Blog Archive

Did you know that your biggest advocates have the fewest followers? Did you know that photos drive engagement, or that if you’re a brand, you have less than 1 hour to respond?

 

The following infographic and companion text gives some interesting social media statistics. And even though we’re awash with stats, everyone seems to love a new tidbit that helps us better understand the social media landscape and increase our reach among friends, neighbors, and colleagues. The following actionable stats are simple and can help you share in a more timely fashion with more effectiveness on social media.

 

1408660282-10-surprising-things-should-know-social-media-infographic

10 Surprising Social Media Facts

1) Your biggest advocates have the fewest followers. Fewer than 1/10 mentions will come from power users.

2) Twitter has 6 distinct communication networks.

  • Polarized Crowds (i.e.: Politics or divisive topics_
  • Tight Crowds (i.e.: Hobbies of professional topics)
  • Brand Clusters (i.e.: Brands, public events, or trends)
  • Community Clusters (i.e.: Global news events)
  • Broadcast Networks (i.e.: Media outlets, or famous individuals)
  • Support Networks (i.e.: Companies or services w/ customer support)

3) Marketers say written content trumps visuals:

  • 58% Original written content
  • 19% Original visual assets
  • 12% Original videos
  • 10% Curation of other people’s content
  • 2% Original audio content

4) You have <1 hour to respond on Twitter: 53% of those tweet at a brand expect a response within the hour.

5) Late night is the best time for retweets.

6) Fridays are Facebook’s best day for engagement

7) Photos drive engagement on Facebook pages (75% of page updates are photos)

8) Facebook, Pinterest, & Twitter drive the most traffic.

9) Aim for 28, 118, or 385 interactions per post (it depends on your total fans.)

10) There’s a best day for everything on Pinterest:

  • Mondays: Fitness
  • Tuesdays: Technology
  • Wednesday: Quotes
  • Thursdays: Fashion
  • Fridays: Humor
  • Saturdays: Travel
  • Sundays: Food, Crafts

Source
References

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these:

15 Statistics That Prove You Need Mobile Email Optimization
Social Networks: The Key To Business Growth
Rookie Social Networking Failures and How to Avoid Making Them
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Growing Your Business Through Email Marketing

This article is provided here for your own information and inspiration by:

The Sherwood Group, located in Santa Clarita, California, a planned community just outside Los Angeles, has over 30 years of experience working with the growth challenges presented by companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, through every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years after it was designed.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

I don’t know about you, but when I get an email on my phone and have to squint my eyes to try and make out the words, I hit delete. The emails I’m deleting aren’t spammy, unpersonalized messages — they’re just poorly optimized for mobile. And I’m not the only person who does this.

 

email optimization image

In fact, at the time of this post, 49% of poll participants on LifeHacker voted that out of the emails they receive each day, only 25 or fewer of them were spam. That was the smallest bucket that the 3,304 voters (thus far) could choose from.

If only a small portion of emails received each day is actually spam, that means you have a chance to actually compete for attention in a user’s inbox. And your mobile readiness may just be what makes or breaks you.

These 15 stats explain why.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out these:

Why Your Website/Blog Content Must Contain Tangible Quality and Value
Social Networks: The Key To Business Growth
Rookie Social Networking Failures and How to Avoid Making Them
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Growing Your Business Through Email Marketing

This article is provided here for your own information and inspiration by:

The Sherwood Group, located in Santa Clarita, California, a planned community just outside Los Angeles, has over 30 years of experience working with the growth challenges presented by companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, through every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years after it was designed.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

Many content writers feel they are providing unique content and don’t understand why their websites still aren’t ranking well in the major search engines. Here’s how creating unique content can help you change all that.

 

unique content image

The problem might possibly be that the content may not be providing a “unique value”. Let’s look at ways the importance of unique content lies in the quality and value.

How Does Google View Quality or Unique Content?

Even though web content should not be written simply to please search engines, it is critical that content writers clearly understand Google’s Quality Guidelines-Basic Principles, which include:

  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  • Don’t deceive your users.
  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
  • Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field

So, Just What Is Quality/Unique Content?

The short answer would be that quality content is any content that people want to read because it helps or entertains them. If you are delivering content that tells people how to do something or where to find something, you’re right on target. Unique content gets passed around in blog posts or in the break room. It gets quoted, linked to, and shared.

Unique Content Is All About Building Relationships

Your primary goal in creating unique content must be to build trust and credibility. It should not be about selling something. Your blog posts must not be product brochures. They must provide a way to attract and connect with your target audience. The selling comes after you have gained their trust.

Quality content is constantly being re-defined by the consumer. To effectively deliver unique content you must get to know your audience. What are their interests? What questions are they asking? Remember, in the eyes of major search engines, unique content is content that answers peoples’ questions. Search engines share what other people are sharing.

Unique Content Must Answer People’s Questions

You might think at first that this can best be solved with keywords, but not really. Today, keywords can be more of a hindrance. Why? Because many content creators are misusing them to the point where major search engines don’t really know what a page is about. To complicate things, people don’t always use the right keywords to ask a question. The answer to this problem lies in delivering blog and web pages that provide the richest user experience.

Contact us today to learn more about creating unique content and delivering the right message on your website.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

Social Networks: The Key To Business Growth
Rookie Social Networking Failures and How to Avoid Making Them
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Growing Your Business Through Email Marketing

This article is provided here for your own information and inspiration by:

The Sherwood Group, located in Santa Clarita, California, a planned community just outside Los Angeles, has over 30 years of experience working with the growth challenges presented by companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, through every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years after it was designed.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

Search engines are the backbone of everyday Internet use, but are you aware of the hidden tips and tricks available to improve your search and become a Google power user? These pointers will save you Googling “how to Google”.

 

Thanks to WhoIsHostingThis.com for compiling this Infographic:

How to be a google power user infographic

Google Search Operators (This is the text from the above Infographic.)

Here’s how to get the most out of your everyday Google searches:

Search exact phrases

“search” if you’re looking for an exact phrase, use quotation marks.

Example: “let them eat cake”

Exclude a word

Add a hyphen before a word to exclude a search term. This is useful if you are searching for a word with several meanings.

Example: inception -movie

Search within a site

Site: Get results from certain domains.

Example: recipes site:theguardian.com

Search similar

Related: Find sites with similar content to a URL you already know.

Example: related:visuall.ly

Search for words in text

allintext: find pages where the all terms appear in the text.

Example: allintext: holidays hot bargain

intent: Find pages where the one term appears in the text, and other terms appear elsewhere in the document (e.g. title or URL)

Example: john lennon intext:liverpool

Search for words in title

allintitle: Find pages whose title contains all words in the search.

Example: allintitle: the big lebowski review

Find pages whose title contains a particular word in the title, with other tens appearing elsewhere in the document (e.g. in the text or URL)

Example: flu shot in title:help

Search for works in URL

allinurl: Find pages with the search query mentioned in the URL.

Example: allinurl: bbd news

Find news related to a particular location

location: Use this on Google News to find stories coming from a particular location.

Example: prince george location: auckland

Search for a particular file type

filetype:suffix -Google will restrict results to pages that end in suffix.

Example: annual report 2014 filetype:pdf

Search for a number range

..: Separate numbers by two periods to see results that contain numbers in the given range

Example: dslr $300..$500

Wildcard

An asterisk works as a wildcard, and helps you find the missing word in a phrase.

Example: there is a * they never goes *

Either word

If you want to find pages with one of several words, use a capitalized OR. Without OR, results would show pages that include all the terms.

Example: olympics 2013 OR 2016

Aside from the examples above, Google doesn’t usually recognize punctuation and grammar. However, punctuation and symbols that do work in Google search include:

+ when searching for things such as blood type
@ when searching for social tags
& when searching for strongly connected ideas and phrases
% when searching for percent values
$ when searching for prices
# when searching for trending topics that use hashtags
– when searching for words that are strongly connected

Google Search Features

Google also has a few special search features that will help you find what you’re looking for, faster:

Weather <city>
Example: weather brooklyn

Stock Quotes
Example: APPL

Current Time: time <city>
Example: time melbourne

Sports Scores <team name>
Example: manchester united

Calculator <equation>
Example: 92*4

Sunrise & Sunset Times: sunset<city>
Example: sunset honolulu

Conversions: <amount unit 1> to <unit 2>
Example: 10 miles to km

Dictionary: define <term>
Example: define jingoism

Translations: translate <word> to <language>
Example: translate pommel to english

Film Showings: movies <postcode>
Example: movies 90210

Flight Statuses: <flight number>
Example: BA 117

Package Tracking: <tracking number>
Example: 1Z5615289351136446

Besides using search terms, Google also offers you a host of other ways to search:

Google Search Tricks: A useful app for enhancing your Google searches and getting the most from the search engine.

Google Images: Lets you search for images related to a particular word or phrase. You can also upload or link to an image to find more about it, or similar images.

Google Goggles: Lets you search the Web using your mobile phone’s camera instead of words. Simply take a picture of the item you want to search for, and look at the results.

Google Trends: Lets you explore trending search topics on Google and see what other people are searching for.

Google Scholar: Lets you search for these, abstracts and articles.

For most, Google is already an incredibly useful resource, but by following these tricks and tips, you can transform it into your most valuable research tool.

Sources:

Search Operators: support.google.com
All tips and tricks: google.com
What did the world search for in 2013: google.co.uk
Search Features: google.com
Google Developers: code.google.com
GoogleGuied: making searching even easier: googleguide.com

Thanks to http://WhoIsHostingThis.com for the attached Infographic.

If you enjoyed these ads, you may also want to check out these:

Social Networks: The Key To Business Growth
Rookie Social Networking Failures and How to Avoid Making Them
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Growing Your Business Through Email Marketing

This article is provided here for your own information and inspiration by:

The Sherwood Group, located in Santa Clarita, California, a planned community just outside Los Angeles, California has over 30 years of experience working with the growth challenges presented by clients, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, through every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant in 10-15 years.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

The growth of the internet in terms of active users has brought with it a commensurate proliferation of advertising. This phenomenon has made online advertising a very competitive arena where consumer psychology now plays an increasingly important part.

 

consumer advertising image

Every day more and more people are entering the online advertising arena hoping to capture a tiny sliver of the huge, and an ever-expanding, worldwide market.

To that end, advertisers and copywriters seek advertising inspiration that will result in just the right advertising content. The problem is, most turn to their own creativity for inspiration rather than consumer psychology. What they don’t seem to realize is, creativity in advertising often becomes more about the creator of the advertising than the prospective consumer. And, when you lose focus on the consumer, your results will suffer, and you may never even know it.

Here are three psychological characteristics that are present in virtually all individual and business consumers:

Curiosity

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said:

“There is always a place I can take someone’s curiosity. . . .”

When Tyson said that, he was speaking in the context of education. But the same is true in advertising. People are naturally curious, and the advertiser who triggers that innate curiosity can lead them anywhere. You can do that by creating a headline or other lead-in that arouses curiosity. If you do that, people won’t be able to resist reading the body of your ad, clicking the start button on your video, or clicking through to your sales page.

Selfishness

Most people would be insulted if you implied that they were selfish. But, when it comes to being consumers, the truth is we all are. We all want the best for ourselves, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The question that underlies every decision we’re faced with as consumers is; “What’s in it for me?” So, advertising content, whether it’s textual, photographic, audio, or video should answer that question in some way.

Competitiveness

When it comes to making purchases, we all have a bit of a competitive streak – some of us more than others. That competition is manifested in our desire to get the best deal possible on whatever we’re buying.

Most marketers understand that consumers want the best deal possible, but many mistakenly liken “good deal” to “low price”. For some consumers, that’s true. But for most, a good deal simply means acquiring a product that meets all their needs at a price that they consider to be fair. Of course, fair is in the eye of the beholder, and not all products have a flexible price.

Just remember that people want what they want, and most are willing to pay a fair price for it. Your job as an advertiser is to convey the benefits of the product you’re advertising in such a way that any reasonable price will be seen as fair by the prospective customer. So, when they purchase that product, they’ll see it as a bargain. And that will make them feel as though they’ve won.

By pursuing this lost discipline of advertising inspiration, you’ll tap into a reservoir of ideas that will set your advertising apart from the rest of the crowd in terms of effectiveness.

Is there still room for creativity in advertising? Of course there is, as long as it’s used to convey a customer-focused message, and not just for creativity’s sake.

To learn more about how to improve your advertising, contact The Sherwood Group online or call 661-287-0017.

If you enjoyed these ads, you may also want to check out these:

Social Networks: The Key To Business Growth
Rookie Social Networking Failures and How to Avoid Making Them
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Growing Your Business Through Email Marketing

This article is provided here for your own information and inspiration by:

The Sherwood Group, located in Santa Clarita, California, a planned community just outside Los Angeles, California has over 30 years of experience working with the growth challenges presented by clients, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, through every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant in 10-15 years.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

Thanks to AdWeek Magazine for gathering this inspiring collection of the most watched ads on YouTube in 2013. Clearly they’ve earned our attention through their clever use of universal themes and humor.

 

10 Audi “Prom”

Creative Agency: Venables Bell & Partners
Media: Mediacom
Upload date: 1/24/2013
Views: 10,732,209

9 Volkswagen “Get In. Get Happy”

Creative Agency: Deutsch LA
Media: Mediacom
Upload date: 1/27/2013
Views: 14,740,854

8 RAM “Farmer”

Creative Agency: The Richards Group
Media: Universal McCann Detroit
Upload date: 2/3/2013
Views: 16,609,825

7 Geico “Hump Day”

Creative Agency: Martin
Media: Direct
Upload date: 5/22/2013
Views: 18,569,964

6 Kmart “Ship My Pants”

Creative Agency: Draftfcb
Media: iProspect
Upload date: 4/10/2013
Views: 20,013,129

5 PooPourri.com “Girls Don’t Poop”

Creative Agency: Harmon Brothers
Upload date: 9/10/2013
Views: 20,035,923

4 Pepsi MAX “Test Drive”

Creative Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day
Media: OMD
Upload date: 3/12/2013
Views: 39,551,290

3 Microsoft Internet Explorer “Child of the ’90s”

Creative Agency: Microsoft with Column Five
Media: Starcom MediaVest
Upload date: 1/23/2013
Views: 47,943,975

2 Dove “Real Beauty Sketches”

Creative Agency: Ogilvy Brazil
Media: PHD & Mindshare
Upload date: 4/14/2013
Views: 59,553,696

1 Evian “Baby & Me”

Creative Agency: BETC
Media: Havas Media International
Upload date: 4/19/2013
Views: 66,249,340

If you enjoyed these ads, you may also want to check out these:

The Honda Hands Ad
Canine Domino Effect
Fun Television Advertising at Its Best!
From Love to Bingo in 873 Images
Motel 6 Takes a Trip Through Time
The World’s History in 3 Minutes

This article is provided here for your business success and inspiration by:

The Sherwood Group, located in Santa Clarita, California, a planned community outside Los Angeles, has over 30 years of experience working with the graphic design, website design, and marketing communication challenges presented by clients, small and large. Clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies, through every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). It’s not the size or industry that defines our clients. It’s their mindset–They want quality and service.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

 

Today, over 46% of Internet searches are completed on smart phones and tablets. If your website isn’t responsive and doesn’t automatically resize so it’s easily accessible and readable on mobile devices, you may be losing business.

 

Responsive websites automatically resize for the user's device

What exactly is responsive website design?

A website that is responsive automatically adjusts аnd adapts іtsеlf tо the screen size of any of the dіffеrеnt mobile devices. This is so that the user is provided with аn optimal reading and viewing experience. Assuring that your website is responsive enables users tо easily navigate the contents оf your website and find the information they want whether they come to your website from a computer, a tablet, or smart phone.

Why Bother with Responsive Website Design?

More аnd mоrе users аrе nоw accessing the Internet аnd the mobile Web exclusively vіа their smartphones аnd tablet devices (right now it’s over 46%). Тhіs bеіng thе case, іt bесоmеs уоur duty аs а business owner or marketer tо gіvе уоur mobile users the best роssіblе experience while browsing уоur website.

Mobile users’ behavior іs generally sееn tо bе quite fickle. Тhеу аrе lооkіng fоr quick answers while оn the gо. Yоu will only retain users provided that уоu gіvе equally quick, readable, аnd satisfying answers tо their queries. Іf nоt, they will еnd uр losing interest іn уоu аnd уоur products, еsресіаllу іf уоur website isn’t optimized fоr their device.

Working with Responsive Design

Mobile users usuаllу dо nоt hаvе the time tо leisurely browse уоur entire website. Тhеу аrе visiting уоur site fоr а purpose – tо gеt specific іnfоrmаtіоn, such аs уоur address, phone number оr additional іnfоrmаtіоn rеgаrdіng а product оr service that уоu hаvе tо offer. Gіvіng them the exact іnfоrmаtіоn wіthіn the lеаst роssіblе time іs the trick to converting them іntо loyal customers. The ease оf website navigation іs vital tо help your retain visitors.

Responsive Web Design is the Future of Mobile

Responsive website design іs undoubtedly the future оf mobile and іs оf immense benefit tо bоth you аnd the user. A responsive site eliminates the nееd tо create multiple versions оf your website tо support multiple mobile devices, and a responsive website is lеss expensive іn terms оf design as well as maintenance.

Contact us to learn how your business can benefit from a responsive web design.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

Social Networks: The Key To Business Growth
Rookie Social Networking Failures and How to Avoid Making Them
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Growing Your Business Through Email Marketing

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

Simply creating Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts is a good start for your company on the social networks, but isn’t enough to reap the potential benefits.

 

Social Networks: The key to business growth

Do you have a cohesive business strategy?

International employment firm Staff estimates that 92% of businesses use social media in some capacity—but a global survey conducted by IBM in 2013 found that more than half of midsize companies lacked a cohesive social media strategy.

Here are some tips to help you enjoy more business success through your efforts with the social networks:

LinkedIn Is King

LinkedIn is one of the oldest social networks, having launched in May of 2003. Its 300 million members around the globe are the primary reason every company should use the network as part of its overall social media strategy.

LinkedIn is great for recruiting new employees and generating leads, but there are several other features that can benefit your company. Polls, for example, allow you to conduct targeted research on a specific topic. An original poll with a representative sample size conducted by your company will prompt journalists, marketers and others to cite your research. You can also grow your LinkedIn network by Tweeting the results. Polls, however, must be created via group pages, not your Company page.

The 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by the Social Media Examiner found that 68 percent of marketers plan to increase their use of blogging as a marketing tool. Keep your news feed active by sharing your original blog posts. Keep in mind you’re communicating with a professional network, so make your posts relevant and engaging. Some companies, like LifeLock, post third-party content that relates to their business. Either way, an active news feed will keep your network engaged.

The Google+ Explosion

Unlike LinkedIn, which took several years to catch on after its original launch, Google+ came on like Gang Busters. The company launched its social network in June of 2011 and boasted more than 90 million registered users by the following January. It took Facebook nearly four years to reach similar numbers.

Every company wants to be at the top of Google search results for relevant keywords. Google+ not only helps your overall ranking within the search engine, but your individual posts will also index. Google+ also allows businesses to create links on their intro pages. These links serve two purposes: they help your page get found in searches, and give customers one-click access to your website.

Encourage your employees to set up Google+ accounts and to share the company page. Use tools like Widgets Plus to create a badge for your website so people can “circle” you with one click. Remember, the more people in your circles, the higher your search results will be.

Using Facebook For Customer Service

Facebook has more than 128 million active U.S. users and well over 500 million globally. Facebook business pages create the perfect opportunity to engage directly with customers and get instant feedback.

Create a content calendar that keeps your customers engaged and active. Facebook has a handy feature which you can pre-schedule posts to go live at certain times. This is especially useful for companies that do not have a dedicated social media team. Your Page Insights will give you an idea as to what posts are working and what type of content your customers respond to.

A 2013 study by Dr. Ram Bezawada of the University of Buffalo found that customers who follow a company via social media are five times more likely to buy something than those who do not. The study concluded that social media strengthens the bond between a company and its customers, thus compelling the latter to remain loyal consumers.

Social media is the new word-of-mouth marketing for businesses. The more social media platforms a company utilizes, the more leads and customers they will reach.

 

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business
Rookie Social Networking Failures and How to Avoid Making Them
How to Get Business Referrals at Face-To-Face Networking Events
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Grow Your Business With Email Marketing

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

How many total passwords do you think you have? Five? Ten? Thirty? Now think: How many of the same passwords do you use for entirely different accounts? (Here’s how you can fix that simply and easily.)

 

How to create secure passwords

Using just one or a handful of passwords over and over seems like a simple solution to password security challenges. And who could blame you — from Frequent Flyer numbers to your brother-in-law’s HBO GO account, you’re probably overloaded with too many passwords.

You’re not alone. According to a 2013 study by Ofcom, more than half (55%) of adult internet users admit they use the same password for most, if not all, websites.

Though it is easier to remember, using the same password for all of your accounts makes it incredibly easy for hackers to get into your accounts. And if that one password is too simple, it’s even easier for other people to access your accounts. You can do better — and we’re here to help. Below are some tips for toughening up your password security.

How to Strengthen Your Password and Make it Secure

In October 2013, Adobe experienced a major security breach that affected over 48 million of its users. Here were the 10 most common passwords cracked from Adobe, followed by the number of users who had that password:

  1. 123456 – 1,911,938 users
  2. 123456789 – 446,162 users
  3. password – 345,834 users
  4. adobe123 – 211,659 users
  5. 12345678 – 201,580 users
  6. qwerty – 130,832 users
  7. 1234567 – 124,253 users
  8. 111111 – 113,884 users
  9. photoshop – 83,411 users
  10. 123123 – 82,694 users

(“Password”? Really guys?)

But we can’t make too much fun — ours may not be much better. A truly secure password is still more complex than your license plate number or mom’s maiden name appended with her year of birth. Password strength is a function of length, complexity, and unpredictability. Here are some tips from the experts for making your passwords stronger.

To read more on this topic, and to find out how you can easily create secure passwords, click here.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business
Rookie Social Networking Failures and How to Avoid Making Them
How to Get Business Referrals at Face-To-Face Networking Events
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Grow Your Business With Email Marketing

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In one of his comedy routines, the late George Carlin used to say: “Nail two things together that have never been nailed together before and some schmuck will buy it.”

 

I’m sure Carlin didn’t realize it, but his statement was actually revealing part of the secret to coming up with clever business ideas. If we add one simple phrase to what he said, the secret becomes more clear.

“Nail two things together that have never been nailed together before and, if it delivers value, someone will buy it.”

The trick is attracting enough people for whom this new idea provides value to make the whole enterprise profitable. But that’s a whole other topic. For now, we’re going to talk about how to come up with clever business ideas:

New business ideas don’t necessarily need to involve a completely new product, as Carlin’s quote might suggest to some. In fact, more often than not, profitable new businesses are created around ideas that improve upon some product or service that already exists.

The way to come up with those ideas is to ask questions. But you have to ask the right kinds of questions – questions that spur innovation. Here’s a list of some questions you might ask in relation to your chosen industry or area of interest:

  1. What are some of the rules and assumptions that the industry I’m exploring currently operates under?
  2. What if the opposite were true?
  3. What are the buying criteria of an ideal customer today?
  4. What will be the buying criteria of an ideal customer three to five years down the road?
  5. What are my “unshakable” beliefs about what my prospective customers want?
  6. What could shake those beliefs?
  7. Who might use my product in ways I never anticipated?
  8. How can I use that knowledge to improve existing products or create new ones?

These questions might seem a little nebulous to you, or not quite applicable to your particular industry or area of interest. That’s okay. The list isn’t intended to be all inclusive. Rather, it’s intended to get your own innovative juices flowing so you can start to develop your own questions – questions that are applicable to your industry or area of interest.

As you work on developing your own list of questions, it’s best to:

  1. Do so over an extended period of time rather than in one brainstorming session, although that’s a good place to start.
  2. Keep a list on your mobile device or a small paper notebook that you can carry with you for a few days or weeks, adding questions as they come to you.

Developing these questions will help you to think more outside the box. As you ponder these questions, you’ll begin to imagine and explore business possibilities that may not even exist yet. That’s an exciting prospect.

To learn more about how to come up with creative business ideas, contact us online or call 661-287-0017.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

A Quick Guide to Sparking Conversation Online
Creating for a Living: How to Infuse Your Life and Work with Innovation
How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business
Rookie Social Networking Failures and How to Avoid Making Them
How to Get Business Referrals at Face-To-Face Networking Events
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Grow Your Business With Email Marketing

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?

With literally millions of conversations happening online, it can sometimes be difficult to sort between signal and noise. It can be hard to know which conversation online is important and which may be trivial and a time waster.

 

communication image

If you’re a marketer, it is essential to be skillful in sparking meaningful conversation online and building upon these to ultimately close sales and be do business development deals. Here, we will discuss 3 tips for sparking these conversations.

Find The Pain

First, seek to understand the need or pain-point you are trying to address and help make them understand you have their best interest at hand. Do some research on what’s the biggest issue they are currently having and have some ideas ready to talk about when reaching out. Make it personal to them.

It’s About Them

Remember you are not doing this for YOU right now, put THEIR best interest ahead of you and look out for them. Give them the time of day that you would want if someone were trying to help you. This falls in line with Gary Vaynerchuk’s thoughts <http://garyvaynerchuk.com/>: “give, give, give, give, then ask.” By this time, you will have given them so much value that they almost have to purchase from you.

Honesty Leads to Trust

Be honest with what you are trying to accomplish. Nobody wants to work with flakes, so be 100% YOU and don’t put on a show for anyone. At the end of the day if you don’t know something, be the first one to ask for help. The important thing is to communicate clearly and effectively

By following these guidelines, you can spark conversations that are valuable and fruitful for your clients and for your business.

Please contact us to learn more about tips for communicating online.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

Creating for a Living: How to Infuse Your Life and Work with Innovation
How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business
Rookie Social Networking Failures and How to Avoid Making Them
How to Get Business Referrals at Face-To-Face Networking Events
4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Grow Your Business With Email Marketing

Sign up for our monthly newsletter of the best-of-the-best tips of each month by clicking here!

”Like” us and/or “Follow” us at these social media sites and we’ll return the favor:

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?


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