Why Should Your Business Invest in Social Media?

So why should a business even consider adding social media to its marketing mix? What are the basics that can lead you to a social media mindset?

  • Social media is cost effective – Most of the social media tools that are available to individuals and businesses are free. There is nothing wrong with paying for marketing and web services, but why not use the free tools that are available to you online? It may cost you in time, as well as paying someone in-house, but the return on investment is worth it. Yes, there are some tools that might even be worth purchasing, and you might want to spend some money on social media ads, but in the long run, the costs are much lower than any form of traditional media. And if handled properly, the return can be incredible.
  • Social media IS word-of-mouth – Almost any business owner will tell you that the most effective form of marketing is word-of-mouth. Nothing beats friends recommending products to other friends, particularly when the recommendation comes from a trusted friend. Social media is merely word-of-mouth amplified. With social media you get the personal nature and effectiveness of word-of-mouth brought into the digital realm and magnified.
  • Social media is effective – While there are no guarantees, and it’s not a silver bullet, a properly implemented and maintained social media presence brings results. You can effectively reach people who care about your business or product, and interact with them on a personal level. It takes time and work, but again, it can work very well for you.
  • Social media provides rapid feedback – Through social media you have the ability to get near real-time feedback from customers and potential customers. Social media is a great tool for market research, customer service, R&D, and more. Sometimes your customers will provide the feedback on their own, while other times you might have to ask, but the feedback you get, positive or negative, can be invaluable.
  • Social media allows you to disseminate information quickly – Life doesn’t always happen on a schedule, and neither does business. Web updates, print collateral, and more traditional forms of marketing require resources, and often a lot of lead-time. With social media you can react quickly and get your message to the right people with little or no lead-time. This is a big reason why many radio stations are no longer airing school closings for inclement weather. People don’t need to listen when they can get the information immediately online.
  • Social media can boost your search engine results – A big part of getting noticed amidst the digital clutter of the web is making sure you show up high in search engine results. Companies spend a lot of money on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to get even the smallest edge over the competition. A well executed, fully integrated social media strategy offers a boost in the SEO/SEM wars, particularly as Google and other search engines are indexing platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • Social media is alive – You can now connect and interact with real, living, breathing people. Customers are no longer faceless IP addresses. This allows your business or organization to create the personal experience of a small, local storefront business. The ball is in your court.
  • Social media is the future of the internet – User generated content (whereby users become creators and participants, not merely consumers, of online content) is now a large part of the internet experience. The concept of social media and networking has changed the face of how consumers use the internet, and therefore, how businesses and organizations create an online presence. And with the rapidly increasing adoption of smart phones, social media keeps us connected at all times. Social media isn’t just a list of platforms, it’s how we interact online, even on our web sites.
  • Social media is dynamic and flexible – Unlike traditional media, social media allows you to change and tweak your content and messaging quickly. You and your business can rapidly adapt to the desires and needs of your audience.
  • Social media builds community – No longer are you confined to addressing a dissimilar group of individuals spread out over geographic and cultural areas. Now you can build your own online communities, encouraging your consumers to not only connect with you, but with each other. The strength, and collective voice, of this community can be phenomenal. Plus the research capabilities are phenomenal as you seek to learn more about your connected community.
  • Social media builds trust – Community is based on relationships and we tend to trust those in our communities. When we seek information we tend to go to those whom we trust. This is why there is so much talk about influencers, and the need to tap into their power.

Info courtesy of: Business 2 Community

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The Colorado River is in Trouble, Many Face Sacrifices

colorado

By:  at the Texas Tribune

Every  beloved Texas river, the 600-mile Colorado River — which flows from West Texas to the Gulf Coast — is under serious threat. Drought and surging population growth have taken their toll on the water’s flow and its wildlife and, by extension, the farmers and fishermen who rely on it.

But there is one thing about the Colorado — not to be confused with the river of the same name that flows through the Grand Canyon — that makes it unique.

“Here’s the river that we decided to put the capital on,” said Kevin Anderson, who runs theCenter for Environmental Research at the Austin Water Utility. “Austin must depend on its river for the water, and so it must respond to what the river is telling us.”

And with the dry conditions persisting, the booming city and seat of Texas’ Legislature is now facing a tug-of-war for water with agricultural, fishing and tourism interests farther downstream. While the city’s supply has so far remained intact, it is not guaranteed to stay that way.

Austin, now a city of more than 800,000 people, is projected to pass 1 million by 2025. It is almost entirely reliant on the Colorado River and its system of dammed reservoirs for water, managed by the Lower Colorado River Authority. But the two reservoirs that serve Austin and surrounding communities, Lakes Buchanan and Travis, currently have only about a third of the 655 billion gallons of water they can hold. Continue reading

40 Clever Tricks To Simplify Your Every Day Life

1.

HOW-TO-FIT-TWO-BOWLS-INTO-MICROWAVE-LIFE-HACK

Life Hack via DaNReDaN

 

 

2.

TOWER-RACK-POT-LID-HOLDER-LIFE-HACK-KITCHEN

Life Hack via hgska

 

 

3.

use-binder-clips-to-fix-keyboard-stand-life-hack

 

 

4.

create-more-counter-space-life-hack

Life Hack via Reddit

 

 

5. How To Open a Jar Using Duct Tape

open-a-jar-using-duct-tape-gif

 

 

6.

put-newspaper-at-bottom-of-garbage-to-soak-up-liquids-life-hack

 

 

7.

ipad-mount-using-plastic-hooks

Life Hack via etothepowerof3

 

 

8.

NEVER-FLY-LOW-AGAIN-LIFE-HACK

 

 

9.

how-to-organize-your-fridge-life-hack

 

 

10.

best-time-of-year-to-buy-things-chart-table

Life Hack via LifeHacker.com

 

 

11.

how-to-rotate-video-in-vlc-media-player-life-hack

Life Hack via autonova

 

 

12.

USE-PAPER-CLIPS-TO-FIND-THE-END-OF-A-TAPE-ROLL

 

 

13. How To Eat a Chicken Wing

how-to-eat-a-chicken-wing-life-hack-gif

 

 

14.

use-laser-pointer-to-turn-phone-into-macro-camera-life-hack

Life Hack via randoh12

 

 

15.

USE-POOL-NOODLES-TO-KEEP-TALL-BOOTS-UPRIGHT-LIFE-HACK

 

 

16.

turn-pant-clips-into-chip-clips-life-hack

Life Hack via omgchrista

 

 

17.

how-to-remove-a-spliinter-with-baking-soda-and-water-life-hack

Life Hack via PhauSst

 

 

18.

how-to-hang-a-sweater-on-a-hanger-lifehack

 

 

19.

how-to-clean-your-microwave-life-hack

 

 

20. Open a Hershey’s Kisses in Style

HOW-TO-OPEN-HERSHEY-KISS-LIKE-A-BOSS-GIF-LIFE-HACK

 

 

21.

GRILLED-CHEESE-IN-TOASTER-LIFE-HACK

 

 

22.

TURN-OLD-LIQUOR-BOTTLES-INTO-GLASSES-LIFE-HACK

Life Hack via Bakedbananas

 

 

23.

HOW-TO-FREEZE-FREEZIES-PROPERLY-LIFE-HACK

 

 

24.

pillow-in-sun-life-hack

 

 

25.

STICKY-NOTES-TO-CLEAN-YOUR-KEYBOARD-LIFEHACK

 

 

26.

LAUNDRY-BASKET-KEEPS-TOYS-IN-REACH-IN-BATHTUB-LIFE-HACK

Life Hack via ThirdFloorNorth

 

 

27.

turn-and-old-milk-jug-into-a-watering-can

 

 

28. Quickly Unload a Case of Pop

HOW-TO-QUICKLY-UNLOAD-A-CASE-OF-POP-GIF-LIFE-HACK

 

 

29.

VELCRO-STRIPS-KEEP-RUGS-IN-PLACE-LIFE-HACK

Life Hack via DoriIsRad

 

 

30.

prevent-pizza-toppings-from-shifting-while-driving-life-hack

 

 

31.

recycled-mio-bottles-life-hack

Life Hack via SparklesPup

 

 

32.

USE-DRILL-TO-POWER-SCRUB-ANYTHING-LIFE-HACK

Life Hack via eqrunner

 

 

33.

how-to-clean-a-blender-life-hack

 

 

34.

egg-carton-laptop-cooler-stand-life-hack

Life Hack via Mehavesuperpowers

 

 

35.

how-to-make-symbols-with-your-keyboard

 

 

36.

MAKE-BREAD-WITH-ICE-CREAM-LIFE-HACK

Life Hack via Robin Edds

 

 

37.

USE-COINTS-TO-OPEN-PACKAGES-LIFE-HACK

Life Hack via Xasf

 

 

38.

hands-free-gas-pumping-life-hack

Life Hack via CHaddcl0ps

 

 

39.

how-to-hang-your-phone-on-a-flight-life-hack

Life Hack via claireadelie

 

 

40.

CUPCAKE-LIKE-HACK-GIF

 

Courtesy of: TwistedSifter

Sources

– r/LifeHacks on Reddit
– DIY/Lifehacks on BuzzFeed
– LifeHacker.com
– “Life Hacks” on Pinterest

Looking For A New Place To Wet Your Whistle in Austin? Forbes Travel Has a Few Suggestions

The craft cocktail revolution continues to grow and thrive in Austin.  Midnight Cowboy is a former brothel-turned-speakeasy right in the middle of the action downtown.  Make reservations on their website in advance and follow directions to the sign less, swanky hideout. Nearby, Weather Up takes ice art to a whole new level, The Bonneville serves well-crafted drinks overlooking Ladybird Lake, Swift’s Attic has the best table in town (look for the birdcage), Peche is Prohibition chic, and Second Bar makes a mean mule (and much more!)
ESRRecently opened Whisler’s has a creative and ever-changing cocktail list and Qui’s drinks are just as artfully and thoughtfully prepared as their food. Eastside Showroom and Hillside Farmacy both serve cocktails in a striking, reclaimed vintage setting. South of the river, the ZACH Theatre creates concoctions designed to match each production, and their Serra Skyline Lounge has a beautiful view of the city. Up north, Contigo slings classy patio cocktails, Tigress is an unassuming gem boasting vintage glasswear, and the expert mixologists at drink.well never fail to impress with their skill, speed, and knowledge. (They also serve some of the best bar food in town, including a very limited daily selection of artisanal Twinkies).

For beer, Whip In has been keeping Austin weird since the 80’s and is not to be missed.  Once a convenience store, it has now morphed into a Tex-Mex-Indian gastropub and wine bar boasting one of the best beer selections in town. Up north, Draught House has been an Austin institution for the past 45 years! Think part microbrewery, part pub, and dogs/tailgating friendly. On Rainey Street, Banger’s has a whopping 104 beers on tap, and Craft Pride right next door is your go-to spot for specifically Texas brews.

Campus-area Crown and Anchor is the sportiest bar I have affection for, Hopfields is a charming little gastropub, and Dog and Duck is the most legit Irish pub in town. North Loop’s Workhorse is a quaint beer bar heavy on the locally crafted selections, and newly opened eastside Quickie Pickie has a handpicked rotating selection, all just $5.00 a glass. Downtown, the Elephant Room is the best place to listen to jazz while sipping on a Belgian brew, and Easy Tiger on Sixth Street is part ping pong patio, part biergarten and part bakery (which makes their pretzels and beer cheese a requirement).

Admittedly, I spend most of my time in dive bars around town.  Carousel Lounge is a surreal little carnie-inspired spot in the northeast thathole in the wall is BYO-liquor (they provide set-ups), as is far-north Buddy’s Place (complete with shuffleboard and many miscellaneous decorations collecting dust in the shadows). It’s always Christmas at Lala’s where ornaments and lights manage to twinkle in the smoky darkness, and Poodle Dog is practically a pool hall (and also BYO-liquor). My favorite eastside haunts are Yellow Jacket Social ClubLiberty, and the White Horse. Downtown, Casino El Camino will make you the most ridiculous bloody mary you’ve ever seen (and great burgers to accompany your PBR), red light-soaked velvet paintings deck the walls at Jackalope, andMugshots has hands-down the best photo booth in town. Austin would never be the same without Barfly’sThe Horseshoe LoungeEgo’sGinny’s Little LonghornDonn’s DepotThe Broken Spoke,Deep Eddy Cabaret, and Hole in the Wall.  And for something way off the beaten path, seek out the Dry Creek Cafe on Mount Bonnell Road.

For wine, I like to direct visitors to Henri’s, a cute little shop serving wine, cheese, and charcuterie. The basement housing Red Room Lounge is inviting and mysterious, with a program run by a master sommellier. South of the river, House Wine is just as cozy as it sounds (and yes, run out of a little house). Whip In has nights featuring various varietals, often to the tune of the sitar or a local band.

CC AustinSeveral classics that are always worth a visit include The Cloak Room (a Capitol-area dive bar where politicians can be found on the regular), Continental Club (a small, classic venue on South Congress), the uber-hip poolside patio of the Hotel San Jose, and the bar of the historic (and haunted) Driskill Hotel.

If you are looking for some breweries to try?  How about a day trip out to the Hill Country to visit the guys at Jester King Brewery, and if your looking for something closer to town there is Austin Beer Works  or Live Oak Brewery on the East Side.  If it is a Bier Garten you are looking for then you also have to try the brand new AGBG located off of South Lamar and Oltorf for some amazing locally sourced pizza and 12 beers on tap!

Courtesy of: Veronica Meewes at Forbes Travel Guide

The Surviving Rescue Dogs of 9/11 & How They Look Today

Nearly 100 dogs worked at the trade center ten years ago; only 12 are left. THESE OLD WONDERFUL FACES SAY IT ALL… These are the surviving dogs that worked the trade center that are still alive but retired, they are heroes too.

Their eyes say everything you need to know about them. Just amazing creatures. True heroes of 9/11 still with us today.

 

Moxie, 13, from Winthrop , Massachusetts , arrived with her handler, Mark Aliberti, at the World Trade Center on the evening of September 11 and searched the site for eight days.

 

Tara, 16, from Ipswich, Massachusetts, arrived at the World Trade Center on the night of the 11th. The dog and her handler Lee Prentiss were there for eight
days.

 

Kaiser, 12, pictured at home in Indianapolis, Indiana, was deployed to the World Trade Center on September 11 and searched tirelessly for people in the rubble. Continue reading

Coalition of Austin Park System Supporters are Rallying For Increased City Budgets

ACL BackdropA coalition of park supporters called “Great Austin Parks” – comprised of members from 12 different groups, including the Austin Parks FoundationTree Folks, the Trail Foundation, the Shoal Creek ConservancyKeep Austin Beautiful, and thePease Park Conservancy – has spent the summer urging members of City Council to increase the Parks and Recreation Department budget by $4.75 million – money that would go on top of the already proposed $5.92 million outlined in the General Fund’s summary of “unmet service demands” for PARD.

The advocated increase stems from an accumulating public outcry for greater attention towards forestry ($1.5 million), trails ($1.25 million), pools ($1 million), and maintenance ($1 million), with an emphasis on maintenance – and emphasizing sustainability over one-time expenditures. Continue reading

20 Historic Black and White Photos Colorized

One of the greatest facets of reddit are the thriving subreddits, niche communities of people who share a passion for a specific topic. One of the Sifter’s personal favourites is r/ColorizedHistory. The major contributors are a mix of professional and amateur colorizers that bring historic photos to life through color. All of them are highly skilled digital artists that use a combination of historical reference material and a natural eye for colour.

When we see old photos in black and white, we sometimes forget that life back then was experienced in the same vibrant colours that surround us today. This gallery of talented artists helps us remember that 🙂

1. Abandoned boy holding
a stuffed toy animal. London 1945

Abandoned-boy-holding-a-stuffed-toy-animal

Original Photograph by Toni Frissell
Colorized by HansLucifer | valdigtmycketfarg.wordpress.com

 

Abandoned-boy-holding-a-stuffed-toy-animal_2

Original Photograph by Toni Frissell
Colorized by HansLucifer | valdigtmycketfarg.wordpress.com

 

“I was told he had come back from playing and found his house a shambles—his mother, father and brother dead under the rubble…he was looking up at the sky, his face an expression of both confusion and defiance. The defiance made him look like a young Winston Churchill. This photograph was used by IBM to publicize a show in London. The boy grew up to become a truck driver after the war, and walking past the IBM offices, he recognized his picture.” – Toni Frissell

 

 

2. Hindenburg Disaster – May 6, 1937

Hindenburg-disaster,-1937-dana-keller

 

Hindenburg-disaster,-1937-dana-keller-original

 

 

3. Japanese Archers circa 1860

Kyudoka--Japanese-Archers-c1860-photo-chopshop

 

Kyudoka--Japanese-Archers-c1860-photo-chopshop-original

 

 

4. View from Capitol in Nashville, Tennessee
During the Civil War, 1864

View-from-Capitol-in-Nashville,-Tennessee,-during-the-Civil-War-in-1864-sanna-dullaway

 

View-from-Capitol-in-Nashville,-Tennessee,-during-the-Civil-War-in-1864-sanna-dullaway-original

 

 

5. Unemployed lumber worker, circa 1939

Unemployed-lumber-worker,-ca

 

Unemployed-lumber-worker,-ca_2

 

 

6. Auto Wreck in Washington D.C, 1921

Auto-Wreck-in-Washington-D

Colorized by Sanna Dullaway | forrifarg.se | Facebook

 

 

7. Big Jay McNeely driving the crowd at the Olympic Auditorium into a frenzy, Los Angeles, 1953

trumpet-traquea

Original Photograph by Bob Willoughby | Prints available
Colorized by traquea on Reddit

 

big-jay-mcneely-on-sax-olympic-auditorium-la-1953-bob-willoughby

Photograph by Bob Willoughby | Prints available

 

 

8. Albert Einstein, Summer 1939
Nassau Point, Long Island, NY

Albert-Einstein,-summer-1939---Nassau-Point,-Long-Island,-NY-edvos

Colorized by Edvos on Reddit | Paul Edwards

 

Albert-Einstein,-summer-1939---Nassau-Point,-Long-Island,-NY-edvos-comparison

Colorized by Edvos on Reddit | Paul Edwards

 

 

9. Audrey Hepburn

audrey-hepburn-dana-keller

 

 

10. ‘Old Gold’, Country store, 1939

'Old-Gold',-Country-store,-1939-photo-chopshop

 

'Old-Gold',-Country-store,-1939-photo-chopshop-original

 

 

11. Joseph Goebbels scowling at photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt after finding out he’s Jewish, 1933

Joseph-Goebbels-scowling-at-photographer-Albert-Eisenstaedt-after-finding-out-he's-jewish,-ca

Original Photograph by Time & Life Pictures
Colorized by zuzahin on Reddit | Website | Colorizedhistory on Facebook

 

Joseph-Goebbels-scowling-at-photographer-Albert-Eisenstaedt-after-finding-out-he's-jewish,-ca_2

Photograph by Time & Life Pictures

 

 

12. Nikola Tesla, 1893

Nikola-Tesla,-1893-dana-keller

Original Photograph by Napoleon Sarony
Colorized by Dana Keller | History in Color on Facebook

 

 

13. W.H. Murphy and his associate demonstrating their bulletproof vest on October 13, 1923

W.H

 

Testing_bulletproof_vest_1923

Photograph by National Photo Company

 

 

14. Young boy in Baltimore slum area, July 1938

Baltimore,-1938-photo-chopshop

 

Baltimore,-1938-photo-chopshop-comparison

 

 

15. British troops cheerfully board their train for the first stage of their trip to the western front – England, September 20, 1939

British-troops-cheerfully-board-their-train-for-the-first-stage-of-their-trip-to-the-western-front---England,-September-20,-1939-benafleckisanokactor

 

 

16. Oscar II, King of Sweden and Norway, 1880

Oscar-II,-King-of-Sweden-and-Norway,-year-1880-sanna-dullaway

Colorized by Sanna Dullaway | forrifarg.se | Facebook

 

 

17. Walt Whitman, 1887

Walt-Whitman,-1887-dana-keller

 

Walt-Whitman,-1887-dana-keller-original

 

 

18. Mark Twain in the garden, circa 1900

Mark-Twain-in-the-garden,-ca

 

 

19. Charlie Chaplin at the age of 27, 1916

Charlie-Chaplin-at-the-age-of-27,-1916-affleckokactor

 

 

20. Elizabeth Taylor – Giant (1956 film)

Elizabeth-Taylor---Giant-malakon

Original Photograph by Frank Worth Photo | Prints available
Colorized by malakon on Reddit

 

Elizabeth-Taylor---Giant-malakon-original