International stories and articles from our Flipboard mag.
AUG
31

Why Personal Branding Is Key To Career Success -- And How To Create Yours

I once had a client, let’s call him Jim, who came to me with a question: do I need a personal brand to be successful?

My answer was a whole-hearted, resounding, yes!

Personal branding is crucial to cultivating a successful career. Marketing yourself and your career as a brand is more than just about creative business cards or pretty fonts– it’s about how you present yourself to potential clients, customers, and anyone else imperative to your career.

Your brand is an indication of what you have to offer, and can make or break your success. It’s also indicative of confidence, credibility, and an ability to prioritize.

Do you ever ask yourself how you can create a personal brand that’s both effective and authentic?

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AUG
22

You Think Your Job Sucks? Then You Haven’t Read These 6 Worst Work Stories From A Guy Working In IT

After reading the stupidest and funniest patient stories, you might have thought that doctors have it the worst. There is, however, another field that will test its workers’ faith in humanity. Information technology (IT). To prove this, Imgur user Sembe recently shared his worst work stories, and they’re so ridiculous, they make grandmas look like hackers. From incompetent managers to clueless users, Sembe has seen it all. Scroll down to check out the unbelievable struggles he has to face daily!

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AUG
13

Study: Blue light from screens can steadily blind us

The negative health effects of blue light emitted from our laptops, mobile devices, and other digital screens are common knowledge: Tech’s favorite color inhibits the body’s production of melatonin and alerts us awake, throwing off our sleep cycles. In addition to causing serious eye strain, it also increases the risk of obesity and certain types of cancer—all of which can explain the recent popularity of eyeglasses made just to filter out blue light. The effectiveness and necessity of these, meanwhile, are still up for debate.

Now, a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports reports that our blue-tinted screens are even worse for us than we think—they’re steadily making us blind.

[Illustration: FC]Conducting a series of cell culture and imaging tests, a research team of optical chemists from the University of Toledo found that blue light causes vital molecules in our eyes to become “toxic,” killing off photoreceptor cells in the retina that the body does not regenerate. In other words, with enough exposure, we’ll all be blinded by the light: Macular degeneration, an incurable disease that causes significant loss of vision in one’s 50s and 60s, is noted as a leading cause of blindness worldwide. In the U.S. alone, more than 2 million new cases of age-related macular degeneration are reported each year.

[Illustration: FC]More precisely, the team determined that blue light exposure triggers retinal molecules to produce “poisonous chemical molecules” that cause irreparable damage to these photoreceptor cells. As one of the researchers put it: “Photoreceptor cells do not regenerate in the eye. When they’re dead, they’re dead for good.”

“We are being exposed to blue light continuously, and the eye’s cornea and lens cannot block or reflect it,” said Dr. Ajith Karunarathne, a biochemistry professor at UT. “No activity is sparked with green, yellow, or red light. The retinal-generated toxicity by blue light is universal. It can kill any cell type.” Karunarathne is hopeful that the new findings might lead to the development of a preventative remedy, such as an eye drop. In the meantime, he echoes previous suggestions to try out UV and blue light-filtering eyewear, and reduce screen time in the evenings.

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AUG
13

An Analysis of 43M Facebook Business Pages Shows This Is the Ideal Number of Times to Post a Day

If you've been on Facebook at all recently, either for personal use or to promote your business, you've no doubt noticed radical changes to the newsfeed. Posts by friends and family have been given pride of place, while others pages appear less frequently. What does this mean for brands and companies looking to promote themselves on the site?

To figure out the best strategies for businesses after Facebook's latest algorithm changes, BuzzSumo and Buffer recently teamed up to comb through their trove of data for answers. Together the two companies crunched data on 43 millions pages from 20,000 top brands.

The complete results, delivered via an in-depth Buffer post, are well worth a read if you do any sort of Facebook marketing. But perhaps the headline finding is that now more definitely is not always better on Facebook. In fact, the analysis showed that a modest five posts a day is actually the ideal frequency for businesses to post.

The fact is more brands than ever before are producing more content than ever before for a decreasing number of slots on users feeds. Competition for customer eyeballs on the site is growing increasingly fierce.

"There has been a 24 percent increase in the number of posts per quarter from 6.5m posts to 8.1m posts over the past year. That's an increase from 72,000 posts per day in Q1 2017 to 90,032 posts per day in Q2 2018," reports Buffer.

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AUG
10

Apple runs into another embarrassing issue with the new MacBook Pro

A series of embarrassing gaffes in Cupertino are leading many to question whether Apple has lost its eye for detail.

Just weeks after Apple acknowledged, then patched, a throttling issue in its updated line of “Pro-level” laptops, users are now reporting another problem that casts Apple‘s quality control in a less-than-favorable light: the speakers. Numerous users have taken to Reddit and YouTube to report or demonstrate the problem.

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It appears that both 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro‘s have an issue that causes a cracking sound in its speakers, a distortion of sorts that’s present even at a relatively low volume. The speakers, it’s worth noting, were advertised as taking “listening to new levels with wide dynamic range and more bass for maximum boom.” Apple also noted that these speakers were its best yet, with a direct connection to the power supply that enabled “peak amplification.”

It’s unclear at this time what’s causing the issue, although a source familiar with the matter tells TNW the company is aware of the issue, and looking into it. Finding the cause, though, could be troublesome. User reports, so far, are all over the map. Some report the issue as one that primarily happens in specific applications, like Apple Music, iTunes, or Garage Band. Others say YouTube videos have the same effect. Still others report that they’re also noticing it when using Windows via BootCamp — a problem that may point to a hardware issue, rather than a software “bug.”

Forum users at MacRumors have speculated about a number of potential causes, from radio interference due to a lack of shielding, to bad audio drivers, or even Apple’s new T2 chip. One user reports that a fix is incoming in the latest macOS ‘Mojave’ beta update, although we couldn’t confirm this.

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AUG
07

The #1 Reason Why Your Social Media Has Zero Return on Investment in 2018

Do you feel stuck in a rut when it comes to achieving your business goals and utilizing social media to help you do such?

If so, you are not alone. Even some of the most savvy social marketers are finding themselves ready to throw in the towel with social media for business in 2018.

According to a recent study from the DMA, only 48% of marketers believe they are receiving a positive return on their investment in social media. This is disappointing in that 77% of marketers are using at least one social network for business.

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AUG
07

How to Create a Successful Content Marketing Schedule

Is content marketing one of your business’ promotional strategies? If so, how do you find time and stay on schedule when it comes to creating social media updates, blog posts, e-newsletters, white papers, infographics, videos, images, etc.?

While content creation is a valuable and affordable approach to marketing, it does require time and resources. Follow this guide to create a content schedule for your brand, or if you don’t have the capacity to handle it yourself, feel free to contact us to find out how we can assist your efforts!

1. Determine Content Marketing Elements to Invest In

Which content marketing elements will you use in your strategy?

What types of content marketing elements will you include in your strategy? The big three I usually recommend are blogging, social media and email marketing, although you may also want to consider infographics, videos, images, white papers, case studies or podcasts.

Start by thinking about your goals. What do you hope to accomplish with your content marketing efforts? That will help guide you towards the best tactics for your brand.

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AUG
07

Visual Content Marketing in 2018 Webinar: How to Power Up Your Brand with Visuals

 

A picture can speak a thousand words! Visual marketing is a form of content marketing and branding that enables you to communicate with, inspire and connect with your audience in very memorable, inspiring and compelling ways.

Did you know that the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than the time it takes for the brain to decode text?

Learn how you can grow your brand and business with visual marketing on my free on-demand training webinar!

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AUG
07

Facebook vs. Google: AdRank Auction Factors [Infographic]

Many businesses use Google AdWords as part of their advertising strategy, but many are still warming up to Facebook Ads. An infographic from Ice Cube Marketing compares the two platforms, which—perhaps not surprisingly—have some similarities.

For example, each is a bidding-style platform, and bids can be manual or automated. Moreover, both platforms consider relevance when displaying ads.

Facebook goes on to determine an ad's "estimated action rate" as well, which is the probability that the targeted audience will take action based on the optimization event that you select, such as conversions, app installs, and video views.

(For more about Facebook ads, check out this August 23 MarketingProfs seminar: Facebook Advertising Tactics for the B2B Marketer. And check out this infographic about Facebook, also by Ice Cube Marketing.)

To explore the ad auction factors for Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, check out the comparison in the following infographic. Just tap or click to see a larger version.

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AUG
07

The Secret Behind Facebook Messenger Marketing, 5 Best Practices for Better ROI

While chatbot marketing in Facebook Messenger is a new marketing discipline, we aren’t executing campaigns in the Wild West.

With Facebook Messenger marketing best practices in place, the reward is audience engagement to the tune of 80% engagement rates.

Chatbots done well delight customers and streamline purchasing.

If you think chatbots can help your business, there aren’t too many Messenger marketing playbooks available.

When you’re looking for guidance and best practices in the uncharted territory of Facebook Messenger marketing, you can start here.

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AUG
07

PINTEREST FOR BLOGGERS: 10 INSANELY EASY RULES TO FOLLOW FOR PINTEREST SUCCESS

Everyone raves about Pinterest Success.

Getting massive traffic from Pinterest.

Building a huge Pinterest tribe.

Using Pinterest marketing strategies for business growth.

Pinterest becomes the major source of traffic for many bloggers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. Counting myself in.

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AUG
07

5 Reasons Your Social Media Isn't Working in 2018 and How to Fix It!

Pam is Founder Marketing Nutz - Social media, digital marketing & branding training & consulting agency. Global keynote speaker. Forbes Top 10 Social Media Power Influencer

Original author: Moore
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AUG
07

5 crucial e-commerce marketing tactics to drive more sales

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AUG
07

We Analyzed 43 Million Facebook Posts From the Top 20,000 Brands (New Research)

What a year for Business Pages on Facebook!

It sure feels like every time we as marketers and business owners think we have our Facebook marketing strategy figured out, a major algorithm change is announced or a new tactic becomes the latest trend.

Over the years, we’ve learned that the best way to reach our audiences on Facebook is to study the data, experiment constantly, be open to learning, and take a growth mindset.

In the spirit of learning, we partnered with BuzzSumo to analyze more than 43 million posts from the top 20,000 brands on Facebook in one of the largest studies of 2018.

Today, we’re excited to share the eye-opening research with you (hint: Page engagement continues to decline) as well as how your business or brand can revamp your Facebook marketing strategy moving forward and still find a ton of success on the platform.

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AUG
07

10 essentials for your social media marketing campaigns

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By Amanda Clark | Posted: August 7, 2018

It’s nearly impossible to run a successful business today without a social media strategy.

Unfortunately, social media marketing requires a lot more than just signing up for a Facebook account and posting the occasional meme. Succeeding online requires a comprehensive strategy, dedication and plenty of patience.

Here’s a quick checklist of what you need:

Goals. What’s the point of your social marketing outreach? How will you know whether you’re succeeding? You need to have clear objectives to guide your efforts—and that means goals that are specific, measurable and time-bound. Audience. Whom are you trying to reach? On which social networks will you find them? What kind of content are they looking for? Use buyer personas to ensure you’re speaking directly to your target audience. Automation. Not everything can be automated, but using a program such as Hootsuite to schedule some posts can remove some of the grunt work and streamline your campaign. Humanity. The whole point of social media is connection. Humanize your brand: Use humor when appropriate, and include candid photos of your team. Consistency. Regular activity is crucial for social media success. Nobody’s going to keep up with a social media presence where the updates are infrequent or sporadic. Use an editorial calendar to stay on schedule. Interaction. Monitor your accounts, and respond to questions and comments from customers or fans. Curated content. If you’re looking to display your industry authority, try sharing informative content from external sources (not your competitors). Original content. Curated content is important, but hopefully you’re developing plenty of branded content to share, too. Aim for a spectrum of content—blog posts, photos, videos, web page shares, etc. Data. Are you regularly consulting analytics to see what’s working—and what’s not? Make sure you’re using the right dashboards and tweaking your strategy as you go. Optimization. Finally, check that your social media bios and profiles are all well optimized. Include target keywords and convey the value proposition for your brand. Refresh your profiles annually.

A version of this post first appeared on the Grammar Chic blog.

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AUG
07

How to build on old IT systems

'Oh, that'll take months to replace.' 'We can't touch that… [in a whisper]... we really don't know what it does, let alone how it works.' I've lost track of the number of times clients have said these kinds of things to me. But all is not lost. You can innovate with your existing tech solutions; you don't have to throw everything away and start from scratch.

Imagine this scenario – quite a few years ago, a factory created piecemeal systems to support its internal functions, such as finance, manufacturing, dispatch, marketing and dealing with visitors. As customers' expectations have grown, its website has not been kept in check. Now more than half of the business's traffic comes from mobile or small-screen devices but the website does not properly adapt. 

And the IT solutions are all glued together but still work in silos, similar to the physical teams – making it almost impossible for them to all serve the same customer. This means that five, 10 or 20 years down the road, the business' IT systems and lack of attention to responsive web design are now inhibiting its growth.

It is possible to build something out of old ruins

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AUG
07

How to Make a Decent Living as a Web Designer

Recently, I had a discussion with a designer in the early stages of their career. They wondered if it was both possible and realistic to earn a comfortable wage ($70k – $100k USD) in this industry. It’s a fair question, given the level of saturation in the field these days.

My reply was: Yes, and yes. A web designer can realistically get to that salary level. But that certainly doesn’t mean that it’s easy to attain.

The following are my observations on what it takes to make the climb towards that “decent” living, based on nearly 20 years as a freelancer. Note that it is in no way a “get-rich-quick” type of situation (of which I’m living proof). However, there are ways to get where you want to go.

Identifying Your Path

Whether you’re an experienced web designer or just starting out, there’s no easy path to making good money. About the only certainties are that it will take a lot of work and a solid strategy. While the former is a universal trait, the latter is often very much personalized.

Early on in my career, I worked extremely hard but had absolutely no strategy to go along with it. I didn’t really think much about the types of projects I took on or considered the potential long-term effects of taking them. The result was that I was very busy yet struggling to get by.

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AUG
02

WhatsApp Status to start showing ads, as it starts allowing companies to contact you

Popular messaging app WhatsApp is to start displaying ads alongside its Status feature, and is already allowing companies to contact you via the service as owner Facebook seeks to make the service earn its keep …

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You may have seen requests from Netflix and other companies to allow them to contact you via WhatsApp. Facebook plans to build on this approach, reports the WSJ.

The company will introduce new ad types to let users know they can text companies directly via WhatsApp for any customer-service queries instead of calling. WhatsApp will charge companies between a half a penny and 9 cents—depending on the country—for every message delivered to a potential customer, a spokesman said.

About 100 companies have been testing the feature, including Singapore Airlines, e-commerce company Wish and ride-sharing company Uber, WhatsApp said.

The Status ads will begin appearing from next year.

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AUG
01

Facebook is making its first serious move to monetize WhatsApp

Facebook is getting serious about monetizing WhatsApp after the social network reported sluggish earnings growth last Wednesday. WhatsApp has rolled out three new ways for customers to connect quickly with businesses: a shortcut button to immediately start a conversation, the ability to have businesses send you information like a boarding pass on WhatsApp, and real-time support, the company said today.

At the same time, Facebook will now display ads of businesses that link out to WhatsApp. That means that businesses can purchase ads that lead people directly to an already loaded chat with the business on WhatsApp, and they can start talking from there. Businesses can respond to customers for free if they answer within 24 hours but Facebook will charge them for any response after 24 hours. It looks to be another way for Facebook to cash in on its many apps.

WhatsApp’s messaging feature is nearly identical to one already found on Messenger

The message function on WhatsApp is nearly identical to the one on Facebook, where you can go to a business’s page and send a message. Business communications on Messenger haven’t been super successful to begin with, and Facebook has had to roll out additional chat extensions to compensate. The WhatsApp blog post indicates that it’s up to the business if it wants to offer real-time support, so there could be the additional wrinkle that you might not hear back for a while.

WhatsApp opened up its platform to business users last September. Since then, it has kept the number of businesses using the app undisclosed. It said it tested the new messaging tools with about 90 businesses including Uber, Wish, and Singapore Airlines.

Today’s announcement sounds like Facebook is making new tools to entice businesses to stay on the platform as it begins to monetize WhatsApp. As additional ways to boost stagnating profits, Facebook can monetize from Instagram’s ads in Stories, for instance, and also potentially from WhatsApp businesses that are taking out ads.

Original author: Liao
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JUL
31

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