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Archive for the Social Media Category

Forming a Practical Social Media Work Plan

Most companies invested in customer engagement and higher search engine page ranking results are engaged in social media. Interaria recommends an active social media strategy for sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram.

We encourage our clients to form a social media strategy along with a practical social media work plan by answering questions such as:

  • Who is in charge of our company’s social media engagement?
  • Who monitors and creates content to our company’s social media pages?
  • What are our goals for social media?
  • What is our content strategy?
  • How do we share authentic content?
  • How do we engage with our audience in social media?
  • How do we build brand awareness in social media?
  • How do we get more impressions and interaction in social media?
  • How do we manage negative feedback on social media?
  • How do we report on our social media activity?

Results and authority positions in social media don’t happen over night. By working consistently and smartly social media doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. We highly recommend approaching social media like any other important task in your company: set goals, set responsibilities, brainstorm ideas, set workflows, set accountability, set reporting with time based tracking on results. Interaria offers social media management and social media tracking services for companies needing a third-party company for all or some of the engagement work on social media. We can help to create social media project plans that include goal setting, content development and sharing, and reporting on results.

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Tracked SEO Results for Committed Clients

The highest search engine ranking results are for companies (web and mobile sites) with an ongoing strategy and active approach to content creation and media interaction. Interaria’s job is to support these goals.

There are a few companies or businesses that wouldn’t want to be found at the top of a list in search engine searches. But how many companies and businesses are willing to put in the work and commitment what it takes? Unfortunately getting top results requires work. The good news is that it is completely possible.

We create a search engine strategy and practical work plan for our client according to their goal setting and commitment (time/work hours/budget). Our strategy includes making sure that the web and mobile sites we develop are coded and linked according to the best practices of search engine optimization and that our clients are aware of the importance of content creation and social media participation. For clients who rather have us develop their content and media presence we offer content creation services such as copywriting, blogging, social media management and newsletter/press release writing services.

For tracking and improving search engine ranking results we recommend creating a practical work plan (please contact us to view an example) that includes improving and measuring metrics in all areas of SEO.

Our SEO service kit includes:

  • Making appropriate changes to site meta-tag structures
  • Editing/adding site content and its formatting
  • Tracking targeted ranking results on identified and important keywords
  • Optimizing mobile content for SEO with proper page linking
  • Tracking and submitting back links
  • Participating to social media (new posts) and tracking results (impressions, interaction, likes etc)
  • Creating blog posts and tracking results
  • Providing site traffic reports
  • Tracking development report of Google PageRank
  • Tracking development report of Alexa Rank
  • Illustrating tracked data in graphically pleasant and optimal format
  • Providing custom dynamic reports with data query options (timeframe, sort out by etc)

Interaria is committed in providing search engine optimization and consulting services to our clients, and make sure that they have the tools and options to reach high search engine page rank (SERP) results.

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Towards the Interaction Space With User Flow Design

User flow design moves beyond designing individual web pages by thoroughly mapping how a user will experience the website. User flow design aims to encourage the customer (visitor) to enter the website’s interaction space where the user’s needs can be addressed.

User flow design phase can be approached with a set of critical questions that put the user’s actions and needs to the forefront of any design, content and web architecture decision. Interaria maps a user flow experience from several angles:

What is the interest in visiting the site? What is the page the user is landing to? What is the user looking for?

Understanding the context of where the user enters the website helps to define the first steps of the user flow. Interaria utilizes Google Analytics for analyzing the user traffic to a site, and optimally designs specific user experiences based on the context that the user is enters the site. For instance, if a user is entering from Google, getting the specific informational message across fast is important. On the other hand, for a user who is accessing the site from Pinterest, the emphasis on the visual image content is important. Specific landing pages can be incorporated to a site with specific content in order to better target each visitor’s need based on where they are arriving from. When applicable, with coding geolocation API scripts, we can code the website to provide location-based (geospatial) information, typically with an emphasis on local information, upon the user agreeing to this.

What is the desired outcome for when the user visits the site? How is this outcome encouraged in the user flow design?

This is the most important question but it is quite often ignored. It is highly encouraged to outline the #1 desired outcome for when the user visits the site. In most cases this is having the visitor contact the site’s owner, subscribe to a service, make an online purchase, leave a comment for follow-up, or share some content from the site via social media. Which ever the most desired outcome is, the user flow design should make clear pathways to support this action. Call-to-action icons, contextual image icons, personalized messaging, and strong user interface functionality in the site’s navigation structure and information architecture can support the primary goal of inviting the user to interact. Even though the #1 favorable interaction would not happen on the first visit, integrating the user to the interaction space can increase future interaction, and take make the user flow closer to the center through additional interaction such as through social media or newsletter emails.

What is the interaction point after the visit? How is this interaction point established through the user flow design?

In most cases, it is important to plan how the users who don’t want to take #1 action (such as purchasing or contacting) when visiting the site can be reached later. A user flow design that encourages users to take a path for a newsletter sign up and social media participation can keep the interaction points open for future contact or follow-up.

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Did You Know Google Operates Over 150 Topic Blogs About Google?

Following Google’s twists and turns is quite a sprawling experience.  Google lists over 150 official Google blogs in its Blog directory at http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/blog-directory.html. The blogs vary from Google’s European Public Policy Blog (“Google’s views on government, policy, and politics in Europe”) to Google’s Student Blog (“Google news and updates especially for student”), and from Google Fiber Blog (“The latest news from the Google Fiber team”) to Google TV Ads Blog (“The latest news from the Google TV Ads team”). If this wasn’t enough, there is of course more: Google just added a new blog into its large Google blog family: Google+ Platform Blog. So far the blog has announced that Google+ now features games. In the future – likely – this blog will guide developers with their attempts to create any market share from the Google+. Google gives out a lot of information and an idea of information transparency, yet, its search engine algorithms remain a top secret with selected hints to the public.

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Social Media / Facebook Tip: Creating Photo Albums From Facebook

Do you have many great photos in your Facebook page? This video shows how to use Facebook photos for creating photo albums.

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News on Osama Bin Laden’s Death Starts on Twitter

Twitter knew it first: Keith Urbahn, the chief of staff to former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was the first to report the news on Osama Bin Laden’s death to the world, and this took place on Twitter. Source: http://www.adweek.com/

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Building Micro-Donation Communities Through Social Media. – Two Great Examples: Kickstarter and Kiva

Social media is more than just trying to lure people to your website; at best, it is about sharing information, building and joining to reference groups, discovering and building new networks, and giving a sense of purpose. These values go hand in hand with aid work, non-profit thinking, and fundraising efforts and hence are worthy of looking deeper. In this new social media era, fundraising websites that understand the spirit of social media are in a powerful position.

Interaria overviews in this article two fund-raising sites, Kickstarter and Kiva, that target the social media savvy audience and encourage participation, even with small “micro” donations. Both sites skillfully utilize social media genre with icon based navigation systems, integrated Facebook log in systems, emphasis on the self (member profile), and interactivity. These modern sites mimic user experiences from LinkedIn and Facebook making a member feel instantly familiar and comfortable, and ultimately lowering the bar for making donations. These sites are much more than payment gateways; they are designed to give a human face for each cause and they highlight donators as integral part of the community, building a sense of belonging and purpose.

Kickstarter

http://www.kickstarter.com/

Clever Fundraising for Creative Projects, Upbeat Community Feel

Kickstarter is a social media driven website focusing on raising funds for independent projects mainly in the creative field but also for business start-ups. Creative projects can be browsed by location (New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas…. etc) and category (art, dance, design, film & video… etc). The brand messaging implies that the target audience for the site is young urban educated adults who will most likely identify relevant regional, industry and lifestyle categories from the website.


WHY WE LIKE THIS SITE?


1) Kickstarter utilizes Facebook Log In:
The site utilizes an optional Facebook log in lowering the bar for joining the community. Once the account has been created the member is not tied to use for instance the Facebook avatar but can further customize My Account page. Empowering other social media websites (for instance on Jan 2011 Flickr) with Facebook log in system has been a recent rapidly growing trend.


2)
Kickstarter makes donating easy: Although Kickstarter doesn’t offer PayPal payments the aim is to make making payments as easy as possible. Donations are done either with Amazon payments out or with a standard credit card payment gateway.


3)
Kickstarter promotes quality web design & web architecture: We love how well the site is designed and organized. Projects are easy to find and the navigation and user interfaces are intuitive. The site has a modern feel and the content is designed to display well on iPad and other tablets (the content is not provided as iOS apps at this point).


4)
Kickstarter has a clever rapport to pledge for donations: We think this site has an excellent copy and the tone of voice. Each donation (“pledge”) level is structured with a promise of what one gets as a return. The return of favor varies depending the amount of pledge from a thank you note to a credit status as a co-producer or a VIP invitation to a film’s premiere.


5)
Kickstarter supports interaction between the donor and the receiver. The starter of the project may send messages and post video about the progress. Message boards are available for leaving notes. The project starters often have a personalized approach in thanking donators and showing appreciation.


6)
Kickstarter projects get funded only if they reach their fundraising goals. Kickstarter makes sure that donations go to deserving causes that have enough backed support to make them actually happen.

Kiva

http://www.kiva.org/
Face to Face Micro-Loans by the International Social Media Community

Kiva’s purpose is to raise micro-loans for individuals in third world countries or from indigenous surroundings. The loans are for very specific purposes, buying new equipment, buying grain for cattle, financing a new computer  - at least this is the image Kiva draws. Critics have been pointing out however, that the loans do not go directly to the people featured in profiles but they go in fact for member organizations in the designated countries that then distribute the loans. (Click here to read Harvard Business Review Blog on the matter of misleading marketing in the name of  a greater cause.) The causes are easy to search via a map interface and type. Understandably, Kiva doesn’t guarantee any loans so the spirit in that sense is of charity fundraising. Kiva does display a wealth of interesting statistics about the risks involved. Once the loan is returned to the lender, he/she can re-donate it for another cause.

WHY WE LIKE THIS SITE?


1) Kiva utilizes Facebook Log In:
Just like Kickstarter, Kiva’s website utilizes an optional Facebook log in lowering the bar for joining the community. Empowering other social media websites (for instance on Jan 2011 Flickr) with Facebook log in system has been a recent rapidly growing trend.


2) Kiva utilizes PayPal as a payment gateway:
PayPal is today a preferred quick payment gateway. A quick payment method is quite crucial for a modern fundraising website.


3) Kiva’s lender profile icons (avatars) build community feel:
Kiva skillfully gives its site “facebook” feel by placing donators’ avatars below each case study. This familiar brand messaging style builds up both trust and community feel.


4) Kiva has similarities with LinkedIn:
Just like Kickstarter, Kiva encourages a member to invite friends to join Kiva by offering email address export configuration systems and an invitation letter template. A member familiar with LinkedIn knows fast what to do.


5) Kiva is in touch with the mind of a modern consumer:
Kiva offers a good amount of gift cards and merchandise for spreading the word and tapping with the modern brand image. Kiva is not only a good cause but also a fun gift to shop.


6) Kiva provides competitive data:
Just like Kickstarter, Kiva places statistics within a member’s profile by letting the member know where they rank statistically with regards to the number of loans given, friends invited and so forth. This can bring up an inner competitor and challenge to lend more.


5) Kiva utilizes Google Maps:
Although lenders might very well know where Armenia is located for instance, Kiva’s way of placing Google Maps encourage lending activity for projects across the globe. After Asia, one might want to click on South America, and after South America, one might want to give a micro-loan to Africa. Kiva’s way is to utilize common well understood features not for the sake of delivering crucial information but for the aim of building a story of global community of which one belongs to.

Summary: Kickstarter and Kiva have each a unique niche but their websites share a similar social media driven platform for modern fundraising:

1) Both sites utilize visual icon based “call-to-action” navigation structure typical to social media websites.

2) Both sites communicate clearly the outcome for each donation making donating simple, just like clicking a button.

3) Both sites have made registering and becoming a member as easy as possible by utilizing Facebook log in as an option.

4) Both sites highlight the donator/lender as an important actor with ability to control his/her profile and messages.

5) Both sites support interactivity and social media sharing.

About Interaria
Interaria is a Dallas based Web development company with emphasis on web application development, mobile app development, and social media consulting services. To contact us, please call 214-909-3900 or fill out our quick online form. Follow Interaria on Twitter.

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Native iOS iPad App or Cross-Device Use? – Case of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

In the coming weeks Interaria – a Dallas iOS iPad app developer – will be focusing on discussing how media and content should, could and can be developed and optimized in the effort of aiming for an “optimal” user experience and interaction on iPhones and iPads. There are many frameworks and positions in this discussion. Ultimately the conversation is about developing iOS apps for iPhones and iPads (“native” apps) vs. creating web media and content that displays and functions well on cross-device use. Continue reading Native iOS iPad App or Cross-Device Use? – Case of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

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