Boost Productivity With Google’s Easter Eggs!

If you think Google’s just a world dominating search engine then you’re pretty much spot on. The brains behind its working, however, also have a sense of humor and offer plenty of hidden tricks to surprise the uninitiated and shock regulars. You can use these Easter Eggs through.

Boost Productivity With Google’s Easter Eggs

Here is a list of the very best examples or “Easter Eggs”, as they’re known; use them wisely during your lunch break, or message links to friends providing a momentary jolt through the working day! To have a look at them simply type the phrases in the headlines below into Google search and enjoy the carnage.

Do a barrel roll

Do a barrel roll

This is the best way to introduce the tricks and flicks of Google! Type this phrase into the search bar and you’re in for a surprise. The phrase, if you’re wondering, comes from Nintendo’s 1997 video game Lylat Wars.

Google Pac-Man

Google Pac-Man

If you’d like a go at the classic arcade game during a lunch break then this is for you!

Zerg Rush

Zerg Rush

This is a game, of sorts, which is triggered when you type the above phrase into Google. You have to fend off an army of Google “o”s which rains down on your search results. They destroy everything in their path, but you can kill them by clicking with your cursor. Try and build up a big score!

Google Gravity

Google Gravity

Mr. Doob’s Google Gravity is a tool which sees gravity fail the Google user. All of your searches will come crashing down on one another, and you can even (via your mouse) launch bits of the searches across the screen! Great fun.

Let Me Google That For You

Let Me Google That For You

If you’ve ever been annoyed by someone on a computer asking you ridiculous questions, send them this handy link that will display how silly they’re being. It will display the simplicity of Google in action. Educational and humiliating all at once.

Epic Google – For When You Feel Excessive

Epic Google

Epic Google is an excellent prank involving the use of a normal Google search and transforming it into a huge search engine of shocking proportions. When you arrive on the page the search buttons and the logo slowly balloon in size and continue to get bigger as you type in your search query. At this point it’s time to panic; the Zombie Apocalypse awaits!

Weenie Google – When You’re Feeling Inadequate

Weenie Google

Epic Google has a little sibling called Weenie Google. Once the page fully loads you can see Weenie Google’s logo become gradually smaller while you’re trying to search the “I’m Feeling Inadequate” Google database.

A Romantic Gesture

A Romantic Gesture

If you have a crush and you are too scared to tell them then why not terrify them to their core with this Easter egg? One Google search can reveal a hidden surprise that is a great way to tell someone how you feel. When the person Googles the long phrase “sqrt(cos(x))*cos(300x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7)*(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(6-x^2), -sqrt(6-x^2) from -4.5 to 4.5″ a romantic heart appears on the screen.

Interplanetary Reporting

Interplanetary Reporting

Clearly Google can self-referentially mock; the Interplanetary Reporting tool pokes fun at their search engines Analytics software. Access it to keeps tabs on human and extraterrestrial users who on a different planet.

Gmail Tap

Gmail Tap

Gmail Tap lets mobile phone users navigate the screen with only two buttons, a dot, and a dash, and replaces the normal keyboard option. You can use the series of dots and dashes to create a binary language only other geeks would know. Still, it would be fun to create personalised codes between friends; “..” could mean “lunch in 10 minutes”.

Chrome Multitask

Chrome Multitask

Multitask lets you browse the web with multiple cursors at the same time. The website theorises people can use both their hands to juggle activities online, and therefore Chrome Multitask can increase your productivity. Get to it!

8 bits Google Maps

8 bits Google Maps

If you’ve ever played Legend of Zelda, you would love this Google prank! It converts the Google Maps homage design to replicate the Nintendo 8 bit graphic version of the video game’s world.

Google Go Ro

Google Go Ro

Rotary phones get the swipe here. If you’re too young to remember them, then check out this trick, where Google contemplate how mobile phones are becoming obsolete. After all, technology is cyclical! So Google offers a guide for people finds a localised rotary professional.

Google Tilt or Askew

Go to this website and search for the words “askew” or “tilt” “tilt” on a Chrome or Safari browser and the web browser automatically shifts to an angle when you receive your search results.

And finally…

Google updates and changes Easter Eggs all the time, so some will become obsolete fairly quickly. For instance, during the London Olympics, you could play numerous sporting events on the search engine. Sadly they’re now gone but keep an eye out for future one-offs by the company. They’re regular occurrences and help break up the more monotonous moments in your day.

WordPress Security Myths

WordPress Security Myths

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform out there today. It’s installed on millions of blogs and runs some of the most visited websites out there. But what about WordPress security? Since all the code is open source, surely people can reverse engineer it and find ways in? Websites are hacked all the time for various purposes and WordPress sites are no different. There’s a lot of talk about WordPress security out there and I’d like to clear some of that up.

Myth #1

WordPress Security Myths 1

WordPress Isn’t Secure Yes and no. WordPress is one of the most extensively tested blogging platforms out there, simply because it is used by so many people. Some of the brightest minds are working on the system. Leaks do occur however which is why the system is updated all the time. The most recent version of WordPress is always the most secure. Surprisingly few hacks have occurred on the latest version – so if your install of WordPress is behind the times, update it now! Updating WordPress is the easiest way to make it more secure.

Myth #2

WordPress Security Myths 2

Plugins Are Always Safe Actually plugins are usually the way that hackers gain access to a website. If you use plugins on your site, make sure they are in active development (i.e that they’re not old and unsupported) and are offered by reputable companies or plugin authors. Use as few plugins as you need to for your blog and delete (not just disable) any that you aren’t using. The more plugins, the more potential leaks you have.

Myth #3

WordPress Security Myths 3

My Site’s Too Small To Matter I fell into this trap. And you know what? Regardless of your site’s size, it’s a huge pain to have to fix a hacked site. Hackers will hack any site they can. Most attacks are automatic so your content doesn’t usually matter.

Myth #4

WordPress Security Myths 4

Backups Aren’t Required Some people fall into the trap of believing that because they have the latest version etc, they don’t need to worry about their site anymore. Wrong. Make regular backups of your website, because if it is hacked, your content is likely to be scrambled or deleted.

Myth #5

WordPress Security Myths 5

Passwords Aren’t Important Again, this is a mistake I made. I used to care a lot about my Facebook and email passwords way more than my websites which were earning me money! So I used simple passwords which were common across all installations. Bad idea. Your password for your WordPress blog needs to be strong – very strong.

Myth #6

WordPress Security Myths 6

You Can Just Use A Security Plugin There are plenty of security plugins out there that you can install. While they can help in some situations, they can also give a false sense of security. They’re not going lobe much help if a hacker gets into the server where your site is hosted, for example.

Myth #7

WordPress Security Myths 7

The Site Isn’t Live, So It’s Not At Risk If it’s on the internet – it can be hacked. If your site is on a shared hosting setup (like most installations) then it can be hacked. Take precautions, especially if you use the site for testing.

Myth #8

WordPress Security Myths 8

You Have to Be a Systems Manager to Protect Your Site No, you don’t. Simple things like the following can help dramatically: Use the bare minimum of plugins you need. Change your password to a random string of 8 characters or more. Don’t use public Wi-Fi or internet cafes. Don’t use the ‘admin’ profile – make a new one and delete the admin one. Make new FTP passwords.

Myth #9

WordPress Security Myths 9

It’s Obvious When A Site Is Hacked No it isn’t. I’ve done this as well. Sometimes your website just doesn’t response right.., so you check the themes, plugins etc and come to the conclusion it’s been hacked. But a lot of the time you’ll have no idea that it’s compromised. You might like to check your site from time to time from other computers to see that everything’s still working okay.

Myth #10

WordPress Security Myths 10

Hackers WILL Gain Access Again, not true. If you’ve done everything above you will stand a good chance of beating the hackers. Your site might not be completely secure (that’s impossible) but most people won’t experience being hacked. Be prepared, but don’t obsess over it.

Find Fitness Motivation by Social Networking

Fitness Motivation

Find Fitness Motivation by Social Networking

If you are trying to make a change in your life at the moment, then you will understand that one of the most important things that you have to find is motivation. You have bought a brand new pair of Asics running shoes, new running shirts and have mapped out your training but sticking to that training plan is going to be tough if you don’t keep your spirits high. If you do not have good motivation, then there is no way that you’re going to be able to make the changes that you need to, and this means that you’re unlikely to reach the goals that you have set for yourself.

Join Running and Fitness Groups on Facebook

Join Running and Fitness Groups on Facebook

Luckily, in the age of the internet, it is a lot easier to be able to find the motivation that you seek. If you are a member of social networking websites, then you should do a quick search to see if there are any fitness groups that you could join. If this is the case, then you will be able to talk to people who have similar goals to you, and they will give you tips and advice about the things that you could do to succeed.

Read Success Stories

Read Success Stories

One of the best ways to get motivated is to look at pictures of people who have made the changes already that you are working towards. If you are trying to lose weight, it is always nice to be able to read the story of somebody else who has lost a lot of weight and how their life has changed after having done it.

Use Youtube as a Resource

YouTube is a good place to start for this. If you search for “weight loss success stories” you will find a lot of compilations of before and after pictures, and many video blogs from people who are trying to lose weight. This means that you can get to know people’s stories and what they have overcome in order to get to where they are today. One of the key messages that always comes across from such videos is “if I can do it, anybody can”, and it is completely true. Everybody has the ability to change their own lives, and being able to see other people who have done that already is incredibly motivating for those of us who are not quite there yet.

Use Youtube as a Resource

YouTube is also a great place to check out some kit reviews and interviews with top athletes. You can watch videos from blogger and manufacturers alike as they talk about the latest in motivational aids and the hottest gadgets to hit the market. Asics and Garmin release sneak peek of their latest running kit such as the Asics Noosa Tri 8 running shoe or the Garmin forerunner 910xt. Celebrity athletes such as Jessica Ennis also post motivational videos on the site from time to time, making Youtube a great place to hang out if you are looking for inspiration.

Check out Social Media for Like-minded People

Check out Social Media for Like-minded People

So, if you think that you could do with having a little more motivation, then it makes absolute sense to have a look on social networking websites to see what you can find. It is possible that you might see a photograph or a story that relates so much to you as an individual that it gives you the motivation that you need to reach your own personal goals; it is certainly worth a try.

Targeting Social Media: Where To Focus Your Energy

Social media can be incredibly time-consuming and oddly distracting.

Yet it’s how we communicate, share information and keep up with the world that seems to be constantly shifting and changing. For the small-brand content creators and bloggers who can’t afford to pay marketing teams and social media consultants, most of this work is handled in-house.

Targeting Social Media-Where To Focus Your Energy

This means that you’re writing, editing, publishing and then doing your own marketing by trying to keep up with a slew of different social sharing platforms, all on your own.

Is it impossible, right?

It doesn’t have to be. It depends on what platforms you’re focusing on and how thin you’re spreading yourself.

Optimizing your Social Media Focus

It is incredibly difficult to “keep up” with everything in social media. It’s constantly shifting and changing; distracting us and making us feel like we’re missing out if we don’t go engage and create an account.

Optimizing your Social Media Focus

The problem with that pattern is that we become a jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none.

Our time and energy are scattered to a myriad of different social media sites where we’re posting links, trying to think up something pithy to say once every few days, all with little or no results.

This is simply a problem of biting off more than you can chew.

When you’re short on time, it’s more beneficial for you to optimize your social media approach by focusing on a select few platforms and act as if the others didn’t even exist.

If you want to get really practical, I’d limit it to a max of four and would prefer to concentrate on two or three.

Because quite honestly, not all of the platforms out there are going to benefit you.

You Don’t Need to get to All The Platforms

If you feel the need to at least dabble in a bunch of different social platforms and tools, you’re not alone. Most of us deal with a variation of the same feeling because it’s difficult to ignore when we feel like missing out on social media is causing us to miss out on traffic.

You Don’t Need to get to All The Platforms

It’s also entirely too common for us to come across articles touting how some social media account increased a blogger’s traffic X amount and how we can do the same thing.

The internet is a distracting place, but the good news is that we need not give in.

The truth is that most of those platforms aren’t valuable to us. Many of them are small, niche sites that would send little traffic and even less traffic that we could actually consider valuable and useful for conversions.

That’s not to say you should ignore the trends and predominant issues surrounding marketing and social media, but those are generally easy to spot and only pertain to the bigger social media players.

Which brings up an excellent question: Which social media accounts should you focus on?

Choosing the Right Social Platforms

What you need to recognize first is that different platforms work better for different products, blogs and websites.

Choosing the Right Social Platforms

That being said, you should choose your platforms based on the following standards:

  • Referral Potential
  • Conduciveness to your Niche/Brand
  • Previous Experience or Success
  • Platforms that are Trending Up

In general, I would advise you stick to the four pillars right now: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.

Pinterest and Google Plus, in particular, look to be trending up and have a long shelf life, while Twitter and Facebook have become internet mainstays.

You’ll need to balance that approach with your own situation, but regardless of what you decide to go with, stick to it and don’t get pulled off to the side by the idea of some shiny new social networking platform. Decide what you want to use and use it.

If you focus your energy on a select few social tools, you’ll improve both the quality and quantity of your referral traffic.

5 Things You Have To Know About Your Facebook Page’s Admin Panel

Facebook Page’s Admin Panel

For some reason, the administrator panel on Facebook’s business pages has a never-ending learning curve. As a Social Media Marketer, you’d think I had this mysterious aspect of Facebook down pat, but I still end up learning new things every few weeks. Sure, Facebook changes things constantly, but there are still some aspects of the admin panel that have been there all along – I just haven’t taken notice. Here are five tidbits of information that you should know if you’re going to be at the helm of a professional (or creative) page on the world’s biggest social media platform.

1. Where is it?

Facebook Page Admin Setting

This one’s easy: so long as you’re an admin of the page, the admin panel will be at the top of the page when you visit it. Here’s where it gets a little tricky, though – you can use the page as yourself or as the page. I recommend using the page as the page unless you’re going to tag people you know personally. In that case, use the page as yourself. Wait, the confusion’s not over. When you’re using the page as yourself, you still have the option to interact under the page name, not your own. Play around with it – you’ll pick it up.

2. Where’s this? Where’s that?

Facebook Page Admin panel inside

Odds are, it’s under the “Edit Page” menu on the admin panel. That area’s kind of your one-stop-shop for everything page-related. You can check out your page’s activity, view banned users, change that wildly confusing “use page as…” nonsense I mentioned above, edit admin rolls, update settings and profile info…The only thing you can’t do is order pizza, but I’m sure Facebook will install an option for that soon enough.

3. How will people find me?

Invite your friends to your facebook pages

By searching for you, by advertising, by you inviting them and by luck. Two of those four things are controllable, so head over to the “Build Audience” section of your page. From there, you can invite people to check out your page, pay for promotions and share the page with other Facebook profiles and pages. Please note that in order to invite friends to “like” your page, you have to be visiting the page as yourself, not the page.

4. Can visitors contact me privately?

Turn Message Option of FB Page

If you want your Facebook fans to be able to message you privately, turn on the messaging option, which is in your settings list. This is totally up to you and the type of business you run, how you prefer for people to contact you and how many messages you receive every day. If you opt to turn messaging on, though, make sure you can respond to your audience in a timely manner.

5. Is my page making a difference?

FB Page Insight Area

Why go through the trouble of setting up and maintaining a Facebook page in the first place if it’s not going to make a bit of difference? Keep an eye on how your page is performing by visiting the “Insights” section of the admin panel. At first, it’ll give you an overall view of how your page is doing – if everything’s in green, you’re on the right path. Stats are updated daily and compared to the previous week, so if you see red in any area, you’ll want to pay extra attention to that specific tracking. Take a deeper look at the stats by checking out the detailed analytics section. You’ll be able to see when your fans are visiting your page, where they’re coming from, who’s referring your page, which of your posts have performed the best and the type of posts that are really attracting an audience.

Social Media Marketing Plan: Practical Approach

Social Media Marketing Plan- Practical Approach

Marketers are familiar with the fact that marketing has a plan and strategy. Therefore, social media marketing is not an exception. You must have a marketing plan to succeed in any social media marketing effort. Whether you want to improve customer loyalty, launch a new product, or improve your brand awareness, you need a social media marketing plan. However, you should make sure that the program fits into your business objective and the type of resources you will need to implement your plan. As a rule, if you fail to come up with your marketing plan, things will go wrong.

The Marketing Plan

Marketing Plan

It is important that your plan focuses on your target audience and goals. Who is your target audience and how do they prefer to network? This should reflect the kind of social media tools that your target audience currently uses. Having an audience alone is not sufficient to you social marketing plan. Do you want to increase web traffic to your website? Are you after adding more friends? Are new trends available and are you wanting to create a buzz? In addition, you might consider customer feedback and your response strategy to it. Make the plan effective by answering these questions with a business purpose.

Have a Progress Tracking Plan

Progress Tracking Plan

When implementing a social media marketing plan, you need to track the progress of each operation. Break down each process into small steps that will simplify your progress review exercise. Note that social media pages have many set up parts. Therefore, your intended input to that page must have many parts too. Therefore, each component will need a tracking program. Planning for each part is crucial for coordinating any related tasks on your social network page. Furthermore, planning enables you to move at the same pace with the changing nature of the social networks. Write down your plan; mark the changes in the social networks, and track success or failure of your marketing plan. This is the most practical way of defining a functional social marketing plan.

Assign Responsibilities

Assign Responsibilities

Delegating responsibilities are important for making any changes identified from tracking. As you assign responsibilities, have a schedule in mind. For example, you may need professionals to update changes on Facebook or LinkedIn pages. Also, you can utilize the services of a social media consultant to help implement an operational marketing plan.

How Will You Measure The Progress Of Your Plan?

Measure The Progress Of Your Plan

You must define your approach to measuring the progress of your social media marketing plan. Remember that marketing is a business activity that may affect your business positively or negatively. As a consequence, it is an important tool for implementing changes to your marketing plan. For example, you might use concrete numbers to show daily visits to your website in response to your marketing plan. Using coupon discount counters for your website or Facebook can be the best plan of attack. In addition, Google can also provide such information. The best way to obtain a clear picture of those numbers is to conduct an analysis using spreadsheets. Consider the graphical interface of the spreadsheet to get a pictorial view of the numbers. Put these simple steps into practice and you will implement a successful social media marketing plan.

5 Expert Tactics To Get Results In Online Business

We try thinking to ourselves about what we need to do in order to get the results we want today. If you happen to be someone who deals with the world of online business this probably pecks at you each day.

5 Expert Tactics To Get Results In Online Business

However, there is no need to fear. With the right tips, you can get ahead of the game. You might be surprised at what you can do that will take you to the top of the ladder and in a very short period of time as well. So what are you waiting for? Find out what you can do today.

Video Marketing

If you want to see pretty big business results you should make video marketing a top thing for the business. Sites such as fiverr.com can help business owners start up video services providing video tutorials needed to get on the right track. Make sure the video shows who you are as a company. Make it distinguish you from the company that is out to get you out there. Try to keep videos short if you can.

Video Marketing

The longer it draws on the fewer viewers you will have for it. Make it compelling within the first few seconds and watch the viewer numbers go up. Video Maker FX is the best tool to create your business videos.

Social Media

Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest can provide the big help in making the business grow. Use these sites as an opportunity to brand the company. Use company logos or avatars for each profile made. Provide multiple links so it will be seamier for the loyal customers to find you. You can even use the links to attract potential new customers.

Social media signs

The more customers or visitors you get the bigger the business will have to grow. You be surprised on how social media can turn everything in the right direction.

Go In With a Plan

Go In With a Plan

You need to come in with that game plan. Get into the world with the knowledge of everything you will need for the business. You need to know things such as the revenue source and milestone achievements. Know the exact moment when you want to give the business the next jump it needs. Have the backup plan if Plan A does not go through according to plan.

Surprise

Surprise your audience

Surprise your customers every now and then. Change things up such as offering special discounts, incentives, and much more. Customers always like it when they are given new offers.

Learn

Learn and never repeat your mistakes

Failure is the key to success. Everyone has that moment of mistake when it comes to business and that is a crucial moment needed. That is when you will learn from the mistake and become better as a business from it. You will emerge bigger and greater. Nothing can top off that feeling.

Take these five tips and apply them to the business. You will be at the top of the world and be the envy of all others. They will never become you and you will never be like them. So what are you waiting for? Climb to the top today.

5 Basic Steps To Get Success On Pinterest

Pinterest has been causing quite a stir recently and it’s not surprising to see why – the social media picture tool blasted by the 50 million user mark in 2013. This figure will already be obsolete as the creative site continues to grow. It has, in short, been a phenomenon from the word go and has spawned many copycats, although no one has bettered the original premise.

5 Basic Steps To Get Success On Pinterest

The success is down to the striking and simplistic nature of the medium – it’s almost entirely graphical, and its updates are less easy to talk about in conversation. In other words, you need to visit the site to know what it’s about, but when you do, you’ll probably be hooked. And it’s obvious why; account-holders post images which appear on their boards, and they can pin other people’s updates on their boards if they so choose. Thanks to images being much more striking than words, they invite clicks, and that’s where your business can start to benefit from engagement. Do note, however, the policies Pinterest employ; they will not tolerate mindless business spiel and simple plagiarism. It’s all about creativity and inspiring work, so you will need to put some serious effort in to stand out. But stand out you can – the most popular user on Pinterest, Joy Cho, has over 14 million followers. Elsewhere, Jane Wang’s food based board “Delicious” has almost 7 million followers. This is based entirely on photography, so the potential is there for any firm to take advantage of.

Getting involved is fairly straightforward. Here are five things you need to do in order to be a little more Pinteresting.

Step One: Join the Network and Get Connected

You’re offered with a strange choice of heading to Pinterest.com – Log In or Join. This effective block is Pinterest’s ideas in action; they demand you to be creative and active on their site. Time wasters, or spammers, will not be tolerated.

Join the Pinterest Network and Get Connected

When you have joined up and filled in your account details you can immediately link your Facebook or Twitter accounts to your Pinterest page; obviously, this allows for mutual connections to start you off a following. As with all social networks, don’t follow people solely to get follow-backs. Just take your time and a community will form around you the more creative and active you are.

Remember to not get too focused on your boards; keep clicking the Pinterest logo at the top of the screen, which will take you to your home feed to see what the people you’re following are up to. Post regular comments, interact with likes and repins, and generally be a part of the Pinterest community.

Step Two: Clever Pinning

This is a key area – your pinning techniques need to be intelligently done. A great feature of Pinterest is how your account can be split into boards, so you can categorise your pins in a way people are likely to follow. Say you’re interested in cars; making one board for vintage cars, one for performance cars, and one for mainstream cars will be better than lumping everything together on one board because people tend to follow the search for specialist subjects. Your images of vintage performance cars can go on both boards.

Clever Pinning on Pinterest

If you’re selling products, it’s relatively straightforward to pin images hosted on your site, so anyone clicking them will be taken to the site in question and you will open up sales opportunities. Services are a little more tricky as they can be more difficult to represent graphically. Pinning images related to lifestyle can work in this situation. You don’t need a whole lot of original content; re-pinning other people’s is a good tactic, and it will create a pathway to you and your own selling opportunities.

Captions are an important feature and they can help spark conversations that can run and run. Try not to simply describe the picture; use language that appeals to emotions and human desires or, if it’s a product, describe its features, benefits, and specifications rather than what the viewer can already see.

Step Three: Develop your Style

Develop your Style for Pinning on Pinterest

Thanks to the intuitive nature of Pinterest you’ll pick it up pretty quickly and reach the limits of any how-to guide. That’s when your own intuition will take over; you’ll start to see patterns as to what does and does not promote engagement and you’ll be able to focus on those subjects more, stepping outside the comfort zone every so often just to test the water. Your boards will probably look quite different six months down the line as you progress from trying to fit into trying to stand out.

Step Four: Take Advantage of Features and Apps

Pinterest isn’t a pioneer of the social web as such, but as a child of the phenomenon, it has learnt a few lessons that it took the originals years to pick up. Chief among them is interconnectivity with other social networks. There’s a slight contradiction in the concept of a social network that doesn’t interact with others, so look into the ways Pinterest has of seamlessly integrating with Facebook and Twitter to greatly assist your online reach.

Take Advantage of Features and Apps

Pinterest has also created apps for Android and iOS which are really easy to use and are, particularly on tablets, aesthetically pleasing. These are really useful for pinning and commenting on the go, as well as for taking into meetings and briefings if you’re taking your products and services to clients. At the time of writing, there’s no official app for Windows Phones, but there are third-party solutions available.

Step Five: Merge Your Site With Pinterest

Merge Your Site With Pinterest

Making your site Pinterest friendly is the last stage to boosting your presence there, and you can utilise a few tricks to keep your pins in the limelight. As with many online formats the use of keywords is important – as with Twitter you can use # tags to curate your pins towards the right context. However, to make your official website fit towards Pinterest you can head to Pinterest’s “Goodies” section for apps and widgets to install on your site. You can also share your blog posts with the Pinterest community by pinning them to your boards, which proves the social media tool is adapting towards other areas of interest, and not just pictures. Make sure you take full advantage of future developments!

6 Best Ways Social Media Can Help To Improve Your Customer Service

6 Best Ways Social Media Can Help To Improve Your Customer Service

Social media is an important tool for businesses in many situations these days. Here are several of the benefits social media efforts can have on your company’s customer service.

1. Decreased Operational Costs

Decreased Operational Costs

At its most basic level, customer service through social media can be helpful for a company by cutting the costs that come with more traditional forms of customer service. This benefit exemplifies the advantage of using online tools for lots of aspects of business. Just as marketing on social media comes with lower costs than offline media, utilizing social media to meet customer service needs costs less than having a full team dedicated to offline customer support.

2. Instills Self-Help in Customers

Instills Self-Help in Customers

Social media is also helpful for businesses because it helps customers help themselves. In addressing complaints or customer service issues online, companies can take advantage of incidents by installing self-help skills. If businesses can successfully communicate answers to questions online, customers are more likely to be able to help themselves in the future, reducing the customer service burden for the company.

3. Saves Disgruntled Customers

Saves Disgruntled Customers

Sometimes, customers simply don’t have the patience to contact customer service representatives at a company when problems arise. If a product fails or a service is somehow disappointing, many people will simply give up on the company in the future, meaning that the business has lost a customer. But by pursuing customer service on social media, companies can effectively retain customers who have had some issue with their product. People may be more inclined to post complaints on social media than to call a service representative, but companies can be ready by responding directly to complaints on social media sites.

4. Turns Negatives into Positives

Turns Negatives into Positives

When social media followers get upset, two things can happen.

The first option is the loss of business. If a company responds poorly (or not at all) when customer service issues arise on social media sites, customers are likely to leave and bring other customers with them.

The second option is much more positive. The fact that complaints are being brought forth in a public sphere means that the company has the opportunity to respond in a productive way and send a positive message to other customers by demonstrating the company’s commitment to customer service. Think of complaints as an opportunity for your business to improve—and show that improvement in a clear way to the rest of your customer base.

Whereas offline customer service can be beneficial for each individual customer, online customer service can be helpful for improving the company’s relationship with all customers.

5. Creates Cross-Sale Opportunities

Creates Cross-Sale Opportunities

As part of the possibility of turning a negative into a positive comes the opportunity to cross-sell other products or services. Sometimes, the answer to a complaint is not always related to the product or service an individual is using already. That means that companies can use customer service issues as an opportunity to promote other products and services, and because the discussion takes place in the social media world, the promotion of those products and services will reach a larger audience.

6. Improves Internal Processes

Improves Internal Processes

Overall, monitoring social media is a great way to improve the company’s internal process. Setting up a social media account is free, and it is a great way to keep tabs on what customers really want. Rather than having to set up focus groups to examine the effectiveness of your products and services, you can simply pay attention to what customers are saying on social media sites. These feeds effectively serve as customer feedback surveys, and your company can benefit by making the appropriate modifications to internal processes.

Get More Leads Out Of Social Media

Any lawyer would appreciate more leads. So why wouldn’t use the most popular and convenient form of modern communication to generate those qualified leads? That’s right, social media website like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ can do a lot more than give you a place to share your firm’s blog posts. These sites can actually help you reel in potential clients that are already interested in your services.

Get More Leads Out Of Social Media

Chances are your firm is already on at least one social media site. Whether your tweeting or +1’ing, you’re off to a great start for finding the right people to bring into your practice. Now you just have to tweak your campaigns to make them focused on the clients, not your brand. You are using social media to promote your brand, your law firm, but it’s really about connecting with potential clients and breaking down the barriers of cyberspace.

Be Visual

Every social media site has become increasingly more visual over the past few years. And now there are social media platforms entirely dedicated to visual images, too. Pinterest and Instagram have made huge waves and pose plenty of opportunities for businesses, and favorite sites like Facebook and Google+ have expanded their frames to fit all the high-resolution photos they’re encouraging users and businesses to share. Why would social media start switching to a more visual platform? Because we love to see things!

Be Visual with your audience

Studies have shown that social media posts are more likely to be clicked on and shared when a photo, graphic, or any other kind of image accompanies them. Not only do images help get the point across more quickly and clearly, but also they stand out far more than text. Our eyes are naturally drawn to graphics, so start incorporating them for your potential clients to see.

If you’re sharing a blog post, make sure there’s an image on the page to show up in the preview. If you’re just posting a message or promoting an eBook, for instance, talk to a graphic designer about creating several graphics to make your announcements more visually appealing. You will instantly catch the eye of your potential clients.

Call To Action

All social media posts, from tweets to +1s, should have an underlying purpose. You’d either like to market your law firm, sway users into reading/subscribing to your blog, or otherwise. However, if you’re underlying purpose is unclear, there’s a good chance your followers are going to miss it. Avoid this mistake by incorporating strong calls to action with every status update you create.

Provide Call To Action at right place at right time

Share links to your blog and asks followers to sign up now. Post updates about your website and include the URL so potential clients can visit and check it out. Want your followers to pick up the phone and call you for a free consultation? Then tell them to do so! Calls to action are all about being direct. Being upfront and crystal clear with your target audience isn’t rude; it’s just common sense.

Join Communities

Every social media platform has some sort of community you can join. While each site is a community in itself, you can get specific about the type of people you are posting your updates to. LinkedIn, for example, has groups you can join, start discussions with, and share information with. Find several groups that you fit your target audience’s profile and simply join in on conversations. You don’t want to start off by advertising the heck out of your law firm; otherwise, you’ll offend and turn people off quickly. You might even get booted from the group! Just start talking, be an authoritative voice, and the leads will follow.

Join Communities

Furthermore, Facebook has plenty of groups you can create and join. Likewise, Twitter has trending hashtags that can be used as group chats and to find the right kind of people. Starting your own hashtag can help you find #DivorcedMoms or #DUIoffenders to advise and market to. Finally, Google+ has its very own Communities that can help you find even more leads.

Don’t Just Talk, Listen

Social media is all about communication, even when it’s being used for business. Users don’t particularly enjoy one-way conversations. So if you’re only talking at them, you might be missing out on their needs and their business. Instead, try listening to your followers every now and then.

Don’t Just Talk, Listen

When you post updates, create surveys, pose questions, and start up conversations. You want to involve your followers as much as possible as this will make you seem like a more trustworthy lawyer. When you’re constantly including your followers in discussions, they’re much more likely to remember your name when it comes to hiring an attorney.

Law firms should focus on attorney-client communication just as much as they should on their business development. In fact, the two go hand-in-hand. By using social media to create better lines of communication, your firm can appear more attractive to potential clients, leading to an increased number of qualified leads coming through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.