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A Prediction Come True – Internet: The Greatest Spying Tool Ever to Exist

Spy vs Sci 567I wrote this post originally in August 2010, nearly three years before the Edward Snowden case. It was posted on another blog I used to blab on whenever I would get especially angry about something, a blog no one ever read and its probably for the best because it wasn’t very good…just me being angry about random indignities.

Anyway, funny how right I was when I said we were being monitored, and when I said this back then people utterly didn’t care or believe me. Well…HA! : )
Sorry for the somewhat disjointed writing that follows, but not for the message.
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I love the Internet. I make money with it. I get to express my opinion on it. I am connected to many people via Facebook and other social media. It has made my life so much easier in so many ways. But I am not stupid. I know that the Internet allows anyone with access to the traffic on the Web to pinpoint troublemakers and rebels. That includes troublemakers and rebels like myself.

As an example, we all know that Google maintains a database of the searches that user perform. They know the exact IP, and thus potentially the exact location of anyone performing a search–forever. A software monitor could be installed which flags patterns of searches such as “liberty,” “New World Order, “Bilderberg,” “conspiracy,” “illuminati,” “Iran,” “Afghanistan,” “Middle East oil wars,” etc.

It is not a stretch to assume that people searching for these terms are flagged as potential threats, as they could find information inspiring them to revolt.

Against who: The insane people that are keeping the world upset with their wars, financial trickery, and inhumanity to others. Some of these people have secured positions of power, and it is in their best interest to monitor as much Internet communication as possible.

As evidence of this interest, the Patriot Act gives the government the power to suspend our Constitutional protections and monitor our Internet activity without notice, and even without probable cause. Need proof? Briefly read over this research paper on Harvard Law’s site, or read the actual Patriot Act.

Even without these powers, social media provides a wealth of private information available to all. This includes your location, with the new Places feature [remember I wrote this in 2010 originally – Ed.]. So nosy people don’t even need to check cell phone records to plot your whereabouts using cell towers–you simply “check in” and tell them voluntarily where you are and where you like to hang out.

Furthermore, by viewing someone’s posts to their intimate circle of family and friends, you get a pretty good idea of their likes and dislikes, of their political stance, and of their capabilities as an opponent. If I worked for the CIA, NSA, or other intelligence agency, I would plant virtual assets — like fake profiles of pretty, popular-looking people — that would build up a large network of friends. Then I would use this to spy on everybody.

Spies could use these fake profiles to access a target’s information. Most people accept friend requests from “friends of friends” who they have seen repeatedly interacting with another, mutual friend. Just a few “Likes” or favorable responses to comments is enough to successfully initiate a friend request. I am sure you have friends of friends that you have never met, but you feel you know because of frequent comments on Facebook on your actual friends’ posts. The tendency to accept these “sorta friends” can be used for a bit of social engineering.

Now, all I would have to do, if I were Mr. Shadow Ops Facebook Spy Man, is build up my friends list with targets I was suspicious about and start listening. I’d start flagging people who post negative things about the government, society and life on Planet Earth. I would examine their photos, find out where they vacationed, where they worked, etc. I would have access to their relatives’ and friends’ profiles for the most part, as many do not set their privacy settings high enough. I would build a database with enough information to use against anyone I chose.

The way to destroy someone is not always through firepower. You can destroy someone just as effectively by using mental or social means. Information is critical for this, and this is where the data available on something as simple as Facebook becomes valuable.

Say I was a rogue intelligence agent and wanted to destroy Joe, an influential businessman, because he posts status updates critical of some policy my bosses want to put in, like a carbon tax or whatever. Hmmm, it seems Joe bought a new car and went on vacation. From his Facebook photos I can see his assets, such as a boat, nice furniture, computers, etc. I already know how much Joe makes, because I work for an intelligence agency and can access his tax records.

Let’s stress Joe out with a nice little audit, and if he doesn’t disclose anything that I see on his Facebook page, boy are we going to nail him. At the very least, he will feel intimidated and overwhelmed by the audit process and forget about posting snarky comments about the new carbon tax.

Or, let’s see what types of friends Joe has. Wait, here is someone that we know is hard up for money. We know this because, being a friend of our target, we have been monitoring her posts too.  Let’s find some dirt to blackmail her (or create it) and offer her some money, silence and salvation in exchange for her cooperation. All in the matter of National Security of course.

Her orders are to start chatting with Joe and send him messages via Facebook and email, to build up his trust over the course of many weeks, and to get him to start expressing deep feelings to her. Its not hard, everyone wants a confidant. Maybe they will fall in love, maybe not, but who cares. We just want to place a note, send a text via cell phone, or place something else Joe’s wife can find from our asset which will lead her to check Joe’s Facebook account or email and find these deep conversations. I guarantee the stress that will immediately burden Joe from all this will cause him to stop posting about my bosses’ carbon tax, and maybe even lead him to kill himself, completely eliminating our problem.

Do you think this is far-fetched? Sigh. There have already been many worse operations taken against perceived enemies.

So, the upshot is to be smart when using the Internet, because chances are that what you type and what you read is being recorded somehow, somewhere for later use. If you use Facebook and other social media, be careful when expressing dissent of the status quo. First, your friends will probably just wish you would shut up and post happy things, like pictures of your lunch plate or your puppy. Second, you are most likely being monitored by someone, somewhere, who definitely doesn’t have your best interests at heart.

As for me, posting this on a public blog does not seem to be rational, being as I have outed myself as someone who disagrees with the way things are and where the world is headed, thanks to bad decisions by people with more power than I. I am especially deeply opposed to violating the humanity of others for the sake of “security,” which is really security for those in power, not security for me and you. I don’t feel insecure living my day to day life, although I know there are a few wackos out there in the streets. I feel more insecure by the actions taken by a small few in power, including constant warmongering, supplying of arms to crazy people, and bailing out crooked bankers–which our taxes go towards instead of education, health, infrastructure, and other valuable production.

Posting this also probably qualifies me as a conspiracy theorist, which, since I do not have any tangible proof of this Facebook spying actually happening, is actually a fair moniker.

But I post it because I am just plain tired. Tired of seeing injustice and insanity every time I open CNN.com or MSNBC.com or the Huffington Post or the Daily Mail or…(you get the picture). Tired of seeing the big boys get away with everything , while the little man gets shafted left and right. And very tired that few people, anywhere, even want to see the plain truth that they are being manipulated and conned by those who are supposed to be protecting them and working to make their lives and society better.

So…I communicate, hoping that in some small way I contribute to turning the tables on the madmen that, seeking more benefits for themselves, hurt good people.

3 Simple Tips to Increase Your Facebook Shares

shareWant to Increase your business’s Facebook shares? Read this guest post from Jeff Cooper to find out how:

Facebook is, by far, the top social media platform in the world. This is why marketers and entrepreneurs spend so much time trying to build their brands on it. As increasing Facebook shares is a priority for many businesses, I thought I’d give you some tips on how to go about it.

Before we discuss the nitty-gritty on how to increase your Facebook shares, let me explain to you why you need to develop your social media brand recognition on this platform. In October 2012, Facebook announced that they are finally serving 1 billion monthly active users. There is one very good reason for this rise in the network: the concomitant rise of the smartphone since we’ve all started using the ubiquitous iPhone, Android phones, and tablets. So far, there are 543 million active Facebook users checking their profiles on their smartphones and tablets and there are 3.2 billion likes and comments across the world each day. So, one of the keys to Facebook success is to make sure your site and landing pages work properly on mobile phones and tablets through things like responsive web pages, which adapt to mobile users.

What else can you do?

Keep it short and appealing:

When posting content on Facebook, it’s best to keep your sentences short but catchy, just like a header title. People decide within 10-20 seconds if they want to stay or to leave a website, so make sure you bear this in mind when writing your copy. Internet users only read, at most, 28 percent of the words during an average page visit; therefore you must keep your content snappy and interesting. You can also encourage your fans to share a link by adding call-to-action phrases such as “Click this link…” or “Click Like or Share if…” You can also ask your fans open-ended questions to encourage them to share their insights about a particular topic.

Include visuals:

Although written content is still powerful in driving traffic to your page, and important for getting found by search engines, you can make your posts even more effective if you add visuals such as pictures, videos and infographics. In fact, 40 percent of people respond better to visual content over plain text, according to studies. That’s because 90 percent of the information that is perceived is visual. Images and videos are great visuals to break long amount of text.

One important consideration is page load time. For those who will be editing their images in Adobe Photoshop CS5, check out this tutorial on how to reduce the file size of many pictures so you can upload them with the minimum of fuss and have them load quickly for your visitors.

As a special note, infographics are great way to a viral boost on the Web. Various organizations are using them to present and interpret data and statistics to their readers in a lively manner. You can create your own infographic for free using sites like Piktochart.

Understand the peak time of your page:

The best time to post content on your Facebook page will depend on the type of business you are in. Restaurants regularly receive the best fan engagement when people are having breakfast and lunch (7am to 12pm), while retailers usually get most customer engagement from morning until mid afternoon (8am to 2pm). For most businesses who want to optimize their Facebook posting times, however, publish your content when most of your fans are not at work, which is between 8pm to 7am, according to Buddy Media’s research. In addition, Wednesday is the peak day of the week for fans engaging on Facebook. In fact, sharing activity, including likes and comments, is 8 percent higher on Wednesdays than on the other days of the week.

Author’s Bio:

Jeffrey Cooper is a freelance UK-based writer who loves sports, graphic design, gadgets and tech. His other passions include cooking, deep sea fishing, and walks in the park.

 

Dreams Do Come True

Francis Ford Coppola

So I direct and edit a youth-oriented web  series with my kids and wife called Teens Wanna Know which is picking up steam, and our latest foray (The 2013 Writers Guild Awards) has gotten great feedback from media professionals and Hollywood PR people. Thought you might like to see it, as my 12-year-old interviews Francis Ford Coppola and my 14-year-old interviews VIPs from “Breaking Bad,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Mad Men,” “Searching for Sugar Man,” and “Flight.” Proud papa right here!

Shot with a JVC HM100 and edited on Premiere Pro.

Mobile Commerce Forecasts, Trends, and Developments

mobile forecasts

mobile forecastsToday’s consumers use mobile phones and tablets wherever they go, and it is no surprise that businesses are eager to tap into this new and exciting market. Now people are using their phones to make dinner reservations, purchase goods, and even manage finances. However, with new opportunities come new questions: what is the current condition of this young and growing industry? More importantly, where is the world of mobile commerce heading?

Mobile Business Is Practical (And Bound to Get Bigger)

Mobile business is as easy as it is practical, and allows for greater interaction with consumers, literally placing a company’s service in the palm of their hands. According to Business Insider, “29% of U.S. mobile users have already used their smartphone to make a purchase . . . Bank of America predicts $67.1 billion in revenue from smartphone and tablet retail purchasing by European and U.S. shoppers in 2015.” It’s the simplicity of this system that ensures exponential growth and appeal.

Personalized Experience

From Apple’s new Siri functionality to Flipboard, mobile applications are more personal than ever, and will get even more personal in the future. Many cell phones can now address owners by their names, remember birthdays, and make movie recommendations based on a user’s favorites — all of which allow companies to have a much more personal interaction with their customers. The inclusion of GPS technology and history-based advertising is becoming more common in the world of app development, so consumers can get a completely tailored experience with immersion and intimacy difficult to achieve on any other platform.

Rewards and Loyalty

A common trend in social applications is a rewards system based on “loyalty.” The concept is simple: reward people for the continued use of a service or app so they keep coming back, and in turn refer more users. Applications like Wikets and Viggle do this exceptionally well by encouraging their user base to promote with social media, and rewarding them when they do so. This trend is also known as “gamification”, and expect more businesses to use this technology with both customers and employees to drive desired behaviors in the future.

With people relying more on mobile devices for shopping and payments, businesses have been taking advantage of the portability and unobtrusiveness of the platform. Although a young concept, mobile commerce has become a growing and viable industry, and will likely impact the world of e-commerce forever.

Photo credit: Free Digital Photos

Drive Mobile Conversions Through Site Optimization and Mobile Traffic Strategies

mobile strategy

mobile strategyThe exploding popularity of tablets and ever more powerful smartphones has forced a change in the way companies do e-business. Displacing the laptop for more than 25 percent of Internet shoppers and up to 41 percent of casual Internet browsers, smartphones and tablets are fast becoming the media of choice for online shopping, as well as web searches and browsing, leading companies to search for better methods of mobile conversion.

Match User Expectations

These activities become inconvenient or even impossible, however, when users encounter a website that has not been optimized for mobile devices. Mobile users expect high-quality, aesthetically pleasing mobile versions of websites that load quickly, offer trusted security and are easy to navigate. Businesses can no longer simply prepare for a desktop or laptop clientele and hope mobile users pinch and zoom through a poor website experience. In order to avoid profit and traffic loss, businesses must be make specific mobile conversion optimization adjustments.

Responsive Web Design

One of the most efficient adjustments is using responsive web design (RWD). RWD is beginning to replace easy fixes like apps, which had been an inexpensive and convenient way for many websites to offer a mobile-ready experience. Many mobile device users crave a true browser experience, tailored for their small screens and image resolution. RWD provides that; in fact, the innovative technology can automatically detect the device being used for viewing and then morph into the proper format for that device, whether phone, desktop or tablet. This appeals to mobile touchscreen users, especially, and makes it easier for businesses to display advertising; apps are not as conducive to mobile ads.

RWD is also eclipsing the past trend of creating a separate site with duplicate content for smartphone visitors and another one for tablet use because the all-in-one responsive web design is much faster to implement and cheaper. Experts recommend that businesses that opt to stay with duplicate mobile sites built on a sub-domain consider an HTML 5 structure, which provides a mobile-ready look for phones, eBook readers, tablets and any other mobile device.

Other Strategies

In addition to accommodating screen differences through design, some experts are encouraging customized offerings for behavioral differences. Businesses could build a database of mobile subscribers and increase mobile conversions by offering unique deals for those shopping by smartphone. “Research shows that shoppers behave differently when using mobile phones, so retailers should adjust their tactics in this channel,” said Ken Barber, vice president of marketing and product development for mShopper. Since mobile shoppers generally have their phone nearby throughout the day, businesses should text message high-value, time-sensitive deals and promotions exclusively to phone customers; such benefits, he said, would reward them for taking the time and effort to shop on tiny screens.

Other optimization strategies include checking Google analytics to study mobile behavior, keeping landing pages simple, using jQuery responsive slideshows (such as PhotoSwipe and Flexslider) and using geolocation tools that detect the whereabouts of mobile users so that special marketing messages can be sent to those who are nearby.

Photo credit: Free Digital Photos

Growing A Small Business with Etsy

Thanks to Tina for the following guest post!

While the majority of Etsy sellers use the site to launch their new businesses, a growing number of people are using it to do just the opposite. They use Etsy’s large consumer base and top-notch selling tools as a way to grow an existing small business. While this may seem odd and even redundant, there are several excellent reasons why Etsy can benefit small business owners.

1. Expanded Online Presence

Instead of limiting customers to a small business’s sole website or social media pages, owners can branch out tremendously with an Etsy storefront. It is a great way to pick up drive-by traffic and convert them into regular customers. Alternatively, store owners who simply haven’t gotten around to building their own website can maintain a viable online presence with an Etsy shop, which only involves a matter of minutes to set up. Since it is free to create an account, maintaining an Etsy site is also a budget-friendly option that bypasses the costs and hassle of having to pay for hosting and domain fees, plus web designer services for a website and e-commerce store.

2. A Virtual Sandbox

Testing out new products or variations can be risky at the best of times. Through Etsy, small business owners can create a small amount of new stock to test how well it sells. The investment costs are minimal and the site’s impressive statistics and wish list tools make it easy to gauge the popularity of new additions. Since buyers and sellers are in direct contact through Etsy, small business owners can also ask for buyer feedback for test products.

3. Control Your Target Market

Many small businesses that specialize in hand-made items tend to stick to local selling. With an Etsy storefront, they have the option of remaining local or testing out various other markets by specifying with regions they sell to. This is a fantastic way of testing the waters slowly and methodically without taking on high amounts of risk and investment. In turn, this can give small business owners precious feedback on which areas may be more receptive to a physical storefront.

4. Collaborate

Etsy sellers can freely communicate with each other through the website. Instead of seeing all other sellers as competition, small business owners can team up and collaborate on new projects with some. The key is in finding other sellers who create a complementary product or service. Collaborating helps small business owners to meet other like-minded people. Working together can be a successful exercise in creativity, not to mention the opportunity to introduce the product to an entirely new market.

5. Get Advice

Etsy’s seller forums are a treasure trove of tips, advice, and resources. There are thousands of other sellers online who share some overlap in niche markets, industries, and trades. Often when one person has a question, chances are that others have already figured out a solution. The online message boards are a great place to find all types of helpful information, from reliable suppliers to new techniques, shipping services, taxation details and plenty more.

Tina S. is a veteran Etsy seller and small business owner based in Canada. When Tina is not contributing to university ranking and research sites like DegreeJungle.com, she blogs about online and offline marketing for small businesses.

Fiscal Cliff Could Dramatically Impact IT at Midsize Businesses

fiscal cliff

fiscal cliffThis was an article I wrote for a client site, but they recently changed their guidelines and this didn’t fit so I am putting it here…why waste good content right?

It is hard to escape hearing about the “fiscal cliff” from the news media, with predictions of doom and gloom coming from both reporters and politicians across the political spectrum. But what exactly is this cliff thing all about, and what impact, if any, will it have on IT for midsize businesses?

The Cliff in a Nutshell

As explained in Forbes, the term refers to a combination of several measures that, coming into play at the same time in January 2013, promise to drastically impact government revenue and spending, as well as the tax rate and other economic factors for just about every American. Its two major components are an automatic expiration of certain tax cuts, and reductions in government spending which will take place unless current laws are changed.

The tax cuts in question were signed into law by President George W. Bush and set to expire on December 31, 2010 but were extended for two years by President Obama. If the tax cuts expire, the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans would jump from the current 35 percent to 39.6 percent.

Reductions in spending would impact military budgets to the tune of nearly half a trillion dollars over the next 10 years, with drastic reductions in nonmilitary spending as well, including in social programs such as Medicare. Since so many industries and jobs depend on government spending, the cuts are expected to increase the unemployment rate.

If both events come to pass as is, the higher taxes and reduced government spending might provoke a recession, according to some analysts. This is one of the reasons why there is such an intense debate about how to avoid both components from coming into play without modification.

How Will IT be Affected?

Should these budget cuts and tax hikes occur, the impact for midsize businesses might be substantial. Obviously, if a small or medium business depends on government contracts in some way for revenue, there is cause for concern, and IT departments could face staff reductions. But even businesses unrelated to the government could be affected, even if just through a simple increase in competition arising from former government contractors now entering the private sector seeking to replace lost business.

One benefit for IT managers, however, might be a flood of trained IT personnel available for hire in the coming months as their employers slash budgets in response to eliminated government contracts and a higher tax burden. Midsize businesses that faced a shortage of trained candidates may find themselves with a nice roster of applicants to choose from to join their tech teams.

Whether the fiscal cliff comes to pass depends on lawmakers who have until the end of this year to reach a compromise. IT managers should watch events unfold with a keen eye, because one way or the other, a change is going to come.

Photo credit: Flickr

Biggest Malware Target in U.S. is Android According to New Report

android
android
I am a green robot bug. Nice to meet you.

The prevalence of Android devices, with over 100 million shipped in the second quarter of 2012 and comprising 52.2 percent of the smartphone market in the United States as of September, has made them the number biggest malware target according to a new report by a security vendor. With the growth of the BYOD (bring your own device) trend, this news should inspire IT managers at midsize businesses to review their security policies with regard to the ubiquitous devices.

 

More Attacks, Better Sophistication

In their “Security Threat Report 2013,” Sophos states that attacks against Android devices are increasing rapidly, outpacing attacks on PCs in both the U.S. and Australia. While most attacks until present have been rather simple, the sophistication of exploits is also increasing, enabling hackers to bypass anti-malware programs that have caught on to the old tricks.

As an example, the report details that some Android users have installed versions of popular games such as “Angry Birds Space” which play just like the real game. Unbeknownst to the user, however, the software gains root access and installs Trojans, which can download further malicious code and make the device controllable by a black hat.

Another exploit forwards SMS messages from a compromised device to another device, which can be used to defeat the two-factor authentication scheme used by many financial institutions to protect against fraud. This opens up the potential for a hacker to initiate a large transfer of funds after having gotten hold of a user’s bank login information (not too hard to do these days), and then capture the authentication code delivered via text message in order to validate the transaction with the bank.

Complicating matters is that some Android users choose to purposely root their phones in order to access more software or remove restrictions, leaving these devices even more vulnerable to exploits, as rooted phones allow applications to make changes at the administrator level.

Android and the Enterprise

For IT managers at midsize businesses, Android devices clearly warrant some special attention. Fortunately, the damage to enterprise users has been minimal to date, but this may not hold true in the near future.

Sophos has some recommendations for minimizing the risk of Android malware affecting an enterprise. These include: make sure Android devices are covered in written acceptable use and security documents; opt for full encryption, including removable media; forbid rooted devices; establish protocols for automatically patching devices; set limits on which kind of apps can be installed by users and the permissions granted and implement an MDM (mobile device management) solution.

Android smartphones and tablets can be wonderful productivity tools in the enterprise for midsize businesses — as long as steps are taken to lock them down against cybercriminals who would love a chance to hack the biggest malware target.

Boston.com's "Insights" Program a Model for Cross-Branded Marketing

el chichuahua loco
el chichuahua loco
Not all cross-marketing ideas make sense, however.

Content marketing ideas continue to evolve as companies embrace the switch from the historical, interruptive advertising model to branded content and strategic alliances with other brands. This evolution is blurring the lines between content and advertising, as blog and social media posts are being shared across platforms and brands, resulting in content cross-integration.

Breaking Out of the Silo

Silos are what occur when business units tend to communicate only internally, resulting in an “ivory tower” effect where power is minimized from lack of synergy. This effect can happen in traditional marketing, where brands market as distinct entities instead of tapping into one another’s successes. Some, however, are realizing that piggybacking onto another brand can improve their own exposure.

In a recent press release by Boston.com, it announced the launch of the new “Insights” program. By combining advertising content, social media and blog posts from outside brands with related news stories, the site hopes to provide improved engagement for advertisers and a new way to place information in front of a highly targeted audience.

The bulk of the Insights program operates on the Boston.com website. News articles are combined with advertising posts, blog posts and social media streams for participating advertisers. Content can include everything from simple articles to streaming video. Positioning and integration with news content is optimized for both regular and mobile web browsers to allow for easy use and consistent viewing on a range of devices.

Boston.com sorts advertiser content to fit popular categories or locations, much like keyword-based or geo-targeted advertising campaigns, to ensure that the advertisements are relevant to the reader. Each piece of advertising content can contain links to other websites, sharing widgets and other items to increase exposure and promote engagement. These items are then combined to form galleries and collections on the site that readers can browse separately from the news content as well. Content is also listed and highlighted both weekly and monthly in the print-edition of the Boston Globe for increased exposure.

The Changing Face of Advertisements in the Digital Era

From web browser add-ons to the proliferation of set top boxes with digital video recorders, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ensure that advertisements are actually seen by viewers. This has led to a shift toward integrating advertisements into content within many media types. This latest addition shows that websites and news outlets are no different.

The key to this new form of advertising is striking a balance between content and promotion. Ads are often formatted to seamlessly integrate into the article or content. This practice has been received with lukewarm opinions in many cases. Boston.com hopes to combat the issues that others have faced by clearly defining both advertising content and news content yet allowing them to be linked by subject matter to maintain relevance.

Car Shipping and Social Media?

car shipping and social media

The following is a guest post with some tips of value to all businesses which might think social media and content marketing are not right for them. If a car shipping firm can do it, so can you! – Willie

car shipping and social media
Vroom vroom!

It’s not every day that you talk about the impact that social media has had on the auto shipping industry, but it would seem that there is no industry that has escaped the effect that blogging, tweeting and ‘facebooking’ has had.

Car Shipping 101: Using Live Chat and Twitter for Customer Service

On the National Transport website, car shipping customers have the option to chat with a live person via the ‘live chat’ feature. This gives them an opportunity to ask questions about their shipping order and receive fast responses. Another similar and growing media outlet is Twitter. However, as some car shipping companies are just starting to utilize Twitter as a pseudo- customer service agent of sorts, there are plenty of other companies from a wide variety of different industries who have been using Twitter in this way for a while.

Take, for example, the mass media telecommunications company, Time Warner Cable (TWC). Headquartered in Manhattan but with offices all around the United States, most people know Time Warner because of the Internet and Cable services that they receive through them. And with so many customers around the country, there are certainly a fair amount of complaints and issues that roll in each day that flood the customer service department. Frustrated with the automated prompts of using the telephone to call in, a large number of TWC customers turn to Twitter to resolve service issues. There are a number of Twitter handles that customers can use to contact TWC customer service. One example is @TWCableHelp.

The Power of Facebook

There is no doubt that Facebook is a giant when it comes to sharing information. However, when using Facebook as a car shipping company, it can sometimes become a little tricky. Most studies show that people who use Facebook use it to ‘like’ brand pages as well as to catch up with old friends and acquaintances and also to share information such as light-hearted posts or political causes, etc. But how does this translate for companies — especially ones that ship cars?

Studies have revealed that while people on Facebook ‘like’ brand pages, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to be solicited to by a brand page. Therefore, the measurable impact of Facebook brand pages can be seen by the type of content that they post. If you post an article about car shipping, chances are that you’ll have a more difficult time getting other people to share it. It can’t just be about car shipping. Instead, if you can find something that loosely pertains to the industry (we’re in the travel and transportation industry), then it makes it more fun and interesting — thus increasing its appeal to the general Facebook user. Take this post that we shared recently on our Facebook page. It’s a simple picture, but it appealed to Facebook users because it was cute and had to do with transportation. Throw in a catchy title to make it a bit more cheeky and fun, and you start to appeal to more people.

The key to Facebook success as a brand page is knowing your audience and how they use specific social media outlets to interact with each other and with businesses.

Car Shipping Blogs

Blogging is a more relaxed spin off from a website. It allows readers to still obtain information but in a more casual setting. Blog posts should be well-written, informative and still retain some semblance of creativity. Keep content fresh and consistent. This is the key to successful blogging as a brand. If readers know when to expect content, you’ll both be better off. What will keep them coming back is well written, thoughtful blog posts. Again, the length and topics of what you discuss on your blog as a brand will depend largely on your audience. For instance, most professional and successful bloggers will tell you that you should really try to keep your blog post short and to the point. Shoot for writing anywhere between 200-400 words per post, throw in an image or two to break up the text and give the posts catchy titles that are also search engine friendly. You have to give the readers a reason to want to read your blog post. Aim to write 2-3 times per week to allow readers to digest the information without overwhelming them with too many posts. If you do plan on posting more frequently, then shorten the posts down.

As one of the leading auto transport companies in the United States, National Transport is constantly changing and evolving, trying out new things and testing out different ways of presenting information and ideas to customers as well as the general public, believing that you don’t get ahead by standing still.

About the Author:

Jenna is a content writer for National Transport, one of the United States’ leading auto transport companies. You can also visit them on Facebook.