Any First Time Moms out there? Q&A Sites are the best for help

Have you ever wondered or worried about something that is going on with your pregnancy? What is happening to me? Is this supposed to happen? Why is this happening? You’ve never done this before you have no idea. You feel silly to ask but you need to know if this is normal so you will quit worrying. Well instead of asking a family member or friend who is most likely going to downplay it or just tell you to stop worrying. You can go online for answers on Q & A websites. Other moms who may be first time moms going through the same thing or moms who have had multiple pregnancies  are going to give you their experiences or honest truths. You can be anonymous if you feel more comfortable it wont change peoples answers.

These Q&A (question and answer) sites let people pose questions and receive answers back from anyone willing and hopefully knowledgeable enough to reply.  These sites are also good for providing fast answers by being able to look up questions that have already been asked and someone may have already answered.

An example of these kind of sites is Baby Center has a Q&A’s page that you can go to ask questions such as how far along am I in my pregnancy, etc. Where other moms will give you their opinions and answers.

Or you can go to Ask.com which is a website that you can directly ask your question in the search bar and it will direct you to many different websites that has information on the topic you are trying to search.

However, Q&A sites are great for information they are not intended or appropriate sites to promote a product. A benefit of a Q&A site though is that it can help build links back to personal profiles or a product page, drawing more attention from the target audience than you think. Providing valuable answers is the core of any successful Q&A site member’s strategy. By communicating about topics with unique insight, these platforms are a perfect avenue for building thought leadership online.

Twitter is the new Microblogging

Microblogging is a combination of blogging and instant messaging that allows users to create short messages to be posted and shared with an audience online. Social platforms like Twitter have become extremely popular forms of this new type of blogging, especially on the mobile web. Making it much more convenient to communicate with people compared to the days when desktop web browsing and interaction was the norm.

GUESS WHAT!!!

You may be using a microblogging website already without even knowing it!!

As it turns out, short but frequent social posting online is exactly what most people want, given that so many of us browse the web from our mobile devices when we’re out on the go and our attention spans are shorter than ever. So websites such as Twitter is one of the oldest and most well-known social platforms to be put under the “microblogging” category. While the 140-character limit still exists today, you can now also share videos, articles links, photos, sound clips, and more through Twitter Cards in addition to regular text.

Another website that is known for microblogging is Instagram which is like a photo journal for wherever you go. Rather than uploading multiple photos to an album the way we used to do via the desktop web on Facebook or Flickr, Instagram lets you post one photo at a time to show where you are and what you’re doing.

Microblogging is important for these three reasons:

Less time spent developing content: It takes time to write or put together content for a lengthy blog post. With microblogging, on the other hand, you can post something new that takes as little as a few seconds to write or develop.

Less time spent consuming individual pieces of content: Because microblogging is such a popular form of social media on mobile devices, it’s worth being able to quickly get the idea of the post in a short, straight to the point format without needing to read or watch something that takes too much time.

The opportunity for more frequent posts: Traditional blogging involves longer but less frequent posts while microblogging involves the opposite posts are short and more frequent. Since you’re saving so much more time by focusing on just posting short pieces, you can afford to post more frequently keeping up with the times and the information you are tweeting is not old.

Starting your own business? or has your boss has asked you to help market the company?

These are some reasons why microblogging using social network sites such as Twitter can assist you in almost any marketing goal.

Twitter helps increase brand awareness, connect with customers, providing support, and distributing information. When using Twitter you can reach a large audience ,or people with common interests, in just moments of when you “tweeted” or after using a popular hashtag. Twitter is used by companies to catch peoples attention. So many people these days are using Twitter so why not use it to their advantage. After tweeting a short blurb of what they are trying to promote at that time and leaving a link for followers who are interested further in what the Tweet was about can click on the link and be directed to a website for further sales and information.

An example would be when a realtor Tweets something on Twitter about perhaps an office space, or warehouse, or new home that just came onto the market.

Below is an example of a Tweet about a warehouse for rent. This may spark peoples interest and as it says in the tweet “Call for our Details” since the name of the company is there for them to look further into.

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Social Networks..Who, What, When, Where, Why?

Who…Who Uses Social Networks?

Everyone can use social networks. Young adults were among the earliest social media adopters and continue to use these sites at high levels, but usage by older adults has increased in recent years.

What… What are Social Networks?

Social network sites is an online service on which members can establish relationships base on friendship, kinship, shared interest, business advantages, or other reasons. Members can build a public or private profile, specify who can connect with them, and share their connections with others.

Social network services simplify the process of sharing information, such as interests, events, status, and pictures, within individual networks.

When…A Brief History of Social Networks and When to use them

One of the first social network sites was SixDegrees.com, launched in 1997. SixDegrees.com  was the first to let users build profiles , display a list of their friends, and transverse these lists and combine them on one page. Despite all their efforts, the website did not thrive and was shut down in 2000. Nonetheless, “It paved the way for the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and many more.” 

Next, Ryze.com was launched in 2001, to help people make connections and grow their personal networks. This website then lend to investors and entrepreneurs for social network sites such as Friendster, Tribe.net, and LinkedIn.

August 2003, MySpace was launched by a group of eUniverse employees with Friendster accounts who were inspired by its potential and decided to mimic the social networks more popular features.

February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, created FACEBOOK 🙂 which is my favourite social network to use still to this day.  In 2008 Facebook took over MySpace traffic and MySpace has slowly fizzed out. Facebook reached 100 million members by August 2008, 350 million by December 2009, 500 million by July 2010, and 750 million active monthly users by June 2011.  Today worldwide there are 1.86 billion monthly users.

Social Networks are free to signup with. All you need to to meet age requirements and have a valid email address to sign up for most social networks.

Where… are examples of Social Network Sites?

Facebook is a social networking site that makes it easy for you to connect and share with your family and friends onlin

Pinterest the worlds online catalog of ideas. Find and save recipes, parenting hacks, style inspiration and many other ideas to try.

Wikipedia page with links to social network sites this link leads you to a page that shows a mass amount of social networks including tons of non- popular ones that people either do not know about or have forgotten about.

Why.. Why use Social Network Sites?

Online social media and networks have a growing role in marketing, which has important implications for how consumers, channels, and companies perform. In social media settings, consumers provide online feedback about products, and this feedback is visible to other agents, including other consumers, channel partners, competitors, and investors. Furthermore, there is built-in variety in the way the feedback is received and processed (e.g., ratings, reviews) and the forums in which it is provided.

Social networking sites have become extremely popular since smartphones have come into existence therefore I think that marketers who use social networking sites to reach their target audience have made a smart decision that will benefit their company in the log run.

Sharing Photos and Images 101

Have you ever?

Have you ever heard of Flickr, Dropbox, or Photobucket? Well if not these are FREE photo sharing sites that you can share photos and images directly to for the public to see or for private consumption. These websites allow for people to comment, rate, and tag your pictures. There are more sites then just these believe me you just have to search for them. They are super fun to use and even let you set up your own galleries or albums to keep your photos organized.

Here is what Smug Mug’s photo sharing page would look like after being set up.

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What would you post photos of ? 

Well lots of things silly…  these pages are for you to do whatever you want with them. Photos of yourself, your work, art work, places you have gone, places you would like to go, food you have recently eaten, and even of your pets. You can use your site to inspire others or just to have quick and easy access for yourself.  Just 15 years ago you would have to go out and buy a book just to flip through the pages to get inspired when looking for something. Where now you just have to go online and type in keywords into the search bar on these sights and the public pages will give you instant access to photos that are in the same category your looking for. Everyone like saving time and money.

I have to warn you though, if you want to use these sites you need to make sure before you post that you understand how to set your privacy policies if you don’t want others to see what you are sharing.

If a message is released to the public but no one remembers it, did it really happen?

Communicating does no good if it’s not retained by your audience. Today, it’s easy for information to get lost or ignored if it’s not in a digestible format. Integrating visual content can boost how much your audience absorbs and remembers. 

Studies show our brains not only process visuals faster, but they retain and transmit much more information when it’s delivered visually.

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Lets say you are going to use one of these sites from a marketing standpoint because well your and artist and want to start selling your art work.

There are several advantages to photo sharing:

1)Photos can be used to showcase your art work 2) document offers 3)influences a buyers mood

But……most importantly images of an art piece can spark and interest and online buzz, leading to sales for your company. Don’t shy away from posting pictures online of your art the benefits of getting your name and work out there to the public definitely out way the potential risks of someone trying to steal your work, or secrets. While image sharing can help draw traditional press attention, it is perhaps even more effective at driving web traffic towards an artists website. These kind of websites are treated kindly by Google. This reality makes photos sharing a natural complement to other tools in a social media marketing. Also the most important and best part of course is that the cost, in both money and effort, is low and often FREE!!

 

Sharing Videos is as easy as 1,2,3

Video sharing sites allow anyone and everyone to upload video clips that can be viewed publicly or privately ,over and over, and as easy as 1,2,3. Web sights such as YouTube, Vimeo, Metcafe, Veoh, The Internet Archive, Crackle, Screen Junkies, and Myspace allow user to upload short, medium, or long videos at their convenience by just following the steps provided on each page.

Can you believe that since the first video was uploaded in April 2005, YouTube has been a leader in online video sharing. After its founding and being purchased by Google, YouTube has grown rapidly.  Study shows that in 2010, 13 million hours…13 MILLION HOURS!!! of video were uploaded onto YouTube. Amazing YouTube facts shows that in 2017 three hundred hours PER MINUTE are being uploaded to YouTube and a few other fun crazy facts.

My favourite things to watch on YouTube are music videos. Ed Sheerans- Shape of You is one my favourite videos currently. After watching these videos I am usually addicted tot the songs or artist and have to download the whole album. Marketers have done their just successfully and won me this round. Other gossip videos are always entertaining and can fill extra time an example would be a Myspace video about Katy Perry and Russell Brand discussing their marriage.Which are always entertaining to watch.

Are you wondering to yourself why share videos…?

First things first by adding a video to your brands webpage for marketing purposes can make you some SERIOUS money.  Videos engage people, videos catch peoples eye, and they hold ones attention. I know from my own preference I am a visual learner and I enjoy watching videos to learn. When looking to buy something online I usually head to YouTube after I find something if I am unsure of how it works or how to use it properly to watch a quick video of someone explaining the steps for me. Just recently my boyfriend and I purchased a Android box. We didn’t understand how to use it exactly like downloading apps so we went to YouTube and watched a short video on the steps to do so. It was EXCELLENT and SUPER helpful.

Second, Videos build trust. Trust is the foundation of conversions and sales. But building trust should be a goal on its own. The whole concept of content marketing is based on trust and creating long-term relationships. Stop selling and let the people come to you by providing them interesting and useful information through the images and videos they see a video does it all. Some consumers are still sceptical about buying products and services on the internet because they of the fear of being scammed. But effective marketing videos present your products in a conversational form. That creates a sense of individual approach which is why study shows that 57% of consumers say that videos gave them more confidence to purchase online.

Third, Videos are the way of the future then go hand in hand these days with consumers. Everyone has a smartphone or computer at short each most of the day. Videos explain everything. For example if your trying to explain a difficult concept. Then create an animated video. Animation can bring concepts to life that no text or live video can. Besides, boring talking heads are not enough anymore to break through the clutter. Animated videos are a PERFECT!

Lastly, Videos go viral which means they can reach a mass amount of people all at once or over time. So spending the extra money can benefit your brand greatly in the long run! I recommend doing it!! Its even fun, get a group of co-workers together to make a personal video or create an animated one. Doesn’t matter but it works if you work it!

 

 

Will E-Books take over?

First of all what is an E-Book you ask?

Whattttt have you been living under a rock? E-Books are electronic online books that are becoming increasingly popular over the past couple years and like a normal paperback book they have cover art, an author, editor, illustrator, publisher, and story. E-Books are available in many different genres such as children’s books, every day novels, and even textbooks for students in school.

E-Books can be used by everyone because they are so light, convenient, and can contain so many books, even those people arthritis who find heavy books difficult to hold (or painful), no longer have to worry. They are also access able to anyone with a smart phone (which these days is everyone). Children at home can use E-Books for every day stories but hopefully one day school children will get to have electronic textbooks so they won’t need heavy backpacks that damage their spines.  ***Electronic textbooks can already be found for sale in America, but are not yet common in the school system.

A few common questions asked about E-Books are:

How do I read it? Do I have to use the computer? 

The answer is NO you don’t have to strictly use a computer even though yes they are provided to them. Most people tend to use IPads, Tablets, or their smartphones. An example of an E-Book is Kindle which is a device created by Amazon that allows a person to buy a book or subscribe to an electronic version of a newspaper and download it directly to their Kindle for future usage.

Do I need to have a special software?

Yes and No, Some books you can use your normal software but others do require special software but that software can usually be found online for free you just have to look for them.

Why would I want to use E-Books over reading normal printed books?

There are a few reasons that E-Books have been found better to use:  Many people who find reading print books uncomfortable, inconvenient or even unhealthy. Due to the paper dust, people with dust allergies find E-Books a godsend.

Also if you are looking for particular text you can search an E-Book very quickly using a “find” function, which is much better than skimming through a print book for the item you are looking for.

In some formats, on some reading devices, you can also highlight the text without damaging the file. Unlike a print book and highlighter pen, which is impossible to remove when you are finished with it.

Another cool thing about E-Books is that they generate leads!! As a marketing tool, E-Books are unique because they don’t seem like a marketing tactic. Using E-Books to entertain, you can offer your company’s expertise to a targeted audience. You can use customer questions and concerns and turn them into case studies, having an industry expert then show how customer’s issues were solved.

Marketers employing a hard-sell will find potential customers running from the idea like they’re being chased by a bear. But with an E-Book, not only can you control the content, you can control the tone, making it seem less like a marketing scheme and inviting customers to come looking for your product or service, instead of the other way around. Adding videos, audio, and appealing graphics makes it exciting for the customer.

If it was my new company I would absolutely be making sure that I had my brand connected to as many E-Book websites and connections that I possibly could because in I feel that in the future E-Books are going to take over and paperback/hardcover books are going to slowly be removed from existence.

 

 

Podcasts are almost FREEEEE!

What is a Podcast?

A Podcast are most of the time commercial free digital audio file made on the internet for downloading to a computer, mobile device, and often downloaded though web syndication. Typically podcasts are available as a series and are usually three lengths: ten minutes, thirty minutes, or sixty minutes. 

There are three primary formats to choose from : Presentation, Question and Answer, or Co-hosted. Certain formats may lend themselves to different lengths more easily. When creating podcasts, it is important to keep in mind the following: Choose an articulate moderator, create talking points, not scripts, brevity, avoid over editing, and include music.

With podcasts your in control. You can rewind a podcast, you can play it over and over, you can pause it, you can store it wherever you want, you can delete it when you want, and you can listen to what you want, when you want, and how you want.

Who makes them?

Anyone can create his or her own “radio”-style show and broadcast it to the world in very little time and at very little cost. All you need is a computer, a mic and the internet.  All over the world, people are creating podcasts on subjects ranging from movies, to technology, to music, to politics and whatever else you can think of. This is new original content made by passionate people who want to share their creativity with the world.

How can you find them?

Podcasts can be found on websites such as Youtube or Itunes.

 

Two links that are examples of Podcasts in use are:

You made it weird by Pete Holmes who is a stand up comedian who acts as a guest therapist and his guest are usually other comedians. His podcasts have 3 major topics that it hits comedy, sexuality, and religion. ITS A FREE PODCAST !!

Doug Loves Movies by Doug Benson which as movie related podcast with 3 or more comedians to join on stage and contribute things to a prize bag that is won by an audience member.

 

Podcasts for a marketing purpose :

Are extremely important in making your viewers or consumers feel included and important resulting in the consumers starting to invest interest in your business and they will grow along with you. Podcasts have the advantage of both sharing information and putting a humans voice or face to on the brand.

Podcasts are inexpensive. With little time and energy invested a small business can generate a following that will leave their competition behind.  The low cost makes podcasts a boon to start-up companies and marketing departments that are on a tight budget. Although they are inexpensive podcasts requires a strong commitment to creating content that is tailored to the marketing objectives.

More important than direct revenue are the advantages a brand can gain from regular podcasting. Speaking persuasively about a field demonstrates confidence and expertise, helping to distinguish a company as a thought leader in the industry.

Marketers can use catchy visuals such as animation an animal or visual content that can be important to what they are trying to market. Visuals can often be easier to understand and follow then just someone speaking about them. Podcasts are online videos that help get a companies point across.