Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – September 14th, 2015

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A few producers began soybean and corn harvest last week in Ohio, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Regional Office. There were 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending September 13th. Scattered showers helped alleviate the very dry conditions in some regions, while other regions noted very hot and humid conditions leading to crops progressing rapidly. Crop condition ratings remained virtually unchanged. Most producers spent the week mowing hay, chopping corn for silage, tiling, and harvesting specialty crops. Livestock producers were thankful for scattered rains as the pastures greened up a bit from the dry spell they had been experiencing.View the full report herelast_img read more

Etherpad Goes to Google – Just Another Silicon Valley Soap Opera

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market marshall kirkpatrick See also: AppJet’s EtherPad: The Demo That Ate the CompanySome people don’t go right back to Google, they go to Facebook or Twitter. You thought FeedBurner had a lot of potential? It’s an ad network now, its founders have nice houses and work on other things or in other places. FriendFeed was cool, founded by ex-Googlers who are now at Facebook and say that FriendFeed is actually too sophisticated for the users of their new Sugar Daddy’s software. Check out the Etherpad company blog post about the deal. They didn’t even pretend to be sorry about closing the service. They didn’t thank any community of users for help along the way. They just said the deal is done, here’s what’s happening to the money you paid, now get out.Maybe Google Wave will change the world, maybe it won’t. It’s hard for a person who loves startups and innovation not to feel a little toyed with by this kind of drama though. Innovative real-time document collaboration software company AppJet, makers of Etherpad, has been acquired by Google. TechCrunch broke the news and AppJet promptly confirmed it. AppJet was started by ex-Googlers, got a YCombinator investment (you know, that firm that invests in anonymous college kids from around the country) and will now close down its own product to work on Google Wave.What a cynical bore. Here’s the new formula, meant only to tease users with innovation and ultimately enrich a select few Valley darlings:Be a smart computer scientistGet a job at GoogleLeave Google, create startupUse your Google resume to get high profile Silicon Valley backingBuild something cool, win some fansSell to GoogleTell Silicon Valley insider press about saleKill product, break a few hearts, get absorbed again by Google but with millions of dollars in your pocketWork on less interesting Google product…Repeat, if you can get away with it. Related Posts Tags:#news#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

Top 5 Inbound Marketing Stories of the Week: Social Media Strategy

first_img this week urges you to take a step back, do your homework and form an actual social media marketing do and its ability to filter and organize clutter.   InboundMarketing.com 2. Mashable Is Twitter hinting at a cure for information overload, Pete wonders?  He discusses the possible opportunity for a new job position based on content organization – the real-time Web curator.  Should journalists assume this new role and capitalize on this trend?  In any event, Pete’s sure a “curation” economy is starting to take shape. Optimize This Lesson: Author: Keep your message simple Developing a Social Media Marketing Strategy Lesson: Stop Building Microsites? let your content go on of Learn how to use social media for lead generation. ProBlogger of Todd Defren 3. Describe your idea in a concrete, tangible way  CNN.com Author: Think PR Squared Does your company have a Among Bernie’s recommendations are to listen first and define your objectives, whether they be geared toward competitive differentiation, market share growth or the expansion of your brand.  His final words of wisdom are to ” Appeal to and evoke readers’ emotions Look at how others are using social media, but evaluate what works best in your particular industry and for your own company before trying the same things. Lesson: Lesson:Attract readers to your business blogby creating content with “sticky” properties. for social media marketing.  What are your objectives?  What are the opportunities?  What are your competitors doing?  After all, there’s more to social media marketing than tweeting and Facebooking… Marelisa Fábrega Originally published Nov 6, 2009 7:11:00 AM, updated July 18 2013 Want to learn the best social media marketing advice from expert in-house marketers?  Read Lee’s post, which includes tips on social media strategy (oh how we’ve come full circle!), how to decide on tactics, and measuring success. . strategy?  If you’re inclined to answer “yes” because you have a Twitter handle and a Facebook page, you may want to re-think your answer. to leverage Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites to generate leads and customers.center_img Lately, I’ve been noticing that content overload on the Web is becoming quite a popular topic.  To this point, Pete’s article discusses Photo by Anil Jadhav Tell a story  Author: of on Create Twitter lists using your company Twitter account to organize leaders/content in your industry. Our top article on Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die How to Write a Blog Post That’s Stickier than Velcro While he doubts the majority of microsites has an ROI worth your time/investment, he does however share his thoughts on when one might make sense – when your company is part of a highly regulated industry that needs to be cautious with content, disclosures and consumer engagement. 4. before you ,” sharing it with and promoting it to your community. .” Bernie’s main message is that, for a business, a social media strategy serves one simple purpose: “enabling your company to engage in authentic conversations with your community so you can improve your ability to attract, retain and serve your customers.”  Still, he encourages readers to stop to do some research first — inside the company and out — to gain valuable insight that will drive their strategies. Video: How to Use Social Media for Lead Generation Author: Illustrate that your message is credible by quoting statistics, studies, etc. Author: Lesson: Find inspiration to get started in the social media-sphere from experienced marketers. 5. “Sticky” ideas are those that are spread, remembered, and that people act upon.  Marisela’s guest post explains the six common traits of sticky ideas, a concept originated by the bestseller, ” Use an unexpected approach to capture readers’ attention Lee Odden Twitter’s new list function Twitter Lists: Journalism Becomes a Real-Time Job strategy One thing’s for sure – the benefit of social media involvement is hard to ignore. of Online Marketing Blog 1. Wondering if creating a microsite might be a good idea for that new campaign you’re promoting?  Exploring the topic of campaign microsites, Todd questions their worth and whether they generate any real traction. Bernie Borges Download the free video Pete Cashmore 25 Must Read Social Media Marketing Tips Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

11 Clever CTA Tricks Real Brands Are Using to Grow Their Email List

first_imgWhen we discuss calls-to-action (CTAs) in marketing, we often look at them as a key driver of lead generation. After all, they are mostly used to send incoming traffic to your landing pages and lead-capture forms. While CTAs are great for generating lead conversions, they can also help contribute to a different goal: growing your email list.A lot of companies also find it beneficial to use calls-to-action to expand their email database and list of contacts (which they will later nurture and follow up with). And in some cases, this can be even more effective than using a CTA to promote a lead-gen offer.Download Now: 28 Free CTA TemplatesIn fact, some businesses are doing this exceptionally well! So in this blog post, which is an excerpt from our new ebook 101 Examples of Effective Calls-to-Action, let’s review some awesome examples of how companies are effectively using calls-to-action for email list growth.1) The CombineThe best calls-to-actions don’t look like flashing ads, but instead are paths toward valuable information discovery. The Combine offers a great example of that. The text above the email opt-in box conveys the action readers need to take, and it’s clear and direct. The layout of the page is clean and simple, helping the reader focus on the most important action here — entering his or her email address and signing up for email updates.2) Crowd Track GentAnother great approach when collecting emails and contacts to grow your database is to use subtle text that shows readers what information they need to enter. In this case, Crowd Track Gent is not collecting email addresses, but it surely provides a good lesson on how to design your call-to-action effectively. In the screenshot below, you’ll see that the subtle text within the blank boxes instructs visitors to enter their “First Name” and “Surname.” The play button to the right of the “Surname” box sends users a signal that the element is interactive and makes the result of the action more tangible.3) GiltWhen you collect email addresses, make sure you’re setting clear expectations. What are your recipients going to get? How often? Gilt, for instance, features a call-to-action that includes a hyperlink to the company’s Terms of Membership. The sentence is right beneath the main call-to-action button.You can take a different approach of setting expectations and mentioning that your email updates will be about product discounts, new offers, events, etc. The takeaway here is, let your new contacts know what they will start receiving from you so they stay subscribed.4) GojeeEven if your site visitors are interested in downloading your resources, some people will still experience form anxiety. Therefore, you need to reassure them that their personal information and privacy will be safe with you.Reduce people’s anxiety by guaranteeing that you will keep their privacy and send them only content and information they care about. Check out how creatively Gojee achieves this: “We swear on our finest bottle of scotch that we won’t spam you.”5) GraphEffectExperiment with adding background images to your email opt-in calls-to-action to increase readers’ desire to sign up for your offers and convey positive emotions of efficiency, enjoyment, success, etc. GraphEffect provides a good example of a CTA using a background image and also incorporating a semi-transparent black box on top of the picture in order to increase the readability of the text.6) JetsetterYou can increase the visitor’s incentive to sign up for your communication if you mention that access/membership is free. Don’t be afraid to brag about your strengths—confident and hyperbolic language helps boost conversions. Jettsetter, for instance, tells people that by signing up for their email updates, they will “get access to the world’s greatest vacations.”7) LaunchRockAnother great call-to-action tactic is to address the speediness of the sign-up process. Your CTA message should convey that setting up an account offers a lot of benefits and is no hassle at all. Check out how LaunchRock accomplishes this by telling visitors they can launch a page “in minutes.” This no-hassle process increases the user’s motivation and facilitates the conversion.8) ShopifyConsider experimenting with the layout of your form fields. Are they laid out vertically or horizontally? Does that impact your conversion rates?By presenting all required fields in one spot, you are transparent with visitors, reinforcing the simplicity of the action you’re asking them to take. Here is how Shopify set up its account registration:9) SkillshareAs a general call-to-action best practice, you should try to remove distractions from your main CTA and help people focus on what’s truly important – conversion! Skillshare has done a great job of this by using a simple white background and creating a clean, spacious experience. 10) TaskRabbitYou might also consider using the Facebook login option to gain more insights about your users. In this way, you allow visitors to sign into your website by using their Facebook credentials. While this one-click process might save people time, it might also make visitors anxious about their privacy. That is why TaskRabbit makes it an option to sign up with Facebook login – not a necessity.11) Smashing MagazineSocial proof—or also known as social influence—is a great way to sway people in a specific direction. Smashing Magazine provides a good example of using social proof to collect email addresses and expand its contact database. The publication is showing its number of existing subscribers, thus encouraging you to become a part of this big community.Do you use calls-to-action to expand your email list? Share your tips and best practices in the comments below. Originally published Jul 16, 2012 12:30:00 PM, updated February 28 2018 Topics:center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Smart Contentlast_img read more

Why You Should Consider Inbound BEFORE Your Next Site Redesign

first_img Website Redesign Now imagine the same situation as before, but when you get into the shop you can’t see the cake you saw in the window and you have to search high and low for it. When you eventually find the cake, hidden at the back of the shop, there’s no information about how much it costs and what it’s made out of; you have to ask a shop assistant for that information. You’re ready to pay, but you don’t know where to go as there’s no “Pay Here” sign, so you have to search for the till (cash-register) and can’t find it. You decide to leave the shop and vow to try the cake shop over the road. You have had a frustrating experience that results in a shorter visit than you intended. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published May 31, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated August 25 2017 There are two marketing initiatives I hear about all the time: 1) Adopting more inbound strategies, and 2) planning a website redesign.And both are great! But the big question most people face when both initiatives come up at the same time is … which do I do first?Redesigning your site first and then implementing inbound seems like the most logical approach. Why would you want to adopt inbound marketing strategies when your website is “not ready” for the public? Or you might flip-flop it so the redesign comes after you nail your inbound marketing strategy. Learn from the metrics and data first and then develop the site accordingly, right?Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignSo … which way is better? Inbound marketing before a website redesign, or after? It’s a trick question, actually. In my opinion, neither is better.Why? To me, both “staggered” approaches have their own share of missed opportunities. I’m an advocate of the simultaneous execution of a website redesign and implementation of an inbound marketing strategy. Let’s talk about why.The Common Arguments Against Simultaneous ImplementationA very common objection that I hear for separating a website redesign from inbound adoption is resource allocation. Designers, coders, webmasters, and the marketing team are all involved with the finished product during a website redesign. The last thing someone would want to do is shove more work on the entire team’s plate.But thinking of it as additional work is actually looking at it in the wrong way. Why? First, a lot of the assets built through inbound —  a business blog, calls-to-action, landing pages — are actually components that should be developed to align with the redesign.I also hear the wonderfully vague “marketing strategy” objection, which when I drill down, can typically mean a number of things. These are the most common:“We don’t want to introduce inbound marketing until the website is complete.”“The web designers don’t need to be involved with our inbound marketing strategy—it might distract them.”“We want to see how the website performs before launching any inbound initiatives.”All are valid reasons. But the solution is simple, and it applies to all three above examples: introducing inbound marketing at this stage helps foster team alignment with the inbound strategy. The designers, marketers, coders, webmasters, you name it, will all be involved with the adoption of inbound marketing, and in understanding of the overall vision. Rather than playing a giant game of telephone after the redesign, everyone will be on the same page from the get-go.Luke Doran over at marketing agency Southerly explained this phenomenon really well with a cake shop analogy. (Yum.)”You’re walking down the high street, pass a cake shop, and you stop because something in the window display has caught your eye. You walk into the shop because the cake looks delicious and you want it. When you get into the shop, you see the cake immediately, a sign with a price, and an eager shop assistant with a large “Pay Here” sign. You leave the shop cake in hand, ready to indulge, and vowing to return again soon.Now imagine the same situation, but when you walk in you can’t find the cake you saw in the window. When you eventually find it there’s no information about how much it costs; you have to ask a shop assistant for that information. And when you’re ready to pay, you can’t find a register or shop assistant. So you just leave and go to the shop down the road. The first shop has been built with a clear goal in mind – to get the customer to buy the cake in the window and as such that’s exactly what the customer does. It’s inbound in action and working like a dream. The second shop clearly hasn’t been built with a specific goal in mind and it shows; the customer leaves before they buy a cake. It’s inbound gone awry. Topics: We all want a website like the first cake shop, what inbound marketer wouldn’t? So when we redesign a website for a client, we ensure that we fully understand their goals right from the start so we can build those goals into the redesign. This ensures our clients (and their customers) get a website that mimics the first cake shop. If we tried to bolt those goals onto the website after it was redesigned, we’d end up with cake shop number two. And who would want that? I know our clients wouldn’t! The goal of the first shop was to get cake out the door and into customers’ bellies. And they did it. We all want a website like the first cake shop. So when we redesign a website for a client, we ensure that we fully understand their goals right from the start so we can build those goals into the redesign. This ensures our clients (and their customers) get a website that mimics the first cake shop. If we tried to bolt those goals onto the website after it was redesigned, we’d end up with cake shop number two.” Don’t end up with cake shop number two.Website Redesigns and Inbound Marketing: Friends With BenefitsWebsite redesigns and inbound marketing having a sort of symbiotic relationship. For the non-science nerds out there, a symbiotic relationship is an occurrence in nature when two organisms rely on each other for survival. For example, a clown fish will clean a sea anemone of harmful bacteria in exchange for protection from predators.The same type of relationship exists between a website redesign and an inbound marketing strategy — a shiny new website redesign makes inbound marketing look good and in return, inbound marketing helps a website become a functional, lead generation machine. The key to a successful symbiosis (and ultimately, marketing success) is to understand the different ways that each mutually assist the other.What follows are three key areas where a symbiotic relationship between inbound marketing and a website redesign is absolutely necessary — and ultimately beneficial — when executing on both activities.1) Website StructureHave you ever been cooking something, only to realize you forgot to add a crucial ingredient to the mix after your culinary delight has been in the oven for a half hour? I have. It’s a huge bummer.The same type of disheartening situation can emerge when you don’t incorporate inbound marketing assets in a website redesign. Deciding how you’ll integrate key elements of inbound marketing into the site structure is critical in the first iteration of the new website — it saves money and time, prevents wasted resources, cuts down on iterations, and most importantly, tees up the site for success upon launch.All too often, I’ve seen marketers bring on a slick new website that’s built for design — not functionality — before adopting inbound tactics. Suffice to say, we end up making a lot of changes (all for the better) that could have been avoided if we strategized before, and integrated during, the website’s facelift — like CTA placement, landing page creation, and lead capture form integration.Instead of waiting to add inbound marketing best practices to the website after launch, do it throughout the process. Do it right. The results of your redesign will be much more satisfying.2) Content AlignmentContent creation is obviously a cornerstone of any company’s inbound marketing shift, and most companies start (smartly) with a business blog. And anyone who has started business blogging knows there’s no time like the present to begin. Search engines take a while to index website pages, so the sooner you can get pieces of content up, the less likely you’ll be starting from ground zero once the website redesign is complete.Don’t wait until the site launches to begin blogging — start yesterday.To hold up its end of the bargain in the symbiotic relationship, a website redesign will provide the opportunity for a keyword- and topic-focused inbound strategy. Old copy can be rehashed, new keywords and topics can be researched and integrated, and additional pages can be created to support opportunistic keywords. The redesign is the blank slate and inbound marketing is the chisel.3) User ExperienceI can confidently say that the companies that utilize inbound marketing most effectively are ones that develop unique buyer personas, define the customer buying process, and adapt the website’s user experience to best suit both variables.Structuring a website to suit buyer personas is no easy task — it takes research, planning, and careful consideration to create web pages that are suited to different audiences. As you can probably assume, this is the hardest piece to put in place retroactively after a website redesign.And if buyer personas weren’t enough to consider, it’s also important to structure the website to facilitate the buying process of a target customer. Not everyone is ready to buy when they land on a website’s homepage, so tailoring the content here (and other key places) is imperative to fostering a high visitor-to-lead conversion rate.If buyer personas and the customer buying process are clearly defined and implemented throughout the website’s redesign, it saves a lot of headaches once the site goes live. No one needs more headaches.Website redesigns and inbound marketing have a lot more in common than you might think — and each commonality holds the opportunity to benefit both as a whole. So if you’re considering both but are unsure how to scope them out, I strongly recommend executing simultaneously, so you avoid any missed opportunities and wasted resources later on.It may seem like more work up front, but it pays off. Trust me, I’ve been there.What other ways can a website redesign benefit from inbound marketing perspective? Or vice-versa?Image credit: tarale You’re walking down the high street, pass a cake shop and you stop because something delightful in the window display has caught your eye (a monstrous and very tasty looking chocolate cake). You decide to walk into the shop because the cake looks delicious and you want it (or any of its brothers and sisters). When you get into the shop, you immediately see a big display that features the cake you saw in the window. The display clearly tells you what the cake is made of and how much it costs. Immediately next to the display there is a large sign that says “Pay Here” under which stands an eager shop assistant ready to take your money and give you your cake. You leave the shop cake in hand – ready to indulge yourself, vowing to return again soon. You have had an enjoyable experience which clearly directs you down a linear path that results in a transactionlast_img read more

Generating Leads on Twitter Just Got Easier: Get Started With Lead Gen Cards

first_img Originally published Aug 30, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Twitter Marketing A few months ago, we told you that Twitter was testing out Lead Generation Cards. The bad news was that it wasn’t rolled out to everyone … until now!Yesterday, Twitter opened up its Lead Generation Cards to everyone. You get a Twitter Lead Generation Card! And YOU get a Twitter Lead Generation Card! Leads for everybody!We wrote about the news in great detail back in May, but let’s go over it again real quick for those who missed it the first time.What Are Twitter Lead Generation Cards?Well first, what are Twitter Cards? Well, you know when you expand a tweet and you sometimes see some multimedia content sitting below it? That’s a Twitter Card. You’ll see it on Twitter.com, or in Android and iOS applications. The Lead Generation Card is a way to use Twitter Cards to generate leads directly within a tweet. (Bear in mind, these occur only within Promoted Tweets.) It’s a great way to generate new contacts because the user’s information — name, email address, and Twitter username — are all automatically pulled into the Card.  All users have to do is click ‘Submit’ on the Twitter Card.Why Is This Cool?Well, because it makes generating leads on Twitter easier. Mashable shared some interesting data on how Twitter Lead Generation Cards are performing for some companies. “In a case study quoted on Twitter’s blog, outdoor gear and apparel company Rock/Creek saw a 4.6% engagement rate and generated more than 1,700 new email contacts in one week by using a Card within a Promoted Tweet.”Its offer? Win a free pair of sandals if you share your email address. See how this could apply to, ohhh I don’t know, a whitepaper? Yeah — me too. Twitter will also offer specific analytics that show you leads generated, your spend, and the cost per lead for any campaigns you run with Twitter Lead Generation Cards.How Do You Set Up Twitter Lead Generation Cards?If you’d like an in-depth, step-by-step tutorial, we’ve already written one out for you — you can access it here. Here’s the truncated explanation for those people in life who don’t like to read the instruction manual. ;-)Register your business with a Twitter ad account.Set up a CRM end point integration so you can keep track of your leads generated from Twitter Cards in your CRM. This is the list of CRMs Twitter integrates with — HubSpot is one of them.Create your Twitter Card by going into the Twitter Advertising Interface. Once logged in, you can find Cards under “Advertising” in the top left corner of your screen.Once you hit “Create New Card,” insert a Card image, a description of your offer, and a call-to-action.Then, you’ll need to submit a few URLs so Twitter knows where to send users that engage with your Cards.Then you’re done! Now … go get started with some Twitter lead generation, eh?Are you excited for Twitter Lead Generation Cards? Do you think they’ll help you generate more leads on Twitter?Image credit: Rosaura Ochoa Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

A Wikipedia Expert’s Thoughts on the NYPD Editing Controversy

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Link Building Editor’s Note: Recently, Capital New York reported that NYPD computers had been used to make edits to Wikipedia entries on police-related topics. We asked Wikipedia expert and President of Beutler Ink William Beutler to comment on this news story.New Yorkers and the social web alike were stunned to learn that NYPD computers had been used to make surreptitious Wikipedia edits on entries related to police department controversies, including pages covering the “stop-and-frisk” policy and the deaths of Eric Garner and Amadou Diallo.These edits added information favorable to the NYPD while downplaying views more critical of the department. For instance, “Garner raised both his arms in the air” became “Garner flailed his arms about as he spoke”; another edit pointed out that Garner was “considerably larger than any of the officers” — making the deceased sound more dangerous and unpredictable.It was a scoop for reporter Kelly Weill, who went through the trouble of creating a Python script to sort through vast amounts of data to find the story. Following fast, the New York media and tech press collected denials from the department, criticism from the mayor’s office (which apparently has its own history of Wikipedia editing), and ultimately a statement from the police commissioner saying, “I don’t anticipate any punishment, quite frankly.” Meanwhile, a Twitter account called @nypdedits appeared, watching for any subsequent edits from the NYPD, and other reporters are setting up alerts for Wikipedia edits from their local police departments.As a Wikipedia contributor of many years and the writer of a blog offering Wikipedia commentary, the thing I find most surprising about this is just how surprised people seem to be — self-interested Wikipedia edits are nothing new.The History of Self-Interested Wikipedia EditsNearly eight years ago, a young web programmer named Virgil Griffith created WikiScanner, a website tracing many Wikipedia edits back to the CIA, Coca-Cola, The New York Times, ExxonMobil, and pretty much every large organization you can name. There was plenty of outrage to go around, but not enough attention to really single anyone out. There is even a Wikipedia article called “Conflict-of-interest editing on Wikipedia” that chronicles the most infamous examples.It’s pretty much been the same story ever since, with a rotating cast of sensitive topics, intransigent authorities, and mildly sophisticated web detective-work needed to blow things wide open.Which leads to another thing I know: The group least likely to raise a major fuss about this turns out to be … Wikipedia editors. Outwardly, Wikipedians lament the fact that this kind of thing happens all the time, avowedly disapprove of it, and then do nothing to prevent it from happening again. After all, this happens all the time.Wikipedia’s Guidelines on Editing EntriesThe relevant Wikipedia guideline is “Conflict of interest,” which strongly discourages (although does not outright prohibit) editing topics where one has a close personal or financial relationship. It’s problematic in part because most editors gravitate toward topics they are interested in. Sometimes it’s a favorite TV show, sometimes it’s an area of research, and other times it’s about one’s own industry.So what makes the difference between perfectly acceptable edits and ones to watch out for? The guideline says, “when advancing outside interests is more important to an editor than advancing the aims of Wikipedia, that editor stands in a conflict of interest.”The problem is that, as written, the line crossed exists only inside the editor’s head, which then invites other editors to weigh in on their own view of the subject matter. Despite the existence of a Wikipedia policy that advises to focus on “content, not on the contributor,” it’s a lofty notion that isn’t always held. Meanwhile, another policy forbids editors from posting information revealing the real-world identity of editors who have chosen to use pseudonyms. This rule is strictly enforced, which sometimes inhibits efforts to ferret out crafty offenders.More than once in recent years, the Wikipedia community has considered an outright ban on “paid editing,” but each time it has been struck down for fears that it would go too far. In particular, any rules strong enough to be effective might also put a university professor in harm’s way for writing about their own field of research. Many Wikipedians are now employed in paid positions at libraries and universities, so drawing a line around payment is too dangerous.A Closer Look at NYPD’s EditsBut what, exactly, did the NYPD do? It’s entirely possible that the edits were made by an officer acting on his or her own volition, as a matter of personal opinion, instead of word coming down from the NYPD brass to put the fix in on Wikipedia. That is, not to put too fine a point on it, how a very large majority of edits on Wikipedia get made.Meanwhile, not all of the edits were made to NYPD-related cases. Weill published a Google Doc with a list of NYPD-edited articles, showing the edits covered a wide range of topics, including lots about popular culture (my favorite: NYPD Blue tough guy Andy Sipowicz). The NYPD’s editors also removed some more obvious vandalism.To the list of not-so-bad changes one might plausibly add the specific Garner edits I quoted above. If someone without ties to the NYPD made these changes, there might be disagreement, but not necessarily a “gotcha” angle.It’s not difficult to imagine that the articles were biased against the police to begin with, or that this was the officers’ impression. This is one reason why Wikipedia officially calls itself the “encyclopedia that anyone can edit” — through the back and forth of debate, Wikipedia will asymptotically approach the best possible version of events. This is the theory of crowdsourcing.But this process breaks down when the involvement of “interested” parties is looked down upon. Could the NYPD have made the same changes had they brought them to discussion? Maybe. Figuring out how to fairly handle these “conflict of interest cases” is something Wikipedia needs to work on.But it still mostly works. Having seen this happen time and again, Wikipedians are thinking this is an unfortunate but unavoidable side effect of allowing an open-editing policy. Closing off access to editing by all comers is more dangerous than leaving it open to all. Wikipedians are nervous that they aren’t able to detect these kinds of edits, but they know they can deal with them once they are uncovered.Amid the controversy, a few Wikipedia editors will follow up on specific changes, and decide for themselves whether to keep, delete, or alter the specifics. And then they’ll steel themselves, knowing this happens all the time. Originally published Mar 23, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated March 25 2015last_img read more

The State of Freelance Writing: Data on Pay, Bylines & Quality Content [Infographic]

first_img Topics: Freelancing Originally published Aug 6, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated September 14 2017 189Savecenter_img Writing blog posts and other content takes time — time you and your team might not feel like you have to spare.And yet, you keep reading that companies regularly publishing quality content to their blogs are reaping the biggest rewards in terms of traffic and leads. Better yet for those companies, those results continue to pay out over time thanks to search engines.How can you maintain a great company blog when you and your team are juggling so many other marketing responsibilities? For many marketers, the answer is hiring freelance writers.The demand for freelance writers is high, and a lot’s been written about how to hire them, how to screen for quality, and how to build and manage a team of remote writers.Use the free HubSpot Invoice Template Generator to create professional invoices in minutes. But very rarely can you find data to help you answer tough questions. How much should you pay freelancers? Should they receive the byline — or not? What affects the quality of their work?CopyPress recently ran a survey with nearly 250 freelancers to figure this all out. Check out the infographic below of their findings.(P.S. Any freelancers reading? We’ve got something you might find helpful: Check out our brand new Invoice Template Generator here to ensure you get paid on time, every time.)189Save Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Snapchat for Business: How It Works, Why You Need It & How to Build a Following [Infographic]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Back when Snapchat was first released in 2011, a lot of people dismissed it as a passing fad. But with over 100 million daily active users, it’s clear the app is here to stay — and yet, many people are still struggling with the concept of actually using Snapchat to market their business. (In fact, a lot of marketers are still struggling to take it seriously as a social media platform at all.)But a huge part of Snapchat’s appeal is the creativity it allows users to express, and the fact that the content disappears within ten seconds. That creativity and sense of urgency are things marketers can tap into on a low budget, and get a lot of reach.Download our free Snapchat guide to learn how to use it for your business. So what exactly is Snapchat, how does it work, and how are brands using it for business? How can you integrate the app into your social media strategy? And how can you build a solid Snapchat following from scratch? Check out the infographic below from SurePayroll and Ghergich & Co. for the answers to these questions and more. (And read this blog post to learn more about using Snapchat for marketing.)92Save92Save Snapchat Marketing Topics: Originally published Feb 18, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

Social Commerce: What It Is & How to Use It in 2019

first_imgRecently, I set an iPhone time limit on my social media use to “45 minutes”.I figured 45 minutes would be more than enough. Almost an hour? In between working at HubSpot, catching up with friends, and attending exercise classes, I had no doubt 45 minutes would be plenty of social media consumption.Unfortunately, I learned pretty quickly that I actually spend 45 minutes on social media before I even get to work in the morning.I know I’m not alone. In fact, the average daily social media use of internet users worldwide amounts to 136 minutes per day.With all that social media consumption, it makes sense that more businesses are turning to social media to market to their audiences. But marketing is just one aspect of the buyer’s journey — what about sales? Can that be done within social media platforms, as well?While still in the early stages, it’s now entirely possible for businesses to sell products and services natively within social media sites.Here, we’re going to explore that very concept — known as social commerce — and take a look at some impressive examples of social commerce, so you can consider trying it for your own company. Additionally, we’ll list some of the most popular social commerce platforms available today, so you can decide which one could give you the highest ROI.Download Now: Ecommerce Marketing Plan Template Social media checkout capabilities Social commerce plugins and apps Shoppable ads Chatbot checkout What is social commerce? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 1. InstagramBetween its checkout capabilities and shoppable posts tool, Instagram is undeniably one of the most popular platforms for social commerce. Many Instagram users are already using Instagram as an opportunity to discover and purchase new products — for instance, 80% of users use Instagram to decide whether to purchase a product or service, and 83% use it to discover new products. Since these users are already prepared to find and purchase new products, it’s critical that they’re given the option to buy them in-app.Image Source2. PinterestPeople often turn to Pinterest for fashion, home decor, or beauty inspiration, so it makes sense that Pinterest would be a viable platform for social commerce. In fact, 93% of active Pinterest users said they use Pinterest to plan for purchases, and 87% said they’ve purchased something because of Pinterest.Pinterest’s Shop the Look Pins allows users to click on small white dots on various products within a post, and either purchase that product within the app or browse similar products. They can make purchases on both desktop and mobile.Image Source3. FacebookWith over two billion active users, Facebook is one of the most popular social platforms in the world, making it a good place for social commerce.If you have a Facebook Business Page, you can set up a Facebook shop to sell your products and services directly within the social platform.Facebook notes — “While any business can have a shop, this feature best serves merchants, retail and e-commerce advertisers. We recommend it for businesses selling apparel, accessories (including bags and luggage), home furnishings and baby or kids’ products.”To upload your inventory to Facebook and create a shop section, you can either use a third-party ecommerce platform like BigCommerce or Shopify, or you can upload and manage your products yourself.For further inspiration, try searching for major retailers and checking out how they’ve set up their Facebook shop. For instance, take a look at New Balance’s Facebook shop:Facebook shop is a fantastic opportunity for your business to reach a larger audience — and, even if your customers don’t end up purchasing your products on Facebook, having these products listed on your Facebook Business Page is a good idea for making Facebook users aware of the products you sell in-store.4. PoshmarkPoshmark is a social commerce marketplace that allows people in the U.S. to buy or sell clothing, shoes, and accessories, either new or used. Poshmark makes the experience even more social with features like “Posh Parties”, which are virtual buying and selling events that you can attend with friends.Popular brands on Poshmark currently include Nike, Lululemon, and Chanel — to sell on Poshmark, simply download the app and follow seller instructions from there.5. ShopeeShopee, reportedly the largest online shopping platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, is a social commerce marketplace that enables users to buy and sell products ranging from home & living to mobile & gadgets.Major brands on Shopee include Kleenex, L’Oréal, and Oreos. Selling on the app is easy enough — simply verify your phone number, ensure your products aren’t prohibited, and click “Add New Product” on your Shopee page. With over 95,000 users on the app worldwide and a unique focus on the Asian market, Shopee is a good option for brands looking to expand their global presence. 1. Social media checkout capabilities.One of the best examples of social commerce is the ability to click a product and checkout right from within a social media site, like Instagram or Facebook.For instance, in 2018, Instagram released a “checkout” feature on their app, which allows you to click on a product within a post, choose a size and color, and proceed to payment within the platform.The first time you use Instagram’s checkout feature, you simply need to enter your name, email, billing information, and shipping address. Once your order is complete, Instagram saves your information so you don’t need to enter it next time you shop.Additionally, you’ll receive notifications about shipping and delivery right from within Instagram, so you can also track your purchase without leaving the app.For instance, let’s take a look at what happens when I click the “View Products” button (bottom right) on one of @NikeWomen’s Instagram posts:Instagram immediately pulls up a page with all the details of every product included in the image.Let’s say I’m particularly interested in the sneakers. From within Instagram I can choose a color and size and then click the blue “Checkout on Instagram” button. If I’ve shopped on Instagram before, I don’t even need to re-enter my information. Pretty simple, right?Plenty of other social networks have these checkout features, including Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.2. Social commerce plugins and apps.As social commerce continues to rise in popularity, we’ll continue to see more plugins and third-party apps emerge to make the process even more seamless for businesses and users alike.For instance, one third-party app called Soldsie allows your followers to make a purchase on one of your products by simply typing “Sold” into the comments section of a post. Once they’ve commented “Sold”, the app takes care of the rest, emailing the user an invoice to complete.Image SourceSoldsie notes — “As fans comment, your sales trend on Facebook as each photo is shared with your fan’s Facebook friends.” For instance, if my friend comments “Sold” on a Facebook post of a cute sundress, I’ll see the picture in my News Feed and might consider purchasing one for myself.Ultimately, social commerce is a good opportunity to increase brand awareness while also increasing sales — a win, win.3. Shoppable ads.Shoppable ads is another example of social commerce, and is currently available on both Instagram and Snapchat.Simply put, shoppable ads allows businesses to tag products in an Instagram or Snapchat sponsored post, ideally creating a more efficient ad-to-purchase experience. Best of all, this type of social commerce helps businesses collect valuable data on which ads convert prospects into customers immediately. The features you’ll find on shoppable ads within both Snapchat and Instagram continue to improve — for instance, in 2018 Snapchat launched advanced features on their shoppable ads, including collection ads, product catalogs, advanced pixel targeting, and 30+ new Snapchat partners.Wish, an e-commerce app, successfully uses Snapchat’s product catalog feature to create different Snap Ads and Story ads to showcase a large variety of their products, as shown below.Image SourceShoppable ads are undeniably profitable if done well — on Snapchat alone, FabFitFun lowered cost-per-purchase by 36%, while American Eagle increased return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) by more than 3X.With shoppable ads, you’re able to market and sell directly to your intended audience without causing friction in a user’s social media experience. For instance, 73% of Snapchat users are between 18-24 years old. If this is your ideal demographic, why not try including your products or services directly within the ads you’re creating on Snapchat? This allows users to find products of interest to them without needing to leave the app at all.4. Chatbot checkouts.One final example of social commerce that’s critical to point out is chatbot checkouts — the ability for a user to find and purchase a product by chatting with a chatbot within a social platform.For instance, consider SnapTravel’s Facebook Messenger bot, which helps people find hotel deals and book rooms right from within Messenger:As you continue chatting with the bot, you’ll receive better, more customized deals based on your requirements. Additionally, you can click “Open Filter” to further modify your search based on your criteria, and a new screen will open up right from within Messenger:SnapTravel offers deals only available in Messenger, incentivizing users to book with the chatbot rather than on their website.Using a chatbot to streamline your buyer’s journey is particularly helpful for mobile-users who want to find and purchase products on an app they already have on their phones — like Messenger. Social commerce examples Topics:center_img Social commerce is the ability to purchase a product or service natively from within a social media platform like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter. Since many businesses are marketing on these social media sites already, it makes sense to allow users to purchase from within these platforms without leaving the site at all. Ecommerce Marketing Originally published Feb 25, 2016 5:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Instagram Pinterest Facebook Poshmark Shopee Top social commerce websites/platforms Ultimately, social commerce has the ability to eliminate friction in a user’s online shopping experience, and catch users’ at moments when their excitement over your products is highest.However, it’s critical you do market research to ensure you’re using the right social commerce platforms or apps to reach your audience in the social spaces they frequent the most.Additionally, remember social commerce is fundamentally social in nature — if your business doesn’t also engage and communicate with its followers, then your company won’t get much out of social commerce as a long-term strategy.last_img read more