Category Archives: Social Networks

Social Networks

The Week In Tech: Twitter, Microsoft and Apple

The Week In Tech: Twitter, Microsoft and Apple

The Week In Tech

There is no doubt that the biggest tech story of the week (and possibly the year, so far), is that Microsoft is buying LinkedIn for the cash price of $26.2 billion. That’s a massive investment from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and a vote of confidence in a company that is beloved by those who use it, but which has never really been able to monetize in the same way that other social networks have. LinkedIn’s share price jumped 47% on news of the acquisition, which was a blessing to investors who saw the stock drop 40% in February when it announced its revenue forecasts for 2016.

The Economist ran an interesting piece on the reasons behind the acquisition, although they weren’t entirely convinced that it was a good one. Still, the Economist speculates that “it will dovetail with Microsoft’s existing products in Office, its collection of business applications and services that includes Word, Excel and Outlook, Microsoft’s e-mail system. The latter might gain in popularity if LinkedIn keeps users’ details up to date and offers alerts if a contact moves firms. Such additional features might also encourage companies to buy new cloud services from Microsoft.

An unexpected consequence of the Microsoft/LinkedIn deal was that Twitter’s share price jumped a notch on speculation that it too might be acquired, possibly by a powerhouse such as Google, News Corp. or even Comcast. It’s no surprise to anyone that Twitter has been struggling for a while now, and returning CEO Jack Dorsey doesn’t seem able to turn the ship around. With its stock at a very attractive low, and with tweets scheduled to get greater weight in Google’s Page Rank algorithm during Q3 of 2016, the smart money is betting on Google acquiring Twitter.

Apple iPhone

Apple seems to have been building up some great press ahead of the launch of its latest operating system for the iPhone. iOS10 was announced at WWDC 2016 which took place this week, and there are a whole bunch of updates from Apple across all their devices.

AppleWatch

Take a look at the list for a quick overview of the changes expected to roll out during the fall.

There is one distinctive feature that is capturing people’s imagination – the ability of your iPhone to pinpoint exactly where you parked your car. This is a problem that almost everyone has encountered at one time or another. The way it seems to work is that the phone will take note where a vehicle stopped moving and show the car’s location on Apple Maps.

The feature seems to have come to light while several developers were using preview versions to ‘test-drive’ the new OS. Discussion picked up on Reddit and soon became a must-have feature for those who love Apple. We’ll wait with baited breath in the hope that the days of trawling parking lots searching for your car may soon be over.

Checkout the Reddit thread that sparked all the discussion.

By Jeremy Daniel

 

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – If Only So Easy

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – If Only So Easy

growth-hacking-followers

By Christian Mirra

Please feel free to share our comics via social media networks such as Twitter with a clear attribution (Twitter example: via @cloudtweaks) to the original comic source. If you are a company brand looking to utilize our comics to generate leads to a specific landing page, newsletter, presentation or social media campaign, you can contact us regarding commercial licensing rates. Enjoy!

2016 Mobile Marketing Tips For Cloud Services

2016 Mobile Marketing Tips For Cloud Services

Mobile Marketing Tips

Mobile marketing is continually evolving and at such a fast pace, if you are not currently using mobile marketing in your advertising strategies, then you have already been left behind. Why? Because 70 percent of all Smartphone users consider SMS marketing to be the best way to grab their attention. And, 50% of buyers in the U.S. will make a direct purchase after they’ve received an SMS branded text, QR code, discount or coupon. So what does that mean for you? Well, it means if you are not using SMS as part of your marketing strategy, you are most definitely losing sales to your competitors who are.

desktop-vs-mobile-most-popular-devices

Here are seven of the most popular mobile marketing techniques that have been wildly successful in 2016.

1. Social Shopping

Social shopping is the combining of the mobile, social and shopping experiences into one. You use your social media platforms to encourage just the right balance of browsing, socializing and buying. Facebook has been doing this for years by matching their targeted consumer data with sellers who offer goods and services that particular consumer might be interested in.

2. Wearable Technology Marketing

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Wearable technology, also known as smart jewelry among other things, is growing more and more popular and affordable every day. Your job is to learn and understand how to use this technology to your advantage. For example, is your message glanceable? Can it be easily consumed in less than two seconds? Are the visual elements of your message easy to see when looking down or straight ahead at a wearable device? These are the types of questions that need to be answered, if you want your customers’ to respond positively to your mobile messages.

3. Mobile Loyalty

You should consider adding a mobile loyalty program to your mobile marketing strategy. This will help you create customized experiences for your customers while building your brand and your brand’s reputation. Customers are extremely devoted to their favorite loyalty clubs and a loyalty program will allow you to reward those repeat customers who will in turn continue to buy from you, which will dramatically increase your revenue with very little effort on your part.

4. Mobile Marketing Automation (MMA)

MMA is basically leveraging mobile behaviors and using them to encourage user engagement throughout the entire sales funnel. For example, if a customer doesn’t complete a purchase after beginning the process via your company’s mobile app, you can later send that customer a customized message based on the product or service they were interested in buying through the use of MMA. You could send a message telling your customer the product or service they were interested in is now on sale, back in stock or reference other items he or she might be interested in. These abandoned shopping cart notifications are great for increasing revenue and guiding your customer back into your sales funnel to complete a transaction.

5. Mobile Payments

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(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Providing a mobile payment option as part of your mobile marketing campaign will significantly boost your income. Allowing your customers to pay for the goods and services they want via a mobile wallet will have them buying more often because you are giving them a way to pay you via the tools they use most often, their mobile devices.

6. Integrated Lifestyle Apps

An integrated lifestyle app combines several apps with similar functions into one, which is then referred to as a “lifestyle app.” If your customers use your company’s app for one resource, it only stands to reason that they would love to access several of their other interests on the same app versus having to switch between several apps to do the same thing. For example, if your business sells baby food, wouldn’t you expect the parent of that baby to be interested in other baby related items, such as: baby carriers, baby toys, baby health, etc.? Yes, they would, and you are going to make it easier for them to access those items through the use of your integrated lifestyle app.

7. Vertical Video

Vertical videos are the next big thing. You have seen traditional video sales messages for years. However, by providing your customers the same video message they love, but in a different format is the best way to grab their attention. In fact, Snapchat has said that vertical video ads are watched to the end nine times more often than the same videos that were shot horizontally. And that is huge!

The Bottom Line

The mobile marketing trends for 2016 are still evolving, but these hot trends are helping many companies take their businesses to the next level. It’s time to get on board with a winning mobile marketing strategy that will take you through 2016 and beyond. Mobile marketing is here to stay and the sooner you get started, the sooner you will enjoy the increased revenue.

By Sophorn Chhay

Sophorn is a marketing specialist at Trumpia which provides SMS software with mass text messaging, smart targeting and automation.

Hybridization: A Mindset Approach

Hybridization: A Mindset Approach

The Social Data Cloud

One of the most amazing attributes of the cloud and its related technologies is its sheer openness. New companies and ventures spring up daily, fueled, in some cases, by one single good idea. They launch first and then seek out operating capital through angels or crowdfunding afterward.

This is a whole new ballgame. In a similar vein, employees of established companies seek more flexible work hours, ask to use their own technologies, and turn to the cloud as the central place for meetings, communication and access to data. This too, is a whole new ballgame.

King Data

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(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Organizations worldwide are learning that the hierarchies and silos of yesteryear are very quickly becoming redundant and obsolete. Data is king, and agility is essential. Such statements aren’t mere prognostications of a distant future; they are observations of an existing global marketplace, in which customers in both retail and industrial markets expect a complete and consistent experience across any channel they wish to use, from the desktop through to smartphone.

IT has always been in the middle of every corporate venture, but in this new age, it has become time to make a fundamental shift from focusing on IT to focusing on what can be done with IT. This is an amazing catharsis. It moves from physical, tangible elements to “ideas and potential.” Slowly, more and more organizations are recognizing that they must, and can, meet their strategic business objectives as well as provide better service to customers through an open concept approach, both inside and outside their walls.

Cloud Hybridization

The hybridization of the cloud is both timely and essential. Decision-makers must let go of the mindset of singularity, and the notion that they must constrain all data, all ideas, and all power inside a single building or department. Hybridization refers to a division of processing power, data storage, mission-critical applications and customer interaction between internal, private, and externally managed clouds.

merging

Many analysts point to success stories like Uber and AirBnB, as companies who essentially own no hard assets, but who have changed the face of business permanently. But many other organizations also exist as case studies, who have slowly and carefully embraced cloud-based applications for their field agents, and for their suppliers, while developing collaborative workspaces internally. These organizations exist in every single market sector, from construction and manufacturing through to retail and professional services.

Turning Your Back On Social Media

It is all a matter of mindset, and this springs in part from trust. For example, many decision-makers still distrust social media as an irrelevant and frivolous waste of employee time. They fail to observe its ability to reinforce one of the oldest and most stable concepts of business development: a direct connection to, and understanding of the customer. This same trust-challenge extends into enterprise-level problems such as determining the choice of cloud systems. It is very human to resist change, especially when the speed of change has increased from decades to months or even weeks. How can any executive group hope to create a five-year plan when the sands shift so frequently?

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Although many companies are now working on their transition to hybrid cloud and virtual technologies as core business applications, many others still struggle with the decision. There is much to learn, much to test, and many miles yet to travel.

Those that have succeeded, even if that path to success include some stumbling and some failure, have recognized that in addition to breaking down the walls and silos of technology, one must also break down the silos and walls of human interaction. This means allowing representatives from every department, not only IT, to work together to identify challenges, discuss solutions and implement change.

The hybridization of business points not only to the choice of technology, but to a hybridization of mindset and attitude. That should be seen as a very exciting concept.

For more on this topic, go to businessvalueexchange.com, sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

By Steve Prentice

Cloud Traffic Growth And Content as a Service (CaaS)

Cloud Traffic Growth And Content as a Service (CaaS)

Content as a Service (CaaS)

Content as a Service (CaaS) is a relatively new take on content management systems (CMS). While traditional web content management systems like Drupal and WordPress offer one-stop-shop solutions for both creating websites and managing content, CaaS service providers narrow their focus to pure content management, disregarding the output channels such as web, print or mobile application, any of which may be selected for use by the customer.

caas-wordpress

Increasing Cloud Traffic

With projections of high increases in global cloud traffic, including Cisco Global’s forecast that cloud traffic in the Middle East and Africa will quadruple by the end of 2019, Vernon Thaver, CTO of Cisco South Africa, states that, “Cloud is moving well beyond a regional trend to becoming a mainstream solution, with cloud traffic expected to grow more than 30% in every worldwide region over the next five years.” Thaver further remarks that consumers expect “on-demand, anytime access to their content and services nearly everywhere”, and believes this creates a prime opportunity for every sphere of cloud operators. WordPress-as-a-Service is a formidable CMS with a high percentage of websites developed and managed using the open source WordPress platform, but CaaS vendors believe that solutions offering only content management, free of presentation control, will provide a simplified and superior solution that allows greater freedom.

CaaS vs. Traditional Web CMS

content-cms

A few key details set CaaS and traditional web CMS apart:

  • Organized Content: CaaS encourages structured content operating in chunks instead of page blobs, shifting from page-centric web to content-centric web.
  • Detachment Tactics: CaaS separates content presentation from storage and delivery, simplifying the CMS construction so that each piece is responsible for one task.
  • Splitting Content & Presentation: CaaS is entirely separated from design, managing and delivering only the content. The channel and design choices are entirely unrestricted.
  • Cloud: A sub-group of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) approach, CaaS moves content from a user’s servers to the vendor’s cloud, and so CaaS users aren’t required to set up, maintain, or scale their own infrastructure.

When to Use CaaS

We’re unlikely to ever master the one-fits-all concept. CaaS performs well in some contexts, but not in others, and though not necessarily ideal for personal blogs or instances in which only a website will be required, the more complex and costlier CaaS CMS outstrips some of the earlier CMS solutions in a variety of situations.

  • Rich Web Apps: React, AngularJS, Ember, and other modern MVC front-end frameworks function well with structured content via APIs.
  • Scheduled Content Creation: With content arriving from multiple sources, uploading into a single unified repository is supported by creating content via API.
  • Content Backend for Mobile Apps: Dynamic in-app content delivery is best performed through CaaS CMS, making it unnecessary to resubmit an app to the marketplace. Moreover, repurposing an existing solution as a backend is often better than building your own.
  • Integration: CaaS CMS’ all provide an API and thus are extremely integration-friendly, thereby simplifying workflows.
  • Multi-Channel: Reusing content across different platforms is easy with CaaS CMS, allowing users to push matching content to mobile apps or a website.

The CaaS market is still fairly young, but a few vendors such as Cloud CMS, Contentful, Osmek, and Prismic are already making waves while open source CMS solutions including Drupal and WordPress have begun to move in the CaaS direction.

By Jennifer Klostermann

SaaS Growth Hacking Do’s And Don’t

SaaS Growth Hacking Do’s And Don’t

SaaS Growth Hacking

Thanks to a few phenomenally successful campaigns and visions of best case scenarios, growth hacking tactics have received a lot of positive attention in recent times. But as the techniques and their results are analyzed it’s becoming apparent that there’s a right and a wrong way to use these tools. Or, at least, there’s a time, a place, and an implementation. Cloud Based Software As A Service (SaaS) companies such as Dropbox, Pinterest, and Airbnb boast a few of the most wildly successful strategies contrived to date (Excellent 2015 Marketing Statistics List), but with the ever-evolving global tech and business climate, ‘old’ tactics aren’t likely to yield positive results without new twists on the invention.

marketing-growth-hacking

The Dos

Never again will we see massive success stories that are merely revamps of old hits – unless you’re writing teen vampire novels, in which case give it 10 to 15 years. Video marketing is a trend expected to flourish in 2016, and additionally ensuring your growth hacks account for the massive traffic routed by search engines and social networks could ramp up achievements.

  • A few key points to keep in mind: Match-make growth hacking and products/services: You’re going to need a synergy between the two, ideally with a key representative closely involved in the development of both.
  • Spot trends: All the information you could possibly need is flying about, but Big Data often results in a case of not seeing the wood for all the trees. Learn to extract pertinent points but also know when to back off. Just because you think something rocks, doesn’t mean anyone else is going to care, and a rework is likely to yield better results than soldiering on.
  • Change the way you think: Growth hacking comes into play when traditional marketing methods aren’t likely to succeed. This isn’t the time for crossing your ‘T’s and dotting your ‘I’s. Be creative, think outside of the box, and be willing to take calculated risks.
  • Communicate & Incentivize: Creative doesn’t mean disorganized. Ensure your communication is easily understood and followed by both your team and your potential customers. And then save money by getting your customers to market for you – a little freebie often goes a long way to positive word of mouth and heightened product uptake.

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(Image Source: Shutterstock)

The Don’ts

  • Sadly, there is no growth hacking template or checklist. Strategies and tactics often work only once, and success usually boils down to the right attitude, genuine curiosity, and the ability to try, and fail, adapt, and invent.
  • Popularity alone only survives through high school: Simply creating a buzz isn’t enough. If you’re building products or services that don’t have the end users in mind, no amount of popularity will result in success. Unless you’ve built a pyramid scheme that is, at the very least, frowned upon in many countries, illegal in most. Back to the drawing board, please.
  • Don’t forget about loyalty: Many businesses focus on building up new users before ensuring the satisfaction of the loyal early adopters. Growth hacks that run roughshod over your faithful flock in an attempt to recruit new masses miss the success that personal referrals, word of mouth, and client satisfaction promise.
  • Don’t be aggressive: This isn’t telecanvassing. Aggressive, underhanded strategies trample on your reputation and miss the point of the clever loopholes that drive customer numbers as well as satisfaction.

Unless you’re selling thin in chocolate sauce, your product won’t sell itself: Don’t let the beauty of your growth hack so over-awe you that you forget to measure its success. Analyze your data, find out what’s working, and optimize it. Repeat…

By Jennifer Klostermann

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