Apps Are Changing The Way We Market

According to recent statistics, we are all obsessed with the applications on our phones, our apps.  A recent study makes it clear that smart phone users are starting to spend less time on their internet browsers, and more time on their favorite phone apps.

According to the study, half a smartphone user’s time is spent on their favorite application, which in most cases, is social media.  The most popular of which are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine.  As business owners, can we take advantage of this knowledge in the way that we market to prospective customers?

The world we live in today is social.  Customer interest is not generated by using the more traditional marketing strategies, but by utilizing people’s already established connections.  New studies show that a person will buy a phone if they see photos of their friends using it, people will stay at hotels if they see updates of their friends staying there and etc.

Will this affect the way your company markets to their customers?  What have you found is the most effective method is?  Leave your thoughts below!

Resolutions, Social Capitalism, and the Death of the PC

Resolutions

45 percent of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions according to research from the University of Scranton and reported by Statistic Brain. However, by the end of January 64% of resolutions are still being kept but that number slips dramatically to 46% at the end of six months. But what about your business resolutions? Mike Maddox believes that business resolutions are essential for success and  writes about them in his Forbes article “Ten Resolutions the Most Successful People Make and Then Keep.” Topping his list at number one and number two are:

#1 Spend more time on the not-to-do list. Strategy is the art of sacrifice. That’s why you may consider creating a larger clearing for what really matters by first identifying, and then avoiding, what matters the least. Your time is a treasure to be invested. Creating a list of things that you are not going to do, allows you to invest more of your treasured time on the few things that matter the most.

#2 Essential first, email second. What’s the first thing you do in the morning? For many of us, it is looking at email. We wake up with a renewed mind and spirit, ready to take on the world, and then we immediately allow ourselves to be distracted by an insignificant email. Instead, wake up, take on the most important task of the day, and then (and only then) hit the email.

Social Capitalism

Do you want your business to become one of the most admired in the next ten years? If so Gartner’s research says your business will need to change to being part of the “social capitalists”. Gartner reports in “Maverick* Research: Capitalism Goes Social, or How Technology Will Enable the 99% to Change Your Business Forever”:

CIOs and business leaders must understand how a new breed of social capitalists will exploit technology to disrupt their industry segments, according to Gartner, Inc. As the gap between the rich and the poor in developed economies grows, money, wealth and power are becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small number of individuals — the “one percent” — while the other “99 percent” is increasingly using social media to collaborate, campaign and agitate against perceived inequities, leaving many management teams feeling under threat.

According to the research, “A key aspect of capitalism going social will be the use of social and mobile technologies by business to change the way it interacts with the 99 percent, bringing them inside the four walls of the enterprise to become part of the organization’s processes, rather than keeping it at arm’s length.”

“Capitalism going social is a reflection of the wider societal changes that are happening in the 21st century. These changes cannot be ignored, although their impact will vary by industry and organization. IT and business leaders must identify how soon their industries and companies will be affected by these changes,” said Nigel Rayner, research vice president at Gartner. “

The Death of the PC

Speaking of predictions, Business Insider predicts that by 2015, fixed PCs will be a small minority of Internet connected services. What’s the evidence? According to Business Insider’s research:

  • PC Sales have been flat since 2009
  • Smart phone sales are bigger than PC sales
  • Growth in computer sales is from tablets
  • More adults want to buy a tablet than a computer
  • People who own iPads are using them more as time goes by
  • Tablet sales will pass notebook sales this year

Will this prediction affect your future computing decisions?

Thinking Big, Why Failure is So Important, By the Way, Gift Guides

Thinking Big, Why Failure is So Important

Mother knows best says Shark Tank’s Daymond John, a multimillionaire entrepreneur and one of the investor’s on the popular TV series. In an interview with Entrepreneur magazine, John credits his mother with teaching him, “It takes the same energy to think small as it does to think big. So dream big and think bigger.” He also believes in the importance of setting goals. “Five days a week, I read my goals before I go to sleep and when I wake up. There are 10 goals around health, family and business with expiration dates and I update them every six months. I believe the last thing I read at night will likely manifest when I’m sleeping. You become what you think about the most.”

Interested in finding new ways to increase your intelligence and learn more? According to Inc’s Kevin Daum, there are “5 Things That Really Smart People Do”:

  • Quiet your inner voice
  • Argue with yourself
  • Act like you are curious
  • Find the kernel of truth
  • Focus on the message and not the messenger

Increasing your intelligence doesn’t guarantee success but according to Jody Coughlin, the CMO and co-owner of Chic CEO – a free resource for female entrepreneurs, in “Why Failure Is So Important To Success for Forbes, failure might. “Failure and more importantly studying others’ misfortunes is one of the most important educational tools we have. In fact there is an entire convention in the Bay Area for technology entrepreneurs, investors, developers and designers to study their own and others’ failures and prepare for success, thefailcon.com.” Have you studied other businesses failures to make sure your business succeeds?

By the Way, the Facebook Notice is Fake

Facebook has been chipping away at its users’ privacy again. So, a number of Facebook users are up in arms over Facebook’s decision to eliminate users’ voting rights that only 1 in every 2,600 users had exercised. That caused quite an uproar and as Mashable reports  “A ‘privacy notice’ that’s been virally spreading on Facebook, supposedly protecting one’s personal details and data from unauthorized copying, is fake.” What’s a Facebook user to do? According to Mashable, Simply put, Facebook and its users are still bound to the same terms and conditions that are accepted by users when they sign up for the service, and posting a legal “talisman” of this kind on your profile does nothing to change that.

Have you checked out your LinkedIn profile lately? Maybe it’s also time you audited how you are using LinkedIn. “Businesses that navigate LinkedIn properly engage customers, generate sales leads, and swap internal information among employees,” reports Alyson Shontell in her Business Insider article “13 Mistakes Your Business is Making on LinkedIn.” The biggest mistake companies make is neglecting to list their companies on LinkedIn writes Shontell. Another common mistake is your employees haven’t put much effort into their LinkedIn profiles and it shows.

Gift Ideas

Fast Company has just compiled and published a list of “The Best Business Books Of 2012: Find Fulfillment, Get Productive, And Create Healthy Habits”. Drake Baer reports, “These 12 books have shaped not only the way we work this year, but how we think and the conversations we’re having. Authored by luminaries like Nate Silver, Clay Christensen, and Susan Cain, these delightful-to-read tomes offer insight into the power of vulnerability, habit, social media, and more.” This list might be a good place to start for stocking stuffers or for your 2013 resolutions. Added tip, check out the comments section for even more for your reading list. Still not sure what to get your loved one this holiday season? If so, the Business Insider has compiled a “Holiday Buyer’s Guide: Here Are The Best Gifts In Tech This Year”. The list is chalk full of tablets, smart phones, Apps, cameras, and other electronics to review. What gift do you recommend?

10 Tips for Optimizing LinkedIn for Your Business

Although LinkedIn may not catch as many headlines as Facebook, it is a pretty powerful business tool today with 161 million users. LinkedIn trails only Facebook and Twitter in popularity but is the only one of the three to concentrate on business professionals. According to LinkedIn, “As of March 31, 2012, LinkedIn counts executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies as members; its corporate hiring solutions are used by 82 of the Fortune 100 companies. More than 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages.”

With statistics like that, isn’t it time to make sure you are using LinkedIn to its full potential? Here’s how.

  • Complete your LinkedIn profile. If you are not yet on LinkedIn, sign up and fill out your profile. Make sure to fill it out completely and also add a picture of yourself. A complete profile makes it easier for potential partners, customers and prospective employers to find you.
  • Don’t neglect your headshot. If your ultimate goal is to seal the deal LinkedIn profiles that have a photo are “seven times more likely to be viewed” according to Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s Connection Director. Also, make sure it is a professional photo and a recent one at that.
  • Customize your LinkedIn URL. LinkedIn assigns each profile a URL with a bunch of numbers and texts in it. To get a clean URL you can customize it for your public profile which will help Google bring you up more quickly in a search. Go to “Profile” page and then select “Edit” next to “Public Profile.” Select the URL you want.
  • Make sure to create a “Business” page. The LinkedIn business page is a good way to publicize your business to your LinkedIn connections.
  • Add some recommendations. On LinkedIn the recommendations you receive really set you apart from others and make you appear more credible. And the easiest way to ask for a recommendation of a customer, partner, or employer is by first writing one for them. Make sure you get at least three recommendations.
  • Add your connections. Often, people begin their profile and stop before completing it. Nothing looks worse to someone who comes across your name and sees the bare minimum. In addition, they also see that you have no connections. Take the time to make sure everything about your LinkedIn online presence is professional. To simplify adding connections, you can select “Add Connections” and LinkedIn can send out invitations to those you correspond with through email or you can enter the email addresses of your contacts.
  • Don’t forget to add a widget for your blog to your LinkedIn profile. Your business blog is a great way to show your connections and prospects that you are in expert in your field. There are widgets for both WordPress and Bloglink platforms.
  • Showcase your favorite presentations. In addition to sharing your blog posts, the Slideshare app allows you to add your favorite presentations to LinkedIn. Have a new product you are launching? Make sure to add the product presentation here.
  • Join groups on LinkedIn. By joining groups on LinkedIn in your industry you can meet others in your field and potentially add them as contacts as well. Also see if your alumni group is there as well. Google lets you join up to 50 groups.
  • Make use of your personal updates. Have something to share with your connections like news about your company or something you would like to promote to your connections? Add it to the update box along with a link. This is then automatically shared to all your connections. In the event a connection comments on your post or likes it, your post is then shared among their connections.