The latest news on big data,
analytics, and social media

  • Make the Most of Instagram


    More and more businesses have got Facebook marketing down to a tee, but when it comes to Instagram, some are yet to learn the best tactics. Nonetheless, Instagram’s user base is growing all the time, which means that it makes perfect sense for advertisers to make use of the service. There are a series of tips and tricks that SMEs can use to increase exposure and engagement on the photo-sharing service.

    Create a Better First Impression

    One of the first things to do when setting up an Instagram account for your business is to complete your profile. You should spend quite some time on this, as this provides you with the opportunity to make an excellent first impression. Write any important key information on here and make sure that you update it should any of these details change. Ensure that users can find you on other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in this section too. You’ll then need to find customers and can do this by looking for people in your target location who are talking about relevant topics.

    Avoid Spamming

    You can’t expect to create exposure without engaging, so you should talk to your audience as you would on Twitter and Facebook. Converse with other businesses too, and you should be able to carve out your own unique voice through text as well as pictures. Find an ideal posting rate and avoid being too prolific – 2-3 posts a day is enough and won’t lead to you being accused of spamming your audience.

    Be Unique and Creative

    You should showcase your products in the pictures that you upload, but you can offer up other relevant photos too, to document things like corporate events or even your workforce, giving your brand a ‘human’ feel. More and more web users are gravitating towards pictures and videos over text, so it’s important to follow the relevant trends.



  • LinkedIn: A Valuable Alternative to Cold-Calling?


    Numerous articles have appeared online recently asking whether LinkedIn has started to become an alternative to cold-calling for businesses looking to generate sales leads. It’s thought by many that the traditional process of curating a list and picking up the phone is an outdated technique, and many influential figures are claiming that a strong presence on LinkedIn can mean that you no longer need to make the first move at all. The more useful and engaging information you can put on LinkedIn, the more you can convince passing audiences that you are worth doing businesses with, meaning that some startups are having to work less hard to generate leads.

    Warmer Communications

    LinkedIn is associated with building rapport, and is often thought of as a warmer channel for generating leads than cold calling ever has been. This means that when the time to have a phone conversation does come, the general tone of communication can be much more pleasant and warmer than it would have been in the past, due to the fact that both parties have a good idea about who they are dealing with.

    Participating In Groups

    If you are yet to really utilise the various tools provided to you by LinkedIn, it may be worth taking note of a handful of key tips to get started. Starting a group is a great method that you can use to start generating leads, and whilst an open group may well lead to an influx of spam, a closed group can be highly beneficial. It can take longer to grow a closed group, but the connections that you can make through one can be extremely valuable. Once you have started a group, you should participate as much as you can to nurture activity within it. When making announcements on LinkedIn, less is typically more, so always ensure that what you are posting is useful and interesting.



  • Google Start to Make Full Use Of Waze


    Google is making full use of its acquisition of Waze by integrating it into its Maps service. The recently-purchased mapping app company, which was bought for $1billion according to various reports will enable Maps to offer real-time road reports. When Waze was acquired, many commentators were uncertain about what they expected Google to do with it. Waze itself informed its users of live traffic information, warning them of obstacles such as congestion, jams, construction and road blocks. The service has relied on user input to eliminate errors.

    A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

    Waze will be incorporated into the iOS and Android Maps Apps, whilst the Waze app will now have Street View built into its map editor. When the updated version of the Maps app is accessed, users will be able to toggle to a view that will outline any problems that are currently apparent on or near the route that they are planning to take. It’s thought that rather than using the two services to create a single app, Google will use each service to optimise the other.

    A “Better-Informed” Service

    Darrell Ethrington of TechCrunch said that he expected Google to use Waze as an extension of Maps. Ethrington said “(Google is) treating Waze almost like a community-sourced product development arm of the Maps project. So long as it also continues providing useful updates to the Waze app and its users, that could be a strategy that serves it very well in terms of providing better-informed Maps data for the general public.”

    Fixing Missing Data

    The integration of Street View will allow users to highlight any inaccuracies in Waze. Waze CEO Noam Bardin wrote a blog post, saying that one of the problems that had repeatedly surfaced in the past was the difficulty in providing feedback. “At times like these, more visual tools like Street View and aerial imagery will be invaluable to not only fix the problem, but identify what the issue was in the first place. It can also help to fill in house numbers, street names, turn restrictions, and other missing data.”


  • Facebook to Launch Automatic Mobile Payments?


    Facebook are testing a new service that would facilitate automatic checkouts for purchases of some mobile apps. This would involve users saving their payment information on Facebook, meaning that purchases could be completed within seconds. It is not known when the new service might be made available to its users.

    A “Great Relationship” With PayPal?

    The company recently confirmed that it was working on a “very small test”. It is thought  that the payments will involve PayPal technology, after a spokeswoman said that the social media site had a “great relationship” with the payments facility. Tera Randall said “this product is simply to test how we can help our app partners provide a more simple commerce experience.”

    Potential Threat To eBay

    Randall said apps that are currently associated with PayPal payments won’t be forced to move away from the provider. Upon the news being revealed, shares in PayPal’s owner eBay declined, presumably as a result of a proposed competition. Denee Carrington, a Services Research analyst said that she though Facebook might find it tough to offer mobile payments, even though it already has a large database of its user’s credit card information. Carrington cited potential problems with trust, claiming “Consumers want safe, seamless and convenient mobile payments and there are a growing number of competitors that consumers trust more — such as PayPal, Visa ( and others,”

    A Place For eCommerce To Happen

    Facebook now has more than a million users, with around 50% of them logging in on a daily basis. This has inevitably led to ever-growing levels of interest from advertisers. The company generated advertising revenue of £1bn in the second quarter of this year. It’s thought that automatic payments would allow the company to track the number of its users purchasing apps from its advertising partners. Manoj Menon, MD of Frost & Sullivan said “Facebook does not want to remain just a platform for brand promotion and lead generation, but it wants to become the place where ecommerce deals actually happen”.



  • Google And Facebook Ignore “Do Not Track” Requests, Claim They Confuse Consumers


    Users requesting not to be tracked by web services are putting names like Google and Facebook in a tough position, according to web analysts. These services generate vast swathes of revenue through tracking, and face losing millions of dollars if they comply with their user’s requests to cease tracking their behaviour. Currently, customers can change their privacy setting to try and prevent themselves from being tracked, but it’s thought that some of these attempts are more effective than others. Google and Facebook are said to be ignoring “do not track” requests, and spokespeople for the companies claimed at the RSA conference in San Francisco that they weren’t convinced that many users actually knew what “do not track” meant.

    A “Consumer Confusion Question”

    Keith Enright of Google said that as there is no agreed standard for “do not track” in the industry, a “consumer confusion question” still loomed large. This could mean that even if a request is complied with, users may not get the results that they expect. Erin Egan of Facebook said that their plugins weren’t designed for advertising as much as they were orchestrated to personalise the user experience. Egan said that confusion would remain until an official standard was set by the World Wide Web Consortium.

    A “Nuclear Strike” On Advertising?

    The new Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 has its “do not track” setting switched on by default, to the chagrin of much of the advertising industry. Mozilla are said to be working on a new version of its browser which will enable blocking of third-party cookies, saying that such moves are being made due to public demand. Mike Zanies of the Internet Advertising Bureau described the move as a “a nuclear first strike against ad industry.” Mozilla responded to criticism by saying that it was only doing something that has been at the heart of Apple’s Safari browser for many years.