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”]

7 Ways Perfection is Killing Your Business – or Is It 6?

Problems with Perfection: 7 Ways Perfection is Killing Your Business

Can we ever truly be perfect, in anything?  Possibly, but that perfection is often short-lived.  As a society, we are always seeking ‘perfection’, and as such, we are often quick to label something as perfect, even when it is not.  A perfect stranger, a perfect storm, a perfect match or a perfect crime perhaps.

But if striving for perfection is part of your business personality, it could be damaging your ability to reach the point of product or solution launch; therefore your problems with perfection could be harming your ability to innovate.

Heck, when I launched most of my blogs or businesses, they were a mess, but they got out there and generated the buzz and citations needed to succeed. SEJ, which after three years became a six figure blog, had a disastrous template design upon launch, but I needed to get it out there at the right time, and then be flexible and nimble enough to make changes. Now, it’s a leading influencer in the world of digital marketing.

If you are running your business trying to adhere to this impossible standard, then you may be in trouble.

Here are seven problems with perfection that are killing your business.

Beware these Problems with Perfection

Makes You Slow to Market

In marketing strategy, there is an advantage known as FMA or first-mover advantage, where the first to market often gains a great initial advantage over competitors. Recent literature has suggested that that first-movers may be at a disadvantage, failing around 47 percent of the time, with ‘fast-followers’ (8 percent failure rate) being the real market winners because they can improve on newly launched products or services and reduce cost and inefficiencies.

No matter if you are first to market, or join slightly after, being one of the first is crucial to business success.  Unless you do something significantly different than any major competitor, and these are few and far between, then you must launch products or services effectively and efficiently.

Perfectionists often obsess over every minute detail, often delaying products and/or launches, which ultimately cause decreases in success metrics.

Founder of Linkedin, Reid Hoffman, said “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”

Obviously, your products and strategies should be well vetted and tested, but lack of speed kills.  Accept that perfection is unobtainable and set realistic launch goals.  Pick a small group of trusted associates or customers to test new products, and provide feedback.  You can always make adjustments and improvements along the way.  Remember the first cars weren’t even sold with windshield wipers because no one ever thought people would take them out in the rain.  As your customers inform you what changes or improvements need to be made, you can address them. Proving your use and delivering on your promises are more important to customers than perfection.

Robs Your Project of its Dynamism

Sometimes, trying to make something perfect can remove the energy and desire.  Think about the best presentation you have ever seen, or maybe just one with 28 million views.

You can practice a presentation 100 times, and still not be prepared for a question, or something that happens in that room, up at that table or podium.  So why stress over it?  Giving a presentation is as much about presenting yourself as it is content or facts.

People want to see someone they can relate to, and as it is often said, no one is perfect.  You should always properly prepare for a presentation, but don’t sit in the back of the room tinkering for perfection, walk around and introduce yourself.  Start a few conversations to see if you can find some interesting details to include in your presentation.

Show your audience that you are aware of them, that you can relate to them, and that you are just like them, a normal non-perfect individual that has something extremely important to convey to them.  That will go much further than an extra bullet point on a screen full of text that no one will read.

Keeps You Waiting for that Perfect Opportunity

Are you the kind of person that is always looking for the perfect opportunity?  You’ve probably noticed a running theme by now, but no opportunity is perfect.  It is generally more a matter of pros and cons.  If you gain more pros by engaging in a new opportunity, you should generally go for it.  Always be on the lookout for new opportunities for your business.  Come up with a uniform system of evaluating each one.

Select the ones that make the most sense, and tackle any hurdles as they come along.  Not every opportunity is going to work out, but some of them will, and when you look back you’ll see how imperfect the situation was at the beginning and the steps you took to improve it.

This strategy will also help you evolve as a business person as you learn what works and what doesn’t.  As Wayne Gretzky said, “you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

Sabotages Confidence and Self-Belief

One of the most encompassing deficiencies of perfection is that it can sabotage confidence and self-belief.  If you are afraid to launch a product or service, or pitch a new strategy until you think it is perfect, and then when you do, it is criticized, it can be crushing.  I’m sure you’ve probably been on social media lately, and if so, you know that someone has a comment for everything.  If you own or run a business, commenting is what you hire people to do, and if you are an employee, it is what you get paid for.  However, if you think something is perfect, and are told it is not, it can ruin your confidence, and this can stifle productivity.

Remember, innovations are built by teams, and no success has been free from criticism.  Use it to constantly improve.  Perfection can be something that is striven for, but rarely obtained.  Don’t dwell on criticism, use it to refine and enhance.

Prevets Your Getting From Start to Finish

In many phases of business, things are constantly evolving and never actually finished.  Think about a business plan, or target customers.  You should always be updating plans and trying to obtain new customers, but it is important to set milestones and plans that can actually be finished.  It will give you a sense of accomplishment and vigor and inspire your next cycle of innovation.

Perfectionists are often cited as not being able to finish anything because there is always something that can be changed to try and reach that unobtainable level of perfection.  Think about how this article started. Speed is an asset that perfection doesn’t allow.

Your milestones should be realistic times or events that allow you to move to the next step.  Be sure to evaluate and address areas for improvement in each subsequent step, as you try to achieve a more perfect outcome.

Destroys Vital Conditions for Creativity

Creativity and curiosity are born from chaos.  Always trying to be perfect eliminates your inclination to take risks and innovate.  You need to be creative to thrive in business.  There was a time when people said selling books online was crazy because users were scared to use credit cards on the web, the shipping costs would eat up any money that was saved and people would have to wait a week for a book that they could have today at any store or public library.

You probably already know where this is going, but today Amazon is rated as the tenth most profitable brand in the world.  They certainly had their growing pains, but used feedback from mistakes to grow into the behemoth they are today.

Don’t be afraid to embrace chaos.  Again, striving for perfection can certainly be a goal, but it is often created from bedlam.  Make sure you get uncomfortable from time to time; it can help you create something you can’t yet fathom, but could fundamentally improve your business.

Nothing’s Perfect

Especially this posting.  The title stated you were going to get 7 ways perfection is killing your business, but there were only 6.  I just wanted to leave some room for improvement, as you should too, because nothing is perfect, or more perfect.

Strive for consistency, not perfection and your business will thrive no matter the environment, product or competitor.

Have some more ways that perfection could be killing your business? Please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

[“source-ndtv”]

Google Alters Searches to Try to Make It Easier for Americans to Vote

Google Alters Searches to Try to Make It Easier for Americans to Vote

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Google says it will now provide in-depth search result on voting information
  • Google accounts for roughly two-thirds of the US search market, says comScore
  • In-depth results spell things out clearly for people unclear about their situation

One of the things that makes Google so powerful is that the sheer amount of data it gathers makes it possible to understand what the people as a whole are interested in.

Now, the company is using all that data to google-wants-to-help-you-vote-could-it-affect-the-election.

Google says it will now provide what it calls an “in-depth” search result when users look for information on how to cast a ballot – a search that’s seen triple-digit growth in contested states like Arizona since the last presidential election. Basically, this means telling you exactly what you need to bring to the polls and when the registration deadlines are. The information, which is tailored to the exact state you’re in, will also tell you precisely how to register.

In-depth results are what Google gives you when it has the exact answer to a question, such as what today’s date is. The company has increasingly been using these to supply information directly, as opposed to presenting users with links to sources that may have the right information.

What will be the practical outcome of all this information? Well, since Google accounts for roughly two-thirds of the US search market, according to the research firm comScore, it seems reasonable to conclude that equipping all those people with better resources may encourage them to vote at greater rates. That’s backed up by years of political science research that shows a link between the ease of voting and voter turnout.

“When people have access to more information about an election, they tend to be more likely to turn out,” said Danny Hayes, an associate professor of political science at George Washington University. “But I’d expect any effects to be small.”

For instance, as far back as 1997 scholars were studying the effect of lowered registration barriers on elections.

“It is well established that a substantial reduction in registration barriers such as a state’s adoption of election day registration (EDR) increases turnout, although the exact magnitude of the effect remains in some dispute,” wrote Craig Brians of Virginia Tech and Bernard Grofman at the University of California-Irvine. The researchers went on to examine a 20-year stretch of voting data and concluded that same-day registration had a remarkable impact on the likelihood of “medium education and medium income” Americans to vote.

This is a timely debate. Courts across the country have been striking down voter ID laws, making it easier for Americans to exercise their civic rights. But given the changes in the law, voters may be more confused about what they need to do. The in-depth results from Google spell things out clearly for people who are unclear about their situation.

Whether higher turnout tends to benefit Democrats or Republicans is a perennial question for scholars. One 2007 study by New York University found that non-voters tend to identify more with liberal causes than with conservative ones. Other research suggests that higher-income Americans are more likely to vote. (The Atlantic has a pretty good rundown from last year on this topic, with lots of charts, as well as an explanation for why everyone should hope for better turnout, regardless of which party it benefits.)

There’s been lots of breathless reporting on the potential for Google or Facebook to tilt an election just by giving people certain search results or by structuring our social newsfeeds to prioritize certain information. It’s not an idle concern, particularly as these online services come to dominate how we work, play and socialize. But, said Hayes, most elections won’t be decided by small changes in turnout. More importantly, he said, Google’s potential influence on electoral behavior would not be much different from the League of Women voters facilitating civic participation.

“Anything that encourages people to vote could in theory affect an election, but that doesn’t mean that it’s done with some partisan intent,” said Hayes.

Providing people with the information they need to enjoy their political freedoms – information they’re already looking for – is a little bit different from “tilting” a contest. What’s more, it stands to give Americans greater faith in an institution that’s critical to the healthy function of the republic.

© 2016 The Washington Post

Tags: Apps, Facebook, Google, Google Search, Internet

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]

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”]

Qualcomm Meets IT, Telecom Ministers for Satellite Project

Qualcomm Meets IT, Telecom Ministers for Satellite Project

Electronics chip major Qualcomm Monday met IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha to discuss its satellite connectivity project and production of chips, used in devices like mobile phones.

“They really intend to expand their footprint. They have great experience in the field of chip design. They are very excited about expansion of mobile manufacturing in India,” IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after meeting with Qualcomm Executive Chairman Paul Jacobs.

“I also asked him to explore the possibility of … bring in satellite connectivity in hilly areas of India. He has told me these are very exciting areas and area of his concern,” Prasad said further.

Qualcomm met the IT Minister to discuss a slew of issues around its expansion in India, venture fund and its new global satellite based communications network – OneWeb.

Jacob also met Sinha to discuss OneWeb which the company expects to launch in 2019-20.

x

“We also spoke about investment in satellite company called OneWeb that is going to build over 700 satellites, launch those by 2019 and 2020. It will provide mobile broadband to most remote areas of the country and will have connectivity from a terminal on ground, up through sky into the rest of the network,” Jacobs said after meeting Sinha.

Qualcomm’s OneWeb communications network will be made of low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellation made up of hundreds of satellites, orbiting at approximately 1,200 kilometers and working in coordination to create the world’s largest coverage footprint. Unlike existing Geosynchronous (GEO) satellite solutions, which orbit at approximately 36,000 kilometres, the OneWeb satellite constellation will be closer to the earth to reduce response time to and from satellites.

“It will have cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity so people will be able to use phones and tablets to get access to Internet to get connectivity that way. We want to do that with schools for education purposes, with hospitals, put them in rural communities to give connectivity,” Jacobs said.

He also said that the company is foreseeing development of mobile ecosystem in the country not just assembling but also designing and manufacturing of devices.

“That will then create whole ecosystem for all components that need to go in mobile phones. We see that building up over the time with right incentives so we get into advance manufacturing of semiconductor chips. We have seen this happening in other countries and we see India is really set up to this as well,” Jacobs said.

When asked about its status to start production of chipset in India, he said that Qualcomm has had initial discussion with manufacturers of chips but not reached to the stage where production details can be firmed up.

Qualcomm designs chipsets on its own but get them produced from semiconductor plants of its partners.

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

Tags: Qualcomm, Ravi Shakar Prasad, Paul Jacobs, Apps, Chips, Internet

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Indian IT Spending to Reach $72.3 Billion in 2016: Gartner

Indian IT Spending to Reach $72.3 Billion in 2016: Gartner

India’s IT spending is expected to rise by 7.2 percent in 2016 to reach $72.3 billion (roughly Rs. 4,73,886 crores), said leading market research player Gartner on Tuesday.

“India will continue to be the fastest growing IT market for the second year in succession and will continue growing to total $87.67 billion (roughly Rs. 5,74,696 crores) by the end of 2019,” said Aman Munglani, research director, Gartner in a statement.

India, currently the third largest IT market in Asia Pacific, will become the second largest by 2019 following China, he said.

Mobile phones, personal computers and tablets falling under the category of devices are expected to account for almost 33 percent of the overall IT spend in India, growing at 9.4 percent in 2016, Gartner said.

Gartner India’s research head Partha Iyengar said that in five years, one million new devices will come online every hour, and “these interconnections are creating billions of new relationships. These relationships are not driven solely by data, but algorithms”.

Highlighting the crucial nature of algorithms, Iyengar added, “Data is inherently dumb. It doesn’t actually do anything unless you know how to use it; how to act with it. Algorithms are where the real value lies. Algorithms define action. Dynamic algorithms are the core of new customer interactions.”

x

The next great leap in machine to machine evolution in the Internet of Things (IoT) will be powered by the algorithmic economy, said Gartner in the statement.

“Organizations will be valued, not just on their big data, but the algorithms that turn that data into actions, and ultimately impact customers,” it added.

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

Tags: IT, India, Information Technology, Internet of Things, IoT

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Indian IT Infrastructure Market to Reach $1.93 Billion in 2016: Gartner

Indian IT Infrastructure Market to Reach $1.93 Billion in 2016: Gartner

The Indian IT infrastructure market will increase marginally to $1.93 billion (roughly Rs. 12,807 crores) this year whereas by 2020, it is likely to grow to $2.13 billion (roughly Rs. 14,137 crores), Gartner said Tuesday.

The IT infrastructure market includes server, storage and enterprise networking equipment.

In 2015, the market stood at $1.90 billion (roughly Rs. 12,611 crores). “The Indian IT infrastructure market will total $1.9 billion in 2016, a 1 percent increase from 2015,” Gartner said.

Indian enterprises will continue to focus on optimising their infrastructure and operations budgets in 2016, it added.

“Optimisation is primarily driven with an objective to create next generation data center architecture that can support the ever increasing challenges of digital business. With the emergence of bimodal IT, there are a lot of investments made in Mode 1, and there is an increasing focus on building Mode 2 infrastructure,” Naveen Mishra, research director at Gartner said.

Gartner said Mode 1 workloads are witnessing investments in areas such as cloud, software defined storage and network coupled with integrated systems.

x

“Public cloud is increasingly becoming relevant for data center managers and IT leaders in India,” it added.

Enterprise networking is the biggest segment within the Indian IT infrastructure market with revenue expected to total $848 million (roughly Rs. 5,628 crores) in 2016.

“This is an area where enterprises are focusing heavily in terms of their optimisation efforts and evaluating software driven networking, as this is becoming a barrier to a seamless digital experience,” Gartner said.

Mishra said with a revenue projection of $253 million (roughly Rs. 1,679 crores) in 2016, storage investment will witness a decline from last year primarily due to improved performance.

“Enterprises are increasingly investing in software defined storage, evaluating alternate, cheaper devices, such as flash storage, which is helping them to contain the ever increasing storage costs,” he added.

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

Tags: IT, India, Information Technology, Internet, Laptops, PC

[“Source-Gadgets”]

It Might Be Time for Your Business to Consider Using Solar Energy

120114 SOLAR PANELS

The use of solar energy is increasing. So if you haven’t already, it could be the perfect time for your business to consider taking advantage of solar panels.

You probably already know that using solar energy is helpful for the environment. But did you know that those environmental benefits can actually help you grow your customer base? Since customers are becoming increasingly aware of environmental issues, some are actually more likely to support businesses that show that same concern for the environment.

Of course, saving the world isn’t always a good enough reason for businesses to buy a bunch of expensive equipment. And solar panels can be a major up-front cost for businesses. But those costs are falling. And over time, businesses can more than make up for those expenses by saving on energy costs.

In Tech Cocktail, Sarah Willis writes:

“The average US home powered by sunlight [is] saving $1680 a year. After installation costs are paid, businesses can be bill-free (as long as electrical needs are being covered). Eventually these first-time costs will be covered and there’s even a chance to make some profit too.”

Businesses that generate more electricity than they need can actually sell that extra energy in 43 states. But aside from that, the savings can make energy costs more manageable, and also more predictable.

One major criticism of solar energy over the years has been its reliance on the weather. And it’s true that certain types of businesses may face issues getting their money’s worth, such as businesses that operate at night and those surrounded by tall buildings. But solar technology is advancing so that storing energy to use later will become more affordable.

In addition, other sources of energy such as gas aren’t exactly stable. And as resources deplete they could become even more unpredictable. Solar energy, on the other hand, isn’t something that will ever run out. In fact, it will only become more stable and easier to use. So if your business hasn’t already started using solar energy, isn’t it time to consider it?

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Why Hugging Your Haters Matters, and How to Do It

shutterstock_223911598

Your customer experience should be transparent, direct, and social. It should be proactive and reactive, and you should engage with everyone, regardless of the types of insights they share. That’s the premise behind recently-released book, Hug Your Haters, by Jay Baer, who has provided data-backed metrics to support the reasoning that it helps to engage with your customers.

Not only does it support the notion of customer advocacy, it also makes your brand approachable.

Put simply, even if someone is just posting on social media for the attention (and as Jay establishes in his book, people are more freely using social media to complain about products today than ever before), if the brand engages, they could turn that customer into a real fan. But ignoring them means you don’t want to deal with them as a customer and want the problem to go away. (It doesn’t always go away.)

The whole mindset behind approachability is something that not all brands have embraced. Some brands in particular are notorious about purposely being unreachable.

Know what I’d do as your prospective customer? I’d hope you have a competitor I can put my dollars into.

And so I’d like to outline a few steps that help make your brand more approachable, so that you, too, can “hug your haters.”

Establish a Social Media Customer Service Policy

It’s important to really focus on having customer service via social media. This is where people like to yell the loudest about the most mundane things just to have an audience, according to Jay.

It’s something that even social media service-agnostic brands have recently embraced, with previously-completely-silent Apple now taking the helm in social media with a new(ish) support-specific account that already has nearly 300,000 followers and which tweeted more than 500 times in its first few hours, engaging an audience on all matters related to Apple product support.

If you’re responsive to your customers in a social media realm, which as we recall is a public realm, you are also giving off the impression to these customers’ fans that you are there for them. That’s an important message to convey.

Let’s reiterate what we said in the previous section: If you had to choose between a customer-focused brand (as far as you can tell on social media) and a brand that has not engaged in, well, ever, would you go with the former over the latter, with all other things being equal?

Rumor has it that customer service is going to be a much bigger deal in 2020. Just ask the author of Hug Your Haters.

Take that Mindset to Your Website

The idea of having a website that makes customers able to engage with you is an even newer idea that needs to be explored.

This is especially true because most companies don’t even know about this!

Facebook has been around since 2004. Twitter has been around since 2006. And new website in-app messengers have been around since 2011, with Intercomlaunching then followed by the freemium tool, Nudgespot.

How many of you were really doing social media marketing in 2006 when Twitter had just come out? What about in 2009 when people started writing books about it? (I wrote this book.)

Right. Most of you probably didn’t. And what did you see? Social media was probably a lot of smoke and mirrors when you started late. The early adopter got the worm.

You’re in a position right now with customer experience, which still has a very low bar, to engage with customers and truly rock it.

With tools that are super easy to integrate like Nudgespot or Intercom, which simply requires a little piece of code to be pasted on your website, you can be up and running to create a significantly powerful tool for engaging with your customers on all facets of your business, from sales to marketing to support.

Make it easy for people to approach you. Once you have the framework in place, it gets people excited; they know how to get in touch and you can really create amazing experiences for them where they will tell people about the experiences that they had with you.

Best Practices for Profitability

Just because something happens on a social media platform doesn’t mean that you need to bend your policies to address the needs of the loudest complainer. It is important to make sure your responsiveness style is the same whether on a social platform, an email platform, a phone platform, or on your website.

I’ve certainly seen people come to me in a social customer service capacity who are upset by the response given to them by customer service agents who did exactly as they were supposed to do per company policy and procedure. Yet if the customers don’t hear what they want to hear, you are a bad service provider and they’ll let you know about this via a different venting platform, most notably, social media.

It’s important to stick to your policies and procedures here, and not change your tune just because the venue of disapproval has changed. Again, once you have that audience, any customer watching you communicate with that customer is going to want the same treatment.

You wouldn’t want to change the policy for one person, only to have another customer catch wind of you giving in, especially if that customer had the same issue and also wants you to give in. Customers will do that, especially because they do talk to each other. And companies that make too many exceptions where it’s not profitable to do so could really get hurt by the repeated bending of the rules.

If it works for you, by all means, go for it. It’s not lucrative for smaller businesses on slim profit margins to do, but then again, there’s an uptake in advocacy if you do something like this, which could amount not only to customer retention but to creation of brand ambassadors.

It would be better to create a cohesive customer service policy that ensures that team A (your email team) knows exactly how team B (your social media team) is handling matters, and that team A doesn’t deviate from the protocols that are used by team B. Customers respect policies, even if they’re not ideal. They will be thrown off if you flip-flop across departments and may lose trust in you as a brand.

The choice of your best practices for profitability is yours. The decision to engage with your customers, however, is a no-brainer. It’s important to build relationships with your customers, especially when they reach out with the objective of getting your attention and to have them respond to you. Don’t miss the opportunity to build bridges with your customers, because those customers can ultimately build your business.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]