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. 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.
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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If you need help getting started, or need a professional design for your company, call us today at 816.228.1123!

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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Top 3 Ways To Build An Audience Online

Learn how to effectively utilize them and you will start dominating niches all over the Internet driving thousands of visitors to your site on a daily basis.

Be Relevant

Relevancy is defined as having relationship to. For example if your website was about golf, related content would include information about such things as golf clubs, golf courses and golf lessons.

Content about anything other than the topic of the website or related topics would not score for relevancy, thereby having no chance of ranking in the search engines. Search engines check your site for relevancy.

You need to be right on topic for whatever it is you are targeting with the content you create. A final word of caution about relevancy: Relevancy alone will not rank your site. You could have the most highly relevant, best original content ever written posted at your site, however if there are no sites pointing to it, it will never rank in the search engines. Relevancy does not work without the other concepts.

The first step is to choose the keyword or keyword phrase you want your content to target. Let’s say you’re trying to get a higher ranking for this keyword phrase, the topic I am currently writing about, "Improve Search Engine Ranking". First, you would want to find what people are searching for and specifically target that keyword if you want your content to rank for that phrase.

Make sure you include the keyword phrase in the title of the article. For example, your title could be "Strategies To Improve Search Engine Ranking". Always try to put the keyword or keyword phrase as the first few words of the article title. Always remember to use the keyword phrase, several times throughout the article. Finally make sure your the rest of your content remains 100% relevant to the keyword phrase.

Be Popular

Popularity works together with relevancy to improve search engine rankings. Popularity is based on two key measures:

1. How Many Sites Link to Your Site

A site’s popularity is measured first by the number of sites that directly link to your site.

To demonstrate popularity let’s take a quick look at YouTube. YouTube is one of the most popular sites on the Internet, Why? All links and embed codes taken from YouTube and embedded on other sites, whether on Facebook, Myspace, a blog, a sales page or a website, create automatic links back to YouTube where the video is hosted. Every time someone shares a YouTube video a link is created.

With the number of videos shared, Youtube gets thousands of new incoming links daily. This is one of the reasons why YouTube videos rank very highly on the search engines. Their site is super popular.

2. The Popularity of the Sites Linking to You

The more popular the site linking to you is, the better the score given by the search engines.

The more incoming links to your site the more popular it is. It is therefore always important to syndicate the content of your site (with a direct link to the content on your site), to as many sites as possible. The Internet presents a host of sites where you can post your content for free to increase your search engine rankings, including popular high ranking sites like article directories, blogs, social bookmarking sites, video sites, press release and social network pages.

Be Original

Originality basically refers to unique content. In simple terms the search engines ask the question, is this same piece of content all over the Internet? As an example, if I took a highly relevant and popular article from my site and posted it to hundreds of sites it would not rank high in the search engines as it would no longer be deemed unique.

There is no doubt that spreading your unique content across the Internet is important for driving traffic to your site. The secret is that the search engines value the original author as well as the original perspective. You would refer a friend or family member to a business that offered the exact same service as a 1,000 other people. Neither will the search engines. They will almost always rank the first article highest and more the repeated content lower in the rankings.

For help creating relevant, popular and original internet marketing campaigns, call Ad Trends Advertising at 816.228.1123 today.

Posted by Ad Trends Advertising, Inc
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Five Common Facebook Marketing Mistakes

Are you trying too hard to market on Facebook?

Mistake #1 - Posting Signature Links on Profile Walls with Your Introduction
I asked someone why they did this once, especially since I'd already been to their site and purchased the item they were selling on that page.

She said: "I saw someone else do it."

"How did it make you feel?" I asked.

"I felt kind of used. But I figured if that's what it takes to be successful, that's what I'll do, even if it doesn't seem quite right."

Now that's deep.

I understand though, because once I made the vow to become successful, I also made a vow to do "whatever it takes". At the time I thought it meant hard selling and being pushy. I later found it meant hard work, and doing what's right even if there's a lazier, easier way.

Even if this was at one time effective in terms of getting clicks from random profile visits, Facebook is now much more stream-driven than it is profile-driven.

And that's a huge part of why this is a mistake in terms of effectiveness.

Not to mention that people who see these postings as rude or attempts to spam can remove or hide them. They may even drop you as a connection, which cuts you off not just from them, but from their network.

You're not missing out on anything by omitting that signature link. Your name, hyperlinked to your profile IS your signature link. If your profile is set up correctly, prospects will get to your site from there.

Mistake #2 - Pitching
If you want to pitch people on Facebook, buy an ad on Facebook.

It doesn't have to be a Facebook ad - buy one in a popular Facebook application. No matter how good your elevator pitch is in real life, it doesn't translate in online networking. Let me give you a hypothetical example from the real world.

Imagine you go to an after-work bar. People go there to relax with work friends, to meet potential mates, on actual dates, and to get to know other people in the business.

You're unwinding with colleagues when someone walks up, and without forewarning, tries to sell you some steak knives. When you stare blankly, they shrug, and move on to the next person.

We all may chuckle to ourselves, and wonder what that person is thinking... but are you ever the knife salesman when you're on Facebook?

Honestly, when I first came here, I was tempted to be.

Thank God my better judgement stopped me. I'm telling you that to say this - if you've been the knife salesman don't be ashamed, you didn't know any better. It's not like they issue marketing lessons with your incorporation papers.

Just make a vow, right now, to always check yourself before you post. Ask yourself "Am I Networking or Pitching?"

Mistake #3 - Artificial Bonding
I'd respect a person more who was upfront with me, and said they were hoping we could work together, or do some business, than someone who pretended to care about me in order to get me to have a conversation that they could then direct to their pitch.

I wouldn't buy from them, at least not then. But at least I'd still respect them, which means I could change my mind in the future.

Pretending to like people until you get the chance to try to sell to them is really just pitching with a little bad foreplay first.

Bad foreplay isn't better than none at all.

Mistake #4 - Favoring Uphill Marketing Over Downhill Marketing
Again, this is a mistake in terms of how effective it is. In my own experience, as well as in case studies of clients, it always works out better when you create a fantastic marketplace presence and people are drawn to you in droves, seeking to do business with you, rathere than the alternative.

The alternative, of course, is when you go out and pursue customers and clients one by one.

That's not to say that you should stop advertising, bidding on projects, or being a go-getter in any way.

It means that while you're doing that, also create a situation where customers are flowing towards you, seeking you out, asking for help.

It's much less work to get from interest to sale when they come to you.

Mistake #5 - Fishing on Dry Land
A long, long time ago, I was in a network marketing company. Now defunct, the products they have greatly enhanced, possibly even saved, my life. The products were targeted to people who cared about being healthier and eco-friendly.

At first, I was so excited about what had happened to me, that I told every single person who would listen. I would try and go product by product and explain how great everything was.

After failing Very Hard for about three months, I narrowed my focus.
I bought a bottle of the mineral complex, and some sample sized containers. Then I gave a sample to every single person I could think of who had a health problem that might be related. Orders started pouring in.

Ever since that day, I have remembered two things. First, the one that’s relevant here – proper targeting greatly increases sales. Secondly, give a free sample of something needed to those most starving for it, and they’ll be back to buy more.

A few well-timed, well-placed interactions with the right profile are the main things you need to do the equivalent of offline networking on Facebook. A great profile is just as important as being appropriately dressed at a networking function offline.

Posted by Ad Trends Advertising, Inc
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