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Can Social Media and Project Management Go Hand in Hand?

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If you’re in charge of a work project or oversee a portfolio, at some point you’ll have to share your findings and that’s where it can get tricky. Many companies are leaning on cloud technology, but what if you want a more social aspect than making a few more people viewers in Google Drive? While the cloud is an excellent source for data sharing, when it comes to management and presentation, you need a little more.

Start by choosing a system that prioritizes project and portfolio management so you can get the structure down. However, don’t forget about social media when it comes to sharing and encouraging discussion. There’s a time and place for boring meetings, but there’s also a time for injecting some fun into the mix and social media can help. Here are a few easy ways to use social media in project/portfolio management starting now:

1. Practice good thread management

People naturally want to comment on social media so use this to your advantage. If you’ve been struggling when it comes to getting everyone in the group involved in the conversation, social media can level the playing field. Some people are simply more comfortable contributing in a familiar online forum while others can dominate real life conversations in meetings. It’s your job to practice good thread management techniques so everyone’s voice is heard.

2. Keep it private

There are many ways to keep things private on social media whether it’s with a special group or an event invitation. Check out the privacy options for the platform you’re using and make sure only key people are invited to participate. This also offers a sense of exclusivity which can promote more participation.

3. Choose the right platform

Don’t assume that Facebook is your only option because it all depends on what the project is. Maybe Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ or a lesser known SM platform is a better fit for your company or project. Do your research and choose wisely.

4. Don’t let SM replace all communication

Except in some instances such as if participants are peppered around the world, don’t forget about regular “Real life” check-ins, too. Social media is one of many tools for managing projects and helping with work, but face to face (without a screen) is important, too.

If you’re getting ready to take your project to the next level, putting it in a realm that people are familiar with and enjoy can help greatly.

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The Social Media Prenup: Do You Really Need One?

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Visit a legal document site and you’re apt to find just about anything. But an item that’s becoming increasingly popular of late is the social media prenup.

It’s a document couples sign that dictates what they can and can’t post, tweet, or share about each other. ABC News recently picked up on the trend, and pointed out that saying what a person can’t do can be a risky move.

Is it really necessary and, more important, what’s at the core of its popularity?

Critics suggest that a couple that needs such an agreement probably has bigger issues, but people say the same about folks who draw up “regular” prenups. While it’s a good idea to have a social media guru at the helm if you’re a business owner, do you really need a legally binding agreement to make sure your significant other tags you only in the most flattering photos?

According to many social media professionals, you might as well save your money and exercise basic courtesy.

Be nice on social media

Most people know when a photo isn’t flattering, but they’ll usually tag it anyway. In other cases, a person may look at him- or herself in a photo and doesn’t think about it from anyone else’s perspective.

Consider it from that aspect before you post no-makeup pics, swimsuit photos, or a first photo of the morning shot, no matter who it is. If you wouldn’t want it done to you, don’t do it to someone else. Too often, people forget to observe the golden rule on social media.

The same thing goes for posting private information, even if you don’t explicitly name the person. People aren’t stupid, and they can infer (correctly or not) a lot of things from your “cryptic” comments.

Keep your personal life to yourself, don’t air your dirty laundry, and remember that screen shots ensure that once something’s online, it’s there for good.

Keep emotions in check

Posting while angry or frustrated can lead you into a lot of trouble. Keep your fights offline, and remember that your sense of humor won’t necessarily appeal to everyone.

You might come off as rude, childish, or immature, and you drag other people into your personal life. Even if you apologize online, you’ll mainly be putting cracks in the foundation of your relationship for all to see, and providing free entertainment.

It’s unfortunate that people have perceived a need for a social media prenup, but it’s not Mt. Everest: You don’t have to obtain it just because it’s there.

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last update: July 26, 2014

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Content Marketing In 2014: 4 Tips For Success

Content-Marketing

As 2014 rolls on, business owners want to know which Internet marketing strategies they should be using to increase conversion rates and expand their customer base. While there are a variety of strategies to accomplish this objective, content is still king in the world of online advertising.

This being the case, businesses interested in experiencing continual growth and expansion in the online world should remind themselves that interesting, informative content has to be integral to their strategic plan. Here are four tips to make your content great (and therefore more marketable).

1. Keep your content scannable

As noted by Nielsen Norman Group, the majority of Internet users do not read the articles they pull up in their entirety. Instead, they scan.

Since readers prefer content that’s “scannable,” business owners who want to market their blog posts and articles effectively should ensure that they can be skimmed for the information the reader wants. There are several strategies you can employ to make your content scannable, including headers, bullets, and numbered lists.

2. Include videos

Videos have become tremendously popular on the Internet. Clearly, more and more people are accessing them.

Video Brewery has commented on some of comScore’s significant findings regarding online engagement with videos. For example, 45% of Internet users view a minimum of one online video per month.

Additionally, the average Internet user sees about 32.2 videos per month. Numerous people have stated that videos help them make more informed purchasing decisions, so business owners who want to make their content marketable should think about including links to descriptive videos with their content.

3. Use catchy titles

One of the most effective content marketing strategies that business owners can use to attract the attention of potential customers is catchy titles. There are a variety of things that can be done to make a title catchy, such as putting it in question format.

In citing the efficacy of this strategy, Mashable referenced Huffington Post’s ingenious article title “What Time Is the Super Bowl?” In addition to posing meaningful questions and reeling readers in by suggesting you will provide a useful and accurate answer, other catchy title ideas include the use of words such as “secret” and “how to” in your headline.

4. Be substantive

Although many readers are interested in being entertained by content, most are primarily concerned about obtaining the information they’re looking for. As noted by Supple Solutions in its article ”Insights to the Future of Digital Marketing,” research indicates that 78% of people who use the Internet do so to conduct product research.

Since this is the case, making your blog posts and/or articles informative is still key to ensuring that your content is marketable.

Summing it all up

This year, content marketing remains one of the most effective methods of Internet advertising to catch and keep the attention of prospective customers. If you’re a business owner, it’s important for you to expand your operations in the online world by implementing proven techniques that take your content from good to great.

By integrating some or all of the aforementioned tricks into your company’s strategic Internet marketing plan, you will likely find yourself gathering more and more attention from your target audience.

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Searching for Tech Support Leads to Scams

If you were a hacker and created a site to obtain sensitive information, what sort of site would it be? According to computer experts, the most popular type of site is one devoted to tech support, because consumers instinctively trust such companies. tech support

There are certainly hundreds of legitimate tech support companies out there, so how can you distinguish a scam site from a real one? You certainly shouldn’t assume the top search results are the most reputable.

Kevin Boynton is the owner of a Richmond-based computer repair company. He says, “I get calls all the time from people saying ‘they took my money, I let them into my computer and they said they fixed all the problems and if I have any more problems, give them a call back but then they didn’t fix my problem.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, these people never get another reply. If you’re looking for a reputable tech support company, read reviews, talk to a live person, and get those testimonials.

The biggest niche

According to Boynton, the most common scams happen when consumers are looking for help with computers, not more complex tech help. “They see a phone number that says call us now for support, and they think okay.”

Many of these consumers never bother to do their research; they blindly trust what might be a marketing scam. “They will answer the phone as HP Support, but they are going to give you a hard sale and they are going to try to talk you into buying some sort of support,” Boynton warns.

Somewhat on the plus side, many of these scam artists are “just” out for your money and are not seeking to install malicious software on your computer. If you’re looking for a technician to actually repair your computer, be wary of any high pressure sales.

While this may not be illegal, it’s an iffy business model that indicates they don’t put the customer first. Plus, you can always challenge credit card purchases if you didn’t agree to the purchase.

Bigger fish in the sea

On the other hand, some sites are indeed designed strictly to steal your information. These probably won’t turn up among the top Google search results, but some companies do a great job of manipulating search engine optimization (SEO) for short periods of time to get higher rankings and attract potential victims.

If a “support company” is actually doing something illegal, they’ll be caught soon enough, but possibly not in time to save you. Your best move is to trust your gut, do your homework, and rely on real reviews.

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Gnip is the Latest Twitter Acquisition

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Gnip and Twitter had been playing nicely for a long time, but much like a twin that swallows its sibling in the womb, it was time for Twitter to acquire Gnip.

The analytics firm had been helping Twitter climb into the black. Apparently it did so well that the social media giant developed the means to purchase its partner. Gnip has a proven reputation for utilizing social media feeds, analyzing them, and then making that information financially useful.

There are four companies that have that level of access to Twitter feeds, the others being WordPress, Tumblr, and FourSquare.

Of course, public sites like Facebook can also get access to this information, so what made Gnip a must-have? Twitter’s VP of Business Development and Platform Jana Messerschmidt said, “Gnip has played a crucial role in collecting and digesting our public data and delivering the most essential Tweets to partners.”

Twitter certainly knows what it’s doing in the realm of all things marketing, but even a social media star can use a little help.

Tweeting deeper

Messerschmidt continued, “We believe Gnip has only begun to scratch the surface. Together, we plan to offer more sophisticated data sets and better data enrichments, so that even more developers and businesses big and small around the world can drive innovation using the unique content that’s shared on Twitter.”

For others who are using Gnip, service will remain the same. They’ll still get complete access to Gnip data, but Twitter will help by expanding how much data is gleaned from social media sites.

Until any expansions are made, Twitter gets to sit back and watch the cash roll in from the surplus of tweets of its user base. Chris Moody, CEO of Gnip, says, “We’ll be able to support a broader set of cases across a diverse set of users, including brands, universities, agencies, and developers big and small. Joining Twitter also provides us access to resources and infrastructure to scale to the next level and offer new products and solutions.”

It seems to be a win-win situation for everyone involved, and that includes stockholders.

Bringing home the bacon

When the acquisition was announced, Twitter’s stock shot up by more than ten percent and Wall Street was all a’twitter. That’s great news for investors and stockholders who have been watching Twitter stock steadily decline since the beginning of the year.

Now, analysts are saying that Twitter has revamped its financial strategy and has what it takes to be a real money-maker someday.

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Why Multimedia is Crucial for Personal Branding

We’ve entered a new era of social media branding, one that thrives on photography and video content. It’s no longer enough to post a simple text tweet online. Social media analytics companies have shown that graphics and video increase engagement. You’ll need to start thinking outside of the box if you expect people to check out what you’re posting. Take a look at how multimedia is turning the tides of social media engagement. gr_multimedia

Visual Insights

With multimedia, your fans and followers get a more intimate look at your experiences. You’re not just giving them insights via text anymore – photos and videos can help capture your environment, demonstrate products, show the mood, and share the total experience. Just take a look at the enormously popular selfie that Ellen DeGeneres took at the Oscars. That single picture, featuring a dozen different celebrity faces, was retweeted over 3 million times as of April 2014. Graphics and videos can help put your followers in your shoes, sharing an exhilarating moment with an audience of millions.

Expanded Creativity

If you are an artistic individual, then you have the opportunity to showcase talents that you normally wouldn’t get to explore on a textual basis. Some people have discovered that they excel at making short Vine posts, ones that fans love to watch and comment on. Just like the YouTube celebrity boom, new voices and faces are becoming well known due to social media platforms like Vine and Instagram. Your favorite social media comedians might be on their way to producing the hottest entertainment in a few years!

Informative Capacity

Some people have a difficult time learning from text. You can appeal to visual and auditory learners by delivering information via multimedia. For example, if you are trying to demonstrate a DIY home improvement technique, it might just be easier to record it, rather than trying to write out each step as a blog post or series of tweets.

Increased Reach

Multimedia posts on Vine, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram usually track higher rates of engagement, including shares, reposts, and comments. This increases your overall reach, which is crucial to your ability to draw in new viewers and get new followers. Multimedia truly helps you build stronger customer relationships.

Multimedia posts are the name of the game in today’s current social media environment. Individual creators and organizations are striving to make their mark with interesting video and graphic posts. Start exploring your creative side, and share your experiences with multimedia!

 

Social Media:

Cleaning Up Your Social Media Act for Job Recruiters

When you’re in school, you might not think twice about posting those pictures of you shot gunning beer in the student dorms. However, it is no secret that job recruiters are scouring the social media profiles of prospective employees to see who they’ll hire or reject. If you plan to search for a job any time soon, you’ll need to put your best foot forward online, and make sure job recruiters see your best qualities.

Privacy Settings First thing’s first: you shouldn’t have to censor yourself just to get a job. However, there are probably some personal posts that you don’t want the public to have access to. Information about where you live, party details, and potentially embarrassing snapshots should be for your friends’ eyes only. You can keep this information away from the public by digging around in your social media privacy settings and securing your posts for friends’ eyes only. Whenever you post news items that might be of interest to the general public (recruiters included), then you can always toggle that post to “public.” Tagged Photos While you might have locked down you own profile, there might be awkward pictures of you on other people’s profiles. For example, old college drinking pictures might be on the pages of your frat brothers or sorority sisters. You can unlink these photos from your account on Facebook by clicking on the “Remove tag” button. Next, contact the person who uploaded it, and ask them to please remove the offending picture. Search Listings There’s a common online culture saying: The Internet never forgets. This is partially true. You might be surprised to see what comes up when you search for your legal name and your old screen names. For example, you might dredge up old blogs, forum posts, and accounts that could send the wrong message to recruiters. Before you actively hit the job listings, make sure that you clean up your search listings by deleting old and unwanted accounts and posts beforehand. Know Your Rights In the U.S., recruiters cannot reject you based on your race, color, sex, religion, national origin, race, age, ability status, sexual orientation, and parent status. So you should not need to hide these things on your social media, because it is illegal for employers to discriminate against people based on these facets of identity. Searching for employment can be a stressful period in your life, but you can make the process much smoother by making sure that your public social media activity does not set off red flags. Use a combination of privacy settings and untagging photos to put your best foot forward. At the same time, make sure you know your rights, since you should never have to suppress your identity for recruiters.

Social Media:

How Technology Has Revitalized the Real Estate Industry

Technology seems to have reached into many different areas of our lives. Closing a deal for a Carlsbad home like this one can be done by connecting with a real estate agent online.

Social media is just one of the new ways that agents are communicating with prospective clients. Let’s take a closer look.

Online social media sites

Advertising a home on social media services is a powerful way to get free advertising. The popular reason for placing a home on a site like Twitter is that it will get re-tweeted between many people.

If a family likes the look of the place, they can re-tweet it to their friends. Now their friends can check it out and tweet it to their friends.

Considering almost 80 percent of people find their home online these days, it’s a pretty sharp idea to post on a social media website. People are nervous about approaching real estate agents, almost as much as they are uncomfortable about talking to a car salesman.

Providing service online has helped some agents reach new customers.

Fetchnotes and real estate

The housing crisis made many Americans wary of trying to purchase a new or used home. The interest rates have gone up and down in recent years and it can be hard for the average consumer to know the best time to buy.

This gives the real estate agent more work to do. More than in the past, an agent can expect to answer a variety of questions and show more properties without necessarily making a sale.

This is where a program such as Fetchnotes comes into play. This software program is designed to help agents organize their notes about certain properties. By creating a “hashtag” of each property, an agent can easily come back to that home when he or she needs to.

To give an example of how this program works, picture a newlywed couple who asks for a four-bedroom home that has skylights. The real estate agent can hop into Fetchnotes and use a hashtag that reads something like #4bed and #skylights.

This will point the agent toward each home in the books that meets both of these criteria. The representative doesn’t need to sift through every listing and look for the keyword “skylights.”

Using email to respond to ads

Many people who search for a home online will either call or email a real estate agent. The agent will ask the buyer a few questions and point the person in the direction he or she needs to go.

A good way for the agent to keep in touch with the buyer is to send out a steady stream of emails about new listings. This will keep the person up to date on what’s available with that agent.

Some real estate reps can get carried away with free email marketing, though. It’s important to send only a few emails, evenly spread out over time.

Clearly, technology is changing the way people do things in the real estate industry. Keeping up with the times requires the use of a computer, and you should consider the risks with sending out real estate emails.

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