How to Crush It on the Top 4 Social Media Platforms

How to Crush It on the Top 4 Social Media Platforms by Learning How Businesses Use Social Media

You’ve heard it a million times.

Entrepreneurs and solopreneurs need to use social media to grow their audience and interact with prospects and clients.

It’s true. Social media is one of the most effective ways to get in front of the people you want to serve.

But so many entrepreneurs are doing it wrong.

If you’re not succeeding at social media, chances are…

  • You’re not using the right social media platforms.
  • You’re not effectively using each social media platforms.
  • You’re using social media just to deliver annoying sales pitches.

Of course, there could be other reasons, but these are some of the most common. That’s why you have to make sure you’re making the best use of each social media platform you work with.

This post is going to discuss some of the best ways to use the most popular social media platforms. When you put these tips into action, you will notice how much easier it will be to grow your audience.

How Businesses Use Social Media to Crush It

Twitter

With over 313 million active monthly users, Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms for business. As a matter of fact, 29 percent of Twitter users have tweeted about a brand. It’s a great way to connect with customers and promote your brand.

It’s a great social media platform to use if your target audience is younger people. It’s also great if you plan to market to other entrepreneurs.

Here’s some tips on using Twitter to grow your business:

Find the Right Frequency

There’s no magic number for the amount of tweets you should post in a day. But unlike other social media platforms, Twitter’s timeline flows pretty quickly. The average life of a tweet is 2 hours. If you only post once or twice per day, then you’re not going to get the amount of exposure you want.

The average Twitter user tweets 22 times per day. I’ve seen many people recommend 4-5 tweets per day. If this works for you, then have at it!

For my business, I’ve tried a slightly different strategy. Since I saw how quickly a tweet disappears into oblivion, I decided to up my number of tweets. I probably tweet between 15-20 times per day.

Yes, I know. Sounds kinda crazy, right?

But it helped! When I started doing it that way, I started gaining more and more followers. I also noticed that I was getting more engagement on my content.

Also, don’t be afraid to tweet the same tweet more than once. Again, since each tweet has a shorter life, you can afford to repeat sometimes.

The key here is to figure out the amount of tweets that work best for your business. You want to find your sweet spot and then stay with it.

Use Twitter as a Listening Tool

You shouldn’t spend all your time sending out tweets. It’s a good idea to look at what others are tweeting as well. If you see a certain topic trending, you might want to contribute to the conversation.

Following hashtags is a great way to do this. Find out what the most relevant hashtags are for your industry and join in. Marketing expert Neil Patel recommends using hashtags to gain more exposure for your brand.

Here’s what he has to say:

“About a million to two million tweets include hash tags…meaning your tweets are more likely to be seen if you include a hashtag, thus generating more retweets.”

Hashtags are a great way to stay ahead of the trends in your industry.

Give Influencers Some Love

Want to get retweeted? Of course you do. You want more exposure. One of the most effective ways to get retweeted is to draw some attention to the influencers who create the content you’re sharing.

When you read a piece of content that you want to share, don’t just tweet it out. Include the influencer’s Twitter handle in the tweet. In many cases, the influencer will retweet the post to their followers.

Also, if you’re creating content — and you should be — try mentioning some insights from influencers you follow. After you publish the piece of content, send a quick tweet to the influencer letting them know that you mentioned them in your article.

Want an example? Remember when I quoted Neil Patel when I mentioned hashtags? Well, after this article posts, I’m going to let him know that I gave him some love on my post.

Not all influencers will retweet your post, but even if you’re able to get some of them to share it, it will still benefit your brand.

Facebook

As you already know, Facebook is the most popular social media platform. With over 1.71 billion monthly active users, it is one of the best places to gain exposure for your brand. 41% of businesses use Facebook for marketing purposes.

If you understand how to leverage Facebook for your business, you can build a stronger audience and earn more clients.

Here’s some tips on using Facebook to grow your audience:

Use Facebook Ads

If it’s in your budget, taking advantage of Facebook’s paid advertising can help you get in front of more people. If you adopt a viable Facebook ad strategy, it can help you drive more traffic to your website, get more subscribers and earn more customers.

John G. Mullen, founder and head personal trainer at TrainingCor has found Facebook to be a great resource for connecting with his audience.

“We produce content that helps our readers learn more about training and physical fitness. We promote this content on Facebook and it’s enabled us to engage more with our audience. Also, our current customers use Facebook to talk about the benefit we have provided them with.”

Facebook Ads allows you to make sure you’re targeting the right people with your content. This is important because you don’t want to be reaching out to people who aren’t interested in what you’re offering.

Monitor Your Engagement

If you’re going to gain more of an audience, you need to know what type of content resonates most with your readers. You can do this by paying attention to Facebook Insight. It’s a tool that allows you to see how people are interacting with your content.

Using Facebook Insight, you can see which posts are performance the best and which are not. This gives you a better idea of the type of content you should be creating and sharing. It’s a valuable tool that will help you create content that is the most relevant to your readers.

Google Plus

Okay, I get it. You’ve probably heard it said that Google Plus is basically dead. Many people scoff at Google’s social media platform.

It’s understandable.

They don’t have as many active users as the other social media platforms. But this doesn’t mean that Google Plus is a waste of time. As a matter of fact, Business Insider says that Google Plus is starting to increase the number of its active users. Google Plus can still be a valuable social media platform if you know how to use it.

In an article entitled “Why You Should Stop Asking Is Google Plus Dead,” Sprout Social’s Jennifer Beese says this:

“Instead of dismissing the platform and asking is Google Plus dead, let’s not forget that you always want to think in terms of quality and not quantity when it comes to successful social media marketing. So whether there are 22 million or 343 million people posting consistently on Google+, there are still millions of opportunities to engage.”

It’s true. Google Plus is great for connecting with others and forming relationships. It’s helped me form some great relationships with people I wouldn’t have connected with otherwise.

Here’s some tips on using Google Plus:

Engage Your Community

This is probably my favorite thing about Google Plus. There are various communities that you can join. There are several different types of communities for people with shared interests.

You can join as many communities as you like, although some might need to approve your membership in their community. What I really like about communities is that people are very interactive.

It’s easy to connect with the types of people you want to connect with. I’ve learned quite a bit from the connections I’ve made on Google Plus’ communities. It’s led to some wonderful opportunities for me. I’d highly recommend that you try it out.

Use Hangouts for More Than Just Chatting!

If you’re like most people, you only use Google Hangouts for chatting with friends, right? But that’s not all this tool can do. Google Hangouts. It’s a great way to record video content for your audience.

Maybe you want to record a short instructional video on how to achieve an objective. Or maybe you just want to say “hi” to your audience. Whatever your purpose is, Hangouts will allow you to record your video and upload it to YouTube. It’s quick and easy!

If you leverage Google Plus’ features the right way, you will be able to develop relationships that can help you move your business forward.

Instagram

Instagram is a great social media platform for those who create a large amount of visual content. It currently has about 77 million active users and is expected to surpass 100 million by 2019. If your business targets teens and younger millennials, you should be using Instagram.

Like Google Plus, Instagram is a great way to form relationships with others. It’s also a great way to get more exposure for your brand.

Here’s some tips on using Instagram for your business:

Build a Tribe

The key to succeeding on Instagram is to build a tribe. You want to earn followers and develop relationships with them. This will take some time, but when you have a relationship with your audience, you will have evangelists who are willing to share your content with their connections.

Over time, more people will see and share your content. When you invest time in building a thriving community around your brand, it will be much easier to turn your prospects into paying customers.

Connect With Influencers

Just like Twitter, Instagram is a great way to connect with those who already have a strong following. It’s a good idea to start interacting with influencers by commenting on their posts, sharing their posts, and mentioning them in the content you create.

When influencers see that you’re mentioning them often, they will be more likely to interact with you. You also want to connect with these influencers on Twitter because people who use Instagram typically use Twitter as well.

Conclusion

As you already know, social media is essential to the success of your brand. When you use social media the right way, it makes it easier to grow your audience and generate more leads.

If you’re using the social media platforms discussed in this article — and you should be — start implementing these tips. It will help you engage with your audience and earn more business.

Crushing Glass Photo via Shutterstock

More in: Twitter

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

How to Get Google Play and Android Apps on Your Chromebook Right Now

How to Get Google Play and Android Apps on Your Chromebook Right Now

HIGHLIGHTS

  • This method requires users to switch to the Canary canal
  • Toshiba Chromebook 2015 can find it in the developer channel as well
  • This method is very unstable

Google announced the arrival of Android apps on Chromebooks at I/O this year. However months later, only a handful of Chromebooks have received Google Play support, and Google is taking rather slow steps to make it available to all the compatible Chromebooks. Luckily, there is another cheat way to get Play Store to work on Chromebooks, and start using Android apps immediately.

Of course, before we begin to tell you the way, it is important to warn you that the method is unsafe. It requires you to use the Canary canal, which is extremely unstable. If the method backfires, it could cause some damage to your machine, and we recommend you to move forward at your own risk.

This method won’t work on all models, but should at least work on the 50 models that Google listed earlier in the year. If you have one of these laptops, and want Google Play installed immediately, enable developer mode on your Chromebook by pressing Esc+F5+Power. Then Press Ctrl+D and follow the instructions.

After the Chromebook boots, press Ctrl+D again to jump verification. Switch to Canary Canal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T, and type Shell in the command prompt. Then type ‘sudo su’ and then enter ‘update_engine_client -channel=canary-channel -update’ to switch to canary channel.

Again press Ctrl+Alt+T > Type Shell > Type sudo su > then ‘echo ‘-enable-arc’ > /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf > mount -o bind /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf /etc/chrome_dev.conf’. Now press Ctrl + Shift + Q two times to log out. After signing out, sign back in and restart your machine. After the reboot, the Chromebook should have the Google Play Store installed.

If you do not see it immediately, browse through the Settings menu to see if there is an option to enable Google Play. This process was posted by Google Plus users, and was first spotted by Chrome Story.

Justin Slatten on Google Plus also notes that Toshiba Chromebook 2015 users need not switch to the Canary canal, and can find Google Play on the developer channel as well. 9to5Google has done a full video with step by step instructions as well.

User can switch back to the stable Chrome OS channel anytime, by hitting Ctrl+Alt+T > Type Shell > Type sudo su > Enter following command: update_engine_client -channel=stable-channel -update > and then press space bar at boot.

Tags: Google, Chromebooks, PCs, Laptops, Google Play, Android Apps

[“Source-Gadgets”]

I Hear My Customers Talking About Cloud, How Do I Deliver and Make Money?

I Hear My Customers Talking About Cloud Consulting, How Do I Deliver and Make Money?

Customers want the cloud. They expect it. They demand it.

The only problem is, some IT providers aren’t giving them what they’ve heard about and want.

IT companies that serve SMBs are having a tough time making the transition from providing traditional solutions to offering services in the cloud, says one industry expert.

Why is that?  According to Chaitra Vedullapalli, cloud architect and CMO of Meylah,  one reason is “they don’t know the simple steps that will get them to add cloud offerings and still be profitable.”  She adds, “It’s not because IT providers don’t want to satisfy or wow their customers — they desperately do.  It’s just they are struggling for how to get there.”

She went on to add, “Here’s the sort of thing we hear from IT providers: ‘we don’t have the ability to sell and support comprehensive cloud based solutions.’  My company did a survey of 300+ SMB IT firms, and that’s an actual quote from one who has been in business for 5+ years.  He knows it requires business change, but the owner said he didn’t know how to go to market with strong recurring cloud offerings.”

Vedullapalli went on to say that a phenomenon is occurring where IT infrastructure and architecture are moving from the traditional on-premises approach and into the cloud. She adds that IT providers, many of which are small businesses themselves, are struggling to adapt with the trend.

“IT is changing because of the cloud,” Vedullapalli said. “Not too long ago, everything was housed in the organization on-site — servers, firewalls, databases and backups. Now, IT companies have to think like managed service providers and take care of their customers by stitching hardware, software, services and support together in the cloud.”

She added that the focus has shifted from “Exchange servers and Oracle databases” to mobile, cloud, big data and social.

“The tech stack is changing to accommodate mobile users, so you can’t have the data sitting on a local server any longer,” Vedullapalli said. “You need big data for analytics and social because people are connecting.”

The Cloud Ready Business Opportunity

According to a 2016 IDC report, cloud spending will exceed $500 billion by 2020. This includes software as a service, platform as a service, infrastructure as a service and all the professional and managed services around cloud technology, as well as the supporting software and hardware to make cloud implementations happen.

“Cloud-oriented partners with more than 50 percent of their revenue in the cloud will see twice the growth and one-and-a-half times the gross profit of other partners,” Vedullapalli said, citing the report. “It’s become clear that cloud-ready businesses are more profitable and grow at a faster rate than other non-cloud providers.”

4 Ways to Make Money from the Cloud

No one doubts that the cloud affords a wealth of opportunity, but the question is how to profit from its adoption. Vedullapalli outlined four ways cloud-ready businesses can make money:

  • Proof of Concept (POC). “In the old world of IT, providers would sell licenses and someone else would implement the services,” she said. “In the new cloud world, the approach to winning the customer differs. Cloud services or managed services providers need to pitch a proof of concept. This helps both the companies to learn and tinker with the process so that they can implement on scale. Without a POC, the service provider may never get the opportunity to attract users or engage the prospective client in a business transaction.”
  • Monthly Recurring Revenue. In the past, IT companies would often focus on project-based engagements, which meant that when one project was completed, they had to chase down another. With the cloud, providers can now use a software subscription model that enables them to become a managed solution provider and offer services and maintenance year-round, reducing customer churn.
  • Monthly Recurring Margins. Vendors can make money by reselling enterprise software. “Now, everyone is a reseller,” Vedullapalli said.
  • Upsell via Custom Projects. A fourth way to accrue income is through custom projects.

These are four ways to make money providing cloud based solutions.  Are you prepared to make money?

Cloud Paper Clips Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

I Hear My Customers Talking About Cloud, How Do I Deliver and Make Money?

I Hear My Customers Talking About Cloud Consulting, How Do I Deliver and Make Money?

Customers want the cloud. They expect it. They demand it.

The only problem is, some IT providers aren’t giving them what they’ve heard about and want.

IT companies that serve SMBs are having a tough time making the transition from providing traditional solutions to offering services in the cloud, says one industry expert.

Why is that?  According to Chaitra Vedullapalli, cloud architect and CMO of Meylah,  one reason is “they don’t know the simple steps that will get them to add cloud offerings and still be profitable.”  She adds, “It’s not because IT providers don’t want to satisfy or wow their customers — they desperately do.  It’s just they are struggling for how to get there.”

She went on to add, “Here’s the sort of thing we hear from IT providers: ‘we don’t have the ability to sell and support comprehensive cloud based solutions.’  My company did a survey of 300+ SMB IT firms, and that’s an actual quote from one who has been in business for 5+ years.  He knows it requires business change, but the owner said he didn’t know how to go to market with strong recurring cloud offerings.”

Vedullapalli went on to say that a phenomenon is occurring where IT infrastructure and architecture are moving from the traditional on-premises approach and into the cloud. She adds that IT providers, many of which are small businesses themselves, are struggling to adapt with the trend.

“IT is changing because of the cloud,” Vedullapalli said. “Not too long ago, everything was housed in the organization on-site — servers, firewalls, databases and backups. Now, IT companies have to think like managed service providers and take care of their customers by stitching hardware, software, services and support together in the cloud.”

She added that the focus has shifted from “Exchange servers and Oracle databases” to mobile, cloud, big data and social.

“The tech stack is changing to accommodate mobile users, so you can’t have the data sitting on a local server any longer,” Vedullapalli said. “You need big data for analytics and social because people are connecting.”

The Cloud Ready Business Opportunity

According to a 2016 IDC report, cloud spending will exceed $500 billion by 2020. This includes software as a service, platform as a service, infrastructure as a service and all the professional and managed services around cloud technology, as well as the supporting software and hardware to make cloud implementations happen.

“Cloud-oriented partners with more than 50 percent of their revenue in the cloud will see twice the growth and one-and-a-half times the gross profit of other partners,” Vedullapalli said, citing the report. “It’s become clear that cloud-ready businesses are more profitable and grow at a faster rate than other non-cloud providers.”

4 Ways to Make Money from the Cloud

No one doubts that the cloud affords a wealth of opportunity, but the question is how to profit from its adoption. Vedullapalli outlined four ways cloud-ready businesses can make money:

  • Proof of Concept (POC). “In the old world of IT, providers would sell licenses and someone else would implement the services,” she said. “In the new cloud world, the approach to winning the customer differs. Cloud services or managed services providers need to pitch a proof of concept. This helps both the companies to learn and tinker with the process so that they can implement on scale. Without a POC, the service provider may never get the opportunity to attract users or engage the prospective client in a business transaction.”
  • Monthly Recurring Revenue. In the past, IT companies would often focus on project-based engagements, which meant that when one project was completed, they had to chase down another. With the cloud, providers can now use a software subscription model that enables them to become a managed solution provider and offer services and maintenance year-round, reducing customer churn.
  • Monthly Recurring Margins. Vendors can make money by reselling enterprise software. “Now, everyone is a reseller,” Vedullapalli said.
  • Upsell via Custom Projects. A fourth way to accrue income is through custom projects.

These are four ways to make money providing cloud based solutions.  Are you prepared to make money?

[“source-ndtv”]

How to Start an Artisan Donut Shop

How to Open a Donut Shop that Sells Artisan Donuts

The donut shop industry in the U.S. is thriving with current annual revenue of $14 billion, reports IBIS World. But it’s not just major chains like Dunkin’ Donuts and Tim Hortons serving up plain glazed and jelly-filled treats.

A new breed of artisan shops that offer specialty donuts topped with everything from candied bacon to cereal are making their way into markets across the country.

If you want to build a business that’s a part of this growing trend, you’ll need a few key things to get started. Here’s a quick guide on how to open an artisan donut shop.

How to Open a Donut Shop that Sells Artisan Donuts

Secure Enough Space

Artisan donut shops can take many different forms. You can have a small location where customers order and then take their donuts to go. Or you can design a larger space with plenty of tables and chairs so that people can enjoy their handmade confections at your location. But you’ll likely need at least 500 square feet so that you’ll have enough space to set up all your equipment and a check out and display area.

Choose the Right Location

You’ll also need to find that space in a good location. As with any business, finding a high traffic location can help you bring in customers. But more specifically, artisan donut shops tend to be popular in big cities, college towns or locations with a lot of young, hip consumers. So research the customer base in the location you’re considering and then choose an exact spot accordingly.

Get Your Equipment

For any donut shop, you’ll need fryers and preferably a gas supply to the building. You may also need a commercial oven and some other specialty pieces of equipment. The exact items you’ll need may vary depending on your specialty items.

Develop Your Menu

The whole point of an artisan donut shop is to offer donuts that are different than what you’d find at any old coffee shop. So when you create your menu, think about what items you can offer that will help your business stand out. You might offer some options that have interesting toppings or flavor combinations. But you can also offer a few of the basics just to satisfy less adventurous customers who just want a quality donut.

Find Suppliers

Once you’ve decided on a menu, you’ll need to find suppliers who can provide the ingredients you need to create those items. Shop around and compare prices. And find suppliers who can provide enough ingredients on a regular basis to keep up with demand.

Research the Competition

Artisan donut shops are relatively new in a lot of markets. But you still might run into some competition when starting up. So before committing to a location or a menu, you might want to do some research on other donut shops in the area so you can be sure you’re not just offering something that customers can already find around the corner. Depending on what you discover, it might be beneficial to find a different location or just change up your menu a bit so that you’re offering something different.

Obtain Necessary Permits

Any business that sells food will need to obtain permits and go through health inspections in order to open. The actual process will vary based on your location. So check with your state and local governments to see what is required and then be prepared for multiple inspections and permits throughout the process of starting and running your business.

Train Your Employees

To make sure that all of your artisan donuts are high quality and unique, you need to make sure that all of your employees have a good understanding of what is required. That means you’ll need to put in a little more time training than you would if you were just showing people how to throw some glazed donuts into a bag and collect money from customers. You may even need to hire professional bakers or send your employees to specialized training.

Design Your Store

The look of your store is also important if you want to attract the right customers. Come up with a design concept that fits with your brand and your menu. And make sure it’s something that’s unique enough to stand out to your ideal customers. That could mean coming up with a cool way to display your donuts, creating interesting signage or even just putting up cool artwork around your space.

Market Your Business

Then you just need to market your business to get customers through the door. If you’re marketing to young customers, it may be necessary to set up a presence on social media. Or you could even host some cool events to bring customers through the door.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

How Does Closing 300 Stores Help Office Depot Grow? (Watch)

Image result for How Does Closing 300 Stores Help Office Depot Grow? (Watch)Office Depot is closing 300 retail stores in an attempt to save its overall business. The closing of those retail locations shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, since the whole retail office supply industry has been struggling to keep up with online retailers like Amazon for years.

But while closing hundreds of stores might not seem like the sign of a business moving forward, in this case Office Depot is actually using this opportunity to build a better shopping experience for modern consumers. Instead of using all of its resources trying to maintain retail locations, the company is reallocating those resources onto things like mobile apps and online stores, while maintaining a smaller brick and mortar retail presence.

The industry is still in a state of flux, like many other markets that have been impacted by the changing online business landscape. But these store closures could potentially lead to a better outlook for Office Depot, if the company is able to cut costs enough to compete with Amazon and similar retailers.

Do You Run an Agile Organization?

Running any sort of business means needing to adapt from time to time, even when those changes don’t seem ideal. But for those who try to hang onto outdated models and practices, it could be too late to make changes when you realize they’ve become necessary.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

What is Amazon Launchpad and How Can I Use It for My Startup?

What is Amazon Launchpad and How Can I Use It for My Startup?

When it comes to eCommerce, Amazon is the undisputed king. The sprawling digital marketplace sells over 200 million products per year in America alone, and it’s consequently evolved into a crucial sales platform for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

But it can be understandably difficult for tiny startups to stand out and prosper on Amazon. That’s why last year the company decided to introduce a pioneering platform to help showcase ambitious startups and their innovative products.

Dubbed Amazon Launchpad, the service also provides a wide array of useful tools for small businesses, and pairs them with like-minded organisations in order to foster growth and collaboration. Launchpad relies upon partners like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Y Combinator to help identify potential — and although the platform may not be right for everyone, the benefits are worth considering.

What is Amazon Launchpad?

Amazon Launchpad is a unique platform that serves two core purposes. On one hand, it’s a marketplace within a marketplace that enables customers to sift through a range of cutting-edge and innovative items produced by vetted startups. On the other hand, Launchpad is an incredibly useful service point for small businesses in need of a helping hand.

Although Amazon provides a marketplace for scores of companies, Launchpad vendors are given a bit of special treatment. Launchpad product listings are inherently more user-friendly, and allow startups to weave all-encompassing, custom narratives surrounding their products with the help of larger images, videos and more space to write. Launchpad vendors also enjoy more opportunities to get noticed through in-house advertising and a special widget on Amazon’s storefront landing page.

Elsewhere, Launchpad offers fledgling startups plenty of logistical support via its Services Hub. The hub is essentially a space for participating vendors to seek out help from colleagues and more established service providers in order to bolster productivity. Help categories range from prototyping and manufacturing to funding and sales, and all participating service providers are guaranteed to respond to startup queries within seven days.

How Can I Get Involved?

Launchpad is admittedly a little bit selective in terms of who it takes on. At present, Amazon prioritizes startups funded by crowdfunding platforms, venture capital firms and other startup accelerators that are already part of the company’s existing network — which includes names like Kickstarter, Andreesen Horowitz and Hardware Club. That said, Amazon has said it is willing to consider startups supported by companies outside the network on a case-by-case basis. Existing Amazon sellers can also apply for the program.

In order to apply for Launchpad, you must first register as an Amazon vendor and upload some basic product information onto the site. You’ll then be asked to confirm an initial order and ship an initial load of products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers. That order will essentially be used by the site to evaluate whether there’s a genuine demand for your company’s products.

If approved to join Launchpad, vendors won’t be getting a free ride. They will be expected to pay Amazon an incremental referral fee at five percent on top of the site’s standard referral fee on each item sold. That additional fee applies to all seller selections, and is charged on the total sum paid for the item by the buyer — including taxes.

Is Launchpad Right for My Business?

Amazon Launchpad provides a unique set of benefits for budding startups. Not only does the program drastically bolster a company’s visibility on the world’s best known eCommerce marketplace, but it also helps connect startups with all of the resources and service providers they’ll need in order to establish themselves. That saves small business owners a whole lot of time and hassle.

But that’s not to say the platform is without its own set of drawbacks. First and foremost, as a Launchpad vendor you’ll be expected to take part in the eCommerce giant’s ‘Fulfillment by Amazon’ service — which essentially means risking shipping all of your inventory off to Amazon wholesale before a customer has even had a chance to buy anything. That’s pretty standard practice for larger, more established companies; however, it could potentially cut a slice out of a startup’s initial profit margin.

That being said, a vast majority of startups would likely argue this is a small price to pay for the all-encompassing support that Launchpad and Amazon’s global fulfillment network provide. At the end of the day, no two businesses are alike — so you’ll have to look at the pros and cons to figure out whether Launchpad is right for your startup.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

How to Manually Download and Install MIUI 8 Right Now

How to Manually Download and Install MIUI 8 Right Now

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Few Xiaomi devices are eligible for an OTA update
  • Other compatible devices can manually flash their devices to MIUI 8
  • The China Stable ROM will be made available in a few days

Xiaomi has started rolling out the MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM to all eligible devices. Initially, MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM over-the-air (OTA) update is restricted to only a few devices, which means that the others will have to manually download and install the build if they wish to use it immediately.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S, Mi 2, Mi 2S, Mi 4i, Redmi Note 3G, andRedmi Note 4G will receive the MIUI 8 via an OTA update starting Tuesday, and all they need to do is wait it out patiently for a notification. They can alternatively even check in their Updater app, to see if the update has arrived or not.

For the Redmi 2 and Redmi Note 2, Xiaomi says some users will receive the update from Tuesday, but the rest will start receiving it from Thursday.

x

For the rest of the devices, Xiaomi has promised the update rollout sometime in the ‘near future,’ which is very vague. The devices with no immediate update are Redmi 2, Redmi 2 Prime, Redmi Note 3 Qualcomm, Redmi Note 3 Special Edition, , Redmi Note Prime, Redmi 3, Redmi 3S, Redmi 3S Prime, Mi 2S, Mi 3, Mi 4, Mi 5, Mi Note, and Mi Max 32GB. No ROM download links are available for these devices either.

For those who have the Redmi 1S, Mi 2, Mi 2S, Mi 4i, Redmi Note 3G, and Redmi Note 4G however, they can download and install the corresponding ROMs from Xiaomi’s website. Follow the below highlighted steps on how to download and install the MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM. However, ensure that you have backed up your files before proceeding.

1) First step is to identify your smartphone and download the corresponding MIUI 8 build for your smartphone. For all the smartphones that have locked bootloaders, they need to be first unlocked. Follow the steps here. There are two methods of manually downloading – the Recovery Method and the Fastbooting Method. If Fastbooting, then you need to download the Mi Flash Tool from here.

Mi 2 / Mi 2S – Recovery ROM

Mi 2 / Mi 2S – Fastboot ROM

Redmi 1S – Recovery ROM

Redmi 1S – Fastboot ROM

Mi 4i – Recovery ROM

Mi 4i – Fastboot ROM

Redmi Note 4G – Recovery ROM

Redmi Note 4G – Fastboot ROM

Redmi Note 3G – Recovery ROM

Redmi 2 – Recovery ROM

Redmi 2 – Fastboot ROM

Redmi Note 2 – Recovery ROM

Redmi Note 2 – Fastboot ROM

This list will be updated with new MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM links as Xiaomi makes them available.

Most users should download the Recovery ROM for their smartphone. Flashing Recovery ROM will not wipe your user data or the files in internal storage and it’s simple to use, so unless you are planning to start afresh we suggest you follow this method. In both cases however, just in case something goes wrong, it is always recommended to back up your data and files first, like we mentioned earlier.

2) Once you’ve downloaded the MIUI 8 Recovery ROM, rename the downloaded ROM file to update.zip on the computer.

3) Connect your Xiaomi smartphone to your laptop via a Micro-USB cable, and copy the ROM file downloaded into the root directory of the internal storage of your device (do not put it in any other folder).

4) Enter the Recovery mode of your device. There are 2 methods to do it as follows:

Method 1: Launch Updater app on your device, click the menu icon at the top-right corner, and selectReboot to Recovery mode to enter.

Method 2: You can also turn off your device and then hold both Volume+ button and Power button at the same time to enter Recovery mode (Once in Recovery mode, you can use Volume +/- to select up/down, and Power button to confirm).

miui8_update_recovery.jpg

5) After entering Recovery mode, choose the language you use, select Install update.zip to System One and confirm, and then your device will begin updating automatically. Wait until the update is completed, choose Reboot to System One, and then your device should boot to the MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM version.

6) Xiaomi phones with the new Mi recovery interface, will see a new Choose update package‘option in the Updater app. Select that, go to Download > Choose files, and choose the copied Recovery ROM zip file and tap OK. It will then verify the the package, reboot automatically, and flash the MIUI 8 Recovery ROM accordingly.


Installing a Fastboot ROM is a little bit more complicated. After downloading the Mi Flash Tool and the Fastboot MIUI 8 ROM for your corresponding device ROM here, follow the below steps:

1) Switch off your Xiaomi smartphone. Hit the Volume- key and the power button at the same time to enter Fastboot mode. Now plug in your device to a Windows PC or laptop via the Micro-USB cable.

2) Double-click on the Fastboot ROM file you downloaded to your PC in step 2 to decompress it. Open the folder where this decompressed ROM is saved and copy the folder path.

3) Now decompress the flashing tool you downloaded in Step 1. Then double-click on it to install it. After this, open MiFlash.exe and in its address bar, paste the folder path copied in the previous step. Now click the Refresh button and MiFlash will recognise your device.

4) There are three options you can choose from at the bottom: Clean all will flash all the files, and wipe all userdata and all files in internal storage. Save User Data will flash updated files, but will not delete user data and files in internal storage. Clean all and lock will wipe all data, and lock the device again.

miui8_fastboot_forum.jpg

5) To preserve your user data make sure you select the Save User Data option. After this, click Flash button towards top right to flash the ROM to your Xiaomi smartphone.

6) Wait till the progress bar fills up. You will then see a message next to it that reads: flash done. Your device will automatically reboot and have MIUI 8 installed.

How was your experience installing MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM on your smartphone? Let us know via the comments. For more tutorials, head to our How To section.

Note: Post updated to include correct ROM download links

Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

Tags: Apps, MIUI 8, MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM, Mobiles, Xiaomi

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]

How to Advertise on Pinterest for Only $50

How to Advertise on Pinterest for Only $50

Want to advertise on Pinterest but not sure where to start? Even brands with budgets of $50 or less can create Promoted Pins to increase their reach on Pinterest. To learn how to make the most of your advertising budget on Pinterest, take a look at the tips below.

How to Advertise on Pinterest Without Spending a Ton

Choose Your Objective

On Pinterest, you can choose from a couple of different objectives for Promoted Pin campaigns — engagement and traffic. So you have to consider your business’s goals and determine which is more important to you — getting more engagement on Pinterest or getting more clicks to your website.

Ideally, getting engagement like repins on Pinterest will eventually lead to more traffic to your website. But if you’re promoting something specific or time sensitive, you’ll likely want to set up a campaign where you pay for actual clicks to your site so that you can then direct users to your offerings or to a signup form for your list. Of course, you can also consider breaking up your advertising budget to do a few different Promoted Pins that fit with different objectives.

Promote Pins That Fit with Your Goals

Once you’ve decided on the overall goal for your campaign, you need to choose or create the right pin to promote. Your pin should fit with the goal that you are trying to achieve with your Pinterest ad campaign. So if you’ve decided to go with a traffic campaign so you can promote your new product line, you’ll need a pin that showcases your products clearly and in a visually pleasing way.

Alternatively, if you want to increase your engagement through Pinterest ads, you might want to go a different direction. Instead of just trying to sell something, offer something of value like an interesting piece of content that your ideal audience is likely to interact with. It should still be at least somewhat relevant to your business. But if you can get people interested enough to interact with those pins, they might be more likely to interact with and click on more of your future pins.

Use Compelling Images

Regardless of what type of ad you choose, you need to really focus on promoting strong images. Pinterest is such a visually inclined platform. So if you create a boring image, people are just going to keep scrolling. Instead, go with an image that stands out through bright colors, contrast, text overlay or some kind of other unique style element that can set your pins apart.

In addition, pins that are long or portrait style, rather than landscape images, tend to do better since they stay on users’ screens longer and take up more real estate. You don’t want to pay a bunch of money to promote a pin if it’s going to be tiny and difficult to see. So make sure it’s going to look great and be easily readable in a thumbnail size.

Add a Relevant Description

Your pin description is also important in letting Pinterest users know what your pin is and why they should care. Try to use at least a couple of relevant keywords, but make sure the caption is also readable and offers value. In addition, hashtags don’t have the same type of usability as they do on other platforms like Instagram and Twitter. So don’t clutter your descriptions with tons of them.

Having a relevant and valuable description for your pins is important whether you’re promoting a pin or not. But if you’re paying to promote a pin, you need to show even more care in making sure you have a good caption. You don’t want to pay to reach a ton of Pinterest users only to have them scroll past your pin because they don’t really understand or know the value behind your post.

Include a Call to Action

Another great way to add some value to your Pinterest advertising campaign is through powerful and relevant calls to action. If you want someone to click through your pin to visit your website for some kind of exclusive offer, tell them! People often scroll through content and maybe save it when they see something that catches their eye. But if you want people to take a specific kind of action upon seeing your Promoted Pin, make it really easy for them.

Track Metrics

After you’ve launched a Promoted Pin campaign, you can access insights about the campaign’s performance on the Pinterest Ads dashboard. From there, you can see your campaign’s budget, the cost per engagement, and engagement rates and click-through rates.

Taking a look at those analytics periodically can help you determine what is working and what might need to change. You might also find that a particular pin is doing so well that you want to keep it going. If you’re coming up on the end date you set for your campaign or the end of the budget you initially set, you can change your settings to keep your campaign going if you’re happy with the results.

Promote Your Most Popular Pins

In addition to the budget and engagement rates, the Pinterest Ads dashboard also gives you the opportunity to view your highest and lowest performing Promoted Pins. If you have a limited budget to work with or want to make the most of your advertising dollars, you might consider halting your lowest performing pins and reallocating those funds to the pins that are doing well and bringing you lots of great results.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]