Tips on How to be an Effective Member of the Top Social Networking Sites

Networking is one way of gaining possible clients. If you intend to widen your horizons when it comes to dealing with the business you are in, you’ve got to exert additional effort. And can you do this?

A lot of business enthusiasts have found a comfortable niche via the online opportunities which the net has well given the technology-dependent beings. Ask any business enthusiast and he or she is sure to give you a precise answer about how positive you should go about with the stuff related to your craft. Dedication and hard work are among the main ingredients of a successful business venture. And if only you are hardworking enough to help boost your reputation, you’ll get plenty of positive outputs. Why worry? The top social networking sites can be one of your greatest avenues.

Some Valuable Tips to Go For

It is not enough that you can call yourself a part of the top social networking sites there are today. There is a more profound reason as to why you sign up yourself as a member of the top social networking sites known to mankind. How do you think will you become an effective member?

You must be fully aware of the significance of the networking process. Your networking capabilities are among the top determinants of your possible success in any line of business. With an adequate knowledge in networking, you can work yourself up towards the increase in your market assets and shares; open yourself to more innovative ideas, and worthy perspectives that deal with business and life in reality.

Be visible at all times. Allow others to recognize your present. Taking part in online discussions and by giving out your opinion in the most precise and professional manner will mark your fame to the rest of the members. Therefore, clients will recognize and remember you. Make sure to be willing to lend a helping hand and boost the morale of the beginners in particular.

Be on guard with your image. Your credibility will count at all times. Along with it, be confident and improve your own self-esteem. You will need these tools in facing the world of business when everyone seems to always compete with one another. Never stain your good name. Your business’s success depends largely on this point.

Treat networking seriously. Maintain your level of professionalism when taking part in online discussions. You have to set some demarcation lines when it comes to dealing with professional and personal matters.

Build relationships. This is one of the main goals of all top social networking sites—to build relationships. Business relationships should furthermore be strengthened through the course of time. Project an approachable, warm, understanding, and accommodating image coupled with a precise knowledge about the craft, tact, and empathy. Learn to develop mutual respect among every member.

Listen and talk accordingly. Beginners usually tend to seek advice from the pros. And if you are one of the pros, make sure that you do not deprive them of the gratifying feeling of being helped.

Be genuine. Do not pretend to be someone whom you are really not.

Be very organized. Do not manifest your being rascal. It will surely create a mess out of your good name.

Make business cards available. Online business cards will be of great help so that when people start needing your service, they will know how and where to reach you.

Remember that the impression which you leave in the top social networking sites will determine your becoming successful in the near future.

On Display: The Latest in Mobile Phone Screen Technology

Issue Date: April 2008
On Display: The Latest in Mobile Phone Screen Technology
Arielle Emmett & Susan Nunziata
The prototype for wireless phones today appears to be the magic wand:  sleek, sexy, unbelievably multitasking, all-in-one, at your service. Oh, and did we mention cheap? Among the recent and emerging trends in mobile phone display design are:Increased screen size and resolution (most displays are now using up to 2 megapixels) to deliver rich multimedia content;

  • Touchscreens to enable ease of use;
  • Technologies to preserve battery life;
  • Tiny projectors to facilitate shared viewing.

Just Looking For Some Touch

It’s impossible to discuss display technologies without referencing the Apple iPhone. Although touchscreens per se are not new, especially to enterprise customers, the marketing juggernaut behind the iPhone has ratcheted up consumer awareness of the graphic user interface (GUI) possibilities offered by this type of display technology.

Much to the dismay of some I.T. professionals concerned about security and the ability to run enterprise applications, Apple’s multitasking, sleekly iconic iPhone, available from AT&T, already appeals to an extraordinarily wide range of business users.

With its virtual touch keypad and zoom-in aerial mapping features, a 3.5-inch screen and colorful, clearly marked icons, iPhone sets the bar high for ease-of-use. The display toggles automatically between landscape and portrait views with a flick of the wrist. The phone’s multi-touch interface enables easy typing and touching even for those whose fingers aren’t as thin as their teenaged daughter’s.

On the heels of making its software developers toolkit available to third-party developers, Apple announced several iPhone upgrades in March aimed at corporate users. These include Microsoft’s ActiveSync technology to speed the delivery of email to the iPhone for users of Microsoft’s Exchange corporate email service. In June, new software will aim to improve security and enable corporate I.T. departments to control the devices. The Wall Street Journal reports that with a 28% market share, the iPhone is the No. 2 selling smartphone in the U.S. after BlackBerry.

“If Apple is aligning its SDK so that more enterprise applications can be created for the iPhone, the move could erode the BlackBerry marketplace,” says Barbara Bickham, CEO of Techgenii, a Los Angeles, Calif.-based mobile technology and entertainment consultancy. “The iPhone is slick and new and cool,” and has crossover appeal to both consumers and the enterprise crowd, she says. But will enterprises view it as a business device? Only if Apple creates the security and management features corporate customers expect.

Also at issue, says Bickham, is the fact that the iPhone is marketed exclusively through AT&T instead of being available in all carrier channels. That choice could delay its widespread adoption by corporations already tied into contracts with other wireless carriers, she says.

Nonetheless, in terms of screen design and user interface, “The iPhone changes the [wireless] game,” says Iain Gilliot, founder of IGR Inc., a marketing strategy and research company specializing in mobile business. Gilliot says his SMS usage has skyrocketed since he’s tried the iPhone simply because it’s easier for him to type on the virtual keyboard than a real (albeit miniaturized) one.

Another recent product attracting attention among enterprise users is the HTC Touch. This Windows Mobile 6 smartphone was developed for the American market by a Taiwanese company and is available from Alltel and Sprint. The phone combines a crystal-clear, high resolution and multidimensional touch display with a unique finger-sweeping GUI called “TouchFLO.”

“Paint” your index finger across the touchscreen in a curve left to right, and a “side” of the cube pops up showing options such as email, SMS/MMS, Internet Explorer, tasks, a Comm Manager (providing access to Bluetooth and other options) and calendar. Sweep again, and the phone’s GUI shows the cube revolving to land on a series of icons for ringtones, games, office PC syncing and “shared apps,” among others. Another sweep, and you see a series of head-shaped icons which represent people you can add to your list of contacts. A final spin reveals options for downloading music, photos and videos.

Battery-Saving Solutions

Samsung has taken a different approach than other touchscreen technologies by integrating the touch unit within the LCD’s glass cell, eliminating the need for a separate touchscreen overlay, and thus reducing demands on battery power.

“There’s a big advantage to integrating the two [layers],” says Scott Birnbaum, a VP at Samsung LCD Business. “When you have a [touchscreen] overlay, it creates an air gap between the display and touch screen. When you think of the physics of light, which goes through an air gap because of the additional layer, optical performance normally decreases.”

Samsung’s new technology permits a thinner phone than other touchscreen devices and one that requires less battery power.

Also aimed at saving battery life is Qualcomm’s Mirasol display technology, which uses an interferometer and ambient light reflected back to the human eye from a display’s optical cavities, thus conserving power. Different wavelengths (colors) are reflected to the viewer based on the spacing (known as a “cell gap”) of resident optical cavities for each subpixel.

Products incorporating Mirasol are in the works.  It’s been adopted for two upcoming products from Foxlink Group of Taiwan – a GSM watch and a Bluetooth stereo headset. KT Freetel (KTF), one of Korea’s largest carriers and the country’s first WCDMA operator, chose Mirasol for a KTF SHOW Monitoring System. This uses 3G WCDMA to transmit live video from a SHOW camera device to a mobile.

“Because we can harvest ambient light, we don’t require a back light,” said Jim Cathey, VP for business development for Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm, Inc., which produces Mirasol.

With very low power consumption (roughly 1 milliwatt in static mode) Mirasol displays have good visibility, even in bright sunlight.

“Exploded” View

New devices are also transforming our  military. For example, specialized head-mounted or helmet-mounted displays as small as .978 inches diagonally at Super XGA resolutions (1280 X 1024 pixels) are being used in Iraq. Kopin is one of the companies manufacturing such miniaturized, high-resolution displays for the military, wireless and other industries.

The company also makes video eyeglass projection devices that enable users of handhelds to see the content of their screens in an “exploded” view.

“For example, with the iPOD, you hold your device in your palm, but with the eyewear, you get a magnification and see it as though you were watching a movie on a 50-inch TV at a distance of seven feet,” explains Hong Choi, the chief technology officer for Kopin.

Other space-age solutions are on the horizon, including Nokia’s shape-shifting Morph concept phone, a flexible device that makes use of nano-technology to take on a variety of iterations, from flat screen to wrist-watch.

Speaking at the Gartner Mobile & Wireless Summit in March, Nokia’s Dr. Tero Ojanperä, EVP Entertainment & Communities, says that it would take five to seven years “before we could build a device like Morph.” Meanwhile, the technology is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Microsoft Research and Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs are reportedly cooking up an equally futuristic display technology, the LucidTouch. This see-through screen actually consists of dual front and back touchscreens. The front display is controlled by thumbs, while the rest of your fingers control the back screen. The idea is to enable users to pinch, zoom and drag onscreen icons using mutiple fingers instead of just the one- or two-finger maneuvering that current touchscreens allow. It’s reportedly expected to be ready for cellphones and other devices within five years.

When the smartphone’s upgraded display screen still can’t suffice, business users will soon be able to turn to “pico” or “nano” projectors. These are pocket-sized devices (most of them currently the size of a TV remote) allowing the projection of images of moderate size on walls or other surfaces. The devices either embed within a smartphone or PDA, or attach as an accessory to one. Pico projectors are ideal for road warriors who need to do business presentations on the fly or share multimedia content from their phones.

Chris Chinnock, president of Insight Media in Norwalk, Conn., a market research and consulting firm for the display industry, says these tiny projection systems will roll out later this year.

“The projectors are designed to be portable, fit in your pocket, or eventually become embedded inside your cell phone, personal media player or notebook.”

Explay, based in Israel, is offering what it calls a “nano-projector” that fits in your palm. The projector uses proprietary laser beam projection technology and polymer optics to produce a high-resolution image that’s 20 times larger than the mobile device itself. The image size ranges from 7 inches to 30 inches depending on the surface on which it’s projected.

Another company, Microvision, is perfecting its line of “pico projection” displays that can be embedded in cell technology or attached as accessories. Microvision signed an OEM deal with Motorola in July 2007 to develop pico projector display solutions for mobile applications.

“There’s a feeding frenzy now because everyone thinks [the projectors] will be a killer product,” Chinnock says.

From April 2008 Issue:

Inserts “play well” with other media

If you’re looking for an affordable investment that easily connects to other channels, inserts are a great choice. Four experts discuss how to take advantage of this strategy.

Peter Stein
Director of business development, CGSM Inc

Imagine a marketer placing an insert with an offer for a free catalog, with prospects responding through the company’s Web site or call center: This is just an example of how insert media has become an excellent conduit to opt-in marketing. Insert media is a tool that will lead to the development of robust databases, the creation of relevant marketing across all channels, increased loyalty with customers and a better return on marketing investments.

While consumers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages per day, they are still open to relevant offers from marketers. Recent research has also shown consumers are look¬ing to control their relationships with marketers by opting in to some channels and opting out of others. They want to dictate what kind of offers they receive, how often they receive communications, and what communications channels they prefer.

During this interaction, prospects are asked what their interests are, how often they would want to receive information, and whether they would like to receive it through mail, e-mail, text messages, or phone calls. In addition, they may be asked what social networks they belong to as well as about other interests. This information provides the marketer with insight into how to best invest company marketing dollars and potential new products and services that should be developed as a result of customer and prospect feedback.

Insert media is an inexpensive media: production costs are typically low and there are no postage costs associated with a program. The target audience is typically response driven, and it tends to include recent buyers of similar products. Utilizing inserts as a means of getting prospects to raise their hands and provide key information on their preferences can be extremely beneficial in formulating a successful company’s multichannel strategy.

The Takeaway
Insert media is an excellent first step to successful opt-in marketing campaigns.

Ellen Sante-Dubs
Offline marketing manager, VistaPrint

Many companies rely solely on online marketing channels to drive their online sales. What they may not realize is that even their most profitable acquisition channels will eventually see diminishing returns. Therefore, the last dollar they spend on their best online channel may not perform as well as the first dollar they spend on a new channel such as insert media.

Insert media is a great tool to build brand awareness and drive customers to the Web. It is generally more cost-ef¬fective than a solo mailing since you pay to ride-along with other advertisers. In addition, insert media programs often publish the demographics of their target audience so you can look for programs with an audience that resembles your customers or tailor your marketing message to a specific audience. With any new channel, it’s best to start slowly with a few small campaigns so you can test and learn.

When starting to test insert media, it’s important to look for programs with high “open rates” to ensure your adver¬tisement will be seen.

A good way to track inserts is to cre¬ate a unique URL extension for each individual campaign. Another way to track a campaign is to include a coupon code on your insert that the customer must enter online during check-out in order to receive a special promotional discount.

Lastly, companies track inserts by add¬ing a multiple-choice question to their online check-out process, such as “How did you hear about our company?”

The Takeaway
Inserts are a great offline tool to drive your customers online.

Stan Madyda
SVP, Estee Mar¬keting Group Inc.

Catalogs and inserts have worked well together for decades, because marketers can take advantage of a very specific audience that is in a shopping frame of mind. Over the last several years, catalog blow-ins have gained popularity, since they allow advertisers to reach large numbers of prospective customers at a fraction of the cost.

The choice of blow-in programs is varied: apparel, children’s, home prod¬ucts, gifts, electronics and gardening, to name a few. A broker can work with advertisers in setting up a well-rounded test plan. If you are a niche advertiser, ask your broker to ask for catalogs of¬fering products to the same market. Al¬though a program may not be available, an exception might be made to include a piece deemed comparable.

Ask if the inserts go only to the house file or to prospects as well. Most catalogs will include one or two outside inserts per drop. Advertisers should be aware that mail quantities can change. Confirm dates and quantities before ar¬ranging for a shipment of inserts.

Hard-sell offers work well with a catalog audience. Size and weight are factors that need to be considered when designing the insert piece. The maxi¬mum size of the insert needs to be a bit smaller than the standard size common with package inserts. Weight should be no more than ¼ ounce. Creatively, an advertiser will want to get as much information on the piece as possible – including just one core offer helps nar¬row the focus and leverages the buying frame of mind.

The Takeaway
Catalog blow-ins drive sales for niche products from buying-ready consumers.

Barbara Bickham
CEO, TechGenii, Inc.

Insert marketers can win by driving traffic to their Web site through the use of insert media, but only if they use the right strategy. Obviously, the first step is to make sure to include the Web site URL on the insert – consum¬ers need to know there is a Web site available and where to access it.

Next, give the consumer an incentive to go to the site. Offer a larger discount with an insert or offer a free trial of a product or service. This strategy has room for testing both your online and offline creative. To test creative on the printed insert, include a key code for consumers to enter upon receiving it. Distinct microsites can be tested by varying URLs. Depending on the size of your drop, it may be worthwhile for you to run multivariate tests.

Finally, you can gain new custom¬ers when the consumer signs up to receive the coupon or promotion. As a part of registration, capture their e-mail address. Once registration is complete, e-mail marketing rules apply.

Having a printed insert serves as a reminder for the customer and, in addition to initially driving them to the site with an offer, can function to notify the customer of changes on the site, new contests being run on the site and other online promotions. Inserts can be printed on one page, which reduces your mailing costs.

This three-part strategy comple¬ments other marketing channels as well. Inserts with clear-cut promotional incentives can drive users to cell phone contest or WAP sites as well as pod¬casts. Consumers can use the insert at their leisure, entering an SMS code on the go or bringing it home.

More challenging is coordinating insert creative with a TV or radio of¬fer. The danger here is ensuring that your insert shipment will truly coincide with the set schedule that radio or TV air time demand, and using an insert requires great timing and coordination.

The Takeaway
Give consumers a clear-cut reason to visit your Web or WAP site