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Apple today launched a new advertising campaign — during Samsung’s Galaxy S6 keynote — that highlights photos shot by users around the world on the iPhone 6. Instead of using marketing images, Apple went out and found the best shots taken on the iPhone 6 by everyday people. It gathered pictures from around the world shot purely on the iPhone 6 into a beautiful gallery and details what apps were used to capture the shot. According to Buzzfeed today, Apple approached users who uploaded the images to places like Flickr and Instagram and asked for permission to use them. Some images will…

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Was blind but now I see, and I want to show you too!

My Project:

Online Guidebook for Social Media Newbies

Prior to enrolling in MCO494, Social Media 2.0, i thought I knew everything I needed or wanted to know about using social media.  I thought that there really wasn’t much to it.  I used Facebook on a regular basis, and decided I had no need for any of the other outlets I had heard of.  When I signed up for the class, I did not know what was in store, but I thought it would be interesting.  After months of learning about all of the different types of social media, I had a new found love for them!  I once refused to ever create a Twitter account, and because I had to as part of my coursework, I was opened up to the world of tweeting.  I was able to check in to all of my favorite spots using FourSquare and share them with my friends.  Even though I had never done it before, I was able to blog with ease about all things social media using Tumblr.  Not to quote Aladdin, but if I had never opened my eyes to these media, I feel as though I would be missing out on a whole new world.  I had never really realized how important the Internet has become in our lives.

My new found appreciation for social media made we want to share it with others who felt how I did prior to taking MCO494.  I found myself talking about the various types of social media to coworkers, friends, family members, and even strangers!  After talking with people, I realized that many of my friends and family were just like me. They mostly used Facebook and nothing else; either because they thought other outlets were a waste of time, or they were unaware of off the benefits being connected using different social media can improve their lives.  So I figured, if my friends are like me, maybe a lot of people are like me!

Then, when the opportunity arose to do an applied project as a final, I said to myself,

“Self, what better way to showcase what I have learned about social media AND share it with others than to create an online guidebook for people who were just like me?!”  

This was going to be a daunting task for me, as I had no experience whatsoever creating websites.  I stumbled upon Wix, a website builder that provided free flash templates, but since these templates are very plain, sprucing it up and adding my content still took plenty of work.

I got to work on the site by deciding how I wanted to lay it out.  Social media is fresh, new, and fun, and I wanted the guide book to be interesting and fun too.  As a student, I know that if learning is not made fun, no one will want to learn.  I separated the virtual guide book into sections that gave each type of media outlet its own tab.  I included a video in the introduction to show those who visited my site how important social media is becoming.  I also made a section that is dedicated to smart and safe Internet use, as well as an about me section to explain why I made the online guidebook.  I kept the website fun by using interesting fonts and colors, adding a comedic video about social networks on the last page, and adding music that I considered enjoyable to both sexes so as to not turn anyone away.

The main benefits I wanted to make sure to share with my prospective audience (people like me) were:

  • Self-marketing tactics
  • Business marketing tactics
  • Discounts and Coupons
  • Networking (socially and professionally)
  • Campaigning/Activism
  • Sharing with loved ones who are far away
  • Journalism
  • Self-expression

After hours of typing, coloring, formatting, adding links, pictures, music, and videos, I had my finished product.  I am proud of what I had done, and I think that if people who only use social media in a minimal capacity stumble upon my guidebook, they will not only find it enjoyable, but informative!  I included information I had learned throughout MCO494 that I thought was most useful and best described the purposes of the various media.    If I had six months more I would definitely make my site more intricate, and include more information about how to use the media.  I would include screenshots or screen casts, sub-pages with more detailed information, and add more links and short videos.

Because my site is not published nor do I have money to pay an expensive SEO team to shoot me to the top of Google’s searches, I doubt anyone will stumble upon my site, but if they did, I know they would find it useful.  It may be basic, but so is my target audience’s knowledge of social media, and that is why I think it is relatable rather than daunting, as information about social media sometimes can be.

While I may be no expert, and stated so on my site…

… I feel as though people like me would rather learn how to use social media to their advantage from someone who can make it easy to understand, relatable and fun, and that is what I tried to do.   I have taught many of my friends and family members new tricks and tips using my knowledge, and hopefully their social media experiences are better for it!

Jason Zook is the founder of IWearYourShirt and author of Creativity For Sale. This post originally appeared on his blog. For as long as I can remember, the saying, “you just got lucky” or “that person is so lucky” has always made me cringe. I’ve never believed in luck—let me explain why. Everything that happens in life can be traced back to some amount of effort. Or, in many cases, it’s a crapload of effort. When someone hits the game winning 3-pointer in basketball, it’s not luck that makes the shot go in. It’s the 500 3-pointers that athlete has shot every day,…

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Today at Mobile World Congress Samsung unveiled a new version of its Gear VR headset that will be compatible with the S6 and S6 Edge. The updated Gear VR Innovator Edition is 15 percent lighter, has USB compatibility for “extended usage time” and the company has redesigned the straps to be more comfortable to wear. Samsung is also touting improved performance and better graphics, mostly thanks to improvements in the Galaxy S6 handset. The company isn’t giving the updated Gear VR a new name, but it does show the company’s commitment to its virtual reality headset.  

Best WordPress Plugins for SEO

When it comes to building websites at a Digital MarketingAgency, WordPress is the recommended platform to build websites and blogs forclients who want to rank higher in search engine results.  WordPress is very easy to use in customizing the website and because of the many plugins available that help for SEO and social sharing.  I would always recommend WordPress to my clients at my old agency instead of Drupal or Joomla even if they currently ran their site through those platforms.  WordPress is extremely easy to use and there are some plugins that really help for SEO and social media sharing and I’ll share some of those in today’s post.

WordPress SEO by Yoast WordPress Plugin

WordPress SEO by Yoast is a highly rated and definitely highly recommended plugin for WordPress sites, especially if you run a blog off WordPress.  This plugin adds meta value for your pages and posts, creates sitemaps and submits those sitemaps to search engines, analyzes your pages for SEO impact, counts keyword density in your posts and pages, optimizes your images as you post them, edits your robot.txt and .htaccess files, and controls how your posts will be indexed in search engines.  Yoast is a top industry leader in SEO and he certainly has developed the best WordPress plugin for SEO.  I highly recommend this plugin for any client who wants to rank higher in the search engines for organic results.

Smart YouTube Pro WordPress Plugin

As I have recommended in past posts, video marketing is imperative in social media and SEO campaigns.  Smart YouTube Pro is a fantastic WordPress plugin for easily embedding your YouTube videos, Vimeo videos, Metacafe videos, Liveleak videos, and Facebook videos directly into your pages and posts in WordPress.  You simply install the plugin and then it will give you instructions on how to embed the videos directly into your post through formatting the link of your videos.  It’s very simple to use and your videos will show up on your site whether a user access your site on desktop or mobile devices.

AddThis WordPress Plugin

The AddThis WordPress plugin is for social media sharing of your pages and posts.  It will give your users and readers the ability to easily share your pages and posts to their social media sites.  It also keeps users on your site longer when they share your site to keep that precious time on site metric up.  AddThis offers over 300 social media sites that you can customize on your AddThis bar for your users to quickly and easily share your pages and posts. If you just want Facebook, Twitter and Google+ or all 300+ sites, you can make sure your readers have easy access to share your content on their social media sites.

All-in-One SEO Pack WordPress Plugin

If you are a beginner in the SEO industry or are building your personal site on your own without the aid of a Digital Marketing Agency, then the All-in-One SEO Pack is for you. Start off the SEO campaign of your WordPress site with this plugin and it will be a lot easier for you to use and navigate than the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.  The All-in-One SEO Pack helps create meta title and keywords from your posts and pages, create and submit a sitemap, creates and submits your sitemap, help avoid duplicate content from your other posts and pages and avoids duplicate titles, meta descriptions and meta keywords as you choose.   All of these details are done automatically making the All-in-One SEO Pack perfect for beginners in SEO.

Google XML Sitemaps WordPress Plugin

Having an up to date sitemap that is submitted to search engines is crucial for an SEO campaign. The Google XML Sitemaps plugin will help you constantly build your XML sitemap as you create more posts and pages and submit them to the search engines so that your site is continually crawled and the new pages and posts you create are indexed by the search engines.  It is a simple plugin to use and does all that hard work on the backend for you.

Broken Link Checker WordPress Plugin

It is recommended that you link out to external websites other than your own site for good SEO. However, you never really can tell when a site that you link out to gets taken down or removed by the owner of that site.  It will hurt the SEO of your site if your external link points to a 404 error or a page that was moved but the webmaster did not give a 301 redirect tag in the site. Broken Link Checker will inform you of these broken links so that you can unlink them from your posts and pages, saving you from the negative SEO impact of the broken link.

Use these WordPress plugins for SEO and you will see a rise in your rankings on the search engines for your keywords.  I must add though that you should make your pages and posts optimized for your keywords, but then these WordPress plugins will do all the hard work on the backend for you so that your site can rank higher for your keywords in the SERP results and give your SEO campaign a boost automatically.

Samsung today announced a new mobile payment service called Pay, which will allows users to make payments in-store in place of their usual payment cards. The service uses NFC and mag stripe technology to achieve its ends, and Samsung has partnered with Mastercard and Visa, meaning it should be pretty widely accepted, which has previously been a barrier to mobile payments until now. Samsung said it had the potential to be accepted in 30 million stores today. In order to use it, you’ll need to just add a payment card to the app, and then swipe up from the bezel to…

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Today at MWC in Barcelona, Spain, Samsung unveiled its two new flagship handsets for 2015: the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Both of Samsung’s Galaxy S6 devices tout a 5.1” Quad HD(2560×1440) 577ppi display, a quad-core processor, DDR-4 memory, a 16-megapixel camera, Super AMOLED display and will be available in 32, 64 and 128GB sizes. The new devices are the first Samsung flagships to sport a metal body, with the company touting it as “much tougher than other high end smartphones.” The Galaxy S6 Edge has a curved display that wraps around the side of the device and users can use…

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