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January 11th, 2016

The Intimate Internet Has Arrived

Did you know that the usage of Facebook Groups has increased by 50% in the last two years?

More than 925 million people now use the product each month — a number previously unreleased — up from 850 million just three months ago. And about 60% of Facebook’s monthly active users are also Groups
monthly active users, up from around 40% two years ago. –Alex Kantrowitz, BuzzFeed

It makes sense. Social media is reaching a critical point of connectedness. Remember the days when it meant something to be someone’s facebook friend? It used to be exciting to be connected, but now being connected is the norm. Our social streams are overflowing with content from every person that we have even the smallest personal connection with.

Being connected is no longer compelling to people. It’s expected. And a stream of updates from the people you’re connected to is not longer valuable. We have too many connections, with too many people, from too many different parts of our life. Your coworkers, family, friends, people you knew from college, that guy you met at the wedding, the group of girls you hung out with for three days on your trip to Italy…they’re all in the same stream. It’s just not relevant anymore.

As a result, people are now looking to more focused, more intimate community experiences.

Seeking community is core to the human condition. We evolved because of our ability to survive through collaboration. The Smithsonian explains the origins of social life for humans, “Some groups of early humans began collecting tools and food from a variety of places and bringing them to favored resting and eating spots. Sharing vital resources with other members of the group led to stronger social bonds and enhanced the group’s chances of survival”.

We will always seek to participate in communities, to find a sense of belonging with a core group that will make us feel mentally, emotionally and physically safe.

This is why people flocked to social media in the first place. It’s this human need that made it possible for these platforms to grow so quickly.

Now that same need is driving what I think will be the next iteration of the digital revolution. The first iteration made information widely accessible. The next iteration made socialization widely accessible. Now, community and collaboration will be the theme of the next decade.

Facebook isn’t the only example of this happening. Look around. Slack has quickly become a huge platform not just for teams, but for external communities. The tool isn’t even built for external communities but people are forcing it to be used because of their strong need to find more intimate experiences. NextDoor, Reddit, Meetup… they’re all creating opportunities for more intimate experiences.

In 2014, Forrester predicted that as social media matures, branded communities would make a comeback in 2015. They were right.

The impact of this shift for business is immense. The relationship between companies and customers is changing as customers continue to seek out opportunities for intimate social experiences. The barriers between companies and customers will break down even farther than they already have thanks to social media. Customers no longer want to just consume, they want to feel like they’re a part of something and that they’re aligned with your mission.

Many companies have already identified the trend and embraced it. Lyft, since it’s start, has provided local online communities for their drivers (using facebook groups). Udemy also uses facebook groups as a place for their teachers to connect and support each other. Airbnb originally built their own community groups platform for all their users to connect around their common interest. Now they’ve replaced it with a more cohesive Community Center.

These are just a few of the hundreds of examples we’re starting to see of companies investing in community and seeing impact on retention, acquisition and revenue as a result.

How will your company adapt to the future of community driven business?

December 8th, 2015

Microsoft Announces New Enterprise Solution – PowerApps

Microsoft announced a new enterprise solution called PowerApps aimed at helping workers connect, cretae, and share business apps with their teams on any device.

Employees can create apps that work on any device using what the company refers to as a Microsoft Office-like experience, templates, and a visual designer to automate workflows. PowerApps can be connected to cloud services like Office 365, Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, Dropbox, and/or OneDrive as well as on-premises systems like SharePoint, SQL Server, Oracle databases, SAP, etc.

PowerApps can be shared like documents. Employees can type an email address and co-workers can use accordingly.

For developers and IT personnel, PowerApps include Azure App Service for employee-facing apps. Additional data connections and APIs can be built for existing business systems. Data security and privacy controls are respected by PowerApps.

In discussing why Microsoft developed PowerApps, Bill Staples explains, “The way we do work today is fundamentally different than just a few years ago. Work happens on our phones, tablets and laptops everywhere we go: on manufacturing floors, in airplanes or at customer meetings. The mobile revolution, together with nearly limitless compute and data in the cloud, has transformed our professional experience.”

“And yet, the apps we use to do business have been slow to keep pace with employee demand,” he adds. “While companies are increasingly turning to SaaS solutions for specific scenarios like CRM, travel and HR, using services like Microsoft Dynamics, Concur or Workday, most business app scenarios still remain locked on premises, dependent on corporate connected PCs. Too often, they’re not optimized for mobile, not easily integrated with other services, and not accessible when and where people need them most – on the device they want to use in that moment. The business app category continues to lag behind consumer app scenarios in terms of richness and ubiquity. ”

According to Staples, Microsoft identified three key problems causing the “innovation gap”. These are a lack of skilled mobile developers, business data proliferation, and friction when it comes to IT agility and app sharing.

PowerApps is supposed to be the answer to these problems.

November 2nd, 2015

How Do I Know If My Internet Marketing Efforts Are Profitable?

 

Today’s Question: How Do I Know If My Online Efforts Are Profitable?

 Stoney deGeyter’s Answer from an SEO Perspective:

I would like to say that the answer to this question can be summarized by asking, “Are you getting the results you expected?” but, too often that answer is “No,” regardless of how well the web marketing efforts are doing. Ultimately, your success comes down to five things: Read More…

October 5th, 2015

Ten things to boost your SEO in one hour!

alfred infographic21 Weekly Infographic: Ten things to boost your SEO in one hour!

A crucial part of any digital marketer’s job includes how to boost the SEO of the website. Site traffic can easily be boosted by changing the meta titles and descriptions, link-building, analytics and more.

Here is an insightful infographic by Passion Digital with a list of tasks that will help to boost the SEO for your website in 60 minutes. Read More…

September 8th, 2015

The Social Media Usage Gap is Closing Between Men & Women

Social media use is higher than it’s ever been – across the board. This we know. But is there a marked gender difference in it?

According to Pew, a gender gap in social media use still exists, but it’s shrinking.

A recent study found that 80% of women use some sort of social networking site, compared to 73% of men. Read More…

August 3rd, 2015

How To Optimize Your Instagram Marketing

Instagram has already become a great addition to the digital marketing arsenal for a lot of businesses, but it’s about to become a much better one for a lot more businesses thanks to recently announced features. Read More…

July 6th, 2015

Internet marketing abhors a closed door so open a window

Summary:Never paint your visitor into a corner. Never leave your visitor hanging. If you don’t offer everyone who visits you an opportunity to take another step towards you, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Read More…

June 1st, 2015

Social media monitoring: why it’s a must

Good or bad, online or off, there is nothing worse than someone talking about you publicly and you not getting an opportunity to respond. Before the Internet and Web 2.0, the print and broadcast media were the only ones who could really speak to the masses about a business. Now, with the help of social media and review sites, everyone and anyone can have a say, anytime. Read More…

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