Habits

Mobile apps vs. Mobile websites: they have less in common than you think

Last week, I visited RedSneakers, an upscale SEO and website marketing firm in Fort Myers, Florida. I sat down to chat with the boss, Ed Moore. I asked him what he thinks about apps. He replies quickly "We have a website, we don't think we need one." I tried to hide my horrified expression behind my coffee cup.

This is from an SEO guy.

The functions of an app haven't been made clear to the public yet. Why not? That's what I'm trying to figure out.

The App Story

Apps have been around prior to 2008 – but that was the year that we, the plebes, were introduced to that very short and ominous sounding word: app. GooglePlay and Apple's App Store opened for business that year. I even attempted to make my own in 2010. It wasn't very successful, but I did the best I could with what I had. Don't judge.

Apps have come a long way since then. TUNE's "Global Mobile 2016" report [1] estimated there was 180 billion app downloads in 2015. Furthermore, the App Store just enjoyed its busiest day ever on New Years Day 2017.

Obviously many folks know these juicy little widgets exist, but what about the mainstream? Nope, not yet.

Let's get back to Ed at RedSneakers. He is still believing that an app is a mini, mobile website. I laid my phone on his desk and tapped on our company's app: SocialMe (we're a boutique social media management and training company). I continued tapping. I showed him the Entrepreneur.com newsfeed that displays real-time social media articles and blogs (and entertains me in the wee hours of the morning).

Then I tapped on our Calendar (Google Calendar link) so he could see the meeting I had scheduled with him.  I mentioned that his clients could see his scheduled MeetUps, events, and even the slots he had free for them to book an appointment.

Next, I tapped on our SocialClub, where our clients can add themselves to our map. Here is where it gets fun, I get their name, email, or phone number and location. Data collecting, baby! I tapped the SocialMe Poll button. Our fans can choose what features of apps they like the most with a fun, interactive chart showing where they fit in. We all like to fit in, don't we?

Push notifications are the cherries on top of the marketing sundae, though. I have never seen a website (yet) that shoots alerts of sales, messages and updates into my hands, by text, on my phone. We can alert our entire fan base of a special LinkedIn seminar that we are holding tomorrow!

Next, I showed him our SocialMe team superimposed over a grand NYC skyline. We look like hipster, high-fashion models. Hey, it's all about the image.

Then I feigned boredom while I showed him the normal Insta, FB and Twitter icons and easy GPS directions to our place.

Interaction & Engagement

When I looked up I instantly realized that I showed him something that he did not know existed: INTERACTION and ENGAGEMENT. People today are spending over 5 hours per day looking at their phones, making it harder and harder to slow down their speeding on the information highway. If there isn't an element that makes your clients feel connected to you and your brand, they aren't going to care about you. As Mary Kay, the Grand-Dame of make-up and uber successful entrepreneur said, "people won't care about you if you don't care about them." It's no surprise that the Mary Kay brand has multiple, sophisticated apps currently on the market.

Engagement is the biggest difference in mobile websites vs. mobile apps. Today, people have a ridiculously low attention span – if interaction isn't immediate, your customer has likely moved on in search of the next CandyCrush. Experts say that people are even sick of typing website addresses in search bars. Tapping on the app icon is going to be de-riguer in the future.

SocialMe Media

3 ways millennial social media habits will change in 2017

It matters how millennials use social media. Millennials make up the biggest consumer bloc in our country currently, and rely on social media for consumerism far more than any other living generation.

Even more eye opening, millennials trust social media reviews and recommendations more than any other demographic.

Simply put, if you want your service to be relevant in 2017, you may want to pay attention to these changing millennial social media habits.

1. The Year of Reviews

Ever see a millennial at a restaurant pounding away at their Yelp app after their meal is delivered? Millennials LOVE to rate and review things for other millennials to read. What does that mean for 2017? The rating and reviewing is expected to skyrocket with more platforms incorporating a review-based component – especially with the rise of mobile apps.

2. Step Away From the Echo Chambers

The mainstream media took a serious hit this election cycle. Americans are the most skeptical of media and social media-sourced news than ever before. Social media’s content-curated algorithms place users in an “echo chamber” of consistent articles/opinions that align only with their interests.

Many millennials are fed up with this, and may turn their backs on social media as a credible news source. What does that mean for businesses? We could see a spike in using social media strictly for communication and brand association.

3. Nonverbal Communication

Just in case the millennial generation couldn’t be anymore stunted in the communication department, we are likely going to see a jump in nonverbal communication using pictures, gifs, and of course, emojis. Millennials are all about brief, concise communication that relays the point in the least amount of words as possible. The best way to do that? A sentence completely comprised of one or two emojis.

As such, expect to see the incorporation of emojis in way more communication channels, even working their way into professional emailing.

You Should Care

If you’re a business that cares about staying current and forming solid sales leads, you may want to consider these three upcoming habit shifts, and adjust your business plan accordingly.

And if you’re not sure exactly how to do that, we are! Hit us up if you’re looking for affordable app development, SEO services, and social media management that aligns with 2017 ideals.

3 classic business struggles & how to overcome them

Almost everyone at one point or another fantasizes about founding and running their own business. Being one’s own boss, making one’s own hours and schedules, and deciding what is right and wrong at the end of the day is very enticing. We all want some control over our daily schedules and travel abilities, and owning a business seems like the perfect avenue for achieving it.

But, like everything good, there comes the bad as well. With owning a business comes a massive amount of responsibility, stress, time management, and discipline that is required to keep it prosperous and lucrative.

Here are 3 classic struggles you will face in business and how best to overcome them.

1. TIME MANAGEMENT

Probably the number one reason people dream about running their own business is to make their own schedule and manage their own time. But, what people don’t know is that this often becomes the most difficult facet of running a business once the operation is starting to move forward.

Developing the discipline to wake up at a certain hour, work overtime, and work through weekends (often frequently) can be a huge challenge for many business owners. It’s hard to separate personal and professional matters when running a business becomes a 24-7 job.

The best way to overcome this struggle is to incorporate a great deal of organization into the foundation. Buy a daily planner, setup a digital calendar that sends alerts to your phone and laptop, hang up in-person calendars in your workspace, and hire individuals who do the exact same thing. Build an organizational system together, and you will quickly adjust to the proper required hours.

2. IT'S OK TO FAIL

No one wants to fail. No one wants to be told they did it wrong or didn't finish in the end.

Failing is almost a requirement for making it big in business. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, some of the greatest business minds of our time all failed, MULTIPLE TIMES, and even failed to complete college along the way. Business building is a trial and error process, and business owners need to be comfortable with the possible prospect of failing.

To overcome this fear, it helps to read books and magazines about other businesses and startups failures and success stories. Familiarize yourself with what failures are likely, and start developing a Plan B for if they do. Be practical about the prospect. Failure is only possible if you’re trying.

3. FINDING TIME TO UNWIND

After reading through the first two struggles, you probably guessed this one was coming last. We’ve just run through all the different demands, expectations, and stressful management that come with running and participating in a business. Everything in life comes with balance, and in order to energetically perform at all levels every day, business participants need to find time to unwind.

Mental rest and clarity are critical for optimal performance, and owners need to identify the best ways for them to ease their worried minds.

A great way to overcome this is to build in a gym period every day for stress relief. Set up a “me-time” hour for quality exercise or site seeing. Do something for yourself every day. Explore a new museum, try out a new restaurant, or buy a new book. It’s OK to take a step back. You’ll find your downtime to be some of the best brainstorming periods throughout your week.

 

These are just 3 of the many classic struggles associated with business. By accepting and studying them ahead of time, you can be prepared to successfully wrestle and conquer them. 

5 Habits of Success

The expression, “a recipe for success,” didn’t come into existence by happenstance. There are core approaches, mindsets, and habits all successful people exemplify throughout their rise to the top. Through discipline, hard work, positive mindsets, proper work-life balances, and hobbies/interest outside of their careers, successful people compartmentalize everything in their lives to make sure their day-to-day schedule is perfectly organized and balanced.

Nothing in excess is good for anyone, and as such, these 5 success habits will illustrate the perfect approach to a well-rounded and admirable lifestyle.

Learning from mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes, and the sooner people realize that, the better they’ll be throughout their careers. Mistakes mean you’re trying. It’s impossible for someone who takes no risks or goes out of their comfort zone to make a mistake. Learn to embrace mistakes as the most valuable lessons throughout your life. Mistakes perfectly illustrate what you were aiming to achieve, what went wrong, how it affected your end plan, and what you can do to try again.

Without mistakes, the highest standards of success today would not be possible. Life is unpredictable, and nonstop obstacles are going to fall into your path almost every day. A success habit is analyzing the mistake and using it as apart of your future plan to do even better. Don’t get discouraged the next time you mess up – it’s the most pristine form of education for the success of your future.

Create systems to stay organized

Organization is absolutely key to being successful. A successful person never loses papers, forgets materials for presentations, or mistakenly misses conference calls and important client calls. There is no room to be disorganized as a successful person.

Now, it’s important to note that organization does not come easily to some people. Successful people know how to identify if that is a weakness of theirs, and develop systems to keep them organized. Buy a calendar, create a Google Doc calendar system, make a color-coded checklist next to your computer, or hire someone whose organizational skills are unmatched. Whatever your style, develop a system that makes it impossible for you to ever miss an assignment or conference call.

Commit to that system, and let it accompany you on your growth to success.

Dump the mediocre people in your life

We’ve all been there. Everyone has that one friend who always doubts everyone’s dreams and aspirations. We all know that one person who is too scared to ever take any risks. So, when one of their friends attempts a risk, the negative Nancy can’t wait to tear them down.

A recipe for success does not include people like that anywhere in it. It’s going to be hard enough to keep your eye on the prize and clean up your lifestyle. The least you can do is shed people who don’t align with a lifetime of productive goal seeking.

Surround yourself with likeminded people who want the same big things out of life that you do. Together, you’ll be able to pool your ideas and motivation to build each other up along the way. Drop the mediocre dead weight – there’s no room for them on the ladder to success.

Focus your time on things that lead to success

This one might sound a little obvious, but just think about it for a second. If you’re focusing all of your free time on watching a television show, drinking at bars, or obsessing over a video game, none of those things are going to contribute to your work ethic, drive, and skill-set to be successful. Take a moment to take a step back from your life, and look at the areas you can improve upon.

Instead of grabbing that late night video game, why not use that hour to go to the gym and improve your health? Or instead of grabbing a drink on a Tuesday night, why not read industry blogs on how you can advance your company?

Shift your mentality to one of success, and the rest of your time and hobbies will fall into place with it.

Establish a healthy work-life balance

Often a difficult challenge for many hard workers who love their jobs, the people who climb to the very top are the ones who are able to shut off their work obsession to spend time with a significant other and their family. A work-life balance is so important for mental stability, clarity, and not burning out by age 35. Allow yourself to fall in love and invest in a relationship. You’re going to need the emotional support to keep climbing the ladder of success.

Take a moment to breathe every day, and text your kid about how his school day is going. Work isn’t everything, and some of the most successful habits we form are not work related at all. Being positive, smelling the flowers, sleeping restfully, and eating healthy are all critical parts of being a successful person. Take a step back from it all, and allow yourself to enjoy the little things in life.