Industry Buzz

Introducing Staging Version 2.0

SiteGround Blog -

Last year we launched our Staging service to make it easier for our users to follow the best site development practices. The tool was received very well by our users and we have gathered some invaluable feedback. Based on the way people were using the tool, we now add few more great new features to it. The new SiteGround Staging version currently released will provide our advanced users with more flexibility and control over the staging copies, while keeping the current basic and easy-to-use functionality intact. Read on to find out more about the new features you have at your disposal! UPDATE:If you add media to your staging copy via the WordPress admin area, some full URLs may remain like this: stage1.yourdomain.com/image.jpg thus failing to render on your live site. We’re aware of that bug and it will be fixed in the next tool update. If you experience such problems, you can either fix the URLs yourself or contact our support team to fix that for you. More Control What Goes In We’ve made some awesome changes under the hood of the staging tool that cannot be noticed at first glance but are very useful for the actual development process. One of them is that we’re now checking for files outside the default application file structure and allow you to choose whether such files and folders to be added to the staging copies you create. Until now, all folders outside the application file structure weren’t included in the staging copy. It turned out, however, that many people add more folders and use them for their designs. On the other hand, people tend to store data, irrelevant to their sites in directories under their site root folder. That’s why we’re asking you whether you want to add or not such content to your staging copy. Easier Git Repository Creation The first thing you will notice in the Staging tool is that it has a new, cleaner interface with a new page for all staging copies you’ve made for each one of your sites. Here, you will find the shiny new Create a Git Repo button.  It allows you to create a new Git repository for the staging copy you have selected with a single click. You can find detailed instructions on how to use Git with your SiteGround account in our SG-Git Tutorial. Advanced Push To Live When you’re done with the changes you’ve made to your staging copy, eventually you will press the green button called Push to live. In the new version of our tool, when you do this, you will see a pop-up asking you whether you want to make an Easy Push or Advanced Push. You’re already familiar with the Easy Push – it will simply clone all the changes you’ve made to your staging copy over to your live site including both files and database changes. The Advanced Push is a completely new option available for you! When you select it, our Staging tool will compare all the files, folders and database modifications you’ve made and provide you with a list of those changes so you can choose which modifications to be pushed live. This is extremely useful, because in cases when your live site is getting a lot of visitors, comments, orders, subscriptions, you wouldn’t want to change it’s database, because you will use all the new data since the staging copy was created. And this is just one case that the Advanced Push is really useful for. Need More Information About The SiteGround Staging Tool? For detailed information on how to use the tool, check out the Staging tutorial we’ve prepared for you. In addition to that, we’re organizing a live hangout on April 1st 2014 (no joke ) that you can join here. If you have questions about the tool and the new features we’ve added to it, that’s a great place to ask them!

New gTLDs – What’s in it for you?

BigRock Blog -

Let me start this article by saying that these here are the most exciting times for anyone associated with the internet. Be it us registrars or you, the end customers, BIG things are happening and we’re going to try and give you a front seat view of history as it unfolds. This is the era of the newgtlds, its the era of choice, an era of opportunities. For anyone who is online or wants to be there, whether you’re a businessman, a lawyer, a photographer, a blogger, here is what’s is in store for you. Before we reveal the benefits of the new gTLDs for you, we recommend that you first understand what went down to actually bringing this to life. 1] Choice & Competition: Up till the year 2012, the world only had 22 gTLDs to choose from. But thanks to the new gTLD program you will be deciding between 100s of possible gTLDs by the end of year 2014, so much so that you will be spoilt for choice. For example if you run a business in photography you can use .PHOTOGRAPHY, .CAMERA, .PHOTOS etc, the possibilities are just endless. More gTLDs will also foster healthy competition between the registries who will want to push their gTLDs to the end users. In such competitions we have noticed that the True winner has always been the end user. 2] Branding & Marketing: A good domain name is the key to a great online presence. With the new gTLDs you can get really innovative and get a domain name which is short, catchy and easy to remember. This is really going to be a great deal for the branding and marketing of your business. For example, Dominos pizza can now have domain names like www.Dominos.Pizza , www.DominosPizza.Food or even www.DominosPizza.Menu. Again, the choice is yours. 3] Targeting the right audience: Honestly, you want to target the right people online, to let your business flourish. With the new gTLDs you can now generalize your domain name and let the right focus group reach you. For examples, you can get a .PLUMBING domain name for your plumbing business, thus making it easier for the end user to find you. 4] Protecting your brand: With so many gTLDs coming your way, the chances of Cyber squatting are going to manifold drastically. Just so that you know, Cybersquatting is the act of registering a popular Internet address–usually a company name–with the intent of selling it to its rightful owner. –  [Source – Webopedia]. But fortunately ICANN has set up the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), to help brands be aware during the gTLD gold rush. The TMCH is a single database of authenticated registered trademarks, and will inform brands if anyone is trying to register a trademarked domain name during the Sunrise phase. You can get more information about the Sunrise phase here. So the newgTLDs have set anchor and are here to stay. Though a relatively new concept, it still has the potential to be a game changer. This is a great opportunity for you to grab the best and most relevant domain name for your business. So are you ready to be a part of history, well then go get your domain name TODAY You may also like New gTLDs for Dummies Understanding new gTLDS What does ICANN’s New gTLD program mean?

Here’s the Easiest Way to Run a Facebook Timeline Contest for FREE

Post Planner -

If you run a Facebook page, then you know fans LOVE contests. You also know Facebook contests get A LOT more engagement than regular posts. That’s why it’s great Facebook changed the contest rules a few months ago. You can now run a contest by simply posting a status update on your Timeline. No need to use a pesky 3rd-party app! This is great news for small business owners who don’t have time to learn how to: create page apps design graphics give fans ways to sign up by submitting emails Now you can just post a status update & manage your contest in the news feed! Facebook marketers call this a “Timeline contest”. In this blog post, I’ll show you the easiest way to run one for FREE! The Easiest Way to Run a Facebook Timeline Contest for FREE First, remember that Facebook didn’t drop all the contest rules. There are still guidelines for using a status update for a Timeline contest. According to Facebook: 1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including: a.   The official rules; b.   Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and c.   Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals) Facebook officials say you must also include: a.   A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant. b.   Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. But really, the only thing you can’t do with your Timeline contest is require users to share the contest post in order to enter: Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted). Picking a Winner Can be Tricky The major downside to using your Timeline instead of an app to run a contest is that selecting a winner can be difficult. After posting your status update, you’ll need to choose a winner once the deadline to enter the contest has passed. Facebook lets you consider a Like or comment as an entry into your contest. But how do you fairly pick a winner when the contest post gets thousands of Likes? When Timeline contests started getting popular, app providers launched tools to manage the contests & make it easier to select a winner. Some of these apps are free. And most do a great job addressing the challenges of running Timeline contests. But none are as easy to use as the new Timeline contest tools from our friends at AgoraPulse! Timeline Contest Ideas Now you’re itching to run a Timeline contest, right? Awesome! You just need some contest ideas. All you need to do is publish a post on your page. Something as simple as: LIKE this post to win a FREE month of Post Planner. Or perhaps you want people to Like & comment: Want a FREE month of Post Planner? LIKE this post & COMMENT about why you should win. We’ll pick a random winner. You can even require contestants to post photos: In the comments below, post your best picture of you using our product. One lucky commenter will win $100! Make people answer a trivia question to enter your contest, and only those who answer correctly qualify to win: What year did Facebook start? Correct answers have a chance to win an iPad! Keep your status update short & add the first comment — include when the contest ends & yours & Facebook’s rules & restrictions. If you need more ideas, you can dive into Post Planner’s Status Ideas Engine — where we have an entire category devoted to Contests (with thousands of pre-written statuses). FYI: Text updates that are too long, are often unsightly & may turn people off. Go the extra mile by creating a custom image for your contest. This is a great option, since text updates on Facebook pages don’t get as much Reach as photos. I made this image in about 1 minute using Canva: To start the contest, I simply post this graphic to the page with the rules & entry deadline. And at 5pm, I select a winner. Here’s how tools from AgoraPulse help me manage the contest: How to Run Free Contests on Facebook with AgoraPulse First, visit the contest site for AgoraPulse & connect your Facebook account by clicking “START A CONTEST”: You’ll see a list of pages you manage after you OK the permissions: Click “SELECT PAGE” next to the page you’re using for the contest. You’ll then see a list of recent posts from the page: Click “LOAD MORE POSTS” if you need to see more: For this example, I chose the “Start making RESULTS not excuses” post. I was then provided 3 cool options for Facebook contests I can administer from my Timeline: The contests include a: Sweepstakes — lets you randomly pick a winner from those who Liked and/or commented on the post Quiz — requires fans to enter a correct answer for a chance to win Photo Contest — requires fans to add photos in the comments I chose sweepstakes for this example. It took a few seconds for AgoraPulse to pull the data from the post — but it looked like this when finished: You’ll see a summary of your selections & have the option to: Select another Facebook page Select another post Select another contest Super easy! I love it. Now determine how you’ll pick the contest winner. The screenshot above shows that by default AgoraPulse lets Facebook users Like or comment on the post to enter the contest. And you can only enter once. I chose only the Like option for my example: Now I just need to choose the Winner. I click “PICK A WINNER” and AgoraPulse selects 1 lucky contestant: I can even pick another random winner if I’d like to give prizes to more than 1 person. I can also “unpick” the winner if for some reason somebody doesn’t qualify for the contest. And the tool lets me view someone’s Facebook Timeline to learn more about them. I save & archive the winner once I’m satisfied with the selection. I’ll either contact the winner with a message from my Facebook profile, or announce the person’s name in a new post or in a comment on the existing contest post. Now I’ll show you how to use AgoraPulse to set up a quiz contest: Just enter the correct answer in the box above & click “FIND COMMENTS” to see who answered correctly. If more than 1 person answered correctly, choose the winner & proceed as we did in the sweepstakes example. A photo contest is managed in a similar way, except the winner is the person who posted the photo that received the most Likes. Conclusion As you can see, Emeric Ernoult & the gang at AgoraPulse have created a sweet set of tools for managing Timeline contests. The tools are: user friendly easy for beginners useful in a variety of ways FREE! So go ahead and try them out! And if you have status ideas for contests that have worked well for you, please share them in the comments below (along with a link to your page). The post Here’s the Easiest Way to Run a Facebook Timeline Contest for FREE appeared first on Post Planner.

How to Maximize Your Website Conversions

Homestead Small Business Blog -

Is it possible to make more money from your website without getting any more traffic? Yes: increase your conversion rate!The conversion rate of a website is the percentage of people who take a specific action on your site. Yes, sales are one type of conversion, but other website conversions to be paying attention to are the number of newsletter sign-ups or accounts created.So, how do you maximize any of those conversion rates? Here are a few ideas to get you started:Be an authorityYes, you’ve heard this before, and you’ll probably hear it again, but it’s simple: if you don’t look like you know what you’re doing, no one will want to pay you. If your website has broken links or your checkout screen doesn’t work, customers suddenly have less faith in you shipping the right order at the right time. Make sure everything you do online is the same level of quality as the services you provide.Answer questionsInternet shoppers can contradictions: impatient and cautious at the same time. Impatient, because they don’t want to wait and find out more about the product during office hours. Cautious, because they want to know as much information as possible about the product before purchasing it.First, supply the answers to common questions in the FAQ page (even if the information is stated elsewhere – consider linking to it). Also make sure that contact information is prominently available so that customers can call or email direct questions. To go the extra mile, look into services which embed “chat with a salesperson” capabilities directly into your webpage.Target the right peopleWhen you are advertising, focus on the people who want to make purchases. Make sure you are ranking for the keywords of any items that you sell, not just related products that might generate a lead. Making long-term relationships is good, but being found by a person who is ready to make a purchase is great.Make your site usableThere are plenty of little tweaks that can make your shopping cart, and your whole site, more customer-friendly. The site needs to be easy to understand and use. Make sure your design doesn’t disguise any buttons or links that your visitors need to follow. Also check that your pages load as quickly as possible, and work in any browser.Call to actionMake sure your website, and each individual page on the site, asks your users to do something. Make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, receive coupons, contact us. Not all pages need to have the exact same call to action, but all the pages should be encouraging potential customers to either make a purchase or keep in touch.Testing, testingWatch individual users interact with your site, as much as possible. Find people to test your site who are in your target audience, if at all possible. Different techniques and site designs work for different groups of people, and if you take every piece of advice, your site will suffer. Make decisions based on what works, not what should work.After watching individual users, you can test large groups of visitors by using A/B testing, directing different streams of traffic to different versions of pages. You can find services online which will do this automatically, providing you with concrete results with less work.Encourage referralsIn any business, treating your customers well is the first step to getting great referrals. The second step is to ask customers directly to tell their friends. You could suggest that they forward the newsletter to anyone they think might be interested, or make it clear that online coupons can be shared. With a little more work, you can set up an affiliate program or offer monetary incentives for referrals. Not only is this a way to increase traffic, it is a way to get more targeted traffic.Make a special offerNo, this one is no surprise to anyone – but web shoppers are always looking for a deal. Try offering a discount or free shipping. Even better, give users a discount when they create a free account or sign up for your newsletter.These strategies have worked for a number of ecommerce websites. Which strategies are working for yours?

Teens Are Using Facebook WAAAAY More Than Reported (Here’s Proof)

Post Planner -

It seems like all I hear lately is that teens are leaving Facebook faster than George Costanza leaves a burning house. Could this be true? Are kids leaving the world’s largest social network in droves? Well… no actually. Not according to a new study from Tom Webster, of Edison Research at least. Not only are teens still using Facebook — they might be using it more than any other age group. And if you run a business page on Facebook, here’s why you should care: Teens Are Using Facebook WAAAAY More Than Reported When it comes to teenagers leaving Facebook, most reports I’ve read have focused on how kids view the social network — rather than actual numbers. Stuff like: My 3 teenage nephews say Facebook ain’t cool. They mostly use websites like Instagram, Tumblr or SnapChat for their social media activities. They only go to Facebook when their mom tags them in a post! According to Webster, however, nearly 80% of Americans between the ages of 12 & 24 use Facebook. Facebook still has room to grow with some age groups. But among younger Americans, “Facebook is nearing its practical limit,” according to Edison Research. If 80% of teens already use Facebook, newer growth may appear slower than in years past. But Facebook is by far the most popular way for teenagers to share photos via their smartphones: Still, what do most of these social media websites have in common? They let you register with your Facebook account — which inflates Facebook’s user numbers. According to Webster: A Facebook account is the new driver’s license. Getting one isn’t cool — it’s what you can do with it that is. If 80% seems high, it could mean teens are registering for a Facebook account just to have quick access to other websites — without having to remember other user names & passwords. Facebook Activity in the Past 24 Hours But before you conclude that teens don’t use Facebook anymore, check out how many times teens have checked their Facebook profiles in the past 24 hours: Those between the ages of 12 & 24 check their Facebook pages 8 times a day!?!? And that number has recently increased. Teens polled by the Edison Group in 2012 said they checked Facebook about 6 times per day. That’s funny — I thought teens were leaving Facebook? Granted, the rise of smartphones has likely boosted how often teens check Facebook — while the total time kids spend on the website has dropped. It’s easier to breeze through your news feed on your smartphone than on a desktop computer — which displays all those distractions in the sidebars. One Last Stat About Teens & Facebook Here’s one last stat to remember as the debate about whether teens use Facebook rages on: Some find it hard to believe that teenagers with 600 Facebook friends would leave the website because it’s not “cool” anymore. Finding 600 friends on those other social media sites is a lot more difficult than on Facebook. Why Data about Teens & Facebook is Important Teenagers on Facebook represent the next generation of consumers. And Facebook officials & advertisers must grab their attention. Fewer users + fewer advertisers = less $$$$ for Facebook. But the study above has now restored my confidence that teens do still use Facebook — even if they’re on the site for less time each day than their parents. In the end this means that marketers need to post super engaging content — to keep teens tuned in to their Facebook marketing campaigns. Is your company concerned about teens leaving the social network? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. The post Teens Are Using Facebook WAAAAY More Than Reported (Here’s Proof) appeared first on Post Planner.

Whole Foods and Pseudoscience

Matt Mullenweg Blog (Founder of WordPress) -

Michael Schulson takes a great look at the contrast between Whole Foods and the Creationist Museum in Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience. It is a good reminder that we must try to use the best available data in decisions regardless of our preëxisting proclivities. Also good to check out is Grist’s series on GMOs, probably best summarized in What I learned from six months of GMO research: None of it matters or the NY Times A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops.

Salut! Pinterest is available in Romanian

Oh, How Pinteresting! -

We’ve already told you about the three languages we started offering this week: Hindi, Greek and Hungarian. Next up: Romanian! Pinterest is now translated for our Pinners in Romania, the seventh most populous country in the European Union. Take a look at some of the Pins you’ll find from Romania: Travel to Romania There’s lots to see and do in Bucharest, Romania’s capital. Another popular tourist location is Bran Castle, also known as the home of Dracula. Get inspiration for your travels through Romania from existing boards. Romanian cuisine Creating Romanian food in your own kitchen is simple. Get inspired by our improved recipe search to find delicious dishes like papanași, tochitură and more. Pop culture There are many notable celebrities who are from Romania. Gheorghe Zamfir, known for his work on the soundtrack of Kill Bill and many other pan flute songs comes from Romania. There’s Inna, Alexandra Stan, and Antonia Iacobescu for pop music, and of course, gymnast Nadia Comăneci, who was the first woman to get a perfect 10 at the Olympics. Create a board and collect interesting information about Romanian luminaries—check out the one Pinner Deedabk already started. Thank you for following us this week through our travels throughout the world. Stay tuned for more language launches next week! —Cristina Petrovici, Software Engineer, Currently pinning to Pour l’amour de la France

Why You Should Update WordPress

The Homegrown Hosting Blog (A Small Orange) -

  I bet you’ve seen this warning at the top of your WordPress dashboard before. It’s easy to ignore, but there are several really important reasons NOT to ignore it. WordPress, just like any other software on your computer, needs to be updated regularly. Unlike most software and programs though, WordPress is open source. Many many people are working feverishly to improve and fix old problems with WordPress, which means that updated versions are released pretty frequently. Updating WordPress is very important, and really only takes a couple of quick steps. Don’t ignore the update warnings! WordPress will typically release updates for these reasons: To improve features. New features that are released often help make WordPress easier to use. If you wait to update two or three versions of WordPress at a time it could cause problems with your site. Safety reasons. WordPress updates may contain new security features that help prevent hackers and other bad-doers from breaking into your website and inserting malicious code or malware. Not only can this kind of activity harm your site, but it can also cause your site to lose its position in search engine results. Bug fixes. New updates can fix bugs that you’re experiencing in your site. If something isn’t working correctly, you may just need to update WordPress. Plugin Updates are Important Too Updating your plugins is just as imperative as updating WordPress… and you should update the plugins BEFORE you update WordPress to prevent your plugins from breaking. Plugins that are outdated are super vulnerable to security attacks. To update your plugins: Navigate to the Plugins panel and click Update Available Update your plugins in bulk or individually with the Update Now link underneath each plugin Old Software is Extremely Vulnerable When a new WordPress or plugin update is released it comes with a bug fix report. Hackers can find the weaknesses of old WordPress versions just by looking at these reports. They target outdated sites by viewing the page source for a particular website to see what version of WordPress they are running. The simplest way to avoid being targeted is to keep everything updated. Images courtesy of http://www.mayecreate.com/2013/04/why-you-should-update-wordpress/

Üdvözlünk! Bringing Pinterest to Hungary

Oh, How Pinteresting! -

You heard about our debut in Hindi and Greek yesterday, and today we’re excited to tell you that Pinterest is now fully translated into Hungarian. We hope this helps Pinners from Hungary collect their favorite things and allow all the rest of us to discover even more unique Pins. To celebrate, we’ve collected a few boards and Pins from Hungary to share with you. Traveling to Hungary From castles to scenic lookouts, there’s lots to explore in Hungary. While Hungary may not be a large country, it contains the world’s second largest thermal lake, Lake Heviz. Check out Hungarian Tourism’s official Pinterest account or any of our useful place boards. Budapest, the capital, also has a lot to offer. It’s home to the country’s largest footbal stadium, named after famous Hungarian footballer Ferenc Puskás(source wiki), who is recognized as one of the top footballers of the 20th century. Check out this Best of Budapest board from Pinner Doorci for more Hungarian travel Pinspiration: Hungarian eats Hungarian cuisine is definitely worth a try. Known for its meat stews, Hungarian food can often be quite spicy because it’ll contain lots of hot paprika . Search for Hungarian recipes on Pinterest to find a dish that entices you, like Goulash. Stay tuned for more language announcements soon. Köszönöm (Thanks!) —Sadia Latifi, Content Strategist, Currently pinning to Bold

Γεια! Pinterest now speaks Greek

Oh, How Pinteresting! -

Γειά σου, Pinners! We’ve been busy translating Pinterest into new languages (26 languages in all), and our next stop is Greece. To celebrate, we’ve collected a few boards with Pins about Greek culture. Whether you’re Greek or planning a trip to Greece, we hope these inspire you. Make your own greek food Gyros, baklava, saganaki and more! Check out Effie Parthenios Reyes’s Greek Food, Custom’s and Tradiations board for cook-it-yourself inspiration. Plan a trip to Greece You’ll find lots of Greek travel inspiration on Pinterest—from black-sand beach vacations in Santorini to action-packed trips to the home of the original olympics. You can also check out the Greek National Tourism team’s board for creative travel ideas (like a castle-themed vacation) or Kitsakis Travel and Tourism’s place board for a map of inspiring places around the country. We hope you like Pinterest in Greek! Follow us to our next location! —Silvia Oviedo-López, Localization Manager, Currently pinning to Bedroom

Usability, Mobile and Your Future

Bing's Webmaster Blog -

This should come as a surprise to no one reading blogs like this one. Mobile is your future. Everything points to this. Adoption rates, bandwidth access, changing mobile plans from major carriers, technology evolution in devices, prices decreases and so many more signals all tell us this change is upon us. It’s been known for some time that mobile queries will outpace desktop queries shortly. Today’s businesses are seeing this shift. More business and traffic is coming from tablets, phablets and smart phones than ever. Transaction completions are on the rise, and this isn’t just a “local” phenomenon. In the next year, if you’re not already designing to serve people in the mobile environment, you’ll be falling behind those who are. And while this is going to come to pass, simply splashing up an m-dot site won’t get you back on the curve. No, you’ll have to do a bit more than that. Which brings us to usability. People talk about this, but so few businesses actually invest the money in it. And it’s easy to see why. Some people think its glorified design work. Others have simply never explored the concept past the theory stage. From personal experience I can tell you it makes an actual difference to the success of a product. Knowing mobile is so important, now is the time to bring in the user experience experts to ensure you get the most from your investment. And while learning about mobile trends and understanding traffic patterns across your own website can be handled by most people, usability testing and user experience-centric design does take an experts touch. Here are some tidbits gleaned from Margaret Gould Stewart’s recent Ted talk. She’s the lady who runs the product design team at Facebook…and before that, at Youtube…and before that…at Google. There’s a pretty good chance she has some good advice about UX design then. Based on experience, not guesswork. There is no blueprint for design at scale – you have to test, learn and iterate as you go sometimes Small things matter a great deal The Facebook LIKE button took 280 hours to redesign. Sounds like a lot, but consider it’s seen over 22 billion times a day Design with data, but follow human feelings and behaviors Introduce changes to users very carefully Be sure to explain to users why change is happening You have to design for where people are, not where you are – design to your users Good design requires audacity…and humility In the race to keep up, or get ahead, it sometimes happens that you miss opportunities. But discovering opportunities through usability testing on the way to creating a better mobile experience for your visitors is completely in your control. It may require making some changes in areas you’d planned to invest in, but well worth it. And if you really want to start thinking of the future, start wondering what your site looks like when viewed in emerging technologies like wearables, flexible plastic screens, in-car devices and early augmented reality tools like Glass. Just a couple of years ago, you needed to account for big screen TVs and gaming consoles brought the wed directly to TV. Devices dedicated to this exist today, but humanity’s desire to “so mobile” is poised to shift this landscape. Wearables are the new future, and they get closer to us every day. Duane ForresterSr. Product ManagerBing

Arby's: Always-on listening, engagement our secret to success on Twitter

The Twitter Advertising Blog -

It starts with what our customers are saying. Social listening is the foundation to our approach on Twitter. As our new CMO Rob Lynch says, “Our guests engage with our brand via social media in real time and around the clock. We need to be constantly listening for opportunities to jump in and join the conversation.” That’s why we monitor brand terms closely and watch real-time trending topics. We notice when there’s a high volume of Tweets about turnovers during an NFL game and are ready chime in at the right moment. All these turnovers have got us craving …. turnovers. pic.twitter.com/mODLSXwg1b — Arby’s (@Arbys) December 16, 2013   Or jump in on popular memes with a playful message that keeps us top of mind. Happy #TalkLikeAPirateDay from ARRRRRRbys! pic.twitter.com/573j6MC0ZE — Arby’s (@Arbys) September 19, 2013   Or surprise people who mention us with a response to show we’re always listening. @DragonflyJonez Actually, we had to release him. He kept making too many turnovers. ;-) — Arby’s (@Arbys) June 19, 2013   We’ve even dedicated a room to social listening at our headquarters with a team constantly looking for opportunities to engage and respond. At this point, everyone is familiar with our Tweet about Pharrell’s hat during the Grammy’s but they may not know it happened because we were listening. Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs — Arby’s (@Arbys) January 27, 2014   The Grammy’s is not typically an event that our brand jumps in on. We don’t set up a war room for it. But we were monitoring brand terms on Tweetdeck at the beginning of the show. Early on, we saw Twitter users connecting Pharrell’s hat with our logo. And we seized the opportunity to join in. It was very organic response that just resulted from simply paying attention to what was already happening on Twitter.  The impact of that one Tweet is mind-blowing. Our PR firm estimates that the advertising equivalency would be 84 million impressions with a $22 million price tag. It’s even outpaced engagement on Oreo’s Super Bowl Tweet. It was our “Dunk in the Dark” moment. We’ve kept the conversation going during other TV moments like the Beatles 50th anniversary show where (thankfully) Pharrell wore the hat again and during the All-Star NBA game. Looks like we’re never getting our hat back… #Beatles50 — Arby’s (@Arbys) February 10, 2014 We told @Pharrell if he was going to continue to wear our hat, he should at least wear a red one. #AllStarGame — Arby’s (@Arbys) February 17, 2014   On the night of the Oscars, @Arbys officially got its hat back after placing the winning bid on Pharrell’s auction of his hat. .@Pharrell You’re welcome. We’re HAPPY to support a great cause & get our hat back. Good luck at the #Oscars tonight! pic.twitter.com/2oA7qDPX9z — Arby’s (@Arbys) March 3, 2014   Since The Arby’s Foundation aims to improve the lives of youth by ending childhood hunger in America, it was a natural fit for us to make a donation to Pharrell’s charity called From One Hand to Another, which provides art and educational resources to youth. While @Arbys is still determining exactly where the hat will go next, we’re looking forward to future opportunities to work with Pharrell and his foundation to raise visibility for our shared causes. How to empower marketing in the moment There is no other platform that provides the customer insights that Twitter does. You can instantly tap into the pulse of the conversation around your brand. It’s an invaluable resource. But an organization’s approval process often dictates what marketers can do with those insights in real time. That means as marketers we have to create consistency and establish rules of the road internally. From the beginning, I established clear brand voice guidelines. We keep the tone of all our Tweets fun, humorous and playful. We also have strict guardrails around what we participate in and what topics are off limits. The result? There’s no onerous approval process. We have a core team that includes brand, legal, customer relations and public relations who are all on the same page. We do a lot of advance planning but we’ve also built in enough flexibility to make decisions in the moment that matters most. Invest in amplifying your reach When I started at @Arbys, we had 32,000 followers. We’ve steadily invested in Twitter Ads to grow that base and to connect with all the Arby’s fans out there. After all, if you have a small number of followers, the odds of your content going viral aren’t great. In 2013, we saw a 300% year over year increase in our followers thanks to Promoted Accounts. Never underestimate the power of reaching more of the right people. That’s where Promoted Tweets pick up: they help us maximize engagement with our customers. We typically monitor the performance of organic Tweets and promote the ones that get the most engagement. We keep the tone and content in our paid Tweets similar to what we share organically. If a Promoted Tweet feels like a natural part of the conversation, we see Twitter engagement and shares go through the roof. Most recently, we’ve had tremendous success with TV ad targeting. With our brisket sandwich launch, we were able to take our TV ad and directly extend the message to a second screen. Want it? Yeah, you do. #SmokehouseBrisket pic.twitter.com/zPZCWqnk4G — Arby’s (@Arbys) September 17, 2013 Twitter makes our TV buys that much more powerful: we drove 15% higher engagement rate with TV ad targeting than our Promoted Tweet average. We’ve also used Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards to drive sign ups for our email marketing program. We’re finding the leads generated by Twitter have a 31% higher email open rate than our average. Final always on tips You can’t force real time. We just try to be timely and authentic. We’re also willing to test and learn and optimize. That’s how we’re honing in on what works for our audience. We’re seeing higher and higher return with every campaign. So we plan to continue to invest in what works. And you can be sure we’ll keep listening on Twitter – you never know who else might start wearing a crazy hat.

Arby's: Always-on listening, engagement our secret to success on Twitter

The Twitter Advertising Blog -

It starts with what our customers are saying. Social listening is the foundation to our approach on Twitter. As our new CMO Rob Lynch says, “Our guests engage with our brand via social media in real time and around the clock. We need to be constantly listening for opportunities to jump in and join the conversation.” That’s why we monitor brand terms closely and watch real-time trending topics. We notice when there’s a high volume of Tweets about turnovers during an NFL game and are ready chime in at the right moment. All these turnovers have got us craving …. turnovers. pic.twitter.com/mODLSXwg1b — Arby’s (@Arbys) December 16, 2013   Or jump in on popular memes with a playful message that keeps us top of mind. Happy #TalkLikeAPirateDay from ARRRRRRbys! pic.twitter.com/573j6MC0ZE — Arby’s (@Arbys) September 19, 2013   Or surprise people who mention us with a response to show we’re always listening. @DragonflyJonez Actually, we had to release him. He kept making too many turnovers. ;-) — Arby’s (@Arbys) June 19, 2013   We’ve even dedicated a room to social listening at our headquarters with a team constantly looking for opportunities to engage and respond. At this point, everyone is familiar with our Tweet about Pharrell’s hat during the Grammy’s but they may not know it happened because we were listening. Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs — Arby’s (@Arbys) January 27, 2014   The Grammy’s is not typically an event that our brand jumps in on. We don’t set up a war room for it. But we were monitoring brand terms on Tweetdeck at the beginning of the show. Early on, we saw Twitter users connecting Pharrell’s hat with our logo. And we seized the opportunity to join in. It was very organic response that just resulted from simply paying attention to what was already happening on Twitter.  The impact of that one Tweet is mind-blowing. Our PR firm estimates that the advertising equivalency would be 84 million impressions with a $22 million price tag. It’s even outpaced engagement on Oreo’s Super Bowl Tweet. It was our “Dunk in the Dark” moment. We’ve kept the conversation going during other TV moments like the Beatles 50th anniversary show where (thankfully) Pharrell wore the hat again and during the All-Star NBA game. Looks like we’re never getting our hat back… #Beatles50 — Arby’s (@Arbys) February 10, 2014 We told @Pharrell if he was going to continue to wear our hat, he should at least wear a red one. #AllStarGame — Arby’s (@Arbys) February 17, 2014   On the night of the Oscars, @Arbys officially got its hat back after placing the winning bid on Pharrell’s auction of his hat. .@Pharrell You’re welcome. We’re HAPPY to support a great cause & get our hat back. Good luck at the #Oscars tonight! pic.twitter.com/2oA7qDPX9z — Arby’s (@Arbys) March 3, 2014   Since The Arby’s Foundation aims to improve the lives of youth by ending childhood hunger in America, it was a natural fit for us to make a donation to Pharrell’s charity called From One Hand to Another, which provides art and educational resources to youth. While @Arbys is still determining exactly where the hat will go next, we’re looking forward to future opportunities to work with Pharrell and his foundation to raise visibility for our shared causes. How to empower marketing in the moment There is no other platform that provides the customer insights that Twitter does. You can instantly tap into the pulse of the conversation around your brand. It’s an invaluable resource. But an organization’s approval process often dictates what marketers can do with those insights in real time. That means as marketers we have to create consistency and establish rules of the road internally. From the beginning, I established clear brand voice guidelines. We keep the tone of all our Tweets fun, humorous and playful. We also have strict guardrails around what we participate in and what topics are off limits. The result? There’s no onerous approval process. We have a core team that includes brand, legal, customer relations and public relations who are all on the same page. We do a lot of advance planning but we’ve also built in enough flexibility to make decisions in the moment that matters most. Invest in amplifying your reach When I started at @Arbys, we had 32,000 followers. We’ve steadily invested in Twitter Ads to grow that base and to connect with all the Arby’s fans out there. After all, if you have a small number of followers, the odds of your content going viral aren’t great. In 2013, we saw a 300% year over year increase in our followers thanks to Promoted Accounts. Never underestimate the power of reaching more of the right people. That’s where Promoted Tweets pick up: they help us maximize engagement with our customers. We typically monitor the performance of organic Tweets and promote the ones that get the most engagement. We keep the tone and content in our paid Tweets similar to what we share organically. If a Promoted Tweet feels like a natural part of the conversation, we see Twitter engagement and shares go through the roof. Most recently, we’ve had tremendous success with TV ad targeting. With our brisket sandwich launch, we were able to take our TV ad and directly extend the message to a second screen. Want it? Yeah, you do. #SmokehouseBrisket pic.twitter.com/zPZCWqnk4G — Arby’s (@Arbys) September 17, 2013 Twitter makes our TV buys that much more powerful: we drove 15% higher engagement rate with TV ad targeting than our Promoted Tweet average. We’ve also used Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards to drive sign ups for our email marketing program. We’re finding the leads generated by Twitter have a 31% higher email open rate than our average. Final always on tips You can’t force real time. We just try to be timely and authentic. We’re also willing to test and learn and optimize. That’s how we’re honing in on what works for our audience. We’re seeing higher and higher return with every campaign. So we plan to continue to invest in what works. And you can be sure we’ll keep listening on Twitter – you never know who else might start wearing a crazy hat.

Google Cloud Platform Announces New Products & Services

Web Hosting Coop Blog -

Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 11:00amLocation: The Capital Factory701 Brazos Street, Suite 1601Austin  TexasUnited StatesDescription: MomentumSI will host a viewing event ( simulcast) at the Capital Factory on March 25, 2014, when Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure, and the senior engineering leadership of Google Cloud Platform will announce new products and services for Google Cloud Platform and share Google’s vision for the future of cloud computing. Google will be talking about new approaches to computing that move beyond traditional divisions of PaaS and IaaS, models for processing big data at Google speed and scale, and how they are building a developer experience that aims to make you more productive.

नमस्ते! Pinterest now speaks Hindi

Oh, How Pinteresting! -

Pinterest is now fully translated into Hindi! To celebrate, we’ve collected a few boards that capture the many facets of Indian culture. We hope this helps Pinners from India and other Hindi speakers around the world not only to share what inspires them but also to explore all of their unique interests in one place. Visiting India The best way to discover India is to visit, of course. If you want to visit the seventh largest country in the world (and the second most populous, with 1.2 billion people!), you’ll need a plan. From the beaches of Goa to Agra’s marvelous Taj Mahal, there is much to see and do. Explore place boards to help you plot your Indian adventure. Cuisine: more than just curry Samosas, pani puri, chicken tikka masala and naan are just some of the foods that comprise India’s rich cuisine. Use our recipe search filters to recreate the Indian dishes you crave in your own kitchen. There are many famous chefs throughout India, like Sanjeev Kapoor, a professional chef with an wide collection of recipes right on Pinterest. Eastern fitness Do you know how to play cricket? If you plan to visit India, you should learn quickly. The sport is played by almost everyone in the country. On Pinterest, you can find boards full of info on the best players and teams. Follow India.com’s board Cricket Updates on Pinterest. India is the birthplace of yoga. There are thousands of Pins for every type of yoga, so search now to discover your perfect pose. Hindi cinema: Bollywood and beyond With 1,000 films made each year—that’s double Hollywood’s output—Bollywood is the world’s most prolific film industry. In 2011, Bollywood made $3 billion in revenue, and the figure grows each year. Yash Raj Films, producer of popular films like Dhoom: 3, shares stills from their film house. Learn more about their work on their Pinterest profile. Visit Yash Raj Films’s profile on Pinterest. Along with movies, there tons of Hindi soap operas on channels like Sony TV and Zee TV. Subcontinent-inspired clothing Clothing is an important part of Indian culture. Men and women dress in a variety of pieces depending on where they live and if there’s a special occasion taking place. Discover cutting-edge trends on everything from saris to sherwanis from designers like Sabya Sachi Mukherjee and Satya Paul. Visit Satya Paul’s profile on Pinterest. धन्यवाद! (Thank you!) —Vaishali Parekh, Marketing, Currently pinning to Food

My SiteGround, by Kristina

SiteGround Blog -

Kristina, or simply Krisi as most of us call her, is one of the most experienced members of the SiteGround sales team. In 2007 she was among the first employees in our just-established second office. Right from the start, her great dedication to her work and her outstanding talent to communicate efficiently, even with the most demanding customers, stood out. Now she is the inspiring team leader of the people, who take care of all pre-sale enquiries on our live chat. First Steps in SiteGround I joined the team 7 years ago, so I guess that makes me a veteran. As a fresh graduate in Psychology, I didn’t think that I would fit in here – I thought web-hosting was all about computers, servers and programs. Well, it turned out that being a part of the Sales team means not only to have knowledge of the service, but also the ability to actually communicate with the customers and know their needs. That’s the point when I truly appreciated my diploma – being able to understand the question behind the question is an art. The Team What makes the big difference, are the people. Everyone I’ve worked with so far, starting from the senior management to our newest recruits and trainees, is nothing short of unique and their willingness for both improvement and fun is second to none. I would like to thank them all for being so supportive and understanding- thank you guys, not for being just colleagues, but friends Conferences and Events One thing I’m always looking with enthusiasm to – all those events that we participate and/or sponsor. It is great to actually see the people, with whom you are working on their projects. Not only this, but you also a get chance to share experience and more importantly – to have a bit of fun while off-duty Charities You probably do not know, but all our teams, including the top-level managers, participate in various charities every year. Recently, we took part in the “Spare Change” campaign – everyone got rid of their nickels and dimes and all the money went to underprivilleged children. Last year our CEO offered scholarships to several children of enterprise from a local orphanage. Every single member of our staff participated in this program, so one could only be beaming with pride at the opportunity to work with people showing both such compassion and professionalism.

WordPress 3.9 Beta 2

WordPress.org News -

WordPress 3.9 Beta 2 is now available for testing! We’ve made more than a hundred changes since Beta 1, but we still need your help if we’re going to hit our goal of an April release. For what to look out for, please head on over to the Beta 1 announcement post. Some of the changes in Beta 2 include: Rendering of embedded audio and video players directly in the visual editor. Visual and functional improvements to the editor, the media manager, and theme installer. Various bug fixes to TinyMCE, the software behind the visual editor. Lots of fixes to widget management in the theme customizer. As always, if you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. Or, if you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on the WordPress Trac. There, you can also find a list of known bugs and everything we’ve fixed so far. This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site just to play with the new version. To test WordPress 3.9, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the beta here (zip).

The Weird Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Automation

Post Planner -

OK, I confess. I’ve automated some of my social media posts. There, I said it. And I imagine a few of you are cringing because I just used the “A” word: ( ( ( AUTOMATION ) ) )  I’ve debated the merits of social media automation with many people. Ie. is it okay to schedule posts in advance so updates are published automatically throughout the day. I think it comes down to 2 questions: Do you have time to properly manage your social media accounts? Do you have money to hire someone to do social media marketing for you? After all, time & money are a small business owner’s most important resources. So when business owners ask me this: I don’t have time to manage my social media platforms. Should I automate the posts? My response is “Yes & no.” I explain in detail in this blog post — including which social media activity you should & shouldn’t automate. In the end you’ll see that it all depends on what you post. The Weird Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Automation First, let’s look at what you should automate. What You Should Automate 1. Tweets & Facebook Posts I see no problem with automating tweets & status updates. But please don’t link your Twitter account to your Facebook page. That’s annoying! It tells your audience that you don’t care. And why would anyone want to view the same content on different platforms anyway? Arranging for tweets to post on your Facebook page is a huge no-no: But scheduling posts to publish automatically on their respective platforms is fine. In fact, I recommend it. Scheduling posts ahead of time helps me better manage my day, since I’m not constantly on social media publishing content. Automate your posts so you never miss a chance to publish content at the most optimal times — when your fans are most active online. 2. Content Curation Finding engaging content to post in social media is tough! Even after perusing my favorite Twitter lists, some days I just don’t have much to post. Imagine trying to find unique content for Facebook & Twitter. That’s a lot of work. And it’s why you should automate the process of curating new content with an app like Post Planner. With Post Planner, you can quickly find engaging content, trending content & beautiful photos — and with the push of a button you can schedule that content to post automatically to your Facebook page. If this doesn’t save you time, I don’t know what will. What You Shouldn’t Automate Now let’s go over the stuff you shouldn’t automate. 1. Tweets in Conversations Automating tweets in a conversation is dangerous. Still, there are tools that let you post a tweet automatically whenever someone mentions a keyword on Twitter — which inserts you into that discussion. Most of these automated replies feel inauthentic & spammy. Acura made this mistake in 2013 when the car company automatically replied to everyone who included a specific hashtag in a tweet. That meant if you tweeted the hashtag you’d likely receive a tweet asking you to visit an Acura VIP booth. It didn’t go well. 2. Direct Messages on Twitter (DM) No way! If you’re automating Twitter direct messages, stop — RIGHT NOW. Direct messaging is so 2008. 3. All Posts on All Networks Don’t schedule all your posts to publish automatically on all your social media accounts — it’s lazy & unsophisticated. But many business owners still publish the same updates on all platforms. They think of social media as just a promotional tool, not a way to build relationships with customers. And they often give up — and end up blaming social media for why they didn’t succeed. This might be the reason some people have unliked your Facebook page or stopped following you on Twitter. Automation isn’t the Devil Social media automation isn’t evil. There are many ways you can use automation to make your social media marketing better — especially if you rely on Facebook & Twitter to get more customers. Just remember these important tips: Key Takeaways Don’t automate tweets that should be published live Don’t tweet automatically when someone uses a specific keyword Don’t send automated direct messages on Twitter Schedule some tweets & status updates to post automatically Automate content curation Do you automate your social media activity? Why or why not? What do you think should & shouldn’t be automated in social media? The post The Weird Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Automation appeared first on Post Planner.

Product Listing Ads on the Rise

Yahoo! Small Business Blog -

Product Listing Ads on the Rise: commercecentral: If you’re an online retailer and are not using Product Listing Ads (PLAs), you may be missing out on a valuable opportunity for new traffic and sales. In 2013, the online retail industry spent record levels on PLAs and saw great returns. With numerous reports and case studies of successful…

Pages

Recommended Content

Subscribe to Complete Hosting Guide aggregator