Archive | September, 2016

Zuckerberg Explains Facebook’s Cooling Technology

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Mark Zuckerberg’s latest post revealed how much advanced cooling technology goes into operating Facebook.

He announced on Wednesday that he’ll begin to share photos on his Facebook profile about some of the new technologies Facebook is building, starting with a look at one of its data centers in Europe.

In his first post, Zuckerberg shared series of photos from Facebook’s facility in Luleå, Sweden. He says, “It’s a key part of our global infrastructure, and it uses a variety of local natural resources to increase efficiency and save power.”

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He goes on to explain,

The temperature in the area is below 50 degrees most days, so we use large fans to pull in the outside air to naturally cool the thousands of warm servers that line the center’s broad hallways. A dozen hydro-electric plants operate on nearby rivers, providing a reliable and renewable power source. The whole system is 10 percent more efficient and uses almost 40 percent less power than traditional data centers.

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Zuckerberg’s post reveals one of the ways Facebook deals with the persistent problem of data-center cooling. Data centers consume vast amounts of energy, and much of that is given off as waste heat. Facebook isn’t the first to use the natural environment to keep its processors cool: Microsoft is testing an underwater data center that uses seawater as a coolant.

What will Zuckerberg share with us next? Perhaps photos of the army of robots that now control trending topics?

12 Google Facts Every SEO Marketers Should Know (Infographic)

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If you want to get a better performance on SEO, you might want to learn more about Google.

Having an up-to-date digital marketing strategy is indispensable, and while it’s important to consider every platform when crafting your content strategy, marketers would be wise to put particular focus on Google.

Consider the following three Google facts:

  • There are over 2.3 million searches conducted each minute on Google
  • 89% of decision making begins with online search
  • One in six people on the planet use Google, which controls 83% of global search market share

Born at the genesis of the Internet revolution, Google has become the ultimate paragon for consumer research. Today, the term “Google it” is colloquially defined as “conducting a web search”. Google has changed marketing forever, and is still redefining the boundaries.

Here are few Google facts that will make or break your SEO.

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Infographic credit: Search Decoder

Duel: Audi Presidential Debate Commercial

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Timing is one of the most important factors in marketing.

With Audi setting the standard for an epic, unbelievable ad for the new RS7. Perfectly presented in reverse, you have no idea where the story is going, or why they are “Dueling” until the very end, of course, aligned to the Presidential Debate it makes so much sense and ensures everyone sits glued to it.

It wouldn’t be completed without some easter eggs, like elephant and donkey ice sculptures, plus a Presidential Tower, a mobile phone with classified emails, a dossier of classified documents flying around and even a copy of William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. Well played Audi.

The Complete Self-Employment Guide (Infographic)

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With the rise of startups in 2016, the self-employment trend is getting more popular nowadays.

While the motivational content on ‘digital nomads’ is starting to eclipse the profiles on ‘unexpected start-up billionaires’, the message remains consistent: we live in a world of opportunity. For the independent spirits of the 21st century, it’s a welcome culture shift.

However, such bluster should not be taken entirely at face value. The reality of starting a business or surviving as a freelancer is not as glamorous as it first appears, and there are some people who just aren’t suited to it. As an independent entrepreneur, you need to be not just a code whizz or a source of perpetual good ideas – you need to be a salesperson, an accountant, and your own harsh boss.

The rewards are more than worth it if working for yourself suits your personality and skill set, though, so if you suspect you do then it’s worth looking into. If you’re curious, run through this useful infographic, which guides you through a self-assessment process to see if this is the path for you, and check out the handy pointers on how to proceed if you decide to go it alone.

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Infographic credit: The Business Backer

How To Protect Yourself on Facebook: Social Media Security Tips (Infographic)

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Facebook is a kind of big deal when it comes to the number of users that they have worldwide, with estimated figures of around 1.5 billion.

This makes it easily the most widely used social networking site in the world. With such success and popularity that Facebook has, comes the inevitable attention from hackers and with that, makes them a massive target for these cyber thieves. Thousands of accounts get hacked every day and in some cases cause the user a whole lot of problems as usually personal data is stolen and used against them.

You can find all this valuable information at the bottom of the graphic under the section ““Ways To Protect Your Facebook Account From Hackers”. Simple tips such as not saving passwords to your browser and increasing the character count of your password can make such a difference.

Don’t become another victim to Facebook hacking. It’s vital you take action now, because if you don’t, you could just well be next.

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Infographic credit: Top 10 Select

Paid or Free Facebook Advertising: Choosing The Right Strategy For You

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Whether you spend any amount of time using it, when it comes to advertising and marketing, Facebook has become a valuable platform.

One example was a business that wanted to do a promotion around the holidays. They were in the process of releasing a new app, so they ran some promotions and gave new users a 50% off coupon for signing up. They created a huge amount of organic content from the promotion and were very successful with it.

Now, it should be relatable that it’s easier to achieve this type of success around holidays or other big events, but how do you stay successful during the rest of the year? To answer that question, you have to look at two things: creativity and targeting.

In a basic sense, with better creative and better targeting, you have better performance. What is less obvious is that, because you have better creative and better ad targeting, you will also have a higher click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate. Directly, that means a lower cost per click (CPC) and CTR, implying you’ll achieve 10% – 30% more clicks for the same budget, which translates to better performance in the end.

Creativity

When it comes to creativity, it’s recommended to jump on new things that Facebook releases.

When Facebook releases new features, it seems that they give those features extra exposure on the platform because they want them to perform well. This is similar to lead ads; they’re simple and effective. A user will see an ad and click on it. They select what information they want to share, and then the email address is sent to the advertiser. When paired with local incentives or opportunities, it becomes a really nice method for collecting email addresses for businesses in which past advertising performances weren’t that great.

So, it’s good to hop on new Facebook features as they’re released because, if you’re first to adopt – and, thus, get the leverage effect of being the first mover – you’ll likely have higher performance. What’s nice about this is that an audience network will grow out of this mobile space and into the desktop environment, where you can buy more targeted ads across different devices to continue with your social campaigns.

This is a huge step forward – and a direct response to those who say Facebook hasn’t worked well in the past for advertising – as they continue to evolve and figure things out just as the industry does. Dynamic product ads (DPAs) were once considered only for retail or ecommerce; but lately, there are other businesses leveraging the dynamic retargeting functionality – even those that are not retail clients such as the travel vertical.

Targeting

Another important concept with regard to targeting is that you shouldn’t overlap. Overlap tends to waste delivery opportunities due to a frequency cap of two per day. In fact, separating your audiences is key to targeting specific users with specific content and not overexposing your content to uninterested people. When it comes to customer audience, one interesting strategy is to use lookalike audiences based on your initial custom audience.

Lookalikes involve choosing an email list that’s derived from your first-party data, and then Facebook figures out groups of people – or audiences – that look similar to the ones that you have. This is also called a tiered lookalike strategy.

With this process, you start with, let’s say, 1% of a target audience, and you bid to the right amount. From those results, you select a second customer audience based on the same criteria, or you select the same customer audience and build a second lookalike tier, excluding the first one. This results in specific tiers containing the 1%, the 2%, the 3%, and so on.

Conclusion

In the end, when it comes to Facebook advertising, you have to ask yourself, “What do I want to optimize toward?” This could be conversions, clicks, video views, or any other metric that your business is focused on.

The next question is, “What am I willing to pay?” In this case, you want to ensure that you’re receiving true value out of your investment. Here, true value means that you shouldn’t underbid – invest too little and you won’t get the delivery in the ads – but, you also shouldn’t overpay. Make sure you’ve done your research on what is an acceptable price for the intended return on investment.

5 Great SEO Tricks To Be More Discoverable On Instagram

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Instagram has exploded in popularity since it first launched in 2010.

Now with more than 500 million monthly active users, including both consumers and businesses, some 70 million photos are shared on the platform every day. Marketers have been using Instagram for promotion from the get-go, but it wasn’t until recently that the company rolled out a dedicated profile for businesses. And now that there are more features for business owners and marketers, as well as a new algorithm in effect, it’ll become increasingly difficult for a business to stand out in coming months.

Similar to Facebook’s algorithm, Instagram wants to present its users with more of what they find interesting and less stuff that would be considered intrusive, less relevant, or ‘spammy,’ such as business content and company posts.

But with a little creativity and the right tools, it is possible to maintain and build upon your Instagram growth – here are five things you can do to start making your brand more discoverable on photo-sharing platform.

1. Publish Higher Quality Images

Instagram is all about visual engagement, so the quality of your posts is extremely important. Your audience is used to seeing bright, colorful, and engaging images – if you’re uploading dull and uninspiring content, then they’re going to scroll right past without giving your updates a second look.

Your Facebook fans might forgive a boring post here and there, but your Instagram followers are less likely to forget your mishaps.

The good thing is, it doesn’t take an expensive camera to take quality photographs for your Instagram. Above all else, this is a mobile application – if you have a newer smartphone, then your camera is probably capable of taking quality photos.

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That’s what you want to aim for, anyway: authentic, high-quality photos taken in the moment and shared by your brand.

Here are some basic tips for taking better Instagram photos with your smartphone:

  • Get up close; new cameras can focus and capture amazing details. This is great for product photos
  • Crop pictures instead of zooming, as this might make images grainy
  • Don’t apply a filter “just because”
  • Don’t add artificial blur; go with what your camera does
  • Avoid using flash
  • Try different angles
  • Focus on one subject at a time
  • Be interesting, funny, and sharable

2. Run with What’s Trending

Pay attention to what’s trending, both on Instagram and around the web. Hashtags sometimes carry over from one social channel to another. If you find a trending topic that is relevant to your industry or your audience in some way, then leverage it to get their attention.

If a trend features one or more hashtags, be sure to use those when you write captions for your posts or curate content. Fans use hashtags to follow discussions and see what posts other people have made on subjects that interest them. Including a relevant hashtag in your trend post will cast a wider net so new followers can discover you and your content.

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To really expand the reach of your posts, consider using Instagram’s ad platform – if you combine paid promotion with a popular hashtag, you could get your brand in front of a huge audience even on a modest budget.

But before paying for advertising, be sure to spend time carefully choosing the right audience. This ensures your promotion will get in front of the right people.

Bonus Tip: Research the most relevant hashtags and use several of them in your post. A TrackMaven study showed that interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.

3. Cross-Promote

If you want more of your audience to discover your brand on Instagram, then make every effort to cross-promote it across other channels, both on and offline.

  • Offer promotional stickers with products or include them in giveaways
  • Host an Instagram account takeover with an influencer
  • Share your images and videos on other social channels and point back to your Instagram account
  • Include your Instagram account in email signatures with a call-to-action to follow
  • Include calls-to-action in your content marketing
  • Post printed badges or stickers around your location (if you’re a brick and mortar business)

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4. Swipe What Works

Smart marketers have a swipe file they refer to for headlines and other content ideas when the creative well dries up – you should do the same with Instagram.

Find out what’s popular and what’s most engaging for others, especially brands, and run with it.

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You can find a ton of inspiration by following other brands on Instagram. While searching through other brands’ images, pay attention to the posts that garnered the most engagement (likes and comments). Look for patterns in what audiences enjoy and try to leverage that insight with your own posts.

5. Engagement Matters

One of the most effective ways to get noticed on Instagram is to engage with people.

Browse your brand’s followers on Instagram and start engaging the most relevant people, especially influencers. By responding to people and commenting on their images, you’ll gain regular followers who appreciate your natural (non-promotional) engagement.

Snapchat Is Changing Its Brand Name To Snap Inc.

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Snapchat is re-branded as Snap Inc., which is reflective of their broadening product scope that they’re moving into wearables also.

To coincide with the release of its Spectacles, Snapchat Inc. has undergone a major rebranding. From now on, the main body that oversees both Snapchat and Spectacles’ day-to-day activity will be known as Snap Inc.

The company’s Twitter accounts have already been updated to reflect the change.

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Spiegel believes that the new name will not only benefit potential investors, but customers too.

Snapchat Has Launched Spectacles, The New Smart Eyeglasses

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Finally, Snapchat’s smart eyeglasses is ready for all of you selfie lovers.

We’ve been waiting for Snapchat to respond after Instagram launched Stories, and now we may have seen just what their counter-punch will be, with the first look at their long-awaited smart glasses project, called Spectacles.

Spectacles enable the wearer to capture their perspective without having to take out their phone and film the moment – in speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Snap Inc. (Snapchat’s new company name) CEO Evan Spiegel describes this as being “like a wall in front of your face”, taking you away from the moment.

Capturing the moment is what Spectacles is all about – Spiegel, again talking to WSJ, described one of the first times he wore the glasses, on vacation with fiancé Miranda Kerr, in particularly passionate overtures.

“It was our first vacation, and we went to Big Sur for a day or two. We were walking through the woods, stepping over logs, looking up at the beautiful trees. And when I got the footage back and watched it, I could see my own memory, through my own eyes. It was unbelievable. It’s one thing to see images of an experience you had, but it’s another thing to have an experience of the experience. It was the closest I’d ever come to feeling like I was there again.”

How To Create Effective Titles and Headlines (Infographic)

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Writing content for your website or e-commerce store requires a lot of hard work. Sadly, there are many content creators that unintentionally undermine their efforts by choosing ineffective headlines that fail to attract readers.

Whether you rely on search engines to drive traffic to your site or you use social media platforms to spread content to readers all over the planet, you need to develop smart headlines that will encourage people to give you their time. Before you publish your next article, consider that content creators publish millions of articles each day. How will your content stand out from the pack?

Professional writers who work for prestigious magazines often develop half a dozen or more titles before deciding which one they want to use. You probably don’t want to devote that much energy to writing your next headline, but you need to know that you face stiff competition from other content creators who take their work seriously.

If you don’t feel that you have a talent for writing catchy headlines, then you can follow a few tips to make your titles more effective. For instance, you can attract readers by referencing current events or internet memes. After you draft a couple of options, ask yourself whether the headlines are unique, specific, urgent, and useful. If they are, then you probably have good ideas. If not, then you might want to rethink your approach.

There aren’t any secret tricks to writing great titles for online content. As long as you follow expert advice, you should find that your headlines improve quickly. Take a closer look at this infographic to learn even more tips that will help you write effective headlines. You’ll start crafting catchy titles in no time.

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Infographic credit: CopyPress