Which Social Media Site Do You Use Most for Business? [POLL]

This week, we want to know what social media site you're spending the most time on for your business. Check back for your most popular social media sites.

Social media has become a bigger part of a lot of small business’s marketing and customer engagement strategy since its infancy.

Quick question: Does anyone remember creating a MySpace page to promote their company? Sure, some — musicians, mostly — still use that platform but there are so many more popular options these days. And each one presents unique opportunities to reach an audience in a unique way.

Want to reach the general population? You’re probably using Facebook. Talking to your small business owner contemporaries? That sounds like a job for LinkedIn. Looking to be part of a national movement? A tweet with the right #hashtag gets you involved.

So, this week, we want to know …

Which social media site do you use most for business?

What Are Your Most Popular Social Media Sites?

We’re giving you a choice of the big ones: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+.

Let us know which platform is open most on your phone or occupying a tab most often in your web browser. In the comments section below, tell us why.

[“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?

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”]

Cops to Pokemon Fans: Do Not Come Looking for Pikachu in Our Police Station

Cops to Pokemon Fans: Do Not Come Looking for Pikachu in Our Police Station

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nintendo’s Pokemon Go was launched on Wednesday
  • It is currently available in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and US
  • It is an augmented reality game to catch Pokemons

The new smartphone app Pokemon Go begins with a warning screen. For a video game, it is an unusual sort of disclaimer. It is not a parental heads-up about critter-on-critter violence. Nor is it an echo of the recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics that kids should limit their gaming to about two hours daily.

Pokemon Go simply wants its players to avoid physical trauma.

Pokemon Go is a departure from previous iterations of the fantasy bug-collecting sim. Played on a smartphone screen in lieu of a Game Boy or other handheld console, Pokemon Go uses cameras and GPS to construct an augmented reality in which collectible 3D monsters float over physical locales.

To collect these digital critters you have get off the couch, get outside and track them down.

A land-dwelling Pikachu might hang out at the base of, say, the Washington Monument, while trainers (the term for those who play the game) might have to trot over to the Lincoln Memorial’s reflecting pool to capture the fishy creature Magikarp. Digital Pokemon infest buildings, too. The bullish Tauros rampaged through The Washington Post’s break room early Thursday morning.

(Also see:  Playing Pokemon Go in India? Here’s Everything You Need to Know)

The team behind Pokemon Go – developers Niantic Labs and video game giant Nintendo – is concerned you might walk off a bridge, for instance, while you are engrossed in a real-world hunt for the digital critters. Recognizing that the app, which launched in the United States late Wednesday, may encourage the sort of obliviousness that comes when noses are buried in smartphones, other groups began issuing their own warnings, too.

So far, the admonitions have been cheeky: Pokemon Go depicts danger as a cartoon sea serpent. On Facebook, an Australian police force asked Pokemon Go trainers not to burst into stations despite the urge to collect ’em all.

(Also see:  How to Download, Install, and Play Pokemon Go Right Now)

“The novelty of seeing a Pokemon superimposed onto your sidewalk is delightful,” wrote The Post’s Hayley Tsukayama, who recently reviewed an early version of the game. (Though certain features, she said, like monster battles, left something to be desired.) Pokemon Go has the potential to be immensely popular, as it is Nintendo’s first smartphone app to showcase the 20-year-old franchise. The early interest, at least, seems promising; it had been downloaded in the United States at least 50 thousand times within the first 12 hours, according to a ticker at the Google Play store.

Pokemon Go’s interface, akin to Google Maps, is littered with Pokestops – specific landmarks where players collect game-boosting items. That the Darwin Police Station is one such landmark prompted a Facebook message from Australia’s Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services: “For those budding Pokemon Trainers out there using Pokemon Go — whilst the Darwin Police Station may feature as a Pokestop, please be advised that you don’t actually have to step inside in order to gain the pokeballs,” the agency wrote.

A representative for the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency services told The Post by phone that one of its officers downloaded the game, and then recommended the Facebook message. It was a bit of a joke, she said, as no one has yet to enter the Darwin Police Station in pursuit of Poke balls or Pikachu.

But players would be wise to exercise caution in their quest to be a Pokemon master. Niantic Labs pioneered its location-based gaming technology with “Ingress,” an area-control mobile game in which players capture portals (similar to Pokemon Go’s Pokestops and gyms). “Ingress” has attracted players by the millions, according to a Niantic blog post from Wednesday, and some “have literally traveled to the ends of the earth” to capture portals.

As “Ingress” grew in popularity, some players admitted to taking risks like playing in cars, near sinkholes or too close to bicycle lanes. The game has been associated with at least one death. A 48-year-old Irish man lost his life while on a nocturnal mission to capture a portal near a pier last September, according to a Dublin inquest.

“The pier is open at both sides, the surface was uneven, it was night time, there are no lights, it was in the course of this game Ingress,” the coroner said, according to the Irish Times. Niantic Labs has since removed the portal near the pier.

As the Australian police organization pointed out on Facebook, players should navigate augmented worlds just as carefully as vanilla realities. “That Sandshrew isn’t going anywhere fast,” they wrote. “Stay safe and catch ’em all.”

© 2016 The Washington Post

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Tags: 3D Gaming, Android, Apple, Apps, Augmented Reality AR, Gaming, iOS, Niantic, Nintendo, Pokemon Go

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]

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”]

KL Rahul confident approximately capacity ‘to do properly in All formats’

kl rahul hundred 1106

KL Rahul have become the primary Indian player and 11th average to hit a hundred on ODI debut in the course of the Zimbabwe series..
© AFP
HIGHLIGHTS

1
KL Rahul turned into adjudged player of the series vs Zimbabwe
2
He scored an unbeaten ton and a half of-century
three
He is likewise a part of India’s take a look at squad for WI excursion
Harare: KL Rahul, the only Indian batsman to get a threat to shine within the lop-sided ODI series againstZimbabwe, on Thursday stated he constantly knew he had the capacity to do well in each format.
The 24-yearvintage from Karnataka, who amassed 196 runs inside the series from three innings whichblanketed an unbeaten century and a 1/2-century, became adjudged the player of the series.
“I continually knew I had the game to do properly in each format. It turned into just a rely of time. Theremaining couple of months have been virtually desirable,” stated Rahul, who cracked an unbeaten sixty three off 70 balls on Wednesday to guide India to a threezero whitewash of Zimbabwe.
“I were given the possibility to play for RCB and then getting a name as much as play for India hascontinually been a dream. and then to pop out right here and carry out the way i have is simplyappealing. i am very happy,” he stated.
credit score to bowlers’
Rahul gave credit score to the bowlers, who came up with an attractive overall performance within thecollection.
“Lot of credit goes to our bowlers for making our activity easy. I knew I could go out there, take my time and play right cricketing shots and no longer get over excited,” he stated.
manifestly once you have the hundred and while you are in right shape, it is easy to exit there and try to hit sixes and finish the sport early. So it become a mission for me to remain calm and play my naturalgame and supply the ball and the bowlers the respect. That changed into the plan for me and i’m happythe way I batted on this series.”
now not considering West Indies yet
Rahul is the handiest participant in the aspect, who can be travelling West Indies in conjunction withIndia’s take a look at squad next month however Rahul said he isn’t always thinking about it now.
asked if it would be clean to switch to the test mode, Rahul said: “I do not know, as soon as i’m goingthere and see the pink ball swinging, i can realize. manifestly playing right here, the ball is swinging a bithowever it is not like the pink ball. i am not considering West Indies but.
what is on my mind proper now could be to interchange to the T20 layout, to put together for the subsequent days and pop out all weapons blazing,” he stated.

Aamir Khan’s Taare Zameen Par Co-celebrity wants to Do extra films With Him

Aamir Khan

i’m VERY tons in touch WITH AAMIR UNCLE. I preserve TAKING advice FROM HIM AS TO WHAT ROLES need to I DO AND WHAT I shouldn’t. IN reality, while i used to be making ready FOR ABHAY’Srole, I DREW inspiration FROM AAMIR’S individual IN QAYAMAT SE QAYAMAT TAK,” said DARSHEEL SAFARY
Darsheel Safary, who featured in 2007’s Taare Zameen Par with Aamir Khan, wants to do more films with thesuperstar.

Darsheel will soon be visible within the tv show solar Yaar strive Maar.

i am very plenty in touch with Aamir uncle. I keep taking advice from him as to what roles should I do and what I should not. In truth, when i was preparing for Abhay’s position, I drew notion from Aamir’s personin Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak,” Darsheel stated in a announcement.

“My career within the industry up to now, has been shaped through him. he’s my mentor. My dream is to do extra movies with him as I appearance as much as him,” introduced Darsheel.(additionally examine: Dhoom: 3 will be exceptional: Darsheel Safary)