be to design your information architecture (essentially the map or framework of your site), and the more satisfied you and your users will be with the results.

2. What is and is not working with the current site?

Prior to getting started, take stock of your existing website and assess what you want to keep and what can be tossed. Do you hear any common complaints from customers or other frequent visitors? Can you glean any insights from Google Analytics?

For example, if site visitors tend to drop off at certain pages, consider what elements or content might be created to pique their interest. If you notice that users hover and click in a certain spot that doesn’t currently lead anywhere, perhaps it makes sense to add a link to "learn more."

Be sure to dig into the data here, rather than rely on gut instinct.

“Making decisions from data, rather than emotion, is paramount during the redesign process," says Curt Schwab, founder and CEO of digital agency Blue Water. "It’s always harder to see your own brand objectively, but the data doesn’t lie.”

3. What are your "must haves" vs. "nice to haves"?

When you redesign your website, it’s easy to get distracted by bells and whistles that you don’t actually need (and blow your budget out of proportion). This is hard for business owners who want everything right now, but just as the web is ever evolving, so too is a good website.

“Know that your site will never be ‘done,'” Schwab says. “Instead, take an iterative approach. Focus on your must haves right now and plan to make ongoing changes and optimizations based on user feedback and interaction down the line.”

4. Am I currently using a content management system, and if so, how is it working for me?

Building your website using a content-management system (CMS) has become de rigor in recent years. Popular CMSs, such as Wordpress, Drupal and Joomla, allow you to easily update your website content without knowing how to code (so you don't have to rely completely on a developer).

If you’re not currently using a CMS, then you should absolutely include one in the new site. If you already have a CMS, take time to consider whether it’s working for you and meeting all of your needs. If not, it might be worth exploring other content-management systems on the market to find a better fit.

Technology is constantly evolving and it makes sense to take full advantage of what’s available.

5) Should I do this in house or outsource?

When considering whether to do the redesign in-house vs. hire a pro or agency, it’s important to understand the magnitude of the undertaking at hand, and honestly assess whether it’s the best use of your resources. It can be tempting to want to save money by doing the redesign in house, but don’t underrate the value of having someone objective and skilled to guide you through the process.

“If you do decide to stay in house, take a good look at your internal resources," Schwab says. "For a successful redesign, you need a 360-degree team, which includes someone with online-marketing expertise, a copywriter, a designer, a developer and a project manager to stay on top of all the moving pieces.”

Are there any questions you wish you’d asked before redesigning your website? Any key lessons learned? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section below!

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A website is a must-have, for any kind of business. Do it right from the start.

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There Are Only 4 Ways To Get Traffic From Twitter

There Are Only 4 Ways To Get Traffic From Twitter | Internet Presence |

Can you believe that back in the days bloggers used to rely on Google as their primary source of traffic?

They launched new blogs, published lots of articles and waited patiently for people to find these articles in Google.

You could be blogging for a few months without a single visit to your blog, just because your articles didn’t rank well in Google.

What I’m trying to say here is that we don’t really appreciate all the cool things we have at our disposal today (I absolutely love how Louis C.K puts it).

I mean we have Social Media!

With sites like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit and others we can get a flood of traffic to our blog on the very same day that the first article went live!

So in this article I’m going to explain you four different ways to get traffic from Twitter.

And those are the only ways actually (if you know more, please let me know).

1. Tweet Your Content To Your Own Followers

This one is darn obvious. If you’re on Twitter, the odds are that some people are following you and click on the links that you tweet.

So if you want to get a few instant visitors to your blog – just send a tweet to your followers.

But here’s the bad news: only 1% of your Twitter followers will click on the links that you tweet (that number is taken from a study by Rand Fishkin).

Which means that for every 1000 Twitter followers that you have, you’re only going to get 10 clicks on the link that you tweet.

That is why for most of us (who don’t have tens of thousands of followers) tweeting links to our followers would be the least effective way to get traffic from Twitter.

2. Make Influential Twitter Users Tweet Your Content

Like I just said, on average 1% of your followers will click on the links that you tweet.

So, if a guy with 100k Twitter followers will tweet your link, you’re going to get 1000 visitors to your website in no time!

While most people are obsessed with growing their own twitter following by a few hundred, why don’t you focus on making influencers, who have huge audiences, tweet your content for you?

Making some influential person notice your content is easier than you think. I’m going to share a few tips on how you can do that:

  1. Look at the content that he likes to tweet, write something similar and let him know about it;
  2. Reference the influencer in your article and let him know about it;
  3. Do something that you’ve learned from this influencer, write an article about it and let him know.

See? That’s quite easy. The trick would be to target mildly influential people from your niche instead of trying to reach out to “super stars”. Mildly influential people are much more responsive and you’ll have better chances of getting a tweet from them.

[Note from editor: It is really nice when this happens. Read this article when Alyssa Milano (over 2.7 million followers) tweeted our content.]

3. Make Your Visitors Tweet Your Content

Let me get back to that 1% rule one last time.

When your following is around 1000 people and you tweet your link – you get 10 visits.

When an influential person with 100k followers tweets your link – you get 1000 visits.

What if 10 visitors of your blog with 1000 twitter followers each tweeted your link? How many visits would you get?

(10 guys * 1000 followers) * 1% CTR = 100 visitors

Not bad, right?

What’s more awesome is that someone from these 100 visitors can tweet the article even further to his or her following, which will give the whole tweeting cycle yet another spin. But…

How do you motivate your visitors to tweet your content?

Don’t worry, I have some great tips for you:

  1. Keep the quality of your content above the roof and make sure it has a lot of value. People tend to tweet things that make them look good in the eyes of their followers. Your piece of content should be something they want to be associated with.
  2. Ask your readers to tweet your content. When you’ve finished writing your article add a few extra lines asking your readers to tweet your content. After reading your valuable article many people will feel guilty if they ignore your small request to give back and share it.
  3. Add “tweetable quotes” to your articles. This is a brand new tactic that all the “cool kids” are already using. Grab a tool like ClickToTweet or TweetDis and fill your article with quotes and takeaways that people can tweet just by clicking on them (Neil Patel has used this strategy to get 17,452 visits from Twitter to one of his articles). See a few good tweetable quotes samples within this article here: 8 Predictions For Digital Marketing In 2015.

Another cool thing about creating “irresistible content” is that influencers might just as well tweet it, which kind of combines strategy #3 with strategy #2.

4. Twitter Ads & Sponsored Tweets

This is the last way to get traffic from Twitter and it’s pretty straightforward.

You can either use official Twitter Ads platform or use services like Sponsored Tweets to have influencers tweet your stuff.

The only trick here would be to create something very compelling that will attract attention, so that you wouldn’t waste tons of money promoting something people are not interested in.

I would suggest you to look at your content and your own tweets that performed really well and think how you can benefit from paid promotion of this content (maybe refurbish it into an ebook and have people leave their emails to get it).

Back To You

So these were the four only ways you can get traffic from Twitter.

And once again I’d like to stress your attention that “tweeting something to your followers” is the least effective way to get traffic from Twitter.

The core strategy is of course creating “irresistible content” and making others tweet it for you.

Good luck with it!

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Via Ivo Nový, massimo facchinetti
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Twitter can be a powerful platform to get your information out in a very short time.

Venkatesh Iyer ('s curator insight, December 6, 2014 11:26 PM

Fifth way: be judicious in following, try to attract like-minded followers and be persistent in tweeting.

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The Five Marketing Must-Haves of an Online Startup

The Five Marketing Must-Haves of an Online Startup | Internet Presence |

Startups are often strapped for cash, crunched for time, and slammed with responsibilities. This kind of lean and agile operations need a particular kind of marketing power. Startups can’t do every marketing activity in the book.They certainly can’t spend all the money they want. But they still need to do marketing. How?

Here are the five essentials that online startups need to possess.


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Via Growth Engine Labs
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Not just for startups, this is good for every business.

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15 Free Online Learning Sites Every Entrepreneur Should Visit

15 Free Online Learning Sites Every Entrepreneur Should Visit | Internet Presence |
The best places you can go to learn more about marketing, entrepreneurship, business management and more.

Being a successful entrepreneur means you have to wear a lot of hats, especially when your company is just starting out and you don’t have enough employees to cover all the areas you need.

Learning the new skills necessary to start a new business can be expensive, but fortunately the initiative for free, high-quality, educational resources online has only continued to grow in the past few years. Below are some of the resources available to learn more about marketing, entrepreneurship, business management and more.

1. CodeAcademy

This great resource offers free interactive programming sessions to help you learn programming languages such as HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP. You can save your progress as you go with a free account. Learning to code can help entrepreneurs fix bugs if they don’t have a developer, or even go down the road of building their own website or products (such as apps).

2. HubSpot Academy 

The free certification program offers courses on inbound marketing, including website optimization, landing pages and lead nurturing. These skills are a must for business owners as they try to grow their business and online presence.

3. Moz

If you want to learn search-engine optimization to make sure your website is as visible as possible, check out this treasure trove of resources from SEO leader, Moz. Besides having the free Moz Academy, there are also webinars (live and recorded), and beginner’s guides to SEO, social media and link building.

4. LearnVest

The most successful entrepreneurs know how to manage their money both on a business and personal side. In addition to having extremely affordable finance classes, LearnVest also offers some of its classes for free, such as “Building Better Money Habits” and “How to Budget.”

5. Niche consultant courses

The Internet has made for a coaching boom, which is extremely helpful to entrepreneurs who want to learn how to start or better a business in a specific niche. Some great coaches and organizations that routinely have free courses and ebooks on building a business include Natalie MacNeil and MyOwnBusiness. Try searching “niche keyword” + “business course” to find one most applicable to you.

6. edX

This free site currently has over 300 courses on a variety of topics, including “Financial Analysis and Decision Making” and “Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer?” These courses not only cover business in general, but can also you help learn more skills that are applicable to your industry, such as big data or environmental conservation.

7. Khan Academy

This free learning resource was created to give everyone access to education in math, science, art, technology and more. There are over 100,000 interactive exercises to put your education to practical use. Even though many of the courses are geared toward high school students, there are several courses that would be good for anyone to have a refresher on, such as taxes and accounting.

8. MIT Open Courseware

These are actual courses taught at MIT and offered for free on the site for viewing and reading at your discretion. The school put together an entrepreneurship page that lists available courses that are beneficial to new business owners. Courses include “Early State Capital” and “The Software Business.”

9. Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

This university has almost 100 free on-demand college courses that are extremely applicable to entrepreneurs, including ones that cover business planning, operations and management and small-business tax. 

10. Coursera

Much like MIT’s Open Courseware, this site has 114 educational partners that provide free courses to almost 10 million users. One benefit to Coursera is that there are very specific courses that fit perfectly into particular niches, such as “Data Management for Clinical Research” from Vanderbilt University and “Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea to Marketplace” from the University of Maryland. Its wide network of partners allows for a greater selection.

11. OpenCulture

This site isn’t an educational platform on its own, but rather collects and shares free resources from around the web. Its list of 150 free online business courses is a great resource because it offers classes from iTunes U and other lessons on video and audio. The site also has lists of free audiobooks, certificate courses and other online courses.

12. YouTube

It’s probably unsurprising to most users that YouTube is one of the world’s largest search engines, as there are literally videos on just about anything you can imagine. From TED talks to recorded presentations on building a business, it’s a great free resource on just about any topic.

13. Alison

This platform offers free online courses from some of the most well-known names on the internet today, including Google, Microsoft, and Macmillan. With over 4 million users and over 600 courses already, it covers topics such as economic literacy, personal development and business/enterprise skills.

14. Saylor

The Saylor Foundation offers tuition-free courses and also works with accredited colleges and universities to offer affordable credentials. Its course offerings are similar to what you’d see when working toward a bachelor’s degree.

15. Podcasts

Even though it’s not an official course, podcasts are an amazing (and easily digestible) way to become a better entrepreneur. Podcasts can be listened to via streaming on your computer (if that certain podcast offers it) or via iTunes for iOS and apps such as Podcast Republic for Android. Podcasts such as Entrepreneur of Fire already garner thousands of listeners every episode and are a great way to learn the most up-to-date information and strategies possible. Another good list of entrepreneur podcasts include Think Entrepreneurship's.

Whether you learn best by audio, video or text, this list of 15 learning resources for entrepreneurs can help you learn more about building a business, accounting and getting customers.

Being a successful entrepreneur means you have to wear a lot of hats, especially when your company is just starting out and you don’t have enough employees to cover all the areas you need.

Learning the new skills necessary to start a new business can be expensive, but fortunately the initiative for free, high-quality, educational resources online has only continued to grow in the past few years. Below are some of the resources available to learn more about marketing, entrepreneurship, business management and more.

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

What a wealth of information. No excuse anymore for not having the ability to learn, change, improve.

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10 Digital Hacks Every Marketer Should Know

I've spent the last 10 years discovering the best digital marketing hacks to move the awareness and revenue needle. I'm giving you 3 examples and 10 hacks to improve your marketing game dramatically.

When professional marketers show their tricks, you better pay attention! Great Slideshare.

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Via Brian Yanish -, malek
Jerome Pernollet's curator insight, October 28, 2014 4:07 AM

Éveillez vous aux DIGITAL HACKS

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Trending Intelligence!

The Women Behind The Startup That's Changing How Girls See Coding - Forbes

The Women Behind The Startup That's Changing How Girls See Coding - Forbes | Internet Presence |

I love stories that have unexpected beginnings. Alexandra Diracles and Melissa Halfon met at Startup Weekend EDU in New York City this past January. They left with a first place winning prototype and the start of Vidcode, an online interactive software that brings the power of hacking videos with code to teens. Girls can upload Instagram videos, learn to program video effects and share the final creations with their friends. Coding meets social.

Alexandra and Melissa are connecting the dots between girls, videos, friends, fun and coding. Or as 13-year-old Lily said, “I now know that I can actually use code for something that I’m interested in.” Finding an interest is always a good place to start.

Denise: What needs to be fixed in the world?

Melissa: My first job as a computer programmer began with a grueling hiring process. Amongst a large pool of applicants, I spent two months learning an arcane programming language and waited as the group got whittled down to a single remaining candidate. I was awarded the position and as a result, marched into the first day of work full of confidence. That is, until my new boss approached my desk. He stood over me and said, “I hope you can do the job. I’m still not sure you’re a hacker.” I paused, slightly perplexed as I thought I was given the job based on technical merit, and asked, “Why not?” He responded,  “Because you don’t look like one.”

These are the kinds of perceptions that often go unspoken, but silently permeate the field of technology and girls’ opinions of it. These are the pervasive tones in the workplace and classrooms that break their confidence and deter them from pursuing certain paths completely. These are the opinions that need adjusting so the world can be reframed for the girls of tomorrow.

Denise: What will it look like when it’s fixed?

Alexandra and Melissa: When there are more women in the technology workforce, human-centered design & engineering will expand. What technology can solve for communities, relationships and our future as a human race will strengthen with more diverse perspectives. Empathy, problem solving and community will become even more important as Artificial Intelligence proliferates. We want more women designing and engineering that future. It’s a future that can be empathetic, discerning and powerful beyond comprehension if we all put our heads together, men and women alike. It’s not subtractive, only additive.

Denise: What are you doing to fix it?

Alexandra: Melissa and I met at Startup Weekend EDU in New York City this past January. I was there to research for my Master’s thesis at NYU ITP (Interactive Telecommunications Program) and Melissa’s boss had organized his team to participate. She was building algorithms for an equity trading desk at the time. Neither of us planned on leaving with a first place winning prototype. At the beginning of the weekend we both pitched ideas and ended up teaming up based on our mutual passion for getting girls excited about STEM. We were coming from completely different perspectives: I as an artist who found code in my late twenties, and Melissa as a long time math ninja who has loved STEM since birth. This dynamic is incredibly important to our process. Melissa brings the technical perspective and I bring the creative input. We meet in the middle as we speak the same language in code. This helps us develop a product which serves the teenage demographic in a way that is approachable, creative and highly technical at the same time. Three other talented people joined us that first day: Leandra Tejedor, Terry Van Duyn, and Ken Warner, and we’ve been working together ever since.

Melissa: Vidcode is a cutting edge education platform to learn computer programming through interactive video techniques. Essentially, we have leveraged the newest JavaScript and web technologies that allow you to manipulate video footage and deliver it to teens’ doorsteps. With these techniques a user can change a video pixel by pixel, pinpointing what colors to change, how fast to go, and even multiplying the pixels in each frame together using code.

After that initial prototype we spent the entire spring researching, coding, designing and user testing the platform with teenage girls. We built the existing site for teenage girls based on their requests. We asked them, “What’s missing for you in a programming environment?”  They told us they want to pair it with a hobby, be creative and include their friends.  With Vidcode girls can upload their videos, code their own effects and then share the final video with friends.

Alexandra: The ability to share the message of coding to their own peer group is incredibly important, and imperative to our mission because it reinforces what girls want: to pursue code with their friends. That’s why Melissa and I wanted to do this in the first place. Sharing the final video customized with code creates a critical community of peers to encourage girls to continue coding together. Programming is difficult and you need constant stimulation of other cool projects as well as a community of peers, to keep you going throughout the process. We want to promote girls to show off what they are creating to each other, and in doing so inspire each other to constantly break new ground.

Denise: There’s a stereotype of the young tech guy, but what about the young tech woman – and not just in Silicon Valley? Is the road for women unpaved/less paved?

Alexandra: Women in tech are shapeshifters who have the capability to be laser focused on code, analyze the higher-level concepts of a project and be in touch with the social impact of the product they are building. We see our fellow women in technology as tenacious, curious and committed to solving social and technical problems.

Melissa and I paint our own picture of what young tech women are. We spend every day together, either hacking away at our co-working space in SOHO at the NYU Poly incubator or at our apartments. We don’t have regular work hours and we don’t feel like we are ever really working. We eat take out together, joke around and get tons of work done. We love what we do and get excited to build things that can contribute to the younger generation and help inspire what they make with code.

Melissa: The only thing that makes things harder for us in the tech or startup industry today is that we are non-traditional candidates. It takes a little time for us to build relatability with a room full of guys. That being said, it happens, and we’ve received a great amount of support from men throughout the industry.

On a personal level we want to see more women in the startup incubators, in the software engineering labs and in finance because we believe in the value diverse perspectives brings to these industries.

Denise: The word code often creates a picture of a person sitting alone in the dark and programming all night. Do you think that image keeps girls out of tech?

Alexandra: I studied at New York University’s incredible ITP. I learned more from my fellow classmates than I can ever express. When I was learning JavaScript, I would get bored at times. I’d sit there hitting a wall. Then I realized that if I thought of the code like a story, with each variable being a character that could be positively or negatively affected by the function I was writing, I cared a lot more about the code. This is particular to me, but I know I’m not alone. I was yearning for a people-oriented way to learn code.

Social and code are two terms that you typically don’t hear together. Why? No good reason. One, it’s a fallacy, as code has been innately social since the invention of the world wide web as a place to share information. Two, developers swap tips all the time, even the anti-social ones. Three, we are at the dawn of a new age where discussing code and sharing ideas about how to code, is becoming a common way to speak to one another; or it will be soon. From the first experience on, we want our users communicating with each other and their communities about what they are creating with code.

Melissa: On the Vidcode platform we are introducing content that is normally taught in advanced graphics programming courses (video processing). We’ve intentionally avoided the traditional 101 material, not because it’s simple, but because it lacks engagement. Like any first impression, the first experience learning code can be make or break. We designed it with girls’ interests in mind to give girls an invitation to this try technology and keep coming back.

Denise: What advice do you have for young women who want to be tech entrepreneurs?

Alexandra:  Learn to code! The power to create your own prototypes, and make them come to life is unexplainably wonderful. Just like sketching an idea communicated with an audience, prototyping a product you want to introduce to the world gives you the keys to make your dreams a reality. For Melissa and I it has been a dream come true to be able to build, ship and expand on a product ourselves.

Melissa: We also advise girls to take a couple business courses. It may seem boring now but it will pay off later. Every human being should understand finance. Even work in finance for a few years. You don’t have to do it forever, but the experience you gain working with investors on the ground will give you the power to get funding for your startup. Finance and code are languages that move mountains. We want our girls occupying those positions of power!

Denise: You’re a startup, how do you survive financially, personally and professionally?

Alexandra: We are currently raising funds for the development of the next phase of Vidcode on Kickstarter. When we succeed in our goal, we will be developing advanced features for Vidcode and shipping a full curriculum for teachers to implement in the classroom.

Melissa and I have both been highly creative as we have bootstrapped our business. Airbnb has been a lifesaver for both of us. As we travel, and even sometimes when we are in NYC, we rent out our places. Melissa took extra precautions as a woman renting out her place and listed it under a male relative’s name. It can be stressful at times to turn your living space into a hotel, but it compliments the transient lifestyle we employ as entrepreneurs. We can work anywhere, any time, happily.

The unknowns of starting a company can be stressful but the payoff is too good to not keep going. The biggest pay-off is seeing girls’ attitudes change about programming after using Vidcode. Another is working with a co-founder who inspires, informs and compliments my skills. Last but not least, is having the ability to run your own company based off your own values. With Vidcode, we began with five people and have remained with the same original team throughout. Our mutual passion and values for what we are creating is unshakable.

Melissa: The life of any early-stage entrepreneur is a daily challenge — monetarily, emotionally. For me, thriving in that stage comes down to evaluating the risks and their potential rewards. With family and allies rooting me on, I feel more confident in making leaps and believing that the risk-reward payoff is in my favor. That support system is huge.

It’s full of unknowns and instability and I’m ok with that. There are other ways I could be bringing in a stream of steady income, but most would be at the sacrifice of doing work I love. I choose this path because the end result of our work is something the world would be worse without. I know we’re the ones to bring it.

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Via Gebeyehu B. Amha
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Very creative approach. So what does a hacker look like? A geek?

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Sen. Wyden: NSA tech spying hurts economy

Sen. Wyden: NSA tech spying hurts economy | Internet Presence |

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and other Silicon Valley executives say controversial government spying programs are undercutting the Internet economy and want Congress to step up stalled reform.

"We're going to end up breaking the Internet," warned Google Inc.'s Schmidt during a public forum Wednesday convened by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who has been an outspoken critic of electronic data-gathering by the National Security Agency. Schmidt and executives from Facebook Inc, Microsoft Corp. and other firms say revelations of extensive NSA surveillance are prompting governments in Europe and elsewhere to consider laws requiring that their citizens' online data be stored within their national borders.

Rules like that would drive up costs and create technical obstacles to the way the Internet currently operates, making it "profoundly difficult in terms of our ability to deliver services," said Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch. Brad Smith, general counsel for Microsoft, said some European customers are worried their data will be more vulnerable to U.S. government snooping, although he declined to give specific examples.

"The reality is this is a real problem for American tech companies," said Smith. "If trust falls, then the prospects for business are hurt."

Wyden, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and chairman of the Finance Committee, convened the roundtable in the Palo Alto High School gym, where he played basketball as a student in the 1960s. He said he will take the executives' message back to Washington, where bills to curb surveillance have stalled. Prospects for passing a reform bill this fall are shrinking, Wyden told The Associated Press.

"I'm going to my best to use this. What I'm going to do is say there's a clear and present danger to the Internet economy," Wyden said.

Wyden contends that the government's "digital dragnet" of phone calls, emails and online communications doesn't make the country safer, and only hurts the U.S. economy.

"When the actions of a foreign government threaten red-white-and-blue jobs, Washington gets up at arms. But, even today, almost no one in Washington is talking about how overly broad surveillance is hurting the U.S. economy," he said in opening remarks.

Microsoft's Smith acknowledged that concerns over recent terrorist incidents in the Middle East may have undercut some public support for surveillance reform. But we "need to resolve that we won't let danger freeze this country in its tracks," he said, adding that "antiquated laws will not keep this country safe. They will undermine fundamental respect for law enforcement."

When former NSA contractor Edward Snowden made details of NSA surveillance tactics public, tech executives and industry experts warned that consumers and business customers would fear that U.S. technology companies can't protect sensitive data from government prying. Some analysts estimated last year that U.S. tech companies could lose tens of billions of dollars in sales, particularly after European firms began marketing themselves as being more secure than U.S. competitors — or less vulnerable to legal demands from the U.S. government.

Most of the impact has been anecdotal, however. A few companies, including Cisco Systems Inc. and Qualcomm Inc., have said they believe they lost some deals in China and other emerging markets because of concerns about U.S. spying. Germany did cancel a contract with Verizon this summer, citing a fear that it may provide customer phone records to the NSA. Some tech startups and telecommunications companies in France and Switzerland have claimed an increase in sales to customers who are wary of U.S. providers.

It's difficult to quantify the losses because "companies don't always know about the deals that they weren't invited to be a part of," said Daniel Castro, a senior analyst at the nonprofit Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in Washington, D.C. Castro estimated last year that losses to U.S. tech companies could amount to $35 billion by 2016. He said this week his estimate is still valid.

Wyden has called for strict controls on the NSA and complains that a pending reform bill, authored by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., doesn't go far enough to restrict so-called "back-door" or warrantless searches of emails and online communications by Americans. The Obama administration has endorsed the Leahy bill, while defending government surveillance programs as narrowly defined and necessary for tracking foreign terrorist suspects. Wyden is backing separate legislation that would increase the authority of the government's new Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

A coalition of leading online companies including Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft continue to urge Congress to pass reform. The companies also have beefed up their own security measures, through encryption and other methods intended to rebuff snooping by individual hackers — or government agencies.

That's put Silicon Valley at odds with federal authorities. Attorney General Eric Holder, who announced last month that he is leaving the Justice Department, has complained that recent encryption moves by Apple Inc. and Google could hinder vital law enforcement investigations.

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A nimble startup is targeting a blind spot of India’s ecommerce giants, and pulling the rug from under their feet

A nimble startup is targeting a blind spot of India’s ecommerce giants, and pulling the rug from under their feet | Internet Presence |
While the big cats of ecommerce fight it out for leadership stakes in India, a jackal may run off with the spoils - mobile commerce innovator Paytm.
Back in July, a billion-dollar funding round for Indian ecommerce leader Flipkart made a waves around the world. The very next day, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos declared from Seattle that he would pump US$2 billion into his company’s business in India. True to his word, the attention-grabbing Bezos rode a truck in Bangalore last Sunday, flashing a US$2 billion cheque which he handed over to the head of Amazon India. But while the big cats of ecommerce fight it out for leadership stakes in India, a mobile commerce jackal may be running away with the spoils. Here’s one indicator: When Tech in Asia spoke to Flipkart in June, it was doing 100,000 transactions a day on mobile and desktop. That sounded impressive, until we discovered mobile commerce portal Paytm is processing three times as many orders a day. It’s targeting one million orders a day by 2016, and if it reaches that goal, it will be the first in India to do so. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm, points to his favorite Chinese saying when asked about how Paytm has flown below the radar. “Peach and plum trees don’t speak, but still people find them. We at Paytm are like that,” he tells Tech in Asia. “Our numbers, in less than two years, take people by surprise. We like that.” paytm app 2 Another significant number is five million – that’s how many orders a month Paytm gets via its smartphone app, which launched just this year. Those five million mobile transactions account for more than half of its total transactions, showing how the massive shift towards mobile commerce in India plays right into the hands of a mobile-focused player like Paytm. Better than behemoths Huge numbers of new users are wading on to the internet along with the tidal wave of budget smartphones hitting India. For this majority, who will only access the internet on mobile devices, user behavior is very different from that of the earlier generations which browsed ecommerce sites on the web. A bottom-up product like Paytm claims to serve these new users far better than behemoths like Flipkart or Amazon, which must adapt their existing models to fit needs of the mobile shopper. Vijay Shekhar Sharma gives an example of how Paytm is savvier about this new type of online shopper: On our Paytm app, there’s no ‘add to cart’ button. We omitted it because we wanted to use that space for better things. The problem with internet commerce is that it’s a funnel so big that you end up clicking five to seven times after you want to check out. On mobile, this is lethal. The two-click checkout we do on Paytm is one of the reasons why our consumers give orders in the volume we get. Vijay Shekhar Sharma founder of Paytm Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm Solving payment pain points The biggest hitch for mobile shopping in India is payment. There are hundreds of millions of debit and credit cards issued in the country, but only about five million credit cards are actively transacting online. Fear of fraud stops many Indians from giving out their credit card details. Cash-on-delivery is a popular option, but many small merchants cannot cope with inventories and logistics, or the inefficiencies of such a system. Paytm zeroed in early on this pain point by applying to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a PPI (prepaid payment instruments) license. Consumers can keep money in escrow accounts maintained by Paytm with banks, and it is only released after the goods are delivered and verified. The stringent regulations in India for online transactions have prevented many, including Flipkart, from getting a PPI license. “It took one and a half years to get the PPI license from RBI,” says Paytm’s founder. “It was very tough. Each one of our users now has an escrow account with a nationalized bank, and every month we have an audit with the RBI on the balance we have in these accounts.” paytm app 1 Nevertheless, it’s the PPI which allows Paytm to do two-click checkouts, because payment details don’t have to be entered every time. This is the unique selling point of Paytm. “India’s largest issuer of credit cards has issued less than eight million cards; we already have 8.5 million Paytm card users,” points out Sharma proudly. Cracking the problem of mobile payments is also opening up new opportunities for Paytm. For example, a number of foreign companies getting into the mobile space in India – such as Airbnb and Uber – are running foul of RBI rules on routing money out of the country or two-step verification for credit card payments. A tie-up with Paytm could remove such hurdles. “We are going to launch a payment platform for other merchants called Pay with Paytm. We will solve the problem of abandoned carts in a mobile gateway in a creative way. Wait and see,” Sharma tells Tech in Asia. Going by what Paytm has done in a short span, that may not be an idle boast. According to Sharma, 90 percent of the shoppers on Paytm are repeat customers, which, if true, marks an industry high. He says they keep coming back because it’s a mobile-friendly place. A cool new feature, for example, is a messenger in the Paytm app which lets buyers and sellers haggle – this takes a local, age-old practice and places it on the most modern computing devices. More than half the orders are now made after haggling. “We Indians are so used to bargaining. Even when we buy a Mercedes or a BMW, we will ask, am I getting a discount on this?” chuckles Sharma.

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60 Great Tips to Increase and Get Twitter Followers Fast

60 Great Tips to Increase and Get Twitter Followers Fast | Internet Presence |
Get followers, twitter guide for increasing followers instantly, massive free guide full of tips to get more twitter followers.

Twitter followers have always been a controversial point of discussion; some argue that it’s all about quality and not quantity, whilst others play the numbers game all the way. When talking about the popular micro-blogging platform, most people have been asked how many followers they have, so clearly if it doesn’t matter to you it does to others. I personally believe it is beneficial to have a large amount of followers, as long as you are able to spend the time and money required to achieve it. Below I have recorded my observations, experiences, tips and tactics for increasing your twitter followers, starting with the most basic and fundamental factors. Enjoy reading and trying them out for yourself!

Determine your end goal

Decide and determine what you want to achieve through twitter, perhaps you want to establish yourself as an authority on a niche subject or you want to increase leads for your business, whatever this may be make sure that you have a plan that includes figures and timeframes.

Brand yourself

Branding is very important in getting your message across, make sure that everything is working with your brand and that people will know what to expect before deciding to follow you. The more focused you are on your brand the more relevant followers you will attract. Get this fundamental step right and all the other points below will be easily applied.

Choose your username with care

Make sure that your username is unique, original and easily remembered, think what you are aiming to do with your account and what people you want to connect with are likely to find attractive. If you have a username that is not working for you or is unsuitable, change it! This can be done within your Twitter control panel.

Have a great avatar

Your avatar can quickly say something to prospective followers about who you are and what you have to say even if people have never seen you before, a good avatar will immediately allow someone to decide to take the plunge and hit that follow button. If tweeting for personal reasons a good headshot of yourself is a must.

Write an informative bio

Fill in your bio with a short description of what to expect from you, include any keywords and information and make it short but fun and interesting at the same time. A good call to action is an excellent way to get people interacting with you.

Add location to your profile

Think about who your ideal followers are and where they are from, if regional followers are important to you add the location where they are most likely to be found.

Get a custom Twitter background

A good twitter background can quickly convey all sorts of useful information about you, for businesses in particular it can convey what your brand is all about and become an extension of your website. A good twitter background should include important information about you, such as your email and website, if you have stats about the typical screen resolution of your target market take those into account when designing the background, if not design with a low screen resolution in mind for example 1024x768. You can check what backgrounds look like in different size screens here.

Tell people you already know

Let people you already know that you are on Twitter! It may seem obvious but if you take the time to tell people you already know, they are very likely to follow and read what you have to say, it can also be a great way to start interacting.

Announce on your social networks

One of the most efficient ways to tell people you already know is to make an announcement on your existing social networks do this more than once and frequently at the beginning of your effort to gain followers, if you are a big facebook user posting to facebook from twitter will help people to know you are actively using twitter.

Promote your account offline

Every time you shoot a video, give a speech, record a podcast or give a presentation find a way to tell people about your twitter account, give them a specific reason to follow and you will find that your twitter follower count will go up. A great way to promote your account is to have it printed on your promotional material and business cards if you don’t have those you could always give your twitter username along with your telephone when you meet people.

Link to your twitter account

Place links to your account on all your social media profiles, let people know that you are actively using twitter and that you are looking for people to add you on twitter. You can add some great looking widgets and badges to your pages to ensure maximum exposure.

Put a twitter feed on your blog or website

A feed can be a brief insight into your account and an excellent way to get targeted followers for your account, a feed with 3-5 of the latests posts can give enough of an insight into your account to make people curious enough to check and follow your account especially if your site gets a fair amount of traffic.

Don’t be a self promoter

Unless you happen to be a celebrity nobody will be interested in what you have to sell or offer and nobody will be interested in following someone who gives nothing back. So broadcasting about how great you or your product is just isn’t going to work on any level. Give something that people appreciate and will want to follow you for, add value to your followers and your follow count will increase. One easy tip is guaranteeing your followers to follow them back, think out of the box and be creative here.

Get involved in conversations

Read what your followers are talking about and join in, reply regularly to those who you have followed this makes it more likely for them to follow back, it shows you have something of value to contribute and gives the followers of that person a chance to find out more about you.

Tweet frequently

Potential followers will often look at your timeline to gauge whether you are worth following, if your timeline has fresh tweets is current and interesting you have a high chance of being followed.

Post interesting news articles

Find interesting articles and news stories in your niche that really stand out, make sure they are current and easily understood by your followers. There are many news websites with fantastic stories although a search on google news will often return some great ones.

Post good interesting everyday content

Apart from adding interesting links to articles be interactive and post things that people appreciate and find interesting this will encourage people to interact, retweet and most importantly follow you.

Search for tweets with your keywords

Use the Twitter search function to seek out people who are tweeting about subjects you are knowledgeable in, if you are able to add value to the conversation join in and offer your expertise, within the limits of 140 characters ofcourse!

Use hash tags

Using the # tag next to your content makes your keywords easy to find and identify. Quality content that is easy to find will go a long way to make you a desirable follow, use the hash tag sparingly on your most important keywords.

Become a resource

Tweet useful insights about your specialists subject give your existing followers to continue following you and your potential followers an excellent reason to hit that follow button.

Be human and provocative

Show that you are a real person; share intimate details about your life or business, and if you get it right not only will you increase your followers but you will also create an audience that will follow your tweets very closely.

Interact with influential people you know

Target well respected people in your niche, grab their attention by finding what motivates them and build a good relationship. Others will observe your account and also decide to follow you, your reach will increase dramatically as these influential people will also mention you to their followers which will often be great in numbers.

Identify other influential people

There are a number of useful tools that allow the measurement of social media influence, notably the website, these sites are sometimes not so user friendly or quick to use so another way is to look at the lists that the influential people you are already aware of have made. This can be a fast way to identify, follow and interact with other influencers in your niche.

Create your own Twitter lists

A topical list of accounts that are of interest to you, such a list allows you to closely follow certain accounts and it is a form of endorsement which may encourage members to follow you back. It is also a great way to increase the visibility of your account through people who are searching for lists in your niche.

Emulate other successful people

Having identified other influential people in your niche, follow their account closely and identify what it is they are doing so well. Implement some of their strategies and continue using the ones that directly increase your follower count.

Get retweeted

Encourage your followers to retweet you, it not only puts your username into other social circles but it also results in visits to your profile page and website. If your tweet is short, witty and topical is has a better chance of being retweeted. You can always just ask to be retweeted by adding “please RT”, this will often work if you have highly engaged followers.

Follow retweeters

You can find people who have retweeted tweets with your keywords recently by going to the Twitter search and searching for “RT #keyword” for example “RT #SEO”. You can then start following and interacting with active retweeters.

Retweet other people

Ok, we have established that getting retweeted is a good idea so if thats what you are looking for why not retweet content that you find useful and entertaining, it’s a great way to develop relationships and a way to stay active on twitter with little effort.

Recommend the most useful users

A great way to build relationships and thank those that are useful to you, a popular way to do this is to recommend people on Friday with the use of the #FollowFriday or #FF hash tag. When you do this its best to include a short explanation of why you are recommending them.

Tweet multimedia

Nowadays most mobile phones have internet access and posting pictures, sound clips and video clips is not only easy but it also gives users an intimate insight into your own personal world. Updates with video, pictures and even sound clips can be fun and entertaining; it can also liven up your timeline and make your account more interesting to follow.

Take time to engage

Make sure that when people start following you and commenting on your tweets you take some time out to engage and reply to the most relevant tweets. Remember Twitter is a powerful communication platform, such engagement allows other people to see that you are a human being that can add value to them and worth following.

Answer questions on your specialist subject

Encourage users to ask you questions, this gives you credibility in your field and also exposes your username to new social circles. Inventing your own hash tag for these questions reinforces your brand and makes it easy for you to find and see all the questions directed at you.

Get listed on Twitter directories

Online Twitter directories are useful for those who are looking to follow people within a particular niche or industry, it is an easy and convenient way for others to follow targeted users. Such online directories include Wefollow and Twellow.

Join twitter groups

There are groups that you can join online especially for the popular micro blogging platform, here is the perfect chance to exchange ideas build new relationships and increase your follower count. Facebook is a good place to start looking for these types of groups.

Go to Tweetups

Tweetups are in-person networking events organised on Twitter itself, here you can put real faces to accounts you have been following and exchanging ideas with. Search on twitter using “tweetup area” replacing area with your own preferred locality, for example “Tweetup London”.

Participate in Twitter chats

These are conversations organised by a person or group of people to discuss issues about a specialist subject. Twitter chats are one of the best ways to identify and follow like minded users who are highly likely to interact and follow you back, not only increasing your follower count but also making your username visible to their own followers.

Participate in forums and blogs

Use specialist forums and blogs that deal with social networking and in particular Twitter to tell everyone about who you are and why you are worth following, take time to introduce yourself and to answer peoples questions on your specialist subject.

Use trends to increase your reach

Observe the trending hash tags in your region, look at the tweets that have been heavily retweeted and think about why they are popular, tweet something along the same lines giving your own spin to the subject. You may combine more than one popular hash tag to potentially propel your username to multiple social circles and increase your chance of being retweeted and followed.

Repeat your most popular tweets

Look at your most popular tweets, if you see that it is still appropriate to repeat them you may do so approximately 8-12 hours after you first tweeted them for people who missed it the first time round, be very careful not to seem repetitive and monotonous though.

Tweet events

These are usually question and answer sessions set up by a well known personality, here you have the chance to ask questions and interact with people in your niche. Look out for any of these tweet events by reading websites and publications focused on your area of knowledge. If you manage to get mentioned by the person or company leading the event you are very likely to be followed by those following the action online.

Interactive television shows

The power of Twitter has really gained momentum over the past few years, we are now seeing even television shows integrating twitter streams as a way to let viewers participate. This is an amazing opportunity to get your twitter username on TV and potentially reach millions of television viewers. In this case you are far more likely to be mentioned if you make a really interesting and amusing tweet that is suitable for the audience of the show. Look carefully at any others getting a mention and spot a pattern of what to say, usually it's easy to gauge what the TV producer is looking for.

Get on websites with mention streams

There are some extremely popular websites that have a stream of all their mentions or mentions of a hash tag, if you spot any of these it can be a fantastic way to get targeted views of your account and if you find a really great opportunity you could always mention their username or tag and ask people to follow you directly!

Tweet quotes

Sharing quotes with your followers is a simple fun and easy source of interesting useful content, quotes are good because you can get them on just about any industry or niche and they are usually positive and inspiring to many people and therefore often retweeted.

Tweet privileged information

If you have something unique to offer followers make sure you let them know about it, this is a prime example of adding value to your followers. This information may include exclusive offers, pictures of inside the Googleplex if you happen to be there or any other type of information that is not widely available. Be sure to develop a relationship with your followers and follow up by getting them to keep following you on a long term basis rather than for the duration of your exclusive information for example you could let them know to watch your tweets closely and look out for more of the same next week.

Tweet during rush hour

Studies have shown that the best times to tweet are around 1pm and 3pm Monday to Thursday, if you take time to study when your typical users are most active reading and tweeting you will gain maximum visibility. There are tools which allow you to schedule tweets ahead of time, one of the most popular being Hootsuite, it can be downloaded onto your PC, Mac and even iPhone for maximum convenience.

Be aware of time zones

Take into account where your ideal users live and in what time zone they are located, if you are targeting people in the US and the UK for example, it might be worth scheduling tweets during optimal times for them to see, interact and amplify your reach.

Be human nobody wants to follow a robot!

So far we have touched upon some of the automation methods though at this point it must be stressed that any automation must be used carefully, nobody is interested in following robots, therefore you should note that if any of these tools are used it must be done in such a way that it doesn’t compromise your authenticity as a human being.

Follow people

Follow people often, around 30% - 50% of all people you follow will follow you back, which means that following as many people as possible will equate to a huge number of followers, in practice this just isn’t possible due to restrictions in place by the Twitter system. These restrictions, known as Twitter follow limits, kick into place when you follow 2,000 or more people. Then you will not be able to follow more than 110% of people who follow you, meaning that if you have 10,000 followers you will not be able to follow more than 11,000 people at a time. This restriction was a smart move by Twitter as it avoids users following hundreds of thousands of people just to have hundreds of thousands of followers!

Follow local people

Follow people local to your area, build a connection not only through you specialist knowledge but also through your knowledge of the area local to you, invite them to networking events or to other events of interest for example seminars or talks on subjects of common interest. You may use tools such as and twitaholic to help you find popular people in your locality.

Follow people who always follow back

In light of the fact that there are follow limits it is in your best interest for anyone you follow to follow you back, not only will you gain more followers in this way but you will also avoid the follow limits. You can find people that always follow back by searching their bio and tweets for the following:

  • #TeamFollowBack
  • #InstantFollow
  • #Follow4Follow
  • #FollownGain
  • #500aday
Follow the followers of big followers

Use twitaholic to see who has the most followers in popular cities like London, New York and Chicago. Follow the followers of anyone who is following more than 1,000 people than are following them, these will be people who have amassed a large following from the method above. You will gain followers fast but don’t expect much interaction from these accounts as they are people, and in many cases robots, who just follow anyone that follows them. This method is a mere time saving exercise that allows you to follow people who will follow back without having to search for them through tags such as #TeamFollowBack.

Unfollow those who don’t follow back

The only way to avoid the follow limits if you are gaining followers by following many people is to unfollow those who don’t follow back. This constant “follow – unfollow” process is often referred to as “churn” the rate at which the “follow – unfollow” happens is called the “churn Rate”. You must be aware that a high churn rate goes against the terms of service and there is a risk of your account being suspended if this method is employed aggressively.

Use online Tools

Use tools available online to automate the process of following, unfollowing tweeting following back and direct messages amongst many other things. Once you amass a large follower count it will be necessary to use these tools effectively to employ the methods listed above. Some of the most popular and effective online tools are Tweepi and Manageflitter. Here you will be able to do much of the automation needed to gain more followers on a large scale.

Use computer software

These automated programmes are especially designed to enable the automation of all aspects of your account. Most of these tools, such as TweetAdder, have been developed by internet marketers and commonly allow you to: Find targeted followers Automation of follows and unfollows Automated tweets Automated direct Messages Though automation in business is always a good thing, you must beware that many of these practices go directly against the Twitter terms of service and there is a significant risk of getting your account suspended if the software is not used correctly. Twitter has filed lawsuits against the makers of these tools as they are often used aggressively by spammers.

Show Your Twitter Followers Count

There is something to be said about power in numbers and in this case it is particularly true to say that once you have acquired a large number of followers it is beneficial to display these on your blog or network. The large follower count has a psychological effect that enhances your chances of being followed, known as social proof.

Buy followers

A pretty controversial one, and one that I have included only for information. Buying followers will increase your follower count fast and there are popular sites such as fiverr for this type of service where people are offering up to 15,000 followers for as little as $5. These followers will be of no use except for bumping up the number count and may actually damage your reputation or brand as these fake followers can be easily identified through tools such as StatusPeople, there is probably nothing worse for personal reputation or brand than being “outed” for buying followers. This relatively new phenomenon has not only been discussed amongst tech savvy users but has also recently hit the headlines in the main stream newspapers after several high profile reports of well known people accused of buying fake followers. I do not endorse or recommend this method, in fact it can cause havoc if you are employing some of the other methods above, I strongly advise not to use this method.

Run a contest

This technique was most famously offered by Kevin Rose back in 2009 and since then many companies, brands and individuals have run contests very successfully, when running such a competition remember to check out the Twitter guidelines for running a contest.

Write articles about twitter

If there is one particular aspect of twitter that you know a great deal about why not write a blog post or add a guide to your website, Twitter has become so popular in recent years but it’s still so new that there is still room to write articles that people appreciate and find useful. Such exposure will not only mean more followers but also more credibility within your own social circle.

Guest post on other blogs

Search for bloggers in your niche that have a large number of followers and have popular websites, offer to write an article for their site in return for promotion of your twitter account, your account will become more visible and you will gain followers along the way. To get an idea of how popular a blog or website is check

Track and measure

As anyone in business will tell you: “Anything measured improves!”. It is very important to keep an accurate record of what you are doing to increase your twitter followers. You can use the automated tools mentioned before to track your efforts and if you want to see a more accurate statistic count of the number of followers you have gained and expect to gain use TwitterCounter.

If you are a content marketer and are using twitter to syndicate your content you can keep track of how often your page has been shared on twitter and other social media articles using tools such as the Social Media Shares Counter.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about Twitter. Good information, great ideas, lots of experience.

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Master Social Media Marketing for Startups in Under 4 Hours [Infographic]

Master Social Media Marketing for Startups in Under 4 Hours [Infographic] | Internet Presence |
Social media, if used properly, is one of the best marketing channels and a powerful tool for the customer acquisition. The amount of blog posts written about social media and entire blogs dedicated …

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

MInd boggling numbers, and a whole lot of information.

malek's curator insight, August 25, 2014 7:59 AM

 A bunch of the most successful  startups are actively using social media  to gain an edge.Instead of shelling out millions of dollars for a Super Bowl ad, these small companies fight to generate buzz by creating viral content and encouraging shares and likes.

Once a product or service becomes the one everyone is talking about, customers gravitate toward it, eager to learn more.