Tuesday, 1 April 2014

21 Social Media Statistics for 2014 (So Far)

Social media continues to be a widespread phenomenon – it continues to grow both in terms of the number of people and businesses who use it as well as the number of social media platforms it encompasses. Insofar as its relevance to business is concerned, well, let’s just say that if you’re not social, you can’t possibly be competitive in the market as it exists in 2014. Why? Here are some stats, courtesy once again, of Jeff Bullas, social media guru and author, that will illustrate the importance and astonishing reach of social media...                                                                                                      

An Overview of Social Media:                       
  • 72% of all Internet users are now active on social media
  • 89% of those between 18 and 29 years old are social media users
  • 72% of individuals aged 30 to 49 are engaged in social media
  • 60% of people between 50 to 60 years old are active on social media
  • 43% of those 65 years old and above are engaged in social media
  • 71% of users access social media from a mobile device
Facebook:

·      Facebook now has over 1.15 billion users   

 ·         One million webpages can be accessed with the “Login with Facebook” feature

 ·         23% of Facebook users login at least 5 times daily


 ·         47% of Americans say Facebook is the top influencer of their buying decisions


 ·         On average, Americans spend %16 of each online hour on Facebook


 ·         70% of marketers acquire new customers through Facebook


Twitter:
 
·         Twitter now has over 550 million registered users and 215 million monthly active users
 
·         Between 2012 and 2014, Twitter achieved a growth rate of 44%
 
·         34% of marketers use Twitter for lead generation


Google+:
 
·         Google+ now has over 1 billion enabled accounts and 359 million active monthly users
 
·         Google+ is has a growth rate of 33% per year
 
·         People aged 45 to 54 years old have increased their Google+ usage by 56% since 2012


Visual:
 
·         YouTube has over one billion monthly active users
 
·         Pinterest has 20 million monthly active users
 
·         Instagram has 150 million monthly active users
 
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Regardless of which social media platforms on which you engage (some work better than others for different businesses – it’s crucial to do your research to find out where your customers and prospects are), the bottom line is, there’s no denying that social media can actuate real sales and marketing results! 




  

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A Good Laugh for Another Cold, Snowy Day

It’s the beginning of March, and it feels like we’ve been smack in the middle of a never-ending cold, snowy winter for as long as I can remember (at least here in my neck of the woods). So, I thought for this post, a little levity wouldn’t hurt. I know I could use it – it’s SNOWING AGAIN out there – and even though Spring is supposedly right around the corner – I can’t see it!!  

Here, courtesy of rajtlak.net, is a post I came across some time ago – and I thought it would be perfect for a much-needed smile on a yet another snowy, cold, grey winter's day… Enjoy!

32 Things to do When Your ISP is Down:          



Every now and then our ISP seems to drop dead for no reason at all. This list is for things to do during those unimaginable times...

1.      Open the curtains to see if anything has changed over the past 2 years.
2.     Re-introduce yourself to your immediate family.
3.     You mean there's something else to do?
4.     Steal WiFi from your neighbor.
5.     Play single player mode.
6.     Get that kidney transplant you've been putting off.
7.     Slit your wrists with broken AOL trial disks.
8.    Start talking to your girlfriend again.
9.     Call friends to see if their ISP is working.
10.Create your own IM bot to converse with.
11.  Plot out your revenge for the ISP.
12. Run in circles, screaming hysterically about the end of the world.
13. Open up the ol' pinging .bat file!
14. Take a shower and scrape off mold/fern from body.
15. Go through your web cache to see if you missed anything.
16. Switch to TV.
17. Twiddle your thumbs.
18.Go to the bathroom (of course!).
19. Hang yourself with network cables.
20. Load up the zsnes emulator and play chrono trigger and earthbound for hours.
21. Smack your modem against the wall.
22. Smash your head on the keyboard until it restores.
23. Get a black rooster paint a pentacle with his blood and do some invocations.
24. Go out to buy another pallet of Mountain Dew for the year ahead.
25. Host a LAN game with hopes of people joining.
26. Write your lists on paper.
27. Bet on horses; wake up the gerbil.
28. Go to Starbucks and Login to T-Mobile.
29.  Pray to the Dark Gods that it will be fixed.
30. Try dialing in every 10 minutes, just in case its back up.
31. Threaten your ISP with an impeachment vote.
32. Dial 911.


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY TO FACEBOOK!

Today Facebook hits the double digit mark! It’s almost inconceivable that it’s been 10 years since the inception of the most powerful social networking site on the planet. That’s 10 years of sharing, liking and commenting. I doubt that even Mark Zuckerberg himself had any idea of what was to become of his little idea, Facemash, when he was just a kid in a dorm room at Harvard. 

But with a decade under its belt and no signs of slowing down, Facebook has undeniably become a phenomenon that even its harshest critics and skeptics worldwide have come to, if not adopt, then at least recognize for what it is: the way the world communicates. 

Today we use Facebook to connect, re-connect and keep in touch with friends, classmates and neighbors. And that’s just on the personal side. Facebook has become an integral part of doing business – buying, selling, marketing and just plain connecting with clients, prospects and colleagues. Contact management at its finest! Facebook has revolutionized the way we relate and connect on all levels.

In honor of Facebook’s milestone anniversary, here’s a brief look back at how it came to be what it is today…

2003 – Before Facebook, it was Facemash, and simply a means of comparing two photos of Harvard students to choose which one was hotter. (Okay, so Facebook came from, shall we say, less than altruistic beginnings. But, hey, look what we can do with it now!)

2004 – Then came Thefacebook, an “online directory” that connected college students via their own social platform.

2005 – As anyone who has seen David Fincher’s brilliant film, The Social Network, is aware, Thefacebook soon becomes Facebook when Justin Timberlake’s character, Sean Parker, suggests to Jesse Eisenberg’s Mark Zuckerberg that they drop the “The” and just call it Facebook.

 2006 – The News Feed is born. Let the real sharing begin! Also in 2006, everyone who wants to, gains access to Facebook. Prior to September of 2006, Facebook's still just a way in which students connect with other students. In this year, however, Facebook becomes accessible to anyone with a computer and an email address (oh, and you have to be over the age of 13).

 2008 – The phenomenon just gets bigger and bigger… 100 million users worldwide!

Also in 2008, Facebook goes mobile…There’s an app for that…

2009 – The “Like” button is introduced…

2011 – The new Timeline is introduced – bigger and bolder than ever before! To mixed reaction, Facebook changes its look and some of its features. I have to admit, I wasn’t a big fan at first, but I’ve since grown used to Timeline and now don’t even remember what life (or Facebook) was like before Timeline!


 2012 – Facebook and Instagram join forces. In April of 2012, Facebook buys its budding rival, Instagram, for a cool billion.

February 4, 2014 – Everyone’s favorite social network turns 10! And a very Happy Birthday to you, Facebook! Now, off to check my News Feed...


Friday, 10 January 2014

It’s 2014: Is Your Business Social Yet?

If you haven’t yet begun to implement social networking as a means of brand awareness and connecting with clients and prospects, it’s gotta’ be because:  a) you’ve been doing a stint in prison; or b) you’re afraid / resistant and you still don’t get how & why social media can be your business’ greatest asset.  Well, WAKE UP!! It’s 2014, and if you haven’t implemented a solid social media strategy for your business, you pretty much don’t exist!

There are all kinds out there now: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr (and all the wonderful blogging sites), Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and, well, I could go on for a while. So, for the purpose of brevity, I’ll just give you a quick rundown on why and how Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging, if nothing else, are essential to the well-being of your business.

Let’s start with the basics about social media as a whole.  What do social media do for you? They keep your name in front of clients and prospects – on a regular basis. They're second to nothing else in terms of community building. They provide you with platforms through which you can easily and quickly maintain regular contact with your business connections. They allow you to effortlessly share and disseminate crucial information, via both text and images (not to mention video).  And last but not least, they promote brand awareness – in real time. 

Here, briefly, are some ways that social media can work for your business:

1.  Facebook – Facebook is the perfect place for you to connect with clients & prospects on a human level – a personal level. The first rule of using Facebook for business? Don’t try to blatantly advertise or sell your business on Facebook. That’s not what it’s about. You want to make lasting connections. You want to let people know what’s in it for them. Facebook allots you a forum within which you can mix the business and the personal. Let’s, for argument’s sake, say you’re in the real estate business. What can you post on Facebook? Photos and details of your listings, changes to mortgage lending rules, home improvement & d├ęcor ideas, links to informative industry related articles and videos, helpful hints & tips (for example, on how to ease the pain of moving), getting your home holiday ready, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Facebook also allows you to do really cool things, like form Groups (a home decorating group?) and create Pages (how about a Page for your listings?) that will take your business to the next level. Try to post on a regular basis – once twice a day – or at least several times a week. Keep your posts informative, engaging and entertaining to garner tons of “Friends” and “Likes” and “Shares”. And, most importantly – have fun on Facebook. It can be a great way to engage people and communicate!

2. Twitter – Twitter functions as an effective broadcast medium – you can think of it as a ‘micro-blog’. Twitter allots your customers/ clients a forum within which quick and easy access to your business is possible.  In business, communication with your clients is key – not only do you want to reach out to them, but they want take comfort in knowing that you are accessible to them NOW. And that’s what Twitter can do. Tweet about relevant industry news and information. Tweet links to important articles and news items that you know will be of benefit to your clients. Ask for feedback about new products and services via Twitter. It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s completely interactive and it’s always there – in real time.

3. LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the business connection place within the realm of social media. A LinkedIn profile not only lends credibility to you and your business, but much like Facebook, it becomes an integral means of communication and connecting with people – with business-minded professionals. It provides a platform within which you can promote your services as well as the services of others. And others, in turn, can promote you and your business. Use LinkedIn connections to find jobs, people and business opportunities. Use it to find quality employees for your expanding business. Follow other companies within your industry on LinkedIn to keep up to date on news, important information and available offers. Research companies and people with whom you are interested in doing business and ensure that your profile is complete so that others can research you. Take advantage of features like LinkedIn Answers, LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Direct Ads to position your brand in the forefront of people’s minds.

4. Blogging – Blogging is an innovative and creative way of giving people a glimpse into the confines of your business. Your blog is the voice of your brand.  What to blog about? That’s easy! You don’t have to be Ernest Hemingway or Mordecai Richler. As a professional with years of expertise and knowledge, you may not be aware of the depth of information that you have to offer your clients. What’s common knowledge and taken for granted by you is not necessarily available information to the average person. The blog is a place that is easily accessible to your clients, where you can disseminate this information. So go for it – showcase your knowledge – be a smartypants – and an industry leader through your blog!                                                                                   


There’s just SO much information I could share with you on how you can effectively use social networking to your business’ advantage. I could actually teach a whole day’s course on the subject. Hey, wait, I do teach a full day course on the subject. If you want to join, we’d love to see you. Here’s our link: http://escomputertraining.com/socialmedia