Customized Story Filters Are Everything!

All big social media apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have stories or something like it. Snapchat was the first to have stories on their platform but was later added to Instagram and Facebook. It is safe to say that stories receive a massive amount of attention and growth over the years.

Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook allow you to post pictures and videos; if you are using Instagram, you can use their boomerang feature. Story posts are only available from the next 24 hours from when the picture or video is posted. This allows your viewers to be much more immersed and up to date with your movements and progress. Snapchat also supports virtual games that you can play with your face. Yup, your face.

If you know a little of Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, you can create your own custom filters. Having your own filter allows you to expand the feel of your brand. As a business, this is a perfect opportunity to promote any new projects launches you may working up. Customized filters are also great for party’s and gatherings. Snapchat.com allows you to upload your own custom filters and tag the location you want your filters to be accessed. Check out our very own Christmas 2018 story filter above!

Think we should make a tutorial on making story filters? Comment down below and let us know!

NEVER Focus On One Social Media Platform

Knockout Power

Social media is to be used as a form of sharing with larger audiences. People keep up and follow people who they get honest value from. Chances someone shares valuable content compared to its counterpart are exponentially higher. Furthermore, your audience is likely to stick around if they know they are going to be learning something new, but most importantly, it gives you leverage.

When the day comes that you launch your product or service, your audience will find it easier to buy from you because of the value they have received over the years. Yes, that’s right, years. Nothing will come easy and it is exactly as it sounds. There is a hefty amount of work you will have to do in order to land your right hook for the knockout. Too early and you could possibly lose some of your audience.

All the colors of Content

The best kind of content you could produce is videos. We say videos because not only is it a great form to share information and build relationships. Videos can be broken down into smaller (macro) content that can be designed for posts on different social media platforms; this also leads into the question “What content should go on which platform?”

Let’s start with the biggest one, video. Full length videos need to be posted on youtube and/or both IGTV (Instagram TV). IGTV was recently launched by Instagram allowing its users to upload up to 10 minute videos with larger accounts being able to upload 1 hour long videos. Shorter clips of video and promos go on Instagram, twitter, facebook and snapchat. Twitter is a tricky one; twitters platform is optimized for problem solving and communication between supplier and consumer. This can range from reaching out to a user directly or quickly informing the public of any announcements.

Last but not least, all video forms of your content can be stripped down to just audio formats that can be uploaded to Anchor, ITunes Podcasts or services alike as podcasts. We highly recommend you guys to make video content that way if any of these other platforms mentioned above gets taken down, you will have the next best thing in line already pushing content.

What Your Content Says – And What it Says About You (part 1)

contentLast week we talked about backlinks and how important they are to your site, and this week we are going to be talking about your onsite content. Some of you SEO pros out there might think I discussed these backwards – the onsite is more important than the backlinks. This I know, but there is a method to my madness. Let me explain:

Backlinking is a process that can take a long time to finish – some may say that it’s never done – while onsite optimization is something you want to do while you’re building your site. So the onsite should be completed first. That, young sir, is correct. However, when you’re building your site you want to make sure that you are putting the right content for your site up. So this isn’t something that you want to go about “all willy-nilly”. You want to make sure that you hire a professional to write the content, or if you feel like you’re able to handle it, make sure that you’re putting quality information on your site.

This week, we’ll talk about the basics:

The content on your site – on every page – should in some way talk to the main point of the page. If you are a plumber and you are talking about sink installation, every sentence should in some way go back to that keyword – sink. Keyword? That’s right, you want to make sure that you have designated a “focus keyword”for the page and build your content from there. From the focus keyword, you’re going to build off several other keywords that should be in content somewhere:
- Sink installation
- Installing a sink
- Sink maintenance
- Etc.
On-Site-content
These keywords being found in the content along with having to do with the focus keyword will help search engines find your page above other plumbers’ pages that talk about sink installation. Simple right?

Well, you have to make sure that you have around 300 words per page and you cannot just put the word “sink” in the content 100 times and say you’re done. Those smart guys at Google have figured that out. So, what do you do? You have to create good content so that it makes sense to the reader and has the keyword in there once about every 15 words or so – about a 5% occurrence. Seem a little complicated?

Not to worry – here at AdTrends Advertising Inc we have professional SEO Copywriters and SEO professionals to make every one of your pages be found easily and make your site start ranking!

Next week’s blog is going to go a little more in depth about onsite content, and talk a little more about keywords (my favorite!).

Posted by Ad Trends Advertising, Inc
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What Does It Mean to Be Poked on Facebook?

I was doing some research yesterday and stumbled across this question that people were asking. What does it mean to be poked on Facebook? I laughed out loud…a long time! There were more than 1,000 people asking this question!

Well, it really is no mystery as to what “poking” on Facebook means. It just means you poke them. Just like if you walked up to someone at the grocery store and took your finger and poked them. It’s a way of saying hello to your friends on Facebook.

Once you poke someone, they have the option of poking you back or ignoring your poke. When I was growing up the guys would “swap licks” which meant they would take turns hitting each other in the arm with their fist until someone finally said “uncle!” Poking can work in a similar fashion. You poke someone, they poke you back, you poke them again, they poke you back….gets a little monotonous doesn’t it.

You can only poke a confirmed friend, so you can’t go around poking just anyone. And can only poke you if your account is confirmed. Someone poked me several weeks ago, but I didn’t respond, so it’s still on my home page that I have been poked. I can choose to ignore it, which I have obviously done, or I can remove it, which I will probably do.

And just to clarify conformed means that you have to confirm the email address that you set your Facebook account up with and that will enable you to send messages, write on your friends’ Walls, post in discussions, poke, tag your friends, comment, join groups, and fan pages, and basically use your account to it’s fullest.

I guess it could be fun to poke someone, but I really don’t know why. If I want to say Hi, I’ll just go to their Wall or send them a private message and say Hi! But for the thousands of people who have been anxious to get the real story on poking…you have it now.:) And please don’t poke me, I have tender arms!

Posted by Ad Trends Advertising, Inc
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Beware of Over-Sharing On Social Networks

Important Information For Newbies & Teens On Social Networks!

There have been a lot of stories in the media lately about cyber-stalking and privacy issues on the Internet. It seems to be a knee jerk reaction to the tsunami of social networking that has occurred in the past few years. Or is it? Are the media over-reacting? Or have we forgotten what privacy is in the age of the World Wide Web?

The Rise of Over-sharing

Back in the late 1990's, many people didn't even use their real names on the Internet. Email addresses were usually aliases or nicknames in an attempt to retain as much privacy as possible. But with the rise in popularity of social media services such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace has come a rise in online confidence.

The new Internet generation doesn't seem to have the privacy hang ups or suspicions their parents had about sharing information with strangers over the net. In fact, this younger generation of cyber savvy has an alarmingly high comfort level when it comes to communicating personal information about their lives on the Web.

The premise is that everyone in your social circle not only wants to know but NEEDS to know when you are buying that tall frappuccino from @starbucks. That they need to know precisely where you are and what you are doing every minute of the day. This new phenomenon is called oversharing and it has privacy experts worried.

"People put data up on the web and they just don't realize the implications of this data" says Martin Cocker, Executive Director of NetSafe, a non-profit organization that promotes safe and responsible use of Cyberspace.

Location Based Over-sharing

It's not just our increasingly high comfort level with a lack of online privacy, but the way people are sharing and socializing online that has changed dramatically, particularly in the past 12 months.

Services like Gowalla and FourSquare focus on location-based social networking. Using your phone or mobile Internet device, you log into these sites and announce where in the world you are and what you are doing there e.g. "Kalena is at City Fitness Gym taking a Zumba class."

The process is called *checking in.* You can check in from parks, bars, museums, restaurants, libraries or anywhere you care to create a location. The idea is to let your online friends know where you are and you earn points, badges and rewards (both tangible and intangible) based on your activity.

Sounds like harmless fun, right? But there's a seedier side to location-based social networks. Not only does it encourage stalking by your exes, your boss and your mother, but it opens you up to the very real possibility of a criminal attack. How?

Gowalla, FourSquare and other location-based social sites post your exact geographical location including the precise GPS co-ordinates of your current location. Some naive users of these social sites actually register their home address as a *place* and then *check in* when they arrive at the location of their homes.

If you are particularly obsessive about posting your location status on either of these sites, ANYONE with an Internet connection can track your movements at all times of the day - when you leave home, what time you arrive at work, where you decide to grab lunch, etc.

Many people also cross-link their location status updates with their Facebook and Twitter accounts, sharing their whereabouts with an ever-widening public circle. Not only could stalkers have a field day with this information, but it can make it very easy for cyber criminals and hackers to steal your identity.

Unfortunately, it's not just your identity that can be stolen.

The Perfect Storm for Crime

If you are a regular user of location-based social networking sites, it's child's play for criminals to know when you leave your house unattended. Match this with an overshare on Twitter about your recent iPad or flat screen TV purchase and you've got the perfect storm for a break and enter.

To point out how simple it is for criminals to take advantage of our silly oversharing nature, programming students Frank Groeneveld, Barry Borsboom, Boy van Amstel set up Please Rob Me in February this year. The site consisted of a live stream of tweets from people who were *checking in* at locations other than their Home address on FourSquare and cross-posting the information to Twitter.

The site included a location-based filter and would-be burglars were encouraged (tongue-in-cheek) to view *recent empty homes* and *new opportunities.* When asked why they built such a site, Groeneveld, Orsboom and van Amstel responded:

"These new technologies make it increasingly easy to share potentially sensitive personal information, like your exact location. The danger is publicly telling people where you are. This is because it leaves one place you're definitely not... home. So here we are; on one end we're leaving lights on when we're going on a holiday, and on the other we're telling everybody on the internet we're not home..."

Reaction to the site was enormous and angry. Groeneveld, Orsboom and van Amstel discussed the logic behind the site in their recent guest post for the Center for Democracy and Technology:

"Our intention is not, and never has been, to have people burgled... The goal of the website is to raise some awareness on this issue and have people think about how they use services like Foursquare, Gowalla, BrightKite, Twitter, Google Buzz etc. Everybody can get this information."

How Easy Is It?

David Farrier, a journalist for TV3 in New Zealand decided to find out how vulnerable users of location-based social networks are. He researched profiles on FourSquare and Facebook and found a couple of people in his geographical area of Auckland. They had willingly published their photos and home co-ordinates as public *places* on Foursquare so with the help of his in-car GPS, he went to visit them at their homes, keen to share with them all the information he had learned about them online, like the fact they had been out for dinner 14 times in the past month and enjoyed listening to the band Pet Shop Boys. Naturally they were freaked out and didn't let him in, but as he pointed out, "It's a bit weird, I don't know why they wouldn't let me in, they had made ALL this information available to complete strangers on the Internet."

Photo Tracking

So this is all a bit confronting. But did you know that you may be sharing your location even if you don't use location-based social sites? Photos you take with smart phones and upload to the web are automatically embedded with GPS tracking data that can easily be deciphered to provide precise location co-ordinates.

So that Twitpic of your brand new Mercedes convertible might be admired by a car thief who now has the exact GPS co-ordinates of your driveway. Or the snapshot I tweeted last week of All Blacks rugby legend Dan Carter working out at my gym can pinpoint his exact whereabouts to anyone with photo decoding software. Anyone coming across the photo on the Web could track Dan's physical location down and start stalking (sorry Dan).

The Disappearance of Online Privacy

An organization in the US called the Electronic Frontier Foundation has developed a white paper on the potential dangers of exposing our locational privacy. Authors Andrew Blumberg and Peter Eckersley write:

“Over the next decade, systems which create and store digital records of people’s movements through public space will be woven inextricably into the fabric of everyday life… These systems are marvelously innovative and they promise benefits ranging from increased convenience to transformative new kinds of social interaction. Unfortunately, these systems pose a dramatic threat to locational privacy.”

To those who pose the argument that law-abiding citizens don’t need privacy, Blumberg and Eckersley offer this:

“It’s not just the government, or law enforcement, or criminals or political enemies you might want to be protected from. Your co-workers don’t need to know how late you work or where you shop. Your sister’s ex-boyfriend doesn’t need to know how often she spends the night at her new boyfriend’s apartment.”

Is it All Just Scaremongering?

Ask one of the cyber savvy crowd if they’re afraid of their loss of privacy on the Internet and they’ll likely send you an eye roll emoticon. Many claim that privacy experts are overreacting and that the media are just scaremongering. They make the point that privacy is breached offline all the time.

“New privacy scare! If you know someone’s name you can look up their phone number and home address in the *phone book*”, posts David Olsen, blogger for Dynamic Business Magazine in response to Facebook’s recent privacy issues.

The Bottom Line

Whether you think it’s harmless or not, the data people are willing to share online is increasing every day. It’s part of the “everyone else is doing it” mentality that’s alive and well on the Internet.

Experts are right when they say that users are becoming too blasé about their privacy and safety. The bottom line is that most people don’t keep track of how much data they are sharing. They’re lazy, they’re social, they’re mobile and they tend to ignore the privacy settings of their favorite web applications.

“Social networks have increased enormously in size and number. Most of them allow you to relay messages between different sites and it’s easy to lose track of just how much information you might be giving away and how many people have free access to it”, say Groeneveld, Orsboom and van Amstel.

“It’s important to be aware of privacy settings, to control the reach your messages have. If you allow your messages to travel between different social networks, this becomes more complicated. Information you trust to your friends might end up somewhere else.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve just deleted my Foursquare account.

Posted by Ad Trends Advertising, Inc
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Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social Media Tools To Use In Your Marketing Plan

Creating a "buzz" around products, services, businesses or an event is a requirement for all business. There is no social media marketing wand that someone will wave and a target audience will automatically start coming to your site, and what works for one brand may not work for another.


The process of creating buzz doesn't start from creating a blog or creating a video, it's a social media strategy that encompasses social media and word-of-mouth marketing. We have compiled a list of social media tools that companies use to build their social media marketing mixes:
1. Blogs

Blogs have become a great tool for social media marketing. First because, if optimized correctly, they can be used to drive traffic to a website. A good blog will help in creating internal links, fresh content, active community, or non-search engine traffic.

Examples of popular blogs where you can create your account are: Wordpress, Blog.com, Bloggers.com, Typepad, etc.

2. Micro-blogging

Like blogs, micro-blogs offer huge opportunities for business promotion. That is both through content consistency and good optimization. Two of the most used are Posterous and Twitter.

3. Online Video

The importance of online videos has rapidly increased during the last few years. Popular video sharing websites include YouTube and Vimeo.

4. Photosharing

Social media is all about sharing! Therefore, there are numerous platforms that allow photo sharing with your friends. Some of them are: Flickr.com, Memeo.com, and Photobucket.com.

5. Podcasting

Podcasting is part of the new media tools that are offered to both promote your brand and your products/services. Check out Blip.fm or RadioPodcast.fr.

6. Presentation Sharing

Another great way to put your brand's name in the spotlight is by offering presentations on topics of interest for your audience on presentation sharing websites. They are increasingly gaining in popularity nowadays. Some of them are: SlideShare.net, MyPlick.com, Scribd.com, or AuthorSTREAM.com.

7. Social Networks: Applications, Fan Pages, Groups, and Personalities

Social networks are the place to present and promote yourself as well as to keep in touch with your targeted audience.

8. Crowd Sourcing/Voting

Crowdsourcing is an effective model because it can be used for developing programs, marketing efforts, research, and education. For example Dell has used Crowdsourcing as a distributed problem-solving and production model and has reduced costs and increased their efficiency. Also look at the Grand Challenge for FNIH to see a crowd sourcing campaign.

9. Bookmarking/Tagging

Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to share, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web resources. Examples of popular social bookmarking websites: delicious.com, Digg, Diigo, Fark, Mixx, MyBlogLog, Newsvine, Propeller, Reddit, Slashdot.org, StumbleUpon, Yahoo!, and Buzz.

10. Discussion Boards and Forums

Online forums are a great way to market your products/services and interact with other professionals or your audience. Engaging your audience in your niche forum can bring high value to your site and brand too.

11. Content Aggregation

Content aggregation offers you the chance to bring all news and feeds around your online community accounts in one place. Some say this is the future of social media. Emerging content aggregation websites: Bloglines, FriendFeed, Lifestream.fm, Lijit.

12. Brand Monitoring

Social media is also offering a variety of tools that help businesses understand the positioning of their brand. Popular examples are: Buzzlogic, Radian6, or ReputationDefender.

13. Ratings and Reviews

The best way to find out where your website stands or how your brand is perceived by others is through ratings and reviews. See Yelp, or GetSatisfaction.

14. Widgets

For those who are trying to promote their own brands, they can create personalized badges, using interesting widgets on Facebook, Twitter, and other networks or by simply using WidgetBox or SpringWidgets.

15. Wikis

Wikis are our online encyclopedia. A short list of wikis: Wikipedia.org, Citizendium.org, AboutUs.org, Pbwiki(PBworks.com), or Wetpaint.com.

Along with all the new ways of publishing your content on networking sites, it is important to publish your articles on publishing sites like EzineArticles, eHow, Google Docs (docs.google.com), IdeaMarketers, Yahoo Articles Group (groups.yahoo.com) and submit your press releases on important specialized sites like i-Newswire, PR.com, PressReleasePoint, and PRLog.org.

Social Media Marketing can be very confusing at times. There are lots of networks and channels to choose from. Creating a presence on all the channels is very time consuming and randomly choosing a network is not a good social media strategy. Companies are struggling to understand what social media marketing mix they should use to make their brand successful in the online world.

We suggest it is important to identify which channels are suitable for your business depending on your target audience. Businesses must plan a step-by-step online marketing strategy and brainstorm ideas with their online marketing agency that will work for their products/service.


If you need help making this happen, call Ad Trends Advertising today at 816.228.1123 or email our Internet Marketing Director,
michael@adtrendsinc.com

Posted by Ad Trends Advertising, Inc
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