1. Facebook’s useful hidden features

    One of the most popular things software developers do is provide hidden functions, often called easter eggs. These features are sometimes jokes, other times they’re a useful function that for some reason was deemed not important enough to make it onto the main parts of the program. Facebook has some...
  2. Business Benefits of Unfriending

    The drive to be more intimate can benefit your business. If you have a tighter circle of customers, you will establish yourself as a channel for consumption. This will make your next sale easier compared to the first. November 17, 2010 was declared by Jimmy Kimmel during his television show as “National Unfriend Day”, the opportunity for all Facebook users to declutter their Facebook pages by “unfriending” people in their friends’ lists. He claims that Facebook has been “cheapening” the idea of friendship. To many the idea was hilarious, but others are seriously considering the wisdom of unfriending. Is Kimmel on to something here? Can unfriending benefit your online business? Research shows that as social media gets bigger, we’re getting smaller. Brian Wong, a network marketer says it simply: “With the growth of social networking, I am finding it increasingly difficult to separate business connections and personal connections.” He says that having almost 1,000 friends on Facebook has made it difficult for him to see the feeds and updates of his “real” friends and important business partners. Lately there is a growing trend of de-scaling on the internet. People have started “pruning” their social lives online. For example, the popular Farmville app lost 30 million players this year, and people are beginning to realize that conversations and comments are more important than a huge number of blog hits. So how can de-scaling and unfriending help your business? The drive to be more intimate can benefit your business by allowing you to form a tighter circle of customers, more successfully establishing you as a preferred channel for consumption. Luckily, there are tools that can help you descale your social networks: Path – Offers small-scale communities where people feel more comfortable sharing personal information. It controls who can view your information and does not include features that make your content viral. Letter.ly – A subscription-based newsletter for bloggers who feel that public posts decrease the quality of conversations. This newsletter opens discussion only to people who pay, or who are privately invited to read a blog post. GroupMe – A texting app which limits your group text participants to only 14, to ensure that meaningful dialogues take place. What about the flip side of unfriending and descaling? While you’re considering who to eliminate from your social circles, your contacts are likely doing the same. Here are some tips to help you make their cuts: 1.       Be selective in your communications. Of course, your product is important – to you. But not every little detail is as important to your audience. Be sure to focus on key features and benefits from your audience’s perspective. 2.       Stay on topic. Always give relevant communications to your customers, and never rant or badmouth competitors. This is a sure way to lose customers. 3.       Provide value. In addition to talking about your product or service, find ways to provide value to your circle of friends. Understand topics and pain points important to them, and provide valuable information and advice to help them succeed. You’ll soon come to be considered as a valuable resource to your contacts – one that they want to keep in their online social groups. One thing is clear: quality is still more important than quantity, especially in the current economic downturn when people are downsizing everything. Start “pruning” your social network – and take steps to avoid being pruned – and you’ll reap the benefits of having a tight circle of loyal friends and customers.
  3. How to Maximize Your Twitter Account

    Twitter can be a powerful tool for business if used properly, but how? Experts list a few tips to help you utilize this social networking website to boost your online presence. It’s common knowledge these days that social networking websites such as the hugely popular Twitter can be used not only as an online socializing medium, but also as a powerful business tool. However, not everyone becomes as successful as they want to. Here are a few tips experts recommend you follow when using Twitter: Pick who you follow. Many people think that Twitter is all about getting as many followers as possible and following as many people as possible. However, while it’s true that Twitter numbers can be powerful, it’s also important to remember that the quality of the Tweets you follow also counts for a lot. Plan ahead. Make things short and sweet. If you make it a habit of Tweeting at exactly 140 characters, you might want to rethink that. In case some of your followers decide to re-Tweet you, characters at the end of the Tweet will be lopped off to make room for “RT (insert Twitter username here)”. So if you have valuable information at the end of Tweet – like a link – for example, it becomes incomplete. Tweet at peak times. Try to determine the time when you have the biggest number of people viewing you. That way, you can get your message across much more effectively to as much people as possible. If you want to know more about maximizing your Twitter account for your business, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you.
  4. Foursquare: The Newest Player in Business Social Networking

    Foursquare encourages users to check in at different venues around the world by offering discounts and promotions. With 1.8 million users to date, the potential traffic for your business is too significant to ignore. If you thought you’ve seen it all in the social networking world - Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and other wildly popular social networking websites - take a look at Foursquare. Foursquare is a new social networking application that brings networking closer to home - literally. Foursquare encourages people to explore locations and businesses in exchange for points that can be used to earn ‘badges’ that mark achievements of the user. Users can check in at different venues, and the person with the most check-ins for a particular time period becomes the ‘Mayor’ of that particular venue. Think of it as something like Twitter + GPS. What does this do for your business? In a nutshell, Foursquare allows you to get involved in the game by offering discounts and promotions that are specific to your business, which further encourage Foursquare enthusiasts to visit your business. And with 1.8 million users and growing as of mid-August, the potential traffic for your business is too significant to ignore. Since Foursquare is location based, businesses are bound to attract local (and potentially long-term) clients. Here are some basic steps to help you get started on Foursquare: Take it easy at the beginning. Start by creating a free basic account and see how things go from there. After a week or two, you can start thinking of strategies for using Foursquare to tap into your target market. Be a part of the community . Don’t be passive. Post updates that are related to your business and are also helpful to users as well. Also, be attentive to feedback from other people. Listen to what the market wants, and deliver it. Link your Foursquare account with your Facebook and Twitter accounts so you can post updates simultaneously. While Foursquare is technically a game for consumer, dismissing it because of that fact is a big mistake. The potential for this location-based social networking service is vast.
  5. Social Networking Now integrated Into CRM Services

    CRM services are now expanding their offerings to include social networking platforms - both internal and external - to help boost client relationships. With the popularity of social networking mechanisms and websites continuing to grow, more and more businesses are adapting their service offerings to include features that are linked into common social networking websites / platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and the like. Some are even developing their own features that mimic social networking functions applied specifically for their own customer base - and many are doing both. CRM, or customer relationship management, services especially are seeing the vast potential of tapping into the social networking phenomenon. With the goal of CRMs being to establish and nurture a company’s relationship with both existing and potential clients, it is only logical for such service providers to use a platform that boasts billions of interactions daily. Microsoft CRM, for example, has integrated third-party applications such as social media accelerators, social network developers, and the like that enable businesses to develop and use social media platforms, both internal and external, for their own purposes and strategies. Using social networking - both through developing their own apps and / or integrating with existing ones - CRMs are able to get a better and bigger sense of current and possible client bases. Interaction goes much faster, is much more real-time and genuine, and feedback is easier to gather. Small and medium-sized businesses are especially benefitting from these developments, since their client bases are much smaller and thus much easier to manage and keep track of through the social networking medium.


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