Tay the AI Chatbot, Algorithmic Social Media, Pinterest Video Ads, and a new AMA

Tay the AI Chatbot
Tay is an artificially intelligent chatbot developed by the teams at Microsoft and Bing. It has a Twitter profile and two other social media profiles.

Tay the AI chatbot twitter account

The way this works is that it uses machine learning to learn from its conversations with humans, however, within 24 hours of launching on Twitter, people had figured out how to make it racist and hateful so Tay the AI chatbot had to be put to “sleep” for while engineers worked on improveTwitter profile.

it is at twitter.com/tayandyou or www.tay.ai.

Algorithmic Social Media
Twitter and Instagram are both moving towards algorithmic feeds. This is more like the Facebook news feed. They’re moving away from chronologically ordered posts.

What’s happened here is that they’ve both developed algorithms that are similar to Facebook’s news feed and what it does is prioritize items that the algorithms believe are most important to you based on data about your relationships and your interests.

The concern with regular users is that celebrities and large brands will get prioritized on the network because they’ll get more engagement instead of, for example, their friends.

Pinterest Video Ads
Pinterest has rolled out video ads so now, when users are scrolling on Pinterest, they can see scroll activated video ads.

These are proving especially useful for big retail brands and also e-commerce shops. Companies like L’oreal and Hershey’s have been reporting big wins with this new advertising format.

Social Media AMA
On April 5th, Ludell Jones, who is Eazl’s Marketing Director, hosted a free AMA –or Ask Me Anything. During the event, she fielded questions about social media management, virtual HR and outsourcing, and social media advertising.

You can check out the archive here and stay updated on any future events by subscribing here.

 

What are your top stories on innovation in business this week? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.

 

Apple and Facebook Stream Sports, Zingle and Anchor, and Facebook’s AI Mapping

In this week’s Brain Boost: Apple and Facebook Stream Sports, Zingle and Anchor, and Facebook’s AI Mapping.

Apple and Facebook Stream Sports
There are big plays in the sports streaming world this week.First, the NFL is in talks with Facebook to livestream Thursday night football games through Facebook to audiences in America.

One thing of note is that Dan Rose, who is Facebook’s VP of Partnerships, said that Facebook would be willing to pay for content to be streamed through Facebook as a content providing network.

Also, Apple TV has reached a landmark deal to stream March Madness and there’s going be a couple additional features. The main one is that viewers who are watching March Madness through Apple TV will be able to watch two games at once on their screens.

Zingle and Anchor
There were two big app launches this week–one that’s actually been out for a while. The first one is Zingle, which was trending on Twitter for a couple of days this week. What it does is allow any business to receive texts and then those texts go to a cloud-based dashboard for the business. Then, the people behind the dashboard can either send custom or automated replies.

You can see how Zingle works at a video that is linked in the description of this video.

Another app that has gotten a lot of attention this week is the Anchor App. This is an app that allows users to broadcast up to two minutes of video out to the Anchor app community and then community members can follow or reply to broadcasters on the anchor app. There are some major podcasters using it and it’s gaining a lot of new users.

Facebook’s AI Mapping

Apple and Facebook Stream SportsThis week in artificial intelligence, let’s look at Facebook,who is using image recognition technology to scan satellite photos all over the world and then create better maps of population density. They’re using this as part of their internet.org initiative to bring broadband to people who live in rural places. So, essentially, they’re using advanced imaging machine learning to create more accurate global population maps.
Tune in next week at 10a.m. Pacific Time for another Brain Boost. If you haven’t yet, subscribe to the Eazl channel here on YouTube.

My Social Media Management Toolbox: 10 Tools That Will Upgrade Your Marketing Game

eazl social media management tools

One factor that is crucial to your success as a digital marketer or social media manager are the tools that you use to create your content, automate your activity, and distribute your content. I have been managing social media accounts for about 8 years now and here are some of my favorite tools that I am currently using in my social media management toolbox:

  1. Buffer
    I’ve been using Buffer for about three years now and, as the Marketing Director of a small business, I really prefer it to Hootsuite for scheduling posts on social media. They recently updated the app and you can now drag and drop posts into different time slots that you have set up with the scheduler. This was a total game changer for me and made the app much more useful.

I use Buffer both on my desktop and on my cell phone to schedule posts directly from our blog, YouTube channel, and whatever relevant, high quality sources I find on the web.

social media management toolbox
You can set up your browser so that scheduling on Buffer is an option when you want to share a web page.

If you are an iPhone user and you have the Buffer app on your phone, you can set up your browser so that scheduling on Buffer is an option when you want to share a web page. This has been very helpful to me as I sometimes need a break from the laptop or find myself catching up on news while I’m out and about. It’s just convenient.

  1. Feedly
    Feedly has been helpful for keeping track of top blogs and news sources in my industry. I share some of this content on the many social media profiles that I manage. I tend to review my Feedly news on Sundays and immediately schedule any articles I like with Buffer or, if I don’t have time to read the entire article but it seems useful, I share it to my Evernote account for later review.
social media management toolbox
With Feedly, you can get all your news and blog posts in one place.

With Feedly, you can get all your news and blog posts in one place and they also have an app, which is useful for casual news reading on your phone or tablet when you are away from your computer.

eazl-marketing-training

  1. Revive Old Post
    Having just started using the Revive Old Post plugin on our blog, which was built in WordPress, I am already loving it and seeing the positive effects from integrating it into my marketing machine.

Revive Old Post automatically shares old blog posts on some of your key social media accounts so you can make sure you get optimum use out of your content and to keep you from having to manually schedule posts.

Eazl Social Media Management Toolbox
Revive Old Post automatically shares old blog posts on some of your key social media.

You can set the scheduler at any time interval you would like. I set mine to share an old blog post on my personal Twitter account every four hours.

When posting to Twitter, Revive Old Post uses the categories you used to classify the blog post to automatically generate hashtags.

  1. Photoshop
    Probably the tool that requires the most skill, Photoshop will enable you to make truly beautiful, customized images. The sooner you get started on Photoshop the better because it simply requires time input and trial and error.

If you don’t have the budget or team to outsource the design of your creatives, developing some basic photoshop skills might be the way to go.

There is a plethora of courses and free tutorials out there, so just start with the basics and don’t be too intimidated. I like to find inspiration for the images I create on Pinterest, magazines, art exhibitions, and the images the other companies use for ads and regular posts.

I tend use Photoshop for all of my Facebook ad images, social media account banners, and anything else that I might classify as a highly important image that must be used to convert. You just have more control over the design this way and you will never be able to get the same texture or design level with the drag and drop design tools out there.

  1. Canva
    For those times that a quick image is needed (like for a regular old social media post), I’ll often just use Canva. It’s quick and you don’t have to think about the image size because it’s already done for you. Plus, there are tons of cool shapes and lines and text templates that you can use to create a beautiful image without knowing photoshop.
Eazl Social Media Management Toolbox
Canva is my go-to for Pinterest images.

Canva is my go-to for Pinterest images. I stick to the same general design there and I’ve just found it pretty unnecessary to use Photoshop for my pins.

One downside is that Canva has yet to add the ability to use your own font so you might have to sacrifice a bit when it comes to branding.

  1. bit.ly
    With bit.ly, you can take a url that’s too long or ugly and make a shortened, more attractive link. You can also customize the url. I use bit.ly for analytics, too. You can view total clicks and see where the link was shared. When I want to, say, share a blog post directly on Facebook (without Buffer, which automatically shortens links) and keep the url in the text of the post, I’ll use bit.ly so it looks cleaner.
  1. Facebook Power Editor
    Advertising on Facebook is easy and affordable because it’s so easy to target user with specific interests. I use it to promote courses, events, videos, and boost blog posts to get engagement.

If you’ve never used it before, I recommend starting small with $5 daily budgets here and they until you build up your chops and have a pretty solid grip on how it all works.

You can check out our post on Facebook Advertising, Risk Taking: The Hardest Growth Hacking Concept to Teach Entrepreneurs, which includes a general guideline on how to set up a Facebook Ad campaign, here.

  1. Promoted Pins
    Promoted Pins on Pinterest are a great way to drive traffic to your blog. It’s gotten to the point where, every time I add a new post to our blog I create a pin and give it a little boost to promote it and see if people like it.

I usually invest about $5/day for up to a week. I create these pins in Canva and I use the same general template design with differing backgrounds so my boards look uniform and I don’t spend any unnecessary time creating new designs.

  1. SumoMe
    Sumo Me has become my new favorite tool and it has significantly increased conversions on our blog. With a simple WordPress plugin, you can access a whole suite of list building tools (like pop up boxes and welcome mats) and heat maps that will enable you to see what works or doesn’t work on your site, plus the percentage of blog content your site visitors are consuming.
  1. Crowdfire
    I recently downloaded this app in my iPhone and I am using it to manage follows and unfollows on Twitter and Instagram. You want to keep the number of people you follow lower that the number of people that follow you and this tool really helps with that. It also makes it easier to skim through new followers and see if they are relevant for you to follow back.

One feature I really enjoy using is the Admirers feed for Instagram. This gives you a feed of posts from followers who have actively engaged with your posts. You can easily engaged with their recent posts from within the app and “return the love” to create loyal followers.

In addition, you can also “copy followers” from a peer’s Instagram account. This will help you connect with Instagram users who are likely to be interesting in your company.

Update on July 17, 2016: Crowdfire now requires monthly payment for Instagram functionality.

 

I share the best digital marketing content I can find on Twitter and LinkedIn. Let’s connect!

Extraterrestrial Capitalism, Alibaba and Anti-Corruption in China, and Buffer

In this Brain Boost, we are going to start in space and talk about asteroid mining, come down to earth and talk about GDP in China, and then go online to talk about growth hacking and a new feature from Buffer App.

Extraterrestrial Capitalism
This is a crazy phrase that circulating this week because the US House of Representatives has proposed a bill called the Space Act of 2015 that is going to allow US companies to claim ownership over asteroids. The reason that this is important is that there are many companies -the foremost among them being Planetary Resources- who are planning space mining missions where they send machines onto asteroids to harvest minerals to send them back down to earth.

If you are interested in this topic and you want to learn a little bit more, Planetary Resources has an interesting YouTube page and one of the videos that we found that you might want to check out (I’ll link to it in the description here) is a video where they talk about the technology that they use to prospect for minerals on asteroids in space.

Alibaba and Anti-Corruption in China
The next trending story this week involves Xi Jinping, Jack Ma, Alibaba and the GDP of China. This is going to be especially appropriate for people in the Advanced Management Training Program and those who pay attention to macroeconomics more broadly.

Jack Ma is the leader of Alibaba and, this week, they reported that their revenue is up 60%. At the same time, their stock price took a 2% hit. The reason is because Jack Ma believes that the anti-corruption drive that is being led by Xi Jinping is going to have such a ripple effect across the major corporations in China that it is actually going to cause China’s GDP to be negatively impacted.

That is pretty incredible and is the reason that most analysts believe that Alibaba’s stock price took a hit. If you are interested in this topic about anti corruption in China and what is happening in this huge economy in the world, you can check out an interview we  found with Dr. Chung Li, who is a China political expert. In this video, he talks about what is happening with the politics and commercial relationship in China.

Digital Marketing News
This week, Buffer App announced that it has a calendar scheduler. You can now actually drag and drop your post your scheduling, which is great for people who are managing multiple social media accounts and prefer to look at calendars in the way that we typically do now, which is a little bit more visual.

If you want to read more about the launch of this critical feature from Buffer App, then you can check out this blog post.

Check in next Friday at 10 a.m. Pacific time for another Brain Boost.

Check out our downloadable Personal Productivity Guide.

Twitter Introduces Brand Hub, Crowdfund Investing and Title III of the JOBS Act, and Twitch Creative

This week’s Brain Boost is exceptionally exciting. We are going to start by looking at the launch of Twitter’s Brand Hub. Then, a potential paradigm shift in the funding ecosystem of small businesses and entrepreneurs in the United States. And, finally, Twitch Creative.

Twitter Introduces Brand Hub
Twitter’s Brand Hub is essentially the analytics partner for their ad offerings and it was launched this week. It’s an essential tool for digital marketers and growth hackers who are looking to see more data about their performance on Twitter. You can do things like monitor your brand’s participation in critical topics, demographics, conversion data, and more .

To get started, go to ads.twitter.com, make sure you are logged in, and then navigate over to the analytics drop down menu. You can start looking at Top Tweets and much more.

Paradigm shift in the funding ecosystem for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the United States
This is something about which Davis Jones, our founder, is especially passionate as his past career was in crowdfund investing. In 2012, Barack Obama signed a law called the JOBS Act and part of the JOBS Act allows small businesses and entrepreneurs to raise up to a million dollars from investors online –regular people.

Here’s an illustration of what the JOBS acts enables small business to do:
Oculus Rift was invented and raised its first round of funding on Kickstarter. It was shortly thereafter acquired by Facebook for two billion dollars so the backers of oculus rift received some reward in exchange for backing the project. Maybe a sample virtual-reality visor, for example.

However, after title three’s rules are implemented, Oculus Rift could raise equity funding on the internet and then instead of their backers just receiving a visor, when they’re acquired for two billion dollars by Facebook, the backers would become very wealthy themselves. Essentially, that enables regular people to buy tiny parts of your business, which totally changes the investor value proposition for crowdfunding.

Twitch Creative
This is a partnership between Adobe and TwitchTV to expand Twitch to the creative vertical. TwitchTV currently allows you to watch gamers gaming online, however, with Twitch Creative, artists and creative people can stream themselves doing creative projects. For example, a designer might share video of themselves working on a project in Photoshop.

Twitch Creative is going to be a useful tool for artists and creative people to grow their audiences and further develop their businesses.

 

As a final note, if you are part of Eazl’s community on Skillshare, you should know that we are launching three new classes. Definitely keep an eye out for those. Here is a link to Eazl’s Growth Hacking Masterclass on Skillshare so you can start checking out what we have on Skillshare already.

See you next Friday for another Brain Boost.

 

Playboy Eliminates Nudes, David Keith’s Carbon Engineering, and the Mjolnir Fingerprint Scanner

This week, Playboy removes nudes from its content, the CO2 startup backed by Bill Gates, and the fingerprint-scanner-activated Mjolnir.

Playboy Eliminates Nudes
Playboy has decided to remove all nudes from their website and from their magazine. In large-part, this is because –as we move away from print to online media– a lot of these third-party social media platforms don’t allow nudes on their platform. This means that Playboy’s content is not very shareable and therefore, is limited in its reach.

This is really interesting and there was a great article in Wired magazine about this because, as a content producer,  when you have to play by the platform’s rules, their rules inform your strategy. You can check out that article through a link in the description of the video.

David Keith’s Carbon Engineering
Carbon Engineering is a startup that was created by David Keith Harvard (an engineering professor) and is backed by Bill Gates. The pilot facility has gone live in the last couple of months and what they do is take care in-mass and remove carbon dioxide from it to convert the carbon dioxide into energy.The plans for the startup are to create 200 million dollar industrial-scale facility to remove carbon from the air in-mass.

If you’re interested in checking out how this works and see more about Carbon Engineering, you can check out this video.

Mjolnir Fingerprint Scanner
Finally, on a lighter note, a very creative Los Angelino created a Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer) that is fingerprint-scanner-activated and, after he built it this summer, he went around Los Angeles, attaching it to various metal surfaces and ask people to try to pick it up and show their strength.

This is a great video to show your kids or nieces and nephews and it should maybe spark your creativity. It’s the top trending video on YouTube as well.

The Next Web Recommends Eazl’s Growth Hacking Masterclass
This week, we worked on the Brain Boost The Next Web headquarters in Amsterdam. The Next Web is a great source of business and innovation news and recently launched The Next Web academy, where Eazl’s Growth Hacking Masterclass is now offered as one of the courses.

Eazl's Growth Hacking Masterclass is now offered as one of the courses on The Next Web Academy.
Eazl’s Growth Hacking Masterclass is now offered as one of the courses on The Next Web Academy.

Keep a look out next Friday for the next Brain Boost!

Jack Dorsey Twitter CEO, Work with Nest, and James Harden + Adidas

In this week’s Brain Boost: Jack Dorsey as Twitter CEO, Nest, and James Harden’s truckload of shoes gets a truckload of earned media.

Jack Dorsey as Twitter CEO
When it was announced that Jack Dorsey would become Twitter CEO, the stock actually took a pretty big hit because analysts are worried that Jack Dorsey cannot effectively lead both square and Twitter, two relatively large companies. Understanding how to “scale yourself” is a big issue for talented people.When you are no longer an individual contributor and you are producing at high rates, it’s hard to decide what you’re going to make and which is the things you do yourself, versus what you’re going to buy, which are tasks that you delegate or outsource.

You might think of this as your Focus Arena. Try to think about things like the skill sets that you need to maintain, the information that’s necessary for you to stay relevant in your competitive arena, and then –by establishing your own Focus Arena– you should be able to then to decide (with a little bit more guidance) what to make yourself versus what tasks to delegate or buy. If you are in the Advanced Management Training course on Udemy or if you are in the Heart and Soul of Maximum Productivity course on Skillshare, you can find out more about this Focus Arena concept there.

Works with Nest
We have been covering the Internet of Things quite a bit in recent weeks and, this week, Google
announced that there is an API for developing products that work seamlessly with their Nest thermostat.

Google announced that there is an API for developing products that work seamlessly with their Nest thermostat.
Google announced that there is an API for developing products that work seamlessly with their Nest thermostat.

The Internet of Things is becoming such a hot topic and Peter Drucker, who is a real guru of strategy, suggests that –in the future– professionals who succeed are going to be able to program the Internet of Things so that it works for them.

We encourage you to go check out ifttt.com and start getting familiar with how you can automate a certain part of your life. It doesn’t have to be a major initiative. Just get your feet wet a little bit.

A truckload of shoes
Houston Rocket, James Harden, made an endorsement move from Nike to Adidas and, to celebrate, Adidas sent him a truckload of shoes. What this really got was a truckload of earned media: 3,000 comments on Instagram immediately.

If you think about it, in some cases it costs quite a lot of money to advertise and, sometimes, the best advertisement is when you do something that gets free media attention. In this case, a Adidas got a lot of earned media, which essentially only cost them whatever it costs to deliver their new superstar ambassador that truck load of shoes.

If you’re interested in this type of thinking –social media and PR and how it works together– you might check out Joy Schoffler’s interview in the social media and public relations section of the Growth Hacking Masterclass.

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