Are Infographics Being Overused on the Web?

Infographics are becoming more prevalent on the the web than ever before. Even if you have never heard of one, you’re likely to have seen one. An infographic is a way of summarising information in a more visual way with, minimum amount of text. They can be beneficial to both readers and businesses alike. For readers, they can simplify a complicated issue or process with the minimal use of text. Visual imagery can be less intimidating and has even been shown to make information more memorable. For businesses, it can be a great way to summarise a point or story that would otherwise take a long time in text. Perhaps you want to tell the story of the history of your company or summarise your mission statement. Whatever their purpose, infographics can be an artistic, visually striking way to convey information. They can also promote engagement by include links and share features. But have these relatively new internet features already overstayed their welcome? Read on the discover the debate on whether infographics are now being overused on the website.

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Argument: They Are Being Overused

 

One of the main reasons that infographics have been successful is that they are eye-catching and original. At least at first! One argument claims that infographics have now become so prevalent and familiar that they have lost all of their original appeal. Infographics are now likely to be a common feature on many websites. As a result, they have become the latest thing that readers skip, in the same way that they would a larger body of text. It has also been argued that, in a bid to outdo each other, infographics are no longer concise. Infographics originally aiming to create maximum impact with minimum text. They rarely extended half a page to a page, and could be taken in all at once. For some people, current infographics have just become an exercise in style over substance. They are created for an artistic “wow factor” rather than to effectively convey information. Many designs have now become lazy and the text used is becoming denser. The use of infographics needs to go down, not up, if they are going to continue to have a genuine impact.

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Argument: They Are Not Being Overused

 

Infographics have undoubtedly increased in number. But this must be testament to their popularity and success. If people did not find them engaging or helpful, then many people argue that their use would have gone down. Their frequent use simply shows that they are a viable way of communicating lots of information. They communicate both concisely and approachably. Many argue that the increased use of infographics means that infographics have to work harder than ever before to be notice. But that this is a good thing. There is renewed competition for excellent art work and disciplined text. Audiences are becoming savvier and more familiar with the feature, and so have higher expectations. With social media, instant messenger, and more, many believe that the average attention span is shortening. There are many times when conveying important information is crucial. Infographics can provide a fast, engaging way to ensure that people are well-informed. There have also been indications that visual aids can engage younger demographics too. A chief argument here is that the use of infographics is increasing. But that it is encouraging and suggests the platform is successful. Infographics are especially appropriate for certain needs. By making use of excellent advice like this post by Fat Joe or other reliable sites, we can ensure only the best Infographics are created.

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In Summary
Infographics have become an increasingly popular way to engage readers that may otherwise avoid dense text. They can convey a large amount of information in a small space and concise manner. When a page needs to remain uncluttered, or a whole story needs to be told in sequence, they can be particularly successful. They can be a visually striking and memorable way to engage with information that may otherwise be complex and forgettable. However, if infographics are allowed to become lazy or overused, they will lose their impact. A chief benefit of infographics is their novelty and visual appeal. Care must be taken to ensure that an audience does not become too accustomed to these features, or the purpose will be lost. The use of text must also remain minimal and disciplined, no matter how complex the topic. Research is always needed and a variety of methods can be employed. But with careful consideration, infographics can be a valuable asset for conveying information.

THE EVOLUTION OF A SALESPERSON [Video]

Buyers are embracing the information saturated internet, simultaneously they are getting smarter and more savvy to their requirements and needs. This has made it even harder for sales professionals to get in front of those buyers, let alone be part of the early buying process.

Today’s connected seller is emerging. they embrace tactics such as social media, CRM, analytics, and digital collaboration. Together, the modern social seller and buyer are now working together to create more value but most importantly, to create relationships, that result in a sale.

Salesforce created and awesome slideshare on The Evolution of a Salesperson, highlighting the sellers evolution as they adapt to the current best practices on engaging earlier with potential buyers, sharing content to start conversations and creating new opportunities.

As I thought it would better as a video (135 slides! Way to long ) I converted it into one for you. If you prefer to click 135 time the links is below.

Slideshare version

 

Related posts

Get Social to Get Selling

Social Selling – The Evolution of Sales

 

The Connection Between SEO And Social Media: Using Social Media To Boost Your Web Presence

social-media-puzzle

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Believe it or not, but your social media presence has a direct impact on your search engine rankings. Whether you’re a small business, a blog or a giant corporation, the same is true. The world wide web is essentially a giant game, and it can be mastered. As long as you have an understanding of how all the pieces work, you’ll be sure to dominate.

How are SEO and social media connected?

For years and years, a company website was really the only way to find that company online. Twitter wasn’t even launched until 2006, and Facebook was two years earlier.

As such, these social media platforms are still… well, new, for lack of a better word. They’re very early on in their life cycles and have a long way to go.

In short, we use social media to follow those businesses and personalities we care about, but we rarely find them through social media. Have a quick Google of ‘Coca-Cola’ or ‘AMC’ and the first result will always be their site.

Their social media will be a bit further down the page, and that’s how we should think of the two. The website is the tree, and social media is the branches.

Those websites aren’t the top result by accident, either. They’ve been optimized to within an inch of their lives! In terms of SEO, there are a ton of basic tips that can go a long way. Jeff Millett at TheSEOWhiz.com has some great general SEO advice that can help you boost your web presence.

And, what’s more, a lot of these link right back into your social media pages. It’s important to think of your Twitter and Facebook as little side projects, and start prioritizing them. Use them in conjunction with effective website practices to get the best results.

There are several key ways that social media can give a boost to your SEO, and several key ways that it will define your SEO. Social media is changing our world, so don’t get left behind.

Google Main Search

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Social media shares count as link building

When you post something to Instagram or Twitter, there’s a chance it will be shared. Link building is a way for companies to place links back to their website all over the web, creating a widespread presence.

When somebody shares a post you created, this is effectively another ‘link’ back to you and your page. Social media sites are arguably the most credible in existence as they rely on user satisfaction. So, a ton of shares will be looked upon favourably by search engines.

Gives a boost to relevant keywords

There are only so many places you can place keywords on your website, but social media gives you another place to do so. Most companies will have a short description of themselves in their bio, with relevant terms embedded in it. In addition, all the tweets and posts they write are another way to embed search terms, meaning your power is relatively unlimited.

So, hopefully, this article has cleared the subject up for you. If you’re new to social media and SEO, they can both be daunting tasks to take on. In reality, they’re simple and effective tools on your web utility belt. So get out there and get building!

Connecting with the new buyer #socialselling

Salesforce create some great videos and having watched it I was truly disappointed that I could not flip the content to my flipboard on social selling. “This page does not allow”.

“Bah” I thought, you can’t stop me from sharing this more widely. Why would you in the first place?

 

So I took to embedding the video on my blog and then adding it to socialselling flipboard

enjoy folks! #WESOE We Sell Or Else

Some Amazing LinkedIn Statistics

LinkedIn is one of the older social networks, surviving changes in technology, a tough demographic and a number of challengers along the way.

Here is a collection of interesting LinkedIn statistics, I thought you might like:

 

Statistics

Total number of LinkedIn users : 414 million (December ’15)

Number of new members per second: 2.3 (December ’15)

Number of users in the U.S.: 107 million (February ’16)

Unique visitors monthly: 100 million

Reach of LinkedIn: 200 countries and territories

Users outside of the U.S.: 70%

A professional photo on your profile makes you 14 times more likely to be viewed

Number of Linkedin member page views in Q4 2015: 3.7 Billion

Percentage of Male users: 56% (April ’14)

Percentage of Female users: 44% (April ’14)

Average Female network (U.S.): 101

Average user time spent on LinkedIn, monthly: 17 minutes

Average network size of a CEO: 930

Most over used word in LinkedIn profiles: Motivated (2014)

Users that have listed volunteer experience and causes: 10 million

Percentage of millennials (15-34) that use LinkedIn: 13%

Most used adjective used in Linkedin profiles: Responsible (’13), Creative (’12), Creative (’11)

Percentage of users that use LinkedIn at least once a day: 40%

LinkedIn’s percentage of sharing;

Global: 4% (’13)

N America: 5% (’13)

European: 2% (’13)

Asian: 1% (’13)

Users in UK: 20 millions (’16)

Users in Middle East: 10 million (’13)

Users in Asia: 61 million (’14)

Users in India: 31 million (’15)

Users in Australia: 6 million (’14)

Users in China: 10 million (’15)

Total long form posts on LinkedIn: 3 million (’15)

Total long form posts generated weekly: 130,000

Percentage of millionaires that use LinkedIn: 41% (’14)

Number of new connections made on LinkedIn in the UK 2015: 338.7 million

UK’s most represented industry: IT & Services (’16)

 

How I Hack A Conference With #SocialSelling by Peter Strid

You can’t attend every industry conference.  But you can make it seem like you are there…you can join digitally…you might even find a new deal like I have!

There was a recent industry conference, let’s call it “SocialSlam15!” being held in California an exclusive resort.  A great opportunity for me to rub elbows with my peers and prospect audience of marketing and sales leaders interested in Social Selling!  I had one problem; for those who know me, I broke my leg a few months ago and had a date with an orthopedic surgeon I couldn’t miss, so I couldn’t physically attend.  I decided to do the next best thing…Hack it to make people think I was there!  (I also saved thousands $ in airfare, hotel 😉

My #SocialSelling Conference Hack was accomplished primarily using Twitter, LinkedIn, Email, Text Messaging and, yes, Periscope.  My outcomes were better than anticipated.  I attracted a bunch of new Twitter Followers and unsolicited LinkedIn Connections.  I had 4 existing clients and 3 net new prospects literally reach out to me wanting to get together with me while I was “at the event” because they thought I was sitting in the resort with them!

Evidence:

I even received an unsolicited job offer from an attendee of “SocialSlam15!” (Thanks but no thanks).  The best part of it all;  I anticipate closing at least one Net New Deal because of my activity there!

Here are a few examples of the type of activity during the “SocialSlam!” Event that made my presence known:

1) I start with a post on LinkedIn…a simple screen capture of a picture of the key note speaker that I borrowed from another attendee’s tweet.  Here’s a simple example of a conference being held right now in NYC called “Uncubed”.  Looks like I’m sitting in the front row.  Some people on my team even thought I was in NYC today after seeing this post!  

2) I tweet the same content to take advantage of the many attendees referencing the #hashtag throughout the event.  I also “tagged” the Uncubed team.  I’m starting to get noticed!  And I could continue with more tweets and posts… 

With the rest of this post I’ll describe how I can “attend digitally” without physically being present and while saving $5000 and 4 days away from my office. I am engaging with peers and prospects not in an attempt to trick them, but an important observation is that when people gather physically at a conference, they also gather digitally. This creates an opportunity to engage – whether you are there physically or virtually.  I’ll use an awesome upcoming Conference that I’d like to attend as an example: Selling Power Magazine’s “Sales 2.0” Event in Philadelphia!

Make Yourself Known!

1) Your best results will come if you get a head start.  Before the kick off of the conference you are targeting, do some research. Review the website of the conference for basic details…Location, Timing, Agenda, Speakers, etc…

2) Find the twitter #hashtags associated with the event.  Usually the conference website will have point you to their twitter handle where you might find some info.  In the case of this upcoming Selling Power “Sales 2.0” conference the #hashtag is: #s20c.    3) Follow as many of the speakers and conference affiliates on Twitter that you can find…this will help you get them to notice you and set you up for tweeting about them when they are on stage. 4) Make your excitement and anticipated presence known by tweeting that you will be there!  A few tips…add an image such as the logo of the conference, use the event #hashtag, tag the speakers (you can tag up to 10 people). Every time someone interacts with the tweet they will be notified!  

5) Along with that tweet, make yourself known on LinkedIn as well.  Here I have re-purposed that tweet on LinkedIn by uploading a photo…again making sure to tag the key note speakers.

6) Be sure to retweet, “like” and engage with some of the current activity from the speakers…especially if they are already tweeting about the event!  Also pay close attention to the #hashtag in the days leading up to the event…you might find something to take advantage of.

I’ve outlined the basics of the beginning of my activity.  Leading up to the show I will continue to follow the #hashtag and “like” and retweet select posts.  It’s important to be creative and have some fun with it.  Some events post updates to their blog or website, some even live broadcast.  Use these to your advantage…listen and pull sound bites that you can retweet and credit the speaker.  Speakers love being on stage and they LOVE when people boost their egos with tweets of their presentation content.  People will retweet you and you will be on your way to being there. (Almost!)

This strategy can be incredibly fruitful.  I have literally closed deals because of this type of behavior.  For more detail on how I proceed on “gameday”, reach out to me. I have a lot more tricks…too many to list here; things like how to use Periscope for live action or even YouTube. If you’d like me to teach you or your sales team how to do this in your industry, please reach out to me…I’d love to help.

Have any hacks of your own that are similar…please share them below!

If you found this post useful…send it to your friends.  Nothing better than a nice share to your followers!  Thanks!

Follow Me On Twitter @PeterStrid

Follow Me On LinkedIn

79 Social Media Facts That Reveal How Our World Is Changing by Jeff Bullas

 

Stack of old newspapers and a tablet pc on the wooden table

Social media is an addiction.

Well, it is for many of us. Most people can’t walk straight these days as they have their head in the mobile phone and one eye on the pavement. If someone from 100 years ago was transported to 2016, they would think we were mad as we talk to ourselves with white wires hanging from our ears!

So why are we so captivated?

It’s about human connection at scale that networks us to billions of people. We are curious about the impact of our creations. Will they like it? Are they sharing my thoughts, photos and videos?1

It also gives us a voice.

Social media makes us feel empowered

This intersection of humanity and technology is human super consciousness enabled by hardware, apps and wireless connectivity. It’s a global mind meld that  allows us to share thoughts, feelings and images with our family and friends no matter where we or they are. Virtual reality is becoming the reality. Social media is now a big part of that reality.

We can also join in global engagement of our individual interests.

A niche interest in playing a certain online game, sharing train watching ideas and cave diving tips can now be indulged with other like minded humans that become our global interest tribes. You no longer have to drive or fly to join or create a conversation. Skype, Periscope or Blab can help you connect from home.

It’s hyper connectivity at scale. It’s changing the world as we know it. And we don’t know where it is going.

Keep innovating

The social web and the digital world is forcing business to think different about its marketing, what content it creates and to focus on innovation.

What worked just 5 years ago doesn’t work today.

Relying on organic traffic from Facebook shares was the main social sharing tactic 5 years ago now. We now know we need to pay for that traffic in 2016!

So you need to try the other options. These include:

Flipboard: Over 70 million users

WhatsApp: Just cracked the 1 billion user mark

Snapchat: Reported to have 100 million users2

Social media is splintering. It’s no longer just about Facebook.

So the social sharing buttons need to be updated. I have now added Flipboard and WhatsApp. To help me do that I use one of the best Apps for bloggers and website owners.. (an awesome app called SumoMe).

It allows me to easily connect and update my sharing buttons (plus 11+ other cool options) which can be a floating sidebar, at the top or sitting at the bottom of the page.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Sumome-sharing-buttons.jpg

Sumome sharing buttons

Not only that but it provides you with great metrics and stats. Here is some of the data that you can get from the dashboard.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Total-clicks-on-SumoMe-sharing-buttons.jpg

Total clicks on SumoMe sharing buttons

Above is my first day of metrics capture. The data that shows on a mouseover is also very insightful.

Here are the share splits.

  • Twitter was top at 63
  • LinkedIn was next at 17
  • Pinterest – 16
  • Email – 15
  • Facebook -12
  • Google+ -10
  • WhatsApp – 9
  • Buffer – 6
  • Flipboard – 2

What surprised me was how many people shared via email, WhatsApp and also FlipBoard. So we have the old and the new! Shows you not assume how and what people share. You need to know the data so you can optimize and maximize your sharing.

If you want to know some more about SumoMe check out this post on “How to Double Your Traffic Without Paying Google or Facebook a Cent“. Where I take a closer look at the key 12+ tools you can use to double your traffic.

The social web will amplify brand awareness, grow your traffic and increase leads and sales if it is done well.

Flipboard goes viral

Three weeks ago something happened that surprised me.

I published a post “7 Inspiring Books You Must Read” and then I flipped that post into one of my personal Flipboard magazines where I put all my blog posts.

A couple of hours later my traffic blew up.

I found the major source for the traffic of 200 readers a minute was coming from Flipboard.

Flipboard is a social-network aggregation magazine format mobile app that was founded in 2010 and I joined up a few years ago and have been playing at its edges . But the traffic it is driving in 2016 to my site is now very surprising but welcome.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Flipboard-magazine-7-Inspiring-books.jpg

Flipboard magazine 7 Inspiring books

So here are the lessons on viral.

Keep innovating and trying new tactics. You will be surprised often by what works and what doesn’t.

If you want to see how the jeffbullas.com posts look like on FlipBoard come and check it out here. For more information on Flipboard, check out this article. “6 Ways Brands Can Amplify Their Marketing With FlipBoard Magazines

So after that small digression let’s have a closer look at the social media facts that behind how the social web is changing how we communicate, market and create content.

Facebook facts

Facebook owns some companies that you maybe aren’t aware of. Instagram(bought for $1billion), Occulus Rift (for $2 billion) and WhatsApp (purchase price of $19 billion). These are some of the Facebook facts from their investor relations division

  1. Monthly active users (MAUs) – MAUs were 1.59 billion as of December 31, 2015, an increase of 14% year-over-year.
  2. Revenue – Revenue for the full year 2015 was $17.93 billion, an increase of 44% year-over-year.
  3. Income from operations – Income from operations for the full year 2015 was $6.23 billion.
  4. Net income – Net income for the full year 2015 was $3.69 billion.
  5. Free cash flow – Free cash flow for the full year 2015 was $6.08 billion.
  6. Daily active users (DAUs) – DAUs were 1.04 billion on average for December 2015, an increase of 17% year-over-year.
  7. Mobile DAUs – Mobile DAUs were 934 million on average for December 2015, an increase of 25% year-over-year.
  8. Mobile MAUs – Mobile MAUs were 1.44 billion as of December 31, 2015, an increase of 21% year-over-year.
  9. Mobile advertising revenue – Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 80% of advertising revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015, up from 69% of advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The role of mobile is a staggering 80% of all advertising revenue. The money machine rolls on.

Twitter facts

Twitter in the last 12 months has taken a battering in the press, lost it’s CEO and is still struggling to monetise its platform. But it has a truckload of cash in reserves (at $3.5 billion) and at the current burn rate will be around for another 412 years according to USA Today.

  1. 320 Million users
  2. Twitter will be offering live embedded feeds from Periscope directly in the Twitter feed via the Twitter app on the Apple iOS.
  3. 120 million monthly users
  4. 500 million tweets are sent per day

Below are some more stats.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Twitter-facts.jpg

Twitter facts

Image source Twitter:

Snapchat

Snapchat launched in 2011 and was initially almost dismissed as a joke. A fad that would pass. It was reported that Facebook offered $3 billion to buy the company and everyone thought they were mad to reject it.

But the facts in 2016 show a different story.

  1. 100 million active daily users
  2. 18% of all social media users in the USA use Snapchat
  3. 30% of all US. millennials use the network
  4. 8,796 photos a second are shared on Snapchat
  5. Snapchat is reputed to have 5% of the overall selfie market

Statistics source: Expanded Ramblings

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Snapchat-infographic.jpg

Snapchat infographic

Infographic source: Growingsocialmedia

WhatsApp facts

This story behind the brand name was a play on words of “What’s Up”. Facebook bought it for $19 billion on Valentine’s Day, 2014 after beating Google’s offer of $10 billion.

It’s core philosophy is simplicity.

This is a little different to how Google approached the concept with Google+. Which was more about the big bang and big bucks theory of beating Facebook. We know how that strategy played out.

So here are some of the facts behind WhatsApp.

  1. Founded in 2009 by Jan Koum and Brian Acton
  2. Just hit 1 billion users
  3. 7oo million pictures get shared on the platform daily
  4. 100 million new users are added daily
  5. More than 100 million videos are shared daily
  6. The average user send more than 1000 messages per month on WhatsApp
  7. Average user checks the app 23 times per day

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Whatsapp-infographic.jpg

Whatsapp infographic

Infographic source: Shoponless.com

Google+ facts

Google+ seems to have become more about one of its key features. Google+ Hangouts. Google+ has even admitted that Google+ maybe split up into its functional parts.

Maybe the problem was that it tried to do too much rather than start simple and evolve. Cases to prove that simple works include Twitter, Snapchat and WhatsApp.

It’s big bang theory that imploded after investing over half a billion in it’s design and development. Deep pockets don’t always win.

Google won at search but not social.

Despite that here are some figures I managed to dig up.

  1. There are 2.2 billion G+ profiles
  2. Only 9% have any publicly posted content. Do the math. That’s 198 million that published!1
  3. 37% mentioned that those activities were comments on YouTube videos

Statas source: Socialscoremedia

Instagram facts

Instagram has now passed Twitter in the user count and it looks like it is Facebook’s best investment. After buying it for $1 billion on April 9, 2012… Citibank valued it at $35 billion just before the start of 2015 when it had 300 million users.

At the beginning of 2016 it has even more. Here are some facts about Instagram to ponder.

  1. Instagram has 420 million users
  2. Users share 70 million photos a day
  3. Instagram is considered the most important social network by American teens than any other network at 32% vs 24% for Twitter and Facebook at 14%.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Instagram-facts.jpg

Instagram facts Infographic source: Instagramchief.com

Pinterest facts

Pinterest feels like it has been around forever. But it hasn’t. On the social media scene it is almost middle aged. It started in 2009.

Here are a few facts that you may use when planning your social media marketing.

  1. 100 million users
  2. 80% are female
  3. 30% of US social media users are on Pinterest

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Pinterest-facts-2015.jpg

Pinterest facts 2015

Infographic source: Brandingandbuzzing.com

Blab facts

Blab burst on the scene in 2015 and is a live streaming video app that allows up to 4 people to be the hosts while the rest of the world looks on and comments. Sort of like the love child of Periscope and Google+ Hangouts.

  1. Number of users – No idea! But it has got a lot of attention over the last 6 months. I couldn’t find any numbers. If you have the inside scoop please let me know!!
  2. Users can sign in to the Blab through Twitter account only.
  3. Blabs can be recordable both as audio and video files
  4. The recorded Blabs can be share and upload onto the social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube etc.
  5. Blab is available for both Android and iOS platform devices
  6. The 20 characters that are additional in Twitter profile bio will be lost if you have edit the information for Blab.
  7. Viewing Blab without participating in was called as Lurk mode on Blab
  8. Blab allows maximum six hour lengthy content

The Blab rules

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Blab-rules.jpg

Blab rules

Graphic source: Marc-levy.com

Periscope facts

Periscope was launched in March, 2015 and is an app that allows live video streaming from the app on your mobile phone. Live streaming video from the mobile took off in 2015 with the launch of Meerkat, Periscope and Blab.

Using these platfroms to build brand awareness and market your business are still in embryonic stages. So watch this space

  1. Periscope was acquired by Twitter for $86 million
  2. People are watching 40 years worth of live video every day
  3. 350,000 hours of video is streamed daily
  4. Since Periscope launched last year, people have created over 100 million live broadcasts according to the Twitter blog.
  5. Estimated number of users has passed 10 million
  6. Daily active users has passed 1.85 million

 Source of data: Omnicoreagency.com

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Periscope-5-tips-JanLehner.com_.jpg

Periscope 5 tips JanLehner.com

Infographic source: JenLehner.com

Flipboard facts

So I am maybe pushing the boundaries of what is a social network but Flipboard does allow sharing, content publishing and comments.

It “is” still social media.

Flipboard was launched in 2010 by former Apple iPhone engineer, Evan Doll, and former Tellme CEO, Mike McCue. The duo set out to create an app that merged the simplicity and feel of a magazine with the accessibility and collaboration that technology provides. The app integrates news from media outlets from around the world and presents it in a magazine format.

  1. 72 million monthly users
  2. 36 million use it every week
  3. It is in more than 20 languages
  4. Users flip through 8.2 billion stories a month
  5. They have raised over $200 million in funding

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Flipboard-infographic.jpg

Flipboard infographic

Infographic: Aboutflipboard.com

Over to you

How is social media, the apps and the social web changing your world?

Are you innovating or stagnating? What’s working for you? Look forward to your insights and feedback in the comments below.
Read more at http://www.jeffbullas.com/2016/02/08/79-social-media-facts-that-reveal-how-our-world-is-changing/#Ar75ZJ5SM2pdp4W0.99

4 Incredible Virtual Services for Your Business

Not everyone needs businesses premises with full-time employees. In fact, people with online businesses often don’t need any space. However, that doesn’t mean you can get by one your own, working out of your basement. Sometimes you need some help, either to grow your business or make it look more legitimate. In this situation, you could benefit from a number of virtual services. For example, a virtual receptionist can answer your calls and take messages for you. These virtual services provide you with a way to run a full business on a budget. You don’t need a large office space because everyone works remotely. Try these options to expand your business.

Instagram and other Social Media Apps

Photo by Jason Howie

 

Virtual Social Media Management

Any social selling business needs to have excellent control over their social media. However, not all business owners have time to do it on their own. If you require help, you don’t need the funds for a full-time or even part-time employee. A virtual social media manager or assistant can be just what you need to make things easier. Social media management is just one of the many tasks a virtual assistant can handle for you. You can give them as much or as little control as you want. You might ask them to post certain things at particular times. You might leave some aspects of social media to them and do some of it yourself.

My Office

Photo by Steven Burt

 

Virtual Office

If you want your business to look professional, using your home address won’t cut it. People don’t want to look you up and find you work out of your garage. What’s more, you’re sure to want to separate your work and home lives. So your best bet is to use a virtual office to make your business look more professional. They can offer a range of services to help you. For example, at Level Office, you get to use their address and have them receive and even forward your mail. For a slightly higher price, you can use their meeting spaces for a few hours a month too. These services are extremely useful if you don’t have a proper office you can use.

receptionist

Photo by Petras Gagilas

 

Virtual Receptionist

Who answers your phones when your customers call? If it’s you, it might be getting a bit too much for you. It’s time-consuming to have to speak to people all the time. You have other things you need to do, and you can’t spend all day chatting. Plus, you don’t necessarily want people getting straight through to the head of the company. A virtual receptionist can be useful in this case. They can answer your calls, forward them, and take messages.

customer service assistant on phone

Photo by CWCS Managed Hosting

 

Virtual PA

A virtual personal assistant can do just about anything for you. However, you’re most likely to use them for secretarial and admin work. They might answer your calls or respond to emails. They can also do data entry, or perhaps make appointments for you. If you need someone who’s a multitasker with a range of skills, hiring a virtual PA is an excellent idea.

 

Virtual services can be a huge benefit to small businesses. Consider using them if you want to grow your brand on a budget.

5 Ways To Build Brand Recognition. Quickly

When you think about the biggest companies in the game, you instantly think of their branding. Imagine Coca-Cola, Nike, and Apple for a second. You immediately picture the red branding of Coca-Cola. You picture Nike’s adrenaline-pumping, adventure branding and iconic tick. You imagine Apple’s apple, and its link to beautiful, creative products.

This is an exercise in great brand awareness and recognition. Unfortunately, it’s why many startups fail to make an impression. Establishing your brand and building recognition is one of the hardest mountains for new startups to climb. Why? Because there are simply so many others out there. How do you get people to become familiar with your branding?

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photo source

 

  1. Media coverage

Step one, secure as much media coverage as possible. Seeing your startup’s name in national newspapers and high profile websites has a subconscious effect on people. They instantly begin to see your brand as established, and respected. Customers respond to brands that are supported by media outlets. So, once you’ve honed your branding, start a PR campaign to tell your story or launch a product. Use a press release distribution service to get your message under the nose of key journalists. With your name in lights, you’ll start to build that brand recognition.

 

  1. Partnering with another brand

We’re big fans of startup partnerships here. So long as you pick a company that doesn’t compete directly with yours, you’ll gain a lot. Consider partnering with a related company to host an event or sponsor a new initiative. This cross-promotion allows you to tap into their customer base, and get your name in front of new people. Think carefully about the right company to approach. Don’t choose a rival, but do chose a business that has a similar target audience.

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photo source

 

  1. Let the product promote itself

The smartest new companies let their product do all the heavy lifting. Media outreach and marketing is expensive, not to mention exhausting. That’s why organic ‘word-of-mouth’ promotion is so fantastic. It teaches customers to buy from you, without you imposing on them. But, how do you start the ball rolling? Consider Uber’s marketing model. It used the simple process of referrals to grow. They offered their users a free $20 taxi ride when they referred a friend (who also then got a free $20). It was a domino process, and these referrals drove brand recognition (and sales) through the roof.

 

  1. Content

Establishing a name for yourself online is rarely easy, due to the sheer competition. However, phenomenal content might just set you apart. Start by creating great content (articles, videos, infographics), and brand it heavily with your imaging. The best content is shared far and wide across the internet, taking your brand name and imaging with it! Simple.

 

  1. Advertising

So far, we’ve covered the organic methods of building brand recognition. If you’re looking for a quicker method, tap into the incredible reach of advertising. By using online ads or real-world advertising, you can get your brand and image in front of thousands.

 

Remember, people need to see your branding roughly seven times before they’ll trust your startup. Where would you start?