Category Archives: BUSINESS SERVICES

Top 25 Social Networking Sites People Are Using All Over.

The Top 25 Social Networking Sites People Are Using
All the Places People Are Sharing and Consuming Information Online

The world’s most popular social networking sites certainly have changed over the years, and they’ll undoubtedly continue to change as time moves forward. Old social networks will die, popular ones will stick around as they’re forced to evolve, and brand new ones will appear.

We’ve moved on from the days of MySpace to a social media era now dominated by Facebook and all sorts of other social mobile apps. A lot of kids even admit to using Snapchat the most, suggesting that it could be the future of where social networking is headed.

So, what’s everyone using right now? Have a look through the updated roundup of social networks below to see which ones are currently the trendiest.

Also recommended: 10 of the Most Popular Social Media Posting Trends

1 Facebook

Most of us already know that Facebook is the top social network on the web. It’s a thriving beast of a social networking site on the web with over 1.59 billions monthly active users as of December 2015 and over one billion that log on daily (according to Facebook itself). Statista shows that Facebook Messenger is also the second most popular messaging app behind WhatsApp. After failing to acquire Snapchat in 2013, Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 so that it could be the one that was one top of instant messaging.

 

2 Twitter

Twitter is known as the real-time, public microblogging network where news breaks first. Most users loved it for its iconic 140-character limit and unfiltered feed that showed them absolutely everything. Twitter has changed dramatically over the years, and today it’s criticized a lot for going the way of looking and functioning almost exactly like Facebook. Besides Twitter Card integration, which now makes it easy to share all sorts of multimedia content in tweets, you can expect to see algorithmic timelines coming to Twitter soon as well.

 

3 LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network for professionals. Anyone who needs to make connections to advance their careers should be on LinkedIn. Profiles are designed to look sort of like extremely detailed resumes, with sections for work experience, education, volunteer work, certifications, awards and all sorts of other relevant work-related information. Users can promote themselves and their businesses by making connections with other professionals, interacting in group discussions, posting job ads, applying to jobs, publishing articles to LinkedIn pulse and so much more.

 

4 Google+

Making its debut in the early summer of 2011, Google+ became the fastest growing social network the web has ever seen. After failing a couple times already with Google Buzz and Google Wave, the search giant finally succeeded at creating something that stuck… kind of. Nobody really needed another Facebook clone, so Google+ had always been widely criticized for being a social network that nobody really used. In late 2015, a brand new Google+ was rolled out to put more emphasis on its Communities and Collections features to help differentiate the platform a bit more and give existing users more of what they wanted.

 

5 YouTube

Where does everyone go to watch or share video content online? It’s obviously YouTube. After Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine. Despite being owned by Google, YouTube can still be recognized as a separate social network all on its own as the premiere place online to go to watch videos on every topic under the sun and upload your own as well. From music videos and movies, to personal vlogs and independent films, YouTube has it all. YouTube recently launched a premium subscription option, called YouTube Red, which removes all advertisements from videos.

6 Instagram

Instagram has grown to be one of the most popular social networks for photo sharing that the mobile web has ever seen. It’s the ultimate social network for sharing real-time photos and short videos while on the go. Now it’s even a leading advertising platform for brands too. The app had initially just been available for the iOS platform for quite some time as it grew in popularity, but has since expanded to Android and, Windows Phone also the web. Instagram was bought for a hefty $1 billion by Facebook in 2012.

 

7 Pinterest

Pinterest has become a major player both in social networking and in the search world, proving just how important visual content has become on the web. As the fastest standalone site ever to reach 10 million monthly unique visits, Pinterest’s beautiful and intuitive pinboard-style platform is one of the most enticing and useful resource for collecting the best images that can be categorized into separate boards. Pinterest is also growing to become a huge influencer in social shopping, now featuring “Buy” buttons right on pins of products sold by some retailers.

 
8 Tumblr

Tumblr is an extremely popular social blogging platform that’s heavily used by teens and young adults. Like Pinterest, it’s best known for sharing visual content. Users can customize their blog theme, create blog posts in all sorts of different types of content formats, follow other users to see content in their dashboard feed and be followed back. Reblogging and liking posts is a popular way to interact. If you post great content, you could end up with thousands of reblogs and likes depending on how far it gets pushed out into the Tumblr community.

 

9 Vine

Vine is a mobile video sharing app owned by Twitter, and boy is it ever entertaining! If you don’t have the attention span to watch a full YouTube video, then you’ll love Vine. One of the most convenient things about Vine is that its videos can be directly embedded inline on Twitter when shared through a tweet. They can also be embedded on a website. Videos play on autoloop and are limited to a maximum of six seconds, but that doesn’t stop it from being such a powerful social network. Several Vine stars have mastered the art of creating entertaining Vine videos, and many prefer it over Instagram video.

 

10 Snapchat

Snapchat is a social networking app that thrives on instant messaging and is totally mobile-based. It’s one of the fastest growing apps out there, building its popularity on the idea of self-destructing “snaps.” You can send a photo or short video as a message (a snap) to a friend, which automatically disappears a few seconds after they’ve viewed it. Kids love this app because it takes the pressure off of having to share something with everyone like they would on traditional social networks. If you’re unfamiliar, check out this step-by-step tutorial on how to use Snapchat. Snapchat also has a unique feature called Stories, which allows users to share snaps publicly when they want.

11 Reddit

Reddit has never really had the nicest design, but don’t let that fool you–it’s a happening place on the web. It has a very strong and smart community of people who come together to talk about the topics they love while sharing links, photos and videos relevant to the subreddit topic thread where they’re participating. Reddit AMAs are another cool feature, which allow users to ask questions to celebs and other public figures who agree to host one. Reddit works by displaying submitted links that get voted up or down by users. The ones that receive the most upvotes will get pushed to the first page of their subreddits.

12 Flickr

Flickr is Yahoo’s popular photo-sharing network, which existed long before other popular competing networks like Pinterest and Instagram entered the social photo sharing game. It’s still one of the best places to upload photos, create albums and show off your photography skills to your friends. Yahoo has also worked hard at regularly updating its mobile apps with lots of great features and functions so that it’s easy and enjoyable to use from a mobile device. Users can upload 1,000 GB worth of photos for free to Flickr and use the powerful app to organize and edit them however they like.

 

13 Swarm by Foursquare

Foursquare has broken up its location-based app into two parts. While its main Foursquare app is now meant to be used as a location discovery tool, its Swarm app is all about being social. You can use it to see where your friends are, let them know where you are by checking in, and chat or plan to meet up at a specific location sometime later. Since launching Swarm, Foursquare has introduced some new features that turn interaction into games so that users have the opportunity to earn prizes.


14
Kik

Kik is a free instant messaging app that’s very popular with teens and young adults. Users can chat with each other one-on-one or in groups by using Kik usernames (instead of phone numbers). In addition to text-based messages, users can also send photos, animated GIFs and videos to their friends. Although it’s most useful for chatting with people you already know, Kik also gives users the opportunity to meet and chat with new people based on similar interests. And similar to Snapchat snapcodes, Kik users can easily scan other users’ Kik codes to add them easily.

15 Yik Yak

Yik Yak is another social network that’s big with the younger crowd. It’s a location-based anonymous social sharing app that allows users to read short updates posted from people around their area. As you might imagine, it’s very popular around high schools and on school campuses–so much so that it’s gotten some kids into serious trouble in some cases. Because it’s all anonymous, there’s no friend adding with Yik Yak. All users make anonymous posts and then other users can upvote or downvote your post and reply anonymously.

16 Shots

Shots is another photo and video sharing social network that young kids love to use. The social network is largely centered around taking selfies, but users can also take VHS-style videos and one-on-one chatting. Many users have praised the app for being one of the only apps that doesn’t include likes and comments on posts, which helps take the pressure off of users who get anxious about how their posts are received by friends and followers. It’s sort of like a simplified version of Instagram.

17 Periscope

Periscope is all about live web video broadcasting from your mobile device. It’s a Twitter-owned app that’s had its fair share of rivalry against another competing broadcasting app called Meerkat. Anyone who starts a new broadcast can send instant notifications to people so they can tune in to start interacting by leaving comments and hearts. Broadcasters have the option to allow replays for users who missed out, and they can also host private broadcasts for specific users. Anyone who just wants to watch something can open up the app and browse through all sorts of broadcasts that are currently being hosted live.

18 Medium

Medium is perhaps the best social network for readers and writers. It’s sort of like a blogging platform similar to Tumblr, but features a very minimal look to keep the emphasis on content that’s shared there. Users can publish their own stories and format them just the way they want with photos, videos and GIFs to support their storytelling. All content is driven by the community of users who recommend stories they like, which show up in the feeds of users who follow them. Users can also follow individual tags as a way to subscribe to content focused on topics of interest.

19 SoundCloud

SoundCloud is the world’s most popular social network for sharing sounds. Most users share music they’ve made or podcasts they’ve recorded. In fact, if you’re looking for a new free music app, SoundCloud should be one to try out. While you won’t exactly get to listen to all the popular songs you hear on the radio or can listen to on Spotify, you’ll get to discover lots of covers and remixes that are often better than their original versions. Even so, many well known popular artists use the platform, so you can follow your favorites to listen to what they’ve decided to promote on SoundCloud. You can also discover what’s trending, browse by genre and create your own playlists with tracks that you love.

20 Tinder

Tinder is a popular location-based dating app that matches you up with people in your area. Users can set up a brief profile that mainly highlights their photo, and then anyone who’s matched up to them can anonymously swipe right to like their profile or left to pass on it as a match. If some who liked a profile likes theirs back, then it’s a match, and the two users can start chatting privately with each other through the app. Tinder is completely free, but there are premium features that allow users to connect with people in other locations, undo certain swipes and get more “Super Likes” to let another user know they’re extra special.

21 WhatsApp

Currently the most popular instant messaging provider worldwide, WhatsApp is a cross-platform app that uses your internet connection or data plan to send and receive messages. Users can send messages to individuals or groups using text, photos, videos and even voice messages. Unlike Kik and other popular messaging apps, WhatsApp uses your phone number rather than usernames or pins (despite being an alternative to SMS). Users can allow WhatsApp to connect to their phone’s address book so that their contacts can be seamlessly transferred to the app. The app also offers a few customizable features like profiles, wallpapers and notification sounds.

22 Slack

Slack is a popular communication platform for teams that need to collaborate closely with one another. It’s basically a social network for the workplace. Team members can take advantage of real-time messaging, integration with other popular services like Dropbox and Trello, deep search for files and other information, configurable notifications and so much more. It’s meant to keep everyone in the loop about what’s going on at work or with a particular collaborative project and is super helpful for teams that include members working from different locations.

23 Musical.ly

Musical.ly is a social networking app for sharing short music videos. The app shares a lot of similarities with Instagram and Vine, allowing users to record short videos, edit them, post them to their profiles, follow other users and see what’s trending. The idea is to select a music track either from the built-in music tab or from your own iTunes library to record yourself dancing and lip syncing to it. The more creative you can get with your own personal lip syncing stile and editing skills, the more likely you’ll see it trend on the platform. There’s also a duet feature that allows two users to both of their own videos that used the same music track into one video.

24 Peach

Peach only debuted in early 2016, so it’s unclear whether this app is really going to catch on or not. It certainly made a ripple in the news when it launched, but with so many other social networks out there already, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this one struggle to make its mark. Peach gives users a very simple way to share posts with friends using photos, looping videos, text-based messages, links, GIFs, the weather, your location and more. There are also other little fun features for users to enjoy, like playing a game of “Peachball” or drawing doodles. Time will only tell whether this will be one to gain any traction among the bigger social networks.

25 Blab

Similar to Periscope, Blab is another live streaming social network where users can enjoy watching interviews, talk shows, debates, workshops and more. The platform is currently in beta, but it’s already growing to become a major player in the world of web broadcasting and streaming. One interesting feature Blab has that Periscope doesn’t is the ability to launch a live broadcast with up to four people talking all at once in a split screen. Viewers can also interact by leaving comments or stream something to watch later by tuning in to the replay.
Credits: Elise Moreau

4 Rules to Email Organization and Getting your Email Inbox to Zero by Chalene Johnson

4 Rules to Email Organization and Getting your Email Inbox to Zero

Young woman working in office, sitting at desk.

Today I want to share my tips with you on email organization and taking back control of your email inbox.  Email organization is so important in maintaining your sanity! So my goal is to help you organize your Gmail and keep your Gmail account clean through the proper approach to email management.

4 Rules to Email Management:

  1. You should only be going to ONE place for your emails. This means you should no longer be logging into the 5+ different email accounts.  Your goal is to just log into ONE place to receive all your emails. The best place to do this is Gmail.  So your first step is to create a Gmail account.
  2. Forward ALL of your current email addresses to this new Gmail account. Log into your current email addresses and forward them to your new Gmail account.
  3. Create an unpublicized Gmail account. So this is a separate Gmail account that you will only give to very close friends and family, and for anything that you would like to keep private.  Because ultimately the goal is to hire someone who can virtually help you manage your publicized account, and having private personal emails in that inbox is probably not your preference.  So create an unpublicized email that you want to use for personal matters.
  4. Create canned responses to the questions you get asked most frequently. Canned responses are amazing because it’s you responding in your voice, but from your virtual staff.

Let me help you! I don’t want what happened to me to happen to you.  I’ll take you through, step by 6step, in the most basic tutorial, to show you exactly how to set up your online life so that your accounts are secure and you are protected.  Lessons are short, anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes… totally doable and designed in a way to not overwhelm you!  That is why I created SMART Virtual Systems, because I know this kind of stuff is overwhelming.  But trust me, I can teach you how to protect yourself online and in addition you’ll learn how to organize all of your digital assets.  Just click below for more info!Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 7.25.03 AM

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Emails Are Read by A&Rs, Managers & Booking Agents

How to Make Sure Your Emails Are Read by A&R Guys, Managers and Booking Agents

Life as an unsigned musician is frustrating to say the least; hours on end rehearsing, months in the recording studio, every last penny on promotional material and yet when it’s time to send out those all-important emails to the industry you can bet that replies will be few and far between.

Industry folk receive hundreds of emails every week and whilst many emails are no doubt overlooked, there are certainly a few things to avoid if you want to make yourself heard. The first thing to remember is that A&R guys, managers, promoters and booking agents are all normal people like you and I, it’s part of their job to find new music and so if you contact them with a personable, non-salesy approach you stand a much better chance of starting up a conversation.

I’m not really in the music industry myself, I run a booking agency for function bands, but still, I think the principle is the same regardless. Every day we receive emails from new bands and musicians in the events industry looking to join our books, we check out every single act that approaches us but unfortunately very few are up to the standard we’re looking for. This article is more about making sure that your email is read and that your work is heard in the first place, most of it appears to be common sense and yet a lot of people aren’t following the basics.

Be Personable in Your Approach

Rule number one is to be personable and approach the right people.

Sending out a blanket email with hundreds of people blind copied in (or worse, CC’d in!) is definitely a big no-no, if you haven’t got the time to send out a personal email then why should anyone be bothered to read it.

Do your research, find people in the same field as your music and write to them on their level.

Try to avoid sending emails to generic addresses such as info@, you want to reach the individual and it isn’t usually too hard to find out what their email is, for example,firstname@domain.com or firstname.lastname@domain.com is probably a good starting point. Using social media to message can work but I still think email is an important first point of contact, after all, Facebook messages will end up in the “other” folder of death and Twitter is all too easy to ignore due to the sheer mass of information available.

Don’t be a Salesman

Nobody wants to read an email that kicks off with a long rant about how good your band is, what your inspirations are and why you’re the next big thing; be confident and friendly in your opening line and for goodness sake, be “normal.”

HTML or flyer emails are a massive no-no, it comes across as spammy and in my opinion is the completely wrong approach. If I receive an HTML email my finger is so quick to hit the delete button that it barely even registers – that’s if the spam filters don’t get to it first.

Use the recipients first name, open with a line to introduce yourself, perhaps even mentioning that you’ve supported one of their bands or that you were passed on their info by a fellow musician or associate – having a mutual contact will definitely go a long way. Include a brief paragraph about yourself and why you think they might be interested, that’s the most you can do at this stage. The longer an email is the less likely the chances of it being read. Finally, check your spelling and punctuation. (Queue comments about my punctuation.)

Link to Soundcloud and Youtube

Avoid large attachments such as mp3s, it clogs up the inbox, takes time to download and is a general annoyance in the age of the cloud. Instead, include a link to your Soundcloud or Youtube page, whilst your website may be awesome, people generally like familiarity and prefer to visit a page that they can quickly access without the need to actually engage their brains.

Create Great Demos and Promotional Material

Promotional material is the key, you are essentially a brand and in order to sell yourself you need high quality photos and fully-produced demos – whilst lots of musically-minded people like to think they don’t need the production to recognize a good band or well-written song, I beg to differ; a great song is a great song but sometimes a good song can turn into a great song with a little bit of help in the studio.

Think about your target audience and help an A&R guy to visualize exactly what it is you’re trying to be, whilst you may have the outlook of “we just do what we do,” you can bet that they will need a clear plan of action if they’re going to pitch you up the chain of command.

Don’t Be Disheartened When You Get No Response

When you get no response to your well thought out emails it’s easy to assume that they aren’t being read but the truth is that 99.9% of music that gets sent out simply isn’t what that particular person is looking for. My advice is to continue to write great music, build your fan base and ignore the industry, they will come to you when the time is right.

About the Author:
Written by Adam Mezzatesta, founder of UK music agency www.bandsforhire.net

HOW TO USE SNAPCHAT FOR EVENT MARKETING

 snapchat-at-events.png

Though it’s been out since 2011, Snapchat is still relatively unknown. That’s a shame because it’s a tool that can come in really handy especially for event planners. If used the right way, it can really foster engagement among followers and create some much needed hype.

More marketers, however, are beginning to catch on, as is the general public. As of May 2015, there are an estimated 100 million active daily users. Furthermore, roughly one in five social media users also use Snapchat.

Read more on how event professionals around the world are incorporating social media tips and trends into their event marketing and attendee engagement.

Snapchat Best Practices

  1. Provide a First Peek

Remember, Snapchat is distinguished for its “one-time view” feature. Once opened, content can be viewed only once and usually for a duration of only 10 seconds before it self-deletes. How might you be able to take advantage of such a concept? One way is to provide an insider’s look into a product or service.

hilton-snapchat.pngI
If your event is unveiling a new product, for example, then you can use Snapchat to provide a sneak peek of the product. Since viewers only get a one-time look, they’ll be debating about it on social media about what the new product is, how it works, how it differs from previous products, etc. This kind of gives the item an aura of mystery that encourages online discussions.

  1. Provide a Behind-the-Scenes Look

You can also take a page out of Hilton’s playbook and use Snapchat to provide a behind-the-scenes look. To promote its Live Nations concert series, which provides live entertainment to reward program members,Hilton used Snapchat to unveil behind-the-scenes snippets of some of its concerts.

This included one with Jason Derulo during his performance at San Diego’s Hilton Bayfront. The goal was to target millennials and get them to sign up for the company’s loyalty program, which is made up primarily of older members.

You can do the same. Granted, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get celebrities on board for your event. Nevertheless, you can still use Snapchat for providing a behind-the-scenes look, which can include a look at board meetings, venue scouting, or backstage happenings from a previous event.

  1. Make a Game Out of It

Find a way to make a game using Snapchat. Heineken did this to perfection. In collaboration with the Coachella festival, the beer company sent out cropped images on Snapchat, which included obscured photos of celebrity performers.

heineken-snapchat.png
Image courtesy of Event Marketer

The image revealed a surprise performer scheduled to perform at the Heineken House, the company’s performance stage for the festival. Snapchat users that were able to correctly decipher the image and identify the performer were rewarded with a confirmation of the star’s identity and details of the performance.

You can use Snapchat to create your own guessing game. Perhaps provide an image or emoji relating to a company product or service. Participants that guess correctly within a set number of tries will be rewarded with a small prize, such as a discount code.

  1. Incorporate It into a Contest

Social media contests are a tried-and-true strategy for encouraging consumer participation. Snapchat can be used in one way or another.

Here’s one example: create a word scramble game consisting of multiple rounds that progress in difficulty. For one of the later and more advanced rounds, the scrambled words can be sent via Snapchat, and participants only get a brief look before it automatically deletes.

Of course, players can cheat by taking a screenshot or snapping a photo of it with their mobile phone. That’s fine if they do that; what’s important is that you create some sort of contest that generates engagement. Those who successfully complete every word scramble round will, of course, be the winners and receive some sort of prize, such as a free event ticket.

  1. Take Advantage of the “Our Story” Feature

“Our Story” is a feature designed specifically for events. It allows planners to send live content right as their event is in progress. When you enable this feature, users present at the event can join in and submit their own image or short video from the event and share it with their own followers.

That is a lot of free marketing right there courtesy of your own guests. If you’re going to use Snapchat, then it doesn’t make sense not to milk this feature.

Don’t Ignore Snapchat

If you’re already using prominent social networks like Facebook and Twitter, then you might as well incorporate Snapchat while you’re at it. It’s just another tool in your arsenal that you can add for acquiring more publicity for your event.

Guest Author Bio: Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at JD Parties, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 5 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter@DanCarthy2.

Great Apps the Will Keep You Productive Morning, Noon & Night

productivity-tools-morning-noon-night.jpg

When I need to have a very productive day, I tell myself it’s going to be easy. I am really good at that part!

I’ll just wake up early, grab a big cup of coffee, and then begin powering through my to-do list. Maybe I’ll break for a meal, or a stretch, or a quick conversation with a coworker. But I’ll truck on, energy unwavering until bedtime, where I’ll promptly fall asleep for eight, wonderful, uninterrupted hours of sleep.

Cool fantasy, self. Real life rarely (if ever) is that picture-perfect. Our bodies aren’t designed to operate at a constant 100% efficiency level.

So if you want to be more productive throughout the day, you’re better off relegating certain activities to certain times, and devoting yourself to doing those activities at those times.

And to make sure you get the right things done at the right times of day, you can lean on a plethora of different free or relatively cheap apps and tools. (After all, some things are better together.)

Below, are some of the highest-rated and often-recommended productivity apps for each part of the day. Check ’em out, and find your “and.”

Great Apps That Will Keep You Productive Morning, Noon & Night

Morning

1) Headspace

Price: Free, with subscriptions available on iPhone, Android, Web

Starting your day off with a quick meditation session can be a great way to gear up for the day — even scientists say so. According to a 2012 study, people who mediated “stayed on tasks longer and made fewer task switches, as well as reporting less negative feedback after task performance.”

Sold … but not sure how to get started? I’d highly recommend downloading Headspace. It gives you 10 free guided meditation sessions, and if you end up getting hooked, you can sign up for a monthly subscription.

2) Prompts or Writing Challenge

Price: Prompts is $2.99 on iPhone; Writing Challenge is $1.89 on Android

You may have heard about the benefits of writing something — anything — in the morning. But actually making morning freewriting a reality can be a challenge. How do you actually find something to write about when you’ve barely had time to make your coffee?

Why, by downloading a writing prompts app, of course. Prompts and Writing Challenge are both great options. They give you a jumping-off point for a piece, and then let you dive right into writing. Prompts is especially cool for folks who like to track their habits to stay motivated because it offers some basic analytics for you to analyze your writing habit progress.

3) Todoist

Price: Free, with premium subscriptions available on iPhone, Android, Web

You don’t have to actually write your to-do lists in the morning, but you should definitely take a look at them before you dive into your work. And if your to-do list is cluttered and confusing, you’ll end up losing precious time to reorganizing and reprioritizing it.

To prevent that from happening, I’d highly suggest a tool like Todoist. Lindsay Kolowich recently introduced it, and it’s completely transformed the way to keep track of what you need to accomplish. It allows you to add deadlines and labels to each list item, and then automatically sorts your whole to-do list by what you have to accomplish that day. This helps you keep you on top of what you need to accomplish in a given day, and prevents you from getting sidetracked by down-the-road projects.

todoist_screenshot.png

4) Jell

Price: Free, with premium subscriptions available on iPhone, Android, Web

After you set your own to-do list, chances are, you’ll need to check in with your teammates about what’s on their plate for the day. One super easy way to do this — especially when you have a remote team — is by using an app called Jell.

Instead of calling a 30-minute meeting to debrief on what everyone’s doing, you simply fill out a form in Jell and it gets sent to the rest of your team. (If you’re using Slack, it has a handy integration to have these messages posted in there, too.)

This way, you can quickly get on the same page with your team, and then move on tothe most important work of your day.

Afternoon

5) Do

Price: $10/month on iPhone and Web; Android coming soon

Fast-forward a few hours, and chances are, you’ll have a block of meetings on your plate. (That is, after all, the best time of day to have them.) But if you’re going to take time out of your day for meetings, they’d better be productive. There’s nothing worse than wasting a bunch of people’s time on something that could be handled over email.

Yep, a tool can help you with that too. Do can help you keep yours more organized and actionable — that way, no one’s wasting time sitting in unnecessary meetings. If you’re looking for a free option, Solid (available on Web only) is a great choice.

6) Stormboard

Price: Free, with premium subscriptions available on Web

When your attention starts to wane, it can be hard to get things done. For many people, that tends to happen in the afternoon.

Turns out, this can be a good thing: When you’re less focused, you have more room to be creative. So the afternoon is a great time for brainstorming, collaboration, and breaking through cognitive barriers.

If you and your team are feeling particularly creative one afternoon, a great tool to consider using is Stormboard. It allows everyone to easily brainstorm and collaborate — even if they aren’t in the same room. Then, you can prioritize the best ideas to be put in action at a later date.

7) Unstuck

Price: Free on iPhone, Android, Web

But what if you’re not focused or feeling creative? You’ve got to get work done, but you’re feeling … stuck.

Unstuck can help. It’s an app that acts like an in-the-moment personal coach. It’ll ask you a series of questions to unearth what exactly is blocking you, and then give you steps to get through that block. Having this “outside” perspective can be a game-changer to breaking through some seriously inhibiting time-sucks.

8) Quartz or Inside

Price: Quartz is free on iPhone; Inside is free on iPhone, Android, Web

When you’ve been in the weeds all day getting important projects done, it can be tempting to take some time to catch up on what you missed in the news.

The trouble is, those reading breaks can sometimes get unruly. That 15 minutes you thought would be enough turns into 45 minutes of reading, and you’re suddenly late for your train home.

To feel in-the-know about the day without breaking your productivity streak, try catching up via your favorite news summary app. Mine is from Quartz: It’s a chat-themed news summary app that’s quickly become a staple of my phone’s home screen. A few quick clicks, and I’m on my way to catching a ride home.

quartz.png

Night

9) 7 Minute Workout

Price: Free on iPhone, Android

Everyone has their favorite time of day to work out, but science says that your lung function peaks around 5 p.m. So if you want to squeeze in a quick workout sometime in your day, right before dinner might be the trick.

If you don’t have a regular routine or are just trying to do something fast, I’d recommend checking out J&J’s 7 Minute Workout app. You can pick from their programs or design one of your own, and all can be done in less than 30 minutes.

10) Podcasts or Stitcher

Price: Podcasts is free on iPhone; Sticher is free on iPhone, Android, Web

Chances are, you’ll have spent most of your day looking at things. Reading on the computer. Watching slides on the projector. Scanning news on your phone. So when you leave work, you should strengthen one of your other senses, such as your listening comprehension. It’s an underdeveloped skill — especially in adults — but it can have huge a huge on our professional and personal lives.

If you want to strengthen your listening skills, try playing a few podcast episodes on your phone on your commute home. If you have an iPhone, you have a Podcasts app already built in. Otherwise, you can access them through Stitcher.

Want some show recommendations? Read this blog post for a few of our favorite business-related podcasts to listen to.

podcasts.png

11) Grid Diary or Journey

Price: Free with premium options on iPhone; Journey is Free on Android, Chrome App

Many might think that journaling is just a teenage pastime … but it has many benefits for people of any age.

If you don’t love the idea of actually penning your ideas and experiences to paper, you can use Grid Diary or Journey. Both allow you to not only capture written recaps of your day, but also add photos to your entries. Plus, they both have built-in prompts — so even on the most hectic of days, you can distill some insights for your future self.

12) Sleep Genius

Price: $4.99 on iPhone; Free with in-app purchases on Android

Finally. You’ve made it through the day and kept yourself productive all the way through. You take a moment to celebrate … but then realize that tomorrow’s to-do list is already jam-packed. You need a good night’s sleep, and you need it now.

Sleep Genius might be the cure. The app has built-in relaxation techniques and gentle alarms to wake you up at a natural moment in your sleep cycle, helping make sure you feel rested come morning.

After all, if you’re feeling sluggish the next day, even the best apps might not be effective. (But that cup of coffee might do the trick.)

What are your favorite productivity tools for different times of day? Share with us in the comments.

get a free inbound certification

Source: Ginny Soskey | @gsosk

Can You Really Make Money on Social Media?

laptop_screenshotNow more than ever people are looking for ways to make money online. So, can you really make money on social media? We are here to tell you that, Yes, It is possible. You have to be committed to the process, but there are actually real Paid Social Media Jobs out there! Don’t give up.

Although there are many ways to develop online profits, it was important that we feature one of the better ways of making an online income through social media on our site. This way, we are able to tell you first hand that it works.

Pay_pal_screenshot1Read more, if you are truly committed to learning more about how you can really make money on social media Click Here!

How to Send Someone A Gift On Facebook

facebook-gifts

People are born everyday, so there is always a reason to celebrate…right?! Well, it just so happens that on this day someone I love was born so I couldn’t think of a better way to send them my gratitude. When you are far away from loved ones, this is an exciting and very modern way to extend your love or thanks. In doing so I gathered that there may be some folks who are like me and didn’t know exactly how to do so. Here is what I have found:

Facebook, which introduced “friending” as a verb, has, by sheer volume, inundated us all with a new one, “gifting.” There are multiple ways to give gifts this holiday season using Facebook.

Facebook closed its official “Gift Shop” in 2010, and it has recently brought it back into the official fold, with a new twist. You can access Facebook gifts from the Facebook App Centeror by going to Facebook.com/Gifts Click the big green “Give a Gift” button.

Get a Quote on a VA Home Loan. PreQualify for $0 Down up to $417K!
1) Enter Any Phone Number. 2) Find Name, Profiles, Pics & More
Enter His Email Address. Find Pics & Profiles From 70+ Social Networks

Image_Someone_I_LoveJust choose a friend. Then choose a gift. Pay now or later. You can keep your gifting private or share the news on your Timeline. You can also send a card along with the gift. Your Facebook friend will be notified about the gift just as they would be if you wrote them a message — via their phone, email or Facebook page. Facebook said it has hundreds of gifts to choose from such as a digital gift card from Starbucks.

Similarly, Facebook announced a coming soon feature to make charitable contributions with 11 non-profit partners, including the American Red Cross, the Boys and Girls Club of America and Livestrong. Each time you buy a charitable Facebook Gift, you have the option of choosing a non-profit recipient or letting your friend you’re gifting choose – a new twist on making a charitable contribution in the name of in lieu of a gift.

A secondary goal of gifts — beyond raising money — is to spread awareness of the work of non-profit organizations. However, as is usually the case, sometimes the best uses of a platform’s capabilities are found from third-party developers, such as Giftwhip, or two mobile apps: Treater and Wrapp.

With Treater, the list of gifts that can be instantaneously redeemed with a smartphone grows to include games of bowling, movie tickets and spa treatments. All users need to gift a Sweet Treat or Good Grub item is a Facebook account. The gifting process starts with picking the recipient from your friend list. Pick the item you wish to send and pay the item’s listed price with a credit card. There’s a $.50 processing fee for items below $5 and a $.99 fee for gifts under $19.99. All items that cost more than $20 will incur a 6% processing fee. A public Facebook prompt will alert the recipient of the gift. Friends can also include a personal message along with the notice. To claim the gift, the recipient can show the cashier the “Treat Card” sent to their smartphone.

For Android or iPhone devices, Wrapp will send free gift cards to your favorite friends, posting directly to their Facebook Wall. What makes this app different from others is its calendar function, which automatically pulls birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, new moves and other reasons to celebrate directly from Facebook. The variety of Wrapp gifts makes it an app you can use for everyone you have to shop for, including gift cards from retailers like H&M, Zappos, SpaFinder, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Sephora, Gap, Office Depot, Threadless and more. The Wrapp news feed updates you as to when your gift is received and redeemed, ensuring your Wall post is seen by its intended audience.

What makes this app even more fun is the collection of gift cards you can amass from your friends in your Wallet, making redemption easy without having to print a gift certificate. Wrapp gift cards can be redeemed in person at some retail stores and online. Funds from your gift card are available immediately upon receipt, so there is no need for your recipient or you to delay the benefits of being a Wrapp user.

Image_Like_Us_On_Facebook

Hopefully, you have gained value from this article and will use Facebook gifting the next go round! When you do, be sure to send us a snap shot of your fun gifting experience on Facebook.

Source: facebook.com

10 TIPS FOR A KILLER FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGE

10 Killer Tips for a Facebook Business Page

One of the exciting things about having a successful blog is the community engagement with the supporters on Facebook. We love being able to share expert information and tips from a variety of contributing editors. This week someone shared notes about a Facebook Business Page training that we’re going to call the 10 Killer Tips For a Facebook Business Page. We could all use help with social media so, we should make the most of it.

Check out Peg Fitzpatrick’s tips on “Easy ways to supercharge your Facebook Business Page

Peg Fitzpatrick Blog Easy Ways to Supercharge your Facebook Page

Photo credit: Peg Fitzpatrick Blog

Here are our notes:

1. Make a nice timeline cover photo using a free graphic site and tell who you are, what you’re about, and include pictures there as well about any promos or upcoming events. Check out this example: https://www.facebook.com/kermitoliverrealty/ Notice the professional backdrop photo and icon.

2. Make sure on your MAIN Facebook Page under the “about” section, you are actually linking your biz Facebook Page under the “work” section.

3. Use the big search bar at the top of FB and search something like “pages liked by fans of….” I typed in “wine & fundraising” and found a bunch of local FB groups to join that I didn’t know about.

4. This one is KEY. Overly promotional posts will get LESS priority in News Feed. The FB algorithm will not make your posts visible if they are purely promotional. Best practices ~ posts that are REAL, PERSONAL, HAVE VALUE, and are SIMPLE. Post personal pix too, and non professional pix – ones you take with your cell phone, not always from social sharables – and even post a quick video ~ people like to buy from real people!!! And the funny quotes and wine memes that we often post here are great too.

5. If you follow fellow CEO’s biz pages, always like and try to comment – what drives a posts reach is engagement via likes, shares, & comments.

These tips were shared with the community from my company, however they will work for any consultant regardless of your social selling biz.

If you don’t have a Business page, click here for instructions on how to set up a Facebook Business Page.

Round up of Facebook for Business Tips:

6. How to set up and get your page noticed (with video!)

7. The ultimate checklist for a kick-ass Facebook Business Page

8. 50 Questions you can use to engage with your Audience

9. Did you know you can add apps to your facebook business page? Check out this helpful post for adding apps and graphics to your page.

10. You don’t have to go it alone. Did you know that you can share the task of daily posts and updates with a colleague or friend. Sharing the workload can be increasingly fun and add massive exposure to your page. Assign someone to an administrative role to help with edits or to moderate by going to settings under page roles. You can assign the amount of control for each share.

We have lots of work ahead of our own and we’re excited to see our Facebook business page engagement grow! Do you have a FB business page for your business? Comment, tweet @thesparklepage or tag us so we can check it out and show our support.

7 Amazingly Simple Reasons Why You Need A Social Media Consultant Now


Social media has become one the most effective ways for individuals and most businesses to generate tons of traffic to a website by reaching out to their target audience on a regular basis.

Some of those incredible leads and engagements turn into the purchases of products or services for individuals and businesses, and rightly so.

Interestingly, according to a Pew Research Center report, as of January 2014, 74 percent of total Internet users are on social networking sites  and the number is steadily skyrocketing.

When you consider the amazingly big chunk of potential customers that are on these platforms, you can understand and appreciate  why brands are going crazy about social media.

In fact, it has become a necessity for many individuals and companies to have a solid presence on all the major social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

No wonder a recent American Express survey found that hiring a social media expert trumps accountant as the most helpful new hire.

Unfortunately though, even with a new hire, juggling and managing different social media accounts on so many social media platforms successfully, is not for the faint-hearted.

However, you definitely need to get off on the right foot on your social media management, or you could do more harm than good to your reputation and that of your brand.

Therefore, in this article, I will share with you, 7 insanely HUGE advantages or benefits of outsourcing your social media management to a qualified professional agency. Here we go!

Advantages or Benefits Of Outsourcing Your Social Media Management

As you consider each of these advantages of outsourcing your social media management, think candidly and sincerely on how these benefits of social media can skyrocket your overall marketing campaigns and boost your profits.

Let that marinate a little bit.

#1. Outsourcing Social Media Management Saves You Money

When you outsource your social media marketing management to a professional agency, you save money by getting rid of the costs associated with hiring and training new team members. Not only that, you don’t have to worry about payroll and related costs.

Interestingly, traditional methods of marketing that used to get results are not getting any traction in the age of social media. Companies and individuals that spent lots of money on telephone book ads are getting better results when they channel such resources to outsourced social media marketing.

It costs a company money and reputation of the brand when non-professionals are allowed to take on the important task of promoting and engaging with your prospects and customers.

#2. Social Media Management Is HUGE, But For Most, It Is Not A Full-Time Job

If you run a big corporation, or a multinational company, you may justify the cost of managing or running your own social media in-house. Since most companies are small, devoting 5-20 hours a week on such account may be all it takes to manage the social media interactions successfully on different platforms.

You may be inclined to think that you can get away with adding those few hours and social media management to your existing employee’s duties.

Please keep in mind that delegating the all important responsibility of managing your social media accounts to an employee who already has other responsibilities could actually do you more harm than good.

On the hand, an effective outsourced social media management strategy can ridiculously boost your brand awareness.

As you increase your brand awareness, you skyrocket your revenues while saving money in the whole process.

In addition, outsourcing your social media management, makes it possible for you to get the hours and experience you need without breaking the bank.

#3. Outsourcing Social Media Management Gives You More Time

A major and obvious advantage of outsourcing your social media management is that it saves you a lot of time. Since most business owners are involved in all aspects of their business, outsourcing their social media frees up more time for them to devote on their core business.

By outsourcing your social media management, you can make your in-house team amazingly more efficient since the saved time allows them to focus on the main tasks you hired them for.

These extra hours add up pretty quickly and the business owner can use them in concentrating on what he loves – the core competencies of his business.

#4. Social Media Management Agencies Have Experience

The invaluable expertise you can get from a social media management professional agency or social media consultant, cannot be over emphasized. When you work with a professional social media agency, you have access to their insight, knowledge and years of social media marketing experience that is transferable to your business.

Additionally, a social media management company has tons of clients from whom it had professional working knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.

Therefore, as tempting as it is to assign social media management duties to your interns or college kids, keep in mind that this is a professional business marketing strategy. It can’t be delegated to a college kid with no social media experience.

Since this is business communication that we’re talking about, it is better left to a professional social media management team.

Yes! I want MORE INFORMATION on a Social Media Management Agency: [powr-button id=d297a2a8_1492819105536]

#5. It Is The Fastest Way to Grow Your Team

As an individual or a small business, outsourcing your social media gives you with instant access to skilled manpower. Further more, there are many social media management tools that allow you and your team to work together in your social media campaigns.

By taking advantage of experienced social media professionals, you can grow your awesome team incredibly fast.

#6. Outsourced Social Media Management Helps You Embrace New Technologies

New technology is being developed all the time, and the social media landscape in particular is not an exception in rapid development.

For instance, in the past 6 months alone, you might have noticed the arrival of three new video/broadcasting platforms:

Periscope – Periscope lets you explore the world through the eyes of somebody else. It was bought by Twitter a few months ago for $100 million and it is changing the social media landscape in a huge way.

Meerkat – Meerkat is a mobile app that enables users to do live video streaming through their mobile device. Once signed up, Meerkat users have the option of connecting their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Then you’ve got Blab.

Blab  Ever wanted to convene your own grand council on any topic that tickles your fancy? Blab is a platform where four people can video chat at the same time while an audience watches and comments. The person watching and commenting can easily and instantly switch places with one of the four on the video chat.

Now, add those networks to the six or seven main social platforms, plus all the messenger apps (which are social platforms), then add email inboxes and am sure you’re getting the picture.

So you can appreciatively understand why an experienced social media management agency that keeps abreast of cutting edge technologies will help you and your company in navigating successfully through the latest developments of the online world.

#7. You Get Increased Posting Speed

Since the internet is open 24/7, your dedicated outsourced social media management agency can help you to engage with your customers a bit faster. In addition, since your outsourced team is on a different time zone, you’re always on-mode, making it ridiculously easy to reach out to your prospects or customers.

Outsourcing makes it easy to send your messages faster.

As you publish your content at a faster rate, you gain more re-tweets and shares faster through your outsourced agency. This makes it mind blowingly easy for your fans to interact and share your contents with their peers. It also increases the rate at which they re-share your content.

The beauty of this is that more people get to read your posts more, in less time.

How You Can Find Successful Content Ideas for Your Small Business

Some of the small businesses we work with are mainly local plumbers, electricians, doctors, and HVAC technicians. The goal of any agency is to make our clients happy, which often entails getting high keyword rankings for service-related keywords like these:

  • Plumber [insert City Name Here]
  • Bathroom Plumbing [insert City Name Here]
  • Electrical Service [insert City Name Here]
  • Air Conditioning Repair [insert City Name Here]

When organizing SEO, we have learned it is not all about keyword rankings; it is about the traffic generated from keyword targeting and the resulting high rankings in the SERPs.

If you find yourself in need of a way to generate content ideas, it’s likely that one of two scenarios has come to fruition:

  • You are not ranking for your client’s desired keywords, and need traffic now so you can report some good news.
  • You have achieved your client’s keyword ranking goals, but your traffic has started to stagnate, and you need to increase it.

Regardless of which scenario applies to you, following this four-step process should help:

Step #1: Carefully examine your industry for relevant broad terms

Take a broad view of your industry.

uaGbx6u.png

Keywordtool.io gives you a list of related and suggested searches for terms. This will give you a very long and thorough list of very broad “unfinished” topics you can pick and choose to consider writing about.

Step #2: Put each word in Keywordtool.io

We like this technique because it’s the first step of creating objective content, meaning these are topics you can be assured real people have searched for. So, whatever content you choose to create, you understand the purpose is to create something that is going to help your customers.

5rhs7Zn.png

In this example, we pull a broad term from my table under electricians. The term we use is “light switch.”

Naturally, because this is a broad term, you are going to get a huge list of suggested searches. Go through this list and pick out the terms you think will get searches or that seem like a FAQ type of query.

Near the middle, we pull the suggested search term by focusing on “light switch feels warm” or “light switch feels hot.” This one looks like a winner, and we are confident that it is something everyday people search for if they suspect a problem with their electrical wiring.

You can take this a step further by taking the longer suggested term you just discovered and putting it into Keywordtool.io.

nkBjonN.png

The second group of results gives me more detailed suggestions.

So, if we were to create a blog post that focuses on the topic “light switch feels warm,” we would want to include these longer keyword terms in our post:

  • Light switch feels hot
  • My light switch feels warm to touch
  • Light switch plates feels warm

Step #3: Examine the competition

At this point, you have an interesting idea to write about, or multiple ideas if you enjoy thinking ahead. Now we are going to run our searches through Google to examine the competition of the long-tail keyword content idea we are considering.

When you are read these articles returned by the search, here are some considerations you should pay attention to:

Step #4: Solve the problem people have with a better blog

Call on your content person (or team) to write an even better article composed of all the elements you think make the other post(s) successful.

We have found instant success using this method to rewrite service pages as well. Every successful, high-ranking post has something other articles fail to mention. Make this the starting point for your new post.

Attempt to best the competition’s posts in every way, paying special attention to include these elements in your content:

  • Better copy
  • More informative graphics
  • Data that supports main points

Results

As a result of following the four-step process described in this post, I have experienced a good amount of success, and my site’s organic traffic shows it.

hzqCSvH.png?1

The traffic shown here was for a blog post that I created using the same process.

Warning: Don’t neglect on-page optimization

As many of you know, Google’s search results don’t always display your page titles like you have written them. Sometimes, if your long-tail keyword phrase is mentioned in the content piece, Google will show that phrase instead of the designated page title. Therefore, it’s important to ensure you optimize the following on-page elements:

  • URL structure
  • Page titles
  • Content
  • H1s and H2s

The two images below are from the same content piece, but show up differently in two separate queries.

vsAvoDQ.png?1This search result displays the page title designated

toShbKm.png?1

This one shows the the H2 designated for the piece

Conclusion

We’ve walked you through the rough outline of the process used to create content. We hope this strategy will be of great help to you, too, especially if your goal is to regularly create content on a limited budget.

Credit: Wells Yu

VANITY BLOG

Skip to toolbar