|Suggested by Chintan Jain|
Is Social Media Marketing Effective?
That’s the question being asked as more and more businesses are investing in increasing amounts of social media marketing.
With no standard means of measurement, there’s a wide variety of goals and metrics used to define the ROI of social strategies.
Fortunately, this enlightening Infographic, developed by MDG Advertising, helps clear up the confusion by outlining the objectives, benefits and factors that affect the success of social media marketing.
For many travelers, skipping town for a bit is also a perfect excuse to get some mental distance from their omnipresent mobile devices. But the desire for digital distance comes with a layer of irony — those mobile devices are increasingly what make travel possible in the first place.
People rely more than ever on mobile technology to find and book travel reservations. A slew of stats from the Internet travel giant Expedia show just how much people plan their trips while already on the go.
More than 65% of people who book a hotel room within 24 hours of checking in do so from a mobile device, according to Expedia. More than 15% of travelers who book a flight 24 hours or less in advance do so via mobile. Both stats show how smartphones have given new power to the harried, last-minute traveler in recent years. Hotels with ratings between two and three stars are most commonly reserved via mobile devices, indicating that they’re likely the best (or most available) last-minute lodging option.
Nine of the top 10 cities for reserving rooms while on the go are in he United States, with Paris as the only outlier. In Las Vegas, a whopping 32% of all bookings are made on mobile devices. Los Angeles and Orlando also top 10%. And when do people use their mobile devices to plan trips? Friday and Saturday are the most popular days, showing again just how valuable smartphones have become for enabling that spontaneous weekend getaway.
Is the shiny-new-toy polish of Pinterest beginning to wear off?
Zappos Labs has looked at the sales value of customers sharing orders in social media.
First, no surprises on sharing volume, customers are far more likely to share on Pinterest than on Twitter (13x) or Facebook (8x).
Great news for engagement junkies.
But, if it’s business value you’re after, the Zappos Labs team report that a shared order on Pinterest only generates .75c in new sales for Zappos. Compare this to Facebook $2.08 – making a Facebook share nearly three times as valuable as a Pin. But the big surprise (to some) may be that an order shared on Twitter generates massive $33.66 in sales for Zappos.
So a Tweet is worth 45x a Pin. Now you know.
If it wasn’t for Zappos Labs teams engaging in discussions online about the finding – and not correcting this – we’d have suspected that the decimal point had a blonde moment and lurched to the right.
But if we take the results at face value, and factor in more Pinterest shares than Pins (13x) – a tweet is still 3x more valuable than a Pin…
Nevertheless Zappos has launched a groovy new web app called pinpointing that allows people to get Zappos recommendations based on a Pinterest user’s pins.
How are technology companies employing psychology to improve their understanding of users?
Mainly by trying to capture behavioural data – what users do online, on their platforms – and translate that into personality profiles. When users sign up for anything, they can be segmented by age, sex, and other basic demographics; but it's what they do online and how they do it that provides the richest source of knowledge to companies.
How do you envisage products and services evolving from that understanding?
Technology has made it possible to shift from broadcasting to narrowcasting, which is what the internet does. Websites and phone apps allow businesses to have one-to-one relationships with the consumer. For example, whenever you log into Amazon, the site "redecorates" their virtual window display exclusively for you, and selects a bunch of products you may like. This personalised experience continues when Amazon monitors your behaviour – what you click on, what you search for, what you buy – and feeds that information to the system to refine your profile.
Similar recommendation algorithms are now used on a wide range of platforms to market products as diverse as movies, mortgages, holidays, and even romantic partners. The result is that part of the knowledge is now outside the consumer's mind. When Amazon or eBay recommend us something we like but were not looking for, they effectively know us better than we know ourselves; when e-Harmony or Match.com suggest we should date someone, providing they get it right, they are also demonstrating a certain knowledge of us we don't possess ourselves.
How do you see consumer expectations evolving in terms of what they expect for offering their information?
There is a somewhat paradoxical "evolution", because in the beginning all this technology was making us smarter in terms of improving our decision-making. For example, with TripAdvisor you minimise the probability of staying in a shabby hotel or eating in a terrible restaurant; however, just like we can no longer answer any question if we can't access Google or Wikipedia, we are less able to make decisions when we can't access our smart consumer apps to explore recommendations.
So, if TripAdvisor is down, you are exposed not just to your own ignorance but the uncomfortable situation of having to rely on your common sense or explore uncertain options. Basically, we have become hyper-rational but also less knowledgeable, because all the knowledge is outside of us. So, all we need is the ability to know where to find information and use it effectively.
What's your take on the era of big data? Is it a case of too much hype?
Data has enormous value but without relevant theory it is meaningless. In other words, you can have the richest data in the world but you will still remain poor if you don't ask the data the right questions. At present, we are generating much more data than we can handle; when people talk about the era of information overflow, mostly they refer to excess of data. We could probably stop generating new data now and spend 10 years trying to make sense of the data we already have.
What are the limits of the science when it meets the real world?
The limits are usually self-imposed, by academics, because they get fixated on very small, detailed issues and overindulge in methodological or philosophical abstractions, losing sight of applications or real-world uses. In any science, there is a big gap between advancing and applying theory. One of the problems is that academic "timings" don't work in the real world. When marketers or corporates request concrete and quick answers to key questions, they cannot wait three or four years for scientists to provide them. Academics have too much time in their hands – real-world people have none.
Are there any examples of users completely behaving outside of the scientific norm that have surprised you?
I don't think anyone would have predicted, 10 years ago, that a sixth of the world's population would be interconnected via a virtual social network and spending a great proportion of their time engaging in inappropriate self-disclosure (revealing more to the world than they ever have to their closest friends) or reaching out to people they have not seen in years, for no particular purpose. And still, even if nobody predicted this, science can explain it once it happens: humans will always have a strong need to build bonds and crave for social acceptance, we just didn't think that this need could become the DNA of the internet, and have such a massive impact on our lives in the digital era
Can you reflect on what the next phase of the internet might look like? To go further, is there a place for advertising within that?
From a consumer perspective, there are three significant stages in the internet era. The first is the Google era, when suddenly information became easily available to everyone. I still recall when in 1998 I searched for something on Google and the first hit was the answer to what I was looking for – this was a breakthrough from past search engines and Google still has the edge on search. The second instance, around 2004, is the introduction of Facebook, when the focus shifts from retrieving information to retrieving people. Whereas Google connected consumers to information, Facebook connects consumers to each other and makes products out of consumers.
The third era, which has only just commenced, combines the two previous ones: it is the era of social knowledge, where consumers can instantly capture and aggregate all the information that all other consumers have on a given topic. Wikipedia pioneered this model by aggregating people's knowledge on any subject for its entries, but it has yet to be scaled and extrapolated to consumer goods. In the near future we will be able to scan any product with our phone and profile it by aggregating the knowledge of millions of people; in turn, we will also be able to profile consumers by translating their preferences into psychological traits. In short, people will be consumers, products, and marketers at the same time.
When we take pause to appreciate where we are, we can truly appreciate just how far we’ve come.
I recently stumbled across an interesting infographic as it made the rounds across the social web recently. Created by bestedsites.com, the graphic visualizes the meteoric rise of the Internet in just 10 years. For example, in 2002, the Internet boasted 569 million users, which represented 9.1% of the world population. In 2012, that number skyrocketed to 2.27 billion at 33% of the world population. Another tremendous stat is the daily time spent online. In 2002 it was only 46 minutes a day (that was probably the time it took to load one web site). In 2012, it’s clocked four hours a day.
As I was reveling in the rapid evolution and ascent of the internet in general, I took stock of Facebook’s growth. Well, I suppose not literally. Looking at Facebook as a subset of this particular infographic would provide a visual comparison of the static and social web. I once wrote that to the connected consumer, the end of the destination web was upon us. The flow of information has been disrupted. While websites aren’t dead they certainly don’t meet the needs and expectations of a much more real-time audience who live in their egosystem and benefit from news and information finding them. We live in an era where news no longer breaks, it Tweets. As such, I’d love to see a visual comparison of the destination and social web and the numbers between them.
I stumbled on a cool infographic yesterday from smartinsights.com, which highlights the positioning of a good content marketing strategy, and where each piece of the content marketing puzzle fits, relative to the marketing and sales process.
You don't need me to tell you how effective content marketing is, both as a great way to build trust and thought leadership for a brand and also as a great way to reduce costs and effectively improve the bottom line.
The idea of content being the driving force behind buying decisions isn't new, of course, but this infographic does a nice job of identifying where each type of content fits into the buyer's psyche. The inbound marketers mission, if they choose to accept it, is to satisfy all four quadrants of the cycle, and inspire, educate, entertain and ultimately convince their customer to purchase through great content.
Here is how. (SEE IMAGE ABOVE)
Here is an inspirational and motivational video, where Guy Kuwasaki shared 12 tips which he learned from Steve jobs, and you can apply them into your entrepreneurship...
Take away :
Article by Harsh Agrawal
Presenting useful tips on how to decorate a bachelor pad or how to add style to a bachelorette pad, this fun and informative infographic guides both men and women through the maze of DiY interior decorating. Bachelor “must-haves” include a well-stocked bar, comfortable couch and simple bed in neutral colors, but subtly spiced up with a bold accent. Bachelorettes, on the other hand, have their hands full when decorating. Ambient light coming from chic chandeliers, decorative flowering plants adorning just the right place, silk, cotton or wool handmade rugs at their feet or functional bookshelves help compose a personal, feminine space.
QR codes are everywhere. Frustratingly everywhere in my opinion. Countless companies put them on marketing materials, but not a single person I know actually scans them. I’m friends with lots of smartphone owners, and I’ve literally never, ever seen someone pull out their phone and scan a QR code.
There are even a handful of startups that consider QR codes part of their core offering to small businesses. They’re relying on people actually scanning these stupid things for their products to work. Silly.
However, as negative as I am about them, QR codes actually make a lot of sense. One of the most challenging things about the gluttony of digital offerings is bridging the gap between the digital and physical world. Mobile devices present the opportunity to do this better than ever. If I’m standing at a store, and they want me to follow them on Twitter, mobile devices allow me to follow them immediately, as opposed to waiting until I get home to do it.
QR codes simplify it even more. It’s much easier for me to scan a code and have it take me directly to their Twitter page than have to type in their username. Or even better, if I get a reward for taking a digital action, like filling out a survey, it’s easier to get me to the survey with a scanned code than giving me a URL to enter.
You sure want to see the toilet seat as sparkly clean every time you visit the lavatory. But what if we told you, that your mobile phone, something that you hold in your hands almost all day, and so close to your face, perhaps contains more bacteria than you find in a toilet?
This might sound like a nightmare, but it is true.
According to experts, they have discovered that there are 10 folds more bacteria on an average mobile phone which can cause nausea and stomach problems, than on a toilet seat.
Phones are often passed from hands to hands among people and are never cleaned, which spreads the germs and lets the diseases keep building.
According to Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, bacteria get onto a phone easily due to the fact that it is so close to our hands and mouths, Mail Online reported.
When mobile phones are shared with friends or strangers, germs easily get into the devices and since it is an electronic device, people seldom clean them, Gerba said.
People do not routinely clean their phones. However, giving them a wipe with an antibacterial substance every now and then must be considered. There have been researchers earlier which have revealed that many things that we assume clean in general might not be so.
Keyboards of computers and Television remote controls are also devices which fall into the same category.
For the study, researchers swabbed 33 keyboards for food poisoning bugs e.coli, coliforms, staphylococcus aureus and enterobacteria and found that four were a potential health hazard and infectious.
According to British scientists, cash machines have similar levels of pseudomonads and bacillus, bacterias which are known to cause sickness and diarrhea, found by them in public toilets, the Mail Online report said.
As a business you can choose whether to take part in social media or not.
Whether you do take part or you don’t, it won’t alter the fact that the conversation will continue on regardless.
By taking an active role you have the opportunity to shape the conversation, make a difference and stand out from the competition.
Social media can be a very cost effective channel for customer service, when implemented correctly.
Which is why so many companies have embraced social media, creating accounts on various channels to provide a gateway for their customers and potential customers to reach them.
Infographics can be great link building tools. Many folks assume that developing great infographics is too hard. In reality, it is pretty straight forward if you keep things simple, sweet, and to the point. You are going to need a good looking visual too. Covering a trending topic helps as well.
For the complete infographic that shows you how to develop quality visuals, make sure to visit the article link...
|Suggested by Chintan Jain|
But how does a video go from one view to millions?
Check out the infographic for more information...
Even if you were drunk and surfing at a Wi-Fi hotspot, you probably wouldn't stand up and shout your username and password for anyone who might want it. But an attacker does not need to find out your username and password. If you thought that capturing a user's social media session was only done by skilled hackers, now the Firesheep addon can allow even the truly clueless to become an Internet griefer.
If you were at a Wi-Fi hotspot, you probably would have no options and no encryption at all. Although many websites give lip service about how important their users' privacy and security is to them, very few have their entire site encrypted with HTTPS. Most sites encrypt the username and password during the login process, but most of those sites stop encrypting and protecting the user right there. As soon as a user moves on to a regular HTTP page on the site, an attacker can sniff and capture the user's cookie information.
Many of us are busy multitasking, so we log into Twitter or Facebook, or even Flickr, and then move on to surf other sites without first logging out of those accounts. If any of those future sites have a Twitter or Facebook widget, or even a Flickr image embedded, if you didn't log out of those sites before continuing to surf, then HTTP session jacking, also called "sidejacking," can happen and leak the user's cookie. Security researchers explained that if a person can steal the cookie, then they can steal your session and allow them to do anything the user could do on the site.
Gust MEES: a MUST READ for Mac, Linux and Windows users!!!