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Internet and Social Media Use in U.S. Hasn’t Grown Since 2016, Report Says

After years of growth, a new analysis of Pew Research Center data has revealed internet, social media use, and device ownership in the U.S. have plateaued. The report points out some segments have achieved near saturation points, which limits any more growth in the country. On the other hand, there are some segments which are still on the wrong side of the digital divide and not fully participating in what these technologies offer. This data is extremely important for small businesses on digital platforms who serve their communities. By identifying what technologies their population uses or doesn’t use, owners can fine-tune their marketing efforts to reach more people. Paul Hitlin, senior researcher focusing on internet, science, and technology at Pew Research Center, who authored the report on the organization’s site points out a specific data point which highlights the need to know how people communicate. Hitlin says, “While many long-standing measures of technology adoption have steadied the past two years, the ways that people get connected and use digital platforms are constantly shifting and evolving.” He adds, “Pew Research Center surveys have shown that the number of people who are “smartphone-only” internet users – meaning they own a smartphone but do not have traditional home broadband service – has grown from 12% in 2016 to 20% this year.” For a small business in this type of community optimizing their website to be mobile friendly can deliver better engagement and higher conversion rates. Here is how some of the data breaks down according to internet, social media, and device ownership. Internet Use Statistics The Pew Research Center started tracking internet usage by Americans in early 2000. At that time half of all adults were already online, and the number has now jumped to nine-in-ten American adults. Young Americans between 18-29 years of age have the highest user rate at 98%. This is followed by those who are 30-49 at 97%, 50-64 at 87%, and 65+ at 66%. When it comes to race there is little difference between whites, blacks, and Hispanics in 2018. This is also the case for gender. The…

Facebook Makes Stories Ads Available to All Users – Including Small Businesses

After testing ads on Facebook Stories in May of this year, the company just announced the feature is now available to all advertisers around the world — and that includes small businesses. Facebook Stories and Messenger Stories have grown to 300 million daily users each. The availability of the two platforms for advertising means new ad placement options for businesses looking to reach this audience. For small businesses who use Facebook, the new ad units will deliver a full screen, immersive environment ad targeting and analytics capabilities. You will also be able to take your stories ad campaigns to Messenger in the near future. The Reach of Stories An Ipsos survey carried out for Facebook IQ revealed 68% of people indicated they use Stories on at least three apps on a regular basis. Another 63% said they plan on using stories even more in the future. Stories are also optimized for the way people use their phone, which is mostly (90%) vertically. The full-screen view allows users to watch images and videos right away. FBB Blog: Introducing Facebook Stories Ads Posted by Facebook Business on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 Across all of its platforms, Facebook has more than 1.1 billion people using stories. This includes 400M+ on Instagram Stories, 300M+ on Facebook Stories and 450M+ on WhatsApp Status every day. Facebook says this will eventually lead to Stories surpassing the sharing which takes place in Feeds sometime in 2019. The Reason Stories is Working Shortly after Instagram Stories ads was launched in 2017, advertiser embraced the way it was able to connect consumers and brands. In the US 73% of people said Stories made it possible to experience new things outside their everyday lives. This led Companies large and small around the world to start using the Stories ads. And it resulted in 58% of people stating they are more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories.   FBB Blog: Introducing Facebook Stories Ads Posted by Facebook Business on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 Their interest also led to action as 58% said it was responsible for…

Why I Quit Facebook and Instagram: One Entrepreneur Shares His Story

In 2017, Rishabh Dev made what some might consider a radical decision. After some experimentation in 2017, Dev quit both Facebook and Instagram in September, keeping only a Facebook community he manages. Dev, who calls himself a n Should You Quit Social Media? Calling himself a n omad, minimalist and growth hacker, Dev trains entrepreneurs and marketers at Mapplinks Academy. In a conversation with Small Business Trends he explained  why he quit social media and why other small business owners might want to do the same. Social Media is like a Slot Machine “The first, biggest reason I quit social media is because I know how it works. And I know what it’s supposed to do,” Dev says. “Think of social media like a slot machine.” He also says the lines between the online and offline worlds are blurred with too much social media use. “It has started appearing to me that the virtual world is becoming the real world while the real world is starting to look virtual by most people who’re hooked to their device screens. Smart phones aren’t making people smarter. Far from that, they’re being enslaved in dark habit loops they can’t get out of.” How Social Media is Rewiring Your Brain Dev says social media is actually designed to rewire your brain by creating new habits that run on loops. You can become addicted to the rush of notifications and your brain is changing with the onslaught. According to Dev, distraction free environments are the remedy. He even recommends a book to start the process. “Facebook & Instagram were the biggest distractions for me in creating these environments for deep work. I recommend reading ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport to understand more about this concept. There is an entire section of the book dedicated to ‘Quitting social media’.” How Quitting Can Help Declutter Your Work Week After walking away from social media, he found he could declutter his 10-hour workweek and make the most of it by focusing on what’s essential. Being as productive as possible means using what he calls digital minimalism. This concept involves ideas…

4 Easy Tips Small Business Owners Can Use to Master Instagram

When it comes to running your small business successfully, there are many essential strategies you need to use to attract customers. In the online world, Instagram is one of the… Read more » The post 4 Easy Tips Small Business Owners Can Use to Master Instagram appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.

YC-grad Papa raises $2.4M for its ‘grandkids-on-demand’ service

One of the latest additions to the on-demand economy is Papa, a mobile app that connects college students with adults over 60 in need of support and companionship. The recent graduate of Y Combinator’s accelerator program has raised a $2.4 million round of funding to expand its service throughout Florida and to five additional states next year, beginning with Pennsylvania. Initialized Capital led the round, with participation from Sound Ventures. Headquartered in Miami, the startup was founded last year by chief executive officer Andrew Parker. The idea came to him while he was juggling a full-time job at a startup and caring for his grandfather, who had early onset dementia. “I’ve always been a connector of humans,” Parker, the former vice president of health systems at telehealth company MDLIVE, told TechCrunch. “I’ve always naturally felt comfortable with all walks of life and all age groups and have just felt human connection is really critical.” Seniors can request a “Papa Pal” using the company’s mobile app, desktop site or by phone. The pals can pick them up and take them out for an activity or have them over to play a game, complete household chores, teach them how to use social media and other technology or simply to chat. A senior is matched with a student, who must complete a “rigorous” background check, in as little as 30 seconds. Parker says there are 600 students working with Papa an average of 25 hours per month. “We’ve been fortunate that this is something the students really want to be part of,” he said. “They aren’t doing this for a couple extra dollars. They are doing this to help the community.” The service costs seniors $20 per hour, $12 of which is paid to the students and $8 is returned to Papa. It’s not a subscription-based service, but seniors can pay for a premium option that lets them choose between three Papa Pals instead of being randomly paired with one of the several hundred options. The students do not provide any personal care, like bathing or grooming. And they are not a pick-up and drop-off service,…

10 Video Marketing Mistakes A Good Marketer Should Avoid

A famous adage goes like this, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Whatever you do, it is quite important that you know what you are doing and you do it right. Same is the case for your video marketing strategy as well. Video marketing today is like a fast and competitive game. If you are likely to make any mistakes, then there is no winning. A poor quality video marketing campaign can do more harm than good to your video as well as your business. Remember the video you make reflects your brand. Hence, getting it right is indeed crucial. With 87% of online marketers using video content to improve their marketing strategy, 51% of them have claimed videos to be the best content to give you ROI.  Also, viewers retain 95% of the information you give in the form of a video as compared to 10% when reading it in a text. But the fact is, that kind of success is not very easy. Your video marketing should also be bang on! With video being the superhero of marketing, you will always get back what you put forth in your video marketing strategy. Avoid any mistakes and you will be on your way in producing a video that surely captivates the world. Without further ado, let’s get into the details of various mistakes you are likely to make in your business’s video marketing strategy, how to get rid of them and rise like a star! How to avoid 10 common video marketing mistakes Let’s face it! Video marketing costs money. And when you are willing to lay a budget on this marketing strategy, a mistake is something you cannot afford. Below are the most common video marketing mistakes that even experts can sometimes make. Choosing the wrong partner Today, anyone can make a video easily with just a smartphone in hand. But, is that what you want? The customers of your business might equate the quality of your video to the quality of your business. Thus, you need to consult the experts. In order to save…

50 Million Facebook Accounts Compromised, Is Your Business Page Safe?

The security breach which was discovered by Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) engineers on September 25 allowed the attackers to take direct control over user accounts; around 50 million of them to be exact. The Latest Facebook Security Breach In addition to the 50 million, Facebook also said there were another 40 million accounts which were potentially vulnerable. All said, the company logged out 90 million accounts to prevent further damage. In a security update, Facebook admitted the attack was able to exploit the complex interaction of multiple issues in its code. This came about from a change the company made to its video uploading feature in July of 2017 affecting the “View As” feature. Facebook said, “The attackers not only needed to find this vulnerability and use it to get an access token, they then had to pivot from that account to others to steal more tokens.” This attack couldn’t have come at a worse time for Facebook. The company is trying to ratchet up its security before the upcoming mid-term elections while at the same time trying to recover from the Cambridge Analytica fiasco in which data from about 87 million users was shared with a political consulting agency. The View As Feature The View As feature allows users to see how a profile looks to other people. The attackers were able to exploit three flaws or bugs in the “View As” feature. In the same security update, Pedro Canahuati, Vice President of Engineering, Security and Privacy, listed those flaws as follows: View As incorrectly provided the opportunity to post a video. A new version of the video uploader (the interface that would be presented as a result of the first bug), introduced in July 2017, incorrectly generated an access token that had the permissions of the Facebook mobile app. When the video uploader appeared as part of View As, it generated the access token NOT for the viewer, but for the user the viewer was looking up. Facebook said it has turned off the View As feature temporarily while it conducts a security review. Tricking Facebook to Issue Access…

How To Schedule Instagram Posts in 5 Simple Steps

Instagram lets you schedule your posts and there are different ways of doing it. A very popular approach is to create a business profile and use popular scheduling software like… Read more » The post How To Schedule Instagram Posts in 5 Simple Steps appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.

Google Plus to Shut Down: What Small Businesses Need to Know

Google is shutting down Google+ as a social network, effective August 31, 2019. Google made the announcement on October 8, the same day as a Wall Street Journal story outlining that the data of a half million users was exposed.  Google knew about the security issue back in March 2018, but elected not to disclose it to users. Within hours of the story, Google came out with an announcement acknowledging the issue, but defending its actions.  In the same announcement it said it was closing Google+ down in 10 months’ time. Google Vice President Ben Smith said in a statement that the data was exposed through an API used by third party apps.  An API is a technical means of transferring data from one software program to another. About the Google+ Security Breach Google downplayed the impact of the security breach, stating it was due to a software bug. Here are key points: It says the security bug was limited to a small number of Google+ profile fields marked non-public. Those fields include name, email address, occupation, gender and age. The breach “does not include any other data you may have posted or connected to Google+ or any other service, like Google+ posts, messages, Google account data, phone numbers or G Suite content,” according to Smith.  G Suite content, of course, refers to G Suite users’ email, calendar, and stored files. Many small businesses use G Suite (formerly called Google Apps for Business). So it’s good to know your company’s sensitive communications were not affected. Google says it disovered and patched the bug back in March. Google can’t tell which users were affected, because it claims to keep log data for only two weeks. However, it estimates that 500,000 users using 438 different apps were affected. Google Plus to Shut Down: What Small Businesses Need to Know Google+ will remain open until August 31, 2019. However, you might want to consider leaving sooner rather than later if you use it for marketing purposes. Smith revealed how the network has shrunk, admitting it has “low usage.” Over 90% of its sessions are less than…

Give Your Facebook Ads Some Holiday Cheer with New Enhancements

If you are making plans to launch your holiday marketing campaign, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has just announced new features for video creation, storefronts, and overlays. New Facebook Ad Features The new features have been designed with customizable templates for creating holiday theme promotions as well as campaigns for the rest of the year. By making your products more visually appealing with holiday themes, you have a better chance of getting the attention of the hundreds of millions of Facebook users who shop during this time. According to Facebook, there were 450 million views of Black Friday and other related videos during the Thanksgiving shopping weekend. As a small business owner, getting some of those eyes on your company can translate into brand recognition and sales during, and long after the holidays have come and gone. Video Creation Video is now the preferred medium for consuming content, and increasingly mobile is the chosen device for viewing them. This has led creators and marketers to use a range of tools to come up with innovative content users are likely to view, interact, and hopefully share. FBB Blog: New Ways to Showcase Your Products this Holiday Season Posted by Facebook Business on Monday, September 10, 2018 The Facebook video creation kit was launched in August 2018, with the goal of turning existing image and text assets into mobile-optimized videos. The videos can be framed in 1:1 for feed environments or 9:16 for stories on Facebook and Instagram. The platform has been designed by Facebook’s Creative Shop team with a framework so you can make lightweight video ads from still image ads without having to be an expert. You can make 6 and 15-second videos to promote, sell, show, and drive product discovery. The new features will have holiday-themed templates and stickers so you can customize your videos for the season. Collection Ads Collection ads was launched last year to give mobile shoppers more visual content. Facebook said it has two new updates for collection ads so you can make it more immersive and personalized. You can now direct shoppers from collection ads to…

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