Five Ways to Shift Your Social Media Marketing Up One Gear

Five Social Media Marketing Tips that Will Shift Your Social Media Marketing Up One Gear

Social media is a great place to market your business, especially if you’re a small business. It doesn’t limit your traffic or reach, and allows you to connect directly with buyers without having to invest large amounts of money. By optimizing your approach to social media marketing, you can indefinitely increase everything from brand recall to lead generation, and actual sales and revenue.

If you’re unable to scale your current efforts at social media marketing, this write-up will tell you exactly how you can do it to achieve your desired results.

Social Media Marketing Tips

1. More Frequent and Intentional Posting

Be it over the internet or on social media platforms, your activity is your pulse. Unless you’re consistently active, you’re as good as dead on social media. After all, nobody hangs out on your social page. They have to be seduced to take a look and the only arms that you can extend are your pieces of content.

Conduct this experiment. Increase your social media activity and you’ll see your followers grow. Decide on a schedule. For instance, three times a day on Twitter, two on Facebook and only once on LinkedIn. UseGoogle’s keyword planner to see what your audience is looking for and source that content using a news aggregator like FlipBoard, a content curation app like DrumUp or a recommendation app like Pocket  (set-up keywords).

Relevant shares are more likely to get engagement from exclusively your target audience. Edit your descriptions to something extra-specific so you attract the right audience.

Social Media Marketing Tips - More Frequent and Intentional Posting

From your content recommendations, schedule the decided amount of content every day or a week in advance. You could even store content on a content library in a content curation app to make scheduling everyday easier.

2. Creating Content Based on Predicted Performance

It takes hours to create high-quality content, as you may well know, and that effort is best applied to content that you know will get shares, increase you reach and make an impact. How do you know?

Google trends, audience interests/insights available on social media platforms and engagement stats pulled by social media analytics tools.

Social Media Marketing Tips - Creating Content Based on Predicted Performance

You don’t have to monitor these platforms on a daily basis. Once a week would do. Simply observe which of your blog posts got the most shares on social media (SumoMe has a free count plug-in that integrates with your blog). Study Google Analytics to see which blog landing pages are driving traffic to your website. Keep a tab of topics trending in search. Decide on your topic title based on these indicators and share your posts on social media.

3. Interacting with Social Users on Communities

Communities are where the most valuable conversations happen on social media (from the perspective of businesses). Social communities are created for people with similar interests to meet and discuss the latest happenings, issues and ideas on how to solve them. You may not recognize them as such, but it is easy to recognize those opportunities once you’re a part of the right communities.

On each social media platform that you’re on, join groups that discuss your niche. The idea is to become a part of that community. Do not promote your product as soon as you join the community. You’ll lose your credibility and any opportunity that you might have in the future. Spend five minutes a day participating and introduce your product only when it answers someone’s question.

There are two straight-out benefits of participating in communities: the relationships you build with your high-target audience and constantly being at the top of their minds. (They’ll think of you when they want to buy. Some great communities to be a part of are sub-reddits discussing your industry, Quora and communities on Google Plus.

4. Including Compelling Visuals on Every Post

Everyone’s aware of how visuals add value to written content. But what value do your visuals actually add? The same rule that applies to written content applies to other forms of content. What point is your visual making on the post?

Begin by conceptualizing your visual. What do you want it to convey? Think emotion, process or summary describing the title of your post. Once you’ve decided on the concept, browse for options. There are severalfree visual resources that stock wide ranges of photographs that you’ll be surprised to see fit your posts.

Social Media Marketing Tips - Including Compelling Visuals on Every Post

If you intend to create your visual, that isn’t very hard either. Google for inspiration, source your background from an image resource and use an image editor like PicMonkey to put together your visual. To create an infographic, you could use Piktochart.

5. Encouraging Employees, Partners and Friends to Share Content

There’s no better way to cut through the noise on social media than making advocates of your personal and professional network. You could use this employee advocacy guide to understand how such a program is developed and managed. Studies have shown that advocacy on social media increases the credibility of the message broadcast. Another obvious advantage is the instant, increased reach.

You simply begin by explaining why you need your advocate’s help. Show them exactly how they’ll impact your business and show your appreciation towards their efforts by rewarding them. Spend extra time devising the messages you intend to circulate via your network of advocates because it has potential to go viral. Other studies show that messages shared via advocates are shared many times as compared to those shared via company pages on social media.

To be assured of success on social media, you have to survey the latest studies and case studies and learn what works to apply the insights to your business. This write-up is insights derived from experience and brands that have succeeded on social media. All that’s left to see is how you apply it to your business.

Shift Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Want to Be Kind of a Big Deal? These Social Media Tactics Could Move the Needle

Want to Be Some Kind of Big Deal? Consider These Social Media Advertising Examples

Perception is everything. In the business world, people are naturally attracted to the biggest names, whether you call them influencers, experts, or [insert industry here] rock stars.

But what if you aren’t a big name yet? What if you’re just starting out and looking to make a name for yourself? How can you get on the radar of people you want to do business with in the future?

Social media advertising makes it super easy to appear superbad. You can bias the way people think about you and make yourself (or your company) appear bigger than you are.

Here are six crazy ideas that will help you look like a really big deal using social media ads.

Social Media Advertising Examples

1. Target Ads at Specific Company Employees

Is there a company you want to partner with? Before you even get to that first meeting, you want to make sure some important people who work there have heard of you.

How do you accomplish this? Start bombarding employees who work at that company with Facebook Ads.

Social Media Advertising Examples - Target Ads at Specific Company Employees

Because Facebook Ads have super specific targeting, all you have to do is target people who work at the company with certain job titles. You don’t want to target every employee at a company, especially really large ones. You just need to make sure the right people see your ads (e.g., people with “marketing” job titles).

The goal of these Facebook ads is simply to build brand awareness for you and/or your company. You’ll want to start this process about 90 days ahead of time.

You’ll know if you’ve achieved your goal when you finally talk to them and you hear the magical words: “I’ve heard of you guys.”

2. Promote Your Guest Posts

One way to gain some exposure with a new audience is to do a guest post for a large, established industry publication. When you finally get this opportunity, you need to make the most of it.

Spend no more than $50 for a promoted post on Facebook and a promoted tweet on Twitter. Send some targeted traffic to your inaugural guest post.

Social Media Advertising Examples - Promote Your Guest Posts

Why spend money promoting your guest post and driving traffic to someone else’s website? Because the editors will notice how your article performed. If your first post goes nowhere, you might not get a second chance.

So amplify your post to help it become a unicorn! Help juice the numbers so the odds are in your favor. You want the editors to be thinking, “Holy crap, this guy’s post got thousands of views, we need to do more with him!”

Social Media Advertising Examples - Promote Your Guest Posts

Most publishers live and die by page views. Unless they’re crazy, the editors will try to lock you up and make you a regular contributor in the hopes you’ll keep sending them thousands of page views every month.

3. Do an Engagement Campaign

Want to really make someone take notice of you on social media and appear more influential than you are? Tag someone in a Facebook post or tweet and then pay to promote it.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to get the attention of an editor at a publication where you want to become a contributor. You could tweet: “Great post by [insert Twitter handle here]” also making sure to include the headline and link to the story.

That might catch their attention when they get the notification from Twitter – for a couple seconds. But once you start promoting it, you’ll REALLY grab that person’s attention as it starts getting retweeted and liked hundreds or maybe even thousands of times.

“Wow, this guy is kind of a big deal,” they’ll think. They’ll want to work with you. And you’ll be like:

Social Media Advertising Examples - Do an Engagement Campaign

4. Spike Your Medium Posts

Are you publishing on Medium yet? You should be. It’s a great way to grow your audience and expose your best content to more people.

To get really big on Medium, you need recommendations. If you can get 200 people to click on the Medium heart on your post within 24 hours, it’s extremely likely that your story will be one of the top posts for the day and featured prominently, both on Medium and in the Medium Daily Digest they send out to users via email.

Social Media Advertising Examples - Spike Your Medium Posts

How do you get that many hearts in 24 hours? By spending no more than $50 on social media ads.

Facebook and Twitter ads that are targeted to people who have a Medium account will help send some great traffic to your posts. Hopefully this will be enough of a catalyst to turn your post into a unicorn that gets lots of hearts and reads.

5. Get on the Front Page of Reddit

Of all the ideas in this post, getting on the front page of Reddit is the most difficult. But when you do manage to get there, you’ll get tons of traffic.

Basically, if you do nothing proactive, the odds that a redditor will discover and submit your post are about 1 in a-very-large-number-with-a-lot-of-zeroes-on-the-end. Also it’s not easy to identify redditors on other social media sites because they have random aliases.

What you can do is try to get on the radar of Reddit power users. Results aren’t guaranteed, but here’s how you do it.

Let’s say you work for a company that sells home and gardening products. You’ll want to create social media ads that target people who are interested in the home and gardening category and Reddit.

Chances are good that someone who is authoritative on Reddit will follow Reddit on other social platforms. They’re always looking around for interesting things to submit.

Although it may seem like you’re still sort of blindly hoping a high-profile redditor will submit your post, this technique has actually been surprisingly successful. Basically this will narrow your odds from 1 in a gazillion to something more like 1 in 10.

Before trying this out, my posts had never made it to the front page of Reddit. Since using this tactic, I’ve managed to successfully get to the front page about 10 percent of the time.

Social Media Advertising Examples - Get On the Front Page of Reddit

6. Become a Trending Story on LinkedIn Pulse

The biggest factors in the LinkedIn Pulse algorithm are traffic and engagement. Pulse will highlight posts have gotten the most views, likes, shares, and comments in the past few minutes.

There are two things you can do to help your LinkedIn posts start trending.

Become Associated With A Channel

LinkedIn Pulse has more than 100 channels for topics including entrepreneurship, leadership and management, productivity, and marketing and advertising. No matter what you write about, you’ll find a channel that’s right for you.

If you want to help your LinkedIn article become a unicorn, more people need to see it and engage with it. Your personal network is limited, but some of these channels have millions or hundreds of thousands of followers.

So in addition to doing some basic optimization as you write (using the right keywords to help Pulse as it analyzes and categorizes your article), you’ll want to tweet to @LinkedinPulse and ask them to feature your post in a specific channel.

Use Social Media Ads

Being featured on a Pulse channel isn’t enough to start trending. You also need a catalyst to drive lots of traffic and engagement to your post.

This is where Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn promoted posts come in. You can use these ads to quickly drive lots of traffic to your LinkedIn article.

Social Media Advertising Examples

Again, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on these ads. You can even target your ads so they only show in countries you normally don’t care about to make it even cheaper – all LinkedIn cares about is traffic, not where that traffic is coming from.

You just need to spend a few bucks until the ads provide enough of a surge to push your post to the top. Once your post starts trending, it will be self-sustaining as people visit the channel and read the day’s top stories. Yours!

TL;DR

If you’re lacking in influence or name recognition and want to appear bigger than you currently are, try out these ad ideas. For a small investment, social media ads will help you get noticed and viewed as a serious force in your industry so you can grow your audience, influence, and business.

Images: WordStream

More in: Publisher Channel Content

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

4 Steps to Marketing Your Business Using Facebook Liv

Four Steps to Using Facebook Live for Business

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is constantly rolling out new features and updates, many which enhance user experience while also facilitating advertising and e-commerce activity. As the platform continues to enhance the intersection of recreational communication and business interactions, the latest available features provide outlets for improved communication and challenges in creativity for the 50 million-ish active businesses on Facebook.

The latest of these features is Facebook Live, which are real-time video posts. Live videos are published by friends you follow, publications, celebrities, and any person or establishment with a valid Facebook account. Users also have the option of subscribing to certain users and/or businesses to receive notifications whenever a given account live streams.

While this feature has been available for a while now, many businesses are still not making use of it. Facebook live poses significant opportunity as a tool for customer relations, brand exposure, marketing, and more. Make this tool part of your digital marketing strategy by getting started with the most effective ways to use Facebook Live for your business.

Using Facebook Live for Business

1. Promotional Strategy

One of the best ways to use Facebook Live is for promotional purposes. Users are much more likely to watch a video than read a lengthy article or post shared on Facebook, and businesses can (and should!) capitalize on that point of user behavior.

For example, if you’re a retail boutique, you can redirect the same promotional strategies you’ve always done through Facebook Live. Contests, give-aways, and limited time offers are just a few ideas. If you have a new product coming out soon, give a sneak peak through a live stream. If you have a give away contest, showcase the product or service. You can actually show your followers what it is you’re offering and create way more appeal by streaming a video of the products you’re promoting.

2. Brand Transparency

A great way to instill trust in your users is by sharing some behind the scenes details with them and creating brand transparency. Let’s say you’re a restaurant that uses a sustainable, locally sourced garden to get produce. Use Facebook Live to share what that process looks like.

This can also work well for reputation recovery. If there’s a controversy or accusation that you’re actively recovering from, use the live stream feature to show exactly how you’re handling it, and give users a chance to see your real brand.

3. Engage With Users

User engagement is a key necessity of having an awesome Facebook business page, so you might as well enact that engagement in every way you can. Live videos are great for Q & A sessions and directly answering the comments and/or concerns of your users.

You can also use it to weigh in on issues relevant to your consumers. If there’s an event that people are wondering ow you feel about, or an issue your consumer base is talking about, engage with your following by discussing your business stance in a live video.

4. Establish Authority

It’s important for your following to recognize you as an authority within the industry your business falls into, and Facebook Live can help reinforce that. Offering tips, industry insights, updates, and news with a live stream can establish and enhance your credibility.

Another way to approach this usage of Facebook Live is to invite other lading authorities, experts, and industry leaders to be featured in your live stream video. Host a round table discussion, or even just a casual conversation with another industry authority, and you can have a mutually beneficial piece of publicity.

Image: Facebook

More in: Publisher Channel Content

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

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”]

FIFA Mobile 2017 Edition Released, Aims to Bring Football to Everyone

FIFA Mobile 2017 Edition Released, Aims to Bring Football to Everyone

FIFA Mobile 2017 Edition Released, Aims to Bring Football to Everyone
HIGHLIGHTS
Download size is less than 100MB
Available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone
New features include Attack Mode, Leagues, and Plans
Two weeks after the release of FIFA 17, EA Sports has delivered a new update for its mobile counterpart in FIFA Mobile. As always, the game is free with in-app purchases to boot, and is available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. The game is called different things on the three platforms – on the App Store, it’s called FIFA Mobile Football, on Google Play, FIFA Mobile Soccer, and on Windows Store it becomes FIFA 17 Mobile.

EA Sports says that the game is built for the “mobile gamer”, and hence it has shrunk the download size to under 100MB, so as to reach smartphone owners across the globe, except China – the game isn’t launching in the country. FIFA Mobile contains 30 leagues, with 650 clubs and over 16,000 footballers.

“When developing FIFA Mobile, we focused on giving players the most exciting parts of football in quick and fun bursts while prioritising gameplay and engaging, new ways to play FIFA on-the-go,” senior producer Todd Batty said in a statement. “This meant building a game that was optimised for the mobile player resulting in a fun and social game that loads quickly, runs smoothly on a wider range of devices, and has a small download size relative to the depth of features and content in the game.”

There are three new features, all exclusive to the mobile version. Attack Mode is a new turn-based, asynchronous multiplayer mode which is all about, well, attacking. You’ll be given a bunch of scenarios in which to score from, and ultimately out-score the opponent. The more you score, the more you get in-game “fans” which lets you climb divisions.
Another new feature is Leagues, which allows you to create or join a league with up to 32 players. You will be able to complete “cooperative league achievements, compete for bragging rights in inter-league championships, and challenge other Leagues in FIFA Mobile tournaments”.

Completing the round-up of new features is Plans, which is about making the most of unwanted items to get better ones through in-game rewards.

Ultimate Team mode is getting an overhaul of sorts, too. EA Sports is dropping contracts, training items and other consumables in favour of simple squad building. You can have a total of 27 players in multiple formations and tactics, and switch between those as you like.

The game will be continuously updated with new content that reflects events happening in the real world of football, EA Sports said. Early response to the latest update seems to be heavily negative, according to reviews on Google Play.

Tags: FIFA Mobile, FIFA Mobile Soccer, FIFA Mobile Football, FIFA 17 Mobile, FIFA 17, EA Sports

[“Source-Gadgets”]

PlayStation VR India Launch to Be ‘Confirmed in Due Time’; Public Demos Set for IGX 201

PlayStation VR India Launch to Be 'Confirmed in Due Time'; Public Demos Set for IGX 2016

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sony has confirmed PS VR for public demos in India
  • A release date announcement is in the offing
  • You can check out PS VR at IGX 2016

Earlier we reported that Sony’s PlayStation VR (PS VR) headset would be available for demo in India at the 2016 edition of the Indian Games Expo or IGX 2016 as it is known. On Wednesday, both the event’s organisers and Sony have confirmed that PS VR will be available for all and sundry to try out.

“We at PlayStation are pleased to be part of IGX where gamers can enjoy playing and competing on the best PS4 titles. The showcasing of PlayStation VR at the event reinforces our dedication and commitment to delivering the best experiences to gamers in India,” said Robert Fisser, VP and General Manager (Middle East, Africa, Turkey, India), Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe in a prepared statement, which incidentally stopped short of an actual release date.

 

(Also see: IGX 2016 Registrations Open, Public Debut of PlayStation VR in India Teased)

“For those who are looking forward to its launch, we would like to thank everyone for their patience and continued support. We are beyond excited to deliver to them the amazing experience that PS VR offers. The launch date will be confirmed in due course of time,” the statement continued.

“Our aim with IGX is to bring as many of these varied experiences as possible under one roof, and with PlayStation VR, we can offer our visitors a jaw-dropping virtual reality experience,” said IGX’s organiser Sameer Desai.

While neither Sony nor IGX has mentioned what you can play on the PS VR at the expo, it is safe to say the contents of the device’s demo disc would be one of the many experiences on display.

(Also see: IGX Is a Picture Perfect Representation of Gaming in India)

And if VR isn’t up your alley, other games will be present at the event as well. These include WWE 2K17, Mafia 3, NBA 2K17, Pro Evolution Soccer 2017, Rise of the Tomb Raider for PS4, FIFA 17, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and No Man’s Sky.

Further shoring up the list are a host of locally developed games such as Asura. a Diablo-styled game from Hyderabad-based Ogre Head Studios, Zenith, a role-playing co-developed by Bengaluru’s Holy Cow Productions, and Dodgefall, a racing game from Roosh Interactive, a studio based in Mumbai.

(Also see: Dr. House Meets Final Fantasy in Zenith, a Game Co-Developed in India)

This year’s edition of IGX will take place at the World Trade Centre in Mumbai from October 15 to 16.

The first year of IGX was an honest representation of the consumer gaming scene in the country, unlike India’s many Comic Con events, which have over the years devolved into a crowded bunch of known stores selling merchandise and little else. How it evolves in its second year will be interesting to see.

Tags: PS VR, PSVR, PS VR pre orders, PSVR India availability, PlayStation VR, Sony, Virtual Reality, IGX, IGX 2016,Indian Games Expo
[“Source-Gadgets”]

God of War ‘Designed for Standard PS4’; No PS4 Pro Needed to Play

God of War 'Designed for Standard PS4'; No PS4 Pro Needed to PlayGod of War ‘Designed for Standard PS4’; No PS4 Pro Needed to Play
HIGHLIGHTS
God of War will run just fine on the original PS4
There won’t be too many pre-release demos due to focus on the game itself
God of War for the PS4 has no release date yet
With Sony announcing the PS4 Pro for a November 10 release date, there’s always the temptation for developers to optimise the game for the newer, more powerful platform that is the PS4 Pro at the cost of skimping out on the existing one, which in this case is the original PS4. However this will not be the case with God of War. Revealed at E3 2016 after a fairly accurate leak, it seems that the game will run just fine on a regular PS4.

“What we showed at E3 was running on a standard PS4. The game is designed for standard PS4, don’t need a [PS4] Pro to play,” tweeted Cory Balrog, Creative Director on God of War at Sony Computer Entertainment’s Santa Monica Studio in response to a fan’s question of what the game will be playable on.

Safe to say there will be some additional visual enhancements for the PS4 Pro, but the fact that Balrog has stated it will run as it should on the PS4 should have many a PS4 owner sighing in relief.
(Also see: The PS4 Pro Won’t Solve the PS4’s Biggest Problem)

And if you’re wondering about the lack of pre-release gameplay demos, Balrog and his team are hard at work on the final product. He believes that “demos pull a month or two away from final game.” Presumably because Sony Santa Monica is “focussed on making this game awesome”, another tweet from him claims.

(Also see: Sony Santa Monica Explains Combat in PS4-Exclusive God of War )

Nonetheless, we’re yet to see a release date for God of War though we won’t be surprised to see it available in time for the holiday season next year. Sony hasn’t had a big exclusive for the second half of the year in the longest time and God of War may just be able to fill that void. That is of course, if it isn’t subject to many a delay like some of Sony’s first-party releases this generation.

Tags: God of War, God of War 4, God of War release date, God of War PS4 release date, PS4, PS4 Pro, Sony Santa Monica Studios, Cory Balrog

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Steam to Get Native PS4 Controller Support Soon

Steam to Get Native PS4 Controller Support Soon

Steam to Get Native PS4 Controller Support Soon
HIGHLIGHTS
The DualShock 4 will work in Steam natively
Support for other controllers will be added too
The DualShock 4 gets it first as it is similar to the Steam Controller
Soon you’ll be able to use your PS4 controller natively in Steam. Valve will release an update to allow full configuration of the DualShock 4 controller for Steam. This was announced at Steam Dev Days, the company’s biennial developer conference.

“This means that players can pair their PS4 controller directly to their PC and use all the configurability options available to the Steam Controller, including use of the PS4 touchpad and gyro,” said Lars Doucet, developer of Defender’s Quest in a presentation for enhanced controller support.

(Also see: Steam Dev Days 2016: Steam Link for Samsung TVs, Wireless Vive, and More)

This is just one of many controllers that will receive such support. There will be support for all popular controllers to Steam’s API. While this would allow consumers the ability to use the controller of their choice rather than Valve’s Steam Controller or the Xbox 360 or Xbox One controller, it also negates the need of third-party software such as Joy2Key in order to achieve compatibility. From a developer standpoint it allows games to ship with a wider choice of input support for free.

“Believe it or not, when you use the PS4 Controller through the Steam API, it’s exactly the same as a Steam Controller. You make the exact same API calls, you only get actions, not inputs, and the Steam API takes care of everything,” Doucet claimed.
The reason for Valve supporting the PS4 controller first, according to Doucet, is due to the fact that it shares similar functionality to the Steam Controller due to the presence of a gyroscope and a touchpad.

Will you use the PS4 controller for Steam or are you a loyalist to the keyboard and mouse? Let us know in the comments.

Tags: Steam Dev Days, Steam Dev Days 2016, Valve, PS4, PS4 Controller, Steam API, DualShock 4

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Sony PlayStation VR Goes on Sale, Brings Virtual Reality to the Masses

Sony PlayStation VR Goes on Sale, Brings Virtual Reality to the Masses

Sony PlayStation VR Goes on Sale, Brings Virtual Reality to the Masses
HIGHLIGHTS
Sony is betting that it has a better package for mainstream consumers
Sony has to sell a lot of devices to attract talented game developers
Early reviews have praised its design, affordability and comfort
When the PlayStation VR goes on sale Thursday, it won’t just be a test for Sony. As the first high-end virtual-reality headset aimed at the mass market, the gadget will also offer the first hint as to whether the technology can become a mainstream product.

For about $500 (roughly Rs. 33,500), consumers won’t be getting newer features or better performance than pricier headsets being sold by Facebook and HTC. Sony is betting that it has a better package for mainstream consumers, given the ease of use and ability to tap into a gaming and entertainment ecosystem built by the PlayStation franchise over the past two decades. The device is Sony’s best prospect to remain on the cutting edge of technology after scaling back in phones, televisions and other businesses.

(Also see: Sony PlayStation VR Hits Stores Shelves Thursday to Take on Oculus and HTC)

“The Sony release is the first real test of consumer VR,” said Dave Ranyard, a virtual-reality developer and former head of Sony’s London studio, which produced its main launch title PlayStation VR Worlds. “Nobody knows the rate of uptake, so this is the first significant indication.”

The debut also represents a classic gaming-industry dilemma. Sony has to sell a lot of devices to attract talented game developers, gamers won’t buy new hardware unless there’s quality content. Sony hasn’t lined up enough must-have titles to kick off that virtuous cycle, according to Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo.

“If an amazing game comes out and makes everyone want to buy PSVR, the situation will be different, but for now we’re not seeing that,” Yasuda said.

With more than 40 million people already owning a PlayStation 4 console, the novelty of VR alone may be enough to attract a large number of early adopters. IHS Markit and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predict more than 1.4 million unit sales by the end of this year, while Ranyard is more conservative, expecting about 1 million in the first 12 months.

(Also see: PlayStation VR Is the First Real Mass-Market Virtual Reality Headset)

“This is the biggest innovation since the arrival of TV,” Atsushi Morita, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia, said at a launch event in Tokyo.
Sony shares were up 1.4 percent at JPY 3,431 in early trading. The stock is up more than 14 percent this year, compared with a 13 percent decline in the Topix Index.

Another key metric to watch will be how many games each player buys for the PSVR, Raynard said. The device will generate $134 million in revenue for VR content makers this year, about twice the $69 million it expects from Facebook’s Oculus and HTC’s Vive headsets, IHS estimated. Still, that would represent just a fraction of the total market for games software sales.

Early reviews of the system have generally praised its design, affordability and comfort, but a common criticism has been the lack of compelling content. There are about 30 titles available at launch, which are little more than environments to explore, or short games. Sony acknowledges as much, saying what’s available for now are mostly brief experiences that showcase VR technology instead of those with hours of gameplay.

(Also see: PlayStation VR First Impressions)

“The experiences we’re putting on offer are different from your 50-hour Metal Gear Solid experience,” said Shawn Layden, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, the unit overseeing the U.S. PlayStation game business. “You have a very intense 7 to 10 to 15 minutes of gameplay.”

Case in point: Job Simulator, a tongue-in-cheek launch title, lets people pretend that they’re working in a kitchen, office or convenience store. Jun Tamaoki raised eyebrows at last month’s Tokyo Game Show with Bandai Namco Holdings Inc.’s virtual-reality game Summer Lesson, which lets users become home tutors.

“It will take a longer time to find those eureka moments – oh wow, this is so fun,” Tamaoki said in an interview. “I would expect a gradual start for now.”

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P.

Tags: Sony, PlayStation VR, PS VR, PSVR, Virtual Reality, VR, PlayStation 4, Wearables, Gamaing

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Lenovo Plans to Manufacture Laptops in India

Lenovo Plans to Manufacture Laptops in India

Chinese electronics goods maker Lenovo Monday said it considers India as a potential centre for manufacturing laptops.

“At Pondicherry plant, where we are already manufacturing desktops, has the capacity and flexibility to manufacture laptops (notebooks). The company will have to take a call when to do it,” Dinesh Nair, director, consumer business,Lenovo India said.

He said that Lenovo, which already started manufacturing at its Chennai plant, is committed to the ‘Make in India’ initiative, which is evident from the visit of the company’s CEO and Chairman Yang Yuanqing in 2015 for a meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

(Also see:  Lenovo Unveils New Range of Consumer-Facing Laptops in India)

Lenovo, which is already the third largest vendor of PCs in India in terms of market share, has redesigned its entire range of portfolio targeting the youth and the business segments and keeping the price at competitive levels, he told reporters in Kolkata on Monday.

Nair said that manufacturing laptops in India would give more flexibility as at least two months were needed to ship products from China.

Currently, the entire range of laptops are being shipped from China, he said.

In terms of revenue contribution, the laptops segment was contributing to 85 percent to 88 percent of overall PC sales, the rest being desktops, Nair said.

On market growth of PCs, he said that it remained flat in the last quarter.

Tags: Lenovo, Lenovo India, PC, Laptops, Make in India

[“Source-Gadgets”]