The Dashboard for your Google+ Pages

Many users are asking us how to get the CircleCount Dashboard for your Google+ Business Pages.
Since we don’t get access to the Pages API (and we never got any feedback why) we want to explain how you can get the dashboard for your Google+ Pages with a simple workaround.
By following the 9 steps described below you can verify easily on CircleCount that you are a manager of the page.

You can try it out here:
http://www.circlecount.com/mypages/

This dashboard is free for everyone.

The Dashboard PRO is more detailed and faster. Check out the demo here:
http://www.circlecount.com/dashboardpro/?demo=nstration
This is available for your Google+ Business Pages as well.

Instagram Stories & What This Means To Marketers

The meteoric rise of Snapchat changed the social media landscape. The network’s crowning achievement was the well-received Stories function, which turned users into publishers and put a powerful new business tool in the hands of marketers.

Instagram apparently took notice.

On August 2nd, 2016, the photo-centric social channel introduced its own response to Snapchat’s revolutionary Stories feature.

At a glance, it’s little more than a thinly veiled copy.

Like Snapchat Stories, Instagram’s new tool allows users to create chronological narratives using photos, videos, hyperlapse and Boomerang snippets. Like Snapchat, it enables users to watch and respond to other users’ stories. Also like Snapchat, it lets creators use text and drawing tools to add depth and flair to their productions. Called Instagram Stories, the network didn’t even come up with a new name.

But for marketers, Instagram’s newest tool is far more than just a duplicate of Snapchat’s defining feature.

5 Steps to Creating an Instagram Story

Visit Instagram.com, click “Sign Up,” download the mobile app and follow these steps:

  1. Start by clicking the plus sign (+) in the top left.
  2. Tap the round button to take a photo or hold the button for up to 10 seconds for video. Swipe down if you want to upload your own photo or video.
  3. Select an emoji or choose between three different pens to draw on your image. Want a color filter? Swipe right.
  4. Click the checkmark icon to share your story to your profile and your friends’ feeds.
  5. Identify who viewed your story by viewing your photo or video and swiping up.

Instagram Stories: A New Tool for Marketers

Even though Snapchat rose from relative obscurity to more than 100 million users with unbelievable speed, Instagram is still by far the dominant network for millennials. Nearly one-third of American teens still consider Instagram to be their most important social channel. 500 million people log in every month, 300 million every day. Although Instagram Stories is clearly an almost identical copy of Snapchat Stories, it brings the concept to a much larger captive audience.

For marketers, Instagram Stories provides the opportunity to express Snapchat-level creativity without ever leaving the network that young people still love best.

Not only can they use Instagram Stories to reach a younger audience, but marketers and advertisers can use the tool to stir up more engagement with the prized youth demographic. Since Instagram doesn’t allow likes or shares on its Stories, the only option for users to engage is through direct private messages. This gives marketers access to raw, unfiltered feedback directly from the audience they’re targeting.

Marketers can also spur engagement by:

  • Following other users and engaging their stories with private messages.
  • Continually adding content to extend existing stories.
  • Have fun with content by using the text, emoji and finger paint tools.
  • Isolating a specific part of your story and feature it by sharing to your main feed.
  • Posting content from your camera roll shot in the last 24 hours.

Since privacy settings strictly regulate who can and cannot see stories, brands can get a window into their audience by following and viewing their stories. Then, they can direct message them with feedback of their own.

They can use creative tools like the neon pen to spice up otherwise drab content. By allowing marketers to see exactly who has watched their stories, how many people have watched and which sections they’ve watched, Stories can be used as a powerful new metrics analysis tool.

Finally, Instagram stories appear at the top of your feed. When a brand gains a new follower, that brand has a unique opportunity to place itself directly in that follower’s line of sight.

Disappearing Content = More Engagement

Of all the differentiators that set Snapchat apart from the pack when it first arrived, the network’s most unique identifying trait is the concept it pioneered — disappearing content. Yet another Snapchat first that Instagram took for its own is content that self destructs in 24 hours. This feature has always created a sense of urgency among Snapchat users and nudged them into gobbling up content more enthusiastically.

Marketers who migrate to Instagram Stories can now harness this psychology, but the benefits of disappearing content don’t end there. Marketers can give a test run to experimental content on Instagram stories. If it works, they can move it to their regular Instagram account for more permanent viewing.

With the release of Stories, Instagram essentially copied Snapchat’s most innovative, most characteristic and most definitive feature. For marketers, however, Instagram Stories represents an opportunity to apply Snapchat’s interactive and creative feel to Instagram’s massive global audience, established platform and familiar format. Much more than just a carbon copy, Instagram Stories gives marketers a brand new tool for making dull content exciting, testing new campaigns and analyzing the success of new ideas.

Chatbots and their impact on social media

Social media is the quintessential place for brands to interact with their customers. Though if you think it’s a public relations goldmine now, wait until you read about chatbots.

The natural conversation bots are changing the consumer to brand social media interaction for the better. 

Social media’s potential for e commerce is on the rise, and chatbots are the driving force behind the change.

Chatbots 101

Chatbots is the term given to different kinds of Natural Language User Interfaces (NLIs). These “bots” help people accomplish tasks ranging from entertainment to purchasing products. The kicker being, it’s all accomplished using natural conversational text.

The bots function under two main systems. The first is the simple phrase dependent response bot. “If ___, then respond____,” is the basic idea. The other system relies on more sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI).

We’re seeing both of these “bot types” implemented into many different platforms. That “sales rep” chat windows that offers to help on your favorite website; that’s a chatbot. Ever heard of Watson? Another chatbot.

Though today our focus is on chatbot implementation for social media messaging platforms. From Facebook to Kik, chatbots are changing the way people interact with brands on social media.

Users can send brands a message and receive information from product recommendations to store hours; all without talking to another person. This instant access to information in conversational form is revolutionizing social media.

 

Social Media, Brand Interaction, and E-commerce

Social media exists to connect with people and brands that you’ve deemed worth “following.” It’s also a platform for personal expression.

However, we’re seeing social media move away from its exibihistionist roots and towards messaging platforms. In fact, social messaging apps recently exceeded social media apps in monthly active users.

Chatbots are part of the driving force behind this move, and will continue to capitalize on people’s desire for more information. They’re turning social media into a marketplace to sell your brand.

Superior Customer Support

In today’s always connected world people are demanding instant access to information. Our attention spans are decreasing while our desire for gratification increases.

Chatbots are helping to bridge this gap between impatience and fulfillment. They’re turning social media into a platform where brands can conduct on demand customer support.

It’s no surprise that chatbots are taking social media in this direction. More than 33 percent of consumers prefer using social media for support rather than the telephone.

We expect brands to continue adopting chatbots for their social media customer support. As bots develop they’re only gaining more context awareness, which makes them even better at solving problems.

Brand Interaction

Chatbots are still in relative infancy, but we’re already seeing brands recognize their power for social media interaction.

For example, Kayak’s Facebook messenger bot can provide travel details and book flights or hotel rooms. Someone absently browsing Facebook could see a cool destination and message Kayak’s chatbot, all in just minutes.

The same goes for other types of brand interaction. See your favorite brand advertised somewhere around town? Get out your phone and Facebook message their chatbot.

The potential for personal brand interaction is only growing as chatbots become more and more prevalent across social media. More interaction means more potential for sales.

Chatbots are bringing social media ever closer to the ultimate consumer to brand experience. Instead of just liking a brand page, you can carry on natural conversation with a brand “representative.”

Improved customer support and brand interaction is shifting social media towards a brand centric ecommerce marketplace.

 

2017 Rules for Social Media For Kids

What do WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, and Tumblr have in common? They happen to be five of the hottest social apps for kids these days. While social media sites like Facebook and Myspace were the main players a decade or so ago, the landscape has definitely changed.

Social media can offer a lot of benefits such as opportunities for networking with peers, making new friends, keeping in touch with loved ones far and near, and developing communication skills. But there is a dark underbelly to social media, in general, and to the Internet, in particular.

Consider these startling statistics:

  • The largest demographic of Internet porn consumers happen to be kids between the ages of 12 and 17;
  • One in five teenage Internet users report having received undesired sexual solicitation such as requests for personal info or private chats;
  • Nine in 10 children between the ages of eight and 16 have encountered online porn;
  • Law enforcement agencies estimate that any given time there are 50,000+ sexual predators prowling around online;
  • 69% of teenagers often get online communications from people they don’t know — and they don’t inform their parents or caregivers;
  • About 89% of sexual solicitations of children were made via chat room or instant messaging programs; and
  • 20% of kids between the ages of 10 and 17 were on the receiving end of sexual solicitation or were approached on the Internet.

Despite the sobering statistics, banning your kids from social media is not the answer. What you need to do is to ensure that they understand and comply with social media rules that will help to keep them safe in 2017 and beyond.

 

TOO YOUNG FOR FACEBOOK?

While Facebook isn’t necessarily the first site kids turn to when looking to connect with others, it is nonetheless a popular site. But the minimum age for anyone seeking to create an account is 13. You need to inform you kids that it is not okay to sign up under false pretenses.

 

SET PRIVACY SETTINGS PROPERLY

As the parent, you need to take the initiative to set the privacy settings to the most stringent levels on any computer or mobile device that your kids will use to connect to the Internet. This will safeguard your children as well as protect your computers, tablets, and smartphones from viruses.

 

EMPLOY FILTERING SOFTWARE

Be sure to use filtering software — there are plenty of options available — to monitor your children’s online activity. You’ll be able to stay abreast of info such as the sites they visit, the amount of time they spend on the Internet, and even the precise keystrokes they typed.

KEEP COMPUTER IN CENTRAL LOCATION

Until your kids are perhaps old enough to get a job and buy their own computers, you need to keep computers in a central location of your home where there is sufficient foot traffic. You should discourage your children from hiding away in their rooms while on the Internet.

 

AVOID ‘FREEBIE’ SCAMS

Who doesn’t like to win free things? The problem is that criminals often use things like surveys and the like to trick the unsuspecting to give up personal details that they otherwise wouldn’t. Ensure that your children are not only street-proofed but also Internet-proofed so that they don’t fall for scams.

 

SIGN OFF ON PICS

Social media provides an ideal platform for posting pictures, but you need to inform your kids about the need to be wise on what sorts of pics they share. To avoid any problems, let your kids understand that you must sign off on any and every picture that they post or send on social media.  

 

SET USAGE LIMITS

You need to set guidelines for when your kids can use social media and how long they can spend doing it. There should be no instance, for example, where your kids are communicating with people on social media while everyone else is the home is asleep for the night.

 

COMMUNICATE THE DANGERS

You need to education your kids so that they understand the potential dangers of social media — such as the fact that the people they communicate with may not be who they claim to be. You should definitely warn them not to get into discussions with strangers and not to disclose personal information. Also be sure to let them know what steps to take if they are approached by potential predators online.

Teaching children social media skills is really just an extension of the social skills you are already endeavouring to teach them. With the former, you’re really just adapting things for the digital age.

Social media presents plenty of benefits that kids should not be denied. By implementing and enforcing some social media rules, your kids will be able to safely enjoy communicating with those they know via the Internet.

 

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