Monday, 13 May 2019

Anti social media. What is it?

n. Communication channels favoured by the aged, and those that don't want to be "part of the conversation".

The use of social media while socialising in the presence of other people.

Anti social media is the reduction of face to face communication from using social media. Generations X-Z generally prefer anti social media to actual personal interaction and share everything in life on line ad nauseum.

Reference the Urban Dictionary.

Are you guilty of using social media instead of personal interaction?  
When in the presence of others do you find yourself texting, checking facebook, emails, twitter, instagram and the like?  If so your social media is becoming anti social.

I would appreciate your comments - do you agree or disagree?

Friday, 10 May 2019

Which blogging platform is best for you!!!!!!

Shareaholic.com logoWhen you’re ready to step up your blogging game, get our free suite of tools. Our share buttons, social analytics and related content tool will turn your website into a destination where visitors comment, read and stay. Get Shareaholic.
blogging platform
Photo Credit: opensourceway via Compfightcc
When I first started blogging, I was pretty clueless–I didn’t even choose my own platform. 
Knowing that I was becoming interested in social media and blogging, my boyfriend created a Blogger blog for me for Valentine’s Day. It was a great option for me. Blogger was a super easy-to-use platform and to be honest, I had no idea that other options existed. 
As I started to better understand the other available choices, I hopped around from platform to platform—Tumblr, WordPress.com and finally self-hosted WordPress.org.
And what did I end up with? Four or five stagnant blogs on different platforms that I rarely updated and the most confusing Google search imaginable. No one could find my real blog because there were so many other blogs cluttering my search results.
Picking the right platform for your content is essential to you establishing yourself as a blogger. While it’s fine to make a transfer one time, you shouldn’t really be jumping around from platform to platform like I did. You’ll end up having a very fragmented web presence, which will be hard to overcome with even the best SEO efforts.
Instead, learn from my mistakes. There are a ton of blogging platforms out there to choose from, but you need to find one that will work for you and the content you are creating right when you’re starting to blog.
To help set you on the right path, here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of the most popular blogging platforms:
wordpress-v-logo

WordPress.com

Price: Free with costs to upgrade
You’ve heard of WordPress before—it’s been around for awhile, and it continues to be one of the most popular blogging platform in the world. WordPress offers two different blogging platforms: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The main difference between the two is that the WordPress.com sites are hosted on WordPress’ server while WordPress.org sites are hosted on an external server.
If you’re not interested in a ton of customization options, WordPress.com is the way to go. You won’t be able to add plugins, install custom themes or edit your HTML, but you will get a basic blogging platform that’s free and easy to use. If you ever want those options, it’s also very easy to switch over to WordPress.org. If you want to dive deep into the differences between the two, WP Beginner has an awesome infographic to break it down for you.
I’d suggest using this platform if you are just testing the blogging waters and aren’t ready to commit to investing time and money into a website.

Blogger

Price: Free
Blogger-Logo
Even though it was my first blogging platform, I’m not a huge fan of Blogger. The site is deceiving at first. It’s easy to navigate and I love that it’s integrated with all my Google Apps, but if you want to customize your site, you have to be okay with tweaking HTML. As a beginner blogger, I was not prepared to do that (if you want to start learning HTML, we’ve got a handy guide here). Blogger does have widgets available to keep you from touching code, but it is mostly centered on adding Google products to your blog.
Ultimately, if you want a very simple set-up, Blogger could work for you. It’s easy to edit and publish posts and it has a ton of tools built it. Be warned though, as you grow your blog, other blogging platforms will have more options available to make your life easier.

Tumblr

Price: Free
tumblr logo
Now owned by Yahoo, Tumblr is an interesting platform to consider. Like the earlier content management systems, Tumblr is really easy to get set up and start blogging. As far as specific blogging customization options, it doesn’t have much over Blogger or WordPress.com, but one of its top selling points is its culture and community.
Tumblr blogs usually contain images, gifs or videos—not necessarily long form text. The Tumblr community is also very comfortable with reposting other people’s content because of Tumblr’s “reblog” function. While other platforms do have some of those capabilities, that type of culture and community is what makes Tumblr special. If this seems like your style, definitely check it out!

Medium

Price: FreeMedium
Developed by Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams,  Medium simplifies blogging by giving you a clean canvas to publish meaningful stories. With the tagline, “Everyone’s stories and ideas,” Medium aims to make it easy for anyone — with a Twitter account — to write, share and analyze their posts. A few neat features include built-in analytics (which displays view counts, “read ratios” and “recommendations”), in-line comments, and the ability to share drafts with friends.
One drawback to Medium, which I think is actually one of its biggest benefits, is its standardized template. You can’t customize your Medium column the way you can with almost all of the other platforms. But that’s the beauty of the site: its simplicity. Readers know what to expect and understand how to best consume your content.
Medium also hosts all user-generated-content on the Medium.com domain, so you aren’t able to easily develop a “following” the way you would with your own site. That being said, Medium offers plenty of opportunities for distribution via it’s Popular on Medium sections, which features the most read stories, and its weekly newsletter, handcrafted by editors who surface posts they love, which all users receive. Medium also offers “Letters,” which enables you to create a kind of mailing list for your readers, sending certain posts directly to their inboxes.
Honestly, Medium is most ideal for users who want to publish stories they’ve been dying to write but want to avoid the hassle of creating an account with any other CMSs and setting up, designing and hosting their own site.

WordPress.org

wordpress-logo-stacked-rgb
Price: Platform is free, ~$5 per month and up for hosting costs
I’m going to go ahead and admit it—I love WordPress.org. Not only do we use it here at Shareaholic, but I also use it for my personal blog. Though there is a bit of a learning curve initially, it’s one of the most flexible blogging platforms out there. If you’re dying to delve into your blog’s code, you can. If you’re not, you can use plugins and themes that make sure you hardly ever have to touch a piece of code. It’s also a well-loved platform by the developer community, which means there will always be fresh tools and themes available for you to use.
I do want to emphasize that getting started on WordPress can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have some technical knowledge already. You’ll have to worry about downloading an FTP client and grabbing a web host right off the bat (we have a guide that can help choose one). This can be intimidating for a newbie blogger. Still, if you bite the technical bullet and go with WordPress, it’s well worth the investment!

Squarespace

squarespace-logo
Price: $8-$16 per month
I’ll be honest—I’ve never hosted my blog on Squarespace. That being said, after taking it for a spin I am VERY tempted to jump ship from WordPress. (Kidding! No more switching for me.) It is a terrific option for those of us who want to customize a blog but don’t have the coding chops yet. It’s intuitive to use with built in analytics and drag and drop page templates.
This is also a great platform for those of us who eventually want to expand our blogs into a business. Whether you want to launch a simple landing page or an ecommerce website, it would be incredibly easy to do it all through Squarespace.
Though it is super easy to use, it doesn’t have all the plugin and theme support that WordPress does—you’ll have to manually insert code in your blog to get the same tools.

Typepad

Price: $9-$30 per month
typepadlogo
If you think that WordPress.com is too simple and WordPress.org is too complex, Typepad is the perfect compromise. Like WordPress.com, Typepad blogs are all hosted on their server, but you have a lot of customization options available. It’s still fairly hard to edit their code, but it offers more extensive themes and blog plugins than WordPress.com. If you’re looking for a semi-robust platform that’s a middle step between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, Typepad might be a good option for you.

Weebly

weeblyPrice: Free to start, upgrade available (~$5 a month for additional features and $35 a year for a custom domain)
Weebly is a very easy-to-use tool to create websites and blogs. It’s one of the easiest in the bunch to navigate with excellent SEO capabilities wired in, but it didn’t strike me as the best blogging platform. It was much harder for me to put together a post compared to the previous options. It might be a good option if you have a main website and happen to blog as well, but if you’re a full-time blogger, it is probably overkill.
I also really liked its drag-and-drop features, but be warned that editing the HTML and CSS of your site is pretty tricky. Since it’s not particularly cheaper or better designed than any of the previous options, I’m a little lukewarm on Weebly.

Drupal

drupal-logoPrice: Free, then $12 – $80 per month
Drupal is more of a content management system than a blogging platform. While you can use it to create a blog, it’s also made to create things like corporate websites, forums and ecommerce sites, so it’s not that intuitive to use as a blogger. Like with WordPress, you’ll need to get your own host to use Drupal, but the actual software is pretty difficult to navigate.
That being said, there are some tools out there like Drupal Gardens that make it much less intense to use. Drupal Gardens creates an interface that makes it easy to create and publish your content. Even with Drupal Gardens in your holster, I’d recommend using a simpler platform for your blog unless you are a technology-savvy pro blogger with solid plans to create a business.

Joomla

joomla_logo_vert_color1Price: Free for a month, then prices go up from $20-$100 for premium plans
Like Drupal, Joomla is a content management system aimed at corporate websites rather than the average blogger. When playing around with it, I thought it was a very robust platform that really helps you create any website you’d ever want. For most bloggers though, it’s probably overkill. It’s also more expensive than any of the other platforms listed here, which may be a deal breaker if you’re just starting out. If you’re looking to learn more about Joomla or Drupal, here’s a great article to read.
Ultimately, picking a blogging platform is a personal decision—what works for someone else may not work for you. If you’ve already picked your blogging platform, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Which platform are you using? What do you love or hate about it? 

Top 21 social media sites 2019

Whether you are a seasoned social media marketer, a marketer looking to venture into social media marketing, or a business owner looking to leverage on social media, it’s helpful to know the most popular social media sites around. This will allow you to maximize your brand reach on social media, engage with the right people, and achieve your social media goals.
Of course, it isn’t only about the size of the social media sites. It’s also whether the social media site is a right fit for your business and you. Does it fit your brand image? Is your target audience using that social media site? How many social media sites can you manage at once?
To make things easier for you, I did some research and compiled information about the 21 top social media sites in 2018. Some will be familiar to you, others might sound foreign to you. It might be worth reading more about the social media sites that might be great for your brand but that you have not explored.
Let’s dive in.

The 21 most popular social media sites in 2019

(MAUs stands for Monthly Active Users, and MUVs stands for Monthly Unique Visitors.)

1. Facebook – 2.23 billion MAUs

Facebook Page of Foster Coffee Company
Facebook is the biggest social media site around, with more than two billion people using it every month. That’s almost a third of the world’s population! There are more than 65 million businesses using Facebook Pages and more than six million advertisers actively promoting their business on Facebook, which makes it a pretty safe bet if you want to have a presence on social media.
It’s easy to get started on Facebook because almost all content format works great on Facebook — text, images, videoslive videos, and Stories. But note that the Facebook algorithm prioritizes content that sparks conversations and meaningful interactions between people, especially those from family and friends. If you want to learn more about succeeding with the updated Facebook algorithm, Brian Peters, our Strategic Partnership Marketer, shared the secrets of the new algorithm and what you can do to thrive on Facebook.
Also, remember to optimize your content for mobile as 94 percent of Facebook’s users access Facebook via the mobile app.

2. YouTube – 1.9 billion MAUs

YouTube homepage
YouTube is a video-sharing platform where users watch a billion hour of videos every day. To get started, you can create a YouTube channel for your brand where you can upload videos for your subscribers to view, like, comment, and share.
Besides being the second biggest social media site, YouTube (owned by Google) is also often known as the second largest search engine after Google. (So if you want your brand to be on YouTube, I would recommend reading up on YouTube SEO.)
Finally, you can also advertise on YouTube to increase your reach on the platform.

3. WhatsApp – 1.5 billion MAUs

WhatsApp conversation screenshot
WhatsApp is a messaging app used by people in over 180 countries. Initially, WhatsApp was only used by people to communicate with their family and friends. Gradually, people started communicating with businesses via WhatsApp. (When I was in Bangkok to buy a new suit, I communicated with the tailor via WhatsApp.)
WhatsApp has been building out its business platform to allow businesses to have a proper business profile, to provide customer support, and to share updates with customers about their purchases. For small businesses, it has built the WhatsApp Business app while for medium and large businesses, there’s the WhatsApp Business API. Here are some stories of how businesses have been using WhatsApp.

4. Messenger – 1.3 billion MAUs

Messenger conversation screenshot
Messenger used to be a messaging feature within Facebook, and since 2011, Facebook has made Messenger into a standalone app by itself and greatly expanded on its features. Businesses can now advertise, create chatbots, send newsletters, and more on Messenger. These features have given businesses a myriad of new ways to engage and connect with their customers.
If you are thinking about using Messenger for your business, here are seven ways you can use Messenger for your marketing.

5. WeChat – 1.06 billion MAUs

WeChat wallet
WeChat grew from a messaging app, just like WhatsApp and Messenger, into an all-in-one platform. Besides messaging and calling, users can now use WeChat to shop online and make payment offline, transfer money, make reservations, book taxis, and more.
WeChat is most popular in China and some parts of Asia. If you are doing business in those areas (where social media platforms like Facebook are banned), WeChat could be a good alternative.

6. Instagram – 1 billion MAUs

Instagram feed screenshot
Instagram is a photo and video sharing social media app. It allows you to share a wide range of content such as photos, videos, Stories, and live videos. It has also recently launched IGTVfor longer-form videos.
As a brand, you can have an Instagram business profile, which will provide you with rich analytics of your profile and posts and the ability to schedule Instagram posts using third-party tools.
To help you get started and succeed, here’s our complete guide to Instagram marketing.

7. QQ – 861 million MAUs

QQ screenshot
QQ is an instant messaging platform that is extremely popular among young Chinese. (It is used in 80 countries and also available in many other languages.) Besides its instant messaging features, it also enables users to decorate their avatars, watch movies, play online games, shop online, blog, and make payment.
I have to admit I don’t know much about QQ but Carrie Law from ClickZ has written a helpful brief introduction to QQ for marketers. It seems that while QQ, a desktop-native platform, used to be the top social media platform in China, WeChat, a messaging app from the same parent company, has taken over its place.

8. Tumblr – 642 million MUVs

Tumblr feed screenshot
Tumblr is a microblogging and social networking site for sharing text, photos, links, videos, audios, and more. People share a wide range of things on Tumblr from cat photos to art to fashion.
On the surface, a Tumblr blog can look just like any other websites. So many blogs that you come across online might be using Tumblr!
If you want to consider Tumblr for your marketing, Viral Tag has written a starter guide to Tumblr marketing.

9. Qzone – 632 million MAUs

Qzone homepage screenshot
Qzone is another popular social networking platform based in China, where users can upload multimedia, write blogs, play games, and decorate their own virtual spaces.
According to several people on Quora, Qzone seems to be more popular among teenagers(while WeChat is more popular among adults). But the rise of mobile-based platforms like WeChat seemed to have caused a decline in popularity of desktop-based platforms like Qzone.

10. Tik Tok – 500 million MAUs

Tik Tok app screenshot
Tik Tok (also known as Douyin in China) is a rising music video social network. It was the world’s most downloaded app in the first quarter of 2018, beating Facebook, Instagram, and other social media apps.
My initial impression is that it looks like Instagram for short music videos (though I’m sure it’s more than that). Users can record videos up to 60 seconds, edit them, and add music and special effects.
While it is most popular in Asia, my hunch is its popularity might spread to the west. It has recently acquired Musical.ly, a similar music video social network where Coca-Cola once did a successful “Share a Coke and a Song” campaign.

11. Sina Weibo – 392 million MAUs

Sina Weibo homepage screenshot
Sina Weibo is often known as Twitter for Chinese users (since Twitter is banned in China). It has features similar to Twitter — 140-character microblogging, uploading of photos and videos, commenting, and verification of accounts.
If you would like to learn more about Sina Weibo, What’s on Weibo, a social trends reporting site, wrote a helpful short introduction to Sina Weibo.

12. Twitter – 335 million MAUs

Twitter timeline screenshot
Twitter is a social media site for news, entertainment, sports, politics, and more. What makes Twitter different from most other social media sites is that it has a strong emphasis on real-time information — things that are happening right now. For example, one of the defining moments in the Twitter history is when Janis Krums tweeted the image of a plane that landed in the Hudson River when he was on the ferry to pick the passengers up.
Another unique characteristic of Twitter is that it only allows 280 characters in a tweet (140 for Japanese, Korean, and Chinese), unlike most social media sites that have a much higher limit.
Twitter is also often used as a customer service channel. According to advertisers on Twitter, more than 80 percent of social customer service requests happen on Twitter. And Salesforce calls Twitter “the New 1-800 Number for Customer Service“. There are many social media customer service tools, such as Buffer Reply, available now to help you manage social customer service conversations.

13. Reddit – 330 million MAUs

Reddit homepage screenshot
Reddit, also known as the front page of the Internet, is a platform where users can submit questions, links, and images, discuss them, and vote them up or down.
There are subreddits (i.e. dedicated forums) for pretty much anything under the sun (and above). Subreddits, however, have different levels of engagement so it’s great to research to see if there are popular subreddits that your brand can be part of. For example, r/socialmedia tends to be pretty quiet so we are rarely on Reddit.
Besides submitting your content to Reddit and participating in discussions, you can also find content ideas and advertise on Reddit.

14. Baidu Tieba – 300 million MAUs

Baidu Tieba homepage screenshot
Baidu Tieba is a Chinese online forum created by Baidu, the largest Chinese search engine in the world. My interpretation of Wikipedia’s description is that Baidu Tieba seems to be similar to Reddit, where users can create a forum thread on any topic and interact with one another.

15. LinkedIn – 294 million MAUs

LinkedIn feed screenshot
LinkedIn is now more than just a resume and job search site. It has evolved into a professional social media site where industry experts share content, network with one another, and build their personal brand. It has also become a place for businesses to establish their thought leadership and authority in their industry and attract talent to their company.
To help you grow your LinkedIn Company Page follower, we have written a blog post covering a simple five-step strategy.
LinkedIn also offers advertising opportunities, such as boosting your content, sending personalized ads to LinkedIn inboxes, and displaying ads by the side of the site.

16. Viber – 260 million MAUs

Viber app screenshot
On the surface, Viber is quite similar to major social messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Messenger. It allows users to send messages and multimedia, call, share stickers and GIFs, and more.
However, Viber presents many more opportunities for businesses. As a business, you can buy ads, promote your brand through stickers, engage your community, display your products in the shopping section, and provide customer service.

17. Snapchat – 255 million MAUs

Snapchat discover screenshot
Snapchat is a social media app that focuses on sharing photos and short videos (as known as snaps) between friends. It made the Stories format popular, which eventually proliferated on other social media platforms like Instagram. But the rise of Instagram Stories seemed to have hindered Snapchat’s growth and marketers’ interest in using Snapchat for their brands in general.
If you are not familiar with Snapchat, here’s our beginner’s guide to Snapchat. Or if you are undecided between Snapchat and Instagram, we wrote a little comparison of Snapchat and Instagram for brands.

18. Pinterest – 250 million MAUs

Pinterest feed screenshot
Pinterest is a place where people go to discover new things and be inspired, quite unlike most social media sites where engagement is the primary focus. According to Pinterest, 78 percent of users say that content on Pinterest from brands are useful (much higher than that on other sites). This gives your brand an unique opportunity to shape their purchasing decisions.
As Pinterest users want to be inspired to try or buy new things, having a presence on Pinterest could help put your brand on their minds. Here are some tips on using Pinterest for businessthat the Pinterest team shared with us.

19. Line – 203 million MAUs

Line app screenshot
Line is a multi-purpose social messaging app that allows users to message, share stickers, play games, make payments, request for taxis, and shop online. It is the most popular messaging app in Japan and is also popular in other areas in Asia.
Brands can create official accounts on Line to share news and promotions, which will appear on their followers’ timeline.

20. Telegram – 200 million MAUs

Telegram app screenshot
Telegram is similar to most social messaging apps and is often known for how secure it is as a messaging app.
There are several ways brands can make use of Telegram, besides providing one-on-one customer support. For example, brands can create chatbots for the Telegram platform or make use of Telegram’s channel feature to broadcast messages to an unlimited number of subscribers.

21. Medium – 60 million MAUs

Medium homepage screenshot
Medium is an online publishing platform with a social network element. It’s free to publish on Medium and free to read most articles. Some articles are reserved for only paying members.
Besides publishing original content on Medium, it’s quite common for brands to republish their blog posts from their company blog onto Medium to extend their reach. (That’s what we’re doing here at Buffer.)
If you want to experiment with Medium, we wrote a guide to Medium for marketers and a blog post on the nine strategies we tried on Medium.

Over to you: Which sites are your brand on?

Regardless of the size of the social media sites, it’s most important to consider whether your brand’s target audience is active on those social media sites. That said, larger social media sites, like Facebook, tends to cover a wide range of interests and topics, which makes it suitable for most brands.
Which social media sites are your brand on? Why did your brand choose to be there?
P.s. Buffer Publish lets you schedule social media posts to six of these 21 social media sites — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. If you want to manage more than one social media accounts on any of these six, we would love for you to try it for free for 14 days and experience what it can do for your business.
Buffer composer

Anti social media. What is it?

anti-social media n.  Communication  channels  favoured  by  the aged , and those that don't want to be "part of the conversatio...