What your business can learn from Selfies

Editor's Note:  OK, I'll admit it.  I've always thought selfies were a slightly annoying vain personal expression. Now we learn it can be important for our business or organization and it's a "big deal"!

Selfies have become a dominant force worldwide. The word was named the Word of the Year 2013 by Oxford Dictionaries after there was a 17,000% increase in the use of "selfie" over the course of the year. In August “selfie” was accepted into the ultimate word bible: the Scrabble dictionary. On Twitter, #selfie yields thousands of results each hour. And whether or not your business has any reason to post a selfie or use the hashtag, selfies prove the power in following trending topics and finding opportunities to enter popular conversations.

But whether or not it's a fleeting trend or here to stay, the selfie is much more than a vain expression of ourselves. Its virility, its ability to engage wide audiences, and the way it humanizes even the most polished personas offer three lessons for your business.

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Using Forums to Drive More Web Traffic

Editor's Note:  Anyone who uses their website to promote their business or organization can use more traffic.  We found this article that talks about using forums for improved networking thereby gaining more traffic to your websites. 

One thing that can help you drive more traffic to your web sites and blogs is by making use of all the forums online. It doesn't matter what niche your site is in because there will usually be at least one pertinent forum you can use. Because the popular forums have thousands of members they can likely provide your web site with more traffic as can using several forums at once. Finding the most effective means of driving more traffic to your web site using forums is the topic of this article.

An important point to mention when promoting on forums is that your likely traffic will be coming from more than one source. Firstly, you will hopefully get site visitors direct from the Internet forum itself. Online forum users might be interested by the link to your web site when they see it and go and check it out. This is a traffic source that will be interested in what you are marketing as they belong to a forum that focuses on your niche area. The next way to build more traffic is that every time you make a comment on a forum or ask a question, you will be building links to your site which will help you get higher search engine rankings.

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Getting customer emails

Do you run an onlne business?  Do you have customers that you'd like to regularly email?  Read on!

"Putting a sign-up box on your home page should be the first thing on anybody's mind when they start an online business."

— Louis Jay, President, Health4her

If you're like most small-business owners, you need a generous supply of potential customer names and email addresses to effectively market your offerings online.

The good news is you don't have to deceive or spam people to get them. The bad news is that too many others have already taken that route, giving online marketing a shady reputation.

Unlike the offline world, where consumers get junk mail daily and simply toss it into the recycling bin, unwanted email messages offend people and trigger nasty replies. People are more protective than ever of their email addresses.

"Spammers have made it bad for the rest of us," says Derek Scruggs, an expert on permission-based email marketing. So you shouldn't be one yourself; there are enough already out there.

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Security Habits of Effective PC Users.

 

 
7 security habits of highly effective PC users

You might not think about it when you’re browsing the web, shopping online and interacting on social media, but you are the first line of defense against cyber security risks. The power to be safe is in your hands and at your fingertips. Developing and maintaining good habits can make online activity much safer and more enjoyable for you and your colleagues.
 
Here are a number of good habits take only minutes to learn and are easy enough to incorporate into your daily work life.
 
Create strong passwords
Passwords are usually the first, and sometimes only, protection against unauthorized access. They are the keys to your online kingdom, so keep these guidelines in mind.

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#hashtags 101

It’s a simple symbol: two lines intersecting two lines. It’s been called the number sign, the pound sign and the hash mark. It’s used for different purposes in linguistics, mathematics and computing. Of course, we’re talking about the # symbol. It’s a simple sign, but one with growing influence.
 
Today, the # symbol is used to create “hashtags” in social media posts on sites like Twitter and Facebook. A hashtag is the # symbol followed by a word or phrase.
 
Hashtags create a system for grouping messages and allow social media users to see content, such as tweets, from people they do not follow. If you search #cats on Twitter, you’ll see cat content from around the world—and there is a lot of it.
 
Exploring topics using hashtags is simple. On Facebook and Twitter, hashtags are clickable—so you just have to select the hashtag within a post to view more about that topic. You can also search using hashtags (as opposed to traditional keywords), but there is a difference between keyword and hashtag queries. A hashtag is usually written without spacing and might not contain normal words. That means searches for “#ILoveCats” and “I love cats” will generate different results.
 
When you use hashtags, you’re more than simply sending a message into a larger pool for others to see; you are joining a conversation. Whether referring to sporting events, political affairs or breaking news, your voice can be heard.

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