There have been a number of occasions in my life where it seemed that certain opportunities sort of dried up on me. Then I was left with this feeling like “Oh no, what do I do now?” It’s almost like you think that since those certain opportunities are no longer available that all hope is lost. But in reality, not all hope is lost because sometimes new opportunities will arise. So the important thing is to always be ready for them when they do come your way.
In my music “career” I have had a number of dry spells where I wasn’t getting any gigs. Then all of a sudden things would pick up and I would get one break after another with very little effort. At the same time those opportunities were sort of drying up, other ones would arise like someone would want me to do a website for them or someone would pay me to post advertising on my websites. There always seemed to be something. When one thing was slow, another would pick up.
Just when other things were getting slow, my online articles started getting a lot of views. So I started to concentrate on them and the number of views skyrocketed. Now, did I completely stop doing the other things? No, I didn’t. And the reason is because always being ready to go back to them allows me to take advantage of more opportunities in the future. All I have to do is keep an eye out for them and be ready when I find them.
One thing that has worked to my advantage is the fact that I do have somewhat of a high profile. I get thousands of article views a day, tens of thousands of visitors on my websites and I am active on a number of social media sites. I have noticed that with the higher my visibility, the more opportunities come my way. A lot of times, I don’t even have to look for them, I am often lucky enough to have them come my way, with someone else initiating the contact. Occasionally, I will contact someone else but it’s always nicer when they call you.
I try to diversify my activities. Sometimes it is very difficult, from a time management aspect since there are just so many hours in a day. If you are persistent, though, and keep at it, you can learn to become somewhat of an effective juggler.
I juggle a lot of things on a weekly basis. Even when I am not playing out a lot as a musician, I try to stay up on my practice. Then, should an opportunity arise regarding a live performance, I will be ready. I have had a number of times where I was asked by someone right out of the blue to do a live performance. Sometimes it would be as a result of a cancellation or some other musician passed my name on to a new venue owner who was looking for musicians to play his establishment. I was ready to accept on those occasions because I was always prepared. I have to admit that it’s not always easy to motivate yourself when things are slow but you just have to find a way to do it.
As a web developer, I try to add new content to my sites from time to time. I do this for a couple of reasons. One reason is to have more pages that I could post advertising on and get more ad revenues and the other reason is to once again increase my level of visibility, which will also lead to more opportunities. I have had people discover me on the Internet through one of my websites contact me about an opportunity for something else like doing a live musical performance, writing opportunity, or a web development opportunity.
Now let’s say that I wasn’t still practicing my music and I had forgotten a lot of my repertoire and someone contacts me to do a live performance. Well, I wouldn’t be able to accept the offer if I wasn’t ready. So the basic idea is to always be ready for the opportunities and they will come your way. Just try to do things to raise your level of visibility and the offers will eventually come. Most importantly, be persistent. That’s what you have to do to be ready for new opportunities.
Bob Craypoe is a musician, writer, cartoonist, webmaster, 3D artist and entrepreneur.to learn more about him, go to http://craypoe.com/bob
(Family Features) As you rush from store to store this holiday season, making your list and checking it twice, you may not be giving careful attention to safeguarding your cellphone. Distracted shoppers make easy targets for mischief and even simple careless losses.
Each year, the percentage of claims filed for lost or stolen cellphones increases in November, December and January, according to claims data from Asurion, a mobile protection and solutions company that partners with wireless providers around the globe. New Year’s Eve is the most dangerous holiday for phones, with an 83 percent increase in claims.
“The risk of theft increases during the holidays, and consumers need to consider a more comprehensive approach to protecting their smartphones and the valuable information on them,” said Bettie Colombo, spokesperson for Asurion. “Purchasing cellphone protection can save customers hundreds of dollars on a replacement device and reconnect them quickly to friends, family and coworkers during the holiday season.”
Technology-based tools are available that can perform a wide range of functions. These include location-based services that help you find a missing device, remotely lock it and even erase the data should a device land in the wrong hands.
To help keep your smartphone and the personal, irreplaceable information it contains safe this holiday season, keep the following tips in mind:
Back up your content regularly, whether to your computer or through a reputable cloud service.
Update your phone’s software regularly to ensure you are protected from the latest security vulnerabilities.
Enable password protection, especially if your phone provides access to banking or credit accounts.
If your phone and provider offer them, enable location-based services that will let you track down your phone if it gets lost.
Insure your phone. The best buys are comprehensive policies that safeguard you from loss, theft, damage and malfunction.
Avoid using your phone to log into personal accounts, such as online banking, while using an unsecured public wireless network.
Carry your phone in a deep pocket or in a purse with a zipper or other secure closure to prevent it from slipping out while you’re busy perusing gift ideas.
Make a habit of checking for your phone as you leave a store or location. While this won’t prevent it from getting stolen, it will narrow the search field if it goes missing.
Visit www.asurion.com for additional information on smartphone insurance and technologies to protect your information and device.
Are Branded Games Right For Your Business at All?
Using branded games for marketing is really gaining some momentum. Forward thinking marketers are really starting to see the potential to promote brands, products and services in a genuinely new and engaging way. The problem is, they rarely stop to think about target audience. Video games have mass market appeal, so are only really good for promoting mass market products. If you want to promote a tight niche market product, it’s probably best to look elsewhere. All you’re likely to end up with is people playing your game who are completely outside your target market and have no interest whatsoever in what you have to offer.
Have Realistic Expectations
Unless you have a near endless budget, you’re not going to create the next Farmville. These types of games have full time teams working on development and maintenance and an ongoing budget to match. With costs way above and beyond what any business would spend on this type of marketing, it’s just not realistic. This is all without taking into consideration the huge technological demands of such a game.
Be Aware of Hosting Requirements
Many people seem to think Facebook games are hosted on the Facebook site. This is not the case. Facebook provide the platform, but hosting is solely the responsibility of the publisher.
Provision must be made by the developer for storage and processing of all application data, backend databases, etc. If your Facebook game really takes off, this can be a massive technological as well as financial overhead in itself. So it’s absolutely imperative that hosting is in place to cope with the expected load, both in terms of processing power and data transfer for content delivery. Without this, your game will quickly break down and end up offline.
Viral Spread Should be a Bonus, Not a Necessity
This is where most branded Facebook games fail. Expecting that viral spread created by the Facebook social platform will automatically generate massive exposure from nothing is a mistake. The Facebook platform encourages passing on of your game by players to their friends, but without an initial user base, your game link can’t be passed on.
The reality is, successfully launching a Facebook game isn’t easy. You can’t rely on the magic of viral marketing to make your game a success. Any viral spread should be treated as a bonus, not a necessity. A game should be treated as a way to increase engagement with your brand and social media presence, not a magic traffic generator. Integration with the rest of your marketing campaign to drive initial players to your game is essential.
There will always be a certain amount of viral spread, but without the players to begin with, a Facebook game will die pretty quickly.
Is Your Business Capable of Successfully Launching a Facebook Game?
Don’t underestimate just how much work will be involved in successfully launching your Facebook game. Using your existing marketing and PR channels to promote the game in the first instance, along with a bit of creative thinking, is essential. Use everything at your disposal, including mailing lists, social media and press releases sent out to key media contacts in your industry.
If you’re not confident of being able to drive the required number of players to the game, to make it a success, then think twice about using a Facebook game.
If you haven’t been put off yet and none of the above worries you, then there’s a good chance that a Facebook game will work for you. If you’re confident you have a reasonable budget to fulfil your needs and your business has the marketing muscle to launch the game effectively, then there’s a good chance a branded Facebook game will not only meet, but exceed your expectations.
Search trends, found at www.BingTrends.com, indicate what most captivated people in 2013, including celebrities, music, movies, technology, fashion, sports, travel and more.
According to Bing, the search engine from Microsoft, Beyonce, Tim Tebow, Iron Man 3, the royal baby and the Harlem Shake were among the top Internet searches that mark the most interesting people, places and moments in 2013.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Most searched people
Queen Bey not only secured her reign as the queen of pop but landed a spot as the most-searched person on Bing in 2013. Beyonce bumped Kim Kardashian out of the top spot this year, making her the second most-searched person of the year. But Kim is still the number one most-searched reality TV star with her sisters, Khloe (fifth) and Kourtney (eighth) not far behind.
Image via CrunchBase
Taylor Swift also had a busy year in the public eye, which is evidenced by her jump from 10th in 2012 to fourth this year.
More notable number ones
Most searched news story: Excitement and anticipation around the birth of the royal baby took America by storm this summer, making this the most-searched news story in 2013.
Most searched athlete: When it comes to the sports world, sometimes a little controversy goes further than actual on-field excellence, as Tim Tebow was the most-searched athlete for 2013, even though he’s no longer playing in the NFL.
Most searched sports team: American football favorite, the Dallas Cowboys, was the most-searched sports team of 2013. The Cowboys are the second-highest valued sports franchise in U.S. history (behind the third most-searched team, the New York Yankees) with an estimated value of approximately $2.1 billion.
Most searched fashion designer: The fashion industry was as competitive as ever in 2013 but fashion icon and designer Victoria Beckham took the crown.
Most searched movie: Anticipation and buzz around the final installment in the Iron Man trilogy propelled Iron Man III to the number one spot this year.
Most searched song: The money-saving ways of rapper Macklemore took America by storm, making “Thrift Shop” the most-searched song.
Most searched TV show: The Big Bang Theory made a splash in 2013, knocking off American Idol for the top spot.
Most searched morning shows: Good Morning America may have taken over the television ratings, but the Today Show is still king in most-searched morning show.
Most searched social network: What’s on our mind, Facebook? Oh, just that our friends still “like” you the most. Facebook came in as the most-searched social media platform for the second year in a row.
Most searched streaming sites: With new original series and more viewers than ever before, Netflix was the king of entertainment. Netflix beat out Hulu and Project Free TV this year, which were second and third, respectively.
Harlem Shake (Photo credit: greyloch)
Most searched Internet meme: Let the beat drop, the Harlem Shake spread like wild fire, becoming the most-searched meme/viral video of 2013. In the height of its popularity, thousands of people across the nation were uploading their own viral video versions of the Harlem Shake.
These top Bing searches in 2013 provide a quick walk down memory lane. For more of this year’s online search trends, visit www.BingTrends.com.
I have had an online presence since late 1999. in the beginning it was just a small website with only a few pages. My presence has grown steadily throughout the years and my level of visibility has increased significantly as a result. The higher level of visibility has helped me to get more opportunities offered to m and has led to some income.
I have my own personal websites that can all be reached through craypoe.com. I had at first started out with just one website but now have a number of them and they total over 4,000 pages. It took a number of years to get to that number but it was slow and steady and still growing. My traffic has increased significantly over the years as well. That has led to more opportunities.
There are some search strings where some pages on my sites rank high in the search engines. Because of that, I get requests from search engine optimization companies, who are contacting me on the behalf of a client, offering me money to post links to a website. The reason they do so is not the traffic that could be gained from clicking on a link from my site but for the purpose of search engine optimization. If my page has a high search engine ranking for a certain search string a text link from my page to a site with similar content, their search engine ranking will improve. If their search engine ranking improves, they get more traffic through the search engines. They will get far more traffic from the search engine than they would get directly from my site.
After a while I got into article and e-book writing. I have written for a few different sites but currently do most of my article writing through Triond.com. Over time, I have started to receive a lot of article views. So between my websites and the writing, I have begun to reach a lot of people online.
I use the Internet to publicize my music to try to reach as many people as I can worldwide. I have accounts with ReverbNation.com and SoundCloud.com. I link to those accounts from my websites and my social networking profile pages. I reach other people who have accounts on those sites and try to direct them to my own websites. I also direct traffic to those pages from my websites. It’s really a cross promotional thing where they each promote each other.
I sell music through Amazon.com both in MP3 format and on CD. I also have done some product reviews on amazon. That helps to get my name out there to even more people. I also link to the products I sell through Amazon from my own websites. That’s another form of cross promotion.
I have been doing 3D artwork for a while now. I have online galleries on a couple of websites which link to my websites and my websites also link to my online galleries. I meet other artists who have galleries on those sites and other people who are just interested in art.
I am also highly involved with social networking websites. I do Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn and others. They all link to my websites and my websites link to them. They even link to each other. My Triond account has a few thousand fans as well. Between all of them, I have the ability to reach a a lot of people from all over the world.
So how can you diversify your online presence? First of all, what all do you do? If you write, join writing websites. If you do art, join up on some art websites that have galleries. Do you do photography? Join sites that do that as well. Are you a musician, join up on the social networking websites they have for musicians. That will increase your online visibility. If you do a number of those things, consider yourself diversified. All you have to do now is diversify your online presence. You will then be abe to reach more people. You should also be able to increase opportunities offered to you because more people will be able to discover you online. So basically you have to sit down and take stock of everything you can do. Then find a places online where you can promote those things and network with others who do those same sorts of things. Then, soon enough, you will see the benefits of diversifying your online presence. You’ll basically have everything covered.
(BPT) – The holiday season is all about celebrating with family and friends, which means more merry-making, staying organized and enjoying the time spent shopping for the perfect gifts. A smart shopper is able to access and keep organized great deals and discounts, reduce time with online shopping and check for last-minute opinions if absolutely necessary.
To help be a smarter shopper this holiday season, consider putting these tips to use:
* Keep the deals and discounts organized – At this time of year, everyone’s inbox is flooded with promotions with varying expiration dates. Holiday-themed emails began filling inboxes across the country starting mid-October, and will continue to increase over the next two months, according to an Experian study. Being able to train your inbox to manage these promotions for you will help save time while online shopping. Outlook.com has a sweep feature that allows users to move everything from a particular sender to a single folder with a quick push of a button, and then delete everything except the most recent communications. In a matter of seconds, the hundreds of holiday deals clogging your inbox are sorted and deleted except for the deals you need in order to receive a discount on your online purchase. More than half of holiday shoppers will shop online this season, according to the National Retail Federation, but you’ll be ahead of the game with your promotions organized for quick access.
* Make certain your online shopping is secure – Identity theft is a big concern during the holiday season, and keeping your credit card and account information secure should be a priority, especially when shopping online. Start first with the Internet browser you’re using. Internet Explorer 11 is the most secure browser among its competitors, according to NSS Labs. By keeping your browser and other software updated you’ll have the most up-to-date security protection on your computer. Also, when shopping, make certain you’re on a secure site. The SmartScreen Filter on Internet Explorer 11 helps warn you about unsafe sites before you share your account information with people who could misuse it.
* Share your wish lists - Many families create wish lists to help in finding the perfect gift for each recipient – you wouldn’t want anyone receiving another fruit cake! But sometimes a typed list doesn’t convey the full idea of exactly what you’re looking for. Use visuals to remove any confusion about what you really want by uploading and sharing a photo wish list on SkyDrive. That way, you know the wish list will always be with you through the cloud.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
* Get a last-minute opinion - Sometimes the shopping list fails or you’re in need of an urgent gift, and find yourself in a crowded store faced with a gift dilemma. Grab a second opinion with a friend or family member using Skype on your phone. You can use both video calls and messages to communicate your quandary, and quickly arrive at a mutual agreement, allowing you to finish your shopping and enjoy the rest of the holiday season.
Smart shopping helps remove stress from the holiday season, and you can accomplish your shopping to-do list much more efficiently. You’ll soon discover you have free time to hang out with friends and family more often and really enjoy the holiday season.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There is some truth to the saying “Slow and steady wins the race.” This is especially true when it is over an extended period of time. Even progress at the slowest possible pace can add up after a while.
Quite often, I will start a small project and don’t think much of it at the time when I start it. When I first put guitar chords on my website, I just started out with the first few keys. Then a few months later I did the remaining keys. That meant that I have 12 pages for the 12 major keys and the main page that linked to them all. A whopping total of 13 pages in that section of the website. Not too impressive though. Not yet anyway.
About a year or two later, I decided to put guitar scales up on the site. I just started with the major, and minor pure scales for each key, which meant 24 more pages. Now the guitar lessons portion of the site was up to 37 pages. Of course that wasn’t good enough, so then I went back a few months later and added even more guitar scales. That portion of the site eventually went over 100 pages. The traffic to the website increased dramatically as all of the content was being added. The new content would start showing up in the search engines and the increasing number of visitors reflected that.
I then decided to add more instruments. I decided to add mandolin chords. Once again, the traffic increased significantly. As soon as I saw that there was a significant increase generated by adding the mandolin chords,I decided to add the scales for the mandolin too. Then I added banjo chords, keyboard chords and other music related features to the website. With each addition to the website in content, the more visitors I received, as a result.
Not only was I adding music related features to the site but I had also been adding classic poetry. Originally, I had a goal of 200 poems. Over time, though, I added more and more. Now, there are over 2,000. It took a while, but they add up over time.
The same is true regarding other things I have been working on throughout the years. I had joined a few social networking sites and started to add friends. My Myspace friend count currently stands at almost 31,000. I have over 5,000 Facebook friends and a couple of thousand Twitter followers. It took a while to compile them but now I use the social networking sites to help drive traffic to my sites. That with what I get from the search engines gets me a couple of million page views a year on my websites.
I also started to develop my own product line. When I first started to do my websites, I had no product line. Now I have a handful of products but, slowly, over time, I will continue to add more. I use the websites to pull people in and then promote my products from within the sites. Cumulatively, the tasks of creating the content for the sites, creating and uploading the pages, creating the products, writing articles, working with social networking sites and all of the other things take up a lot of time. Much of that time is divided between the various tasks. So progress is quite slow for each of those tasks. However, over time, much progress is made.
Over a period of just over ten years, I have accumulated about 4,000 pages on the Internet, accumulated all of those friends, I mentioned above, on the social networking sites, started to compile articles, recorded my own music, made the music available for download and have done a number of other things. Now, it sounds like I did a lot, but it took ten years to get to that point. Ten years is a significant amount of time in my book.
If you break the 4,000 pages on the Internet down by year, it averages 400 pages a year. Well, there are 365 days in the year. That means, on average, I created 1.1 pages per day. Doesn’t really sound like that much now, does it? It’s that slow and steady thing creeping up on you. The idea is not to lose your enthusiasm. The idea is to maintain enough determination, long enough, to actually be able to create something big. They say that quitters never win and winners never quit. Maybe that idea combined with the fact that slow and steady wins the race, is what really makes the difference.
It seems that every day it gets harder and harder to make money on the Internet. There is a reason for getting that feeling. It’s because it’s true. Sorry to burst your bubble if that bothers you, but it is most definitely the case. The one reason is because of the level of competition is constantly increasing. Once a new website goes online, it becomes yet another site out there competing for traffic. It’s not much of a threat if you’re already established. In fact, if you’re already established and doing well, you don’t have much to fear from new sites unless they have a lot of money to spend promoting themselves. The bad news is, though, that if you aren’t really pulling in a lot of traffic, it gets harder to increase the number of visitors you are already receiving.
Even if you are getting a lot of visitors, it’s still hard to make a buck. Many sites offer things for free to pull in traffic. Web surfers are always looking for free stuff and you can’t get any cheaper than free. So how do you compete? If a competing website offers something for free that you charge for on your site, whose site do you think people will want to go to? The fact is that nobody wants to pay for anything anymore. They certainly won’t pay for anything if they find out that they can get it somewhere else for free.
It has now gotten to the point where the only way many sites make money is from the advertising they barrage you with on their site. You may have noticed an increase in the number of pop-up ads and other forms of advertising on the Internet. You will also see the underlined text in articles that will display and ad if you roll your cursor over it. Then there are banner ads, pop-ups, pop-unders, video ads that play without prompting you and so on. Do you know why you are getting barraged with all of those various forms of advertising? It’s because it’s hard for a website to make money by other methods.
It has even gotten to the point where you will see highly popular sites barrage you with advertisements of every type. I went to FoxNews.com and saw the underlined text ads or what is more technically referred to as inline text ads. But media companies generally make the bulk of their money through advertising, so I guess that should be expected to some degree.
Companies that pay for advertising through Google Adwords or other contextual ads will bid on certain keywords. One may say that he’s willing to pay 23 cents a click for an ad to be displayed to match a certain keyword. Someone else may say that they are willing to pay 30 cents a click. The one that’s willing to pay 30 cents will have his ads displayed first. So, if your bid is too low, your ads won’t be displayed because of the competition. If you plan to advertise your site through these companies that do the contextual ads, it can be pretty hard to get a decent return for you investment.
If you are a publisher of the contextual ads (website that displays them), you are competing against other sites that display them. The more sites that display contextual ads, the lower the amount per click you will make. So the whole thing on both sides are driven by supply and demand. If there are a lot of sites publishing the ads, then the higher paying ads will be divided between a large number of sites, they will run out and then the lower paying one will be displayed.
In the early days of the Net, there was a lot less competition. As a result, it was much easier to make a buck on the Internet. Less publishers for contextual ads to compete against and you could make money on pay per impression ads, where you would get money for each time an ad was displayed. Now most ads are pay-per-click, which means that you only get paid when someone clicks on the ad. Affiliate programs are even worse. You will only get paid if someone clicks on the ad displayed on your site and then makes a purchase from the advertiser’s site.
Now the point of this article is not to discourage anyone. The point behind this article is to help people realize that making money on the Internet is no walk in the park. It will take time, effort and money on your part to generate traffic to your site and getting people to by something once they get there is a bit of a challenge too. Just remember that you’re not alone, because everybody has to fight to make a buck on the Web. You just have to work harder at it than the next guy, and if you do, you will prevail in the end. You can be the one that’s rising to the top while the others descend down that downward spiral.
Mark Schaefer has given us a book that is amazing at getting the most out of your Twitter. By following his guide, you will enjoy the benefits of applying his concept and make connections that were just not possible before. You can connect with people all over the world instantly, and you can use that as feedback, brainstorming and many other things. Twitter is not just for personal use but also for professionals. If used correctly, it can be a great marketing tool for any type of business you may have; you just need to be persistent and patient because building a group of followers is not an easy task. It is also important to remember that the biggest long term benefit you are going to get out of Twitter are the personal connections you will make with wonderful people around the world.
To follow the Tao of Twitter, Schaefer has three aspects you must first tackle. The first one is making meaningful connections. This is about making connections and attracting people to your Twitter. This is a critical step of the process because without followers you will not be able to do the two other aspects. Having more followers also means that you will be able to make more interactions and get more opportunities to create business benefits. If you are a beginner on Twitter, Schaefer recommends that you start with twenty minutes a day, posting relevant content and trying to find followers on your same interest and industry. Also by following people that are influential to you, you can learn new things from them, adding benefits to yourself and/or business.
The second aspect of the Tao is to provide meaningful content. Providing content that is interesting will attract people, and they can also refer you to more followers. For this Schaefer recommends that you try tweeting three times a day at different times, so you can reach a variety of audience that might be on at different times. Also make sure you stay active with your followers and quickly respond any messages and mentions you may have. “Tweet regularly, tweet often, but only if you have something of value to say” is a great advice from Schaefer. Share interesting links you read through the day, share posts from your blog, and also re-tweet posts from influential people.
The final aspect is to be authentically helpful. Help your followers out! People are tired of being sold to. By being genuine you can build great relationships. Any business relationship is based on trust, and just like Schaefer states, this must be earned. You need to help your followers without expecting anything back in return. Most people post questions or problems on Twitter, answer it for them if you can, if not try to point them to someone who is able to do so. Re-tweet content from followers, they appreciate their content being spread. Make sure if someone helps you out, show them gratitude. But most importantly – just stay honest! People will see you are genuine and they will come to you as well as refer you to other people.
By applying these steps you will surely surround yourself with great people that will lead you to great opportunities. However, it is crucial to remember that gaining these benefits take time, nevertheless, follow the Tao of Twitter and you will reach your goals!
The Ten Things Managers Need to Know from The Tao of Twitter
1. To attract more followers in Twitter you need be genuine and honest. Business relationships are built online and offline this way. By doing this you will connect with people and you can gain a lot of opportunities you did not have before. Show people that you care and they will reciprocate it to you.
2. Have the right attitude to use Twitter. You cannot be mean and expect to be in a social media website, it will back fire on you. You need to have a positive attitude and the persistence to get a great community, and soon you will be surrounded with some great followers.
3. Twitter might not be for everyone. Evaluate your business and see if most of your customers are online. Also make sure you like being part of the social media, you cannot force it. However, if you decided not to use Twitter, at least follow influential people and gain some more knowledge.
4. Make sure you are prepared on what are the basics of Twitter. It will help a great deal if you already know your way around Twitter and what everything means. This will help you get your profile set up the right way and you can start connecting with people easier.
5. Learn the more advanced technical jargon of Twitter. Be aware of the shortcuts you can take with third party software to save your time or just to track your followers better. There are third party software that can help you know when your followers are online, this way you can best choose when to post content for your followers.
Image via CrunchBase
6. Benefits multiply. Once you start to make connections and offering authentic help to people, they will want to help you out, too. Once it gets rolling, everyone will look out for each other and the opportunities will be endless.
7. Follow the first aspect of the Tao, make targeted connections. Be active on your Twitter and find influential people. Also conduct searches based on what your interests are and follow those people. Connect with your contacts that are on other platforms like on Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
8. Post meaningful content to your followers. You need to relate to your followers, post links, re-tweets and just be yourself. This will make your Twitter feed interesting and followers will come.
9. Focus on quality, not quantity. In the long run it is not about how many followers you have, but with how many you have made a connection. It will not be useful to have ten thousand inactive followers. Also make sure you block and report spammers so you do not end up with noise on your feed.
10. Be mindful that the most important long term benefit that you will get out of Twitter are the relationship you will have with people all over the world. It is the personal friendships that you will make through your journey that will matter the most.
Full Summary of The Tao of Twitter
The introduction of the Tao of Twitter claims that at least sixty percent of the people who try Twitter quit after the first week. Mark Schaefer states that he believes this is caused by the lack of instructions. Yes, there are instructions on how to set up your profile, but after that you need to figure it out on your own. This book will provide instructions which will help you gain the benefits of the most powerful business networking system that has ever existed!
To get you motivated in further reading this book, Mark Schaefer provides seven reasons on how Twitter can help your business:
Attract new audiences, potential customers, partners, and suppliers
Follow news on your industry, market, competition and customers
Solve problems quickly
Be up to date with the latest research, opinion, insights, and competitive intelligence
Learn new skills
Strengthen new and existing business relationships
Open up low-cost marketing opportunities
Chapter One: Discovering the Tao of Twitter
Twitter at first glance is not easy to understand, but it is a great powerful tool to use. The first tweet Mark Schaefer received was “It’s 4 a.m.” – this made him think Twitter was just going to be useless. He was ready to quit Twitter, but being a consultant and a marketing educator, he was determined to figure it out.
Schaefer had his first eureka moment when a trending topic about the swine flu caught his eye. The pork industry was having trouble because it was hurting sales of the “other white meat” and asked people on Twitter to call it something else. When Schaefer saw all the responses, he realized that people all over the world can have a “real-time global brainstorming session”. Schaefer thought on how Twitter can really connect the whole world, and how it can be used for business, networking, solving problems, learning, and other things.
Over the next weeks Schaefer started looking at Twitter more closely, he then explains a little of his journey while he started to understand the power of Twitter. One time when his region had a bad storm and the wind took all the power and communication down, the only resource he had was Twitter. There he could read tweets from friends as well as reports on flooding and damage on the area. He also got a tip from a friend that he could listen to local broadcast news through an iPhone app. The list of Schaefer examples goes on, but it is important to note the potential and the benefit of Twitter that goes beyond simple tweets of people updating their status saying they are at the mall.
Chapter Two: The Tao of Twitter in Action
To better understand the immense potential of Twitter, Schaefer shows us how two words tweeted changed his life and the life of a follower of his. Schaefer was watching a football game when he tweeted “Go Steelers”; he then received a reply from Michelle, a student at the University of Pittsburgh, about the game. She was also a blogger like Schaefer except doing video blogs, and when Schaefer saw her work, he was impressed. In fact, he was impressed so much, he asked her to make a video for his new company. The friendship continued on and Michelle offered different jobs to Schaefer to work with her, but Schaefer being so busy suggested another friend for Michelle which he had met through Twitter as well.
After graduation Michelle moved to France. Schaefer on his trip to Europe made sure to stop and meet Michelle one night, which happened to be on a night she was throwing a party next to Notre Dame for bloggers around the world. There Schaefer networked with other bloggers and he became friends with Gregory Pouy – exceptional marketing blogger from France. Gregory translated his eBook to English so Schaeffer could put them exclusively on his blog.
This random event that happened to Schaefer was not out of luck, it was Tao of Twitter, which is the little thing that the professional web networkers and marketers sense but is unexplainable. The power of networking on Twitter is huge and just two words Schaefer tweeted opened a world of opportunities for him and his Twitter friend.
Chapter Three: The Tao Explained
There is only one common formula that can be applied to success stories involving Twitter and the social web. Schaefer claims this formula has three aspects:
Targeted Connections: You should surround yourself with people that have your same interests and businesses similar to yours. Following people on Twitter with your same interest will create connections that can expand your business.
Meaningful Content: The posts you create should be related to what you do, so people that follow you have interest on what you are trying to do. These posts can be in any form, like tweets, blogs, links and anything that will help connect your business with the rest of the world.
Authentic Helpfulness: Help your followers. Do not try to sell them products, people are tired of being advertised things they do not want. Just by helping and caring about people you will make meaningful connections. Those connections will lead to awareness and trust of people, which will help your business expand and profit.
Chapter Four: The Business Benefits of Twitter
Using Twitter can lead to many business benefits; most of those benefits are intangible. You can use the Return on Investment to calculate the benefit of Twitter, but as Schaefer says you will be missing the big picture. Small businesses will have a gain on the social media platform, because they do not need to calculate the ROI like big corporations. They will just see the benefit by their self gain that they get by learning from current followers or reading about competitors.
The faster you start using Twitter, the faster you will enjoy the benefits, which include: using Twitter as promotional tool, keeping customers happy by having a customer service relation, getting information from tweets that will help you build a new product line, subscribing to people that will help you gain more knowledge and solve problems better.
Chapter Five: Tao 1: Making Targeted Connections
The initial step to take in achieving the Tao of Twitter is to make connections. Schaefer claims if you have less than two hundred followers, Twitter is going to be boring. He recommends to spend time building your profile and working your Twitter twenty minutes a day. There are five basics things you need to do when setting up your profile. First, add a picture, include a link to your website, create a biography with your business interests, use a short name that will be easy to remember and add a few tweets. The next step is to find followers; the best way to do this is by following people with your same interest. Schaefer suggests using the rule of thumb that about seventy percent of the people you follow will follow you back. Schaefer provides a list with twenty-two ways to help you get started with your journey on building your “tribe” (followers).
Chapter Six: Tao 2: Providing Meaningful Content
The second step in the Tao is to provide meaningful content for your “tribe”. After you build your followers, you should just be yourself and provide things that you like and are interested. This can also be in a form of links, blogs, and the easy one – re-tweets. Re-tweets are the tweets of other people that you choose to post on your Twitter, it helps you take some weight off your shoulders so you do not have to provide all the content yourself. Schaefer advises to post regularly – up to three times a day on different times. However, as you tweet regularly, he suggests having something of value to say and not just random things. Additionally, Schaefer gives you more information of what to tweet and when to tweet. By doing all these things you can ensure that you will build human connections, and create potential business benefits that otherwise would have never happened.
Chapter Seven: Tao 3: Offering Authentic Helpfulness
The last step in the Tao is to provide authentic helpfulness. It is crucial to create trust between business relationships. It is the same on the social web – it must be earned. By providing help to your followers without expecting something in return, you will earn their respect and trust. This creates relationship that can lead to something great that will benefit your business. Schaefer also points out that the key is to take the relationship offline. You can connect in other more meaningful ways, like a phone call, e-mail, a live meeting on Skype, or even if they are in your same area – go have a cup of coffee. Being genuine and helpful is a great advice that Schafer provides and when applied, it will help you on anything you do.
Chapter Eight: Immersion
Twitter has its own language, and anyone starting off can get confused with its terminology, just like being in a foreign country. Schaefer gives some of the most common terms in Twitter, but next will be stated just a few important ones:
@: the @ sign is used to reply to a certain user.
Direct messages or DM: these are your messages, that are equivalent to e-mail, but they are also capped at 140 characters, just like tweets.
Feed: this is where your post on Twitter goes to; it is also referred as a timeline.
Hashtags: these are used by using the # sign first followed by a word, or various words without a space. Hashtags are great for discussions, trending topics (most popular topics in real time).
Schaefer goes deeper into explaining the language of Twitter which will help a great deal if you are a beginner. Additionally, he also states that it is important to keep the quality of the tweets high, because that is more than the quantity of tweets. Since tweets are limited to 140 characters, you should also make sure that your first words are eye catching. But the most important advice that Schaefer gives on this chapter is to be patient. Building a “tribe” with a lot of people takes time, it will probably take months, do not be impatient and quit, just follow the three aspects of the Tao of Twitter.
Image via CrunchBase
Chapter Nine: Lists-They to Twitter Sanity
When you follow more than a few hundred people, your feed will get a little messy and it will be hard to read through everything. Twitter solved this problem by creating something called lists. Lists let you categorize people and put them in a list. For example, if you have a few personal people you would like to follow more closely, you would put them all in one list. You can also share these lists, and also look at your followers’ lists. This is great because you can target your audience more closely. So naming your lists appropriately will help your followers get interest on your list. Also add yourself to the lists, because if someone follows the list, they will follow everyone in there.
Chapter Ten: 20 Ideas to Toast your Competition
Schaefer provides us with twenty different ways to gain advantage over your competition. A few of these advantages will be noted next. Businesses should try to use Twitter to listen what the customer has to say about the company. Try to provide customer service over it, the information is public and other people can see how you are helping your customers out. Run promotions so you can attract more traffic. Use Twitter as your center of business intelligence by collecting information from your competitor feed and watching their customer’s interaction as well.
Although all these advices should be followed, Schaefer reminds us that the most important part for the Tao of Twitter is connecting with people, and that the businesses are built on relationships.
Chapter Eleven: Twitter Time Savers
When receiving a lot of information on your Twitter feed, it is easy to get carried away and start clicking link after link. Even though every business will require different amount of time spent on social media, on this chapter Schaefer provides time saver tips for both – beginners and pros.
For beginners he recommends to use Twitter for twenty minutes a day. Half of the time should be spent on the first aspect of the Tao – making new connections and building your “tribe”. The other half of your time should be spent reading tweets and responding to tweets.
For pros, since you are already going to be using Twitter a lot, Schaefer recommends a few time saving functions. Sharing things you read on the Internet and Twitter, using re-tweets, as well as using Ping.fm which is a platform to post information at the same time on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
There is also an option to outsource your Twitter, but Schaefer does not recommend outsourcing, since Twitter is about personal connections. If you are a big corporation and need to outsource, you should keep your Twitter as genuine as possible, and give guidelines to the outsourcing company to make sure your Twitter will stay aligned with your company.
Chapter Twelve: Balancing the Personal and the Professional
Schaefer proposes the question if we should separate personal and business Twitter accounts. Big corporations use Twitter teams to make their Twitter more personal. In this case the Twitter team has access to the corporation profile; they reply to customers and at the end of the tweet they add their initial so the customer can go check their Bio and see the information about who replied to them. Twitter can be for both – personal and professional use. Schaefer proposes that Twitter should have a balance of both. Let’s not forget that Twitter is about relationships, and what better ways to increase trust than by letting them know a little more about you.
Chapter Thirteen: Secrets of Influence on Twitter
Improving social influence is important on Twitter. Schaefer leads us back to the three aspects of Tao of Twitter to improve our influence. It is necessary to first get your “tribe” going and block spammers so you filter out followers that are not important to your business. “You need both quality engagement and quantity of followers to ultimately be successful”. Next is to provide that meaningful content to your “tribe”. That way you are targeting followers that are relevant to what you do. If you have followers that have interests in your content, they are more likely to try to contact you and share your tweets or blogs that you may have. The most important though is the authentic helpfulness. Engage with your followers and try to help them out without expecting anything back. Re-tweet their content or say hello to them. By being genuine and helpful people will come to you.
Chapter Fourteen: Advanced Twitter Concepts
On this chapter Schaefer gets more in depth on how to work Twitter. He suggests that after getting a lot of followers, you should do some “audience maintenance” which means to clean out people that do not follow you back or that are inactive. He also talks about promoted tweets, accounts, and trends. These are paid advertising content that is displayed on top of lists. Schaefer also gives tips on how to do more specific searches on Twitter and also gives advice to watch out for spammers and hackers that are increasingly getting into Twitter. Twitter is always changing and improving so to get updates on the new information, they have set up a blog you can follow, which will help you stay on track on new features.
Chapter Fifteen: Becoming a Top Cat on Twitter Chats
Chats are when a group of people get together at a specific time and use hashtags to talk about a subject or just share ideas. Chats are really popular nowadays, especially because TV shows do them as well so you can talk to artists as the show airs. You can set up your own Twitter chat by selecting unique hashtags that no one else is using. If a lot of people join the tag, it can be confusing to follow all the posts, but Schaefer points out that there is third party software that can help you with that. Chats are beneficial because you make new connections and expand your personal influence. It is also beneficial as a business because you can get instant customer feedback.
Chapter Sixteen: Is Twitter for Everybody
Social media can be difficult for a lot of people and Schaefer claims that Twitter is not for everyone. Sometimes your business can be a perfect candidate to be involved with social media, but if your personality is not the type to interact with people online then you are likely going to quit Twitter. If you are not going to use Twitter for your business, Schaefer recommends that you at least, connect with other leaders and businesses so you stay on track on what is going on in your industry.
Chapter Seventeen: Tao Power: Putting It All Together
In the last chapter Schaefer focuses on the authentic helpfulness. The Tao of Twitter is about building relationships and connecting with people. You should provide the meaningful content so your “tribe” gets bigger with people of your same interest. Then you should help out without expecting anything in return and more people will join you. It will create incredible benefits that Schaefer shares throughout his entire book. But in the long term the most important thing will be the relationship you will build with amazing people you will encounter. Follow the Tao of Twitter and with persistence and patience all these benefits can happen to you too.
The Video Lounge
On this video from Likeable Media, the author talks about the Tao of Twitter, and how he self published the book in 2010. He encourages you to write your own book, because he had no marketing, no advertising, and his book went viral. Twitter is not easy to grasp, it took the author six months to get it. Also, the author was asked about what is the biggest myth of Twitter, he replied that people think that the amount of followers you have do not matter, but it is very important, without the people you cannot advance further and make meaningful connections.
Why I think:
With business conditions today what the author wrote is true because:
With the market changing so fast, everyone is moving to social media. By using the tips the author gives you, Twitter can be one of the most powerful tools to market your business, and it does not cost you anything to use it. It allows you to communicate with customers instantly, look at what your competitors are doing, and so many other things that the author explains on his book.
If I were the author of the book, I would have done these three things differently:
1. The book is great to get you started, but I feel it is missing more information about third party software. Reading the book made me realize that Twitter becomes a much more powerful with the third party software mentioned by the author, but there is not lot information about them.
2. The book needs more technical information about Twitter hashtags on how to read them and how to use them. People use millions of hashtags a day, but how many are enough on a tweet? When exactly should I use them? Use them on every tweet or just for “FollowFriday?” Also there are millions of hashtags out there, and I think that kind of foreign language scares people a lot. The author should have given more advice on how to decipher and use them.
3. The book needs more examples on what works. For example, what are big corporations doing with their Twitter; how are they reaching people through tweets. Then how can we incorporate what they are doing on the Twitter for small companies.
Reading this book made me think differently about the topic in these ways:
1. This book showed me how powerful are the connections made online. Social media being global, the opportunities are endless and it can take you anywhere in the world. It is good to keep Twitter even for personal purposes; you do not know what new friendships you will make.
2. It showed me how important is the roll of social media in a business. Twitter can really make your business take off; it can attract huge amounts of people that are not even in your region. As well as finding out what your competitors are doing and analyze their followers.
3. It made me think that it is not exactly about how many followers you have, but more about how much they engage with you. A lot of people buy Twitter handles because they have already thousands of followers. This is the wrong way to go about this issue because almost no one of those followers are real or even if they are, most will not engage with you. The author advices to never buy a Twitter handle.
I will apply what I have learned in this book in my career by:
1. I will apply it by using my Twitter handle more and creating my “tribe” that share the same interests. I will also be open to help people out without expecting anything back, like the author said – it is about the people to people relationship.
2. Try not to outsource. If working on a company that has a Twitter handle, I will take the authors advice to not outsource the Twitter handle, because it will lose authenticity and this is what customers look for.
3. I will follow more influential people that I can learn from. Twitter is full of people who share the same interests with you, it is good to take some time and read what they share to gain more knowledge and apply it to my business.
Here is a sampling of what others have said about the book and its author:
This book has stellar reviews. Marcy Long says that this book does what it promises. And it is completely true, I believe if you follow the guidelines the author has stated, you will too be successful. Another great review comes from Barrick, who says “The book I wish I had before I wrote my first tweet”. It goes to show how Mark did a great job on breaking down the steps to successfully use Twitter and gain benefits. Edwin Dearborn has a great review – he explains how he reached a “plateau” on Twitter and could not advance until he read the Tao of Twitter. Marisa Peacock has a great point about the book “Even if the Twitter empire falls to pieces, the book’s insights will live on as a guide to approaching the social web with the intent of finding truth and meaning through authenticity”. This is completely true, Mark shows us how not to be selfish and just help people out. Great things will come out of those friendships that we will make just by offering help. This book is also for people that have been on Twitter for a while and Paul from his YouTube account TheExperiateChannel confirms that for us. He has used Twitter for years and he said that he has found the book to be “hugely valuable”. Paul used the advice of Mark about lists. He added his Twitter handle to the lists he makes, and as people subscribe to your lists, they will see your tweets too.
Barrick, J. (2011, February 28). The Tao of Twitter – Book Review. Retrieved from http://foglyte.com/post/3565246241/the-tao-of-twitter-book-review
Dearborn, E. (2013, April 16). Book Review: The Tao of Twitter. Retrieved from http://www.edwindearborn.com/book-review-the-tao-of-twitter/
Likeable Media. (2012, December 5). The Biggest Myth About Twitter with @MarkwSchaefer. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/Y8jno_Myxi4
Long, M. (2013, January 13). The Tao of Twitter [Review]. Retrieved from http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/the-tao-of-twitter-review_b33030
Peacock, M. (2012, October 1). Book Review: The Tao of Twitter. Retrieved from
Schaefer, M. (2011). The Tao of Twitter: Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time. United States: McGraw-Hill.
The Experiate Channel. (2011, February 27). Book Review – The Tao of Twitter. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/dObB20j-u2k
To contact the author of this article, “The Business Edge: A Summary and Review of The Tao of Twitter by Mark W. Schaefer,” please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Publisher
David C. Wyld (email@example.com) is the Laborde Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. He also serves as the Director of the Reverse Auction Research Center (http://reverseauctionresearch.org), a hub of research and news in the expanding world of competitive bidding. His website, My Management News, can be viewed at http://mymanagementnews.com/. He is also the author of the book, College Success 101. Learn more about the book at collegesuccess101book.com.
When it comes to pursuing goals, people will often think of long term goals and short term goals. This usually means that you pursue a series of short term goals on the way to meeting the long term ones. Then you may even have an extension of that approach with doing what they call killing two birds with one stone. You can take that even farther by meeting or pursuing multiple goals at once. That could be considered killing ten birds with one stone.
I have numerous projects that I work on simultaneously. To further understand what I am trying to point out in this article, I will discuss them. Before I do that though, let me give you a quick rundown of some of the things I do. I am a web developer, musician and a writer. I create websites, compose record and mix my own music, write articles, do my own internet marketing and develop my own products. This involves a bit of multitasking on my part. It also requires a bit of focus and prioritization on my part.
Now, to have a successful website, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. You, first of all need content. This could consist of articles, items available for download and various features. So what, though, if you have content but no way of getting anyone there to see it? That’s where the internet marketing comes in. There are many methods one could use to promote or market a website. There’s yet one more problem to deal with too, after you create the site with all of that content and get the traffic. You have to be able to make money from people once they get to the site. That brings me to the next subject, or piece of the puzzle.
I hope to build my own product line to be made available for sale on my websites. The websites pull the people in and display the various products in my product line. So, I create the sites, promote the sites and then promote my own products from within the sites. Also, I can display ads on the sites to generate even more income. That’s called monetizing the sites. But how do I kill all of those birds with one stone? Well, it ain’t easy but there is a way and I think I might have found it. Lucky for you, I’m sharing some of it with you today.
I use social networking sites to promote my websites. I also write articles. I use both of them to drive traffic to my websites. The articles I write are posted on my social networking profile pages in Myspace, Facebook and tweeted on Twitter. The articles are used to drive traffic to my websites. People read the articles and I generally promote myself through them. I build name awareness and recognition. I also do a bit of branding. Anyone that reads the articles can check out my profile page and see the links to my sites.
I also put RSS widgets on my sites which will display the headlines of my articles, which I have on a number of article sites. That adds to the content of my websites. I also incorporate Facebook and Twitter widgets into my sites as well as widgets from a website called Reverb Nation, which has my music available for download and I have links to Amazon.com, where I sell my Music CD. On my Reverb Nation profile page, I have the RSS feed for my Triond articles. Basically, everything goes around in one big circle and works to promote each other.
What I plan to do in the future is to compile my articles that I create over time into books. I will obviously compile the articles that are related to each other. I deal with a few different subjects, so I will be able to compile a few different books. This increases my product line. All my products will be put under Craypoe.com Publications. Anyone buying the merchandise will hear of Craypoe.com Publications and may log on to my main site, Craypoe.com, where they can see the other products.
This approach is somewhat similar to how the music business used to be run in the old days. A band would release an album and then go on tour. The tour would promote the album and the album would promote the tour. They would do radio shows to promote both simultaneously and may do television or interviews for music magazines. Everything they did killed more than one bird with one stone. So I am not necessarily doing anything entirely new here. Just expanding on the killing of two birds with one stone by upping the number to ten. You know, to kill ten birds with one stone. That’s a lot of dead birds man, and I don’t even hate birds.
When building and maintaining websites, you will eventually come to the realization that you should dip your toe in the water before you jump in. The idea is to learn this early on, so that you could avoid unnecessary headaches and a lot of work. Allow me to elaborate on this point:
Now, after discovering this, I had to remove the code from a bunch of pages. Admittedly, I had only tested the pages in Firefox and had neglected to test them in Internet Explorer. That’s a big enough mistake on its own and was a rare oversight on my part because I usually make a point of trying out my pages in different browsers to test their functionality. I had actually discovered after two days of the pages being online that they weren’t working in Internet explorer. I then had to remove the code from a bunch of pages. If I had only loaded the code into a few pages to test them out, I could have avoided a lot of work. First I could have avoided putting the code in a bunch of pages and then the additional work of removing it.
Another reason to put the code int only a few pages at first is to wait and see what your revenues will be. You could put the code for one company’s pop-up ads into some pages and the code for another company’s into a few others. Some companies will have a lot of server down time and others won’t. When the server goes down for some of the companies, the pages on your site with their code inserted into them won’t load. I found that out the hard way. Once I found that out, I removed the code from all of the pages they were on. I was luck in that case because by then I had learned to only test these things out on a few pages first. So I only had to take the code out of three pages and it literally was less than ten minutes of work.
You won’t just run into this problem with advertising code. You can also run into similar problems regarding widgets that are provided by other sites. I had a problem with a Digg.com button that I had put on some of my pages. They worked in Firefox but not in, you guessed it, Internet explorer. I tested that one before I put it into a lot of pages, so I caught that one. Had I not done so and inserted the code into a number of pages, it would have been a bigger deal.
The same approach is applicable to other things on the Internet as well. Like trying out small scale advertising campaigns first to monitor the effectiveness. Or trying out the free version of some services before going to the paid version. There are a number of paid services that you could use for your website that are great but some offer free, lower scale, versions. You could always try them first to see how well they will work out for you. If they work out well, then you can bet that the paid version is usually much better. It’s like the old saying “You get what you pay for.”
I use Google Analytics on my sites and I am able to compile a lot of information on my websites’ traffic. When I offer a new feature, I wait a while to see what kind of traffic it pulls in before I decide to take it to a larger scale. With Goggle Analytics, I can see where the traffic comes from and what search strings pull people in. If it pulls in no traffic, I don’t add more to that feature or that section of the website. If I see certain search strings pull in more traffic than others, I will sometimes try to expand on the subject matter related to that search string. So, I’ll basically add content, see how it does, then decide if I want to add more. The idea there is to add to what is drawing traffic and stop wasting time on the things that don’t. It takes time to determine that but it’s worth the wait if you avoid doing a lot of work that doesn’t pay off. That’s one of the many reasons why you should dip your toe in the water before you jump in.
If you plan on doing anything online, you have to remember that competition exists on the Internet every bit as much as it exists in the real world. The biggest form of competition, obviously, would be competing for traffic. A website really isn’t going to help any business much if it receives little or no traffic. Some owners of websites don’t get around to doing certain things or adding certain features to their site but, just because they won’t, it doesn’t mean that their competitors won’t. In fact, if you won’t do it, your competitor probably will.
Your competitor doing those things that you neglect to do places you at a disadvantage. You see, even on the Internet, you have to keep up with the Jones’. The many options or features a site could have are endless. The same is true regarding certain online marketing techniques. Some things are easier than others to incorporate into a website or be done for marketing purposes, and some things are really cheap. So, it doesn’t always have to do with your budget. I’ll go over some things that are cheap, easy or both.
The first thing I will mention is that web hosting companies offer plans that are under 20 dollars a month and include a number of features and options with it. Some even give you a free domain name registration for your account and free domain renewal every year. So having a web presence in general is fairly cheap. Remember, if your competitor has a site and you don’t, he has that advantage over you.
Item number two is that everyone should be concerned with having a decent looking website. Even if you are a novice in the area of web development, there really is no excuse for having a poor looking website. Just about every web hosting company offers templates or have an easy, very user friendly, web page authoring feature. They have templates in a variety of themes. Just pick a theme that best suits your business. Don’t build one from scratch yourself unless you can get it to come out somewhat professional looking. Having a poor looking website will do your business more harm than good. If your competitor’s site looks professional and yours doesn’t, he will have an advantage over you.
Many businesses are incorporating elements of social networking into their sites for the purpose of marketing and also directing traffic to their sites. Businesses could tweet sales or special discounts they are offering. If you have a local competitor who integrates elements of social networking into his site and you don’t, that’s just one more advantage he will have over you.
Even if a web hosting company doesn’t offer templates, there are some web authoring programs themselves that provide templates. You’re better off using those if you aren’t able to build a decent looking site yourself, from scratch. The web authoring program will cost you some money but paying a web developer, obviously, would cost you significantly more. That’s a decision each business owner needs to make individually. If you have a knack for learning how to use a variety of software quickly, with little effort, go for it. If not, Go with a web hosting company that offers the templates. Just do your research and see what each company has to offer. Some will offer free templates and others will sell them.
Creating a Facebook page or twitter profile will cost you absolutely nothing. They’re easy to update too. You could just link to your Facebook page, where you could list your business calendar, sales, specials or other things you would normally want to promote. It really just takes time and effort.
In the area of options, you could have online information request forms. Some web hosting companies offer form processing for free. When someone fills out a form and hits the submit button, the information goes to an e-mail address you specify. The form could be an information request form where they could inquire about your services, pricing, etc. Some of the companies offer form templates as well. So you might not even need to know all that much in order to add that option.
Now I’m not saying that you have to have every feature your competitor has on his site. He might be forking out a lot of money to an expensive web developer to have some of the features on his site. There are some things, though, that you can add to your site that aren’t costly and that you can do yourself. Those are the things you can and should do, that there really is no excuse for not doing. The key thing to remember is that you should try to eliminate as many advantages a competitor would have over you. That will maximize your potential for success. Which is obviously a very important component in running a business. Because if you won’t do it, your competitors will.
I don’t know how many times, when I created a new site, I’ve tried to generate activity on my own forums but fell far short of my goal. Then I decided to incorporate elements of social networking and achieved the level of interactivity I wasn’t previously able to in my own forums. I also was able to achieve it with significantly less effort. So it has led me to conclude that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
Look at just about every type of site out there. They are all incorporating some element of social networking. Every news site has a share option where you can post an article on your Facebook or Myspace profile page or tweet it on Twitter. Think of how many posts there are on Facebook that are articles from news websites or videos from YouTube. Think of how much traffic those posts cumulatively bring to those sites. The same could be true regarding your site.
I’ve included share options on my sites as well. I have links that allow someone to post a link to the article or page on my site on Facebook and to tweet it out. I’ve also received a lot of traffic to my site from Myspace, from people posting links to my site in their forums. I’ve received traffic from a number of other forums through links others have posted. This has generated far more traffic and activity on my sites than any attempt I have ever made in generating activity in my own forums.
Now, a lot of news websites have the option to leave comments on the pages where their articles are posted. You also have to sign up for an account to be able to post. However, they generate so much traffic that getting someone to post is a piece of cake. You really need to have massive amounts of traffic on your own site in order to generate a minimum of activity in your own forums. You’d be better off creating a group or forum on a social networking site.
If you were to create a group or forum on a social networking site, you have the potential of pulling in people from their user base. What’s even better is that some social networking sites have widgets that you could place within the pages of your own site. I’ve incorporated a Twitter widget and a Facebook widget into some of my sites. The widgets display my most recent posts on my profile pages of Twitter and Facebook. Just run a search on Facebook widgets or Twitter widgets and you’ll come up with something.
There is also a website called Blastcasta.com that has widgets that you could use to post RSS feeds. Facebook, Twitter and Myspace allow you to have RSS feeds for your notes, blogs and posts. So you could always add new content to your website, using these widgets, without even having to know anything about web development. Just have the web developer put the code in your pages for you and then every time you update it yourself, it displays on your site. It works rather well.
The idea here is basically to incorporate elements of the popular social networking sites into your own websites in order to generate traffic. Using the RSS feeds option on the social networking sites simplifies things significantly. Just post a note in Facebook, it appears on your page, your Facebook friends see the post and it’s displayed on your site, all simultaneously. Since it’s on Facebook and you have a number of friends seeing it, you will get some comments on your post. You end up getting more comments on your Facebook post than you would if you did it in your own forum.
Sometimes you’re much better off just not fighting against the odds anymore and taking the path of least resistance. The time you would have wasted trying to get people involved in your own forums could be better spent doing something that would be more effective in generating traffic or revenues. Time is, after all, money. If you can save time and effort, you are saving money. I don’t know about you, but just about everything I do on the Internet revolves around two things. Generating traffic to my sites or generating income. Sometimes both.
So why fight it? Why swim against the tide? It really makes no sense, in the overall scheme of things. That’s why I say “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
It’s amazing how much people tell you about what’s going on in their lives when they post a new blog. Some just get outright carried away and tell you everything. Some also do the same with their Twitter tweets and their Facebook posts. How much of that stuff, though, do people really care about?
To be honest, unless you’re a celebrity, the average person probably couldn’t care less about what goes on in your daily life. I’d assume that they’d care even less about what’s occurring in your life on a minute-by-minute basis. Even in this age where people like to watch reality TV and don’t have any lives of their own. So why is it people post just about everything?
I’ve suspected for a while now that we live in an increasingly narcissistic society. Yes, it’s true. It’s especially true among the younger demographic. I know that now because in a joint study from San Diego State University (SDSU) and the University of South Alabama, it was concluded that Narcissism has increased among Americans over the past 15 years. These traits include an unfounded sense of entitlement and overly high self-regard. Now I know I’m not alone in suspecting these things.
The barrage of millions of senseless tweets and Facebook and blog posts about every little thing going on in people’s lives might be considered evidence of the trend and confirmation of the findings of the study. There are debates in various intellectual circles about the causes behind the increase of narcissism. Some blame teachers, parents and the list goes on. I have a tendency to lean towards the parents as the primary cause, but that’s just my humble opinion.
We now live in a time where mommy and daddy tell little Johnny all the time how wonderful he is. When he does something poorly, they still tell him he did great. Little Johnny gets compliments from sunrise to sunset, every single day, telling him how wonderful he is. After a while, little Johnny begins to believe it. Little do his parents realize, though, that they are creating a monster.
Now, just because I consider the parents to be the primary cause, don’t think that nobody else could be implicated. I think the schools these days add to what the parents are doing wrong. We now have schools that don’t keep score on games. When all is over, everyone gets an award, regardless of how poorly they did. This is because nobody wants to make the kids feel bad by keeping score and declaring someone else a winner. Imagine being called “the losing team” Think of how traumatic that would be for a child. Unfortunately, these sort of things do little to prepare a child to face the real world.
Some are referring to the younger generation as the “Me Generation.” A generation where everything is about, you guessed it, me. Of course, since everything is about me, I would have to assume that everyone wants to know what’s going on with me. That’s why I have to tweet something out every ten seconds. You know, to keep the masses informed about what’s new with me. Otherwise, how else will they know? After all, mommy and daddy keep telling me how important I am, so it must be true. Therefore, I would have to assume that everyone else thinks so too. Then, if that’s the case, it must mean that they would want to know what I’m doing all day long. To avoid disappointing them, I feel compelled to keep them informed about the latest happenings in my life.
I just took a quick break, by the way. Actually, I went to go get a cup of coffee. Just a couple of teaspoons of cream in it too. I thought you might like to know that because, you know, it is all about me and I’m such an interesting person. Oops, I spilled some and had to wipe it up with a generic no-name brand of paper towel that costs 99 cents a roll, that I bought at my local grocery store, I believe was purchased on a Saturday.
What really gets me though is how everybody else thinks it’s about them. They’re wrong though. It couldn’t possibly be. That’s only because it’s really all about me. Oops! I just sneezed. I’m wiping my nose now. Do you care? Of course you do. That’s exactly why I told you.
There are many things someone could do to make a terrible website. Not that anyone would strive to do so. There are certain techniques,though, that one can use to create a horrible website and I’ll go over some of them, just so you can avoid using them.
One horrible technique is putting a load of large pictures in a single page. Oh yeah, nothing like a long loading time. What’s even better is the fact that you have to scroll down for a half hour to see each picture. That’s a lot of fun for the visitor. Another great idea is to take the full size images and just re-size them to a smaller size in the web authoring program instead of resizing them in a graphics program, which would reduce the file size and loading time as well. Great way to handle images, I must say.
Poor navigation is another great idea. On one page the navigation is on the top and on another it’s on the bottom, then another page could have it on the side. Why make navigating the site easy? Never including a home button is a wonderful option as well. Hard to read links is a nice feature too. Make sure the link text color isn’t too many shades away from the background color. Just make that navigation as hard as possible.
Who needs easy to read text? How about putting text over a background that makes it difficult to read. People don’t mind straining to read the text. In fact, I’m sure it’s a lot of fun. A real hoot. Or maybe really small print would be cool too. How about ridiculously large print if you don’t want to go with the small print? Print so ridiculously large it makes the site look totally amateurish.
Having absolutely no content is great too. You could have a site with nothing but affiliate links and that’s it. It sounds funny but I have seen this I don’t know how many times. Somebody will think if they just post a bunch of links on a page, people will click on them and go make a purchase on their affiliate site. The search engines will have no text to pick up on because of the lack of content, so it will get no traffic at all really. Maybe just the friends they tell about it. Then their friends will visit it to check it out. Unfortunately, they won’t tell the guy how horrible and worthless his site really is because they won’t want to hurt his feelings.
Lots of foul language works well to drive away visitors. Show them how ignorant you really are. F this and F that. You might as well put in something racist or sexist too. Mix it up a little. Offend everyone, why don’t ya? Then wonder why nobody comes back.
A million pop-up ads works like nothing else to drive visitors away. The more the better. People just love seeing another one pop up each time they go to another page. Or you can just pack each page with a lot of ads. A page with 10% content and 90% ads is a good ratio. Ten banner ads with two lines of text. Don’t let that pesky content get in the way of the ads. Besides, a lot of banner ads will slow down the loading time too. Just as much as large images.
My point is that there are a lot of things someone could do wrong when creating a website. I listed just a few but the list could be quite long. The best thing anyone could do is think about as to what they don’t like when going to certain websites. What about the navigation drives you crazy? Long loading times? How about poor navigation where there is no option to go to the home page or where the navigation varies from page to page? If they annoy you when you go to someone else’s site, it will probably annoy someone else if you were to put it on your site.
When you review your site as you are creating it, pretend as if you are a new visitor. What would you think if this were someone else’s site? Be honest with yourself. Then do what you have to do in order to fix everything. Does your site have useful, interesting or helpful content? If not, then why would anyone be interested in it? Would you be if the site belonged to someone else? Just be honest with yourself and you’d be surprised at how well you could avoid some of the most common mistakes. Unless, of course, you really do want to create a horrible website.
Trying to get people to participate on your Facebook or Myspace pages doesn’t just happen, it takes effort on your part. The same is true as far as getting people to read your articles (if you write them) or visiting your website. One way to pull people in, though, is to post comments in various places. You may have seen the movie Field of Dreams where the line “If you build it, they will come” is heard in Kevin Costner’s head throughout the film. It might have been true in the movie but it’s not necessarily true regarding websites or social networking profile pages. If you build them, people don’t necessarily come. It’s more like if you post it, they will come.
On Facebook or Myspace, getting people to comment on your posts doesn’t come automatically. So you must be the initiator. The first step is to comment on the posts of others. This will make them more inclined to weigh in on your posts. Before you know it, they will comment on your posts with regularity. Also, not only will they be more inclined to comment on your posts, but you will create a higher level of visibility for yourself. As a result, you should also see an increase in friend requests from the poster’s friends that see your comments. It really serves two purposes.
Think about it though. What makes you so special that everyone would want to get involved on your page or site if you aren’t willing to do the same? The only people who get away with that are celebrities. So unless you are one, expect to have to put some effort in. Some celebrities even pay people to handle their social network profile pages or accounts. Most of us commoners can’t afford to do that.
Another place where you can draw people in from are forums and groups. Find a forum or discussion group related to one of your subjects of interest. Make some posts on the various discussions and get involved. Once again, you will create a higher level of visibility for yourself, resulting in more friend requests (in the case of social networking sites) or more visitors to your website. Just be sure not to constantly make spam-like posts. Otherwise it will have the opposite effect. You will be perceived as being more of a nuisance than someone anyone would want to interact with. There is a difference between a post and shameless self promotion, however fine you may think that line would be.
Since so many businesses are creating fan pages on social networking sites, they have the potential of pulling in customers as well as establishing business contacts. Once you get people to your profile page, some of them will check out some of the links you have posted there. That’s one way of getting them to visit your site. If you’re a writer and have articles online, you can also provide links to them on your page. I would recommend that over posting them on other people’s pages. Posting links on other people’s pages is really spam-like and can be considered annoying by some people, so I would advise against that sort of thing. I would recommend that you really only comment on a post people put on their own page and leave it at that.
When I first created my Facebook profile page, I made a number of posts on my page and noticed how nobody would comment on them. I just thought it would happen eventually on its own. After a few months of virtually no activity on my page, it had become painfully obvious to me that I needed to try something new. So I ventured out into the unknown and started to comment on the posts that others were making on their profile pages. After doing that a few times on some people’s profile pages, I started to receive comments on the posts I made on my profile page. So it does work. I’ve actually followed the advice that I’m offering you now.
Now when you do make your posts, try not to be rude or obnoxious. Just keep your eyes on the prize. The prize would be an increase in activity on your page or more traffic to your website. Maybe even more readers for your blog or articles. Be the kind of person others would want to get to know. Coming off as being rude or obnoxious will not be helpful in creating that impression. So post often, post nicely and always remember that: if you post it, they will come.
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people make the mistake of spending massive amounts of money on advertising for a website, only to discover that they didn’t make much money after they finally got people to visit the site. This, among other things, proves that they should monetized their site before they advertised their site. To monetize a site means that a site is optimized to make as much money as possible from its visitors.
There really is no cheap form of advertising that is effective. It’s going to cost you no matter what. Whether it’s a print advertising campaign or online advertising campaign. So why not maximize the return on your investment? The best way to do that is to monetize your site as much as possible before you incur the expense of any ad campaign. There are a number of ways of doing that.
Google Adwords is one way to monetize your site. They are what is called contextual ads. A contextual ad will display advertising that is related to the content or subject matter of the page it appears on. If someone clicks on the ad, you receive a portion of the revenues. A substantial amount of money can be made but you need to generate a lot of traffic. There are companies other than Google that have contextual ads and operate on a pay-per-click basis. Just run a search on “pay-per-click advertising” and you should get a number of sites listed in the results.
Pop-under ads are another way to generate revenues but are considered annoying by a lot of web surfers. Pop-unders are the ads that pop up under the web browser window you are using, so they are not always noticed right away. They are less intrusive than pop-up ads that appear over the browser window. More and more users are utilizing pop-up blockers and it’s making it harder for web sites to generate income from pop-ups or pop-unders. Companies that use pop-unders offer ad code that prevents some pop-up blockers from blocking them out. Since they are less intrusive and harder to block, pop-unders seem to be the better of the two options.
Some companies will also allow you to limit the number of pop-unders that appear during a user’s session. That’s kind of nice too, since too many pop-unders can be quite irritating to a visitor. So those are really the best ones to work with. I’ve seen some that allow you to set it so that only one pop-under ad will appear each 24 hour period for a visitor. That’s definitely a very convenient option to be able to exercise. You can chase away a lot of visitors by too many pop-ups or pop-unders.
You can also join affiliate programs and get commissions from what you sell. Amazon.com’s associate program is a good one to do. They allow you to link to individual products. You can generate links to products that are related to the subject matter of your site. If someone clicks on the link and makes a purchase, you will get a commission on that sale. Usually about 5%.
Once you believe that you have your site monetized as much as possible, do a small scale ad campaign before you do a large one. Then you can get some idea of what your return on investment is gong to be. You may want to try out different ones. There are websites that you can go to, where you can sign up to send e-mails to fellow members. BusinessWorldList.com is one. You can send out e-mails to the other members every other day or so. Try different subject lines each time to see which one works best. When you find one that gets the best response after sending out a number of test e-mails, you have a winner. That’s the one you should go with when you do your full scale ad campaign.
Even if you plan on using methods of advertising other than e-mail advertising, you can still use the subject line that pulled the most people in. You can use it for banner advertising or even print advertising. Then you not only will have your site monetized but you will also maximize the number of people you pull in with your advertising campaign. That will also increase your return on investment, or ROI. Don’t be listed among those who have had the misfortune of suffering the consequences of advertising before monetizing.
Most people would define spam as unwanted or unsolicited e-mails. However, these days, there are lot more things that could be categorized as spam. In fact, anymore, anything that might be considered as annoying would fall within the definition of spam and, let’s face it, there are a lot of things online that annoy us. This is especially true when dealing with social media sites like Twitter, Myspace and Facebook.
One example is excessive tweets. Think about it. Who really wants to hear about everything you do throughout the day? The truth is that a lot of people will stop following you on twitter if you send out too many tweets. Too many follows is also frowned upon by the people at Twitter, They will lock your account if you do too many follows in one day. They figure that you are just following a bunch of people just to get them to follow you back. So they consider that as a form of spam and generally try to nip that in the bud. Twitter is actually one of the stricter sites regarding that sort of thing.
Other social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace, in general, will either lock your account or outright delete it if you send out too many friend requests in one day. They regard that as a form of spam and the reason is that it is considered annoying by some users to receive a bunch of friend requests from people they don’t even know. They’ll also make you fill out a bunch of captias after you send about 20 or so in a single session. It acts as a very effective deterrent at times. After all, they are annoying too. In case you don’t know what a captia is: they’re those combination of letters and numbers you will see depicted on an image. You will have to enter it in order to continue with adding the friend or making a post. The use of captias supposedly helps to limit the use of automated software to be used in the process of adding friends.
Excessive comments or posts are also annoying to some users. When they see all of these posts displayed and they are all from the same person, they sometimes feel an intense desire to remove that person as a friend. Many will act upon that urge, so don’t be surprised if your friend count has a drastic and sudden decline if you post often. Some people will just tune the posts out, psychologically, and end up not paying attention to anything you post. They just become so accustomed to tuning you out that they end up not paying attention to anything from you, by you, or about you. Obviously, that is not the desired effect you’d like your posts to have.
Making constant self promoting posts in forums is another great way to make a nuisance of yourself. We’ve all seen them. It could be a forum about anything and the poster generally won’t care if his self promotional post (usually with link included) has anything to do with the subject matter of the forum. Often, they get booted from the forum, since most of the time you have to be a member of a group or join a forum in order to be able to post.
Constant bulletins are another nuisance that many would consider spam. Especially if they are always the same. Believe it or not, I’ve seen countless examples of some people posting the same thing over and over again, not even days apart. Sometimes as often as two or three times in a single day. I’m talking about a post with the same subject line and the same text, word for word, each time. These geniuses fail to see how that might be considered annoying by some people. Usually they find out by losing a lot of friends. Myspace even has a spam button now that you can click on if you think of it as spam or as a nuisance. They’ve made it even easier for you to complain. Many of those complained about end up having their Myspace account deleted.
Like I said above, anything you might consider annoying, you should consider as spam. Every day I see the message ”This account no longer exists” or something to that effect. These types of messages are common and the main reason is: SPAM. Spam is the number one reason anyone’s account gets deleted from a social networking site. So now it’s obvious that spam isn’t just e-mails anymore. It’s whatever is annoying to anyoneonline. Take that into consideration before you end up getting deleted yourself.
Social networking sites are being used increasingly by businesses to reach potential customers and get the word out about their business, products or services. Some businesses are even using social networking profile pages as a substitute for having their own website. There are a few reasons for that. It’s cheap, easy to update and you have access to countless potential customers through the social network site’s user base.
Think about it. Facebook, alone, has somewhere near half a billion users. If you want to interact with people, you have to go where the people are. Myspace, Twitter and YouTube each have millions of users as well. A smart business owner or manager should recognize the potential these sites have to offer. Not only can you use these sites to market your products or services but you can also use them to reach your target demographic.
First of all, you need to know what your target demographic is. Let’s say you sell sporting goods. Obviously, men are more interested in sports than women. Younger men are obviously more active than older men. So, as a quick guess, one could say that men below 30 would be the best demographic to try to reach in order to sell sporting goods. However, knowing what your target demographic is, unfortunately, is only half the battle. The other issue is knowing where to find them and pulling them in.
On Facebook, as on other social networks, there are user groups and fan pages related to every imaginable subject. Just go to one that is related to the subject of interest regarding your business. Using the sporting goods analogy, you can check out the different groups related to sports. There will obviously be a lot of users there that have an interest in sports and will fall well within your target demographic.
When you first start out, it is probably best just to create a standard profile and accumulate friends for a while before you create a fan page. Currently, Facebook limits your friend count to 5,000. That may sound like a lot, but in the World Wide Web it’s really just a drop in the proverbial bucket. After you accumulate a significant number of friends, you can recommend your fan page to them. You will probably get only a certain number of them to sign up. So let’s say that you have 5,000 friends and ten percent of them sign up on your fan page, you will have 500 fans, or “Likes” as they currently are referred to.
You can send out bulletins and e-mails at regular intervals but you should always be aware of the spam policies and be sure not to violate them. You should always read the Facebook Terms of Service to see what the policies are regarding spam. It would be a shame to have your account deleted by Facebook after you’ve worked hard to accumulate thousands, or even hundreds, of Facebook fans or friends. Then you are basically back to square one.
Even when it comes to posting something on your own page, you may want to be sure not to have too many updates. If you do, people will start to tune them out mentally and your updates will essentially be ineffective.
Initially, you may have to go out and post comments on your friends’ pages. When your friends make a post, post a comment in response to it. They will be much more likely to make a comment on your posts. You will need to do this until you are finally able to get significant activity on your own page. Nobody generates activity with little or no effort. It just doesn’t happen unless you are famous. A famous celebrity will have activity on their Facebook page, usually, once they create one. There are even counterfeit profile pages where people pretend to be celebrities and then will change their profile name to their own, after they pull a bunch of people in. Then, all of a sudden, they are a typical Joe Schmoe with thousands of friends. However, don’t get caught doing something like that. Sure, you could probably get a lot of followers if you pretend to be Jennifer Lopez but don’t be surprised if you hear from her lawyer or Facebook deletes your page.
So, there are a number of steps you need to take in the process of using Facebook for marketing to your target demographic. Just follow the ones outlined above and you’ll be doing fine in no time. It’s not easy and it won’t happen over night, but don’t let that deter you. It will eventually be well worth the time and effort. Good luck.
(BPT) – American consumers are increasingly comfortable with the term “smart” when it’s associated with technology. From smartphones to smart cars and even smart clothing, they’ve embraced the idea of devices that are “intelligent” and responsive to their changing needs. Even though smart TVs have been around for almost five years, many consumers still don’t have all the facts.
“A new consumer survey found that 52 percent of U.S. consumers already know what a smart TV is,” says Matt Durgin, a smart TV expert at LG. “And, out of those unfamiliar, when they learned more about smart TVs, more than half said they would consider buying one.”
Understanding the smart TV concept is easier than one would think. Smart TVs are Internet-connected TVs that work kind of like a cable or satellite provider’s on-demand system, allowing users to tailor what they watch and when – a buffet of TV shows and movies. The difference is that smart TVs offer much more content from multiple providers and deliver it via your home’s Internet connection. LG’s smart TVs, for example, offer access to online content such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and more, as well as Internet browsing capabilities. Some even include downloadable apps to provide interesting information and games.
Durgin and the TV pros at LG share the truth about smart TVs:
* Smart TV are still TVs – It’s still the same “lean back” entertainment experience people love, with all the same features people are familiar with using. You still have a cable or satellite provider and can hook up Blu-ray players and other devices, but you get the added benefit of more content options via the TV itself, on your schedule.
* Smart TVs are easy to set up – Most are Wi-Fi enabled and connect to a home’s existing wireless network just like a PC, tablet or smartphone. You don’t need a tangle of extra wires to access online content from your smart TV.
* Smart TVs are affordable – Smart TV capabilities are increasingly common at all price points. In fact, more than 70 percent of LG’s 2013 TVs have smart TV capability starting as low as $500. As with garden-variety flatscreens, how much you pay for a smart TV is more often determined by factors like size and brand, and even where you purchase it.
* Streaming content is getting faster – While how fast content loads and streams is partially influenced by the speed of your Wi-Fi network, a household with a broadband connection should have plenty of bandwidth to enjoy uninterrupted viewing in up to 1080p quality (depending on the content provider).
Image via CrunchBase
* You don’t need to be a techie – Smart TVs are as intuitive as using a smartphone. For example, LG’s Magic Remote mimics a computer mouse, including point-and-click functionality and a scroll wheel. You can even search and change channels with voice commands. -
* Smart TVs offer easy ways to share content – You may already be used to sharing photos, music or movies between your home PC, tablet, laptop or smartphone. Content sharing with a smart TV is just as easy. Most smart TVs have inputs for phones and other devices (e.g. USB and HDMI ports) for content sharing and some allow you to do it via a Wi-Fi connection.
“As with any new technology, consumers need to learn about smart TVs before they can really feel confident incorporating one into their lives,” Durgin says. “Fortunately, it’s easy to learn about this exciting technology. From reading online reviews to watching the technology in action in an electronics showroom, Americans have plenty of options to learn about smart TVs.”
About the Publisher
David C. Wyld (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a consultant, researcher/writer, renowned speaker and executive educator. His website with the latest business, financial, technology and lifestyle news is My Business News. Please share this site with your friends and colleagues. He is also the author of the book, College Success 101. Learn more about the book at collegesuccess101book.com.
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