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The Measured Self

Wearable electronics are the new frontier. There are over two-dozen startups and a handful of major players in this space creating wearable electronic tracking devices. Wearables fall into several categories, including: life-logging, brainwave readers, exercise trackers, glasses, watches and clothes. All of them promise a better future through the capture of precious moments or the measuring of the self.

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A Multimedia Director at SXSW Interactive: Part Two

Day 2 – So This Is SXSW!

The second day was jammed packed with panels, events, and thousands of people! You expect it to be huge but the mass of people outside and inside the dozens of venues were staggering. At any given time there are 20 plus events happening and each one seemed to have lines forming 45 minutes before it began.

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A Multimedia Director at SWSX Interactive: Part One

Day 1 – Conference Rising!

After fighting the typical Austin rush hour I finally arrived at the Austin Convention Center to pick up my SXSW Interactive badge and swag. While waiting to meet up with others, I met my first interesting contact of the day, a designer who interviewed with Softway Solutions three years ago. After talking for a while it’s amazing how much change has transpired for Softway in the past two years.

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6 Easy Social Media Tips and Tricks You Might Have Missed

Following social media trends can be exhausting. Figuring out what works best for your brand can be a long and lengthy trial and error process. To help you out, we’ve put together a quick list of 6 easy social media tips and tricks to make sure you are the best social media manager you can be.

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Look, Simba. Links From Around The Web – Friday January 18th, 2013

Look, Simba.

Everything the internet touches is our kingdom.

With all the creative problem-solving that occurs day-in and day-out throughout Softway’s workscape, staying constantly updated with technology and news is crucial.

Because technology powers innovation. Or, is it the other way around? The chicken? Or, the egg?

Doesn’t matter now. You need both to cultivate.

Here are some links to the latest news in technology around the web:

1.)    Nexus is better than Apple.

According to Japan. The Nexus tablet has supplanted the iPad as the most viable tablet device in the island. Japan techies have always held a reputation as technology experts with proven foresight. Nexus’ overtaking of the iPad resonates loudly and should be taken very seriously.

 

2.)    Facebook rigs your phone.

Facebook, the juggernaut of the social network revolution, is now looking to revolutionize your phone bill and how you call those in your network. Expanding on VoIP capabilities, Facebook is now empowering its users by making internet-based voice calling more accessible and affordable.

 

3.)    Google hates on passwords.

While Facebook is fixing your phone, Google is hacking your keychain. Ok, not literally. But those brilliant minds in Mountain View, Cal., are currently working on a concept that will no longer require you to remember pesky passwords for each login. Instead, Google wants to store all digital authentication into one, simple, cumulative hardware.

 

4.)    Your life in 3D and color…FINALLY!

Yes. You read right. Two great things at once! This may be the year your entire life becomes technicolor and three dimensions. Or, at least what you have on Facebook. Apparently there is a new trend for users to ‘map out’ or ‘design’ 3D objects using their personal data from social networks to generate the dimensions. A little far out there sure, but you gotta see it to believe.

Let us know if we missed any other news and what your thoughts are.

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Facebook Post Scheduler Just Released

Facebook SchedulerIn an update rolling out today, Facebook is giving users the ability to schedule their posts in advance from inside Facebook. You can now schedule a post to go out up to 6 months in advance and in intervals of 15 minutes. Previously, scheduling of Facebook posts had to be done using third party tools such as Hootsuite, Seesmic, Ping.fm and SpreadFast. While these tools allow you to maintain all of your social media profiles from one place, this will be a helpful, and quick, tool to use while inside Facebook. Perhaps the most unique feature of this update allows you to schedule things in the past. If you schedule a post at a previous date it will show up at the appropriate spot on your Facebook Timeline. This will help brands and businesses populate their Facebook page with content even if they didn’t start a page until recently.

You can view Facebook’s instructions on how to use the new feature below. Let us know what social media management tools you use and what you like about them in the comments below.

How to schedule a Facebook Post.

From your Page’s sharing tool:

  1. Choose the type of post you want to add to your Page
  2. Click the  icon in the lower-left of the sharing tool
  3. Choose the future year, month, day, hour and minute when you’d like your post to appear
  4. Click Schedule
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Why Your Brand Needs to be on Tumblr

Tumblr LogoThere are many social networks like Facebook and Twitter which promise a wide reach as an ever growing number of people use these social media channels on a daily basis. However, these websites offer some limitations. While Twitter limits the content posted on the site, Facebook does not allow companies to engage with customers on a deeper level.

Tumblr is one such microblogging site which encourages the formation of communities and connections. The site has features including “like” or “reblog” which are useful in spreading content through a wide network. These features forge connections between diverse blogs and help build deep connections and relationships between brands and consumers.

You can use Tumblr to connect with consumers, by creating a blog. Many brands like Vogue, Newsweek and Mashable have established their presence on Tumblr.  Tumblr offers many advantages for big brands and companies should capitalize on these benefits; some of which are given below.

Curate Content With Ease

Brands should be able to manage content on their blog post. You can curate the content on your Tumblr page. It helps companies establish themselves as the experts, while providing valuable resources for audiences. You can do this by re-blogging details on contests, providing links to industry experts, or providing a link to another related article. Finally, you can also edit posts on Tumblr, providing flexibility and convenience.

Personalize Your Blog

You can personalize your blog as Tumblr provides a high level of personalization. First of all, you can choose a customized domain name for your business. To illustrate further, you can choose a domain name like yourbusiness.tumblr.com or www.yourbusinessblog.com. Secondly, brands can choose from several hundred themes for their blog design. Alternately, they can choose their layout, template and color scheme using HTML and CSS.

Get The Tumblr Advantage

Tumblr Infographic

Many brands have achieved success in their marketing strategies by using Tumblr. However, there are many industries

which are yet to explore this platform. Brands can gain advantage by capitalizing on this platform. When brands use this platform efficiently, they will be seen as leaders in the industry to successfully implement Tumblr as part of their social media strategy.

Keyword Analysis from Google Analytics

 

A major advantage that Tumblr offers is the ability to track performance metrics of a blog and measure the number of visitors to the site using Google Analytics. You can use the keyword analysis feature offered by Google Analytics, while you’re posting content to a blog. It will help you decide the most effective keywords to use in your blog that will drive traffic to your company website.

Tumblr provides an easy way to blog about your company and generate buzz in the online community through targeted content. If you would like more info on how to utilize Tumblr for your business, contact Softway Solutions at 281-661-3993.

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Facebook Tips

If Facebook was a country, it would be the 3rd largest on the planet. So how is this information valuable? This statement means a lot of people are sharing and communicating on Facebook! A lot of these people are  general consumers and probably include one or many of your niche markets. Meaning, you can deliver your message directly to your audience through the use of one media channel instead of multiple media outlets. With Facebook advertising you can grow your audience more intuitively than ever before.

Here are 7 Facebook Tips to Help You Market Better! Facebook Tips

  1. Create a custom landing page. Many pages are currently set up to have the wall as the page a user sees when they first enter. The user will see the type of information you post, but it’s like coming through the back door.  Think of your Facebook page similar to a physical store. What do you want consumers to see, a welcoming storefront or the hustle and bustle of the inside? A custom landing page should be the first thing users see when they visit your profile; an interactive or creative landing page with visuals rather than text will grab the visitor’s attention.
  2. Include your newsletter opt-in form. So here is a question. What if some of your fans are not heavy Facebook users? If they are not, they are probably missing tons of your wall posts. Having them sign-up for a newsletter within Facebook will allow your fans to stay up to date with your company.
  3. Don’t spam. Many companies are constantly posting on Facebook, BUT they are posting the wrong things. They are posting promotion after promotion, and this gets very annoying. Post valuable information to your wall like: company news, community news, community events, and you can always promote your clients or other business you network with. In addition, Facebook allows you to interact with your clients and post comments on their post as well. Get creative with your post!
  4. Use relevant keywords. Some people are on Facebook all day and literally use Facebook as their search engine. For example, if I am on Facebook and I want to find a local florist, all I have to do is type in “Houston florist” in Facebook’s search bar. I will then get results of all the flower companies in Houston, TX that have Facebook pages. This is a free listing service that you don’t have to pay for. Just make sure you are using relevant keywords users will be using; this is like doing your own SEO within Facebook.
  5. Ask fans to share your page. Do not be shy to ask your fans to share your page. If you are providing relevant information, chances are they will most likely want to share your page with their friends anyway. Plus, the more Likes you get, the more popular you are on Facebook.
  6. Give visuals. Share videos and pictures you may already have with your fans. Start with the inside view of your offices, your employees, your work, etc. Again, be creative with the things you show your audience.
  7. Promote with a Facebook icon. Promote your Facebook page in all ways possible. Put a small Facebook icon on your website, marketing collateral, signs, invoices, envelopes and in as many places as possible.  This way people will know you have a Facebook page and can search for you on Facebook.

These are just some of the things you can do with your Facebook Page. For help with additional creative strategies for your Facebook page, contact us at www.softwaysolutions.com or 281.914.431. Our team will be glad to help you set up your profile page, landing page and give you ideas on how to get the most out of your Facebook page.

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Setting up your Google+ Page

Google+ is a social network site that allows you to stay connected with family, friends and colleagues; Google+ Pages are brand pages for businesses. Google+ released business pages back in November 2011. A few companies have already developed their Google+ Page while others have not. Some businesses don’t know how to set up a Google+ Page nor have the time to set up the page. Recently, Google+ released administrator capabilities for Google+ Pages to allow multiple users to administer the page. So what is stopping you from setting up your page?  Don’t know how? Then keep reading and will be able to help. Don’t have time? Well, “time” is on you my friend.

Setting Up a Google+ Page

1. Using your Gmail account log into your Google+ profile.
2. Once you have logged into your profile, on the right side of the screen click “Create a Google + page.”
3. Next, you will have to pick a category. There are currently five categories to choose from:

  • “Local Business or Place” which are local, consumer based businesses like hotels, restaurants or coffee shops.
  • Product or Brand
  • “Company, Institution or Organization” which are larger entities.
  • Arts, Entertainment or Sports
  • Other

4. Your page has now been created and the next thing to do is get the word out. Tell everyone about your Google+ Page so they can add your Google+ Page to their circle(s).
5. Edit your page by making sure your page is up to date with profile, videos, or content.
6. Finally, make sure to promote the Google+ Page icon on your website and other marketing collateral.

Getting started with Google+ Pages may seem a little scary, and the thought of managing the page may be a nightmare. Allows us to help you sooth that dream into a happily ever after dream by letting us help you set up your Google+ Page and managing the page. For more information, please contact us at www.softwaysolutions.com or 281.914.4381. Good night and sweet dreams.

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Advantages of a Google+ Page

Many people are still debating if they should jump on the bandwagon and set up a Google+ Page. Some may wonder: What are the advantages? Or, how many people are even on Google+? Well, as of September 2011 Google+ had 50 Million users and predicts to have 400 million users by 2013. In addition to having a Google+ account, Google+ also provides pages for businesses. So how important is having a Google+ profile and a Google+ Page. Google recently released Search, Plus Your World. What does this mean to SEO professionals? A lot! Google is always trying to find ways to personalize searches to best fit your search queries. In their newest effort with Your World, Google first gives users search results based on what people in their Google+ circles are talking about. Let’s say you have a Google+ account and are logged in. Now you want to search for a “house” and in Google’s search bar, you type “house.” Google will first show you results from people in your circles who have talked or mentioned “house” in their profiles.

For businesses with Google+ Pages this mean your brand is being reinforced and coming up first if people are following you on Google+. Top of Google’s search rankings just because you have a Google+ account and one of your followers typed a “word” that was written on one of your post, not bad.  Setting up a Google+ Page not only allows you to get easy high rankings, but also share, promote and measure your Google+ page efforts. The earlier you set up a Google+ Page, the sooner you can learn the ins and outs of Google+.

Sharing your Google+ Page

Sharing your Google+ Page allows you to publish post(s), host hangouts and manage your circles. Hangouts are video chats with others on Google+ in real time. Managing your circles gives you the flexibility to arrange your relationships the way you want to: Customers, Friends, Vendors, Colleagues, Competitors, ect. In addition, having well organized circles allows you to deliver certain messages to the people in those circles only.  For example, you have a promotion and you want to send the message only to your customers, Google+ allows you to do that.

 

Promoting your Google+ Page

Promoting your Google+ Page allows you to share your page with other people in various forms: Google+ Page badge, Google+ Direct Connect and +1 button. A Google+ Page badge is an icon of Google+ on your website. Google+ Direct Connect allows for companies with Google+ Pages to show up in Google’s search engine box, if users put a + symbol before the company name. For example, if you have a brand page called XY Company, then a user enters +XY Company in Google’s search box, he or she will automatically see your Google+ Page. The +1 button is similar to the Facebook Like button. If people approve of the content and click the +1 button, then he or she will share the content with their friends on Google+.

Measuring your Google+ Page

Google+ Pages currently provides Ripples and Social Analytics to obtain analytical information. Ripples show how many people are sharing and resharing your content on Google+. Social Analytics measures +1′s, how engagement on your site changes when personalized recommendations help your content stand out and demographic information about the Google users who have +1’d your site.

Google+ Pages are still in the early phases of development and more changes will come with time.  However the sooner you get your Google+ Page, the better search engine optimization your page will have. This is because Google uses Google+ Pages in their algorithm. So don’t miss this opportunity, set up your page now! If you need assistance in learning more about Google+ Page or setting one up, please contact us at www.softwaysolutions.com or 281.914.4381.

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