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Facebook News Feed Algorithm Website Speed Matters
Facebook News Feed: Website Speed Gets Higher Priority

Adapted from Jon Loomer 

Rolling out Facebook is constantly tweaking their news feed algorithm. The algorithm helps determine what users see and what they don’t, all in an effort to make the Facebook user experience is engaging and addicting as possible. The latest impact of the algorithm to the Facebook news feed: Website speed.

The company does note that under the new system, it’s possible that a slower site will see less referral traffic from Facebook, and is helpfully sharing tips for developers to improve their loading times.

This continues a trend for Facebook, putting an emphasis on website speed from a mobile device. They realize that 40 percent of users abandon after waiting more than three seconds for a page to load. This behavior was at least partially behind the development of Canvas and Instant Articles, which provide publishers an instant-load alternative.

Let’s take a closer look at the change to the Facebook news feed algorithm, as well as some of Facebook’s recommendations to keep your content at the top of the feed.

News Feed Update Favors Website Speed

Here is the exact update, according to Facebook:

With this update, we’ll soon take into account the estimated load time of a webpage that someone clicks to from any link in News Feed on the mobile app. Factors such as the person’s current network connection and the general speed of the corresponding webpage will be considered. If signals indicate the webpage will load quickly, the link to that webpage might appear higher in your feed.

As stated above, this update appears to impact mobile only. A slow load time does not guarantee low priority in the news feed, just as a fast load time does not guarantee high priority. But it is one of many factors that Facebook will consider.

While they don’t come out and say it, this will likely mean that Facebook will ultimately favor Instant Articles (also speculated by Sarah Perez of Tech Crunch here).

Instant Articles present an alternate version of your web page that is hosted on Facebook servers. As a result, it loads instantly, which — in theory — provides an improved user experience. It would be easy to assume that such articles will get a boost.

Many publishers remain skeptical of the format due to the loss of control. While it isn’t easy to adjust, you must consider the increased views and improved the user experience when measuring value to the user and your brand.

I use Instant Articles. While I’m not bullish on the format, I consider it a necessary adoption for the time being.

When Will This Roll Out?

Facebook’s updates tend to be gradual, and this is no exception. In their announcement, Facebook says the update will be rolled out “gradually over the coming months.”

How much of an impact will this make to your page and brand? It’s impossible to say. But it would be smart to take a close look at whether the speed of your website can be improved in the interim.

Facebook Recommendations to Improve Website Speed

Facebook offers the following 10 website speed best practices to give your links a fighting chance in the news feed:

  1. Minimize landing page redirects, plugins, and link shorteners
  2. Compress files to decrease mobile rendering time
  3. Improve server response time by utilizing multi region hosting
  4. Remove render-blocking javascript
  5. Use a high-quality content delivery network to reach your audience quickly
  6. Remove redundant data that does not impact how the page is processed by the browser
  7. Optimize images to reduce file size without diminishing visual quality
  8. Reduce the size of above the fold content to prioritize visual content
  9. Use asynchronous scripts to streamline page render time
  10. Dynamically adjust the content for slower connections/devices

If you have a tech person who manages your website, pass this on to them and make sure that you’re doing all you can to minimize load time. That’s what I did!

Tools for Testing and Improving Website Speed

I appreciate that Facebook provides several tools to help us test and improve the speed of our websites. Here are the five tools that they recommend:

PageSpeed Insights: This is a Google tool that runs a test of both a desktop and mobile web page.

PageSpeed Insights

What’s nice about this tool is that it provides a list of specific recommendations for improving the speed of this page.

PageSpeed Insights

Note that you get recommendations for both desktop and mobile. The focus of Facebook’s news feed algorithm update is mobile. However, there’s no reason to ignore the performance of your website on a desktop.

This is actually Jon Loomer’s site speed tool of choice he finds it to be much more helpful and user-friendly — particularly for the non-techie — than the others listed below.

Page Speed: This is just a Firefox add-on that allows you to easily test the page you are currently looking at through PageSpeed Insights.

PageSpeed Insights

YSlow: This is a free Chrome extension from Yahoo! that provides site speed recommendations.

YSlow

The program feels outdated, but it does the job.

WebPagetest: This tool runs three tests before showing a “waterfall view” of load performance and an optimization checklist.

WebPageTest

This tool also has an outdated feel and will be overwhelming to non-techies, but that’s why you should send it to your tech person.

Dotcom-Monitor: This tool runs tests in 23 locations and seven browsers to spot weaknesses.

Dotcom-Monitor

This tool runs tests twice as the speeds for the first and second visit are often different.

Your Turn

I’ve spotted areas of improvement for my website thanks to these tools, and I’m hoping to get things cleaned up prior to Facebook’s update. Have you tested your own website yet? What are you seeing?

Let me know in the comments below!

Instagram: How to not suck at it

A crappy Instagram account for your small business is worse than not having one at all.

Let’s get right into the tips so you don’t suck and can create an Instagram account you and your customers can be proud of … and increase sales from.

  1. CONTINUITY
    The easiest way to create a profile that gains fans and followers is to post consistently. Give yourself a schedule that you can stand by – make posting a part of your schedule. You don’t have to post every day but – you can not post every few weeks or months and expect for your Instagram profile to be a success. I believe in posting daily, and maybe twice per day if you really have something interesting to post about. With the options of creating live videos and stories on Instagram, you now have more options of giving your posting schedule creative flexible.

2. KEEP IT REVELANT
The golden rule is… you can post business stuff on your personal account, but don’t get too personal on your business account. What this means is… if your Insta account is about your restaurant – you don’t post about your kids at their soccer game (unless you’ve provided the food or sponsorship) keep

3. CAPTIONS
There is a lot of discrepancy between short captions and long captions. It depends on the context and the image. If it’s a meme and you are trying to be funny – keep it short, if you are a building a brand then you want to tell your story and create a deeper relationship with your followers.

4. HASHTAGS
Unless you have 30k followers and you don’t want to expand your reach – you need to use hashtags. Hashtags are your link to expanding your audience and developing a relationship with your community. The keys to great hashtag usage is in a blog post coming soon.

5. ENGAGEMENT
Now that you can like ♥ a comment on Instagram, you can easily engage with your followers. Beyond the simple like of a comment on your posts, you need to seek potential fans and followers in your community by following your customers and local businesses – after that, you need to comment and engage with other photos. Nothing is worse than consistently posting and never responding to comments or following back enthusiastic people who follow you.

bonus tip: A lot of people say the quality of photos is the most important – it’s true the better the clarity and composition of a photo the more it’s appreciated. But even a lame photo taken with your smartphone at a bad angle with poor lighting can still tell the story of your brand and provide interest in your business.

It’s better to post imperfection than not post at all. Instagram is not about the numbers it’s about the quality of followers and commenters.

👋🏻  If you enjoy my blog posts, please help me spread the word and share them with your small business owner friends. I would greatly appreciate it! -Jen Lew

EMAIL MARKETING: Your Business Needs A Newsletter!

I must admit, it baffles me why business owners don’t bother sending out email newsletters or promotions. This blog post is for you!! If you are suspect about why you need to start gathering emails from customers and sending information to your customers then read on!

WHY EMAIL?

KEEPING IN TOUCH
Email newsletters are the leading method of keeping in touch with your customers. Social media is great and should be part of your marketing mix, but because of changes in algorithms and the ways that social platforms choose to show your post, relying on social media is a guarantee that your customers will see your information.

COST
Email is an inexpensive form to get your message to those most loyal. The hard part is getting people to join your list. Creating an email and hitting “Send” is far less expensive.

MOBILE
Email is the perfect way to reach customers on their smartphones. Think local.
Your email messages are delivered and accessible easily on a cell phone and give your customer the ability to show special coupons and promotions at your business.

SIGN UP
If you build it, they will sign up. It’s a choice for customers to receive promotional content via email. If they have signed up, they want to hear from you!

TRUST
Your email newsletter is a great method of building trust between you and your customers. When a customer decides that they have chosen to hear from you, it proves that your emails are working and putting your business in front of your ideal customers.

GROWTH
An email newsletter is a gentle reminder that customers sometimes need to hear about your business to remember that you exist and can be a catalyst for traffic to your website, your store and of course, can spark a boost in sales

 

HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M BOTHERING MY CUSTOMERS?
If your customer chose to be on your mailing list, you are not bothering them. They like your business and want to hear from you!

If your emails are filled with quality information, promotions and information that they need to know, or information about a new product, offer or service, then you are definitely not bothering them. That is precisely why they gave you their email address in the first place.

 

WHEN THEY UNSUBSCRIBE?
The dreaded unsubscribe is inevitable. It is perfectly OK for people to unsubscribe from your list. Do not take it personally, although when your list is small, it is hard not to, right?

When someone unsubscribes it means the fit just isn’t there, maybe they are getting a lot of emails and are cutting back on email noise, have another email address on your list or they are committed to your social media posts. You may never know why a person has unsubscribed but that should never stop you from encouraging more people to sign up or prevent you from sending quality emails.

If they unsubscribe it means that they were not your ideal customer. Don’t feel bad, focus on those individuals that are your true fans.

👋🏻  If you enjoy my blog posts, please help me spread the word and share them with your small business owner friends. I would greatly appreciate it! -Jen Lew

MARKET LIKE A PROFESSIONAL

Building a social media following locally is harder in a seasonal community. We have our challenges but we also have the luxury of diversified customers and the ability to focus on the goods, services and skills we offer.

Remember to run your business like a local but market like a professional!

#northforklocal

Social Media Marketing How To Get more customers

Wow, things have changed! In the past few years, I have switched conversations with small business from WHY you need social media to HOW you can use social media marketing to your advantage.

The online world has witnessed the growing importance of Social Media as a crucial digital marketing tool that can give maximum exposure and greater marketing mileage for any brand, product or service. It has gone from being a mere fad or yet another simple platform where content is published – and evolved into one of the most powerful marketing and advertising tools and strategies.

We’ve all witnessed the growth of the online world and know the importance of Social Media as a valuable small business marketing tool that gives maximum exposure and greater customer growth for any business, product or service.

 

Here are the keys to maximizing growth potential and increase your income.

CARE

Your social profiles are the external/digital version of your business. The best way to gain customers and increase sales is to just care about your followers online.

CONSISTENCY

Do your business a favor. Pick a social media platform (I suggest Instagram) and post often. By often I mean at least four times per week if you can do more that’s great. To be clear, I don’t mean four times in one day I mean pick four days a week and post. Consistency is the name of the game because the more people see your business name the more they’ll be interested. More importantly, the more you post the easier it becomes and the more valuable your account will be.

TELL A STORY

Don’t ‘sell’ your stuff, talk about your product or service. Write posts as if you were speaking to a friend not broadcasting a special on tomatoes at the supermarket. Give your posts a friendly, inclusive feeling maybe if you are selling tomatoes offer up a delicious recipe and then mention that a pound of tomatoes this week are only $3.00 so dinner is cheap.

LIKE BACK & BE SOCIAL

One of the most overlooked aspects of a business owners social strategy is paying attention to other people and businesses online. Over the past few years, I find that I know a person Instagram name faster than their real name – you should be this way too.

RESPOND AND ENGAGE

Social media is “social” and customers expect some form of interaction from business owners to respond back when they react to a post, send messages or comment online. At least like their comment and be friendly – at best comment and engage in conversation. It’s easier now more than ever to Like a comment on Instagram; it’s easy to follow back a followers page, and it’s even more easy to Like a post by loyal followers feed.

COMPLETE PROFILES

There’s a Twitter profile of a local business that has their phone number as their Twitter handle. I don’t know if they think this is a good idea or if it was an oversight… but I’ll tell you this its a bad idea. What’s a good idea is putting your phone number in the designated area and your business name as your Twitter name. Wherever there is an opportunity to talk about your business, products and services take advantage of it. Fill in all profiles. Where photos and header images are concerned, make them look as good as possible. Sometimes these pictures are the first impression of your business.

CONTENT, QUALITY & VALUE

You are what you post. Sharing a blurry image of your product with a description that no one will understand is not the way to go. If you take the time to craft interesting content with your images and provide quality image you are offering your customers value and they will WANT to hear from you and look forward to your posts.

Building your social media reach will take some time, but if you’re committed to the steps above, we guarantee you’ll start seeing results.

How else do you recommend increasing your social media reach?

Hire A Dedicated Social Media Manager

As you can see, there are a lot of details that go into growing your customer base and providing quality social media posts. Social Media needs a strategy, and consistent attention this is not something a business owner can dedicate enough time to or a millennial can handle as a side job — especially with all the necessary changes and trends that are consistent. Eventually, you’ll need to hire a dedicated social media manager to manage your accounts, keep your profiles current, stay on top of trends, post great content, and do a whole lot of experimenting to provide analytics and data.

External vs. Internal Small Business Perception

By all accounts, my greatest strength and most needed service

is

providing small businesses the opportunity to take a deep hard look at what their small business looks like to their customers.

It’s not easy.

It’s not easy to tell a business owner that they should consider how their business looks to the outside world.
It’s not easy to remind business owners that just because they like their product, service or design doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
It’s not easy to tell clients that their customers just don’t ‘get it’ or can’t see their vision.

However, it’s absolutely necessary.

Look beyond yourself.

When considering the many options in marketing your business, a business owner needs to stick by their passions, remain true to their business goals and keep a keen eye on the brand message – BUT one must also maintain a consistent method of receiving feedback from customers. There are many ways to get customer feedback one of the easiest ways is to listen to their social media comments, reviews, and complaints. It’s not easy. But within the many details involved in a complaint or bad review – there is usually a thread of truth.

A good marketing manager will listen to those difficult comments and reviews (and all the good one’s too) and assess what voice and methodology a business needs to take in order to market themselves effectively.

External perception is what you distribute via social media, share on your website and advertise.

Internal perception is what you think of your business, and what goes on inside your shop or when working with customers.

By all accounts, my greatest strength and most valued services are creating the opportunities for small business owners to take a deep hard look at what their business looks like to their customers.
This External perception is not easy, it’s hard to peak outside of the proverbial curtain, forget about your to-do list for the day and what you need to get done to serve your clients or create products – but taking the time to focus on how your business looks to the outside world is invaluable.

Once you decide how you want your business to look and sound – then you have marketing.

Twitter-character-limit
Twitter Links Don’t Count

Twitter No Longer Counts Photos, GIFs, Videos Toward 140-Character Limit Brands can say more with their tweets

Any photos, videos, animated GIFs and polls posted with a tweet won’t count towards the total.

According to The Verge, the service is also experimenting with allowing users to mention other users by including their Twitter names or @ handles, without having those usernames count towards the total number of characters.

Any time you use the same password on multiple websites, the risks to your security increase dramatically. A breach at one site could expose all of your accounts. If that password is a lame one like “123456” or “password,” a hacker could get into your account just by guessing. The problem is, avoiding same passwords and lame passwords is really hard—too hard for most people to manage without help. The solution is simple—install a password manager and change all of your passwords so every single one is different, and every single one is long and hard to crack.

Until our Internet culture evolves into some post-password Nirvana, everybody needs a password manager, even our own John Dvorak. There are plenty of good choices. All the commercial password managers listed here earned 3.5 stars or better. Don’t let a stressed budget stop you from securing your online accounts. We’ve rounded up free password managers separately.

Any time you use the same password on multiple websites, the risks to your security increase dramatically. A breach at one site could expose all of your accounts. If that password is a lame one like “123456” or “password,” a hacker could get into your account just by guessing. The problem is, avoiding same passwords and lame passwords is really hard—too hard for most people to manage without help. The solution is simple—install a password manager and change all of your passwords so every single one is different, and every single one is long and hard to crack.

Until our Internet culture evolves into some post-password Nirvana, everybody needs a password manager, even our own John Dvorak. There are plenty of good choices. All the commercial password managers listed here earned 3.5 stars or better. Don’t let a stressed budget stop you from securing your online accounts. We’ve rounded up free password managers separately.

Any time you use the same password on multiple websites, the risks to your security increase dramatically. A breach at one site could expose all of your accounts. If that password is a lame one like “123456” or “password,” a hacker could get into your account just by guessing. The problem is, avoiding same passwords and lame passwords is really hard—too hard for most people to manage without help. The solution is simple—install a password manager and change all of your passwords so every single one is different, and every single one is long and hard to crack.

Until our Internet culture evolves into some post-password Nirvana, everybody needs a password manager, even our own John Dvorak. There are plenty of good choices. All the commercial password managers listed here earned 3.5 stars or better. Don’t let a stressed budget stop you from securing your online accounts. We’ve rounded up free password managers separately.

Any time you use the same password on multiple websites, the risks to your security increase dramatically. A breach at one site could expose all of your accounts. If that password is a lame one like “123456” or “password,” a hacker could get into your account just by guessing. The problem is, avoiding same passwords and lame passwords is really hard—too hard for most people to manage without help. The solution is simple—install a password manager and change all of your passwords so every single one is different, and every single one is long and hard to crack.

Until our Internet culture evolves into some post-password Nirvana, everybody needs a password manager, even our own John Dvorak. There are plenty of good choices. All the commercial password managers listed here earned 3.5 stars or better. Don’t let a stressed budget stop you from securing your online accounts. We’ve rounded up free password managers separately.

The Basics
The typical password manager installs as a browser plug-in to handle password capture and replay. When you log in to a secure site, it offers to save your credentials. When you return to that site, it offers to automatically fill in those credentials. And if you’ve saved multiple logins for the same site, the password manager offers you multiple account login options. Most also offer a browser toolbar menu of saved logins, so you can go straight to a saved site and log in automatically.

Some products detect password-change events and offer to update the existing record. Some even record your credentials during the process of signing up for a new secure website. On the flip side, a password manager that doesn’t include password capture and replay automation needs to offset that lack with significant other assets.

When you create a new secure account or update a weak password, you don’t want to strain your brain trying to come up with something strong and unique. Why bother? You don’t have to remember it. All but one of our top-rated products include a built-in password generator. Do make sure your generated passwords are at least 12 characters long; some products default to a shorter length.

Entering a password like S$U?_wzF4boBQNLD on your smartphone’s tiny keyboard can be tough. Fortunately, almost all of our top password managers can sync across all of your Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. A few even let you authenticate on iOS or Android with your fingerprint rather than typing the master password. Most include some form of two-factor authentication, be it biometric, SMS-based, Google Authenticator, or something else entirely.

Fill Those Forms
Since most password managers can auto-fill stored credentials, it’s just a small step for them to automatically fill in personal data on Web forms—first and last name, email address, phone number, and so on. Almost all of the top-rated products include Web form filling. The breadth and flexibility of their personal data collections vary, as does their accuracy when matching Web form fields with their stored items. Even if they miss a field or two, the ones they do fill are ones you don’t have to type. Think about how many sites you go to that want all the same information; this feature is a huge time-saver.

Different products handle form-filling in their own ways. Some immediately fill all recognized fields, some wait for you to click in a field, some pop up and ask what you’d prefer. You’ll even find products that offer your choice of credit cards using realistic images with the correct color and bank logo!

Advanced Features
Given that all these products take care of basic password management tasks, how can one product stand out from the pack? One handy advanced feature is managing passwords for applications, not just websites. Another is provision of a secure browser, designed to protect sensitive transactions and invoked automatically when you visit a financial site.

As noted, these top products let you sync your passwords across all of your devices. Some of them also include a built-in mechanism for securely sharing passwords with other users. Some let you share a login without making the password visible, some let you revoke sharing, and with some the sharing goes both ways—that is, if the recipient makes a change it will change the original.

On a grimmer note, what happens to your secure accounts after you’ve died? A few products include some provision for a digital legacy, a method to transfer your logins to a trusted individual in the event of your death or incapacity.

The Very Best
Veteran password manager LastPass 3.0 Premium offers an impressively comprehensive set of features. Slick and polished Dashlane 3 also boasts a ton of features, even some that LastPass lacks. Sticky Password Premium handles essential tasks better than most, and a portion of every purchase goes to help endangered species. Any one of these three will serve you well, though it’s always possible you’ll fall in love with the particular feature set of another excellent password manager. Read our reviews to decide which will serve you best.

For more information on The Best Password Managers for 2015 read the full article on PCMAG

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Instagram Business Profiles

Instagram announced new business profiles, the new set of business tools were announced back in may, and I received it on @northforkmarketing a few weeks ago and now have it on all client accounts as well on mobile.

The new business profiles are inspired by Facebook’s business Pages. My favorite new feature is the ‘contact’ button, allowing customers to text, call or email a business.

 

The new business profiles also include a set of analytics with audience behaviors and demographics, as well as a ‘promote’ feature for boosting well-performing images to use as advertising to reach more customers. Businesses can choose to target a particular demographic, or let Instagram’s algorithms work their magic.

 

The one magical feature that seems to be missing is directly communicating with users via messenger, I also find it difficult to use the Stories option as it is a completely different profile option. I’m curious to see where Instagram goes next.

 

Instagram Business Profiles New

You’ll know if your Instagram account has access to the business profile by opening the app and clicking on your profile icon on the bottom right of the screen to access your profile. If you see this message on the top of the screen, you’re eligible to switch to a business profile:

 

Instagram-for-Business-Learn-More.png-900x469

Click the Learn More button to start the process and learn about the business profile features:

Facebook Algorithm Changes…. Again.

Facebook Algorithm is crucial to its success.

Facebook lives or dies by its News Feed, so getting it right is imperative. As they announced June 29th, small but significant tweaks to its algorithm – showing more content from the friends you care about and potentially less from pages – it’s also explaining the ‘core values’ that have served as guiding principles behind every improvement to your feed for several years.”

Building a Better News Feed for You

Facebook says that this is the first time these values have been publicly explained. Don’t expect any major plot twists – they’re fairly obvious on the whole – but it’s nice to see the reasoning behind every little tweak the company makes.

“Friends and family come first”

First up, Facebook says it prioritizes posts from close friends and family before any other kind of posts. It tries to learn your preferences for the exact type of posts you want to see depending on things such as how often you like photos from specific people and moves these to the top of your feed.

After friends and family, the company works with two other main expectations. First, that “your feed should inform,” whether with stories from current events, celebrity stories, or recipes.

Second, that “your feed should entertain.” Sometimes that means watching viral video or seeing funny photos, but it seems that even when it’s prioritizing posts from close people, Facebook always wants to make sure your feed doesn’t get too boring.

facebook algorithm change 2016“A platform for all ideas”

Facebook says it’s “not in the business of picking which issues the world should read about.” (Some people would disagree, given the recent trending column ordeal, but I digress.)

Instead, it tries to connect people with ideas and stories they find most meaningful. That doesn’t mean only showing stories that people will find agreeable, but rather those they find most engaging.

For example, a Facebook study last year indicated that over a quarter of the links you read on your News Feed are from opposing political views – people are interested in hearing the opposition, no matter how strongly they disagree.

Facebook says that while it doesn’t favor specific types of sources of ideas, showing the stories people most want to see keeps them using the News Feed longer.

“Authentic communication”

In other words, truthfulness. The company says it works hard to disseminate genuine stories rather than hoaxes or things otherwise “misleading, sensational and spammy.”

If only they could get rid of chainmail posts.

“You control your experience”

This is basically things like allowing you to unfollow or hide posts, as well as mark them as “see first” to prioritize them. If you hide a post from someone, it indicates you probably want to read fewer stories from that person, and the News Feed algorithm reacts accordingly.

“Constant iteration”

Facebook says it views its work as “1 percent finished,” so it’s constantly iterating on the design and using feedback to improve your News Feed. It says it’s looking to be more transparent about the News Feed moving forward, hence today’s updates.

Pages may see less reach as friends and family get higher priority

Going back to the first value mentioned, Facebook says that it’s tweaking the News Feed algorithm to reflect it’s number one priority – connecting you with friends and family.

The company is making posts by your friends show up higher on your feed, something it says will particularly impact people with many friends. In other words, you’ll have to scroll less to read up on the people you care about.

As part of the change, Facebook says it anticipates “this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages.”

The amount of decline depends on your audience. If your posts tend to be the type of thing people share with their friends and family, they’ll do better. But if you mainly share dry updates, expect your pages to perform a little worse soon.

Adapted from an article by @TheNextWeb

North Fork Marketing Instagram
Instagram Business Profiles

Coming Soon: New Instagram Business Profile Tools

Business profiles

Instagram business profiles are a free feature for accounts wanting to be recognized as a business on Instagram. With a business profile, businesses can choose how they want their customers to get in touch with them: call, text or email with a tap of the contact button as well as get directions. Business profiles also unlock access to insights and the ability to promote.

Instagram Business Profiles
Insights

Insights on Instagram give businesses actionable information about who their followers are and which posts resonate better than others—all from within the mobile app. By learning more about the behavior and demographics of your audience, you can create more relevant and timely content.

Instagram Business Profiles
Promote

The ability to promote on Instagram lets you turn well-performing posts into ads right within the app—helping you connect with even more customers. Simply pick a post you’ve already shared on Instagram and add a button encouraging people to take action. You can select a target audience or allow Instagram to suggest targeting for you. After that, your post will be promoted as an ad for any length of time you choose.

Instagram Business Profiles
With these new Instagram business profile tools, the furniture store in San Francisco can receive emails from customers saving valuable time responding. The retailer in Austin can better understand its audience, tailor its content and refine its marketing strategy—even beyond digital. And the do-it-yourself craft shop in New York City can quickly fill a seat, move a product or get people into its store with ads on mobile.

These Instagram business tools are just some of the ways we hope to make growing a business on Instagram that much easier. Business profiles, insights and the ability to promote will be rolling out in the US, Australia, and New Zealand in the coming months, and will be available in all regions globally by the end of the year.

Instagram for Business

If You Could Express Your Business Visually, What Would You Create?

Instagram is a community built on the power of visual storytelling.
Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 4.39.53 PM

Businesses have been a part of the community since the beginning, using the platform as a way to showcase their products and services in a rich, visual context.

Content Strategy Tips

Businesses do best on Instagram when they share well-crafted content that’s on-brand and driven by a clear objective. Tell your story through captivating images, videos and captions.

 Start with a clear goal and creative concept

Compelling ads on Instagram have a strong concept tied to a clear objective. Whether you’re driving brand awareness, website clicks or app installs, create concepts that align to your campaign goal.

 
Celebrate your brand look & feel

Make your ads branded, and keep strong brand consistency across campaigns. Establish connective elements across your images and videos — like an identifiable color palette, composition or photographic style — to make your business recognizable.

 Focus on craft

Use well-crafted ads to enhance the equity of your business on Instagram. Ads do best when they’re well shot, interesting to look at and artistic. What you create should draw people in and keep them wanting more.

INSTAGRAM TIPS FOR GETTING YOU STARTED

Account name

Choose an account name that’s easily tied to your business. A company name works great.

Profile photo

Simple is best. We recommend using your brand’s logo or a graphic symbol. Keep in mind it will be cropped into a circle and appear as a 150 x 150 pixel image (that’s pretty small) on most phones.

Text

Different caption lengths work well for different audiences. Test and learn from trying out various caption lengths with your followers. Incorporate hashtags to categorize your content and make it easier for non-followers to discover you. We recommend up to three hashtags so they don’t detract from the simplicity of the post. Ask questions to engage people.

Commenting & liking

Play an active role with your community. Engage with comments and questions on your own posts and use hashtags, location tags and Photos of You to discover and join the conversation on other community members’ posts about your brand.

Tagging

Include the location of your photo or video when it helps tell the story of the image. Use the Add People feature to tag accounts in your image when they will help you reach a broader audience.

Image tools

Edit your images and videos with filters and other creative tools (like Hyperlapse, Layoutand Boomerang) available in the Instagram app. These effects give images that unmistakable “Instagram” look that people respond to.

Image subjects

Post photos and videos of beautiful and unexpected moments that also feel authentic and immediate. Whether your subject is a person or an object, capture it in a context that gives a sense of your brand’s identity or point of view.

Search & Explore

Use Search & Explore on mobile or desktop to discover people, locations and posts that may be relevant to your brand. You can also explore trending hashtags and top accounts.

Twitter-character-limit
Twitter Character Limit: 140 Characters or MORE!!

Yay! Twitter is expanding it’s 140 character count limit. It’s long overdue!

Twitter-character-limitOver the past decade, the Tweet has evolved from a simple 140-character text message to a rich canvas for creative expression featuring photos, videos, hashtags, Vines, and more. In just the past few months Twitter added the ability to poll your community, react quickly and cleverly with GIFs, and share and enjoy Periscope broadcasts in Tweets.

So, you can already do a lot in a Tweet, but Twitter wants you to be able to do even more. In the coming months they are making changes to simplify Tweets including what counts toward your 140 characters, so for instance, @names in replies and media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls) will no longer “use up” valuable characters. Here’s what will change:

  • Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count. This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward, no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group.
  • Media attachments: When you add attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote Tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your Tweet. More room for words!
  • Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: They’ll be enabling the Retweet button on your own Tweets, so you can easily Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself when you want to share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed.
  • Goodbye, .@: These changes will help simplify the rules around Tweets that start with a username. New Tweets that begin with a username will reach all your followers. (That means you’ll no longer have to use the ”.@” convention, which people currently use to broadcast Tweets broadly.) If you want a reply to be seen by all your followers, you will be able to Retweet it to signal that you intend for it to be viewed more broadly.

Twitter Update Character LimitTWITTER SAYS:
These updates will be available over the coming months. Today, we’re notifying you and our developers, so that everything works as it should when we roll these changes out. The updates have a significant impact on Tweets, so we want to provide our developer partners with time to make any needed updates to the hundreds of thousands of products built using Twitter’s API.

In addition to the changes outlined above, we have plans to help you get even more from your Tweets. We’re exploring ways to make existing use easier and enable new ones, all without compromising the unique brevity and speed that make Twitter the best place for live commentary, connections, and conversations.

Facebook Profile Expression
Facebook Profile Expressions

Facebook Profile Expressions are here.

If you are using SnapChat you are familiar with the fun gif like profile photos. You can now create a similar photo for your Facebook Profile.

Express yourself by using an outside app – Facebook approved Profile Expression Kit Partners: MSQRD, Boomerang, lollicam.

With more than 4.5 billion views and nearly 30 million profile picture updates every day, Facebook profiles have become the best place to curate your own identity and learn about others. Last September, we launched profile videos to give people a new way to bring their profiles to life.

We were blown away by the positive response of profile videos and the variety of creative ways people used them to show off their personality. Today, we’re further unlocking this creativity and lowering the barrier to expression by releasing the Facebook Profile Expression Kit.

The Facebook Profile Expression Kit lets people share videos they make in third-party apps directly into the Facebook profile video flow. The SDK is available now to a select group of beta partners for the iOS versions of their apps: MSQRD, Boomerang from Instagram, lollicam, BeautyPlus, Cinemagraph Pro from Flixel, and Vine. Consumers can now use these apps to create fun and personality-infused profile videos with just a few taps. Developers enjoy attribution within News Feed every time someone uploads a profile video created by their app.

If you have or are building a video app that can help more than 1.5 billion people better express themselves, you can learn more about the SDK here and apply for consideration as we expand access to additional developers. – Facebook Development

Follow North Fork Marketing & Design on Twitter @jenlew  and Instagram  @northforkmarketing

5 Rules For Digital Marketing

Here are the basic rules of effectively digital marketing your small business!
Read ’em. Learn ’em. Follow ’em.

1. CONTENT IS KING

Understand that everything starts with content

The best marketing tool is your content. If you provide original, quality, authentic, content people will naturally talk about you. They will visit your site, and even recommend it to their friends.

Your content is your best weapon on the Web!  You can do all the shortcuts you want, or try to trick the search engines with SEO — and it may just work, albeit for a limited period of time — but nothing beats anything on the web except great content.. especially video.

2. NOTHING HAPPENS OVERNIGHT

Be persistent

Digital marketing is not a one-shot deal. It is something that you need to do on a regular basis using a variety of techniques. Competition on the Web is tough with millions of websites competing for visitors and sales. You are competing both with small and big businesses — both in your own part of the world and elsewhere. It will take a lot more effort to get the traffic and sales that you need.

3. VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE

Use different techniques.

One of the cardinal rules of digital marketing is: do not rely on a single marketing tactic. The risks are too high if you put all your eggs in one basket. Take for example organic search engine optimization where you rank high in Google – you may be #1 today in your main keyword but when Google updates their algorithm, you will get hit and lose as much as 80% of your traffic.

Make a list of what you can do given your resources to reach audiences online. Investigate what your competitors are doing to market online and whether you can use their techniques as well. Consider both paid advertising and guerrilla marketing strategies, such as:

  • Pay per click advertising
  • Banner advertising
  • Social media on a specific network
  • Text link advertising
  • Contextual text advertising
  • Lead generation
  • Email marketing
  • Organic search engine optimization
  • Online press releases (both online and print media)
  • Article marketing
  • Participation in forums and communities (without spamming)
  • Blogging
  • Link popularity

… and the list goes on. Choose the techniques that make the most sense for you.

4. KNOW THY DATA

Track and measure your results

You can only prioritize your internet marketing activities if you know which ones work and which ones don’t. Put more resources or dedicate more time to doing activities that can actually bring in traffic. Regularly analyze your web stats and marketing insights to get a clear idea of the most effective digital strategy for you. Hard data can also help you look at how you can improve the results of each campaign and strategy that you do.

Paid digital advertising offers the best data – you want to know which ad copy pulls in the most number of customers, what ad creatives are working, and which websites you advertised in can give you the most. Only by looking at the metrics can you assess how well your online marketing efforts are doing.

5. IF YOU’RE NOT LEARNIN’ YOUR DYIN’

Learn, learn and learn

Marketing is always evolving and so is digital technology: what may be acceptable in March 2016 may no longer work or be frowned upon in August 2017. I keep up to date with the latest updates and technology news, but if you don’t hire a marketing director it is necessary for you to keep updated on all the latest techniques that your competition is are successfully using in marketing online.

There are certainly plenty of resource onInternet marketing online with experts, bloggers, forums and online publications. Spend time paying attention to what’s new. There are always a lot of things to learn.

👋🏻  If you enjoy my blog posts, please help me spread the word and share them with your small business owner friends. I would greatly appreciate it! -Jen Lew

NASA

There are 3 things I know about NASA

1. I’ve always loved the logo
2. They go to space
3. My bucket list includes the desire to watch a rocket take off from the roof of an RV parked in the parking lot of Cape Canaveral.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has invited little ole’ me to live out a dream.

Kennedy Space CenterI’m going on a road trip to see the next launch of a commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station, targeted for Tuesday, March 22, at approximately 11 p.m. EDT.

Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. The spacecraft will carry crew supplies and hardware to the orbital laboratory to support the Expedition 47 and 48 crews.

 

This launch is the fifth contracted mission by Orbital ATK under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract and will be followed later this year by an Orbital ATK resupply mission launching from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia.

I’ll have the opportunity to tour NASA facilities at Kennedy Space Center for two days, and meet and interact with engineers, technicians and other team members from Kennedy, view and take photographs of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on the launch pad, meet fellow space enthusiasts who are active on social media, meet members of NASA’s social media teams, and hopefully view the launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft.  

For launch countdown coverage, NASA’s launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/orbitalatk

Lucky me a week ago my friend Eric sent me a text with this link , I figured it was a home decor item or someone falling down the stairs but it was even better. I immediately applied and never thought I’d be chosen. I didn’t even look at the dates or anything just thought… cool I want to do this and filled out the form. To my surprise when I checked my email last night there was this from NASA;

[vc_message message_box_style=”solid” message_box_color=”white” icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-quote-left”]

Dear Jen, nasalogo_twitter_400x400

Congratulations! Your social media credential application has been approved to attend the media events and launch of the Orbital ATK OA-6 cargo resupply flight to the International Space Stationat NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff is targeted for approximately 11:05 p.m. EDT on March 22.

The events will begin March 21 and span through March 22. Registration location and time will be communicated to you once you have applied for credentials in the online system.  During the two days, you will be provided with the opportunity to tour NASA facilities at Kennedy, meet and interact with engineers, technicians and other team members from Kennedy, view and take photographs of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on the launch pad, meet fellow space enthusiasts who are active on social media, meet members of NASA’s social media teams, and hopefully view the launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft.  

Please read this entire e-mail carefully for instructions on securing your spot and planning your attendance. To complete your registration, you must:

[/vc_message]

I’m going on a trip to see a rocket ship ?

Yesterday I learned that currently the US doesn’t have any astronauts in space but…

U.S. astronauts once again will travel to and from the International Space Station from the United States on American spacecraft under groundbreaking contracts NASA announced Tuesday. The agency unveiled its selection of Boeing and SpaceX to transport U.S. crews to and from the space station using their CST-100 and Crew Dragon spacecraft, respectively, with a goal of ending the nation’s sole reliance on Russia in 2017.

Needless to say, NASA marketing is gearing up to start promoting some serious events in the coming year and I’m proud to be at the forefront of this groundbreaking new chapter in U.S. history.

I’ve been lucky enough to hear the chatter through a few geeky friends about SpaceX (that little company owned by Elon Musk). Last year on my trip on Startup Bus my fellow Busprenuers introduced me to amazing people who participate in hackathons and cool things like this and this.

So now, in all my geekdom I’m off on a fun Space adventure of my own.
More updates to come.

If you’ve been to Kennedy Space Center I’d love to hear about it. Tweet me @jenlew

 ? I’m going on a trip to see a rocket ship fly through the sky. 

Facebook WordPress Plugin for Blogging

Facebook is always looking for ways to make it easier for Bloggers to share their content on Facebook, so we’ve partnered with Automattic, parent company of WordPress.com VIP, to build a free plugin for Instant Articles, which simplifies the process of generating and publishing Instant Articles from WordPress. The open-source WordPress publishing platform now powers more than 25% of sites on the web, so we are excited to help millions of bloggers and publishers of content all over the world bringing Instant Articles experience to their readers.

 

facebook wordpress plugin

We’ve worked with a small group of publishers on WordPress to beta test the plugin as a seamless way to adapt web content for the Instant Articles format, with a built-in suite of interactive tools that help stories come to life on mobile.

For example, the plugin recognizes the image found in this Foreign Policy article and specifies the correct markup so the photo renders properly in the Instant Article. The photo expands to fill the screen when tapped and allows exploration by simply tilting the phone.

In this example, the third-party video player embedded in this Zap2it article from Tribune Broadcasting is beautifully adapted for the Instant Articles experience. The plugin also supports native autoplay video as well as social and interactive graphic embeds.

When Instant Articles opens up in April, publishers that use standard WordPress templates can activate the plugin out-of-the-box to create Instant Articles. Publishers that want a more customized production experience can extend the plugin to support additional elements. We encourage all interested publishers on WordPress to review the plugin’s documentation andFAQs.

The plugin is open source, and we encourage the community to participate in its development to help publishers of all types take full advantage of the fast, native experience of Instant Articles. If you have any feedback, you can send it as an Issue on GitHub. And if you write a compatibility layer for another popular plugin, we encourage you to share it with the WordPress community via a Pull Request.

Our goal from the beginning has been to make Instant Articles available to all publishers and our partnership with Automattic is another exciting step towards realizing that goal on April 12 at our F8 conference. We will continue to iterate the plugin over the coming weeks and look forward to collaborating with the WordPress community to improve the experience.

To learn more, visit instantarticles.fb.com and vip.wordpress.com/blog.

Press Kit
WordPress Plugin for Instant Articles Image
Other Product Images and Videos

Facebook for Work

From Gizmodo

On Facebook’s never-ending quest to take over the world, no stone is left unturned. It has left fingerprints on virtual reality, messaging platforms, games, and apps for people who like brunch.

Until recently, however, it stayed away from enterprise software—programs used by companies to keep track of their business and employees. (Unofficially, of course, Facebook has long existed in the hidden browser tabs of workers everywhere. What do you think I’m doing right now but stalking my ex-flame’s terrible taste in friends?) But in early 2015, Mark Zuckerberg and company decided to jump feet first into the enterprise market with a product called Facebook at Work.

It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: A professional version of the Winklevoss twins’ least favorite social network. Only available to one specific company, it functions like a cross between Gmail, Slack, and Asana, and lets a company’s employees and teams interact with each other on a platform that most of them are probably already familiar with. It’s not regular Facebook, though, and the company is quick to point out that the two function separately. Your weird, late-night Facebook exploits are safe from the prying eyes of your boss! Except honestly probably not because nothing is sacred on the internet.

Anyhow, Facebook at Work made waves on Wednesday when it announced that Telenor, a giant Norwegian telecommunications company with 36,000 employees worldwide, had joined its ranks. The news prompted an influx of questions from the Gizmodo staff, including, but not limited to: What is Facebook at Work? Will it make life easier? Will it suck? Why is this happening? Will I hate it? Will it eventually tear my soul up into small pieces to use as fuel for Facebook employees?

To that end, here’s a handy list to refer to in case of any confusion surrounding the latest way to keep us all chained to our jobs for the rest of eternity. (Or is that called productivity?)

How does it work?

Glad you asked! Here’s a slightly irritating video to help walk you through it. Essentially, there are four main components to Facebook at Work: profiles, newsfeeds, groups, and messaging.

A profile typically includes a photo and relevant employee information, like position and department. Groups can fall into three categories: open, closed, or secret. Open groups are similar to a mass email—they can disseminate company-wide news or updates. Closed groups can be used to keep track of specific projects. Secret groups sound like a lot of fun: they’re unsearchable and invite only, so be sure to conduct your all your weird work-related bullshit behind their walls. The messaging client is similar to Facebook’s current messaging application.

Like regular Facebook, the newsfeed can be adjusted to the user’s preference, but it will mostly contain group updates, according to Vanessa Chan, who heads up communications for Facebook at Work. Chan also told Gizmodo that users will be able to trade the recently introduced Facebook Reactions with their coworkers. Prepare for an influx of ironic reactions from that one guy in sales who is almost certainly the cousin of the worst person in your freshman year philosophy class!

Also, instead of friending people, users can follow their coworkers, which means they don’t have to approve the request. So, good luck avoiding the weird dude you made out with in the kitchen that one time.

Is it going to make money?

The current version does not host ads, and Chan said that right now Facebook is focused on growing its user base rather than monetizing. But, she said, it will likely follow a “freemium” model, which will allow companies to pay for advanced features like analytics. (What about FarmVille? What will become of my sheep? I can still hear them screaming at night, Zuckerberg.)

How is it different from regular Facebook and other platforms like Slack, HipChat and email?

Despite the seemingly competitive nature of Facebook at Work—Julien Codorniou, its director, told Time that “[e]very email you send to more than two people internally can be replaced by something on Facebook at Work”—Chan said it wasn’t developed solely to compete with other enterprise software platforms. Rather, its origins “were actually pretty organic,” and were born from internal programs Facebook employees had already been using.

Still, there’s no getting around the fact that once it officially launches—likely later this year, according to Chan—it will be waging battle with companies like Slack, which is reportedly after a $4 billion valuation.

The advantage, of course, is that most employees probably already have the skills necessary to use Facebook at Work, because they’ve been using standard Facebook for the past decade or more. (Chan pointed to some differences, including a “different color scheme.”)

But as New York Magazine’s Brian Feldman writes, Slack has some advantages over Facebook at Work. “Slack is enterprise software made personal, while Facebook’s is personal software turned enterprise,” which brings us to the vital question…

Is Facebook at Work going to kill my work/life balance?

I mean, is there even such a thing anymore? Sure, you can set up an automatic “I’m on vacation, leave me alone!” email responders. You can turn off Slack notifications. Hell, you can completely unplug if you really want. But we all know that’s a cruel mirage, because most of us will probably die alone, phones in hand, with the beginnings of a workplace email glaring at us from behind the terrible blue screen.

Facebook, apparently, is at least tangentially aware of this possibility. “Work/life balance is important to Facebook, and it’s something we’re thinking about when building a product like this,” Chan said.

In its current beta version, Facebook at Work is currently only available to about450 companies. Unless you work for one of these companies, you probably don’t need to worry or care about Zuckerberg’s latest project (yet).

However, if, like me, you are acutely aware of the impending death march toward the dissolution of any boundaries whatsoever between work and play: Yes, you should probably care. Then again, it’s only a matter of time before we’re all just working in pressurized glass chambers with weird protein tubes coming from every orifice, pretty much. Oh, God. Someone hold me.

North Fork Web
Facebook Reactions

Facebook Reactions Are Here

UPDATED Feb. 24, 2016

Facebook reactions are the new way to judge your loved ones! But, maybe they will also satisfy the cravings of trolls and nasty commenters. A quick angry face might subdue a nasty thot thought… but that’s just my optimistic way of thinking.
Released globally, the new reactions are available to everyone. React with care.

HOW TO
To add a reaction, hold down the Like button on mobile or hover over the Like button on desktop to see the reaction image options, then tap either Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry.

Original Post Feb. 6, 2016

As noted by Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox to Bloomberg recently – and then re-affirmed by yayMark Zuckerberg himself in Facebook full-year earnings results announcement – Facebook’s ‘Reactions’ emoji toolbar will soon be made available to all users, everywhere. For those unaware, ‘Reactions’, which The Social Network announced back in October, offers a way for Facebook users to respond to posts with a simple, emotional signal ‘other than Like’. The typical use-case of Reactions was explained by Zuckerberg at one of his regular Town Hall Q & A events last year:

“Not every moment is a good moment – if you share something that’s sad, like a refugee crisis that touches you or a family member passes away, it may not be comfortable to like that post… I do think it’s important to give people more options than liking it.”

But before Reactions go site-wide, we thought it might be a good time to reflect on the ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of the new implementation to get you prepared for what to expect when those little tiny characters start popping up all over your News Feed. For those looking to better understand the new feature, here’s the lowdown – ‘Reactions 101’, if you will – a guide to help you understand why the addition of the new tool is not only an important move for Facebook, but how these tiny, cartoon faces may also prove to be extremely valuable for your business.


Facebook confirmed that instead of the often-requested “dislike” to counter the existing Like button, founder Mark Zuckerberg explains that this idea is just about giving more options to express yourself.

Facebook Reactions

Facebook Reactions are about all of the feelings; love, sadness and empathy. They are what you’re trying to project, the test is currently limited to users in Ireland and Spain. If you are there (or use a browser proxy service like Hola to fake it) you’ll see something like the picture above, after long pressing the Like button on the website or mobile apps. Depending on how things go, this could roll out to the rest of the billion or so Facebook users soon, but it looks like any official support for dislike is never going to be in the plans.

Today we’re launching a test of Reactions — a more expressive Like button. The Like button has been a part of Facebook for a long time. Billions of Likes are made every day, and Liking things is a simple way to express yourself.For many years though, people have asked us to add a “dislike” button. Not every moment is a good moment, and sometimes you just want a way to express empathy. These are important moments where you need the power to share more than ever, and a Like might not be the best way to express yourself.At a recent Townhall Q&A, I shared with our community that we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to give you better options for expressing yourself, while keeping the experience simple and respectful. Today we’re starting to test this.Reactions gives you new ways to express love, awe, humor and sadness. It’s not a dislike button, but it does give you the power to easily express sorrow and empathy — in addition to delight and warmth. You’ll be able to express these reactions by long pressing or hovering over the Like button. We’re starting to test Reactions in Ireland and Spain and will learn from this before we bring the experience to everyone. We hope you like this – or can better express how you’re feeling!

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, October 8, 2015

Updated February 5, 2016 in Social Media Today 

Google Think Mobile
5 Ways Consumers Connect to Stores With Mobile Shopping

Whether you’re a global brand or the shop around the corner, the shift to mobile is changing your customers’ behavior in and out of the store. Here, we share five insights into how brands can connect meaningfully with people in real time, in all of their micro-moments.google-

Smartphone shopping has reached some remarkable new milestones. Mobile shopping-related searches increased 120% in the last year, a review of Google data shows.1 With this growth, retailers are finding that mobile plays a critical role in driving shoppers in-store. Shoppers now reach for their smartphones in every kind of micro-moment, from I-want-to-know to I-want-to-buy (and crucially, I-want-to-buy-again) moments.

These moments represent a tremendous opportunity for brands. Because with mobile, marketers have the unique power to match marketing messages with signals of intent and context. What are they looking for? Where are they right now? What kind of person is shopping? With mobile, marketers know.

Recent Google search data and mounting third-party evidence has given us new insights into how marketers can engage shoppers in these micro-moments. Here’s what we’ve recently learned:

1. Smartphone shopping has created a new “front door to the store.” That’s the phrase the retail giant Target now uses after learning that three-fourths of its guests start their shopping journey on mobile, and that one-third of guests who click on a mobile search ad take a trip to a Target store. Similarly, the telecommunications company Sprint discovered that one in four people who click on their mobile search ads end up in a Sprint retail store.

2. Consumers are hungrier than ever for local information. Google searches with “near me” have grown 2.4X year-over-year.2 In fact, a 2015 Google Consumer Survey found that 50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a store within a day, and 18% of those searches lead to a purchase.3

Eighty-two percent of shoppers say they consult their phones on purchases they’re about to make in a store.

3. Ads that show local inventory drive shoppers into stores. One in four people who avoid stores say it’s because they don’t know if a product is in stock.4 If you’re an omni-channel retailer, showing shoppers the items you have in stock at nearby stores can be half the battle. After adopting Local Inventory Ads, which show actual store inventory to online searchers, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores saw a 122% increase in store visits. Furthermore, Local Inventory Ads drove eight dollars of in-store sales for each dollar invested.

4. Smartphones are the new in-store research advisor. Eighty-two percent of shoppers say they consult their phones on purchases they’re about to make in a store.5 Amazingly, nearly one in four shoppers say they have changed their minds while in a checkout line after looking up details on a smartphone.6 The beauty and body-care retailer Sephora has been a leader in treating in-store mobile behavior as a major opportunity: They encourage in-store customers to scan products into Sephora’s mobile app to receive product ratings, reviews and other key information.

5. Omni-channel shoppers spend more. According to MasterCard, customers who shop both online and off with a specific retailer buy 250% more on average. Macy’s discovered that its omni-channel shoppers are 8X more valuable than those who shop in a single channel.

Taken together, the numbers say that whether you’re a global brand or a local shop, mobile is changing your shoppers’ behavior in and out of the store. It’s essential to be there on mobile, yes. But it’s even more important to create rich and relevant experiences that connect your stores with shoppers in all of their micro-moments—and encourage those shoppers to come back again and again.

Sources:
1 Google global search data, November 2014–October 2015, as defined by searches that trigger Shopping ads.
2 Google Trends, August 2015 vs August 2014, U.S.
3 Google Consumer Survey, March 2015, n=729.
4 Google, Ipsos MediaCT and Sterling Brands, Digital Impact on In-Store Shopping, published on Think with Google, May 2014.
5 Google/Ipsos, “Consumers in the Micro-Moment” study, March 2015, U.S., n=5,398, based on internet users.
6 Google Consumer Survey, April 2015, U.S., n=1130.

Written by Matt Lawson
Published February 2016
north fork marketing instagram
How To Schedule Instagram Posts

Onlypult is the answer to your prayers!

If you are a blogger, business owner or manage multiple brands – You know the struggle!
Thankfully Instagram has finally updated and helped with managing multiple accounts (Read more here) but there’s still one more challenge and that’s scheduling Instagram posts and managing comments, hashtags and geotagging.

Onlypult is the most effective and affordable option when scheduling posts.

After spending years trying different apps and tools for scheduling – Latergramme, Schedugram and Crowdfires TakeOff — (I love Crowdfire – more on that later) some of the apps are free of charge, but you still have to manually post when you receive a post notification on your phone. The $12 a month is well worth the cost in saving time and capabilities to work with additional admins. Onlypult posts on your behalf, and you can set a pre-schedule, which I have found invaluable. There is also no white border on the images, which there is on Latergramme.schedule-instagram-jen-lew-north-fork

You have complete control managing multiple Instagram accounts and the ability to invite other administrators to post. In addition, to uploading single images you can apply filters and hashtags directly within the app. Schedule your posts months, weeks, days in advance and they are automatically sent to your Instagram profile.

From my experience there are no negative impacts to scheduling with Onlypult, there have been studies that using external apps for scheduling reduces likes and shares on other social media networks. We use Hootesuite to manage Twitter and Linkedin posts, but by far Onlypult is our most effective choice for Instagram.

What are the best Instagram scheduling apps in your opinion? What was your experience like? Share your opinions in the comment section below.

Wordpress Transfer
How To Transfer Hosting

Step 1: Back Up Your Website’s Files

FTP-Transfer

The very first step of any project such as this is to back up every aspect of your site. This step is good practice before any major change but it is also a requirement of migrating your WordPress installation.

There are many plugins out there that will completely backup your site for you. This backup however, requires a more manual approach. Using an FTP program (such as FileZilla), connect to your web host and copy all files under your website’s directory to a folder on your local computer.

This includes the .htaccess file that is set to be hidden. Consult your FTP program’s help file to have it display hidden files if you are unable to see this file.

Depending on the number of media uploads you have in your site, this could take some time. While this download is underway we can begin step two and make a copy of your database.

Step 2: Export The WordPress Database

Database Export

Exporting your database is a simple process that only requires a few steps to complete. Login to the cPanel account of your web server and open the phpMyAdmin application. Select the database that contains your WordPress installation from the list on the left hand sidebar and once selected click on the Export tab on the navigation menu.

The default settings of a Quick export and the SQL format for the export are sufficient for what we need. Click the Go button and the database export process will begin and a file will be downloaded to your local computer.

Once the database export and the FTP transfer of your files have both completed, you are ready to move onto the next stage.

Step 3: Create The WordPress Database On Your New Host Server

Before we can begin the migration to the new web host, we need to create an environment for a WordPress installation. To do this you must create a database that you can import your SQL data into.

Login to your new web host with the user credentials they have supplied you and connect to the cPanel software. For our guide we will be using the MySQL Databases application. If your web host doesn’t have that application running then you will should contact their support team to discover their method of creating new databases.

The steps to create a database are quite simple:

  • Open MySQL Database and create a new database with an appropriate name for your website.
  • Create a new MySQL user (with a secure password).
  • Add this user account to the new database and grant it All Privileges.

Write down the database name, the new MySQL username and its password. You will need them soon.

Step 4: Edit the wp-config.php File

Browse to the folder on your local computer where you downloaded your website files to. In that folder there is a file called wp-config.php that controls the access between WordPress and your database.

Make a copy of this file and store it in another folder on your local computer. This is necessary for restoring the changes we are about to make should something go wrong later.

Open the original version of the file with your favorite text editor and make the following three changes:

1. Change The Database Name

Locate the following line:

1 define('DB_NAME', 'db_name');

The db_name portion of this line will currently be set to the MySQL database name of your old web host. This must be changed to the name of the new database you have just created.

2. Change the Database Username

Below this you will find the line:

1 define('DB_USER', 'db_user');

In this line you need to change the db_user portion from the username of your old host to match the new username you have just created.

3. Change The Database User Password

Finally, edit the third line:

1 define('DB_PASSWORD', 'db_pass');

As with the others the db_pass section of this line must be changed to the new secure password you created for your MySQL user.

Save wp-config.php and close the file.

Step 5: Import Your Database

Database Import

Now that you have a new database to work with we can begin the import process.

Launch phpMyAdmin from the cPanel software on your new server and select your new database from the list on the left hands sidebar. Once it opens select the Import tab from the navigation menu.

In the File to Import section click the Choose File button and select the SQL file you exported previously.

Un-tick the Partial Import check box, make sure the format is set to SQL and then click the Gobutton. The database import will now begin.

The time this import takes varies depending on the size of your database. You should receive a message informing you of the success of the import when it has finished.

Step 6: Upload The WordPress Files To Your New Host

Now that you have the new database prepared and you’ve reconfigured the wp-config.php file, it is time to begin uploading your website’s files.

Connect to your new web host using your FTP program and browse to the folder that your website is going to be held. If this is the primary, or only site being installed on this web server then uploading the files to the public_html folder is the usual directory.

With the remote directory selected you can upload your website files that should now include the updated version of wp-config.php. As with the earlier download, this process can take some time.

Don’t delete these files from your local computer once the upload finishes. They are still needed until the final steps have been completed.

Step 7: Linking to New URL & Defining New Domain

One issue people always seem to have when moving their site is that they’ve added links to other posts on their site or inserted images directly by pointing to a URL on the server, causing these to break when moved over to a new domain. If you want to quickly and easily search for any instances of your old domain name and replace with the new name I (AJ Clarke) suggest you take a look at the Search Replace DB script on github. This will allow you to do this with great ease. Just make sure you DELETE it when your are done (for security reasons).

Make sure you are running the search and replace on the new domain you are transferring the site to not the old one.

Changing Site URL: By doing a search and replace for the old domain and replacing with the new domain you’ll also be altering the site_url and home url values in the database (Changing the Site URL) which will ensure that when you try to log into your site on the new domain it doesn’t try and redirect you over to the old domain.

* This small subsection was an added note by AJ Clarke.

Step 8: The Final Touches

This step actually includes two separate things with (potentially) several days between them.

Before you can use the site on your new host you will need to reconfigure your domain’s DNS settings. They will be set to point to your old host and you will need to point the correct records to the new server IP address.

This process will depend on where you have your domain registered. The details of completing this process are too varied to discuss in this post, but your domain registrar should have all of the details you need to make this change.

DNS changes can take up to 48 hours to fully propagate. It’s best to do this at a period when you expect lower levels of traffic. During this 48 hour window you should avoid making any changes to your website as you may be changing the old version of the site.

After the 48-hour period has expired you should now be accessing the new web host when you go to your website. It’s at this point you can connect to your old web host to delete the files and database. You should still have a local backup copy of these files and the database export, along with the original wp-config.php file in case you need to roll back the migration. It can be a good idea to hold onto these files for a an extended period just to be on the safe side.

24 Expert Opinions About The Top 3 Most Useful Social Media Networks in 2016

Nowadays there are a lot of social media networks and for a new small business, it’s hard to know which are the most useful and relevant social networks they can start with.

On August 24, 2015, for the first time ever, 1 billion people used Facebook in a single day (24 hours), as Mark Zuckerberg announced on his Facebook account. On September 22, 2015, Instagram announced on their blog a new milestone: 400 million Instagram accounts

At the beginning of every year, all the Internet users (marketers, small business owners and social media enthusiasts in particular) have one important question in their mind: Which will be the top 3 most useful social media networks in 2016 and why?

24 of the well-known social media experts have answered this question for our audience and you can read their answers below.

I want to say a big thanks to all of the social media experts who were so kind to answer all my questions! Don’t forget to read the other 2 articles below, which contain useful answers and advice from these social media experts that will help you to have a great start to this new year:

 

22 Expert Predictions About Digital Marketing Trends in 2016

26 Social Media Experts Tell You Two of Their Most Useful Social Media Marketing Tips for 2016

 

Which will be the Top 3 Most Useful Social Media Networks in 2016 and why?

 

larrykim

Larry Kim

Founder of WordStream, Inc.

www.wordstream.com

Larry is the founder of WordStream, the World’s leading provider of Facebook and Google advertising software for small and medium sized businesses with over 10,000 customers worldwide.

Answer:

·       Facebook: Because of their insanely huge reach and fantastic ad targeting.

·       Twitter: Doesn’t have as much reach as Facebook, but has similarly awesome ad targeting and much lower advertiser competition.

·       Instagram: Ridiculously low advertiser competition, same awesome ad targeting options as Facebook, reasonably large reach (bigger than Twitter, smaller than Facebook).

 

IanCleary

Ian Cleary

Marketing Technologist

www.razorsocial.com

Ian Cleary is the founder of RazorSocial which is dedicated to helping businesses build relationships and revenue from social media and content marketing

Answer:

1. Facebook – Facebook will continue to be an important player but the Facebook advertisement is the way to reach your audience.  Most brands will struggle to get sufficient organic reach.
2. LinkedIn – This is and always will be a very powerful social network for businesses but, unfortunately, most businesses don’t take advantage of it.
3. Twitter – I thought Twitter would decline in use but with the recent announcement of integration with Periscope we’ll see a resurrection of Twitter in 2016.

 

TimHughes

Tim Hughes

Co-Founder

Social Selling Lounge – www.Socialsellinglounge.com

Tim has been in sales for 27 years and recently worked on the roll-out of Social Selling at Oracle, across Western Europe and 2000 people. Tim has created a methodology for companies to implement Social Selling which is expected to give companies a 20% uplift in revenue as well as providing a competitive advantage.

Answer: For me that works in a B2B market the three most important networks are Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Sales people need to build their personal brands and build relationships with prospects and influencers and these are best the best place to do it. Note: LinkedIn is only 30% of the Social Graph which is why Facebook is not just for friends and family, it is an integral part of the Modern Sales Person’s “kit bag”.

 

MartinShervington

Martin Shervington

Founder ‘Plus Your Business’, Speaker, Consultant

Plus Your Business – www.plusyourbusiness.com

Martin is the founder and community manager for Plus Your Life and Plus Your Business and has built one of the most well-known brands around all things Google for business, including Adwords, Search, Reviews and Google+.

Answer:

Google+ is back to being cool again! And ‘Collections’ will allow people to focus, to niche their content and gain a solid following around these verticals.

I think Facebook’s live streaming will be one to watch, but Periscope’s community is has grown to be very strong very quickly. YouTube is the one that has the best Search engine attached, and already has the ‘Cardboard’ button for uploads. If VR kicks in next year, then they could all win. It is a big market.

 

MikeAllton

Mike Allton

Author, Content Marketing Practitioner and SiteSell CMO

The Social Media Hat – www.thesocialmediahat.com

Mike is a Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early ’90’s and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media, and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.

Answer: Which networks are most useful is a tough question, as I’ve always believed that it depends on each business/blogger and their target audience. Every network has strengths and weaknesses that can make it better or worse for someone with specific needs or topics. With that said, I believe that Google+ is headed in a very positive direction with their refocus on interests and collections, putting it in the Top 3 for most any business alongside Facebook and Twitter. (But keep an eye on Blab and how that network can be leveraged to create live video content which can then be pushed to YouTube.)

 

SueBZimmerman

Sue B. Zimmerman

Entrepreneur, Social Media Expert, Branding and Business Coach

www.suebzimmerman.com

Sue B. is the founder of the online Instagram course Insta-Results™, the author of Instagram Basics for your Business, a CreativeLive instructor, a speaker and business coach. She teaches entrepreneurs, business execs, and marketing professionals how to leverage the power of Instagram for real business results. As a serial entrepreneur, Sue B. has started over eighteen businesses, including SueB Do, Boxer Rebellion and Sue B. Zimmerman Enterprise.

Answer: 

1. Instagram – With over 400 million active users, I like to think of Instagram as a beautiful magazine. This is the app where people go to scroll for entertainment and inspiration. It’s also a great creative outlet for businesses or anyone looking for a positive distraction.

Here are my six accounts:

https://www.instagram.com/suebzimmerman/

https://www.instagram.com/theinstagramexpert/

https://www.instagram.com/sbzteam/

https://www.instagram.com/instagallive/

https://www.instagram.com/the.daily.ig/

https://www.instagram.com/suebdo.capecod/

2. SnapChat – SnapChat provides a huge opportunity to gain an instant connect with your audience. With a limited time period (24 hours) to view your snaps, you are providing your customers with an unedited, behind-the-scenes snapshot of your business. All of this helps to build trust between you and your audience. Don’t forget, E-commerce is coming to SnapChat, brands are already jumping on board. If you’re unsure of how to get started take a look at my snaps. Of course, I branded my image bc I am all about being cohesive in all I do.

instagram_suebzimmerman

 

3. Periscope – There is nothing like the power of real-time footage, and Periscope is the live streaming app that can authentically connect you a global audience. You have the power to broadcast from anywhere, with the confidence that you get to choose the topic and when you want to share. I use Periscope to share my Instagram tips and tools on a daily basis,https://katch.me/suebzimmerman

 

TedRubin

Ted Rubin

Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist and Acting CMO Brand Innovators

www.tedrubin.com

Ted Rubin is a leading Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, and Acting CMO of Brand Innovators. Ted is the most followed CMO on Twitter according to SocialMedia Marketing Magazine; one of the most interesting CMOs on Twitter according to SayMedia, #13 on Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers, and number #2 on the Leadtail list of Top 25 People Most Mentioned by digital marketers. ROR, Return on Relationship, hashtag #RonR, is the basis of his philosophy. His book, Return on Relationship was released January 2013. His latest book, How To Look People in the Eye Digitally was released January 2015. Connect with Ted… TedRubin.com or@TedRubin

Answer: This is a difficult question because different social platforms are valuable to different people/brands, and for many different reasons. I am not comfortable generalizing.

 

StephanieFrascoStephanie Frasco Clegg

VP Social Media

Convert With Content – www.convertwithcontent.com

Stephanie Frasco Clegg, VP Social Media Marketing, started helping businesses get results with social networks before Twitter even existed! Stephanie has worked directly with high profile clients like Oprah, Atlantic Records, Dashlane, The International Culinary Center, & many more. She specializes in helping business owners and marketers find massive ROI by developing targeted social campaigns focused on *engagement strategies* that work!

Answer: Facebook will remain the best network for advertising. Instagram will continue to be an e-commerce powerhouse, and Pinterest will be the first truly social search network.

 

JenniferGHanford

Jennifer G. Hanford

Senior Community Manager

B Squared Media – www.BSquared.media

Senior Community Manager for B Squared Media. Social media & blogging freelancer. Coffee lover. Contributes articles to a variety of social media and marketing sites including Curatti and TweakYourBiz.com.

Answer:

1. Instagram – As I mentioned above, this will be huge for brands that are looking for ways to connect visually with their target audiences.

2. Facebook –  Marketers have apparently changed their minds about the power of this social media platform for attracting potential clients. Boosting posts and buying advertising seems to be working out well for many small businesses. Facebook also continues to enhance its capabilities for visual marketing.

3. LinkedIn – Although LinkedIn isn’t considered a true social media network, it is still a super platform for networking, sharing content, and having conversations with like-minded professionals. With the recent changes LinkedIn has made to Groups (less spam, more quality), people are warming up to them again, too.

 

NataschaThomsonNatascha Thomson

CEO – MarketingXLerator and Co-Author – Yogi

MarketingXLerator – www.marketingxlerator.com

Natascha is the CEO of MarketingXLerator, a marketing consultancy with a focus on social media. She consults with small and large clients including SAP, Polycom, SLAP Company, LookingGlass and HR Strategies.

Answer: “Most useful” is a very relative term. I will answer this question for my B2B clients, as B2C has different parameters; and my personal use is a different story. For B2B companies, the most useful social media networks will be:

1. LinkedIn – LinkedIn continues to be the most reliable business network. It’s easy to use and users can choose to just have a profile or actively engage, without penalty. The segmentation options offered to marketers are fantastic. As LinkedIn keeps improving their mobile app, I expect them to gain many more mobile users who will “connect” or read blogs and news on the network. The groups and the opportunity for anybody to blog just work and there’s tons of quality on LinkedIn.

2. Twitter – While Twitter is going through some growing pains – and time will tell if @Jack Dorsey can bring the anticipated positive change – it’s still one of my favorite platforms as it makes it so easy to engage. Used properly, which means one not just publishes but builds relationships, Twitter can be an amazing way to connect and collaborate with influencers, employees, and clients and to build thought leadership. In my book, it’s good that Twitter has a steep learning curve, as it means that those people who get on it have a serious intend (at least many of them).

3. Quora – Quora is not a marketing social media platform. To gain recognition, one has to answer lots of questions and ask good ones. But over time, it’s possible to build thought leadership and relationships. But the key reason I mention Quora here is that it is extremely useful to get a pulse on your market, competitors and what the big questions people ponder. Having been on Quora almost from the start, I get a lot of questions sent to me directly to answer in the social media realm. I then also see the answers other people provide. At the same time, I see some questions that show the level of ignorance that is out there about marketing and social media. All important pieces of the puzzle to understand the true landscape your business operates in.

 

AndrewHutchinson

Andrew Hutchinson

Freelance Writer & Digital Strategy Consultant

www.andrewhutchinson.com.au

Andrew Hutchinson is an award-winning writer, blogger and social media consultant from Melbourne, Australia.

Answer: It’s impossible to answer this question. For many, Facebook will be the most useful, but there are many for whom it won’t be so good. For others, Snapchat could deliver them amazing results, but a heap of brands will find no value in it. It’s impossible to say because each brand, just like each person, is different and they’ll find utility and value in very different things. The most important thing, on this front, is to work out what resonates best with your audience and be where they are. Even if you don’t personally like Twitter, if that’s where your audience is, that’s where you have to go. The only true rule of social media is ‘your audience rules’.

 

 

Keri_Jaehnig

Keri Jaehnig

Chief Marketing Officer

Idea Girl Media – www.ideagirlmedia.com

Keri is the Founder and CMO of Idea Girl Media, a Social Media Marketing Agency that works with business brands, public figures & non-profits to achieve social media success and positive online reputation. She is humbled to have received a 2013 Small Business Influencer Honorable Mention Award, and a commendation for Outstanding Attainment in Social Media from the Senate of the State of Ohio. Her insight has also been featured at Social Media Today, SteamFeed, Search Engine People, and AOL Small Business, as well as at Forbes, Business Insider, and other industry blogs. Non-fat lattes, travel & quick wit make Keri smile, and she is always enthused to meet new people!

Answer: The 3 most talked about social networks for 2016 will be:

– Instagram

– Blab

– Periscope

Why? Because they speak to the trends we will see in the new year. The most important social networks for each business or organization will be different due to their goals and objectives. However, the three networks above offer image and video opportunities that will be a “social media marketing sweet spot,” for many business types.

 

JuliaCampbell

Julia Campbell

Digital Marketing Strategist

J Campbell Social Marketing – www.jcsocialmarketing.com

Julia helps her mission-driven clients find their audience online, using websites, email, blogs, and social media marketing strategies.

Answer: Social networks are useful to you based on your goals and your target audience. It all depends on your business, your organization, and your specific clients or customers. If you are in the fashion space, Pinterest is a must for you. If you are in the tech world, you need to be on Twitter. I also think that live video streaming sites like Periscope and Meerkat will become more utilized and useful for digital marketers going into the new year.

 

GiniDietrich

Gini Dietrich

CEO of Arment Dietrich and author of Spin Sucks

www.spinsucks.com

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

Answer: This answer stinks, but it depends. If you’re a B2B organization, it’s going to likely be LinkedIn, YouTube, and maybe a live streaming app. If you’re a consumer business, it’s likely going to be Instagram, Blab, and Facebook. But there isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Find out where your customers hang out and go there.

 

StevenJWilsonSteven J Wilson

Founder

The Visual Life – www.TheVisualLife.net

I help digital entrepreneurs find success online.

Answer:

1. Facebook – Their ads are still some of the best performing social ads. I think people will continue to grow their businesses using Facebook because of the reach and ROI. YouTube- I think video will continue to dominate a large part of social and people will focus on creating high-quality videos and using ads to drive traffic to their videos. Instagram- I think Instagram is not a great platform but since the addition of video, Instagram is a hugely popular platform and I believe slowly but surely continue to grow and do great things for peoples businesses.

2. YouTube – I think video will continue to dominate a large part of social and people will focus on creating high-quality videos and using ads to drive traffic to their videos.

3. Instagram – I think Instagram is not a great platform but since the addition of video, Instagram is a hugely popular platform and I believe slowly but surely continue to grow and do great things for peoples businesses.

adamjayc

Adam Connell

Founder

Blogging Wizard – www.bloggingwizard.com

Adam is the founder of Blogging Wizard. Previously Operations Manager for a UK based marketing agency, Adam now helps others to become more successful online.

Answer: The 3 most useful social networks will depend entirely on who is using them. For example, as someone who writes about marketing, I’d personally find niche social networks like Inbound.org and GrowthHackers.com more useful. But, if I was in my teens and wanting to keep in touch with friends, I’d likely find WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook more useful. Which social network will be the most useful comes down to what you’re trying to achieve, and who you’re trying to reach.

RandyMilanovic

Randy Milanovic

Principal & Marketing

Kayak Online Marketing – www.kayakonlinemarketing.com

Randy is an entrepreneur, marketer, author, and blogger of online marketing, SEO & social engagement topics. A 4x author, he’s also a stage IV Cancer Survivor who has been seen in: forbes.com, business2community.com, steamfeed.com, socialmediatoday.com, financialpost.com, spinsucks.com, the CTV News, and recently, the was featured nationally in the Financial Post Magazine: Entrepreneur/Innovator edition, article titled: Keep Running.

Answer: 

LinkedIn – Members are seeing more engagement metrics, from who ‘liked’ to who ‘shared’ and, of course, the ‘who commented’ is still there. (These features previously were available only in GooglePlus, though Google recently removed them.) These engagement tools allow you to reach out and engage with active connections. – Recently updated Mobile apps are fantastic. On iOS, engagement tools are more robust, very similar to the desktop version.

Instagram – Users can easily attract fans by posting great content that stays on topic. Important to keep in mind that true, loyal fans will never be as big in numbers as the trendoids can be. It’s not a numbers game. – Users can avoid poorly targeted ads by keeping their activity ‘on topic’. – Find and connect with more fans using Instagram’s very helpful search feature (by hashtag, name, topic, and by popularity). Get to know the leaders and engage – their following will rub off on you nicely. – Paid advertising is only necessary to grow impressions (might want to keep an eye on what’s truly measurable) and (provided your content is great) to attract fans. – Side note: the majority of poorly targeted ads appear in users’ feeds because they have been indiscriminately liking, following, and sharing off-topic content. Yes, users attracted annoying ads that way. Avoid them by being more selective throughout your activity and by blocking advertisers you don’t wish to see via the ‘sponsored’ button on each ad.

GooglePlus – An avid Plusser, Google Plus would normally be at the top of my list. However, recent changes to both Pages and Profiles have left me just a little annoyed (ok, a lot annoyed) at Google. Profiles have a few cool new functions/features such as Collections which are pretty nice, but the Pages (business pages) have been stripped to the point of hardly being useful any more. I’m dearly hoping the engagement features of the classic Pages return, or I fear I’ll be joining Google Plus ghost town crowd.

 JacobkCurtisJacob Curtis

Owner Branding by Jacob

www.Jacobcurtis.com

An experienced new media marketer and personal branding advocate, I work with both companies and individuals in developing, maintaining and leveraging their digital identity online. Connect with me on Twitter or view my social media video tutorials on jacobcurtis.com.

Answer:

1) Facebook has become the common ground for the majority online networking so it will remain important for business and individuals in 2016. Facebook is continually innovating to provide new services or features to keep users and advertisers retained on their platform. Updates like “Reactions” will give marketers a better indication of how their campaigns are performing.

2) Pinterest has been rolling out a bunch of recent e-commerce related features. I would definitely take some time looking into that platform in 2016 if you haven’t already. A good way to tell if you should be active on Pinterest is to see who has already pinned content from your website without you even knowing it.

3) I’ll be adding the ‘social’ to my social strategy by utilizing new platforms like Blab.im. Live streaming will allow me to build and maintain the digital relationships I’ve developed with colleges, mentors and prospects more authentically in 2016.

 Reginald_ChanReginald Chan

Entrepreneur, Consultant & Content Writer

www.reginaldchan.net

Reginald is a freelance consultant focusing on content marketing, search and social media. Always thinking of Big Data and new marketing techniques.

Answer: I would stick to Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Facebook because it is extremely versatile and I could do anything with it thanks to Facebook advertisement. Plus, it is extremely cheap too! LinkedIn because it is a great place to connect with business minded people. Sure, there are a lot of spam on LinkedIn but it is still a great source especially in some industries. Pinterest is probably a no-brainer. People love images and Pinterest is a must have regardless what business or niche you are in!

north-fork-marketing-design-logo-1

 

Jen Lew North Fork Marketing & Design

Founder / Creative Strategist

North Fork Marketing & Design – www.jenlew.com

Jen specializes in providing innovative strategies and developing support services to manage marketing efforts with ease.

Answer: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter … plus, LinkedIn and SnapChat 2016 doesn’t look to be the year that Facebook & Twitter will falter from the top, but there is no denying users are slowly dropping. Others will definitely rise and Instagram definitely does not seem to be going anywhere. SnapChat is a for sure a growing mainstay – not for every brand but as a new form of entertainment and messaging it’s direct form of messaging combined with the television type easily accessible long-form content its a massive game changer for advertising. LinkedIn looks to be the B2B leader and I will be curious to see what new products and developments they release. The trend I see evolving is the ability to keep users in an app. Both SnapChat and Instagram don’t provide clickable links, so this means marketers need to create innovative ways to keep users intrigued about their clients products and services within an app. Not an easy feat – training followers to click from a link within a profile and not the post itself on Instagram is a huge game changer.

 

Nigel_Ohrum

Nigel Ohrum

Fearless Social Media Manager

Social Toppings: Web Presence Development – www.socialtoppings.com

DARC: Digital native with Analytical chops, strong web Reach, and Content creation skills. Media marketing director by day, social media helper by night.

Answer:

1. Video conversation and live chat (i.e. Blab) is a powerful combination which businesses and brands should be paying attention to in 2016. Simple, easy-to-use, sharable (Facebook, YouTube, iTunes), and it’s high quality. The conversational piece puts it above the crowd in my eyes. Could Blab be the next evolutionary step (and replacement) for podcasting? I think so.

2. Facebook (if you’re willing to pay*) has some excellent advertising opportunities. Over the last year, they did a nice job lowering the entry barrier for small business owners who are often doing social media marketing themselves. Don’t get me wrong, Facebook advertising can still be quite complex and challenging, but you don’t need an instruction manual or take an online course to create effective ads today. *side note: “willing to pay” doesn’t mean budgeting hundreds of dollars months. For as little as $1/day there’re advertising opportunities. I think many would be surprised at the results a $15 / week local ad campaign. Facebook is a “pay to play” platform and businesses need a dedicated (not large) budget to support those efforts.

 MarjiJShermanMarji J. Sherman

Social Media Consultant

Sherman Social – www.marjijsherman.com

Marji J. Sherman is a globally known social media strategist that has been featured in Inc. Magazine, Jay Baer’s SocialPros podcast, The Growth Factor and numerous other podcasts and publications. She writes a successful blog (www.MarjiJSherman.com) where she relates real-life experiences to the ever-changing landscape of social media and has over 160K followers on Twitter (@MarjiJSherman) where she focuses on positive living and leveraging social media while still remaining authentic.

Answer: The top 3 most useful social media networks in 2016 will be Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. While new networks are trendy, the older ones have the most robust audience base and targeting tools.

 

IngridKibler

Ingrid Kibler

Social Media Expert

HCK2 Partners – www.ingridkibler.com

Ingrid’s passion is to help clients harness the power of social media for their business. From presenting innovative ideas to devising a winning strategy to staying in-the-know of the latest, she helps clients utilize this technology in surpassing their business goals and keep them ahead of the competition. She has worked with clients ranging from small businesses to global enterprises, and from a colorful array of industries including fashion, technology and entertainment. Ingrid regularly executes and presents social media audits, gives group training sessions, consults one-on-one, as well as helps monitor, drive and report on activity for different brands’ social channels.

Answer: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook still dominates the social world, Twitter is unmatched in terms of real-time conversations, trending topics and hashtag use, while LinkedIn is best for professional networking (which every individual and business can benefit from).

 

StephanieNelson

Stephanie Nelson

Social Media Maven / Owner

SBN Marketing – www.sbnmktg.com

Stephanie Boyette Nelson is a Charlotte, NC-based marketing professional. Her experience runs the gamut – print ads, print newsletters, event coordination, e-mail newsletters, paid search, SEO – you name it! She currently specializes in social media marketing and SEO for small businesses.

Answer:

1. Instagram – I saw a recent stat that only 36% of marketers use Instagram. That means that Insta users are not inundated with business messaging. If a business can manage its messaging to “fit in”, there’s a lot of room for this to be a useful outlet.

2. Facebook – It’s still the granddaddy of all social media, and even with its issues, it’s still very widely used. The ads and boosted posts can be so very targeted that money spent here can have a significant ROI.

3. Pinterest – Any company that spends time or money on blogging should be on Pinterest, sharing each blog post there. Same goes for any e-commerce company sharing links to their product pages. I’ve seen website visits skyrocket using this outlet. And now that Pinterest has buyable pins, anyone selling anything online is missing out if he/she is not using it.

Instagram Adds Multiple Accounts Yippeeee!
Title

Instagram shines down upon us to give multiple account switching.

One of Instagram’s most-requested features could currently reside on your iOS device without you even

Instagram-Jen-Lew

Starting this week, you can quickly and easily switch between multiple accounts on Instagram!
Go to your Instagram profile settings to add an additional account. From there, tap your username at the top of your profile to switch between accounts. Once you have multiple accounts added, you’ll see your profile photo appear in places throughout the app so you can always tell which one you’re using at the moment.

How to Add Multiple Instagram Accounts on iOS

To see if you have access to this feature, navigate to your Instagram profile page and click on “Settings.” Near the bottom, you will have the option to “Add Account.”

how to add instagram account

After adding an account, you’ll easily be able to switch between multiple Instagram accounts, accessing separate photo feeds, comments, and messages without logging out of the Instagram iOS app. When you receive likes or comments, your push notifications notify you of which account you’re receiving them on.

After adding an account, you’ll easily be able to switch between multiple Instagram accounts, accessing separate photo feeds, comments, and messages without logging out of the Instagram iOS app. When you receive likes or comments, your push notifications notify you of which account you’re receiving them on.

managing multiple instagram accounts

As anyone who manages more than one Instagram account is aware of, logging in and out of Instagram accounts is a major pain point; not only for posting regularly, but also for keeping up with different communities, commenting on photos, and messaging with users.

How To SnapChat
HOW TO SNAPCHAT FOR BEGINNERS

SNAPCHAT FOR ADULTS

SnapChatI understand. SnapChat is a foreign, weird, preteen crazy visual thing that you have no clue what to do with. Here’s the thing, though. It’s growing. rapidly.

I bet it took you a while to adapt to Facebook and/or Twitter… and even longer to realize social media is good for your business.

Adults can Snap. No really!

Creating an Account and Username 

To get started, download the Snapchat app from the iTunes App Store for iOS or from the Google Play Store for Android. Then follow the steps below to sign up for a new account.

  1. On the Welcome screen, tap ‘SIGN UP.’
  2. Tap the field that says ‘Email Address‘ and enter a valid email address. It’s important to have a valid email address associated with your account. If you forget your password, your email address can be used to reset it.
  3. Tap the field that says ‘Password‘ and enter a secure password. Your password must be at least 8 characters.
  4. Choose your username. Your username is your identity on Snapchat. Make it something unique to you and remember that you cannot change your username once you have set it.
  5. Verify your phone number. This step is optional, and you can verify your phone number at any time. If you ever forget your password, we can send a password reset text to your verified phone number.
  6. Lastly, prove you’re not a robot! Once you’ve completed this step you’re ready to get Snapping!

Snaps

Snaps are picture or video messages taken and shared with friends on Snapchat in real-time. Snaps can be viewed for up to 10 seconds, depending on the amount of time the user chooses. Snapchatters can choose to have their photo or video saved in their phone’s photo gallery or just sent to friends.

By default, Snaps disappear from the screen once they are viewed – unless your friend decides to keep it, such as with a screenshot or separate camera. Snaps are meant to make conversation more spontaneous, visual and fun!

How to Create and Send Snaps

Taking Photos and Videos

To take a photo Snap, tap once.

To record a video Snap, press and hold for as long as you want the video to be.

How To SnapChat

 

To delete your photo, tap X in the top left corner.

 

Drawing and Adding a Caption

To draw on your Snap, tap in the top right corner.

To set the timer for a photo Snap, tap the timer icon in the bottom left corner and select the amount of time you want your Snap to last, but note that we can’t guarantee the Snap will only last for this amount of time and the recipient could take a screenshot of the Snap.

To add a caption, tap the middle of the screen and enter text. Tap anywhere (or press ‘Done’) to exit out of the caption interface.

How To SnapChat

Viewing Snaps

To view a Snap, simply tap once on the Snap!

Snap How to snap

If you have multiple Snaps sent to you from the same friend, those Snaps will be viewed as a stacked flipbook of moments, similar to Stories. Tap once to skip to the next Snap, or swipe down to exit the current Snap.

If you’d like to view Snaps individually, swipe right on your friend’s name to jump into Chat. Then tap on an individual Snap to view it.

The outer ring of the circle represents how much time is left in the current Snap. The ring will disappear as you are viewing the Snap, indicating how much time you have left to view it!

Adding Stickers to a Snap

It’s easy to add multiple stickers to your Snaps. Here’s how:

1. Take a photo or video Snap.

2. Tap the Snapchat button in the top-right corner of the Snap preview screen.

3. Tap the sticker you want, or swipe to view more stickers.

How to SnapChat Emoji

4. If you want to remove a sticker you’ve placed, press and hold on the sticker and drag it up onto the snapchat icon.

Remember, you can always pinch your fingers on a sticker to make it bigger or smaller!

What Do the Different Icons Mean?

Sent Icons

How To Snapchat
A Snap sent without audio A Snap sent with audio A sent Chat

Opened Icons

A friend opened a Snap without audio A friend opened a Snap with audio A friend opened a Chat A friend viewed and received Cash

Received Icons

You have received a Snap or multiple Snaps that all do not contain audio You have received a Snap or multiple Snaps that contain at least one Snap with audio You have received a Chat

Viewed Icons

Your Snap sent without sound has been viewed Your Snap sent with sound has been viewed Your Chat has been viewed A Snap or Chat is pending and may have expired

Screenshot Icons

A screenshot has been taken of your Snap without audio A screenshot has been taken of your Snap with audio A screenshot has been taken of your Chat

Replay Icons

Your Snap sent without sound has been replayed Your Snap sent with sound has been replayed
North Fork Web
Why Do You Need A Businessplan

Why Do I Need A Business PlanThinking ahead and coming up with a clear direction for your small business in the new year will help you focus on execution. You might not need a bank loan, or investors …yet. But you still need a business plan.

Here’s why you need a business plan!

Why do you want a business plan? You already know the obvious reasons, but there are so many other good reasons to create a business plan that many business owners don’t know about. So, just for a change, let’s take a look at the less obvious reasons first and finish with the ones you probably already know about. Think of this as a late-show top 10, with us building up to the most important reasons you need a business plan.

15. Set specific objectives for managers. Good management requires setting specific objectives and then tracking and following up. I’m surprised how many existing businesses manage without a plan. How do they establish what’s supposed to happen? In truth, you’re really just taking a short cut and planning in your head–and good for you if you can do it–but as your business grows you want to organize and plan better, and communicate the priorities better. Be strategic. Develop a plan; don’t just wing it.

14. Share your strategy, priorities and specific action points with your spouse, partner or significant other. Your business life goes by so quickly: a rush of answering phone calls, putting out fires, etc. Don’t the other people in your business life need to know what’s supposed to be happening? Don’t you want them to know?

13. Deal with displacement. Displacement is probably by far the most important practical business concept you’ve never heard of. It goes like this: “Whatever you do is something else you don’t do.” Displacement lives at the heart of all small-business strategy. At least most people have never heard of it.

12. Decide whether or not to rent new space. Rent is a new obligation, usually a fixed cost. Do your growth prospects and plans justify taking on this increased fixed cost? Shouldn’t that be in your business plan?

11. Hire new people. This is another new obligation (a fixed cost) that increases your risk. How will new people help your business grow and prosper? What exactly are they supposed to be doing? The rationale for hiring should be in your business plan.

10. Decide whether you need new assets, how many, and whether to buy or lease them. Use your business plan to help decide what’s going to happen in the long term, which should be an important input to the classic make vs. buy. How long will this important purchase last in your plan?

9. Share and explain business objectives with your management team, employees and new hires. Make selected portions of your business plan part of your new employee training.

8. Develop new business alliances. Use your plan to set targets for new alliances, and selected portions of your plan to communicate with those alliances.

7. Deal with professionals. Share selected highlights or your plans with your attorneys and accountants, and, if this is relevant to you, consultants.

6. Sell your business. Usually the business plan is a very important part of selling the business. Help buyers understand what you have, what it’s worth and why they want it.

5. Valuation of the business for formal transactions related to divorce, inheritance, estate planning and tax issues. Valuation is the term for establishing how much your business is worth. Usually that takes a business plan, as well as a professional with experience. The plan tells the valuation expert what your business is doing, when, why and how much that will cost and how much it will produce.

4. Create a new business. Use a plan to establish the right steps to starting a new business, including what you need to do, what resources will be required, and what you expect to happen.

3. Seek investment for a business, whether it’s a startup or not.Investors need to see a business plan before they decide whether or not to invest. They’ll expect the plan to cover all the main points.

2. Back up a business loan application. Like investors, lenders want to see the plan and will expect the plan to cover the main points.

1. Grow your existing business. Establish strategy and allocate resources according to strategic priority. You can find more information about growing your business with a business plan by reading ” Existing Companies Need Planning, Too .”

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR BUSINESS PLAN

1. Develop Your Business Goals
Once you’ve solidified where the opportunities are in your market, quantify what it will look like for your small business in terms of your sales goals. Broad, nonspecific goals rarely produce the kind of results you want. Focus instead on 30-day sales goals, which means you can identify your weekly sales goals. Putting numbers on your business goals gives you a well-defined metric to reach for, and a way to design your marketing tactics to achieve your sales goals. Given that you’re just working on Q1, decide what specific goals you want to achieve during those three months of the new year.

2. Do a SWOT Analysis
Conducting a regular SWOT analysis is one of the best ways to see the big picture and home in on specific areas of your business to improve. Things in your business change constantly. What might have worked a year ago could work against you in the future.

Use this analysis to get a clear idea of where you’ve grown and where you’ve fallen short. You can also discover new areas where you might find more opportunities to make more money and grow.

3. Start Delegating
Savvy small business owners know how impossible it is to tackle everything alone. Once you have a clear direction in mind of where you want to go in Q1, hand some stuff off to experts who can help. Whether you pass off your blogging and SEO efforts to the marketing team or recruit the help of a CPA to develop your 2015 budget, delegating tasks frees you up to focus on what you do best.

4. Look at the Big Picture
Before you can plan for the future, you need a solid idea of where your business is currently and compare it to past growth and strategy. Figure out what your strong revenue months are and look for opportunities for repeat business. Seeing where you’ve grown, improved, or possibly digressed gives you an honest glimpse into what is happening in your small business. This helps you make better plans for the future.

5. Create an Action Plan
To keep everyone in your organization on the same page about how you will reach your new business goals for the quarter, create an action plan. This plan should incorporate every person involved in making these goals a reality. By defining each person’s roles in working toward the goal, you create accountability. As the motivation from a new quarter and new business goal dies down, use this action plan to keep your team on target to dramatically increase your chances at success.

As a business owner, it’s on you to complete certain tasks that aren’t necessarily your favorites, but are essential to your small business success. Having a roadmap with targeted goals and actionable steps will keep you on track for a successful 2015.

North Fork Web Marketing & Design
Facebook Transportation In Messenger

Staying Within The App With Facebook Messenger

Facebook Transportation Messenger Uber Last week I wrote a post about Social Media Trends, in it I mentioned staying within apps will be the trend for 2016.

Facebook has just announced Transportation in Messenger.

Meaning, you can request an uber via the app by requesting a ride from a car service without ever needing to download an extra app or leave a conversation. You can now request a ride from a car service without ever needing to download an extra app or leave a conversation. Facebook Transportation through Messenger is super easy and doesn’t take you away from the plans that you’re making with your friends or family – It doesn’t take you away from the app you are making the plans on.

FACEBOOK NEWS ROOM

By Seth Rosenberg, Product Manager

Messenger is your place to communicate seamlessly with everyone – from making plans with friends, sharing pictures and moments with your loved ones, sending money, and talking to your favorite businesses about a purchase or getting updates on your item’s delivery. Millions of people all over the world use Messenger every month to engage with businesses because it’s simple, secure, convenient and keeps everything in one place.

messenger-uber-request-rideTechnology can make all of our engagements with businesses better, and over the past year Messenger has added integrations with select retailers, household brands and hotels to make your most common and every day business interactions more productive.

Today, we’re expanding the services available to you with our launch of transportation on Messenger. With this new feature, you can request a ride from a car service without ever needing to download an extra app or leave a conversation. It’s super easy and doesn’t take you away from the plans that you’re making with your friends or family.

Whether you’re meeting friends for lunch, on your way to a concert, or running late for work, Messenger and our partners can get you to your destination faster.

To get started, download the latest version of Messenger. Then, from within a conversation, tap the more menu and choose Transportation. You can also search directly for Uber – our first partner – and tap the car icon to request a ride. From there, you’ll receive updates on your driver’s status and notify your friends that you’ve called a ride. With the ability to request, track and pay for a ride in Messenger, we’re making transportation as simple as sending a message.

Your first ride is free

For a limited time, you’ll get a free ride the first time you use this feature (up to $20 value) with Uber. All you have to do to claim your free ride is link your existing Uber account or set up a new account within Messenger and request a ride. Driver status updates and payment receipts will get delivered to a private conversation between you and Uber. With everything in one place, you can seamlessly keep track of your ride and payment history.

The fine print

This service is currently in testing and will be available to select users in the locations where Uber operates in the United States. More countries and other transportation partners will be available soon.

Social Media Trends 2016

Marketers Must Adapt As Social Media Continues to Evolve in 2016

Questions from Adrian Domocos founder of HotinSocialMedia.com

What digital marketing trends do you predict for 2016?

More social apps are discovering ways to keep users engaged within the app, such as the ability for e-commerce buying options directly from within the app.

From a marketing perspective big changes are happening. Digital marketing, as we knew it is evolving quickly. We, as social media managers had it good for a while – we knew the basic rules (engage, monitor and create valuable content). Now, the game has changed back to more of a traditional advertising game. Business owners are savvier, customers are savvier and they’ve become more diverse. There was a time when everyone was on Facebook or Twitter and it was like shooting fish in a barrel if you knew the rules and understood your clients enough to be able to represent them.

Now more than ever, an organic two-way connection with your audience is more necessary. Direct contact, and consistent engagement has always been the forefront but now it’s truly finding the right medium and communicating your message precisely how the audience wants to view, see, watch and read it.  The basic trend seems to be the need to bob and weave to keep up with the ever-changing landscape.

Question 2: Which will be the top 3 most useful social media networks in 2016 and why? 

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter … plus, LinkedIn and SnapChat

2016 doesn’t look to be the year that Facebook & Twitter will falter from the top, but there is no denying users are slowly dropping. Others will definitely rise and Instagram definitely does not seem to be going anywhere.

SnapChat is a for sure a growing mainstay – not for every brand but as a new form of entertainment and messaging it’s direct form of messaging combined with the television type easily accessible long-form content its a massive game changer for advertising. LinkedIn looks to be the B2B leader and I will be curious to see what new products and developments they release.

The trend I see evolving is the ability to keep users in an app. Both SnapChat and Instagram don’t provide clickable links, so this means marketers need to create innovative ways to keep users intrigued about their clients products and services within an app. Not an easy feat – training followers to click from a link within a profile and not the post itself on Instagram is a huge game changer.

Question 3: Please recommend to our audience two of your most useful social media marketing tips.

  1. Be Flexible and Adapt
  2. Get Creative and Try new
Marketing Problems?

If you havin' small business problems I feel bad for you son I got 99 problems but marketing aint one.

Creating a successful business is a tough job, especially when a company has to compete against large, well-established businesses, local competition and a cluttered e-commerce market.

Marketing doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective.

North Fork Marketing & Design is here to help.
When you work with Jen Lew and North Fork Marketing & Design, you get the benefit of hiring an innovative, creative and intelligent professional handling your project. In addition to award winning services including web design, marketing and PR on Long Island NY. North Fork Marketing & Design also creates unique graphic design logos and images, provides expert and professional content, compelling stories and social media accounts – all in one place to ensure your small business is cared for by a committed, experienced specialist.

Zuckerberg ‘Thank You’ Hoax

It seems some of you fools are falling for this new Facebook hoax called the Zuckerberg ‘Thank You’.

Mark Zuckerberg is not giving $4.5 million to Facebook users who share a “thank you” message.long island social media

This latest facebook hoax is not nearly as prolific as a few before, but I’ve seen two posts on my newsfeed today. I thought it would wound down, but a week later I wish you idiots, would please make it stop.

In a public letter to his newborn daughter, Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that he and his wife would be giving 99% of their Facebook shares to the causes of ‘advancing human potential’ and ‘promoting equality’. In the letter, he notes:

As you begin the next generation of the Chan Zuckerberg family, we also begin the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation. Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.

We will give 99% of our Facebook shares — currently about $45 billion — during our lives to advance this mission. We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others.

The prankster who created this ridiculous hoax message has obviously used wide spread publicity about the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announcement to add totally undeserved substance to his or her claims. And, of course, the hoax is reminiscent of several other hoaxes that have falsely claimed that you could get money or prizes just by sending on a message. The most long-lived of these is a hoax that claimed that Microsoft’s Bill Gates would send you money if you participated in a ‘beta test’ by forwarding an email. Versions of this hoax have circulated since at least 1997.

If this Mark Zuckerberg hoax comes your way, don’t be tempted to share it. All such messages do is clutter our networks with even more pointless rubbish. Copying and pasting the message may also make you look rather gullible and foolish in front of your Facebook friends.

It said,

Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he is giving away $45 billion of Facebook stock. What you may not have heard is that he plans to give 10% of it away to people like YOU and ME! All you have to do is copy and paste this message into a post IMMEDIATELY. At midnight PST, Facebook will search through the day’s posts and award 1000 people with $4.5 million EACH as a way of saying thank you for making Facebook such a powerful vehicle for connection.

zuckerberg hoax

For the sake of all that is social media, think before you post. If you want more information about its stupidity just check out Snopes. But, Fyi… if Mark Zuckerberg was giving money away to facebook users as a ‘Thank You’, I kind of think it might be written somewhere other than your friend Jeff’s Facebook feed. The New York Times or maybe 60 minutes would have mentioned it. For that matter, has coke ever thrown money out of vending machines or Oreo given you free cookies because you went shopping. The answer is no.

 

North Fork Web
WordPress 4.4 Clifford Update

WordPress 4.4 ‘Clifford’ focuses on responsive design and includes new Twenty Sixteen default theme.

wordpress-logoVersion 4.4 of WordPress, named “Clifford” in honor of jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. New features in 4.4 make your site more connected and responsive. Clifford also introduces a new default theme, Twenty Sixteen.

Twenty Sixteen

Twenty Sixteen, is a modern take on a classic blog design and was built to look great on any device. A fluid grid design, flexible header, fun color schemes, and more, will all make your content shine.

Responsive Images

WordPress now takes a smarter approach to displaying appropriate image sizes on any device, ensuring a perfect fit every time. You don’t need to do anything to your theme, it just works.

Embed

Now you can embed your posts on other WordPress sites. Simply drop a post URL into the editor and see an instant embed preview, complete with the title, excerpt, and featured image if you’ve set one. We’ll even include your site icon and links for comments and sharing.

In addition to post embeds, WordPress 4.4 also adds support for five new oEmbed providers: Cloudup, Reddit Comments, ReverbNation, Speaker Deck, and VideoPress.

99 Problems and Not Reading Your Mind Is One
No one is the “problem” it’s small business. Business owners are varied, have different needs and expectations.

I’m not sure how many times I tell small business owners that the big difference between small biz and big biz is marketing. Large companies test the market, create a market or create a product built for a particular market. Small business owners create a product, service or thing that they like and expect the world to fall at their feet and love it also. This… this is the problem.

If you don’t know your target market, your aesthetic, your vision, your mission or your plan – you have no one to connect with. You have no community. You have no leverage.