post

Social Media Marketing Trends To Expect In 2016

Social media will remain to be a vital marketing platform for businesses. Based on a research featured by Mashable in 2014, roughly around 81% of small to medium enterprises are leveraging social media, while 94% of them have a strong ongoing marketing campaign. By 2016, a projected 2.16 billion social media users globally are expected, a big leap from 2015’s 1.93 billion users.

However, some digital marketing approach may no longer be that effective come next year, as new social media trends will change the way businesses approach their markets online. To keep you in the loop, Swizly will unravel some of the top social media marketing trends you should expect to rise in 2016:

Social media is the new Google
Google will still be a top search engine platform for many online users, but social media will also play a huge part in the decision making of buyers. Beyond the SEO and Google Search, businesses will have to pay close attention to the increasing number of social media users who search products, services, businesses, and reviews on Facebook and Instagram. Did you know that 88% of consumers are influenced by the reviews and comments they read online from other buyers? Instead of going to the official websites, some consumers are now visiting the social media pages of businesses to know their brands and products. It’s the same reason why most of the social pages of companies are now ranking on the first pages of Google when you search for their names.

Buy buttons will be necessary
Facebook and Pinterest have introduced their new “buy” features to marketers and consumers online. Users who view a sponsored post can now purchase items with just a click, without the need to leave the application. Instagram is now following the trend, too, with the addition of sponsored posts on the user’s news feed. It is expected that by the end of next year, most major social media platforms will start using the buy button naturally. Today, Facebook has added the buy button on business pages to redirect consumers to an easy to navigate purchase page without leaving the social media platform itself.

Facebook’s digital assistant will take over
In August, Facebook launched their new social media functionality through the arrival of M. It is the Facebook Messenger’s digital assistant who can help you with various personal requests such as: “Can you help me order flowers for my mom’s birthday?” Facebook M will be competing against other built-in mobile digital assistants such as Siri who is said to be smarter on its latest update. Currently, Apple made Siri smarter on their new handsets with the addition of Hey Siri! feature that recognizes the owner’s voice. Siri has been available on almost all the iPhones on the market from the 5s and 5c variants to the 6s and 6s Plus model as seen on the list provided by O2. The Facebook M does not have that biometric sensor to recognize the voice yet like Siri does, but its arrival will be important to businesses as they can enlist their company, brand, and products as a suggested solution to queries. Other social media platforms (Twitter and Instagram) will soon adopt this feature to their functionality to prevent users from ever leaving the app.

Snapchat in marketing will make sense
When we hear Snapchat in business discussions, we often encounter the most common question: “Is this really a good platform to reach our target market?” But, recent trends in online usage reveals that Snapchat is more than just a “fun marketing experiment,” it will be a standard marketing tool to target a larger audience in real-time. If you are updated with the current news, you may have heard that the US presidential candidates for 2016 are now turning to Snapchat to connect with more voters. This platform will be highly important for businesses aiming to target the younger generation (including Millenials). Younger mobile users are the common adopters of this new social craze and they react well with getting exclusive content with an expiration date.

Social media will grow bigger next year as more users and businesses will turn to this platform to connect with one another. It’s essential to keep up with trends to run and manage your campaigns as seamless and efficient as possible. To get things done easily, read how Swizly can help you in your social media marketing today.

 

Exclusive for Swizly
Written by SheSocial

post

WWDC 2015 Highlights

Apple has announced their mid-year updates for iOS, OS X, and Watch OS platforms, at the Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC for short. Here’s a breakdown of the main announcements:

OS X:

Apple announced OS X El Capitan, the follow up to OS X Yosemite. Yes, they’re dead serious about the name. Unlike Yosemite, El Capitan doesn’t feature a redesigned interface – it only serves to improve what Yosemite has built upon.

El Capitan features include:

  • Split View; or the ability to open two consecutive apps on the same screen, by dragging one app onto a fullscreen app.
  • Windows get a cleaner look when viewed in Mission Control.
  • Mail gets gesture support, as well as the ability to go fullscreen.
  • Website pinning, as well as the ability to mute tabs in Safari. Websites will also be able to make use of Force Touch trackpads on laptops that have Force Touch trackpads.
  • Notes let’s users add photos, maps and URLs to any note.
  • Maps gets Transit Directions.
  • Metal comes to OS X, and brings a 50% improvement in graphic rendering speed.

El Capitan is available to developers today, and will come to users as a free upgrade in the Fall.

iOS:

ios9-logo-poging2-16x9

Apple announced iOS 9, and while it doesn’t have any groundbreaking features, it’s meant for optimization; with under the hood improvements that vary from decreasing update size to 1.3 GB, to extending battery life. Apple is also known for updating as many devices as possible, and this year isn’t any different: the iPhone 4S, and iPad 2 – both devices were released in 2011 – will be updated to iOS 9.

iOS 9 features include:

  • Siri takes on Google Now with Proactive Assistant.
  • News is updated, and will display stories based on topics the user is interested in.
  • Notes is updated, and lets users add checklists, photos, maps, and URLs. Users can also draw sketches.
  • Maps lets users plan their destinations with Transit view.
  • Split View comes to the iPad Air 2, where two apps run at the same time side by side. Picture in Picture allows users to play video from one app while using a different app. Slide Over allows users to open a second app without leaving the one they’re in.
  • Introduction of Apple Wallet with increased card support, such as store credit cards.
  • Keyboard shows lowercase letters when typing in lowercase.

iOS is available for developers today, and will come to users as a free upgrade in the Fall.

Watch OS:

AppleWatchOS21

Apple announced Watch OS 2, the much needed update for Watch OS, in order to fully make use of the Apple Watch hardware.

Watch OS 2 Features Include:

  • Native apps that run on the watch itself. Apps can also take advantage of the Apple Watch sensors and digital crown.
  • New watch faces, including Photo Album and Time-Lapse faces.
  • More ways to customize complications (the information you see on your watch). Users can also rotate the digital crown to view future complications with Time Travel.
  • When the Apple Watch is charging on it’s side, it will give an alarm clock-like display with Nightstand mode.
  • Support for Transit, Apple Pay, and the updated Siri.

Watch OS 2 is available for developers today, and will come to users as a free upgrade in the Fall.

Other Announcements:

Music:

  • Apple announced Music, its music streaming service that will be available to users on 6/30/2015.
  • Individual plans are $9.99 a month, and family plans are $14.99 a month.
  • Apple surprised fans by announcing Android support for its Music service, since this is the first time Apple makes an Android app.

Swift 2:

  • Apple announced the new version of its programming language, Swift, as an open source project.

Apple is different this year; its competitors have caught up and even surpassed Apple in some areas. This compelled Apple to look around, see what these competitors are up to, and to implement similar features in their updates.

7 Tips to Help you Make the Best Use of Swizly’s Platform

If you’ve just signed up for Swizly, welcome aboard, Swizler! We’re happy to have you aggregating with us. As a starter, here are some tips and tricks to help you make the best use of your account.

1. Make sure to set ‘manual publishing’ ON to approve content before it appears on your page. Manual publishing is especially recommended for those who are aggregating content from a hashtag that is likely to be widely used and hijacked by spammers.

2. Swizly’s cover image size is larger than the standard size range supported by popular social networks. As such, we recommend a high-res image where details aren’t compensated. For best cover image resolution, upload a photo that is 1200px wide by 505px high, saved for web at 300 dpi.

3. You can choose to point your Social Hub to a custom domain. Whether you prefer social.yourname.com, yourname.social, or yourname.com is up to you. Industry-specific TLDs are also available for you to customize your domain.

4. The ‘Favicon’ logo is the little thumbnail that appears on the viewer’s tab. Upload a square image (your logo recommended) to disable Swizly’s default image. Best fit is 16×16 px.

Swizly Favicon

The favicons of some of the World’s most well-known brands

 

5. We recommend connecting at least three social networks to take advantage of Swizly’s aggregation capabilities.

6. To embed your Swizly Social Hub into your Facebook page, grab the Embed Code from the ‘Customize’ page on the Swizly interface. To host the code on a Facebook tab, you’ll need a third-party tab installer. We recommend WooBox, though there are plenty of other free services to select from.

Swizly Embed Code Sample

7.  Linking your Google Analytics account to your Swizly Social Hub is a straightforward and easy procedure. Once you add your Swizly URL address to the GA interface, grab the code you’re provided with (beginning with ‘UA-‘) and paste it into the dedicated form on your Swizly dashboard (Customize > Profile).

Now that you’ve configured your Swizly Social Hub to suit your needs, you can focus on curating the best content and watch as it seamlessly appears onto your new hub. 

Have a question? Need help setting up? Email us at customercare@swizly.com

post

7 Reasons Universities and Colleges are Building Social Hubs and Why They’re Choosing Swizly to Connect with Alumni, Faculty, Students and Prospects

88% of universities and colleges are using 6 or more social media channels. Swizly has now answered a need to centralize all social content in a single hub that keeps an entire community of students, alumni, faculty members and prospective students up to date and connected.

(PRWEB) March 25, 2015

Swizly, formerly GetPressi, is the reengineered social media aggregator, that connects blogs and over 10 different social media channels. It updates original and user-generated content in near real-time, customizes to brand guidelines and can be set up in minutes to create an institution’s social media mashup page.

This is why Swizly is rapidly gaining traction as every month more colleges and universities sign up to create their customized social hubs. Today, Swizly signed up their 100th institution. “We are ramping up with more than 20 other requests in the pipeline”, says Senior Customer Care Representative, Marc Srour.

“Now, we have a clearly defined online brand that resonates with our students, staff, faculty, alumni and even prospective students.” Saint Anselm College, a platform subscriber.

The top 7 reasons behind the appeal to the Swizlysocial tool include:

1.    Cost Effectiveness: Swizly is a self-service platform that enables subscribers to build and customize a social hub in minutes for a minimal annual fee, without any additional costs for set up and branding.

2.    User-Friendly: institutions seamlessly connect multiple channels and accounts from over 10 social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube, in addition to RSS feeds, without a need for a developer. Fans and especially non-fans can view all the content on a single page.

3.    Visitor Retention: engaging visitors with social content, and offering the flexibility to share social content directly from their social hub; Swizly can also be embedded into the school’s website or Facebook page.

4.    Near Real-Time Updates: unlike other platforms, social feeds and hashtag aggregation are kept updated with the speed of social media.

5.    Mobile Web App: as social media on mobile devices has now surpassed 50%, Swizly includes a simple solution for fans and non-fans to quickly access the school’s content channels. It also helps institutions avoid the hassle and cost of developing and submitting a native app to both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

6.    Content Moderation and Content Curation: the institution has the liberty to manually publish and control what is posted on their social hub. #kegstand coupled with #theirUni is probably something institutions would not want to publish.

7.    Simplified Marketing: marketing multiple social channels, especially offline, can get convoluted. Deploying a social hub allows the institution the ability to promote a single destination, such as social.yourschool.com.

If you want to communicate the spirit of your college or university, and to show visitors campus life from a student’s point of view just sign up to Swizly, a social hub can say it all.

Swizly is currently offering a 14-day trial and 34% off on annual subscriptions which expire end of April.

post

5 Outstanding Sites For Free Stock Photos

If you don’t have a stock photo account and if you’re not keen on paying the steep per-image cost – fret no more. Luckily, more and more free-photo engines are sprouting by the day.

Here are some of our all time favorites, packed with hi-res digital stock photographs for your commercial use:

MorgueFile:

“The term “morgueFile” is popular in the newspaper business to describe the file that holds past issues flats. Although the term has been used by illustrators, comic book artist, designers and teachers as well. The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for use in all creative pursuits. This is the world wide web’s morgueFile.”

Unsplash

“All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.”

Magdeleine

“Hand-picked free photos for your inspiration.”

Life of Pix

Free high-resolution photos, no copyright restrictions. Images for personal commercial use. New photographs added weekly! All images are donated to the public domain.”

SplitShire

“Free high quality photos with no copyright restrictions and a real look, for personal and commercial use.”

StockSnap

“Beautiful free stock photos. Hundreds of high resolution images added weekly.”

post

The Android Flagships of MWC 2015

It’s that time of year again! Mobile World Congress is over, and we’re left gawking with brand new tech goodness.

Out of all companies and manufacturers that were present at MWC, there’s no denying the fact that HTC and Samsung stole the show this year; both phone manufacturers unveiled their new flagship smartphones to an eager audience around the globe.

HTC introduced the One M9 model to a fairly unsurprised crowd; the reason being the considerable amount of leaks that have surfaced during the past few weeks. The One M9 is highly similar to last year’s One M8 in design; with the only difference being the power button, which has migrated from the top of the phone to the side, and the omission of the second camera on the back. The M8’s design was highly praised by reviewers last year, and the only issue most people had with the phone were with the camera.

htc-one-m9-gunmetal-grey1

Not to delve too deep into phone specs, the One M9 is powered by the Qualcomm’s new and powerful Snapdragon 810 processor, has 3GB of RAM, 32GB onboard expandable storage, a 2,840 mAH battery, and runs Sense 7 UI on top of Android 5.0. The biggest change, however, is the camera; HTC finally moved its Ultrapixel camera from the back of the phone, to the front of the phone – a smart move since Ultrapixel technology absorbs more light – and has replaced it with a 20.7 megapixel camera. HTC also refused to follow the trend of QHD screens and ever-increasing display size, so they left the screen at 5” with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels.

The impressive specs, coupled with HTC’s premium aluminum design, were bound to get a positive reaction from tech fans, right? Wrong.

The One M9 was met with cries of disappointment, since most of these tech fans were expecting a major design overhaul, not just the revamped specs. The Verge has even dubbed the One M9 as “the world’s most beautiful disappointment”.

Samsung introduced not one, but two flagship phones this year: the S6 and the S6 Edge. Not unlike HTC, both samsung phones were leaked, albeit not as heavily as the One M9. Samsung managed to garner a slightly more positive reaction from tech fans, since they took a whole new direction in terms of design, they didn’t hold back on the specs, and they introduced something that’s new to the market: a phone with the screen curved on both edges.

galaxy-s6-edge-59

It’s pretty well known that last year’s Samsung S5 was a failure; it didn’t introduce any groundbreaking features, and didn’t differ from the design of its predecessor, the S4. By the time the S5 was released, people were getting sick of the fake metal sides and plastic backs, since they were buying a flagship phone, so they voiced their complaints on various social media platforms and tech websites.

Samsung took note, no pun intended, started from scratch material wise, and released the S6 and S6 Edge with real metal edges, and a glass back. The S6 and S6 Edge not only look like premium flagships, they run like ones as well. On the inside, both phones share the Exynos 7420 processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32/64/128 GB fixed storage. Yes, fixed storage, because both S6 and S6 Edge phones don’t support SD cards, they don’t have removable batteries, and they aren’t waterproof like their predecessor; this has left some fans disappointed. Another similarity is display, with a size of 5.1”, and resolution of 1440 x 2560. There is, however, a difference in battery capacity: the S6 has a 2,550 mAh battery, and the S6 Edge has a 2.600 mAh battery. Both phones run Touchwiz UI on top of Android 5.0, Samsung’s own version of Android, which has been also refined and rid of excessive bloatware.

galaxy-s6-60

As expected, there was more interest in the S6 Edge, since the concept is still rather new to consumers, but that doesn’t mean that the S6 garnered any negative reviews by eager tech fans.

Both HTC and Samsung are listening to the demands and suggestions of the public. It’s not all about releasing a phone and forcing the consumer to like it. No, the game has changed this year; they have released phones that are tailored for the consumer. HTC already had a great product, and tried to make it better this year; while Samsung learned from its previous mistakes, and refined their product. It’s comforting to know that companies are getting more and more concerned with what people have to say, and this will encourage people to voice their opinions on social media, since they now know that there is someone listening on the other side.

post

7 hashtags academics should be using on Twitter

Whether or not scholars should be using hashtags in their publications is naturally, highly debatable. But one thing is certain: unless they’ve adopted hashtags on Twitter, they risk missing out on the global academic conversation unfolding by the minute.

If you’re a scholar, educator, or university community manager – these are some of the best hashtags to use for higher ed topics, largely coined by Twitter’s most influential scholars.

7 hashtags academics should be using on Twitter #ScholarSunday

#ScholarSunday: an engaging strategy to highlight your faculty and outstanding grad students. Each Sunday, recommend to your followers a scholar they should follow.

7 hashtags academics should be using on Twitter #Academia

#Academia: a highly populated hashtag on Twitter. As long as your content actually relates to academia, then you should definitely include it for high publicity.

7 hashtags academics should be using on Twitter #AcWri

#AcWri (i.e. ‘academic writing’) is especially useful for graduate students seeking out feedback on their essays or theses.

7 hashtags academics should be using on Twitter #HigherEd

#HigherEd: a generic hashtag that covers any and every topic in higher education, including tuition fees and social culture.

7 hashtags academics should be using on Twitter #OnlineLearning

#OnlineLearning: as the hashtag indicates, #OnlineLearning is suitable for discussing online courses, blended learning, social media and all topics that are both academic and digital.

#EdResearch: the perfect hashtag to showcase your latest academic and scientific research.

7 hashtags academics should be using on Twitter #Edu

#Edu: a very generic hashtag that includes all education levels, anywhere from primary schooling to continuing programs. If you’re looking to join the global education conversation, #edu is the way to go.

post

#JeSuisCharlie and the Power of Hashtag Aggregation

Following the January 7 terror attack at the Charlie Hebdo head office in Paris, the Charlie Hebdo website published an image with the phrase “Je Suis Charlie” (I Am Charlie). Journalists from news offices around the World popularized the phrase as a hashtag, causing it to blow up across social media platforms.

Yesterday, the globe united under one hashtag – demonstrating the power of a single clickable word. Indeed; #jesuischarlie was the number one trending hashtag on Twitter on Wednesday, and Instagram currently has more than 533,000 posts under #jesuischarlie.

It’s at remarkable times like these that hashtag aggregation is necessary.

Swizly offers hashtag aggregation, pulling content from different social networks in near real-time. Simply input the hashtag(s) of your choice, and watch the content roll in. Swizly also allows you to moderate content, and remove unrelated spam by the click of a button.

For more info, click here.