Parents are constantly struggling with limits on their children’s tablets, mobile phones, computers, and TVs. There has to be a balance with technology and entertainment and education.
As parents, all of us have fought the battle with our kids as they are absorbed into a video game or movie on an iPad, tablet or smartphone. We’ve had a better chance of getting the attention of Tom Cruise walking the red carpet than our kids.
Today, it’s common for two-year-olds to be using iPads, elementary schoolers hooked up to video games, and we all suffer (or live with) the challenge of prying your middle-schooler away from the computer long enough to eat a decent meal…
Technology is everywhere and its draw on kids is obvious, but is technology helping our kids learn?
Technology is becoming more social, adaptive, and customized, and as a result, it can be a fantastic teaching tool. That stated, as parents, we need to establish boundaries.
Today, software is connecting kids to online learning communities, tracking kids’ progress through lessons and games, and customizing each students’ experience.
By the time your child is in elementary school, they will probably well-versed in technology.
Learning with Technology at School
Schools are investing more and more in technology. Whether your child’s class uses an interactive Smartboard, laptops, or another device, here are three ways to make sure that technology is used effectively.
Young children love playing with technology, from iPads to digital cameras. What do early childhood practitioners — and parents, too — need to think about before handing kids these gadgets?
Let’s start at the beginning: what is technology in early childhood?
Technology can be as simple as a camera, audio recorder, music player, TV, DVD player, or more recent technology like iPads, tablets, and smartphones used in child care centers, classrooms, or at home.
More than once, I’ve had teachers tell me, “I don’t do technology.” I ask them if they’ve ever taken a digital photo of their students, played a record, tape, or DVD, or give kids headphones to listen to a story.
Teachers have always used technology. The difference is that now teachers are using really powerful tools like iPads and iPhones in their personal and professional lives.
Technology is just a tool. It shouldn’t be used in classrooms or child care centers because it’s cool, but because teachers can do activities that support the healthy development of children.
Teachers are using digital cameras — a less flashy technology than iPads — in really creative ways to engage children in learning. That may be all they need.
At the same time, teachers need to be able to integrate technology into the classroom or child care center as a social justice matter.
We can’t assume that all children have technology at home.
A lack of exposure could widen the digital divide — that is, the gap between those with and without access to digital technology — and limit some children’s school readiness and early success.
Just as all children need to learn how to handle a book in early literacy, they need to be taught how to use technology, including how to open it, how it works, and how to take care of it.
Experts worry that technology is bad for children.
There are serious concerns about children spending too much time in front of screens, especially given the many screens in children’s lives.
Today, very young children are sitting in front of TVs, playing on iPads and iPhones, and watching their parents take photos on a digital camera, which has its own screen.
There used to be only the TV screen.
That was the screen we worried about and researched for 30 years.
We as a field know a whole lot about the impact of TV on children’s behavior and learning, but we know very little about all the new digital devices.
My advice to teachers and parents is to trust your instincts. You know your child and if you think they have been watching the screen too long, turn it off.
It’s up to us, as parents, to notice that your child’s computer time is reducing or limiting interactions and playtime with other kids and nudge them in new directions. To encourage them to be physically active, to get outside and play.
It’s also up to the adult to understand the child’s personality and disposition and to figure out if a technology is one of the ways the child chooses to interact with the world.
At the same time, cut yourself some slack.
We all know that there are better things to do with children’s time than to plop them in front of a TV, but we also know that child care providers have to make lunch, and parents need time to take a shower.
In situations like that, it is the adult’s job to make the technology time more valuable and interactive by asking questions and connecting a child’s virtual experience on the screen with real-life experiences in her world.
Learning with Technology at Home
Whether you’re giving your child your smart screen phone to entertain them, or it’s your toddlers’ preferred playtime is on an iPad or tablet, here are eight ways to make sure your child’s experiences with technology are educational and fun.
Focus on Active Engagement Any time your child is engaged with a screen, stop a program, or mute the commercials, and ask engaging questions. What was that character thinking? Why did the main character do that? What would you have done in that situation?
Allow for Repetition DVDs and YouTube videos add an essential ingredient for young minds which is repetition. Let your young child to watch the same video over and over, and ask him what he noticed after each viewing.
Make it Tactile Unlike computers that require a mouse to manipulate objects on the screen, iPads, tablets and smartphones allow kids manipulate “physical” objects with their fingers.
Practice Problem Solving An emerging category of games will force your child to solve problems as they play, potentially building concentration and analytical skills in the process; although the jury is still out on this. There is no clinical data that supports the marketing message of app makers.
Encourage Creation Use technology for creation, not just entertainment. Have your child record a story on your iPod, or sing a song into your video game system. Then, create an entirely new sound using the playback options, slow down and speed up their voice and add different backgrounds and beats until they’ve created something uniquely theirs.
Show Him How to Use It Many computer games have different levels and young children may not know how to move up or change levels. If your child is stuck on one level that’s become too easy, ask if he knows how to move up and help him if he wants more of a challenge.
Ask Why If your child is using an app or game the “wrong” way, always pressing the incorrect button, for example, ask them why. It may be that they like hearing the noise the game makes when they get the question wrong, or they might be stuck and can’t figure out which group of objects match number four.
Focus on Play Young kids should be exploring and playing with technology. This should be considered play, and not a focus on drilling skills.
Ask For Your Own Log-In Often, school programs come with a parent log-in that will allow you to see your child’s progress. If it doesn’t, ask to see the reports that a teacher has access to. Then, check his progress every few weeks. It’s a great way for you and your child to be on the same page about their progress.
Ask About Teacher Training Technology is often implemented in classrooms without appropriate professional development. If your child’s classroom is using a whole-class system, such as Clickers or an Interactive Smartboard, ask how it’s used in class and what training the teacher has had. “As a parent, you want to know if teachers feel well trained and they’re putting [new technologies] to good use.
Find Parent Resources One of the best ways that technology can help your child is by helping you learn more about learning.
Computers, smartphones, and tablets aren’t going away, but with a few tweaks and consideration, you can make your child’s technology-time productive, educational, and fun!
Let’s be honest. Most children can use a mouse, open and close apps, and even search the internet by the time they are three years old.
Once they have the cognitive ability, it’s time to talk with your child about internet safety.
Handheld DENTAL x ray equipment is, in many respects, the industry standard in most dentist’s office. Fast, accurate, and extremely easy to use, this mobile tech has given radiologists the maneuverability they need to take x rays as needed, no matter the angle.
Join us today as we bring you three great reasons this technology has basically taken over the dental industry.
They’re Simple To Use
One of the biggest trends in handheld DENTAL x ray technology is in simple, stripped down user interfaces. And it’s one that a lot of dentists praise, as the process of creating an x ray is now easier and more reliable than it’s ever been.
High-end x ray tech paired with simple, “idiot proof” interfaces produces reliable images which, in turn, give dentists more reliable data. Not only this but because they are integrated as a rule, now, these machines also allow for instant sharing of all x rays between departments. This means nurses, dentists, technicians, and even your insurance provider have access to everything they need without any middleman.
When it comes to making a call on whether to extract a tooth or perform a root canal, the simpler things are the better. And nothing makes things simpler than handheld, high-quality machinery.
They’re Extremely Safe
A major concern that has dogged the x ray process basically since its invention is the question of safety. Patients and doctors alike often worry that the repeated exposure to radiation necessary for this tech to work could be damaging to them.
Handheld DENTAL x ray technology is completely safe to use. Each unit features a mounted shield which protects from scattered radiation. It is, of course, important to purchase your tech from a seller with a good reputation among their peers and clients. Cheaper equipment may seem tempting but often features inferior safety measures, skimping on elements that could protect the user.
Better Service Reach
Using handheld DENTAL x ray tech in remote locations not only helps patients but makes a radiologist’s job easier. Now a medical professional can provide remote treatment to individuals who might not have received any, otherwise. It’s empowering from both sides of the process, and extremely valuable.
Handheld DENTAL X Ray
Are you looking for high-end handheld DENTAL x ray equipment for use in your dental office? Visit Video Dental for mobile x rays, intraoral cameras, sensors, plates, and accessories and invest in quality equipment today.
Handheld x ray systems are more popular for intraoral radiography than ever before. As with any other system, though, increased usage almost always brings new challenges to safety, ethics and best usage.
Join us today as we look at the use and development of handheld x ray systems in dentistry,
Handheld X Ray Definition
Portable, handheld dental intraoral x rays are systems designed to be moved around and used wherever they are needed. This is a clear departure from traditional x ray machines.
The importance of a handheld x ray, other than it being convenient, is in its minimizing of the patient’s and the doctor’s radiation doses. Most systems include specially-designed shields surrounding the x–ray tube housing, with integral radiation shields that minimize backscatter.
Using A Handheld Unit
To start with, when a dentist uses a handheld unit, it should be held at mid-torso height to them in order to protect from scatter radiation. These short shields to protect users from excess radiation.
For best results, clinicians should position the cone as close to the patient’s face as possible without touching them. Once safety positions have been followed, a dentist will be ready to take their x ray.
And how do dentists hold these units at mid-torso height when patients’ head aren’t likely to line up like that naturally? By adjusting the patient’s chair height and reclining, this problem becomes a thing of the past. With the aid of a step stool, there aren’t any positions you’re likely to struggle with too severely.
The Modern Handheld X Ray: Now You Know
A quality handheld portable X-ray unit is an extremely useful feature in any dental practice. Used appropriately, these devices produce no additional radiation compared to traditional units. And the added maneuverability and speed with which dentists can create images is a big benefit to both them and their patients.
Are you looking for high-end dental x ray equipment and accessories? Discover one of the most established names in the industry today, by visiting Video Dental and checking out their awesome product catalog.
If there’s anything we can be sure about when it comes to children, it’s that they fall. Kids take countless tumbles, basically as a rule, and when they do, they tend to recover pretty quickly. Young kids, teenagers, and even young adults trip, slip and fall off of things in all sorts of ways, and the results are usually just embarrassment and a band-aid.
This, unfortunately, isn’t the case with elderly people. When an older person takes a simple fall, it can have dire consequences. Starting with the fact that many seniors simply aren’t in great health to begin with, and ending with conditions like osteoporosis, bad injuries abound.
But why are the elderly so much more prone to falling, and what is there to do about it? Whether it’s choosing the right shoes or investing in an elderly fall alarm, we’ve got it on today’s list. Let’s get this started!
Why Are Elderly Falls So Dangerous?
In adults aged 65 and over, a falls from a standing position can be fatal. No, actually, we should be honest note that it is actually one of the leading causes of death in this age group, as well as for nonfatal injuries.
This is a sad truth, obviously, because the types of injuries that younger people simple snap back from can impact seniors in ways they’ll never recover from. Lacerations, osteoporotic hip fractures, and head traumas are all dangerous.
How to Safeguard Against Dangerous Falls
As we age, it’s important to work actively against the likelihood of a dangerous fall and the risk of associated damage from these mishaps.
Developing both your leg strength and balance can help to prevent falls in the event of an accident. Walking and light weight-lifting are both extremely beneficial.
Gauge The Safety Of Your Environment
Making sure your living space is safe is another great way to safeguard against potential falls. Reduce clutter to prevent potential tripping and remove rugs that could potentially slip. Install grab bars in the bathroom and railings to the stairways. Lastly, choose your shoes wisely. Invest in a pair of shoes that are supportive, with low heels, and which offer good traction.
Check Your Medications
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medications, so that they can identify any prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs that cause dizziness or drowsiness. Find alternatives to these medications if possible. Also, always take your medications as prescribed.
Elderly Fall Alarms
Elderly fall alarms can transform your home into a much safer place in the event of an emergency. When you have a reliable alert system on-hand, it’s easier to call out if you fall and can’t find your phone. Small, portable, and wireless, these systems give you the peace of mind you need to live your life like you normally would.And, for one of the leading names in remote alert button systems right now, you can visit Room8 today. For simple design, powerful functionality, and quality construction, there’s a reason Room8 is taking the remote alert industry by storm.
In dentistry, the ability to take in-depth images of a set of teeth is extremely important. It helps medical professionals pinpoint potential problems, establish the layout of your mouth, and show you why you need any specific procedure.
It’s a system that uses low levels of radiation to create images of teeth and gum interiors. This is a complex system, for obvious reasons, and comes in a variety of different styles. But that’s no reason to be intimidated. Today, we will take a closer look at dental xray equipment, its functionality, and purpose.
Why We Get Dental XRays
When it comes to dental xrays, it’s industry standard to recommend having one performed every year. This number can go up if you have a specific problem or you’re trying out a particular treatment schedule.
Children may also need dental xrays more often than their adult counterparts, in order for dentists to monitor their adult teeth growth.
This factors can include:
age and oral health at the moment
oral disease symptoms
any kind of documented history of gum disease, like gingivitis
New patients will also usually undergo dental xrays as a way of establishing their baseline oral health.
Types of Dental XRay Equipment
Dental xray equipment is available in different varieties, each of which records your mouth in a slightly different way. Intraoral X-rays, however, are the most common, and are available in some of the following styles:
A technique that requires patients to bite down on specially-designed paper so your dentist can measure the imprint of your crowns.
These xrays are done with jaws closed, and measure the alignment of your top and bottom teeth. This method captures images of all of your teeth at once.
This particular piece of equipment rotates around the patient’s head, and works well for checking wisdom teeth or jaw problems.
The periapical technique focuses on two complete teeth at a time, producing images from their root all the way to the crown.
Dentists may also use extraoral dentalxrays equipment when they suspect you may have problems in your jaw.
Dental XRay Equipment: Showing Us More!
Getting a regular dental xray has become as imporant as brushing, flossing or using mouthwash in recent years. It’s an effective way to stay ahead of any cavities, cracks or other issues that may arise before they arise.
Interested in high-end dental imaging hardware, of the type and quality that’s taken over the industry in recent years? Visit Video Dental, one of Central Florida’s foremost suppliers of dental xray equipment, and get ready to transform your dental office.
Call button systems like those in hospitals have traditionally been the best option for sending alerts in medical settings. Patients recovering from surgeries or illnesses have to stay in bed, rest their voices, and not strain themselves.
Hence, hospital call buttons. But these devices almost always require extensive installations, dedicated networks, and expensive setups. They’re essential systems, especially in these environments, but establishing them can be difficult.
The Room8 Button is a direct response to this need. The device uses a single button to send a simple alert notice to an associated device. Each unit is wireless, battery powered, and versatile enough to be paired with phones, tablets, and other smart devices, whether Android or iOS. And the installation process is as difficult as pairing any standard WiFi device to your home or office network.
Clients can push a button on the discrete, handheld unit and a signal will come through to your phone or tablet. There’s no need to call out or get up, and you won’t ever have to worry about commissioning some huge call button system for your otherwise small acupuncture facility or facial clinic.
The Room8 Button is an elegant solution and we’re excited to tell you more about it. For more information, visit Room8 today!
Traditional film x rays are a tried and tested method of imaging the inside of the human body. It’s safe to say that dental work sees this process more than anywhere else, with the frequency with which patients need dental imaging done. It was only a matter of time, though, until we developed a more efficient option.
Learn more about digital dental xrays today!
Enter digital dental xrays. This is an innovation in dentistry that has made a significant impact on the industry at large. Apart from the fact they are more efficient and safer than more traditional film-based processes. For years, we’ve heard about how dental x-rays emit only low levels of radiation. Even so, however, patients have become more safety conscious than in years past, expressing legitimate concerns about even minimal exposure. Digital dental xrays eliminate a lot of that fear, given that the equipment exposes patients to levels of radiation far lower than the usual.
Digital Dental Xrays
On a functionality level, digital dental xrays produce radiation at levels up to 90% less than film options. It’s a process that works as follows:
A dentist places a sensor in your mouth. This captures an image of your teeth, jaws or both.
This data is sent directly to a computer, where the images are instantly available for viewing.
Of course, there’s more than one way to scan a cat. Images taken via a specialized scanner or sensor can produce impressively accurate digital images. Different types of digital imagers require different methods to get the job done, but all of them are considered safer and more efficient than film stock x rays.
Looking for professional-grade digital dental xrays and kits for use in your dentist office? Visit Video Dental today, for innovative digital xray products and dental sensors that are setting new standards within this industry.
Mobile dental imaging is a quickly growing industry, with advances in technology improving what we can do in huge strides. There is nowhere this is more obvious than in mobile x ray units.
Join us today, for more on how this tech is helping to improve the way dentists across the country work.
Mobile Dental Imaging: Handheld X Ray Tech
As technology continues to improve, the devices we use are getting faster, more versatile, and increasingly mobile. Which is great for smartphones and laptops. But, where we really see the benefits of portable, high-end technology is in medicine. And nowhere are those benefits more clear than in the handheld x ray system.
Portable x ray systems are used in dentists’ offices for high-end imaging and have grown in popularity in recent years. These handheld devices give dentists versatile access to their patients, at any point during their visit, meaning they can use imaging more effectively.
Aside from the obvious convenience of its mobility, some of the benefits of a handheld x ray system include:
Ease of Use
Minimized Exposure Time
Less Frequent Retakes
Any one of these factors on its own would be worth the price of admission for a handheld system. Mobile dental imaging cuts down on installation time, meaning you don’t need a specialized service to set up your office fully for x rays. Exposure time is a concern when it comes to doctors because the radiation of a standard x ray over months and years is incremental. With less exposure time comes less risk of radiation with repeated use of the system.
The Place Mobile Dental Imaging In Your Dentist’s Office
In a dentist’s office, we don’t need to tell you about how many times in a month you’ll be manning your imaging system. Compared to a traditional wall-mounted unit, these smaller, lightweight machines are extremely safe and capable of delivering higher-resolution images. More than this, they are also extremely user-friendly.
Don’t believe us? Check out Video Dental’s complete product line, or get in touch today to find out more about their work in the imaging industry. With their comprehensive range of panoramic 3D CBCTs, intraoral cameras and x ray sensors, and the impressive MobileX handheld x ray, this is more than just dental tech. It’s an entirely new approach to dentistry.
Handheld X Ray Systems From Video Dental
For more on handheld x ray technology and its benefits in the mobile dental imaging industry, discover the Video Dental MobileX system, today!
Just a few years ago, you could get away with building a social media marketing strategy on the fly. As long as you were present, you were doing more than your competitors–right?
Well it’s 2018 and not much of the same logic applies today. With 30% of millennials saying they engage with a brand on social at least once a month, your strategy can’t be only about existence. Brands must be fully invested in their social media marketing strategies and focus on engagement. Otherwise, you’ll lose out on real customers, which means serious effects on your bottom line.
We’re not here to scare your brand into the world of social media. Instead, we want to provide your marketing team with the right steps to take toward a successful social strategy so your brand isn’t left in the dust.
Here are the 7 steps to create the best social media marketing strategy in 2018:
1. Create Social Media Marketing Goals That Solve Your Biggest Challenges
The first step to any strategy is to understand what you want out of your efforts. Social media marketing isn’t about flipping a switch and calling it a day. Instead, social media planning should be looked at like cooking your favorite dish.
Once you have your ingredients, you follow a recipe and presto! But that’s not always the case. What if you have guests and need to feed more people? What if someone is allergic to one of the ingredients? Suddenly, your goal goes from making a meal to ensuring it will feed enough people and be edible by all.
That’s why creating goals is so critical to the first part of your social media strategy. At the same time, it’s best to set goals that you know are attainable. Asking for 1 million new Instagram followers in 2018 is unrealistic. With achievable goals, you’re more likely to stick to the original plan and continue to take on new hurdles as you complete old ones.
This is the same reason why brands should never take on every social media channel possible in their current marketing strategy. Try to choose the channels that have the most importance based on your brand’s goals. Avoid over complicating a strategy with too many targets and objectives. Simplicity can take you a long way.
And also, don’t forget to document your social media goals. Not only is it important to help you benchmark where you are, but it also improves your chances of achieving them. According to some statistics, people who write their goals down are 30 times more successful.
Social Media Goals to Consider in 2018
Goal setting is a staple of all marketing and business strategies. Social media is no exception. Of course, with a range of social capabilities, it can be difficult to determine exactly what your objectives should be. For guidance, here are some common social media goals to consider:
Increase brand awareness: To create authentic and lasting brand awareness, avoid a slew of promotional messages. Instead, focus on meaningful content and a strong brand personality through your social channels.
Higher quality of sales: Digging through your social channels is nearly impossible without monitoring or listening to specific keywords, phrases or hashtags. Through more efficient social media targeting, you reach your core audience much faster.
Drive in-person sales: Some retailers rely on social media marketing efforts to drive in-store sales. Is your brand promoting enough on social to reward those who come to you? What about alerting customers to what’s going on in your stores?
Improve ROI: There’s not a brand on social media that doesn’t want to increase its return on investment. But on social, this goal is specific to performing a thorough audit of your channels and ensuring cost of labor, advertisements and design stay on track.
Create a loyal fanbase: Does your brand promote user-generated content? Do your followers react positively without any initiation? Getting to this point takes time and effort with creating a positive brand persona on social.
Better pulse on the industry: What are your competitors doing that seems to be working? What strategies are they using to drive engagement or sales? Having a pulse on the industry could simply help you improve your efforts and take some tips from those doing well.
2. Research Your Social Media Audience
Approximately 79% of adults use Facebook–but are your customers actively engaging with your brand there? Understanding your audience is necessary to learn things like who buys your products, what age group is the toughest to sell and what income level makes up the most of your returning customers? As for social media, it’s just as critical to know your audience.
First, your brand should look into the demographics of your most valuable social channels. Like we mentioned before, you should have a goal in mind for your social media marketing strategy. This is why you need to research the channels that correlate the most with your goals.
To help you find your focus channels: let’s take a quick look at the essential demographics data for each major network:
Facebook’s most popular demographics include:
Women users (89%)
18-29 year olds (88%)
Urban- and rural-located users (81% each)
Those earning less than $30,000 (84%)
Users with some college experience (82%)
Instagram’s most popular demographics include:
Women users (38%)
18-29 year olds (59%),
Urban-located users (39%)
Those earning less than $30,000 (38%)
Users with some college experience (37%)
Twitter’s most popular demographics include:
Women users (25%)
18-29 year olds (36%)
Urban-located users (26%)
Those earning $50,000-$74,999 (28%)
Users with college experience or more (29%)
LinkedIn’s most popular demographics include:
Men users (31%)
18-29 year olds (34%)
Urban-located users (34%)
Those earning $75,000 or more (45%)
Users with college experience or more (50%)
Snapchat and other auto-delete app’s most popular demographics include:
Men users (24%)
18-29 year olds (56%)
Those earning less than $50,000 (27%)
Users with some college experience (27%)
See even more demographics data on our in-depth guide!
Identifying Customer Demographics
While the demographics data above gives you insight into each channel, what about your own customers? Further analysis has to be completed before you can truly know your customer demographics on social media.
That’s why many brands use a social media dashboard that can provide an overview of who’s following you and how they interact with you on each channel. Most brands today are using at least some sort of dashboard. However, does your dashboard address your specific goals?
Whether you’re an agency providing insights for your clients or an enterprise company discovering your own demographics, an all-in-one dashboard solution is critical.
While your targeted social media metrics might be the most important step of a strategy, it’s often the spot most veer off the path. Vanity metrics like follower count and likes are always good to measure, but does it tell you the whole story of your brand on social media?
We often get wrapped up in viewing followers and likes as the truth to a campaign, but it’s smart to take a step back and evaluate the social metrics associated with your overall goals.
Engagement metrics sometimes paint a better picture, because as we’ve mentioned many times here, building lasting relationships works on social. Large audiences and likable content is absolutely great, but here are some other metrics you might want to pursue in 2018:
Reach: Post reach is the number of unique users who saw your post. How far is your content spreading across social? Is it actually reaching user’s feeds?
Clicks: This is the amount of clicks on your content, company name or logo. Link clicks are critical toward understanding how users move through your marketing funnel. Tracking clicks per campaign is essential to understand what drives curiosity or encourages people to buy.
Engagement: The total number of social interactions divided by number of impressions. For engagement, it’s about seeing who interacted and if it was a good ratio out of your total reach. This sheds light on how well your audience perceives you and their willingness to interact.
Hashtag performance: What were your most used hashtags on your own side? Which hashtags were most associated with your brand? Or what hashtags created the most engagement?
Sentiment: This is the measurement of how users reacted to your content, brand or hashtag. Did customers find your recent campaign offensive? What type of sentiment are people associating with your campaign hashtag? It’s always better to dig deeper and find what people are saying.
Organic and paid likes: More than just standard Likes, these likes are defined from paid or organic content. For channels like Facebook, organic engagement is much harder to gain traction, which is why many brands turn to Facebook Ads. However, earning organic likes on Instagram isn’t quite as difficult.
4. Research Your Social Competitive Landscape
Before you start creating content (we promise we’re almost there!), it’s really smart to investigate your competitors. We put this before the content creation process because you often find new ways to look at content by analyzing what’s making your competitors successful.
Again, we’ll always believe you shouldn’t steal your competitors ideas, but instead learn and grow from their success and failures. So how do you find that information? The first step is to find out who’s your competition in the first place.
The simplest way to find competitors is through a simple Google search. Look up your most valuable keywords, phrases and industry terms to see who shows up. For example, if you sold various soaps, “handmade natural soaps” would be a great keyword to investigate:
You can exclude the major retailers like Amazon and Bath & Body Works. Search for those who show up who are in your specific industry. Next you want to see who is active on social.
As you can see, Wild Soap has an active social presence, which means they’re a great candidate to track. After gathering a handful of industry competitors, it’s smart to use a social media competitive analysis tool like Sprout Social to track Facebook and Instagram content.
Here you can see post break downs of text, images and video to see what your competitors are doing to drive the most engagement. Once you dig through the competitive analysis, you’ll have a better idea of what your potential customers want.
5. Build & Curate Engaging Social Media Content
Did someone say content? It’s no lie–social media content is extremely important to your marketing strategy. However, it’s best to follow the previous steps before planning out content (we caught you, blog skippers!) so you can start building more effective themes.
For starters, we recommend creating content that fits to your brand’s identity. This means you should avoid things like reaching out to your unpopular demographics without a complete strategy in place.
It’s necessary to find the perfect balance between target content and being overly promotional as well. In fact, 46% of users say they’ll unfollow a brand if there’s too many promotional messages. Additionally, 41% of users say they’d unfollow a brand that shared too much irrelevant content.
These type of stats should only enforce your reasoning to invest in social media video content. Brands can reach users through Instagram Stories, Facebook Live and other in-the-moment media.
Build Content Themes
One of the toughest challenges to visual content is creating it on a day-to-day basis. A Venngage infographic showed 36.7% of marketers said their No.1 struggle with creating visual content was doing so consistently.
This truly shows how important highly-visual content is to marketers and the people they want to reach. That’s why building content themes is a great approach to sectioning out your content. Instagram is one your premier channels to work off visual themes.
Anthropologie does an amazing job at keeping their Instagram feed consistent, colorful and eye-popping. Work in content themes to ensure you have a consistent schedule of excellent content to publish.
6. Engage With Your Audience & Don’t Ignore
Social media channels are built as networks. This means their main purpose is to be a space to converse, discuss topics and share content. Your brand can’t forget these core elements of “networking” and it takes effort to ensure conversations or engagement opportunities aren’t left unattended.
Through social media, you gain respect as a brand by just being present and talking to your audience. That’s why social customer care is so important to brands wanting to increase audience awareness. It’s all about engagement.
For example, Seamless does a wonderful job of not only responding, but showing customer care is priority. Through the right social media monitoring tools, you can find instances across all your channels to interact, respond and gauge customer service inquiries.
Designating teams to specific tasks can help your staff run like a well-oiled social media team, whether you’re a group of one or 100.
Post at the Best Times to Engage
When is your brand available to engage and interact with customers? You might see some recommending times to post late in the evening. But if your brand isn’t there to communicate, what’s the point of posting at the preferred time?
Instead, try to ensure your social media or community managers are available and ready to answer any product questions or concerns when you tweet or post. It’s smart to learn the best times to post on social media, but it’s just as critical to engage after posting.
According to our Index, a brand’s average response time is around 10 hours. But did you know that most users believe brands should respond to social media messages within four hours?
With all the updated algorithms, organic content has a tough time reaching the majority of your audience. The last thing you want to do is ignore those who engage and lose out on sending more down your marketing funnel.
7. Track Your Efforts & Always Improve
So, how well did you do on your social media marketing strategy? Without continuously analyzing your efforts, you’ll never know how one campaign did over another. Having a bird’s-eye-view of your social media activity helps put things into perspective.
You’ve got down your most important goals, network preferences and metrics–now it’s time to make sure you made the right decisions. Knowing you’ve made the right choices is still a difficult task in social media.
In fact, 46% of B2B marketers are unsure if their social strategy actually created revenue for their brand. But marketers are always trying and looking for the perfect connection. That’s why the most commonly used metric (80%) for marketers is engagement.
If you work at building lasting relationships, there’s a lot less room for failure with your social media marketing strategy.
Use a Tool to Track Success
Sprout Social was created with social media marketing in mind. Our social media tools offer a full suite of analytics and reporting features to help you pinpoint exactly which posts, messages and hashtags perform the best.
It’s easy to connect other critical tools to our dashboard like Google Analytics, which helps you see which posts drove the most traffic, conversions and overall revenue.
Social Media Marketing Strategy Checklist
We wanted to give our readers a few resources to use moving forward. That’s why we put together this 7-step social media marketing strategy checklist to help all of our readers creating and auditing their own strategies.
Marketing is a delicate process. There are a lot of moving parts to the machine, and if you’re not from the industry, it can all seem a little intimidating.
Luckily, there’s always professional help. If you need marketing services in Orlando, you can always Google “marketing company Orlando” and find someone with the skills, experience, and resources to do a great job. And they’ll do it, on your behalf.
But what if you choose the wrong team? Or you’re not clear enough with your goals? What if the whole thing goes off the rails and you don’t get what you wanted out of it?
Today, we’re going to run through three things you need to know before choosing a marketing team for your business. Hopefully, this will take you from wary and trepidatious to ready to market your socks right off.
Ready to get your name out there? Not so fast – let’s look at what you’ll need to know ahead of time.
Know Your Goals
As with any big-budget investment, you have to go into digital marketing with a clear idea of, well, what it is you actually want from your marketing.
Not only is this important to saving you time and getting the results you want, but it also helps to keep the agency honest. It makes sense. If you bought a car with only a budget and no idea of what car you actually wanted, the first thing someone would do would be to sell you the most expensive car out there. Similarly, while we would love every agency to be completely transparent, the quickest way to waste money is to come in with only a vague idea in mind.
And while you’re at it, take some time to learn about their services. Are they a one-stop outlet for digital marketing services, or are their services specialized? Do you want dedicated service from them, or could you use a splash of their SEO added to your existing marketing base? And, if they don’t provide the service you need, do they use trusted partners to create that service?
And are you okay with that?
Ultimately, it comes down to doing your homework and understanding what you want to get out of it before you get started.
Research Their Previous Clients
Any time you hire an outside agency to represent your business in any way, you need to take a look at their previous clients.
Ask to speak with their references, especially when those clients are from your industry or industries like yours. Ask to see reviews, whether new or old, and ask to see them where they are online.
If you search for “marketing company Orlando” and there are Google reviews, you’re on the right track. You’ll know that someone went out of their way, logged in, opened up a text window, and wrote out their feelings. And nobody does that unless they are either very impressed or extremely upset.
Either way, you’ll get the answer you’re looking for.
Meet Their Team (And Make Sure You Get Along)
A marketing agency Orlando, no matter how they do business, boils down to a team of people, with a set of skills, who will apply those skills to your unique work.
And when you bring together any group of people to do things on your behalf, you’ve got to know who they are. What kinds of personalities have you got doing your work for you? What kind of approach do they take to an average workday? And do you like them?
Because, if you don’t connect with the people doing your marketing, that’s a taxing weekly meeting, and more chance of conflict when things go wrong. You have to make sure you make a connection with the people doing your work. Even if you don’t spend brunches with them or see them over the holidays, you need to make sure you are working with a team you like enough to work consistently with them.
Marketing Company Orlando: A Fine-Tuned Instrument
Working with a marketing company Orlando is a lucrative venture that can change the way your business connects with potential clients. But, like any venture worth the effort, it’s something you have to spend time researching and getting right before you go with it.
With the three points above, you’ll be on the path to finding the agency for you.
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Good morning. The prospect of dirtier cars in the U.S., an interview cut short in China, and a policy change from the pope. Here’s what you need to know:
•The Trump administration released a proposal to drastically weaken Obama-era rules that would have sharply increased auto fuel efficiency and therefore reduced greenhouse gas emissions from one of the world’s largest producers.
A mix of state governments, environmentalists and consumer groups is fighting the plan.
And even the automakers who had complained about the expense of raising fuel efficiency plan to lobby for changes, fearing that legal challenges could leave them in limbo, or split the domestic market into more and less stringent sectors.
The administration sought to emphasize that lighter, more efficient cars would be more dangerous in crashes, but experts dispute that.
• The trillion-dollar company.
In 1997, Apple was on the verge of running out of cash. Two decades later, the company is unimaginably flush, reaching a market capitalization of $1 trillion. That’s just $200 billion shy of Australia’s entire annual economic output.
The company was propelled to planetary dominance by the vision of its late co-founder, Steve Jobs, and by smash-hit products like the iPod and then the iPhone. Above, Mr. Jobs’s successor, Tim Cook.
But let’s not forget cheap global labor — much of it in China, now embroiled in a trade war with the U.S. that could affect Apple’s supply chain.
And, as one analyst put it, “The question going forward is: Can Apple continue to innovate?”
• “A culture of death is spreading across Kashmir.”
Our reporter found resentment of India at every corner in the disputed territory, neighbors turning against neighbors.
Imran Khan, Pakistan’s presumed new prime minister, says he wants to end the nuclear-tipped struggle with India over control of the predominantly Muslim region.
But Kashmiris are smoldering with anger as India veers increasingly into Hindu nationalism and brings down an iron fist on separatists, who are lionized by many.
• President Trump wants to talk.
He is eager to sit down for an interview with investigators for the special counsel Robert Mueller, several people familiar with the matter told our reporters, even though his lawyers advise against it. Mr. Trump is confident that he can exonerate himself of any suspicions that he colluded with Russia in the 2016 election or obstructed justice.
Such lobbying was on full display with the Chinese tech giant ZTE, which hired Washington guns to beat back U.S. sanctions.
• “It’s illegal for you to come to my home. I have my freedom of speech!”
Sun Wenguang, a veteran Chinese rights activist in his 80s, protested as police officers burst into his home during a live TV interview with Voice of America Mandarin. The telephone line soon went dead, and Mr. Sun could not be reached again.
“This is the status quo of human rights in China,” the host said.
• Unacceptable in all cases: Pope Francis declared the death penalty “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,” a categorical revision of Roman Catholic teaching that could put pressure on Catholic lawmakers and politicians around the world. [The New York Times]
• In Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who seized power from President Robert Mugabe in a coup last year after serving as his enforcer for decades, took a clear lead in the presidential election, which has been shadowed by suspicions of fraud and some violence. [The New York Times]
• Gone: Minutes after the Fields Medal — the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in mathematics — was awarded to a former refugee, the golden prize was stolen in Brazil. (Among the three other winners was the Australian Akshay Venkatesh.) [The New York Times]
• A court in the Maldives cleared two men in the disappearance of a dissident journalist, an outcome that the country’s opposition leader condemned. The missing journalist, Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla, had criticized the authoritarian government and the spread of radical Islam in the small island nation. [The New York Times]
• Test tampering: A news investigation found that Tokyo Medical University lowered women’s scores on entrance exams to suppress their enrollment. [The Yomiuri Shimbun]
• A South Korean pastor was arrested in Seoul amid accusations that she stranded 400 followers in Fiji, where they had been subjected to violent rituals. [The Guardian]
• “Excessive”: A Chinese provincial government criticized a local effort to make cremation universal for the dead, during which thousands of coffins were destroyed and at least one corpse was exhumed. [The New York Times]
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
• Markets, elephants and temples are the mainstays of Chiang Mai, the 700-year-old city in Thailand’s north. But now there are new draws: contemporary art and chic hotels, plus ambitious upstart restaurants and a buzzing bar district.
• Matti, a socially awkward stick figure in a Finnish cartoon series, is becoming a kind of hero to China’s introverts. “As an anthropophobic, I love this series so much,” a college student in Shenzen says.
• Good dog? An experiment involving 34 dogs of various breeds tested whether they would push through a door to “save” their owners. The results were … mixed. Watch the video here.
If anyone could prove that age is nothing but a number, it was Maggie Kuhn.
The activist and founder of the Gray Panthers, an American advocacy organization for the elderly, was born on this day in Buffalo in 1905.
In 1970, after working for the Presbyterian Church in New York for a quarter of a century, Miss Kuhn retired, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 65.
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